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.

A Ceiling with Personality

web-a-ceiling-with-personality-blogWhen people plan their home’s décor, they think about flooring and the walls, but many ignore the sixth surface – the ceiling. Fulton Homes understands something that custom homebuilders have known for years – your ceiling provides an opportunity to showcase the lines of your home.

There are many ways to incorporate your ceiling into the design of a space. This photo shows some of the most effective options.

Dimension: By adding dimension to the ceiling the spaces are clearly defined. The living area ceiling builds an enclosure and creates a comfortable coziness. This type of ceiling, known as a coffered ceiling, has a long tradition. In this open living space it adds a line of demarcation as well as providing an additional appealing style element.

Color: By pulling the wall color up into the center of the coffered ceiling, the space is more clearly defined. The combination of dimension and color makes the ceiling even more dramatic. By using the same color on the ceiling as the walls the space has a warm centralized feel.

Lighting: Notice the light running along the edge of the coffered ceiling. This emphasizes the personality of the ceiling and creates a natural focal point at night. Entertaining in this room will be particularly effective thanks to this ceiling design.

It’s easy to ignore a ceiling, but if you do you’re sacrificing an opportunity to add style and drama to your home. Take a moment to picture this room without any furniture. Even empty, this space has its design own strength, and the ceiling is the reason why.

Industrial and Traditional Styling Combine for Sophisticated Den

From the Atherton model in Penninsula at Queen Creek

From the Atherton model in Penninsula at Queen Creek

You may have noticed a decorating trend capturing an industrial feel in furniture and accessories. These items draw some inspiration from the Steampunk style, based on an alternate world where Victorian elements combine with steam-based technology to make an interesting setting for fictional universes.

If you want to add that industrial feel to your home’s décor, you may be concerned that the look will lead to a cold space rather than one that is warm and inviting. However, you can incorporate industrial elements into a room without losing the warm feeling. This den is a good example.

The strong grey tones in the color scheme are consistent with industrial-style design. But notice the cream, gold and yellow fabric at play on the chair upholstery. Those colors are echoed subtly in various accessories, such as the gold clock face and several yellow books. These splashes of warmer tones go a long way toward making this space welcoming.

Industrial accessories such as the oversized watch face clock and the tool boxes say industrial, but the globe on the desk, the plants and other containers keep this residential space grounded in more traditional elements.

den 2The bookshelves show one of the best ways of combining industrial with traditional styles. The metal framing is classic industrial, but the wood shelves with crown molding along the top capture a much more traditional feel.

Finally, color-blocking on both the walls and the drapes add contrast and interest, while fitting with both an industrial and a traditional style.

Overall, the space makes the best use of two design styles, combining them to end up with a room that is sophisticated yet totally welcoming.

Using Mirrors Effectively

mirror-1-webMirrors can serve both a functional and decorative purpose in a room. Of course you expect mirrors in the bathrooms of your home, but placing mirrors in other rooms also works well. Here are a couple of approaches from two different bedrooms from the Rancho Mirage model in the Oasis at Queen Creek community.

Bedroom mirror over furniture: In the photo above, the dresser is accented with a matching mirror. Notice that this mirror actually seems to be resting on top of the dresser. The mirror enriches the look of the dresser and brings more light into the room by reflecting both the lamp and daylight from the window to the right. Positioning the mirror like this connects the two pieces and works almost as well as a floor-to-ceiling mirror for checking out the day’s outfit.

From a safety standpoint, be sure to attach the mirror to the wall at the top to keep it stable over time. Also check out the framing of each person who will use the mirror before deciding on the final position. If one of the bedroom’s users is taller, you can attach the mirror above the dresser to enable the individual to see his or her head. If the height disparity is dramatic, consider positioning this mirror vertically.

mirror 3Mirrors as art: These two mirrors hanging over the bed in the photo to the left don’t work well for checking out your reflection, but they maintain the room’s bold masculine look with their gear-shaped frames and industrial feel. And they do increase the light in the room by reflecting it from a nearby window. Don’t hesitate to use mirrors as art. Just be sure to look for choices such as this one where the frames have an interesting personality that complements the look of the room.

Easy yet Welcoming Entryway

entryway-webWhen people walk up to your front door, you want them to feel welcome before they even push the doorbell. On the other hand, going to an extreme with decorating your entryway can involve a lot of maintenance. Here is one example of a front entrance that provides an inviting feeling without a lot of effort on your part.

Interesting walkway: Instead of a standard concrete sidewalk, consider choosing a walkway material such as tile, stone or pavers to add interest and charm. This stone walk combines a diagonal placement with a simple border around the landscaping to make the entrance stand out. The additional stone on the wall around the front door adds to this entrance’s welcome.

Lighting: It’s easy to ignore exterior lighting, but it plays an important role in your home’s first impression. Take the time to choose lights that reflect your taste and style. Look for options that have personality and charm. This pair of coach lights suits the entrance yet have a feeling of whimsy that makes visitors take a second look. And when you turn those lights on at night, your guests know you are expecting them and looking forward to their visit.

Plants: Landscaping around your front entrance is important. Keep shrubs low so that the doorway isn’t hidden, but that touch of green adds interest. In this instance, several palms in pots add another splash of greenery and help integrate the sidewalk to the house itself. You can water these a few times a week or add a drip line to each one so that they get watered when your yard is irrigated. Then the only maintenance needed is occasional fertilizer and trimming any dead foliage off.

With just a few smart decisions, you can turn a standard entrance into something that makes a statement about how you feel about your home and the special people you invite to visit.

Think about Texture

From the Whitewater Model in the Oasis at Queen Creek Community

From the Whitewater Model in the Oasis at Queen Creek Community

When you’re planning your home’s décor, it’s easy to focus on color. But texture can be equally important. Choosing to include many different textures in your home makes it more interesting and unique. Let’s take a look at some options for adding textural elements to your home.

Architectural features: The stone focal wall in this study takes a standard room and makes it interesting. Since this room is open to the rest of the house, this one wall adds texture throughout the living area. Notice that the stone itself is fairly neutral and light. This allows you to modify the look and colors of the room over time without limiting your options.

Flooring: The dark wood floor has a handscraped finish which adds both depth and texture. With the handscraped option, floors reflect their wood origins more clearly. Whether you want wood, tile, carpeting or any other type of flooring, take the time to consider the flooring texture as well as the color.

Plants: Large-scale plants add texture through their leaves and branches. Shop around to find just the right variety for your home. Some do well in sun and some thrive in shade. Or you can incorporate silk plants for a lower-maintenance option.

Rugs: Layered flooring is one of the best ways to incorporate different textures into your home. The hard wood covered with a soft area rug grabs the eye and adds contrast to your floor.

Accessories: Everything from boxes and books to throw pillows can pull in additional texture. Take a look around each room in your home. Could you use more reflective surfaces? How about a nubby textile such as a wool throw?

By thinking beyond color to texture, you will add interest and sophistication to your home. Take a look around with texture in mind. You may be surprised at how just a few small changes can make a big difference.

Sofa Alternative

family room la quinta webThe standard approach to seating in a family room is a sofa with one or two chairs, or maybe a sectional with one additional chair. But how about considering this arrangement from the La Quinta model at Oasis at Queen Creek? Four chairs with an ottoman in the center offers a number of advantages.

Reflecting its space: If you have a square space, a sofa and chair combination doesn’t take full advantage of the area, instead ending up more as a rectangle. This four-chair approach reflects the available space and actually takes advantage of it by supporting the symmetrical structure.

Everyone has a seat: Rather than having to share, every person gets a comfy chair to sit in as they choose. The ottoman is big enough for everyone to share it without getting in each other’s way.

Arranged for conversation: With a sofa, some people end up sitting next to each other, making it awkward to hold a conversation. This four-chair set-up creates an environment where everyone can converse comfortably with everyone else.

Additional seating as needed: The ottoman could also be used as seating, and the space between each chair provides plenty of room to pull up extra chairs and join the conversation.

Color and pattern coordination: By including throw pillows on each chair of the same fabric as the ottoman, this grouping feels totally integrated. The rug, picking up one of the patterned fabric’s colors, wraps up the space.

If you’re planning a living or family room seating arrangement, consider the possibility of using four chairs for a fresh and appealing look that functions as well or better than the standard sofa seating option.

Keep Kitchen Light and Bright

la quinta kitchen webWhat are you looking for in a kitchen? There are so many choices. If you want a light and bright kitchen, this one from the La Quinta model at Oasis at Queen Creek provides a great example. Let’s take a look at what makes this kitchen design work.

Painted cabinets: The look of stained wood is lovely, but nothing says clean and fresh quite like a white painted cabinet. The crisp color also creates a remembrance of kitchens gone by.

Light countertops: This light granite choice fits well with the cabinetry and the veining provides a gentle contrast. The edge treatment feels substantial and works with the crown molding at the top of the cabinets.

Light backsplash mosaic: By including white and primarily light tones in the backsplash, the bright impression is carried forward. Notice that there are a handful of dark tiles in the design. This contrast makes the backsplash more interesting.

Stainless steel and brushed nickel metal choices: By staying with the cool and crisp feel of stainless appliances and brushed nickel faucet and pulls it’s possible to provide contrast without going too far. Black appliances or oil-rubbed bronze metals would be too strong a conflict with the other choices in this kitchen.

Warm but light flooring: While this porcelain tile plank flooring is light, it also adds warmth with its wood-look. The tone works well with the kitchen, providing just enough dark elements to anchor this flooring in the room.

You can make a careful balance of choices to create a light, bright and inviting kitchen like this one. To see it in person, visit our models at Oasis at Queen Creek.

Turn a Hall into Something Special

Hall-view-1Most people think of halls as simply a way to get from one room to another, but they can be much more than that. A thoughtful approach to hall design opens up possibilities throughout your home. Here are a few suggestions to make even the halls of your home a special experience.

Flooring: As an area with limited square footage, halls are a perfect place to splurge on flooring. For example, the mixed-width wood flooring in this hallway provides an inviting path to cross from room to room. Hallways also provide opportunities for border patterns, available in tile and stone as well as wood.

Hall-view-2Art: Consider a hall as a running photo gallery. The length and standard distance of the walls allow you to run a series of art pieces along one side, creating something interesting to look at on the way from one room to another.

Room views: Be sure to stop and take a look at how each room looks from the hall. That glimpse through the door generally provides a guest’s first impression of a room. In both these first photos, the rooms have some furniture facing the hall, making each room seem welcoming from that vista.

Hall-view-3Mirrors: Using a mirror at the end of a hall can make the space seem larger and reflect light, adding brightness to the hall.

Consider trying one or more of these options to make your halls much more than just a passageway. Make them an integral part of your home’s design.

Photos taken at the Whitewater model in Oasis at Queen Creek. We hope you’ll visit for even more design inspiration!

A view from Outside: Bathroom

Corsica-bath-webHave you ever thought about what a room looks like from the outside? That moment before you actually step into a room creates a person’s first impression of the space. Given this, you may want to spend a bit of time at your doorways looking at what people see as they first walk into every room in your home.

This bathroom takes advantage of every design and décor element to create just the right first impression. To begin with, the flooring transition is smooth, with an inviting and interesting tile pattern that fits well with the style and colors of the bedroom.

This bathroom is a study in contrast, and that is evident immediately when you look through the doorway. Notice how the mood created by the flooring is echoed in the sharp change in color between the dark vanity and light countertop.

The light fixture also supports that feeling, with a dark finish complementing the appealing light shades that shine without being overpowering.

Just a few accessories add charm to the vanity. Their dark tones also provide just the right amount of contrast to the white counter with size and shapes that are interesting without being overwhelming. Brown and grey tones from the artwork and towel suit the space while connecting the bath to the bedroom through color.

How much time have you spent looking into each room in your home from the hall or just outside? Take this opportunity to view your décor choices from a new perspective, and remember that the old adage “It’s never too late to make a first impression” works for rooms as well as people!