Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 8/16/2020

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Textiles are one of the most important aspects of interior design—a true decorating fundamental that interior designers use to pull a room together. These things are often overlooked in favor of stylish trim, on-trend paint shades, and well-chosen furniture, however. Those are all necessary parts of the design equation, but without the right fabrics and wallpapers to unite the room, the design might fall flat.

Past trends featured monochromatic shades, lots of clean lines, and an overall sleek look. These days, trends are shifting, and prints are coming back in style. So how do you introduce patterns into a room? It can be a little tricky to do it right without making the look feel too busy or overwhelming. But there are lots of places to place your favorite prints—curtains, rugs, upholstery, wallpaper, wall art—the list goes on. Here are three ways interior designers use prints and patterns to create a cohesive look!

Match Your Patterns

If you’re thinking about going bold with lots of patterning in a given room, then the best way to do it is to choose matching patterns. They don’t necessarily need to be identical to each other, but they should be similarly themed. If you choose geometric patterns, for instance, make sure that all the patterns within the space feature a geometric style. Introduce geometrics with throw pillows, rugs, framed art, curtains or other elements. Three elements are typically enough to give the look unity without making it too overwhelming.

Make Colors Match

Maybe you’d rather avoid matching patterns because you’d like to mix tulle upholstery with floral curtains and a wallpaper border along the ceiling in a third pattern. How to go about harmonizing this type of look? Do it through the colors. Choose a shade in common between each of your patterns—orange, green or some other shade. Make sure each pattern within the room contains this shade so that the room looks polished and well-thought rather than haphazard.

Make A Statement With A Single Bold Pattern

Sometimes just a single pattern is enough to make a statement—especially if you’re going for a more elegant look that doesn’t mix a lot of colors or patterns. This is the time to focus on a single bold pattern for the room. There are several ways to do this.

  • Use a patterned rug as a bold focal point to draw attention to the center of the room.
  • Flooring can also be patterned. Try checkered tile, parquet floors or some other design to ground the room.
  • Save patterns for the curtains while keeping the rest of the room simple.
  • Add a sense of height and drama with patterned ceilings. Ceilings can be coffered, textured or covered with wallpaper.
  • Hang a large piece of art to create a bold focal point.

Wherever you choose to introduce this single statement piece, keep in mind that against plainer surroundings, this is the piece that will draw the eye. Choose placement carefully to create a focal point exactly where you want it.

When you know all the tricks that designers use, it’s easy to give your space a high-end look with carefully chosen patterns. While you can introduce them through architectural elements like flooring and ceilings, fabrics and other textiles are one of the best ways to get the look. That’s because they’re easily interchangeable as tastes and trends change.




Categories: Decor  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/20/2019

Arranging furniture in your home can be a real puzzle. Thereís so many different mistakes that can be made in how you set up the seating, tables, and bedding in your home that you probably donít even realize it. Below, youíll find some of the most common furniture arranging mistakes and how to fix them. 


All of Your Furniture Is Against A Wall 


It may seem like a way to make your room feel bigger to push everything against a wall, but this thought process is flawed. You want your rooms to feel cozy, not spaced out. Youíll be surprised what floating furniture can do for a room. 


You Put Too Much Furniture In A Room


Whether you have a small space or a giant room, plan what kind of furniture you put in the room very carefully. Overcrowding a space makes it feel stuffy and claustrophobic. While you hope to have enough seating in a room for everyone, you donít need to overdo it. Put the furniture in a room that makes sense for you to have. There's also no harm in having big, open spaces in a room. As long as the purpose is served, sometimes an airy space can be quite a stress reliever.


Putting more furniture in a space wonít help a room to magically grow either. Be realistic about how many square feet you have in a room. From there, you can decide what goes where. If you still feel that you have too many pieces of furniture around, itís time to sell or donate some of the chairs and tables that donít get as much use. 


You Tend To Block Windows With Furniture


Using your sofa or a bed to place in front of a window may seem like a good idea. Whether your purpose is to block some light, or if itís your only option for placement, you may need to do some refiguring. One problem is that the light coming in the window will cause some serious fading to any material thatís in the path. If itís a bed thatís placed across a window, you also face a lack of privacy. 


You can fix any of these issues quite simply with some drapery. Drapery helps to filter the light, reducing the heat in the room. Using curtains will also help you to reduce the incidence of fading on your fabrics. Curtains also help to keep your privacy. While it can be difficult to arrange a small room where a window is your only option for furniture placement, the simple addition of curtains really makes a difference.




Categories: home decor   furniture  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 6/30/2019

Houseplants are a great way to make your home feel more comfortable, colorful, and--in the winter--to bring a bit of living nature back into your life until spring arrives.

There are houseplants that will thrive in just about any location of your home. Plus, you can find houseplants that are low-maintenance or ones that are a bit more rewarding as you care for them and watch them grow.

In todayís post, Iím going to list the best houseplants for each room of your home. Iíll cover ďimpossible to killĒ low-maintenance plants and some that require a bit more work. Iíll also cover large and small plants, as the size will often depend on the available space in the rooms of your home.

Read on for the list of the best houseplants for each room of your home.

Bedroom

The bedroom is a place for rest and relaxation. You donít want anything too high maintenance or too big and bright. Lavender gives off a calming scent that is perfect for your cozy sleeping space.

Lavender is relatively low-maintenance, just be sure to water sparsely in the winter time, and only when the soil has dried out completely to avoid root rot.

Lavender works in other rooms as well, such as on a kitchen windowsill where it can be used for cooking.

Bathroom

The bathroom tends to be a humid place without much spare room. A single aloe vera plant near a light source can be a great accent.

Extremely low maintenance and useful after a day out in the sun, the bathroom is a perfect home for aloe vera. Simply snap off a leaf and use the gel inside for your burn.

Office

There are a few choice places for plants in the home office. A large snake plant in the corner of the room is a great way to add some life and color. Similarly, a money tree is easy to care for and fun to watch grow as you braid its stem (and whatís a more fitting place for a money tree than the place where you make your money!?).

For the desk, a small cactus or succulent will do the trick, as you donít want it to take up too much room.

Living room

For the living room, we can finally start talking about some of the bigger houseplants on the list. A Norfolk Island Pine looks like a small pine tree (though it technically isnít one) and it can grow several feet high indoors. This is a great choice for homeowners in colder climates who donít want to fill their house with unfitting tropical looking plants.

Palm and Yucca, on the other hand, are perfect for homes in warmer climates. They can grow several feet high and fill up empty spaces in a large living room with ease. Thereís a reason these are used in so many hotel and office building lobbies--theyíre easy to care for and can grow large enough to fill the void in a big building.

Windowless rooms

Most plants will need at least indirect sunlight to stay healthy through the year. But, if you have a windowless room in your home that you want to brighten up with a houseplant you have options.

Dracaena, snake plants, and creeping fig all grow well in little to no light and are easy to take care of.  




Tags: decorating   houseplants  
Categories: Decorating   houseplants  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 11/11/2018

One very important, yet often overlooked aspect of setting up a home is that of lighting. We often take lighting for granted. We turn on a light in order to see something better, but thereís so much more to a well-lit room than placing a light anywhere in the space. Lighting should be done in layers. These layers include:


  • Ambient lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Decorative lighting


For well-balanced lighting in a room, you should mix and match the types of lighting from these layers. Letís break down the different layers of lighting:


Ambient


This kind of lighting includes natural light sources such as windows and doors. Ambient lighting would also include pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures like a combination light/ ceiling fan.


Task


Task lighting is exactly as the name denotes. You use this type of lighting when you want to complete some kind of task. These fixtures could include under the counter lighting, desk lamps, and reading lamps. 


Accent 


Accent lighting provides additional brightness to a room. These fixtures include adjustable lights and recessed lighting features. 


Decorative


Decorative lighting accents a room in a different way. These types of fixtures would be something like chandeliers, different colored light bulbs, and other lights that can be used for decoration.      


Highlights


The great thing about the right kind of lighting is that it will feature the best parts of a room. Do you have a painting that you love? Use lighting to bring it out. Is there a statue that you want to make stand out? Use a soft spotlight. You can even highlight your crown molding and ceiling features with some mounted sconces or rope lights along the edge of your ceiling for an added effect. 


Spread It Out


One of the worst mistakes that people make when lighting a room is forgetting to spread out their light sources. All of the light in the room is concentrated in one spot, leaving dark patches in the space. This can be a decoratorís nightmare. This is why the layering method works so well. The lighting is spread out around the room and even. There wonít be any spots in the room where the lighting is overwhelming or on the flip side, not enough.


Use Your Windows


One of the other big mistakes in lighting is that people often forget to make use of the natural daylight. While you may need some lighting in a room thatís used often at night, there should be some great resources coming from right outside your windows. Donít block this light! Use creative ways to direct the light accordingly like curtains and blinds. Donít be afraid to leave some window space open as well to let the light shine in. While you donít want to sacrifice your privacy, you do not want to live with your windows darkened all day, every day!




Categories: interior design   lighting  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 6/24/2018

A home bar is one thing that most adults should have in their homes. Even if youíre not a drinker yourself, you should have something on hand to offer guests when they come over for an evening of food and conversation. Youíll need the right setup, the right tools, and the right recipes handy to have the perfect home bar. Whether you have a bar already or are looking to build your own, we have all the tips that youíll need as a rookie bartender.  


The Essentials


Youíll need quite a few essentials in your home bar including but not limited to:


  • Glasses
  • Bitters
  • Bar tools
  • Recipe books
  • Spirits
  • Mixers
  • Garnishes

Find The Right Surface To Transform Into A Bar


You can easily transform any table, sideboard, or cart into a bar. If the vessel that youíre using has a drawer, thatís even better. You can keep all of your bottles, glasses, decanters, and openers in one convenient place. Itís not bad if you canít fit all of your supplies in one place. Less used items can be stored in the pantry. 


You can even use a simple bookshelf to store all of your bar supplies. Transform any bookcase from ďboring bookshelfĒ to home bar in no time. You can arrange the shelving by category, giving each shelf a purpose. You can keep spirits on one shelf, glasses on another shelf, tools on another, and recipe books on another shelf. 


Does Your Home Have An Actual Bar Built-In?


Many homes actually have bars built in, but people rarely use them because they feel inexperienced in using the bar tools of the trade. Whether you have a full wet bar or a simpler dry bar, keep all of the essentials there. Youíll need:


  • Bar towel
  • Trash can
  •  Glasses
  • Decanter
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Shaker
  • Access to ice
  • Juice
  • Sodas
  • Juicer
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Jigger
  • Simple Syrup
  • Old fashioned glass
  • Peeler
  • Mesh strainer

Location Of The Bar


If youíre setting up a brand new bar, thereís a variety of places that you can put the bar. If you have space in the kitchen, you can add it to a corner right there. Other great places for your bar could be a den or a man cave. Wherever youíll spend time hanging out with company is a good place to keep your bar. If you have children, you might even consider getting a locking cabinet system for your liquor. You donít want little hands getting into what theyíre not supposed to.  


Setting up your own home bar is something to be proud of. It will be quite the conversation piece when guests come over. Youíll be able to discuss your collection of liquors and see if friends have any recommendations as to what you might add to your selection of liquors. A home bar is an entertaining essential.