Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - Best Kitchen Table Ideas

I love my kitchen but the breakfast area is very small. I would love to have a table in this space but I don’t want something intrusive. What are my best options for a small breakfast nook?”
Great question! This is a reality for so many people, especially condo living. Many homes have an area in the kitchen that’s great for a table for breakfast or kids doing homework etc. but don’t know how to use the square footage properly. There are functional and stylish options for every home – sometimes we have to be inventive and creative!
Its important to be realistic about how your going to use this space. If your not going to use this table with other people, is having 6 chairs a necessity? Probably not. If you are using this as your only dining space, maybe so. In that case, here are some suggestions for the best tables for your small kitchen. If this is your only dining space and you want it to look more formal you can still keep the size and scale proportional but look for some chairs that have a more elegant style and add a beautiful dining light fixture above the table
Those are cool chairs!  Totally *not* kid-friendly, but I like the two-tone effect.  Also, that light fixture is sweet.

For small spaces, our first recommendation is always glass. The great thing about glass is that it is clear (I mean duh, right?) but because of that, it is non-intrusive. Because it is clear, it almost camouflages to a space. The transparency is truly a great option for making a space seem larger than it is.
white cabinets with back painted glass backsplash and marble countertop
Round tables are definitely most ideal for small kitchen spaces because they promote conversation and can accommodate more seats than a rectangular table. Square tables are also a good option. There are only four sides to this so having 6 seats will be challenging. Depending how you will be using the table – 4 seats may be more than you even need anyways. Also if building in a bench (with piano hinge for additional storage) is possible it's a great space saver if you have a Bay window.  It's casual and comfy seating and it looks great with a round table.
Take a tour of this charming beach cottage with a built-in breakfast nook with bay window.
Often a smaller base is easier to cram people around, it seems more spacious than having four legs. A single pedestal is much less intrusive. Depending how large the legs are and the shape of the table will determine its functionality in terms of seating. Be mindful of that.
Pub tables are a great option for a small space. Depending on how you use this table, having a higher pub table sometimes makes a space seem larger. Having additional height often makes the room seems larger, instead of having more seating width wise, we’ve added height.
Pub table made from metal and wood for the basement from BHG Walmart.  Tips on decorating a kitchen in the basement! Light and bright for a basement.

Positioning of your table is also something that can really impact your space. Let’s face it, sometimes there just isn’t a lot of space. In a perfect world, our kitchens would have a beautiful space for a breakfast nook with a bay window and built in bench. That’s not always a reality. Sometimes your furniture placement is limited. Don’t be afraid to push the table against the wall. Or the kitchen cabinets. As long as there is a decent traffic pattern(2 feet is ideal) than use your space in a functional way.

I also like this one

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How to Get The Look: Modern Country

Country decorating has come a long way. It has always been a popular home decorating style but it has really changed in recent years. In the past this has included such elements of the style as handmade items, collections, and rustic charm. While country style will always epitomize home and warmth, its time to bring country design into the modern era. We call this decorating style “Modern Country. Modern country is still charming, and rustic but with some clean lines and cool colour palettes it has a 'cooler' vibe. If you love that laid back rustic style with a modern edge - better know as Modern Country here's how to get it.

greenery on the porch... love the use of the rustic mixed containers. (and that I have just the basket to achieve this look! )


Clean it up
Traditional country decorating has been often accused of being “cluttered”. Modern country decorating is anything but! So it’s time to seriously edit and pack away all those little things that don’t contribute to the overall design scheme. Don’t go overboard though, country is about home and family, so you don’t want to eliminate everything that’s personal. Create a box of decorative items to store, and rotate favorite accents with the seasons.
Living Room Furniture. Great Furniture in this living room. #Furniture #LivingRoom
Choose a simple and clean color scheme
Update your country decorating look with a more modern color scheme. Pick one color, then try combining it with white or neutrals for a stylish look that isn’t dated, and doesn’t cause confusion for the eye. Add textures to give the room great interest and contrast. Keep patterns to a minimum, and try to incorporate some of the new geometrics or a modern floral that uses white and one color in its design. Think tone-on-tone for a soothing look in the space. We like a great light neutral on the walls and then for accessories layers of soft greys, taupes even dried herb tones look great with this style.
From top left...Farrow and Ball Charleston Gray, Lamp Room Gray, Ammonite, Purbeck Stone, Mole's Breath, Elephant's Breath, Manor House Gray, Skimming Stone and Hardwick White...details on Modern Country Style blog: Colour Study: Farrow and Ball Hardwick White
Choose your inspiration
Choosing your inspiration for the modern country decorating look is kind of like choosing a theme. But instead of the cutesy country themes of the past like farm animals, you are choosing an inspiration that creates a feeling. Gone are the roosters and instead think of a theme inspired by the mountains in Colorado, or the high country of Santa Fe. You can actually picture the “feeling” of the room just by those descriptive words, and that’s what will give you guidance and keep you on track. Look through photos for inspiration, that will help you stay on track but again, don't go over board! You don't want a theme room like "this the dairy farm room" take what you love about the feel of the country and incorporate that in the space.
console + horse photograph art from elte in modern country entry via House & Home
Light the way
One of the fastest ways to update an outdated decorating shame is to add a modern lighting fixture. This works great with the “Modern Country” as they compliment each other well. Think West Elm, Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn

reclaimed wood panels on the kitchen island counter
Texture
So important in this look! When it comes to country decor it's really about comfort and ease, so texture can really help with that.  Think canvas, wool, distressed denim, flannel, distressed leather and mixing it all up on a sofa.  Be sure to add other textures too like reclaimed wood, stone and brick for another layer of texture. Elements of nature are another great way to add texture to your space.
Country House — One Degree Separation
Accessorize
The “more is more” traditional country decorating look of the past is just that…it’s in the past. Choose a few great pieces to display at a time. Mix and match with other styles, offering interest and contrast, and bringing more attention to your beloved possessions. If you have a collection, or want to showcase Grandmas quilt, then showcase it. But display it gallery style and give each piece importance. Don’t just use something for the sake of having something fill a space. Treat the things you love like art. 
Another great way to make a country piece look more current is framing your art.  So a country landscape with a clean white over sized matte and black frame is easy and looks clean and modern. 
Look for country piece like large milk jugs, butter churners, pickle jars, mason jars etc...they add great character and some texture to the space and of course, they have that country feel
Look for inexpensive antiques that can be used to create a unique wall collection such as postcards or antique flatware. Add items from nature, but be selective. Leave some space around your treasures for the eye to rest. If a wall or a room is cluttered no one can focus on your beautiful pieces - art or artifacts. So keep it simple that's really important in modern country decor.
Modern Country Hallway - House Beautiful Pinterest Favorite Pins January 28, 2014 - House Beautiful
Relax
Above all, relax and enjoy the creative process. There are no rules in decorating that can’t be broken. Modern Country Decorating is a fantastic way to take a beloved home decorating style of the past, and give it a current twist.

Ironically, I was just looking through one of our vendor's catalogs and saw those stools and thought "Those would be great in a country kitchen" and here they are.....Modern country kitchen by Christina Fluegge


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - How To Style My Bedside Tables

"My bedroom is beautiful! I love the furniture and the bedding but my night stands are cluttered and it really makes my room look messy.  I need some help with my night stands - help me make them pretty, please!"

That's a common problem for most of us.  Our bedside tables become an area for clutter - books, hand lotion, tissues, magazines, note pads, lip balm and more ....We still need these items , they are a part of our bed time routine but we don't need (or want) clutter in a space that is supposed to be relaxing and serene.

So here are some of our tips for a stylish bed side. When it comes to styling a bedside table, we keep it simple with lighting, art and accessories like a plant/flower/decor piece and possibly books.  The combinations are really endless! Be sure to find items that are in proportion with the space.  A small room may need a small end table so don't add over sized lamps - look for something slimmer or opt for a wall sconce.  Using these basic pieces you can really achieve a number of different looks, be sure to put your personality into it, after all it is your space!

How to Style a Nightstand or Bedside Table

The night stand furniture piece - so this item is a key piece.  You need to find a piece that works in the space but also one that suits your needs.  A night stand without any storage is pretty much useless and is just inviting clutter into your space.  Look for a piece with at least a drawer, so you can tuck away a few items you don't want to display. Many night stands have a top drawer and then an open space below.  That open space can get crazy and cluttered very easily.  Consider using that space to stack books (or place them vertically) and if magazines are more your style - add a basket or box to keep them in, it looks so much better! In some cases, like if you are in a room that has very limited storage you may even want a small chest of drawers that will play double duty as clothing storage and a night stand surface. Even if you can only fit one small chest of drawers it might be more functional and practical that two small night stands.

Love the pattern on this pretty pink #headboard. I love the softness mixed with the reclaimed wood

Lighting - is a must! For reading and for ambiance.  You always want to layer your lighting in order to suit your mood but also fill the room with light (when you need it).  So think table lamps - depending on the size of the table you may be able to go big and bold and make a 'decor' statement in the room.

BAM

If you are low on space, try a wall sconce!  They attach right to the walls so the surface space on your  night stand is free for other items. Wall sconces have come a long way - there are so many styles on the market now and they really create a clean and streamlined look.

 

Art or Mirrors - You have a number of options but these items really add to the decor of your room.  We love creating a vignette with art or a mirror above a night stand, it really pulls it together.

i love the open and closed storage option.  the piece is less bulky, the white is light and airy and pairs nicely with the bed linens and headboard

So this image has a bold head board so art above the headboard was needed or necessary to make a 'splash' instead two pieces were hung above the end table.  This is a clean and classic look but with  the choice of prints and accessories this room feel easy and comfortable but looks stylish.

Bedside table colour

This room has a very clean palette.  The layering of the art piece and the mirror give it a cool and sophisticated look.  Simple but so chic.




 This image shows a sunburst mirror centered over the night stand.  In this white room, this golden burst really makes a splash.  You could also swap this mirror out for an art piece.

Virginia-based designer Dana Gibson has a flair for far-flung motifs and fresh, vibrant color.

Love the mini gallery wall look over this night stand.  Surround yourself with what you love! It could be art or beautiful photographs.  Look for pieces that preferably are calming and soothing.

Accessories -this is really where you get really personal.  You can add just about anything to your bedside table for decor.  One tip - if you have kids who like to hop into your bed maybe stay away from glass decor!

love the reflective surface on the lamp in a square shape, the art with oversized matting and the simple decor on the white table

In this image, the look is pretty clean.  A simple dish for jewelry, a clock and some framed photos.  The drawers could be filled with magazines, books and more but they are tucked away so it looks so neat and tidy!

For the book lovers - you can keep your favourite book at your side but try not to let your book take over the surface space.  It looks cluttered and messy.  Aim for a maximum of 3 books on your night stand.  Stack them up or even try a vertical arrangement.


Interior experts talk about their favourite bedrooms and share their top decorating tips...

Anytime we stack things it just looks neater.

We love some type of foliage - flowers, plants it doesn't matter but it adds life to the room!  Small works best in most rooms but you may be able to use something with some height.

 Use decorative storage boxes to keep small items organized on a nightstand. http://www.hgtv.com/bedrooms/tips-for-a-clutter-free-bedroom-nightstand/pictures/page-3.html?soc=pinterest

So once you have the items you want -start thinking about placement and arrangement.  It is a limited surface space so don't too many or items that are too large.  Start with your art and mirror first, ten add your light and from there play with the additional decor items.

Other additions to think about - candles, a small dish for eye glasses and/or jewelry, a decor item, photo frames or a small clock - are also great additions to a night stand.

When it comes to styling...
- choose items that suit your style and taste
- stick with odd numbers 3 or 5
- play around with arrangements and items and let your instincts kick in...

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Top 10 Colours for Fall 2015 and How To decorate with them



these 10 colours are the predictions from Pantone.  We have seen some of these tones in recent years or similar tones like Amethyst Orchid, Cadmium Orange and the Biscay Bay are very similar to Radiant Orchid, Tangerine and Emerald.  

This colour palette is a great blend of some summer hues and richer fall hues.  These colours (more or less) all work together but in some unexpected combinations.  For example mixing an earthy shade like Dried Herb with a soft pastel like Amethyst Orchid.  The possibilities of visually interesting combinations are endless.

So how can you use these #Fall2015 colours at home?

Well, most of us likely have one of these neutral tones in our current decor - maybe a large furniture piece like a sofa or a wall colour.  If that's the case, build on that neutral piece by adding art or accessories or even textiles like pillows, rugs or even drapery with some of the more colourful, punchy tones.  

Energize a straightforward sofa with bold cushions: an island-floral, linen-cotton pillow cover and a sophisticated, olive green suede rectangle.
Here's a very simple example of mixing the dried herb and the orange in accessories.  

Look for some statement pieces that combine the colours together!  We love this leaf motif area rug that blends - biscay bay and stormy weather. With some white and soft aqua for contrast balance.  But this would look great in a living room or bedroom with shades of grey and some pops of biscay bay (and other members of that 'teal' family)



Rugs USA Satara Leaves Blue Rug im sooooo in love with this rug! Would match my bedroom perfectly
We love what art can do to a room.  Especially over sized art!  It makes a room look expensive but also complete.  An art piece is a great way to pull a colour scheme together or even add an unexpected pop of colour! the image below is a great example of a neutral and class colour combination and adding a piece of art with colour - it totally changes the space! This combines the reflecting pond and the amethyst orchid and cashmere rose.

navy blue sofa Living Room Makover Decorating Ideas - Living Room Before and After Pictures - House Beautiful
When it comes to using colours that area trending you don't have to have the exact hue, but keep it in the family.  Use the trending colours as a guideline - it's a great way to come up with something new and fresh!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - How to Decorate with Glass Furniture



“I love the look of glass in my home but I’m not sure where the best areas to use it would be. What are your suggestions for using glass to its full potential?”

Great question!
We’re with you on that one! We love decorating with glass! One of the great things about glass is the versatility of it. There are lots of different ways to use glass in a space. Our advice to achieve the ‘designer look’ is to mix glass with other materials. Of course, having a glass set of tables is beautiful as well, mixing and matching with the right pieces really gives the space depth. 

 dining room

As with most rooms, its nice to have your space be cohesive. I'm not saying that everything has to match completely but everything should flow nicely. If you have a glass coffee table, the addition of another glass piece, perhaps an accessory, is a great way to make the space harmonious. Mixing textures and materials gives your space that model home look. 

 20 Stylish Home Office Computer Desks - Decoist

A great thing about glass is it in not intrusive. It’s a great surface when you have a small space because it just doesn’t seem bulky. It usually makes a space look larger because it almost camouflage in the space. The simplicity of glass is what makes it beautiful. Its an easy addition to any space.

 Icy blue living room with pale blue loveseat, two patterned armchairs, a graphic rug and a glass waterfall coffee table

Glass is a great surface when you have an interesting table base to showcase or a beautiful rug you don’t want to cover up. It will allow you to admire the showpiece but it will also make your space feel a lot more airy.

 Jillian Harris’s Home Decor for Valentine’s Day | Desiree Hartsock

A simple glass table with nothing but a clean frame and no additional details would be just perfect for the entryway hall. This area usually feels crowded, especially if there’s other furniture pieces such as coat racks, shoe racks, benches, hooks etc. It is a practical surface because it will blend into the wall while still being incredibly functional.

 A Creative Home in North London | Design*Sponge

Glass is a great option for a small space, especially paired with white. The combination makes the rooms feel larger because nothing is drawing your eye in directly. Your eyes will float across the room noticing how fresh it is.
Glass makes great options in many rooms of your home – just don’t over do it.
A glass dining table should be mixed in with another textured buffet and chairs. Glass side tables in a bedroom pair beautifully with a white wood dresser, or chrome accents. 

 How To Decorate Your Small Space For Fall — Tips From The Pros #refinery29  http://www.refinery29.com/small-space-designer-solutions#slide3  Pair Sleek Metals & Glass  "Liberally sprinkle your space with lots of glass and metallics. From sweet, little, glass occasional tables to sparkly, metallic vases, these pieces help animate a petite room."  — Abigail Ahern

Tempered glass coffee table? Pair it with a wood side table, or a garden stool in a great colour! Make sure to mix your pieces while still being mindful of the space flowing together. 


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Best Bookcases For Small Spaces

We love to read and we love home decor but sometimes books lead to clutter which we don't love.

Clutter is very stressful. It's messy and can be overwhelming.  When you live in a smaller space you don't often have the luxury of storage.  So what do you do? Sure, you can minimize your clutter but you can't get rid of everything.

When you live in a smaller space you need storage but you also need it to be slim and stylish for your space.

We have found some amazing space saving book storage pieces.

The Brosna Bookcase from Urban Barn.  A fun and funky piece in two colours (black or white).  We love the simplicity and clean lines.  A great way to mix up books and some accessories.



We love the industrial feel to this metal bookcase with casters from Structube



CITY

The Sapien Bookcase from DWR is perfect for just stacking books.  Clean, simple, vertical and ideal for even the smallest of corners. The bookcase once filled with books almost disappears!





 We love the metallic finish on this 'etagere'.  Perfect for mixing books and decor.  The Nook Tower from West Elm.  there are a few variations on this design, some with a more industrial edge but this look transitions well with a few different decor styles.





When it comes to book storage, get creative!  Books can add a lot of colour to your space, so why not add skinny shelving for book storage and display pieces instead of art pieces on the wall.  Also think about horizontal book storage like you see here.  Under this bench is a great spot for kids books! Easy to access and to put away!

What keeps those 4 bookcases looking light, is that they do not have a backing!  You can see the wall behind the piece so it has an airy feel.  Plus the shelves are slim so they do not add bulk to the room.  Simple, slim storage can make a huge difference in a smaller space.

A day bed, great light and ample storage = great reading space for adults and kids.

For kids, we also love bookcases flanking a headboard.

kids room

When it comes to your space and bookcases, you never want it too look and feel cramped, cluttered and heavy.  To avoid that be sure to not over stuff your bookcases and add some decor/display pieces or photo frames to the book storage - it will lighten up the look and feel.  For kids' books, some time it is easier to storage awkward shaped books in a basket instead of in the shelf.

And remember for books that you are done with and don't want to keep there are tons of used book stores, day cares, community centers and schools always looking to add to their inventory!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

We Answer Wednesday - How to make a kids' bathroom kid friendly but not too childish

"We are a family of 5.  My 3 kids share a bathroom in our new home - which is great! I would love some ideas to make the bathroom 'kid friendly' and fun but still stylish since it is also used for out of town guests. We have a great palette to work with - it's all white!"

What a find! A home with a full bathroom just for the kids, that can really make life easier!  Being able to make their bathroom 'kid friendly' will be fun  and easy - they will love it, too!

Since your bathroom is all white, your options are endless.  Because this bathroom is also going to be used for other guests - we highly recommend sticking with some neutral tones that will work well for all ages. So even if you were going to do a bathroom renovation, we would still suggest staying in a neutral colour palette (paint is easy enough to update but tiles and counter tops are more involved and costly). If the all white palette, is just too much white, we love the look and feel of a fresh bathroom so if you are open and considering paint - opt for soft grey tones or perhaps even light blue. To add the fun and kid friendly touches - accessories are the best way to go!  Easy updates that are affordable and not permanent!

 Bathroom in Design Tour: The Best of HGTV Dream Home, HGTV Green Home and HGTV Urban Oasis from HGTV

 Accessories can really add to a basic bathroom - bath mats, shower curtains, towels, art are all great ways to add some colour, texture and pattern to the space.

For the decor, you may want to choose a theme for the bathroom.  A theme will give you some direction when it comes to putting it all together.  Does it all have to match? No. But it is a great guideline for when you are shopping. A nautical or beach theme are both popular ones because they do translate well with kids and adults, plus they are calming and soothing.  You don't need to go over board with a theme just a few touches can set the scene. See the image below for some inspiration on how to go light with a theme. The colour palette is soft and light.  The art and the oar towel hooks are a unique nod to the theme, it's cute for kids but suitable for adults sharing the space, too.

When it comes to kids' bathrooms you need to make it accessible and organized with them in mind.
For instance, hanging towels on a hook is much easier for them.  Hang your hooks at a height that they can reach.

 Pawleys Island Posh: Coastal Nursery | the picket fence projects

We love this paddle with hooks paired with simple nautical themed art.

Towels are another great way to add some colour and/or pattern to the bathroom.  For a little extra fun and organization, we love monogrammed or personalized towels like these ones from Pottery Barn Kids







 

 A shower curtain is another great way to make a colourful 'splash' in the bathroom - print, texture and colour. We love to select a common thread in terms of colour in the towels and the shower curtain. Kids LOVE colour but it can get crazy, if you let them! So we suggest a great basic palette like this one with navy blue and white and then add yellow, orange, green or red to this classic colour combo, with towels, soap dispenser etc....Again, a great balance for everyone using this space.





Art in a bathroom really adds visual interest and really completes the room.  There are some great pieces for kids.  Some of our favourites are so simple and smart since they encourage daily hygiene and bathroom chores

Personalized Kids Bathroom  Rules, Superheroes Bathroom Rules, Set of 3 Prints, 8" x  10" Gallery Quality Art Print
These Superhero Bathroom Rules available on Etsy

Wall Decals are also a great addition to your bathroom walls.  Again we love the idea of 'Bathroom Rules',a great reminder for kids.

Another great find on #zulily! 'Bathroom Rules' Wall Decal #zulilyfinds

Organization is so important.  So labeled jars, bins, baskets etc...are a great way to keep the kids organized. Be sure to keep the routine simple and consistent.

These floating shelves are a great idea if you are low on counter space. Having them personalized with every day items is a great idea

 Cute Personalized Bathroom Shelves - 30 Brilliant Bathroom Organization and Storage DIY Solutions

If you do have more counter top space, try small baskets or even mason jars.

Give everyone their own jar for their toothpaste and toothbrush. | 33 Clever Ways To Organize All The Small Things

 Other accessories can really add the fun in a bathroom - soap dispensers, shower curtain hooks, hand towels, Kleenex box, trash can and more.  There are many sets in many different themes,perfect for kids!



Kids' Bathroom

The best advice when it comes to adding decor to a bathroom that is shared with adults and kids - is to not go overboard.  So if you have a kids' theme shower curtain maybe go neutral with most of the towels (the hand towels can be a bit punchy since they are small) or if you want the shower curtain and towels more basic then have fun with the art and accessories (like these Monster ones seen above).  When every element of the bathroom is a kid piece or theme, that's when it is no longer adult friendly.  But have fun - the bathroom is a perfect space to get whimsical and creative!