Archive | September, 2015

Adding an exotic element to your decor is a surprising touch.

30 Sep

It creates conversation and personalizes your home.ExoticElement2

What do you consider an exotic home element? That definition has changed over time as our worlds have gotten smaller, and our population is more diverse. We have more access to purchasing interior design elements from other cultures, in addition to bringing them home from our own travels.

Most people consider the following as exotic elements to add to their home décor:

  • Indian or East Asian fabrics

  • Moroccan or Indonesian end tables and lanterns

  • Latin American dining tables

  • Japanese ceramic stools

  • Polynesian sculptures

  • African masks and wall artExoticElement1

  • Asian stone sculptures

  • Exotic woods with dramatic grains and textures

  • Carpets and artifacts from the Southwest U.S.

  • Tiles from almost any country

  • Rugs from Turkey, Kashmir, Iran and so many other countries

  • Even tropical plants and flowers

bonsai-tree-3previewThe trick is to add enough exotic to make a room interesting, but not so much that the room is cluttered or looks out of place for your life style. A little goes a long way with exotic elements. Most of these items are hand-crafted so you won’t see the same piece in a friend or neighbor’s home! And you’re adding to the individuality of your home, especially if you brought the piece back from a special trip. 

Even in minimalist décor, one or two touches of the exotic can stand out; actually they’ll stand out even more than in a cluttered room. And even if the pieces are exotic and special, they can be in neutral colors that keep the zen feeling going strong.

Personalize your decor with an exotic element or two this year. It’s a conversation starter that will add personality and energy to your home.

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Decorating with photographs can enhance the image of your home.

23 Sep

Photography is a tried and true design element.

Couple looking at artwork --- Image by © Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

Couple looking at artwork — Image by © Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

In the early days of photography, art aficionados didn’t consider photographs a “real” form of art. Today, we know that isn’t true. You can purchase a vast variety of photographic art — or create your own – and it’s just as beautiful and engaging as any other form of art you can display in your home.

Display photos can range from super-size portraits of your kids, dogs or a vacation spot to collections of miniature-sized photos of almost any item. With photos, you can:

  • Tell your family’s story

  • Focus on your kids or grandkids

  • Pay homage to your pets

  • Feature the places you’ve visited

  • Highlight specific things you like, such as elephants, dogs, Victorian houses or oak trees.

photos2Framing is half the fun. Often the frames are just as interesting – or even more interesting – than the photos themselves! You can go bold and ornate or opt for simple black rectangular frames to keep the emphasis on the photos themselves. If you’re displaying vintage photos, make sure to frame them with protective glass so they don’t get damaged by sunlight.

It’s typical to display photographs in a collection, as small as two photos to as large as you can fit across your wall or display shelves. Photos can be all the same size and orientation, or can vary in size and shape. photos3

Arrange collections in consistent horizontal vertical columns or horizontal rows, or go wild with a random arrangement. You can even angle photos up a stairwell. Equally pleasing are photos arranged on a shelf or mantel, often mixed with other pieces such as mirrors, vases and plants.

Picture your home with a beautiful photography display. It’s a dramatic decorating concept that personalizes your living space beautifully.

Soft Green Is A Sage Design Choice.

16 Sep

Using this subtle, natural color will add tranquility to your decor.

SoftSage3

Going green in your interior décor can be a peaceful, gentle prospect, especially if you select a soft green shade. Sage green creates a serene, calm atmosphere. And this hue works equally well as a soft accent color or a versatile neutral.

Sage green is actually a range of hues. Some versions include a lot of soft grey, creating an almost silvery grey cast, while others are pumped up with a touch of yellow, creating an early-spring effect. 

Sage green plays well with lots of other colors. As a neutral, pair it with accents of brick red, aqua, French blue, brown, violet or lilac. As an accent shade, pair sage with crisp white to make the color pop or pair it with soft grey, cream or ivory to keep the look subtle and tranquil. Many design elements also use sage green as part of a pattern, such as latticework, paisley, stripes and botanical prints.

Naturally, you have lots of possibilities to add sage green to your decor:SoftSage2

  • Painted walls and paint stenciling

  • Wallpaper 

  • Upholstery and drapery fabric

  • Bedding

  • Painted wood furniture and kitchen cabinets

  • Rugs and carpeting

  • Lamps and light fixtures

  • Accessories such as throw pillows, vases, flowers and table linens

  • Tile countertops and backsplashes

    SoftSage1

Add beautiful sage to your decorating plans this year. When your friends see the results, they’ll be green with envy!

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Powering up your powder room will make a good first impression with guests.

9 Sep

Go big in this small room to make it the jewel box of your home.

Who doesn’t comment on a spectacular powder room when they visit friends or family? This is the bathroom to go

Glass Bathroom Vanity

Glass Bathroom Vanity

lavish on because it’s small. Plus it doesn’t have to be practical for everyday showering, storage and hanging of damp bath towels. It doesn’t get used much, and it’s the room that almost all your guests eventually see. So why not make it dramatic and bold?

Walls. Paint them in bold colors and use attention-getting finishes, such as shiny lacquer or faux marble. Or use beautiful wallpaper. 

Sinks and faucets. Use a sink that’s unusual either because of its shape or its material, such as glass, marble, granite or metal. And consider sinks that are elevated above the vanity rather that set in.

The vanity. Use a piece of furniture as the vanity, maybe even an antique dressing table or bureau. Or don’t use a vanity at all. Instead go with a pedestal sink – since you don’t need storage space in the powder room!

Modern Bowl Basin

Modern Bowl Basin

Countertops. For countertops, think unique surfaces such as glass, marble, metal, concrete or select unique tile that will grab your visitors’ attention.

Speaking of tile. Don’t just tile the floor or countertops. Think about tiling the walls half way up or even all the way to the ceiling. Because most powder rooms are small, you can afford to go expensive on the materials you select, and sometimes you can pick up remnants for a fraction of their original cost.

PowderRoom2

Mirrors and lighting. No plain unframed, rectangular mirrors for a dazzling powder room. Think elaborate frames, interesting shapes and unusual sizes. And for the lighting, select something special too. 

Be bold when you plan your powder room look. Redecorate it to become a room with “wow” potential!

Home Office Not Just For Function

2 Sep

A home office is not an impersonal work cubicle.

Make it a warm, inviting space personalized with color, artwork, rugs and memorabilia, as well as totally functional.
So often, our home offices are an afterthought – a room that’s functional, but not fashionable, and often they end up

as the place that collects clutter. Don’t let that happen to you! Make your home office a reflection of your personality, as well as a functioning room for the tasks you need – or want – to do there.
Whether you call this room a home office, a study or a library, your first HomeOffice3consideration is to customize it for the tasks you need to complete. You may need this room for heavy-duty desk work on a daily basis, or just use it once in a while to check your laptop or write a few personal emails.
Most important is a desk that works for you and a good quality desk chair that’s the right height and is comfortable for you. And why not buy a stylish desk and chair, instead of the cheapest functional pieces of furniture you can find? Good lighting is key too – not just ambient lighting, but task lighting on or above your desk. Think ahead about all the devices and equipment you need, including computer(s), printer(s), file cabinets and more.

HomeOffice2

 

Other enhancements to consider include:

  • built-in shelving to display work-related memorabilia, including certificates, diplomas, awards and photos
  • closed cabinets to store necessities that don’t look very pretty – envelopes, paper and toner cartridges
  • a system to hid the “ugly stuff,” such as modems, routers, surge protectors, chargers and those oh-so-many cords that go along with all of the above
  • window fashions that block the glare on your computer screen that happens at certain times of day or certain times of the year

Whether you use your home office to complete important work assignments or just read the newspaper, take the time to make it a place that reflects your personality.

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