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.

Hanging Art on the Walls

16545017_SThere are a few things in decorating that can intimidate most of us homeowners. Major investments like flooring and appliances can give us pause on making the right decision for the money and our lifestyle.  Another one of the biggest decisions is choosing what to hang on the walls.

Why is art so intimidating? Is it the expense? The worry that we like the “wrong” kind of art? Not knowing what to buy or where to buy it?  Art for the walls of our homes doesn’t have to be expensive art bought from galleries and auctions. While it is wonderful to collect art, decorating our walls doesn’t need to be a huge investment in the art market.  The best rule for buying art is to buy what you love.

If you buy art that you love, it will make you smile whenever you walk into the room.  Art can also be much more personal. Framed family photos and heirlooms are lovely hung in large groups or enlarged. You can have them printed in all black and white for a cohesive look.  There are even companies that will print your photos on canvas to make your photos really feel like works of art.

Creating gallery walls is a wonderful way to display art.  As opposed to one large piece over the sofa as was tradition, creating a space to display a number of works is visually more interesting. Mix in fine art with family photos and children’s masterpieces for a personal wall of art.

Don’t Get Too Wrapped Up This Year

Do you find yourself stressing as the holidays approach about getting everything wrapped and ready? Here are some suggestions to reduce the demands of gift wrapping and give you more time to enjoy the season.

Set up a gift-wrap center: Whether it’s a card table in front of the TV for a few weeks or just a spot on the floor, prepare a place for wrapping. Include good paper scissors; an office-style tape dispenser that can be used one-handed; and your gift-wrap supplies including paper, ribbon and tags. With just a little planning, you have a go-to space for everyone in the family to wrap gifts.

Pace yourself: Unwrapped gifts scattered around the house look and feel like clutter, but wrap them and you have instant holiday decorations. When you come home after a day of shopping, take part of the evening to wrap up and label the spoils of your labor.

Pre-sort: Will some gifts be brought to a family member’s home and others stay? Are certain presents planned hostess gifts? Create separate sections for each category of present, so it will be easier to pick up the ones needed at the right time.

Make a list, check it twice: Before wrapping your gifts, be sure to make a list of whom you’re giving what to, so that you know when your shopping is done.

Keep it simple: This may mean just one style of wrapping paper and ribbon so that you don’t have to worry about balancing colors. It may involve using stick-on bows or thicker wire-edged ribbon that makes it easy for your gifts to look splashy with little effort. You may want to have a few holiday bags for those gifts such as footballs that just don’t work with wrapping paper.

This year make your gift-wrap process easier and more streamlined, and you may have time to sing a few holiday songs and even bake cookies.