Contributed by Shirley Martin, tidylifetoday.com
With stay-at-home orders in place nationwide, it’s safe to say that COVID-19 has made a major impact on this spring’s housing market. Some homeowners have decided to postpone selling, but plenty of others are continuing to put their homes on the market. If you’re in this boat, the best thing you can do is tailor your strategy to meet buyers’ current demands, all while maintaining safety measures to protect yourself and others.
Scope Out the Market
You may have heard how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the nation’s hosing market, but the reality is that trends in home sales are highly localized. This is true no matter what else is going on, which is why any seller should become familiar with their local market. This is easy to do by searching online to find out the average price homes are selling for in your area, along with other crucial information like how competitive the market is. For example, homes in Atlanta have averaged 50 days on the market for an average sale price of $325,000.
Another thing to note is how other sellers are staging their homes and how they’re marketing them online. At a minimum, you can expect to see high-quality photos. When you look at other listings, are you also finding other media like video tours or floor plans? At a time when people are doing more business online, including searching for homes, you want to make sure your listing meets or exceeds the standard others are setting.
Make the Best Home Improvements
Regardless of what other homes in your area look like, the best way to get your home sold fast is to make sure it’s in excellent condition. Before starting any home improvement projects, make sure you can do them without putting anyone’s health at risk. For DIY projects, check with your local home improvement store to find out if they offer online orders with curbside pickup. If you need to hire a professional, Consumer Reports has some great tips for doing so safely, including maintaining a contact-free visit and making sure the company follows safety measures.
The first thing to take care of is anything that’s broken, dirty, or dingy, like smudges on walls. Once you’ve done any necessary repairs, consider other updates or renovation projects that will increase your home’s value, both inside and out. Curb appeal is always important, so it’s a good idea to spruce up landscaping. Buyers also pay close attention to kitchens, but since you likely can’t hire contractors at this time, you can make small changes yourself by painting cabinets and switching out the hardware. Home offices are also in high demand, especially now that more people are working from home.
Try Creative Marketing Ideas
First impressions are everything in real estate, and now more than ever, your buyers’ first impressions will be made when they see your listing online. Agents who want to show your home may want to use live video to share it with their clients. You can also create recorded video tours and even 3D tours of your home that buyers can view online.
Obviously, the better the impression you create from these tours, the more likely buyers are to want to see your home in person. To create high-quality virtual viewings for buyers, you may want to hire a company that specializes in this kind of work. You can also take steps to highlight your home’s best features in these videos, such as maximizing lighting and staging your home so it looks more inviting.
The ultimate goal is to get your home sold as quickly as possible, while also preventing the spread of infection. To make this happen, sellers should expect to spend at least a little time and money. The good news is that, with the right strategy, there’s no reason why COVID-19 should stop you from making a sale.
Enjoy this historical snippet from Architectural Digest on important interior design “moments” from the past 100 years.
Glam is so appealing. What’s not to love? Ethereal color palettes, shimmering finishes, luxurious fabrics, and drama, drama, drama!
The guest bedroom shown above was done on a budget of only $2,000. All items were sourced through Wayfair. The wall paint is Gray Cashmere — 2138-60 Benjamin Moore — a whisper light blend of grey, blue and green. Yummy. Champagne, silver and bronze finishes distributed throughout the space create an understated elegance. The warmth of the wood flooring keeps the space grounded as does white bedding, grey drapery panels, and a grey and cream area rug.
See Wayfair’s tutorial on all things glam:
Z Gallerie was doing glam before glam was in. They have it all — in spades. Affordable accessories and art from Wayfair or Z Gallerie are a great way to get the feel of glam without committing to major pieces.
For some of those luxurious fabrics, check out James Hare, the latest to join Scalamandre.
Glam meets Persia … oh, my.
This is the most fun collection I’ve seen all year! Perigold, known for elegance in all things, offers the Bohemian Traditional collection. This is an eclectic design sensibility that uses a combination of pattern, texture and color, carved wood elements, global accents, and exotic Eastern touches. It brings warmth into the well-travelled home. As a Wayfair designer I can assist you in personalizing this look and making it your own.
” Viburnum is extra special because its growing season is one of the shortest–the season typically spans the month of April. Viburnum is also known for its color change during the season. They first bloom in a vivid lime green color and then turn to ivory-white puffballs as they mature in the sunshine. ” –Bloomexpert.com
Viburnum green pairs beautifully with creams and greys. Visit Flower Magazine’s link below for inspiration.
Fresh and exciting, yet very livable, viburnum green is a great choice for upholstery, area rugs, and accessories if you want to deviate from ho-hum.
There is so much color and pattern in design this year! This can be a blessing and a curse. Look before you leap. The images provided by the industry should be regarded in the same way one reads Vogue – you aren’t meant to reproduce the entire image.
Take snippets of color and pattern that you can live with — at least for a while. Ensure you have some neutrals for breathing room. As designers, we can get away with a lot more drama in hospitality settings where clients will only spend an hour or two. Your home must be restful enough for extended time periods.
One thing that makes this year’s colors a bit more classic is that they are largely nature’s colors — greens and blues (navy is especially classic), with little pops of yellow or salmon to liven things up. You can always use concentrated color for small objects like throw pillows or accessories. However, for wallpaper, window treatments, or large furniture items, be cautious about the intensity of the color and the business of the pattern.
Ballard Designs has done a nice job this year of showing us what’s possible with pattern and color coordination. It’s refreshing to see color back in action after so many years of grey and, well, more grey. Check out their custom fabric, sold by the yard, to apply to hundreds of customizable items.
In the Houzz article below, the author states that “pattern and vibrancy are two trends that don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.” This is an opportunity to explore and integrate colors and patterns that you love in small doses (called the law of Chromatic Distribution).
Law Of Chromatic Distribution. A rule governing the distribution of color intensity or brightness. The most neutralized colors are used in the largest areas, and the smaller the size or area, the brighter or more intense the chroma proportionately becomes. (google search)
Pattern and color are two of the true joys of interior design. They are meant to be used and enjoyed. Just be mindful that what looks fabulous in a tiny image in a magazine will look and feel very different in real time and space in your home.
Scalamandré always delivers on luxury. The Calabria Collection (inspired by the region of Calabria, Italy) captures the more elegant, soft, and refined side of Italian style and works well with stone and the greys that are still so popular. The line also gives us ideas on how to weave softer colors into color schemes that include greys.
Calabria Color Stories
Scalamandré allows you to pair product from the Calabria Collection with classics from other Scalamandré lines. Be sure to review Morning Glory, Winter, Bluestone and Onyx from this new collection that celebrates the company’s 90th anniversary.
The Key to Success: Restraint
What makes this particular Eastern Accents pattern compilation Low Tide Mashup successful is the restraint. It’s not overdone. The hallmark of Eastern Accents is the company’s ability to coordinate color and pattern to perfection.
To determine if you even like living with bold, colorful patterns in your space, purchase only a few accents, such as pillows, accessories, or artwork. Anchor the space in neutrals (headboard, area rug, draperies, wallpaper, paint). Consider a pastel or bright paint color for an accent wall only. If you determine that you love lots of pattern, still keep bold patterns to smaller items.
Faux Florals and Greenery
Think beyond fronds and banana leaves. Monstera leaves, elephant ear, and green lilies all bring freshness. Colorful tropicals include Bird of Paradise, succulent protea and antherium. Etsy always offers wonderful, unique finds, but my “go to” for quality botanicals is NDI Florals.
Wicker and Rattan
Wicker and rattan area timeless as well due to their natural tones and subtle colors. Rattan furniture is crafted out of rattan only, but wicker furniture may be crafted out of different materials such as bamboo, straw and ratta . Recently, synthetic materials are also being used for the manufacure of wicker furniture. An additional benefit of using wicker or rattan furniture is the ability to add colorful cushions to them.
For artwork selections, the key to success with a tropical theme, again, is subtlety and restraint. Consider watercolors to get that fresh, breezy feel of paradise without going overboard.
Note the muted tones in the beautiful design below by Designvibes.com. Nothing hits you over the head. The large pillow and area rug in brown and cream give some breathing room to the blue and orange patterned items in the room. Brighter hues are reserved for glass accessories. The designer achieved perfect balance and harmony in this composition!
For more inspiration, check out Homebnc’s post:
In this era of rustic fabrication, Nick Allman brings elegance and refinement to rustic furniture design.
The rustic look has found its way into restaurants, boutique shops, big box stores, and residential interiors. Any design that is well made and composed of natural elements has timeless appeal. Consider marble, wood, stone, silk, and linen.
Here’s a look at some other trends that will endure:
Christmas Tree Shortage
There are various reasons for the shortage of Christmas trees this year.
If you find that the offerings are less than optimal, or you just don’t want to shell out the extra dollars for a real tree this year, there are many alternatives that will bring you holiday cheer without breaking the bank.
Multicolored Lights and Baubles in a Clear Vase
Faux Poinsettia and Lights Among Greenery
A Basket of Greenery, Lights and Ornaments
“The Christmas spirit is simply an honest spirit of love for all humanity. It is the force that moves us to give what we can, to help as we are able, and to always be of kind comfort.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons
CB2 Has Elevated Contemporary Interior Design
CB2 has elevated contemporary interior design. CB2 is transforming the perception of home design for today’s modern consumer by offering high quality, sophisticated design at an approachable price.
Glamour and Luxury
CB2 offers richness, glamour, and luxury in their design offerings — always stylish, ever intriguing! The room settings showcased in their October 2018 lookbook expertly balance the currently popular gold and silver tones with soft hues. Their interior settings adeptly apply texture and pattern, balance warm and cool, and make an artful, breathtaking use of black. Their wood tones, upholstered furniture and area rugs create a warmth and coziness to balance contemporary lines.
CB2 has embraced the emerald green that is so hot at present, but it never looks out of place in any of their settings. For accent walls consider SW6289 Delightful (soft mauve), SW 6747 Argyle (deep green), or SW 6496 Oceanside (deep blue) when incorporating your select CB2 offerings.
Images provided by CB2
There is a delicate nature to CB2’s bling — survey their mirrors, crystal drops, light fixtures and glass trees. Their accessories are refreshingly innovative and interesting.
Images provided by CB2
Edgy, Eclectic, Inspirational
The brand is definitely today’s destination for timeless yet edgy home collections, creating furniture and decor to inspire creativity and celebrate individuality with an eclectic mix of products and decorating ideas. Their furniture and accessories are many and varied, so much so that you will find it easy to make CB2 your own. Your space will truly look and feel like a home – contemporary, eclectic, unique, and very livable.
Images provided by CB2
CB2 is Growing Rapidly
In addition to being a leader in online retail, the brand is rapidly expanding their physical footprint and currently has 18 locations across the U.S and Canada. CB2 is part of Crate and Barrel Holdings, which is owned by The Otto Group, a global retail and services group based in Hamburg, Germany.
For More CB2
For more information, visit www.cb2.com, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. I adore the glorious colors of fall foilage and the cooler temeratures bringing on increased energy. Perhaps it is the association of the new school year that I associate fall with a fresh start. Or it might be that kick of temperature change along with seeing nature let go of summer with such a graceful transition that autumn inspires taking on new adventures in our lives.
Image via Pexel 33109
“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.” –Stanley Horowitz
There are so many ways to celebrate the season. The cooler weather encourages us to clean out our homes, taken on challenging chores, visit orchards, perhaps even start something new that is good for us like a hobby or carving out some time for ourselves. Give yourself plenty of time to plan for and enjoy Halloween.
Image via Pexel 1371178
A thousand flowers baked by the sun
Their scent dampened by dew now that night has begun
A distant church bell’s toll is eerie tonight
Young children notice all take takes flight
Close friends and neighbors we don’t recognize
Until small friendly voices dispel their disguise
A pumpkin, a candle, a sheet becomes ghost
Our path is so marked by our spooky host
With mild trepidation we approach the next door
Each house has become a free candy store
The night fills with quick footsteps, the shouts that we utter
A spring in our step, inside us a flutter
The beauty of autumn, the mystery of lore
A witch on the wing, a bat hangs from a door
Countless enchantments to be heard, felt and seen
On its once a year visit, once again — Halloween
Poem by Adrian Jennings
Image via Pexel 33577
Autumn is such a fun time for crafts or and adding fall decor. You can let your personality shine, such as with this adorable porcupine set in a nest of warm color –shown above.
Image & Design by Lauren Richardson
Head to your local craft store and grab a grapevine wreath, some colorful leaf stems, berry stems (anything to add interest and texture), your favorite ribbon (with wire) and a bow maker (it’s easy after a few practices), wreath hangers and make yourself a dazzling wreath. I love to have one for the outside of the front door and one for the inside of the front door.
Image & Design by Lauren Richardson
Crate and Barrel’s Suki Collection offers a modern and fresh take on autumn and Thanksgiving table decor. The Suki Collection hosts runners, tablecloths, and napkins in a fresh, stylized floral in two colorways.
If you like the idea of adding acorns to your decor, be sure to pop them in an oven for a few minutes to remove any organic material or purchase faux acorns from any variety of retailers.
Enjoy the season. Enjoy your blessings.
Image by hikersterson via Istock
Planning a kitchen renovation can be daunting in terms of scope and budget. The good news is that realtors estimate that 80% of the investment you make in your kitchen upgrade will be recouped when you sell your house. Whether you are ready to take the plunge for your own benefit or for resale value, below are some guidelines to help save you time and money with designers, make the process smoother and get you the end results you desire.
Before getting to far along, go through all your kitchen appliances, dishes, tools and cookbooks and give away or toss anything you don’t need. Does your waffle maker just sit there 364 days a year? Do you really need four sets of measuring cups? Do you have mismatched dishes and cups that just sit on the shelf? Once you know exactly what you need to store, finding storage solutions will be more targeted.
The most expensive part of a kitchen upgrade is in appliance reorientation and custom cabinetry. Depending on the extent of your renovation, it can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $75,000 (or higher). Consumer Reports offers a monthly membership for $7.95 per month or you can purchase magazines that will get you up to speed on costs.
Form Follows Function
Image by Vasyl Dolmatov via Istock
Do some research. Visit kitchen showrooms and gather materials. Learn what’s possible. Until you do some exploring, you won’t know that you can’t live without that certain something. Even Home Depot and Lowes have great catalogs that help you understand some of the organizational tools available with cabinetry upgrades.
Create a list of “must haves” and “would like to haves.” If you are a couple, try to have individual lists as well as a shared list to help designers hone in on those items that are paramount to your happiness.
Consider amenities such as a wine cooler, a gas fireplace to keep you cozy in the wintertime, and storage solutions that will save you from sitting on the floor and digging through cabinets for that certain appliance. Corner cabinets with lazy susans are wonderful. Maybe you’re an avid baker, and over the fridge vertical storage will make it easy access to large, flat pans. Perhaps having a pull out spice cabinet would make life sunnier. It may be that a pegged dish drawer would make the daily chore of setting the table and putting the dishes away a breeze. Consider your height, back issues, arthritis and any disabilities when putting together your wish list.
- Will the family eat in the kitchen or dining room?
- How often do you entertain?
- How do kids and dogs impact your layout and amenities selection?
- Will there typically one cook or more?
- Where do you prefer to do prep, cooking and clean up? (Your designer will plan your kitchen triangle of refrigerator, sink, and stove and overall layout with these preferences in mind.)
- Do you need extra counter space? A bar counter?
- Do you need a double oven?
- Will one sink suffice?
- Do you have a good-sized pantry? Do you need extra storage for pots, pans, spices, or wine?
- Are you interested in switching from electric to gas? Extending a gas line can be expensive and electric cook tops have improved over time.
- Do you need additional task lighting?
- Do you need a home/office area?
- Do you need a family calendar/scheduling area?
- Would you like more natural light in your space? (skylilghts, additional windows, enlarged windows, sliding doors, etc)
Create a file, notebook (digital or paper) or Pinterest page of kitchen designs that you find appealing. Your designer won’t copy these, but they will provide insight to your taste. Strive for 7 to 10 images that represent your style. Try to understand why the images appeal to you. Isolate the components. Is it the light? Copper bowls? Stone tile? Dark wood floors contrasting with crisp white cabinetry? As a couple, strive for images that reflect a combined style. This may be difficult and could require the assistance of your designer, but the clearer you are on what you want, the less time you will spend with a designer.
Base finishes include flooring, cabinet finish, countertops, backsplash and paint. Appliances should be coordinated as well. They don’t have to all match but they should coordinate (i.e, black stove and dishwasher with stainless refrigerator).
Finish Upgrade versus Remodel
If you are merely changing finishes, you can do this own your own or hire an interior designer. If you are remodeling, be sure to hire a certified NKBA planner. Your kitchen planner might be able to offer you a highly coordinated finish scheme, but different types of designers have different specialties. so be sure to see some of their work. You might want an interior designer to work with your certified kitchen planner, particularly if you are coordinating open floor plans and want coherence between the kitchen and adjacent rooms. Consider, in particular, any flooring material that will be adjacent to the kitchen flooring material.
Kitchen Flooring Choices
Are you keeping your existing flooring? Try to get a sample of it so that this can be viewed in the quartz showroom with your other finishes. You might be able to pull a chip from the corner of a pantry or closet. If you are making a change, you will likely either choose tile or hardwood. Tile is easy to clean but can be hard on your back. If you don’t spend a lot of time cooking, this could be a good choice for you. If you do select tile, ensure you specify narrow grout lines and a medium to dark grout. If you have a light-colored grout, you will spend an enormous amount of time cleaning the grout, even if you seal it. I prefer Carlisle wood flooring for its beauty, but if you are pressed for budget there are many other options.
Don’t purchase budget bamboo — a low price typically indicates bamboo that has not been allowed to harden and it will dent once installed. The article below details more choices and outlines pro’s and con’s.
Don’t select granite for your countertops. While it’s fine to use a granite offcut for a small vanity, granite can break upon installation for large pieces. Quartz, on the other hand, has binders that offer just enough give that their will not be a break upon instlalation. If you are looking for something subtle in a grey, white, or cream, Corian Quartz® (formerly Zodiaq®) offers regular specials on several colors.
However, if you would like more interest, visual “movement”, and something a bit more lively, Cambria® is your vendor of choice. You can see Cambria® designs on your own countertops and islands, and more with the Augmented Reality (AR) app. How it works it you use your device to scan your counter, then select the design you want, and you will see how it looks in your space.
Visit a quartz showroom to see quartz options in full slab size. Never, ever order your kitchen countertop(s) based on a small sample size. Quartz often has wide variation, visual movement, and multiple colors that will not be evident in a small sample. Consider two coordinating quartz colors if you have two or three countertops. Once measurements are taken for fabrication, have your designer check with the fabricator to see if there are any offcuts that can be made into a desktop, vanity, or occasional table. You will pay for the entire slab, so get your money’s worth.
If you want something custom, visit some local cabinet makers. They should have samples of their work and be able to show you the quality of construction as well as paint and stain choices. If you like more traditional designs, consider Enkebol architectural wood carving designs to enhance your cabinetry with carving, overlays, fluting, and molding. Hoods offer another ornametal option.
Kitchen showrooms will offer you many styles of cabinetry, palettes and details to suit your style. Consider some well-appointed glass cabinet fronts. Antique glass offers sparkle without a stark view into the contents behind them.
Image by hikesterson via Istock
While backsplashes are not required, and you can simply create a backsplash with your chosen quartz, a coordinating tile can add interest to your kitchen design. Don’t limit yourself to Home Depot! There are so many beautiful tile designs available through your designer. Have them take you to a showroom so that you can gather some ideas or ask them to bring you some selections.
While you can purchase refrigerator doors with wood fronts, most of us will select white, black or stainless. The best selection will be based on your other finishes but keep in mind that stainless will show smudges, so if you have little ones under your roof, be prepared to be wiping appliances down often should you choose stainless.
Plumbing and Cabinet Hardware
Sinks and faucets might be on your renovation list. These should be coordinated with your cabinet hardware. Sherle Wagner and Carpe Diem are worth investigating for outstanding hardware selections.
Lighting and Electrical
In addition to offering a planned and coordinated design, another advantage of hiring an interior designer for your kitchen upgrade is to coordinate lighting that will showcase your new space. Recessed lights in the ceiling, undercabinet lights, lights to showcase displays behind glass, and new fixtures over your kitchen table or island will be important components of a complete and pleasing design.
While this is an easy finish to change, paint color is still one of the items that should be chosen in concert with your other base finishes.
Final Selection of Base Finishes
Before signing on to any of your base finishes, have your designer meet you at the quartz showroom with the following samples: cabinet door, flooring sample, backsplash and paint. Ease of cleaning is of utmost importance in considering all of your finish selections.
Adding In Your Personality
Image by Svetl via Istock
Image by Svetl via Istock
Most of your base finishes will be neutral. If you are selling your home, ensure you select classic, neutral finishes. If this is your forever home, you can suit your own taste. Have you dreamed of having a Mexican kitchen since you were 15? Go for it.
Create another file of images that captures your personality. Do you love Italian ceramics? Mixed colors of dishes? Ceramics can brighten up your space. Think of a kitchen with soft creams, whites, or greys and a bright blue vase with yellow flowers. Or lavender orchids on a black countertop. Kitchen mixers come in fun colors like aqua, red, and copper. You can bring fabric, pattern and color into your space through upholstered seating areas, window treatments, chair covers, table cloths, runners, napkins, placemats, and artwork. These items will add texture, color and personality. The more information you provide to your designer at the outset, the more successful he or she will be at giving you your dream kitchen. Good design has so much to do with planning all the components together.
To recap: visit some kitchen showrooms to think outside the box and see what’s possible, create your wish list of functional and style preferences, create a folder of images for overall kitchen design, base finish ideas, and personality ideas. Hire your NKBA kitchen planner and interior designer. The links below will connect you to organizations that can assist you in finding your designers.
Care and Maintenance
Once your new kitchen is installed, be sur eyou have warranties on hand and understand the care and maintenance of your new finishes so that you can enjoy them for some time to come. In particular, understand proper care of your quartz countertops and islands. Quartz is non-porous and hard to stain but you should avoid abrasive cleansers and cleansers that contain bleach. Although quartz is very scratch resistant, you should always use a cutting board and never put a hot pot or pan direclty on the surface as this can cause discoloration.
You have likely noticed the oh-so-soft mauves appearing in apparel and design. Check out Michael’s Simply Cozy Collection. It’s a mixture of whisper whites, dreamy blushes, and greys that make you want to snuggle up with a book.
This collection would be perfect for a guest bedroom (you can strive for gender neutral by leaning toward the creams and greys or for a ladies’ getaway corner — feel free to lay on the florals — you have no one to answer to!
Image by Lauren Richardson
Here are a few Sherwin Williams colors tha twould make great accents to coordinate with these soft mauves.
(are you blushing yet?)
Consider SW 0071 Orchid for an accent if you want to emphasize the masculine components of this collection. Opt for a grey rather than an offwhite or cream as the main wall color to further enhance the masculine feel.
Check out the creative accessories in this line:
Image by Lauren Richardson
Sherwin Williams Ibis White SW 7000 is a dreamy, creamy white that would make a great primary wall color. It’s the perfect backdrop for these subtle, scruptious tones.
Image by Lauren Richardson
Sherwin Williams’ Misty straddles both the soft and deep greys in this collection.
Image by Lauren Richardson
Here is a link to Michael’s snuggly collection — offering rest and comfort for both ladies and lads:
They’re offering 40% off at the moment! Go see for yourself.
French Country and Country French are terms that get tossed around with abandon these days. Have you ever wondered what the difference is?
Rococo, a style that was popular from 1730-60, has had a tremendous impact on interiors. This period produced intricately carved wood panels, ormolu mounts, extravagant marquetry inlays, and the trumeau (wood framed mirror). It was fanciful, lavish, based on nature, and all about curves.
Rococo in the Country: French Country/French Provincial
What has become French Provincial style is basically a simplified version of French Rococo. In the countryside, simplification was a result of smaller budgets as well as fewer skilled craftsmen to produce furniture pieces and wood paneling. It developed when the woodworkers attempted to imitate the style of decoration that originated in the provinces of France in the 18th century. The imitations were less ornate than the styles that were the rage in Paris. Furniture was more simply carved as were decorative moldings. Printed cottons called toile de Jouy were very popular then as they are today. Iron was used in 18th century decorative interiors and still finds a place in today’s French interiors, especially for light fixtures.
French Country or French provincial offers a French manor type of look. Decorative moldings create the perfect backdrop. You will often see antiques with a French flair, even gilded furniture, lush traperies, rich textiles. In short, this look is elegant and even opulent, but never glitzy. French country incorporates details but they are never overdone. Colors are subdued. Soft creams are abundant, and soft green, soft gold and soft persimmon pair beautifully with the creamy base. Accessories are simple but there is a place for gilded touches, a few ruffles, or anything that offers a touch of romance. You can mix French country with transitional and even contemporary pieces. In particular, the soft curves of Rococo and light, delicate Neoclassic furniture pieces sit perfectly in this setting.
Image by Tempura via Istock
Always romantic, ever elegant, but never glitzy — as seen in this room above.
Image by vicnt via Istock
You can have it all — a reminder of the past and contemporary furniture styling. Modern furniture in subdued neutrals against a backdrop of soft green decorative wall moldings. The creamy parquet floor offers visual movement. Windows are unadorned by fussy blinds and framed by elegant draperies.
Country French is easy to remember because the emphasis is on the first word — country. It is more of a feel rather than a specific stye and incorporates a mix of pieces from various periods of French history. This is more of a farmhouse look, a rustic safe haven. However, this style is enormously popular for good reason — it’s incredily homey and welcoming. Oversized furniture invites people to sit and relax. Rich, warm colors such as sunflower yellow and soft reds soothe while violets, soft greens and blues balance the palette. Accessories are more rustic — hanging pot racks, earthenware, and hand crafted pottery give a personal touch. Open shelving invites objects of personal affection to be displayed. Copper fits in nicely.
bImage by de-kay via Istockphoto
The rustic charm of this kitchen is apparent. It is inviting and unassuming.
Image byIPGGutenbergUKLtd. via Istock
A generous use of white is one way to ramp up the charm and comfort level of a Country French interior and keeps the interior from feeling too confining.
Definitions aside, if you are interested in having an interior designer create either a French country or country French look for your home, use a wide variety of images to convey your sytle preference as these two styles are often used interchangeably in practice.
Unistakably French, Betty Lou Phillips
French by Design, Betty Lou Phillips
The French Inspired Home, Carolyn Westbrook (this book contains images for those who love to use white in their interiors, as well as a chapter on French Modern) Continue reading “French Country or Country French?”
When I am looking for color that offers a special richness, I grab my Benjamin Moore Color Stories fan deck first.
This special paint formulation blends about five to seven pigments in each color. Each color in the series has no black or grey.
Paper Lantern CSP-1150 is a true, clear red. It contrasts beautifully with black, white or cream as an accent wall for a dramatic bit of pop.
Tandoori CSP-1005 evokes an Eastern flair, and works beatifully along with teals and greys.
Mystic Lake CSP-745 is a hue that has enough teal to make it interesting yet is grounded with a softness that evokes calm and tranquility.
Green Hydrangea CSP-850 is a fresh, clean green. If you want a range of monochromatics, combine Green Hydrangea with Lime Sherbert CSP-845 and Lillana CSP -855 . These greens pair well with white, off-white, or cream.
My favorite Color Stories soft neutrals are below.
Cappucino Froth CSP-1055 (a warm cream)
Crumb Cake CSP-1010 (offers lovely golden undertones)
Crisp Linen CSP-305 (as the name indicates)
Cake Batter CSP-215 (a hint of grey — soft, lovely)
Pressed Violet CSP-520 (falls somewhere between violet and grey)
For popping art in gold or silver frames, consider a burnt umber for a backdrop such as:
Kentucky Birch CSP-265 or
Dark Chocolate CSP-270
For trim, doors, or a dramatic accent wall consider :
Espresso Bean CSP-30 (hovers between black and deep brown and never disappoints).
These are just some of the exquisite colors in the wheel of 240 colors. Order your Benjamin Moore Color Stories fan deck from Amazon or other retailers. You will be delighted.