Posts by Khristian A. Howell

Khristian A. Howell

Outdoor Oasis – Creating Your Happy Place

outdoor living

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Raise your hand if you are doing the springtime happy dance! Now that winter is finally giving up the fight it is time to freshen up or revamp those outdoor spaces. Whether you dwell in the city, the suburbs, or the country any outdoor space you are fortunate to have can become your little oasis during the season. The key to creating an outdoor space that you love is to really think of it as an extension of your living area. This space has the potential to be the place you will spend a lot of time during the spring and summer (and fall if you are lucky!). Think about how the area can function for you. Do you love dining al fresco? Be sure to consider comfortable seating and sun protection. Also think about lighting after dark as those late summer dinners turn into long evenings with pretty cocktails. Do you love to entertain? Create multiple vignettes designed for people to gather and chat. Do you dream all winter long of those wonderful summer afternoons that you can spend with a light throw and a book? A cozy couch, sectional or even a hammock will be on the top of your priority list. Here are three different looks to help you get the juices flowing for your upcoming refresh to your outdoor space. You’ve been living for lazy summer days all winter long. Now is the time to play and enjoy the sun!

outdoor space pied de terre

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This look is perfect for the urban city dweller. Carpet tiles are a great option since they can be cut to accommodate your space. This is a terrific way to add a little softness under foot if you have a little balcony or any city outdoor space without grass. Furnishings with a bit of wood are great for adding an organic touch. A little wall planter helps to serve the same purpose and make the space feel alive in an urban environment

outdoor living

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Lover of fresh color and pretty pattern? This look is for you! This is also the perfect setting for a sweet Mother’s Day brunch! Keep it feeling well loved and gathered by using a fun mix of different chairs, sweet floral patterns and a mix of serving ware.

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Update the all American picnic table and bench feeling by keeping the wooden table and chairs and adding saturated colors and nature inspired patterns to the mix. This looks is the perfect backdrop to your gatherings all summer long.


Khristian A. Howell

Playing With Pattern – KIDS

Full disclosure. I am a new mom to the most wonderful little boy who is six months old this week. Am I becoming that designer who is now obsessed with all things kids design?? Maybe…a little. Even though I have a background in kidswear design, something changes when you have one of your own. The good news is that design for kids has reached new amazing heights as of late. There are some seriously lucky little people out there! Some of the spaces we see for kids today would be equally amazing for any grown up! This is what I love about the current landscape for kids – there is a new playful sophistication available if you have a more modern aesthetic. These fresh looks are more likely to be able to grow with the little ones and fit into the overall look of the home. Don’t be surprised if the big people in the house find themselves gravitating to these fun spots in the home too!

pattern for kids

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Pattern drives the core of my design aesthetic (surprise) so let’s talk about all the amazing options available for creating a colorful, pattern filled, and super stylish space that any little person would love. Geometrics for kids are really leading the way. Simple patterns of circles and triangles in fresh colors are great because they are ageless. Executed in fresh colors they are flexible enough to read gender neutral which is a bonus for many families. Woodland and safari themes have turned up the chic factor when expressed in two color or more grown up palettes. There is something intriguing about the juxtaposition of juvenile themes colored in sophisticated palettes.

pattern for kids

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Don’t be afraid to use a few dark features in a space for kids. High contrast patterns are great for them! This woodland wallpaper would look equally great in a nursery as in a big kid’s room. Depth and lots of highs and lows create big of visual interest!

pattern for kids

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Layer, layer, and layer some more. As always vary the scale and ground colors of your pieces with pattern. Wall decals are a great low commitment way to add some unique pattern to your walls or spruce up old furniture.

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What a great way to add a splash of color and pattern to a simple piece. This is easy to do with contact or decorative paper.

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Khristian A. Howell

Color Theory: Grown up Pastels

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Raise your hand if you are still loving that sweet salmon pink and oh so cool minty green. Yep, me too. This combo paired with metallics, especially gold, has been having a moment and is still feeling fresh! If you love all those lovely pastel hues, you CAN have them all without feeling like you are in the middle of an easter egg hunt! How, you may ask? Try creating some tension between items that feel sweet and strong. Consider balancing the very feminine with more masculine pieces like this classic leather butterfly number or industrial accents like this great light. A very pale pink or lavender can be a fresh base for a neutral room. Working pastels into your space is all about not going overboard. A little touch of blush, lilac or seafoam can go a long way. Consider pairing with fresh metallics like brushed gold, brass, and copper. Pastels are a great pop of color when you’re working with a space that features mostly white and black. This is a great way to keep things feeling clean and modern.

Pastel room

Make a singular color statement and keep everything else clean and simple! The great thing about going for color on an investment piece like this sofa is that you can simply reupholster when you are ready for a change!

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pastel room

Pair your favorite pastel with modern accents, metallics, and black to keep the color ground and grown up. One wall, a striking piece of artwork, or a rug goes a long way to add a sophistocated splash of color.

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pastel room

Let the furnishings and accessories lead the way. With no color commitment on the walls, this is an easy-to-change way to experiment with color. Pillow covers are an easy and budget friendly way to update a living space, or you can always spring for reupholstering when it’s time for an update!

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Khristian A. Howell

Playing with Pattern: Fresh Stripes

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A classic never gets old.  Stripes are such a great go-to for pattern mixing.  They can create balance in a mix of patterns of any style from traditional to modern.  The freshest crop of stripes can easily stand alone as a statement pop of pattern in any space.  I love a good stripe as it can help to create movement, make a bold graphic statement or serve as subtle texture.  Stripes are always a fantastic, versatile pattern pop!

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Khristian A. Howell

Color trend: Moody, Inky Hues

Don’t worry – I know spring is all we can think about so what gives?  Go on and go full on light, airy and sweet this spring and summer.  Pastels, metallics and plenty of white are still having their moments in the sun.  If you are like me, you are always looking for what is coming around the bend.  I expressed my total love affair (ok borderline obsession) with navy here.  My thing for navy and its status as an important color du jour are both still going strong.  This year gorgeous navy is getting some rich and moody friends.  Look for deep merlot, olive green, saturated true reds, and rich deep teals as a couple of the key colors for this year.  Yummy camel toned leather items will also be great pops of color and texture.

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Khristian A. Howell

Bedroom Bliss: Refresh Where You Recharge

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Just in time for the big LOVE day, here are three looks to get you inspired to refresh the space where you recharge.  Remember you can take baby steps that have big impact!  Just changing your bedding alone can make you feel fresh!  Think about what makes you take that deep, relaxing sigh at the end of the day.  Fill your space with objects, textures and colors that facilitate this feeling.  Pour your favorite night cap or cup of tea and enjoy!

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