MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:
Yikes, it’s hard to believe that summer is over. The calendar says it lasts until September 23rd, but once we celebrate Labor Day, for most of us summer is past tense. If nothing else, shorter days and cooler nights remind us.
Just as changing out our wardrobe from summer to fall is necessary, there are things to do in our home as well that make spending more time indoors even more pleasurable.
This week’s article is from LAURA GASKILL, http://www.lolalina.com/
She is a Houzz contributor and a favorite home blogger. Laura shares 8 ways to make this seasonal transition something to look forward to. Enjoy!
TO-DO’S: YOUR SEPTEMBER HOME CHECK LIST [PHOTOS]
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Last week I talked about using wallpaper instead of paint for walls and/or ceiling.
This week I want to show you some ideas of using simple framing and wallpaper to create an art piece.
TOUCH INTERIORS
Framed wallpaper. A bright, circus-inspired diamond print paper from Cole & Son was used like a huge art installation in this vibrant living space. Using simple moldings painted to match the walls creates the look of a giant frame around the wallpaper. When to think of framed wallpaper: Framing wallpaper, either in actual frames, or using molding, is a great way to show off a bold, artistic paper without covering an entire wall.
Rather than papering an entire wall, the designer chose to use simple molding to cover just a portion of the wall. This paper is so bold, that an entire wall of it could have been overboard. Using molding, it becomes a huge art installation .
ALEXANDER JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Framed wallpaper is a fantastic and simple alternative to wall art or wallpapering the entire wall. The frame sizes can be customized as you or your designer sees fit. The pattern is repeated in the window treatment.
The framed wallpaper become the art pieces in this dining room. The design was repeated in the window treatments.
RACHEL OLIVER DESIGN, LLC
Lengths of wallpaper framed with basic wooden wall molding beef up the headboards of a pair of four-posters in this bedroom. A gorgeous F. Schumacher paper was used here, but you could frame a really pretty gift wrap for a budget take on this look.
In this photo, beautiful chinoiserie paper has been chosen as “headboards” for a guest room.
ELIZABETH GORDON
Go garden green. The inspiration for this dining room was a garden that’s framed by the room’s windows. “The clients wanted the majority of the house interiors to reflect the cool blues and greens found on property,” says designer Elizabeth Gordon.
In this example, wallpaper is applied only to the ceiling. How gorgeous is this living room?
THE UPWARD BOUND HOUSE by ELIZABETH BOMBERER
Painted the same color as the wall, the box molding is not a distraction for the large patterned wallpaper it frames. The result is big on drama. More ways with molding: Molding: Add Texture by Detailing Your Detail.
A dining room application where the frames are painted the same color as the walls. They almost disappear focusing your eyes on the paper design. Note: I would have painted the electrical outlet cover the same color as the walls for a seamless look.
SHOSHANA GOSSELIN
Create a multi-layered gallery – Secure some painted moulding to the wall to create frames, then layer box-framed trinkets on top of grass cloth wallpaper. It’s infinitely more interesting than a painted wall or single piece of art hung above the bed.
This last example uses framed grass cloth and framed real objects creating a 3-D effect. It’s used above the bed and on each side of the bed. Really beautiful.
These are just a few ideas of how wallpaper can be used to ARTfully enhance your interior decor in unusual ways.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
You know that paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to freshen a room.
But have you considered using wallpaper on walls and/or your ceiling?
Today’s wallpapers are a far cry from our grandmother’s day. Remember the really big-patterned cabbage roses?
The variety today is almost endless. You can choose natural materials like grass cloth; vinyl; metallic’s; and 3-dimensional designs using elements such as seashells, glass beads, and threads woven into hand-painted paper.
Your wallpaper designs can be bold or subtle.
You can choose 1 wall or all 4. Or, maybe, just the ceiling. You can paper the backs of cupboards or bookshelves, and even within the panels of doors.
If you want to do-it-yourself, 2 companies make it easy with self-adhesive backing that makes the installation and removal mistake proof. They are: Tempaper, www.tempaper.com and Casart Coverings, www.casartcoverings.com.
Yes, wallpapers are more expensive than paint. You have the cost of the paper and the wallpaper installer. However, the results can be dramatic and really make your home as unique as you are.
Here are some examples of how a few homes have used wallpaper to creatively enhance their design:
You may not have enough books to cover entire walls, but this paper will make you feel as though you do. Who among us wouldn’t love to curl up and read in this beautiful “library?”

These elegant panels you really can do yourself. You will need a tape measure and a way to make sure each panel is in a straight line.

This is anything but a boring pass-through space.

With today’s technology, this photograph has been enlarged and turned into a unique, 1 of a kind wallpaper. Sure to be a head turner for guests and a reminder of something special for you.
This homeowner chose to apply wallpaper only to the backs of shelving. It wouldn’t have been nearly so interesting if he had chosen to merely paint with the wall cover.

A bold paper choice that brings this beautiful bedroom  to life. It also serves as a headboard.

A subtle design, this wallpaper adds a lovely sophistication to this bedroom.

These are just a sample of the many ways you can use and decorate with wallpaper. Do they give you any ideas for your own home?
Let me know in the comments, or share photos of wallpaper that you’ve done in your home. I’d love to see them.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
“What colors should I choose? “How many pillows should I have?” “Which material would be best?”
These are just a few of the questions I’m asked when it comes to choosing decorative pillows. It can become confusing and frustrating because there are so many to choose from.
My first suggestion is to choose your pillows after all of the other elements are in place. This includes furniture, flooring material, paint colors, and artwork.
Here are some other tips that will make your choices easier:
PRICE

Accent pillows come in all price points. It’s one of area decorating where you can get a lot of zing without breaking the budget. However, you may find a pillow or two that you love and want to splurge on.

MATERIAL

This will depend on how much wear and tear your pillows will receive. If you have small children and/or pets, having an out-door fabric makes much more sense than choosing a silk fabric. Check, too, if the pillows can be machine washed or require dry-cleaning.

SIZE

Decorative square pillows are generally sized from 14 inches to 22 inches. Rectangular pillows     from 12 by 16 inches and 16 by 26 inches. Think in terms of 1 pillow for chairs and 3 to 5 for a sofa. It’s your choice as to how many pillows you choose.

COLOR

This will depend on what else you have in your room. For instance, you may want to pull colors from your artwork. Look at the colors you’ve chosen for the rest of the room. Are they warm, cool, or neutral hues? Looking at a color wheel, do you prefer warm or cool colors? Your own clothes closet is also another indication of the hues you love.Here’s another way of breaking down colors:

COOL PALETTE

Examples are blue, blue-gray, purple, blue purple,  gray and cool gray, green and blue green. Think of the sea.

WARM PALETTE

These are on the opposite side of the cools on the color wheel. Examples are shades of yellow, yellow-orange, orange, red-orange, red, and red-purple. Think of the sun.

NEUTRAL PALETTE

Examples are shades of white, creme, gray, greige (grey-beige), tan and taupe. When choosing neutrals, vary the pattern and texture and choose varying dark and light shades of your chosen neutral.

If you’re not sure when looking at pillows in the store, bring them home so you see them in the actual space. Your eye will tell you if they’re right or not. You may not know why, but something will feel off.
In the end, if you have difficulty in this area, it’s worth hiring expert help to feel sure of your choices.
As always, your home is your haven and everything you choose must feel perfect for you.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
“What colors should I choose? “How many pillows should I have?” “Which material would be best?”
These are just a few of the questions I’m asked when it comes to choosing decorative pillows. It can become confusing and frustrating because there are so many to choose from.
My first suggestion is to choose your pillows after all of the other elements are in place. This includes furniture, flooring material, paint colors, and artwork.
Here are some other tips that will make your choices easier:
PRICE

Accent pillows come in all price points. It’s one of area decorating where you can get a lot of zing without breaking the budget. However, you may find a pillow or two that you love and want to splurge on.

MATERIAL

This will depend on how much wear and tear your pillows will receive. If you have small children and/or pets, having an out-door fabric makes much more sense than choosing a silk fabric. Check, too, if the pillows can be machine washed or require dry-cleaning.

SIZE

Decorative square pillows are generally sized from 14 inches to 22 inches. Rectangular pillows from 12 by 16 inches and 16 by 26 inches. Think in terms of 1 pillow for chairs and 3 to 5 for a sofa. It’s your choice as to how many pillows you choose.

COLOR

This will depend on what else you have in your room. For instance, you may want to pull colors from your artwork. Look at the colors you’ve chosen for the rest of the room. Are they warm, cool, or neutral hues? Looking at a color wheel, do you prefer warm or cool colors? Your own clothes closet is also another indication of the hues you love.Here’s another way of breaking down colors:

COOL PALETTE

Examples are blue, blue-gray, purple, blue purple, gray and cool gray, green and blue green. Think of the sea.

WARM PALETTE

These are on the opposite side of the cools on the color wheel. Examples are shades of yellow, yellow-orange, orange, red-orange, red, and red-purple. Think of the sun.

NEUTRAL PALETTE

Examples are shades of white, creme, gray, greige (grey-beige), tan and taupe. When choosing neutrals, vary the pattern and texture and choose varying dark and light shades of your chosen neutral.

If you’re not sure when looking at pillows in the store, bring them home so you see them in the actual space. Your eye will tell you if they’re right or not. You may not know why, but something will feel off.
In the end, if you have difficulty in this area, it’s worth hiring expert help to feel sure of your choices.
As always, your home is your haven and everything you choose must feel perfect for you.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
As an interior designer, I love including metallic’s in every space. Whether it’s paint, wallpaper, or accents, metallic’s bounce light around a room and add that touch of glamour that can make you and your space feel special.
However, you don’t want your home to reflect Donald Trump’s where everything seems to sparkle with gold; so much (if you’ve ever seen photos) that you would practically need sunglasses to live there. There’s such a thing as “guilding the lily” to extreme.
JESSICA CUMBERBATCH ANDERSON interviewed for ELLEDECOR.COM interiot designer NATALIE KRAIEM for suggestions of using metallic’s in your interiors without going overboard.
Here are her 5 tips:

The trick with using metallic pieces and mirrors in a single space is to mix them with different, softer textures to balance them out, Kraiem says. “I love mixing in textures like mohair, velvet, and wool to let the metallic accents contrast and stand out on their own.

Keep the palette neutral.

When incorporating a lot of metallic pieces into a room, you’ll want to keep the color scheme fairly subdued. According to Kraiem, brass pairs nicely with darker colors such as black, navy and even purple or other jewel tones, while chrome, stainless and satin go nicely with more modern palettes such as gray, white and blue.

Mix it up.

It’s an age-old design debate, but Kraiem says mixing metals and finishes can be done to a stylish effect. “I like mixing polished brass with sterling silver and chrome,” she says. But generally speaking, you’ll want to use the same color metal (for example, gold) in different textures or finishes (polished brass, brushed brass, gold leaf, etc.). Mixing chrome with other silver metals such as brushed nickel or satin nickel, is another way to go.

Stick with the classics.

Although copper is having a moment in kitchens and lighting right now — it’s especially cool in a hammered texture, Kraiem notes — brass, chrome, silver or gold leaf are timeless.

Start small.

While Kraiem says she loves a metallic ceiling or a shiny papered wall, accessories are the best way to introduce metallics into your space. (Try an antique silver tea set or tray, for instance.) “They’re easy to change out or move around the room to find the perfect balance,” she says. More permanent pops of metallic can also be incorporated in small doses — Kraiem currently has her eye on a stunning hammered metal sink for a powder room, and says she’s been using a gold mosaic tile in a herringbone pattern as a kitchen backsplash for some time.

When in doubt, just go for it. “I like to incorporate metallic pieces and mirrors into
every project,” Kraiem says. “They reflect light and many times open up a space.” And they almost always give a dull space a more interesting and unexpected touch, she adds.

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

Victorian Exterior by POC+P architectsIf you’ve decided to paint the exterior of your home, this is the time of year to do it.

Deciding on the color, however, can be daunting. You paint a gazillion different color samples on the side of your house and you just aren’t sure. Do this with enough different hues and your eyes begin to cross and none of the shades look right.
This is one area of design where hiring a color expert really can save you money, time, and frustration. Repainting a wall inside your home because you don’t like the color is one thing. Repainting the exterior is a different matter and not something you want to happen.
I invite you to take this fun quiz. The questions are what color expert JENNIFER OTT, http://genottdesign.com asks her clients when deciding color choices. You may or may not agree with the color choice that pops up for you, but it might offer food for thought.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours…
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
When decorating, we generally think “pops” of color means adding brights to an otherwise neutral room such as beige, greige, creme, taupe, gray, etc.
However, consider using a powerful contrast color like white. It’s crisp, clean, refreshing, and soothing to the eye.
White can keep darker colors from feeling too heavy, and brighter colors feeling overwhelming. It can also keep a color like beige from feeling, well, too blandly beige.
Take a look at these photos and imagine if white hadn’t been used as the accent color. The rooms wouldn’t have the same visual impact and the design element would be diminished.
Remember, too, as with any accent color, spread it around the room so it’s integrated and feels balanced.
It just might be that using white as a contrast is the best “pop” of color of all!
(PHOTOS from HOUZZ)
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Can you imagine any woman saying she has too many shoes?
Not gonna happen.
A bigger concern is storing our shoes so we can easily see what we have and not have a disorganized jumble on the closet floor.
Take a look at these suggestions for storing shoes  that can make your life easier and,consequently happier.
SIMPLE MOLDING AS HANGERS

Use molding as a “hanger” for shoes that have heels. They easily hook on making your shoes easy to store and see.

HALLWAY STORAGE

Particularly good for shoes that you put on and take off as you’re leaving and entering like walking/running shoes.

CUSTOM SHELVING

SHOE CUPBOARD
Transitional Closet by Acastrian Bespoke Fitted Furniture

Slanted shelves built into a linen closet is another way to neatly store shoes and keep them from being underfoot (pun intended!)

SIMPLE BOXES
by 2 Ivy Lane

Whether it’s the boxes your shoes came in or any sturdy box, take a photo and place on the front. A quick and efficient way to store your shoes and know at a glance which shoes are in each box.

CLEAR PLASTIC BOXES
Traditional  by Truorder

If you don’t want to take photos, clear acrylic boxes are another choice to house your shoes and clearly see what shoes are where.

HANGING BOOTS

Tall boots are difficult to store as they flop over and you have a jumbled pile to contend with. A great way to keep them organized is to hang them using trouser hangers.

TIP: Place a piece of foam between the hanger clip and the boot to prevent damaging the leather. Or, order from www.bootbutler.com a hanger designed especially for boots.   Available online or Bed Bath And Beyond.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
This week I want to share a post written by blogger Elizabeth Pullman, www.LiveLovely.com. She wrote this article for HuffPostHome.com.
One thing I know for sure is that aromatherapy does work and there is a lot of science to back it up. Read the article and give it a try. Who among us doesn’t love feeling in a good mood?

Your sense of smell is one of the most powerful things you can experience. Not only do certain smells bring back distinct memories, but they can also heighten or alter your mood. It’s pretty amazing how the human body adapts and responds to certain changes, and scent definitely influences this.

Aromatherapy has been around for a long time, but it seems to have hit its stride in recent years. Today, it seems like essential oils, candles, and other scent-producing products are very popular with renters. It makes sense: These agents have the power to put you in a better mood within minutes, something we all need from time to time.

What’s more, these smells could even allow you to stay healthy.

One of these influences is keeping grumpiness at bay. If you’re curious about which scents can positively impact your mood and focus, read below:

Jasmine

This beautiful flower isn’t just nice to look at, it can also give you the ability to enjoy a sense of calm, as it has proven to relax nerves and alleviate tension. We all know that stress is a direct result of a bad mood, and vice-versa.

According to BrightNest, research has shown that jasmine can allow you to get a better night’s sleep, too. More sleep and less stress? This one’s a no-brainer.

Peppermint

Because mint is so refreshing in desserts and cocktails, it should come as no surprise that peppermint essential oils and candles have been linked to invigoration and more energy. This is why a lot of people tend to use peppermint oils in soaps and shampoos, as it’s a great way to wake up in the morning and get ready to take on the day.

Lavender

This beautiful purple plant has been linked to calm and tranquility for centuries. In fact, smelling lavender is connected to a decreased heart rate. If you’re having one of “those days,” a few drops of lavender-infused essential oil or salts in your bubble bath can melt away the stress of the day instantly. Lavender essential oils can also be added to your laundry, meaning you can carry the calm-inducing scent with you all day long!

As an added bonus, lavender is a beautiful plant for decorating, so putting a vase of lavender flowers in your bedroom or living room could help you feel a sense of calm as you wind down for the evening, too.

Cinnamon

This tasty spice is usually associated with sweet baked treats and the holidays, but cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes for quite some time. In fact, a study conducted by Wheeling Jesuit University showed that cinnamon positively impacted memory skills, attention spans, and visual-motor response. Adding some cinnamon in your morning coffee could be just the thing to get you ready for work in the morning.

Pine

As another holiday-time scent, pine is known giving us that sense of comfort and warmth once the weather gets cold and icy. It’s no wonder either, as the scent has been linked to reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. This means you should light that pine-scented candle not just during the holidays, but year round as well!

Vanilla

Is there anything more comforting (and hunger-inducing) than the smell of fresh vanilla bean? Vanilla is a wonderful, all-natural addition to your favorite sweets and breads, but it’s also known to boost happiness.

In fact, according to a study published in Chemical Senses, vanilla is linked to joy and relaxation. Whenever you’re throwing a party or getting some friends together, vanilla essential oils or candles could be the perfect addition.

Rosemary

This herb is used in a plethora of recipes, but it’s also a known mood booster. According to Entrepreneur, rosemary has been connected to pain relief and can battle mental exhaustion and fatigue, and even headaches. When the workweek gets the most of you, rosemary could be the perfect all-natural solution.

Citrus

Whether it’s lemon, orange, or grapefruit essential oils, adding these to your daily routine can work wonders for your immune system. Citrus has long been an all-natural fighter of viruses and bacteria — especially for colds and sore throats — so this could be just the thing for those times when you’re feeling a little tired or run down.

Until  next time…
Blessings from my home to yours…
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll enjoy reading 9 SCENTS THAT CAN AFFECT THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE IN YOUR HOME
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