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)
We recently installed new window blinds in the waiting room at Robert Charles Photography, and we think it made a world of difference in the space. Being a photography studio, of course, lots of photos were taken, and we love a good before and after shot!!! Check it out.
As you can see, the old window coverings are functional but not beautiful to look at. When closed, they block a majority of the light, but still allow light to come through. When open, the curtains make the windows look small, and the hardware looks frail. They are hung too low creating two horizontal lines, one from the paint line and another from the curtain rod.
What a difference! The Hunter Douglas Vignette Modern Roman shade provides nearly complete light blocking when lowered allowing for ideal image viewing, and the custom drapery softens the edges and frames the windows perfectly. These are child safe, cordless window coverings, which is important for a photography studio that specializes in family portraits. Not only are these window coverings cordless, but they’re motorized. That’s right, when you sit down to view your Robert Charles Photography photos, your consultant doesn’t have to leave their desk to darken the room. There is a remote control, but they can also be raised and lowered using the Hunter Douglas Platinum App on an iPhone or iPad.
We chose to mount the Roman shades well above the window casing. When raised, the Hunter Douglas Modern Roman shades provide the allusion that the windows keep going allowing us to alter the scale of the windows in proportion to these high ceilings without having to replace the windows.
The fullness of the drapery softens the window’s edges, but the stationary panels mean much less fussing to keep the room looking complete. The Roman shade replaces the functionality of the old curtains, and the custom drapery completes the look.
The new hardware is both functional and attractive, and the grommet header provides a modern feel.
We’re elated with how this space came out and glad to have helped Robert Charles Photography update their waiting room. Book your holiday photography session with them and check out our window coverings when you’re in the studio.
Like what you see? Book your free consultation to create a look like this in your home or office.
Check out Robert Charles Photography’s blog about the room as well!
We’re back in the office after a whirlwind trip to High Point Furniture Market. We had a blast visiting showrooms and meeting with reps to find new lines, scoping out new furniture and upholstery trends and make sure we know about the latest products. Here are some of our finds!
Cows were all over the art scene at High Point, from bulls with their horns ready to strike to black and white dairy cows with a gentle face. We love the concept of a cow, especially for a kitchen wall!!!
We stumbled upon upholstered mirrors this market, and we must admit, we love it! You can customize this look with the colors in your fabric, the shape of the mirror and the nailhead design that you choose. The possibilities are endless!!!
Speaking of upholstered, how fun is this fully upholstered console table? Store two small ottomans underneath and you have extra seating when needed and a burst of color all the time. We can’t wait to use this in someone’s living room.
Even more fun, a modern take on a wing chair with a fully tufted back. This is a chair to float in the middle of a room where everyone can see all four sides. Not only is it great to look at, but we think its very comfortable.
One of the new additions we brought home from market is this line of completely custom upholstered dining chairs. Choose your leg, choose your seat, choose your back, choose your fabric… Do you want button tufting? No buttons? Channel back? Nail head? No nail head? You decide. Plus, these come at a great price-point.
We also found a new line of custom upholstery that is so comfy, modern and at a great price point.
It was definitely a successful trip to market. These are only a few of the finds. We’re back, inspired and ready to create. Call us today to book your free consultation and check out more of our market finds.
Need some design inspiration? We stumbled across this picture in our email and became inspired by the use of blue as a neutral with only a small pop of red. Note how this room boasts varying shades of blue layered with texture and pattern. From the walls to the sofa, everything is either a pale blue or navy but is contrasted by the pop of red in a pillow, the picture hanging over the sofa, the apples, etc. which give the room dimension. That red could be switched out easily for orange, yellow, lime, and so on to give the room a whole different feel without making a dramatic change,.
What do you think about the blue and red inspiration?
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.
We have to admit that we love a trend, but often in our homes we avoid them because trends come and go so quickly. Unlike a pair of pants or a new top, upholstery and drapery can be expensive, so it’s hard to commit to the Pantone Color of 2013, emerald green for 20 years in a couch or drapery panel.
We found these great Emerald green fabrics at the Boston Design Center on our visit last Tuesday! Pillows and valances are a great way to change your room and update it to be on trend. They are inexpensive compared to the rest of your room, and easy to change.
Here’s a few ideas to incorporate trends into your home without breaking the bank.
- Keep your walls and expensive pieces neutral: Beige, brown, grey, etc.
- Choose less expensive items to be trendy: pillows, valances, accessories, etc.
- Don’t over-do it: A little bit of emerald green goes a long way.
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.