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Classic Home Color Combo: Blue and White

Like your favorite pair of blue jeans paired with a white tee, decorating with blue and white feels easy for most people. Today we’ll take a look at three ways to bring a blue and white color palette into your home: country, classic and coastal.

Country Living
Country Living

1. Country. The dining space shown here has that warm and inviting French country look perfected. Casual blue and white striped textiles pair up with cozy toile wallpaper and a farm table and chairs to create a room that would be a delight to spend time in. To get this look, use a mix of vintage or antique wood pieces with new blue and white textiles like slipcovers, table linens, wallpaper, and even ceramics for your tabletop. A country-take on the blue and white scheme can include shades of cream for a softer look.

domino2
Domino

HGTV
HGTV

2. Classic. Blue and white china is probably the quickest way to add this color palette to your classic or traditional space. And while less is sometimes more, in this case, more is more! Cluster a group of blue and white china vases together on the kitchen counter, or display a collection of pieces in varied sizes on wall-mounted brackets. Carry the blue and white theme throughout your space with blue linens in the bedroom and tea towels in the kitchen.

Bright Bazaar
Bright Bazaar

Roost Blog
Roost

3. Coastal. Nothing says coastal style more clearly than a crisp blue and white stripe. If you want to channel a beach vibe, don’t be shy with the stripes! Try a blue and white striped rug, roman shades, pillow covers, curtains, or all of the above. Mixing stripes is easier than it sounds, so don’t be afraid to pile them on — just remember that mixing and matching is easier with stripes of different widths. Try a wide stripe rug paired with narrow ticking stripe pillows, for example. Then round out your room with upholstered pieces in solid blue or white and crisp white walls.

Leslie Shewring Blues

Leslie Shewring for decor8

Putting it all together: Have an idea of what you would like in your blue and white room? Before you get started, consider pulling together a quick mood board with a few images that capture the particular shades of blue you love, textures you’re hoping to use, or even specific pieces you have your eye on. Then stand back and ask yourself if they all work together. Play around with adding and removing pictures until it pleases you, and then use your mood board as a reference when selecting products for your space. You can pin tear sheets from magazines and catalogs to a bulletin board, or create a digital inspiration board using an online tool like Pinterest.

Ready to shop for a blue and white rug for your space? These four favorites are a great place to begin your search:

blue and white rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Safavieh Evoke in navy and ivory; Spicher and Company vintage vinyl floor cloths in blue and ivory; Company C ticking stripe in indigo; Nourison Somerset in light blue.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Guest Room Checklist For The Holidays

Have overnight visitors coming for Thanksgiving weekend or the winter holidays this year? Get your guest space all ready with these top 10 guest room essentials and extra touches to make their stay comfortable.

Refresh Restyle Bedroom
Refresh Restyle

1. Cozy bedding. Aim to include a comfortable mattress pad, sheets, pillow shams and a duvet or quilt. A soft and cozy throw blanket at the foot of the bed can provide extra warmth on chilly evenings. Consider going for a soft neutral palette like the one shown here for maximum versatility — crisp white sheets paired with cream and tan accents is sophisticated and works equally well in all seasons.

Domino Books
Domino

2. Something to read. A stack of books including a mix of favorite authors and local info is a nice touch for the bedside table.

Domino Bath
Domino

3. Towels and toiletries. Have some of those little trial-size toiletries laying around? Gather them up and plunk them in a pretty bowl or cup to offer to your guests in case they forgot something. Also be sure to set out fresh bath and hand towels — I’m partial to fluffy white towels or thin, striped turkish towels.

Emily Henderson bedroom
Emily Henderson

4. Rug. A soft rug underfoot is a necessity if you have hard flooring — but even if you have carpeting, consider layering a colorful runner or fluffy faux hide on top. Your guests will appreciate the extra softness underfoot.

5. Bedside lighting. Overhead lighting alone is simply not enough. Add a bedside lamp on each side of the bed so your guests can read in bed. And before your guests arrive, remember to check that the bulbs work!

Guest Room Checklist
Ann Street Studio | Driven by Decor | Refresh Restyle | Crate Blog

6. Valet hooks. Your guests will want a spot to hang up a few items of clothing, but you might not have a full closet rod or dresser available. What to do? Install a few hooks instead. Valet hooks (like the ones shown top left) are a style of wall hook perfect for hanging up a hanger or two to keep clothes neat and wrinkle-free.

7. Coffee station. Gather up an electric kettle, french press, mugs, ground coffee and tea on a pretty tray so your guests can help themselves to a hot coffee in the morning or relaxing herbal tea before bed. Bonus: if they’re up early, they won’t have to worry about bothering you to find out where anything is!

8. Workstation. Including a small desk along with your home’s wifi code is a great way to make your guest feel at home. If you’re short on space in your guest room, consider including a slim desk and shelf combination like the one shown here.

Kelly Nan Bedroom
Kelley Nan

9. Extra pillows and blankets. Keep a few varieties of pillows and a spare blanket on hand so guests can grab them if needed. Feel free to leave these items out on the bed or on a nearby bench — if you do opt to stash them inside a closet, be sure to let your guests know where these items are kept so they can get them if needed.

10. Water. After being on the road to travel to your home, your guests will probably be thirsty! Provide a carafe of water with a few glasses, or stock their bedside tables with bottled water so they can hydrate. For bonus points add a small vase of fresh flowers and a scented candle.

To shop for a cozy guest room rug, consider one of these go-with-anything beauties:

Guest Room Rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Monaco by Safavieh in grey; Anastasia by Loloi Rugs in light blue; Anastasia by Loloi Rugs in desert and brown; Rhapsody by Surya in cream.

To shop all guest bedroom rug options, click here.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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5 Common Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Whether you’re decorating your first place or revamping a home you’ve lived in for decades, figuring out where to begin can feel overwhelming. To take away some of the guesswork, we’re walking you through five top decorating mistakes so you know what to look for, and (more importantly!) how to remedy them in your own home. With these five areas of design know-how under your belt, your home will feel beautifully, intentionally designed in a flash.

Erin Gates Design
Erin Gates Design

Problem #1: Too short curtains. If your curtains do not reach the floor or if the curtain hardware is attached to the window frame, your curtains are probably too short. The only exception being if you have a radiator blocking the curtain’s path to the floor — in which case, you may want to consider opting for blinds or roman shades rather than drapes.

The fix: Think of your curtains as not just a covering for your window, but a frame for these light-enhancing architectural features. When measuring for curtains, take your measurements high enough that you can hang the rods near the ceiling, and the drapes will just brush the floor. If there’s wall space on both sides of the window frame, consider hanging your curtains wider than the frame itself, so when you pull your curtains open the entire window is visible, maximizing the light.

Svenja Brucker for Decor8
Svenja Brucker
for Decor8

Problem #2: Too small rug. It’s tempting to go for a 5×8 foot or even a 4×6 rug because they tend to be more affordable. But the thing is, unless the room you are decorating is truly petite, or if you’re looking for an accent rug, those sizes are not usually big enough. Most standard size living rooms can easily handle an 8×10 rug, if not bigger.

The remedy: The simplest way to measure for a new rug is to set up the furniture arrangement in your space first, and then measure around it. There are all sorts of design quibbles about how many feet ought to be on or off your rug, but it’s never wrong to have a nice big rug that all of the main furniture can fit on. If you already own a pretty little rug, consider layering it over a less costly (but bigger) natural fiber rug to expand the sense of space.

Lighting 3 studio mcgee
Studio McGee

Problem #3: Not enough lighting. It’s a fact: a dark room feels smaller and less inviting. Including lots of light sources is second-nature to professional designers, but isn’t always so obvious to the rest of us. After all, isn’t the overhead light that came with the house, plus a table lamp enough? The answer is…nope, probably not.

The fix: At a minimum, aim to include at least three different light sources in each room. But if you really want to make your space feel magical, bump that number up to five. Overhead fixtures can be great, but consider swapping out the simple flush-mount light that came with the house for something more stylish (and with more lighting potential) like a pendant light. Floor lamps are handy for lighting dark corners, and sconces are fantastic in dark hallways and bedrooms.

 The Shade Store and Studio McGee
Studio McGee

Problem #4: Jumbled color palette. This usually comes down to indecision and lack of planning. You may have the best of intentions, but without a clear plan for your home’s color palette, chances are you’re going to end up with a mishmash of hues throughout your space, lending it an unintentionally cluttered look.

The fix: I find a camera to come in quite handy for determining which colors need to go — simply snap a few photos with your phone, and look at them with a keen eye for color. What jumps out at you? How many different colors can you spot in each room? Once you’ve examined your photos, go back into each space and edit out excess items in clashing colors until you’re down to neutrals plus one main hue.

Decor
Studio at One Kings Lane
via Studio McGee

Problem #5: Too many little decor items. This is what I like to think of as the Target trap. You’re strolling along, minding your own business, just trying to buy some cat food and laundry detergent when — bam! — sparkly, shiny, colorful little decor items call to you from those enticing endcaps and somehow end up in your cart. I know, I’ve been there! The problem with collecting too many small decor items is they end up losing their impact. From a distance, it reads as clutter. So let’s take a step back and edit our decor.

The fix: Less is more when it comes to decorative objects. Choose just a few key decor items for each room that have real presence. This could be a big mirror, a pair of cool vases, and one framed art print you love, for example. Fewer but larger decor items will make a stunning statement.

And that’s it! Put these 5 tips into practice, and your friends might just start asking you whether you hired a decorator.

Gorgeous Large Rugs

Rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Loloi Rugs Hygge in gray and mist; Loloi Rugs Hygge in smoke and taupe; Jaipur Rugs Genesis Atha in copper and gray; KAS Montreal Heidi in gray.

To shop more large rugs, shop all 8×10, 9×12 and 10×14 rugs.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Spot On Dalmatian: A Unique Animal Print In The Home

Lilly Bunn Interiors
Lilly Bunn Interiors

When you think of trendy animal print patterns, I’m guessing Dalmatian doesn’t make the list. But oh, it really should! Not only does this pattern provide a dynamic, bold statement, it also magically maintains the neutral appeal that other animal prints have. That means it’s a really versatile look and works great in small spaces like a bathroom, a small hallway, or even lining the back of a linen closet or bar cabinet.

Courtney Apple
Courtney Apple

A Dalmatian print is modern and graphic – an edgier take on the classic polka dot, if you will. At the moment this print is really enjoying its time in the spotlight with lots of wallpaper and fabric options readily available. There are also plenty of DIY projects to be had if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in stores. Most projects, like the pair of dining chairs above, only require a Sharpie marker and a willing hand with some time to spare.

Genevieve Garruppo
Genevieve Garruppo

Dalmatian manages to pull off the rare combination of feeling pulled together and chic, yet playful and fun. I really like what an unexpected surprise it is in this casual dining space. Thanks to removable wallpaper, the pop behind the shelves doesn’t have to be permanent, and the same goes for the chair cushions with so much affordable fabric by the yard readily available. The simple palette of black and white works so well, but this space would look just as fantastic with royal blue shelves or a bright red dining table.

Domaine
via Domaine

When in doubt go against the expected and flip it on its head – in this case, black on white reverse Dalmatian! When partnered with a large and bold pattern, like the tile floor in this bathroom, it really shines as a neutral with some power behind it. By keeping the rest of the room simple with glossy black and white the two patterns doesn’t need to compete with one another.

Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond

If you’re still not convinced, or maybe just not quite ready to take a diving leap into full-on Dalmatian, think about how you might incorporate the print in smaller ways. Throw pillows or sham covers, a cozy blanket, dish towels or napkins. Floor rugs are also a smart way to dip your toe into any trend you’d like to experiment with, here are a few favorites.

Dalmation Spot Rugs

1/ Artistic Weavers Stella Dalmation   2/ Surya Moroccan Shag

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

Looking for other animal print rugs? Shop all animal print rugs.

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