French Country

If you’re set on creating a kitchen that embraces the warmth and a classic rustic feel then you’ll likely gain inspiration from the French country designed kitchen. Yes, this style has strong notes of elegance while embracing the countryside lifestyle.

 

What are some characteristics of a French country kitchen? Most French country-inspired kitchens are big enough to feature an eating area where your family and friends can gather for an informal meal. Take this into consideration when making decorating decisions.

 

You’ll notice that mustard yellows and warm reds are a characteristic of a real French country style kitchen. Often, a French country design cleverly combines elegant high-quality materials and more relaxed materials. Here are some tips for recreating the French country style design in your own kitchen.

 

 The countertops and cabinets in a French country kitchen should be derived from all natural materials. Usually, the countertops and cabinets are built using genuine woods which include: oak, cherry and maple wood varieties. Raised panel cabinets are popular in French country kitchens.  The countertops feature dark, glossy or matte finishes with light colored cabinetry.

 

Furnishing is especially important in achieving this design. You should make sure that the furniture has that weathered and lived in feel. For a more modern chic look, you can mix wood finishes and top off the look with metallic details.  If you select upholstered furniture to be sure to use French fabrics. Toile fabrics are popular in this style kitchen because they often showcase gardens, animals, sanctuaries and other elements of French elegance.

 

Fauteuil chairs, farmhouse tables, and large plank style flooring are some characteristics of a French country design kitchen. When selecting artwork and accessories be sure to steer towards items that feature botanical and pastoral scenes. In addition, simple frames with gold tones are common.  Kitchen utensils should be antique or embrace farm culture. Therefore, you’ll want to select woodcraft.

 

Keep in mind when designing that a true French provincial style kitchen is known for its ornate details, soft color palette, and elegant accessories.

 

 

Traditional Style

If you’re in the process of designing the living area than you might want to consider the traditional living room style. You’ ll find that a traditional living room can serve important basic functions. Yes, it serves a formal seating area where you can entertain guests as well as casual family space.

 

A traditional living room will blend hints of elegance with a style that embraces comfortability. Living room of this style will have an Old World or European feel that features a few antique pieces, simple artwork, and graceful lines.

 

Here are some basics to keep in mind when designing a traditional living room.

 

Color

When creating a traditional style living room many people tend to either be super neutral or too bold in their decoration. However, the key is finding a good balance.  A neutral color is often the dominant hue in this design. You’ll see such neutral colors such as; beige, cream, black and hunter green. Neutral colors should be used on the walls. However, bold colors are also encouraged as accent colors to emphasize areas of interest. If you decide to go neutral with your furnishing pieces such as the sofa and ottoman than you should go bold with your decorative accessories.

 

Details

Details are important in the traditional living room because this style is defined by it. Decorative moldings, arches, and antique finishes are characteristics that contribute to the overall look. Therefore, you’ll want to consider seemingly small things such as; the design of the area rug, the small pillows you’ll use on the couch and even the television stand.

 

Furniture

As you begin to search for furniture be sure to start off with the essentials. Be sure to start off with a coffee table and comfortable couch. Once you have purchased the staple items than you’ll be able to select accent furniture and additional accessories for the living room.

 

Remember, you’ll want your living room area to be highly functional for day to day living as well as comfortable for your family and friends.  When selecting furniture, you should make sure that there are adequate seating options and sufficient storage. Consider furniture pieces that can serve more than one purpose.

 

There are no specific rules that you must follow when creating a traditional style living room. Remember to simply have fun and be creative. 

Traditional Style

If you’re in the process of designing the living area than you might want to consider the traditional living room style. You’ ll find that a traditional living room can serve important basic functions. Yes, it serves a formal seating area where you can entertain guests as well as casual family space.

 

A traditional living room will blend hints of elegance with a style that embraces comfortability. Living room of this style will have an Old World or European feel that features a few antique pieces, simple artwork, and graceful lines.

 

Here are some basics to keep in mind when designing a traditional living room.

 

Color

When creating a traditional style living room many people tend to either be super neutral or too bold in their decoration. However, the key is finding a good balance.  A neutral color is often the dominant hue in this design. You’ll see such neutral colors such as; beige, cream, black and hunter green. Neutral colors should be used on the walls. However, bold colors are also encouraged as accent colors to emphasize areas of interest. If you decide to go neutral with your furnishing pieces such as the sofa and ottoman than you should go bold with your decorative accessories.

 

Details

Details are important in the traditional living room because this style is defined by it. Decorative moldings, arches, and antique finishes are characteristics that contribute to the overall look. Therefore, you’ll want to consider seemingly small things such as; the design of the area rug, the small pillows you’ll use on the couch and even the television stand.

 

Furniture

As you begin to search for furniture be sure to start off with the essentials. Be sure to start off with a coffee table and comfortable couch. Once you have purchased the staple items than you’ll be able to select accent furniture and additional accessories for the living room.

 

Remember, you’ll want your living room area to be highly functional for day to day living as well as comfortable for your family and friends.  When selecting furniture, you should make sure that there are adequate seating options and sufficient storage. Consider furniture pieces that can serve more than one purpose.

 

There are no specific rules that you must follow when creating a traditional style living room. Remember to simply have fun and be creative. 

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.