I've always had a thing for maps. For some reason I think they are super cool. It may be in part because I grew up overseas, and one of my passions in life is traveling, but regardless, maps are awesome. I have two little boys at home and when we ever move into a house, I'd love to incorporate some sort of map in their future room. Below are some fun inspiration pictures-
A map above a desk is always a good idea.
This map wallpaper makes such a big statement on its own. Because of this, all other aspects of the room are kept more simple.
This may be a less educational option, but I like the how its modern, graphic, and incorporates fun colors onto wood blocks.
And lastly, here we have a map decoupage onto dresser drawers. I like how creative and fun this is.
What cool ways have you seen maps applied into rooms? I'd love more inspiration ideas so feel free to share!
I had a friend ask me how she could incorporate some modern design into her lovely traditional living room. My first thought was, art! I love the juxtaposition of modern art and traditional furnishings. The truth is that I really just love art and if you want to call attention to something, like a great art piece, have it be different from it's surroundings. Take the room below.
Absolutely beautiful right? The entire room is really lovely. Would this room be as fantastic with a landscape hanging above the fireplace? Nope. I love the simplicity of the art piece, I love the color and how it pops off the black wall. I love the straight lines of the piece next to the curve of the ornate sconces. It's also pretty great that it's a diagonal line in a very vertical space.
Now let's look at a different room.
This modern art piece is another example of how contrast can really work in design. This piece is colorful and dramatic, but in a totally different way than the piece above. This piece is a contrast in scale and tone. The art is BIG, while the rest of the room is very tailored. This piece displays a lot of movement, while the rest of the room is very calm and peaceful. It's really important that this piece be in the room as the furniture, drapery, and wall color are all solid colors and the only pattern in the room is on the floor. The art helps balance the rug and draws attention to the large scale of the room. It would be a shame to have a smaller piece of art as the windows are large and the ceiling is high; you want to take advantage of those architectural gifts when you have them.
I don't think there could be more contrast in this particular room. The color of the Marilyn's stands in serious juxtaposition with the beamed ceiling, tables, and sofa; even the accessories are natural elements. But there is nothing natural about the Warhol Monroe's. Their scale is similar to the other piece of art, but the color and repetition stands in contrast to that piece as well. So if you have a traditional room but fall in love with a modern piece of art, go ahead and add it to your room, the contrast can be beautiful.
Christy and her family are renting an apartment. Those of us who have experienced the joy that apartment living can be, know that some rooms need to play double duty (or triple duty...). Christy's main room is their living room, office, kid play area, and eating area.
As a wedding gift her and her husband were given the amazing Persian rug shown below. That definitely will stay, and will be the anchor of the room. Luckily the rug has a lot of different colors in it, and since Christy loves blues, grays, and greens, I incorporated them more into the space. She loves scandinavian modern, and the first things I thought of when I heard that were: simple, clean lines with a wood (typically light colored) and white combination. So I kept the main investment items more towards the modern side, and added pops of color around the space with the blue, green, and the orange/red.
Her main wants from this space: a new couch (currently saving up money to buy a beauty shown below) to replace the daybed, new tv stand, a rug under the table (to help protect the rented carpet), and a bookshelf to hold all the books that are currently in boxes underneath her table.
So lets take a look at her space-
Here are the items I picked out for her -
- To go against the wall on the right hand side of the dining area. This is a great unit because it doesn't seem too visually heavy in that small space, and is great for showing accessories/pretty books on the outside (to be seen from the living area).
- To go under the dining table. I wanted to pull the pretty blue from the Persian rug and bring the color into the dining area. I also wanted something with an ethic feel, but more bold of a graphic print (instead of so detailed like the one she currently has), so this moroccan inspired rug is a great fit.
3. Table - Christy will be keeping her current table, but has plans to paint the legs white and stain the top a darker wood color. This picture is a great visual representation of what her table will end up looking like.
4. Aluminum chair
- Because Christy loved this style of chair I wanted to include it into her space. And as a plus, it can definitely hold up against the wrath of kiddos : ). I think these would look great at the two ends of the table.
5. Green chair
- To go with and compliment the aluminum chairs. I wanted to incorporate green into the area, keep it kid friendly, and the legs on this chair tie into the metal chair. These will sit side by side on the open side of the table, and are skinny enough to put them on the other side of the table as well (thats pushed against the wall) (or you could put a bench on that side!).
- This was one option for sofas that Christy is saving up for. I love this one, and love the neutral dark gray color.
7. Blue pillow
- To go on the left side of the couch as an accent pillow.
8. Green pillow
- To go on the right side of the couch as an accent pillow (to balance out #10).
9. Red/orange pillow
- To go with the blue pillow on the left hand side of the couch.
10. Green porcelain stool
- To go in between the couch and the chair (move the chair up closer to the rug... and put the kid play table against the wall in the corner) to use as a side table or an extra place to sit if needed.
11. Sheer drapes
- Get a double curtain rod, and on the inside rod (closest to the window) hang these sheers. They will still let in light, but neighbors outside wont be able to see into your apartment.
12. Chevron drapes
- To be hung on the outside rod and can be closed at night for privacy (instead of using the grand apartment standard vertical drapes... the sheers and these curtains will help hide them, just always keep the vertical ones pulled back tight and try and forget they are there... thats what i do :)
13. TV cabinet
- To replace the current one. This is a nice modern element to add to the room.
14. Blue zebra tray
- An accessory piece to tie in the color scheme with the green trim.
15. Green capiz lotus
- An accessory piece to tie in the color scheme.
16. Orange picture frame
- Another piece with an ethic feel, as well as a way to further tie in the color scheme.
Here in Boston we've already had our first snowfall of the year, and it was beautiful. Luckily that first snowfall, in October, was followed by many 60 degree days or I wouldn't remember that October freak-snow so fondly. For those of you who live in places where you will get no snow, say Santa Monica for instance, I thought I would throw together a post on some easy ways to bring snow into your decor. My home will get plenty of the real deal snowflakes, but I can't help but love snowflake decor for for a few reasons. I love that snow is pure, I love that they are a bright white highlight. I love the geometry of every snowflake, and I love that they are timeless. In the sampling below we have everything from ornaments, tree toppers, tablecloth, snowglobes, a wreath, and nightlight.
Lets talk more about color, shall we? We've discussed basic color 101 and how different colors can affect your mood here
, and more about color trends here
, but today I want to dive a little deeper into complementary colors. But just as a little refresher, here is a color wheel for the primary and secondary color schemes:
For a little more information on those click here
. Next lets talk about complementary colors, and see how they can be applied outside the color wheel into your home.
I'm in love with this color scheme. Navy blue is always a winner in my book, so that classic color paired with a crisp white and a refreshing pop of orange is great. That being said, maybe if you are in Denver you want to steer clear of this color scheme... unless you are a die hard Broncos fan and want to show it : ).image
Of course when we hear red and green we automatically think: Christmas. That alone has steered me away from ever wanting to use these colors together, however, looking at the images above shows that the pairing of these colors doesn't always scream Christmas. I think the key is what tint (color+white) or shade (color +black) you use.source
The main color in this room is a tint of purple, which is a soothing color. The added pop of bright yellow gives it some fun energy. If the wall was a darker shade of purple, it would definitely have a more dramatic effect... but I'm really liking what they chose here.sourcesource
for all pretty color wheel images.
So what do you think of these colors applied into rooms? Have you used these in your home? If you have any complimentary color images you'd like to share, we'd love to see them linked up in the comments!
Katie is renting a lovely home that has a unique problem for Boston, this room gets too much sunlight! There are 5 tall windows in this room and she was wondering what I would do for drapery. I'm so glad Katie asked because I have a surprising source for you; JCPenney. I know, I know. This is the same store that growing up in Ohio had me promising I'd never go shopping again, but it's true. Their drapery selection is extensive and the value is high.
I feel like this room is plenty big, and the ceilings are nice and high. Katie clearly prefers earth tones and I would like the curtains to pull together the rooms color palette so that there is not so much contrast between the two sofas. I'm very excited for Katie to get drapes because I think the room will feel infinitely softer, and your eye will travel right up the wall so that you're taking full advantage of the height of the walls. Also, with the wall color and the window trim color so similar I think you lose the enormity of the windows. Let's highlight these beauties! I've selected four different curtain panel options, all from JCPenney, and I'd love to hear what you think.
1 - Sorrento Curtain Panel
- comes in a lighter honey color as well; both options would work; lined
2 - Eclipse Thermal Panel
- I prefer the Natural Sage color way, I like the visual texture and the light blocking
3 - Stripe
- Would add horizontal emphasis in a long room; other color ways available too
4 - Arbor Leaf Panel
- good color, energy savings, and a subtle pattern
**If you'd like to have a 2nd opinion featured on this site (help with a room, furniture selection... the possibilities are endless!), click here
I've always heard switching out your decorative pillows is a great and inexpensive way to change the look and feel of a room. I completely understand and agree with that reasoning. Obviously buying a few pillows is less expensive than buying a new couch, coffee table, bedding, or rug (unless you like crazy expensive pillows... they are out there.). However, pillows add up. When I was trying to find new pillows for my living room most of the ones I liked were at least 50 dollars, and when I wanted at least 4... that added up quickly. Luckily there are inexpensive options out there, and I'd like to share some good finds with you. These are all found on Etsy
, are under $30, and are slipcovers (just the pillow case). I don't think thats a big deal, considering you can just reuse the same pillow inserts over and over again, and when there are options like this
from ikea for only $2.99, its a great bargain!
We clearly can't get enough of striped anything here at 2nd and Strand. We've talked about painting them on your rugs
, recommended striped pillows
, shown you examples of stripe painted walls
; and today I'm going to talk to you about striped curtains! I love striped drapes, I love how they show movement, I love how they draw your eye up and down, or side to side, I love how they're used in both masculine and feminine ways, and I love how they change your perspective of a space. The first example I have for you really showcases their power.
This window wall is not very large, as you can see the ceiling pitches on both sides. The horizontal stripe of the curtains helps provide more weight in this space.
I think this picture is a great example of how the single stripe on each panel allows for a lot more creative freedom in the room. If there were no stripe on the curtain they would have had to either paint the wall a different color or picked different drapery. The stripe allows for a lot less color around the room, helping it feel airy and light.
The horizontal stripes on these curtains really make the wall of window seem even more expansive. The green stripe continues the idea of landscape and really makes the outside feel a part of the inside. If the designer had picked the same green color, but in a solid, you would loose the landscape feel and the effect wouldn't be nearly as impressive.
Speaking of impressive, I love the symmetry provided by these drapes. I also think that your eye can't help but travel the full length of these drapes. I immediately noticed the pleating at the top and the pooling at the floor. I think that's an important point to make, if you're going to use stripes you have to be precise; there is no place for an imperfection to hide on a stripe.
I love how these stripes highlight the architectural details of this study. This room has great woodwork, which you see because your eye is drawn up the stripe. It also has the charming trapezoidal niche. These windows are particularly difficult to dress, but the stripes showcase the shape and help frame it out.
Happy 11/11/11 everyone! Hopefully you are able to do something a little extra exciting on this unique day. As for me, I'm sitting in a hospital room with my husband who is recovering from jaw surgery... so needless to say, we'll definitely remember this day (I'm sure my husband wishes he can forget)!This post
about getting ready for holiday guests got me thinking about Christmas, which reminded me that I'm in need of a new Christmas tree skirt... and I need a 2nd opinion. In doing this I'm not wanting to skip over Thanksgiving, which is a holiday I love (hello, any event that includes mounds of mashed potatoes is automatically awesome), but I typically set up my tree the day after Thanksgiving (or if it was last year... a few days before and then waited to decorate it till after) and need to get a new skirt by that time so now is the time to decided!
Here's a few option's I really like-
A no sew DIY ruffle skirt. There is always a greater appreciation for things that you DIY (but sometimes I find it hard to actually DO it). I love how this feels feminine, and a little whimsical for the Christmas season. (source
A multi-patterned quilt. The fact that it's a quilt screams comfort and love to me... and what more can you ask for during the Christmas season? This seems like a piece your children will remember when they are older with fond memories. (source
A floral-lined skirt. This one seems simple and classic enough to not ever get sick of. Its pretty and has that bit of flair with the flower detail and large buttons. (source
, other version
So what do you think, dear readers? Which one would you pick? I need a 2nd opinion.
**If you'd like to have a 2nd opinion featured on this site (help with a room, furniture selection... the possibilities are endless!), click here
I'm not talking about shopping or cooking or mailing anything; I'm talking about your guest room. My guess is that you're going to have guests, or you will be a guest, sometime over the next two months. We all want to be a fantastic host and I'd like to share with you my ideal bedding ensemble.
Buy the best you can afford and think of them as a cost per use investment. I would also carefully select a timeless design; nobody wants to offer their brother-in-law a pink leopard print bed in which to sleep.
Some people prefer to sleep on their back with their head high off the bed, others prefer face down in a small pile of down. I think offering a standard pillow and a euro pillow, like in the above picture, allows for customization and a great nights sleep. There are few things worse than waking up with a sore neck and a well rested guest will make your own day brighter too!
3. Thin Blanket
These are often referred to as coverlets. In the above picture it is the striped blanket. If you were at my in-laws it would be some darling quilted matelasse. I love a thin blanket. Even in the warmest summer night I want a little weight to my blanket, a very little weight. If your husband happens to be the temperature of the sun this might be all you need year round.
4. Thick Blanket
Duvets! I prefer mine folded at the end of the bed, just like in the picture. Sometimes I only need my feet to be nice and toasty, but on cold New England nights there is nothing better than pulling a thick down comforter up to your neck.
5. Too Many
If it's taking your visitors minutes to make room for themselves on your guest bed you, my friend, have too many pillows. If you need convincing of the hazards of too many pillows click here
6. Too Personal?
The guest bed is not the place to display your stuffed animal collection from middle school. I don't want to fall asleep thinking about who slept in a bed before me. I like a certain amount of neutrality to guest bedding, think of a nice hotel and you'll catch my drift.
7. I have always wanted to invest in a bedside carafe. I think this one below is particularly lovely, but it'll cost you.
The carafe below is still great, and a lot more affordable at about $20.