Try out Unusual Neutrals

From Ironwood Crossing

From Ironwood Crossing

Are you getting just a bit tired of earth tones and beiges? If you’re not ready to go all out with color, but you’d like to expand your options, consider these almost neutrals: dusky lavender and soft green. Here are a few suggestions for pulling them into your home.

Mix with other soft neutrals: With the addition of grey and cream, this bedroom doesn’t feel like it’s swimming in color. The grey captures elements of the soft light purple, creating echoes without overwhelming the room. Light green on the walls is made gentler with cream drapes and shades. This room has invited color in without making too much of a statement.

Choose a cool metal accent tone: In this case, silver enhances the connection between lavender and grey and it easily reflects both tones.

Don’t be afraid of contrast: Dark nightstands keep the room grounded, and the depth of tone is mirrored in several of the throw pillows, the bed skirt and the frames on the artwork. Although the actual colors vary, bringing in a number of dark elements lets them work together to make the room more interesting.

Minimize the hues: Notice that the walls are a slight green, such a delicate tone that it almost seems to disappear. Green and lavender are an exciting combination, but in a bedroom the goal should be a soft appeal rather than splashy and attention-getting. The lavender tones selected are darker, but contain so much grey that they don’t announce their color. Only the three accent pillows remind you that purple is in the house.

If you’re ready for a new color, a bedroom provides a great place to start. Paint and bedding are not expensive, allowing you to try new ideas.

Your Entertainment Wall

Legacy Models 071 (1)Designing an entertainment wall involves balancing design and function. You want a good place for the large HD TV while still keeping the screen itself low-key when it’s not turned on. These suggestions can help you think about what will work in your home.

Use color wisely: Dark grey-purple on the focal wall in this photo from Legacy draws the eye while reducing the footprint of the screen. The shelves and cabinet bring in lighter tones and the space is large and flexible enough to make changes in the future.

Models 065Incorporate an additional focal point: By adding the fireplace under the niche holding the television in the photo to the left, also from Legacy, the space feels nicely orchestrated. The screen becomes another dark rectangle, adding depth and balance to the light stone face. Once again dark purple draws the eye, with free-floating shelves providing opportunities to display accessories and carry the light tones out to the sides.

Consider seating: Positioning seating toward the entertainment area makes it more comfortable to watch programs, but you may want to place some seating facing toward the conversation area rather than aiming everything at your entertainment wall. This encourages discussion when you have guests, and the chair or chairs can easily be turned if they are needed for viewing a particular event or program.

Create flexible lighting options: A lighting arrangement that works well for a gathering may not serve your needs while watching your screen. Make sure you plan for both situations when setting up your lighting. A few ceiling spots may be all you need for television viewing, or consider a dimmer switch to provide enough ambient light while avoiding a glare on the screen.

Your family room can be flexible enough to meet all of your entertainment needs, whether you’re spending the evening chatting with friends or enjoying a DVD of a favorite film. Take the time to create a space that works for you and your family –in terms of both style and function.


Pops of Color

Legacy Models 057Neutrals always feel safer when you’re decorating, but staying safe keeps you from enjoying the power of color in your home. If more vivid colors seem overwhelming or just too risky, consider taking a chance with a few pops of color. Here are a few ways to let color help bring your home to life.

A strong accent wall: Paint, wallpaper or fabric can turn one wall into a natural focal point with a strong color choice. And the option is relatively easy to eliminate if you aren’t happy with the result. Take a look at this entertainment area in the family room of the O’Connor model at Legacy. The deep purple has enough gray in it to soften the impact on the wall, and neutral furniture, shelves and accessories keep the overall feeling rather low-key.

Contrasting accessories: Adding the yellow glass bowl on the right side of this console helps the space to really pop. Yellow is the complementary color to purple, which means that they are on opposite sides of the color wheel. By adding just a small touch of yellow, the purple becomes more purposeful in the space. The other complementary colors are blue and orange and red and green. If your colors seem drab, adding just a spot of the color on the other side of the wheel will add a spark.Legacy Models 027 (2)

Let color infuse your focal point. This Bertazzoni Range in rich dark red creates a new energy in this kitchen. Other neutrals start to feel like the background elements, allowing this retro range to stand out. (Photo from the Fulton Model at Legacy.)

So jump into color – starting small or with a big push – and let your home’s décor pop!


Setting up a Holiday Tablescape

Legacy Models 068How would you decorate this dining space for the holidays? Here are a few suggestions.

Choose one or two colors, a neutral, and one metallic hue: In this room, silver seems like a natural choice thanks to the chandeliers and grey tones. Silver can link everything together. For the same reason, white or ivory would complement the space. From there you could do the traditional red and green colors, or jump into something more daring like purple or even hot pink and lime green. This room can handle the brighter colors, so take advantage of that to add drama to your tablescape.

Don’t stop at the table: In this room, the trees by the wall would benefit from some mini-lights and small ornaments. Think about adding some special touches to the chandeliers. (For more ideas on that, see our last blog.) The buffet could be a source for additional decorations that complement whatever you choose to do to the table. You could even change out the throw pillows on the two sofas for some that suit your holiday look. Once again the grey palette opens up a world of possibilities.

Keep your centerpiece low or set between chairs: You want to make sure everyone at the table can see everyone else, so plan a centerpiece that allows that. This long rectangular table gives you the opportunity to create a landscape of flowers, greens, ornaments, candles and other accessories. By using the buffet to hold serving dishes you have more room for decorations on the table itself.

Consider the chairs: These contemporary chairs with neutral grey upholstery provide the perfect space for a final holiday touch. It’s easy to tie some wide ribbon around the chair backs with a nice bow at the back of each one. Costco offers great prices on wire-edged holiday ribbon in two and three-inch widths. Choose one that works well for your holiday plan, and you will have plenty to use throughout your home.

Your final touch? Add the food – tables always look better with something to eat nearby!


Adding Style and Function to a Hall

Legacy Models 033Halls can serve two primary purposes: to connect a number of rooms efficiently and to provide some separation and privacy between the main living areas and the bedrooms. But this space can be used for more than an interior pathway.

Fulton’s Legacy community demonstrates this with its three models: The Basha, The Fulton and The O’Connor. Let’s take a look at some of the ways a hall can have multiple uses and design elements.

Take a look at the photo to the left. This niche, from the Fulton model at Legacy, adds an inviting design element to the hallway. Visible from the family room, this lighted niche provides the perfect location for a favorite piece of art. It could hold a wreath for the holidays, a family photo, a shadow-box of memorabilia, or almost anything of importance to you and your family. The glass tile background adds interest and DSC_0177personality.

The next photo, to the right, is from the O’Connor model at Legacy. Here decorative elements combine with some storage to create a feature that is inviting and functional. You could use the chest to store guest linens or anything that’s nice to have in easy reach for the whole family.

The look of this location has been enhanced with the dark plum paint on the hall’s back wall. The contrast between the dark wall and the metallic silver chest and plate above it creates a moment of drama in what is often an overlooked area of the home. Notice that the hall has extra depth at this location allowing you more design flexibility, a thoughtful addition to this home.

DSC_0185For a final addition to a hall space, take a look at this built-in cabinet and counter available in the O’Connor model. A corner of a hallway suddenly can become the perfect central location for charging mobile devices and keeping office and homework supplies handy. With its easily accessible central location every family member can use this as a drop-zone for homework, keys, purses and phones. Consider adding a small bowl or jar for spare change, which could be used for a family treat or dinner out once you accumulate enough. Add a bulletin board or calendar and it could also be the central location for messages and schedules.

For a closer look at these and other interesting approaches to hall space, come see the Fulton Homes models at Legacy in Gilbert. We think you’ll enjoy your visit.


A showstopper in your kitchen: Bertazzoni

Legacy Models 027 (1)You want to be the star in your own kitchen, and a star benefits from having other performers that will show you at your best.

Well, here’s a co-star that will enable you to shine. Bertazzoni’s 48-inch gas range and oven combination is a stand-out in any kitchen. Bertazzoni has been making quality cooking products in Italy for over 135 years.

The heritage style shown was inspired by the original wood-burning stoves Bertazzoni built in the late eighteen hundreds. Look for Antonio Bertazzoni’s signature carved into the stainless above the oven, showing the pride of a family known for quality since his father Francesco built the first Bertazzoni wood-burning stoves and made them popular throughout Italy.

The amazing range and hood come in this glorious red as well as a luscious cream and classic black. Whichever you choose, this will make your kitchen into the showstopper you dream about.

And the beauty is designed to last. Because of their durable double-layer coating that uses the latest processes developed for the automobile industry, you will find the finish to be acid and temperature resistant, giving you a luster that will hold up over time.

This product is also more than just a pretty face. Its performance will help you create the gourmet meals you want with plenty of space on its six-burner range complete with griddle and double oven. Bertazzoni’s exclusive dual valve burners in brass provide high-efficiency, from a delicate low simmer to full power (750 –18,000 BTU). The power burner delivers best-in-class heat-up times.

Pots are placed closer to the flame, reaching the boiling point more quickly and reducing gas consumption during the cooking process. The one-touch, child safety ignition system lets you light and adjust burners with one hand. The safety system automatically stops the gas flow if the flame goes out, even when electrical power is cut

Bertazzoni’s one-piece worktop molding is best-in-class. With sealed burners, no sharp angles or dirt traps, cleaning is fast and easy. Heavy-duty cast iron grates allow easy movement of any kind of pot.

To see this stellar example of a kitchen appliance in person, visit the Fulton Design Center or check out the Fulton model home at Legacy. You’ll be glad you did.


The O’Connor: Yellow Accents Family Room

Models 079This open floor plan demonstrates a good way to make subtle tones pop. The grey upholstery gets a wiggle of color with yellow accents and a warming feeling with plants.

Grey is a sophisticated and versatile neutral, and this space takes full advantage of it. The soft taupe on the walls and floor complement the tile used as the backsplash in the kitchen. Countertops coordinate well with the glossy stone floor, but too much of the warm neutrals would quickly diminish this room. Enter grey to rescue the room with its strong contrast and modern aesthetic.

With the tone showing on all of the upholstered furniture, it’s the contrast of shades that makes it stay in the foreground. First the dark shade for the two sofas and the island chairs, then the lighter patterned chair echoes several of the throw pillows and the dining room chairs.

Yellow is used sparingly, which works well. The accents on the kitchen island and side tables add the interest you want without calling too much attention to them. Then the throw pillows pull all of the shades of grey together with yellow to make the space feel planned and smart.

Finish up with a bevy of sophisticated lighting – from the pendants over the island to the ultra-modern ceiling fan set in a coffered ceiling and the classic contemporary chandelier over the dining table. Each piece is unique, yet they flow together to make the space fit the transitional profile while still leaning in the direction of edgy.

For a closer look, visit Fulton Home’s Legacy community and see the full O’Connor model home for yourself.

Pinterest on Paint

20237301_SWhen you visit the Fulton Design Center, it has a good selection of neutral paint colors for your home. The right neutrals can make a big difference in how your home looks.

Suppose, however, you want to add some color to your walls. Visiting a paint store can seem overwhelming. If you want yellow, how yellow do you want to go? It’s easy to move from a light lemon to a horrifying egg yolk without realizing it until you see the final version on your walls.

With its strong focus on visuals, Pinterest provides a great resource for choosing the right paint colors. Instead of studying 30 different versions of the color you want, you can see various rooms with the paint colors listed. Pinterest also lists popular colors with designers which can help you determine the right choice for your home.

If you need direction for choosing the right color, several pins provide clear steps that explain a process for selection that will help ensure success. In addition, check out the many tips and tricks to enable you to tackle any painting project like a pro.

The Fulton Homes Pinterest site has a board, Painting Your Home with pins selected to help you approach painting successfully. Our board is just the beginning of the support Pinterest can offer as you begin your search for just the right wall colors to make your home perfect. While you’re at it, how about visiting some of our other boards? You may find just the decorating or design advice you are looking for!

Kitchen/Family Room with Color

Kitchen DSC_0324Wood cabinetry, granite countertops and tile floors limit the color options unless you are willing to commit to a strong color choice that you will have to live with for a long time. But color can come into a space like this in so many ways.

This kitchen and family room, from the Fulton Homes Cascade model, demonstrates smart ways to introduce color. Let’s take a look.

Glass cabinet displays: Glass in several upper cabinets opens up a space and adds personality. This kitchen takes advantage of the visual by displaying blue plates. Notice that the tile on the side of the island has a blue cast, and this color is carried throughout the kitchen.

Island chairs: Selecting chairs to match the cabinets would be a safe choice, but lacking in creativity. This blue leather brings the plate colors to the other side of the kitchen while the wipe off finish makes them perfect for coping with after-school snack accidents.

Accessories: Placemats, dishes and flowers pull more colors into the space. Other counter accessories and even the items above the cabinets can carry a colorful theme throughout the room.

Family and Kitchen DSC_0306 outdoor connectionFamily room coordination: The family room provides more opportunities to introduce color, and the sofa, window treatments, accessories and throw pillows echo the kitchen colors. \

These choices keep color front-and-center in this family-friendly space. Blue and rust bring the space to life. What colors would you like to see in your kitchen and family room? Whatever you choose, color will warm your home and add interest while saying welcome to you and your guests.

Dining Room with Drama

From Fulton Homes Daylight Model

From Fulton Homes Daylight Model

What makes this dining space special? A sense of drama captures the eye and invites you to have a seat and a meal. Let’s take a look at why.

Color: The walls have a rich tone that is darker than expected, creating a sense of intimacy. The leather-colored flooring echoes that warmth.

The artwork and tablescape complement each other – with rich red and dark olive green combined with a sunny gold. Brown links it all together, with the furniture, chandelier and art all showing a brown base color.

Comfort: The chairs are built for comfort with backs that slope and cushioned seats. If you want a lively dining experience with people lingering over their meals, be sure to select dining chairs that will be comfortable for several hours. Don’t be seduced into uncomfortable chairs by a certain look or style.

The lighting also makes the space feel inviting. Having the shades facing up makes the room bright enough without any glare. The slight amber tone also warms the space, helping to relax the environment.

Style: Everything in this room is consistent in flavor. The feel is sophisticated Mediterranean, building the expectation of a meal that starts with bruschetta and ends with a bowl of fruit, with pasta and maybe fish in the middle. Imagine the hostess removing the flower arrangement from the center of the table, replacing it with a large bowl of tossed salad and a basket of bread still warm from the oven.

Cloth napkins with napkin rings, the dark red chargers under the white plates – food always looks better on a white plate – and the simple ceramic apples at each dish promise a meal to remember. This room is set up in anticipation of a lovely meal with congenial company, and it invites you to sit down and enjoy it all.