Written on February 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by Kate
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.
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.
Wood pairs well with industrial style finishes – the organic surfaces always tempering the cooler metal framing and brackets or hardware.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Written on February 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm , by Kate
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.
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.
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.
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.
A major movement in modern homes is to convert the formal dining room into work stations for both parents and adults.
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.
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.
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.
Bright colors and patterns inspire creativity in a room dedicated to both work and play where both artists and thinkers can thrive.
Parents, where have you carved out a homework zone in your home? Share your creative ideas!
Written on February 6, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Kate
The other day I did something I do a lot and that is to drag home a cool old piece of furniture from a thrift store with every intention of giving it a fresh new look with paint. It’s one of my favorite things to do!
As you know, just about anything can be refurbished with paint to suit your style, how fantastic is this bright turquoise hall tree?
Painting furniture is a quick and easy weekend project that will bring a fresh dose of color to your home with just a few hours of work. A smaller piece of furniture like this bar cart can even be spray painted in a jiffy if you give it a coat of primer first.
Larger pieces like this cabinet and hutch are more difficult to spray paint, so in those circumstances I typically use a good quality brush for a smooth and even finish.
You can paint your pieces one uniform color or opt for a more creative combination – at two color paint job pulls together separate pieces in a bathroom space but still distinguishes them as their own unique elements.
If plans to paint are in your near future, here are the supplies you’ll need: tarp, sanding wedge, wood filler (for dents or holes); adhesion primer; foam roller, high quality angled paintbrush; water based enamel paint. Optional protective coat: polycrylic or clear furniture wax.
The basic steps for painting wood furniture are these:
1) Repair any holes or dents with sandable wood filler. If you’ve opted for new knobs, often they will fit right in the old holes, but many modern pulls are sized differently than the old hardware and wood filler is also your best bet for starting over with new hardware. Once it’s dry sand it smooth before proceeding.
2) Prime with a high adhesion bonding primer, you can find them in brush on or spray on formulas made by Zinsser (my personal favorite), Kilz, or specialty paint companies.
3) Once you’re primer is fully dry, sand away any drips or residue and wipe your piece down with a soft cloth. Apply two thin coasts of water based enamel paint – use a foam roller for quick application and follow it up with a high quality angled paintbrush for angles, trim, or hard to reach spots. Note with darker colors you may need three coats, but the thinner the better to avoid drips and brush strokes. Allow 6 to 8 hours for your paint to dry between coats.
4) With enamel paints it’s not always necessary to use a protectant as the enamel paint has a harder finish compared to ordinary latex paints. However, for a high use surface like a coffee table or desk, an extra coat of protection will help protect the paint. If you opt for a protective coat, use a water based polycrylic in satin or gloss – do not use an oil based polyurethane, it will amber or yellow over time. An alternative that results in a hand rubbed matte finish is clear furniture wax buffed to a soft glow
For greater detail, and images to accompany refer to this article on how to paint furniture!
If you seek a more distressed look, with the original wood peeking through underneath, you can follow the basic steps I mentioned last week for distressing furniture with water based paints, or consider a product I’ve worked with several times and that is Annie Sloan Chalk paint, not to be confused with chalkboard paint.
Chalk paint is a special formula designed to give you a European style distressed look without priming. The formula is water based and easy to use. Specialty chalk paint or milk paints will give you a lovely distressed finish when you lightly sand away the thin layers revealing parts of the wood underneath.
Have you repainted anything special for your home lately? Feel free to link to your project, and happy refurbishing to those with plans to paint in the near future!
Written on February 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm , by Kate
Perhaps you’ve heard that the color Emerald was announced in December by Pantone as the Color of the Year for 2013 and it has taken the fashion and interior design world by storm. Green has been lingering in the shadows for a while and this year is its turn in the limelight with vivid emerald at the forefront.
Emerald is a rich, bold jewel tone that is beautiful as an accent nestled among neutrals and also as a complement to other jewel tones. All shades of green are reminiscent of nature and harmony, so I rounded up a few ideas for using green in your home in large and small doses.
Softer shades of green like celadon and sage are always soothing. In this coastal inspired kitchen, sea green is used on both the backsplash and kitchen island to create an inviting cottage feel.
A deeper shade of olive brings sophistication to a kitchen finished in a glass brick pattern backsplash, playing off the foliage seen observed outside the window.
In the bedroom, a punch of shamrock green is introduced with tailored upholstered headboards and bed skirts, while fern green duvet and shams brightens an otherwise neutral space below.
Paint is an easy way to bring a dose of green into your home – a fresh lime green painted dresser will perk up any bedroom.
Consider painting mismatched chairs in a distressed apple green finish for a French farmhouse inspired dining space.
Mint is another color that showing signs of popularity this spring among the design community and it’s a perfect choice for vintage style chairs layered on a fun striped rug.
For an unexpected twist on a traditional hallway, paint your gallery of frames a vivid Kelly green and finish off the staircase with a painted runner to match.
Chartreuse is a sunny shade with the obvious presence of yellow in the mix and looks fresh in a white bathroom paired with a colorful shower curtain to complement.
Whether it’s tile, paint, textiles, or accessories you choose, incorporating shades of green into your home’s decor is sure to brighten and invigorate any space.
What is your favorite shade of green and how have you used it in your home?