Make Your Bathroom POP

Looking for a way to breathe life into your dull bathroom?  Simply add small items of bright bold colors.  Try a bright bar of soap on a contrasting soap dish or small ceramic plate.  If classic bar soap isn’t your thing, look for your choice of colored liquid soap and store it in a clear dispenser. Vibrant colored washcloths layered upon others will also bring personality and a fun element to your bathroom. For small bathrooms it is best to only use one or two bold items.  A more spacious bathroom can balance multiple bright pieces spread throughout.

Turquoise soap on orange dish

Yellow and Gray Combo?

You may think using gray to decorate will make your room dark and gloomy, but it doesn’t. Mix in some yellow and both colors pop. The brightness of yellow paired with the starkness of gray contrast amazingly. If you aren’t into extremely bright yellow, go for a darker shade. Check these pictures out for ideas on how to incorporate gray and yellow in your home.

Gray and Yellow Living Room

Gray and Yellow Bedroom

Decorative Accents: Sunburst Mirrors

You have probably seen these mirrors everywhere. But did you know that sunburst mirrors have been around for centuries? In fact, Louis XIV is said to have started the trend. If you are looking for an interesting wall piece, a sunburst mirror might be just the right accent. Whether placed above the bed or a piece of furniture, they can add texture and interest to just about any space. Just check out a few examples below.

Photos: Z Gallery, This photographer’s life, Decor Pad,

Décor Double Take: Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Another great movie and home Mr and Mrs Smith with our friends Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Who knew where they would go from here? But how about this house? Although the exterior seems very colonial and has southern charm,  when you open the door, a bit of the city and urban flair rings loud and clear.  I think the production crew did a great job reflecting the actors personality in this home.  It’s swanky and upscale. Just take a closer look at the living room and dining room. The light fixtures set the tone for a contemporary, transitional, risky performance–not always expected in such a true colonial, but they pulled it together beautifully. Just another movie where I had a hard time keeping my eyes off the wonderful “design” of the home.
If you are looking for more about the decor in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, also check out this post by Hooked on Houses.

Making the Bedroom a Haven

Ah, the bedroom. It should be a place to regroup from a challenging day at work, a place that promotes sleep, and a place the exudes comfort. A haven. Is this how you would describe your bedroom? If not, what is getting in the way? Are you constantly stepping on the kids’ toys when you get out of bed in the morning? Is the laundry taking over your floors? Do you need to replace those scratchy linens? All of these things can be getting in the way of the bedroom of your dreams. If you are looking to take back your bedroom, here are a few tips that will help you transform your bedroom into the room you have always wanted:

Consider paint color: You know that color can affect your mood and it can also affect your sleep. While you may love bright colors, they can also stimulate your senses and aren’t very sleep friendly. Try choosing softer colors instead. A softer palette will make it much easier to unwind from the day.

Invest in some good linens: Throw out those scratchy and worn linens.  Instead, purchase soft linens with at a quality weave, typically 300-thread count or higher. Higher thread counts are not only more durable, but they also softer. The lovely bedding set in this picture is from Peacock Alley. Don’t they just make you want to climb into this bed with a good book?

Light it right: The right lighting can really make a huge difference in the bedroom. If you enjoy reading at night, a side lamp is a must. This way, you don’t have to get up to turn off the light. Also, purchase a dimmer, which can be found at most hardware stores. A dimmer is a inexpensive way to enhance the mood of the bedroom.

CRLaine Furniture Spring Preview

To my young-at-heart followers: take a peek at what CRLaine Furniture has in store for you this Spring as part of their new introductions. How fun is this new look?  Try taking a spin off that old wing back chair and oversize it. Then, jump-up the fabric scale and here comes one for the trendy folks out there!  I love how they paired it with a more conservative yet “young”  gorgeous sofa that will be very timeless.  This room welcomes you to 2010. Time for you to make your home your haven!

Holiday Decor Inspiration: Easter

Are you entertaining guests this Easter Sunday? If you are stumped for tablescape ideas, here is some inspiration for you. You may not be able to incorporate all these ideas, but look how just adding a few natural elements, a pop of color, and a few candles really makes the table the focal point of the room. And who can resist that gorgeous bouquet of tulips?

Alternatives to Sofas and Chairs

When it comes to picking out furniture for your home, sofas and chairs are probably a couple of the first things people pick out. The more you shop around, the more of the same you may begin to find. For those of us who are creative and yearn for a different comfortable environment to kick back and relax in and on, there are some alternatives to the norm.

More and more designers are taking an alternative approach to the sofa and chair combination. You may want to look into an oversized floor cushion. They are surprisingly very fun, especially when you might have a few children running wild in the house. Floor cushions are able to sit below your sight line, so you can park it in front of the television for the kids, while having a loveseat further back for you and your spouse. This way everyone has a perfect sight-line while having a family movie night. They are informal and highly comfortable, making it the perfect fit for a relaxed family. They aren’t for everyone though. I doubt when you have the grandparents over, they’ll want to plop down onto it.

Floor cushions also have the ability to draw attention to the floor covering and the present colors in the pattern and coordination. Sitting on one can be isolating, since it’s not the same height as normal furniture. This is why another great place for the cushion is in a child’s bedroom. Put it in the corner and you got yourself a little reading nook for your kid. Cushions can be pricey, but are a worthy alternative.

Another alternative is a long upholstered free-standing bench, also known as a day bed. Purchasing a couple daybeds to face each other with a narrow coffee table in between to put in a small room sets a great scene for a conversation area. If you ever have a small group of friends over, it’ll be a classy and simple area for your conversations. Sometimes these daybeds are even a good choice for a grand bathroom. They can also be a good foot-board at the end of your bed in the bedroom.

If you go with one of these setups I’m sure you’ll appreciate the unique quality that it brings out to your home. When it comes to comfortable sitting don’t be afraid to go the non-traditional route. It’ll be exciting and it could leave you very happy.

News: Are You in the Market for New Upholstered Furniture?

Miles-accessorizedI just got back from Norwalk, OH from the Norwalk furniture factory and wow, was I impressed. Norwalk has been transformed, cleaned up, and streamlined into a #1 US custom-made furniture option. Under new ownership and new vision, this company is another one of my favorites.  The employees just gleamed  with pride as we toured the factory, where we witnessed fine upholsterers and seamstresses putting the final touches on their product. It was such an honor to see each phase of the upholstery process.

After 25 years selling fine furniture, I have an even greater appreciation for what goes into the final product. I have just gotten a new chair in my studio, the Quincy chair,  and would love to share more about Norwalk with you. If you aren’t able to stop by,  be sure to check out the Norwalk Web site. It is well worth your time. I especially love the Copley Square collection as it fits almost everyone, but the new Elise Chair is a beauty. And if comfort with a flair is for you, take a peak at the Milford.

Have fun with Norwalk. They have really taken a step in the right direction.
Photo Credit: Norwalk Furniture