Monthly Archives: March 2013

Best of March 2013: Color, Furniture Care, Babies & More

Pretty four-leaf clover -- EuroLuxAntiques.comIt’s hard to believe March is nearly behind us. That’s one-quarter of the year! Where did it go?

On this blog, the month of March was devoted to color and texture in interior design, how to care for antique furniture, and revisiting clients. Let’s revisit some of our favorite posts from the past month.

 

Lovely hortensia blooms add a pop of color to the decor -- EuroLuxAntiquesFeeling a bit of spring fever, we started the blog with a feature on how to use houseplants as accessories in your decor. There’s just something about bringing nature indoors that calms the soul.

In March, we also continued our five-part series on how to clean and wax antique furniture. This series has been a real hit on our Facebook page, and our videos walk you through the process step-by-step.

Blue and white bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Blue and white rice bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table.

Obviously, most antique furniture is made of wood so in keeping with that theme, we offered you a feature on how to add warmth and mood to your interior design by using wood. Both light-colored wood and wood with a dark finish convey a natural warmth when used indoors, but our feature shows how you can create different effects by using wood of all tones.

 

 

Just like indoors, every outdoor room should include a "wow" piece. This sensational vintage birdbath does the trick!

Just like indoors, every outdoor room should include a “wow” piece. This sensational vintage birdbath does the trick!

Again struck by spring fever, we talked about how to create your ideal outdoor room. There’s no reason to keep your antiques indoors when you can enjoy vintage iron garden gates, wrought iron chairs, and other antique iron decor items outside. Our article showcases some superior spaces in the great outdoors.

Finally, we revisited our clients Bruce and Julie, who use antiques to decorate their children’s bedrooms. Yes, we offer you visual proof that children and antiques not only can coexist but can thrive! In fact, we consider Bruce and Julie the experts on this topic since they have a houseful of antiques plus eight children under age 14.

As we bid adieu to March, we look forward to April. We wish everyone better weather in April, and we’ll be on the lookout for the latest design trends and stunning antiques to share with you here!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Client Spotlight: Baby Makes 8! Plus Using Antique Furniture in a Child’s Bedroom

Photo of our clients Bruce and Julie with baby Bruce Junior and newborn Bella Lynn.

Baby Bella makes…eight! Our clients Bruce and Julie pose in front of their new antique French Brittany buffet with Bruce Junior and Bella Lynn.

When we last visited Bruce and Julie of Whitmire, SC, they had just purchased an antique French Brittany armoire from us to use in their master bedroom. When we visited them again a couple of weeks ago to deliver their new antique Brittany buffet for the entryway, we discovered another new addition to the master bedroom: a crib for baby number eight! Little Bella Lynn joins seven siblings, all under age 14. Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographic proof children and antique furniture can peacefully coexist! Bruce and Julie's daughters' room is decorated with an antique bed and other furnishings. I love the pretty Barbie doll in a pink ball gown decorating the mantel!

Photographic proof children and antique furniture can peacefully coexist! Bruce and Julie’s daughters’ room is decorated with an antique bed and other furnishings. I love the pretty Barbie doll in a pink ball gown decorating the mantel!

On this visit, I was struck by how Bruce and Julie have successfully incorporated antique furniture into their children’s rooms. Many people don’t think children and antique furniture can coexist peacefully, but Bruce and Julie prove that’s not the case. Not only do their children live with antiques, they seem to love them. I especially got a chuckle out of seeing the Barbie dolls neatly lined up on the mantelpiece in one of the girls’ rooms. Charming!

Bruce and Julie’s home is blessed with a large entryway, and they’d been making routine trips to our bricks-and-mortar gallery in Newberry to find a suitably scaled antique French buffet to furnish the grand entry. Luckily we just received a new container from Europe, and we could hardly get this particular buffet off the ship fast enough! Bruce and Julie snapped it up, and as you can see it’s the perfect fit for their decor.

The antique French Brittany armoire Bruce and Julie purchased from us last year. Note how Bruce has embellished the original mantel in the master bedroom. Love the chandelier, too!

The antique French Brittany armoire Bruce and Julie purchased from us last year. Note how Bruce has embellished the original mantel in the master bedroom. Love the chandelier, too!

Bruce is quite a woodworker, and I admired all the embellishments he’s made to the original mantels throughout the house. I also love the way Bruce and Julie use chandeliers throughout their home (because, really, who can have too many crystal swags near the ceiling?!). Note how they scale the size of the chandelier to suit the room.

 

 

 

 

Great use of color in Bruce and Julie's dining room! Red can feel overwhelming, but the white fireplace, patterned upholstery, and glass decor balance the burgundy nicely.

Great use of color in Bruce and Julie’s dining room! Red can feel overwhelming, but the white fireplace, patterned upholstery, and glass decor balance the burgundy nicely.

We’ve been discussing the use of color all month, and Bruce and Julie’s home makes a great study in how to use rich paint colors and colorful furnishings in a harmonious design that’s not overpowering. I love the fact all the fireplace mantels are white, for example. This technique unifies the design throughout the house and helps balance the vivid wall color. In the dining room, red walls are balanced by patterned upholstery and glass accents. In the bedrooms, red furnishings contrast neutral wall colors. Well done!

We appreciate the repeat business from Bruce and Julie and wish them all the best with their new little one, Bella!

If you’d like to see your home featured in a client spotlight, email me photos! We love to show off our clients’ great interior designs.

 

P.S.: Did you know we’ve launched a redesigned website? Now you can shop online for antique furniture easier and faster than ever before. And you still get the great customer servie we’re known for. Check out our new site today!

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Create Your Perfect Outdoor Room with Antique and Vintage Furnishings

Create an inviting outdoor space for summer entertaining -- EuroLuxantiques.com

A classic American patio with vintage metal furniture.

The “outdoor room” craze arguably started about 10 years ago and shows no signs of letting up. And why should it? We all love to live outdoors as much as possible, so why devote less time planning and executing a beautiful outdoor living space than you do for your interior design?

Happily, you can take your passion for antique and vintage furnishings outdoors with you. Well, I’m not suggesting you let your fine French antique buffet sit outside in the rain, but you definitely can incorporate antique and vintage furniture and accessories into your sunroom, patio, or garden design. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Vintage rattan furniture creates an inviting space in this cozy sunroom.

Vintage rattan furniture creates an inviting space in this cozy sunroom.

This sunroom uses vintage rattan furniture to great effect. In a cozy, sunny corner, this rattan dining set looks appealing and inviting. If you can’t find antique rattan furniture, you can shop our selection of high-quality reproduction furniture to give your own sunroom a tropical feel. It’s not exactly an outdoor room, but it’s a room that certainly brings the outdoors in.

 

 

 

 

 

Metal is the obvious choice to weather the elements year-round.

Metal is the obvious choice to weather the elements year-round.

A defined patio space makes a great outdoor room. If your living space is exposed to the elements, vintage metal furniture works very well to furnish it. These old gliders and chairs retain their shabby appeal despite the weather. Wrought iron table bases topped with potted plants make for a creative display. I also love the way this homeowner uses an old metal basket atop a metal rolling cart to show off a collection of succulents. While this patio uses vintage American garden furniture, you can hunt down great old antique French iron garden benches and seats if you sleuth hard enough.

Take your shabby or cottage design scheme outside by using an old wrought iron garden gate to set the tone for your outdoor space.

Take your shabby or cottage design scheme outside by using an old wrought iron garden gate to set the tone for your outdoor space.

For your shabby or cottage style outdoor room, an old wrought iron gate can set the tone. You can use a vintage gate or door as a functional item or for simple decorative purposes. An old farm door propped against a fence makes a lovely backdrop for flowers. And don’t forget how great weathered galvanized tubs work as planters! Hot pink geraniums look particularly spectacular against the gray-and-rust tones of galvanized metal.

 

Just like indoors, every outdoor room should include a "wow" piece. This sensational vintage birdbath does the trick!

Just like indoors, every outdoor room should include a “wow” piece. This sensational vintage birdbath does the trick!

When creating your outdoor room, don’t forget to add a spectacular centerpiece. Antique or vintage bird baths or fountains make a great statement in any garden. You can design your seating around the water feature or allow guests to meander down a path to discover it — along with your beautiful flower borders.

If you’ve created a great outdoor room that incorporates antique or vintage furnishings, we’d love to feature it on this blog! Send us your photos.

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Color Your Kitchen with Cookbooks

Photo of an antique French Brittany bookcase or armoire

Designed as an armoire, this antique French Brittany bookcase can liven up your kitchen decor when you line the shelves with colorful cookbooks, blue Delft ware, and other collectibles.

We’ve been spending the month of March looking at ways to use color creatively in your decor. Today, let’s liven up your kitchen by lining the shelves of your antique French Country china cabinet or bookcase with colorful vintage cookbooks.

These beadboard-backed built-in shelves get a pop of color with the addition of new and vintage cookbooks, framed photos, and collectible pottery.

These beadboard-backed built-in shelves get a pop of color with the addition of new and vintage cookbooks, framed photos, and collectible pottery. Photo courtesy angi231700 at Flickr.com.

Even if you never use a cookbook, what better way to add charm and interesting hues to your food prep area than through the colorful spines and covers of vintage recipe collections? Antique cookbooks tend to be expensive and leather-bound, so they don’t do much for adding pops of red, green, yellow, or blue to the decor. Vintage and modern cookbooks tend to be colorfully bound and can enhance your interior design scheme. Choose books that reflect your tastes, interests (wine, anyone?), or the era of your home. Depending on your budget, you can include pricey antique cookbooks or affordable vintage editions picked up at a used bookstore.

An inscribed set of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child commands as much as $7,500, making it far too valuable to use as a mere decorative object!

An inscribed set of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child commands as much as $7,500, making it far too valuable to use as a mere decorative object!

Display your cookbook collection on multiple shelves and break up long rows with collectible pottery or other kitchen-themed items. Instead of displaying only the book spines, turn more interesting or colorful cookbooks so the cover faces outward. This will not only create a pleasing design but will encourage guests to browse your collection. Your previously plain bookshelves will quickly turn into a conversation pit.

A surefire conversation starter is this Salvador Dali cookbook, titled "Les Diners de Gala." Face the cover outward for instant art on your bookshelf.

A surefire conversation starter is this Salvador Dali cookbook, titled “Les Diners de Gala.” Face the cover outward for instant art on your bookshelf.

If your taste or design scheme changes over the years, it’s easy to add and subtract cookbooks from your display to complement your updated decor. Much more than how-to books, cookbooks can play an important role as a design accessory in your kitchen.

If you are interested in learning more about cookbook collecting, from the high-end to the low-brow, AbeBooks offers a great primer in its “Guide to Collecting Cookbooks.”

Do you collect cookbooks? Send us photos showing us how you display them!

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Client Spotlight: Neutrals Balance Rich Color in this Successful Design Scheme

Gorgeous Art Deco clock garniture set in marble -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

This gorgeous Art Deco marble clock garniture set provides great contrast against our client’s bold red walls.

We’ve been talking about color during this month of shamrocks. So far, we’ve looked at decorating with houseplants, adding color to your decor with accessories, and how to add warmth and mood to your rooms with natural wood elements.

In today’s client spotlight, we look at color from a different perspective: How you can use neutral accents to complement strong hues on the wall, floor, or in furniture.

Our friend Dave lives in a 19th-century rowhouse, filled with inherited antiques from the 1920s. Luckily, Dave loves that era in general — and Art Deco style in particular.

A bold red room with white accents -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

To successfully go bold with color in your interior design, be sure to incorporate plenty of neutral-colored accents.

As you can see, Dave isn’t afraid of color! His bold, red walls really make a statement. But while all that red could be overwhelming, it isn’t. That’s because Dave knows how to use neutrals to balance the vibrant hue of his walls.

Note how the crown molding, mantlepiece, and built-in bookshelves all are painted white. This serves to “cool down” the red and define the shape of the walls — especially the lovely bay window at right. Dave also uses white sheer curtains on the windows to lighten up the space.

More cooling accents come in the form of blue-and-white plates hung on the wall, along with the neutral-colored marble Art Deco clock garniture set Dave purchased from us.

A warm red wall serves to frame a cool, neutral colored marble Art Deco clock garniture set on this mantelpiece -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

The red wall almost serves to frame the neutral colored Art Deco clock garniture set on the mantelpiece.

As a stone, marble exerts an intrinsic cooling influence on an interior. In this case, the marble’s tan and taupe colors also work to balance the warmth of the red wall. In fact, the red wall helps highlight the beautiful clock, acting almost as a frame around it.

I love it when people take a fearless approach to color. And this wonderful design scheme by Dave shows you can successfully use even the boldest wall color as long as you tone it down by using neutral accents. Well done!

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture: Part 5

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture: Part 5

This is the last episode in our series on how to best clean and wax antique furniture. Greg from EuroLuxAntiques.com shows you how to buff off wax the old-fashioned way, without a brush attachment for your drill. This time Greg is demonstrating his technique on a darker piece of antique furniture.

Clean Antique Furniture, Then Apply Wax

In case you missed Part 1, Greg showed the best way to clean off the built up layers of dust and grime on the surface of antique furniture. In Part 2, he demonstrated how to apply furniture wax to your antique furniture using a brush.

TLC Wax Works Great on Antiques

We prefer TLC paste wax, which is an American-made furniture wax, because it is easier to buff that other products we’ve tried. On darker pieces of antique furniture, we like to use the mahogany variety because it gives a nice warm glow to antiques.

Apply a thin coat of wax until it becomes hazy and then let the wax dry a minimum of 30 minutes, but overnight is better.

The Easy Way to Buff Antique Furniture

In Part 3, Greg shows the best way to buff off paste wax by using a natural fiber brush attachment on your drill. You can buy a brush attachment from a furniture restoration company, such as Van Dyke’s Restorers. However, if you don’t have a brush attachment, or even a drill, Greg will demonstrate what to do next.

Old-Fashioned, Muscle Power Technique

The process of buffing paste wax off antique furniture is similar to the process of sanding during woodworking. Start with a courser material first, and then use a finer material with each consecutive pass.

In this case, Greg starts with a hand towel that has a relatively rough nap to start the buffing process. He uses a circular motion with light, even pressure. You might even hear the voice of Mr. Miyagi from the 1984 movie, The Karate Kid, in your head telling you to “wax on, wax off.”

Use Microfiber Cloths for Final Buff

Next, Greg uses two clean microfiber cloths in his two-handed technique that he perfected while working at a car wash in high school. Use light pressure in a circular motion. When the microfiber cloths “catch” on the surface of the antique sideboard, Greg rubs a little more in that area to gently buff off the wax. When the surface begins to feel like glass under your towels, you’re done.

Wax Antique Furniture Annually

Now your antique furniture should shine and have a nice layer of wax which will serve to protect the finish against dust and sunlight. You should wax your antique furniture once per year in order to keep it looking great!

Please let us know if we can answer any questions for you about how to best care for your antique furniture!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Add Warmth and Mood to Your Interior Design with Wood

The magnificent paneled sitting room of Bamburgh Castle -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Bamburgh Castle exhibits a classic, dark-paneled treatment common to English estates of the day. The dark wood finish confers a real warmth to the room, which is heightened by the red leather sofas.

You may not have the privilege of living in a magnificent castle, a la Downton Abbey, but you can create many home decor effects — from the warmth of a paneled Victorian drawing room to the cool of a mid-century modern lounge — by using wood throughout your interior design. Let’s look at how wood can change the mood of a room.

In general, wood adds warmth to a room. Darker wood finishes feel warmer, while lighter, blonder finishes feel cooler. But all of them help you create an inviting interior.

A recycled wood ceiling adds warmth to this modern kitchen by Jeremy Levine Design -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Jeremy Levine Design uses recycled wood to add warmth to this modern kitchen.

In this modern kitchen by Jeremy Levine Design, the medium-tone ceiling of recycled wood warms up a space that could otherwise come across cold and industrial. Note also how the wood ceiling draws the eye upward, making the ceiling feel higher. I love the play between the wood tone of the ceiling, the light wood cabinets, and the floor (is it cork?). This kitchen is a great example of balancing hot and cold design elements.

 

Blue and white bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Blue and white rice bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table.

Beyond the generally warm feeling wood adds to a room, wooden furniture and other elements also can create a real sense of drama in your decor. Check out this shot of an ebonized table at an Asian restaurant. Doesn’t that black background really make the blue-and-white rice bowls pop? When you use richly colored wood furniture in your design scheme, you can play off that to create stunning color contrasts. Besides an ebonized table like this one, think in terms of painted wood architectural elements hung against a neutral wall, golden oak wood floors with chocolate leather furniture, or brightly painted chairs in a white dining room. When you’re working with wood, you can customize the finish to create the effect you want.

Monochromatic wood tones combine to create a warm, inviting dining area -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Our client Isabelle creates a warm, inviting space with monochromatic wood tones livened up by the plate display in the sideboard.

Our clients know a thing or two about using wood furniture to warm up a room. Here, Isabelle uses antique furniture to create a monochromatic dining area that’s anything but boring. These pieces all work in harmony (along with her gorgeous wood floor!) to create a calm, inviting dining area. And, really, shouldn’t a dining room be all about peacefulness? For contrast and color, Isabelle displays plates on her sideboard and hangs a richly colored tapestry on the wall.

These homeowners create contrast in their natural wood decor by adding a dark French antique buffet -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

If you love natural wood tones in your decor, add some lighter or darker wood elements for contrast. Here, the dark buffet warms up the cooler blonde beams.

Our clients Jamie and Bill obviously love the look and feel of natural wood in their design. They purchased the beautiful French antique buffet at right from us. The darker tone of the buffet provides a nice counterpoint to the exposed blonde beams. And the red sofa adds color and drama. Well done!

As you can see, incorporating wood furniture, flooring, or paneling into your design scheme can help you create a warm environment that says, “Stay awhile.”

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

 

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture – Part 4

How to Clean & Wax Antique Furniture – Part 4

In this fourth episode in a series on the best way to clean and wax antique furniture, Greg from EuroLux Antiques shows you how to do a final buff in order to really make your antique furniture look great.

Antique Furniture: Clean & Wax First

In Part 1, Greg showed the best way to clean off the built up layers of dust and grime on the surface of antique furniture. In Part 2, he demonstrated how to apply furniture wax to your antique furniture using a brush.

Wax On, Wax Off

If you watched the movie, Karate Kid from 1984, you’ll remember that Mr. Miyagi used the “wax on, wax off” technique to train Daniel (Ralph Macchio) how to do karate. While building muscles is a good thing to do to get in shape, when it comes to buffing wax off antique furniture, there is a better way. Greg shows the best way to buff off wax by using a brush attachment on a drill in Part 3.

Microfiber Cloths Work Best

You can find microfiber cloths in big packs at any hardware store, auto parts store, or even big box warehouse stores. Be sure to use clean ones for the final buff, which happens after you have already done a first buff. Microfiber cloths are soft and won’t scratch the surface of your antique furniture.

Two-Handed Technique Gets Job Done Fast

Greg prefers to use a two-handed approach that he perfected while working at a car wash in high school. He rubs the microfiber cloths quickly over the surface of the antique furniture, using a circular motion without much pressure. It is similar to buffing a pair of shoes – go lightly and quickly. You should really see your antique furniture start to shine!

In the last episode of this series, Greg will show you how to buff wax off antique furniture the old-fashioned way – without the drill attachment.

Please let us know if we can answer any questions for you about how to best care for your antique furniture!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Accessorize Your Way to Bliss

Peachy French bistro pillow from T's Eclectic Treasures at Etsy -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

This peachy throw pillow will perfectly accessorize your French bistro set or your cottage style living room. By T’s Eclectic Treasures at Etsy.com.

It’s March, and we’ve been talking about color in interior design. Aside from paint, one of the easiest ways to bring color into your decor is through accessories. We talked about using houseplants as accessories, and today I felt the urge to head over to Etsy, where I can find great handmade home decor accessories. (In case you didn’t know it, we have our own Etsy shop, too!)

Why Accessorize?

The great thing about home decor accessories is you can change them as the mood strikes. Maybe you’re sick of that chintz throw pillow. Maybe you got over your passion for purple and now want to erase all of it from your design scheme. Maybe you want to move your decor in a more contemporary direction — or shift to a more traditional look. Home decor accessories can help you accomplish all of these goals, and do it stylishly and affordably.

This Victorian style wall hanging adds color and style to your BnB or Victorian restoration -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

For your Victorian home or bed-and-breakfast, this charming, handmade wall hanging adds color and reinforces your design scheme. By Autumn Elan at Etsy.com.

Accessorize for Theme

A new, handmade Victorian style wall hanging like the one pictured makes an affordable and attractive way to underscore your Victorian decor. Whether you simply love all things Victorian, or you own a bed and breakfast and need wall art, a piece like this not only brings color to the room but reinforces the design scheme.

Accessorize for Place

Here's a charming crab rug for your beach cottage -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

This charming, upcycled crab rug is made from old t-shirts and would make a fun addition to your beach cottage! By Shore Lake Home at Etsy.com.

You may not want to use a whimsical crab rug at your city house (or then again, you might!), but this charming fellow will put a smile on your face when you visit your beach cottage! Upcycled from old t-shirts and hand painted, this pretty, round rug adds color and is environmentally friendly, to boot.

Accessorize because You Can

Cool, retro cityscape watercolor by Albie Designs -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Albie Designs paints custom cityscapes in a retro style and will send you a high-quality print for the wall. By albie designs at Etsy.com

Albie Designs will create a watercolor painting of your cityscape and then send you a high-quality print for the wall. I love the cool, retro style of this painting, and look at the beautiful color. What a great way to personalize your space. Albie also does cityscapes of world cities, like Paris, so you can get your France fix, too.

Show us your favorite home decor accessories! What’s got your attention right now? Send us an email, and maybe we’ll feature your swag on the blog!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Home Decorating: Bring the Green Indoors

Pretty four-leaf clover -- EuroLuxAntiques.comIt’s March. Can you believe it? The year rolls along like a bullet train, doesn’t it?

March is the month of green. It’s the month of St. Patrick’s Day, and the month gardeners start to get serious cabin fever. Depending on where you live, bulbs may be sending tender green shoots up through the snow, or your grassy carpets of lawn may be greening up for spring.

I thought I’d kick off this month of green by talking about decorating with houseplants and cut flowers. Besides, it gave me a good excuse to sort through a plethora of pretty posy pictures on Flickr!

English Ivy houseplant -- EuroLuxAntiques

A bit of history, to start with. People have been cultivating plants indoors for at least 3,000 years. Many experts believe the Chinese were the first to bring the outdoors inside. Later, houseplants were considered the dominion of the wealthy. Starting in 16th century Europe, it became fashionable to add a conservatory (greenhouse) to your home in order to cultivate plants common and exotic. By the mid-20th century, even us commoners decorated with houseplants. Today, many people recognize the benefits of using houseplants for aesthetic reasons and to help purify the air.

A pink bromeliad coupled with a roaring fire adds warmth to this room -- EuroLuxAntiques.comFrom an aesthetic standpoint, decorating with houseplants and cut flowers provides many benefits. First, both green plants and blooms add color to the decor. Second, some houseplants and cut flowers add scent to the environment. The therapeutic effects of decorating with plants and cut flowers can’t be understated. Add a bouquet of cut lavender to your home and see if it doesn’t make you feel calmer and more serene!

Lovely hortensia blooms add a pop of color to the decor -- EuroLuxAntiquesYou can use potted plants to add more than greenery to your decor. Just like accent pillows or throw rugs, houseplants can be used to coordinate with your design scheme or contrast with the color palette. If you’ve created a very warm room using hues of red or orange, you can use white or blue flowers to help cool things down a bit. Likewise, if you’ve done a “white room,” for example, you can choose colorful bromeliads to add bright pops of color and warmth to your design.

Cut wildflowers in a jar are perfect for a cottage design scheme -- EuroLuxAntiques.comCut flowers can subtly reinforce your design scheme. What says “cottage style” better than a bouquet of wildflowers set in a Mason jar? For a more modern design scheme, a vase filled with long-stemmed tulip buds about to open makes for a lovely display.

A gorgeous vase filled with tulips about to bloom -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Of course, decorating with plants can be functional, as well. Grow a kitchen herb garden in a sunny window to add both color and taste (literally!) to your home.

A simple windowsill herb garden adds color and taste (literally!) to this kitchen -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Decorating with plants also allows your creativity to express itself. You don’t have to settle for boring potted plants. Consider creating a moss terrarium (they’re coming back into style) or growing succulents under a bell jar. You’ll get an outdoorsy feeling whenever you meditate on these beautiful objects, and they’re sure to start many interesting conversations when you entertain guests!

This moss terrarium brings the outdoors in and makes a surefire conversation starter -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Making houseplants and cut flowers an integral part of your interior design will bring you joy all year-round. Forced bulbs in the winter help cure the doldrums, while indoor gardening helps keep cabin fever at bay. I hope this post has given you some ideas for decorating with plants!

How do you creatively weave houseplants or flowers into your decor? Send us pictures to share!

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!