…5 Easy Home Decor Solutions – Pillows & Accents

#4 Pillows & Accents

Now comes our opportunity for color. What we are doing is layering the room and color is very important so the room does not look washed out. I personally feel like your big pieces work best if they are neutral aka the largest piece in your family room, the couch. Chairs have a bit more flexibility with color, but it’s a benefit to have a solid couch in neutral.

You have the opportunity to introduce your color in your pillows, vases, books, and all those lovely objects I reference in yesterday’s post. I would recommend going with your favorite color. Lighter colors will always create some air in your space, like this light blue and coral above.

Creating color and texture with pillows is a good idea because they are relatively inexpensive. In fact, once you’ve collected a bunch of down inserts you can simply buy the covers that are sold everywhere. Pick your favorite color and introduce it in several places throughout the room.

If you’ve chosen neutral colors in your case pieces, you will not be constricted to a certain color when the fun accessorizing begins. This is the fun part so play. Shop vintage, flea markets, Target, upscale for those few specialty items – say, an urn or lantern or great candlesticks. Chose a bowl, a painting for the wall, flowers, a cool end table, and/or an item from natural. My kids bring in those greenish brown pods we find under Magnolia trees and I have them collected in a wood box on my foyer table. Get creative!

Again, this is another time to let your personality shine. If you love a soft velvet then buy pillows in this fabric. You will want to put 2 of each kind of pillow on each couch. Then a coordinating pillow on any upholstered chairs in the space. I always like to have a least one green item to add a dash of freshness. I love a cute topiary, moss ball, green antique book, bundle of dried hydrangeas, etc. A second rule that I’d recommend is books. Nothing gives personality like a few glossy design books. Make sure they are large, thick and stack them 3 or 4 on top of each other. I heart books so I want them wherever the eye can see in my home!

If you decide in 2 or 3 years that you really hate dried flowers, vintage tea cups, old shoe forms, then find another room for them. Put them in the guestroom or basement common area. These items can be transfer elsewere and you will not have broken the bank buying them and therefore no heartache when moved. Tastes and trends change and accents are inexpensive ways to experiments with trends and color.

Tomorrow #5 – Lighting




…5 Easy Home Decor Solutions – Coffee Table

#3 The Coffee Table

I might as well call this the anchor because that is what it is like for your living room & dining room. I have found it to be one of the 5 necessary elements in a room because not only does it visually ground the room, allowing couches, lamps, chairs to be positioned around it and add cohesion to the space, it is also a necessary surface that allows the home owner to really show off his/her interests in little vignettes. When asked by clients that if they really need a coffee table in the center of their living space that could otherwise be used for a kid’s play area or just open space, the answer is yes! A room will not feel finished without this important piece of furniture.

The shape, size and style should reflect the room. A family room can have a rustic, casual look or glass or double decker, etc. A more formal living room can have a softer, more delicate frame or even an upholstered ottoman that reflects the nature of the space.

However, in all honesty, the style of your coffee table is not even quite as important as what you put on top of it. You could spend very little on a coffee table, have it be a plan, wooden rectangle and if the objects placed on top are in an organized & orderly placement it will be visually appealing and offer a insight to the individual.

It really is an opportunity to express yourself. What do the objects on a coffee table say about a person? Do you have a large, white seashell from your honeymoon? A pair of old binoculars used by your grandfather to spy birds? A few, old Nancy Drew hardbacks in the perfect blue linen color? It’s a place to be creative and utilize little objects that might otherwise be in a box in your attic somewhere never seen.

There are are just a few rules. Make sure your furnutre flanks your coffee table. Traditionally, you will have everything centered around the fireplace. Chairs flanking the fireplace and then your couch facing or 2 couches on either side. Your coffee table will take up prime real estate in the middle of the room. Make sure it is large enough that it looks substantial – I’d say at least half the length of your couch. When adding objects don’t just push them to either side or line them up or haphazardly place them. This needs to be a bit more intentional. Think of 3 or 4 sections to the table. One little section for a stack of glossy books. One little section for a colored tray. One little section for a lantern.

This important table is just another layer to your room.

Tomorrow #4 Pillows & Accents!


…5 Easy Home Decor Solutions for the New Year – Rugs

#2 Rugs!

If you’ve had the same oriental or printed rug in you family room or living room for a number of years and your style has simpy changed, I would really encourage you to repace it. I’ve walked into many a consultation and seen a pretty typical oriental rug in bright reds or colonel blues and I think now is the time to let these colors seep into the past. They are heavy, they take up alot of congestion visually, make the room look heavy and they are expensive! You will be much happier with a neutral carpet – I promise!

Natural fiber rugs are everywhere and that is for a reason. They go with many styles and can be found in really high-end homes and very casual/family homes.

I know the concern can be if they are comfortable and cozy as a rug should be and they are. They are also extremely easy to clean and will hide dirt like no other. They will not wear or pull like wool or looped rugs and if you happen to have  3 cats & a 100lb chocolate lab named Kane they will hold up.

There are some simple rules for choosing a natural fiber rug. PLEASE do not pick a colored border like burgendy or forest green or navy. Again, you will tire of it, your taste will change and you will have a rug color that just doesn’t work in the space. Every shop has a simple beige color. Pick this. Every shop has many textures. Pick the one you love. I’m partial to a knobby jute because it adds interest & warmth. I have 2 in my kitchen as runners kind of like the image above. If you want a rug under your kitchen table pick a smaller, tighter ply. Yes – and if you have kids you CAN put one under your kitchen table and not curse after every meal from the tater tots that fall. You will not see them much until you are ready to vacuum.

They can also go in every room in your house without looking repetitive and over done. They will add continuity to your layout, in fact.

I know some of you will not be convinced that these are the way to go, especially with all the color choices out there. The reason that natural fiber rugs is my pick is that they can go literally in any room and when you want to introduce your color, you will layer color with your pillows, throws, accessories – items that are easy to replace when you tired of that color or want to refresh in a few years. You will not want to refresh a carpet in 5 years, but that lime green vase can find a new home without heartache.

And if I still haven’t convinced you because you are so drawn to color and pattern then go for it, just be aware that it will be a statement and will define your other color choices in that space. You will start from that pattern and build from there with your coordinating pillows, wall decor, etc. I just know that it’s human nature to change your mind and if you commit to that Ikat print or a Chevron, a new trend will come along and you run the risk of having the entire room look dated. The other option is to choose a rug that has one “color” and then a neutral like this wool rug. But, wool looped rugs pull and pulled rugs looked worn and need to be replaced.

Ah, so I’m back again to our natural fiber.

Clean, simple, inviting.

Tomorrow #3 is the coffee table! A must.