Decorating Articles

2014 Spring Landscaping Trends

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Now that the spring season is in full swing, it is the perfect time to bring curb appeal back to your home. What better way to do it than by implementing this year’s spring landscaping trends? Spring hosts prime weather for installing new plants and flowers, allowing you the most freedom in landscape design. Here are some landscaping trends that can help turn your home into a guaranteed show-stopper!

California Curve Appeal

With perfect weather year around, California sets many of the trends to date. Curved brick walkways with lush flowerbeds bordering the edges and an over-the-door arbor are classic to California design. Try switching it up by substituting brick with stone and feel free to use a color scheme that works best with your home. Also, be sure to pick flowers that complement the paint. Yellow and red works best with warmer colors, while greens, blues and whites go well with cooler colors. If your home is a shade of cream or white, you can pick any combination of colors, as long as it complements your outdoor fixtures as well.

Splendid Seating

Custom CushionsA beautiful yard is not complete without seating. After all, how can you observe the landscaping if there isn’t a place to sit and enjoy it? Outdoor benches are the latest trend in landscaping design. Cushion the bench with a couple all-weather pillows and you have a perfect spot to enjoy the fresh air. If you’re looking to do something more ambitious, consider installing a bench with permanent planting fixtures. Each season you can switch out the flowers and cushions without having to worry about the extra cost of potting.

Brass Fixtures

Brass is making a comeback! Typically used for indoor fixtures, brass makes an unconventional fixture option for porches and back yards. Brass fixtures add a rustic flair to the design of your home and offer a lot of versatility in texture and shade. Door handles and lighting fixtures are the best way to implement brass into your outdoor landscape design.

Terra-cotta planters

terracottaThe deep red-orange hue of terra-cotta complements almost any flower scheme and plant combination. It doesn’t matter if your home is colonial style, Italian rustic or modern chic. Terra-cotta planters can add flair and class to any home if done correctly. Imagine coming home to a walkway lined with terra-cotta planters and blooming flowers—Yes, we love the sight of it too!

Now that you have the ideas, it’s time to get to work. If you need help planning and/or building your dream yard, please feel free to visit our website or call us at 480-619.5505 We have a large network of reputable and professional vendors that can assist you with whatever home service you may need.

Happy landscaping!

iSearchDecor

Cherry Desk – Beautiful Office Furniture

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

iSearchDecor-Get-MatchesWild black cherry… one might hear this and think of a tantalizing drink that could quench a deep thirst. But we’re talking about the wild black cherry tree, a species native to the central and eastern United States. Growing up to 80 feet tall, the ripe fruit is dark and bitter, and used to produce wines and jellies. Cough syrup is made from its bark, and — here’s the best part — furniture is made from its hearty wood. Nature makes its mark on the grain, boasting splits and knots that reveal its Appalachian character and create a unique stamp on each piece of furniture. But when hand-planed to a smooth finish, the wood begs to be touched.

This beautiful desk fits perfectly into any home with its functionality and style.  Coupled with an upholstered chair, this desk can even work within a master bedroom sitting area.

Decorative Cherry Wood Office Desk

Decorative Cherry Wood Office Desk from European Home

CALL iSEARCHDECOR A REFERRAL TO THIS MERCHANT AND TO RECEIVE YOUR SPECIAL DISCOUNTS

480-619-5505 or 1-855-77-iSearch

Item can be shipped to locations within the United States

Nobody knows wild black cherry like the folks at MacKenzie-Dow in West Virginia, and the superb craftsmanship turned out by the men and women who work there is why we carry a select few of their one-of-a–kind, solid wood pieces at European Home.

It’s no surprise that it makes our day when we discover a piece of 18th or 19th century furniture to bring home to the states for our customers. But we were equally excited about finding this desk… computer-friendly for 9:00 to 5:00, but ready for dinner after hours. Sustainable, made with centuries-old woodworking techniques, and practical for today’s world. Now that quenches our thirst for a great piece of furniture.

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iSearchDécor is the home decor industry’s no charge,  on line, real time, referral service for consumers who seek the perfect match to local home décor hidden gems (unique home décor stores and  experienced home service professionals). Visit us for all of your home decor needs at www.isearchdecor.com

Antiques and Collectibles

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

iSearchDecor-Get-MatchesWhen economic times are difficult it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to lose your design identity.  Instead, this is a time to embrace new opportunities to enhance what you already have by looking for unique pieces in places you may not have considered before.  Often called antiques and collectibles, these unique furnishings were at the forefront of design during one of the most difficult periods in American history.

The stock market crash of the late 1920’s and early 30’s sent shockwaves around the world.  Previous upper and middle class families were suddenly plunged into poverty and businesses, which could no longer sell their traditional furniture pieces, had to adapt.  These pieces today are not only novel, but are highly prized.  The problem is that many people lack the adequate skills to identify them.  A few important rules may help you identify actual “treasures” that are frequently overlooked and add new elements to existing design themes that can give you a whole new look for very little money.

  • Before you toss it, check it. Before you scour stores for unique pieces, try to find things in your attic storage or basement that look old or unique and check them before you toss or donate them.  Websites like ebay.com or the auctionhouse.com are great places to start.  Simply find a similar item and see if they are receiving bids.  If they are then a collector somewhere may be interested in what you have.  Who knows, that little tea trolley Grandma passed down may be quite valuable in today’s market.
  • Begin your search in new places. Garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, estate sales, and thrift stores offer a unique opportunity to find hidden booty and often the owners don’t even know what they have.  For instance, on the news recently it was reported that a girl paid $3.00 for a Picasso at a garage sale that was actually signed by the famous painter.  Valued at over a million dollars, the girl was simply looking for a piece of chic to accent her décor and ended up with the find of a lifetime.  Even she didn’t know what she’d found until someone else saw it.
  • Make your next visit to a furniture auction. For those who have never attended a furniture auction, it is not only great fun, but is also filled with a plethora of unique pieces.  These auction houses not only sell furniture, but accessories as well and the prize goes to the highest bidder.  If no one else bids, you can often get treasured pieces for a song.
  • Know what to look for. Sometimes you can find places where you can learn about how to spot valuable pieces without it costing much.  For example, antique and collectible trade shows provide venders in a variety of fields who love sharing their knowledge about the pieces they specialize in.  Whether you love carnival glass, Queen Anne furniture, or Chippendale find what you like and what fits in with your design plan and then learn all you can about it before you buy.
  • For the periods you’re most interested in, learn all you can about the construction of that era. When on a treasure hunt you should be able to tell whether a piece was manufactured or made by hand.  Handmade pieces will be more valuable in the long run so take time to learn all you can about how the pieces of the period were made before you get excited with a new purchase only to find out it’s a reproduction.

Even during hard economic times your home can still reflect your taste and aesthetics if you add antiques and collectibles to your design plan.  Whether you purchase accessories or full pieces of furniture they can do much to add to the ambience of any room and, in the long run, can pay off with huge cash rewards.

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iSearchDécor is the nation’s premier, free, online referral service for those seeking the perfect match to local home décor hidden gems stores and home service professionals. Exclusive savings are offered to the users of the iSearchDecor website. Visit us for all of your home decor needs at www.isearchdecor.com. Coming soon to Tucson, Dallas and Southern California.

Making a House Feel “Homey”

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Sometimes people walk into someone’s home and think, “Isn’t this homey?”  Different from beautiful, elegant, or “a wreck,” homey has its own meaning, generating feelings of warmth, comfort, and welcome.  But when you think about it, what makes us experience that snug feeling when we walk into some homes and not in others.  Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to come from a designer nor your grandmother’s furniture to achieve that feeling in your own home…and it doesn’t have to be expensive, either.

Cozy Living Room

Cozy Living Room

There are some basic components in every “homey” abode that are easy to achieve without a lot of expense:

  • Get personal – Homes that exude that feeling of comfort are not short on photos displayed in a variety of frame styles, textures, and colors.  It’s okay to put the floral poof frame next to the ornate gold one.  The mixing and matching of elements warms up the space, but make sure that the frames you bring in match the décor.  Group themes together, as well, such as heritage in one spot and current family in another.  On walls select either a picture large enough for the space or group pictures of similar themes together.
  • Arrange your Space – Generally people are less comfortable if they have to yell across the room or table to talk to you.  Therefore, you need to arrange your spaces as if you have someone with you while your working and you’re trying to create a cozy space for the two of you.  In the living room and family rooms conversation pits help encourage interaction without the focus being on external equipment such as televisions and video games.  In bedrooms consider how your guest might feel the minute they walk into the room.  Does the arrangement and style of the bedroom furniture scream, “Welcome, lay on me,” or does it say, “Don’t you dare wrinkle the bedspread,”?  Just planning out the arrangement of the furniture can make all the difference in the world in how the home feels.
  • Add comfy cushions and throw rugs – Whether in the living room, family room, or bedroom, cushions add an element of warmth and comfort to any room so be generous with the padding.  Mixing textures, colors, and patterns, especially if you have solid colors in the background, quickly warm up a space and say, “Take a load off, enjoy.”  Additionally, varying the shape add an element of interest.  Best of all, this can be as easy as taking an old pillow, cutting it in half, and making a new cover out of some old piece of fabric such as a robe, curtain, tablecloth, or sheet.  Throw rugs also enhance appeal while bringing accent colors to floors.
  • Bring in a touch of nature – Live foliage adds a considerable amount of warmth to any living space as well as an inviting appeal.  Whether you choose to utilize a large floor container with a tall powerful plant, a pedestal with a large and delicate greenery, or smaller pots filled with a variety of flora, adding plants to any room sends a positive message to family as well as guests making everyone feel calm and comfortable

Making a house homey is easy and inexpensive.  You need to bring in elements of personal style, but also add warmth and character to the living space by adding simplistic elements which may not cost you anything.  Everyone is more comfortable in a space that says they’re welcome and it will provide you with peace of mind knowing that you’ve made each room as comfortable and inviting as possible.

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iSearchDécor is the nation’s premier, free, online referral service for those seeking the perfect match to local home décor hidden gems stores and home service professionals. Exclusive savings are offered to the users of the iSearchDecor website. Visit us for all of your home decor needs at www.isearchdecor.com. Coming soon to Tucson, Dallas and Southern California.

Oriental Home Decorating

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Asian and Oriental Home Decorating cover the countries of China, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand.  Each country has its own decorating style and customs which is unique and trendy.  While some of the following article might apply to each country, it is primarily focused on Japan.

When one thinks of the orient one thinks of exotic women in beautiful kimonos, cherry blossoms, tea, and geisha girls.  Today, in many parts of the orient, a lot of modern ways have been adopted.  Many of the women can be found in western attire and many of the young girls and boys wear jeans and t-shirts; but some of the old customs remain regarding Asian and Oriental Home Decorating.

The basis for Asian and Oriental Home Decorating is what is called the ying and yang.  This is a belief in the principal that everything should be in balance providing harmony in one’s life.  For example, if you use light you should have dark to balance it; if you have soft colors you should balance it with bright colors, and so forth.  Black, gold, and red are predominant in oriental designs and are the most well-known aspects of this design.

Everyone has seen movies and pictures depicting oriental homes.  Silk is very much in use, as well as bright, vibrant, balanced colors.  Jade and porcelain are widely used in jewelry, figurines, and vases.  Paper screens (sometimes made of plastic), which are colorfully decorated may act as walls which can be moved to enlarge or reduce the size of a room.  These screens are artfully decorated, usually with drawings of flowers with birds, and decorated in gold.  Paper lanterns and strings of paper lights provide a soft glow of color to many parts of the house.

When looking at the Asian and Oriental home decorating style, one finds the use of a large amount of bamboo.  This may be used as wallpaper, rugs, furniture, or be growing in pots providing living accents in any space.  The interesting part about bamboo is that, in addition to growing quite large, it can be purchased in miniature form.  The miniature form comes in a pot the size of a coffee cup and requires very little water to keep it growing.  In addition, one often sees a bonsai tree sitting on a table.  These are small trees which are crafted to not be more than 6 to 8 inches high and often provide an interesting topic of conversation.

Tables in an oriental home are low and the seating is often pillows set strategically on the floor.  These tables are sometimes accented by colorful oriental dishes, teapots, Saki sets, or figurines such as dragons, Buddha’s, or significant figures connected with oriental history.  The walls of an oriental home are extremely reflective of the Asian and Oriental home decorating style.  Art, in its original form, as well as sketches on rice paper often decorate the walls.  This art usually features lotus blossoms, dragons, and other colorful designs.  A Samari sword may be hung on the wall or displayed prominently, as well as large, colorfully decorated fans.

If one might wish to incorporate the Asian and Oriental Home Decorating Style in the redesign of a room, it is important to really research the subject.  Many sites on the internet offer companies who specialize in this type of decoration most of which are directly ordered from the specific country.  If one wishes to decorate a room in this oriental style it is suggested that one start out with a bathroom.  Imagine a guest entering a bathroom and finding the beautiful colors and art of the orient.  It definitely would be a memorable experience and bring many questions as to where and how the materials were found to enhance such an outstanding room.

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iSearchDécor is the nation’s premier, free, online referral service for those seeking the perfect match to local home décor hidden gems stores and home service professionals. Exclusive savings are offered to the users of the iSearchDecor website. Visit us for all of your home decor needs at www.isearchdecor.com. Coming soon to Tucson, Dallas and Southern California.

Tuscan Design

Monday, October 25th, 2010
Focal Point Custom Interior Designs

Focal Point Custom Interior Designs

Visiting Tuscany, Italy is an adventure that will remain in one’s favorite memories forever.  The houses are built of stone and have terracotta tile roofs.  The use of natural colors, weathered by time, makes the houses picturesque and unlike any other houses in existence. The people have a technique of bringing the outdoors into the homes, with colors and design, which makes the décor very unique.

The interior of houses follow this theme.

  • Walls are of a neutral color, white, soft yellow or beige.  Burnt orange, olive green, and other colors are also used.
  • Tuscan walls are usually textured which brings more emphasis on the colors.
  • Rich colors in curtains, pillows, and other furnishings bring a warm and welcoming air to the rooms.
  • The use of marble and scrolled iron work is prevalent in most of the homes as well as other buildings.
  • The wooden furniture shines, showing loving care over the years.
  • The leather furniture is embossed with special designs and comfort is evident throughout the rooms.
  • A warm comfortable feeling prevails.
  • Colorfully designed tiles often prevail in a Tuscan kitchen on floors, on the countertops, and in the patio area giving them a distinct appeal to the viewer’s eye.

It is not difficult to adapt this design into the modern home.  Starting with one room, the living room, for example, one might paint three walls in a soft yellow with one wall burnt orange (the focal point).  This wall might have a very large, interesting picture in the middle of the wall with a soft light strip overhead, or underneath, to capture a visitor’s attention.

While the floors in Tuscan homes are usually of rough planks or natural stone, this is usually not practical in today’s modern house; however, the floor in the designed living room would be very dramatic if it were tiled in an intricate pattern, possibly in brown, yellow, terra cotta, or something to fit in with the wall coloring.  If desired a removable rug could be attractively arranged in a certain specific area, possibly in front of the sofa.

Tuscan style furniture should emphasize iron and wood and have clear and simple lines.  This furniture should be of a unique design, yet comfortable and attractive.  It is best to find furniture made of natural wood which can be polished to a high degree, yet retain the look of being old and well-cared for with bright colored coverings.  The key to having a good Tuscan style room is to use textiles, colored tiles and other materials which reflect the beauty of nature.  Fall colors are an excellent example with their yellows, browns, and greens.

The use of marble is prevalent in Tuscan homes.  This might be reflected by having a statue or other items carved from marble in a very prominent place, possibly displayed with a small light reflecting it.  Another possibility is having a well-designed table with a marble top.  With other lighting it is common to have a hanging chandelier as the main light fixture with a few other items highlighted when necessary.

The main thing about Tuscan design is that it is an old world look.  The room needs to be designed to give the feeling of being comfortable and well-cared for.  The guest who enters such a room will immediately be impressed by the unique beauty and have a sense of entering a place where careful love and thoughtful design has gone into its arrangement.

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iSearchDécor is the nation’s premier, free, online referral service for those seeking the perfect match to local home décor hidden gems stores and home service professionals. Exclusive savings are offered to the users of the iSearchDecor website. Visit us for all of your home decor needs at www.isearchdecor.com. Coming soon to Tucson, Dallas and Southern California.

French Provincial Design

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

iStock_000001196914SmallFrench provincial is a type of design that was created in the 17th and 18th century in France.  Inspired by Louis 16th Marie Antoinette, this style sported simpler forms and refinement.  In comparison, the previous decorating styles of Louis 14th who’s furnishings were heavy, huge, and made with magnificent grandeur and Louis 15th who’s style was over-ornamented and flamboyant the new French Provincial style was sedate.  Although still considered elaborate compared to styles in other countries of the era, the delicate refinement of this design was, and still is, considered craftsmanship at its best.

Still there was a significant difference between the furnishings of the elite compared to that of the masses.  For those of means, major characteristics of this period’s furniture were the use of S-shaped curves, straight lines, and rectangular shapes juxtaposed against solid, thick flat surfaces often made of marble.  Hand-carved panels depicting intricate, gentle designs or patina contained delicate detailing with gilded mounts and small moldings. Oak, walnut, fruitwoods, and mahogany were the timbers of choice, but occasionally satinwood was also used.  This style eventually became known as French provincial.

For those of the bourgeois class, interior design was finally possible although in a more subdued style.  Local tradesmen in provinces throughout France developed a new business creating furnishings which replicated that of the elite creating beautiful pieces which have stood the test of time.  They combined style and practicability with elegance making finer living affordable for those who lived in the country.  Determining that central focal points had to be established in each room, it was agreed that carved pieces such as buffets, hutches, sideboards, ladder-back chairs, and armoires, would serve as the foundation from which the design could be built.

Since the elegant furniture with its gentle curves, straight lines, rectangular shapes, and intricate detailing were to be predominant in the design theme, colors became subdued almost as if they had been sun-kissed but not faded.  Floral designs, country scenes, Chinese chinoiserie, and motifs in varying styles, fabrics, and designs emerged as the perfect choice to compliment the furnishings.  This style became known as French Country, but was based primarily on the French provincial design of the elite.

The best part is that this style is still very popular and extremely easy to achieve in today’s homes.  By working with a few elements that are French inspired, which includes a great deal of variety, it’s easy to transform any room in the house into a French country estate.

  • Select the focal points. Remember that in this style of design the furniture should be the focal point so select one or two pieces that you want to build around.
  • The look is in the details. A variety of small items on a small table result in a big look.  For example, tiny frames, vintage postcards, and beautiful little trinkets in an array of colors that might in found in a French farmhouse are perfect.  Also include items that have French labels such as a candy tin or bottle of wine.  It provides a quality of fun and yet reflects the charm of this style of décor.
  • It’s all about the colors – In French provincial design there are no monochromatic color schemes.  In fact, due to the vibrancy of the French countryside, the more colors the better.  However, color shades are often muted as though they have been in the rain and sun awhile, although not faded or washed out.  Sage green, cornflower blue, and ecru are all good choices.  These are often combined with a more intense color palette that may include chocolate brown and brick red.  Multiple colors not only work well together, but are also reflective of what are found cottages that dot the French countryside.  Everything is covered in color from walls to accessories to furnishings so it gives one the permission to go crazy.
  • Add eye-popping accents. Although colors are muted, it doesn’t mean they need to be boring.  By selecting fabric that showcases colors in floral or French country scenes, the desired touch of French elegance can be achieved.  Beads, pearls, ribbons, and lace also add a charming touch to pillows and draperies.  Just framing a piece of fabric and using it as a wall hanging can provide that eye-popping embellishment one hopes for in their décor.  Of course a painting of the French countryside, a water garden, or the cafes’ in a French town can really highlight the design you’re trying to achieve.

The French provincial style is broad enough to accommodate the tastes of just about everyone.  Incorporating your own style into this design is easy just by adding pretty embellishment, unique detailing, and a love for the various facets found in the French countryside.

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iSearchDécor is the nation’s premier, free, online referral service for those seeking the perfect match to local home décor hidden gems stores and home service professionals. Exclusive savings are offered to the users of the iSearchDecor website. Visit us for all of your home decor needs at www.isearchdecor.com. Coming soon to Tucson, Dallas and Southern California.