December 2012

Kate

Now + Next

One of the features in the January issue in Better Homes & Gardens is a focus on trends in home design, specifically looking at what is hot right now and also forecasting what’s coming next.  I was asked by the editors to share my two cents on the topic this month, here what I think based on what’s trending in magazines and on Pinterest too.  

Three Trends That Are Hot Right Now:

1.  Plank Walls.  Remember all of those wood paneled walls from the 1970s?  They’re back!  It’s a thought that makes many people cringe, but no need to fret!  This time, they’ve been turned horizontally and given a coat of white paint.  These large scale planks bring a cottage feel and fresh backdrop to any space from a bathroom to a kitchen nook to a family room. 

plank wall bathroom bhg

 

2.  Recycled & Repurposed Finds.  One of the most environmentally friendly movements in recent years is the one which has folks reusing things from the past but in new and interesting ways.  These green choices bring character indoors with one-of-a-kind goods that can be found at flea markets and antique fairs.

repurposed crate bhg

 

3.  Globe Pendants.  Lighting has come so far in recent years, and we can now find so many options for the modern glass globe pendants that you can drop down anywhere to instantly add contemporary flair.  Where do you fancy them, above your kitchen island or your reading nook?  Consider large scale versions or multiples in a dining space, office, or bedroom, they complement every style!    

globe lights bhg

 

What’s Next?   My three predictions!   

 

1.  Everyday Mixed Metals.   Matchy matchy metals are now a thing of the past.  Interior designers have been mixing metallic sheens with abandon for a few years and at last it’s a growing trend among homeowners as well as magazines and retailers continue to model the look.  The rule is to not go overboard, two are ideal but keep your metal sheens to no more than three in a room.  Take a cue from this stunning entry which features a gold leaf focal point mirror, a modern antique brass pendant, and brushed nickel hardware on the entry doors.  

mixed gold and silver bhg

   

2.  Messy Zig Zags.  Graphic prints have been popular for a long while and chevron has reigned supreme for at least a year.  We’ve seen chevron everywhere from wall treatments to fabrics, but thankfully there’s a new kid in town in the form of messy and more fluid zig zag patterns.  Look for them to make it big on the design stage in 2013!

new zig zag shapes bhg

  

3.  Mixed Materials.   Another “mixing” trend!   I love seeing so many people confidently blending rustic with sleek, or patina with polished, and breaking down any notion that spaces must stay true to a particular design style – staying true to your personal style is really what matters.

mixed materials in bathroom bhg

 

 
And now for a quick “Trend Q&A” between me and the BH&G Editors:

1.  Trend I’d Lose :  Taxidermy heads as focal points, they work in a mountain lodge but not in a city townhome.  However, I do love the ceramic versions in the right spaces, even urban ones.

2.  Blog I’m Loving:  DustJacket Attic, Debra collects and features the best in interiors from around the world, and a little fashion and food inspiration as well. 

3.  Person I’m Following:  Tobi Fairley, she’s a fabulous interior designer and inspirational life coach for others too.  

4.  Show I’m Watching:  Downton Abbey – for the early 20th century interiors, the drama among the upstairs and downstairs residents, and the one liners of the Dowager Countess.

5.  Store I’m Shopping:   C Wonder – just a few boutiques scattered around the country, but always open online, C Wonder has some of the freshest dishes and accessories you can find for your bookshelf or tabletop. 

6.  Color I’m Coveting:   Glossy navy with touches of raspberry and antique brass, the combination is so sophisticated and chic.

7.  Accessories I’m Adding:  Handmade bowls found on my recent travels – I like to buy something unique for my home when I adventure to a new place. 

 

Here’s another interesting article I featured last week on Design Trends of 2012 including my thoughts and those of four fantastic design bloggers, be sure to weigh in with your insight. 

 

What trends in design are you loving right now or incorporating into your home? 

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Kate

Fresh Start Storage Ideas

With all the excess food, decorating, and gifting that occurs in December, many share the common desire is to pare down and get organized in January with the turning of the calendar to a new year.  One of the key components of successful organization is having a place for everything, and thankfully there are smart strategies that exist for keeping all the stuff organized.  Here are several ideas to consider for maximizing storage in your home in the New Year.

Invest in a storage bench, readily available at many online retailers.  Use baskets below for toys or books and top it with a cushion in a fabric of choice for style and storage in one!

 bench under window bhg

 

Many closet companies offer custom storage units but you can achieve a similar look by installing assemble ready kits from home improvement centers or specialty storage stores in a bedroom or hall closet.  

closet system bhg

 

If short on cabinet space, a bench with a pull out drawer provides room for toiletries in a bathroom and is a place to sit to dress and undress with a cushion covered in terrycloth.

bench with drawer bhg

  

Read more


Kate

Low Doses of Color

I know a lot of readers are color shy and tend to gravitate towards neutrals when decorating their homes.  I’m guilty of it too, often falling back on a sophisticated gray or a clean white as a soothing backdrop, but next year I’m challenging myself to bring a lot more color into my home. 

In search of inspiration, I rounded up some great examples of ways bring bolder and brighter color into your spaces in low doses and without a huge commitment.  

Painted Furniture Accents.  I painted a small chest peacock blue similar to this end table and coffee table last year and I’ve loved it ever since.  If you tell yourself “I can always paint it another color later” then it’s easier to commit to bolder color the first time around, but chances are you’ll love it so much that day will never come! 

blue endtable and coffee table bhg

 

Colorful Accessories.  With a neutral backdrop, you’re free to get creative with color and in fresh medleys like this aqua and deep pink combination.  Take your cue from a fun fabric, then work within that palette, layering accessories in those same hues. 

colorful accessories bhg

 

On the Wall.   A colorful work of art is another way to inject a dose of color into your home and when placed in the spotlight in a main space, it will be enjoyed more often.

red artwork bhg

 

Fabulous Fabrics.   Textiles are an interior designers go to source when client’s request more color, so follow their lead and choose a fabric in pattern and palette you love.  To get started, here is an article that shares 40 online sources for fabric

yellow botanical fabric bhg

 

Smaller Space Painted Walls.  Paint is the easiest and most affordable way to bring color to your home.  If you are hesitant to commit to bold color on the walls in your larger community or common spaces, try it out in a smaller room like a bathroom, laundry room, or even a guest bedroom.

painted blue wall bhg

   

A Little Trim.  Introduce just a dose of color with trim like this yellow detail on a neutral chair.  Hunt for colorful trim at a local fabric store or online and use it to embellish furniture, lampshades, or your window panels. 

yellow trim on chair bhg

 

Upgrade Your Bedding.   Keep the basic linens a crisp white, pale gray, or soft cream, then refresh the look by purchasing a duvet and shams for a color splash in the bedroom.

orange bedding bhg

 

Area Rugs.  Color in area rugs is more subtle because it’s layered underfoot, so it’s a great place to start bringing color in your space, plus a rug gives you a jumping off point for colorful accessories in the future.

striped area rug

    

Fresh Flowers.   The latest seasonal blooms purchased at your local grocery store or florist are an instant way to brighten your home – add another layer of cheerful color by displaying them in a vessel in a favorite hue.  

yellow urn with flowers bhg

 

As you look around your home and contemplate ways to start the new year by freshening your spaces, consider these ideas for starting the process by introducing color in low doses. 

Happy Decorating!

kate signature image

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Kate

Festive Outdoor Displays

I’ve spent some time this month featuring inspiring holiday ideas and today I’ll end the holiday decorating series by highlighting some outdoor displays.  These are those last days before Christmas, and the moments when we as a family love to take walks or drives around town admiring the displays. 

I love to look at the creativity of our neighbors, their twinkling lights, sometimes subdued, other times crazy or garish but always full of fun.  Here is a final collection of inspiring ideas for the holidays with a focus on the outdoors! 

A red door is for good luck and pairs perfectly with a pinecone and ornament garland draped across the threshold.  Merry berries trim lanterns that light the walkway. 

red door and pinecone garland bhg

 

Large scale snowflakes suspended as vertical garlands celebrate the winter scene happening just beyond the arbor.

frosted snowflakes bhg

 

Lighted baskets that are filled with annuals in  spring make perfect vessels for a string of twinkle lights in winter. 

lighted hanging baskets bhg

  

Garlands all aglow bring holiday cheer to an entry embellished with a fresh evergreen wreath and its shimmery ribbons. 

wood door with traditional wreath bhg

 

A wintery willow wreath is an alternative to the classic evergreen version with its fresh white palette and small additions of color. 

winter wreath bhg

 

This porch is made merry in an afternoon with the cheery strings of icicle lights and swirling garland bringing color to the columns.

merry garlands and lights bhg

   

Layered boughs of evergreen swags and magnolia leaves tied up with seasonal berries and pinecones welcomes guests and neighbors as a botanical treat for the eyes.

layered boughs bhg

 

No one ever said Christmas trees are only meant to be displayed indoors, so why not another one placed on the porch! 

outdoor tree on porch bhg

 

Classic red looks festive on a glossy green door paired with rosemary trees and red pomanders in urns.

red wreath on green door bhg

 

An antique wood sleigh makes a perfect perch for a pine tree swag against a front or back door.

sled on porch bhg

 

A stocking hung with care on a door is a sweet alternative to a wreath and a nod to the tradition of hanging them indoors in anticipation of a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick. 

stocking on door bhg

    

Embrace the oldest tradition of the season by decorating with evergreens with classic cedar swag and a wreath that make a porch welcoming to family and friends. 

evergreen wreath and swag bhg

 

Are you all enjoying the outdoor displays in your city or town this season?  So festive, right?   I’ll be back with one more post on color tomorrow, but until then wishing you all the very Merriest Christmas season! 


Kate

Simple Christmas Touches

Now that we’re in the home stretch (only one week until Christmas!) the time has arrived to savor the beauty of the season, enjoying brisk walks while admiring the twinkle lights all aglow while picking up last minute gifts from local merchants.  

Wrapping presents for friends and loved ones and humming Christmas carols is what awaits this week, but if you’re still in the mood to add a little touch of decor to your abode, here are some simple Christmas touches that take mere minutes and bring much cheer.

Place a Charlie Brown sized tree in a nook and a few gifts below to bring the scents of the season minus the elaborate efforts.  

charlie brown tree bhg

  

Hanging a sweet red garland and layering with a love themed pillow (that will still look festive come Valentine’s Day) makes any entry merry.  

red garland and pillows bhg

  

Dress up your everyday pillows for the season with a gift wrap treatment that includes a festive bow with satin or grosgrain ribbon.

ribbon tied pillow bhg

    

Store holiday cards, gift tags, or those miniature ornaments that didn’t make it to the tree in glass bottles or jars for all that gift wrapping that awaits this week!

jars for cards and tags bhg

 

No doubt the Christmas cards have started arriving, so secure them to a door or wall in a common area with looped satin ribbon and double stick tape. 

   ribbon card holder

  

As an alternative, collect branches from your yard and display them in a favorite urn, pitcher, or vase.  Secure the cards with ribbon for instant holiday cheer!   

branches tied with cards bhg

    

Tie up the back of your chairs for your holiday soiree with a satin ribbon and a medley of sparkling ornaments.

dining chair swag bhg

    

Guests love to gather in the kitchen so before they arrive, so replace everyday olive oil with holiday trees and greenery, and lay a tea towel across the sink.  

tea towel and trees in kitchen bhg

   

Embellish your votive candle holders with velvet ribbon and a miniature applique or gift from nature then scatter across a table or mantel.   

winter votives bhg

      

Dress your front window a dash of merry by adding a painted frame showcasing sparkling ornaments suspended from ribbon.

ornaments suspended in frame bhg

   

When all else fails and time is short, nothing is simpler than an evergreen wreath suspended wherever you feel it fits.

simple evergreen wreath bhg

 

What are your favorite ways to decorate with simplicity during this season?

 

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Kate

Small Space Storage Solutions

Square footage is of prime value in apartments, townhouses, and smaller homes and those who dwell within always seek to maximize every square inch of space.  Thankfully there are clever affordable solutions for those who reside in spaces where storage is limited.  Here are ten savvy small space solutions to inspire a weekend makeover in your condo or casa. 

1. Purchase a small console that fits on an entry wall, and remember a lower shelf is an added bonus!  Use the top as a desk and baskets below for a centralized solution designed to hold everyday necessities for grab and go convenience.  

entry console with baskets bhg

 

2.  Avoid clutter taking over your countertops by installing a charging station inside a drawer.  Drill a hole in the back of a dresser or desk to accommodate the cord of a hidden power strip.  

door divider charger bhg

 

3.  Transform an armoire into a pantry or dish and linen storage center perfect for a small space kitchen or dining zone. 

 

4.  Turn a stock cabinet into a rolling kitchen island that offers both a prep surface and valuable storage below.  If designed with casters, it can roll out of the way when the countertop is not in use.  

rolling kitchen cabinet island bhg

  

5.  Install a recessed medicine cabinet between the wall studs for bathroom toiletries and necessities.

recessed bathroom cabinet bhg

 

6.  Maximize vertical wall space by hanging a pegboard above a desk to store craft or office supplies. Paint it a cheery hue for a punch of color!

 

7.   Two bookcases plus a wood countertop multitask in any space by providing storage and a writing desk for catching up on email, paying bills, or for hobbies such as scrapbooking or crafting.

bookcases to desk bhg

  

8.  Inexpensive wood crates painted in bright colors bring fresh style to a bathroom.  Multiply the number of crates to create affordable and unique bookshelves in an office or as media storage in a living room. 

stacked colorful crates bhg

  

9.   Stack two shipping pallets and top them with a solid surface to give yourself a coffee table with storage for reading material inside.

 

10.  Create your own room divider between entry and living space by combining three ready-to-assemble cabinets and positioning them next to each other to divide the singular space.  You’ll create an instant entryway and multiply your storage as well.  Here are the details on how to make a room divider with cabinets.  

cabinet room divider bhg

 

Wherever you reside and whatever your living situation, there are always creative ways to conquer clutter and store your stuff!  Stay tuned for even more articles on the topic coming in January with a focus on getting organized and maximizing storage! 

 

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