Color Me Happy: In the Pink

From time to time over the next few months, I’ll be highlighting great ideas for rooms that use specific colors.  And, you guessed it, we’re starting with pink!  It’s not just for little girls’ rooms anymore…

We see pink in so many more places in recent years, and even the men’s clothing department is not immune!  Pink can give a range of different feelings to a space, depending on the hue and usage.

This living room is all-over tastefully refined and feminine with light walls and furniture and accents of pale pink.

feminine pink

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For a totally different feeling — a bright and happy combination of pink and green just makes you smile!

pink green

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How about a modern feel?  This bedroom has a 60’s mod feel with a contemporary style.  And of course, pink!

I can hear you right now!  You’re saying, “Yeah, I love pink, but my husband doesn’t!”  How about a room that satisfies both of you?  This room includes some wonderful and subtle pink touches (like that Venetian pink Murano glass chandelier!) with plenty of masculinity.

But surely you wouldn’t put pink in a boys bedroom, right?  In this case, it’s all about the right shade and pattern!
If hubby just won’t consent to pink in the rest of the house, you can always get away with it in your home office!
Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to give pink another think!  For help in giving your home a pinked-out flair (or any other color), contact me today!
Pinkfully Yours,
Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer of All About Interiors

Tantalizing Thanksgiving Tablescapes

For most Thanksgiving gatherings, the food is the star of the show, and while the prep work of hosting the holiday for a large group of family and/or friends can be overwhelming, you can present it all in a beautiful way by taking just a bit of time to create a lovely, tantalizing Thanksgiving tablescape. 

To save you some time, here are some fantastic tablescape ideas that are as easy to pull together as they are beautiful.

Use table runners instead of placemats!  Not only will you add some beautiful color and texture to your table, but the unusual usage of the runner will create some interest!  A simple centerpiece of glass jars filled with fruit, unshelled walnuts, acorns or other seasonal plants will complete the look.

 

thanksgiving-contemporary-table-l

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This tablescape takes the same idea, but uses runners made of canvas and simply painted to look like birch bark.  The centerpiece is a simple composition of small gourds and fall-colored flowers.  If that sounds like too much work, consider using 12×12″ sheets of wood grain or birch park patterned paper available at craft stores or birch bark wrapping paper to create a comparable look.

birch paper

Full directions for this tablescape at Wedding Chicks

Did you make use of metallic spray paint around Halloween to create some shiny pumpkins?  Now you can re-use them for a glamorous tablescape, embellished with some glitzed-up pinecones and berries that you can find in a craft store.

gold table

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I love the muted colors in this tablescape, and these heirloom type pumpkins are fairly easy to find.  How cute are the mini white pumpkin baskets??

warm and earthy

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Don’t you love the bright orange and rust shades with these crisp white pumpkins?  And nothing could be simpler than the little votives in glass filled with indian corn.

orange and white

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Don’t forget about your own yard as a resource for decorating!  Take a walk around the neighborhood to collect beautiful branches with fall color and create a simple for eye-catching tablescape like this one.  I love the texture of the decorative wood balls used on the plates!

traditional and pretty

Centsational Girl

Why is that kids always get the fun stuff to do while waiting at a table?  If you have kiddos coming to your Thanksgiving meal, don’t worry — we’ll get to the kids’ table in a bit, but how about making it interactive for the adults too?  This diy tutorial for creating an interactive placemat is beautiful and simple to do — paper, a pen, some tracing or hand-lettering (if you’ve been practicing your handwriting!), and some decorative washi tape.  (Hint:  instead of trying to trace with a light source as suggested in the tutorial, place your printed version directly on top of your kraft paper and trace the letters with a pen, applying heavy pressure.  When you remove the top paper, you should have the outline of the words underneath and can go back with a white gel pen or chalkboard marker to complete the letters!)  And don’t overlook the lovely leaf placecards!

blog-thanksgiving place mat kraft paper white ink 1

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And speaking of the kids — here are a few ideas for your kids table.  How simple and cute is this?  Little clay pots or cups for the pears and crayons and the hand drawn frames instead of placemats.  Best part of this table?  No clean up!!

brown craft paper

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thanksgivingkids12

Full directions and supplies at Parents.com

I hope I’ve inspired you to give your Thanksgiving table some pizzazz!  Even if your turkey comes out dry, you can still lean back and gaze on your beautiful table and be thankful!

Gratefully Yours,

Melanie

All About Interiors

Are Exteriors as Important as Interiors?

When it comes to design for the home, it is often only the interior that is considered. However, the exterior of the home can reveal a lot about the occupants of a property, and as such, needs to look good to create a favorable impression.

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Why do people focus on the inside?

It is understandable that most people only put their time and effort into designing and decorating the inside of their homes. After all, for many people the inside is a haven, some might say a refuge from the world outside, and so they decorate it in a way that makes them feel comfortable first, and attractive second.

Why worry about the outside?

However, the exterior of a property needs to be considered as well. Whereas the interior of a property only needs to look good in order to suit the tastes and needs of the inhabitants; the exterior also has to do this, as well as acting as a protective barrier against wind and rain and as a security ‘gate’ for unauthorized visitors.

How to approach exterior design

As with any project, the key to a successful result is planning. Unless the owner of a home has a very clear and defined idea of how they want their exterior to look, it can be a good idea to browse through a few design books for inspiration. How the exterior is decorated may also depend upon the architectural style of the property. For example, if a house has been built in a high Victorian style, it may look odd to add ultra-modern features. On the other hand, doing so could afford the exterior a highly original look.

The trend these days is for there to be a more natural transition between the interior and the exterior of properties, and this could influence how the exterior is decorated. For example, a color scheme used in the rooms could be extended to the exterior, or natural materials, such as wood or fiber, could be used in the hallway or patio areas.

Curb appeal

It does not take a great deal of effort to achieve curb appeal. Sometimes all that is needed is a thorough tidy-up, such as pulling up any weeds that are in the garden, mowing the lawn, and ensuring that garbage cans are relatively clean and out of sight. If the exterior of the property features woodwork, such as clapperboards or picket fences, then these need routine maintenance such as having a fresh coat of paint applied.

exterior2

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More intensive maintenance could include the addition of decorative and functional features, such as plantation shutters. These are a very on-trend feature and can add a truly distinctive look to the outside. They can also provide extra security for the windows, acting as an extra barrier against illegal entry.

There is little point making the interior of the home look fantastic if no one is going to appreciate it because the outside has discouraged visitors. Paying as much attention to the exterior as the interior will help create a unified design style and show that the property is cared for.

 

For all your design needs, contact Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer with All About Interiors.

Table Talk: 5 Ways to Improve Your Space with Occasional Tables

Sometimes, when decorating and redecorating, it’s easy to get caught up in the big things — What sofa is the most comfortable and stylish?  Where do I find a rug that “pulls it all together?”  AHH!  My walls are bare — I need some art!  The occasional tables that we need for our spaces can often get overlooked, but the right tables can turn a living room into a GREAT room.

It’s important to know the lingo before you go out shopping, so you can skip any confusion over what exactly you want when you speak to a designer or someone at a furniture store.   By the way, the term “Occasional Table” refers to any table that is not a dining table or a desk, or one that could easily be used in different rooms for different purposes.

  • Cocktail/Coffee Tables — familiar to most people, this table would typically sit in front of a sofa or chair

coffee table

Houzz

  • End Table — Also known as a side table, it is typically located at the end or side of a sofa or chair

side tables

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  • Sofa Table — Also called console tables, this table is longer and narrower and works well behind a sofa

console behind sofa veranda

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  • Media Console — a newer addition to the furniture market, this furniture piece (also called an entertainment console) is designed for displaying TVs, media and electronics.

media console

Ballard Designs

Now that the definitions are out of the way…

5 Ways to Improve Your Space with Occasional Tables

Function First

Before heading out to buy an occasional table, first consider how you will commonly use the table in the specific location you have.  Do you need it for storage?  Extra seating?  Does it need to perform several functions?  This table provides storage inside the ottoman seats as well as extra seating or small tables that could be spread throughout the room.

 

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Consider your space:  is it cramped or spacious? Will you need to move the table from room to room — consider the weight and portability of the piece you choose.  Finally, measure the height of the sofa or chairs that will be adjacent to your occasional table so your table doesn’t tower over the other furniture or end up looking like a munchkin is your roommate!

Define Your Look

As with all decorating endeavors, the items and furnishings in your home should reflect who you are, how you live, and your own personal taste and style.  If you have a hard time defining those things, take some time to talk to a designer who will be able to help you quickly answer those questions.  Aesthetically speaking, what do you need the table to do for you?  Do you need a focal point, or would it be better for it to fade into the space?  The table below would certainly grab the eye, don’t you think?aquarium coffee table

Pinterest

Do you have a largely neutral space that could use a pop of color or texture?  What style, overall, are you trying to achieve or do you already have?  Modern?  Shabby Chic?  Traditional?  If you have a mix of styles, think about how the choice of one style over another will impact the overall look of your room.

Storage, Storage, Storage

No one will notice the gorgeous styling of that expensive end table you chose if it’s covered in remote controls, magazines, cords from phones or lamps, etc.  Although many of those things aren’t very aesthetically pleasing, we can’t banish them from a room entirely.  By making the right choice in occasional tables, you can have access to those necessities without letting them take over the style of your room.  Consider tables with shelves underneath or storage cubes.

storage cubes

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When choosing a media console, make sure that the table is large enough to be proportionate to the TV and other electronics that you need.  Does the console offer the ability to hide items away?

 

Let’s face it, that blu-ray player or surround sound system amplifier just isn’t all that lovely to look at!  Don’t forget about all the cords either; make sure that the table or console offers a way to hide all those electronic cords.

Not Matchy-Matchy But Coordinated

One style does not fit all!  If you’ve found a lovely coffee table, resist the urge to give up the hunt and just buy all the matching pieces!!  You’ll bring more interest and style into your space by choosing coordinated pieces instead of matching pieces.  Coordinated pieces work together by sharing some design element, whether it be shape, style, material, etc.

 

A Strong Finish

What material best suits your space?   Remember that you have many choices — wood, metal, glass, upholstered, etc.

tufted ottoman

Houzz

When you settle on one, there will be more things to consider — the look of oak is very different from a high-gloss cherry or a painted, distressed finish.  If you have small space, choosing a table that’s mostly glass or acrylic will open up the space by blending in with the surroundings.

 

Do you have kiddos that will be plopping down on the couch, putting a drink on the coffee table and perhaps (despite warnings) putting their feet up on the table?  You’ll probably want to avoid a wooden table that will be ruined with water-damage rings — either that, or start checking into hiring Mary Poppins!

Hopefully, this has inspired you to look at your occasional tables differently and given you the confidence to try something a little unusual.  For more inspiration, check out The Versatility of Occasional Tables and 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Coffee Table.

For assistance in decorating your spaces with occasional tables and much, much more, contact Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer with All About Interiors.

Information for this post was drawn from “Your Home” published by Pilgrim Furniture City.

What to Look for in Area Rugs

Sean Kennedy, co-owner of Refined Rug Restoration in Fountain Valley, California has a lot of experience in the field of the cleaning and restoration of area rugs.  I am pleased to welcome him to the blog to talk about the important things you should consider when purchasing an area rug.
As fabric and linen have varying levels of quality, so do area rugs. From the knot count, to the wool, to a possible backing, many factors make up a good or bad rug. Nowadays most consumers are changing home decor to a transitional/modern theme and with that comes a new rug. Simple one color patterns or classic Moroccan designs are very popular as they fit this theme perfectly.

An example of a handmade all wool Morrocan design rug

All Wool Moroccan
With that being said there are a few things to look for when purchasing a new rug. As is the case with most things in life, you get what you pay for.  Just because you are buying a discounted rug from a well known company doesn’t automatically mean the rug is well made.
I am the co-owner of a rug washing and repair facility and am a master rug and textile washer. I know the difference of a good and bad rug because I come from this wash and repair back round. The most common flaws I see in rugs are rugs with the backing coming undone, poor wool quality causing the rug to “shed” and certain machine made rugs that have buckling and tearing problems. When looking for a rug to purchase, make sure the rug is handmade or hand loomed. This is a good starting point and usually results in a good rug. If possible, try to avoid hand tufted rugs as they don’t have a long life and usually have backing problems as well as shedding problems. Although cheap and readily available, many of our customers end up having to buy a new tufted rug sooner than planned due to the poor makeup of these rugs. A handmade wool rug hides dirt the best and washes up amazingly almost every time. Wool really is the wonder fiber when it comes to a rug and mid-high quality handmade wool rugs almost always have an inherent value as well. This means that many dealers or retail stores will usually give you a credit or take the rug on a trade in the future.
One last thing to keep in mind when looking for a rug is blends introduced with the wool. Many rug manufactures have introduced materials such as Viscose and Art Silk. These are both man made versions of real silk and are intended to give a shimmer to the rug.  While I personally have no problem with this, many times these two materials don’t wear nearly as well as wool.

A hand-loomed all over pattern modern design wool and viscose blend rug

modern design wool viscose

A handmade transitional floral design rug made of high-end wool and viscose

Another handmade rug made of high-end wool and viscose

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I always urge customers to use an all wool or cotton rug in high traffic areas such as a living room, and use these blended rugs in low traffic areas like a bedroom or study. This will help ensure the longevity and beauty of these very nice blended rugs.
 Feel free to email or contact Sean with any questions.
 sean@refinedrugrestoration.com
Many thanks, Sean!
Melanie