inspiration

The Color of 2015!

It's that time again - Pantone has named the Color of the Year! And, as I've done in the past, I'm posting a little inspiration via a collection of images showing how to bring this color into your home this year - we've got ideas from paint to rugs, and from chairs to toss pillows.

So, what's the color, you ask?

This year Pantone's Color of the Year 2015 is Marsala.

Pantone Color of the Year 2015

 

And here's a quick collage of images to give you an overall color story of the bold 2015 shade. The collage shows thumbnail images of the design and decor ideas that I'll explore further below!

Marsala Gallery

 

But before we delve into those, let's talk about the chosen color - Marsala! This color can be compared to the likes of maroon, burgundy, or even merlot (which, like marsala, shares its name origin in wine). I originally thought maybe I'd try to describe to you, in my own words, the marsala color.. but I think the following quotes from Pantone actually describe it best.

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.

Pantone Color Story

Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture.

So, let's explore some ideas of how you can use this color in your home!

One of the most popular ways this year will likely be through textiles, as we've seen this color make it's rise in fashion textiles too! So, think rugs, throw blankets, pillows, upholstery fabrics, etc.

Trellis Rug

 

Floral Rug

 

Flat Weave Rug

 

Throw Blanket

Chevron Toss Pillow

Upholstered Sofa

 

Speaking of fashion, you could even spice up your wardrobe with a simple accessory in the earthy color - like this cozy scarf!

Scarf

 

Or, if you are pretty confident in color, you could use this rich color on the walls or large surfaces of your space - like paint, wallpaper and even kitchen cabinets.

Wall Paint

 

Wallpaper

 

Kitchen Cabinets

 

And, we couldn't talk about design without talking about furniture, so here are a few ideas!

Barstool

 

Tufted Ottoman

 

Garden Stool

 

Zig Zag Pouf

Cafe Chairs

Chest of Drawers

 

Ottoman with Nailheads

 

And, lastly, of course, one of the easiest ways to bring any color into your space is through accessories like artwork, photo frames, and even vintage books!

Artwork

 

Photo Frame

Vintage Books

 

So, what do you think? Do you love the color?

At first, I was a little underwhelmed by this year's color choice, but only after a short time, I'm really starting to love it. I love the tone of this color.. it is so sophisticated, earthy and rich.. with a bit of a vintage feel, and you know I love that!

Color of the Year!

With the announcement of Pantone's Color of the Year 2014, I decided to create a little inspirational post with a collection of images showing how to bring this beautiful color into your home this year - whether it be through paint, fabrics, furniture, decor, accessories, etc. This first collage of images shows a sampling of the home design and decor ideas explored in more detail below, but I included it specifically because it nicely illustrates the color story!


Radiant Orchid gallery of images.


But before we delve in, let's discuss the selected color - Radiant Orchid.. which is sorta just a fancy name for pinkish purple, hehe. But, its name really does express how this color is vibrant, feminine and beautiful!


Radiant Orchid


Pantone describes it like this: "Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple — one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health."

So, what do you think? Do you love the color?

I am not usually necessarily a huge fan of "girly" colors, or very bright colors for that matter, but I do have an appreciation for this hue and actually love it paired with darker purples and greys!

So, let's explore some ideas of how you can use this color in your home! Well, an easy way (if you aren't shy) is to use it boldly as paint on the walls!


Radiant orchid painted wall.


Radiant orchid bedroom.


But, if you'd rather introduce the color into your space in a more subtle way, here are varying shades of the daring color used in lighting.. no pun intended!


Glass lamp in radiant orchid.


Desk lamp in radiant orchid.


Gourd lamp in radiant orchid.


Of course, fabrics are a great way to bring this color into a space too! The first image below shows a beautiful color palette blending the Radiant Orchid color with darker, richer purple hues and a warm neutral hue, like grey.


Fabrics in radiant orchid colors.


Patterned fabric in orchid.


Floral fabric in orchid.


Duvet in orchid.


What about the furniture in the space? This color could create the perfect accent piece - one that will most likely also be a conversation piece!


Chair in orchid color.


Painted orchid dresser.


Club chair in orchid pattern.


This color even looks great outdoors against a lush green backdrop!


Garden furniture in orchid.


If brightly painted walls or boldly colored furniture isn't your thing, an easy way to bring in the Color of the Year is in your decor and accessories. These are the items in a space that can be changed out easily seasonally or yearly (you know, when next year's Color of the Year is announced, hehe). Simply mix in a little color with flowers, candles, toss pillows, etc.


Flowers in orchid color.


Glass candle in ombre orchid colors.


Pillow in orchid.


Votive candle in orchid color.


Toss pillow in a variety of orchid colors.


Flowers in radiant orchid.


And, if you actually like the idea of this vibrant color on your walls, but maybe you're not brave enough to paint a whole wall, then how about hanging up some bold modern abstract artwork representing the color!


Abstract art in radiant orchid color.


Abstract art in orchid and vibrant blue


Or, you could ground the space and make a statement with a large scaled area rug in this bold hue!


Trellis patterned rug in orchid.


Herringbone rug in orchid color.


Or, lastly, if you're really diggin' the Radiant Orchid Color of the Year, try designing a whole space around this vibrant color!


Interior space using radiant orchid color.


Well, what do you think? How might you use Radiant Orchid in your home this coming year?


Paint lids showing radiant orchid color palette.

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 3

Today, we are sharing just one more completed client project that we tackled earlier this year. This one is a tiny powder room with a big design! To save money, the clients requested limited changes to the existing fixtures. So, instead, we gave this space new finishes and added architectural interest. See the result!

Powder room vanity view


As you can see above, we designed and installed custom wall paneling painted in a crisp clean white to elevate the style of the space, and to add architectural interest to an otherwise small plain box. We then installed a classic, yet current, subtle graphic wallpaper on the top portion of the wall to give this powder room a little feel of luxury and sophistication!


Powder room window view


Check out the "before" image below showing this space when it was just a plain pale purple powder room. Say that three times fast! Anyway, the new powder room looks like a totally different space, and all without changing any of the existing bathroom fixtures!


Before image


Progress shot


I also included this progress shot above because you gotta love watching the transformation happen, and watching all the planning and designing come to life, right? That is absolutely one of my favorite parts of my job - seeing the design ideas on paper finally become a reality. And, thanks to my trades men and women for making it all look beautiful!

And, lastly, here are a couple detail shots of the space showing some of the decor and accessories that we used in the design to bring in color, texture, etc. Here you'll see the rich, handcrafted teak wood vanity mirror and the small collection of geometric pillar candles placed on the clients' silver tray.


Detail shot of mirror.


Detail shot of candles.


Well, as I mentioned in the first two posts of this series, please check back soon and visit our portfolio page for more shots of these and some of our other newly completed projects! There are angles and details to these spaces that you just haven't seen in these sneak peek photos!


Overall shot


Well, I hope you've enjoyed seeing what we've been up to over here at StudioVB. As always, we enjoy sharing. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 2

Monday we shared a recent dining room project with you. And today we are sharing a second project, a family room, that was completed earlier this year for some other lovely clients of ours. This project was a fairly large sized family room, but the design challenge here was that the space needed to accommodate several zones, or areas of different function - a tv watching area, a work space, and a children's play space. But, challenge accepted.. we were able to create and delineate these specific zones and still make the space feel open and cohesive. With a beautifully functional layout of space and a clean bold color palette, this space is one of my favorites this year! Take a look!


Family room view of ottomans


This family room got a pretty significant over-haul from top to bottom. The design included new bamboo flooring, freshly painted walls, and all new furnishings.. and I mean all! I don't believe any single piece of furniture, window treatment, etc. remained from the original space. These truly are the best kinds of projects - when we get to start from a blank canvas, so to speak. And, the transformation is always so much more rewarding for the client! Check out the snapshot below of the space before with seafoam blue carpeting, a slightly lighter seafoam blue wall color, and an assortment of tired old furnishings. What a difference, right?


Before image


Anyway, here's a few more sneak peek photos of the project, but definitely check out the portfolio page in the near future for more shots of this bright and fresh space. The clean lines of this large transitional sectional paired with pops of vibrant color in the pillows and bold pattern in the rug really create a dynamic space.


Family room side table view


This project actually lasted quite a long time.. with client decisions, contractor schedules, oh and me having a baby, I think this project stretched over almost 9 months. But, we had a ton of fun working on this project and, at the completion of the project, I even joked with the clients about how we are going to miss our Friday night date night.. uhem, I mean Friday night design meetings. =) They became such a staple in my week. Anyway, in pulling these photos together for the portfolio, I realized I miss something else from the days of this project...


Logan wearing Hayes


I miss my tiny little baby! This photo of Logan wearing Hayes was taken during installation of this project. Yep, this was Hayes' first time on the job! But I just couldn't believe how tiny and cute he looks here! Now he's a chunky monkey 9 month old. Wow, time flies!

Anyway, back to the project! In the photos below you'll see the three zones I mentioned earlier in the post. The first one shows the small and simple work space that is nestled into a small nook out of the way of the main living area and disguised from view just enough in case the desk ever gets a little messy!


Family room desk view


This next photo shows the children's play area situated perfectly in an alcove at the far end of the space. The clients have two adorable little kiddos and they needed a place to hang out on the floor, sprawl out their toys and just play! The comfy rug and floor pillows give them a soft place to play, and with the simple storage cubbies for all their toys and a cork board to display their artwork, this is the perfect little play space.. and it's stylish too!


Family room view of play area


And this last photo shows the tv watching zone, which from this angle you can also see doubles as a casual sitting area around the fireplace and the built-in bookshelves. With dual focal points, this area gets a ton of use from this family!


Family room view of built-in


Well, there's your sneak peak! Thanks for letting us share. Hope you love this space as much as we, and the clients, do! Check back later this week for one more tiny client project that we'll be sharing with you. And, as always, if you have a space that needs a total transformation, you know where to reach us!

An Earthy Fall Feel

It's hard to tell these days exactly what season we're in given the ever-changing weather, but I think it's safe to say that Fall is now well under way! So, to get in the spirit, I created an "Earthy Fall" themed Etsy Treasury (a member-curated shopping gallery)! And, as usual, we're sharing it with you here on our blog!

Check out some of the details below, or visit the Treasury on Etsy! Here's a quick snapshot of it!

Etsy Treasury Snapshot

Here are some close-ups of some of the Treasury items!

Rustic thankful sign.

Fall inspired pillow.

Yellow and grey yarn wreath.

Wood wall art.

Burlap table runner.

Felt pumpkins.

Well, there you go! Hopefully you're inspired to do a little Fall decorating just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

If you love any of these items, they can be found and purchased on Etsy! And, if you like what you see, don't be afraid to share our Treasuries!

More Powder to You!

It has been oh so long since we have updated our readers on the progress of any projects around our house. With busy summer schedules (and the pregnancy) unfortunately we hadn't been tackling too many of our own projects. However, lately we've been taking some time to focus on some of our ongoing design projects around the house. Personally, I think it's a little bit of the "nesting" bug that is starting to hit us, hehe! So anyway, we wanted to share with you the progress of our tiny powder room design. With the first few layers complete.. including the flooring, the paint color, and our DIY paneling project, it was finally on to some fun fixtures, accessories and art projects. In today's post, we'll share a few of the tasks we tackled in the design of our powder room and, of course, show off the final result!

Our Powder Room Reveal

Powder room left side

Powder room sink and accessories below

Final powder room shot.

Since it's a super small space, it's hard to get a good overall shot! So, below are some detail shots!

As you scroll down, you'll notice that for this space we DIYed some projects, accessorized with a few new decorative accents (that we picked up at some of our favorite local stores) and, of course, added some personality with some of our already owned decorative items. Check 'em out!

A fun, and functional, step stool!

Milk stool

While painting a portion of our wall in our design studio with chalkboard paint to create a handy and cute daily to-do list area, we got inspired to try another creative project with the fun, and super simple, chalkboard paint. So, here in the powder room, we decided to take a boring old milk stool (that we envision our child using someday to wash their hands.. how cute?) and give it a fun and functional finish.

"Wash your hands"


A small floor basket for much needed storage!

Toiletries basket


A cute, and personal, decorative wooden accent!

Powder room right side.

A mini wooden cityscape of NYC sits atop the paneling ledge to the right of our mirror. This little vignette serves as a nod to our first place in NYC and the time we spent there. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, and well, now in the powder room!

Wooden cityscape.


A custom wall art installation!

The yarn bird art installation.

We'd been meaning to create a custom art piece somewhere in our home, and what a more unique place than the powder room, right? Haha. So, with some miniature flat-head nails and a ball of yarn, we created a few flying birds as a whimsical yet modern art installation. We like it, do you?

Yarn ball close up.


Some added architectural detail!

Yarn bird and crown molding.

After the paneling project, we still wanted to add one more layer of architectural detail, which was the crown molding. It was a simple upgrade that made the space feel larger and more sophisticated, and tied together the paneling!


Personalized, and changeable, artwork!

Elephant mosaic.

This ledge over the toilet serves as an art ledge! So, instead of hanging art on the wall, we can simply prop a piece of art here and change it out whenever we want. I know, I know.. the elephant with the birds don't quite mesh, but both are personal and meaningful and that's what matters most in any space!


A necessary accessory, yet in a unique style!

Waste basket.


A space saving switcheroo!

Powder room pedestal sink.

Before we started designing the powder room, the space was pretty blah! And the faucet fixture was pretty run-of-the-mill! So, we knew we wanted to switch it out, and with a tiny space like this, we need all the space we can get! So, we replaced the old faucet with a single handle faucet to allow more room on the pedestal sink!

Faucet.


Bringing in some texture, some quirk and some vintage!

Towel holder

The vintage hat hook was found lying in one of my mom's old dressers, and it was just dying for a front row seat somewhere. And again, what better place then the powder room! I mean, let's face it, everyone who enters our home will likely visit this space, right?

Hat hook close up.

Oh, and since it's a bathroom, and it must be functional, we of course added the mustard yellow hand towels and grey-blue bath rug that you may have seen in the shots above!

And in addition to some of what is shown in these photos, we also tackled a few DIY projects like giving the old light fixture a new life with a fresh coat of paint! We may still replace it at some point, but for now (without spending more than a few dollars) we've made it work in the space!

Well, there you have it - a long overdue update on our tiny powder room. I suppose we'll call it complete.. for now! You know how these things go - I may feel the need to change something out in the near future, but it is good to feel like a space is complete.

The good news is that it is a world different from the powder room that you see below (from when we first moved in)!

The before shot.

Final powder room shot.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our new space! Let us know your thoughts.

Operation Renovation... It's Time for a Change!

As Valerie shared in a post a few weeks ago, multiple rooms and floors of our home were damaged due to a drain/roof leak. Since that fateful day, we’ve had men in our house working on the renovation and restoration of our damaged home, and just about two weeks ago, they finally finished up! They did a fine job, but living in a house during renovation definitely proved to be a challenge. There was furniture in our kitchen (in fact, a few randoms times I ate my cereal while sitting on our sofa in the kitchen), a mattress and a shoe rack among other things in our office (which we claimed as our temporary bedroom as well, hence the mattress), clothes in random rooms and places, and one could not keep up with all of the dust that comes along with drywall work. I truly now know why it is called drywall. Living in disarray for two people who usually pride themselves on at least trying to be organized proved to be interesting to say the least. While I’m not necessarily looking forward to this ever happening again, realizing that you have no control over a situation that you might otherwise have, and giving into that, can actually be a bit therapeutic.

Instead of focusing on all that seems “wrong” or out of the ordinary, we chose to take advantage of the fact that everything was out of place and, therefore, had to be put back into place. This provided an opportunity for us to re-evaluate each item in our home and whether we really need it or not. Now that the renovation is complete and we are starting to put our home back together, it is literally like moving back in again. And, that means that we can, in an essence, start fresh. Clean slate.

Speaking of starting fresh, this doesn’t only apply to our home. Valerie and I decided to use the last two months to examine all facets of our lives and how we can improve them. For example, the workers showed up by at least 7:30 every morning, which, in turn, forced us to be up and ready just as early. And while this may not seem early to those of you who start work at that time or earlier, that’s early for us. But getting up earlier and having the opportunity to actually sit down and eat breakfast, do a little cleaning, or run an errand before our crazy work days start, has been a breath of fresh air (luckily our air is much cleaner now without all of the drywall dust!).

The point is, even a seemingly bad situation may have its perks. Don't be afraid to embrace these experiences and make a change! Anyone have a similar story or anecdote to share?

A Rustic Garden Party

We are officially in the thick of springtime, with warm temps, rainy days and green growth everywhere! So, I'm day-dreaming of an beautiful outdoor shindig with friends and family. Rather than just dream, I was inspired to create a little "Rustic Garden Party" themed Etsy Treasury (a member-curated shopping gallery)! And, as usual, I'm sharing it with you here on our blog!

Check out what I've pulled together to create an inspiration board for a rustic garden party! I'm sure you'll get the idea by browsing my Treasury, but I envision a early spring afternoon soiree with family and friends in a beautiful, but slightly overgrown, lush garden with fun rustic touches. Hopefully you'll be inspired to host a springtime get together too!

Check out some of the details below, or visit the Treasury on Etsy! Here's a quick snapshot of it!

Etsy Treasury Snapshot

Here are some close-ups of some of the Treasury items!

Moss covered letters.

Outdoor pillows

Tree bark candles.

Watering can.

Garden markers.

Orchard basket.

Turtle.

Well, there you have it! Now, all I have to do is actually plan a party like this, right?

If you love any of these items, they can be found and purchased on Etsy! And, if you liked my Treasury, feel free to share it!

Tuesday Tip - Breathe Life with Fresh Flowers

Design tip header.

Tuesday Tip - Breathe Life with Fresh Flowers:


Liven up your space with the beautiful colors and textures of fresh flowers. Adding plant life to your spaces, whether it be fresh-cut flowers or potted indoor plants, will breathe crisp life and natural beauty into your home!


Whether it be lilacs in the powder room, roses in the bedroom or tulips in the dining room, fresh flowers also create lovely and inviting aroma to your space. Plus, they are a relatively inexpensive accessory that allows you to inject some fun and personality into a space. There are endless ways to arrange flowers to fit the look and feel of your space. For example, a small sophisticated arrangement for the corner of your executive desk or a organically arranged vintage bucket of wildflowers for your sunroom, just to name few.

Check out the images below of spaces that are alive with the beauty of fresh flowers!

Fresh flowers on coffee table.

Fresh flowers on coffee table 2.

Fresh flowers on coffee table 3.

Fresh flowers on vanity.

Fresh flowers on dining table.

So, go ahead and add life to your home this Spring!

Images found here!

A Pop of Sunshine

It's been unseasonably warm here lately. The bright, beautiful sunshine has made an appearance day after day this past week, and I am definitely not complaining! I can't express how much the weather really has an affect on me, my mood, my productivity, my everything! Over the winter months I get so used to feeling humdrum, un-motivated and a little down and out, that when the warm temps and gorgeous almost-spring days arrive, I am surprised by my sudden shift into positivity, motivation, and just the overall feeling of joy!

Anyway, since I have the yellow warmth of the sun to thank for this, I was inspired to share some interiors today that are also brought to life with a dose of their own warm, bright, sunshine (in the form of yellow pops of color, hehe)!

Check 'em out!

Yellow painted ceiling.

Yellow tray.

Yellow mirror.

Yellow mirror 2.

Yellow pillows.

Yellow art.

Yellow sofa.

Yellow bathroom.

Well, I'm lovin' yellow as a fresh accent of color in an otherwise clean, crisp space. What do you think?

Images found here!

Guest Post: All About Color

With the start of the new year, and some great new projects, we've been pretty busy here at StudioVB. Taking a few minutes here and there to share our studio happenings here on our blog has been more difficult than usual lately. So with that in mind, for today's post, we're bringing you a fun and inspiring little article from guest blogger, Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, a cool site that brings together designers and design lovers from around the world to share projects and inspiration. Check it out!

Hi all! Thanks for having me here. I love getting to visit the blogs of designers like Valerie from StudioVB. My guest post today is all about color. I've pulled some great photos of interior designs that focus on color, beautiful and bold color. Enjoy!

Colorful Interiors

Deep royal blue vibrates against the contrasting pink of the sofa in this living room. The bold colors are the stars of this space.

Colorful Interiors

Here is another great example of bold colors creating a dynamic combination. Orange lacquered walls with an aqua sofa are all about color, big, bold color.

Colorful Interiors

The mustard walls almost feel neutral as a backdrop for brighter yellow and teal furnishings. Complementary colors like yellow and teal are opposite on the color wheel and pop when placed next to one another. This is a perfect idea for a funky bedroom design!

Colorful Interiors

The neutral gray walls keep the focus on the orange accent color in this room. The room may be mostly gray but it is all about those pops of glorious orange. Lots of great decorating ideas for a stylish home office are seen here.

Colorful Interiors

While this room may be predominately white, it is the contrasting colors of green and red that make it come alive. The red pops against the sea green. It's all about the colors.

Colorful Interiors

None of these colors are bold or incredibly bright but the combination makes a big impact. I love that even the trim is painted a color rather than the traditional choice of white.

Colorful Interiors

Selecting colors on one side of the color wheel creates a more monochromatic palette. The oranges, roses, reds and pinks in this living room create a warm, inviting design that is enveloped in color.

As you can see, using dramatic color in interior design can be bold and beautiful. For more great tips and ideas, check out Design Shuffle, where you can share thoughts and gain inspiration from interior designers, design enthusiasts, and more.

Images from | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Special thanks to today's guest blogger, Susi, for illustrating how if you don't shy away from bold color, you can make a really beautiful statement in a space. Thanks for joining us here on Be.Love.Create!

Getting Some Exposure

Last week, I was contacted by the Patriot News, our local newspaper here in Harrisburg, for an interview on a story about Home Design Trends for the New Year. I, of course, was happy to help and therefore participated in a phone interview with a reporter from the Patriot. Well, today the article was published on the front page of the Life section of the newspaper! Yay! Check it out below. The images aren't the best, I know. I snapped them on my iphone (which is due for an upgrade)!

Front Page spread.

Close up of front page.

Second Page

Overall, I am really excited to be featured in such a big way and, of course, get some exposure for our design studio and hopefully reach out to people who may not know about us and our services. Unfortunately, I'm not 100% pleased with the article content, but that's just probably the perfectionist and control freak in me, ha. I think with the nature of interviews, and specifically phone interviews, things often get misunderstood, misquoted or taken out of context - which happened in this case. Bummer.

Nonetheless, I know it's an awesome opportunity, and I am grateful!

So, I've copied the article below (reformatted for the blog) for those of you who can't pick up the Patriot today. You'll also see that I've striked through the quotes that were misquoted or misunderstood.

This Year, Home Design is all About You!

Wondering what the hot home design trends will be for 2012? The answer, at least in some instances, is whatever you want it to be.

"2012 is going to be an eclectic mix. It's not going to be something that's very definable," said interior designer Valerie Betz of StudioVB, at 218 Verbeke St. in Harrisburg (studiovbdesign.com). "It's not going to be this style or this country a particular style or particular look. It's more about taking a deviation deviating from one particular style and being more eclectic."

Still, Betz did note a number of home trends appearing on the horizon.

Sustainable Design

Being green in the home was a big trend last year and will continue to stay popular in 2012 according to Betz.

"Green design crosses the entire gamut of products used in the home or in decorating your home," she said. "It's everything from how the flooring is laid out to how it's painted flooring to paint. It's huge, up and coming and hopefully will be here to stay."

Most green design involves using furniture or other products that produce less waste in the manufacturing process or use more rapidly renewable materials like bamboo or cork (instead of, say, mahogany, which doesn't grow back as quickly).

Part of this trend includes using "reclaimed" materials, such as wood from a salvage yard or an old building, which can then be incorporated into new furniture or accessories. "A lot of designers are making new furniture out of reclaimed wood to give their work a rustic charm," Betz said.

Cork flooring

Reclaimed Wood Headboard

Personalized Design

Instead of picking an item out of a catalog or buying factory made matching furniture set, more and more homeowners are selecting items that match their own unique personal tastes, Betz said.

"I think clients and homeowners are leaning toward wanting to express themselves and are less about what's hot right now or what's in the catalog," she said. "It's more, 'I like this unique piece' or 'I want to hang my own artwork' versus what's in stores."

That can take many different forms, from hand-painting a dresser or vase (a new coat of paint could revive an old piece of furniture) to making throw pillows out of fabric scraps.

Not everyone is going D.I.Y. though. Those less inclined to be crafty are simply purchasing handmade items that appeal to them on websites such as Etsy. It's more about finding a look that reflects your own individual tastes rather than being able to to make your own pottery. "It's about looking for that one of a kind thing piece," Betz said.

Painted Furniture

E-design

The continued growth of the Internet has expanded the reach of many designers, according to Betz, as they are now able to offer their services to clients that traditionally might not have been able to afford them felt that design services were available to them.

Using videoconferencing tools such as Skype, interior designers can provide concepts, plans and ideas to help homeowners get started on a project that they can then create on their own time and within their own budget. Because there's no travel involved and the designer isn't taking on the whole project, the cost for their services is much lower.

"It's making design more affordable and accessible," she said.

Sketch from E-Design Plan

Open Kitchens

Along with stainless steel appliances, open-area kitchens continue to be a trend, Betz said. More and more people are opening up their kitchens to the other areas of their house so they can visit and talk with their guests while cooking.

Open Kitchen

Gray is the New Beige

Beige was the big neutral color for a long time, but gray is starting to push it aside, particularly when it's paired with rich colors such as mustard, golden yellow, violet or turquoise. The idea is to use colors that pop out and provide a striking contrast when paired with gray.

Gray Color

New Seating Styles

Puffy, overstuffed, bulky chairs are out. In their place, Betz said, are lower and more streamlined or tailored seats. "It's more casual and comfortable clean lined and sophisticated," she said. (I'm sure I mentioned the casual and comfortable sentiment at some point, but it does not have a direct correlation to the seating style)

Streamlined Seating Styles

Wallpaper is Back

Decades of bad patterns have scared many homeowners away from it, but a wave of bold patterns and textures are pushing wallpaper back to the forefront. "It's taken awhile to convince clients, but definitely higher-end houses and designers are using wallpaper," Betz said.

Modern Graphic Wallpaper

Well, there you have it!

And, if you were inspired to update the design of your home utilizing some of the current design ideas and trends described in the article, feel free to contact us! Also, the article only included a handful of the design trends I discussed, so maybe I'll post about some others in the coming weeks.

Images from here and here.

I'm Dreaming of a..

decorated Christmas! With being so busy, I'm embarrassed to admit that we've been slacking on spreading the Christmas cheer around our house. We haven't even decorated our Christmas tree yet! It's horrible, I know. But, the good news is that we finally have it, in the stand, watered and ready to go - that, in and of itself, was a big step. We have been saying, "Let's go get our Christmas tree tonight" everyday for the past few weeks, and we finally did so last night! So, now, the plan for tonight is to get out the ornaments, decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music and baking yummy cookies, since we only have 10 short days to go!

So, without any photos to show you of our holiday decorations, I thought I'd post some creative, unique Christmas decor ideas from our Pinterest pin boards not only to inspire others, but to get inspired myself. Let's face it, everybody needs a little inspiration sometimes. Hope it works!

Enjoy!

Green and silver decor.

Hot chocolate.

Simple, neutral decor.

Scrap wood christmas tree.

Simple wrapping!

White christmas decor.

Burlap stockings!

Bold graphic gift wrapping!

Simple vintage wood deer!

Reindeer cookies

Christmas tree decal!

Well, I'm inspired! Happy Holidays to everyone!

It's Still Fall!

I'm sure, like me, you've noticed that when November arrived stores, homes, and even design blogs have traded their pumpkins in for snowmen, and their warm rich earthy color palettes to cool crisp icy colors. Well, wait just a second! With the mildly chilly weather only now in full swing, beautifully colored leaves still floating to the ground and Thanksgiving just around the corner yet, fall is still here! Right? In fact, I am only now finally getting excited about all things fall. As you probably know, I'm not a huge fan of cold weather, but I do have to say the shift from summer to fall does give me a good feeling. It means it's time for cute sweaters, hot chocolate, warm earthy colors, yummy food, time with family, beautiful nature and scenery, etc. And, I've recently gotten to enjoy most of these.

Pumpkin roll!

So, before my warm fuzzy fall feelings turn into winter blues, I thought I'd browse a few of my favorite sites for some fall inspired finds, decor ideas, and the other lovely joys of fall.

Leaf pillow.

Paper mache pumpkins.

Yarn wreath.

Leaf and Gourd decor.

Cupcake toppers.

Pinecone wreath

Table centerpiece.

Leaf garland.

Fall scarf.

Pottery Barn fall decor.

Wishbone servewear.

Candy apples.

My front door.

Side Note: This last photo is actually from last year - fortunately we kept the mums and they came back this year.. unfortunately they came back about 1/3 as big and beautiful and do not look like this!

So, while most people may already be moving on to the Christmas season, I don't like to jump the gun. I'd rather enjoy the fall and the Thanksgiving holiday first. After all, I am very thankful for not-frigid weather (along with many other things, of course).

I hope today's post reminded you of the many joys of fall, and also hopefully reminded you to slow down sometimes. Christmas will be here soon enough. In the meantime, be thankful (hehe) for the fall!

The lovely images from today's post came from Etsy, Pinterest, BHG, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and, of course, my camera!