Create Cozy

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-074 - Copyit’s not hard to make your family room to feel cozy and welcoming like this one. Here are some suggestions to bring the cozy into your home.

Darker Walls: You may have heard that darker walls make a room feel smaller. Not true. Instead, dark walls make you feel more secure and enclosed. The dark grey wall in the back adds warmth even though it is a cool color. It also provides a nice contrast to the bright windows.

Comfortable Upholstered Furniture: Getting comfy is an important part of feeling cozy. This plush sectional offers plenty of room to sit or stretch out. Throw pillows add comfort. You can tuck one or two under your head or at your feet on the coffee table.

Floor and Table Lamps: Ceiling light fixtures alone can’t add the ambiance that floor and table lamps can. Set your ceiling lights at a low level and turn on the lamps to create a cozy feel to any space.

Low Furniture: The television, coffee table and console are all close to the ground. This means that you can sit on the floor and still access everything. It’s an inviting space for lounging.

Carpeting: The choice of carpeting or a large rug adds softness to a room. Once again, a comfy soft flooring surface invites lounging on the floor.

Make your family room a place where friends want to linger. Create a cozy space for relaxing and fun evenings with guests or just family. Visit the models at Warner Groves at Morrison Ranch for a closer look.

An Inviting Dining Table

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-065 - CopyWhen you’re planning the look of your dining area, there are a lot of elements that make the space inviting. Here are a few tips to make your dining area catch people’s attention.

The perfect chandelier: More even than the table itself, the right chandelier makes a dining space stand out. You want something that reflects the style of the space. You also want to make sure that it is the right size for your dining area and your table. It should also hang at the right height – not so low that it shines in your diners’ eyes, but not as high as most ceiling-mounted fixtures. Generally a chandelier should hang 32-40 inches above the table. It should be just large enough to light the table’s surface without lighting the diners.

The right dining chairs: If you want your guests to linger after dinner for an enjoyable conversation over dessert and coffee, pay careful attention to your dining chairs. Make sure they will be comfortable for at least an hour or two. Look for nice padding on the seat and maybe the back, and make sure the backs lean so that people aren’t forced too upright. Be sure to sit in any potential dining chairs for more than a few minutes before you make your choice.

Accessories that add interest: When you are not actually dining, look for a table centerpiece that helps link the table to the chandelier. These tall flowers do the trick in this photo. But when you have guests for dinner, put this arrangement on your island and keep any centerpieces low enough to converse across the table.

Colorful table linens and white plates: This rule is not written in stone, but many chefs swear that food looks better on white plates. Color in your table linens adds interest and personality to your table.

Stripes make a Splash

two-striped-bedspreads-webWhen you’re planning a child’s room or a guest bedroom, patterned fabric provides a great way to add pizzazz without spending a lot of money. And for generations, one of the smartest patterns to choose is a stripe.

This photo showcases two different approaches to stripes for bedspreads and matching pillow shams. With today’s bedding stores and online options, you can pick up a bedspread and sham set, often with a matching dust ruffle, for less than $100.

Stripes are a fun choice. They also offer a lot of flexibility. You can pull out one color for the walls and use the others for accessories. Notice that both of these bedrooms focus on one strong color note drawn from the bedspreads.

On the left, the bedroom captures the spread’s gold and white tones in the artwork, while the walls themselves take that same gold and lighten it to make the space colorful without being overwhelming. This looks like a boy’s room, and most boys won’t be comfortable with too much color on the walls.

The other bedroom is geared toward a girl, and one who is not afraid of color. Notice how the artwork chosen brings out every color in the striped bedspread. While you’re not always fortunate enough to have that happen, take advantage of accessories and other elements in a bedroom to pull the stripe colors into the space.

Now in these two bedrooms the stripes provide the only patterned fabric. But one nice thing about stripes is that they leave the room open to other patterns. You could add several floral-patterned pillows in the same tones to the room on the right and it would still work. Another geometric pattern would suit the bedroom to the left.

When you want to introduce pattern to a room, it’s smart to choose stripes. They provide a safe way to be a little daring, because they always work well.

Touches of Luxury

touches-of-luxurywWhen you’re planning your master bedroom, it doesn’t take a lot to make it feel like a luxurious getaway. This bedroom isn’t large, but some thoughtful touches help to create just the right place to relax. Let’s take a look at the choices that make this room work so well.

Color: By pulling a number of related neutrals in the room, the look is soft and inviting. There are a few lighter and darker tones for contrast, but the majority of colors are mid-tones that work well together. This is a smart approach for a medium-sized space, creating a unified feeling.

Texture: From the upholstered headboard and matching benches to the curtains, throw pillows and plush carpeting, everything in this room is soft and inviting. This softness encourages you to sit or lie down and rest.

Patterns on patterns: The mix of patterns in the bedclothes creates a feeling of abundance and extravagance.  The mix of large and small pattern florals with the plaid keeps the bedding from feeling too busy.

Matching elements: The nightstands, lamps, and benches come in pairs, setting a symmetrical pose that creates a sense of serenity. Symmetry leads to relaxation.

Mid-tone wall color: A darker wall color makes a room feel cozy and warm. This golden brown keeps this bedroom inviting and ready for sleep in the evening. Windows let in plenty of light during the day when you want it brighter.

How would you like this bedroom for your own? For an in-person look, come and visit Cooley Station. We’ve got some great ideas for your new Fulton Home.

Finishing an Empty Space

finishing-an-empty-spacewWhen you move into a new home, you may find that there are walls or corners in a room or at the end of a hallway that feel empty. Take advantage of those spaces to create a mood that matches your personal style.

Maybe you have a yearning for retro furniture and accessories. Or possibly there’s a secret ultra-feminine girly girl inside you that would love to hang a wreath of dried flowers and stack antique hatboxes on a spindle-leg table. Or you may go in totally the opposite direction with a contemporary sculpture sitting on a sleek mirrored dresser. This photo shows one interesting choice from the Capital model at Seaboard in Cooley Station. Let’s take a look at the design decisions made here.

Dresser: This piece of furniture might have been used in a family bedroom once upon a time and is no longer needed. Or it could have been purchased at a consignment store. The finish might be original, but if you found a piece and liked the lines it wouldn’t be difficult to refinish or paint something like this. Another option would be to decoupage the front of the drawers with old maps, flower plates or other images. It’s also easy to change out hardware to get just the look you want.

Mirror: A mirror is always a good choice when finishing up an extra space. Everyone appreciates the chance to make sure they are looking their best, and mirrors add light and space to every room. This mirror has extra interest thanks to the framing. It has the appearance of an oriel window, which makes it inviting and worth an extra look.

Accessories: Chances are you have some extra items that you would like to display. Look for a mix of heights, colors and textures that will suit the space.

Finally, consider all the extra storage you’re giving yourself with those drawers. That might be the perfect place to store table linens, extra towels or out-of-season sweaters. We can all use extra storage. Above all, have fun with these surprising spaces and make them your own.

 Make Room for Art

make-room-for-artwWhen decorating a home, many people focus only on the big items such as furniture and then slowly add accessories over time, and this is a good approach. But while you’re furnishing your new home, be sure to include art in your plans.

If you’ve been living in an apartment, you may find that your current collection of wall art looks rather small in your new larger rooms. This photo shows one way to deal with this – by hanging two smaller pieces together. This way the art takes up more space. Two or more pieces like these – with the same size, the same kind of frames and the same feel to the art – work well as a team on the wall.

Don’t limit your art thinking to walls. Notice the book set on the stand on the counter to the right of the photo. With the luscious photo on the cover, this book positions itself nicely as another art piece. In fact, if you didn’t look closely, it could be a small canvas set on an easel. You may have books or other elements that can double as art in your home if you take a look around.

If you would like more art on your walls but your budget is limited, consider photographs. Visit the Library of Congress photo collection online to view a rich choice of historical and other photos. You can have these reproduced for a minimal cost and frame them to create instant art at an extremely reasonable price. And family photos can be enlarged at your closest warehouse store at good rates.

Thrift shops and consignment stores are also a great resource for art at good prices. This is also an excellent place to pick up inexpensive frames. Just replace the art you don’t like with something that you do.

Take advantage of all your options to add art to your home. It can contribute color, interest, style and personality to your décor.

Dare to go Dark

dare-to-go-dark2wJust how daring are you willing to be with your master bedroom’s look? How about painting a wall this dark? It may seem scary but it works remarkably well thanks to several thoughtful decisions.

Natural light: This wall comes between two generously-sized windows. The dark dark wall provides an inviting contrast to the natural light on either side. This is further supported by having curtains on only one side of each window, allowing the dark wall to seem as if it is part of the entire window display.

Light bedding: Yes, there are darker pillows, but the primary bedspread color is cream. Once again this places light right near the dark wall. The pillows pull that spread and the wall together, serving as an effective transition.

Rich color scheme: By bringing rich colors into the room, the dark wall feels like a natural continuation of the color choices. Rich and dark tones complement each other.

Gold: Gold always works well with black. In this case the trim on the nightstands and lamps combine with the dark wood to create a warm rich feel.

Plenty of light: Even at night the ceiling fan with lights and the matching lamps on either side of the bed will keep the room well lit.

Would you like to have a bedroom with this look of drama? How about considering a dark accent wall? To see this room in person, visit Fulton Home’s Cooley Station.

Comics Influence Boy’s Room

comic-books-influence-boy's-roomw - CopyIf you’re having trouble coming up with a good theme for a boy’s bedroom, take a clue from the comics. With their bright strong-contrast colors and powerful graphics they can quickly turn a room into an attention-grabber. Let’s take a look at how this room became a comic-book lover’s dream with very little effort or cost.

Bedding: Children can shift interests often, so it’s smart to choose lower-cost theme items for their bedrooms, allowing you to change things out in a few years as their tastes evolve. Bedding is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a change. A bedspread, shams and a throw pillow start the theme off with recognizable yet relatively generic comic-book images such as stars and lightning bolts. The black European shams on the bed work well with the look yet can be recycled when your child moves on to other interests.

Paint: The red stripe on the wall behind the bed does double duty. It operates as a visual headboard and it dramatically links all the vivid elements together with their common red theme. This is also an easy-to-replace choice. Simply paint the wide stripe in another color or paint the entire wall.

Art: If you have a talented artist in the family, then you can have them create images like these on blank canvases with acrylic paint. If not, look for the right art in comic book stores and poster shops. You might even want to frame some favorite comic book covers or pictures of heroes to personalize the room.

This is a fun theme, so have fun with it. You could add shelves for action figures or table space for piles of comics. This could be your comic-loving child’s best dream come true!

Balance Formal Casual Traditional Contemporary

balance-of-casual-and-formal-traditional-and-contemporarywIs this dining room formal or casual? Traditional or contemporary? Actually, it has elements of all four. Let’s take a look at how it’s put together and why it works so well.

Formal: The basic chandelier has classic lines, even crystal pendants, to maintain a formal traditional theme. The table also shows its formal roots with the dark-wood finish, turned legs and detailed edging around the top.

Casual: the choice of placemats and napkins in bright colors and patterns rather than the more classic white tablecloth approach says casual. Also, choosing a simple fabric for the dining chairs’ upholstery maintains a more casual feel.

Traditional: The dining table and chairs as well as the chandelier’s basic lines are classic and traditional but…

Contemporary: Choosing the circular frame around the chandelier takes it out of the last century and bumps it firmly into this one. The stoneware is also modern in line and glaze.

Overall, this dining room combines many design approaches into one cohesive whole. It works for several reasons. The proportions fit well together and there is a nice mix of dark and light. It takes courage to blend these different approaches to décor together, but when it works – as it does in this case – it is a pleasure to see.

Bring Color into your Dining Room

web-bring-color-into-your-dining-room-blogMany people are hesitant to choose color for large furniture pieces for fear that they will tire of it or that it will go out of style. But you can bring temporary  color into your dining room with very little effort or expense. Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Slipcovers: The two chairs in this photo are upholstered in a fun coral, rust and gray pattern, but you can get the same result with slipcovers. Choose chairs in a simple style and you can have slipcovers made in a variety of fabrics and colors. By only covering the chairs at each end of the table, you get a nice pop of color without as much expense or trouble.

Table Linens: The placemats and napkins on this dining table match the colors on the two chairs, connecting everything together. This enables you to carry your colors across the table, once again with the flexibility to change your color scheme to match the season or your mood.

Centerpiece: Whether you use flowers, candles or other choices, your centerpiece can pull in all of your colors and integrate your color scheme. If you plan a buffet as part of your dinner plans, be sure to bring the colors into that area also.

Any dining room can be enhanced by adding temporary bursts of color. Be sure to look for opportunities to include color when planning your entertainment events.