Decor

Three must have color matching apps for your smartphone

Smartphones put everything at our fingertips with a wide variety of helpful apps. The apps I tend to gravitate toward are those for home décor, specifically color matching apps. Color matching apps assist in selecting paint colors for a space by simply matching a color in a picture.  Today I’ll share with you my three must have color matching apps.

I am big advocate of selecting paint color from a loved piece of artwork, a rug or textile.  Having the ability to snap a photo and then search a database of colors from the top paint brands takes a little bit of the guesswork out of the color selection process. It’s not exact, but it offers a few solid options from which to operate.

color_snap

Color Snap by Sherwin Williams was the first color matching app I down loaded about 3 or 4 years ago.  I’ve used it to help select a color palette by snapping a photo of a scarf and selecting colors from it.  The app is free and lets you use an existing photo or snap a photo of a color using the app. You can then tap the color within the picture that you wish to match. The app will bring up a few suggestions for you.  You can personalize each of the suggestions by changing the hue, tint or saturation.  You may want a pink that is a shade or two darker than the roses you color matched.

ColorSmart-450x310

Color Smart by Behr is another color matching app that I swear by. It lets you explore colors, color match another color, and offers a chance to preview a color in a virtual room. It’s a fun tool to help visualize what a color may look like in your space.  Often people purchase a paint color and aren’t too sure about it, then after they have spent the time and money to paint a space they realize it isn’t working for them. This color match app will help minimize the risk.

Benjamin-Moore-Color-capture-4-Cactus-Flower

Color Capture by Benjamin Moore is another amazing color match app.  Like the other two, you simply take a picture or select one from your phone, and then tap on the colors in the image that you wish to match. Benjamin Moore takes it a step further by offering digital color chips for each of their collections. They have one that is 140 shades of off-white.  Can you imagine that many shades from which to pick? They also have a list of their products and a few tutorials to help you execute the project flawlessly.

Choosing a paint color is a fun process with these color matching apps.  A complete room is more than paint on the walls, though and adding a color coordinated pattern or two makes a room sing.  Sadly, I cannot locate an app that will offer ideas based on a color.  I may need to remedy that, but oh what a task that would be.

best places to buy pillows

My five favorite sources for new pillows

Today, I have compiled my five favorite sources for new pillows to help you easily find accent pillows and change the look of your living room with ease.  Changing out your accent pillows is an inexpensive way to give your living room or bedroom a face lift without the expense of new furniture.  I am always looking for ways to update a room with a limited budget and this is by far my favorite way to to do that.

HomeGoods 

Seriously, who doesn’t love HomeGoods?  They are a decorator’s dream place to shop and my top source for new pillows. There is always something to inspire and get the creative juices flowing. They sell a wide variety of styles and sizes and often in pairs of two. I have, in the past, picked up a new pair for as little as $20.00.  That’s $10 a pillow! I couldn’t even make a pair for that low price.

Five favorite sources for new pillows

images via HomeGoods & West Elm

 

The Little Market

Another source for new pillows is “The Little Market”.  It was founded by Lauren Conrad and features amazing handmade one of a kind items. Their mission is to work with artisans around the world and create sustainable partnerships that help lift women and children out of poverty. Each of their items are scouted and sourced. Not only do I love their mission, but I love the price points through out the site. Their pillow cases fall within the $30-$60 range, not bad for handmade, artisan craft work.  They are also great resource for one of kind gifts and unique things to treat yourself to.

Zara Home 

They are a Spanish fashion brand that branched out to sell home decor too.  They have been one of my go to labels for clothing, but their home goods are worth a nod. They tend to be a bit universal, leaning more toward the classic style, while still offering a few on trend items.  Right now, they are having an amazing summer sale with some pillows marked down by 50%; making them a source for new pillows worth checking out.

West Elm 

West Elm is a great place to scout any home decor needs as well as a fabulous source for new pillows and cases.  Their pillow casese are unique and come in 13 different colors, a variety of textures and patterns. I  like their selection of modern prints and artsy patterns.  Their pom pom pillow case is a must for our master this winter. It’s a great gray done in a soft velvet. Priced around $50 or so, they won’t they break the bank, but may still be a tad out of reach for those on super tight budgets.  If you need the insert or just a new case, West Elm can be a great source.

Furbish Studio

Furbish Studio has a great selection of young, hip modern patterns as well as classic motifs that will stand the test of time.  Their color and pattern selection is on trend with animal prints, fretwork, Ikat, blues, grays, pinks and yellows. The drawback is that they are a bit pricey for the average budget, but if you are looking to splurge they are worth checking out.

There you have my five favorite sources for new pillows.  I think I have captured a variety of styles and price points for you, making the task of choosing new pillows a pleasure.

 

Let’s talk signature colors

signature color collage

 

Let’s talk signature colors.  A signature color is a go to color, it’s a favorite color one often wears and/ or decorates with. It can be a nail color, a lip color or an accent color. It’s the color that makes you happiest. Whether decorating your home, or rounding out your closet, having a signature color makes life easier.

Easily my signature color is pink, and not just pink but magenta pink. I am not sure why, but magenta has always been the color I reached for. I remember it being my go to color from the box of Crayola’s as far back as kindergarten. There is something bold yet feminine about the rich vibrant pink.

Decorating with signature colors can be a challenge. So many other factors come into play. A bold color used predominately in a small room could be overwhelming if there is a lack of natural light. In a large room it could play nicely in the space. To be safe, I would suggest using a bold signature color as an accent with a neutral palette. Softer colors on the other hand would do well in either space, played up with accents of darker shades in the same hue to add personality and depth. Avoid too much of the monochromatic look as it could look a bit odd. A room done all in blue, blue walls, blue carpet, blue furniture is well, blue.

Dressing in signature colors makes pulling together a look a snap. It also makes shopping easy as you know what colors to gravitate too.  Just as you would not want your home done entirely in the same shade, you will want your outfits to incorporate your signature color with other coordinating colors.  I often pair pink with navy, black or denim. It keeps my look pulled together without being clownish. Just imagine what pink shoes, pick pants and a pink top would look like. It’s too much pink and pairing it with another color softens it.

Opting for your signature color for your nail polish and lipstick also makes life easier. My go to nail polish is Strawberry Margarita by OPI. It’s a nice hot pink for my nails.  I am not a huge lipstick wearer, but I love the demur look of the MAC’s Modesty. It’s not hot pink, but hot pink on my lips is too shocking.  Now, admittedly not all colors will play well in this arena. If you love green, then using it for your lipstick may not make much sense. In that case, pick another color you want to wear consistently.

My use of pink even comes into play with my stationery and choice of ink color.  It may be novel, but it does give my correspondence a distinct look. I use accents of pink in wrapping gifts and when entertaining too.

How would a signature color incorporate into your life?

Daydreaming of outdoor living spaces

Outdoor living spaces extend the living area of most homes in the summer and year round in the warmer climates. Here in Florida the backyard becomes the gathering place for the whole family almost year round. From outdoor living rooms to outdoor kitchens, it’s almost like having an entire second outdoor home.  Creating the ideal outdoor living space is a matter of knowing what functions your family needs and building around them.

outdoor living room

via flickr

The best-designed outdoor living spaces incorporate something for every member of the family. Furnishings have gone beyond the metal fold out lawn chair to smartly styled woven seating with gorgeous cushions. The outdoor kitchen is more than just the grill standing in the yard. Complete kitchens with storage, running water and electricity are becoming much more common even in the smallest of spaces.  Lighting is more than just the dinky overhead dome light in the porch ceiling, it’s now found in stylish fixtures designed to face the elements year in and year out.

My favorite outdoor living spaces incorporate a fireplace, a wading pool or spa with ample areas to sit and converse. The fireplace is perfect for chilly nights while the pool provides relief and entertainment in the warmer months. Let’s admit it, every space needs those well appointed seating areas too.

outdoor seating

via BHG

As we embark on another summer, I am planning to overhaul our small but intimate outdoor living space. We have a small slab of concrete that is accessible from our master bedroom and runs the width of the house with sliders opening to the kitchen area. Despite being barely big enough to fit a table and chairs, it is still feasible to have a relaxing space for entertaining, even if it’s just the two of us. Working with a limited budget, I am constrained in the outdoor living features I’d like to add, but alas a girl can dream.

via HGTV

via HGTV

The dream is to build the outdoor kitchen and install the pool, two features that require a sizable budget. Until money is no object, I will settle for small changes that may or may not be affordable in the bubblegum budget.

OB-outdoor space mood board

I would love to add a loveseat sectional combo that allows us to lounge more easily just off our bedroom.  A great outdoor area rug would make the concrete less cold and more welcoming. The lanai needs outdoor curtains to keep the sun at bay in the morning and mosquito netting to deter the skeeters at night.  Obsessed with lighting fixtures, I would love to find a fabulous pendent to add a bit of style to an already run of the mill outdoor living space.

So, in lieu of the complete overhaul to include the pool, outdoor kitchen and expanded seating area, I will be cleaning the space and reworking it as best as possible, using mostly what I have at my disposal.

Check back next week for the before and after……..

The secrets of symmetry

You know a room works when the space has achieved symmetry.  Symmetry is just a fancy word for balanced. Simply put, a symmetrical room features visual weight in appealing manner.  The space is not chaotic, or busy.  Designers place each piece strategically with an overall symmetrical plan in mind. To understand how to achieve balance with your design plan, you first need to know the secrets of symmetry.

formal symmetry

photo via Thibault

Formal Symmetry

Formal symmetry, a hallmark of traditional design, is the easiest to achieve, as it is also the easiest to understand.  A loveseat with two identical tables placed on either side with matching lamps place on top is an example of formal symmetry.  If you were to draw a line down the middle of the loveseat, you would see one side is a mirror image of the other.  Formal symmetry relies on the repetitiveness of furnishings and accessories. You could further enhance the symmetry by adding identical throw pillows, one on each side, to the loveseat.  When using formal symmetry, it is important to find ways to add visual interest to avoid a monotonous look.

informal symmetry

Informal Symmetry

Informal symmetry, also known as asymmetry, is more about shaking things up a little.  If you took the same loveseat and traded out an accent table for a floor lamp, then removed one throw pillow and replaced it with another one in a coordinating fabric you would create an asymmetrical look.  Asymmetry is more taxing but it creates a more robust design in the end. Unlike formal symmetry, asymmetry avoids repetitive elements yet includes the lines, textures and colors with similar visual weight and appeal that a design plan requires. Today’s casual designs use the concept of asymmetry more often than that of formal symmetry.

radial symmetry

Radial Symmetry

Radial symmetry, summed up, is the use of a focal point and other repetitive elements radiating around it. A dining room table, for example, would be the focal point of your dining room with matching chairs flanked around it. Each chair, a duplicate of the one next to it, keeps the form and repetition consistent in the room.  This approach, rarely used in interior design, can work. For a more formal approach in a sitting room, for example, you could center a round ottoman and place matching wingback chairs, equal distances apart, on the perimeter of the ottoman.

Any of these three approaches will work well depending on the space and function of the room. For traditional symmetry, just remember each side of the room is a mirror opposite of the other.  End tables are the same, lamps are the same, and even the accent pillows are a match. For an informal look, remember each side of the room does not match the other. Keeping things within scale and complimentary is more important. Both of these are perfect for family rooms. Radial symmetry, on the other hand, is best reserved for the formal dining room or eat-in kitchen. It relies on the use of a set of matching chairs placed around a matching table.

I hope that the secrets of symmetry have taken the guesswork out of creating your next floor plan. It may seem complicated but really, it isn’t with a little consideration.