We love Count Kalnoky's castle because it paints a true picture of Transylvania Life. The castle itself has been turned into a museum with artifacts and tapestries from the Count’s ancestors, but you can stay on the Count’s estate at one his guesthouses. The guestrooms are furnished with antique Transylvanian furniture. Daily tours and events are held to help you immerse yourself into the Transylvanian history and culture.
Before, the room was reminiscent of a college dorm room. “The bed is over 13 years old and was bought from Rooms to Go when we first got married,” says Yuni Min, a DIY blogger in metro Atlanta. By painting the bed and walls, rearranging furniture and adding a few tasteful finds from garage sales and discount home decor stores, Min dramatically transformed the space into an elegant bedroom.
Add interest with textual ferns and plants that bring the gardens indoors during the winter months. A Boston fern (front) joins a Rhipalis (wood riser) and feathery plumosus fern (back left), on a console table styled by Karin Jeffcoat of Cote Designs, a floral and event studio in Aiken, S.C. A maidenhair fern is on the right. The painting is by Dixie Purvis; the furniture is from Nandina Home & Design.
“Now that I see how good the built-ins look, I can’t believe I ever wanted to get rid of them,” says Cristina. To be fair, they were a drab yellowish cream color. Paint freshened them up, especially doing the backs in black — which also helps camouflage the TV. The furniture is a refreshing mix, with a leather sofa by CR Laine, nonmatching armchairs (the green one is by Bernhardt and the caned one is by Selamat) and layered rugs.
Chances are you have some metal pieces in your home office and those pieces deserve a makeover. In addition to setting up a properly protected and ventilated space to work, you’ll want to do some prep on the surfaces you plan to paint, like remove the hardware or tape it off. Next, give the furniture a good scrub with an all-purpose cleaner and remove any rust with a fine grit sanding paper. Once the surface is clean and dust-free, prime it. Keep in mind some products are actually a primer + paint combination, so check this before you start. If you’re priming with a separate product, let it fully dry before you spray paint with color. Always use a light sweeping motion about 12 inches from the surface when painting. It’s better to do multiple light coats than one heavy coat that will cause drips. In other words, patience is key!
Designer James Farmer feels that when it comes to historic furniture, engagement goes a long way. "Remember what the pieces — a sideboard, a storage chest, a secretary — were intended to be. They were meant to be used! I like to use them today, whether for their intended purposes or to display collections. Whether it's painting the back of a secretary a nice color or filling a chest with toys, puzzles and books for the kids, the most important thing about living with antiques is continuing to use them. That takes the seriousness out of them."
Botanical prints like these are fairly easy to find at thrift and antiques stores, and they can incorporate an old-fashioned luxury into the bedroom. Framed above the bed, they add a sense of nature and calm. “Painting everything ivory and white and the curtains the same color sets off the dark silhouette of the furniture,” says Susan Sully, author of “Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques." The Jenny Lind Spool bed, an old traveling trunk and shiplapped walls create a cozy feel.
A fresh minty green called "Restful" (SW 6458) from the HGTV Home paint collection by Sherwin-Williams evokes an airy coastal feeling in this bright sunroom. The table coated in "Rapture Blue" (SW 6773) draws the eye further into the space. Botanical prints hang on the paneled walls, lending to this coastal cottage feel. An eclectic mix of wicker and traditional furniture in whites, neutrals, and blues sets the tone for the casual space. White curtains allow for plenty of natural light and a white throw rug over hardwood flooring anchors the room.
Mina and team turned the existing island into a standout, custom piece by adding furniture legs, a quartz countertop and painting it a rich, dark gray. She added an extra row of upper cabinets to not only give the kitchen a high-end look but also to provide more storage. Below, she installed the same durable EVP herringbone floors that she used in her master bathroom renovation — a choice that got a big thumbs up from judge, Mike Holmes. But Mina's favorite new kitchen feature? The brushed gold pot filler she added above the stove
It's so easy to find a lone piece of furniture that's itching for new life via a fresh coat of paint and a little TLC. If you don't have something you can spare around the house, scour local garage sales to find pieces on the cheap. Choose a fun color and voila, you've got a perfect focal point for any kids' rooms. And it's always more exciting to sit in a chair that's got a pop of color so the kids will surely love the revamped piece, too.
Getaways are all about comfort and here, the lounging begins before guests even get through the door. The white, wood furniture pops against the dark gravel of the driveway and the moody color of the lodge itself. As Pflug says, “The color story here started with the outside of the building. I knew I wanted to paint it a kind of dark, off-black color. It looks so amazing next to the greens of nature. Everything else just came from there.”
Much like blending furniture from different eras to make a coherent design, the designer’s ability to mix a variety of artistic styles in this gallery wall is equally remarkable. A close examination shows abstract portraits and text art alongside photography and illustrations. And down at the bottom an astute eye will catch a popular superhero making his way through a surreal fantasy world. More than paint and canvas, the pieces are ways to remember old friends and past adventures. “The objects have stories trapped within them,” Leyden muses, “and a history of friendships and experiences.”
The homeowners wanted a unique design for their Bolinas beach house, so designers aimed to create a clean, airy, modern space. They started with bright, white paint throughout the home and then brought in bold, black accents to contrast the neutral color palette. They continued the design with durable fabrics and furniture to withstand the salty, ocean air and the myriad guests and young children that often occupy the space. Finally, they added a few touches of Scandinavian design to finish off the home.
In the bedroom of a beach house on the Indian Ocean, designer Nelly Reffret took a creative approach to the project’s extremely tight budget. She says: “I searched for bargains and only selected items that I knew would work perfectly in the space. The headboard is a discontinued Ikea style, which I painted in a sandy color. I found the suitcases on the curb during trash collection (you know that saying about someone's trash being someone's treasure...).” When combining a variety of furniture styles, she advises allowing size and scale to guide your choices. “Before starting to decide on a look, it's important to check what will fit in the space: width and depth matter. Scale is another important factor. Too many large pieces and the room will look cluttered; too many small pieces, and there will be no sense of cohesion, no sense of ‘grounding’. Having one item of large scale next to smaller items can create an interesting focal point to the room, just like the headboard does in this bedroom.”
When the couple moved in to their first rental apartment, they were disappointed in some of their space's features, such as the color of the walls, the carpet and the light fixtures, so they focused their design on detracting attention from those things. They repainted the entire apartment, in most spaces using a pleasant, gray color, and placed rugs over the unpleasant carpet. Then, they invested in simple, modern furniture-such as this buffet-that would modernize the space, but could be taken with them when they leave. Finally, they added art and accessories from their travels to showcase their personality and add color and texture to their home.
"One of my favorite spaces is definitely the kitchen," Mina said. "And a great kitchen is what sells houses." Leaving the layout and appliances intact, Mina found creative ways to save money without skimping on style in her kitchen renovation. The result? A cozy, family-focused kitchen packed with value-adding personality.
Mina and team turned the existing island into a standout, custom piece by adding furniture legs, a quartz countertop and painting it a rich, dark gray. She added an extra row of upper cabinets to not only give the kitchen a high-end look but also to provide more storage. Below, she installed the same durable EVP herringbone floors that she used in her master bathroom renovation — a choice that got a big thumbs up from judge, Mike Holmes. But Mina's favorite new kitchen feature? The brushed gold pot filler she added above the stove.
From the brushed gold fixtures to the concrete farm sink to the panel-ready appliances, Mina's kitchen is full of stylish, distinctive features.