Spring Cleaning

Get you home in shape for Spring and Summer-  good article from  HOUZZ to help you with ideas and check lists.  I would add seal your granite counter tops and travertine floors to the list.



Accent Pillows —A Must Have Room Accessory

Okay, I have a confession—I have a bit of an accent pillow obsession (along with shoes of course!).  Accent pillows are a great way to update your existing seating and bedding without starting from scratch
You can change pillows out seasonally to evoke the feeling of summer or fall or winter or even at holiday times.  You can splurge on a pricey fabric when having pillows fabricated because you don’t need  a lot of yardage.  Styles range from simple box pillows to highly adorned and trimmed pillows; the options are endless.

So, when asked to post this guest blog about decorative pillows, we of course said YES!!

ImageDecorate with Pillows

Pillows are like the icing on the cake. They bring life to sofas and beds. Pillows are important design elements in the house, and they are some of the best items to express the owner’s individuality. Beautiful pillows have great fabrics that match the theme of the room.

There are some rules that homeowners can follow in order to come up with a beautifully decorated sofa and bed.

Factors to Consider when Decorating with Pillows

• Size
Homeowners should consider the pillows’ size so that they will match the size of the sofa and the bed. Standard pillows usually measure about 18 inches. They are great for typical-sized sofas. Large pillows are also a good choice when owners are trying to create a more lounge-like and casual feel.

• Fill
Pillows with feather-and-down fills are the softest. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive pillow filler. On the other hand, foam and other synthetic fills can hold the pillow’s shape as they are stiffer.

• Quantity
Designers like to include an odd numbers of pillows as it tends to be more artistic. Homeowners may consider having one, three or five pillows depending on the number that can fit into the furniture. Typically, a chair needs only one pillow while a standard 88-inch sofa needs three or five pillows.

• Shape and Color
Opting for a combination of different pillow shapes creates a fun and lively appearance. One common combo is a pair of square solid pillow with a color that contrasts with the sofa, one oblong-shaped pillow at the center and two extras. The two additional pillows can have patterns and may have the same color as either the sofa or the solid pillows.

• Texture
The texture of the pillows should contrast with the sofa’s upholstery. This will ensure that people will not slide off their seats.

• Room’s Theme

All pillows in the living room do not necessarily have to be the same. However, there should be at least a connection between them that will show through their palette or style. A good theme will provide the room with a more polished and unified feel.

Decorating Sofas with Throw Pillows

The Traditional Look
• Even numbers of pillows are great for a traditional sofa look. Four pillows may be arranged on either side of the furniture to present balance and order.

• The pillow size will depend on the size of the sofa. The traditional look is enhanced by pairing 20 to 22 inch square pillows with smaller sized round pillows. Proportion is the key for a pleasing traditional sofa look.

• Silk and velvet pillow fabric can work best with a traditional sofa look. It can have prints and patterns such as flowers. These prints should be simple and may only have two or three colors. One solid and one printed pillow make a great pair.

• A thin braid or cord is a great choice for small pillow trims, and tassel fringes are perfect for bigger ones.

The Modern Look
• An odd number of pillows works best with modern designs. A few large pillows can be mixed with little ones.

• The pillows should be large enough to show off large pattern designs or just a solid color. Oblong-shaped pillows will also boost the modern look.

• Cotton and linen are the best picks for pillow fabrics. Large geometric prints with a few different colors should be considered. However, those who love more colors are not prohibited from going for what they like.

• Trims are usually only for traditional look, but they can also be used. They should maintain the pillow’s solid color and at the same time add interest to it. http://www.2modern.com has a lot of modern pillow collections to choose from.

The Eclectic Look
• An odd or even number of pillows can work well in an eclectic room without making it look cluttered.

• Generally, designers prefer similarly sized large pillows that measure around 18 to 24 inches.

• The pillow fabrics can all be different, but they should have at least one color that connects them. This will ensure that they have unity despite having different fabrics. The eclectic look actually relies more on the fabric than the other elements.

• Trims should be kept simple. They can have braided edges. Inside Avenue offers many choices of decorative pillows that will perfectly complete the living room’s eclectic look.

Decorating Beds with Pillows

• Decorative pillows on beds should blend well with the comforter and coverlet. They are also best paired with foams from Memory Foam Express.

• It is best that pillows are positioned with the biggest part at the back and the smaller part in front. Doing so will ensure that the fabric is given more emphasis.

• Pillow colors can be pulled from all fixtures and furniture inside the room.

• Pillow colors and patterns can bring a more casual look to the bedroom. One great example is white bedding topped with a heavily printed coverlet and white and gray-colored pillows.

• Contemporary looks often involve white pillows and one decorative pillow as an accent.

• Pillow positions on the bed can also add to the overall look of the room. They can be placed diagonally. This may be a simple idea, but this little interesting detail can actually make a lot of difference.

• People who want to have numerous pillows on the bed should opt for a limited palette so as not to overwhelm the room. There are homeowners who really want to have nine pillows around them. There are more pillow ideas available here.

Decorating a home with pillows is fun. Homeowners can actually change the overall feel of their homes by simply adding pillows or changing their fabric, colors and arrangement. However, it is always important that they follow the rules in choosing the pillows for their sofa or bed. Otherwise, their space will look more cluttered rather than pleasing. Different types of pillows for modern, traditional and conventional looks can be found at instyle-decor.

 This Guest Post is written by Lisa Jolan: You can connect with her on twitter @lisajolan

Stay Home & Travel the World

Summer is fast approaching and some of you may have already made great vacation plans.  Maybe local, maybe a short drive or perhaps a long dreamed about vacation out of country.

Unfortunately not all of us can be world travelers.  However, you can bring the feel of another country to your home with some well chosen furnishings and accessories.  It can be

An accent piece of furniture,
A new accessory or artwork for your walls,
Even lighting or fabrics can tell a tale of far away places

So travel a bit even if it means never getting on air plane.  Create the feel of the location you wish to visit in your home and you can mentally go there every day.

Add a Bit of British Cool to Your Home or Apartment on this Side of the Pond!

We love keeping in touch with and learning what’s going on globally with design, be it interiors, architecture, or products. This week’s guest blog brings a bit of the UK to our shores. So much is great design is happening over there now, so why not brighten up a living room, or a bedroom or even your kitchen with some great British inspired, British made products!

The hype around the Royal Wedding last year, the continuing popularity of Downtown Abbey, the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics later this year means that once again it is cool to be British and this has been reflected in this years’ hottest interior design trends.

Interior design in 2012 will see a return to traditional British design. We’ve already seen it on the fashion runway with the popularity of Jonathan Saunders and now interior furnishings are favoring British designs with iconic prints, pastel color blocks, floral designs and gingham fabrics being used to complement the clean and sleek furniture trends from 2011.

To achieve this look with the furnishing you already have, add some British flair with oversized pillows in floral prints and pastels or floor length curtains in bold, iconic prints. Liberty offers some great home accessories, like the Edenham Liberty print silk and velvet cushion, as well as some new season fabrics that have been inspired by English nostalgia as well as the upcoming Olympics. The best thing about this trend is that adding a bit of traditional British elegance is as easy as pulling out the sewing machine (think pillowcases!).

British patriotism is also a hot trend continuing on from 2011 with everything from Union Jack pillows to wall decor. The Shoreditch Union Jack Ottoman from The French Bedroom  makes a great statement piece. The ottoman, in vibrant colors, makes a great coffee table with the added benefit of offering a storage space. Alternatively British furniture designer Jennifer Cooper’s Jack Upholstered Storage Box in muted tones is a great British made storage solution at a fraction of the cost.

If lavishing your home in Union Jack’s isn’t your thing try Graham and Brown’s Crown and Coronets wallpaper for a more subtle approach to cool Britannia. Crown and Coronets wallpaper can also be decorated with jewels, perfect for your very own little princess. Recreate the definitive British with Keep Calm and Carry On wall art; variations on the saying can be found everywhere, from Camden market to numerous online outlets.

For something with a bit of an edge have a look at Tobyboo’s range of tea towels and cushions with iconic images of London in bright yellows and oranges. Or if you’re on a budget, add a splash of Olympic Blue (also known as Pantone 19-4056) against some clean contemporary lines to get into the Olympic fever.

Roomservice By CORT is a company that specializes in furniture rentals, furniture packages, and has a passion for all things interior design.

About Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID
Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID, is the owner and founder of S Interior Design, the exclusive provider of Pawprint Design Services™. Suzanne works with her clients to develop a winning combination of design elements that result in warm, comfortable and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personal style. Suzanne and her team specialize in residential, contract and hospitality interior design, from simple color selections, to office build outs, to restaurant, spa and hotel designs. Suzanne shares her years of expertise through the power of social media. You can follow her on FacebookTwitter, and at this blog. To speak to Suzanne about your interior design needs, please call 480-220-4659 or visit her website at www.sinteriordesign.com.

Interior Design A-Z: ‘J’ is For JUTE. Do you know what it is?

Interior Design A-Z continues with the letter ‘J’.   We received some great suggestions including joinery, Jacquard, jabot and jute.  Decided to learn more about Jute and share with everyone.   S Interior Design thinks a fun patterned jute rug is a great way to add a new look for summer to your home!

Traditionally used as carpet backing, jute is one of the finest and softest of natural floor covering materials. It is made from the yarn derived from the fibrous stalks of the jute plant and woven into either a boucle or herringbone pattern. Jute is grown in China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Jute is used for many purposes, including the manufacture of burlap, gunny sacks, bags, rope, and backings for rugs and carpets. Although it is naturally a pale neutral brown, it can be bleached to create a very pale cream, or dyed and then woven, somewhat like a carpet, to create simple colored patterns.

Floral Jute Rug- Cost Plus World Market

Jute Rug with Border- Home Decorators Collection

Different weights of yarn create finer or heavier textures. The fibers have a fine, silky soft luster which brings brightness and beauty to any interior. Because jute is so soft, it is ideal for bedroom floors, sitting rooms, but is not a practical material for areas of heavy wear.

Jute is used in a wide variety of goods. Jute mats and prayer rugs are common in the East as are jute backed carpets. Jutes, single largest use; however, is in sacks and bags, those of finer quality being called burlap of Hessian.

One of the questions I had was “What is the difference between JUTE and SISAL?”

What Is the Difference Between Jute and Sisal Rugs?

ds_tuesda13222 Contributor

By Tuesday Fuller, eHow Contributing Writer

The differences between jute and sisal area rugs are actually few; however, both materials are becoming popular for use in the home and each brings its own unique quality to a room.



  1. Sisal is a natural fiber produced from agave leaves and primarily grown and produced in South America and Africa. Jute is harvested from the C. capsularis and C. olitorius species of tropical trees in India, which is currently the world’s largest producer.
  2. Production Process

  3. Jute is processed by harvesting jute stalks and submerging them in cold water until the woody stalk separates from the fibers. They are then washed in fresh water and set to dry. With sisal, a process called decortication takes place where the sisal leaves are ground into a pulp until only the fibers remain. The fibers are then dried and bailed, similar to hay.
  4. Characteristics

  5. Sisal area rugs feature individually dyed fibers for a multicolored rug that closely resembles wool, while jute has a more unified dye pattern and features the soft shine of silk.
  6. Price and Considerations

  7. Jute is softer and less expensive than sisal but also less durable. Both materials damage easily with water and fade when exposed to direct sunlight.
  8. Economical Benefits

  9. Both sisal and jute are renewable resources and biodegradable for the benefit of the environment. Neither material involves the use of dangerous chemicals during production.

Read more: What Is the Difference Between Jute and Sisal Rugs? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5616573_difference-between-jute-sisal-rugs_.html#ixzz0tzTuiEKk

Ceiling Fans-Get the Right One

It is warming up across the country, yes summer is approaching fast.  With the summer heat, comes the summer utility bills skyrocketing right along side the temperature.   If you don’t already have ceiling fans installed, you certainly will want to consider getting some.  If you already have ceiling fans, it is time to do a ‘check up’ to make sure that
they are :

-Working properly

-Clean (get the dust bunnies off those blades!)

-The right size and hung at the proper height  to effectively cool the room

If the ceiling fan is installed and working correctly, yet another question for you to ask yourself;

“How do my ceiling fans complement my decor?”

Interior designers have generally felt that ceiling fans are functional and should visually blend into the ceiling as much as possible versus being a eye-catching design element in a room.  With the ever growing number of high-ceiling, open floor plan concept rooms, is this thinking on target?  Like most things in interior design, it is not black and white.  Bottom line in this designer’s opinion, the homeowner needs to weigh in with their opinion…after all, it is their house.

Here are some things to consider if you are replacing or installing a new ceiling fan.
Credit to Bellacor.com and Josie Lowry who authored this post for Bellacor.

Ceiling fans are extremely energy efficient, using less energy than a 100 watt light bulb, and they can reduce the demands on both our air conditioners and furnaces.

In the summer the air movement created by a fan can make a 79 degree room feel like it’s  72 degrees, and by raising the thermostat you could save up to 30% on your air conditioning bills.   According to one energy company the average fan costs 1 cent an hour to operate in comparison to 16 cents for a room air conditioner.  Since heat rises in the winter reverse the blades direction to push warm air down which can also help you save on your heating bill. In addition to their economic benefits ceiling fans can add style and design to any room.  The design and finish’s they are currently available in are endless and can fit any décor.

Here is a list of tips to keep in mind when selecting a ceiling fan.The pitch of the blade determines the amount of air that is moved, the greater the pitch the greater amount of air movement.    Typically you want the blade pitch to fall between 12-15 degrees.  A  14 degree blade pitch will move between 8,000 to 9,000 cubic feet of air per minute.  The higher the blade pitch the higher the quality of the motor needs to be.  If the motor is not sturdy enough to accommodate the blade pitch the life of the fan will be greatly reduced.

The blades of the fan should be anywhere between 7 to 10 feet above the floor.  For projects with high ceilings purchase an additional down rod to accommodate the additional length needed. The chart below gives down rod length suggestions.

Ceiling Height    8′     9′    10′    11′    12′    13′   14′   15′     16’+

Rod Length        3″   6″     12″   18″    24″   36″   48″   60″    72″