Pom Poms Around the House

If you didn't know, the Vikings used pom poms on their hats long before they were in vogue in other parts of the world. As we fast forward in history, decorative pom poms flourished in Europe during the 1700s. The term pom pom was derived from the French word “pompon” meaning an ornamental round puff. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, pom poms experienced a renaissance in due to the fact they were thrifty embellishments easily made from yarn, paper or fabric scraps.

The playful charm of the pom pom has made a big comeback. These whimsical decorations are all grown up and can be seen in home catalogs, magazines and in elegant settings. Just to prove it, we’ve collected a bevy of fun and colorful pom poms that are sure to tickle your fancy!


Color Cache : : Effects of Color in the Home

Color plays a key role in interior design. It triggers emotions and can create a specific mood or an extension of personality. Incorporating color in the home is a delicate balance of art and science, so it is important to understand color’s psychological effects and how to use it in design theory.

Certain colors in a room can provoke feelings such as joy, surprise, drama, peacefulness, zeal or passion. While some people react differently to a color, for the most part we tend to respond similarly to the same colors. At least we know everyone reacts to color no matter age, ethnicity, traditions and experiences. As a general rule, these colors can create just the right mood for each room in your home.

Some people tend to gravitate toward colors that reflect their personalities. Type A personalities might lean in the direction of warm reds or oranges. An introvert could feel more at ease in a room with cool tones. Many of us look to current trends rather than simply choosing favorite colors like children do. Interior designers and color consultants skillfully combine these trends with clients’ color preferences to create a comfortable and stylish home.

1. Black

In many cultures, black is associated with mortality and malevolence. Luckily, it has positive attributes like wisdom, formality, elegance and mystery. In interior design theory, black is commonly used as an accent color that contrasts with many other hues. When used sparingly it is stylish and timeless. However if done correctly, even black walls can look stunning.

2. Blue

If you aren’t aware, blue is a significant color among interior designers. It’s a color of great depth and perception. It is seen as a indicator of security, order, stability and reliability. Subtle blues are perfectly suited for bedrooms and baths. Shades of blue give off a cool vibe and a Zen-like quality. While soothing and serene, blue gives a sense of calm but can create a melancholy mood if it is too dark.

3. Purple

This regal color gives a dignified and dramatic presence when used on walls or upholstery. Purple is a sign of abundance, nobility and health. It is a calming influence that relates to spirituality and mental perception. It works beautifully with other jewel tones but also looks perfect with lighter complementary colors such as soft yellow, pastel pink or off white.

4. Green

Green is the color of the great outdoors. It is a sign of luck, abundance and hope. Like blue, it is a cool, friendly color that pairs well with a variety of other colors. Green looks crisp and clean with white accents. Emerald, mint, lime or even chartreuse will add elegance and charm to any room in your home.

5. White

White is a heavenly hue widely used in interior design. It symbolizes faith, goodness, light and innocence. Use it anywhere inside and out. White colors create the illusion of larger spaces when used in a small room. White rooms feel fresh, clean and lively. Pair it with black for a classic design effect.

6. Red

Red is a potent color that expresses intense passion, anger, peril and power. Bright reds are visually and mentally stimulating. Subtle shades of red can be cozy and inviting. Vibrant red in a bedroom is not a restful color and should be avoided if you want a good night’s sleep. Shades like cinnabar or cranberry exude a warm and welcoming embrace. Some reds can stimulate appetite, which is why this color is used in restaurants and dining rooms. Red is perfect for an accent wall or in fabrics and accessories. Too much red can create chaos in the mind and spirit.

7. Orange

If you shy away from red, you might want to consider a rich orange. A rust-like orange can blend with autumnal décor or can go summery with a citrus twist. It’s a happy and enjoyable color that works in virtually any room in the house. Orange represents bravery and generosity making family and guests feel full of life and sociable.

8. Yellow

Yellow, in regard to color psychology, is the color of affection, intelligence, wealth and empathy. A room drenched in bold yellow looks cheery and welcoming. Pastel yellows echo the colors of spring and golden tones really warm up a space. Like brash reds, keep flamboyant yellows to a minimum unless you need a constant jolt of energy.


How to Plan Your Room Layout

Questions from our readers often focus on how to layout a room. There are a number of things to consider when putting a room together—traffic patterns, seating arrangements and determining the function of the space. Then there are the big roadblocks like oversize windows, doorways, fireplaces, televisions, built-ins and odd wall angles. To help clear the air on this subject, we’ve put together an informative post to point out important aspects to think about when planning your room.

1. Start With a Clean Slate

Interior designers dislike dealing with a room full of furniture, so they always begin with an empty room—that is, at least one on a blank piece of graph paper or a software program. That way, designers can arrange pieces before physically moving furniture. You can do it just like the pros by searching for free online room planning software or simply picking up a pad of graph paper, pencil and an eraser. It’s a fun learning experience and a great place to start.

2. Establish Focal Points

Virtually every room most likely has a focal point. Larger spaces might even have more than one. Before you start placing furniture, locate the room’s main focal points. Architectural features such as a fireplace, French doors, bay window or built-in shelves will definitely impact furniture placement.

In a large family room, seating will most likely be facing the television, which is another type of focal point. Similarly, artwork, light fixtures or a shiplap wall constitute focal points. Plan the layout to take advantage of those features.

3. Let Rugs Be Your Guide

Consider using an area rug as a guide for furniture placement. Most furniture groupings will easily fit on an 8 x 10-ft rug. Once you’ve placed the rug in the room, start placing furniture on the rug. In a living room, the front two feet of your sofa and chairs should be on the rug to anchor the space.

In a dining room, the table and chairs should be centered on the rug. When the chairs are pulled back from the table, at least the front legs should be on the rug. In a large bedroom, an oversize rug can be completely positioned under the bed and nightstands. In a smaller bedroom, you can place an 8 x 10 rug under and toward the foot of the bed.

4. Select Seating

In a living room, family room or great room, begin with a sofa or sectional and a couple of comfy armchairs. If your living room is small, an apartment size sofa with track or recessed arms is the perfect choice to create open space and clean lines. In a larger space, an oversize chubby sofa will create proper proportion and scale.

Choose chairs depending on how you tend to use them. A modern recliner is great for viewing movies or television. A club chair works well for reading and conversation. If you read, view and entertain in one room, incorporate a mix of seating styles. Accent or occasional seating should also be considered in communal spaces. Benches, accent chairs or poufs add color, texture and personality to a room. While they are seldom used, you can place them around the room for guest seating.

5. Embrace Balance and Harmony

Symmetry is a key concept when dealing with furniture placement. Equilibrium equates to order, stability and harmony while creating a visually pleasing room. In oddly shaped rooms, finding symmetry may not be as easy. If the furniture seems lopsided, try using wall art, decorative accessories and lighting to help create balance.

6. Consider Traffic Flow

There’s nothing worse than a room that overloaded with furniture. Each room needs an ample space to in order to move through the room and into adjacent spaces. As a rule of thumb, allow approximately three feet for ease of traffic. If furniture is situated on an area rug use the same distance around the outside edge of the rug as a pathway to easily get to the next room. Within a seating group, the traffic paths can be slightly narrower. Allow at least 24 inches between chairs and 18 inches in between the sofa and coffee table.

7. Create Functional Zones

Because every room has a particular function, furniture placement should be adaptable to that particular space. So there’s not really a static formula for arranging furniture. It’s best to consider the room’s use as you begin to plan. The room’s function will ultimately help determine the layout.

Rooms can be used for entertaining, relaxing, working or storing items. Does the room need a desk, bar cart or shelving for organizing? Maybe it’s used as a media room, a private space or an area for entertaining guests.

Once you have laid out the main seating and furniture pieces, check out other parts of the room to create additional zones. Is the room big enough to accommodate another conversation grouping? Bare spaces can be used as a reading nook with a comfortable armchair, ottoman and reading lamp. If you work at home or need a place to pay the bills, add a desk, wall organizer and filing cabinet. An unused corner is an ideal spot for a bank of bookcases or shelving for storage. One room can easily handle multiple functions—even the smallest of spaces.

8. Deck the Walls

After you’ve placed the furniture and accessories, don’t forget to decorate the walls. Blank expanses need art to complete the room. One of our favorites is a grand gallery wall. Matching frames with similar images look impressive hung in multiple rows above a sofa or on a wall as a focal point. If you like the Bohemian look, create an asymmetrical gallery combining photos, mirrors, paintings, baskets and macramé wall hangings. This type of art installation can grow as you curate additional art.


Wrap Your Rooms in Velvet

Saturated hues of velvet have entered mainstream home design and it’s easy to see why. Velvet sofas, accent chairs or even simple throw pillows can add panache to any space. This time-honored textile is turning heads and turning home decor upside down. Velvet's effortless combination of luxury and comfort cheerfully flies in the face of current design trends. We say it's high time to shake things up by adding a dose of luscious refinement to our homes.

 Check out these can’t-live-without fabulous velvet finds and let us know what you think.