Internationally Trained Interior Designer, enthusiastic traveler, and dog lover shares advice and inspiration to help you create your Beautiful Habitat; a home you love and the ideal place for you to flourish.
Gold and brass finishes are creeping back into Interiors. It started with a few small features - a mirror here, a brass knob there, gold leaf inside of a lamp shade. Now the moves are getting bigger and bolder. Gold. Shiny, shiny gold. It's making a comeback in Interior Design and Decor. Will you love it again, or are you going to leave it?
The changing of the seasons offers the perfect opportunity to redecorate your home. As winter sets in, our thoughts turn to getting warm and cozy. Check out these quick decorating tips that will help you turn your home into a welcoming winter den.
Welcoming From the Outside In
Set the tone of your home by decorating everything, even your exterior doors. If you’re feeling festive, hang a home-made holly wreath on your front door to spread your cheer to the rest of the world. If you don’t have the time to make your own wreath, consider purchasing a synthetic wreath which you can re-use every year.
Relaxing By the Fire
There’s something special about relaxing in front of an open fire; the look of the flames makes you feel warmer, and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If you don’t have a fireplace in your living room, why not invest in a wall-hanging, flu less fireplace to brighten up your room.
Natural colors are cozy and comfortable, but it’s easy to go too far with the rustic feel. Add a touch of modern glamor to your home by opting for some shiny, shimmering metallic colors as an accent. Consider painting your oak skirting boards in a sedate silver, and pairing that up with silver trim on your cushions and throws. Or, use subtle accents to bring out the warmth in a more traditional room.
Redecorating for the winter doesn’t have to mean completely re-doing the look of your living room. If you prefer clean and simple styled rooms, why not add a touch of winter fashion with decals which can easily be removed when it’s time for a change of scenery.
During the winter, it’s natural to want to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book. Why not make that spot as comfortable as possible. This time of year is the perfect time to bring out those stylish blankets, comfy cushions, and plush pillows. Pick the right color scheme, and they’ll be as fashionable as they are cozy.
One side effect of spending so much time indoors with the heating running full blast and the windows closed, is that the air in your home can get a little musty. You can keep your home smelling fresh by making use of scented candles, or, even better, great home cooking. Mulled wine, cinnamon bread, festive fruitcake, and winter broths will warm your body, and spread beautiful smells around the house!
Clean Up for Christmas
If there’s one thing that will detract from the atmosphere of your home, it’s clutter. During the festive season, there’s a good chance your home will fill up with stuff. A preemptive decluttering session will make life a lot easier for you. Consider donating old books and clothes to charity, encouraging your kids to take some toys to charity, and spending a weekend cleaning out that stash of paperwork. It won’t take as long as you’d think, and the improvement will be amazing.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of UK Oak Doors who supply a great range of oak products from doors through to skirting boards.
I am currently working on a very fun and interesting project that involves both Architectural Salvage and Commissioning Custom Furniture. Before embarking on both aspects of this project, I came across two wonderful articles from Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazine. Here are 10 Things You Should Know About Architectural Salvage, as printed in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles.
10 Things you Should Know About Architectural Salvage: (via Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, with a few additional notes and photos from Beautiful Habitat)
It’s a fun way to go green. When you buy salvaged building materials you’re not only scoring conversation-worthy accents for your home; you’re also diverting materials from the landfill and minimizing the use of raw materials.
Don’t expect perfection. “The reason these pieces are charming and interesting is that they’re obviously recycled—meaning they’re not perfect,” says Eron Johnson, owner of Denver’s Eron Johnson Antiques. Tip: Have a furniture restorer coat any pieces of peeling paint with clear paste wax, which maintains the antiquity of the piece but gives it a smooth finish, Johnson says.
Beware of “too good to be true.” There are a lot of architectural salvage knockoffs out there, warns Johnson—particularly when it comes to marble fireplaces, stained glass and iron work. If the price is too good to be true (as in, considerably less than every other piece you find), it probably isn’t the real thing.
Know what you need. If you’re shopping for pieces that need to serve a function (doors that operate, etc.), bring along a notepad filled with the measurements and quantities you need and pictures of items you want to match, says Tom Sundheim, owner of Queen City Architectural Salvage in Denver.
Find new uses for old items. “The beauty of architectural salvage is it frees an antique from its former use,” says Johnson. Iron garden gates can become decorative headboards; wooden window frames act as room dividers; and an old weathervane emerges as the perfect accent for your mantel. (or lamp bases as seen below, BH)
Be open to doors. Shopping for antique doors means having an eye for “quality beneath the paint,” says Sundheim. “Know which woods are heaviest. A pine door will weigh far less than a comparable oak door.” If you need the door to function, pony up for a heavier door. Also, for newer homes, understand that you may have to reframe openings to accommodate taller antique doors, Johnson says.
Hit up the hardware section. You might have a hard time finding enough matching knobs and drawer pulls to outfit, say, a whole kitchen. But unearth a few antique pulls (they can even be mismatched) for the right dresser or accent table, and you’ve got a statement piece.
Let there be light. If you live in a historic home, says interior designer Beth Armijo of Armijo Design Group, one of the best ways to honor the architecture is to install period-appropriate light fixtures. But, adds Johnson, remember two important safety tips: have an electrician update the wiring and, for pendants, reinforce the ceiling box. (Most antique fixtures are solid brass and heavier than modern fixtures.)
Dig around for your garden. A trip to the salvage yard can yield curios perfect for your outdoor living spaces, too. Look for stone statues or pillars, cast-iron park benches, weathered farm tables, or even vintage bathtubs (great for birdbaths).
Try DIY salvage. Someone just might love that pale-pink tub you’re tearing out of your master bathroom. Before you haul it off to the landfill, consider selling your relics online, or, even better, donating them to ReSource Yard (resourceyard.org), a nonprofit with salvage yards in Boulder and Fort Collins. Sale proceeds benefit waste-reduction programs and donations are tax deductible.
My adventures in Architectural Salvage took me to the ReSource Yard in Boulder and Queen City Salvage in Denver. I also perused the Eron Johnson website (which is a great site and user-friendly). Ultimately, I am repurposing some wood that used to be a kitchen floor and I purchased dining chairs on 1stDibs. My adventures continue as I am planning another visit to Queen City for a new art idea I have. Stay tuned for more stories on this interior design project, coming soon.
For additional inspiration in salvage and recycling, check out the post on 23rd Ave Sculpture in Denver. This is scrapyard meets art studio, where old metal is turned into art, furniture and more for your home and garden.
I often see photos of painted floors in blogs, magazines and on Pinterest. However, this is not something that I see often in person and as an Interior Designer. That has a lot to do with the Denver & Boulder Colorado markets in which I work. Many of my clients live in newer homes with new or nearly new wood floors. Painting them seems like blasphemy. Another group of clients lives in older pockets of Denver, with wonderful homes including bungalows, 1930's Tudors, and Mid-Century Modern. In these homes we are working to strike a balance between preserving original detail and modernizing the homes for life in this century. Often the floors are original to the home and again off limits to paint. But I am curious about your thoughts on painting wood floors: do you love it or would you leave it?
Last week I wrote about using sofas, loveseats, settees and benches as banquettes. This week I pay homage to the built-in banquettes. Enjoy!
I'll start with 2 photos from Candice Olson. This dramatic red velvet tufted banquette that goes right up to the ceiling is the banquette that started my obsession. I have a wall that would be PERFECT for such a grand statement. It's the dining room and the first wall you see when entering our home - the place to make a statement.
Alas, The wall has multiple light switches and an air-intake that make reconfiguring electrical and HVAC for such a built-in banquette very costly. I've repaired my broken heart and now I'm searching for the perfect sofa, loveseat or settee per last week's banquette post. Still, I enjoy and envy the built-in banquette. I hope you enjoy this collection and find inspiration for your own home!
As I've mentioned before - I love banquettes. There is something inherently glamorous about a banquette. Or perhaps it's because I imagine a dinner party of my friends piling onto a big banquette in my dining room. I can't quite put my finger on the source of this love, but it's there. Oh, it's there.
Banquettes are often thought of as built-in, such as this dramatic gem of a dining room via Toby Fairly. These built-ins can be a great solution to a tricky area.
However, the look and feel of a banquette can be easily achieved by pulling a sofa, loveseat, settee or bench up to your table, without the expense and construction mess of a custom built-in. Allow me to explain... visually.
A sofa fits perfectly between cabinets in a kitchen nook. via House Beautiful, February 2012 issue.
Another perfectly sized sofa. This one features a beautifully shaped back and another favorite: nailheads. Source unknown.
A very simple sofa becomes more interesting as a banquette. Source unknown.
This dramatic settee makes a big statement in this otherwise understated dining room. source unknown.
A punch of pink pattern brightens up this kitchen with the sofa turned banquette. Source unknown.
This clever Kitchen design features an armless sofa as banquette with a table where many others would have used bar stools. I love the originality and out of the box thinking! Source unknown.
An elegant sofa creates a contrast to the more rustic dining table in this interior design. The effect is stunning. via Four Walls and a Roof.
The Interior Designer of this hotel went big and bold. This space features a large, curvy hot pink sofa as banquette. Wow. via Ohmygosh! Design.
A beautiful curved sofa in a glamorous dining room, via Elle Decor
I wanted to add a built-in banquette to my dining room. However, the location of light switches and the air-intake vent make that project well beyond my budget. No problem - I now have my eye on a settee that I want to include. Stay tuned for more!
Do you love banquettes? Check out my collection of banquette inspiration on Pinterest. Do you have a banquette? I'm jealous and would love to see it! Please share photos with us on Facebook.
Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration www.beautifulhabitat.com
Hi! I’m Joanna, a writer with Arcadian Lighting, a go-to source for all things lighting, including awesome light fixtures. I love my job, but to be honest it doesn’t seem like work at all. I spend my days searching the web for lovely interiors and terrific decorating ideas to share with blog readers like you. Thank you Tennille for allowing me to share today.
With grey being one of the dominant colors in interiors going into 2012, it’s no wonder we are seeing weathered salvaged woods, like driftwood, popping up in rooms everywhere. From farmhouse to loft, woods are light, rough and unfinished. Tables are perhaps the most popular pieces being made from driftwood, but there are many ways to incorporate it into the home. A driftwood table lamp anyone? Here are a few ideas I found from around the Internet. Which is your favorite?
This seaside cottage features a remarkable driftwood coffee table which goes nicely with the room’s style.
Three starburst framed mirrors are made from small pieces of driftwood. This would make an easy DIY project if you are fortunate to live in close proximity of the beach.
A small end table of driftwood and metal goes well with the rustic elements of this screened porch.
Rustic driftwood shelves make a nice place for showing off a vignette of books, candles and a jar of seashells.
This unexpected lighting fixture, tall driftwood floor lamp, creates a can’t miss focal point in an eclectic living room.
Small pieces of reclaimed wood are joined together to create an unusual flower vase. This would make a lovely centerpiece used in multiples down a long dining table.
A cottage bathroom gets its own touch of driftwood on the framed mirror. The contrast between the patinaed wood and the rich marble below works well.
This isn’t driftwood but you can see the many possibilities of using driftwood and other reclaimed wood around the house. I love that handcrafted hanging lantern. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Accentuate your beautiful driftwood decor with pendant lights and beautiful lamps!
Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration www.beautifulhabitat.com