Silver Gives a Touch of Winter

5602580_SIf you have children – particularly little girls – you’ve probably seen Frozen. The story, the music and the characters are delightful, and the scenery really puts winter front and center.

For those of us who live in Arizona, winter is not the icy adventure presented in the Disney movie, but you can bring a hint of winter’s splendor into your home using silver.

More and more, metallic paints liven up old pieces of furniture such as the bombe chest shown in this photo. Add an old-style upholstered chair and ottoman with silver leaf on the wood and rich modern black and silver upholstery, and you’re headed for your own winter design.

Black is the perfect pairing with the shine of silver, setting it off while providing the perfect addition of drama. Notice the dark burgundy silk throw pillow – a touch of dark red or turquoise will spark the black and silver with a bit of color. The silver-framed mirror, chandelier visible through the glass, and the selection of silver accessories finish up the room into something you would expect to see in Elsa the queen of Arendelle’s bedroom.

19419998_SYou can create your own silver furniture simply. Look in thrift and antique shops for a table, chair or framed mirror with some character such as the occasional table in the photo to the right. Choose something inexpensive, possibly with a damaged finish, so you aren’t covering a beautiful patina with paint.

Wash the piece and sand lightly. Before painting, wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove any dust. Look for a good quality silver spray paint. Take it outside to protect yourself against the fumes and set it on a drop cloth or newspapers to protect your landscaping. Spray the piece, using several light coats to finish it completely.

So maybe you really don’t want to recreate a Disney film set in your home. You can still bring a bit of winter silver to a corner of any room that could benefit from the additional splendor.

Ceiling Fans

Fulton Ceiling FansQuite possibly the smartest decision you may make when determining options for your Fulton Home is having ceiling fans installed throughout. In the summer they make a home feel comfortable at higher temperatures, allowing you to save energy every month. Even in the winter they can bring warm air down to a lower level and give you a chance to pull in more fresh air on those days when you want your windows open.

Years ago, ceiling fans were more utilitarian than attractive, but that has changed. Today’s ceiling fans come in a nice selection of styles that meld with virtually any décor. They can also be positioned right against the ceiling or hung down to a more functional height with an rod that coordinates with the fan’s look.

If you haven’t experienced a ceiling fan overhead when working in your home office or sleeping, you will be surprised at how unobtrusive the air movement is. At the lowest level a ceiling fan provides a gentle breeze that doesn’t disturb papers or flutter drapes. At full power, it can cool you faster than anything other than a dip in a pool when you get home on a hot summer day.

Ceiling fans also provide a helpful solution for families with different temperature preferences. If a warm body marries someone who is always cold, the thermostat can become a battleground. On the other hand, several judiciously-placed ceiling fans allow a warmer climate for the easily chilled while properly cooling the toaster-folks in the family.

Be sure to check out the selection of ceiling fans when you visit the lighting section of the Fulton Design Center.

Design Inspiration: Set a Snowy Mood

22974805_SThe number of times we’ve seen snow in the Phoenix area in the last decade can pretty much be counted on one hand, but we can visit snow country all winter by driving just a few hours.

With the holidays coming, some people from other parts of the country may miss the winter weather, while others are grateful for no shoveling off driveways and scraping snow and ice off cars.

If you would like to capture some of the feeling of a crisp snowy day, your decorating decisions can help make that vision a reality. Let’s imagine a January morning in the country just after the first fall of “real” snow – the kind that sticks to the ground and piles up rather than just melting away.

Here’s the first surprise. There’s a lot more than white happening. In the photo above, tree trunks look black against the snow, and shades of grey appear with the contrasts of sunshine and shadow.

Look again and you will see textures and patterns visible at no other time of the year. You can make your home reflect this mood with a few choices.

22549326_STake a look at the room shown to the right. White shares space with several shades of grey and some black. But it’s about more than color – notice the texture of the wall – matching well with the dappled look of snow in the shadows of the landscape above.

The rug mirrors the mix of white and grey visible in the scene in the combination of branches, ice and snow. If you look at that rug with winter in mind, it almost seems as though it might melt under your feet. The sheer curtains mimic the white sunlight coming through the snow in the distance.

The blue and white coverlets on the sofa bring in a color often visible on a snowy day, and the space finishes up with pops of red – always a powerful contrast color and perfect with a winter landscape.

Would you like to bring a snowy mood into your home just in time for the holidays? You can do it, with the right combination of color and texture. And maybe just a few sleigh bells?

Winterize your Décor

It’s starting to get cooler at night and with the holidays coming up this is a good time to create a more wintery look in your home. Here are a few suggestions.

Bring on the sweaters: Create a wintery feel by adding a couple of throw pillows made of old sweaters. If you don’t have any of your own, shop in a thrift store for one you like. Just decide on the pillow size and sew an edge around the front of a sweater about a half-inch wider, then cut. Cut the same size from the back of the sweater to make up the back of the pillow.

Add a few holiday colors with accessories: This room to the right is filled with light neutrals, but by adding a few touches of red, it has an immediate winter holiday feel.

Once again, pillows add warmth. Look for colors that add warmth while working with your home. Consider adding a throw on your sofa to coordinate. Bookshelves are a great place to add holiday items. Small toys and accessories can be placed right in front of books.

Take most or all of your normal accessories off your coffee table before adding Christmas items. That way you are ready for the holidays without having your home look cluttered. If you keep all of your holiday items in the same color theme, they will all connect and make your home’s