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Interior Design Basics: Symmetrical Balance

Posted by Andie on January 30, 2013

I'm excited to start a new segment on the blog called "Interior Design Basics", where we'll be discussing some of the important principles and elements of design.  For many of you the concepts presented will simply be a review, but it's my hope that they'll assist you in fostering a discerning eye for design, and determining your own personal design style.  

 

Here we go!  Today's topic?  Symmetrical balance.

 

As humans, we yearn for balance.  We seek balance physically, mentally, and emotionally.  We strive for balance in or work, in our relationships, and yes, whether you knew it or not, balance in our interiors!

 

Symmetrical balance (when the two sides of a central point are mirror images of each other) suggests formality, refinement and constraint.  It is typically found in traditional design, and it makes us feel secure and safe. Historically speaking, much classic design and architecture, from the Greeks and Romans to the Renaissance, was symmetrical.  Case in point: the Roman Pantheon.  

 

 

 

 

 

And the Trevi Fountain.... 

 

 

 

This type of balance is comfortable because it doesn't leave us guessing, and we always know what to expect.  On the other hand, it can also be a little boring because it's so predictable.

 

 

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It's been said that a really good symmetrical composition always contains elements of asymmetry.  Almost everything in the room should be placed symmetrically, with just one or two 'wild cards' thrown in there to disrupt the perfect balance. Here are some good examples.  Can you find the items that upsets the symmetrical balance?

 

 

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atlanta homes mag via pinterest

 

 

 

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What do you think about symmetrical interiors?

Love the safety?  Or is it too boring for you?

 

 

P.S. If you have a design principle you'd like to see discussed, shoot me an email (andie@rcwilley.com)!

 

 

 

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White Rooms Decor

Posted by Andie on January 25, 2013

How many rooms in your home are painted plain white?  If you're like me, the answer is a big fat zero.  Why is that?  Why am I always in search of a fabulous new color for the walls, yet I never think to embrace the simplicity of the color white?  I mean, don't get me wrong.  I love color, but sometimes plain white is nice.

 

I love white walls for a few reasons.  1) The color white is always in style.  2) They are beautifully simple and produce a calming, relaxing effect (couldn't we all use a little more of that?) and 3) They create a gorgeous backdrop to display colorful artwork.  (If you are going to spend money on pretty artwork, you have got to make sure you're displaying it properly!)

 

So, next time you get an itch to re-paint a room, do yourself a favor and consider the color white, will you?

 

 

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 What do you think?  Are you a fan of white walls?

 

 

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Tribal Patterns

Posted by Andie on January 23, 2013

Have you ever passed on a unique opportunity to buy something, only to have that something become the rage later on?  Hindsight is always 20/20.  I went to Africa with my family several years ago, and now I'm kicking myself for not picking up more tribal print fabrics.  Tribal patterns have been steadily gaining momentum for the past couple of years, and they are slated to be huge again in 2013.  

 

Be on the lookout for suzani and tribal prints on just about everything this year- clothing, wallpaper, furniture, bedding, accessories, etc.  There's nothing like a bright, colorful tribal textile to help boost morale in your home!

 

 

 

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8 Ways to Help You Hibernate in Comfort

Posted by Andie on January 16, 2013

Well, it's happened.  The other night it was literally -1 degrees where I live, so I think it's safe to say it's officially freezing.  I'm ready to start hibernating.  If you're living in a cold climate, you know as well as I do that the winter months can get super LONG.  Since you'll be spending the majority of the next few months inside, here are a few things you can do to make sure you're ready to wait out the winter in comfort and style!

 

1. Cuddle Up

You can never have too many blankets, quilts and throws lying around during the winter months.  Drape them across your bed, sofas, and chairs, and keep a basket full of them handy for those especially chilly evenings. 

 

 

 

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2. Let There Be Light

Let's face it.  It's dark by 5:00 pm these days.  With the sun setting so much earlier in the afternoon, lamp light is your very best friend during these long winter months.  Turn your lamps on!

 


 via houzz 

 

 

3.  Pile on the Pillows

Make things feel welcoming and cozy by adding more pillows to your bed, sofas and chairs.  Pops of color, and different patterns and textures can help make things more interesting as well. 

 

 

 

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4. Change the Rug

Pull out your heavy, thick, dark area rugs to cover up those bare floors.  Not only will it look cozier, it will help warm your feet up too!

 

 

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5.  Be Prepared

You've got to be ready for anything in the cold, snowy, rainy winter months.  Place an umbrella stand or a boot tray in your foyer so that you're ready to go face the elements in a moment's notice.  Ideally, it will help eliminate snow/water/mud from tracking through the rest of your house.  

 

 

 

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6. Warm Your Windows

Switch out light, summer sheers on your windows and replace them with heavy, thick draperies.  They'll help keep the chill out, and warm up the room at the same time.  

 

 

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7.  Burn a Candle

Burn winter scented candles to create a warm, toasty ambiance.  Enough said.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.  Hang a Wreath

Just because Christmas is over, doesn't mean you can't hang a beautiful wreath!  Fresh wreaths are the perfect winter accessory over a window or fireplace.

 

  

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Are you ready to wait out winter?

 

 

   

 

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Snow Day

Posted by Andie on January 11, 2013

Sometimes I think winter just isn't really my thing.  I hate driving on icy roads, loathe being cold all the time, and find myself yearning for spring once January rolls around.  The one exception?  Getting hit by a crazy, giant snowstorm!   It dumped about a foot of snow at our house last night, and this morning I'm as giddy as a school girl admiring the beautiful blanket of white from my kitchen window.  

 

As much as I say every winter that I'd love living in a warmer climate, it kind of doesn't get better than sitting by the fireplace on a cold, snowy day and cuddling up with a soft blanket, a good book, and a steaming cup of hot cocoa.  You know where to find me today!

 

Fireplaces look the very best when they're lit, don't you think?  Here's to a warm and cozy winter weekend!

 

 

 

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architectural digest via pinterest

 

 

 

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 If these photos don't inspire you to go turn your fireplace on, I don't know what will!

 

 

 

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The Color of 2013

Posted by Andie on January 8, 2013

Just as The Pantone Institute predicted, the color orange exploded onto the design scene in 2012!   From orange sofas, to orange makeup, to orange kitchen accessories, to orange blazers- orange was hot, and orange was EVERYWHERE.  

 

Recently, the Pantone Institute, the world's leading authority on color and design, announced the "Color of the Year" for 2013.  Get excited, because this year, it looks like Emerald is going to make a big splash in fashion, beauty, home decor and design.  

 

 

via pantone

 

Who doesn't like the color emerald?  It's luxurious, sophisticated, vivid, and powerful.  Throughout the world, it symbolizes beauty, harmony, healing, growth and prosperity.  I am a huge fan.  

 

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said of emerald, "The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.  As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today's complex world. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors."

 

 

 via pinterest and etsy

 

 Can't wait to see what emerald additions 2013 brings to my home and wardrobe!  What do you think about Pantone's color pick this year?  Love it?  Hate it?  Let me know what you think!

 

 

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Decluttering

Posted by Andie on January 4, 2013

I love putting up all of my Christmas decorations, but I'm always excited to take them down and get things back to normal come January 1st.  Once the chaos of the holidays is stored away for another 11 months, I'm craving cleanliness, organization, and simplicity.  

 

In my mind, January is the perfect time to clean out, throw away, and de-clutter.  Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project, came up with 10 steps to beat clutter in just 5 minutes!  They are simple things you can do on a daily basis, that will make a huge impact...

  

1. Make your bed.

2. Get rid of the newspaper each night, even if you haven’t read it yet. Or am I the only one still reading a paper newspaper?

3. Follow the “one-minute rule” – push yourself to do any chore that takes less than one minute. Throw away the junk mail, put the peanut-butter jar back in the cabinet, close the cabinet door, put your dirty socks in the hamper, hang up your wet towel.

4. Identify a place or person to whom you can give things you no longer need – it’s much easier to get rid of unneeded stuff if you can envision someone else getting good use from them. Also, figure out a place to store those things until you hand them over. We have a special shelf for books that we’re taking to the Housing Works thrift store.

5. Be very cautious about letting yourself “store” something. Storing something means you don’t intend to use it much. Other than holiday decorations and seasonal clothes, you should strive to “store” as little as possible.

6. Beware of freebies. Never accept anything free, unless you’re thrilled with it. A mug, a tote bag, a hand-me-down toy, the lamp from your mother-in-law — if you don’t need it, don’t take it.

7. Get rid of things if they break. When I went through our apartment, I was astonished by how many things I’d kept even though they didn’t work.

8. Don’t keep any piece of paper unless you know that you actually need it. I have a friend who, for years, carefully filed away the stubs when she paid her gas bill. “Why?” I asked, mystified. “I have no idea,” she said. Along the same lines, don’t keep anything that would quickly become dated — like travel information. Remember the internet! If you can easily find information online, you don’t need to keep a hard copy.

9. Hang up your coat. I have a lot of trouble with this one, so now I use a hook instead of a hanger.

10. Before you go to bed, take five minutes to do an “evening tidy-up.” Don’t tackle anything ambitious, but just stack up the magazines, put your shoes away, shove the chairs into place, etc. Just a few minutes of tidying can make your house look a lot better, and it’s a calming thing to do before going to sleep. Plus it makes the morning nicer.

*check out her full post here

 

 And now, here's some pretty photos to get you excited to start de-cluttering and organizing....

 

 

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What tricks do you have to get and stay organized?

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year!

Posted by Andie on January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!   I can't believe it's 2013!  I don't know about you, but I'm a huge fan of New Year's resolutions.  I love the idea of progression and change, and starting with a fresh slate each year is so invigorating.  This year I'm trying to be a little more original with my resolutions.

 

I'm going to learn how to make my own sushi, organize my photos, and try my hand at painting, just to name a few. The resolution I'm most nervous about though??...

 

Get the courage to throw things away.

 

I have a problem.  I hang onto things, even when I know I don't need them, and I'll never use them again.  It's ridiculous, I know.  Can anyone else relate?  After years of living this way, I've finally decided that I'm sick of the clutter, sick of the wasted space, and sick of all the "stuff".  This year, I'm going to change.  Here is my new mantra:

 

 

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What are some of your new years resolutions?

 

Here's to a great 2013!!

 

 

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