Tabletop Vignettes, Environmentally Friendly

Tabletop vignettes are popular for decorating tabletops and shelves. They add to the ambiance and feel of a room. They are also an excellent way to display your style and values. Here are a few decorating tips for creating a vignette as well as environmentally friendly decorating ideas.

 

There are basic decorating ideas for creating the perfect vignette. Height might not seem important, but pay attention to varying heights in your décor to get a well-balanced display. While varying the height of the objects in the vignette is important, gradually increasing the height can also accomplish this goal. This trick works well with different types of décor such as candlesticks and vases. Also, use similar objects to create a theme for your vignette, and group smaller objects together. Using a tray for the vignette is also popular.

 

 

For the environmentally conscious person, there are many nick knacks and decorating options made from recycled materials. Some examples are wool nesting bowls, woven fiber vases, fabric storage baskets, repurposed cork décor, used wine glasses or bottles, mason jars or other glass bottles or vases, sliced wood centerpieces, and reclaimed wooden picture frames,

To save money and buy used items, shop at resale or thrift stores such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

 

Natural objects like flowers or plants are great additions to a tabletop vignette. They are also many plants that add to the air quality of a home. A few examples are the Garden Mum, they are inexpensive and remove ammonia, benzene, and formaldehyde from the air. Another option is the spider plant. They thrive in bright or indirect sunlight and are easy to grow. They remove formaldehyde and xylene from the air. A Dracaena plant is another option. Those are a few options, but there are multiple types of plants that improve the air quality in a home. Some more examples are the Ficus plant, Peace Lily, Boston Fern, Aloe Vera, and Bamboo Palm. You can even use recycled wine bottles or recycled wood as planters.

 

These are a few ideas for creating an environmentally friendly vignette, but there are many more possibilities. Vignettes can match the season, holiday, or they can be designed to match the color scheme or display the trip of a lifetime. The ideas are endless.

 

 

Color in Design

One of the most effective elements in interior design is color.  It is one of the first things a viewer notices when entering a room and different colors evoke different emotions in each space.  While it is the simplest way to recognize a design, it is also a more complicated process than people think.  A room’s function, dimensions, furnishings and lighting all must be examined to pull a color scheme together.  Once you learn the basics of how color influences design, it will help you combine theory with solutions that will reflect your personality and style.

 

Using a color wheel will better help you understand how certain combinations work well together.  Complementary colors are colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel.  These colors accentuate one another for a bolder statement.  Examples of complementary colors are red and green, violet and yellow, orange and blue.  These combinations will automatically draw the eye and add energy to a room. 

 

Be sure to maintain balance in your palette to prevent the space from becoming too overwhelming.  Analogous colors are any three colors to the left or right of the one that you are concentrated on.  Their similarity gives them a natural look when used together and is pleasing to the eye when implemented in a design.  An example of an analogous set of colors is blue, blue-green, green, yellow-green.

 

A good way to spread the color throughout a space is to choose one to be the dominate color and use the remaining three for support.  With analogous color schemes, it is a good idea to incorporate some neutral pieces as well to prevent the space from having too many similar colors taking over the room.  A monochromatic color scheme is also another way to keep a room’s palette simple.  This method uses a single hue and expands on that same color through lightening and darkening with white, gray and black to create tints, shades and tones. To prevent the same color from becoming too plain, use texture and patterns to liven the space up. 

 

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

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.

Adding a Modern Flare to a Rustic Space

Rustic design styles are very popular and not just because there are so many mountainous towns and city all across the U.S. As more people visit these areas, the design style has spread across the country. Rustic looks are incorporated in country settings and even in the desert. This design style does not have to be traditional in nature, although that is a common combination. It can be modern and still incorporate natural elements that make the style feel closer to nature.

This room is successfully decorated in a modern, rustic style. The room has all the qualities of a rustic space. Floor to ceiling windows show off the beautiful view, which naturally pulls green in from the outdoor landscape.

Despite the large size of the room, it still feels warm and inviting. The horizontal layout of the wall decor brings the eye downward, making the space feel intimate, as opposed to vast. Vertical stonework adds the traditional rustic element of stone but the instillation is completely modern. The vertical element paired with the horizontal woodwork and fireplace creates a nice cohesion between all of the elements together.

Furnishings and accents are modern. The low sofa and loveseat is covered in a modern leather and does not conflict with the view. It is subtle yet spacious and offers seating for many. The large upholstered accent pillows are proportional with the sofas and the size of the room. They add a layer of warmth and comfort that a rustic space requires. The coffee table is made from natural stone, yet implements modern lines in the design. The iron also adds another natural element to the modern piece that works perfectly in any rustic setting.

The geometric accent table, next to the lounge chair, brings a modern feel to the space as well as another interesting set of lines that breaks up the strong horizontal and vertical lines on the main wall.

This rustic-modern living room works because the rustic and modern elements balance one another and do not conflict. The theme of the space is successful because the furnishings are made up of modern lines, paired with natural materials.

Room Design Inspiration: Butterfly Love – Mountain Cabin

If you are searching for a way to design a room but you can’t seem to dream up anything exciting, you’ve possibly hit a creative block. The most likely culprit for your lack of inspiration is that you’ve run out of magazines and websites to search for ideas. Time to change it up! Instead, try decorating a room inspired by something other than a photo of a room. For our example we are going to reference the artwork below. We will use the image of the butterflies in the shape of a heart on a natural stone background to help guide the way we would design a room. Just follow our bullet point list to learn how this method works.

 

The color pallet: Sky Blue, Butter Yellow, Carnation Pink, Mahogany Brown, Kelly Green, Light Purple, Taupe

What vibe or central aesthetic is suggested by the artwork?

 

  • It’s an excellent reference for a space in which you want to create a sense of nature (especially woodland themes,) color, vibrancy, and femininity.

 

What spaces might it be well suited to?

 

  • This design idea is quite versatile because it would work well in many spaces. We especially like it for: bedroom, living room, den, or bathroom. It could also translate well into various climates and surrounding eco-systems, but we think it’s a great match for mountain homes, cabins, urban areas surrounded by the outdoors (such as Colorado) and even beach abodes.

 

What makes the colors work well together?

  • They are all medium to dark saturation which means none of them are near the lighter part of the color spectrum. Because the tones have similar vibrancy they have equal presence. Meaning, no one color dominates despite the fact that they’re all rather bold. 
  • The neutral browns serve as an excellent grounding color so that the various colors don’t look out of control or disorganized.  The browns are also very earthy colors, rather than designer synthetic hues, and this lends well to the theme of nature.

What finishes or textures would we suggest?

  • Brown wood – mix and match colors and species; floors, ceiling beams, furniture
  • Linen textiles – ex. curtains, table cloth
  • Hard surfaces – natural or traditional; stone tiles, concrete, granite, ceramic pots
  • Cashmere or cotton throws, brown leather furniture, textured throw pillows in various colors

What accessories would we suggest

 

  • Decorative balls in natural textures and stone
  • Butterfly and entomology artwork
  • Netted items
  • Plants and trees – indoor species or artificial

Color Pallet: On Vacation, Baby!

Have you ever considered decorating a space based on inspiration from something other than a photo of a room? How about referencing a whimsical photo, such as the one below? We adore the jewel tones in this image of a baby girl who appears to have landed on the beach after an ocean journey in a suitcase! Most people would simply frame the photo and hang it on the wall. Instead, we suggest making it your primary guideline for designing an entire room!

How, you ask? By using our easy to follow bullet points for each style aspect of the décor. We’ve found that it’s often easiest to use our style advice if we offer it up in quick snippets that you actually have time to absorb before running off to the next thing on your to-do list. Simply extract what works best for your personal vision, or rely on it all to make your decorating project super easy.

 

The color pallet: Pure Sunshine Yellow, Seaside Teal, Nature’s Burgundy, Mocha, Punchy Pink Lemonade

What makes the colors work well together?

  • They are all jewel tones (with the exception of the neutrals.)
  • Jewel tones play especially well off of each other, compared to other color combinations, because their beauty is greatly enhanced when there are multiple shades of with equal vibrancy. In other words, it never seems as if they’re competing.
  • The browns are warm and rich, so they work exceptionally well with jewel tones.

What themes within the color scheme set the tone?

  • Yellow – joy, optimism
  • Teal – fresh, vibrant
  • Brown – earthy, stable
  • Pink – fun, spunky

What furnishings might work well in a room based on this inspiration?

  • Mahogany wood furniture
  • Wicker and rattan
  • Linen textiles
  • Life sources – aquarium, terrarium, plants
  • A water feature such as a fountain
  • Maps and globes
  • Designer ceiling fan

What spaces might best benefit from this design inspiration?

  • Beach house
  • Sun room
  • Spa or bathroom
  • Family room
  • Indoor porch

Upcycling – How To Use and Repurpose Furniture

Gone are the days of throwing away anything and everything. Thank goodness! That practice was turning into a colossal earth-wide mess. To combat it we’ve successfully established a solid approach to recycling. However, it isn’t always ideal and it’s somewhat inconvenient with furniture items because there’s often a cost associated with removal. If you want to donate, that’s always helpful. Perhaps, though, you’d actually like to continue to get value from something after you’ve tired of its original purpose. Check out these three great ideas for doing so!

  • Small bedside or end table: This is ideally accomplished with a rectangular piece that has pretty legs. The style should also match the room it will be in because it will become a specialty piece that will attract admiration so you don’t want it to look out of place. If necessary, begin by stripping the item and painting or refinishing it. Note you will be flipping it over so the top of the table will be face down on the floor(thus, the ‘top’ is the least important surface). Then, sew a padded pillow that will fit within the dimensions of the legs. Tables with support slats on each side under the top work best because they provide structure. Place the padded pillow within the legs and set your cat or dog’s favorite treat on it. You now have a one-of-a-kind four-poster pet bed fit for a furry queen or king!
  • Spare drawers:  This is super easy and looks so creative! Shallow drawers will work well for display items that are light and have a thin profile, and deeper drawers work great for larger items. Using a drill and long screws, mount the bottom side of the drawer to the wall. Remove the handle, or orient it at the top, then set things inside for display. An alternative is to stack the drawers on a table as containers. For this to look right, choose three different sizes and place the largest on the bottom. Put it by the front door for keys, gloves, and electronics. Or in the craft room for markers, bottles of glue…you get the idea!
  • Air mattress: This is so simple you won’t believe you didn’t think of it. Yet, it will provide hours of comfort and fun. Blow up the air mattress, set it under a tree or in some shade, cover with lightweight blanker or sheet, and watch as the kiddos spend hours playing, reading or resting on it while enjoying the outdoors!

 

Fitness House Chores: How to Work Out While You Clean the House

Part 3 – BATHROOMS & FLOORS

In this final segment of our series we share how to use your favorite music while cleaning the house in order to accomplish your exercise goals. Here we tackle two of the least favorite chores. Bathrooms are dreaded by all and windows are a lot of extra work. But with a great playlist and a few tricks up your sleeve you can make the most of it!

“Bathrooms Hustle”   This one might leave you winded, but your bathrooms and body will be better for it! Rather than cleaning bathrooms one at a time, approach each fixture in the bathroom one at a time. For instance, start with the toilets. Go to each room and clean the toilet. Waste no time between them. Next, scrub the tubs, one right after another. Then, clean all the countertops, followed by all of the floors. Use up-tempo music to keep you moving and don’t stop until you legitimately need to rest. By doing one fixture at a time and having to travel between the rooms multiple times, you’ll burn loads of calories. You could even set a timer and see how fast you can get the whole job done!

“Wax On Wax Off Windows”   This workout is very effective for your arms and upper back. Windows have a lot of surface area and many of them are beyond arm’s reach. Use it to your advantage. The step-stool or ladder aspect of the workout is obvious: the more trips up and down, the better, and you’ll enjoy a nice supplemental leg workout. But the true work is accomplished by cleaning the glass in circular motions. Rather than just wiping in a back and forth motion, which leaves streaks, swirl the towel and the cleaner in repetitive circles. Start at one side of the window and continue to the other. Then, go back but switch the circles from clockwise to counter-clockwise so that both sides of your muscles are exercised. Be sure to stand straight and engage your core so that your upper body has a strong base for all this movement. Put on some 80’s music, get the job done, and your windows will be cleaner than ever before!

Don’t forget to go back and read:

Part 1: How to work out while you clean the house – DISHES

Part 2: How to work out while you clean the house – FLOORS

Fitness House Chores: How to Workout While You Clean the House, Continued

Part 2 – FLOORS

In Part 1 – Dishes, we discussed ways to work out to music you love while putting away the dishes. Here are several ways to do the same while cleaning the floors. The ‘dishes exercises’ were mainly strength based. Floors are your opportunity to achieve you cardio goals. Trust us, you’ll make it happen because you’ll be having so much fun doing this while listening to your favorite songs!  

 

Sweeping, mopping and vacuuming the floors:

 

“Rock-n-roll Sweep”   While sweeping the floor, channel your favorite guitar player. Recall the way they swing their arm in large, sweeping circles while they play. Set a number of strokes to sweep the floor with before each arm circle. Such as sweeping the floor for 20 strokes, and then doing 10 full air guitar arm circles. Repeat and be sure to work both sides. Be sure to use your upper back in addition to your arms so that it’s full body motion.

 

“Risky Business Slide” This is fun! Sweep the floor in long, narrow sections. Do so normally down the length of the room. Then, hold on tight to the broom, run a few steps and slide the rest of the way back across the strip you just swept. Bonus – your socks will attract lint, making your floors that much cleaner. This works best on hard surface floors.

 

“Mop Slow Dance”  Mopping the floor always requires a lot of repeated ‘rinse & wring.’ Each time you wring out the mop you have an opportunity to use it to work your core. Hold it horizontally, parallel to the floor, with both hands grasping it widely and near each end. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Twist all the way to one direction, then back to center, and then twist to the other side. Repeat. Put on a slow song and pretend you’re at a school dance!

 

“Vacuum Shimmy”   This method entails long strides and rapid back stepping. Start at the longest end of the room, so you have as much space as possible to walk forward. Do so in long strides. Then, staying in the same ‘lane,’ use fast, small steps to shimmy back to your starting point. You’re heart rate will increase, and your carpet will get vacuumed twice all over.

 

Next read Part 3: How to work out while you clean the house – WINDOWS AND BATHROOMS

 

Go back and read Part 1: How to work out while you clean the house – DISHES