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Optimizing the Spaciousness of an Open Floor Plan for a Dining Area, Living Room, and Kitchen

Optimizing the Spaciousness of an Open Floor Plan for a Dining Area, Living Room, and KitchenCreating a spacious eye-level view isn’t always the easiest task to accomplish. This thought is particularly true when you are working with an open-concept design housing a kitchen, living room, and dining area. A professional interior designer has the experience and knowledge needed to assist you with each of the following helpful strategies.

Fashioning a Color Base | Before you define separate areas in an open floor plan, you must first provide a color base that ties the rooms together for an attractive visual presentation that seems to offer continuous shading without disruptive demarcations. Your interior designer can assist you in choosing neutral shades for the ceilings and crown moldings as well as the majority of walls in this area as well as in selecting coordinating hues that complement the overall color scheme while providing distinctive accents to each individual living space.

Creating Distinctive Room Delineation | It isn’t necessary to incorporate physical dividers in order to define separate areas within an open floor plan. One option you have is to design one wall in each area in a distinctive manner using tiles, wall art, or a different paint color or wallpaper design. Area rugs, unique furniture arrangements, and vertical cabinetry or bookcases can assist in this endeavor. Your interior designer will have other suggestions that deliver similar results.

Optimizing General, Task, and Ambient Lighting Sources | For ideal results, it takes a combination of general, task, and ambient lighting sources to properly illuminate a living space. A brightly lit area looks more spacious, while accent lighting provides an extra touch of delineation that helps in creating separate living spaces. A professional designer can help you in choosing the type and number of lighting fixtures as well as with the best placement within each area.

Draperies and Other Window Treatments | Just as you should choose a single paint color for the majority of an open three-room space, the window treatments that you select should portray the same colors and pattern. Neutral shades offer the greatest versatility, but you can also choose bolder colors as long as you stay within the same color family.

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Embracing Broken Sightlines in Oddly Shaped Living Spaces in a Way That Promotes Interior Beauty

Embracing Broken Sightlines in Oddly Shaped Living Spaces in a Way That Promotes Interior BeautyNot all homes feature clean-cut lines with attractive transitions from one room to the next. In particular, l-shaped living spaces often create awkward transitions for homeowners who intend to design on their own. Taking advantage of the expertise of an interior designer is perhaps the best way to minimize the frustration of trying to figure out what works best to encourage an attractive continuation from one living area to the next.

Choosing Furniture That Works Well Together | Finding the perfect design flow is a task best suited for a professional with the training to know what styles, colors, patterns, and dimensions work best together. Choosing furniture in the same type of wood might appear to be too forced in selection. However, you do need to keep in mind the need to select furnishings that are complementary in nature. An interior designer has the experience needed to make useful suggestions.

Defining the Walls | No matter which two rooms are adjoined in an l-shaped setup, both of them are going to share a single wall. Therefore, it is up to you, in conjunction with your designer, to decide which room’s coloring will be featured on the part of the wall that is visible in both rooms. For example, you might want to allow the dominant color to be portrayed at the end of the wall that is shared.

Maintaining an Open Line of Sight | Since the furniture in one room is seen from the area adjacent to it, you’ll want to focus on a selection that allows your eyes to easily see over the furniture into the next room. This strategy keeps your line of vision open, while creating an easy transition from one living space to the next.

Complementary Hues and Patterns | Since portions of each room will be visible from the other area, it is important to select room décor in patterns and colors that are similar. For example, choose a rug offers a wide swath of blue shading with white designs and then reverse the color percentages in the drapery of the adjoining room. You can discuss ways to create a more attractive transition from one room to the next with your designer, who might make suggestions such as following a theme of crystal, chrome, or leather.

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The Open Floor Plan – Transitioning a Kitchen and Dining Room to Blend Well

The Open Floor Plan - Transitioning a Kitchen and Dining Room to Blend WellWith so many homes featuring an open floor plan today, figuring out how to transition your living space becomes an essential part of creating attractive, functional rooms. In particular, blending a kitchen that freely opens into the dining room without any wall barriers can be a tricky process.

delia kitchenChoosing the Breakfast Bar | The style of breakfast bar you choose often determines how it will be used. Ideally, the bar should offer usability for each room. Plus, it will serve as a divider between the two living spaces.

Blending with the Dining Room | Tying the presence of the breakfast bar with the dining room is as simple as asking your interior designer to assist you in selecting tall chairs that go with the furnishings in that room. You’ll want to stick with the same style, such as traditional or modern, and select colors that are complimentary with the décor in the dining room itself.

Coordinating with the Kitchen | Many built-in breakfast bars are designed to offer two individual heights – one for the kitchen side of it and the other height for the dining room side. Typically, the kitchen side is lower and used for work space. As a result, you don’t need to place any chairs here. Your interior designer might have some ideas regarding the color and style of tile for this work surface. The goal is to match it to the kitchen’s décor.

Blending the Kitchen and Dining Room in an Open Floor Plan | Ideally, your cabinetry, bar stools/chairs, and the base of the breakfast bar will match in coloring and type of materials used. This strategy creates a visual transition that ties the two rooms together while also being easy on the eyes. Another strategy that you can use is to choose accessories, countertop appliances, and wall décor that have similar patterns or colors so that you create a flow from one area of the room to another as well as into the adjoining area. Be sure to ask your interior designer for tips on additional ways to tie the two rooms together.

Written by Virginia Liberato | (908) 665-7997 ext.20 | Send Virgina an Email

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Choosing Your Flooring When the Dining Room Connects to the Living Room

Choosing Your Flooring When the Dining Room Connects to the Living RoomAlthough people often have varying viewpoints when it comes to choosing the type of flooring for each of two rooms that are connected, most of these individuals agree that the task can be a daunting one. Fortunately, the training received by interior designers provides a firm basis from which to build upon when choosing flooring for a dining room that connects to a living room. Naturally, the goal is to create a seamless transition despite the fact that you are working with two separate areas of the house.

Identify a Common Aspect | In order to come up with a unified appearance that is so natural you are barely aware of it, you should create at least one aspect that is found in each room. It might be a color, type of wood, crown molding, or some other detail that you can reflect in your flooring choice.

Select Identical Flooring for Both Rooms | One of the most effective ways of creating a seamless transition between two connected rooms is to choose the same type of flooring for both. Doing so avoids the visual interruption created by using two different materials. One of the added benefits of using identical flooring in two connected spaces is that it provides the illusion of making the area appear larger.

Opt for Similar Coloring Rather Than Materials | If you prefer to have soft carpeting in one room and natural wood in the other, you can still maintain a sense of uniformity by choosing similar colors. The darker the colors are that you choose, the greater the sense of warmth that you create will be. Choosing lighter colors adds brightness to smaller spaces or areas that receive little to no sunshine.

Creating a sense of distinction from one room over the other is easily accomplished by adding a few area rugs in complimentary hues. The rugs will blend in with the overall color theme, while providing an attractive focal point. The idea is to maintain a sense of continuity while also infusing unique touches that make the room’s appearance stand out.

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A Homeowner’s Vacation Checklist: Keep Your Home Safe This Season

This holiday season, enjoy your vacation without the worry of your home’s security and well-being. Don’t let a preventable accident abruptly cut your trip short. Thoroughly prepare for your time away from home and create a plan for the maintenance of utilities, perishable food, security and pets.

Here are some of the essential measures to take before you go out of town:

Manage Utility Usage

Don’t rack up electric and gas charges while you’re away from your home. Make sure you turn off your hot water heater before you leave, as that will help you save on utility costs. Turn off your water main if you live in a colder climate where snow and freezing temperatures are common. If water remains in your pipes, it may freeze and cause major damage to your plumbing.

Invest in a temperature control system that will monitor the thermostat or fireplace within your home. The Sensi is a Wi-Fi thermostat that is controlled through a smartphone app, so you can have control over the temperature in your house from anywhere. This device will help you leave without worrying about how you’ve set the thermostat or completely re-setting its schedule. You can reheat your house with the Sensi thermostat when you’re on your way home, so it’s warm and ready for your arrival.

Clean the Fridge

If you don’t sufficiently clean out your fridge, you’ll return to a foul smell in your home from expired fridge contents. The week before you leave, limit the amount of perishable food that you purchase and only buy what your family will eat prior to your trip. The day before you leave, remove all perishable items, such as dairy products, fruits, cheese, meat and bread. Avoid disposal of these items, as it is very wasteful, and instead give these items to a neighbor, relative, friend, or your house sitter. After your fridge is rid of perishables, change the temperature to 38 degrees Fahrenheit for energy conservation.

Set the Security System

Ensure the safety of your house through certain security measures and systems. Create a timer for lamps throughout the house, which will turn them on and off, while you’re away. This will make it seem like there are people present in the house and deter burglars from a break-in attempt.

Keep an eye on what goes on at your home with a security camera system. Lorex security cameras can mount to a flat surface and monitor your home and property while you’re away. They are weather-resistant and can record video around-the-clock with excellent night vision capabilities. You can remotely connect with your surveillance system from your phone, which enables you to view and record video from anywhere in the world.

Arrange House Sitter

Find a house sitter who can visit or stay in your home for a few weeks before you leave. If can’t enlist a family member or friend for the job, utilize professional house sitters. House Sitters of America is a free online service for homeowners that will connect you with a sitter that is right for your situation. Your house sitter will ensure that your plants, pets and home are well maintained while you’re away. Read reviews of the interested applicants to help narrow your list to find the most reliable and responsible candidates.

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Creating the Perfect Look for Your Home’s Interior Design

Whether you are looking for pops of color or focused on the materials utilized in your home’s interior, the idea is to create a flow of style so that your décor and theme transition easily from one room of the house to the next. The key to doing this successfully is to create a plan that encapsulates every aspect of your goals from the very beginning, leaving nothing to chance.

Creating the perfect look for your home’s interior design isn’t just about selecting a contemporary trend that is currently gaining popularity with the heated enthusiasm sparked by YouTube videos or seasonal catalogs. It’s about the feeling that you get when you look at the room, knowing that its appearance embraces your inner spirit and personality in a way that is going to transcend the next five or even ten years with a distinctively stylish look that brings a twinkle to your eye and a lighthearted bounce to your step.

Finding the Heart and Soul of the Room

In order to capture the heart of the room, you need to first look at it objectively so that you can plan not only the layout of the furniture but also the colors, textures, and patterns. Assess the space that you have. Pinpoint problem areas so that you can find ways to optimize their presence.

Select a focal underpinning from which to build out the remaining elements of the room’s design. Choose something large, eye-catching, and distinctive enough to draw the human eye to it upon entrance into the room. Accent its colors, patterns, and textures through your other choices, pulling the room together in a kind of seamless manner that seems easy on the eyes.

Embrace the Room’s Natural Features

Each room in your home has different characteristics, such as flowing beams of sunlight, narrow doorways, high windows, built-in shelves or fireplace, and varying ceiling heights. Rather than attempting to hide what some people might call imperfections, embrace their presence and find ways to optimize them. Create a cozy appearance for darker rooms or a lively one for those basking in sunlight. An interior designer can assist you with any or all of this.

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Boost at-Home Romance With These 5 Sophisticated Additions

Some of the most romantic memories are made on luxurious vacations, at the spa and at all-inclusive retreats. Why not enjoy the pampering and luxury of these places at home? Here are five sophisticated decor additions that will bring out the romantic side of your home.

Dim the Lights

Don’t you wish you could dim the lights with the touch of a button when you and your sweetie are having a moment? Not only do dimmed lights save energy, light control systems also create a romantic ambiance within your home.

Additionally, more sophisticated light control systems like Lutron’s RadioRA 2 allow users to save their lighting preferences for any room in the house, tailoring the lighting scheme to your very own preference. The advanced system can also be tailored to automatically transition between settings at different times of the day, so you can create that mood lighting any time, on demand.

Soak in Your Spa

Transform your home’s ordinary bathroom into an elegant spa experience. Master bathrooms are often the largest bathroom in the house, which means a lot of space for customizing. From separate showers and soaking tubs to a steam room or walk-in closet, a wide range of potential is hiding in your master bath.

Splurge on the master bathroom with fancy materials and finishes, as the entire family will not be using the space. The Bravo Freestanding Bath by Kohler is both modern and elegant. The simple, clean-line design of the tub can complement almost any interior.

Cuddle on Lush Furniture

A home with lush furnishings, soft blankets and comfy pillows is sure to inspire a feeling of relaxation and love. Kick your feet up and cozy up to your hubby on a plush couch. The Marble Hodan Sofa and Chaise offers a modern look with the traditional comforts of a cozy couch. It comes with two accent pillows, but feel free to add more for the ultimate in comfort.

Be Soothed by a Pool Fountain

Spending an evening outdoors under the stars and romantic string lighting twinkling from tree to tree can set the tone for a night of romance. Enjoying a home-cooked meal poolside and sharing sips of wine with one another certainly helps, too. Up the romance factor with a few new additions to your pool.

Accessories like pool fountains add a decorative touch to your pool in addition to the soothing and romantic sounds of falling water. From a large Grecian-style fountain to a smaller, color-enhanced type, Pool Center offers a wide range of pool fountain styles to fit any budget or decor.

Curl up by the Fireplace

There’s nothing more romantic than cozying up with a blanket, a glass of wine and your loved one next to the fireplace on a chilly night. You’ll be thankful that you added this romantic touch when winter comes along. Whether you add a fireplace to your living space indoors or outside on your patio, it’s sure to warm up both you and your partner. Reading a book, playing a game or simply unwinding by the fire after a long day will ignite that special spark. For a look at some contemporary fireplace designs, visit ArchitectureArtDesigns.com

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Fall Flair- The Art of Pumpkin Decorating

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Image Courtesy of HomeEdit.Com

 

 

Where has the time gone? Just a few weeks ago you were perfecting your beach-themed decor for summer, and now suddenly it’s October. The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter (and the nights longer). Most importantly, Halloween is on its way- and witches, skulls, bats, and black cats have invaded the decor of every home. Halloween decorations can range from gruesome to adorable, from disembodied to skulls to googly-eyed spiders.

 

But none of these represent Halloween, and the entire fall season, more than the humble pumpkin.

 

 

 

Any pumpkin can be easily transformed with an easy coat of paint- and you could end there. Smaller pumpkins and gourds can be great for subtle interior accents, but their bright orange hues may not fit in with the rest of your decor. Black, white, purple,silver, gold, and/or varying shades of orange are all great choices for painted pumpkins. If your pumpkin is going to be just a solid color, matte offers a more mature look than a glossy sheen.

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Photo Courtesy of CountryLiving.Com

Once painted, it’s time to really express yourself! You can add polka dots or stripes, or even paint through a piece of lace to create an interesting pattern. A white pumpkin is a great way to highlight words and messages, or individual letters (using multiple pumpkins to spell out an entire word). Halloween scenes and shapes pop against the canvas your pumpkin provides- and if you doubt your freehand artistic skills, there are plenty of stencils and patterns available.

Going a step further, you can event paint the pumpkin (or coat it in glue) and then cover it in glitter!

With some ModPodge glue and your favorite fall images, you can even decoupage your pumpkin.

For the kids:

Most kids may not find as much joy as you do in the perfectly decoupaged pumpkin- they want scary faces or goofy grins on their jack-o-lanterns. But you can still find creative ways to incorporate their desires into the decor.

CWI-Fang-gourdsThese instructions from Martha Stuart help you create adorably scary vampires, using the popular (and painful) plastic vampire teeth seen in every dollar store.

A small black pumpkin painted black, with some googly eyes and 8 pipe-cleaners suddenly becomes a friendly spider.

By painting pumpkins a glossy black and stacking them on top of each other, you can create a family of eerie black cats to protect your porch.

Gauze bandages and googly eyes suddenly transform your pumpkin into a mysterious mummy.

 

There are countless ideas and tutorials on the internet to spark your imagination. Just remember this: If you end up carving your pumpkin, don’t forget to keep the seeds for a healthy and delicious roasted treat!

Featured Image Courtesy of Craftberry Bush via Interior Decor Now

 

 

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3 Unique Places to Find Interior Design Inspiration

So you’ve decided to redo your living room. Once you’ve emptied the space and primed the walls, it’s a blank canvas- time to fill it with color and decor and flourishes that reflect you are and what you love. Where to begin? You can always start with interior design books or magazines, but flipping through these can often be a daunting (and even discouraging) experience. Sure, they’re excellent resources for finding styles and techniques you like, but a lot of times they seem geared to people with years of experience and a limitless budget. Here are a few unique places to look for interior design inspiration. Who knows? Inspiration might just find you.

Mom’s Attic

Interior design is often about finding that one essential thing that inspires you and then using it as a springboard for your creativity. This could be a particular shade of purple from your favorite flower or that old chair you rescued when your neighbor sat it out with the trash. Not only do these things speak to you, but they tell a story. Remember, you’re not just decorating a room. You’re trying to give it meaning.

And without a doubt, one the best place to look for meaningful inspiration is your mom’s attic, or your aunt’s attic, or any attic you can gain access to. Every item in an attic has a story to tell, and incorporating them in your new room is a way of expanding that story. You may have to brush up on your furniture restoration skills, but from a design aspect, attics just makes sense. As trends change, attics become the archive for classic styles that are ripe for a comeback.

Your Local Bookstore

Yes, interior design books can be a great place to start looking for inspiration, but you don’t necessarily have to open a book to be inspired by it. If you’ve spent any time in a bookstore lately then you may have notices that books are going through a bit of a design renaissance. As more readers move to their iPads, Kindles and various other e-readers, book publishers are looking for creative ways to get people to buy actual, physical copies of books. One way they are accomplishing this is by designing books that are beautiful objects in and of themselves-the kind of thing that you might want to display on the coffee table of your new living room. The “New Releases” section can be a sneaky shortcut to the latest design trends that you can easily translate to your space. Take a peak at this Flavorwire post about the most iconic book covers and you’ll see what we mean.

A Stock Photography Site

It you’ve ever done a Google image search for design ideas, then you know what a chore it can be. You have to sort through so many irrelevant results that it becomes a mostly futile exercise. That doesn’t mean you have to count the Internet out completely, however. The best advice is to stick with sites that can cater specifically to art and design. Shutterstock has millions of well-organized images and a great search function that lets you set multiple parameters. If you’re just looking for a random jolt of inspiration, then you can do no better that Shutterstock’s intuitive categories. The Abstract, Textures and Patterns sections can be especially useful for finding unique color combinations and shapes to incorporate into your design.

Inspiration can be found anywhere, even the most unlikely of places. Where do you get your ideas for re-invigorating your design?

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Creative Solutions for Closet Doors!

 

It’s almost time for back to school- which means soon winter will come, and with it the switch-over to sweaters and coats from sundresses. The closet will become a battleground- what clothes to keep? How to fit new purchases into your already stocked wardrobe? Whether your own closet is cluttered or perfectly organized, a creative closet door can easily transform your bedroom and hide your closeted messy habits.

 

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Small rooms can be made to feel even smaller with too many doors. With a door to the rest of the house, a closet door, and a door to your private bathroom, your bedroom starts to feel like a glorified hallway, rather than the sanctuary it should be. Real doors to the bathroom and hall are a necessity for privacy- leaving the closet doors an opportune place to step out of the box and give your room more space and  style.

 

Replacing your traditional closet door with curtains or drapes not only lessens the cramped feeling of the room, but offers an opportunity to add a pop of color and a unique texture to your otherwise solid walls. Depending on your tastes, you can either hang the curtains from a sturdy rod (better for closets with wider openings) or hang a flowing curtain straight down, with decorative ropes or tassels to tie the sides when you need to access the closet.

Photo courtesy of Homedit

 

 

Sliding Barn Doors

You can easily save space and add a creative, rustic touch by replacing your closet doors with a sliding barn door. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to do yourself (just check out this DIY tutorial)

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Photo courtesy of HGTV

 

Room Dividers/Shoji Screens

CWI-shoji-screenIf your room has a tendency to get a little dark and gloomy, Japanese room dividers (or shoji screens) can help shed some light on the situation. A well-placed light inside the closet can offer soft mood lighting when filtered through the opaque panels of these screens. Stylized designs such as bamboo stalks or cherry trees add an exotic flair.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

 

If you can’t replace your closet doors completely, at least you can spruce them up a bit! Even a fresh coat of paint can do the trick, but if you want to go further, we have a few suggestions.  Try taking your existing bi-fold doors and panel them with mirrors or frosted glass. A sliding door could do with a little accent wallpaper- and if you have a wide, mirrored sliding door, you can leave one panel mirrored while decorating the other.

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Photo courtesy of Nest Decorating

A well-executed closet door serves multiple purposes. It keeps your wardrobe contained and private, can hide clutter, and enhance the look and feel of your room. How would you go about transforming yours?

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