Give your neutral color scheme a break, and add a touch of red to create a focal point. A little red goes a long way and is a powerful addition to most interior looks. Experts say that red is a color of passion, love and beauty. In some cultures, it’s associated with excitement, energy and courage. In others, it connotes happiness, good fortune, success and loyalty. Whatever your culture or nationality, it’s clear that interior design with red makes a fashion statement.
Interior design with red can be cheery or sophisticated, contemporary or traditional, depending on the shade you select: from dark, violet-toned burgundy to orangey, tomato red, to bright primary red. And depending on the shade, red can energize a room or make it soothing and cozy. Red also comes in a variety of textures, from glossy lacquer to soft matte in paint, and from soft silk to supple leather in fabrics.
Add just a touch of red with:
- Drapery or furniture fabrics
- Accent lamps
- One wall painted red
- An oriental rug or contemporary carpet
- Painted furniture, especially in Asian or Latin styles
- Patterned red fabrics, in chintz, tapestry, stripe or plaid
- Painted built-in bookshelves – all-over red, or just red on the inside
- A painting with red as the major color
- Even your front door, to give visitors a hint that walking into your house will never be dull!
Are you seeing red in your future? Add this vibrant color to make a design statement. We can help you with the change or any other design change in your home.
A Pop of Pattern Fabric or Color?
Color is definitely a way to make a statement. This orange couch looks great in the living room, providing color off a neutral wall and tying in the orange in the rug. It’s definitely unique, but many people wouldn’t feel comfortable in investing in something with this much character.
Not to worry, you don’t have to choose a bold color to make a statement. The chair below is such a light blue that we could almost call it a neutral, but the pattern is stunning! If you’re having trouble making the jump to pops of color in your home, try some pattern fabric in neutral tones.
Note the contrasting fabric on the ottoman. Mixing colors, patterns and texture provides you with a much more interesting palette. Remember, it’s about coordinating colors, fabrics and patterns, never about matching!
But you don’t have to be subtle with your pattern choices. Trend alert! Patterns are back and often the bolder the better. Think about the scale of the pattern that your choosing for the size of the piece and join the trend. If you don’t want to update your upholstery, add some trendy pillows or window treatments:a much smaller investment to join the trend.
Check out our upholstery portfolio for more ideas about mixing patterns and colors.
Window treatments are designed to dress the window and make it look better. Just as we seek the “right fit” in clothes to flatter our body, there is more to putting up new drapery and window treatments than color choice. A new belt could take an dress from looking like a tent giving you that hour glass figure. In the same light, the height of your window treatment mount can take your window from small and plain to large and extraordinary.
I will demonstrate what I am talking about with some room sketches that I created. Notice the size of the window in the sketch. Its just a normal window in a room with ten foot ceilings. We want to allow that window to continue letting in the maximum about of light with as little blockage as possible. How do we do that?
When mounting our new window coverings, in this case a Roman Shade and new Drapery Panels, we want to cover as little window as possible. Look at how much larger the window looks now because we can’t tell where it begins and where it ends. By mounting the window treatments at the ceiling, we create the facade that our window continues to the ceiling. By stacking the drapery just before the window casing, we allude that the window is wider than it really is.
The treatments also soften the casing of the window. The before and after is stunning, and this is just a digital mock-up. Imagine the difference it would make in your home!
See how we executed this concept with orange and gold fabrics to the left. This window was tall, but thin, so we aimed to make it appear wider to maintain proportion in the room.
Mounting at the ceiling is not appropriate for every room. Mounting height is just one of the considerations that we take when designing custom drapery for our clients. Keep it in mind for your next window project whether your a DIY girl (or guy) or working with a professional window designer. Let us know how it turns out!
See more of our window covering pictures here:
Lately, I have been filling my down time watching HGTV’s “Love It or List It.” It’s great seeing design dilemmas get solved for client’s who think their home is a lost cause. Secretly (or not so secretly), I’m always rooting for Hilary and waiting for the client to say, “We’re going to love it.”
Have you ever noticed that the windows in the finished home all look like the picture to the left? That’s because Hunter Douglas donates gorgeous Silhouettes to the show for the remodels.
Silhouettes are one of our favorite Hunter Douglas products. They are beautiful yet functional which is what we look for in a window fashion. We consider it a crossover product because it provides the functionality of both a shade and a blind. The name “Silhouette” tells you a little bit about how the product works. When closed, the figures behind the sheer look like a silhouette, meaning that you can make out a figure but can’t tell anything about it. Therefore, the sheer provides privacy; however, it does not block light from entering the way a traditional shade or blind does. Note in the external view how you can make out the indoor lighting, but nothing else. Yet when the vanes are open, light is diffused. This allows the sunlight to be distributed through the room still providing up to 87% UV protection preventing fading and discoloration of your furniture.
On Love It or List It, the Silhouettes are usually the sole window treatment, and by themselves, they look great! But I usually like to pair a Silhouette with drapery. The Silhouette acts as a sheer panel that is then framed by the fabric. You could use stationary panels since the Silhouette already provides functionality and privacy so you don’t need the drapery to be functional, just beautiful.
It is our philosophy that custom product is where beauty meets function, and Hunter Douglas Silhouettes are the epitome of that philosophy.
Look for them the next time you’re watching HGTV!
Memorial Day has come and gone, and despite the unseasonably cold weather, the unofficial start of summer is here. Its hard to believe that this season is upon us, but its time to get outside and enjoy the reprieve from a long New England winter. As the weather warms up, and we head outside, unfortunately bugs begin to do the same. If you’re anything like me, you find yourself debating: “enjoy an outdoor dinner on your patio or not deal with mosquitoes and just stay inside?” Citronella helps, but only so much which is why this kind of weather has me thinking about adding a three season room or a screened in porch.
There’s a few things to consider when deciding to build a three seasons addition or to screen in your porch. The first is how you will use you space. A screened in porch is a great addition to living space in the summer months, but it provides very little to no additional insulation. A three seasons room, while usually lacking HVAC, provides insulation from the elements which will give you a longer season of use, particularly in New England. The second consideration, of course, is budget as screening in your porch is much less costly than creating a new room.
Once you’ve decided the direction you want to go in, its time to plan the space. For me, an outdoor living space should have two types of seating: dining and lounging. I like to see a balance of the two because it provides functionality for the room in several different situations. While the items on your porch will be protected from the elements, you want to choose indoor/outdoor furniture and fabrics to prevent mildew and fading over time. Consider including screen shades in your budget to control the sunlight in the space. They will allow you to sit on your porch, even when the setting sun it pouring in, without completely blocking all of the natural light.
Treat the design of your porch as you would any other room in your home. We always start from the bottom up by following these steps:
1)Conceptualize how you want to use the space.
2)Draw the room.
3)Choose your floor.
4)Find your large items (usually furniture).
5)Choose your color palette based off the floor and larger items.
6)Choose your paint.
7)Choose your accessories.
8)Enjoy your space.
There are a few words that no designer wants to hear, “I really like the look in the Pottery Barn catalog.” Don’t get me wrong, those room colors are nice and understated, but they are so vanilla, so safe. For me this quote sums about how I think about design:
“Life is about using the whole box of crayons.”
Color! Pattern! They’re what take a room from plain and ordinary to extraordinary. Yes, sometimes when you take a risk, it might fail, but its worth the chance. Try a bold color. Pick a new pattern. Use the whole box of crayons, and don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. Life is too short to live in a beige house with a beige sofa with white walls. That’s not to say we like to mix every color in the rainbow on a project. We find that one strong color in varying tones provides a bold fresh look while remaining classic and understated. See the room pictured below. We chose orange (yes, orange) as a pop of color in an otherwise neutral palate. The orange is complimented nicely by a soft blue chair with a strong pattern. Note most of the other pieces in the room are neutrals which allows the orange to make a statement without being too “in your face.”
As an interior design firm, we wanted to incorporate what we do into our site. We started with the idea of windows, since dressing windows is what we do best. The different boxes in our site layout, particularly the homepage, are inspired by windows framed by fabric.
We gave the guys at cdeVision the fabrics pictured below as inspiration. They said they’ve never worked with something like that before, but loved it. Check out the background of our new site; the pattern and texture is pulled straight from one of the fabrics.
We chose a neutral palette that will allow bright and colorful pictures to pop. We love greys and taupes right now and so the color scheme is timely yet classic. We found that the principles of design don’t change much whether it’s a room, graphic art or a website. While the site is launched, it still needs finessing, but we we’re just too eager to share.
Thanks to Bill and Antonio at cdeVision in Holyoke for making our vision come to life.
Window treatments finish a room, which is why we always urge our clients to “dress those naked windows.”
However, the wrong window treatment or and outdated design can leave a room feeling dark, heavy and out of date. Updating your window treatments can make a world of difference in a room. Consider these ideas when planning your window treatments to keep your home feeling fresh and bright.
1) Think minimal. The idea of a drapery is to soften the woodwork, but not to block all the light.
2) Mount it high. Make your windows feel larger, and let in as much light as possible by mounting your drapery and valances significantly above the top casing while still covering the casing with the bottom on the treatment. Its an optical illusion.
3)Consider your hard treatment carefully. You want to let light in while maintaining privacy. Don’t choose something so heavy that it blocks all of your natural light. We love Hunter Douglas Silhouettes because they filter the light and provide sheer privacy while open, but close to provide privacy for any room.
4) Pick a current color or pattern, but think about how long you will keep these treatments. If you are spending a lot of money on custom window treatments, choose colors and patterns that will age well. You don’t want to look at your windows in 10 years and think, “That’s so 2013,” the way we see pink bathrooms and say, “that’s so 1980!!!” If you plan to change your treatments in a few years, then its the place to go crazy with the hot colors and patterns like grey, turquoise and yellow!
5) Consider some curves. The point of the treatment is to soften the window casings, so try to avoid more hard lines.
Often accessories and art work are the hardest and most time consuming part of creating a coherent look in a room. This guest bedroom has a gold and chocolate color scheme. The bedding is fabulous, and we wanted the art to be as well.
While the scale of the picture makes it took small, we needed to cover quite a bit of wall in this room. We love our guests, of course, but the guest room is not where we wanted to invest in expensive artwork. SOLUTION: canvases covered in a great fabric.
The photograph doesn’t do this fabric justice. It has too much dimension for my iPhone to catch. This could be DIY project, or you could pay an upholsterer to build the size and shape canvases that you want. We prefer the latter because they will be uniform and the fabric will be taught. What do you think?
The trend for 2013 is bright colors and crisp geometric patterns. Bedding is fun place to play with these trends because it is easy to switch up from season to season.
Not ready to commit to a new duvet? We have the answer for that.
Choose a neutral duvet and add a pop of color in your accent pillows. This season, think lime, turquoise, coral or mint to bring a fresh spring vibe into your home.