Decor&You Blog

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Smart Decor: The Magic of Motorized Shades


Imagine your home without window treatments.  Aside from feeling very exposed with the urge to duck behind a piece of furniture, I bet you also feel like the space looks unfinished and bare. That’s because window treatments play an important role in your home decor; they provide privacy, filter light, frame views to the outdoors, and enhance the look and feel of a space with their color, pattern, and shape.  In a house full of windows you may find yourself opening and closing the drapes and raising and lowering the blinds multiple times in a day. How many times have you left for work or vacation and then realized that you left the blinds wide open?  A motorized shade system can make window treatment management a snap and alleviate your privacy worries while you are away from home, which is why the Hunter Douglas Powerview® system is one of our favorite smart home innovations.

How does a motorized shade system work?

The Powerview Motorization system works through wireless communication to raise, lower, traverse or tilt window shades. It’s compatible with all types of shades including honeycomb, roman, pleated or roller and allows you to control your window treatments through your smart phone, tablet or remote control. 

The system’s app allows you to set “scenes” such as Wake Up, Reading, Lazy Saturday, or Movie Time.  You determine what position or light filtration you prefer for each scene to create the exact ambiance you desire.  You can do this for every room in your house and can create schedules to activate each scene as you see fit.  The system can even be linked to local sunrise and sunset times!  Once you set up your scenes, you can literally set it and forget it. And the system is very quiet, another big plus!

The wonderful thing about a motorized shade system is its convenience, especially in homes with many windows and in cases where they are large or hard to reach.  There’s no need to make the rounds to every window to adjust the shades multiple times a day and if you have to leave unexpectedly (or forget), privacy is as simple as accessing the app on your phone and pushing a button.

We believe a motorized shade system is the perfect marriage of beauty and function. If you are interested in learning more about incorporating the smart decor of a motorized shade system for you home, please contact us to set up a consultation today.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Downsizing Can Be Uplifting

 

There are many situations in life that present the opportunity for downsizing a household.  Perhaps your children have grown and moved out, you are moving into a smaller home, or simply want to pare down your belongings to just the necessities. Most people feel overwhelmed by just the thought of going through the process of downsizing. Sure, it takes time to go from room to room deciding what to keep or donate, but there is a tremendous upside to completing the journey.  In fact, once completed many people ask themselves why they didn’t downsize earlier! 

If you are preparing to downsize your household, here are just a few of the rewards and benefits you can look forward to.  

 

Less Clutter. After downsizing, you will only be left with necessities and items that you love. All of your excess clothing, dishes, furniture, and decor won’t be hanging around unused in the basement, closets, cabinets or boxes. 

Less Financial Stress.  With a smaller home, you are likely to have a lower mortgage or monthly rent payment and significantly reduced utility expenses.  This additional income can be used for retirement investments, vacation, or whatever you like.

More Free Time.  This is one of our favorites! A smaller house with fewer belongings means your housekeeping chores will be dramatically decreased.  Sure you will still have some things to do around the house, but you will have fewer rooms to clean and perhaps you won’t have any yard maintenance. 

Renewed Energy. A byproduct of less stress and more free time to do what you like is a sense of renewed energy!  It’s like a new lease on life and the choice is yours to create a new chapter. 

A Fresh Start.  Whether it’s a fresh start in a new city or a clean slate in a new home or condo to redecorate, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to reinvent your environment. Take this occasion to discover what you love and surround yourself with the people, places and things that make you happy.

 

If downsizing is in your future, you have some great benefits to look forward to! Need help with the process? We are here to assist, simply contact us today to set up a consultation.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Four Tips for Creating Your Outdoor Destination

Four Tips for Creating Your Outdoor Destination

How do your outdoor living spaces look?  Do they invite you out? As the weather warms and our gardens come alive, we tend to crave time outside in the sunshine. There’s no better place to do that then your own backyard.  One of the biggest trends in decorating today is extending your living spaces outdoors.  As homeowners maximize the use of their indoor areas they are finding that an easy way to create more space is to invest in decorating their porches, decks and patios. The challenge is that many homeowners don’t know how to approach furnishing and accessorizing outdoors.

At Decor&You, we apply the same focus on style and function to an outdoor space as we do indoors, treating it like a room or rooms, not just an adjunct area connected to your home.  With the following guidelines, you too can create outdoor spaces that will become some of your favorite spots to relax and entertain guests.

Create Rooms or Multi-Purpose Areas

The first step in creating an inviting outdoor destination is to decide how you want to utilize the space.  Do you want an area to relax in the sun and read a book or a place to sit and chat with your friends while enjoying a glass of wine?  Or perhaps you would like to cook or grill meals outdoors and have a dining table to host dinner parties.  Once you have decided how the space needs to function, develop an outdoor room arrangement plan to define each of the areas and how they will flow into one another.

Apply Indoor Comfort & Styling

Comfortable seating, tables, overhead and accent lighting and colorful accessories are some of what goes into creating functional and stylish indoor spaces. The same holds true outdoors.  The options are limitless when it comes to outdoor living room and dining furnishings. From cozy weatherproof fabric sectionals to classic rattan or wrought iron, you can easily find something that has your unique design aesthetic. Don’t forget the accessories like pillows, plants and area rugs. These help to make the space feel more finished.

Consider Shade & Warmth

For additional comfort, you must consider the heat of the sun on hot days and the chill of the night air when the season’s change. Options for shade include umbrellas, awnings or pergolas. A fire pit or fireplace is a great option for adding both warmth and ambiance.

Privacy Needs

Depending on your surroundings, privacy may or may not be necessary.  If you have neighbors close by or would like to create a space that’s a bit more secluded we have a few suggestions.  Drapery panels look fantastic if you have an outdoor space that has a roof or structure where you can install them.  Other options include building or purchasing stand-alone privacy walls or placing tall plants that will shield your space from view.  

Are you ready to get started on your creating your own outdoor destination?  

Now is the perfect time to be enjoying the nature and beauty of the outdoors.  If you need assistance, we would be glad to work with you to discover and design a space that is uniquely you.

Call Decor&You today to schedule your free outdoor living consultation. 203-405-2126

Posted 6 weeks ago

Making the Most of a Small Bedroom

Making the Most of a Small Bedroom

In our experience here at Connecticut Decor&You, while the modern bedroom embrace open floor plans for large airy abodes, many of us are still working with small spaces that don’t speak kindly to the contemporary trends. But this doesn’t mean you can’t create a stylish and livable space.

Let’s take a look at how to make the most of your small bedroom for a soothing and comforting atmosphere you long to enjoy every night.

Restrict your color palette

One of the easiest ways to enhance your small space is through the use of white and off whites. Think plain and simple especially for walls. Also, consider limiting your wall décor. The goal is to draw the eye to a window where it can explore what’s outside instead of being attracted to the wall itself which creates an inward feeling.

Now, we understand that an all-white theme is not for everyone. Adding your favorite color to the mix is a welcomed addition to your bedroom we just caution in the use of too many bright or bold colors. Think thoughtful accents against a white backdrop to solidify the openness you crave.

Let the light shine in

Or at least minimize them. You want to invite natural light into your space which cannot be accomplished with thick, bulky drapes. Instead, opt for flat panels of soft sheer fabric. Roller blinds are also a good option if kept naturally-inspired.
While you’re considering your window, think about placing one of your most used pieces of furniture under it. Whether it’s your bed or favorite chair, you can create a great place to enjoy the natural light while turning your focus outward instead of being restricted within the confines of your room.

Upgrade your closets

Old closets often create drab looks and feelings. Bring a modern edge to your bedroom while maximizing storage and functionality with customized built-ins that replace your closet space.
This concept is great for keeping your room organized which is very important in any space-restricted area. You will negate the invitation for clutter to gather on the ground or in other dead zones a closet can create.
Complete your look with sleek doors that produce a minimalist finish.

Have a customized bed made

Multi-tasking furniture is necessary in a small room and this includes your bed. Have a customized bed designed to fit perfectly into a corner or under a window to effectively use every inch of the floor while also providing extra storage above, below or to its sides. There are several ways to turn your bed area into desired book shelves, display cases or clothing storage. Try a customized headboard to create shelves or cupboards out of a typically nonfunctional space. Extend this storage space beyond the boundaries of the bed and it can double as a bedside table for subtle lighting and your favorite book. And never neglect under the bed storage which works fabulously for clothes and other personal items that are better tucked away behind closed doors.

Finish with wall mounted and translucent pieces

If you still need extra shelving or lighting, consider wall-mounted fixtures to save on floor space and to relieve the chaotic feeling that can occur when you can’t see the floor.

Finally, try transparent furnishings for any additional chairs or desk space you still need. You will create the illusion that these furniture pieces aren’t even there.

If you are interested in a private consultation to update your bedroom, give us a call today at our Southbury, Connecticut Decor&you at 203-405-2126

Posted 6 weeks ago

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Window Treatments

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Window Treatments

Window treatments may not be the first thing people notice when they walk into a room, but blinds, shades, and draperies are there in the background – or the foreground, depending on your style – doing an important job or two. Whether the role of a room’s window treatments is to create warmth, frame a view, block light, or add color and texture to the decor, they make an enormous difference in ambiance. Have you neglected the window treatments in your home? Maybe it’s because you’re not sure where to start. Here are five ways to spice up your window treatments.

1. Layer, Layer, Layer

Can’t decide on the window treatment you like best? There is relief for the fickle among us.  The layering trend provides the perfect excuse to purchase all the panels, sheers, and blinds you’ve fallen in love with in your hunt for the right window coverings. Display patterned sheers with solid panels. Hang a natural-looking roman shade or neutral honeycomb blind behind panels in a geometric pattern. Mix and match unexpected combos – like stripes and flora’s – and you might just discover a delightfully unique look for your space.

2. Go for Height

No matter how large or small your room is, floor-to-ceiling window treatments can add height and dimension where it was otherwise MIA. The job of window treatments is to shift and enhance a room’s dynamics and mood, and extra long panels can certainly make that happen. Hide the hardware of your panels with an attractive valance for even more visual interest.

3. Embrace the Natural Look

Eco-friendly is always trendy, and your décor can reflect your love for the earth with your use of natural materials in your window treatments. Use a bamboo rod instead of metal. Or choose woven wood shades.

4. Be Bold, but Not Fussy

There’s no need to overdress your windows with swags or jabots or tie-backs just because you think you need to accessorize. A vibrant Roman shade in a bold, large, colorful pattern will speak volumes about your sense of style and décor leanings. If you have a beautiful view to frame, it’s especially wise to keep your window treatments airy, light, and simple.

5. Make Your Window Treatments Do Their Job

You can use window treatments to ground your room. If you have floral wallpaper, ikat floor coverings, or cowhide upholstery, a simple Roman shade can ground your room and allow the eye to rest as it jumps from pattern to pattern.

Window coverings don’t have to break your decorating budget. Window treatments are simple to change, as often as the seasons shift, or your whims.

If you have the creativity and drive to start your own decorating business, we’d like to talk to you about a Décor & You franchise opportunity. Decor&You® has the experience, knowledge, resources, education and ongoing support to help you build a very successful and profitable decorating practice with no experience necessary.

Posted 6 weeks ago

The Secrets to Creating An Outdoor Living Room

The Secrets to Creating An Outdoor Living Room

There’s a new movement in outdoor living and it’s bringing the indoors outside. When we are inside we like to enjoy the view and the natural light from the outdoors.  But when we are outside, we want to bring the comfort and style from inside our homes to our outdoor spaces.  In recent years,we have worked with many Nation wide homeowners who are looking to create outdoor living rooms.  This is a far cry from a simple weather resistant dining set and umbrella.  Careful thought and planning goes into designing a great outdoor space and we have a few secrets to making it a success.

Here are the decorating secrets to creating a fantastic outdoor living room:

Focus on designing a functional space with a consistent look.

1.      Your outdoor living room should be as cohesive as your indoor spaces.  This means thinking about how you want to use the space and what type of design aesthetic you envision.  Consider how many people you want to be able to seat for entertaining. What type of environment would you like to create – casual and relaxed or elegant and formal? How will this space work with adjacent areas?

2.      Choose comfortable sofas, sectionals and/or seating in weather resistant fabrics. There are some fantastic options out there from great, slipcovered sectionals to wicker and rattan pieces with cushions. Think about adding ottomans or chaise lounges for maximum comfort.  A professional decorator has access to quality furnishings and knows how to pull them together in ways you might never imagine.

3.     Don’t forget tables.  Again, consider how you want to use your space.  If you’d like to enjoy snacks and cocktails in your outdoor living room, you’ll want a coffee table and side tables.

4.     Accessorize!  No space is complete without accessories.  An outdoor rug is a must to tie your décor together.  Pillows, ottomans, candles, and throws will make your space feel welcoming.  And don’t forget to add some plants and flowers!

5.     Use color and pattern. Feel free to go bolder here than you are comfortable doing indoors.  The outdoor setting will embrace brights in a way that an indoor space cannot.

Are you ready to bring the indoors out and create an outdoor living room? Call Decor&You  at 203-405-2126  today and let’s create a space you’ll love for years to come.

Posted 6 weeks ago

WOW Décor: Layered Light Plans

WOW Décor: Layered Light Plans

Creating a beautiful layered light plan is really an art form.  When done correctly, lighting will evoke a certain mood in a space. Think of your favorite local restaurant or spa and how you feel when you visit.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create spaces like that in your own home?  It can be done with a layered lighting plan.

Layered light plans include multiple sources and types of lighting to maximize functionality and enhance ambiance. It simply isn’t possible to achieve both of these with one light source in a room. There are four main types of lighting that must be considered to build your plan: natural, ambient, task, and accent.

Natural light

All lighting plans begin by looking at the natural light in a space.  This creates your canvas, so to speak.  You want to understand how the natural light affects the room during the day so you can direct it appropriately and compliment it with other light sources during the day.  

Ambient light

Ambient light has the important job of setting the mood by providing the main source of overall lighting. Its main function is to deliver enough light to safely maneuver in the room.  The color and intensity of this light is important as it sets the tone and creates the base from which the rest of the lighting plan will be built. Ceiling mounted lights such as chandeliers, recessed lights, wall sconces and table or floor lamps are common sources of ambient light.

Task Lighting

Just as it sounds, task lighting serves the specific purpose of providing light do perform specific tasks. This could include reading, food preparation or shaving for example. Pendant lights, vanity lighting and under cabinet lighting are all great sources of task lighting as they offer very targeted illumination.

Accent lighting

Last, but certainly not least is accent lighting. The purpose of this layer is to highlight specific objects or features within a room to create focal points or provide direction. Track lighting, interior cabinet lighting, or wall-mounted fixtures are good sources for accent lighting.

One of the services We provide for homeowners is lighting plans.  Our lighting plans incorporate beauty and function and create the appropriate mood or feeling for a space.  Please call 203-405-2126  for more information or to find a Decor&You near you.

Posted 6 weeks ago

Celebrating Women Who Paved The Way in Interior Design

Celebrating Women Who Paved The Way in Interior Design

Women were first making their mark in the interior design and decorating industry just over 100 years ago.  In the early 1900’s two talented and innovative women were instrumental in opening people’s eyes to new and refreshing decorating options.  We’d like to celebrate their contributions to our industry in this blog by telling you a little bit about each of them.

Elsie de Wolfe is known as the first commissioned Interior Decorator in America.  She was born in 1859 in New York City and started her professional career as an actress in the 1890’s.  It was her great fashion sense that was first noticed. As an actress she was praised for her wardrobe selection, which consisted of couture fashions she personally ordered from Paris.  In 1905, de Wolfe decided to become a professional decorator and one of her first jobs was decorating The Colony Club, New York City’s first women’s club. The public immediately took notice of her work. In a time where dark furnishings, heavy drapes, thick rugs and limited color use were the norm, de Wolfe’s feminine style stood out.  Her designs featured glazed chintz, tiled floors, light drapes, pale walls, and wicker chairs, a welcome change to dark and heavy interiors!

Elsie de Wolfe’s career took off and she wrote the book “The House in Good Taste” in 1913.  After The Colony Club, she went on to decorate more clubs, private homes all over the country and in Paris and even a dormitory at The Barnard College.

Another native New Yorker, Dorothy Draper is marked in history for establishing the first American interior design firm in 1923 at a time when women owned businesses were very rare.  Draper invented “Modern Baroque” style, which was a grand departure from the period room decor of the times. The distinctions of her interiors included the use of never before seen vibrant color combinations such as pink and chartreuse or black and white.  

Her look was dubbed the “Draper Touch” and featured cabbage rose chintz with bold stripes, black and white checkered floors, and intricate plaster designs and moldings over doors and on walls and ceilings.  She loved designing open spaces for hotels, resorts and theaters.  She also designed jet plane and automotive interiors! You can still see her work in The Victorian Writing Room at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulpher Springs, WV.

Elsie de Wolfe and Dorothy Draper were pioneers of American interior design.  Their confidence in presenting new ideas in design to the public is admirable and inspirational.  It reinforces the idea that creativity, focus and positive attitude are qualities of successful individuals.  

If you have the creativity and drive to start your own decorating business, we’d like to talk to you about a Décor & You franchise opportunity. Decor&You® has the experience, knowledge, resources, education and ongoing support to help you build a very successful and profitable decorating practice with no experience necessary.

Call our Connecticut Decor&you today for your free color consultation 203*405*2126

Posted 6 weeks ago

Purple Reigns in 2017

Purple Reigns in 2017

It’s that time again when color experts are announcing their top color selections for the coming year. Earlier this Fall,we reported Sherwin William’s pick of Poised Taupe http://decorandyoublog.tumblr.com/post/151375897691/move-over-gray-theres-a-new-taupe-in-town, a combination of earthy brown and conservative gray. Recently we learned that Benjamin Moore and PPG Pittsburgh Paints both chose shades of purple for their Color of the Year, Shadow and Violet Verbena respectively. The two are very different, though both firms noted their decision was based on their hue’s ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Benjamin Moore’s Shadow is a rich amethyst with the ability to reinforce shadow and light.  When used in decorating, this dramatic Renaissance purple can become the star of the room or work to stabilize other shades found within its surroundings.

The selection committee, an assembly of designers from diverse backgrounds, found inspiration from art exhibits, fashion, architecture, and other cultural influences both domestic and abroad. This year, they were highly affected by what they saw happening in the arts around the globe.  

PPG’s Violet Verbena, a grayish purple has been called a chameleon for its ability to work well in different settings and design aesthetics.  A total of 26 color experts from six different countries debate the options for three days before making a decision. Representatives from diverse industries such as architecture, automotive and consumer electronics study everything from fashion blogs and movies to the latest technology.

Violet Verbena was selected by PPG’s group to bring a sense of calm and enable our collective desire to lead an uncluttered lifestyle and disconnect from our ever-present cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices.

So, 2017 could be the year of purple.  What do you think? Do you like one of these shades better than the other?

When choosing color for your home, we always recommend first considering the palettes you gravitate toward and the existing furnishings in your home.  Beyond that, you should also look and how existing and new colors will flow throughout your home.  Need help? You don’t have to tackle it alone. Simply contact us at Decor&You 203-405-2126 and request to schedule a color consultation in your home.

Posted 6 weeks ago

This Year, Why Not Make a New Kind of Resolution?

This Year, Why Not Make a New Kind of Resolution?

Each New Year is a fresh start, a blank canvas that you can use to create something new and exiting.  Now we know there are all sorts of resolutions you can make, but we have a suggestion for 2017. Why not make your home the focus this year and take on a few decorating projects to create spaces you will love? We bet you will be amazed at how much happiness having a home that reflects your own style will bring you.  Make 2017 the year to love your home! Take a look at our list of decorating resolutions and pick a few to try.  

2017 Decorating Resolutions

1.    Create an accent wall.  Choose a room you spend a lot of time in, like your bedroom or living room.  Create an accent wall with paint or wallpaper.  Look to the other items in the room for color or pattern inspiration and select something that will provide a focal point.  If you need help, check out our tips for choosing paints colors.

2.    Incorporate color.  Step outside the neutral zone and bring a bold hue that you love into your décor.  Simple ways to do this include paint, accessories such as pillows and throws, hanging new artwork, or a vibrant new area rug. For tips on finding your color confidence, click here.

3.    Accessorize.  Bring personality into your space by accessorizing.  Start with a coffee table or bookshelf if you are just getting started.  If you aren’t sure where to begin, read our blog on artful accessorizing here.

4.    Spruce up your window treatments. Take a walk through your home and take note of the window treatments in each room.  Are they providing enough privacy, allowing enough light in or blocking it out as needed? Pick a room or two that could use some updating and follow these tips.

5.    Create a cozy outdoor space.  Your deck, porch or patio should be natural extensions of your home. Too often these spaces don’t get as much decorating attention as our indoor spaces.  For some great ideas, read our blog on Creating an Outdoor Living Room.

6.    Replace worn or outdated furnishings. Take a quick inventory of your older pieces and determine whether they are ready for replacement. If you have a piece that still has good bones, consider reupholstering it.

If you feel your home is ready for a major decorating project or you’d like assistance completing one or more of your resolutions, please give us a call at 203-405-2126 today!

Posted 6 weeks ago