decorating

BHG Guest Blogger

5 Tips for Mixing Patterns

Written on February 12, 2014 at 8:48 am , by

 

 

 

Hi everyone!  My name’s Lauren Liess and I write the blog Pure Style Home.  I’m a decorator with a shop in Great Falls, Virginia and today, I’d love to share a few tips with you on mixing patterns effectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Vary the scale of the patterns:  To keep a mix of patterns from feeling busy, use patterns of different scales together.  Multiple large patterns will compete with one another, but combining large, medium and small patterns allows the patterns to work together instead of competing.  If you do use patterns of the same scale, try to vary the pattern itself.  (I.e. an oversized ikat with an oversized floral can work well together.)

The large-scale botanicals on the wall mix with the smaller-scaled green leaf-print and even smaller-scaled blockprint paisley.

 

2. Mix different types of patterns:  I love to combine different types of patterns to keep things interesting and relaxed-feeling.  A floral, a stripe and a graphic pattern, for example, can work together beautifully, whereas three florals might feel like flower-power overkill or three graphic patterns or stripes might feel a bit intense and repetitive.

In my clients’ family room, I mixed a variety of patterns in the pillows on the sofa and in the rug

 

3. Be aware of your pattern to solid ratio:  We all have different preferences for how much pattern we like in a room.  Figure out your pattern to solid ratio by looking at photos of rooms you love and seeing what’s been done in those rooms.  If the sofas and chairs are typically solid in the rooms you love, and the curtains are patterned and the pillows are a mix of solid and patterns, you can create a similar feeling in your own home.  You’ll notice right away whether you’re drawn to rooms with more solids or patterns or those with an equal balance.  (My personal pattern to solid ratio changes with my moods so it’s easy to add more pattern in accents like pillows and/or throw blankets… but I do typically like an airy and relaxed-feeling room which typically has some large solid elements to keep things from feeling too noisy. )

The living room in my previous home. Photo by Helen Norman.

 

4. Don’t forget about walls, artwork and rugs:  Every element in a room can read as pattern, whether it’s an actual textile or not.  Patterned rugs and wallpapers are usually on the radar when mixing patterns, but artwork is often overlooked.  It can calm a room down or wake it up just like patterns.  Having more or less movement and a mix of colors causes it to read as a pattern and have an effect on a space just like a pattern would.  If you want to add more pattern to a room, and have done all you can with fabrics, consider your artwork.  Add pieces in with more movement and energy to make it feel like there is more going on in the room, or add a solid piece to calm it down.  Treat artwork like another pattern and consider your desired solid to pattern ratio when selecting it.

In my shop, the botanical specimens above the sofa create a grid that adds another patterned element to the room. Photo by Helen Norman.

 

5. Don’t be afraid to break any rules.  If you love something and it goes against conventional design wisdom, do it anyway.  (For example, maybe you feel you can never mix too many florals and that there’s no such things as flower-power overkill, then go for it.  Do what makes you smile when you come home.  Tips and “rules” are just guidelines for you and the very best homes are those that surprise and are extremely personal, which always requires a little rule-breaking.

A window seat I did with a lively mix of patterns that ordinarily might be thought of as “too much” ended up feeling relaxed and charming. Photo by Helen Norman.

 

Thanks so much to BHG for inviting me to be a part of their blog.  It’s been fun!!  Have a great day & take care,

 

Lauren


Joni Lay

DIY-ify a Valentine Wall Hanging

Written on February 11, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Just this past week, we celebrated my baby’s first birthday with a little valentine party.  It was really fun getting crafty with the decor, and one of my favorite details was the little cupid arrows.  I’ve seen quite a few floating about this valentine season, but here is a super simple DIY and a couple of ideas on how to display them.

valentine arrow

All you need are some wooden dowels or striped straws, duck tape (I used silver!), feathers, and felt, plus scissors and a hot glue gun.  Cut out small squares of felt, cut out hearts two at a time (so they match) and hot glue them to the dowels or straws.  Choose about 5 feathers and affix them to each dowel or straw with a strip of duck tape wrapped around the dowel a few times.

To display them, I found a couple of branches in the backyard and spray painted them gold and attached the arrows with pink ribbon and added in some mini paper fans and a gold garland.  It makes for a pretty wall display above a dining table or in a kids’ bedroom (just hang it out of reach of little hands)!

valentine wall hanging

For Brigette’s party, I hung the branches from the ceiling for a dreamy tablescape (our basement has exposed beams and pipes).

valentine party

Happy Valentine’s Day!  ~Joni, Lay Baby Lay 


Joni Lay

Get the Look: Stylish Shelving Options for a Kids Room

Written on January 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm , by

Shelving is a great way to add extra storage into a nursery or kids’ room.  It can be used for the inevitable overflow of books, or as a place to display keepsakes or special items that need to stay away from little hands and also adds interest to a room.  Here is a roundup of some of my faves:

Sources, from top left: (1) Branch Shelf; (2) Color Bar Ledge (available in a rainbow of colors!); (3) Prism Brackets; (4) Tricolor Wall Shelf; (5) Honeycomb Shelf; (6) Ingrained Wall Shelf; (7) Paxton Mirror Shelf; (8) Rope Shelf

You can also make your own version.  I love how these turned out that we put into our den.  They are the Ikea Ekby brackets painted gold and paired with reclaimed wood shelves:

What suits your style the best?

 


BHG Guest Blogger

Osnaburg: The Versatile Look of Linen, for Less

Written on January 11, 2014 at 8:30 am , by

 

 

Hi! I’m Julie Blanner, the voice behind lifestyle blog, Coordinately Yours. I share do-it-yourself inspiration for effortless entertaining, home design and thoughtful gift-giving. I’m honored to be Better Homes & Gardens February “Blogger We Love”! Today, I’m sharing one of my everyday essentials – osnaburg fabric! It’s extremely versatile and inexpensive. Osnaburg provides the aesthetic of linen, without the care. These are just a few ways that I’ve incorporated it into my home and entertaining:

 

 

 

A few yards of osnaburg makes a beautiful fuss-free tablecloth and serves as a neutral backdrop. At Thanksgiving, a glass of wine was spilled on it and rather than panicking {as I would with linen}, I simply cut off the area and still had enough to cover my table. Just out of the dryer, it looks like washed linen. Ironed, it is more polished. Use scraps of fabric to create relaxed cocktail and dinner napkins.

For baby #2, I realized I didn’t want to spend a significant amount on baby bedding, but fell in love with a ruffled linen crib bedding set. Fortunately, my friend Lori was up for the challenge and created a set from osnaburg. Beautiful and practical! To coordinate, I lined osnaburg with black out fabric to create drapes.

personalized baby gift

Isn’t the texture gorgeous?

diy crib bedding that looks like linen

a window nook reading bench

I also used osnaburg in our daughter Adalyn’s room to create a little bench for her window nook. Its flexibility made it easy to work with and of course, I already had enough fabric on hand. {Photograph taken by Alea Lovely}

pretty girls bedroom decor

As you can see, I cover just about everything in osnaburg. I love its beautiful, neutral and subtle aesthetic. I covered a craft store pin board with osnaburg to decorate our oldest daughter’s bedroom. It is a beautiful backdrop to mementos, photographs, holiday decor and her artwork and easily transitions with seasons.

What would you like to create with the “new linen”?


BHG Guest Blogger

5 Tips for Using Pantone’s Color of The Year

Written on December 20, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

 

 

Let’s talk color of the year, shall we?  Every year color giant Pantone selects one magical color as the ‘it’ color.  Then suddenly this color seems to permeate every ounce of your visual experience in the market place.  This year Radiant Orchid has been knighted by Pantone as the color of 2014.

 

Moment of truth? Purple can be quite polarizing.  This is a love it or leave color.  I don’t think anyone has an indifferent attitude when it comes to purple.  I happen to be generally in the “leave it” camp.  However, this is where the fun comes in.  Although I am a strong believer that announcements like this are to be taken as suggestions and not  mandates (which is my feeling on trends in general, but that is a discussion for another day), it is an opportunity to explore new fresh ideas about color palettes.  After all, color is meant to be fun! Let’s play with some ways you can incorporate purple of all shades into your space.

 

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1. Ease In

Experiment with a new color in your space just as you would on your person – in small doses.  Just as you might test the waters of a new color with a shoe, belt or scarf, the same goes for your space.  Put your toe in with a throw pillow, table runner or vase. Think about things that are easily interchangeable (and returnable) so your feel free to experiment with purples.

 

2. Frame It Up

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Give purple a test drive in your space with art.  You can find some really great, inexpensive art prints on Etsy, and sites like Joss and Main and One King’s Lane. Replace one or two pieces in a gallery wall for a little purple pop or frame up pieces of pretty wallpaper or decorative paper.

 

3. New Neutral

 

Radiant orchid is quite bold (which is never a problem in my book).  I think what is actually going to play out in the market will be softer, like the purples that were all over the runways for Spring.  I am drawn to using this color as inspiration to expand our perception of what is neutral.  This variation of a sophisticated hint of purple is an excellent foundation for a wonderfully layered neutral space. This is a great option, as it works with either tan or gray – or better yet, with both! Bonus: The calming effect purple typically creates in a space.

 

4. Fits Right In

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If we stay on the track of this calmer, more sophisticated version of purple, this will fit right into all those current looks we are loving right now.  Mix soft purple accents right in with all the gold and soft pinks I know you love.  Purple agate coasters will fit right in on your bar cart!

 

5. Modern Pairings

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Playing with a color outside of your comfort zone can be challenging.  Think outside the expected and pull the color into your personal color sensibility.  You don’t have to keep it purple and green or purple and pink to create a look that works.  This palette works in purple, while staying modern.

 

Visit Khristian’s website or connect with her on Pinterest for more tips on choosing and using color.


Joni Lay

Get the Look: a Touch of Fluff

Written on December 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm , by

Trend: Flokati and fluffy textures in the nursery and interiors.

It seems that fluffy textures are popping up everywhere recently.  It can add a great bit of texture and warmth to a room, as well as a bit of playfulness.  

(sources: Girl’s Nursery; Anton and Toby’s room; Viva la Vivi Party; Winter White Kids’ Party)

A shaggy, fluffy rug is also a great option if you have a carpeted room, but want to break up the expanse of carpet (see Henry’s room).  The contrast in textures will make it work, and help define the space a little better.  Fluffy white rugs are also great for taking photos of baby, and he or she will love crawling around on it!  The fluffy pillows and throw versions are also perfect for parties, playrooms, and even holiday decor.  I love what Kristin did with one under her tree!  You can’t beat unbreakable Christmas decor with little ones under foot!  Here are some great options available – I am loving the colored versions as well.

Sources, from top left: Round Flokati Rug, Ombre Fur Pillow, Sheepskin Throw; Pebble Fur Pillow; Souk Rug; Pink Fur Pillow; Faux Throw; Little Faux Sheep Pillow

Hope you are inspired! ~Joni, Lay Baby Lay