Feng Shui – A Quick Look

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

Zen inspired interior design can bring peace to your home and help to de-clutter spaces that tend to collect it. Tranquility can sometimes be hard to come by in our busy lives but when you are able to create a space that evokes it with clean lines, minimal mess and natural materials you can create a space that fosters serenity in your life.

 

One way to infuse this type of design into your room is the ancient art of Feng Shui. Feng Shui is the Chinese tradition of balancing a room with the different elements and through this, harmonizing those that inhabit the space.

 

One of the elements is earth. Earth is an element that is seen as one that is grounding. To bring the earth element to your room add in earth tones, furniture that is lower to the ground or artwork that shows images of landscapes.

 

Fire on the other hand, is a symbol that represents boldness and strength. Adding this to your design can increase these attributes, but too much can cause an increase in impulsiveness and aggression. A balanced way to add this to your room’s design is to incorporate candles or shades in the red family.

 

Water is something that connects with emotion and spirituality. This taps into your ability to connect with your wisdom and insight. With the right balance of water elements in your room you will be able to enjoy a sense of peace and tranquility. To add water elements to your room be sure to include reflective surfaces such as mirrors or water features such as water fountains.

 

The element of wood is something that represents creativity and growth and can bring a sense of strength to your design. Ways to incorporate this element include fresh flowers or bamboo, natural fabrics and wood furniture.

 

Metal is different in that it can connect with your sense of logic and order. If you want to add this element to your space the best way is to include metal furniture or decorations and countertops that are made out of stone or rocks.

 

When the right balance of the elements is present in a room, it can bring a sense of harmony to your design. Comment below and share with us what you think are great ways to create a room that has incorporated Feng Shui into its design.

What Are the Hottest New Colors in Interior Design?

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Colors are one of the easiest ways to pinpoint a period in interior design history. From the pink and black of a 50s bathroom to the Avocado Green of a 70s kitchen, history is filled with a variety of different color combinations. Things are no different today in terms of trends sweeping through homes around the country. While people were a little afraid of color after the 80s and spent a long time embracing beige instead, hot new color trends are beginning to emerge. One of the biggest differences, though, is that many of these colors are timeless and have ties to other design styles so they may be less likely to date your home down the road.

Natural Colors and Finishes

One new color trend is to leave as many items in their natural finish as possible. So, lots of natural wood and stone colors are popping up everywhere. Of course things have to coordinate with these, so like the Craftsman movement of the last century, we’re seeing a lot of colors found in nature popping up in homes to complete the color palettes.

Warm Tones and Colors

For a long time stainless steel was king and everyone was looking for it or for its cousin satin nickel. This lead to a cold, sterile look in many homes that began to turn people off. Now, the trend is moving toward warming colors and tones, particularly in metal finishes. Polished brass is still not making major inroads, but antique brass is, along with copper, oil rubbed bronze, and natural bronze. Many of these colors are also making their way into paint palettes, as they match natural wood tones and are a more updated version of the beige people have been gravitating toward for years now.

Shades of Blue

The one color bucking the warm and natural trend throughout homes is blue. Country blue kitchens are very hot right now, as are bolder shades of blue such as turquoise getting used in appliances. With so many shades of blue competing for attention just now, it’s unlikely that one will get picked to be considered this decade’s Harvest Gold.

What Size Flooring Should I Use in a Small Space?

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No one wants a home or a room that feels small, cramped, or tight on space. So when you have a home with small rooms, you’ll want to do everything in your power to help open them up visually. This includes choosing the right flooring for the space. If you’re looking into tile for a kitchen, bathroom, or foyer and are worrying about what size tile to choose, think big to help make the whole room look bigger, too.

For a long time the rule of thumb was that small rooms needed small floor tiles. This coincided with a time when floor tiles were rarely found above 8- or 9-inches and never above 13-inches. Unfortunately, instead of making the room look bigger, small tiles merely emphasize the size of the floor. This is due to the grout lines; the more grout lines you have, the more obvious the grid effect on the floor. Therefore, the small tiles just make the space look smaller.

If you really want to open up a space visually, consider using the largest tiles you can fit into the room comfortably. Large-format tiles are available in sizes up to 36-inches square with many coming in 16-inches or 18-inches; perfect for small rooms.

Unlike smaller tiles, large tiles need less grout and have fewer grout lines. Not only does this make it easier for you to keep the floor clean, it helps visually enlarge the floor. Without that grid that the small tiles form, your eye gets tricked into thinking that the floor is bigger than it is. This in turn makes the entire room look larger.

The one exception to this rule is mosaic tiles of 1-inch or smaller. When tiles get this small, instead of forming a grid, they form a pattern on the floor. This pattern helps disguise the size of the floor, which has the same effect as larger tiles do; it tricks you into thinking the floor is bigger than it is.

So if you want your room to look larger, think big right from the floor up to achieve your goals.

Considerations That May Help You Choose the Right Wallpaper

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Picking out the right wallpaper suitable to a room can be a real challenge. Among the wide array of choices, it can be frustrating to select only one. Fortunately, there are many aesthetic factors that can help thin out the options.

Colors

The mood for a room can be set using the appropriate colors. In bedrooms, studies and other tranquil spaces, subdued shades and soothing patterns are usually preferred. The bright colors are left to small accent pieces. Conversely, in areas that are busier areas such as recreational rooms, bright colors can evoke excitement. In areas that are meant for social gatherings such as the living area, warm colors such as red make the ambience more inviting and intimate.

Aside from the function of the room, objects already present inside the room are a great place to start when choosing the colors for the walls. The tiles on the floor as well as eye-catching furniture can dictate the scheme.

Patterns

Patterns can emphasize the size and shape of a room. Horizontal movements (think stripes) on the prints, for example, make a room seem wider. Vertical patterns, on the other hand, make the ceiling appear higher.

Wallpapers with small-scaled prints can also make the room look larger than it really is, and larger patterns can create a sense of intimacy. For rooms with less furniture, large-scaled prints of bright colors but dark backgrounds can make it seem more furnished. Also large-scaled prints and vertical movements are suitable for formal areas.

Similar to colors, patterns can also evoke different feelings. Mixing too many different patterns can make the room look busy and cluttered, and should be avoided. With proper balance, however, combinations can become an effective design statement. Patterns that repeat the same colors or feature different scales can work well together.

Texture

Wallpaper that simulates the look of different materials can create a perception of texture. Others will even have real texture. Textured wallpaper, whether by print or by actual texture, can help to cover up architectural imperfections. When deciding on whether to use textured wallpaper, it is important to remember that textures make colors seem darker than they really are. 

Keeping in mind all of these considerations, the challenge of picking out the right wallpaper can be made a bit easier. Of course, other factors such as the budget, wall space, type of wallpaper and application process should also be considered. The aesthetic concerns, nevertheless, can help in narrowing down the diverse array of choices.

 

Creating A Home Sample Kit

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2408982_SAs you decorate or redecorate your home,  take advantage of the opportunity to create a home sample kit. During this time, it’s easy to grab samples of your new surfaces – flooring, tile and paint, if you get them during installation. When you’re grabbing samples, bigger is not always better. You need just enough to give you the color or pattern.

For flooring, look for fragments left as the installers cut carpet, wood and tile to fit your space. If you have tile in your bathroom or kitchen, don’t neglect fragments there. For paint, get a small pack of index cards and paint one in each room’s color or colors, labeling them with the room and name and type of paint on the back. An index card is large enough for a custom paint mixer to recreate your color later if you need it.

Fabric samples are important too. If you’ve ordered drapes or furniture, ask for a few scraps of your fabric to add to your sample collection.

Take a few photos of each room from several angles to complete your sample collection. Some samples live in photo boxes, others in large envelopes. Determine the right containers for you, label each with the room name, and then put the containers away. When it’s time for additional elements for a room, bring your samples with you. Update each as needed, and you will find them useful for years!

Four Elements of a Hotel-inspired Bedroom

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22348766_SFor many, hotel rooms conjure chic, calm feelings. When decorating your own bedroom, borrow elements from your favorite hotel rooms to achieve a sophisticated, relaxing look.

White bedding

Possibly the most important part of a hotel-inspired bedroom is high-quality linens. High thread count sheets, a waffled blanket and a fluffy comforter encased in a sateen duvet will invite you to melt into your bed. Crisp white is surprisingly easier to care for than a pattern or color.

Plush flooring

A place to rest tired feet is essential, especially if you have hardwood floors. A neutral rug, placed on either side or at the foot of the bed, will allow you to step out of bed in comfort. A white rug with a dark grey pattern would look fantastic. Add a memory-foam pad for a surprising indulgence.

Blackout curtains

Deep, restorative sleep can be achieved with the help of blackout curtains. Select a heavy curtain that blocks all light, or add a separate panel to the back of an opaque curtain. A dark grey velvet curtain would pop against a neutral wall and your new bedding.

Sitting area

To really achieve the look of a sophisticated hotel room, you’ll need to add a sitting area. The type is up to you! Maybe you need a plush reading chair near the natural light. Or, perhaps you’d like a small table and sturdy chair for applying makeup. Even a structured settee can invite conversation in the bedroom.
A bedroom retreat is just what you need to escape a long day of work and family. Creating a hotel-inspired master suite can help you feel rejuvenated in your own home.

The Four Seasons of Decorating: Spring

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Post close springWhich season is your favorite? There’s something to love about every season, and any room in your home can reflect any season. Thinking of a specific season when decorating a space helps you keep everything integrated. Without even trying you will end up with a space that is cohesive and inviting.

We’re going to consider how to reflect each of the four seasons in your home, starting with spring. To begin – what does spring mean to you visually? Most people think of growth, light and freshness. After a long winter, the flowering trees and plants provide a wealth of colors and textures to work with.

Starting with flooring, light bamboo perfectly captures the fresh growth tone of spring. Light wood cabinetry and furniture carries that fresh theme throughout the room. Lots of white provides a critical sense of light – how about crown moldings, wainscoting and baseboards painted a bright glossy white? For window coverings, either white shutters or bright white sheers at the windows match the mood of the season.

Wrap up with an inexpensive accessory option – flowering spring plants in pots. Whether you set them on a windowsill or scatter them throughout the room, fresh plants carry the very spirit of spring into your space.

Think of specializing in spring when you decorate, because when you bring spring into a room, you have it with you no matter what the weather.

Lighting for the Bedroom

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Our bedrooms should be our sanctuaries from the hustle and stress of our lives. Creating the feeling of an oasis or sanctuary in the bedroom depends a lot on lighting. Along with flooring and wall color, lighting can completely change the look and feel of a room, especially a bedroom.

Many homes have builders’ standard ceiling fixtures in the bedroom. These ceiling fixtures are most commonly semi-flush or flush mounted lights. While these are great for finding the lost sock under the bed or picking out an outfit, the overhead light can be harsh and flat.  Switching out a standard ceiling light for a chandelier instantly adds romance to the room.  Putting the light on a dimmer is even better. Dimmer switches are easy to install, but consult with your lighting expert or retailer before working with anything electrical.

In addition to overhead lighting, having light next to the bed is a must. Whether you read in bed or not, a bedside lamp can provide easy lighting in the middle of the night. Choose a lamp that suits your style and also works on your nightstand. You’ll want a lamp that is in scale with your nightstand and the height of your bed.  If you have very small nightstands, you can also choose a wall mounted swing arm lamp for reading or a pair of pendant lights hung to flank either side of the bed.  Just make sure you have a switch that is easy to reach from the bed.

Using French Doors Indoors

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Used as an exterior door for years as a chic alternative to traditional sliding doors, French doors also work excellently indoors.  These glass paned doors allow light to flow between rooms while creating a division of space.  Great for use between a hall and den or family room, French doors can provide some sound break while not shutting off the room entirely.  French style pocket doors are even better because when slid into the wall, they disappear completely.

French doors can be used over wood floors, tile or carpet. Flooring can end at the doorway or continue throughout both spaces depending on how much of a space separation is desired.  There are curtain options to cover the glass for even more sense of privacy.  Curtains can be mounted on small rods at the top and bottom of the doors for a tailored look.  This option would not work on pocket doors where the door must slide into a narrow space, but would work on traditional French doors.

Transom windows, like seen in this picture, are another way to carry natural light throughout the home while providing something of a sound break.  Placed above doors and doorways, transom windows can either be stationary or tilt to open to allow additional air flow.

This home has a great flow between spaces with hardwood throughout, a transom window above the doorway to the dining room and the French doors into the living area.  Painting the French doors the same color as the molding and wall color allows them to blend into the space perfectly.

Trend Spotting: Fretwork

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14371760_SFretwork is a pattern of interlocking lines that dates back hundreds of years.  Sometimes called lattice pattern, fretwork comes from Chinese metalwork designs.  Thomas Chippendale, known for the Chippendale chair as seen in the image above, first introduced fretwork to western furniture in the 18th century. Since then fretwork has experienced numerous revivals and interpretations.

Fretwork patterns can be extremely elaborate or have simpler geometric patterns.  The common thread between them is the repeating intersections of the lines to create an overall geometric pattern. Sometimes similar to the Greek key pattern, fretwork is beloved by modern and traditional design alike.

The current revival of fretwork in design can be found on traditional furniture pieces as well as contemporary interpretations. Variations of fretwork pattern can be found on textiles such as curtains and bed linens, area rugs, pillows and even upholstery.  Fretwork wallpaper and stencils are used to add design to walls and the interiors of cabinets and bookcases.

The limits to where fretwork can be incorporated into your design are only limited by your imagination. Traditional fretwork patterns in metals, as seen in the Victorian era, can be found on radiator covers as well as exterior stair balustrades. Cabinet doors in wood or metal can be decorated with fretwork patterns.

When using a large fretwork pattern, let this be the dominant pattern in the room. Other patterns can be introduced in smaller scales as to not compete with the complex fretwork design on walls, furniture, floors or curtains.