I left my heart in Puerto Rico

When deciding to take our recent trip to Puerto Rico I didn’t expect to fall in love with it the way I did.
I fell hard.

There is so much to love on this Isla del Encanto. Sunshine and tropical flowers, of course, but also food, music, people, atmosphere, diversity, nature, beaches……..and history. More than 500 years of it.

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Vibrant Architecture in Old San Juan

Old San Juan has it all – on top of the name: gorgeous colonial buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, forts with thick walls (2 of them!!), long and winding roads, charming promenades, delightful plazas and a story waiting for you at each corner. The whole thing is not really big geographically but it takes time to suck it all in and unravel all its richness.

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Spanish Forte built around the city.

We stayed right in the heart of the commotion at the Hotel El Convento located across the street from The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista (the second-oldest building in San Juan). Hotel El Convento  used to be the Convent to the church and housed Nuns for decades. Now it is the most fabulous and unique boutique hotel that I have ever stayed in.

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Hotel El Convento

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Lobby at Hotel El Convento

Old World luxury with Modern World necessities was what this hotel did best. We enjoyed our accommodations, dining experience and the close proximity to what Old San Juan has to offer.

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Our room- so charming!

Old San Juan was by far my favorite stop on this trip. A week on this beautiful island wasn’t enough. I can’t wait to visit again!

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Design Is… All in the Details

One of the best and easiest ways to completely transform or add a fun touch to any space is through paint. Additionally, paint is a fun way to highlight some of your favorite architectural elements anywhere in your home. We took a look at some of the ways to use paint on details and this is what we love:

1. Doors

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One way to address doors is by painting around the details themselves. We love the graphic way that this door’s molding is highlighted by the electric coral frames! This is a super fun way to add some fun to a clean, white space like this one.

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Another way to address the doors is by adding a hidden surprise when you open them! By painting the interior edge of the door, it can stay neutral from the outside and only has an accent when the door is open. We love this idea!

2. Windows

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Painting the trim on a window is a fun way to add color to a neutral room. By having a small pop of color on the window frame, you can keep the walls and other trim more neutral and have a fun surprise. We especially love this idea for a kitchen!

3. Arches

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How fun is it that the underside of this arch is painted in a bright orange? This is a great idea, especially in a transition from room-to-room such as an archway! The stripe of color creates a nice visual division between these spaces.

4. Cabinets

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These cabinet faces have a skinny painted stripe on the raised moldings. The skinny, contrasting line adds definition to the white cabinet fronts and makes them look that much better!

5. Paneling

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Wood paneling is a beautiful element in interiors, and what better way to highlight the craftsmanship than to paint it in a fun, high-gloss color like this teal? The bright color really highlights the details of this gorgeous fireplace.

 

Painting architectural details in interiors in unexpected ways is an awesome way to add a touch of whimsy to any room. It’s also a great and easy way to highlight the details of your home that you love most!

 

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or·gan·ize

Do you ever look at pictures like this and think, ‘Wow, I wish my house was this organized!’ Well, maybe this year is the year! A new year always seems to be the perfect time to freshen up and clean out a space. We’ve collected up some good ideas to fix up your house for 2014, and get you closer to that dream organization.

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Get creative with your space. Do you have an awkward closet space or a space under the stairs? Maybe it’s the perfect place for a pull out drawer to keep shoes.

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In the kitchen, some built-in organization is always a good way to go. From built-in dog bowls to a pan holder like this one, these are a good way to maximize cabinet space in a kitchen and stay organized in the new year.

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A laundry room is always a place where space is critical. By installing some shelves to hold up laundry baskets, space can be maximized.

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Finally, hanging purses from hooks on a rod in the closet can help to not only organize the closet, but also to be able to see every purse hanging from the rod.

With all these tips in mind, you can be one step closer to having a space that looks something like this:

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New Year, New Trends

Now that it’s a new year, new trends are here! As you may already know, Panetone announced that the color of 2014 is radiant orchid; but you may be wondering, what else is to be expected this year?

1) Radiant Orchid

Of course, the color is the year is definitely a trend worth noting for this year. This vibrant, purple-y pink color is one that will be around a lot, and is a nice accent color to add a punch to any room.

2) Eclecticism

2014 is a year that will focus on the mix. The design mix, that is. Eclecticism is here, and will allow you to mix up all of your favorite pieces – modern and traditional, or midcentury and art deco. This trend allows you to be more fearless in what you decide to mix into your spaces.

3) Acrylic

Acrylic furniture is going to be big this year. These pieces, such as the ghost chair, are light and clear, so they don’t take up too much area in a space. They are perfect to use in a variety of styles, from traditional to contemporary, and will look great in any space.

4) Honey-colored wood

Here for 2014 is a nice medium wood tone to use in any space. From kitchen cabinetry to accent furniture like this desk, this color can blend nicely with most accent colors, and even other dark wood tones.

5) Navy Blue

In the past year, navy blue has been in editorials, on the runways, and on the streets. This chic color can be used either as a neutral or as the main color in a space and make a huge impact. If radiant orchid is the color of the year, navy blue is a close second place.

With all these trends and many more, it’s looking like 2014 is going to be a very good year for interior design!

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Have Yourself a Very Modern Christmas

Sometimes, decorating for the holidays can seem a bit daunting – what should you decorate, and what can you leave untouched? Also, what about space? Some small apartments don’t always even have room for a full Christmas tree. We’ve come up with a few modern and realistic ideas to help you decorate this holiday season!

There are many ways to get the idea of a Christmas tree in a space without having to take up all that floor space. One idea is to utilize tape, like the one above! Not only does this green tree feel festive, it also comes down easily and requires no maintenance or time requirement.

This color scheme uses a fresh color palette of mostly white with pops of color. The minty green combined with the pops of fuchsia is a modern take on traditional red and green, while the white creates a modern looking backdrop that would fit nicely in any space.

This idea is so simple and adds a lot of impact. All you have to do is string ornaments together on fishing line, or even ribbon! This would look awesome hanging up outside, as seen here, or even on an existing curtain rod would add an unexpected decoration to any space.

We love how these doors are all wrapped up like presents! How fun and easy!

Gone are the days of the simple green wreath, and here to stay are all kinds of variations on the tradition. We love this wreath, made of wire with ornaments set into it and wrapped in colorful lights. While this wreath looks great inside, as seen here, it could also be a really fun front door greeting as well!

The best part of decorating your home for Christmas is that there are no rules, and you can be as playful as you want to be!

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Pattern Mixing 101

One of the biggest trends in interior design lately is mixing and matching different patterns. Ever find yourself wondering if you can mix two completely different patterns in a space without it looking too crazy? The answer is, of course, yes! Here are a few tips to consider the next time you’re wondering if those two accent pillows go together.

Consider using patterns with similar color schemes or one unifier, like this living room. On the sofa, only prints in shades of charcoal gray are used. In doing this, the patterns instantly blend much more easily.

Mix different types of patterns. For example, in this space, both striped pillows and a very large-scale geometric wallpaper are utilized, which is much more pleasing to the eye. Also, this way the two prints are not competing with one another like they might if they were too similar, such as two floral prints.

Mix small and large prints for diversity. By mixing sizes and densities, the patterns won’t battle for attention. One pattern can easily become the dramatic statement, while the other is there for support. In this case, there are two prints on this bed, the watercolor floral and the irregular dot pattern. Because they are so opposite of one another, they don’t fight and balance one another quite well.

Use one pattern or fabric that incorporates all of the colors in the other patterns you want to use in the space. For example, this space uses wallpaper that incorporates the entire color scheme of the space, and pillows are added that may not match one another, but all stem back from the main inspiration, the wallpaper.

Finally – try your hardest to have fun with pattern! Being experimental is one of the most fun parts about pattern mixing, because there is truly no wrong way to do it!

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Small Space, Big Style

A powder room, while small, can often lead to some big impact in your home. There are many fun ways to accomplish this through the use of pattern, texture, and color. Because of their typically small size, powder bathrooms can allow for some major risk taking.

These are just a few fun ways to add big style to these small spaces.

One way is to use interesting lighting. The pendants flanking the mirrors in this space add to the symmetry of the space, as well as providing light on either side of the mirror, which is the best lighting for doing your makeup or fixing your hair.

Another thing that can really make a statement in a powder bathroom is a dramatic mirror. Allowing a fun mirror to be the focal point will help to enlarge the space and also allow you and your guests to rest your eyes on something lovely.

Tile is a very classic choice for a bathroom, but by choosing a dramatic tile like this one, you can add a huge amount of impact. An accent tile can really help to create a focal wall in a bathroom, and with so many great options out there, you can really make a statement with tile.

Or try mixing up styles and use an unconventional vanity for your sink. There are so many options, from painting the vanity a fun color, to using one that looks like a piece of furniture. Using a something unexpected as a vanity is a great way to add big style and keep the rest of the space neutral.

Last but not least, wallpaper is a great addition to any powder room. With so many patterns and textures out there, wallpaper is a great opportunity to use a bold print, something colorful, or even a unique texture like grass cloth.

 

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Designing Monochromatic Spaces

While design trends lately have pointed to contrasting hues and prints, there is another style that can be equally pleasing to the eye: designing spaces using monochromatic color schemes. Using a monochromatic color scheme, and varying the hue, texture and intensity of the shade can create a very successful space. Oftentimes, the monochromatic look can be most successful in a smaller space, such as an office or bedroom so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.

Using a color such as fresh green in a dining space can be restful. By incorporating the color in different hues, the space is visually stimulating and inviting.

This living room utilizes purple and lavender tones to make it pop. The lighter lavender shade is used as an accent on the fireplace wall, which breaks up the space and prevents the eggplant tone of purple, used on the walls and in the area rug, from becoming too dominant in the space.

This brown office space uses very similar shades of brown and manages to keep the space interesting and diverse through the use of different materials. The texture of the couch, paired with the leather of the chairs and sleek brown paneling on the walls creates a warm and masculine space.

This all-white space also uses textures to keep the eye engaged. The sheen on the wallpaper and mirrored fireplace screen are reflective and move the eye around the space. The repetition of white makes the room feel open.

Best of all, decorating in monochromatic palettes makes it worry-free – no need to worry if your pillows go with the curtains. If everything stems from the same color, it’ll be sure to go well in your space.

 

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Witness a Fantastic Chihuly Glass Sculpture Installation


Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more ∨

Ideas for your living spaces, lights and landscape design.
Search for a fun bar stool, clock, sectional sofa and storage chest to spice up your basement.
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Bold Decorating: Be a Color Block Connoisseur


Kitchen ideas, bathroom ideas, and more ∨

Use the help of top home decorators to select matching night stands and a new lamp shade for your own bedroom design.
Find a shelf, customizable closet storage and stylish living room furniture to whip your closet into shape.
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