Friday, October 5, 2012

Guest Post from Barnaby Kirsen of Boha Glass

Here is a nice little piece about handblown art glass, from one of the partners at Boha Glass in the UK. Real art glass makes a stunning conversation piece for any room.


Glass is a beautiful and wondrous material and the right piece will bring dazzling  light, color and elegance to any room in your home.

A piece of crystal glass could sparkle in a sunny window sill and reflect the light in a thousand dazzling directions.

A glass ornament could sit proudly on your mantel shelf to be admired and enjoyed by your guests. And when the hearth below the mantel is quiet in those balmy summer months, an elegant tall glass vase could fill the gap.

Flower vases make great centerpieces and sometimes they are so pretty you don’t like to spoil them by adding flowers!

A sturdy, well poised paperweight will help reflect light from shelves in a study and some of the more modern paperweights make great presents for him.

When choosing the right piece of glass it is always best to invest in quality. If you buy a handmade hand blown piece of glass signed by the artist then you have made a wise investment. Not only will you get to enjoy the art glass for years to come, it will be rising in value by up to 20% a year. Not a bad investment in these uncertain times.


Buying a cheap piece of glass might seem appealing, especially if it is a pretty factory made piece, but quality shines through and you won’t receive anywhere near as many admiring comments from visitors. Plus, as it is not an artist piece it is unlikely to be worth much more, even after ten years.

Although some factory glass is cheap and cheerless, there are lots of good looking pieces being produced. So, if you can’t afford a couple of hundred dollars you can still find pretty pieces for your home.

A friend of mine buys Clarice Cliff, some very collectible pottery. He buys like 20 pieces and then leaves them boxed in his attic for about ten years and then sells them on. He makes great money but I always feel a little sad that these wonderful handmade works are hidden away for a decade with no one to admire them.

A piece of glass that has been hand worked by a master craftsman in the searing heat of the furnace shows its superb and classy nature even before it has cooled on the artisan’s work bench.

Invest in high quality and you will have both a classy artwork all of your own as well as a little financial nest egg for the future.

Barnaby Kirsen is a partner at Boha Glass – an online shop selling in hand made art glass from Bohemia and beyond. You can read more on Boha Glass’s blog.
Thank you, Barnaby. Your art glass is truly exquisite! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Faux Painting Techniques- Color Washing

 If you're looking for a way to give your home a professional designer look without the expense of hiring one, there is a relatively simple faux painting technique that can transform ordinary walls into extraordinary walls. Color washing, also known as glazing, is a type of decorative painting that creates a multi-dimensional, textured effect to walls, ceilings or any surface it is applied to. The technique involves a two-step process where a base color is layered underneath a second glaze color. Various visual effects are created depending on the method used to apply the glaze mixture.

One of  the most straightforward techniques is to apply the glaze mixture with a soft, damp rag. This typically results in a soft, mottled or marbled look that is subtle, yet elegant:   

The lighter base coat can be applied with a paint roller. Water based, latex paint is the easiest to work with.  After the base coat is completely dry,  the wall will be ready for the glaze. Clear glaze can be mixed with your choice of latex paint or you can buy a tinted or pre-mixed glaze. To apply the glaze, dip a damp rag into the mixture and begin to wipe the color onto the wall in a circular motion, just as if you were cleaning the wall.  Keep extra rags on hand in case you make a mistake or need to thin the color out more.    
For a more textured look, a brush or a sea sponge can be used:
Eclectic Bedroom design by Phoenix Interior Designer Chris Jovanelly Interior Design

When applying glaze with a brush, start with a large "X" pattern, about 12 inches tall and wide. Continue to fill in the space using criss cross brush strokes until the color is blended with the base color showing through. Go back over the area with a clean dry brush to feather and soften any brush strokes that remain.

 If you choose to use a sponging  technique, wet the sponge with water and then wring it out  thoroughly. Dip the damp sponge into the glaze and dab the color on the wall. Continue blotting color in random patterns, leaving several inches between each blot until there is no more glaze left on the sponge. Go back and fill-in the empty spaces without reloading the sponge. Always work in small sections when color washing, in areas about 4' x 4'.    

Eclectic Living Room design by New York Interior Designer Kimberly DesJardins, KDI - KDIA

 You can pick up sample boards at paint stores such as Sherwin-Williams that you can use to practice faux painting techniques like color washing.  Once you have your favorite technique mastered, you can give your walls an artistic makeover that will certainly impress guests at your next dinner party!   

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guest Post- Lorena Benchis- Passionate DIY Decorator

I would like to thank Lorena Benchis, a passionate, DIY amature decorator and writer from the United Kingdom, who wanted to share her love and admiration for natural wood in interior design. Ok, take it from here, Lorena!

Let it be all wood.

There are few, if any, materials as natural to us homo-sapiens as wood. It provides our most basic material for building, for furnishings and for fuel – and has done so for a few hundred thousand years now! Perhaps that’s why we still love the look and feel of natural wood in our homes today when it’s no longer actually needed. There are always substitutes, but there’s nothing that looks and feels quite the same – and there’s surely no material that’s quite as comforting to body and spirit.

An increasing number of people are now going for the all-wooden look. Staring from a base (literally) of a natural-finish wooden floor with real wood throughout, or real wood veneers, they build up to include a range of furnishings in the same wood finish, color and style and let it run throughout the whole house. The overall effect of this wooden look is simply stunning. What’s more, it’s kind of safe; you know it’s going to last as long as you want it to, you know it’s going to look great, and you know it’s going to feel homey in a way that nothing else quite manages to.

by coco+kelley on Flickr
by IDA Interior LifeStyle on Flickr

If you can keep a coordinated style of wood throughout your home – this will really help with the overall interior design motif. There are many ranges of furnishings now available in 100% natural oak; a myriad of designs from traditional to contemporary. Consequently, you can choose a range of solid oak furniture that blends perfectly with everything. Whether you live in a country home, in suburbia, or in a city center apartment, wood blends well with any style.

Picking out a range that complements your home can include everything from sideboards to beds, kitchen tables to oak wardrobes, coffee tables, dining tables and occasional items – all with the same overall look and design that will work wonders in any home setting.

Lorena Benchis is an internet freelancer with a passion for interior design and DIY. Working from home, I get plenty of time for my own little DIY projects and I’m looking to share my wisdom in the blogosphere.

Who doesn't love wood in a home? Great job, Lorena!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fabulous Accent Walls

Accent walls add interest to a room and provide an impressive backdrop for focal points. An accent wall is also a safe and effective way to add color, pattern and texture to a large area without overwhelming the space.

In the bedroom, enhance the wall behind your bed with a dark hue to create a warm, cozy atmosphere. The color will help draw the eye toward the bed and enhance it's features. Choose a color that's in your bedding pattern, accent pillows or wall art.

Eclectic Bedroom design by Other Metros Interior Designer Cecilia Staniec

Metallic wallpaper makes a stunning statement in the dining room. The light reflecting qualities of the paper enhance the sparkle and shine of a dining room chandelier. This space is made for entertaining and a metallic wallpaper accent wall is a perfect way to show off  with class!

Modern Dining Room design by London Photographer David Churchill - Architectural Photographer

The accent wall in this living room helps define the high cathedral ceiling and adds emphasis to the large picture window, the sofa and the decorative ceiling fan. Use accent walls to enhance architectural features or to add depth or height to a wall.   

Contemporary Kitchen design by San Francisco Interior Designer Lisa Benbow - Garnish Designs

Accent walls can be any size and can be created with a variety of mediums including paint, textured paint, wallpaper, fabric, ceiling tiles, ceramic tiles, mirrors, glass blocks, brick, stone or wood panels. Faux panels with a wood or stone veneer can be used on walls that otherwise could not support heavy building materials.

Contemporary Bedroom design by San Francisco Interior Designer Jeffers Design Group

Walls can go far beyond just being structural elements that support the roof. Walls are important design elements that set the tone for how a room will ultimately look and feel. What you put on walls can make  you feel like they are closing in on you or create an open, peaceful, serene environment. Get inspired by the creative designers who use accent walls to transform an ordinary room into an extraordinary space! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Designer Tips for Creating Paint Color Schemes

One of the biggest challenges for many do-it-yourself homeowners is picking out interior paint colors. Have you ever browsed through a home decorating magazine and wondered what the secret is for adding just the right paint colors to each room? All you need is a basic knowledge of color, including how colors relate to each other and how color can affect the atmosphere and mood of a room.

The Color Wheel

You may remember seeing one of these from art class in school. The color wheel is one of the tools interior designers and decorators use to create color schemes for their design projects. There have been many variations of the color wheel, however, the type of wheel many designers rely on contain 12 colors, including primary (red, blue, yellow), secondary colors (green, orange and violet) and tertiary colors, which are a combination of primary and secondary colors such as blue-green and red-orange.

Color Schemes

Color schemes are a grouping of colors that are harmonious when placed together. Colors with harmony are aesthetically pleasing and balanced. Here are a few techniques designers use to create color schemes:


An analogous color scheme is created by using three colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel. An example would be a color scheme that included shades and tints of red, red-orange and orange.      


A monochromatic scheme is created by using different shades and tints of one color. It may sound boring at first, however, when done correctly, a monochromatic color scheme can still be stunning, as you can see below:

Mediterranean Living Room design by Dallas Interior Designer Kim Armstrong


A complementary color scheme uses colors that appear opposite of each other on a color wheel, such as blue and orange, red and green or violet and yellow. This type of scheme has variations such as a double complementary (tetradic), which uses two sets of complementary colors (ex. red and green and violet and yellow) or a split complementary, which uses a color such as yellow and the two colors on each side of its complement (violet), blue-violet and red-violet.

Traditional Kids design by Detroit Interior Designer Petrella Designs, Inc.

Eclectic Bedroom design by Los Angeles Interior Designer betsy burnham


This scheme uses three colors that are an equal distance apart on the color wheel such as orange, green and purple or blue, yellow and red, as you can see in this eclectic living room:

Eclectic Living Room design by Other Metros Interior Designer Anna Baskin Lattimore Design


A neutral scheme consists of colors such as white, beige, brown, black and grey. Neutral colors can also be used in all the other color schemes, as neutrals can usually be paired with any color.

Experimenting with Color

You can find some great, free tools online to experiment with colors. Check out Color Scheme Designer 3 to see how different color schemes work. If you have plans to paint a room in your home, you can use one of the free virtual color tools provided by any of these paint companies:
These online virtual paint tools allow you to upload your own photos or use one of their interior room scenes to virtually try on different paint colors. This is an excellent way to plan a color scheme for your next remodeling project.

If you’re still not sure how to start when adding color to the walls of a room, consider the other décor that will share the room. Pick up one or two of the predominant colors found in the upholstery, fabrics, artwork or decorative accents, which will also be a part of the room’s overall design, and build your color scheme from there.

ign'>Found Design

Monday, April 30, 2012

Home Decorating Themes Part 6- Asian

An Asian decorating theme is one of the most beautiful, elegant and exotic decorating styles. Although Asia is a vast continent with over 60 different countries and cultures, Asian decorating and décor is usually a reference to the styles, culture, art and fashion of the Far East, or what used to be referred to as the Orient. This includes countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea.

Asian style furniture has a very shiny, highly polished, lacquer finish. Exotic woods such as rosewood, mahogany, Poplar and bamboo are used to make exquisite furniture, which can be either intricately carved and painted or left very simple and plain with clean, straight lines.
Living spaces eclectic living room
Living spaces eclectic living room

Chinese Influences

Chinese style furniture has a very artistic, ornate appearance with beautiful, hand painted motifs, brass accents and/or intricate carved designs. If opulent settings appeal to you, look for chinoiseri style décor. Chinoiseri is a French word meaning ”Chinese-esque”. This term originated in the late 1800s and was first seen in Europe, as a decorating style influenced by Chinese art and culture. 
Asian Bathroom By Howard Wiggins of Howard Wiggins Interior Design in Nashv  sig  bedroom
Bright, vivid colors are commonly seen in Chinese decorating styles and in particular, the color red. Red is a color of good fortune in Chinese culture and is often paired with black or gold for a striking contrast. Other primary and secondary colors often used in Chinese art and décor are blue and yellow and green.
Vanessa De Vargas
Chinese porcelain has been highly sought after by collectors since the 17th century, when it started to become a prized possession of the upper-class in Europe and eventually, worldwide. The classic blue and white pattern known as Willow Ware is the most recognized style of Chinese porcelain. Jade and brass are also commonly seen in Chinese vases.
Displaying art collections contemporary living room

Japanese Influences

Japanese style furniture is more modest and simple in design. Shiny, lacquered finishes are still common. However, straight lines and minimal embellishments help create a harmonious balance with the minimalist approach of Japanese design.
Japanese style bedroom asian bedroom
This decorating style includes a lot of open space, neutral colors and a Zen-like atmosphere that is peaceful, uncluttered and natural.

craftsman teahouse asian living room
Traditional rice paper screens called Shoji screens can be used to create separate areas of a larger space while also diffusing the light. Combined with Tatami mats and traditional Japanese furniture such as platform beds and low profile coffee tables and end tables, your home will have an authentic Japanese look.

Japanese Master Bathroom asian bathroom

Natural Influences

Nature is a prominent theme in Asian decorating. Chinese décor has an abundance of animal motifs such as fish, butterflies, peacocks, cranes, tigers, horses, pandas, cats and mythical creatures such as dragons and the Phoenix. Japanese koi fish are commonly seen in Asian style art, as are a plethora of floral designs such as cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums, peony blossoms, roses and exotic plants such as bamboo and bonsai trees.

Hollywood Residence eclectic bathroom
Natural textures are seen in accessories such as straw mats, bamboo floors or blinds, rice paper screens and natural stone furnishings.

Asian Textiles

Asian textiles can truly be exotic treasures. Persian and Oriental rugs and tapestries are more than just decorative items. Often considered works of art, especially if they are antiques, Asian rugs and tapestries can command a high price.

Irene Turner at Home contemporary living room
Feldman Architecture contemporary family room
Chinese silk was once one of the most highly sought after Eastern treasures, and became the inspiration for the famous Silk Road trade route between the Far East and Europe. Silk can be made into many luxury home textiles such as sheets, bedspreads, duvets and decorative pillows.
Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Pillow

Calligraphy Pattern Pillow

Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Pillow

Asian Accessories

Asian style décor often features the beautiful and artistic calligraphy style characters that represent the words and letters of exotic languages such as Chinese and Japanese. These characters often appear on wall art, dinnerware or other decorative porcelain.

Kelly Mack eclectic powder room
Large Chinese fans or parasols make beautiful decorative ornaments. Silk wall scrolls, carved wood designs, Japanese Samurai swords and silk paintings make interesting and unusual wall décor.

Blessing In Red Fan

Pink Blessings Wall Fan

Laight Loft modern bedroom
silk painting
 Buddhism is one of the most common religions in the Far East and the likeness of Buddha is often used in Asian décor such as statues, figurines and fountains.

Asian Home Design asian living room
Accessories asian living room

Feng Shui

The Taoist philosophy of feng shui began in China over 3000 years ago. It is based on the idea that the natural living energy force called Chi can be balanced and harmonized in any given space to ensure the well-being and good fortune of the inhabitants.

Valerie Wills Interiors traditional living room
feng shui ball
Feng shui has become a popular design style in the Western world. From furniture placement, to color schemes, lighting, accessories and even architectural features, feng shui can impact every element of a home’s design scheme. While you don’t need to have an Asian decorating theme to use this design style, feng shui certainly fits in perfectly with Asian design.  
Monika Siebert Design Planning Inc  dining room
feng shui design

To see more Asian style decor for your home, visit my Asian decorating pages at HomeTreasureCove.