Given the interest in all things natural these days, it makes sense that beige is making a comeback.
Danish design brand Ferm Living’s autumn/winter collection featured caramel-coated doors framed by bubblegum-pink walls. Even New York City designers have chosen beige for its ability to warm up interiors, and many find it reads as a natural material, not unlike marble or wood.
We asked a couple of pro-beige designers to share their tips for working the color into interiors.
Select a luminous color
“All colors are not created equal,” says New York interior designer Glenn Gissler, who covered his art-filled room at this fall’s inaugural Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse with a terra-cotta stria wallpaper by Farrow & Ball.
“It’s a way to get a very soft, sophisticated background,” he says, “because the stria is a few tones of one color, so it doesn’t read as flat and dull as a beige might.”
Splurge on the paint
“If you’re going to paint, don’t cheap out on the quality of the paint,” says Gissler. “If you go for simple, inexpensive paint, the only colors you can get back are the ones that are in the paint. But if you have a complex mixture, the room will have more luminosity.”
Choose a grayer tone
“If you choose what would be a clear beige, it may look unattractive,” warns Gissler. “Go toward the grayer end of the spectrum.” The idea is to choose something mellow that “doesn’t seem shrill when it’s first painted.”
When testing a color, don’t just paint samples on the wall, where you’ll only see that color in relation to the previous one, Gissler suggests. “It’s better if you do it on a 2-by-2 piece of wood or board so you can hold it in various corners of the room morning, noon and night to see what it does.”
Also, remember that “LED lights can look ghoulish,” Gissler says, so check your color in the context and lighting you’d normally use.
Keep it interesting
Rather than use the same neutral again and again, try to vary your palette with “an interesting mix of cool and warm neutral colors,” says Kiki Dennis, a principal of New York-based firm Deborah Berke Partners.
In a 1923 penthouse on the Upper East Side, for instance, Dennis kept the walls a cool shade of beige, while she warmed things up with curtains that had a beige undertone. “Having some variation” in your neutrals and beiges looks more modern, she says.
Shift into neutral
“People like to use neutrals because they’re a great foundation for making things pop,” says Dennis. They’re also a flexible backdrop for those who change their art and home accents often.
“No matter what trends are coming and going,” she says, “there’s always some underlying amount of space where designers resort to a neutral palette,” so don’t be afraid to do the same.
Think of beige as a “medium-light neutral,” offers Gissler, who gravitates toward warm, natural colors. “If you’re going to use beige, it needs to be part of a more complex set of values. You need darker things and lighter things … beige everything? That’s a big bore.”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not only is it the holidays, but it’s that time when we look at the homes favorited most on Zillow (yes, we’re talking about that little heart button at the top of each listing!). In 2017, the top picks ranged from grand mountain chateaus to modest suburban homes – and even a spooky listing that went viral. Whether they earned 283 favorites in South Dakota or 7,290 favorites in California, these homes all have their selling points.
So what’s the most favorited home in your state? Scroll down to find out!
The open road is calling, and so we must go! Articles about #vanlife were shared more than 400,000 times this year across social networks – that’s double last year’s number – according to online trend tracker Buzzsumo. Interest in life on the road peaked in June (summer travel, anyone?) with many of you wondering about wanderlust.
Not only did you adore stories about Airstreams, but you’re apparently buying other homes on-the-go, too: this year, RV makers reported their best sales ever. The company that makes Airstreams sold more than $2 billion in trailers and motorhomes this summer alone, adding that it can’t make RVs fast enough to keep up with the demand.
Homeowners once again rolled out the welcome mat for the tiny home trend in 2017. Stories about tiny homes were shared nearly 1.8 million times on social networks this year, according to Buzzsumo. In fact, tiny homes are now so popular, there are starter models cheaper than some cars, along with luxury ones, too (this design comes with a jacuzzi tub!)
Whether it’s an island getaway or a mountain retreat, you were crazy about cabins this year! Cabin popularity peaked this summer, according to Google Trends, and remained hot all year.
So what’s with the spike in sharing woodsy retreats on social media? One explanation could be that more homeowners – especially young homeowners – are seeking out a space viewed as a sanctuary, said Julie Link, director of research and consumer insights at Scripps Networks Interactive.
“The world is a chaotic place right now, no matter what your views on politics are. [Millennials] really look inward and they want to control something and the easiest thing for them to control is their home,” Link said. “Their home is feeling a certain way and it’s vibing in a way that’s it’s peaceful and they can seek respite is really the mood of the country right now.”
Looking for something distinctly MCM that’s still vintage? This mid-century modern time capsule hit the market for the first time in decades earlier this year. Practically untouched since it was built in the late 1950s, the 2,935-square foot house features pink polka dot paper, a working soda fountain and even an avocado-colored conversation pit.
So what will 2018 bring? Pop the bubbly and make your predictions in the comments section below!
I’m sure you are feeling that crunch to get gifts for those last people on your list. Or maybe your cousin you haven’t seen in years is suddenly coming for a visit. I get it, there’s nothing worse than feeling the pressure to purchase last minute gifts for people. Today I’d like to ease your […]
Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier made huge contributions to Modernism, urban planning and furniture design, but among all his contributions, the one thing I keep coming back to is this quote.
The challenge we all face as homeowners is in adapting our houses to our unique lifestyles instead of worrying too much about obeying tradition, design TV shows or our neighbors. And there are so many rules!
Here are three design rules we broke when renovating the dining room in our Omaha home.
Rule 1: Every home needs a dining room
One of the biggest pitfalls people fall into when decorating their home is being afraid to change the purpose of a room. Sure, a kitchen is always going to be a kitchen, but dining rooms, formal living rooms, and bedrooms are ripe for repurposing.
Like many folks, we don’t make much use of a dining room. While we enjoy visitors, we don’t throw many formal dinner parties, and our eat-in kitchen works just fine for daily meals. Meanwhile, our living room is lovely but not particularly spacious – a piano, fireplace and stairway limit the amount of seating we can add to the room.
Our solution was to extend the “living area” into the adjacent dining room. Suddenly, we doubled the amount of space we have for casual entertaining, while creating a spot for a flat-screen TV for watching movies. The result is a cozy, calming room that the British would call a “snug.” We think that describes the space perfectly.
This layout – and giving up a dining table to get it – may not be the right fit for every family, but it more closely aligns with our needs and could easily be switched back by the next homeowners.*
Rule 2: Dark colors make a room feel small
You’ve heard it from designers on TV. You’ve heard it from real estate agents. Neighbors. The guy working the paint counter. “A dark wall color will make a room feel smaller.”
I have two responses to that:
Even if it does, is that always a bad thing?
In many instances, a darker wall or ceiling color will have no effect at all on the perception of room size. Very dark colors can, counterintuitively, make walls and ceilings appear to recede from the observer, creating the illusion that the room is deeper. So, the jury remains undecided.
What dark rooms inarguably do is create an environment that is cozy, elegant or romantic. While your eye may initially perceive a space as smaller, it will not actually be any smaller. You can fit just as much furniture and as many people into the space as before. So maybe it isn’t a problem at all.
Our adjacent living room (and much of the house) has stark white walls and big windows to bring in sunlight, so we decided to paint our dining room-turned-snug in Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn Black. Nothing subtle about that, but once we filled it with artwork and furniture, everyone commented on how big the room seemed.
Rule 3: Too much furniture in a space will make it cramped
As designers and furniture manufacturers, we talk with clients about furniture layouts every day, and choosing too large a sofa in their home is a recurring concern.
While it’s true that the scale of furniture matters, you can often get away with putting more into a room than you might imagine. It’s all about placement and maintaining pathways.
Our snug is a great example of this. It measures merely 13 feet by 10½ feet, and has a wide opening to our living room, a door to our kitchen and three big windows. Into the room, we fit a 10½-foot-by-8½-foot sectional sofa, a barrel chair, three small tables, a bar cart, a large wall-mounted flat-screen TV and tons of artwork. Despite squeezing in seating for a big group of people, we haven’t compromised the critical pathway running from the living room back into the kitchen.
We absolutely love our cozy, compact lounging space and don’t miss our dining room at all. Our unconventional choices may not make sense for your lifestyle, but keep them in mind as you find the best way to live in your home.
* We’re staying in our house forever, so this point is irrelevant. (See previous blog posts regarding me making my husband promise we’ll never move again.)
DIY Scrap Plywood Wall Clock Hello, Pretty Handy readers! It’s Anika from Anika’s DIY Life and I am back with a quick tutorial on making a wall clock using scrap plywood. I recently gave our staircase a makeover and resorted to a lazy way of fixing up the stair risers. Consequently, I had a bunch […]
We’re excited about all of the possibilities our new home has provided. Beyond the remodeling, we can’t wait to furnish our home and setup areas for play and entertaining. We truly love to entertain, so appointing our bar will be one of the first priorities. We think about beautiful bars so much that we even built a couple for the GMC DIY Challenge last year.
But no bar is complete without beer, and not just any old beer. There is a time and place for mainstream lagers, but you won’t find them at our house. We don’t like to waste money and calories on cheap/low quality drinks.
Laura is partial to dark beers and craft beers are always popular with our dinner guests. Last week, San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing Company invited us to check out their newest brew, Fathom IPA. We thought this was a great opportunity to invite a few friends over to try it out. Our crew knows their craft beer, and was very familiar with Sculpin from Ballast Point, so they couldn’t wait to try Fathom IPA, which was launched in October.
Fathom IPA was definitely a hit, and the first comments were how “crisp and clean” it tasted. Overwhelmingly our friends said that Fathom IPA was a beer that deserved to be enjoyed with a great meal. Recommended pairings from Ballast Point include, smoked mozzarella & heirloom tomato salad, seared tuna and black truffle ravioli, blue spruce ice cream, mimolette cheese and soft-shell crab sandwich.
The overall consensus was that Fathom IPA had a great “bite” to it, and could be easily enjoyed on any occasion. The six percent ABV wasn’t flooring anyone, which is a good thing, and after two beers our informal gathering felt like a party.
We’re suckers for great design and the Fathom IPA packaging won us over. Ballast Point is known for the gorgeous artwork on their cans and bottles, and this beer doesn’t disappoint. The deep-sea diver is based on an original painting by Paul Elder, and really caught our eye.
We picked up our Fathom IPA cans from our local Whole Foods and they are available nationwide in six and 12 packs, making them ideal for transporting to your next tailgate or camping adventure.
Since Fathom IPA was such a hit, we’ve decided to grab some more for our Christmas party next week, and wishful thinking is that there will be some leftover for our camping trip to the Alabama Hills after Christmas.
We’re pleased to be a Ballast Point Partner, and work with them to help introduce Fathom IPA. This post is sponsored by Ballast Point, but all opinions are 100% our own and we purchased the beer ourselves.