Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Decorate Around (and on Top of) Tall Furniture

A properly styled tall armoire or shelving unit really gives your room a finished look. Although, these pieces often become way stations for clutter, when done well, they can bring color, texture, and additional interest from the floor to the ceiling. You can easily turn this area into a statement of your personal style, whether prefer any style from minimalist to French country. In this post, we’ll use the Debonaire Etagere from the Paula Deen Collection by Universal to help demonstrate how you can style a tall piece of furniture for maximum impact.

Paula Deen etagere at Baer's Furniture

Gather Decor Elements

Begin by assembling art, accessories, and other items that represent the colorway of your space, or choose a single color. Gather more than you need in a variety of sizes so that you have enough to work with. A grouping of white pottery or a collection of unrelated items can attract as much attention as objects in multiple colors. When you look at what you’ve gathered, mind items that seem unrelated. This is fine, just be sure to restrict the final selection to items that go with—not necessarily match—the function and style of the room. An over-sized piece of pottery or dramatic piece of art might be all you need. Choose items that either contrast against the wall behind your display or go for a tone-on-tone look with different shades and textures of the same color.

Practice Arranging the Shelf Space

Once you’ve gathered all your items, practice arranging them. You can use a table or even the piece itself. This is where you will edit the collection. Practice various groupings and, if you wish, take photographs to review later. Your goal here is to make the best use of the vertical space between the top of the furniture and the ceiling, so be sure to use at least one large piece. When arranging items of different colors, separate any of the same color with one of a different color to make them stand out.

Use Display Helpers

Use display helper to create height and interest — these can be books, stands, risers, or small easels. Books are usually readily available and can be place on their sides to be used as stands. If you need them, you can easily find risers and small easels at craft, hobby, and home décor stores. Small easels are perfect for small paintings, prints, and charger plates. Baskets can be used to help hide storage and bring in soft, natural materials to an arrangement might need a little softness. Add lighting, small spotlights or recessed lighting to draw attention to the top of the furniture, or choose a piece with built in spotlight, such as the Debonaire Etagere from the Paula Deen collection.

tall furniture decorations

Accent the Furniture — Don’t Overpower with Clutter

Here is where editing is your friend. It’s tempting to use this space to show off all the things you love. Hold back. Cluttering the space on top of the furniture will defeat the purpose of accenting the furniture and can also overpower the rest of the room’s décor. Use items with varying scales, but avoid picking too many small items. If you can’t see it from 10 feet away, you won’t be able to see it when it is 10 feet above you. Your smaller collectibles should complement the larger pieces. You can group three items and leave some room between them and another grouping or larger piece. The size of the top’s surface and the style of the room are great guides for determining the number of pieces you use.

Tying it All Together with Decorations on Your Tall Furniture

Since the top of the piece is not at eye level, think not about decorating on top of it, but just try to accentuate or add to the height. This isn’t the place to create a vignette, but a place to highlight some of your larger pieces. Objects such as large ginger jars, big wooden bowls or baskets, or you could even hang a big piece of art or a vintage sign.

Once you’ve completed your arrangement, let it rest for a bit. Maybe in a week or two, something catches your eye as being off, you can revise, edit, and tinker until you have the exact look you want. If you are interested in a tall piece of furniture for your home, check out the Paula Deen collection. Find a Baer’s Furniture showroom near you.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Elevate Your Outdoor Entertaining Style with Tommy Bahama

Ah Summer! As the days get longer, it’s time to move the party outside. Nothing compares to entertaining in a gorgeous backyard. Entertaining in the open air can elevate a gathering and help people shake off the cares of the work week to enjoy some well-deserved downtime. Bright, inviting, and luxurious, the Aviano Collection by Tommy Bahama provides the perfect backdrop to all your outdoor events.

Wicker patio dining set by Tommy Bahama

Outdoor Entertaining: A Successful Patio Party

The key to successful outdoor entertaining is to keep it simple, from the décor to the menu. On warm summer nights, your guests will prefer more straightforward, simple dishes and snacks over an overly complex and fussy meal. Grilled meats and accompanied by dishes such as fresh heirloom tomato salad, Mexican corn salad, or cumber and onion salad keep the fare fresh and light. Themed tables settings based around tropical or seaside colors set a fun and playful mood.

Comfortable Patio Seating

Comfortable seating is a must-have for outdoor entertaining. You want to make your guests feel at ease and in the mood to linger in the warm summer night. Warm weather is instantly relaxing, so you’ll need plenty of places for your guests to sit and chat. If your chairs are metal or iron, provide plenty of cushions to keep your guests comfortably happy. The Aviano Outdoor Dining Arm Chair from Tommy Bahama seats your guests in style and comfort. Upholstered in Sunbrella Performance and Outdoor fabrics, your chairs will stay bright and fresh-looking all year long.

Shady Surroundings

Be sure to provide some type of shade, your guest will appreciate it in the extreme heat. An umbrella over the dining area, or a quick shade canvas or tent can help create a protected and comfortable environment for your guests. This is a thoughtful gesture that will keep guests coming back throughout the summer entertaining season.

patio chaise lounge from Baer's Furniture

Vary Your Outdoor Entertainment Stations

Sturdy rattan or wicker furniture works great for any area of your home. A daybed or cot is great to fill with pillows and use in your outdoor space when warm weather entertaining. The Aviano Chaise Lounge with foam cushions is the perfect place to relax by the pool. If you have the space, set up interactive food bars and stations to encourage your guests to mingle. Cocktails, drinks, food, and desserts can each have their own station.

Or if you don’t have the space, you can set up a bar cart with all the essentials: beer can opener, napkins, straws, and swizzle sticks. This also makes restocking really easy, you can just roll the cart away and return it fully stocked. If you have a large group, set out carafes of punch, lemonade, or Sangria so that your quests can serve themselves. This also frees you up from having to play bartender.

A Smooth Transition into an Evening on the Patio

As the sun goes down, be sure to have pretty lighting ready. Paper lanterns are a nice touch, and they do double duty as décor during the day as well as providing lighting during the evening. Strands of light, tiki torches, and candles are other pretty light sources you can use. And don’t forget the citronella candles—no one likes to be bothered by uninvited but almost inevitable nighttime guests. This way, you’ll avoid losing guests just because the mosquitos come out to play.

If you need inspiration for your outdoor entertaining, visit a Baer’s Furniture showroom near you and talk to an interior design professional about creating the perfect outdoor space for family, friends, and guests.

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