Blue & White || From nautical navy and white to chinoiserie patterns, this combo always looks fresh Certain color combinations have truly stood the test of time, none more so than blue and white. When it comes to interiors – outdoors, too – blue and white always looks fresh, cool, crisp and sophisticated. From bold, poolside cabana striped draperies to richly-patterned chinoiserie vases and ginger jars, this timeless pairing works equally well in solid blocks of color or intricate patterns. It's particularly strong in cooling down summer outside settings, but for warmth and zing, add orange, pink or yellow. And, you can use blue and white in any room – think of a guest bedroom covered in French toile de jouy (twal-duh-zhwee) fabric, the aforementioned chinoiserie vases scattered around a living room, or a serene bedroom with muted versions of blue with white for comforters, pillows, and window treatments. However you incorporate it, blue and white just feels right. However you incorporate it, blue and white just feels right. Sky-View Seats || It's not surprising…according to many surveys, America's favorite color is blue. It's almost never jarring, but calm and cool, though it does feel more energetic in saturated versions of navy, royal blue, and turquoise. And, it's readily available on upholstered furniture, from dining and accent chairs to upholstered beds, sofas and ottomans, as well as every kind of accessory. Metal or wicker outdoor furniture is often painted white, with classic navy blue cushions for an inviting summer look.   Coastal Connotations || There's nothing better than relaxing by the ocean, lake or pool. Blue sky, blue water, white sand – we're intrinsically drawn to these coastal hues because they are so prevalent in nature. And even though grey is an enduring color go-to, we don't long for a grey sky the way we do blue. You can create coastal vibes in any room using blue and white, especially if you mix in variations like cornflower, periwinkle or powder blue. Sometimes you can find many variations in one area rug that can act as a springboard for creating an oasis of calm.   Cool Accents || If you have a neutral-hued room, add some color with blue patterned pillows, and for porch, deck or patio, get them in Sunbrella weather-resistant fabrics. For dining, set a table with blue and white patterned dinnerware mixed with cobalt water goblets, plus blue and white floral table linens for a fresh look. Typically, bathrooms are white, so towels and rugs with blue in them beautifully complement white tile and porcelain. Or, try painting a light blue ceiling in a white room for a tranquil feeling every time you look up. This technique is often used to great effect on porches, where Southern tradition says a "haint blue" ceiling will ward off evil spirits.
One of nature's most prominent hues is about to make a welcome return with the start of spring this month. From an interior design standpoint, green can be tricky to work with, often because it takes on so many different casts depending on lighting and the other colors used around it. This is especially true of paint colors. The classic adage, "if it works in nature, it will work in your home," definitely applies to green. Just think of how great live plants look in any room. Depending on saturation, texture, and which variations you use, green can be soothing or energizing. If it's been awhile since you've considered it, maybe now is the time to put some fresh greens on your design plate.   Calming Approaches || Sage. Mint. Forest. Moss. Seafoam. Olive. Aloe. Celery. These are some of the greens that nourish and soothe, much as they do in the natural world. Note that many of these can be dark and saturated and still exude calm, much like a dark forest with filtered sunlight through treetops can feel very peaceful. In the same way, mint, celery, seafoam and aqua are often associated with tropical beaches, which can feel both peaceful and visually lively at the same time. In terms of your interior space, almost any type of wood furniture looks great with greens, whether it's a green upholstered chair or a walnut credenza against a mint green painted wall. Or, place a wood cabinet with a green distressed painted finish in a kitchen or hallway to add vintage character.   Wake-up Call Approaches || Shamrock. Kelly. Emerald. Chartreuse. Lime. These tend to dazzle the eye, create excitement, and energize the soul with their sharper intensity. They will gain even more strength when paired with other vibrant hues like royal purple, hot pink or the traditional holiday pairing with red, which works well because green and red are opposites on the color wheel. In terms of a room, a modern glass-top table, for example, will pair beautifully with lacquered emerald-green walls in an entranceway. Mixed Greens || Much like a grouping of plants, different greens can blend beautifully. For example, pair two upholstered accent chairs, one in chartreuse next to one in kelly green, and it will make the room look fresh, lively and eclectic. Fabric patterns on throw pillows can also coordinate well, such as a palm frond print pillow mixed with, say, pillows with small-scale green and white stripes. Mix in a pair of ceramic garden stools and live plants, and you can easily create a lush garden feel indoors, even if you live in a city apartment. It's easy using green. Green is everywhere!
Even if your interior spaces skew traditional, there are times when you want to modernize and lighten things up. Sometimes, too, if your spaces are vividly colorful or dark, you may want to tone things down. Here is where clear acrylic furniture or accents can mix beautifully with your décor. Subtle, sleek acrylic drawer handles, furniture legs or even an entire cocktail table made of gleaming acrylic can lift up a room.   Clear Benefits || In addition to having the look of glass without the worry of shattering, the benefits of acrylic include durability, easy care, and superior weather resistance, plus it comes in a variety of shapes and colors to make your room look unique. If your room is on the small side, an acrylic piece gives the illusion of taking up no space. And because of its see-through quality, anything you put on top of, say, a table, will draw attention to itself, making it look like it's floating. Acrylic is about 50% lighter than glass, but much stronger and more resistant to scratches. Its superior durability also makes it a fine choice for a porch or other outdoor space because sunlight won't harm its look or function. Also, in today's design world, you can find acrylic items in almost every shape and color. If you don't want all clear, there are pieces with clear tops and green legs or chairs tinted in blue, pink, purple, orange, smoky grey and more. Careful Cleaning Tips || Avoid cleaning acrylic with household cleaners because they often have harmful chemicals. Instead, wipe with a soft cotton cloth and some mild detergent. Avoid using man-made fabrics like polyester or rayon because their fibers can be abrasive. If you do find scratches, there are over-the-counter cleaning products you'll find online or at your local hardware store that you can use to make your items look as good as new. Cool Reflections of Style || As with any other design category or trend, use acrylic furniture and accents strategically. A room of all acrylic would likely look too unsettling in a lost in outer space way, plus you might trip over some pieces that aren't easy to see in certain light. Mixing a piece or two with items in other styles will yield the chicest look. For example, a wooden dining table surrounded by ghost chairs achieves an intriguing balance of cool and functional. Or, add a few touches of acrylic in a bedroom to lighten the mood.
Europe is like that unequivocal cool kid – they don’t follow trends, they set them. While diversity in design ranges from country to country the one adjective that best describes them all is: chic. From minimalism to opulence each design evokes a sense of effortlessness that transcends the test of time. Posh Parisian || Deemed fashion capitol of the world, Paris, has mastered the art of effortless sophistication. Their evolving interior design style strikes a balance between old and new, opulence and minimalism. Vintage accents like an ornate chandelier is paired with a clean, modern sofa. Light walls offer a blank canvas for decadent texture like a velvet accent chair in royal blue or a tufted ottoman. Merry Mediterranean || Inspired by the cheerful hues of the sun, sand, and sea, Mediterranean design is as carefree as the people that inhabit the area. Capitalizing on their perpetually mild climate, Mediterranean architecture blurs the line between the outdoors and indoors; bare picture windows and sliding glass doors dominate design making dining al fresco a seamless transition. Patios are filled with cushy outdoor furniture that is as cozy as their living room set. Simply Scandinavian || Built on the Scandinavian design philosophy that less is more, minimalism is characterized by clean simplicity and functionality without compromising comfort. Clean lines like leggy, tight-back sofas are juxtaposed with rich texture like a sheepskin rug to create a crisp-meets-cozy vibe. Void of any bold primary hues, this design aesthetic was made for the lovers of all things neutral.
There has been an ongoing debate in the Design world about the prevalence of grey in interiors. Is it an enduring trend or past its expiration date? Truthfully, grey never went away. As with any color, it appears and resurfaces at different times. And, unless you intentionally use grey as a monochromatic color scheme, it will have more impact if you mix it with other colors like yellow, lavender or pink ¬– even saturated citron, emerald green or peacock blue. However you decide to incorporate this hue, it can create a sophisticated feel that will stand the test of time. Keep It Neutral || As an alternative to beige, tan or white, grey can either be a great focal point or soothing background to other colors. When you choose a super light value of grey, it can have an ethereal, cloud-like look and feel that even mixes well with other neutrals. For example, your rug can feature only values of grey or include soft blue, white and beige mixed with grey for a more interesting neutral palette. Add a textured throw and pillows along with furniture in shinier finishes to keep your neutral color scheme from looking flat. Power It Up || Amp up the elegance and grandeur of your space by using deeper greys like graphite, charcoal or wrought iron. Contrast them with pale pink, soft lavender or mustard hues, or make a bold statement by mixing grey with amethyst, hot pink or citron. For a more masculine approach, try using grey with brown or burgundy, perhaps on an upholstered chair or with accent pillows. Gold, silver and black in either matte or shiny finishes will also keep grey from feeling too sedate. Finishing Touches || Change up your greys anytime with colorful accents in other colors like red, black, blue or green. For example, incorporate a lamp with a jade base, or a patterned chair with rose, turquoise and terracotta hues to create a beautiful, rich complement to your grey foundation.
By now, you know about the many benefits of indoor plants – they help purify the air, reduce stress and background noise, and improve your mood, in addition to being naturally beautiful. You can also add life to your space with other naturally occurring items like coral, seashells, petrified wood, geodes, plus textured fibers like macramé, abaca, jute, grasscloth and sisal. Adding these natural elements brings earthy textures to your décor, and increases the tranquility of your space. You can use these elements in subtle or big ways, and they work especially well in casual, boho-inspired interiors. Fish tanks and fountains optional.   Natural Found Collections || You can easily add natural beauty to your home by gathering your seashell or beach rock collection, putting it in a woven basket, and placing it next to a group of plants. A branch of coral is another classic touch, often displayed atop glass coffee tables or on book shelves. Other shore items like starfish, sea urchins and sea glass are inexpensive, readily available collectibles that can be gathered in groups or scattered randomly to charming rustic effect.   Furniture & Rugs || There are plenty of ways to use natural elements to make a bigger impact. In addition to natural wicker, rattan or rope accent furniture, you can complete a seating group with an eye-catching geode-topped accent table or tree stump table that's anything but cookie cutter. Each one will feature unique variations in color, pattern and shape. Ground your space, inside or out, with an environmentally-friendly natural fiber area rug that's both resilient and easy to coordinate with most design schemes. Accent Pieces || Geodes in their organic form can be striking, and appear in many gorgeous colors, including purple, blue, pink and green. Arrange them inside an open clam shell for an artful presentation. The aforementioned coral makes a great decorative accent, maybe on a tray with other objects or under a glass cloche. A natural woven sunburst mirror adds coastal charm when placed above your dresser, or use it to embellish a bare wall in an entranceway. Finally, if natural elements aren't your favorite décor go-tos, framed botanical prints work especially well in a formal grouping on your wall.
From Pantone to Sherwin Williams to Behr the color curators have chosen what they anticipate to be the most popular hues for 2018. Ranging from deep and saturated to muted and serene there is certainly a color for every design aesthetic… Pantone: Ultra Violet || The most talked about color reveal of the year might be a tad too cosmic for your walls, but this invigorating hue can be great in small doses! Abstract artwork or an area rug are good ways to experiment with this bright color. Behr: In the Moment || This watery-gray hue evokes a calming vibe that would be great for a bedroom, a master bath, or any other room you want to turn into a tranquil sanctuary. Right at the crossroads of saturated and muted this tone works well as the neutral in the room. Sherwin Williams: Oceanside || A jewel tone that perfectly blends blues and greens to create a hue that is reminiscent of the serene coastline of your favorite beach. Whether you paint your walls with it or find a similar hue in an accent piece like a side chair or ottoman you can’t go wrong! Benjamin Moore: Caliente || This fiery red has purple undertones giving it a rich saturation that is a little more soothing to the eye than an orange-based red. Try it as an accent wall in your living room – this color really pops when paired with a cream or white sofa!   Pinterest: Sage || While Pinterest technically isn’t a color expert, it’s certainly the leading forum of inspiration for life in general and the most pinned color is sage. Step aside griege, because sage is stealing your thunder as the new neutral. Out of all the colors listed this hue has already made its debut in the form of walls, sofas, bedding, even kitchen cabinets!
Caring for your new little bundle of joy is going to be your first priority so having your nursery perfected before they arrive will give you peace of mind and your baby a peaceful haven to grow. Nursery Necessities || Give your baby room to grow by purchasing a crib that will convert into a toddler bed. Seek out a changing table that provides ample drawer space below so you can forgo the chest of drawers and have more room for other fun accents. Consider investing in a good quality glider chair. Your baby isn’t the only one that will be spending a lot of time in this nursery so go for a chair that will embrace you in absolute comfort while you rock your baby to sleep. Whimsical Walls || Whether you know the gender of your baby or not, there are fun alternatives to the traditional pink and blue walls. Modern, gender-neutral nurseries are having a moment right now and it’s a wonderful, minimalist trend that will blend your nursery with the rest of your home. If you’re painting the room beige, grey, or white experiment with a subtle playfully printed wallpaper in the same hue to mix it up! Not a fan of wallpaper? Design a focal wall of art that features pops of color and whimsical scenes; this will brighten the room while still maintaining the calm vibe set by the neutral wall color. Awe-inspiring Accents || While your baby won’t completely appreciate this until they are a little older, adding a teepee to your nursery is a chic way to create a little wonderland for them. Another playful touch is to design a reading nook complete with a bookshelf and a shag rug for your little one to roll around on. Not only will it add style to the nursery, but your baby will love the soft texture!