Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fabulous French Country Interiors

French Country isn't just for rustic farmhouses or old chateaux in France. This charming interior decorating style, with it's use of rich colors and pretty prints, can be found in homes all over the globe.

Warm reds, golden yellows, rich blues and vivid greens are some of the characteristic colors used in this decorating style. Bursts of brighter colors are usually paired with softer pastel hues to give a sense of warmth and comfort.

There are some popular motifs in the French Country style, mostly of things that would be found in a rural, farmland setting, such as roosters, olives, sunflowers, and lavender. Toile prints are also frequently used.

Natural elements are also emphasized in the French Country interior, such as stucco, wood, warm-toned metals, and stone. This combines in a style that is elegant, yet cozy and inviting, and oh so indescribably French.

French Country living room mixes different prints in a red and white color scheme
(by Lola Watson Interior Design)

Kitchen uses copper and earth-toned ceramic flooring for a natural, rustic look
(by Marie Meko, Allied ASID)

I usually don't show exteriors, but this stone covered porch with ceramic pots is perfect French Country style
(by Don Ziebell)

Romantic bedroom with patterned wallpaper and a draped crown canopy
(by Cabell Design Studio)

More photos after the page break

Monday, December 10, 2012

Black and White Rooms - Classic Elegance

While use of colors adds character and personality to a space, so too does the absence of color. A black and white scheme is a very classic choice, and is generally perceived as being elegantly simple. It suits both formal spaces, as well as modern ones, and is particularly well suited for the use of geometrics and bold patterns.

It also provides a unique canvas to which you can add small, bold splashes of color, which create quite a visual impact.  This is a great color combination for those who admire classical interiors, or simple, stark minimalism. It is also good for those who want to get the popular, mostly white "Euro" style effect, but with a little added kick.

A traditional black and white kitchen is complemented by warm cherry wood floors
(by Sutton Suzuki Architects)

Black and white is a good palette for this eclectic living room
(by Dawna Jones Design)

Black and white tile floors and dark, aged wood make this traditional hallway look welcoming
(by mark pinkerton - vi360 photography)

White, black accents, and rich wood give this room an art gallery feel
(by Rikki Snyder)

Black paneled walls give this bathroom a classy, traditional feel
(by Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.)

More photos after the page break

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Red Rooms - Vibrant and Passionate

As we've established, the use of color in a room can contribute to the overall mood of your surroundings. Blue can produce a soporific effect, yellow can contribute to a feeling of sunshine and warmth. 

Today, we will look at the use of red in a room.

Red is traditionally known as the color of love, life, and passion. It is the color of our blood, the foundation of our beings. Ranging from vibrant crimson to the deepest, richest maroon, this typically warm color is bold, the very antithesis of quiet pastels.

Used to varying degrees, it can compliment a wide variety of interiors, from traditional farmhouses to formal mansions and contemporary homes. However, since it is a bold, dark shade, I usually recommend it in spaces that have a lot of light, and larger rooms. When a room is too poorly lit, or small, red can actually make the room feel closed in.

Red can also be a splashy focal accent color, from painted cabinets in a kitchen to art and throw pillows in a living room. Red also makes a fabulous single accent wall color.

Let's examine the use of red in a variety of spaces. 

Red is a wonderful color in a traditional interior

It also works well in contemporary, modern decor

It provides a bold, warm accent color...

... and also works well as a single accent wall

It blends nicely with wood also, as seen in this rustic-style kitchen

As always, more photos after the page break!