Right at Home: Decor goes tropical this summer


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If there’s one decor trend that hits summer’s sweet spot, it’s tropical style.

Furnishings and accessories made of tropical plant and tree fibers started to appear in the fall, in modern vintage and midcentury pieces. That trend has expanded for spring and summer to wall coverings, textiles and rugs printed with imagery drawn from the jungle, beach and rainforest.

“I think it really took off when design bloggers collectively rediscovered the iconic banana-palm wallpaper in the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel,” says Joss & Main’s style director Donna Garlough.

“It’s called Martinique, and it’s this huge, oversize print that makes a gigantic statement and has a cool Old Hollywood vibe,” she says. “It makes me think of a ’40s starlet on vacation at glam resorts in Beverly Hills or Miami. When designers and shelter magazines started featuring it in midcentury-style rooms, often with white furnishings and brass accents, readers loved it.”

One fun aspect of tropical décor is that you can interpret it many ways — glamorous is one style, but there’s also island, preppy or boho.

You may even have a little deja vu moment, says Garlough.

“There can be an element of late ’70s/early ’80s kitsch to it,” she says. “I recently watched a rerun of ‘Golden Girls’ and laughed my head off over all the tropical elements on that set that have come back into vogue, from the rattan furniture to the macrame plant hangers. Blanche even had that famous palm wallpaper in her bedroom.”

For her Nashville, Tennessee-based studio, Peacoquette Designs, Sarah Walden has created a striking palm-leaf print. With the leaves printed on a teal blue background, the design has a historical vibe. On a coral/pink background, it looks more midcentury modern. It’s available on several different fabrics, or as wallpaper.

A palm-printed pillow can freshen a sofa or chair. You’ll find a collection of throw pillows and shower curtains with big, bold palm-leaf prints at H&M Home.

Add a few inexpensive rattan pieces; the textures contrast nicely with contemporary furniture’s trim lines, and bring homey charm to more bohemian spaces. Rattan also works as a foil for both bright and neutral hues.

Pottery Barn’s Beachcomber collection includes sea grass, rattan and abaca fibers woven into chunky baskets.

A little rattan bar cart is part of Target’s summer Threshold collection.

For color beyond foliage green, consider sultry hues like orchid, banana and passion fruit. Go beachy with a palette of tans, creams and grays.

Overstock.com has Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Hibiscus throw pillow and a chic white pineapple table lamp. Flamingo-printed sheets bring the theme into the bedroom, and the pink bird struts across a preppy-striped rug.

Kate D. Spain, based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has designed a woodblock print incorporating exotic blooms, leaves and vines. The limited edition artwork comes in ocean-y hues of turquoise, blue and violet.

Antique scarf prints of tropical flowers and birds have been reproduced as canvas wall art at Pottery Barn. And Grandin Road has a set of four vintage-style parrot illustrations for wall art.

Home Office Decor For Tiny Spaces



I had always wanted to work in an office environment; to have something to wake up for every day, get professionally dressed for, and to attend meetings repeatedly. Leaving home Monday to Friday to go to work seemed like some magical wonderland that I would one day get to experience. After graduating from university, I had gotten a chance to do just that and I have been experiencing this wonderland for the last decade.

Recently I have had the pleasure to start working from the comfort of my home and while working in an office environment can be thrilling and stimulating, being able to stay in your pajamas and sweatpants with ketchup stains on them is much more exciting.

When venturing into the world of in-house career the toughest task was delegating space to do just that. I have started out working from the dining room and slowly moved my way to the kitchen bar table. As much as I loved listening to my partner watch television while I worked (definitely not distracting at all…), this set up was not going to last very long. A few fishing shows in and it was clear, I needed an office space.

As with most young couples, we live in a very small condo (the cost of living closer to the downtown core) and though it is great for cohabitation it does not allow for a lot of room to play with. Let’s just say my dreams of having that walk in closet with a desk inside have long been shattered so turning the dining room into a work area was my only chance of keeping my sanity. I’ve learned a few things from the experience.

One, those two years of interior design studies did not prepare me for organizing an eight by ten room.

Two, no matter how many things you throw out, there will never be enough space. Three, crying does not make your den get bigger. Though I cannot share with you the emotional turmoil that I went through putting together a workable environment (let’s just say that parts of my soul were tossed in the trash with every picture frame deemed unnecessary) I can give you some notes on what I’ve learned in the process.

Size matters. Whatever your style of furnishing will be get the smallest version of it possible. If you can squeeze yourself unto a chair fit for a child then get it. A room full of large pieces will make your office look like an episode of Storage Wars. The same sentiment goes for your tech pieces. If you can afford it, get wireless everything. Avoid hundreds of cords on the floor which not only looks messy but becomes a hazard in a small space.

Multitask your little heart out.
Everything should serve at least two purposes and one of those purposes should always be storage. Just because this space is an office now doesn’t mean everything you’ve moved out of this room just disappears. I highly recommend putting in wall to wall dressers without sacrificing desk space, you can store anything you need (even your clothing) and your office will still be work friendly.

Your butt is important.
Get a comfortable chair. I currently use a dining room chair with a decorative pillow to make the space look more like the rest of our home and less like a cubicle.

Details, Devil, etc. Finishing touches are some of the more important parts of making a small space seem inviting. Narrow down the design details you have recently enjoyed seeing in magazines or on social media and work with that in mind. Keep anything you already own that meets the criteria and go ahead and toss everything else. It’s alright to put a bit of money into this project and you can get some really great pieces for small costs at local off-price retailers and even dollar stores.

Get creative. Even if you don’t work in a creative field, get yourself a creativity board. You don’t need to fill it with paperwork but inspiring photographs and notes to self never hurt anyone. The one I have at home holds everything from personal photographs, to magazine covers, to random pictures of shoes I feel I need to own.

Whatever your profession working from home can become quite hectic, especially if you are working in a space that brings about stress. Turning a small space into a proper working area can be daunting at first but can definitely pay off in the long run. So get yourself set up in a corner somewhere, throw on your sweatpants and go to work!





More from Inessa Radostin

Super 8 holds gallery art show for its mediocre wall decor


NEW YORK – Art enthusiasts had an opportunity to embrace mediocrity as budget hotel chain Super 8 held a gallery show to display art from its rooms around the country.

Super 8 has been actively remodeling and modernizing the interior design of its room throughout the United States, and as a result, they have quite the collection of generic landscape paintings to show off.

Earlier this week, Super 8 placed those paintings on the walls of a Manhattan art gallery in a show called “When The Art Comes Down: Works from the Super 8 Collection.” The paintings include horrible watercolors, hunting landscapes and “tepid still-lifes.” The “not-so-super” artworks were given out for free to art enthusiasts who desired to make their apartment look more like a vintage Super 8 room.

During the remodeling process, the hotel chain has remodeled more than 1,800 rooms to feature much more modern black-and-white and sepia-toned images of landmarks and scenery local to the franchise location. Super 8 says some of the art on display at the show has been on display for close to 40 years.

Source : WBRZ

5 simple ways to refresh your home decor this spring


Summertime is when the living is easy, and the same can be said for our living spaces. Home decor has become more casual. Mixing traditional with contemporary is no longer a faux pas.

“There are very few rules anymore,” said Mary Lystad, a co-owner and interior designer at Designing Women 2.

Personal style and what feels right is what matters, but sometimes it’s hard to articulate that throughout the home.

Warm weather ignites the urge to spring clean and refresh rooms. Lystad and fellow co-owner Julie Erickson offer these simple, affordable ways to redecorate your home for the changing seasons.

Declutter your rooms

Whether in the living room, bedroom or kitchen, take time to declutter the space before touching decor.

“Decluttering helps you see things in a spotlight,” Lystad said. “If there are too many things in your room, you can’t appreciate them.”

Before you add something, be sure to remove decor as well. This might mean pulling art, frames, vases and other decor items to simplify the space before going back to the drawing board for fresh ideas.

Invite nature inside

Redecorating doesn’t have to be stressful. Bringing in simple greenery — like apple blossom branches, freshly cut lilacs or single tulips — can add life to your home.

“It doesn’t have to be complicated,” Erickson says. “And actually, the more simple sometimes, the better.”

Table top terrariums are an easy way to frame fresh or artificial greenery. Alexandra Floersch / The Forum

Table top terrariums are an easy way to frame fresh or artificial greenery. Alexandra Floersch / The Forum

Table top terrariums are a great way to showcase fresh florals or, alternatively, artificial silk flowers. “Terrariums almost frame it up for you,” Lystad says, noting that the simple addition adds color and texture to any room.

Add pops of color

According to Lystad and Erickson, trending colors for 2016 include a gamut of blues — specifically navy, cobalt, teal and turquoise — as well as all shades of gray, the perfect neutral hue for all colors to play on.

For summer, the designers suggest accent colors in pastels or citrus hues (think: lime green, lemon yellow and bright orange).

Swapping out colder, winter hues with brighter summer shades is easy to do. Refresh any room by adding color with pillows, rugs, kitchen and bath hand towels, placemats, napkins or a vibrant tray on an ottoman.

Give wallpaper a chance

“People get a little nervous with wallpaper,” Lystad says, “but we’re seeing wallpaper back like crazy.” And they’re not talking about your grandmother’s old pink rose print. Today’s modern prints and textures add dimension that ordinary paint cannot.

Wallpaper can provide texture to a room. These samples show cork in a variety of colors. Alexandra Floersch / The Forum

Wallpaper can provide texture to a room. These samples show cork in a variety of colors. Alexandra Floersch / The Forum

But, like most things, moderation is advised.

“You don’t have to do a whole wall or room,” Erickson explains. “You can take a strip of wallpaper and just do right behind the toilet and run it horizontally along one wall.” The simple addition makes a big impact, yet doesn’t break the bank.

Repurpose existing decor

No one said redecorating should require a second mortgage. In fact, you can make many changes to existing decor.

Consider wrapping canvases in fun, patterned fabric or paint over them with chalk paint. The same idea can be utilized for books; make jackets with wrapping paper, wallpaper, newsprint or fabric, displaying a small stack on a coffee or end table.

Thinking outside the box is encouraged. Old floral greeting cards and calendars make for unique, unexpected visuals when framed, Erickson said.

At other times, repurposing might just mean rearranging. Hanging a decorative mirror to reflect a tree outside or existing artwork in the room is easy. “Mirrors also reflect a lot of light,” Lystad says. “We need that here in North Dakota — lots of color, lots of light.”

Using a mirror to reflect light and color can brighten a room. Alexandra Floersch / The Forum

When it comes to decorating your home, Erickson says to “trust your instinct, do what feels right.” Whether that means a room blanketed in cool grays and citrus-inspired accents, terrariums full of fresh flowers or textured wallpaper as a kitchen backsplash, all are great ways to update your decor.

Anything is “acceptable and encouraged, because if you love things, they will blend,” Lystad adds.

So get to it. Your home won’t beautify itself.

Source : Inforum


Spring’s Freshest Home Décor Trend Is White And Bright



When most people think of fashion trends, they think clothing. Hats. Shoes. Dresses. Shorts.

But homes have their own fashion trends, too. I have been looking at paint colours, accent tables and bedding for my older daughter’s new attic room.

I confess that I don’t always pay attention to fashion. Not even to home fashion. But my kids and my wife love watching Property Brothers and other shows like that, so I end up watching them, too.

Is it just me, or do the colours seem to be getting lighter?

I took a spin through the current Bouclair wall coverings to get a sense of what wallpaper is being pitched to home owners this year.

Then I took a peak at spring of 2014 (through the Wayback Machine). I would have to say that the difference is not very pronounced. Lighter, yes. But just by a shade or two.

I decided to ask a couple people who should know. It turns out that it is not just me.

“I’d also say they are going away from dark walnut/mahogany hardwood floors to more of a medium maple colour.”

So says Brian Young of Home Painters Toronto. For wall paint, he’s also noticing a move away from neutral taupes to neutral greys. That could also be a move to the lighter side, depending on the shade of grey.

Justin Linden of Lindencraft, an Ottawa home renovator, sees a similar trend.

“Paint colours are tending to go a bit brighter for a fresher look rather than the muted subdued look of the past several years. Cabinets are getting lighter, too. White and bright are in. One-hundred per cent dark cabinets are on their way out, but are transitioning their way out.”

Spring is the time for all things light, as we shake off the darkness of the cold Canadian winter. But 2016 is the year to shake off more than just the winter. 2016 is the year when we start paining everything lighter.

So I am not totally off. But just when I thought I was getting the hang of the lighter 2016 trend, Justin Linden threw me a curve ball: “We are seeing a combination of dark upper kitchen cabinets and white lowers.”

What? Darker and lighter?

He’s not the only one who’s noticed. Even CAA wants us to “Pair light and dark cupboards in the kitchen.” Two-toned cabinets is also the top trend listed on Houzz:

“Keep upper cabinets white or neutral for a clean, timeless feel, then go crazy with the lower cabinets by playing with various wood tones and deeper colours to take your kitchen in two different style directions.”

Light on the top and dark on the bottom? Or light on the bottom and dark on top? Which is it? The tie-breaker goes to Elle Decor, who says… well… just that we should mix white and colour. But the photo they published shows dark on top.

So go light this year, but mix the light with darker shades, too. Get bright, but give your house some contrast.

As for counters, quartz has overtaken granite, just to prove how behind the times I am. Quartz? Justin Linden reports that only one in ten customers now ask for granite. As for colours… you guessed it, lighter counters.

“We are seeing more light counters, especially in the whites. There are many different types and colours in the light range. Quartz counters that looks like marble are by far the most popular this year.”

Brighter is good. That’s what we did in the attic, replacing the old patterned paint with a basic white, tinted ever so slightly in blue. I love what it did to space. It is a long narrow room, with low, slanted ceiling-walls. The ceiling-walls lifted a whole foot by making them brighter.

Make your 2,500-square-foot home grow to 3,000 square feet just by painting the walls a lighter shade. That’s the spring 2016 home décor trend. Sure, it’s an optical illusion. But does that matter?