An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘mirrors’

Soul Mates – Furniture Pairs that Just Belong Together

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

It’s easier to make a splash with some pieces of furniture than it is with others. But when you pair certain pieces of living room furniture together, say a fireplace and a club chair, you not only up the room’s “wow” factor, you also add another layer of comfort and functionality to your living space.

A club chair or a recliner parked beside an accent table instantly forms its own grouping separate from rest of the living room. Just add a lamp and you have your own personal space for reading the latest bestseller or catching up on the evening news.

In a living room or family room, pairing a loveseat with the Butler Specialty Plantation Cherry Wood Nesting Tables increases your options: it allows you to have a meal in front of the television; a place to put two different bowls of munchies while watching a movie; and when entertaining, you can move the nesting tables around the room to wherever else they are needed.

Placing an unusual mirror above a console table in a foyer makes a statement about your personality and the home you’re welcoming people into. Whether the mirror is an attention grabber or not, pairing a console table and a mirror together is a practical combination – you can set down your keys or purse to check your appearance or fix your lipstick just before you go out the door.

To create a conversation piece and punch up the room’s visual impact, include pieces of furniture that are typically found in other rooms, such as a dresser in the dining room instead of the traditional sideboard or a baker’s rack in a hallway in lieu of  the standard console table.

I have stayed in places where there was no nightstand by the bed; it always causes me minor annoyance at the realization that I have to now get out of bed to turn out the light just as I feel I could easily drift off to sleep. A nightstand or a bedside is the perfect companion for any type of bedroom, from a master bedroom to a guest room to a child’s room. If you want to ramp up your bedroom décor replace the standard night stand with a hand-painted accent chest or a bachelor chest, which is slightly wider than a nightstand but not as wide as a dresser.

Pairing furniture pieces in such a way as to increase the room’s functionally is just good sense. You can also make your furniture pairings stand out and grab attention by selecting living room, hallway and bedroom furniture pieces that are unique and striking.

Decorating with Mirrors

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Everyone owns a mirror of some kind so that they can check their appearance, even if it’s the one in the bathroom or it’s fastened to the back of a closet door. Aside from the most obvious purpose of a mirror, many of us are aware of the number one interior decorating trick to making a room appear larger is to use mirrors, either one large one or a set of decorative mirrors. But by carefully integrating them into a room’s interior design, mirrors can do so much more for both you and your home. And it’s even easier than ever, with the wide variety and selection of decorative and ornamental mirrors that are available in today’s market.

Smoke and Mirrors

When creating the illusion of space, it’s not just enough to hang a large mirror in a room. Proper placement is everything. The American Drew Cherry Grove Landscape Mirror hung on a wall opposite a door or a doorway will add the appearance of depth to a room. The same illusion can be created in a narrow or small-sized foyer by placing a mirror on the wall directly opposite the entranceway.

Putting two mirrors at either end of a short hallway will make it feel longer. Placing a mirror on a side wall of a short hallway will have the opposite effect, creating the appearance of a cramped or even smaller space.

Placing a mirror in a living room, for example, directly opposite an architectural feature such as a fireplace, an alcove or built-in bookcases enhances what is being reflected. Especially in the case of a fireplace, which is a room’s mostly likely focal point, it will put double emphasis on what is being reflected in the mirror.

More Light Please

Place a framed mirror like the Somerton Enchantment Mirror opposite a window for maximum effect. It will make a small room appear as though it has more mirrors than it actually does. This will also help “throw” light around the room. This is particularly helpful if a bedroom or living room is prone to being dark or gets limited natural light for whatever reason.

Mirrors as Art

Instead of putting a picture on the wall, how about using a mirror like the Quoizel Sultana Large Mirror with it’s uniquely patterned frame.

The American Drew Bob Mackie Signature Accent Round Mirror paired with a console table, would definitely brighten up a hallway or foyer.

Victorian Interior Design for Apartment Living – The Dining Room

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Pulaski Royale Pedestal Table Dining Set

During Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years, Victorian style went through a number of very distinctive changes. The fact that furniture legs were covered up to maintain the parlor’s sense of modesty is well-known, but did you know that this Victorian decorating trend lasted less than ten years? A lot can happen in 63 years, and during the time Queen Victoria ruled, a lot did. The Industrial Revolution changed the way many household items were made, especially furniture. Now, instead of a sofa or dining table taking a carpenter months of painstaking craftsmanship, a piece of furniture could be made from start to finish in about a week.

 Pulaski Accents Credenza in Scarlet

Due to the breadth of the British Empire, which spanned several continents, the architecture, interior design and furniture of Victorian Britain were greatly influenced by Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. Because furniture was being mass produced, it allowed furniture designers and makers to be as opulent and lavish with decorative detail as they wanted. No longer having to wait for months for a piece of furniture to be completed by traditional woodworking techniques, designers could easily reproduce the lush look and feel of exotic cultures worlds away from their own island.

 Homelegance Golden Leaf Cherry Arm Chair

Since everything about the Victorian home was lavish, opulent, heavy, imposing and oversized, it might seem to an unlikely style to choose for apartment living. But this is what is so appealing to me – while lavish, opulent and imposing, Victorian style is also elegant, luxurious and dramatic yet romantic. Because manufacturers today are producing furniture in all styles from traditional to contemporary with smaller living spaces in mind, if this style appeals to you as much as it does to me, you will be able to create an inviting living space using Victorian interior design principles.

 Walls and Windows

 Pulaski Timber Heights Pedestal Table Dining Set

No television, radio or computer games, the Victorians had to entertain themselves somehow. Since the average length of an evening meal was three or more hours, the heart of entertaining was the dining room, where family and guests were treated to the best of everything, from food to flowers to wines and brandies.

To recreate a Victorian dining room, one that will be authentic but suitable for apartment living, let’s start with a classic chair rail to divide the walls into two; the top part will be papered while the bottom section will be painted. Colors are bold, deeper in shade rather than brighter, such as rich burgundies, darker shades of pink and royal and emerald greens. Wallpaper can be as simply elegant as gold outlined diamonds on a solid background to intricately embossed patterns.

While window treatments involved heavy materials like brocades and velvets, you can pare down the Victorian penchant for opulence by using a decorative valance and a combination of curtains in a solid color with sheers. Or go blind! The English Venetian blind originally made from the finest hardwoods, gained popularity in Great Britain during the 1890s. Select an updated version, pairing it with a valance and sheers.

Furniture Victorian Apartment Style

Powell Wellington Dining Buffet Hutch 

The pieces you choose for your Victorian dining room should be smaller in scale to fit the space you have to work with. But to keep to the spirit of Victorian style interior design, there is one essential furniture piece, aside from the dining table and chairs, you will need to include. Since entertaining was such a big part of the Victorian home, it makes perfect sense that the sideboard played an important role. Place a mirror over the sideboard: this will accomplish two major purposes. The Victorians were lavish in their use of mirrors and a mirror in a smaller sized room will make your dining area appear larger and more spacious.

  American Drew Marbella Round Table

The dining table and dining chairs should be made of wood in medium to darker stains such as ebony, mahogany, walnut and rosewood. While Victorian furniture, even in the dining room, was typically heavy with a chiseled appearance and much ornamentation, we can select a round or square table to take up less space and match it with chairs that have flowing, curving lines and profiles.


 AF Lighting Serena Six Light Chandelier

Of course, when it comes to lighting, nothing captures the Victorian era more than a chandelier. Select a perfect confection of glass, crystals and beads for an elegant look that will make any meal, whether you’re entertaining guests or not, a celebration. Wall-sconces and oversized, silver candle holders or candelabra were also popular ways to light the Victorian dining room.

 Come back and visit next Wednesday when we will tackle a Victorian styled living room suited for apartment life.

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