above CHARLOTTE PERRIAND
Being at home should be a positive experience but if you find yourself looking for ways to get out of the house rather than ways to enjoy yourself while there, you might want to consider buffing up your domestic act with one or more of the following improvements. If your home is a drain on your energy, maybe it’s time for a change.
Fabric is one of my favorite ways to update and refresh a tired space. Reupholstering the sofa, dressing the windows, slipcovering the chairs, and having some coordinating throw pillows done up will revive a tired room into something wonderful, and quite possibly without buying anything else.
above JEFFREY BILHUBER
Combining fabrics and pattern is tricky. If you’re a person who shies away from pattern, using high quality fabrics will be your best bet. You can start with a striated fabric that has color variations; add a subtle, wide, tone-on-tone stripe; then a simple ribbed texture; and maybe a velvet or mohair in a slightly darker color. Instead of pattern, use texture, contrast and color to add visual interest. Prices for high quality fabrics for windows and slipcovers begin around $60 a yard and fabrics for upholstery begin around $80 a yard.
above via HOUSE BEAUTIFUL
For those who like prints, start with a faded floral fabric on your sofa; add two chairs in a rich chenille texture with contrasting welts; pillows in an awning stripe; and more pillows in a soft wool plaid or smaller floral. I’m not a big fan of checks, though I do like wool or cotton plaids a la Ralph Lauren.
above COWTAN AND TOUT
Every ten years or so, have one or two fresh coats of paint applied to your interior walls. Color trends evolve. Remember Navajo White? It’s now passé. Whites are generally cooler now, with more gray. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Dunn Edwards offer beautiful designer colors while Pratt and Lambert, Fine Paints of Europe, and Farrow and Ball offer high end finishes and high pigment content.
above HAYNES ROBERTS
For walls always go with a flat finish in the public rooms and master bedroom; satin or eggshell in bathrooms, kitchen and children’s areas; and gloss or semi-gloss on cabinetry, doors, windows and casing. If “white paint” isn’t your idea of redecorating, choose your colors carefully. Today’s homes have open floor plans and they usually don’t look right with multiple changes in color without the visual dividers of doorway frames.
Light colors like cool, pale yellow, pale gray-blue, and light celadon green are good options for colors that “travel” well from room to room. Reds, terra cottas and other dark, warm colors are much harder to work with in an open floor plan. They are easier to work with however, in bathrooms and bedrooms which are visually divided from the rest of the public areas. I like to do a warm white ceiling with white crown molding to separate it from the color of the walls. Red paints trends have changed from the “Nars Red” of the nineties to the current reds today which are muted with bit of “brick”.
above via LONNY
above NICK OLSEN
With a 1-Day Makeover for the Home…
A great way to improve and beautify your home is to give it a makeover. A makeover is economical because it saves you from unnecessary purchases. It helps you make the most of what you already have. Once your makeover is complete, you’ll see what purchases are truly needed.
J. RANDALL POWERS above via ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST
for the living room usually take one day while the other rooms take half days.
Experiment with furniture placement, placing the sofa and other large
furnishings first. Anchor conversation areas with furniture then create focal
points with accessories. Move things around till you get it right. Fireplaces
are natural focal points and are nicely balanced with an opposing sofa.
above via LUVRUMCAKE.tumblr
While accessories like pillows, baskets, throws, books, vases, pots, plants (faux and real), and lamps are comparatively inexpensive next to buying new furniture and window coverings, add them up and they are not necessarily a small expense. As an example, to prepare for a home tour a few years ago, I purchased new accessories to add to my existing ones in the living room, dining room, and master bedroom.
above via AGIRLANDHERPEARLS.tumblr
I purchased ten framed prints, five large decorative pots, two table cloths (for permanent use on living room tables), silver picture frames, and a small area rug. This supplemented the things I already had. The tour was a success and two years later, I’m still delighted with the changes in my home.
above GARY RIGGS
Take the accessory list below with you when shopping for accessories and only buy the styles of those on the list that truly resonate with you. As you shop try and keep in mind the style of your architecture and existing furnishings.
above O’HARA DAVIES GAETANO
If your personal belongings are collecting dust that never seems to get cleaned, if your spouse or children are embarrassed to have guests over, or if “Hoarders” has contacted you recently to guest appear in an upcoming episode (teasing) it’s time to reduce or repurpose.
above JEFFREY BILHUBER
Don’t take your unwanted stuff to the thrift store yet, however. Do a home makeover first. Start with the living room, work your way to the dining room, then the master bedroom, and so on. You’ll be amazed by the things you can repurpose in other areas of your home. Change is harder for some of us, but quality of life at home relies on healthy, sustainable changes. A home isn’t static. It needs regular attention to keep it functioning and attractive.
above via APARTMENT THERAPY
A Clean Sweep…
SHIREE’S list of FAVORITE ACCESSORIES
Aggregates and shells
Vintage baby cups and silver cigarette holders
Antler wall hangings
Plants/faux and natural/topiary
Dish collections for displaying
on walls and sideboards
above MRS. HOWARD’S PERSONAL SHOPPER