Today’s Interior Design Inspiration:: Soothing Patterns

The right mixture of patterns can turn a room from fine to fabulous. Including patterns in a room requires a delicate touch, conveying calm and peacefulness. The following shows how selecting the right pieces for your design can transform your bedroom into a relaxing, elegant retreat.

Patterns with subtle contrasts in color provide a soothing ambiance to a space. The patterns on this pillow and throw make the space ideal for rest and relaxation. Where brightly colored, polarized patterns would make a space lively, low-contrast patterns in subdued tones are perfect for making your home feel soothing. These barely-there patterns break up the space without drawing inordinate amounts of attention.B47-01

As is the rule with most design work, classic patterns are less likely to become dated over time, where more modern patterns could need to be replaced to keep up with the trending style. This room’s antique, one-of-a-kind rug has a classic, timeless pattern that won’t need to be changed out when the design world’s tastes change. Don’t shy away from including a few modern or trendy styles in your design – just remember to use them on easily replaced items like throws and pillows. Mixing a few modern patterns in with the classic can be a great way to add interest to a space.B47-02

Another aspect to remember is that organic patterns, like those seen on the room’s decorative pillows, further the calming effect created by low contrast colors. Curved edges don’t trap the eye in any one place and give the room flow. Organic patterns don’t have to mean strictly floral prints; use patterns that flow and have soft, rounded edges.B47-03

When choosing patterns, it helps to determine the size of your patterns relative to the space they will inhabit. If a piece is small, like a throw pillow, a similarly small pattern will give your design a feeling of effortlessness. Larger pieces of furniture or walls will appear more natural with similarly large patterns.

Keeping in mind the texture of your pattern can elevate your design to another level. Texture can become the focal point of a room, adding warmth and contrast to any space. Patterns can be a subtle, elegant way to provide a room’s texture. In this bedroom, the combination of silky and matte fabrics that form the pattern of the drapes provides visible texture to the room without being overpowering. This textural detail serves as a unique, stunning feature in the room and draws the eye to the large windows where ordinary curtains might not.B47-04

Mixing a combination of patterns in one space is an easy way to show your design skill. The combined patterns of the drapes, pillows, throw, and rug make this space shine. Don’t be afraid to use many different patterns in a space, as long as you find ones that form a cohesive whole. When you are trying to find harmonious combinations for a soothing design, it is best to use patterns with similar contrast levels, ages, or textures. While you may fear making a room busy by using several different patterns in this space, this room stands as an example that a multi-patterned space can still be inviting and relaxing.B47-05

In the end, the right pattern combinations are the ones that make you love the space. Go out and make your home match your style.

 

 

What patterns do you incorporate into your designs? Do you prefer modern or classic styles?

Tile Selection 101

Have you ever walked into a tile store? It can be a staggering experience. Between the various materials, colors, sizes, and styles to choose from, it can leave your head spinning. If you’ve never selected tile before, it’s hard to know how to distinguish tile materials that will work in certain spaces throughout your home and it’s harder still to know how to narrow down your search.

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Today, we share a brief lesson in tile selection 101, providing you a few tips for how to make the best selections and offering suggested uses for certain tile materials.

1.Bring paint chips and fabric swatches. Tile comes in a wide array of colors and patterns and it’s important for your tile selections to work with your current paint colors, furnishings, or other design selections. Bring in paint chips and any fabric swatches to help narrow down your options. You also have the option to bring home tile samples to see how the tile would look in your home before making your final selections.

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2. Take room measurements ahead of time. Measure the various walls and spaces that require tile and take those measurements with you to the tile shop. Having measurements with you will help you make cost estimates as you shop. To figure out the exact quantity of tile needed for an area, multiply the area’s width and length and then add five percent for waste. Be sure and round up to have extras on hand for any repairs needed down the line.

3. Consider tile application. Certain rooms and certain spaces will require a certain type of tile. Before going to the tile shop, do some research to find out what materials work best for the particular space you are designing. For example, wet areas will need impermeable rather than porous tiles. Glazed and polished tiles are ideal for backsplashes and walls because they are easy to clean but aren’t a great choice for floors because, if wet, they offer very little traction.B21-034. Make sure your tiles were fired together. Tiles that are fired together will have the same appearance. To ensure all your tile in your order will look the same, specify that you would like the tiles to have the same lot number and shade number. This will prevent a slightly off color tile from ruining the overall design.

5. Utilize the expertise of your tile dealer. A professional at the tile shop is a great resource for many of the questions you may have. They will be able to tell you the type of material you should be using in a bathroom as opposed to a backsplash or the type of tile that is best to use for your floor. They’ll also be able to recommend various tile options within your budget and some options that might work for the style and design aesthetic you are trying to achieve.

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Have more questions about tile? Ask us in the comments below.

 

Photos by: Rachael Boling

Today’s Inspiration: Beautiful Breakfast Rooms

Dining rooms are elegant spaces in your home where you can have formal dinner parties or host large family gatherings. These spaces are easy to add dramatic style to, but what about the ‘everyday’ eating area?

The place where we start our day with pancakes or end it with a family dinner can be just as beautiful and inviting as a formal dining space. Here are some of our favorite casual and beautiful breakfast rooms.

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Depending on the needs of your family, a breakfast room can serve double duty for dinners. This space can be used for formal dinner parties as well as everyday meals by choosing the right furnishings. The  breakfast room above uses a semi-formal table and chairs that could suit multiple occasions.

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Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Take this open air eating area with very simple wood table and chairs. The unique architecture in the chair detailing and plush seat cushions add enough design interest to make this space still feel a bit regal.

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Lighting choices in this particular space can make a huge difference in the overall mood and feeling a space evokes. The wrought iron chandelier over this breakfast table has elegant lines, while the rustic finish helps the space feel more casual. The lamps on the buffet also help make this space blend in with the nearby living room.

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Mixing different styles of furniture can also help create a beautiful, yet casual space. Above, if you remove the chairs and look at the table and light fixture, this space could easily read as a formal dining room. But adding the casual rattan chairs mixed with the semi-formal furnishings creates interest and forces the space to feel less formal.

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The vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows make this breakfast room warm and inviting. What could be considered a sunroom, this space has been dressed up with a chandelier, upholstered linen chairs and a beautiful round and rustic table – all of which make this a place that people will gravitate towards.

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The use of antique furnishings like the rug, chairs and glass-paneled buffet bring life and character to this breakfast room. The colors of the neutral furnishings contrast beautifully with the dark trim and hardwood floors to create an area everyone in the home would love.

Do you like the look of this breakfast room? Be sure to check out the Designers’ Corner of our online boutique to learn how you can get the look yourself through accessorizing.

Photos by: Rachael Boling

The Art of Styling in Interior Design

Accessories help make a home unique. They tell a story about the owners and their style and are an ideal way to fill a space with personality. But, there is an art to styling accessories. In order for them to make a beautiful statement in a space, they must be arranged and grouped in a visually appealing way. Accessories that are haphazardly placed with little consideration to visual appeal could have a negative impact to the look of a space.

To help you create visually stunning vignettes and use your accessories to the fullest, we have compiled a few tips and suggestions that will help you master the art of styling.

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Group accessories by color. It’s important when grouping various accessories together that you consider color. Be sure to group similar colored items together or items with colors that complement one another. Without considering color, your vignettes could end up competing for visual attention in a space. The goal of accessories is to have them blend with the rest of the home’s decor while adding distinct interest and beauty.

Consider groupings of three. An odd grouping of items tends to be more visually appealing. Instead of grouping your items in even numbers or only using one or two accessory pieces in a space, group items in threes. A smart combination of a piece of art, a cool book, and an additional object can create interest and variety.

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Balance is key. When arranging items on shelves or tables, be sure to balance out your accessories. For example, when working with shelves, you don’t want to crowd one area and leave another area too sparse. Items shouldn’t be symmetrical but should feel balanced overall. Make sure you have gaps as well since negative space can be just as beautiful as the accessories themselves.

Group items with differing heights. To create visual interest and variety, it’s important to create height among your accessories. Grouping a tall item with several medium or smaller height items will allow the accessories to blend together and create a more cohesive look. You can also use different types of accessories together to create height. For example, stack a few books and place a smaller accessory on top. Your small accessory now has height and will be noticed among the other items grouped together.

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Layer your accessories. Instead of placing your accessories all in one single row, it’s important to layer your accessories. Layering creates depth and again creates interest. As an example, if you are accessorizing a console table against a wall, lean a piece of artwork or mirror against the wall, place a candlestick out to the side, a stack of books in front of your art piece or mirror and place an object on top of the books. Not only have you layered your items, you have also created height.

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Have you mastered the art of styling? If not, which tip are you going to try out first?

Photos by: Rachael Boling

Today’s Inspiration: White Interiors

White is a color that some think is boring and bland. But that is far from the case. A neutral color palette allows you the freedom to add personality to a space with accessories and furniture without worrying about colors clashing. And white is the perfect neutral backdrop to allow the details in a space to shine.

Veranda published an article reinforcing that white is all you need for a space. We agree and want to reiterate this sentiment. Here are some fabulous white interiors that are proof that a monochromatic color palette is anything but boring.

Take this white master bathroom. The neutral color palette provides a cool and calming feel, making the space feel refreshing and spa-like. The white backdrop also allows the cabinet detailing, sconces, and bath accessories to take center stage.

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White also provides a great way to incorporate contrast in a space. With white being the main backdrop in this sunroom, the dark trim around the windows and doors really pops and adds a dramatic element that is far from boring.

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While white allows you freedom and flexibility when it comes to your furnishings, sometimes it’s just as beautiful to go neutral with your furnishings as well. With all the white furnishings and wall color in this living room, the brass finishes of the curtain rod, chandelier and coffee table really make a statement.

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A neutral white wall color does allow your furnishings to pop like we mentioned. The warm wood in the bed, chest and side table in this master bedroom really stand out and draw your attention to each side of the room. Using neutral accessories also allows the wood furnishings to pop.

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This white kitchen is another beautiful example of a neutral space. The crisp white cabinetry, ceiling, and trim give this kitchen a clean and elegant feel while the countertops and wood floors bring in warmth. These elements along with the beige wall color make this space feel far from sterile.

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This is another example of a beautiful white bathroom. Using white in a small space like a bathroom allows the room to feel brighter and appear more clean. The monochromatic accessories make this space even more dazzling against the white backdrop.

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How do you feel about white? Do you think it’s boring or beautiful?

Do you like the look of this crisp bathroom? To see how you can get the look yourself, check out our designers’ corner of our online boutique to learn about some of the furnishings and accessories you see.

Photos by: Rachael Boling

Six Things That Make the Perfect Kitchen

One of the most important rooms in your home is the kitchen. Not only is it a space that gets a lot of use, but it also tends to be the heart of the home: a place where friends and family gather, where stories are shared and friendships strengthened.

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Because your kitchen tends to be the center of your home, it’s important that your kitchen be not only functional but also an inspiring space. If you are in the process of creating your dream kitchen, here are six things that make the perfect kitchen that you should be sure to incorporate.

Functional Layout

One of the most important elements of your kitchen is the layout. A kitchen that is poorly laid out will hinder your ability to fully utilize the space and cause major frustration. If your existing layout isn’t meeting the needs of your family, take the time to properly assess what changes need to be made and how your existing layout can be improved. If you are starting from scratch with your kitchen, be sure to take into consideration location for everything including trash can, dishwasher and sink, and, with those three in particular, make sure they are in proximity to each other. Visualize yourself cooking and how you tend to move around and what your needs are to figure out the best placement for everything.

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Appropriate Lighting Scheme

Right up there in importance in a kitchen is the appropriate lighting scheme. Not only does the appropriate lighting add to the overall design and look of your kitchen, but it also enhances the functionality. Making sure you have the appropriate task lighting for work spaces, like kitchen islands, and over your eating areas is essential to making your kitchen a functional space for you to cook and eat. Adding lighting elements elsewhere throughout the kitchen can provide visual interest, highlight certain areas of your kitchen, and make the space feel fresh and bright.

Seamless Design Details

If you’ve started pulling together ideas for your dream kitchen, you may have several different design ideas or different styles and looks that you love. But, what you don’t want to have happen is for your kitchen to become a hodgepodge of different design elements and for it to not feel like one beautiful, cohesive space. It’s important that the design elements of your kitchen blend seamlessly with the rest of the space. Your selections should feel like a natural part of the kitchen and not draw too much attention away from the space as a whole.

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Beautiful Finishes

Because a significant amount of time is spent in your kitchen, you want the space to feel and look inspiring. Selecting beautiful finishes can really enhance your kitchen. Finish selection should be chosen based on the finishes in the rest of your home and the style of your home. While it’s ok to mix finishes, there is a balance with how to mix finishes effectively and your choices should look purposeful and sufficiently different.

Durable Surfaces

It’s one thing to have a lovely kitchen, but your kitchen should also be a place that can withstand frequent use. Selecting countertops that stain or chip easily would defeat the overall purpose of a kitchen and make it a space that can only be looked at and not used. It’s important to select surfaces for your kitchen that are durable and won’t chip, scratch, or stain easily. That might mean being strategic with the type of color or pattern you choose for your countertops or it might mean selecting a more durable option like quartz.

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Personality and Character

It’s wonderful to create this gorgeous, functional kitchen, but it’s also important to spend time infusing your kitchen with your own personality and give it a personal touch. You can let your personality shine in your kitchen with pops of your favorite color, personal mementos or treasures, and your favorite decor or accessories. Making your kitchen feel like home and reflect your family’s style is just as important as filling it with beautiful design details.

The key to creating the perfect kitchen is taking your time with the planning and selections and making sure all elements blend and feel cohesive. Try not to focus too much on the latest trends and instead select design elements that you personally love and feel beautiful and inspiring to you and your family.

What else do you think makes the perfect kitchen? Let us know in the comments!

How to Choose Bathroom Paint Colors

Choosing paint colors for your home can sometimes be challenging. One of the trickiest rooms to design and paint can be your bathroom.

Given the small size typical of bathrooms, you have to be careful in choosing a paint color that won’t make the room appear even smaller than it already is. It’s also important to pick a color that is flattering given the activities that take place in this space, such as makeup application.

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We’ve put together a list of factors to consider when selecting bathroom paint colors as well as paint color suggestions depending on the look and feel you are going for.

Size of the room and available natural light. Bathrooms are typically smaller footprints with possibly one or two exterior walls. Combine that with the need for privacy (high windows, window coverings, or no windows) and the wall space taken up by mirrors and lighting, bathrooms can start to feel small and dim. One way to counteract this is by painting the room in a light, reflective color. Whites, beiges, taupes, and grays can all work well for this – but make sure you select one with an extra-white paint base. These colors will bounce the available light around the room and keep it feeling open. The accentuation of available light becomes very important for those fine task lighting activities that occur in bathrooms (makeup application, shaving, etc).  Origami White SW 7636 (a cooler white) and Greek Villa SW7551 (a warmer white) are two appropriate neutrals that would work well in this setting.

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Color reflection. As mentioned above, planning for fine task activities is important in a bathroom. The color you select for your walls can have a great effect on the appearance of your complexion and your ability to see clearly to complete certain tasks. Most colors can work for this, but warmer ones are particularly good. Aim for colors with red or yellow undertones, and if you go with a gray, make sure it is a warmer one. Stay away from greens; they are the least flattering and the most difficult to work with. Sandbar SW7547 (a warm gray that’s slightly deeper) and Natural Tan SW7567 (a neutral beige) would work well.

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A “clean” & “bright” feel to reflect a sanitary environment. If cleanliness is your priority, keep the bathroom color bright and crisp. Practically speaking, a bright white will facilitate cleaning of the space, but it will also give the room a cleaner feel. A bright white can be very flexible and lend itself to both modern and traditional settings. Use the other materials in the room to drive the aesthetic or to bring in a bit of color if it starts to feel too “sterile.” Downy SW7002 (a warmer white) and Snowbound (a cooler white – that’s not too cool) are great examples, but the selections of whites are practically endless.

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Spa/sanctuary feel. Use a color that is soothing for you – whether it be an earthtone or purple, for example, your favorite color can create a calming, relaxing setting. Lighter, neutral colors still work best, so keep that in mind when making your selection. Alpaca SW7022 is a nice purple example, while Front Porch SW7651 is a great calming blue color.

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Geographic location. Another way to select your bathroom paint color is to let your location guide your selection. For example, if you live in a typically overcast area, using a bright, uplifting color can help get you going in the morning. A warm, soft yellow like Lemon Chiffon SW6686 would work well for this. Or, if your home is on the coast, using a blue can accentuate the natural blue tones in the sky and sea surrounding the home. There are a plethora of blues, but Silvermist SW7621 is a terrific one.

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When selecting paint for your bathroom, it’s important that you select the appropriate finish for this type of space. Satin paints are a good option for bathrooms because they are easy to clean and offer a warm finish. Semi-glass is another popular finish option for bathrooms due to its resistance to humidity and moisture.

What type of look and feel are you looking to achieve with your bathroom? Tell us in the comments below.

 

Be sure to browse our online boutique for beautiful bathroom accessories and spa-like lotions and soaps.

Photos by: Rachael Boling