As New Englanders, by the time June rolls around we are more than ready to spend all of our time outside. We roll our car windows down, our favorite restaurants dust off their patios, and pool covers are peeled back. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and life is good.
This time of year, nothing is better than outdoor living. A perfect patio inspires you to spend time outside the house and gives you a beautiful place to wring every last minute out of your day. On the flip side, if your outdoor space isn’t just right, it may persuade you to stay inside despite the beautiful weather. Here are a few tips to help make your outdoor living space a wonderful spot to host family and friends, or just relax with a glass of wine after a long day.
This is a trend we are seeing a lot of lately, and don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon. Picture this: it is a beautiful summer day and you and your family are sitting around the dining room table-staring longingly into the back yard. Watching nice weather from indoors can cause a feeling of guilt- especially here in New England where it is only here for a few months. Creating an outdoor living space that mimics the comforts of your home provides a comfy, inviting space to enjoy the outdoors. Consider it an extension of your home. You can even add an outdoor fireplace and a TV!
With the popularity of open air dining growing, why not create your own outdoor kitchen and dining area. You’ve probably already got the grill, but let’s take it one step further. We love outdoor kitchens that include pizza ovens, wet bars and even refrigerators. By creating a kitchen outdoors, it allows you to cut down on your trips inside when hosting an event. With an outdoor kitchen, the sky is the limit (literally)!
Add bright pillows, vibrant rugs and mosaic tables to your outdoor space for a pop of summer color. When it comes to outdoor spaces, be fearless with your color combinations. When we think summer, two things come to mind. Coastal colors and bright colors. We love blues and greens but also love the way a bright color can lift a mood and is the perfect symbol of the summertime.
Bonus Tip-Add Some Tech:
Bring your indoor surround sound system outdoors with the placement of just a few speakers. Perfect for entertaining or just lounging.
Are you interested in creating a perfect outdoor living space at your home? Let us help! Call us for a consultation before the summer slips away!
The skinny windows behind the bed did not scream “glamorous,” which is why we employed an optical illusion. We trick the eye by hanging drapery wider than the window, and only covering the window frame to create the illusion that the windows are large and fill the wall.
The showstopper in this room is the gold leaf flower wall art. A photo doesn’t do this piece justice – gold foiled sculpture mounted on lined boards and placed in acrylic shadow boxes. Yes please! Plus the plush and comfy swivel chairs provide a place to sit and enjoy this one of a kind piece.
No detail was overlooked in this space. Using French natural nailheads, a Greek Key pattern adorns the side of the upholstered headboard. We like to think of nailhead as the jewelry of a room.
That Greek Key pattern is mimicked in the benches at the foot of the bed. The gold base of the benches add to the glamorous bedroom design. These benches serve as a functional foot-board where you can sit to put on shoes or your favorite pup can curl up on at night.
A lighted nightstand highlights the gold decor pieces, and a beautiful gold bedside lamp amps up the glamour. Short drapery rods allowed us to dress the windows without distracting from the upholstered headboard with a rod that spanned the length of the room.
Rich fabrics used for the duvet and pillows bring the glamour home. Gold and grey play beautifully off the deep purple walls.
Would you like to call a room like this home? Call us today to book a consultation and we will help you bring glamour into your bedroom!
Ten years ago when this Longmeadow family moved into their home, the kitchen had a dated style that they always hoped to update. Later having three young boys and two large dogs, their kitchen and dining space became not only outdated in style but also lacked the function needed for their growing family. The kitchen had very little counter space and a confined cooking area that was disjointed from the dining room. Because the dining room was removed from the kitchen, the family naturally gathered around the smaller eat-in table which further crowded the kitchen. Lisa Scheff Designs was brought onto the project with the goal of designing a more functional and modern white kitchen within the existing footprint of the home.
Lisa first widened the opening by removing most of the wall between the dining room and the kitchen, making an immediate impact on both the feel and the function of the space. The dining room no longer felt disconnected from the kitchen and both the line of sight and the flow of traffic in these areas improved dramatically, causing the space to feel much larger than it had previously.
An over-sized island acted as a beautiful statement piece in the center of the kitchen. The island combined a rectangular counter height area for food preparation along with an attached circular island at bar height which serves as a central gathering place to dine in the kitchen. An island of this size is typically impossible to top with one continuous slab of stone. However, using these two connected pieces provided the desired length without any visible seams in the granite. Additionally, the raised circular design of the seating area creates a more intimate gathering space for family and guests.
“The round eat-in island is perfect for our family,” comments the homeowner. “Instead of all facing the same direction, we are actually able to face each other when we are sitting around the island. And, when I’m drinking my morning coffee at the island, I can now see directly into the living room and dining room and can keep an eye on everything happening in house.”
To maximize the family’s comfort and efficiency in this space, tile flooring was installed over radiant floor heating. The tile flooring will not only be durable enough to withstand heavy traffic from their family and two dogs, but also will conduct and radiate the heat most efficiently. Lisa Scheff Designs unified the space with a tranquil color palette and natural materials. Neutral colors and classic finishes ensure that this kitchen will be in style regardless of the current trends. As the finishing touch, red accessories and custom bar stools were used to bring in a fun pop of color that reflected the family’s lively personality.
“This white kitchen was made for OUR family from top to bottom,” comments the homeowner. “That’s how I know that we will love it for years to come!”
We love a white a sofa. It’s a clean, inviting look, and with shows like HGTV’s Fixer Upper featuring white sofas nearly every week, it has really become a trend. But practically, who can own a white sofa, at least not ones that they use? White is not a forgiving color for stains, especially chocolate finger prints, wine spills, or a coffee splash.
But we found a solution so you can have it all: a white sofa and a clean sofa.
Technology has come a long way in the fabric industry, and stain resistance and washable fabrics are a prime example. Enter Crypton washable and stain-resistant fabrics. Take a look at this Crypton fabric we tested by pouring red wine. The fabric resists the stain, allowing us to wipe away the wine before it stains the sample.
We are currently working on a project where our client wants a white or linen color sofa, but has a young son (read: we’re afraid of it getting stained). We sent her three fabrics samples in the right colorways, and asked her to do her worst – try to stain them and then try to wash them. She did, and she was amazed by the durability of these washable fabrics.
“I have tested all of the couch fabrics. I started with Cranberry juice, then rubbed chocolate bar onto them, then scribbled all over with red felt tip pen and then rubbed it with this morning’s coffee. Here’s how they stood up:
Sunbrella (middle fabric)- beaded up beautifully with the cranberry juice, but still has a stain on it from the chocolate, so it was a fast out.
Crypton washable and stain-resistant fabrics: (1st and 3rd fabric) They both did well with all of the stains. However, when I used the method that Crypton suggested- using a brush to gently take out the stains- the Wisdom Creme (3rd fabric) pulled really easily. The fabric just couldn’t handle any scratching at all. Plus, the coffee isn’t 100% out. The Intuition Sand (1st fabric), however, handled the brushing much better- very little sign of pulling. And, there is no staining at all!”
If you would like to learn more about Crypton washable and stain-resistant fabrics, give us a call. We would love to show you this amazing technology.
We know that gray is the new beige, that trend is nothing new, but grey doesn’t have to be used in a completely modern space. We love this guest bathroom where modern meets traditional style. Our vision was high end hotel feel with a simple clean look.
Here is a closer looks at the vanity wall vignette. We chose a dark stain for the cabinetry to complement the white stone-top. The square shades on the vanity sconces add to the modern appeal, while the dark wood on the vanity provides a bit of traditional style. A pop of greenery by the sink provides an organic, fresh vibe that we love in any space. Our favorite piece is the watercolor of a proud schnauzer. We love to see the client’s personality come through in the accessories, and this family is a dog family. Plus, the warm colors in the painting complement our color palette.
We didn’t ignore any details in this guest bathroom space. The pebble tiles that we chose for the shower floor add to the organic feel, and are so interesting to look at. Because this tile is busy, we limited its use to the shower floor, using a much more subdued large rectangular tile for the shower walls.
Just because we limited the pebble tile to the shower floor doesn’t mean we limited the unique design elements to the shower floor. While we kept the shower walls and ceiling monochromatic, we broke up the large rectangles with small square tiles made of the same material. We divided those tiles with a pencil molding to define the change. Not pictured at this angle is the niche to house shampoo, soap, razors, etc. Because we chose a glass shower door, we made sure to locate the niche in a somewhat hidden spot, to keep the room feeling clean.
Would you like to have a guest bathroom like this in your home? Call us today to schedule a design consultation to make your remodel dreams a reality.
It’s official: The Pantone Color of the Year of 2015 is… Marsala. “This earthy red has wine and a very warm brown underneath, which gives the feeling of groundedness, strength, and confidence,” says Leatrice Eisman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute.
This creamy wine hue is quite a bit different than last year’s Radiant Orchid, but it seems more versatile. Not as dramatic as oxblood or even burgundy, but a gorgeous terracotta red shade. While the Color of the Year can be applied to just about anything – from makeup to fashion – we focus our attention on where this color shows up in interior design.
“It has a richness that lends sophistication. When you wear it, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy—you’ll find you get positive reactions form others and it builds up your confidence.” Eisman explains that we’ve seen glimpses of marsala in the late ‘60s into the ‘70s and a touch in the ‘80s, but it’s a very modern hue that totally suits the times.You may not have heard of Pantone, but the color authorities have been used as an industry resource for decades. After announcing the color of the millennium in 1999 there was so much public interest that Pantone decided to name a color every year based on their extensive research.
Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.
The Versatility of Marsala
- Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
- Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great
go-tocolor for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
- Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
- An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury
Because of the brown undertones in marsala, it can be used both as a pop of color in a room or as the grounding “neutral.”
Generally, we suggest with the color of the year that you keep it to inexpensive pieces that are easy to change, but the neutral feel to this color will allow it last longer in a space than radiant orchard or emerald did. This color can work well on upholstery, in rugs, as paint or in your accessories, but make sure to choose classic patterns and silhouettes to pair it with.
Design myth: you can’t mix metals.
Once upon a time, mixing metals in home decor was viewed a bad practice and a decision usually had to be made between silver and gold, or chrome and brass.
We get asked about this supposed faux-pas all the time. Clients either ask, “can I mix metals in the same room?” or they say, “Oh I can’t use that silver table I already have gold in the room. Isn’t that bad?”
But we would like to bust this myth. Yes, you can mix metals! In fact, mixing metallics in a space adds dimension to a room.
Over last few years, mixing metals in jewelry has been a growing trend, and we love it in interior design as well.
Now I’m not telling you to layer ever metal finish you can find in the same room, and I’m also not saying just because you can mix metals that you should. There are ways to mix metals well and ways that make it look haphazard.
Mixing Metals in Home Decor – How to mix metals well:
1) Don’t go over board with the finishes. Two metallic finishes (silver with gold or nickel with oil rubbed bronze) is enough. However, within that color scheme, mix a variety of textures and colors (meaning dark and light golds, weathered silver finished with polished).
2) Make sure to have a variety of pieces: don’t have a single piece in a different finish. If you incorporate a gold lamp, make sure to have gold accents elsewhere in the room. This makes the look purposeful rather than haphazard.
3) Incorporate the mixing of metals into fabrics used in the room as well. This contributes to the cohesive look of the room and warms up the feel.
How do you mix metals in your spaces?
Gray is the new beige, and we love this trend.
Trends in upholstery fashions and interior design continue to change and shift every year. The changes are often very subtle from year to year, but add up over time to create a different look and feel.
Neutrals continue to play a very important role and color is used in patterns on accent pillows, in lighting and accessories to add a punch or pop in a room.
Maybe the most popular color to emerge recently has been gray. It continues to be popular in indoor as well as outdoor furniture. It has dominated the market in upholstery and the shades range from light smoky grays to deep slates and dark charcoal.
Gray’s popularity can be attributed to the fact that it serves as an anchor to play up brighter colors.
The nice thing about grey is that while it is trendy now, it is simply a neutral, so you don’ have to worry about it going out of style quickly.
Over the past week, I’ve heard 2 or 3 people say something along the lines of, “wallpaper is out,” and I’d like to step in to it’s defense. There was an era of bad wallpaper. I can see something like this room, born in the 80’s as just wrong. But let’s be honest, there is so much more wrong with this look than just the wallpaper.
Like anything with design, there are right and wrong applications. The wrong proportion of art can leave a wall looking bear, the wrong color paint can cause a room to feel disjointed, a rug that’s too small can throw off the whole scale of a room. In the same sense, the wrong application of wallpaper can be, well, just bad.
Here are some modern uses of wallpaper and some wallpaper ideas that we love.
1: An accent wall.
Don’t over use that pattern. One wall can be enough! Choose a complementary color from the wall paper for the remaining walls. Notice how the accent wall draws your attention in the dining room, yet there is no art, just wallpaper.
You can also layer art over the wallpaper, but make sure that the two pieces do not compete for attention but rather work together to create a cohesive look.
2: Wallpaper as Art
Wallpaper can be gorgeous, but some colors and patterns may feel too strong for an entire wall. Take one or a couple repeats of the pattern and frame it. Presto: art!!!
This look can complement the color palette you have created or introduce a bold pop of color. Either way, it’s relatively inexpensive art that provides a unique and custom look.
3: Provide an interesting background for a bookcase
This pattern provides interest for an otherwise typical bookcase. Let the pattern speak for itself with simple accessories on the shelves and just a few pops of color. This allows you to create a totally custom concept.
Choose a dramatic paper in a bold color to create more far more interest and a bolder look.
4: Add life and interest to an old piece of furniture.
Use wallpaper to line the inside of drawers for a pop of color when you open them. That design element is mostly for you, but then again isn’t all of your home’s decor?
Pantone announced the Pantone Color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid, a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple, as the color of the year for 2014. We love the idea of a bold punch of color in any room, but caution our clients about jumping aboard the color trends too quickly.
Our Advice for the Color of the Year
Never purchase your big-ticket items in the trendy color. Instead, allow the color to pop off an otherwise neutral palette. That way, if you tire of the 2014 color or want to indulge in 2015’s bold punch, you can do so without breaking the bank.
The vibrancy of this color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color palette.
Choose items such as pillows, ceramic pieces, flowers, art work, throws and other accent pieces to show off the Radiant Orchid. Notice how this bedroom on the left has three pieces in the Orchid that could easily change to blue, yellow, purple, red, etc. in the future.
If a few items in Radiant Orchid is not enough for you, you can also consider painting your walls. Paint is more of a commitment to the color, but relatively inexpensive to change down the road when it’s time to move on to a new color. Plus, you don’t even have to paint the entire room to get the pop. Using an accent wall, painting the ceiling or painting behind cabinetry gives you a magnitude of color for very little money. Notice in this dining room how the purple pops off the white trim, drapery and brown leather dining chairs. There’s no need for more color in the room because wall color makes such a statement. Interest in the rest of the room is created through use of texture and layering various neutrals.
However, you can layer additional colors for an even bolder look. Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.
Here’s some information about Radient Orchid from Pantone.
“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”
“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”
For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past colors include:
- PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
- PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
- PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
- PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
- PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
- PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
- PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
- PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
- PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
- PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
- PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
- PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
- PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
- PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)