Take this fun quiz to test your interior design knowledge! (This post was originally provided by Chais Lund)
Kitchen Design 2014-Some Trends to Look For
Here is an interesting article about the top kitchen design trends coming in 2014. It caught my eye because S Interior Design is currently designing a kitchen for one of their clients and we are using black quartz counter tops, a deep red glass back splash tile, and lighter wood toned cabinetry. We are on-trend and didn’t even know it!
The top kitchen trends for 2014 include:
Black kitchen counters: Homeowners who want to add sophistication to their kitchen can achieve this look by specifying black granite and quartz. Expect to see black-countered kitchens paired with lighter colors for contrast.
Open shelves and glass-front cabinets: Displaying kitchen wares is a growing trend among all kitchen types, not just contemporary and traditional farmhouse kitchens. “As the kitchen has become a central meeting place for family and friends, presentation has become a priority for many homeowners,” said Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab and Zillow Digs Board of Designers member. “It is now fashionable to display almost everything in the kitchen from dishes to pots and pans to gourmet oils and vinegars.”
Darker paint tones: Homeowners identified black, deep brown, dark red and copper tones as some of the most popular paint colors. Since dark colors may make a space feel smaller, designers recommend painting just one wall a deep shade or consider painting the ceiling or floor. –
See more at:
AND FROM HOUZZ.COM
Houzz has released the results of its first “Kitchen Trends Study,” which is based on responses from more than 7,500 homeowners who are currently undergoing a renovation or are planning a remodel.
Some of the main trends gleaned from the survey are that the open-concept kitchen is still widely popular, granite and quartz are the materials of choice when it comes to countertops, mixing appliance materials is considered, and conservative colors schemes dominate the market. The study also found that 49 percent of the responders believe in completely gutting the existing kitchen, while 42 percent prefer to update their existing space.
In terms of finishes and colors, 65 percent of responders are incorporating stainless steel appliances into their kitchen design, while many are also combining stainless with white or color appliances or integrating appliances into the cabinetry. Soft and neutral tones were most popular with responders, and topping the list of must-have appliances are a chef’s stove, double ovens and induction cook tops.
Half of the responders chose stone as the preferred material for counter tops, with quartz coming in as a close second with 36 percent. Top back splash choices include tile and glass, and top flooring choices include hardwood and tile.
The study also found that homeowners under the age of 45 prefer a contemporary design in their kitchens, while the traditional look is most popular with those over the age of 45. Seventy-nine percent of the responders said they chose to or are choosing to renovate their kitchens to improve the look and feel of the space, and 59 percent want to improve the kitchen’s function. Other motivators include appliance upgrades, improved storage and increasing the home’s value. Only half of the responders were concerned with creating an eco-friendly kitchen in terms of appliance and material selection.
Out of the 7,812 homeowners who were surveyed, 32 percent have already begun construction on their kitchens, and 68 percent have yet to start, although it seems likely they know where they want to go once they get there.
Wood Floors-Basics You Should Know
Wood flooring is more popular than ever. In Arizona, I have more clients requesting wood flooring over tiles which were the prior go to flooring option for most. There are so many options not only in how the wood floors look, but how they are constructed and it can get a bit confusing . S Interior Design thinks that this guest posting will help take away some of that confusion. If you love the look of the wood floor, but your budget doesn’t allow for that, there are also some good alternatives available; wood look laminates (have come sooo far!) and even tile that emulates wood planks.
Until just a few years ago your options when fitting wood flooring were very straightforward. Equally they were also limiting, as wood in its natural form does not fit outdoors nor does it fit well in areas that experience humid and damp conditions such as the kitchen, bathroom and basement. So what has changes and what are your options nowadays?
Types of Wood Flooring: Today you can choose between two types of wood flooring technology, each offering its pros as well as cons. The two are engineered wood and solid wood.
Engineered Wood Flooring – Each planks is made of three syntactic materials and a layer of solid wood. The use of solid wood on the top means that they look exactly like traditional wood flooring, however the use of syntactic materials underneath means that engineer type does not inherit the limitations of wood.
Typical Uses – If you intend to fit wood flooring in a potentially humid area such the bathroom, your only safe option is engineered wood. If you intend to fit the floor yourself, it is possible to fit these planks in a floating installation so glues, nails and staples are not required and it therefore makes engineered easier to fit.
Solid Wood Flooring – Each planks is made from complete natural wood. These are the traditional types that until a few years ago were also your one and only option.
Typical Uses – If longevity and durability are an issue, such as in commercial properties, solid wood offers a service life potential of 100 years. Additionally, the surface can be sanded and coated again every few years thereby making the floor look brand spankin new.
Grades Of Wood: Both solid and engineered types are made from solid wood. Made completely from solid wood in the case of solid floors or as a top layer in the case of engineered floors. The solid wood is divided into levels of grade. It is an indication to the visual side of the plank, nothing to do with quality. Your choice of one grade over the other depends on your design taste and budget, as the higher grades will cost slightly more.
Prime grade – Prime grade wood flooring are cut from the middle of the tree which means that the floorboard will have the least amount of colour variations between the planks and knots are very few in between.
Select grade – Select grade wood flooring are cut from the second ring from within the core of the tree which means that the floorboards will show some colour variations between the plank and some knots can be expected.
Natural grade – Natural grade will feature sapwood and black knots of up to 30cm in size. Compared to the previous two grades, price difference will become more substantial making this grade very popular when fitting wood floors on a tight budget.
Rustic grade – Floorboards will feature sapwood and black knots of 35cm. There might be unlimited colour variation between the floorboards. Rustic is the most affordable option.
Colours Of Wood Flooring – Another changing aspect of wood flooring are the colours of the planks. In the past the species of wood (e.g. Pine, Walnut, Oak etc) would have determined the colour of the plank. While this is still true, flooring technology has allowed for special colours to cover the planks and thereby meet the precise shade to compliment your interior. Examples of bespoke colour include:
It is always a good idea to consult with professional interior designers prior to fitting wood flooring. These options and considerations make wood flooring less straightforward than it used to be. However, it also means that wood can fit more interiors than ever before as well as suitable across more areas in your home or commercial property.
Guide and images by Oak Flooring company Wood and Beyond. London based company of solid oak flooring, engineered, decking and worktops. Its woods are FSC sourced (stands for Forest Stewardship Council).
Accent Pillows —A Must Have Room Accessory
Okay, I have a confession—I have a bit of an accent pillow obsession (along with shoes of course!). Accent pillows are a great way to update your existing seating and bedding without starting from scratch.
You can change pillows out seasonally to evoke the feeling of summer or fall or winter or even at holiday times. You can splurge on a pricey fabric when having pillows fabricated because you don’t need a lot of yardage. Styles range from simple box pillows to highly adorned and trimmed pillows; the options are endless.
So, when asked to post this guest blog about decorative pillows, we of course said YES!!
Pillows are like the icing on the cake. They bring life to sofas and beds. Pillows are important design elements in the house, and they are some of the best items to express the owner’s individuality. Beautiful pillows have great fabrics that match the theme of the room.
There are some rules that homeowners can follow in order to come up with a beautifully decorated sofa and bed.
Factors to Consider when Decorating with Pillows
Homeowners should consider the pillows’ size so that they will match the size of the sofa and the bed. Standard pillows usually measure about 18 inches. They are great for typical-sized sofas. Large pillows are also a good choice when owners are trying to create a more lounge-like and casual feel.
Pillows with feather-and-down fills are the softest. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive pillow filler. On the other hand, foam and other synthetic fills can hold the pillow’s shape as they are stiffer.
Designers like to include an odd numbers of pillows as it tends to be more artistic. Homeowners may consider having one, three or five pillows depending on the number that can fit into the furniture. Typically, a chair needs only one pillow while a standard 88-inch sofa needs three or five pillows.
• Shape and Color
Opting for a combination of different pillow shapes creates a fun and lively appearance. One common combo is a pair of square solid pillow with a color that contrasts with the sofa, one oblong-shaped pillow at the center and two extras. The two additional pillows can have patterns and may have the same color as either the sofa or the solid pillows.
The texture of the pillows should contrast with the sofa’s upholstery. This will ensure that people will not slide off their seats.
• Room’s Theme
All pillows in the living room do not necessarily have to be the same. However, there should be at least a connection between them that will show through their palette or style. A good theme will provide the room with a more polished and unified feel.
Decorating Sofas with Throw Pillows
The Traditional Look
• Even numbers of pillows are great for a traditional sofa look. Four pillows may be arranged on either side of the furniture to present balance and order.
• The pillow size will depend on the size of the sofa. The traditional look is enhanced by pairing 20 to 22 inch square pillows with smaller sized round pillows. Proportion is the key for a pleasing traditional sofa look.
• Silk and velvet pillow fabric can work best with a traditional sofa look. It can have prints and patterns such as flowers. These prints should be simple and may only have two or three colors. One solid and one printed pillow make a great pair.
• A thin braid or cord is a great choice for small pillow trims, and tassel fringes are perfect for bigger ones.
The Modern Look
• An odd number of pillows works best with modern designs. A few large pillows can be mixed with little ones.
• The pillows should be large enough to show off large pattern designs or just a solid color. Oblong-shaped pillows will also boost the modern look.
• Cotton and linen are the best picks for pillow fabrics. Large geometric prints with a few different colors should be considered. However, those who love more colors are not prohibited from going for what they like.
• Trims are usually only for traditional look, but they can also be used. They should maintain the pillow’s solid color and at the same time add interest to it. http://www.2modern.com has a lot of modern pillow collections to choose from.
The Eclectic Look
• An odd or even number of pillows can work well in an eclectic room without making it look cluttered.
• Generally, designers prefer similarly sized large pillows that measure around 18 to 24 inches.
• The pillow fabrics can all be different, but they should have at least one color that connects them. This will ensure that they have unity despite having different fabrics. The eclectic look actually relies more on the fabric than the other elements.
• Trims should be kept simple. They can have braided edges. Inside Avenue offers many choices of decorative pillows that will perfectly complete the living room’s eclectic look.
Decorating Beds with Pillows
• Decorative pillows on beds should blend well with the comforter and coverlet. They are also best paired with foams from Memory Foam Express.
• It is best that pillows are positioned with the biggest part at the back and the smaller part in front. Doing so will ensure that the fabric is given more emphasis.
• Pillow colors can be pulled from all fixtures and furniture inside the room.
• Pillow colors and patterns can bring a more casual look to the bedroom. One great example is white bedding topped with a heavily printed coverlet and white and gray-colored pillows.
• Contemporary looks often involve white pillows and one decorative pillow as an accent.
• Pillow positions on the bed can also add to the overall look of the room. They can be placed diagonally. This may be a simple idea, but this little interesting detail can actually make a lot of difference.
• People who want to have numerous pillows on the bed should opt for a limited palette so as not to overwhelm the room. There are homeowners who really want to have nine pillows around them. There are more pillow ideas available here.
Decorating a home with pillows is fun. Homeowners can actually change the overall feel of their homes by simply adding pillows or changing their fabric, colors and arrangement. However, it is always important that they follow the rules in choosing the pillows for their sofa or bed. Otherwise, their space will look more cluttered rather than pleasing. Different types of pillows for modern, traditional and conventional looks can be found at instyle-decor.
This Guest Post is written by Lisa Jolan: You can connect with her on twitter @lisajolan
3 Creative Ways to Save on Remodel/Build Projects
I was approached to host this guest post for our blog. Of course, before we accept a guest post, we research the company that is asking for the placement. The post below provides some interesting ideas to consider before embarking on a Remodel or even a new Build of a home. The writer supports a company that provides building plans for a set fee, versus hiring of an independent architect to create plans from scratch. With these plans in hand, you MUST still build your local team of experts including the general contractor and an interior designer.
How to Save on Remodeling in Today’s Economy
Sometimes embarking on a remodel of your home is done not just because you need a change of scenery, sometimes it is out of sheer necessity. With families growing, more adults are keeping residence in their birth homes and people moving back in, the home that you’re in right now, may be bursting at the seams.
Also, because of an unfavorable job market due to a shaky economy, people are turning to self employment and setting up home offices or running businesses from their home.
Remodeling is now more than just a stylistic option because you want to change the look of a room, it has become somewhat mandatory since the home itself has become re-purposed. But what does this mean for you if you NEED to remodel your home but you can’t necessarily afford to? Chances are, you’ve already solicited a quote from a contractor and realized that remodeling price tags that read $60,000.00 are par for course. What’s even more daunting is that the average American makes significantly less than this per annum which means that for many of us, remodeling, while necessary, may be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Don’t worry! We can’t promise to cut your costs in half but we can provide you with a few tips that can help you achieve your remodeling goal based on your financial limitations. One example from inception is that you can save on house plans and floor plans by actually doing them yourself seeking the reduced-cost services of online vendors who specialize in these plans, solely. Here are a few others that you can use today!
1. Ask you contractor to dip into his leftovers!
Contractors almost always have surplus building materials from jobs that they have completed and they may not always find a use for them. Ask your contractor if he has anything in stock that would be suitable for the remodeling you’re engaging in that he would be willing to utilize either gratis or at a reduced cost.
2. Let go of the “‘Aint nothing like the real thing, baby!” mentality!
There are certain accent materials that look wonderful and will last a long time that you may want in your remodeled home – but they cost an arm and a leg. The material market now however has really met the needs of the consumer on a budget and has produced comparable, reasonable facsimiles that you can use instead of pricey originals. Solid oak flooring is very expensive, but you can use engineered oak flooring instead that is significantly cheaper and equally attractive and durable.
3. Going once, going twice, SOLD!
Building supply auctions are a great opportunity for you to outfit your home with high-end materials, furnishings and appliances for much less than the retailers can ever dream of offering. Federal Government Surplus and Seized Property Sales are exciting avenues you can turn to to get the most bang for your buck. Do you research and you’ll come out a winner!
Christine Cooney loves learning about architecture, gardening, and cottage house plans. Her goal is to devise contemporary home plans for her own dream house.