Posts Tagged ‘Design’

Where to Find Design Inspiration

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice

We are so lucky to live in an age where great information is available in so many outlets. Today’s world of design is no longer the hidden secrets of design professionals. Tips, tricks and secrets of the trade can be found online on blogs and online magazines. This open transparency about the design business is a wealth of knowledge that wasn’t available ten years ago.

Design inspiration and information can be found through great blogs done by design professionals and amateur design lovers alike. You can find blogs on specific topics, like flooring or paint or furniture, or general information on projects all over the internet. There is so much information that the difficulty isn’t it, it is sorting through the bad to get to the good information.

If you are looking for design inspiration online, start with sources you already know. A valued retailer, beloved magazine and noted designer are all good places to start. Each of these blogs will probably have links to other resources or a blog roll of their favorite blogs and resources. Researching online can be a little bit like going down the rabbit hole—you don’t know where you’ll find yourself when you stop.

Out in the real world, design inspiration is all around us. You can find inspiration at a local hotel, restaurant or boutique. Don’t be afraid to ask for paint colors or snap pics of a piece of furniture or wallpaper you see when you are out and about. You never know where you’ll find inspiration for your next project.

Decorating a Breakfast Nook

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints, Tips and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Uncategorized

If you are lucky enough to have a nook or small space off your kitchen for a eat-in dining area you’ll want to take full advantage it. Decorating a breakfast nook or corner is very similar to decorating a dining room. Given the small footprint and the fact that the nook is adjoined to the kitchen make the breakfast nook easy to decorate.

If your breakfast nook opens onto your kitchen, use the same paint and flooring as you do in the kitchen to make the two areas feel part of the same room. If you want to call more attention to the breakfast space, you can paint the walls a different color or add window treatments to draw the eye. An area rug under the table can make the space feel more its own.

A table and chairs are a must for the breakfast nook. You can do a smaller table and fewer chairs than you would in the dining room. Use a bistro table for two or a simple round table that can seat four if you have the room.

Like the dining room, you’ll want to have good lighting over the table for dining and other activities like homework or bill paying. A pendant light or simple chandelier can make the space feel more special.

If you have the room in the nook, use one wall to add a buffet or hutch for additional kitchen storage. Artwork or a mirror can finish off the space, giving it the same polished design as your dining room.

Accents that Soften a Room

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs, Design and Decorating

This living room is a wonderful example of how accents can warm up a room. The stone on the floors and fireplace wall have a warm color, but stone is typically considered a cool material because it is cool to the touch. All the hard lines of stone and grout need softer accents to balance them. This room successfully brings in the softer accents to create a harmonious design.

The largest accent in the room is the area rug that centers the seating area in front of the fireplace. The rug doesn’t add a lot of color with its neutral tan and black palette. It does add a softer texture and a subtle pattern that breaks up the dominate design element in the room: the stone.

On the cream colored sofas are more soft accents that warm up the cool space. A plush throw in deep chocolate brown relates to the deep chocolate accent wall. Small brown pillows on the other sofa tie in with both the accent wall and the throw. Green accent pillows on the sofa add a rich pop of color without being too bold. Brown trim helps the green pillows relate to the accent wall and other earth tone accessories. Pillows are an inexpensive way to soften straight lines on furniture. They can also add color and texture to the room. Because a pillow is an easy accent to change out, you can switch them out seasonally. Throws are the same; change them from heavy to light as the seasons change

Not Your Parents’ Living Room

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Perhaps you are a twentysomething just getting your first place. Or perhaps you are older but never really feel like a grown up. If this is you, when it comes to designing and decorating your living room the standard rules of formal and traditional living rooms probably won’t apply. For the young and the young at heart who don’t want or need a formal living room, we give you the living room you’re parents don’t have.

Using bright and bold colors is one way to give your living room a jolt of energy. This living room is a great example of a youthful design that is perfect for a gathering of friends as well as family. The walls are painted a welcoming green color with bolder accents of color on the area rug and bookshelves. Choosing a wall color that can change and grow as your tastes do is a good way to save yourself the time and energy of painting.

Adding bold color on easily changed items like accessories and area rugs is another good way to indulge in your current design whims. If this year’s favorite color is plum, add plum with a table lamp, storage basket or multicolor striped rug. Keep main elements like wood floors a more neutral shade. Investment pieces, like sofas and coffee tables, should also be in neutrals that you can dress up or down with colorful accents and pillows.

Creating a living room and home that reflects your personality is key no matter what your age.

Not Your Typical Kitchen Ideas

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Kitchen and Bath

So many of today’s big design trends are all about personalization of spaces. For most people, gone are the days when you had one style for your entire home that could easily be labeled as Traditional or Modern. Today’s interior design and decorating is more about a mix of styles. You may be Farmhouse with a touch of Contemporary or Traditional but with a Global or Ethnic edge. Kitchen designs should also reflect your own quirks.

Let’s look at the designs of this kitchen. This isn’t your standard builder kitchen design. In fact, most of what we can see is anything but typical. Colored cabinets in a pale blue are the foundation of this kitchen’s unique style. Having only lower cabinets opens up the space above the counter. Rod storage allows you to keep spices and cooking implements off the counter.

The counter and sink are not your standard granite and double sink. Instead this kitchen has wood countertops and a pair of round sinks. The sinks are under mounted, which is a big trend right now. The single gooseneck faucet can easily reach both sinks. Round sinks are more typical in a bathroom than in a kitchen.

The backsplash is a grid of square tiles in warm neutral beige. The color adds a bit of warmth to complement the wood of the countertop and the grid pattern feels modern. The simple square tiles are a break from traditional subway tiles or the popular mosaic tiles seen in many current kitchen designs.

Using Stone in the Shower

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Tile and Natural Stone

Stone’s natural beauty and durability make it a smart choice for the bathroom. Stone can be used throughout the bathroom on the floor, counter, wall and in the shower. Stone in the shower is a beautiful design element whether large slabs or smaller tiles of stone are used. We’ve even seen river rock used on shower floors for an organic look.

Most types of stone can be used in the bathroom, including the shower. Slabs of marble can give both a traditional and contemporary look to a shower surround depending on the style of fixtures used. One inch square tiles made from stone can be used in a mosaic pattern or border. Both tumbled and polished stone can be used in combination for a border or pattern on either the floor or walls of the shower.

The slick surface of polished or honed stone is not ideal for the floor in a wet area as these surfaces can become slippery when wet. For floors tumbled stone that has a little bit of grip is a better choice. Tumble stone can be found in a number of different tile sizes. The smaller the tile, the more grout lines you’ll have, which can aid in making a surface less slippery. Mixing the finishes of the same type of stone in the shower will give you more visual and textural interest while maintaining a unified design in the small space. Just remember to take into consideration how slippery the stone might be when wet, both inside and outside the shower.

Tile Floors for Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

More and more homes today have outdoor living space and indoor living space with the lines blurred between the two. Older homes may have a sunroom, screened porch or lanai. Newer homes have decks and patios with large glass doors dividing the outdoor space from the home’s interior. This blurring of lines between indoor and outdoor has given rise to a new generation of products for outdoor living. Included in these new indoor/outdoor products are weather resistant materials, carpets and furniture that can work both inside and outside the home. Among these new products are time tested and traditional materials like teak wood, wicker and tile that are home both indoors and out.

Tile is a wonderful material for a room that is more outdoors than indoors, like the sunroom in this picture. Stone or ceramic tiles are great for rooms that get a lot of traffic. Tile is durable, doesn’t fade in the sun like wood or laminate floors and comes in an almost infinite array of colors, patterns and sizes. This sunroom features marble tiles done in a traditional pattern inspired by the Mediterranean. Extending the same type of flooring from a porch or sunroom out onto the patio can make the two spaces feel like one.

As with flooring, rooms that blur the lines between indoor and outdoor can have the best of both worlds when it comes to furniture. If the space is protected from the elements, indoor furniture as well as outdoor furniture can be used to decorate.

Improvising with Design

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized

A cardboard dressing table is probably not something most of us have in our homes. This picture illustrates what many of us do when we don’t have just the right piece of furniture or lighting for the space: we improvise. Now, we’re not saying go out to the garage and gather the cardboard boxes to make a table. Instead, think outside the box to come up with solutions for your decorating dilemmas.

Reinventing and renovating what we already have can save the piggy bank. Paint can perform miracles on not only furniture but fabric and even area rugs. Solid colored area rugs can be painted with textile paint with the hottest patterns and designs. Plain curtains can be transformed into the latest style with a little creativity and inexpensive trim. Nicked and scratched furniture can be given another life with a few coats of paint or stain.

If you do have to use a cardboard box as a table base as you save up for a real table, be creative. Cover it with a few yards of pretty fabric, a table cloth or even a sheet. Add trim and an inexpensive wood top to make it look like stylish. This can be done with an old door and a sawhorse—voila! A new table.

Shop your own house for pieces that might work to solve your design problem before you hit the stores. With a little creativity you might be surprised at what you can find and create within your own home.

Flooring Options for Around the Fireplace

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice

If you have a wood burning fireplace, wood stove, or a gas fireplace that puts out strong heat, you’ll want to protect your wood floors with a heat proof or resistant hearth. If your fireplace is not set right on the floor, but higher up you may be okay with having carpet or wood right up to the wall. The point of the hearth is to provide a safe surface in case of embers, sparks or hot ash leaving the firebox and hitting the floor.

This lovely stone and wood floor is a nice example of incorporating the hearth material into the rest of the room’s style. Natural stone blends into the warm wood. The stone’s pattern is a nice complement to the wood grain. A thin border piece separates the two elements and creates a frame around the tiles. The small mosaic square in the corners is a nice design detail that makes the design feel well thought out and special.

Other materials besides stone that are typically used around a wood stove or fireplace are marble and tile. In some Craftsman style homes the original Arts & Crafts tile can still be found on both the hearth and fireplace surround. Brick is also typically used in both the firebox and on the hearth because it resists heat.

If your hearth or surround are stained with smoke and ash, they can be cleaned with a little bit of elbow grease to remove the black soot. Decorate the hearth with a beautiful box or basket for firewood to draw attention to the hearth and fireplace.

Cozy Living Room Layout

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized

Newer homes seem to have smaller living rooms in favor of larger family rooms. Older homes may have smaller living rooms because they have a smaller overall square footage. Whether your home is new or old, you might have a less than large living room to decorate. Smaller doesn’t have to mean you can’t create a beautiful living room. Smaller might mean more cozy, but this doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

This living room does not have a large footprint yet manages to have all the bells and whistles you would want in a living room. There is plenty of seating on the sofa, loveseat and chair, with additional seating possible on the ottoman style coffee table. There is an array of lighting provided by a floor lamp, table lamp and, though not pictured, overhead lighting. Hardwood floors and an area rug make up the flooring. A fireplace is a beautiful architectural focal point. Despite its small footprint, the room is charming and well decorated.

Creating a cozy layout means creating a tighter seating arrangement. Floating the sofa in the middle of the room and placing the loveseat perpendicular to it, creates an L-shape seating area that faces the fireplace. The arm chair in the corner could be brought forward for better conversation, but makes a nice place to read next to the floor lamp.

The seating arrangement doesn’t feel too tight or constricted because there is flow around the furniture. Creating flow allows the room to feel bigger than it is.