Bring personality to your dining room by mixing and matching chairs

 

Mismatched dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

Who says your dining chairs have to match? While it’s perfectly okay to purchase a dining table and chairs as a set, you could be missing an opportunity to create a unique look for your space. Mixing and matching chairs allows you to add some fun and personality to your dining room, which is especially useful if you don’t have a lot of space to decorate.

Keep in mind as you mix chairs that there still needs to be a unifying element tying them together. Here are four unifying characteristics to consider:

Color

Even if every chair around your table consists of a different design, the overall look will still appear put together and intentional if they all feature the same color. It may be difficult to find chairs that all have the exact same shade, but you can always paint them if the chairs aren’t upholstered.

Mismatched blue dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

Material 

Just like with color, you can place different chairs in the dining room that are made up of the same material, such as wood, to create a unique, cohesive look. You don’t even have to use just chairs. Consider placing a bench on one or more sides of the table and let guests be impressed by your creativity.

Mismatched wood dining chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

Patterns

If you prefer upholstered chairs, look for different chairs that feature the same pattern. For example, if you like stripes, you can surround your table with chairs that all have the same striped pattern. Or you can mix striped chairs with chairs that have no pattern at all to keep the look from appearing too busy overall.

Mismatched upholstered chairs featuring the same pattern

Photo credit: Pinterest

Style

Every decorating style consists of unique elements, so use those elements to mix and match your dining chairs. For a traditional dining room, you can use the style’s characteristics – such as detailed carvings and dark wood tones – to find unity among your chairs. If you have a modern dining room, seek out chairs that are simple and sleek.

Modern mismatched chairs

Photo credit: Pinterest

If your dining room is lacking the excitement you would like, have some fun mixing and matching dining chairs to create visual interest. With a quirky setup, you’ll never have to worry about your style being bland or predictable!

By Wendy Weinert

 

How to pull off an eclectic look in your space

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

Going eclectic is a great idea if you’ve collected an assortment of stylish furniture and decorative accessories over the years. While mixing styles is encouraged in the eclectic style though, it’s not a look where you can simply throw pieces together without some consideration. Here are three tips to keep in mind when designing an eclectic space:

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

1. Achieve the right mix of styles

To keep the room from appearing too chaotic, narrow your focus down to just three or four styles and avoid letting one style dominate the space. If you’re trying to create an eclectic room but are using mostly modern furniture, the remaining styles will look as though they don’t belong. Make sure there is a balance among the different styles so guests aren’t confused upon entering the room.

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

2. Don’t fear accessories

In some styles, the overuse of accessories is considered a big no-no. This is not the case for eclectic homes, where filling your space with decorative accessories is actually encouraged. So rather than feature just one work of art you admire, hang up a group of four or five pieces of artwork together.

How to pull of an eclectic look in your space

3. Find ways to tie the look together

Unity is the key to designing an eclectic space. Without unity, your room will come off as being random and not put-together. To make sense of the mixture of styles, it’s important to tie the look together through colors and shapes. So if you have a red table in the room, look for ways to add that same color red throughout the room, even if it’s something small like a flower vase.

Eclectic style homes might be hard to pull off, but when done correctly, the look is often cozy and intriguing. Try putting together an eclectic room in your home and let guests be impressed by your skillful interior design skills!

By Wendy Weinert

Gold, Silver or Bronze: Choosing the Right Color For Your Bathroom

Photo credit: JJT Trading

Photo credit: JJT Trading

Whether your bathroom is traditional, modern, or eclectic, finding the right color fixtures that match the overall style of your remodel can be a daunting process. Today’s fixtures are available in a variety of different metals, finishes, and price ranges, but are dominated by three main colors: gold, silver, and bronze. While each have their own advantages and disadvantages, matching your fixtures to a room’s lighting, budget, and theme will ensure that your bathroom will reflect your taste level and personality.

GOLD

Gold-colored fixtures, particularly polished and satin brass, have seen a rise in popularity over the past several years and help give a bathroom a romantic, vintage look. Brass fixtures are generally more expensive than other finishes, and matching gold-colored fixtures to other metals can be more challenging than with silver or bronze-colored finishes. On the other hand, brass is easy to find, easy to clean, and extremely durable—brass fixtures catch the eye and can act as the “wow factor” in your bathroom—classy and bold, without being overly showy. Brass and other gold-colored finishes look best in bathrooms that use lots of porcelain, white marble, and warm lighting.

Photo credit: Homedit

Photo credit: Homedit

SILVER

Timeless, clean looking, and available in a variety of finishes—silver fixtures polish up nicely and look great under a variety of lighting conditions. Silver-colored finishes such as polished or brushed nickel, chrome, and stainless steel offer the most variety of these medal-themed metals and go well with basically any style bathroom whether it be contemporary, modern, traditional, or eclectic. Silver-colored finishes tend to go very well together, and a mixture of matte and glossy finishes (chrome faucets with brushed nickel lighting fixtures, for example) allows you to highlight certain elements of a room while blending others. While generally the most affordable of the three metal finishes, glossy finishes like chrome can be susceptible to water spots and fingerprints and have to be cleaned often—something to keep in mind before purchasing.

Photo Credit: Amba

Photo Credit: Amba

BRONZE

Rustic, classic, and elegant, bronze-colored fixtures have always been loved for their bold, warm look. At home in a traditional, Tuscan, or Mediterranean setting, finishes like copper and brushed or oil-rubbed bronze are great at adding an old-world feel to any bathroom. Best matched with more intricate lighting that features scrollwork, French, or classic styling, bronze fixtures are durable, easily matched with existing pieces, and will naturally color with age, developing a rich, unmistakable patina. Some bronze finishes, like copper, require a bit more maintenance than others but have natural antimicrobial properties (most germs eventually die after contact with copper surfaces) and will actually “heal” scratches over time—after a short period, blemishes on copper blend and disappear as the fixture’s patina darkens.

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Remember to take some time to consider factors like lighting, style, and the practical use the room will see—if you have kids in the house, finishes like chrome may smudge too easily; if you are on a budget, stainless steel is a great option; if you’re going for a bright, eye-catching look, consider polished brass or another gold-colored fixture, but for a more relaxed, rustic approach look to bronze. No matter which color fixtures you choose, knowing about the pros and cons of each can help you make a smart, informed decision that will leave your new bathroom looking medal-worthy.

Ready to change your dining room style? Start with a new dining table.

Dining rooms can be designed in a variety of different styles and sizes, but most have at least one important thing in common: they are all defined by a dining table.

Photo Credit: Monarch Specialties

Photo Credit: Monarch Specialties

If you’re ready to change up your dining room style and give it a new look, you’ll want to start with buying the right table. The choices you make regarding a table’s shape, design and color can have a huge impact on the room’s overall style and can help set the tone you were hoping to achieve.

Consider these four dining room styles:

Traditional – If you prefer a more traditional dining room look, find a table with styling characteristics to match. Traditional dining tables do not have to be a particular shape, but rectangular and round tables are common. You will also want to look for tables with rich wood finishes and ornate detailing like carved legs.

Traditional Dining Table Bellacor Number 397321

Traditional Dining Table Bellacor Number 397321

Contemporary – If you want a no-fuss living room, then a modern style table is for you. Minimalist lines without any ornate detailing are features you will want to look for in a modern table. Contemporary tables are often made from metals and feature a glass tabletop. If you have kids and the thought of glass tables scares you, then sleek wooden tables also work just fine.

Modern Dining Table. Bellacor #832353

Modern Dining Table. Bellacor #832353

Rustic/country – A nice country style dining room is easy to achieve with tables that have distressed or weathered wood. So instead of looking for that perfectly crafted table, you’ll want a table with some imperfections. Chipped finishes or a chunky appearance give the table character, which is perfect for a country style dining room.

Rustic Dining Room Table. Bellacor #736463

Rustic Dining Room Table. Bellacor #736463

Transitional – If you can’t choose between a contemporary or traditional style dining room, go transitional. A transitional style combines traditional and contemporary characteristics to create a more casual look. For example, if a table has a rich Cherry finish mixed with sleek lines, it is considered to be transitional. This style is perfect if you prefer a more laid-back environment.

Transitional Dining Table. Bellacor #753390

Transitional Dining Table. Bellacor #753390

What dining room style do you want to create? Once you’ve determined the style, simply find a dining table to match!

By Wendy Weinert

 

Dining room tables—round or square?

The rectangular dining room table has been the heart of many dining rooms for years. You’ve all seen the grand dining rooms depicted in movies. You know, the ones that have tables so long, people on opposite ends can’t even talk to each other. But society (and design) is changing and now people are shifting away from the formal and adding more casual, cozy and fun layouts with open floor plans. This new trend has allowed people to move toward smaller table shapes and many families share their meals together on a tables that are either round or square. But which shape is better for your home?

Photo Credit: Ferniehirst Castle

Photo Credit: Ferniehirst Castle

Both round and square tables have their advantages and offer an intimate dining experience, so which one you use might depend on your situation and personal preference. Some people simply prefer the look of round over square (or vice versa) and make a decision based on style. Judging by appearance, however, might not always give you the best shape for your situation. Think about the benefits of each shape before making a decision.

Square

A square table fits in perfectly with square rooms and can be placed against the wall if you only need seating for three people. Square tables generally provide more surface space for people to work on and with four legs, are more stable than round tables. Another reason to get a square table is if you ever need to expand. Some tables are designed to expand into a larger table, or you can easily set two tables together.

SteveSilverSquareTable

Round

While square tables provide stability and balance, round tables offer leg room and space to walk around. Many round tables are held up with a single pedestal, centrally located. This allows people more freedom to move their legs without bumping them into the table’s legs or another person’s. The rounded corners of the table save space and make it much easier for people to walk around the dining room.

SteveSilverRound
Whichever you choose, you can be certain a smaller table will make evening meals with loved ones much cozier.

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Consider a sideboard for your contemporary home

The use of sideboards dates back to 18th century Europe and soon after became popular in American dining rooms. Originally, sideboards were only considered dining room furniture, and they were used to serve food and store dishware.

A lot has changed since the 1700s; what was once stored on sideboards is now put away in kitchen cupboards and food is often placed on the dining room table or kitchen counter. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t have a sideboard in your home. Over time, the use of sideboards has changed and they can be used in almost any room of the house.

MahoganySideboard

Today, a sideboard can satisfy multiple different needs and has evolved into a very useful piece of furniture. And now, many of the newer sideboards built are actually designed to better meet that current functionality (although you can still have the original dining room look if you want). Just like its original purpose, a sideboard can be used to house items, but instead of just the dining room, can be placed in the bedroom, living room or wherever you need to remove some clutter.

Sideboard

Many sideboards offer hidden storage space, so anything you need to put away can be thrown in without being on display. If a display is what you want, use the top to place decorative items like photos or a plant. You can also get a glass sideboard for any items you want to stored, but also seen.

black sideboard

While sideboards have changed to become a “use however you want to” piece of furniture, they can still be used as originally intended. An elegant or antique sideboard looks great in a more formal dining room.

Sideboards are normally placed up against a wall, seeing as they only have cupboards and drawers on one side, but they don’t necessarily have to be. Sideboards can also separate two different rooms, such as the kitchen and dining room.

The purpose and proper use of sideboards is no longer set in stone. Think outside the box and find ways you can use a sideboard in your own home.

deskSideboard

 

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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.

exposed_hanging_bulbs_kitchen_lighting

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.

FloorLampExposedBulb

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.