New Orleans: Bringing out the Big Easy in Your Home

With its rich history and distinct style, New Orleans is one of the best inspirations to use for your home decor.  With French, Spanish and African cultural influences all melded together, there is no place quite like The Big Easy.  Antique-style accessories can blend in with your current contemporary design to create a truly unique look.  Bright, bold colors will draw the eye wherever you choose to incorporate it and there’s no better way to get that across than through New Orleans signature colors of purple, green and gold representing Justice, Faith & Power. 

 

To assist you with your design, we have a few helpful lists below that include some of the more recognizable features associated with New Orleans.  This city inspires more eclectic and bold choices in decor, so don’t be afraid to play with bright colors and unique antique pieces.  Choose the appropriate ideas that will work the best with the rest of your home’s theme.  You do not want to ruin the flow of the house by choosing too many items that will distract from its overall look. 

 

Remember to have fun with the design.  Mix the old with the new, know that imperfections are okay and keep it light-hearted.  New Orleans is a city meant to be celebrated and showcased, so get started today with merging its daring style into your home!

 

Colors:

  • Brick Red
  • Sunshine & Butter Yellow
  • Dove & Charcoal Gray
  • Khaki
  • Soft & Bright Pink
  • Gold
  • Various Shades of Green
  • Various Shades of Blue
  • Bold Purple

 

Lighting:

  • Crystal Chandeliers
  • Gas Lamp Style Light Fixtures
  • Pendant Lights
  • Vintage & Eclectic Style Table and Floor Lamps

  

Furniture: 

  • Traditional Pieces like tufted couches and armchairs (with unexpected color to bring character to the room)
  • Wrought Iron Railings, headboard, side tables
  • Bistro Table with wrought iron chairs
  • Brightly painted cabinetry

 

Walls:

  • Iron Wall Plaques
  • Bright, Colorful Paintings
  • Floor-length Wall Drapery
  • Religious Symbols
  • Crown Molding
  • Detailed Plasterwork

 

Flooring:

  • Hardwood
  • Natural Stone
  • Brick and brick-look flooring materials
  • Patterned Tile
  • Statement Area Rugs

 

Natural Elements:

  • Ferns in Garden Statuaries
  • Topiaries
  • Hanging plants

Dramatic Decor Ideas – Part Three: Furniture and Accessories

Our final installment discusses how your furniture and accessories can drive up the drama in your home.  Finding the correct balance of textures to make a room inviting and warm is key to achieving the look you desire.  Each room is going to require different accessories, so take the following ideas and apply them where it is appropriate.

 

In the bedroom add a large tufted leather headboard in a rich plum color to create a focal point in the room.  Add velvet accent pillows and use a contrasting color bedspread to bring the look together.  If there is available floor space, try adding antique settee with small complementary pillows.  A gorgeous dark-stained armoire adds some glamor to any space and brocade curtains for the windows will complete the room’s new decadent style.

 

If your decoration area is in the living room, try bringing attention to the fireplace with dark tones and a magnificent piece of art above it.  If it is flattering to the piece, add an ornate frame around it.  For lighting, try more unusual looking wall sconces that will be a talking piece for guests.  If your light source is from the ceiling only, install a beautiful chandelier.  Large furniture also makes for a dramatic look, but be sure to mix it up with smaller pieces so the room doesn’t look overcrowded.  Consider the fabrics you can use for these pieces: dark stained wood side tables, velvet-upholstered chairs, premium leather couches and ottoman.  Add a thick, luxurious throw blanket over the side of your love seat for added comfort.  A tall, beautiful bookcase can also add sophistication to your space.  Ornate mirrors and wooden, glass or mirror coffee tables topped with casually spread books are all great ideas for this space.

 

For a formal dining room, take care to select a table that will not only serve your needs but be the star of the room.  Choose a table made from quality materials with unique characteristics such as its shape or ornate base design.  To further upgrade its look, make sure the chairs are upholstered with beautiful patterned fabric. Add a long tablecloth topped with large glass candleholders and beautiful flowers in a vase at its center.  A chandelier is also a fabulous idea for this space.  Consider a bar buffet unit topped with mirrored tray and glasses for serving an after-dinner drink to guests or a large hutch with your fine china displayed through the glass cabinets.  Use heavy drapery as well to dim the lights and set the mood for a comfortable and luxurious evening.

 

We hope you enjoyed our three-part series on Dramatic Decor Ideas.  Come visit us today to get started on your design!

Dramatic Decor Ideas – Part Two: Ceilings and Floors

In our previous post, we discussed ways to add drama to your interior design through the use of rich, dark colors on your walls. Next, we will be talking about what you can do to add excitement to your ceilings and floors.  While you may have been thinking about your flooring material options already, we bet you may have left out the ceiling.  Don’t underestimate the power of having every surface area touched with color to bring out the drama in your space.

 

Using a dark color on your ceiling is a powerful way to draw the eye.  Find a color that complements the wall shades you are using without bringing all of the attention away from them.  Consider a metallic paint color or one that has a touch of glitter in it to reflect light off of its surface.  Using the same color as the one on the walls is also acceptable as you can use different accessories to spruce it up with.  Try installing an opulent glass chandelier with an embellished medallion around the base to add texture.  If you’ve chosen to keep your walls a solid color you can take this opportunity to paint a mural, faux finish or bold pattern on the ceiling instead.  Wallpaper with a stunning pattern would also make a great contrast to solid colored walls as well.  If you have a vaulted ceiling and want to try a unique decorating idea, try hanging fabric from it’s highest point right to the top of your walls. 

 

We turn next to the flooring.  Make sure that your floors, walls, and ceiling are all working together to bring out the right look.  Everything item you incorporate does not have to be dark to create drama.  It is the dark contrasting with the light that draws the viewer’s attention when you enter a room.  With that said, there are multiple flooring materials that will make deeper colors looks attractive.  Natural stone and concrete give the space a bold look and can easily be warmed up with lighter accessories.  Hardwood can be jazzed up by stenciling a geometric pattern on it or giving it a darker stain.  Linoleum has come a long way and has some truly impressive patterns to offer as well.  If you want to use carpet in the room, Installing a two tone design can add dimension and flair.

 

Check back in with us for Part Three of our Dramatic Decor Ideas series!

 

Dramatic Decor Ideas – Part One: Wall Color

Having a home interior that easily blends into the neighborhood and conforms to the ideal beauty standards of the area you reside in can feel a bit too “cookie cutter” sometimes.  For those who want to step outside the box, there are fun ways to add drama to your living space that will bring you more enjoyment than the ordinary styles you may be used to seeing. 

 

The most effective way to bring drama to a room is with rich color choices.  An easy way to do that is with a darker paint color for the walls.  Soft, light colors are usually used to keep a home’s interior looking like a clean canvas, so when you walk into a room with a darker color on the walls it immediately draws the eye simply be being unpredictable.  Don’t be shy when it comes to how dark you can go.  Colors like royal blue, evergreen, charcoal gray, crimson red and chocolate brown can all work to your advantage.  Black is also not off limits. Choosing a matte finish will better complement your home’s interior.  Paint the whole room or even just one accent wall depending on how much natural light is available. Play around with making a stripe pattern on the walls with the same shade in a different sheen or maybe a black and white contrast.

 

Another way to add drama is through wallpaper.  Look for intricate designs in bold, dark colors.  Textured wallpaper is a great way to make a dramatic pattern come alive.  Metallic accents give the walls an edgy look, while designs in different shades of the same color add a playful touch.  Again, you can choose to apply it to every wall in the room or use this material for a single accent wall with dark paint covering the remaining surface area. 

 

Finally, the wall decorations you choose for the room will drive up the drama as well.  Richly-colored art pieces, floor-length drapery and intricately framed mirrors all have their part to play.  Creative metal wall sculptures, unique wall-mount plaques, and dark wood shelving to showcase any unusual and interesting figurines all add to the mood of the room. Tapestries, a skeleton clock or a wall mural are great ideas as well.  The most important thing is to make it your own.  Play around with the ideas that appeal most to you and see what works with your home’s layout. And remember to enjoy the process!

 

Be sure to check out Part Two of our Dramatic Decor Ideas series to learn more about bringing some drama to your home!

Daring Art Deco: How to Incorporate this Iconic Style into Your Home

If you are searching for an inspirational theme for your interior decor, consider trying to style your space with Art Deco influence.  The Art Deco Movement, popular from 1925-1940, brought in a new era of embellishment through geometric shapes, bold colors and defined lines, bringing an end to the popularity of Art Nouveau style.  Its unique blend of various European, African and Asian cultures gave it universal appeal and was meant to bring a sense of modern luxury to the space being decorated. 

 

The Movement not only affected interior design and architecture but fashion and film as well.   Even through the Depression, Art Deco reigned supreme.  Multiple skyscrapers around the world are inspired by it and legendary movie stars embodied its style through the screen lives of their beloved characters. It’s unique and bold style still holds great importance today, which makes it a great choice for your decoration theme. 

 

Using the below guide, you can easily add this opulent style to any room without overwhelming the space.  Use only the colors, patterns and accessories that will best complement the room you are choosing to enhance.  Less is more when it comes to themed decorating.  With that said, Art Deco is meant to be daring, so be prepared to step out of your comfort zone to bring this motif to life.  Bring a sense of glamor through symmetrical design and rich, sharp colors and shapes.

 

Colors:

  • Gold
  • Black & White
  • Silver
  • Orange
  • Deep Reds, Greens, Blues
  • Various Shades of Beige, Brown & Gray

Patterns:

  • Sunbursts
  • Floral
  • Chevron
  • Mosaic
  • Ziggurat
  • Fan
  • Zigzags
  • Feathers
  • Pyramids

 Lighting:

  • Chandeliers
  • Wall Sconces
  • Glass Table Lamps
  • Standing Torchieres
  • Pendant Lights

 Materials:

  • Iron
  • Gold
  • Stainless Steel
  • Chrome
  • Glass
  • Marble
  • Ebony

 Walls:

  • Wallpaper with Metallic Accents
  • Pressed Tin Wall Panels
  • Contrasting Paint Colors

 Flooring:

  • Linoleum with Strong, Bold Patterns
  • Lacquered Wood
  • Parquet Flooring

 Accessories:

  • Geometrically Shaped Multi-faceted Wall Mirrors
  • Iron Wall Hangings
  • Polished Wood Furniture
  • Large Area Rugs with Geometric Patterns
  • Iron Fireplace Screen
  • Mirrored Cocktail Tray with Decanter and High Ball Glasses
  • Glass Vases
  • Floor Length Drapery
  • Poster Art

Decorating a Bedroom for a Teenage Boy

Decorating a teenage boy’s room can feel like a difficult task.  You want to be sure to create a space that will cater to his personality and preferences while not ruining the flow of your home.  The teenage years are a time when a boy is evolving and learning more about who he is and who he wants to become, but there’s no handbook on how to help make sure his room grows with him. 

 

To get started on a decorating project like this, you will need to use the knowledge you have about what interests the boy you are designing the room for and what colors and room accessories will suit him best.  While each person is different, there are some common themes you can work with to build a foundation for a space that’s all his own.  Take the following suggestions and personalize them for the teenage boy in your life.

 

Painting the room is a good way to get started.  Keeping it neutral, there are still good colors available that will showcase the room to show that it belongs to a boy.  Softer tones of gray, blue and green are a great place to start.  If he enjoys race cars, you can even use an accent strip of color to make it look like a raceway. 

 

If your teenager is into sports, install floating wall shelves to display his collected memorabilia where he can see it and show it off to friends.  If he has a team jersey, buy a shadow box to preserve and display it on an open wall. 

 

For music lovers, use nice frames for posters of their favorite bands and incorporate a piece of storage furniture where they can keep pictures, ticket stubs or any other keepsakes from the concerts they may have attended.  If they play music as well, install a wall-mounted instrument holder for easy access. 

 

For the teenage gamer, a dedicated space for the television and all of their video games and consoles will help keep the wires from the controllers and game packages from causing clutter.  Add a couple of comfortable floor chairs for your teenager and a friend to sit on while playing whatever the hottest game of the moment is. 

 

We hope some of these ideas will get you started on your journey to decorating your teen’s room to his liking.  Try to get your him involved in the process for best results.  It’s always best to go directly to the source.  Happy decorating!

Proper Backsplash Border Height in the Kitchen

The backsplash in your kitchen is meant to be functional while also adding flair to the room’s decor.  Designs can be simple and understated, but they also have the opportunity to become a focal point when using certain patterns and colors.  One way to bring attention to the backsplash area is to install a decorative border.  This is an easy way to give the kitchen a unique look than using the same pattern for the entire wall space.  If you have decided that a border will enhance the room, the next step prior to installation is to determine the appropriate height at which it should be placed.  There are multiple options for backsplash borders depending on how dramatic you want to it to be:

 

Single Row

A single row border is usually installed one or two tiles up to ensure that it can be still be seen without the obstruction of countertop appliances, knife blocks or utensil canisters.  This also keeps the border from being installed too high, which will cause the upper cabinets to block your view. If your main backsplash is a bit plain in color, try a border with bright colors to draw the eye.  If there is a pattern already in place, pull the colors together with a slightly different border pattern with similar hues. 

 

Border as Small Backsplash 

If you prefer the border to be utilized as a smaller backsplash without having to cover the wall completely to the upper cabinets and behind the stove, consider using the border row as your backsplash.  Borders are usually around 4 inches thick and can be topped off with rope tile to give it a more polished look.  Simply place the border against the countertop with your chosen detail tile on top and you’re ready to go! 

 

Multiple Row

If you like the idea of a single row border but want it to make a larger statement, try doubling it by installing two parallel single row borders. Place the first row one tile up from the bottom and the second row one tile down from the top, giving space for one or two tiles in between each line. 

 

Border Frame 

This is a great way to add drama to your backsplash area directly above the stove.  Use the border tile to create a picture frame look.  Be to sure to properly measure the space on the wall to ensure your frame is centered exactly where you want it.  Giving yourself one tile of space on each side is a good rule of thumb.  Once the frame is created, you can fill the center space with whatever design you prefer.  You can use the backsplash tile you already have, arrange mosaic tiles to create a unique pattern that draws in the kitchen’s colors, install special tiles to create a mural inside your frame or even use a ceramic medallion tile to create a focal point.

 

No matter what you choose, when you install your border at the correct height, it will effortlessly enhance the look of your kitchen.  Contact us today to find the right backsplash border style for you!

Remodeling

Do you find yourself already worried about that remodel that you haven’t begun to start planning? Does the sight of an interior design magazine send you into a frenzy as you think about all of the work and decision making you have ahead of you? Don’t worry! If you create a solid plan ahead of time you can use that structure to help you navigate the redesign process.

 

You have to start somewhere when it comes to a redesign and this is where an inspiration board or stylebook can be of great use to you. This will be somewhat like Pinterest, but if you create one physically it will be easier to move things around and visualize on a larger scale. An inspiration board can be great for someone who has a more focused idea of what they want. A stylebook is great for someone who is looking to try a few different looks before they nail down the final decor. Pull looks you find inspirational from design magazines, print them off of the internet, wherever you find inspiration you can add it to your book/board.

 

Focus on the most important aspect of the room—function. What do you want to accomplish with your redesign? If you are looking to up the resale value of your home, you may want to think less about your specific wants and needs and look to industry standards for what will increase this value in the future. If you’re redesigning for yourself, be sure you know what you want to accomplish with your space, what your needs and wants are for it, and stick to this.

 

Another crucial step to retaining your sanity when going through a remodel is to budget your time and money. Figure out what it is that you want the most and research estimates for these items. Don’t forget to set up a schedule for your remodel—the last thing you want is for your remodeling project to drag out, costing you even more money in the end.

 

Using these tools as a starting point to begin a remodel can help focus your attention where it needs to be and remove the overwhelming feeling many experience when starting to think about a remodel. While the time and effort can sometimes be a extensive, the rewards are worth it.

An Open Floor Plan

When decorating an open floor plan it can be overwhelming to even begin to think of where to start. With all of that empty space, a blank canvas with no direction, many can feel like they are lost. Putting too much furniture in the room might completely negate the point of having an open floor plan while too little can begin to feel like you haven’t even moved in. That doesn’t begin to cover how to decorate with art and lighting. These few steps will help you move forward with furnishing and decorating your open floor plan into a layout that works best for you and your needs.

 

The first thing to consider is how many independent areas you will want delineated within your open floor plan. This will vary depending on if you have an open kitchen to living room area versus a studio apartment. Estimate how much space you will want each living area to occupy and then you can begin to think about what size furniture will fit into each area. Don’t forget to think about travel space between your living areas as well. Keep travel flow between spaces fluid and open so that your space doesn’t feel cluttered.

 

The next logical step is to consider which areas make the most sense to occupy living areas next to one another. You should think about what your needs are—does it make the most sense for the dining area to be near the kitchen? Do you want to have your living room area within viewing distance of your kitchen? Depending on your specific needs, arrange your living areas in a way that makes the most sense.

 

Finally, try to think about your furniture in groupings. While you will want all of the furniture in your open floor plan to relate to one another, they don’t necessarily have to be of the same grouping if they are in different living spaces. An example of this might be your living room area’s couch, chairs and coffee table grouping working as a set. This set doesn’t have to be an exact match the dining room furniture in the next living area. As long as the design elements relate in a way that makes sense visually, these groupings can coexist in the same space.

 

Trying to furnish and decorate an open space can sometimes be more overwhelming than when you have to deal with just each room individually. Following these few easy steps can help ease that burden as you begin to try and put together a floor plan that works for you and your family.

Keep Away That Mold!

Mold in your home is a serious issue requiring immediate attention. It can pop up anywhere in your house, but the most likely place you will find it is in your bathroom.

 

Some of the conditions needed for mold to grow are damp and steamy areas, poorly ventilated rooms and from moisture on exposed plumbing . Sound familiar? Not to mention the environment created in your shower stall right after a shower or bath.  Wet tile and shower liner, water beneath your shampoo and body wash, as well as an exposed soap bar make for a perfect storm in your bathroom.

 

Mold almost seems impossible to prevent, unless you want to remove your soap and other shower items daily. Fortunately, with a few smart choices in material and design, there will be no need to simulate your last camping trip.

 

If a bathroom has not yet been installed, make sure the design includes waterproof material, which will prevent moisture from reaching difficult to access areas that can create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold to develop. Proper ventilation is also key to stopping this issue before it starts. Whether a window is present or not in the room, consider installing a bathroom fan that can be run during hot showers and baths to prevent steam from rising and causing mold in the wall tiles and ceiling.

 

Existing bathrooms do not have the benefit of newer materials that would make it easier to keep the environment mold-free, so a little more hand-on work is required.  If a ventilation fan is not currently installed in the room, adding one would go a long way in keeping the area dry. Use it during shower or bath time and for 30 minutes afterwards to keep moisture away.  Consider minimizing bath products in the shower to ensure that there are less dark, wet spaces for bacteria to grow under.  Before exiting the shower, use a towel or squeegee to wipe or scrape away as much moisture from the walls as possible. Finally, make sure to clean all exposed tile at least once a week.