Friday, July 29, 2011

Picture Galleries - Guest Blog by Arcadian Lighting

The living room is a great space to hang art.  Creating a picture gallery in a living room is easy.  Paintings, photographs and prints enliven a living room even if the works are by your children or photos from your latest family vacation. Art doesn't have to be expensive. Live with what you love. Here are several great examples of picture galleries in living rooms to inspire you. When hanging your own pictures don’t forget to add wall lights to illuminate it perfectly. Enjoy!

Belle Maison
A gallery wall created from black and white photographs looks smart above a sofa.  A single frame color, such as black or white, creates a unified look.

Belle Maison
A large collection uniformly framed makes a graphic picture gallery. These botanic prints look crisp and modern when hung in a large grid.

Alicia B Designs
A dark wall is a great backdrop for gold framed art works. The mass of closely hung pictures feel much grander than their individual small scale.

Tip Junkie
A plate shelf or picture shelf creates a picture gallery that is easy to change without worry of nail holes in the wall.  A mix of pictures and objects turn these shelves into mini-galleries. The yellow table lamps on either side of the sofa bring out the bright hues in several pieces of the art.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Classically Chic White

Nothing is more classic than white. In interiors I love how white highlights good architecture, and any object in the room that has "good bones." White walls are a good backdrop for objects d' art and paintings that are placed in the room - white walls give focus to the lines of the items that are juxtaposed in front of them. 

Painting a room white can make it have surprising depth. When designing an all-white room use several different shades of white to bring out the architectural details, or layer the space with strong forms in different tones and textures of white and then use some strong color contrasts to outline and bring the white into focus. My all time favorite white color is - Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White. It is a very soft white and easy to live with. It has a chameleon effect - taking on the colors of what is set next to it and changing in tone at various times of the day. Not every white is snow white. Try using whites tinted with: ivory, cream, antique white, and palest beige, blue and yellow. An interesting fact on the popularity of white is that Benjamin Moore has over 140 whites to choose from.  

To maximize the light in a room I chose a paint with a semi-gloss finish rather than the latex matte finish more usual on walls. The "chalkier" matte finish absorbs light; the semi-gloss is more reflective. 

Some of my favorite whites I use are from Benjamin Moore: Cloud White, Simply White, Ballet White, White Dove, White Linen, and Decorator’s White.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Outdoor Retreat

New Orleans is a city full of beauty. Some of my favorite spaces to visit are small gardens that look like they should be located in the heart of the French Quarter. You can transform your backyard into your own personal retreat by incorporating plants, furniture, lighting, and accessories.   

When designing, think about things that can distract you from the beauty of your backyard. Water features can divert attention away from busy streets; mosquito netting can keep away insects; and a well placed outdoor fan can cool you off this summer. 

Greenery is a must, if you don't like gardening, look into low maintenance plants that do not need constant trimmings.  Also, consider using small stones or pavers instead of grass.

Fox 8 Live - Outdoor Decorations

Fox 8 Live - Bastille Day Decorations

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hammock Day July 22nd 2011

From sci-fi looking elegance to chair-like appeal, hammocks are not necessarily a piece of material that is tied between two posts anymore. They come in all different shapes, colors, and materials that can coordinate with any outdoor décor. There are a ton of varieties that are not only pleasing to the eye, but they are also quite comfortable. I love the fleur de lis pattern on the hammock chair shown below. It is called the Bon Temps French Quarter Hammock Chair Swing Set and you can buy it in many online stores.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Dinner Party Table Setting

The weather in New Orleans has been a bit unbearable lately with the heat and the rain. But that does not stop us from having fabulous indoor dinner parties. These get-togethers are ideal for the budget conscious, especially if you decide to have a pot luck. Since the outdoors are less than ideal, why not have a summer themed table setting? For a beach feel, scatter shells on the table or display them in a clear vase, also use white and shades of blue. For a garden feel, look out in the garden for flowers or large leaves. Use vibrant colors, yellows and greens will liven up any party. Think about giving your guests a coordinating small gift so that they can always remember your event.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Designing with Flea Market and Garage Sale Finds

Everyone loves new home décor items, especially when they involve a bargain! This summer, a good option for all you savvy shoppers is to stop by local flea markets and garage sales. There are a ton of unique items waiting to be reused, most just need a bit of sanding and a coat of spray paint. For those of you who are really adventurous, try out reupholstering accent chairs or benches. Think outside of the box and see what you can create.

Monday, July 11, 2011