Decorate Using the Four Elements: Water

water-3-cropped-webWhen decorating a pool area, it’s natural to lean toward the element of water in your design decisions. You already have the blue from the pool, and sand tones or grey bring a natural look to the space. Blue and white also make a great combination for a water-themed space. In this photo, the light hardscaping is the color of driftwood, which makes the area feel a bit beach-like.

water-cropped-webYou don’t actually need water to have a water-themed area. Take a look at this butler’s pantry to the left. The natural stone backing combined with the countertop creates the feeling of water running down the wall and across the counter into the small sink. This mood is enhanced by the clear glasses along with gold and silver metallic accessories. The water theme makes this spot the perfect place to serve drinks to family and friends.

water-2-cropped-webA bathroom is the most logical place to carry through a water theme. Once again, even without the blue-green color scheme that is common to water spaces, the sensation of water can come by using ultra-shiny tile in a vertical display, as the photo on the right shows. In both smaller photos, placing a light above the wall so that it shines across the surface helps create that feeling of water flowing.

Whether you use this concept outside by a pool or water feature, or inside near a sink or bathroom, expanding the water theme beyond the function of a space into the design allows you to enhance your home décor. All photos are from Fulton’s Legacy community.

Decorate Using the Four Elements: Fire

fire-3-cropped-sized-webThe power of fire first shows in a room with color choice. Look for red, rust, maroon, orange and gold. A fire room reflects the flames of an open fire either with the main color or in accents. Notice how this room brings rust tones into the living area through curtains, furniture, dining chairs, throw pillows and the tabletop décor.

Look next for some sort of open flame, or a close representation. In this room the two-tier chandelier holds electrified versions of candles. You may even find a candle-abra with actual candles in some fire rooms.

Accessories are often glass, formed when sand meets fire, in vivid colors. Notice the large glass bowl on the coffee table, colored like the flames that created it.

fire-2-cropped-webKitchens are effective rooms to introduce a fire theme because of their focus on cooking food. This amazing range and hood from Bertazzoni perfectly represents fire, with its style patterned on the company’s original wood stove design, enameled in this fire-inspired dark red.

fire-1-cropped-webTake a look at this cozy breakfast nook. Once again the lighting
sends a fire message. You can imagine real candles in those glass shades. The rich metallic tile on the built-in breakfront brings fire colors to your attention, supported by orange and rust tones in accessories and the tablescape. A smoky wall color finishes up the look.

Fireplaces and outdoor fire pits always help create a fire-driven mood. On cold nights, everyone will feel warmer in a room designed with fire in mind. All photos are from Fulton’s Legacy community.

Decorate Using the Four Elements: Air

air photoAs we mentioned in our last blog, it’s interesting to take the long-ago perspective that the universe is made up of only four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  Today, let’s take a look at what a room would look like if it had an Air focus.

Vaulted ceilings, skylights and large windows fit this image. The ceiling is definitely a star in this photo. The coffered inlay is highlighted by the white trim and sunlight that creates magic shadows against the far wall. Silver and glass accessories suit air, as well as the subtle shades of grey that make up the color palette.

Notice the number of curves in the space, just as air curves as it passes buildings and trees. Even the plant in the back has an airy flow to it.

air 3This photo celebrates air, with the collage of planes in the background. Clearly this room was designed with air in mind. Again the color scheme reflects grey with soft lavender highlighted on the wall. A ceiling fan is a natural addition to an air-focused room. Skylights and clerestory windows also reflect the air feeling. Both photos are from the model homes at Legacy.

If you’re always looking up at the sky and enjoy having everything light and bright in your home, then maybe a focus on air is right for you.

In our next two blogs, we’ll look at what fire and water designs feel like.

Decorate Using the Four Elements: Earth

Mediterranean at Ironwood Crossing EarthLong before the science of chemistry came into existence, ancient philosophers and scientists thought the universe consisted of only four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. And even though we know better now, it’s still fun to use these concepts to decorate your home. Let’s take a look at a room with an emphasis on earth.

The colors start the analysis. Earth tones predominate in this space. Notice the dark brown wood, brown sofas and beige and brown chairs. Brown and rust drapes complete the color scheme. There are a few touches of red and green – in the plants and the arrangement on the dining table. The deep blue of the throw pillows isn’t normally thought of as an earth tone, but against the brown sofas and combined with pillows that include that shade of blue along with earth-tone stripes, it works.

Next, let’s look at materials. Stone predominates, with the strong stone facing on the fireplace and porcelain tile in the dining area. Notice also the  pottery accessories on the coffee table. The clay that produced these three pieces is the ultimate earth material.

Choosing a warm wall color and the warm-toned shade of the table lamp at the back of this photo also echoes the feeling of the Earth element.

Are you the most comfortable in an Earth-focused family room? What other elements make a room feel like it’s connected to the earth for you?

Ottoman Coffee Table Designed for Comfort

fulton family roomThis family room spells comfort. One reason is the choice of an ottoman coffee table. It practically begs you to put your feet up and relax. When you’re planning your family room, style has value, but be sure to build in comfort too. Let’s take a look at some of the ways this room makes everyone who enters it feel at home.

Softness: Yes, a sofa is standard equipment for a family room, but this one has oversized cushions and plenty of throw pillows. It’s big enough for everyone to spread out and relax. When you choose a sofa, make sure it invites people to sit and get comfortable.

Ottoman Coffee Table: This choice is so much more inviting than a hard surface. The tray works well when people need to set down food or drinks, but there is still room for resting your feet. This oversized ottoman suits the sectional, but the graceful legs and space under the cushion keeps it from feeling too heavy.

Curves: This room offers a wealth of curves to keep everything soft and flowing. From the circular tray centered on the ottoman to the wavy lines of the table lamps and oval dinette chairs, this room shows a soft line. There are even curves above several doorways.

Gentle Colors: Grey and cream with just a touch of rosy pink keeps the room on a soothing plane. Most of the light is tempered by shades and the dark floor provides just enough contrast to keep the space interesting.

When you design your family room, don’t let comfort stop with an ottoman coffee table. Instead, build coziness into every space along with style and you will have a home that everyone will enjoy.

Bring Color Outside

exterior color 1For years, the best way to introduce color to your patio or courtyard was through flowers or painted furniture. But today’s indoor-outdoor fabrics allow you to introduce cushion color to your outdoor living areas. Here are some suggestions for making your exterior areas as colorful as your home is inside.

Plan a color scheme: Just as every room in your home has a predominant color or set of colors, you want to do the same for outdoor areas. Consider issues such as the type of patio, plants and trees, and whether you have a pool or other water feature.

The photo above uses light terracotta for the hardscaping combined with dark brown beams on the cabana. The choice of dark furniture combined with rich rust cushions allows the seating area to stand out while still complementing the entire outdoor space. The splash of color makes that seating a focal point in the yard, drawing guests to the comfort of a space designed for conversation.

exterior color 2Bring in patterns: The photo to the right uses a neutral color scheme to fit well with the warm wall and fountain surround. Here the contrast comes from patterned throw pillows. They add interest to the seating area along with a touch of modern style. Indoor-outdoor fabrics are now available in a variety of patterns in every style and color combination.

exterior color 3Combine color and pattern to add interest: The furniture waiting to be distributed on this patio combines a tone-on-tone stripe with a pop of bright red. Don’t hesitate to use vivid colors in controlled ways to make your outdoor space interesting and inviting. See this patio furniture in person when you visit Fulton Home’s Legacy community.


Stylish Ceiling Fans

ceiling fan 2It used to be that you had to choose between the functionality of a ceiling fan or sacrifice the coolness in the summer for a more stylish option. Well, designers have started to creating stylish ceiling fans, and we get to benefit.

If your look is modern or traditional some of today’s ceiling fans really capture a sense of style. Let’s take a look at some of the new fans from the models at Fulton Homes’ Legacy Community.

The fan above has only three blades, but the shape of each combined with the curve creates an exciting contemporary look and an effective breeze. With the circle of light in the center, this fixture is a far cry from the classic look of five blades and three or four hanging lights.

The metal used appears to be steel or even pewter – a unique tone that complements the modern lines of this fan. Even people who find ceiling fans to be old-fashioned and limited in style are likely to be drawn to this one.

Legacy Models 071 (1)The photo to the left shows a stylish ceiling fan with extra blades creating a more daring look. Once again the light itself is minimized and built into the design. This helps keep the lines clean while the number and shape of the blades make it an interesting addition to the ceiling. The larger size of this fan also makes it ideal for supporting this larger room, in terms of proportion and its capability of producing a breeze. And the simple lines would also work well in a traditional home.

ceiling fan 3The last fan, on the right, shows a flair for drama. Perfect for this teen room, it fits well with the industrial modern floor lamps situated near the sofa.

Have these three stylish ceiling fans changed your mind about what fans are capable of? To see these fans and more in person, we invite you to visit Legacy and wander through our three models – looking up!

Host a Movie Party

media room 2Just because the holidays are over, that doesn’t mean that you can’t host a fun party. Consider one built around a movie theme, with the film showing as part of the event. Here are a few suggestions to make the evening special.

Choose an iconic film to set the tone. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a great film for a girl’s night in. “Field of Dreams” might be fun to bring in the baseball season. Or for your sci-fi fans, consider a “Star Wars” marathon. Or you could feature an evening of award-winning short films. Think about the tastes and interests of your friends when choosing the film or films you will be showing.

270Match the theme with your snacks and décor. Popcorn is a must, but how about a selection of junior-size candy bars to reflect the movie snack scene? Or you could choose appetizers to match your film, such as serving 1950’s appetizers for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” with a tablecloth in Tiffany blue. Of course, movie nights would be extra fun in a room such as this media room from the Fulton model at Legacy.

Plan before-and-after moments. Hand out index cards so that people can jot down their favorite quotes or scenes to talk about after the film. Pre-screen any additional interviews or information provided on the film from the DVD or online, and share the ones that are the most interesting.

media room 3Remember to provide plenty of seating. You may want to bring comfortable chairs into your viewing area, and maybe some floor pillows for those people who like to lounge during a movie.

With just a little planning, you can create an unusual and fun evening for friends and add a spark to the after-holiday season. And who knows? You may want to make movie night a regular event!


A Relaxing Master Bath

DSC_0153 (2)At the end of a long hard day, can you imagine sinking into a nice warm bath, maybe soothed by a generous helping of bubble bath in your favorite scent? The wide edging around the tub provides enough space to light a few candles and prop up a favorite paperback to read while soaking. This relaxing master bath is ready for you.

Or if you prefer showers, how about washing off the stress of the day in this oversized shower, complete with a bench to relax on?

No matter how you use your master bath, just walking into a room like this one can help reduce your stress. The vanity has plenty of storage space, making it easier to keep the counters tidy. The two tones of rectangular tile set the scene for a spa feeling.

Do you dream of a relaxing master bath like this one from Legacy? One with plenty of room, and designed to match your specific taste?

DSC_0098If instead you want one that has a more traditional style while kicking up the glamour, how about the master bath to the right? The gold pendant lights set the stage for luxury. Notice how the filigree creates an inviting pattern on the walls while the lower counter on the vanity provides a space to sit to fix your makeup.

This master bath also has a comfy tub in place, made for soaking. And if you peek in the mirror, you can see the reflection of a generous walk-in closet.

What would your ideal relaxing master bath look like? To get some great ideas, why not visit the models at our Legacy community? We think you will be enchanted by what you find there.


Kitchen Island Lighting Choices

Legacy Models 030You can take several approaches to lighting your kitchen island. The simplest and least noticeable is a collection of ceiling lights, distributed to provide even light for working. But with that choice you lose an opportunity to create a special style moment when people walk toward your kitchen.

Design Center pendant lightsPendant lights are one option that has grown in appeal over the years, with the opportunity to add a touch of style and color to your kitchen’s lighting. The photo to the right shows a number of pendants for your kitchen available through the Fulton Design Center.

The light in the photo above at Legacy takes a different approach from the more standard pendants to offer a shaded piece that provides even lighting on the surface of the island. This intriguing transitional piece suits this kitchen with the shade complementing the tile on the wall and island.

Models 086More unusual, these large long hanging glass pendants in the photo to the right, shown at Legacy, are lit inside by Edison bulbs which provide a unique yet classic touch. This island is large enough to support three of these pendant lights.

The clear glass allows you to connect immediately with the entire kitchen, yet the dramatic style brings these pendants to the forefront of your vision. This is quite a daring choice for island lighting.

What kind of lighting do you want over your kitchen island? We invite you to visit the model homes at Legacy and the Fulton Design Center to see a rich variety of choices in person.