Hotel Room – Yea or Nay?

This is a unique hotel room that is attractive yet could be more welcoming.

We love the natural wood and other textural elements, such as the painted brick wall. We also love the shag green area rug, which adds an eye-catching focus point (it also reminds us a bit of grass!). However, this contemporary-styled room is lacking in several ways.  The first addition we would make is to add a few accessories. Not many accessories are needed for the space, but a large piece of artwork hanging over the sofa would dramatically enhance the look here.

A piece of dimensional art would be perfect on top of the kitchen cabinets. As it stands now, the barren space sticks out like a sore thumb. The room completely lacks greenery as well. Draping plants or flowering pots of greenery (even silk would do here) would aid greatly in breaking up the large empty space.  Greenery adds life.

Everything within this room is a solid color. The tasteful addition of patterned accessories here would add dimension to the space. Changing out the light green accent pillows on the sofa to a patterned print would instantly add interest. Even though we love the shag rug, replacing it with a patterned rug could add life to this room. Life which it so desperately needed in the room.

This room feels stark because there is no art, greenery or accessories in sight. Adding these items helps individuals to feel comfortable relaxed. As with any space, the room has to feel complete as well as functional. Since there is a lack of art, accessories and pattern, the room feels cold. All this room needs is a couple finishing touches and any guests will be able to relax and enjoy themselves!

Wall Ideas for Childrens’ Rooms

Once children are old enough to care about the décor in their room, it is important to let them have a part in deciding what selections to make. Give them a creative outlet incorporated into their bedroom décor. There are many different ways to offer a creative outlet that inspires them to create things on their own or with friends and siblings. Utilize the walls, more specifically the lower section so they can reach this area easily.

Apply felt to the lower chair rail section of one wall, or several walls. Felt comes in many colors, therefore you can select the color that best fits the color scheme. You may want to let your child select the color they prefer. You can order felt character kits online. It is suggested to order several different packs; such as numbers and letters, animals, characters and animals. This way they can come up with many different story lines. The numbers and letters will help them learn and can be incorporated into the stories they create. This wall application will keep your child busy for hours and offer them creative play anytime they play in their rooms.

Create a chalk board on the lower section of a wall. This application is similar to the one above. The only difference is using a different media. Like felt, chalk paint is available in any imaginable color. You can purchase the desired color, or mix it yourself; making this application easy to fit into the existing color scheme. Painting the lower section of the wall gives your little ones all access to draw and create without actually harming the wall. Attach a small cup or bucket to the wall to corral pieces of chalk.

Make a border at waist height using your child’s handprints. They can even invite friends over to include their handprints into the pattern. This activity teaches kids about patterns and gives them a chance to create their own pattern in their bedroom décor. Let the kids initial their handprints to give each hand print individuality. Plan out the color pattern and practice making hand prints on paper before putting on the wall.

Utilizing the wall space in your child’s bedroom, allows them to personalize their room. Making an interactive wall, like the felt wall or chalkboard wall gives a creative spin to the room and provides hours of fun for your kids to enjoy every day! If they can fabricate story lines on the felt or chalkboard; the other walls within the house are much safer! 

How To Make A Terrarium

A huge trend in interior home design for 2015 is adding a terrarium to your décor. We love this idea because it is an easy, low maintenance way to incorporate plant life. Some individuals could seemingly grow a rose out of stone, but most of us are a bit challenged when it comes to caring for and maintaining plants. Terrariums are simple and nearly self sufficient. More importantly they get huge points for detail and visual interest because you can get quite creative with the type of glass container you use, and the plant options make for a long list. Want to take it one step further in terms of fun? Throw a party and invite your friends over to spend the afternoon making terrariums together!


Open or Closed: Determines the kind of plants you can use, and how self-sufficient it will be.

  • Closed (or nearly closed, such as with a narrow opening) are lower maintenance because the water condensates and the plants naturally re-filter it. Works best with moisture loving plants, such some of those mentioned below (philodendron, moss, bromeliads, etc.)
  • Open – requires occasional watering, works well with houseplants, succulents, and cacti.


Examples of well suited plants:

  • Bromeliads
  • Succulents
  • Cactus
  • Ferns
  • Baby’s Tears
  • Moisture loving plants
  • Philodendron
  • Most house common house plants


You will determine amounts to purchase according to the size of the container. Terrarium materials are ALL about layering, so be sure to consider this important technique.

Where to buy: plant, craft, or pet stores

 How it’s done

  • Layer 1 – Rocks, at the bottom for drainage.
  • Layer 2 – Thin layer activated charcoal.
  • Layer 3 – Soil, enough for plants roots.
  • Layer 4 – Plants, be patient and shop as necessary to find the right size. You can trim and split so size allows for growth. Don’t allow them to touch the inside of the glass or they’ll turn brown.
  • Layer 5 – Moss or Pebbles: moss around the sides of the plants for closed (or nearly closed) containers, thin layer of pebbles for open containers. These are used to retain moisture.


Last but in no way least, determine how to best provide the terrarium with crucial sunlight. It will thrive near windows and on window sills in the winter, and then you might have to move it a little further away from the sun in warm months. Remember, glass magnifies heat and it may overheat and dry out.

That’s it! Now enjoy, and mist occasionally according to the needs of the environment you created.

2015 Decorating Trend Examples

If you’ve recently caught up on all of the design and decorating themes for 2015 you might now find yourself at a loss for examples. Themes are useful as overarching guidelines, but executing them stylishly is another thing entirely. So, if you’re ready to dive in, just refer to our newest list regarding trends: Decorating Trend Examples! Enjoy!

Translation of 2015 design themes

  • 3D based pattern – raised, geometric tiles painted in a contrast color; repetitive use of a figurine
  • “Nature meets science” – furniture such as an end table made of both dark wood and metal; full saturation latex paint on raw wood blocks as a accessory decoration; Nambe bowl filled with wood chips; crystal decanter transformed into pendant lighting with raw and apparent wiring
  • Futuristic – acrylic and plastic high gloss furniture such as a coffee table in trend color white
  • Geometric shapes – hexagram shaped accessories such a pendant light fixture
  • tilted or lopsided – floating end tables that appear to be off balance
  • Suspension – pendant lamps, plant life/terraria, modern chandeliers
  • Contrast – bold, form-based, sculptural texture, combined with sleek modern lines; natural surfaces such as wood combined with synthetic acrylic paint
  • Mixed metals – breaking the old adage that only one metal source looks smart – instead, use several such as gold, silver, brass, copper
  • Bleeding, blotting – dip dyed textiles such as pillows and throws; an area rug that mimics a geologic earth feature such as striated rock; oxidized metals
  • Minimalism – clean horizontal lines in furniture and artwork; large scale, unfussy patterns

Plant and animal life

  • Kelly green plant life – ferns, etc.
  • If you’re considering caring for a new pet – tortoise in a well designed glass enclosure that includes real plant life
  • Terraria – macro plant environment in glass, suspended from the ceiling or sitting on table
  • Flowers – orchids, carnations


  • Pantone color of the year – Marsala 18-1438 – earthy and sophisticated wine hue

    • Rooms really well suited to this color  – kitchen, dining room, family/living room
    • Best colors to coordinate with Marsala – deep navy, midnight blue, raspberry red, light plum, soft lavender, powdery pink, flesh tone neutrals, soft aqua
    • Tone and vibe of a room  with Marsala – natural, grounded, earthy, robust, rich, sophisticated, stylish, hearty, glamorous, warm, inviting
  • Pop color – Use something offbeat such as yellow or aqua, and rather than use it on just anything you find, use it emphasize something in the room that you feel is a stand out piece, give it purpose 

Black & White Flooring Options

Are you unsure what flooring to use for your home? Do you have a bold streak and want something unique? Then you might want to add a bit of pizzazz to your décor with black and white flooring. This color scheme creates drama in any room as it makes everything else in the room stand out. Often chosen for bathrooms and kitchens, we’ve recently seen some designers use it throughout the home.

One way to execute a black and white scheme is by implementing the checkerboard design where black and white tiles are placed alternately on the floor. This is one common way of using these two sophisticated colors together.

Another way to implement a black and white scheme for your flooring is by laying black and white tile squares on the diagonal to make a diamond appearance. This look will make your room look shiny and clean.

A mosaic black and white tile can also be a sophisticated choice, though a bit expensive and complicated, if you want patterns and textures for your tile in your entry or hallways.

Another design option that you can do is by adding a single tile of different color in the middle of the room that has black and white flooring. This will give added drama and will create a pattern that will stand out.

The pinwheel design is also a great pattern to follow when implementing a black and white scheme. To do this, single black tile is surrounded from all sides by white tiles or a variation of this pattern is using a white tile instead, with black tiles surrounding it.

If you want a bold, clean and unique look for your kitchen and bathroom, then a black and white color scheme is the way to go.

Modern Flooring Trends

Are you now in the process of building your dream home? Are you thinking of giving your house a whole new look but do not know where to start? Well, here’s an idea. Did you know that changing your floors can do wonders for home? If you are contemplating on giving it a modern feel through your floors, read on and find out what’s trending on modern floors.

Hardwood:  It’s a very great choice for modern floors. There is a wide variety of plank sizes and colors to choose from. However, the trend today leans toward wider planks with darker and elegant colors. Although the traditional hardwoods like teak, walnut, mahogany, cherry, birch and oak are still popular options. You can also go for the distressed and hand scraped ones. Surprisingly, even exotic choices are great. If you want to go with the green revolution, you can opt for those salvaged hardwoods.

Carpet: It actually never goes out of style. They give a luxurious and comforting feeling to any room. However, unlike hardwood floors, you need to choose more neutral and earth tone colors for your carpet. Many modern homes use hardwood flooring in all rooms except the bedrooms or den where carpet feels wonderful underfoot.

Bathroom Meets Wet Room

A separate shower and bathtub, preferably a soaking tub, have been standard in a master bathroom for quite a while.  While showers and tubs have become fancier over the years with more spray and deeper soaks, the layout is pretty standard.  With freestanding soaking tubs becoming more popular, we’re seeing a change in the layout of large master bathrooms.  One of the changes we’re seeing is the creation of a “wet zone”.  Have you seen these? Do you have one in your own master bathroom?

A wet zone puts the shower and tub in a single area in the bathroom.  This one has a glass enclosure that contains both the shower and tub. If the glass goes all the way to the ceiling, a sort of steam room is created.  The shower can be a step up from the rest of the bathroom or simple divided from the room with the glass partition; a tiled wall would also work to delineate the space. Continuing the same flooring, whether it be slate, tile, or marble, throughout the bathroom and wet zone helps unify the room. For the wet zone, a textured flooring surface will prevent slips when showering or getting out of the tub.

The remaining area of the bathroom can be dedicated to a large vanity with double sinks and storage. A water closet for the toilet keeps that separated as well. Containing the wet zone and steam is ideal for a master bathroom that opens onto the walk-in closet or dressing room.

Design on the Diagonal

Taking a square tile and putting it on its point can transform this basic tile into a new and interesting design element: the diamond pattern.  Installing tiles on the diagonal transforms the look of square tiles. Diagonal patterns can be applied to walls, floors and back-splashes. In other words, wherever you install tile you can install tile on the diagonal.

For floors, diagonal tiles can make the footprint of the room feel larger. If you use black and white tiles or colored linoleum tiles, your pattern will be more obvious.  Stone or single colored ceramic or porcelain will have a more subtle pattern.  Using a contrasting or white grout will call more attention to the diamond patterns.

A diamond pattern used as a back-splash is a great way to bring more attention to the wall. Using a diamond pattern with simple square tiles allows you to have a more sophisticated feeling backsplash without the expense of it.

Diagonal lines can also be achieved using wood floorboards. This is an unconventional way to install wood floors. Diagonal lines would look cool in a contemporary or loft space. Double-diagonal patterned wood floors create a herringbone pattern that is more traditional. Herringbone or zigzag patterns are also a big trend for wall and upholstery patterns right now.

Diagonal lines, whether in diamond patterned tile backsplashes or chevron patterned rugs, add dynamic interest to a space. Even a zigzag patterned throw or pillow on the sofa can add this design trend to your décor.

Using French Doors Indoors

Used as an exterior door for years and as a chic alternative to traditional sliding doors, French doors also make for excellent doors indoors.  These glass paned doors allow light to flow between rooms while creating a division of space.  Great for use between a hall and den or family room; French doors can provide some sound break while not shutting off the room, entirely.  French style pocket doors are even better because when slid into the wall, they disappear completely.

French doors can be used over wood floors, tile or carpet. Flooring can end at the doorway or continue throughout both spaces, depending on how much of a space separation is desired.  There are curtain options to cover the glass for a sense of more privacy.  Curtains can be mounted on small rods at the top and bottom of the doors for a tailored look.  This option would not work on pocket doors where the door must slide into a narrow space, but would work on traditional French doors.

Transom windows, like those seen in this picture, are another way to carry natural light throughout the home and providing a sound break, just like the French doors.  Placed above doors and doorways, transom windows can either be stationary or tilt to open to allow for additional air flow.

This home has a great flow between spaces with hardwood throughout, a transom window above the doorway to the dining room and the French doors into the living area.  Painting the French doors the same color as the molding and wall allows them to blend into the space perfectly.

Couples Decorating Together

Decorating the home has long been perceived as the realm of women. Women read the shelter magazines, follow blogs and discuss things like wallpaper patterns and area rugs. Men are thought to not care about the color of walls or whether they have carpet or hardwood floors in the bedrooms. This stereotype isn’t true for most couples.


Many couples enjoy building a home together and that includes decorating. If you visit a large home improvement store on the weekend you’ll see couples shopping together for lighting and other things for their home.


Decorating as a couple will mean that your home will reflect both your personalities. Of course this can be done when just one member of the couple is in charge of decorating, but a collaborative effort is best. Collaborating on any project means compromise.  The all pink master bedroom might be toned down with grey walls and pink accents.


More gender neutral spaces like bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms are great examples of places where couples should collaborate on décor.  Choosing flooring and other major purchases like lighting and seating should be agreed upon by both. For larger pieces you might find you both agree to go neutral or can compromise with a color you both like.  Favorite colors can be included as accent pieces. Details and accents can be more personal to each of you.  Include photos of your life together as well as sentimental items for your past to remind you of your life together. Remember, this is a home for both of you.