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Sculpture in Your Home

24 Jun

Placing sculpture in your home is a solid design choice.

This standing art form adds weight to your home decor and a beautiful focal point.Sculptures3
Sculpture may seem like an unusual topic for decorating the inside of your home since we most often think of statues as dramatic decorative items outdoors or in commercial buildings and museums. But think of some of the home interiors that you’ve found to be most dramatic and beautiful. Chances are they included a sculpture of some kind.
Sculpture adds a unique and memorable touch to your home. Statuary can be small, medium or large, and can sit on the floor or a table, or even be mounted on a wall. There are so many options in material, including bronze and other metals, marble and other stone, glass, wood and more. Even large plates mounted on a wall can be considered sculpture. And medallions on the ceiling surrounding your dining room chandelier can be thought of as ceiling sculpture.
Sculptures2The subject of your sculpture can be lifelike or abstract. Today, many homeowners are adding statues of buddhas, animals, birds and classic human busts to their décor. And, in the abstract realm, almost any design is possible. Some people even like statuary that adds humor or whimsy to the home. It all depends on what pleases YOU!
Whether your sculpture sits on the floor, on a table or against a wall, make sure it’s in a place where it stands out against the surrounding color and design elements. Otherwise it will “disappear” and not make an impact. The base can be important too – to steady a sculpture, bring it to the right height and add drama.

Sculptures1
Introduce a unique design element to your home with a piece of sculpture.

 

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A Touch of Black

17 Jun

A touch of black is a design necessity.

Black2It’s a tried-and-true design adage that every room needs just a smidgen of black..
There’s something about adding just one element of black to a room that anchors the room and enhances the other colors. You and your guests may not even notice the touch of black, but it does make a difference.
Black is a powerful color, so a little goes a long way in adding drama, sophistication, seriousness or masculinity. And one of the best things about black is that it never goes out of style, even as other colors rise and fall in popularity, so your black accents will probably outlast all your other design elements!Black1
Black goes well with so many colors, especially cream or any off-white – or even pure, snowy white. It also looks beautiful with bold jewel tones and soft pastels. Today, some people are even decorating with black as the primary color in their design scheme, but be cautious about using too much black – it can be overpowering.
Ideas for a touch of black include:Black3

  • Frames for paintings, photographs or mirrors
  • Granite or marble countertops in the kitchen or bath
  • Lamps or lampshades
  • Upholstery fabric – in moderation
  • Flooring
  • Lacquer moldings around windows and doors
  • A valance, top treatment or drapery rod
  • Leather-covered walls or wall coverings
  • The inside surfaces of a built-in shelving system
  • Wrought iron for stair railings or bed frames

Anchor your home decor by adding a splash of black in every room this spring.

 

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Women’s History Month-Famous Women in Design

13 Mar

Ladies in Design You Should Know About

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”  This is a famous quote fromWomen1 Edith Wharton, mostly known for being a writer and the first woman to win a Pulitzer, but many do not know that she was also an interior designer.  She designed her home the Mount, which still stands today as an example of her design principles.  To celebrate March being Women’s History month, let’s take a look at some other female designers that paved the way.

Women2In 1905, Elsie de Wolfe became the first interior decorator to be given a design commission; it was the Colony Club on Madison Avenue and its interiors garnered her recognition overnight.  Rejecting the Victorian style she grew up with, Elsie chose a more vibrant scheme with more comfortable furniture in the home. Her designs utilized fresh colors and delicate furnishings opposing the Victorian preference of heavy drapes, plush upholstery, and dark wood. Her designs were practical in that she eliminated the clutter that occupied the Victorian home, enabling people to entertain more guests comfortably.

In England, Syrie Maugham became a legendary interior decorator by designing the first all-white room.  Also women3designing in the Victorian Era, she challenged the norm by filling rooms with light and furnishing them in multiple shades of white. In addition to mirrored screens, her trademark pieces included: console tables with plaster palm-frond, shell, or dolphin bases, upholstered and fringed sleigh beds, fur carpets, dining chairs covered in white leather, and lamps of graduated glass balls, and wreaths.

women4Dorothy Draper was the first documented commercial interior decorator, establishing her design firm in 1923.  Dorothy Draper believed that the energy of vivid colors would make people feel happier, so she led design away from the dark interiors of the time by introducing bright color palettes. She chose dramatic and contrasting color schemes and combined different fabrics and patterns together. All of the colors and patterns contributed to her dramatic design now referred to as “the Draper Touch.”

So if you are ever in need of some inspiration for your home, look back to these women who were so forward-thinking for their time.  Where will you put your white room?  Where will you use the “the Draper Touch”?

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The Perfect Lamp Will Light Up Your Rooms.

4 Mar

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Adding an Asian Touch Will Energize Your Decor.

18 Feb

Adding an Asian Touch Will Energize Your Decor.
Asian design can be neutral and calm – or ornate and colorful.
AsianPhoto2Many people think of Asian home design elements as simply Chinese rugs and Japanese screens. But there’s so much more. The continent also includes the countries and cultures of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, and South Asia, primarily India.
These countries have both an ancient design aesthetic and a growing 21st century vibe. Today’s Asian design elements range from simple, monochromatic pieces to wildly patterned and colored designs.
bonsai-tree-3previewYou can start small with an ornamental bonsai tree, beautiful celadon dishware, painted lacquer ware or ceramic vases in many shapes and sizes. Or go bigger with a folding screen that acts as a divider between rooms, an accent piece sitting in the corner of a room, or a piece of wall art.

Japanese and Chinese ceramic stools are readily available, both in new versions and antiques, and add a beautiful Asian touch in your home or garden – to provide extra seating or a place to set a drink or snack.
Asian wall art offers so many possibilities, including ornately carved wood panels, landscape murals painted on silk, and wall hangings painted with calligraphy. And on the floor, there’s the possibility of oriental rugs, tatami mats and bamboo flooring.AsianPhoto1
Antique Asian furniture from almost all of the continent is fascinating, often with a blend of Asian design and European colonial influence. And in many countries, artisans are making new furniture out of recycled wood that originally adorned temples and houses.
Introduce a unique and beautiful element to your home décor this season by adding an Asian element – or two!

 

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Adding a painted piece of furniture is a refreshing surprise

4 Feb

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Displaying Your Favorite Things Can Warm Up a Room and Provide a Conversation Starter.

22 Dec

Displaying Your Favorite Things Can Warm Up a Room and Provide a Conversation Starter.
Arranging them effectively is key to their positive appeal.
What have you collected that you like to display? Clocks, tea cups, seashells, antique dishware, DisplayFavs3spoons, model cars, dolls, hats, books? The choices are almost unlimited, and some of us own very unusual collections, such as shot glasses or snow globes.
The holidays are a good time to think about how we display our treasures since many of us display so many holiday decorations this time of year. But displaying your beloved objects is also an important part of your interior design scheme all year long.
A thoughtfully organized collection can become the DisplayFav2focal point of a room and a conversational magnet for your guests, while a disorganized jumble of items will just make a room look chaotic and cluttered. The key to effective displays is organization, organization, organization. Even when a display looks informal and artful, chances are the reason it looks so good is because a lot of thought went into its arrangement!

    • Group similar items together rather than scattered through the house, so the theme of your collection isn’t lost.
    • Group items in odd numbers – three, five, seven, and don’t arrange them symmetrically.
    • Have small items professionally framed in cases designed by experts.
    • Think about a glass topped coffee table that has a sliding compartment underneath to display items.
    • DisplayFavs1 Display your favorite things on bookcases, mantels, built-in shelving, breakfronts and cupboards.
    • Use a contrasting shelving color to make your collection pop. For example, place a white collection on a dark colored background.
    • Organize by color or vintage or size – or mix the sizes to look artful.
    • Display some of your beloved treasures to personalize your home environment.

Your collection will give you joy and engage your visitors.

 

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Ottomans add flexibility, function and beauty to almost any room

17 Dec

Ottomans add flexibility, function and beauty to almost any room.
Make an ottoman a focal point of a room or use it as a design element that perfectly complements your other home fashions.
Have you ever thought, “I ought to get an ottoman?” That’s a great idea! Ottomans are not just for putting up your tired legs at the end of a long day, although that’s the traditional use.

There’s so much more that ottomans can do in living rooms, home offices, dens or bedrooms:

ottoman3

 

    • Hold a tray of drinks and appetizers or coffee and cookies
    • Add extra seating
    • Provide a place for an open suitcase in the guestroom
    • Make a spot to sit at the foot of the bed to put on shoes and socks

Ottomans are so flexible. You can move them around as needed, or push them against a wall or under a table to get them out of the way if you need more space to move around the room.
And ottomans come in such a variety of shapes, sizes, fabrics and styles. Think outside the square or rectangle with an oval or round ottoman. Use fabric that matches your other upholstered furniture or bedding – or select contrasting fabric in an unexpected color or bold print to add an interesting accent. You can even drape a throw, scarf or pashmina over an ottoman to create a design focal point. Worried about dirt from people’s feet or beverage spills? Think about slipcovering your ottoman in washable fabric.

 

Adding an ottoman to your décor gives you flexibility, function and beauty. And you’ll have fun thinking of all the ways you can use it!

Decluttering before you decorate will make your holidays trimmings pop!

11 Dec

Decluttering before you decorate will make your holidays trimmings pop!

Begin your holiday decorating with a clean start for maximum beauty and minimum chaos.
It’s so much fun to decorate the house for the holidays, but sometimes there’s just too much clutter once all the decorations are put out – so much “stuff” that people can hardly see the beauty of your holiday treasures.

Put away your “everyday” home accessoriesChristmasDeclutter1

Your first step before starting your holiday decorating should be to put away the other home décor items that usually adorn your house – sitting on table tops, mantles and furniture. This includes vases, candles, throw pillows and house plants. You can even store them in the boxes that your holiday decorations usually occupy! A clean start will help you decide where to display your holiday decorations for the most beautiful look and ensure that the decorations are the focal point of your rooms during this festive season.

Get rid of holiday decorations you’ll never use

ChristmasDeclutter2When you’re getting out your holiday decorations, take the time to purge, purge, purge. Take a close look at the decorations you aren’t going to use this year and honestly evaluate whether you’ll ever use them again. If it’s damaged, get rid of it. If you don’t love it, get rid of it. Think about passing your undamaged discards on to your children or other family members who are just starting their own households. Or donate them to a hospital, nursing home, homeless shelter or other charitable organization that could really use them to add some holiday cheer. After all, this is the season for giving.

Keeping your house clutter-free can be a challenge during the holidays. Try it and your house will look more festive and bright!

Coffee Tables Add Interest and Focal Points

21 Nov

Thinking Outside the Box When You Select a Coffee Table Will Add Drama to Your Rooms.coffee table1

An unusual coffee table creates interest and a focal point.
Coffee tables are often an afterthought in interior design, yet they provide an important anchor in most rooms. The coffee table is often the first object people “see” when they enter a room, so it’s an opportunity to make a statement. And it’s important that your coffee table is in scale with your sofas or sectional – and the size of the room itself.

Add personality when you select a coffee table.
Think outside the typical square or rectangular shape made out of wood or metal. Consider a circular or oval table – or even a hexagonal or kidney-shape.
Take a lookcoffee table2 at alternative materials such as mirrored surfaces, glass, fabric or stone.
You can even use a beautiful old trunk or an ottoman with a tray on top as your coffee table.

Before you select a coffee table, consider how you want it to function.
If you want to display a collection of your favorite objects or books, make sure your coffee table is large enough to accommodate these items.

If you want flexibility to move the table on occasion, don’t select a heavy marble or glass table. Think about using two or three smaller tables that are lightweight.

coffee table3If you want your room to appear larger, think about a mirrored surface. Or select a glass table that won’t hide a beautiful rug or floor.

If you want to serve food or drinks on the table, select a durable surface that can’t be easily damaged. If you have children or seniors living with you or visiting often, avoid sharp corners.

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