decor

How to Find your Design Style

You may like a lot of different styles and don't identify with one design style. Or maybe you feel that you don’t have a design style at all. But let me assure you that you definitely have a design style. If you have a personality, you have a style. You may not uncovered it yet but through some exploration you will be able to pinpoint “your unique style.”

How to Define your Design Style

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You just moved in or are looking for a new home, you started shopping around online, you made Pinterest & Houzz inspiration boards, you bookmarked all your favorite items, you watched reruns of HGTV shows, you took notes from a YouTube video on how to DIY everything, and you have been stock piling coupons for Bed Bath and Beyond like nobody's business. You did the research and you gathered inspiration but where do you start? I’m here to tell you how in this blog post!

Experiment with Color: Fall 2015 Trends

Refresh your home's color palette with warm, earthy, or saturated tones to warm up your interior during the cooler months ahead. Today I will be sharing a combination of color pairings and how to incorporate these shades into your home. I am going to break this post into personal color preferences: Neutral, Playful, and Bold .. Scroll down to the color palette that you gravitate to.

For the Neutral Lover

If you love neutral colors, try incorporated shades of "Cognac" into your home. Warm whisky browns that have a reddish tint pair well with other neutral shades. The warm autumn shade can be incorporated with wood furniture finishes and/or fabrics like the warm whiskey brown chairs featured in this eclectic living space.

Cognac Chairs

(Image via House Beautiful)

Taupe and mink brown are a great choice to use as neutral to balance any color palette. I prefer taupe over gray because it is earthy and creates a warm inviting environment when used on walls. (Love taupe so much that it is my current Fall nail color right now)

If you are searching for a muted color, try using mauve in your home. Mauve is a toned down purple that compliments well with warm browns, deep plums, and crisp whites.

Blush pinks and soft rose shades are colors that can be worked into your home. They marry well with rich blues or beiges and creams. For paint colors, select a white with a tint of flesh tone pink for a touch of warmth to a crisp white.

For a deeper neutral color and an alternative to dark brown, try experimenting with the color "Marsala". Marsala is a rich brown-red hue and also the Pantone 2015 Color of the Year. Definitely one of my favorite shades. I love how the marsala sectional grounds the space in the photo below. Read more about this color in detail.

marsala sofa

(Image via Belgian Pearls)

For the Playful and Cheery

If you like bright cheery tones, use Pantone's "misted yellow" which is a muted yellow with a green tint. It is the fall version of a cheery yellow. If you are looking for a yellow without the green tint, I like using mustard as an accent color in accessories or fabrics. Mustard marries well with rich brown, vibrant teal, charcoal gray, and even black.

Misted Yellow Bathroom

(Image via Digdigs.com)

Another cheery pop of color to try is Pantone's Amethyst Orchid. A vibrant jewel tone that is strong enough to be a statement color or can be used sparingly with accessories or flowers. Amethyst Orchid can add a lot of energy to a space when paired with red or another vibrant hue but when combined with gray it adds a soft playful pop of color.

Cypress green is a color that I am seeing more lately. I've seen it on walls, furniture, and even kitchen cabinets. Cypress is a soft soothing green but when mixed with a neutral color palette it can add a crisp pop of color. As the leaves begin to fade, shades of green can evoke a feeling of nature when added into your home. Cypress green and forest green are two shades to experiment with this winter.

For the Bold and Daring

If you are feeling daring and want to explore using saturated hues, here are a few:

Aurora red: A cross between orange and red. Reminiscent in the fall leaves. This shade is perfect for Autumn shade. Whether you use this shade in small ways or big ways, this color is bound to make a statement due to the density in color.

Pumpkin: If you aren't ready for the commitment of red, try using shades of pumpkin or a paprika spice. Burnt oranges add warmth to charcoal grays and compliment taupe or chocolate browns. In the photo below, the pumpkin hue adds warmth and color to this cozy bedroom but isn't overpowering.

Bedroom

(Image via Ericcrossinteriors.com)

 

Not quite blue, not quite green: Teal is a beautiful gem tone that is vibrant and mixes well with warm shades like whiskey brown. I love how the mid-century modern chair pops against the rich teal walls.

peacock blue walls

(Image via mod-home.info)

Rich violet, Sangria-like shades are rich shades that can create intimate settings when used on walls. I love seeing deep violet or cabernet-like shades in dining rooms. I feel like it creates a warm dinner setting. Whether used in a big way on walls or in smalls doses, this shade is sure to warm up any space.

So which shade will you be experimenting with this fall? Will you be going for a cheery, bold, or neutral look? Comment below :)

 

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.

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.

DIY Thumb Print Vase

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I have posted a DIY. I have been busy creating drawings and paintings, but I haven't actually made a "craft" in a while that I could share with you.

I wanted to create a bottle that had an all-year round design, texture, and that was sculptural. So I have created a vase that  I have wrapped in Air-Dry Clay that I purchased from Michaels with a coupon. Woot woot!

Wine Bottle DIY

For this Tutorial you will Need:

- A Wine Bottle or Canister of your Choice

- Air Dry Clay (I used White so I could spray paint it if I wanted to)

- A rolling Pin

- Exact-o Knife

- Thumbs ;)

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Select bottle

Step 2: Clean Bottles and take off labels with Hot soapy water

Step 3: Roll out Air-dry clay into a big rectangle (easier to work with). Roll out thin

Step 4: Wrap clay covering as much of the bottle as possible

Step 5: Cut off Excess clay with Exact-o Knife

Step 6: Use Excess clay to cover top of bottle

Step 7: Blend in creases with your fingers the best you can by using a rubbing or patting motion. I also rolled it on the table to even out the clay.

Step 8: Take your thumb and apply pressure to the clay to make rows of thumb prints starting at the bottom until you reach the top.

Step 9: Let clay air-dry for 24-48 hours (varies upon thickness)

Step 10: Spray paint bottle in the color of your choice and/or add branches/flowers for decoration

Here is the finished result!

 

IMG_2238

 

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.

 

Outdoor Entertaining Made Easy

As the weather heats up, entertaining moves to the backyard. Entertaining outdoors doesn't have to be complex or over-the-top. Keep it simple with an easy food menu and table settings.

Here are 12 Tips to Make Outdoor Entertaining Easy:

1. Skip the Good China: Use melamine plates, silverware, and glasses because they are heavier than paper goods and won't blow away in the wind. Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Frontage, and Horchow have some beautiful options to choose from.

melamine dinnerware

(Image via Frontgate)

2. Serving Bowls & Trays: Decorative melamine serving trays are great to put all the cooked burgers and hotdogs on for guests to grab. I also like to prep a tray with extra dinnerware and napkins just in case. Serving bowls can be used for all salads, snacks, and even fruit for dessert.

3. Skip the Table Cloth: Instead of using a table cloth, use vinyl placemats instead to complete the look of your table setting. Vinyl placemats are easy to clean/wipe down too!

4. Provide Shade: Protect your guests from the sun with an umbrella or canopy. Not only do umbrellas shelter your guest with shade from the hot sun but it defines your dining area.

outdoor umbrella

(Photo via Trendir)

5. Create Stations: I like to create "stations" for guests with tables designated for serving food and drinks with all the necessary supplies and tools. It's a "Do it Yourself" service for the guest but it takes pressure off you in the kitchen when your trying to do a million things and plate food for guests. This technique works great for BBQ's and large gatherings.

6. Keep Food Covered and Drinks Cold:  If keeping drinks outside, keep them cold in a cooler or chilled in an ice bucket. Cover food using a mesh colander to protect food from outdoor pests.

7. Beverage Dispensers: At your drink station, set up pitchers or beverage dispensers for guests to refill their drinks. I loved infused waters. It is so refreshing on a hot summer day. I grow mint in the backyard, so I like to add fresh mint to my water - Delish! Here is an entire list of infused waters that you can try.

8. Divided plates: I like serving platters that are divided into sections. It's perfect for serving veggies or fruit.

9. Outdoor Centerpiece: Create an outdoor centerpiece for your table. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. It could be as simple as a few mason jars gathered together with flowers inside and a burlap bow around the top of the jar. For more outdoor centerpieces, check back next Tuesday on the blog for more ideas.

outdoor centerpiece

(Photo via Style Me Pretty)

10. Outdoor Lighting: When the sun goes down, illuminate your seating areas with paper lanterns or candles for ambiance. I like to add a strand of lights underneath an umbrella or hang on the fence.

11. Bug Repellant: Protect your guests from getting bug bites with citronella candles and other bug repellent. I love this DIY citronella candle idea that I found on Pinterest.

12. Prep the Night Before: I always prepare the night before. All the foods that can be made and sliced ahead of time and get out of the way. For example, making pasta salads, potato salads, veggie platters with dip, and infused drinks like Sangria. Being prepared a day ahead makes your entertaining much easier. This way you get to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and styling ideas. If you loved this post, share it with your friends! :) Happy summer!

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.

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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.

Inspired by Fashion: Chinoiserie Decor

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting its "China: Through the Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala. During this event celebrities and fashionistas alike gather for the style world's biggest night of the year. Various famous designers will be featured in the exhibit such as Cristobal Balenciaga, Travis Banton, Bulgari, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Callot Soeurs, Cartier, Roberto Cavalli, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino Garavani, Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin and many more. Chinoiserie print strongly debuts in this exhibit. Not only does this event mark a pivotal point in fashion but the interior design industry as well. If you are unfamiliar with the term "Chinoiserie," it is a print that reflects Chinese artistic influences.

In today's post, I will be sharing how to incorporate Chinoiserie decor into your home inspired by the popular fashion trend seen at the Met Gala.

China Through the Looking Glass

(Photo via gotamist.com)

The Chinese-esque pattern is impacting decor for the home with fabric, wallpaper, and accessories. Incorporate Chinoiserie decor by grouping porcelain blue and white ginger jars for a more decorative and temporary approach like the room below.

house beautiful

Designer and Blogger, Erin Gates featured chinoiserie decor in her guest bedroom by framing fabric on either side of the bed. I adore this transitional incorporation of the pattern.

Erin-Gates-Newton_008

(Photo via Erin Gates, Elements of Style)

Elements of Style

(Photo via Erin Gates, Elements of Style)

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/110000/Hollywood-Residence-transitional-living-room-los-angeles]

For a dramatic look, Los Angelos designer, Elizabeth Gordon added gold chinoiserie to the ceiling with a decorative ceiling mirror with a gorgeous guided frame. Whether you choose to introduce this Chinese-chic pattern in a bold way or a small way, Chinoiserie is a trend that is here to stay. Chinoiserie is a classic pattern that has evolved through design and making a modern comeback in fresh color palettes.

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If you are feeling super inspired by this fashion-forward trend, comment below! Will you be visiting The Metropolitan Museum for the exhibit? If you are into fashion, design, art -- I urge you to go! I went to The Met for the Alexander McQueen exhibit, it was beyond inspiring. It was such a memorable experience. For a preview of the "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit, visit this gallery from Vogue.

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.