August 25, 2017 § Leave a comment
How do you incorporate antiques and inherited treasures into your decor without creating your grandmother’s house (with all due respect to our grandmothers)? Here are some tips:
-Add contemporary lighting like the drum shade chandelier and standing lamp in the photo (from Rejuvenation) to your traditional decor. You will be amazed what new lighting will do to your room.
-Reupholster treasured furniture pieces in classic, solid fabrics that will keep the pieces timeless from this point forward. Patterns tend to come and go over the decades, and you can date a piece instantly by upholstering it in a trendy fabric. And then you’re stuck with it after the trend is long gone.
-Layer rugs to feature one that is too small to stand on its own in a conversation area.
-Dress windows simply to avoid visual clutter from too much pattern.
-Keep the overall feeling calm in the room. Too many patterns lead to visual clutter, something our grandmothers tended to accumulate over the decades.
-Or add a crazy patterned accent piece to a neutral room. No sense in being TOO serious about our decorating.
-Show legs. Letting the furniture pieces show their legs allows for “air” around each piece and a feeling of lightness in the room. Skirts on all the pieces can weigh them down and make them look dated. (Investigate removing the skirt from an old chair or sofa. I did it and what a difference!)
-For accessories? Cluster them. Avoid scattering them all over the horizontal surfaces. Instead, feature them together on a shelf or display cabinet. That way you’ve contained the clutter while calling attention to the collection as a whole.
Cherish your heritage furniture pieces or your finds from a consignment shop. Embrace them. Love them. And show them off in a fresh new way.
April 27, 2016 § Leave a comment
You inherited your kitchen. We get it. No money for a costly re-do. We hear ya. But there are a few things you can do to lighten and brighten your dark, dated kitchen while you pour money into other fun things.
- Replace the door handles and drawer pulls. There are so many new metal options out there, and many of them are quite inexpensive. Some even come by the bagful. So there’s no excuse for keeping these.
- Paint the old golden oak cabinets. It may sound hard, but anything is better than the dated, dry and grainy orange beauties many of us were stuck with for awhile. Painting takes patience: in a nutshell, remove the doors, take off all the hardware, sand the cabinets and doors to give the surface “tooth,” prime everything with a really good primer and then paint the doors outside on a horizontal surface to prevent drips. I like to use a cabinet-grade enamel that holds up pretty well. Stay neutral for longevity although painted cabinets are all the rage. So pick a color you’ll love for a long time. Here’s what the Pros recommend for a really nice finish. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20315665,00.html
- Switch out the overhead lighting. This is a really cheap, DIY project (remember to turn off the power first!!). There are so many options way more creative than the central overhead ceiling light or the yellowy brass candleabra over the kitchen table.
- Add under-cabinet lighting. This is a great way to add both task lighting to an old kitchen counter space and ambiance. If you don’t have a tile backsplash, make sure that area is freshly painted as it will show up now. Here’s a link for the many options and how-to’s. http://www.lowes.com/projects/kitchen-and-dining/under-cabinet-lighting-buying-guide/project
- And don’t forget to paint the walls. The easiest, cheapest, and quickest update to any room is a fresh paint job. If you need help with color, let’s work together.
Now, isn’t that easy? You will love pouring your morning coffee in your face-lifted new kitchen. Yes, you still have the old layout and probably none of the new gadgets currently available, but your kitchen will feel brand new. And think of the fun you can have with all your saved money! Enjoy.
(Photo: Brian Wilder for This Old House Magazine)
December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
Why wait for the holidays to light up your front door? You spent enough time choosing the color — show it off all year with a boost in your exterior lighting.
Choose properly spaced recessed fixtures that will wash light down on the door color and other parts of the porch as in this photo (lighting by Illuminations, Inc.). Or add a large pendant over the door and sconces on either side. Make sure the lighting fixtures are big enough that they don’t look skimpy from the street. Bigger is usually better when it comes to lighting.
While you’re choosing your new light fixtures, take advantage of all the different metal color options you have now. Don’t settle for wrought iron if another color would update your house and make it look fabulous.
So when the holidays are over and you take down the hanging twinkle lights and box up the spot light from the front door, take a close look at what lighting is left. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade.
Let there be light!
September 6, 2011 § 4 Comments
This house has a color combination I wanted to share with you. The taupe siding has the most interesting pink, almost purple, undertone that changes the way we see the house color depending on the light. The color can go from brown to mauve to gray over the course of the day. The trim is a combination of painted creams and vinyl off-whites (I wish they had picked one color or the other, honestly). But the real surprise (we’ll ignore the green front door) is the majestic blue shutter color. I would never think to pair the mauvey taupe with a royal blue but somehow it works. Black shutters would have been the easy choice, but someone had the bold idea to step out of the ordinary and into a new color combo. New to me anyway…
Shutters provide another opportunity, along with the front door, of course, to express some individuality for your home’s exterior. Although it is customary to work within the neighborhood in terms of palette, if you feel like breaking the mold, go for it. Just be sure that your home’s personality does not overpower your own. It’s no fun to make excuses for a paint job that went haywire. In other words, if you don’t like it, paint it over!
In the meantime, have another spin of the fandeck and see what paint color combinations work for you.