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    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Of the 6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades, by far the most popular one is to……

    #1 – Paint The Cabinets

    If you’re looking to refresh your boring kitchen without the commitment of a major remodel or you’re living in a rental or recently bought a house with dated 90s cabinets, don’t rush out to replace them. Painting your cabinets will add instant drama and designer style to your kitchen. Be careful and when picking a color. Brightly colored kitchen cabinets look great in a magazine but when it comes to living every day with a particular shade – it is better to err on the side of caution. Just be sure the color is exactly what you want. Make sure the tone works with your existing flooring – because unless you plan to do some remodeling in the near future – choose something that will work with what you got – rather than try to match it what you might get in future. Trust me when I say, you don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.

    No matter what your style and design affiliation, when thinking about sprucing up your kitchen, refinishing your traditional OR modern cabinets with a touch of paint never fails to hit the mark – in one easy step. Well, technically 5 easy steps. Nevertheless, these steps are easy to remember as the 5 Ps.

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades
    First Step – Plan 

    First, empty the cabinets. You’ll be sanding later, which might get dusty. Then, remove all drawer pulls and cabinet hardware. Remove the doors, drawers if possible. Use the labels to make sure the doors and drawers go back in the right spots. Next, clean the wood surfaces. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is the best cleaner for the job, and you can pick up a bottle at most hardware and paint stores. Soak a sponge in the TSP solution and start wiping down your cabinets. Also, focus on corners and any other areas where grease can build up.

    Second Step – Plug

    Fill up any holes or cracks with wood putty. Use a putty knife to press it in and smooth it out. Follow directions and let it dry. If you’re replacing your hardware, you might need to use wood filler for holes that don’t line up with the new hardware. Needless to say, If you’re using the same hardware, do not fill the hardware holes. 

    Third Step – Prep 

    Sand them down with a fine grit sandpaper or use a rotary sander for plane surfaces. This is especially important if you are painting cabinets that have a natural wood finish. The sanding must be done thoroughly and evenly. Clean all surfaces with a hand held vacuum and a tack cloth. Everything should be dust-free before painting. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades
    Fourth Step – Prime 

    This ensures that the paint will adhere to the surface without looking lumpy or irregular. Placing painter’s tape on the wall along the cabinet edges is helpful. 

    Fifth Step – Paint 

    Use a roller for flat surfaces. Alternately, use a brush to get into corners and detailed areas. Paint with light strokes. Try not to pile on the paint or make it gloppy. You may use an angled brush for angled corners.

    As a designer when I’m working on a client’s kitchen, I  like to suggest doing a chalk paint base coat. Thereafter, apply an enamel as a topcoat. You can just as well do a one-step paint job and have perfectly good results. There’s no one way to do it. As I always tell my DIY friends, do your research if need be, but don’t get bogged down by niggling details. Plan, paint then be ready to stand back and be amazed. 

    Extra step (optional) – 

    Apply a clear top coat if you want. Finally, reassemble the cabinets and hardware. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades
    Types of paint – 

    Most paint comes as oil-based paint or water-based latex paint. Cheaper paint will require more coats, but it is less durable and will show brush strokes more readily. 

    Types of finishes –

    The glossier the finish the easier it is to clean. However glossy paint shows up imperfections in the wood very easily. Satin -​ Provides a low level of shine while retaining some ability to hide flaws and is washable.  Semi-gloss: – With a higher sheen, this finish is ideal for kitchen cabinets as well as for millwork, trim, and doors. Eggshell – This paint finish is durable — which explains its popularity among professionals — besides it has a low sheen. It is this designer’s go-to finish for walls but not kitchen cabinets. Flat -​ Flat paint is forgiving and hides flaws due to its low sheen, but it does not stand up to finger marks and spots. Also, cannot take scrubbing and hence not suitable for cabinets. 

    Painting cabinets will take a few days to complete, so plan accordingly.

    Things you’ll need – 

    All of these are readily available from a local hardware or paint store.

    • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) or any other Grease cleaner
    • Wood filler
    • Fine grit sandpaper
    • Sanding block or rotary sander
    • Steel wool
    • Vacuum
    • Tack cloth
    • Painter’s tape 
    • Paint – the two most popular paint brands are Sherwin Williams and Behr. My favorite happens to Benjamin Moore because of their subtle color tones as well as ease of use.
    • Paint tray
    • 2″ brush
    • Mini foam roller
    • Primer sealer
    • Brown builder’s paper
    • 2″ – 3″ angled brush
    • 3′ – 4″ square brush
    #2 – Add a Glamour Rug

    The next super easy kitchen upgrade is to add a rug or runner. The general consensus is that the ideal material for a rug in the kitchen is a flat-weave as they are easier to clean than rugs with a higher pile. 

    Having said that, the single most overlooked way to upgrade a kitchen is to add a vintage or designer rug underfoot and marvel at the results. It is a quick and easy fix that never fails to impress.

    #3 – Switch Out The Hardware

    Of the 6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades, replacing your tired old kitchen cabinet hardware is the quickest and least expensive ways to immediately upgrade your kitchen’s face value.

    Remove door handles and drawer pulls, replacing with fresh new ones, if this is the only thing you do to upgrade.

    #4 – Lower The Lighting

    To counteract the builder grade can lights up in the ceiling, add some designer touches. A ‘designer’ kitchen needs a unique chandelier or ceiling pendant. When it comes to chandeliers, there is no rule that says these beautiful – ornate or simple – fixtures need to be restricted to grand parlors or sweeping entryways. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Depending on the style of your home – bling out your kitchen either by adding a chandelier with a rich dark metal finish, or one with sparkling crystals, or add modern drama with three identical ceiling pendants above the breakfast bar. Then, add shades that cast interesting patterns on the ceiling or walls such as, Moroccan style pierced metal shades complemented with updated modern eclectic style accessories and signature artwork, or textured woven bamboo shades coupled with classic beach chic décor.

    #5 – Create a Feature Wall with Wallpaper

    Another super easy kitchen upgrade – as a designer one often suggests creating a vertical feature wall to dress up a  kitchen. For example, it could be a marble or limestone or slate backsplash. Or one created with tiles set in a herringbone pattern or black and white ceramic tiles behind the cooktop or above the kitchen sink. Needless to say, a marble backsplash is a big commitment. However, there is another option that nevertheless looks just as great and is super quick and easy.

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    The quick and easy equivalent to this designer feature wall would be to install a wallpaper with a unique but subtle pattern on one wall to make it stand out, adding instant style and character to your kitchen. This is one more small and simple trick in my list of 6 super easy kitchen upgrades that always has a huge impact

    #6 – Add Butcher Block Countertops

    Butcher block countertops are an affordable choice that has character, adds warmth to your kitchen, making it look curated and chic. They can be the heart of a Classic kitchen a la Laura Ashley or add interesting texture to a Modern European kitchen a la Habitat. However, butcher block countertops do have their fair share of pros ad cons. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Pros – If you show these countertops some love, your butcher block countertops will in return, reward you by aging gracefully. Keep them clean and scrubbed. Oil them regularly. All it takes is one to two coats of food-safe mineral oil or walnut oil applied with a soft cloth. Every 10 years, or as needed, sand it down first using a 80- to 100-grit, then with 220-grit sandpaper as the surface smoothens. Then, re-oil the sanded surface and it will look like new.

    Cons – If you do not keep up proper upkeep, these countertops can dull and crack and end up looking just cheap. Moreover, wood can gather germs, grow mold, stain, or even warp in shape when exposed to moisture. You will need to seal your butcher block countertops immediately following installation and on a monthly basis afterward.

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Hope you enjoy my list of 6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades. Happy decorating and please send your comments and feedback as I enjoy receiving them.  

    Photo Credits

    Tangerine Orange cabinets – courtesy HGTV. Modern White Kitchen with Black Painted Cabinets – photo courtesy of Elledecor. Photo of Modern Industrial Farmhouse style Kitchen with White and Avocado green Cabinets and Multi Colored Metal Counter Stools – photo courtesy of Goodhousekeeping. Canary Yellow Colored Kitchen Cabinets – photo courtesy of homedesigning. Grey Persian style rug courtesy in front of cooker courtesy Ruggable. Blue kitchen cabinets with hardware courtesy Forbes. Pic of Grey Kitchen with Crystal Chandeliers – courtesy of decorpad. White and Gold Modern Kitchen with Obsidian Phillip Jeffries Wallpaper – pic courtesy Verandah. Butcher block countertop – photo courtesy Bobvila

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    3 Most Popular European Styles

    The 3 most popular European styles by far are Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian, not necessarily in that order. Modern European interior design is a mix of traditional and contemporary design. Contemporary European interiors are understated, with a focus on tactile and natural materials such as wicker, wood, metal, and natural stone.

    The Haussmann Style

    One of the 3 Most Popular European Styles is Haussmann. Between 1853 and 1870, the private Paris townhouses, the last remains of the 18th century, were starting to make way for rental investment properties, giving rise to a more diverse Paris. To redesign the 175 kilometres of roads that run through the heart of Paris, Baron Haussmann was called in for a project which established an architectural style that is distinctively Parisian. 

    3 most popular European styles - Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian

    By the time Haussmann completed his project, narrow, dark residences were a thing of the past. Haussmannian buildings had courtyards or small yards, and they often had bright, dual-aspect apartments with large windows.

    Haussmann Buildings

    The buildings contained independent apartments spread out over five to six floors. Each floor represented a different social class. The ground floor was occupied by shops. On the first floor — often referred to as the mezzanine, lived the merchants who owned the shops below. 

    The second (“piano nobile”) floor was reserved for the wealthy at the time. The prestigiousness decreases from bottom to top. The third and fourth floors are identical, and were usually reserved for the middle classes. The fifth floors were set back, usually housing the more modest social classes. A little balcony running along the length of the apartment makes up for having to climb to the top of the stairs, besides embellishing the façade. The sixth or top floor is where the “chambres de bonnes” were, for the servants. With lower ceilings and built under the eaves, the only access was by the back stairs.

    Paris Atelier Haussmann style

    When lifts were introduced in the early 20th century however, the hierarchy of the floors was reversed. Now, the 5th and 6th floors are the most sought-after as they have an unobstructed view of the rooftops of Paris and a clear view of the horizon that doesn’t have a price.

    Haussmann Characteristics

    Bright rooms, wooden floors, fireplaces and fine mouldings are just some of the attractive features of Haussmann apartments. With the exception of the kitchen and WCs, the flooring is almost always wood. The patterns most favored are herringbone, the brick pattern or “parquet de Versailles” motifs. 

    Parisian Haussmann Style

    These gorgeous wooden floors have been the defining characteristic of Parisian interior design through the ages. Additionally these are sometimes complemented by moldings, cornices, and simple or elaborate ceiling medallions. Wider baseboards, wainscoting or chair rail, and/or paneling on the walls adds a distinctive touch.  

    Decorating the Hausmann Home

    The typical Haussmannian style Parisian apartment is decorated in a blend of bold modern accompanied by an old-world refinement nevertheless with an easy flow between the two. Even while maintaining balance, the interior spaces follow the golden rule of – contrast and juxtapose styles, but do not erase them or blur the lines. 

    Modern Neo-Classical Style

    Another one of our 3 Most Popular European Styles is Modern Neo-Classical. The color scheme for Modern Neoclassical interiors is mostly white, cream, gray, pale yellow, blue, green, and other muted hues. However, Black, red, silver and gold are often used as accent colors. Most patterns feature low-contrast palettes. 

    3 most popular European styles - Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian
    Decorating the Modern Neoclassical home

    Modern Neoclassical Furniture has clean lines and simple symmetry. The style is marked by elegance and timelessness. Having said that, it is more modest compared to Traditional Neoclassical style. Nonetheless, there is an element of luxury in the elegant moldings, metal staircases, carved wood, antiques, and statues – both old and new.  Modern Neoclassical homes inspire visions of gathering and family in a more casual, unfussy way while still drawing on the understated opulence of its forbears. A mix of the old and new creates modern zen luxury with traditional roots. 

     Modern Neo-Classical style
    Scandinavian Style

    Last but not least of our 3 Most Popular European Styles is the Scandinavian Style. The primary characteristic – whether inspired by an Ikea catalog, or more high-end interiors, is that the style feels clean, crisp, yet calming.

    • The not-so-secret ingredient is Minimalism.
    • Scandinavian design emphasizes bright, light, and open spaces, with room to breathe within the space.
    • Choosing quality over quantity is a major trait of this style.
    • The other important trait is bringing nature inside.
    • The color scheme is usually neutral – often white with a pop or two of color that draws from nature – mostly soft blues and greens
    • Last but not least – clever use of contrast.
    Popular European styles - Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian style
    What is Hygge?

    Some people go for a version of Scandinavian style that is minimal almost to the point of monastic. But keep in mind this is not an invitation to live a Spartan life by any means. The success of this style is in being able to juxtapose the coolness of the white and what may be seen as uninviting clean lines need to be softened to a degree by introducing warmer textures and colors, and what may be defined as hygge. Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates to cozy togetherness. How do you do Hygge?

    Popular European styles - Scandinavian

    Because Scandinavian design doesn’t involve a whole lot of color, a quick way to soften up a space is to introduce plants. One big plant with ample foliage in a minimalist concrete or wood container will do the trick. Another way to introduce coziness is to install a white area rug with a plush pile and add just a couple of pillows in a textured fabric. Add a set of minimalist Roman Shades at the window and you’re all set to hygge away in style.

    Photo Credits –

    Haussmann Style – Home Office photo courtesy Booking.com | Living Room with Black Velvet Club Chairs and leopard print rug photo courtesy Architectural Digest | Haussmann style Atelier photo Courtesy Financial Times |  Modern Neo Classical Style – Living Room with pair of tangerine velvet armchairs photo courtesy designbooks.com | Living Room with pair of white chairs and powder blue coffee table photo courtesy Elle Decor | Scandinavian style – Living Room photo courtesy departures.com | Scandinavian Dining Room photo courtesy – YLighting.com

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    A Global Eclectic Home in 5 Easy Steps

    Join us as we break down how to create a well-traveled global eclectic home in 5 steps without having to leave the house. 

    One interior design trend which has been gaining in popularity in recent months and years is Eclectic or Global style. This is the home of a jet-setting world traveler. It is created with curated furnishings and accessories from around the world based on travels. It creates warm vibes via memories brought on by a personality-packed yet carefully chosen plethora of artifacts from places the homeowner has visited. This is a good feeling at a time when travel is restricted. 

    Eclectic Global Home Design

    However, you do not need to break the bank and buy an around the world ticket to achieve this style in your home. Don’t hop on a flight to Paris or Bali just yet. Even if you are not quite the globe trotter or don’t pursue a jet-set lifestyle you can still create an eclectic space with plenty of personality. 

    Eclectic Global Home Design

    Region – 

    First, pick a place on the globe that you are curious about then add a couple more places to your list. Don’t stick to one specific country.

    However, don’t create individual theme rooms based on specific regions for each space within your house. Be consistent in keeping each room eclectic. 

    Eclectic Global Home Design

    The most lively exciting rooms boast of assortment of pieces from multiple places that have an almost similar feel. Certain items from India, Morocco, the Middle East and Northern Africa as well as Mexico have similar colors and textures that can mix nicely together for a layered look. 

    Objects – 

    Choose items that look like souvenirs from travels around the world but stay away from cliches. For instance try to avoid prints of the Eiffel Tower above your sofa or wooden plaques with the word Paris carved on them, propped up on hall tables. Spend some time sourcing unique objects from specific regions of the world. Items that will bring a smile to your lips every time you enter the room and prompt lively discussions among dinner guests and visitors. 

    Global Chic

    Collections – 

    Next, loosely group items together that are visually similar. Keep it small. Don’t showcase your entire collection. One of the key elements to remember when creating an eclectic well-travelled home in 5 easy steps is to  edit carefully. The eclectic style is marked by a gathering of similar objects rather than a structured look. 

    This global inspired style is more cozy and invites friends and family to relax, reminisce and put their feet up. Nevertheless it takes some clever planning and editing so as to avoid having a busy room full of vacation tchotchkes. 

    Global Chic

    Mix it up. That’s pretty much the definition of eclectic. For instance a Viennese crystal pitcher looks good next to Japanese stoneware Sake set and an Irish pewter jug. A colorful miniature Piñata horse from Mexico and a stone crafted llama from Peru looks right at home next to a Dhokra metal folk bull sculpture from India. Arrange Chinese dragon masks on a wall with African ceremonial masks just like we did at the home of Ruth, a Tori Black Homes client. Gather items of different sizes small and large. Keep it to groups of two, three or five. Stagger pieces of varying heights in a collection. 

    Global Eclectic

    Textures and patterns –

    Combine fabrics with different and patterns. A plush Moroccan rug on the floor, next to an African straw basket filled with pillows in a French Provençal pattern or Balinese Ikat printed cushions, with a shiny Chinoiserie bamboo mirror on the wall above and Indian cotton or burlap curtains on the windows. All of these make for a well designed eclectic room. 

    Global Eclectic design

    Materials – 

    Mix materials such as wood, tile rugs etc., when designing a kitchen or bathroom. Combine different materials from different parts of the world which are nevertheless available to order from your local home improvement store. Do some research for local sources in your community but think global. Spanish slate or terra cotta tiled kitchen floors work well with black and white Moroccan tiles on the backsplash for a Tuscan inspired kitchen. Moreover, adding texture such as cement flooring in the bathroom looks stylish alongside patterned smooth glazed Encaustic tiles in bathrooms. Needless to say it adds interest and functionality as well as high style in an otherwise utilitarian space while creating movement,. 

    Eclectic Interior Design

    A patterned floor with a carefully chosen pattern will therefore draw the eye outward, making the space appear spacious. Moreover, the choice of pattern will add a design element while allowing it to flow seamlessly with the rest of the home as it may have wood floors or carpeting. 

    While creating a global eclectic home in 5 steps keep in mind it can be a minimalist monochromatic earth toned interior or on the other hand it can be a maximalist color-infused space with subtle drama, depending on your style and preference. Just remember to reflect your personality and to have fun. Happy decorating…! 

    Affordable Eclectic Interior Design

    Pic credits- 

    Region- pic of Eclectic global Room with an assortment of items image courtesy https://www.quercusliving.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-create-global-style-in-your-home – Pic of living room with Moorish design living room with global influence courtesy https://bellevivir.com/2019/07/global-chic-eclectic-style-sophisticated.html

    objects – Pic of sitting area with closet courtesy Elle decor – https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/interior-designers/g3368/worldy-eclectic-style/ – Image of living room with baskets courtesy Willow & Hall UK https://www.willowandhall.co.uk/blog/english-country-style-2/

    Collections- pic of tabletop collection image courtesy https://www.quercusliving.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-create-global-style-in-your-home – Pic of bedroom with curated art on wall courtesy https://bellevivir.com/2019/07/global-chic-eclectic-style-sophisticated.html

    Textures and patterns – pic of white living room with blue and black fabric throws courtesy Quercus Living UK https://www.quercusliving.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-create-global-style-in-your-home – Pic of Global Chic sitting room with rust walls courtesy Architectural Digest – https://bellevivir.com/2019/07/global-chic-eclectic-style-sophisticated.html

    Materials- pic of kitchen with slate floor pic courtesy Pinterest – https://pin.it/1gzHY6k – Pic of Bedroom with graphic patterned floors courtesy – http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ab8_Aq7ko5w/T2HLxizuzFI/AAAAAAAAOhQ/pTAi6NJQsqA/s1600/Screen+shot+2011-03-24+at+8.37.58+AM.png

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    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Here are 4 tips on what to know before hiring an Interior Designer or how to avoid costly mistakes when working as your own Designer. Tips to make the process super easy and get the best out of your design experience. 

    4 Things to know before you hire an Interior Designer

    As more and more people work remotely and spend large amounts of time inside their homes, certain things begin to take on more importance. Things such as the layout of their interior spaces, creating a balance and harmony through the proper and optimum use of color, patterns, textures, and lighting is becoming more important in everyday lives. To that end, the functionality of design elements is just as essential as aesthetics.

    Interior Architecture Vs Interior Design

     Interior design focuses on the hard and soft furnishings for the home – Fittings, Fixtures, and Equipment. Elements such as wall colors, flooring, tiles, cabinets, window treatments, furniture accessories are added by the homeowner and are easy to change – some more than others. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Interior architecture, on the other hand, usually pertains to structural aspects of the home. It defines what each space is for and how the different spaces work together. Interior architecture may or may not be permanent. For an existing home, this tends to involve remodels or structural alterations, such as walls, door and window openings, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure, etc., etc. 

    Architecture and Interior Design are two disciplines that are complementary to each other. The best design projects result from the successful collaboration of Designer and Architect – each super-specialized in their own field.

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    TIP #1 – Floor Plans

    One of the key things to know before hiring an Interior Designer is that a set of Floor Plans are essential. Architectural plans and prints are what builders use as a roadmap on how to build. However, they are not always built 100% exact. Architectural prints are a conceptual drawing of a space. Most of the time, the dimensions on the print differ from physical job site measurements. 

    The prints are a great guide, but If they are the drawings that the GC (General Contractor) built off and not the revised plans of what was actually built there may be discrepancies from the plans vs what was built on site. There is no way of knowing if there are any discrepancies until the designer takes actual measurements of the room.

    As-built drawings, on the other hand, are actual measurements of the space. When designing a space, Designers prefer to be provided with as-builts, or take their own measurements. Otherwise it becomes difficult to design an accurate furniture layout or guarantee a fit with respect to the furniture and traffic pathways in a room. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    TIP #2 – When it comes to color 

    Wall color is the easiest and quickest fix when refreshing or redesigning a room. However, the thing to keep in mind is that wall paint usually ends up a shade or two darker on the wall than what you see on the paint chip when looking at the fan deck in your home improvement store. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    A good designer will choose the color you love – then go down the paint deck to the next shade lighter. That is your correct wall color. Wall colors have the ability to make us feel calm and relaxed OR anxious ad stressed out. Choosing a color that is easier to live with is a wiser decision than opting for a trendy “it” shade. 

    TIP #3 – When it comes to Lighting

    Lighting can make or break a room’s design. Walking in the room at different times of the day and noting where the light comes in will help you or your designer decide where the sofa – the largest design element in a living room – or the bed – the largest element in a bedroom – is placed.  

    For nighttime lighting – each room must have ambient, mood, and task lighting – scattered throughout the room. Rooms with inadequate lighting tend to be low on functionality. Poorly lit rooms are not suitable gathering places for family and friends. 

    TIP #4 – The trick to shopping for furniture

    Shopping for furniture online is tricky. Similar to shopping in a furniture showroom. Items look very different in a furniture store or designer showroom than they would look after bringing them home. The lighting in a furniture showroom is commercial-grade lighting. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Similarly, photos of furniture and accessories, such as pillows throws and window treatments seen online are usually lit differently than they would be at home. Hence they tend to look different when they are delivered. 

    What to know before hiring an Interior Designer is that designers are great at visualizing an “after” look for your space. If you are working as your own designer, it helps to be able to visualize the particular shopping item in your home alongside your existing furniture and fittings. Does the piece work with the style of what you currently own?

    There are times when it is ok to mix different styles and periods but it is crucial to know the rules first, in order to break them. Next, visualize the level of light in the room. The furniture sales representative is there to help answer questions about the item and offer suggestions. However they do not know your choices or your room as well as you or your designer does, so order only when you are absolutely sure that you have made the right choice. 

    Designer as Guide

    Whether you decide to hire an Interior Designer or decide to go DIY – to transform your home to fit your and your family’s needs and preferences, whether you are a maximalist at heart or a minimalist, keep in mind your home is about you. 

    Let your designer guide you – because he/she is the professional with the training and experience. Having said that, your home is not about your designer’s favorite style. Neither is it about trends that are here today, gone tomorrow.  Insist on the best value for the time and resources that you spend. 

    Last but not least – make 2 crucial decisions before you pick up the phone to make that call to the designer –

    • Know your budget before hiring a Designer.
    • Set a timeline for your project.

    Happy decorating….!!

    Pics Credit – Art Deco Living Room pic courtesy Villa Tika Marrakesh -Orange and white wall color Image courtesy Elle Decor – Mood Lighting image courtesy Tori Black Homes and Home Designing – Modern Dining Room in Traditional home pic image courtesy Ikoab – Designer inspired Kitchen pic courtesy HGTV

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    6 Houseplants To Help You De-stress….!

    When your indoors are ready for a refresh, here are 6 houseplants to help you de-stress. Stuck at home during a pandemic, we all need less stress and anxiety in our lives these days!

    As a Designer, one could suggest a dozen different ways to achieve the same, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve a lot of time and resources – two things that we’re all trying to preserve in these unnatural times – well then, turn to nature….! 

    Indoor plants not only add esthetics to a space, they also make your home feel more cozy and welcoming. Additionally, they’re good for our mental and physical health. According to a NASA study report houseplants can reduce indoor air pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde. Some plants can remove high concentrations of indoor air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, organic solvents, and possibly radon. Moreover, recent research shows that plants have the ability to boost mood and creativity, as well as reduce stress. However, how to decide which houseplants are worth the care and investment and which to stay away from. Read on….!

    Gone are the times when having an indoor garden while living in a small apartment was not a possibility. We are all have been familiar with a room that was either too dark, or too damp, or an overly dry environment that is not exactly a suitable plant habitat. These days, a wide array of plant species are available that have been known to thrive in the care of apartment dwellers time and time again.

    However, before you rush out the door or off to your computer to start checking off your own list of top 6 houseplants to help you de-stress, sit down in the room where they are going to go and take some mental notes. Notice the way daylight enters the room. Indoor plants that prefer bright light generally need south-facing windows, where the most concentrated light is available. East or west-facing windows are also fine and here is where you put plants that don’t need a lot of direct sunlight. if you don’t have windows or sufficient natural light, nevertheless you can still own houseplants. Just get an LED grow light!

    Many different types of plant lights are available, including floor lights and lights you can clip to an end table or bookshelf. The good news is that plenty of plants tolerate low light conditions. Also, if your pets are nibblers, buy non-toxic plants.  So without further ado, here is my list of the top 6 houseplants to help you de-stress.

    Dragon Trees or Dracaenas

    These are very easy to grow tall indoor plants. If you are a plant newbie or a very busy person, this is the plant for you. These plants enjoy moderate to low light conditions. Do not place in full sun as it will burn the leaves. 

    Dracaenas are drought tolerant, so you don’t have to water them very often. Overwatering is one of the main causes of death for the plant. Depending on how much light this plant receives, you can water it every two to three weeks. 

    Dragon Trees are sensitive to fluoride – which as it turns out, happens to be a form of industrial waste product that humas are sensitive to, as well – so when it comes to your plants, it is always best to water them with distilled water if your tap water has high fluoride levels. This plant is an excellent air purifier helping remove formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene from the air.

    Areca Palms

    These are different from palms such as the Parlor Palm, so try not to confuse the two because the level of care for each is quite different than the other.  Areca Palms thrive in well bright areas but with indirect sunlight. The leaves will turn yellow if exposed to too much direct sun. These plants don’t do well in low light rooms either.

    This is not your plant if you are a casual gardener with nary a green thumb because this one does do not do okay if neglected. It needs to be watered often enough to keep the soil moist in between waterings. Do not let its soil dry through.

    These palms look great as indoor tall plants adding a slightly exotic slightly tropical wow factor to your space at their full height of 6 to 7 feet. However, because of that, these can be expensive to buy but since they grow relatively fast – roughly 6″ to 10″ per year – you can probably purchase a table top plant and let it grow. 

    Birds of Paradise

    Aka Strelitzias are comparably easy to grow and maintain among all the indoor tall plants. They grow fast and is a gorgeous plant to display – with leaves that unfold as they grow.  It is a surprisingly adaptable plant that grows well in low light and direct bright light conditions.

    Bird of Paradise thrive in moist soil conditions but make sure the soil is not too soggy. It is okay to water once a week from spring to fall then let the top dry out just a tad in winter before you water it again. It is better not to soak it in too much water.

    Having said that, since this is a tropical plant, it will enjoy regular misting to increase the level of humidity required for this one to thrive.

    The African Milk Tree

    This is a low maintenance indoor tall plant. The only thing this one needs to survive is bright light. This is your plant if you have full time work or babies – or both!!

    Watering should be limited to once a month indoors but keep in mind this plant will die if watered too much.

    This is an ideal indoor tall plant for people who do not have green thumbs, or has a busy life with very little time to care for plants.

    Philodendron

    These trendy plants are not just favored because of their photogenic look but because they’re pretty easy to maintain. Expect to see a new leaf weekly in the warmer season. Moreover, you can propagate them – split off a leaf with a node and re-pot or gift to a friend to grow in their own home.

    Large-leafed philodendron plants, including the monstera – which is the most photographed one of them all – need water every one to two weeks, allowing for the soil to dry out between waterings. This is your plant if your place doesn’t get direct sunlight. This one just needs a spot that receives bright to medium indirect light.

    Monstera was among the most effective at reducing air pollutants, like benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, in the Nasa study.

    The Fiddle Leaf Fig

    Last but not the least, of all the 6 houseplants to help you de-stress, this is my personal favorite and at Tori Black Homes we use it often in clients’ homes – either in groups with other plants or singly. They blend in subtly with most modern and/or traditional décor without making your living room look tropical or majestic. These may be sold as small plants or as tall indoor plants. 

    While the smaller size plants are widely available for purchase, the tall trees are a bit harder to find and perhaps because of it’s recent popularity, tend to be more expensive than Palms, Birds of Paradise or other tall plants.

    Fiddle Leaf Figs are easy to grow and care for but it works better if you find the perfect spot for it in your home and get the hang of the watering schedule. These plants need a lot of bright light so put it near a south-facing window and let it catch the morning light. Water it once a week.

    Place your plants in a cluster to highlight a corner of your living room room or place one graceful tall plant in a pot or basket strategically placed near a large window. Decorate with a raffia coffee table or an indoor swing if you are going for the Boho Chic look.  Alternately, furnish the room with a deep cushioned velvet sofa and camel leather armchair with hints of aged brass if you want a glam Hollywood Regency look. Or instead, add one single tall plant to a room with streamlined Scandinavian furniture, linen or burlap curtains and soft fluffy cotton pillows for a minimal Modern European look.

    If you would like to learn about growing edible plants such as salad greens, cherry tomatoes, and microgreens in your indoor kitchen and herb garden, see my tips on How to Create an Indoor Edible Winter Garden.

    6 Houseplants To Help You De-stress....!

    Happy decorating….and healthy eating!  

    Photo credits – Scandinavian sofa and plant image courtesy Toris Design Box – 7 Paths to Serenity in Your Home. Dragon Tree in window image courtesy – Trees.com. Bohemian bedroom with Palm image courtesy – My Domain. Blue dining room with pair of giant Birds of Paradise and African Milk Tree images courtesy – Balcony Garden Web. Living room with black & white striped rug and Fiddle Leaf Fig image courtesy – Decor Aid. Music Room with Eames chair photo credit Tori Black Homes.

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    How To Steal a Paris Apartment

    ….In 8 Easy Steps

    Before we get started on how to steal a Paris Apartment look for your own home, one thing to keep in mind is that most Parisian apartments start with more than we can hope for in a standard American apartment building – quite a bit more. Most American apartments start with a white box, whereas Parisian apartments already have great bones. Herringbone parquet floors and double windows down to the floor – with French doors –  that let in lots of light. Some apartments also have what is know as Trumeau. These are old original mirrors above the fireplace which are found in French châteaux as well as apartments.

    So that means we need to pay attention not only to what you put into your room but also what the frame of your room looks like.

    1) Walls

    ….In a Paris apartment – or home – are never plain. If you are in an apartment where you are allowed to re-paint, go for a layered look with a subtle tonal textured paint on the walls. However, avoid the sponge-painted look of the seventies as that may end up looking inauthentic and not Parisian.  If you are an expert – try rag glazing. On the other hand, if you are like most of my clients who are not – read on.

    For this, you will need:
    • Two 1/2 gallon cans of paint in two colors
    • A one-gallon paint can – empty
    • Paint thinner
    • Roller
    • Brush
    • Painter’s tape
    • Dropcloth
    • Step ladder if needed
    • Latex gloves

    Buy water-based or latex paint – not oil-based – in two very similar – as in next to each other on the paint deck – shades.  Get half a gallon of each – most standard-sized rooms need 1 gallon of paint.  I like the look of a flat finish so I would use flat finish for this.  Open the can of paint that is a slightly darker color – darker than the other. Using a roller – paint your walls covering them well.  Allow to dry.  Next, open the can of paint in a lighter color. Thin this down with paint thinner in a half and half ratio – half paint and half thinner.  Using a brush, paint over the wall using vertical and horizontal strokes. Do not worry about total coverage and do not worry about brush strokes. Let dry. Cover the entire wall with a top coat of clear acrylic – to make the walls somewhat consistent making it more resistant to smudges and fingerprints. Especially if there are young ones around. This particular paint treatment will give you a bold layered look. That is one way to steal a Paris Apartment style for your own home

    Milk Paint or Chalk paint produces a more subtly textured wall. Both paints give amazing rich and complex paint finishes. It comes in powder form and only needs to be mixed in with water so you can monitor how thick or thin you want the mix to be. Thinner coats produce the best results. Chalk paint finishes are thicker and more consistent, whereas milk paint is often less predictable. Milk paint ages beautifully, looking more polished with different levels of sheen.

    I like Milk Paint because there are no fumes during use, and is safe enough to go down the kitchen sink. If you want to learn more about using Milk Paint and all it’s advantages – I am going to do a tutorial on it soon, so stay tuned. For now, just know that mixed milk paint goes bad quickly so use it on the day it is mixed, or leave it overnight in the refrigerator and use it the following day. Milk paint soaks into the surface instead of forming a coat as regular latex wall paint does. If you have trouble with the paint not adhering to your previously painted walls, get a bonding agent like Milk Paint Ultra Bond for non-porous surfaces. 

    Hemp oil is a great top coat for milk paint. The oil gives your walls a darker, rich color and luster.  Top coats are optional but they protect paint from moisture and wear and are best for bathroom and kitchens.

    Chalk paint can also be mixed to create custom colors. You can uses Annie Sloan, or Websters Chalk Paint. Similar to Milk Paint you can apply this paint with a brush or roller. Brush strokes crate interest and add texture. Chalk paint distresses well.

    If you are doing a large room, the price of store-bought chalk paint like Annie Sloan may be prohibitive. However, you can follow my recipe below to create our own home-made substitute for great results.

    Home-made Chalk Paint Recipe:
    • One Cup Latex Paint (flat)
    • A 1/4 Cup Calcium Carbonate
    • An eight of a Cup Water  

    Depending on the size of your room, a gallon of paint could be more than enough. Do not worry about getting every lump out of your mixture, because that is what will give you the streaky look of a Haussman interior – that is my tip number one on how to steal a Paris Apartment style. Annie Sloan has tutorials on Chalk Paint but you do not need them for what we are trying to get done.

    If you’re really in the mood for that one-of-a-kind dreamy finish for the walls in your home (time and budget permitting), opt for a lime wash. That is the real thing, but that is a story for another day.

    If glazing or lime washing your walls like a Parisian is a no-no – you can think about adding statement-making wainscoting. For a modern take on the wainscoting concept, you can paint one wall of the room in a contrasting color from the rest of the room. Then install a grid pattern batten molding from baseboard to ceiling. It should be painted the same color as the wall where it is going. This is a nice way to create a feature wall – and one of my top tips on how to steal a Paris Apartment. Alternately, you can have batten or wainscoting only half-way up the walls from the baseboard to a chair rail going all around the room. Batten must be the color of the wall. Wainscoting looks best painted white.

    However, avoid shiplap – as that will not give you a Parisian or European look.  If you are in a home of your own and time and budget allow a remodel, spring for a wider baseboard. Most spec home builders go for the skinniest stock baseboards to avoid ramping up the cost of your home. So if and when you have a chance to add value to your home – as a Designer, one would suggest, go for it,

    2) Flooring

    ….Of original herringbone Parquet floors found in most Parisian apartments – cannot be found in most American homes and never in American apartments. However, the look can be substituted with wide plank engineered wood floors, to achieve a similar result. Having said that, if you bought a home and have the time and resources for a new floor, that is awesome. If not, most American landlords will perhaps not give permission to re-do their apartment floor. Nevertheless, we have a fix.

    The next thing would be to find out from the landlord if he might allow us to put down stick-on adhesive decorative tiles. Tiles that appropriate the look of French Limestone and slate tiled rooms. Octagon white tiles with smaller corner “cabochon” black tiles in between. That is what all the best Parisian foyers are wearing. Add a black border all around the edge of the room and viola…you’re there….!

    Lowes has a peel and stick parquet-look floor as well as Peel and stick versions of tiled limestone and marble floors. You can either go crazy, or restrained, according to your taste and sale. And that is one more way to steal a Paris Apartment. Peel and stick tiles adhere to most vinyl concrete and wood floors. Check the retailer/manufacturer’s instructions. 

    3) Crown molding

    …is a decorative element used for capping cabinets, columns, and, most often, interior walls at the point where the wall meets the ceiling. Often, crown molding is created of wood, but in recent years, plastic and foam options have become more readily available. MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) versions are popular as well.  The latter are more flexible, they paint nicer and they react better to fluctuations in temperature.

    Usually, apartments and some newer homes come with a standard 2 ¼-inch casing around windows and doors and a 3 ½-inch baseboard which runs along the bottom of walls and no crown molding.

    A modern selection of crown moldings currently available to consumers make it easier than ever to take a room from blah to beautiful. There’s an immediate impact that crown molding brings to a room. For homeowners, it adds value to the home – which is a selling feature. If there are two identical houses next to each other and one has crown molding and the other one doesn’t, the home with the crown molding will be worth more.

    Crown molding in both traditional and modern styles are available. Prices for moldings are reasonable and installation time is minimal. A seasoned DIYer should not have a problem installing their own crown moldings using a miter saw. If not, you can always go to Angie’s List and get a guy. 

    4) Curtains

    ….in Parisian apartments are opulent – both the material and yardage. To get the same look in your home, make sure you measure the windows. When ordering fabric yardage make sure it covers two and a half to three times the width of the window. Also make sure the curtain rod is wider than the window opening. There needs to be space to the left and right of the window opening to stack the curtains when they are open so as to let in light. This is the right way to get that true Parisian feel.

    In a room with regular height ceilings, the curtains must hang close to the ceiling – 2-4 inches from crown molding if you have it. Measure to the floor then deduct 1 inch to make sure your curtains wont drag each time you open and close them. If you want your curtains to puddle on the floor in true Parisian style, add 3 to 4 inches to the length. Make a simple diagram of your window and write down inches right and inches left. Measure the window – with trim – and note this number. Next, measure the inches above the window and inches below your window – skip the latter when measuring for French doors or patio doors. Now you are ready to order a window covering that shows off your sense of style – and establishes you as the new master on the subject of how to steal a Paris Apartment…!

    5) All that glitters

     ….isn’t always gold but it does always spell Parisian glamour ….and a little je ne sais quoi. A touch of gold makes the room glisten in the evening light when entertaining with friends and lifts your spirits on quiet nights while enjoying a glass of Prosecco as you mull your next move on how to steal a Paris Apartment.

    6) Antiques

    …especially one or two carefully chosen ones are a Parisian apartment must haves. Traditional antiques in the form of vintage accessory items or place settings, in a modern interior. Alternately have modern antiques such as a pair of chairs, an iconic sofa or a single case-good item or an accessory piece in an otherwise traditional setting. The trick is to mix in the old with the new or vice versa. A few vintage pieces add another layer to your re-created Paris flat.

    The trick is to make your antiques look as though they were in the family for centuries instead of being staged. The most important lesson on how to steal a Paris Apartment would be to shop for antique items that are functional and then use them everyday.

    7) Art

    ….is an important part of the Paris apartment decor. Parisians tend not to shy away from color. Think big bold pops – especially if your walls are neutral tones. Plan out color, size and theme. When it comes to size – here’s where you won’t go wrong with up-sizing.

    As for theme – this is where you get to infuse your own personality. Choose art that aligns with your hobbies, your travels your favorite color.  Trust your gut and trust your taste.  Avoid family portraits or your wedding photos on the walls of your living room or family room – those do have a valuable place in your home – elsewhere.

    Avoid generic prints that are this season’s favorites on Pinterest. When choosing a color – remember to mix but you do not necessarily have to match.  Shop for unique pieces with personality in eye-catching frames.

    8) Chandeliers

    ….are a homeowner’s – or renter’s – best friend. Statement chandeliers are a great idea when you feel you only have the strength to go for a big impact piece and call it a day. Shop for chandeliers that work with your style – whether it’s a traditional French number dripping with crystal,

    …..or a modern chandelier – unique and distinctive. Sometimes a single stylish ceiling pendant can spell the difference between a half- finished room and a well-designed one. If you chose the right one it can say a lot about your style by not saying too much. And that is how to steal a Paris Apartment. You can also check out some of my favorite recipes here. Let me know how they turn out. I love hearing from you guys. As always, if you have any questions about my E-design packages (the basic e-design package is currently 40% OFF during the pandemic) or want to chat about anything else design, you can always contact me at toriblackhomes.com

    Photos courtesy : 

    Walls – Paris apartment living room with sofa and black leather chair – from Curbed.com – photo courtesy https://archive.curbed.com/2017/12/13/16772948/paris-apartment-renovation-diego-delgado-elias Living Room with lime washed grey and white color-blocked walls from dwell.com -– photo courtesy https://www.dwell.com/home/drab-lancaster-city-row-home-gets-a-pear-colored-facelift-b1c4fdab/6511315640289697792 Dining Room with woodland mural from – Architecturaldigest.com – photo courtesy https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/parisian-apartment-french-decorating-ideas Lime washed gray bedroom walls – Photo courtesy Emily Henderson – https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/limewash-paint-mountain-house-ask-the-audience White dining room from Curbed.com – photo courtesy https://archive.curbed.com/2017/12/13/16772948/paris-apartment-renovation-diego-delgado-elias Photo of Board and Batten wall courtesy Pinterest. Living Room with mustard yellow sofa photo courtesy Living Room with mustard yellow sofa from Apartmenttherapy.com – photo Courtesy https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/minimal-and-modern-decor-apartment-photos-266003

    Flooring – Paris Interior with parquet flooring from onekingslane.com – photo courtesy https://www.onekingslane.com/p/4722965-tufa-wall-mirror-gold.do Photo of black and white marble floor at YSL new Headquarters courtesy of wsj.comhttps://www.wsj.com/articles/exclusive-step-inside-ysls-new-parisian-headquarters-11550238900 Peel & Stick tile flooring photo courtesy lowes.comhttps://www.lowes.com/pd/Achim-Retro-20-Piece-12-in-x-12-in-Geometric-Peel-and-stick-Stone-look-Commercial-Residential-Vinyl-Tile/1001824298

    Crown Molding – Courtesy homedit.com  – https://www.homedit.com/paris-themed-room/ Crown Molding – Photo courtesy decoholic.comhttps://decoholic.org/gorgeous-modern-french-interiors-40-pics/?subscribe=success#507 Living room with fuchsia sofas and crown molding from 1stdibs.com – Photo courtesy –https://www.1stdibs.com/blogs/the-study/parisian-apartments/

    Curtains – Blue curtains photo courtesy – houseandhome.comhttps://houseandhome.com/gallery/hilary-swank-paris-apartment/attachment/2-hillary-swank-paris-apartment-living-room-blue-sofa/ Orange curtains from 1stdibs.com – photo courtesy – https://www.1stdibs.com/blogs/the-study/parisian-apartments/

    All that Glitters – Photo courtesy thecuratedinterior.com

    Antiques – Antique copper cookware Photo courtesy https://kasha.paris/architecture/the-collectors-eye/ Tulip chairs and gramophone photo courtesy decordemon.comhttps://decordemon.blogspot.com/2014/01/apartment-in-marais-paris.html

    Art – Living room with oversized art photo courtesy Decordemon – https://decordemon.blogspot.com/2014/07/muriel-reuss-eclectic-apartment-in-paris.html

    Chandelier – Traditional crystal chandelier from homedit.com – photo courtesy https://www.homedit.com/paris-themed-room/ Art Deco chandelier – photo of Jonathan Adler Nixon cocktail table courtesy jonathanadler.com

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    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    More is more…and MORE is in…!! If the words Maximalist Design conjures up visions of over-the-top, stuffy rooms cluttered with tchotchkes and keepsakes gathered over the years, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. This is not your grandmother’s maximalism….! The following are 10 easy to identify Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    I have put together 10 easy tips on how to create a joyous oasis of maximalist luxury in your home, without it looking cluttered or busy. Maximalism is not so much a style as it is an escape from a world and culture that at times seems bleak and boring since it was born out of a reaction to the minimalist movement.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    A Maximalist space can be in any period, style, or trend. It can be applied to a small room, making it look like a luxurious little jewel box or a large room where it makes a statement. The basic elements of a maximalist home are pretty much the polar opposite of a minimalist interior. The minimalist preference for white walls and quiet color palettes are a no-no for maximalism. The bolder, brighter, and more color-splashed it is, the better.

    In the words of Jonathan Adler, “minimalism is a bummer. When you’re about to kick the bucket, you don’t want to look back and see an endless haze of beige.” I have worshipped at the altar of both. I have lived through my minimalist period and celebrated my unabashedly maximalist phase and reveled in the joy of each, at different phases of my life. Here are some quick tips on how to create a maximalist oasis. Let your soul spread its wings and have its own maximalist moment.

    COLORS – Take a look in your wardrobe for cues on what colors make you happy. Painting your walls the same color as your favourite skirt or summer jacket or pantsuit will make you feel empowered and confident working in this Home Office and walking through that stylish Indigo hued Art Deco style Hallway, every day. Against this rich backdrop, the white and occasional black of the furniture in the foreground is what makes the walls pop but yet does not overpower the room.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    LAYERS – Another one of my 10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design. This is a little tricky to pull off – but not if you follow the simple rule that I have followed a hundred times with clients and am sharing with you now. Select an item of clothing in a bold color from your closet. At the paint shop, match the color of the wardrobe item to a shade on the paint deck (or what’s closes to it) and note down the name. Now, on the same paint chip go to a shade that is 1 or 2 or 3 steps up or down from your original selection to start building your color scheme. Note down the names of each shade. These will be the colors for your wall paint and the dominant color for wallpaper, rug, sofa, and curtains but, remember not to stick to solids. For instance, layer a solid color sofa on a self-patterned rug and curtains in bold patterns against the backdrop of small-patterned wallpaper on one wall or two. This will give you a wonderfully layered look that is luxurious and comforting at the same time, like this Traditional style green-on-green Drawing Room, steeped in eye-catching opulence.

    DRAMA – Add red in measured doses and you can never go wrong. However, an entire bedroom with red-painted walls may not be the ultimate relaxing space. In the bedroom below, the bold red Art Deco style headboard against the dark blue walls are softened by a lavender lamp shade. Clever blending of all the different colors together stirs in excitement into the space without making one feel anxious or irritating. Bear in mind, lavender is red and blue mixed together but in inequal ratios. As I always say, it’s all in the details.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    BOLD CONTRASTS – To create this effect, pull colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel in a split-complementary or tetradic color scheme. The blue, watermelon, orange, green, pale yellow, and brown contrast with as well as complement each other well in the living room below. As do the patterns (stripes with large scale prints) and textures (plush with shiny finishes), to create a sophisticated, eclectic interior space that you will not easily tire of, no matter how long the stay-at-home lockdown lasts.

    LARGE SCALE – The oversized scale of the artwork, the floor to ceiling bookshelves and the plush overstuffed sofas against the floor to ceiling window coverings in the room below, joyfully plays up the maximalism in this Eclectic style home.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    PATTERN PLAY – The prints on the wallpaper, the fabric canopy, the bedspread complement each other and work well in this pattern-on-pattern blush themed English Country style bedroom below. By varying the scale of the prints on the furnishings, as well as by contrasting dark and light wood finishes, It feels calming and serene despite the use of multiple patterns.

    GLAMMED UP – Walls clad in luxe wallpaper and velvet-upholstered chairs with brushed nickel finish detail gathered around the burnished wood dining table with a rich, dark sheen topped with a stylish chandelier, ups the glam factor of this Modern style maximalist dining room below.

    BLACK IS A BEAUTIFUL BACKDROP – A rich glossy black finish instantly dresses up this jewel-like kitched with mirrored backsplash – like wearing a string of black pearls paired with a white silk blouse to a posh but fun gala.

    ANIMAL PRINTS IN SMALL DOSES – Animal prints are a great way to add pattern and instant glamour to a space – but in small doses, such as an ottoman, a pillow cushion or…. if you dare…an area rug.

    A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN IT’S PLACE – Maximalism is not about rooms packed wall to wall with furniture and accessories. Rather, it is about curated collections carefully edited with a keen eye and a disciplined approach. One of the 10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design is careful editing. The Transitional style Family Room showcases the homeowners’ collected treasures from travels around the world separately on the built-in bookshelves and in an antique chinoiserie armoire so it still manages to look neat and orderly by following the rule of – a place for everything and everything in its place.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    Photo credits – Maximalist Interior photo courtesy Daunenspiel. Jonathan Adler flagship store NYC photo courtesy Jonathan Adler. COLORS – Electric Blue Home Office and Art Deco style Hallway photo courtesy 1st Dibs, design by Sasha Bikoff. LAYERS – Green-on-green layered Traditional style Drawing Room photo courtesy One Kings Lane. DRAMA – Hollywood Regency style Red headboard in bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. BOLD CONTRAST – Blue, orange, brown and pale yellow Mid-Century Living Room photo courtesy Architectural Digest. LARGE SCALE – Eclectic Living room with oversized artwork photo courtesy Architectural Digest. PATTERN PLAY – English Country Cottage style blush bedroom photo courtesy Country Life magazine. GLAMMED UP – Dining Room photo courtesy Ellie Koleen photography, Design by Erin Melkonian Designs, Light fixture courtesy Corbett Lighting. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL – Bathroom photo courtesy The Tile Shop blog. ANIMAL PRINTS – Leopard Print rug in Mid-Century style bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING – Transitional Style Family room photo courtesy Tori Black Homes Interior Design.

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