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Want easy, modern style at home? Try the ‘60s inspired color blocking design trend that is as groovy in fashion as it is for home décor. It’s an easy way to give your home a modern, sophisticated look.
What is color blocking?
As popular on the runway as it is on retail store racks, color blocking is a trend that makes a bold statement. Fearless fashionistas have adapted the trend for hair, make-up and even manicures. Men’s fashions sport color blocking elements, too. It’s also used in modern architecture. But no matter where you see it, the bottom line is this: To do it well, you have to commit 100%. When it comes to color blocking, go bold or go home.
Color blocking was the product of minimalist artists during the 1960s Pop Art era. In art, it is the representation of bright colors in solid, repeated blocks. In home décor, it’s layering different single-colored items over one another.
Five ways color blocking your home
Paint the walls.
You can use your walls as your backdrop for color blocking if you paint them crisp white. Or make your walls part of your blocking by painting just three of your walls white and adding a great hue on your fourth wall.
Accessories are a simple and not-too-committal way to add bold colors. Try a solid-color throw or rug, and mix it up with throw pillows in different solid shades. Or put together a selection of solid-colored vases, books, and knick-knacks on white shelves.
One of the great things about color blocking is that you can easily recreate the look on a canvas without being any great artist. Buy a white canvas from your local art supply store, use painter’s tape to create your blocking design and roll on the hues of your choice. Once the paint is dry, peel off the tape, and you’ve got an original to hang on your wall. Or you can bypass the taping altogether, and paint several smaller canvases, each in a different solid color. Hang them in a lined-up row or group to instantly add a modern flair to any room.
Color blocking via your furniture is a more expensive way to get the look, but the results can be breathtaking. We love how inviting this space looks:
Look up and down
Add color to your ceiling with a great single-colored shade for your dining room light fixture. If you’re feeling adventurous and you have a floor that can be painted, think about changing the shade beneath your feet.
Have you used color blocking in your home? Send us photos and let us share your color blocking success story! Email: email@example.com
Whether you like a few or a lot, pillows can make your bed look as good as it feels, night after night!
Neat and Simple
If you like orderly style, stack a couple of uniformly sized pillows at the head of the bed. Inviting, but not overwhelming.
Luxurious Bed Pillows
You want your bed to look and feel ultra-luxurious. Stand differently sized (feel free to throw in rolled pillows with square ones), and patterned pillows up in three rows in front of your headboard. Fluff each one up, and give each that ol’ karate chop in the top centre for that extra touch.
Carefree bed Pillows
If your style leans more towards the less structured, this look is easy to achieve. Just toss and enjoy!
Don’t underestimate the statement that black and white can make in your home décor. This dynamic color duo can be simple and chic or stylishly over the top. We love how easy these home accessories can help you achieve a black-and-white theme.
This geometric wallpaper is graphic and ultramod. We found “Reflection” at Graham Brown (www.grahambrown.com). Bold patterned wall papers are becoming popular again. They are better than ever, easier to apply and more durable.
If you are thinking about a graphic wall paper like the one above, complement it with other accents that are clean, simple and more subtly patterned. For example, an inexpensive black fabric-shaded square lamp (www.ikea.com) like this one adds a soft glow to your room. This will work perfectly in a black and white theme.
Not sure about plastering up a bold black and white wall paper? There are other options. This indoor/outdoor grommet drape (www.potterybarn.com) makes a great accent when hung against neutral walls in tandem with smaller black-and-white accessories. Just as you might only wall paper a single wall, hanging a drape like this over a single window or doorway may be enough to punch up your black and white theme.
Finally, decorating with black and white doesn’t have to be entirely black and white. If you find black and white too stark, look for accents that combine classic black with softer off-white or cream tones. You get the beauty of clean contrasting lines plus the flexibility to work with your off-white accessories. Have you ever noticed how pure white throw pillows on an off-white sofa will make the sofa look dirty. Pillows like these wildly bold zebra print throw pillows from Pillow Decor (www.pillowdecor.com) can solve that problem. This black and off-white zebra pattern pillow will work beautifully on that cream or off-white sofa.
Share Your Black and White Decor Photos
If you are loving your black and white decor, share a photo of how you are making this dynamic duo work for you! Please email your photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use your photo online we will send you a $50 Pillow Decor gift certificate!
Office design doesn’t have to be boring. We recently had fun looking for great examples of pillows in the workplace. Here are some of our favorite examples of outstanding office interiors. While some people might think that a pillow in the office might promote napping on the job, the opposite seems to be true; great office interiors can boost productivity at any corporation. Maybe these ideas will inspire you to initiate a little redecorating at your workplace!
Pocket Change in San Francisco
Keeping a neutral taupe, gray and white background, the gathering areas at this office get their personality from bright and bold yellow and black accents. We also love the giant chalk wall. What a great way to promote creativity among your employees.
Bring the outdoors in
Google, in Zurich, Switzerland
You wouldn’t expect much less from Google’s office design. How many office spaces can boast indoor birch tree trunks? We love the way this office has brought the great outdoors in with cowhide-patterned throw pillows inside the green hives (where worker bees must gather) and flowery fabric-covered ottomans.
Tying it all together
Green is the hot hue in home décor this fall. Varying from lime to dark moss, this color can add style to any room.
Want to incorporate green in your home? If you’re feeling adventurous, paint a wall in your favorite shade. But if you’re not up for that kind of commitment, do what we love doing: play with accents instead.
Or go for a trio of cushions in varying shades and patterns for a tied-together look:
Your Green Stuff
Sleuth your closets for green accessories that you can group together to create impact. Take books with green in the covers and in a stack or group different green bottles and vases together for an eclectic centerpiece.
Under an exclusive license agreement with the Museum of Vancouver (MOV), we have been making a unique series of decorative pillows for their MOV Retail Collection. This image is taken directly from one of the bus scrolls that were once used on Vancouver’s electric trolley buses in the early 1950s. At the time, bus drivers used a hand crank to rotate the information on the scroll to indicate along which route the bus was traveling.
Summer is wedding season! We are thrilled by how well received our Mr. and Mrs. pillows have been as wedding gifts. These are printed on a 100% cream linen. Decorative pillows can be a little tricky to buy for other people sometimes, but these are neutral and will work well on a bed, in a guest room, or on his and her favorite chairs.
Upon entering a room, our eyes take in its color, proportion, balance and light as well as its overall mood. Though we may not always be able to quantify our experience, we invariably develop a strong emotional reaction. We may feel it is cold or warm, inviting or intimidating, cozy or grandiose. Regardless of how well we may be able to express our pleasure or displeasure with any given room or space, we can always identify whether or not we like its color.
Color is the most immediate experience, one that is emotional and visceral. Colors have the power to soothe or stimulate, relax or excite, please or displease. Color can also be evocative, conjuring up memories of childhood, happy or sad experiences, remembrances of travels and places. Colors can be the most effective way to establish the mood and overall feeling of your space and may be introduced in many forms. Paint is most obvious and dramatic way to bring color to a room. But there other more subtle ways. Textiles in the form of curtains, rugs and pillows are an effective and versatile means to add color and manipulate the look and mood of your space.
Given the array of color choices it is a seemingly daunting prospect to choose just one. But it becomes simple once you discern the mood particular colors create and the feelings it evokes. If you want a serene bedroom for example, choose soothing and calming colors. If you want to create a vibrant room, turn up the volume color wise. For the more permanent and widespread color installations, such as paint on your walls, you have to be willing to commit.Generally it is a good idea to create canvases upon which we can introduce further color. An easy and rewarding way to introduce accent colors throughout the room is to add pillows. You may not want to have a predominantly pink room but would be happy and quite uplifted to place a hot pink throw pillow on your couch or bed for that hit of pink that satisfies without overwhelming. You may wish to warm up your room for winter with luscious color and inviting textures. While it certainly is not practical to repaint your room to suit the seasons, it is certainly possible to affect the main color by bringing in accent colors that warm it up or cool it down.Decorative pillows can instantly bring texture and color to your space. For example, a cool ocean blue room will feel airy and light in the summer accented by linen pillows in shades of blues, greens and grays. The same room can take on a much more atmospheric and dramatic feel by adding cut velvet pillows in deep purple, dramatic charcoal and moody black. Once you begin to play and experiment with color, it becomes addictive, as it is an intoxicating and sensual experience. Our moods are so easily affected by the colors that surround us that it is quite possibly the most rewarding element of design to manipulate.The language of color
Color is a key part of our lives. Its powerful impact on our mood and sense of well being is hard to quantify and sometimes even hard to discern but it nonetheless shapes our daily experience. Imagine a gray rainy day and contrast it with a bright sunny day. Imagine the introspective mood of the grey day and contrast it with the exuberant feeling one has when the sun peaks from behind the clouds. Imagine the color of rain and the color of sunshine. It may be hard to define, but unquestionably it can be experienced.
Once we start to think about color and how it affects us, exciting possibilities reveal themselves.
At home we can change the color of our surroundings and the atmosphere of our rooms by simply painting, or adding colorful pillows and throws, or placing a vibrantly colored vase on mantel or table. It is easy and infinitely rewarding. How then, does one choose a color? Well, each color has its message and evokes a certain mood. Once you learn about the basic colors and corresponding moods, you can then apply them to achieving your design goals.
Message: Boldness, Vitality, Strength, Power, Seduction, Excitement
In nature: Attention! Red in nature either signifies danger or attraction. The amazonian red frog is poisonous and its red color keeps enemies at bay. Red spots on many birds are a means of attraction and are proudly displayed during mating season.
At home: Stimulation! Red is a bold and dominant color. Our eyes are drawn to it and will register the color immediately and intensely. For some, it can be overwhelming, for others it provides just the right amount of stimulation and excitement. Whether it is used to warm up a space, make a dramatic first impression, or add liveliness as an accent color, red is always unforgettable.
Message: Joy, Playfulness, Freedom, Light, Hope, Nurturing
In nature: Light! Yellow is the color we associate with sunlight. Sunlight expands the visual field making spaces seem larger and more voluminous. Yellow flowers are vibrant and lively and command attention because they offer such a high contrast to the predominant color in nature which is green.
At home: Nurturing warmth. Yellow is a luminous and nurturing color. It is almost impossible not to be cheered up by the golden light that is cast in most yellow rooms. Yellow is the color that most closely emulates the joyful mood of a lovely summer day. Yellow pillows are a classic way to introduce color and light to any room.
Message: Creativity, Vibrancy, Abundance, Exuberance
In nature: Liveliness! Orange flowers always convey exuberance. Even if present in small quantities, orange flowers, because of their attention grabbing hue, give the impression of abundant richness. Orange sunsets are inspiring and breathtaking. The experience of observing a sunset is enriching and satisfying.
At home: Orange is the mixture of red and yellow, both very warm colors. Whenever it is used in the home, orange and its many tonal variations (peach, apricot, persimmon, terra cotta, etc) will cast a glow. It is this warm glow that lends a subtle vitality to objects under its radiant influence. A terra cotta floor, despite its humble origin gives the impression of earthy abundance. A bright orange pillow catches the eye, while a peach room gives everyone perfect complexion. Bringing orange into a room has the same effect as lighting candles. Its magical glow instantly elevates the mood.
Message: Permanence, Constancy, Restfulness
In Nature: Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean which are vast and though constantly changing, are always present and offer us the promise of a new day. The vastness of the sky and the powerful presence of the ocean remind us of how vast and mysterious the universe is and evoke a feeling of wonder an depth.
At home: Blue is a wonderous color because it has infinite tones ranging from peaceful powdery blues to vibrant teal and dramatic nautical blues. A blue room conveys tranquility, harmony and serenity. Lighter shades bring forth a tranquil atmosphere while darker ones transmit a sense of history and tradition. Blue pillows may reinforce an overall blue color scheme or introduce a blue, tranquil note.
Message: Harmony, Life, Contemplation
In nature: Green is the predominant color in nature. Of all the colors, it has the widest range of variations. Green is the background color to nature’s bounty. It highlights the other colors and makes them come to life.
At home: Green is a widely versatile color due to its enormous range of tones. Some shades of green are energizing and lively. Some are restful and create an ideal background to hold many other colors. Some greens are associated with a sickly complexion and create instant displeasure. Some greens are considered young and modern, while others are traditional and harmonizing.
Similarly, green pillows may add a playful touch or an elegant note.
Temperature: Cool and Warm
Message: Passion, Royalty, Magic
In nature: Purple flowers are always eye catching and lend a magical touch to the garden. Purple is a complex color that offers the depth of blue and the passion of red all in one.
At home: Purple is a very vivid and sensuous color. It commands special attention. Therefore, it is not for everyone and must be used sparingly as it can easily overwhelm the space. Interestingly though, lighter shades of this color such as mauve and lavender may be used widely and act as a neutral background. In small doses, such as in pillows and accessories, purple can create a very sophisticated, luxurious look.
Message: Gentle, Delicate, Innocent, Soft
In nature: Pink flowers hold a special fascination as they present a delicate and ephemeral beauty. Hot pink flowers by contrast offer a bold statement, and convey real verve.
At home: Pink is a gentle color that tempers the hot passion of red with the purity of white. It is considered a sweet color and therefore must be used in measured amounts as not to become too cloying. Pink pillows on a bed compose a delicate haven. Hot pink pillows make a bold statement on a sofa, chair or bed.
In nature: Brown is the color of earth and wood. It is the base on which everything grows. Brown represents roots, shelter and solidity.
At home: Brown exists in almost every home in the form of wood furniture and flooring. But it can also be used as a wall color for a dramatic sheltering effect. Brown pillows and accessories seldom fail to provide a sophisticated finish to any space.
In nature: White conjures up images of fluffy clouds and pristine snow. Snow covered fields appear clean and untouched. A white landscape appears large and uninterrupted.
At home: White can have many applications at home. A white kitchen is always pleasing and never out of style. Large expanses of white walls create a gallery feel. And crisp white linens and towels look smart and sophisticated. White pillows are the perfect metaphor for the fluffy white clouds and lend a dreamy feel to the space.
In nature: Black is the night sky. It is mysterious and formal. Black represents the vastness of space and its unknown quantities. Black is also the color of many stones like onyx and slate.
At home: Black is a very suitable for any formal event. In the home, black coveys the same formality and seriousness. Hits of black in room instantly dress it up. A black lamp shade makes even the most humble lamp base appear more sophisticated. Black on pillows provide just the right amount of black to ground a color scheme.
In nature: Beige is the color of sand and various stones. Like brown, beige provides a background against which other colors and textures can be highlighted.
At home: Beige has been maligned in the past as being a bit too bland. However, beige is the ideal color to accentuate different textures and patterns. For example, a collection of beige pillow in different patterns looks interesting and inviting.
Decorating with bold patterns and colors may seem a little daunting and scary at first, but it really doesn’t have to be. Bringing different patterns and colors into your room is a great way to express your personality and taste, and if there is one place where you should feel totally comfortable doing this, it is in your own home. It can be fun, exciting and rewarding. Don’t be scared, just play around with it, trust in your own creativity, and see where it takes you. The best way to ease into this is by adding your own personality pieces to your sofas, chairs or bed by using patterned throw pillows! Cheap and easy right? You shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to make a statement in your room. Pillows are a great way to transform your room into a fantastic, colorful space, without breaking the bank.
You don’t have to keep up with today’s trends or what other people are telling you is the latest and greatest. After all, what is considered hot today may be off the list tomorrow. Put the magazines aside for now, and choose patterns and colors that you like, that make you smile and that make you feel good. That’s what really matters at the end of the day.
First things first, ask yourself how you want to feel when you are in a room. Is it your place of relaxation, or is it your family’s activity hub? Decorating with muted color palettes may bring you relaxation and tranquility, whereas decorating with striking bold patterns and colors might make you feel awake, fresh and in the mood to party.
For a relaxing living room where you want to sit back in the evening and clear your mind, consider choosing soft patterns and colors. Greens and soft yellows are proven to be relaxing, as are burnt oranges and browns. Blues and reds can be a little on the cold side, but this may be the look you are wanting? Bold patterns in bright whites, reds and blues are very fresh and nautical and may be a great way to add a thematic touch to your room.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match! One of our favorite words when it comes to decorating with throw pillows is layering. For example, let’s imagine a 3-seater sofa. Now imagine two large pillows on either side – 22-inch square is a good size to use for this. These pillows could be your pattern pillow. Now, in front of these pillows add some smaller coordinating solid color pillows. 18-inch or 16-inch square throw pillows would work well. Already you have something really special going on. If you love a lot pillows on your sofa perhaps throw a 12X20 inch rectangular pillow in the middle. You could mix and match using the same solid color or pattern, but how about being a little different and choosing a contrasting pattern that is still in keeping with the same color tones? Right away you have changed a plain 3-seater sofa into your own personal statement! Don’t forget to look around your room for color and pattern inspiration. You may have a favorite piece of art or another decorative accent piece that you want to pull in. You’ll be amazed by how your whole room can come together well with a few carefully selected pillows.
While color and shape are easier to get a grasp on, scale can be a little more complicated when it comes to patterns. If you are mixing up prints in your pillows try not to choose more than one of the same scale as they may compete with each other visually.
Now that’s not too difficult is it? Give it a go, you will surprise yourself. Bring out your true personality, and most importantly, enjoy!
Whether you want a seasonal shake-up or you’re looking for a trendy, vibrant change, it’s easy to do with the right pillows. Go with wild patterns, bright colors or flat-out trendy styles to give your home an updated look. Pillows are an inexpensive way to make an impact on a room, and because they’re not a big commitment like furniture or lighting, you don’t have to be afraid to change them often. In fact, you’ll want to – that’s the point.
More than just couch cushions, have you ever thought of utilizing pillows to display your favorite art instead of filling up your walls? Or transforming your garden patio into a modern extension of your home by adding contemporary textured pillows? The experts at Pillow Decor Ltd.(www.pillowdecor.com) offer the following creative tips for decorating with pillows.
1) PILLOWS AS ART
So many homes now have walls of glass and open plans, so there are fewer walls available for hanging art. Use hand-painted, one-of-a-kind pillows to add original art to your home. You can even try a pillow that features the work of one of your favourite artists. They are easy to decorate with, and don’t leave holes in the wall. Among Pillow Décor’s collection you’ll find hand-painted, one-of-a-kind works of art by up-and-coming designers as well as classic renditions of famous works by artists such as Gustav Klimt, Marco Fabiano and Fabrice De Villeneuve.
2) SEASONAL MAKEOVER
Update the look of your home seasonally with new pillow covers and accessories. It’s the quickest way to give your home a makeover. Most pillow covers have zipper closures, so you can put lighter-colored pillow covers on your existing pillows for a fresh look. Just store your fall and winter pillow covers flat in the linen closet. Choose lighter-weight silks with a slight sheen to capture the light and add sparkle to your room. You can also switch pillows and accessories from room to room for a quick change. Pillow Decor makes it easy by enabling you to buy just the pillow cover, or the pillow cover with your choice of a polyfill insert or feather insert.
3) MIX FABRICS LIKE A PRO
Professional designers combine different fabrics, shapes and sizes for a layered look. You can easily pull this off yourself by mixing florals, stripes, textures and solid-coloured pillows. Traditional themes feature pairs, balance and symmetry, but modern and contemporary decor is known for odd numbers and a more eclectic, collected look. Resist the “matchy-matchy” impulse, and build a collection of different fabrics to add colour and personality to your home. Unify your open-concept décor with fabrics that reflect and tie together the colours in the room. Study magazines to see how the professionals do it.
4) INEXPENSIVE UPDATING
To modernize an outdated room or sofa, pick new pillows in a color you are moving towards. You will be able to test out the new colors in the room, and begin the transformation. You don’t have to redo the whole room at once, just do it piece by piece as budget allows. Reupholster that sturdy reading chair and ottoman. Throw in a cozy chenille. Combine rich textured dupioni silks and modern solid colored metallic pillows for a clean look that is versatile, so that once you decide on the furniture and flooring, your pillows and accessories are already in place. For a final touch, add patterned pillows that incorporate the colors of the sofa fabric.
5) BRING THE OUTDOORS INSIDE
Botanical and floral-print pillows will bring the feel of the outdoors in. However, it certainly doesn’t have to be your traditional floral imagery. Pillow Decor offers a wide variety of contemporary, subtle botanical styles. Combined with textured fabrics, you’ll feel more connected to the Earth even, in the heart of the city. There are many color schemes to choose from, including gold and silver. Add a few coordinating striped pillows for a masculine touch. Use a digital picture from your hike in the woods, have it printed in a poster size, and place it beside a leafy new plant near your Earth-inspired pillows for a great look!
6) TAKE THE INDOORS OUT
Decorative pillows offer an ideal way to help transform your outdoor living space into a comfortable continuation of your home. Whether it’s a kitchen, family room or bedroom that opens up onto a deck or poolside patio, try using throw pillows that pull from the dominant color of the adjacent indoor room. The transitional effect will create harmony and continuity between your indoor and outdoor living spaces. Don’t hesitate to use designs that might typically seem unfitting for the outdoors. Go with pillows that feature bold circles, stripes or colors not standard of nature, such as black and white. The pillows will stand out amongst all the earthy greens and browns and really spice up that outdoor space!
7) KEEP THE PEACE
She wants mauve florals, he wants green and orange geometric pillows. Compromise with pillow covers in each color scheme and theme, and alternate them occasionally. Or try finding some common ground with a coordinating pair that combines the Yin and the Yang. Your room will feel new, and the change will be refreshing. Everybody’s happy!
8) DRESSING UP A CHILD’S ROOM
For the kid whose room is never tidy, solid color pillows will help create a less cluttered look. If texture and pattern is what you are after, you can add wide wale corduroy or striped pillows to a boy’s room, and wavy or florals for the girls. You want soft durable pillows for a child’s room made from microfibre suede – the microfibre fabrics are so tightly woven that they are tougher and more durable than most other fabrics. Spills just bead up and roll off, and they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Try 24-by-24-inch box-edge faux-suede pillows, which are practical and fun for floor pillows in a child’s or teen’s room. These pillows are very soft; perfect to sprawl on while reading a book or playing a game. They come in a wide variety of bright cheerful colors, and while the superhero or princess themes will soon be passé, these durable pillows will have staying power.
9) WHAT’S HOT NOW
The hottest new pillows are the versatile rectangular shape, sometimes referred to as “lumbar” pillows. They can be used in so many ways, to add back support to children and petite people, to add color to an armchair, or nestled against each arm of your sofa. Layer them in front of larger, square pillows in the corner of your sectional, or on a window seat or daybed. Add one in front of pillow shams to give your beds a decorative touch. On a low-backed, clean-lined sofa, place one at the back of each seat cushion.