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 fill an open shelving unit with purpose

Open shelving, to me, is a great concept. It gives people the chance to store household items and add visual appeal to their space as well. Of course, open shelving units don’t automatically bring style to a room. It all depends on what items you choose to store and where you place them. Here are some tips that I’ve found useful when filling an open shelf.

The best items to store can be considered decorative, too. open shelves with blue

Behind closed doors, it doesn’t matter what I choose to store because those objects will only be seen when the doors are open. With an open shelf, however, I’m putting items on display for all to see – which means I want to choose appealing objects. Books in the living room, dishes in the kitchen or towels in the bathroom could all be featured on open shelving units. Remember, some things should be left hidden in a cabinet!

Decorations can be used to fill empty spaces and to enhance the overall look.
Photo credit: Millas Hem

Photo credit: Millas Hem

 

There’s nothing wrong with filling an open shelf with only decorative items, but using shelves to display household objects can help you save space and keep your room organized. I think that a mix of functional and decorative items is best. Picture frames and other decor items can be used to complete the shelf display, fill an empty space and ultimately improve the look. If you want to add both visual and practical appeal, decorative storage boxes can be a great solution. They allow you to store unappealing household items and add style to your shelf.

You can show off the most appealing pieces by displaying them at eye level. open shelves silver

If your open shelving unit is positioned close to the ceiling, you can get away with storing less-appealing items. If I have a shelf at eye level, however, it matters what I choose to feature. Save your best objects, those that fit in best with your room’s design and help enhance the look, for the eye-level shelves.

Open shelving units can be a two-in-one solution for your space because they can help with both your room’s organization and its style. With these tips in mind, play around with your open shelves to determine which household items are best to feature.

By Wendy Weinert

First impressions count: How to improve your home’s curb appeal

I’m sure you already know the importance of a good first impression – after all, there’s a reason why we show up to job interviews in suits instead of sweat pants. It’s the same reason why we clean the house before guests come to stay. The interior of your home, however, is not what people will notice first. Curb appeal describes the visual attractiveness of your house when it is seen from the street. Before guests get a peak at the entryway, the living room or the guest room of your home, they will notice your home’s front yard and exterior. Boost your home’s curb appeal and make a great first impression with some of the ideas listed below.

1. Give your home a facelift with a fresh coat of paint.
Photo credit: Piece of Cake/ Piece of Mind

Photo credit: Piece of Cake/ Piece of Mind

If you’re not in love with your home’s current exterior color, choose a new one to dramatically change the appearance of your home. A new coat of paint of the same color can improve the look of your exterior and also helps protect your home from the elements.

2. Consider adding shutters.

Photo credit: PinterestI think shutters are charming and add character to one’s home. If you love shutters as much as I do, consider adding them to enhance your windows and exterior.

3. Light up your home for evening curb appeal.

landscape lightingAt night, it’s hard to make your home look inviting. Adding landscape lighting can give your home a welcoming appearance in the dark, and it also increases safety for you, your family and guests who are moving about the exterior of your home.

4. Dress up your mailbox.

mailboxI rarely see stylish mailboxes, and I think it’s a missed opportunity for homeowners to have some fun with their outdoor decor. You can either buy a new decorative mailbox or keep the one you have and give it some color. Small details like this can have a huge impact on curb appeal.

5. Add decorative touches where you can.

planterUse things such as planters next to the door or a welcome mat on your front porch. Just like the inside of your home, decorative pieces can add style and visual interest to your home’s outward appearance.

Does your home have curb appeal? If not, it may be time to dress up your home’s exterior and make a better impression to those walking by.

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

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Kitchens are meant to be highly functional spaces, but a bad room design can make it difficult for you to use the space effectively. If you’re remodeling your kitchen, be sure to keep these important tips in mind during every stage of the process.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Photo credit: Savvyhomeblog

Storage: Kitchens are typically used to store food, cookware and tableware, which means you’ll need adequate storage space to prevent the room from becoming cluttered. Consider how you will use each cupboard and drawer before you remodel to ensure that every item will have a home. You might also want to look for dual-purpose furniture, such as an island that provides both storage and counter space. You can use ceiling and wall space to hang items like pots and pans.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Photo credit: Homebunch

Preparation: Cooking a meal without adequate surface space can be frustrating and stressful. If you’re remodeling a fairly large kitchen, counter space is probably not much of an issue. Smaller kitchens, however, can be more difficult to plan as you want to have enough counter space without crowding the room. If you can, plan at least 36 inches of uncluttered countertop space for preparation and another 21 to 36 inches for cooking. If your kitchen space allows, an island is a great option for preparing food.

Kitchen too crowded and cluttered? Try this recipe for a successful remodel

Lighting: Forming a lighting plan for the kitchen can be tricky. You want to feel comfortable in your kitchen, but you’ll also need direct lighting for performing certain tasks like washing dishes or preparing food. Every kitchen, no matter how small, should have a combination of ambient lighting, accent lighting and task lighting to achieve the right balance. If you have a kitchen island, pendants are a great option for adding both task and decorative lighting. Undercabinet lighting is often used to illuminate darker counter spaces and make preparing food easier and safer.

A successful remodel starts with a well-thought-out plan. Keep these tips in mind throughout your remodeling process and design a kitchen that you’ll love.

By Wendy Weinert

 

How to decorate a space with white walls

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: Vosgesparis

When it comes to interior design, white walls are often misunderstood. People tend to think of them as dull, when really they can be used to create an elegant or lively space. The key to designing such a space is knowing how to work with your white walls effectively. Whether you’re stuck with white walls as a renter or you’re simply ready to try something new, these three decorating ideas will help you design a space you’ll love.

How to decorate a space with white walls

Photo credit: My Scandinavian Home

Contrast white walls with bright colors

White walls don’t have to be boring if you incorporate bright colors throughout the room. Instead of relying on your walls to create a colorful space, decorate using bold colors with high contrast and make the room pop. How you choose to add color is up to you. Furniture, rugs, curtains, light fixtures, wall art and pillows can all make an impact.

Decorate an all-white space

Use white walls to your advantage and take the look even further by creating an all-white room. When done correctly, all-white spaces are elegant and refreshing. To keep your all-white room from looking flat, use various shades of white throughout the room and rely heavily on texture to create depth. After a stressful or hectic day, an all-white room will feel soothing and help you to relax.

How to decorate a space with white walls

Bellacor Number: 545681

Use white walls as backdrop for artwork

If you love art or often create your own, use a white wall as a backdrop for your favorite pieces and create a gallery in your space. A white gallery wall is perfect because you have more flexibility when choosing artwork to hang. With a white backdrop, you don’t have to worry about colors clashing or overwhelming the room with too many.

White walls should be embraced, not dreaded. Try working with your white walls by using one of these decorating ideas, and you might find you actually prefer them.

By Wendy Weinert

Mad about ‘Mad Men’s’ midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Dapper suits, cocktails and advertising – who’s ready for “Mad Men” to start up again?  The seventh and final season of AMC’s award-winning series, which starts on Sunday, April 13, will bring back everyone’s favorite characters, dramas and, of course, that incredible midcentury modern style.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Mad Men set

As its name suggests, midcentury modern was first popular from the early 1950s to about 1970 and, when the look went out of style, only hardcore design enthusiasts remained appreciative fans. But that’s all changed now. Ever since “Mad Men” first started in 2007, viewers have been fawning over the show’s sophisticated set and, thankfully, characteristics of the midcentury modern style have now made their way back into people’s homes.

Interested in bringing a little of that “Mad Men” style into your own home? Here are some general rules to keep in mind.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Photo credit: Modern Constructs

Less is more

This style does not encourage over-accessorizing or ornate detailing. Look for furniture pieces that feature clean lines and simple forms and choose your accent décor carefully. While less is more in midcentury modern, don’t be fooled into thinking that the look is boring. This style is all about making an impact with fewer pieces.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Make a statement with light fixtures

Like I said before, it’s important that you make every piece count and this style especially loves to make a statement with light fixtures. Look for pendants or chandeliers with clean, geometric lines that help dramatize your space and bring it to life.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Contrast neutrals with bright colors

Natural, earthy hues are a staple in midcentury modern design, but it’s essential that the look is completed with a few strong colors in each room. Add pops of color to your space with bold wall art, throw pillows or curtains.

You don’t have to get your midcentury modern fix just by watching “Mad Men.” The best part about midcentury modern furniture is that you can pair pieces with other common styles to create a look that shows influences of the past, but still fits in with this decade.

By Wendy Weinert

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Art deco may have been a popular interior design style during the mid-1920s to 1940s, but the strong style is making a comeback. Just tune into “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and you’ll see just how captivating the art deco style can be. Fallon’s new art deco influenced studio set makes a stunning statement that you simply can’t help admiring – and envying.

While Fallon’s new studio is certainly impressive, there’s no need to be jealous. You may not be from the 1920s or host “The Tonight Show,” but you can still create a striking art deco look just by incorporating these characteristics in your home:

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Man Made Home

Eye-catching colors and contrasts

If you watched the premiere of “The Tonight Show,” you might have been laughing along with Fallon’s goofy jokes during the opening monologue. More than likely, you were also noticing the vibrant blue, floor-length curtain behind him. The Art Deco style is all about making a statement, so decorate your home with deep, bright colors and contrast them with metallic colors like gold, silver, or chrome.

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Bold geometric shapes

Soft floral prints have no place in an art deco space. Remember the city skyline backdrop behind Fallon’s desk? While you don’t have to decorate your home with skyscrapers, you can give your space an art deco feel with accessories that feature geometric designs like a throw pillow or a piece of artwork.

Jimmy Fallon’s art deco studio on ‘The Tonight Show’ and how to get the look in your home

Photo credit: gettype

Streamlined furniture

When choosing furniture, look for modern pieces that are streamlined and feature a no-nonsense design. Keep in mind that the art deco look is strong, so you want your furniture to be without frills. Furniture that features sleek, strong curved lines is perfect in an art deco setting.

Jimmy Fallon’s new studio is stunning to look at, so why not make a statement in your home as well? By incorporating some of the more common art deco characteristics in your home’s interior design, you can also create a space that is both captivating and elegant

By Wendy Weinert

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

In interior design there are trends and guidelines that homeowners can follow, but trends change and guidelines are only guidelines. There are no hard-fast rules to dictate how people should decorate their home. So then why are there are all of these unwritten rules hindering us from designing the home that we really want? It’s time to debunk some of those common interior design myths and start breaking the so-called “rules.”

mindy-kaling-interior-house-05

Photo Credit: Parade

1. Everything has to match

While you want your room to look cohesive and put-together, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate different prints, patterns and textures. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Mindy Kaling’s home for proof! If you’re worried about overwhelming the room, just stay within the same color palette to pull the look together.

white kitchen

Photo credit: Imgfave

2. Every room needs color

If you want an all-white room, then go for it! There are other ways, besides decorating with colorful pieces, to add dimension to one’s space. Use texture as a way to liven up the room and decorate with different shades and tones of the same color.

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

3. Chandeliers belong in formal spaces

Chandeliers may have belonged in the sophisticated dining room or the grand foyer in the past, but not anymore! With recent design trends and the shift toward trendier, more casual designs, a chandelier can now be used in any room of the home – formal or casual.

4. Area rugs are only for hardwood floors

Area rugs are in fact a great way to cozy up a hardwood floor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a rug in a carpeted room as well. If you have a neutral carpet, a textured rug featuring a bold color or print is a great way to add some visual excitement to your space.

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

Photo credit: Cheesy Chic

5. Decorating “rules” must be followed

There’s no harm in following decorating guidelines, but don’t be afraid to break the rules to create a space that is truly you! All-in-all, your home should reflect your personality and style, rather than be a representation of how you think your space should look.

By Wendy Weinert

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

On March 2, millions of viewers will tune in to the 86th Academy Awards ceremony, some hoping to see their favorite actor or actress win an award, others mainly interested in the gorgeous ball gowns and handsome tuxes. Unfortunately, however, viewers miss the most captivating part of the night – the Governors Ball. While beautiful people, designer dresses and stunning jewelry make up most of the eye-candy during the awards ceremony, it’s the custom-designed light fixtures that steal the show at the Oscars after party.

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

You’ve been to parties, and maybe even a fancy gala or two, but nothing quite compares to the Governors Ball. Only 1,500 people are invited, many of them the Oscar winners, nominees and show presenters. As you’ve probably already guessed (just from the guest list alone), the Governors Ball is no ordinary after party and a couple of hanging lights would never do it justice.

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

The Governors Ball is an event for the best of the best, and the party’s decor, therefore, has to rise to the occasion. For the past 24 years, event producer Cheryl Cecchetto has been in charge of decorating the Governors Ball and along with her Sequoia Productions team has been breaking new ground in lighting and design.

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

Photo credit: Daily Life

Just to give you an example of her incredible work, at last year’s 2013 Governors Ball, Cecchetto had a 120-foot chandelier custom-made specifically for the big night. It was an elliptical, six-tiered chandelier with 18,000 LED points of light that changed colors throughout the evening – talk about extreme mood lighting. The chandelier was so big that it actually broke the Guinness Book of World Records for largest chandelier and covered 25 percent of the ballroom!

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

Nadine Froger Photography

That was last year and we can’t wait to see what Cecchetto and her team does next! The transcendent wonder of nature will be this year’s theme, and it has been said that the ball will feature lush vertical gardens where the guests can mingle under the stars.

By Wendy Weinert