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Archive for the ‘Design Tips’ Category

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend and did something special for Valentines.  My hubby unfortunately caught the cold I had and was down and out most of the weekend, so we had lots of down town watching movies and napping.

Tall Windows

After writing the post on Easy Ways to UpStyle Plain Window Treatments, I got a email from Cathryn asking about window treatments for tall windows.  If you’ve ever had two story tall windows in your home, you know how challenging it can be to style them with window treatments.  Today I’m going to answer Cathryn’s question and share a few tips on decorating tall windows with you. Many of the design tips I’m sharing can apply to regular height windows too, so everyone can get something from of this post.

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Decorating with Things You Love

Style at Home

I love talking to women who are in the process of decorating or re-decorating their home.  It may be their first apartment, their first house or a house they have lived in for years.  Regardless of their living situations, I always offer up my best piece of design advice which never changes–Decorate With The Things You Love!

With a slew of home decor stores, catalogs, websites and blogs to provide design inspiration, I think many people lose sight of this golden rule.  Decorating with the things you love goes way beyond a favorite accessory piece or framed family picture, it’s about creating a home filled only with things that enrich your life, your body, your mind and your soul.

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Hello there.  I hope you week is going well.  Today I wanted to share my thoughts on a design idea that is quickly becoming a trend.

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Have you noticed more and more kitchens, pantries, laundry rooms and closet spaces are going doorless? New homes are being built with open shelving and lots of homeowners are removing the doors on their existing cabinets to create the open shelving concept in their homes.

New Home with Open Shelving

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I must say that I really love the look of open shelving, not only for a kitchen but the other rooms in the home too.

One of the things I like most about this design statement is that open shelving makes a room feel more spacious and airy.

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Cabinet doors can become a visual blocker and sometimes limit the storage capabilities in a kitchen.  Open shelves allow you to use every inch of space to display collectibles and functional items, providing a more personal and stylized design statement.

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In a laundry room, open shelves make functional items easily accessible and provide a less industrial feel overall.

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Don’t think your open shelves have to be plain and boring–you can incorporate decorative hardware or a decorative paint application to make your shelves stand out.

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And, standard shelving can be replaced with another material to provide more visual interest.

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If you’re considering open shelving in your home, here are a few tips that will help you create the best possible look:

1)  Keep items organized–open shelving will look intentional if items are grouped and organized in an attractive and orderly way.

2)  Create depth and dimension with the items on your shelves by stacking pieces at different heights and layering items from the front of the shelf to the back.

3)  Incorporate decorative elements like decorative platters, vases or collectibles to give your shelves personality.

4)  Use storage baskets and containers to hold smaller items and create areas of impact on your shelves.

5) Consider a contrasting background so that that contents on each shelf stand out.

And remember that design is in the details so approach your open shelving the same way you would decorating a tabletop or bookcase.

So what do you think–do you like the open shelving concept or would you rather keeps things behind closed doors?

Shelly

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Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural fiber rugs have been a popular design element for many years and I think they will continue to be a staple for years to come.  Educating my design clients on the difference between a sisal, jute and seagrass rug is something I do a lot. These rug varieties are somewhat similar in look but there are some distinct differences.

I know many of you probably have some confusion about the difference in these rugs types too, so I wanted to share a little about each style.

JUTE RUGS

Jute Rug

Here’s an example of a braided jute loop rug below

Jute Rug

Jute is actually a plant grown in India and Bangladesh and the fibers are stripped from the plant’s stalk rather than the leaves.  Once the fibers are stripped, they are spun and prepared for weaving. Jute is actually the same material that burlap is made from  and has similar characteristics to burlap.  One of the other great features of a jute rug is that the fibers can be dyed in different colors which is one of the reasons they are so popular.

 The weave of a jute rug is strong and once woven will have a coarse hand but it is actually softer than sisal.  Because of its performance nature, jute rugs are best for low to medium traffic areas like bedrooms, dining rooms and home offices.  If you’re using a jute rug in a home office, consider what types of moveable furniture that you’ll have on the carpet because they will be difficult to move around on jute.

Keeping your jute rug clean is pretty easy but it is not recommended that you steam clean them since the fibers are very absorbent.

SISAL RUGS

Sisal Rug

Sisal Rug

Sisal is a fiber that comes from the Mexican agave plant and is then woven into a yarn-like material which can be left is it’s natural neutral color or dyed.

Sisal is a super strong fiber so these types of rugs are ideal for high traffic areas like hallways, stairs or family rooms. The fiber also pulls moisture and humidity from the air which makes it a great carpet for sunrooms where you want something cool underfoot.

Natural Sisal rugs tend to be very coarse, however a synthetic sisal rug can provide the same look, but will have a softer feel and much better durability.  Pure sisal rugs tend to warp when they get wet, so they can be tough to clean.

The best way to care for a Sisal rug is the vacuum regularly but never use a steam cleaner on a sisal rug.

SEAGRASS RUGS

Seagrass Rug

Seagrass rug2

Seagrass rugs are my favorite amongst all natural fiber rugs.  These rugs are made of twisted seagrass fibers and although they have somewhat of a coarse hand I love the unique look that they have.   Seagrass rugs are khaki and green in color and usually have a twisted fiber as part of the weave.  Like other natural fiber rugs, Seagrass is coarse as well, yet it has more of an oily feel to the touch.  Seagrass rugs do not come in different colors but you can find different weave patterns to choose from.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural fiber rugs are an excellent way to bring a solid color and minimal pattern into the room as well as add visual texture.  They are also a great foundation rug when you want to layer something decorative on top.

Layered natural fiber rug

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Layered Rug

Shelly

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Decorativ Knobs2

When it comes to decorating, there are a lot of decorative elements that I’m obsessed with.

I love bamboo picture frames and brass planters.  I have a weakness for decorative boxes and animal print pillows. I rarely ever pass up a piece of milkglass or ironstone when I’m out antiquing. And then there’s my love of decorative knobs.  Whenever I’m at Anthropologie or Hobby Lobby, I always visit the knob bins.  The bins are like jewelry trays and I just love checking out all the sparkly, colorful knobs and envisioning how I can use them to update a piece of furniture or use them on a diy project.

I recently looked through a basket when I store my knobs and realized I have quite the collection.  Some of the knobs I have plans for and others I just loved and couldn’t pass up.  Last year I gave our bedroom armoire a makeover and UpStyled it with paint and knobs from Hobby Lobby.

Summer 2013 Bedroom Update (51)

Decorative knobs are one of the most cost-effective decorative elements you can buy, to easily and quickly transform a piece of furniture.  But finding the perfect knob can sometimes be a challenge.  To help you with the hunt, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite knob sources and what each of them has to offer.

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Today I wanted to talk a bit about decorating styles. One of the things I love most about being an interior designer is that there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to decorating. Creating a look that fits YOUR lifestyle, personality and esthetic is what decorating your home is all about.

When it comes to helping clients infuse their personal style into their home, bookcase arrangements are one of the areas I love to work on the most.  Bookshelves provide the perfect space for showcasing things you love, sharing your interest through books and representing your unique design style.

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 Kitchen Island2

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Have you ever walked into someone’s kitchen or toured a model home kitchen and felt like the kitchen island was nothing more than a big box that took up space in the center of the room?

I was in a kitchen recently and the island stood our like an eyesore.  There were no design details on the island and the only real function the island served was for food prep.

When you think about it, a kitchen island is basically a big rectangle or square box, sometimes with functional elements built-in and other times not.  It can be a free-floating, movable element or a built-in design.

The kitchen I was in got me thinking about creative way to add style and function to a large kitchen island so today I want to highlight a few design and architectural ideas to give a plain island style and personality.

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Ceiling Treatment

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There are a thousand different ways to decorate a room.  You can add furniture, artwork or accessories or you can paint the walls, hang curtains or add rugs.  All of these things are viable when it comes to decorating any area of your home but the decorating doesn’t and shouldn’t stop there.

Look Up…

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