Browse Month: June 2019

How To Size Interior Trim to Get a Finished Look

One of the most essential questions which we all have about trim is, What size should it be? Acquiring the proportions and size of trim correct can make a big difference in the way the room is used and enjoyed. If the trim is too small or too large, it can be just like a clown wearing a minuscule hat or supersize set of shoes.

While there are a few guidelines, they’re, in actuality, just guidelines. No rule should replace what you enjoy and what you believe is perfect. Start out choosing your trim by defining the narrative you and the room want to tell. From there, purchase some samples and have mock-ups built. This is all a small price to pay for receiving your trim right.

Here are the rules — I mean, guidelines — for sizing the trim in a room.

The 7 percent solution. When sizing a baseboard at a traditional-style home, a good starting point would be to use a ratio of 7 percent. If your ceiling height is 8 feet high, try a baseboard that’s about 7 inches tall.

BAAN layout

Obviously, this is more of a suggestion than a rule. For example, if you’re seeking to produce a more contemporary inside, consider using a shorter baseboard or, even if you’re brave enough, no baseboard in any way.

Redbud Custom Homes

For casings, 50 percent is good. Generally, vertical trim elements such as door and window casings should be smaller and have less heft than baseboards. So I’ve found a good guideline for sizing window and door casings would be to maintain them at about 50% of the height of the baseboard.

Winder Gibson Architects

As always, this is not a hard and fast rule. Casings that equal the measurements of the baseboards can work quite well.

Crowning achievements. Even though there are a few guidelines which could be used to size a crown (for example, make it about half of the size of the foundation), there are many questions that come into play, such as:

• How tall is the ceiling?
• Will the crown be convex or concave?
• Will the crown measure out and up of, say, a picture rail?

Given these variables, sizing a crown is not as easy as you might think. I love to purchase foot-long parts of different sizes and profiles and construct mock-ups of the crown within the room. In reality, because most trim is easily available and affordable, this is a excellent process to use for selecting all of your trim elements.

Siemasko + Verbridge

Another principle for crown selection is to use the same crown across the kitchen if your design involves using a crown at the top of your cabinets. Actually, you’re probably going to want the crown to be finished and supplied by the cabinetmaker. Otherwise, the crown will not match, making transitions from one to another problematic.

Alix Bragg Interior Design

All together now. A well-trimmed room is something special. Its baseboard, casings and crown all relate to one another in their style, proportions, sizing and complete. In this example, the baseboard appears to adhere to the 7 percent ruler: The casings are about half of the size of the baseboard, and also the crown seems to be just slightly smaller than the baseboard. There is no doubt that the trim for this particular room was conceived as part of the overall layout.

Shirley Meisels

The rule of thirds. Installing a seat rail, without wainscoting, will split the perpendicular plane — the walls to multiple places. If you want to make the room feel taller, then place the seat rail one third of the way up from the ground.

Mark Brand Architecture

If, on the other hand, you want the room to be more romantic, consider placing the seat rail two thirds of the way up from the ground.

Tell a Home’s Story With Trim
Design Details: Moldings — Or Not?
Frame Your Views With Great Moldings and Casings

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Color Guide: How to Work With Bright White

We are not speaking here about antique black or black white or a nice Bavarian cream white. They are all lovely colours and they have their own place. But we’re referring to white-white, the type of white which architects love. The type of white that is as crisp and fresh as a snowflake.

Everyone makes it. Behr has Polar White. Sherwin-Williams has Super White. Benjamin Moore has the White of Decorator. The list goes on, and to be sure, there are subtle differences — some are bluer or grayer or yellower. A positively true bright white is an issue of your eye and the light, and what direction your windows face. (Bright white looks better on south-facing walls than northern facing ones, by the way.)

But regardless of minor gradations, we could all agree — even those people who adore color — that nothing appears quite so clean and confident because a superwhite white.

So put it everywhere. Or everywhere. As San Francisco designer Chloe Warner says, “The only place I would never do bright white is on a ceiling. It just looks like someone forgot to paint”

Rethink Design Studio

Go Big or Go Home: The All-White Room

Ceiling, flooring, walls, trim. An all-white room is a blank canvas just waiting for one to make it your own. It may go old or new, modern or cabin, but it typically goes spare. Bright white is simplicity and minimalism, maybe not opulence.

Jeanette Lunde

Bright goes with sunlight. This dining area has “spare Scandinavian” written around it.

Neslihan Pekcan/Pebbledesign

A crisp, all-white room isn’t just cozy, but it is calming. There’s no distracting clutter allowed in a room such as this, because everything which isn’t white pops into attention. I love the comparison of this conventional painting with all the modern white walls.

Jeanette Lunde

Another spare living area. A botanical theme (reflected from the prints and the leaves from the vase) adds a few earthy organic-ness to the entire thing.

California Home + Design

Pop Up: Bright White With Hits of Color

White is a fantastic alternative if you are a collector of items or artwork. Nothing makes color and pattern soda just like bright white. And it provides even kids’ scribbles a gallery-style background.

Chronicle Books

Bright white is the color of choice for an eclectic area where one color is not dominant and the eye is split among lots of vibrant shots of color. Anything else on these walls will muddy the result.

Dans le Townhouse

Vivid color, meet white. Both will get along swimmingly, what with your contrasting but complementary personalities and all.

Jill Sorensen

Blue turns bright white beachy, particularly navy blue. But turquoise does it also.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Vegetable and Mineral: Bright White and Wood

If you want to bring out a gorgeous piece of wood, while it is a desk or any trim, go bright white. Every line of grain appears to show up when wood is against white.

More wood with bright white. The wood warms the white up, and the white makes the wood look clear and modern.


The Impact Length: Bright White Trim

A bright white trim makes wall colours seem clean and crisp. It looks especially good with dark colours and helps keep a room with dark paint bright.

Chloe Warner

“I love Benjamin Moore Atrium White to get supercrisp trim, woodwork, and picture rails,” says Warner. “My favourite is when there is background below the picture rail and a small tint above — the white actually snaps into consideration”

Pottery Barn Kids

Benjamin Moore Natura Paint, Decorator’s White – $52.99

Decorator’s White is the classic bright white paint.

Benjamin Moore

Chantilly Lace Paint

Chantilly Lace is just the teeniest bit warm (yellow).

Pottery Barn

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint, Super White – $65.99

It should be known as super-de-dooper white.

How to Obtain the Proper White

More Ways to Design With White

An Architect’s Guide to Color

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Tray Ceiling

A tray ceiling is a recessed or an inverted part of a ceiling that adds architectural interest and depth to the space. It may be left as is and completed to match the surrounding ceiling for a simple, clean look; for much more dramatic interest, contrasting paint colors, paneling, trim pieces, recessed and pendant lighting and other decorative touches may be integrated into the tray.

Natalie Fuglestveit Interior Design

A contrasting paint color highlights the tray ceiling in this modern bedroom.

AIA, Mark English Architects

An area rug offers one way to anchor a dining room in an open space, but a tray ceiling like this also defines the distance, leaving the floor plane clear.

Pepe Calderin Design- Modern Interior Design

An oval tray ceiling makes a dramatic statement when paired with an oval kitchen island.

John Termeer

Tray ceilings do not always need to be square, as may be seen in the elaborate tray layout in this bedroom. The tray ceiling provides space for both recessed lights and a chandelier.

Peter Rose Architecture + Interiors Inc..

Even a small tray ceiling can make a large difference when you include cove lighting, like this smart home office.

Read more tray ceiling photos

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Hillside Sanctuary in Vermont

Homeowners David Hart and Demaris Wehr wanted to make a sanctuary overlooking scenic views of a valley and farm in Vermont. Getting that prized view meant working with a north-facing slope. They requested Milford Cushman of this Cushman Design Group to operate around the challenging landscape and make a small home incorporating the natural space around it.

“David, a psychologist, spent his life researching fairy tales, and that played a key role in the design of the house,” Cushman says. “It is a particular place, and even with the site’s challenges, it’s hard not to feel the spiritual and sociological aspects of the house. David and Demaris were quite thoughtful about all of the things they desired in their property.”

at a Glance
Who lives here: Demaris Wehr and David Hart
Location: Calais, Vermont
Size: 1,850 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
That’s intriguing: all of the natural timber surfaces interior are custom constructed with locally harvested Eastern white pine.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

Three narrow amounts are stacked on a fundamental 16-foot by 38-foot footprint to create use of the sloping site and to join all of habitable rooms into the views and natural daylight in each direction. Simple roof forms with broad overhangs provide summer shading and long-term protection of this timber siding whilst serving to floor the construction as a broad cap.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

Wehr and Hart’s goals were to make a rich and peaceful residence where guests could be exposed. The religious connection to the property was significant. The designer stuffed the house with light and environmentally friendly finishes, thoughtfully designing each detail.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

All the natural wood surfaces are treated using polymerized tung oil (PTO) and without any oil-based urethanes, making it an exceptionally sustainable living space. PTO is more environmentally secure than other penetrating oils.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

The built-ins, thoughtful stuff and massive windows that allow plenty of light into the open-room space were all lifestyle choices to the homeowners. They desired to feel like being in meditation.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

The ceiling is shiplap design using local white pine. The European-style freestanding wood stove by Scan 60 is energy efficient, with direct air link to the exterior.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

All the natural wood surfaces — such as floors, windows, door casings, running trim and stair treads — are custom constructed with locally harvested Eastern white pine. The countertops are made of heart pine in standing dead trees.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

The natural-form theme runs throughout the home. Wehr and Hart desired the substances in the house to be attached to something living at one time, especially local timber, a renewable source. The dining room table is one of Wehr’s preferred places to write.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

Wehr enjoys the intimate connection of this central place of the kitchen into the dining space and the living room. All the windows fill the kitchen with direct and indirect lighting. She also appreciates that along with the white pine cabinets and the center pine counters, all of the wood surfaces in the kitchen are finished with various sheens of tung oil rather than polyurethane, varnish or lacquer.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

Thoughtful details are located throughout the house, to allow spaces to leak into one another. The easy kitchen cabinetry layout has glass doors and local artisan components.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

All the built-in cabinetry from the bedroom, including the dresser, shelves and bath vanity, is made from locally harvestedEastern white pine.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

Wehr and Hart revealed Cushman an image of a fairy home in Wales for design inspiration. They also showed an image of a natural home tucked into a hillside in gnarls and corners of roots. In every season, this house feels just like a fairy tale.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

A screened-in porch off the dining area and a deck off the living room extend the house’s connection to the website.

Susan Teare, Professional Photographer

Wehr and Hart shared time here together as a couple and with friends, and it was really a sanctuary for them. Hart passed away at the house in November 2011.

The hillside house now serves as a personal grounding for Wehr’s sojourns from her house on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. As a fitting tribute, Wehr has commissioned a different small fairy home using a meadow and a grove of trees that match off the west end of the home. The fairy home will be about 36 inches tall, 18 inches wide and 22 inches long. Wehr has committed the small structure for a party of Hart’s life study of the significance of fairy tales in storytelling and in Jungian psychology.

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Guest Picks: Stylish Toy Storage

Christmas is a time for giving, and children tend to get given a lot! If you’re looking for some suggestions to keep the masses of toys in a stylish manner this holiday season, here are 20 to get you started. — Maddie from Li’l Magoolie

Modern Kids Toy Boxes & Benches – GBP 229

What kid wouldn’t go crazy for an oversize LEGO block toy box?


Grande Blanche – EUR 185

Following is a toy box that is anything but square. This work of art would be as stylish in a grownup’s area as in a kid’s.


Safari Drum – AUD 60

The Pomdrum is entertaining toy storage in a drum!

Tulp Kids

Dutch House Shaped Storage – AUD 2,099

Turn your kid’s toy storage into a vibrant street in Amsterdam.

The Maude Toy Box with Book Cubby by Mod Mother Furniture – AUD 425

This handmade toy box by Mod Mother Furniture also has a novel corner included.


Owls Sky Cylinder Storage Bin – $120

DwellStudio’s Owls Sky bin is light enough to lift and tall enough to keep a lot of toys.


Wolli Snow Mountain Toy Box by Babies Breath – $180

This handmade Wooli Snow Mountain box is a part toy storage and part play background.


Big Play Table – $399

Viaboxes are modular systems that could go from table to bookshelf formation depending upon your area’s dimensions and shape.

Fox Storage Bin – $39.99

This 3 Sprouts storage bin is completely foxy.

The Land of Nod

Children Flea Market Wire Ball Bins – $35

These wire baskets would include an industrial sense to your kid’s room whilst still letting you see what’s inside.


P’kolino Chalkboard Storage Bench – $69

This P’kolino toy box could be wheeled from room to room, and it doubles as a chalkboard dining table.


3 Luggage Storage Cases – GBP 254

Vintage suitcases include a retro feel to any room and are excellent as sturdy storage for kids’ toys.

Clever Tomato

Oeuf Toy Store – $498

Set up shop whilst keeping your toys with this classic market shelf system.


P’kolino Ottoman – $229

It is an ottoman and it is storage. Win-win!

Clever Tomato

Kalon Studios Changing Trunk – $520

This toy box doubles as a changing table. It is a convenient addition to any nursery.

Bebe Online

Magis El Baul Toy Box – AUD 849.95

Possibly too beautiful for a kid’s room, this golf-ball-like storage would also double nicely as a bench seat.

Metro Mum

Trunki Ride On Traveling Toy Box, Blue – AUD 34.95

The Trunki toy box shown this is easy to maneuver about and doubles as a ride-on toy.

The Land of Nod

Kids Metal Locker Storage Baskets | Land of Nod – $16.95

Go for an industrial look for this metallic locker basket .

Childs & Co

Children’s Contemporary Toybox – GBP 128

The Childs & Co toy box opens out and comes in vibrant colour options.


SkipHop Bin-Go Big Storage Bin – AUD 59.95

With the SkipHop Bin-Go, you’ve got storage you can carry and then fold away if vacant.

Post-Christmas Conundrum: Toy Storage

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Mood Makers: 5 Simple Ways to Place Your House On Trend

Occasionally it’s great to look at your house with new eyes and think about a tiny tactical updating. It’s easy to be blinded to the area you reside in day after day, so it can be helpful to have a professional point out a few things that can make your house feel dated and suggest some ways to change those items for the better. Ready for your eyes to be opened? Here we go!

Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

1. Paint those cupboards. If your wood kitchen or bathroom cupboards are stained in colors of orange, yellow or crimson, they may look dated. It’s time for a painting intervention? Light-colored cabinets make a kitchen look bigger and fresher. Just have a look at any significant design magazine — all you’ll see is painted wood kitchen chimney.

The kitchen was formerly a dated, 1970s wooden cave. We painted all in this area — the cupboards, the wood paneling and the walnut hutch in the left. Forty years were shaved this kitchen off with a few gallons of paint. Just be sure to hire a professional or do your homework when handling this kind of labor-intensive project.

2. Add some new pillows. New cushions in on-trend patterns immediately update a space. Right now, the most popular trends in fabrics are geometric patterns in a neutral with a single vivid color. You are able to choose a pair of colorful geometric pillows and add them to some pillows that are solid, as in the photo above.

For Folks design

Rather than drained florals and stripes, look for motifs like chevron, imperial trellis, link, herringbone, Greek key, ikat, flamestitch and updated paisley.

Niche Interiors

3. Mix your furniture. Another way to make your room sense present would be to mix up your furnishings. Nothing says staid and dated more than complete fitting bedroom, dining area and living room sets. Try painting the tables that match your bedroom suite a colour or substitute them with a set entirely.

Anna Lattimore Interior Design

Mixing it up does not mean throwing disparate furnishings together randomly. There ought to be some creative preparation and purposeful placement. Use fitting lamps, a pair of matching chairs or end tables along with some other symmetrical touches to keep things under control.


If all of your pieces in a room match, try painting one of the pieces in a vivid color. Engineered wood and painted finishes is a modern tendency, as is mismatched dining room seats.

4. Update your trimming. Whether you have box trim, beadboard or plain old drywall beneath a chair rail, the most updated method to paint is in the exact same colour and complete as the trimming. If you decide to paint a real colour beneath the chair rail, make sure you paint the wall above the chair rail a neutral color. Two contrasting real colors on the exact same wall seems dated.

Lowery Design Group

5. Freshen up your ceiling. Tray and coffered ceilings using an banding painted in an accent colour are no longer in fashion. When tray ceilings became popular for dining rooms and rooms, multiple colors and contrasting banding were used to make people take note of their trayed effect. This picture illustrates an updated method to draw focus on the tray: Paint the uppermost, horizontal portion of the ceiling in a color but leave the lower part trim impartial.

More Mood Makers:
Luxurious Looks on a Budget
Create a Peaceful Place

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Create a Scene With Vignettes and Tablescapes

Vignettes, those small, lovely scenes we create surfaces around our homes, are what take our homes from merely well put together to private, artistic, and unique. Also called tablescapes, they are where we get to show off family heirlooms, weird collections and attractive things we have collected. They are more or less what artwork books were created for.

However there are rules. A good vignette has balance and forethought. We must consider colour, height, subject, mood and texture. That is not to say a perfect vignette can’t be created with a mishmash of unrelated items. Those are a few of the best. Nonetheless, it isn’t cluttered. In fact, developing a vignette is a good way to avoid clutter. No one wants to mess up a pretty little scene by simply piling the email in addition to it.

Here are 15 lovely little vignettes to inspire and a couple of tips for creating your own ideal arrangements.

Emily Ruddo

Here are the basics:

• Use books as pedestals.
• Fresh flowers or foliage constantly, always seems good.
• Include at least one glowing, weird or unexpected piece (such as the glowing orange box pictured).
• Set things at various heights (such as books as pedestals).

Lauren Liess Interiors

Houseplants are wonderful at a dozen different ways (keeping the atmosphere being a huge one), but there’s no need to have them in a jungly mess. Use sculptural plants like mosses or succulents to make a leafy vignette. Note the book as base.


A high shelf in a kid’s room is the best place to make a vignette outside of all the lovely things that are too delicate or unique for Junior to actually play. This one is all about colour and symmetry. Note that it utilizes the multiheight principle.


This spectacle benefits from makeup and juxtaposition. The midcentury media things (cameras and phone) and the dreamy, broad, nature-inspired mood are complementary opposites.

This one is modern with a 1940s vibe. Note the books as base and also the repeated cage design on the enthusiast and at the frames behind it.

P.S.. That succulent is going to die unless someone plants it ASAP.

It’s The Little Things…

Candles are like flowers; they work almost anywhere. A good rule: Odd-numbered groups work better than even-numbered ones.

Munger Interiors

Another example of the basics: Publications as pedestals. 1 bright shade. Multiple heights. Along with a loose theme: classic beach.


A vignette can be spare, especially when it involves a bit of artwork or sculpture that needs our attention. This scene is all about this float and the branches. Both other bits are there for balance.

To properly show off a collection, allow it to stand. This white-on-white setup (with 2 spots of yellow) highlights the plates and makes everything appear clean and deliberate.

Cary Bernstein Architect

This modern vignette is well balanced by the horizontal books, the perpendicular vases and the natural form of the bamboo. Note the odd number of vases clustered together.

The coordinated jumble. The mood is very feminine. The colours are pink, yellow and turquoise. The remainder of it is just a lovely assemblage of vaguely related matters. Artsy, vintagey and worldly.

Bell jars and cake racks elevate regular items such as shells and plants into the degree of things worthy of screen. To put it differently, they make things seem fancy.

Cecile Lozano Interiors

Balanced. Minimalist. Playful.

Dreamy Whites

A tray keeps things looking neat and brings together apparently unrelated things, similar to this bowl of cubes and the classic seltzer bottle.

Vintage Renewal

This whole corner acts as a vignette since everything is in relation to everything else. Oh, and as it’s really pretty.

Titillating Tablescapes
Creating a Tablescape

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Ikat Patterns: Forgiving and Unforgettable

The term “ikat” refers to a conventional weaving method that involves a laborious process of resist-dying tiny bundles of yarn that are then stitched narrow looms. These days, the expression can refer to this weaving method or to published patterns inspired by the designs of traditional ikat fabrics. You’ll find the exotic theme everywhere from the runway to the house.

Ikat patterns are a particularly practical choice for upholstery because they’re frequently multihued and irregular — two qualities that make them good at hiding spills and stains. Ikats are also versatile since they fit into both traditional and contemporary decorating schemes. Whatever your design, ikat designs add an elegant look to any item they pay.

Burnham Design

This daybed is dressed with a custom cover sewn from Lee Jofa’s Ikat De Lin 24 cloth. The coral hue is repeated in the trim on the curtains.

A pair of wing seats by Thomasville Furniture understands a daring update when covered in a large ikat cloth.

Emily Ruddo

Ikat gets pretty in pink in this charming room by Emily Ruddo. While the colour is like that of bubble gum, it is not overly sweet thanks to the complex print.

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc..

This San Francisco space by Brian Dittmar Design is designed around a foundation of basic beige. The lively ikat upholstery on the stools adds welcome interest and colour.

Z Gallerie

Teddy Headboard – $449

An ikat is a surprisingly versatile option that would work in either a traditional or a contemporary bedroom. This classic arch-style headboard is upholstered in a cotton ikat cloth.

Su Casa Designs

Office upholstery shouldn’t be restricted to black leather. In this elegant house office by Su Casa Designs, a sofa is covered in a chic dusty blue ikat.

CWB Architects

A pair of remarkably shaped armchairs are showstoppers when covered in Duralee’s ikatlike Seaglass design.

Urban Outfitters

Indigo Ikat Slipper Chair – $329

A low-to-the-ground slipper chair is at home in the bedroom or the living area. Covered in an indigo ikat print, it can be a focus of any room.

Niche Interiors

Patterns play well together in this area by Niche Interiors. A soft-hued ikat on the seat is complemented by a zebralike print underfoot, a damask curtain behind and a fairly print-covered armchair to its own right.

Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25

Designer Abbe Fenimore has added ikat-covered cushions to such Langley Contemporary Stackable Arm Chairs, making them both more comfortable and more attractive.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

In this delicate living-dining space, designer Rebekah Zaveloff paired a white and gray ikat with other gray bits, including a pair of Tolix dining seats.

Read fabrics in the Products section

Ikat Inspiration
Textile Traditions: Applying Suzanis On Your Decor

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