Monthly Archives: October 2016

Use Neutrals for a Flexible Background

Are you getting ready to redesign a bedroom, or throw some new paint up on your living room walls? You may be wondering what neutral colors are in interior design.

 

Neutral Colors

In the context of interior design, neutral means without color. Neutrals such as beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray and shades of white appear to be without color, but in many applications these hues often have undertones. Be aware of these underlying tones as you match colors or choose paint.

For example, beige might have an undertone of pink, tan or gold. White might be slightly ivory, yellow, bluish or peachy. Neutrals can be used in decor in two basic ways — either as a soft, neutral only, quiet look or as background colors for dramatic accents.

The All-Neutral Room

If you are going for an all-neutral look, layer different hues of the same color for a classy and sophisticated look. Follow the suggestions of paint chip families to choose colors that are harmonious. Choose a lighter shade for the walls, with darker upholstery. Choose an area rug in a color that complements the wood flooring but also is just a shade darker than the walls so the furniture stands out; choose the same color if you prefer carpeting. Tie the room together with accessories that include some or all of the shades you have used. This color scheme lets hardwood flooring; beams; fireplace surrounds of wood, brick or stone; and window frames make a warm statement within this understated room.

Neutrals as Background

In this scheme, as with the all-neutral room, start with neutral walls. Choose the neutral based on what other colors you wish to use, how much natural light the room receives and your personal preference for lighter or darker walls. Be mindful that darker walls seem to close the room up and make it feel smaller, as well as darker, especially if there is little natural light.

So if your room is large and light, you can consider all options. If it is small and on the dark side, a lighter neutral would likely be a better choice.

If you like gray, also decide whether you prefer a warm or cool shade; the same goes for shades of white. Say you choose a rich taupe for the wall color. Turn up the volume with a navy blue sofa and chairs covered in a stripe of ivory, taupe and navy. Add an area rug or carpeting in the same shade of taupe as the walls or a bit lighter. Pair throw pillows in taupe and the same pattern as the chairs with a taupe throw for a cohesive look. Place books and art objects with dashes of brick red on a brass and glass coffee table to add interest and color. In this color scheme, you have taupe walls and floor accent or carpeting for a neutral canvas, with drama added via the upholstery in navy and small bits of red in decorative pieces for further interest.

Interior Decorating Guides

When you’re searching for inspiration, not just on what to put in your place, but on how to actually decorate with it, the possibilities are nearly endless. There’s tips and guides and suggestions, all talking about totally different approaches to totally different topics. Trying to sort your way through it all can turn into a full-time job all by itself. Well, we’d like to do something to rectify that situation and help you get right to the business (and fun) of actually designing your home. So here’s our Ultimate Expert Guide – sort of a guide to all of our guides, covering just about every area of home decorating, from sofas and rugs to dining tables and art. Best of all, we’ve broken everything down to it’s simplest units – things to do and things not to do. So jump right in, and get to the good part that much faster.

Walk into just about any house that hasn’t been professionally decorated (and even some that have) and you’re bound to see at least one of the following decorating mistakes. It’s no big surprise really; there are a lot of rules when it comes to interior decorating and we all slip up now and then.

To avoid making some of the most common decorating faux pas, check out these rules on how NOT to decorate. Just because most people make these mistakes, there’s no reason why you should have to.

One of the biggest furniture investments you’ll make is a sofa. Sofas cost a lot of money, they take up a lot of space, and they’re where you and your family will likely spend a lot of time. So make sure you know what you’re doing before you go out and buy one. Check out these sofa do’s and don’ts to make sure you get the best sofa for your investment.

Framing windows with long curtains and drapes is a great way to add glamor and personality to a room, but before you head out to the store to buy some check out these curtain do’s and don’ts.

Russian Home Design Tips

A focus on bespoke, vibrant homes, interior designer Kari McIntosh takes us inside her latest project – a modern family home in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The project had a tight deadline as the family of soon-to-be three needed a designer who could help them complete their newly renovated home just two months before their first child was about to be born. Under a strict deadline, McIntosh was able to design a home that’s warm, colorful and perfect for a young family with a newborn on the way. 

“I worked quickly to curate a fashion-forward and family-friendly home fit for a young family that loves wine, sports, and entertaining.” McIntosh started with a blue and green color palette in the living room. A choice of furnishings and art lends to the rich palette that’s warm and cozy, perfect for a family that desires a stylish environment.

The colorful interior has a mix of modern elements as well. Perfect for a newly renovated home in the Bay. In the office, a lacquered white desk with chrome legs keeps things contemporary. A structured desk chair is the perfect complement.

The home’s dining room has an open plan right into the kitchen. A mix of color and texture creates a striking statement in the dining area. The dining table is burled wood. A beautiful, natural wood tone that’s warm and inviting. Surrounding the table, a set of modern classic Panton Chairs add some soft curves. On the wall, green malachite wall art is the perfect pop of color. And overhead, the modern chandelier is the perfect way to bring home some ambiance.

A silver metallic credenza adds edge to the dining room. Blue porcelain table lamps continue the colorful mix in the interior.

Add a Custom Folded Napkin to Your Table Setting

So many special things happen when people come together over a meal. Whether it’s with family or friends, a special occasion, or that special someone, there is something remarkable about sharing a table. It becomes even more special when the table itself is a thing of beauty. One of the best ways to transform your table into an enchanting moment is to accompany your table settings with an elegantly folded napkin.

If you have always loved intricate napkin folds but have felt that it required some special skill, don’t fret. It’s all very simple once you you learn some basic napkin folding methods. See our easy tutorials on how to create 12 different napkin folds. You’re sure to find one you love.

 

Have you ever gone to a party where the hosts have taken the time to make the table look really special? Didn’t the napkins, folded to a pretty shape, add to the total feel of the setting? Some napkins are arranged so beautifully that you don’t want to use them.

In your own home, a special table says that you really value your guests when you make the extra effort to set the table beautifully.Even if you’ve never folded a napkin in your life, these photo tutorials will make it all simple.

 The napkin folds presented here are not complicated or difficult. Each one will take only a few minutes, and you’ll be pleased with the results.

Start out with the easy ones and attempt something a bit more complicated when you’ve mastered one. Some are easy, and some more complicated, some use napkin rings, and all will look more presentable if you have the iron out when you’re working.

Try all the folds to decide which one you prefer. You might feel that one style is more casual and another more formal. Choose your favorite for the occasion.

 

The Easiest Folds

These are the folds to start with when working to develop your skills at creating eye-catching napkin decorations. You’ll be amazed at the number of different folds, tricks, and variations that are out there. But before you get to those, you’ll want to know these basic folds:

  • Scarf Napkin Fold
  • Traditional Napkin Fold
  • Rolling Napkin Fold
  • Goblet Fan Napkin Fold
  • Knotted Napkin Fold
  • Tailored Napkin Fold

Cheap Home Decorating Ideas

Looking for some simple, inexpensive DIY decorating projects to try? Let the inspiration juices flow with this roundup of easy DIY projects.

This rag rug can be customized to meet the decor of any room, and it is easy enough for kids to join in on the DIY decorating fun.

Add a delicate, vintage-looking touch to your decor with these lace containers. Modge Podge brings it all together.

Finally, something to do with all those bottles caps that you have lying around. This stylish tray can show off your favorite drinks and do double duty holding them.

A little painter’s tape goes a long way to creating a trendy geometric painted rug.

This love message board lets you express your love for others over and over again–with just a quick wipe off and rewrite.

Repurpose your old spaghetti sauce jars into Moroccan-inspired lanterns, which are all decked out with gold paint.

Looking to give new life to old votives? This DIY decorating project involves taking paper and covering votives. Let your favorite decorative papers glow!​

Inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier from Ironware International, these bamboo orb pendant lights add a rustic or farmhouse style to any room.