design inspiration

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.

Watercolor Inspired Home Decor

I have started a new hobby of water color painting. You might have noticed a few of my first paintings ever shared on Instagram, I was super proud to show it off. I love when the colors bleed into each other, even the imperfections look beautiful Have you ever heard of that saying, "what you think about, becomes about?"... I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or that I am subconsciously searching for watercolor ideas since it's my new hobby but I have been noticing watercolor everywhere!

Water color murals are being used in the home in unexpected ways. Instead of using water color murals in a traditional display of art; watercolor is being added on walls, fabrics, pillows, bedding, and accessories. Today I am sharing my passion for my new hobby of watercolor and my inspiration for the home.

How stunning is this watercolor drapery fabric? I even love the pattern for a playful pop of color on the throw pillow as well.

watercolor fabric

(Image via Bluebellegray.com)

 

If you are looking for a statement wall, Color Puddle has wallpaper murals available. It is applied like traditional wallpaper with wallpaper glue (more permanent option). Here is one of my favorite examples installed.

watercolor mural

(Image via Color Puddle)

A temporary alternative to traditional wallpaper is a self-adhesive wallpaper. Think of self-adhesive wallpaper as a giant sticker for your wall. It's temporary and damage free.

Watercolor Washes

(Image via Anewall.com)

If you want to join in on the trend but aren't looking to touch your walls, add a pop of water color with bedding. Anthropology had some great water color bedding options. Here are few from their website:

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Feeling crafty?

Learn How to Make your Own DIY Pillow via Tidbits.com

watercolor pillow

Let's Chat! I would love you hear from you:

Are you inspired by water color patterns like I am?

Have you started a new artistic hobby?

Are you tempted to add watercolor in your home in unexpected ways or with traditional art?

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.

AMA SIGNATURE

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.

10 Step Guide to Create an Outdoor Sanctuary

With the warm summer months approaching, It's almost that time to start prepping your outdoor spaces to entertain family and friends. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed a few outdoor-related posts I shared. I'm in the outdoor-entertaining spirit! Easter is around the corner and I am hoping it's warm enough to eat outside or pull up a chair in the sun with a drink. Your backyard is an extension of your home that should not be undervalued. Today, I'll be sharing how to create an outdoor space that everyone will want to enjoy with 10 easy decorating ideas and techniques

1. Divide Backyard into Zones - Dining area, lounge area, grilling/barbecue section, outdoor bar, kids play area, etc.

zones

(Photo by Helen Green Design)

2. Outdoor Lighting - Treat outdoor spaces such as porches, patios, and even screened in porches as another room. Add ceiling fixtures as you would with an indoor space. This makes the space feel more like a "room".

Outdoor Chandelier

(Photo via House Beautiful)

3. Outdoor Furniture - Most indoor/outdoor furniture today is hard to decipher from regular interior use. Wicker seating and sectionals make for great seating whether it be outdoor or on a screened-in porch.

4.  Area Rugs - Area rugs not only define seating zones but they also protect bare feet from burning on a sunny porch (I'm guilty for this one!). Pick up a durable indoor/outdoor rug. Some examples are sisal/jute, poly blends, or even woven plastic that looks like straw.

5. Outdoor Pillows - As with furniture, indoor/outdoor fabric options have improved. Outdoor pillows don't look like your typical outdoor pillows anymore. Cozy up your lounge chairs and seating areas with decorative throws.

6. Outdoor Curtains - This ties in with #5. If you have a porch or a pergola, consider adding curtain sheers.

outdoor seating

(Photo via Centsational Girl)

7. Light the Way - Light up paths for you and your guests with solar powered lights.

8. Discrete Outdoor Speakers - What is a party without a little music? Discretely hide speakers with speakers that are disguised as rocks.

9. Fresh Paint - Revive your deck or stairs with a fresh coat of paint. Are the high-traffic areas worn out? Consider using a stencil to paint a runner up your stairs or stencil a faux area rug underneath outdoor seating. The picture below is painted concrete. The pattern is intricate but I hope it has inspired you to try something new (even if it is a simple stair runner stencil).

painted concrete

(Photo via Lifeworkmediablog)

10. Storage - Create storage areas for common items. For example, if you have a pool, hang hooks near for towels or keep a cedar trunk filled with clean towels so your kids don't walk in the house dripping wet. If you have outdoor plates and glass ware, consider adding a shelf near the door that exits to your backyard. If your guests, need an extra cup or napkin, they know where to go. I love to entertain but sometimes I'm not always available to tend to everyones needs (especially for large parties). Think of the different types of outdoor entertaining you like to have and alter your storage to your needs. It makes entertaining much easier!

I hope you have enjoyed this post and it has inspired you to create your own outdoor sanctuary. Create beautiful memories outdoor this season!

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.

3 Tips to Create a Fab Foyer

The entry of your home is the first thing your guest see when you invite them into your home. As the saying goes, "First impressions are formed within 7 seconds." Create a lasting impression in your foyer that expresses your personality in a nut-shell. Show off your individuality but don't show all the goods ... shhh, save that for the rooms. My dream foyer would be packed with bold style, sexiness, gold accessories, lucite, a statement chandelier, and Mongolian fur ottomans. At least, that's what I am dreaming of right now - it changes.

This blog post was inspired by the powerful statement foyer that I found in the House Beautiful magazine (picture below). Isn't it drop-dead stunning? My eye was immediately drawn to the wallpaper. I love the citrus and blue tones in the pattern. Not to mention the pedestal table that literally was screaming my name.

favorite

Although the wallpaper is bold and in-your-face... the stair runner is neutral and creates a sense of balances. The solid gray grounds the space, giving your eye a place to rest. Next, is the gold pedestal base table; a stylish twist on a classic. It fills the corner nicely. The staircase is almost hugging the table. The accessories are simple and the florals draw your eye up towards the rest of the staircase and towards geometric pendant.

Are you anxious to learn how to create your own fab foyer? Inspired by the photo, there are three tips to keep in mind while designing your foyer. Let's break it down, shall we?

 

1. STYLE - Enter your home with style! Design your foyer by starting with largest item. Carpeting in most spaces will dictate the design. Stair runners and area rugs are a great way to introduce color and pattern into your foyer. Or opt to be different and add decorative wallpaper in your entry while keeping it neutral on with the carpet. Add a funky console table with a statement mirror above it. Reinvent an old table lamp and make it bold with a new lamp-shade. Strategically place florals, trinkets, picture frames, and other decor that will catch your eye as you enter the home.

Entry Storage

2. PERSONALITY - You should feel welcomed every time you step foot inside your home. Add accessories and details that represent your personality and/or family. Whether it be pops of your favorite color, a traditional chair for putting shoes on, or that animal print rug you always wanted - get creative.

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3. FUNCTION - Aside from being stylish and pretty, it has to be functional for your lifestyle. Place a small decorative tray on your console table for a spot to leave keys. Tuck away stools underneath your console that could easily slide out if you need to put your shoes on. Hang a decorative mirror for those last minute looks before you leave the house. Add a cute but functional Hall-Tree or hang hooks behind the door for your every day coats that are easy to grab-and-go.

entry 3

I just realized that the acronym for these three rules is SPF! That should be easy to remember! :) Get your SPF on and rock on. For more inspiration to create a fab foyer of your own, please check out my "Fab Foyer" board on Pinterest.

https://www.pinterest.com/byamadesigns/fab-foyers/

High-end Interiors without the High Price

I lust for luxurious fabrics, sparkling accessories, and jaw-dropping designs that are showcased in Hotels or high-end interiors. I admire streamlined and serene design or high-contrast color interiors. So how do you achieve a luxe look without the high-end budget? I will tell you how!

How to Get the Look:

Faux Custom Curtains - I am a big believer in window treatments. Custom designed curtains are like the scarf that ties your entire outfit together. By adding a decorative trim or tape to store-bought curtains, it will take your curtains from standard to extraordinary! It will also create a more high-end and custom designed look.

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(Photo from Style at Home)

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(Photo from chinoiseriechic.blogspot.com)

High Contrast Doors - If your wall color permits, painting your doors a semi-gloss black will take your bedroom or hallway up a notch. There is something oh so sexy about high-contrast interiors. Black and white hues scream "chic". I have also seen really dark walls, depending on where the application is, it can really look drop-dead gorgeous, if you dare!

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(Photo from Apartment Therapy)

Flowers - Something about fresh flowers can make a home feel so welcoming. Maybe because we often use fresh flowers for special occasions? I am all about the flowers, but not about the maintenance. Girl, nobody's got time for that! Polyvore, Michael's Craft Store, and Nearly Natural, have some great faux alternatives. You can even thrift vases and spray them white or gold. My personal favorite right now is mercury glass vases - so glam.

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Fluffy Pillows - You might be thinking, "What is this girl talking about?" The softer, the plumper, the better. Add pillow inserts that are larger than the actual pillow size for a more volumized look. I love the down inserts. If you have allergies, there are some great hyperallergenic alternatives that are available in the market.

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(Photo from emilyaclark.blogspot.com)

Hotel Style Bedding - Crisp, clean, white linens just ooze luxurary. I love the Restoration Hardware bedding or the Matouk Bedding from Bloomingdales.

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Chunky Crown Moulding - Thick crown moulding adds architectural detail to your space and also draws your eyes upward to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. I must admit, the beautiful and thick molding can add up in price. I did find on pinterest an amazing trick if you need a more budget-friendly option. Check out how to cheat when it comes to creating thick moulding (the tutorial is for base moulding but the same concept can be applied to the crown).

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(Photo from sheknows.com)

Details, Details, Details - Accessories are the jewelry of your room. I'm all about the details. I love touches of gold or polished silver. If your room has more warm tones, choose gold or bronze accents. If your room has cooler tones, pick silver, nickel, or even lucite accessories. Add stylish coffee table books and a tray to your cocktail table, or even a few bone-framed picture frames. Add the details where necessary, but don't over do it! Too many accessories will make your room feel cluttered. Check out this coffee table vignette from The Glitter Guide.

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(Photo from the Glitter Guide)

black and white vignette

 

(Photo from Style at Home)Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.32.21 AM

 

(Photo from Lauren Conrad)

Random Thought: Did you know that H&M came out with a home decor line? Say what?!! I am the last person to find out? I'm not sure when this happened but I am happy. The items are super cute and affordable! I'm loving the vases with the polka-dot relief detail. I saw clear vases too but I thought this ombre color glass was different! What do you think?

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