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Design Accessories

Old-world charm

Old-world feel charm blended with modern amenities make this home a hit.  Every room is filled with details that create a warm and cozy space.  The detailed molding makes a statement over doorways, classic shaker style furniture extends a warm welcome and original wide plank wood floors cast a feeling of history. All in all, this home is lovely example of how Old-world style is not stiff and dusty.

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Graphic tiles

We have all cringed when we see a home coated in those oh-so-seventies ceramic tiles that create an intricate, yet, undesirable design.  Almost instinctively our minds wander toward this: “Why would anyone use that tile? It must go.”  But graphic tiles are, like many other design trends, on an upswing with new delightful designs.

Credit and gratitude is owed to Ashley Hicks, an enormously talented London-based designer, for these modern Moroccan-inspired tile designs. The tiles are cast in cement and the colors are mixed by hand for that vintage feel all leading to a breathtaking floor or backsplash.

Happily, these are not your mother’s graphic tiles.

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Lacy inspiration

Lace-making is an ancient craft dating back to the early 15th and 16th centuries. Over the years lace has been characterized as romantic, elegant, classic and dainty. So how do you exhibit lace in your home without over doing it? Easy. Make a gorgeous impact through a few lace inspired accessories similar to the looks below.

This stunning entertainment piece was constructed to resemble enlarged single lace panels.  The designer utilized a laser cutting machine to create the brocade lace detail on the wood.

A shade darker than the wall, this lace fabric panel hung floor-to-ceiling generates an enormous impact with a sprinkle of texture.

Set the mood by applying a lace molded wallpaper directly to the focal wall. Select a subtle neutral color to best highlight the room.

A pendant light simply draped in a dainty lace design is grace personified.

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The timeless art of block printing

Truly unique and personalized fabric designs are often created by a technique referred to as block printing. Designs are generated by hand-carved wooden blocks covered with dye which are repeatedly pressed along the length of a cloth to create a pattern. Slight imperfections are what make the finished product even more marvelous.

Lucky for us, the character of hand block printing is still intact through mass manufacturing capabilities allowing reasonable prices and a wider variety of options.  Today, block printed look-a-like fabrics are generated by wooden blocks, stencils, engraved plates, rollers or silkscreens.

An old technique brought into the new age. Take a peek at some fabric designs below.

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Swedish style

The camera lens of Petra Bindel focused in on these incredible Swedish homes. The decor screams modern minimalism full of inspiration.

In other words, these rooms are sure to stir your creativity.

Unusual artwork crawls the wall, the sofa is cluttered with a heap of colorful throw pillows and the plum rug lines the black-stained concrete floor. Clean and crisp with a dash of hues.

The essence of a relaxing room is created by a birch wood cabinet with open shelves displaying classic white kitchenware.

Muted grays, statement blacks and white collide to create a visually stunning kitchen.  The countertop and island were created in a dull concrete bringing striking elegance to the room.

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Colors that pop

Using bright colors in interiors can be intimidating and overwhelming, but if used in moderation pops of color can bring an eclectic flash of excitement. Take a peek at these extraordinary uses of bold paint colors.

Using old-fashioned doors as decoration is a great way to add interest to any room, but paint it an electric blue and you have a double dose of genius.

The muted birch tree wallpaper provides the perfect backdrop for the jaw-dropping vibrant orange headboard.

These ornate dining room chairs are adorned with lime green paint. Amazing combination of traditional and modern.

Fiery red paint engulfs this room of all white furniture and accessories.

A strong robin’s-egg-blue kitchen table grounds the room as the airy light fixtures and lightly dusted blue walls construct a soft atmosphere.

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Cork: the super material

Most often cork is identified with the stopper for a wine bottle but this incredible material has so much more to offer.  Cork is comprised of a waxy substance called suberin which is a bit like a super material.

A few benefits include:

  • Comfort & Softness: Air becomes trapped in the cork providing a natural shock absorption. In the instance of flooring, cork can relieve stress on the feet and joints.
  • Noise Reduction: The same science that provides the softness and comfort also reduces noise and vibration. Utilizing cork as a wall covering will absorb unnecessary noise.
  • Healthy & Safe: Cork has natural properties that are anti-allergenic and resistant to insects. Suberin repels insects, mites and mold and protects cork from rotting when it is exposed to water for a long time.

Needless the say the benefits are impressive but the best part is the style.  Take a look at a few examples of how cork can be used through the home.

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Grounded with style

The floor is another example of a canvas that is often ignored.  And as we move away from the age of carpet, it is becoming more important to spice up the ground we walk on.

These examples show how to punch up any room right were you walk.

This incredible design of octagons defined in creamy beige and tans adds another level to the already glamourous room.

This room is calming with a hint of romance, and the alternating width of the zig-zag adds a great focal point.

The hardwood floor is enhanced by the diamond pattern.  Rustic charm at its best.

Resembling a slate tile floor, this grey and white pattern radiates drama.

Magenta ceiling, clean white walls, minimal furnishing and an exquisite design on the floor.

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Mood boards to the rescue

Mood boards help inspire architects, graphic and interior designers, along with other numerous creative professions. These boards often contain material samples, inspirational photography, color swatches or even magazine clips of decor.  All of these items arranged together communicate a design concept to the client or co-workers.

Lucky for us, mood boards are also a great way for a home owner to discover design preference and style.  It’s as easy as identifying a few of your favorite items throughout your home. Dig through the closet, china cabinet, photographs and even literature to find anything that makes your heart skip a beat.  Cluster all the items together on a table or the floor allowing the interaction of textures, colors and patterns to appear. Most likely, a similar color scheme or emotion will be conveyed by the collection of items.

Finally, identify how the collection of items can be translated into a design.  Take, for example, the mood board below.  The paint color might be derived from the several shades of off-white and brown present in each image. The lace dress equals flowing lace window treatments or dainty crochet throw pillows.  The floating lanterns might translate into a pair of gorgeous wicker cabana chairs. Overall, the images elude a crisp, romantic feel.

With all of this in mind, take a moment to collect a few of your favorite things, and see what you find out about your design style.

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Terrariums: the low-maintenance solution

Seems our daily world has leaned toward taking the easiest path from A to B even when it comes to home decor. Between removable wall decals and solar panel outdoor lighting, today’s home owner can spruce up the house without much effort. However, for most easy solutions, you may not get a lasting effect.  Instead, create a terrarium for a long-lasting, low-maintenance accessory.

Terrariums were accidentally discovered by Dr. Nathaniel Ward in 1827 when he detected the scientific principle behind the self-sustained environments. Over the years, terrariums have changed in shape and size but one thing remained the same, these living works of art are incredible examples of science.

At its core, a terrarium is comprised of a few simple components.  A clear glass or plastic container works best, as tinted or cloudy surfaces reduce light transmittance and interfere with plant growth. And depending on the appearance you wish to achieve, a combination of soil, sand, gravel or rock can be used.  Just a few simple steps creates a self-watering environment created by your own imagination.

Remember there are no rules in terrariums.  Enjoy letting the inner gardner run wild.

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