DIY: Wiccan Home Decor

The Wiccan culture revolves around the unseen elements that affect life in the world and respect for Mother Nature. Consequently, decorating about a Wiccan motif involves using natural components, either in their original form or modified to make works of art and magical tools. Many retail outlets provide products that specialize in Wiccan topics and contain accessories, furnishings and holy objects, considered essential for practitioners, which can be utilized as decorations. Homemade items can be constructed from substances that were available to correspond with the many seasonal celebrations held by practitioners.

Symbology

Wiccan lore is filled with symbolism that represents the unseen forces at work in nature. The most commonly known is that the five-pointed star, or pentagram, that binds together the four ground elements with spirit, which is considered the fifth element. Rugs with a pentagram embroidered in the center are common focal points such as ceremonial spaces, and lots of products can purchased together with the pentagram logo integrated into the plan. Crafts that represent animals, particularly the ones that pertain to the constellations, are used in Wiccan tradition to make bonds between man, nature and the cosmos. Mythical creatures such as dragons, phoenixes and unicorns can also be prominently featured in ornamental art pieces, figurines, throw rugs, tapestries and bedspreads.

Colors

Each color has significance in folklore, and different characteristics are amplified by combining particular colors. By way of example, white represents pure spirit, therefore white candles, altar cloths and rugs are utilized to make protection from negative energies. Black is considered the elemental color of ground and banishes negative energies, so the combination of black and white in an area decor makes a favorable energy. Colours such as gold and yellow attract abundance and riches, so they are used lavishly in Wiccan decor and are often counter by darker, rich colors such as royal blue for intellect and crimson red to spark fire. Earth colors such as brown, green and gray are thought of stabilizing for relationships and fiscal matters and therefore are essential to a well-balanced Wiccan setting.

Seasonal Decorations

Wiccan ceremonies are centered around yearly cycles, therefore decorations that reflect the current season are fundamental to the many annual celebrations. In the springtime, bouquets of fresh flowers, herbal wreaths and green ferns place the disposition of rejuvenation. As winter approaches, these items are replaced with evergreen boughs, holly wreaths and warm colors that observe the twisted cycles of character. Doorways, windowsills and entryways are lined with garlands of seasonal crop to observe faculty and abundance. Bunches of pine cones, autumn leaves and dried berries can be hung from ribbons or utilized to make centerpiece decorations for a Yule feast.

Celtic Influence

Wiccan design is heavily influenced by Celtic traditions, and the”Celtic knot” can be woven into fabrics that can be hung on the walls or used to cover furniture and upholster seats. The legends of the Maiden and the Green Man from Celtic folklore are often represented in Wiccan households by adding flowers like paperwhites, orchids and white poinsettias set amid dishes of green ferns.

Scents

Wiccan ceremonies rely on fragrances and the choice or scents varies based on the seasons. Decorative items such as essential oil diffusers, incense burners, and scented candles that make the correct olfactory disposition are incorporated into the decor to infuse the air with the appropriate odor. Items that emit scents are also worked into herbal packages and wreaths, centerpieces. Many home made Wiccan decorations include cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, dried flowers and pine boughs to deliver outside scents indoors.

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How to Choose the Perfect Bed Pillow — and Sleep Better

If you are like most people, you spend about a third of your times asleep (less, possibly, if you are a new parent or some school student cramming for finals). And the most important piece of the slumber puzzle is your pillow. Choose the wrong one, and you will exchange 40 winks for fitful tossing and turning. Keep these tips in mind as you shop for the right headrest.

My Unusual Slice of Suburbia

Choose a filling. Your preference is as individual as you are, but there are 3 major kinds of fillings.

If you prefer to feel cradled, you might choose a malleable goose down or feather filling. These substances retain warmth and help to keep you toasty on cold nights. On good-quality versions, look for an indicator called fill power, which refers to how much filling the cushion gets (the more filling, the plumper and longer lasting the cushion will be).

One benefit to down It lacks the sharp ends of feathers, which may poke through the pillowcase and prickle your skin. Allergy sufferers who want the comfort of feathers or down can buy special hypoallergenic cushion covers to relieve reactions.

Julie Rootes Interiors

Springy memory foam molds itself to your head, returning to its initial shape after you arise. Since it conforms to your movements in the nighttime, it can be a good selection for restless sleepers. Additionally, it works well for those with neck and spinal problems, as it distributes weight evenly. The downside? It tends to be pricey.

Polyester filling, less expensive than down and memory foam, will offer good support and hold its shape reasonably well. But, it’s also the least durable of these substances.

You can find far more natural and specialized alternatives also; you also buy pillows with specialized fillings such as buckwheat hulls, which shift alongside your place, and natural and organic latex, which can be watertight and resist mold, mildew and mites.

Edwina Drummond Interiors

Decide the size. To choose the best size cushion, you will have to consider three factors: Just how big your mattress is, how many pillows you need and how you are going to use them. Pillow sizes correspond roughly to mattresses (standard, queen, king).

Nevertheless, that does not mean that you have to play with the rules — an oversize pillow may feel enveloping and cozy on a smaller bed. If you prefer to guard yourself against a pile of pillows for reading, buy smaller-size ones that you could layer. On a daybed that is backless, a typical pillow may be exactly what you would like to sleep.

Choose the right softness. If you choose down, synthetic or another filling, how it’s packed with makes a difference in the way in which the pillow feels. A filling that is packed closely into the cover makes for a firmer cushion; therefore, less filling means a looser, softer texture. Many mattress showrooms permit you to test them out prior to purchasing.

Erika Ward – Erika Ward Interiors

Consider your sleeping posture. The way you sleep will impact the attic, or height, of your pillow; different positions require different kinds of support. Back and stomach sleepers may want to choose a flatter pillow that can help keep the throat aligned properly. If you sleep on your side, though, a loftier pillow, that fills the gap between head and throat, is usually a better option.

Require exceptional needs into consideration. You’ll discover lots of specialty pillows on the market tailored to particular situations. By way of example, people with allergies might consider a pillow using a cover and filling that are especially formulated to keep away fleas and dust. If you snore, look at a pillow shaped to place your head and neck in a way that will stop your airway from becoming compressed.

Have you found an ideal pillow? Please share your find in the Comments!

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10 Ideas From Your Travels for Packable Decor

If you’re planning a big trip this summer, it’s likely those carefully packaged suitcases will come home a bit heavier than when you left. The lure of shopping for decor whilst on vacation is great, and also the promise of bringing home a one time treasure is nearly irresistible. These 10 tips can help you track down authentic finds without stressing your credit card a great deal or overstuffing your property.

CapeRace Cultural Adventures

1. Remember the power of images. Hone your photography skills before and during your trip, and you might come away with a wall-worthy print for just the price of a frame.

The best way to shoot better travel photographs with your Mobile Phone

Bosworth Hoedemaker

2. Start a low-maintenance collection. When choosing an item to collect, think small, mobile and easy to discover. Maps — whether antique or current — matchbooks and even humble postcards may make fine collectibles. Seek the same thing in each area you travel, and you may soon have a special collection.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

3. Scoop up local specialties at the source. Whether you’re searching for marketplace totes and classic grain-sack cushions in France or embroidery in Mexico, try to source your finds out of a industry or neighborhood haunt for the very best price. It is worth it to do a bit of research before you leave home so you’ll feel comfortable straying in the tourist-filled areas.

Canoe

Botot Toothpaste – $20.50

4. Surprise friends with exotic blankets with trendy layouts. Drugstore basics from other countries often have beautiful packaging and also make unexpectedly interesting (and budget-friendly) presents for friends back home. Start looking for pretty soaps, creams and, yes, even toothpaste, at the corner pharmacy, and earn a trip to the market to get entertaining pantry goods.

SFGIRLBYBAY

5. Collect art wherever you go. My husband’s grandparents did so, and after more than 50 decades of traveling together, they’d gathered an impressive collection of original artwork — and each slice had a story to tell. They were mostly tiny pieces by unknown artists, some classic, some new; the purpose wasn’t to make an investment but to purchase what they loved — great information for us all.

6. Take home versatile textiles. Fabrics are a wonderful way to bring home a bit of the soul of a place, and they do not up too much room in a bag. If you know a fantastic seamstress, you can save money by buying fabric and having pieces created — as contributor Samantha Schoech did using the gorgeous cushions created from a part of Mexican Otomi embroidery revealed here.

Platform

7. Save room by bypassing the filling. Buy poufs vacant and fill them when you get home, purchase pillow covers without springs and go to get a mild duvet cover as opposed to a hefty quilt. You will be thanked by your suitcase.

Uncle Goose

French ABC Blocks – $39

8. Give foreign-language children’ toys and books. For your little ones, look no further than a neighborhood bookshop or toy shop for affordable gifts. Picture books, alphabet blocks, flash puzzles and cards are all more enchanting and add to education when published in a different language.

Astleford Interiors, Inc..

9. Take care when buying fragile items. A couple of delicate items can locate a secure home in your carry-on tote, but do not expect delicate items packed in checked luggage to come through unscathed. Even if you did an expert job placing it your best efforts can be completely undone during one safety test.

If you must have that complete pair of hand-painted dishes, then see if the store can send them to your house — and even then, be comfortable with the risk that they could not arrive in one piece (or at all).

Mykonos Blu

10. Get to the root of what you want to get home. Can it be the thing — or the lifestyle? It’s easy to slide into the trap of thinking the more things you bring home, the more of the vacation feeling you will bring home, also. Instead of overloading your suitcases and stretching your wallet, notice the things you have made a habit of doing on vacation that you don’t usually make time for — and commit to doing them more often when you get home.

Inform us : What are your favourite travel souvenirs?

More: Destinations and city guides for design fans

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Budget Decorator: 16 Fab Spring Updates for Really Small Green

With the sun shining, flowers blooming and gardens bounding to life, it is natural to crave a little spring update around the house. These doable paint jobs, miniature pick-me-ups and new ways of working with everything you have will update your home for spring — and will not break the bank.

Polsky Perlstein Architects

1. Paint stair risers a rainbow of hues. You will not have the ability to help grinning when you climb the stairs daily if they’re painted in this joyous selection of colors. For the best result, select colors which are all similar in tone: pastels, clear midtone colors or rich and deep.

A Good Chick to Understand

2. Brighten up with yellow, glass or Lucite. Sunshine yellow and clear materials that let the light through help insides glow. Try including a lemon-yellow lamp or stool, or a table in glass or clear Lucite — just one new item can truly wake up your home.

Kristie Barnett

3. Give your balusters the ombré therapy. Paint in many gradient shades of one colour will immediately transform those little posts holding up the handrail on your staircase into the focal point of this room.

Tara Bussema – Neat Organization and Design

4. Use a garden urn inside. Insert a breath of fresh air to your bedroom with a green plant tucked into a petite concrete urn — it is less expected than a normal flowerpot and hints in the garden outdoors.

The Hunted Interior

5. Borrow dishes to show jewelry. Style your dresser by placing a few pretty bowls or dishes of jewelry atop a stack of favorite books.

Kristie Barnett

6. Paint your dining seats — and do not be afraid to mix it up. Break up that boring, matched dining set by painting the seats in many different colors that work together. Try out pale aqua and cream, as revealed here, or a mixture of pastels or brights to get a more adventurous appearance.

Take it further: Paint your ceiling, too, just like the developer of this space did.

maison21

7. Cover. While it would be impractical to cover the whole wall of books, a single shelf can be enriched by covering the books in beautiful paper. If you want to show what’s indoors, add file labels to the spines and neatly write the names.

Lucy Interior Design

8. Set a bird on it. Nothing says spring like little critters, so go ahead and scoop up the next bird ornament, sculpture or art print which grabs your eye.

Corynne Pless

9. Try out a major tray on the table. Create an inviting tableaux by mixing up an oversize tray with a mixture of dinnertime essentials (napkins, plates, a crock of utensils), fresh flowers, candles and also something purely fun — such as the cow sculpture shown here.

Laura Collins Design

10. Decorate with flowers and fruit. A bowl of lemons is so cheerful (and economical!) , and spring flowers like tulips and daffodils are less expensive and more readily available while they’re in season. Scoop up a lot of lemons and all those flowers are available the next time you go to the marketplace.

Hide & Sleep Interior Design

11. Repaint kids’ furniture. If the notion of painting furniture sounds daunting, consider starting with a little piece — state, one from your kid’s room. On a dresser this petite, you might even have the guts to experiment with a cool effect, such as the colour gradient shown here.

Anthropologie

Marmara Knob – $12

12. Replace knobs on cabinets and drawers. This takes all of five minutes and can make your furniture feel completely new. I love the wide range of knobs in Anthropologie, and also the sale bins often hold a number of the greatest treasures.

Tip: If you are shopping in shop, make sure you bring along one of your old knobs to match the size and positioning of holes.

Hide & Sleep Interior Design

13. Create DIY tape artwork. This fun, simple project would be ideal for a kid’s room. Collect an range of washi or other paper craft tapes, and get started ripping and taping away. Stick with simple shapes, such as letters for the best effect, and the homes shown here.

Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies

White Porcelain Urn Flower Vase – $8.99

14. Scoop up a new vase or 2. One great find, such as these ceramic urn vases, may do wonders to spruce up your space. They’re less than $10 apiece!

Kropat Interior Design

15. Hang colorful kitchen towels. Changing the colors and patterns of your own tea towels every season is a quick and effortless method to update the kitchen.

Leverone Design, Inc..

16. Place bud vases in unexpected areas. Get the most from a single bouquet by cutting out a few stems short and putting them in bud vases across the house. Try out one by every sink, on bedside tables, on your desk and on a bookcase, tucked in one of the books.

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On Trend: Max Work With Chairs and Sleepers

I am beginning to consider moving to another house after this year, and I am already feeling both invigorated and overwhelmed by all the possible design options and furniture upgrades — the choices sense endless! Slowly I am realizing that doubling up here and there might simplify things a little.

All these pieces of furniture solve space-planning problems by doubling up in your purpose. Whether you are seeking to save space in the bedroom, locate more storage choices or decorate your own living room components, these designs might help.

Contact Mobilia, 608 Design, Flying Beds, Bruehl, Valcucine, Resource Furniture, and Bean2Bed via their sites for distribution and dealer information. Order straight from French-based Singulier’s website.

mobilia-collection. com

Ludus Sofa and Shelf

Combine two items into one using this couch’s built-in bookcases. It simplifies the problem of showing the dull back of your sofa.

sixoeight.com

Tru Chair

What a fantastic location for some extra storage — the only issue is, you would need to find someone from the comfortable chair to get it.

flyingbeds.com

Vertical Bunk Bed

Upgrade your Murphy bed using this new strategy — these beds will make any city flat doubly kid friendly.

bruehl.com

Moule Sofa

Bend it, fold it, rearrange it. This seats option will not , ever give you, thanks to each of the possibilities.

singulier.com

Canapé Eastpak Club Sofa 01

Have a small living area and want something funky but useful? This sofa provides you a great deal of storage choices for all those things you use every day.

Valcucine

Valcucine Living System

These larger systems by Valcucine provide a cohesive one-stop remedy to open-plan spaces. With storage units, walls, display units, bookshelves and benches, they’re designed to create a flexible combination that is customized for your area.

resourcefurniture.com

Bookseat

Even though it is not a too plush option, this chair still provides you double the function: Pick out your books even though you’re currently sitting, using the exact same piece of furniture.

bean2bed.com

Beanbag Beds

Perfect for families, these beanbags unzip to feature a twin-, full- or queen-size mattress. Now there’s the ideal way to use that spare bedroom!

More: 2-in-1 Furnishings for Small-Space Living

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Give Your Hot-Climate Home a Fall Feel

A buddy of mine who lives in south Florida joked recently that she needed to travel to her hometown in Georgia to remind herself that it is the middle of autumn. Fall is her favorite season, but the things she enjoys about it, like hot cocoa, toasty fires and apple picking, are not really feasible when the temperature is pushing 90. I am able to empathize — I know how much I would miss settling in with a mug of cinnamon-laced cider or watching the leaves take on a range of jewel-like colours. (Do not feel too sorry for her, even however; she will be hanging out on the beach when the rest people are shivering in our sweaters.)

In honor of the remainder of the ers who crave a hint of fall in a hot climate, I have assembled a few ideas for bringing that cozy touch to your home. And I would really like to hear how you celebrate autumn in your very own way that is warm-weather. Share your thoughts in the Comments!

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Insert a Fire Pit

They’re every bit as welcoming on the shoreline since they are at a mountain cabin or ski chalet. The beachfront palette warms up.

Pedersen Associates

This outdoor fireplace provides the sense of a hearth without heating up the house in warm weather. S’mores?

If a fire pit is not in the cards, then get the effect with a group of spice-colored candles.

MCM Design

Create a Position for Obtaining Cozy

Suspended from chains, this outdoor bed combines the breezy comfort of a hammock with an cuddle-up style of a cushioned chaise. A great note that is autumnal is added by the persimmon-orange fabric.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

The opinion features Pacific waves and coconut palms rather than brilliant red maples and snowy pines. But this window seat still calls out for a day with a fantastic book and a cup of something hot (or a apple-cider slushie, should you want).

GM Construction, Inc..

We are used to seeing mosquito netting draped around canopy beds in humid climates, but attempt a more significant fabric for a truly enveloping feel.

Carter Kay Interiors

Drape a Twist or 2

Sometime you may reach for a tartan blanket or hand-knit afghan in colder climates, a lightweight throw at a fall color adds a little touch of this season, even when weather is much better suited for shorts and bare feet.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

A sweater-style blanket provides a snuggly note to a cozy chair.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Mix at Autumnal Hues

In case you can not access to New England for foliage season this season, pretend it with colour. This bathroom feels like a giant cup of spiced cider (that is the name of this paint, actually).

Flea Market Sunday

Rusty orange-red poppies dancing across this bedroom wallpaper. Throw in the chocolate-brown sheets, and you own a palette reminiscent of pumpkin pie and molasses.

Cynthia Weber

Sprinkle in Classic Cool-Weather Accents

An antique scraped cider cone doubles as an end table in this space. You could also keep a look out for cider presses, firewood baskets and other finds.

What announces fall more certainly than pumpkins? If your landscape is dotted with trees and bougainvillea, do not miss the opportunity to pile pumpkins on your front porch. If you’re able to get them, attempt albino versions like these, that have a crisper and cooler feel compared to traditional orange kind.

Griffin Enright Architects

Stock up on apples, another of fall’s greatest treasures. Mass them at a group of boats, tuck them along bookshelves, heap them in a woven basket or organize a few on a pretty tray.

Rizzoli New York

This beautiful arrangement features kumquats, a new approach to add a shot of fall colour.

Fall leaves could be tight on the ground, but you are able to go the next best path: Buy silk ones from a crafts store or florist. All these are tucked in plain frames for an easy nod to the season.

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A Single Painting Births a Home's Whole Palette

Netherlands interior designer Sonia van der Zwaan-Barrigas along with her husband adored a painting by Portuguese artist Mario Rita so much, they chose their color palette and furnishings to complement this one beloved piece.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Sonia van der Zwaan-Barrigas, her husband and 2 kids
Location: Eemnes, Netherlands, 15 miles from Amsterdam.
Size: 140 square meters (1,500 square feet); 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

Gosto lifestyle & design

Such as the cherished painting, shown here from the dining room, the property’s color palette revolves around colors of white and gray with bright accessories. The accessories change by season.

Table: Kubus, Het Kabinet; tablecloth: plastic from local shop; lighting: Muuto; gold sequined pillow: H&M

Gosto lifestyle & design

The kitchen, living room and dining room make up the fantastic room on the primary floor, one of three degrees from the house. Van der Zwaan-Barrigas enjoys opening up the doors to the garden and enjoying the fresh air.

Backsplash: glass mosaic tiles, Trend Vitreo; range/hood: Bosch; stool: Ikea

Gosto design & lifestyle

The couple replaced an outside wall on the main floor with glass doors and windows, resulting in an open design which allows for constant natural light. “I wanted a bright Scandinavian look, but I wanted it to be stylish and cozy,” says van der Zwaan-Barrigas.

Countertops: Silestone; Granite: Eggerman

Gosto design & lifestyle

The house has an eclectic mix of classic and playful pieces. Big standout pieces — such as the Eames chairs and red lamps — blend with much more textural furniture. A rusted locker cupboard, cushions made from recycled blankets and other knickknacks add patina to the room. “Mix and match is my motto,” says van der Zwaan-Barrigas.

Metal lockers: Het Kabinet

Gosto design & lifestyle

True to her roots, she plays Scandinavian design components, mixing in various colors and styles. Lots of her accessories come out of her shop, Gosto Design & Lifestyle, but she preferred for more timeless furniture throughout the house.

Coffee table: Het Kabinet; sofas: Crack by Machalke (discontinued); cushions: H&M and Fine Little Day; console: Ikea; poster: Studio Velvet; candelabra: Muuto; storage house: Ferm Living

Gosto design & lifestyle

Van der Zwaan-Barrigas painted one of those partitions in the the living room and the bedroom to add visual depth. Employing the identical color helps tie the house together. “It’s a simple trick with a fantastic impact,” she states.

Wall color: Klei, Histor; bed frame, side table: Ikea; pillow: Donna Wilson; lamp: Muuto

Gosto lifestyle & design

The renovated attic is presently a joint guest room and home office. Van der Zwaan-Barrigas coated the walls at the same Cole & Sons wallpaper that’s from the entrance.

Gosto lifestyle & design

Van der Zwaan-Barrigas and her husband made this children’s stand from metal pipes, clamping fixtures along with a simple pine countertop.

Gosto lifestyle & design

She and her husband built and designed this boyish children’s wardrobe.

Gosto lifestyle & design

The couple decided durable porcelain tile floors in this traffic-heavy part of the house. A glossy taupe paint onto the staircase is in accord with the neutral color palette.

Pendant mild: Norm 03, Normann Copenhagen

Gosto lifestyle & design

The kitchen and the bathroom were both tiled at precisely the same glass tile — in different colors — to link the spaces.

Tile: Glass mosaic, Trend Vitreo collection; floors: porcelain, Cotto d’Este

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Artist Sketch: Michelle Armas

Michelle Armas has come a long way from selling paintings for her parents. The Atlanta artist first official sale was to her mother –“I made her purchase a painting off my Etsy website so it would look like a real customer bought it,” Armas states. Now, however, Armas’ cheerful oil paintings and prints are found in online shops, nice art galleries and in Anthropologie.

Armas’ self-described”happy and picture design” is a natural match for contemporary, modern and transitional houses. We caught up with the busy artist to talk about her inspiration, her favorite musicians along with her fear of a monochromatic world.

Armas has started transferring her amazing pieces into less expensive prints, available for sale online. Below are some of her recent developments, available as picture posters or canvas posters.

Michelle Armas

Fly By

Q. Which professionals within your business do you respect most?

A. Stefan Sagmeister. To my mind he’s someone who lives his entire life searching, studying and empathizing — that is precisely why his ideas are so inspiring. I want to emulate him. He has a youthful energy and perspective, but also a confidence that comes from achievement and out of believing in yourself. His TED talks are killer.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. that I feel that half of my energy lately is moving toward business growth and development. I am creating a line of prints and studying how to create more products for my clients in each budget. Another half is painting away like a madwoman.

Michelle Armas

Laura – $35

Q. When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?

A. I always wanted to be an artist. However, I guess I put my money where it counts just one year after I graduated college, and I chose to pay for a postgraduate degree in layout. Although I was in college I knew that I couldn’t be a graphic designer, but my gut said stay, learn and adapt. So I did.

Q. The most important thing on your work desk is…

A. My camera. My wonderful father bought me a Nikon D80 in 2006, and that I used it to take pictures for my own blog. Now it is used to take fantastic photographs of painting and print. A high-quality camera is indeed essential to creating a clean, aesthetically pleasing fresh existence.

Michelle Armas

Q. Which famous artist would you like to utilize?

A. that I like the manner Gustav Klimt’s mind worked. I know everyone says that they love”The Kiss,” but I would love to return in time and see him mix paint, prepare his canvases, and see him sketch and paint. Oh, to reside in Vienna at the time and realize the art — I perish!

Q. Where on earth do you wish to visit next?

A. I would like to spend a couple of decades very painting, and exploring the outer reaches of imagination. I see myself traveling to various cities and living in them for a month or two while I create a ton of new work, and market it there while my Atlanta studio operates along for a little without me.

Michelle Armas

Halycon – $35

Q. Where would you go for inspiration?

A. Inspiration is a tricky one. Since I am one of those people who is constantly thinking, I am better when I have rest. By way of instance, right now I am going through a stage of endless paperwork, meetings, painful expenses and technical drudgery… so I am not painting as much.

I’m taking a trip to NYC, and once I get back I will be exploding with ideas. It could be someone I see on the road wearing something proportionally magnificent, or taking an introspective walk on a rainy day and keeping my eyes on the sidewalk that gives me a flicker of an idea. It could also be a fantasy. I basically only trust that my mind will provide for me, so long as I keep it wholesome, allow it to rest and breathe.

Michelle Armas

Q. If you could pick 1 color on the planet to reside, which would you pick?

A. Green — lake green. It makes me happy. Thankfully I do not have to do that because only imagining just 1 shade forever makes me not be able to breathe!

View more of Michelle Armas’ perform on her online shop and website.

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So Your Design Is: Minimalist

What it is: Minimalism translates to living with lesscolor, less frippery, less visual noise, less — well — material . It’s not about sensory deprivation or ruthlessly cleaning house; it’s more to do with choosing to concentrate on a handful of items you genuinely want and love instead of a glut of unnecessary objects.

Why it works: People tend either to crave minimalist style or despise it. If you are in the former camp, then it probably attracts you for its simplicity, its own restful air and its ease of care (read: less dusting). At a hectic, overstimulating world, it may be a treat to come home to a soothing oasis of tranquil.

You will enjoy it if… You would rather listen to a solo a cappella functionality than a complete chorus. You have a dozen variations of the little black dress. You are attracted to barren landscapes. You have mastered the art of the five-ingredient recipe. Nothing makes your heart beat faster than the idea of holding a garage sale.

Mark Newman Design

Style Secret: Clutter Control

Minimalism is about pruning back to the bare essentials, which begins with clearing away the mess. If the pared-down look appeals to you, you probably don’t have excess paraphernalia to begin with. But search for opportunities to scale down further. Sweep flotsam off tables, clean the mantel, roll up rugs and swap the gallery wall for one standout piece of art.

Softer side: It is perfectly acceptable — a few purists may even say desirable — to really have a minimalist space without a single superfluous object within it. An area that lacks so much like a book on the coffee table or even a painting on the wall, however, can feel cold and sterile. Consider adding only a few accents to give it some character: a bold-color menu topped with a slick vase, a single sculpture in the corner, a more stunning pendant chandelier or light.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Design Secret: sterile Furnishings

Furnishings drive a minimalist space and provide the majority of its visual appeal. Think of what’s vital in your area. Would you want three cocktail tables, a set of armoires and a hulking credenza? What is the minimum amount of furniture you should have to keep an optimum degree of livability? Once you decide what to keep and what to skip, look for seating, tables, case goods and other bits that have sleek, stripped-down profiles and deficiency ornamentation.

Softer side: Minimal doesn’t mean uncomfortable — there’s no requirement to perch on hard side seats without a place to prop your feet. Just make sure you keep cushioned furnishings tailored, for example tight-back sofas and chairs. And by all means add a slick ottoman or hassock that will make it possible for you and your guests to reunite effortlessly.

Webber + Studio, Architects

Style Secret: Limited Palettes

It is difficult to pull the minimalist look in an area that’s bursting with color, which produces a whole lot of visual activity in the absence of bric-a-brac. Rather, select controlled neutrals that are gentle on the eye. White is the quintessential minimalist color, but if it seems too stark or clinical to you, go for cream, beige and khaki, or barely-there greens, blues or lavenders. Ground the space with a bit of espresso or black brown.

Softer side: If you long for a more emphatic stroke of color, find a way to bring it in without bothering the area’s serene vibe — if you overdo it, then the distance will feel like it’s wearing too much makeup. Hang a single painting over the fireplace, or paint one skinny accent wall or narrow hallway with a saturated hue. Better still, infuse a hint of color through accents that are easy to alter if you tire of these: a few throw pillows, a bright menu, a handful of novels.

MusaDesign Interior Design

Style Secret: Storage and Organization

Repeat after me: a place for everything and everything in its place. Committing to the minimum look means committing to order, and it’s easiest to eliminate clutter when each thing has its own specified home. Whereas another kitchen may exhibit cooking utensils onto the countertop and dishware in the cabinets, this one tucks everything behind a solid wall of cabinetry to get a clean, uniform look. If you are really ambitious, you may also winnow down everything you’ve stashed in drawers and cabinets to get a house that’s minimalist to the core.

Softer side: You don’t need to hide open shelving behind doors and screens or leave it unfilled. Simply edit judiciously. Wrap a small stack of novels in white paper covers, eliminate all but one or 2 blown-glass boats from your collection and display a single family photo as opposed to a bunch of framed snapshots.

Sara Baldwin Design

Style Secret: Bare Windows

We hardly even need to say this, but fussy draperies and flouncy shades make a minimalist space feel way overdressed. Keep windows unadorned and let their simple architecture shine. If privacy is an issue, consider textured glass apply a translucent film to display inquisitive gazes.

Softer side: Can’t bear to leave your windows completely nude? If you must add a window treatment of some sort, make it as elemental as possible, such as matchstick blinds or even a sleek roller shade. If the rest of your space is quite compact, you may be able to pull plain curtain panels, but be certain they are created from a good fabric in a color that will not halt the attention.

Habachy Designs

Style Secret: Subtle Pattern

If you consider minimalism, you probably consider solids. If you decide to use pattern, keep it discreet. Even something as straightforward as a striped duvet or houndstooth throw may upset the carefully orchestrated balance of a minimalist space. Should you use pattern at all, it should be small scale and tone on tone.

Softer side: Here is an alternative: Pick for feel. This bedroom assembles a tactile base with hardly any feel at all. White-painted bricks, a rug with a deep pile, a matelassé coverlet plus a quilted blanket combine to make depth, anchored by the intense sleekness of the bed frame.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Style Secret: caliber

Layout is much like cooking: The simpler the dish, the greater integrity the components should have. By the identical token, a minimalist space has so few distractions that each thing in it will attract heightened attention. Invest in the highest quality of furniture and accessories that your budget can stand — and because you will not be buying in great quantity, you may have a little extra wiggle room to update.

Softer side: Classic, well-crafted pieces such as Shaker armoires, Windsor chairs and French campaign beds not only hold their own in quality, but their simple, ageless design means they will never fall from fashion. Furnishings such as these show that minimalism doesn’t necessarily translate to modernism; it’s a broad approach as opposed to a prescribed set of style rules.

Brian Watford Interiors

Design Secret: Open Space

Broad swaths of room and unobstructed sight lines give minimalist interiors their comfy appeal. If your architecture doesn’t follow this pattern, and if your budget and time permit, consider minor (or major) remodeling to enhance the flow of your space. Or you can fake it with a little sleight of hand: Paint all of the walls, ceilings and trim the same color to produce the feeling of openness, or search for opportunities to make visual echoes, such as a development of indistinguishable light fixtures or a trio of overscale, just framed black and white photographs.

Softer side: Open distance doesn’t need to feel hollow and lumpy. Heat it, if you like, by breaking up a few surfaces. In this corridor and living area, for instance, a neutral rug, a few artfully positioned furnishings, a mirror and pendant lights help to make the setting seem more romantic.

More decorating styles

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Bags a French Accent

All grain sack isn’t created equal. There’s linen and burlap, classic and vintage-made-yesterday. You will find tasteful stripes and loud farm-friendly images. And, of course, there is overuse and the ideal touch.

Personally, I like the stuff. But my love isn’t unconditional. I prefer a grain sack accent (it is French, incidentally) to a country-cute, French-cottage-theme room. I like to see it in unexpected places, with unforeseen companions: a contemporary seat, perhaps, or a Craftsman home. Yes, even the white-on-white cottage look is beautiful, but too much of a good thing is, well, you know.

Here are 14 distinct ways to utilize grain sack judiciously to bring a wee French accent. It is the difference between throwing on a stylish necklace and dressing up like Marie Antoinette.

Dreamy Whites

A beautiful white-on-white bedroom with layers of of grain sack pillows and throws. Distinctly cottage but not too cutsie.

Dreamy Whites

Another white-on-white beauty with just some grain sack for color.

Economy Interiors

Upholstery

An easy chair upholstered in burlap grain sack adds a kind of elegant rustic look for this bedroom. This particular seat from Wisteria is discontinued, but it is possible to peruse Etsy for comparable finds or attempt a very simple DIY project with a staple gun and a few upholstery-weight grain sack.

Phoebe Howard

Look! More grain sack upholstery at a non-French-cottage setting. It can be done. Just look at how good it seems in this neutral, modern room.

Pottery Barn

Gramercy Wingback Chair – $699

This neutral grain sack wingback chair could survive nearly anywhere — from the beach to the French countryside to a funky Manhattan attic.

Charles Phillips Antiques and Architecturals

Hemp grain sacks made into pillows in Provence

Pillows

Pillows are the ideal means to get just a tiny grain sack love in your life. This wonderful big pile of classic allure is powerful inviting.

Christie Thomas

More grain sack pillows, this time along with a lake-cabin type of thing. Very eclectic casual.

Etsy

Grainsack Basket Black Stripe Vintage Design by jennilyons81 – $39.99

Little Touches

A storage bin. It could hold potatoes, papers, blankets, knitting, toys. And it may look good doing this.

Michelle Hinckley

A burlap grain sack bulletin board. A very simple DIY project.

Kelley & Company Home

Only some grain sack goes a long way. These lampshades do not dictate the design of this room, but everyone seems to get along well.

Classic Grainsack Lampshade by lampshadelady on Etsy – $135

A custom made linen grain bag lampshade out of Etsy.

A dressing table ruffle curtain. It would look great under a kitchen sink too.

Kasey Buick

Living room curtains. You can discover similar types on Etsy or purchase lace by the yard and also have them made.

A table runner classic.

More:
Guide to French Country Style

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