Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

 

Every designer you ask will have a list of key components they think are essential to the design and function of a beautiful home.  And while my list may differ from others, I think all designers would agree that each of the items on my list contributes in one way or another to how a home looks and feels.

 #1   A STYLE BLUEPRINT

I meet clients all the time that don’t have a good handle (or vision) of their design style.  They know if they like an item or not but they can articulate clearly the overall look for a room or the mood they want a room to have.  Once you define your design style you’ll be able to envision the decor of your home, down to the details.

Defining your style encompasses many different elements, from the colors and materials you like to the style of furniture and accessories that appeal to you.  And don’t worry, defining your style doesn’t happen over night. Your style can change throughout the years just like you do.

One of the ways that I have my clients convey their style to me is by going through design magazines and tagging anything that appeals to them.  Then I have them jot down a word or two telling me what they like about the image they tagged.  The word ‘cozy’ on a room photo with warm colors may convey the colors they like. The word ‘clean’ may be associated with a room that is streamline and clutter free which tells me a lot about how they want to a room to look and feel. Once you have a stack of tagged images you can look through them and begin to see the common threads in the design style that appeals to you.

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#2  A FOCAL POINT

The focal point of a room is a lot like a statement piece of jewelry.  It’s an element that captures your attention, serves as a dominant statement and in some cases sets the tone for the rest of the entire room.

The focal point in some rooms may be an architectural element like the windows or a fireplace.  In other rooms it my be a wall decor arrangement, a rug, artwork or even a sofa.

Identifying or creating the focal point within each room of your home will give you the starting point upon which to build your overall design theme.

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#3  SPACE PLAN

We all know that the way furniture is positioned in a room can impact the way a room feels and functions.  Arranging furniture so that movement can happen easily in, out and within a room is critical to the overall design of a space.

When decorating a room think about the scale of the furniture and accessories to ensure they won’t swallow up space and make the room look visually cluttered.  For the Key Measurements You Need To Know When Decorating Your Home, check out my post here.

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#4  TEXTURE

In my book texture is one of the most important elements to design.  Texture provides visual interest, depth and dimension and its also one of the elements that makes a room feel inviting.  As it applies to design, texture is defined as ‘the sensations caused by the external surface of objects received through the sense of touch’.  But it can also be a ‘perceived sense of touch’–you can experience texture visually without having to actually touch something.

Texture can be introduced into your decor through the fabrics you choose, the materials accessories are made of as well as the style of your doors, windows and walls.

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#5  MIXED METALS & MATERIALS

Variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to decorating a room.  You don’t want one-dimensional decor…you want a home that explodes with interest and personality.

While your style blueprint may dictate a particular type of furniture and accessory style, you want to decorate with a mix of materials and finishes in order to bring your decor to life.  Don’t be afraid to mix gold with silver, leather with velvet or glass with metal.

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#6  A MIX OF OLD & NEW

Years ago the trend was to shop your favorite furniture store or catalog to decorate your home.  While it was easy, many homes ended up with decor that was cookie-cutter and uninteresting.  Just like mixing metals and materials, it’s a good idea to mix the age of items you decorate with.  Pair vintage and antique pieces with newer items to build the character within your style blueprint.

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#7  PERSONAL TOUCHES

If nothing else, your home should feel personal and reflect you and your family.  Personal touches like family photos, books, artwork and collected pieces should be used in every room in your home.

As you decorate, be thoughtful in the placement of accessories and keep these tips in mind:

♦ Arrange accessories in odd numbers in different sizes.  It’s been proven that grouping objects in odd numbers is more pleasing to the eye than even numbers.

♦  Objects that you place together when creating arrangements should have something in common: color, shape, theme, texture, vintage.

♦ Balance the art and accessories throughout a room. Don’t place everything on one side of a room.

♦ Scatter your accent color in at least three places around a room to create visual movement.

♦  Keep scale in mind with pairing accessories.  Small accessories clustered together or scattered throughout a room will look like clutter from a distance.  Use medium to large-sized accessories which will be noticed and seem more important as you enter a room.

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#8  STATEMENT WALL DECOR

 I think every room would have a wall decor statement that stands out.  That could mean a single piece of art or a grouping of pieces that create a dominant visual impact.  Based on the layout of your room and the architectural elements within the space, your wall decor can serve as the focal point.  For creative wall decor inspiration, check out this post.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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#9  SUFFICIENT LIGHTING

Most homes I go into lack sufficient lighting  and without the right lighting and the correct amount of lighting, your home won’t look as good as it could.  There are three types of lighting every room needs:

AMBIENT LIGHTING:  Ambient lighting includes chandeliers, recessed lighting, or sconces, all of which provide overall illumination to a room. And the use of dimmers with your ambient lighting will give you control over the light levels allowing you to easily change the mood of a space.

 tip: When wiring your rooms, include multiple circuits. This will allow you to dim some lights while keeping others brighter.

TASK LIGHTING:   This lighting is particularly important when performing specific tasks like cooking, doing office work, or getting ready in the bathroom.  In the kitchen, pendant and under-cabinet lighting can illuminate food prep areas. In a living room or bedroom, table lamps and floor lamps will provide task lighting.

tip: Even illumination is essential when planning your bathroom lighting plan. Make sure the same amount of light comes from the sides of the room as the top of the room. This will help prevent shadows and create the ideal bathroom lighting for applying make-up or shaving.

ACCENT LIGHTING:  Accent lighting can be used to highlight objects like art, sculptures, and architectural details within a room.   Classic track lighting and picture lights are the most common types of accent lighting, but candles also fall into this category.

For more lighting design tips, read my posts here and here.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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#10  SOMETHING NATURAL

Something natural is a little detail that can make a big impact.  A plant in a corner or a vase full of flowers or stems will give life and energy to your decor.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

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If you’re starting a new decorating project or looking to refresh your decor, keep these 10 components in mind and create the home of your dreams.

Design Guide: 10 Components To A Beautiful Home

Minted | A Favorite Artwork Resource

Sorry that it’s been quiet here on the blog this week.  I’ve had good intentions but I’m working on several projects right now and something had to give.  Anyway, I’m back today to share a favorite shopping source with you.

Almost every design project I work on involves artwork and you know that choosing artwork for your home is a very personal thing.

One project I’m working on calls for a special piece of art over the mantel and in the entrance hall.  The client is looking for abstract art and doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg.  That’s where Minted comes in.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Minted but if not let me share a bit about their site.

Art from Minted
via Minted

Minted is an online resource selling a range of products including Artwork, Decor, Stationery and Wedding goods.

Along with Limited Edition Art Prints, they sell Fine Art Prints, Drawings, Commissioned Original Art and Photography Art.   Everything they sell is created by a community of artist and designers that are located in all 50 states and more than 60 countries.

Minted makes it easy to find the perfect piece of art, allowing you to search by style, color, shape and type.

Since I’m looking for abstract art, I searched their site and rounded up a few of my favorites for you.

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Art from Minted

 

♦  Mesmerize by Melanie Severin–it was the colors in this piece that caught my attention.  I love the pink and soft aqua color combination. Color combinations like this are very versatile which make this piece ideal for just about any room.

♦ Poppies I by Iron Range Artery –I was drawn to this artwork because of how bold and dynamic the colors are.  Depending on your style, this piece might be too strong for a foyer but could work in a family room or office.

 Foilage Trails 2 by Very Marta–I love the watercolor effect of this piece and can see this in a feminine space like a home office, guest bedroom or nursery.

 ♦ Dash by Katie Craig–I’m all about blue and teal these days and this piece has such a refreshing feel to it.  I could see a pair of these hanging over a sofa.

Art from Minted

 ♦ Lush Composition by Melanie Severin–this is the piece of art that my client is most drawn to for their entrance hall. The black adds depth while the other colors keep the piece from being too heavy.

 ♦ Ivy by Prima Studio–finding a piece of art that doesn’t lean too masculine or too feminine can be challenging.  This piece is really pretty and the dark colors can speak to him while the soft colors speak to her. I can imagine this in a bedroom with white and neutral bed linens.

Waiting For Summer by Beth Allen–what a great name for a piece of art and it does feel like summer to me.  I envision this piece in a living room or even in a breakfast area.

Art from Minted

Bouquet 1 by Sue Prue

If you’re looking for artwork, I highly recommend you check out the selection at Minted.  Most of their Fine Art Prints are available in multiple sizes and frame options.  Unframed images are also available. And you can upload images of your room and see what an art piece will look like in your own home.

This is not a sponsored post.  I’m just sharing one of my favorite shopping resources with you.  

Design Chat: Accessorizing Bookshelves and adding the finishing touches

I received an email from one of my blog reader, Megan who was looking for help with the wall decor and accessorizing the built-in bookshelves in her family room. The bookshelves and the walls have been empty for 3 years and Megan doesn’t know where to start with a decorating plan. She is also struggling with the sofa, which she’s not a fan of but others in the family are.

Here’s a look at Megan’s family room…

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

And here’s my design vision for Megan’s room…

THE COLOR PALETTE

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The tan sofa, beige walls and white built-in shelves create a neutral color foundation for the room.  The area rug has different tones of red, browns and green in it so that should be the jumping off point for accessorizing the rest of the room.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

The expanse of white shelving surrounding the TV needs a major pop of personality.  Beyond getting the right mix of accessories, I recommend that Megan either paint the backs of the bookshelves in an accent color or cover the backs with a grass cloth wallpaper.  Wallpaper would achieve two things–1) color and 2) visual texture which would really enhance the space.

When painting the backs of bookshelves, I usually recommend that you go a shade or two light or darker than your wall color.Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

ACCESSORIZING

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When it comes to decorating bookshelves, the items you decorate with are just as important as how you arrange them. Here are a few tips on accessorizing bookshelves and a graphic with accessory groupings that always work.

  1. Create depth ‘top to bottom’ and ‘front to back’.  Arrange items so the pieces are not at the same level or position of the shelf.  Your accessories should feel layered and not uniform.
  2. Vary the size, scale and shape of your accessories.  Decorate with a variety of items to create visually interesting arrangements.  And also keep in mind that if your shelves are adjustable you can create wider openings which will allow for larger decorative pieces.
  3. Create balance from shelf to shelf and side to side.  As you arrange items, step back to make sure the overall look of each shelf and each side of the fireplace feels balanced.
For more bookcase decorating tips, read my post 5 Ways To Style Your Bookcase.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

WALL DECOR & SOFA STYLING

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Wall decor is one of the most important elements of accessorizing a room.  In many cases your wall decor will serve as the focal point for the room.  In Megan’s room, the wall decor will provide a dominate impact statement within the room so it needs to be dynamic.

I recommend a large piece of artwork flanked by starburst mirrors for the most visible wall in the family room.  A piece of art will add color and draw you in to the room.  Mirrors will add a graphic detail and enhance the light coming in from the opposite window.

To enhance the sofa, Megan should add accent pillows and a small-scale bent arm floor lamp at the end of the sectional providing much-needed task lighting.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

FUNCTIONAL DECOR

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The other decorative items I’d recommend is a console table behind the sofa, an accent chair near the built-ins and curtain panels for the windows.

 A console table will visually extend the partial wall behind the sofa and create an additional surface for a lamp and accessories.

The accent chair will provide additional seating and create a more balance space, filling the now empty corner.

Curtain panels will add softness and another pattern element within the room.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

THE LOOK

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Unique accessories and colorful wall decor is all that is needed to bring Megan’s room to life.

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat--Accessorizing Bookshelves and Decorating Tips by ConfettiStyle

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork For Impact & Style

One of the things I enjoy most about writing this blog is sharing design tips and helping you solve your design dilemmas. Last year I started a series called Design Chat series where I answer your design questions and provide decorating tips and inspiration.  I’m excited to continue the series in 2017 and today I addressing a design challenge that Jennette has.

Here’s the comment and question Jennette sent to me…

“Shelly, I found your blog in spring 2016 while searching how to style a sectional sofa on Pinterest. I love your design tips! Right now my design dilemma is how to hang art on a long, odd wall when there is already one picture over a chair.”


Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

Artwork can be one of the most challenging aspects of decorating your home.  Once you’ve identified the type of artwork you want, you then need to come up with a plan for a dynamic wall statement.

As you can see in Jennette’s family room, she originally hung the artwork over the chair to anchor that seating area.  While this isn’t bad, the rest of the wall is left blank and feels somewhat disconnected.

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

Here are my suggestions to pull the room together…

My suggestion for Jennette would be to create a gallery wall arrangement on that wall using the piece of artwork she owns as the centerpiece.  A collection of framed pieces will create a focal point on that wall and anchor the space in total.

I also recommend a few other changes…

1) add a tall plant in the corner to add height and color. The small stool would move to the opposite side of the tv cabinet.

2)  replace the double arm floor lamp with a fun table lamp.

3) add a cushion to the top of the bench and maybe even lean a couple of pillows on top.

4) a larger cabinet under the TV to give that wall more impact and to feel more proportionate with the TV.

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

On the opposite side of the room where the sofa sits, here’s what I recommend…

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

Hang candle sconces on each side of the mirror to give the wall over the sofa more impact.  And remove the wall mounted light and position the double arm floor lamp next to the side table.

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

And my product picks for Jeanette’s room…

Design Chat: Arranging Artwork

candle sconce // table lamp // fabric for cushion // black cabinet // plant basket

Overall, Jennette’s family room has a great foundation. With a  few tweaks and additions, I think she’ll have the space she desires.

Looking for tips on creating a gallery wall arrangement, read my blog post here.

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If you’ve got a design challenge, email me and we’ll chat!

Refresh Your Decor for the New Year

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Every year when the Christmas decor comes down I feel like my decor has lost its luster.  My living room feel bare, my decor feels stale and everything that I loved before Christmas feels like it needs fresh, new energy.  I know I’m not alone in this feeling and that many of you are looking at your decor right now and wondering how you can inject some life and energy into it.

Over the years I’ve learned and employed some simple and inexpensive decorating tricks the refresh my decor for the new year.

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Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Every now and then you need to change things up in your decor to give it a new feeling.  The start of a new year is the perfect time to try a new furniture arrangement, move pieces from one room to another or re-arrange your accessories.  Move lamps around a room or even consider layer a smaller rug over the top of a larger one.  Sometimes all it takes is a tiny shift of perspective to see something familiar in a totally new light.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Many time when I’m feeling a sense of uneasiness with my decor it has to do with clutter and disorganization.  Dedicate the month of January to cleaning, organizing and purging every room in your home.  Donate the things that you no longer use, organized the spaces (drawers, closets and tabletop surfaces) that use most offend and give your entire home a deep cleaning.  Clutter in you physical surroundings will clutter your mind and spirit.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Color is an immediate mood booster so try adding in a new accent color into your decor to refresh the palette.  Switching out pillows is easy and cost-effective and will add big pops of color within your decor.  Color accents can also be added with small accent furniture, blankets & throws, artwork and decorative accessories.  In decorating, it’s often the little things that make the biggest impact.

tip:  when shopping for pillows, look for covers with hidden zippers so you can reuse the inserts when you change your pillow decor

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

During the holiday season we are surrounded with and abundance of patterns and colors.  Once the Christmas decor is down your surroundings may feel flat and lifeless.  The quick fix for that is pattern mixing.  Combine different pattern styles and colors to re-energize your decor.

tip:  a winning pattern mix combines small patterns against large ones and includes one big solid ( on sofa, floor, or wall) in the room. 

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

You might think that once artwork is hung on the wall it’s there to stay.   That doesn’t have to be the case.  During the winter months you can bring a room to life by simply switching out a piece of artwork with a mirror.  Mirrors enhance the light within a room(both natural and decorative) and will instantly make a room feel lighter, brighter and more open.

tip:  oversized floor mirrors will make small spaces feel bigger in addition to making the decor feel more important


Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Look around the rooms in your home and see where you can create a cozy seating area or reading nook.  Cozy areas will make your home feel more intimate and personal which is the feeling your home had when all your Christmas decor was up.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Plants and flowers will  make your decor feel special anytime of the year but during the winter months the emotional energy these elements add is enhanced.  Place small plants or a vase on flowers on tabletop surfaces in the main living areas of your home as well as the bedroom and bathroom.

tip: if you don’t have a green thumb, decorating with artificial plants and flowers–they provide the same emotional lift that real greenery does.

Refresh Your Decor for The New Year

Candles are my go-to accessory during the cold winter months.  Not only can candles provide a sense of warmth but the glow increases the sense of relaxation and coziness that a room has.  Arrange a group of candles on the coffee table or along the mantel.

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It doesn’t take a lot to give your home a fresh, new feeling for the new year so use one or all of these design tips to refresh your decor.

     

all images via Ballard Design

Style Your Nightstand–Tips & Inspiration

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One of the things I am always look for on Pinterest are beautiful nightstand images.  I love getting a glimpse at a person’s lifestyle and seeing how they style and decorate different areas of their home.

As a designer, I recognize that accessorizing a small, compact area like a nightstand can be more challenging than a larger living area for some people. So today I’m sharing the ingredients for styling your bedside table like pro.

4 Fall NightStand 2014

Your bedroom is the most private space in your home and the items you put on your nightstand should be a mix of personal and decorative decor.

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When it comes to pulling your items together, keep these style tips in mind:

 Layers!  Unless you take a minimalist approach to decorating, you want to position items to create a layered look.  Layers will add the visual interest and help create a dynamic statement with you collection of items.  Vary the placement of items on the table surface, front to back and side to side and keep the scale of your lamp in mind when positioning items.

 The Mix!  This is where style and function meet.  Accessorize with items you use on a daily basis (alarm clock, journal/book) along with items that are decorative.  Decorative items like small trinket trays, lidded boxes and containers can work as storage AND as a design statement. And personal items like books and picture frames will add a personal feel to the decor on your nightstand.

♦  The Background!  Even if you have a wall decor piece hanging over your bed, don’t forget about the wall space directly behind the nightstand.  Hanging a mirror or piece of artwork over your bedside table is a great to build up the impact for the overall vignette.  You can even lean pieces of art or other flat decor against the wall like I did at Christmas one year to enhance the layered look of your decor.

2014 Bedroom Decor (42) copy

 Softness! A soft element like flowers or greenery can add an air of energy and life to the vignette.

ConfettiStyle Spring Bedroom Refresh8

 Keep it Fun! And finally, as you go about decorating your nightstand, throw in an unexpected object to add personality and flair.

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Nightstand Styling Inspiration

In addition to the tips above, I also wanted to serve up some visual inspiration for you. I went virtual shopping at Z Gallerie and put together two inspiration boards that pull all the elements together.

It’s no secret that I one of my favorite color combinations is black, white and gold and Z Gallerie as some beautiful decorative pieces that will work great in a bedroom.  This look is bold, dramatic and super chic!

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Shop the Black & Gold Nightstand Vignette:

Devon Table Lamp // Rey Mirror // Allium Sphere
Camille Tray // Acropolis Frame // Sawyer Nightstand // Emila Canisters //  Chanel Book

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My current bedroom decor is a black and white theme and I’m working on a summer refresh to incorporate more blue and white.  This look is classic, elegant and has a calming feel.

Styling Tips For Your Nightstand.003

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Shop the Blue & White Nightstand Vignette:

Let Me Go Artwork // Addison Table Lamp // York 3-Drawer Nightstand //Acropolis Bookends // Charles Table Clock
Gold Elephant Jewelry Dish //Glow Candle // Potted Phalaenopsis

 

Surround yourself with things you love!

 

Shelly Signature

Tile Trend: Dynamic Tile In The Kitchen (plus design tips)

Statement Tile In The Kitchen

Even though Pantone’s colors of the year and soft, subtle and pastel, the trend in kitchen design is bold and dynamic.  You’re seeing more and more kitchens  moving away from classic white subway tile and using larger design in big patterns and fun colors.

While patterned tile isn’t for everyone, it’s a great way to enhance your kitchen walls.  Here’s some inspiration:

Tile in Kitchen

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Pattern between the counter and cabinets add so much punch to a kitchen space.

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Taking tile from counters to ceiling is a great way to add drama and impact behind the stove.

Tile In Kitchen6

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I recently went on the hunt for some patterned tile and found lots of great options.

Both Home Depot and Lowes have a nice selection of classic patterns and their prices are really good.  Another great source is Overstock.com which I recently discovered has a large selection of decorative tile.

Here’s a round-up of some of my favorites…
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#1  Merola Twenties Classic  from Home Depot.  Check out how amazing this looks in Cassie’s kitchen.
#2 Merola Twenties Crest.  Amazing price for such style.
#3 This Revival Memory tile is the perfect accent for a french country-style kitchen.
#4  I love the soft hue of  Kings Seagate and think it would look great on walls or on the floor.
#5 This Agdal Blue and Grey Tile is just one of the dynamic patterns they sell on Overstock.
#6  If you love blue and white in the kitchen, this Somer Tile is great.
#7  The color combination in this Borough Mondo is one of my favorites for a kitchen.
#8  Black accent tile like this Argana Black and Grey is a classic that will work in any kitchen.
#9  And maybe my favorite black and white tile of all times, Medina Black and White Ceramic.

Tile

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Design Tips for Tiling Your Kitchen:

  • A complex or colorful backslash looks best with solid counters–that way they don’t clash with each other.
  • Wrapping the backsplash around the entire room gives a sense of visual continuity, which can help a small space seem large.
  • Changing the orientation of run-of-the-mill subway tile can create an expensive look for less. Run the tile vertically for a modern look or lay it on a diagonal in a place you want as a focal point, such as cooking areas.
  • Before you install a backsplash, try “walking” tiles up a wall to make sure you aren’t left with a thin sliver where the tile meets cabinetry. Hold the tiles against the wall at the bottom of the backsplash area and move them hand over hand up the wall following your desired pattern until you get to the top. You may find you have to start with a half-tile at the bottom to be sure at least a quarter-tile fits at the top.

 

When it comes to kitchen design, is your style clean and classic or do you like a bold statement?

Shelly Signature

DIY Clipboard & Calendar

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Yesterday I shared tips on decorating and organizing your office space and included the idea of using decorative clipboards to pretty up your walls and help you stay organized. And today I’m showing you just how simple it is to make a decorative clipboard with a super easy DIY project.

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