Tricky trend: Translucents – when to use and how to use them

A clear decorative figurine displayed in the living room is one thing, but a clear coffee table or chair? That’s something different entirely. Furnishing your home with translucent furniture can be tricky – which is why I’ve compiled some tips to help make it easier. First, before you go out and buy a new clear piece of furniture, determine whether the trend can work in your home and how to best incorporate it into your interior design.

Styles that work best with translucent furnitureclear chairs

Minimalism is a defining characteristic of modern homes, and sometimes contemporary homes, too. Choosing clear furniture is one way to create the minimalist look. Furniture pieces that are entirely translucent often feature simple forms and very few details, and they also appear to take up less space than pieces made of other materials (a benefit if you have a small space). If you have a modern interior, clear furniture would enhance the style and complement your room’s setup nicely.

Interior design styles that are neither modern or contemporary typically aren’t well-suited for entirely clear furniture, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have translucent elements in your home. A wooden coffee table that features a clear surface, for example, can be used in traditional homes without compromising your room’s style.

How to incorporate the trend into your home
Photo credit: Frankly Esoteric

Photo credit: Frankly Esoteric

Clear furniture is eye catching and interesting in my opinion, but too many translucent pieces in a room – even in a modern home – can appear intimidating. Balance translucent furniture with other materials, such as wood, to create warmth in your room. Placing clear chairs around a wooden dining table is one way to do this. You can also try adding clear decorative pieces to continue the translucent theme without overdoing the look.

Translucents might be a tricky trend, but it’s a trend that can give your home a bolder and more interesting appearance. Try adding clear furniture to your home’s interior design and see the difference one material can make.

By Wendy Weinert

How to decorate a narrow hallway

Every room in your home has been carefully decorated and furnished to match your exact style. But what about the hallways? In my opinion, hallways are trickier to decorate, especially if they are narrow. Keep these tips in mind before you get started.

Keep it tidy

Cluttered hallways make it difficult to walk from one room to another. Keep everything tidy with a hallway bench or shelves. Since you’re furnishing a narrow hallway, it’s best to look for a design that isn’t too wide.

Decorate the walls

Photo credit: Flickr

Photo credit: Flickr

Narrow hallways already have limited space, so why crowd it even more? While a bookcase or bench can keep your hallway organized, you don’t want to go overboard with the furniture and decor. Instead, try hanging up decorative art, pictures or mirrors to make your hallway pop.

Light it up

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty Living

A long narrow hallway can look intimidating without proper lighting. Add as many light fixtures as you need to ensure that the hallway is evenly lit. This is also a chance to add more visual interest – I love seeing eye-catching pendants or wall sconces used in the hallway.

Paint with light colors

Photo Credit: Young House Love

Photo Credit: Young House Love

The general rule of thumb when decorating a small space is to paint the walls a light color. This is because dark colors can make a room appear smaller, while lighter shades do the opposite. If you like darker colors, use them for accents instead.

Even a narrow hallway can be stylish with the right decor and color scheme. Try incorporating these tips into your hallway’s design and love every inch of your home.

By Wendy Weinert

6 essentials for craft room creativity

Craft room

Having an entire room or area dedicated to crafts might seem unnecessary to some, but those people probably aren’t spending their afternoons or evenings working on Pinterest DIY projects. Crafting can get messy and often requires using many supplies that, when put away, occupy a lot of space. Consider setting up a craft space in your home and keep these essentials in mind when putting it together.

Surface space
Large crafting table

Photo credit: Everything Etsy

Almost every project you take on will require a table for surface space. Make sure the table you choose is large enough to accommodate you and your project – a small side table isn’t going to cut it.

Storage space
Craft room storage

Photo credit: 44th Street Fabric

Like I said before, crafting can get messy. You can make the process a little more organized, however, by keeping the supplies you don’t need for a certain project stored away. Storage space will also ensure that your craft room will be tidy when it’s not in use. Shelves, drawers and boxes can all come in handy.

Inspiration
Wall art as craft room inspiration

Photo credit: Blog de decoração Perfeita Ordem

A creative environment is important. After all, this is a craft room! Hang up artwork that inspires you and will help you get in touch with your inner artist. A little creative touch can be just what you need to produce your best work.

Music

Music can also help boost your creative mood. Create a playlist with music that helps you feel most inspired, whether it’s jazz, pop, rock or classical music. Not only will you feel more creative, but music also makes crafting more fun!

Great lighting

Any work space, whether it’s a craft room or a home office, requires excellent lighting. Along with general overhead lighting, try wall sconces, a pendant or a lamp next to your table for task lighting.

A comfortable chair
Comfortable craft chair

Photo credit: Pinterest

You might not be sitting down for eight hours like you do at work, but it’s still important that your craft chair is comfortable. Look for chairs with padded seats and a supportive frame so you can craft without feeling sore.

There are many ways to create a craft room. As long as you have a table surface, storage space, a comfy seat and some inspiration, you can easily get in touch with your creative side and get to work!

By Wendy Weinert

 

Tricks to Sizing Your Dining Room

Dining room

Working for Bellacor made me realize how much there is to consider when buying furnishings for your dining room. Not only do you have to worry about budget, color, and personal taste, you also have to consider size.
Figuring out the best size table and the perfectly proportioned fixture for your needs can be confusing. Here are the tips I use to direct people to their best pieces.

Sizing Your Dining Table

The table is the heart of the dining room. Whether you use your dining room for every meal, or only special occasions, the following tips will help you choose the most functional table for any space.
1. Make sure you have a clearance of 42”- 48” around your table. This will allow enough room for seating as well as traffic flow.
• If you have a small dining room, consider using a round table. Not only does this
maximize your small space, but it also allows for a more intimate dining experience.
• Consider choosing a square table if you have a square room. This will give more
symmetry to your space and create a more put-together look.

2. Determine how many place settings you need. Each person will need about 24” of space.
• A rectangular table has as many place settings as it does feet. A 6’ table will sit 6 people, an 8’ table will sit 8 people, and so on.
• A round table’s place settings depend on what kind of base it has. A round table with a pedestal base has 1 more place setting than feet, and a table with legs has 1 less place setting than feet. For example, a 5’ pedestal table seats 6 while a 5’ table with legs seats 4.

3. Don’t forget about seat height! Look for chairs with a 16” seat height for a table that is 27” high. For tables between 28” and 30” high, use chairs with an 18” seat height.
• Don’t worry if you and your family are very tall or on the shorter side, these are just general tips. Play around with seat height until you find the one most comfortable for you!

Dining table size chart

Photo credit: Holiday Home Times

Sizing Your Light Fixture

Now that you’ve picked out your table, let’s move on to finding the perfect overhead lighting for you. While sizing your fixture might seem overwhelming at first, here are some tips you will find illuminating.

Kichler Hayman Bay Chandelier

1. The width of your chandelier should be three-quarters to one-half as wide as your dining table. Ideally, your fixture should be about twelve inches narrower than your table to prevent your more accident-prone guests from bumping their heads.
• If you have a long, rectangular table, consider using an island pendant instead of a traditional chandelier. A longer fixture will draw your eye down the length of the table.
• Try using pendants installed on an adjustable track if you have a dining table with a leaf. This lets your lighting expand as your table does.
• For those of you choosing lighting before your furniture, just add the length and width of your room together to determine the best width for your chandelier. A 10’x10’ room would have a chandelier 20” in width.

Maxim Lighting Pendants

2. Your lighting should hang between 30”- 32” above your table. If you have a ceiling more than 8’ high, add three inches for every additional foot. For example, if you have 12’ ceilings, hang your fixture between 42”- 44” from the table.
• Low hanging lighting over a table creates intimacy while high hanging lighting creates formality. Feel free to play around with your hanging height to best fit your style, but make sure to allow enough room to comfortably enjoy your food.
• Adding tall chandelier shades can help put your chandelier in proportion with high ceilings. Try using 12” chandelier shades for high ceilings.

3. Remember to consider the visual weight of your fixture. The shape and design of your chandelier has a big effect on your vertical space.
• Sleek, light fixtures look bigger and will help fill up dining rooms with high ceilings.
• Remember that traditional style chandeliers may look smaller in spaces because of their detailed design.
Now that you know how to size up when it comes to the dryer side of design, you can focus on the fun things like color and style!

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

7 Design Hacks for Any Space

Creating a space of your own is a lot of work. If you’re dreading a big move, or a little redecorating, because of all the arranging and rearranging that goes with it, take a look at these design hacks that make big projects simple.

1. Determine your focal point.
Fireplace - living room focal point

Photo credit: Casa Vogue Brasil

Whether it’s the TV, fireplace, window, or your favorite couch, decide where you want your attention focused. Once you know what to highlight, your arrangement will fall into place.

2. Use bed sheets to visualize how much space your furniture will need.

Fold bed sheets to the size of your furniture and place them around your space. You will discover which arrangement works best without having to move heavy pieces all over your room.

3. Lay your rug down first. Seriously.

If you’re using an area rug, put that in your space before you arrange your furniture. You’d be surprised how many people forget this.

4. Paper templates make hanging wall décor a breeze.
Paper templates for gallery wall

Photo credit: Rue Magazine

Cut out paper replicas of your wall décor and tape them where you want to hang your pieces. This saves your wall from unnecessary holes and helps you make sure your pieces are level.

5. Place your largest piece of furniture first.

This piece typically faces the focal point, and is the most difficult to move. Once your biggest item is in your space it will be easy to fill in the space around it.

6. Utilize dead spaces.
Console table behind sofa

Photo credit: Pinterest

Place a console table behind a sofa or stack a few decorative storage boxes in an odd corner. Your function should extend to every corner of your space, and accent furniture is a great way to add some unique character to your room.

7. Make sure there is a table near every seat.

Place an accent table by every seat

No one likes struggling to find a place to put their beverages. Consider arranging your living room so tables are easy to reach from all seats. Your future self will thank you. !

Keep these tricks in mind for an easy transition from a space to your space.

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

 

Enjoy a more peaceful home with these 7 tips

I recently shared an article on farmhouse style and how its simple characteristics can make a home feel very peaceful. The farmhouse style isn’t for everyone, though, and you don’t have to enjoy country living to create a relaxing and quiet home. No matter what your preferred decorating style is, you can design a more peaceful environment with these quick tips.

1. If bright colors are energizing and oftentimes too stimulating, try decorating with muted colors instead. A softer shade of your favorite color can help you to feel more relaxed. (If you’re trying to decide on a color, blue is well-known for its calming effects!)

Blue walls are calming

Photo credit: Pinterest

2. To keep your overhead lighting from feeling too bright, install a dimmer switch that will soften the lighting. At night, you can add even more ambience by lighting a few candles.

3. I know cleaning doesn’t exactly sound relaxing, but keeping your floors and surfaces clear will help to reduce stress. At the end of the day or right away in the morning, set aside 10 minutes or so to tidy up each room so you can enjoy a clean home for the rest of the day.

4. If your home is lacking in decor, try bringing in some fresh flowers and plants. The natural scents will help you feel calm and some plants can even purify your home’s air.

Fresh Flowers

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

5. I think most people would agree with me when I say that nature is very peaceful. Along with decorating with plants, you can bring the outdoors inside with natural materials like jute or wicker.

Natural fiber rug

Photo credit: House of Turquoise

6. A simple decorating scheme is refreshing. Be careful not to add too many complicated patterns in one room or overcrowd your space with decorative accessories.

7. Are the loud neighbors or annoying traffic patterns causing you to feel stressed? Tune them out with soft music or consider buying a decorative water fountain.

Indoor Fountain

Whether your home is modern or traditional, you can enjoy a more peaceful environment. Try incorporating a few of these tips in your house and see how they work for you!

By Wendy Weinert

Decorating for an open floor plan

Open Floor Plan

Photo credit: Sublime Decor

Homeowners have made open floor plans a popular layout style, and depending on your space, you may find it a suitable design choice for your home as well. Instead of separating each room with walls, open floor plans combine rooms such as the kitchen, dining room and living room into one large open area. I find open floor plans very appealing in smaller homes, and the layout works well for those with more square footage as well. It’s a refreshing feeling to walk into a home with an open-floor layout. With fewer walls and longer sightlines, the style is soothing and instantly creates a less cluttered appearance.

If you decide on an open layout for your own home, or if you are at least considering the option, strategize how you plan to furnish and decorate before you start tearing down walls. Decorating with an open floor plan isn’t the same process as if you were setting up each room individually. With no dividing walls, you have to find a way to create distinct spaces that still fit under one cohesive style.

Defining distinct spaces

Open floor plan

Photo credit: Freshome

To design an open floor plan that works, use furniture and accessories to create distinct rooms within the large area. Although there are no walls separating each room, there should still be individual focal points for each room, such as a pendant over the dining table or the entertainment center in the living room.

Another trick you can try is to divide the rooms not with walls, but with furniture. A large shelving unit can help you create clearly defined spaces, without losing the benefits of an open floor plan.

Creating a unified look

Unified look in an open floor plan

Photo credit: Pinterest

Creating separate rooms that also look cohesive can be a challenge. Tie the rooms together by decorating each space in the same style and color palette. If you’re decorating the kitchen to be mid-century modern for example, search for furniture and accessories that fit into that style as well. Even though each room will have very different purposes and furniture, they will look unified.

With furniture in the right place and a specific style carrying the overall look, you can create an open floor plan that not only works, but amazes.

By Wendy Weinert

 

Turn your bedroom into a luxurious hotel room

I love staying in hotel rooms. After a busy afternoon of sightseeing or trip activities, a classy hotel room is the perfect way to end the day. It’s simple, yet sophisticated decorating scheme creates a luxurious feeling that helps me to unwind, relax and rejuvenate.

If relaxing in the hotel room is your favorite way to vacation, too, you might be happy to know that a bedroom can offer the same luxurious feel. Simply incorporate some of these tips into your room’s design.

Photo credit: Chic Coastal Living

Photo credit: Chic Coastal Living

1. Decorate in all white to create that elegant and clean look. If all white isn’t your style, complement the color with dark gray or metallic accents.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

2. Treat your feet each morning by placing a plush, good-feeling rug next to your bed. You’ll be sure to wake up on the right side of the bed this way!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

3. Hang up a crystal chandelier to enhance your bedroom’s luxurious style. Consider installing a dimmer switch for mood lighting!

Photo credit: Welke

Photo credit: Welke

4. Get rid of the clutter, and don’t let the clutter return. A stress-free environment is one of the main reasons why I love staying at hotels. Messiness and disorganization create just the opposite.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

5. Hang a soft robe on the door and let yourself enjoy some nice slippers, too. It may seem like a small touch, but details matter.

Photo credit: Decoist

Photo credit: Decoist

6. Decorate with sophisticated artwork and flowers. Be careful not to overdecorate, though, as the hotel style features a simple elegance. A small vase on the nightstand with a couple of your favorite paintings on the wall will do.

chaise

7. Set up a place to lounge. With the hotel vibe you’ve created, your room will certainly be the most relaxing spot at home. An elegant chaise lounge chair will complement your luxurious bedroom nicely and will provide a place to sit when you need a break.

The bedroom should be your sanctuary, so design it like the hotel rooms you love so much! When you need to relax, you can head to your room, turn on some soothing music and experience true bliss.

By Wendy Weinert

Women who have made an impact on interior design

As a woman within the interior design industry, I love being able to look up to strong and leading female designers. Last week I compiled a list of inspiring female interior designers who are currently influencing and making changes to the industry. Now I want to share with you all women who are no longer living. The work done by these women has made a substantial impact on the interior design industry. Without these women, the industry wouldn’t be what it is today.

1. Dorothy Draper

Dorothy Draper

Photograph from the archives of Dorothy Draper & Co.

Those who like a bold style should look to Dorothy Draper’s past work for inspiration. Dorothy never shied away from bright colors and large patterns, as she thought the vivid decorating style helped increase happiness and energy. Draper started her first business in 1925 and much of her work can still be seen today, in hotels and apartment lobbies.

2. Elsie de Wolfe

Elsie de Wolfe

Photograph from the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Often considered to have invented interior decorating as an occupation, Elsie de Wolfe is certainly a woman who has made a large impact on the industry. Her feminine designs were softer and brighter than the style many were used to at the time, and she was also well-known for making practicality a priority when decorating. De Wolfe first got into design in the early 1900s.

3. Frances Adler Elkins

Frances Adler Elkins

Photo credit: The New York Times

If you favor the eclectic style, you’ll love Frances Adler Elkins. An interior designer who’s popularity grew in the 1930s, Elkins was known for combining various styles and time periods in the same room, often mixing modern with vintage pieces.

4. Nancy Lancaster

Nancy Lancaster

Photo credit: The New York Times

Nancy Lancaster was a designer who first got her start in the 1920s. Through her work with the design company Colefax & Fowler, Lancaster is often credited for creating the “English country-house look,” which featured an elegant and comfortable style that people still love today.

5. Sister Parish

Sister Parish

Sister Parish co-founded Parish-Hadley in 1962 and the company lasted until 1999. Influenced by Nancy Lancaster, Parish expanded on the “English country house” look to create her own, named the American country style. Although Parish-Hadley is no longer in existence, Sister Parish Design, started by Parish’s family, aims to bring back her influential style.

Who are some of your favorite female interior designers? Send a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

4 inspiring female interior designers in the industry today

The interior design industry is full of talented artists, but today I want to highlight the women who are making an impact and raising the bar for other creatives. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I feel these four female interior designers are some of the top in the industry due to the inspiring and beautiful work they create.

Charlotte Moss

Charlotte Moss

Photo credit: Charlotte Moss

Moss started her business in 1985 and since then has been designing homes, executive suites and lending her talent to retail stores. She is well known for pushing the limits in design and has created a signature style through her use of American, European and Classical influences. Moss has won several awards, including “The Timeless design Award” by the Royal Oak Foundation.

Kathryn Ireland

Kathryn Ireland

Photo credit: Jon Hugstad

Practical homeowners who prefer a comfortable, stylish interior will love Kathryn Ireland. She is well-known for her bohemian style and continues to be ranked in top designer lists. She was even named one of the 10 designers who would influence the 21st-century style by House & Garden.

Laura Day

Laura Day

Photo credit: Laura Day

Inspired by the natural beauty of her rural, Arkansas home, Laura Day spent her early twenties traveling the world, seeking out more incredible sights and landscapes. Now, Day uses her experiences and memories to create fresh designs you are bound to love. Check out some of her work here and you’ll see what I mean.

Tyler Dawson

Tyler Dawson

Photo credit: Tayler Dawson

Having started Tyler Dawson Design in 2007, Dawson is still an up-and-coming designer. However, her talent is already recognized and her work has been featured in House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living and more. Her work is often characterized by the warm, comfortable and playful feel, but she always seeks to make each project unique.

Get inspired by the designs and styles these four women have created. You might just learn some new ideas and approaches for decorating your own home!

By Wendy Weinert