Tuesday, March 31, 2009

White Is A Color

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

White ~ it can conjure up cool, clean, fresh, and sterile visuals. White is usually thought of as a cool or cold color. Sometimes it's thought of as no color. Hard to figure then why paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams have about a hundred colors between them in the white family. Just like any other color, white can have other colors within it - blue, yellow, pink, gray, etc.

Many retailers are showing white with other colors, which can sometimes tame a wild color, tone down a bright color and look clean and fresh with natural colors. Using Pottery Barn as one example, look at how white is being used in their new offerings.

From dinnerware to bedding to outdoor seating white is a classic color that works with every other color. Vary the shades and tones, and you can have a monochromatic look that doesn't look stark or stagnant. Just as a crisp, white shirt is a staple in your wardrobe, a bit of white in your home can help to visually rest the eye from the other colors and busy-ness going on in a room. Whether it is white sheers blowing in the breeze or cool white sheets on a bed, white has its place as a color in our homes.

Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions. All photos courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Kathy Passarette and Creative Home Expressions are based on Long Island, New York, and offer interior decorating, home staging, interior redesign, color consults and more. For more information on our services and fees please visit our website at www.creativehomeexpressions.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's Time To Come Home ~ Accessories

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs

Home décor accessories run the gamut from mirrors in an entry to those cute little knick-knacks on side tables. The problem with accessories comes in when it seems more is more, rather than less is more, and you can’t enjoy the pieces for themselves because there is just too much stuff.

As a tip, when adding an accessory to a room that is already accessorized, remove one other item. You don’t have to get rid of it, but store it and bring it out in six months or a year for a fresh look, or find a new home for it in another room (but remember, if you do that, you should remove one item from that room).

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs

Some items that fall into the accessory category are:

Picture frames
Decorative bowls
Decorative plates
Small footstools
Candy dishes

Accessories should work with the décor that you already have going on in the room. They also allow us to express our personality in a room that is basically a box with furniture in it.

Accessories tend to look better visually when grouped in odd numbers; usually threes. However, if you decorate in a traditional sense, and prefer things to be symmetrical, you will be more apt to prefer, for example, a pair of candlesticks at each end of a mantel rather than three grouped together at one end.

Photo courtesy of World Market

Accessories can also be used to tie in the colors or patterns used in other rooms in your home. For instance, if you use red towels in your kitchen you can transfer that red to pillows in your living room, a throw in the family room and cushions in your dining room.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs

Ultimately, the accessories you choose to use in your home should reflect you and your family. Items that have meaning to you, that you love, that bring back a memory are some of the things that make your home a home.

Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions

Kathy Passarette and Creative Home Expressions are based on Long Island, New York, and offer interior decorating, home staging, interior redesign and more. Please visit our website at
http://www.creativehomeexpressions.com/ for more information on our services and fees.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Time To Come Home ~ Window Treatments, Part II

Types of Window Treatments

Draperies - heavy material with pleated panels. May draw across the rod or remain stationery on either or both sides of the window.

Cornices - horizontal treatment across the top of the window. Usually made of wood. Maybe padded and covered with fabric.

Valances - horizontal treatment across the top of the window. Generally made from fabric.

Lambrequins - a cornice that extends down the sides of the windows, sometimes to the floor.

Shirred curtains - gathered directly on rods and hung straight down. Maybe attached both at the top and the bottom.

Café curtains - straight curtains hung from rings that slide along a rod. May cover the lower portion of the window or the entire window.

Roller shades - material hung on a roller from the top of the window. Pulls down to close; rolls up via a spring mechanism and can be made with fabric or purchased in the standard vinyl.

Roman shades - made of fabric; hangs flat when closed; folds horizontally into pleats when raised. This is a very popular treatment as it can provide privacy, light control, insulating qualities, many fabric and trim choices; it functions, it's stylish and can be made in a fabric of your choice.

Austrian shades - fabric shade that is gathered in scallops when down and pulls into tighter scallops when raised.

Balloon shades - fabric shade that is flat when down and pulls into scallops when raised (can also be a stationery valance).

Pleated shades - sold fabric that folds into horizontal accordion pleats. Raised and lowered using cords, usually slightly opaque.

Venetian blind - ½", 1" and 2" wide slats made of wood, metal or plastic. Hangs horizontally from a track and may be angled or drawn up.

Shutters - Louvered or fixed slats. Attached with hinges so they can be opened and shut. Made of wood or plastic.

Jabot - folded fabric that drapes down on either side of a swag or valance or between a series of swags.

Swag - fabric draped over a pole or rod.


Curtains can make a room, but if not measured correctly, they can also break a room.

Be sure to measure all windows, even if they appear to be the same size. Write the dimensions down, and then measure again to double check.

Use a metal measuring tape. A cloth tape is too flexible to be accurate.

When measuring, determine the type of rod you are going to use first. If you are using one with rings, you'll measure from the eye of the carrier ring to the floor. The eye is the small metal loop attached to the ring.

As a general rule to determine width of drapery panels, multiply the width of the window by two or three to account for gathering.

Determining drapery length is a personal preference. If you want the panels to touch the floor, allow about ½ inch to rest on the floor. Should you want the draperies to puddle on the floor, add anywhere from 6 to 18 inches to the length.

Tricks to Try

Mount drapery panels a few inches below the ceiling. This technique draws your eye up, making lower ceilings appear taller.

Add a fringe or a trim in a complementary color to ready-made draperies to create an inexpensive custom look. Trims and fringes are available in a wide variety of colors and styles.

To make a small window appear wider, place panels outside the window frame.

Trying to reuse draperies that are too short? Add a coordinating band of fabric to the bottom or top to create a border.

Drapery hardware can get expensive; rods, brackets and rings add up. Look for inexpensive alternatives such as PVC pipe, electrical conduit or dowel for a rod. Paint it black for the look of iron, or try silver or gold paint for a dressier appearance.

This series of articles is intended for entertainment purposes. Any resources listed are not an endorsement, but resources I have researched personally and professionally for ideas, trends and client projects. I welcome comments, e-mails or questions about the articles, or even your own home décor dilemmas.

Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions. All window treatment photos courtesy of Smith & Noble.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Special ~ Paint

Painting a room is one of the least expensive things you can do in your home that will make a big difference. Color can affect how the room looks, our mood while in that room and whether the room exudes a “warm” or “cool” feeling.

*SPECIAL* - for the month of March, save $25.00 off of our Color Consultation service. Color Consultation clients will receive a large size paint sample (typically 5x7 or 8x10) as well as 25% off Sherwin Williams paint. Contact us for details or an appointment today!

*Applies to in-person consultations only. Paint samples and 25% off coupon apply to clients who contract with us for our services. Contract must be signed by March 31, 2009. Please visit our website at http://www.creativehomeexpressions.com/ for further information.
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