Monthly Archives: February 201831

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Why Asymmetry Is an Important Part of Interior Design (and How to Make it Work)

It may seem counterintuitive, but asymmetry matters in interior design. Image: Denver Image Photography

Though trends are an important part of the interior design landscape, nothing can overtake the necessity of understanding the fundamentals of how design works. Which is why, today, we’re going back to basics. We’re about to take a look at why asymmetry is a crucial component of design in our homes.

Keep reading to learn more about what exactly asymmetry is, why it matters and how you can pull it off in your own interiors. We’re sure by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll be ready to make a few adjustments of your own.

balance

Asymmetry is a type of balance. Image: Clean Design

What is asymmetry?

Put simply, asymmetry is a type of balance that’s often used in design. Typically, when people consider balance as a concept, they stick to working with symmetry — or mirror images — in their interiors. While that’s always a viable option, it’s far from the only one to choose from.

In reality, there are three distinct forms of balance you can incorporate as part of your design. They are as follows:

  • Symmetrical/formal balance: This type of balance is created by taking the room and splitting it into two halves that mirror each other. It could, for example, include a living room that features two sofas with a coffee table between them.
  • Asymmetrical/informal balance: In this case, the room is balanced by the repetition of similar forms, lines and colors, but there is no mirroring or exact duplication. A living room done in an asymmetrical style might feature a sofa with an end table on one end and a floor lamp on the other.
  • Radial balance: Radial balance is the most infrequently used option on this list, but it involves similar objects being placed around a common center point. It’s most often seen in dining table arrangements where the same chair is used throughout.
visual interest

Put simply, asymmetry makes things a little more interesting. Image: Amit Apel Design Inc.

It adds visual interest

Now that you know what asymmetry is, it’s important to take a more in-depth look at why people use it in their designs. The most common reason is that it adds more visual interest. Where the repetition of symmetrical arrangements has a tendency to feel monotonous over time, asymmetrical looks keep us on our toes.

There’s actually a psychological basis for why this occurs. It has to do with the way our brains process information. They aim to pick up on as many patterns and repetitions as possible, so the mirroring effect of symmetrical design makes those rooms very easy to figure out. In asymmetrical spaces, the patterns are less immediately obvious, so it takes our brains a bit longer to process them and ultimately makes them more interesting.

Take the picture above as an example. While the room features a consistent color palette, the same number of chairs on either side of the coffee table, and even a symmetrical layout, it was probably the fireplace that caught your eye first — and held it. Asymmetrical elements are a good tool to use when you want to call attention to a feature of your design.

Asymmetrical design can make your interiors feel more casual. Image: Lucas Y. Hernandez

It’s more casual

Take a second to think of all the mirror images you’ve seen in interior design. More than likely, the images you’re thinking of are stately living rooms that feature double couches or a long dining table with two rows of identical chairs. This rigid duplication of symmetrical design has a tendency to present as more formal and even a little stuffy.

In contrast, asymmetrical designs aren’t constrained by the same level of perfection. The allowance for differences in their arrangement enables the space to feel a bit more casual, a bit more “lived-in.” As such, asymmetrical designs are often favored in high-traffic areas of the home, such as family rooms and eat-in kitchens.

tips

Follow these tips to bring asymmetry to your interiors. Image: Isler Homes

How to pull it off

The last step to becoming a master of asymmetrical design is to know how to apply these concepts in your own home. While there are no hard-and-fast rules for this one, we do have a couple of suggestions to get started.

  • Make it a focal point: If you’re going big with your asymmetrical element (like the fireplace above), make sure it’s something that would be a natural focal point and build the rest of your design around it.
  • It can be big or small: Asymmetry doesn’t always have to make a huge statement. Sometimes even piv0ting a chair at an angle is enough.
  • Use odd numbers: Arranging groupings in odd numbers is a great way to utilize asymmetrical design.
  • Remember coordinating elements: When you’re going asymmetrical, it’s crucial to include a few common threads to help pull everything together. Repeating elements with similar colors, lines and shapes are the way to go.
  • Use your perception: Pay attention to how your asymmetrical elements make you feel. If something feels “off” about your design, you may have to make a few tweaks until everything makes sense.
asymmetry

Will you be giving asymmetry a chance? Image: Isler Homes

Believe it or not, asymmetry is a foundational principle of interior design. Read over this post and consider our tips carefully. We’re sure when you learn more about the why and how of this design technique, you’ll be ready to give it appropriate attention in your home.

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Want a Home Library? Here Are 4 Tips to Help Make Your Dream Come True

You’ve always wanted a home library. Now’s the time to make it happen. Image: Trilogy Cabinets & Design

Most bookworms we know dream of having a space where they can escape from the world with a good book. Though home libraries may sound like a thing of the past, there’s no reason why you can’t create one of these areas in your own home. All it takes is a little planning to make sure this project comes out the way you’ve always envisioned.

Since these spaces are highly personal, much of your design will come down to your tastes. But there are some tips to help ensure your home library functions at its best, regardless of your aesthetic. Read on below to get one step closer to creating your dream home.

shelving

Proper shelving is key to your display. Image: JWT Associates

Focus on your display

Proper storage is the holy grail of the home library. If you’re an avid reader, you’ve likely spent a lot of time storing your books in less-than-ideal conditions. Now that you’ve committed to designing your very own library, it’s time to proudly put your books on display.

The first step is picking the best location in your home for this project. Few are lucky enough to be able to dedicate an entire room to the task. Rather, it’s much more common to find creative ways to share space with a home office or formal living space. If need be, a smaller reading nook can also be carved out from previously unused space in a master bedroom or loft area.

Once you can picture where your library will take shape, it’s time to get serious about storage. Floor-to-ceiling shelving units or built-ins are the traditional choices. However, these days, homeowners are getting more creative. Search out some design inspiration for alternatives that will work in your unique space.

seating

Make sure there’s plenty of seating. Image: Martha O’Hara Interiors

Create the right seating arrangement

After storage, proper seating is the next most important part of a home library. There are very few hard-and-fast rules here, but whether your space will accommodate a single chair or you have square footage for a whole grouping, it should be comfortable. This is one of the few times we’ll advise you to forgo ultra-modern minimalism in favor of the larger, more plush pieces common in traditional design.

Once you have your furniture in place, designing a proper layout is the next step. Of all the seating arrangements in your home, this one in particular should feel welcoming. Try arranging each piece at a slight angle to bring a casual and comforting air to the space. When there is more than one seating element involved, you’ll want to position them so they’re angled toward each other rather than turning away.

layer lighting

Layer lighting to make reading easy. Image: Amanda Kirkpatrick Photography

Layer your lighting

While proper lighting is a key element in every room in your home, it’s especially crucial in a library. No one likes the struggle of squinting to make out words. Providing a proper lighting scheme, as well as the right type of light, is essential to the room’s ability to function the way you want.

Start by reviewing your existing lighting scheme. Ideally, it will feature at least one of each of the following:

  • Ambient: Also known as general lighting, ambient light fills the majority of the room and allows you to move around safely. It usually comes from recessed lighting, track lighting or wall-mounted fixtures.
  • Accent: Accent lighting is used to highlight a particular focal point, such as a piece of wall art. Picture lights, wall-mounted-fixtures or track lighting are common, and dimmers are often used on these features to provide mood lighting.
  • Task: As the name suggests, task lights are used to assist you in completing a particular function. This could be anything from desk lamps to pendant lights that hang over a kitchen island.

Here, your ambient and task lighting is most important. Make sure to have one of each directly above or beside each spot in your seating area. Then, provide the right light temperature. Day bulbs, ranging from 5,000K-6,500K, are the best choice for reading, so you may want to invest in a few of those.

cozy

This space should be as cozy as possible. Image: Kevin Dakan Architect

Make it cozy

The last component to any home library is coziness. While this isn’t an official principle of interior design, in our minds, it’s absolutely essential here. After all, this space is an indulgence at heart. Your final product needs to feel like somewhere you’d gladly curl up with a good book for hours on end.

In this case, utilizing textiles is an especially great option for bringing a level of comfort to the room. For example, you can ground the space with a nice, plush throw rug. Then, add a few throw pillows to each chair or sofa in your seating arrangement. Finally, consider adding a soft blanket to the mix to keep warm in cooler temperatures.

The last component is adding an element of personalization. Since your home library will likely function as an escape from the stresses of everyday life, that’s incentive to make it feel like an oasis. Whether it’s a piece of wall art or a particular décor item that will make this room feel like your own, here is official permission to invest.

home library

Take our advice and create a home library of your own. Image: LINEA, …read more      

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Get Your Space Oscar-Ready With These 10 Old Hollywood Glamour Decor Ideas

The Oscars are March 8. Why not get Oscar-ready by adding a little Hollywood-chic to your home? Old Hollywood glamour decor is fresher than you’d think — many of its elements like velvets, greys, mirrors and glass are perfectly modern and hot for 2018.

Here are some ways you can add a little old Hollywood glamour decor to your home, in time for the Oscars.

1. It’s all about silver, platinum and light metallic sheens

Layer matte and high-gloss shades of silver or grey in your home to ramp up the Hollywood luxe. Mirrors and chrome are two great ways to incorporate the look. Image: AM Dolce Vita

2. Add some fur

old hollywood glamour decor ideas

Faux fur pillows, rugs or throws, especially in grey, platinum or pewter tones add glamour to any room. Image: The Expert Touch

3. Curvy and rounded old Hollywood glamour decor is essential

The old Hollywood vibe takes cues from Art Deco style. Add curved furniture or a round mirror or table to get the look. Image: Jamie Herzlinger

4. Pattern and texture required

old hollywood glamour decor

Repeating patterns, tufting and quilted fabric are all important elements of the old Hollywood glamour decor look. Image: Centered by Design

Notice the patterns expressed in all the decor ranging from the geometric wall paper to the quilted bench and bed cover and the stripe detail on the rug and curtains. Image: Greg Natale

5. Mirrored decor and furniture add old Hollywood glamour to any room

Add a mirrored side table or some mirrored candle holders to “glamorize” your room. Image: L2 Interiors

6. Don’t skimp on the lighting

It’s all about drama — and the best place to add some is in the lighting. A large chandelier featuring lots of bling is the perfect way to glam a space a la Hollywood Regency style. Image: Kohler

7. Make friends with purple

Purple is the color of royalty — and its Hollywood counterparts. Add your favorite shade of purple; it looks fabulous with greys, silvers and whites. Image: Kimberley Seldon

8. Layer in velvet, suede, faux fur, silk and leather

A glamorous Hollywood Regency style home has to look and feel like a million bucks. Velvets, silks and suedes are a quick way to get the effect. Image: Starr Homes

9. Add clear glass and acrylic pieces

The clear effect not only adds glamour and shine, it also expands the look of a room. Image: Keough Sterns Interiors

10. Add your favorite Hollywood starlet to your room

If you’re a film buff, add your favorite icon to your walls as art. Go with a black and white image for that old Hollywood feel. Image: Design Stories SF

Now that your room is Oscar-ready, don’t forget yourself! A pair of silk pajamas or fabulous loungewear will tie in nicely.

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Small Tilted Kiosks in Canada Inspire a Sense of Movement

Atelier Urban Face completed the design and development of the “Mount-Royal Kiosks” project. These three oddly shaped buildings are meant to spice up urban family escapes in Mount Royal Park, Montreal, Canada.

“The new kiosks take on the shape of the hamlet,” the architects explained. “This was an important factor in the design, as a hamlet incorporates the idea of a village, one that encourages a sense of interaction and community. The positioning of the kiosks are random, representing a dialogue between the kiosks and the main pavilion, the waterfall at Beaver Lake.”

The installation is inspired by two main components: the play of light and the constant shifting of the wind. Thanks to steel structures, each kiosk leans at a different angle, as if being pushed by the wind. The first kiosk is inclined at 10 degrees, designed for both summer and winter class field trips. With enough room for up to 30 people, the activity possibilities are numerous.

The second kiosk, inclined at 20 degrees, houses tools and equipment for park services, as well as a first aid station. The third, with it’s 30-degree incline, is home to the ticket office, plus storage of recreational equipment.

“The uniqueness of each individual kiosk is the result of their integration into the park in the most discreet and harmonious manner possible,” the architects said. “Not only respecting the environmental integrity of the mountain itself, but blending in with the poetry of the landscape, and all this with an eye on longevity.” Information provided by Atelier Urban Face; photography courtesy of Fany Ducharme, Normand Rajotte, Sylvain Legault and Sylvie Perrault.

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10 Things to Do With the Empty Space Over Your Bed

You’ve got the perfect headboard and bedding set up. But does your bedroom still feel a little … vanilla? The large and empty wall area over your bed is probably the reason something’s missing. It’s not easy to decorate the area over your bed — it’s a long and sometimes narrow area. Here are some easy ways you can take your bedroom wall decorating to the next level.

1. Paint (or wallpaper) the wall a rich, vibrant color

Set off the headboard wall with a rich color or beautifully textured wallpaper. Image: Clean Design Partners

2. Hang a patterned rug

bedroom wall decorating ideas - freshome.com

Hanging a rug over your bed sideways could be the perfect solution to filling the large wall beautifully. Image: Modern Mecca

bedroom wall decorating ideas - freshome.com

A tapestry that’s been mounted on a pole makes an interesting bedroom wall decor idea. Image: An Aesthetic Pursuit

3. Add a wall mural

A map of the world mural in contemporary shades of grey add personality to this simple bedroom. Image: Gaile Guevara Studio

The mural in this sophisticated bedroom is finished with a wood frame to re-create the look of a large painting. Image: Raji RM & Associates

4. Create a gallery wall

Try putting a gallery wall together of your favorite objects. Besides hooks, be sure to use double-sided tape to ensure the artworks don’t fall off the wall and on you. Image: Ms. Weatherbee

5. Hang a room divider

A quick and effective way to fill the empty wall space behind your bed involves hanging a room divider. This three-panel version in silk is especially polished and elegant. Image: Oliver Burns

6. Hang a horizontal painting or mirror

Not sure what type of horizontal art would be the perfect scale for over your bed? Choose one that’s somewhere between 2″ to 12″ shorter than your bed’s width and center it. Image: Alessandro Cerruti

A horizontal mirror expands the sense of space in a bedroom. Mirrors can be heavy and dangerous if they fall — use caution when hanging one or hire a professional to mount it safely over your bed. Image: By Helen Design

This bedroom wall uses two design elements to create a wall that pops: a rich, textured wallpaper and a contemporary horizontal wall canvas in a contrasting color. Image: Zero Energy

7. Hang a series of wall art horizontally

A triptych (trio) of metal lattice wall panels are the perfect wall decor over the bed. Image: A Good Chick To Know

You can space your wall panels as close together or as far apart as you’d like to fill the wall area. Just be sure they all measure the same distance from each other to look symmetrical. Image: Charm Home

8. Use vertical panels to fill the wall

Have tall ceilings you find challenging to decorate? Try hanging vertical wall art in a series to fill the wall. Image: Joel Kelly Design

9. Hang sculptural pieces in a freeform pattern

For something a little more dimensional and less typical, skip the paintings and hang a series of wall decor. Try hanging different sizes in a freeform pattern for the most dramatic effect. Image: Opal DC

Modern paper lanterns create a fun and unexpected bedroom wall decorating idea. Image: Twist Tours

Repeating metal sculptures in a coral shape are hung on the wall in a circular pattern to offset the angular furniture pieces. Image: Our Style Stories

10. Add stylish storage

Claim the space over your bed by adding clean and modern storage. Narrow, wall-mounted storage cabinets with mirrored or colorful doors can hide a multitude of items. Image: Ensoul

Try mixing and matching a few of these bedroom wall decorating ideas to complete your room. Which are your favorite ideas?

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Check Out 15 Stunning Tile Design Ideas Just In Time for National Tile Day

National Tile Day is February 23. And we can thank the largest stone and tile show in North America, Coverings, for bringing it back. “National Tile Day is rooted in a desire to celebrate the many great benefits tile has to offer as a material,” explains Alena Capra, industry ambassador for Coverings. “We’re encouraging the architecture and design community to get inspired by tile.”

Tile is a great choice when you’re looking for something durable and unique. Nowadays it can even look like hardwood flooring, complete with the grooves and textures, but offers a lower maintenance surface that doesn’t need refinishing.

We’ve come a long way from the basic white 16″ squares of the past. Here are 15 tile design ideas to inspire you:

Mid-century modern tile design ideas

A mid-century modern dining room wall is finished in a white retro tile to add texture. Image: Mod-Ified

modern tile design ideas - freshome.com

A vibrant retro aqua tile backsplash offsets the crisp white cabinets and yellow pops of color. Image: Tile Desire

The geometric pattern appears 3D due to the shadowing of the design. Image: Anthology Interiors

Textured tile design ideas

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White honeycomb tile runs floor to ceiling in front of a marble field tile in this contemporary bedroom. Image: Cle Tile

bathroom tile design ideas - freshome.com

Soft waves carved into the large format tiles add a peaceful, spa-like feel to this contemporary bathroom. Image: Porcelanosa

outdoor tile design ideas - freshome.com

A home’s atrium is finished in a dimensional tile to create light and shadow textures from the skylight above. Image: Garrison Hullinger

Metallic tile

metallic tile design ideas - freshome.com

This metallic herringbone-pattern tile is available in gold (shown) and silver. The tile is durable enough to work as a backsplash or floor tile. Image: Porcelanosa

New kitchen backsplash tile ideas

backsplash tile design ideas - freshome.com

A small floral repeating pattern softens the hard edges in this chef’s kitchen. Image: Walker Zanger

backsplash tile ideas - freshome.com

A powder blue, brown and white backsplash pattern gives the transition open kitchen a sense of depth and interest. Image: Walker Zanger

The wall tiles warm up the masculine and contemporary look of this kitchen. Image: CBD Lofts

This kitchen’s tricolor tile pattern ties in all the color elements perfectly. Image: Sustainable Kitchens

Modern floor tile design ideas

A kitchen tile floor is one of the easiest surfaces to clean and maintain. Image: Optimise Design

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Black and white marble tiles form a stripe pattern on the floor and in a modern grid pattern on the bathroom wall. Image: Optimise Design

Bathroom tile design ideas

Vivid turquoise raised elliptical tiles work well with the cherry wood bathroom vanity. Image: Sarah Jeffries Design

bathroom tile ideas - freshome.com

Layers of monochromatic tiles in the form of distressed wood planks, marble squares and octagonal shapes create an understated yet elegant bathroom. Image: Porcelanosa

Which tile design idea is your favorite? Comment here or post your favorite on our Facebook page using the hashtag #nationaltileday.

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Awesome Room Divider Ideas, Even If You Have a Small Space

Open space living in lofts, studios or homes with high ceilings and few walls are very popular. The open architectural look may be gorgeous, but not always practical. Being able to have a private bedroom or a way to divide the living space from the dining room would create a more functional feel to a home.

So how can you add a little intimacy or privacy to a room without closing up your space permanently? By getting creative and adding a room divider that can open and close as needed, or moved to another spot. Check out these awesome room divider ideas that can work in nearly any space, large or small.

Room divider ideas using bookcases

There’s no better way to multitask than to use a room divider that features storage, too. A bookcase may be the perfect solution. For the ultimate flexibility, add locking wheels to the bookcase so you can roll it to where you need. Or if you’re sure you won’t be moving it, consider adding a built-in cabinet to divide a space.

A sleek wood bookcase with no backing divides the open living area without blocking sunlight. Image: Musa Design

room divider ideas for the bedroom - freshome.com

This studio owner added a wall of bookcases to create a more private bedroom feel. Image: Kea Design

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A built-in bookcase is the only wall in this small studio. It doubles as storage and a divider to separate the living area from the bed. Image: Elayne Barre

room divider ideas

A centered cabinet can store cutlery and china on the dining room side and hold books and the television on the living room side. Image: Ciccozzi Architecture

Hanging room dividers

When floor space is of a premium, hanging a room divider can be the perfect solution.

room dividers

The room divider by Blomming appears to be made from a textile in a laser-cut pattern, but it’s actually more modular than that! Each diamond, or facet, can be tilted to open to create a custom look.

For a sleek fabric room divider, hang a curtain featuring large metal grommets from a simple chrome bar mounted on the ceiling. Image: Podio Arquitectura

Geometric room divider ideas

Sometimes a room divider is nothing more than a design feature that creates the illusion of dividing a large or small area without actually closing it off. These room divider ideas are the perfect example. They add a custom look to a room that’s memorable.

Panels of stacked wood blocks add a graphic look to the area dividing the living room and dining room. Image: Betty Wasserman

A custom metal panel with leaves and vines not only divides the space, but creates beautiful shadows on the floors when the sun shines in. Image: SFA Design

The clever installation of a graphic wall serves as both a headboard on one side and a desk on the other side. Image: Kimberley Seldon

An industrial loft’s focal point is a glass and iron room divider. Image: Axis Mundi

Slatted wood room divider ideas

Simple wood slats can be mounted to create a sense of a smaller, intimate area without completely closing off the spot. Depending on a home’s decor, the look can be mid-century modern or contemporary in style.

Wood slatted room dividers create a small library or sitting room in an open loft. Image: Stebelskiy Studio

Adding uplights and some greenery to a slatted room dividing wall create a zen vibe. Image: Futurcret

The wood slats of this contemporary home were stained in a rich black tone. Each slat rotates to close off the space completely or open it up as shown. Image: Don Taylor Design Associates

This room divider hides the stairwell. Image: Maurizio Giovannoni

The light-color stain of the wood slats adds a natural Scandinavian feel to the small studio space. Image: Mr. Mitchell

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Butterfly Wings Inspire Art Studio Design in Connecticut

Valerie Schweitzer Architects completed the design of a tiny sanctuary for creativity and reflection in Westport, Connecticut. Inspired in part by the closing of a butterfly’s wings, this 350 square foot (32.5 square meter) art studio and private office for a family home, provides a comfy refuge.

“Like shards protruding from the earth, the studio’s angled panels clad in stucco and recycled teak, impart a primitive and futuristic quality at the same time,” the architect said.

“Due to the skylight and narrow windows, there is a strong sense of privacy and being hidden from the rest of the world. The view of changing skies and light create an optimal space for intermittent reflection during artistic production.”

The interior may seem small, but it offers everything an artist needs. There is plenty of space here for an office, a sports mat and even a half bathroom.

Energy efficient elements of the design include concrete flooring with integrated radiant heat piping, as well as a cross-ventilation system, achieved by carefully placed windows that capture breezes off the nearby Long Island Sound. Information and photography provided by Valerie Schweitzer Architects.

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We Asked Interior Design Pros to Share Their Best Tips on Small Space Living

The pros weigh in on how they handle small space living. Image: McGinn Photography

Anyone who’s ever had to deal with a tiny apartment knows that small space living comes with its own set of challenges. It doesn’t mean designing these spaces is impossible. With a little planning and forethought, even the most cramped spaces can become equal parts functional and eye-catching.

If you’re dealing with tight square footage and aren’t quite sure where to start, you’re in luck. We asked some interior design pros to share their best tips for designing small spaces. Keep reading to see what they had to say.

space planning

Plan your space carefully before you start buying. Image: Finch London

Think it through

“Make sure to be precise as to the function of the space. Ask yourself questions about how you use the room. For example, do you need storage for kids toys? Is a sectional a necessity or will a sofa and a chair be fine? Would a round table be a better fit for your dining area? Asking these types of questions will help you identify your specific problem areas — and viable solutions before you start to purchase furnishings, which will ultimately save you time and money. ” — Basia Falcon, owner and head designer of Sycamore & Gray in Highland Park, IL.

statement piece

Go big with a statement piece. Image: Kelly Martin Interiors

Don’t discount a statement piece

“Get the size right! Too often consumers think my space is small so I’ll buy a bunch of small pieces. Top designers know that’s the exact opposite of good space planning — one stunning statement piece of anything always makes a better impact than many busy small items just creating visual clutter.” — Charmaine Wynter of Charmaine Wynter Interiors Inc. in Southlake, TX

uplighting

Invest in uplighting. Image: Lindye Galloway Interiors

Opt for lifted lighting

“In smaller spaces, flat areas like the floor and table tops are at a premium, so consider lighting solutions that hang in the air like wall sconces by your sofa and pendant lighting by your bed. However, if your home relies on recessed can lighting for most of its illumination, be sure to layer in some floor or table lamps so that you have light casting up onto your ceiling, too. Leaning too heavily on recessed lighting tends to leave the ceiling in darkness, and that makes any space feel smaller.” — Rebecca West, Interior Designer at Seriously Happy Homes in Seattle, WA

unifying color

Let color unify the space. Image: Ally Fountain for Ethan Allen – Bellevue

Consider a unifying color

“I recommend covering all the walls of the room in one color to make it feel larger. Consider using a warm and rich or soft and soothing hue to cover the majority of the room, including the ceiling. Highlighting one unifying color fades defining lines, which enhances the coziness of the space. Additionally, using that wall color at least one other time in your space — either in an area rug or a small accent piece — will pull your style together while continuing to let it feel open.” — Dee Schlotter, Color Expert, PPG Industries, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA

multi-functional

Use multi-functional pieces wherever possible. Image: West Elm UK

Make it multi-functional

“Regardless of your style, the most important thing to decorating a small space well is to invest in pieces that can be used for more than one thing. If space is an issue, think about investing in multi-functional furniture like a set of nesting tables that can double as a coffee table. A desk can also function as a buffet when entertaining, or even a bench can be a coffee table, extra seating.” — Lisa Melone Cloughen of Melone Cloughen Interiors, Inc. in New York, NY

small space living

Use these tips to get the most out of small space living. Image: Day True

Most of us would agree that small space living requires a certain amount of flexibility and creativity. However, when done right, there’s no reason why even the tightest of spaces can’t showcase a design worthy of acclaim. To help you get the most out of your space, we asked interior design pros to share their best advice for helping compact rooms shine. Read over their tips and do your best to incorporate them in your own interiors. Sometimes one tip makes all the difference.

Do you live in a small space? If so, what tips do you have for making limited square footage work in your favor? Share them with us in the comments below.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinet Trend

Are you ready to get in on the two-toned kitchen cabinet trend? Image: Zoe Wighton Photography

Kitchens have always been at the forefront of interior design trends and for good reason. For most of us, the kitchen is one of the most used rooms in our homes, so there’s no reason not to invest in aesthetics. These days, two-toned kitchen cabinets are the look everyone seems to be clamoring over, and all it takes is one look to see why this trend is piquing homeowners’ interest.

If you, too, have fallen in love with the two-toned look, you’re in luck. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common ways people are getting in on this trend. Read them over and decide which one works best for you. At the end of the day, whichever one you choose is guaranteed to bring plenty of visual interest to your home.

focal point

Make one set of cabinets your focal point. Image: J NORD WOLFE General Contracting Inc.

Pick a focal point

One of the most common ways for someone to get in on this trend is through choosing one set of cabinets to become a focal point for the space. In this case, a kitchen island is usually chosen because of its central spot in the layout. However, there’s no need to feel limited by that arrangement. Before making your decision, consider using space planning applications to see how a splash of color can draw the eye to various angles of the room.

After you decide on the placement, it’s time to think about color. If you decide to go this route, remember the purpose of a focal point is to be eye-catching. It can stand up to a big and bold shade. The hue you choose is entirely up to you, but those who want to be extra on-trend may want to consider using Ultra Violet, Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year or a jewel tone.

wood

Consider using other materials like wood. Image: Henrybuilt

Think beyond paint

If a bold paint color isn’t quite your thing, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to apply this look. One of them is to use two separate materials in your cabinet design. A wood finish is typically selected for part of the look, but you could, for example, mix it with laminate for a sleek, modern look or glass and aluminum to give the room an industrial feel.

If you’re planning on mixing and matching in this way, remember that design inspiration is the key to success. Use your intended design style as a starting point and then use sites like Freshome to determine which materials are most commonly used together in that aesthetic. That way, you can be sure that your final product will exceed expectations.

bold color

Make a statement with a bold shade. Image: Heidi Caillier Design

Go darker on the bottom

Another common way to utilize this trend is by using a darker shade on your lower cabinets and a lighter shade on top. On the one hand, this look works because it allows you to make a statement by using a bold color on your lowers and simultaneously helps to ground the space. On the other, it also helps the space look larger because the lighter shade on your upper cabinets will help draw the eye upward.

In this case, you have a choice on how to present the trend. You can pair a bold color with white, as shown above. Alternatively, you could try for an ombre look. Either way, the key to pulling this look off is to repeat the lighter color in other applications throughout the room.

lighter on top

Don’t forget to add a few coordinating elements. Image: Hughes Developments

Remember coordinating elements

However you decide your cabinets should look, there is one key detail to keep in mind: Each one of your cabinets should include some sort of coordinating element. Remember, when you have two distinct looks in the same space, it’s crucial to include a few details that will make it clear that they belong together.

You can go about tying your cabinets together in a few ways. In the picture above, for example, both the upper and lower cabinets fit within the same color palette. Consider using two different shades of the same color as your equalizer. However, if you’d rather include two distinct hues, you should think seriously about using the same hardware throughout the space to bring the look together.

two-toned kitchen cabinet

Use these tips to pull off the two-toned kitchen cabinet trend. Image: Tradewinds General Contracting Inc.

Kitchen design trends are nothing new, but we’re particularly excited about what’s happening right now. The two-toned kitchen cabinet design trend is here and it looks like it will be around for quite a while. Use the ideas in this post as your design inspiration to create a look that matches your personal tastes. With just a few small tweaks, you can create an on-trend look you’ll love for years to come.

What do you think of the two-toned kitchen cabinet trend? Will you consider trying it out in your own home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Everything You Need to Know About the Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinet Trend appeared first on Freshome.com.

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