Friday, May 28, 2010

Monthly Coupon Special!

First Fruit Collection has launched this new blog called "Your Home Can Be Happy." We would like you to visit it to get ideas and inspiration for your home. For our coupon special this month when you visit our blog you can leave a comment using the form to the right telling us what you think about our blog. Once you have left a comment we will email you a "20% Off Any One Item Of Your Choice Coupon".

Your Home Can Be Happy
Compliments of First Fruit Collection

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mixing Patterns & Prints

Check, paisley, polka dot, stripe, hound stooth, toile, floral, damask, or plaid; I love to mix them all, not at the same time, but I think the secret to a great room is interesting fabrics. French design demands it . . . maybe that is why I love french style. I am like a kid in a candy store when I enter a fabric store. I start imagining what I could put with certain fabrics, what would be pretty with this or that. At the furniture market, my salesman is always so anxious to show me the newest sofa frames . . . and I am immediately asking “ where are the new fabrics?” My greatest joy in a design project is choosing the perfect fabric, I often squeal with excitement when I find just the right look.

Many of you are afraid of mixing prints, it scares you to put two prints together, although you love the look when you enter our showroom. You long for the look, but are too insecure to try
it for yourself. You are stuck in the “solid” safe rut. I will try to help you overcome your fear
with knowledge of which prints mix well and ones that don’t.

DO MIX PRINTS AND PATTERNS! I LOVE IT! You can mix any fabric that is a different scale from another and with a common color to tie the two together. For example, a large floral print of pink, red, yellow, green, etc. can
mix well with a mini print of pink and green floral. Also
a check or stripe with any of these colors works too. The
key is scale and common color. Study the pictures and
see how the common color allows these patterns to
work together.

Be sure to repeat the fabrics in a room, like taking leftover drapery fabric on the bed with an accent pillow, or on a dust ruffle. Think of ways you can incorporate many fabrics, like using multiple fabrics upholstering a chair
or sofa. Maybe you could use a little check on the chair back or on the cording? Check is a cute choice for cording because it turns into a diamond pattern when on the
“true bias”
giving you another interesting pattern.

Things to avoid when mixing patterns are avoid using two patterns of the same scale. For example, you would not want to use a floral with a toile of the same size pattern.
These would fight each other. You could use a small scale mini floral print with the toile though and this would compliment the toile well. A check, stripe, hound stooth, or any other geometric pattern should be used only once in a decorating scheme. Too many of these definitely start to make the room feel messy.

Mixing prints is the key to a decorator look. Keep in mind as a rule of thumb, one large scale pattern, one small scale pattern, and one geometric. This is a good starting point, but many
more patterns could be incorporated if desired.

Happy Decorating!

Monday, May 24, 2010

What is your Decorating Style?

Do you know your decorating style? What do you like, what catches your eye when you flip through a magazine, what makes you say, “ I love that!” Are you:

Shabby Chic, Oriental, Eclectic, Cottage, Traditional, Modern, French Country or Urban?

Most shoppers wander through furniture stores without a clue. They make poor purchases and put a little of many styles together never really knowing what is wrong with their room. They don’t really know what style they really love and how to achieve
the look they long to have in their home.

How to know your style:

Start by collecting photos from magazines of pictures of rooms you love. Compile hundreds of them. Then, look through them an try to find a common element. Are they all a monochromatic color scheme? Are they full of color? Is there antique furniture? You should be able to see a common thread that should lead you to know what you like. Once you figure out what style you like, do research on it. Go to the library and check out books, go shopping to stores that specialize in your look, or subscribe to magazines that cater to your style.

Once you start making purchases and decorating choices for your home, follow the
things you have learned about your style. Keep your portfolio of photos handy to refer to when you are shopping. Try to purchase like items that you loved in the photos.

Most important, once you have determined your style, stick to it. Don’t be influenced by outside advice from well meaning friends. You have done your homework, you know what you like, so go for it. Happy Decorating.

Lisa Hood, Owner - Interior Designer

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Choosing A Color For Your Home

While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about colors we use in our homes, it affects every day of our lives by influencing our mood and thoughts. Colors affect us in many ways so it is important to choose your colors wisely in decorating your home.

To have a beautiful home, don't let current trends influence you. Color trends come and go. You may ask what makes a color a trendy color. A trendy color is a primary color (red, yellow, and blue) or a secondary color (orange, purple, or green) with brown or black added to the color.

Red + Brown = Rust

Red + Black = Maroon

Yellow + Brown = Gold

Yellow + Black = Mustard

Blue + Brown = Teal

Blue + Black = Navy

Orange + Brown = Burnt Orange

Orange + Black = Sienna

Purple + Brown = Plum Purple + Black = Midnight

Green + Brown = Olive Green + Black = Emerald

The mix of these colors create a trendy color. It is best to not use these in abundance in our homes. Your home will date very quickly and you will soon tire of these colors. If you love a trendy color, try to use it in some element that is disposable like pillows, candles, etc.

A color that will stand the test of time are any of the primary or secondary colors in their true form or with white or cream added to them. These would be pink, light lemon yellow, sherbert, lavender, periwinkle, mint, sea foam, celery, etc. Think back on decorating trends in your own lifetime. I remember orange shag carpet, olive appliances in the 70's, teal and peach in the 80's, navy and maroon in the 90's, mustard in the 2000, and now we are seeing teal making a strong comeback in 2010. Trendy colors go in cycles, there are only so many colors out there, so they must come back around again. Try to use these sparingly, please don't chose these for counter tops, toilets, tile, etc. that cannot be changed easily. This can definitely hurt the resale of your home in years to come.

Now that we have cleared up what is a trendy color, lets talk about how color affects your mood. Every color has a psychological value. Think about how a color makes you feel. Where do you see this color being used? Colors can take you from tranquil to rage. Try to create peace and harmony when you make your choices. What colors will help you achieve this mood?

Understand that colors behave in three basic ways: active, passive and neutral, and you can easily match colors to your personal desires and taste and to the room's purpose. Light colors are expansive and airy and make a space seem larger and brighter. Dark colors are sophisticated and warm: they give a large room a more intimate feel.

More about colors:

Red: It raises a rooms energy level. It's a good choice when you want to stir up conversation, particularly at night. It is best kept in a living room or a dining room. It draws people together in conversation. Red is a color that has been studied and can raise blood pressure, speed respiration and heart rate. It will pump adrenaline like no other color can. It can make you hungry, this is why most restaurants have red as a color. Keep red out of a restful area like a bedroom, use only muted shades of this color and only in accents in this room. You will never have sweet dreams in a bedroom painted red!

Blue: It brings down blood pressure and slows respiration and heart rate. It's calming, relaxing and serene. A pastel blue can sometimes look chilly on the walls, so choose the blue that has warm undertones, especially in a room that has a lot of natural light. Dark blue shades give the opposite affect so stay away from these.

Green: Is considered the most restful color for the eye. It is as cheerful as yellow, it cools things down but is warm enough to promote comfort. It is relaxing and pleasant. Green is also very calming and is believed to relieve stress.

Purple: Can be rich and dramatic, sophisticated with luxury as well as creativity. It works best as a secondary color or used with other shades of itself. Purple is as calming as blue, without the feeling of being chilly.

Yellow: Captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. It's perfect for halls, it makes them feel expansive and welcoming. Yellow is a great color to be a main color of a room. Although yellow is a cheery color, babies do seem to cry more in a yellow room, making it a poor choice for a nursery. Yellow is the most fatiguing on the eyes, so choose a softer than a stronger shade.

Orange: Evokes excitement, enthusiasm and is an energetic color. Not good in a bedroom, but a great choice for an exercise room.

Neutrals: Are basics to a decorator. Never out of fashion and always flexible. Neutral calm things down, especially a brighter color. Black is best used as an accent – but a must for every room, it grounds the color scheme and gives it depth.

These general guidelines are a good starting point to your search for the perfect color for your home. Remember color is a very personal matter. You are the one who has to live with the color, so choose a hue that suits your lifestyle. And always remember that a paint swatch is only the size of a postage stamp, so try to imagine floor to ceiling when choosing! If you need help with color, be sure to come by and see me, I'd be happy to help you! Happy Decorating.

Lisa Hood

Interior Designer - Owner

Monday, May 17, 2010

Using Our Design Services

Your home; the place you love to be, a place to share with the ones you love and create memories that are not forgotten, a place of refuge where you can sigh and say " It's good to be home."At First Fruit Collection we have a passion to help you transform your home to the enchanted place you've always dreamed about. Our design staff is here to help you realize your dream. We welcome you to come in and let us help you make selections to turn your dream into reality.
Many of you try to design your rooms on your own, never realizing why it doesn't turn out the way you like. I see it every day with photos brought in for me to view. They want to buy something to "Fix" the room. They are working without a plan and without knowledge of design. I often ask women why they are trying to decorate on their own, without the help of an interior designer. Their response is "I can't afford a designer!" My response is "A designer is worth every penny when you add up the money spent on mistakes and poor purchases." Our designers have years of experience with paint, fabric, furniture placement and window treatments that will transform your room into a space you'll love. Come by and set up an In-Home Consultation or let us help you in the store with selections for your home. We love to help make your home "Happy."
Lisa Hood

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hi & welcome to the New First Fruit Collection Blog!

New posts will be coming soon to satisfy those first fruit collection fans out there.

Your Home Can Be Happy
First Fruit Collection