Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Traditional with a Color Kick

Comfortable Elegance
    Sophisticated and approachable. Step inside the suburban New Jersey home of designer and mom Jennifer Watty, and both sensations are immediate. Watty deftly layered rich color, pattern, and pops of indulgence without sacrificing the welcoming aura.

Orange Crush
    From the apricot-hue walls to the peachy curtains, Watty's favorite color -- orange -- is apparent throughout her home. Subtle variations of orange harmonize perfectly in her sunlit living room.

Royal Treatment
    The dining room carries a regal air, thanks to lush red curtains made from opera satin. The material is surprisingly durable, which is why Watty loves it so much. With three kids in the house, even pretty accents must stand up to wear and tear. A wing chair with graceful curves lends weight to the furniture grouping.

Warm White
    Watty's kitchen is as hardworking as it is charming. Office space, savvy storage, and plenty of countertop area make this room a hub of activity. Pretty details -- the dual Colonial-style light fixtures overhead, the mirrored cabinet, and vibrant artwork -- add visual interest.

Family Time
    This is where the house becomes a home. The family room's comfy furniture is upholstered in inexpensive dark brown brushed cotton. It stands up beautifully to daily use by a busy family. A woven coffee table introduces calm, natural elements. It helps to balance bolder decor choices, such as the spicy orange wall color and the punchy patterns on pillows.

Old and New
    The orange palette Watty used throughout the house takes a turn to golden in her bedroom. The walls are bathed in a buttery vanilla-tone wallpaper that seems to radiate soft light. Watty's furniture is a mix of styles and eras. She scored the bedside table at an auction.

Ultimate Guide to Carpet and Rugs

Choices A-Plenty
    Choose wall-to-wall carpet to add continuity to your home. Design options are plentiful, with a wealth of colors, textures, and patterns available.

A Restful Choice
    Carpet is a natural fit in the bedroom thanks to its soft, warm, comforting nature. Choose neutral patterns and colors to create a soothing, relaxing backdrop to this restful room and let the personality of the space take the visual lead.

Added Function
    Not only does carpet add warmth to our floors, it adds sound insulation, too. This makes it an ideal choice not only for bedrooms, but for home entertainment spaces.

Layer Carpet with Rugs
    Use carpet to lay a neutral base to all the rooms in your house. Then, layer on area rugs in individual rooms to add a splash of color and personality, create texture, or define a space within a space.

Know Your Carpet Fibers
    Don't less carpet vocabulary dampen your shopping success. Know your fibers to make an educated decision. --  Polyester is the least expensive type of carpet (commonly found in home-center-grade carpets), but its also the least resilient. Choose polyester for low-traffic rooms. -- Nylon is much more durable, with good resilience, color retention, and stain and abrasion resistance. If you can afford the upgrade, choose nylon for long-term wearability throughout your house. -- Polypropylene is stain and abrasion resistant like nylon, but less bouncy underfoot. This fiber is best in loop- and dense-cut pile carpets. -- Wool is the most expensive option, boasting great resilience and strength, but should be treated to repel stains and resist static electricity.

Modular Option
    While wall-to-wall carpet requires professional installation, there are do-it-yourself options, called modular carpet tiles. These individual pieces of carpet not only offer a way to install it yourself, they also make it easy to replace individual tiles due to stains or wear.

Adding Rugs
    Whether wood, tile, or carpet set the background for your rooms from wall to wall, you can always enhance your décor with rugs. Available in large area rugs or smaller accent rugs, they can be the starting point of a room's entire decorating focus or the finishing touch. They also add depth and dimension by adding layers underfoot.

Design Inspiration
    Let a rug that you love lead the way to a room's decorative character. The style, pattern, and colors established in the prominent floor covering can be a springboard for wall color, furniture selection, and accessories.

Select the Right Style
    An area rug can compliment (or establish) the style of a room, depending on the pattern, color, and weave you choose. In an eclectic or whimsical room, add a colorful, loose weave or plush shag rug. Choose Oriental or Persian rugs for traditional décor. Compliment contemporary design with a geometric pattern or a tone-on-tone rug.

Set Some Boundaries
    Define spaces within rooms with the addition of an area rug. A large rug draws a seating arrangement together to create a more intimate setting.

Define the Dining Area
    The dining room is a good place to use a rug to define space. An area rug beneath the dining table and chairs grounds this functional area and subtly unites the mass of furniture legs. For the right fit, the rug should be large enough for chairs to push back from the table and remain on the rug.

Plush Benefits
    Rugs add texture and warmth underfoot. Use their nature to your benefit where you could use an extra layer of comfort -- such as that first step out of bed in the morning, or in a family room, where people love to stretch out on the floor to play games or watch a movie.

Make an Area Rug
    Can't find the perfect area rug? Have one made by binding a piece of wall-to-wall carpet. Not only do you get exactly what you want in pattern and color, you get it in precisely the size and shape you need.

Shopping Tips
    Consider these tips and resources as you set out on the adventure of shopping for flooring. -- Take along paint chips and fabric swatches to narrow down the vast array of color and pattern choices. You'll still want to bring home samples to make your final decisions in the space and lighting of your own home. But having these elements along in the showroom will help you weed out absolutely "won't work" options from the beginning. -- Take rough room measurements ahead of time. Although you'll need precise measurements before installation, estimates will let you get a quick cost figure in mind as you shop. You want to know if a certain material you fall in love with really is within your budget.

Ultimate Guide to Tile and Stone Flooring

Tile Offers Form and Function
    In the kitchen and bath, the potential for messes and moisture requires a flooring that is high in function, durability, and water-resistance. Tile and stone meet this challenge and bring with it handsome design choices from traditional to contemporary.

Living Room Likeability
    Don't pigeonhole tile as just a kitchen and bath flooring. Tile makes a beautiful statement in living and dining spaces, too, thanks to its timeless and natural character.

The Tradition of Stone
    Natural stone presents a striking, upscale look in any room. Consider it an investment in your home as it is one of the more expensive flooring choices. Natural stone is a fashionable compliment to traditional style with its classic, and sometimes old-world, look.

Use Stone in Moderation
    Do you love the look of natural stone, such as marble or granite, but laying it across an entire room isn't within budget? Use it in a smaller space, such as a powder room or entryway. Or use stone to create a dramatic hearth for the family room fireplace. Add a stone border or inset to another flooring material, such as wood, in a spacious great room.

Contemporary Choices in Tile
    Various tile choices offer sleek, contemporary styling for rooms with a modern approach. Try large concrete or irregular slate tiles to make a substantial statement. Or use glossy ceramic tiles for a backdrop to clean-line design.

Design with Ceramic Tile
    Ceramic and porcelain tile is a versatile and decorative option that is also less expensive than natural stone. Mix and match tiles of different colors, patterns, and sizes to create custom designs, intricate borders, and one-of-a-kind floors.

Foster a Healthful Home
    Like wood flooring, tile and stone offer a healthy benefit to your home. The super-hard surfaces won't trap allergy-ridden dust mites or troublesome bacteria.

Design Tricks with Tile
    You can use tile flooring to impact the space in your home. Large pieces of tile tame an oversized room by keeping the eye moving. Lay tiles diagonally, instead of perpendicular to the walls, to make a space appear larger.

Decorating ideas for your apartment

Warm Color Schemes