February 2013

Colorful patterned pillows will instantly transform a plain sofa into a fabulous focal point of comfort and style and they’re an easy accessory to swap out with the changing seasons.  An initial question to ask yourself when choosing pillows for your bedroom or sofa is to ask yourself what style appeals to you and go from there. Are you a fan of classic stripes or Ikat motifs? Do you prefer floral or geometric patterns?

patterned pillows on sofa bhg

 

If your furniture is neutral, a fresh and fabulous patterned pillow can set the mood for the entire space, and from its palette you’re free to pull out multiple colors to accessorize your room even further.

pink patterned pillow on chair bhg

 

There are many different ways to make a bed and playing with layers of pattern in geometrics, florals, stripes, or other unique motifs is a sure way to inject style into the bedroom.

patterned pillows in bedroom bh

 

Choosing pillows that share colors that already exist in your space is another good starting point when choosing your toss pillows. Let the tile, paint colors, or the rug lead you to choices that complement what hues are already present. 

mixed geometric pillows

 

Another designer tip: If you’re having a chair reupholstered, it’s a great idea to buy a few extra yards and have those made into coordinating accent pillows to use on a nearby sofa.  

animal prints on sofa[2]

 

A mixed arrangement of pillows is an inviting and casual look – repeating one pattern on another piece anchors the seating area in a subtle way.

patterned pillows on slipcovered sofas bhg

 

Even outdoor spaces benefit from a medley of cheerful patterns that add bright color and a layer of comfort – their presence will always encourage everyone to linger longer.

pillows on porch bhg

 

Are you on the hunt for some fresh patterns to spruce up your home this spring? Here’s a roundup of great patterns available this season in all the shades on the color wheel. rainbow of patterned pillows

 

from top left, red: raspberry ikat, sydney floral, ovals; orange; floral crewel, geometric, chevron; yellow: cabana, soleil; geometric; green: greek key, verdi, ikat; blue: silsila, geometric, monaco; violet: ikat, medallion, cortez

For even more fun pillow picks plus tips on how to style them, check out this post from last week on basic tips for sofa pillow styling

 

Who’s ready to start decorating with colorful patterns this spring? 

 

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When we think of sprucing up our homes, the first two things that often come to mind are how to add color and pattern, but there’s a third element to consider when decorating and that is texture. Color and pattern appease the eyes but it’s texture that sooths or stimulates the sense of touch. Here are eight different decorative elements to consider when you seek to add texture to your spaces:  

1.) A Paneled Accent Wall.  The grain and texture of wood is always warm and inviting – stain the planks of your accent wall dark or leave them in their natural state.

wood wall paneling bhg

 

wood plank walls bhg

 

2) Fur or Fluff.  We’re drawn to the texture of furry or woolen animal friends, so factor those textures into your decorating by including something fluffy in the form of a pouf, pillow, blanket, or flokati wool rug.

baskets fuzzy pouf glass centerpiece bhg

 

flokati rug bhg

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The middle of February is about the time when I’m absolutely craving those weeks of spring when everything outdoors begins to bloom again. One of the ways I soothe that anxiousness for greenery is with indoor gardening and miniature terrariums.

winter orchid and terrarium

 

Assembling a terrarium isn’t complicated and with low maintenance succulents, even those who profess to lack green thumbs can have an indoor garden with this technique that dates back to the Victorian age.

Last year, I started mine on a small scale with a glass vessel and some river rocks. To that I added a few varieties of succulents nestled carefully among the stones. This setup takes very little watering, just a few sprinkles or drops once a week. One year later, the terrarium is still thriving!

 

 

One of the best ways to make a space come alive is with the presence of something green and growing. Posing a terrarium on an endtable, a bookshelf, or in front of a main window in your living room is way of capturing that feeling with a unique combination of miniature plants.

 

tabletop terrarium bhg

 

terrariums in vessels bhg

 

There are simple techniques to create a layered indoor garden with terrariums formed out of several shapes of glass containers.

terrariums bhg

 

For instructions on how to assemble your own terrarium at home, follow these helpful step by step instructions.

step by step terrarium

 

In addition to succulents, here is a list of plants that will thrive in your terrarium.

Happy indoor gardening!

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A few months ago I wrote about how modern stylish dining rooms are not made from a matched set anymore, rather they are decorated with the deliberate pairing of mismatched pieces.

The same principle applies to desks and chairs that form mini home offices in various spaces around the home.  Purposefully combining two pieces that have different finishes or styles is a fresh way to approach decorating your home office, large or small.

 

green parsons white chair bhg

 

Wood and white are natural pairs, as wood brings warmth and white paint is always one to bring contrast and enhance the grain of wood.

wishbone and desk bhg

 

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There’s a trend that’s going strong in home design, and that is the incorporation of rustic touches as part of both architecture and decor. Reclaimed wood beams are appearing as features in kitchens and rustic wood furnishings are popping up everywhere from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom.  Reclaimed, whitewashed, limed, or just worn, these weathered accents bring the warmth of wood and a desirable texture to any space. 

 

rustic table and beams bhg

 

Salvage yards are a wonderful place to search for old wood to be reclaimed for use in a new way.  A simple mirror gets a rustic touch with aged boards to form a frame that plays off a plank console in similar weathered gray wood tones.  

rustic wood vanity and mirror bhg

 

Wood pairs well with industrial style finishes – the organic surfaces always tempering the cooler metal framing and brackets or hardware.

weathered metal storage bhg

 

Reclaimed wood furniture is readily available from many retailers but with a little treasure hunting, often you can discover unique finds at a flea market or salvage yad.  Consider using weathered wood to have a custom piece made for your home by a skilled carpenter or furniture maker.

weathered vanity table bhg

 

Rustic touches needn’t be in the form of just furniture.  Accents like shelving, mirrors, light fixtures, or crates bring reclaimed wood into your home on a smaller scale. 

rustic wood shelves bhg

 

rustic crates in kitchen bhg

 

If you’re looking for a few touches of rustic to bring some weathered charm to your home, here are a few favorite picks – I have the dining table myself and we love it! weathered worn rustic accents

From top left: Media Center, Hudson Goods, $1,675; Barn Wood Mirror, weareMFEO Etsy, $450; Dustin Dodecahedron Pendant, Ralph Lauren, $440; Ethan Table Lamp, Clayton Gray Home, $570; Mason Sink Console, Pottery Barn, $1,699; Salvaged Trestle Table, DCG Stores, $1,208; Reclaimed Wood Sconce, Zinc Door, $110;  Cucina Sideboard, Crate + Barrel, $1,299; Wood Server, Napa Style, $79; Wall Planter, Williams-Sonoma, $150; Bluestone Coffee Table, Crate + Barrel, $499; Wine Crate, Home Decorators, $59; Baluster Coffee Table, Wisteria, $1,199; Gustavian Bed, Viva Terra, $1,599+

 

Are you a fan of the look of rustic wood accents?  If so, what weathered or worn pieces do you take pride in inside your home?

 

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With two children in elementary school, having a space for homework is essential to organization in our home. Often times the kitchen table will suffice for a quick spelling review or a few pages of math, but it’s nice to have a zone specifically designed for homework where school supplies, calendars, books, and reminders can be stored. 

There are plenty of creative ways to carve out a space for homework, the trick is to create a zone that works best for a family’s lifestyle. A desk and chair are the basics of course but where you place them is up to you. One way to mix form and function is to inject a dose of color, like this cheerful orange chair tucked under a white desk in a child’s room.

white desk orange chair bhg

 

For some families, the preference is to have children do homework out in the open in community spaces. Turning two narrow tables into a long workspace is one way to keep an eye on kids who have questions about their studies or are surfing online.  

red tables as desks bhg

 

Any spare wall can be converted into study central with a clever table and bookcase retrofit like this one providing two workspaces with privacy and storage.

two kid desks bhg

 

Nooks and alcoves are often the perfect place to station a homework zone, especially where hours of concentration are necessary and a quieter place is appreciated.

nook desk bhg

 

A major movement in modern homes is to convert the formal dining room into work stations for both parents and adults.

dining room desk space

 

Turning a sunny breakfast nook or loft into a kid friendly homework and creativity zone is another way to make a space serve your family’s needs.

white kid desks bhg

 

Built in desks are ideal if you have a spare wall and overhead storage is always a bonus to help store supplies and conquer clutter.

built in desk bhg

 

In our home, we turned a spare room into a kid friendly study zone, complete with DIY window seat and a table we built in a custom size to fit the space. 

study cg

 

Bright colors and patterns inspire creativity in a room dedicated to both work and play where both artists and thinkers can thrive.

colorful office bhg

 

Parents, where have you carved out a homework zone in your home?  Share your creative ideas!

 

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