Monday Distractions: Sherwin Williams' 2015 Colormix!

I've been very impressed by Sherwin Williams lately, the paint company has really stepped up its game. For its 2015 color forecast, I love the beautiful mix of subtle and bright colors.

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

The Colormix this year is titled Optimistic Odyssey. I think coming off a strong year in real estate, people are spending again and the economy is on its uptick, everyone is feeling optimistic about 2015. Taking the current lifestyle trends as cues, this 2015 color collections reflect the influence of technology, globalization and the economy.

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

The first collection is titled Chrysalis, which means a month or butterfly at the stage of growth when it is turning into an adult and is enclosed in a hard case. This collection signifies us looking for balance and mindful living amongst the chaos and unrest modern technology brings us. It also signifies of us coming out of recession. I love that this collection takes its cue from the nature. Together the palette builds this serene scene that can instantly calm us down after a frantic day at work. It is also a very sophisticated palette. I would totally use this collection for staging colors or styling a wedding with!

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

The second collection is Voyage, which incorporates sci-fi elements into everyday colors. Sherwin Williams took inspirations from unusual atmospheric events, such a aurora borealis and blood moons, it builds a collection that is supernatural and magical. I love the incorporation of plum, it adds an element of mystery to the palette. Also the darker hues of grays and blues, with subtle earthy colors as a contrast, is a very nice mix.

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

The next collection Buoyant reflects the happy moods coming out of a depressed economy. LOTS of bright colors that are inspired by exotic jungles & bright florals. A lot of deep and saturated colors. The palette incorporates different hues of violet, which is an extension from the 2014 color of the year family. You can still see the coral, which has also been on trend for the past couple years in home decor. Tropics are very in this upcoming year. We can see that in a lot of the spring / summer 2015 fashion coming down the runways with incorporations of tropical theme. Don't you just love the Sedate Gray? I also love the pop of color of Coral Reef.

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

The last collection is the loudest, appropriately named Unrestrained. It's all about an updated, luxurious interpretation of the celebration of global, ethnic inspired colors, designs and crafts to the Bohemian style. It also has a nod to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As you can see, the collection is vibrant, fun and saturated compared to the previous 3 collections. You can also see a lot of inspirations from global crafts lifestyle, which is something very on trend right now as you can see what West Elm is doing with its Artisan Series and World Market Craft.

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Home decor color trends are closely tied with fashion trends. As you can see from the fall winter 2014 collections (top left, bottom right) and spring /summer 2015 ready to wear (top right [by the way, you're welcome], bottom left), many color schemes and themes are also carried throughout in the current fashion trends.

Images courtesy of Vogue UK.

Images courtesy of Vogue UK.

What do you think of Sherwin Williams' 2015 Color Forecast? Do you have a favorite color? Share them in the Comment section below!

Friday Mood: Textures, & How to Use Textures to Add to Your Home Decor

Textures is often ignored when we talk about home decor and styling elements, but it actually is a great way to add visual interests and to keep your interiors interesting and fresh. When you layer textures with colors, it is also a powerful device to design your interiors, or stage your homes for sale.

Using Textures to Decorate & Style Your Home

Photo Credits from Top to Bottom: 1. Love the marble tiled wall and the natural sod grain textures on the bottles. Candle bottles by April & May studio 2. Colorful arrays of sea urchin shells via Content in a Cottage 3. Clay textures via unknown source on ebay.com 4. Wool textures via Haymes Paint Australia  5. Green leaf textures via Flickr user Janet Little

Here are a few ways on adding textures into your home:

1. Walls: from marble to wood, these are all ways to introduce textures into your home environment. Additionally, these textures can invoke different feelings and styling for your environment. For example, wood can be warming and welcoming. Depending on the finishes, it can either be rustic or luxurious. Marble signals sophistication and refinement.  

You can also utilize wallpaper. Wallpaper may get a bad rep but now there are many modern and updated versions that allow you to express yourself. 

2. Textile & soft goods: These can be rugs, floor covering, accent pillows, throws, bedding, wall hangings, window treatments, basically anything made with fabric. Whether it is cable stitched wool, or a silk window panel, these are all different ways to introduce textures subtly and softly.

3. Decor pieces: Textures can be found everywhere, wicker baskets, clay vases. We use details like these a lot in our home staging projects because not only they introduce details, they also warm up the space. There are something about natural fibers and materials that make people feel welcomed.

4. Nature: Why stop at wicker baskets? Add other natural elements! The nature is chock full of textures, ranging from rough to silky smooth.

Found sea shells on the beach is perfect for bathrooms or your beach house. Elements from ocean like sand, shells, corals are great ways to create a lifestyle that is serene and soothing, like what ocean does for us.  

Plants and natural life always add pops up greens and colors, in additions to scents. Live plants and flowers always bring the feeling of nature inside and instantly makes people feel better about the environment. In home staging scenarios where it is difficult to tend to live plants, we use high quality silk florals and plants to warm up the space visually.

What is your favorite texture to use in the home? Comment below in the comment area. 

 

ps. Did you know we are hosting a retreat for advanced stagers who have ben in business for more than 5 years? Find out more about the retreat here.

Selecting the Right Furniture for the Right Room

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Some people experience difficulties selecting furniture for their residences while some others are born talented in that regard. Markets provide hundreds of different furniture designs they can compare and decide from what they need. However, those who have no idea of how to choose the appropriate furniture will benefit by visiting the many online sites to research the field before they get down to selecting what is right for them. Armed with the relevant knowledge, they will be able to select suitable furniture on their own. 

Selecting the Right Furniture for the Right Room // Staged4more Home Staging & Design Blog

photo courtesy of Mural Maker & More

Budget

Selecting the Right Furniture for the Right Room // Staged4more Home Staging & Design Blog

photo source unknown

Buyers of furniture items should try not to go beyond their budgets by buying expensive items of furniture. In this way, they may end up purchasing just one or two much-needed furniture items. For an expansive room, such a few pieces of furniture may not be sufficient. Therefore, they have to plan out what sort of furniture they will need for a room and purchase at least the bare essentials to fit their budgets.

There are ways to fill in the extra places at hardly any cost.  

Sticking To a Theme

photo courtesy of Domaine Home

Some themes people follow when they choose furniture include Western, Eastern, Victorian, French, Modern and Antique. A householder wanting to select a Victorian theme should do so only after taking into account the architectural design of the room or area. Likewise, with every other theme, the furniture should conform to the suitability of such a design to the architectural design of the location.

Theme for Different Rooms

photo courtesy of Vogue

A residence comprises of many rooms. These rooms are for varied purposes.  Accordingly an owner can select a furniture theme for these rooms. They also can test their creative ideas by putting furniture of different styles in such rooms. For example, they can opt for a retro-mod style or Asian style furniture. There are contemporary furniture shops that sell various sophisticated design forms such as Polynesian furniture. Design lovers can see how one of these extra rooms may look by placing one of these pieces of modern furniture in them. Additional information and examples of exquisite furniture can be found using search engines to search images and checking out places like You Tube, where designers often exhibit. 

Evergreen Furniture

photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

As in the past, many people now turn to furniture made of natural materials such as wood and cane. The furniture items made of such materials have an everlasting value. The styles that are in long standing may be the best options for those who cannot afford to change their furniture from time to time.  

The Size 

photo courtesy of Lonny

Householders ought to consider the size of the room they want to arrange their new furniture. The number of family members and others in the house may have to restrict their movements due to a large set of furniture in the middle. It is advisable to opt for smaller pieces of furniture if the locations are small. 

Placing Furniture

photo courtesy of Lonny

The cream of the cake is in the right placing of the furniture in the room. Most people change furniture locations from time to time just to feel the difference. However, visitors may not feel the difference when they enter the house. Therefore, residents ought to place their furniture at the most suitable places in the house. Living is alive when everything harmonizes with every other item in the house.

What did you think of these suggestions for furniture planning? Do you have any space planning tips of your own? Share them in the Comment section below!

How to Make Your Kitchen Look Like New on a Budget

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If you’re using the kitchen as much as the average person, you’ll quickly start to notice that certain areas start to look tired really quickly even if you’re really fastidious with the housework.

As well as equipment and items starting to fail through wear and tear, trends change and what may have once been a top trending kitchen design could now be looking dated and not somewhere you want to invite friends and family around to eat in the evening.

A completely new kitchen is expensive. As well as cabinets and countertops, there’ll be tiling, probably plumbing and wiring work and a new floor – this can easily run into a few thousands.

A good way to give a kitchen a great makeover on a budget and to amaze everyone when they walk back into it for the first time is to concentrate on the kitchen units, cabinets and countertops as there are ways to change the way they look for the fraction of the cost of replacing them.

Changing doors

A fantastic way to change the whole look of a kitchen and for visitors to think you’ve splashed out on a replacement designer kitchen is to replace the doors of your existing kitchen cabinets and cabinets.

Unless the existing ones were hand made to a specific custom size and don’t follow standard sizes, then you have the opportunity to change any door to one which will fits just as well as the ones you’re disposing of and buy these from any hardware store. They are available in a range of sizes to fit all standard brands and you can then finish with new door handle knobs made from any kind of metal or even handmade and hand painted ones for a really unique look.  Google "Kitchens Surrey miketaylorbespokekitchens.co.uk" to see a vast selection of custom doors. 

You can also use cupboard paint to create a number of different looks and styles; sleek and modern or distressed or Shaker style – particularly popular at the moment. There is paint available in every colour from dark jewel shades through to country cottage duck egg blue. They can be painted straight onto the wood or lightly sanded down to show the colour underneath.

Countertops

Replacing countertops is a fairly straightforward job and they are often available as end of line items at DIY stores when they are changing their ranges. 

The key to changing a countertop is careful measuring and then steadily cutting them so items such as sinks fit in again. Use professional level tools for the job and ask for help if not sure how to use them as power tools must always be used safely.

Changing your kitchen doesn’t have to cost a great deal of money and in fact if you register for your local area of Freecycle, you could hit it really lucky with someone wanting to dispose of a whole kitchen full of cabinets and countertops as they are having a new one installed. This would give you a completely new kitchen for free and you can then redesign it just the way you want it to look.

photos courtesy of Better Homes & Garden

What do you think of these kitchen improvement tips? Do you have any tips of your own? Tell us your tips in the Comment section below!

Monday Distractions: West Elm's September Catalog

I've always been a fan of West Elm's design aesthetics and sensibilities. I like its soft palettes and incorporations of elements from nature and patterns. But it was such a pleasant surprise to see some dark & moody walls and backgrounds this month! I just love the contrast between the dark and the light. Even though this month was slightly Halloween themed, the light fixture on the cover really popped with its gold accents and glass texture glowing against the dark background.

Personally I'm a huge fan of dark walls. I wanted to paint my office pitch black but my business partner vetoed it. (We ended up having a chalkboard wall as a compromise!) Although we don't get to play with with dark paint colors in the home staging arena, I've always thought it's a very modern and sophisticated look for interiors. 

Here are a few different examples of dark colors in interiors. As you can see, by playing with light and dark contrasts, and adding pops of colors like yellow, green, purple, on a background of natural wood tones or soft gray palettes, one can still create a stunning and sophisticated interior.

all photos courtesy of West Elm (September 2014 catalog)

all photos courtesy of West Elm (September 2014 catalog)

Here are a few of my favorite things from this catalog:

all photos courtesy of West Elm (September 2014 catalog)

all photos courtesy of West Elm (September 2014 catalog)

1) WE Print Collection, Watercolor Burst I. $149.

2) Framed print -- Watercolor Burst II. $149. Both of these artwork are actually very versatile. You can use these prints on their own with repeats like what the stylist did in the catalog or use them as a pair. Even a single piece on a console table in a niche area will brighten up the space. Very versatile pieces. 

3) Metallic Print Barware, Gold Dip, Set of 4. $34. These are super fun, especially for holiday entertaining. I love the different geometric patterns on these glasses. (I'm clearly a nerd. Geometry was actually one of my favorite subjects.) Gold accent pieces are always crowd pleasers during the holidays.

4) Gold accent pieces are not just for the holidays! They also adds some extra sparkles & shine when one first walks in and sees the room. Sculptural spheres in gold. $29.

5) Crewel Key Pillow Cover, 18"x18", Blue Lagoon. $39. I love me some nice pillows. They are a great way to introduce patterns and colors into a space. These actually come in different colors as well. They are great to use for sofa, bed and other seating areas.

6) Chunky Tassel Throw, Horseradish/Ivory. $69. Nice chunky throws are some of my favorite styling pieces. Soft good adds warmth and pops of colors in the room without overwhelming the space. The throw is also functional! (I'm always cold!)

7) Colorstep Stripe Cotton Dhurrie, Black/Sun Yellow, 4'x6'. $55. These also come in Black/Stone (like a light gray color) and Black/Peach (like a warm coral), which I also love. These will look great in every room. 

8) I just love how the patterned slits allow your interior wall colors to seep through. The patterns also automatically make a modern background for your favorite display objects. Patterned Crate Storage, Burnt Wax. $799.

9) Cross Spindle Side Table, Glass. $249. This also comes in coffee table size. I love the modern feel of these two pieces. They are inspired by mid-century Danish design. The warm wood finish and the geometric shape can work with many different styles and still be functional in many different spaces.

10) CFL Industrial Task Lamp, Antique Brass. $79. These come in a variety of colors, but I love bronze the most. Bronze is making a strong come back and I am loving the updated and more modern use of bronze finishes that I've been seeing.

all photos courtesy of West Elm (September 2014 catalog)

all photos courtesy of West Elm (September 2014 catalog)

Top to bottom, left to right:

1) Saddle Office Chair, Painted Stripe, Gray/Ivory. $349. I saw this in the showroom and I loved it. Maybe because it swivels? But I also love the clean design, and the luxurious feel with the fabric. And oh stripes!

2) Gilded Fern Wall Art. $249. This is a gorgeous piece with the gold leaf accent on a very naturalist design. The patter is lovely and I love that there are two different printing in one piece.

3) Linework Vase, Honeycomb, Teardrop, White. $19.

4) Mid Century Tray, 28" Sq., Wood/Brass. $129. I use a lot of trays in home staging and styling projects, but mostly solid wood or lacquered trays. I love the wood/brass combination, however. The studs make it a much more interesting piece.

What did you think of our picks? What are some of your favorite pieces? Share yours in the comment section below here!

A New Dawn for the Fireplace

This is a sponsored post by Buy Me Design

photo source: freedigitalphotos.com

photo source: freedigitalphotos.com

Fireplaces have been around for hundreds of years, and for many of those years a fireplace was the only way to stay alive during the winter cold. Now, however, they are more decorative than practical. However, gathering around one near Christmas time is pure magic. I’m writing this article, though, to talk to you about a fairly recent advancement in the fireplace industry: bioethanol fireplaces. Let me introduce you to the future. You can click here for a company that sells them to get a taste of what they look like and the various styles available to you. 

Bioethanol 

First off, you want to know what bioethanol is. Bioethanol is a 100% eco-friendly renewable fuel. When you ferment the starch and sugar by-products of plants you get bioethanol which can then be used as a fuel. You see, by burning bioethanol, you create carbon dioxide which the plants then live off and then there’s more plants to be used to create bioethanol.

The Pros and Pros 

Up and till now you would have probably been using a log or gas fireplace, well they have been consigned to the history books as a bioethanol fireplace improves on them in almost every way. 

  • Smoky – Not here! A bioethanol fire produces no smoke and so there is zero need for a chimney. That’s a space saver. 
  • Clean as a Whistle – And because they don’t give off smoke or any other nasty by-products they are perfectly environmentally clean.  No unpleasant residue. 
  • Keeps the Bills Down – As it’s not powered by gas or electric there is no increase in your bills. Anyone who’s owned a gas fireplace will know what I’m talking about. 
  • Safe and Adjustable – Bioethanol fires are perfectly safe, if used carefully and they are all adjustable. This means you can make the flame as big or small as you want. 

Closing Points

Just to clarify a couple of other points about these fires. One, they don’t produce an artificial flame. The flame that is produced by the bioethanol is every bit as real as its log or gas counterpart and so produces the same level of heat as you’d expect. The other thing to mention is that unlike another fireplace there is almost zero installation needed. They’re mainly free standing and come already assembled. If, however, you go for a wall mounted one, you can expect to have it standing proudly on your wall in forty minutes or so.

There you go; what do you think? They sound pretty good, don’t they? They might well replace gas fires within the next few decades as they are so much cheaper to run, and plus they are safer – no carbon monoxide poisoning risk. Yes, perhaps they don’t have the antiquity or nostalgia of a by-gone era that a log fire might conjure up, but then again, these aren’t going to destroy the environment like a smoke spewing Victorian fireplace, are they?

What do you think? Share your comments in the Comment section below!

Best of Houzz 2015 Nominations!

Best of Houzz 2015 is coming & we need your help!

Every year, Houzz.com recognizes professionals for excellence in a variety of categories, including customer satisfaction, design, among other categories. This has been our first year participating in the Houzz community, and it was lovely that the site featured us. We would love to get involved further by nabbing one of these nifty awards. 

In order to be considered for the Best of Houzz awards, a company must receive recommendations from other Houzz users. You can do this simply by giving us a positive review on Houzz.

Here is how to nominate us:

Login to your Houzz account (if you don’t have an account, it is free to sign up and is a quick process). Then click here to review us.

Remodeling and Home Design