All About | Foyers

A lot of people have mixed emotions about foyers and entryways.  They are small rooms so they don't require a lot of work, but they're also low priority rooms so they rarely get any attention.  The problem with this is that the foyer is typically the very first room guests see when they enter your home.  It really is a major impact room because it basically sets the tone for the rest of the house.  For this reason, it's important, not only, for Foyers to be addressed but also for them to be styled in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the house.  If you're wondering how to accomplish that, you've come to the right place!  Today we're discussing key elements of foyers and helping you determine what yours might need.

Even though the foyer isn't really a room where people will lounge, it does need to be functional and appear comfortable.  A comfortable looking foyer makes for an inviting home.  So consider adding some sort of bench or ottoman for seating.  Even if this isn't a place where guests will sit for long periods of time, it may be a place where they'll set their bags down or sit to put their shoes on.  A bench also says, I want my guests to be comfortable.  It's subtle but it gives off a vibe that lets guests know, I've got you in mind!

Usually a foyer doesn't have any more than one large piece of furniture (bench, ottoman, console...), but once that piece is established, you have to build the rest of the foyer around it.  A piece of art in a foyer is key.  It adds color and left to what can be a very cold space.  If you've got a console, a bowl and plant, maybe a lamp are all decorative and functional items to have on top. Just be careful not to clutter up your foyer with too much stuff--that kind of greeting can make guests feel cramped and uncomfortable.

Be sure to address your entryway floor.   It can be hard to spend the money on a nice area rug for a foyer because it can quickly get dirty in such a high traffic area.  You have to consider, though, that the floor of the entry is a big part of what guests see as they enter.  A small accessory or lamp might be missed in the overall feel of the room but a blank floor will leave it feeling unfinished.  A rug warms things up and, for practicality sake, helps with sounds absorption and dirt-tracking. :)

Be sure to consider your overhead lighting in a foyer.  Because there are so many sizes and shapes of entryways, the lack of walls in your foyer may limit you on the number of place to add furniture.  In this scenario, the overhead pendant is your hardest working piece.  A foyer pendant has the ability to transform the room by not only adding light but adding art and movement.  We view lighting as art because it's sculptural so we place a lot of value on good lighting.  Don't go cheap.  Find a light that you're proud of!

If there's anything we can impart on you today, it's that your foyer should be tidy and inviting.  So if it's a collection of shoes, mail, and bags, you may want to re-think what pieces are in the space and how it's used.  Remember--best foot forward!

Fall is in the Air | Decorating your Fireplace

If you live in Florida like we do, you may have a fireplace that you never use.  For some this is because it's simply too hot and there's really never a need for a fire.  For others, it's because they haven't kept up with the scheduled maintenance of their fireplace so it's just not safe to start a fire in it.  Either way, you are in a scenario where you have an un-used space in your home.  We hate un-used spaces.  To make it worse, most fireplaces are a focal point in a room, so an un-used one that sits there empty year-round can really be an eyesore.  We never want you to have un-used space in your home--visually or functionally, so today we're discussing ways that you can put that fireplace to good use and make it a focal point you'll want to look at!

A lot of the time, a fireplace is messy.  It's got ashes and soot and who knows what else that has fallen in from the chimney, so people don't want to deal with it and just put a fire gate in front of it to make it all go away.  Mistake #1!  If you're gong to use your fireplace on a regular basis, ok, we can make an excuse for that, but if you're not, you've got no reason to clean that up!  Get your shop vac and put your gloves on and get that fireplace clean.  Then! Once it's all clean, paint it!.  Whether you've got brick, a mixture of wood & stone, or tile, a nice coat of white paint can really transform a dingy old fireplace.  Of course, this may mean you'll have to paint the walls white as well, but we like this look so we say do it!  Once you've painted your fireplace, you have a clean slate for any sort of decorative item you choose to place in it.

Greenery is a great fireplace filler.  We know, this may sound weird, but greenery is always a nice way to liven up a dull area.  Greenery brings life, texture and color to a space.  It's also versatile in shape, so no matter what size or style of fireplace you're trying to fill, there's some sort of greenery that can work for you.

Aside from greenery, there are other forms of nature that can work in a fireplace.  Stacked logs are currently on-trend to fill un-used spaces in a variety of room types.  This option is nice because it's earthy and fragrant and also creates texture, but the logs can last a while and don't have to be burned.  Maybe the stacked log look isn't for you but you do appreciate natural forms. Trying using a large piece of knotty driftwood as a sculpture in your fireplace (once it's painted, of course).  This is a little cleaner and simpler but still offers an interesting focal point.

If you're not so interested in bringing the woodsy feel to your home but you'd still like to decorate your fireplace, try using it as a display area for various piece of art. Framed art can be leaned on the mantel and against the front of the fireplace or even in the back of the fireplace, if it's been cleaned like we suggested. :)  Leaning art can be mixed with stacked books or magazines as well to create various groupings and add texture.

When it comes to scale, try incorporating fewer larger items.  One big piece of art or one large sculpture or bowl to keep the look streamlined.  But keep in mind the size of your fireplace, mantel, and surround while selecting pieces that fit the appropriate scale.

Of course, if all of these items scare you, you can always use candles.  We'll warn you, candles can be messy but the can give the look of ambient fireplace lighting without the maintenance of a wood-burning fire.

Designer Tips | Decorating Kids Rooms Without Breaking the Bank

Last week we talked about design ideas for teens and looked at everything from bed size to color combinations to seating options.  This week, we're discussing the younger crowd--the crowd that will still let you decorate their room and have most of the say over how it looks--the babies & toddlers.  Kids aren't little for long and don't always have the trust in your decision making that they do with they're babies & toddlers, so take advantage!  Obviously, because this time period isn't forever and there will come a time when they want to decide what their rooms look like, don't break the bank either.  This week we're discussing some crafty, money saving options for decorating kids rooms!

The walls are going to be the place to get your biggest impact and they're also going to be the largest canvas.  Wall decor isn't just paint and art anymore--there are other ways to decorate walls and they're not always that expensive.  If you know us, you know our first suggestion for walls is going to be the use of wallpaper.  Although, this time, not in the same way that we've suggested it for adult spaces in the past.  Wallpaper in kid rooms can be used creatively to where you don't need much of it and it can create a one-of-a-kind piece of decor that only your child has.  Use wallpaper to back bookshelves to add a little pattern, cut out a shape (or shapes) and apply it to the wall that way instead of in rolls.  Or, if you'd prefer something a little less permanent, try wall decals.  Just like wallpaper, these come in a variety of patterns but can be pealed off the wall fairly easily.  Create your own pattern on the wall or ceiling or even on the front of a piece of furniture.   

Closet doors are no longer being treated as a separate entity from the wall, so don't overlook this area when decorating walls.  Closet doors can handle the same application that the walls do or even something a little more unique and special to make them coordinate with the walls.  Either way, include the doors!

Washi tape is also a fun way to add pattern and different colors to the walls.  Washi tape is almost like a painters tape where it can be applied to something and, when removed, it doesn't leave any adhesive behind.  It's a little thinner than painters tape but still has a good stick.  It's also very inexpensive ...almost like a decal.  If you're one who can get creative with patterns, washi tape might be just the thing you'd love to decorate your kid's room.

Finally, decals are a super easy way to add pattern.  They come in small geometric shapes that, just like wallpaper, can be applied to the wall or ceiling.  But they also come in larger scale mural-style images--trees and clouds, even people.  Regardless of the style direction you're taking your child's room, you can most likely find a decal that will coordinate, make a big impact, and cost very little.

Making your own artwork may sound scary but it doesn't have to be.  Fabric comes in all sorts of patterns and colors, just like wallpaper, so this can easily be your artwork.  An inexpensive frame and some fun fabric can instantly brighten up a space.  Get creative with how you frame it, too.  Instead of just framing one small piece or even one large piece, frame multiple pieces and hang them in a gallery wall look the make a big impact.

Don't forget about going back to basics to save money, either.  Re-purposing a piece of furniture that you used in another space--a fresh coat of paint still works wonders.  Or, swapping out some hardware to jazz things up a little--dresser hardware, closet hardware, or even door hardware.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it!  Your kids are only little once and, like we said earlier, there isn't a whole lot of time in their lives that they'll let you have complete control of their rooms so take advantage!