Category Archives: Color

Spread the holiday cheer!

I know I’ve still been a bit spotty in my web-world appearances.  I have been sure to keep my creative juices flowing and recently entered a contest on Olioboard.  I would LOVE it if you would vote for my holiday mood board!

Dynamic Design

As I’ve mentioned before, I am going through quite a transition in my life. Between my career changes and deciding where to go with my decorating passion I have certainly worked hard to stay positive.

I saw this quote yesterday and thought it was perfect for what is going on in my life right now.

A diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job.

Michael Larsen

Flowers always make me smile (Image from http://www.lhj.com)

Pretty Pretty Flowers

Yesterday’s (Tuesday) Home Cure was to buy fresh flowers. I would have to agree with Maxwell that this is a great thing to do to add a little extra to your home.

Thanks to my cat’s fascination with water, I typically do not have fresh flowers. This is the number one reason I am such a fan of Aunt Peaches’ coffee filter flowers. I know I’ve mentioned these a lot lately but I am just so impressed!

In keeping with the 20/20 Home Cure, I will be offering my 2nd giveaway in celebration of nearing my 100th post! The winner of this giveaway will receive an arrangement of coffee filter flowers of their choosing (color and flower type). Here are the details:

  • There are three ways to enter
    1. Comment on this post
    2. Join the Fabulous in Four-Hundred Square Feet Facebook page (if you already follow my Facebook page, Contact Me and let me know and I will count an entry for you)
    3. Follow me on Twitter (if you already follow my Facebook page,Contact Me and let me know and I will count an entry for you)
  • You can do one or all three for a better chance to win.
  • Deadline is Friday, October 29th

This is open to anyone in the U.S. (as I will be paying for shipping). Here is a look at some of the flower how tos available on Aunt Peaches blog:

Good Luck!

Best Artificial and Affordable Flowers

In August, one of my favorite blogs – Design*Sponge – posted one of my favorite DIY projects.

These resourceful coffee filter flowers are the idea of Aunt Peaches. Recently I tried a relatively simple version of her coffee filter flowers to add some color and fun to my dining area.

Lola was in a very friendly mood so it was nearly impossible to get a photo without her being in it.

You can find a link to the Design*Sponge instructions via my Projects page.

To take this great idea a little further, I decided to make some flowers to use at my Halloween party. I’m pleased with how they turned out.

I would really encourage you to visit Aunt Peaches website for more amazing ways to make beautiful flowers from coffee filters.

Fall into the weekend

I’ve been seeing and reading so many articles about getting ready for fall, making your home feel like fall, fall decor etc. I’ve never really changed up much around my home for the seasons in the past but am considering taking a look at it this year. Here are some of my favorite ideas for fall:

  • Of course Martha Stewart changes up her decor for fall. Here she share some crafty ideas for fall and Halloween.
  • Family Circle has some great, and super simple, ways to add a touch of fall to your home.
  • Better Homes & Gardens does a before and after autumn-inspired living room.
  • Nesting Place blog had a Fall Mantel Party with some beautiful fall inspired decorating ideas.
  • Thrifty Decor Chick has some great ideas for giving your home a warm fall glow with candles.
  • I absolutely love the turquoise and red color palette used by Room Remix’s.
  • A great idea to approaching fall inspired decor is to break it down into various elements. belle maison looks at some affordable fall elements you can add to your space.

What are your plans for fall? Do you typically decorate for the seasons? Will you be incorporating fall into your home this season and if so, how?

Most importantly, have a wonderful weekend!

Wishful Wednesday

I am currently working on a redecorating project for my first client! I’m very excited.

For the living space, I have decided to give it somewhat of a safari feel. Here are some amazing rooms from ELLE Decor of “The Allure of Animal Print”.

All images courtesy of www.elledecor.com.

Wishful Wednesday

My first new decorating and organizing project during my time off is my desk. If I’m going to take decorating seriously, I need a very workable and accessible space. Mine is still in progress, but here are some workspaces I love.

I'm not sure I would be able to have anything like this in my real life (I don't like lots of 'stuff') but I just think this is an inspiring workspace. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

I love how this workspace blends in with the living space. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

In a perfect world, this would be my workspace (but just for 1). Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

See why it's so great!!! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Elegantly hidden! LOVE! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Happy Hump Day! I know I sound like a broken record, but for free decorating advice, or if you want to share your great projects and ideas, e-mail me!

Drum roll please…

Tada! My finished living room – post redecoration. As I am sure I have said before, I am completely in love with the new space. On Friday, I showed you the design board I pulled together while deciding how to redecorate my space. Now, you will finally get to see what my new space looks like!

What do you think?

In regards to budget, you can find the shopping list of everything in this space here. While this total seems high, most of these items were purchased before the redecoration. My redecoration purchases were most of the items under “Living Room Redecoration”; I was able to redecorate it for about $250. My most expensive purchase was the area rug and was well worth it. I got the rug for an amazing price; it is also very durable and really makes the space.

Now it is time for you to share your space redecorations! E-mail me photos of your space. They can be before and after or just the final space. If you are in the process of redecorating and want some tips, e-mail me those too!

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 5

Now that I know what I am working with (Step 1), have gotten rid of any clutter (Step 2), found my design inspiration (Step 3) and had a great time shopping (Step 4), its time for me to share with you my final living room!

I am a very visual person, and for me to feel confident about my decisions I like to see them all together first. This helps me identify if there is something missing (ie. a color, feeling, not enough or too much of a style, etc.) or if something just doesn’t fit. Here is the design board I put together:

  1. It is almost embarrassing to admit, but in the 3+ years I have lived here I have not yet put up any sort of window treatments. While the vertical blinds already installed serve their practical purpose, I also think they make the space a bit less warm. With my relatively new sewing machine, I still seem to have quite the crafter’s bug; therefore, I clearly had to make my curtains. To be budget savvy, I purchased sheer curtains from World Market and modified them. I wanted the curtains to blend but still have a bit of style.
  2. As I have mentioned a few times, I recently made a slipcover for my futon. While this was less expensive than purchasing a new sleeper sofa or having a slipcover custom made, it wasn’t cheap. Therefore, this piece was staying pretty much as is. That helped to determine at least part of my color palette – brown.With the lighter brown used for the futon, I needed to bring in some richer colors to this piece. Being that the futon/couch is such a substantial portion of the space it was important to have a few more brown tones, particularly darker ones, included. I purchased a very inexpensive throw blanket from Marshall’s to do the trick.
  3. While I know it may be a bit taboo, in reality my TV is really the focus of this space. I already owned the TV and TV stand. The stand is on casters so that it can be turned towards my bed. To stay to a smaller budget, I kept this piece as is and decided to work to incorporate the lighter brown.
  4. The IKEA side table that I already owned (in birch) helps in tying in the lighter brown of my TV stand. I decided to keep the table lamp that I already owned since it could work with the pieces I had.
  5. You may recognize this chair in the photos of my living room. That’s because it’s the same chair that, in the design board, has only been modified in color via Photoshop. The old navy blue color just didn’t fit. I have purchased a brown slipcover for this chair in a brown darker than the futon to add darker browns to the space. This was a cost effective decision as I would have loved a new chair but just didn’t want to stretch the budget.
  6. I think that finding images of what you would like your space to look like or feel like is a step too often skipped. The importance of this was clear during my living room redecoration. As I was putting all of the pieces together, something was still missing. I referred to my binder full of print-outs and found that nearly every living room I loved had symmetry; more specifically, each of these spaces had two accent chairs. After purchasing a new desk chair from Craigslist.com, I was able to use the old chair in my living room. What a difference it made!
  7. Possibly my favorite piece! This area rug is about 5 ft X 8 ft and will covers a much more substantial portion of my living space floor than my previous, very undersized, rug. My attempt with the smaller rug was to pull together the blue in the chair with the brown futon. I just don’t think this worked at all for various reasons. Long story short, this rug has various tones of brown and will really help to pull together the various pieces. The rug will also serve to help separate the living space from the other spaces in my apartment and I love the pattern.
  8. I have 2 of these ottomans and love them. They add additional seating and storage and the top allows for them to also serve as a coffee table of sorts. As you clearly see, these are not brown – they are black. Not a huge problem as they aren’t huge pieces and I have also pulled in some other black elements.
  9. To make the various tones of brown work, I needed to ensure that they were repeated in the space. The two solid dark brown pillows I already own and they will stay on the futon. The smaller rectangular pillow will go on the chair to add some lighter tones to it and give some contemporary style. The square pillow with circles will go on the futon/couch.
  10. There are a few things that either I couldn’t reasonably change or didn’t want to change. One of these is my artwork. As I have traveled abroad, I have purchased art from local artists in various countries and cities. These are very special to me and I have wanted them to take center stage to a degree in my decor.Being that these pieces of art are varying sizes and sometimes not standard sizes for U.S. frames, I purchased inexpensive black frames from IKEA and then had custom matting made in appropriate colors. This was much more affordable than having custom framing done for most of them. The black frames make the artwork all look as one composition, but the coordinating matting allows each piece to standout in its own way as they are all unique in style, medium, etc.

And there you have it – my redecorated living room. I absolutely love it!

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 3

Step 3 to redecorating my living room was to find design inspiration. Looking for inspiration to redecorate my living room was fun and extremely helpful.

As I mentioned earlier, sproost.com has a wonderful style engine to help in identifying your style. After completing sproost’s style engine, I identified my own style as a combination of “French Eclectic”, “Cottage Chic” and “Hollywood Couture” or what I have called French-Cottage-Couture.

Here are some examples of each design style:

An example of French Eclectic style from sproost.com

An example of Cottage Chic from sproost.com

An example of Hollywood Couture from sproost.com

Keeping this in mind, I was able to focus my search for other photos of spaces with elements that I like. Here are a few spaces that I wanted to pull from in my own living room redecoration:

From: David Jimenez

From: decor*pad

What did you find for your redecorating inspiration?

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 1

I hope that you all have enjoyed redecorating your space as I did! I’m just about done with my living room – The final step needs a little bit of help from my boyfriend. I love how my space has been transformed.

As I have with previous projects, I’, going to share with you how I made it to my wonderful final space!

My living room has been a constant work-in-progress. If you remember on of my earlier posts, I at first struggled with my small efficiency/studio looking like one big dorm room. Being that my futon is mobile so to speak, I first tackled that problem by making a slip-cover. While this definitely helped the situation, I still feel that this space has much more potential. Here are some photo of my living room space to remind you just what it looks like.

Step 1 of redecorating just about any space is “Inventory and Survey”.

First, I needed to take stock of what I was working with. Being on a budget, I need to work with most of what I have. Not so easy seeing as in my mind I want this space to look completely different when its done.

So there you have it – this is the inventory of my living room situation pre-redecoration. As you can see it doesn’t look like the prettiest, most stylish or cohesive little space.

Here is my apartment’s floor plan:

As you can see, I’m working with a pretty limited amount of space. Additionally, being that my apartment is an efficiency I will need to focus on defining my living room space.

To start, I identified specific problems with my living room that I would like to fix:

  1. How can I make my living space seem more like a living room? This is a problem I think most studio/efficiency dwellers face. While I embrace that it is all one big room, I still want to make various spaces seem separated and defined.
  2. I want to be just a little more grown up. I took care of the mobile appearance of my futon/couch, but still feel like this space has a just out of college feel. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just want to have a more sophisticated and pulled together look for this space in particular.
  3. How do I give it some sense of its own style? This is another problem that faces many studio dwellers and even those living in very small apartments. It can be challenging to give a particular room or space a defined style while trying to get the styles of other spaces and rooms to blend.

So many problems, such a small budget….

I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

So…..how did it go? Did you enjoy your 5 Step room redecoration? What does your space look like now?

Any plans to redecorate another space?

Any obstacles you still need to overcome?

Please e-mail me photos of your spaces. I’d love to see what everyone has done and I always enjoy sharing ideas!

To be fair, here is a sneak peek at what I have done with my living room redecoration

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

So…..how did it go? Did you enjoy your 5 Step room redecoration? What does your space look like now?

Any plans to redecorate another space?

Any obstacles you still need to overcome?

Please e-mail me photos of your spaces. I’d love to see what everyone has done and I always enjoy sharing ideas!

To be fair, here is a sneak peek at what I have done with my living room redecoration

Monday Mall

With my new-found love of Craigslist, I thought I would share some of my finds with you all. Each Monday I will post some great home items from Washington, D.C. area Craigslist. All finds will be under $50.

Here is the first edition of “Monday Mall”:

Today’s theme – brown

Pair of Rattan Chairs – $25

Great Ottoman – $35

Great deal on a brown area rug – $20

Crate and Barrel desk – $25

If you would like your Craigslist item to be posted, just e-mail me the link to your item. All items must be under $50 and include a photo.

Redecorating a Living Room (or any space) – Step 5: Implement!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! With my down time from surgery, I have had plenty of time to work on my living room redecoration and I’m loving the progress!

Step 5 is the most rewarding, and final, step of your redecoration! Now that you have put in all of the hard work it is time to let it shine.

One change that can make a huge difference for $0 is rearranging furniture. I find that it is best to work with a copy or drawing of your floor plan when deciding how to rearrange your space. I recommend cutting out pieces of plain or graph paper for each piece of furniture in the space. You can then place these  cut-outs on the floor plan to see how to best place your furniture.

Now that you have decided where to place things, it is important to keep in mind the design principles I discussed in my earlier posts: balance and symmetry, scale and proportion, rhythm and repetition, focal point and emphasis,  and color, pattern and texture.

Most importantly, have fun and make sure you let yourself and your style shine in the space!

Design Principles: Color, Pattern and Texture

The final principles of design – color, pattern and texture.

While color adds a lot to a space, it can be further enhanced through the use of pattern and texture. This is particularly important in monochromatic schemes to avoid the room looking dull. Pattern and texture add depth and interest.

Short and sweet for these design principles (as I’m still recovering from yesterday’s surgery).

Here are some great uses of color, pattern and texture:

Design Principles: Balance and Symmetry

Balance and symmetry help to give spaces a feeling of harmony.

Correctly implementing balance and symmetry in your own space will give it a balanced appearance. When placing items or choosing colors and textures, it is important to consider their “visual weight” in the space (Goulet). I’ve been reading FabJob Guide to Becoming an Interior Decorator lately, which I absolutely love. In the guide, the authors recommend asking yourself the following questions when deciding where to place an item or whether or not to use an item:

  • What is the visual weight of the item?
  • Where will the item look best?
  • What will need to be placed to balance the item?

Using these three questions as a guide, it will be hard to go wrong in creating a space with equilibrium and harmony.

To get just a bit nerdier, there are two type of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Symmetrical balance is kind of like playing with shapes in grade school. The shape on the left exactly matches the shape on the right – Tada! Pretty straightforward.

Asymmetrical balance can help to add a younger and more fun look to your space. According to my new, handy-dandy guide:

Asymmetrical balance occurs when you have varied pieces of different sizes and shapes placed to create equilibrium.

Here are some examples of both symmetrical and asymmetrical balance:

Random Question…

Know those famously inexpensive and popular IKEA pieces from the MALM and LACK series? Both series seem to have a similar finish. My question to you is – has anyone ever tried to paint one of these pieces before? If so – what suggestions do you have….

Continuing to get my learn on.

I just finished ‘attending’ another great (and free) webinar hosted by ASID. Today’s webinar was all about color and provided far more information that I would have ever expected from a free webinar.

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of interior decorating or design I highly recommend that you check out the ASID website and their list of upcoming webinars.

Design Dissection: Entryway Vintage Makeover

Looking at the changes I made to my entryway/kitchen this weekend, I think I’m quite pleased.

What I love from the Entryway Vintage Makeover:

  • The price tag! I was able to do everything for under $50. My only new acquisition for this makeover was the poster order. The plates were already owned (along with the plate hangers), and for the door mat I simply switched the larger mat I had been using under the cat food dishes with the small door mat.
  • I was finally able to use something I had purchased for my “big girl home”. The Oneida Vintage Label plates have been moved from my bedroom at my parents’ house to storage in my apartment. It is wonderful to see them up on the walls.

To go back to the design elements that should be considered in an entryway:

  • Function. From the pictures I have posted thus far, the design elements addressing the functionality and organization of the entryway are not visible. The sliding closet to the left as you enter my apartment, serves two purposes – coat closet and pantry. I am a firm believer that everything needs a place and that like things should be kept together. Working in my limited space, I am able to keep item divided by function with some work. For the coat closet/pantry, I purchased a clothing storage bag from IKEA (I would share the link but I can’t seem to find it on their site). This keeps coats protected and in their own space. I use a hanger to keep umbrellas in one place and off the floor.
  • Style/Personality. I clearly went BIG with my theme/style for the entryway – Vintage. Since I am unable to paint the vintage posters and decorative plates served well to add color to the space. While the rest of my apartment is not nearly as overloaded with vintage items, I like that the entryway has such a strong and defined personality.
  • Lighting. This element is, in my opinion, one of the most important in any room. At the start of my apartment redecoration, I purchased an under-cabinet light. As a renter, I am unable to install nicer looking (and more effective) under-cabinet lighting. Wireless lighting options are the perfect solution to this.
  • Mirrors. There aren’t any mirrors in the space (as you can see). Being such a small and multi-functional space, I’m not sure if a mirror could work here. The only place I am considering is to mount a mirror on the back of the door. This would be a great last look-over before I leave the apartment, I’m just not sure if it will be too much….To Be Determined.
  • Artwork. There is clearly plenty of artwork in the space. The artwork is pulled together to appear better matched as a collection by its common vintage theme.
  • Door Mat. Not much to say here – I have one. It is nothing very colorful or fancy, but I think with all of the color in the art it is unnecessary.
  • Furniture. No room.
  • Organizers (an “In Box”). My “In Box” happens to be just outside of this space. I typically place my keys on top of the refrigerator, but as you can see in the photos above, all I had to do was add a serving bowl I had lying around to take away the cluttered look of keys and what-not lying on top of the refrigerator.

And there you have it. One entryway redecorated and ready to go…kind of. Being that in my apartment the entryway is also the kitchen there is still work to be done. Now we will move onto looking at organizing and decorating your kitchen.