July 2012

One of the first concerns for any homeowner when they move into a new home is how are they going to cover the windows?  We all need the function of light control and privacy, but beyond function, we also crave beauty and style too.  One no fuss solution for covering your windows is with the use of woven shades. Textural bamboo blinds are so versatile they can be used in just about any space, I’ve hung them in bathrooms, kitchens, and my master bedroom. 

Woven shades bring a casual breezy element to your home and warm up any space with their wood tones.  Bamboo blinds are less formal than ceiling to floor window panels, and more textural than metal or wood blinds.  Here are a few ideas that may inspire you to choose woven shades for your home too!  

In this entry, honey tone blinds filter light and complement the warmth of the wall painted a deep shade of orange.

 

woven shades in entry bhg

 

The choice of variegated tone bamboo blinds in this is cozy sitting nook downplays the formality of the traditional table and fixtures.  

 

woven shades breakfast nook bhg

 

Kitchens are the perfect spot to hang woven shades.  The darker versions in this space add rich contrast when suspended inside the windows trimmed in white. 

 

dark woven shades in kitchen bhg

 

Consider the use of beaded fringe to add an interesting detail like the wood balls that add a dose of whimsy to these woven shades. 

 

woven shades ball detail bhg

 

Like the rope cord on the pendant light, this simple inside mount woven shade brings texture into this light and bright kitchen.  

 

woven shades behind pendant in kitchen

 

Woven shades can be mixed with window panels too.  Hang them across the room or underneath drapes for a layered effect.  

 

woven shades living room window seat bhg

woven shades living room bhg

 

Bedrooms are sanctuaries, so opt for lined versions for better light control for grabbing extra sleep on the weekends.  Inexpensive roller blinds hidden underneath your outside mount woven shades are another option for when you want to nap or sleep in.

 

woven shades above bed bhg

woven shades bedroom bhg

 

Your not limited to windows by any means.  Bamboo blinds are a clever solution for hiding open shelves in a laundry space.  

 

woven blinds to conceal storage bhg

 

With their natural materials, they’re a great fit outdoors.  Use woven shades to filter sun on your porch, patio, or cabana and to create a room like intimate setting.

 

woven shades outdoor cabana bhg

 

Woven shades are inexpensive and eco friendly choice for covering he windows of your home.  Look for them online (try Blinds.com and BudgetBlinds.com) or check your local Lowes – they have ‘cut to fit’ Levolor blinds you can take home the same day. 

Have you used woven shades in your home? 

Got a great resource you’d like to share?

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Welcome to the third installment of a series exploring how to display artwork in your home!  It began with how to display art in a symmetrical fashion and continued with tips on creative asymmetrical arrangements.  One more way to add visual interest to your spaces is through wall galleries and eclectic collections curated with the purpose of reflecting your personality and design style.   

Meaningful objects on display bring warmth into your home, and there’s no need to restrict wall art to paintings, prints, or photographs.  Everything from plates to mirrors to found treasures are all welcome choices! 

The first rule of thumb for creating a gallery of art in your home is to display what appeals to you most.  Whether it’s illustrations, old world maps, or pops of colorful abstract art, your home is happiest when your personal favorites are in the spotlight.   

 

art gallery on folding screen bhg

framed abstracts on wall bhg

 

Salon galleries are a popular option for blank walls because they allow for a display of favorite objects large and small.  For a well thought out and less cluttered look, unite frames by color, or work with a collection that shares a constant theme. 

 

eclectic botanical collection bhg

fruited wall gallery

 

Create major impact with a collection of meaningful numbers, symbols, or letters in varied styles and colors.

 

mixed eclectic art wall bhg

mixed letters on wall bhg

 

Plates or platters are also great candidates for mingling with mirrors or other works of art.  Add visual appeal by changing up the shape, style, and scale. 

 

mixed paintings wall gallery bhg

wall gallery above sofa bhg

eclectic gallery above sofa bhg

 

Finally, think beyond frames by shopping for inexpensive mirrors to reflect light in your home, or opt for a display of art or wallpaper scraps applied with decoupage medium on inexpensive wood plaques. 

 

mixed mirrors on wall bhg

wallpaper gallery bhg

 

When it comes to artwork on your walls, anything goes!   Curate artwork or treasures that are special to you and display them with pride for an inviting home filled with meaning.

Happy decorating! 

kate signature image

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Last week was the start of this series on displaying art in the home (don’t miss the first article on hanging artwork symmetrically) and today we’ll look at strategies for successfully arranging artwork in a casual and captivating way, through asymmetrical placement.    

Symmetry is defined as “correspondence in size, shape, and relative position of parts on opposite sides of a dividing line or median plane or about a center or axis.”  Asymmetry represents something different – it is balance achieved when no mirror reflection exists between opposite ends of a center point.  So how do you successfully introduce an asymmetrical display of artwork into your home?  Here are five strategies!       

Think Oddly.   Interior designers consistently arrange objects in odd numbers for greater interest, and the same principle applies to displaying artwork.  Below, trios of framed botanical paintings are spread out across two ledges while the centered painting below the floating ledges grounds the elevated display.   

 

floral paintings chocolate walls bhg

 

Odd numbers are in play in this charming arrangement of framed vintage labels with a total of five mixing and mingling with collected white ceramics.  The larger square frame on the top left provides visual weight with the shape repeated on the bottom to the right.  The hobnail pitcher on the top right brings balance to the books and smaller white ceramics on the bottom left completing the criss-cross pattern.

 

framed vintage labels on ledges bhg

 

Heavy On the Left.   Because we read from left to right, the eye is accustomed to and comfortable with heavier pieces placed to the left in asymmetrical displays.  On ledges or mantels, layer the smaller frames in front for greater visual appeal.  

 

assymetric art arrangement bhg

   asymmetrical art floating shelf bhg

     

Work with a Theme.   Hanging artwork in an abstract arrangement is engaging when the subject matter is consistent.  Choose paintings, photographs, or framed fabrics in a similar theme, and vary the size and placement of your collection between the edges of a piece of furniture.  

  

asymmetrical ship paintings bhg

asymmetrical framed fabric

 

Find the Center Line.  Use the center of the mantel or sofa as your guide and create with your eye an invisible vertical line straight up from the center.  From that midpoint, hang various sized artwork in angles up, down, and away from the center line.    

 

asymmetrical art over mantel

   asymmetric kids art display bhg

   

Mix It Up.   Displaying art asymmetrically is more whimsical and instinctual than the formality of symmetrical displays anchored to perfect placement.  Add collectibles, gadgets, or favorite objects to express your personality – be sure to mix it up and have a little fun!   

 

asymmetrical cubby display

 

fun asymmetrical arrangement of art bhg

 

When in doubt on how to balance an asymmetrical arrangement of art on your wall, here’s a very handy trick.  Cut craft paper in the same size as your frames and move them around your wall with easily removable painter’s tape.  Once you settle on the arrangement you like, get busy hanging your artwork!   

 

kraft paper wall gallery design

 

Next week will be the third and final installment of the series, where we’ll examine a few eclectic collections arranged in creative displays, and also explore the ever popular salon gallery wall, stay tuned!     

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Travel abroad is inspiring for all of the sights, sounds, and flavors we experience, but it also has a dramatic impact on the way we decorate our homes.   Design elements from the east have influenced interior design over the decades, and internationally inspired accessories are again surging in popularity.  

Global inspired textiles possess amazing hues in spice and jewel tones arranged in traditional or bold patterns crafted with threads of saturated color.   Many retailers and designers have been so inspired by their own travels they are now including Moroccan or Indian inspired fabrics or accessories in their seasonal collections. 

 

global inspired textiles bhg

 

Remaining in the interior design spotlight are quatrefoil and trellis patterns, burnished metals and carved wood furniture.  Suzani and Ikat patterns from Asia continue to be as en vogue as Dhurrie and Kilim rugs, block prints from India, and lanterns and pendants with Moorish styling.   

   global inspired textiles and pillows bhg

 

global inspired pillows bhg

 

Adding colors and patterns inspired by Morocco, Turkey, and India to your home will add an air of the exotic to your spaces.  Here are some of my favorite style picks this season!  

  global inspired accessories bhg

 

From top left:  Quatrefoil Mirror, Shades of Light, $329; Silver Hanging Lamps, Viva Terra, $295-$485; Marrakesh Tray Table, Pottery Barn, $399; Hexagon Table, Clayton Gray Home, $675; Casablanca Lanterns, Z Gallerie, $15; Metal Ball Pendant, World Market, $70; Marrakech Curtain, Anthropologie, $168; Gold and Blue Wall Panels, Horchow, $975; Gather & Glean Pillow, Anthropologie, $188; Embroidered Suzani Pillow, Sukan on Etsy, $149; Bone Photo Frame, Wisteria, $39; Multicolored Suzani Pillow, John Robshaw, $275; Kilim Floor Pouf, West Elm, $249; Suzani Doormat, Wisteria, $34; Vintage Suzani, Jayson Home, $795;  Carved wood daybed, Mosaic House; Vintage Moroccan Carpet, Madeline Wienrib; Antique Settee, Jayson Home, $3,495; Sumba Stool, Serena & Lily $98; Carved Wood Table, World Market, $399; 8 x 10’ Karmen Medallion Rug, Pottery Barn, $799

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of global inspired textiles!  Have you brought any internationally inspired decor into your home, or incorporated a favorite accessory from your trip abroad?  

 

 

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I’ve had X base furniture on my mind lately, so much so that we built our own X base table for a study in our home with kiln dried wood we found at a local lumber supply company.  X base furniture has been around for decades, and you can find it in many styles from traditional to country, mid century to contemporary. 

Choosing a piece for your home in the X base style is a smart design choice and a pleasing alternative that brings contrast to the pedestal or straight leg style found in most furniture with legs.  

 

x base coffee table bhg

 

The dining room is an fantastic place for an X base table, especially when the design choice includes breaking up a set and choosing seating of a different style.

 

x base table bhg

 

The end of the bed is the perfect place a set of upholstered X benches which provide the function of a place to toss blankets or decorative pillows not used during hours of slumber.   

 

x bench blue bedroom bhg

 

  The X base desk is a sleek style choice for a sophisticated home office.

 

Meredith Publications/Storage Magazine/Butson/CMR#2781367

 

Looking to incorporate a piece of furniture with the X base into your home?  Here are a few of my very favorite X base pieces and accents from posh to practical!  

   x base furniture collage bhg

From top left: Overland Cross Table, Serena & Lily, $395; Hammary Transitions Sofa Table, Amazon, $538; World’s Away Upholstered Stool, Zinc Door, $673; Bourdonnais Bookcase, Ballard Designs, $1,199;  Oak Tray Coffee Table, Wisteria, $599; Bosquet Side Chair, Williams Sonoma Home; $894 for 6; Walnut Bench, Poet Furniture; Rectangular Table, Dining Room Outlet, $1,318; Small X Bench, Ballard Designs, dozens of fabrics, prices vary; Wood Crate, Pottery Barn, $75; Aster X Armchair, Switch Modern, $3,500; Channing Desk, Jonathan Adler, $1,750; Hudson Side Table, Williams Sonoma Home, $895. 

 

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Inexpensive window panels or shades are available at many home stores but sometimes the plain fabric can leave you wanting more.  An easy way to dress up store bought panels and and make them chic is to attach colorful ribbon or trim to the edges.  

 

ribboned roman bhg

 

Choose colors that complement the other accessories in the space, or get creative with a pattern that draws attention to the window, like this elegant criss-cross pattern.

 

rick rack panels bhg

 

If you love the idea of adding ribbon trim to your existing window panels or shades, there’s a way to do it yourself, no sewing required!   I made my own fixed flat fold roman shade in a bright floral pattern for our laundry room window, and chose deep blue grosgrain ribbon to add that extra decorative detail. 

cg flat fold shade

 

Here’s the simplest way to attach ribbon or trim without ever using a sewing machine.  Pick up some fabric glue at your local fabric or sewing store, apply it generously to your ribbon then smooth it out with your finger (not shown) so that it’s evenly distributed across the back of the ribbon.  Use stacks of magazines or books to weigh down the ribbon after you’ve placed it where you want it on your fabric. 

 

fabric glue

 

To make turns or angles, crease the ribbon as shown, secure with glue, and press flat. 

fold ribbon

fold ribbon 2

 

With fabric glue and ribbon, be it velvet or grosgrain, you can create unique window panels personalized for your home and give your simple window treatments a dash of panache. 

 

grosgrain ribbn trim bhg

 

Fabric glue dries clear within an hour and holds up in a gentle wash cycle.  It’s the perfect DIY tool for dressing up store bought panels and changing up your space in an afternoon! 

 

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