10 Going on 30

I’m not sure if this is normal, but when I was in college, I used to collect magazines and pages of rooms that I absolutely loved.  I of course, was going to have all the money in the world, and was going to make my future home exactly like the pictures in each of the magazines I had collected through the years.

I graduated, moved to Georgia, found my cute little townhouse, and immediately started shopping around for the pieces I had found in the magazine pages from over the years.  I know we’ve all heard the phrase “Champagne taste on a Beer budget”, but really, I couldn’t even afford the Beer option haha!  What most of us realize once we strike out on our own is that really those egg crates and hand-me-down furniture pieces are beautiful, and with all of the “DIY” tricks these days, those can make your home “cute” and you can get away with it for a while.

I’ve realized though, that I’m officially entering “Adulthood” as I’m getting ready to turn the big 3-0 (GASP!!) in March.  I was recently reading through Elle Decor and found a great article they had released stating the “10 Things You Must Have in Your Home by Age 30”.  So naturally, before reading I though, hm…game on!  After reading I realized I have a lot of catching up to do, but thought it would be fun to share some of the things Elle Decor feels are important for any 30-year-old to own.  How many do you have?!  Are there any not on this list that you think should be staple by the time we reach “Adulthood”?  Let us know!

10 Things You Must Have in Your Home by Age 30

1. Art You Love

This could be a special painting handed down through the generations, a painting from a hipster street artist, or even family photos.  Artwork is unique and special to each person.  Find something that strikes you.  Something that makes you feel and causes you to pause.

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2. An Organized Bookshelf

I 100% agree with this one.  There is nothing that can make more of a statement than and organized or stylized bookcase.  I have them in my home, and love placing my favorite knickknacks or pretty books on display.  It’s a great way to add color and character to your home.

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3. Matching Towels

This one I most definitely failed.  I have such a mish-mash of towels in my home.  I have some Whinney the Pooh, Donald Duck, Minney Mouse and a couple stripped beach towels in bright colors.  While usually I’m a fan of mixing colors and patterns, I’m not sure that works in this case!

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4. A Plant

I’m offering an alternate to this one for those of us who do not have a green thumb, or like one of our designers (whose name will remain anonymous for her sake) who intentionally kills plants because they’re too much of a hassle.  I vote a plant OR fresh flowers.  Both are great ways to bring life into your home.  Adding color whether it’s green or bright red with a beautiful bouquet of fresh roses is always a win.

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5. A Nice Mattress and Headboard

Reem actually wrote about some great options for headboards in her post “Why Don’t You Sleep On It?”.  If you are in need of checking this one off of your list, swing by her post and look at some of the easy and beautiful solutions for creating headboards.

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6. A Collection

Does your shoe collection count??? Yes???  Check out these sweet bobble heads I found on Pinterest!

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7. Bathroom Accessories (That Aren’t Plastic)

Well, sometimes the plastic ones are just as cool as the others, so I’ll offer an amendment to this one as well.  Once again, this is a great way to add texture or personality into your bathroom.  I’m going to go get this cool gold tooth toothbrush holder!!

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8. A Favorite Candle (Or knowledge that You’re Not a Scent Person)

I’m SUCH a sucker for the candles at Anthropologie (WHO ISN’T??)  I also love candles like the one shown below that are visually beautiful, offering a no-scent option while still creating that “Homey” feeling you get.

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9. Two Bedside Tables

Okay I am in LOVE with this rustic wood stump side table.  Your tables don’t have to be exact matches if that’s not your style.  Jazz it up and mix your colors and styles!

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10. A Luxurious Throw

I am JUST recently able to check this one off of my list thanks to our Designer Vanessa and Christmas.  She bought me a beautiful throw that is “thrown” on my camel back sofa.  Luxurious can mean many different things.  Just find one that you can snuggle up in on a rainy day, but helps to add a punch to your room when not in use.

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So there we are!  I think I scored a 3 out of 10, but hey, I still have a month!!  If you’re also entering into your 30’s and need help checking some of these great items off your list, go visit our website and we would LOVE to help!

http://www.vrainteriors.com

Posted by: Amy B.

It’s Fall Y’all!

Cool breezes, snuggly sweaters, apple cider, pumpkins and fall leaves.  Who doesn’t love Fall?  To me however, fall means the Pantone Fashion color Fall Report, Fall Fashion Week 2013 and the new ways that these styles, patterns and colors can be incorporated into a space.  Making your home cozy doesn’t just mean orange and pumpkin spice (although who wouldn’t agree that both of those items are yummy!).  Fall brings bold, beautiful jewel tones with deep rich colors and textures.  It might seem challenging to incorporate these items into your home or space.  I’ve taken some great pieces from Fall Fashion week, and have paired them with a few great additions to any home:

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By using accessory pieces, accent furniture, paint, and accent rug or even wall coverings, Fall is a great time to mix it up and take those fall fashions straight from the Runway to your home.

If you want some help incorporating your favorite Fall fashions into your space, check out our Pinterest page for more ideas, or come by our website.

Written by Amy B.

 

 

Sit on Me

How long do you expect your sofa to last? Most people will tend to keep their sofa for seven to ten years. So choosing the right sofa is key to its longevity. How will you use your sofa? Will it be a place for kids to kick back watch TV and play video games? Is it for looks and not use? Will mans best friend be sharing your space? With all your requirements in mind, homework done, grab a friend or two it is time to shop for you new sofa. Here are some secrets all you need to know about buying the perfect sofa.

Structure

A sturdy frame made of  kiln-dried oak, ash, or beech, is a more durable hardwood but can pricy. Avoid frames made of particle board, plastic, or metal. These materials may warp and crack over time. Soft wood, such as pine, is cost-effective, but it may warp or wobble after five years. Legs should be part of the frame or held on with screws or dowels (pegs) — not with glue alone.

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Tip: To test frame strength, lift one front corner or leg of the sofa off the floor. By the time you’ve raised it six inches, the other front leg should have risen too. If it’s still touching the floor, the frame is weak.

Construction
Frames should be connected with solid construction such as wooden dowels, double wooden dowels, wooden corner blocks (the tag might read corner blocks glued and screwed), or metal screws and brackets. Staples or nails may be used for extra reinforcement, but never buy a sofa that’s held together solely by staples, nails, or glue.

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Tip: Always ask your salesperson for the furniture specification and joinery information.

After you have looked at the structure and construction it’s time for the fun stuff. Your sofa should reflect your personal style and be suited for your family function.  There is a phrase that I like, “Buy it for looks buy it for life”, meaning make sure you love that pretty sofa because you will have it for 7 to 15 years. Here are some examples of some classic yet traditional sofas that has last the test of time.

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Everyone talks about being riveted by Downtown Abbey. I think part of it is the seductive background, it’s good furniture! You see camelbacks, chesterfields, English roll arm and Knole sofas, and they look as good today as they did in the 19th Century.

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Knole Sofa

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A Chesterfield sofa is a large, often leather, couch with deep tufting, and rolled arms that are the same height as the seat back. This style of seating was typical of England in the 1900s but has seen a surge in popularity in recent years.

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Camelback Sofa

So the next time you are in need for a new sofa remember our tips. Don’t forget to go to our Pinterest page for more inspiration.

Posted by Vanessa M.

Just put a rug over it

We cover it with rugs, drop food and dishes leaving dings and scratches, and leave muddy footprints on this most used surface of our homes every day.  It is one of the largest surfaces in a house, but seems to get lost in the daily shuffle.  Today however, let’s put it on center stage, and take a look at the options of materials, pattern, and colors of flooring.

A lot people ask what the smartest or best option is for flooring in a home.  It can depend on price, but I think more importantly, homeowners need to think about how they use the spaces in which they are applying their chosen flooring.  Budget is absolutely important, but it’s also important to think about your family and how they use spaces, how much time you want to spend cleaning and maintaining your floors, as well as visual/actual texture, color and aesthetics.  There really isn’t a wrong answer when it comes to what material you should use.  It is really a matter of your family.

One of the first options is tile.  This is probably the most common material used in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as entryways and laundry rooms.  Depending on the style you choose, it is very budget friendly while still giving a great visual impact, and is easy to clean and can stand up to pretty much anything your dog or kids could throw at it.

I will throw in a couple disclaimers and say that some natural material tiles require a little bit more maintenance and upkeep.  Some natural stones are very porous, and will require immediate clean up as well as sealing to avoid stains and liquids from being absorbed.  This is where you really have to think about how you use your space, and what kind of activities will take place in your home.  Also, in terms of budget, typically the more fancy (for lack of a better grammatically correct term) you go, the higher the price tag.  That doesn’t mean you can’t mix and match, or even just change the pattern application to create a beautiful aesthetic.  There are a lot of great options for each price range, and  just because it’s a hard-working floor and budget friendly, doesn’t mean it can’t look like a million bucks:

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 Another great option is wood flooring.  This option is also good for easy cleaning, but is a little bit higher in the budget range.  You can however, choose an option that is lower in price, and use some great stencil or painting techniques to create a very unique solution that is one of a kind.  You can also combine wood flooring with other materials such as tile to create accent spaces.  In a kitchen or bathroom it might be cool to create a “zone” where the sink is or a runner in an entrance.  This is where jumping out of that box is so much fun, and really forces you to look at your materials and find new solutions to an old problem.

You also have different species that you can specify for your home.  Bamboo flooring or even cork flooring is a beautiful alternative to the traditional hardwood option.  They are also Earth Friendly, and are harvested from rapidly renewable sources (meaning, the trees grow back really fast).  Take a look at some ideas below:

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Eco Friendly Bamboo flooring option

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Cork flooring with a unique natural pattern

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Cork flooring showcasing a beautiful and rich darker color

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This image shows a combination of wood flooring with tile

 One of the newest trends that is becoming more popular is one of my favorite options for flooring.  It is great on budget, easy to clean, and allows for ENDLESS options of pattern, color and texture.  Concrete floors are beautiful, and allow for paint, stains and require little maintenance beyond an initial sealing and simple basic cleaning.  Take a look at a couple of ideas that I am in love with:

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So next time you find yourself looking for a change, before you slap carpet over those older hard wood floors, think about using your floor to make a statement.  Bring it up into the spotlight and let them shine!

If you liked what you saw and would like some more ideas or help creating your own flooring masterpiece, stop by our Pinterest and Website for contact information and some inspiration.

Posted by Amy B.

FOCUS on DESIGN

Join me on a journey down memory lane. This week’s blog is giving tribute to the short film the Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames. For those of you, who like me, loves everything Eames knows how intensely magnificent this film is. The Powers of Ten focuses on the relative size of things in the universe and the effects of adding another zero. Then, rapidly returning back to earth at the picnic scene by the lakeside in Chicago. If you observe this scene closely you will notice that no detail is left out. A simple picnic scene turned into a work of art.

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Beginning scene from their film “Powers of Ten”

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This colorful “Powers of Ten” poster features detailed photos of the powers of ten from the scale of the quark (10-18) to the edge of the known universe (10+25). – Eames Office

Let’s dive in and take a look at the “Power of Ten” video created to demonstrate Charles and Ray Eames’ theory described above.  Click on the link below to view:

POWER OF TEN VIDEO

You too, can use these technically ingenious principles of design to your own life. For example if am working on a challenging project I push myself to explore the things that surrounds the project or areas I might be interested in that impacts the design of my project. Or I might take my research a step further and take a closer look at it in more detail by diving in. This is just one example of using the Powers of Ten.  But, this concept can also be applied if you are considering looking for a new home or a new job. Just think about stepping back or diving in. Step back and think about how you want your job to fit your lifestyle. Think Big picture! The future. How will this job or career change impact my life? Then, dive into the experiences you may have had at work that were the most rewarding part of your job. Finally, come up with a plan that result in rewarding and fulfilling experiences. Remember Design is all around us we just need to stop and look.

Here are some clever, unexpected  examples of the Powers of Ten!

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Charles once said…

“Any time one or more things are consciously put together in a way that they can accomplish something better than they could have accomplished individually, this is an act of design”. He must have been talking about his life with Ray, because together they were unstoppable at design.

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Charles and Ray Eames

See more about the unique story of Charles & Ray Eames in the documentary “Eames: The Architect and The Painter” – definitely worth watching!

If you need some inspiration or some ideas on how you can use the Powers of Ten on your next project, visit our website and send us a message, or check out our Pinterest page.

Posted by Vanessa M.