Decorating an Outdoor Party Is there a better time of year than the summer months? Green grass, long days, warm breezes and cool nights beckon us outside to chase laughter, adventure and memories. If ever there was a reason – a time – to celebrate, its summer. So pick a day and make a plan to party, using these tips for a gorgeous outdoor affair your guests won’t soon forget. Bring the Inside Out Though nature is beautiful on her own right now, there’s still much that can be done to dress up your space. Treat your outdoor as you would your indoor, decorating for an impressive, welcoming, fun and joyful gathering. To accomplish a well-decorated outdoor fete, opt for the lovely things that would play a key role in any gorgeous indoor party. Line your space with your loveliest linens to add beauty and comfort. Bright-colored floral and graphic patterns work especially well, as they build upon nature’s rich outdoor palette. Tablecloths make an even bigger statement on outdoor tables, while outdoor rugs add color and warmth under foot. Traditional patio design by san francisco interior designer Scot Meacham Wood Design Pile on pillows and throws to keep guests cozy into the night, and add curtains or canopies for a lovely added touch that offers intimacy and a touch of privacy. While you’re decorating with fabrics, keep your festive efforts going. Hang ribbons from tree branches and fabric banners across the sky, assuring no space goes unadorned. Shabby-Chic Style landscape design by other metro photographer Adrienne DeRosa Eclectic patio design by amsterdam media and blogs Ninainvorm Mediterranean patio design by other metro photographer Finch Photo Make the Night Sparkle As the patterns on your linens fade with the setting sun, a new party setting can be born. A yard littered with candles, torches, lanterns and string lights will assure magical festivities into the night. It’s nearly impossible to overdo sparkle in an evening event. Use paper lanterns – big or small – for dramatic effect, light up a pool with floating candles, or draw guests down a path with golden luminaries. Torches keep the mood festive while also holding pests at bay. Eclectic patio design Beach Style deck design by new york design-build The Cousins Dress Up the Details Don’t forget the small touches in your party prep. Use galvanized containers or lovely glass to add utilitarian sparkle, filling jars and tins with cutlery, treats, snacks, flowers or favors. Opt for bright-colored enamelware instead of disposables, and boast colorful snacks and confections like fruit or cakes as if they were part of the décor. Mix and match patterned linens or paisley bandannas for napkins, float colorful fruit in your ice cubes, and use vintage jars, mugs, or glasses atop well-dressed tables. Fill glass bottles with lemonade or bright-colored cocktails, using these in antique buckets brimming with ice and refreshments. Top the setting off with vases, jars, buckets or cans filled with arranged floral arrangements for unexpected beauty at every turn. Shabby-Chic Style landscape design by other metro photographer Adrienne DeRosa Mediterranean patio design by los angeles artist and artisan Amy Vangsgard Gallery Indeed, it’s a treat to be outside these days. Celebrate summer in style – it’s a given you’ll enjoy the party, we’re betting you might enjoy the prepping just as much.
Four Simple Steps Toward a Dream Bedroom Retreat Master bedrooms are perhaps the most private space in our homes. Often, that means we put less effort into dressing them up, focusing instead on the rooms our guests are more likely to see. Sadly, we wind up with neglected utilitarian spaces we visit only when we have to – at bedtime. If your bedroom is an afterthought in terms of style, effort, time or function, it’s time you paid better attention to a space that is flush with potential. With just a few tweaks in the way you view your master, you can make big changes. Turn a spot for sleep into a place for retreat and relaxation with these four suggestions. 1. Identify what makes you feel most happy and relaxed, and then make that happen in your bedroom. Create a retreat by introducing your favorite smells, colors, textures or sights. Do you like to read? Consider including a serene sitting area. Love late night movies in bed? Include a TV in your design scheme. Seek out colors that soothe, and insist on textures that are plush and welcoming – on your bed, on the floor, on your windows and even your walls. Make sure, however, you’ve considered the things that calm and please your significant other. know what your significant other desires. If lilac makes him sneeze, perhaps you should avoid rich scents and purple hues. If clutter overwhelms her, do your best to simplify. As with anything, a little effort makes compromise possible and even profitable. A well-designed room is one that reflects both of your style preferences. Traditional bedroom design by los angeles general contractor Morrow and Morrow Corporation Rustic bedroom design by kansas city interior designer McCroskey Interiors 2. Put effort into your focal point – the bed. Start with smart placement, maintaining at least two feet of space on three sides. Experts recommend placing the head of your bed on the wall opposite the door to your room, whether under a window or not. Further, if your space permits, keep the side of your bed out of the line of site as you walk into the room. This type of arrangement breaks up the visual flow of your space, making it feel small, cluttered and choppy. Go for a big headboard or fake it with an accent wall, curtains, or a gallery wall that spans the width of your bed as a headboard would. Dress your bed to the nines, whether your aim is glamour or simplicity. Layer with pillows and throws, and select a color that will soothe you. Finish the look with a bench at the foot of your bed, where you can sit after a long day to take off your shoes and decompress. Contemporary bedroom design by sydney architect Greg Natale Contemporary bedroom design 3. Don’t overdo it – you spend enough time during the day being busy. You don’t want to be reminded of that when its time to unwind. Style, but stay away from busy walls or cluttered spaces. Introduce patterns, colors and textures, but don’t let them take over your space. There’s beauty in simplicity, and your eyes need a place to rest too. Shabby-Chic Style bedroom design by nashville home staging Styling Spaces Home Staging & Re-Design Transitional bedroom design by philadelphia interior designer Michelle Wenitsky Interior Design Traditional bedroom design 4. Put effort into creating and preserving your sanctuary. If you’re inclined to let the dishes sit, let them sit. But making your bedroom part of your daily cleaning routine will go a long way toward keeping this space your escape. Make the bed every day. Keep the hamper in the closet. Keep things tidy. If this room is just one of many messes in the house, even if it’s the only one, you’re less likely to relax or retreat. It won’t be a dream. If you'd like more help creating your dream bedroom retreat, contact the designers at Decor & You HR. Contemporary bedroom design by new york paint and wall coverings Benjamin Moore Contemporary bedroom design
Creating a Boho Chic Space Interior design has always taken its cues from fashion, mirroring colors, patterns and trends found on runways. The collision of the two worlds is especially common today, when media offers us easy looks into the most current styles across the globe. It makes sense, then, that the bohemian look – so popular in fashion today – would be a go-to for spaces of all kinds. Still, there are those out there who hesitate to add the eclectic gypsy feel with its lack of structure or conformity to a space. If you’re drawn to the romanticism of a boho room, but prefer structure and a more contemporary style, perhaps a modern boho look is exactly what you’re looking for. Eclectic home office design by los angeles media and blogs Lisa Borgnes Giramonti In a bohemian chic space, unstructured personality gets a sleek transformation. Eclectic accents which include rich textiles, bright hues, vintage metallics, and bold patterns are tied together with modern anchors like strong neutrals, sharp lines and sleek elements. The result is a style that is laid back, relaxed, gathered and interesting, while also relevant, intentional, structured and clean. Instead of giving your home a complete boho makeover, add key accents to your existing contemporary decor by way of pillows, rugs, prints, and patterns. Your modern look – sometimes mistakingly uninviting – will be transformed into a stylish, imaginative, welcoming and colorfully intriguing space. Mediterranean family room design by los angeles interior designer Annette Tatum Contemporary bedroom design by new york architect Katie Leede & Company Studio Boho Chic It’s nearly impossible to add bohemian touches without color and detail. Infuse your space with a boho feel by adding bold textures which will stand out against your sleek modern base. Seek out moroccan, indian, trellis, floral and striped patterns in statement hues, using them in window dressings, textiles, tiles and wall art. Eclectic kitchen design by new york architect Incorporated Make as small or as large of a splash as you desire, but keep the look grounded with modern touches in things like furniture, frames, counters or appliances. Be bold with layers of print, color, pillows and art, and include greenery with plants like fig trees or succulents. Statement lighting is also a place you can let your personality make an impact. Eclectic dining room design by los angeles interior designer Kim Colwell Design Transitional living room design by los angeles interior designer Breeze Giannasio Interiors Contemporary dining room design by new york interior designer Andrew Flesher Interiors If you’re a sucker for gallery walls, keep your space boho chic by staying away from symmetry and opting instead for organic interest in your arrangement. Showcase colorful patterns in frames with contemporary lines. You can never have too may prints in a beautifully boho home. Eclectic living room design by san francisco media and blogs SFGIRLBYBAY When selecting your surfaces, look for ways to mix rustic vintage like woods and wicker with sleek and high gloss modern pieces. Southwestern kitchen design by toronto media and blogs Desire to Inspire Mixing bohemian accents with modern elements gives your space eye-catching personality while maintaining order and a contemporary look. It’s a beautiful marriage between two very different looks – one that will assure that nobody has a space like yours.
Celebrate Red, White and Blue in Your Home There’s something iconically special about red, white and blue. A scheme of colors which triggers feelings of patriotism, family, summer and togetherness, the colors of America’s flag are in abundance at this time of year. Perhaps, however, the classic style deserves a longer look. Beach Style living room design by other metro interior designer Violandi + Warner Interiors Whether or not you’re feeling patriotic, you can still style a beautiful home with touches and shades of red, white and blue. Always in style, the colors work in complete harmony not only because of their nostalgic and iconic nature, but because they beautifully meld warm, cool and neutral together. So, if your style leans toward traditional, contemporary, coastal, country, eclectic, vintage, modern, casual or sophisticated, consider the color scheme that’s all around you this summer. The result is sure to be a space abounding in character and warmth the whole yearlong. Traditional family room design by minneapolis interior designer Billy Beson Company Of course, pulling off the design style you’re after depends much on the shades, saturation, textures and patterns you choose. Bright shades like candy apple red, cobalt blue, or snow white fit well in modern and contemporary homes, while warmer tones like deep navy, barn red or off white bring country, coastal and traditional spaces to life. Beach Style dining room design Traditional family room design by san diego interior designer Robeson Design Traditional kids design Mixing shades of the same color (darks and lights, for example) keep a room from looking overdone and over-decorated. Keep in mind also that red will dominate the other two colors, so be mindful of the way you utilize the color. Traditional living room design by little rock interior designer Tobi Fairley Interior Design Because of the bold nature of the color scheme, splashes work well against a minimal or neutral palette. In your living spaces, this could mean a feature wall or painted ceiling, lamps, linens, textiles and accessories. In the kitchen, consider red chairs and stools, which will pop against a bright white backdrop or a collection of blue and white place settings. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns with these bolds – blends of large and small stripes, plaids, florals, toile and chevron look terrific in red, white and blue. Traditional living room design by north west interior designer Fiona Watkins Design Limited Beach Style kitchen design by seattle architect eric gedney | ARCHITECT Contemporary dining room design by san francisco architect Glenn Robert Lym Architect Whether you’re the most patriotic on the block, or if subtlety is your specialty, you can celebrate the Fourth all year in a timeless, stylish and welcoming space. Traditional kitchen design by minneapolis design-build TreHus Architects+Interior Designers+Builders
Decorating in Black & White There’s an old saying in home design that says every room needs a touch of black. For some, the saying is more of a mantra, for others the notion triggers unease. Black? Really? If you find yourself in the second camp, unsure about the color in your home, it may be time for you to revisit the classic, clean, sophisticated – sometimes even whimsical – look that black can bring to a space. Take it a step further and welcome the contrast and dramatic impact of black paired with white. A step in this direction will freshen your space with a look as timeless and versatile as it is chic and welcoming. Whether decorating the inside of your home or the outside, and no matter the room, a black and white look can serve as both the neutral backdrop or the star of the show. Depending on your design tastes, you can make the look work within any décor scheme. Kitchen and Bathroom The combination of black and white works especially well in kitchens and bathrooms, where the right tile can make a statement which is both bold and subtle at the same time. Glazed black or white subway tiles set the tone in any kitchen when used as a back splash. Simple cabinets in matching hues continue the clean look, showcasing contrasting enamelware beautifully. On the floor, a classic and somewhat whimsical black and white checkerboard makes an impact, though a soft or deep gray, natural or whitewashed wood flooring serves as a nice neutral against statement cabinetry and walls. For a more subtle look, utilize white cabinets on white walls, accenting with black in hardware, lighting or textiles. Midcentury kitchen design by adelaide interior designer One Small Room - OSR Interiors & Building Design Transitional bathroom design Living and Dining In living and dining spaces, the color scheme can be utilized in big or small doses, depending on your personal tastes and preferences. Make your neutrals anything but boring by adding bold black or white accents, or use the colors themselves as your neutral base. Contemporary family room design by other metro interior designer Atmosphere Interior Design Inc. Contemporary family room design by columbus home builders M/I Homes Each of these spaces feature grays as a neutral base on the walls, making the bold black and white textiles and rugs stand out. Window treatments in each room are muted, thus not competing with show-stealing floor coverings. Traditional dining room design by sacramento interior designer Kerrie L. Kelly In this space, black stands in as a neutral on the walls. Accessories pop in this surprisingly bright room, where the white ceiling gives the illusion of a taller space as a result of the sharp contrast. Though many believe black closes in a space, more often than not the opposite is true. When black appears on four walls, lines and corners disappear. As with a night sky, black on walls can give the illusion of an unending space. When used as a feature wall, drama is immediately infused into a room. Traditional living room design by new york interior designer Tara Seawright Interior Design Contemporary family room design by atlanta interior designer Kristin Drohan Collection and Interior Design These spaces feature more traditional wall colors and furnishings, but are made more interesting with the addition of black and white art, floor coverings, and armchairs. The first room offers obvious black and white décor, while the second surprises with bold and unexpected additions to what might otherwise have been a more traditional space. Bedrooms In the following spaces, black and white is used in four very different ways – making classic, casual, whimsical and chic bedrooms look uniquely lovely. In the first two, black and white is the obvious focus in its graphic use, while in the others the colors are used as eye-catching accents against bright colors. Contemporary kids design by new york kids and nursery SISSY+MARLEY Traditional bedroom design by minneapolis photographer Alyssa Lee Photography Beach Style bedroom design by chicago interior designer Tom Stringer Design Partners Contemporary bedroom design by minneapolis interior designer Fiddlehead Design Group, LLC Walls In addition to the colors chosen for the walls, black and white can make a dramatic impact with contrasting colors appearing in wall art and framed pieces. Traditional living room design by dallas photographer Lisa Petrole Photography Industrial home office design by amsterdam interior designer Vosgesparis Eclectic living room design by dallas media and blogs Jamie Laubhan-Oliver Contemporary living room design by london interior designer Turner Pocock Transitional dining room design by kansas city interior designer Kathleen Ramsey, Allied ASID Whether used sparingly or in abundance, black and white have a way adding lovely, clean, chic and dramatic impact to a room. Perhaps the adage rings true after all – every room really could use a touch – or more – of black.
Decor Tips for a Bright Summer Home Light breezes, fresh scents, green grass and blue skies - the summer season isn’t lacking in inspiration. When freshening your space for the season, take your cues from the outdoors, where Mother Nature beckons into a welcoming world of color, calm and relaxation. Photo by nest + company - Houzz beach style family room ideas Start your summer decorating efforts with a pallet of seasonal colors - bright hues and coastal tones go miles in setting the tone for a bright summer home. Swap winter’s warm colors and textures for light linens or gossamer in pale blues and muted neutrals like sand or gray to bring the colors of the coast into your home. Ticking stripes in reds and blues introduce summer’s patriotic mood, and bright colors and florals bring the magnificence of the season’s blooms indoors. Swap out drapes for curtains or sheers, and replace heavy bedding with light whites or neutrals that can be accented with colorful pillows and botanical prints. Photo by Corynne Pless - Houzz eclectic entryway design ideas In the living room, replace heavy upholstery with light slipcovers you can decorate around. Don’t be afraid of shades of white on slipcovers which can easily be bleached when kids and pets leave their mark. Utilize clear glass pendants or lamp bases to continue the look in your lighting, and accentuate with bright flowers or greenery in bright vases. Photo by Sherwin-Williams - Houzz contemporary kitchen design inspiration Flowers - inexpensive and easily found in the summer - brighten a kitchen as well. Add pops of colors with fruit on display, and consider replacing your darker wall decor with bright photographs or watercolors under bright mattes. Photo by ComfyDwelling.com - Houzz home design design ideas Of course, at this time of year, most living is done outside. Continue the decor out your backdoor, setting up outdoor living spaces bright and rich with blooms and colorful pillows made of durable weather resistant fabrics. Outdoor rugs define a space, and add an element of cozy to your area. Add string lights to match your look, and set beautiful tables with mix and match place settings, lanterns, linens and runners made of lightweight and colorful fabric. Photo by A Beach Cottage - Houzz traditional porch design ideas Summer…it’s the best time of year. With just a few swaps and a little refreshing, you can have your home looking its best - as good as the world looks outside your front door. Contact the design professionals at Decor and You Highlands Ranch for more summer decorating tips.
Living Rooms Made for Living By nature, living rooms were made for people. They’re the place where life happens - games, parties, naps, movies, books, snacks, Netflix, sports. No matter what happens during the day, the living room catches families in the evening and friends on the weekend. Perhaps more than any other space in your home, your living room should reflect your lifestyle and mirror your family’s personality. It should be welcoming, and it should be cozy - inviting your people in, and making them so comfortable they don’t want to leave. Photo by Salt Interiors Joinery - Houzz Mediterranean living room photos Fortunately, no matter your taste in home decor, there is much you can do to create that kind of mood in your room. If cozy is what you’re after, start at the very beginning: your notion of how a living room should be decorated. Many of us grew up visiting grandma on holidays. Her living room was unchanging in its polish and delicacy. It was the formal of the house, where kids where not allowed to play and where families only gathered on Christmas morning. The knick knacks were precious and priceless, the textiles so revered they were covered in plastic. Living never happened in grandma’s living room. So, step one in your cozy makeover is a makeover of your notion of what a living room should look like. Your space can and should be beautiful - but if you’re holding onto the idea that the living room should be your home’s showroom, you’ll never get off square one. Living rooms should be lived in. Decorate your space as if it will. Of course, when decorating any space it’s best to start big. Take a look at your furniture - where it is and what it can do. If everything you’ve got is clinging to the wall, break it free. A cozy space nurtures intimacy - you can create that by bringing your items off the edges. Set up your couch and chairs so that they are close in proximity and facing one another. Add as much seating as your space will allow (think benches, ottomans, poufs, floor pillows) to encourage gathering, and add pillows and throws to make the gathered cozy enough to stay. A deep sectional is almost always a good idea, as it allows enough space for the family to hang. Photo by Anne Becker Design - Houzz transitional living room design ideas Your aim for a cozy room should be to keep things plush, soft, and textured. Avoid hard, harsh and barren - your people need to want to stay, not want to find some place more comfortable. Look for fabrics, rugs, and furnishings you won’t be inclined to fuss over. Don’t be shy with textiles, which make a room comfortable and inviting. Include things varying in rich textures - supple leather, worn wood, soft fur…all inviting to the touch, all interesting to the eyes, all welcoming and comfortable. Introduce items that feet can rest on - and be ok with them lingering there. Hang oversized art - traditional or otherwise - on empty walls to make your space feel more intimate. Patterns and textures will draw your people in - comfort will keep them there. Photo by Heather Banks - Houzz contemporary living room design inspiration Another element to consider when designing a cozy living room is light. You’ve already got it, sure, but are you using it correctly? The most valuable lighting in our homes comes from the sun. Embrace and enhance the natural light in your space as best you can - it’s a magnet for people and pets alike. When the outdoor lights fade, fill your room with warm lights at varying levels. Set your overhead fixture on a dimmer to control the mood, and place lamps and other small lights at people-level to add scale and warmth to your room. Finish the look of your lighting with a candle’s lovely glow. When decorating the surfaces in your space, add things you love. Include photos, books and scents to give your room warmth and personality. Flower arrangements offer beauty while also saying, welcome, come in and stay a while. Photo by Witt Construction - Discover traditional living room design ideas Your living room should be yours. While the rooms we see in furniture catalogs are lovely, they lack in cozy personality. A showroom look is not personal nor inviting - avoid the just-ripped-from-a-magazine space as much as you can. Mix pieces and decorate over time. This place is where your family lives - and its a space that you are going to love.
The Icing on the Cake: Decorating Your Ceilings Decorating the four walls in any space is a no-brainer. Paint or paper, art or panels, options abound and most of us are hard-pressed to point to an unadorned wall in our home. But is there a wall we’ve forgotten? A plain white space we aren’t even looking at - because we aren’t looking up. Perhaps it’s time you start rethinking your notion of wall space and begin considering your ceiling the fifth wall in a room. Just as on the vertical, there is much to be done on the horizontal above your head. Ready to take a risk? Read on for inspiration. Photo by David Butler Photography - Houzz Many think of the traditional looks of plaster, chandeliers, moulding or beams when picturing decor on the ceiling. Certainly these time tested methods of adornment are among the most common ways to dress the up, but that doesn't mean they're basic or boring methods. In fact, much can be done to fit any one of these looks into nearly any home - one needs only imagination and the ability to carry out the task. Photo by Jane Ellison - Houzz contemporary bedroom ideas The plaster effect combined with the lighting in the first image presents a more traditional look on the ceiling, while the second sets the tone for a contemporary and eclectic room. In both cases, the ceiling decor provides detail and interest to the space. It is generally a good rule of thumb to center a statement piece of lighting on a plaster ceiling - where recessed lighting would get lost and no overhead lighting would dim the beauty of the look. Photo by Two Column Media - Houzz contemporary living room design inspiration Traditional and contemporary all at the same time, the addition of moulding to a ceiling assures a dramatic impact that is uniform while still beautiful. This look is especially impactful in rooms with high ceilings. The contrast of neutrals in this space serves as a lovely accent to the room's statement floor. Once again, lighting is important - recessed lights work well because they do not compete with the dramatic effect made by the room's moulding. Photo by TKP Architects - Houzz rustic kitchen design ideas Nothing ups the warmth in a room like exposed wooden beams. Fortunately, while by nature these are structural adornments, they don't have to be. If your space doesn't have beams, fake the look with a wood finish which will compliment your home's decor. Though these methods remain popular, there is much more that can be done to increase the interest and beauty on your ceilings. Add bead bead board or paneling for rich and detailed subtlety. Photo by Spinnaker Development - Houzz beach style bedroom ideas The lacquer on this bead board brings sparkle to the ceiling, and draws the eyes up in the sneakiest of ways. Photo by Schmidt Custom Homes - Houzz shabby-chic style bedroom ideas Not only do the weathered wood panels in this room enter a warmth to the bright space, they offer a touch of masculinity in an otherwise overly feminine room. Another time-tested treatment for ceilings comes in the way of ceiling tins or medallions. Texture and detail are guaranteed with the addition of this option - especially beautiful in kitchens and bathrooms. Photo by Elmwood Fine Custom Cabinetry - Houzz farmhouse kitchen design inspiration Color and pattern offer another option for ceiling decor, whether by paint or by paper. Bold pops of color, stencils, painted patterns, or lovely wallpaper all offer impressive ways to make a statement with the fifth wall, at a fraction of the cost of paneling, beams, or plaster. If bold is your aim on the ceiling, tone down the rest of your space with neutral colors or patters. Photo by Kemp Hall Studio - Houzz traditional dining room pictures This simple dining area is anything but once the paper and dramatic lighting are added. The eyes flow from the floor to the ceiling and back down again, thanks to the lovely way this homeowner paired understated with pattern. The same is true of the children's room below, where all detail is found on the ceiling. Houzz modern kids' room photos The patterns and bold colors in these rooms make a bigger statement than anything else in the space. Without, the rooms are ordinary - with the color, finish, and patterns, they're anything but. Photo by Karen B Wolf Interiors, Associate ASID - Houzz contemporary nursery pictures Photo by Plath & Company - Houzz transitional nursery design ideas Even dark colors work well on the ceiling of nearly any space. Think of your color and treatment choices as the biggest of your accessories - keep the competition to a minimum by subduing other items in your balanced space. Photo by Nest Architects - Houzz Scandinavian family room design ideas Photo by Little Crown Interiors - Houzz transitional nursery design ideas To design ceilings that steal the show, or for more ceiling design inspiration, contact the designers at Decor and You Highlands Ranch.
Trending Up: Wallpaper Resurgence Perhaps one of the more polarizing items in home decor today, wallpaper has been around long enough to nurture strong opinions - favorable and otherwise. Trends have certainly come and gone, but this time-tested style is one that is celebrating a definite resurgence in 2016. Photo by Camilla Molders Design - Discover contemporary bedroom design inspiration Believe it or not, wallpaper has been around for centuries, with its beginnings dating back to 200 B.C. when Chinese glued rice paper onto walls. By the 12th century, Europeans began creating block prints on paper, in addition to having paper painted with designs for use on their walls. It wasn’t until the invention of the printing press, however, that true wallpaper was born. The first example of wallpaper as it exists today appeared on the beams of the Lodge of Christ’s College in Cambridge, England in 1509. Wallpaper arrived in America in 1739, and soon was being manufactured and placed on walls just as it is today. In 2016, just as in the 1600s, wallpaper offers the opportunity for character and impact on one wall or four. Whether a traditional choice used traditionally, or a modern selection used in an unexpected way, wallpaper has settled back in as a statement trend in well-styled homes. Photo by Heather ODonovan Interior Design - Discover Victorian bathroom design inspiration Why Wallpaper? Certainly, the choices you make for your walls will make a statement throughout your home. While paint color can set a subtle mood, wallpaper can make a more obvious impact. Additionally, wallpaper flawlessly supports your design style in the same way that textiles or accessories might. The statements can be as dramatic as you’d like them to be, depending on your choice of paper, and the the impact can be big and bold or small and subtle. No matter the room, no matter your style, and no matter your levels of comfort with commitment, your happy place can be wallpapered…you just need to make the right choices. Photo by Highgate House - Search traditional hallway design ideas Today’s Trends Today’s wallpapers come in varying colors, patterns, and textures, assuring a paper which will fit into just about any home. Popular as an accent, wall-paper is showing up in smaller spaces, on single walls, under frames, on bookshelves, even on ceilings. Depending on color and pattern, application in small doses marks a smart move as too much can make a space feel cluttered, closed in, or busy. Floral prints are a particularly popular trend, from large statement patterns to smaller traditional prints. This look is especially lovely in a bedroom, offering rich detail in an intimate and cozy space. Photo by - Discover contemporary living room design ideas Unique geometric shapes and patterns in bold colors and metallics are also trending in 2016. A smart choice for a modern or contemporary space, this paper is at home in an entryway or living room. Vertical stripes are almost always a smart option, offering style to a space while making a room look taller Another wildly popular wallpaper look comes in the way of murals, cityscapes, skylines and landscapes. This bold and impactful choice adds visual interest in an instant, and is well-suited for an office or a living room. Natural looks are also stylish choices, offering warmth and depth in the way of botanicals, wood print, stone, grass cloth, or even animal print. These pattens can serve as neutral prints on several walls, or as a interesting focal point in a dining room. Linen or textile papers also provide a warm neutral in any home, delivering the look of luxury with rich texture. Photo by Hanson Fine Building - Search contemporary powder room pictures As with most choices in home decor, wallpaper offers stylish upgrades, instant impact, and lovely accents within a home’s existing decor. Perhaps it’s time to revisit wallpaper as a trend-worthy option in your space. After all, centuries’ worth of homeowners can’t be wrong.
Style Surprise: Decorating with Benches Is there a better piece of furniture than the bench? What other furnishing in your home is as versatile, functional, even stylish? Whether inside or out, this practical piece adds extra seating, extra storage, even extra table space affordably and without effort. What’s more, this time-tested favorite fits beautifully into nearly any space in your home, making your decorating options almost endless. Versatile Style Can you think of another item that can go from utility at the bus stop to luxury at the foot of your bed with such ease? The truth is, benches come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and even uses. No matter the decor in your home, you can find a bench to suit your style. The traditionalist will be thrilled with the addition of a Windsor bench, while those with a more eclectic taste may prefer adding colorful cushions to a metal piece. An upholstered bench or settee might look stunning in a shabby chic home, and a modern space will be enhanced when a sturdy outdoor bench made of teak is incorporated. For a more industrial look, look for an old wooden trunk or a repurposed work bench. If you prefer a country or primitive decor, find old oak pews at estate sales or antique markets. Versatile Function For all the options in style, there are as many ways to use benches in your home. Though popular additions to bedrooms or entryways, there’s so much more that can be done. Looking for extra seating? Add a bench to your living room, or build a corner bench into your kitchen. Place one under a window for a smart reading nook, or mix with the existing seating in your dining room for a nice change to a traditionally uniform space. Depending on its size, a bench can serve your coffee or side table needs perfectly. Of course, at home at the foot of your bed or next to your front door, benches are the perfect spot for putting on shoes, dropping the mail, or storing blankets, gloves, or boots. Provide a spot for home office guests to land for meetings - or just a place to rest your feet when those guests aren’t around. Indeed, the benefits of using benches in your home are great. In addition to their versatility, benches are inexpensive, simple to re-purpose or up-style, easy to move space-savers that look good no matter where they land. Not just for picnic tables, not just for formal decor - nowadays, benches can do it all.
Style Meets Function Outside the Kitchen Cabinet In fashion and interior design, trends often set the mark for a stylish look. Unfortunately, trends don’t often concern themselves with practicality. That leaves many of us stuck in the middle - wanting head turning looks that don’t sacrifice function. While at first blush the newest trend in kitchen design might appear impractical, truth be told you can have it all in an open kitchen. So take those cabinet doors down, open up your space, and enjoy the best of both worlds. Your Kitchen, Redefined For years, homeowners have been hiding kitchen contents behind closed doors. The kitchen was a utilitarian place - meant for work, not for beauty. Many of us, however, have beautiful things to display in our kitchens - china, glassware, decorative trays, coordinating enamelware, vases, vintage mugs and jars, tea pots, cookbooks, and colored bowls…all seem more suited for display than for concealment. That’s what makes open shelving such a clever option for kitchens. Photo by Alice Lane Home Collection - Browse contemporary kitchen ideas Who, What, Where, and How If you keep an organized and uncluttered kitchen, the look of shelves on your kitchen walls instead of traditional cabinets is for you. If you have lovely things you want guests to see before mealtime, this look is for you. If you have a small, dark, closed in space, this look is for you. The idea behind this type of open kitchen is that items can be stored in the open, offering an opportunity for stylish display that also opens up a room. The extent of your leap into open shelving depends entirely on your taste and your space. If your stylish to unsightly ratio favors the unsightly, perhaps one small section of shelving is all you need. Maybeexchanging all of your upper cabinets for floating shelves will give you the style and function you need. No cabinets at all, glass cabinets, or a mix of closed, open, and glass - the opportunities not only exist, they abound. If organization is your concern, rest assured. In fact, open shelving may cause you to be more organized than you might be when there’s a door to close on your mess. What’s more, the look requires little effort once you’ve got your system and style in place. When styling your shelves, keep order in mind. Incorporate plate slats or wine cubbies for additional organization, or place like items together, stacking plates next to bowls and glasses next to mugs. Use baskets to organize food or less attractive items like dishtowels, paper plates or sippy cups. Again, keep like items together within baskets for ease of use - a basket of spices can easily be accessed and put away, the same goes for baking items, baby food, cereals, etc. Use glass containers or canisters for crackers, flour, or coffee. When like items are grouped together (by function, by size, or by color), you’re organized…and you look organized too. Up the Style The truth is, simply taking the doors off your cabinets does not guarantee style. Fortunately, beauty is easily found if you style as you might in any other room. Keep color in mind, and accessorize generously. Use the kitchen items you already have as decor pieces - a decorative tray on its side against a wall, for example, provides a lovely backdrop for the collection on your shelves. As for the shelves themselves, use your existing cabinetry, or opt for more chic bracket-less floating shelves. Introduce accent colors and detail behind your shelves with coordinating paint, wallpaper, or bead board. Decorate your displays as you would a set of shelves in your living room, remaining outside the utilitarian kitchen box. Photo by Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) - Houzz But Keep This in Mind… There’s plenty to consider before you make the jump open shelving in your space. You’ll have a place for your lovely things, but what about the unsightly? Try as you may, you probably can’t make a crock pot look cute. Will you have a place to store your homely things? Perhaps your pantry, a closet, the drawer under your stove, or a pot rack will serve to keep these items tucked away. Photo by Martyn Clarke Architecture - Houzz Another major consideration is the inevitable grime ever-present in a kitchen. Set up shelves near your stove, and you’re sure to find grease and dust on the items on display. One way to avoid this is to limit the pieces you store to items you’ll use on a daily or weekly basis. If you’re using it often, you’re washing it often, and it isn’t collecting grime as a result. If you only bring it out on holidays, hide it in a pantry, or move it further away from the stove. Photo by Nerland Building & Restoration, Inc. - Look for contemporary kitchen design inspiration A Simple Statement Few moves in your home decor efforts can make such a big statement in such a simple way. Moving from traditional cabinets to open storage systems will completely change the look and feel of your kitchen, taking it from traditional and utilitarian to current and stylish. The best part about that move, however, is that you don’t have sacrifice function to make it happen. So get to work. You’re just a few easy steps away from a practically beautiful kitchen.
Industrially Chic No Matter the Style One of the most popular looks in design today, industrial style includes vintage and utilitarian elements inspired by (or including) old factory, warehouse or laboratory pieces. A look which seamlessly mixes textures such as wood and metal, industrial decor is easily incorporated within any style, from traditional to eclectic to shabby chic. Whether introduced as a style, or incorporated into an already existing look, a home can be industrially chic with the right choices. Three popular ways to make industrial style work, ironically, are modern, traditional and vintage. Let’s explore the simple ways to make this trending style all your own. Industrially Modern The modern look of clean lines, geometric shapes, and polished metals is perfectly accentuated with industrial pieces. Seek out edison bulbs for lighting, butcher block atop stainless steel counters, sleek metal stools and vintage lockers to industrialize your modern home. Photo by - Houzz industrial kitchen ideas This home features a modern color scheme and sleek lines, complimented by industrial-looking metal chairs and pendant lights, in addition to a unique staircase which has the look of a modern factory. Photo by Emily Winters - Houzz The industrial decor in this home (metal and wooden chairs, stools, and table; flower-filled beakers; oversized galvanized letter on the wall) up the modern look of this home. Notice the neutral white and gray palettes in both homes - a perfect backdrop for an industrially modern home. Finally, if modern is your style, avoid worn, frayed, peeling, or rusty elements. While you can certainly make vintage work, look for pieces in pristine condition, refinish, or opt for new items inspired by old. Industrially Traditional Part of what makes home decor traditional is its adherence to certain consistent elements, such as moulding, recessed panels, and traditional lines and profiles. Still, especially in the kitchen, industrial elements can be introduced to make a traditional home feel more current. Photo by Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab - Houzz The subway tiles, granite counters and detailed cabinets in this traditional kitchen take on a whole new look when accentuated with industrial lighting and seating. Even the rich wood-framed windows possess a warehouse feel. The result is a traditional kitchen brimming with visual interest and detail. Even the faucet above the farmhouse sink boasts industrial detail - in another life it might have appeared in a chemist’s lab. Industrially Vintage While industrial elements work well in both traditional and modern homes, they’re equally as perfect when paired with more feminine vintage pieces. Though modernists will stray from rustic and worn, most industrial pieces have that look. The marriage is destined for greatness. In fact, little effort is required when adding industrial pieces to a home filled with vintage. Still, warehouse and factory elements can come off as cold, masculine, and impersonal when not styled appropriately. Consider and add colors, textures, natural elements and feminine touches to make the warm industrially vintage look work. Photo by - Houzz discover shabby-chic style living room design ideas The decidedly industrial look of this coffee table, typewriter and fan are softened with the colors, textiles, textures and lines that make up this home. Without the tufts, ruffles, crystals and ceramics, this masculine look might take over the room. Instead, a nice balance is found - masculine and feminine, soft and hard, industrial and vintage. Photo by ROMABIO / Interior & Exterior Mineral Based Paints - Houzz The vintage pieces in this kitchen pair well with industrial elements like the metal stools and wooden ladder. The wooden beam on the ceiling and the open cabinets round out the look in a room warmed by rustic lighting and accessories. Photo by Blakes London - Browse Scandinavian kitchen ideas The whitewashed wood, beadboard paneling and vintage oven in this country kitchen work perfectly with the copper fixture and accordion lights used as accents. Vintage appliances and accessories complete the look. The result is a chic, polished vintage room, not noticeably industrial but made complete nonetheless by the industrial elements present. Regardless of the existing style in a home, industrial elements can make your rooms chic and stylish. The right choices in furniture, accessories, color and texture can make your home industrially perfect, no matter the home you live in.