Tips for Decorating Small Spaces

From the laundry room to the hallways, there are several commonly-small spaces that can be tricky to decorate. Often times, these spaces need to accommodate storage and organization, and making these busy areas look great and function well for your needs is an art form. Make the most of even the small spaces of your home with the following tips…

Think Up & Down.

Instead of adding another bookcase or cabinet to take up even more space in an already tiny room, consider adding shelving above your existing built-ins, going all the way up to the ceiling. You can take advantage of this ‘dead’ space with cute baskets or bins, where you should store rarely-used items such as off-season apparel and accessories (i.e. gloves and skiing gear), camping equipment, etc. Make the most of your closet space by adding shelves or even a dresser below your hanging items, so that you have even more storage space.

Look for Functional Versatility.

The laundry room is a very busy place when you’re doing chores, but it’s also a very underutilized space a lot of the time. Maximize your work space with a front-loading washer and dryer, topped with a counter for stain treating, sorting, and folding. And look for space savers that offer functional versatility, such as a drying rack that unfolds from a wall mount – it’s tidily put away while you’re working, but dries delicate clothing safely when it’s stretched out and you don’t need to use the room.

Take Advantage of Nooks & Crannies.

Even with the most thoughtfully designed floorplan, every home has a few spaces that are underutilized. For example, many homes have space underneath the stairs that can be converted into fantastic storage areas. Also, most older kitchens have odd-shaped cupboards that don’t offer reasonable storage space for pantry foods or crockery, so you can convert them into tall slide-out drawers for quick, convenient access to spices, canned foods, and baking ingredients.

Looking for more ideas? Don’t miss Elle Decor’s small space solutions collection and 9 rules you should break in a small space.

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

Wallpaper: Is It Out Of Style?

Interior design trends come and go, but wallpaper is one that continues to stick around. zebra scalamandre

The popularity of wallpaper reached its peak in the early 19th century with the invention of machine printing. It began, as most hot new items do, as a quite luxurious product for wealthier homes, but soon became mass produced and widespread in interior décor. Classic wallpaper styles were generally elaborate and almost gaudy, like a paisley pattern that would be in your grandma’s house. Once it became commonplace in working class households, wallpaper was no longer all the rage, and its popularity began to fade along with its physical lifespan.

Applying wallpaper is difficult. Aligning patterns, wrestling with rolls of sticky paper, and pressing onto the wall without lumps is nowhere near as simple as painting a wall. Perhaps the tricky application process contributed to wallpaper’s decline in home design, or perhaps it was the out-of-date patterns that turned people off. But like most lifestyle trends, wallpaper has made a comeback with a modern twist.

Back in the day, wallpaper was used as a background to a room, whereas it is widely used as a foreground now. Bold colors and patterns can act as the focal point of a space with little need for more wall adornments. Today’s wallpaper styles are less about looking luxurious and more about working with other elements in the room. It also doesn’t have to be so bold that it takes over a room—many interiors utilize wallpaper with subtle patterns and neutral colors.

So, is wallpaper out of style? While the medium itself has re-gained popularity, the old fashioned patterns seen in many mid-19th century homes are no longer all the rage. Depending on how you use it, wallpaper can be contemporary and stylish.

Check out our work to see how we’ve used wallpaper to create beautiful spaces!

Interior Design Trend Forecast for 2016

A new year brings new trends. As interior designers, it’s always exciting for us to anticipate what’s on the horizon in our industry, from colors and room themes to furniture and popular products. Design is ever changing, adapting to advances in technology, cultural influences, and what’s currently “in.” Here’s our forecast for 2016 interior design trends:Spot-On SideTable-Gold

  • Minimalism. Nothing is the new something when it comes to decorating. We’re constantly seeing blank walls and empty corners rather than full. The minimalist trend allows a space’s natural curves, architecture and lighting speak for itself, ridding the need for excess embellishment.
  • Geometrics. Triangles and polygons are everywhere in design at the moment. We’re seeing geometric shapes in everything from a single piece of wall art to patterns in backsplashes and flooring.
  • Leafy greens. House plants have long been a finishing touch in interior design, but the popularity of these potted life forms significantly increased in 2015. Plants are integrated into so many photo spreads, catalogs and inspiration boards that they seem almost second nature in modern room design. A simple vase of flowers is no longer enough—think small trees, large palm leaves and hanging pots overflowing with leaves.
  • Warm metallics. The popularity of copper, brass, and rose gold will continue into this year. From Moscow Mule mugs to bathroom shelves, these warmly toned metals are a stylish juxtaposition to natural materials like wood and stone. Metallic materials are a great investment because they’ll last—both in quality and style.
  • Retro style. Furnishings are dipping back to decades ago with 1960s-70s design elements. Perhaps it’s a nostalgia for the quirky mid-century design era or an escape from today’s increasingly digital world, but whether we like it or not, the ‘70s are here to stay. 

What interior design trends are you excited to see in your home this year? Leave us a comment to let us know!

7 Fall Interior Design Trends We Can’t Get Enough Of

Fall is here, and it’s time for a décor update! There are some pretty wonderful fall interior design trends that we simply can’t get enough of, and want to share…

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White on white. Fresh, clean, and sophisticated to boot, the white-on-white look is brightening up spaces everywhere. And with the gloomy winter season upon us, there’s no better time to illuminate your living space with refreshing white tones.

Glamour. Sofas and chairs with curvy lines and upholstered with luxurious fabrics, and elegantly sleek furniture pieces with a tuxedo-like color combination are on-point. Malachite is also a fabulous material for jazzing up a space with glamour.

Metallic leather. Chic, eye-catching and fabulous, furniture that is upholstered with metallic leather is on everyone’s radar this season! It’s that extra kick of shimmer that any room could use to brighten things up and get some glam going.

Bold patterns. With audacious appeal and stage-setting panache, bold, graphic patterns are making a statement this season. Deck the walls with zebra, ikat, Asian prints, and quirky graphic wallpapers for a stunning setting.

Bright with black. If you’re at all familiar with GR Interiors and Graciela’s style, you know how much we love using black as a bold accent – on a wall or otherwise. For Fall 2015, it’s becoming more and more fun to contrast vivid bright colors on a sleek black backdrop.

Chunky accessories. It is the season, after all, for cozy throws to keep you warm. Get comfy with fashionably chunky knit throw pillows and accent blankets for a look that’s textured and modish as well as cozy and welcoming.

Pleats. Whether they’re in the force of stacked creases or complimenting a sofa’s simplicity with discreet box pleats, these fresh, cute tucks and gathers are just the thing to add a bit more stylish flair. Ribbed accents such as throw pillows are also totally vogue.

Trending Colors for Fall 2015

Your home is your refuge, your delight, and another way to showcase your personality. Wall color is the foundation for all of the things that create a comfortable, cherished, and representative space. It can totally transform the mood of a space, and give a room exciting energy or relaxed bliss.

Color authority Pantone released their predictions for trending colors for fall 2015 a few months ago, and we’re excited about the mix of bold and rich tones that they forecasted. Elle Décor recently shared an infographic about Pantone’s 10 predicted ‘down to earth’ colors for fall 2015, which described the fall color palette as “[weaving] earthy neutrals with a range of bold color statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural.”

Pantone Fall 2015

We are all about these beautiful hues, which bring back the fun, optimistic sentiments of the 1960s and ‘70s. The softer pastel colors of Cadmum Orange, Cashmere Rose, Desert Sage, and Oak Buff compliment the darker, duskier Dried Herb and Stormy Weather. Richer, vibrant hues such as Amethyst Orchid, Marsala, Biscay Bay, and Reflecting Pond round out the palette with some gusto.

These predictions are far from random – Pantone polls designers from many industries to learn the colors they plan to use in their products for upcoming seasons. Then, they update the rest of us with the results so that we can all get excited about color!

As we near the end of summer, it’s a great time to give your home décor a second look. Is it time for a little update (or a big one)? Now is the time to get started, so that everything is finished before the holiday craziness hits. Visit our store near the University Village to get some inspiration and some beautiful pieces, or contact us if you think you could use some professional consultation or assistance!

How To Protect Your Home’s Interior From Sun Damage

It’s hot out there! The sizzling summer sun can have lasting effects on your home’s interior as it beats down on furniture and décor throughout the day. Carpets, drapes, hardwood flooring, artwork, sofas, chairs and more that are exposed to direct sunlight are susceptible to sun damage such as fading, drying, and cracking. Fabrics and leather are strong, but UV rays are stronger, and can even shine through windows on cloudy or rainy days. As longer and hotter days approach, here are some tips for protecting your home’s interior from sun and heat damage:

Play musical chairs. Move things around so that any one item is not constantly soaking in direct sunlight. Switch similar furniture or art pieces between sunny and dark rooms a few times throughout the summer to reduce sun exposure.

Window tinting. No need to be completely in the dark—even the slightest shaded window film can significantly protect interior items from fading. Tinted windows still allow plenty of natural light in, while blocking harmful UV rays to significantly reduce heat and sun damage. Solar Control window films can also block up to 79% of incoming solar energy, reducing the amount of heat coming into your home and therefore saving you money on air conditioning bills.

Add protective layers. Just like we apply sunscreen to our skin, fabrics and upholsteries should be protected from the sun. Cover couches with blankets during the day, and coat outdoor furniture with protective sealants (check out what products are best for specific materials here).

Draw the shades. Before leaving the house, you should create as much shade as possible. Close blinds and drapes, which will sacrifice the sun’s heat to protect the rest of the interior space. Keep windows cracked to allow a breeze.

Communicate with your designer. When designing your interior space, we are here to help! Ask questions, create a flexible space that can be rotated during the peak of summer sunshine, and work together to organize furniture and décor with fading in mind.

Color Theory for Interior Design

Color is powerful. It is emotional, representative, and evokes a mood. The use of color in interior design is one of the most important elements when configuring a space, setting the scene for the room’s function and feel. All GR Interior designs are carefully thought out when it comes to the color palate and how it will affect the purpose of the space.

GR Lifestyles Zebra Living Room

Zebra Living Room

Some color meanings are obvious: greens for earthy tones, reds for warmth, yellow for sunny rooms. The way we use colors to compliment or contrast each other can create a specific mood, drawing from the following basics of color theory:

• Red: passion, daring, intimate, comforting, stimulates appetite
• Orange: creative, warm, friendly, inviting
• Yellow: welcoming, sunny, thoughtful
• Green: tranquil, restful, balancing, healthy
• Blue: productivity, clarity, calm, meditative, tranquil
• Purple: royal, regal, mysterious, cooling, spiritual
• Pink: feminine, positive, fun, playful
• Brown: sophistication, masculine, complimentary, earthy

Black, white, and grey are used as complimentary or neutral colors in interior design. Their purpose is often to enhance the other colors in the room by providing a subtle background for bolder hues. Accents of bright green or blue can brighten darker color tones, and warm colors such as red or gold can be used to warm a bland background such as grey. Rooms with mostly white or a light color exude open and airy space, while rooms based around blacks or browns create a warm, intimate feel.

At GR Home, we aren’t shy when it comes to color! Playing with different palates and compositions allows us to bring a certain personality to a room through furniture, décor and paints. No matter what types of objects occupy a room, the first thing you notice is color. Our expert design team uses and executes color theory in each project, creating an appropriate mood for your living space and preferences.

Contact us to get started on your next interior design project!

We Love LEE Industries Furniture!

With great design comes fabulous furniture. At GR Home, one of our favorite parts about interior design is working with amazing products that we are proud to present to clients. A beautiful piece of furniture or art will often inspire the overall design of a space. We know that choosing a new couch or table can be overwhelming with the abundance of options out there, which is why we’ve carefully selected our favorite brands to be showcased in-store and recommended for your home.

One of our best selling items is LEE Industries furniture. It’s a consistently great product that we’re proud to offer to our clients. LEE offers products for the whole home, from headboards to room accents to outdoor items. We have used this furniture in many of our interior designs along with selling it in the GR Home store.

LEE furniture began in 1969 with the mission to manufacture quality, American-made products. The family-owned company has built every one of their items in the USA since then. 98 percent of the parts in LEE products are supplied domestically including packaging, fabrics, frames, foam, etc. From the website: “We are committed to the good of our customers, our associates, our vendors, our community, and our environment. Through diligence, foresight and perseverance, we have become a leader in upholstery manufacturing with outstanding products, superb customer service and cutting edge technology. Thanks to the craftsmanship and team spirit that is the hallmark of LEE’s success, every masterpiece is built with pride in the USA.”

It’s wonderful to see beautiful furniture and home products that are ethically manufactured. When we design with LEE furniture, we are supporting the company’s mission along with creating a fresh living space in your house. GR Home is proud to provide these American-made products to our clients, and excited that this is one of our best sellers! Contact us or come on in to the store to get started on your interior design project.

Accessories to Make Your Dining Room Distinctive

It is a fun and creative process as you work with your designer to make your home a beautiful place that reflects you and your lifestyle. However, all too often, much time and emphasis is placed on the living, kitchen, and sleeping areas in a home, leaving the dining room as almost as after thought.

The dining room is a key player in your entertaining schedule, so don’t leave its look to leftovers. Check out our gallery for some fun, classy, and exotic ways to accessorize the space with not only beautiful pieces, but ones that serve a purpose for entertaining and meals.

  • Plum Table Setting

    Love this Plum and Turquoise table scape for Spring

    Platters and Plates: Not only are there endless possibilities of wonderful service pieces to help you in your entertaining events, but these are truly pieces of art and too lovely to look at, that it would be a shame to tuck them away in a hutch when not in use. Rather than adorn your surfaces with knick-knacks, pull out some of your beautiful service pieces and put them to work as a part of your room décor.

  • Glasses and Goblets: At GR, we have them in a multitude of hues to add a play of light and glow to your dining space. These are wonderful holding votive candles, glass beads, or beautiful stones to complement your style and colors.
  • Home Vanity: Often times relegated to the bedroom, this piece is wonderful to not only put to use housing your dining room linens, but it’s top surface provides a great space to use to tie in your accessories, framed photos, or top with a beautiful lamp.
  • Home Tea Set: this lovely set and others that we carry in GR Home is perfect for bringing out of the china hutch and setting on the home vanity on a tray. It is just begging to be used and has beautiful lines that would complement either a classic or contemporary home style.
  • Porcelain Dishes: These footed bowls are lovely for storing and displaying your beautiful linens while at the same time, drawing your accent colors into your dining space. GR Home has a wide selection of sizes and shapes to fit your need.
  • Candle in a Jar: These are perfect clustered on a tray, ready to add soft ambiance to your entertaining. The jars catch and reflect the light beautifully and add warmth.

Remember not to neglect your dining space and have fun accessorizing. Look at your utilitarian pieces in a whole new light, pull them out of hiding and put them to work around your room so you can enjoy their beauty and the reasons they caught your eye in the first place.

Modern Updates to your Holiday Décor

‘Tis the season to get festive and dust off those Christmas decorations—the holidays are here! Are you tired of looking at that set of nutcrackers from the ‘90s? Have you exhausted all possible arrangements of those worn out Santa figurines? Try these modern updates for traditional holiday decorations to spruce up those outdated adornments:

Leave the leafy wreath behind

A wreath made of tree branches has so much more potential than the traditional green circle. Give a wreath some love with extra ornaments or holly berries, or try a new technique all together. Think outside the box (or rather, circle) for materials—pinecones, wine corks, rolled paper, candy canes, colored paper clips, round ornaments, all can come together to make a unique, modern wreath.

Ornaments don’t just have to be for the tree

Have you accumulated so many ornaments over the years that they no longer fit on the tree? No need to pack away your favorites due to a lack of branch space—these little figurines can be used throughout the house as added adornment. Hang from large plants or decorative branches, use in table centerpieces, place on the mantle, or fill a glass bowl as an easy tabletop decoration.

Play with color

If you’re not a big fan of literal Christmas decorations such as stuffed reindeer or Santa statues, let the colors of the holidays do the work. A table setting of green and gold, a mantel filled with silver pieces, or a room with pops of red does the trick without the need of Christmas characters smiling throughout your home.

Keep it simple

Less is more in home décor, and the same goes for dressing your house for the holidays. Spread the Christmas cheer throughout the entire house by keeping displays minimal in each room. A simple garland or arrangement of festive candles go a long way and create a focal point in the space.

Happy holidays from all of us at Graciela Rutkowski Interiors!

Featured photo found here.