The Secret to Mixing Modern and Traditional Decor Styles

Modern and Traditional decor is my jam. I’m a fan of the ornate details and warmth found in traditional furnishings. At the same time, I love the streamlined look found in modern decor. So what do you do with this design dilemma?

Well, the truth is that most people are a mixture of more than one design style. So the key is marrying your various styles together in a way that makes sense.

For some total chaos ensues when trying to do this. And for others, its a breeze. So if you fall in the former category; there is help for you!

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the secret sauce involved with mixing modern and traditional decor.

Secret #1: Mixing modern & Traditional Decor Styles

The architectural elements of a space are the first rules of engagement when deciding to mix modern and traditional styles. This means evaluating whether your room design leans more towards a modern or traditional look.

If your space leans toward 10 foot ceilings, lots of trim and decorative molding and other kinds of ornate details; your room is traditional. On the other hand if your space layout is open and flowing, void of ornamentation, and has an overall clean aesthetic; your home is on the modern spectrum.

However no worries; there’s no right or wrong architectural element! Its really just all about educating oneself on what you’re working with.

Secret #2: Mixing Modern & Traditional Decor Styles

Now just because the architecture of a room may lean to one side more than the other doesn’t mean that you have to also decorate solely in that realm. After all this post is about creating a curated look between the two, right?

Architectural elements aside, you need to determine your decor style. This is where you decide if the room will be either predominately modern or predominately traditional. Why does it have to be one or the other you ask? Because these two design styles cannot be equally balanced. The styles are just too distinct to marry them equally and will result in a sucktacular design.

So the goal is to select the design style you love the most. This will serve as your leading lady. The other will serve as an accent fairy sprinkled sparingly thorough out the room.

Secret #3: Mixing Modern & Traditional Decor Styles

This last principal is subjective; because nailing this look really is an art. A lot of what goes into creating a space that looks effortless is all about the furnishings you choose. Its about choosing furnishings that “speak” to one another both from a design and functionality standpoint. That sounds so hoity toity and cliche but its true!

Let’s examine some beautiful rooms below for inspiration, shall we?

The architectural elements of this room are definitely traditional. This space is quintessential Parisian Chic. The striped English arm sofa fits right in to the traditional setting. However; these elements are paired with the modern coffee table and light fixture both of which are from one of my favorite retail stores, Anthropologie. Throw in that gorgeous wallpaper for a dose of whimsy and color, and you’ve got an effortlessly chic space.

The mixture of metals in the coffee table, the gold and crystal flower chandelier and the abstract art in the gallery wall provide a modern and contemporary vibe. The Chesterfield, while known as one of the most popular traditional style sofas, looks a bit more contemporary thanks to that raspberry color.

decor_by_demi_mixing_modern_and_traditional_decor1.jpeg

Aside from the architectural details, this space is styled with modern furnishings. However; if you wanted to add classic elements, traditional art in gilded frames and a large oriental rug would be nice accents.

Are your creative juices flowing yet? No? Alright below is one other thing to consider when mixing modern and traditional decor. This one is a biggie…

I do believe there are some decor furnishings that are transitional in nature that could bode well in either a modern or traditional space. These items are timeless and are a great foundation to consider when creating your curated look.

Abstract art

Traditional art (but sparingly in a modern space).

Modern coffee tables

Oriental rugs

Natural rugs

Chinoiserie

Ornate Mirrors

Modern lighting

Traditional lighting (but sparingly in a modern space).

And because I know you still may need a little extra help with this idea, I’ve included a little graphic that you can pin for reference later if you like!

decor_by_demi_mixing_modern_and_traditional_decor_styles.png

Decorating in Modern Chinoiserie Style

decor_by_demi_all_things_chinoiserie_livingroom.jpg

Chinoiserie, derives from the French word “chinois” or “Chinese”, and is the European interpretation of Chinese and East Asian style. It first became very popular in the 18th century as trade between Asian countries and Europe grew. Having a piece in this “new” and “exotic” style showed your friends you were very wealthy.

Chinoiserie, in its classical sense is VERY ornate. It’s visual interest overload to the eyeballs. This style is very bold and filled with its fair share of color, pattern play, and curvy lines and details.

I’m in love with all things chinoiserie. This should come as no surprise since I’m a fan of color, whimsy decor and the maximalist concept of “more is more”. And it seems I’m not alone in this love affair as a new generation of fans like myself are decorating their homes with this style; albeit with a more modern vibe.

The modern style represents a “toned down” chinoiserie. While there’s still a lot of color and pattern play going on, you also see this juxtaposed to modern furnishings and a more simple aesthetic.

Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite modern chinoiserie items to give you a purview into this lovely Asian influenced decor. I must warn you that chinoiserie ain’t cheap, my friend. You’ll need to come prepared to fall in love and spend some cash on these gorgeous motifs.

Let’s begin, shall we?

decor_by_demi_all_things_chinoiserie.jpg

Nothing says “look at me” more than a bold chinoiserie wallpaper. It is truly the statement piece in a room. Some of the most classic chinoiserie textile companies include Fromental and deGournay. These luxurious wall coverings are often hand painted on silk and custom made to your wall specifications. Its like having artwork adorn your walls! The estimated cost is about $1,000 per panel. Yep, you read that correctly.

Below are some of my favorites that wont cost you a year’s worth of salary to purchase, mixed in with a couple of highbrow ones.

my top picks: chinoiserie wallpaper

If wallpaper isn’t your thing because of the cost, another avenue to incorporate the modern chinoiserie look is through art and accessories. A little goes a long way here. You want to include a few pieces as an accent, to avoid overpowering the style of the room.

my top picks: chinoiserie art & accessories

Next up, textiles. Rugs and pillows are a great way to add in color and pattern. When aiming for a subtle look, stick with a cohesive color palette, as seen in the picture above with the classic blue & white scheme.

my top picks: chinoiserie textiles

There are so many wonderful modern style chinoiserie lighting options available. A foo dog as a lamp base allows you to showcase your personality and add a bit of whimsy to your decor.

my top picks: chinoiserie lighting

Chinoiserie ceramics range from ginger jars, decorative plates, vases/planter bowls and canisters. The most celebrated of them are the blue and white pieces. These ceramics are the most recognizable decor of the chinoiserie style.

As you know, ginger jars are my obsession and adding them into a vignette is absolutely necessary. To keep a clean and modern look; always place the ceramics in a grouping for display.

My top picks: chinoiserie ceramics

  1. The Enchanted Home Pink Chinoiserie Jar-$115 | 2. The Enchanted Home Chunky Character Jar-$160 | 3. The Enchanted Home Lemon Topiary-$230 | 4. Chairish Chinese Rose Umbrella Stand-$300 | 5. Chairish Chinese Botanical Bowl-$130 | 6. The Enchanted Home Chinoiserie Garden Seat-$145 | 7. CB2 Chelsea Dinner Plate-$19.95 | 8. Williams Sonoma Lunar New Year Rice Bowls-$39.95/set of 4

Don’t you just love this new and improved chinoiserie style? None of the pieces scream, “I’m important” and would compliment both classic and modern homes.

I hope this list is helpful for those who love this style but is hesitate on ways to incorporate the look in their home. There’s a plethora of chinoiserie to fit all budgets.

So tell me, have you incorporated a modern chinoiserie style in your home?

10 Ideas for Decorating Over Your Bed

If your bedroom is feeling bare and empty, it may be due to the space above your bed. Often times this space is left blank because it can be an awkward area to fill due to its size and shape.

Below are 10 easy ideas you can implement to take your bedroom wall decorating to the next level.

Bedroom decorating idea #1-Mirror

Bedroom decorating idea #2- art

Bedroom Decorating idea #3-trim

Bedroom decorating idea #4-wallpaper

Bedroom decorating idea #5-paint An Accent wall

bedroom decorating idea #6-shelving

decor_by_demi_decorating_over_your_bed_7.jpg

Bed decorating idea #7-juju hat

bed decorating idea #8-decorative plates



Bed Decorating Idea #9-cornice board

Bedroom decorating idea #10-Textiles

As you can see, there’s so many great ideas for decorating over your bed. You’ll never have to stare at that blank wall space again and wonder what to do!

So tell me, which one is your favorite?

Stay Stylish, (2).png

6 Simple Ideas For Adding the Finishing Touch to Your Home

So you look around your home and you’re fairly proud of it. You’ve invested in quality furnishings; that English arm sofa and wing back chairs cost a pretty penny but you know they’ll be around for years to come. You selected paint colors and finishes that really compliment the space; that navy blue/gray/kelly green color palette is classic and truly represents you. But something is still missing. You can’t quite put your finger on it. So what gives?

To the trained eye, the answer is pretty obvious. But for many homeowners it remains a mystery. That missing link or missing “piece” are the finishing touches. What do I mean by this? Hear me out for a bit.

Finishing touches are those elements that are added to a space to make it feel….finished. They are the details that let you know what the energy of the home is, and how you should feel when you step inside. To put it simply, it gives personality to a space.

Below are 6 simple ideas for adding the finishing touch to your home decor to eliminate that empty feeling.

Finishing Touch Idea #1- Area Rug

A rug brings warmth to a room. A good wool rug feels so nice and cozy underneath your feet; especially if you have hardwood floors. Rugs can also add depth; your eye will naturally follow the color or pattern to the end. It’s important to choose a rug material that fits in with your lifestyle and correlates to the amount of foot traffic in the room.

A rug with the right color palette will also help to tie all the elements in a room together. Just be sure to pick the correct size for your space because too short rugs are a real downer. Read my rug size guide post here to help you out.

Finishing Touch Idea #2- Window Treatments

Window treatments play such a big role in a room. Drapes add drama and sophistication; roman shades and blinds are great at providing function and comfort. Regardless of whether your goal is privacy, light filtration, or just for looks; window treatments are one of those accessories that finishes a space. You know that perfect set of pearls you like to wear with that little black dress? Yeah; window treatments are the pearls in your space.

Finishing Touch Idea #3- Art

Walls are similar to window treatments. Blank walls make a room feel cold and empty. Art helps to add personality and character to your home. However; art is such a personal thing and I do recommend that you take your time and invest in pieces that speak to “you”.

Finishing Touch Idea #4- Lighting

Lighting helps to set the mood in a space. If your home lacks adequate lighting, the room will lack the right amount of warmth and ambiance. There are generally 3 basic types of lighting that are used in each space of your home.

Ambient lighting is general lighting. Its the harsh, bright lighting such as canned lights and chandeliers in a room. Task lighting is lighting used for a particular task. For example, a table lamp on your nightstand to help with nightly reading. Finally, accent lighting is used to create a focal point for something. Like wall sconces next to your favorite wall art display.

An optimal amount of lighting in a room would include ambient, task and accent lighting. However; its fine if you have 2 out of 3.

Finishing Touch Idea #5- Accent Pillows

Tiny pillows or a lack of accent pillows add no value to that lovely English arm sofa I mentioned earlier. Have some fun and incorporate pillows in a color found in your area rug. When choosing pillows, try the no-fail combination of one 20-inch by 20-inch, one 16-inch by 16-inch, and one 12-inch by 16-inch.

Finishing Touch Idea #6- decor Accessories

Last but definitely not least are decor accessories. These are your filler items like books, flowers, knick knacks, etc. Accessories are truly the icing on the cake.

Don’t fill up an empty bookcase just for the sake of; be strategic on what you pick since they’ll be on display in your home. Try to pick things that vary in texture, size and color. No matchy-matchy please.

These finishing touches, when incorporated correctly, will help your home look stylish and feel complete! You’ll then be able to impress your friends and provide suggestions to them on what’s needed to finish the look in their homes. Only tell them if they ask first!!

In order to get you started on your journey, I’ve included a FREE room evaluation worksheet AND finishing touch checklist you can download to jot down your ideas as you begin implementing these tips.

Click the button below for your checklist and let’s get started!

10 Simple Ways to Make a Small Space Appear Bigger

When dealing with a small space, it’s important more than ever to capitalize on using only the things that you need and love most. With a limited amount of square footage, you really have to plan how you will use the space BEFORE you decorate. This will in turn push your creative limits but you’ve got this!

Below are 10 simple ways to make a small space appear bigger. Now go forth and do your thing.

  1. Use a neutral Color Palette

Light or neutral color palettes visually makes your space expand. This concept is ideal for your walls, trim and mainstay pieces like a sofa and chairs. I simply could not live in a space filled with whites, beige, and tans. So if you’re a color enthusiast as well; you can incorporate pops of non-neutrals through accent pillows and decor accessories.

2. Give the Illusion of High Ceilings

If your small space also has low ceilings and you want to hang drapes, use the “high and wide method”. This basically means that you would mount the rod and hang drapes close to the ceiling to create the illusion of height.

To create the illusion of a wider window, extend the rod up to 12 inches beyond the window’s frame. This will ensure that when drapes are open, they don’t cover the window frame and allow light to come in.

3. Use Mirrors

Mirrors serve a dual purpose. They are great at visually expanding a space and adding light. They can also be used to reflect artwork or other interesting things on the opposite wall. Just make sure that whatever the mirror is reflecting is something that you want to see.

4. Choose Multi-Functional Furniture

Select furnishings that are stylish and serve a double duty. For example, ottomans can be used as both a coffee table and extra seating. Or a daybed can serve as a sofa during the day and bed at night, especially if you don’t have space for a guest room.

5. Choose Furniture That Doesn’t Weigh the Space Down

A glass top coffee table, a Lucite dining table or acrylic chairs are great examples of furniture that would visually expand a space and make it feel less cramped.

6. Maximize Natural light

Use sheer drapes to allow natural light to shine through. Or leave your windows uncovered if privacy isn’t an issue. This will create a sense of depth in a small space.

7. Don’t Place Your Furniture Against the Walls

Not placing furniture against the walls makes it appear to “float’ in the room and eliminates that awkward dead space in the middle.

8. One Focal Point

A small space only needs one focal point. If you have a built-in focal point such a fireplace or bay windows, be sure to minimize other items in the room so they don’t compete with it.

If your space lacks a focal point, a gallery wall is a great option that won’t take up too much space. Instead of using many small art pieces grouped together, use fewer pieces with wider mats. The effect will be the same but the space will feel less crowded.

9.Choose Furniture with Exposed Legs

Skirted sofas and chairs appear boxy in a small space. Opt for sofas and armchairs that are raised on legs, which creates a sense of light and space.

10. Remove Clutter

“A place for everything and everything in it’s place” is so important in a small space! Be sure to store everyday items like remote controls in storage baskets or boxes. And don’t allow magazines or books to lie around on tables.

The struggle is real when it comes to living in a small space. But its doable if you are strategic in designing your space in a way that feels less cramped and makes it appear bigger.

Have you used any of these ideas to make your small space appear bigger?

Stay Stylish, (2).png

Sofa Series Part II: 5 Tips to Consider When Buying a Sofa

decor_by_demi_6_tips_for_buying_a_sofa.jpg

Welcome to Sofa Series Part II! If you’re playing catch up, you’ll want to click here to check out Part I first.

So now that you’re all caught up and know the different sofa styles, it’s time to go shopping. Below are 5 key tips to consider when buying a sofa.

Sofa Tip #1: Choose Your Style

There are so many things to consider when choosing your favorite style. There are pros and cons to each and depending on your needs; you’ll want to choose one that fits perfectly with your lifestyle. For example, if your goal is comfort and to find a sofa great for napping; you may want to pass on the Tuxedo or Camelback due to its awkwardly high and narrow arms.

Sofa Tip #2: Measure Your Space

This rule should be obvious but many people overlook it. So many returns have taken place because folks forget to measure and then bring home furnishings that are too big or too small for a space. First, measure your interior space. If you already have a sofa in the room that’s an ideal size; write down those measurements and take them with you when shopping. A measuring tape will also come in handy while shopping so make sure to bring one to measure your new sofa.

Sofa Tip #3: Check the Construction

It’s all about the inner workings of the sofa. This is the frame, joints, and springs. All these things combined will determine the durability and longevity of the sofa.

Frame

You’ll want to make sure your frame is a kiln-dried hardwood. And…plywood isn’t one of them. Some popular and reliable ones are oak, poplar, and maple due to them being less resistant to cracking over time. The goal here is to ensure your frame remains intact and durable over the long haul.

Joints

The old school way of building a sofa used mortise and tenon joinery. The current trend is to now use staples and glue to hold them together. This results in a sofa that is built to last for a few years top, as opposed to a quality sofa that can be handed down for generations to come (think Granny’s furniture she kept in the formal living room).

So no one really goes around knowing this stuff off the top of their heads. Therefore, always ask a sales person to provide the specifications when shopping. If they don’t know or can’t provide, its probably best to move on.

Springs

This is hard to test because so many companies tout themselves on using some form of a 8 way hand tied system; which is the gold standard. One way though is to lift the cushions of the sofa and press down on the seat. You should be able to feel the springs; they should be close together and evenly spaced. And they absolutely should be springy.

Sofa Tip #4: Choose Your Fabric

The choice of fabric will depend on your lifestyle. There are a plethora of materials to choose from however; I will caution that families who have children and pets should definitely look into a performance fabric or genuine leather. Both are kid-proof, stain resistant, and do well with pet hair. Just be sure to keep Fido’s nails groomed.

Sofa Tip #5: Test Drive the Sofa

Once you’ve figured out all of the above, it’s time to give your new found love a spin. This is not the time to play coy either. The tests below will help you determine if you’re a match made in heaven.

You’ll want to sit for a while and see how the sofa performs. How do the cushions feel on your tush? Are they too firm? Or do you feel like you sink into the sofa? Recline in a variety of positions and see if you feel comfortable.

Bounce on the sofa a bit to check the suspension. Does it squeak? Does it feel springy enough? The suspension directly relates to the coil system and how much pressure/weight your sofa is equipped to handle.

Last but certainly not least, grab an arm and try to wiggle it from side to side. A well built frame should not wiggle. Also take a look at the stitching or patterns; they should line up properly and be centered.

I hope this series has been helpful and allows you to become a well informed buyer on your next sofa expedition.

If this has been information overload and you need help along the way, my Decor Sessions are the perfect solution to providing expert advise on an as needed basis. Go forth and shop!!

Stay Stylish, (2).png

Sofa Series Part I: 8 Main Sofa Styles

decor_by_demi_sofa_styles_chesterfield_sofa.jpg

So recently, I’ve been thinking about buying new furniture for our family room. Well this idea has opened up a whole can of anxiety on what to buy, how much to spend, should I just re-upholster instead, etc. If I look at one more sofa online, I’m going to put myself in time out. I’ve spent countless hours obsessing over this and figured perhaps there were millions of other people facing the same situation.

As a result, I decided to put together a 3 part sofa series to help educate clients on all things related to the sofa. Many times I find that people aren’t familiar with sofa design styles. This will help save a lot of time and narrow down your search when shopping for sofa styles. However; to do this you first need to know the names of the styles, right? So today we begin with The Sofa Series Part I: 8 Main Sofa Styles.

Sofa Style: Chesterfield

Key features: The Chesterfield features rolled arms the same height as its back along with beautiful tufting. Nail head trim is usually featured along with either caster or tulip bun style legs. This sofa screams bravado and swagger!

The Chesterfield is a tight back style sofa; meaning there are no loose back cushions. This sofa is sure to be a showstopper in any room it resides. This is my favorite sofa style!!

Sofa Style: CamelBack

Key Features: The CamelBack’s names derives from the arch across the back that resembles a camel’s hump. This curvaceous sofa showcases a subtle curved arm and looks right at home in a more formal style setting. The Camelback is also a tight back style sofa.

Sofa Style: English Roll Arm

Key Features: Just as the name implies; this sofa style features short, rolled, and padded arms. The legs are either caster or tulip bun style. Featuring plush seat and back cushions, this sofa has a relaxed vibe and will fit in any decor style.

Sofa Style: Tuxedo

Key Features: A relative of the Chesterfield, the Tuxedo also features arms the same height as its back as well as gorgeous tufting. Also, the Tuxedo falls in the tight back category. However, the silhouette of this sofa style is more modern and sleek; including it’s feet design.

Sofa Style: Settee

Key Features: The Settee is a curvaceous and sophisticated sofa. It reminds me of high tea and fancy events. Because of its size, this petite sofa would do well in a small space. The silhouette and narrow legs also helps to reiterate the human scale size of this sofa.

Sofa Style: Cabriole

Key Features: A continuous back curve that extends down into the arms is a prominent feature of the Cabriole. The legs are generally wooden and also feature an “S” curve although this particular style is more modern with it’s metal legs.

Interestingly the word cabriole derives from the French word, “cabrioler” which means to jump like a goat.

Sofa Style: Lawson

Key Features: The Lawson is all about an informal and comfortable lifestyle. The big fluffy cushions and rolled arms are ideal for napping or reading a book. The furniture legs are modern in style but the overall silhouette is traditional in nature.

Sofa Style: Mid-Century

Key Features: The Mid Century style sofa represents, simplicity, clean lines and minimalism. The modern metal frame is also a break away from the traditional look of wooden legs. However, the tufting is a nod to classic design. The Mid Century is very Mad Men.

Each sofa style is gorgeous and unique in its own way. You really need to figure out how long you plan to keep the sofa and your how much “love” the sofa will receive based on your lifestyle. Which is a great segue into The Sofa Series Part II: 5 Tips to Consider When Buying a Sofa”.

But first…

Which sofa style is your favorite? Answer below in the comments.

Stay Stylish, (2).png

Design 101: 4 Ways to Add Style to a Bookcase Back Panel

decor_by_demi_ways_to_add_style_to_your_bookcase_back_panel.jpg

Most of the time a bookcase back panel goes neglected. The decor items on display usually get all the attention however, back panels need love too!

Decorating the back panel is a great way to add color, style and interest to an otherwise boring bookcase. It’s also a cost effective way to give this case good a new look.

Below I’ll highlight 4 simple ways to add style to your bookcase back panel and make it really stand out among the competition!!

Ways to Add Style to a Bookcase Back Panel #1: Wallpaper

First off this entire room is gorgeous and gives me goose bumps! The beautiful chaos of colors and patterns make my little maximalist heart sing!!

Back to the bookcase…the decor accessories would do a lovely job by themselves. However, the wallpaper totally ups the ante on style. There are a plethora of styles to choose from and wallpaper is a great DIY option since its pretty cost effective to install.

Ways to Add Style to Your Bookcase Back Panel #2: Paint

Another great option is paint. Paint is truly the most cost-effective way to give anything an updated look. Painting the back panel of a bookcase is a great way to bring in an contrasting color and really make the decor accessories pop! This is especially true with white bookcases.

Ways to Add Style to a Bookcase Back Panel #3: Beadboard

If your goal is to add a bit of rustic charm to your room, adding beadboard or ship lap is the way to go.

Ways to Add Style to Your Bookcase Back Panel #4: Mix & Match

Lastly, if you’re feeling bold and adventurous, you could mix and match using the suggestions from above. For example, if your bookcase has a lot of compartments, you could paint each back panel a different color to bring in some fun. Or you could do a combination of paint and wallpaper.

So now you have options on what to do with your bookcase back panels. The level of creativity and fun you bring to them is totally up to you!

Have you tried one of these suggestions with your bookcase back panel? If so, let me hear about it in the comments.

decor_by_demi.png