Happy Holidays! This is such a wonderful and special time of year that we hope you are enjoying with friends and family, and staying warm!
We hope that your Thanksgiving is a wonderful time with friends and family this year!
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.
When it comes to spending time at your bathroom vanity, make sure that you get the most out of the space with the right lighting. Good lighting can help you do more, while showing you your best side – not harsh glares and angles. Try these lighting tips on for size around your vanity to get the right glow for the space.
Gone are the days when you would find a strip of light bulbs just across the top of the mirror, but that doesn’t mean you should discount the idea entirely. Instead, look for a mirror that includes bulbs on all four sides. What this means for you is that instead of lighting you from the top down and casting shadows in unwelcome places, you get a soft glow on all angles of your face, so you can see yourself in the best light.
New bathroom lighting fixtures are available that come on flexible stems, sort of like a table lamp that gets adhered to your wall. Move, bend, and position the lights exactly where you need them to make the most of the space, and then stand them upright on either side of the mirror once you’re done.
Do you want the most flattering light that also has a contemporary flair? Consider looking into lighting fixtures that cast a soft blue glow around the vanity. This cool-toned light softens your features in the mirror and is less harsh on the eyes.
If you don’t want to go for a four-sided lit mirror, be sure to incorporate lighting above the mirror with matching sconces on either side. This helps eliminate the top-cast shadows, but gives you more style options for the room.
If you have under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen, you know how helpful it can be for illuminating tasks. Under mirror lights work the same way, giving you light for doing your nails, picking out jewelry, and other focused tasks.
Make the Most of Your Lighting
It doesn’t matter what type of lighting you choose for your bathroom as long as it works for you. Try combining two or more of these styles together to get the best look for your room, and enjoy the bright lights.
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.
Home maintenance is important come summer time. There are lots of things that can be done and appliances that can be checked in order to properly maintain a household during this season.
Inspect and Tune Up Air-Conditioners and Fans
Inspecting the air-conditioners and fans are important because these are most frequently and heavily used during summer. These appliances must be kept in good condition. Air conditioning units are best left to professionals. Due to the high costs associated with running an air conditioner, a significant amount of money can be saved money on your electric bill if the household’s air-conditioner is properly maintained
Fan blades should be kept free from dust, whether using a ceiling fan or an electric fan. A duster or a piece of cloth may be used in cleaning. An old pillowcase is a great way to keep dust from flying around during cleaning. Simply place the entire pillowcase on the fan blade and gently wipe the blade while removing. The dust will remain inside the cloth “bag” rather than spreading through the air.
Roof Check and Maintenance
With sunny, warm days, summer is a great season to check the roof and make all the necessary repairs. By doing this, you can prevent small problems from becoming larger ones. Remember to check for even the most minor leaks, rusting, and other concerns.
Gutters should be cleaned regularly to keep the roof and foundation in good repair. Cleaning out gutters will prevent leaves, twigs, rocks and other things from blocking the passageway of water. You can do the cleaning yourself or hire a service provider.
A window check is necessary if you want to avoid the summer heat from entering your house. Make sure that the sealant on both inside and outside are secured. A toothbrush can be used in cleaning the window to get to areas and crevices that are hard to reach. A clean and well-maintained window will keep the house looking great and as energy efficient as possible.
Keeping your home in the best shape possible is a big job, but very rewarding. We hope your summer is a great one!
Which one would you pick?
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. 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 options are key for carpets in high traffic areas. Hardwoods and other hard surfaces are durable but it is nice to have something softer for impromptu lounging on the floor.
Selecting the perfect floor with all of these challenges in mind can be a daunting task. The team at Ambassador Floor is always ready to answer any questions you might have. Tell us if we can help!
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.
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 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.
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.
As 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!