Trend Spotting: Fretwork

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

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.

Decorating the French Provincial Kitchen

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips, Kitchen

5119306_SWhen it comes to decorative terms, “French Provincial” is more or less “French Country”. This style of interior decoration from the French Provinces came to the fore during the 17th and 18th centuries. Decorating the French provincial kitchen entails rough and whitewashed walls or smooth walls that are covered in beautiful wallpaper.

Using painted furniture isn’t uncommon, and straw woven seats can be a great addition to the kitchen table. One thing that makes this pattern of decoration unique and popular is the adoption of bright fabrics, which could range from tiny floral designs to wide paisley designs.

To achieve that traditional kitchen look while decorating the French provincial kitchen, the walls of the kitchen are painted in warm and milky white. What if white is not your favorite color? No need to fret, you can alternatively go for violet blue, muddied sea green, washed out ocher yellow, or even light gray.

Remember, think of a bright kitchen with a light feeling.  Using a chandelier for lighting above the island is a great idea and will add another depth of design to the kitchen.

Shopping the Global Market

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

VaseandplatesIncorporating pieces from around the world into your décor can bring a touch of global style to your home. Whether you use souvenirs from your own global travels or buy pieces at the global market or flea market, adding global style can also add personal style to your home. Ethnic furniture, mirrors, objects, textiles, rugs and art are all things that can be bought on vacation or found near home. You can choose one country or area of the world to focus on, like Asian or African style, or mix items from around the world for a truly global décor.

Big pieces like tables and stools are probably not easy to get home from your vacation. Look for these at the global market or discount home retailers that carry a selection of imported furniture and objects.  Easier to pick up when you’re traveling are small objects like bowls and vases that can be displayed on a shelf or table.

Textiles are a wonderful way to bring a little global style into your décor. Fabrics like wall hangings, table cloths, napkins and placemats are all portable. These can be kept as is or used to make custom pillow covers for throw pillows.  Other textiles like rugs might be difficult to get on the plane. Again, look for these at retailers near you or online.  A Moroccan rug or a rug from Turkey can be a colorful way to add global style to your floors.

Shopping the global market can also save you money. Many imports can be found at fantastic prices. Great style for low cost is always a great design find.

Trend Spotting: Barn Wood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

15551355_SBarn wood is a big trend in so many aspects of design. We’ve been seeing barn wood on blogs used as flooring, furniture and even paneling on walls. Typically recycled from old barns the popularity of barn wood is on the rise so there are new products that capture the look and feel of the reclaimed wood.

Reclaimed wood overall is a big design trend. The appeal of upcycling and recycling old wood appeals to those who embrace the green furniture and products movement. Reclaimed wood tables, headboards, bookshelves and benches can be found in designs from contemporary to farmhouse and many styles in between.  Amongst the most popular of the reclaimed woods is barn wood.  The weathered and aged wood has distinctive character that embraces the knots and flaws in the wood.

For cabinetry and furniture, barn wood is sometimes used in a more raw form with old paint and rough surface left intact. Barn wood can be found being used in built-in and freestanding furniture. The versatility of barn wood is one of the reasons it is so popular.

Look for the term reclaimed or barn wood in product descriptions.  This solid wood has proven it can withstand the tests of time and weather should it should be able to hold up to everyday life in the home.

Living in the Living Room

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips, Family Fun

Our living rooms are often more than just a place to watch television and entertain guests.  For many of us, we do most of our living at home in the living room. These rooms become a media room, home office, dining room and sometimes even a guest room.  While we might not admit it, many Americans eat dinner while watching TV in the living room or family room.  The design trend to open concept spaces that incorporate kitchen, dining and living spaces means more and more of us are spending most of our time at home in one room.

Creating a décor that can work with all these different activities is key.  Furniture arrangements, flooring and materials should all be selected to stand up to the heavy use and high traffic of today’s living rooms. Sectional sofas allow seating for many in a single piece of furniture. Coffee tables that are also ottomans can multi-task as game tables, dining tables and extra seating.

Wireless routers and laptops mean we can telecommute from any room in the home. And more than one family member can be online at a time… so the sofa can become a home office, socializing center and homework space.

Living room flooring should be durable to stand up to all the demands we place on the room.  Stain resistant and stain repellant are key for carpets in high traffic areas.  Hardwood and other hard surfaces are durable but it is nice to have something softer for impromptu lounging on the floor. If you do have hard surfaced flooring, try adding an area rug.

Design Inspiration: The Caribbean

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

Aqua blue seas, white crystal beaches and green jungles are the colors of a postcard from the Caribbean. The Caribbean has long been a fantasy destination for beach vacations and cruises. The crystal clear waters and balmy warm breezes inspire a relaxed vacation lifestyle, and aesthetic.  Caribbean design inspiration can be used to bring a little of the islands home to you.

Caribbean design embraces the natural beauty of the islands and island cultures. Bright sunny pastels and hues inspired by the ever changing color of the sea decorate everything from houses to floors and fashion.  Even the food and drinks of the Caribbean are filled with rich color and exotic spices.

Along with the colors inspired by the natural landscape of the Caribbean, Caribbean style has a long history of being influenced by European designs. Many island nations in the Caribbean are former colonies of England, France and The Netherlands so it makes sense that those cultures would leave their influence behind. The British Colonial style is perhaps the most well known of the styles that combine colonial and European influences.

British Colonial style takes the standard forms of European furniture and translates them into relaxed island style. The furniture tends to be bulkier and less refined than the original. Wool and silk rugs are replaced with cotton rugs as well as sisals and jutes. Color palettes tend to be natural neutrals with lots of white. Aquas and greens inspired by the sea and jungle are common accent colors, as are dusty pinks and soft oranges.

Glass Shelves in the Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Design Tips

Glass shelves are a versatile storage option for the bathroom.  Glass shelves can be hung throughout the bathroom. In smaller spaces like a bathroom the glass will take up less visual space than a wood or painted shelf.


Glass shelves virtually disappear into the wall behind them. If you use a floating shelf design like in this bathroom, the shelf will blend in with whatever is behind it. This allows your beautiful backsplash to be uninterrupted by the shelf. This is important when you have an intricate pattern like a mosaic or border.


Tempered glass is always a good idea in a bathroom for a shelf or a shower door. Tempered glass will not shatter into shards, which can be dangerous in a bathroom with its tile or wood floor.  If you have a glass shower surround, glass shelving in the room can unify the design.


Glass shelves can be hung above the toilet as well as above the vanity.  You can vary the depth of the shelf depending on its use and placement in the bathroom. Thicker shelves can be used to store extra toilet paper, jars of Qtips and cotton balls, or even extra washcloths and hand towels in neat rolls. Smaller shelves can hold toothbrushes and toothpaste.


No matter the material you choose for shelves in the bathroom, make sure you secure them to the wall with the proper screws for your wall type. Going into a stud is always a good idea when hanging a shelf that will hold any weight.

Decorating a Home Office/Spare Bedroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

The term spare room is kind of a misnomer. For most homeowners any extra space is a luxury that is quickly gobbled up and turned into something: a playroom for the kids; a guest room; a home office.  This room shows a smart way to combine a home office and a guest room into one stylish space.  Home office/bedroom doesn’t mean shoving a desk in the corner of the guest room or squeezing a queen size bed into the office.  This room is a true multifunctional room that is the best of both.


Rather than having a big bed in a small room, a convertible day bed/sofa is used.  While this won’t accommodate two guests, it will work for a single guest.  During the day or when the room is not being used as a guest room, the sofa provides a comfortable place to lounge and relax.


The work desk is also very stylish and can be cleared of work papers and laptop for a guest’s visit. Having a few file cabinets or a bookshelf with doors to hide work and home finance paper work would optimize the storage in this space. The storage ottomans as coffee table are portable and easily moved around the space.


Neutral colors make this space guest friendly.  The patterned area rug adds interest and coziness.  A few pieces of art on the walls would help warm up the space and keep it from feeling too sterile. Even personal family photos would be nice hung as a gallery wall.

Gorgeous Granite in the Kitchen

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

We hear a lot of talk about the “dream kitchen”, and one element of the dream kitchen that is heard quite often, is granite countertops. There is no mystery why granite is such a popular countertop choice in the kitchen. Not only is it absolutely beautiful, each slab of granite has it’s own particular patterns and designs that are not like any other piece. When you think about it, it’s comparable to the human fingerprint, everyone has their own distinct print. The distinction of granite along with its durability and the variety of colors it is available in make it one of the top choices for dream kitchens today.

Photo Credit:


Photo Credit:


Photo via

What material would you like for your countertops in your dream kitchen?





So What’s Next in Trendy Flooring?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design Tips

Wide Plank Floor

New, exciting and trendy styles in flooring are emerging since the 2011 Chicago remodeling show.  These new styles and ideas are great not only for builders and interior designers, but for the homeowners who are do-it-yourselfers as well.

Wood floors remain a very popular choice and continue to bring an increase in value to the properties where it has been installed. Wood flooring’s continuing popularity is due to its ability to fit into many different decorating styles.

Trends to watch in 2012-

  • Flashy splashes of color. The earth tones of the past are giving way to new colors. Grays, blues and even reds.
  • Vintage continues to be very popular making the look of distressed wood another great option.
  • Bamboo is getting some new and exciting looks. It has been a choice for many people due to it’s sustainability feature.
  • Wood planks are gaining popularity and are increasing in size. New wider planks are making their way into homes across America.

If you are in the St. Louis area, looking for the trendy 2012 styles, Ambassador Floor Company has everything to fit your needs.


Photo via