Ask Kate

Formula for a Fabulous Foyer

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

I love to answer reader emails especially when there’s a takeaway for others. Today’s comes from Kari:  “Hey Kate, we have a new single story house with a blank wall in the entry and I’d like it to be functional and welcoming but really nice looking too. Do you have any ideas on where to start?”

Sure do Kari! The entry is an opportunity to make a first impression so embrace it, but also make sure it works for you. There are a few no fail formulas for styling a fabulous foyer, here are some to consider.

The first is the console table + statement mirror combination. Most console tables are shallow so they will take up less square footage in an entry. They also provide a horizontal surface to place keys and mail and what we all really want: a pretty vignette.

ornate white mirror gray console bhg

better homes & gardens

black console and mirror abby weiss

 abby wolf weiss interiors

table and mirror in entry

better homes & gardens

striped wall sunburst mirror muse interiors

muse interiors

rustic console in entry bhg

better homes & gardens

  

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

How to Mismatch Nightstands

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

A local friend is sprucing up her bedroom and the husband and wife have no nightstands. They’re going back and forth on a pair of nightstands for the bed, he wants storage for his reading material, she wants something pretty and leggy and I was sharing with them that it’s possible to have different bedside tables because nightstands need not match. 

There are other reasons for this design dilemma, sometimes a master bedroom doesn’t have the space for a matching set, or the preferences for the purpose to be served are different. Sometimes the room is simply in transition and the couple is temporarily working with what they’ve got while they shop for an ideal solution. In case you’re dealing with the same issue, I’ve rounded up a few ideas for my friend (and for you!)   

Partner Similar Styles.  A good strategy is to combine bedside tables that relate to each other in some way. Take a cue from the style of the space (traditional, elegant, cottage, etc.) and pair pieces that coordinate based on that style. Another option is to choose pieces from the same manufacturer or line of furniture and simply opt for different shapes.  

mismatched nightstands

 

mismatched traditional nightstands

 

stained wood mismatched nightstands

 

gold leaf nightstands lonny

better homes & gardens / jessica bennett / laird jackson  / lonny

   

Similar Size.  A pair of nightstands or dressers that are different styles but share the same height and visual weight can be a successful combination and one that serves the preferences of whomever sleeps on that side.

gray blue bedroom wood ceiling

 

mismatched dresser nightstands

similar weight mismatched nightstands

 dillon kyle architecture  / c california style magazine / marie claire via nicety

    

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Clipping Mask Basics

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I’ve received a few emails about how I created shapes around images of products featured in the Holiday Gift Guide and in some subsequent posts since then. The answer is by use of a basic process of layering shapes and images with the clipping mask option found in Photoshop Elements. (For those that don’t have this software, Adobe is having a sale, you can purchase it for $70 before Dec 28th.)

This doesn’t take any advanced skills just a basic familiarity with the tools in Photoshop Elements. Follow these seven steps and you’ll be on your way to framing any image inside a shape of your choice or creating patterned or textured lettering. Both are helpful for blogging or scrapbooking or card making, or simply for having fun with photo editing or getting creative with fonts.

clipping mask basics

For demonstration, I’ll use this pretty Cambria Dinnerware image from Pottery Barn. Open the image you wish to frame inside a shape in Photoshop Elements.

open image in pe

 

1) Double click on the image thumbnail that is visible in the sidebar Layers window to unlock it (it’s automatically named “Background” by PE). Rename it anything, I usually use the default name of “Layer 0″

change background to layer 0

2) Select the Shapes tool and pick whatever shape you want to use to frame your image, from an ellipse to rounded rectangle to hexagon. In this example I’ll use the ellipse (or oval).

select shapes tool

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Pin It
Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare