Trends in Tile


 Are you someone who considers the ceiling in your room a fifth wall?  Why do so many of us completely ignore such a tremendous opportunity to infuse color and personality into a room? . . . Do we just forget?  Are we afraid? . . . Here are a few ideas to keep in mind in order to allow your ceilings to help transform your space.

*  In a large room with high ceilings try a ceiling color in a deeper shade.  Once a room is furnished, the visual weight of the space is entirely in the lower half of the room.  A deeper color will create warmth and coziness.

*  Consider a lighter shade of that room’s wall color.  This application draws your eye upward and often makes a room feel larger by diminishing the drastic contrast to a white ceiling.

*  Play with textures, sheens and special effects.  Imagine a subtle faux finish, an interesting texture, or a metallic glaze. Such finishes will certainly provide you with a ceiling unlike any other.

*  Think about painting a bold color on the ceiling only, and keeping all the walls a pale neutral or creamy off-white.  Pull the bold ceiling color down into the room by way of fabrics . . . bedding, pillows, draperies, rugs, etc.

I bet you won’t look at your ceilings the same way.  A ceiling is truly a blank canvass.  It’s an opportunity to experiment, be creative and express yourself.  It’s a budget-friendly way to make a statement.  Next time you long for a color change ~ start by looking up!

It’s Spring . . . an opportunity to make a change.  You’ve decided that you want to have your home painted.  Maybe it needs some freshening up.  Maybe you’re unhappy with the current color and feel that it’s time to try something new.  Maybe you’ve purchased a new home and the standard builder colors do not reflect your personality or tastes.   So, where do you go from here?  What is the best way to choose color while keeping the current color trends in mind?  Color is very personal and can evoke strong feelings.  I find that the best way to help my clients choose color is to really understand what influences them.

The 2012 color trends will draw heavily upon the natural colors in the outdoor landscape.  Plants and flowers, oceans and lakes, and rocks and minerals will be sources for inspiration.  Here are some examples:

BLUE – From a sparkling sea glass blue to a colonial or slate blue-gray, they are suitable for all spaces.  Blues are naturally soothing, so they are especially ideal in a bedroom.  Blue, in one form or another, is loved by almost everyone.

GREEN – Ranging from celery and asparagus to kiwi and fern, greens bring the comforting feeling of the outside world indoors.  Green is appropriate in just about every space, but kitchens and dining rooms just seem the natural spot for this beautiful shade.

ORANGE – Reaching from rustic adobe or terracotta to Pantone’s color of the year – Tangerine Tango.  It’s been described as a “spirited reddish orange.”  Orange provides a sophisticated energy boost and can be used beautifully in a dining room, or as a bold accent wall.

All of these colors will look especially beautiful as they are supported by the use of neutrals in golds, creams, ivory and warm whites.  There is a fading of the monochromatic look of grays, browns and beiges alone.  Instead, we will see taupe and silver grey being used, as well as other metallic.

Ultimately, it’s all about comfort and personal choice!  Our home is the hub of the family; it’s our peaceful sanctuary from the rest of the world.  Due to the harsh realities of the current economy, we are choosing to stay home.  We are more excited than ever to create an interesting and colorful interior and a long-term home environment that welcomes and speaks to the desires of the family.

DECORATE A ROOM OR TREE USING A THEME– Having a unified theme helps the look flow from room to room. Choose to showcase a special collection or interest that you have, or select a color palette that works with the room.

SHOW OFF YOUR STAIRCASE – If your home has a staircase with an exposed railing it will look beautiful decorated. Consider a swag of netting for a unique designer look or use the classic pine or ivy garland.  Add touches of berries, ornaments or artificial flowers. Try hanging door swags or wreaths at evenly spaced intervals for impact.

USE HOLIDAY TABLEWARE – Enjoy it at every meal during December. If you don’t already own holiday dishes, consider adding pieces that coordinate with your everyday dishes.  Mix and match interesting patterns for a fun, whimsical look.  Discount stores and resale shops are often a source for designs that are not so common.

DIM THE LIGHTS – Arrange an assortment of candles on the dining table and eat by candlelight, so that every meal feels special.  If you have a fireplace, burn a fire each evening.  Utilize dimmer switches where possible and let the holiday lights sparkle.

HANG HOLIDAY WREATHES – Begin with your largest wreathe on the front door to welcome guests.  Consider hanging wreathes on each window in the front of your home.  Decorate with items similar to those used on your staircase. The wreathes will set the stage for your theme.

REMEMBER THE SOUNDS & SMELLS – Whenever you’re at home, turn on a CD or tune your radio to a station that plays holiday music.  Holiday baking is guaranteed to provide fabulous aromas, but when you’re not using the oven enhance your home with scented candles, oils or a simmer of orange peels and cinnamon on your stove.

SHOWCASE YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS – Consider swapping out a piece of artwork for a bulletin board that will allow you to display the cards, photos and letters that your receive from family and friends. You can also create your own pinboard using fabric and ribbon that coordinate with the theme of your room.

WELCOME GUESTS – Enhance the holiday mood by placing a decorated tree in the guest room.  Something as simple as white lights and cascading ribbon that repeat the color of the rooms’ bedding and linens will add beauty and warmth.  Decorative holiday pillows and fingertip towels are an added bonus.

CREATE A CENTERPIECE – Express your style with a unique table centerpiece.  Try filling oversized hurricanes with glass ornaments in assorted finishes and sheens and line them along the center of the table. Another stunning look uses a pedestal bowl filled with colored water and floating candles. Play with pieces you already have and incorporate holiday touches into them.

DISPLAY WRAPPED BOXES – There are such beautiful papers, foils and ribbons for gift-wrapping that it’s almost a shame to keep them hidden from curious eyes. Swap some of the accessories atop your cabinets, on your mantle and in your bookcases with beautifully done gift boxes that once again, coordinate with your rooms’ theme.

I am absolutely addicted to decorating and redesigning all types of spaces, and I know that many of you feel the same way! When conversations turn to home décor, or we read articles discussing the newest styles and trends, the word repurpose seems to frequently appear. Repurpose simply means “to use or convert for use in another format” and it’s gaining in popularity. In my experience, there’s no better feeling than finding, or keeping, something old and having a brilliant idea to transform it into something even greater. Repurposing allows us to avoid contributing to the landfill, practice green living, save money, utilize our talents and creativity and enjoy a custom piece in our home that is guaranteed not to be seen elsewhere.
Quality furniture is expensive, so if you begin with a good, solid piece of furniture it will save you additional money in the long run to find a way to make it work for you in a new way. If you have an unused dresser simply taking up space at home, or enjoy the idea of searching for a potential treasure at a local consignment shop or flea market, here are several tips and ideas for repurposing that old dresser and benefitting from the additional function it can provide.

Turn a dresser into a bookshelf – Remove all of the drawers, or keep one or two along the bottom, depending on your storage and display needs. Add plywood to create shelves, sand, paint or stain, and you have a stylish bookshelf.
Turn a dresser into a bathroom vanity – If you’re tired of your plain bathroom vanity, add character by creating one. Cut a hole in the dresser for the sink, and re-work the top drawers and back panel to make room for the plumbing. Sand, repaint, add new hardware, and you’re on your way to a custom piece for your bathroom.

Turn a dresser into a kitchen island – Remove the top of the dresser and replace it with marble, granite or butcher block. Keep in mind that all four sides of the dresser will show, so after you add a nice paint finish consider adding some details such as molding or corbels.

Turn a dresser into a garden planter – If you have limited outdoor space and love to garden, you can cut a hole in the top of the dresser to plant veggies or flowers in the top drawers. Open the middle and bottom drawers so that they’re staggered for more planting space.

Turn a dresser into a desk – Remove the drawers and the bottom support on one side of the dresser leaving the entire back and the side support. This may take a bit more finishing work to get it to the point of being a stylish desk, but for those looking for a bit more of a challenge, this may be the ideal project for you!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with finishes. Anything and everything can be painted. Rough up your surface first using sandpaper, then paint or stain your dresser in a well ventilated area. Add a second coat if desired, or consider using a glaze or metallic paint for a unique look. You can also rough up your newly painted piece for a antique, shabby-chic look. Seal your dresser with shellac for durability if it will be used frequently. Finish it off with attractive hardware that conveys the style you’re looking to achieve, then place it in its new home. Enjoy!

Chic Fall Decor


It has been a long, hot summer here in the South, but October has finally arrived! With the start of fall we begin to anticipate cooler weather, vibrant colors, pumpkins, spicy scents and comfort food. We also look for ways to incorporate those elements into our home décor, and for many of us Halloween immediately comes to mind. While focusing solely on Halloween can be fun, it is relatively short-lived. With a little planning, you can decorate for more than just the next month and extend your fall décor through Thanksgiving, until it’s time to focus on the next big holiday!
Consider some of these chic, and often inexpensive, decorating ideas for fall:

Utilize Nature’s Bounty! – Some obvious items are pinecones, gourds, pumpkins and acorns. As a unique alternative to simply scattering them throughout your home, put a sophisticated twist on these traditional items by painting them. Try gathering a bunch of walnuts and acorns and spray paint all of them in the same color. Display them in a clear glass vase or bowl on the coffee table, mantel, island or console table. To create an even stronger impact, use three bowls or vases in varying sizes and display them together. Filling a large bowl with painted pinecones is another option that also makes a nice display or centerpiece. Painted pumpkins in various shapes and sizes look great when placed on a mantel or fireplace hearth. Color options are endless really, but try to use something that will compliment the color scheme of your home while still standing out. It’s a good idea not to use too many colors. Using just one or two will help create a cohesive look and pull all the items together. Some great choices include: black, white, ivory, silver, gold and bronze. A collection of gourds makes a great impact when used as candle holders. Simply dig a small hole in the top to make room for a taper or votive candle. Group several together in various shapes and sizes for a stylish seasonal display.

Create Warmth! – As Autumn weather approaches it provides the perfect excuse to cozy up your home with some fresh accessories and colors inspired by the season. Add accent pillows and warm throws to the sofas and chairs in your living areas. They will not only add visual interest and detail, but will emit a warm and inviting tone perfect for the season. Consider a decorative area rug for these reasons, and to add color and texture to a tile or hardwood floor. Enjoy a more sumptuous bedroom by adding additional bedding such as quilts, down comforters and pillows. Create a seasonal table with incredible fall appeal by layering several rich fabrics over your table and adding some accent dishware pieces in rich, autumn colors. Potpourri is an easy way to emit fresh, fall scents around your home. Collect dried natural materials, like cinnamon sticks, cloves, hazelnuts, orange slices and lavender. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of scented oil.

Welcome Guests! – Ensure your home celebrates the change of season by decorating your porch, balcony or entry. In addition to the classic hay bales, corn stalks, pumpkins and mums try one of these chic and sophisticated options. Select ornamental grasses in reds, bronzes and deep purples planted in urns or attractive containers. Focus on striking color combinations either all in one hue – like silver or red – or dramatic contrasts like chartreuse green and purple. Utilize an unexpected piece such as wheel barrow or wooden crate. Begin by partially filling either with hay or straw, then continuing with large colorful gourds, pumpkins and Indian corn. Both of these natural fall displays are simple yet decorative, and either will add a creative touch to your yard and your Fall décor.