Mary O'Brien's Blog
Shabby chic is a style of interior design that celebrates a mix of elegance and comfort. While many other “cozy” interior design styles err on the casual side, shabby chic stands out with sophisticated and luxurious elements—with a vintage twist. If you’re looking for a new style to incorporate into your personal decor, we’ll go over some easy ways to bring the shabby chic style home.
Start Light & Neutral
Shabby chic begins with a clean neutral baseline. That’s why for things like wall color, flooring and large furniture pieces you will want to opt for shades of white, gray, cream and light beige. While you can go darker and bolder for wall color for a more modern spin on the style, you’ll miss the bright and comfortable contrast that comes from the light neutral backdrop paired with the detail and personality brought into the room by smaller pieces.
To keep larger furniture pieces from feeling bland, pay attention to texture. The right textiles can make all the difference in the mood of a room. Bright white curtains in lightweight or even sheer fabrics will let in natural light to make the space feel brighter and more open.
Go Vintage (or Faux Vintage)
If you enjoy shopping at thrift stores, shabby chic is the perfect style for you. To achieve a true shabby chic aesthetic in any room, opt for distressed materials and furnishings that show their age with charm. Patina, oxidized copper and weathered wood finishes are essential. If you can’t find real vintage pieces, you can always mimic the look with a clever paint and sanding job. There are also many vendors on the market who can help you cater to this style with brand new faux vintage items.
When in doubt, go for items that have embellishment and luxurious details. Consider things like lighting as well as seating and surfaces. A classic way to achieve shabby chic aesthetic in a room is with a vintage chandelier.
Add Detail & Character Without Clutter
Another key element of shabby chic design is a perfect balance between ornate detail and clutter. Mixing collectables, art, accessories and other decor will give the room character and fun detail. However, to avoid looking too busy, try choosing specific pieces as focal points and designing around them. You want the decor to feel casual but lovingly collected over time, not random or messy.
Some specific ideas for accessories and smaller decor include weathered wooden or metal picture frames, vintage lamps or candlesticks with plenty of pertinent an eclectic gallery wall of your favorite art. For patterns and motif, floral and delicate lace are always an excellent choice. Cozy fabrics like cotton and linen will keep the style grounded while touches of ornate lace or velvet will add luxury.
Shabby chic has evolved to incorporate more aspects of our modern style, but many things remain the same. These key elements will help guide you in creating your own version of this popular interior design style. With these tips and a bit of creativity, you can make any room in your home a comfortable and stylish environment.
Let's face it – all homebuyers want to enjoy a fast, successful property buying experience. Yet transforming this vision into a reality can be difficult for first-time and experienced property buyers alike. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the homebuying journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.
1. Understand the Challenges Associated with Pursuing a Home
Planning ahead for the homebuying journey generally is a good idea. That way, you can identify potential homebuying hurdles and resolve these issues before they escalate.
Oftentimes, it helps to craft a homebuying strategy. This plan enables you to map out each stage of the homebuying journey, and by doing so, prepare for any challenges that may come your way.
You also may want to create a list of homebuying criteria. This list will make it simple to narrow your house search, and as a result, ensure you can discover your ideal residence without delay.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
You know you want to purchase a house, but you still have no idea about how you will pay for a residence. Fortunately, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the real estate market with your finances in order.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and help you determine which mortgage option best suits your individual needs.
Furthermore, you should review all of your mortgage options closely. Because if you understand your mortgage options, you can make an informed mortgage selection that will serve you well for years to come.
3. Hire an Expert Real Estate Agent
If you want to simplify the homebuying journey, you should hire an expert real estate agent. In fact, with an expert real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to quickly and effortlessly make your homeownership dream come true.
A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who is happy to share his or her expertise with you. Therefore, if you have any concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed at any point during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can offer data-driven recommendations as well.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide when you decide to submit an offer to purchase a home too. At this time, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal. And if your offer is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase. Or, if your proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the real estate market.
Take the guesswork out of acquiring your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, successful property buying experience.
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There is no one-size-fits-all plan to find and purchase a home. In some instances, a buyer instantly discovers a great residence at a budget-friendly price. Or, in other cases, it may take a buyer many weeks or months to find the perfect house.
Although the homebuying journey varies from person to person, there are several things that a buyer can do to simplify the property buying cycle. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you quickly and effortlessly find your ideal residence.
1. Establish Homebuying Expectations
As a homebuyer, it is important not to get too high or too low during the property buying journey. If you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you should have a good idea about what to anticipate as you search for your dream house.
Oftentimes, it helps to put together homebuying criteria. Think about where you want to find your dream house, as well as the home features you want. With this information at your disposal, you can narrow your home search and accelerate the property buying journey.
2. Create a Homebuying Budget
Like most homebuyers, you probably have only a finite amount of money to spend on a new house. Fortunately, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you about different types of mortgages. These financial institutions can provide insights into adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgage options and offer details about mortgage terms. Then, once you review all of your mortgage options, you can select a mortgage that complements your financial situation.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
You may want to pursue a house on your own, but this approach may prove to be problematic. A homebuyer who conducts a home search without expert assistance may miss out on the opportunity to find and buy a terrific house at an affordable price. Perhaps even worse, without housing market guidance, a buyer may wind up overpaying for a residence that fails to match his or her expectations.
If you want to achieve the optimal results during your quest for your ideal residence, you should hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional is ready to guide you along the homebuying journey and help you make informed property buying decisions.
A real estate agent will go the extra mile to make the homebuying cycle as simple as possible. He or she will teach you about the real estate market, learn about your homebuying goals and help you hone your house search. Plus, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about residences that fall within your price range and are located in your preferred cities and towns. And if you find a house that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this home.
Simplify the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a quick, stress-free property buying experience.
Safari style in interior design describes the harmony of rich and earthy elements of African design combined with the clean comfort of traditional European style. If you’re looking to try out this design style for your next living room makeover, this is a great place to start. Here we’ll go over some ideas to create a beautiful and comfortable safari-style living room design.
Focus On Natural Materials
A simple way to create a foundation for your safari design is to emphasize natural materials found in traditional African lifestyles. Choose materials like real wood, leather and rattan for furniture and decorative accents. Of these materials wood is the most important to the aesthetic, especially hand-carved pieces in dark stains. Mixing textures will make the space feel comfortable and eclectic while still on-theme.
Go for Light & Airy Window Treatments
Window treatments are another way to bring the African safari style into a room. Go for shades of white or cream in sturdy but comfortable fabrics like linen and hemp. These light-colored drapes are evocative of the European colonial style tent walls and also come with the added benefit of keeping the room cool while blocking out harsh sunlight.
Use the Right Amount of Animal Print
Animal prints might seem like an obvious suggestion in creating a safari style interior, but it’s important to use this element carefully to avoid creating visual clutter. Opt for animal prints in neutrals rather than bold colors—the more natural and close to the original animal’s coloring the better. You can mix animal prints, but be aware of scale. For example, a tiny cheetah print will go well with a larger-striped zebra print without clashing.
Pair Earthy Neutrals & Vivid Patterns
Earthy tones like brown, sandy beige and muted greens are perfect for safari style design. However, don’t be afraid to add in some more vivid color as well. Traditional African tribal textiles and patterns come in a rainbow of colors that you can mix in with soft neutrals to achieve a balanced but exciting aesthetic. You can also add in color with decor like wall art, throw blankets and lamps.
Create a Sense of Adventure
If you’re struggling to not go overboard with bold prints and animal motifs, another direction to go with your decorating is to evoke aspects of an adventurous lifestyle. Antique suitcases or travel packs, binoculars, globes and vintage maps all make excellent decorative options in a safari living room. You also can’t go wrong with hand-carved animal figurines, tribal masks and wooden beadwork. Picking a specific native animal as your inspiration can be a fun way to create a theme in your decorating, too.
Don’t Forget the Foliage
Many popular houseplants are actually native to Africa, which means you can enhance the aesthetic in an authentic way. Snake plants are classic low-maintenance options that purify the air, as are ZZ plants and the bountiful spider plant. If your living room gets a lot of direct sunlight, jade is another native African plant that will add dynamic live greenery to the space.
These are only basic guidelines for achieving this exciting and comfortable design style. The details are all up to your preference and will ultimately help you build the style to fit your specific needs. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating your own unique safari style living room.