The Carpeteria Blog

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Archive for the ‘Design and Decorating’ Category

Bedroom Blues

Jan-20-2012 By creatingyourspace

We’re not talking the emotional blues when we say bedroom blues. Blue in the bedroom is a beautiful color that creates a soothing and relaxing space. Blue is typically used for boys’ rooms, but this doesn’t mean it has to be a masculine only color. The range of blue colors means that there is probably a blue out there that will work with your floor color and bedroom furniture color.

This Mediterranean style bedroom uses blue accents to bring a pop of color to an otherwise neutral space. Neutral walls and a stone or concrete floor create a cool feeling in the room. Adding in rich blue accents in the throw on the bed and the mirror on the wall add a bit of energy to the room.  The energy isn’t the same as if the accents were red or orange. The cool tones of the blue color are typically thought to be more soothing than jarring.

Blue color on the walls or bedding would create bigger pops of color in this space. Larger expanses of color, no matter what color, will have a bigger impact on the feeling and energy of a room. Keeping the blue accents in this room to two relatively small elements keeps the room feeling neutral.  Layering different shades of blues can also work to create a more sophisticated color palette. Pale blue on the walls combined with richer accessories intensifies the calming feeling of the color. Lots of white in the room will keep the space from feeling too blue.

Haunting can Help your Decisions

Oct-19-2011 By creatingyourspace

Do you find it frustrating to make a final choice when confronting numerous options? Sometimes it may seem as though the showroom, or the pumpkin patch, goes on forever and you worry that you may never find the right one to bring home.

If that happens, use the haunting technique to make your final choice. Here’s how to do it.

First, quickly review whatever options you’re considering, then leave the area. You can wander to other parts of the showroom or leave and shop for something completely unrelated. Go to lunch or get yourself a cup of coffee. You can even head home for the day.

As you do this, often one choice stays in your mind. You may find yourself dwelling on a particular tile, or imagining that carpeting in your own bedroom even when you’re focusing on something else. Well, congratulations, you have just been haunted by your actual favorite selection.

When this happens, go back and choose that flooring, or that seasonal vegetable accessory, and bring it home knowing that you found just the right one for you.

And when you stand back and admire how well your purchase fits the look and style of your home, it’s time to appreciate a type of haunting that doesn’t scare you, but helps you make a decision that you will be happy with for years to come, or in the case of your pumpkin, the next week or so.

Small Space Living

Feb-13-2011 By carpeteria_admin

This one room holds a kitchen with island bar, dinette, living area and dining room, yet it feels spacious rather than crowded. What choices create this combination of space and function?

The smartest decision is the flooring. By choosing one versatile porcelain tile in a light tone and setting it on the diagonal, the eye naturally follows the tile lines, making the room appear much larger than it actually is. Picture a flooring transition between the kitchen and living areas or a straight horizontal tile layout and you can see what the flooring choice does for this room.

The second smart choice is furniture selection. By limiting the number of pieces, choosing smaller options such as a loveseat rather than full-size sofa, and selecting a circular dining table, the furniture doesn’t get in the way of the room’s traffic pattern. Rooms feel crowded if you have to constantly avoid hitting furniture as you walk through them. Traffic in this room is smooth and easy. Sticking to one style and wood tone also emphasizes the connections throughout the room, creating a design consistency that makes the space work.

The final positive factor is light. With the light flooring and walls combined with a vaulted ceiling and large windows, the edges of this room seem to disappear. Instead of focusing on its size, visitors will notice the activity areas instead. Altogether this is a very smart way to take full advantage of a space.

Sharing your Heritage

Jan-30-2011 By creatingyourspace

Have you seen any of the shows on television that encourage families to part with family heirlooms or collections only to spend the money on some desired purchase such as a hot tub? It seems strange to discard your heritage in exchange for a temporary luxury item.

On the other hand, having your heirlooms packed away in boxes isn’t much better. Would you like to bring your family’s past into your present? You can do it by building a vignette that tells a story about one or more of your ancestors.

This family decided to celebrate a great grandfather who studied butterflies. Some of his reference books and personal notebooks provide the background to the left on this table, topped with the magnifying glass he used in the field. One of his loveliest specimen boxes leans against a panel and his microscope is in the focal position on the table. Add a few photographs and some of his sketches and you have more than a display of older items; you have a story of part of your family’s past.

Maybe for you, a favorite story may involve some recipes and old kitchen tools from Great Aunt Violet, known as the baker in the family, complete with photos of her around the picnic table behind her house. Or a collection of old tools may be displayed in Uncle Michael’s toolbox, joined with a shot of him working, sitting on one of the bookshelves he made that you inherited.

Why not make your family’s past an integral part of your present, by taking a little time to create a vignette that represents a favorite relative or two from your past and sharing the heritage they gave you with yourself and others.

Room Fix: Piano Problems

Jan-23-2011 By creatingyourspace

Imagine sitting at that beautiful piano to play on a nice afternoon. If you are a pianist, you will discover a problem immediately. This piano faces toward the window, leaving the sheet music in shadow rather than having the outside light fall on it.

Would you rather play at night? None of the lamps are close enough to give enough light to read music. Reading music requires as much light or more than what’s needed to read a book. While lovely, it’s clear that no one in this home plays.

Part two of what’s wrong with this picture comes from the window treatments. At the left, the window covering is a simple drape of fabric with some trim. The bow window, however, seems to have inspired someone to overdo. The same fabric and trim is overwhelmed by the rosettes at the window frames and the doubtful display of fabric in the middle of the window. You get the feeling that someone picked up one of those 101 window treatments books and lost their head.

If you clean up the windows, possibly eliminate that ruffled throw pillow on the sofa to the left and replace the flowered rug with one big enough to encompass the conversation area, you have a lovely room – as long as you don’t expect anyone to play that piano.

The Effect of Lighting on Color

Jun-2-2010 By carpeteria_admin

Why Colors Change in Different Lights and Making Sure Your Color Choices Work

Color is color, right? Not exactly. Colors change depending upon the type of light you’re using. To demonstrate this, take a patterned fabric and look it under a lamp in your home. Then take the same fabric and look at outside. The natural light of the sun has a different tint from standard incandescent or fluorescent lights. The only lights that mirror the outdoors are full-spectrum fluorescents. What’s really intriguing is that what we call natural light is actually tinted too, by our sun. If our sun was a different type of star, our “natural” light would look very different.

How does this affect our decorating decisions? It’s particularly important when shopping for new products for your home. Retail operations often have fluorescent lights, or a combination that can include halogen as well as full-spectrum fluorescent. Within your home, however, the standard light is daylight. When you are choosing colors, whether on fabric, flooring or any other source, bring the color samples to a window to see how the color looks in natural light. Not only the color itself, but how it contrasts with other colors can change with the lighting.

At home, many people are uncomfortable with the new compact fluorescent lights because we’re used to the yellow tones of incandescent lights in the evening. Many of  today’s compact fluorescents have compensated for this with full-spectrum options, as well as those that mirror the warmer tones of standard light bulbs. As you experiment with color, also take the time to experiment with lighting. You may be surprised at the difference it makes in your space.

Understanding Color: Warm vs Cool Neutrals

May-25-2010 By carpeteria_admin

Warm vs. cool neutrals – which choice works best for your home.

Neutrals are wonderful tools when decorating. A completely neutral room can be both restful and sophisticated, while showing off different textures. A neutral room can also look like the person decorating it was afraid to take a chance with colors. One of the differences between the two rooms is an understanding that neutrals are not just a “safe” choice, but actually as powerful as colors.

A good place to start when analyzing neutrals is determining whether they are cool or warm. Just like colors, neutrals fall into these two categories. Warm neutrals include black, gold and tans, as well as beige. Cool neutrals feature white, gray, ivory and silver. Like colors, neutrals run on a continuum between cool and warm. If you’re not sure where a specific neutral falls, look for color undertones. If you see blue, it’s in the cool spectrum. Yellow or orange undertones take a neutral into the warm direction. Comparing neutrals can also help you decide the relative cool/warm nature of the tones.

Neutrals provide an effective background to a color-filled room, and allow two challenging colors to live in the same space without competing. Many people choose neutrals for flooring for the flexibility they provide with the rest of the space.

When bringing a new neutral into an existing room or a new space, consider the neutral or neutrals in combination with the colors you will be introducing. Pull all of your samples together when shopping, or bring store samples home to see how they work in the designated space before making your final choice. Take time to evaluate everything to give you the opportunity to make the right selections. Neutrals can be remarkable – providing the glue that pulls a room together.