April 2012

When asked what color we think of as the happiest or most optimistic, many of us would quickly reply “yellow!”.   Yellow is the color of sunshine and energy, and with it comes creativity and feelings of positivity too.  Some consider yellow too bright on its own, but when used correctly it can be the perfect punctuation.  Whether it’s a painted wall or accents you choose, yellow is that one hue that’s sure to bring an uplifting feeling of joy to your home. 

Mornings begin with breakfast in the kitchen, and with the perfect yellow paint on the walls and ceiling, you’re sure to start your day in a sunny mood.


yellow paint in kitchen bhg


Other home accents in the form of furniture will inject a pop of yellow, like these cheerful barstools pulled up around the island.


yellow barstools bhg


Yellow offers an instant ray of sunshine, so the next time you’re looking at the spectrum of colors for a furniture makeover, a fresh coat of yellow paint will surely brighten a corner of any room.


yellow bar cart bhg


Bedrooms are another great space for a few yellow accents, and when paired with chocolate brown or pale blue, this hue adds a dose of playfulness. 


yellow bedroom accents bhg


yellow headboard and rug bhg


Sophisticated gray is a no fail pairing with yellow, the cool gray tones combined with a sunny shade of yellow are always a classic combination.

yellow and gray pairing bhg


Are you a lover of yellow? Here are a few investment pieces to consider for the home. 


yellow for the home


From top left: 1.  Bali Armchair, Switch Modern;  2.  Harlow Yellow Chair, Overstock, $280;  3.  Chaigright Coffee Table, Worlds Away;  4. Hitch Marigold Stool, CB2, $169;  5.  Roxo Chair, IKEA, $25;  6.  Hourglass Table, Bungalow 5, to the trade;  7.  Yellow Chesterfield, Anthropologie, 8.  Lilly Pulitzer Boulevard Barstool, Neiman Marcus, $619;  9.  5’ x 8’ Surya Fallon rug, Rug Studio, $385; 10.  6’ x 9’ rug Sunflower Ticking Rug, Dash & Albert, $208;



Or perhaps a few smaller accents?  These accessories might be just what you’re looking for!

yellow home accessories bhg


From top left: Lemon Gumdrop Pendant, Serena & Lily, $78; Grapefruit Pop Candle, Jonathan Adler at Nordstrom, $38; Set of Yellow Vases, Horchow, $245;  Anything Scissors, Horne, $39; Ottavio Vase, Z Gallerie, $70; Liquid Round Bowl, CB2; $40;  Diamond Geometric Pillow Case, Classic by Nature on Etsy, $54; Yellow Ice Bucket, Chic Shop LA, $125; Yellow Ceramic Lamp, Shades of Light; $198; Totem planter, West Elm, $31;  Kartell La Boheme Stool, Living Space, $238; Labyrinth Citrine Pillow, Dwell Studio, $88; Yellow Ceramic Stool, Amazon, $103


From accents large to small, yellow is sure to add a dose of playfulness and optimism to your home!  Happy decorating with the color that is the symbol of happiness and fun!


kate signature image




The bed is the most important feature in any bedroom and designers often choose an upholstered headboard as an attractive alternative to wood or metal versions.  Upholstered headboards add softness to a bedroom and are an opportunity to add a beautiful fabric to the room.  Upholstered headboards are available in many different designs, and one of the most popular styles is the upholstered headboard with nailhead trim.  The nailhead adds a lustrous texture and an air of sophistication to a simple fabric headboard. 


upholstered headboard nailhead trim 1


nailhead trim headboard bhg


Upholstered headboards with nailhead trim are available at all price points, from several hundred to over a thousand dollars.  However, there is a way to achieve the same look with a do-it-yourself version that will cost far less.    

To make your own nailhead trim headboard, you’ll need a nailhead trim kit, a mallet, needle nose pliers, fabric of choice*, three layers of batting, ¾” plywood cut to size, jigsaw for curved designs, ‘D’ rings or interlocking brackets, and a staple gun. 

*A note regarding fabric: most are 54” in width, so with any headboard larger than a twin, choose any fabric with a pattern repeat that will work when you lay it horizontally on your plywood instead of vertically.


nailhead trim kits

For the width of your headboard, measure the width of your bed mattress and add an inch to both sides. For a simple rectangle shape, have the plywood cut to the width and height you specify at your local home improvement store. 

If you want to add a curve or notch out the sides, that can be done with a jigsaw. The height of your plywood for a rectangular headboard should be at least 36” inches above the mattress so you allow for room to lay your pillow shams up against your frame, but also have it attached to your wall below the top of your mattress. For curved or detailed headboards, allow for 40 to 48” in height depending on your design.  Sketch your design by hand, or create a template with paper to use as your guide.


use jigsaw to cut headboards


Once your plywood is cut to form the design, add three layers of quilt batting on top, and then your fabric of choice.  Attach the layers of batting and fabric to the headboard with a stapler.  Start at the top in the middle, and work your way around to the sides, smoothing the fabric as you go.


three layers of batting


With nailhead trim kits you secure the trim with every fifth nail with the help of pliers and a mallet.  Use the needle nose pliers to stabilize the nail and the mallet to pound it into the wood.  Use a mallet not a regular hammer to avoid damaging the nailhead. 


headboard and nailhead trim


To make turns around the edges, clip the trim and restart, using the same method securing every fifth nail. 


restart nailhead trim


Once you’re done, secure your new headboard to the wall studs using ‘D’ ring hooks or interlocking brackets as shown below. 

d rings and interlocking brackets

In an afternoon you can have an upholstered headboard with nailhead trim in your own custom design.  Plywood will run you between $15 to $25 depending on your region, and the trim kits retail for $20. If you find quality fabric that you love for a reasonable price, a nailhead trim headboard can be yours for between $50 to $100.


centsational girl bedroom nightstand mirror 2


For online stores that sell nailhead trim kits, here are a few sources!  Ben Franklin, Beacon Fabric, Amazon, and Perfect Fit





Just about everyone has a need for a bookcase for storing reading material and other personal objects.  Bookcases come in all shapes and sizes, from built-ins to free standing, but there’s no need for them to be boring or basic.  Here are ten simple ideas for adding a dose of style to your own bookcases at home. 

Paint the Back.   The easiest way to make your bookcases stand out is to paint the backs with a bold color.  Not only does it make your accessories pop, it’s a great way to add an accent color to your home office or library. 


painted backs of bookcases bhg


PaperBack.  Wallpaper isn’t just for walls, it can easily be adhered to the back of your bookshelves too.  Peeking out from behind your accessories, wallpaper is sure to add a fun, whimsical, or sophisticated pattern to your space. 


wallpapered bookcase bhg


Trim It Out.  Wallpaper always looks fabulous at the back of a bookcase, but who says you need to stop there?  Adding a layer or two of decorative ribbon along the shelves is one more way to add interest to your storage solution. 


ribbon lined shelves bookcase bhg


Read more

Last week we looked at installing classic beadboard, but today we’re taking a closer look at patterned wallpaper.  One of the design elements that continues to be hot in interior design right now is the use of modern wallpaper in bold prints.   Many who have had to remove the old now have an aversion, but it’s time to take a fresh look at wallpaper again, since today’s patterns are a designer and homeowner’s dream.  Large scale florals, damasks, geometrics, and retro patterns offer one more opportunity to layer playful or sophisticated pattern in your home.

Say goodbye to granny’s miniature pastel florals or wallpaper borders of the past, this century everything from subtle tone-on-tone to textured to larger scale patterns are now available, and it’s the reason why wallpaper has made a huge comeback in the last few years.


bold floral wallpaper bhg


Dining rooms are the perfect place to experiment with elegant wallpaper patterns on an accent wall like this beautiful golden feather pattern on a blue backdrop.


golden feather wallpaper dining room bhg


This blue damask in the entry is modern twist on a traditional pattern and makes a stunning first impression in the entry.


damask blue wallpaper bhg


If your considering the idea of adding pattern to your home with wallpaper, but want to reserve it for a smaller space, the bathroom is the perfect place!  A vintage inspired retro geometric adds panache to this bathroom suite.


mod wallpaper bhg


And a beautiful modern floral in shades of deep pink and lavender adds whimsy and color to this fresh botanical inspired bathroom.


bathroom wallpaper bhg


So perhaps you’re wondering where to begin your search for a pattern that suites your tastes?   Here are 12 retailers to get you started, simply click the image for the wallpaper source!

tthi romo button farrowandball ferm
antrho nama cole and son graham
walnut Aimee kreme york


If you’re afraid you won’t be able to tackle the installation yourself, fear not!  Here’s an informative video tutorial for applying wallpaper that will help you install your favorite.  In one afternoon, you can have a completely reinvented space with an fresh new pattern that’s sure to add plenty of personality to your home.



One of the most timeless looks in a bathroom is classic beadboard paneling.  This vintage style wall treatment dates back to the turn of the century when it grew in popularity, and the original millwork’s purpose was to protect the walls in high traffic areas.

Beadboard paneling can be applied to ceilings or walls to cover up minor cosmetic problems or simply to make your space more inviting.  Versatile beadboard works well when installed to the backs of built in bookcases or the fronts of cabinets and it can be left white or painted any color at all.  Beadboard paneling always adds informal charm to any casual or cottage style space.

Beadboard panels are traditionally made of wood or MDF, or come in prefabricated kits, but there is an easier and more economical way to achieve the same timeless look, and that is with beadboard wallpaper.


beadboard bathroom bhg 1

beadboard bathroom bhg 3

beadboard backed shelf bhg


Paintable beadboard wallpaper comes pre-pasted which makes its application easy to complete in just a few hours.  Before installing, it’s important to know how high on your wall you intend to go with the wall treatment.  Opting for somewhere between halfway and two thirds of the way up the wall traditionally looks best.

Supply list:  beadboard wallpaper, flat table to work on, primer (for new drywall, otherwise you can skip primer), large sponge, sharp scissors, level, sponge paint roller, measuring tape, chair rail, brad nailer (or brad nails and a hammer), circular saw, latex paintable caulk, paint color of choice.

1.  Measure the height of your first section and cut it off the roll. Start in a corner and lay your first piece of dry beadboard wallpaper against the wall.  Use a level to ensure accurate vertical alignment and 2.  a pencil to score the edge where you’ll install your first piece.  3.  Roll your paper inside out and dip it in your bucket of water. Once wet, unroll it on your long table with the beadboard pattern on the bottom and use a moist paint roller to spread the water across and activate the paste.  4.  Wait five minutes as recommended then apply your first piece to the wall, using the sponge to smooth out any air bubbles.

how to install beadboard wallpaper 1

Continue applying your wallpaper all around, trimming around any electrical sockets, light fixtures, etc. 5.  Once the paste has had sufficient time to bond with the wall (about 30 minutes or so) carefully trim the bottom of the beadboard wallpaper with sharp scissors.  You’ll want a finished edge on top, so measure you’re the proper length of chair rail and trim with a circular saw.

6.  Attach the chair rail to the wall with a brad nailer or with brad nails and a hammer, using a level on top to ensure it is installed perfectly horizontal.  7.   Decide how you will wrap any turns in the space such as this window. Caulk any seams or corners with latex caulking and fill the nail holes with spackling.   8.  Once the chair rail is installed, paint the wallpaper your color of choice.

how to install beadboard wallpaper 2

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never wallpapered before, this is an easy DIY project that will give you the look of beadboard paneling in an afternoon!  Note that beadboard wallpaper is subject to greater wear and tear due to its pliable texture and therefore not as durable as wood or MDF paneling, so consider that fact when installing in high traffic areas where children or pets may play.

Above the beadboard wallpaper, you can paint with any color of choice, from pale to dramatic.  In my own powder bathroom (below) I chose ‘Seine’ by Valspar, a deep mushroom gray with brown undertones for rich contrast.


centsational girl powder room


A bold patterned wallpaper looks wonderful above classic beadboard and adds yet another layer of interest to the bathroom.


beadboard bathroom bhg 4


If you’re looking for the timeless appeal that beadboard brings, the use of wallpaper is one less expensive option to the traditional wood paneling.  Look for it at home improvement stores, or online at wallpaper sources such as Graham & Brown.


Happy home improvement!

kate signature


Most homes and apartments have a dining space for the obvious function of serving and enjoying meals.  However our dining spaces need not be just functional, they’re a fabulous opportunity for personal expression in home decorating.  The one way to ensure your dining space has flair is with a unique light fixture suspended overhead to make an original style statement.



Modern fixtures have come a long way and the talents of designers provide us with so many varied choices that you’re sure to find one that feels right for you.

Whether you choose a scrolled fixture or one with clean lines, an orb or a tiered chandelier, these days the options are endless.  The more modern fixtures now include a variety of textures from rope to wood, bronze to blown glass, brass, resin, gold leaf, and capiz shell, the list goes on.  The dining space is your opportunity to make a big impact and inject personality into your home in an unexpected way.



A few tips on selecting and hanging lighting:

- Choose a chandelier that appeals to your tastes, not one solely for resale (unless of course you’re staging your home for sale.)  A dining room chandelier is an easy fixture to replace and one you can take with you should you move in the future.  It’s perfectly fine to mix modern shades with traditional furniture and vice versa.

- When selecting lighting for a dining room table, it’s more important to size the chandelier to the table rather than the room. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your chandelier is one half to two thirds the width of the table. A chandelier that is too small for the dining space can look out of place and has little impact.

- For the proper hanging height, the bottom of the chandelier should be about 30 to 34 inches above the table, low enough to create a focal point in the space, but high enough not to interfere with conversation.

- Remember your chandelier should not be the main source of lighting in the dining room. Wall sconces, lamps, or other overhead lighting should be part of the lighting design plan too. A chandelier that radiates too much heat or light can be uncomfortable for you and your guests.

- Most designers agree on the importance of dimmer switches. Nothing creates more ambiance than lighting turned down during intimate gatherings.

Here are a dozen modern chandeliers that if suspended over your dining table are sure to add a dash of panache.


From top left:  Axel Orb by Currey & Co, Candelabra, $1,971; Turquoise Empire Chandelier, Marjorie Skouras, see showrooms; Breck Chandelier, Maison Luxe, $1,500; Black Crystal Chandelier, Brocade Home, $699; Moooi Dandelion Pendant, Light Wholesale, $620;  Grayson Glass, Oly Studio, see locationsFlowerfall, Oly Studio, see showrooms; Rectangle capiz, West Elm, $299;  Driftwood Orb, Burke Decor, $1,200;  Boja Rattan Pendant, IKEA, $60;  Calais Chandelier, Z Gallerie, $399; Serena Drum Chandelier, Jayson Home, $2,995

Happy decorating!

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