Feng Shui for your Floors

To fill our world with happiness and fulfillment, we strive to get ahead, find love, laugh and stay healthy. Part of that satisfaction comes from making our homes comfortable. It’s true: the colors and patterns in your home can affect your world. You can create an environment to help you be happy and fulfilled in your home by incorporating a little feng shui into your decorating plan.

Feng shui (pronounced fung schway) is the ancient Chinese technique of arranging your surroundings to bring you into harmony with the natural order of things. Feng shui operates on design principles. By adding certain colors to a room or rearranging your furniture, you can bring prosperity, peace, fame, wisdom, creativity, and well-being into your life.

There are five basic elements in nature that compose the feng shui practice: fire, metal, water, wood, and earth. Each carries complementary shapes and colors to bring desired effects. Incorporate those colors and shapes accordingly, and you can immediately begin to feel the changes in your life. By following a few simple beliefs of the practice, you can create peace in places you currently find distress.

Adding a new rug, for example, can help you achieve your desired results. The contemporary rug collections from manufacturers like Kas and Oriental Weavers provide a wide range of color palettes to choose from.

Look for a rug that uses bright red, orange, or purple in triangular shapes to tap into the elements of fire and bring more passion and emotion into your relationships. A white rug or one that incorporates metallic gray in circular patterns grabs the properties of metal to give you strength and stronger feelings of independence.

A black rug with curvy lines in blue is an ideal way to provide inspiration in your office. If you want to grow your business, consider a green or teal rug with square patterns on it. Use earth tones for stability and grounding. The rug that will most settle your senses and help you face reality is yellow or brown and also relies on square patterns. Many hand-knotted Orientals rely on browns and yellows and produce some of the most comforting styles in the feng shui tradition.

In addition to color and shapes, consider placement when you bring your new rug home. After a feng shui expert analyzes your space, the result is a bagua, or placement map, that explains each section of your space. For example, according to the general principles of a bagua, laying a rug in the center of your room adds to your well-being and balance.

A new rug as a centerpiece is ideal when you’re in need of healing or are preparing for a daunting athletic event, especially when you gravitate toward the warm yellow and brown earth tones. Attract new love into your life by placing a red rug in the room furthest from your front door on the right side of your house. Increase your cash flow by placing a resplendent purple rug in the opposite end of your house.

Enjoy added benefits when you decorate your home or office with an eye toward feng shui designs and techniques. A new rug might be all it takes to fill your world with happiness and fulfillment.

For more on bringing Feng Shui into your home, visit our friends at HGTV and view this article on how to “Create a Feng Shui Home.”

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Designing with Mirrors

Everyone knows that mirrors are useful, but did you know they can also solve a wide range of decorating dilemmas? You can use mirrors to make a room look bigger, to bring a lovely outdoor scene inside, to reflect light in alluring patterns and to fill a void on a wall. A mirror won’t clash with furniture like a painting or photograph, and it can blend with any theme, from the simplest country home to the most upscale contemporary design.

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Restaurant and nightclub owners have long used mirrors to create a mood. To attract customers, they place them strategically behind the bar to highlight the lights shining among the bottles. Mirrors often line exclusive dining establishments, where dim, provocative lighting reflects enough so patrons can still see their food and their companions while sharing the intimacy of both. You can duplicate this effect at home: place a mirror in your dining room and turn down the lights!

Apartment and condominium developers often rely on mirrors to provide the illusion of space and largess.  Walk into an empty condo with mirrors lining the walls, and you’ll feel as if you’ve just walked into a mansion. Full-length mirrors in tiny spaces make the walls look taller. Hang them sideways to create a wider feel to any room.

 

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Another trick is to strategically place a mirror near your front door so you can quickly check your makeup and hair or straighten your tie before leaving the house. A mirror hung opposite a doorway can let you see the three-year-old trying to sneak up on you. And full-length mirrors on opposite sides of a closet or bathroom provide for a full 360-degree inspection.
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Although a frame-less mirror can accent many interiors, a framed mirror offers another way to add a dramatic, elegant, or rustic touch to your decor. Look for a plain black or brushed chrome frame to set off the clean lines of a contemporary setting. If you lean toward the more traditional, use ornate dark wood frames to match the elegance of your furniture. Rustic frames made from reclaimed wood highlight the natural elements of your home. Placing a large mirror framed in natural wood tones over your mantle complements your fireplace, anchoring it as the room’s focal point.

For decorative purposes, the height of a mirror is not that important, but for practical purposes, you should hang a mirror so that your eyes reflect in the middle of the mirror. Make adjustments as needed so that everyone in your family can see themselves without having to bend down.

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If you don’t trust your instincts for design, here are a few standard rules for hanging a wall mirror:

  • The top of a mirror should be no less than six feet above the floor.
  • Keep at least 18 inches between the bottom of the mirror and the floor.
  • Don’t place any mirror in front of lights. The glare will make it difficult to see the reflection.
  • Leave three to four feet of empty space in front of a mirror so you have enough room to step back to get a fuller view.
  • A bathroom mirror should not be wider than the vanity. Center the mirror over the vanity, not to the wall dimensions.
  • When hanging a heavy mirror, use a drywall anchor if you can’t find a stud.

If you have questions about how best to place a wall mirror in your home, stop by one of our three locations and ask one of our consultants or contact us on the web and a Design Consultant will get back to you.

 

 

 

 

Rugs for Warmth

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We all know rugs come in many different sizes and styles, but let’s face it: most of us are purchasing rugs for practicality. It’s a rarity these days to hear of a new home built with all carpet. That’s just not the “in” thing to do. We’re installing hardwoods in most of our common trafficked areas and then we’re faced with the dilemma that the floors are too cold. What do you do to warm up the space and preserve those hardwood floors? You lay down a rug!

It’s always humorous to me that customers remark on having spent so much money to lay down hardwood floors “just to cover them up.”The science of the situation is that hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain, but they do nothing for sound proofing. Who wants to get out of the bed and step on ice? You’re probably not raising your hand right now. The purchase of a rug doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re covering up your floors. Truthfully, if you are using design ideas in mind, you want to keep the rug approximately 18” from the floorboards. This allows for vents, air flow, and depth, but that’s another story. The practicality of the rug is to warm up the room.

966d3b3e810d13aeb150c8b9237c8e0dDepending on the space you may want something thick and fluffy like a shag in your family room or something flat and coarse like a flat woven rug in your kitchen area. A timeless hand knotted offers warmth and durability making it a perfect solution for beneath a bed or in a formal living room.  A hand tufted rug offers comfort and durability in a well-traveled living room but is also fire resistant making it perfect for in front of a fireplace. Beth Keim created this beautiful living space using a neutral Surya rug.

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The Surya Calypso rug brings comfort into this eclectic space designed by Lucy and Company. They’ve dressed up builder’s grade carpet and brought in both warmth and comfort.

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From Traditional to Contemporary, rugs are always a good choice for introducing warmth into your home. Accentuate with bold color or blend in with a neutral tone.
We’ve got options for everyone! Stay tuned for a lesson on Designing with Mirrors later this week.

Written By: Samantha Palacio

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Just when you thought you can’t put one more thing in your living room, you now have to make room for that seasonal favorite: the Christmas tree. Out pop the tape measures, the totes of decorations, and maybe even your hair as you try to figure out ‘how on earth am I going to fit this thing in my living room?!’ We’re here to help you with that frustration.

The most obvious choice is to look for a corner of the room that doesn’t involve total house rearrangement. Perhaps you can put that sofa/loveseat combination in an L-shape position to allow for a designated corner of Christmas cheer.

Most people want to display those beautiful lights for all to see. Do you have a bay window? Positioning the tree in a nook, like a bay window, will take up considerable less floor space and also likely continue with your existing flow. Positioning the tree next to a window allows you to enjoy it from both inside and outside the home.  

Create a cozy setting by positioning a comfortable chair for Santa while he piles all those gifts under that tree. This is also an optimal spot for mom while she hands them out on Christmas morning. Create an intimate setting by pairing two upholstered chairs next to a fireplace and positioning the tree nearby. Perfect for those cold, winter nights! If you have a fireplace be weary of placement with live trees especially. Position trees so they are not at risk for a fire hazard.


If you’re in a small apartment space, you may not be working with much wiggle room. If necessary, remove some underutilized accent pieces temporarily and stash them away in storage or guest room spaces. You can easily remove a side table to position the tree in a tight space, similar to the look that Golden Boys & Me has created. It is perfectly acceptable to put trees in multiple places throughout the home. Think outside the box: consider a small table-topper for an eating space. Add some small trees of varying heights to a buffet to add visual interest. Don’t be discouraged if a 6-footer won’t work for you. There are so many festive options to get you in the holiday spirit! Let shelving space do double duty this season. If you’re using smaller trees, wrap your presents in coordinating, colorful paper and add some festive decor to mantels or bookcases without overwhelming your small greenery.

If all else fails, consider putting the tree in a space that is less trafficked like Unskinny Boppy has done here.  The formal dining room, for example, may have ample space around the table and no one may be utilizing that until Christmas Eve. The downstairs family room, a breakfast nook area, an enclosed sun porch… all of these make great alternatives as well.

Written By: Samantha Palacio

Measuring for Accuracy

image from lowes.com

image from lowes.com

Before you buy a new rug, you should consider multiple variables: color, design, texture, and of course, size. Most people will have an idea of the color (or colors) they want because, if they are only buying the rug, it has to match their existing décor. Similarly, the design or style — whether traditional or contemporary — should also match the style of the room the rug is meant for.

Texture is a variable that depends on taste as well as function. Does the rug have to accommodate a lot of traffic? Does the rug have to fit beneath a swinging door or a dining table? Individuals will choose different textures, based on common sense and personal preference.

The Thing About Size

Size, however, is the most scientific variable. Anyone can determine the ideal size of a new rug by following a few simple steps:

1.First, measure your entire room, wall to wall. Use a good-quality measuring tape, if possible.

image from shelterpop.com

image from shelterpop.com

2.On a piece of paper, draw the room dimensions in scale. Include doors, windows, fireplaces, radiators, and heating vents, where necessary.

3.Measure the existing furniture. Either add them to your drawing or, even better, cut out blocks of paper for each piece, so you can easily and quickly “rearrange the furniture.”

4.Next, measure the space you think you want to cover. Unless you want a customized rug (and are willing to spend the price for one), don’t get too specific. Measure out and mark off standard sizes: 4×6, 5×8, 6×9, 8×10 feet. One trick is to use masking tape to outline the rug’s Printdimensions.

5.Always double-check your measurements. Like the seasoned carpenter says, “Measure twice; cut once.”

image from jaipurrugs.com

image from jaipurrugs.com

6.Go shopping! Find a store, like Rug & Home, that allows you to take the rug home and try it out for a day or a week. You’ll know immediately if it’s the right size, but you may need longer to judge the other variables.

Size Matters

We’ve already written about how to find the best size rug for your dining room and bedroom, so check our past posts to get that information. For other rooms, here are a few more tips:

A rug that isn’t properly sized for a room can make the room look uneven or unfinished. To make a positive impression — and more importantly, to give yourself and your family a sense of ease — lay a rug that fits the room.

Don’t size your space just with your eyes. A 6×9-foot rug that seems huge in the store may still be too small for the room once you get it home.

In your living room, place the rug so that your furniture sits either all the way on or all the way off the rug. The only exception to this rule is for a couch. If the couch has its back to a wall, you can get away with having only the front feet on the rug.

If you want to create a cozier space, subtract 1 or 2 feet (12 to 24 inches) from the length and width of the room, as determined in Step 1 above. Even hallway runners shouldn’t crowd the walls.

A new rug is like a new chair: you can tell in the store how comfortable it is, but you won’t know until you get it home how well it fits in to your life. Do your homework before you buy, but make sure you can return it if it doesn’t work.

Making a House Your Home: Redecorating Tips

If you’ve been in the same place for years, redecorating can do wonders for your psyche and your soul. It’s not just about the change; it’s about making the place more your own. What follows, then, are some simple tips and tricks for making a house into your home.

image from homeplans.com

image from homeplans.com

Take it one at a time. Don’t feel like you have to remodel or redecorate the entire house to make it your own. If time or money is tight, concentrate on one room at a time.

Change the color scheme. Color has power. Select one color to be the focus in each room and then use highlights and accents in a similar hue to add contrast. Too much color can be distracting.

Eliminate clutter. You may be surprised how much a cleaner space can clear up your attitude. It literally lightens your mental load. While you’re at it, create pathways so you don’t have to worry when moving from room to room. Continue reading

Dining Rooms Trends

classic diningAccording to traditionalists, a dining room must have a formal matching dining room set, preferably wooden. In a traditional home, these rooms are used only for special occasions or the occasional gathering, much like the good china and silverware. To complete the traditional setting, add lace doilies, a crystal chandelier, and an oversized Oriental rug. Keep the children out, wrap it all up in plastic, and you get the picture: it’s a room that’s rarely used.

Modern homeowners, however, want to use the dining room for everyday use. Fortunately, furniture and decorating trends have moved in the same direction, bringing the once little-used room back into the mainstream of daily living.

The first change is one that has been happening for years. Trends continue to make the dining wood & metal diningroom less formal and more livable. Take off the plastic wrap and break out the everyday dishes. Here are some other trends.

Dining Room Tables

The recycling craze has influenced the design of newest dining room tables. Furniture made of recycled wood has become commonplace. Chopping blocks, no longer relegated to the kitchen, have begun appearing in dining room furniture.

Moreover, an industrial look is replacing the shabby chic trends of yesterday. Thick, recycled, roughhewn wood paired with a silver or gunmetal base and legs have become accepted into the mainstream.

paula diningThe industrial look is inviting for a number of reasons. Homeowners at Rug & Home love the sturdiness of the wood and metal furniture. Not only is it trendy, but it’s practical. These dining tables ably set the stage for a meal and then serve as the worktable for the kids’ homework or latest school project.

Plus, these tables will last. They often weigh more than a small car.

Dining Room Chairs

Traditionally, a dining room set requires a matching set of six or eight chairs, whether the dining mismatched diningtable is used daily or just for special occasions. The latest trend, though, encourages mismatched chairs, creating a much more informal appearance that decorators and homeowners alike love.

Have you ever gone shopping for dining rooms chairs and found a half dozen that you loved, but felt driven to choose one and order seven more to match? Now you can buy one of each. You can mix colors, fabrics, and styles. Place a traditional Queen Ann chair beside an industrial gunmetal seat. Set a few chairs around the table with seat cushions beside plain wooden seats.

If you want something really different, good news: the bench is back. Benches have become an integral part of the communal dining spirit that’s transforming eating areas around the country. Benches can be made of recycled wood and matched with similar chairs, or they can stand on their own, covered in leather in complete contrast to your ladder-back chairs. Alternatively, go with two benches and two side chairs.

Regardless what you choose, remember that dining rooms are now considered informal places to eat every day. Make your dining room a comfortable extension of the rest of your home.