Coordinating Colors

Good design has a synergy between colors in the room. The wall, floor, furnishings and accents all work in harmony to create a beautiful color palette for the room. For professional designers and decorators, designing the color palette is a key part of the overall finished room’s successful design.

Learning to coordinate colors between different design elements can help you create a room that has a professional polished look.  Coordinating colors doesn’t mean using the same color on every surface and object.

Picking up a color from one piece and bringing onto another surface can unite the two pieces.  The paint chips pick up a highlight color in the fabrics.  The same process can be used for the flooring and wallpaper in the room.

Using a single focal point unifies the overall design in the room. Upholstery or other fabrics can be a starting point. Paint color is next. Once the paint color is chosen the paint chip can be used to select carpet or an area rug.

Wallpaper, pillows, or other fabrics are great places to begin when coordinating colors for a room. Once you have the main colors coordinated you can introduce contrasting colors that appear on the opposite side of the color wheel from the main colors in the room. Use these in objects and small pops around the room.

How to Share Space: Newlywed Tips

So you did it! You tied the knot and you’re blissfully married. Congratulations! Now it’s time to move in together. You thought wedding planning was hard? It might seem like a breeze after you learn the challenges of living with someone new. But harmony can be had if you do some planning ahead. Take a few minutes to read these tips on how to accomplish this big change without wanting to yell at your new “roommate.”

Purge. Then merge. The space should feel open, new, and fresh so get rid of the excess. Especially anything you’ll have two of: toasters, blenders, and so forth.

Decide on a basic design scheme ahead of time so you can make informed decisions about what to bring along and what to leave behind. This is especially important with furniture because it’s burdensome and expensive to move. By knowing your general decorating guidelines you can decide things such as, “Should we keep the blue sofa?” Answer, “Blue isn’t in our color scheme.” So the sofa goes and there was no need to debate over it.

Be respectful of sentimental or prized belongings. Each of you is sure to have a few possessions that mean the world to you. These are not good things to deliberate over. Just keep them, and decide together whether they will end up in a shared space or tucked away in one of your respective personal places such as a trunk or closet.

Try it before you fly it. By this we mean, don’t be too quick to say no to every single thing your spouse wants to try keeping in the home. Let some things in as an experiment. If you still hate them in sixty days, then reasses. The art of compromise is hugely valuable and this is a great way to practice it.

Set up a large empty basket for each of you. Choose your favorite colors if you like. This is the new receptacle for all of the stuff you leave lying around that drives your spouse crazy. You’re not used to all of his gadgets and he’s not used to all of your accessories. Create a place where it’s easy for either of you to create “out of sight, out of mind.’

Understanding Color: Warm vs. Cool Colors

Often decorators will mention that a particular color is warm or cool. This can be confusing, particularly for those of us who haven’t taken art since primary school. Understanding the difference and meaning of warm vs. cool colors can be a helpful addition to your bag of tools when you are making decorating decisions. The good news is that this concept is easy to learn and apply.

Warm colors are called that because they are the colors of a sunny day. Yellows and oranges, as well as affiliated colors such as orange-reds, yellow-greens, and browns, constitute the easiest to spot warm colors. Cool colors reflect a rainy or foggy day. Blues, purples, turquoises, and some blue-toned reds and pinks make up the cool collection. Colors can vary in their warmth and coolness, so don’t expect to recognize every color as warm or cool right away. If you’re not sure, compare it with others in the space.

Warm and cool colors from a decorating sense behave very differently. Warm colors seem to approach you. They are inviting and energizing. Cool colors are distant, and create a sense of serenity. Because of their characteristics, warm colors work well in dining rooms or areas where conversation and energy are valued. Cool colors are effective in bedrooms, where the goal is to relax and fall asleep.

Most rooms have both warm and cool colors in various combinations. Rooms that are all one or another can be uncomfortable, although you may not be able to determine why. Cool colors keep a warm room more under control, and even a few warm color elements, with their relatively strong visual impact; help a cool room seem more welcoming.

If you’re planning to make some color changes, factor the balance of cool vs. warm colors you want in each room. Experiment by removing a number of warm or cool pieces from a room, to see how it affects the feeling of the space. By factoring in the level of warm and cool color elements in your home, you may be surprised to discover how much more effectively you can capture the feeling you want in each room.

Where to Start When Creating a Gallery Wall

Question: Where do you start when trying to create a gallery wall? The idea is great, but knowing how or where to start is difficult.

Answer:

Creating a gallery wall does not have to be difficult. Here are some tips to use when creating one in order to make your experience painless!

First, gather together the pieces you are planning to use in your gallery.  Lay them out on the floor and start by selecting the piece that is the largest, the brightest or the most eye catching. This will be the focal point of the wall. By starting with the desired focal piece, the rest of the picture placement on your galley wall will be much simpler.

There is no right or wrong when deciding on the placement of various pieces that hang in a gallery grouping. It can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Go with your intuition and try to balance the overall grouping throughout the placement.

The idea with your galley wall is to create a display of complementary pieces.  Each individual piece adds its own beauty, but the piece as a whole can also hold itself together.

Variety of subject matter will help the gallery grouping be more successful. Having variety will add interest and keep the eye moving around the grouping. It is fine to use color or black and white as a theme throughout the pictures. One idea is to to use a black and white center piece, surrounded by colorful pieces.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it should feel balanced. Layout the grouping on the floor or a table surface and play around with different layouts. Decide the best layout and then install the grouping. It helps to create a sketch, so that you can remember where things go.

Hang the focal piece first, followed by the pictures closest to it as arranged beforehand.  Don’t worry if your arrangement changes as you hang each piece.  Your final arrangement on the wall will be the best layout of all!

Successful Mornings Lead to Successful Days

How we start each day leads to how the rest of the day is going to go. There are a few things you should be doing to start your day out right. These tips work for everyone, especially stay at home moms, working women or women who work from home.

Wake up early. Allowing yourself plenty of time for your morning routine will ease stress and ensure your day starts out a success. Enjoy your morning coffee with ample time to read the newspaper and have breakfast. If you are not a coffee drinker; start your day out by drinking water or a healthy herbal tea. Green tea is a good way to start your day and give you a little caffeine kick! Having breakfast is essential to having energy throughout the day. Keep your cabinet stocked with easy to make breakfast meals. Easy breakfast include: cereal, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs and fruit. One common trait that billionaires have in common is that they wake up really early in the morning!

Exercise and stretch. If you can get up before the kids and squeeze in a quick exercise routine, you will have more energy and stamina for the day ahead. If you do not have time to exercise then do a few quick stretches. Not sure what stretches to do? Search your online and you’ll find lots of options! If your schedule allows for exercise in the afternoon, that can help lead to a better night’s rest which can contribute to a great morning the following morning!

Shower and get dressed. This is essential even if you are a stay at home parent or if you work from home. Pick out your daily outfit that is appropriate for the day, do your hair and your makeup. Being put together makes you feel more organized and leads to a more productive day. Just rolling out of bed after hitting the snooze and getting ready as fast as possible starts the day out by rushing; which leads to stress.

Not only children thrive from daily routines, adults do too. Take the time to figure out what routine works best for you and your schedule!

Kid Friendly Home Accessories

Children in the home bring joy, laughter and fun.  However, they can also be tough on smaller items throughout the home.  Just because you have children, doesn’t mean that you can’t have interesting accessories around your home. Find out what accents are great for children!

A globe is an attractive accessory and a great learning tool for kids. Teach your child about geography and far off places. They will have a great time examining the globe and imagining trips or adventures. Maps are also attractive as art work when framed. These are also great for starting conversations with kids!

Cute stepping stools are perfect to help children with chores. Find a fun stool that your child can stand on and help wash dishes or do laundry. They can also use it to stand on to help with the dusting. Foot stools are available for all décor styles, so have fun shopping around!

Textured rugs are great for providing a soft area for children to play on the floor. Kids love to be stimulated by tactile objects. Look for a shaggy area rug that your child can lay on while watching a movie or playing with toys. Faux hair rugs offer a unique touch to your room while inviting children to experience the softness.

Tea sets are always a fascination. Real and pretend tea parties are a source of endless hours of fun and entertainment. Set up an accent table with an attractive tea set and let your children have tea parties as often as they like. If they desire a real tea party, set out tasty treats and serve with the tea – complete the setup with milk and sugar. Let them have fun setting the table and arranging the treats themselves.  Don’t forget the chance to practice good table manners!

Game tables are a wonderful addition because they have multiple uses. They can entertain children and double as an accent table. Many game tables are available that can transform from a game table to an accent table. Bumper pool tables are a blast for kids and adults and chess and checkers tables are good for teaching concentration!

What is your favorite way to incorporate fun accessories into your home décor?

Arranging Seating Areas in the Living Room

Timber Cove Model

No matter what size living room you have, if you like to entertain frequently you need to give some consideration to your seating. From conversation areas to quiet reading nooks, proper seating arrangements can help make an entire room flow together beautifully.

Types of Seating Arrangements

There are several different ways you can arrange the seating in the living room of your home. The idea is to create as many different groups as you can within the space, while still leaving plenty of room to navigate the area easily.

Group seating areas are meant for three or more people to gather together. This could be a couch opposite a chair, two loveseats or couches opposite one another, or a loveseat, couch, and chair all arranged around a coffee table. Group seating areas are generally in the center of the room. If you have enough space, you can even set two group seating areas back to back in the middle of a large room.

Intimate seating areas are for two people to talk quietly together. This is usually two arm chairs and an end table. They can be placed near a window or in front of a fireplace or other area that invites conversation.

Quiet seating areas are for a single person to use at a time. This usually consists of a single arm chair, usually with a small table and/or lamp nearby. These seating areas may be tucked into corners or next to bookcases or other large or built in furnishings.

Seating Area Tips

Make your seating areas better and more suited to the room they are in with these tips.

  • Use temporary seating in small spaces such as pillows and ottomans. You can stack them on the sides of the room when not in use.
  • Walk through the room to all the various seating areas and make sure they are easily accessible, and that they are not blocking the path to other parts of the room.
  • Try to make sure that each seating area has a table nearby, as well as plenty of light.
  • Make sure that the main seating area in the room is grouped around a focal point to ensure its use.

Rug Placement Tips

Pelican Bay Model

It can be confusing when trying to figure out what size rug to use for different furniture groupings. This read will give you a better understanding of how to place your rug and what size to use.

For dining room tables you need to know the dimension around the table with the chairs all the way pulled out. There should be ample room of rug under the dining table and chairs. When the chairs are pulled out, they should remain on the rug. A rug that does not reach the chairs when pulled out, will look wrong for the space. An easy way to get the dimensions needed is by measuring all four sides of the table with the chairs pulled out, enough to be seated. Take the diameter measurement for round dining room table and chairs.

In a formal living room the seating groups should be on the rug, with ample room around the grouping for walking traffic. The only time when this rule can be broken is when a rug is placed in front of a sectional sofa. For living rooms that aren’t formal, the furniture doesn’t have to be placed all on the rug. As shown in the picture above from our Pelican Bay Model, just the front feet of the sofa can be placed on the area rug.

Sectionals are typically used in a more casual setting. Place the rug in front of the sectional with the rug slightly under the front legs of the sofa. In this situation a smaller area rug can be simply placed in front of the sectional if necessary.

Runners that are leading down a hallway should have at least 3-6 inches of open floor space on either side of the rug. If the hallway is not wide enough to have space on either side, select a narrow runner. They can be found!

Smaller accent rugs can be placed on either side of a bed. This will allow for under foot comfort when getting out of bed on chilly mornings. This is especially nice if the bedroom flooring is not carpet. Make sure that the rug is not a tripping hazard when using smaller accent rugs.

A general rule of thumb is to place a seating group in the middle of an area rug, and make sure there is enough rug area for foot traffic to walk around on. We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips!

Decorating with Mirrors

Pelican Bay Model

When it comes to decorating with mirrors there are never any rules. Yes, mirrors are a great way to quickly add visual interest to a space. Using mirrors as a decorative element has multiple benefits. They can instantly add depth and bring in natural light. In addition, mirrors can create a special effect when they reflect colors and paintings on adjacent walls.

Here’s how you use mirrors to add style and increased light to your home.

Place a floor length mirror between two windows

Implementing a floor-length mirror between two windows creates the illusion of a third window. This helps bring in more light to the space. Casually propping a large framed mirror against the wall creates a relaxed feel.

Use Mirrors to Enhance The Room Elements

You can use mirrors as an accent to the focal point in a room. For instance, by hanging a mirror over a stacked fireplace mantel that extends to the ceiling you can create a dramatic look. This is a great way to create emphasis in a neutral living room.

Hanging Mirrors On Adjacent Walls

Are you ready to make a powerful statement with your home’s decor? Try lining two large equally sized mirrors on adjacent walls. This enables light to bounce all around the room. This look will especially complement the dining room area because it expands the area and gives the illusion of a bigger crowd around the dining room table.

Mirrored Backsplash

Update your kitchen by installing a mirrored backsplash around your counter area. A mirrored backsplash will open up a small kitchen and add glitz without being over the top.

Forget the Medicine Cabinet

Forgo the traditional medicine cabinet hanging over the bathroom sink. Instead, you can use a mirror of any shape to make a statement. A circular shaped mirror can break up all the sharp straight lines and adds character.When using mirrors as an accent piece in the home try to select mirrors with interesting shapes and unique frames.

Bringing the Bed & Breakfast to Your Home

Duncan’s Cove Bedroom

Who doesn’t love a getaway? When guests come stay at your home, making your guest room feel like a bed and breakfast is easier than you think! Bringing the bed and breakfast feel to your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Here are simple and affordable ways you can get started.

  1. One of the best parts of a bed and breakfast is getting to relax in a fresh and clean room that’s free of clutter. So the first order of business is to declutter and declutter some more. That means all those old magazines in the corner and the storage bins filled with old clothes taking up space needs to go. There’s nothing that will kill the experience and relaxation faster than junk. You’ll want to make sure the room is cleaned every day and that the bed is made up.
  2. Quality bedding is a must-have to simulate the feel of a bed and breakfast. There’s no way your guests will feel totally relaxed on cheap scratchy sheets. Therefore, you’ll want to invest in quality sheets and comforters or duvets with a high thread count. Purchase pretty sheets with a nice pattern that you will love to look at, and will bring your guests joy.
  3. Don’t forget the layers of warmth which will include the fluffy decorator pillows and a blanket or quilt folded at the end of the bed. There’s nothing like sinking into a bunch of comfy pillows at the end of the night. Having a blanket or quilt at the end of the bed will not only add texture, but your guests will appreciate not having to look or ask for additional bedding if they are cold natured. Set the mood by setting up candles, investing up to a faux fireplace or purchasing glowing lampshades.
  4. You’ll want the bedroom to smell really good. Try using a linen spray to freshen up the sheets and the air in the room. Candles can also contribute to a nice smelling guest room. Also, give some thought to the colors that you use to decorate the space because colors can contribute to the mood.
  5. Create a basket filled with essentials your guests may have forgotten at home. This can include toiletries like toothpaste, deodorant, floss and tissue. Think of those things that are too bulky for your guests to travel with, but would be convenient to have during their stay.
  6. Add a decorative tray to the guest bedroom that includes flowers, a bottle of wine and two glasses or whatever treat you’d like to welcome your guests with.

Having a nice guest room will make your guests have a more enjoyable time while visiting. Any personalized touches you choose to add will only make the guest experience even better! That means you’ll want to be surrounded by beauty, peace and quiet.