Monday, June 28, 2010

How To Decorate A Man's Cave!

A Man Cave is defined as "a dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends." Simple enough, but if you can't spare an entire area, then a corner of a room will work just as well. The idea is to give him a unique space that makes him feel like it's his house, too — a fact that can get lost with decorating and styling.

Here are 5 "how to decorate a Man Cave Tips";

1. Celebrate his glory days

Include memorabilia from his past. Whatever sports, hobbies, or adventures he has had in his life should be showcased and positioned in a prime location within the space. For my husband, I framed an old 1972 newspaper article that featured a photo of us on his beloved Harley Davidson. It was quite a surprise for him, as he hadn't seen it in 30 years.

2. Think handsome, masculine
Use masculine patterns such as geometrics, plaids, tartans, checks or stripes. Do not, even for a moment, think of using anything with a floral pattern. Heavy, sturdy and deep colored fabrics work best in a man cave. Leather, suede, tweed, corduroy and denim give the durability and texture that will please the masculine psyche.

3. Size to fit
Use furniture to match his size. If he is a big guy, don't furnish the room with a lot of small pieces that he may not feel comfortable using. Choose sofa, tables, chairs, bar stools, lamps, trays, pillows and, of course, the television in a size best suited to his scale. I made the mistake once of purchasing my husband a beautiful leather office chair for his desk. The chair's proportions were perfect for the desk but not so much for my husband.

4. Don't get artsy
Hang art that you know he will enjoy, even if it doesn't go with the theme of the space. Don't use art that doesn't have a relationship to his profession, his sports or his passion.

I have a friend who gave her husband a very expensive oil painting for his man cave. Although he liked the painting, he did not want it hanging in his man cave. He wanted the broken neon beer sign that his brother gave him. So I suggested we have the old classic neon beer sign, repaired and cleaned. When she hung that in place of the expensive painting, he was happy and now she has a very expensive painting for her foyer.

5. Feet Up!
Make sure the coffee table in the man cave can stand up to use as a foot rest, snack table and stress reliever. Choose a well-made solid wood or metal coffee table that can take some abuse. A glass, fabric, or plastic coffee table just won't do it. He's got to be able to arm-wrestle on it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What Is A Scaldino? Little Heater In Italiano!

They’re all the rage! If you've visited a really nice hotel lately you've probably seen a “Scaldino”. In Italian, Scaldino translates to “little heater”. The Scaldino, as we know it today, is the mini comforter at the end of the bed that warms the feet and protects the spread from the suitcase or other objects you might place there.

But the word Scaldino originally meant an apparatus that housed an iron pot of hot coals. As seen here, it was a wooden or metal cage into which you carefully place the pot of red hot coals and put it between the sheets of the bed. My grandmother used them in Northern Italy. She would prepare the Scaldino and place it into the bed a half hour or so before getting into the bed to warm it.

I find it's a quick way to give any bedroom a new look. Using a neutral colored bedspread, coverlet or duvet on the bed, you can add a Scaldino (with matching pillows) in any decorative fabric for a complete new look. I have even used surplus fabric from the draperies in the room or a treasured tablecloth for Scaldinos. They are far less expensive than a folded comforter as they take less fabric and labor. Think of it as a colorful accessory that can be changed seasonally or just to freshen and change the look of the bed.

I like them because of there versatility, price and because I love all things “Italiano”!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Master Your Bedroom

Do you need a place in your home where you can retreat to? That’s what I thought; your answer was probably a resounding “yes”! My client Sarah did too. She and her husband have a beautiful home. Lot’s of warm colors with practical yet elegant furniture, and all the areas in the home are finished; even the nursery for their beautiful Gavin is totally appointed and affectionately decorated. But they left the master bedroom for last, and not a moment too soon did Sarah ask me to design a master bedroom that was modern, simple, and peaceful.

After spending a little time discussing what she wanted, her likes and dislikes, I prepared a “Design Board” for Sarah with color, fabrics and furniture. With this she would get a clear picture of what I thought she might like and what would work in the space. Then, keeping within her strict budget guidelines, we detailed or specified each of the design elements, paint, bedding, window treatments and furniture.

Beautiful cool blue walls, we used Benjamin Moore’s # 2136-60 Harbor Haze in a flat finish to give the room a soft feeling. On the ceilings we used #1038 Everlasting to bring the high ceilings down a bit for a more intimate setting.

Bedding was modern and understated. A fitted bedspread in a handsome brown with blue starburst embroidery made the bed less feminine. Adding a blue silk throw at the foot of the bed, shams in the same fabric ties the colors together. Using a sateen stripe on the larger shams, which go with the drapery panels, also coordinate the ensemble nicely. The last little touch was the modern round pillow with a blue button sets the contemporary style of the room perfectly.

Window treatments for a bay window are always a bit tricky. We decided on flat, sheer, brown and blue silk Roman Shades. The shades are detailed with a solid brown banding, the same solid brown fabric that is on the round pillow. The side panels are sateen brown and blue stripe and hang from simple rods with Cufflink Rosettes from the Robert Allen Hardware Collection.

Soft walls, deep rich colored bedding, and modern simple draperies and shades at the windows made for a retreat that they will enjoy for years to come!