Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Making a Home Together

February is the month of love.  Many people got engaged on Valentine’s day and are now planning a wedding and a life together with their fiancé.  I first shared this article in Bridal Bliss magazine back in 2017.  The ideas still ring true, so I thought it would be helpful to share with you and those you know who are in this stage of their life.

First comes love…then comes marriage…then comes moving into a new house together.
It’s an exciting adventure to outfit your new space with your spouse. It’s also a great opportunity to create a place that reflects you both.  That can be easier said than done, so where do you start? These rules of thumb will keep your house update running smoothly.

  • Change your color- The simplest way to freshen a room is to coat the walls with a fresh color.  Gray is still the top neutral. Steer clear of grays with blue undertones, as it will make the space feel cool and sterile. My personal favorite shade is a warm griege (blend of gray and beige) called Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams. The color works well with any other colors you use in the room and doesn’t read as too dark once on the walls.

  • Add extra Touches- Never underestimate the value of throw pillows, lamps, greenery, art and accessories in a room.  These are the components we spend the least time thinking about but they all work together as layers to give our space the decorated look while still being functional.  If you want to embrace a trend, this is the place to do it.  These items are more economical to replace when the trend fades than would be a larger piece of furniture.

  • Dress your naked windows- Layering a light-controlling treatment (like blinds) with a decorative fabric treatment (like curtains) gives the windows a finished look that ties into the room’s decor. The current trend is for the draperies to remain stationary flanking the window as opposed to fully opening and closing over the window.  Never buy unlined panels for your windows.  The sunlight will shine right through them and distort the color and pattern.

  • Have a good foundation- Place an area rug among a furniture grouping to define the seating area.  Rugs add warmth to a space and look nice layered on any flooring type, even wall to wall carpeting.  Make sure you buy the right size area rug. Ideally, you want all four feet of the furniture pieces to sit atop the rug.  If that isn’t possible, it is acceptable to let the back two feet sit off of the rug.

  • Re-purpose the space- If you find yourself never using a space, give it a new purpose.  The builder’s floor plan may name the room one thing but it’s your house, so use it the way you want!  A formal dining room can become a reading room or a home office just by swapping some furniture.

  • Spruce up your deck or patio- These days we spend as much time entertaining outside as we do inside.  You can affordably soften the space by adding an outdoor rug and furniture cushions.  In the instance that you have a covered deck, consider adding outdoor curtain panels to the posts.  They serve a dual purpose- aesthetics, as well as privacy and light control. Don’t forget to add some ambient lighting with lanterns or string lights.

  • Compromise- This will be hard to hear, but…. you and your new spouse may not have the same taste in decor and furnishings.  Shocking, I know! You love everything about them; so it’s impossible to believe you wouldn’t 100% agree on how to furnish a space. If you can’t agree on how to complete a room, each of you should make a list of your top priorities.  Compare notes and then figure out how to blend your wishes.  An alternative would be for each of you to choose a room in the house and take charge of decorating that room.  Either route you go, the end result will be a home you’ll love because you created it together.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tips for hanging your wall art

We are so close to completely dressing your home.  Art and window treatments are the final components to include.  This week's post is all about artwork (we will address window treatments next month).

People become the most paralyzed when it comes to artwork. They've done all this work to assemble the rest of the room, and now they freeze up with fear about putting a nail in the wall. Don’t let this be you!

When it comes to artwork, select pieces that catch your eye and lead you around the room. Think about what has meaning to you, what makes you feel comfortable and what might strike up conversation with your guests. Those are the pieces you want on your walls. The thought of hanging these pieces for display should excite you. Don’t feel like you have to put the same thing up all over. Not every pair of shoes you have goes with every outfit, and your artwork won’t naturally fit in every room. Mix it up with mirrors, painting, photos and framed prints.

PDR Interiors
Room contains a blend of wall art- framed prints, wrapped canvas painting, grouping of mirrors.

Once you’ve picked out your art, you WILL have to hang it, so here’s a cheat sheet to give you confidence in your placement.

Rules of thumb for art hanging-
-Remember your art should belong to the furniture, not the ceiling. Meaning, don’t hang your art so high that it looks like its running away from the furniture below it.

-Use 60” from the ground as your starting place for the middle of the piece. If this seems too high or too low, adjust accordingly.

-Using two nails or screws, instead of one, helps keep a piece of art level when it has wire on the back.

-Gallery wall tips:
-layout your desired gallery wall on the floor first. Measure the overall height and width of the arrangement to make sure it will fit on the wall where you want to place it. If it is too large, make the necessary adjustments.

-Brown craft paper is a helpful tool when planning a gallery wall. Roll the paper out on the floor and place your items on top. Using a marker, outline the pieces on the craft paper.  Once you have the outlines drawn, remove the pieces from the paper and cutout each shape. Then tape the pieces to the wall where you plan to hang them. This will show you if you need to adjust any spacing between items OR if you need to adjust the group’s spacing on the wall.  A handy trick is to mark on the craft paper where the hanging mechanism is.  That way you know where to place the nail(s) once the paper is on the wall.

-Begin with 2” between each piece of the gallery wall. You can then eyeball the layout and determine if the size of the pieces warrants more or less space between them.

-Gallery wall groupings are a great WAY to hide unsightly features like a thermostat in the middle of the wall.
PDR Interiors (photo was taken before pictures were added to frames)

photo courtesy of Christy Hash

If you are struggling with whether or not to hang a piece on a specific wall, lean the art against that wall (even at floor level) and leave it there for a day or two. Walking by it several times will allow you to determine if the size of the art is appropriate for the size of the wall. It will also allow you to see how you feel about incorporating that piece in to the room. If you’re comfortable with it, go ahead and hang it using the rules of thumb we just covered. If not, find another location for the artwork. And, remember, it is not the end of the world to put a nail in the wall and then later decide to move it. There’s a reason spackle was invented!

Happy hanging!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Artwork & Accessories

We started walking through the concept of how to dress your home back in October.  If you're anything like me, you may have already forgotten what we've talked about to date.  If you're not, then this recap is just for my benefit (ha!).  So far we have addressed:

Today, let's pick up where we left off.  Let's get lost in the world of accessories.  Accessories are my favorite part of an outfit, and of a room.  These pieces are a chance to let your personality shine.  Personally, when it comes to an outfit, I am a watch person.  I love an oversized face- I mean BIG- in a great metal with a little bling (maybe I was a rapper in another life).  I then tend to stack bracelets with my watch to create a grouping of arm candy.  While this sounds like a lot happening on my wrist, I do operate by Coco Chanel’s rule of put everything on, and then take one item off.  I find a good balance in this method of editing.

Accessories in the home offer the same opportunity as fashion accessories: to showcase who you are. 

Did you select a solid colored, textured fabric for your sofa?  Pop a couple of colorful throw pillows grouped with another pillow showcasing your favorite saying on it. 
Are you a world traveler? Arrange the trinkets you’ve picked up along the way within your bookshelves amid the books you’ve been reading and your family photos.  
Mixing the types of items you display on a bookshelf or tabletop creates visual interest. 
PDR Interiors

Accessories aren’t something that will show up on the space plan you've already created. This will require some trial and error in terms of placing items where they look best.  No two people are going to arrange their accessories in the same manner, because no two people will have the same life experiences or perspective.  But, I can give you some tried and true tricks to help you accessorize in a way that makes you want to show off your space.

-Group things.  Rarely, do you want an item to stand all by itself (the exception being if it is an oversized piece that commands attention).  You can work in pairs or in odd numbers- whatever feels right to you based on the items you are working with. 

PDR Interiors

-Vary height and stagger items.  It is not visually pleasing to see a straight line of items all at the same height.  Move pieces forward of, and behind each other while still keeping everything visible.  If you find that all of your candlesticks are close to the same height, turn some books on their sides to create a stacked base and top with one of the candlesticks. 

 PDR Interiors, photo courtesy of Veronica Gettinger

-Mix colors.  Life isn’t monochromatic.  Mix white ceramic vases with silver picture frames and blue pottery.  Keep in mind the color scheme of your room, but don’t feel it is necessary to match it exactlyInstead, tie in certain colors or elements of the room, so the accessories feel at home in the space. 
PDR interiors
-Choose a variety of items. Picture frames, metal orbs, glass sculptures, ceramic vases, woven baskets, small pieces of artwork on stands, and books are all great elements to use when accessorizing a room.  The placement of these pieces will be determined by the function of your space.  If little hands or wild pet tails are a concern, place breakables at a level where they won’t be in danger.
 PDR Interiors

Wanna know a secret? I will style a shelf or tabletop, and 20 minutes later come back to look at it with fresh eyes.  Almost every time, I tweak something- the angle of a photo frame, the height of a stack of books, etc.  You will more than likely do the same thing- it’s okay.  Just get started!  The best way to accomplish your goal is to dive in and play around with the placement. Don’t be afraid to place something and then re-arrange it later.

You would make my day if you would message me photos of your accessorizing work.  i'd love to see all the fun you are having!