August 25, 2017 §
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.
March 28, 2017 §
What is it about the latest home decorating craze that has us all rushing out to buy accessories that look like they belong in a barn? Well lots of things, it turns out. But first of all, in case your TV is not permanently fixed on HGTV, here’s what I’m talking about.
“Fixer Upper,” the smash HGTV show featuring the lovely designer Joanna Gaines and her cute, goofy, muscled, builder husband Chip, has transformed the design aesthetic in much of the country from Pottery Barn chic to We-All-Want-to-Move-to-Waco fabulous. What Chip and Joanna do with ugly fixer-uppers is remarkable. Here’s a Before & After example of the French Country episode exterior:
The interior style is relaxed with a simple black, white, gray, and cream color palette, reclaimed wood pieces, including “ship lap” (horizontal wide-plank panelling) on the walls, and lots of textures and accessories that Joanna acquires from the “antiques and junk” shops of rural Texas and her own Silos full of treasures at Magnolia Market. She is a master at accessorizing a room to give what others have described as that Modern Farmhouse aesthetic — lived-in yet chic, folksy yet uncluttered. What she does is truly an art — really!
HGTV, Joanna Gaines
Why is this style so popular now??
- We love Chip and Joanna. They radiate love for each other and their four cute children. It’s fun to watch them at home and, like a soap opera, the show is such a refreshing antidote to the routines of our own daily lives.
- The style reminds us of Grandma. Many of the items Joanna finds and uses in her designs are old antiques and treasures we might remember from visiting our grandparents out on the farm. It’s refreshing to travel back to those simpler days.
- The color palette is relaxing. With the over-stimulation of our lives, it’s calming to see whites and woods and neutrals that don’t generate an emotional response. We need downtime in our lives and this style seems to create it.
HGTV, Joanna Gaines
- The style starts from scratch. The show guts houses and creates new spaces. There’s something cathartic about the idea of tearing down walls, donating all the old furniture, and starting with a clean slate. It says something about our group needs as a culture.
- What’s old is new again. Even though the bones of the rooms are new and updated, the look appears old and recycled. Scratches and dents don’t matter in this style. They add character. And how relaxing is it to think that your kids can sit at a table without coasters under the glasses.
- Things have a reason for being there. Joanna’s design uses lots of accessories but the rooms don’t appear cluttered. That is the work of a skilled artist. It’s hard to accessorize mindfully without overdoing.
Tips: If you want to incorporate the Fixer Upper style into your decor,
- Start with the kitchen as it can accommodate extra accessories without appearing overdone.
- Stay authentic. The reason Joanna’s style works is she uses actual old pieces she finds.
- Shop antique and consignment stores to find accessories that fit the style, and don’t forget to look in Grandpa’s old barn. Lots of stuff in there, I bet.
- Do what you love. Make your space a happy one to come home to. That means way more than following a particular trend.
Thanks for stopping by!
February 17, 2014 §
Old faded jeans and old faded glory aside, old faded artwork in your house is a No-Go. If you have art prints that have hung on the wall in your bright cheery living room for several years, take a close look at them. Do they have a blue-green aura to them? Are flowers that used to be red sort of a strange blue? Is there any red or pink left in the piece at all? No?? Then haul it down. It’s done. Off to the recycle bin. Use the frame for something new that will add life to your room. Just this next time, opt for glass that will prevent color-fading. It’s more expensive but worth every penny if you love your art and prints.
Don’t be stubborn. Love your faded jeans, but get rid of your faded art.
February 15, 2014 §
Take a look at your lamps. Have they been on the same side tables for more than 20 years? 30 even? (okay that’s scary) Listen up. One of the easiest and cheapest updates you can do for your house is to exchange the old lighting for something fresh, colorful, and uplifting.
New lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some with colored glass, some with clear. Some have updated metals, some are made to look old. But all have crisp shades with a nice clean barrel shape. (Traditional lamps are still, well, traditional. They will never go out of style. But you know what kind of outdated lamps I mean. Check out your grandmother’s family room, decorated circa 1968. Now you get it.)
You do not have to spend a lot of money. You can shop at a fancy lighting store or Target and get an updated look.
And while you’re looking at lighting, check out your ceiling fixtures. For a few bills at a home improvement store, you can switch out the old brass candelabra flush-mount fixture for something MUCH more current. The change will transform the house — you will see it in a whole new … (wait for it) … LIGHT.
(Lamp from Bellacor: Number 541835)
January 18, 2014 §
This update, to state the obvious, is the easiest project short of rolling paint on a wall. So easy that many of you will skip over this post or roll your eyes that I’m even mentioning it. But just in case you are still looking at stained seat covers on your kitchen chairs, you have no more excuses.
- Turn the chair upside down.
- Take your handy-dandy screwdriver (yes, you should have your own) and twist out the 4 screws.
- Next, go to your local fabric store and pick out a nice pattern and color that will look good in your room.
- Buy 1 1/2 yards (of a 50-54″-wide) fabric. If you’re at JoAnn’s Fabrics and Crafts, go to the “Home Dec” section so the fabric is sturdy enough to hold up. You don’t want quilting cotton — too flimsy.
- Lay the fabric upside down on a large table or the floor. Place your seat upside down on the fabric and cut out the new seat cover, leaving at least a 2-3″ margin after you lift the fabric up to cover the sides of the seat. Cut the fabric. (Don’t stress about the cutting — the edges are not going to show.)
- Next. If you don’t already have a staple gun (sigh), you need one. So many uses.
- Pull the fabric taut over the seat and put one staple in the center front underside of the seat.
- Turn the seat around and pull the fabric taut again putting one staple in the center back underside of the seat. Repeat with the sides, making sure the fabric pattern is straight (turn the seat over and check).
- Then pulling the fabric taut, staple the fabric onto the seat, moving toward the corners. Fold the corner pieces and staple underneath.
- Trim the fabric excess. Turn the seat over. Place it back on the chair and put the screws back in.
January 10, 2012 §
When it comes to exterior design elements, if it looks too big up close, it’s probably perfect. And that certainly applies to porch columns. Spindly toothpick posts do nothing for the overall curb appeal of a house except add busy detail (Victorian houses with turned porch columns are the reluctant exception).
If you are building a porch or modernizing the one you have, select a few oversized columns with substantial girth. Resist the well-meaning but uninformed little voice that says the columns are too big for the house. They’re not.