Minggu, 17 Juli 2011

High contrast

Do you like dramatic colour schemes? They have too much energy for me to live in, but I certainly find them attractive and I love the edgy a dramatic combination  produces. Contrast always demands attention and there's nothing like a combination of white and black to add high drama to a room.  Getting the colour balance right and finding interesting textures are challenges that must be overcome when you set out to command interest in any room. There can be degrees of contrast in a white/black scheme;  some are toned with the addition of grays or are heightened by the addition of a bold accent colour, some are white with a little black and some are black with a little white..

Perhaps you will be inspired to take the leap and create a white and black decor.  These rooms should provide lots of inspiration. 

front door view to stair contemporary entry
Mark English Architects, AIA

What an entrance!  Don't you wish you could visit this  house? 

And now for the view from the opposite end. 


There's no doubt that the geometric rug is the eye catcher in this design . Even the patterned drapes are forced to play second fiddle! The simple hotel bedding calms down the energy of the room and adds a splash of brightness.

Kelley Proxmire of Kelley Interior Design  creates tailored traditional interiors.  Many of her designs show an "appreciation for the fresh sophistication of white and the daring elegance of black". Strong black walls set the tone for this dramatic bedroom with colourful shell patterned accents.  

And now for the other side of the room.... 
Kelley Interior Design

Christine Ralphs and Michelle Lloyd make up a dynamic design team (Ralphs Lloyd Design) as you can see from the high contrast rooms I've highlighted below. 

 In this one white is the predominant colour with just enough black to provide contrast. The addition of the yellow flowers adds a simple but commanding touch.

Lloyd Ralphs Design

The addition of soft gray white on the walls  of this bedroom provides a soothing backdrop for this mostly white design. The splash of yellow again - just enough to provide a touch of energy.  

Lloyd Ralphs Design

 This is another room anchored by a dramatic area rug.  When you choose something this strong you've already established your future selections.  Note the touch of yellow  in the paintings.

Showhouse contemporary family room
Dillard Design Group, LLC

Red is another colour frequently seen as an accent with white and black. This room has just enough of it for my taste.  Judicious use of red with black is important to prevent that bordello look you probably wouldn't want to have in your house.  Love the artwork. 

Tobi Fairley

 Black with a hint of green in accents is one of my favourite combinations.  Designer Greg Natale  has created beautiful rooms black and white rooms with just touches of green. 

 Greg Natale

When you view the portfolio of Sydney designer Greg Natale  you quickly recognize that he has a way with using black and white and subtle accents of colour.  In this  room it's green in the rug and repeated again in the ferns. 

 Greg Natale

Greg Natale

Have you noticed that one of the elements present in many of these  high contrast rooms is a strongly patterned area rug?

White with some black, black with a little white, white and black with a colour accent... Which do you prefer?

Kamis, 14 Juli 2011

Choosing bedside tables

I am not fond of bedroom suites  or sets of anything really.  It is so much more interesting to see a well collected room where individual pieces have been thought out  with each piece adding individual notes to the overall design.  The minute you decide not to buy a  complete set you  have to start thinking about what, how many, how high, what colour,  etc.   Wonder no more!  Here are pointers that will help you choose interesting and design friendly furniture for your bedside. 

How High?
Your bedside tables  should not be so low that they look dwarfed by the bed  or so high that you have to reach way up to turn on a lamp. When your tables are the same height as your mattress (my preference) they provide a pleasing visual line all the way across.

AbbeyK, Inc. traditional bedroom
Abbeyk, Inc.

These mirrored cabinets make great bedside tables.  They reflect the colours around them adding additional interest and provide plenty of storage.  The height makes them easily accessible from the bed with tops wide enough to hold lamps and other objects.  Although they are large they do not look large because of the mirrored surface - a great addition to any decor.   
The most important thing to consider is the scale of the table when compared to the bed. If you have a king size bed you need a larger bedside table ranging from 20" - 40" wide.

A table should not be dwarfed by a bed.

Malibu Mediterranean mediterranean bedroom

When you don't have much space it if often better to go without a table .  In this situation the table isn't functional because there isn't any room to place anything on it. 

 A three drawer chest usually works out well as a bedside table for beds that have a higher headboard.  It would not be visually pleasing to have the top of the chest and the headboard the same height.


Bedroom eclectic bedroom

Habachy Designs contemporary bedroom
Habachy Designs

Modular furniture usually has a  bedside table lower than the mattress but the lines of the platform integrate the tables into a cohesive unit.

Do they have to match?

Not in my book.  I think it looks more interesting when bedside tables don't match, but it is more difficult to know what to put together. 

Bedrom traditional bedroom
If you  choose matching bedside tables consider using a padded headboard to break up the matching wood tones.


I like to pair a rectangular table with a round table especially if the bed is near a corner on one side. 

LAS VEGAS home  bedroom

 In this room one of the bedside tables is a  desk which could also convert into a dressing table. Multi-functional furniture provides many options in a smaller home.

What else could I use? 

Centsational girl traditional bedroom
Centsational Girl

The covered table has been around for years but with a glass top it continues to look soft and elegant when paired with more traditional  furniture.

Guest Bedroom. eclectic bedroom
Michelle Hinckley

Shelves attached on either side of a bed is a real space saver in a small room. 

Boys bedroom traditional kids

Trunks and suitcases make great bedside tables.


A coffee table  is a great idea.  I like the way the three photos mimic the three pillows on the bed.  This type of repetition helps to control the scale of the coffee table.

The Urban Un-Martha 

In a country home a high chair does not look out of place as a bedside table.

Canadian Cottage traditional bedroom

Another great option for an informal look is a small kitchen table  with folding sides.  I like the way the lines support the slanted lines of the roof. If I could change one thing I would have a lamp with a little more volume and height.

Summer Home contemporary bedroom

Attaching peeled logs together once cut to a standard length makes a very interesting bedside table.  Depending on where you live this could be a very inexpensive solution especially for a more rustic/cottagey decor.

Sabtu, 09 Juli 2011

5 Kids' window treatments with a twist

There are so many fantastic ideas for economical window treatments.    Here are 5 of my favouites from Better Homes and Gardens website that could be used for kid's rooms.

 Fun and Funky Buttons

You can buy jars of mismatched buttons for very reasonable prices and have a field day decorating drapes for kids'  rooms.  Glue them on rather than sewing them which is time consuming. This idea would not work in a young child's room for safety reasons.

Geometric Borders

Follow the link under the photo for ideas on how to apply these fabric diamonds to a plain panel.  You could also make a diamond stencil from cardboard and paint the diamonds with fabric paint.

Princess Sheers 

This is such a cute idea for a little girl's room to  add richness and softness to plain drapes. I like the application of the diamond belt buckle for that extra bit of glitz. .  Check the Better Homes and Gardens  link for directions.

 Velvet Ribbons

Dress up any draperies with velvet ribbon applied using washable fabric glue.Nothing beats white for a fresh crisp look and lots of colour options. 

 Name stencils

Purchase large letter stencils to decorate draperies.  The vertical application on one side is interesting and unexpected. Trace the letters with a pencil and paint inside the lines. Great for a boy's room.
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