Tag Archives: interior design ideas

Best Ways to Incorporate Antiques into Your Home

So you’ve found an amazing antique in a local shop or during your travels, and you had to have it.  Or even better, you were gifted or inherited a cherished piece of ceramic, an heirloom textile, or exquisite piece of artwork. Both the sentimental value and the quality of an antique is unmatched, but making them work with more modern décor can sometimes be a challenge. Below are some ways to show off those antique pieces in your home with the focus they deserve – and so they look like they’ve been there all along.

Think about how you will display your antique – using less formal display methods can give an old piece a modern look.  Propping artwork against a shelf or another piece of furniture, or resting it directly on the mantel can tone down the formality of the piece.

If you fell in love with, or were bequeathed, a large piece of artwork, properly display it by giving it a spot of prominence on a plain wall. Painting a bright color on the wall behind it will make the painting pop, and a bold, contemporary color on the wall keeps an antique painting from looking too formal or stuffy. Consider how you’re lighting the piece as well.

Bedroom scandinavian-bedroom

You can also use an antique piece of art to create a new color scheme in the room. Pull a color you like out of a painting, and incorporate that palette throughout the room to tie the old and new together.

vintage
Photo from CountryLiving-45 Ways to Creatively Display Your Collection

Perhaps your antique is not a painting, but an object, or a collection of objects like earthenware or ceramics. A collection of similar items can be beautiful to display and enjoy. Don’t hide them away at the back of a cabinet; group your antique glassware or pottery prominently on a shelf or sideboard, or consider an open cabinet whose inside is painted a color that lets your collection stand out.  Consider, if you have a single piece, starting a collection or adding to one – what makes a collection is special is that it’s eclectic and can be added to over time.

antique-sofa
Photo from Wall Street Journal-How to Turn an Antique Sofa Into a Statement Piece

Is your antique a piece of furniture?  A wonderful way to work an old, perhaps ornate piece of furniture into a modern home is to pair it with more contemporary pieces.  A primitive antique dining table, or a glossy mahogany one with turned legs, will look equally at home paired with modern seating – metal chairs or ones upholstered in a graphic print.  Flank an antique with newer pieces and it will become a cohesive part of your space.

Modern Home Office Ideas

When it comes to a home office space, no single design idea will work for everyone –there is a wide range of different needs for a workspace, depending on the work being done there.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t create the perfect home office for you, though!  Here are some universally appealing suggestions to help you create a home office space that’s both functional and attractive.

Specific Task Areas

When envisioning a design for your home office, it’s important to take into consideration all of the activities you’ll complete in a given workday/week.  While a desk is an obvious starting point for most offices, to tackle paperwork or writing, those are likely not your only activities, so creating separate focus areas for tasks can be useful.

While your desk is the likely workhorse in an office space, don’t forget about incorporating a seating area for hosting and meeting with clients, and having a face-to-face discussion.  Additionally, if the office space hosts multiple users who need to share the office, you can help keep things organized and make the space work for everyone by giving each person an individual workstation.    

Home office seating

Courtesy of californiaclosets.com

Be Careful with Color

Since your office is a place where you need to be able to stay focused, it can be useful to set big punches of color — and the emotional responses they bring — aside. Instead, focus on choosing a largely neutral color palette that will allow you to put the bulk of your attention on the task at hand.  You can add small pops of color to keep the space visually interesting, with easily swapped-out elements like throw pillows or area rugs, but the more permanent parts of the design – furniture and wall color – should be calm and neutral.

Neutral color home office

Image courtesy of idekohome.com

Make your Office Personal

As much as we’ve emphasized that you need to be able to focus within your workspace, it’s also important to create an office where you’ll enjoy working and spending time. So while keeping the workspace décor neutral is key, so is accenting your office with things that highlight your personal taste and make you happy.  Those might be pieces of artwork, or items from favorite travels, for example.

An easy way to add personal elements and keep a cohesive scheme in the home office is to use your personal items as a jump-off point for accent colors in the room.  Draw out a bold color from a favorite painting on the wall and use that hue for pillows or a throw in the seating area, or mimic the pattern on a piece of displayed pottery in your window treatment or area rug.

Home office decor

A Place for Everything

Staying organized is a perpetual struggle in any office space, yet it’s crucial to efficiency. So for any workspace, and especially if you’re prone to becoming buried under your desk, it’s imperative to work lots of storage solutions into the design.  Ideally, if you have the space for them, built-in cabinetry helps store large items and hides clutter; you can repurpose a sideboard into file and supplies storage.  Bookcases and open shelves are also a great way to keep things organized and provide display space for both functional and decorative elements.

home office organization

Bearing in mind just a few important themes – organization, a neutral palette to encourage focus, task areas, and making the space personal – you can carve out a functional workspace in your home that you won’t want to leave.

Cooling Your Home Down without A/C

For centuries, older houses had no such thing as air conditioning for relief during the warmer months. Instead of flipping a switch, the following eco-friendly, old-school methods were used to get air flowing through the house during the dog days of summer.

Using the passive-cooling principles that hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, you can design or retrofit your house to make use of fresh air to stay cool and invite in those long hot days of July and August.

Open Up the Room

Open windows for ventilation in the summer

Since hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, a house that has vented openings on both sides of the building has a lot more airflow – and any air movement is a good thing. Using operable windows on the cooler side of the house, you can open them wide to draw the air through from the hotter side of your home.

Shutters Aren’t Just for Outdoors

Shutters can be useful inside too. Shutters aren’t just a decorative alternative to curtains and blinds, they’re also a green way to ventilate – you can open up the windows behind them to let in air, and close the shutters to keep out the sun, and voila! The room is cooled down the old-fashioned way.

It’s Obvious, but: Fans

living room ceiling fan

Courtesy of housesen.com

Fans have been used since ancient times to keep things cool, since any air movement is good and a fan can suck away the warm air and push cooler breezes around a space. Ceiling fans are available in every conceivable design, whether you want something unobtrusive or bold.  Fans are even offered in retro palm-frond styles, and most fans also offer a light fixture combination if you don’t want to lose overhead lighting when you install the fan. Look for fans with a reverse switch or feature for winter, which helps push warmer air (it rises, remember?) back down into the room.

Take it Outside

Screened in porch sunroom

Courtesy of jpandcompany.net

Screened-in porches have long been an architectural staple in hot regions, and they deserve a comeback. Consider enclosing your covered porch, or enclosing a deck with screens, and you will have created an airy, insect-free outdoor living space. You can use a screened room for months, provided you furnish it with pieces made from materials that can withstand some rain, like wicker or metal. Bonus: a generous couch with some indoor-outdoor cushions becomes an ideal spot to sleep on hot summer nights!

sourced from wallquest.com

Incorporating and Complimenting Your Statement Furniture

Today’s post is a focus on a staff favorite that was completed earlier this week. This occasional chair supported by a detailed walnut frame, was re-upholstered with Kravet’s Best of Versailles Velvet II blue fabric with a double welt trim. Its color is bold and vivid, and will be an immediate standout in any room.

Blue Velvet Occasional

Blue Velvet Occasional

And the fun doesn’t stop there (it would be an incredibly short post if it did). We challenged a member of our staff to chooser her favorite wall coverings that would best compliment the occasional. Statement pieces capture the attention of every guest that walks into the room and draws their eyes to a particular space. The rest of the decor should compliment this effect and refrain from fighting for attention.

When searching for the perfect backdrop or wall covering for our occasional, Debra provided the following suggestions to those wanting to take the challenge themselves:

1. Colors – Silver and Yellow are her favorites for this piece. You can go blue, but make it a perfect match to the color of the fabric.

2. Go modern – the chair’s detailed wooden frame provides it with a traditional look. To keep the room from looking dated add designs and textures that are more current.

3. Keep away from detailed designs – The wall covering shouldn’t be your focus, the chair has taken that duty. By avoiding sharp and defined lines, geometric shapes, you allow the wall to fade into the background, and keep the room from looking too busy.

Top 3 picks:

1. Villa Rosa from Villa Rosa AG90202

sourced from wallquest.com

sourced from wallquest.com

The watercolors allow the wall paper to blur from view, and the blue and greens bring a natural complement to the blue and brown of the chair.

2. Paisley Damask from Bali BL40502

sourced from wallquest.com

sourced from wallquest.com

We might have ventured away from our third suggestion a bit (and we will again!), but it’s for good reason. There is a lot going on in this paisley designed wall covering, but the white mutes the silver details so much that you would need your nose to touch the wall before those details could capture your eye.

3. Bohemian Citrine from Boho Chic BC 81303
The same mindset was followed when choosing her last choice. The color, Bohemian Citrine, does well to not be as bright as yellow, and not as bold as gold. It’s a happy medium that would be the perfect backdrop to our blue occasional and a perfect accent wall for the space.

sourced from www.elnia.com

sourced from www.elnia.com

Update Bedroom Decor for 2015

#tbt New Year, New Chapter with a Bedroom Makeover

The New Year started last Thursday but this Thursday we #tbt (Turn Back Time) by revisiting a previous post  to help begin this new chapter in your life.

In the May post entitled “Bedroom Makeover: Subtle Changes that Can Make a Big Difference” we discussed how bedroom redecorating can be cleansing, liberating, and easy to accomplish in a few steps.

While you might think that freshening up your space is a spring task, winter is actually the ideal time to give your bedroom a fresh look as it helps counter the mind-numbing and body-numbing effects of the season’s icy grasp. Having a project to do inside keeps your mind off what’s going on outside and creates a pleasant sanctuary to ride out any storm.

A good place to start with your bedroom makeover is with color because it has a stronger impact on your mood and the feeling of a space than you may realize.

In with the Color

Your color choices can have a dramatic effect on the mood and spatial sense of your room. For example, warm colors can make large rooms feel more intimate, but they can also make a small room seem even smaller. Reds are stimulating and high-energy but opt for deeper, rich variations that will make the room appear more elegant than overstimulating. Orange promotes energy and excitement, which may hinder your ability to fall asleep so keep it minimal. Yellow is a cheerful hue but is better when used as an accent color as well. Studies show that yellow rooms can cause people to get frustrated and make babies cry more, notes Freshome.

Read the whole post, here.

Update Bedroom Decor for 2015

With the easy changes and additions suggested in the post, you’ve taken the first steps toward redecorating your space to accommodate your New Year’s design resolutions.

info@beckensteinfabrics.com

212-366-5142

This is Pantone’s Color of the Year, and You Need it for Your Home Decor

fabric patterns

Every year, The Pantone Color Institute announces its chosen color and for 2015, they’ve selected Marsala to hold that honor. Marsala is a rich, full-bodied red that draws its name from the fortified wine viewed as a robust, satisfying compliment to any meal. Your home’s decor can feast on this tasteful red-brown hue as it embraces everything from furnishings to draperies. Capable of playing the role of a grounded statement in a room or a bold accent, Marsala is a fashionable cure for cold, winter grayness.

Beautiful enhancement

Anyone who viewed last year’s Pantone color of Radiant Orchid as a bit too purple for his or her interior tastes welcomes the earthy sophistication of Marsala. The color works in easily with all styles of design and is a beautiful enhancement that brings the healthy flush of life back to your home. Just as makeup in this color pops against the winter snow, fabrics, paints, and accessories in Marsala stand out among a neutral space. Marsala brings romance to a bedroom, warmth to a kitchen, and comfort to a living room with its multidimensional talent.

fabric patterns

Enduring depth

Marsala has existed in makeup for years and now that Pantone has selected it as Color of the Year, it will start showing up in a variety of fashions from runways to furniture showrooms. While the popularity of Marsala will soar in 2015, it won’t fade into the obscurity of a passing trend. The rich depth of Marsala earns it a lasting place in your home decor when you incorporate it through throw pillows, blankets, upholstery, drapes, paint, and accessories.

fabric patterns

Design possibilities

If you’re unsure how Marsala works in your design, start small with items such as sofa pillows, artwork, or lamps. In this manner, you bring a small dose of the warm hue into your home and see where it works best among existing furnishings and paint colors. Increase the elegance of Marsala by incorporating it through textured surfaces that bring out its plush, welcoming qualities. When you’re ready to embrace Marsala fully, go bold with paint and furniture upholstered completely in the wine-red color. Committing to such a robust color on the walls of a large room may feel overwhelming, so opt instead to create a faux accent wall with luxurious floor to ceiling drapes.

fabric patterns

Pantone’s Color of the Year, Marsala enriches your home and life with enduring depth, warmth, and earthiness. Come into our showroom to look through our thousands of fabrics, and ask about marsala!!

Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work – Part 2

If you haven’t already, check out Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work – Part 1.

Here are three more things to keep in mind when coming up with living room ideas:

Do you want to tie two rooms together? 

A really cool trick to make the decor of your home seem more “designed” is by the use of color. For example, you can tie two rooms together by using a prominent color in one room as accent color in another. Look at this room, for example:

Picture of a living room and another room tied together by use of color.

 

The color red is used a lot in one of the rooms, and red accents are sprinkled throughout the living room. Such a cool idea! Now, if they’d just paint the dog red, it’d be SO cool! 😉

How do I make the living room in my apartment seem less cave-like?

This doesn’t apply only to living rooms; it’s relevant for any rooms that don’t have windows. But if you’re like most people living in an apartment in New York, and you’ve flexed it to add a bedroom, you may very well not have a window in your living room. So, here’s an idea to prevent your living room from seeming dark and gloomy. Don’t paint it dark!! Duh… Use light colors and brighter artwork to add some life to the room. Brightly colored throw pillows can also help! Kick it up a notch by have a couple pillows made with your favorite fabric!

What if I can’t paint my walls? Or, what if I just don’t feel like it?

If you rent, you may not want to paint your walls. Even if you own your home you may not want to paint, because, well, you just don’t feel like it! I know we mention it a lot, but pillows pillows pillows! They’re so much fun and can add life to any room! You can also supplement your living room ideas with a cool patterned rug or a fun, even crazy slipcover for your couch! Seriously, imagine pillows with this fabric:

Picture of fun fabric called lollipop by shumacher. Great for lively living room ideas.

 

(Lollipop by Schumacher)

Isn’t that fabric just adorable? Look at that happy couple!

So, there you have it. Three more ideas for your living room. We hope you enjoyed this installment. Stay tuned for Part 3!

Tell us some of your living room tricks in the comments, below!