Painted Cabinets Make Kitchen Light and Bright

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When you’re designing your new Fulton Kitchen, it’s worth considering painted cabinets. They add a light and inviting look to your food preparation space, and keep everything feeling light and bright. With lighter countertops and under-cabinet lighting like this kitchen in the Caravan model in Central Vermont at Cooley Station, the entire room is designed to create a supportive mood that makes it easy to spend time in this kitchen.

There are still a few darker elements for contrast, like the oven and microwave and the comfortable stools at the pull-up eating area on the island. Accessories also add nice pops of color. But the overall mood is light and easy on the eyes.kitchen-1w

Notice how the accent wall, shown at the back of this photo going into the dining area, provides another contrasting element. At the same time the white dining chairs connects this space with the kitchen.

This is a smart connection between the two spaces, linking them both while still providing a source of much-appreciated contrast. The darker wall also supports a cozy ambiance which is appreciated in a dining space. Notice also the colorful tablescape where the accessories link it to the island. These choices make a home look more like a designed space rather than creating a more scattered feeling. kitchen-6w

Don’t be afraid to mix dark and painted wood. You can see how well it works with this dining table and chair set. The shabby-chic effect on the painted chairs keeps them from seeming too matchy-matchy with the cabinets while still creating a link. While the painted chairs bring the painted kitchen cabinet feel into the space, the dark stained wood echoes other pieces used in the rest of the home. This type of mixing allows you to add just a few new pieces without having to discard the bulk of your furniture if you choose to go in a different style or color direction with your new home.

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Take a look at another way this kitchen provides contrast without going dark. The addition of one glass-fronted cabinet in the corner adds a welcome and interesting break in the line of top cabinets. Both the height difference and the contrast of the glass add a welcome change in the design. And limiting the glass front to only one cabinet is also a smart budget strategy, because window doors are more expensive. They also require you to maintain tidier cabinets, which can be a nuisance.

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In another opportunity to add an interesting contrast, the island is a soft grey/taupe rather than white. This color works well with the chosen countertops and the flooring, yet it helps the island feel like something special. Choosing a different cabinet color for your island is daring, yet as you can see it can work well.

One reason this color choice works is because the same taupe is echoed in the kitchen’s backsplash. If you notice, the mid-range tone is a close match for the island cabinet color. When you can find ways to make those kinds of connections, you will end up with a kitchen that feels integrated and well thought out.kitchen-3wIt’s interesting to realize that there are actually three fairly strong patterns present in this kitchen: the flooring, the countertops and the backsplash. You can see all three in the photo above. This could easily feel like too much if the contrast within or among the patterns was stronger. Imagine these same patterns in vivid reds and oranges! But because they are all gentle and light in color, the number of patterns isn’t overwhelming. In fact, you almost need these patterns to keep the kitchen interesting. In a way, the patterns take the place of a stronger light/dark contrast you would see in some other kitchens.

Here’s the final interesting design decision with this light bright kitchen. The rest of the open floorplan was designed to focus your eyes in that direction. The diagonal flooring draws the eye toward the kitchen, and the brightness of the space contrasts with the mid-range colors of the dining and family room to draw you toward the light just like a sunflower turning to face the sun. kitchen-7w

The rest of the home is warm and welcoming, with other white elements that mimic the light kitchen such as the sofas in the family room as you can see above. But linking it all, the heart of this home, is the light and bright kitchen, made for a family to live in, eat in, and spend time together in, and above all, enjoy. And that’s the best use you can make of a kitchen, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feminine Bedroom Design

Creating a feminine bedroom theme doesn’t mean you should start loading up on the pink accessories. There are plenty of ways to make sure the room is inviting without being too predictable in your decorating choices. Keeping a few design ideas in mind will help you create the most relaxing spot in your home without having to worry about it looking like a child’s bedroom.  With the appropriate materials and a bit of effort, you can bring your vision to life.

 

Color is one of the first items that needs to be addressed when creating a feminine space. Soft colors will win the day every time. While white is always going to be a strikingly beautiful choice, also consider soft grays, blues and greens for the room as well. Using a combination of colors will help mix things up and prevent the space from looking dull. Use bolder colors sparingly. Brighter, more shocking colors can give the room too active of a look, which is something you’re not aiming for in the bedroom.

 

Line is an element of design that will absolutely have influence on a room that is aiming for a gender-specific look. When it comes to decor, items that have curved lines and softer edges are always seen as more feminine than angular pieces. Round side tables, a chaise lounge in the corner of the room and circular light fixtures will all help bring the room’s female factor sky high. Circular picture frames, windows and area rugs are all good design ideas. Use a small amount of angular decor to prevent the softer lines from overwhelming the room.

 

Finally, textures and materials will bring it all together and give the room a complete look. Soft, flowy curtains, a plush headboard and accent pillows will all contribute to giving the room a soft appearance. A comfy bedspread, decorative lampshades and floral touches are welcome in the space as well. Incorporating glass and crystal accessories will also give the room a polished, feminine look. Finish up with soft, yellow bulbs in your light fixtures to create a beautiful, soft glow throughout the room. 

How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 17: Variety

Variety is used in interior design to prevent a space from becoming too dull and predictable.  Incorporating elements different than the ones currently existing in the space helps add interest and excitement.  Even in the most subdued designs, creating a focus through slight variations of elements will add significance to the room’s layout.  This unpredictability will help draw attention to the space and add diversity to the design.

 

We previously discussed the principle of unity and how the viewer’s eye automatically seeks out a pattern when entering a room.  Variety seems to be the opposite principle, but they need to work together to make a layout successful.  Having one without the other would make a design appear unpolished and boring.  Here are some ways to incorporate variety throughout your home without sacrificing the unity of its arrangement.

 

Line:  If your living room furniture is arranged in straight, predictable lines, consider placing a few pieces at different angles to open the space to make it more comforting and accessible.  To soften up a kitchen’s lines, add circular stools at the island bar.  A circular table set in a room with vertically lined wall paper adds variety as well.

 

Color:  An accent wall in a complementary color to the room’s furnishings, a pop of color from a hanging art piece and a bright area rug are all things you can incorporate in your design.  Using different colors with your accessories will also make it easier to change them out during different times of the year depending on your changing preferences.

 

Form:  If there are a lot of angular pieces in the room, mix it up with a few curved items.  A large vase placed near the fireplace, round side tables for each end of a sofa or an Edison bulb fixture over the dining room table are all good examples.

 

Texture:  Smooth, sleek textures make a room feel cooler and more formal while thicker textures create an inviting atmosphere.  If you have a leather couch, add a warm blanket.  Use a small area rug in front of the sink or stove section in the kitchen to simultaneously add interest and comfort underfoot. 

 

Light:  Light can be used to bring focus to an area of the room at night time through spotlights on built-in shelves or you can create a statement by installing a detailed chandelier in the dining area.

 

Pattern:  An asymmetrical pattern will immediately draw the eye and give the room a playful look.  A pattern placed in a room will a lot of solid colors will give the viewer something more striking to look at.

Furniture Shopping: How to Make the Right Selections For Your Home

Buying furniture for a new home or simply refreshing the look of your current one can be a big task. You want to be sure that your selections are thoughtful and appropriate for your lifestyle while being stylish at the same time. Rushing the process and being unprepared when you start your journey can lead to decorating mistakes and put you in the position of having to either send things back to the store or being unhappy with your hasty choices. Here are some easy ways to make sure that these things don’t happen and that your purchases will bring you nothing but enjoyment for years to come.

 

Preparation is key. You may be itching to run out to the store right now and get started, but there are a few things you need to do before you even leave the house. Measuring your space is your first step. Measure not only the floors but the ceiling height as well. Showrooms tend to have taller ceilings and wider spacing to stage their products. This can give you an altered impression of how much square footage is required to hold these items. Knowing how much space you’re working with as well as how tall your ceilings are will prevent you from purchasing items that are not proportionate to your home. Remember to also calculate how much open walking area you desire once the pieces are in. Overcrowding the room won’t do you any favors when it comes time to place everything in it.

 

Make a list of the items that are essential to your space, starting with the largest items first. Work your way down the list to accessories you may want to add for accenting. Always deal with your must-haves first to make sure you don’t lose valuable space for them in your home. Bring your tape measure and measurements with you and head out the door!

 

Most importantly, take your time. These are large purchases you’re making that you will have in your home for a long time. There is no need to buy everything on your first outing. Sit on couches, chairs, and beds to test for comfort. Open and close dressers, armoires, and hutches for ease of use. Check for imperfections and feel their textures. Keep in mind that colors and styles can vary from what is displayed in a showroom. If you like a certain style but don’t love the finish, there may be an alternative available that is not on display.

 

With a little preparation and patience, you are sure to find the best pieces for your home. Get started today!

How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 16: Unity

The principle of unity is the concept of pulling all the elements and principles of interior design together to create a connected look to the space you are decorating.  To ensure that the result is successful, it is essential to plan and decide what the dominant features of the room will be.  This will prevent the room’s design from becoming overwhelmed with an abundance of focal points.

 

Connecting the elements can be done in multiple ways that will result in the grouping of certain pieces together while keeping each section cohesive to the overall arrangement.  Upon entering a room, the viewer’s eye automatically looks for a pattern to recognize.  Having a sense of order to a design creates an inviting environment which the viewer seeks out involuntarily.

 

Elements can be grouped together by proximity, similarity, continuation and alignment.  Proximity is the method of placing items close together to make it obvious that they are related to one another.  A sofa with accompanying loveseat and coffee table is an example of this.  A group can be assembled through similarity by placing repetitive items together.  Using items similar in color, size or shape will accomplish this.  A blue area rug under an upholstered chair with blue accent pillow staged in front of a painting with a similar shade of blue in it is a good representation of this method.  Alignment is achieved through the lining up of edges to bring focus to them.  Coordinating chairs at a kitchen island or lining up artwork frames on a wall are obvious displays of alignment. Finally, continuation provides direction from one element to another through signified lines, curves or edges.  The light beaming down from a chandelier can lead the viewer’s eye to a circular coffee table surrounded by a half-moon shaped sofa with globe lamps at each end. 

 

When deciding which groupings to use for the space, remember to maintain the main theme of the room.  Keep a common motif that binds them all together no matter what proximity they are to one another.

How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 15: Scale

Scale refers to the size of a space, the objects in it and their compatibility to the human form.  The areas you work with in your home vary in size so keeping your furnishings to scale with yourself and its dimensions are important for making everything look just right. The visual weight of the objects you place in a room need to be taken into consideration as well to maintain proper proportion.  Proportion and scale go hand in hand and tend to be used interchangeably because of their close relationship in design. 

 

To determine what size furnishings are appropriate for your living space consider taking measurements.  Ceiling height, length and width of a room all play their part in influencing what goes into the design.  For example, a room with a low ceiling would not be well-served with tall furnishings.  They will only make the room’s walls and ceiling appear shorter than they already are.  Taller ceilings have the luxury of using high or low furnishings as more sizable furniture will look proportionate to the space and low furniture can be used to make a statement. 

 

Small rooms can be decorated with more delicate furniture and visually lighter pieces while these would look out of place in a larger space.  When painting the walls, or choosing patterns, smaller rooms tend to need more light hues and smaller patterns to avoid overwhelming them.  Larger rooms can use a variety of colors and pattern sizes without dwarfing the size of the space.  Using a focal point in the room will help set the tone for the scale of items you use for the remaining decor no matter what size room you are working with.

 

It is also a good idea to allow for areas of negative space to prevent the room from looking too busy.   This can be accomplished through making space to walk between furniture or toning down the number of elements emphasized in a room.  Allowing a viewer to be able to rest their eyes throughout certain parts of the room will make it more comfortable and inviting. 

Traditional Style in the Living Room

The way we live has changed the way we decorate. For most of us, gone are the formal living rooms that no one ever uses except for company and holidays. Today’s lifestyles are generally more informal.  This doesn’t mean that traditional style is out of fashion too. Instead, it means that the style has come to incorporate slightly different aspects of decor.

Traditional style today can be influenced by anything from French to Farmhouse to Mediterranean styles as well as more formal antiques.  This living room is a good example of the traditional style that works for today’s living.  The style does not focus on strict structure, but rather creates small pockets of grouped furniture and works with traditionally styled pieces that are actually contemporary in nature.

 

Focusing on this wonderful stone fireplace, this seating arrangement is perfect for conversation, gathering around a cozy fire, or playing games.  A television is not visible but could be incorporated into the room.

 

Comfortable upholstered furniture in traditional styles is mixed together.  The sofa with the antique chair, side table, and clock are a nice mix. The area rug helps unify the colors of the furnishings and accent pillows.

 

The hardwood floors in this area are the perfect choice for a traditional style room.  Hardwood is a timeless classic that feels at home with any type of style.  However, in this setting, the hardwood floor becomes its own statement piece. In a traditional style room, a Persian or Oriental rug may be a good choice.  The colors and patterns of these classic rugs would also work to tie in the wall and furniture colors. 

How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 14: Proportion

Simply put, proportion is the proper balance between design elements.  It is being able to walk into a room, take in all its parts and know that it is just the way it should be.  This tends to be a more personal concept to grasp because every homeowner is going to feel differently about when they feel that a space is truly finished and correct.  Proportion comes through repeating similar themes throughout the same space to provide unity while also using differing pieces for variety.  Whether your items are similar or different, there must be a relationship between them to create the harmony needed to make it all work.

 

A good way to get started is to try to take this process step by step.  What colors are you working with? Are there a few spots in the room where the same color can be repeated to pull those items together? Choose an odd number of items in each grouping since this can be more pleasing to the eye.  If there are a lot of colors going into the room’s accessories, use some neutrals to bind them so the colors don’t become overwhelming.

 

Think about the shapes that are present in the room.  Arched doorways and circular tables bring a circular shape that can be balanced out with some rectangular pieces to add visual weight.  If there are a lot of boxy pieces in the room, then incorporating some free-form shapes would soften it up a little bit.  Don’t just stick with plain items for your living space.  Any patterns you can add through wallpaper, pillow covers and area rugs will give the room a more interesting look.

 

How much light is in the room? If you are dealing with a dark space, balance that out with lighter colors for your furnishings and add the appropriate fixtures to bring attention to special areas. If there is a lot of available natural light, items of a darker color won’t dim the room too much so feel free to place a few in the space.

 

Remember to think about textures as well.  Items with thicker textures will make a room feel cozy and inviting, so be sure to blend them in with its cooler, sleeker features.  A lush blanket thrown over the side of a leather couch, one wall of textured wallpaper against 3 solid colored walls or a smooth wooden mantelpiece hanging from a textured stone-finished fireplace are all great ways to achieve proportion.

The Retro Living Room

Sometimes it is fun to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the nostalgia of the past. Some people even want to live more in the past. One way to do this is to decorate in retro fashion. Decorating your living room in a retro style is a great way to bring back the feel of more innocent times.

 

Wallpaper is a hallmark of retro rooms. There are many options, and the decade you decide to focus on will affect the style of wallpaper you choose. There are some important things to consider when choosing wallpaper. There are various types of wallpaper to choose from, and important things to consider are cost, maintenance, and style. Before you apply the wallpaper, make sure you check the pattern direction several times. It is common for people to put up wallpaper, and realize after the design is going the wrong way. 

 

Another key feature to decorating a retro living room is the type of furniture. There are many styles to choose from, and depending on the size of your living room there are also many types of furniture to decorate with such as sofas, loveseats, sectionals, settees, and chaise lounges. The style and type of fabric you choose will depend on the decade you are decorating. 

 

Flooring is another key feature to focus on when decorating. Some popular retro flooring choices are vinyl, wood, carpet, linoleum and tile. With some many styles to choose from, it’s important to consider cost, maintenance, and style. 

 

Knick Knacks for the 1940’s consider flowery yet simple pieces, also wooden décor, clocks, and sunny pictures. For the 1950’s consider atomic motifs, big lamps. The overall look is clean with Scandinavian style being very popular. In the 1960’s copper and other types of metal were very popular for decorating. A few other popular decorating themes were owls, roosters, Siamese cats, and mushrooms. This was also the age of lava lamps and posters. Lava lamps were also popular in the 1970’s along with globe lamps, arc floor lamps, abstract wall art was also popular along with sculptures. 

 

Each decade had its own popular colors. In the 1940’s one popular color choice was art deco, which included lighter and more neutral shades. The mid-century modern palette was also popular with deep tones and bold colors. The style changed in the 1950’s to pastels, Scandinavian, and modern colors being very popular. In the 1960s colors were inspired by the outdoors. Colors like gold, yellow, green, and orange were very popular. Turquoise, bright green, brown, and sunshine yellow were very popular colors in the 70’s. As you can see, each decade had its own style, and focusing on the popular colors of the era you choose to decorate around will make your living room look more authentic. 

How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 12: Rhythm

The principle of rhythm can be described as a pattern that provides movement through a design.  It connects all the room’s elements together, providing order and unity to the space.  Without it, a room can feel disjointed and out of proportion.  That’s why it’s a good idea to educate yourself on how to achieve rhythm in your design and ensure that your living space feels harmonious when you enter it.  There are three main ways to incorporate rhythm into your home’s layout: repetition, alternation and progression. 

 

Repetition uses repeated elements of the room’s design in a regular, recognizable way.  Examples of this method are placing 4 to 6 matching picture frames with similarly photos in them on the wall above your couch in the living room.  Carrying the pattern through the room would be matching the mat board color in the frames to the couch.  Repetition can also be seen in matching pendants lights hanging from the ceiling and identical throw pillows as accessories to the room. You can also use repetition through lines.  If there are vertical lines on an upholstered chair, you can repeat the pattern in a vertically striped wallpaper or area rug.

 

Alternation is the method of using two or more elements in a pattern that repeats throughout the space.  An example of this would be using the color combination of black and white with square shapes.  These colors can be utilized through a tile floor design, black and white pillows, frames, area rug and wallpaper.  Another example of repeating elements would be combining circular furnishings, neutral colors and textures.  You would see something like a half-moon shaped leather couch in a taupe color on top of a round stone colored area rug with circular glass side tables. 

 

Progression is a pattern developed through a sequence of colors or objects in recognizable way.  An example of this being used in your home can be through accessories ranging from small to large or low to high.  This can be seen in a set of nesting tables in the corner of a room or a three-piece animal sculpture that advances in size.  Window panels with progressively changing color, candlesticks ascending in height and abstract paintings featuring the same color in different levels of saturation are also good examples of progression.

 

Using your new knowledge of rhythm, make your home unforgettable with a discernible pattern that will delight you and your guests.