• Go Bold or Go Home: Color Trends in Interior Design

    Go Bold or Go Home: Color Trends in Interior Design

    In our recent post about choosing color palettes we explained the basics of interior design color schemes. Now that winter’s descending upon us, we’d like to take a look at a prevailing color trend: bold, vibrant splashes of color. Like the bright red cardinal against a drab winter landscape, we’re loving the look of assertive brights against a neutral backdrop (sleek grays and light creams are increasingly popular among contemporary designs, and tans and browns are popular among classic designs). Below are some pics and tips depending on how far you’d like to with your colors–from a splash or a wall-to-wall explosion:

    The above picture is Bright for Beginners. If you want to incorporate bright colors, but want to keep in low key, a great way is against a neutral backdrop–here they’ve used cream-colored furniture and carpet and and a beige wall. They’ve implemented the color with accent pillows (we love accent pillows!) of contrasting orange and blue, and small splashes of orange in the wall art. A great way to get started with small splashes of color is to choose a color from some of the existing artwork the room and highlight it with accent pillows, throws, and area rugs. All of these are non-permanents, so if you want to change them out in a few months, there’s no risk involved.

    For Intermediate color incorporation, do much as you would in the beginning phase with accent pillows and anything non-permanent, and add something more visible, and more fixed in the room’s landscape–like upholstering a sofa or armchair (pictured above) or choosing drapes or other window treatments to match the accent colors.

    For the Advanced color seekers who want a flood of sunshine in their interiors, we suggest layers of color. Don’t necessarily think monochrome, but incorporate the color, in different iterations and shades, in the room’s major elements. Bedding, wall color, window treatments, accent pillows, area rugs, and upholstery are all fair game. Just be sure to vary the shade of the color, and add some neutral elements as well to ensure it’s not blindingly bold. The picture above is an example of assertive but nuanced color. We think it shines beautifully!

    What are your fears/hopes/experiences/questions about color in interior design? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

    Photo credits, in respective order: http://arch-ideas.com/, freshome.com, http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/upload/68961438014422440_rSoNl4yi.jpg

  • Pillow Fight! Throw Pillows: Interior Design’s most Versatile Element

    Pillow Fight! Throw Pillows: Interior Design’s most Versatile Element

    Pillows are the easiest and most versatile when it comes to making small but impactful interior design changes. Having different throw pillows for different seasons, and even occasions, is an affordable way to keep your home’s interior design fresh and vibrant. Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when incorporating throw pillows into your existing home’s decor:

    1. Number. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, you should keep in mind the number of pillows you’re using. A safe number for contemporary homes would be three to five pillows. Two can seem a little matchy matchy, and exceeding five can seem cluttered and much more like a living room sleepover fort than a sleekly designed room. That said, if you have an especially large sectional, or a large living room area, it might be appropriate to have more than five.
    2. Size and Shape. A good guideline for square and circular pillows is to stick within the 18-24 inches range. For rectangular pillows there is more flexibility. Super long pillows (but short in height) can add interesting dimension when punctuated by a few (think odd numbered) traditional square pillows.
    3. Fabric. With fabric there are three things to keep in mind: 
    • Color: We really think throw pillows are an opportunity to have some fun with color. While we typically advise choosing a neutral color palette for the major, “unchangeables” in a room, here’s the time to spice it up. Think contrast. Think vibrant!
    • Pattern: Here’s another opportunity to let loose a bit. Patterns absolutely do not have to match. Pick a color group for the pillows and mix and match patterns. Stripes and florals are totally fine. Abstract patterns are welcome too. Sometimes tying the pattern to a piece of artwork or large area rug in the room can have a unifying effect.
    • Texture: Texture is often overlooked, and can add extra dimension to your decor. Feel free to mix a few textures too. Fabrics like linen, silk, wool, corduroy, satin, velvet, and woven textiles are particularly dynamic.

    Pillows are a great way to go a little wild without completely busying your sleek and peaceful home design. They’re an opportunity to take chances, and to make frequent changes, too. Go wild!

     

  • Color Palettes and Interior Design

    Color Palettes and Interior Design

    One of the most exciting parts of making interior design changes in your home is choosing a color palette or color scheme. It’s a great starting point, and when done properly, a well chosen color scheme can:

    • Enhance feelings of health and well-being. It’s no secret that color can affect our mood, so it’s a great idea to have the right kind of color vibes going on in your home. Choosing color palettes that are relaxing and soothing is often a great idea for bedrooms, and cheery color palettes can be wonderful for kitchens and entertainment rooms.
    • Make a room feel warmer or cooler. If you’re in the deep south, your sun room might benefit from cooling slates, grays, blues, and whites for a refreshing icy feel. If you’re in Maine, warm hues like rust and yellows might make for a cozy, warm living space.
    • Illuminate dark areas. Got a room with few windows? Bright colors–whites are great–can help give the illusion of more natural light.
    • Create mystery and romance in boring areas. That small dining area off your kitchen kind of a dull space? Want to make it a great hangout for adults?  Try deep eggplants or bricks.
    • Energize stagnant-looking rooms. Want to turn that back storage room into a home office? It should be a vibrant, inviting place to work! Choose a color scheme that stimulates you. The below color scheme adds warmth and energy to this living room: 

     

    We love working within a specific color palette for several reasons:

    • Adds structure/offers a solid framework for interior design changes. If you know what color scheme you’d like (warm and toasty like the picture above) then you’ve done a ton to narrow down upholstery and window treatment options. It’s a great starting point.
    • Sticking to a strict color scheme can actually be very freeing! Within a given color scheme you can explore many different pattens; the color offers a unifying element so you’re freer to explore more varied patterns. There’s no reason you can’t have striped, floral, and various prints in the same room, especially if they’re tied together within the same color scheme.
    • You can choose a color scheme then break it! Well, not really. But a great way to create a vibrant look is to add a small punch of contrasting color within a color scheme, like in the photo below.
    Cool color palette gets a pop of contrasting orange.

     

     

     

    What’s your experience with color palettes? And how far do you like to go? Window treatments, wall color, upholstery color, all in the same palette typically? What are some variables? We’d love to hear from you in the comment field below!

     

     

  • Fall Brings Change to Everything, Including Interior Design

    Fall Brings Change to Everything, Including Interior Design

    Fall is a time of change, and it inspires change in all of us that manifests itself in so many different ways. We change the way we dress (sweater weather, new boots, and jeans), we change the way we eat (squash, apples, and spice), and the way we want our homes to look and feel also changes. Some of these changes are functional–we need to dress in sweaters and boots because of the temp drop–but some of them are simply inspired by the desire to change with the season. To start afresh. I think what so many of us love about fall is that it’s both charged by warmth–the summer sun is still on our skin and in rich, sun-drenched rooms; the leaves look ablaze with reds, yellows, and oranges–and by cool as well–the temperature drops and evening comes a little earlier. So what’s a good way to change with the season and at the same time make a change that will outlast the season and still be relevant at other times of year?

    autumn decor

    Photo: http://passionforpattern.com/

    It think it’s important to keep two kinds of change in mind: permanent and temporary. The permanent changes should be investments–something you’re willing to spend more money on because you feel they’ll stand the test of time. Some examples of permanent changes are: reupholstering furniture, making custom furniture, wall paint and wallpaper, and redesigning entire rooms (especially having to do with appliances [eg. new stove] or new hardware [new countertops, new cabinetry). For these kinds of changes, even though you’re inspired by fall, be sure to choose neutral color palettes. If you’re psyched about rich fall colors, perhaps use things that could translate to spring and summer as well. Be sure to balance light and dark, and keep explicit fall patterns for more temporary changes. Light browns, slates, soft bricks, and sage greens can be fall-inspired colors that transition into other seasons as well.

    For temporary, or at least less permanent changes, you have more leeway to go wild with your fall decor. With window treatments you might be comfortable switching them out every two seasons (so you might have one kind for fall/winter and another for spring/summer), or you might be willing to “go naked” in certain months, that way your window treatments would only have to be appropriate for whichever season you’d like them up. Rugs are another way to make temporary changes. I like to go with an antique rug like the one pictured above, then swap it out for something brighter come spring. Pillows are also an easy way to transform your home decor for fall, and they can be easily switched out whenever you like. The important thing is to indulge your inspiration. You need to do less thinking ahead for temporary changes, and for the big ones, take your time–fall can work its way in, but be sure to accommodate every season.

    How do you indulge your need for a fall decor change? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

     

    (Cover photo: http://thingssheloves.tumblr.com/post/1569513291)