Design Dilemma

Hardwood v. Lookalike Tile

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Question friends, what do you think of all the wood lookalike tile that’s available to homeowners now? The house we’re considering purchasing in SLC needs all new flooring and as much as I adore and I mean adore true hardwood, I’m drawn to the idea of a lookalike tile product, especially in the entry that flows into the kitchen and breakfast nook.

Lookalike wood tile caught my eye last year in a restaurant in Canada and I thought it was so cool I got down on my knees to caress that floor, no joke. I’ve seen it installed in restaurants in the Bay Area too which makes sense since it looks like reclaimed or hand scraped wood but has the benefit of repelling moisture while maintaining a great look, even with tons of traffic.

wood look porcelain tile

via

Like wood, you can install it in side by side plank formation or get creative with a herringbone pattern.

wood lookalike tile daltile

south cypress wood look tile

sources 1 / 2

dana frieling tile floors

via Make Them Wonder 

And have you seen some of the barnwood and shapely options for floors and walls?

wood lookalike tile

source  12 

If you’ve ever wanted the warmth of wood in a bathroom but the practicality of tile, this product seems to be just the thing to get the best of both worlds.

ariana floor tile

via

Tile is cold and hard underfoot which is fine by me in summer but in winter not so much, so radiant heat is definitely a consideration (and additional expense). I love the fact that up close it looks pretty amazing, and when grout lines are tight or close to non-existent, the tile looks so much like the real thing.

hardwood lookalike tile floor

The idea of a surface that will take the wear and tear of foot traffic, pets, and kids has a lot of appeal. But there’s always that lingering question of how it will affect resale value and whether the product will stand the test of time.

I’m curious what you think. Is wood lookalike tile fakey faux or modern and fab? Have you installed a wood lookalike porcelain tile in your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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Decorating Around a Leather Sofa

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Hey everyone, it’s the start of a new week! Let’s kick it off with a recent reader submission, an email from Kristin who posed a design dilemma many people (*ahem* ladies) face when decorating their living or family rooms, and today’s focus is on that piece that so many dudes love, the leather sofa or sectional. I received this recent email from Kristin:

“Hello! I have been following your blog for years and I share a lot of the same styles but have a dilemma. My husband and I have a decent size house but one living room with a leather furniture set. I love the airy and clean looks of your decorating style, but the leather furniture purchased by my husband is big, dark, and manly.  We don’t have many windows and the walls are a light beige (Latte by SW) and I decorate with a lot of whites, blacks and beiges but I just feel STUCK! Any suggestions for making the room feel more light and feminine?”

Hi Kristin! This is a common dilemma, since many people own leather sofas and sectionals, and pieces upholstered in a traditional dark hide can feel visually heavy in a space. But I think it’s less about making a room feel more feminine and more about creating a room that is balanced with clever layering and accessorizing since (done right) leather sofas can be both attractive and comfortable. Here are five ideas I came up with to decorate around leather sofas.

1.)  Lighten Up.  A traditional leather sofa is dark by nature so the easiest way to balance that out is to accent and/or surround it with plenty of light for desirable contrast. A paler hue on the walls, soft cream or white accent pillows, and/or a light or white coffee table will accomplish just that!

leather sofa painted hive

The Painted Hive

essex leather west elm

West Elm via Apartment Therapy

leather chesterfield white walls

source unknown

leather sofa colorful rugs sfgirlbybay

SF Girl by Bay

   

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Sofa Pillow Styling: Basic Tips

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

In my mind, the best party would be one where I was invited to a city loft filled with a dozen sofas and hundreds of pillows stacked up on shelves and someone hands you a glass of champagne and says “go style some sofas with some of these killer pillows”.  Add of course there would be some design loving friends and bloggers present – call me crazy but that’s my idea of a really good time. 

Nancy from Minnesota wrote to me the other day asking about pillow styling on her neutral sofa and how to go about picking accent pillows that look modern and fresh. Every sofa needs a few toss pillows for comfort but also to give it a finishing touch. I believe in mixing them up so they’re coordinated but not too matchy matchy. 

For any sofas anchored on a rug, that rug should be the first thing you pay attention to – the pillows should complement and not compete. The simplest way to do it is to use a color that’s already present in the rug. Below is a neutral ‘goes with everything’ gray striped rug and a basic white sofa.

Mixed Neutral Palette.  There are four patterns on this sofa and they all work together because they all carry a varying shade of the color in the rug from light gray to charcoal. Include a classic stripe, a geometric or two (notice one is large and one is smaller in scale) and then add a contemporary floral or paisley or block print motif with a pop of color. gray and white rug and pillows on sofa

hampton sofa + striped rug + pillows: graphic gray / mod floral / small chevron / stripe

 

Monochromatic Palette.  Use a similar formula to combine any number of toss pillows in a single color. Below a large scale geometric is paired with a smaller scale floral and combined with a navy border pillow and an embroidered medallion pillow in indigo. Use one or two more of the same patterns on chairs that sit adjacent.

monochromatic pillow styling

manchester sofa + seagrass rug + pillows: trellis + floral + medallion + border

 

Complementary Color Palette. Complementary colors are ones that are opposite each other on the color wheel, the blue and orange, purple and yellow, red and green and their varying shades. Coral and teal are also complements since coral is a version of orange and teal is a blue hue – below you see a combination of the two using a larger scale and medium scale botanical, two solids, and a small scale geometric.

blue and coral pillows

chaise sectional + trellis rug + pillows: coral needlepoint / teal lumbar / coral geometric / spruce solid / russet botanical

 

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