Archive for the ‘home decor tips & tricks’ Category

Not everyone looks at a space the same way. Someone who lives there everyday may see small imperfections as well as function issues. A visitor who has never been in the space sees a big picture and bases an opinion on first impressions. So how are both the constant and occassional visitor visually enticed? Abstract art.

Texture, light, color and scale make abstract painting relevant in any living space.

Long time California artist, Elise Tysick has a great overview here of why abstract art is so sucessful:


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With everyone’s focus on environmentally friendly ways of living, we were thrilled to find these recycled natural fiber area rugs.

Recycled over-dyed natural fiber area rugs

Recycled over-dyed natural fiber area rugs

Natural wool area rugs are given new life with an entire soak in earth-friendly dyes. The range of colors used on these rugs is astounding. Dark classic tones to bright moderns give the renewed area rugs a vintage feel. These 9′ x 12′ room sized over-dyed rugs range in price from $8,000 to $15,000. But one of a kind finds like this are art works in and of themselves.

Recycled natural fiber area rugs

Ecofriendly dyes provide broad range of color

Pair these area rugs with vintage decor or modern designer pieces. Either way, you’ll know your design choice leaves less impact on Mother Earth and more design appeal in your home.

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Quote from Genevieve Gorder

Thoughts from Genevieve Gorder

Ooooohhhh! I LOVE Genevieve Gorder! Her smile is infectious. I loved her when she first started out on HGTV. She was so accessible to “normal” people like me. She has a firm grasp of practical design implementation yet her head is forever up in the clouds of innovation.

The folks at Capel Rugs must feel the same way. Of the many HGTV designers being sought after for licensing their own design styles, Genevieve Gorder is among the top.

At HighPoint Market, we got to see some of Genevieve’s latest interior design work for area rugs.

Natural flat-woven rug design from Genevieve Gorder

Warm colors liven up any room

Natural flat-woven rug design from Genevieve Gorder

Geometric patterns pair well with classic and modern pieces

Natural flat-woven rug design from Genevieve Gorder

Bold color choices make a statement

Her flat woven rugs made with natural fibers are perfect paired with reclaimed wood furniture or classic pieces alike. She utilizes bold as well as traditional colors and her patterns are fun and innovative. We’re impressed!

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My eight-year old daughter, like many children, has a very curious mind when it comes to how things work. She has been known to take apart the dishwasher for example. So I can’t wait to show her these photos of how hand-tufted area rugs are made!

To hand-tuft a wool rug, loops of wool are pushed through canvas that has been stretched on a frame. The canvas has the rug design on it which can accomodate a complex pattern since each tuft is done individually. Take a look at this partially tufted wool rug:

Detail of Tufted Rug Outline

Check out the design on this partially tufted area rug!

Half complete tufted rug

This shows the entire area rug when it is half complete with the tufting process.

It is fascinating to me to see the detailed pattern on the canvas that the rug maker then uses during the tufting process. Hand-tufted rugs are great for high-traffic areas and generally last between 12 and 20 years.

Hand-tufted area rug stretched canvas

Here you can see the canvas stretched on the frame.

In terms of impact on the interior design of your home, hand-tufted area rugs deliver a huge bang for the buck. Not as expensive as hand-knotted rugs but still having intricate patterns and details, these types of wool area rugs provide a more budget-friendly alternative.

I’m already envisioning my eight-year old hard at play on a hand-tufted rug for her Polly doll’s house.

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Ever look at the interior of a home and say to yourself, “Wow… this should look really great, but something just isn’t right here?” There’s a gut instinct response that is sometimes hard to put into words. And then, little by little you notice it. Everything matches. Like…everything. The chair fabric matches the pillow fabric. The wood type and style for the end table matches the dining room table. The living room curtains match the kitchen paint. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not into the “matchy-matchy” look. Home decor should reflect your personality and quite frankly, I’m just not that put together. One of my favorite quotes is, “I think my life would be easier if I could just get my selves to agree on something.” (Brian Andreas of Story People)

So imagine my love of pairing seemingly contrasting items for a surprising home decorating idea. For example, pairing soft textured fabrics with the rough feel of reclaimed wood.

Reclaimed wood table

Soft chair…rough table. Love it!

Try this: Take a look at the reclaimed wood table below and find something visually appealing in your house that would not be an obvious pairing.
Reclaimed Poplar Wood table from the Shandong Province

Reclaimed Poplar Wood table from the Shandong Province

Fun, isn’t it? I bet you actually came up with several items. When you free yourself to look at a broader range of options for home decorating ideas, the combination possibilities suddenly grow.
This is especially true of reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood touches a cord with us on many levels. There’s something about making something useful again that is appealing. It seems to embody the circle of life and ground us in Mother Nature’s worldview. Once a rarity, reclaimed wood furniture is becoming more and more accessible. Don’t let the industrial look of it scare you off. It just may be the piece that allows your other pieces to really shine.
Industrial buffet cabinet made of reclaimed wood

Industrial Buffet Cabinet Made of Reclaimed Wood

So the next time you see a home decor item that appeals to you don’t say, “Oh…but I don’t have anything that will go with that.” Stop for a moment and allow yourself to expand your design thinking! You’ll be surprised and happy with what you discover.

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Vintage looking books tell a story on your wall shelf

Vintage looking books tell a story on your wall shelf

One of the things I love to do when I visit someone’s home is peruse their wall shelves or book cases. Not only do I discover my friend’s interests in books, I gather information about the things in their life they find important. Do they have books of a certain genre? Do they display a collection of items? Is there balance between spaces on the shelves where my eye can rest vs. spaces that contain something?

As you know, we just returned from the High Point Furniture Market and one of the coolest new implementations of a tried and true home decor idea was using covered “books” as design elements on wall shelves. Two displays from a vendor booth really caught our attention. These decorative books tell a story that will captivate.

Eiffel Tower Vintage Decor Books

A little Paris in your home!

When deciding how to place items in your bookshelves, the style of the shelving unit itself plays a part. Are your bookshelves more in line with vintage furniture? Or are they sleek with a modern appeal? How can you play with items of meaning to you while giving a nod to your own interior design aesthetic?

Wall shelves and book cases harbor endless possibilities when it comes to home decor. Whether you have your personal reading collection, decorative books, or display cabinets of your favorite treasures, each item you choose to place on your bookshelves should be thoughtfully selected.

Personal library floor cabinet

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Austin, TX hiking view

The eastern United States has always claimed the most beautiful fall displays. Incredible interior home decor and exterior home designs have incorporated brilliant fall colors. But closer to the urban pulse, southern fall palettes include greys, muted brown, green and gold. This Austin area creek reflection would be a great jumping off point. No, not into the creek! Jump into a fresh room makeover based on this calm, organic palette. Your space with thank you!

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When parents think of back to school, so many things come to mind. Carpooling or home schooling. Denim or school uniforms. Calculators or crayons.

No matter where your kids go to school, or even their age, one supply that everyone needs is INSPIRATION. Inspired students, from preschool to grad school seem to grab the best from their education. They jump at new challenges and new assignments as they strut their ideas, good or bad.

Anyone who remembers a truly inspired moment in their education, may refer to a particularly animated or knowledgeable teacher. Or access to equipment or facilities they did not have access to at home. But actually you can cultivate “inspired” moments and stimulate yourself or your students to think outside the box in your surroundings as well.

We loved Cortney Novogratz’s post on kid’s design spaces in the home. However, you could take this play idea even farther in an adult sense with a chalkboard wall in almost any room of your house.

Chalk board paint on one wall keeps the conversation going

Spaces that change with the seasons, or even change with the conversation, inspire us to use our creativity more often. Giving your room a “voice” with a magnetic board, posting area or even velcro on pictures that can evolve throughout the year will keep your space and your family or roommates inspired. Hopefully we’ve inspired you!

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We are in a design rich society. Yet when we need inspiration, we often forget to look around ourselves. The following exercise can be a jumping point for home decor projects, all types of art work, or any creative process involving visual elements. (Even computer or video game design!)

Try this technique for some instant design inspiration:
Grab the nearest objects at hand that you find visually appealing and create a quick composition.

Still stuck? Here are a few examples:

  • Stack fabric/yarn at a store

    Image credit: dragonbrookyarns.com

  • pile spice bottles together

    A nice primary color scheme.

  • cut colors/images from magazines

    Image source: purodeco.com

Then document your “collection” by buying a small amount or capturing your grouping with a cell phone pic.

Do this “collecting process” for the following categories:
“Love the color”
“Love the shape”
“Love the texture”
“Love the style”
Now ask yourself, from the collection of colors, shapes, textures and styles, which ones work the best to convey your design’s purpose? Is the sole purpose to energize, relax, spice up, or cool down the viewer? Or does this design need to have a balance of purposes like calm-energy, or relaxing-spice?

If you cannot find the best colors, shapes, textures and styles from the ones you love, then you may have to adjust, but keep in mind, YOU are the designer. So if the project is for your own use, you should find the design elements from your best loved collection.

When to go pro:
If you have a professional design task (paid for your ideas) then this same technique can work. However, keep the scope of the project and client’s requests in mind as you “collect” your samples.

Happy Designing!

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Patio Living has expanded to areas that allow your family to relax off the family room or master bedroom. Modern furniture including club chairs and a couch with outdoor fabric make this lakeside view a great lounging area.


Modern patio with a lakeside view
Image source: picturehomedesign.com

Furniture Placement: 
A recent home staging project done by our Mill and Leaf team gives some excellent examples of a successful indoor-outdoor partnership for great home design.

Placing furniture toward the center of the room allows the family room and outdoor patio to flow seamlessly together.

During the staging process, all furniture was pulled away from windows. In the family room above, the sofa placed in front of the window was moved at a right angle to the window as a low divider between the family room and kitchen area. This photo shows how the outdoor patio then became an extension of the family room. Sticks cut from the back yard green space were placed in the moss filled mantel vase to echo the outdoor feel. The outdoor living continued on their patio.

Unique Pieces:

Seek out signature furniture pieces with a natural flair that can bring the feel of the outdoors inside. We particularly like this uplifting tree bed design and this Appalachian Side Table.

Image source: favim.com



Whenever we’re stuck on an interior design problem, we like to take a look through our favorite online and print magazines for some drool-worthy inspiration. This Design Milk article about the Canon Residence is wonderful example of how to use natural materials to “complement the interior connections to the outdoor space.”

Image source: designmilk.com, photos by Edmund Barr Photography

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