Design Hints

Showing 1 - 10 of 93 article(s)
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Building on the Past

Achieving a seamless connection between old and new living spaces can be challenging. When Uniontown, Pennsylvania, couple Toni and Jim Anthony built their master bedroom addition a few years ago, they let history be their muse. Take note of their style cues to create a relaxing retreat with an eye on the past.

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A Fresh Take on a Workspace

Cindy Mack Taggart's favorite room is the heart of her Abilene, Kansas, home. When she started renovations, she was tempted to gut the space and start from scratch. "The appliances were not usable, and the layout of the kitchen did not flow well," she says. Ultimately, she opted to rework the floor plan. "I was able to put my unique country-style stamp on it so it would look like a working American country kitchen," she adds. Here's how you can create the kitchen of your dreams:

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A New Take on Primitive

Kimberly Smith-Johnson, a Quakertown, Pennsylvania, resident and owner of a home decorating business, says, "I like to put a modern twist on country style. I like to mix primitive and country." Her dining room embodies this philosophy and features bold colors, traditional furniture and unique displays. To transform your dining room into a prim entertaining space, consider Kimberly’s five decorating tips:

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Relax and Recharge

To create a peaceful space in your country abode, let Jeff VanVoorhis and Susan Fox be your guides. The pair rank the living room as one of their favorite places to while away the hours. Here are a few of their ideas on putting together a primitive room that evokes a sense of calm:

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Building with Character

Do you daydream about buying and restoring an antique home? As romantic as this notion may sound, lovers of old houses often follow a different path and build a new home that recalls yesteryear but incorporates elements needed for today’s lifestyle. Teri Klinker advocates this old house, new balancing act and says, "Period homes never go out of style." Reflecting on her own experience with designing and building a home with an eye on the past, Teri offers these helpful tips:

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Signs of the Times

Linda and Trevor Meachen's mobile home proves that you don't need a lot of space or high ceilings to use signs to make a strong style statement. With a wide selection of fonts, colors and shapes, the possibilities are endless. "If I like what it says, I'll buy it," Linda explains of her penchant for phrases. She shares several ways to incorporate vintage and vintage-style signage into your own space.

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Seasonal Simplicity

Sometimes a winter welcome means forgoing the typical red-and-green holiday color scheme in favor of a woodsy and rustic palette. As Robyn Thomas decorated her 1850 farmhouse she shares with her husband, Keith, and their children, she aimed to replicate the unpretentious lifestyle of the original residents, and her approach to the holidays is no different. “I think about what the house looked like then,” she explains. Here are some of the ways she decks the halls—including this enclosed porch—with homespun cheer.

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Screen Test

Screened porches are peaceful retreats that strike a balance between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Unlike an open deck or patio, a porch offers protection from sun exposure, rain showers and flying insects. Depending on where you live, porches can be enjoyed year-round or for multiple seasons. To maximize comfort and optimize charm, planning is needed to outfit your porch. Julie Tweedie and her family relax on their Blaine, Maine, porch from early spring to late fall, and she enjoys making it a cozy, inviting space in any season. Here are some of her decorating tips:

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Fun with Florals

One of Amy Thomas’ signature decorating motifs includes incorporating both fresh and faux foliage in the design schemes that fill the rooms of her Marion, New York, home. “By simply adding wreaths, sprigs of eucalyptus, and other greenery, you can create a warmth within the room and a natural pop of color regardless of the season,” she says. Try out her ideas for incorporating a bit of nature’s bounty in your own home.

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Dishing on Dishes

You’ve amassed a trove of china, porcelain, pottery and other dishware over the years, or perhaps inherited them from a generation or two of loved ones. How can you integrate these treasures into your decor? Pat Kennedy, who adores crocks, children’s feeding dishes and ironstone, helped round up some ideas for dazzling dish displays that she uses throughout her west-central Minnesota home.

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