Decor&You Blog

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Four Tips for Creating Your Outdoor Destination

How do your outdoor living spaces look?  Do they invite you out? As the weather warms and our gardens come alive, we tend to crave time outside in the sunshine. There’s no better place to do that then your own backyard.  One of the biggest trends in decorating today is extending your living spaces outdoors.  As homeowners maximize the use of their indoor areas they are finding that an easy way to create more space is to invest in decorating their porches, decks and patios. The challenge is that many homeowners don’t know how to approach furnishing and accessorizing outdoors.

At Decor&You, we apply the same focus on style and function to an outdoor space as we do indoors, treating it like a room or rooms, not just an adjunct area connected to your home.  With the following guidelines, you too can create outdoor spaces that will become some of your favorite spots to relax and entertain guests.

Create Rooms or Multi-Purpose Areas

The first step in creating an inviting outdoor destination is to decide how you want to utilize the space.  Do you want an area to relax in the sun and read a book or a place to sit and chat with your friends while enjoying a glass of wine?  Or perhaps you would like to cook or grill meals outdoors and have a dining table to host dinner parties.  Once you have decided how the space needs to function, develop an outdoor room arrangement plan to define each of the areas and how they will flow into one another.

Apply Indoor Comfort & Styling

Comfortable seating, tables, overhead and accent lighting and colorful accessories are some of what goes into creating functional and stylish indoor spaces. The same holds true outdoors.  The options are limitless when it comes to outdoor living room and dining furnishings. From cozy weatherproof fabric sectionals to classic rattan or wrought iron, you can easily find something that has your unique design aesthetic. Don’t forget the accessories like pillows, plants and area rugs. These help to make the space feel more finished.

Consider Shade & Warmth

For additional comfort, you must consider the heat of the sun on hot days and the chill of the night air when the season’s change. Options for shade include umbrellas, awnings or pergolas. A fire pit or fireplace is a great option for adding both warmth and ambiance.

Privacy Needs

Depending on your surroundings, privacy may or may not be necessary.  If you have neighbors close by or would like to create a space that’s a bit more secluded we have a few suggestions.  Drapery panels look fantastic if you have an outdoor space that has a roof or structure where you can install them.  Other options include building or purchasing stand-alone privacy walls or placing tall plants that will shield your space from view.  

Are you ready to get started on your creating your own outdoor destination?  

Now is the perfect time to be enjoying the nature and beauty of the outdoors.  If you need assistance, we would be glad to work with you to discover and design a space that is uniquely you.

Call My Greater Whitehouse Station, NJ Decor&You today to schedule your free outdoor living consultation. 703-244-6986

Posted 9 weeks ago

The Secrets to Creating An Outdoor Living Room

The Secrets to Creating An Outdoor Living Room

There’s a new movement in outdoor living and it’s bringing the indoors outside. When we are inside we like to enjoy the view and the natural light from the outdoors.  But when we are outside, we want to bring the comfort and style from inside our homes to our outdoor spaces.  In recent years,we have worked with many Nation wide homeowners who are looking to create outdoor living rooms.  This is a far cry from a simple weather resistant dining set and umbrella.  Careful thought and planning goes into designing a great outdoor space and we have a few secrets to making it a success.

Here are the decorating secrets to creating a fantastic outdoor living room:

Focus on designing a functional space with a consistent look.

1.      Your outdoor living room should be as cohesive as your indoor spaces.  This means thinking about how you want to use the space and what type of design aesthetic you envision.  Consider how many people you want to be able to seat for entertaining. What type of environment would you like to create – casual and relaxed or elegant and formal? How will this space work with adjacent areas?

2.      Choose comfortable sofas, sectionals and/or seating in weather resistant fabrics. There are some fantastic options out there from great, slipcovered sectionals to wicker and rattan pieces with cushions. Think about adding ottomans or chaise lounges for maximum comfort.  A professional decorator has access to quality furnishings and knows how to pull them together in ways you might never imagine.

3.     Don’t forget tables.  Again, consider how you want to use your space.  If you’d like to enjoy snacks and cocktails in your outdoor living room, you’ll want a coffee table and side tables.

4.     Accessorize!  No space is complete without accessories.  An outdoor rug is a must to tie your décor together.  Pillows, ottomans, candles, and throws will make your space feel welcoming.  And don’t forget to add some plants and flowers!

5.     Use color and pattern. Feel free to go bolder here than you are comfortable doing indoors.  The outdoor setting will embrace brights in a way that an indoor space cannot.

Are you ready to bring the indoors out and create an outdoor living room? Call Decor&You  at 203-405-2126  today and let’s create a space you’ll love for years to come.

Posted 9 weeks ago

WOW Décor: Layered Light Plans

WOW Décor: Layered Light Plans

Creating a beautiful layered light plan is really an art form.  When done correctly, lighting will evoke a certain mood in a space. Think of your favorite local restaurant or spa and how you feel when you visit.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create spaces like that in your own home?  It can be done with a layered lighting plan.

Layered light plans include multiple sources and types of lighting to maximize functionality and enhance ambiance. It simply isn’t possible to achieve both of these with one light source in a room. There are four main types of lighting that must be considered to build your plan: natural, ambient, task, and accent.

Natural light

All lighting plans begin by looking at the natural light in a space.  This creates your canvas, so to speak.  You want to understand how the natural light affects the room during the day so you can direct it appropriately and compliment it with other light sources during the day.  

Ambient light

Ambient light has the important job of setting the mood by providing the main source of overall lighting. Its main function is to deliver enough light to safely maneuver in the room.  The color and intensity of this light is important as it sets the tone and creates the base from which the rest of the lighting plan will be built. Ceiling mounted lights such as chandeliers, recessed lights, wall sconces and table or floor lamps are common sources of ambient light.

Task Lighting

Just as it sounds, task lighting serves the specific purpose of providing light do perform specific tasks. This could include reading, food preparation or shaving for example. Pendant lights, vanity lighting and under cabinet lighting are all great sources of task lighting as they offer very targeted illumination.

Accent lighting

Last, but certainly not least is accent lighting. The purpose of this layer is to highlight specific objects or features within a room to create focal points or provide direction. Track lighting, interior cabinet lighting, or wall-mounted fixtures are good sources for accent lighting.

One of the services We provide for homeowners is lighting plans.  Our lighting plans incorporate beauty and function and create the appropriate mood or feeling for a space.  Please call 203-405-2126  for more information or to find a Decor&You near you.

Posted 9 weeks ago

Celebrating Women Who Paved The Way in Interior Design

Celebrating Women Who Paved The Way in Interior Design

Women were first making their mark in the interior design and decorating industry just over 100 years ago.  In the early 1900’s two talented and innovative women were instrumental in opening people’s eyes to new and refreshing decorating options.  We’d like to celebrate their contributions to our industry in this blog by telling you a little bit about each of them.

Elsie de Wolfe is known as the first commissioned Interior Decorator in America.  She was born in 1859 in New York City and started her professional career as an actress in the 1890’s.  It was her great fashion sense that was first noticed. As an actress she was praised for her wardrobe selection, which consisted of couture fashions she personally ordered from Paris.  In 1905, de Wolfe decided to become a professional decorator and one of her first jobs was decorating The Colony Club, New York City’s first women’s club. The public immediately took notice of her work. In a time where dark furnishings, heavy drapes, thick rugs and limited color use were the norm, de Wolfe’s feminine style stood out.  Her designs featured glazed chintz, tiled floors, light drapes, pale walls, and wicker chairs, a welcome change to dark and heavy interiors!

Elsie de Wolfe’s career took off and she wrote the book “The House in Good Taste” in 1913.  After The Colony Club, she went on to decorate more clubs, private homes all over the country and in Paris and even a dormitory at The Barnard College.

Another native New Yorker, Dorothy Draper is marked in history for establishing the first American interior design firm in 1923 at a time when women owned businesses were very rare.  Draper invented “Modern Baroque” style, which was a grand departure from the period room decor of the times. The distinctions of her interiors included the use of never before seen vibrant color combinations such as pink and chartreuse or black and white.  

Her look was dubbed the “Draper Touch” and featured cabbage rose chintz with bold stripes, black and white checkered floors, and intricate plaster designs and moldings over doors and on walls and ceilings.  She loved designing open spaces for hotels, resorts and theaters.  She also designed jet plane and automotive interiors! You can still see her work in The Victorian Writing Room at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulpher Springs, WV.

Elsie de Wolfe and Dorothy Draper were pioneers of American interior design.  Their confidence in presenting new ideas in design to the public is admirable and inspirational.  It reinforces the idea that creativity, focus and positive attitude are qualities of successful individuals.  

If you have the creativity and drive to start your own decorating business, we’d like to talk to you about a Décor & You franchise opportunity. Decor&You® has the experience, knowledge, resources, education and ongoing support to help you build a very successful and profitable decorating practice with no experience necessary.

Call Decor&you today for your free color consultation 203*405*2126

Posted 9 weeks ago

Purple Reigns in 2017

Purple Reigns in 2017

It’s that time again when color experts are announcing their top color selections for the coming year. Earlier this Fall,we reported Sherwin William’s pick of Poised Taupe, a combination of earthy brown and conservative gray. Recently we learned that Benjamin Moore and PPG Pittsburgh Paints both chose shades of purple for their Color of the Year, Shadow and Violet Verbena respectively. The two are very different, though both firms noted their decision was based on their hue’s ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Benjamin Moore’s Shadow is a rich amethyst with the ability to reinforce shadow and light.  When used in decorating, this dramatic Renaissance purple can become the star of the room or work to stabilize other shades found within its surroundings.

The selection committee, an assembly of designers from diverse backgrounds, found inspiration from art exhibits, fashion, architecture, and other cultural influences both domestic and abroad. This year, they were highly affected by what they saw happening in the arts around the globe.  

PPG’s Violet Verbena, a grayish purple has been called a chameleon for its ability to work well in different settings and design aesthetics.  A total of 26 color experts from six different countries debate the options for three days before making a decision. Representatives from diverse industries such as architecture, automotive and consumer electronics study everything from fashion blogs and movies to the latest technology.

Violet Verbena was selected by PPG’s group to bring a sense of calm and enable our collective desire to lead an uncluttered lifestyle and disconnect from our ever-present cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

So, 2017 could be the year of purple.  What do you think? Do you like one of these shades better than the other?

When choosing color for your home, we always recommend first considering the palettes you gravitate toward and the existing furnishings in your home.  Beyond that, you should also look and how existing and new colors will flow throughout your home.  Need help? You don’t have to tackle it alone. Simply contact Decor&You at 203-405-2126 and request to schedule a color consultation in your home.

Posted 9 weeks ago

This Year, Why Not Make a New Kind of Resolution?

This Year, Why Not Make a New Kind of Resolution?

Each New Year is a fresh start, a blank canvas that you can use to create something new and exiting.  Now we know there are all sorts of resolutions you can make, but we have a suggestion for 2017. Why not make your home the focus this year and take on a few decorating projects to create spaces you will love? We bet you will be amazed at how much happiness having a home that reflects your own style will bring you.  Make 2017 the year to love your home! Take a look at our list of decorating resolutions and pick a few to try.  

2017 Decorating Resolutions

1.    Create an accent wall.  Choose a room you spend a lot of time in, like your bedroom or living room.  Create an accent wall with paint or wallpaper.  Look to the other items in the room for color or pattern inspiration and select something that will provide a focal point.  If you need help, check out our tips for choosing paints colors.

2.    Incorporate color.  Step outside the neutral zone and bring a bold hue that you love into your décor.  Simple ways to do this include paint, accessories such as pillows and throws, hanging new artwork, or a vibrant new area rug. For tips on finding your color confidence, click here.

3.    Accessorize.  Bring personality into your space by accessorizing.  Start with a coffee table or bookshelf if you are just getting started.  If you aren’t sure where to begin, read our blog on artful accessorizing here.

4.    Spruce up your window treatments. Take a walk through your home and take note of the window treatments in each room.  Are they providing enough privacy, allowing enough light in or blocking it out as needed? Pick a room or two that could use some updating and follow these tips.

5.    Create a cozy outdoor space.  Your deck, porch or patio should be natural extensions of your home. Too often these spaces don’t get as much decorating attention as our indoor spaces.  For some great ideas, read our blog on Creating an Outdoor Living Room.

6.    Replace worn or outdated furnishings. Take a quick inventory of your older pieces and determine whether they are ready for replacement. If you have a piece that still has good bones, consider reupholstering it.

If you feel your home is ready for a major decorating project or you’d like assistance completing one or more of your resolutions, please give us a call at 203-405-2126 today!

Posted 9 weeks ago

How to Be Completely Satisfied with Your Design Project

How to Be Completely Satisfied with Your Design Project

One of the greatest concerns people have when undergoing a redecorating project is whether at the end of it they will be happy with the result given the time and resources they’ve invested. It’s your home, and you want it to look, feel, and function based on your personal preferences, not someone else’s. And you don’t want the result to miss the mark.

To avoid being disappointed with the end result, you must take the time to ask yourself questions about your preferences and focus for the room, and you must think about your room in detail. If you are not clear on what you want, your result will be mediocre at best. How could it be any different? It takes time to carefully plan for what you want and to think things through.

When you’ve prepared and done the necessary planning, you will have nothing to worry about. In our book, “The Styleprint Design System” we provide the steps for a successful décor project, by helping you:

  1. Think about your space and imagine what you would like it to be
  2. Analyze your space (what works vs. what doesn’t) from three perspectives:
    1. its intended function
    2. its physical characteristics
    3. your personal preferences
  3. Evaluate principles of good design:
    1. light
    2. color
    3. arrangement within the walls
    4. the details
  4. Evaluate options with respect to:
    1. investment
    2. complexity
  5. Be aware of fear factors and their impact on the project:
    1. creating a plan
    2. implementing the plan

Be sure to explore our site as well for additional resources and information on our book, “The Styleprint Design System” or give us a call at 203-405-2123

Posted 9 weeks ago

Sizing Up Your Space

Sizing Up Your Space

Let’s say you’ve decided on a direction for a décor project. What now? It’s time to get to the hands-on part. Measure, take photographs, lay out your furnishings on graph paper on a scale of one-quarter inch for every foot, use an app such as Google Sketchup, or go to the Better Homes and Gardens website:

Keep functionality as your number-one focus here. Do three of these layouts, and evaluate the success of each:

  • Is anything missing?
  • Does it all fit?
  • How about the color scheme?
  • Is that coming together so that you can visualize it and feel good about it?

Be open to putting something in your plan that you may not have originally thought of. As you work this through, new ideas and thoughts will pop into your mind. Write them down for later consideration. Don’t dismiss them immediately.

Having choices is important, as it helps to ensure that your final selections are what you want. Even if you do not think an arrangement is something you will like, that’s okay. Think it through anyway so that you can look at it and say, “No, I really don’t like that.”

Sometimes, in completing this exercise, you will find that a layout you were considering doesn’t work. There may not be enough room to fit all the furnishings with enough clearance to easily walk around.

Humans are very much creatures of comfort, ease, and convenience. We tend to slide over things or not do some things if they seem inconvenient. So make your space as comfortable and convenient as possible!

Be sure to explore our site as well for additional resources that can help you with this exercise and learn more about our comprehensive design book, “The Styleprint Design System.”

Call Decor&You today for a Free room arrangement consultation. 203-405-2126

Posted 9 weeks ago

Trends in Lighting Your Space

Trends in Lighting Your Space

Trends in lighting change. When you assess a space to update it, changing the lighting fixtures can have a huge impact but is often overlooked.

In today’s kitchens for example, we’ve gotten away from the old fluorescent rectangles and are trending toward pendants that hang down over an island or work area. Under-the-counter lighting is another option.

Another lighting trend is to put a chandelier in a bathroom, particularly in a master bath. This adds a touch of elegance and whimsy and makes the bathroom a little more intriguing.

Occasionally there’s use for colored lighting but mainly for ambience. Use an uplight behind a plant, change the color according to the seasons, or bring attention to a particular color. You can also add room color with candles.

In most cases, individuals use a combination of two or three types of lighting. This creates the most flexibility for the use of the space, and dimmer switches allow the level of light to be easily adjusted.

Design tip: The type of bulbs you use matter and have an impact. The trend is toward bulbs that have longer life and also provide a truer, whiter light. Even in fluorescents, there are bulbs that replicate daylight. They are a little more expensive, but use them wherever possible because they give a more natural light, which is more invigorating, causes less stress on the eyes, and makes people look better.

Stay tuned in our next post where we discuss lightening from four different perspectives.

To learn more about the critical design elements or for a free lighting consultation, call 203-405-2126 today or pick up a copy of “The Styleprint Design System” available for purchase here. Also, be sure to explore our site, for additional free resources.

Posted 9 weeks ago

Finding Your Color Confidence

Finding Your Color Confidence

Neutral tones are the canvas for creating many great interiors and while we love grays and browns, color is what really brings personality and life to a space.  Selecting the colors to enhance your space can seem tricky.  Many people are fearful of selecting the wrong shade or color combinations that may date their décor or not look the way they intended. This is where a professional decorator is a godsend.  They can help uncover the shades that inspire you or invoke the mood you are looking to create in your space.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you start thinking about using color in your home with confidence.  

  • Broaden your definition of neutral colors.  Today, neutrals go beyond beige, cream and gray.  Black and navy can also be considered neutral, as well as metallic.
  • Use Pinterest or Houzz to search for rooms with color that you like.  Once you have created boards or idea books with 10 or more photos you are likely to see some commonalities.  
  • ·Find one shade that you love and balance it with other textures and neutrals in your room.
  • If you are apprehensive about a bold color, go a few shades lighter in the same color family.
  • Look at your existing artwork for inspiration.
  • Test the color out with accessories or a statement piece such as a side table or dresser.

Ready to give color a try? Our professional decorators work with you to uncover your distinct style with our Styleprint™ Design System. When we design a room for you we bring samples of upholstery, wallpaper, rugs, and paint for you to touch and feel.  When our clients find their color confidence, they are pleasantly surprised by their selections and are thrilled with the results!  Call Somerset, Hunterdon counties, NJ Decor&You today for color consult at 908-691-2615

Posted 9 weeks ago