Friday, August 31, 2012

How to display your photos...creatively!

We live in the Pinterest age. We all have thousands of images and pictures that we absolutely love and would like to display somehow in our homes. But there’s only so much wall space, so we’ll have to pick only a few to hang up...right?

Wrong! Take a look at some of the neat display ideas below and let your creativity take the wheel: 

Wall-mounted shelves can make all the difference. Just make sure to have some consistency, like matching frames or matting, so that the overall look isn’t too cluttered.   

Mix and match approach: Use wall-mounted shelves AND traditional nail-in-wall picture hanging!

Do you have a fireplace mantel? Use it!

Why waste all that space under your stairs? Hang some pictures! Just make sure those pictures are well-secured to the wall so they stay put even as people walk (or run) up and down the stairs.

Maybe you don’t have a ton of pictures you love, but you do have a thing for pretty picture frames...display them anyway! 

Need even more ideas? This graphic should help (click it to see it even larger):

How do you like to display your pictures? Tell us in the comments!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Multiple Uses for the Matrix Gold Server

We love the gold matrix line! For the kitchen, we carry a dinette set with matching server and extra chairs if you need them. For the living room, we carry a 3-piece coffee and end table set with optional matching console table and wall mounted mirror.

The matrix server is one of our most consistently popular pieces.

However, just because the server is designed to go with the kitchen set doesn't mean you can’t use it elsewhere! Many folks will buy the server because they love it, even if they don't have room for it in their current kitchen/dining room. But there are plenty of other ways to make the server a part of your home. Here are a few of our favorites:

In your entryway

Many folks just purchase the console table for these situations. We love the console table, with its clean lines and "no fuss" appearance. But it doesn't have storage, which in small spaces is a must. Fortunately you can also use the server in an entryway with dazzling results!

You can store boots and shoes on the bottom shelf; the grate design allows dirt and snow to fall through (make sure to put a mat underneath to catch all the debris). We've heard of folks storing umbrellas, flip flips and more in the wine rack spaces. On many server models, you can also just simply unscrew the whole wine rack component and keep it for another use.

Want to make it look more like a foyer piece? Just buy the mirror separately and hang it above the server for an added convenience for your guests!

In your hallway

Don't have much room in your bathroom for storage? Put the matrix server along one wall in the hallway just outside the bathroom. The wine rack part would be perfect for storing rolled up towels, and a few cloth-lined baskets on the bottom shelf could hold toiletries, small items, rolls of toilet paper, etc.

In your bedroom

You can use a combination of the ideas above to find a home for the server in your bedroom. Again, we love those handy cloth-lined baskets - they just make everything look so tidy!

You can also stash rolled up t-shirts in the wine rack, a skinny laundry basket on the bottom shelf, and even slide low-heeled shoes - like flip flips - under the bottom shelf.

Remember: If you purchased the 3-year accident protection plan, don't remove parts or alter the server in any way as this may void your warranty.

What creative uses have you come up with for your furniture? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why We Love Soft Headboards

Our Leather Look queen bed has always been a popular choice.

There are a variety of reasons that it's so popular, but one in particular is that has a soft headboard and foot board.

Soft headboards and foot boards have many benefits. Here are some of the ones our customers most often tell us:

  • You can sit up in bed without pillows. Of course, a pillow never hurts, but you can also just lean directly on the headboard itself to chat on the phone, work on your computer, or read a book. Talk about convenience!
  • You don't have to worry about whacking your head, elbow, or knee on a hard surface. We've heard that this bed is especially popular for folks who err on the clumsy side. Stumbling around in the dark trying to find your bed? It's much nicer to bang your shin into this foot board than it is to run into an all-wood foot board. Ouch. 
  • It's small child friendly. Ever have your kids bound into your room at the crack of dawn and throw themselves down on your bed, often with you still in it? This bed is forgiving to any little arms, legs, or heads that happen to smack into it. 
There are other reasons this bed is popular too, not least of which is that you can choose between several different matching bedroom suites to go with it. Do you prefer blacker furniture? Go with the B208 Ashley suite. Lean towards brown more? We've seen people mix and match with pieces from the Emperor set, the 6300 group set, and others. The sky's the limit! Just pick what you like. 

Oh, and did we mention that this bed is on sale this month? Only $199 for the headboard, foot board and rails through the end of August! Stop by your local Home Decor to lock in your sale price on layaway!

Friday, August 10, 2012

How to Combine Patterns Like a Pro

Mixing patterns can be intimidating! Unless you're a designer by profession, how can you know that you did it right? What if something clashes?

While it's good to be wary (we've all seen a house or two where the homeowner went a little overboard), there's no reason to avoid pattern mixing altogether. Apartment Therapy put together this great guide for pattern matching. You'll be mixing and matching like a pro in no time!

The only way to truly get comfortable with using patterns is to give it a go. Here's the crash course:

The Magic Number: Odd numbers work when you are grouping. Three is always a good place to start; go up from there if you're feeling it.

  • Pattern 1: This is your strongest statement, so choose something you absolutely love and want to go off of for the rest of the room. It's best to start with a large scale pattern.
  • Pattern 2: This piece should have a couple of the same colors as your first pattern, but be half the scale.
  • Pattern 3: Go for a complementary color or neutral textured piece in a smaller scale.

Color Intensity:
Stay with the same color tones and intensities. Veer away from mixing primary colors with pastels, or muted ones with jewel tones.

Solids and Textures: You don't want to put too many patterns on top of each other. You need a place for the eye to rest. Add in solids and textures to balance and seperate.

Graphics: Choosing a black and white (or color and white) graphic is a good way to add in an eye catching element to unify the space.

Balancing: Whether you begin with your patterns or solids first, be sure the rest of the room is continued in that same color palette to create harmony.

White: White is a great base that brings everything together and lets your patterns make a vibrant statement. Just make sure to keep the same white throughout for a crisp, clean look.

Companion Fabrics: If you need a little study time to push you into the world of mixing patterns, look into companion fabrics. Companion fabrics are designed by companies as pre-mixed harmonious patterns by color palette. Just head to the fabric store, ask for some companions and start studying what works together and why.

Pattern Buddies: Ok, so let's get down to the nitty gritty. What looks good together:

  • Polka Dots, Textures and Graphics
  • Small Polka Dots, Stripes and Florals
  • Plaid, Paisley and Graphics
  • Ikat, Polka Dots and Paisely
  • Chevron, Floral and Geometric
  • Toile, Texture and Stripes
  • Animal Prints and Texture
  • Two Ikats and Texture
  • Damask, Floral and Stripes

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do you use bunky boards?

Over at Apartment Therapy, contributor Roni Shapira Ben-Yoseph tells us about her first encounter with bunky boards:

I recently ordered bunkable twin beds for my daughters (we went with the New Mix) and I have 8-10 weeks to purchase mattresses. I set out in search of a great foam or latex option and encountered a few salespeople who mentioned bunky boards. Bunky wha?

Bunky (or bunkie) boards are cloth-covered pallets that provide a solid foundation in lieu of a box spring or base. They are recommended for foam or latex mattresses used on slats to maximize comfort and service life. Read more.

When it comes to bunky boards, it can be tempting to skip the bunky and just use a board. We sometimes hear of people using plywood instead. The trouble here is that harmless looking splinters and rough edges can tear up the underside of your mattress, or even injure little hands that come into contact with the wood. Additionally, many bunky boards are actually molded to fit snugly against a mattress, keeping it from sliding around...much better than flat plywood!

Here are a few of our beds that work well with bunky boards:

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