After experiencing two sunny days in a row with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, I know summer is just around the corner.

For those of us who live in the Northwest, as with all who live in northern climates, it can’t arrive too soon.

And like a bear coming out of hibernation, the lure of being out-of-doors is simply too strong to ignore.

We feel re-born.

We want to be outside and enjoy our private outdoor spaces. Free to relax, dream a little, enjoy friends and family, read that summer romance novel. And we absolutely love to eat out meals under umbrellas, clear blue skies, and evening sunsets.

Take a look at these photos of different styles and materials of outdoor furniture. These examples come from a Belgian outdoor furniture company MANUTTI.

They are beautiful, comfortable, and practical. After all, it does rain and storm even during the summer.

Mindfully designed, your private outdoor spaces can truly make you feel like you’re on vacation without even leaving your property!

We're kicking off our search with wicker furniture. Resin wicker is weather resistant so can be left out for years in the sun, snow and wind thanks to its synthetic polyethylene make-up, unlike regular wicker that would only last about a year out in the elements before it started to break down and lose its beauty. All weather wicker is widely available and looks great when teamed with tables of other materials too.
We’re kicking off our search with wicker furniture. Resin wicker is weather resistant so can be left out for years in the sun, snow and wind thanks to its synthetic polyethylene make-up, unlike regular wicker that would only last about a year out in the elements before it started to break down and lose its beauty. All weather wicker is widely available and looks great when teamed with tables of other materials too.
Resin wicker chairs come in all manner of shapes and sizes, but check out these armchair style pieces that have been teamed with a wooden table, the look is très chic! With a few extra cushions added to soften the backs of the seating, guests are more likely to linger later for after dinner drinks. Don't forget to leave a few cozy throws around too, just in case some guests begin to feel the nip of the breeze as the sun goes down. A patio heater is also a handy way to keep guests warm and toasty into chilly evening time, or if you'd like to set a more atmospheric scene, how about an attractive outdoor fireplace or centrally placed fire pit?
Resin wicker chairs come in all manner of shapes and sizes, but check out these armchair style pieces that have been teamed with a wooden table, the look is très chic! With a few extra cushions added to soften the backs of the seating, guests are more likely to linger later for after dinner drinks. Don’t forget to leave a few cozy throws around too, just in case some guests begin to feel the nip of the breeze as the sun goes down. A patio heater is also a handy way to keep guests warm and toasty into chilly evening time, or if you’d like to set a more atmospheric scene, how about an attractive outdoor fireplace or centrally placed fire pit?
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We're not discovering a brand new idea here, wicker outdoor furniture has been around for a very long time, but it really can look amazingly contemporary when selected in the right silhouette.
We’re not discovering a brand new idea here, wicker outdoor furniture has been around for a very long time, but it really can look amazingly contemporary when selected in the right silhouette.
The black seat cushions on these keep things looking sharp and bang up to date.
The black seat cushions on these keep things looking sharp and bang up to date.
The chairs can have a lovely light look, especially in a white finish with a slimline outdoor table.
The chairs can have a lovely light look, especially in a white finish with a slimline outdoor table.
Black wicker can look pretty cool too though–team with matching decorative bowls or fruit baskets for a cohesive look. A buffet of colorful summer fruits will zing against the backdrop of a black table too.
Black wicker can look pretty cool too though–team with matching decorative bowls or fruit baskets for a cohesive look. A buffet of colorful summer fruits will zing against the backdrop of a black table too.
These sets are great for both modern and traditional gardens.
These sets are great for both modern and traditional gardens.
White wicker chairs

Outdoor wrought iron furniture has always been a firm favorite, so a dining set of this style is definitely worth consideration when kitting out your garden patio or pool deck. The main draw back however is that these pieces are typically very weighty to move around, so they don't make a great choice if you commonly move your chairs to follow the last rays of the setting sun.
Outdoor wrought iron furniture has always been a firm favorite, so a dining set of this style is definitely worth consideration when kitting out your garden patio or pool deck. The main draw back however is that these pieces are typically very weighty to move around, so they don’t make a great choice if you commonly move your chairs to follow the last rays of the setting sun.
Solid and traditional, and elegant in design, these pieces make the perfect place to serve brunch, or sip tea in the sunshine. This chair design has a timeless appeal, and a neat table completes the look perfectly.
Solid and traditional, and elegant in design, these pieces make the perfect place to serve brunch, or sip tea in the sunshine. This chair design has a timeless appeal, and a neat table completes the look perfectly.
Black wrought iron outdoor furniture
Wrought iron outdoor chairs
Wrought iron chairs table
Now, onto teak finish, another sophisticated choice. Sets like these have a laid-back feel whilst retaining a smart edge.
Now, onto teak finish, another sophisticated choice. Sets like these have a laid-back feel whilst retaining a smart edge.
Teak chairs look warm and inviting, especially when matched up with a teak table.
Teak chairs look warm and inviting, especially when matched up with a teak table.
This table would even look at home in an interior setting.
This table would even look at home in an interior setting.
Round teak table
Outdoor dining benches are extremely in vogue right now, and provide a great opportunity for squeezing in a few extra diners at the table.
Outdoor dining benches are extremely in vogue right now, and provide a great opportunity for squeezing in a few extra diners at the table.
Colorful exterior chairs are a fun and bold choice.
Colorful exterior chairs are a fun and bold choice.
Wood black outdoor table
Outdoor table
White outdoor chairs
Outdoor dining set
Subtle colors that blend into the surroundings keep things looking clean and uncomplicated.
Subtle colors that blend into the surroundings keep things looking clean and uncomplicated.
Wood white outdoor dining suite
Round white outdoor table
Black outdoor chairs
A white simple lined set has always looked fresh.
A white simple lined set has always looked fresh.
White outdoor dining set
White outdoor furniture
Outdoor dining stools
Don't forget you can mix and match all manner of colors and materials in a modern setting.
Don’t forget you can mix and match all manner of colors and materials in a modern setting.
Black outdoor dining chairs
White wood outdoor dining set
Contemporary outdoor dining bench
Modern outdoor table chairs
Outdoor table chairs set
Surrounding nature can inspire your color palette, like this cool blue ocean scene.
Surrounding nature can inspire your color palette, like this cool blue ocean scene.
Green blue outdoor chairs
Outdoor dining
Outdoor dining bench
Metal outdoor furniture
Modern outdoor dining set
Modern outdoor chairs
Gray outdoor chairs
Orange outdoor chairs will bring sunshine to the dullest of days.
Orange outdoor chairs will bring sunshine to the dullest of days.
47 Orange white outdoor dining set
48 Round outdoor table
49 Outdoor wicker wood dining chairs table

50 Chic outdoor dining suite

Photos: via INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

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

I’ve never had a client request the color black when choosing interior colors.

Yet, I’ve also never designed a space that didn’t contain black in some way.

A little or a lot, black grounds a room. It gives visual weight and any color will pop when in the presence of black.

Black is dramatic and sophisticated. One of the all-time design combinations is black and white. It’s never trendy and never goes out of style. It’s considered classic design.

Take a look at these photos for ways of incorporating black into your interior spaces.

You might surprise yourself. While you may not have considered black when choosing your interior colors, you might just find yourself pushing your color envelop a little.

Black is not a color that needs to be repeated in a room. Just one bold accent, like this ceiling, brings the élan that only black can provide.
Ditto for this black accent wall, although here the color is expertly repeated (with a very easy hand) in the fabrics and the lamp. Use your thumb to cover the black in this room. Verve and style: going, going, gone.
You may use either a touch of black or a ton. Either way, your design will show the impact. Look how the black molding and cabinetry allow the gilt-framed pictures to glow, and the stylin’ tub to scintillate, in this bathroom.
The black accent trim on this home is so restrained as to be almost unnoticeable. But it brings great crispness to the palette and makes you see details that would otherwise have melted away.
Here black is used just for the window trim (and OK, maybe the outlets) in this otherwise all-white bathroom. But it keeps the white from being stark or boring. Without the black, there would be no design.
This designer also opted for black trim on the windows. See how it gives the room a refreshing crispness and definition, making the windows pop and giving cohesiveness to the room.
Tracy and Hepburn, bread and wine, Baskin and Robbins (can you tell it’s dinnertime and I’m hungry?) are classic duos indeed. But black and white simply outclasses them all.
Black and white floors, whether marble, tile or painted wood, have set the standard for haute design for centuries. But notice here how the lime-green wall makes for an entirely modern interpretation.
I am currently on the bandwagon for lime green and black (and not just because they’re the colors for Houzz). This rich combo has profuse possibilities, from spare and modern to country (think black and white checks against a lime-green floral) to Hollywood glam.
The truth is, black not only contains all colors; it goes with all colors. There is simply not a color scheme that doesn’t benefit from its presence.
As in this red dining room …
… or this Dijon-hued bathroom (where black is used only as an accessory — a great approach for people who might be shy about making the color a permanent fixture).
Black shines when paired with a magenta wall …
… or mated with royal-blue upholstery.
Even purple — as illustrated so magnificently by the lowly pansy — is complemented and enhanced by black.
I must not neglect black and brown. While you would never pair brown shoes with a classic tuxedo, in this case the fashion rule does not extend to interior design. Think how nature has dressed the Doberman pinscher, the decidedly upper-crust King Charles Spaniel and the diminutive quail. The masterful way black and brown are mixed in this cabinetry brings both warmth and depth to this kitchen, while giving it an aura of permanence.
Certain shades of off-black are luscious. This yummy grayish chocolatey black is Benjamin Moore’s Black Bean Soup.
Black is really unexpected in this bedroom, with its baby blue boiserie. But it brings subtle warmth and a masculine touch to what would otherwise have been a decidedly feminine environment.

Every once in a while, a design magazine heralds the advent of “the new black.” It’s a term used to describe or give merit to a color trend, as in, “Orange is the new black.” My response to such pronouncements is always to turn a chilly shoulder and harrumph. I love color, but only black accomplishes so much, with so little, so well.

Photos: via HOUZZ
Photo descriptions: BETTY DIETRICH, HOUZZ Contributor

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

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

One of my favorite designs to help someone with is that of creating a beautiful and functional home in the smallest of spaces.

Why? Because they’re so challenging. You first have to figure out what you most need in order to fully function in the ways you need it to.

Then, it has to welcome you home. It has to satisfy your vision of what’s beautiful. Color, texture, lighting, furniture all come into play just as they do in larger homes. However, in a small space both need to be accomplished because there is no room for error. Pun intended!

The good news is you can have a beautiful and wonderfully functioning home using mindful interior design. The key is to plan, plan, and then plan some more.

Take a look at these photos from INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS. This particular design and floor plan was done by LERA CURVE and is an excellent example of a super small apartment design.

First things first, you cannot have a tranquil space with all of your random 'stuff' cluttering up your zen. So take a tip from this small open plan space and hide everything away in a generous bank of tall storage units. When there isn't much floor space you should always look up, high ceilings become a clutter-bug’s friend when it comes to finding installation space for cupboards fit for some crafty concealing. These units have been built in a plain white material so that they blend into the surroundings rather than stand out, whilst a couple of display shelves have been picked out in light wood tone, floating against a skyscape of fluffy white clouds.
First things first, you cannot have a tranquil space with all of your random ‘stuff’ cluttering up your zen. So take a tip from this small open plan space and hide everything away in a generous bank of tall storage units. When there isn’t much floor space you should always look up, high ceilings become a clutter-bug’s friend when it comes to finding installation space for cupboards fit for some crafty concealing. These units have been built in a plain white material so that they blend into the surroundings rather than stand out, whilst a couple of display shelves have been picked out in light wood tone, floating against a skyscape of fluffy white clouds.
The home office area extends right out of the storage bank, which gives easy access to files and stationery supplies.
The home office area extends right out of the storage bank, which gives easy access to files and stationery supplies.
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The desk is of a ingenious design that swings away to disappear into a slot left between the cupboards, leaving the living space clear and spacious looking. Over at the windows, roman blinds in a delicate floral fabric introduce playful hints of a countryside setting.
The desk is of a ingenious design that swings away to disappear into a slot left between the cupboards, leaving the living space clear and spacious looking. Over at the windows, roman blinds in a delicate floral fabric introduce playful hints of a countryside setting.
On the opposite wall, bold green tree silhouette wallpaper spans the area, along with two floor to ceiling mirrors that create the illusion of extra space and light.
On the opposite wall, bold green tree silhouette wallpaper spans the area, along with two floor to ceiling mirrors that create the illusion of extra space and light.
A wall mounted entertainment unit prevents the floorspace from being eaten up, and a flatscreen TV keeps things sleek.
A wall mounted entertainment unit prevents the floorspace from being eaten up, and a flatscreen TV keeps things sleek.
Instead of sofa end tables, tiny shelves provide a place for reading lamps and beverages.
Instead of sofa end tables, tiny shelves provide a place for reading lamps and beverages.
Small kitchen design
Small apartment design
Even a small dining area has been made possible in this well thought out space.
Even a small dining area has been made possible in this well thought out space.
Mirrored doors
Colorful choices in the shower room/utility room distract the eye from its limited proportions.
Colorful choices in the shower room/utility room distract the eye from its limited proportions.
White yellow bathroom vanity
Small shower room design
Yellow white tiles

Home plan

 

If you are downsizing or know someone who’s living  in a small space and is stuck, I’d love to help. Lera has shared a few design tricks but there are many more.

Until next time…

Blessings fro my home to yours,

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

Lighting is about so much more than just being able to see in your home. Lighting fixtures are very important decorating elements and can add drama and mood in ways other forms of design cannot. I can’t help but think of how lighting has changed over the decades. I remember a bare bulb hanging from a ceiling cord in my bedroom at my grandparents farmhouse and it was scary! You might remember that sort of fixture as well. Thankfully, that has been relegated to the distant past (I hope).

This week’s article was written by KURT CYR, a HOUZZ Contributor. Read on and enjoy the beautiful photos. They’re sure to give you some ideas for your own home.

Drumroll. These gigantic drum shade pendants are showstoppers.

Why they work: Not only are they overscale and dramatic, but with their steely charcoal finish, they visually reference the cookware hanging on the brick wall. To top it off, they provide excellent task lighting for the kitchen island.

Tiny bubbles. A hovering cloud of bubbles trapped in space, this is a modern twist on the classic chandelier.

Why it works: Downlight is reflected and refracted off the glass orbs, making them appear to magically glow while casting a warm light across the faces of any diners at the table.

Uplight, downlight. Simple sconces disappear when painted to match the wall.

Why it works:
In this minimalist space, light adds an interesting pattern to the walls in lieu of artwork or other overt decoration.
Lighthouse. This ingenious column acts as an architectural beacon.

Why it works:
This dramatic light is the focal point of the staircase. When it’s fully lit, the steps are flooded with light. When dimmed, it casts a soft glow that works like a nightlight to keep the staircase safe.

Move over, Sputnik! This sea urchin dining fixture is a nice change from the typical Sputnik-style fixtures we see everywhere.

Why it works: The bulbs are tucked among the slender rods, washing the walls and ceiling with delicate, twig-like shadows, and further enhancing the texture of the grass cloth–covered walls.

Repeat after me. This pop art–style installation recalls Andy Warhol’s effective use of multiples to create drama.

Why it works:
It’s a great way to light a long hallway. Paper lanterns offer gentle illumination and are inexpensive, so using several won’t break the bank.

Sculptural grouping. This substantial floor lamp is right at home in this living room filled with other large-scale pieces.

Why it works: It’s thoughtfully scaled to the rest of the room’s furnishings. And it’s anchored as part of the composition of leather drum tables, instead of standing alone.

Swing set. Tucked between three windows, these adjustable swing-arm reading lamps do double duty.

Why they work: They provide nice general lighting, but are also poised to act as focused reading lamps for the overstuffed chairs below.

Seeing red. Set against a pale “greige” wall and mellow vintage wooden furniture, this adjustable standing lamp packs a color punch.

Why it works: The lamp provides focused light where needed, but the fixture itself is a standout. The pop of red is just what this neutral scheme needs.

Hanging around. Plunging pendants are a terrific alternative to wall-mounted sconces in the bathroom.

Why they work: It’s a fresher, less expected look. The pendants free up all-important wall space that can be used for hidden medicine cabinets. Hang them at eye level for proper facial illumination.

Amass a collection. The three clear globes of this light fixture echo the collections displayed in this living space.

Why it works: The ceiling fixture has simple, clean lines that don’t compete with the collections; it references them without calling too much attention to itself.

Logroll. This fascinating floor lamp is a cross between a sculpture and a light fixture.

Why it works: The unusually flat shade references the scale of the nearby artwork, while the base adds a wild texture to the very traditional walls, with their panel molding.

By candlelight. A wrought iron candle sconce by the vanity gives this bathroom just the right old-world ambience.

Why it works: The low-wattage bulb dipped in silicone gives the look of an actual flame without the worry of an unattended burning candle.

The birdcage. A delicate metal pendant fixture is an interesting focal point in this room.

Why it works: The shadows cast by the fixture carry pattern onto the ceiling. The metalwork also evokes the filigree on the gold desk chair.

Sculptural focus. This origami-inspired lamp is a beautiful focal piece in this dining area.

Why it works: When the light is off, it looks like a sculpture floating in space. When the light is on, the undulating folds capture and disperse the light in very evocative ways.

Photos: via Houzz

Not sure about placement of fixtures? Here are some guidelines:

  • Hang chandeliers about 30 inches above kitchen islands and dining table. The same for pendants.
  • Install wall sconces about 5 & 1/2 feet from the finished floor. 15-18 inches above fireplace mantels.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

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

There is nothing like textiles to bring interest, texture, color, pattern, and warmth to your home.

The design element that textiles offer is enormously varied. They are easily movable, and replaceable to capture different moods, change out your colors, or reflect the different seasons.

Take a look at these photos. I bet they will give you some ideas of your own. Look at the various pieces you already have. You very well might discover items that could be fabulous in another room. We get so used to seeing things in their original places, that we don’t even think they might be even better, more beautiful, if used in another room

Throws are simply and unequivocably an essential textile in almost any room — no matter the style. The throw might be an accent piece that does double duty as an extra blanket in the guest room.
A pair of strikingly colored throws like these might be the flourish that takes a pair of chairs from academic to dapper. (While you are enjoying this room, note the stack of very comfy floor pillows under the table — a very family-friendly use of textiles, indeed.)
A throw with a single classic stripe, folded just so and placed over the back of the chair and under its seat cushion, raises the style quotient on this classic wing chair by several notches.

Fur throws have been de rigueur ever since the first cave dweller got hungry and chilly at the same time. If you love real fur, peruse consignment and thrift stores, which seem to be stuffed with discarded fur coats and stoles that can be turned into throws, pillows and even small rugs.

If faux fur is more your style, you are in luck: It’s everywhere.

You probably think of throw pillows when you think of textiles. And no wonder. Imagine this sofa without these sumptuous specimens! Although the color tones are similar, the large-scale pattern set against the animal print (the pillow, not the dog) is very well done. The fact that only one pillow is fringed (not including those that match the sofa) is even better.
A woven hamper like this one is, on its own, a cherished member of the textile family. But fill that basket with skeins of yarn and balls of wool, and you’ve created an eye-catching addition to your tablescape.

When you think of accessorizing with textiles, don’t forget rugs. And definitely don’t limit them to the floor. This rug adds amazing depth and detail to the neutral headboard.

Again, one of the great joys of textiles is that they can be switched out at whim, providing a brand-new look without a big financial outlay, whenever your design impulses twitch.

Strictly speaking, ottomans are upholstery. But I like to think of them as accessories, and as such they are perfect for showing off a favorite textile. It could be an ethnic-inspired fabric with a large pattern like this …
… or an antique rug remnant like this. Yummy, huh?

Curtains are a great example of accessorizing with textiles — for comfort, function and beauty. Did you know that puddling the curtain on the floor originated centuries ago, when textiles were so expensive that only the very rich could afford them? So when somebody made such lavish use of fabric, it was essentially a flaunting of wealth. On a more positive note, it also kept drafts to a minimum.

If you decide that curtains are for you, remember this fundamental tenet: Never skimp! Don’t skimp on the fullness, don’t skimp on the length, and never skimp on the proportions. Nothing ruins the look of a window more than skinny, stilted, high-water-pant curtains.

Photo credits: HOUZZ

If you need help in “textiling” your home, email me at me@nancymeadowsdesigns.com for a consultation. Sometimes, it just takes another educated eye to make simple, yet big changes in how your home looks and feels.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

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

We’ve had more rain during this first week of March then we normally have for the entire month. I mean the kind where fish swim across the road and cars are floating instead of driving. Enough already!

Today, however, dawned with a beautiful pink and blue sky, no wind and warmer temperatures. I had to get out outside and what a joyous gift awaited me. It was a feast for the senses. I swear the air was perfumed with the earth coming alive. Birds were singing as if in celebration. As I walked and looked around, I saw pink cherry blossoms, flowering white tulip tree blossoms, daffodil’s saying “good morning” with their cheery yellow flowers. As I looked up, there were the spring green buds on the trees that in a few months will offer their cooling shade. It seemed to have happened overnight.

As I took deep, cleansing breaths, it just felt so good to be alive. I realized again how profoundly healing nature is.

It doesn’t matter if we live on a park-like estate, have a small yard, or a deck or patio, we can create our own version of an outdoor paradise and feel connected to the outdoors with all of its bounty and the healing power it gives to our mind, body, and spirit.

This week, I’m sharing with you some exquisite photos and quotes that I guarantee will lift your soul and remind you of nature’s constant renewal. They remind us, too, of how our lives are constantly being renewed as well. As the long winter turns into spring, we also get a new start.

So take a break, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, take a deep breath and let your mind enjoy a little journey as you view the photos and read the beautiful words. You’ll be glad you did!

“There’s something very important to me about having a kind of relationship, with plants and animals, that can be transacted wholly without language. The warmth of one’s body is a form of communication. The stroke of one’s hand is a means of communication. In the garden those forms are heightened. I have a tendency when I’m walking in the garden to brush the flowers as I go by, anticipating the fragrant eloquence of their response. I get a sense of reciprocity that is very comforting, consoling.” — Stanley Kunitz, The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden

“Gardening, as compared to lawn care, tutors us in nature’s ways, fostering an ethic of give-and-take with respect to the land. Gardens instruct us in the particularities of place … For if lawn mowing feels like copying the same sentence over and over, gardening is like writing out new ones, an infinitely variable process of invention and discovery. Gardens also teach the necessary if un-American lesson that nature and culture can be compromised, that there might be some middle ground between the lawn and the forest … The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.” — Michael Pollan, Second Nature

“One’s sense of one’s self as the center of one’s life, all life, dominates and we forget that, despite the striving, anguish, limitless sensations and desires, we will become the earth itself. A life feels so large and sprawly, so magnetic — it attracts people and objects to it — and when all is said and done, despite the flares of helplessness or angst, it feels sufficiently controlled: it is impossible to imagine ourselves reduced, anonymous, disconnected.” — Diane Ackerman, Cultivating Delight

“The earth and our own bodies, by casting shadows, seem to be the opposite of light. But if you have gazed up through the leaves of a tree at the sky, if you have watched the jeweled crests of waves, or held a shimmering fish in your hand, or lifted you palm against the sun and seen ruby light blazing through the flesh of your squeezed fingers, you know that matter is filled with fire. Matter IS fire, in slow motion … The resistant stuff we touch and walk on and eat, the resistant stuff we are, blood and bone, is not the opposite of light but light’s incarnation.” — Scott Russell Sanders, Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World

“The essential thing is not so much that children should grow up (although they must), as that grown-ups should not lose altogether the innocent sensual pleasures that we knew at our beginning. We should be able to find our way back to the bright discovery days of the world as it was perceived and known in childhood, when every day brought new things to experience and learn … There is nothing like a garden to stimulate and satisfy each and all of our senses.” — Allen Lacy, The Inviting Garden

“To tip a weed from the earth is satisfying. There is a pale, crackling sound heard in the head and felt in the hand as the tenderest root fibers break from their holdfasts; then a bright, cheery crunch as the clump itself gives way. I like the weightiness of the clump; I like the way the weight lightens as the soil, shaken out, beaten out, spatters its sustenance back to the ground. There is a fine sensation of murder.” — Sara Stein, My Weeds: A Gardener’s Botany

“Compared to gardeners, I think it is generally agreed that others understand very little about anything of consequence.” — Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

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

Images courtesy HOUZZ

Check out this video from HGTV that was shown on HUFFPOST HOME. It’s a wonderful example of what we’re calling the “New Neutrals.” Think of amping up what are usually considered neutrals without going overboard.

Colors ranging from grays to burnt orange, they’re not the whites, cremes, and beiges that we commonly refer to as neutrals but they are and they can offer more design pizazz. They are also hues that your eye doesn’t tire of easily either.

Take a look at the video and see what you think of the colors used in this bedroom. You may just decide it’s time to consider the “new neutrals” in your home.

If you like the idea of changing your colors and aren’t quite sure what would work best, email me at me@nancymeadowsdesigns.com. Together we’ll figure out the best combinations that you love and would like to live with. I’d love to help you.

Until next time…

Blessings from home to yours,

Nancy

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

Do you ever look around your home and feel some freshening up is in order?

You don’t want or even need to replace everything and you might not even want to change the paint color. You just want a new look. A mini facelift, if you will.

This week’s article is all about that and it’s happening in your master bedroom.

It does require a padded headboard. I would recommend having this custom-made by an upholsterer, a handyman/woman, or even yourself if you enjoy DIY projects.

Having a custom headboard allows you to choose the width and height. The photos shown here are two panels, but you might prefer one. If so, instead of two panels of fabric, you would have one and the size would be approximately 2/3 the width of the headboard. You can use Velcro for easy attachment and removal.

What makes this fun is you can change the look and feel of your bedroom seasonally or merely on a whim. Tie the fabric of your headboard together with bed pillows and throws. I would also suggest a solid white or creme headboard and linens to allow your fabrics to really pop.

It always amazes me how small changes in design can make such a difference in how a room looks and feels. For the most impact, don’t forget to engage your senses. Think fresh flowers, fragrance diffusers, and rich textures. When you do, you’ll be emotionally lifted each and every time you enter your space—your heart and home.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

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

This week’s article is totally tongue-in-cheek.

But it does serve as a reminder that designing your home should be fun and not taken too seriously.

Yes, mistakes happen. It’s inevitable and can almost always be fixed in some way. Sometimes with even better results than the original plan.

Take a look at these photos from BUZZFEED DIY. I guarantee you’ll find yourself smiling!

1. This foolproof security system.

This foolproof security system.

2. This overenthusiastic sink.

This overenthusiastic sink.

3. This confused floor tile.

This confused floor tile.

M.C. Escher would be horrified.

4. And this one.

And this one.

5. This brand-conscious house.

This brand-conscious house.

6. These drawers that forgot their life’s purpose.

These drawers that forgot their life's purpose.

7. This driveway that will definitely absolutely kill you.

This driveway that will definitely absolutely kill you.

8. And this garage that you’ll never get to enter.

And this garage that you'll never get to enter.

9. This tilted window.

This tilted window.

10. All of these quasi-unusable toilets.

All of these quasi-unusable toilets.
11.

Known in some circles as “BFF urinals.”

13.

That looks like a solid solution.

14. This MacGyvered light fixture.

This MacGyvered light fixture.

15. And this totally repaired coffee table.

And this totally repaired coffee table.

#lifehack

16. This unclosable door.

This unclosable door.

17. And this unopenable one.

And this unopenable one.

18. This lofty perch.

This lofty perch.

BYO ladder.

19. This statement chandelier.

This statement chandelier.

Although this could be a personal choice.

20. This door that just wants to be a window.

This door that just wants to be a window.

21. This horror of horrors.

This horror of horrors.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy

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

If you have the wall space, sometimes one large piece of art is more dramatic and can enhance your design impact in a far greater way than several smaller pieces.

One large canvass can also become a focal point all on in its own.

Check out the photos and the explanations that point out how and why the canvasses were chosen. They’ll give you ideas and considerations when choosing your own art.

To begin with a neutral palette, like this creamy sofa and rug ensemble, we can see that the series of swatches across the canvass picks up not only the paler hues, but works through the spectrum to tie in every shade right through to the black accent cushions. Of course, your wall art doesn't have to appear as a spectrum, but look for pieces that work all the way though your color story, from light to dark.
To begin with a neutral palette, like this creamy sofa and rug ensemble, we can see that the series of swatches across the canvass picks up not only the paler hues, but works through the spectrum to tie in every shade right through to the black accent cushions. Of course, your wall art doesn’t have to appear as a spectrum, but look for pieces that work all the way though your color story, from light to dark.
On the other hand, your wall art can introduce color to your room that was never there to begin with, but will become a welcome addition by adding a vibrancy to the overall look. By keeping the artwork more on the abstract side, you do not risk introducing too many new themes along with your new splash of color. The solitary bowl beneath, in a contrasting color, works well here.
On the other hand, your wall art can introduce color to your room that was never there to begin with, but will become a welcome addition by adding a vibrancy to the overall look. By keeping the artwork more on the abstract side, you do not risk introducing too many new themes along with your new splash of color. The solitary bowl beneath, in a contrasting color, works well here.
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Circular rug
White L shaped sofa
Modern art doesn't have to be harsh, this example has a soft, femininity to it.
Modern art doesn’t have to be harsh, this example has a soft, femininity to it.
Green white lounge
Autumn color scheme

We love the hit of vibrancy created by the matching indigo art and scatter cushions in this example, the pop is very unexpected in a stark white room.

We love the hit of vibrancy created by the matching indigo art and scatter cushions in this example, the pop is very unexpected in a stark white room.
As always, when choosing art pieces or anything else for your home, you must love it. It’s not enough that it complements your design, but also the joy you feel each time you look at it. Photos: INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS Art: MARK LAWRENCE, Alpharetta, Georgia

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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