Choosing the Perfect Dining Table

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The dining table is more than just a place to sit and eat meals; more often than not, it exists unoccupied. That’s why it’s important to choose a dining room table that suits the space and is complementary to your interior decor.

The following tips will help you choose the right dining table for your home, in terms of size, shape, seating, etc.

The basics. First, there are some general basics to keep in mind before you get into the details. Consider that you’ll want at a table that’s at least 36-inches wide to accommodate place settings and food. Also, you will want to have between 42- and 48-inches of clearance between the edge of the table and the wall, or any other furnishings, so seated occupants have enough room to enter and exit their chairs comfortably.

If you have a smaller dining room space, you want to measure and mark these distances so you don’t end up buying a table that nobody can fit around!

Size. Now that you have got the basic dimensions down, you can begin to think about table size. If there are rarely more than two to four at your table, there is no need to splurge on a larger table if you don’t have the space. However, if you entertain, have a larger family, etc. you will want a table that seats everyone comfortably. If you don’t have a large room, consider purchasing a table with leaves that extend the length temporarily when necessary.

If you have a hard time visualizing, use graph paper to draw a scaled model of your space, furniture and all. Or, use bed sheets or blankets folded to the prospective table size to see if it works for you.

Shape. The most classic shapes for dining room tables are rectangular and oval. However, round and square tables are becoming more popular. In most cases, you should choose a shape that complements the shape of the room. So, a room that is longer than it is wide would have a rectangular or oval-shaped table, and a square room would have a round or square-shaped table.

Keep in mind that the larger the round table is, the more difficult it can be to reach for food or to pass dishes across the table. If you love the look of an oversized round table, consider finding a complementary lazy susan when you have guests.

Looks. Most dining room tables are made of wood. However, the finish of that wood is completely dependent on your style. A darker wood will look more formal, distressed or barely-finished natural woods will look more casual. If you are a modernist, or you have a small dining area, consider a glass table top to create the illusion of space.

Seating. If you have the room, go all out and find the most comfortable dining room chairs you can find. There is nothing worse than enjoying a delicious meal and wonderful conversation while counting down the minutes until you can get out of the chair. Purchase your dining room chairs with comfort as the primary consideration and looks as the secondary component.

If space is an issue, keep your eye out for chairs with a minimal profile so they don’t take up a lot of space, or use a bench on one side that can be tucked away when it isn’t being used.

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Color Combinations that Always Look Fabulous

color-combinations-that-always-look-fabulousDeciding to change your interior color scheme can seem ambitious, especially for those who are new to it. While no changes are absolutely permanent, it’s not necessarily cost effective to re-paint an entire interior or purchase new furnishings should you decide you’re unhappy with the final outcome. Fortunately, there are a few time tested, tried-and-true color combinations that always look great together.

What’s the deal with color relationships anyway?

First, let’s talk a little bit more about colors and their relationships. Many moons ago, artists put together The Color Wheel, which helps to show color variations, as well as the relationships that exist between various colors. For example, complementary colors live directly opposite one another on the wheel. Analogous colors live in triads right next to one another. Both of these color relationships are considered harmonious.

Then, you have your neutral colors. These are colors like whites, creams, beiges, and browns. They can provide a backdrop that remains consistent while your accents, furnishings, and textiles comprise ever-evolving color schemes.

All of these terms, complementary, analogous, and neutral are thrown around willy-nilly in the world of interior design. But, at the end of the day, the important thing is that you are happy with the color combinations you select.

5 Examples of Tried-and-True Color Combinations

  1. Blue and White. This color combination explains why Blue Willow and Delftware are timeless china collections. It is clean, bright, and can work with any design motif – be it antique traditional or über-modern. Depending on the balance of blue and white, you can create a light, energetic seaside living space or a soothing bedroom retreat. Throw in a pop of bright yellow if you want to energize it a bit.
  2. Brown and Blue. Brown is a neutral color, and it is also one of the most common colors found in nature, which is why it pairs so well with blue. From bright blues to more earthy gray-hues, you really can’t go wrong. You can also swap your blue accents for green ones, without ever changing your brown backdrop should you want to refresh your look down the road.
  3. Black and White. From black and white checkered flooring, to striped walls and floral motifs, black and white are a classic color combination. One of the most fun aspects of using black and white in an interior design is that they pair well with almost any other color, especially, primaries, and you can safely layer different black-and-white patterns without worrying about clashing.
  4. Turquoise and Red. The first three examples are safe and lean toward the traditional. For the last two, we’ll feature color combinations with a little more pizzazz. Turquoise is an energized blue-green combo that will liven up any room. Pair it with red, and you have a striking combination. If turquoise walls seem too bold for your taste, then use light neutral wall colors and add your turquoise and red via furnishings, artwork, and accents.
  5. Green and Yellow. This combination is a citrus palate: greens, yellows, and oranges all work well together and you can add some blue too. Earthier versions of these colors, as seen in this retro-inspired backsplash can be provide a more muted aesthetic, or you can add a vibrant, warm energy to a space by using them in their full glory.

When in doubt, hire an interior design professional to help you select the color combinations that best reflect your style. What are some of your favorite color combos?

Creating a New Space on a Budget

If you are feeling the itch to redecorate, but don’t necessarily have the time or budget to scratch it, these tips and tricks can breathe new life into your living space in no time flat, and without breaking the bank. From touch-up paint and accent walls to changing accent pillow shams and reupholstering key members of your furniture family, you can get a whole new look without spending much at all.

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Painting grants a new lease on wall life

There are two options for sprucing up the paint colors on your wall: touching up the paint you have, assuming you like it, or repainting your walls entirely.

Touch-ups. You may find that re-painting isn’t necessary if you simply touch up your existing paint. The steps to completing a professional-quality touch-up paint job are:

  • Clean the wall first: You may not notice it but your wall has probably developed barely-there layers of dust and grime you’ve grown accustomed to. Then there are the more obvious smudges and marks. Use a damp cloth and wash the wall before painting it, otherwise there will be a noticeable difference when you add a fresh, clean patch of paint.
  • Fix any holes or dings. Take a piece of fine sand paper and go over the area to be repaired in order to get rid of raised or flaking drywall fragments. Use spackling compound and a putty knife to fill the marred spots in and let it dry completely.
  • Use primer. Most people skip this step, which can lead to an noticeable, uneven finish. Use a small to medium-sized paint brush and only prime the area that is going to be touched up. Let the primer dry completely.
  • Paint. Ideally, you will have stored extra cans of the paint in question. This will always be the best match. Otherwise, you may have to work with a paint professional to match it. Use the same type of applicator that was used before to match the texture. If brush strokes are visible, use a paint brush and feather the touch-up out from the center of the repair. If no brush strokes are visible, use a roller.

New paint. If you are willing to do the job yourself, re-painting can be quite affordable. However, a great alternative to repainting your walls is to locate a wall or two that could be used as an accent wall. In a fraction of the time it takes to re-paint an entire room you can have a whole new look and feel.

Re-upholstering is the ultimate way to re-use favorite chairs or sofas

Have a favorite chair or couch that is fraying around the edges? Start shopping for durable fabrics you love and plan a reupholstering project. Reupholstering is easy, really! Start with something simple, like a dining or living room chair, and work your way up to a sofa. This article from Mother Earth News is a wonderful resource.

Replace a few textiles for a re-vamped look

Much of your design is created by the textiles you use to decorate your living spaces. Changing out your window panels, duvet covers, and pillow shams can make it feel like your house was entirely redecorated. Even swapping furniture and textiles between rooms, or rearranging your furniture can update your look and won’t cost you a penny.

Need help breathing new life into your interior design? Contact Kristina Wolf Design. We make sure that your living space reflects your family’s style and needs, and we can work with just about any budget. Start 2014 off in updated style!

Decorating Your New Babies Nursery

decorating-your-new-babies-nurseryDecorating a nursery is such an exciting and tender interior design project. It is a chance for parents to channel their enthusiasm while waiting for the newest member of their family to arrive. That being said, the days of “pink or blue?” have faded into the past. Parents in the modern era are faced with a bevy of decisions: traditional or contemporary? Gendered or neutral? Theme or no theme?

We’ve put together a series of questions that can help you to decide the best way to decorate your nursery using a style that complements your home, your lifestyle and your taste.

Are you a serial decorator?

Or, how much do you enjoy changing the aesthetics of your rooms or living space? If you can’t keep your eyes away from design magazines, are always up on Pantone’s annual color palates, and love nothing more then to spend a weekend taping and giving new life to painted walls, you can design ahighly-stylized nursery today knowing you will look forward to changing it again within a few years. If you would prefer to create a nursery that will easily transition into a young child’s room, or guest room, you may want tobe more conservative in your selections.

What’s your design style?

What style do you want for the nursery? If you are a modernist, you may want something a little more minimal, free of the frills, bells, and whistles that so often become a part of a baby’s nursery. If you are a traditionalist, you may want a “no restrictions” clause in your interior design plan so you can incorporate the canopies, curtains, and prince- or princess-like accessories that will transform the room into a world of its own.

Do you want a theme?

You can create any theme under the sun, and it can be an easy way to build your nursery design by providing an intrinsic color palate. However, a theme can also lock you into a very specific look. Your child may love it once he is old enough to express his own tastes, which happens sooner than you would think. Or, your 2.5 year old may tell you she wants a fish bedroom instead of a princess room, which will take you back to square one. If you aren’t a serial decorator, as mentioned above, you may want to keep walls or wallpaper relatively versatile and leave themed items to window treatments, area rugs or pillow shams, which can be easily changed out down the road.

What furniture is necessary?

If you want to go all out and buy new nursery furniture, go ahead. However, many nursery items, such as changing tables and rocking chairs may only be used for the first year, or less. You may find that, other than the crib, there are smarter ways to go about acquiring ideal nursery furniture, and for the room it will become later on. For example, a dresser is easily converted into a changing table with the right pad and will transition back to a child’s dresser within the first two years. Rather than a rocking chair, you may find it’s better to reupholster an old chair in the garage, or one you find at a thrift store, that will become a favorite reading chair or comfort spot for your child throughout childhood.

5 Simple Ways to Breathe New Life Into Your Living Room

Sometimes, we need a major interior design overhaul. Other times, some simple fixes are all that are needed to breathe new life and energy into a living space. If you are looking for room decor ideas that will give your living space a face-lift without breaking the bank – or your back – here are some ideas for you.

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5 (Relatively) Simple Room Decor Ideas for a Whole New Look:

  1. Add Wall Art. Painting a room is a tried and true way to change it up. However, wall art adds a completely different dynamic. It can even be 3-D. Whether you choose to draw a design freehand, use pre-made wall art decals, or trace stencils or pre-made forms, wall art can add a conversation-worthy element to your room decor. Here are some examples:
    • Whimsical. These lavender walls, adorned with a hand-painted, gold, bare-branched silhouette of a cherry tree add a magical feel to this small dining room.
    • Creative. This urban apartment mimicked the skyscape outside, adding a creative element to the living room. Best of all, the wall art is a decal, ideal for the non-artist decorators out there.
    • Patterns. Add an ornate pattern to a wall by using large stencils. They are easy to do on your own, using a level to ensure the lines are straight.
  2. Never Fear Stripes. Stripes are definitely in right now but they can be a little daunting for the first-time DIY striper! If you would like to add stripes to a room, take it easy. Tackle a striped accent wall, rather than the whole room, so you aren’t overwhelmed. If you feel confident, go ahead and use bold colors. If you feel more conservative, stripes in muted shades can create the texture and visual interest you want without the risk of creating visual chaos.
  3. Reupholster Your Furniture. Reupholstering is one of the most savvy things a homeowner can learn to do in order to get a whole new look from a solid piece of furniture. Plus, repurposing household linens or fabrics into new chair covers or slipcovers is good for the planet too! Look at what a little paint and new upholstering did for this chair – it went from Granny’s House to Swank Central.
  4. Go Shopping at Home. One of the best room decor ideas for a new look is to simply go shopping at home. Go through boxes of trinkets and textiles you tucked away in the garage or a storage unit. Walk through your rooms and consider how different pieces of furniture, accent pieces, and artwork might look better somewhere else. With a little rearranging and switching around, you can have a whole new look without ever leaving your house or spending a single penny.
  5. Invest in High-Quality Pillows and Shams. Accent pillows can completely transform the way a living room looks without changing much else. Make an investment in high-quality accent pillows and changeable pillow shams, and you will be able to make a change from conservative, to eclectic, to contemporary in a matter of minutes. Another quick change? Look for window curtain panels when they go on sale. Purchase a few sets in various styles and colors, and that blend with your pillow shams. In less than a half an hour, your room can have a whole new feel.

If you are interested in professional assistance for room decor ideas that will change your living spaces, contact Kristina Wolf Design, Inc.  We can give you the complete interior design overhaul you have always wanted, or can suggest and implement simple changes that will transform your home.