Martocchia Realtors®'s Blog
Wallpaper is making its comeback in 2020, much to the delight of today's edgiest designers. Fitting wallpaper, with its vintage appeal and old-time reputation, into modern spaces presents a unique challenge. But then again, today's wallpapers bear little resemblance to the paper our parents used in the '60s. Deceptively easy to apply, contemporary or even vintage wallpaper is an affordable way to turn a ho-hum space into a vibrant and interesting home.
Industrial design comes and goes, and it's in again this year in a big way. You can cash in on the trend without breaking the bank by hanging wallpapers made to mimic building materials such as reclaimed wood or metal. A little goes a long way when papering a space to look like exposed brick. This is why we recommend sticking to a single accent wall in lieu of papering your whole room.
Ombre is a trend that's new to wallpaper, but it creates a clean, minimalist effect that pleases the eye. Gradients can be shades of gray or transitions between colors of light to dark. They can even feature misty, moody mountains as a background for simple furniture pieces to add depth and shading to your space. Wallpaper that graduates from light at the top to dark or patterned at the bottom makes low ceilings appear taller, too.
Tropical is trending in 2020. So are Asian-themed papers that boast botanical prints. Bold and busy, these wallpapers bring a bit of culture to your bedroom or bath, and they're a pleasing welcome when you return home after a long, hard day at the office. Busy prints like these are ideal for wide-open spaces that need color and pattern to bring them close and make them feel cohesive.
Graphic wallpapers, ones that feature bold lines and geometric shapes are rumored to be big in 2020. Wallpapers such as these bring order to a room, actually evoking the sensation of a calm and organized life. Graphic wallpapers pair well with the busier florals of couch cushions and with textures such as corduroy or chenille.
Wallpaper that features classic blue colors is expected to soar this year, after Pantone's decision to choose it as their official color of the year. Expect to see classic blue, and it's contrasting and complimentary colors of orange and purple, adorning America's walls and ceilings this year.
If you're considering adding an accent wall of wallpaper this year, you'll have multiple varieties from which to choose. Try bringing texture and pattern to your space by shopping by the roll this spring instead of in the paint department.
There’s a lot more to interior design than simply picking out the latest trends in home decor. Design principles are also used to make the atmosphere of your home spacious and welcoming, and to make your home livable in a practical way.
In spite of the fact that most people will own a home someday, no one is ever really taught interior design. So, it comes as little surprise that so many people are missing out on simple techniques that can drastically improve their home.
In today’s article, we’re going to share with you some of the best interior design and decorating secrets to help you spruce up your home and make it more practical at the same time.
Low ceiling? No problem
Having a low ceiling can make it difficult to decorate and make your home seem spacious. One great workaround is to avoid tall furniture and seek out chairs with low backs, and bookcases that are wide rather than tall.
Omit hanging lights and ceiling fans and used recessed lighting instead to maximize your space and avoid having taller guests having to dodge objects hanging from the ceiling.
Finally, paint the ceiling white and remove crown molding to give the impression of openness.
Making small rooms feel larger
If you have a small home it can feel difficult to keep things uncluttered while still making sure you have everything you need. There are a few ways to make rooms feel more spacious that don’t involve throwing out your belongings.
First, add mirrors to give the illusion (literally) of space. A single or group of mirrors can be a nice decorative touch that makes a room seem much larger than it is.
Next, paint and decorate with mainly light colors or white. Dark colors will make a room feel smaller.
Lastly, take advantage of hidden storage space, such as tables with drawers underneath, and avoid putting decorations on too many surfaces. Filling the room up with objects will make it appear smaller.
The size of decorations matter
There’s a rule in interior decorating called the “cantaloupe rule.” It states that you should avoid using decorations that are smaller than a cantaloupe.
However, that doesn’t mean this rule can’t be artfully broken. A better description would be that you should omit several small decorations in favor of just a few large ones.
Create a color palette
When choosing the color of your furniture, walls, and decoration it can be easy to just choose whichever color you like for that object rather than what works well in your home. Try making a color palette to adhere to when shopping for these items.
Create a house-wide palette and a palette for each room. Stick to three or four colors that complement each other well for each room, and make sure they aren’t too starkly contrasted from other rooms in your home.
If you aren’t sure about how to design a color palette there are several free online tools you can use to help.
If Downton Abbey or Pride and Prejudice speak to your inner self, add a little Victorian charm to your décor with well-placed picks of porcelain. If farmhouse style is more your thing, vintage ceramic ware can bring your design to life.
In housewares, ceramics and porcelain span the gambit from lanterns, pitchers, and vases to delicate teacups, figurines, ornaments, and even knobs and pulls. Deciding where to add your special touches is the first step. But once you know where you want it, you need to find it.
Vintage shops, antique stores, and flea markets offer a lot of choices, but not all of it is antique. And if it is vintage, it might not prove hand-painted. It might be transferware or otherwise mass-produced. So, know what it should look like before you go antiquing.
What is transferware?
Historically, as a means of mass-producing ceramic or porcelain pieces, manufacturers would create an engraving on a copper plate. The inked engraving transferred onto paper and then the paper applied to the un-kilned clay object—anything from fine bone china to earthenware—allowed the clay to absorb the ink and create the design. Then, with the paper removed, glazing and firing developed the final piece with design intact. Developed in Staffordshire, England in the mid-1700s, the area became widely known for mass-produced wares destined to grace the tables of the burgeoning middle class. In the 1820s and 1830s, many designs became popular in the United States.
While not as valuable as hand-painted pieces, transferware is highly collectible and sought after by dealers. Modern reproductions of transferware use a different, printed technique to recreate the look of the original, but they are not indeed transferware since they use different methods to imprint the designs.
To distinguish transferware from hand-painted pieces, scrutinize the edges. If the pattern runs off the side, it's likely to be transferware. Hand-painted designs flow with the shape of the dish.
Is it porcelain?
Porcelain is translucent. That means that light shines through it. So, use your cell phone’s flashlight feature to see if the beam comes through. If you can’t see a glow from the other side, it most likely is earthenware or stoneware ceramics.
Check for stamps, initials, signatures, and other identifying marks. Often, vintage ceramics from the Eighteenth century or older showed stamped marks while newer porcelain or ceramic ware have printed or impressed marks.
Should I buy it?
No matter what the provenance, if you like the piece and it brings you joy, display it with pride.
From Sabrina to Amélie the French vintage-inspired interiors evoke sensual elegance and comfortable hominess at the same time. Figuring out how to pull it all off, though, takes more than purchasing the right furniture set. That je ne sais quoi (literally “I don’t know what”) that is so French isn’t so much mastered as it is effortlessly felt. Getting that feel in your home might take a more relaxed approach to design than your usual efforts.
Letting it grow
Most French homes appear complete, but typically, individual pieces enter the house over time. Each one carries a memory, event, or other unique and special attachment. Designer Annouchka Engel calls it “undecorating.” The casual collection of elements, less staged and more collected, amass over time. Designer sofas share space with flea market finds and family antiques.
Distinctives of French style
Dusky pastels grace walls and floors while mixtures of woods, patterns, and other bold objects cluster in the space. Objects appear to be “found” rather than developed. The opposite of trendiness, more a counter to modern matchy-matchy design.
Allons-y — Let’s get started
Vintage French apartments are all about the architecture. If your home does not have much in the way of architectural detail, add some. Trim out the windows, add chair-rail and crown molding, change out flat doors for raised panels, or install decorative framing on the walls. Swap out builder-grade light fixtures for small, but elegant chandeliers or pendants.
Now that you have the backdrop live in at for a while with just one or two favorite pieces. As you shop, find vintage and antique pieces that speak to you or evoke a special feeling. Bring them into the space one at a time to let each one settle before adding another.
Touches of gold here and there, and mirrors on walls or setting on mantels, and metallic frames on wall art add a warm under glow. Sheers or lace in the windows allows in soft natural light that glints off each chosen item. Adding to the warmth are glowing wood floors with thick rugs and stacks of books or clusters of stools, side tables, and plants.
To finish off your look, fill your walls with an eclectic collection of street art, vintage framed posters, and pencil drawings gathered from your forages to markets, thrift stores and charity shops, and of course, your grandmother’s attic.
To find a home with terrific bones and architectural details, let your property agent in on your style requirements.
Hardwoods, tile, and finished concrete make beautiful floor finishes, but to pull your look together, you want texture and the warmth a vintage rug brings. When buying a vintage carpet, here are a few things to which you should pay attention.
Know where it goes
Depending on where the placement, a rug can take a great deal of abuse from foot traffic, pets, moving furniture and the like. If your carpet goes in a high traffic area, look for a sturdy rug to withstand it. On the other hand, if a decorative piece is what you need, don't be afraid of a vintage carpet that shows a little wear.
Know what to look for
In general, pay attention to these areas:
Fraying: Handmade, woven rugs might unravel when frayed edges and loose fringes catch or pull. Look for tight binding. Avoid loose fringes or hems and make sure the backing remains attached.
Knots: Depending on its style, technique, origin, and age, the knots in vintage rugs might range from far-apart and loose to close and tight. In general, the tighter the knot, and the closer together or more knots per square inch, the higher grade and quality the rug. Look on the backside to see the knotting. If knots appear too loose or knap is missing, the carpet may not withstand a high traffic area or the rigors of a vacuum cleaner.
Vintage rugs typically show wear and imperfections unless it came from years of protective storage. Uneven piling, worn patches, discoloration, and even slight stains add to the vintage charm and reveal its storied past.
Know how to care for it
That antique blend of dust and years of household odors might seem more apparent when you get your vintage purchase home. Before you do anything else, air your rug out of doors to get rid of most of the musty odor. Gently beat your rug with a rug beater or broom to remove surface dust.
Recheck the rug for any loose knots and tighten them. Look for any frayed areas that you missed (or determined were minor) and tighten them by hand.
If your rug’s odor persists, enlist the help of a professional rug cleaning service to have it dry cleaned.