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Apps for the Interior Designer in All of Us

Interior design is something we all dabble in. It can be a question of what color to paint a room, whether or not a couch will fit into a desired space or if your color scheme is clashing. In the digital age, however, there are more sophisticated ways we can get interior design tips, inspiration and advice with a simple tap on a screen. Consider investing in a tablet with a large screen and long battery life to run these four interior design apps:

Homestyler

This app allows you to photograph your own space, create 3D models and play around with the layout of a room. You can experiment with lighting, furniture and wall decor to see what will fit into your home. There is a live gallery stream for you to see what other people are up to, and you can “heart” other designs and share them with others. Additionally, you can browse the portfolios of professional designers in your area, connect with them and ask questions about design projects.

Houzz

This app allows you to get inspired and take action on your design ideas. Begin by browsing professional designs, creating your ideabook and deciding which projects you would like to tackle in your home. Then, use the app to connect with local contractors, architects and interior designers to help you get the job done. Plus, you can even browse interior design products like solid wood floors and engineered hardwood flooring in a variety of styles; sofa's, lamps, linens and other interior design essentials.  You can even buy products through the app, which saves you a trip to the store.

Room Painting Ideas

If you can’t decide what to do with your walls, this is the app you want. There are pictures of every type of wall design you could imagine. Polka dots, stripes, ombre, gradient and special effects are all painting styles on the app. It also shows examples of every room including kitchens, living rooms, kids' bedrooms, adult bedrooms and dining rooms. This is a great place to gather inspiration and discover new ways to use color in your home.

Design Dimensions

This app is a must have for home renovations and DIY projects. It is a database of common products and design endeavours at your fingertips. You can find measurements for plumbing, electronics, appliances and much more. This app is incredibly handy if you are trying to purchase new appliances and need to ensure that the items you want will fit into the space you have.

ColorSmart

This app is incredibly cool. The Color Match feature allows you to upload a photo and receive the matching paint color. Designed by BEHR, all of the paints in the app are available wherever BEHR paints are sold, so you can take a room from screen to real life. Moreover, you can calculate the cost of a room so you can stay within your budget.

Decorating your home is easy with the technology available today. There are apps you can use to find inspiration, get answers from design experts and accurately plan out a room in your home. You even can use them to show your interior designer some of your thoughts. It is all up to you and your vision.

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5 Ways to Design a Country Style Home

You don't have to live on an expansive farm in rural Texas or southern Ohio in order to enjoy a country way of life. 

Install some beautiful hardwood flooring and pick up a few farmhouse furnishing essentials to create a cozy country-style theme even if you live in the city or on the coast. Here's how to adopt the rustic charm of country living.

Rustic Kitchen by Denise Stringer Interior Design, featuring Carlisle Pine Flooring

Wide Plank Flooring

There are several varieties of wide plank wood flooring that would set the perfect backdrop for your Country style home.  

Reclaimed wood flooring create the warm coziness and lived-in ambiance of a beautiful rural home in the countryside. Unlike the way natural stone tile can appear ostentatious, distressed and hand-scraped wooden floors look relaxed and comfortable, inviting guests to feel right at home.

Don't be afraid to be aesthetically unconventional. Dark wood flooring can set the mood for a design concept while also begging for a colorfully painted statement wall or bright furnishings. Then to create balance, repeat the hue of your wood floor in other accents in the room. Find throw pillows with the rich red tones of cherry wood floors or a lampshade to match the midnight tones of dark white oak flooring.  The "whitewash: look is also popular in the farmhouses style.  It was a popular way to keep the inside of the home light and bright.  In this case, opt for a light white and wood cabinets, walls and wood floors.

Traditional Kitchen by Chatham Architects & Building Designers KATE JOHNS AIA

Farmhouse Dining Table

Turn your dining room into an intimate entertainment spot with a farmhouse-style dining table, a wooden bench and a few vintage chairs. The table not only gathers friends and family to bond over home-cooked food, but it serves as an artistic focal point, creating a warm dining space.

Style is everything. Imperfections in salvaged wood—like deep indentations, slight cracks and color variations—create eye-catching charm. Adorn the table with a bucket floral centerpiece or three potted plants. Offset the wooden table by laying a patterned kitchen rug underneath in earthy colors like pumpkin, brick or avocado green.

Rustic Dining Tables by Polson Furniture & Accessories Indeed Decor

Rustic Garden Shed

A backyard garden shed can organize your yard tools and serve as an alfresco work space. But it can also decoratively define an outdoor space. Nestled in the corner of a backyard landscape covered in overgrown vine and distressed wooden panels, a shed can store your ATV replacement parts, landscaping machinery, bicycle equipment and household lost and founds. Build an awning over the entryway and paint it red for contrast. Surround the shed with an antique bird fountain, lush greenery, stone walkway and vintage wheel burrow or wagon filled with flowers. Accentuate the space even more by adding shelves to the back of the shed where you can stack birdhouses, ceramic pots and watering cans, as well as hang gardening tools, dried floral bouquets and wicker baskets.

Country Kitchen Accessories

Farmhouse Specialty Tools

 

The kitchen is the heart of a home, the sweet spot where loved ones gather to cook, eat, laugh and love. Adorn (and equip) the kitchen with decorative accents, tools, containers and space-saving ideas. Occupy blank wall space with a large wooden board and use nails to hang an assortment of coffee mugs. Install a fire clay farmhouse kitchen sink. Fill vintage canisters and mason jars with coffee, tea bags, sugar, and flour to set on top of countertops. Use vintage green glass wine bottles or small buckets as flower vases to decorate shelves and countertop space.

Also, think DIY. Homemade hanging lanterns, mismatched antique stools and a repurposed industrial kitchen island can embellish the space. Built-in wall shelves offer aesthetic storage space for decorating with recipe books and ornaments like white milk pitchers, china dishes, a cake plate and olive oil bottles.

Hoosier Cabinet

The Hoosier cabinet is a kitchen cupboard popularized during the early 20th century. Originating in Indiana, the three-part cabinet provided a storage and working space for homes that weren't typically equipped with cabinetry space during that time period. Since modern-day houses are designed with built-in cabinetry and fixtures, the Hoosier cabinet can serve as more of a Midwestern, antique kitchen accessory.

The Hoosier cabinet is also a great place to decorate for changing seasons and holidays. Get spooky for Halloween by sprawling decorative cobwebs from corner to corner. Then switch out the Halloween decor with gourds, fall foliage, berries and acorns to create a harvest theme for Thanksgiving.

Farmhouse Storage Units And Cabinets by Oak Park Furniture & Accessories EcoFirstArt
 

What do you love about the Farmhouse Style? What products did you use?

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Home Decor by the Numbers - The Rule of Three

When it comes to interior design and home decor you may think you have an open palette on which to decorate.

But in truth, the perfect interior design is created by a series of rules that will create a more interesting, memorable and intriguing interior.  One of these design rules is the Rule of Three.

Today, we’ll explore this age old design rule, how to incorporate it into your home, and look at some well executed concepts.

WHAT IS THE RULE OF THREE

The Rule of Three is a design principle which affects every room of your home. It dictates layout, size and shape of objects, the work triangle of a kitchen, even the color, pattern and fabric designs of your room.

This concept is seen everywhere from presentations, magazines, to photography and of course, interior design and it is best described by the theory of Feng Shui.  This theory presents the idea that odd numbers expand and create more energy, while even number contract and condense. So what does this mean to you? If you want to infuse your space with energy, create a well-designed space that is inviting and relaxing, and make your room feel as large as possible (no matter how big it is) you can do this with the Rule of Three.

WHY THREE

One is not enough, and five or more is too much, why three?

One is boring, it doesn’t really create a lot of energy or interest in a space. Imagine a blank room with just one chair in the corner. No matter how comfortable that chair is, you probably won’t want to spend too much time in here.

Home Decor Blank Room One Chair from Carlisle Wide Plank FloorsSOURCE

Now imagine a room with 5 or more elements like the Punk Rock Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel. Now the design here may have been intentional, given the desired scheme (aka PUNK ROCK) but you can see it looks very busy.

Home Decor Ideas from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors  SOURCE

The human brain likes to easily puzzle things together and with three you can always find the center point and balance. Once you get past that, the brain has to work hard so naturally it starts to resist.

APPLYING THE CONCEPT

Now that you know why you should use the Rule of Three, let's look at some ways to apply this concept to your décor.

Color

When applying color to your room the general principle is to add one big area of color, for example like this accent wall, a sofa, a decorative tapestry or area rug. Then look for 2 other ways to reintroduce that color within the room.  According to the blog Mr.Kate.com you need to repeat a color at least 3 times to give a room a pop of color, otherwise it just looks out of place.

Notice how in this Santa Cruz kitchen you have a pop of lavender on the large accent wall, this is then accented by the vase and the similarly colored island bar stool.

Home Decor and Hickory Floors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Size

The Rule of Three also applies to the size of an object, this includes the height and girth. The good news is, they don’t all have to be the same size.

This layout from Gauthier-Stacy Interior Design shows three bottles, all of varying sizes. This creates more visual appeal.

Rule of Three Home Decor from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Source

Shape

You can also create an intriguing decor collection with three items in different shapes.

Transitional Bedroom by Glendale Interior Designers & Decorators SYI Design, LLC

The logic of size and shape applies to many elements of your interior décor. The accent pillows you put on your sofa or bed; the arrangement you choose for your bookshelves or mantle; the lighting layout for your kitchen.

SEE IT IN PRACTICE

Now that you’ve explored some ways to incorporate this into your home, let's look at some projects that put this rule to work.

This kitchen has several examples of the the Rule of Three, and of odd numbers in general. There is a three prong light design above the island, 3 clay tiles behind the stove and three white pottery canisters on the counter. But notice how there are odd multiples of everything from the glass jars and glass vases to the singular glass water dispenser on the island.

Farmhouse Kitchen by South West Interior Designers & Decorators VSP Interiors

The photo does beg the question, why 4 stools? I guess we will never know.

In this home, you have three beautiful vases adorning the rustic wood mantelpiece. They add balance to the room, which also features a rustic stone fireplace and dynamic color variation within the heart pine flooring.

Home Decor and Heart Pine Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

In this Alabama home we see the perfect example of the Rule of Three.

Notice each section of the room also features the general rule of odds over evens. To the center you have the console table, and two plants; to the right you have the table, painting and statue; to the left you have the table, lamp, artwork and others accents. Even the dark wood flooring is made in three random widths.

Home Decor and Dark Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Even those who prefer more linear, and less abstract, can find balance and symmetry with the Rule of Three.

Spaces by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Taylor Lombardo Architects
 
 

Did you use the Rule of Three in your interior decor?

 
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3 Factors That Help you Choose the Right Window Treatments

There are many reasons your windows might be ready for an upgrade.

Have they been neglected for a while? Ready to make some seasonal changes? Did your recently redecorate?  Whatever the reason, understanding these three factors will can help you choose the right window treatments for any room.

Window treatments are a fashionable addition to any room. Aesthetics is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people envision their new curtains or drapes. But that should be one of the last elements to consider.

Before you begin picking colors and styles consider these three primary elements:

1) Function

2) Location

3) Privacy

We'll give you some ideas to help select window treatments based on these three conditions.

Windows Treatments Based on Function

Each room of your home serves a different function – entertaining, sleeping, showering or movement through the home.

Rooms that involve entertaining like your family room or playroom require window treatments that let in a lot of natural light. This makes the room more inviting, comfortable and naturally makes it safer to move around. These rooms benefit from sheer or semi-shear window treatments that let in more light.

Modern Living Room

Some rooms convert, such as game room or a living room to a media room or home theatre. If that is the case you might want to consider layered window treatments. Combine thick floor to ceiling draperies with roman shades so you can adjust the amount of light in the room. No one wants a sun glare on the big screen TV.

For your entryway, you don’t want curtains that darken the entrance. This can make your home uninviting. Long heavy drapes can hang on the floor getting stepped on getting dirty. In this space, opt for clean window treatments that are equal to the size of the windows, and lighter colors.  Sheer, or semi-sheer keep the entrance bright.

For rooms that involve a bit more privacy we’ll go into those later!

Window Treatments Based on Location

Whether your home is one sprawling oasis, or built on multiple levels, you can evaluate your window treatment needs based on the where your rooms will be located in the layout.

Rooms that face a neighbor, adjacent street or entry will require more privacy.  Rooms on the 2nd level of the home may not require as much privacy but you still want the option to close your curtains when the time calls.  Combine window treatments to control light, and privacy as much as you need to.

Depending on what side of the home your room is on will determine how much direct sunlight it will get. If rooms get too much sunlight they can be hot and uncomfortable, especially if this is your bedroom or kitchen. You can install some simple, and adjustable, wood blinds. These will minimize the direct sunlight but still allow some of it to filter in.

Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martin Patrick 3

Indoor or outdoor shutters are also a great window treatment to control the incoming light, and maintain privacy as needed.

Window Treatments Based on Privacy

Speaking of privacy, there are several rooms that require attention.

For bathrooms you don’t need window treatments that keep out the light so cellular shades are a great option for the bathroom. They are adjustable to the window so you can adjust the amount of light and privacy you need.  You can also combine them with other window treatments to add color or style to the room.

Traditional Bathroom by Dallas Window Treatments Budget Blinds of Dallas & Park Cities

For bedrooms, privacy could assist you with putting down a sleepy baby during the day, or make for a quiet relaxing bedtime at night. Blackout shades are great for nurseries when a dark room is best for a sleep infant or toddler during daylight hours.

Traditional Nursery by Kansas City Interior Designers & Decorators McCroskey Interiors

If you are looking for something a bit more modern, why not try some modern shutters. They can block out light, but don’t add all the frills of traditional curtains.

Modern Kids by Sydney Architects & Building Designers Alexander and Co

For teen and adult bedrooms curtains, drapes, or shades are perfect because they can be adjusted to the amount of light and privacy you want.

Decorating with your Window Treatments

Once you determine the type of window treatments that are appropriate for your home, you can begin to focus on the fun part of window decorating – the styles, colors and overall décor.  This is a very easy decorate-it-yourself project that can be done in a short period of time.

As you decorate, remember your window treatments don’t have to match throughout your house. Decorate your windows as a component of the overall room design, now the overall home design. Your window treatments can be as simple, fluffy, or flashy as you want them to be. Just make sure they complement the overall design scheme of the room including your furniture colors, wood floor color, and wall colors – dark wood floors, dark curtains and dark walls can make for a gloomy room.

Neutral color window treatments will be more versatile depending on how frequently you redecorate your room. But if you prefer everything to match, you may be able to order custom upholstery for your chairs, curtains and other linens.

Lastly, keep in mind window treatments like curtains, drapes and sheers are easy to replace so don’t fret too much. Shutters, blinds, shades require a bit more hardware so make sure you like what you are installing before you turn on the screwdriver.

What is important to you as you consider new window treatments for your home?

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Weekend Warrior Home Improvement Projects

This week we say good-bye to the last few days of summer and hello to the Autumn season.

This can be a very busy time of year as you head into the first few weeks of school, start to plan for fall festivities and for some, enjoy some outdoor activities before Jack Frost arrives. But you don’t have to let your busy schedule prevent you from keeping your home in tip-top shape and making some of those updates you’ve been talking about all summer. We’ve come up with some Weekend Warrior projects that you CAN DO. Some might take a few weekends, and timing will depend on how many helpers you can rally to your cause. Good food and drink goes a long way to convincing friends and family to assist!

Install a Kitchen Backsplash

A kitchen backsplash is an easy and hassle free way to dress up your kitchen. If you don’t want to go through the process of installing tile you can purchase peel and stick tiles, or laminate tiles. Depending on how long you want the backsplash to last will determine how much you invest, and type of product you use.

Contemporary Kitchen by Long Beach Interior Designers & Decorators Alicia Friedmann Interior Design

How to Do It:  See this Article from HGTV for Installation Tips.

Install A New Wood Floor In your Bedroom

This might seem a little ambitious but that is why we recommended you start with a bedroom. Completing a reflooring project is achievable in a weekend. The trick is to use wide plank prefinished flooring. Wide planks cover more square footage with a single board, so you need to install less flooring. 

Consider this example of a 200 SF room:

Naturally, to expedite the installation process, order a prefinshed wood floor so you can move right in after the last board is installed!

Wood Flooring by Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

If you have several rooms to do just break up the installations over several weekends. Keep in mind that installing hardwood flooring to a plywood subfloor will go much quicker than installing to a concrete slab, so you may need to allow more time if that is the case.

Install a New Lighting Fixture

Lighting fixtures are a fun way to add a little life, and light to your room. There are tons of different styles available today from minimalist to art deco. The lighting piece in this Melbourne kitchen is the highlight of the room.

Contemporary Kitchen by Los Angeles Building Supplies Eco Outdoor

How to Do it: Check out these Tips from Apartment Therapy 

Paint an Accent Wall

Painting is a long process, but if you just have one accent wall to do, it can easily be done in a weekend project. Pick an accent wall in your bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom – any room where you want to add a little pop of color. This is a great way to bring out the colors of other décor in your room, or set the mood for a color upgrade, as part of your remodeling plans.

Modern Family Room by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Annette English

How to Do It: Check out these helpful tips from Valspar

Update your Accent Pieces

When you update your accent pieces you can totally transform a room. Consider this beautiful New York Living Room from the Kips Bay Showhouse.

Contemporary Living Room by Huntington Interior Designers & Decorators Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

There are many small changes you could make to the room to maintain the aesthetics and style, but give it a slightly different look.

Dress up your Front Porch

Mums should be, if they aren’t already, the official go-to flower for Fall to decorate your entryway. They are hardy, beautiful and bountiful. They make any front porch look better. You can dress them up or dress them down depending on the style of your front porch or entry.

Traditional Entry by Pittstown Design-Build Firms Liquidscapes

For a country setting, match them with wicker baskets and burlap sacks or vintage pottery. For modern decors, settle them into dark and metallic finished pottery pieces.

Organize a Playroom

Kids and parents alike love an organized playroom. Storage walls are a great way to move clutter from the floor and give it a home. You can also use shelves and baskets or Tupperware bins.

Traditional Kids by Dallas Media & Bloggers Sarah Greenman

How to Do it: Check out some great organizational pieces from IKEA.

Do you have a Weekend Warrior home improvement project planned?

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