Thursday, September 29, 2011

Re-Feathering The Nest


  The kids are all grown up and moved out of the house. An exciting time for many parents longing for peace and quiet with their significant other, and a sad time for many parents wondering where the years went. There’s even a special name for the feelings parents go through at this time, Empty Nest Syndrome: general feeling of loneliness that parents or guardians may feel when one or more of their children leave home.  Though there’s no cure, that we know of, for this so-called syndrome there are active steps you can take to keep your focus on the positive points of your new, quieter, nest.
  Think about what you can do with that newly vacant bedroom. Time to redecorate! Interior decorator ZoĆ« Goldfine shares three fabulous ways, courtesy of  iVillage, to carve out a brand new just-for-you space as well as tips on incorporating your son's or daughter's ideas into the design.
The Girls-Only Office
Are you working on bills or your home business paperwork at the kitchen table? No more! Turn your child's old bedroom into a private work and relaxation space that exudes your signature style.
  • For a cozy, feminine look, forget the leather-top desk, wing chair and credenza, and upholster a sofa bed or daybed in chenille. Add silk throw pillows; dress the windows with soft, sheer linen; and invest in a fabulous cashmere throw to snuggle up with. Keep the walls, floor and ceiling all one shade, preferably a pastel.
  • Crave a more traditional feel? Paint the walls a dark color, and keep the trim white, the floors a dark wood ‑- such as walnut or mahogany ‑- and the ceiling white to keep the space from feeling too cramped. Fill the room with tailored furniture (think lacquered pieces with a Chinese influence) and use lots of patterns: floral upholstery, paisley pillows and striped window treatments.
  • For an airy, organic feel, paint the walls and ceiling a pale shade; keep the floors a light wood, such as birch or pickled oak; and throw down a natural, sisal rug. Choose overstuffed, slipcovered sofas in white, cream, light blue, pale yellow or light green, and hang sheer flowing curtains that puddle a bit on the floor. Painted, weathered furnishings in natural oak or even a natural dark walnut are good options.
  • The Hollywood Regency look is quite fashionable right now, and it's achieved by layering patterns on patterns. Start by hanging black and white floral wallpaper. Next upholster the room's sofa bed or daybed in a striped fabric. Add black and white paisley pillows and bring a geometric pattern to the floor. The furniture must be simple. A Parsons style white or black lacquered desk is perfectly subtle. An interestingly shaped high-gloss white or black lamp, white or black square end tables and modular bookcases will all complement the bold space without adding any further detail.
Craft and Creativity Room
If you find yourself with little space to work on creative projects but a big craving to do so, why not consider converting the space into a crafty extravaganza, a place where you can retreat to knit, paint, wrap presents or make jewelry.
  • Paint the walls a bright color such as fire engine red, canary yellow or apple green ‑- these vibrant shades will boost your mood and spark your creativity.
  • On one wall, install an extra large cork board that you can tack inspirational pictures on; display a large chalk board on another wall to quickly scribble lists and ideas; and hang files on a third wall to hold books, magazines and paperwork.
  • Invest in a two-sided partners' table or desk, so you will have plenty of space to spread out your supplies or enough room for a friend to work alongside you.
  • Floors should be utilitarian: Wood, tile or stone surfaces are ideal. Avoid carpet as it will make any cleanup more difficult.
That's Entertainment Room
We all know there's nothing like seeing a great film on the big screen, so why not create your own home theater? You can invest most of your budget for this room in top-of-the-line media equipment; or you can scale back on high tech items and go all out with over-the-top decor.
  • For the design, think 1930s movie house meets plush residence. Keep the color scheme traditional by using blood red, dark woods and gold accents. For great acoustics, upholster the walls with a rich red felt or velvet, if the budget permits. Paint or stain the room's trim in a mahogany, dark green or navy. Go with a chic and classic geometric-style wall-to-wall carpet for the floors.
  • A themed room is fun, but to keep the space residential and inviting, opt for plush, upholstered chaise lounges, chairs and ottomans or reclining chairs. Kick-up-your-feet seating is key.
  • Design custom built-ins, or save money and opt for prefabricated shelves to stock DVDs, old Hollywood books and loads of bulk candy for the total theater effect.
  • Install a mini fridge to stock with drinks.
  • Into kitsch? Invest in an old-fashioned popcorn maker and decorate the walls with old movie posters.
  • Don't forget surround sound audio and as fabulous a big screen TV as you can afford.
Old Meets New
Make a transition from a kid's room to an adult room easy by involving your son or daughter in the makeover process and incorporating a few of his or her favorite things in the design.
The Color Compromise: To create a perfect color palette for your revamped space, consult the "past tenant." If you don't agree on colors (and given the age gap, there is a good chance you won't), try to incorporate both colors by making your choice the primary color and your son or daughter's preference the room's accent shade.
Feel-Good Final Touches: Gather some of your son or daughter's trophies and ribbons and display them in glass display cases, shadow boxes, floating shelves or simple bookcases. Or fill shelves with his or her favorite photo albums, scrapbooks, yearbooks and nicer knick-knacks ‑- a way to make him or her feel at home in the room. For a truly special touch, frame special family photos in black, white or silver frames and display them on your office desk or an end table. Or convert candid family photos to black and white images; enlarge, frame and display them on the wall in groupings of three or five.
  • Paint the walls a bright color such as fire engine red, canary yellow or apple green ‑- these vibrant shades will boost your mood and spark your creativity.
  • On one wall, install an extra large cork board that you can tack inspirational pictures on; display a large chalk board on another wall to quickly scribble lists and ideas; and hang files on a third wall to hold books, magazines and paperwork.
  • Invest in a two-sided partners' table or desk, so you will have plenty of space to spread out your supplies or enough room for a friend to work alongside you.
  • Floors should be utilitarian: Wood, tile or stone surfaces are ideal. Avoid carpet as it will make any cleanup more difficult.
(Courtesy Of iVillage)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall For These Colors

 Even if the heat hasn't quite subsided, planning a fall project can help get you in the mood for autumn. We like these color schemes from Better Homes & Gardens; they could be applied with paint, fabrics or furniture. (Depending on if you're the kind of person who likes to change up your decor for the seasons) Even though these combinations bring out all the good feeling of fall, none of them would look out of place in summer, spring or winter!

           Plum + Sand
    Warming up a color scheme can be as easy as adding a few new accessories or embellishing those you already have. In this snug bedroom, neutral basics -- a dark wood bed frame and nightstand, tan walls, ivory chair, and duvet cover -- cozy up with plum accents in the rug, blanket, pillow, curtains, and art. Purple can represent either cool or warm parts of the color spectrum, depending on the hue. Look for shades of purple that have a slightly red hue to pull out the warm tones in a room.
        
     
    Chocolate + Rose  
      The romantic atmosphere of this living room gets its personality from pink accents and playful pattern mixing. The room is anchored by warm brown walls trimmed in pale pink, a foundation that helps balance the vibrant colors and patterns. The turquoise rug is an invigorating color that complements the dusty pink sofa and green and white chair. The muted shade of aqua in the rug combined with its floral pattern helps create the room's romantic and slightly glamorous look.
          
       
        
      Aqua + Brown  
        Warm and soothing doesn't have to be boring. Faux bois wallpaper adds visual texture while the dark brown upholstered headboard adds warmth to the room. An aqua coverlet and crisp white sheets keep the room on the fresh side of cozy. A symmetrical arrangement of furniture and accent pieces furthers the calming mood of the room.
       
       
       
       
      Wheat + Warm Yellow  
        Wearing a patina of age, this country-style bedroom captures the warmth of the prairie sun by splashing warm yellow underfoot and coating the walls the color of a field of wheat. A hand-carved bed provides the foundation accent for the room, but the look is on the lighter side with the help of soft shades of khaki, cream, and yellow. A woven basket and simple accents keep this room casually comfortable.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Colonial Funk

 Around the time of the thirteen original American colonies, 1607 - 1733ish, your average new American bathed no more that 2-3 times per year. According the the Colonial Williamsburg history website, "It's safe to assume that we would have found the entire Old Dominion-in fact, all thirteen colonies-afflicted with B.O. And since everyone stank, no one noticed it or recorded it for history." Despite this interesting fact - this is NOT the Colonial Funk we're talking about! (But we found the double meaning for the name quite humorous!)
  Colonial Funk is the latest, trendy way to give a traditional home a more modern spin - without competing with or counteracting it's traditional bones!
HGTV - Design On A Dime
Frank Fontana‘s colonial funk interpretation of The White House Red Room
 Where else can you pair a traditional brocade pattern and Queen Anne chairs with black lacquer wood and stainless steel?  We think this fun new style is an exciting way to combine accessories collected over time that might represent the different styles one has embraced over a lifetime. A traditional kitchen can meet a modern living room with this style...and a little blending!
  What do you think of colonial funk? Would you use this style in your home?