Category Archives: How-To Recipes

Get Rid of Your Boring Living Room Once And For All

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Design Within Reach has paired with one of my favorite home decorating on-line inspirational magazines, Houzz.com to bring you an opportunity of a lifetime.  If you love modern, transitional design styles, sign up to WIN a modern living room makeover – it’s EASY! Get the details here.

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$40,000.00 in Services and Products? How can you resist?!

3 On-The-Spot Designer Tricks You Can Do Immediately to Literally Change Your Formal Living Room and How You Feel About It!!!

1.     Move furniture pieces away from the wall. Come on Nibbles, it’s a living room, not a middle school dance-off. Place pieces so that the conversation will flow naturally, by grouping seating around a coffee table in a circular pattern.  Imagine guest sitting down – will they have to turn awkwardly to talk to one another or will there be fluid movement for all?

2.     Use an area rug to anchor the seating, make the conversation the focal point, soften the echo that hardwoods tend to make, add warmth, color, texture and pattern to the room.  Mimic the rug shape to the room shape. Square room = square or round rug. Rectangular room = rectangular rug (tip: the longest side of the rug MUST face the longest wall – otherwise, you risk throwing the proportions of the room design off)

3.     Place multiple levels of light throughout the  room. Don’t be afraid to have a pair of wall sconces, 2 table lamps, a floor lamp and an overhead fixture in your formal living room.  This prevents shadows, offers task as well as mood  lighting and provides the opportunity to add a variety of finishes and bling in to the space.

When you’re all done – invite some friends over, mix some martinis, sit back and laugh the night away while they marvel at the changes you’ve made.

ABOUT Design Within Reach…if you fancy modern design and are happy to make the investment for furniture you can absolutely pass down through the generations, you have to put DWR in your catalog of home furnishing stores.  There amazing designs, superior service and standout quality ranks high on my list of industry leaders.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

imageLine Credenza

Isn’t it beautiful!!!  The warm, rich horizontal lines add so much detail and character to what could have been an ordinary boxed storage console.

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LC4 Chaise Lounge

Just look at it – a piece of work. Stunning. Artful yet practical and comfortable.  It was designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand and produced by Cassina.  It is the classic modern design.

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Rubic Service Coffee Table

I call it a martini table – yes, I can appreciate a good martini. So when you and your friends are chatting it up in your new living room, listening to music, while enjoying your favorite martini, there’s no need to strain your arm or back reaching for the side table or coffee table to place your drink. B-e-c-a-u-s-e this baby slides underneath your sofa so the top will rest above your seat cushions, in easy reach.

Good luck with the CONTEST Nibbles – REGISTER TODAY!

Focus on Feathers For Your Nest

Some may say feathers are so last year…well I say if you love it – make it work for you.  I happen to still like the many uses of feathers, especially as a focal point for your room. Traditional African headdresses are being used more and more to adorn our rooms.

Traditional African Feather “JuJu Headress

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images via 1st Dibs

This headdress measures 32” across, traditionally worn by medicine men.

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via Harry Daniell

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So I know this post is about feathers, but look at the room below and tell me that this headdress would not look nearly as dynamic without the strong black framed art piece above it!!!  I love the two of these paired together.

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Images – thanks to Moffly Media

I’m so feeling the spirit of these Aztec dancers! I have a feeling the appropriate “attire” is just as important as the moves; hence, the spec—ta—-cular HEADRESS!

image  Adventurous Spirit

Inspired by the beauty of headdresses and motivated by a smaller budget,  here’s a project I had soooooo much fun “crafting” for a client  The idea was born after she shared her inspiration for her desired color palette.  It was an island vacation photo she and her fiance took with a native dance troop, not too different than the capture above.  To have a piece of her vacation memories visible daily, she agreed to mounting a custom feather piece on the wall space above the fireplace mantel. I captured images step by step of the finial product.

2 purchased two feather wreath

I found two feather wreaths in green and plum tones.  The webbed mirror I found will add support as well as a sculptural effect.

1. purchased starburst mirror

The actual size for the frame is 32”x27”.

4  creating support frame 1

5 creating support frame 2

Two fabrics were used. The base fabric added a hint of color and the overlay was a silk burlap design wrapped and secured with a staple gun.

closeup of two fabrics

close up of silk burlap fabric

8 layer fabric

9 wrap layered fabric

10 basic look of mirror overe wreath

I placed the first wreath on top of the silk fabric, the mirror was then laid on top. For extra depth, the second wreath was disassembled and the feathers were laced and secured around the center mirror.

3  disassembled wreath

11 thread disassembled feathers through mirror

All done! The finished project mounted squarely within the preexisting picture molding over the fireplace.  It’s quite the conversation piece.

Evonnes after (50)

Evonnes after (30)

Want to experiment with other materials?

Follow  instructions to make another great faux headdress with yarn.  You will still get the beauty and benefits of an authentic piece, at a fraction of the cost.

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Most of all have fun with it like I did and get creative.   I think accessorizing with feathers will be fashionable for a long time. If it goes out, trust me, it will return in even more daring ways.

Do You Know How To Stumble?

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IF NOT, YOU MAY BE MISSING

OUT ON A GREAT WAY TO

HAPPEN UPON TOPICS THAT

INTEREST YOU. 

For me, I like to Stumble upon all things design related.

 I Stumbled Upon a Happy

Blog called Anthology,

just today.

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What a fun replication of a interior space!!!  You have to see it close up to appreciate it.

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see more, thanks Anthology

Who doesn’t appreciate art in it’s simplest form. Sometimes less is more – keeping it clean fresh and young speaks volumes.

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Create your own vision in a scrape book with a story board.  Not only should you draw, and sketch but cut and paste. Do whatever you need to tell your story and generate excitement.

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Just Micron! You can buy those pens at Michael’s ya know.  Of course, all you need is a little talent and you can create these vivid images. Artist Afsaneh Tajvidi – found it on Anthology if you want to see more of her work.

Head to Stumble Upon and set up your own personalized resource.

Faux Floral Arranging For Dummies

Here’s a method for arranging a faux floral arrangement – rather quickly.

#1  Start with your favorite container.  I love how this glass vase has a transitional slant.

Prepare the base with moss and Styrofoam.

Assemble a collection of greenery. I like to have a tall center piece, a midsize piece and then the smaller perimeter pieces.

Slice and press the Styrofoam in the base of the container surrounded by the moss.

Gotta have the hot glue gun.  (Careful kids! This stuff is HOT!)

Fill these negative patches where the foam peeks through with more moss. And continue to glue down the materials.

Stagger the heights of the pieces starting from the center.

Work your way out.

And it’s DONE!  Ready for a new home!  Creating light and airy arrangements are so simple yet extremely effective for adding life to a space.

Design #2

Select a nice base to pair with your rooms decor.

Fill the base with moss.

Place 3 balls of greenery securely within the container and surround it with small patches of mose.

Don’t forget to make it STICK with shots of glue as needed.

It’s fresh, fun, not overly girly but clearly has a softer appeal!  Trust me, this is easy-peasy!

Wallpaper Revealed

Embrace, surround, explore and celebrate the many uses of wallpaper.   Here’s the skinny on some things you should know.

Revelation# 1:  It’s easy to calculate the quantity of wallpaper you need for your project

 

Revelation #2:  Wallpaper is packaged in double rolls but sold as single rolls.

Decades ago, manufacturers offered several different sizes of rolls (single, double, triple) with a standard of pricing by the single roll.  The pricing remains as it always has been – by the single roll. I know it’s confusing and just because its always been done that way doesn’t mean it always has to be. There is an added advantage to double roll packaging.  You are working with a longer continuous length; therefore, there is a greater amount of usable material (less waste when matching the pattern).

Info via Seabrook Wallpaper, answers to more wallpaper FAQ’s here

Revelation #3:  Look up to be inspired!

Use it on the ceiling.

The powder room is the perfect place to WOW a quest with wallpaper.  And yes, that’s wallpaper (grass cloth) on the ceiling too.

Revelation #4:  Put it on a focal wall.

BULLS EYE!!!

Revelation #5: Put it “in”, “over” and “down” under.

Via

Punctuated with rich velvety brown molding, natural wallpaper is placed above the chair rail, under the chair rail and within the picture molding of the wainscoting.  I’m loving it!  The white makes it less saturated and fresh on the eyes.

Revelation #6: Wallpaper has the power to dictate a design style

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How darling is this transformation.  Kudos’s to this homeowner for seeing the potential in what could have been a tattered old cupboard. It’s gone from “granny” sad to “cougar” fine, ough-la-la!

Revelation #7: Use wallpaper as decoration for your furniture.

Via, see more artful furniture designs here

HotDOG I’m loving this room!  What a vibrant color combination. Of course, I’m a free spirited orange luving girl anyway – but to pair it with purple is awesome.

Revelation #8:  Use wallpaper to tell a story.

Via

What’s up city slicker?! This kitchen mural would not have the same energy with any other design. Now you INSTANTLY get the felling of stepping out on a Friday night to enjoy the city with friends -and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home.  Many wallpaper murals are available in various styles.

Revelation #9:  Kitchen and wallpapers make a very good marriage

Via, see more great kitchen wallpaper designs here

I like this! Camouflage old cabinets with corner to corner wallpaper. If you can’t lick ’em – join ’em.

Revelation #10:  Wallpaper panels – framed art for your walls

Via

I hope you’ve been inspired to discover which wallpaper designs are right for your project. Now get out there and start a WALLPAPER REVOLUTION!!!