31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 20: Exploring Fabric

Now that you have your color scheme, it’s time to think about fabric…

When selecting fabric make sure to consider these points…

Patterns are important design elements to any space. Stripes, florals, checks and more can work together – experiment by mixing different patterns, both large and small.

Textures are everywhere…look for woven items, satin finishes, trim and more to create interest and dimension to a space.

Consider how patterns and textures work together and refer to the squint test to make sure they work together

Take time to understand the attributes of your fabric, making sure it’s suitable for your lifestyle. Ask how it can be cleaned, what’s the life expectancy, if it’s appropriate for how you intend to use it and how it will hold up over time.

Assignment: Go to a local fabric store and explore. Often fabrics are grouped by color – note how many different patterns and textures there are and how they work together. Keep an eye out for fabrics that could be used in your space and ask for a sample of any you love.

Want to start at the beginning? Click here! 

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31 Days to Decorate Confidently. Day 16: Color Psychology

I mentioned yesterday that when choosing colors for your project, you should consider how the color makes you feel.  That’s what we’re exploring today…

Color can affect how you feel in a room and how the room feels to you…

Colors are split in to two categories – warm and cold.

Warm Colors are welcoming, they make a room feel warmer, they are energizing, stimulating and can make a room appear to be smaller.

Cool Colors have a cooler feel in warm climates, are relaxing, peaceful and may cause a room to appear larger.

Assignment: Think about how you want your space to “feel” and keep this in mind as you explore colors for your space. Examine your home and see how this applies.

Enjoy! Amy xo

To start at the beginning of the series, click here!

Short on Storage Space? No Problem!

If you take a few minutes to dissect these Pottery Barn shelves, you can get a ton of great storage ideas!

My friend Margie was showing me some clever ideas she had snipped from magazines and catalogs the other night and one in particular really caught my eye. She has a great ritual of clipping ideas and putting them into binders with plastic sleeves for reference at a later date. I used to do this all the time when I had my design business. It was a great tool to share with clients to get an idea of their likes and dislikes, especially when working with a couple. It’s a great habit to develop, especially for future decorating projects  

Below (and above) is the photo that really caught my eye…if you’re short on storage space and have room for a simple shelving unit, there are some really clever ideas within the examples of one shelf unit found at Pottery barn Check it out…  

I really love the different uses they show for the baskets on the shelf. They're used for storing wine, books, magazines, and water bottles. You could also stack dishes or store linens for the table. The ideas are endless.

And look at these clear vases and pitchers storing lemons and fruit...it's convenient and pretty. Use clear glass containers to display a group of items with color that adds to the charm of your decor.

Look at the dishes. They are pretty and functional...ready to use. There are coffee cups around a french press, glasses layered with a wood tray (very smart), Utensils in clear glasses and various dishes included a set of stacked plates. Did you notice the wine rack next to the stacked plates...

This was the photo in the catalog, the photo above was used online. I love that this tray of glasses is ready to pick up and transport. And look at the white ceramic container holding utensils. Very clever. It would be easy to spray paint an inexpensive vase a color to match your decor

A wire basket is adorable, provides a nice change of texture and holds a daily newspaper and mail

The key to these shelves is threefold. To get this look AND successfully store lots of items here are some tips…  

Concentrate on the color scheme, use of texture and balance.  

  1. COLOR: They basically used white, natural wood tones, stainless and glass as a back drop for anything that went on the shelves. Additionally, anything stored fit with the color scheme and became an accent or was placed inside a basket. 
  2. TEXTURE: The use of wicker, stainless, ceramic, glass and glass also provided a bit of nature and glam.
  3. BALANCE: It’s important when arranging a shelf to balance items. Note that the natural wood color sprinkled throughout the shelves as is the use of white ceramics and glass items. Color, texture and the feeling of weight is equally dispersed.

It’s really fun to do. Arrange everything, step back, and look. If something “feels” wrong, move it around.  

Have a great day! xoxoxo Amy

Beautiful Living is Good For You!

From Elle Decor: Apartment of Inès de la Fressange—fashion designer, model

 

I deeply believe that a beautiful decor can have a beneficial influence on our lives. ~ Albert Hadley      

It’s true. I believe this too… surrounding yourself with beauty makes you feel good. In fact, I’ll add that it reduces stress and, if it’s a well-organized home,  it will save you time and money as well. Here’s what I know…      

  • A home that is beautiful doesn’t have to cost a lot. It’s about surrounding yourself with things that you love and getting rid of things that do not serve a purpose or haven’t been used for a long time and will likely never be used.  If it doesn’t have a purpose or you don’t love it, get rid of it.
  • Arrange your furniture to embrace your lifestyle… create conversation areas, highlight accessories that are meaningful, designate an area for creative projects, define a place for relaxation or reading. Make it easy to be you.
  • Embrace color. It’s true that colors can affect the way that you feel. My entire lower level is shades of yellow. It makes me smile in the morning and  in the evening, warms me with a gentle glow as the sun sets in the horizon.  I never tire of  comfort those colors provide.
  • Make time for your home and yourself. I am the biggest offender of this. You would think, being a designer,  that my home would be beautiful and organized. The truth is that I have put so much energy into our company and developing company products that my home and self have been on the back burner.

The good news is it is never too late to refocus…I am  working like a mad woman… getting my house into shape (on a budget with lots of DIY projects, first priority is using what I already have in my home) and taking time to do things for me and my health. It’s amazing how good you feel when you start decorating, eating healthy foods, reducing clutter and taking your iron supplements. I’ve been revitalized at work as well; there are some pretty exciting things in the works… and lucky you…I’ll be sharing it all with you along the way – haha! xoxoxo Amy     

(Very) Personal Note: For all you anemic gals out there, if you have been putting off taking iron supplements because of the incredibly annoying side effect of (whispering…) constipation…try Floravital. I am in no way being paid to promote this product, it works for me and finally I feel like my usually, energetic self.

Adding a Feminine Touch to a Contemporary Bedroom

I know...it's not a bedroom, but this photo from Houzz is a perfect example of adding a feminine touch to a contemporary styled room. Pink is traditionally a girly girl color and the chandelier is so glam - seriously...what gal wouldn't want to surround herself with a bit of sparkle along with tones of pink, creme and gray?

 

Over the weekend a reader asked the question…”How do I find a style that I am okay with now that my husband passed away? Can I make my bedroom more feminine while leaving a bit of my late husbands touch – he was into contemporary? First off…I am so sorry for you loss, it must be very difficult and I’m glad you are diving into a decorating project 🙂    

To answer your question, I say absolutely! I am not a fan of strictly following a particular style – how boring would that be?  Keeping your husband’s contemporary style, yet adding a few feminine touches of your own is a great idea. My bet is it will become a room you really love to spend time in. Here are some simple guidelines and tips for planning your room.   

    

  1. Settle in with a cup of tea and explore some design magazines and visit online sites such as Houzz, Elle Decor or Better Homes and Gardens. Clip or print photo’s of things that you catch your eye.
  2. Take inventory of your bedroom and identify any contemporary items that you wish to use in your bedroom.
  3. Select a photo or two the from ones you found in step one to use as an inspiration picture for your project. Take some time to identify what you like about each photo. Is it a pattern, paint color, texture, the accessories, etc…?
  4. Choose a color scheme of 2 or 3 colors that work well with the pieces you have chosen to keep and that reflect your inspiration photo. Tip: Using colors that are traditionally feminine such as pink or lavender will definitely get you going in the right direction.
  5. Use your colors to tie everything together, making sure to equally distribute the contemporary and any non-contemporary pieces throughout the room.
  6. Combine a contemporary item with a softer more feminine accessory!
  7. Experiment a bit and stay true to what feels good…usually your first gut reaction is right. There are no right or wrong decorating rules – just rules of thumb…it’s all about not being afraid to experiment and keeping it fun. If it feels good to you… it’s right!

Here’s a few photo’s I found over at Houzz with some thoughts to get you started… Good luck!    

Top a sleek contemporary table with beloved worn books and an antique teacup and saucer for a welcoming cozy touch

 

A bouquet of flowers and a delicate throw at the end of the bed is an easy way to add a feminine touch to your bedroom

 

Pardon me while I get distracted...would you EVER leave this room?

 

Want to keep it all contemporary? Adding abstract art with heart-shaped lips or lineal flowers is a great way to add a female touch

 

Select textures with a decidedly feminine feel such as satin or lace to soften the hard lines of a contemporary room

 

Good luck with your room and let us know how it turns out 🙂 xoxoxox Amy

Step Two: Choosing Finishes – a Kitchen on a Budget

paint-selections

On Monday I shared the begining thoughts from a few weeks ago  for a kitchen project that my friend Lori and her husband Bill are ready to begin. She had found a window treatment that she ordered off the internet to use for inspiration and we were waiting for it to come in. It came last week and over the weekend, we selected paint for the walls above the beadboard and also decided what would be the best finish for the new wood floor. Here’s the things we talked about…

window-roman-shade

The valance that Lori ordered from Pottery Barn turned out to be perfect for the kitchen windows and worked extremely well to pull together the green stove and the red coffee maker. The only suprising thing was we thought from the picture in the catalog that it had a yellow/gold color in it that we could match the walls to, but it ended up having a tinge of orange in it. After much consideration, we chose a color by Sherwin Williams called Afterglow.

I have a photo that I created on Sherwin Williams website using the actual color, but it really looks much more orange on the computer than it does in person. I think it will be a great color for the kitchen and add a fresh new feel. Especially with newly painted white beadboard and cabinets. If you ever want to get some paint ideas, you can to to the Sherwin Williams website and using the visualizer tool, you can pick a room that is most similar to yours – I picked a bathroom since it had the beadboard. Once you choose a room, you can play with different paint colors to see how it changes the look of the room. It’s a great way to get some ideas, but do not…DO NOT ever choose paint from a computer. A computer does not show you color in true form and a shade that you see online will not look remotely the same in person.

They currently have an existing wood floor in the living room that runs up next to the kitchen. It would be next to impossible to try to match it and continue the same floor into the kitchen. Rather trying to make it look the same, I recommended  installing the new floor in the opposite direction and matching the dark pegs that are part of their current wood floor which has a light colored finish. Their living room floor looks like this…

existing-wood-floor

See the round dark pegs? I’m thinking that if they chose a wood floor for the kitchen with a stain color similar to the stain on the pegs, that it will be a smooth transition. They agreed.

We also discussed how the colors will go with the rest of the areas that adjoin to the kitchen. This is where having a whole house plan comes into play. Since they want to continue the olive green color in the kitchen and solariam, the colors work well. The green will be a common thread in each area which will create a nice flow from room to room.

Lori showed me a picture that she bought and said she absolutely LOVES it. I loved it as well, and I think the apple itself goes really well with the roman shades and walls, but…I think that the background is just a little too much for valance. I asked her what she really loved about it, and she said the apple. With that in mind, she’s going to keep her eye out for another picture that has a large apple without the busy background. I think in the long run she’ll be much happier. If you find something that you LOVE, but it doesn’t quite work, figure out what it is that you love about and maybe you can find something else that will work even better. Here’s a photo of the picture she bought with the fabric below it…

dscn0355

window-roman-shade-cropped

 What do you think?  The next step is for Lori and Bill to dive in with painting the cabinets. When they get started, I’ll make sure to post some pictures. Hopefully, it doesn’t take as long as my dining room did – haha! Come to think of it,  it’s not 100% complete. I need to get moving on that 🙂