Decorating with Comfortable Farmhouse Style

Even if you don’t have a farmhouse style home, the style can work for you. Farmhouse is all about comfort with a nostalgic, vintage flair.  Found pieces from flea markets, estate sales and antique shows mix with comfortable upholstered pieces in either traditional or shabby chic styles.  It’s an easy style to live with and great for all rooms in the home.

This living room is full of charming farmhouse furniture and accessories.  The room itself is a standard design with wood floors, recessed lighting and crown molding.  It could be a renovation or new construction, and demonstrates how well farmhouse style can fit into a home. Neutral wall color lets the colors of the curtains, furniture and accessories stand out.

Vintage finds add character to the room. An old painted trunk makes for a charming coffee table with storage in the seating area.  Vintage inspired lamps throughout the room create lighting zones and accent lights for reading.  Comfortable seating in pretty slipcovers in natural linens and cotton make for easy cleaning.  This is definitely not a living room where you’d be afraid to put up your feet.

The wide plank wood floors offer a rustic charm.  A jute rug with a colorful border that coordinates with the colors of the room centers the seating area.

This living room shows how charming farmhouse style can be. Mixing in vintage and antique pieces let the homeowner’s personality shine through to make the room feel comfortable and personal. Fabrics and furniture further the feeling of comfortable farmhouse charm.

Three Must Haves for the Dining Room

There are three design elements that no dining room can be without: seating, a table, and good lighting. Beyond these three elements are all the extras that add more function and make a dining room feel more personal, but you don’t need them to have a chic and stylish dining room.

 

Start with the dining table. Choose the shape that best works for your lifestyle and room.  Some people like a round table, which is better for conversation. Square tables that expand into larger rectangular tables offer both options for small and large gatherings.  Next choice is material.  Wood is king but glass top tables are also lovely in the dining room.

 

Next are the dining chairs.  Dining sets can easily solve what chair to pair with the table, but that takes some of the fun out of decorating. Mixing up chairs and the table makes the dining room feel more personal.  Stay within the same style or mix up styles for a more eclectic look.

 

Last must have is great lighting. There are so many stylish options for dining room lighting that there is no reason not to have a light above the table.  From antique crystal chandeliers to DIY pendants, the light will become a focal point of the room.

 

Where to go from here is up to you.  You might want to add an area rug under the table or keep the wood floors bare.  Bringing in a buffet or sideboard provides storage and a place for a bar. It’s up to you to personalize your dining room, so have fun with it!

Lighting Tips for an Open Floor Plan

This open floor plan living, dining and kitchen space is a beautiful room that is nicely laid out into the different activity zones. There is a nice flow between the different areas created by the color palette and furniture arrangements.  The flooring is the same throughout the space, a must for flow in open floor plans.  It doesn’t matter if the flooring is wood or cement, use the same type throughout an open concept home.

 

There is one concern we have about this space and that is the lighting.  There appears to be only one source of light from the central ceiling fixture.  While the fixture is a cool design, a single overhead lighting source does not make for the best lighting for any room.  We’d love to see some recessed lighting as well as pendant lights over the island in the kitchen area and another chandelier or pendant light over the dining room table.  Creating lighting zones is just as important as activity zones in an open floor plan.

 

A floor lamp next to the sofa would also create another layer of light in the room. Having lighting sources that are overhead and closer to the seating level create a nice ambiance of lighting. A small table with a table lamp could also work in the living area.  For floating furniture arrangements away from the wall, install in floor outlets to avoid running cords where you walk.

 

In addition to different types of lighting, put your overhead lighting on dimmers to create even more lighting options for the space.

Dream Kitchen for the Serious Cook

If you love to cook, you’re probably longing to get into this kitchen, for it was designed with a cook in mind.

Let’s take a look at the elements that make this space ideal for the serious home cook.

If we look at the lighting, there are a generous number of ceiling lights to even out the overall light spread and reduce the chance of inconvenient shadows. Additional task lighting under the upper cabinets gives cooks the opportunity for the fine detail work that requires more illumination.

The range has a built-in high-speed fan, and the stainless steel covers the stove’s backsplash. In addition to that oven, a double oven to the right provides three baking spaces plus a warming drawer. Life is good for the cook who is also a home baker. The dishwasher is a two-drawer model, which allows for smaller loads so you can clean as you go.

Glass-fronted upper cabinets leave all critical serving pieces in plain sight to grab when plating the meal or setting the table. Even the faucet at the kitchen sink has an extra-high profile to provide enough space for large pots and pitchers.

The functionality is clear, but it’s also a beautiful, light and inviting space to work. The wood floors – not visible in this photo – add warmth to the space. Three coats of polyurethane keep the floor protected from spills and crumbs while still allowing it to have that rich farmhouse look. Altogether, this is a kitchen that would make almost any cook happy.

Crystals are a Good Look for Today

Many years ago, a home with any pretense to style had a crystal chandelier in the dining room. The look went well with the good china, sterling silver and lead crystal glassware.

As the world changed and entertaining became more casual, crystal chandeliers went the way of good china and sterling. For a long time it was hard to even find a crystal chandelier outside of antique shops and retro catalogues.

However, crystal is back and bigger than ever. From the traditional look like the photo above to a more contemporary sculptural style such as the light fixture in the photo below, today’s crystal fixtures have a strong impact in a home.

Crystal chandeliers have also migrated from the dining room. You may find one in a master bedroom or as the centerpiece of a beautiful spa bath. Almost any home can find room for crystal lighting.

If you want to add a crystal light fixture to your home, first determine the right size for the room. Proportion is just as important for crystal light fixtures as any other type. However you can go a bit bigger if you choose a light with an airy look.

Next consider style. Do you prefer contemporary or traditional? Both can work as long as they suit your home’s look. Shop around to see what’s available.

Finally, buy what you love. For most homes, one crystal piece is enough. Be sure to choose something that makes you happy. After all, the right kind of sparkle in your home can lead to a special sparkle in you too!

2011 Design Trend: Daylighting

Of the top ten interior design trends Hunter Douglas named for 2011, “daylighting” is perhaps the most intriguing and purposeful. The term refers to the control an individual has over natural light coming into the home and how much and where that light is distributed. With mechanisms such as louvers, slats, vanes and panels, all Hunter Douglas products enable this kind of control of a very powerful element allowing us to create the mood or outcome we like for any room of the home.

Living Room
The light you want in this room will depend upon your activities. For instance, if you are watching television, you won’t want the glare produced by full-on sunlight. Being able to fully close your window coverings or at the very least redirect it is highly important. Look to a Hunter Douglas product like Silhouette window shadings for this purpose. They allow you full control over the light, but also allow a view of the outside when desired.

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=1

Kitchen
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then like many of us, you might prefer to have it as light and cheery as possible with a full view to the outdoors during the day and full privacy at night. To achieve this, a product like the Vignette Modern Roman Shades, allows you to completely raise and close them at will. This gives the perfect light control for an active kitchen.

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=3&so=ft&sop=pd

Bedroom
For many of us, the bedroom is the room where light control is the most important. Being able to shut out the elements completely can make for a good sound sleep which is a requirement for all of us. Whether you work nights and sleep days or just need to block out your neighbors glaring safety lights, Luminette Modern Draperies work perfectly.

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=54&so=ft&sop=pd

2011 Design Trend: Daylighting

Of the top ten interior design trends Hunter Douglas named for 2011, “daylighting” is perhaps the most intriguing and purposeful. The term refers to the control an individual has over natural light coming into the home and how much and where that light is distributed. With mechanisms such as louvers, slats, vanes and panels, all Hunter Douglas products enable this kind of control of a very powerful element allowing us to create the mood or outcome we like for any room of the home.

Living Room
The light you want in this room will depend upon your activities. For instance, if you are watching television, you won’t want the glare produced by full-on sunlight. Being able to fully close your window coverings or at the very least redirect it is highly important. Look to a Hunter Douglas product like Silhouette window shadings for this purpose. They allow you full control over the light, but also allow a view of the outside when desired.

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=1

Kitchen
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then like many of us, you might prefer to have it as light and cheery as possible with a full view to the outdoors during the day and full privacy at night. To achieve this, a product like the Vignette Modern Roman Shades, allows you to completely raise and close them at will. This gives the perfect light control for an active kitchen.

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=3&so=ft&sop=pd

Bedroom
For many of us, the bedroom is the room where light control is the most important. Being able to shut out the elements completely can make for a good sound sleep which is a requirement for all of us. Whether you work nights and sleep days or just need to block out your neighbors glaring safety lights, Luminette Modern Draperies work perfectly.

http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products-detail.jsp?id=54&so=ft&sop=pd

Choosing your Lighting: Part 1

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This photo shows the impact lighting can have in a room’s design. This chandelier carries through the style of the space with its combination of elegant and rustic features, and its size and position opens up the room and links the furniture with the vaulted ceiling.

When it’s time to update your home’s look, think about the power three – flooring, paint and lighting. Integrate these three factors, and you are on your way to a complete design look.

When choosing lighting, consider style, need, budget and personal taste. Consider your needs first. Is ambient lighting throughout the room the best choice, or an intimate mood set by a chandelier with a dimmer? Would a ceiling fan be a better option? Make a list – room by room – of your lighting goals.

Consider your budget next. Can you afford to replace all of your light fixtures at once, or would it be better to space out your purchases? Check lighting prices to reach an understanding of what you want and what it will cost.

Is your home’s style cohesive – with an open plan or the same style and colors throughout? If so, take a look at a family of light fixtures so that they integrate well with your home’s design. If every room is different, determine fixture style to match the feel of each room.

As a final thought – choose those fixtures you personally like. They will be part of your home’s décor for many years, so take the time to make choices that will make you pleased with your space.