home ideas

10 Tips How to Bring Nature Indoors

In this weeks blog post, I am sharing 10 tips how to bring nature indoors. Create a warm and inviting space by infusing elements of nature into your home. We feel more connected and happy when we spend more time relaxing outdoors. With organic shapes and natural textures trending in the design industry, it is easier to bring the outdoors in whether your design style is modern or traditional.

10 Tips How to Bring Nature Indoors

1. Select A Wood - Wood comes in a wide variety of stains, finishes, and species. It could be polished or left unstained to reveal its unique imperfections and character. Wood is also one of the few materials that can be used for several different applications, from floor to ceiling. I love this contemporary and rustic staircase because of the mixture of reclaimed wood on the walls.

contempary rustic

(Photo via Home Adore)

2. Choose a Stone - Another finish I am fond of using is stone because of its durability and versatility. Choose the stone that works best for your lifestyle, personality, and application type. Each species of stone has its characteristics: good and bad. If you are using stone as a kitchen or flooring it is important to understand the quality and what application it is best used for.

bathroom - zillow

(Photo via Zillow)

3. Create Zen-like Center Pieces - Surround pebbles around tea light candles on a long narrow tray to create a zen centerpiece on your coffee table or dining table.

4. Furniture - With nature trending in the design industry, I have seen some extraordinary furniture with natural materials. Whether it be a coffee table crafted from an exotic piece of wood or a slab of agate stone for an end table, there is plenty of variety available that could be used in any design setting or style. You don't have to have a rustic style home to add a touch of nature to your space. Check out this beautifully crafted console table from Phillips Collection.

console

(Photo via Phillips Collection)

5. Accessories and Lighting - Add a table lamp featuring a stunning slab of semi-precious stone or agate stone coasters in your dining room.

table lamp - ruemag

6. Natural Lighting - Natural lighting is a desirable design element in any space or home. Natural light also makes us feel inspired and energized. The power of natural light has an affect on how you feel like no other. Leave your windows open to the elements to feel more connected to the outside.

indoor outdoor living

(Photo via Architectural Digest)

7. Artwork inspired by Nature - If you don't have a room with a view, create one with art. Add a large abstract scenic painting over a sofa to create a statement or reminiscent of the the outdoors. If you're not into scenic prints, group photography of close up of nature. I love black and white close-ups of flowers.

8. Table top Waterfalls/fountains - There is something Oh-so-relaxing about the sound of trickling water. Add a table-top waterfall in a bedroom for a soothing nights sleep.

9. Indoor Plants & Blooms - Perk up rooms with indoor plants. For low maintenance, consider creating your own mini succulent garden. Add flowers for color or even display your fruits in a bowl in a kitchen for a pop of color (and also a convenient snack).

plants bhg

(Photo via Better Home and Gardens)

10. Branch Out - If your not into the upkeep of plants, try adding branches to a vase for super low maintenance and natural look. Visit your nearest craft store for a wide selection of faux branches with flowers.

Welcome the outdoors in with one of these ten tips. I hope you have enjoyed this post. Which tip will you use to bring the feeling of nature into your home? I would love to hear what design tip was your favorite, make sure to leave a comment and share 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.

DIY Centerpieces from Items Around the House

When it comes to summertime centerpieces, there's no need to bust your budget on overpriced items. In fact, you probably have all the makings for a stunning centerpiece lying around your house. If you are looking to put your DIY skills to the test, take a look at these stylish centerpieces that are perfect for summer. 

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(Photo via Modernize)

While crafting a summer-inspired centerpiece, never underestimate the power of fruit and flowers. A truly perfect pair, these items can be mixed and matched to complement your surrounding decor. As a nod to the season, choose bright colors like those provided by lemons and limes, and don't be afraid to have a little fun with the container that holds them. While you can certainly use your favorite decorative bowl, you can also use cake stands and cupcake holders. When choosing flowers, both fake and live blooms work well, but stick with in-season varieties for a natural look.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.30 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

In regard to vases, you don't have to spend countless hours hunting for the perfect style. With tape and spray paint, you can create your own unique designs with vases you already have. Using painters tape, you can section off stripes like this picture depicts, or you can create whatever style you fancy. Once the tape is applied, use spray paint to transform the vase into a stunning decor piece. From metallic gold and silver hues to vibrant shades of yellow and green, your color combinations are endless.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.49.41 AM

(Photo via Modernize)

Instantly adding a stylish flair to any space, feathers are just fun. While stark white varieties are stunning, you can choose any color and pattern you like. To add more interest, consider placing them in clear vases that are filled with colorful marbles, dyed rice, spray-painted beans or split peas.

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(Shabby Chic Porch by Savannah Photographers Atlantic Archives, Inc.)

To achieve this look, you can repurpose old wine bottles, mason jars or any other glass containers you can find. Keeping the bottles in their original state produces a clean, classic design, but you can also dye the bottles for a livelier look. Simply pour a small amount of craft glue into your jar followed by several drops of food dye. Using a Popsicle stick, stir the mixture until a uniform color is created. Then, tilt the jar in all directions until it is completely covered with the glue mix. Place it upside down on a plate to let any excess glue drain out. Placed upside down on a baking sheet, bake the jar in the oven for about 20 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, flip it over to cook for the remaining 10 minutes. When done, fill each bottle with a freshly picked tulip or daisy for a centerpiece that smells as good as it looks.

This post was written by Jane Blanchord. Jane is a blogger, home design geek, and graphic designer from Savannah, GA. She currently writes for Modernize.com. For more design ideas and inspiration, visit Modernize.com.

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.

How to Add Color to your Space for Spring!

It's officially Spring and okay, I admit - I've got Spring fever! Woot woot! What I love about spring is bright cheery colors so today I will be discussing how to incorporate color into your home with ease! You can add color into your space with either soft pastels or bold colored accents. Whatever side of the color spectrum you choose, it will still breath life into your space. Bold colors are more energizing and pastel colors are soothing to the eye yet welcoming. I love bright colors balanced by neutrals. Use a neutral color as a background then layer color on top for a look that you won't grow tired of.

Explore color and find out what colors work for your home and personality. Don't know where to start? Take a look at your wardrobe, you tend to gravitate toward your favorite colors. 

How to Add Color to Your Space

1. Decorative Accents - I love adding color and switching out color with decorative accents such as picture frames, candle holders, and vases (inexpensive ones that you can pick up at Target or Home Goods).

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/14550183/Walnut-Creek-Bungalow-living-room-san-francisco]

2. Area Rugs - Mix in area rugs with a colorful pattern to amplify your entry way or kitchen. You can even add a bright mat to your laundry room to boost your mood when folding your clothes.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/18608984/2014-Parade-Home-Lehi-transitional-entry-salt-lake-city]

3. Accent Pillows - Now that is getting warmer out, all the bright colors are out in stores. It makes me so happy! Not only can you add playful pillows indoors but outdoors too! Outdoor pillows make your backyard more inviting. The color and pattern draws your eye outside, making that lounge chair look super tempting to lay on!

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/9428265/2013-Coastal-Living-Showhouse-beach-style-bedroom-atlanta]

4. Stationary - Is your work area feeling tired? Brighten it up with colorful stationary. Notepads, pens, storage boxes, and file holders can cheer up your desk.

5. Flowers - What is Spring without flowers? Place flowers (or faux flowers) in areas of your home that you will see them often. There is something about flowers that make your home feel extra special. Even if they are fake, flowers can add elegance and color into your space subtly.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/2550186/wwwmyplumdesigncom-transitional-family-room-toronto]

6. Fresh Paint - Give an old piece of furniture a new look with a fresh coat of paint.

I hope you found these 6 tips to add color into your home helpful! Which tip was your favorite? Please share below! I would love to hear from you.

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The Copper Comeback and Why I am Excited about it

Warm Copper hues are making a hot comeback and I don't mind at all! I am usually weary when styles come back. For example, do you remember when bell bottoms jeans came back? I hopped on the bell-bottom bandwagon so fast. My wardrobe couldn't live without them (now it can). Being short, that style was not flattering on me. I looked shorter, wider, and they dragged on the ground - not cute. So anyway, back to Copper. Why am I loving warm metals right now? Because it is freezing on the East Coast!! The weather outside is still frightful. By adding copper and bronze hues into your home, it creates a warm and cozy environment. Two things I am craving during the frigid weather. (Sidenote: If you live somewhere warm please consider having me as a potential roommate. I'm very neat.)

Copper accents can charm up cool palettes. Copper is the perfect complement to white and gray. The look of marble is beautiful, but it doesn't make the room feel warm and inviting. Copper accents add a bit of coziness. My favorite example is from Smitten Studio. I love the use of mixed metals. The copper, brass, and natural accents add warmth to the stone and white upper cabinetry.

kitchen-renovation-smittenstudio4

(Photo: Smitten Studio)ca5c3fbbab7cd56c3df2f7e15a245d48 (Photo: Smitten Studio)

Copper also compliments deep hues like plum, burgundy, black, and navy. I love the copper stool in this transitional living room by Laura U Inc., and also the beautiful built-in color! What do you think of the purple hue?

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/12581339/Heights-Classic-transitional-living-room]

 I admire the copper lighting in this gorgeous open concept kitchen by John Kraemer & Sons.

8c3a17e5271f2439e137216bdb7b2bea(Photo: John Kraemer & Sons via Homebrunch.com)

 What do you think of adding copper accents to warm up your home? Do you love the copper comeback as much as I do? Comment below :)

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All the best,

Amanda M. Amato

Lots of Living for a Small Space

  Living in a tiny space poses an issue. How can you store all of your stuff, make it functional, comfortable, and stylish all at the same time?  Keep in mind these 5 tips when decorating your space.

1. DON'T OVERFILL YOUR SPACE

Just like the saying, "less is more" the same concept can be applied to your home. Leaving more open space makes the room feel larger. Try not to fill up your space and leave a little wiggle room.

less

2. BIG PIECES THAT MAKE A BIG IMPACT

It may seem counterintuitive, but surprising larger items can help a space feel bigger. For example, hanging an oversized painting above a sofa can visually enlarge a space.

lr art dr art

3. EMBRACE TRANSPARENCY

Lucite or glass furniture gives the illusion of more space. Try using a lucite desk for a barely-there look that is both functional and stylish.

lucite

4. HIDE WORK PROJECTS

Carve out a place to work and a special place to tuck away reminders of projects so the rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy living. Instead of creating piles around the house (I'm guilty of this), leave a storage box handy to safely store your work items.

file box

5. VERSATILE FURNITURE

What is better than a piece of furniture that has more than one purpose? Multi-functional pieces work in your favorite when it comes to small interiors. Storage ottomans, nesting tables that can be separated and used around the room, and even a coffee table that can be converted into a dining table.

cocktail table

8 Tips to a Better Bedroom

Follow my blog with Bloglovin When it comes to designing, I feel like the bedroom gets neglected. The living room and kitchen tend to get the most focus and the bedroom usually is saved for last.

With a few quick changes, you can create a better bedroom without spending a lot of time or money.

1. ARTWORK - Artwork can change the feel of the room. It can add dimension and introduce colors into your space without painting. You can choose one large statement piece or opt for a gallery wall.

art

2. BED LINENS - A new comforter set can make your room feel brand new. You can even spruce up your bed with a throw blanket and some new pillows.

bed sheets

3. ADD LIFE - Place flowers or plants near your nightstand or in a place you can enjoy waking up to in the morning. We often use flowers for special occasions, why not make your bedroom feel a little special too? If you are looking for something low maintenance succulents or faux flowers can work!

flowers

4. DRESS YOUR WINDOWS - Don't over look window treatments, swapping out blinds for curtains can make a huge impact to your space.

window treatment

5. DO IT YOURSELF - Make a statement with a fabulous headboard that you have created or a simple canopy. Get inspired by 30 Extraordinary Headboard Ideas.

canopy bed

6. LIGHTING - New lighting can change the way you look at your space and how it feels. Lighting really sets the mood for any room.

lighting

7. UNIQUE ELEMENTS - Add some character to your space with unique pieces such as a fun nightstand, a vintage chest, or a fabulous wall mirror. Having trouble deciding which piece to swap out for something different? Think about a place that you see the most - this way you can enjoy it the most :)

nightstand

8. FRESH PAINT - A new coat of paint may be a bit time-consuming but it can also be a budget friendly way to change the entire look of the room.

How will you spruce up your bedroom? Tag AMA Designs on instagram so I can see your room! @byamadesigns #amadesigns