BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

5 Ways

Mix These: Metal + Wood

A layered space is a well considered one and if there’s anything that makes for great design in a beautifully furnished room it’s layers of color and texture in cool and warm medleys. The combination of metal sheens and warm woods is an effortless way to introduce an organic meets modern vibe to any space in your home. There are several ways to go about it; here are several examples of the successful combinations of cool metal finishes with the warmth of wood.  

When choosing furniture for a family room or gathering space, consider little details like the legs. Instead of skirts, opt for chairs with exposed wood legs and pair them with coffee and end tables with metal bases. 

metal and wood together

There are other opportunities to introduce layers of warm wood to a space – think of accents such as lamp bases or woven shades. Bamboo blinds and a tall floor lamp contrast nicely with the chrome base on the marble top coffee table in this inviting sitting room.

wire chair marble table

Gold leaf and brass are warmer metals but still offer chic contrast when placed next to espresso stained legs or wood accent furniture.

warm gold table wood furniture legs


brass and wood

Don’t be afraid to mix metals, oil rubbed bronze is welcome in a room with brass accents just as polished nickel mixes well with black iron finishes.    

chrome and rustic

The combination of dark iron or oil rubbed bronze with rustic wood is a centuries old pairing. The look is fresh again in modern times since many seek eco-friendly reclaimed or weathered woods as accents in the home for ceilings, beams, cabinets, and shelving. 

metal barstools wood ceiling


metal table wood shelves

You can achieve the desirable textural medley of metal and wood together with one singular piece of furniture. Many retailers now offer coffee and end tables fabricated with iron legs and either salvage or new wood tops. Consider also wood dressers with iron hardware in the bedroom or metal leg barstools with wood seats in the kitchen.

metal and wood coffee table

  rustic wood and metal coffee table

Piece together your own with finds from a salvage yard, or visit a flea market or antique store where you may chance upon a second hand version. 

The combination of wood and metal lends a multilayered feel to a room. As an added bonus the medley is an easy way to introduce a masculine touch to a space that leans feminine with its furniture or fabric choices. Time to get busy mixing!


Decorating with Botanical Prints

Summer has finally arrived, that favorite time of year when we spend as much time as we can outdoors. Gardens are in bloom and colorful flowers are everywhere we turn. Botanicals have long been a favorite motif for decorating indoors, and layering fabrics with blossoms and branches around the home is an easy way to bring the outdoors in.

Introduce botanicals into a room with furniture dressed up in floral fabrics. Whether upholstered or slipcovered, classic patterns of leaves, branches, and petals are always stylish!

mixed florals

bold floral upholstered chairs

A few scraps of wallpaper and some spray adhesive can reinvent an old wood dresser. Blend together tone on tone motifs against a large scale botanical backdrop in a common colorway.

wallpapered dresser

Create big impact by using floral prints even in small doses such as framing strips of watercolor wallpaper in a triptych, the series makes impactful but inexpensive artwork.

floral wallpaper art

A large scale botanical fabric in vivid color hung like café curtains hides kids’ toys or craft supplies in a cabinet and softens a space more than wood cabinet doors.

bold floral curtains bhg

An exotic botanical applied to an upholstered headboard adds global flair to a bedroom space, use extra fabric to fashion an accent pillow as a way to repeat the pattern in the room.

exotic floral headboard

Window treatments are long time favorites for use of botanical prints; use florals as roman shades or longer window panels in fabrics from traditional to modern to add colorful pattern to a dining room, bedroom, or kitchen.

bold pattern on roman shade

patterned floral panels

bold floral roman shade


Looking for a fresh and fabulous floral? Look no further than these!

fresh floral fabrics

sakura blossom / aruba turquoise / gazebo umber / cottage summerland / hot house floral / jolene floral / richloom wildwood garden / braemore pearl

Find more floral fabrics from this roundup featuring fabulous sources for fabrics online!


Balancing Cool and Warm Tones in Your Home

Any decorator will tell you that color can be tricky, but those with experience know it’s all about balance. Basic color theory says that the three colors of yellow, orange, and red on the color wheel are warm tones while on the opposite side, blues, greens, and purples act as cool tones. When decorating, the analogous warm and cool trios will always work together, however incorporating elements of each creates a combination that adds interest to a space and can be accomplished with a few different tricks.

Wood = Warm. Unless wood is whitewashed or possesses a gray stain, wood in its natural state or stained with brown tones will always add warm tones to a room. Choosing textiles or accessories in shades of blue, green, or purple will balance the warmth found in those wood pieces and/or flooring.

blue linens wood furniture bhg


Consider Complements. Combining colors that sit across from each other on the color wheel will energize a space, this deep teal pillow paired with burnt orange leather is a perfect example.

mixing cool and warm


Add Metallics.  Gray neutral tones can read as cold so bring warmth and contrast with brass and gold leaf metallic finishes. The warm wood tones also help to balance the cool neutral.

gray and gold dining room bhg

Mix It Up.  Great patterns found in textiles are always a jumping off point for decorating a space. A hot pink or coral patterned pillow pops against a cool tone mint green wall. Also note how the dark brown sofa is balanced by the pairing with two blue slipper chairs.

mint walls blue chairs


Follow Nature.  Take a cue from the great outdoors, nature never gets it wrong! The earth tones found in bark and branches are a foundation for the vivid colors found in bright purple blooms. Repeat the technique indoors by using wood and earth tone neutrals in the background and pulling pieces in bright colors into the space as accents.

vibrant and subdued

For even more great advice on how to decorate with color, pick up Better Homes & Gardens Color: The Complete Guide for your Home !


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Paint Colors for Rooms Trimmed with Wood

So many of the images that appear on the pages of magazines have white painted baseboards, door casings, molding, and window trim. There’s nothing wrong with that, white is fresh, bright, and always classic, yet many older homes possess wood trimmed doors and windows. They may be Arts & Crafts style, Victorians, Colonials, or simply older homes where exposed woodwork adds to the architectural appeal.

Many a homeowner gets the itch to paint wood trim white, black, or even a bold color, but others recognize the beauty of wood trim and wish to preserve it in its original state. Bravo! Choosing a paint color to complement isn’t difficult, get inspired by these spaces that show how well both color and neutrals partner with wood trim.

Because of its organic makeup, wood is a warmer tone so pairing it with colors that possess cooler undertones is a smart choice. Blue in its various shades from navy to slate to sky offers a balanced approach and allows the wood trim to be beautiful in its natural state.

slate blue wood trim

blue painted walls wood trim windows bhg


Green sits adjacent to blue on the color wheel and is also considered a cool color. Opt for a verdant green or one in a paler or less saturated shade. Just about any green will partner well with wood trim, especially when the casings or baseboards are stained with yellow or red undertones.

wood trim green walls bhg


A palette reminiscent of warmer climates is always appealing so consider a mid tone or mustard yellow, which brings the feeling of sunshine to a space and is sure to cheer even when skies are gray outside. Also consider a blush pink as a feminine nod to balance the weight of wood.

yellow walls rustic beams

A no fail approach to choosing paint for rooms trimmed in wood is to opt for a neutral hue. Choose one that has gray undertones (often referred to as greige or taupe) so the brown tones don’t overwhelm.

cream walls wood trim bhg

wood trim taupe walls

Finally, add interest to a neutral space trimmed in wood by introducing texture (think silk, lambswool, linen, leather, woven materials) or vibrant and colorful accents in the form of pillows and rugs.

For those of you living in homes with wood window casings and door trim, take a step back and resist the urge to coat them in paint. Preserve their integrity and add color to the walls instead!


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Decorating Around a Flat Screen TV

Our culture has put the television front and center in our everyday world as we tune in for news, sports, and entertainment. When decorating the home, everyone has to decide where to place their flat screen so that it’s easily visible but doesn’t overwhelm the room. To follow are five different ideas for decorating around a flat screen television at home. 

Consider the screen in the room’s architectural design, planning for a recessed niche with state-of-the-art wiring and outlets ready for mounting. Suspending a television above allows both the fireplace and the television to share rather than compete for the focal point and makes furniture arrangement that much easier.

flat screen above mantel


flat screen above fireplace


Opt for clever concealment or thoughtful disguises such as an ornate picture frame to surround or an armoire that can be closed when the television is not in use.

framed flat screen


versatile armoire 1


A media console grounds the space below the four corners of a screen and patterned window panels layered in contemporary patterns help to not only frame it but detract attention away.

flat screen above console


flat screen above cabinet


Another clever way to balance the weight of a flat screen is to curate a gallery of artwork or photography around it so the screen doesn’t dominate, rather it plays into the repetition of frames on display.

artwork around flat screen


flat screen on console


If you have the wall space, consider an arrangement of furniture that flanks a television with bookcases that possess open display above and media storage below.

flat screen media center bhg


flat screen in media center


How do you incorporate the big black box into your everyday decor, share your solution!


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The Versatile Expedit

For years IKEA has been a source for affordable furnishings, and many of their pieces have become staples in homes all over the world. The Expedit shelf is among the most popular and when used in smart ways by savvy residents of homes large and small, it’s landed on the pages of Better Homes & Gardens magazine and Special Interest publications. To follow are examples of the very versatile Expedit ! 

Stacked in a quartet, these four shelving units are purposed as a wall of bookcases. Hanging a decorative mirror adds an elegant touch.

stacked ikea expedits


If cabinetry or storage is lacking in a kitchen or breakfast nook, use it to house a collection of colorful dishes that are easy to grab at snack or supper time.

ikea expedit in kitchen


The Expedit is finished on both sides so it makes an excellent room divider in any open space. Fill it with books or collectibles so it multitasks.

white expedit with books


It needn’t stand up in vertical formation, it also works as a long console in a playroom. Repurpose single row units as benches by adding a colorful cushion to the top while storing supplies below.

side by side expedits


expedit bench


On a blank wall, the Expedit provides useful storage in a home office or craft room. Thankfully, the unit is available in more than just white, look for it in black, gray, and high gloss versions in pink, red, and turquoise and accompanying bins and baskets designed to fit inside.

ikea expedit home office


ikea expedit

 blue ikea expedit


Speaking of colorful storage, take a peek at these products to organize and control clutter over at BH&G Shop!

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