Enjoy simple living by adding farmhouse style to your home

I know the farmhouse style isn’t exactly glamorous, but it does have a quiet elegance that is both charming and peaceful. Its simplicity is refreshing and I feel relaxed just browsing pictures of farmhouse interiors!

If you often dream of living in an old farmhouse, but don’t like the idea of moving out to the country, don’t worry. You can add elements of the farmhouse style to your home no matter where you live. While searching for the perfect furniture and decor, let these helpful reminders guide you along the way.

#1 Simple is beautiful

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

You don’t have to fill your home with trendy accessories, loud patterns and bold colors to design a stylish interior. By following a “less is more” attitude, your home can be a peaceful retreat.

#2 The “weathered” look is good!

Photo credit: Desire to inspire

Photo credit: Desire to inspire

It’s not too often when you’re actually encouraged to go out and buy worn-out wooden furniture, but the farmhouse style relies on weathered tables, cupboards, desks and chairs to make the look complete. Consider a fashionably worn farmhouse table for the dining room or an antique-style coffee table in the living room.

#3 Burlap and linen are essential fabrics

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

The farmhouse style isn’t smooth like silk. It’s course and textured like burlap. Consider rustic fabrics such as burlap and linen for curtains, accent pillows and other accessories.

#4 White doesn’t have to be boring

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

In farmhouses, white is almost always the dominate color. White walls, white dishes, white cabinetry…the list goes on and on! Use decorative items to incorporate brighter colors such as yellow.

#5 There’s no such thing as “too much wood”

Photo credit: Flickr

Photo credit: Flickr

Wooden furniture and counter-tops fit in perfectly with the farmhouse style. If you have hardwood floors, don’t cover them up with carpet! A rug will add warmth and still let your beautiful flooring show.

#6 A farmhouse-style house is not complete without a farmhouse sink

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

As the farmhouse style rises in popularity, so do farmhouse sinks. Add one in your kitchen for a distinct look.

You don’t have to actually live in a farmhouse to enjoy its style. The right furniture, colors and decor will transform your interior and help you create the look you want.

By Wendy Weinert

Ottomans: So Much More Than a Resting Place

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Like what you see in the picture? Find your ideal room here:

Mirror
Ottoman
Accent Table
Striped Table Lamp
Silver/floral shade Table Lamp

After a long day, there’s nothing better than sitting back and putting up your feet – and ottomans are the perfect piece of furniture for doing just that. But often, ottomans are an afterthought, seen more as an accessory than a necessity. Designers know, however, that ottomans are a key décor element that can pull a room together and give it some extra character in addition to providing that extra level of relaxation.

So, what can an ottoman do for your room?

  • Add style. Are you classic? Contemporary? Transitional? An ottoman can help to drive the style direction and feel of your room. With the plethora of options available, the ottoman can act as your center piece the brings everything together. As an added bonus, an ottoman can be style and function and may be a place for storage, extra seating, a place to rest your weary feet, or literally just a place to put your favorite magazines and accent decor.
  • Add texture. Ottomans are available in an almost endless variety of fabrics that add visual texture to a room. Leather, for instance, offers a subtle sheen and an organic, smooth texture. Cowhide ottomans cast light differently and have their own uniquely tactile character. Other fabric options like damask, velvet or even rush grass also provide visual interest.
  • Enhance color. Whether you want to harmonize with the existing color scheme of your room or add a burst of color, you can find an ottoman that suits your tastes. Neutral shades are the most adaptable options; earth tones generally pair nicely with other earth tones. For something bolder, an ottoman covered in handwoven kilim squares, which are one-of-a-kind, will offer a rainbow of rich colors, including reds, blues, browns and golden hues.
  • Balance the look of the room. Large rooms can suffer from an excess of negative space, leaving the room feeling “off” or just a little too empty. Ottomans, alone or in pairs or groupings can add that extra element that fills the space to balance the overall appearance of the room.

The Design Doctor

By Corey Damen Jenkins for Bellacor.com

In my humble opinion, Interior Designers are a lot like doctors: people come to them with ailing homes that need to be operated on. Some people get designers involved early, such as during the construction of a new home. But sadly, there are a lot of people out there who would rather wait until their home is in cardiac arrest before calling up a designer.

While DIY continues to be “all the rage” the truth is many folks make pretty expensive mistakes when they try their hand at decorating and design. In the end, what should be an enjoyable experience becomes a source of frustration. So what are five tell-tale “symptoms” that a person should accept a house call from The Design Doctor?

BEFORE
Photo Credit: Corey Damen Jenkins

AFTER
Photo Credit & Interior Design by: Corey Damen Jenkins

Symptom #1: The “Play-Doh” Complex: You have good ideas but you are indecisive, unsure of yourself and become like putty in the hands of a hungry, diabolical salesperson. Folks like this end up with rooms full of hodge-podged messes.

Antidote: Like doctors making house calls, Interior Designers work with you IN YOUR HOME, not from a department store’s sales floor, so they can integrate your personal style with any space or house dilemma you may have. In other words, they care about the outcome and will work with you diligently to give you confidence as you make purchases.

Symptom #2: The “Ostrich” Complex: You are overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the process. You admit the house needs a facelift but you have no idea where to get started! Colors, patterns, scale…just thinking about these things gives you vertigo!  So you’d rather just bury your head in the sand and procrastinate.10

Antidote: A design professional will rescue you from the quick sand, and help you face the music! They have been skillfully trained to tackle all of those overwhelming challenges and can take a lot of stress off your shoulders in the process. They are also aware of cost-effective ways that can even make previous mistakes look like they were planned!

Symptom #3: The “Bottom Line” Complex: Okay, so maybe a lot of us suffer from this complex. You know the house needs to be updated–perhaps in stages over a period of months or even years–but you are naturally concerned about how much it will cost. “Budget” is your middle name…and maybe your last name too.

Antidote: An interior designer can prioritize things that need to be done, create a cost-study for you and generate a time-line. They are also well-versed in what the market has to offer in terms of cost savings–but without compromising style or beauty.

11Symptom #4: The “Doubting Debby” Complex: You are leery of making any changes because you’re afraid that they will turn out looking ugly. And then your friends will laugh at you.

Antidote: An interior designer has many specialties, not the least of which is the art of creating great looking spaces. Besides, no interior designer worth their salt will allow their work to be equated with the word “ugly”! Nothing can be possibly worse for a designer than a poor referral–it can be the kiss of death in business–so you can best believe that he or she is going to take pride in their work. They will be dedicated to making you look good as a client.

Symptom #5: The “Running Hampster” Complex: You. Are. Too. Busy. Your home desperately needs a makeover, but you are entirely too swamped with life/work/kids or lack the energy and interest to do it right now.

Antidote: Many Designers have great project management skills. They are well-equipped to negotiate and coordinate the efforts of vendors and contractors. This means you can delegate as much or as little to them to manage in your behalf and they will keep you updated on the progress.

LivingRoom

Photo Credit: Delight By Design

Let’s admit it and be honest with ourselves. You suffer from at least one of these maladies, right? If so, why not hire a professional that you can delegate this “problem child” to raise? I say use your energy and time for things that you really enjoy. Or if you do happen to love the art of decorating, imagine how much more enjoyable it would be to have a design coach collaborating with you, helping you to avoid making costly mistakes!

So if your house is on life-support, an interior designer may be just the “cure” needed to resuscitate it back to life. Why not call one up for an interview today?

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How to capture the trend of the moment: Exposed bulb light fixtures

DiningRoom

A lot of trends are just flashes in the pan, but the new tendency toward light fixtures with exposed bulbs looks like one with real staying power. Instead of hiding behind an opaque shade, exposed bulb fixtures put the simple, sculptural form of the bulb on display as the main point of interest.exposedbulb_1There is a surprising variety of options for homeowners who fall under the spell of the look. Pendant lights are one of the most widely available forms, but within that category, you’ll find everything from fixtures that are essentially just a socket and a cord to bulbs that sit inside a clear glass shade that adds extra interest while also exposing the form of the bulb.

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Sconces, flush-mount ceiling fixtures, table lamps and floor lamps round out the selection. Metal finishes on the fixtures range from the subtly classic look of oil-rubbed bronze to brighter tones like silver and copper.Flush mount exposed bulb

So, is this trend right for your home? There are a few things to consider before you say yes or no. First, do you like an industrial look? While exposed bulbs are hot-hot-hot in the design world, this style, which hearkens back to factories and schoolhouses in the days of yore, might not be your cup of tea. Keep in mind that you may need to buy specialized bulbs for the fixtures to avoid overly bright light output.

If your home already has a traditional feel, this can be a great way to update its style and breathe some new life and light into it. It works extraordinarily well in urban-chic spaces, but is also very well suited for modern organic styles, and even Craftsman-inspired rooms.

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The smallest design change that can redefine your bathroom

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Photo Credit: http://www.decorationtrend.com

The old saying goes that “little things mean a lot” – and design-minded individuals know that’s an absolute truth. The smallest details in your home, if ignored, can conspire to undo your home’s style. If you want to really send a message about your interior décor tastes, paying attention to the little things will make all the difference, from the silverware in your kitchen to the lever on your toilet.

Yes, that’s right – the lever on your toilet.

Few things in your home are likely more overlooked, but this tiny piece of hardware can play a big role when you want to revitalize your bathroom. Because it’s something that people generally assume will just “blend into the background,” making the effort to select a version with a sense of style can really have a strong effect.

A truly modern bathroom, for instance, will only look more cohesive and attractive when all the right pieces are in place. Opt for a streamlined, squared-off handle and it will only enhance the contemporary look of the room.

ToiletTankLever_3ToiletTankLever_6ToiletTankLever_5

ToiletTankLever_4ToiletTankLever_2ToiletTankLever_1Finishes matter, too. If your doorknob is brass, your cabinet pulls are oil-rubbed bronze and your toilet lever is silver chrome, it can look like a visual jumble. Pull it all together by using hardware that coordinates and presents a united appearance.

This one quick fix is as easy to DIY as you could hope for. In just minutes, you can switch out your levers and give your bathroom a beautiful new lease on life.

FlowerPower-collage

Flower power: Freshen up your home with on-trend florals

On the runway, at the mall and in the home, florals are one of the hottest trends of the moment. But these aren’t your grandma’s chintzes. From oversize patterns to mini prints, today’s floral flourishes are thoroughly modern, with varying degrees of femininity that can make them fit into any home (don’t fear the flowers, guys!).

FlowerPower-collage1. Devale Accent Cabinet #793476
2. Birds & Flowers Accent chair #754062
3. Eurofase Pratolina Pendant #844242
4. Flowing Leaves & Flowers Mirror #802693
5. Flower Pattern Pillow #671598

Adding simple touches here and there, through décor, accessories and lighting, will let you make the most of the trend without going overboard. Consider these ideas for updating your spaces:

Light fixtures: Look for chandeliers and pendant lights that subtly incorporate a floral feeling. The Crystorama Lighting Group Cypress Wet White Pendant has a classic globe shape, but rather than a plain glass globe, the shade is designed to look like closely bundled roses. Because it’s done in crisp, classic white, the effect is textural, modern and chic.

Crystorama flower pendants

Furniture: Larger pieces featuring floral motifs make a bold statement. Case goods, like cabinets and chests, with floral carving or detailing can bring the trend into a variety of spaces, from the dining room to a bedroom. Botanical fabrics on chairs and couches capture the trend but allow you to adjust the effect to your taste – go with big, bright prints for a bolder effect, or an intricate pattern like toile for something more subtle.

Accents: Just like clothing, home accessories give you a chance to try out a trend without over-committing. Home décor accents let you dabble in the floral trend with little touches that can be added and removed whenever you feel the impulse. Try throw pillows with blooming botanical patterns or a jewel-tone mirror embellished with floral motifs – they’ll freshen up any room in seconds.

Five must-have light fixtures for midcentury modern style

There was something stylish in the air in the late 1950s – from clothing to décor, clean lines and chic simplicity were in vogue. While plenty of other retro trends have come and gone, mid-century modern still looks good, even to our critical modern eyes.

For home interiors, mid-century modern is alive and well. Perhaps the best thing about the style is that it can be carried through an entire home without looking forced or too much like a theater set – it’s simply beautiful in its own right. From light fixtures to furniture, mid-century inspired pieces are readily available.

'50's RetroRoom

However, with all the choices available, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and lose sight of the look. We’ve picked out five great mid-century modern light fixtures that will help you achieve the perfect look.

1. Control Brands AJ Red Desk Lamp: Perfect for the home office or clean-lined teak bedside table, this little lamp adds a pop of color in perfectly midcentury style.

2. Troy Sausalito Five-Light Drum Pendant: The warm silver-gold finish of this pendant fixture echoes that colors that were all the rage during the original midcentury style wave. It’s the ideal statement in a dining room.

3. Control Brands Nelson Medium Curve Pendant: George Nelson’s bubble lights played a big role in mid-century décor – and they still do today. The first Nelson lamps came out in 1950, but they’re still a hot item today. This pendant will give you the soft glow and sculptural look that defined Nelson’s lights.

4. Elk Lighting Modern Organics Bamboo Stem Two-Light Wall Sconce: This is a great example of a contemporary light informed by mid-century aesthetics. The sharp-edged rectangular shape is characteristic, but even more so is the organic feel of the natural bamboo. It calls back to the grass cloth that was hugely popular at the time for adding some color and texture to a room.

5. Sea Gull Lighting Large White Globe Pendant: This light is the ultimate in restraint, yet it still makes a huge style statement. Its spare aesthetics make it highly adaptable across styles, but it would look completely natural in a first-generation mid-century home. It looks great in living rooms, as a single light, or in multiples.

Beautiful choices abound for Mission-style overhead lights

You love your , Arts and Crafts-style or Craftsman-style home. Its rectilinear shapes, clean lines, solid woods and stylized design elements speak to you. Neutral greens, browns and green-blue are popular colors throughout the home.

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When you need new overhead lighting for these styles of homes, you’ll want pieces that fit in. Whether you’re renovating or updating your house, it’s important to find appropriate ceiling fixtures. Not only will they provide excellent ambient lighting, they will also act as decorative accessories.

This isn’t the time for fancy chandeliers, modernistic designs or minimalist pieces. Mission and Arts and Crafts lighting is characterized by geometric designs and simplified forms inspired by nature. No crystal pendants, no ornate scrolling; the clean lines are often square or angular.

The fixtures typically have clean, angular profiles. They have muted hues, usually in browns or yellows – even when blue is used, it’s soft, not bright. Like the rest of the house, the colors are typically earthy – just step outside and look around, and you’ll see the natural colors that will work well inside your home.

Arts and Crafts-style liHarlequine 6light Chandelierghting needs to “pop,” since it’s usually one of the few accents in this type of house. But it also needs to subtly fit into your home’s style, not be a jarring contrast. The fixtures are straight-forward, without a lot of decorative add-ons. Some of the looks include a honey art glass or Tiffany-style stained glass, paired with woods or warm-tone metals.

Contemporary Style

What’s my Style?  Is it Contemporary?

One of the advantages of shopping on Bellacor.com is the ability to shop by style.  By going to http://www.bellacor.com/shopByPage.htm you can pick the style that appeals to you and start shopping there.  In this post I’ll talk about the Contemporary styled items on Bellacor and how contemporary lighting or modern furniture might translate into your own personal style.

Contemporary and modern are two terms that can get academics and grammarians awfully riled up (see this recent story from NPR’s All Things Considered).  However, for the purpose of this blog post I’m going to put that debate to the side and use the word Contemporary to refer to these items on Bellacor.com, but on most items you could substitute the word Modern.

So, what is contemporary design?  Most people think of clean lines, shiny metal finishes, and simple or no patterns when you mention contemporary lighting or modern furniture.  And it is true, contemporary design does utilize those design elements.

But it is also so much more.  Your home doesn’t have to feel cold and have a lot of sharp edges to utilize contemporary design.  All of the following items would fall into the contemporary/modern aesthetic, but still bring a bit of unexpected life or a punch of color to your home.