Prints and patterns - mixing it up in the bedroom.

Calm down, you saucy minxes - we might be talking about a party in your bedroom, but it's less "chips, dips, chains, whips" (yes, I love Weird Science) and more a fiesta of color and pattern.  But mixing patterns and prints is something that, like the aforementioned chains and whips, many people shy away from. There are so many rules and so much advice about this, that it's easy to get a bit overwhelmed. Today we're going to give you one simple guideline to follow that will have you mixing prints, and patterns like a pro. Stick to your color palette. 

It's really that simple - stay within your chosen palette and you can pretty much mix patterns and prints to your heart's content. Some people who are conservative by nature will then choose to mix just a few, and some people will throw caution to the wind and go nuts. There's no judgement here, kids. Do your thing, your way. Let's look at a few examples of some pattern and print mixing, from the monochromatic to the bold and beautiful.

First up is a gorgeous pink and navy bedroom Note that every shade of pink in the room isn't identical. Feel free to use the tones of the colors you have chosen. For example, if you have a pale pink, darker and lighter tones of this color will also work.

mixing patterns and prints - get our one big tip to mix it like a pro.

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Next up is a monochromatic bedroom in black, grey and white. If this is your sort of thing, it's a great way to easily tackle mixing your patterns and prints, as a grey/black/white palette often feels simpler to work with.

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This fantastic pink and gold bedroom shows how to wonderfully use the tones of a few colors and then mix your patterns up everywhere, including on the walls.

 

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And finally, a more bold choice in this blue and green bedroom. Here floral prints mix easily with geometric patterns, all staying within a lovely and fresh palette.

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Now, of course, all of this presumes that you have chosen a palette - another sometimes challenging proposition. We're going to cover the basics of this in a future post (coming soon!) but you can always do a little research yourself, and feel free to contact us. We have a range of virtual and in-home color consultations. Our packages are just that - more than a few colos, you get two color palettes you can choose from, along with their paint numbers, a guide to applying your color scheme in your home, tips on understanding the basics of paint (such as what sheen to use where) and a guide to hiring painters. All in a simple PDF that you can keep on your phone or tablet for quick reference. And from now until June 30th, get 20% any color consultation  - just use the coupon code color20 at checkout!

Now, get out there with your colors and mix those patterns and prints like the confident home decor enthusiast that you are!

 

Before and After: The Living Room

We've got a Before and After for you today! We recently finished some work with a couple of lovely clients who took possession of an older home and wanted to rework the interior a bit. The previous owners had done a bit of updating when they prepared to sell, but had likely done a lot of the work on their own and the results, unfortunately, weren't great.

Paint colors were dreary and not terribly well applied. Cracks in the corners were left un-mended, and this older home lacked sufficient outlets for modern owners. The fireplace in the living room was the original red brick, and the sconces were also from another time - which is not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case....well have a look at the first before picture:

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

 

And here we are after:

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

LR after 8Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

Our work with these clients covered most of the spaces in the home, so the living room became part of the overall plan. The clients were looking for a mix of old and new that was still uncluttered and functional.  In this space and the adjoining dining room (pictures of those to come later), we settled on a calming grey - Sherwin William "Passive." We used a simple palette of grey, blue and yellow-gold, with mixed metals, primarily brass and chrome. Modern fixtures, mix with vintage pieces to give the space a relaxed feel.  There is a family room in the basement where the TV is located, so this room was kept as an entertaining space.

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

The drapery fabric (So Good's Medina) was worth every penny spent. Having custom drapery made can be a considered purchase once you factor in the fabric and the labor, but if the room is one that you intend to feature and entertain in, it's a worthy place to put some of your budget. These drapes look stunning and catch the eye of anyone entering the room.

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

What to hang on your walls? My advice is typically that it doesn't need to be "art" or even necessarily a picture or painting. It simply needs to be something that you really love and/or that means something to you. Don't hang things on your walls that you feel so-so about. Surround yourself with things that bring you joy. And a few mirrors, they're great for adding light to a space ;)

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

Here are a few more great vintage finds that were added to the space. The sideboard was found via local classifieds. In it's former life, it was a cabinet stereo. It's now general storage and hides speakers to the bluetooth system. A bit of beeswax polish and four new legs and it became a new treasure for this home. the brass lamp is also a vintage piece, and the crow was one of those fortuitous finds at a local Yart Sale.

Now, on to that fireplace. Here's the before:

fireplace before 2

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

Yikes.

The decision was made to simply paint the fireplace, rather than replace it. If a client intends to use a fireplace like this on a regular basis, my advice is typically to renovate it and install an insert. Wood and gas inserts are very efficient heaters (and can be absolutely gorgeous as well), whereas an old wood fireplace like this, while romantic, is essentially a hole in your house through which heat escapes. If you are installing an insert, you can also take a moment to consider complely transforming the fireplace and hearth with a new front using, for example, tile, or stone.

But as they don't use it frequently, wanted to keep some of the older features of the home in tact, and wanted to reserve more of their budget for exterior work, we used a simple and inexpensive method to transform it.

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

Before and after of a dated living room transformed into an eclectic and functional space, including a painted fireplace.

The contrast between the dark charcoal color and the warm brass fittings is just gorgeous. Most of the brass pieces were sourced at vintage shops and flea markets and given a good polish. The tired old sconces were replaced with new ones that evoke the past, but still have modern chrome touches.

 

That's it for now. In coming posts we'll show you the before and after in other space in the home, including a fabulous new dining room.

Painting a Fireplace

We're back to work on a project for new homeowners who are revamping most of the main floor. The decision was made to leave the old fireplace intact, with an eye to adding an insert down the road. But that still leaves us with a fairly tired brick face. The house painter will be arriving soon, so we decided to paint the fireplace in advance of that, so he can cut in clean lines around it. Here's the old face:

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Stained and sooty, the fireplace was first given a thorough cleaning, and wiped down with a degreaser. We opted to leave the firebox alone, as an insert is planned, and a beautiful, vintage brass grate was found to cover the opening.

And our current state:

CP Fireplace progress

The primer is on, and the next step is the paint. The room will be a pale, neutral grey, so we opted for a dark charcoal on the fireplace, hearth and mantel. the uniform color will completely change the look of the whole fireplace and surroundings, and will give it a quiet sophistication that we are going to take advantage of.

Mixed metals and a masculine but warm aesthetic will rule in this space. New wall sconces,  brass accents and some beautiful furnishings are coming up in the next few weeks as we complete this room and the adjoining dining room. Stay tuned for updates!

DIY Lace Wall

I will admit that I am not a big fan of stencils for decorating. Let's just say that the time I spent working in an art supplies store, coupled with the tole painting craze of the late eighties, took its toll on my sanity. This lace stencil project, however, is enough to change my mind. It's not only beautiful, but it comes with an instructional video for those of us who assume we'd never be precise enough to get this right. Stenciled-Room-4-898x650

 

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See how it's done here.

Going Grey

I'm a big fan of grey in the home and I know I'm not alone. It's an excellent choice for a neutral that always looks grown up and classic, and can range from pale and muted to deep and daring. Today's example is how to do bold, deep greys.  If you have a lot of natural light, and use bright colors to accessorize, dark grey walls do not always spell a dark, dreary groom. Quite the opposite really!

The grey is a perfect counterpart to the brighter colors. Gorgeous. 

Two Tone Walls

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A double splash of color on your walls is making a comeback, and as an advocate of bold, saturated color, I'm pretty happy about this. _MYvpOYDIikx

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It works in traditional and modern settings and is a great way to use color as a feature in the room, and a counterpoint to other features . Notice how the light fixture in the first picture contrasts beautifully with the colors on the wall. Gorgeous. See more examples of this over at Lonny.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]