Build-a-Room Series: True Blue Dining Room

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I don’t have a formal dining space, but if I did, this would be right up my alley. Light and airy, with primarily subdued colors and a splash of bold. I also really like the layout–how it looks into the family/living room. Open, but not so open to where I’d have to work at defining each space…

At first glance, the colors are what caught my eye. My favorite color is blue, so naturally, I was drawn to that bold pop of color at the top of the walls. Not only is it a beautiful shade of blue, all that white trim and wainscotting really makes it stand out. Oddly enough though, as much as I like blue, I tend to prefer it in smaller doses–which is why I was pleased to see they didn’t go overboard. I think the touches of blue they used throughout are just right!

OK, so let’s break down a few elements of the space and talk about how you can mimic this look in your own home.

We’ll start with the rug. Next, to the color, that gorgeous rug had my attention. While we offer a variety of beautiful rugs, there are two I feel would work perfectly. The first is the Ella Rose, in the color bone, from the Magnolia Home collection. It has those faded colors that give a vintage look. The second is the Layton. It’s a bit richer in color, but I think those tawny shades mixed with the blue would look amazing in that space. It really is all about your preference, so be willing to be flexible in certain areas.

perfect-layton-rug

In regards to dining chairs, our Victor is a perfect choice. It has an Old World look, complete with heavy carved wood legs, and comes available with and without arms.

For upholstery, my top three fabric choices are Indeed, India, and the Wanda. Here’s what they look like:

The thing is, you don’t necessarily have to go with a geometric print. Any blue and white fabric could work–even something as classic as stripes!

Finally, let’s address the window treatments. In this space, they went with a floral pattern on the valances, however, I think any garden-themed pattern would work. Take our Hargrove, Hayworth, and Hermes, for example. Each has a unique garden theme that would blend effortlessly with this space.

I hope this helped fuel your inspiration. Be sure to check back for more in this series.

5 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Decorating With Color

 

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Are you afraid of color in your home? If so, have you ever stopped and wondered why?

Maybe it’s because neutrals are “safe” or you’re just unsure of what to do. Perhaps it’s because it’s easier to do nothing than make a (potential) mistake…

Whatever it is, it’s time to rethink color and squash those unnecessary fears.

Did you know that color affects our brain? It’s true! There are actually many noted psychological effects we experience as humans that are rooted in color. While certain colors can have a negative effect, overall, the majority are positive. The right colors can boost our moods, our productivity and even our ability to concentrate! Without it, we can be left feeling restless or unsettled without even realizing why.

So, how can you break away from the old beige habit confidently? Here are 5 ways that may help.

Begin with things you love.

Decorating with an item you love is a great starting point when you have a desire for color. If a special piece stirs positive feelings in you when you see it, chances are that it’s perfect for your place. Your special find can be something as simple as a colorful basket or vase, something in-between like an abstract piece of art, or something larger like a fun accent chair or an eye-catching rug. Whatever it is, use it, and then expand on the color scheme each time you feel braver to do so.

Let nature inspire you.

Nature is full of colorful inspiration! For many, being outdoors brings about a feeling of ease, which is how we usually want to feel inside our home. Think about what moves you and makes you happy. Is it the ocean? A flower garden? Maybe an international landscape? There are so many wonders in nature that are ready to guide you!

Mismash, not match.

Sure, matching can create a beautifully curated look, but decorating is not one-size-fits-all. Today, it’s all about blending colors together–no matter what they are. If you enjoy colors that don’t typically “go together” don’t worry about it–anything goes! It does help to have something that ties all the colors together, but that doesn’t equate matching. Seriously, it’s okay to think outside the box!

Give something a makeover.

Upcycling old or unused pieces with a vibrant makeover is an easy way to add color to your home. Try your hand at recovering a worn out chair in a fabric of your choice or paint an old side table in a bold hue. Giving something a makeover is a perfect way to test how much color you are willing to tolerate without investing too much time and money.

Take on textiles.

Textiles, like fabric, wall coverings and rugs are a few effective ways to add color, set the tone, and make a statement in your home. Accent pillows and patterned rugs are an easy, interchangeable way to add personality and create visual interest. To keep it tailored to your preferred style, find your own fabrics for pillows, chairs, headboards and other custom pieces. Once you’ve chosen the color palette and vibe, narrow your choices to fabrics that meet the criteria while offering up ample color.

Be sure to stop into one of our showrooms or browse our fabric and rug selections online. We also offer custom pillows and furniture, making it easy to get the perfect pieces for your home.  

4 Ideal Rug Choices for the Busy Household

 

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An area rug is a beautiful thing—and often very necessary for busy households. Sorting through the endless choices, however, can make the process of actually picking, let alone purchasing, one a really big challenge. No matter what kind of traffic you have—roommates, kids, pets—it’s important to find a rug that can hold up to the wear and tear it will receive. Here are 4 ideal choices that are durable, easy to clean, and available in a variety of pretty options that will suit any décor.

1. Cotton.

Is it any surprise this is on the list? Cotton is one of the most low-maintenance options out there. When it comes to rugs, ones made of cotton are sometimes called “flat-weave”. Cotton fiber rugs are softer to the touch than other natural fibers (which we’ll talk about next) and very easy to clean. Additionally, with its porous nature and thin threads, cotton can be dyed in rich tones and woven into stylish patterns, making it a wonderful choice if it’s a pop of color you’re looking for.

2. Jute, Sisal, and Sea Grass

Natural fiber rugs are one of the best choices for a busy household. Not only are these rugs extremely durable, they’re well-priced. Overall, the strong fibers of these kinds of rugs make it easy to clean—sometimes, with no more required than a blotting. You can also find these natural-fiber rugs in a variety of rich textures, patterns, and hues.

3. Wool

Wool rugs can be quite costly but rightfully so. With their durability, softness, and versatility, wool rugs are the cream of the crop. Although certainly an investment, wool rugs can last up to a decade or more, unlike synthetic rugs whose life span typically only reaches two to three years. Wool rugs are a favorite for many reasons, some of which include their luster, ability to repel spills, beautiful colors, and intricate woven patterns.

4. Indoor-Outdoor Rugs

Don’t be fooled into thinking that indoor-outdoor rugs aren’t just as suitable for interiors as they are for exteriors. Rugs like these have come a long way, so if you have a busy household, consider them as you shop. Many indoor-outdoor rugs are made of synthetic materials, making them stain-resistant, easy to clean, and affordable. They also come in bright, bold colors and various patterns that suit a wide variety of decorating styles.

Ready to complete your home’s interior with a rug that will suit your busy household? Stop in one of our showrooms or browse our beautiful rug collection online.

10 Key Features of Spanish Style Interiors

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Spanish style homes are quite unique. The rustic yet elegant look has a timeless appeal that is hard to beat. Although Spanish inspired design is more prevalent throughout Sun Belt states like Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, and California, there are several key features that make it easy to add Spanish flair to your home regardless of your location. Let’s take a look at 10 of them that will make your home muy bonito!  

UNO: Decorative wrought iron.

Not only is hand-forged ironwork is a centuries-old trade, it is a very prominent feature in Spanish-style homes. The architecture will often include ironwork on doors, lighting, stairways, and hardware.

DOS: Arches.

Arches are elegant and style-defining. In addition to interior archways, you will find arched doors, windows, alcoves, and niches.

TRES: Tiles on risers.

Risers covered in Mexican or Catalina style tile add beauty to stairways with their intricate patterns and eye-catching colors. These tiles also provide protection against scuffs and scratches, making them a functional addition as well. Combining different patterns is actually encouraged–just make sure the colors work well together.

QUATRO: Warm wood details.

Doors, floors, and furniture are popular features showcased by warm wood full of rich tones. If the pieces are heavily detailed with a pattern, even better. Many homes even feature warm wood on the ceilings whether it’s the entire ceiling or exposed wooden beams. Wood selections fitting for this design include ebony, walnut, butternut, teak, mahogany, and rosewood.

CINCO: Stucco walls.

Historically, stucco walls were a practical way to keep the interior cooler, however, they are now are also considered a key design feature. At one time, simple, crisp white was the preferred choice. While white is still popular, the style now embraces painting walls with layers of warm tones.

SEIS: Succulent garden.

The exterior of a Spanish-style home often includes succulents. Not only do succulents provide beautiful color and texture, they are drought tolerant and very easy to maintain.

SIETE: Mexican pavers.

Mexican pavers are handmade clay pavers that are traditionally made by Mexican artisans. They have been around for hundreds of years with design methods passed down for generations. Mexican pavers come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors and are individually named–typically after the town or region where the clay was found. Mexican pavers are equally as popular for the interior of Spanish-style homes as they are for the exterior.

OCHO: Rich textiles.

Rich fabrics are a traditional part of Spanish interiors. Something such as velvet curtains, for windows and entryways, are a great example. Not only does their richness add to the drama of the architecture, they pair beautifully with all the ironwork. Other textiles to use include Old World-style tapestries, Persian or Navajo rugs, upholstery fabrics, and accessories, such as pillows and throws. Our Capri and our Shabala are two fabrics that can offer both color and pattern for your Spanish-inspired design.

NUEVE: Eclectic furniture.

In Spanish-style homes, you have so much freedom to mix several different styles of furniture. With simple and somewhat organic architecture, an assortment of eclectic furnishings can easily be displayed. Think Indian, Moroccan, Syrian, and African pieces–pretty much anything goes!

DIEZ: Earth tones.

Within the walls of a Spanish-style home, you’ll find lots of warm, earth tones. Typical colors often include warm hues of reds, oranges, and browns, with accent colors such as turquoise green, blue and yellow. Colors tend to be displayed by way of textured walls and ceilings, wood flooring or beams, decorative tiles, large floral arrangements, and a variety of accents.

 

Fashionable and Functional Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

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Don’t let a small dorm space cramp your style. Turn your temporary home into a space that’s both stylish and efficient for all your college needs with these decorating ideas.

Master the Furniture Layout

Sometimes all it takes is a simple rearranging of furniture to make a difference in a room. If possible, get the furniture layout taken care of first thing. Assess the space, as well as the furnishings for it, and then test different placements. Consider space-saving solutions such as moving dressers into closets or putting desks back to back. To create extra seating, let your bed double as a “couch” by positioning it with one side of it against the wall, adding decorative pillows for style and comfort.

Aim for Ample Space and Storage

Sometimes this area requires a little thinking outside the box. One easy way to save on space and get additional storage is to use multifunctional furniture pieces like futons and storage ottomans. In the bedroom, you can double your space by using a loft bed. A loft bed frees up valuable floor space that can be used for storage, studying or lounging. Closet space less than desirable? A mobile clothing rack is a simple way to give you more room for shoes and clothes.

Coordinate Colors

Often times, you know who your roommate is well before you get settled in. If that’s the case, reach out to see if coordinating colors is something he or she is interested in doing. You don’t have to match everything in the room, but finding a compromise on a color scheme can help you avoid clashing. A little harmony when it comes to decorating keeps the place looking pleasing and balanced.

Dress Up What You Can

No need to leave doors and walls bare unless you have to. Vintage posters, pop art prints, mirrors, and framed family photos are all wonderful ways to express yourself. Decorative decals are another great way to integrate personality into your dorm room. Use them on the wall, on doors, and even on the ceiling. Have a large wall that’d make a perfect focal point? Turn it into a feature wall by hanging a large piece of fabric with a funky pattern against it.

Warm Up Cold Floors

Don’t forget to give your dorm room floors a little attention. Create a “custom” rug by piecing a variety of rugs together to form one giant area rug that fits your space. Not only will it look cool, it’s a lot more cost-efficient–perfect for a college student.

How to Achieve the Look of Timeless Design in Your Home

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Keeping up with home decorating trends can be tough. Next time you decorate, why not opt out of what’s trendy and choose to create a timeless look instead? Here are 5 tips that can help you keep your style fresh for years to come.

(1) Quality over quantity.

No matter what year it is, less is more. This doesn’t mean go full-blown minimalistic, but rather choose what you fill your home with carefully. Simply put: be a collector, not a consumer. Don’t overfill shelves or cover every square inch of wall and floor space just because you can. Instead, focus more on filling your home with unique and/or high-quality items. Edit your collections to only the best. A home that has a timeless look honors and showcases special accessories, as well as each piece of furniture.

(2) Choose a muted palette.

Neutrals are as timeless as it gets. When choosing colors, choose a muted palette and restrict the number of colors you use. A palette such as this recedes into the background, allowing your furniture and accessories to stand out. Keep in mind that neutrals don’t mean doesn’t mean dull or boring shades that don’t expand beyond brown. Gray, navy blue and even some shades of green work beautifully as neutrals in a timeless home. Colorful accents and accessories can also be used to show personality.

(3) Blend old with new.

A timeless look typically entails a mix-and-match of both old and new items. This collected look is a great way to bring interest and beauty to your decor. If you have several old items, consider painting or reupholstering something outdated for a fresh new look.

(4) Stick with classic fabric patterns.

As with colors, patterns fall subject to trends. If you want to avoid reupholstering every few years, pick classic fabric patterns. As a general rule, stripes, plaid, and florals are three graphics that won’t let you down. All of these patterns have evolved over the years, making it much simpler to find something that works with any decorating style. Be sure to browse our fabrics–we carry several classic patterns that are sure to look beautiful in your home.

(5) Make comfort mandatory.

Comfort is essential for the long haul. It’s important to remember that being pretty is not the best reason to make a purchase. If furniture isn’t comfortable, then you’ll end up replacing it sooner rather than later no matter how good it looks. Take everyone in the house into consideration and base your purchases on that. Shopping may take longer than you’d like, but it’ll be worth it when you find something comfortable, beautiful, and functional for all involved.

 

 

 

Creating the Perfect Summer Bedroom

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We swap out our clothing to accommodate the summer temperatures, so why not do the same with our bedroom? To beat the heat, take the time to give it a summer makeover that’s both aesthetic and practical. Here are some ideas on how to create your perfect summer bedroom.

Try crisp, cool sheets.

Sheets make a really big difference when it comes to sleeping comfortably during the summer months. To ensure a good night’s sleep, opt for sheets made of natural fibers, such as bamboo, linen, and 100% cotton. Natural fibers tend to be more durable, breathable, and better at absorbing moisture, making them a perfect choice for summer.

Ditch the heavy comforter.

Save that puffy goose down duvet for those cold winter nights. For the summer months, invest in something else like a lighter-weight duvet, a light down blanket, or a pretty quilt. You can even go with something simpler, such as a cotton blanket. A pure cotton blanket in a looser weave will provide both comfort and style. Looking for something custom made? We have a wide variety of lightweight and multipurpose fabrics that can create a beautiful duvet cover.

Decorate with seasonal accents.

There are a variety of ways you can breathe new life into your home décor during the summer months. Accent pillows and throw blankets are two of the most popular choices when it’s time to freshen for the season. As you shop, opt for softer, brighter hues and prints that are fitting for the season. Florals or other botanicals are a good place to start–however, you could use anything you like as long as the colors are conducive to a summer-inspired bedroom interior.

Another accent you could change out or add is a rug. Rugs made out of lighter, natural fibers like jute or sea grass look and feel airy, making them perfect choices to finish off your perfect summer bedroom.

Let the light in.

Good lighting is crucial to any room in a home, bedroom included. Sheer, gauzy curtains, will allow natural light to shine through, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. Be sure to take advantage of that extra sunlight by finishing off your bedroom with plants and fresh flowers.

Understanding Fabric Weights for Home Interior Projects

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Weight is an important component when it comes to choosing the right fabric for your project. Often times, we focus more on the texture, color, or pattern of a swatch, rather than focusing on how heavy it actually is. This isn’t as much of an issue when it comes to picking out clothing, but when it comes to home decorating, picking the wrong weight of fabric could be disastrous.

This is why I think it’s important to talk a bit about fabric weights and why paying attention to them is vital to a successful interior design project…

Simply put, fabrics are classified based off their GSM–grams per meter. The GSM is what differentiates between lightweight, medium-weight, or heavyweight fabric. Typically, the fabric weight is measured by placing a standard meter of fabric on a scale. The weight is recorded in grams and then the fabric will be classified based on that weight.

In regards to home interior fabrics, when we think of fabric weight, we’re really talking about durability. In short, the thicker or more condensed the material, the more durable it will be.

So let’s shift gears and talk durability…

We know that the classification of a fabric is based on the GSM, but within that classification is another component to focus on: double rubs.  

You may be wondering what I mean by double rub. Let me explain.

The double rub is a back and forth motion that gives an approximation of the wear and tear. Manufacturers will perform a double rub test, which is often a simulation of a person getting in and out of a chair, to determine fabric strength. The number of double rubs it can withstand is recorded and then labeled.

In recent years, abrasion tests have become more extreme, leading to some discrepancies regarding these numbers. This has made things even more confusing for consumers in determining what is actually necessary for upholstery applications.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to how the fabric will be used. Anything that meets at least 15,000 double rubs is more than acceptable for upholstery. Furniture in more formal areas, that will get light-to-moderate use, can typically have as low as 9,000 double rubs without any issues.

Below, I’ve elaborated on fabric classifications and their double rubs–but for your quick reference, here’s a condensed version that can serve as a guide:

  • Delicate use: < 9,000
  • Light use: 9,000 – 11,000
  • Medium use: 12,000 – 15,000
  • Heavy use: 15,000+

Note: Most manufacturers cease abrasion testing once the fabric reaches (or surpasses) 35,000 double rubs.

Light Weight Fabric

Lightweight fabric can handle roughly 3,000 to 9,000 double rubs, meaning this isn’t the best fabric for heavy use. At best, this fabric will withstand up to three years of regular use, so it’s best to keep it for items such as accent pillows, curtains, or chair cushions that get minimal use. When looking at lightweight fabrics, lean toward tight weaves and durable fibers like cotton, linen, nylon, and microfibers.

Medium Weight Fabric

Fabrics of medium weight can handle approximately 9,000 to 15,000 double rubs. These are fabrics that would serve well in family and/or living rooms. Since they are more versatile that light weight fabrics, they can be used in many more ways.

Heavy Weight Fabric

These fabrics are the most durable, able to withstand more than 15,000 double rubs. In the past, heavy weight fabrics used to be stiffer and thicker. Today, however, newer blends are available, leaving you with much more supple and softer options. Choose heavy weight fabrics for heavy use pieces and elegant drapery. Be sure to factor in texture when looking at heavy weight fabrics (this can apply to medium weight as well). Certain overlaid patterns and textures can fray easily, so be careful as to where you use it. Just because it’s heavy weight, doesn’t mean all textures can withstand heavy wear.

Additional Tips

Some additional things to consider and remember when deciphering fabric weight:

  • Look for wearability codes such as LD, MD, and HD on fabric swatches to determine if it’s light, medium or heavy. Some swatches may have DD, which stands for delicate duty.
  • To prolong the lifespan of the fabric, keep it out of direct sunlight if possible.
  • If you live in a humid climate, look for mildew-resistant fabric.
  • Delicate fabrics should be avoided if you have indoor pets.

While it is always nice to know the brand name of a product, it’s important to remember that quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Be sure to shop around and speak with fabric suppliers directly when possible. Fabric can be changed, but to save in the long run, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s an investment that should be well understood.

Creating a Study Space Your Kids Will Love

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Summer goes by so fast–and before you know it, it’s time to gear the kids back up for school. No matter what type of schooling your family does, a designated study area can be beneficial. With ample space, the proper tools, and some personalized design, schoolwork can seem more fun and less like a chore. Here are some tips for creating a study space your kids will love.

Color Them with Inspiration

Colors affect our moods dramatically–so it’s certainly a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked in a kid’s study space. Vibrant colors are a must–but don’t feel the need to saturate the space. A colorful reading nook, patterned window treatments, a bright bookcase, and multihued rugs on the floor are just some ideas that will give the area a whimsical feel that makes homework feel less burdensome.

Provide Ample Storage and Supplies

Having the tools of the trade, such as storage and supplies, make getting jobs like schoolwork easier. Chalkboards, bulletin boards, generous shelving, and organizers are some tools that will enable your child to be more successful when it comes schoolwork. Additionally, having enough supplies on hand (glue, scissors, pencils, etc) for each child will allow them to be more efficient. Keep in mind that organization products don’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, you may already have things around the house that can be used–like a pitcher for scissors and rulers or a mug or mason jar to hold pens and pencils. For bigger storage solutions, scout out places like thrift stores for anything that can be spruced up or shop stores like Ikea who offer cool solutions for very reasonable prices.

Make it Individual

As kids get older, they require more space. This is where individual workstations come into play. Each workspace should be fully functional so that the child can get their work done. If possible, try to tailor the space to their personality to make it a bit more fun. A funky lamp, a framed photo, and even a desk chair in their favorite color are just some ideas on how you can make their workspace seem a little special.

If there’s extra square footage in the study area, create a comfy spot to stretch out on. It can be as unique as a custom piece of furniture, such as a chair, sofa, or ottoman to something more simple–like a cushioned window seat covered in a fabric they love or even a beanbag chair in the corner.

Keep it Quiet

Noise makes it hard to concentrate, so make sure your study area has a door that can be closed to block out distractions. This becomes more difficult if the study area is part of a multifunctional room. In circumstances like this, try tweaking the schedule so the kids have a block of quiet time where they can focus.

 

 

 

 

 

8 Ways to Liven Up a Lifeless Hallway

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Hallways are notoriously tricky to decorate. More often than not, hallways are narrow spaces that lack lighting, making them seem drab and gloomy. But there’s no reason you can’t give your hallway the same attention you give to the rest of your home. After all, the hallway can set the mood and tone for your entire house–so why not show it some love? If you’re ready to breathe new life into your hallway, here are 8 ways you can liven it up.

1. A colorful rug. A colorful rug can give your hallway instant style–and both pattern and length can make a real difference. For example, a rug with horizontal stripes can give the illusion of width to a narrow hallway. Want dramatic impact? Go for the longest rug you can find that fits the space–or try sewing several of the same rugs together to get it the length you need.

2. Pendant lighting. Due to the lack of natural light, artificial lighting is often necessary. Instead of the standard surface-mounted lights, go for something more stylish–like hanging pendants. For something ultra-glam, consider hanging a chandelier.

3. Mirrors. A strategically placed mirror can do wonders to liven (and brighten) up a hallway. For the best effect, position the mirror to reflect the natural light, as well as another key feature in the space, such as a cool piece of art.

4. An eye-catching gallery. Hallways provide you with some extra space to display art or photos you can’t necessarily display throughout the home. Consider hanging a row of family photos and art the full length of the hallway for visual interest. For a graphic and bold look, go for identical frames and matting. For something warmer and welcoming, opt for an eclectic mix of frames in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

5. Cabinetry or bookcases. If space allows, use your hallway for extra storage. Built in cabinets or shelves can break up the length of the hallway in a very functional way.

6. Murals or wallpaper. Want to add a pop of the unexpected in your home? Consider a fun, patterned wallpaper or a floor-to-ceiling mural. Both are unique ways to bring color and style to a hallway. Want something a little less permanent? Consider doing a feature wall with fabric.

7. Wainscoting. Wainscoting works with several design styles. Not only is it a great decorative design element, it can also protect the lower portions of your drywall, which often get beat up from heavy traffic.

8. Fantastic flooring. A great way to jazz up the hallway is to lay down some fantastic flooring. If your hallway is dark, opt for something light. If you want to make a statement, go with something like tile and create a pattern. Even encaustic tiles could work, especially if your home has a rich history.


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