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Cozy Up with Orange!

Orange is a contemporary, fun and warm color, but it can be tricky to decorate with. No worries, here are some sweet ideas to inspire you in decorating with orange! With my help, you’ll soon be an expert on how to decorate with orange to add some contemporary flair and warmth to a room.

So, how to get started decorating with orange? First of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune or redo your house to add orange. The color works beautifully with earth tones and neutrals such as taupes, beiges, and grey. It is such a vibrant and eye-catching tone that a little can go a long way. And because of that, you don’t have to commit to a lot of orange to make things work nicely, just choose a few elements instead, starting with some of the ideas below.

Let’s Start with Your Front Door

Painting your front door orange expresses positivity to your neighborhood and draws people to your home! Its festive warmth is very inviting!

Decorating with Orange in the Kitchen Area

Look how fun this is!  Orange pendant lamps add a cheerful vibe to a transitional open kitchen space.

Living Area Space

A well-balanced variety of orange home accents includes wall art, throw pillows, an area rug, and porcelain vases.

Dining Space

Orange leather dining chairs are carried forward into the large vertical artwork that adds height to the dining room.

Dining Space (part two)

How about adding a burnt orange rug under a dining table to make a subtler statement.

Bathroom

Now, this is fun (and stylish)! Whimsical ocean-inspired wallpaper is enhanced with s few bright orange elements on the vanity to help draw attention to the orange fish.

Decorating with Orange in the Bedroom Space

Paint the interior of an alcove in a bold, vibrant orange for a fresh, modern look. The color is repeated in a lovely mix of fabrics that support each other but don’t overwhelm.

Autumnal Orange Palette

Here is a nice paint palette I selected if you choose to use it as a starting point. You may not see a lot of color differentiation between these colors, but lighting (natural and artificial) can make a huge difference in selecting the right color for the right mood; finish makes a big difference too. Talk to me. I can help guide you to the perfect palette for your specific space. Just reply to this email.

Let me know your thoughts about working orange into your holiday decorating – as well as your general decor, I’d love to hear what you think. It’s a great color to start with and works beautifully with very muted complementary, analogous colors and warm creams, grays, and beiges – or even greiges (it’s exactly what you’re thinking it is; the ratio of beige to gray in your greige determines whether it is a cool or warm neutral).

If you would like ideas for decorating with orange (or adding in just the right touch of this fun color) in your home or office space, let me know. It all depends on your taste for orange in general, but it’s a delightful color to add some pizazz to your decor this Fall – or any – season. I’d love to hear from you, just click the contact link on this website and message me here, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718.
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Decorating with Mirrors!

Mirrors Reflect Your Image

mirror at entryway

The most common reason to have a mirror is to view your own reflection, of course. But while you most certainly have mirrors in each of your bathrooms, and perhaps your bedroom too—you may not have thought to put a mirror in an entryway, mudroom or hallway! In these spaces, they’re perfect for last-minute checks of your appearance before heading out the door. Decorating with mirrors can really open up a room or space, and bring extra light into places that could use it.

You’ll be surprised how much you use and appreciate a mirror when placed, as this one is, near a set of hooks, a shelf or console where you can stash other items you may need to freshen up. Or, so you can easily grab your necessities on your way out the door.

This stylish idea has a convenience factor that’s hard to beat, and luckily it’s easy to find mirrors that are beautiful enough for even the grandest of entries. Let’s look at a variety of ways decorating with mirrors can enhance style and functionality in your rooms.

Mirrors Reflect Light

mirror reflecting outside light into a room

Here’s a real “mirror no-no” when it comes to design: Try not to place your mirrors on walls that reflect other walls, or your TV setup, or even worse, just the ceiling (what?!). It really doesn’t do much for your space.

Instead, opt for art on these walls (and don’t angle anything towards the ceiling) and place your mirror where it can catch the light from a window or the rest of a nice, open room, instead.

Dark rooms, or dens without windows, would especially benefit from a mirror. They help bounce natural light around the room, even if it’s coming from a lamp or a ceiling light. For extra sparkle at night, consider placing candles or lamps in front of a mirror that hangs above a console table or buffet for a truly glowy atmosphere.

Mirrors Reflect Space

large mirror making a room feel larger

Just as mirrors can give the illusion of more light, they can also make a room feel larger than it really is, which is great when you’re living in a small home or apartment. When hung low or when propped against a wall, large mirrors, in particular, give the illusion of more space.

Mirrors in tight spaces and small rooms are great, as they can reflect a larger area, even extending into adjacent rooms. Although it is true that larger mirrors come with heftier price tags, they also take up lots of wall space, which can be a benefit if your room is art-challenged. (And it will cost less than framing tons of smaller pieces.)

The sense of depth that mirrors lend to small spaces may be worth the higher price. And, consider turning lots of smaller, inexpensive mirrors into a larger singular installation.

6 small inexpensive mirrors grouped as one large mirror

Mirrors Reflect Your Style

stylish mirrored wall art

As I’ve discussed so far, mirrors can serve a lot of important purposes beyond just looking pretty and helping make sure you look good, too. They are also useful accessories to choose for small or dark spaces because they give the illusion of more space and light—both of which are also good things.

In addition to these practical purposes, the sheer variety of mirror styles, colors and shapes available these days make it fun to choose one (or more) for your space. Sometimes, you don’t need a mirror, you just want one. Maybe, it would make a great accent in your room, or you found it at a flea market and couldn’t say no, or the color of the frame just spoke to you.

A driftwood mirror is perfect for a coastal space, while no mid-century modern home would be complete without a starburst mirror. Mirrors can have rustic wood finishes, mosaic tile borders, lacquered baroque frames, gilded leaves, leather with nailhead trim, and even fur or cowhide frames.

Here Are Some Tips on Decorating with Mirrors

luxurious round mirror makes bedroom sparkle

Mirrors are great for so many reasons—they reflect light, they open up spaces, and they just make rooms look better in general. But before you start hanging them left, right, and center there are some things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips on how to decorate with mirrors.

Consider the Reflection

As I indicated earlier, before you hang a mirror take into account what is across from it. While we often hang mirrors based on available wall space, it’s important to think about what will be reflected in it. When hung opposite an important architectural element, painting, or piece of furniture it will give that item even more importance—as it will if hung across from something unattractive. Also, whenever possible hang a mirror across from a window. It will significantly increase the amount of light in the room.

Placement Matters when Decorating with Mirrors

Aside from placing it across from something visually appealing, a mirror should always be hung at the appropriate height for the space. Unlike art which should always be hung at eye level, mirror placement will depend on what you want to be reflected. Eye-level works in many cases, but higher or lower can work better, depending on the situation.

Think Big with Mirrors

Don’t be afraid to use a large mirror in a small space. Mirrors create the illusion of depth and space so they can really help make a small room feel bigger. A full-length mirror leaning against the wall is a great decorative element to use in a tiny room. Mirrors are also great for narrow spots such as hallways. And a mirror wall can completely open up a room!

Decorating with Mirrors can Create a Focal Point

Mirrors make great focal points. It’s why they are so often placed above mantels and dining room buffets. Hang sconces on either side and you’ve got the perfect focal point in any room.

Don’t Forget About Style

Mirrors can be modern, traditional, edgy, classic—pretty much anything. It all depends on the frame. Consider what effect you want to create when choosing a mirror in a frame. A beautiful Chinoiserie mirror will have a far different effect on a room than a simple wood frame. There’s also the mirror itself, smoky glass and antique mirrors with imperfections can be very moody and greatly contribute to the look of a space.

Hang Mirrors Properly

A small nail hammered into the wall won’t cut it. Use proper wall hooks or picture hangers and be sure to use two (one at either end). This will ensure the mirror is held flat to the wall. A wire hung on a single hook is not only dangerous but it can cause the mirror to rest against the wall at an angle, distorting the reflection. If the mirror is very heavy, have it hung by professionals.

Use Several Mirrors at Once

Don’t be afraid to create a gallery wall with mirrors. Like with any photo wall, treat them as one unit when deciding on placement. That said, a mirrored gallery wall will look best in a room with little clutter. All of the frames can be visually busy—add that to a small, cluttered room and it could be too much.

About Mirrored Furniture

Mirrored furniture has gone through a few periods of popularity. While it can be great for reflecting light and elongating walls, don’t use it in a room that has a lot going on. The extra reflections will just be too much.

Everybody loves mirrors, for a variety of reasons, but using mirrors properly can be a bit tricky. What they say about real estate applies here too: location, location, location (and laying flat against the wall). Spoiler alert: the key takeaway is to always consider what is being reflected in a mirror, and that will dictate where it’s hung. I hope you like these tips about decorating with mirrors! Let me know what you think! If you’d like me to consult for finding your perfect mirror(s) and that perfect location, I’m always here to help! I’d love to hear from you, just click the contact link on this website and message me here, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718.

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Christmas Will Be Here Before You Know It!

Soho Interior Design offers The Christmas Decorators.

Just a reminder to everyone that booking early to have me and my Christmas Decorators team dress up your home or business for the holidays is a great way to avoid last-minute frustration! Our available slots tend to fill up fast! We’ve been doing Christmas decorating for 5 years now, and have several very pleased repeat clients. If you’re hosting a Christmas or holiday-time party or having family visit for the holidays, we can decorate your home and create that warm, inviting Christmastime vibe!

If you think you’ll be in town and want your home done up for the holidays, early booking is a great way to lock things in. Click this link to check out some of my past holiday projects, showcased on my website. We’d love to customize your home for your Christmas! Just click the contact link on this website and message me here, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com. And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718. It’s easy to book The Christmas Decorators!

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No Entryway? No Problem! Here are 5 Beautiful Solutions!

I’ve found some exciting ideas for creating what might be described as a “faux entryway”, especially useful for homes that don’t have a foyer! These DIY small-space solutions will help you hack your way to an entryway (whether you already have one or not) — like hanging shelves, narrow tables, and cute cubbies — so you can store more in your faux entryway with style.

 

1. Shelf Solution

Install a wall-mount shelf that can house keys, sunglasses, and other rushing out the door essentials, while a large mirror allows for last minute checks. Be sure to use a shallow shelf, or you can risk nicking the door each time it opens.

 

2. Another Shelf Solution

Create your own side table with a large corbel and interesting top, the chalkboard is the perfect place to scribble last-minute reminders.

 

3. Color Explosion

Let the accessories do the talking. An intricately-carved table topped with glossy orange lamps and turquoise knickknacks is impressively eye-catching against white walls. Stacks of books on the bottom shelf, which doubles as storage, adds additional touches of color.

 

4. Vintage Charm

Old furniture is perfect for repurposing. A vintage desk, dresser or armoire near the front door collects everyday items but is also a conversation piece. This particular piece evokes country French charm; fresh florals and a hinged lamp complement the look.

 

5. Italian Marble Top Entry Table

Marble tables look incredibly artistic, and when attached to a wall in this fashion, can make your entryway look like an art museum. The metal bottom with the details breaks the monotony of the table and gives it an additional focal point.

Let me know what you think of these ideas! Have you created something similar in your home? Would you like to? I can help you determine what works best for your interior situation – I’d love to hear from you, just message me here, right below this blog post or at the “contact” link, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718.

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Living Coral is Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year – Are You a Fan?

Color management company Pantone Color Institute announced its pick for Color of the Year for 2019. It’s an eye-popping orange-pink hybrid called Living Coral. You may sense and appreciate its boldness and vibrancy, so lets look at some successful uses of the new “it” color.

Pantone describes Living Coral as “an affable and animating shade whose golden undertone gives it a softer edge.” While I don’t find Living Coral particularly soft, if I’m going this bold to decorate a client’s home, I prefer to be a little less trendy. But if you’re loving this intense color, here are some ideas of how to use it in your home and yard.

Living Coral is bold and bright. Here are places to consider using it indoors and out: 


1. Textiles. An easy way to integrate and play with a bright color in a room is to start small and simple, such as with accent pillows and throws. These pieces offer a dash of color that isn’t overwhelming, and they aren’t a big commitment since they are affordable enough to swap out down the road if you get tired of the color.

2. Decorative accents. If you want to take things a bit further with Living Coral, think about sprinkling it in a few small areas throughout a room via artwork, floor or window treatments, or side tables or other small pieces of furniture. It’s a small amount of a big color, so this application doesn’t look too busy. By dispersing the color, you draw the eye all around the room.

3. Furniture. If you want to go bolder, consider larger, more statement-making coral-colored furniture. Now I would never advise someone to decorate with a color simply because it has been deemed fashionable, but having your favorite color become trendy means it will be easier to find all manner of items in that hue. So if you are a big fan of bright coral and want to decorate with it, 2019 will be your year to stock up on home furnishings.

4. Accent wall. Ready to go really bold with Living Coral? Painting one or two walls in a saturated coral is a great way to pack a punch with this color. Just think about keeping the other wall or walls light and neutral, especially if you are using this color as an accent in a bedroom. Too much of this hue could start to feel busy and anxiety-inducing, in my opinion.

5. Architectural accent. Because Living Coral is such a striking color, it can be called into service to bring attention to interesting architectural elements in your home. Whether using it on a beautiful built-in desk and bookcase or in a cool and contemporary stairway, go bold to make it stand out. Just keep in mind, if you attempt to make everything in a room stand out, then nothing does. So use the vivid hue thoughtfully on only those elements worth the attention.

6. Outside. A smart way to use a vibrant color that you love without knocking yourself or your guests over the head with it is to take it outside to furniture or accessories. Because of the abundance of natural light during the day (or the forgiveness of darkness at night), outdoor areas can take vivid color more easily than indoor rooms, especially dark or cramped indoor spaces that can feel claustrophobic when decorated with intense colors.


7. Front door. A favorite place to use a daring color is on the front door. The kinetic coral in this photo is energetic and inviting. To me, this is the best use of the lively hue — to welcome visitors to your home.

Let me know what you think of Pantone’s color choice? Have you used it in your home? Would you like to? I can help you determine what works best for your interior situation – I’d love to hear from you, just message me here, right below this blog post or at the “contact” link, or you can email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com And, of course, you can call me anytime at: (407) 947-7718.

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What I discovered at The International Window Covering Expo!

Well, it was time for another…field trip! The International Window Covering Expo was in Tampa in March, so I decided that, since it was so close to home, I had to make this one, no excuses! So, I drove over there and brought Mary with me. Mary has been with me since I started this journey of decorating, and she has stuck by me through thick and thin. She is an amazing seamstress, having produced hundreds of beautiful draperies, bedding, and pillows for all of my clients for the past 14 years. I would be lost without her. We ventured off early in the morning and had a great time and ,of course, had to indulge in some adult beverages afterwards, at my favorite venue, The Columbia Restaurant. So glad we went, very informative, and a LOT of great products and ideas!

Next month I’ll bring you up to date on the nursery decorating, and more photos to come! And speaking of the nursery, I’m also planning a “Parents to Be Party” in May for my son Ryan and daughter-in-law Jenny! I love throwing a good party and will post my tips for creating an elegant and fun event. Stay tuned.

Exciting new product idea

So, here’s what really stood out to me, and I’ll propose this for the right client (maybe you?)…Tableaux Decorative Grilles. These are grilles that allow for virtually unlimited use in interior or exterior home design or home decorating projects. They can be used for window treatments and transoms, ceiling treatments, decorative accents and wall art, partition screens, and miscellaneous decor. Checkout these photos…AMAZING, right!

 

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Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 is (drumroll please)…Ultra Violet!

Just the name sounds powerful and mysterious, but this color is a strong bluish violet, that the Pantone Color Institute says is ‘inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come. A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.’

Pantone is an international color-matching system, the industry standard, that provides complete matching of standardized color for all materials used in interior design, architecture, manufacturing and related industries (like textiles) and printing. If you have a brand color or colors – or just something you’re trying to match precisely – it’s likely Pantone will be involved in the process.

Laurie Pressman, vice-president of the Pantone Colour Institute, said: “The Pantone colour of the year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the institute, said: “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Pantone 18-3838 ultra violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.”

So back to Ultra Violet. Wow, at first blush, it looks pretty intense, a bit tough to dive into. But the more I spent studying it, I could see a variety of ways to use it that would not only enhance, but totally beautify designs. And when I went online and looked at how some people have already used the color in their design work, I was blown away, and I’ll be sharing some of those images with you below. This bold, blue-tinged purple hue, while highly regal, is not as easy to decorate with as a color like blue, for example. But here are a few ways to work Ultra Violet into interiors:

Use it as an accent – The easiest way to start decorating with a new color is to take baby steps, like having a rug with a few violet threads, or a pair of purple throw pillows, or a few sprigs of violet flowers (or lilacs) in a vase.

Soften it with other purples, pinks, and blues – This is a great way to utilize a bold color like Ultra Violet, by working with other shades in the same family of colors – mauve, blue, blush lilac, etc. – which will soften it and have the color feeling completely at home.

Create a moody theme – “Moody” is a great description of purple, dark and romantic. A very bold approach would be to embrace other supersaturated dark colors and rich luxe fabrics like leather, velvet and dark-colored woods. Big, bold…deep and intense…are you up for it?

So check out some examples of some wonderful interiors utilizing this new color in various ways (isn’t Pinterest great?!). Of course these designs are copyrighted by their respective designers, but that’s what PInterest and Google are for…inspiration! Have at it – and let me know what you think, if you find yourself inspired with this vibrant, interesting, rich new color for 2018. Is this color inspiring you? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Email me at: carmen@sohointeriordesign.com or call me at: (407) 947-7718



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