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

26 Aug

EarthTones1

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.
         EarthTones2   

            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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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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Prints, Pattern, Colors All In One Room? Part One.

1 Apr

Mix It Up Like a Pro

“Conjunction junction, what’s your function?”  Remember that from when you were a kid?  You learned about “this and that”, “this or that”, and “not this, but that”.  In design, when we see patterns, we tend to think “this OR that”.  BUT…we are here to tell you it’s “this AND that”.  Mixing prints and patterns isn’t so scary once you understand the basics.

Part 1: Getting Started

Choose 3 or More-Starting With One Big BoldMix It Like a Pro pt1-1

Start with a focal point- it could be an area rug, wallpaper or a large print in upholstery that you love. This will be the base upon which you will build, incorporating color and patterns that coordinate with your focal point. To get depth and create interest, use multiple scales of at least three patterns. Don’t be afraid to bring multiples together, as long as you keep the values close.

Mix It Like a Pro pt1-2Find Inspiration via Theme

Maybe you like the Asian inspiration of chinois fabric, or a modern tropical focus with birds and flowers.  Any theme is a good way to get some ideas for various kinds of prints.

 

Picking ColorsMix It Like a Pro pt1-4

Do you have a favorite color?  Go with it!  Find a bunch of different prints in one color family and keep the same intensity of shades.  For example, if you go pastel, keep all of the shades pastel.

Blend similar to ease into pattern and print coordinating and to soften the look.  If you are unsure about mixing multiple colors, begin with just two.  Blue and green are great choices because they are next to each other on the color wheel.  And you can use a solid of each to tie it all together.  Just be sure to stick to the same intensity as you would for a single color scheme.

Or perhaps a white and a color is more your style.  White is great for filing in negative space when you have a color you are really loving and all the prints you are finding in it.

 

This is where you get excited and rush out to find all the things to make your home brand new.  But wait, there’s more.  Check out the next blog to get detailed hints on where to go from here.

 

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2015 Trends in Interior Design

25 Mar

New Year, New Trends: What You Will See in 2015

Every year we see an insurgence of ideas in design that reflect the changes in the world and economy.  Sometimes they creep up slowly and sometimes it’s an immediate BAM!  Here are a few things to keep your eye out for this year:

1: Colors, Patterns & PrintsDesign 2015-mixpatterns2

Beige is a thing of the past!  Color has never been so diverse.  Sophisticated basics and gentle, muted pastels will be mixed with deep, vibrant jewel tones that will be working for the modern, the contemporary and the traditional décor.  Prints and pattern are definitely back on the rise as well.  Be prepared for a mix of geometric and floral; animal print and stripe; organic and industrial.  This plays into the merging of cultures we are starting to see.  We will have more about this later.

Design 2015-rustic-bathroom2: Natural World

Textures derived from nature, whether they are animal, mineral or vegetable are in.  Think botany, raw wood, stone and organic shapes that soften the rigid look of the modern home. Look for fabric, materials and finishes to appear authentic and use them in simple ways to appreciate their beauty.

3: Matte Finishes and Industrial DesignDesign 2015-Industrial-Wood-Coffee-Table

A matte finish gives an object a raw, edgy look and also allows you to appreciate the overall form and material that an item is made of.  This trend is growing in everything from lighting, furniture, and accessories, to kitchens and bathrooms.  Industrial style pieces in the home have been a staple in the past few years, and there is a continuing love to the look and character of these pieces.  Additionally, there is a lean towards copper, pewter, gold and other metal accents over chrome and stainless steel.

4: Crafted with Care and Environmentally Friendly

Our appreciation for items made by human hands and a learned skill is undergoing resurgence. Craft made items and those with a unique one off “handmade like” feel offer us the chance to have pieces that we perceive as “authentic” in a widely mechanized and mass produced world.  This goes hand in hand with the mainstream idea of eco-friendly products.

This just skims the top of what we are seeing as growing movements.  What will you do this year?

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Custom Furniture or Off The Showroom Floor?

18 Mar

Showroom Showdown: Custom Furniture vs. Store Bought

Today you’ll discover why you should be looking at custom furniture instead of store bought. When you work in the design field, it’s fun to go shopping for special items for the home. It’s also easy for us to know when to invest our money. For most consumers out there, this is not so. Custom furniture is often labeled as too expensive when really, for something being used everyday it should be exactly what you need and worth the cost of quality. Before you rule out custom, consider the following:Child's Pink sofa upholstery

  • Functionality/Spatial Needs– How many times have you gotten a sofa home to discover it doesn’t quite fit the way you want it to? Or what if you have an odd amount of space allotted for your desk?You will search endlessly if you only look at what is mass produced. Choosing something custom allows you to determine your needs and what you have to work with so that your furniture helps, not hinders, the functionality of your space.
  • custom sofaStyle/One of a Kind– Custom furniture is a conversation piece! You will have a unique piece that no one else has. And maybe you’re not into the colors and prints you see in the stores. You will get the opportunity to put your personality into your furniture instead of trying to fit in a box with the current trends.
  • Price/Quality– More often than not, custom furniture isn’t more expensive than store bought. There’s a lot of overhead that goes into mass produced furniture for retail chains. And in this instance, the craftsmanship definitely beats out the assembly line. Artisans take pride in their work and strive to make quality products. After all, they want return customers too.michael-thomas chair
  • Made in America– Last but not least, your custom piece is probably made here in America. North Carolina is widely known as the furniture capital and is home to MT Company-a company that has many ways to customize your furniture.

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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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