Design Tips | Pulling a Family Room Together

Aside from the kitchen, the Family Room is one of the most important rooms in the house. It’s where your family gathers for all sorts of events and occasions and is most likely an area that you enjoy being in. That’s why we think it’s important for the family room to be a space that is comfortable but also durable while also just being pretty! If you have to be in it a lot and are looking at the things in the space, make them enjoyable to be surrounded by! As with every space, there are layers that should go into a family room. We’ve broken them out below to give you some food for thought the next time you decide to redecorate.

Add textured fabrics. This little tidbit is pretty much a standard piece of advice that we give for any room…except maybe the bathroom. But texture in general is huge for us! Texture is what adds depth and interest to any space. A family room in particular will have fabric on multiple applications — drapery, seating, pillows, blankets, so you have lots of ways to add texture in. The nice thing about texture in a family room is that it often does well hiding “use”. Not all, but many textured fabrics have shadows that are created by the high-low effect of the texture and these shadows help disguise dirt! So plus, plus! Visually interesting AND practical!

79b23a6aa68081f7f5dbcea102cbb081.jpg



Mix neutrals. If you’re like us and you gravitate towards neutrals (which isn’t uncommon in a “common area”), then this tip will hopefully help you boost your use of them. The colors that we consider neutral range from the blacks, whites, ivories, and charcoals to tans, beiges and browns, but also include denimy blues and navy. So this is actually a good thing in a family room because, if you want to use all neutrals but you know whites, tans, and beiges are not going to be practical for your family, you’re in luck. Mixing in some brown, grey, and even a darker blue will all work together! This mix of color with allow you ways to hide dirt and spills (if used wisely) while also giving your room some visual depth by bringing in a variety of darks and lights.

622b36060dc0c2ca861b7b2ea6962c51.jpg




Include moveable pieces. This tips is purely for functionality. We all know that a family room is a space where there could be 3 people hanging out or 10. Family move nights happen there but so do birthday parties and game nights. So, in order to accommodate varying amounts of people, include smaller pieces of furniture that are easily moved. This could be small accent tables for drinks or even ottomans for additional seating. You know how your family uses your space best so you may need more of less of these, but we’re pretty sure that including a couple of these elements will come in handy regardless of who you are!

c6deb4fca80e7356a313f949c7efd1ea.jpg


Patterned Rugs hide a lot! One big impact piece that will definitely get a lot of wear in a family room is the area rug. From spills to foot traffic to pets, a family room rug will take a beating. You can approach selection of this piece from different angles — some want to spend the money on it so it will hold up while others feel that a less expensive rug is best since it will likely get replaced often. Either approach is fine, however when it comes to style, we recommend something with pattern. Pattern doesn’t have to mean something crazy and in your face but it does usually mean a variation in color that will hide the use. Larger scale patterns are often better but that’s not to say that some smaller scale patterned rugs couldn’t work too.

174066a8fa160931a7000e7b5088a844.jpg


Consider fabric type for practicality. As we’ve already discussed, family rooms are high traffic areas as well as multi-purpose spaces, it’s important to consider the best type of fabrics for use in a space like this. While the color and pattern and texture all matter, the material makeup is important too! Linens and silks are beautiful but not practical. Leather is great for repelling spills but can be scuffed and torn. Oftentimes a blend of natural material and synthetic fibers (like polyester) work well for durability. Wool is easy to clean and cotton is washable. Also consider selecting fabrics coated with crypton —the liquid will literally bead up and roll off — it’s where a lot of fabrics are going.

Overall, the family room is an important space. It has a lot of boxes that need to be checked off to make it right but it is possible! Fabric options are endless and there’s no reason you should have to sacrifice comfort, durability, or style in a space like this!

Design Trends | Decorating Trends for 2019

It’s hard to believe we’re already almost a month into 2019. It’s a new year and if you’re like us, you’re wanting a fresh look for your home. We know we’ve all been bitten by the redecorating bug hard— most of us have started projects at our own homes in addition to working on our projects. Usually we’re like the shoemaker’s kids and neglect our own homes to focus on our clients but we’re all ready for a little change. Anyway, all that to say, if you’ve been bitten too and you’re looking for some fresh ways to update your home, there are some trends you can use as guidelines to make sure your updates last.

The first item is something we’ve been doing for years so it’s not technically new, but we do like that it will be a focus of 2019. Texture! Layers and layers of different textures will be hot this year. Most people think of fabrics when they think of textures but we’re actually talking about casegoods too. Casegoods with inlay of shell, bone, and mirror will be popular along with casegoods wrapped in the shagreen (kind of a leathery texture). What out nightstands, dressers, and consoles! Texture is coming for you!

d18eb845befc7001d646df72bec03e28.jpg

Emerald green is going to be a hot color this year. That rich, dark, earthy green. It’s going to be big and it’s going to be good! More and more upholstered pieces will be available in emerald (most in a velvet, making it even more lush) so don’t be scared to incorporate a little bit of it throughout!

9a7af2e39778fc86eba72c678211f3cf.jpg

Speaking of upholstery— more and more furniture will come with a curved back and sides which is kindof a big deal. For SO long, the track arm, square back look has been what people want so moving away from that to the curved back is a major shift. Of course, the track arm, square back pieces will always be classics but don’t be surprised at the curved back options available to you!

d0d030f06c841c2e1e9d583605eb18af.jpg

Natural wood tones were becoming popular in bathroom and kitchen cabinets in 2018 but there will be more and more of them in 2019. This earthy look that keeps things a little more natural is on its way up. It seems like we’ve gone through all the painted colors for kitchens and bathrooms so why not go back to the wood look just in a lighter stain?!

0031bbb037fc0da1ab7a1c8f467fc086.jpg

Finally, a focus on windows will be big this year. People are beginning to see windows as the architectural details they can be and are bringing attention to them by painting out the trim in a contrast color like black or even replacing them altogether with the steel framed windows.

360e2d56a80f49ec8957ae666fd02445.jpg

We’re excited about 2019 and what it has in store! Be sure to keep stopping in to see what we’re up to!

Design Tip | A Lesson In Styling

There are many aspects to design but one skill a good designer has is the ability to style a space. Beautiful fabrics and finishes and architectural details are the backbone of a well-designed space but the styling is what really completes the ensemble and makes it feel livable. While a pristine, model-home type room is beautiful to look at in pictures, it doesn’t evoke the I-want-to-live-there feeling that a well-styled space does.

Styling is hard to teach because it has a lot to do with eye and trusting your gut but there are some guidelines that can be help in styling a space well.

The first good guideline is considering the impact of color. Some pieces used in styling are really just filler —the fill a void and are “background” decor. They keep the space from feeling empty or unfinished. However, there are pieces that add warmth too. Greenery is great warmth-giving decorative element. There is also something to be said for incorporating little pops of color in styling. A fun pillow(s) or blanket. Maybe a sculpture or small piece of art that’s unexpected and plays well off of the other colors in the room. The little surprise pieces should just make you feel satisfied when you see the space because it looks complete.

3a5978d595bee69b606efd89dfbd3c66.jpg
030459c69e42ea9cc048d7886841cbe5.jpg

Don’t be afraid to mix a little old with new. Many people get a few new things and then want everything to be brand new because the old items look dingy or dated. This is true sometimes but when done right, meaning, a lot of editing, it can be really impactful. You can make an antique piece that has a lot going for it into a focal point. Mixing seems to work well when using antiques next to more modern items— the clean lines juxtapose the vintage piece nicely and often create just enough tension to bring a room to life.

9675363d66d761db582291c5edc4d055.jpg

The final, most important guideline is not to be afraid of imperfections. Everything has a birthmark…whether it’s a piece of furniture or a wall, almost nothing is absolutely perfect. This can be maddening for some but it really can add character to a space. You can choose whether or not you want to highlight these imperfections or just let them be a layer. Either way, don’t stress about it, it makes it unique!

ab9baef00db66a8287e77c71831b98fd.jpg


6c3c450c2647607c98527123288fe62d.jpg

Design News | Pantone's Color of the Year 2018

So we're over here scratching our heads because we've been designing our little hearts out and just realized that we haven't been using Panetone's Color of the Year.  What do you think that means?  

For the last couple of years the hot color was millennial pink.  It's subtle and mature and perfect for an adult but also works great in a little girl's room.  It's a very versatile color for what it is and we really love it.  Pantone's pick was Greenery for 2017-- a bright green that felt very modern.  It worked for certain applications but definitely wasn't our go-to color.

This year, however, the pick is Ultra Violet- an intense, grape-crayon purple.  What?!  We don't mind a subtle lavender or even a grey-ish purple like this:

85039c713291fc781b8fb11d0887c14a.jpg

...but a bright, in-your-face purple called Ultra Violet is a little confusing for us.  We'd even say that we don't mind a little bit of this purple mixed in the right pattern with some other calm colors to balance it out, but we're not quite ready for an entire room of it.

What are your thoughts?

96db8ebbc703285b56821c04d44bd7a3.jpg
114bd763f5d76b580ab5bf9708c8df00.jpg
507354785840fbbe7edf7dfa17277879.jpg
a3c6fe18c365acc88db3857fee204d17.jpg

Have you been seeing a lot of purple furniture in stores and wondered why?  Here's your explanation!  Hopefully the 2019 color is a little more useable.  For now, we'll stick with Millennial Pink and by pass Ultra Violet.

Pinpointing Your Home's Style Direction | The Question To Ask

Many people get confused about what style they like best.  They are conflicted because they like a variety of looks and can't seem to pinpoint the one that they want to commit to.  Because of that, it is common for homeowners to feel like their homes don't look finished or pulled together and it's frustrating.  The beauty of design is that it's ok if it incorporates a mix of styles.  Homes that aren't cookie-cutter or too "model-home ish" are comfortable and unique.  A home that's too perfect doesn't feel like a home.  And when your home has  it's own special mix of styles, you know there's no other home quite like it.  Homes should also be a reflection of people who live in them. It's not a design faux paux to have a home that reflects your personal taste, no matter what the design magazines say.  If you love it, that's all that matters.  You live in it!  Styles and tastes can bed edited, or refined, though, so don't think we're just saying that it's ok to put whatever wherever.  

a2009a93191fa1ed4c467d62a88040a0.jpg

However, we think that the best place to start when trying to pinpoint your home's style direction is by asking yourself how you want your home to feel.  Feelings can be different from person to person but this simple question gives you a very clear starting point.  If you want your home to feel comfortable and cozy, you probably won't decorate with super modern furniture that has hard lines and is somewhat sterile feeling, even if you love that look in a magazine.

Aside from how you want your home to feel to you, there's also the question of how you want others to feel in your home.  Some people are super concerned about their guests being relaxed in their homes.  They might have house guests a lot and accessibility and comfort are the most important things to them.  While others might entertain a lot and while they want their home to look and feel finished, flow and ease of passage throughout the common areas is super important to them.

A lot of times, the way you desire your home to feel will affect color choices as well.  If you want it to feel cozy, you may go with warmer color choices.  Whereas, if you want it to feel breezy and open, you may select brighter whites and cool color choices.

f9f2bc35e2a2e0ed396e2113a0392919.jpg

Oftentimes, the way people determine that they want their home to "feel" is an immediate reflection of their general style so once they determine their home's feeling, taking the style direction que while also incorporating their own personal likes is much easier and comes more naturally.

60f8d90a587dffc97de836924f31165d.jpg

We think the most important thing is that you love your home, though!  A home is a monetary investment and a time investment but it also plays a large part in whatever journey you are on.  Once you are happy with the way your home looks and feel relaxed in it, it can quickly become your retreat from the world...which is something we think everyone needs!  So don't neglect it or yourself!