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Articles about ‘Uncategorized’

Expert Solutions for Country & Casual Decorating

Friday, June 27th, 2008

A inviting room with a nautical touch from Williams-Sonoma Home.  The trunk does double duty as a coffee table and storage space.

This is week #3 in our Style Series and it’s time to take a peek at the Country & Casual Style.  This style is very popular because it is easy to interweave decorative selections with lifestyle necessities.  It ranges from a casual/modern look to a very country look, and everything in between.  The important thing is that the look is easy, informal and welcoming.


Side tables are the perfect opportunity to show off your personality with some color and style.  This red lacquer side table from Eboniste would do any sofa proud.

Some of the hallmarks of this well-liked style are: The beautiful and comfy sofa that is kid and pet-friendly.  The perfect painted finish on your dining room table that seems to look better with age and a little Elmer’s glue.  The plush throw pillows that are great companions for movie watching but also add just the right spark of color to the room. 

This is the balance you can achieve with the Country & Casual Style.  Here are some tips that will get you going in the right direction:

Good Foundation- Flooring is important for durability and aesthetics. If you are replacing your flooring, then laminate wood floors are great, but my top choice is pre-engineered hardwood; if your budget allows.  You will love these floors for years to come and they do a great job of hiding dirt, hair, etc…  Area rugs add cushion for walking/sitting/crawling on the floor and color and style to compliment the look.  Purchase something that has a little bit of a rustic look to it.  Not too pristine or shiny with this style.

Investment Pieces - Start with solid pieces of furniture that can withstand wear and tear.  The sofas, chairs, coffee and dining tables are critical.  My advice… When purchasing furniture, invest in the best quality upholstery that you can afford.  The extra years you will get out of the pieces will be well worth the additional investment!  Pick the sofa or chair with the arm and leg you like best.

Lighting should be functional and attractive.  This brass lamp from Eboniste mixes the old brass and glass stacked balls with a modern shade to keep it fresh.

Light it up – Have you ever walked into a room where the glare from the overhead light is just overwhelming?  Lighting adds a fantastic decorative touch to any room.  But don’t forget that a balance of the three types of lighting is important.

  • General Lighting - Provides good overall light in the room.  Eg: Overhead fixtures and recessed lights.
  • Task Lighting – Provides light for specific tasks like reading or sewing. Eg: Table and Floor Lamps.
  • Ambient/Accent Lighting – Gives the room a dramatic feel by highlighting certain areas.  Eg: Sconces and pendant fixtures.

Decorative Touches – The Country & Casual style really shines by showing off the character and personality of your family.  Throw pillows, fun picture frames, and accessories allow you to surround yourself with items that support your interests.  They also give your visitors some insight into your individual taste.

Shop for the Country & Casual Style in My Secret Database!



3 Easy Steps to Beach House Style

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

It’s week #2 in our Style Series and today we feature the Beach House Style.  Whether your ultimate seaside retreat is a shingle-style bungalow on the Maine coast or a modern glass house in Malibu, there are certain key factors that give a home ”beach appeal.”  Let’s get started!

Effortless - I know it seems like an oxymoron, but it takes time to plan an effortless look.  The reward is an easy and welcoming home.  Some prefer light shades of blue and green; others prefer bold nautical looks, still others a totally white palette.  No matter which way you go, don’t get bogged down with lots of pattern or too many accessories.  Choose one item to be the standout in the room.

Consistent - It’s tempting to feature a bold new paint color in each room, but it can cause a choppy and indecisive look.  It’s best to put together a palette of pleasing colors and stick with it; or select one color you love and use it throughout your home. 

Fun – Being at the beach spurs pleasant memories of fun and relaxation.  Family photos, collections of shells and beach glass, and marine-life motifs keep it light-hearted.  Add lots of character to each room with bedding, accessories and artwork.

Shop for the Beach House Style on My Secret Database!



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