One of the newest trends in the interior design world is to not follow a trend at all! I personally embrace the changing idea of what is fresh and new but I believe in sticking to the classics too. A trick that plenty of designers and decorators use in their work is to throw in organic accents even in the most modern theme. Fabric is a great way to do this especially if you are on a budget or make changes to your design often. For instance a wool bouclé throw, some birch cotton pillow covers, or a wool tartan plaid for welting on dining room parsons chairs can make a huge difference if the room feels a little cold.
Another option for bringing in organics is to use untreated materials such as iron, wood, or even stone and pottery. The smallest things can have a huge impact. In fact if you have a modern aesthetic it may be best to use a small amount because it would have a bigger effect since everything else is a contrast to the organic addition. For this application I like to use antique iron grates for wall hangings, pottery for storage or wall dècor, raw wood frames for high-end art, and stone for finishing fireplaces and kitchen and bath fixtures.
Finally, the organic theme can be easily overdone. Don’t go overboard unless you’re ready to commit to the modern farmhouse style. If you are interested in using some of these tricks in your design, know that there is a huge supply of these items in antique stores, thrift shops, and online at places like Etsy.com or Ebay.com. Search for certain things and try to find a good price. The point of organic items is to recycle something that’s already been used for a practical application and you’re bringing that energy into your home to make it feel more practical itself and of course its more fun that way!
all photos found within the public domain
It’s still warm outside and we aren’t even thinking about the holidays but fall is getting close whether we are ready or not. Now is a good time to freshen up your home with some transitional summer style! Of course everyone goes to bright defined prints and saturated solids for summer but the good news this year is that you can keep your aesthetic for fall by only changing a few things! These things should stay the same to create a solid base to work from:
- Choose a neutral color for your walls and find solids in trending colors for woodwork.
- Lamps and ceramics should be lacquered or have a high sheen; metallic is also a good choice.
- Use dark neutrals for frames and hardware for draperies and lighting, I like dark metal and distressed black wood (don’t be afraid of black, its a neutral that can almost always be used with any colors even navy and brown).The point of these dark pieces is to keep the geometric parts of your design streamlined and use color and pattern in your more organic forms to create a more visually interesting space.
- When it comes to fabric, you should use basket-woven cottons and linens for things that need to be accented. Even if it has a pattern it’s good to get a texture in the room that isn’t flat, shiny, or luxurious.
- Drapery: We like Silk and Cotton for summer windows. Natural untreated fabrics are at the top of our list for drapery. Raw silk, slubby silk chintz, slubbed cotton duck and twill, and of course linen are our favorites. Go for big patterns if you have a casual or low key space. If it’s more formal go for the linen or raw silk and keep it simple and elegant. Remember that even a living room can use some class, combine effects to get it perfect according to your own taste.
- Upholstery: For transitional pieces for fall to summer I am a huge fan of cotton velvets and chenilles for large pieces and I like heavily textured fabrics for accents like chairs and benches. Its helpful to use solids on furniture because you can change out throws and pillows depending on your mood or the occasion.
- Pillows: You can use the number of pillows and the arrangement of them to your advantage. Three pillows on a sofa gives a more contemporary look. Large pillows, say 24" or 28", gives a more casual and comfortable feel. To keep it clean, use two pillows per side. Depending on the size of the sofa, you should use a pillow that is 2" to 4" larger for the ones on the outside. Hint: Sectionals, while comfortable, are hard to accessorize. A good way to fix this is to just fill it up with as many pillows as you want and use coordinating throws at different levels; across the back on one end and on the seat at the other. When it comes to fabric go for cotton prints, it’s easy and inexpensive to change them out.
Accessories: For seasonal decorating please avoid using cliched things like pillows with seasonal greetings and Santa Claus cookie jars, these will only lead to dysfunction and sadness. Find things that play off of the traditional: red and green throws in transitional hues patterns, floral arrangements with seasonal flowers, or a sassy accent rug for a doorway. It’s very easy to accessorize. Just shop for things that speak to you, a good rule of thumb for decorating anything. If you surround yourself with things you like you’ll see that your design just comes together perfectly.
Finally, seasonal decorating is not my favorite thing in the world. To me it’s better to change up your design whenever you start getting bored with your home. It could be every week or every year. It is by no means a rule that you have to redecorate every three months!
You are probably aware that Pantone’s color of the year for 2013 is Emerald 17-5641. I think people are a little afraid to use it though. The key with Emerald is to just go for it without thinking about the consequences. Find a shade that speaks to you, use paint and accessory colors that work with the temperature of the Emerald shade. That’s the most common mistake that people make with jewel tones: clashing color temperatures. If you use an emerald with a more blue hue then you need to stick to cool colors for your walls and accents; more yellowed hue, use a warm color to complete the look. Anyone can pull off emerald, you just have to have confidence and always always ALWAYS PAINT LAST!
Fabrics: clockwise from top left: Armstrong 1865 Emerald, Malakos Malachite, Landsmeer Ultramarine
Photos: Public Domain, Pantone, Jonathan Bailey
This year we have seen some gorgeous things from some of our favorite designers’ fall lines. So far our favorite collection has been the Dwell Studio Line from Robert Allen Design. We are really into the colors they’re using and the mod motifs they have shown. The other great thing about this line is that they offer complete design services through their collections; coordinating solids, textured patterns, printed cottons, and linens are available in the entire line and some are even transferable between collections. Fantastic prices with our Affordable Quick Ship program make it easy to get exactly what you want!
Fabrics Shown: Caravan Citrine left, Annex Brindle right
Photos Courtesy: Robert Allen Designs
We have some great new fabrics to replace those grey and white chevrons from last winter! Forget what you know about fall colors, this year its bright and fun colors and highly textural. We are loving tweeds, Ikats, mod prints, and overlay patterns and we have lots of them in stock and in our Affordable Quick Ship program!