Sponsor Spotlight: Shades of Light

October 19th, 2011

Hello all, I want to share with you one of my newest sponsors, Shades of Light.  Perhaps you’ve heard of them or have seen their collection of stylish home goods.

Shades of Light is a great resource for furniture, lighting, mirrors, lamp shades and lighting supplies. Here’s a sampling of my favorites from the vast amount of choices available online.

shades of light collage

Weathered Metal Mirror; Zebra Drum Pendant; Architectural Frame Mirror; Pharmacy Table Lamp; Dijon Arm Chair; Melon Mercury Glass lamp.

The also carry a great collection of rugs from transitional to contemporary and in many colors that will suit your space. 

shades of light rugs

Happy Trellis; Umbrella Stripe; Thomas Paul Zinnia

Be sure to stop on by Shades of Light for all of your online lighting and home décor needs!

xo,

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Go Big or Go Home

October 19th, 2011

Courtney and I got to talking the other day about how much we love well designed spaces with large scale statement pieces.  While small collections successfully grouped together certainly have their appeal and do help to personalize a home, there is something to be said for the wow factor created by a statement piece that begs to be noticed and takes center stage. 

This month Courtney from Courtney Out Loud is back for his monthly insight, offering his best tips for delivering big impact in spaces which demand large scale décor. 

Let’s hear them Courtney! 

“The 1990s ushered in the concept of the expansive ‘great room’ – a large and often double height room that encapsulated the idea of living without walls. It combined the functionality of formal dining rooms living rooms, dens, and family rooms into one massive space.  The great room proved to be a key selling point for families looking for more open living, however, it has also proved to be a constant source of frustration as how to best decorate such a voluminous space.

When faced with rooms of monumental proportions, I look to the words of a former college classmate whose favorite catchphrase was "Go Big or Go Home." Of course he was referring to drinking when he uttered that phrase but nonetheless, the statement also holds true for home decorating. The key to decorating large spaces lies in utilizing proper scale.

Follow these simple rules and your larger space will end up feeling more like a cozy nook:

1. Define the Space From Below. A complaint I typically hear from my clients is that their great rooms are not functional. Upon hearing that, the first thing I tend to ask is if they have segmented the room by use. Sounds simple but so often home owners neglect to divide their great rooms into smaller areas.

By creating activity zones or communal areas for entertaining, reading, and conversation as well as more utilitarian areas such as an office or craft area, the room begins to feel less overwhelming.

l choose to work a space from the floor up, so a hardworking area rug is a worthwhile and essential investment for a large great room. In great rooms, I like to use multiple rugs to define zones, but I find many people are hesitant to use multiple rugs in one room because to them they appear choppy or island-like.

To counter that notion, I encourage them to consider large rugs (8 x 10 or larger) in different but coordinating designs to create seating areas and to avoid the appearance of a room looking like a fragmented hotel lobby.

Deborah Needleman great room ny mag

Deborah Needleman via NY Mag

If the idea of multiple rugs doesn’t sit well, then consider going having a custom rug created.  While extra-large rugs often run thousands of dollars, a inexpensive alternative is to find a carpet remnant and have it bound.  This way, you can create a custom one-of-a-kind pieces for far less than what a custom woven rug would cost.

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Results from Restor-A-Finish

October 18th, 2011

My little sis pesters me about furniture because she’s always looking for great finds and she knows if she gets me talking about old furniture I’ll ramble on for days. Sis has been looking for a small sideboard or buffet, so when I stumbled upon this antique at a thrift store last week for $75, I quickly snatched it up for her. I liked the size and solid structure with its dovetail joints, plus it had no major damage. But it was a little sad looking and definitely in need of new stain, or perhaps even paint.  

I was on the fence about whether to paint it, but thought I’d try to restore the wood first. I had heard about a product from several antique dealers that breathes new life into tired old antiques and doesn’t require the typical strip/stain/poly steps that are required to fully refurbish wood furniture. The product is Howard’s Restor-A-Finish and I thought this latest vintage piece was the perfect candidate to give it a try.

I followed the instructions and used a very fine grade steel wool (level 000) to wipe down the buffet in the direction of the wood grain, then applied two coats of the Restor-A-Finish. I also pulled off the acanthus applique attached to the back because it was bugging me, then replaced the center hardware and broken pulls with new ones lightly coated with Rub N’Buff in ‘Antique Gold’. 

Here’s a peek at the easy transformation that took about an hour.

Before:

buffet before

After:

buffet after final

Not bad!

I grabbed these three products at my local True Value Hardware to see how well they’d perform on this buffet.

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