Scandinavian Design: Simply Stunning

Minimalism. Modernity. Simplicity. These are all things you probably associate with Scandinavian design. But how about cheerfulness? There’s something inherently cheery about this design style, which perhaps explains why it crops up in everything from reimagined farmhouses to Parisian-inspired homes. As these insights into Scandinavian decorating show, less can sometimes be more, especially when it comes to designing beautiful interiors.

Neutral Furnishings
Plan on furniture and textiles in soft, soothing hues such as white, beige, gray, black, and brown. An overall neutral, organic palette creates a gentle backdrop for adding pops of color in accent pieces and artworks.

White Is Right
Speaking of color, white is dominant in Scandinavian interiors. White walls. White trim. White furniture. Together, they all create an airy and uplifting aesthetic that’s both pretty and pretty calming.

Outside Influences
Natural landscapes. Forests. Mountains. Lakes. Scandinavian design gives a nod to the great outdoors by incorporating elements inspired by all of these into the decor. Look for that outdoorsy but sophisticated feel in everything from wood flooring and stone fireplaces to wooden side tables and birch-inspired wallpapers.

Clean Lines, Clutter Free
Scandinavian design boasts a straightforward beauty that eschews the formal and the fussy, the overly adorned and the excessively embellished. Clean, simple lines distinguish Scandinavian architecture; even light fixtures — whether in the form of sconces, table lamps, or floor lamps — tend to be minimalistic with a focus on purpose.

A Window To Beauty
If possible (privacy is always a priority!) keep the windows in your Scandinavian inspired home unadorned. Not only does this allow ample light to illuminate your room, it also eliminates the fussiness and care required of curtains, draperies, valances, fringes, and the like.

The key to creating a Scandinavian design in your home? keep in mind the three core elements of this  style — unity, simplicity, and beauty. It’s as simple as that.

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In a Word-Beautiful: Design Terms Everyone Should Know

Say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s an adage that comes in handy when shopping for furniture or home accents. The more clearly you can describe what you’re looking for the more likely you’ll find exactly what you want. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly confused design terms.

console:  Can refer to a cabinet that houses a TV and other media equipment, or an ornamented bracket with scrolls or corbel supporting a cornice, shelf, or tabletop. To add to the confusion:  A ‘console table’ refers to a display piece that can hold collectibles or objets d’art.

wainscot: Wooden paneling on the lower part of the walls of a room. Not to be confused with chair rails.

sconce:  A light fixture that attaches to a wall and usually features some type of ornamental bracket.

highboy:  A tall  chest of drawers supported by four legs. Distinguished from a dresser by its chest-on-chest configuration and significant height.

ikat:  Originally an Indonesian fabric featuring threads that are tie-dyed before weaving. Today, the term ‘ikat’ also refers to a fabric pattern.

hassock:  Not an ottoman, not a stool, a hassock is a firmly padded cushion that can be used as a footrest or a resting spot for a tray of noshes and nibbles.

davenport:  A type of sofa once manufactured by A.H. Davenport and Company in Massachusetts. Oddly enough, during the 18th century the term referred to an entirely different type of furniture:  a secretary-style desk.

pelmet:  Although sometimes confused with a type of skirt, ‘pelmet’ refers to a boxy window treatment that conceals curtain rods.

objets:  A French word that translates to ‘object’. Can suggest everything from high-end collectibles to everyday bric-a-brac, depending on the style of your maison (French word that translates to ‘home’!).

finial:  An ornament at the top, end, or corner of an object such as a curtain rod or lampshade.

Know your decorating terminology and you’ll have the last word on how to beautifully style your home.

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And Trending for Spring Are…

Out with the winter blues; in with the spring to-dos. It’s no surprise that spring is the season for changing things up in your home. Just look outdoors and you’ll  see that everything seems to be taking on a new shape, a different color, a fuller form. It’s only natural that your living space, too, should take on an air of refreshed beauty. Here are some of the most popular trends popping up this spring.

Marvelous Marble
It’s sleek, it’s cool, it’s luxurious — and it can also be expensive. Marble can attract your admiring gaze but it can also bust your wallet if you’re looking at large-scale items such as tabletops and kitchen counters. Opt, instead, for these smaller items that add this natural stone’s sophistication to your decor without taking a chunk of your budget:  planters, clocks, candleholders, bookends, and accent tables.

Gray Hardwood Floors
The beauty of this trend is hard to beat:  hardwood floors in a soft, muted gray color. The natural grain of the wood is accentuated by neutral gray tones that allow for ease in blending with home decor color schemes either vibrant or subdued. This spring, the light and airy look of gray flooring is definitely  underfoot.

Farmhouse Kitchens
Their simplicity calls to mind pie baking, fresh thinking, easier living. Falling by the wayside are extravagant kitchens with overly embellished Mediterranean-inspired design. The farmhouse kitchen features soothing neutral colors, open shelving, natural flooring, expansive sun-dappled windows, reclaimed wood, and, of course, a farmhouse sink.

Global Folk Textiles
You can bring a world of beauty to your spring decor by including global folk textiles. Add in a few pops of brightly colored woven and embroidered fabrics and textiles in the form of pillows, throws, area rugs, or wall hangings and you’ll impart international panache to your surroundings.

Matte Finishes
Metallic has moved on:  last year’s glimmering darling has been replaced with this year’s soft matte. Some of the season’s most popular textures include matte glazes, chalk-finish paints, and oxidized metals.

Black And White Decor
Minimalism makes its return with minimal fuss. Black and white decor is on the upswing, owing to a desire to create an interior that showcases just a few complementary colors instead of an entire palette of varying hues. Clean, simple, direct, and bold, a black and white color scheme always seems timeless and allows for the introduction of a few pops of other favorite colors here and there.

Shop our Spring Flowers collection now!

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Power to the Powder Room

PowderToPowderRoom

Photo via domino.com, Interior design by Young Huh and Kohler, and photography by Nick Johnson

The petite powder room. It may be small but it’s often one of the most frequently used rooms in the home owing to its convenient placement near a living room or kitchen. In contrast to a full bath or anen suite, a powder room usually consists of only a sink and toilet, and is often the bathroom of choice for visiting guests. But being little doesn’t mean this room can’t be big on style and charm. Here are a few pointers for making the powder room a focal point in your home.

Punch up the small space of a powder room with a few oversized elements such as a large wallpaper print or a sizable mirror. Going bigger with just a couple of items can make the room feel larger than it is and less box-like.

Choose a monochromatic color palette to create not only a soothing vibe but also the perception of more expansive and unbroken space. When choosing paint, opt for a gloss finish as it will reflect natural light from a window or the soft glow of a pendant light, adding to the room’s overall illumination. Another bonus:  gloss paint is easy to clean.

Don’t let the type of powder room fixtures you select sink your space-saving design:  A pedestal sink doesn’t take up much room but it’s big on style. Timeless and charming, this type of sink is the perfect fit for a room with limited square footage.

Consider a wall mounted faucet. You’ll be able to place your vanity and sink closer to the wall, freeing up more space for the toilet and decorative furnishings.

Draw attention away from an awkward powder room configuration with eye-catching elements such as an antique ceiling mounted light fixture, a whimsical mural painted on the ceiling, a vanity crafted from an heirloom table with a handsome patina, or a wallpaper that’s fresh and bold instead of customary and old.

As you can see, with a little imagination a powder room can have powerful beauty.

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Shedding Some Light on How to Choose a Lampshade

Sometimes they look too short. Too tall. Too bulky. Too small. And sometimes they just, for no reason at all, just look plain awkward. Choosing the perfect lampshade can be tricky, but not if you know what to look. Here’s some information you might find enlightening.

Style And Shape
When it comes to style and shape, there’s a pretty simple rule of thumb:  Round lamp bases look best with round shades, square or angular bases with square shades. For the most cohesive look, choose a shade shape that reflects both the shape of the lamp base and of the table on which it will sit. Something else to keep in mind:  You can put just about any style of shade on a candlestick lamp and it will look good.

How Wide?
Here’s where your measuring tape will come in handy:  The widest part of the shade should be at least a half inch wider on each side than the widest point of the lamp base. To ensure you make the right choice, measure the lamp base before you head out to the store and bring a measuring tape with you so that you can size up shades while you’re shopping.

Finding The Right Size Doesn’t Have To Be A Tall Order
To find the right shade height for your lamp, remember this:  Select a shade that’s two-thirds the height of the base if you don’t want a lamp that looks top or bottom heavy. Also, check to make sure that when the shade is in place you can’t see any of the hardware below, such as the harp.

Pleating May (Or May Not) Complete The Look
Pleated lampshades are generally considered to be more traditional; they’re often a good fit for decors that boast antiques or furnishings with a lot of detail, heavy fabrics, and patterns. If you’re looking to introduce a pleated shade into a more contemporary room, go for a box pleat. This type of shade has cleaner lines and a more geometric form that looks fresher and more up-to-date than the classic pleated style.

Changing the look of a lamp? With just a little know-how, you’ll have it made in the shade.

Shop our Table Lamp and Floor Lamp collections now!

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Should You Do a Duvet, Coverlet, or Quilt

Bedding can be baffling. There are so many choices of materials, sizes, and styles that making up a beautiful bedscape can become a nightmare. Here, a few of the most popular bedding choices are explained so that you can select the one that’s just right for your utterly romantic boudoir or spacious master suite.

The term ‘duvetrefers to a soft flat bag filled with synthetic material, feathers, or down. They’re most often inserted into a removable cover (think of a pillow and a pillow case). Some people prefer to use duvets and duvet covers without sheets owing to the fact that both the cover and the insert can be laundered. Another benefit of choosing a duvet and cover:  they make the chore of making the bed easier, given that you don’t need to add in multiple layers such as sheets, quilts, blankets, and such. Duvet covers are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and materials, allowing for ease in blending with different decors. Many duvets also come with matching pillow shams.

You can cover your bed in style with a coverlet, a lightweight, nonreversible bedspread that’s usually woven or quilted. Designed to sit as a decorative layer atop a thicker bedspread, a coverlet usually features a thin layer of batting that allows it to be used as a stand-alone covering, if you so choose. Another coverlet plus:  You can toss it on a sofa or bed as a stylish accent. In terms of draping, expect a coverlet to lay loosely at the corners of the bed; because of size and decorative quality, a coverlet is not designed to achieve a pillow tuck.

Because of their beauty and detailed craftsmanship, quilts often show up in places other than the bedroom; they can also be used as dramatic wall hangings, striking tablecloths, and season-inspired table runners. Usually composed of three layers of fiber, a traditional quilt features a woven top and a woven back with a layer of batting in-between. Historically, quilts have been handed down through the generations as treasured heirlooms after being presented as gifts to commemorate a wedding, the birth of a child, a graduation, a new home, or some other type of major life event.

Shop our Duvets, Coverlets, & Quilts collection now!

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Hammock Style

cleo moss rug Carved Panel Tuscan Pine quaint trail giclee fern botanical mireval planters ridley cloche lola filler Silver Foliage Dishes

A current trend making its way through the interior design industry is Hammock style. No, it is not the hammock that you swing in. Instead, think of the soft green moss growing on the underside of the shady willow tree and of ivy vines that are covering a trellis. Think ferns, real or faux, leaf patterns in abundance and green, green, green. This is hammock style; bringing the soft, sweeping greenery into your indoor design. Enjoy our picks for this great, on-trend look that is easily incorporated into any home.

1. Cleo Moss Indoor/Outdoor Rug     2. Wood Carved Panel Tuscan Pine I    3. Quaint Trail II Crackle Giclee    4. Large Fern Botanical    5. Mireval Wood Strip Planters – Set of 3    6. Ridley Cloche    7. Lola Filler   8. Silver Foliage Dishes

 

Shop our Hammock Style collection now!

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Six Simple Steps to Enjoying Your Home More

You’ve dedicated time and money and endless thought to making your home beautiful – but how can you make sure you enjoy the fruits of your labor?  Here are six little routines that can help you keep appreciating your home to its fullest.

  • Try to make time to eat breakfast in the breakfast nook or at the dining-room table.  There’s no need to prepare a full menu to enjoy the table setting – just a packaged muffin and a cup of coffee is more enjoyable at the table on a real plate, and it lets you start your day from a place of energy and calm.
  • Make a point of changing seats throughout the day so you refresh your perspective on rooms.
  • When you’re choosing annual flowers (or making longer-term landscaping decisions), consider the line of sight from your windows – and arrange the outdoors to complement what’s going on inside.  This complete picture will provide contrasts and complements that help you appreciate your interior more.
  • Make tidying up a more pleasant experience by opening curtains and windows and doing something special to make dusting and dishes more pleasurable.  For instance, you might choose a scented candle you love and burn it only when you’re doing housework.
  • Choose a time well in advance of holidays (or unrelated to any stressful special occasions) as a re-decorating day when you re-think the positioning of decorative items.  When you do, focus on arranging an attractive vignette in the line of sight from every family member’s favorite work spot or seat at the dining table.
  • If you don’t live alone, involve other members of the household in decorating – even kids.  When everyone contributes ideas, everyone gets to surprise others with their interior creativity and create a beautiful, novel experience.

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Birds of a Feather Bring Beauty Together

Time flies — and suddenly it’s spring. What better time to celebrate the lightness and beauty of the season with decorative feathers that signal the arrival (and return) of birds to the landscape. Feathers lend a light, ethereal beauty to a room that calls to mind sun-tinted days and beckoning breezes that lift one’s spirits. Read on for some delightful ways to add the beauty of feathers to your home decor.

Framed Art

Whether you choose a sepia-toned painting of birds spreading their wings, colorful feathers falling from the sky, or a pen-and-ink illustration of a single plume, feather-inspired artworks create a focal point of gentle beauty on your wall. For a more dramatic depiction of plumage, consider a shadowbox containing feathers in dramatic colors and various sizes.

Textiles

Textiles stamped with feathers come in many forms, including blankets, throws, pillow covers, rugs, and more. You can choose to add one textile or several, depending on how prominent you’d like your feather motif to be. You’ll also have the option to use such textiles seasonally, bringing them out when the weather turns warmer and thoughts turn to the outdoors.

Bouquets

Let your imagination take flight and opt for a bouquet of brilliant or striped plumes instead of the usual blooms. Placed in a stoneware pitcher or simple glass vase, a collection of feathers creates a unique vignette that can signal either spring’s arrival or fall’s farewell.

Towels

Pom-poms and tassels take note:  Your days of being the only go-to trim for towels may be coming to an end. Towels with tufts of decorative ostrich feathers and the like are adding panache to the powder room. When placed in a guest room, a feather adorned towel suggests whimsical thoughtfulness sure to enchant.

Dining Accents

Napkin rings encircled with the downy beauty of pastel-hued feathers. A cheese board with an embossed feather motif. A creamer fashioned from a rooster with elongated tail feathers that serve as a handle. Add one or more of these pleasing plume elements to your dining room and you’re certain to have guests flocking to your table.

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Your Home Library: Decorating that has a Happy Ending

YourHomeLibrary

*Photo Credit via House Beautiful

The home library. It’s where you store your treasured tomes, your favorite reads, newly printed bestsellers and old college textbooks. Here are a few tips for presenting your collection of paperbacks and hardcovers in style rather than just propping them up any which way and letting their dust jackets gather, well, dust.

Arrange Books By Theme

Sort through your books and arrange them on shelves (labeled or not) according to topic. Some genres to consider include literature, cooking, drama, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and travel.

Create A Colorful Presentation

Book covers and dust jackets often boast bold and beautiful colors. For a visually striking library, arrange your books according to color:  reds with red, blue with blue, and so on. You’ll find color coded book groupings add an artistic flair to your library as well as a sense of cohesion.

Be Open To Bookstore Style

For home libraries that house a large book collection, the bookstore method of arranging tomes works quite well. Arrange nonfiction books by subject and fiction alphabetically by author and you’ll be able to easily locate the book of your choosing without having to review each and every title in your stacks.

Give A Small Collection Big Impact

If your book collection is on the small side, consider displaying your books with the covers facing out rather than lining them up in a row with only the spines visible. This works for either paperbacks or hardcovers, and creates a visually intriguing display similar to that of photo galleries and art displays.

Don’t Underestimate The Beauty Of Oversized Tomes

When it comes to placement of large or oversized tomes, keep in mind that laying them flat instead of standing them up will limit pressure on the books’ spines. Displaying them cover up on a shelf also allows the subject matter to be fully displayed, whether it’s world travel, art and design, history, or the like. Stack them in ascending order (largest on the bottom) to ensure that each book is fully supported.

Shop our Library collection now!

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