Famous Interior Designers Series – Stephane Boudin

Stephane Boudin, a Parisian interior designer is well-known as the President of what is considered by many to be the world's leading interior decorating firm in the 20th century – Maison Jansen. One of Boudin's greatest projects as an interior designer was the restoration and renovation of the White House in the early 1960s.

Stephane Boudin was born in 1880. His father – Alexandre Boudin was a manufacturer of passementerie and trimming. It was while Stphane was working at his father's textile trimming business in the 1920s, that he was approached by Jean-Henri Jansen, the founder of Maison Jansen. In 1925, Boudin got an assistant by the name of Monsieur Henry Samuel. Following Jansen's death in 1928, Stphane Boudin along with Gaston Schwartz, took control over all Maison Jansen's interior design and decoration projects. While Schwartz contributed aspects of modernism, Boudin was the traditionalist.

Boudin helped the firm win several new interior design projects by giving importance to historical accuracy and detail, and through his adeptness at creating spaces that were both dramatic and unforgettable. He efficiently schooled the firm's young protgs, reviewed their work on a regular basis, and arranged trips for them to Europe.

The most significant order which Boudin received was most likely the one he got prior to his retirement – the order from Jacqueline Kennedy to work on the interiors of the White House (1961-63). Jayne Wrightsman – the woman who introduced Boudin to Jackie – was personally tutored by Boudin in French decorative arts.

Jacqueline wanted a touch of the international to be added to the American look of the White House, and Boudin was entrusted with the task of making this desire a reality. In addition, Boudin and Henry du Pont were enlisted with the duty of getting antiques, and of lending sophistication and thoroughness to the dcor.

Boudin mainly focused on the American Empire style when furnishing the Red Room of the White House. He included pieces made by Charles-Honor Lannuier, a cabinetmaker. In the case of the Blue Room, Boudin laid emphasis on furnishing it with furniture of the French empire style. The style for the Green Room, namely the Federal Style, was chosen by Henry du Pont, influenced by Boudin. Boudin also introduced changes in the dcor of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room.

Another important interior design project which Boudin was entrusted with in his lifetime was to completely change the famous Leeds castle into a stylish country residence. It was the last private owner of the castle – Lady Baillie who entrusted him with this task.

Stephane Boudin retired in his seventies and passed away in 1967 – his successor was Pierre Delbe.

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Principles of Cowboy Home Decor

Coming under different names – western, rustic, or cowboy home decor – this interior design style creates a very different look, both comfortable and rural. The cowboy home decor uses a lot of little details, sometimes very unusual, to recreate a different era, but you can be assured that most of these things are simple and easy to find.

Materials

Natural materials like metal, rock, wood, and leather, traditionally used in the West make essential part of the entire cowboy home decor. Furniture in this style is usually made in a larger scale and without any fancy or fussy detail. There is plenty of log furniture, twig and branch furniture, and mission style furnishings.

Colors

As with any theme, especially cowboy home decor, color is of the utmost importance to achieve the total look. The wood tends to be honey colored and the metals should be black. Accent colors are usually a terra cotta, brick red, navy, or forest green, mixed with a neutral background of creams, grays, and tans such as found in a western style fabric or wall hanging.

Fabrics

The choice of fabrics should fall on tough types. Leather is perfect for cowboy home decor, as well as anything rough, textured, and tactile. Suede, wool tweed, birch bark, denim, fur, and even saddle blankets can be used to add the cowboy theme to a room.

Motifs

There is no question that a motif is necessary when completing the cowboy home decor. They can include any type of animals such as deer, cattle, bear, moose, or fish. Antlers are extremely popular as well as a wall hanging or a chandelier, but look for a more creative use for them to be unique. You could make any of these items into a candelabrum, candle holder, or even a place to hang up coats according to your personal preference.

Other motifs include outdoor scenes such as fishing, riding, hunting, lakes, rivers, pine cones, oak trees, wildflowers, and grasses. The cowboy home decor is all about bringing the outside in, so do it as much as you can without being overwhelmed. Luckily this is one of the decors when more is better.

Cowboy home decor is good not only for your home, but also cabin or barn. It will add a comfortable feel, and can cost you almost nothing. You can use anything – from horseshoe sconces and twig framed mirrors to old jeans, dried flowers, and quilts. Use your creativity, and enjoy the fun of decorating your dwelling in such a limitless way.

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Interior Design Ideas for Modern Homes

Interior design is the most interesting concept that is subject of much enjoyment for home owners and home builders. If you like playing with floors, ceilings, kitchen area, wash area, furniture and spaces, interior design is for you. Today, it has greatly revolutionized and home owners with builders are designing innovative and creative interiors through marble. They are continuously using marble products for more efficiency and beauty.

The great thing about marble interiors design is that you don't necessarily have a deep knowledge about it. Home builders give exceptional ideas to change your interiors and apply marble in it. It certainly gives genuinely modern look to the houses and adds more value to it. Modern home builders also help you choose the best place to apply marble stone.

Today, one of the best ways of interior designing is using marble products. Marble interiors look stunning and redefine its value. One can have nearly limitless designs through marble stones. It simply offers a wide variety of opportunity of creating new interior designs. More number of homes is utilizing soft marble stone to their houses for balustrades, statues, staircases and medallions. Being beautiful in looks, it is modestly used in countertops, vanity tops and statues.

Nowadays, interior designers and builders are widely using marble stone to richly facelift traditional or old homes. They conclude their interior designing projects with marble flooring. In fact, it is the most unique feature of modern homes. They also use a wide variety of marble products for stunning looks and aesthetic appeal.

Kitchen and Bathroom Interiors Ideas

Kitchen and bathroom interiors are the major part of any facelift project. These are the main areas of a home that needs to be addressed first. Both granite and marble can add extra appeal to kitchen and bath space. One of the most vital uses of marble is as countertops that can be installed in both kitchen and bathroom. It provides exceptional beauty along with a magical durability. Marble sinks and flooring are additional components adding uncompromising beauty to kitchen and bathroom interiors.

Today, marble interiors are becoming very popular amongst modern home builders, homeowners and architects. In fact, manufacturers are also offering superior marble products for homeowners' use. To serve the daily rising requirement of interior designs, interior experts and architects are now including magnificent marble products in their design strategies. Manufacturers also offer different types of products for both commercial and residential applications.

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Shaker Stylings and Their Rich History in Decor

Shakers lived in dormitory style housing and celebrated God in a busy and active way by engaging in tasks that brought out the best in themselves. Design details fell under "American Rustic" and were unmatched in craftsmanship.

Cabinetry Characteristics

Shakers use stile-and-rail recessed panel doors, and the inset is plain and flat. Lip and outside edges are also simple and the most common woods are cherry and maple for shaker cabinets. There are also shaker colors that are common, and the woodwork is painted in these colors. They were:

Terra Cotta

Pink

Yellow

Olive Green

Blue Tones

Not only are the cabinets painted, but often times window frames, skirting, peg rail and beaded board also painted.

Shaker Cabinet Hardware and Accessories

The Shaker artisans made their cabinet pegs and pulls out of wood usually, but also sometimes used hand-forged finishes and metal. That style still works in the shaker cabinets of today, as long as it sticks to the simplistic design. Homeowners can choose whatever type pull they desire but will find more overall value by sticking to classic styles.

Complimenting Countertops

Anyone who is going with shaker cabinets should stick with square-edged, solid countertops. Granite, limestone, soapstone and slate are all wonderful choices to go along with new shaker cabinets in any type of finish.

Choose the Best Surfaces

For overall look of a shaker style kitchen, there are certain surfaces that lend to the authenticity of the look that is desirable. Consider the following surfaces or finishes when implementing Shaker.

Walls: Walls can be finished or painted in any earth toned color, and often homeowners will choose off-white. In the old days, beaded board wainscoting along with pegs was used.

Ceilings: Ceilings were typically plaster and painted in off-white as well.

Floors: Varnished timber or wood was common for floors to go along with shaker cabinets. Some also used stone. It's completely acceptable to include a woven rug atop these hard surfaces to add warmth and comfort.

Accents: Fabric accents were common with shaker décor. They, like the simple stylings of the cabinets, came in simple patterns and colors. They dressed up the plain interior with gingham checks, window checks, or simple checkered patterns that were in one or more colors.

Modern or Classic

Today's shaker are used in traditional décor as mentioned above or work well with modern elements. There are no rules as to how to implement them. Homeowners should never be afraid to think outside the box when choosing what they'll implement. A simple black or white painted shaker cabinet will give clean lines and allow for a sleek look. Many choose to implement stainless steel faucets, fixtures and appliances as well.

For a country cottage style kitchen, shaker cabinets come in many wood finishes and can be dressed up with porcelain pulls for a quaint appeal that makes any kitchen warm and welcoming. Add some wallpaper to one wall for a splash of color then match kitchen towels, pots and pans to it.

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Interior Decorating – How to Do Eclectic Design Well

God save me from the "eclectic" client.

Ok, I'm kidding … sort of.

Being "eclectic" means to have an enjoyment of a variety of styles, colors, and types of objects … which is great! It does NOT mean that you can cram any and everything that crosses your path into a room and declare it "eclectic." That, my friend, is what we call a hodge-podge … or possibly just a mess.

An eclectic room, done well, will be a reflection of your varied tastes and travels, but still have a harmonious overall feel. The eye should be able to travel around the space comfortably, enjoying the uniqueness of the displays without having them overwhelm the focal point (s).

So how do you achieve "good eclectic?" Start by determining how you want a room to feel: aged, collected over time, elegant, clean, fresh, exciting, bold, warm, relaxing, etc. Next you want to group together all the elements that will contribute to your desired overall feel, and omit the ones that will not. For example, if you are trying for an earthy, well-traveled look, you would NOT incorporate your Andy Warhol reproduction (or your Andy Warhol original, for that matter). Things you COULD include might be your antique clock collection, that bench you found up north, the oriental rug you fell in love with in India, and those pieces of folk art from your dad.

Can it be tricky? Yes, it can, especially because we all have a hard time looking at our beloved possessions objectively. A professional decorator can help you blend (and edit!) Your tastes and belongings into a space that feels rich, storied, and authentically you by ensuring items are displayed in their best light, rather than competing with each other. At OnlineHomeDecorating.com, our team of professional interior decorators has created each room design with all of the elements you need for a beautiful, fully finished room, while still leaving enough breathing room to allow you to incorporate the items that tell your personal story. .. without losing track of the plot!

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A Brief History Of Tuscan Decor

Tuscan interior decor begins with an understanding of Tuscan architecture. Even a cursory page-flipping through the history books of Tuscany and its architecture reveals two impressions: Strength and Grandeur.

In the minds of modern day homeowners, these concepts seem to have translated into 'security and permanence', and 'nobility of design'.

The book and subsequent movie, Under The Tuscan Sun, seem to have awakened a long dormant desire for the rustic, simple beauty found in the hill towns of Tuscany. Often described as voluptuous, sensuous, and seductive, this region of Italy has experienced an unparalleled awakening in both the European and North American consciousness.

The power of broad facades, massive stones, and symmetrically aligned square windows are once again the fashion of the day. Perhaps we are drawn to such strength of design if our own country of origin and its heritage are so young, so unrefined, and so seemingly impermanent when compared to Italy and the ancient Etruscan and Roman societies.

Thankfully, the 'throw away', 'use it once and toss it', light weight, impermanent mindset of recent decades has been abandoned in favor of enduring quality. The stark simplicity of contemporary design seems to have gone cold and lifeless. All now replaced by a quest for homes designed with a sense of history, luxury, rustic strength, and an air of permanence.

Tuscan decor says, "I'm here, I'm of the earth, and I will be here forever."

The brilliance of using what we have –

Out of necessity, Tuscan architects utilized readily available materials, such as stone from local quarries. They adapted dwellings to the warm climate, and incorporated depth and strength of walls during warring times. Hence, we see massive stone facades, the most easily recognizable feature of Tuscan architecture.

There also seems to have been an innate love of simplicity and symmetry. This appreciation for beauty, evidenced in even the most humble buildings, is no doubt born of daily exposure to the pure elegance of the Tuscan countryside. Endless vistas of undulating green hills, gracefully thin cypress trees, lush olive groves, and intertwined grape vines have slowly evolved into the Tuscan decor so loved today.

Early Etruscan architecture was easily recognizable by its massive stones, the square forms of their edifices, and their heavy projecting beams, even when later embellished with Greek or Roman design elements. Often called Mediterranean (a broadening of the geographic area of ​​design elements), Tuscan decor brings to mind sun washed colors, liberal use of stone, metal, square windows, and symmetry. Intricate details are often found that soften the strong, masculine features. There is always present a meticulous attention to quality craftsmanship, and stones marry with precision.

Even during the time of Michelangelo, who frequently combined rustic with polished, old with new, and Etruscan with Roman, builders faithfully retained the original elements of Tuscan decor. Before Michelangelo's day, the earliest Etruscan architects, while originally designing almost solely for strength and defensive integrity, later gave way to including details that added nobility.

It's no wonder that …

How To Incorporate Futons With High-End Interior Design

If you want to learn how to incorporate futons with high end design, there are many magazines and websites that offer ideas on high end decorating and interior design. The best way to decorate a room if you do not have a lot of decorating skill is to hire an interior decorator or imitate what you see in the photographs that look best to you. There are few hard right and wrong answers when it comes to decorating your own home. If it looks good to you, then that is what is important.

Futons used to be associated with low end furniture and low quality. However, futons have gained in popularity as well as style in recent years. There are now a number of high quality wood and metal frame futons and futon beds that make excellent design choices for a number of uses in the home. Futons work wonderfully in a den or informal seating arrangement around the home. Wood frames usually look better when grouped with high end furnishings, but some metal frames look best with contemporary or modern style furniture.

You can match the futon to existing furniture, or you can select the futon first and build the other furniture and dcor around it. Futons make excellent editions to the media room or entertainment room. They also work well in guest rooms, because it will allow you to use the room as a sitting area, reading area or television room when it is not being used. Futons are also great for kids rooms because they can enjoy games, television or visiting with friends without having an extra piece of furniture.

Futons are also great editions to a sunroom. They look good in a seating arrangement with a couple of chairs and a coffee table or flanked by end tables. In a sunroom or other room with solid floors, such as tile or hardwood floors, the look of the futon will be softened by the edition of an area rug to cover the sitting area. Read more about how to incorporate futons with high end interior design online or in a home dcor magazine. There is an abundance of selections at most home improvement centers.

There are also excellent photographs online to get ideas from. Futons allow you to use a fewer pieces of furniture in the home for maximum functionality. They are also better on bad backs than traditional mattress and box spring sets usually are. This is due to the firm mattress being thinner and keeping your spine straighter during the night.

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Spice Up Your Decor With Indoor Water Fountains

You have probably seen indoor fountains in hotel lobbies, at posh restaurants, or spas and wondered if you could place them indoors at home and the answer is of course! The truth is that these indoor fountains can be used to spruce up your home decor. In fact water fountains have quickly become a popular indoor accessory with almost every interior decorator to liven up the living room space.

Thanks to the internet, the prices of these fountains are now affordable and the selection wide. They are an instant hit among friends and family. Besides the aesthetic appeal, the soft sound of a fountain can help you and your family or company relax. They also act as a natural humidifier and purifier.

There are a number of designs, shapes and sizes to choose from. Remember to choose one that suits your decor and also take into account the space considerations.

When it comes to indoor water fountains, basically there are three types of designs. The table top variety, the wall mounted styles and finally the floor standing fountains. The tabletop fountains are great to accessorize your table and can be also used in the bedroom or on a desk. The sound from these water fountains aren't too distracting and hence are great desktop accessories as well.

If you find the table top variety to be too small, you could opt for the floor standing fountains. These are larger than the table fountains and are useful for an average home. The biggest misconception about these is that water spills from these water fountains thus creating a mess. But if carefully handled these are a great accessory and are built not to splash if you get an indoor rated fountain.

Wall mounted fountains are fixed to the wall, making it appear as if the water flows from the walls. Some wall fountains hang like a picture if they are smaller where others come with mounting brackets and hardware that will attach to your wall for a secure mount. These usually have a steel or copper frame with the water either flowing over slate or glass. Sometimes the glass is shaped in the form of waves giving it a dramatic effect.

Whatever the design that you choose, the pleasure that's derived by installing a water fountain cannot be denied. These manage to calm and rejuvenate you instantly. You could also use these to cut out the noise and chatter. You could buy these from online stores that sell them at affordable prices. For those who would love to customize their fountain, you could order for a custom designed water fountain albeit at a higher price.

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Tips For Interior and Exterior House Painting

Here are some excellent interior and exterior house painting tips.

First, gather the tools that you will need to paint the interior of the house. Being organized is the first step in preparing to paint the inside and outside of house. Find a good brush to do the trim, rollers to roll on the paint, drop clothes, rags and plastic bags to assist you with keeping everything tidy.

Next, remove the furniture from the house or move everything to one place in a room. Cover the furniture with drop clothes. Make sure that you cover everything well to avoid spills on the furniture. Cover the furniture with old sheets after you place the drop cloths over them for extra protection. You may wish to remove all the hardware from cabinets, switch plates, and light fixtures from the wall. A lot of people try to paint around the hardware, but inevitably get drips all over it.

Prepare yourself for house painting. Wear old comfortable clothing and shoes. Wear a hat, scarf or a shower cap on your head to protect you from spills while you are painting the ceiling. Wear shoes that are easy to remove to prevent from tracking paint from one room to another.

Now that you are prepared to paint, prepare the interior surface that you are painting to receive the paint. If there is wallpaper, you must strip the wallpaper and prime the walls with a good quality primer. If the walls are not clean, you must wash them with a solution of three tablespoon of laundry detergent to one gallon of water. Any paint that is peeling or cracking should be sanded and any cracks should be fixed.

Choosing your paint can be quite a task. Do you want water-based or oil-based paint? Water-bases paint is easy to clean up and it dries quickly. Oil-based paint is great for cabinets and woodwork. Clean-up can be accomplished with paint thinner.

Once you have chosen the right color and gloss for your walls, you can then begin to paint. Now you may thing that you just aim and begin to paint. However, here are a few tips to make the job a little easier. Start with a small brush and paint the areas where the roller will not fit. Make sure that you use painter's tape to cover areas that you do not want painted.

Roll a light coat of paint in one direction. Your goal is to apply a light coat and then a second heavier coat of paint in another direction. This will hide the streaks.

In preparing the exterior of your house to be painted, all you may need is a good washing down. You can use the water hose and scrub the dirt with a brush and detergent. You may even need to power wash it.

Your home may need additional attention before you can paint it. Some of the shingles or siding may be split. Nails may have popped out or you may …

Area Rugs and Home Decor – Color, Art and Function

When referring to Interior design and home decor, the versatility of an Area Rug is often overlooked. These mini-masterpieces serve as artwork, have the ability to shape color, and add needed function in any home.

Color seems to be the most confounding element for most homeowners to master effectively. Color is not nearly as complex as it seems. The complexity seems to stem from the sheer magnitude of differing color, tones, hues and shades. We all know what our favorite colors are, yet when we try to pin that color down as a useable element of design, we are confronted by hundreds of choices in tone and hue. Most of us need a standard from which to work. This is where an area rug can have a principle role in helping us sort through the inexhaustible choices we face. If we would first choose an area rug with the colors we favor, the task of choosing color for other decor items seems to fall in place. The use of an area rug as a color reference will ground your space and limit your choices, which will make the task a lot less confusing. Your colors are already decided by the colors most prominent in your area rug.

The next function of area rugs are to add beauty and depth to a room by the utility of art. Patterns and perceptions in rug design are vast and often intriguing to the eye. As a painting adds drama an scope to a wall, an area rug is a work of art for your floor. Area rugs come in any and all varieties of patterns and designs to accommodate any style of decor imaginable. Therefore, no matter what style you are trying to achieve, from traditional to contemporary and everything in between, you will be able to find an area rug to artfully engage all who visit your space. I can only consider all the times that I did not even notice a well placed rug, until I had set in that room for a season. As your eye begins to draw downward from other treasured elements of decor, you finally notice the art that lies at your feet. Many of your guests will discover themselves drawn into the intricate beauty of a well placed piece of floor-art.

The final element is that which is fundamental to the existence of area rugs. They are utilitarian in design. They were originally conceived to provide a function. The first rugs in existence were likely simple in their utility. To provide a comfortable space to sleep, or to protect ones feet from the bare soil. Today we have a vast arena of uses for area rugs. From those that supply a place to wipe our feet off, to those that protect our original flooring investment. You can postpone refinishing or replacing an expensive flooring investment with the strategic placement of area rugs and mats. Your purposes could be as simple as providing a soft and clean …