Red, White and Blue – Who Knew?

When I am getting ready to redecorate a room in my home, one of the things I tend to keep in mind is, “Will I be happy with this decision in the long-term?”  I really try to stay away from anything that is too trendy, unless it is something that I can easily and fairly inexpensively change.  I will usually keep the most expensive upholstered pieces fairly neutral, or at least in a palette that I know I will not tire of for the next few years, or one that I can change the look by switching out accessories or accent wall color.

So when we moved into our home, I knew immediately that I would be changing the color scheme of the rec room as soon as I could.  The previous homeowner had the room done in a red, white and blue scheme.  There were red buffalo check couches, with matching valances over the windows.  The most offending design elements in my mind were the solid red formica countertops on the bar.  (Actually, I should clarify by saying, the most offending design elements in that room.  In the kitchen, the entire base of the island was covered with a hand-painted mural of a moccasin being thrown at a cat, with flowers and tall grasses all around.  But that’s a story for another day. . . .)

Now I think there are some perfectly lovely red, white and blue rooms.  Here are a couple of photos to show you ones I think look wonderful:




But, as well done as these rooms are, they don’t fit in with my “think-long-term” decorating idea.  When I think red, white and blue, I think country home, summer home, or boys’ room.  As much as I like these rooms, I just wouldn’t normally consider this color scheme.

But now I’m thinking, maybe I was wrong!  I’ve stumbled across a number of rooms using these patriotic colors, and I’d really be happy to have any one of them in my home.  The following are some rooms that really gave me reason to re-think:

(Isn’t the door treatment awesome?)

The navy walls contrasted with all of the white molding is really quite special.  Great room!

Source:  Elle Décor
(So crisp.)

(I think this room looks simple but sophisticated.)

(Love this!  Looks like this includes both coral and red.)

(Love the chain-link rug!)

So I guess I’ve learned I need to keep an open mind.  What do “they” say?  Never say never!  I hope you all enjoy the upcoming 4th of July holiday and the rest of your summer.

– Karen


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (or the floor, or the tabletop, or on a shelf)

Mirrors can be such an easy way to add a wow factor to just about any room.  We all know they will visually expand any space.  They can make your room seem much brighter, as they will reflect brightness from any windows or lighting sources.  They can add sparkle, drama, and just plain fun.

It used to be that mirrors were mostly used singly, in such places as over a fireplace, in a foyer, over a dresser, and of course over the bathroom sink.  Such usages were mostly functional – of course you needed to be able to see yourself to get that eyeliner on just right, didn’t you?  But now it’s time to stretch yourself and think way outside the box.  You’ll be happy you did.

And consider doubling or tripling your mirrors, either using identical mirrors, or mixing up different size and shape mirrors.  Here are some great examples:

Aren’t these great?  The grid of the mirrors is repeated in the cushion fabric choices.  Loads of personality here!

Here three fairly simple identical mirrors make quite a statement in this room.  The thick frame and dark color are a great choice.

The mirrors used here are probably some of the most important elements in this vignette.  The smooth and glittery surface of the mirrors bounce the light from the windows and provides great contrast to the rough texture of the brick wall.

Lots of small and medium size mirrors lined up along shelves.

Love these two large leaners.  Here you can see how much larger they make the room appear. 


Tip:  Especially when using very large mirrors, be sure to take into consideration what will show in their reflection.

And while mirrors can still provide a necessary function, sometimes they can be used purely as art.

Sunburst mirrors are so popular now and are readily available.   Look at the drama here.

And of course, using mirrors in your foyer can still be a good idea.  But this foyer is far from ordinary!  Mirrored cabinet fronts, metallic paint and modern round mirror make this foyer way beyond just functional.

So, go ahead!  I bet there are lots of ways you can add a mirror or two (or five!) into one of your spaces.  The sky is the limit!

By Guest Blogger- Karen Dunlap

Let Out Your Inner Animal

There’s something so chic about animal print. Whether it’s part of somebody’s outfit or in their home, when I see animal prints, I automatically think the person 1) has a personality 2) should be my friend and 3) understands sex appeal.

Sex appeal? In my house? Yep! (Mom, don’t look!) A lot of people feel like they need to be conservative and go the “safe” route when they’re decorating. Can you say boring?! Add some fun, some personality and yes, sex appeal. Please and thank you. :)

The key to rocking animal prints in your place is to remember that a little goes a long way. Animal print is powerful and in most cases, one piece is enough (Or at least the same piece used throughout the room). I’m not going to say that you should never use more than one animal print in a room, but be very selective if you do. This is supposed to be your house, not the zoo. ;) Some animal prints can be, well… tacky. Think sophisticated.

Some examples that I think nail the look:

Have fun. Think BIG. Be nice to people.


DIY- Molding It

Every time I go to a house with a lot of architectural detail, I get jealous. There’s something so interesting about old city houses, with their arched hallways, stained-glass windows and moldings on the wall. Most newer houses don’t have the luxury of these features.

The good news is that adding molding to your walls or ceilings is a lot easier than you may think. Most local hardware stores offer a lot of options. They have simple options or detailed ones, various widths and can come pre-painted white or unfinished.

I really like the crisp, modern look of white molding, but how fun would it be to paint the molding a bright, contrasting color to really up the cool-factor?

Once you’ve picked out the molding that you would like, head over to the “tools” section of your hardware store. Pick up a saw and miter box. I bought mine for under $20 and they came as a set.

When you get home, measure the molding to your desired length and cut it at a 45 degree angle. By using the miter box for this, it will make your corners match evenly.

Once you have cut all of your pieces to the appropriate lengths, if you plan on painting or staining your molding, it’s time to make it happen.

Wait until they are completely dry and then it’s time to attach them to the wall or ceiling. You can do this several ways. The easiest way would be to use a nail gun, but I’m guessing that most of you don’t have one handy and they are fairly pricey. You can simply take standard finish nails and hammer them in. Or, if you’re renting or don’t want to make them permanent, I have used heavy-duty, double-sided, removable tape and it actually worked.

If you use finish nails, you will likely need to use touch up paint for the head of the nail. If you use double-sided tape, make sure that it is heavy-duty and that you run it the length of your molding.

Get creative with the design and placement of your molding. In some cases, it can eliminate the need for artwork.

Some inspiration:

This one was just featured on Design Star’s first episode. Designed by Danielle.

Have fun. Think BIG. Be nice to people.


CPOTW- Isaac Ottoman

This week’s CPOTW (Cool Product of the Week) is the Isaac ottoman from Pier 1.

They add a fun punch to any room, and at $149.95/piece you can pick up a few. They can serve various functions, whether you need a footrest, an accent table, extra seating or group some together for a coffee table. Available in ivory, teal, red, brown and avocado, there’s a color that will look good in just about any room.

Here’s one idea of how you can incorporate it into your new, chic room:

They are available at:–Teal/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Have fun. Think BIG. Be nice to people.


Olioboard – Dreamsicle

Fabric for curtain panels.

Have fun. Think BIG. Be nice to people.


You’re Lookin’ Awfully Leggy!

A common complaint that I hear from people is that they are bored or don’t like their existing furniture, but don’t have the funds for a whole new piece. An easy way to spice up your tables, is to switch up your legs. Whether it be a Dining Room table, a coffee table, an end table or a nightstand, you can change up the look significantly without spending a fortune.

There are a lot of options out there to suit the style that you are going for. What I love most is that a lot of the available table legs come unfinished, which leaves you the opportunity to stain it or paint it exactly how you would like it. This means, get creative!

When buying these, make sure that they are the appropriate height for your piece. Also, check how they attach to the table.

Here are some legs that I like:

Mid-Century Modern Leg

Cabriole Leg

Queen Ann Leg

Country Table Leg

Ball and Claw Table Leg

Parsons Table Leg|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Table%2BLegs%2BAccessories_4294856628_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

Such an easy fix and can completely transform the look of your table.

Have fun. Think BIG. Be nice to people.


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