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Patterns and Prints

16 Nov

prints-and-patterns1Mixing and matching prints and patterns is a beautiful interior design strategy.

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Today’s home decorating prints are not the old fashioned patterns that might first come to mind. Options include stripes, geometrics, florals, animal prints, abstract shapes and more – all updated to today’s color palettes and decorating styles. Prints can be bold and colorful or oh-so-subtle and neutral. It all depends what you like and what looks good in your home!
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Paisley-A Brief History

7 Sep

paisley1Paisley just may have been the original print. Way back in time, when someone first got the idea of printing on cloth (or cave wall!), the first “rubber stamp” to come to hand was the hand itself. Curled up in a fist, pressed pinkie side into the dye and applied to a plain ground, a hand leaves the familiar curved teardrop shape we know as Paisley. How many of you have done this on a steamy car window?

Paisley has not lost it’s popularity over time. I’t still as viable a choice in decorating as it was a fashion statement back in the day. Now we see it in wallpapers and fabrics for furniture and accent pillows.

The annals of Paisley history tell that Napoleon Bonaparte introduced this design to the west when he brought a paisley shawl home for his beloved Josephine around 1800. This shawl probably tookpaisley5 an artist in India five years to weave, and cost the equivalent of a middle-class home at the time! Thus, everyone coveted it. Before long, every lady in the French court had to have one, and the British were not to be outdone.

With such a market, more craftsmen entered into the manufacture of paisley shawls. One town in Scotland came to base its livelihood upon the production of these required fashion accessories. With widespread distribution and lower prices, almost every woman in England could own one of paisley3these shawls by 1860. Thus the name and and fame of that once obscure Sottish hamlet was spread-Paisley.

Unfortunately, when bustles hit the fashion scene in 1869, it spelled financial ruin and even famine paisley2among the residents of Paisley and India alike. The bustle disrupted the drape of a shawl, and just like that, the accessory was packed off for cold storage.

Yet the indelible image of Paisley has never quite been put away. It became a household ornament, decorating cotton fabrics manufactured for drapery and upholstery through the turn of the century and on up to the current day. 200 years after the arrival of Paisley in the west, the timing seems right for this versatile and important collection.

 

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Bright Colors to Energize Your Home

13 Jul

Bright colors will enliven your home and perk up your life.

Be brave and energize your interior design plan!
AdBright Colors1d bright color to your interior design plan to create excitement in your décor and express your personality!
Bright colors tend to make people feel energetic, so use them in moderation and in the rooms where you want to feel spirited and lively. Be cautious about using too much bright color; it can make a room chaotic, especially when the colors are in bold patterns.

 

You have so many choices for adding bright colors:Bright Colors2

  • The clean primary colors of red, blue and yellow
  • Shocking pink and orange
  • Multiple versions of green, including Kelly green and acid green
  • Passionate purples from dark violet to lighter periwinkle
  • Earthy bright colors like rust, mustard and burnished red tones
  • Splashy spring tones of pink, green and yellow
  • Many hues of brilliant blue including royal blue, French blue and turquoise blue

Adding bright colors is all about being courageous! Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Accent paint, such as one wall in a room, the cabinets of a kitchen island, or the back walls of a built-in shelving systemBright Colors3
  • The valance or top treatment of a window fashion or the tapes on a horizontal blind
  • Touches of bright color on a printed fabric used for upholstery or draperies
  • The backsplash in your kitchen or bath – or the border on a tile surface
  • One brightly painted accent table in the living room, great room or bedroom
  • Bed or table linens that can easily be changed when you tire of a specific bright hue

Add a touch of bright to your home this season. It will energize your living space.

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Choosing beautiful fabrics can make a material change in your decor.

6 Apr

Fabric1Wise fabric choices can inspire your entire decorating plan.

Fabrics are used on so many surfaces in most homes. In fact, fabric is one of the most important elements as you make your interior design plans. Fabrics even set the mood for a room and influence the way you feel.
Fabric2

The sheer number of fabric choices can be intimidating; that’s why it’s helpful to work with a professional.

Natural fabrics include cotton, leather, linen, silk, suede and wool, while synthetics include acetate, acrylic, microfiber, nylon, olefin, polyester, rayon and vinyl. Synthetics tend to be more durable than natural fibers, but not always. A lot depends on the finish applied to a fabric or the weave that’s used, as much as the inherent fabric itself.

The most obvious initial decisions are:

  • Fabric color family
  • Whether fabric is solid color or has a pattern
  • Fabric texture and weave
  • Whether fabric is woven, crocheted, knit or pressed

Select fabric first for beauty since the look of your home is paramount, but also consider how your fabric will be usedFabric3 so you’ll be happy with your decision over the long term. For example, fabrics that are optimal for a heavily-used great room sofa will be quite different than those for a seldom-used decorative chair in your entry. Always think about durability and stain resistance if you have pets or children. Also consider how much damaging sunlight enters a room.

Your fabric choices create the underpinning of your interior design plan and are critical to the beauty of your rooms. Consider fabrics carefully and get professional advice before you buy.

Eclecticism or Hodge Podge?

2 Dec

eclecticism1Have you ever been limited and confused as to what style you’d like to choose for a room in your house? Do you have an item that doesn’t quite fit in with all the other furniture?  That’s where you can get creative with eclecticism.

Eclecticism is characterized by an almost a total freedom of choice among historical styles. There are no specific rules established to decorate with an eclectic style, but according to Cruzine  eclectic style is a combination of styles in order to design an environment, which would have a great look, artistic taste, and a specific connective element, which would make the whole design look as one piece of work.

eclecticism6Grouping suggestions could be: different carpet styles mixed with an elegant classical chair in the living room; a sofa with a straw mat or an animal skin; colorful cushions in combination with a modern sofa; a table with chairs in different styles. By choosing eclecticism, you might also be able to put up those souvenirs from your travels, or a sentimental item that you’ve been holding on to not knowing how to display it. You’ll be able to add vibrant colors to a classic styled space and it will also give you the opportunity to mix between the styles of the west and the east.eclecticism2

There are many exciting and interesting ideas on how to collaborate your favorite pieces. Eclecticism can incorporate all the things you love. Do a Google search for eclecticism in interior design and you’ll find many incredible examples and inspirations.

eclecticism4eclecticism3

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Add Animal Accents For a Fun Conversation Piece

25 Nov

Animal accents bring a wild touch of the outdoors into your home.animalaccent3
… And an unexpected splash of interest.
Bring a little wildlife from outdoors into your home with animal accents! Animal home accents include rugs, upholstery or drapery fabric, wall coverings, animal and bird prints, and more. Just one animal print in a room can become the engaging focal point!
Very popular right now are leopard and zebra print rugs. Or go outside the box with a pattern that depicts antelope, cheetah, tiger or giraffe. Animal print rugs are especially effective in small spaces, such as stairways, powder rooms or foyers – and these small rooms are a good place to start if you’re feeling nervous about adding a large amount of animal accents to your home. You can even buy animal print rugs in colors that aren’t realistic at all, such as a magenta and black striped zebra rug!animalaccent1
Animal wall art can include:

  • The famous Audubon prints or similar etchings or block prints of birds and animals
  • Photographs of animals that you take yourself or purchase
  • Even a stencil border that shows birds in flight or animals running or grazing

animalaccent2For sculptural animal art, think a decorative bird cage that can be empty, filled with plants or even housing a live bird! Sculptural animal art can sit on floors, tables or mantels, and can be made from a variety of materials including metal, ceramic, stone or Lucite.
Especially popular in home design today are Japanese and Chinese painted screens that depict birds or animals. These can be hung on a wall or used functionally as a partial room divider.
Take a walk on the wild side by adding a touch of animal prints to your home! We can help.

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Decorating in Red, White and Blue Not Just For July 4th!

6 Jul

This engaging color combination works all year round.

Red, white and blue is not only a time-honored, patriotic color combination that we associateRedWtBl1
with the U.S. “stars and stripes” and other national flags such as the British Union Jack. It’s a versatile and pleasing scheme that lasts all year long for interior design too!
You can use this color combination in its typical primary colors of red, white and blue – or the hues can be modified to softer pinks and muted light blues, or deeper, jewel toned sapphire and ruby. You can even substitute a neutral cream, ivory or beige for clean white to create a calming effect.
RedWtBl2Your red, white and blue design can evoke the “stars and stripes” with lots of flag imagery and
patriotic motifs. Or you can work with the colors in solids only, or with other patterns, such as
polka dots, plaid and chevrons.
Red, white and blue decorating is not just for a child’s bedroom; it works well in many
decorating styles, particularly if you live near the beach, are decorating with a nautical theme or
have lots of outdoor space to fill with patio furniture and outdoor-living elements. Red, white
and blue works well in vintage décor that’s filled with details and is equally effective in aRedWtBl3
minimalist zen design for a calm, tranquil feel.
Elements to consider in these striking colors include:

  • An accent wall painted in bold red or blue
  • Vintage or reproduction fabrics, throws, pillows and table linens
  • Folk art pieces with a flag motif
  • Antiques, including real flags and distressed wood or metal furniture
  • Quilts and bedding
  • Wallcoverings
  • Rugs and flooring

Think red, white and blue for a change in your home environment. It’s a look that will last
throughout the year.

Not Your Granny’s Draperies!

15 Apr

DraperyDesign1Draperies are a design element that has so many looks and so many functions!

The versatility of draperies means that they can enhance the openness of your rooms to make them appear larger – or make your living spaces more intimate and private with a cozy feel.

DraperyDesign2• Tailored, formal panels with clean lines
• Soft and feminine sheers
• Luscious draperies with tassels and fringe
• Side or top treatments that are totally ornamental

The possibilities of decorating with draperies are almost unlimited! You can make draperies the star of a room, adding color and drama – or consider them as a beautiful background to quietly blend with your other home furnishings elements.
Draperies are used primarily to enhance your decor; but they can be functional too, providing privacy and preventing fading. Best of all, add draperies as a decorative accent over shades, blinds or shutters that provide the function you need at the window – improving energy efficiency, preventing fading and keeping a room dark even during the brightest sunny day.
Often draperies don’t just cover the window and window frame, but are sized to optimally fit the wall they hang on and complement your decorating plan. Even a small window can have draperies covering an entire wall from side to side and floor to ceiling!
When purchasing draperies, there are important decisions about the fabric fullness, type of lining, where the DraperyDesign3draperies should draw, what kind of pleats work best, whether you should consider motorization, and more. That’s why getting advice from an expert is best when you order custom draperies!

Add a little softness to your decor with the magic of draperies!

Print, Pattern, Colors All In One Room? Part Two.

8 Apr

Mix It Up Like A Pro (pt. 2)

Still have some questions about mixing prints and patterns?  In the previous blog, we gave some good ideas on how to get started.  Part 2, is about the specifics.

Part 2: Fabric Hacks

Fabric Feel/Balance

            Personality of fabric is something to consider.  What do you want to portray in your room.  Is it formal or casual?  Modern or traditional?   Fabrics will represent these qualities.  Damask is commonly considered formal and traditional and you can pile those types of prints on top of each other.  A plaid can be mixed with any other pattern to tone down a room to give a more casual feel.  Also, make sure to spread pattern throughout the room not just one corner or side.  This balance will help secure what kind of feel the room is supposed to have.

Cheat With Companions

            Many companies have companion fabrics already picked for coordinating.  Even if you don’t find “the” set, you can get a good idea on how to mix.

Neutral Prints

There are some basic prints that you can put with anything.  Polka dots are one of them.  A simple black and white polka dot is a great way to introduce pattern without conflicting with colored patterns.  A few other options would include neutral, simple animal prints, like zebra or leopard, or a chevron or houndstooth.

Don’t Go Matchy-Matchy

Don’t go for all stripes in all the same colors.  Ever heard of too much of a good thing?  Well it applies here too.  Pick one or two of a print, be it stripes or floral or whatever, and find other contrasting prints to complement it.  Also, if you are going with a single color space or a white and color space,as mentioned in our last blog, find an accent color so it’s not so overwhelming.  Looking at the color wheel, pick the complementary color across from your main color to use in accessories like a lamp or vase.

So now you have some tools to mix it up like a pro.  Go out and make your home a snazzy, sophisticated place to be!

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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