How to Make a Gray Living Room

Not too long ago, gray was considered by many to be a dull and somewhat dreary color. But then one day that all changed. One popular designer started using it, then another, and then another, and over the last decade it’s become one of the most popular colors in home decor. More sophisticated than beige and more adaptable than taupe, grey is a versatile shade that has quickly become the king of neutrals.

Gray is the epitome of elegance when combined with classic details and sophisticated styling. In this room, designed by Cherie Lee Interiors, the soft color palette allows the details, including the carved mantel, architectural mouldings, and tufted sofas, to truly stand out.

Think gray is dark? Think again! Accented with white trim, and in a room flooded with natural light, gray can be soft and refreshing. In rooms like this one that have large windows it’s a great idea to keep the furnishings simple and allow the eye to be drawn to the view.

One of the best ways to add a sophisticated and modern look to a space is to paint the trim black or dark gray. In this room designed by Jensen C. Vasil Architect, the look works particularly well as the charcoal trim adds a modern sensibility to the ornately carved railings and door trim.

The best way to call attention to interesting architectural designs or features is to let them stand out against neutral backdrops. The gray tones and clean-lined furniture in this large, open concept space, take a backseat to the stair railings and windows. Since there are no strong colors or shapes to compete with, the eye is automatically drawn to the interesting architectural features.

Get Your Color Scheme Right

A color scheme is the foundation of all of your home decorating projects. Creating the right color scheme gives you a roadmap to choosing the right decor and furnishings. It’s so much easier to choose the right surfaces and accessories if you already have a color palette to work with.


Color Scheme vs. Color Palette

You might see the terms colors scheme and color palette used interchangeably, which is fine.

Technically, there is a little difference between a scheme and a palette, and knowing this can make decorating much easier. Your color scheme is the very basic plan for how you’ll be putting colors together for your home. Using color theory, you could easily create a monochromatic color scheme using neutral colors, or maybe another simple scheme, but the precise colors won’t be defined just yet.

Knowing which type of color scheme you’ll be putting together is your starting point to creating a color palette. Your home’s color palette will have the specific colors you plan to use in your home. By fine-tuning your color palette you can choose paint, fabric, and decor, with confidence.  So, when you think of your color scheme as just a reference for all of your future decorating projects, it’s a much easier task to create one. The real fun comes when you are able to refine your color choices into paint samples and swatches for your home makeover.

 How to Get Your Color Scheme Right This Time

If you feel as though your attempts at creating a new color scheme have fallen short, here are the ways that you may have gone wrong in the past, (and how to fix them!)


Maybe You Just Don’t Know Where to Start

If you’re starting with an envelope filled with paint samples and fabric swatches and absolutely no plan, your color scheme is going to go off-track pretty quickly.

 The best color schemes for your home aren’t created by inspiration alone. Because your color scheme is the basis for so many future decorating decisions, you’ll want to take the time to choose the right type. You don’t have to memorize complicated rules, but if you learn the basics of the color wheel it can open up so many color scheme options.

Identify the type of color scheme that appeals to you, then you can personalize it with the colors you love. Once you know the basic colors you’ll want in your home, you can turn to inspiration to create a color palette with those colors. Taking the time to start with a defined color scheme actually frees you up to be more creative and allows you to get the colors right.


Are You Afraid of Change?

Change can be hard! One of the most common color scheme errors is trying to add new colors to an outdated palette. The taupe paint color you chose fifteen years ago may be a “safe neutral”, but color trends have come and gone since you painted your home with that pinkish-taupe.

While your favorite color trend may be poised for a comeback, it may not be this year.  Adding new accessories and pops of color will not make a color with an outdated or wrong undertone look right. It may be time to change every color in your color scheme and start fresh.

If you have been putting off major color changes because you are afraid you’ll choose the wrong colors, then start with the most basic one in the room. Look at recent color trends to see what colors are popular right now. If you’re risk-adverse with color, start with a simple neutral color scheme with colorful accents.


So Many Colors, so Little Space

Decorating without a color scheme in place can leave you with a house filled with colors that have no relation to each other. It all starts so innocently when you shop without a plan and bring mismatched accessories home. Mismatched paint colors are also a sign of a color scheme gone wrong. Without a color blueprint, every room looks different which can make your home look chaotic and small.

Even if you love lots of color in your home and varying paint color from room to room, you can still work with a color scheme to help the entire house feel more spacious and coordinated. With a color scheme figured out, you can decorate throughout the house with your colors but in different ways. A living room with beige walls can have blue and white accents, while your master bedroom can have blue walls with added pops of color in white and beige. You still get the color individuality you love, but by working with a color scheme first your home will look more pulled-together.

Furniture Makeover Ideas

This formerly blue and white bamboo dresser was refinished to be more vintage glam with white oil paint and by stripping the paint off the existing hardware to return them to their metallic finish.

It is hard to recognize after the beautiful transformation, but originally this blue burlap panelled dresser was just the regular 6 drawer Tarva chest from Ikea. With the addition of some decorative burlap, moulding, paint and some extra wood to thicken the legs the end result is absolutely stunning.

Add a glam finish with this easy Ikea Hack for the Vittsjo Nesting Tables by using gold spray paint on the frame and white spray paint on the bottom shelf to give the tables a new chic look.

Often it can be hard to find the space in a bedroom for a vanity to get ready in the morning in front of, but using Ikea’s Alex Shelf as a base, you can add wood legs and additional wall brackets for extra support to create your own narrow vanity that can fit even in small bedrooms.

A long black second-hand tv unit was beautifully updated with white paint and gold paint on the legs to give it a stylish new finish without spending much money.

Using an Ikea Malm Headboard found in the As Is section at Ikea as the base the headboard was updated with peel and stick wood stickers to cover the headboard to give it a warmer rustic feel.

Getting Down To Basics with Sales

Merits of an Electric Fireplace It is good to note that many advantages come with using an electrical fireplace, and these benefits span d?cor merits and convenience merits. The d?cor and design options of electric fireplaces are many, and it is a guarantee that anyone can get a fireplace that meets the home’s existing d?cor while at the same time creating a fashion forward look in any room. It is good to note that electric fireplaces are space savers compared to traditional fireplaces, and it has been noted that wall mounted electric fireplaces only protrude to a length of between 6 inches to 10 inches into the room thus they do not need mounting into walls. A known fact is that there is a lot of flexibility regarding installation since electric fireplaces come in various sizes and shapes that can be combined with the furniture like corner TV stands, mantels, fire media centers, or even bookshelves. If it happens that the person has a condo or an apartment, then a small fireplace can be the only option for adding comfort and ambiance to the living space. The independent variety of sizes, colors, and shapes allows the person to match the architectural styles that can be traditional or a contemporary fireplace much more accurately than many gas or wood fireplaces. Concerning convenience, electric fireplaces have a longer life span than other kinds of fireplaces because there are no actual flames that burn combustible fuels which means that degradation and the corrosion to various parts by caustic agents are not present. Installation of electric fireplaces is as easy as unboxing it and plugging it in because there are no contractors or huge home renovations involved and most installations are one-man jobs. The truth is that wall mounted electric fireplaces are easy to install like hanging a large mirror media center fireplaces are like putting bookshelves together. It is good to note that if the person moves frequently, be it in houses, apartments or condos the person can take the electric fireplace with them as they are completely portable and this factor also means that they can be shifted from room to room as per the needs of the person. An electric fireplace is a good choice when the person lives in apartment or condominium where there is no existent fireplace and they do not need gas lines or chimneys. Most electrical fire units come with a remote control and even though the person may want to look at the features that are on the remote, but some are simple on or off switches whereas other remotes control everything ranging from the level of flames to the degree of heat.

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Yellow for Every Room is Great Ideas

Yellow is undeniably the most cheerful color on the spectrum.  Indeed, as it’s the color of sunshine, yellow is a mood-lifter no matter how–or where–you use it.  Accessorizing with yellow throughout your home is a great way to give it energy, warmth, and an inviting feel.  Read on for how to use yellow in different rooms of your home.


Yellow in a Family or Living Room


Yellow accessories are a great choice for living spaces that don’t get a lot of light, or need a dose of color.  To avoid a juvenile look, pair yellow with neutrals like brown or gray to give it a more sophisticated feel.  Bright citron has a modern edge, while mustard is more traditional.  


Here are some yellow accessories to try in your living space:

  • Mix and match pillows in yellow patterns
  • Add a throw blanket to the arm of a chair
  • Swap a traditional end table for a yellow garden stool
  • Place tall flowering branches like forsythia or yellow fall foliage in a vase

Houses That Your Inner Child Will Love

Are you feeling stressed out? Then it may be time for a treetop retreat. A tree house, whether nestled around trunks or perched seemingly midair will allow you to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life according to experts. Even better, building your own little tree house will create additional livable space you can enjoy and even rent. Are you ready to recharge? The following seven tiny tree houses for adults will make your inner child sing.


Shown above is the Raven Loft, a tiny 165 square foot tree house on a 0.5-acre plot on Pender Island in British Columbia.  The owner, Geoff de Ruiter constructed his treetop dwelling mostly out of reclaimed or second-hand materials. His total cost was $8,200. FYI, the plot cost him an additional $35,000.

This tree house is a unique urban retreat in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The owner, Alexandra Meyn, built it out of reclaimed materials. Her total cost was $400 — a bargain basement price when you consider the current value of New York City real estate.

Who wouldn’t want to glamp in their own backyard? The blogger behind Mod Frugalis a mother based in Nashville, Tennessee, who decided to create a little tree house the entire family can enjoy in the woods behind her home.


To minimize building costs, the tree house and its platform were constructed using lumber in standard lengths. The platform measures 8-by-12 feet, and the tree house is 8-by-8 feet.


The roof was constructed out of corrugated steel panels. Clear polycarbonate roof panels were used to create windows and a skylight. If you’re not in the know, these plastic panels are 20 times more durable than fiberglass (and you can buy it at most home improvement stores.)


While this treetop hideaway isn’t equipped with appliances or running water, it was built with comfort in mind. The walls, floor and windows were caulked and screened to keep nipping bugs out of the interior space. The tree house also has a little deck with a stellar view.

How to Pick the Perfect Piece On Art Home

Choosing the right piece of art to complement your space can be one of the most challenging things in decorating. With an unending variety of choices, settling down to just a few pieces can be tough. So if you’re struggling to pick the perfect piece, consider these 5 tips.


Color Matters

Color is the number one thing people get caught up in when trying to choose art, oftentimes because they’re trying to find something that matches with the other colors in the room.

But while matching some of the colors is a perfectly acceptable method for choosing art, it’s definitely not the only method. Sometimes the colors in the art you choose can be the direct opposite of what you already have in your room, or in some case you might want something that’s only black and white. What matters is that you find something that compliments the space – sometimes it’s through color, but not always. Look for a piece that attracts you to it, and don’t worry too much about perfectly matching colors.

Size and Scale

When it comes to choosing art bigger is usually better. In fact, choosing art that’s too small is a very common mistake. Take for instance the wall space over a sofa. As a general rule the art above it should be approximately two thirds the width of the sofa or larger. Same goes for the space above a bed. However even this rule can be broken. In a gallery wall several small pieces can work together in one display.

In this case think of the overall display as one unit and try to follow the same guidelines. If you have a particular painting or print that you adore but the size is too small, consider having it framed with an extra large matte in order to increase its visual impact.

Mix Old and New

Contrast is what keeps a room exciting, and art can play a big part in creating that excitement.

So consider art from different eras to create a robust and compelling collection. In a traditional room a piece of modern art can create a striking focal point, just like classic pieces can lend some tradition to more contemporary spaces. And when used together in the same room old and new pieces can complement each other in wonderful and unexpected ways. It can also be a lot of fun to mix colors and themes, so when choosing art don’t get stuck in a rut – mix it up!

Shop Around

While love at first sight should never be discounted, it’s usually a good idea to shop around before settling on a piece of art for a particular spot. There are so many options that you want to make sure you know some of them before settling (it’s obviously impossible to know all the options, but do yourself a favor and shop around so you can get to know what you like). The good news is there are plenty of sources, both online and in brick and mortar shops. Apartment Therapy has gathered together 13 sources of affordable online art which is a great start, but also check out local galleries, craft shows, vintage shops and garage sales.

Buy What You Love

Whether it’s original or mass-produced, expensive or cheap, make sure to buy only what you love. Original artwork is a great way to add something unique to your home and it can certainly give a room a certain amount of character, but it can be very expensive – particularly if it’s a known artist, or if it’s something rare and/or unique. Plenty of people have found themselves guilty of making an investment in a piece simply because it’s an original and they think it has value, but this can be a big mistake if you don’t truly love it. If you want something original but don’t want to overspend look for artists that don’t already have a huge following in order to get a good price (online sites like Etsy, or local craft/art shows are good places to start), and make sure it’s something that makes you smile every time you look at it. If it’s a cheap-looking print you find for $5 at a garage sale then so be it!

How to Upgrade Your Living Room Furniture

Is your furniture looking a little tired? Don’t worry – you don’t need to throw it all away and start fresh. Instead try one of these fun furniture hacks.


Nailhead Trim

Adding nailhead trim to a piece of furniture is one of the easiest ways to quickly get a high-end look. Traditionally nailhead trim was used on upholstered pieces to give them a more tailored look, and while this is still a terrific option, nailhead trim has since been discovered as being a great decorating tool with a wide variety of applications.

One of the most popular is to apply trim to a piece such as a chest of drawers or side table. What’s great is that you can apply it in any pattern you like. It can be a simple border or an intricate pattern, and depending on the complexity and the quality of the piece you can either use traditional tacks or adhesive strips. You an also apply nailhead trim around windows, doors and even area rugs and runners.

New Upholstery

New upholstery can liven up a room – even if it’s on a small piece. Imagine switching out a dull pattern for a bold solid, or a tired stripe for a stunning botanical print. The difference can turn a boring piece into a great statement piece. New upholstery can be expensive so unless you’re looking to make a big investment stick with something like a side chair or stool as opposed to a sofa. What’s great about many small pieces also is that if you have some DIY skills you might be able to do it yourself.

Contrast Piping

A decorating trick that professionals sometimes use on upholstered pieces is contrast piping. What this means is that you use a different fabric to make the piping (or welting) than you’ve used on the rest of the piece. Colored piping on a neutral sofa, or a patterned piping on a plain sofa is a great way to add a “decorator” detail without making a big commitment.

Although this is a seemingly minor detail it can actually make a really big impact. If you have some dull upholstery but you can’t afford to replace it consider adding new contrast piping to give it a little kick.

Gold Leaf

Gold leaf is a luxurious addition to just about any plain piece of furniture. It can be applied to tables, chairs, accessories, mirrors, photo frames – you name it. And what’s really great is that it’s a relatively simple and inexpensive DIY project. That said, if you’re trying to apply gold leaf for the first time it’s recommended you try in an inconspicuous spot just in case. For a great example of a simple DIY gold leaf project check out this table transformation.


Add Your Own Hardware

The hardware on a piece of furniture is like the jewelry you wear with an outfit. In some cases it enhances what’s already there, and in others it can really make or break it. Certain pieces of furniture come with existing hardware, and sometimes it looks perfect as is. But if you feel like your piece could use a little pick me up try switching out the existing hardware for something new and different.

Some pieces of furniture come with standard hardware so replacing it with something more decorative is a great way to enhance it. Also, if you have a really plain piece that doesn’t have any hardware you can drill holes and add some. This obviously doesn’t work on all pieces, but some builder basic pieces can really benefit from this decorative addition.

Tips for Add Value to a Living Room

When renovation and real estate expert Scott McGillivray designs a living room he always keeps ROI (return on investment) top of mind. And the best way to do that? Keep it neutral. “When you’re thinking about return on investment you need to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible,” says Scott. “Color is very subjective and what one person likes, another hates. So to appeal to the masses it’s best to keep the major elements neutral.” This doesn’t mean you can’t still add color and personality. “You can still accessorize however you want – just do it with things that are inexpensive and easy to change.”

Open concept homes are becoming more popular than ever. If your home already has an open floor plan, great, but if not, Scott suggests that knocking down some walls to create an open layout can add value to your home. “The demand for open floor plans is high, so working this type of layout into your renovation plans can add value to your home because it makes it more appealing to potential buyers. You obviously have to weigh the costs, but if you’re considering a renovation, it’s worth exploring the idea.” 

Whether your home is open concept or not, consistent flooring throughout is a good way to help make rooms flow together and make a home feel bigger. “Hardwood flooring throughout is the most common phrase in North American real estate listings,” says Scott, “so if you can afford it, hardwood is a smart investment.” The only time this doesn’t run true is in a basement. “Hardwood floors should never be used below grade. Basements can be damp and they run the risk of water damage. If hardwood gets wet you won’t be able to save it.” If hardwood is not in your budget other types of flooring such as laminate and vinyl can also offer a good return on investment. “In this basement makeover we used vinyl plank floors. They look good and they’re extremely durable.”

Every home needs storage, and sometimes closets and armoires aren’t enough. In Scott’s Reno to Reveal project he had a custom media wall built into one side of the living room to accommodate books, games, and a home bar. “No one has ever complained that a house had too much storage, so I recommend fitting some in wherever you can.” Media walls are also great because they can help to tie in multiple focal points. In this room the television and fireplace were competing focal points so Scott incorporated them into the unit and created a column effect with tile. The result is that the entire wall becomes the focal point with an emphasis on the right hand side where the television and fireplace are housed. The left hand side blends into the surroundings and provides storage and extra seating.


The Deliciously Decadent Home

Nestled in the Hidden Hills of Los Angeles is the family home of Tyson and Kimberly Chandler. While the family name is immediately recognizable to anyone who follows the NBA Center of the Phoenix Suns, the Chandler’s are also known for their acute sense of style. Kimberly, who can be seen in fashion circles, spotted at New York Fashion Week in coveted front row seats for Suno, Alexander Wang and Valentino, has been described as having a “pitch-perfect” sense of style. And this year, the couple was spotted at Coachella rocking out and having fun in the most fashion-savvy of ways. So, it’s no surprise that when looking to design the family home, they turned to LA-based interior designer Jeff Andrews, whose focus on sophisticated yet livable interiors appealed. 

The interior is filled to the brim with classic details in each and every room. From an open and airy living room to a glamorous family dining area, beautiful architectural details and gleaming accessories abound in this polished interior.

The kitchen in this home is a room unto itself. In true California style, this kitchen has been designed with entertaining in mind, with an abundance of space for preparing meals. With three children, the Chandler kitchen does double-duty as an area for dining with an oversized bar and counter space that little ones can eat at.

The family room has a mix of modern and rustic details. An oversized sectional creates a cozy vibe in the space. A hardwood coffee table adds rough-spun texture. For accents, the family room features a variety of stunning textiles. Modern suzani pillows in shades of gray and brown are used to marry the room’s soothing neutral color palette.

The most interesting homes ideas

The most interesting homes are those that are designed with innovation in mind. Those where out-of-the-box style reigns. That’s the kind of design that you see in the work of Loczi Design Group. The San Francisco-based firm is known for creating one-of-a-kind spaces. And this modern San Francisco home in SOMA is no different. Formerly two separate units that were merged together to create one home, Loczi Design Group had one mission for this interior – to design a space where there client could entertain and throw large or small gatherings with ease. 

The interior design project was the perfect complement to the home’s unique architecture. A twelve-foot skylight and a striking steel staircase meet you at the center of the home. Flanked by the client’s collection of mid-century Russian art, the interior design took direction from all of the architectural elements in this eclectic interior.

Unconventional, funky, and with a love of geometrics, Loczi Design Group was able to put their stamp on the newly designed space. Just as their client asked, spaces were designed with entertaining in mind. In this lounge, low-seating was placed beneath a skylight. The perfect place for party-goers to enjoy a cocktail, and even a look up at the stars and moon when the sun sets. And just like in the home’s living room, the lounge is home to a fun mix of hues. Turquoise seating and a subtle shade of lilac on the wall form a striking color palette, a perfect reflection of the colorful art on the wall. 

Beyond the lounge area, this contemporary dining room can easily seat eight. The furniture is so sleek and sophisticated. Perfect for an evening of entertaining in the Bay Area.  Beyond the stone table, it’s the art that catches the eye in this dining room. Alcoves are the perfect fit for abstract pieces that add to the home’s rich color palette. Fuchsia, lilac, soft blues and the greens that are in each piece literally jump off the canvas and onto the furnishings in the living room that’s home to a hot pink sofa and purple side chairs.