3 common mistakes found in living rooms

Please know that these “mistakes” have nothing to do with your style or personal taste and they have zero to do with how expensive your furnishings are. This is most definitely not a critique of anyone’s personal preferences. I get so many questions around “what is wrong with my living room?” that I thought I would put the 3 most common issues together in one post.

These pointers are not meant to add pressure on you to change anything in your home. But if you don’t like the way your living room currently feels, check these three things first. Here are three common mistakes I see people making in their living rooms.

Improper spacing of furniture
I see this everywhere.
It’s either too close (the coffee table is practically kissing the couch), or its too far apart (all the furniture is against the walls). Here’s some useful info to help you with your furniture arrangement.

Catrina at Home living room

Example of coffee table too close to couch.

  • Ideally, the coffee table should be around 18″ from the couch. Enough for decent leg room yet close enough to be able to put down drinks and appetizers. A coffee table that is too far from the couch (or anchor piece of furniture) is a useless piece of furniture.
  • Furniture should be placed in the room so that when seated, people are no more than eight feet apart from each other. This is called a conversation arc. When furniture is placed too far apart it discourages conversation and people feel disconnected from one another.
    Unless that’s your goal, lol keep the furniture within the conversation arc.

 

Wrong size area rug
I’ve seen this in million dollar homes and one hundred thousand dollar homes, it seems folks from all economic backgrounds need a little help in this area. Here’s the general rule:

  • Your area rug should be big enough so that the front legs of your living room furniture are able to rest on the rug by at least 6-8 inches. Keep in mind the ‘conversation arc’ mentioned above when determining how large your rug should be. Most living rooms need an area rug that’s at least 8’x10′.
  • When there is floor space between your furniture and the rug, the room can feel disconnected and uncomfortable. When the front legs of your furniture are resting on the rug it brings a sense of balance and coziness to the room.

    boho-midcentury-style-home-3

    The proper size area rug for this room. Photo: Decoholic.org

 

Artwork hung too high
I have racked my brain trying to figure out why people have a tendancy to hang artwork so high and I cannot figure it out! lol Here is the general rule for hanging artwork in your home:

  • The middle of your artwork should be at eye level, around 60″ from the floor.
  • If you’re hanging multiple pieces of artwork, i.e. a gallery wall, arrange the artwork on the floor and find the middle point, that middle point should be around 60″ from the floor. That’s it! Super simple.
Catrina At Home Gallery Wall

A beautiful gallery wall by Laurel & Wolf

 

Now, having said all that, remember, please remember, that your home is your home. Do with it as you please! Rules were made to be broken and your home is a fun place to throw all the rules out the window and do what you want.

If you have any questions or comments about these common mistakes I would love to hear from you!

Blessings on your home,
Catrina

The (un)original home

I was listening to a podcast today. Something I typically do when I’m cleaning one of our Arbnbs. It helps keep my mind off of dirty dishes.

The podcasts I listen to typically fall into one of two categories: Business or Home. I’m so varied I scare myself sometimes. LOL

Today I was listening to the Style Matters Podcast and the special guest was Heather Bullard who is an Editorial Prop Stylist and Creative Director who’s work can be found in many major magazines. Gorgeous work, by the way.

Zandra, the host of Style Matters was asking Heather about what her interesting job entails and one thing she does is find homes and rooms that can be photographed for magazines. How cool is that?

This is what struck me: Heather said that it’s getting harder to find original homes because there’s so much duplication.
Let’s let that sink in for a moment.
i.e. people have stopped creating original spaces and have started copying each other to such an extent that it’s getting harder to find original spaces.

She sites Instagram with the swipe up feature and Pinterest as the perpetrators of this ‘easier than ever to copy a look’ mentality that stifles our creativity.

Heather wondered if people have become less confident to do things original and on their own and feel a little more secure being one of the crowd, looking like everyone else. She believes there is a culture of timidity that’s paralyzing, where people are afraid to branch out and really do something that they love for their own home.

Y’all know how much and how often I harp on this but I’m not going to be done talking about this for a loooong time.

(Deep breath)

Friend, the easiest thing to do is follow the crowd. The path of least resistance is easy to walk down.

You are a unique creation as varied as a color wheel. Your home should reflect all your facets and flaws, where you’ve been and where you’re going, your personality and your personal style. You are unique!

I urge you, turn off the Instagram and Pinterest if you have to, turn off the ‘advice’ of a family member or friend, take some time to really figure out for yourself what you like and what works best for you and not what will get you the most complements or look the best in an Instagram square. (Sorry if that was too blunt.)

Be bold and courageous in your decorating! Have fun! Pursue the things you love and bring you joy! Who cares if no one else can tolerate the site of it, it’s not their home. :-)

http://allienyc.com/about/

Photo credit: Allie NYC

This is your home. It’s where you and yours go to be refreshed and inspired, nurtured and loved. When one walks into your home it should feel like a big ol’ hug from you because it so strongly reflects you.

I realize this is easier said than done. And it can take a long time to get our homes where we want them. But I always want to be the little bird in your ear that keeps reminding you and possibly giving you courage to… be you.

In your life and in your home decor.

Catrina At Home Milk Magazine

Photo credit: Milk Magazine, Graham Atkins Hughes

I, of course, do not encourage you to do the opposite of what you see everywhere just for the sake of being different but I alway encourage you to follow that gentle (or giant) nudge you feel towards a certain color, piece of furniture or nicknack. Explore it, play with it!
And most of all, think only of how you and your spouse feel about it.

That’s all for now, friends…

Thank you Heather for your insight!

Check out the Style Matters Podcast here and check out the episode with Heather Bullard here!

You can also find Heather on instagram here!

 

Blessings,

Catrina

 

 

 

 

 

The box

We humans like to put things in boxes, don’t we?

It’s easier that way. And we like easy.

We put humans in boxes, too, right? She’s a loner, he’s an extrovert, she’s creative, he’s athletic, she’s overprotective, he’s absent.

When it comes to our homes, the box feels good at first. Makes us feel like we belong to a club. We enjoy the whole “I’m with them” feeling.
“I’m into farmhouse.”
“I love contemporary.”
“I’m a modern traditionalist.”
“I’m a minimalist.”

And as long as we obey the rules and stay in line, we fit in.

But what happens when we spot a gorgeous sofa that doesn’t fit in with our ‘style?’ We’re drawn to it and can’t stop thinking about it.. BUT IT DOESN’T FIT IN.

What will the others think of me?

box quote CAH.png

Yes, there should be cohesion, but that can be established with color and pattern. Style on the other hand should be a personal choice based on personality and what one is drawn to. Not what is popular at the moment.

People ask me often what my ‘style’ is. My answer is something like- traditional, industrial with touches of rustic and mid-century modern with a dash of whimsy. Basically, I have an eclectic style. And I own it.
I put things in my house that I love and I’m working on removing all the things that I don’t love.

It’s easy to spit out a popular style when asked about our own home goals, but I would encourage you to take the time to really figure out what it is you like and don’t like. This exercise could be as simple as looking at different pieces of furniture on Pinterest and pining all the chairs you like or all the sofas you like, etc..
Without prejudice or concern on whether or not it fits in, just pin all the images that appeal to you. You might find, if you’re honest with yourself, that your tastes are much more varied than you previously thought.

And most of all, don’t feel like your style has to fit neatly into a box, under a specific style.  Your interests are likely varied and may not fit into any box. 

I know it’s easier to claim ‘one style’ for your home but if your home is truly going to be yours it must reflect you.. and you can not be fit into a box.

Blessings,
Catrina

 

Easy Spring Centerpiece

Winter is fading into history and Spring is… springing!

Living in the  desert southwest, Spring happens earlier for us. The temps start to rise and blooms start appearing while most of the country is still under snow. We are fortunate that way but our Summers are HOT. So… there’s that. :-)

But for now, we are enjoying a brief moment of ideal temps and light winds.

Seeing blooms appear outside makes me want to bring the Spring indoors! I made this simple Spring centerpiece, purchasing everything from Hobby Lobby, and you can too!

I use no hot glue (or anything else really) to secure the greenery or flowers in place and that’s the beauty of it, when you want to change out the flowers or figurine as the season changes, it’s super easy to do!

Tips:

  1. Make sure all of your greenery and flowers run in the same direction, clockwise or counter clockwise, this helps the centerpiece flow together nicely.
  2. Have fun! Don’t stress about perfection, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. If you follow my lead and not use glue you can always pull out the pieces and start again.

If you make a Spring centerpiece I would love to see it! Feel free to post it on my Facebook page.

Happy Spring!

Catrina

 

 

How To Style Series: Throw Blankets

The throw blanket is a great way to add texture and color to your home design!

You can go for a structured look with a neatly folded throw blanket or casually drape a throw over the edge of a sofa for a more laid back approach.

Here’s a short video on how to style your throw like a pro:

A few important tips to remember:

  1. The throw blanket is mostly decorative. If you are struggling to figure out how to implement it into your home design, you may consider leaving it out. It’s not a necessary element, like most home decor, it’s optional.
  2. The simplest way to store a throw is to roll it up and put it in a basket with other throws or pillows. Store the basket next to the sofa or couch or on a bookcase.
  3. Have fun and experiment with your throw in different locations and different styles in your living space. This is your space and the final result should be pleasing and inviting to you and yours.

Happy styling!

Catrina

 

 

 

How To Style Series: The Nightstand

Your nightstand is the possibly the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing before you go to sleep at night. And yet, very often, it’s the area of our home that lacks any style. It’s an afterthought at best.

 

When we take the time to actually style our nightstands with a few things that we love, it makes it nice to walk into the room at night and nice to wake up to. Style isn’t for others to look at and/or admire, it’s for us to feel more at home in our homes. When we are surrounded by objects (many or few) that we love and inspire us, that reflect our personalities, we feel ‘at home.’

When we feel refreshed and inspired at home we are able to recharge and regain the energy we need to go out and do what we’re supposed to do in the world.

Here’s a quick video on how to style a nightstand:

 

Here are the simple steps to a fabulous nightstand:

  1. Add lighting (a medium sized lamp of your choice)
  2. Add art or a mirror (leaning against the wall or hanging on the wall, your choice)
  3. Add a small stack of books
  4. Add in flowers or greenery
  5. Bring in personal touches (favorite collectibles or photos)
  6. Don’t overcrowd the space, leave plenty of room to charge your phone, etc.
  7. Use different textures and heights to create interest
  8. Style in odd numbers (three or five items)

Take a look at your nightstand, does it reflect you and your personal style? I hope these simple steps will motivate you to style your home in a way that refreshes and inspires you.

 

Happy styling,

Catrina

How to style your nightstand pic

 

 

My blue bedroom

So… I’m thinking of going BOLD for my bedroom reno project. Like– really bold. eeek!

Our Craftsman bungalow was built in 1908 and she came into our hands seven years ago, in 2010. We’ve been working on her off and on (in-between renovating other turn-of-the-century homes) ever since. Every square inch of her needed renovation. And I mean every. square. inch. We’re alllllmost done with the dining room and the back bathroom and I’m not sure if I’m going to start on the kitchen (again) or the master bath.

So basically our bedroom is still in the dream stage, lol because it’s likely going to be a while before I can work on her. But dreaming is fun!

So I want to go deep midnight blue, floor to ceiling, for the bedroom.

navy-blue-walls-and-ceiling-1.png

No photo credit available :(

I haven’t told my husband yet, he might want to kill me. lol I wanted to do this in the dining room but I chickened out. Granted, there were a lot more issues to deal with there, being the pass-through room sandwiched between the (whitish) living room and the (whitish) kitchen, but still, I bailed on it. And it would’ve looked awesome too because of the conferred ceiling in there. sigh…

Here’s another great pic of a blue room.

Primitive Classic Navy Blue Room

designsponge.com – home of Melissa and Keye Lee

Stunning, right?

The photos above were a little difficult to find! Most navy/dark blue rooms have white ceilings and trim, like this photo..

Blue Living Room With White Ceiling

Contemporary Living Room by Toronto Photographers Lisa Petrole Photography

The is a lovely room but I don’t want that, the contrast is too high and the space becomes very defined with your eye drawn to the lines. Meh.. I want the baseboards, walls, window and ceiling to be the same blue. White trim screams “traditional” and my style is more eclectic.

Check out this Caribbean blue library found on Housebeautiful. It’s a different shade, but Wow!

Caribbean Blue Library

There’s just something about blue. So inviting and strong.

And while we’re talking about blue… that is what we’re talking about, right? What do you think about this GORGEOUS sideboard/dresser?

Solid blue sideboard:dresser

No photo credit again. What’s up with people “pinning” photos with no link? grrr :(

I just want to SAS (sit and stare). Don’t mind me, I’ll be right here for the next 30 minutes. Lol Beautiful design, beautiful color.

Anyhow, back to my blue room. :-)

Holy smokes. our ceilings are only 9.5′ tall but I would love this detail in our room! Now my husband is really going to kill me. LOL Can I at least die in my blue room?

Navy Blue walls:ceiling:trim

photo credit: tollens.com

The deeper the blue, the better, floor to ceiling for a killer, classic look.

My bedroom reno may be a year or so away but you better believe I’m going to begin the search for the perfect navy blue ASAP.  :-)

What color is your bedroom? Are you happy with it? Do you plan to change it? What’s your dream color scheme? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Blessings on your home,

Catrina