Archive | August, 2015

Today’s earth tones are a thoroughly up-to-date decorating palette

26 Aug


Today’s earth tones are a thoroughly up-to-date decorating palette.

Forget the avocado green shag carpet and harvest gold kitchen appliances you remember from your mother’s or grandmother’s house.
Soft and warm, earth tone interior design elements take the chill out of a cool, autumn evening. These gentle colors make rooms feel cozy and relaxing, never harsh and cold. And since the hues mimic the colors of nature, the blending between indoors and outdoors is seamless, especially if you have large windows.
Earth tone interior design elements and hues blend well together, so they’re not as tricky to combine as other color palettes. In fact, decorating with earth tones makes it easy to coordinate your whole house, without colors clashing between rooms, even if the exact hues in each room are not identical.

            For earth tone interior design,
            think beiges and browns, tans and taupes,
            even sage greens, soft rust tones and muted golds the                                                                       colors of wheat, straw, sand, rocks, trees and soil.


An earth tone palette can be smooth and sophisticated, rough and rustic, or dainty and feminine – it all depends EarthTones3on the tones you select and the style of your furnishings.
You can add white to brighten an earth tone palette, or introduce black to add drama. Then incorporate patterns and textures for added nuance and beauty. Obvious earth tone choices are in upholstered furniture, drapery fabrics, paint and accessories, but you can also use earth tone hues in flooring – wood, stone and carpeting – and in mantles and countertops.


Come down to earth with your decor this fall. Add earth tones for a natural and balanced look.


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What Style Are You?

19 Aug

Finding Your Fit

Last week, we discussed the different aspects of modern and contemporary design. And maybe neither of those styles feel quite right to you. Here are two more options in the list of design styles. A big crossover in design is the line between traditional and transitional design. There are features that are found in both but, like modern and contemporary, it is a lot about the lines.

Traditional interior design is typically of classic European decor. Staples of this style include deep wood tones,


architectural details, and elegant furnishings. Antiques are often integrated into this design, but many companies sell new pieces that mimic the lines of the old. Architectural embellishments are widely used in and can include elaborate

moldings, beveled wood paneling, and intricate tile and wood floor patterns. Arches, columns, and built-in cabinetry
are also frequent features of this type of design. One of the most important facets of traditional interior design is the lines of the furnishings. Wing-backed chairs, claw footed tables, and curved furniture pieces are examples of this.

Common representations are the Queen Anne or Chippendale styles. These furniture pieces will be adorned with lush fabrics of silk and velvet with prints of damask, paisley, stripes or floral. The color palette may be neutral in the walls and flooring but you will see that deep burgundy, navy and brown will be used in the upholstery and accessories.

Transitional style in interior design has many catchphrases that describe it. “Updated classic”, “classic with a contemporary twist”, “new takes on old classics” are just a few ways to look at this style. Ultimately it is a blend of transitional1traditional and contemporary styles; incorporating lines that are less ornate than traditional designs, but not as severely basic as contemporary lines. This is noticeable with the use of curves that combine with straight lines to deliver a look that balances for a comfortable and uncomplicated design. Color palettes are typically neutral and subtle but do lend a pop of color to accessories. Unlike contemporary furniture, transitional style focuses on comfort and practicality to meet the lifestyle of an active household. The scales of furniture pieces are ample but not overwhelming. Goose feather and down fill is typically used for upholstered furniture and wood finishing is typically warm tones but can range from a natural finish to a high-gloss lacquer. Texture is important, and a multitude of fabric selections can vary from durable materials to sophisticated, plush fabrics, with tone-on-tone or small scale graphics. A balanced mix of several textures is often used.

Still not finding your style? Keep looking. The best thing you can do is search keywords and look at pictures. Traditional and transitional are just two out many ways to decorate. If you haven’t already, check out the modern vs.
contemporary discussion. You may find some ideas that are more your fit.
Happy decorating!

Is It Modern or Is It Contemporary?

12 Aug

Is It Modern or Is It Contemporary?

“It’s great to design a beautiful, modern, sleek home like you’d see in a magazine. But if it doesn’t suit your lifestyle, it’s really wasted.” – Candice Olson, Interior Designer on HGTV’s “Devine Design”

When decorating, we look for labels to define our space.  Traditional? Modern? Contemporary?

However, descriptions are commonly misused. The mix-up between modern and contemporary happens because there are some crossover aspects. Learn some of the basic differentiations and you can set them apart.

Modern1Modern: 1920s – late 1980s
Modern design refers to the modern art movement in the 1950s, also known as Mid-century Modern. This design relies heavily on graphic shapes and sharp, continuous lines and is extremely minimalistic.


Minimalism plays an integral part in modern design and became its own movement in New York in the 80s. The Modern2basic principle “less is more” was the approach for this design. Detailing on moldings or excessive use of textiles is not a practice. In modern design you won’t see figurines or vases as accent pieces. Any crucial items, including books and keepsakes, are kept out of sight. Modern homes are often far more comfortable than they appear, due to the way they are streamlined for efficiency. This design can be thought of as bare, but in reality it takes a lot of planning to include what is absolutely necessary in the home. Nate Berkus, an interior designer seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show, said “In a minimal interior, what you don’t do is as important as what you do.”

The majority of modern homes use shades of black and white exclusively throughout the home. Bold colors are used as accents to help break up the neutrals and provide focal points. These colors are introduced sparingly and found in abstract art, a single piece of furniture like a red sofa, or a solid color rug.

Contemporary2Contemporary: 1990s – now
Contemporary design is a little trickier to define. Better Homes & Gardens describes contemporary design as the use of clean lines with a casual atmosphere, open spaces, neutral colors and elements, and materials inspired by nature.



Colors & FabricsContemporary1
Contemporary interiors feature tone-on-tone palettes, relying heavily on brown, taupe, cream and pure white. Shots of color are sometimes found on an accent wall or wallpaper. Natural fabrics such as silk, wool, linen and cotton are used for their textural aspect and inherent neutral hues. However, a bold color or geometric pattern may be brought into the design with pillows, a rug or a throw.


Glass3Furniture & Lighting
Furniture is made of light-colored woods that have minimal graining, glass, and a variety of metals. These pieces have clean lines and smooth surfaces without any carving or adornment. Silhouettes are slim without being dainty. Lighting is used as an artistic statement as well as function. Lamps have straight lines and sleek metallic finishes with a special shade. Recessed or track lighting draws attention to well-placed art and accessories.

So as you see, there are similar features in both styles. The main question to ask yourself is, are you looking for the warmth and comfort of contemporary design or are you interested in stark, streamlined look that modern design offers?

Roman Shades

5 Aug

When in Rome…
Roman shades have been a part of interior design for centuries.
They were first used at the Colosseum in Rome RomanSh1. When the Romans added a retractable shade it was easier for people to enjoy the spectacle going on down below when they weren’t exposed to the hot sun. Then, with all the building going on in Rome, using these flat pieces of fabric that go up and down with the pull of a string helped keep the dust out of the home. Ever since, the Roman shade has evolved to all the exciting options that are available now.


There are many terms for the different styles of Roman shades and that can be confusing if you’ve never looked for one before. After all, isn’t a shade just a shade? Actually, no. As you are deciding what to get, start with the two basic options: hobbled or flat. There are alternatives for each, but this gets you started.

Hobbled is called RomanSh2by many names: waterfall, tiered, looped. Technically they are all different because of the different amount of fabric between folds. Traditionally a hobbled shade will have 5” folds, whereas a waterfall would have 7”.  But they still give the effect of a ripple in each version. You can use these shades in any room of the home to give it a dressier feel.

Flat is just that. It can have a look that shows where the fabric overlays or it can be smooth with no seams visible from the front. These tend to be casual, but that isn’t to say you couldn’t use an elegant fabric with this construction. Using a formal-looking fabric with a flat Roman shade would lend a modern feel to a room. RomanSh4

Flat Roman shades can be tailored, relaxed, batten front, batten back, or both…the list goes on.





RomanSh5                                                                                                  There are a few kinds that could be considered specialty like an Austrian  or balloon shade. But again, there are so many styles to choose from so just take your time and look through all the pictures you want before your purchase. Most of the time your Roman shade will be a custom piece so make it your own!



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