For the Kids | Bedroom Color Combos

With the minimalist style taking over, there has been a lot more of the white and grey color palette being used in kids rooms. This goes from the nursery to elementary age because it's classic and simple.  However, color is coming back!  Brighter, bolder, more vibrant rooms are popping up all over and we don't want the kids to get left out.  So today we're discussing some colorful bedroom combos that are a little more current and updated for kids.  The minimalist style definitely promoted a gender neutral feel and we think these combos carry that versatility as well, just with more of a lively feel. :)

The first color combo is perfect for Spring but also a good gender neutral option--teal and yellow.  This would be the perfect color for a room shared by a boy and a girl because you can introduce other colors more specific to their gender without drastically changing the feel of the room.  This color combo is whimsical and playful, just like kids!

The second color combo is another one that works well with other colors--red and gray. So depending on whether or not it's a boy's room or a girl's room, it creates a good base!  Mix in some teal or yellow to make it more girly or add pops of navy or black for something a little more boyish.  Be sure to keep a lot of white in the space so the color doesn't get overwhelming but don't be afraid to pop in fun patterns!

This next combo is on of our favorites but it's more because of the statement it creates.  A black and white space seems like just a darker version of the grey and white minimalist look we said to move away from, but it's much more than that for a room.  Black and white is graphic.  It's contrast which is immediately more gutsy than the calm grey and white combo.  A big part of making this  palette work for kids is by introducing fun patterns within this scheme.  Instead of just black and white stripes, do other shapes--triangles, dots, stars.  Of course, you can definitely add any color to this basic scheme to make it feel more feminine or masculine but you don't have to.

The last scheme which is the most fun is going all in with a multi-color palette.  This combo is super relaxed and allows your child to contribute to the decor in their room very easily!  Those school art projects and crazy toys will work well in a space that isn't restricted to a particular color combo.  Our only caution with this mix is to ground it with a lot of a good neutral---white or black would be best.  It's important for the color(s) to be the focal point and too much of them will just become color confusion.  So try to edit it a little bit, but still have fun!

Porches | What's Popular

It's Spring and, I don't know about everwhere else but, the weather is beautiful here!  It was pretty hot a few days ago but it's been breezy and cool this past weekend and couldn't feel any more like the perfect Spring weather!  Needless to say, we were outside a lot, which got us thinking about porches.  Porches, especially in Florida, are a big deal.  States where you can be outdoors for a number of days out of the year make porches a big deal.  So today we're talking porch design and what features are popular to have on your porch.  It's funny because porches have really become an extension of the home.  Similar to the way the kitchen is treated--a functional space that's more of a gathering place now, porches are like outdoor living rooms!  So here are some things to consider adding in your next porch renovation

Comfy seating is a huge deal on a porch.  Unless you don't want to be able to enjoy your porch, I guess.  For some people, this means upholstered furniture that almost looks like it belongs indoors, for others it means things like hammocks or swings--something to relax in while enjoying the view.  Whatever your seating of choice is, make it something that you don't mind spending awhile in.  A porch is for enjoying the view or relaxing with a friend so you don't want to have to cut your time short because of uncomfortable chairs.

Porches are also getting much more decorative.  Ceiling details and column additions are popular now.  These are things that need to make sense with the rest of your house so that the overall look of everything flows.  A wood-slat ceiling and a great light or nice outdoor fan can make an outdoor space instantly feel welcoming and you'll feel like you're enjoying an extension of your home rather than just "sitting outside".

An outdoor fireplace really makes a big statements on a porch.  It can be a big built-in fireplace with a chimney or something a little more scaled down like a firepit or chiminea.  Either way, the added ambiance a fire creates is almost priceless and will be especially nice on those chilly nights!

Trends | The Big Trend That's Making a Comeback

For a long time, gallery walls have been big.  They've been done every way imaginable in every room of the house possible.  The cool thing about a gallery wall is that it's personal.  It's filled with family photos or your children's artwork...maybe even some of your personal art.  So it will make sense anywhere because you're connected to it emotionally.  Now, we're not saying these walls are dead but we are saying there's something that may be taking the lead in wall design...

Accent walls used to be, very simply, a different paint color.  They were the early trend of color-blocking.  After that died out in the 90's, pretty much any designer who was forward-thinking avoided accent walls like the plague because it immediately dated a space.  However, accent walls have continued to evolve, despite every designer trying to ignore them.  And now, they're making a comeback because they're considered a style statement and are created with much more than just paint.

Now, an accent or statement wall can be created with wallpaper instead of paint.  This application seems to have more of a flow in a space because you can selected a paint color that coordinates with the wallpaper rather than something that completely fights it.  The great thing about statement walls is that they also serve as art pieces.  One reason that accent walls have evolved is because art has evolved.  What is considered art now is much less complex and rigid than what used to be considered art.  People find beauty in so many different things that art has really become an expression.

Accent walls can also be created with tile.  Sometimes it's the pattern on the tile but oftentimes it's the way the tile has been applied.  Tile shape and direction has so many different possibilities with mixing that you have an incredible number of ways to make a wall pop.

One of the more recent developments in accent walls is the green wall.  We love bringing greenery inside for so many different reasons, but the depth and natural beauty a green wall adds to a space is 100% winning.  In our minds, a green wall brings the entire room to life as well as the people who live in it!

Finally, mirrors are a great way to make a focal wall.  When a wall is covered with mirrors, we typically call it an installation but it is an accent wall, undoubtedly.  We always use mirrors with frames so that the outline of the mirrors creates a shape on the wall adding what looks a lot like an architectural detail.  Sometimes this is a number of square mirrors, other times this is round mirrors or mirrors that are different shapes and sizes.  However you lay it out, it will make your space look much larger and will also make it feel much more dressy!

We love accent walls!   We like that they give us opportunities to create art in different ways and introduce things like wallpaper without overwhelming a space.  There's a good reason they're still around!


Artwork | Selection & Styling

Artwork can be one of the hardest things to select because everyone has different things they want from their artwork.  Some people just want their artwork to match and flow with the rest of the space--they want something that looks pretty.  Others want a focal point or wow factor piece.  While there are some that don't like art unless it speaks to them.  It's all very subjective and, as a designer, it can be a sticking point.

Once you've moved past selecting the actual piece, there is another step to consider, how to display it.  There are a number of different approaches you can take to this to make sure your artwork is seen and worth all of the headache you had selecting it!

We love over sized artwork but it needs a special place in a room.  Over-sized artwork can't be crammed inbetween other large items like pieces of furniture, it needs to be the center of attention.  The best way to display an over-sized piece of art is on a wall all by itself.  Not only will it make the artwork pop but it will instantly elevate the room and make everything look much more expensive!  Always a plus!  Just be sure the piece is on a wall in a room with enough space to stand back and admire the entire piece, otherwise, the effort is wasted.

A huge part of making a design come together is having a common thread that runs through the space.  This gives a feeling of cohesiveness.  The thread can be a color or style but it doesn't have to be super obvious, it should really just create the feeling that makes the space flow.  This is relevant when displaying artwork as well.  Pick pieces for a grouping that have a common thread--whether they have the same color running throughout or are both geometric.  Even the amount of white space that each has can be a common factor or maybe it's something as simple as using all of the same frames.  Gallery wall especially can be major impact walls so you don't want them to feel disjointed.  Make it look like a well-coordinate family picture--each piece is unique but the whole of it's parts go together.

Finally, consider the background color that your art is going on.  We love the clean look of great art on a white wall but the truth is, dark colors actually make artwork stand out even more.  We know that a lot of people are afraid of dark walls and we are definitely anti accent walls, but the truth is, one little black accent wall with a piece of art on it makes the whole wall look like art.  So think about that when you've got a little wall that you're thinking of decorating.  Those niche walls in the family room or in the bedroom vestibule are always a great place to start!

Art is important and we know it!  It can be impactful in many different ways and for many different reasons so even if you're not a big art collector, don't ignore it.  Even inexspensive art, when displayed properly, can contribute to great looking room!

Maximalism | What Is It? and How Do I Embrace It?

Maximalism used to be everywhere.  Before the recession, more was more (which is basically maximalism) so people went all out and overboard in their homes.  Pattern on pattern, texture on texture, bigger and bigger.  Then the recession hit and with money scarce and people being forced to cut back, minimalism took over.  Minimalism is clean lines, simplistic and the LESS is more theory.  Since the economy has come back some, experts are saying the maximalism will reemerge but there are conflicting beliefs about this.  The clean lines of minimalism seem classic and some say it's here to stay for good.   However, if you're liking the look of layers and, even though you don't consider yourself a maximalist, you'd like to incorporate a little more into your home, here are a  few ways you can do that without going overboard.

The beauty of minimalism is that there are less items or "things"  around to collect dust, so when introducing maximalism it's recommended to do it more with color and pattern than stuff.  For example, instead of so much white on white like the minimalist style suggests, add some of the more intense jewel tones.  These colors can be great when introduced through tile or art instead of paint because they become a pop of color instead of consuming the space. 

Many people think that the minimalist look means having your house look like a model home or un-lived in.  This is where maximalism can help!  A great way to mix the two styles is by incorporating pieces that are meaningful to you.  If you have a collection that you'd like to display, it would be acceptable to do this within the maximalist style.  Keeping it contained is best, so don't let it overtake your house, but don't be afraid to show it off either!  Your home should be a reflection of you!

Use big impact pieces with bold pattern and color like over-sized art or murals!  Instead of trying to fill each wall with art pieces or pictures, pick one main wall and cover it! Top to bottom, side to side.  That way you'll have a focal wall that brings enough color and pattern into the room for the entire space but it'll feel cohesive and simple instead of cluttery.

Finally, give us ALL the texture!  Texture is the key to any space, really.  Not just a minimalist or maximalist style.  Texture brings depth.  And it's a great way to add visual interest without confusing the eye with tons of color or distracting the flow with too many different objects.  Texture introduces the sense of touch to a space which can really impact the comfort level.  Your guests will thank you for fun texture so go for it!