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Spring Decor: Season Change, and so Can Accessories

If you’re like me, skin-tingling excitement occurs as you pull the box of summer clothes out of the storage, and put away the sweaters for the season. Spring, summer, it’s like the whole world comes alive. Leaves sprout, flowers bloom, the laughing of kids playing in the streets returns. 


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Photo Credit: Traditional Family Room by San Francisco Architect Gast Architects

This year, consider projects that allow you to bring the changing seasons indoors. Think “convertible decor”. With smartly-chosen palettes for draperies, pillows and accessories; you can bring summer out of storage in a big way.

“Oh look. Summer. Time to pull the other pillow cases out, put the other curtains up, and…”

It’s great to clean seasonally. Freshen the place up, get rid of clutter. Wash those decorative pillowcases and get the dust out of draperies. Why not change them up at the same time?

Transforming Spaces with Accessories Colors

Depending on wall colors and other surroundings, you have a lot of accessory choices. Maybe in hectic summer months you want light, cool pastels in simple designs without flashy bold patterns. 

Maybe in winther when you’re more likely to be walloped by oppressive weather, you might want to embrace boldness and brightness, to liven up your indoors since you know you’ll be stuck behind the windows more often.

Think of what the seasons mean to you. Do you need a winter pick-me-up? Is summer about relaxing? Imagine what colors and designs might be appealing to you.

Love Affair with Your Home

I bought end-of-season items before Christmas so I could get a fresh look when the spring came around. My director’s chairs on my deck have been given the Caribbean treatment and my living room pillows are soon getting bright florals for summer.

Convertible room schemes aren’t about impressing your guests or staying up with the times. It’s about making your space bright, fresh, fulfilling, and keeping things interesting. It’s about keeping the love affiar with your home alive and fun.

You don’t need to blow your wad on expensive pillowcases or drapes, since we all know they’re even more enjoyable when you score them on sale. They just have to be attractive, work together and offer a nice change of scene. Go ahead, keep them for more than a single season’s use, as they’ll feel “new” when you take them out after six months of hiding. It’s not like the trend police will beat down your door because you’re using 2012’s look.


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Photo Credit: Contemporary Living Room by Dublin Architect Optimise Design

Accessory Swap

The accessory-swap is a smarter way to go than redecorating every couple of years. It’s budget-friendly, environmentally friendly and you can always easily donate or sell pieces you tired of.

If you’ve got convertibility in mind, you need to pick a great paint color that isn’t going to disappear from the market after a season (like when teal or orange have been “the color of the year” and then you can’t find a thing made with those palettes after the season passes).

An interesting neutral or classic tone on the wall will be the backdrop to a world of patterns and color combinations for your accessorizing. This doesn’t mean only using “shades of beige”. Olive green has been a popular color since the ’70s. So have shades of blues and earth tones and pastels. Is it a color that’ll work for the next five years and that you see fabrics and accessories in regularly? Then great. It’ll do.

Seasonal Artwork Framing and Area Rugs

There are other places you’d be best off remaining neutral, too. Like when you’re framing artwork. Getting vibrant mats or frames that play off the artwork rather than simply defining the art may wind up working against your being able to easily transform the look of your space by switching out pillows, drapes, and other accessories.

An area rugs’ flexibility is also a consideration when you’re making a rug purchase. Sure it goes with your stuff now, but will it be easily adapted to other schemes down the line?

If you’d like to be able to swap your space as seasons arrive, a mix of ongoing neutrals can act as a nice foil for a variety accessory looks is the way to maximize your paint choices and investment pieces for the long-haul while never getting stuck with just one look year-round. 

Don’t just live in your space, love it. Have fun by keeping things fresh and embracing change every few months. 

(You’re reading Spring Decor: Seasons Change, And So Can Accessories originally posted on Build Direct Blog)

Emerald: 2013 Color of the Year

Every December, designers of all creeds impatiently wait for Pantone’s (the world leader in color) announcement of its new color of the year. Whatever color is announced is present in all the fashion and decor of the following year. For 2013, Pantone® chose emerald as its color of the year.

Here’s what the Pantone® press release has to say about emerald:

Photo: Emerald Steps | Uploaded by Pinterest User: Donita Paul via Decorative Communications

Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.”

So, for all you fashion-minded decorators out there, how should you use emerald in your home decor? Here are some suggestions:

Emerald in the Kitchen

What rooms of the house would use emerald at its best? The kitchen, for one, is one of the best places to use shades of green. Thinking of redoing your backsplash with a pretty mosaic (all the rage these days)? Choose one that uses emerald in its color scheme, along with other warm shades of green and yellow.

If you need to add to your dinnerware, emerald is a good color choice. Not only will it make your food look more appetizing, but it will also add a dash of sophistication to your table. Green dinnerware will look great on a white tablecloth, but will work just as well with yellows, grays and even turquoise.

For the more daring, an accent wall in emerald will do wonders for your kitchen or dining room. It will inspire calm and bring back nature to meal times.

Emerald in the Living Room

Emerald can be used in different moods and styles, depending on the colors it’s paired with. To enhance the sophistication of emerald, use it with neutrals like gunmental, pewter and beige. Paint an accent wall in emerald with a grey couch in front of it, along with emerald accessories all over the room.

Emerald can also bring you back to your childhood’s country cottage. Remember that old dark green couch that squeaked every time someone sat on it? Paired with colors such as red and blue, emerald inspires the quiet and “old but loved” feeling of the country cottage. Green, red, blue and yellow are typical colors of the traditional tartan; use this to inspire a decor that gives you a sense of heritage.

As an accent color, emerald works well with brown, burgundy and warm yellow. It adds a daring splash of nature-inspired color to any neutral-based decor.

Emerald in the Bathroom

Another room where green has a great place is the bathroom. Along with shades of blue and gray, emerald will bring a instant touch of freshness and sophistication to the bathroom. Keep the blues muted and mixed with gray, and use emerald as an accent in the backsplash or shower tile, with plants (I love to add one of those small potted bamboos on the counter) or with hand towels. 

Emerald is a great color for your soap tray-glass-toothbrush holder kit. I like to use these accessories to change the mood of my bathroom periodically, without spending a fortune. If you add a shower curtain that uses emerald, you can transform your bathroom for less than $100.

Emerald in the Bedroom

It’s easy to add a dash of emerald in your bedroom, especially if your decor already uses neutrals. Emerald bed linen, a few cushions or even a new coat of emerald paint on your furniture will give your bedroom a dash of sophistication or of nature, depending on your style. A potted plant with dark green leaves or emerald curtains will make any bedroom feel more organic.

If you want to go all in and redecorate, using emerald as a main bedroom color is a great choice if you value calm, healing and renewal. No wonder green is a popular color in hospitals! (Not that we want your bedroom to look like a hospital room.) If you decide to plant your walls in emerald green, keep one of the walls in a neutral beige to avoid the “oppressive forest” feeling. Use colors found in nature, like brown and sand as accents. A few pops of bright colors like pink, blue and yellow will remind you of flowers growing on the forest floor. 

Decorate With Intention: Nourish Your Creativity at Home


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Photo: Going Home To Roost. Whether you knit, sew, paint, write or craft, chances are that you find it challenging to squeeze in as much creative time as you would like. It is all too easy to allow our schedules to be filled to the brim with obligations to others, but the fact remains that when we take the time to do the things that feed our creative spirits, we feel better. When fall approaches, and the coziness of home beckons once again, it’s the perfect time to take up your chosen craft (or try something new).

These 11 ideas and beautiful, inspiring spaces will help spark your creativity, get you out of any ruts and support your craft side.

No more excuses! Avoid distraction and make the most of limited time

Even if you can set aside only 10 or 15 minutes, if you make them count – and repeat daily – you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. While it’s true that some projects require a few longer dedicated work times, if we are being honest, mostly “I have no time” is just another way to procrastinate.

If creating is important to you, you probably can find the time. Set yourself up for success by avoiding easy access to the Internet and turning off all of your devices during dedicated creative work times – and let those you live with know how important this this time is to you.

If you need a big, open space, make it happen

If what you really need is an expansive surface to spread out on and you don’t have a dedicated place with one, don’t let that stop you. It’s perfectly all right to call dibs on the dining room or kitchen table between meals, provided you can clear your work to the side relatively easily. Keeping a cabinet or drawers nearby will make it easy to sweep things off the table in a hurry.

Feeling stuck? Take a time-out for exercise

The next time a creative block hits, try taking a brisk walk, settling into a few yoga poses or lifting weights – anything to get your blood pumping. Exercise gives your mind a rest from actively thinking about your creative problem while improving circulation (and likely your mood). The best ideas can bubble up spontaneously during these time-outs, pulling you out of your rut in a much shorter time than if you had been trying to force an idea to come. 

Find a corner to call your own

Whether it is a small table pulled up to a sunny window, a closet that can be curtained off from the rest of the space, a tiny unused nook or a cabinet with a work surface hidden inside, it is important to find somewhere that lets you fully commit to your creative practice. There will be times when you must leave your work in the middle of a project, and it is so helpful if you can leave some of your materials out rather than needing to clean up completely every time. Don’t fret if the only space you can find is a bit out of the way – sometimes a desk with a spectacular view is not as conductive to good work as a tiny nook, where you can focus your energy on the task at hand.

Make sure you have easy access to your materials

If you need to hunt and dig every time you want to work on your craft project, chances are that it’s not going to happen as often as you would like. It’s not necessary to keep every last item on display, but putting frequently used tools in an easy-to-grab spot is key. Fill an open-top bin or basket with your materials and store it in the room where you like to work.

Let your entire space reflect your creative passions

There is something to be said for having an entire studio devoted to your art (of course), but for most of us, finding creative space within the rest of our home is just how it goes. But that doesn’t mean you must confine your creativity to one zone – in fact, the more you can integrate mini creativity spots throughout your space, the more likely it is you’ll be tempted to make something. Try displaying your guitar on a stand in the living room, keeping pretty fabrics or luscious yarns in open cubbies, and stashing a stack of fresh notebooks and nice pens near your favorite chair.

Know when you need privacy

This tip is especially pertinent for those living with kids or roommates. Even if you have a large space, if others are constantly interrupting to ask you questions or chat, you need to find somewhere more private. Taking over part of your own bedroom with a worktable and an inspiration board could be the ideal solution. If you want to be really tricky, you can even pretend you are still sleeping – and squeeze in a little creative time first thing in the morning before anyone knows you are up.

Mood matters: Your creative space should inspire you

While it is true you should minimize distractions during creative time, that doesn’t necessarily mean you ought to work in a completely unadorned room, either. Tap into what fuels your creativity and bring more of that into your space. Consider a small stereo if you enjoy music while you work, textiles or vintage objects that spark your imagination, an inspiration board where you can collect your ideas, and book you love; even fun wallpaper or a vibrant wash of paint can enhance your mood and help juice your creative spirit.

Entice yourself with inspiring quotes

I am a big believer in the power of words, and an apt quote has helped me out of a creative rut many times. Keep a rotating selection of favorite quotes, says, song lyrics and lines of poetry on a chalkboard or pin board, or simply taped to your wall for a quick boost whenever you need it.

Know that moments of humor in your decor make creativity flow

Keep the mood light in your creative space with a cheeky, fun touch like a decorated or “dressed” sculpture, a cheapo vintage portrait that you have drawn a mustache on or any object that brings a smile to your face.

Be open to creativity in all areas of your life

Creativity permeates everything we do, from our conversations with friends to preparing dinner for our families. Approaching everyday tasks with a creative outlook makes our daily life richer and more satisfying.