Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chandeliers - From The Simple To The Sublime

Although when redecorating, or just decorating, we tend to agonize over things like paint colors for the walls, upholstery and accent fabrics (well, at least I know I do... I'm not alone, am I?), there is one sometimes overlooked room feature that can take a room from drab to dazzling. Lighting fixture - or, more specifically for this article, chandeliers.

From the sweet and simple metal cottage style pieces to tiers of shimmering crystals, a chandelier can work in almost any room. Whether you use a modest style as an accent piece, or choose a sparkly stunner as the focal point of the room, these lighting fixtures can fit into any role. And with an almost limitless array of styles and colors, you can surely find one to suit your room, style, and budget.

And don't overlook vintage! Even dull and dreary vintage chandeliers can become show-stoppers with a little metal paint and imagination.

Italian designer chandelier takes center stage in a classic Baroque room
This black chandelier adds an elegant touch to a dramatic gray and black room
(by Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.)

Vintage chandeliers add charm to a shabby chic interior
(by Dreamy Whites)

A divine Lladro butterfly chandelier
(Lladro Niagara Chandelier)

More photos after the page break

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rustic Country Chic - Decorating with Burlap

In case none of you have noticed by now, I am not a weekend blogger! My Saturdays and Sundays are spent loafing around with my guy... and doing all the fun chores, like grocery shopping. Hooray. I do try and make posts Monday through Friday though. :)

Anyhoo, onto our regular daily article and photos!

Burlap is a wonderful fabric. Due to it's construction, and normal usage as sacking, this material is both durable and fairly resistant to staining. Plus, it's loosely woven make-up lends a rough, rustic charm to any room. From using a small piece as an accent, such as a table runner of placemats, to re-purposing old sacks as funky upholstery or accents like throw pillows, this is a wonderful way to lend a little shabby charm to any room. Whether you are aiming for cozy French farmhouse or down home American country, burlap provides a fun and decorative look that is easy to achieve.

Chairs recovered in old coffee sacks

Custom Hand Painted Burlap Placements (can be customized)
(GeorgiaInBloom on Etsy)

Burlap upholstery and towels
(by French Larkspur)

Burlap-back French Versailles chair
Burlap bedding

More photos after the page break

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's Get Organized - Creative Closet Spaces

Often, designers and homeowners focus on the "WOW" factor of decorating a home, concentrating on furnishings, colors, styles. But it can be what is hidden away from view, behind the scenes, the more functional aspects, that can take a dwelling from a mere showplace to a true home.

Closets are one such feature. Once hidden away, these utilitarian catch-all spaces are becoming more and more visible in modern homes. A well-planned closet can be a true blend of function and beauty.

Open-fronted, built in closet
(by Astleford Interiors, Inc.)

A walk-in closet with built-ins and a dresser island
(by Munger Interiors)
Custom-made shelving, just for shoes
(by Lisa Adams, LA Closet Design)

A former closet is converted into a small home office space
(by Ed Ritger Photography)

More photos after the page break

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rustic Warmth - Stone Fireplaces

For many people, the words "stone fireplace" conjure up images of a rustic hearth, perhaps in a charming log cabin. However, with a wide and versatile range of options in stone facing today, the stone fireplace has moved past the traditional style. Today's stone fireplaces range from massive river rocks set into soaring log home great rooms, to sleek and stylish stacked stone sections with a contemporary, modern feel.

Which style do you prefer? Rustic? Modern? No matter your style preference, the elemental combination of stone and fire makes for a warm and inviting spot in almost any home.

Sleek and contemporary stacked stone
(by Cornerstone Group Architects)

(by David Fleener Architects, Inc.)

(by Simpson Design Group Architects)

(by Shuffle Interiors)

More photos after the break

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Colorful, Casual Bohemian Interiors

Do you dislike perfectly matched sets of furniture, or carefully plotted designer rooms? Do you like a mix of bright colors, different patterns, various fabrics, and a touch of the exotic? If so, a Bohemian style decor might be right for you.

The "Bohemian" style, also known familiarly as "Boho", is designed to show your free spirit and love of life. The antithesis of a "matchy" subdued designer interior, this style incorporates color - and lots of it. From colorful throw pillows and throws in lush fabrics paired with a neutral palette, to an all-out color extravaganza of painted walls and brightly colored accessories, this is a style that demands to be noticed, and enjoyed. Casual, comfortable, mixing the old with the new, it employs a kick-back relaxed and comfy design.

Let your creativity flow by selecting your favorites pieces, the things that appeal the most to you - without worrying if the red in the cushions will match tonally with the drapes.

(by Vintage Renewal)

(by Carson Poetzl, Inc.)

(by Aesthetic Outburst)

(by Imagine Living)

(by Riehl Designs, Inc.)

More photos after the break

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Textures and Colors - Accent Walls

Accent walls are a great way to add color or texture to a room. They can add interest above and beyond the traditional four walls, same color decor. And, if your home features a nice architectural feature - an unusual wall, a nice window - an accent wall can really draw attention to this.

You may not want to do your entire room in bright red or navy blue, but one wall can give the room a burst of color without being overwhelming. A darker colored wall in an otherwise light room can add drama to the room. Choosing a color in the same family as the other three walls, but in a deeper or lighter hue, can add depth. You can even choose to paint patterns in contrasting colors - stripes are a good choice and add a modern elegance to many spaces.

Material accent walls, such as adding a stone or brick facade, can also alter the feel of a room, lending a classic of rustic air to even the most contemporary of spaces. Wallpapering one wall can be very versatile, depending on the paper, and can add anything from a subtle texture to a bold, eye-catching print.

A stone accent wall adds a rustic touch to this contemporary wood hallway
(by Philpotts Interiors)

Black wallpaper with a subtle pattern makes a bold statement in this modern dining room
(by Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.)

Crisp black-and-white stripes are a great accent in this classic room
(Courtesy of Flickr user army.arch)

An interesting, angled wall is painted a darker shade in this living room
(by Molly McGinness Interior Design)

More photos after the break

Get The Look - Modern Romantic Black and White Bedroom

Like this bedroom? Here's how you can "get the look".

Funky Modern White Bedroom

Monday, January 16, 2012

Decorating with Elegant Neutral Tones

Neutrals are a decorator's friend. They can be kept subdued and calming with subtle accents, or they can create a backdrop for brightly colored focal point accessories. The families of grays, beiges, creams, etc., can be applied to create almost any look you desire, from soft and dreamy to elegant to bold. They can brighten and warm a space, or give it a feeling of coolness.

Tones of beige and gray are brightened up with yellow accents
(Jennifer Brouwer Design)
Soft beige walls provide a nice backdrop for the Chinese red painted sideboard
A crisp, clean, white and gray kitchen features brightly colored glass and other accents
(Charles Luck Stone Center)

More photos after the break

Built-In Beds - A Great Space Saver

I actually incorporated this idea into one of my recent house plans... built-in beds, which are a wonderful space saver. These beds, whether in individual cubby cabins or in double bunks, work equally well in a child's room, or in a guest bedroom, to leave more open floor space while providing a spacious and comfortable sleeping area.

The beds are usually built against an existing wall and are often divided with partitions. Whether it's one single alcove bed, or a row of single beds, or even a room full of bunks, this is a stylish and very practical choice of interior design.

Built-in bed with overhead shelving
(Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs)
Built-in bunk beds, nicely painted, with colorful accessories
(Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers)

Four swing-rope beds make for a fun and unusual set of bunk beds
(Stacie Rydell - pinterest)

More photos after the break

A Short Introduction

Hello and welcome to my new blog. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Eva, and I live in the scenic Black Forest region of Southern Germany, with the man who is love of my life and one crazy cat.

The Black Forest in Spring (www.nachrichten.at)
We live in a 200 year old farmhouse, which we purchased last summer. The date carved into the lintel stone at the front of the house, above the old stable door, is 1802, but the house has been remodeled since then, most notably in 1937, and again in the late 1990s. We're in the process of redoing everything! Stripping out the old wallpaper, refinishing the remnants of the original random-width oak flooring (which only remains in the dining room and office), replacing the 75 year old windows... we have almost completed our first room, the kitchen, which we completely gutted, re-designed and remodeled to have a charming French Country farmhouse look.

So far I have no completed "after" photos of the work, but hope to very soon. In the meantime, I do have some of the "before" photos posted on Flickr, taken before we moved in:

The photos of our house in "before" mode

Now, then... the aim of this blog is to extend on my Tumblr blog of the same name... interiorstyledesign.tumblr.com . I hope to post many articles about different styles of interior design and decorating, as well as architecture, plus a sprinkling of gardening, landscaping, exteriors, and design.

I am an interior decorator as well as a residential designer, and in the near future will be offering both customized, individualized comprehensive home decorating services, as well as both stock house floor plans for sale and design services to create unique, one of a kind custom plans. So stay tuned for these services to be appearing soon, and in the meantime, I hope you enjoy my articles and photos (all photos will be attributed to their original sources if not taken by me personally).

Thank you for visiting!