Interior Decor Styles We Love: Contemporary

Image via Pixabay

We began our mission to help our clients visualize their interior decor options last month with a feature on French country decor. This month, we’re switching gears to present you contemporary decor in all its simplicity and sophistication. Read on to learn about the elements of contemporary decor.

Strong Lines

The most distinctive aspect of contemporary decor is the use of strong lines. Whereas French country focuses on flowing lines, and modern design prioritizes boxy shapes, contemporary design incorporates both straight and curved edges. What’s important is that these lines stand out.

In this contemporary bathroom, strong lines are evident in the freestanding bathtub, metal showerhead, diamond mirror, countertop, and tiled back wall. Unsurprisingly, geometric shapes figure prominently in contemporary decor, which you can see in the hexagon tiles on the floor.

Texture

Contemporary decor relies heavily on texture to soften up its trademark strong lines. This room combines various textures with curtains, carpet, an area rug, an upholstered velvet chaise lounge, a knitted throw blanket, and a throw pillow.  

Fabric window treatments and linen wallpaper are also great options to add texture to a space. Just remember to avoid intricate patterns when choosing fabrics, as they’ll upset the clean look of contemporary decor.

Neutrals

If you haven’t noticed already, neutrals are the cornerstone of contemporary homes. While white and cream are generally used for wall color, brown, tan, gray, and even black can be seen throughout most contemporary spaces.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t use any bright or bold colors — just use them sparingly, for accent items such as armchairs, pillows, lighting fixtures, or artwork.

Keep in mind: We can reupholster your furniture to give it the right color for your new contemporary space. Request an estimate to get started.

Wood Tones

Wood surfaces are typical of contemporary decor, and particularly those with very light and very dark colors, such as the wall panels and side table seen above. Remember that strong lines are important, so you’ll want to stick with simpler wood pieces rather than ornate woodwork.

Do you have the perfect wood piece, but in the wrong color? We can refinish it for you in the custom color of your choice! Contact us to learn more about our refinishing services.

Metal Accents

Metals accent spaces with contemporary style, adding to the sleek and clean look. Metal lighting fixtures taken from midcentury modern design are particularly popular.

Furniture with metal legs and metal lamps, shelves, and frames are additional opportunities to add this staple accent.

Lighting

Lighting is key to illuminating any space, but with contemporary decor, it takes on even more importance. Contemporary spaces layer natural light with ambient (general), accent, and task lighting. Windowed walls like the ones seen above are common, as are pendant lights.

Notice the other contemporary decor elements in this living room: furniture with strong lines, a textured area rug, upholstered furniture, neutral colors, wood coffee tables, and metal light fixtures. Everything combines to create a clean and contemporary space.

Is contemporary decor calling you? Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing can help you create this look in your home with a number of different services: Reupholster or refinish your existing furniture to give it a contemporary look, work with us to custom-design the perfect pieces, or shop our premade furniture ready for purchase at our showrooms. Whatever route you take, one of our in-house custom interior decorators will be happy to make recommendations and even visit your home to help you cultivate a contemporary look.

Designer Spotlight: Christina Collins-Pezzner From Spatial Matters

At Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing, we partner with a number of talented local interior designers and decorators to help each other create beautiful spaces for our clients. One of these designers is Christina Collins-Pezzner from the Seattle-based design company Spatial Matters Inc.

Spatial Matters Inc.

A lifelong creator with experience in graphic design, apparel, and set and home design, Christina Collins-Pezzer founded Spatial Matters Inc. in 2016 to bring great design to every home and business. She now works as Spatial Matters’ CEO and senior designer, and is passionate about creating spaces that improve her clients’ quality of life.

As Christina explains on her website, “We spend so much time inside and it’s proven that the feel and functionality of your space sets the pace for your mood and drive throughout the day. We want to help provide environments that help you feel like your best sense of self.”

To this end, Spatial Matters offers a number of different services. Christina partners with a network of contractors to provide not only redecorating, but also renovation and remodeling for both commercial and residential spaces. She also specializes in interior design for vacation rentals, improving guest experiences and increasing ratings and return bookings.

Clients who are looking for something specific can work with Spatial Matters to custom-design furniture pieces tailored to their needs and personal style.

Lastly, Spatial Matters offers several express consultation services for clients who have limited time (or budgets). For example, clients can book an express consultation to get advice on how to best design a room’s layout, or on choosing the right colors for their space.

Follow Spatial Matters on Instagram for more examples of their past work and inspiration for your own home projects!

Learn More About Our Designer Referral Program

Our partnership with Spatial Matters and other local designers is a result of our designer referral program. This program maximizes designers’ potential by equipping them with first-rate decor items and services to offer their clients. At the same time, clients benefit from our combined expertise and skills, enjoying convenient processes and receiving superiorly designed spaces and products.

Designers: To learn more about our designer referral program, visit our website or stop by one of our showrooms.

Homeowners: If you’re looking for a designer to help you redecorate or remodel your home, contact us to learn how to get started with one of our in-house interior decorators or trusted design partners.

Designer Spotlight: Shelagh Conway From Triple Heart Design

At Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing , we partner with a number of talented local interior designers and decorators to help each other create beautiful spaces for our clients. One of these designers is Shelagh Conway from the Seattle- and Austin-based design company Triple Heart Design.

Triple Heart Design

Triple Heart Design offers comprehensive interior design and remodelling services to the greater Seattle and Austin areas, with the goal of helping clients love their homes and stay within their budgets.

These services include what they call “The Quiet Space,” which involves listening to a client’s specific needs, evaluating their home to find the right room, and creating the perfect sanctuary for them to unwind and rejuvenate in.

The design firm also provides project management to coordinate with contractors, landscape artists, and architects during the remodeling process, ensuring that all parties stay on the same page, within budget, and on schedule. Whether remodelling or just redecorating, Triple Heart Design’s goal is to make creating the home people have always dreamed of easy and enjoyable. To make this happen, Shelagh works side by side with clients throughout the entire process, guiding them through their different options.

Shelagh tries to bring passion to every space she creates, both her own and the homeowner’s. “It isn’t about what I think is the latest and greatest design at the time,” she says. “[I]t is about the space, and the visions of the client.”

She loves creating spaces that are both comfortable and unique, and it shows.

Shelagh’s dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed: Triple Heart Design has received various prestigious awards recently, including the Contractor of the Year (CotY) award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (2019), a Best of Houzz Design award (2019), and two Best of Houzz Customer Service awards (2018 and 2019).

Follow Triple Heart Design on Instagram for pictures of Shelagh’s past work and inspiration for your own space!

Learn More About Our Designer Referral Program

Our partnership with Triple Heart Design and other local designers is a result of our designer referral program. This program maximizes designers’ potential by equipping them with first-rate decor items and services to offer their clients. At the same time, clients benefit from our combined expertise and skills, enjoying convenient processes and receiving superiorly designed spaces and products.

Designers: To learn more about our designer referral program, visit our website or stop by one of our showrooms.

Homeowners: If you’re looking for a designer to help you redecorate or remodel your home, contact us to learn how to get started with one of our in-house interior decorators or trusted design partners.

Interior Decor Styles We Love: French Country

At Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing, we’re experts in interior decoration, and we’re prepared to highlight a new interior decor style every month to help our clients understand their options and visualize the space of their dreams. Our first style: rustic yet elegant French country.

Linen, Ruffles, and Warm Tones

The rustic side of French country style favors natural materials, such as the wood plank flooring (seen underneath the side table) and the natural linen used for the bedspread, pillow shams, bed skirt, and canopy.

But don’t assume that this style’s love of the natural means that it likes to keep things simple: Embellishment is typical of French country decor, which is why all the pillows on the bed feature ruffles. Tying everything together are neutral, warm tones, a staple of this decor.

Accessories Galore

A lot is going on in this living room, and that’s typical of French country. The curtains, flowers, mirror, clock, topiary, angel statue, ornate books, and chandelier prove that less is definitely not more with this type of decor.

Patterns are also important, and especially gingham, which you’ll see in the gray and white curtains. Schnauzers may be German, but we think this one makes a nice addition to the room’s French country theme.

Antiques and Botanicals

Vintage items and antiques are at home in French country spaces, and particularly so in this romantic French country bathroom. The clawfoot tub, gold gilded mirror, antique dresser, and vessel sink turned old-fashioned wash basin immediately immerse you in the French provinces.

French country decor often includes botanical themes as well, incorporated here with the floral mural on the dresser and the various plants.

Lines That Flow

Clean lines have nothing to do with French country — with this style, it’s all curved edges to create a softer, flowing feel. The rounded chandelier, wreath, mirrors, lamp bases, bed headboard, sofa, and coffee table in this room are perfect examples.

Mix of Styles

The great thing about French country is that it’s not rigid: It allows you to mix rustic elements like this exposed brick wall with elegant antiques, like these matching side tables. A simple metal bed frame sits right underneath an ornate beaded chandelier, and yet the combination works effortlessly. This gives you more freedom when decorating your home, so you can have more fun when choosing pieces.

Is French country the decor for you? Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing can help you create this look in your home with a number of different services: Reupholster or refinish your existing furniture to give it a French country look, work with us to custom-design the perfect pieces, or shop our premade furniture ready for purchase at our showrooms. Whatever route you take, one of our in-house custom interior decorators will be happy to make recommendations and even visit your home to help bring your dreams of the French countryside to life.

Featured image via Unsplash

We’re Expanding — Come Visit Us in University Village!

We’re excited to announce that Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing is expanding! Our newest location opens in University Village on April 8, making it more convenient than ever for our North Seattle customers to access our products and services.

Our New Location

Our new location will provide the same high-quality services that you’re used to, including upholstery; restoration, refinishing, and repair; and custom furniture and products. We’ll even have a number of new products and features, including:

  • Linen drapery line (never seen before in Seattle)
  • Low seating (can be custom-designed with any fabric for any space)
  • Glazed wall feature in our bathroom
  • Live edge shelving in our new kitchen

Our Custom Interior Decoration Services

Our expansion also coincides with the start of our new custom interior decoration services.

We’ll have two in-house interior decorators on-site at our University Village location, prepared to help you discuss your project and make recommendations. All of our projects include a free one-hour interior decor consultation, during which time our decorators can even visit your home to ensure that your new or refurbished furniture will look great in your space.

Our Grand Opening Party

Everyone is invited to help us celebrate our new location at our grand opening party on May 1!

Stop by anytime between 3 and 7 p.m. to enjoy refreshments, door prizes, and a raffle.

This is a great opportunity to meet the Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing owners and representatives, and chat with our in-house interior decorators as well as local designers.

Get ideas for your upcoming projects by checking out our fabrics, custom designs, and products, including furniture, rugs, lamps, and candles. (If that sounds like the perfect farmhouse ambience to you, that’s because it is!)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Showroom address: 2724 NE 45th St. Seattle, WA 98105

The Four Elements of a Perfect Room

You’ve seen them in magazines, movies, and maybe even in real life: rooms that ring with perfection.

But what really makes a room perfect?

To help you with your own interior decor, we’re revealing what we consider to be the four elements of a perfect room.

Purpose

The items in your room should all have a purpose.

When selecting items, think about what value they will add to your room. If an item has no real functional value but adds beauty, that’s okay — just make sure that every item has a reason for being in the room, and even for being situated as it is.

This can help you avoid thoughtlessly adding items to a room and creating clutter, the enemy of a well-planned space. Even a room full of the most beautiful items will fall short if too many of those items are present.

You may also want to take stock of your room, examine each item, and — even if you think it has a purpose — ask yourself if it is serving its purpose well. A coffee table may well have a function, but if it is too small for your family’s needs, then it isn’t serving its real purpose.

Style Harmony

Impressive rooms are always decorated well and cohesively, meaning that the styles of the various elements — furniture, paint color, and so on — harmonize with one another. Ensuring that your room is not filled with random, purposeless items will make it easier to create this style harmony.

While this may sound simple, the challenge is to find a balance between style mayhem and style monotony.

On one side of the spectrum, people make decisions arbitrarily and end up with a space that is eclectic in the extreme; and on the other, people choose one common theme and exhaust it. Imagine a room where everything is the same color — a bit overwhelming.

Our tip: Start with a large statement piece (such as a sofa) and then find other decor elements that will complement it. Once you know what the large pieces will look like, choosing fabrics for drapes and throw pillows is easy.

Working with an interior decorator is also a great way to achieve style harmony without having to overthink every decision. You can be as involved as you want in the decorating process, but most importantly, you will have peace of mind knowing that the money you’re investing will produce good results.

All Queen Anne Upholstery projects come with a free consultation with our in-house interior decorator. This is an excellent opportunity to ensure that the furniture you’re having updated will look at home in your space. We can even order in special fabrics and custom-design paint colors to match your existing decor.

Comfort and Livability

However stylish your room is, if it isn’t a space you actually want to spend time in, it’s missing the mark.

This is the problem many people run into: They create a space that looks amazing, but isn’t comfortable or livable. It belongs in a magazine — not in someone’s home.

Unsurprisingly, creating a comfortable space starts with making sure your furniture is comfortable. Whether you need to browse the new furniture in our showrooms, have furniture custom-designed to your specific needs, or upgrade your existing furniture, we can help.

Our upholstery services include replacing the foam cushions in the seats, arms, and backs of chairs and sofas that have lost their comfort over the years. We can also create cushions and pillows to match your interior decor, which, along with throws and rugs, go a long way toward creating a comfortable environment.

Livability encompasses more than comfort, though.

Think about who will be using this room and how they’ll be using it. If you have animals or children, that may mean choosing fabrics that are kid- or pet-friendly.

You’ll also want to make sure the room is set up in a way that facilitates the activities that will take place there. If you find yourself constantly rearranging furniture from one day to the next, the room’s layout may need rethinking.

Personality

When a guest walks into your home, they should feel that it is your space. Accomplishing this may mean hanging up pictures of family and friends, or including souvenirs from past trips, but it should also mean choosing pieces that reflect your personal aesthetic.

For some, identifying and expressing their personal aesthetic comes easily. Others may know that they like something when they see it, but have a hard time describing their general taste in interior decor.

This is another time when working with our interior decorator may be worthwhile.

The best decorators combine excellent design skills with excellent listening skills. Our in-house decorator prides herself on asking the right questions, listening to what our clients have to say, and surmising what they don’t or can’t put into words. The result is an intentionally designed space that reflects the client’s needs and personality.

Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing’s mission is to create curated, classic, and comfortable spaces that our clients will love. To get started on your custom interior project, request an estimate or contact us.

Featured image via Unsplash

Hygge — What It Is and How to Embrace It in Your Home

Pronounced “hoo-guh,” hygge comes from the 16th-century Norwegian term hugga, which meant “to comfort” or “to console” — what we might call “to hug” in English.

Although the Danish now use the word for a different purpose, this sentiment is still there. Nowadays, hygge conveys a sense of coziness, indulgence, and enjoyment of the small pleasures in life.

Think of snuggling up on your sofa with a soft blanket, a mug of cocoa, and a book; or of your whole family sitting around a dining room table spread with delicious and warm comfort foods. Such moments embody hygge, and are the best way of translating the complex term to English.

In Denmark, hygge is a way of life; and Meik Wiking, author of “The Little Book of Hygge,” compares Danes’ obsession with it to Americans’ obsession with freedom.

Although Americans are becoming increasingly interested in hygge themselves, the U.S. may still have a lot to learn from Denmark, which the World Happiness Report has deemed the happiest country in the world for the past seven years.

How to Embrace Hygge in Your Home

In this video from VICE news, Wiking further describes hygge as “the art of creating a nice atmosphere.” Creating a comfortable and inviting environment to relax in is a huge part of hygge, and should be the first step for anyone who’s looking to incorporate it into their lives.

As big proponents of hygge ourselves, we’re going to cover the best ways to turn your home into a hygge sanctuary.

Add Comfort

Our first piece of advice: Make your space comfortable.

We’ve encountered many spaces that are the picture of perfection, but fall short when it comes to comfort. These rooms look amazing, but don’t make you want to pull up a chair.

To prevent this from happening in your own home, make sure your furniture is actually pleasant to sit in.

This may mean investing in new furniture that both looks and feels great, but could also entail getting your existing furniture reupholstered. We can add new foam cushioning to the seat, arms, and back of any type of seating, making it just as comfortable as it was when you bought it — if not more so.

Reupholstering is especially apt, since the Danes hate wasting anything, preferring instead to recycle and reuse whenever possible. As Culture Trip puts it, hygge is “more about the sentimentality of an old armchair that used to belong to a family member, for example, than buying lots of brand-new furniture.”

Other options to make your space more snug include incorporating throw pillows, blankets, and rugs. These items will add an element of coziness to any room, which is essential to hygge design.

Perfect Your Lighting

The right lighting goes a long way toward creating coziness as well.

Hygge-inspired homes tend to use multiple lamps rather than one bright fixture to create gentle light that doesn’t overwhelm. Be sure to use warm white lights rather than cool white lights for softer illumination.

Candles and fireplaces are also typical in Danish homes. Disperse candles throughout your space to set the right mood, and if you have a fireplace, consider making it the focal point of the room. Nothing says hygge more than cozying up to a blazing hearth.

Make It Livable

According to The New Yorker writer Anna Altman, “the true expression of hygge is joining with loved ones in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.”

This means that in order to promote hygge, a room must be set up in a way that promotes interaction. In other words, it must be livable.

Think about the purpose of your room, and then ask yourself whether it fulfills that purpose. For example, if you regularly host board game nights in your living room, can everyone comfortably fit around the coffee table to play? If your family watches movies together here, is the sofa big enough for everyone?

Ensuring that your space will serve your needs well will better enable you to enjoy these pleasant moments shared with loved ones.

Incorporate Little Bits of Luxury

Hygge as a whole isn’t about extravagance, but as we mentioned before, it is about indulging and relishing the small pleasures. That’s why we recommend adding little elements of luxury to your home decor.

These elements can be as simple as a vase of your favorite fresh flowers, or beautiful drapes hanging from your windows. Imagine the soft touch of velvet upholstery beneath you as you sip your coffee in your favorite chair, or the feeling of a plush rug beneath your bare feet.

This kind of luxury is the kind that engages your senses and puts a smile on your face, if only for a moment.

Let Us Help

Whether you need us to reupholster a chair that has lost its comfort, custom-design drapes or throw pillows for your space, or something else altogether, we’re here to help you bring hygge — and more happiness — to your home.

All of our projects include a free one-hour consultation with our in-house interior decorator. Our decorator would be happy to help you assess your space and make recommendations to create a more comfortable and inviting environment.

Request an estimate or contact us to get started on your home’s hygge transformation today!

Featured image via Unsplash

Furniture: Part of the Family

Close-up of an engraved piece of wood furniture

What is the significance of a piece of furniture?

We use it every day, but we don’t often stop to contemplate its purpose unless it’s no longer serving it. A chair with a broken leg, for instance, will make itself noticed (probably with a fall to the floor) much faster than one with all legs intact.

But it’s high time that we give furniture its due, if only to better appreciate the subtle magic it holds in our homes.

Furniture’s Beginning

Humans started making and using furniture in the Neolithic period, when we transitioned from a nomadic society of hunters and gatherers to an agricultural one. No longer moving from one place to the next, people could make use of dressers, tables, shelves, and beds.

However, a more rudimentary form of furniture has likely been around since the beginning of human civilization, with early humans using natural objects as makeshift pieces. A large tree trunk or rock could have functioned as a table in the same way that boxes do now when people are moving and haven’t unpacked yet.

Furniture Today

If we’ve come to rely more and more on furniture in the last 10,000 years, it’s not for the convenience it provides alone. Now more than ever, furniture is what brings families together: You call your kids to the kitchen table for dinner, gather on the sofa in the living room, and tuck them into their beds at night.

Furniture provides the foundation — quite literally — for your time together, helping create memories that the furniture itself will remind you of for years to come.

In fact, you might even say that furniture is imbued with the energy of the family. The history your family makes surrounding each piece of furniture creates and grows its value, and it in turn helps shape your everyday lives.

Just as your relationships grow stronger over the years, your furniture’s significance to your family increases with time, to the point that it becomes, in its own way, a part of the family itself.

And you don’t dispose of family, the way people dispose of mass-produced made-to-be-thrown-away pieces of furniture. Instead, you invest in quality that will last, and you fix, refinish, and reupholster when necessary rather than buying new.

Give your furniture the same attention you would a family member in desperate need of a makeover, instilling them with newfound confidence, so they can look their best for all the memories yet to come.

To learn how we can give your furniture the makeover it deserves, contact Queen Anne Upholstery today.

Document Your Furniture’s Transformation With a Coffee Table Book

If you’ve ever gotten anything upholstered or refinished, you’re familiar with the process: You drop off your damaged, aged, or outdated furniture and return to find it repaired, renewed, or modernized. What you don’t see is the process between the “before” and the “after,” the transformation that takes place behind the scenes.

Coffee table book with text promoting a special offer

This winter, Queen Anne Upholstery is changing that with our coffee table book special. For every qualifying* order, we will create a personalized photo book documenting the alterations that transform your piece. When you come to pick up your furniture, you’ll also get a professional compilation of photos to keep on your coffee table.

A Link to Family History

Quality furniture has a life of its own. Furniture that gets passed down through generations witnesses some of your family’s most special landmarks; and the sight of a certain piece may even transport you to a certain period of your life. While upholstering and refinishing allow you to prolong furniture’s stay with your family and prepare it for future generations, you may also want to remember what came before. A specially crafted coffee table book could be an invaluable link to your family’s history, and make a beloved gift to the family member who passed the furniture down to you. In addition to photos of the piece, the book can include a biography of it, photos of the different houses it has inhabited, and even photos of and information about its past and current owners — whatever you want to remember and honor with this one-of-a-kind treasure.

A Record of Changing Styles

Furniture trends come and go. Although you may appreciate the 1970s floral print on your sofa, you probably recognize that it’s time for something new. And just as your old yearbooks chronicle the hairdos and clothing of your youth, a coffee table book made just for you can testify to the decades — and styles — that your furniture has passed through. You may not be inclined to pull out your yearbooks for all to see, but you’ll be showing off this before and after documentation to guests all the time, if only to prove that your furniture really has been around the block.

For more information about our promotion or to get your project started, contact us today.

 

*Orders must meet a $2,000 minimum in order to qualify.

 

Image via Unsplash

Early 1900s Oak Desk Restoration

Our client’s grandfather’s desk needed a full restoration including re-gluing of drawer boxes and runners.

We replaced the leather top and completely striped and refinished like original; we also provided a custom glass top to protect the finish during use.