Written on March 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm , by Kate
Remember in the old movies when the ladies would disappear behind the folding screen to change their clothes while continuing a conversation with another character? Folding screens continue to serve the purpose of functional room divider but in this century we use them for more than just privacy – now they serve us in decorative ways to add visual interest to bare corners and walls.
For residences without a dedicated foyer, a partitioning room divider creates an instant entry and convenient drop zone when a hall table is added on one side.
Folding screens are a creative option for minimizing any part of a room you wish to disguise and when painted a bright color they add a dose of personality too.
Folding screens can be reinvented as unique headboards – an ornate or carved version will introduce an exotic or global vibe into your bedroom space.
Distressed in a cottage style finish, folding screens make charming props for outdoor plantings and add character to covered porches.
You can get creative with basic bifold doors from a home improvement store by attaching a set together with hinges and embellishing as you please with traditional molding or creatively with layers of shims painted a pretty color.
Make a style statement by upgrading a basic room divider with patterned wallpaper.
For an easy DIY project, follow Diane’s great tutorial for making a room divider out of bifold doors. If you prefer a store-bought version, here are six fabulous folding screens from budget to splurge that are sure to bring style to any of your spaces.
Do you decorate with folding screens in your home? If so, where and in what style?
Written on February 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm , by Kate
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Written on February 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm , by Kate
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.
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.
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 January 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm , by Kate
Investing in furniture designed in classic shapes is a guarantee those pieces will never go out of style, and a timeless look is one we all seek when decorating our homes. Over the course of time, you may look around your spaces and find it feels dated in certain ways, and you’re craving a modern twist to mix things up!
When the mood strikes, there’s no need to completely remodel when a dose of contemporary style may be all you need. Here are seven spaces that showcase what good things can happen when traditional meets modern.
1) The white brick pattern tile and the neoclassical inspired mirror are the traditional details in this powder room, but the sculptural vanity and geometric wallpaper add a modern design aesthetic.
2) Refresh a traditional dining room by breaking up the dining set and introducing a stylish chair with contrast to surround the table. White Chippendale faux bamboo chairs upholstered in a fresh geometric fabric and a pastel Chevron patterned armchair invigorate this otherwise conventional dining space.
3) Bringing home a modern touch can be done in small doses. In this family room, a bold zebra fabric reinvents a traditional French chair while a contemporary coffee table with graphic lines brings welcome contrast to the classic neutral seating.
4) Old wood dressers are valued for their history and quality of craftsmanship, and when mixed with an Eames molded armchair, the combination is eclectic and fresh.
5) A healthy dose of style is introduced into this living room in the form of modern art, a wire back chair, and white lattice ceramic stools. These contemporary touches perfectly complement the classic gold leaf finishes and tailored furnishings.
6) A traditional living room is given a brand new look with the introduction of three elements: a contemporary geometric rug, a brightly colored Ikat upholstered ottoman, and a variegated grasscloth textured wallpaper.
7) Cafe style seating and a wood pedestal table will never go out of style, and the vivid and vogue modern fixture adds an unexpected twist to this chic gathering space.
If you’re seeking a fresher look for your traditional spaces, don’t rid your home of classic furnishings. Instead take a cue from the spaces on display and introduce a few modern accents. Consider a new light fixture, an interesting wall treatment, a geometric or exotic fabric, or a new area rug to mix it up and make your home feel new again!
Written on January 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm , by Kate
I’ve lived with slipcovered furniture for years, I find as long as the slipcovers are tailored, the look isn’t sloppy at all, but rather casual, cozy, and chic. I have slipcovered sofas in my family room and slipcovered dining chairs too, and with young children living in our home, they are a very practical choice.
If you prefer light and bright spaces, slipcovers allow you to decorate with paler fabrics since by nature they can be removed and washed. Slipcovers take the worry out of living with light fabrics since any small stain or smudge can be removed with a wash when life happens.
Many people gasp at the idea of a white sofa or dining chairs, but if you’ve chosen a slipcovered option, keeping them clean is as simple as a cycle through the laundry and a bit of bleach if necessary.
Choosing slipcovers for your home lends a cottage or coastal feel to your spaces, and creates an inviting place to kick off your shoes and curl up with a great book, your tablet, or your laptop.
Slipcovered fabrics are only as convenient as they are washable, and often the linen versions are dry clean only, but the benefit is they can still be removed and treated if spills occur, which is far more challenging with upholstered furniture.
Two slipcovered pieces I personally endorse are the Pottery Barn Basic sofas, which we have in our family room and the Ballard Designs Couture Chairs and Slipcovers, which we have in our dining room. We’ve lived with both for years, and find them stylish, comfortable, and easy to wash.
Do you live with slipcovered furniture in your home? If so, what are your favorite pieces, and can you share any maintenance tips?