Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The New Neutral

Neutral colors are used as the foundation to build every room. They help maintain the transition of color flow. In the past few years we’ve started to see a lot more of The New Neutral: silver, gold, bronze, copper, pewter, nickel, gray, taupe. These colors are a great since they are richer and have more dimension than your standard neutral color palette. You can even mix them – just be sure to keep cool colors and warm colors together. Add pewter colored frames to the wall. Look for throw pillows with metallic gold or silver threading. Shop for antique bronze knickknacks for table tops and bookshelves.

Buh-Bye Beige!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All the Senses

When I worked at Antrhopologie one of the first things they teach you is how the store is designed to appeal to all the senses. Design should be something you experience on all levels...well maybe not taste...I never did figure that one out.

Sight: Your home should be filled with appealing images and have an aesthetic that suits who you are. Surround yourself with colors you like and make sure furniture and art are in balance with the room. Fresh flowers are known to boost mood and bring delight to any room.

Touch: Don’t forget to add texture. Add woven throw blankets and embroidered pillows. Look for lampshades that have a 3D design. Hang a polished mirror next to an unfinished piece of wood furniture. Mixing varying elements together creates a more interesting environment.

Smell: Have a scent you love? Make it your signature home fragrance and carry it throughout your home. Try to stick to one scent as you don’t want to overwhelm guests with a ton of varying smells. What’s even better is finding candles that are in pretty jars or containers that match your home.

Sound: Whether you’re entertaining, having Sunday dinner, or just lounging around, do it to tunes that suit the mood.

Notice the use of vibrant color and the variety of images throughout the room.

(Above image by thisisbossi, licensed by Creative Commons.)

These lampshades would bring texture and depth to any room. They are so much more fun than your boring basic shade.

(Above image by Jean-Baptiste Soufron, licensed by Creative Commons.)

You can find candles like these nearly anywhere. Anthropologie has beautiful candles that not only smell wonderful but last forever. They also come in cool containers that you can keep afterwards.

(Above image by Igloowhite, licensed by Creative Commons.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

From Scratch

This post is dedicated to my best friend, Swiss Miss, who just moved across the country to Boston with absolutely no furniture.

Starting from Scratch is overwhelming but exciting. This is your chance to reinvent your home and start the next chapter. When I moved into my apartment it took a lot of time to get everything right and to build it to the place it is now. Here are some things I learned along the way:

1) Ask yourself: What room am I going to spend the most time in? This is the room you should decorate first.

2) Get the big items first. This would be the bed, couch, and kitchen table and chairs. Try to stay in a neutral palette so you don’t purchase a big ticket item in a color that doesn't work with the rest of your home. Also, remember when picking any items with wood finishing that you’ll want to pick all your future pieces with the same finishing. You’ll want to keep one type of wood flowing throughout the room. It looks odd when you have pine next to cherry. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping. If you find a shape that you absolutely love but it’s in a color of wood you can’t stand, keep looking. Half the fun is looking anyway. If you’ve already bought two pieces of furniture with different wood finishing, then either place them on opposite ends of the room from each other or, paint the piece you like the least. Sometimes it’s fun to have unexpected colors of furniture.

3) Next, you should already have an idea of what your color palette is going to be, but start to focus on what your over all inspiration for each room is. Each room should have one standout piece that is either the focal point or the inspiration for every other item in the room. For example, in my living room I have a large circular shaped mirror that is art-deco meets modern. While it isn’t the focal point of the living room it did inspire many other items that are silver which are scattered though out the room.

4) Now, start from the floor up. After you have your big pieces its time to start building out the room. A rug under your couch will help to stabilize the room and hopefully add some color that you can build off of. Then, begin searching for other furniture that you are interested in adding to the room. As the furniture is added lamps can be placed on top adding more shape and depth to the room. Art comes last since you will need to know where your furniture is placed before hand so you can center, or off-center, pictures appropriately. Finish off the room with window treatments. If you have too much color in the room already go with neutral window treatments. If not enough color, pick a color that compliments the rest of the room.

5) Finally, add personality. Decorate the room with the items you have fallen in love with over the years. I believe that creating a home is all about surrounding yourself with pleasant memories and the stories that have created your life. Bookends, candle holders, catchalls, vases...but try to keep it personal. Remember that items placed on furniture should always be grouped in odd numbers. Color and shapes should be repeated on opposite ends of the room from each other. For example, if you have a painting with red in it on one wall, try to repeat the effect with a red candle across the room from the painting.

Have fun!


Welcome Home

I moved to the Bay Area from Southern California almost a year ago. As soon as I got a job I started saving up for my first post-college, roommate free apartment. Of course, I had been decorating this apartment in my head since I was twelve. I lived with my boyfriend, The Lumberjack, while I was looking for a place of my own. Apartments are expensive in the Bay Area and notoriously on the older side.

But take my breath away – I had found it. Originally only one picture of the building on Craigslist I went on a whim to see what the inside looked like. As soon as I stepped foot in side I knew this was the place for me. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw with a bedroom that was the size of a living room and walk in closet complete with shoe rack. Large windows in every room let the sun drift in and soak the original hardwood floors. The kitchen was actually quite large with a French door that led to a long balcony. Surprising elements like the 1950’s blue and yellow tile in the bathroom and a wall heater that was probably just as old keep this apartment looking charming. Welcome home, I thought.

Here I am nearly eight months later and my apartment is fully decorated and complete. While a part of me is sad it’s over a wise person once told me a home is never really finished. You pick things up along the way in life and tastes will change. I decided to start this blog because I love decorating so much. I hope you enjoy my ideas and inspirations and take away some ideas for yourself.