Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Good Paint Job

Sometimes installing new cabinets to update your kitchen can be a huge task that is too daunting both physically and financially.  If new kitchen cabinets are not an option for you, another great way to quickly update your kitchen is to paint your cabinets a unique and fun color.  Here are some beautiful painted kitchen cabinet updates that you can try at home:

These teal kitchen cabinets are beautifully paired with white walls and large-scale checkered wooden floors.

Another view (I love the black pendant lights hanging above the island):

Images from Southern Living

This monochromatic gray paint is a very chic option.

This sage green is a very welcoming color, and I think it would look great with white marble or a light-colored granite.

The sage green is paired with wood floors, a beautiful rust-colored hood, and square glass pendant lanterns to create more of a rustic feel.  The walls are even painted the same color to make a beautiful statement.

I love this dark plum color, and while it looks great with the sandy colored walls, I think it would also be beautiful paired with another color, like light blue.

Image From Apartment Therapy

These bright red cabinets are so fresh, bold, and modern.

If the previous option is too much for you, choose a darker red color, and paint only the bottom half of your kitchen cabinetry red to ground your space and provide a pop of color.

Image from Agnes' Kitchen

This buttery yellow color lightens up the room and brings a sunny, cheerful feel to your home.  Notice that the walls are again painted the same color to provide a monochromatic canvas for your design.

I hope these pictures have inspired you to grab a few cans of paint and update your kitchen in a unique and easy way to turn your house into a home.

God Bless,


Friday, October 22, 2010

Ciao Pucci!

Sometimes when fashion designers attempt to break into the interior design world, their creations are a little too over the top for me, but when I was browsing the Apartment Therapy website today, I discovered this gem-- Pucci-designed decor that is absolutely amazing!

These pillows are fashioned using a Pucci fabric that corresponds with the striped mural on the wall.  Used with a neutral color scheme, they provide a focal point for the room.

This Pucci chair is again used in a neutral color scheme, providing a bold pattern in a monochromatic pattern.

These Pucci pillows are paired with other brightly-colored accessories against a neutral backdrop.  I love the maroon pillows paired with the pink and green Pucci print- such a great contrast!

Here, the canopy drapes with the striped tent shades and pretty silver chandelier are a light and airy accent to the geometric Pucci print desk chair.

Displayed here in a Pucci store, these pillows would be amazing in a living room or even a bedroom.  The bright colors would be such an interesting accent to any home's decor.

Here is the creator himself, Ralph Pucci, with some of his amazing patterns and prints hanging behind him.

Not only can clothing enhance your physical appearance, but you can also use it as inspiration in your life in other ways-- this is evidenced by Ralph Pucci's beautiful home decor collections.  Using Pucci's bright colors in a neutral-colored palette is a great way to introduce a pop of bright color into your house to make it a home.

God Bless,


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's All Greek to Me!

One of the ways to draw inspiration for your own spaces and design style is through the things that you are passionate about.  My love of traveling and experiencing other cultures has created a lot of inspiration for me in many areas of my life, and design is one of these areas.  The patterns, colors, and textures that I have encountered in other countries are so interesting, and it really broadens your horizons to experience what other cultures use to beautify their surroundings.  The Greek key pattern is one cultural design that appeals to me because it can produce such an interesting contrast to other elements in a space.  Here are some ways that you can integrate Greek key into your designs:

A Pillow or other furniture accent is one of my favorite ways to add Greek key to a room because you can mix it with so many other patterns to create a unique palette.  Here the pumpkin headboard, black and white bedding, and charcoal gray walls create a beautiful backdrop for the Greek key accent pillow.

In another view you can see that Courtney Giles, the designer, mixed the geometric Greek key pattern with a black and white gingham neckroll pillow and chair and a black and white zigzag rug.  I love how the colors are the same in each of these elements, but the patterns are so vastly different that they create depth in the design.

Here the greek key rug adds interest to the flooring of the room- this choice is very bold with the repetitive greek key element, so if the intensity of the geometric pattern makes you feel uneasy, I would stick to something a little smaller with less impact.

If the black and white pattern is too much of a contrast for you, consider implementing Greek key into your design in a more muted color.  This taupe-colored Greek key pattern on the chair and two sofa pillows integrates the geometry of the pattern without too much contrast.

Using a large-scale Greek key pattern on a piece can create quite a statement-- here the valences are patterned after a twist on the traditional Greek key design.

The border of this rug also uses a larger-scale Greek key pattern, and it really works well with the white chairs with woven detail and the white framed cabinet in the background.

These crocodile embossed stools are studded with nail heads in the traditional Greek key pattern along the bottom of the piece, and it is such a subtle and chic way to integrate this exotic and fashionable pattern.

This sideboard has a Greek key detail on the drawers on either side, and it really makes the piece stand out.  What a great way to make an old vintage piece stunningly updated! Plus, the design is multifunctional-- it serves as handles for the drawers as well.

I hope you can all embrace the amazing geometry of the Greek key pattern to turn your house into a home, because it is truly timeless and trendy at the same time.  

God Bless,


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Everyone Loves a Good Collage!

Hey y'all!  I have been very inspired lately by wall collages-- they are such a fun way to display your personal treasures, memories, and collections without making them too stuffy.  Here are some ideas on how to personalize your home with pictures, artwork, and other trinkets while still maintaining a fun design scheme.

This collage incorporates pictures and artwork of many different shapes, colors, and sizes.  Playing with the size of the mats inside the frame is a fun way to introduce a new element into a collage of framed art.

{Photo from Apartment Therapy}

Another example of how you can use artwork of varying sizes to create a fun and unique photo collage.

Here, the collager again used artwork of varying shapes and sizes, but the large black lifesize cameo-esque bust in the middle draws your attention to the center of the wall.

To change the impact of your photo collage, place the artwork closer together to create more of a cluster of photos.

Instead of hanging pictures on walls, install large shelves and rest artwork of varying sizes on the shelves, accompanied by other fun items such as plants, decorative candles, etc.  I love the ampersands and other letters that were used in this picture- you could use your initials!  Use all possible space when constructing this collage-- the framed art resting on the floor creates a more dramatic effect than if the designer had only used the two shelves.   Also, the black and white is a very chic way to display these photos.
{Photo from Pottery Barn}

This photo collage uses lots of empty frames and mirrors mixed with other fun items (such as a faux deer head, a plate, and an initial letter) to create a very visually appealing wall collage.

A unique idea for a kitchen wall collage would be to use a collection of assorted plates to create an interesting arrangement on a wall.  Be creative with the shape of your collage and the colors used in the plates!

Finally, here are some small wall collages that I've done in my own home recently.  I like to use a variety of items in my own collages-- framed art, shelves, initials, canvases, and other unique design items.

This collage is centered above my headboard of my bed- it was done using items that I already had in my house.  You could certainly get even more creative if you were purchasing the items specifically for the collage!

My roommate and I did this collage to go above our TV console in our living room.  We used fabric covered canvases to introduce new patterns and textures, and the king and queen crowns introduce a different shape to the mix.

{Note:  These collages aren't crooked, I just had to take the pictures from an angle.}

A collage wall is something that you could easily do in your own home without spending any money at all-- just look around and see what unique treasures you have to work with!  It's a great way to infuse your own personality into your home's design to make it a home.

God Bless,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cozy Kitchen Seating

I always love it when people put a creative spin on traditional design... it's so unexpected!  One of the trends in home design that I think qualifies as such is banquette or bench seating in a kitchen.  It's such a cozy alternative to dining chairs, and it creates such a warm and comfortable feeling in a home.  Here are some of my favorite pictures of banquettes:

This picture uses a traditional table setting with three chairs and a banquette on one side of the table.  I love how the designer incorporated the black and white stripe on the cushions and popped in an apple green color with the pillows.

In this picture, a rectangular table was again used with two end chairs and a banquette along the wall.  In this design, however, the chairs used are upholstered, which go along with the cozy feeling that the banquette evokes.  And again, the color introduced with the pillows is fabulous!

Here, the concept is similar to the previous two pictures with the table, chairs, and banquette, but the use of a round table as opposed to a rectangular one frees up a little more space and allows the table to be more of a corner piece.

{Note:  I love the photo collage wall behind the banquette and the pops of turquoise with the coffee mugs.  Stay tuned for a post about photo collages.}

I love how this kitchen has the banquette seating in the middle of the room coming off of the island... such a creative alternative to traditional barstools!

Again, this picture is unique in that the banquette is positioned in the center of the room-- I love the curved shape that exactly mirrors the shape of the table.  This piece of furniture could be used in almost any room of the house; it would be great for repurposing someday if this kitchen was remodeled.

This kitchen uses the traditional banquette, but then brings in other upholstered pieces to complete the design.  An ottoman placed between the banquette and a large armchair create a cozy seating area that would be the perfect place to enjoy breakfast and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate on a chilly day.

Finally, while this is not banquette seating, I wanted to include this picture because it provides a non-traditional example of bar seating.  The bench provides a unique alternative to bar stools, while the square yellow stools add interest with their rectangular shape and bright, sunny color.  Think outside of the box, don't mold your designs to fit what everyone else already has!

Consider using this trend to update your kitchen while making it a comfortable retreat for you and our loved ones.  We only get one chance to live our life... lets make it inspiring!

God Bless,


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seeing Things Clearly

Lucite is a big trend in contemporary home design, but it's easy to integrate lucite into a home that doesn't have a contemporary style.  For those who don't know, lucite is a transparent plastic acrylic resin that comes in a variety of colors.  I think adding an element of lucite to a home is a great and inexpensive way to add a stylish and updated touch to your home.

For example, you could integrate one furniture piece, such as a table or some chairs made out of lucite with your existing furniture.

I love this room because it is decorated with so many colors, but adding any more color would be overwhelming; the lucite coffee table grounds the space without adding too much bulk to the room.

This home office has a lucite chair mixed with a plain white desk and rustic wooden bookshelves.  I've also noticed that lucite furniture with an animal print rug is a common theme-- probably because it looks so chic!

These lucite stools add another dimension to this colorful room-- they prevent it from looking too heavy and weighted down.

Again, using transparent furniture in this room in the form of these stools continues the light and airy feeling that it conveys throughout the space.

{Notice the animal print rug again!}

These lucite dining chairs add a touch of modern femininity to an otherwise masculine, dark room.

Using lucite for shelving provides a chic way to store and organize your home without weighing down a wall with thick heavy wooden or metal shelves.

{Again, see the animal print?  As a side note, animal print such as leopard or zebra is considered to be a design neutral by many, meaning that it goes well with any color, pattern, or style.}

If completely see-through furniture is not quite your style, consider integrating this fun trend through the lighting in your home.

This lucite chandelier would be beautiful when lit-- with the light streaming through the clear resin, it would provide an abundance of light while looking ultra-stylish.

Lucite lamps are another fun lighting option-- using them with a lucite coffee table provides a common theme for the room.

While clear lucite is the most popular because of its light and airy feeling, lucite comes in a variety of colors.

Here, a magenta lucite table adds another pop of color to the room in a sleek and sophisticated way.

This yellow lucite office chair is so bright and happy, its sure to add a touch of cheer to any design concept.

As you can see, lucite can be added to any design scheme to add a touch of modern style to a room.  I hope you've seen this design scheme "clearly" enough to consider using lucite in your house to turn it into a home.

God Bless,


Friday, October 8, 2010

Heavy Metal?

My favorite thing about a house is the character that comes with it, and nothing says character more than an old historic home.  Not all of us, however, have the luxury of owning the piece of history that an old house provides.  If you love the charm of older houses but instead own a brand new piece of property, installing tin ceiling tiles to accent your house's architecture is a unique way to achieve the look of character that you're going for.  Here are some unique ways to use tin ceiling tiles to spruce up your house's interior:

Using tin tiles on the ceiling in your kitchen are a great way to add vintage charm to an otherwise blank canvas.

These silver tin ceiling tiles are sleek and sophisticated.

There are so many different patterns, sizes, and varieties of ceiling tiles, making it easy to choose those that best fit your style!

The ceiling tiles in these kitchens have been painted so that the ceiling has almost an embossed look, emphasizing the pattern and design of the tiles without the stark contrast of the tin.

Tin ceiling tiles can add character to your home without being applied to the ceiling-- here are a few ideas on how to use tin ceiling tiles in other useful and creative ways:

Covering an entire wall with tin creates an amazing accent wall.

If a wall covered in metal is too much for your taste, think about making just a bed headboard out of tin tiles-- it adds a modern touch without being overwhelmingly metallic.  You can use lots of tiny metal tiles pieced together or...

... three larger tiles placed side by side!  In this case, the more distressed the better!

Instead of beadboard on a wall in a bathroom, why not cover it in coppery ceiling tiles to create a more interesting palette?  

Ok, maybe its an Oklahoma thing, but people here love to cover up a fridge with wood panels to hide it and make it blend in with the rest of the kitchen, and it is SO not appealing to me.  These decorative tin panels make the fridge stand out rather than fade into the background.  After all, shouldn't the food be the star in the kitchen?

The idea of using old ceiling tiles to create a custom magnet board is so vintage chic.  You could frame it or leave the edges raw and untouched to further enhance its vintage appeal.

Finally, turning an old ceiling tile into a fabulous mirror would create a custom piece for any bathroom, entryway, or other interesting place in your house.

Instead of thinking of tin and other metals as cold and unfriendly, consider using these creative ideas to add charm and vintage appeal to your house and make it a home.

God Bless,