Paint

How to Shop for Furniture

Are you ready to redecorate your space but not sure where to start? Well - I am glad your here! In today's Tip Tuesday post you will learn how to shop for furniture, how to assess your needs, what to look out for when shopping for new furniture, and how to avoid mistakes.

How to Shop for Furniture: Where to Begin

Assess Belongings - Before you go shopping, create a note of what existing items are staying, going, and what new items are needed/desired. Assess what is worth keeping and what items you are ready to let go. Also keep in mind the furniture that is in good condition but may need to be freshened up by reupholstering or refinishing with a new coat of paint.

Create a Cheat Sheet - Goto the store prepared by bring clippings of paint colors, fabrics samples, and pictures of items you are working with. Bring inspiration photos to glance at while shopping to remind you of how you want the end result to look and feel. Shopping can be overwhelming and it's easy to get distracted. Bringing a cheat sheet while shopping keeps you on target.

Plan Ahead - Measure your existing space and items that you will be keeping. Draw the general shape of your room and see if you could reconfigure the layout in a way that works best for you. Now is the time to nail down the details of what size furniture works best.

* Side Note: Measure all important doorways/entrys and hallways to confirm furniture can fit into the space. Nothing worse than buying furniture that can't fit through the door.

Scale - This ties in with measuring... A piece of furniture may look great in a showroom with high ceilings but when you bring it back home, it may overwhelm your space. Measure the space and tape out and block the furniture on the floor to make sure it fits in the room before you buy it.

Budget - Create a spending plan of how much you want to spend in total. Do not forget to factor in additional fees such as warranties, protection plans, installation/assembly, and inside deliveries.

Additional Tips:

- When purchasing upholstery, upgrade seat cushions to foam wrapped with down. Invest in pieces that are most important (i.e. the sofa) instead of rarely used items. The heavier the cushion, the longer it will last.

- Furniture is a large investment. Select furniture that is timeless and transitional.

- For case goods, look for dovetail joints in the corners of drawers for long-lasting quality.

- For upholstery, lift up a corner and shake it, if it feels light or wobbly; skip it.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist when you join.

Receive a free Designer's checklist to help you prepare for your first shopping trip. Get your free checklist, here.

Revive Old Planters with this Simple DIY!

'Tis the season to be sneezin' .. This Spring has got me suffering with allergies. Regardless, I am still spending time outdoors and finishing up outdoor chores before summer BBQ's start. Last weekend during Mother's Day, my mom and I went to pick out new flowers for outside (Mother knows best). As we prepare to plant the new flowers, I realized that our flower pots needed a major revival. It was only necessary that I stop everything I was doing and run to grab all my painting supplies.

Here is a Quick Step-by-Step Tutorial to Revive your Outdoor Planters:

For this project you will need:

A tarp to cover the ground, Paint of your choice (Either Spray paint or Acrylic), a ceramic or plastic pot, protective spray coat (optional), stencil (optional)

1. Wash & Scrub existing planter. It is important that you have a clean slate to work on. Wash away dirt and sometimes spider webs hidden under the lip of the planter (gross)

2. Place tarp down to protect the floor and ground around you.

3. Paint the body of your planter with two coats of paint in the color of your choice. You can leave it solid and stop here or use this color as a background color and move on to the next step.

4. (Optional) Apply a Stencil or tape out stripes or a design of your choice. Color in your stencil with paint.

5. (Optional) After the paint has dried, add a protective top coat.

Here is the final result. I may go back in and add a design to the Cobalt blue pot. I am thinking of a Chinoiserie pattern because I am loving Blue & White right now. If you haven't been following me, check out my post from two weeks ago, "Chinoiserie Chic Decor".

After

FullSizeRenderI also painted a few solid yellow pots to coordinate with the sunflower stenciled pots which aren't photographed because I am waiting for my plants to grow. I didn't want to show you a pot of dirt :)  I'll share the growth on Instagram @byamadesigns.

Here are some other Pinterest-worthy designs that I would like to attempt in the future.

fabric wrapped

(Photo via In my Own Style)

rock-covered-bucket-cg

(Photo via Centsational Girl)

Gardening is not my forte. What are some of your favorite outdoor plants and flowers? Share your favorites (especially flowers deer & other animals won't eat). I would love to know!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you love this post, share it with your friends and pin it to Pinterest to come back this craft idea later.

Hope your day is as awesome as you are! :)

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

Design Trend: Blue Hues in Home Decor

Boy oh boy, do I have the case of the blues (not the boo-hoo blues)!! Shades of blue were introduced at High Point Market this Spring. In the fashion industry, Pantone may have announced "Marsala" to be the fashion color of the year but blue is the color of the year in furniture, accessories, and home decor as well. Today I will be sharing my inspiration and home decor in bright blues that you can add to your home and reinvent your space.

8a81577c6f58e45a5a9f14dc92dfd157

If you follow me on Instagram, I shared my inspiration of a vignette with vibrant blue plantation shutters and moroccan tile around it. Pigmented blue hues ranging from royal to indigo to watery azure are trending for this season on the runway and in home decor.

Introduce shades of blue to any decorating palette in doses or as the main focus. Blue plays well off of primary colors such as yellow or red for a bold impact. Pair blue with orange for a energetic color combo. On the contrary, couple blue hues with purple or green for soothing and cool palette. Blue could also serve as an accent color when paired with neutrals like the room featured below.

c70e1abd50d8a6669f68dfe9b77f4cff (Photo via 6th Street Design School)

Whether you choose to add vibrant blue tones in big way or subtle way, I have found a few options that will suit your decor needs. Here are some blue decor ideas that you can incorporate into your home.

FAB FRIDAY

1. Silk Pillow // 2. Cobalt Table Lamp // 3. Porcelain Chinoiserie Vase // 4. Indigo Scarf // 5. Tufted Sofa // 6. Botanical Watercolor Art // 7. Hall Chest // 8. Ikat Rug

Did you find something you liked? Pin this image to your Pinterest board so you can shop later. Are you following me on Pinterest? Let's be friends :)

http://pinterest.com/byamadesigns/

For current photos of my work and progress photos, follow AMA Designs on Facebook or Instagram.

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

50 Shades of Gray

Gray is timeless. Whether you lean towards cool or warm tones, it is a perfect neutral to balance a room. Gray could be sophisticated and formal, masculine and sexy, or cool and serene. Gray is so versatile. Since the new release of the movie "50 Shades of Grey", I thought it was only necessary to share 50 Shades of Gray paint colors. So here is my list of fifty various shades of gray; cool, warm, dark, light, greige - you got it.

50 Shades of Gray Paint

  1. Dior Gray by Benjamin Moore
  2. Serious Gray by Sherwin Williams serious gray
  3. Windham by Pratt & Lambert
  4. Cumulous Cloud by Benjamin Moore
  5. Deep Space by Benjamin Moore
  6. Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams agreeable gray
  7. Plummet by Farrow and Ball
  8. Pavillion Gray by Farrow and Ball
  9. Timeless Gray by Pratt and Lambert
  10. Lamp Room Gray by Farrow and Ball lamp room gray
  11. Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore
  12. Dependable by Pratt and Lambert
  13. Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore
  14. Zircon by Sherwin Williams [houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/123499/LaVista-Park-Renovation-and-Interiors-traditional-living-room-atlanta]
  15. Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore
  16. Ever Classic by Pratt and Lambert
  17. Silver Plate by Sherwin Williamssilverplate
  18. Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore
  19. Silver Satin by Benjamin Moore
  20. Gig's Gray by Pratt and Lambert
  21. Silver Chain by Benjamin Moore
  22. Grayish by Sherwin Williams
  23. Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore
  24. Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore
  25. Gauntlet Gray by Sherwin Williams gauntlet gray
  26. Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore
  27. Reflection by Sherwin Williams
  28. Stoningtone Gray by Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
  29. Bear Creek by Benjamin Moore
  30. Gray Matters by Sherwin Williams
  31. Shale by Benjamin Moore [houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/333087/Parkwood-Road-Residence-Living-Room-transitional-living-room-minneapolis]
  32. Down Pipe by Farrow and Ball
  33. Gray tint by Benjamin Moore
  34. Mirage Gray by Pratt and Lambert mirage gray
  35. Magnetic Gray by Sherwin Williams
  36. Elephants Breath by Farrow and Ball
  37. Comforth White by Farrow and Ball
  38. Blackened by Farrow and Ball
  39. Artic Seal by Benjamin Moore
  40. Fashionable Gray by Sherwin Williams
  41. Stone Harbor by Benjamin Moore stone harbor
  42. Pussy Willow by Sherwin Williams
  43. Dovefeather by Pratt and Lambert
  44. Front Porch by Sherwin Williams
  45. Popular Gray by Sherwin Williams
  46. Whitecap Gray by Pratt and Lambert
  47. Zephyr Hills by Pratt and Lambert zephyr hills
  48. Harbor Gray by Benjamin Moore
  49. Manorhouse Gray by Farrow and Ball
  50. Skylight by Farrow and Ball

Pin this post so you can save this handy-dandy paint list for the future :) Which shades of gray are your favorite? Please share your favorite paint colors below. I would love to know! And have you seen the movie already? I didn't yet but share your thoughts!

Want more design tips? Join "The Designed Life" monthly e-magazine, filled with tons of inspiration for the home and life. Also, receive a free Home Design Checklist to make your next shopping trip for your home easier.

Nightstand DIY Tutorial

IMG_9133 I love finding great pieces of furniture that need some TLC ! This month I found a few new pieces of furniture that needed some love. Here is one of the pieces I updated. It was a time consuming process but it was definitely worth putting in the hard work!

I used this nightstand for a teenage girl's bedroom that I just redesigned (see the room here).

HOW I DID IT

1) Clean the furniture and prep for painting

2) Remove drawers and knobs before painting

3) Prime it ! For the base coat I used Krylon Spray Paint Primer in white.

4) Paint it! I sprayed the drawers and nightstand with Krylon White Semi-gloss spray paint. I chose a semi-gloss finish for this nightstand because I wanted a satin-looking finish.

5) Add cool Hardware. I gave this nightstand a face-list with super cool purple lucite hardware.

IMG_9134

DSCN1105

Yay! What do you think of my fab nightstand?

 

The New Neutrals for 2014

This Spring , we will be seeing more pastels according to Pantone and Benjamin Moore, In interiors, we will be seeing less gray, and more cool blues, lavenders, pinks, and soft greens. It is a great way to add color to your walls without being in your face. A pastel color pallet will still highlight your artwork and additional pieces in your home while making your room feel happy and bright.

When I say pastels, they are not your typical "Easter Egg" colors. Pantone and Benjamin Moore have both introduced a new twist to pastels. Benjamin Moore says its the "new neutrals".

Aside from pastels, I am seeing a huge color trend in fashion, design, and graphics. Other colors that I am sure will make an entrance this year will be rich russet tones, paprika, coral, saffron, cobalt blue, peacock blue, and eggplant. Mixing one of these colors with a pastel could be absolutely stunning in your home or even an outfit! Be adventurous this year and experience with color!

For more reading on the color predictions for this year visit;
Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2014

Pantone Color Trends for 2014

Elle Decor Color Trends

20140123-202420.jpg

Make Your Room Appear Larger

Have you ever closed your eyes and wished your room was bigger? Then open your eyes to the sad reality that your room is still the same size as you started...... Well, wish no more! I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I would love to share with those of you who are frustrated with your small space. Being an interior designer, I have some "magical" tricks to help you create the illusion of a larger space. The concept is to fool the eye. In a small space, everything counts so pay attention to every detail.

COLOR: I can not stress how important it is to pick the right paint color. The perfect color on your walls can make all the difference. In small spaces, keep your colors light and it will make a strong impact. I recently painted my room a blue-grey. The blue undertone is soothing and happy in the morning light. Plus, It is neutral enough to match my bedding and accessories. In addition, if I ever change my color scheme in my room, it is easy to find other accessories that won't fight with my walls. It allows me to have options - and I love options! Not to mention, my room looks a thousand times larger than the original muddy beige color.

LIGHTING:  By allowing natural light to shine through in your room, you will be amazed at how open a room can feel. It is important not to block natural light from entering if you have a small space. If you get indirect sunlight or do not have windows in your room, you have to be creative with your lighting. Some people save shopping for lighting last, but this is not an "add-on." It is a small detail that can make a big difference.

CONTRAST: Color techniques and  smart lighting ideas can make a small confined room feel more spacious. Ladies, it is like contouring your face by adding highlight and bronzer to make those cheekbones pop! Light colors are reflective making a space feel more open. Dark colors absorb light, making a room look smaller. When you paint your molding light, the wall appears further back, making your space feel bigger!

CLUTTER FREE: In small spaces, it is essential to keep a clean organized room. Too many things on your walls, can make your room feel smaller. If there is too much going on, your eye is being drawn all over the place making your room feel cluttered. Keep it simple. In a small room, create a focal point. Arrange the furniture so your eye is drawn to those areas. Keep the floor as clean as possible to maintain a sense of openess.

MIRRORS: Mirrors can make your room feel larger so strategically place them. Make them a focal point, or hang them directly across from a window to reflect more natural light. My personal favorite are floor mirrors. By leaning a large floor mirror up against your wall, you would be surprised how much larger your room feels.

LOOK UP: You always want to draw your eye up. If you have crown moldings, make sure it is lighter than your wall color to draw attention upward. You can also paint your ceiling a crisp bright white so your room feels more spacious. You can also add vertical stripes to your walls, this way your eyes follow the lines upward creating the illusion of heigher walls.

GLAM IT UP: Don't forget to add some bling! I love adding metallic accents! I added silver vases on my dresser which reflect light and I also purchased metallic placemats in which I put underneath my bedside lamp. This simple detail reflects light and adds a glamorous feel!

4

3

2

1

traditional-bedroom