Decorating

How to Layer Furnishings (without Photoshop)

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great weekend!  I’m finally feeling caught up after all that traveling, and today wanted to share a technique with you on creating inspiration boards by layering furnishings on top of one another for better visualizing spaces.

For years, I had admired the Photoshop skills of others and especially how they were able to layer furnishings in a room to create a mood or inspiration board.  As a home and design blogger, it’s a cool thing to know how to create a realistic looking space by using digital image editing tools, right?  Even if you’re not a blogger, there are tools you can use to create “rooms” for yourself just for fun too.

I have been playing around for months in Photoshop Elements and finally have a comfortable working understanding of the tools.  But here’s the news of the day: even if you don’t have or don’t know how to use Photoshop Elements, there is a way to layer furnishings in a room just like you see below, and without Photoshop!

how to digitally layer furnishings without photoshop

 

When I say “without Photoshop” what I mean is you really can create a multi layered space like the reading corner seen above without actually buying the software.  You’ll be using a few of the basic Photoshop tools but you’ll be applying them in a free online user friendly image editor called Pixlr.

In Pixlr, you can cut out and layer furnishings or objects on top of each other without buying or installing Photoshop and when I first discovered it last year, I thought it was pretty cool and rather user friendly too.  If you haven’t taken the plunge to buy, install, and learn Photoshop Elements, this program will allow you to get your feet wet and play around with the tools before you make the leap because it mimics Photoshop Elements in both layout and functionality.  And it’s free.

If you want to make an inspiration board that looks more three dimensional, or more like a “real” room, here are the basic steps that allow you to layer a chair on a rug and a pillow on that chair just like you see below.

how to layer furnishings intro

 

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Create an Inviting Outdoor Conversation Area

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

One of the things I’m looking forward to most in summer is lingering outside with friends and family on a warm evening while we sip beverages, barbeque, and enjoy the cool breezes that blow through the yard.  I’m sure you feel the same about your summer evenings too!  I invited my friend and fellow blogger Shannon of {aka} Design to be a contributor here and today she’ll be sharing a few ideas for creating that perfect inviting outdoor conversation zone which will guarantee your guests linger longer during the warmer summer months.  Please welcome Shannon as she shares her best tips on creating an inviting conversation area in your own yard. 

“Outdoor dining areas have long been popular in the warm summer months for parties, barbeques, and family get togethers.   There are so many fabulous ideas to be found both online and in print to inspire you to create a cozy eating area and conversation zone outdoors. 

With so many beautiful and affordable outdoor furniture sets available these days, it’s easy to create an outdoor conversation zone that works for your lifestyle.  But creating an area for lingering conversation is about more than just plopping down an outdoor sofa and some chairs.  Here are some tips for creating an inviting conversation outdoors in a space large or small!  

1. Create a Focal Point

HGTV

firepit seating area

Parker Palm Springs

Build your conversation area around something interesting by creating a focal point.  This can take the form of a fire pit, a coffee table, or an outdoor ottoman to rest your feet.  By gathering your seating around something you make it easier to have face-to-face conversation.  The nice thing about a fire pit is it creates a campfire-type atmosphere for sharing stories – of the ghost-type or not – and is great for toasting marshmallows.  A coffee table or ottoman provides a place to set your drink or put up your feet, which is always a reason to stay a little longer. 

 

2. Layer Greenery

elle decor outdoor greenery

Elle DECOR

bhg greenery around outdoor sitting area

BHG

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