By Jennifer Shapira
On the cusp of winter, Pantone gave a solid nod to spring when it announced that Radiant Orchid would be 2014’s color of the year. As we emerge from winter’s grip, the purple hue provides the perfect counterpoint to gray skies, inside and out.
Take a cue from Mother Nature: Liven up a home’s decor with color splashes. It’s fitting then, that pink, yellow and blue are going to be big paint colors for spring, says Teresa Balcom, a decorator at McLean’s Color Wheel. They are colors that work well for the walls of bedrooms, she says, but they’re also likely to find a presence elsewhere in the home.
A gorgeous pot on the front steps provides a warm welcome when filled with cheerful yellow daffodils. Hyacinths, in their Easter egg hues, look great on a patio.
Inside, keep the palette neutral. Experts say sweeping in a spring refresh can be as simple as the addition of a couple of throw pillows in the season’s hottest hues.
Understandably, not everyone wants to go bold and repaint an entire room. All it takes is a few color infusions.
Pops of fuchsia and softer pink and purple hues were signals of spring at the High Point Market last fall, says South Riding-based interior designer Sallie Kjos. She saw a lot of brilliant combinations of vivid pinks combined with classic navy and white. And when paired with the trend in Lucite or gold-edged pieces of furniture, the contrast is stunning.
For a recent living room redo, Balcom started with the walls, using wallpaper and paint by Farrow and Ball. She chose Purbeck Stone as the paint color, and the lively, geometric Tessella wallpaper. She chose the neutral gray palette for its versatility: “It works with every color,” she says. To add a bit more excitement to the room’s new gray-blue sofa by Fabricut, Balcom tossed in some throw pillows made by Stroheim in a pattern called Alfresco; its color a strong citron. The result: comfortable cohesion.
“People in general are becoming much more brave with color,” says Sarah Cole, director of Farrow & Ball in Dorset, England. “The biggest shift we’re seeing is people using color in more rooms in the house. The popularity of the accent wall introduced the idea of more colorful rooms, but we’re seeing color used more and more throughout the house,” she says.
“There’s also a definite trend to use strong color as an accent to a neutral space. Furniture painted in bright like Rectory Red, Arsenic and Drawing Room Blue are increasingly being used to add color to more neutral schemes,” says Cole.
Experts say it’s important to note that creative use of color isn’t limited to walls.
“Adding a few throw pillows in a funky fabric is a fun and innovative way to update a space,” says Balcom. “It can be in the fabrics that you choose, it can be on your sofa, it can be a piece of bright-colored furniture,” either bought new or rehabbed, suggests Balcom.
For a quick DIY job, rescue a rocking chair from the basement or a yard sale and paint it a few coats of sunny yellow. The same goes for a beat-up dresser, desk or night table. Breathe new life into the item with a dose of eye-catching color, she says.
Place the piece in a room that, she calls “calm with color,” and it will surely add drama. Just like the throw pillow philosophy, a new accent rug in an of-the-moment color or pattern can do the trick. A Grecian key, trellis pattern or geometric print can transform the look of a room when placed beneath a glass-top desk or coffee table. And wallpaper in those designs, as well as the still-on-trend chevron, can add personality to portions of walls or behind bookshelves.For an easy color update, add a lacquer tray or bold basket to serve as an uncluttered catch-all for TV remotes or neat stacks of magazines.
For a quick spring refresh, give a soothing, neutral white or gray room a shot of bright color. Purchase a bench and place it at the foot of the bed. Bonus points for added storage below. A plush, cushioned top in a flash of fuchsia or lovely lavender will let you rest those weary bones in style.
Check out pet accessories shops for a new perch for your pooch—select a soft, durable fabric in a kicky print that complements your spring updates.
Now’s also the time to swap out heavier bedding and window treatments to make way for lighter, whiter versions, says interior designer Sallie Kjos. Despite their softness, ditch the flannels for crisp go-with-everything whites. Retire the down duvets until the warmer months and top the beds instead with lightweight quilts and coverlets in whites or pretty pastels.
White bedding is always in style and provides a gorgeous clean slate for changing up any look. Amp it or tone it down, according to the season’s trends. Consider hanging white linen window treatments to catch those spring breezes and create a softer edge. Keep the bases neutral, then disperse deeper pops of color throughout, says Kjos, in pillows, throws, artwork and accessories like vases and decorative glass jars.
Another prime spot for a spring update is the foyer. Start small, suggests Kjos. “Set the tone for what you want it to be.” Sometimes that’s just a matter of switching out a piece of furniture to clearly mark the change in season. Instead of a formal table that might have been appropriate for fall, Kjos suggests brightening up the space with a mirrored side table that reflects light and creates interest. And if there’s seating in the foyer, swap out autumnal tones for spring’s pastels and brights. Bring the outdoors in; set out a tall glass vase of early spring favorites like scarlet flowering quince or pleasing pussy willows.
The same goes for a typically staid mantel, says Kjos. “Most come from the builder in white, and homeowners think they shouldn’t mess with it, so they don’t. But you can do whatever you want to your mantel.” she says. “It’s not a big deal to paint.”
Her suggestion: In a white room with white chairs, consider painting the mantel navy blue, then add a thin, gold-framed mirror and candlesticks, a natural jute rug, a couple of pillows. The result: Instant drama.
“That’s a quick, very inexpensive job that can have a huge impact in a room,” she says. “You just tie it in with accessories and pillows and a throw and call it a day.”
By Anjelica Michael
Spend some time with three bloggers who love to rip their house apart, then put it back together.
A young married couple from Richmond, with a three-year-old and cute little dog take you along on their renovation and DIY adventures. With a published DIY book and a blog stuffed full of home projects, you feel like you are part of their family. Don’t know what color to paint a room? Check out their handy guide. Want to conceal that ugly microwave but keep it accessible? They have a tutorial on that as well. This blog is centered towards family living, with projects for children’s rooms and family-friendly DIY projects. The blog is strategically and simply categorized into project themes like painting, eco-friendly, and even projects to celebrate that special someone in your life entitled “Lovey-dovey.” Readers beware… the list of enticing projects may lead you on a DIY binge. Check out below to see what may be the chicest nursery ever created by parents.
Visit Young House Love to dive into more projects www.younghouselove.com
Blogger Sarah Fogle is a single girl sharing her DIY and home improvement adventures with the world from her home in Atlanta, Ga. She admits that she doesn’t always get projects right, but will go step by step with you in the process of adding your own style to your home, no man required. With in-depth descriptions and some humor to boot, Sarah is like the crafty friend we all have, willing to try anything. Her projects range from heavy duty room remodeling to cute little DIY projects to give an item in her room a whole new look. Who else can say they put in their own butcher’s block counter tops?
Sarah’s journey of DIY can be found at her blog www.uglyducklinghouse.com/
Kit Stansley is another blogger is is a fan of DIY, but with a rustic edge as a nod to her farming experience. Kit and Ugly Duckling House blogger Sarah actually do “Dueling DIY” segments against each other on a home project, and blog about their experiences. Kit is in love with her power drill and shows how girl power and home improvement can go hand in hand. Black Feather Farm is home to one of the biggest projects she has ever done, and where she has learned about farming and keeps animals. Want to build a picnic table? Kit’s got you covered. Want to know more about house building? She reserves a section on her blog for that as well. When she isn’t writing about home improvement and her DIY projects, Kit describes her posts that don’t fit into that category as “General Badassery.” Ready to get down and dirty and plan the home you’ve always dreamed of? Kit is at your service.
Enter Kit’s world here: diydiva.net/
By Anjelica Michael
In October 2013, Hayes Organization Solutions was born out of 21-year-old Brandon Hayes‘ Fairfax apartment. “I’ve always been an organized person” said Hayes. “When I started working with friends and family and organizing their homes, a friend recommended I start my own business.”
As part of a generation of budding entrepreneurs, Hayes took the next step and put his dream into motion.
A Michigan native and George Mason University student, Hayes saw there was a market for home organization and decided to pursue it, forming his own before even graduating. We talked to Hayes to learn more about his business, and what makes it different from the competition.
“We can do anything from just going into your closet and color-coordinating your clothes, to a whole closet redo,” Hayes said. “It’s all about functionality and easy access. Each time we go into a home it is different, because it is specific to what a customer wants. Catering to the individual is what its about.” Hayes said that he wants his team to get to know a client before any work is done to evaluate works best for them and their every-day lifestyle.
When asked if he feels like his age plays a role in his business, Hayes laughed and said, “Of course people take it into consideration. But I notice all the ever-changing trends in homes. I notice what works and what doesn’t.”
But despite starting a business when many of his contemporaries are worried about graduation, Hayes is confident in his abilities.
“I’m serious about what I do, and I am in someone’s home to do a good job. Not everyone starts a business at 40.”
Keeping on trend and up to date with new tools are important, but Hayes says it goes beyond that. He always tells clients with kitchen organization projects to go grocery shopping beforehand, so he can see the products they use on a regular basis and work that into the organizational design of the space.
“I like to incorporate style into the space,” he said. “If I go into a space and organize it without knowing the person, sure, it will look nice and trendy, but it won’t work. It needs to be personalized to their daily routine.”
So why start the business in NoVA and not his native Michigan? “There are a lot of homes and businesses and everyone is on the go.” Hayes pointed out that people in Northern Virginia want the perfect home, and with perfection comes organization.
Even if you are on a budget, Hayes said there are solutions that are wallet-safe, ” You can find a lot of things at Target or on Amazon that are nice and inexpensive.”
In the end, Hayes just wants people to be happy in their homes with spaces that they are comfortable in. “I’m looking to create a perfect plan that fits their needs.”
For more about Hayes Organization Solutions, visit its website at www.hayesorganizationsolution.squarespace.com.
By Anjelica Michael
Brandon Hayes of Hayes Organization Solutions in Fairfax gives us his best tips to help organization situations in your home.
1. With children, keep things at their level within their space
“If you put things at your level and not theirs, they’ll never use it,” Hayes said. Make everything at easy reach for your children, then they can help with clean up as well.
2. Use a shoe organizer in your pantry
“These are good for planning out weekly lunches and putting snacks aside for kids when they come home.” This could save time and possibly prevent a mess.
“Hangers can change your life,” Hayes said. Different types of hangers can save space and make things more accessible. This is also important to save your clothes. Hayes recommends phasing out plastic hangers that can damage your clothing and cause stretching.
Don’t buy something help with organization because it seems functional. You need to know that you will utilize it daily. “It’s easy to go to The Container Store and freak out, but this can waste a lot of time and money.” Know ahead of time what you need and visualize it in your space. If you see it collecting dust, it isn’t a smart purchase.
To learn more about Brandon Hayes and his home organizing business, visit www.hayesorganizationsolution.squarespace.com/
By Taylor Ness
No one likes to spend time in a room that looks like the size of a closet. Luckily, there are many ways to trick the eye with home décor.
The common rule of thumb is to stick to neutral colors when designing a small room, allowing the space to feel airy and open. Even keeping to a monochrome palate will make the space feel larger. But a room isn’t all about the paint. Even if you go with a bold, vibrant color base there are still ways to figuratively open up the space.
1. When it comes to furniture, choose pieces that can serve more than one purpose, like an ottoman with a tray placed on top.
2. Shelving that has a limited number of items on it creates the illusion of open space.
3. While it’s important to allow natural light into a room, adding curtains that are the same color of a wall can open up the room.
4. Strategically placed mirrors not only give the feel of the room continuing on, they allow light to bounce around the room.
5. If you choose to have wall art, pick one large piece.
By Janee Williams
Bathrooms are often the most overlooked room in the house when it comes to decor. Their sparseness can be off-putting, cold and either too bright or too dark.
This small room is supposed to be welcoming and perhaps among the best presented rooms in your home when entertaining.
Don’t let your bathroom scare your guests. Dress it up with some great bathroom accessories that will make your guests feel at home and comfortable. Your bathroom doesn’t have to be dark and scary, it can be bright and inviting. You want your guest to feel like they have everything they need around them.
Here are our picks for must have bath accessories for you and your guests to enjoy:
Toilet cover and rugs: Make your guests feel right at home with these matching rugs and seat covers. Dress up the porcelain throne to look less cold. Croft and Barrow Solid Bath Rugs, $7.99 – 45.99.
Decorative Towels: Add some color and creativity to your walls with these towels. Pick hand towels that will color coordinate with your other bathroom accessories to really bring your bathroom together. Not only will your guests not feel like they’re in a dungeon, but they will be in awe of your awesome taste in bathroom decor. Popular Bath Contempo 3-pc. Bath Towel Set, $74.99.
Soap dish and Lotion Dispenser: Give your guests the option to moisturize their hands after they have washed them. But don’t just have the soap and lotion thrown on the sink any kind of way. Dress it up. Present it beautifully in a nice soap dish and lotion dispenser that says: ‘Try me, I smell great.”
Shower Curtain: Don’t just leave your tub open for all to see. Decorate it with a beautiful shower curtain that accents your other bathroom accessories.
Toilet Paper Holder: Just because toilet paper is in the bathroom doesn’t mean it has to be displayed in a boring way. Give it a place to make itself known. Deluxe Pedastol Satin Nickel Toilet Paper Holder, $24.99.
Tissue Covers: It’s great to have tissues in a bathroom. Make your tissues creative by presenting them in a nice tissue cover. Your guests will appreciate the gesture. Delta Tissue Cover, $8.
Incents and Candles: Keep your bathrooms smelling nice with some scented candles, incense or wall scents. Your guest will smell a field of flowers.
By Shelby Robinson
When it’s cold out, and you are stuck inside, a cluttered home is that last thing anyone wants to deal with. Here are some easy tips for corralling the daily chaos of your home ahead of spring cleaning.
Any room predominantly occupied by kids can quickly turn into a disaster. Transparent containers or large labels are great because they can often be found around the house and they help kids find what they’re looking for without pulling out the contents of every container. *Try glass/clear plastic kitchen containers or mason jars for small things.
Get all of your to-do lists, receipts, notes, grocery lists, and kids’ schedules, all in one place. The kitchen is often one of the easiest places to organize because it’s the one room in the house that comes with a cabinet for everything. Without too much effort you can find a place for everything except all of the important papers in your life. Try a kitchen organizer with an erasable calendar and clips for every kind of list or receipt.
Every garage can be simplified and organized with the proper distribution of hooks and shelves in your garage. When thinking of whether to make or purchase new shelving and trying to decide which things should really go on a shelf, take a close look at your garage.
If you have the wood and tools to make a new shelving unit, go for it. But if you don’t have those things, you can purchase a safe, sturdy shelving unit for around $40-$70, depending on what you need.
Consider putting the things you always trip over on a shelf. It may sound obtuse but getting things like recycling bins, roller skates and lawn equipment off the floor of your garage is a great place to start getting organized.
A towel rack at kid’s eye level and some “S” hooks can change the “dump zone” into a meticulously organized entryway that even kids can keep clean. A few simple changes to your entryway can make it both more inviting and easier to keep clean.
By limiting furniture you can limit places that coats, backpacks, or purses could get dropped. Choosing bright colors of paint, accessories or furniture make your entryway more inviting and make it look less like a dark closet to dump stuff.
Finally, make sure you have a hook or cubby for each piece of clothing that should come off at the entryway, like coats, hats, and shoes. If they have a spot, they’ll most likely stay in that spot instead of landing anywhere between the door and the kitchen.
Finding a way to untangle your chords can make the whole room look more orderly. Try something as simple as using wide paperclips to hold the ends of your chords to your desk. Also considering purchasing or making a file organizer to hang on your wall or stand on your desk. Whether you work from home or use your office to organize your personal records and bills, every home office can use a good file organizer.
By Janee Williams
It’s freezing out there. This by far is one of the coldest winters we have had and it seems nearly impossible to stay warm. After soldiering through the frigid weather of the week with the endless errand running and long commutes to work, why not wrap up with something that will protect you from the chill.
But instead of dragging the bulbous bed comforter around the house like an anchor, throw blankets are just the thing to beat back the cold. Not only will these look nice laid across your bed, they will also keep you warm when the day gets a little too arctic for your liking.
Here are our picks for five fashionable blankets to have in your home:
Vintage Kantha Throws: Keep warm and brighten up any room within your house with these Vintage throws. This unique handcrafted Indian throw is created from recycled saris and textiles, catching everybody’s attention with its vibrant colors and designs.
Biddeford Zebra Plush Heated Electric Throw: Get in touch with your animal side with this funky throw. Not only can you wrap it around your body to keep you warm it is electrically-heated just in case you need a little more heat to get you through the night. It has a great design to make any room in your house creative and it is guaranteed to keep you warm.
Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket: Let it light up your home by adding a splash of color to any room. This throw is guaranteed to keep you warm. It is windproof, water repellent and it is made with 100 percent virgin cotton.
Luxe Rose Petal Throw: This polyester throw is super soft and designed keep you warm throughout the day. Made by Bedford Cottage, this blanket epitomizes the brand’s modern design, but retains the softness of a bed of roses.
Valerianne: Keep warm with these great throws, made from soft organic yarns and Alpaca. Alpaca is one of the warmest fabrics out there. It is insulated to keep you warm in the winter and is very breathable to keep you cool when the days start to warm up. Grab this throw, snuggle next to a fireplace and keep the nippy weather away.
Pieces to keep your home on trend. —Lynn Norusis
Organic Orchid Duvet Cover and Shams @ West Elm; $24-$119.
Blenko Amethyst 2 Spout Water Pitcher @ The Hour; $250.
Aloha Orchid Reed Diffuser @ The Nest Egg; $30.
Radiant Orchid Bold Stripe Giclee Glow Plug-In Swag Pendant @ Lamps Plus; $129.99.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (in Henrietta) @ Stylish Patina, $38.50 for 32 fl. oz.
Rhapsody Wool Woven Rug @ The Nest Egg; $101-$2,119.
Stonewashed Belgian Linen Hemstitch Placemats, set of 4 @ Restoration Hardware; $48.
Patmos Quilt, in varying sizes @ Timothy Paul Home; $80-$325.
Smoke Rings Dinnerware @ Anthropologie; $12-$18.
‘Painterly View I’ Artwork (42×32”) @ The Nest Egg; $485.