Tried and True Design Elements

Over the years, I have noticed definite solid design decisions that are always in style. There are some elements in particular, that stand the test of time and become classic must haves for almost any home. As I have been getting completed designs photographed or even when I talk to clients about potential new projects, I have found some recurring topics and accessories discussed time and time again. I have rounded up some of my favorites for you today!

Warm Gray Walls

SHP_Proj_Classic_living_106_DSC08593Project Classic Living, Sarah Heppell Photography

Whether they have a tinge of green or blue coming through, a soft gray base wall color is a great jumping off point in a space. It allows the colors and patterns to come through in the accessories or also allows the showstopper to be in the ceiling color or the lighting.

Gourd Table Lamps

project vg 39Project Vintage Gem, Sarah Heppell Photography

SHP_Proj_Classic_living_019_DSC08451Project Classic Living, Sarah Heppell Photography

Oh my goodness, my love for gourd lamps runs deep! I have even been known to use this style of lamp in more than one room in a design project. I love oversized table lamps with large shades. This style allows you to bring either a neutral or bold base color to the lamp. It also has a nice sculptural shape to it, which helps to bring interest and dimension to a room.

Patterned Rugs

Why This Works 1Project Vintage Gem, Sarah Heppell Photography

{There’s another gourd lamp!!} Patterned rugs are a great way to bring an artistic touch to a room. It can bring color and texture to the mix, while also reinforcing your color palette. In this loft space I designed, the blue plaid rug brought in more of the favorite color and also softened the room and design.

Built In Shelving

windsong project studio mcgee

Design by Studio McGee

Whether this is achieved with a furniture piece or actually built in to the home, the look of custom shelving always takes your room to the next level. I am currently {and always, for that matter} loving the look of white built ins with either a color or grasscloth added to the back of the unit. #beauty

What design elements do you love and feel will always work, even through ever changing design trends?!?

Lighting Tips in Your Home

An eclectic, collected over time style is popular, but can be tricky to pull off when making most of your purchases at once. You instantly want the look of having a space that has evolved, but how do you do that with lighting that has to be purchased all at the same time?!? That’s the topic we’ll cover today. My favorite trick is mixing finishes when purchasing lighting. Just because one lamp is brass, does not mean that they all have to be that way… even in the same room. You can mix metal finishes with wood and with lamps that have a painted base. And you can also mix different metal finishes within that space. I love doing that!

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

When I designed the living room for Project Classic Living, you can see the the wood spool floor lamp by the fireplace, in the same room with the antique brass floor lamp near the windows. Mixing wood and metal in a room brings an eclectic, collected over time feel to the space. These two lamps also have different styles and shade types. That’s important to think about, as well. The metal apothecary style lamp works in a small area where task reading is done. And the oversized drum shade on the wood lamp base brings a softness to the room with its fabric shade and is great for overall lighting.

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

In this same room, I went with a pair of lamps for this console, to bring symmetry to the space, which was not done with the other two floor lamps. I like to mix symmetrical and asymmetrical in one room, for that contrast and balance. These fabric shades work well against the wood table, while the base has a brass detail that ties in with the apothecary floor lamp. I also love the look of having floor lamps in the same room with table lamps. For me, it’s never all floor or all table.

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

In the foyer of the same home, I have mixed wall sconces with table lighting. The sconces were already there when the project began and adding the blue and white ceramic table lamp brought color and additional lighting to the table surface.

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Photo by Sarah Heppell

In the dining room of the same home, I loved adding a pair of lamps to the buffet. It creates a great mix with the overhead chandelier. In this space, there was a lot of wood with the floors and furniture. So, I went with a brass chandelier with soft linen shades and then paired that with painted gourd lamp bases with a similar soft shade. All of the lighting in this room really pops against the other features, which was our goal.

So for a quick recap of fun tips for your home’s lighting, here is the breakdown…

-Mix your finishes and shade styles {task lighting vs. overall room lighting}

-Mix symmetrical with asymmetrical and floor lamps with table lamps

-Mix sconces with table lamps {great for a foyer}

-Mix overhead chandeliers with table lamps in a dining space

I hope these lighting tips helped! If you have any to add, please leave them in the comments! Happy Friday!!

Add Some Flowers!

Just when we thought spring weather was around the corner over here, it started snowing today! It doesn’t show any sign of letting up, so I thought it would be fun to bring spring inside. The best way I know how to do that, is with a vase of fresh flowers. Flowers instantly warm up a room, any time of year. I am always drawn to the flower section of our grocery store, because I know what an impact they make to any room in your home. When I had our home and Project Vintage Gem photographed, I added some fresh flowers to most of the spaces. Boy did that make a difference! That and the wonderful photography talents of Sarah Heppell. :) So, here’s a round up of rooms that bring that spring time vibe, even if it’s freezing cold where you are!!

Our Home

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{hydrangeas and tulips are always my go to flowers of choice!!}

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Project Vintage Gem

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Amber B Design, Photos by Sarah Heppell

So if you are in need of some spring or you just want a cheerful change, add some fresh flowers today!!