Monday, January 31, 2011

Defining fabrics commonly used in Interior decorating

Brocade 5Image via Wikipedia
Brocade remains today one of the most popular fabrics to be used in decor. Seen commonly in furniture and used in a wide variety of ways Brocade is a mainstay that has timeless appeal in home interior design and decor.
Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli", comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth," originally past participle of the verb broccare "to stud, set with nails," from brocco, "small nail," from Latin broccus, "projecting, pointed."
Brocade is typically woven on a draw loom. It is a supplementary weft technique, that is, the ornamental brocading is produced by a supplementary, non-structural, weft in addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together. The purpose of this is to give the appearance that the weave actually was embroidered on.
Ornamental features in brocade are emphasized and wrought as additions to the main fabric, sometimes stiffening it, though more frequently producing on its face the effect of low relief. In some, but not all, brocades, these additions present a distinctive appearance on the back of the material where the supplementary weft or floating threads of the brocaded or broached parts hang in loose groups or are clipped away. When the weft is floating on the back, this is known as a continuous brocade; the supplementary weft runs from selvage to selvage. The yarns are cut away in cutwork and broché. Also, a discontinuous brocade is where the supplementary yam is only woven in the patterned areas.

Description : Brocart de soie français, Lyon 1...Image via WikipediaTapestry was used in the old world a great deal in a decorative manner, often seen in wall hangings, bedding, drapery etc.
Tapestry is a form of textile art, woven on a vertical loom. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length (called the warp) and those parallel to the width (called the weft); the warp threads are set up under tension on a loom, and the weft thread is passed back and forth across part or all of the warps. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are typically discontinuous; the artisan interlaces each colored weft back and forth in its own small pattern area. It is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design.

Chenille fabricImage via Wikipedia
You may have seen many fabrics referred to as "Chenille". More often that not you will see this in fabrics that can be worn, such as Chenille sweaters and bathrobes. Chenille was used to make bedspreads and was quite popular in earlier times.
Chenille is the French word for "caterpillar", is typically used to describe a type of fabric. Unlike some fabrics, such as mohair and wool, that happen to get their names from the fibers with which they are made. Chenille, is named from the unique process by which it is made.
Textile experts on the history of Chenille have stated that chenille-type yarn was produced as far back as the 18th century. The yarn at that time was actually made by weaving a "leno" fabric and then cutting the fabric into strips to make the chenille yarn
In the 1920s and 30s, Dalton in Northwest Georgia became the tufted bedspread capital of the country thanks to Catherine Evans (later adding Whitener) who initially revived the handcraft technique in the 1890s. Hand-tufted bedspreads with an embroidered appearance became increasingly popular and were referred to as "chenille" a term which stuck. With effective marketing, chenille bedspreads appeared in city department stores and tufting subsequently became important to the economic development of North Georgia, maintaining families even through the Depression era. Merchants organised "spread houses" where products tufted on farms were finished using heat washing to shrink and "set" the fabric. Trucks delivered pattern-stamped sheets and dyed chenille yarns to families for tufting before returning to pay the tufters and collect the spreads for finishing. By this time, tufters all over the state were creating not only bedspreads but pillow shams and mats and selling them by the highway.The first to make a million dollars in the bedspread business, was Dalton County native, B. J. Bandy with the help of his wife, Dicksie Bradley Bandy, by the late 1930s, to be followed by many others.

Anemone jacquard-woven silk and wool or silk d...Image via Wikipedia
Definition- Jacquard [ja-kard'] Jacquard is a weave. Damask is a jacquard woven fabric and a term used for a wide variety of jacquard woven fabrics.
Damask is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave. Twill damasks include a twill-woven ground or pattern.
You will see this fabric used in almost every aspect of interior design in one way or another. This particular type of weave has the unique ability to be reversible and the adventurous decorator is not shy to use both sides of this beautiful woven fabric. It is commonly seen in window treatments, bedspreads, comforters, pillows throws and in clothing. Fabrics with this type of weave are popular due to the fact that it offers some depth and texture to any room it is applied to.
Jacquard [ja-kard'] Jacquard is a weave. Damask is a jacquard woven fabric and a term used for a wide variety of jacquard woven fabrics.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Top home decorating articles

2FOYERImage by dawnella66 via Flickr

Columbia South Carolina offers home decorators choices
Whether you are decorating your first home or renovating an older fixer upper, Columbia South Carolina offers a wide range of shopping possibilities. Columbia has a wide variety of antique malls throughout the city. These malls all offer beautiful selections in antiques, but also have a wide selection of other beautiful items to make your home special. Read more here:

How to avoid big mistakes in home decor 
We have all been there, we went out and bought up every Holstein cow canister, or country geese salt and pepper shaker complete with matching curtains, and place mats, only to see a few years later someone on TV say, that look is dated. This article will help you avoid that again..Read on :

How to find the best deals on home decor
Interior decorators and designers alike, strive to work with in the constraints of a budget. That being said, it is important to know where to go to get high end looks without spending all of your clients money. Here are a few tips for getting great things at great prices. Read more here:
How to find the best deals on home decor

Decorating for the potential buyer of your home
Decorating for the potential buyer of your home is an important marketing  strategy.  Fortunately it is very easy to do, once you learn to detach from your home yourself. In a down housing market, sellers have to use every possible tool to get their home sold. Read more about how to do this here:
Decorating for the potential buyer of your home
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Top articles on home buying, and selling

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...Image via Wikipedia

Top real estate selling articles
More now than ever is it imperative to use every selling strategy possible to get your home sold for a profit. If you follow these three article suggestions it will get your ready for the challenge ahead. Effectively selling your home for the price you want is a fine science, failing to recognize that could cost you not only the sale of your home, but the ability to even find a buyer.

Top real estate advice articles
Should I refinance my home?
South Carolina, like many other states has faced a decline in home market value. Homes are staying on the market longer and home owners are struggling with finances. In these economically stressful times, homeowners are constantly looking for ways to save money.

Mortgage deals first time home buyers should avoid

As the past few years have indicated there has been a huge problem with the housing market. The inventory of homes for sale on the market is huge, while buyers are few and far between. First time home buyers will find themselves being prayed upon in a desperate market if they are not extremely savvy about what is a good deal, and what could be the worst decision of their lives.
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Top Real Estate advice articles

MIAMI - FEBRUARY 24:  Real estate agents, Izzy...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Should I refinance my home?
South Carolina, like many other states has faced a decline in home market value. Homes are staying on the market longer and home owners are struggling with finances. In these economically stressful times, homeowners are constantly looking for ways to save money.

Continue reading on Should I refinance my home? - Columbia home and living |

Getting the best deal on a house
Buying a home is probably the single biggest purchase and investment you will make in your life time. If you do a little research, you can make a well informed and savvy purchase. Coming up with not only a strategy but a plan of action is key in making a successful buy.

Continue reading on Getting the best deal on a house - Columbia home and living |

Top five low cost home staging techniques
Home staging is sometimes the only weapon in a sellers arsenal. Getting an offer in a down housing market is all about strategy. In an economically stressed society, a home seller has an uphill battle trying to make his home stand out,and often too little money for major changes. There are low cost strategies that the seller can do, and should do. The list below is the top 5 low cost staging strategies a homeowner can do to compete.

Continue reading on Top 5 low cost home staging techniques - Columbia home and living |
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Laminate counter top restoration

Melamine paint in the simplest terms is a liquid plastic paint. For items composed of plastic or plastic materials, Melamine paint is one of the few paints that will adhere to it. It is also naturally fire resistant. While Melamine paint is thick and sticky, it has some qualities that will make it a great option for some. It is self leveling, extremely durable and can be found in a variety of colors that will allow the homeowner to liven up, or completely change the current look in their kitchen and bathroom. Melamine paint has been used for repairing and restoring Melamine cabinets for years. It is typically an oil  based paint, and thus all brands come with their own set of manufacturers suggested instructions with regards to applying it. Some manufacturers recommend applying a Melamine primer, others  suggest applying two coats, etc. Depending on what brand is purchased the recommendations will vary.
If you are interested in updating your kitchen or bathroom laminate counters or cabinets with a fresh new look for around  $20.00 per can, you can check online for local paint stores that carry  Melamine paint. If you have difficulty finding laminate/Melamine paint, see: White Knight Paints. This site has a lot of information on the paint, regarding how to prepare surfaces, dry time and health and safety.
Another alternative is Modern Masters Countertop Transformations. This is a three step kit that is currently carried by Lowes.A typical Lowe's storefront in Santa Clara, Ca...Image via Wikipedia
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pulling together a room design with your local Pier 1 Import store

Pier 1 Imports LogoPier 1 Imports Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luckily for those living in South Carolina, we have a plethora of furniture stores to chose beautiful furnishings from. Pier One Imports currently has 9 stores located through out South Carolina and other states, check the website for one closest to you.

The Sofa
Pier 1 Imports, Abby Sofa
This sofa is moderately priced, and has great lines that add immediate style to the room you are outfitting.
See Abby Sofa. Resist the urge to always buy living rooms, dens etc in bulk packages.

Arm chairs
Pier 1 Imports Abby arm chair

This matching arm chair repeats the same clean soft curves as its sofa counterpart for $499.95.
See:  Abby Arm Chair,

Pier 1 Imports Orient Bird  lamp
Lighting in a room is also an important decorative factor. This lamp is a lovely compliment to the Abby sofa and Arm Chair. See: Orient Bird Lamp This lamp picks up the great dark finish of the coffee table.

Coffee and End Tables
Pier 1 Imports Dexter coffee table
The soft curves found in the Abby sofa and Abby Arm chair, as well as the lamps suggested here will compliment this coffee table that also has soft curved legs and a bold anchor color that looks great in a neutrally furnished room. See: Dexter Coffee Table also  from Pier One Imports. Also see: Dexter End Tables
Pier 1 Imports Dexter end table

Wall décor
Pier 1 Imports hand painted plates
Finding wall décor that will compliment the living room suggestions listed here in this article is easy if you remember a few key things. The big pieces are neutral, soft curves, the lamps are also curved with a leaf motiff, and the tables are softly curve with a dark finish. So naturally wall décor have has curves, a dark finish and a floral feel to it can only add to the style going on in this room. See Scroll Burst wall décor
If you are in the mood for pops of color, try this for a great compliment to this living room by adding this lovely wall art, see: Hand Painted Plates Wall décor

Pier 1 Imports Green Ombre Paisley Pillow
Most sofas look lovely without them but for decorative purposes pillows can go a long way to help a room have some additional personality. These pillows add soft color that is reflected in all the decorative pieces chosen for this room. Green Ombre Paisley Pillow

Area rug
Pier 1 Imports Blue and Brown wavy rug
Looking for a super cool area rug to pull it all together? There are two schools of thought here you can either pick up the bold colors from the vases, plates and pillows with this: Blue and Brown wavy rug
This rug will pick up the lovely colors found in the accents for the walls and in the pillows.

Or anchor the room with this simple area rug...
Pier 1 Imports Wool Border Jute Rug
This rug will pick up on the dark finish of the coffee and end tables featured in this article beautifully.
Wool Border Jute Rug

More suggested accents for this living  room ensemble

More wall art...

Pier 1 Imports Metal Plates Votive Sconce

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Top flooring articles for your home

An example of solid wood flooring with a top c...Image via Wikipedia
Flooring upgrades that add value to your home
Did you know some improvements have consistently shown to be a better investment overall for your homes value? There are some improvements that will yield little in the ROI, "return on your investment". That being said, there are a few upgrades and flooring choices that could hurt your homes value, whether appraisal wise, or resale value. Here’s a few improvements that will punch up your home's appraisal, and a few that will knock it down to the "floor" so to speak.
Continue reading on Flooring upgrades that impact home value - Columbia home and living |

How to choose flooring upgrades for your kitchen or bathroom
We often start a project at home much like a baby takes it's first steps. Fearful and unsure. This article will tell you about a few of the flooring choices out there today. The most important thing to be mindful of when adding new flooring to a kitchen or bathroom is considering what the flooring will be exposed to.

Continue reading on How to choose flooring for your kitchen or bathroom - Columbia home and living |

Carpeting choices and styles

Choosing the right carpet for your interior design needs can be a daunting process. There are many different types and qualities available in today's market. Now more than ever before there are many colors, designs, styles to pick from that are readily affordable. Finding one that is ideal for a family is a good way to ensure years of use and is a wise investment. Having knowledge of the different kinds can help you and your decorator chose the best overall fit for your needs.

Continue reading on Carpet choices and characteristics - Columbia home and living |
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