Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Great Wall of Paint

Accent walls are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but there are a lot of ways to add visual interest to your walls for less with paint -- even without adding one bold wall of color.

These stripes add huge impact in a bold and abstract way.

For starters you can add stripes throughout the room. Make them modern or traditional, large or small, horizontal or vertical, or even abstract and diagonal. Stripes can make a great impact or an even more subtle statement while still giving some visual interest.

Consider adding a chevron pattern. Although I tend to think that chevron is heavily trendy, I believe that paint is paint, and it is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to add color, style, and a little pizazz to your space. But most importantly, it is not permanent. So if in a few years, you are bored with the chevron, then just re-paint it!

Large neutral stripes add a little something extra in simple way.

My personal favorite stripe is the wide horizontal stripe. I'm talking like an 18" high stripe, and I love the visual effect of alternating flat and semi-gloss in the same hue so that your stripes are more of a tonal detail. This tonal technique can again work in more modern or traditional spaces depending on what color and intensity you decide to apply the look with.

Choose a height and draw a line.
Keep on side light and the other side bold to achieve this playful painted look.

Another great painted look for a more traditional home, consider using your molding as a way to frame out your colors. Chair rail or wainscoting below in a lighter base -- shades of white are best here for a traditional look -- then your accent color above. Like an accent wall, this still keeps your space balanced, focusing the "accent color" on the top with the detail or texture at the base.

This molding frames out some energetic colors to make a bold statement.
Hint: Use colors that are your style to make this statement work for you!
You can also create a series of boxes on the wall that are framed out with molding and keep the accent color inside the box. Or create a large box on the wall that is painted in your accent color and then use that space for that gallery wall you've been planning out! This is a great way to apply chalkboard paint in a playroom or kitchen... frame it out with molding, and then your chalkboard is instantly more defined.

I love everything about this kitchen,
including the rustic framed chalkboards in the back!

These are just a few of the many, many ways that you can use paint to apply interest to your space. Explore the options, and however you choose to add color in your space, don't be afraid! Seek inspiration, and remember, it's only paint! You can always change it later.

Inspired by all of these fun and different ways to add interest with paint, one of these techniques might just make an appearance once we are through the door in whatever space we end up calling home! Can you see yourself adding a playful painted detail to your space?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Great Wall of Wallpaper

After living in an apartment for countless years (well I can count them, I just choose not to), it is nice to finally be hunting for a home where we can play with the walls. But deciding what to do where is the tricky part. These days there are just so many options! So with this Great Wall series, we are going to explore different types of wall treatments that can make your space!

Use a neutral-geo print to add subtle interest with pattern.

Wallpaper is first up on the list of wall treatments to discuss. What is your opinion of this renewed trend for your walls?

Back when wallpaper was really in it's prime, there were shops that existed solely for the purpose of housing wallpaper sample books, were you could peruse until your heart was content, and you had selected the wall covering of your dreams. Now there is Pinterest, and the internet. Of course you can still work with a designer (like your's truly), that can help you peruse books still.

To avoid being too bold, just add a pop of wallpaper behind your shelving.
(I want this closet!!)

Back in the day, everyone was using wallpaper. Now that people have gone through using it, and eventually tearing it down, and the process of cleaning up their walls afterwards... they are seeming a little bit apprehensive to dive into the wallpaper scene again.

Textured wallpaper is less of a commitment.
It comes in white and you can paint it just like you would your walls.

Here's the thing... Is wallpaper a bigger commitment than paint? YES! But in the areas that you will most likely be applying it (entry ways, powder rooms, dining rooms, and maybe as an accent in a master bedroom) you will be picking a paper that you really love, and you will be leaving it there for quite some time. And it is your home! You should be the one who is truly happy there!

This mapped-out space is adventurous and sexy with masculine touches. 
So, weigh out the cost benefits. How much will it cost to have it properly installed? How much will it cost to properly take it down? How long will you keep it up, and love it? Weigh it out... ultimately, only you can decide if you truly want to use wallpaper in your home.

But, if you are feeling a little bit nervous, or if you are a renter, look into the temporary wallpapers that are on the market these days. I have worked with one of them, and it went up and came down like contact paper--so easy!

This creamy room is playfully sophisticated
with soft tonal animal-print wallpaper.

We are definitely considering adding wallpaper to our walls when we find our first home!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

B-Day Giveaway :: Part Two

Thank you all for participating! The winner of the Birthday Giveaway has been notified!

For those of you who didn't win, guess what? It's time for the giveaway part two!

The prize:

White Peony Scented Jar Candle from Target

Beveled Black Glass 4x6 Frame with Silver Beaded Detail.
Also from Target.

A picture frame and a candle. Just a little something to continue to show my gratitude for my readers!

Entering is just as easy as it was before:
1. Like us on Facebook.
2. Follow us on either Pinterest or Instagram.
3. Follow along with the blog here or on bloglovin!
Bonus Entry if you share the giveaway on your social media outlets!

Once you have followed the above steps, please leave a comment and let me know. Please include your name on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, so that I can do my homework and make sure all entries are valid, and accounted for!

P.S. If you entered the original giveaway, consider yourself entered for part two!

Good Luck!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Buying our First Home :: The Challenging and Frustrating Emotional Rollercoaster

Buying a house is one of the most challenging experiences I've gone through. Not actually finding options or making the decision to offer, but the actual buying process.

Once you know your budget and what you are looking for, you can search until the cows come home-that is if they managed to find a home! But after that, it is a matter of compromising on your "must-haves" with your better half. Surprisingly enough, P & I were very much on the same page. Our strongest concern being location.

Once we were looking at spaces, we would point out things we liked to each other and P would rely on me to point out what could become of the space once we put our spin on it. This was the fun part. The process of exercising my imagination, and dreaming of our homes to be.

Falling in love with a space is something I am familiar with. In fact I fall in love with spaces all the time. The beauty of their architecture, the curve of their lines, the colors, the lighting, the space. But falling in love with a property that you want to own, and turn those beautiful bones into the shell of the starting of your life with someone. That is something new.

And fall for a space I did. The first place we saw actually. It was a lovely condo, just the right size in a pre war building in the exact neighborhood we both loved. Everything about that space was gorgeous. Unfortunately, after deciding to make our offer, and going through the early steps, we found out that we couldn't live in that lovely little condo.

That lovely little condo that I had planned our furniture in. That lovely little condo that I had envisioned painting with specific paints. That lovely little condo with the beautiful windows, and the way the walls sloped softly to meet the high ceiling. I really did love it. And when we found out that we couldn't move in-it was heart breaking. But we had to move on.

So we began looking again. This time we saw a few more places, and found a space that was so big, and so affordable, that it seemed we had to consider it. And so we did. Admittedly, I didn't love it. It was still a great old building, but it was a row house, not a condo, and it needed a lot of work-the type of work that doesn't make it prettier, but makes it stronger & safer. The type of work that takes a lot of cash.

Unfortunately, although we were willing to work with the house, and make it our home for some time to come, the sellers were on cloud 9 dreaming about what they could get for the place, and unfortunately weren't willing to even give us an inch. So we decided to walk away.

This time, it wasn't heartbreaking. But it was hard. We felt like here we go again... will we ever find the right place?!

So now we are still looking. I think we have seen something like two dozen homes, and it is hard. It is exhausting. It is time consuming. And unfortunately it is an emotional roller coaster.

Hopefully I will have an update soon, but in the meanwhile, we continue to go through the motions to find the home that we will start our marriage, and hopefully in a few years our family in too.

The only take away here is that everything happens for a reason. It truly does, and that is something that P & I feel strongly about. There is a master plan, and these first two places weren't meant to be. Hopefully the third time is the charm, but we know that no matter what happens, it will work out for the best. Ultimately we are optimists, and we have faith.

And for those of you out there dealing with this same chaotic process, stay firm on your budget and the things that are important to you, but be flexible, and be willing to fall in love with the home of your dreams. Just remember that the home for you is out there, and it could take a day or a year to find it, but your persistence will pay off!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Birthday Giveaway!

They say it's your birthday, duhna duhna duhna! (Has been stuck in my head all morning.) Well actually today is my birthday, and I wasn't initially planning on lining this giveaway up with my birthday, but why not share some great stuff with you all! It will only make my day that much better!

So here we go...

I put together some items that I thought one could use to spruce up a coffee table, entryway, end table, night stand etc., as we come into the new year and we pack up all the holiday gear.
I also thought it would be nice to include something that is a little nod to the color of the year, but you can tell me how much "orchid" you really see in the item.

Here are the goods:

What you get if you win: One white tray, one violet vase (or radiant orchid if you will), and one awesome gold candle holder. All are from Target, and the gold candleholder is Nate Berkus.

What you need to do to enter:
1. Like us on Facebook.
2. Follow us on either if the following: Pinterest or Instagram.
3. Follow along with us here OR follow along with us here on the blog.
Bonus Entry if you share the giveaway on your social media outlets!

Once you have followed the above steps, please leave a comment and let me know. Please include your name on Facebook and Pinterest or Instagram so I can do my homework to make sure all entries are accurately counted.

Simple as that! Thanks in advance for participating! The contest will close on Thursday 01/16/14! Be sure to check back to see who the winner is and see what else we have brewing on the blog!

Good Luck!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Color of the Year

It's that time again! Last year, Pantone named the color of the year to be Emerald -- and I think they did a fairly accurate job with that. I started to see a lot of emerald accents throughout the fall and winter seasons, both in home and in fashion.

This year Pantone has named Radiant Orchid as the color of the year. And they will get no argument from me! I am all about these lovely shades of red-violets. I think that there are a lot of good color ways within this monochromatic scheme of lavender that will be quite lovely.

Just as the Emerald last year offered a good way to add accents that offer a little pop so will the Radiant Orchid.

Are you a fan of red-violet hues? Do they exist in your space already, or do you plan to incorporate any as the year goes on?

"Botanical Blush" at Target

I also noticed over the weekend at Target, that they are doing color shops in the decor aisles, and they have a color shop that reflects the color of the year beautifully!

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this year's color and your thoughts on incorporating it!

Friday, January 3, 2014

So Long 2013 {Year in Review}

2013 was a big year! Not only for DBK, but also for me personally. So before we put the past in the past, let's celebrate the wins.

On the Blog:
5. "Review & Giveaway :: Diamond Candles." A fun review on a great candle company!

4. "Designs that Captivate :: Emerald." Exploring 2013's Pantone color of the year, in fashion and home decor.

3. "Transitional Design." Making the decision to move and take on a big challenge for a better career. It hasn't been all easy, but it has been great!

2. "DBK :: Q&A." A question-and-answer session on Boyish Charm and how to incorporate manly design (mainly sports) into your space in a mature way.

1. "How Important is the Thread Count." Important information on bedding, and some serious misnomers on thread count.

4. We moved out of Connecticut, a state that became my second home for 6+ years.
3. We had an amazing vacation out west filled with incredible family, sights and loads of inspiration.
2. I got a great career opportunity to get my feet wet focussing on Bath Design.
1. P and I got engaged!

3. Great career opportunity {see #2 above}
2. Consulted on some great projects in CT & NJ
1. Landed my first whole house design project!

Looking Forward:
This year will be the year we get married. It will be the year we buy our first home (hopefully) and it will be the year I finish consulting on my first really big project. This year is going to be a truly wonderful year in which I will remember to count my blessings often.

Happy 2014 everyone, make it great. Choose happiness!