Monthly Archives: November 2016

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.