Area Rug Inspiration By Victoria Dreste

Thinking of buying an area rug? What will it do for your room?

A rug can define the areas of a large room. It can add definition to a small room.

Color, pattern and texture are important elements in interior design. An area rug can add each of these to a room. A rug. of course is about texture. A beautiful rug over a tile or wood floor adds texture and softness. The texture is also great for acoustics and ambiance.  The texture of the rug will absorb sound and create a more comfortable room.

The color palette for a room can be determined from the colors of a rug you love and purchase. In the rug you will find the colors for walls, furniture, window treatments, lighting and accessories.  If you choose a rug with a strong pattern you can add furniture and fabrics in solids and still have an interesting room.

A rug with a pastel palette enhances the look of this creamy white room.

The deep green of the walls is an accent color found in the Peacock patterned rug.

The classic key pattern is updated for this contemporary rug.

A beautiful blue fretwork pattern adds elegance.

The green leaf pattern with a brown background grounds the room and establishes the color palette.

A monochromatic modern setting is brought to life with a bold, bright area rug.

A traditional Ushak pattern in deep blue is a wonderful contrast to the aged pine table.

A rug with a lovely floral pattern is complimented by deep teal walls and white furnishings.

In this room the rug is there to compliment the beautiful, rich wood of the walls and furniture.  The pattern is interesting but it doesn’t overwhelm the space.

The vibrant swirl pattern adds boldness to an otherwise sedate room.

Modern elements in a traditional setting bring an updated, fresh style.

When adding an area rug find one that you love. You can design your room around your amazing new purchase.

Photos from The Rug Company You can see more from Vicki here.

Real Simple: Ideas for Simple Glass Vases by Kimberly Reuther

Ahh, it’s spring, the season of fresh flowers and fresh ideas for your home.  No doubt, you’ve been cleaning out cabinets and getting rid of things to prep for the summer months.  If your cabinets are like mine, you have a multitude of glass vases  from flowers being sent to you.

But that’s where you get stuck.  How do I display these simple vases without shelling out money every week for fresh flowers?

Here are a few examples for spring parties or everyday arrangements for spring.

1.  Ultra simple, white candles and rocks.  White candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you should have no problems finding one to fit your vase.  You can add rocks to anchor the candle and the result is an understated addition to your dining table.

2.  Collected works.  Scavenge your home or garage sales for mis-matched vases of a similar color scheme.  No need to add fancy flowers, wild flowers from your garden add a hint of nature while the vases make the statement.

3.  Add pops of color for super cheap!  Plain old food coloring, water and white candles mixed together and voila!  Instant centerpiece!

 4.  Fresh flowers aren’t out of your league.  Buy an inexpensive mixed arrangement and break it up in many different vases.   One flower per vase can look beautiful, it’s all about how you arrange it.

5.  Who says vases are for flowers?  Use what you have around your house or garden to fill the vases and add color to your table.  Lemons and limes are great because they are small and vibrant.  Use your imagination and make it up as you go along!


Previously written by Kimberly for St. Louis AT HOME’s website.  Read more of Kimberly’s work and view her portfolio at

Inspiring Moments by Mandi Maurer Gray

What inspires creative professionals tends to expose itself in our work. We gather images in our memory, which emerge when we are creating. This collection of inspiring moments happens over our entire lifetimes. We constantly add to our bank of images while traveling, shopping, walking through our cities and parks, and while commuting to work.

Inspiration is endless. All we have to do is be open and attune to our surroundings. Taking time to “take in” where we are, what we are doing, and what is all around us. In our busy lives, this can prove to be harder to do than one may think.

This brings me to ask the question…what inspires you? What types of shapes, patterns, colors, textures, smells, appeal to you? I would like to propose a challenge. For one week, carry a journal of some sort with you and document your inspirations. This can be from the smallest spark of intrigue to an overwhelming attraction. This will truly become a journal of insight and self-realization upon review at the end of the week. It may even become a part of daily practice, not to mention, a worthwhile activity for igniting new ideas and creativity in our daily lives & careers as creative professionals.

I encourage anyone who takes part in this challenge to post comments and thoughts regarding their experiences. It will be fun to see what types of images are inspiring to others. In fact, it may even be a way to find new inspiration for ourselves.

Going ‘smart’ by Jamie Briesemeister

Smart phone, smart home, smart… appliances?  Yes – even those.

Our life is filled with ‘smart’ technology that enables people to interact with each other, the home, the office – the world – like never before.  It’s extended into our mobile phones – creating mini-computers we use to text, check email, browse Facebook, bank online, and sometimes… on occassion, to make a phone call.  It’s in our homes – connecting the systems we interact with daily to simplify the way we live.

Now, ‘smart’ technology is being embedded in our appliances: refrigerators, ovens, washers/dryers, and more… all to enhance our life, conserve energy, and save money.  Here are a few feature benefits of having a ‘smart’ appliance.

1. Pro-active service from your appliance manufacturer.  Many manufacturers will be able to remotely monitor your appliance, notice if it is not performing as expected, and call you to schedule a service visit – even before the appliance stops working.  That’s service!

Connected 'smart' appliances

Network-connected, or 'smart' appliances, provide better manufacturer service.

2. Energy costs vary throughout the course of a day.  Connected appliances will be able to display your usage options so you can use the device at the time of day that makes sense for your family.  Adjust simple features (such as a heating element) to lower energy costs and see it reflected on the screen before you hit ‘wash’.

Appliance energy manager

As energy costs vary throughout the day, 'smart' appliances can guide your use habits for optimized savings.

3. Tired of throwing away rotten food?  No more worries – or old food – as some refrigerators will be outfitted with the ability to manage your food freshness.

Food management

A display panel acts as a map to find your specialty produce when you need it.

4. Have a busy house where the refrigerator door gets left open throughout the day?  Ever forget to turn off the oven after you were done baking?  Not only is this a waste of energy every time it happens – it’s a danger for children and pets.  Smart appliances will be able to send you an email, text message, ‘ping’ your in-ceiling speakers, and more – to inform you about the status of your kitchen – before it becomes a problem.

Busy family fridge

As people come and go, the doors may get left open. Smart appliances can notify you to shut the door (text, email, etc.) - unfortunately, they do not (yet) shut themselves.

5. As part of an automated home, smart appliances can display information on the same remotes, iPhone/iPad, or touchscreen that you use to control the music or lighting in your home.  That’s smart – and convenient!

Smart Kitchen

The heart of the home is a great location to go 'smart' - new construction or existing.

Smart appliances are a relatively new concept, with new technology, and many people may still be hesitant to jump on board.  In this case, while in the planning stages for a kitchen design or in a current remodel – consider the need for connected appliances for future use.  A simple and inexpensive consideration for your electric systems contractor would be to run a category 5e or 6 (cat5e / cat6) cable to your appliance locations.

This way, while your appliance may not be ‘smart’ now, at least YOU are as you plan for future needs.

To read more of Jamie’s work, click here to visit her website!

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