Black + White: 30 Most Beautiful Interiors

I am a huge fan of black and white interiors ,while my husband on the other hand, is a traditionalist when it comes to interiors…so this could never be done in my home.  I have pulled together a collection of interiors all dressed in black & white that will entice and inspire you. These spaces evoke a sense of sophistication, edge, elegance and glamour.

To successfully tie the space together, I suggest using a monochromatic color palette with a pop of color or by allowing the light to bounce around the walls by choosing a ultra-white wall paint to help the room feel more spacious and bright. Then you can introduce black in furniture, art and accessories. Another technique is choosing black as your trim and floor color with white and gray accents in furniture and accessories. Painting the walls black may feel daring but this can be achieved with white furniture and lots of bling! Let’s not forget pattern, this can be done with wallpaper, fabric, tile, or paint. Enjoy!

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mustaveeeee_2Posted 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.

It’s a Cute Fixer-upper

I love house hunting.  That may be nerdy, but I do…I love it.  Many a weekend has been spent with friends, visiting model homes and open houses, and sneaking into homes through the garage that are being built (I know you’ve done it too!).  I think my favorite part of house hunting is when you’re talking to the realtor and they ask you what you do for a living.  I always smile, and of course say, “I’m an Interior Designer”.  9 times out of 10 the following responses are either, “Well what do you think of the decor?  The builder’s wife did the design” or, “So, what do you think of the layout and decor?  Would you change anything?”  Of course the answer is always no, and that the builder’s wife has done a lovely job with the space, but leeeet’s be real folks.  Whether you’re buying a brand new home, or you’ve decided on that cute 1960’s ranch with a 2 car garage and unfinished basement that will someday be your mancave, there are always obstacles to homeownership.  In general, the main issues that I’ve seen (and heard from friends and family) are:

1. Not enough closet space

2. Kitchens and Bathrooms are outdated

3. 5 different colors of carpet

4. Small Rooms

Reem has previously discussed some great ways to add storage into your home in an earlier post “So Much Stuff, So Little Space!“, so we won’t be looking at the struggles with hoarding.  Click on the link and check it out.  There are a bunch of great ways you can incorporate some extra storage into your home.

And while, having 5 different colors of jewel tone carpet in each room is a problem, this time we’re going to focus on some easy ways that you can update your kitchen without having to completedly tear it down and start over from the studs.  We will look at three different ways you can make a huge impact on your space, and we have some great images as examples.

First, let’s take a look at the backsplash.  As you all know by now (if you’ve been following us each week), I am a HUGE fan of color and pattern.  If you are just joining us, I am a huge fan of color and pattern.  The backsplash in your kitchen is a perfect place to add both.  There are a bunch of ways that you can do this including tiles, slabs of solid surfaces such as marble, and even backpainted colored glass.  Take a look at these great examples below:

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This yellow and white tile is a great way to brighten your space.  It adds a great pattern without being too overwhelming.  The great yellow color is a good contrast to the neutral counter surface and crisp white cabinets.  Make sure when you are using a patterned tile to consider the size of the wall where you will be applying it.  A larger wall works best with a larger pattern, where smaller spaces can work best with a smaller scale pattern or tile size.

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The white marble backsplash is both beautiful and a classic choice.  I like how this traditional material is paired with stainless steel upper cabinets, and clean line base cabinets and pulls.  It is a nice transitional look combining traditional and modern styles perfectly.

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This tile backsplash is so fun and whimsical!  The use of different circle sizes is a great choice.  It pairs well with the honey cabinets and dark solid surface counter with stainless steel accents.  We’ve seen a lot of white kitchens lately, but this is a great use of natural colors to create a warm and inviting kitchen.  This would be a great space to have a cup of coffee in the morning.

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Not only is this blue backsplash a great pop of bright blue, but it uses a material that you do not see often.  This backpainted colored glass is a wonderful option to tile or solid stone surface.  It is easy to clean, and you can even leave messages for loved ones or write your recipes so that you don’t have to keep worrying about having a cookbook or recipe card near your oven or cooking surface.

The second option for updating your kitchen is lighting.  There are ENDLESS options for adding some light into your space including pendant lighting and uplighting.  Don’t be afraid to find some stand out pieces that show off your great style and taste just like these options below:

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The last way that you can update your kitchen without busting your budget is by refinishing your cabinets and pulls.  Most kitchens, especially that 1960’s ranch, have great solid wood cabinets that you would have to pay top dollar for today.  A great way to reuse those is to either refinish the natural wood stain, or paint them.  Add some fun pulls, and you have a brand new look with half the time and labor.  You can even create different colors for your wall cabinets and your island.  You can do bright colors, or white.  Once again, let’s look at some ideas for colors and finishes:

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So whether you choose to add some color and pattern to your backsplash, brighten your space with some new lighting, or change up the colors of your cabinets, each of these options is a great way for your to completely transform the heart of your home without breaking the bank.  You can go from run-down and outdated to fresh, crisp and beautiful, and only you will really know the truth!  All of your friends will wonder which great designer you used to create your new kitchen. And when they ask you, be sure to tell them you used VRA Interiors!

If you need some inspiration or some ideas on how you can transform your kitchen from Shabby to Shabby Chic, visit our website and send us a message, or check out our Pinterest Page and create a board of your own great ideas.

Posted by Amy B.