Reader Design Dilemma: Paint the Hutch?

May 21st, 2012

I get a lot of emails asking for quick tips or advice on DIY projects or design dilemmas and when I get a chance, I like to answer some of them here instead of with an email reply.  This latest one is from CC, and she writes,

Dear Kate,

“I have a 1960’s Thomasville china hutch that originally belonged to my grandparents.  I will never part with it for sentimental reasons. It is solid pecan wood and in great shape.  With that said, I would love to paint it but I feel horrible guilt, crazy, I know!  I am a grown woman with children of my own and yet I still worry about my mother’s opinion.  Please share with me your thoughts on what to do with my hutch.

Thank you, CC”

 

ccs hutch

 

CC also shared a picture of the room where the hutch sits, and she’s converting her formal dining room into a sitting room for reading and visiting with friends.  The space is 10 ½’ wide (shown) x 13 ½’ long and she will be adding some additional seating. 

cc living room

 

Answer:  Hi CC!  First let me say what a nice solid piece that is, lucky for you!  My first piece of advice is to remove the spindles on the side doors which make the piece feel dated.  Consider replacing the spindles with a single glass pane or even removing the side doors entirely. 

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Layer Furnishings (without Photoshop)

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

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Pin It