Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cushions: My Top Must-haves in Home Accessories

I am about to walk on dangerous ground; I am absolutely CRAZY MAD about cushions so I will try not to go on and on and on about them because I can talk the hind legs off of a donkey when it comes to cushions (taking a deep breath).

Cushions are a decorating accessory that is elegant, stylish, versatile, highly durable, and easy to maintain plus light on your pocket. With a collection of cushions you will be able to add contrast, colour and interest throughout your home.  

Decorating with cushions is fun and will allow you to introduce a bit of flair into your room; choose contrasting patterns or just liven up your room with a splash of colour.  So please do not limit yourself to only use cushions on the sofa; whether in the living room, bedroom, dining room or even your entrance hall, cushions are unique decorating accessories and will enhance any environment. 

The square shape is definitely the most common but if you want to add visual interest look at other shapes; circle, triangle, flowers, animals and even the shape of trees will look stunning while adding a fun element. 


Also there is a variety of different textures, designs, fabrics, and colours for you to choose from. Here are some ideas: 

о   Faux fur, leather or fleece cushions are very popular and look great in modern sofas.
о   Silk, satin, velvet and brocade will create a sense of luxury and opulence.
о   Quilted cushions are a beautiful way to add many different colours to your decor and are great in achieving a rustic/cottage look.
о    Linen cushions are delicate, graceful and elegant.

Cushions with bold and geometric lines look great in any room and will enhance the visual aspect. Use colour in cushions to create a vibrant effect, they are also a great way to add excitement to a neutral living room. Because cushions are relatively small, you can get away with dazzling bright colours such as orange red and turquoise especially if you like colour but are too afraid to use them in your walls. 


Fun patterns are another attractive way to decorate with cushions. Again, because cushions are small, you can let your imagination run wild. Colourful and dynamic patterned cushions add visual interest. If you choose a particularly complex pattern then do make sure that surrounding fabrics are light coloured and not too busy.

I will show you how to create an inviting, warm and delightful atmosphere. 

·         Decide on a colour, style for your room and although the cushion will play an integral role in decorating your room, you also want the other accessories to match, i.e. lamp shades, rugs, wall art, and furniture.

·         Jazz up window boxes by putting cushion on the window seats; they will give you extra seating in the bedroom and provide another place to add some colourful decorative cushions. 

·         If you have a chest at the end of your bed buy a large cushion big enough to fit over the length of the chest and you will have another spot to sit; try and get a colour that will contrast with your bedspread so it will break up the space and the bed will stand out.

·         Use large bed pillows with contrasting colours or patterns as prop pillows for your bed. Many people like to read in bed, and these cushions serve a function as well as help pull the look of your room together. You can have them in the same material as your chest's cushion. This provides a visual reference that frames both the foot and the head of the bed.


I warned you that this is a topic that I can talk the hind legs off of a donkey so I have had to split this post in two and will publish part two later in the week. Watch this space!


Pictures via tispsytessie.blogspot.com, elledecor.com, designersguild.com, luxury-home-design-interior.blogspot.com, designspongeonline.com, lollipopandpepper.co.uk, mairo.se, bleuepiece.wordpress.com, eclecticrevisited.wordpress.com, car-moebel.de, absolutelybeautifulthings.blogs, gracaviterbo.com, blog.gharexpert.com and memois.com.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Candles: My Top Must-haves in Home Accessories

I am going to let you on a secret; candles are one of my weaknesses and yes you guessed it, I have lots of candles in my home to the point that I had a comment from a friend that my house is a fire hazard. Needless to say I paid little attention. I love how fabulous they look and smell especially when I light them.

Candles create a warm and attractive effect in any space. They're often associated with romance and are a great way to create a mood of relaxation and calm. 


Candles bring light and you can turn them into focal points in the living room, dining, bedroom and even your bathroom.

Candles can be inspiring, energizing, beautiful, elegant, and soothing and simply smell great. So you definitely can change the mood of your home depending on the scent of your candles. 

The name candle comes from the Latin candere meaning "to shine." The earliest candles were created by rolling sheets of papyrus and dipped them in melted tallow (a byproduct of beef fat rendering). Due to its smell the tallow was eventually replaced by beeswax, whale oil and then paraffin. Soy and vegetable-based candles such as palm wax are also available. 

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, is known for its use of candles and there are also references to candles in the bible. Many Buddhists light candles at their shrines, where the candle's light represents the enlightenment they seek. In Wiccan religions, candles represent gods and goddesses and are common during religious ceremonies 

Candles can be incorporated into your home in many forms, from collections of small candles to large pillars in their own decorative holders. 

Even when not lit, candles complement your home's decor simply because of their colour and design.



о   Groups of the same colour candles of various shapes and sizes will deliver a great visual impact.

о   A large amount of floating candles in a pool will be very attractive and create an interesting effect in an evening party. 

о   Three or five candles clustered in front of a mirror or a cluster of candles in a mirrored tray, either of these methods will give an extra glow due to the reflection from the mirror.

о   Floating candles with flowers i.e. water lilies, rose petals, will create a serene look.

о   Several sets of candles in different colors will allow you to change the look of the room and can be used for seasonal decorations.


Keep sets of candles in different colors to change the look of the room and for seasonal decorations. 

о Always smell the bottom of the candle when buying scented ones. If you only get a strong scent from the top, they have probably only been dipped in scent; so if you are looking to get that lovely scent every time you burn the candle when you get to the bottom the smell won't be there.

о If you have a special candle you want to last a long time, just put it in the refrigerator one hour before using and it will burn slower and last longer. 


And while I love real candles, there is another option; especially if you dread dripping hot wax on your furniture or your flooring. 

Created by a company called Enjoy Lighting they can be purchased online. The light sparkles from the inside from three flame-mimicking lights that flicker randomly. With the room lights off or dimmed, these battery-operated candles are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. The outside of each candle is made of real wax; some are textured, others are smooth and some even emit a fragrance. 

They are either operated manually or they can be programmed to light up at desired times and the batteries last for days. 

So whatever your taste or desire do get some candles, add a bit of spice to your home and have fun decorating.


Pictures via alittlethingspicy.com, ericaduham.com, candles.lovetoknow.com, zoomdecor.com, dolezal_BobDiningRoom_lg trend-dir.net, cottagehomedecorating.com, sndgems.com, enjoylighting.com, outdoorlightinglamps.com, thecoolgadgets.com, interiordesignstyle.co, trendirs.com. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Lamps: My Top Must-haves in Home Accessories

Lamps add to the allure of your home:  they can be works of art in their own right; they decorate a room and provide a delightful conversation topic for guests. 

Lamps are the most adaptable and flexible form of decorative lighting, offering illumination at levels comfortable for reading.  With lamps you will be able to add a bit of subtle ambiance to your space which then will become the focus of your room.


Lighting plays such an important role in decorating your home. Consider your lifestyle and that of your family plus the activities that take place in the room before choosing where to place a lamp: 

о   Make lamps part of the colour scheme in the home but if in doubt then choose simple shapes with neutral colours.

о   Locate lamps near seating to allow you to read comfortably i.e. position a floor or table lamp next to a sofa, chaise lounge or armchair. 

о   Place several lamps in the room and use mirrors so they can reflect the light while creating an illusion of depth. 

о   Stack books, magazines, or flat accessories on a table, and then place a table lamp on top. This will add a greater sense of dimension to your table and dramatically improve the mood and tone of your room.


With lamps you are able to create different atmospheres, so either be it a romantic, reflection or even a room set for contemplation, with such selections on the market today you are sure to find something to suit your taste.


If redecorating a room, you don’t have to purchase new lamps if they don’t go with the new décor just replace the lampshades. Lampshades come in a variety of different shapes, textures, and materials. 

Lampshades designs are extremely important design elements in our homes; they will add colour, texture, and pattern to the room. Either be it plain and simple, ornately designed or made by yourself I am sure you will have great fun choosing them. 

If you want to have a go at decorating your own lampshade then here is a link to help you do it.


Don’t be afraid to experiment! 

Pictures via palluco.com, abigailahern.com, orientalmaharaja.com,furniturefashion.com, hgtv.com, isucb.org.com, arturoalvarez.com, marthastewart.com

Monday, 9 May 2011

Rugs: My Top Must-haves in Home Accessories

Nothing feels quite as good as a rug beneath your feet. They offer a layer of warmth and comfort unmatched by any other floor covering.  Available in infinite patterns, colors and styles, rugs have been used to accessorize homes for thousands of years. Antique rugs are often treated as family heirlooms and passed down through the generations. 

I am also taking the opportunity to share with you one of my favourite rugs. I saw it first in Maison & Object in Paris and I fell in love because of its brightness, the overlaying of the flowers therefore creating depth and its luxurious feel. It is made by Piodao Group.

The oldest known rug in existence dates back to the 5th century B.C. and is called the "Pazyryk rug." It was found in a burial mound in Siberian Russia near the Mongolian border. Albeit it was the Persians who perfected the techniques and they are renowned since the 1st century B.C. for its exquisite rugs.


Your entrance hall is the first thing guest’s view as they enter your home so by adding rugs you are creating a focal point, enhancing the ambience and making an elegant first impression. 

Rugs dramatically change the decor of a hallway in an instant and they can be used no matter what type of flooring is being used i.e. Concrete, tiles, wooden or laminate flooring a rug will add warmth to the hallway.  

The living room is often where you entertain family and friends so make the room cozy to all by accenting the floor with a rug. Decorative rugs also unify colors in the room, add texture to the decor and provide a focal point. 

If using more than one rug in a room, try to get them in different sizes; i.e. your seating area should have a bigger rug then your reading nook. Visually it looks much better.

Choosing an area rug should be easy once you define your color scheme. You would think that large rooms aren’t a problem but guess again. Having large open rooms in your home can lack a certain intimacy that every family needs so it is important to tackle this and rugs are a great way to do so.

It not only enhances the beauty of the room but also serves as a good place to gather around and enjoy.

Decorative rugs don't always need to go on the floor. If you have a rug that you really like, you can actually hang it like a picture and create a focal point.

A good way to make a space seem larger is by using a small rug woven with light colors and wide geometric patterns. To make a very large room look smaller, choose a large, dark-patterned rug.

Use a favourite rug as the basis of the colour scheme in a room. But if you add the rug later, you can use it to either accent or tying it in with your existing colours.

A special tip: Define a special reading nook with its own rug by placing a comfortable reading chair, small book case and lamp on an area rug near a window or corner. This will allow the rug to group the furniture while creating a defined area in the living room.

Wool rugs can be of great help in keeping the temperature warm or cool depending on the season, as wool is known to keep the environment warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Wool rugs save energy by reducing heat loss through floors and with the cost of energy on the rise this would be a good investment.

Mantas Alentejanas (hand-woven woollen blankets) are produced in Portugal in the region of Alentejo and a symbol of the culture.  Looking at the mantas you wouldn’t guess what they represent in terms of preservation and almost extinct knowledge.  Know that when you buy them you are not only acquiring a beautiful piece to showcase but you are also buying a piece of history.

A carefully chosen rug is a great reflection on you and your taste; it will enhance your home and give you countless hours of enjoyment.

Pictures via flickr.com, tollgard-living.com, trendir.com, interiordesignsense.com, aliciabdesigns.blogspot.com, pinterest via Kirstin Miller & Ingrid Duffy , rugroute.com, yossawat.com, interiorideaz.com, ablog.ro, actureans.com, modernurbanliving.com and my own.