Centsational Style

Hello fans and friends of Centsational Style, announcing a change happening! The Centsational Style blog on Better Homes & Gardens will be retired but don’t worry, I’m not leaving! I’ll be hopping over to the Style Spotters blog and continuing to share articles about inspired decorating and great design on a weekly basis starting in August.

moving to style spotters

It’s been a pleasure writing this blog for over a year, but I’m excited about the change. Be sure to subscribe to Style Spotters (via email or reader) to get all of the new articles delivered to your inbox! Thank you so much to everyone who has continued to read the posts here, I’m so grateful and I look forward to continuing the decorating conversation over at Style Spotters!

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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!

If you’ve popped your head into local retailers or opened the latest catalogs, there’s a color that’s getting a lot of attention this season and that color is indigo. This inky blue is appearing everywhere from textiles to accessories and one thing is true, while some might consider it the color of the moment, the combination of deep blue and crisp white has always been timeless.  Whether it’s the paint on the walls, or the furnishings in your spaces, indigo is one color to choose to create a moody yet sophisticated feeling in your home.

On the color wheel, its complement is fiery orange, (or tangerine!) and together they make a bold statement.


Indigo gains feminine qualities when it’s married to more unexpected colors like coral and lime green.  Add plenty of white and you’re looking at one of the freshest color combinations around.


If you’re seeking to introduce this classic deep blue to your home in a fresh modern way, here are a few statement pieces to consider.


 1.  Ferm feather wallpaper, Horne, $105 a roll  2.  Harley Balloon Chair, Horchow, $3,199; 3.  Paeonia wallpaper, Anthropologie, $148 roll; 4.  Concentric Diamond Table Lamp, Shades of Light, $392;  5.  Hemnes nightstand, IKEA, $100; 6. Louisa Settee, Anthropologie, $2,498; 7. Southport coffee table, Oomph, $2,295; 8. Skye Coffee Table, Crate + Barrel, $399; 9.  Jonathan Adler Butterfield Sofa, $3,695; 10. Kidman Bergere, The Cross Design; 11. 5 x 8’ Blinov Rug, Overstocks, $198; 12.  6 x 9’ Pinstripe Rug; Restoration Hardware, $590.


 If it’s smaller touches you’re looking for, consider these gorgeous decorative accessories!

1.  Capri candle, Anthropologie, $28; 2.  Herringbone pillow, John Robshaw, $190;  3. Medallion dinnerware, Target, $82 set; 4.  Mimosa Frames, Z Gallerie, $29;  5.  Modern Ikat pillow, Whitlock & Co, $42;  6.  Provence kitchen mat, Williams Sonoma Home, $50.  7. Cocktail blueprint, Crate + Barrel, $399;  8. Elephant ceramics vase, West Elm, $29;  9. Octopus throw, Thomas Paul, $350; 10.  Horchow pillow collection, $85-205;  11.  High Neck Vase, Terrain, $40, 12.  Gelato tray, Z Gallerie, $25;  13.  Storage Ottoman, Crate & Barrel; 14.  Richard Nixon throw, Jonathan Adler, $290; 15.  Scales Rug, Zinc Door, $100.


Indigo is a very hot color in retail right now, but you can guarantee that if you incorporate indigo into your own home, it’s classic attributes will stand the test of time.  Are you a fan of this inky blue?







When decorating our homes, so many of us fall back on neutrals and for various reasons.  Some consider them calming, others are simply color shy or afraid to commit to bolder hues.  However, neutrals need not be bland nor labeled safe.  On the contrary, restrained neutrals can be pleasing and tranquil in a space when certain elements are present.  Here are eight ways to add interest to your neutral spaces at home..

Clever Contrast.   Mixing dark woods with light furnishings and walls tends to brings out the best in each other.  The darks seem richer and the whites feel brighter with deliberate contrast on display.


Play With Pattern.  This neutral living room offers timeless appeal with its soft painted molding and elegant furnishings. The large scale pattern of the rug and tone on tone striped panels add interest without screaming for attention.

With a neutral palette, you’re free to mix large scale pattern, such as the modern zebra on the accent chair, against a smaller scale such as the delicate floral in the window panels.


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There’s no denying the timeless appeal of ferns, indoors and out.  Known for their bright green fronds and delicate stems, ferns are beloved by many for their fine texture and arching lacy stems.  Both verdant and elegant, they are an excellent choice for shady spots in your yard and make wonderful houseplants in pots or terrariums.


Ferns are tolerant plants and in the right growing conditions, make a wonderful house plant.  They add that touch of evergreen to your décor, and every space is a bit more inviting with a living thing on display.


Did you know that you can turn your garden fern fronds into art?  Yes, it’s true, I did it last summer!

It’s a simple process and easy DIY project that will take your favorite botanical right from the garden and place it on the wall as artwork.

1) Gather fern fronds from your yard or snip a few from your healthy houseplant  2) Lay fronds between wax paper and press flat between large heavy books for 2 to 3 days. 3) Lay flattened ferns on paper and affix to paper with a tiny bit of Mod Podge or craft glue, and 4) display behind glass in frames.

If feeling extra crafty, make them look aged by using cream colored craft or tea stained papers, and stamping them with botanical Latin terms.  As an alternative to framing the real thing, you can scan the fronds and frame them as prints for an equally attractive botanical display.

The next time you spy a fern in a nursery, consider bringing it indoors to not only add beauty to your home, but potentially to your walls too!

Happy decorating!

Late last year, Pantone announced their much awaited Color of the Year for 2012, and this time around it’s Tangerine Tango! To quote Pantone, ‘Tangerine Tango’ is “sophisticated, dramatic … and marries the vivaciousness and adrenalin rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

At the pronouncement, orange lovers all across the land issued three cheers to feisty tangerine taking the spotlight and many retailers pushed the color to the forefront of their decor offerings this year.

If you’re a lover of tangerine, consider painting your walls or even your front door in this hue of the moment. If you’d prefer that this vibrant color play a more subtle roll, bring it indoors in the form of decorative accents, toss pillows, or other accessories in your home.

Tangerine accent chairs, side stools, and area rugs add fresh color to your space without a huge commitment, or be brave and choose a bold accent piece in the form of a dresser or even a sofa.

1. Bunny Lounge Chair, House & Hold, $450 2. Duc Duc Dresser, Fawn & Forest $1,375 3. Tini Table, Zinc Door, $395; 4. Martini Side Table, West Elm, $129; 5. Stray Dog Blush Stool, Zinc Door, $330; 6. Atomic Sofa, CB2, $1,099 7. La Versha Chair, Anthropologie, $298; 8. 8 x 10’ Striped Tangerine Rug, West Elm, $229.

1. David Trubridge Coral Painted Pendant, Y Lighting, $360; Rachel Ray EVOO Dispenser, $16.95; 3. Lacquer Hexagon Tray, Jonathan Adler, $175; 4. Anything Clock, Horne, $69; 5. Chica Wall Vase, Crate+ Barrel, $10; 6. Geo Placemat, Z Gallerie, $28; 7. Orange Chick Candleholder, CB2, $8; 8. Barcelona Pillow, Zinc Door, $90, 9. Montego basket, Georgia Mills, $80; 10. Stripe Hamper, The Cross Design, $72; 11. 3 x 5’ Trina TurkFloral rug, Sky Iris, $160


Whether it’s bold or subtle flavors of tangerine you choose, or accents large or small, this is one invigorating color that’s sure to bring some zest into your space and you’ll certainly be right on trend adding these accents to your home.

Happy decorating,


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