Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tastefully Bringing Nature to Interiors

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People have always loved to bring elements of nature into their homes, from flowers to potted plants, but with the modern trend toward minimalism, it seems we’re seeing less and less living nature in our homes these days. However, there are still some great ways to keep these elements in even the most modern home designs.

First, realize what color “nature” tends to mean: green. Plants themselves are part of the color chart, so it’s important to consider how those shades fit into your interior color schemes. Even the shape and texture of flowers and plants have an effect on the overall trend of the room.

Plants Interior Design

For a sleek, modern look, we like to use plants that keep very straight, simple lines. Combined with the right vase or pot, this can add a note of freshness and elegance to a space, using that feeling of controlled wilderness to add a compellingly refined touch.

For more traditional spaces, we also like to use plants and flowers that come in more eccentric forms with more intricate color accents. If you do this, be careful to follow the same line of color throughout the rest of the space so it feels like a necessary fixture, not a distraction.

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Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): Thomas D , Adriana Reyes Gonzalez , and Wicker Paradise

Using Optical Illusion to Open Up a Space

Mirror Room

When you’re dealing with decorating small rooms and spaces, it can be hard to pull off your vision while keeping within the physical constraints of the room. If it looks cluttered, everything feels off.

That’s when we reach into our bag of tricks to use optical illusions in interior design layouts. One of the most common ones is bringing in mirrors to make a space look bigger than it really is, but that requires the right pieces and expert positioning.

Replacing wood, metal, or other non-see-through tables with glass tables can be another great way to make a room seem to open up, too. If a dining area is particularly small, a glass table can go a long way toward increasing special appearances, especially when paired with armless chairs.

In the area of ​​the main room or family room, leaving a space of about 2 or 3 inches between the sofa and the carpet, this will open feeling; a very important trick is to use the is-height space, use the walls with shelves, pictures and mirrors without saturating, and uses fewer tables or chairs, this gives a sense of disorder and space will look more saturated.

Moving into the main/living room, where larger sitting areas tend to be common, we like to use sofas and chairs that leave a few inches of space between the seat and the floor, giving the impression of openness. Helping these rooms “breathe” a little by replacing dressers or cabinets with shelves that make use of the vertical space is also huge. It’s also helpful to declutter these by minimizing the number of chairs, pictures, tables, etc.

And lastly, we always like to use starkly contrasting colors along with neutral tones. We keep these schemes simple so that we don’t over-saturate the eye and mind with lots of color and texture going on.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)

An Inside Look at Furniture Restoration

Restored TV Stand
When you’re restoring furniture for decoration, you have to be able to look past the pieces themselves. You have to consider what furniture to use for a room specifically, and forget your own individual opinions and ideals for aesthetics of room design to think about the bigger picture that piece is going to fit into.

It all boils down to the unique characteristics of the thing you’re working with, keeping in mind its limitations and possibilities. You’ve also got to keep functionality in mind – you don’t want to rework something so heavily that it loses integrity just so you can force it to be something it shouldn’t be. The above redesigned modern TV stand, for instance, kept all its functionality while still reaching a fresh, contemporary look.

Restored Dresser

For this one we thought carefully about the color and texture. We wanted something clean and fresh, so we went with a stark black/white contrast. With the color scheme in place, we played with the texture, using a glossy matte finish.

Remember that you usually don’t want a look to be too one-dimensional or stark. You want to preserve the original value of what you’re restoring while updating it to fit a more desirable trend while also increasing the overall beauty of it. It’s a give and take, updating furniture while also staying true to its originality.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)

Interior Design Tips for Using the Color Wheel

While picking the right colors for your home design might seem like a complicated matter of opinion and taste, in reality, it can actually be as simple and straightforward as elementary school geometry.

It all starts with a basic understanding of the color wheel and an idea for a starting color. Here’s a step by step process for getting interior color ideas into practice.

Pick a Color
It all starts with your accent color. Think of this like you would a person’s accent: that bit of flavor that calls your attention immediately. This is where the you is, where your personal taste shines through the most. This should reflect your concept for the room, the central impression you want to hold strong.

Consult the Wheel

Notice how the wheel is geometrically perfect, mathematically symmetrical. You’ll start with your accent color and from there, pick the other one or two contrasting colors, and voila, you’ve got your interior paint color combinations lined up!

One way to do that is to draw a straight line to the opposite portion of the wheel: your basic contrast.

Another way to do it is with an equilateral triangle. If you remember your geometry, that means each side has equal spacing, which in this case means an equal number of color units. This means that you’ll calculate the 3 perfectly opposite points on the triangle.

One more way to do it is to adjust the triangle. If you remember, this is called an isosceles, meaning two sides are equal. You’ll still start with your accent, but from there you’ll adjust the other two points so that they’re equally spaced away from the accent, widening or narrowing the triangle as you move away from those perfect opposites.

Note: this all works for the grayscale, too.

What’s Your Temperature?

Finally, consider what “temperature” you want to go for. Different colors make people feel different things, so consider what tone you want that popping accent color to convey, how you want those neutrals to frame the space you’re creating.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)

Don’t Oversaturate Your Interior Spaces

When thinking about interior design saturation, the first thing you need to do is stand back. By that, we mean you need a point of reference, somewhere you can go in your interior to centralize your perspective, provide an objective framing point to assess the room.

Think of these as places where you generally access a room: a doorway or a hallway, or maybe a central point of furniture. From there, consider the way the color is laid out: where is the accent, where are the neutrals, and how much of each is there?

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But don’t stop at the walls – look to the décor for places where the color saturation plays out throughout the entire space, and consider where and how it’s distributed.

From there, it’s a good idea to get some perspective. Separate yourself and look at the space from a distance to see where color is popping out as either too heavy or too absent. Maybe certain textures start to pop out as you see the space in its entirety rather than in small parts, which can give you some ideas about ways to rearrange furniture or places to add some pops of color.

But don’t stop there – that’s only one room. Keep in mind that each space in your home communicates with each other, and that all the interior design elements interplay as you shift them.

You can be one-dimensional and do it one way throughout, but keep in mind that mixing things up could provide a unique flow for your home.

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Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer) and Bryce Emley
Photo Credits (From Top): Charlotte Holmes, Jurgan Leckle, Jurgan Leckle

Create The Perfect Mood With Accent Colors

Photo: Liliane Limpens

One of the easiest ways to liven up your home is with accent colors and matching accent decorations. Accent colors are used to help give a room a pop, to blend the color scheme together, and most importantly, to decide the mood of the entire room.

Using accent colors is about two things: choosing a mood that you want to provoke and choosing where you want the attention of your guests to be drawn to.

In the above picture, the homeowners chose red and pink to give the room a playful and energetic vibe by picking two pink and red decorative toys. These color choices enhance the clean strong lines of the room while also inviting kids to come play. This type of subtle invitation can be done with small accent items such as picture frames and pillows.

Photo: Jolante Van Hemert
One of the popular ways to use accent colors is by painting a single wall; accent walls can have a huge impact on the mood of the room so you want to be careful in what wall you choose to paint. Where the first picture gives us a small splash of color and thus a small splash of mood, this bubble gum pink almost overwhelms the senses with its vibrancy.

When you are picking accent colors, focus on what these colors make you feel when you’re in the room. The whole reason you want to choose an accent wall color is to enhance the mood that you want yourself and your guests to feel when they come into your home. The best way to accomplish that with accent walls is to use softer more muted colors which will invite the mind into the room gently.

Photo: Maegan Tlntarl

If you are planning on using accent color for a brown couch, pick a soft buttery tan color for your accent wall and use the bolder shades of bronze and brown for other accent glassware and throw pillows. Use the bolder colors centerpieces which can be enjoyed by your family and your guests either with an accent sofa to lounge on or blankets to wrap up in.

When choosing an accent color look at what you already have, we typically buy things that are colors we already like, and you will find a theme to the colors you enjoy. Pick the one which is most dominate in the room and focus on the various shades of that color to help bring the room together.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez and Michelle Nickolaisen
Photo Credits (From Top): Liliane Limpens, Jolante Van Hemert, Maegan Tlntarl