Curating Your Space—Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Curating Your Space! First, read Part 1 for our thoughts about Art Selections, Furniture and Textiles. Today we’ll talk about Lighting, Accessories, Finishes and Flooring.

If you think of your home as a carefully curated space, not solely for the purpose of being appealing to other people, but for the purpose of offering you rest and peace, this will help guide you as you decorate. Whether decorating is a one-time project for you, or an ongoing hobby, carefully choose the furniture, finishes, art, and items that fill your rooms, based on what is meaningful to you.



Don’t forget that lighting plays a big role in the atmosphere of your space. A room lit only from above has a different feeling than one lit with a few lamps in various parts of the room.

TIP: Instead of buying new lamps, think about repurposing the ones you already own in different rooms. Play with different locations and test out how the light feels in the room in different arrangements.



Accessories can be the most fun and dynamic part of decorating. Change up the arrangement of things as often as you want, add new items here and there as you find them. Pile on, or go minimal! Your selection of accessories is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to express your unique style.

TIP: Look online for styles of vignette arrangements you like to maximize the aesthetic appeal of your décor.


Finishes & Floors:

Just the opposite of accessories, the floors and hard finishes in your home are not changed often, so decision making can be harder here. Sometimes visiting a wide variety of places that inspire you, and looking at their finishes, can help direct your choice. They carefully curate their spaces so their locations look as appealing as possible—just as you want your home—appealing to you and your family for the purpose of rest and retreat.

TIP: Work with a designer if you’re not confident about the style you want, and they can help you find something you’ll like for years to come.

Curating Your Space- Part 1


Just as a museum or gallery curator carefully selects every sculpture displayed and canvas hung on their walls, so you too, are the curator of your home. A curator’s selections, in large part, determine the success of their business. The way your home looks isn’t connected to business success, yet a well curated living space can uniquely express who you are and provide sanctuary from the world. This takes some conscious effort and thought to achieve good results.

As you make selections for your home, think about not only the initial appeal to your senses, but also what speaks to you about your passions, desires and unique personality. You’ll find when you think deeply about what goes into your home, your personality will be reflected in your design and you’ll find more rest in your space.

In this two-part post, we’ll first talk about selecting art for your walls, furniture and textiles. Next time, we’ll discuss lighting, decorations, flooring and finishes.


Art selection may be one of the most subjective and personal parts of any items you purchase. Since the selections are endless and tastes vary so much, be sure to choose works that you really like, not just what’s popular for the moment. A large painting you love, can be something you keep for decades. Where furniture, rugs and accessories might come and go, good art is enduring.

TIP: Look for one big statement piece and then create a gallery wall with more affordable prints from artists you like, going with smaller sizes and less expensive frames. These you can change out more frequently as you find new art you like.


Even if you have big money to spend, furniture can be a challenge. Finding furniture that you like, that’s comfortable and durable can take a while. If you’re looking at vintage shops, scouring Craigslist and thrift stores to keep the budget low, sometimes you can find pieces that have that perfect mix of style, personality and quality. High on personality, low on price—win win!

TIP: Even if your style is very clearly defined, add a little something that breaks your style mold to add an extra element of interest. For example: if you love sleek modern, add a side table that’s ornately antique, or if your style is rustic vintage, add a small piece or two with a high glamour to break up the rustic textures throughout your home.


The fabrics we include in our home offer us not only the pleasure of visual experience but tactile as well. Keep this in mind when choosing throw pillows, bedding, throw blankets and rugs. Part of enjoying the comfort of your home is enjoying snuggling in soft blankets, resting on pillows that aren’t just pretty.

TIP: Make textiles throughout your home represent a variety of pattern, color, texture and size. The variety will add interest and personality to your space! You can even do this within a monochromatic color scheme.

 “Allow yourself the patience to know it will all come together in time and enjoy the process! For me home décor is not a goal, but a continually evolving and kinetic art project.” –Amy Butler, designer

As you look at your home as a series of blank canvases, a gallery of who you are, be thoughtful, educated and brave as you make your home into a place of rest and enjoyment for you and your loved ones. Embrace your inner artistry, have fun and take charge as you curate your space.

Color Scheme — Complex Combinations

When decorating a room it is often easiest to use just three colors as the pallet. It most definitely simplifies any decision that happens along the way. But if minimalism or starkness is not really your design cup of tea, then having only three colors in a room will be a bore. Some people just feel much more at home when there is an array of hues surrounding them. The more colors you incorporate though, the harder it is to coordinate.

Although you may want an explosion of color to be the emphasis in a room, it’s never a good idea to let it appear to be mismanaged. Controlled chaos is the key to using multiple colors in design! If you like the idea but have no idea how to go about it, you’ll love this quick and easy reference. We are featuring our top eight suggestions for complex color combinations. Ready to get started?  

  1. Pastel Green, Bright Pink, Brown, White
  2. Celery Green, Plum
  3. Silver, Teal, Purple
  4. Indigo, Teal, Yellow, Magenta
  5. Red, Brown, Gold, White
  6. Brown, Coral, Green
  7. Orange, Yellow, Black, White
  8. Lavender, Blue, Dark Green, Light Green, Beige, White

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme you like best visit the paint store and pick up paint chips. Get a few of each color so you can experiment. Take them home and lay them out on a table or large sheet of paper. Use scissors to trim them to different sizes and combine them in various ways. This will give you an idea of how much of each color needs to be used to achieve the effect you want!

Color Scheme — Black

Decorating your home with a focus on the color black is a sure way to add drama, sophistication, or a little edge to the design. It can also be a challenge because too much of it can be overwhelming, making a space feel too dark and closed in. Visit any design gallery or home furniture store and you are sure to find a million options in black, but the trick is to use it in smart measure.

The modern take on black is typically to make it the least prevalent color. In other words, use less black than any other color. Think of it as an accent color rather than a focus color. This is a great way to add emphasis to important features in a room. Make them black and they’ll stand out beautifully against the backdrop of the other colors in the room. Ready to get started? Enjoy our guide to the very best combos!  

  1. Black, White, Lime
  2. Black, Red, Purple
  3. Black, White, Tiffany Blue
  4. Black, Pink, Pale Pink, White, Grey
  5. Brown, Black, White, Kelly Green
  6. Classic Black & White

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme you like best be sure to make a list or sketch of the color layout of the room. Decide what will be black as opposed to the other colors you’re using. Switch it up until you’ve settled on a plan that ensures black will look its best. Don’t forget to consider electronics. Many of them are only sold in black!

Color Scheme — Gray

If there were a race to be the color of prevalence in home design in 2015 the clear winner would be gray! Visit any design gallery or home furniture store and you are sure to find oodles of items in gray. Not just furniture though! We’re seeing it in flooring and cabinetry too.

The challenge of incorporating gray into your home has to do with avoiding anything too dreary or institutional looking. If done wrong you might end up with a room that lacks a sense of energy or life. However, the modern take on decorating with gray relies on one simple difference. In 2015 gray is nearly always featured alongside a bold pop of color! It’s fresh, it’s fun, and it’s an entirely new way to do gray. Ready to get started? Enjoy our guide to the very best combos.

  1. Black, Gray, Cream Mustard
  2. Navy, Coral, Gray
  3. Gray, White, Pink
  4. Purple, Gray, Cream
  5. Beige, White, Gray
  6. Powder Blue, Pastel Pink, Lavender, Gray
  7. Gray, Cream, Mandarin Orange

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme you like best be sure to try it in various combinations before settling on one. For example, try gray in unexpected ways like artwork, lamps, and wood flooring! In all of these examples, however, the pop color is intended as an accent. So use it mainly on soft furnishings and accessories. 

Color Schemes — White

White might seem like the easiest possible option when it comes to decorating your home. In theory it coordinates with everything. It’s basically a blank canvas. However, the difficulty level sometimes increases if you want it to be the most prevalent color in a room. If you’re ideal room is large expanses of white it’s important to ensure that you balance it well.

If not, your home will look more like an institutional structure than a place you’d love to live. Which isn’t to say you can’t feature more white than any other color. In fact, we think it often works best to tip the scale in favor of white. To use it like a pro just be sure that you combine it with colors that are equally eye catching. This will ensure the room looks well coordinated instead of un-unified. Ready to get started? Enjoy our guide to the very best combos!  

  1. White, Beige, Gold
  2. Tiffany Blue, Pink, Yellow, White
  3. Aqua, Fuchsia, Lime Green, White
  4. White, Silver, Gold, Dark Brown
  5. Warm Yellow, Coral, Dark Orange, White 
  6. Red, Fuchsia, Black, White
  7. White, Purple, Grey
  8. White, Beige, Brown, Gold

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme you like best visit the paint store and pick up paint chips. Get a few of each color so you can experiment. Take them home and lay them on a large piece of white paper. Use scissors to trim them to different sizes and combine them in various ways. This will give you an idea of how much of each color needs to be used to achieve the effect you want!

Halloween Inspired Treats

22534191_STrick or treat? Most of us would pick treat. Whether or not you have kids, Halloween can bring out the inner child in all of us. Why not grab a few pumpkins to carve and cook up some of the following spooky treats. It’s a fun way to spend an evening entertaining little ones and adults alike.

Once you have hollowed out a pumpkin you can use it to hold all kinds of dips. Use black tortilla chips for a creepy effect.

Make witch fingers out of bread stick dough. Cut pepperoni slices to look like fingernails. Don’t forget to score the dough with a knife, creating knuckles and wrinkles for a more realistic look. If you don’t want to use breadstick dough you can make fingers from carrot sticks. Simply attach an almond fingernail with cream cheese and stand the carrots up in a bowl of ranch dressing.

Make green jello, mix in pineapple juice, lemon lime soda and vodka (if adults only) and pour into a punch bowl. In the meantime add dry ice and water to a large cauldron. Fit the punch bowl into a cauldron. Now you have magically smoking witches brew.

Use test tubes to hold tomato soup. Cut out pumpernickel bread in monster shapes and make grilled cheese.

Building a House…I Wish I Had Thought of That! (Part Two)

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.36.28 AMAs promised we have added more helpful tips that will hopefully keep you from saying “I wish I had thought of that!”

  • Bathroom: I wish I had thought of this one…when designing your cabinets for your bathrooms, think about longer drawers and fewer cabinets. The storage in drawers can be so efficient. Adding draw organizers is sure to make anyone happy!
  • Rounded Corners: Round corners create a smooth custom look throughout your home, which is sometimes easy to miss when you’re thinking about the design of your home.
  • Wall Texture: have you ever noticed the wall texture on homes that you have visited? Some are rough, others a little textured (referred to as knocked down), and then there is smooth. Think about the style of your home and remember there are options when it comes to wall texture.
  • Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 1.30.12 PMHardwood or Ceramic Floors: You don’t have to pick one or the other, you can have both! Combining wood floors and ceramic adds texture and style to any home. Just remember that the transition from one material to another can make or break a design. Make sure you have a clear-cut line between the two rooms; adding a border in the wood creates a very clean look.
  • Basement Ceiling:  The average basement ceiling is 8 to 9 feet tall. To make your basement feel more open and like the rest of your house consider 10-foot ceilings. You will pay a little more but at the end you will be happy you did it!
  • Interior Doors:  Solid 8-foot wood doors throughout your home will make a statement. Larger doors bring a custom feel to your home that you will enjoy for years to come.

Building a house takes a lot of time and planning. Try to put things in perspective and prioritize what is important to you and your family.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Megan for spending her time and sharing her home building insight!

Building a House…I Wish I Had Thought of That! (Part One)

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.37.00 AMWe would like to introduce Megan, one of our readers who has been kind enough to share her story and advice on building a house.

If building a house is in your future there are many things to think about and consider. Below are some helpful tips that will hopefully keep you from saying, “I wish I had thought of that!”

  • Window Shape: When I built my house I was set on having bamboo shades. It wasn’t till after I moved in that I discovered bamboo shades couldn’t be customized to an arched window. This actually made a lot of sense, but I had not thought about it when we were designing the window shapes in the house.
  • Master Shower: This is a brilliant idea instead of installing shelves in the corners of the shower for your shampoo.  You can do pocket shelves on the same wall as the shower knob. This provides a dry area for all your shower essentials and keeps things neat, tidy, handy, and dry!
  • Hallways: For an added touch use arch niches in your hallway. This is great for a picture or plant. Don’t forget the accent light!
  • Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.35.58 AMEntry Area: An insert of tile or slate is the perfect solution for keeping your wood floors from getting moisture from rain and snow. It’s easy to maintain and worry free.
  • Carpet:  Make sure you get a good carpet pad. A good pad will extend the life of your carpet and you’ll be able to feel the difference on your feet!  Also, go one step further and research carpet beyond “base grade”.

You don’t want to miss next week’s post! Megan has even more information she’d like to share.  Stay tuned.

Putting the Family in Family Room

7596084_SOne of the best ways to create family time is to create a family room that is warm and inviting for the entire family.  Furniture and flooring can go a long way to making the family room a place the entire family will want to hang out.

Starting on the floor, choose flooring that works for your family’s lifestyle.  Super high traffic areas like family rooms mean you’ll want a durable and stain resistant material. Given some activities like gaming and play in the family room mean sitting on the floor, you’ll want flooring that is also comfortable.  Stain-resistant carpet could be a good choice. So could wood floors or laminate flooring with the addition of an area rug in the seating area.  If you have pets, a wood or laminate floor might be the better choice than carpet.

Ample seating for watching movies, the big game or playing games is also key for a family friendly room. A mix of seating options is always a good idea. Sectional sofas or a pair of sofas in an L-shape creates a nice cozy arrangement for conversation and television watching. Portable seating like poufs, ottomans or stools can be moved around the room as needed, or stored out of the way.

Family photos on the walls and good storage to hide clutter are also good additions to a family room. Make the room inviting and you’ll find yourself and your family hanging out there more.