Friday, November 21, 2014

Lamps Can Make or Break Your Space

Have you ever put on a new outfit, nice earrings, and then put on the wrong pair of shoes for the outfit?  Okay, we have all done this.  And, we probably do this with an important accessory in our homes--lamps.  There are two important things you should consider when purchasing lamps for your rooms--size and style.  Lamps should be functional.  Lamps illuminate our spaces.  And, lamps should also look good in your space.  How do you know if a lamp works well in your space?  

If you have end tables in your living room, you probably have lamps on those tables.  Lamps for end tables should measure 30 to 32 inches tall.  This height allows the lamp to provide much needed lighting for reading while sitting on your sofa or chair.  The same applies for bedside tables.  I often read sitting up in bed and I rely on my lamps for lighting.  The same height rule applies for lamps for your bedside tables as well.  The lamps should be tall enough so that the light illuminates your reading materials.  Selecting the lamp height is the easy part.  Look at the lamps that I have in my living room and master bedroom:

See how the height provides light for reading on the sofa.

The height of this lamp allows for reading in bed.

How do you pick the right style of lamp for your space?  You have to figure out your style--is it traditional, transitional, contemporary, or modern?  You don't want to place a traditional style lamp in a contemporary space and vice versa.  My living room is borderline traditional/transitional.  The space is not as stuffy as a traditional room but not as relaxed as a transitional space.  Here is an example of a traditional space:

This space has "traditional" written all over it!

Now here is a good example of a transitional space:

Notice that this space is more relaxed--think Pottery Barn

Notice the lamps in both spaces and how the lamp style matches the style of the rooms.  If you noticed, I have transitional-style lamps in my traditional-style master bedroom.  I wanted to bring the formality of the space down a notch, so I selected transitional lamps for the space.  A contemporary or modern lamp would not have worked in the space.

If you have a traditional style living room or master bedroom, here are a few examples of traditional style lamps:


If your space is transitional, look for lamps styled similar to these.  It's all about the shade and the base that define a transitional lamp.

Since I've been in my home, I've purchased new lamps for my living room and master bedroom.  My first set of lamps for my living room were way too small. Check out my post, "My Evolving Living Room" on this blog.  The lamps for my master bedroom were traditional, but the lamp height was not good for reading and the base had no substance.  Check out my earlier post (The Proper Scale for Accessories) on this blog to see the first set up lamps.  I would not use candlestick lamps in my living room or bedroom.  I like candlestick lamps, but I think they work better on a buffet  or console table.

I challenge you to take a look at the lamps in your spaces.  If you have the wrong lamps for your spaces, it's time to change them.  You won't believe the transformation.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Decision Made!

After seeing all of the striped walls in my last post,  I decided to stripe my breakfast nook.  My plans are to stripe the walls right after Christmas.   I've thought about this before,  but was hesitant to do it because of the stripes in my foyer.  I'll still have the base coat in Sherwin Williams Latte,  but I'll introduce a different color from the color chart that I have not used before.  I don't want to over kill by repeating stripes, but I think my breakfast nook needs this.  Here is the look I'm aiming for:

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Striped Walls - Revisited

Back in 2012, I posted two entries on this blog where I did striped walls--my foyer and a friend's condominium.  I love striped walls.  Striped walls can transform a plain room into one that is spectacular.  While on Pinterest a few nights ago, I searched for rooms with striped walls.  I found a variety of rooms that I want to share with you.

First up, is a tone-on-tone effect.  I did this striping technique in the foyer of my second home.  I painted the walls in a flat finish and then did the stripes in the same color but in a satin finish.  My colors were similar to the color in the picture below.  I love this look because it is very subtle.  The tone-on-tone stripes would look great in a formal dining room, a master bedroom, or bathroom.

The next set of pictures shows stripes in the same color family, but with different shades.  This is similar to the tone-on-tone stripes, but with this look, you use the same paint finish, i.e., flat, eggshell, or satin.

I would love to do this in my breakfast nook!

I am seriously thinking about doing this in my master bedroom!

Another striping technique is a color-block look.  This is probably the easiest technique to do.  Color blocking is using one to three colors and using wide stripes.  A color-block look would work well in a transitional or contemporary space.

Take a look at my foyer again.  I still love these stripes.  The original color of the wall is Sherwin Williams Latte.  I then added two Sherwin William colors--Steady Brown (my dining room color) and Coconut Husk (my living room color).  Since I have no walls to display artwork or place furniture pieces, the stripes add interest to an otherwise boring space.

For a really bold look, you can use colors opposite each other on the color wheel.  Or, colors that create a contrast.  Check out the look of these rooms:

I love this black and white together!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stairway to Heaven

I've lived in one story homes and apartments all my life.  I had a chance to purchase a 2-story home when I bought my first house in 1996, but I passed on that house.  I love beautiful staircases!  I think this goes back to the first time I saw "Gone With the Wind" and Scarlet O'Hara coming down those beautiful stairs at Tara.  A person can really make a grand entrance on a beautiful staircase.  I always imagine a bride having her wedding portrait taken on the stairs or a family having their portrait taken.  

Here are a few examples of staircases I absolutely love: 

Can't you see a bride on these stairs?

Imagine this beautiful stained-glass medallion at the top:

Closets, Closets, Closets!!!

I think every woman (and possibly men, too) dream of a huge, luxurious closet.  The closet would be filled with lots of hanging rods for dresses, suites, pants, and skirts.  There would also be built-in dressers.  There would be plenty of shoe and boot storage spaces.  The closet would be large enough to have a nice ottoman for sitting on while getting dressed.  There would also be a floor length mirror.  And, don't forget the chandelier.  A big closet like this usually goes with a big house.  But a girl can dream, can't she?  In my home, I have a fairly sizable closet.  I think the dimensions are 8 foot by 12 foot.  Although my closet is big, it's still not as spacious as I would like it to be.  It is big enough for an ottoman but I haven't purchased one for it--yet.  I have plenty of hanging rods, but I don't have built in dressers.  I do have two built in shelving units which I still don't know what to do with them 9 years later.  

I wish I had cabinets to hide my shoe boxes.
I created my own boot storage by using skirt hangers.

Now, enjoy my fantasy dream closets:

I love the boot shoe and boot storage!

Lots of shoe storage here!

Love the ottomans!

The built-in dressers are nice!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fairytale Princess!

During my early years, I wasn't fortunate enough to have a nice bedroom.  I shared my bedroom with my sister for the first 14 years of my life.  I love my sister but she is a SLOB!!!  Once I had my very own bedroom, my inner interior decorator came alive.  My Mama didn't have money to buy me a nice bedroom set and comforter for my room, so I had to make due with what we had.  I remember crocheting an afghan for my bed.  I had this hideous gold blanket for my bed.  I crocheted the afghan with a hideous gold color yarn, cobalt blue and army green yarn.  I know, it sounds as bad as it looked.  I had that afghan for a number of years until the yarn started unraveling.  I currently have another afghan that I crocheted a few years later.  I no longer use it, but I just can't part with it.

When I got my first job while in college, I purchased a comforter from JCP with a bedskirt and pillow shams and matching drapes.  The comforter set had a white background with a botanical print.  Man, I was Uptown Saturday Night!!   also had matching sheets, which started my life long love of nice bed linens.  Over the years, my taste in bed linens has evolved.  Since I purchased my very first pair of matching sheets, I never slept on a set of sheets that were mix-matched again.

I think bedrooms are one of my favorite rooms in a home.  I guess it's because I like to see nicely made beds and beautiful bed linens.  I've been traveling with my current job for 27 years and I have been in some very nice hotels and some not so nice.  My favorite place to stay was at the River Inn in Memphis located in Harbor Town.  It is a boutique hotel.  Each room is equipped with 4-poster beds.  I honestly think you sleep better if you're sleeping in a beautiful space.   Here are a few beautiful rooms I wouldn't mind waking up in every day:

And, I think I finally have my own fairy-tale bedroom:

Good night and sweet dreams!