Belgian inspired designs…

July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

I love the casual elegance of Belgian inspired design.  With a focus on raw materials, Belgian style rooms are colored simply by the use of unfinished woods, natural stone, and linen.  Although it is known as a colorless design style, these images are certainly not lacking in interest.  The palettes from these subtle colored rooms are surprisingly colorful…

Photo: Barbara Westbrook and Kim Winkler in House Beautiful

         

Photo: Design Sponge

      

Photo: Kay Douglas in House Beautiful

          

Photo: Axel Vervoordt

For more on Belgian Design, check out Alex Vervoordt’s book Timeless Interiors.

Color palette swatches are from Benjamin Moore:  Image 1 – Gladstone Tan, Britannia Blue, Spring in Aspen, Feel the Energy.  Image 2 – Bryant Gold, Temptation, Blue Porcelain.  Image 3 – Bonnie Nuit, Boothbay Gray, Spring in Aspen, Snowfall White.

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Closet spaces reinvented…

June 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Reclaim your closet space and give it a new purpose.  Get inspired for a quick weekend project with these great ideas for utilizing closet space.  This office nook below is the perfect solution for a combination guest room/home office.  (Although ideally there would be more space between the desk and the bed!)

Photo: Apartment Therapy

This closet efficiently stores a home office, which can be hidden quickly.

Photo: Martha Stewart

I love the creative use of this closet—converted into a cozy library.  The deep hue on the shelves and the addition of the ladder adds warmth and character to the space.

Photo: Real Simple

Get the toys off your playroom floor with this colorful organized space—who says closets need to be white?

Photo: Container Store

You can even make a private hangout—this fanciful child’s closet is much more fun as a reading nook and playspace.

Photo: Ohdeedoh

Have fun!

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Balancing yellow & pink…

June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yellow and pink make a great combination—and even better when accented with a rich magenta, like in this photo below.  The colors are so perfect in this picture…

Photo: House Beautiful

I didn’t think it could get any better until I came across this image—I love how the pink and yellow are layered in front of the dark background. This moody gray brings a quiet sophistication to these two cheerful colors.

Photo: Tony Bennett Photography, as seen on Desire to Inspire

The golden framed artwork is the perfect accent for this gorgeous pink and white schemed room.

Photo: Amanda Nisbet

I love what they did with the walls in this photo…the yellow stenciled walls really make the room.

Photo: Serena and Lily

Balancing two colors like yellow and pink is essential for a successfully designed room.  This can be done in a number of ways:  1. Try varying the intensity of the colors.  To balance a bright yellow, select a soft pink, instead of a deeper hue.  2. Balance can also be achieved by varying the amounts of color used within the room.  For example, a bold color can be softened by using it smaller amounts, or intensified by using more of it.  3. When using these two colors at equal intensity, you can balance them by adding a neutral to to the color scheme, so the two colors will read as accents —or use more of one color than the other, so one color is dominant.

Design Trend: Imperial Trellis…

June 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

Trellis is everywhere.  This fanciful pattern can be used in many ways.  Here are my favorite uses for this bold pattern.

Thelennoxx.com

Isabellaandmax.com

Hirshfields.wordpress.com

Decorpad

Draperystyle.com

When designing with trellis, keep your room simple and let the pattern be the star.  There are so many great colors available in this pattern.  Consider the impact you are going for when selecting your color.  Light greens and aquas will be softer than bright pink or orange.

Love this pattern and still need more?  Bring a piece of this great pattern home with these items from Etsy…

         

Images left to right… Imperial Trellis Pillow by Lily on Blue ‘s Store on Etsy, $86. Imperial Trellis iphone Cover by Plum Street Print on Etsy, $55.  Trellis Clutch by Kimberly Jones Designs on Etsy, $40.

Adding light to dark colored rooms

May 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Using dark colors on your walls always runs the risk of creating a room that is too dark. Occasionally, it is the designer’s intent is to create a dark and mysterious mood in a room, but in most cases, the goal is to create a sense of light even though some of the elements in the space are dark.  The key to adding light to the space is all about balance.

Loftenberg.com

This space uses light colored flooring to reflect light into the room.  In addition, all the elements in the room are light colored except for the richly colored dark walls.

Flicker

This office is a great example of balancing dark colors in a room.  The bookshelves and windows break up the dark gray walls.  The white cabinetry increases the perception of light in the room, while the orange accents add interest.

Loftenberg.com

Lighting is key…This kitchen has an amazing amount of light considering just about every element in the room is dark.  Why does it work?  A large amount of natural light from the window fills the room and is reflected by the raised white ceiling.  Additional light fixtures have been added to the space as well. The size and openness of the room also helps to promote a light and airy feel.

Some other ways to add light to the room is through the use of wainscoting, mirrors or reflective surfaces, and artwork.  Pick your room wisely, one that gets a lot of natural light and open space. Ready to take on a project like this? Here are some of my favorite moody hues…

         

Colors from left to right…1623 Britannia Blue, 1456 Mountain Ridge, 1609 Temptation, and 1637 Blue Spruce.  All colors are by Benjamin Moore.

Decorating with Green…

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Green is one of my favorite colors.   I love this shade of green, it is mysterious and stylish.  Painting a room in such a deep hue can be tricky. If it is not done properly, it can really darken the room.  Instead, try adding it to the room in small ways — the impact can be big.

Photo: House Beautiful

Even with this gorgeous runner on the table, the green still gets your attention…

…and in this beautiful architectural setting, these chairs become the star of the room.

The green trellis pattern in this room commands your attention, yet gives a cheerful garden feel to the space.

Citrine Dreams Bedding Collection by Serena ans Lily

Deep shades of green can be energizing, while lighter shades of green are more peaceful.  Select the shade according to the mood you want to set for the room.  The lighter shades of green used in this room crate a quiet and peaceful setting, perfect for the bedroom.

Creating a Restful Bedroom

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Your bedroom should be comfortable, peaceful, and relaxing. The best way to give this look and feel to a room is to use a quiet color scheme — think accented neutrals and light colors.  If used sparingly, dark colors are ok, but you will want to stay away from bright colors.  Instead of using a traditional blue, a rich blue/grey will be more peaceful. Instead of purple, use a soft plum.  Try using one of these hues as your accent color.

          

Photo: Restoration Hardware

This bedroom is a great example of a stylish, relaxing retreat.  You could add more color to this room by replacing the gray pillows and quilt with a similar set, in one of the accent colors above.

Here are some tips for creating a restful bedroom:

Photo: Restoration Hardware

1. Layer your bedding…Bedding should include a great sheet set, a plush duvet, and a textured coverlet or throw.  Mix up your colors and patterns using these elements.  Try one in a solid, one in a print and one in a deep colored, textured solid.

Photo: Pottery Barn

2. Soften the room with fabrics…Layered drapery will add softness to the room.  Try using a roman shade framed with floor length curtains.  In addition, you can add soft furnishings to the room — like  an upholstered bench at the end of the bed or a lounge chair in the corner.

Piccadilly Chair by Serena & Lily

3. Finish the room with style…Add a great pendant and some beautiful artwork to give the room character….and enjoy.

Images from left to right.  Torso Line Drawing I by Richard Karwoski. Victorian Hotel Pendant and Peacock Mirror by Restoration Hardware.  Accent colors used above are Benjamin Moore Silvery Blue, Cabernet and Polaris Blue.

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