Set the Table for Your Perfect Party
Interior Design and Event Design - Akron, Ohio; Canton, Ohio
Fall party season is in full swing and you can make a splash with a “just right” table setting. Whether you’re planning a full scale soiree or prepping a casual backyard barbecue, the table is a key to setting the stage for your event. Think of your blank table as an artist’s canvas and get ready to be creative!
Consider first which aspect of the table you want to showcase. If the dishes being served will be masterfully presented, keep the table low-key to show off your food. Do you have fabulous dishware, or perfect centerpieces? Choose what should take center stage in your table presentation.
Casual events can easily be done without a tablecloth, but if you want to dress things up a bit the tablecloth becomes the backdrop for your meal. Simple, solid colors are always a classic choice. Using white or neutral colors will keep the attention on your place settings or the dishes you prepare. Bold colors, stripes, florals or polka dots bring a big punch to your table without being overwhelming when used as the tablecloth. These same principles can be applied if you’re using place mats either in place of, or in conjunction with, a tablecloth.
Napkins, whether cloth or paper, should complement the tablecloth, but there’s no need for a perfect match. With a neutral tablecloth, use a solid napkin as an accent, or add some extra punch with a patterned napkin. Mixing different patterns adds whimsy and is a great way to keep things fun. If you’re ready to create your own non-traditional linens, work with your dry cleaner or seamstress to finish your favorite piece of fabric into a tablecloth or napkins to fit your goals.
Centerpieces in the summer are the perfect place to feature flowers from your garden. Determine if you need one large centerpiece or if several smaller pieces will better serve your needs. When you’re working with small centerpieces, they don’t have to match. A collection of vases, either various sizes or a series of bud vases, work perfectly - just remember to keep your centerpieces at a height low enough for conversations across the table.
On a creative table, dishware can be mix and match. Combine different sizes or shapes of dishes in similar colors or styles. Flatware and glassware can also be mismatched. Take advantage of the height of your glassware, wine glasses for instance, to add variety to your table. Metallic glasses or colored glasses can be added for even more visual interest.
Take time to enjoy your table. Spend the rest of the party enjoying your guests
Expand Your Living Space - Outdoor Rooms
Interior Design - Akron, Ohio; Canton, Ohio
Outdoor rooms are perfect for extending your living space or warm-weather entertaining. Creating that perfect outdoor room or updating an existing outdoor area just requires some planning.
Design should always start with the end goal in mind. Begin the process by defining what you want to do in your outdoor living space. Do you need a dining area or is the space primarily for lounging? Is there a great view that you can capitalize on, or do you want to design the space with consideration for the proximity of a neighbor? Assess the space as it currently exists. Is it next to a pool, fireplace or lake? Does your room naturally define itself, such as being contained on a patio or enclosed by landscaping or walls? Is it covered or open air? Factor these elements into your plan.
Make a checklist of key pieces that will help define your space. If dining and entertaining are priorities, look for outdoor tables to seat the number of people you expect regularly. Measure carefully so you know how much space you have to fill. Account for the chairs which will require 18 to 24 inches around the table, and enough room behind the chairs for a walkway. Not enough room for a full table? Try a bar-height table and stools.
Casual, outdoor lounging areas can be the perfect place for a morning cup of coffee or a few minutes with a good book. Comfy chairs or a chaise lounge with a small table can make a perfect backyard getaway or conversational area for a quiet chat. One of our favorites is the Heri hanging chair from Skyline Design, pictured here.
Outdoor furniture needs to be both durable and beautiful. Some of the most common materials for outdoor furniture include wrought iron, aluminum, wicker and wood products, and recycled plastics manufactured to look like wood. Wrought iron offers the most longevity, but its the heaviest of the options. Keep it clean and touch up any chips in the paint and it will last for ages. Aluminum is a lightweight option, which is helpful for grassy areas where you may need to pick the furniture up easily. Wicker is lightweight, and if you choose a resin wicker product it can hold up well against Ohio weather conditions. Wood furniture is very natural looking in an outdoor environment. Keep in mind that the color will be affected by rain and sun exposure. Now is also the time to designate a storage place for cushions and pillows.
Finally, evaluate your lighting needs. If your outdoor room is already appropriately lit, you’re in good shape! Where additional lighting is required, look for outdoor fixtures such as lanterns or torches. Temporary strings of lights or paper lanterns add personality to your “room” or for a special event. Make sure you take them down or store them properly to keep them in good working order.
Once everything is set, enjoy your room!
Expand Your Living Space Beyond Your Walls - Garage Edition
Interior Design - Akron, Ohio; Canton, Ohio
Great design isn’t just for inside the home. Everyday life, entertaining, and everything in between overflows out of our four walls. Spaces that are otherwise “outdoors,” like the garage and patio, often become key living spaces as the weather warms up.
Garages often becoming the collecting place for all the stuff of life that doesn’t have a designated place in the house - if this describes your garage, there’s no need for garage shame. Now is as good a time as ever to get organized and design your perfect garage.
1. Sort, consolidate and purge! Separate the items in your garage according to purpose - outdoor tools, seasonal items, sporting goods, etc.. Items that can move into the house, shed, or other storage area should be relocated. Quality items that your family has outgrown (last year’s soccer cleats, anyone?) or doesn’t need can easily be donated. At this stage, be fearless about throwing out junk!
2. Design your storage solution. Assess what you’re trying to store and determine what type of storage you prefer. Will simple shelving and bins keep you organized, or are you wanting something more advanced? Slat or grid wall products are perfect for adding hooks, baskets, and bike racks in an unobtrusive way. Cabinets are perfect for keeping items clean and out of sight. Whatever you choose, now is the time to plan your garage as an extension of your home, a work area/man-cave, or a beautiful showplace for a treasured car.
3. Keep your house clean. Make room for a “track off” area to keep mud and dirt out of your home. If you don’t have a mudroom, it’s especially important to dedicate a place for outdoor shoes. Consider what you need for both summer and winter - snow gear requires something different than pool noodles. If you want to keep the whole garage cleaner year-round, a small change like flexible floor tiles let dirt and slush drop through to the concrete instead being tracked into your home.
4. Add some color. Color helps give the space a personality and can be incorporated through cabinets or flooring, but it can also be added with graphics. A favorite sports logo, brand, or vintage sign - each of these can help define your garage.
5. Enjoy! It’s possible to enjoy a garage as much as any other room in the house. Why not make your garage work for you?
Join Us for the Design Your Perfect Interior workshop on June 3rd!
Interior Design - Canton, Ohio; Akron, Ohio
Seating is limited for this workshop, being hosted at Bob & Pete's Floors. The cost is $15 and includes a workbook and thank you bag of gifts and savings from the event sponsors. Call 330-478-0576 to save your seat!
Design Your Perfect Interior workshop, Canton Ohio
Designing for an Organized Life
Interior Design - Canton, Ohio; Akron, Ohio
Spring is finally in sight and that means spring cleaning and organizing! The benefits of getting organized are probably obvious. We stress less when we can find what we’re looking for, and less stress is good for our health. When we aren’t frantically searching for the lost keys, shoes, homework, or critical sales report, we have more free time to spend relaxing, or with family and friends. If you know you should
get organized, but don’t know where to start, here are some tips to get you on your way.
For the laundry room, try pull-out baskets that can sort laundry into whites, darks and colors and keep everything from piling up on the floor or counter. Hide laundry products, like detergent and stain remover, in cabinets or pull-out bins. After the laundry is washed, consider a valet rod instead of a drying rack to save space. Finally, a built-in ironing board lets you stash this laundry room necessity when you don’t need it.
The entry and mudroom are notorious areas for collecting everything from shoes and coats to backpacks and gym bags. Try a built-in bench to offer the perfect place to sit and remove shoes before tracking everything through the house. Shoe cubbies are a mudroom must, as they accommodate athletic shoes or boots and can even be hidden in a closet. If you have a little more space, add bins for each family member for grab-and-go storage.
Bedroom and closet storage can get out of control quickly, strategic planning in these areas can have tremendous impact on your day to day to life. Make use of your underbed storage - rolling storage drawers can hold clothes, shoes and accessories and offer a great option for storing out-of-season items. Shoe cubbies in your closet can save space and keep shoes in a centralized location. For narrow closets, try clothing valets. With this handy tool you can hang several garments at once without taking up valuable real estate on your walls. In fact, you can mount a clothes valet on your door, or choose a retractable option.
Ready to tackle your home office? Try wall storage, especially for large items like printers, fax machines and speakers. Properly mounted shelving can support a surprising amount of weight. Plan for the lowest shelf to sit about 20 inches above your work surface. That keeps your most often used equipment within easy reach. Under desk cabinets can be hidden underneath your work surface to hold supplies, files or other necessities. They can be found with casters to make it easy to wheel them out when you need them.
If you’re not ready to conquer the clutter everywhere, choose just one room. Start with the flat surfaces - the desktop, the dresser, the bed - and get something cleaned off. Approach one area at a time, and soon you’ll have the first room done. It will definitely be worth it when you’re finished!
Tips for Gorgeous Window Treatments
Interior Design - Canton, Ohio; Akron, Ohio
Great design is always in the details, and window treatments are a key detail to finishing a room. With so many choices, where exactly should you start to get the polished look you want? Here are some things to keep in mind as you evaluate your windows.
Consider what level of privacy and light management you need in each room. Certainly you don't want to be waving at the neighbors from your bathroom, but maybe your family room looks out on a wooded backyard and can be more open. If you need privacy, do you need it all the time, or do you want to be able to open everything up during certain times of the day? Some of the most popular options for these basic window treatments include cellular shades, which also add to the energy efficiency of your home, shutters, wood or faux wood blinds, or roller shades, which are available in many fun colors and interesting styles.
Once you've handled privacy and light management, you can dress your window with any number of "soft" treatment options. For many, the next layer of window treatment may include sheers, followed by drapery panels, valances, swags or roman shades. Each of these can be used to introduce color, pattern or texture into your room. In a kitchen, for example, you have many hard surfaces like cabinets and countertops. Adding a roman shade on the kitchen window is a perfect way to add something soft to the room.
If you have a room that's ready for a dash of drama, the draperies you choose can become the perfect home fashion statement. Choose a color or pattern that coordinates with at least one other color in your space. Bright colored window treatments against lighter colored walls will visually fill up the space, while bright colors against dark walls are more muted. When you're planning for a window treatment that blends into the wall, choose fabrics a shade lighter than the wall. Pay attention to the type of lining and interlining on your draperies. Appropriate linings help your draperies hang correctly, prevent your fabrics from looking washed out as light comes through the window, and create a high-quality custom treatment.
Details on draperies are almost unlimited. Style of drapes, choice of fabrics, type of pleat or fold, adding a fringe, contrast banding, button or grommet details, and rods and hardware all provide opportunities to personalize your window treatments. As with any home project, enjoy the process. Your custom window treatments will be worth the effort!
Welcome 2014 with a Dash of Wild Orchid
Canton, Ohio; Akron, Ohio
Who doesn’t love a beautiful dash of color as we emerge from the winter months? Every spring, the world explodes into the bright colors of new life, and incorporating some of the currently trending colors into our everyday lives can improve our mood and influence our thoughts.
For 2014, Pantone, the leading international color authority, has named Wild Orchid the color of the year. Watch for this warm, soft shade of purple on runways, in makeup, and of course, in home decor. Before you pull out the paintbrush, consider these options for incorporating purple into your existing palette in way that’s luxurious instead of “little girl.”
When planning for purple, don’t limit yourself to just one shade. If wild orchid isn’t your favorite hue, look across the purple palette to select a few favorites. Choose two or more colors from the same color family and then use them strategically to update your room.
Here are some great ways to add dramatic flair that you’ll love:
- Consider the colors in the room you want to update. Is your basic tone a cool gray, blue, or green? or an earthy, warm taupe, yellow, orange or red? Look for shades of purple that fall in the same category of warm or cool. Warm purples will have more of a red tone to them, cool purples will be more blue. Do you want to add just a hint of the new hues, or really punch things up?
- Remember that small things can make all the difference. Changing throw pillows, baskets, or blankets can update a living or family room quickly. In the dining room, placemats, chargers and napkins are a fast fix for a new look. How subtle or strong a change you make is entirely up to you.
- Layering is a key to a sophisticated space. Use various shades from the same family of purple, look for different textures, or try new patterns. Items like pillows are available with ruffles, rosettes, and fun prints of all sorts. Match your fabric type to the mood of the space - for example linen, velvet, sateen and cotton all communicate something different.
- For those with the urge to paint a room, decide if you are painting the whole space, or just an accent wall or two. Is one color what you have in mind? Or maybe a set of interesting stripes running around the room? Creative options with paint are unlimited Collect inspiring photos before you begin, so you can communicate with the painter exactly what you’re hoping to achieve.
Most importantly, have fun!