Wednesday, June 29, 2016

We Answer Wednesday - How to mix patterns

"In magazines I see designers mix different prints and patterns in one room.  I love the look.  How do you mix patterns without making a mess?"

You are so right! Mixing prints and patterns in one room is a designer look and it makes a room more chic and sophisticated but it can be tricky to get right.

Combining prints brings excitement to a room—but how do you make it work? Set small patterns against large ones, limit your palette, and include one big solid (on sofa, floor, or wall) in the scene.

We recommend a solid for large pieces like a sofa and then we can build on that.

Here are a few examples that you could follow.


Maine Beach House with Classic Coastal Interiors:

This room is a great example of mixing prints and patterns with a limited palette.  We have a solid and neutral wall paint and sofa and simple window coverings - on it's own it is a bit boring.  Now let's add the excitement....the stripe rug in white and blue is fresh and adds a big pop in the room.  This area rug in white and blue is the inspiration for the colour palette for the prints.  We have an accent chair in a modern botanical print in the blue and white palette plus we have some decor pillows in a different blue and white pattern. This room has a cohesive look with a bit of a nautical theme (but certainly not overboard on the theme - pardon the pun!) This room has the designer look and follows the simple formula of a few solids, a mix of large and small prints in a limited colour palette.

Ralph Lauren Hamptons style - I could sleep in that chair, with that ottoman, by that window, with the beach breeze blowing in...:

If you prefer a look that is softer, you can still play with pattern.   In this room we have a mix of stronger and softer prints.  The drapery has a larger pattern yet still in a neutral colour palette, the ottoman has a very subtle print in a low contrast colour scheme.  The pillows on the accent chair add a bit more pop to the room but the look here is very soft and toned down.  The walls and the chairs are a great neutral backdrop for the prints and texture. This creates a very relaxing and soothing look in a space.  The rattan tray and plant add some texture adding some visual interest.

 A floral wallcovering behind a navy blue twin bed.

Love the look of wallpaper but think it limits your chances to add other patterns? Think again! Use the wallpaper as a point of inspiration for other prints in the room.  The wallpaper in this image has a blend of orange tones, yellow, blue and white.  It's a pretty bold wall covering so the other prints should be a bit more subtle.  Here we have a blue bed frame that pulls from the wallpaper tones.  The bedding textiles have a soft mix of corals and white with a blue throw blanket -so this way everything works together.

Light gray with pale blue and small pops of coral.

Don't be afraid to mix prints when it comes to pillows.  This arrangement follows a 'buddy system'.  The soft mint green is seen in some solid pillows (at the back) and we also see it in the front lumbar pillow.  The white is seen in all of the print pillows.  We have black in 3 pillows and the only true pop is the pink peony.  This combination of prints seems unexpected and maybe random but it is very much planned which is why it looks great!

When it comes to playing with prints you can get as bold or as subtle as you like.  Follow the easy steps and you can achieve a designer look in your space.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We Answer Wednesday - Best Front Door Colour

"I have a red brick home and the style of my home is quite traditional.  I want to paint my front door in something that's a bit more fun (currently my door is black).  Any ideas?"

Painting your front door is an easy update and it can really transform the look of your home.  Red brick is a classic and paired with a black door you have a timeless look.  But you can update the exterior with some paint and it can really make a huge difference.

 Black Door on Red Brick - Our Favorite Charleston Front Doors:
 We love this home located in Carleston, SC (USA).  This look is timeless.  The matte black against the brick is classic and the cream trim matches the cream mortar between the brick and the mullions. 

Assuming your roof is neutral like black or possibly charcoal - you have lots of options.   But remember when you are picking an exterior paint colour you really need to work with what finishes are already there.  So the shade of red brick is important. We also suggest looking at the region for inspiration.  A soft beachy blue for example works well in Southern climates like the Carolinas but looks out of place in Northern climates, so keep that in mind as well.

For instance, if you have a terracotta (orange brick) this works well with colours such as navy blue or even a cobalt blue, dark taupe, dark (warm) grey, khaki and olive are nice green options, a deep cranberry and espresso are good options as well.

front door color for orange brick house - Google Search:

This orange brick home looks current with this charcoal door with warm white trim.  

 89e093157601c6a5ee4f675989648795.jpg (236×314):

This orange brick has a few more variations in tone but the olive-sage door looks fresh and clean especially with the warm white trim.  This home has a lot of charm and is warm and inviting.

Now, if you have a brick that is a deeper tone like a brownish red or a burgundy, you will want to look at paint colours such as navy blue, charcoal grey, deep olive green, a dark cranberry with brown undertones is another great option.  If you are looking for something a bit more unusual try a teal door with warm white trim. A red door is also a great look on a deeper red brick home.  It's a classic but it isn't as formal.




Feng Shui.  Blue doors represent trust, loyalty and stability. The color blue is often linked with thoughts and feelings of safety and security. If your home is a safe haven, painting your front door blue can reflect that. The deeper the blue color, the more you reflect that feeling of stability for your home’s curb appeal.:
 This navy door with white trim against the burgundy brick is a very classic look but it looks great and isn't as formal as the black door. 


Front Doors, I love different colored front doors:
 This teal painted door is a fresh and fun look but works with the tones in the brick.

 This charming front porch has a door mat, perennials potted in white urns, and the house number boldly placed on the center of the door in a contrasting white.:
 This burgundy brick home looks great with a red door - notice how the shade of red in the door isn't orange, it is a true red.

These are some great options for your front door and as you know already paint can make a huge difference.  Be sure to pay attention to the other features like the trim (is it chipping?), the mailbox, doorbell, grip set and address numbers - are they in good shape? Do they need replacing or repairing? Those small details can make a huge difference in the exterior and curb appeal of your home.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What is mid century modern design?

We hear this term a lot and especially lately - but what is mid century modern design?

It is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.

So why are we seeing it more and more these days? Well some may say that popular culture has made an impact.  Popular TV shows like 'Mad Men' has really helped bring this era of home design, decor and fashion in the spot light again.

 Mid-century modern style is a trend not going away anytime soon, a chic aesthetic with pared down, clean lines and an organic ease that's very appealing.:

Why is it so appreciated? Midcentury modern's emphasis on pared-down forms, contemporary patterns, natural materials and a seamless flow between indoors and out create a mix functional comfort and chic style. The look bridges the organic and the man-made, with one foot in the natural world and the other in brave new territory that still has the power to surprise us today. Clients are really like the 'throwback' feel and blending it with more current and organic styles. We love how all of these images look current and not like they are trapped in a time warp.

So what mid century modern decor elements are we seeing a lot of now? And how can I bring some of this 'mid century modern' style into my space?

When it comes to style be unique.  We always recommend bringing in pieces you love - if you love it, you will make it work. Never feel like you have to fully commit to one style and one style of decor only.  You can easily bring in mid century modern elements into your space without a total overhaul of what you already have.  Any time you start to mix styles, it's a good idea have a few elements of that style so that the overall look is cohesive and not random.

Definitely lighting.  Mid century modern lighting is huge right now.  It's a great way to make a statement.  Mid century modern lighting has a great sculptural element as well. This dining room with mid century modern lighting (and dining furniture) still looks current.  The organic wood beams add character and some texture and offer great contrast with the brass finish light and accents.  But the textured wall paper accent wall with oversized mirror makes this dining room big and bright - giving it a new and fresh look!

Mid-Centry Modern Dining Room with large round vintage mirror // #hgtvmagazine http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/inside-the-home-of-mr-and-mrs-vintage-pictures?soc=pinterest:

How can we keep this vintage light fixture look current? Think about placement!  Try adding a mid century modern light fixture in an unexpected room like a bedroom for instance. the mid century modern lighting in this room makes a bold statement and paired with a sideboard from the same era keeps a common thread in the room. The comeback of gold is also a nod to the mid century modern trend.  We are seeing gold in lighting but also decorative accents.

 modern brass bubble chandelier with dark navy walls, white crib, gold over-sized mirror, mid-century modern credenza, fiddled fig tree in a bast and boho rug

Mid century modern furniture classics are also very popular - dining chairs, armchairs, coffee table, bookcases and more are all being mixed into rooms of all styles. This living room corner below has a mid century modern bookcase and chair but the black and white clean contemporary styling and accessories makes this room look cool and current.

Gorgeous shelf styling vignette with juju hat. I love the neutrals and Mid Century Modern inspired design. Seattle Showhouse. Interior design by Decorist with ATGstores.com and Porch. Click to see more of the house on House Of Hipsters blog.:

Colour was something that was popular during that era - rugs, tile, art, wallpaper and more....add some pops of colour and some great combinations of colour. You will also notice this was an era that wasn't afraid of mixing patterns and colour and texture!


In love with the color scheme / mid century elements of this space - Em Henderson is a design genius!:

 We are also seeing a resurgence of the shapes from this mid century modern era. shapes play a big role in this design period - take a look at the geometric patterns in fabric and art.  We are definitely seeing this trend in current day.

A Mid-Century Modern Home In California:

If none of these suggestions work for you - here's what we suggest! Have fun with your decor and don't be afraid to take a risk!  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

We Answer Wednesday - Painting a Brick Fireplace

"I have a brick fireplace in my living room. It's a bit dated and I really want it to look more modern and I'm on a tight budget. What can I do?"

A fireplace is a wonderful focal point in a living room and it is such a great feature to have on those crisp fall evenings and cold winter days.  Some brick fireplaces can look dated but they can also look dark and heavy (depending on the brick style and colour) and that can have a negative effect on your room.  Plus the brick fireplace may not totally jive with your personal style but there is an easy and very affordable solution that you could finish is just one weekend.

Try paint.

OK, don't get nervous.  Paint can do amazing things for a room - you have likely experienced this first hand on your walls but it can make the same magic on your brick fireplace.  We've done it!

warm gray with bright white details look good with the floor, which is like yours!:

You have a few options in terms of technique and look.

White washing your brick - so this is actually what Kristi did in her home.  She had about 2/3 of her living room wall covered in heavy deep red brick - it made the room look so dark and heavy. The white wash technique doesn't mean you have to use white paint.

What you do is you water down the paint a bit so that you have less surface coverage.  Why would you want less surface covered? If you like a more rustic look and you like the texture of the brick and want some of the brick tones to pop through - this is the technique you want.

Great tutorial on white washing a brick fireplace. Great option if you want to change or update existing brick without painting it the traditional white, gray, or black:

Make it pop! - So maybe you want to stand out from the crowd and make a splash.  If that sounds more like your style, painting your brick in a tone that makes it stand out .  We are liking neutral tones like charcoal grey, deep blues and even black.  This might sound boring but it isn't - it's basically turning your fireplace into an accent wall.  Plus if you stick pretty neutral you can switch up your decor as often as you like without the obstacle of a crazy colour fireplace.

The painted brick fireplace is the focal point of the living room.:

Keep it clean -  make your room look even bigger by blending that fireplace in.  So paint the fireplace brick the same colour as the walls.  We love this look with a reclaimed wood mantle (like the image below).  This look so clean and fresh. You fireplace is still a focal point - the mantle and the heath still draw the eye in but the room looks so light and large. 

5 Places To Add Natural Accents At Home:


Match your trim - matching your trim is another great option - this will give you a cohesive look, lighten up the appearance of the fireplace and freshen up the whole room. If you prefer a deeper tone on the wall this is also a great option as you get the great colour on the wall and you get the clean look of the painted fireplace.

A 1937 Craftsman Home Gets a Makeover, Fixer-Upper Style | HGTV's Fixer Upper With Chip and Joanna Gaines | HGTV:


Before you paint - things to consider:
- Be sure you want to paint the brick as removing paint isn't easy
- Take a look at the condition of your brick - if it is chipping, crumbling, or other damage, painting isn't a good idea (get an expert to take a look at the fireplace - there could be other issues)
- Clean your brick with basic water and soap and let it dry before painting
- Use a good quality paint with a primer (ask an expert)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

6 Ways to decorate with a Garden Stool

The garden stool has been a trend for a few years now and we will love it...always.  Why? we love the options that a garden stool offers (yes, we are all about multi-purpose pieces).  But we also love the look of a garden stool - they can add a great pop of colour and texture - plus they are easy to move around. 

Here are some great ways to use a garden stool:

In the shower - a garden stool makes a great shower seat.

This lemon yellow stool can totally live in the shower. No need to worry about its condition; ceramic can take an infinite amount of showers:

 As Extra seating - tuck these easy to move garden stool under a console table or sofa table.

Large print green wallpaper, hot pink accessories, and blanc de chine accents look gorgeous together.:

As a Side table - indoors or outdoors, a garden stool makes for a great side table.

 Garden Stool Ideas Blue Stool

As a Coffee table - short on space? A set of garden stools is a great option for a coffee table in a small space.  Plus they can be some extra seating if you need it.



 Garden Stool Ideas Navy Stool

 In the Bathroom - by the tub!  If you are lucky enough to have time to soak away the log day... a garden stool is a great spot for your book, towels or a cup of tea (or glass of wine)

bathroom in calacatta Gold marble instead of regular Calacatta marble:

In the bedroom - garden stools are so versatile and can even work in a different areas of a room.  the bedroom for instance, a garden stool is a great option for a bedside table but is also great as a corner chair side table but also a series of 3 would look great at the foot of a bed.

A bright beach apartment in Australia with a touch  of tropical.:


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

We Answer Wednesday - How to make my home look summer-y

"How can I make my home look summer-y? The cold weather is finally gone but my home still looks kind of winter-y"

Yes, the weather is absolutely beautiful these days and it looks like those chilly days are behind us (at least for a few months).  It's nice to celebrate the changing of the seasons and if you live in an area like ours, the changes in weather are pretty drastic! We love to have the inside of our homes light and airy like the summer weather so here are some ideas that we use at home.

1 - Flowers - bring in some beauty of the spring/summer season.  If you have a lovely garden cut some of your own flowers, if you don't have a garden to pick from the local Farmer's markets have tons of beautiful flowers this time of year.  We love the see arrangements on coffee tables, dining tables and even bedrooms.

Coffee Table Four Corner Approach 6 Approaches to Styling a Coffee Table:

2- Pillows and throws - chances are if you live in a colder climate (like us) your pillows and throws (on your bed and sofa) you colour motif is likely deep and dark, so for the warmer seasons lighten it up!  Can this get expensive? Sure.  But if you are smart you can do this on a budget.  Try pillow covers instead of all new pillows.  This way you can keep the inserts, change the covers seasonally and send the off-season covers to be professionally cleaned.  Tuck away your off-season pillows and throws in a closet or a trunk during these warm months.  If you stick with a spring/summer colour scheme and a fall/winter scheme you will get a lot of use of your accent decor pieces. For spring summer, we love a pop of yellow.  Yellow works with blue, green, orange, pink ..... plus it is so sunny and bright!

 Patterned pillows are an inexpensive way to give a tired room fresh style. See Kate of Centsational Style's picks: http://www.bhg.com/blogs/centsational-style/2013/02/26/spring-sprucing-with-patterned-pillows/?socsrc=bhgpin022713patternpillows:

3 - Drapery and window coverings - we aren't  suggesting a new set of window dressings is mandatory but if you have heavy drapery such as velvet or a really dark colour, you might want to consider a lighter option during the spring/summer months - this will completely transform the look of your home.  And much like the idea with the pillow covers, take the cold season drapery to be cleaned. If you aren't open to 2 sets of drapery, pull back the curtains and pull up the blinds and let the light in! this will brighten up the room

Ikat. I love blue and white. It's classic, clean, yet warm and inviting if mixed with the right textures.:

4 - Fireplace - the fireplace is a focal point in your room no matter the season.  In those cold winter and crisp fall months, it is easy to style the fireplace but what to do in the warm months? The fireplace likely won't be in use but it is a big piece of your room.  Style it with some softer textures and tones. You have lots of options but we suggest adding elements that work with your spring/summer colour scheme and adding some botanical pieces (that could be floral arrangements or a seasonal art piece).  We love the image below because it has that summer ease - the plants are a great touch and that mirror in the fireplace is such a great idea.  The garden stool adds a pop of colour but is also another seating option when needed.

Filling the interior of your fireplace with a mirror not only bounces light around the room; it also makes a small space feel larger. And if you have a colorful rug covering the floor, a mirror will reflect it back into the room—an artful bonus.

5 - Texture - in the warmer months we all love to get outside, so to make your home decor more 'summer-y' bring the outdoors in!  Yes, we already mentioned flowers but there are other outdoor elements that you can bring inside.  Think about natural textures like wood, rattan and sisal - they add that soft and natural factor but also a warmth.  These are great options if you lean towards neutrals, in terms of your decor palette.  The richness of these textures adds a sophistication to any space.

I may never retire at the seashore but by the time I'm done remodeling and redecorating someday, it will feel like I do.  The natural and neutral tones are so warm and an inspiration.:


 You can create a welcoming entry in the summer by adding a summer themed wreath and planters.  Maybe even a bench with some outdoor pillows - this will create a warm and inviting vignette for family and friends.


Monday, May 30, 2016

What does it mean to "shop your home" ?


If you have been watching home decor shows on TV or reading online articles about home decor recently, you have likely heard the term 'shop your home'.  It's #trending these days....let us explain to you what this term and trend mean.

Basically #shopyourhome is all about using what you have already and bringing it out (if it was stored away), maybe re-purposing it or maybe even updating it. It's part of a recycling movement - instead of tossing out items that are just out dated but are still in good condition and work just fine, give them new life by updating them or re-purposing them (a new location or a new purpose all together).

Some great "shop your home" examples...

Paint - we all know what paint can do to a room but what can it do to an old piece of furniture or a light fixture? Instead of buying new - update what you have!  This is easy, affordable and you are recycling something that might other wise end up in a landfill. this painted light fixture is a simple fix, affordable too plus the end result is a unique 'one of a kind' light fixture that will add WOW factor to your room.

Update an old chandelier using a bright color!

Fabric - give a bench or chair new life with some fabric.  A few yards of fabric will go a long way and give you a whole new look.  It is easy to re-upholster a simple bench or chair seat - you will need some fabric, fabric glue, staple gun and a screwdriver to remove the seat cushion.  You may want to add some foam or cotton batting if the seat needs some volume or cushioning.

My next project! Woohoo! Now I just have to find the perfect fabric!:

 Hardware - new hardware can completely change the look of a room.  We recommend this to our home staging clients as well.  This works on furniture and cabinetry - this is a great update for a kitchen and bathroom.  It is easy to do but it really makes a big impact.

Painted cabinet with new hardware:

Art - bored of your current art displays but can't replace your pieces? Try moving your art into a different room or in a different arrangement.  This can make a huge different in a space. It's a great way to display pieces that aren't usually seen.



Nostalgia decor, could use mom's old hippie souvenirs, like the album and clothing mixed in:

 Garden - do you have beautiful flowers in your garden? Instead of buying cut flowers from the market use your own - it adds a special touch to your space and it's a great way to add a welcoming scene to a tablescape, front entry, coffee table or even a guest bedroom.

rustic fall floral arrangements - Google Search:

Scarf - if you are like either of us, you probably have a drawer full of beautiful scarves and for every season - so make use of them!  Try re-purposing your scarves as a table runner.  Think bright and colourful for summer, neutral for fall and airy for spring.  It adds a fresh new look to the table, it sets the scene and it adds a unique touch.


2 plaid scarfs laid horizontally at each end of table as table runners. 6 Ways To Use a Plaid Scarf for fall/winter decorating in your home. CityFarmhouseBlog:

Furniture - try moving your pieces into a different layout or swapping pieces around - accent chairs are a great and easy choice to re-arrange.  Think of re-arranging your furniture to take advantage of a view of your garden in the summer months or  place your furniture in a way to snuggle up by the fireplace.

 A splash of yellow to welcome spring:


 Feeling inspired yet?  Home decor can get expensive but if you shop at home and get creative you can get a whole new look !