Archive | Pro-Tip Tuesday RSS feed for this section

Pro-Tip Tuesday: How to Mix Patterns

16 Jul
Mixed patterns fashion

Few of us can pull this off: for several reasons….

Mixing pattens can be difficult.  Flip through fashion magazines and you’ll see skinny, gorgeous, stylish people walking around in stripes with paisley looking like they just stepped out of some wildly hip coffee shop that you’d be afraid to order a latte in (latte is so last week).  Ditto with the home mags, somehow the pros can throw 12 patterns together and still come up with a room that  you might actually pay someone to design.  Most of us try it ourselves and end up with, well, last week’s latte.

Pro Tip

This week’s Tip is inspired by the the stylish folks at Decorum Home. We visited Beth Beach and Christopher Beach last week and got some sage advice on how to combine patterns without embarrassing yourself.

Do: Stay in the same color family.  Leave mixing green and pink stripes with blue paisley and taupe polka-dots to the pros.  The combination below is great because while the patterns are very different, they’re all in the same color family.  My only suggestion would be to add a pop of one more color in a few places (probably a solid) just to mix things up.

How to mix patterns: Do

Geometric, floral and solid, but with similar colors. A Do!

Don’t: Use similar scale.  These two could go together if one was much bigger, but they’re too busy together as they are.

Pattern mixing Don't

These could give you a headache if used too close together.

Below is an example of pattern-matching done right; similar color palette, a mix of textures and pattern sizes, good textures.  (P.S. if you love this, it’s all available at Decorum Home!)

Do: Mixing Patterns

Pattern-mixing Do!

 

See more Pro Tips; and be sure to connect with us so you don’t miss anything!

Red Chair Market newsletter Red Chair Market Facebook Red Chair Market Pinterest

____________________________________________

Red Chair Market connects buyers and sellers of quality, unique furniture in Austin, TX and the surrounding metro area.  Keep up with us as we expand to other Texas cities soon! 

Shop now for great finds on new, used, vintage and antique furniture.

 

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Where to Hang Your Curtains

4 Jun

Hanging curtains can be scary, and not just because of the risk of toppling off the ladder enveloped in fabric. Draperies can make a huge difference in the appearance of a room, but to get the most out of your efforts you need to hang them in the right place.

Where to hang curtains

Pro Tip

Heather Harkovich of Heather Scott Home and Design gave us some good guidelines. Apparently, many of us are kind of miserly when it comes to draperies, hanging them too close to the window, hampering the view and making your windows look small and inconsequential. To avoid this tragic mistake, follow Heather’s advice:

  • The curtain rod should be hung at least 6″ above the top of the window, preferably 12″
  • Same with the width, the rods should extend 6-12″ beyond the molding
  • Place your brackets far enough out that the curtains clear the molding

See more details and suggestions on Heather’s blog.  Now get hanging!  And don’t forget to ask someone to hold the ladder.

See more Pro Tips; and be sure to connect with us so you don’t miss anything!

Red Chair Market newsletter Red Chair Market Facebook Red Chair Market Pinterest

____________________________________________

Red Chair Market connects buyers and sellers of quality, unique furniture in Austin, TX and the surrounding metro area.  Keep up with us as we expand to other Texas cities soon! 

Shop now for great finds on new, used, vintage and antique furniture.  

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Painting Crisp Stripes on a Wall

22 May
These subtle stripes add interest without overwhelming a small space.

These subtle stripes add interest without overwhelming a small space.

Adding a stripe (or several) to a wall is a great, inexpensive way to perk things up without spending a lot of money.  You can go subtle with tone-on-tone, or go bold with contrasting colors.  It’s pretty quick too, but getting those really crisp, clean lines can be hard, and blurry edges can kind of ruin the whole effect. I suppose you could get away with it in a dining room and try to convince your guests it was the wine, but better to get them straight to start with.  So what to do?

We got a tip from Mary Pullen from Redux Home Staging and Redesign who learned the hard way after trying it on her own living room.

Pro Tip:

Tape your lines with painter’s tape, then run a very small bead of caulk along the edge.  Smooth it completely, let dry, then paint with your brush or roller moving outward from the tape.  The caulk seals the tape down to the wall, and painting away from the tape prevents you from pushing the paint under it.

Voila! Crisp, clean lines.

Here are a few more ideas for striping it up.

See more Pro Tips; and be sure to connect with us so you don’t miss anything!

Red Chair Market newsletter Red Chair Market Facebook Red Chair Market Pinterest

Pro-Tip Tuesday – Live Life on the Edge

24 Apr
Mix it up a little!  this outfit could use some edge.

Mix it up a little! this outfit could use some bling.

So we all know mixing things up a bit adds some depth and prevents your decor from looking like it was purchased en masse from the “Estate” collection at JCP. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.  After all, Garanimals invented matching for a reason;  it’s easy.  But how far should you go?

This week’s Pro Tip was inspired by a conversation with Mari Johnson, founder and owner of Back Home Furniture and Back Home with a Twist.  We had wonderful chat last week and we’re sharing one of her many thoughts that hit a note with us.

Pro Tip

Pick at least one thing that’s edgy, that can spark conversation.  When asked if it’s possible to go to far with the edgy, Mari said serenely “If you love it, you can’t go to far”.  Based on that we’ll add a corollary: push yourself a bit, but don’t buy anything you don’t love otherwise .

Round Top Antiques Festival hoof lamp

Please don’t buy this just because it’s edgy.

Bad Edgy: (walk in to a store, immediately find a clerk) “Hello, I need something edgy for my home, what’s the edgiest thing you’ve got?  That? Well, I suppose it is edgy, or, something….but, I’ll take it.” (shoulders slump, trudge out of store)

Good Edgy: (walk in to a store, immediately gravitate to one piece) “Wow, look at that!  That’s so cool!  I don’t know if it would “go” in my house though, it doesn’t really match the rest of my style.  Oh heck, I love it. I’ll take it!” (skip out of store)

Back Home Furniture Rustic Table

Good edgy, like this from Back Home Furniture.

So the point is–take a chance on that crazy piece that calls to you…and have fun! At least you’ll have a good conversation starter at your next party.

 

See more Pro Tips; and be sure to connect with us so you don’t miss anything!

Red Chair Market newsletter Red Chair Market Facebook Red Chair Market Pinterest

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Pick Fabric First

9 Apr
Bolt Fabrics samples

Don’t let the wall color keep you from a great combo like this! (courtesy of Bolt Fabrics)

Knowing in which order to do things is one of the big differences between an amateur and a professional.  For example, would Jeeves* have put Wooster’s shoes on before his pants?  Of course not! Rookie mistake. Order is also important when designing a room.  This week’s Pro Tip is inspired by the folks at Bolt Fabrics, an interior fabric store on South Lamar.

Pro Tip

When redesigning an entire room, start with the fabric.  While there are hundreds of fabric choices, there are thousands of paint colors, so it will be easier to match paint to fabric than vice-versa.  In fact you can usually get paint custom-matched to your fabric if necessary. Plus, this prevents the tragedy of painting a room, then falling in love with a fabric that clashes.  Just trying to save you the  heartache.

___________________________________________

Jeeves and Wooster is a British comedy television programme adapted from P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves” stories. It aired on the ITV network from 1990 to 1993, with the last series nominated for a British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series. It starred Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster, a young gentleman with a “distinctive blend of airy nonchalance and refined gormlessness”, and Stephen Fry as Jeeves, his improbably well-informed and talented valet. (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Gormlessness, best word ever.

See more Pro Tips; and be sure to connect with us so you don’t miss anything!

Red Chair Market newsletter Red Chair Market Facebook Red Chair Market Pinterest

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Right-Sizing Your Rug

19 Mar
Tiny Rug

Even too small for Pookie!

As with clothing, size in a rug can make a statement.  Just imagine how much more elegant Snooki would look if her clothes weren’t too tiny.  OK, bad example.

So while a too-small rug may not convey the same message that a too-small outfit does, it certainly doesn’t do much for your room. To help us understand how to right-size our rugs, we were inspired by Jan Griffin of Griffin Interior Makeovers in Austin.

Pro Tip

When you’re looking for a rug, be sure the size complements your furniture and room arrangement.  The perfect rug should connect all the major pieces of furniture in your room, i.e. sofas, chairs and large coffee tables.  The rug should go at least a few inches under the front legs of each piece.

Here is a before and after example from Griffin Interior Makeovers:

Griffin Interior Makeovers 2

Griffin Interior Makeovers 1

Don’t have a big enough rug? Consider layering a large one under your smaller rug to anchor the room.  See more idea for rug layering in our Cheap Tricks post.

See more Pro Tips; and be sure to connect with us so you don’t miss anything!

Red Chair Market newsletter Red Chair Market Facebook Red Chair Market Pinterest

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Identifying Good-Quality Upholstered Pieces

12 Mar
Design With Consignment cheetah chair

Don’t be distracted by the cheetah, check your zippers!

Finding the perfect couch or chair can be tough, especially if you’re on a budget.  So how to tell a quality piece of upholstered furniture?  It turns out that like clothing, the best stuff has pockets and wraps your padding a little bit. This week’s Pro Tip is inspired by Lisa Gaynor, of Design With Consignment.

Pro Tip

There are several telltale signs of good craftsmanship in an upholstered piece, but some are difficult to assess without excessive poking and prodding that may get you banned from the furniture store.  Here are two quick checks to help you find a gem:

  • Zipper pocket Check the zippers on the cushions. Are the tab ends hidden in little pockets?  If so, someone’s taken the extra time to be sure that the zipper tabs don’t chew up your sofa material.
  • Look for a fabric-wrapped foam insert.  This will make the cushion fit more smoothly in the decorative cover and will make it last longer too.

Pro-Tip Tuesday: To Reupholster or Not to Reupholster?

6 Mar
Ambrose upholstery chrome vintage chairs

Totally worth it!

Considering whether or not to reupholster a piece of furniture can fill you with more angst than Hamlet.  It seems like a good idea (we’re all for restoring and reusing after all) but it it can sometimes be more expensive than just buying new, especially with a sofa.  Turns out all that fabric and stuffing can get expensive.  So we turned to Dennis Ambrose, of Ambrose Upholstery, who inspired this week’s Pro Tip.

Pro Tip

When deciding if a piece is worthy of reupholstering, consider a few things.

* Is the frame sturdy?  If there are some wobbles, be sure that a few minutes with a screwdriver can fix it and it’s not a structural problem (cracked or weakened wood).
* Is it classic?  Your new fabric will last 10 or 15 years, will you still want the piece then?
* How big is it?  Good fabric isn’t cheap, expect to pay $15-50 a yard and a typical sofa can require up to 20.
* But most importantly, do you love it?  If you do, it’s probably worth it, especially if it’s a sentimental piece.

If you’ve decided to make the commitment, take it to a good upholsterer like Ambrose Upholstery, or consider trying to do it yourself!  Austin Upholstery Studio and Spruce both offer classes on upholstery so you can turn your grandmother’s chair in to something you can pass on to your own kids.

See more Pro Tips here; and be sure to connect with us so you don’t miss anything!

Red Chair Market newsletter Red Chair Market Facebook Red Chair Market Pinterest

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Framing Vintage Fabric

25 Feb
Framed vintage fabric

Saved! From becoming yet another pillow, or worse, getting stuck in the closet.

For those fabriholics among us (and you know who you are), you may often wonder if you’ve hit the upper limit of pillows you can make for yourself .  Or you may have hit the wall already and have begun to make them for your friends, but not everyone has the taste to appreciate that toile depicting the Battle of the Bulge (where did you find that anyway?) If you’ve still got fantastic yardage left and have been banned from making pillows, we’ve got a solution for you.  This week’s Pro Tip is inspired by Jean Heath, proprietrix of Uptown Modern on Burnet Road.

Pro Tip

Turn your hoarded vintage fabric in to art by framing it.  The one above gracing Uptown Modern’s walls is stretched over a simple wooden frame available at hobby and craft stores. Grab a staple gun and start with one side, securing it in a nice, straight line.  Then gently stretch the fabric to the other side and staple, starting from the middle.  It may take a time or two to get the tension right so that you don’t have any sags or overly tight areas, but fortunately staples are easily removed.  You know, just in case the moratorium on pillows gets lifted.

See a few other ides below:

Framed vintage fabric

This solution uses up even more!

Framed, embroidered vintage fabric

This one was embellished with some embroidery to make it more dimensional.

Victorian frame vintage fabric

Great Victorian frame sets this fabric off.

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Make your Artwork Pop with Color Blocks

19 Feb

Did you know that the famous Vermeer painting The Girl with the Pearl Earring is only 18″x15″?  And that the average house size is almost 2500 square feet? That can be a lot of wall space to fill, and you certainly don’t want your TGWTPE drowning in a sea of plaster on your 10″ tall wall. Nor do most of us want to invest in the Guernica just to fill space (among other reasons, it’s not the happiest painting in the world). So we turned to Austin interior designer Robin Callan of Room Fu Interiors who inspired this week’s tip.

Pro Tip

Room_fu_interiors_color_block_art

Pop! This simple blue background makes the piece stand out and also fills up space.

To make a small piece of artwork fill up more space visually, paint a color block behind it to give it an extra frame.  This serves to both fill up the wall, and emphasize the artwork through the strategic use of color.  In this example Room Fu was asked to spice up a long, boring entry hall without investing in a lot of new items.  By painting a coordinating block behind the artwork, it reads as a much bigger piece and adds some much-needed interest to the hallway (see the original post here).  To pick a shade, try pulling a tertiary color out of the piece you’re highlighting to give it depth.  Fortunately, paint is cheap, so you can afford to make a mistake or two before you get it right.  Room Fu’s example here is bold, but you could also consider just a shade or two lighter or darker than the wall color for a more subtle accent.  The more ambitious could even consider trying to frame the block with molding, although you’d have to be careful not to get too busy.

Below are a few other examples from the world wide web; doing wonders for a plain mirror, a small clock and a tiny portrait (click on the images for the original posts). So dig out that tiny priceless (or not so priceless) piece from the attic, grab a paintbrush and go to town.

Color block behind art

The tiny clock takes up the whole wall now.

Color block behind mirror

Same great color as Room Fu’s example, perking up a plain mirror.