Mixing Wood Tones

**side note: I just realized that my last blog post was in July…JULY! Where does time go?! I have all sorts of posts I’ve been working on and then motherhood happens and you know the story! I will try to be better about it. It’s not too early for New Years resolutions right?**

Mixing different wood tones is sometimes hard to do, but I’ve come across it many times when helping clients pick out new hardwood flooring for their home or wood furniture to go with their existing hardwood flooring. There isn’t a magic formula, but as with everything when it comes to decorating…balance is key.

When adding new wood into a space with existing wood furniture or flooring, it’s best to try not to match exactly. Wood is so unique that even if you’re matching one oak bench with oak flooring, it’s never going to look exactly the same. It also looks really strange if there is no contrast. Either go with a darker stain on the same wood, go with a completely different wood, or different stain, different wood. You get the picture…mix it up!

Here are a few examples of rooms with well balanced wood tones.

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More tips on mixing wood

  • Break things up with an area rug. If you have a wood dining table on hardwood floors, add a contrasting area rug to break up all of the wood.
  • Add other elements to the room. Metals, glass, fabrics….anything that would contrast with the wood will keep the room from looking too much like a forest.
  • Balance painted wood and natural wood. Too much of each can seem too matchy.
  • Be strategic when placing wood items in a room. For example, if you have a wood mirror that looks similar to a wood coffee table, try to put them on different sides of the room or separate them as much as possible.
  • With dark woods, especially, add in light colors throughout the room. An all dark room can feel very heavy without a lighter contrast.

Adding Color to your Home

Is it too early to say I’m ready for fall? I could live in a constant 75 degrees, and it’s been sweltering here in Virginia. Like sweating just walking to the car…THAT hot. I think I just like change, which is why I look forward to new seasons. I also try to do small updates in my home whenever there’s a change of season. Here are a few quick ideas if your decor is lacking color and you’re up for a little update as well.

1. Accents, accents, accents. Jazz up a neutral space with colorful accents such as vases, paintings, or other colorful decorative accents. It’s an quick update and they’re easy to change out if you want to put together a new color scheme.

2. Fabrics. Add colorful fabrics to your room with pillows, curtains or blankets. Here are some of my favorites.

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3. Let nature do the work. Bring in greenery or fresh flowers to add an easy punch of color to your space.

4. Area Rugs. Define a space and add color at the same time. Area rugs are easy to switch out if they get dirty, outdated or you want to change your scheme. Here are a few of go to rug sources. Also, read about layering area rugs here.

5. Mirror mirror on the wall. You’ve heard of mirrors making rooms look larger, but they also reflect OTHER colors in the room which gives the illusion of even more color!

6. Shelving. Have a regular old bookcase? Paint or wallpaper the back of the bookcase to add interest!

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7. Show off your dishes. Bring your colorful dishes out to display through glass cabinets or shelving.

8.  Determine your color scheme in advance. Decide which colors you’d like to bring into the space. Pick out paint swatches, flooring, fabrics, and furniture prior to purchasing. Combine pictures and samples together to see how it will look before bringing it into the space.

9.  Wallpaper.  The old school wallpaper has a bad reputation but the newer kinds allow for a much easier removal, so it’s not a forever commitment. It’s a great way to bring in patterns and interest to a room.

10. Tile accents. Add tile accents to wainscoting or shower in the bathroom or update a back splash with colorful mosaics.

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11. Paint. We all know it’s a simple way to add color to your room. Why not try some of these neat ideas. Also, here are a few tips on choosing paint colors.

12. Metal Accents. When shopping for new furniture, look for furniture with metal accents which add interest without adding a new color to your scheme.

When you don’t have a playroom

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time now, you can guess that when there’s radio silence, someone’s sick. And when you’re a family of 4, the sickness often goes through the entire family before another illness hits. We were buried in a sea of medicine, tissues, vapor rub, sippy cups and lots and lots of coffee for basically the entire month of May. Sick twins is no joke. Life literally stops for a while. We are finally on the mend and pretty much sleeping again (hallelujah)!

Now that the girls are feeling better, they have decided they only need one nap a day now, which is normal for their age, but I now have to figure out how to entertain them for the 11 hours out of the day that they’re awake. E L E V E N. I love those sweet girls to death, but their attention span at this age is so short and I run out of ideas quickly. And now that they’re running around everywhere, our house gets smaller and smaller by the minute.

I have to admit, I get super envious when I hear someone say the word playroom. I mean, it’s a room completely dedicated to PLAYING!? (If you told me 10 years ago that those words would come out of my mouth I’d laugh at you).

In a 790 square foot house, all of our rooms are multipurpose; actually, almost everything we own is multipurpose. Aside from our bedroom and bathroom, which we close off when the girls are awake, the entire house is the girls playroom. How do we do this without allowing our house turn into a walking hazard of toys everywhere? Here are some tips if you also don’t have a dedicated play room or if your house is on the smaller side like ours.

Storage. This is pretty obvious, if you don’t have anywhere to put said toys, they will just go everywhere.

Spread it out. Our main area that we play in is the living room so most of their toys and books are in there, but we also have toys and books in the nursery. This also helps with having a change of scenery or when I need to separate the girls. We may need to change this once the girls aren’t sleeping in cribs anymore but for now this works. We also use our back yard all the time now that it’s nice out. They have room to roam and explore when I’ve had enough of them exploring every outlet and cord in the house. Also…play dates, parks, museums, libraries, etc. Keeping them busy is the name of the game. IMG_5629

IMG_5632Clean up throughout the day. I typically don’t clean as the girls are playing because if I put something away, that is in fact the exact toy that they both will want to play with. I do put things away once they go down for their nap (and bedtime), otherwise the toys just get overwhelming and by the end of the day there’s nowhere to walk. And for toddlers who aren’t the steadiest walkers, this is extra important.IMG_5628

Get rid of stuff. We donate or sell toys or items quickly after they no longer use them, especially things that take up a lot of space.

Designate a toy free room. For a while, I was nursing the girls in our bedroom so that also became their space, but now we’ve taken it back. The girls LOVE coming into our bedroom but we don’t have any toys in there. It’s our space, the one room I don’t have to childproof.

Let your home just be. This is hard as a decorator. I love having a pretty space but currently most of our rooms have completely cleared off surfaces, and our living room is down to one lamp. This is their home too and saying “no” all day long isn’t fun for anyone. It won’t be forever so I’m going to enjoy each stage, even if it’s the childproof home/toys everywhere stage.

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