February 25, 2016

TOP 6 irresistible light fixtures!

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I’m in the midst of sourcing for some new big projects.  I’m currently obsessing over modern, mid century inspired, gold, black and straight cut crystal light fixtures.

Here are my TOP 6 irresistible gold light fixture picks that I want to use in just about every project (including my own).   Use them in a transitional interior or even an industrial farm house look, they are bound to add a dose of elegant cool.  These don’t have the friendliest price tag but if you can it’s worth splurging on at least one great designer light fixture in the most used room in the home.

goldlightfixtures-Jill Sorensen Design

//  2  //  3   //  // 5  // 6

Guess which one I just purchased for my living room today?

Keep up with my projects on JILLSORENSEN@INSTAGRAM.

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January 27, 2015

My top 10 Brass hardware picks

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I don’t know about you, but I’m all over brushed brass and brushed gold for fixtures, faucets and hardware.  Something that I would have avoided years ago now feels so modern and chic with a newer matte finish.

The kitchen, master bathroom and powder room will get all dressed up in matte gold.

If this is your thing, here I’ve rounded up my top ten picks of modern brushed brass hardware picks that are also reasonably priced.

It’s almost like picking out great jewelry!

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one  – Clean chic kitchen or bath cabinet pulls

two – Perfect campaign style recessed cabinet pull

three – Square glamorous large cabinet pull

four – Asian inspired rigid pull

five – Chic modern drawer pull

six – Drawer pull

seven — Playful Asian inspired drawer pulls

eight – Large Moroccan cabinet pulls

nine -Simple elegant square knob

ten– Masculine modern drawer pull

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T-bar handles in Brushed brass.

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Kitchen by Design Manifest

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Campaign style pull in this kitchen island

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Stunning lavender bath cabinet  with campaign gold hardware.

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If you have time check out Etsy for vintage and used Asian hardware pulls and knobs. The possibilities are endless.

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Once you get started you’ll want to redo every cabinet in your house…

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August 25, 2014

THE LAKE COTTAGE GETS A MAKEOVER

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Our house in Sweden has a little guest cottage on the land that the farm workers lived in back in the 1800’s.  It was a charming little cottage right on the lake, but by the time we bought the house the guest cottage had become a sauna with a depressing bedroom with no windows.

My plan was to turn it in to a complete little guest retreat with mini kitchen, sleep hall upstairs, with plenty of space for friends and their families.

So this summer it got a “budget” makeover….  Besides a couple of items from my line,  every single thing was bought second hand or vintage.

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(The Swedish Flag)

All images by Mehreen Qudosi.

This is what the cottage bedroom looked like when we bought it.

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The first this we did a few years ago was to rip out plastic flooring, paint everything white and install old windows.

I kept it pretty old classic for a couple of years, but this summer I added some more color.

This is what it looks like now.

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Monogram carpet-LavenderKobalt Bang Bang duvet

Happy & Bright.

Here are some simple ideas I used for the cottage make over.

1. GET A VINTAGE DRESSER AND PAINT IT A BOLD COLOR.

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2. HANG CURTAINS THAT WON’T HIDE THE VIEW.

I got see through West Elm drapes with sea shells for the entire cottage.  They are from a few years back and were never used.

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When I say I don’t want anything to spoil the view I mean it.

Here is my snapshot of the view!

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3. PAINT FLOOR, CEILING AND WALLS WHITE

Again to let the view be the star and create an environment of peace I stayed away from a energizing color as a back drop. A white back drop is the eternal white canvas for when the decorating bug strikes again.

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4. ADD COLORFUL THROW PILLOWS.

The quickest and easiest way to redo a room is always throw pillows!

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Turquoise Embroidered Monogram Pillow, Zebra pillow, Lavender Velvet Regency Pillow

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I highly recommend small busy body helpers…haha

My funny niece Zoe had her own ideas how the pillows should go.

5. ADD BEDDING THAT PACKS A PUNCH!

I didn’t want the cottage to feel too country so I added our Bang Bang bedding that’s bold and fun. Just like Zoe. I also want good quality and durability. Second hand is great for a ton of things, however I like my bedding spanking new!

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Cobalt Bang Bang Bedding

6. DECORATE WITH LOCAL VINTAGE FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES

Exploring local vintage stores is one of my favorite things to do. Another mans trash can be your treasure!

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7. CUT UP VINTAGE FABRICS AND USE AS BED SKIRTS AND CHAIR COVERS

I found a fabric I loved in a second hand store, cut it up and used it as bed skirts. I also used a vintage table cloth as chair seats that we stapled on.

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The cottage THE KITCHEN AREA…which was a sauna ( I’m still trying to hunt down the horrid before picture!!)

It looks like this now.

JIllSorensen Lake cottage

It has a latter you can climb up to sleeping hall.  Always a hit with kids.

My adorable nephew Viggo and  Zoe.

Jill Sorensen

8. BUY TEXTURED VINTAGE DRAPERIES IN A STRONG COLOR

Most second hand stores have tons of discarded curtains that you can buy for a couple of dollars. Have a look – you can find amazing quality. So if the size and color works, why not?

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9.  ADD COLORFUL LIGHTING

When the background is all white I like color on the light sources.

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10. FILL UP THE KITCHEN WITH FLEA MARKET FINDS

Stick to one or two colors so there is a unifying theme, and don’t buy anything that is chipped.

Then they look like new!

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11. INSTALL A $ 110 SMALL KITCHEN FROM IKEA

My dad installed this for me last summer.  Yes folks $ 110 dollars!

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12. STICK TO A COLOR SCHEME OF JUST A FEW COLORS

I LOVE color and think you can never have enough color.  However when the view outside is so insanely pretty, then too many crazy colors indoors will take  away from the view and peacefulness. A good idea is to stick to a few colors, and bring in some of the hues right outside the window.

Jill Sorensen

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Soft Sky Monogram Carpet

Hope you have  fantastic week and enjoy the last few days of summer!!

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August 18, 2014

DORM ROOMS THAT WON'T MAKE YOU HOMESICK

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My dear friend Julie is sending her daughter Emily off to boarding school next week.  Knowing the stress and worry she is going through to prepare for it, I wanted to create some chic & inexpensive dorm room ideas that might make the planning for some parents out there easier.  (I of course could not resist but to mix our bedding…Make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list to get the 20% off BACK TO SCHOOL discount code this week.0

A dorm room big on style, with a cheerful color scheme might make living at school the best year yet! Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.47.51 PM 1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.47.42 PM 1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR Screen shot 2014-08-16 at 11.55.31 PM 1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.42.34 PM 1.CARPET // 2. BEDDING // 3. LAMP // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE WALLCOLOR – any existing white. Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 3.46.11 PM

1.CARPET // 2. LAMP // 3. BEDDING // 4. SHEETS // 5. TABLE

WALLCOLOR

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July 7, 2014

HOW TO PICK A PAINT COLOR SCHEME FOR YOUR HOME

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If you want an inviting, comfortable home, nothing perhaps is more important than picking the right color scheme. Finding the right paint colors for your home is a source of great frustration to many.  It’s the question I get asked the most, so I thought I would take you through the process I use when I pick a color scheme for an entire home or a color for a room.

I’m revamping our Swedish house this month, and needed a new color for our TV room, so I will use my home as a guide. Here is a process I use to come up with a color scheme.

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1. DECIDE THE VIBE AND FEELING YOU WANT FOR YOUR HOME

The first thing to ask yourself is how do you want to feel in your space. Do you want a space that makes you happy? A space that calms you down? Colors have a strong effect on the way we feel and the selection of the right colors is more important than you think.  Brighter hues such a red, orange and yellow gives us energy while pale blues and greens have a calming effect. Some lifts us up and some brings us down.

When we bought our house in Sweden I wanted a place I could come to and relax. It needed to be PEACEFUL and stress free. It could also not feel too “serious” and needed a touch of a playfulness yet still feel really “Swedish”.  Knowing all this I knew the colors had to be pale and soothing, and to use fun stronger colors only as accents.

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This is the view from most of the house.

2. LET WHAT’S RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW BE A GUIDE

Look outdoors, what do you see? Do you have a view? What are the colors you see? Is it an urban landscape, is it a lawn? Sunset or sunrise views?  Whatever you see outside, or don’t want to see outside, decides what color you might pick inside.

For example, in our house, from almost every single room we have an incredible view. Therefore I didn’t want to use a busy wallpaper or a color that would take away or distract from the beauty right outside. I wanted nature to be a guide.

JIll Sorensen swedish guest house

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Selecting hues that already where outside added a cohesive and soothing effect. (All color chips are from Benjamin Moore.)

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3. DETERMINE YOUR HOME’S NATURAL LIGHT

What is the natural light like? In Sweden there is almost no daylight for many months of the year, therefore a white background is often painted to allow sunlight to reflect off the walls, and let the home feel brighter. Rarely do you see a Swedish home painted in dark colors for this reason.

You can brighten a dark room in the house with a light color, or magnify what is already is there by painting it a dark engulfing color.

Since there is an extreme lack of sunlight here most of the year, I picked white and yellow paint colors for several rooms to reflect light or  mimic sunlight.

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4. LET THE LOCALE INSPIRE YOU

Where is your house located? Downtown? Mountains? Horse country? If your home is downtown Manhattan versus out on a farm you might want a different feeling. Let the history of the town and area give you ideas.  Read old books, pick up some local vintage treasures, watch TV shows from the place.  There can be some amazing colors you find that could be used in a new fun way.

Since we spend a limited amount of time here,  I wanted a very Swedish vibe and welcomed using some traditional Swedish colors.

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Turn of the century department store chandelier.

I picked up local vintage pieces that had colors of the area and let them inspire me.

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Swedish “trasmatta” woven with tons of leftover colors are very common here.

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I love Pippi Longstocking (she’s my hero) and the TV show from the 60-70’s is a great source of fun and unusual colors.

5. MAKE THE TRANSITION OF COLORS RUN SMOOTH FROM ROOM TO ROOM

When you stand in one room and look in to another the colors have to flow peacefully.  From every single angle of your home the colors have to harmonize as far as your eye can see. Here it was easy since it’s so white. But this can also be achieved very well with tons of strong colors as long as your overall color scheme “plays” together.

JIll Sorensen Lifestyle-Lavender Monogram

6. DON’T LET IT BE TOO EXPECTED – ADD AN ELEMENT OF SURPRISE

Never let a room be boring, choose something in your overall scheme that adds an element of surprise. Too much of the same color in a room, can make it boring.

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7. DETERMINE THE COLORS IN YOUR SCHEME THAT SHOULD BE USED FOR THE WALLS 

When you have gathered a bunch of colors. Go back to the questions. What do you want your home to feel like?

For me it was PEACEFUL and RELAXING with a touch of fun. So peaceful hues had to be the wall colors and the fun tones would become accents.

Natural light needs?  Yellow and White.

What did I see outside? Blue and Green.

Sense of playfulness and local inspiration?  Accent colors: Turquoise, Orange, Blue, Lavender.

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This became our full color scheme, for the main house and the guest house. The guest house since small is only in blue hues mixed with the whites.

Vintage Josef Frank chair-Jill Sorensen

I’m repainting our TV room this week. Although it’s already painted in a grayish yellow, somehow the space too cold. To find a new color I went back to my original scheme and decided what I wanted more of.  I needed a warm hue.

And I decided I wanted more of Pippi Longstocking 70’s TV show vibe.

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I selected these colors above to go with the already orange accents in the room.

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The wall color would be a pink/coral tone for warmth.

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The carpet has orange accents and the cabinet if I ever finish it will have orange accents. ( This room is half way through makeover…) Will share more on that in a later post.

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Picking colors is a really fun process.

I hope I have not been rambling and that this gives you some kind of guide to pick a color scheme for your home.

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P.S. If you feel you still need help. Stay tuned for my affordable color scheme service coming soon.

 

 

February 17, 2014

HOW TO CREATE A SERENE BEDROOM RETREAT IN FIVE STEPS

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Monogram carpet in lavender

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Beige Regency Pillow

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Lavender Ice Regency Pillow

Sea Green Monogram

Sea Green Monogram pillow

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Amethyst Regency Pilllow

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Marmalade Interiors

Beige Lucky Bedding

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Beige Lucky Standard sham

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February 12, 2014

Solution for the busy, messy household

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Now that’s not a very chic blog post title for a design blog.

But honestly isn’t that pretty much the reality for today’s lifestyle? Whether we have kids, pets, guests or not, a designed space needs to withstand life. When I started out designing I used to be that horrible kind of designer who would put pale silk chairs that you really could not sit in, in the living room. Fast forward a few years and I’m WAY more sensible….(if any of my first clients read this I know you are laughing)

One of the reasons I wanted to design my own products was to create items that were chic and high on style, yet you can “get down and dirty with them” in lack of a more eloquent description.
The cotton rugs we make are reversible and completely easy to clean. And that’s a fact!!!  This past Christmas I had put down our cream Monogram  carpet in our TV room in Sweden. My mom had just served Glogg (hot red wine drink with sugar). Before I even take a sip from my filled cup, my nephew chases something and runs right in to me. The  Glogg goes flying ALL OVER THE CREAM CARPET!!!

Everyone was horrified!  But we simply did what the instructions say (minus the Woolite). We dabbed/rubbed it with some moist towels. And to my complete DELIGHT (and honestly surprise) not a single spot was left!! And it was red wine on a white carpet.

Mission accomplished. This is a carpet that works for the modern household!

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Therefore I feel the need to share this. No more worrying about kids spilling or pets bringing in messes. And on top of it, you can REVERSE the carpet and use the other side.  I really need to make some videos about this.

I use a ton of them for private design clients. Can’t wait to add more designs and colorways.

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This Mark Road Trip ($ 525) design was the first one. The colorway above is called Road Trip because it resembles the colors on the road.

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And who can resist a road trip?

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Yellow lines on asphalt. And nothing can withstand more than that…

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It’s a 100% cotton weave. It’s sturdy yet really soft so kids can comfortably play on the floor.

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The MARK-Poseidon $ 525

This colorway is a dark charcoal with a beautiful dark ocean aqua so we adequately named is Poseidon..

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Like a dark beautiful ocean that conquers all. Yes… have to give everything fun names.

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Stay tuned…in the next few weeks we are giving away a MARK carpet.

In the meantime don’t miss out on the www.houseofturquoise.com bedding giveaway going on until Friday.

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January 7, 2014

My favorite Designer Secret

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This blog post is about curtains.  If your eyes glaze over about the un sexy topic of curtains I apologize.

But I really feel the need to share this.

Curtains are the one thing I continuously see ruin so many people’s interiors.  I often see lots of money spent on a nice big couch, while the windows are often overlooked. They are left either uncovered, or with a flimsy curtain that’s often the wrong size for the window and either blocks the view and light, or lets too much light in. The lack of thought regarding the windows always, always, always cheapen the look of the rest of the design.  Period.

Therefore I always encourage my clients to have custom curtains made.  The luxurious look you get is generally always worth the cost.  However the hefty price tag for well made custom curtains with pinch pleats can easily run up the budget very quickly if you want them for all your rooms.   Therefore  I wanted to come up with a solution. That is the main reason I started designing and developing the best kept designer secret I know – our simple pinch pleat top Regency curtains. I use them for so many of my clients and they are always thrilled with the quality of the look yet for half the price of custom made drapes!

The only problem is I don’t have a store so people can see them in person. The photographs we have on the site simply don’t do them justice!

The pinch pleat top gives it a designer look and the lined backing allows just the right amount of light to come through.

When you use them in bedrooms you can order them with black out liner.

Here they are in my old office.

They are the most versatile curtains because they look chic and elegant in almost any interior.

We now also added them in Natural linen blend color with black border.

Great look for a bedroom, a family room, library, boy’s and girl’s bedrooms.

Seriously anywhere.

They also come in a Beige linen blend with black border.

The curtains take approximately 4-6 weeks from date of order to delivery right now from our site. You can also order them with double width for wider windows.  All the images in this post are of the single width.

I always recommend hanging the curtains as high up as possible leaving just a little room from the ceiling, and wide to allow light to shine in.

The Regency curtain also comes with an Espresso silk border.

This is a snap shot from a client’s teen girl room above.

If you any questions about them or want to know what kind to order for your room. Just e-mail me a picture of your room to jill@jillsorensen.com and I can give you suggestions.

This month we are adding more cool chic curtain designs as well.

Because nothing “cozies” up a home like a good curtain!

P.S. To my dear blog readers…use this code at check out and you will receive 15% off on your drapery order.

September 24, 2013

Decorate with nothing new – our Livingroom

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Moving and decorating a new place can be a very stressful and expensive process.

Since the real estate market was “on fire” in LA it became impossible for us to find a house to buy, so instead we had to look for a temporary rental.  Thanks to my broker Henry Dodge and my friend Julie in LA we found an cute bungalow just a few days before the moving trucks arrived.  That gave me only a couple of hours to plan a design for a place I had never seen in person.  And this had to be done without buying anything new AND leaving our house in Virginia perfectly staged to sell.

I want to share the SIMPLE & QUICK steps I followed to decorate with nothing new!

STEP # 1

TAKE PICTURES OF THE NEW SPACE

As soon as you have secured the new place, bring paper and pen and a camera to the space. Take one picture from each corner of the room. And one picture from each side of the room.  This gives you an excellent overview when you come home and start to work on a design.  At this point also take notes as to what the landlord needs to do. Here is a picture Julie sent me of the living room.

STEP 2

MEASURE EVERYTHING

Measure everything, and I mean everything! The width and length of each room, ceiling height, window height and widths, fireplace, fireplace surround, depth of fire mantle, really everything.  (Since I was not here, Julie and Henry had to do what my E-Decor clients have to do.)

Take excellent records. Type them in your computer!

STEP # 3

CREATE A FLOOR PLAN
If no one can provide you with existing floor plans, no worries!   You can create professional looking plans in a snap.   Forget hours learning  Autocad.  Henry (my excellent broker!) found a fantastic app for your Ipad that worked like a charm. PADCAD.

A floor plan allows you to get an overview of the space and help you see what the  basic pieces you need for each room.

STEP # 4

MAKE A LIST OF FURNITURE YOU WANT TO KEEP & NEED FOR THE SPACE

This is the hardest, but most fun part.

Go shopping in your own home. Figure out what furniture you absolutely want to bring with you to your new home, and what pieces you need to make each room functional. In our living room I needed the room to be both living room and TV room.  So I knew I needed : a couch with pillows, a couple of chairs, a carpet, a coffee table, a mirror, two lamps, curtains, a plant or two, a cabinet for the TV with storage, a console table, extra chairs for TV viewing and some art for the walls.

Keep in mind that scale is everything!  Measure all your pieces to make sure they fit the space.

The list does not have to be perfect at first. Just a good idea what could be used for the room.

STEP # 5

PLAY AROUND WITH YOUR FLOOR PLAN

Draw each room to scale simply on lined paper. Then draw in your furniture pieces to scale with colored pens. You can do a few different ones. Do this for each room. This way you can see color scheme and scale at the same time. I do prefer drawing to any other method.

STEP 5

INSTALL THE FURNITURE ACCORDING TO YOUR SIMPLE PLAN

We arrived to a nicely fixed up place…two weeks later.

And here it is installed via Instagram (JILLHSORENSEN@INSTAGRAM)

The couch, cowhide and zebra pillows I brought from our living room.

The chairs from our guest bedroom

The coffee table from our library.

The curtains from our master bedroom.

The couch was the first thing that had to come. You can read why here.

The pillows are mix up from a few rooms. (Added our sample of the upcoming Monogram pillow collection.)

The coffee table came from the library.

The mirror came from the master bedroom.

The TV cabinet was the old office cabinet.

The brown bedroom chairs came from our master bedroom.

The green bench from our livingroom.

The plant stand from our dining room.

The lamps from our library.

And yes I did buy one thing….the curtains rods. This ceiling needed lighter rods so I used this one.

I hope this can help you with your next move!

September 11, 2013

Living with White walls AND Color

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If you have followed this blog for a while you might be familiar with my line “Life is too Short for White walls”.  Well ironically, or perhaps to test myself (?) the bungalow rental we are in for the next few months has…yes…only WHITE walls. After living with a kaleidoscope of colors in our old house it felt at first refreshing with stark white walls. But walking through our Virginia house (soon no longer ours…) via Skype yesterday and seeing all the pretty colors – I suddenly felt deprived! Sorry but I really love color!

That’s not t say you can’t create some some cheerful spaces with an all white backdrop. For all renters out there, or white-wall-lovers-but-want-a touch-of-color-people, here are some ways to add color to your space..

Interior design by Emily Henderson.

A great starting point add a– BOLD COLORED COUCH.

Via Belle Maison.

Add  CONTRASTING FURNITURE AND PATTERNS. This fun window seat and dining table certainly does not lack color. (Okay the walls are light gray but you get the point)

Adding COLORFUL ART and PILLOWS and BOOKS is another way to bring color and life in to the space.

Interior Design by Emily Henderson

Hmm…there is something be said about white walls. You can really enjoy the pieces.

Interior design by Emily Henderson.

Let the FLOWERS and SMALL ACCESSORIES add the punch.

Interior design by Amber Lewis.

This cool dining room is framed  by white, but nothing a bright kilim can’t slam dunk.

(Can’t wait for my vintage kilims to arrive next month.)

And last GREEN PLANTS add a lot of warmth.

Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY you still have a few days left!