When it comes to decorating a home, the color palette is one of the
very first things that needs to be decided. It can can also be one
of the most challenging parts of your home design journey, but it
doesn’t have to be! Read below for some easy and helpful tips on
creating a color palette for your entire home.
What colors doyoulike?
When you first start thinking of a color palette, it is easy for
your search to become overwhelmed with current trends. However, it
is important to focus on colors that you like, not what home design
magazines have decided is popular. A great way to really figure out
what color combinations you like is to search for inspiration in
things around you like nature, photographs, or artwork. This can
point to color combinations that you may not have thought of before.
Also, a piece of artwork or fabric that you plan on using in a space
can serve as a starting point for choosing the rest of the colors.
If you do not know where to begin, an easy rule-of-thumb for
creating your color palette is 60-30-10. 60% dominant color – walls,
floors or cabinets. 30% secondary color – your furniture, area rugs,
and window treatments. 10% accent color – throw pillows and other
decorative accents. Deciding on the emotion you want to convey in
the room will help you determine where the colors will fall into
this rule. If you want a dramatic space, choose a bold color as your
dominant and neutrals as your secondary and accent. If you want
soothing, choose a neutral as your dominant and brighter colors as
your secondary and accent.
Where to begin in your home?
Once you have decided on a color palette, a great place to start is
in the largest and most used room in your home, likely your kitchen
or living room. Not only is this where these colors will be seen the
most, but there are other rooms directly next to this space making
it easier to see your palette develop as you move through the home.
Each room gets different amounts of lighting which makes a big
difference on the way the colors are perceived. Take it slow,
working one room at a time and one floor at a time.
Test your colors
If you only follow once piece of advice in this post, follow this
one! Colors vary drastically when you look at them in a magazine,
computer, paint store, and even from wall to wall in the same room.
Visit a store and get samples of paint, fabric, and wallcoverings
in the colors and patterns you like. Try to pin down a specific
color that you love. For example, you want navy blue but is that
Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore HC-154) or Van Deusen Blue (Benjamin Moore
HC-156)? Take the samples home and hang them in the rooms where you
plan to use them. Leave them there for a few days to see how they
look throughout the day, it may surprise you how your initial
thoughts have changed.
Remember, the color palette you choose is just a guide. Do not feel
that you cannot vary from the colors you have chosen. Go up or down
a few shades depending on the room and what you want to achieve in
that space. Don’t be afraid to have fun and throw in additional
colors or use the same fabric in multiple rooms. Follow your own
rules and create a space as you want to live in it.
Whether you need a place to run a business, occasionally work from
home, or just a spot to pay the bills and organize family life,
every home deserves more than just an extra chair and old desk to
get some work done in. Creating a space that is comfortable and
flows with the rest of the home, all while serving you in the most
effective way possible will make for a home office that you will
never want to leave.
When designing your office, keep in mind what kind of work will be
done in the space. Are you going to have clients stop by for
appointments? If so, make sure it is large enough to offer plenty of
seating and private enough to keep the daily goings-on of your home
from interfering with your work. Are you using it to pay the bills
and keep track of busy children’s schedules? Perhaps it is best to
keep your office in the thick of family activity.
Consider your work flow when shopping for furniture. What items do
you need at your fingertips while working? Keep this in mind and
find pieces that are both beautiful and functional. Also, think
about the décor of the rest of your home as well when looking for
furniture. Allow the style, whether it be traditional, contemporary,
or farmhouse flow into your office letting it integrate in as part
of your home. This will create a space that is comfortable and
unique to you, helping to fight off any bleak Monday morning blues.
Another primary consideration when designing your office is
technology. When arranging your furniture think about your computer,
printer, phone,Wi-Fi router and their power cords. Strategically
placing these items near outlets will prevent a mess of wires
running throughout your office and can offer you easy and creative
solutions to hide the wires all together.
Personalize your space. Unlike your desk at work, you have real
opportunity to design this space as you like. Paint the walls a
color you enjoy and decorate with personal accessories like photos
or artwork. Face your desk towards a window to give yourself
something pleasant to look at when you take a break from the
computer screen. Include a sofa or easy chair for relaxation or a
small conference table for a change of pace from your desk.
The talented designers at Babel’s would be glad to assist in the
design of your home office. Do you have additional tips for
designing the perfect office? Share them with us.
It may seem hard to believe but the first day of spring is only 2
weeks away! We canfinallysay
goodbye to the cold and dark days of winter and let the warm
sunshine and cool breezes fill our homes. A simple and fast way to
prepare your home for spring is to update your window treatments.
Window treatments are a large factor in the the overall design of
your home. Time to put away your current cozy and warm treatments
and replace them with a light and airy spring alternative.
Choose your fabric carefully
Consider brighter colors when deciding on fabric choices for your
springtime window treatments. Lightweight and sheer fabrics make for
great choices to appear light and airy while still letting some
sunlight filter through. Opt for a bright Roman Shade or light
colored blinds to bring the fresh spring feeling into your home.
Coordinate throw pillows or cushions in a similar color and fabric
to create a cohesive design with the rest of the room.
Say no to any fabric at all
If you have stunning views that you don’t want to cover up or simply
don’t care for the look of fabric window treatments, consider
interior shutters. Offering you the privacy you need while still
providing you the views you want. Similar to blinds, interior
shutters are a beautiful option that allow for easy adjustment of
light and privacy. The minimalism and classic look of interior
shutters makes them a versatile option for any interior style.
If the calendar says spring but the weather still says winter,
consider layering your window treatments. A sheer fabric layered
underneath the dark winter fabrics allows the light to come in while
keeping the cold winter temperatures out. Another great option is
cafe style curtains, short window treatments that cover the bottom
portion of the window. With the top half of the window uncovered,
these let in a lot of light while the covered bottom portion reduces
glare and offers plenty of privacy.
Window treatments are the perfect way to give your home that fresh
spring renewal feeling. Consult with any of the talented designers
at Babel’s to learn more about freshening up your home just in time
Barn doors are not just for barns anymore. This country farmhouse
inspired design has made its way indoors and become a popular piece
of interior décor. A space saving statement piece, these doors
offer a decorative yet functional alternative to traditional
swinging doors. Similar to pocket doors, these are very popular in
small homes or apartments where every square inch of space counts.
However, their versatile and unique aesthetic make them popular in
any style home.
Don’t let the term barn door fool you, while this style of door did
earn its name from the typical sliding doors found on a barn, the
interior doors are available in a wide variety of styles. Whether
you decide on classic reclaimed wood, stainless steel, or a frosted
glass style, these doors add character to any space. Barn doors can
be designed to slide open to one side or slide apart as a space
saving version of French doors.
Unlike pocket doors, barn doors are hung with their hardware outside
of the door frame. This makes them easier and more cost effective to
install. Additionally, pocket doors are meant to be hidden when
opened, contrary to barn doors which take up a significant amount of
wall space when open. It is important to keep in mind that since
barn doors are hung outside the door frame, the door is meant to
glide in front of the drywall. This means that there will typically
be a small gap between the door and the wall when the door is
closed, preventing complete privacy.
As one of the most sought after features in any style home, these
doors usually act as the focal point for design. Typically chosen
in a material or style that stands out compared to the rest of the
space, these doors are at the heart of the design of a space. These
doors also make great additions to entryways where a door may not be
necessary. The visual interest that is added when the door is
installed can double as wall art and complete the space in a way
that would not be possible otherwise.
If you are thinking about adding a barn door to your space, consult
one of the talented designers at Babel’s to find the right one to
suit your style. Do you already have a barn door? Share a photo with
If you ask a designer about their design process, the term “mood
board” is more than likely going to come up in conversation.
Gathering samples and putting them together to present to their
client is a process that designers have been going through for many
years. However, these boards are a great tool for homeowners to use
as well. Creating a mood board, or inspiration board, is useful to
curate ideas for a space and is a fun way to become excited about
the design process. Your designer will use your finished product to
develop a clear picture of your style and what you are looking for.
How to Begin Your Mood Board
A fun and unique way to approach mood boards is like an adult
scrapbook. A good starting point can be a color scheme or interior
design style that you like, such as “navy and yellow” or “industrial
lofts”. Starting with this in mind, begin by looking through
magazines and tearing out photos that inspire you or by saving
photos from your favorite interior design websites. Browse fabric
and wallpaper books for patterns and colors that you like. Often the
manufacturer will ship you small samples for free. The samples are
great ways to incorporate texture to your board, a key feature that
will be missing if you only use magazine and printed photos.
What kind of photos to use
The kinds of photos that you put on your mood board will depend on
where you are in the design process. If the redesign of your space
will be happening right away, focus your board to pieces that are
practical for your space. For example, if you are designing a room
that has a piece of furniture that must stay, like a bed or dining
room table, take a photo of it and put it on your mood board. This
way you can build your design around the existing pieces and see how
new colors, patterns, and textures will coordinate.
If you are just beginning to gather ideas for your design, you do
not need to limit yourself to interior design photos. Find anything
that inspires you and put it on your mood board. Whether it be a
photo of a dress from your favorite designer or a photo you took on
your vacation, these images begin to point out subtle themes that
can translate to interior design. For example, perhaps the reason
you like the photo of the dress is because you like the softness and
flow of the fabric, not because you want to wear it to dinner on
Friday night. The recurring themes in these inspiration photos can
guide your design direction and help to uncover new color palettes
and your design style.
What about digital boards
Websites like Pinterest and Houzz capitalized on the idea of mood
boards by creating an easy to use platform for people to save images
that inspire them. However, it is very easy to become carried away,
saving hundreds or even thousands of photos to one board. This can
cause the board to lose direction and no longer provide practical
inspiration for a space. To prevent this, print the photos you like
from these websites and attach them to a physical board. If you
prefer a digital board, copy and paste to a blank Word document.
Limiting yourself to just the space of the board forces you to
narrow down your choices and helps to focus your design.
Keep in mind that items you like in the photos on your board may not
be available to you. Many high end interior design items are custom
and you may not be able to find the exact same piece. Also even if
you can find the exact same piece, it may not fit within your
budget. It is important to use these boards as inspiration, not a
shopping list. This will help to avoid any disappointment when you
begin shopping for your space.
Have you completed a mood board for your space? Share it with us, we
would love to see what inspires you!
You know the rules: pink is for girls and blue is for boys.
According to today’s decorating standards, this rule is outdated and
limited. As these traditions change, neutral sophistication is
becoming more popular in nursery design. With many conventional
decorating options still leaning towards traditional, gender-based
decor, neutral nurseries can seem difficult to design. However, your
options stretch far beyond yellow and gray, Don’t become
discouraged, become inspired!
Start with your color palette
A palette of gray or beige creates a relaxed space that can be
customized over time. A neutral wall color is a great rule of thumb
when it comes to decorating any space, but is especially important
when designing a gender-neutral nursery. This allows you to start
incorporating themes and other colors once the baby is born.
If a totally gray nursery is too basic for your tastes, don’t be
afraid to add color or patterns. The use of color is what helps to
differentiate a child’s room from any other room in your home.
Painting an accent wall or adding a fun and playful wallpaper are
great ways to add visual interest to the space.
Less is more
If you want to incorporate a theme, a few key pieces are all a room
needs to appear cohesive. Geometrics, animals, and under-the-sea
themes are very popular in gender neutral design. Resist the urge to
stencil a Pinterest-worthy, intricate jungle scene on the wall.
Rather, incorporate the theme with small touches through
accessories. Bedding, throw pillows, blankets, and a few decorative
elements are great ways to introduce a theme. This also allows you
to swap themes as your child grows and their interests change.
function over fashion
Adaptability is a desirable feature for any child’s space. For many
new parents it can seem like it only took a few months for their
newborn to grow into a toddler. When the new baby arrives, the once
very important design of the nursery becomes an afterthought. A
design that is able to grow with your child eliminates headaches
that your future, child-chasing self will thank you for.
You and your baby will be spending a lot of time in the nursery,
making it essential to choose pieces that work well and are
comfortable. Choose your furniture wisely, do you really need a
separate changing table or can you utilize the top of a dresser that
will last well beyond the diaper years? Additionally, some cribs are
made to transform into a twin size bed, eliminating the need to shop
for a big-kid bed when the time comes. Purchasing a gliding chair in
a neutral pattern and using simple wicker baskets for organization
make these easy to re-purpose in other parts of your home when they
are no longer needed for your baby.
There are plenty of options for gender neutral design and following
these tips will help you create a serene yet playful nursery. If you
are still looking for ideas, the talented designers at Babel’s would
be happy to give you even more tips and advice for creating the
perfect nursery to grow with the newest addition to your family.
By this time of year, the winter seems endless. The snow has lost
its cozy appeal and our favorite hat has gone from cute to
snow-soaked. With shorter, colder, and snowier days we often find
ourselves trapped indoors. It is easy to become tired of the décor
around us and become desperate for a change. Instead of cursing the
snow and the cold, be inspired by these five home design ideas that
will put you in a warm weather state of mind.
1. Embrace Outdoor Living
In a list of design ideas to put you in a warm weather state of
mind, embracing the outdoors may seem like a crazy concept. However,
rather than letting your outdoor space become barren in the winter,
decorate for the cold. Whether it is a fire pit, a balcony, or
covered patio, decorating to embrace the winter will help you get
year round use out of the space. Envision yourself toasting
marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate at a luxe ski chalet when
designing your winter outdoor space. The proper use of candles,
blankets, furs, and pillows will transport you from the slushy
suburbs to the fluffy, snow covered Rockies.
2. Hanging Chairs
Hammocks and hanging chairs are the ultimate in outdoor
relaxation. While these comfortable seats began as outdoor
pieces, they are gaining popularity in indoor spaces as well.
Not only do these hanging chairs offer comfort and relaxation,
they are also available in a wide variety of materials, styles,
and colors making them a versatile statement piece. A great way
to bring the outdoors inside, set it in your living room or
bedroom and enjoy the comfort and functionality of this fun
3. Decorate with bright Colors
Brighten up the interior of your home by decorating with pinks,
yellows, and oranges. Pillows, cushions, or other accessories are
easy ways to bring a cheerful mood to any space. Since they are
simply accessories they can be changed out as your tastes, desires,
and the seasons change. Consider incorporating bright and warm
colors in unexpected areas like the kitchen or bathroom. Use bright
dishes, hand towels, or place mats for a small pop of color to turn
the winter blues around.
4. Incorporate Flora and Fauna
Plants add a subtle sophistication to any room and in the winter
they can serve as reminder of what is to come in the spring.
Succulents are a great option due to their hardy nature.
Additionally, their interesting shapes and colors can also lend
themselves to the visual interest and depth of the design of a room.
Consider the pots or containers you are using as well. Unique and
brightly colored pots are also a great way to bring in those summer
colors as mentioned before. An indoor herb garden in the kitchen or
simply bringing in new flowers from the florist are other low
maintenance options to bring freshness and life into any space.
5. Winterize Your Screened-In Porch
A screened in porch is typically thought of as a three season space.
A relaxing refuge in the spring, summer, and fall goes without use
in the winter. Replace the screens with glass to protect from the
elements and install a wood-burning stove or fireplace to provide
warmth. Whether you use the porch for mid-day naps, dining
alfresco, or as a place to enjoy the falling snow and a book, small
steps can make the coziness of the porch last all four seasons.
Although the outdoors may be snow covered and cold for a little
while longer, following these easy home design ideas will help
keep that end-of-winter-blah feeling at bay. Do you have other
tips to bring energy and life back into your home? Share your
ideas in the comments!
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