Every space in your home, whatever its size, should please you in the way it works both functionally and esthetically. But it can seem more challenging when that space is very small.
For this week’s article, we visit the entryway. Even though this area is a pass-through, it is the first introduction to your home and it makes a difference in how both you and your guests feel coming and going. Especially of it’s designed correctly.
Take a look at the video and you’ll see how easy it is to design even the most cramped entryway space.
The tips are from interior designer NATE BERKUS and they were shared on the RACHEL T.V. show.
Nate designs products for Target and he’s used some of his pieces to illustrate this particular design.
IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY TIPS:
  • The small table that can hold keys and a space underneath for shoes or boots.
  • The small, dark area rug that adds warmth and hides dirt.
  • The sculptured wall pieces that add texture and interest. A small mirror could also be used as part of the look.
  • Fresh flowers—always a beautiful and welcoming idea.

 
 
 

Credit: Video via HUFFPOST HOME
 
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
We live with color everyday and thank goodness.
How diminished our world would be if it were only seen in black and white.
Of all the areas in interior design, color is probably the most subjective, because everyone “sees” color differently. Memories are strongly associated with with colors so we attach meanings to them that can be positive or negative.
Our love/hate relationship with different colors can also change. For example, as a child I loved all shades of pink because my grandmother chose them for her bedroom and I always felt happy whenever I was in her room. As a teenager, I hated pink because it seemed too childish. Now, as an older adult, I love certain hues of pink. Combined with other colors, pink can be very sophisticated and fresh-feeling.
I won’t go into the full psychology of color in this article as the subject is vast. But for fun, HUFFPOST HOME showed 13 colors that people either loved or hated. Take a look at them. What do you feel? Do you find yourself attracted or repelled? It’s an active experience and there’s no right or wrong.
As always, great design is about what YOU love and need in YOUR home to make your environment enhance your life in the best, most positive ways. Color is just one aspect, but the human eye can distinguish between 7 and 10 million different colors. That’s huge! And we’ll always have a reaction to each of them one way or another.

Lime Green

Purple

Orange

Black

Bright Yellow

Electric Blue

Mauve

Dark Red

Burnt Sienna

Coral

Teal

Olive Green

Mustard Yellow

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Most of us love to travel. Discovering new places, meeting new people, seeing sights we’ve longed to see, and just simply enjoying new experiences.
However, sometimes it can be frustrating as well. Long lines at airports, security checks, having to be at the airport 2-3 hours before flight time. Or if you decide to take a road trip, there’s the cost of gas (ever more expensive), and the stress of dealing with heavy traffic in and around major cities. Or getting lost even though you have a GPS.
Then there are the million and one things that have to be done even before you even leave on vacation. You’re exhausted !
There is an alternative you might consider and that is a staycation. You’re on vacation but you don’t really leave home.
But it takes a different mindset in order to be successful. For you to really feel like you’ve been away, your staying home means you’re NOT living as you normally do. Your typical day-to-day activities take a vacation as well, In order to feel relaxed and refreshed when it’s time to come “home.”

21. Take pictures. On a vacation you tote your camera everywhere, right? Just because you’re at home, don’t let that stop you. Take pictures every day — the act of taking photographs helps us slow down and see things we would normally miss.

Photos via HOUZZ
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
It’s hard to believe that it’s the 4th of July and this holiday defines mid-summer. I cry NOOO, it’s too soon!
Fortunately, we still have a lot of this wonderful season left to enjoy being outdoors.
You might find that you need a design item or two to see you through the rest of summer and you don’t want to spend a lot of money for them. And you don’t need to.
This week’s design post gives you 10 product ideas that won’t break your budget and yet still offer lots of design style.
Add an umbrella that has the same pattern as those striped swimsuits of the 1920s.
  • IKEA
    A must for those who wish they were lounging in the Riviera with the Fitzgeralds and other ‘Lost Generation’ personalities. RAMSÖ umbrella (in red or blue), $14.99, IKEA.
  • Candleholders turn discount pillars into lovely “mood lighting.”
    TJ Maxx
    Especially good for those of us who have too many candles hanging around their home, anyway. Candleholders, $9.99 each, from TJ Maxx stores.
  • A nice pillow makes that “vintage” aluminum deck chair look so much better.
    TJ Maxx
    Bring it inside and boom, instant sofa makeover. Floral pillow, $19.99, from TJ Maxx stores.
  • Upgrade your BBQ dinner with a nautical table runner.
    Marshalls
    Table runners are slightly heavier than tablecloths, so they’re less likely to billow in the breeze. Anchor Table Runner, $16.99, from Marshalls stores.
  • Ceramic pots make even the saddest container plant look…well, not sad.
    TJ Maxx
    You can also use planters to hold utensils or snacks (just line the pot first). Ceramic pots, $12.99-$29.99, from TJ Maxx stores.
  • Why bother with bulbs when you can light a walkway with FIRE?
    Lowe’s
    If there’s one advantage to being a homeowner, it’s the ability to add torches to your outdoor decor. Fire Sense 2-Pack Tivoli 77-inch Polished Aluminum Metal Fire Torch, $45, from Lowe’s.
  • Clear string lights really go with anything.
    Target
    The round glass shades also add a little more style than the traditional “Christmas”-style string lights. Room Essentials Clear Globe Lights, $14.99, from Target.
  • A mobile can add a little glimpse of color in a sun-bleached backyard.
    Kind of like having a chandelier in your porch, gazebo or tree. “Glass Raindrops” Kinetic Hanging Mobile, $31.99, from Target (online only).
  • This beverage tub combo is for those of us who always like a cold drink nearby.
    Home Depot
    Especially handy for those who entertain and are tired of answering the question “Where are the drinks?” Geranium Beverage Tub With Tray On Stand, $39, Home Depot (online only).
  • An outdoor rug will save your patio (and hide the weird stain left behind from last summer).
    Home Decorators Collection
    You can also use this indoors, particularly in high-traffic areas. Just hose it off and it’s clean. Kastoria Area Rug in Blue, $47 for a 4′x5’7″ rug, Home Decorators Collection.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Summer is that time of year when much of your entertaining is out-of-doors.
It’s also that time of year when many celebrations take place.
Weddings, wedding receptions, bridal showers, birthday parties, holidays, and special get-togethers with family and friends.
This week’s design ideas are some product examples that add fun, elegance, in some a little whimsy, and all around make your celebrations even more special. And don’t you just love it when guests  remark how beautiful everything looks and wonder how you did it all?
Most of these products can be ordered directly from Houzz or, if not, the source is listed on the photo. You may see an item or two that is just what you’re looking for when planning your parties this summer.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

Where do you most like to read?

My favorite place is curled up in my bed with plenty of pillows for good neck and back support, and a proper reading light.

I consider the bedroom my sanctuary. The one place where I feel most relaxed and “at home.” The perfect environment for traveling anywhere my book is taking me.

I also love holding a book, turning the pages, and even the scent of the paper.

Yes, I know this is the Kindle era and while I can appreciate what it offers, it just doesn’t give me the pleasure reading a real book does. Also, I have no need for a power source—just my hands.

I love being surrounded by books as well. I consider them my friends so I don’t mind dusting them. And like people friends, I like to visit them from time to time.

So, if you’re like me and your favorite place is your bedroom and you love reading real books, why not let them live in this special place.

This week’s design idea is all about including books in your bedroom design.

Photos via HOUZZ
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

When I was a little girl, I loved the story about “The Princess And The Pea.”

I always imagined her sleeping in a canopied, four-poster bed—safe and protected. In my imagination, the bed fabrics were lush and elegant and fit for, well, a princess. I wished for a bed like hers so I could become a princess, too. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I was able to have my own version of the “princess” bed and it made me feel special indeed.

This week’s article is written by KAREN EGLY-THOMPSON, Houzz Contributor, and the photos are via HOUZZ.

Take a look and you may decide to claim a bit of “princess” in your bedroom. Without the pea, of course!

look.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

Interior design is both an art and a science.

Through study, experience, and an innate sense of design, interior designers can transform spaces into beautiful and functional rooms that allow you to live your best life.

And there are times when hiring a designer is the best course to take.

But you don’t need to be a designer to create some design magic of your own.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing what works and what doesn’t. By avoiding some common design pitfalls, you, too, can have spaces will look like they’ve had the touch of a professional designer.

Take a look at these photos and see what I mean.

1. Don’t push the furniture against the wall. You will have a much more interesting space if you allow breathing room around your pieces of furniture, as we see here. Allow the furniture to float in the room, away from the walls. This will help create a conversation grouping.

The optimal distance for conversational seating is 4 to 8 feet. This is the Goldilocks zone.

2. Don’t buy small, cheap throw pillows with solid forms. Pillows should be generous, overstuffed and formable, like these. Use soft, plush, down-filled pillows that can take a shape. There are great synthetic fill options, too. Use the classic “designer’s chop” to determine if they will shape up: a quick karate chop to the top edge to break up the pillow’s blockiness.

Get rid of any dead pillows that sit like a lump. Say goodbye to postage-stamp-size pillows and matchy-matchy ones that came with the furniture. Instead, overstuff an 18-inch pillow cover with a 20-inch insert for a professional look.

3. Don’t use a good-enough paint color. Paint color makes or breaks the look of a room. If it’s poorly matched, the result will be weak at best. It takes experience and a trained eye to correctly read undertones. Consult a pro on this one to set your results ahead of the crowd.

17 Things Color Consultants Want You to Know

4. Don’t sacrifice lighting to trim your budget. The mistake I see most often is light fixtures that are too small or that don’t dress the room properly. Use appropriately scaled, relevant lighting. Lighting, more than any other element, asserts style, much like a chosen piece of jewelry defines the style of a little black dress. Don’t be afraid to inject personality with a statement piece.

5. Don’t skimp on area rug size. An area rug defines a grouping of furniture. Buy one large enough to lie under at least the front legs of each piece of furniture in your grouping.

11 Area Rug Rules and How to Break Them

6. Don’t isolate rooms. Create flow from one room to the next by visually linking adjacent spaces. Repeat a pattern or carry an accent color or another visual element (such as a leg detaiI) from one room to another.

7. Don’t skimp on drapery. More is more in this department. Professionals use fabric yardage that’s two and a half to three times the width of the window for fully functional drapes. With fixed side panels (for show only), you can get away with fabric twice as wide as the window. Don’t skimp.

Custom Draperies 101

8. Avoid being too matchy. Don’t match textiles and furniture — relate them. A designer’s task is to create a collected look. Look for a collection of pieces with something in common, such as style, motif, color, history, material or mood.

9. Don’t forget the details that make a piece special. I sometimes find the hardest things for my clients to understand is that the details make the design. Nailheads, custom pillows, millwork trim and inlaid floors create a custom look that’s drop-dead gorgeous in the space here.

Once you train your eye to notice the details, you’ll see that a chair with a beautiful turned leg carved by a skilled craftsperson is different than a mass-produced machine-made piece. Custom details are evident in professional work. Contrast piecing or piping on a pillow, or welting, nailheads or trim on a chair. Details, details, details make the result special.

10. Don’t stop until you layer. Designers use layering and repetition of elements and motifs to achieve a professional look. Most people get the concept of layering when it comes to fashion. In design it isn’t much different. Pick something you love, like this patterned headboard, then repeat the color or the pattern.

The artistry lies in stopping before the look becomes too matchy (it always helps to toss in something unexpected to achieve this). Subtlety is key. Drapery, wallpaper, pillows, throws, bedding, accessories — all are great options for layering in a bedroom. You be the judge as to how much is enough.

Photos courtesy HOUZZ

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

Any room design can benefit from a painted piece of furniture. It’s a wonderful way to re-use and re-purpose an old, tired-looking one that you may have thought you needed to get rid of. Maybe it’s been in storage, but it might be time to take another look at it, especially if that piece is of good quality but merely out-of-date.

And if you enjoy browsing garage and estate sales, take a look at what you might see with a different eye. Imagine something perhaps painted with a high gloss color and new hardware. You may be surprised at how chic something old can become. Interior designer often do this and you can, too.

Take a look at the following examples, from Huffpost home, that a few fellow design bloggers have created just using paint and changing the hardware. It’s another way of making furniture uniquely your own.

 

A Coat Of Coral Gave This Nightstand New Life

  • Sarah M. Dorsey
    Blogger and designer Sarah M. Dorsey rescued this nightstand for only $8 at a thrift store. However, the piece had its problems: Missing hardware and a bad previous paint job that left many imperfections. With a little sanding (O.K., some fabulous new pulls, too) she was able to create an adorable accent table. For the full tutorial, visit Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.

White Paint Rescues An Old Wooden Hutch

  • The Creek Line House
    While blogger Courtenay Hartford of The Creek Line House appreciated the wood construction of this hutch (found at a neighbor’s curb years ago), it was in such bad shape, she says it made the whole room “feel sad.” You can’t say that about the piece now. For the full tutorial (and exact paint colors), visit The Creek Line House.

A Card Catalog Gets A Sophisticated Makeover

Midcentury Gets A Modern-Day Makeover

  • Centsational Girl
    Kate Riley of Centsational Girl saw this fabulous midcentury chest at her local thrift store for only $20. (We’re all jealous.) While the drawers were wood, the rest of the piece was a scratched laminate. So, instead of painting the whole thing, she focused on the “body” of the dresser and the pulls. The results are stunning. You can learn more about the makeover over at Centsational Girl.

A Dresser Redo Worthy Of Pinterest

  • Image courtesy of Courtney Johnson
  • Designer Courtney Johnson saw past the dreary facade of an old black bureau and thought of it as a bit of a canvas for a graphic pattern. This bold revamp should be in the front of your mind the next time you go to IKEA, the thrift store or a flea market. Check out the before over at Courtnac, then get inspired by the full makeover over at Design*Sponge.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

Interior design trends, like fashion trends, can come and go as quickly as a strong afternoon breeze.

However, like the “little black dress” there are design trends that stand the test of time. They don’t go out of style. They’re evergreen. They’re always beautiful and you can never go wrong if one or more are found in your interior spaces.

They’re, quite simply, good design and that’s why these pieces have been around for so long.

Take a look at these 10 pieces. You may already have one of them in your home or you may see one that you’d like to add into your design.

#1 BAMBOO SHADES

Constructed as a Roman shade. Sometimes used alone as a window treatment, or with 2 soft fabric panels on each side of the window.

#2  MIRRORED NIGHTSTANDS

Besides reflecting light, a mirrored nightstand offers a bit of old Hollywood glamour.

#3  PARSON’S TABLE

This table is a workhorse. It can serve as a dining table and can just as easily be used as a desk,library, or craft table.

#4  SUNBURST MIRROR

This is an iconic style of mirror. It’s available in many variations and this is one piece to splurge on. Buy a high quality one.

#5  BRIDGE FAUCET

This simple and elegantly styled faucet works with any design style.

#6  DRUM SHADE PENDANT

I love this shade because it can work beautifully in a traditional space as well as a very contemporary one.

#7  GOURD LAMP

This lamp shade is iconic. If budget is a concern, you can even find them at estate and garage sales. Re-painting one in a high-gloss hue that complements the colors in your room, adding a band of fabric in the same color around the base of the shade and you have a “designer” piece that can add a WOW factor to any space.

#8  STRIPED PILLOW

Every room needs a striped pillow. This classic design is always fresh and clean-looking.

#9  FARMHOUSE TABLE

Used primarily in traditionally designed rooms, this table can be the dining table or used as a kitchen island. The top can be wood, stone, or any hard surface. Legs can be left natural or painted.

#10  X-BENCH

This little bench works beautifully in pairs at the foot of the bed, under an entrance table or any narrow table. It can be used as extra seating when needed and doesn’t take up space. Prettiest when covered in a fabric that complements other fabrics in the room.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

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