Design Cues from Nature

Today is Earth Day.  I thought it relevant to talk about how nature can provide fabulous direction for Interior Design. 

earth dayEarly this morning I dug up some beets from my raised garden bed.  I took the time to really look at the marvel that had been produced from a tiny seed.  The color of the beets are very on trend right now.
They are the color of Marsala–Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year.

marsala color of the yearBeets

And nature shows us what other colors work beautifully with Marsala–a rich organic green is the perfect complimentary color.  After all, red and green are compliments on the color wheel and the two tones of those colors are the same saturation level.

Beyond the color of the beets, their stems, and leaves, I also took the time to examine the contours and shapes of the beet and it’s stems and leaves.

I have often said the easiest way to check it color combinations will work well together is to look to nature.  Flowers, trees, shrubs all seem to magically grow and bloom in just the right colors.

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Sell Quicker-5 Easy Guidelines to Stage Your Home

Thinking about putting your home on the market? Here are some helpful ideas to help you prepare your home for sale

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First Impressions Count! Entry Hallway Design

Whether big or small, the entry area or hallway is what visually greets your guests.  Below are some simple tips to help you make sure the design of your home’s entry is ‘saying what you want it to say’.

5 handy tips for decorating your hallway
The hallway is the first interior aspect of your home that guests will notice, so it’s worth spending just as much time on this area as you would your living room or kitchen. When people enter your home you want them to think WOW! With the right décor, you can certainly create that first impression. In this article I will suggest a number of ideas that you can use to create a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing hallway.

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Focus on lighting
The hallway is an area of the home that receives very little natural light. If this is the case with your hallway, it’s definitely worth incorporating an effective source of artificial light. If the first thing a guest notices about your home’s interior is a dark hallway, you’re doing your home an injustice. There are literally millions of unique lighting options out there to suit all kinds of décor styles. If you are trying to create a Grande look, a chandelier would be ideal. Chandeliers work especially well in hallways with high ceilings. If you want to create a contemporary style hallway, spotlights are becoming increasingly popular in new build properties and apartments.

Use a rug to break the area up
Incorporating a rug is not only a great way to add a fresh burst of colour, but it’s also an effective way to break your hallway up. To make your hallway look more spacious, a neutral coloured rug would be the best option. If you have a long yet narrow hallway, incorporating a carpet runner is an effective way to add interest and de-emphasize its narrowness. To create an immediate impact, add a statement rug to your hallway, a brightly coloured rug can add some much needed interest to an area of the house that is often neglected.

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Consider hallway floor tiles for practicality
As comfortable and cozy as carpet can be, the hallway is not the most practical place to have it. If you want flooring that is durable, easy to clean and looks good, floor tiles are the better option. Long length wood effect tiles are becoming increasingly popular and look great in contemporary style homes. For something a little more traditional, consider Victorian floor tiles. These days’ floor tiles are available in all sorts of patterns and sizes, so there really is no limit to what you can do with your hallway.

Incorporate stylish storage solutions
If you have a spare corner in your hallway, consider adding a freestanding coat stand. By having one of these you can use its central area to store umbrellas and walking sticks. Another idea is to buy a slimline hallway table. A slimline table is ideal if you have a narrow hallway. If possible, choose one that has a lower shelf, this will maximize its storage potential. In extra small hallways, angled furniture allows you to squeeze in much needed storage. The angled shelves are particularly useful and allow you to make the most of your wall space. As a general rule of thumb, any items of furniture that doubles up will be a good investment. An unconventional storage solution is a comfy bench seat with shoe storage underneath. This will encourage your guests to remove their footwear at the door.

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Choose a light colour scheme
As mentioned above, a lot of hallways are dark because of the lack of natural light that they receive. Entering a dark hallway doesn’t create the best first impression, so choose a colour scheme that oozes freshness and positivity. You really can’t go wrong with neutral colours such as magnolia, crème and lemon. Try and avoid using darker colours as they can make your hallway look smaller. There are a few exceptions though, if your house is a grand period home, a deep red colour will add tremendous impact. You could also incorporate wall art to break the space up and add another splash of colour.

Author by-line:
These handy tips were contributed by Direct Tile Warehouse, a discount tile warehouse that specialises in hallway floor tiles.

Minimalistic Design Style

We received this guest post that talks about minimalistic design style.  Clean lines, uncluttered spaces, neutral color schemes and more can define this style of design.  In today’s cluttered world of non-stop media, wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a home with a soothing minimalistic design style?  Not sterile or super modern, but calm in nature, a respite from a busy life.


The Elegance And Practicality Of Minimalism

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Photo credit: Flickr

For those who wish to make a statement with clean lines, interesting furniture and a clutter free environment, minimalism is the way to go. Minimalist interior design became quite popular in the 1960s, with its focus on straight lines, and geometric contrast which resulted in clean and coherent homes.

Surfaces in a minimalist interior are often light coloured, combining to create organised spaces and a sense of airiness. If there are shelves, they usually float in the air; every item having its own space. Storage is hidden and the basic principle is simplicity, inevitably leading to elegance.

Focal point. When decorating in a minimalistic manner, your aim is to create balance between the space, surfaces, and objects, making it all as functional and unobtrusive as possible. Often, there is just one thing in the room that grabs the attention: a piece of furniture, the view from the window, a work of art or just colour. The attention and skill comes in when balancing other objects with it.

Colours of minimalism. There should be a single colour on the walls; two different colours would be a tolerable maximum. The interior itself is organised in a way that no more than three shades of similar colours are present. When choosing colour for walls, white or shades of white are always the right choice for the “clean” impression minimalism aims at. The colour is added to the room with accessories. Favourite colours are accentuated through vases, picture frames, cushions and curtains. These should evoke visual interest in the space and insert the character of the person using the space. As these objects are usually small and not too distracting, their colours and designs should be bolder. Of course, the amount of accessories should be brought to a minimum so as to avoid clutter.

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Photo Credit: Boutique Homes

Use of materials and texture. Sustainable and eco-friendly materials are the ones you wish to use in minimalism, as well as elements such as glass, mirrors, polished cement, architectural fabric, stone and wire. Also, minimalism wants to draw nature into the room and that is usually the one seen through the windows of the apartment or the house. Windows here are very important and are tended to be big, without curtains, blinds or shades, or anything for that matter that blocks the view. If going for a “clean” look then steel and chrome are the right choice, but do not overdo it and create a sterile space. Finishes in minimalism are supposed to be simple, while textures are rough, such as brick, concrete, wood or plaster.

Storage. Minimalism is characteristic for the maximum use of space. Everyday items are to be hidden from sight. Storage is hidden in the walls or furniture itself. Even if there are some cupboards, they are designed to have flat facades made of plastic which can sometimes simulate materials such as wood. In cases where real wood is used, surfaces are textured subtly, but keep in mind that using wood is always more expensive.

Lighting. Some say that lighting is the most important thing when effectively using space and composition in minimalist design. You will often find pendant lights, hidden lighting, or large overhang floor lamps in such homes. The option to dim the lights is a must since minimalist homes can sometimes be harsh during the night. Again, lights are used for making the focal point stand out, whether this is a specific object, angle or part of the room.

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Photo Credit: Flickr

Objects and furniture. Large pieces of furniture should be avoided. The only large piece can be the sofa, if the aim is for the sofa to be the central part of the room. Anything you do not need or use should not be in the room – and that goes both for furniture and decoration. The accent is on spatial freedom, but with interest in details. The colour of the furniture should contrast with the walls or be simply white. Patterns on the textiles are also to be avoided, while fabrics should be cotton or flax in a solid colour. Similarly to other minimalistic furniture, cabinets, sofas, chairs and armchairs are of simple geometrical forms and shapes.

Minimalism has become an art of balancing the living space with the living utilities and our busy lives. Somewhere in between, elegance has found its way in trying to make it simple. It is not always easy to accomplish but it is worthwhile.

S. Interior Design Pamlcroft

S. Interior Design Pamlcroft

Welted Arm, Built to the floor, swivel, tight back, Palmcroft Arm, Transitional, contemporary

One of several custom upholstered furniture pieces we designed for a Desert Mountain client looking for some color in her interior environment. Thanks Pacific Manufacturing for making it so easy !

Traditional Design Elements

Below is a guest post entitled ‘How to Create a Traditional Style Living Room’.
S Interior Design often has residential design clients who have what could be described as traditional style furnishings that they want to keep, yet update with more contemporary surrounding design elements.  One of our favorite things to do is to re-upholster a traditional style accent chair in modern fabrics.  It becomes a unique piece that can be the focal point of a seating arrangement.

This is an example we completed recently.

Accent ChairNow upholstered in this fabric

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A home that mixes design styles is one that is reflective of the owner’s unique personality.  Mix away and don’t be afraid!

Guest Post:

How to create a traditional style living room

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Not so long ago, traditional style was regarded as the grandmother’s home style, with impossibly uncomfortable furniture, pristine carpets and vintage wallpaper. I am very pleased to say that this is longer the case. Traditional home styles have been toned down considerably and are now more cleanly lined than ever. The traditional style covers a wide range of time periods and cultures, and can include just about anything, whether ornate and opulent or simple and spare. One of the reasons this style is regarded as traditional is due to the familiarity of silhouette and the use of architectural details.

Quite often, living rooms with a traditional style tend to be older and possess an abundance of suave architectural details such as elaborate chunky moldings, columns, arches, wood floor patterns, and inbuilt cabinetry. The reason these shapes are familiar is because they have a real sense of historical influence. The majority of the textiles and furnishings are labeled “traditional” because the patterns and shapes have been used for long periods of time.

Traditional style is no longer stale or fussy; instead it is now more casual and welcoming. The traditional style is literally the little black dress of the design world, looks great, always appropriate, feels fantastic, and goes with just about everything.

Below are a few ideas to help you create a traditional style living room:

Textiles

Luxurious fabrics can be used in traditional style but not limited to cashmere, velvet, mohair, and silk. Other more humble fabrics such as cotton and linen can also be found. In reality, not many homeowners can get away with a sofa that is upholstered in high maintenance fabrics such as silk, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be utilized in low traffic areas such as pillows or curtains. Start off with a pivotal fabric and then blend other patters from the same color palate. A layering of texture and pattern will add interest to the space. Damask, paisley, floral, and even geometrics are common patterns. Rugs are highly people because traditional homes usually have very hard floors, either tile or wood.

Artwork

Artwork introduces texture, mood, personality, and color. It is often beneficial to choose room arrangements and a color palate based on a great art piece. If you do not have the budget to buy a large piece of art, there are other more cost-effective ways to create impact. Try grouping similar images in matched frames to create a graphic punch.

Colors

Try to develop a consistent theme throughout your living room that is based on color. Neutral color tones are often utilized on large upholstery pieces and walls. Homeowners and designers often mute color pallets to show off other elements such as rugs and impressive pieces of art. An all white color palette is extremely popular because it can lend both minimalism and opulence depending on how it’s applied. Balance should be one of the key considerations when choosing colors; you should only use bright colors if they are offset by neutral tones.

Furnishings

Furnishings found in traditional styles commonly have a familiar shape that is recognizable and iconic to the majority of people. A perfect example of this is the wing back chair; although it is quite often reinterpreted and updated, it is mostly at home in traditional décor styles. Pieces of upholstery are often comfortable and neutral, a lot less fussy than in previous years. Traditional leather sofas are available in a variety of colors and styles; these can be mixed with contemporary pieces, reproductions, and antiques to create a relaxed feeling of elegance. Painted pieces and rich wood tones are also common in traditional styling.

Piecing it all together

The key to a great living space is the way in which pieces are put together. Be sure to create a focal point, this will give the human eye a resting place. Not only does it ground the room, but everything can be positioned in relation to it. Focal points can be artwork, a fireplace, or even an item of furniture such as a sofa or bed. Make use of symmetry to keep a sense of balance within the space. For example, you could have two chairs on either side of your fireplace. They do not have to be identical, but they should have similar proportions.

Author byline:

This article was written by David at Thomas Lloyd Leather Furniture, David is an interior design and home improvement enthusiast that has written articles for numerous magazines and blogs.

Finishes For Your Bathroom Walls

Below is a guest post on the topic of what to do with your bathroom walls. Of course consideration needs to be made to the moisture rich environment, who the primary users are, and what your preferred design style is. Paint in the proper finish, wall covering, wainscoting, panels, and tile are all options to consider.  We just remodeled a small powder room at our house and placed two different tiles that go up the wall to a height of 42″.  It adds a sense of drama in a very small space and functionally as there are no worries if someone gets messy with water.

 

Choosing The Right Finish For Your Bathroom Walls

If you are considering remodeling your bathroom, you will need to think about the finish you will use on your walls. Choosing the right finish for your bathroom is very important because a bathroom has its own special considerations, and the wrong decision can cost a lot of money to redo. Here I have outlined some finishes you could apply to your bathroom walls. I have also noted some pros and cons to help you decide which is the best choice for you.

Paint

Paint is the basic finish for any wall, and has its own pros and cons in your bathroom. On the plus side, paint is available in a massive range of colours, and if you cannot find one to suit you then you need to look harder. Paints are available that are waterproof and cleanable, so maintenance is relatively easy, and application is a simple thing that you may be able to do yourself. Against it though is that it can appear a boring finish that will start to look tatty within a relatively short time.

Wallpaper

You can buy wallpaper that will suit hanging in a bathroom, and you can add a touch of personality to a room with your choice. The less expensive papers are not as long-lasting as the more expensive examples, but will last a year or two before wear and tear takes its toll (after all this is paper we are talking about …coated or not). Paper hanging in a bathroom is best done by a professional as the steam it will encounter demands good application.

Wood

Adding wood to a bathroom wall is less in vogue now, but it can still look extremely stylish if a good job is done. Quality sealing is essential though as otherwise you could have rotten or fungi riddled wood on your walls in no time. This is quite an expensive finish to use as you have to buy and fit the wood, and then it needs sealing and maintenance. Overall I would not use wood simply because once bored with it you need to have it removed before starting again.

Tiles

Tiles are the perfect choice for a bathroom as they are impervious to water and easily cleaned, they are also available in a larger and larger selection of colours and patterns, as well as finishes. For a more expensive look you can add highlight tiles, or even a feature wall. It is true that some tiles can be expensive to buy, but the mass market ensures a great choice of reasonably priced tiles is always available. You will need the tiles fitted professionally to make sure you have no trouble in the future, and that you have the best overall effect from their application. From classic white to slate, tiles look beautiful in any bathroom.

It is easy to see my preference for the bathroom, and it has been my preference for many years now. If I was on a tight budget I would probably choose paint because it is also easy to clean and not bothered too much by water (as long as it is bathroom paint and has anti-fungicide added). However, I find paint too boring, whereas I think tiles add to any bathroom.

Author Bio:

Leslie Kramer, the author of this article, works as a customer support executive at Cerdomus Tile Studio, specialists in high-quality floor tiles. Leslie loves bird watching and visits various national parks on weekends.