Month: August 2019

12 True and Tried Paint Colors for Your Walls

Many people understand what general paint colour they want but struggle with envisioning the exact shade. Others are just afraid to devote to colour because they are not sure what works best with their own furniture. Among the points about paint I like to make with clients is that the colors you may like may be very different from colors that you want to live with.

Some colors translate perfectly to walls. Some, although beautiful, are much better saved for fabrics or rugs. Here are some colors of popular, tried and true paint colors alongside their exact name and brand, that I think translate nicely to walls.

Aquidneck Properties

Blue. Among my favorite options for a bedroom would be really a gentle sky blue with a subtle blossom undertone. Blue is relaxing and a logical selection for slumber-inducing relaxation.

This bedroom is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Silent Seconds 1563, which is paired with a crisp white.

Crisp Architects

Green. I’ve long admired the shade of green in this particular kitchen. I think that it’s perfectly paired with the white cabinets and does a good job of incorporating heat.

This mellow color of green is Farrow & Ball’s Ball Green 75.

FORMA Design

Red. When a customer asks me to pick a red for them, I like to go with a pure, fire engine red. I paint a couple of walls and toss in some more red in rugs or cloths. I like pairing red with blue or brown as accents.

This stylish TV place is painted in Sizzling Haute AC119R by Duron.

Tom Stringer Design Partners

Yellow. Among the trickiest paint colors to get right is yellow, but this shade is just perfect. A tip for picking a yellow from a paint enthusiast deck: Select something that appears nearly beige. Yellow is obviously considerably brighter on a wall than on a paint chip.

This sun-filled dining room is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Mushroom Cap 177.

Carolina Design Associates, LLC

Brown. My favorite neutral colour for walls is brown. There are many beautiful colors of brown that are so flexible. Brown works excellent with crimson, green, white, red and other neutral colors.

I really like the usage of the distressed cream armoire contrary to this perfect color of brown, which is Sherman-Williams’ Tea Chest SW6103.

ScavulloDesign Interiors

Greige. A made-up colour, but significant enough to mention because I use it. A soft grey with beige undertones that’s the perfect complement to most white marbles, for example Calacatta. It is a wonderful solution for people who feel grey is too cold.

This tasteful bathroom is painted inside my favored greige, Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter HC-172.

Regan Baker Design Inc..

Beige. A simple beige is a must-have for my paint arsenal. I really like beige all through the house punctuated with bold colour and other neutrals. Loved for its flexibility, beige is also a excellent choice as a background for an art collection.

This elegant entrance is painted in Sherwin-Williams’ Accessible Beige SW7036.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design

Lavender. I understand some loyal lavender fans. A gentle, barely there shade of the colour is stunning and looks best with a crisp white trim. I love mixing lavender with robin’s egg blue or grey.

All these lavender-kissed walls are perfect in Benjamin Moore’s Organdy 1248.

Pink. Not just for little girls’ bedrooms, pink can be very sophisticated in the right shade. My favourite pinks are tender and purely pink. Pink looks great paired with gray, white, green and blue.

This bubbly pink is named Bella Pink SW 6596, by Sherwin-Williams.

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

Gray. A favorite colour for modern and transitional interiors, grey is a unique neutral. I adore a soft charcoal grey paired with creamy whites and beige. Try grey with a punch of chartreuse for a sudden combination that really works.

This dramatic great room is painted in Dunn-Edwards’ Baby Seal DE 6361.

Patrick Sutton Associates

White. White is really among the most asked-about colors. The perfect white is sought after for cabinets and trim. Undertones in white paint are all significant and can really change a palette.

My Treasured pure white is White Dove OC-17, by Benjamin Moore. This white, displayed here in this stunning kitchen, is crisp with no undertones. It looks good against any colour.

McCroskey Interiors

Black. A remarkably tasteful selection for any room, black looks fantastic against many colors. When employing black, consider contrasting it with crisp white trim and punchy colors in fabrics or rugs. I prefer to see an eggshell finish on walls, and black seems particularly complex in eggshell.

This royal bedroom boasts a gorgeous shade of black called Beluga, by Behr.

Your turn: Please show us a room together with your tried and true paint pick from the Remarks below!

How Light Affects Your Interior Paint Color
Locate interior designers and colour consultants near you

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Decluttering — How to Get the Help You Want

My friend Jane is one of those peculiar people who receives energy from yanking out of chaos. She runs and owns a bed-and-breakfast within her house, a hundred-year-old Georgian mansion. Her kitchen is a miracle of business; even her label manufacturer is labeled. After we fully remodeled our kitchen, I told her I’d love her expert help in coordinating it, however it was just years later, after my epiphany about decluttering, that we actually made it happen.

My kitchen wasn’t even in terrible form. The counters were apparent, there wasn’t a ton of clutter, and I actually had some systems in place, but I knew Jane would allow me to maximize the distance. Eleven hours later, the kitchen was totally reorganized, as was the very small pantry and small linen closet down the hall in addition to my toilet vanity, because this led to this and that .

At the conclusion of the afternoon, I was tired, but I knew I never needed to even consider organizing a room without Jane leading the charge. She had been a force of character, but powerful. After that we went room by room, every few weeks or so, decluttering and reorganizing before the day my home burned down.

Jane and I couldn’t be any different if we tried, but we worked well together for a variety of reasons. Here are the qualities I recommend searching for in a gifted friend or skilled organizer.

The secretary”gets” you. Jane is a writer and contains a massive personal library, so that I knew she would not fight me about my books. Her butler’s pantry is larger than many flats and is filled with crystal, china and glass. She loves antiques and knows sentimental attachment to things, therefore there again I knew she would not force me to get rid of everything, but help me to prioritize and organize.

Indefatigable energy. Decluttering is exhausting work, physically and mentally. Like I said before, some people get energy out of pulling order out of chaos, and this is a nonnegotiable. There will be moments (hours!) When you would like to crawl into the fetal position because the job is really overwhelming, but this is when a naturally organized person has become fired up and gaining momentum.

A sense of comedy. That is really for all parties involved. If there is ever a time you want in order to laugh, it is when you are knee deep in boxes and bags and the conclusion of everything is nowhere in sight.

Creativity and versatility. Jane’s fire is”systems,” that are personal patterns that establish and preserve order. We needed to find compromises between her ideas for an perfect world and our day-to-day living for a household with several members not inherently arranged — among whom is me!

Basic respect and kindness. To put it , Jane is not a social worker, and her attitude is often,”What’s wrong with you?” — that is not always helpful. I came to decluttering with a healthy self image; I knew I had been bringing several things to the desk, but coordinating was not one of these. I also knew that Jane cared for me and believed a lot of me generally. Mutual respect overall is imperative.

Just as important as finding a good match with a friend or specialist is making certain you’re ready. Ask yourself a few questions:

Am I willing to try something new? Should you satisfy every proposal ,”That won’t do the job,” you are not going to profit from another individual’s wisdom. You may think you’re being functional, but it is really a form of defensiveness. “Try it on,” as the entire life coaches say. Before you reject a new method of doing something, try to envision how it could function and then refine it for you and your loved ones if needed.

Am I willing to get rid of a good deal of stuff? Of course there are exceptions to this; you understand who you are, and please continue. However, by and large, the majority of us have too much junk. It isn’t important how much you paid for it or how priceless it’s, sentimentally speaking. If it’s covered with dust and stacked in a pile — and you are overwhelmed — you want to get rid of it or a lot of other things to make adequate space.

In case you can not emphatically answer yes to both those questions, it is an indication you are not quite ready to get outside assistance. It’s exactly what it is; just don’t expect someone to help you rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. It is OK to be nervous and not quite sure you are going to have the ability to get everything done. That’s normal. Recognizing you want help and being ready to ask for it’s an enormous step.

Initially it could possibly be stressful. You’ll be making a lot of decisions and may be feeling ashamed of the status of things. This should pass. As you gain momentum you should feel hopeful, more confident and even excited. If the stress is only rising, this is a sign that the person helping you is not a good match or, again, you aren’t ready yet.

Tom Stringer Design Partners

Special tip: if you’re able to possibly avoid it, decide on a helper other than a person to whom you gave birth or that gave birth to you. The dynamic between parent and child when one is neat and organized and one is… not may be very stressful.

Hire a skilled or call on a friend and, unless it is a dire emergency, leave your parents or your kids out of it, other than to put dibs on household heirlooms.

4 Obstacles into Decluttering — and How to Beat Them

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Southwest Gardener's March Checklist

The American Southwest is a vast area, covering all of Arizona and New Mexico and Elements of California, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The areas of the Southwest are diverse and include non deserts, high deserts and mountainous areas, covering USDA zones 5 though 9.

It’s difficult to believe that winter is almost through and spring is just around the corner. Soon gardens will be awash in varying shades of green with brightly colored blossoms. In the desert areas, it is time to start pruning and dress up the landscape by adding some fresh flowering shrubs and vines. Gardeners in high elevations can get an early start on vegetable gardening by planting seeds indoors.

Desert gardeners should check their irrigation system for any leaks, broken sprinkler heads or drip emitters. With warmer temperatures on their way, plants will require reliable watering to grow their very best. Don’t wait until you start seeing dead plants in your landscape to realize you have a problem. Check your irrigation today. Grass will soon turn green, so it is time to ensure that your sprinklers are functioning. Replace any damaged heads and fix any leaks. Turn on the drip irrigation and then walk around, checking each emitter. If there isn’t any water coming out, or when there is too small, it is time to cut the old emitter away and add a new one.

More regional backyard guides

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Low Deserts (up to 3,000 Trainers)

Spend some time evaluating your landscape. Is it looking colorless and boring? March is a good time to add color and attention by planting summer-flowering shrubs and vines.

Flowering vines are a great way to dress up an entryway or to add color to a weapon. Consider developing these pink-blooming vines: Queen’s Wreath (Antigonon leptopus), shown here;pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) or pink trumpet vine (Podranea ricasoliana).

Red bird-of-paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica), Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens), chaparral blossom (Salvia clevelandii) andArizona yellow bells (Tecoma stans stans) are big summer-flowering shrubs that add great color to the landscape.

Large footprints, 5 ft and higher, should be planted toward the back of the landscape. Shrubs are a great way to conceal a boring wall or fence. They are also effective at hiding air-conditioning components and pool gear from view. Plant lower-growing shrubs and perennials in the front of taller shrubs.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Do you love citrus? March is the best time of year to add a fresh citrus tree to the backyard. Any pruning your citrus needs must also be done this month. Citrus trees do not need much pruning. Focus on eliminating dead or crossing branches.

Whilst eliminating lower branches of citrus therefore they have a much more traditional tree shape is popular, try to avoid the temptation. Lower branches of citrus trees bear the sweetest fruit, and also the most of it. The branches also help to protect the trunk of this tree out of sunburn.

Revealed: Grapefruit

How to Maintain Your Citrus Trees Well Fed and Healthy

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Prune frost-damaged growth. Make sure to wait to prune before the danger of frost has passed. Not certain when your last frost date is? Check out your town’s average frost dates.

Frost-tender plants, like lantana (Lantana spp), look their best when pruned severely back to 6 inches. This sort of pruning rejuvenates the plant by stimulating new expansion, which will produce more leaves and blossoms than the old branches.

Revealed: Pruned ‘Radiation’ Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Radiation’)

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

When you’re pruning frost-damaged trees and shrubs, it can be difficult to tell which parts are dead and which parts are still living. Often when plants are frost ruined, they lose most of their leaves. But although a branch might be leafless, it doesn’t signify that the entire division is dead.

The hint to knowing which parts are living is to look closely at the branches, which will inform you where to make your pruning cut. The region of the branch that’s still living will start to leaf out, while the parts that are dead won’t. Make your pruning cut 1/4 inch above the point where the new growth occurs.

Wait until new growth appears prior to pruning.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Mid- to High Deserts (3,000 to 6,000 Feet)

Would you enjoy the notion of having new fruit growing in your backyard? How about growing apples, apricots, peaches or plums? This is a superb time to purchase bare-root or container fruit trees and plant them in your garden.

For many fruit trees (apples, apricots and plums), you will get the very best fruit production should you purchase at least two distinct varieties of each type of tree. This is due to the fact that fruit trees cannot pollinate themselves; they rely on pollen from the same type of tree but another selection.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Woody, overgrown shrubs will benefit from pruning. Focus on eliminating nonproductive old branches by pruning them off near the bottom of the tree — loppers or a pruning saw work nicely for this type of pruning. Since the temperatures warm, fresh growth will appear.

Revealed: New growth emerging from a severely pruned woody shrub.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Upper Elevations (Over 6,000 Trainers)

Before you know it, it is going to be time to go outside and start planting your vegetable garden. To acquire a jump-start, grow vegetables and flower seeds indoors approximately eight weeks before the final frost date in your area. By that time, you will have eight-week-old seedlings ready to plant in the backyard.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Prune deciduous trees. Pruning ought to be done before the leaf buds begin to swell. The exclusion is walnut and birch trees and shrubs that flower in spring. Don’t prune them today; wait until they have finished flowering.


Get your soil ready for planting in later spring by working 2 to 3 inches of compost into the top 6 inches of soil. The advantages of compost in the garden are many. Two major ones are that compost adds nutrients to the soil and enhances the feel of both sandy and clay soils.

Don’t worry if you do not make your own compost. You can purchase some at your local nursery.

Prepare for April. Warm spring temperatures are a great time to include succulents to your garden.

Tell us : How are you preparing your Southwest garden for spring?

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Pacific Northwest Gardener's March Checklist

March is an exciting time in the backyard. The birds sing, the borders become more colorful daily as shrubs and trees break bud, spring bulbs available up in the gentle sunshine along with the greenhouse extends into full production. Ultimately we believe we can start really gardening again. Sharpen your pruners, discover your hoe and prepare for some fresh air!

More regional backyard guides

Putney Design

Plan for apple pie with proper pruning. I am not certain if I love the apple blossoms or the actual apples more, but I do know that without proper pruning, the trees will not be as vigorous nor create as much fruit as they could.

Corona Tools

1-Inch Bypass Pruner – $31.57

This is the last month to prune fruit trees, so sharpen those pruners. Entire books are written on how to prune apple trees, but here are the fundamentals of pruning a mature tree.
Remove, dead, diseased or dying branches.Remove branches that are growing toward the trunk, straight up or straight down. Remove branches that are rubbing against each other. Thin out the canopy enough to allow light to filter even when it’s leafed out.

Putney Design

You will notice two different kinds of bud:
Sharp, pointed ones, which eventually become leaves and branchesFatter, darker buds, which form fruitIs your mouth watering yet?

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Watch out for more weeds. It’s a sad fact that weeds appear to be the fastest-growing plants in the garden this time of year. Make sure you spend some time each week removing them before they set seed.

Le jardinet

Plan for next year’s daffodils. After weeks of watching the stems get taller as well as the buds get fatter, we can finally see golden daffodils fill the backyard. If the flowers have faded, cut off the dead blooms but leave the foliage to die down naturally, so the bulbs will be even bigger and better next year.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Sow your seeds. This is the main month for beginning vegetables, herbs and summer annuals from seed. Milder places probably got a jump-start in February, but experience has told me I have to be patient till March arrives.

Renee’s Garden

Check the seed sticks. Read on the seed packets to see what the ideal temperatures would be for germination. I’ll often use heat mats to provide a gentle increase, but many times a sunny windowsill will do. Start basil, parsley, lettuce, brassicas and hardy annuals such as cosmos (shown) and marigolds this way.

Niki Jabbour

Add security for tender crops. Salad leaves and lettuces may also be grown outside in a cold frame or directly sown in the garden with protection against a floating row cover (shown), based on your climate.

Should you pay the soil with black plastic for a week or two prior to planting, it will be several degrees warmer and receive off your seeds to an even faster start.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Sow root plants out. Root plants don’t like disturbance and have to be sown directly into the ground. Carrots, parsnips and early beetroot have become this way. Radishes are fast and simple too and will be ready to harvest in just a few weeks.

Le jardinet

Harvest rhubarb. We’ve got a serious overabundance of rhubarb — or so my family tells me. Since deer and rabbits leave it alone, I comprise many clumps of it in the backyard border for its ornamental value alone.

For the most part I harvest and then freeze the stems from the end of this month through midsummer, but I like to let just one plant to go into seed. Who can resist this play?

Fight the slugs. It’s time to undertake these slimy backyard visitors.

A well-meaning friend once suggested I just select off the slugs and feed them to the birds. Sounds fair enough, doesn’t it? Except she had a very small pocket garden and I have 5 acres.

Niki Jabbour

My birds are well fed — trust me — but I get tired of playing hopscotch as I navigate my way from the rear door into the vegetable garden trying to not step on all the slugs. I am also interested in feeding my family than the overstuffed robins, so I resort to organic slug control.


Sluggo Plus Molluscicide – $25

My favorite method of slug control for ornamentals, edibles and containers would be Sluggo Plus. It’s safe around kids and pets but kills slugs, snails, earwigs, pill bugs and other molluscs.

Sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the ground and setting beer traps are popular methods for controlling slugs.

Le jardinet

Housekeeping for the birds. We love to encourage birds to see our backyard, particularly swallows, which help keep the mosquito population in check. March is the time to wash out their nesting boxes, to get them ready for the new brood.

Are you ready for spring? Watch more regional backyard guides

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Southwest Gardener's February Checklist

The American Southwest is a vast area, covering all of Arizona and New Mexico and parts of California, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The regions of the Southwest are diverse and include non deserts, high deserts and mountainous regions, covering USDA zones 5 though 9.

Temperatures at February can swing from below freezing on cold days up into the 70s on the others, based on what area you live in. In most regions of the Southwest, we’re blessed to be able to garden through the winter. This month enjoy the fruit from your citrus trees (and share some with your neighbors). Plant some fresh roses; include beautiful, cold-hardy flowering plants; and get your vegetable garden ready for spring.

More regional backyard guides

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Low deserts (around 3,000 ft). Plant cold-hardy flowering natives, including firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii), chaparral sage (Salvia clevelandii), globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and Mexican honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera), that will add amazing color to a backyard.

Temperatures can still fall below freezing in February. Make sure you protect frost-sensitive plants, for example lantana (Lantana spp)and bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp)with freeze cloth. Old towels or sheets will even work in a pinch.

Towards the end of winter, sow seeds for basil, peas, tomatoes and peppers on your vegetable garden.

Revealed: Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua ‘Louis Hamilton’)

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Fertilize trees. February is the time to apply the very first dose of fertilizer into citrus trees (that need to be fertilized three times every year). An easy way to remember when to fertilize is by holiday: Valentine’s Day (February), Memorial Day (May) and Labor Day (September).

Citrus fertilizer must contain nitrogen, alongside the micronutrients iron, manganese and zinc, which are crucial for citrus wellbeing. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag carefully; they will tell you just how much to apply. Water the trees well after application.


Mid- to high slopes (3,000 to 6,000 ft). Gradually prune evergreen shrubs, such as boxwood (Buxus spp) and dwarf yaupon (Ilex vomitoria); it will stimulate attractive new expansion for spring.

Deciduous shade trees must be pruned in February too. Remove any diseased, dead or crossing branches.

Get a head start on spring by planting vegetable and flower seeds inside eight months before the last average frost date. Beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers do well when started inside. Check a vegetable planting calendar for information on when to plant on your own zone.

Revealed: Boxwood (Buxus microphylla)

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Upper elevations (over 6,000 ft). It is time to get started browsing your seed catalogs and choose what you will plant on your vegetable garden later in spring. Don’t have one yet? This is a good time to start planning to include edibles to your backyard. Select an area that receives at least half an hour or more of sunshine every day.

Deep water your lawn, trees and shrubs. Even though it is winter, they need water. This should be done on a day warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit so that the water doesn’t freeze. Water trees to a depth of 3 ft, shrubs into 2 ft deep and a lawn to 6 inches deep. Use a soil probe or a piece of rebar to help determine how profoundly you are watering.

See how to build a raised garden bed

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Start seeds in biodegradable containers. Did you know that lots of household items make great containers to start seeds inside? Consider using toilet paper rolls cut in half, cardboard coffee sleeves or perhaps eggshells.

After the danger of frost has passed, simply plant your seedlings, biodegradable container and all, at the floor. Both the cardboard and eggshells will decompose rapidly in the dirt.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Wait to prune frost-damaged growth. While it may be tempting to prune away nasty, frost-damaged expansion from your trees, shrubs or perennials — stop. Pruning too early in the summer stimulates new growth which makes your frost-tender plant more vulnerable to damage from the threat of prospective frosts. Wait till the threat of freezing temperatures has passed until you dust off your pruning tools.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Have fun with containers. Get creative when choosing containers for your cool-season flowering annuals. A metal bucket, an old watering can, a wheelbarrow or even an old pair of boots may add a touch of whimsy into the garden when stuffed with annual flowers. Just make sure you make holes in the bottom for drainage.

Try pairing violas using alyssum, petunias with snapdragons, or geraniums with Lobelias for amazing color combinations.

Fertilize annuals using a liquid fertilizer at least once a month to encourage continuous flowering.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Plant bare-root roses. Winter is the time to plant bare-root roses in the desert regions of the Southwest.
Select grade-1 roses, that have at least three big canes (branches). Dig a hole two feet broad and amend the soil with compost and bonemeal prior to planting. Cover the top of your freshly implanted bare-root rose with a mound of compost or wood shavings to keep the canes from drying out. Eliminate the compost as soon as you see new growth appear. Don’t fertilize fresh roses till they’ve flowered for the first time in spring. Revealed: Hybrid tea rose ‘Double Happiness’

Get ready for March. Spring is on its way. Sharpen your pruning tools and get ready to check your irrigation system.

More regional backyard guides

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About Trend: French Lamps Directed by Light

Deeply complicated chandeliers and thick lampshades have their place, particularly in hot home libraries and wealthy dining rooms. But these French lights concentrate about the purity of the goal: shedding light onto the situation in hand.

Although the designs come from several different businesses, all of these focus on the whiteness and lightness of lighting itself. Utilizing bright whites or alternative light-hued materials and airy components, each design has its time of lightness. Bringing that exact same quality to your living room will definitely lighten up things on a cold, drab January day.

Notice: Layout Heure and Beau et Bien goods are available for sale directly from their sites. Dix Heures Dix goods are offered via British and European distributors. Contact Marcel By right via its site.

Clairière Light

Not only is that a bright white fixture, but the airy spaces between its contemporary branches add to its lightweight qualities.

Ciconia Lamp

A graceful arm and lighter-than-air ring in the end add to the weightlessness of the floor lamp.

Ruban Pendant Light

Pendant lighting is inherently airy, because it always floats over you. But the ribbing of the lamp reminds me of floating hot air balloons.

SmoonCage Sensitive Light

The voluminous forming of the simple flower-like orb allows the glowing white light to function as focus.

Lampes à Poser LuXiole Lamp

This little task lamp showcases its lightness in its simple materials, using lightweight finishes and minimal fussiness.

Cloud Pending Lamp, Grand, Nuage White

When it’s called Cloud, it already conveys an ethereal sensibility, however the floating cable falling from the pendant lamp exaggerates the light and height of this colour.

Smoon Bijou Bird antiques

This is actually just a little mild you wear as a jewel around your neck. What a sweet way to lighten your outfit — using a floating, glowing bird.

Sconce, Petit

Floating sconces on either side of a lavish bed seem like an ideal inspiration as soon as your head is drifting off to bed.

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9 Ways into Family Room Guests to Bring Comfort and Joy

Odds are, you’re just about to experience a lot of family togetherness. It’s a good idea to have your main gathering space ready for the range of generations you’ll be hosting. Comfort, ambience and entertainment are important. Here are nine components that will keep your guests happy, warm, relaxed and refreshed in the family room.

Old World Stoneworks

1. Fire. There’s nothing like a roaring fire to draw everyone together. If your chimney is wood burning, then be sure to have a whole lot of dry wood and kindling stashed close by.

Check out the way ers have decked their mantels for your holidays


A Charlie Brown Christmas CD – $7.74

2. Music. This is my favorite Christmas CD to put on while trimming the tree, baking cookies or collecting. Other records you need to try are The Best of Jackson 5: The Christmas Collection and some of those A Very Special Christmas albums.

In fact, this is a matter of personal preference, and it seems every musical artist features a holiday album. Are you strictly Johnny Mathis or would you like Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Josh Groben or even Michael Bublé? Do you like your Christmas tunes to be sung by R&B celebrities or country crooners? Perhaps you prefer to stone into the Trans-Siberian Orchestra? Please share your favorite holiday tunes and albums.

GM Construction, Inc..

3. Warmth. On a chilly night, it is nice to have a whole few throw blankets handy. A rear or storage ottoman allows you to stash them all.

Michelle Fries, BeDe Design

4. Comfortable seating for everyone. A large, deep and soft palate couch provides relaxing areas for everyone in the household; copious cushions mean each individual could be propped up or lie back in personalized comfort.

Normandy Remodeling

Fitting in two matching ottomans signifies no one needs to fight over who gets the corner Ls with this couch — there is space for all to place up their feet while they digest the big holiday meal. This place is also great for overflow sleeping; when I was a child, we loved to make a slumber party fort out of a large sectional couch. You can also move it out to the space when you would like to distribute.

Whether there are little ones round, a few beanbags could supplement the seats. If you have extras in kids’ bedrooms or playrooms, give them a good cleaning and toss them in your family room for additional relaxing areas. You may find yourselves fighting them.

Michael Abrams Limited

A soft area rug helps with seating. Personally, I love to grab a few throw pillows and maintain a place on the floor.

John Kraemer & Sons

5. Entertainment. Of course, a movie night is always a fun way to unwind with all the family. What movies do all the generations in your family like? This year everyone in my family (ages 3 to 71) has enjoyed The Great Outdoors, A Christmas Story and Up together. When the little ones were tucked in bed, everyone from tweens around seniors enjoyed Tower Heist and Love Actually.


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Special Edition DVD) – $9.41

I’ve enlisted some er help with a survey over in the Discussions section. So far our list of favorite holiday movies includes:

• It’s a Beautiful Life
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story
Home Alone
The Holiday
The Santa Clause
The Polar Express
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Love Actually
Miracle on 34th Street
The Muppets Christmas Carol

Mahoney Architects and Interiors

It’s also nice to have the ability to tuck that TV out of sight with built-ins when you are not seeing.


Clue, Parker Brothers Vintage Game Collection – $28.49

6. Games. Many people would rather have a TV-free holiday; possess your board games, cards and charades topics on hand.

Some suggestions include Chutes and Ladders, Scrabble, Clue, Candyland, Go Fish, Jingo, Jenga, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit, Checkers, Boggle and Life. Consider games the youngest of this group can play with.

What are some of your favorite board games to play with friends and family? Please let us know in the Comments section below.


Dream Snow by Eric Carle – $16.53

7. Books. Maintain a stack of kids’ favorite Christmas books around so they can cuddle up with an older relative for story time.

Powell/Kleinschmidt, Inc..

8. Good lighting. Soft lighting gives the ideal ambience. Use dimmers and table and floor lamps with multi-colored or low-wattage bulbs to receive the very best light for the event.

West Elm

Greenpan Nonstick Cookie Sheet – $34.95

9. Aromas. Baking Christmas cookies is always a fun activity to do with little ones; they especially love decorating with sugar sprinkles and frosting. Everyone can enjoy the yummy aroma of the baking all the way in the family room, as well as the yummy cookies later.

Candle Luxury

Thymes Frasier Fir Votive Candle – $12.50

An easier way to add aroma is with a candle. A Frasier fir scent is a fantastic holiday choice.

Do you have some tried and true procedures for prepping the family room for a family gathering? Please share them below.

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Corner Fireplaces Give Bathrooms a Style Edge

Need additional square footage but nevertheless want that cozy and warm focus of a fireplace? A large and bulky fireplace can become quite compact when you use the frequently wasted space in a room’s corner. A perfectly tailored fireplace at a corner not only heats an whole space easily, but it enlarges the floor plan also. Get inspired to build a corner fireplace into your home with these clever designs.

Dan Waibel Designer Builder

Storage. Bring your room to life by flanking your fireplace with bookshelves, like in this living room. This is a good way to integrate storage into a beautiful focal point.

Tip: Stretch your mantel to the shelves for much more storage and a cohesive design element.

Lake Country Builders

Outdoors. Do you have a four-season space or lanai that could use just a tiny coziness? Put a fireplace in a corner to create instant visual attraction at a small or big outside space.

Tip: Build a raised hearth under your fireplace opening for extra seating while you amuse.

BW Interiors

Constructed in. Consider wrapping your new customized entertainment centre entirely around your fireplace. This fireplace is built into the adjacent cabinetry, making the whole center feel like an essential part of the room.

Tip: Keep the design of your built-in constant for a truly cohesive look. Glass doors over the mantel would have made this fireplace blend in more.

COASTROAD Patio & Hearth

Space saver. Build a small electrical fireplace into a corner cupboard or custom-made piece when you have a smaller house or condo that could use an extra-cozy element.

Tip: set the fireplace at eye level for exaggerated visibility.

Happy Interiors Group

Wall to wall. Have a corner in your house that just seems like wasted space? Do what was done here — build a fireplace from 1 wall to another out.

Forgo the flooring hearth or raised hearth, such as in this shot, and your fireplace will be aesthetically pleasing and less interactive.

Freestanding. Adore the look of a freestanding unit but do not want one projecting into your floor plan? Try out a fireplace unit that is compact for size. These pieces can be placed in a corner to heat a space.

Tip: When installing a freestanding model, do not just select the conventional black. Attempt to express yourself by choosing an accent color that’s already in your design.

Arthur Dyson Architects

Room divider. You do not need to have a corner made out of two partitions for a fireplace. This artful fireplace is located at the open corner of their living room and functions as a space divider between the living room and the adjacent kitchen brilliant!

Tip: Positioning your fireplace in an open corner such as this means that you can enjoy it from a number of distinct rooms.

Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture

Camouflage. When done correctly, you can practically make your fireplace disappear into the area’s design when it is not in use. The horizontal banding of the wood runs within this fireplace front so it doesn’t stand out.

Tip: you’ll have to take your city’s codes and regulations into consideration using a design in this way, as there are regulations concerning how shut combustible materials can be implemented around the firebox opening.

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