cottage decorating ideas, coastal decorating ideas, country decorating ideas

Rooms To Love: Rustic Dining Charm

Rooms To Love: Rustic Dining Charm

Balance and symmetry are key elements in this lodge dining room, not only in the architecture, but the furnishings as well.  Symmetrical vaulted beams set the tone for a dramatic dining room and give the opportunity for additional natural lighting.  Sconces flank the large central window to frame the over-sized wrought iron chandelier perfectly, and all three lighting elements are made of heavy duty materials adding to the rustic charm.  Twig furniture brings an unexpected and unique flair to this space, and is done in a natural wood finish to emphasize the woodsy surroundings of the home.  Bringing in a floral rug and soft upholstered seating adds a touch of femininity to the masculine and large scaled furniture.

Lodge Dining Room | Rooms To Love: Rustic Dining Charm
photo: Southern Living

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Design Tip: Organize Your Entryway

First Impression Entryway

Today’s front and back entryways seem to be a source of clutter, extra “stuff”, and disorganization for most homes!  It is a natural drop off station, a place for reminders as you are coming and going, and where hats/mittens/coats/shoes stack up all year round.  It is no wonder clutter and chaos can quickly occur in a busy household.  Here are a few helpful hints to create a practical, organized, and aesthetically pleasing mudroom:

  • The First Impression: An important starting point in re-organizing your entry way is to identify what kind of first impression you want to create for your home.  Choose a color palette that will enhance the desired feeling and that will blend into the rest of the home effortlessly.
    Organize Your Entryway | First Impression Entryway photo: Mochatini Blog
  • Practical Pieces: Brainstorm what you want functionally from your mudroom, how much storage you need, and what things in particular you will need to store on a daily basis.  Then choose pieces that will support those functions for easier everyday living.  By planning ahead and finding the right pieces for you makes all the difference in creating an efficient space that will be easier to remain in working order.  You can also combine open storage and closed storage for a more interesting array of pieces.  A good example of a sensibly chic piece would be a slipcovered bench, which adds an inviting touch, while also offering a useful place for sliding shoes on.  And don’t forget all of the small things that need a home too!  Set up a spot for keys, wallets, phones and all other important necessities.
    Organize Your Entryway | Practical Entrywayphoto: House Plans & More
  • Operational Accents: Use baskets to create a casual and versatile storage solution that can be tucked in anywhere.  Underneath an open based console table or buffet is a perfect place for added storage.  Also, choose a rug that will hold up against the constant foot traffic that traipses through the door.  There are great indoor/outdoor rugs made of 100% polypropylene that won’t break the bank.  These rugs are easy to clean as they are hoseable, scrubbable and bleachable.
    Organize Your Entryway | Operational Entryway   Organize Your Entryway | Storage Entryway
    photo: Lavender & Ash, Better Homes & Gardens

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Dining Chairs: Think Outside The Set

Dining Chairs: Think Outside The Box

Your dining room is probably the most popular room in the house during the holidays when families and friends gather around the table for festive feasts.  And, if you are planning on doing some dining room redecorating, now is the time to think out of the set.  The traditional dining room table and chairs ‘matched set’ is giving way to a more creative ‘mix-and-match’ approach.

Maine Ladderback Arm Chair - Sunrise Double X-Back Chair - Pear Summer House Elizabeth Parson's Chair Peyton Dining Chair Twig Dining ChairNantucket Wicker Cafe Chair

In everything from fashion to home decorating, the emphasis today is on reflecting your own personality and lifestyle.  Throw out the old rules!  Experiment!  Play around!  Find a style that is uniquely you.

In July, we talked about farmhouse tables—the ‘must have’ for cottage-style country furnishings.  Now, it’s time to talk about chairs.  Of course, the first consideration is the size of your dining area and how many people you want to seat.  Do you choose a table with extensions to expand seating capacity for special occasions?  And what about extra chairs or seating for all those guests?

The first thing to remember is that not all chairs need to look alike.  You can combine styles and colors in a harmonious blend.  Painted chairs can brighten a room with easy-to-care-for finishes. If you are using painted wood chairs as your primary seating or as an accent – don’t overdo.  Select one or two colors that blend and work well with your overall décor.

Barn Wood Table with Two Color Windsor ChairsYou can also mix and match seating styles.  How about upholstered chairs for the head and foot of the table, matched with wood chairs along the sides?  There are countless chair styles available that can harmonize to create a distinctive decor.  One of the most popular is the country-style Windsor chair, which originated in Britain and quickly became a staple of American dining room furnishings. Some with arms and some without—some simple and others more ornate—there are numerous variations on the Windsor theme with a Colonial motif.

Barn Wood Table with Ladderback and Parsons ChairsAnother popular choice is the ladderback chair, a simple and more compact style, often with rush or cane seating.  There are also fanbacks, ryebacks, wheatbacks and open backs.  For a more rustic décor, there are twig chairs or wicker chairs. The list goes on.  There are authentic antiques and affordable reproductions made to look like antiques.  When not in use around the dining room table, these chairs can also serve as accent pieces throughout the home.

If extra seating is your goal – consider the bench.  A bench can be used either on one side or on both sides of the table, and can tuck neatly under the table when not in use.   The bench dates back to medieval times when all the inhabitants of the castle crowded around the table on hard wooden benches.  Today, the bench has achieved new status as a flexible and decorative approach to cottage-style seating. 

Barn Wood Table with Bench

Mix-and-match also applies to today’s most creative table-top settings where not everything needs to look alike.  Use old family china, napkins, serving pieces and silverware to make each place setting a unique collage of family memories. 

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Color Board: Coral & Aqua

Top Cottage Home Trends of 2012

Stimulate, revive and rejuvenate.  Modern coral is enlivening and warming, great for a bath or shower room.  Fresh and invigorating, this vibrating palate of corals and turquoises is a contrasting mix of brights.  Even if every other room is calm and natural, go to town in a bathroom with decorating ideas and colors you simply love.

Source: The Color Scheme Bible

Decorating Ideas | Color Board: Coral & Aqua

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Staff Picks: Linda’s Bedroom

Staff Picks: Linda's Bedroom

“I want my coastal cottage bedroom to be bright, airy, and sunny, yet soft, soothing, and spa-like.  I am lucky enough to have large windows overlooking a water view.  The cool blues, greens & soft whites in my bedroom picks bring the reflection of the water indoors and help create my perfect sleep sanctuary.”

-Linda J.

Coastal Cottage Bedroom | Staff Picks: Linda's Bedroom #coastalbedroom #beachhousedecor #coastalstyle #inspirationboards http://thedistinctivecottage.com

Recycled Glass Wave Ripple Table Lamp 34″H $230  |  Sparkling Sea Canvas Giclee 36″ x 24″ $270  |  Oceanside Bed customizations: queen, low-profile footboard, with shell applique, raw cotton, standard distressing $2,285  |  Bridgehampton 7 Drawer Dresser customizations: 62″W x 24″D x 40″H, bridgehampton wood knob, raw cotton, standard distressing $2,615  |   Light Blue Ocracoke Braided Chenille Rug 8′ x 11′ cross sewn $1,507.50  |  Bridgehampton Nightstand customizations: 31″W x 19″D x 30″H, bridgehampton wood knob, raw cotton, standard distressing $1.070

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Recycled Wave Ripple Lamp Sparkling Sea Oceanside Bed Bridgehampton 7 Drawer Dresser Ocracoke Braided Chenille Rug Bridgehampton Nighstand

Rooms To Love: Farmhouse Dining Room

Rooms To Love: Farmhouse Dining Room

Rooms To Love: Farmhouse Dining Room
photo: bhg.com

A traditional style farmhouse dining room that is set above the rest with crisp, clean, white elements.  The overstuffed white host chairs bring in a casual feel to the more formal dining room chairs and table.  The rich mahogany finish on the table creates a stark contrast to the white elements of the plush chairs, wainscoting, and framed ceiling.  The large French doors allow the light to pour in creating an indoor/outdoor dining setting.  The botanical prints and greenery accents also help to bring the outdoors in.

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Design Guide: Area Rug Sizing

Cottage Home Design Guide 103

Area Rug Sizing | Cottage Home Design Guide 103

Area rugs usually come in a range of standard sizes.  The ratio of the length to the width for standard sizes is similar to the “Golden Ratio” of 1.6, which is a popular, visually-pleasing design parameter.  Size availability will vary by manufacturer and specific rug design.  Custom area rugs tend to cost twice as much as a similarly sized standard area rug.

Due to the variability of room size and shape, furniture arrangements, and limited standard area rug sizes, the best way to select a specific rug for a room is to use an interactive computer layout.  As a general guideline for area rug sizing, a rug should be sized to either have all of the furniture off the rug, all of the furniture on the rug, or to anchor the front legs of all the furniture on the rug.  For living rooms and family rooms, the best option tens to be having the front legs of the furniture on the rug to anchor the furniture to a cozy seating area.

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