entertaining

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 :)

 

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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.

How to Prepare for Spring

As we make the slow transition into Spring, we naturally turn our attention to cleaning and updating our homes. This is the time where I flip my home inside out and upside down for a major cleanse. To help prepare you for the always-busy months ahead, I've created a Spring Cleaning Checklist to use as a guide:

  • Purge Closets - Separate your items into piles as you pack away winter clothes. Donate or toss the items that you will no longer need or will not wear next season.
  • Organize - It's time to tidy-up. Store toys in storage baskets/bins. Keep your desk neat with drawer organizers and file storage. Add hooks near the front door to hang those easy-to-lose keys. Find a home for everything to make life easier.
  • Office Update - Freshen up your work environment by organizing your files, archiving old files, and even deleting unwanted files on your computer. Organize receipts by store so you can easily find them later. Shred paperwork that has personal information on it. Invest in a planner or other stationary, that you can use to jot down ideas and To Do items.
  • Living Update - Your family/living room is very active. To preserve your furniture longer, flip and rotate seat cushions so they can wear evenly. Don't forget to fluff back pillows too! If your throw pillows have seen better days but the casings are in good condition, consider purchasing new pillow inserts.
  • Clean Window Treatments - Remove dust from blinds and wash curtains to breath easily this Spring. Don't forget to clean screens daily during high pollen weeks.
  • New Bed Linens - Revive your bed with new bed linens and sheets. Swap out your winter-weight duvet with a light-weight comforter or quilt.
  • Fresh Scent - Enjoy walking into your space with a fresh scent. There is something about a nice smelling candle that instantly makes a room feel clean (doesn't mean you can skip cleaning tho!). Use reed-diffusers or display potpourri in a decorative bowl.
  • Replace Doormats - Your door mat took a beating this winter. Freshen up your entry with a new door mat or hallway runner.
  • Revive Exterior - Power wash the siding on the exterior of your home to remove winter debris.
  • Prep Outdoor Spaces - Don't get stuck cleaning your porch the day of your first BBQ. Prep and clean your patio and outdoor furniture now to enjoy all season long. You will be happy that you did!
  • Outdoor Entertaining Items - Keep your outdoor dishes and utensils near your outdoor dining set or where you prepare meals so you can serve guests with ease. Stop yourself from running in and out of the house during a party by storing entertaining items in a convenient place.

outdoor

I hope you have found these tips helpful while you prepare for Spring.

What are some tasks that help you prepare for the warm months ahead? Share your favorite tip below.

Do you love AMA Designs? 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.

10 Decor Tips to Create a Warm & Inviting Home

The snow storm of the century is headed my way, a whopping 36" - Yikes!! While snowed-in, I couldn't help but cozy up on the couch and write about ways to create a warm and Inviting home (even if you're not snowed in). With a little accessorizing, you can create an inviting space for you and your guests.

Here are 10 Home Decor ideas that you can  use to make your space feel warm and cozy:

1. Lighting - Create a romantic setting with dim lighting. Use combinations of table lamps and glow from candle lights. Not only will this make your guests feel welcomed but everyone knows that warm mood-lighting always makes people look flawless.

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(Photo Cred: agirlandagluegun.com)

2. Tactile Fabrics - I'm a huge lover of tactile fabrics such as slubby linens, chunky wool knits, and delicate cashmere. Try layering different materials like a Velvet upholstery and a Monogolian fur pillow.

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(Photo Cred: Apartment Therapy)

3. Display Throws & Blankets - There is something about seeing blankets displayed that instantly make a home feel more snuggle-worthy. Display your throws in a wicker basket that is in arms reach of seating.

4. Warm Colors - Incoporate warm colors into your space to create a sense of warmth.

5. Layering Materials -  Layering different fabrics and materials creates visual interest and a more inviting home. Layering window treatments is my favorite example of how to layer materials. Use a grass shade as your under-treatment and soft sheer curtains on top. I love to mix soft and natural elements. For flooring, layer a soft cowhide rug ontop of a plush-cut pile rug or a sisal to introduce color, pattern, and another texture.

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(Photo Cred: nousdecor.com)

6. Bring the Outside In - Inviting nature inside is a great way to make your house feel more inviting. Add natural elements by grouping a few branches together in a decorative vase. You can even create a low-maintenance terrarium. Check out my Mason Jar Terrariums I made for my office.

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(Photo Cred: hgtv.com)

7. Intimate Corners - Don't leave dead corners in your home instead, create inviting vignettes. Spruce up an empty corner with a small-scale chair, ottoman, and floor lamp. Don't have enough room for seating? Add a pedestal table with a table lamp and chair; a small setting for writing or blogging ;)

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(Photo Cred: homebrunch.com)

8. Mix 'n Match Materials - Following the them of texture, I also like to mix and match other materials. For a more organic feeling, bring pieces of reclaimed wood into your home. Wood has so much texture and depth to it, which in hand adds lots of warmth to any space. A great way to add reclaimed wood to your space can be with, wood serving trays or free-form wooden bowls (as pictured in example 6).

9. Be Eclectic - Go for a more collected look. Add vintage touches, trinkets, or items that have a more worn-in look. it gives a more personalized look to your home and shows your unique personality and interests.

10. Unique Artwork & Photography - Whether you paint your own artwork or have black and white family photos, dress up blank walls by adding art or photography to your space which also adds character to your space too!

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(Photo Cred: arcadiahome.com)

I hope you have enjoyed my decorating tips and can use them to snuggle up in style this winter!

Did this blog post make you feel warm and fuzzy? Share this with your friends or comment below your favorite tip :) Want more ideas to make your space feel warmer? Check out last week's post on how Copper Accents can charm any space. You can also find cozy style by peeking at a few sunny Florida homes.

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Kick off the Holiday Season with STYLE!

In honor of Thanksgiving coming around the corner, I am surely in the holiday spirit! This year I will be visiting California and spending Thanksgiving with my cousins and family. I could not be more grateful to be celebrating with them this year! I am very close with my family but the distance hinders communication. I can't wait to spend quality time with them. Since I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year, I thought it would be nice to share gift ideas for the host to show my appreciation for having me. After all, it does take a lot of time, effort, and stress to be a host !! I feel they should be rewarded for their tremendous effort for putting together a wonderful evening. As it is the season of giving, I like to give gifts that are both functional and thoughtful.

Gift Ideas for the Host or Hostess

For the Wino (If you love wine say AYE! ..... Ayeeeee! ) - A bottle of wine with gourmet cheese, bread, and fig jelly spread. Or you can create this fabulous dinner basket with a pasta strainer and fresh pasta. Great idea for the couple who just moved in.

pasta basketwest elm stoppers

For the Tech Savvy - I have tech savvy people in my family. I found a list of cool tech gifts. I couldn't decide which gadget I liked most! Here is one of my faves. A charging case, which is totally needed for any person who is constantly on their phone (guilty).

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For the Dream Chaser - Okay, I admit. I even want one of these beauties for myself! I found these mantra bands on Etsy.

mantra band

For the Beauty - Create a beauty basket. It can be filled with nail polish, facial masks, or an amazing body scrub. Learn to make your own body scrub, here!

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For the Cozy - A fuzzy blanket from West Elm paired with a great read, a fun mug, or a starter log if they have a fireplace.

mugwest elm blanket

For those of you hosting the part, I've got your tables decorations covered! The focal point during dinner parties is always the dining table or wherever you are serving the food. Learn how to create the perfect table scape for your dinner party!

5 Steps to a Fabulous Table Setting:

1. Candles - Nothing sets the mood of your evening than some candles burning! Place a couple votives or hurricane candles on the table as a centerpiece.

candles

2. Linens - Add texture and interest to your table by layering linens. Add a table cloth to protect your table and to anchor the table with a basic color or pattern if you wish. Then add a table runner and contrasting placemats.

burlap 2

3. Glam Napkin Rings - I'm a sucker for some glamour! I am loving these brooches

thanksgiving brooch

4. Flowers and Naturals - I love fresh flowers but they don't have to be used for every holiday. Try using pinecones, white pumpkins, or gords for Thanksgiving.

glam table

5. Personalize It - If you are having a large gathering, sometimes it is easier to pre-determine where everyone is sitting first. This way you can avoid that awkward moment of people aimlessly standing around the table saying. "Where am I sitting?" or "I think I put my drink here...." Create decorative place cards or use Initial Ornaments that guests can take home after the party.

Initials

Show your Stripes

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!!! Summer is finally here and it is time to get your backyard ready to entertain. I love outdoor parties, especially when it comes to the decorating. There is something so magical about the 4th of July. The smell of the barbecue and the rest of the food cooking. Spending time outside with great friends and family as the sun goes down and the fireflies start to come out. The smoke from the fire pit that makes your hair and clothes smell for days. The fireworks shoot high into the sky and burst so loud you can feel it go through your body.

Get in the holiday spirit and decorate your home and backyard for the 4th of July. Switching out pillows for the season is an easy way to switch up the scenery in your home and add some holiday cheer. I love nautical stripes and playful pops of red. For a beachy feel, add wicker accents such as an end table or a round wicker cocktail ottoman that you can put a tray on for entertaining your guests.

For outdoors, play around with accessories such as outdoor pillows, table runners, placemats, outdoor rugs, dishware, lights/candles, and center pieces. If you're really feeling festive, you can even have fun while baking by adding some fun decorative treats to the table.

Here are some ideas for your indoor and outdoor spaces. Have fun this summer and enjoy!

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