Decorating With White and doing it right

It can be very easy to skip over white and go right to a color when decorating a room, since white can often be done wrong!  Boring white wall comes to mind, right?  But decorating with white can be beautiful, refreshing, crisp and stylish when done correctly.  Here are a few ways to use white in your home.

White walls can provide a perfect backdrop for bright, bold accent pieces or a dark or striking statement wall.

white dark wall

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Though many consider white an “anti-color,” it’s infinitely versatile. Did you know that in Benjamin Moore paint colors alone, there are 200 shades of white?  You have to look at the undertones and see how each one looks in the lighting of your home to see how it will truly look.  Perhaps because it is so versatile, many people start there but then get lost in trying to add color and maximize white’s ability to work with other colors.  When paired with soft neutrals or subtle shades, the effect is sophisticated.

white neutral

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In the kitchen, white cabinets are very trendy and open up the space visually.

white kitchen

Flickr.com

Kitchen Island pic 4

All About Interiors

In the bedroom, there’s nothing so clean and sumptuous as white on white linens, especially when they’re invitingly super-fluffy!  And there’s nothing sharper than the contrast of black and white!

white bedroom

Flickr.com

White can also be a strong unifying force.  Consider how white trim and moldings throughout a home can help create flow from one space to the next.  Using white in a room that has interesting architecture can highlight the natural beauty of unusual lines.  Another nice thing about white is that it’s so easy to change out decor seasonally.  By changing your accent pieces or colors, a room that feels fresh and springy can easily convert to one with a cozy fall feel.

It’s time to let go of the idea that white is sterile or boring, or restricted to that magazine family with the perfect house!  While I wouldn’t recommend white on a sofa or rug for a house with kids, it’s perfectly fine to have a beautiful white drape, especially if you add color banding to the bottom.

Here are few other resources to get you thinking about doing white RIGHT!

The Insider’s Guide to Decorating with White (Country Living)

The Power of White (Elle Decor)

Decorating with White (BHG.com)

9 Ways to Decorate with White (Houzz)

Do you have some white walls in your house that need some love?  I’d love to help you do white right and create a space that you adore!

Cheers!

Melanie, CT Interior Designer, All About Interiors

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas…”

When you think Christmas decor, is red and green one of the first things that pops into your head?  Traditional, right?  Christmas or Holiday decor can be so much more!  This holiday season, I’m “dreaming of a White Christmas,” so I’m sharing some inspiration for using white in your decorating this season.  And the bonus?  Because white doesn’t scream “CHRISTMAS!!” your decor can stick around through January!

If you’re decorating for Christmas, odds are you’ll have a tree, so let’s start there, shall we?  Totally white Christmas trees have seen a resurgence in the past few years, but if you choose to go with a white tree, it doesn’t have to be retro.  A flocked white tree can be thoroughly modern when dressed with non-traditional decorations in colors like peacock blue or sea-foam green, like this beautiful tree from Southern Living.  A white tree looks great with gold and brown accents as well!  If you already have an artificial green tree, consider all white and silver decorations for a beautiful, sophisticated look.

For your table and throughout the house, think snow!  Mimic the crisp look by using white and silver (glitter too!) throughout with snowflakes, fresh flowers, stockings, stars, candles, reindeer.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

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Flickr.com

Here’s another treasure trove of White Christmas decor ideas.  White can be vintage, modern, sophisticated, or simple — it’s so versatile that decorating can be done very easily!  If you have kids in the house, involve them in the decorating and keep them busy making paper snowflakes.  You can keep it simple with white paper or grab some decorative papers at your local craft store for something fancier.

photo:

href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/29036272@N07/5325793247">Flickr.com

 Whether you choose traditional red and green, white, modern blue and silver, or gold for your holiday decorating this year, I wish you a wonderful season of peace, joy and beauty.

Cheers,

Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer of All About Interiors

My Favorite Things

Remember how Oprah used to do her Favorite Things show?  Well, I decided it might be a good time to highlight a few of the great companies that I love to use as design resources.  But before you ask — unlike on Oprah’s show, unfortunately, there’s not a free gift under your seat or coming down the aisle in the hands of an intern.  Darn!

If you’ve never worked with a designer before, this will be a good introduction to some of the options available to you only when you employ a designer.  As a professional, I have access to some great resources for products that can become stunning additions to your home’s interior design.  As it’s also a great time of year to give some extra thought to the things for which we’re grateful, I’m sharing my gratitude for beautiful interior design, all the elements that go into it, and some of the great companies that make it possible!

Fabric

Carole Fabrics, based in Augusta, GA, is one of my favorite go-to sources for fabric and trim when I’m looking for a fair price on great quality fabrics.  They offer a wide assortment of trims and fabrics, making it easy to find a textile that has just the right touch.

Here are just a few selections from their Fall 2014 Collection:

carole fabric

The See the Light collection (above) features light colored fabrics with a variety of embroideries on linen.

carole fabric 2

These fabrics are from the Radiant Poppy Carole Reserve Collection and feature all different gorgeous shades of red.

Aren’t these trims to die for?

trimsolid accents

All pictures above come from Carole Fabrics

Trims

New York based Samuel and Sons has showrooms in numerous locations, but I LOVE the variety and unique quality of their designs.  When you work with a designer, you should get something that doesn’t look like it came off a store rack, so having lovely, unusual trims to use makes creating something new and beautiful much easier to accomplish.  Take a look at their Facebook page or their website link above.

Furniture

Charles Stewart, based in Hickory, NC,  is one of my go to resources for custom furniture.  They don’t sell retail, so their one-of-a-kind furniture is something you’ll only get by working with a designer, but it’s SO worth it!

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The Charles Stewart Company

Hallman Furniture in Taylorsville, NC is another one of my favorite suppliers for custom furniture.  They can do everything from alterations to an existing style to custom building furniture from the frame up, even creating antique replicas with hand carving.  Both Hallman and Charles Stewart are great companies to work with and offer quick turn-around time, which means that I can give my clients something fantastic and unique without them having to wait excessively for it!

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 Hallman Furniture

Accessories

John-Richard offers wonderful high-end accessories that I frequently use in my designs.  Finishing touches are so important, and finding just the right one is part of the value that a designer offers her clients.  If you read the blog regularly, you may remember we talked about coffee table styling recently and how the right tray can be a huge asset in that.  This beautiful mirrored silver tray is just one of many offered by John-Richard.

john richard tray

John-Richard

Isn’t this a gorgeous mirror?

john richard mirror

John-Richard

Global Views, out of Dallas, TX, is another great resource for fantastic accessories.  Can you imagine how a little corner of your room could be enhanced by this sophisticated sconce?

global views sconce

Or, going back to our coffee table styling example – how about this beautiful succulent in bisque to sit atop a pile of pretty books?  No need to water this one!

global views succulent

Both pictures above from Global Views

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little favorite things list — aren’t they all so pretty??  I’d love to show you how I can put any of these to work in making your home just that much more beautiful!

 Yours,

Melanie

CT Interior Designer, All About Interiors

If the Lamp Shade Fits

Lighting is one of the most important elements of interior design, but it’s also one that many do-it-yourselfers may forget about, or leave until last.  Choosing the right lighting for your home is essential, but what about that next step once lighting fixtures are chosen – the icing on the cake, if you will?  Do you know how to choose lamp shades?  Here are 5 quick tips to help you choose the proper lamp shade.

drama drum

Pinterest

What is the lighting’s purpose?

Not all lighting in the home is there just so you don’t bump into your furniture!  Obviously, illumination is important, but often we want lighting for ambiance as well.  Before selecting a lamp shade, determine  how you want the lighting to affect the room.  A white lamp shade provides maximum illumination, whereas using a light-toned shade provides more diffuse lighting.  A dark shade creates a great mood or ambiance to a space.

black lampshade

Design Sponge

Does it fit in?

Analyze the space where you will be using this lighting/lamp shade combo.  If you’re selecting a lamp shade for a smaller occasional table, you’ll need a lamp shade with a smaller profile, both  for comfortable use and to avoid problems with the scale of your lamp vs. your table.

table lamps

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If you are selecting a shade for a floor lamp, a lamp shade with a wider profile can be more suitable.

floor lamp

Traditional Home

How does the lampshade fit the base?

Always remember that your lamp shade must go with your lamp base, so make sure you see how the two work together before purchasing a shade.  The lamp shade should be low enough to slightly cover the switch but not so low that you have to reach far under the shade to operate the lamp.

gr-shade-measuring

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You should also take into consideration the different shapes of lamp shades available.  From drum/cylinder, floor, coolie, empire or traditional bell — there are many shapes to choose from.  A designer or lamp shade manufacturer/dealer can help you determine which shape will go with an existing lamp base or would be best in a new setting.  One last important tip:  safety first!  All bulbs give off heat, so make sure that your lamp shade is the proper distance from the bulb.  The harp (the metal arms that extend from the saddle of the lamp and hold the lamp shade) can adjust this distance.  Another method is to use various sized fitters that sit above the light bulb to ensure the lamp shade sits at a safe distance from the bulb.

Stand out or Blend in?

Do you want your lamp shade to make a design statement or to blend in with the surroundings?  To make a statement, go with colors or patterns that compliment your room.  Make sure you pull colors or shades that are already in your room and keep in mind that your room needs to function as a whole, design-wise.

color lampshade

Freshome

Choose a neutral shade if you want it to blend in.

white

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Are you willing to think outside the box?

Bringing statement lighting into unconventional spaces will create an ambiance and design aesthetic that you may not be able to achieve any other way.  Look at the lighting in your bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basement?  Is it adding to the decor or simply giving off light?  Many designers are now installing pendant drum shades over free-standing tubs to create a focal point in bathrooms.

drum shade chandelier over tub

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Or take a page from the past (what goes around comes around!):  broad profile lamp shades with dynamic prints and bold colors, reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s, are back in style.

pink

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Finally, consider custom!  A lamp shade perfectly suited for your room just may not be available at your local lighting store, so speaking to a designer about creating a custom shade may save you lots of time and effort.

 

However you decide to go with your next lamp shade, don’t forget that it may end up on someone’s head at that next wild party you throw, so make it look good!

For help solving all your lighting and lamp shade dilemmas, or any other design disasters, contact Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer with All About Interiors.

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

Pinterest

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

pink green

Pinterest

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