Let’s take a little trip today, shall we? Maybe to the French countryside, or to an overgrown corner in wine country.
Or maybe just in our imaginations.
Somewhere where the only pressing matters are iced tea and unread books,
where time moves just a little bit more slowly.
Where sun bleached clothes hang on the line, blowing in the breeze that carries the scent of lavender or lilacs.
Are you there yet?
Outdoor dining season is upon us! When the sun is shining and the grass is green, there’s nothing better than fleeing the house for the afternoon/evening and relaxing on the deck, patio, or by the pool. Now, while we may not all have enchanting outdoor spaces like the ones in these pictures, I know that we all have a “happy place”- a place that beckons to us, a place that we share with friends, a place that is all our own, a place that just the thought of makes the winter months a little bit more bearable. For me, I love being outside in the summer just about anywhere! But I wouldn’t pass up a dinner party or two at any of these places either!
For more summer time beauty, follow us on Pinterest! Happy almost summer everyone!
Here we are on week 2 of Ask the Designer! Thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions to us, sorry we couldn’t answer all of them! If your question wasn’t answered this week, please feel free to resubmit it in our next round of questions, or any other questions that might come up in the mean time. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here. This week, the answers are straight from Lynne Bier, our Principal/Lead Designer, and the owner of Home on the Range (basically, as expert as expert gets). So, without further ado, here’s the Q&A!
Julie asks: I was wondering how to update a room with wood paneling on the walls when you are on a budget and can’t afford to tear it down?
Answer: My first question would be in which part of the country you are located?
Unless the wood is a very unique or expensive wood, like cherry or walnut, I think that painting the wood can update the look for only the cost of paint and the labor to paint the room. Depending on where you are located, and what the rest of your home looks like, you can either stay with a simple cream color, or you can select from an array of colors that coordinate with your décor. I generally recommend neutral creams or taupes because you don’t get tired of them, and they provide a beautiful backdrop for art, interesting and lively pillow colors and colorful rugs.
Here are some pictures of different rooms painted in neutrals and a few in other colors that are timeless.
The contrast between the light paneling and the dark furniture and accents adds great interest to cream paint.
Keeping some natural wood accents with the painted walls helps maintain a rustic feel in a room.
Painting paneling in a taupe color is great when you want something a little bit warmer than white.
Green painted walls bring the outdoors in
Susan asks: I have a 1980s home with knotty pine walls and ceiling. What are your thoughts on painting the walls? I have done a test section, and all of the knots are concealed. I know people are either “pro” paint or “never” paint.
Answer: Without having seen your home, I would probably recommend keeping the pine ceiling and just painting the walls but here are some guidelines; If you have a low ceiling, or beams in the ceiling or other interesting architectural details, you can probably get away with painting the ceiling as well as the walls. If you have a high vaulted pine ceiling then I would recommend keeping the ceiling unpainted to “cozy” up the room.
The current trends are towards lighter rooms with painted wood. Even in this rustic mountain environment, we have done a number of Old Homestead style homes where we whitewashed the wood in several of the rooms.
I actually like the look of a whitewashed pine wall. If you let the knots show through, you can still tell it is wood yet it lightens and updates the pine. You are right that there are a lot of purists out there who say not to paint wood but I think that applies more to woods like cherry or walnut. I personally think it is fine to paint pine!
Sonja asks: Is it ok to have your dining room in an area that has your master bedroom directly off of it?
Answer: There are really no right or wrong answers in layouts anymore, and rooms tend to flow from one to the other much more than they ever did in the past. Are you building a new house, remodeling an existing house, or thinking of buying a house with the bedroom in that location? The things I would keep in mind when making your decision on the bedroom location are:
Is the dining room a formal dining room that you only use for occasional dinners, or is it an open floor plan where the dining room is part of the kitchen flow?
Would anyone be using the dining room for breakfast while you might want to be sleeping in?
Would the door go directly off of the dining room in a visible location or would it be recessed?
How close would the bedroom door be to the dining table and chairs?
Would you have to navigate around the dining table to get back and forth to the entry or kitchen?
The location of the bedroom off of the dining room wouldn’t be a negative in and of itself as long as you don’t feel that your “flow” is awkward or constricted.
Well, that’s it for now! Thanks again for all of the submissions, and if we didn’t get to your question this week please send it to us again next time. This is a monthly thing, and we’ll be accepting questions again on Facebook starting three weeks from now, so make sure and keep your eyes open for it!
Greenery can be a tricky thing. Especially indoor greenery. You know what I’m talking about- the fine line that exists between an elegant plant display and a dozen 70s era macrame pot holders dangling from your ceiling. The difference between a natural feel, and a WalMart-garden-section-in-your-house feel. Fine line. But, it can be done, and done beautifully. Indoor plants are a perfect way to bring nature into your home, and have a stunning impact in the spring and summer, when adding a few touches here and there can seamlessly transition the beauty outside to the beauty inside your home. Also, aside from the visual appeal that indoor plants can provide, they also provide a number of other benefits- improved air quality, fresh and lovely smells, and, if you choose your plants right, you can even eat them.
Here are some of our favorite ways of displaying indoor plants. If you have existing plants in your house, no problem! These ideas will help you renovate your indoor garden into something that looks like it is part of your decor. If you don’t have existing plants, go get some! Now is the time, low prices at home improvement stores and local nurseries mean you can create a brilliant display that will last through the year. If you’re not a gardener… don’t become one. Go for the high quality faux plants that you don’t have to worry about remembering to water- you can still use all of these ideas to create the same effect.
I love the use of big olive pots and ceramics in this picture. I also love the variety of colors and textures in the plants themselves! Using similar planters with different heights of plants is a great way to create interest without creating a mishmash. Olive pots are beautiful, and can fit into many styles of decor- from rustic, to shabby chic, to traditional.
I am head over heels about the use of potted pines in this living room. I mean, gosh, who doesn’t want a forest in their home? While potted trees are common indoor plants, potted pines (what are these, ponderosa?) are not common. These trees provide a wonderful sense of scale, along with a unique visual interest that you don’t see often in decorating.
These wood crates are perfect for holding small plants, and also perfect accessories for a rustic home. Again, experiment with different heights in a group of three crates- plants like rosemary, lemongrass, or basil will also make your house smell delicious!
Speaking of herbs- how cute are these little tea tins that have been repurposed into herb planters?? Adorable! Grow little plants, snip off what you need while cooking, and let them continue to flourish! Don’t forget to keep these on a window sill where they can get plenty of light.
Ok, so this one’s pretty eclectic… it may not be for everyone, but I still think it’s a cute idea! Stick a potted plant or two into open drawers on a decorative piece for another fun way to incorporate plants into your decor.
The combination of the old wooden crate and the funky glass jar in this picture are perfect! I love the look this creates, it’s creative and rustic and fun all at once.
Finally, here’s a great idea for all of you non-gardeners. A long, low box of faux blooms is an ideal fix to the “what to put under the tv” conundrum. It looks so fresh and pretty too!
To get started with your own interior garden, stop in to the Home on the Range showroom today! We have crates and pots and baskets and boxes galore- everything you need to incorporate creative plants into your home. For more ideas on how to bring nature into your home, visit us on Pinterest!
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