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May-31-2012

Design in the Details: Stitching

Posted by creatingyourspace under Design and Decorating, Interior Finishes

Details are what make a professionally designed room stand out. Interior designers and decorators know that designing and decorating a space is more than just arranging lighting and furniture, selecting wall colors, choosing flooring and buying accents.  Design is in the details. Small touches that might be overlooked at first glance are the things that make good design great design.

One design detail that many people probably overlook is stitching. Decorative stitching, as opposed to the stitching that holds a piece together, can add an extra bit of flair. Decorative stitching can be something like quilting or a blanket stitch on the edge of a throw or rug. As seen in this picture, detailed stitching can be done on leather as well as fabrics.

For leather or suede furnishings, decorative stitching is a common design element. The stitching can be done in a white or contrasting thread so it stands out. Just like quilting where the thread can blend or become a decorative element on its own, decorative stitching on leather can be subtle or bold. Stitching can be purely decorative or as part of the construction of the piece. Seams can be highlighted with contrasting thread for a decorative look.

Pillows and other soft goods can be embellished with embroidery as well as quilting. Embroidery can be done in geometric, abstract and representative patterns—the possibilities are endless.

Next time you are purchasing a rug, piece of furniture or decorative accessory pay attention to the details like stitching.

May-3-2012

Contemporary Uses for Stone in the Living Room

Posted by creatingyourspace under Natural Stone

Contemporary spaces that have minimal ornamentation and decorative flourishes rely heavily on the beauty of the materials used within them. This living room is a beautiful example of using stone in a contemporary space. Stone is a good choice for contemporary style that puts an emphasis on green and natural materials with clean lines and surfaces.

The largest area of stone in the space is the stone floor.  The warm hued stone covers both the living area and the step up to the hallway.  Continuing the material throughout both spaces helps the areas flow together into one large space. Placing the same tiles on the steps leading down into the living room makes the steps blend into the floor, enhancing the seamless flow between spaces. Using a tile that is a foot square adds enough variety to create a pattern while maintaining a uniform look. Larger size tiles could also work on this floor.

More stone is used on the fireplace wall. Extending the tiles beyond the fireplace surround gives this focal wall more presence in the room.  The stone on the wall is different than the stone tiles on the floor, but both are in the same color group so work together well.

Carrying the stone from the floor up onto the wall wraps the room in the natural material. Despite its cool surface, the natural stone color warms the space and gives it character. For a room that has neutral, light furnishings, the stone adds color and subtle pattern too.

When writers get stuck it is called writer’s block. We’ve decided that there is also something called designer’s block. It is similar to writer’s block in that both are the feeling of being stuck and unable to move forward with a project or decision. Designer’s block can strike at the beginning, middle or end of a design project. It can stem from a problem floor plan or awkward room design; or be something like choosing which throw pillow is perfect for the sofa.

Designer’s block can be frustrating and infuriating. Choosing the right hardware for a cabinet or pillow for the sofa should be easier than it often is. We can get stuck in a cycle of thinking “what if this is a mistake” that can prevent us from moving forward with a decision.

Collecting samples of flooring or paint chips can be a great way to make a design decision but can also be overwhelming. The sheer number of choices available can leave our heads spinning at the paint or flooring store.

If you are stuck on a design decision and stuck with a case of designer’s block, start looking at design blogs and magazines for inspiration. Just as reading something else can help with writer’s block, looking at completed design projects can help us get over the block.  Walk away from the project for a few days to get a fresh perspective. Seeing the project or pillows with fresh eyes can make a once difficult decision perfectly simple.  Like writer’s block, designer’s block is often very temporary so don’t fret. This too shall pass.