Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pillows - A Definite Decorating Statement

A design tip I often hear (and use) is to make a quick but dramatic change to a room, change (or add) pillows. As we move into spring and summer, using this tip can move a room from drab winter into bright sun. These beautiful pillows from Company C will brighten any room! The colors are divine.......and will go with almost any neutral. In fact, with a solid fabric, you can use them all together to bring summer sun into a room. Are you working with a lot of pattern in the room? Then use them to keep the color story going, while toning down the pattern.

Do you prefer patterns to solids? If the background is solid, don't hesitate to mix and match different patterns to create interest. See how these patterned pillows from Pier 1 in various shades of green enliven a beige sofa? To keep things from getting too busy when you have lots of pillows, try using a pair or two. Just keep the pairs at opposite ends of the sofa or on different pieces of furniture in the room.

Even outdoor furniture needs pillows. While it's probably a good idea not to compete with the landscape, simple pillows in subtle colors can add softness, comfort, and interest to outdoor furniture. Look how these pillows make this seating area more comfortable and cozy, while blending with the beautiful view.

Just a few simple "rules" to follow: odd numbers of pillows are usually a bit more interesting as are pillows of different sizes. Just don't have too many different sizes - two usually works fine. And don't forget about texture! Vary the textures of the pillows with that of the fabric they are on - and with each other. Then sink into the sofa and say "ahhhh". And if you like these ideas, visit my Decorating with Pillows board on Pinterest!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mix It Up a Bit!

While I can't really say that contemporary decor is prevalent in the northeast, it is certainly true that clean lines are making quite a statement. And I love mixing a more contemporary look with furnishings that are a bit more traditional.

Jackson 2-Piece Chaise Sectional
Olivia Cocktail Table
I'm also thrilled that West Elm has opened a store in Westport, which means I no longer have to drive to Massachusetts to shop for reasonably priced clean-lined furniture. Their beautiful Jackson sectional fits with contemporary furniture as well as more traditional. Change the rug and pillows for something more traditional, switch the coffee table for something like this one from Ballard Designs and voila! A fabulous blend of contemporary and traditional. What's not to love?

Barrel Cbair
Sometimes all it takes is a statement piece.  Regency Shop has some fabulous furniture to do just that. Add one of their beautiful contemporary pieces into a more traditional room and you've got an interesting room, one that looks as if it's been put together over time.  This Barrel Chair ( a take on traditional Mission style) would look wonderful in a room with leather furniture, wouldn't it? Or what about this very contemporary Bertoia Chair surrounding a farmhouse table? Wouldn't that make a statement?
Bertoia Chair

So don't be afraid to mix it up! Add a little tension, a hint of edginess, and you've created a room that feels good, looks good and reflects you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bookshelves........Not Just for Books

Bookshelves play some sort of a role in most homes. Sometimes they have a simple function of, well, holding books. Strictly utilitarian, but very important. But that doesn't have to be the case. Why not add a little spice?

Bookshelves can be a great place to display collections - and not just family photos. Collections have more of an impact when they are displayed together, so why not distribute them throughout the shelves? Incorporate books as display stands, pay attention to colors and textures, and you can have a bookshelf as beautiful as this one designed by Emily Henderson.

Feel like your bookshelves are a little boring?Why not decorate the backs of the shelves with paint or wallpaper? Books and accessories will stand out beautifully and voila - no more boring bookshelf.

Design by Emily Henderson
What about making use of the front of the shelves as well? While you don't want to forget the function of bookshelves, hanging a piece of art on the front of shelves can be interesting - and can perhaps hide some of those not-so-pretty items stored there. Or better yet, perhaps this is an interesting place to showcase an interesting collectible. While you may not have anything quite likethis around your home, think creatively!

And don't forget about children's bookshelves! While these can provide invaluable storage for toys and books, make them colorful and fun.

Just a few tips to keep in mind when styling your bookshelves. It's a good idea to keep the  heavy items on the bottom. This keeps the bookshelves from looking like they may topple over. Put the prettiest books and accessories at eye level. These are the things you want people to really notice. If you have paperbacks, put them in baskets rather than displaying them on the shelves. And finally, if you have side-by-side shelves, try making the width of the shelves on each side vary just a bit. This can keep things interesting, as long as there isn't too much disparity.

Like these ideas? I've posted photos of my favorites on Bookshelves I Love on Pinterest so check them out!