When a piece of furniture or object is lovingly used over time, it can develop a rich, distressed patina that tells its whole life story. Think of a wooden table from an old workshop with metal drawer pulls that are darkened from years of use, or a marble countertop from a decades-old hotel kitchen, discolored and buttery smooth from wear. These characteristic imperfections are often indications of a time when furniture and household items were handcrafted, when country life prevailed, and homey, rustic objects were used, handed down, and reused. Today, this type of "farmhouse style" – which, incidentally, blends easily with boho, shabby chic and industrial styles – has become one of our most enduring decorating trends. And, short of incorporating actual antiques into your home, it's easy to find new furniture and objects intentionally made to look like weathered antiques. The secret to distressed pieces is simplicity. They look and feel lived-in, comfortable, unpretentious – the opposite of slick and shiny. Furniture || The idea behind distressed furniture – and why it has such charm – is that each piece has subtle variations in surface appearance, so no two are exactly alike. Before the Industrial Revolution, variations were naturally occurring, but once items became mass produced, each one started out exactly alike with uniform surfaces and details. For today's distressed furniture, surface imperfections are desirable, with variations in color and finish intentional. In addition to wood, other materials, including metal, glass, stone, and plastic, can be made to look distressed.   Area Rugs || Previously, the only way you could really get a "distressed" rug was from years of walking on it. Now you can find new rugs that have worn patches of faded color that truly look vintage, but are deliberately created in factories using special manufacturing and finishing techniques. Most rugs were and are built to withstand plenty of wear and tear, and can become more beautiful as they age. Finishing Touches || Mirrors, clocks, plaster busts (more popular than ever!), woven baskets, architectural salvage, metal gates and grates, stained glass window panels, books and other items, can all be found in true vintage distressed form. Or, you can buy attractive reproductions made to look as though you've curated them from years of global travel. Ideally, your home will look more unique if you mix true vintage items with newer items. It's even more interesting if you mix styles and time periods for an eclectic look that tells your personal design story.
Few core items you use to decorate your home are as important as area rugs. In addition to setting the tone for your space, they need to be durable, especially in high-traffic areas, and they should tie a room's colors and style together with tireless beauty. And, if placed over hardwood floors, they offer protection, warmth and comfort underfoot. Many designers suggest creating a scheme for your room using the colors and patterns of your rug, though there are so many styles available, it's easy enough to find a rug that complements what you already have in your space. When choosing an area rug, consider other shapes besides rectangles, think of abstract designs vs. traditional patterns, and, depending on space, you can use more than one in the same room. As always, if your rug is on a hardwood floor, be sure to use a rug pad underneath to prevent slipping. Alternative Shapes || Look around your room. It's most likely square or rectangular. Much of your case furniture is probably similar in shape. So why not counteract the 90-degree angles with a rug that's oval instead of rectangular? Or, round or hexagonal? You could even go with a figural-shaped rug, maybe shaped like a surfboard or hibiscus flower if it's a tropical-themed bathroom. Since an area rug really anchors your space, you should choose one that inspires you, and that you love to look at every day. Patterns vs. Solids/Abstracts || You have endless rug choices to make your space come alive. Traditional, intricate patterns offer visual splendor, and some new rugs are designed to look like vintage antiques, which add a curated, lived-in look to your room. You should also decide if you want rich saturated colors to make a dramatic statement or softer, faded hues to calm things down. Modern abstract patterns or "almost solids" also work beautifully, especially if you want wall art or furniture to really be the stars. In bedrooms, you probably want a rug with a higher pile to keep it warm and toasty. If you're in a more temperate climate, natural fiber rugs like sisal feel and look great, both inside and outside.   Multiples in One Room || If you have a large open space, say, a living room that flows into a dining room, it usually makes sense to place one rug under your dining room furniture, and one under your living room furniture. You can use rugs to further define seating areas. For example, you might have one rug anchoring a sofa and chairs for TV watching, and a separate rug for an adjacent conversation area with chairs arranged around a cocktail table. And, rugs you place in the same room don't have to match, though they should still work with the overall colors and décor of the space to keep everything cohesive.
This home décor trend is going out to all the wandering souls out there… the color lovers that thrive on wanderlust and exploration. Heavily influenced by Eastern European culture, bohemian style is the art of layering rich colors and textures with globally-inspired patterns, mixing in vintage elements, and topping it off with a dash of opulence to create a look that is effortlessly luxurious… Worldly Patterns || Layer, layer, layer. Boho is all about mixing prints in rich texture and saturated with color to create a warm and cozy vibe that is carelessly chic. Adorn your walls with crocheted tapestry, lay down an oriental rug, and fill your sofa with plush jewel-toned pillows… the result will be a space that’s just begging to be lounged in. Vintage Finds || Part of the appeal of boho style are the one-of-a-kind pieces that are sprinkled throughout the home, but to keep it authentic you must find those vintage treasures that are unique to your personality. Love to travel? Go on the hunt for some vintage suitcases to use as a nightstand or side table. Are you a photography buff? Hit up your local flea market for an antique camera to display in your home. Gilded Accents || Warm gold metallic elements like an étagère or cocktail table creates depth to the design by adding a touch of opulence. You can even introduce little pops of gold by way of planters or artwork! Your metallic accents work as the neutral in the room and will anchor the overall design.
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.
Whether it’s your summer or permanent home, a common mistake people make when designing with coastal décor is over-styling the space which can result in your home resembling a surfside gift shop. Go beyond the seashell clichés and create that serene, coastal feeling in your home with elements that are a little more unexpected… Color || The most subtle way to create a laid-back beachy vibe is by painting a room or two in nature-inspired colors. Try layering aqua hues with muted seagrass greens; a combination that has a way of calming your senses yet leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated like a summer breeze.   Furniture || Rather than choosing the typical whitewashed furniture, consider picking out pieces that are a bit darker and evoke more of a rustic or industrial vibe. Many of these pieces resemble driftwood with their coloring and distressing and will pair nicely with pops of coastal or nautical décor without appearing cliché. Adding a jute rug or linen drapes to a space is another neutral way to impart coastal flair.   Accents || Juxtapose style-neutral décor with coastal accents so the room doesn’t become too themed. Get creative with your coastal décor. Seek out a vintage nautical map to hang on the living room wall or an antique compass to place on a side table. Brighten up a window sill with potted seagrass or create a “coastal corner” in your bedroom by placing hurricanes filled with white pillar candles on the floor and scattering air plants all around.
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