Monday, July 30, 2012

Mixing Metals and Wood Finishes

I am putting a living room design together for a client and we're going for a modern, mid century look. I love the idea of mixing metals and wood finishes in a space and plan on doing that here! I think sometimes, people may be afraid to mix metals in a room, thinking they all have to match. If you have a chrome lamp, that doesn't necessarily mean every metal has to also be in chrome. Why not mix it up with a little gold for an eclectic look?? The same goes for your wood finishes. I love seeing light and dark woods in the same room, just like when mixing design styles. You can really take an everything goes approach, within reason. Here are some great examples of mixing things up...

Light woods with Dark...





Mixing Metals...













 
 


Try it out! You'll be surpised that it actually goes together!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Design Board Comes to Life!

I was over the moon excited when I saw some amazing progress photos from one of my recent clients.  Melissa, who writes a great DIY blog, The Happier Homemaker, was the winner of an e-design giveaway that I did a while back.  She wanted some ideas for her master bedroom.  She was looking to make the space feel serene, light and relaxing. Melissa is off to a great start, as she has already painted the room and replaced the lamp shades. She is calling this Phase 1, and here is a little before and after in progress...

Before:



Afters in Progress:


All photos were taken from her blog here.

Melissa did an amazing paint job!! We went with Alaskan Husky by Benjamin Moore. It's a very soothing shade of blue/gray and helps tie in the warm woods and neutral rug with the gray and white bedding. I suggested she also paint the tray ceiling, drawing your eye up. It's a great way to take full advantage of the beautiful height in the room. We also replaced the bedside lamp shades with modern, drum shades. I love the subtle difference! We have plans to incorporate a gallery wall around her TV, to make the TV feel like art in the space. It's a great visual trick! I am so excited to see these Phase 1 photos. To follow the progress on this space and read more about this transformation, follow her blog here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I'm Working On...

I have been happily busy working on client projects, so I apologize for my lack of posts recently.  I wanted to share with you two ideas I am proposing for a client in her home.  These two images help describe what I'm up to... 

Source: houzz.com via Amber on Pinterest




Oh, the beauty in these spaces! I love my job!  :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Master Bedroom E - Decorating Project

I truly love what I do. Creating design boards and new spaces for clients is really so much fun. And when you get the opportunity to work with amazing clients, all the better! I recently wrapped up an e-decorating project for Melissa, who was looking to make changes to her master bedroom. She wanted a serene retreat to settle at the end of the day, with warm neutrals and soft blue/grays. Here is the board I came up with:

(Click on image to make larger.)

She has let me know that they already ordered the paint and have purchased some of the accessories! Yay! Melissa also has a great blog, filled with creative DIY projects... stop by and check it out here! For the room image source list, go here.

Are you thinking about making decor changes to your home? Click on the 'design services' page at the top of my blog to get started!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Why This Works

Happy weekend and welcome to the series Why This Works... where I highlight a designed space and discuss what I love. Today's living room space has the perfect shade of orange and does a great job of mixing patterns. Enjoy!



What first got me about this space was the amazing striped drapery. Stripes are definitely a hot item in decor and fashion these days. I have always been a fan of stripes for clothes as well as in rooms. They are a great mix of modern and traditional, which I love. These curtain panels are the showstopper in this space. They immediately draw your eye up and visually makes the room feel taller. I love that curtain panel trick of hanging them towards the ceiling. This is such a perfect example of why that works so well! Two bold patterns are mixed into this space and look amazing. The large area rug also makes you stop and take notice. The graphic print is a beautiful shade of navy and really draws you into the room. The slip covered sofas and traditional tufted ottoman work well paired with the modern rug. The pale shade of ivory/gray on the walls is subtle and doesn't try to compete with the drapery and rug. The orange accessory color is seen again in throw pillows, giving repetition and purpose. The warm wood tones, gold accented art and beautiful orchid invite you to stay and give a warm, friendly feel to the room. Overall, this space works!

What are your thoughts??

Thursday, July 19, 2012

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - The Passionate Peony

Happy Thursday and welcome to the series If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? I am excited to have Genevieve (love that name!) here, from her blog, The Passionate Peony. Genevieve is brand new to blogging and is off to a great start. She blogs about art, design and fashion and has beautiful taste! Here is her blog header:



And here is what she came up with...

Hello readers! I'm Genevieve from The Passionate Peony. In the past, when asked to define my style, I never knew what on earth to say. Maybe hollywood regency? Or perhaps vintage chic? Well, after hours of looking through the rooms that I was the most drawn to, trying to come up with a signature style for my blog, I had a little epiphany: every single room that caught my eye had a hint of glitzy metallics (yup, I'm like a magpie..) ! So, if my blog were a room, that room would be decorated in a style I like to call "feminine glamour". Hope you enjoy these gorgeous rooms!













So happy to have been a part of Simple Dwellings, and a big thanks to Amber for having me! Hugs and Kisses, Genevieve

Thanks for being here, Genevieve! These rooms are amazing, glamourous and very chic! I have also been drawn to gold accents lately, and these rooms do it up well! Definitely stop by Genevieve's blog and show her some love!  :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Christmas in July Over at Emily A. Clark's!

I am so excited and honored to be included in Emily A. Clark's Christmas in July post today! I am one of her sponsors this summer and I love this idea she came up with to highlight us! Why not think about Christmas all year long, right?? It's one of my favorite holidays and I think we all deserve a little getaway from this scorching weather to think of the snow season!  :) Some of her sponsors (including me) have really great promotional offers to highlight today! I am offering a complete room design for more than 50% off! The offer starts today and lasts until 7/25. Let's get shopping!

I started my e-decor business, Amber B Interiors, last year. I am excited to offer a room design promotion to thank you all for your support! Here is a sample of my design work... (Click on images to make larger or to start slide show.)



A Complete Room Design Package includes the following:

* An inspiration board, showing ideas for the space and the direction it is headed.
* A complete design board for the space.
* A detailed description for furniture and accessory placement.
* A detailed source list for all products on the design board.
* Revisions to the design board (if changes need to be made).

Normally, this package is $115. Starting today until Wednesday, July 25th, it will be $55! Click on my Design Services link here or e-mail me at simpledwellings1@gmail.com to get started.

Also, don't forget to head on over to Emily's blog to read more and also see the other amazing sponsors participating in Christmas in July! Why not treat yourself to a little gift?!?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Adding Coastal Charm for Summer

I love to make changes around our home seasonally... it just awakens the space and gets you ready for the season. We are well into summer now, so I thought I would show you some changes around our home. Better late than never, right??  :)

A Nautical Inspired Wreath



This wreath was made with a craft store wreath form, ivory yarn and striped ribbon. I hung it on our door with some twine, for a nautical touch. This second image was taken in June, when we still had our cottage roses in bloom. They last for such a short time... I miss them! You can see a glimpse of the wreath from here. (To tell the truth, I showed this picture so I can see those roses again!)

Framed Sailboats


We actually keep this print up all year, but you can easily swap out images for different seasons. This picture was taken on a trip to Boston. I had it printed in black and white at Wal Mart and framed it in this floating frame from Target. I just suggested this frame in black for a client. It's a great piece, because you can still see the wallpaper and it can hold any image up to 11x13! This picture is an 8x10.

A Touch of Coral and a Beach Sign in the Background


And a newer picture, without the rug:


Coral is fun to add to any space. It looks great printed on a pillow or as sculptural art on your table or shelf. This coral is from Pottery Barn, and I am constantly changing its home! Actually, it's not on the dining table anymore! More on that later... 
As I was writing this post, I realized the beach sign above our kitchen window also showed in the image. Another way to incorporate a summer look!

Let's take one more close up of those roses. See you again next year, cottage roses!


Even if you're landlocked, you can easily bring some coastal charm to your home! Clipping a few of these blooms and bringing them into your home is another great way to add some summer charm to your space.

What are your favorite summer decor additions??

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gathering Inspiration from Design Bloggers

As I put together my most recent e-design project, I scoured pinterest and some favorite blogs for ideas. I knew the direction this space was going, and knew I could count on these on line sources for beautiful image examples of my ideas! It always amazes me the amount of information out there from which to draw inspiration. This e-design was for a master bedroom and she was looking for a modern, traditional space that felt serene and calm. Here are some of the suggestions I made for this client:


Black Door:

I suggested my client paint her interior doors in her room black. I thought it would feel cocoon like and be a perfect blend of modern with traditional.


Fresh Hydrangeas:

Fresh flowers look great in any space and this is a perfectly inexpensive way to make the master bedroom feel warm and serene. One of my favorite types of flowers are hydrangeas, like the beautiful display above.

Gallery Wall Around TV:

The clients have a similar television in their bedroom and a gallery wall around it is a wonderful way to mask the tv and make it feel part of the art.

Lamp and Book Vignette:

The clients have one night stand that is taller than the other, like this example above. Placing a few books under one lamp is a great way to make the space feel symmetrical and balance out the height difference. 

Thanks to these wonderful decorators for their constant inspiration! More to come on the e-design project, so stay tuned!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fashion Friday

Happy weekend and welcome to the series Fashion Friday... where I discuss my other design love. I have really been loving the coral trend in both interiors and fashion. I put a nautical inspired look together today, around a pretty coral blouse!


Nautical Inspired


I think of soft, feminine pastels for summer, and this blouse was the perfect starting point! To give a nautical inspired touch, I fell in love with these anchor earrings and knew they had to be included in this outfit. I picture this to be a pretty beach outfit that can easily translate to dinner out, so flat sandals and a chic tote are practical yet also fun. I love the tie dyed look of this maxi skirt, too! Soft and light accessories round out this look for a fun filled, beach weekend! To shop this look, click on 'Nautical Inspired' below the outfit!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why This Works

Happy Thursday and welcome to the series Why This Works... where I highlight a designed space and discuss what I love. Today's living room was featured in Architectural Digest and is the home of Brooke Shields. This modern and traditional space was designed by David Flint Wood. Enjoy!




I think the designer did a great job of mixing design styles, giving the space an eclectic and warm look. The dark charcoal walls and modern pendant is juxtaposed (love that word!) with a traditional seating arrangement and natural woven rug. The doors are striking and give a graphic feel with the square moldings. This room is a perfect example that well edited pieces and large furniture can fit in smaller spaces and actually make the room feel larger. The accessories are chosen carefully and not overdone, overall making the space feel open and airy. The light upholstered furniture pieces work well against the dark walls, floor and stained door, creating a nice balance. The lucite table serves its functional purpose, yet also doesn't take up any visual space and is a beautiful, chic addition to the room. I love the pops of orange and gold in the space, especially the gorgeous X bench under the console table. The designer chose not to include wall treatments, allowing the mill work to take center stage. I think that works well in this space, because all of the light coming in helps to balance against the dark walls. And to top it all off, fresh flowers on the coffee table makes the space feel inviting! Overall, this space works!

What are your thoughts??

Are you looking to make simple and beautiful changes to your home? Click on the 'design services' link at the top of my blog to get started!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Style for Your Life

A little while back, Erin, a representative from Style Outside the Box, contacted me and introduced me to this creative site which promotes and sells unique, one of a kind products made by independent designers. This company was started by Laura Adamson and she set out to team up with these designers who could showcase their work for this site. There is everything on this site from home decor gifts to jewelry to men's ties. I browsed Style Outside the Box and came up with a few of my favorites to share with you today!






And this is just a sampling of what you can find at this unique site! Stop by and check it out here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Easy and Inexpensive Way to Hang Art

I love the look of gallery walls and the creative, eclectic way art can be displayed.  What I don't love, though, is the cost of all of the frames. To make some gallery walls appear as if they have been there for years, it can be expensive. A cost effective solution for some of the pieces is to hang them with art clips. I am currently wrapping up with an e-design client and used this easy solution for her space. I suggested to make a gallery wall around her tv in her master bedroom, to help disguise the tv as art. A great way to display an eclectic gallery wall look is to use different frame finishes, a mixture of black and white prints with paintings and the use of art clips for hanging. Here is the art clip I suggested:

 via

This site shows using them with kid's art, but it can really be adapted to any space. For her room, I suggested spray painting these clips black, to blend in with the other gallery wall suggestions. These clips come in a pack of 3 and include mounting hardware. To ensure the art does not fold or curl on the ends, I suggested to mount the art/photos on canvas boards. Canvas boards can be purchased at Jo Ann Fabrics for $5 for a 3 pack. I started looking through pinterest to see if I could find any images of this idea and here is what I found:














Have you ever tried this idea??

Are you looking to make simple and beautiful changes to your home? Click on the 'design services' link at the top of my blog to get started!
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