We Are Hiring

JOIN OUR TEAM!

Darby Road HOME, an independent, award winning, home décor and design store is looking for a part-time, experienced Design Consultant to join our fun, energetic team.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Selling home decor products including upholstery, furniture, lighting, accessories, etc.
  • Greet customers to learn and understand their needs and wants while visiting the store.
  • Learning and being able to communicate an extensive product portfolio and to provide quotes.
  • Manage and resolve customer service issues.
  • Support the Principal Designer with product sourcing and pricing for clients.
  • Organizing and managing inventory.
  • Assisting with store merchandising.
  • Assisting with packaging and managing shipments.
  • Assisting with store opening/closing procedures.

Requirements: 

  • 1+ years of retail sales experience, preferably in a furniture or luxury environment.
  • College degree, or work experience equivalent.
  • Strong MAC skills and must be web savvy.
  • Must be able to lift 50 lbs.
  • Punctual and professional.
  • Must be a “people person” demonstrating enthusiam and creativity.
  • Must be available during store hours which are 10 to 5 daily. Sunday 12 to 4.
  • Ability to work at least 1 weekend day a week.

Please send your resume or inquiry to michelle@darbyroad.com.

St Patrick's Day Done Right

Are you feeling lucky? Well you should, because DRH has all of your St. Patrick's Day decor, food, drink ideas, and an awesome Floor Sample Sale!

We are bursting at the seems with awesome upholstery and expecting more, SO we need to move a few items off the floor to make room for new goodies! Now through the weekend select items are 20% off! I bet you are already feeling pretty lucky! Don't wait, these are floor samples so once they are sold that is it...

After spending many hours of browsing blogs, Pinterest, tumbler, houzz, etc I finally came up with a few fun, festive, gorgeous decor ideas for St. Patrick's day. Lucky for you I will save you the time of doing all that searching...

Image Source: Elle Decor

This is the most beautiful, luscious, green tablescape I have seen, and has such a great nod to the spirit of luck on St. Patrick's day.

A few more ideas that are slightly out of the box.

Stripes:

Simple Greens:

Now that your table is set, let's talk food! Here is my favorite recipe for an easy Irish Stew from TastesLovely, the 2 best things about this recipe is that it uses Guinness as one of the ingredients and that you cook in a crock pot...how easy is that?!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lean beef stew meat cut in 1" cubes
  • ½ cup white all purpose flour
  • 1 pound carrots, chopped (about 4 large, will yield 3 cups)
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, chopped (about 4 medium size, will yield 3 cups)
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated of finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 12-ounce bottle Guinness Draught beer
  • 64 ounces (8 cups) chicken stock, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • micro greens for garnish (optional, or could use chopped parsley)

Instructions

  1. In a baking dish, stir and combine the flour, 2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoon pepper. Add the beef stew meat and toss to coat. Tap off excess, and transfer the flour dredged stew meat to a plate. Discard any leftover flour.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, and add about ¼ of the meat, being careful to not overcrowd the pan (otherwise the meat will steam and not brown). Cook about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown, turning to cook both sides. Transfer the cooked meat to your slow cooker. Repeat to continue browning the meat, adding another teaspoon of olive oil to the pan each time before adding the meat. It takes me about 4 batches to cook all the meat.
  3. While the meat is browning, chop up the carrots and potatoes to be about 1" x ½" chunks. You don't want to cut the vegetables too small, otherwise they won't hold up in the stew. Transfer the cut carrots and potatoes to the slow cooker. Chop up the 2 onions and set aside.
  4. After the meat is done cooking, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the same pan and cook the onions. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. While the onions are cooking, scrape up any brown bits and cooked flour on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions just starting to soften. Add in the garlic and tomato paste, stir and cook for 1 more minute. Add in about 1 cup of the chicken stock and scrape up any remaining bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the cooked onions and liquid to the crock pot. Add in the Guinness beer, remaining chicken stock, and bay leaves to the crock pot. Give a stir to evenly distribute the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours, or LOW for 8-10 hours. Taste for salt and pepper after cooking. Sometimes I'll even add garlic powder if it needs it.
  5. Serve warm, and garnish with micro greens or chopped parsley.

YUM!!!!

What goes better with a good warm stew and a gorgeous table setting...a cocktail! And no its not green but it does have Irish Whiskey and it's DELICIOUS!

Ingredients

  • For the Honey Syrup:
  • 1/2 ounce hot water
  • 1/2 ounce honey
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey, such as Jameson
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup
  • Seltzer, chilled
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Directions

1. For the Honey Syrup: Stir together hot water and honey until honey dissolves.

2. For Each Cocktail: Add whiskey, lemon, sweet vermouth, and honey syrup to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with seltzer and garnish with a lemon twist.

Slainte!

Well that's that. We have savings, holiday decor inspiration, food, and a cocktail...I would say that's pretty lucky!

Performance Fabrics and the Oscars!

Well the 89th Oscars was last night and I think we can all agree that the whole show was quite the performance! I stayed up all night to get to the "good" part at the end for all the big movies and actors, I was enjoying some delicious red wine, goat cheese, and crackers when OOPS the biggest Oscar blunder!

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Needless to say I spilled/spit my RED WINE on my new couch in total shock and confusion, and I'm not going to lie I cried a little bit. I spent many hours picking out the frame, fabric, fill, color, and matching pillows and throw so I was pretty upset when I spilled wine, but then I remembered that our amazing manager Jackie insisted that I use Sunbrella fabric for my new sofa. I can not even begin to tell you how relieved I was when a little bit of water, cleaning solution, and lots of love and the stain just vanished!

Performance fabrics are textiles engineered to resist stains, abrasions, fading, and pet-hair damage. Easy to clean, they will offer years of carefree maintenance when it comes to caring for your upholstery.

If you have an active household we HIGHLY recommend using a performance fabric like Sunbrella, you will have no regrets when someone spills wine or grubby little baby hands "clean" their hands on your furniture. Performance fabrics have changed the game in the furniture world, the durability, color, and design options are endless. Take a look at a few of these samples that are available to you when you choose a custom upholstery piece here at Darby Road HOME.

Sunbrella is our go to choice as it is made of acrylic fibers with pigmentation added prior to extrusion. What does that mean for you? It means Sunbrella offers a rich look and the feel of cotton, but does not fade or degrade.

Here is my formula for buying a new sofa: durable fabric + easy to clean + great color and/or pattern= a wonderful sofa!! If this still seems overwhelming let one of Designers help to pick out your perfect piece whether it be a new swivel chair, sofa, dining chairs, headboard we can do it all.  Click this link to set your free in store Design Consultation.

If you already have Sunbrella furniture at home then you are one step ahead of the game, but you will need this...the ultimate cleaning guide for all things Sunbrella!

We want to hear from you! Let us know how much you love your performance fabric piece.

Image Source: Sunbrella

DRH Products We Love

As you know our showroom is an ever changing jigsaw puzzle of gorgeous items just waiting to go to their new home. One of my favorite things to do is to walk the showroom after we have update vignettes. It's funny how moving something here, adding a new piece there, and BAM the showroom looks fresh and new again. Sometimes you do need to go out and buy a new piece and sometime its about giving something old a little life.

That being said, I have pulled together a few of my favorite pieces, some are old and some are new. If you are feeling like you have a space in your home that needs a refresher try moving things around, maybe you will be satisfied or maybe you will realize that you need a new showstopper or just a companion accent cube to go with your console table. Either way stop by Darby Road HOME's showroom this weekend for your last chance to receive 15% off all in stock items!

Happy Shopping!

DRH Style Team

Designer Lunch, Landscape Design, & an Award...Say What?

If you have not already heard Darby Road HOME has won Boston magazine's Best of Boston Home® 2017 Best Accents, West ! We are honored and thrilled to receive this award as we truly pride ourselves on curating an interesting selection that provides a fun and approachable shopping experience.

We could not think of a better way to celebrate this honor than to host the first of many luncheons for many of the local Interior Designers that contribute to our success.  This was an amazing gathering of brilliant veteran and up and coming designers coming together over a mutual love of design and wine!

Be sure to check out more photos in the slideshow below for some great pics from our luncheon!

The Luncheon featured the amazing Landscape Designer and Author Julie Moir Messervy. Her lists of accolades are far too many to list but it was safe to say that her presentation left everyone feeling inspired and ready for spring. Julie's portfolio ranges from small quaint New England gardens to planning and designing the Toronto Music Garden with Yo-Yo Ma. Julie and her team have also developed home outside, a home landscape design app and service for everyone.

If you are a local Interior Designer and would like to attend one of our upcoming Trade only events sign up for our Trade Program to learn more about our special pricing and all of our special events. Click here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see more behind the scenes and get access to insider deals!

DRH's Top Interior Paint Colors

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes struggle to pick out paint colors.  I usually know the look or general color that I want, but finding the right paint color to fit the ideas in my head is sometimes a maddening mess. It's all semantics...you spend hours looking at paint chips, you pick your favorite ones, buy the sample paint, and then you get home and it looks totally different in your space because of the light or lack of light etc, etc. If this sounds familiar than continue reading, we have rounded up some of our favorite interior paint colors from neutral to bold. We also have our predictions for next year....

Decorator’s White - Benjamin Moore The name says it all! This shade has the most brilliant pure white undertones. It’s perfect for bright ceilings, trim, and even bathrooms when you want a crisp, clean feel.

Intense White - Benjamin Moore Don’t be fooled, it’s white with a grayish tone. This paint provides the ideal landscape for those who aren't brave enough to go with a bold color, but still want a subtle contrast with white trim.

Compatible Cream - Sherwin Williams This creamy shade is the perfect not too sunny yellow,  warm, inviting and very flexible for all spaces.

Wool Skein - Sherwin Williams A perfect neutral that will compliment other colors you want to bring into your space.

Manchester Tan - Benjamin Moore A perfect neutral. As it changes with the light, it goes from a rich warm hue to a light and fresh depending on the light.

Essential Gray - Sherwin Williams This is the perfect clean sophisticated backdrop but also adds a nice warmth when paired with a white trim.

Revere Pewter - Benjamin Moore This is a go to go color for open floor plans. It works with all styles from traditional to modern, and both warm and cool palettes. Its a great alternative to white, as it adds enough color to a room without overwhelming.

Mushroom Cap 177 - Benjamin Moore One of the trickiest paint colors to get right is yellow, but this shade is just right. A tip for picking a yellow from a paint fan deck: Select something that looks almost beige. Yellow is always much brighter on a wall than on a paint chip.

Tea Chest - Sherwin-Williams A bold neutral. There are many beautiful shades of brown that are so versatile. Orange, green, red and other neutrals are perfect shades to compliment this color and brighten up your space.

Palladian Blue, Benjamin Moore This blue-gray-green shade can be used in almost any room. It’s an especially good choice for cooling a very sunny room or creating a tranquil bedroom.

Ball Green 75 Farrow & Ball’s Green with envy for this color. When paired with white cabinets and organic accessories it add the perfect amount of warmth to any kitchen.

Organdy - Benjamin Moore A soft barely there shade of this color is gorgeous and looks best with a crisp white trim.

Bella Pink SW 6596 Sherwin-Williams Pink is not just for little girl’s bedroom, it can be very sophisticated. This color looks best paired with white, grey, green, and blue.

Baby Seal DE 6361 Dunn-Edwards A popular color for modern and transitional interior as gray is a unique neutral. This soft charcoal paired with creamy whites and beige keeps it light, bright, and sophisticated.

Beluga - Behr A surprisingly elegant choice for any room. When using black contrast with a crisp white trim and punchy colors within your decor. 

DRH'S Dining Table Must Knows

Choosing the right dining table can be an overwhelming process, especially if you do not know exactly what you’re looking for (or not looking for). There are so many shapes and sizes of tables, which is right for you? The look of your table is also important, but making sure it fits your space and gives enough seating is even more critical.

Your table needs to allow for the number of diners you want to seat comfortably (operative word) and still leave enough room to walk around it. Look for at a minimum width of 36 inches wide so there is ample space for place settings as well as food. Generally as the table length increases, so does the width of the tabletop. Everything you need to know about sizes and shapes to consider when buying table is right here…read on.

Before you shop…

  • Measure table-to-wall clearance. Measure the space around the room. To allow diners to sit down and get up easily from their seats, try to leave 42-48” between table and the walls.
  • An easy way to visualize this to use chalkboard and layout a few different sizes of tables so you know what is the maximum size table your space can fit.
  • Measure table-to-furniture clearance. If there is furniture in the dining space (buffet, console, etc.) beginning your 42-48” measurement from the edge of the furniture instead of the wall.

What is Your Shape?

One of the first decisions that you need to make is regarding the shape of the dining table that you wish to purchase. Believe it or not, this aspect is relatively simpler than choosing the style of the table!

Rectangular

The rectangular dining table is the most popular across the board. It is universally loved, both for its form and functionality. This option brings together the best of both worlds, as it offers the visual clean and well-defined straight lines while serving your needs flawlessly.

Round

While rectangular tables are the most popular option, round and oval dining tables are the favorites for small dining rooms. It is best to opt for a round dining table (with a pedestal) only when you need to seat six people or less. Larger round dining tables make both conversation and serving a slight inconvenience. But add stunning pendant lighting above, along with plush chairs, and these small, rounded wonders transforms into a warm and romantic setting that is simply magical.

Oval

An oval table is very similar to a rectangular shaped table, but visually it takes up less space because of the rounded corners. Oval tables are great fit for narrow or smaller size rooms but you still need to maximize seating. Most oval tables also come with leaves to extend their seating capacity.

Square

A square table is the least common option in the design world, however in small spaces a small square table is the perfect marriage of the two. Square tables look good in long, narrow rooms, as they offer proper proportion, or you can even couple them with a rug to create a space that appears like “a room within a room”. Square tables also look great in a square room, like a round table, it makes for a more intimate dining experience because it is an equal distance apart. Also it will look great mimicking the room shape around it.

What is Your Style?

Crafting that brilliant dining room is all about getting the theme and the style right. When it comes to dining tables in an open floor plan, it is best to opt for one that seems like a natural extension of the remainder of the living area. Some might want to add a chic contrast by using a rustic table in a modern space or even a minimalist metal table in a room dominated by warm wooden tones. This creates an instant focal point when combined with the right lighting.

Reclaimed wood tables are currently one of the hottest design trends, and with an increasing number of eco-consciousness consumers, they seem like a logical choice for the green at heart (and at home). Whether you are a traditionalist or a design aficionado who loves Mid-Century Modern, remember that the table you choose will set the tone for the entire dining area or possible living area if you have an open concept.

Old-Brand-New-Holiday-Entertaining-by-Dabito.jpeg

What is Your Size?

After deciding on shape and size of the table, it is time to move ahead to the all-important size. There are a few simple and standard numbers that will get you through this difficult part. The golden rule (mentioned above) is at least 42-48” of space between the table and the edge of the walls or furniture. This will give you adequate room to move about. Here are a few more standard sizing rules to keep in mind:

  • Plan for 24″ for each place setting so people can comfortably eat without hitting elbows
  • The maximum width of a table should be 48″ – any more space and your guests can’t pass things across the table and conversation becomes strained
  • The minimum width of a table should be 36″ – any less width and you will have difficulty placing serving pieces in the middle of the table
  • If space allows, base your size table on the number of persons you usually have for dinner then add two. That should accommodate a normal number of guests.

Use the below charts to help you decide the size of the table you need based on the number of diners.

dining-table-sizes-copy-900x602.jpeg

The above seating guide can be used for rectangular and oval shaped tables, while the one below refers only to round tables.

Obviously you can cram more chairs in when the need arises, but on an everyday basis, we'd suggest keeping the seats to the number the table can comfortably seat.

**Space Saving Tip – Go big on the table and small on the seating. When looking to take up less room in a space, try a bench instead of chairs on all or one side of the table. Make sure you can push the bench under the table so you can stash it away when not in use.

All the Little Things

Most often, people tend to think about chairs, lighting, and maybe even the area rug after committing to a table. Try out the table along with the chairs you fancy before buying it. You do not want to put yourself in a place where you will bring home a boring chandelier or chairs that you are not really in love with, just because they go with the table you already have.

Use the below charts to see all of the different types of chair legs and back so you can choose the best style to match your table.

You will need a rug, it is the foundation of the room and helps to define the space. Use the below guide to help you pick just the right size rug for your dining space.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping a light fixture for above your dining table:

  • the fixture's diameter should be 1/2 to 2/3 of the width of the table.
  • allow 30-34" between the surface of the table and the bottom of the fixture.

Now you have the table, chairs, rug, lighting all in place and it's time for your first dinner party so set the perfect table with this guide from Kate Spade!

Picking the right dining table is not all that hard once you are aware of exactly what you need. Always try sitting at a table before making a purchase, and do not let the slick salesman talk you into buying a piece that is bigger than what you really need. While this might sound silly, it is the biggest reason why most people come home with dining tables that seem out of place… Shop smart!

Make an appointment today to meet with one of our Design Consultants to help you pick out the best table (and chairs) for your dining space.

Design Services Inquiry

Hot Trend: Ginger Jars

On and off demand for decades chinoiserie has been having an undeniable moment, most notably the iconic chinoiserie accents Ginger Jars are being used in modern ways in stylish homes across the world.

Ginger jars are a design classic, irresistibly shapely and decorative in all their blue-and-white glory. This design classic harkens back to the Ming Dynasty, when the porcelain jars were used for everything from basic provisions to urns for honoring the deceased. Lately, we've seen them popping up in all sorts of surprising places. Here's some background and design tips on these gorgeous collectibles.

Things You Need to Know About Ginger Jars:

1. Storage. Who would of thought a jar’s original purpose would be to store spices such as salt, oil, and, of course, ginger (ancient China’s most valuable spice), the beloved ginger jar long ago shed its utilitarian purpose.

2. Lasting Trend. This trend has been around since its revival in the 1600s as a European craze for the blue-and-white Chinese export pieces fueled by budding delftware industry.

3. Not Just Blue-and-White. You can find them in other hues, but the blue-and-white motif is most common, and in our opinion the most inspiring. More recently the monochromatic jars make a more modern statement while still alluding to a traditional profile.

4. Meaning Gifts. Although these jars where intended for storage they where often given as gifts for special occasions, such as weddings. Just like marriage, these jars were intended to last a lifetime.

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5. Not Just Jars. You will find ginger jars in many forms. Most commonly they have been used as lamp bases, their sturdy yet attractive shape along with their decorative finishes create an optimal aesthetic.  The classic appeal of ginger jars has been inspiration for both artwork and wall-coverings. Sometimes you will find ginger jars reincarnated into potting plants, plates for eating or wall decor, decorative balls, garden stools that can be used inside or out, plus many, many, more!

Ways to Display Ginger Jars:

1. As a Pair. I can’t say enough about the power of pairs. When doubled up, two of anything draws your eyes to the item and creates an effortless sense of order that looks clean and balanced, but not overly decorated. Pushed together a duo of ginger jars create an orderly vignette; separated they can flank a lovely mirror or your favorite piece of art.

2. Topping a Pedestal. Go-to designer favorites, pedestals are often overlooked by everyone outside the “biz.” But there’s no better way to spotlight whatever sits on them. When placed on a pedestal, a gorgeous ginger jar is instantly elevated to museum like status. And if we take a cue from our favorite designers, who constantly think in contrasts (light-dark, textured-sleek), we love how its shapely silhouette complements the hard lines of the pedestal.

3.Standing Alone. Think of a ginger jar and what comes to mind is likely that oh-so classic blue-and-white chinoiserie pattern. But these vessels come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and shades. In a room full of color and pattern, a supersize, solid-color ginger jar stands out. The biggest versions have so much gravitas they can play off other stand-alone items like a single accent chair or garden stool, or two can flank a mantel or a door (even your front door) with aplomb.

4. Put to Work. In a kitchen, they’re a gorgeous step up from basic canisters, and—depending on their material and the seal of their lid—they can hold anything from dry goods to teabags.

Add unique accents in an unexpected space, such as ginger jars in the bathroom or vases as pencil caddies on your desk. Style vessels of varying sizes and shapes but the same palette (you can’t go wrong with blue and white!) in an entryway for maximum impact. Add low-slung Ming-style tables and bamboo seating to a sunny space with lots of greenery for an instant sunroom. Stash a pair of ceramic garden stools below a console table for a splash of color and always-welcome extra seating. And of course, fill an elaborately decorated chinoiserie vase with beautiful blooms to create unforgettable arrangement.

We have an amazing collection of ginger jars right here at Darby Road HOME so be sure scroll through some of these at the bottom, or even better come by and check them out.  And don't forget to make an appointment for your free in store design consultation!

Happy decorating!

-- DRH Style Team

10 Tips to Freshen up your Home Office

Whether your home office is a designated space for running a business, the occasional telecommute, or simply a nook for paying bills and organizing your schedule, you deserve more than random castoff furniture stuffed into a spare corner. Why you ask? Because an office space that you want to spend time in can increase productivity, and make your office a more beautiful place to work. To begin, your work-space should feel different than your living space to help create a home/work separation. Here are 10 tips for creating a charming, practical work-space that works for you.

1. Location, location, location. You'll likely spend many hours in your home office; so don't stiff yourself on space. Also consider traffic flow and your ability to withstand distractions. Do you work best in the thick of activity, or should your office be tucked away in a quiet space? If clients will be stopping by, a private space with ample seating is a must.

2. Paint the walls a color you love. Forget "office beige": you need a color that gets your work motor humming. For some people, that's a bright, cheery color like orange or lime green. Others need a calming shade like botanical green or sea foam blue to perform.

3. Give yourself a view. Position the desk where you can stare at something more interesting than a blank wall (even if you do love the color) when you glance up from the computer. A window's natural light is ideal, but if you're in a windowless space, hang a pretty picture above the desk, or position your chair to face the door.

4. Let there be light. Here's a bright idea: make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eyestrain and headaches. Position the computer monitor so there's no glare from a window or overhead light, and put a small lamp on the desk for task lighting.

5. Bring the outside in. Adding a plant or fresh flowers into your home office will freshen up the space and boost your mood and even provide better oxygen flow!

6. Invest in a great chair. You spend hours parked in your office chair; a beautiful, ergonomically correct, comfortable seat is worth every dime.

7. Organization is key. Many home offices aren't swimming in square footage, so using space efficiently is imperative. Only the items you use daily should be out on your desk; keep the rest in filing drawers, baskets, and storage containers. Floating shelves are a great to keep the space feeling light but also providing a space to put to stack all of those bins and baskets.

8. Find beautiful desk accessories. Ordinary items like tape dispensers and pencil cups should be a joy to look at. Find ones you love that are also functional. Choose extras that enhance the comfy feeling of your home office, like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative wastebasket. Wrap your bulletin board in a gorgeous fabric, and hide utilitarian bookshelves behind curtains made from the same material. Hang inspirational prints on the walls, whether that's simply your kids' framed artwork or a classic painting.

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9. Curate your bookshelf. Use your bookshelf to create beautiful vignettes, interspersing decorative objects, personal mementos, and other decor with your books.

10. Splurge on something you love. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office, so make it a place you love to be. Splurge on an item that boosts your work productivity and is also something you’ll cherish. If you love listening to music when working, treat yourself to a new speaker to upgrade the experience and make you excited to use. Or perhaps you want to invest in a desk, like the French Partners that is perfect for almost any space and is sure to withstand years of writing, drawing, bill paying, etc. This Furniture Classics desk is available now at Darby Road HOME!

Thank you for reading this edition of our blog. I hope you take these tips and create the work-space of your dreams!

If you have read through these tips and still do not know where to begin no worries, we are here to help! Sign up for a free in store design consultations with one of amazing designers.

Happy Decorating,

DRH Style Team

How To Mix Styles

Whether you are merging households, inheriting furniture, received a well-intentioned gift that missed the mark, or the occasional impulse buy -- all of these contribute to decorating dreams going haywire. And calling it eclectic doesn't help! And while you can't have it all, you can have some of it. Here's the recipe for getting the mix right and creating rooms that feel cohesive instead of crazy.
It is the 80/20 rule, and it works like this: as long as 80 percent of your interior is unified by the same style, same period or same philosophy, you can contrast with the other 20 percent. In other words, a vintage piece can absolutely work in an ultramodern space.

Continue to read below for more rules, dos and don'ts:

Color. Using a consistent color helps your decor hang well together and look more cohesive. If you have a traditional armchair, but want to add in a more modern sectional, choose a sofa in the same shade as your original chair.

Mind the scale. Keep the scale of all your decor in the same realm. You don’t want a huge overstuffed chair sitting next to your grandmother's dainty wooden carved loveseat.

Find balance. Even though you have totally different pieces on either side of a bed, they can look balanced as a whole. Create the balance by choosing items with equal visual weight.

Distribute equally. If one half of the room is totally modern, and the other half is entirely traditional, the sudden difference is overwhelming. But if multiple styles are incorporated strategically throughout the room, it’s easier for the eye to accept.

Some styles just don't mix. For example, Victorian decor is all about ornate details, while Arts and Crafts veers more simplistic. Therefore, Victorian decor marries well with Traditional, Asian, and French Provincial furniture, while Arts and Crafts is better with contemporary pieces or country styles, like Shaker. But with the 80/20 rule you can mix almost anything. Say you have a loft filled with modern classic furniture -- add a superb antique settee and voilà!

When mixing woods, consider formality: mahogany, cherry and oak are formal, so they'll go well with one another. Pine, maple, and bamboo are casual choices, which means that they're compatible with one another but less so with formal woods.

When more than one rug is required in an open space, be sure to choose carpets that harmonize rather than match. Neutral sisal may work with a faded Turkish or Kilim rug but looks too humble beside a fine Persian, for example.

Traditional interiors tip the balance in favor of patterns. So if your family room is modern with monochromatic neutral fabrics, add some large patterned pillows. Conversely, a traditional pattern-filled room requires visual breathing space, so incorporate solid color accents.

Dos and don'ts of the 80/20 rule

DO revitalize neutral interiors with punctuation of color. A small addition of striking color, say, a series of vases in chartreuse or a pair of pillows in cobalt, can transform the mood and personality of a room.

DON'T show too much leg. When mixing upholstered furniture and occasional tables, it's more attractive to vary the ratio of skirt to leg. In most cases, 20 percent skirting (either a soft skirt like the apron of a sofa, or a piece of furniture with no legs) is ideal.  

DO choose pieces with matching lines and shapes. Rolled armed sofas don’t necessarily like resting alongside boxy chairs and vice versa.

DON'T rely solely on ambient or general illumination for rooms. If 80 percent of your lighting is overhead, such as halogens or ceiling-mounted fixtures, for example, incorporate a 20 percent ratio of decorative lighting, like sconces, table lamps, art lamps and library lights, to create interest and draw attention to collections and paintings.

And lastly, DO have fun with it, but DON’T treat all styles equally.  Go heavy on one style of furniture, then mix in the other styles. If you have read through this whole post and are confused about what interior styles are or have no idea what style your home fits into go back and read our post on 7 of the most popular Interior styles today!

Happy Designing!

--DRH Team

Interior Design 101: 7 Popular Design Styles Explained

Looking to decorate your new home and seeking thematic inspiration? Search no more. I am covering seven interior design styles that are popular in modern homes today. In reality, spaces are blended with different elements from several decorating styles, but it’s crucial to identify the key components of each one. 

Obviously, there are far more interior design styles beyond what is highlighted below, but I wanted to focus on the major schools that are currently trending.

1. Mid-Century Modern

The mid-1900s produced some of the most iconic pieces in modern design. It is defined by refined lines, minimalist silhouettes, and natural shapes. From Saarinen, Niemeyer, Eames, Noguchi, Jacobsen, Knoll and many many more, the mid-century modern masters defined creative ways to use new materials like molded plastic, plywood, and aluminum in industrial design. Its pieces are highly versatile and can complement a myriad of design styles. This design style has continued to reinvent itself and resurface over the last 60 years. 

midcentury_modern.jpeg

Source: West Elm

2. Industrial

This is a look that dates back to the turn-of-the-century industrial era. It emphasizes use of exposed steel, pipes, ducts with distressed wood elements, often complemented by exposed brick walls. The modern version commonly includes copper-tone accents. Industrial decor ranges from modern rustic with cleaner lines to rugged vintage with elaborate embellishments. Depending on your tastes, you can opt for a lighter, chic look or a darker, antique design. 

Source: FRK OVERSPRINGSHANDLING

3. Nautical

Cool, relaxing, and easy to live in. Nautical decor (also referred to as coastal or cottage decor) reflects the New England beach house spirit and is truly one of our favorites! This interior design style is based on white or sand colored foundation, with blue as the primary accent color. Material-wise, nautical decor incorporates unfinished wood, combined with chic linen upholstery and nautical themed decor. Your options for decorative accents are many: seashells in clear jars, jute ropes, rowing oars, sailboats, navigational maps, and more!

This style is all about bringing the coastal life into your home. 

Source: Furnish Burnish

4.Scandinavian

Scandinavian design introduced a popular minimalist look to the interior design world that has proven its longevity.  A design movement characterized by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the 1950s in the five Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark.  

Scandinavian design often offers a strong relationship with nature featuring gentle contours, neutral palate with playful accent colors, and a balance of engineered and organic materials, Scandinavian furniture are simple, contemporary, and functional. Many Scandinavian designs employ Bauhaus principles and is characterized by fluid lines, focus on proportions, and populist appeal. 

Source: Decoist

5.Bohemian

Bohemian decor captures the carefree and adventurous spirit of the avant garde gypsy lifestyle. It features creative application of rich patterns, vibrant colors, and plush texture. The key is to carefully present a purposefully “messy” look. Layer on textiles (throws, pillows, rugs, tapestry, and lots and lots of floor pillows) for a warm and cozy ambiance.

When furnishing, look for pieces that possess ethnic or nomadic vibes. Moroccan, Southwestern, or tribal-inspired designs are currently trending. Composition-wise, Boho chic loves textile, tie dye, wood, animal hide, plants, low beds with canopies, and metallic accents.

boho.jpeg

Source: Feng Shui Dana

6.Farmhouse

Farmhouse decor is a modern approach to cabin-inspired interior design however it is much more feminine with light and bright qualities. Mostly transitional in nature with some traditional elements mixed in. This style is extremely utilitarian being that it is a live and work space. 

Farmhouse furniture are characterized by distressed wood and upholstered linen. Color-wise, it is similar to nautical or cottage decor with mostly white and beige base colors mixed with key elements such as galvanized pitchers, large hurricane glass, and the most iconic apron sink. Orthodox rules dictate that accent colors should be something similar to turquoise or light yellow.

farmhouse.jpeg

Source: Homed It 

7.Shabby chic

Shabby chic decor emphasizes vintage elements to recreate the antique flea market look. The furniture is characterized by it's aged appearance, with distressed painted wood which is sanded down to show signs of wear and tear. 

Decorative accents for shabby chic decor should be soft and frilly, often with an affected feel, in order to bring the overall interior design to a contemporary standard. Inspired by the French, Linen is the fabric of choice and is commonly tea stained to enhance the antique feel. Though traditional shabby chic colors are white, ecru and faded pastels, don’t be afraid to apply some vibrant colors. Vintage floral patterns with pastel colors, cotton ticking patterns, or linen in earth tones, are all typical of shabby chic style. Variations of this style are: Cottage Chic, Beach Cottage Chic (yes, there is a difference :)), French Country, and Gustavian which is a Swedish influence.

shabby'.jpeg

Source: Houzz

That’s a wrap for the popular interior design styles! Hope this was helpful in getting you started in your next Interior Design project. Remember that all of these styles can be mingle quite nicely and is the best  practice to achieve YOUR personal style, so liberate your mind and approach your design from creative angles. Let me know what you think!

Stay tuned for our next edition of Interior Design 101: Traditional vs Transitional

Trend: Be Our Guest Rooms

Tis the season!

Guest rooms are a perky little plus to summer.  Either you're a guest and are able to get out of dodge and visit a friend or you're the host and have company on their way.

If you have an extra space on hand for visitors, or if your regular bedroom needs a summer time spruce, here's some fun inspiration and tips to get you started!

1. Pick a color/theme and stick to it.  White paired with a bright color is a simple and playful way to go.  Blue, Coral, Kelly Green all classic colors that look stunning with white.  Play with a few patterns/florals in shades of your color and you've got a master piece.  When in doubt, stick to one pattern, one floral and one texture and lots of white.

Photo Credit cococozy.com

I'd also have a light basket weave tray mounted to the wall in between the sconces.  Something earthy and round and a few feet in diameter.   Maybe a jute rug instead.  In love with the two stools at the foot of the bed!

2. Play with Pattern and neutral texture. Its the summer!  Allowing a statement upholstery fabric in a variety of colors take center stage is totally  welcome!  Linens and large fiber weaves along with a paisley or floral print balance eachother out and still feel breezy and warm.

Photo Credit brightboldandbeautiful.com

The best part is the fabric determines all the colors for your accessories.  Your walls and wall treatments are neutral, the carpet or area rug is neutral or selected in a calm shade from your print (as an example, pulling from this fabric I'd recommend a light grey, a soft chartruese, or a blue as light as the glass lamp on the side table).  Your accessories can then pull from the more bold colors in this palette.  And voila!  You have a cohesive and balanced room.
 

3. No size is too small.  Even if your guest room is a tiny space, it's still possible to create a comfortable spot with all the accoutrements of a lovely night away.   You have to be mindful of scale here.  See our previous post on how to achieve this.  Just remember to keep your decor neutral and simple.  Mirrors add visual space to a small room, add light and dimension.  Highly recommended in a small space.  They don't even have to be eye level, but they do have to relative in size to the rest of the room. 

Photo credit: theinspiredroom.com

Keep your patterns and curtains neutral and light and be sure to offer some sort of flanking bed side tables, even if they're tiny.  

4. Keep it simple!  Upcycling some vintage furniture and some fun little finds from your travels tells a story to your guests and gives them a worldly feeling while they're away from home.  You don't have to go out and spend lots of money to create a comfortable space you can be proud to share.  

theinspiredroom.com

Rustic is a huge trend and being that these pieces are generally well loved, you're not going to feel like this design scheme will be out of fashion any time soon.  Vintage books, antique framed art, and a pitcher of flowers makes you feel like you're in your PJs about to have some pie with grandma.  If that's not a break from the normal day-to-day, I don't know what is.  Your guests will love this.

Happy decorating!  Happy hosting! Contact us if you have any questions or if you need us to help you make turn these ideas into a reality!

Interior Design 101: Design Principles

This week I wanted to go back to the basics, Interior Design Basics. Do you find yourself flipping through magazines or Interior Design Blogs with wonder and amaze at each picturesque vignette and wonder how to make your own space just as beautiful? Some people have been blessed with a natural ability to see a vision and bring it all together effortlessly, and then there are others who don’t. Believe it or not you too can get that professional look with these basic principles, applying these can help you decorate a room like a pro.

  • Proportion and Scale
  • Lines
  • Balance
  • Harmony and Rhythm

Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these, and be sure to get our Intertior Design Quick Reference Guide down below when planning your next room!

Proportion and Scale

Proportion refers to how one object relates to another object in terms of size. For example, an oversized coffee table would be out of proportion if placed in front of a small scale sofa. Instead it should be paired with a sofa with a grandeur stature.

Scale refers to how an item relates to the size of a room. Using the above example the oversized coffee table would be best placed in a larger living room, if placed in a smaller room it would appear crammed and out of place. 

Note: Though they actually mean two different things, proportion and scale are often used interchangeably. Be sure to pay attention to the context so you can ensure you are seeing the same vision.

LINES

Lines define a space. Walls, floors, ceilings, and cabinetry all create lines in a room. Here are some important points to remember about lines:

  • Vertical lines can make rooms seem taller and wide spaces seem narrower; they lend an air of formality to a room and a sense of grandeur.
  • Horizontal lines do the opposite; they widen narrow spaces, bring the eye level down creating a sense of intimacy and are very contemporary.
  • Diagonal lines convey a sense of energy to a space.
  • Curved lines soften the sharpness of rectangles and squares

BALANCE

Balance refers to the symmetry of objects within a room. Balance can be created through shape, color, pattern and texture. A room that is well-balanced will feel comfortable and relaxing. There are 3 types of balance:

  • Symmetrical balance occurs when you arrange items or objects the same way on both sides of a real or imaginary line. One side mirrors the other. For example, a console with two chairs placed on each side of it. The chairs must be identical or at least the same weight and size.
  • Asymmetrical balance creates symmetry by using objects that have the same visual weight, but are different is size, shape, color and texture. An example would be placing a group of tall table lamp on one side of a shelf and putting a short, wide vase on the other side. If you keep the proportions correct, the grouping will be balanced.
  • Radial balance is achieved when you arrange objects around one central focal point. An example would be a round dining room table with chairs sitting around it.

HARMONY and RHYTHM

Harmony results when all the design elements relate to one another in some way, creating a visually pleasing space. One way it can be achieved is by using one color throughout a space, but in different textures, shapes or sizes. Or you can combine patterns and prints as long as they have the same scale, motif or color palette. They don’t have to match, just share something similar.

Rhythm is about creating patterns of repetition and contrast that move the eye around the room. It can be achieved by repeating the same color or shape at different areas in the room. For example, taking one color and picking it up in fabric or upholstery and again in accessories and artwork.

Sometimes it’s easy to see when an item is out of scale or proportion. Other times, it’s not always as obvious. You can help train your eye by studying photographs of professionally designed rooms. Really look at them to get a feel for why it works. Look at how the different elements relate to one another and what principles they are using from the list in this post. Once you have a good grasp on them, start applying these principles of design in your home. It may take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, your eye will naturally train itself to pick up on these things with less effort.

Happy designing!

~DRH Style Team

FATHER'S DAY BLUES

In honor of the men in our lives, DRH is exploring the timeless and classic color pallete of blue and white.  Cobalt, royal, cottage and everything in between, blue is a fresh scheme that will stand the test of time.

In any room of your house, blue and white stand as a crisp backdrop for interior decor.  If you stick to a neutral blue, then you're still in the safe zone to add many complementary colors with your accessories.  If you pick a bold and bright tone, you're better off accessorizing with neutral colors.

The span of blues available in paint can be overwhelming.  These are some of the most popular paint colors by Benjamin Moore.  Any of these with a bright white trim and molding and voilá, you are a decorating genius.

Here are some Darby Road HOME accessories and furniture pieces that are top sellers in our favorite regal tone.  It's a perfect time to come in and scoop something up for dad this weekend!  If he comes, we'll be serving craft beer!  It'll be an adventure!

GEORGE FURBISH

There's something very special about a local brick and mortar business supporting other small local business.  We all need to support eachother to keep the magic happening.  Fortunately for the DRH Showroom, we are located in an area where we are able to showcase extremely talented individuals, and today, we present Furbish, a local painter.

A native of Rhode Island and lifelong resident of New England, George Furbish is well into a second career as an oil painter.  His focus is on the landscapes and seascapes of the New England states.  He finds particular inspiration in the coastal environment of Rhode Island and its spectacular Narragansett Bay which has become the inspiration for his "Impressions of New England."  "After having spent many years working in an office environment with actuaries, accountants, finance officers, and risk managers, I find that painting offers me a challenging but pleasing contrast, and an opportunity to express my creativity in a totally different way."

His artwork speaks for itself.  Framed and ready to go, these pieces are detailed, highly expressive works that will add dimension to your home.  We have them displayed in a few configurations, a gallery wall, stand alone and on an easel on a mantle.  All great ideas!

Please come by to see these beautiful pieces in person.  Here are a few just to show his range.  Enjoy!

Wallpaper...The Lost Dimension

We rudely ignore our walls all the time.  And our ceilings are like the black sheep of the family.

Shame on us.  We obsess over the layout and the design and the decor of our rooms but rarely consider how we should be treating the very structure that creates our space.

Thoughtfully curating a gallery wall or mounting a well placed dyptych or triptych can be lovely.  Painting walls and ceilings are a fabulous and necessary first step. (Diptychs and triptychs are a brilliant tool for photographic storytelling. They present two or three images which can be from the same session or they can be polar opposites to show opposition).  When in doubt, if you're redecorating a room that hasn't been touched in 8-10 years, the FIRST thing you need to do is paint your ceiling.  Even if you're sticking with white.  Go bright and flat if you're keeping things traditional.  If you're feeling daring, go gloss, but make sure your ceiling is smooth enough to your liking.  The gloss will highlight texture.  A-ha moment: paint your ceiling a funky color in a satin finish and leave your walls and trim white.  OR WALLPAPER YOUR CEILING!

Same goes for walls.  Please don't ignore them.  They are your canvas.  A fresh coat of paint will always make a room feel fresh and clean and bright.  If you treat your ceiling with something colorful or outlandish, neutral walls are a great way to establish balance.  Or you can paint your walls the same color as the ceiling.  OR YOU CAN WALLPAPER YOUR WALLS.  Or one wall.

Clearly (or maybe not so clearly) what I'm getting at here is wallpaper.  Not just wallpaper, but grasscloth, textured fabric wall treatments, even shell.  A bold, dimensional print is not for the faint of heart and so we often see the accent wall.  Totally acceptable.  A statement is made when you dive in and take a boldly printed wall treatment and put it on every wall in a room. 

Here are a few images and product shots of Kravet wall treatments that we at Darby Road HOME have access to that are beyond inspirational.  Enjoy!  And please, remember, if you're scared and want some moral support, that's what our DRH Design Services are for!

Summer Home-Runs

We've had quite a tease this week with some warm-ish weather.  Personally, 75 to 85 degrees is my happy place and then I feel that it's only right to be surrounded by the ocean and quaint towns and fun harbor side bars.  Naturally.

A little shout-out to The House of Turquoise, a blog based on homes decorated with Turquoise.  Turquoise is the color of the season.  It's warm and cool, bright and versatile and a natural beauty. 

Fabulously, the Darby Road HOME Showroom carries lines that allow customization to mimic any sort of inspiration.  Custom Upholstery that can be created from the frame up, from fabric to cushion to welt to nail head.  Furniture and Case Goods that can be made to order laquered, sleek and shiny or weathered, rustic and lived-in. 

Here are a few inspirational photos to get your interior-decor juices flowing for summer style.  Beneath you'll find a slider of some items we have in stock that go perfectly with this bright summery vibe!  Enjoy!  

PS don't forget we are giving 21% off to those with Military IDs on the 21st for Armed Forces Day!

The Salty Mermaid Cottage is a quaint and colorful home- ship-lap everywhere- with porch swings and slipcovered sofas and driftwood accents throughout.  So cozy and calm and inviting!  Wait til you see all the outdoor spaces!

The Rose Cottage is a pillar of shabby chic decor.  It's charm rises up from the rustic farm table, a trough kitchen sink, feminine chandeliers, ikat, linen and floral upholstery and a window seat fit for Cinderella (pre ball).

The Serenity Lake Front Home is a serene (I'm sorry but is there any other word to describe this?) house with cool, muted tones of seafoam, denim blue and white.  The living area is what summer homes and weeks away on holiday are made of.  Everyone in the same room, hanging out, relaxing, making guac on the kitchen island, mixing moscow mules over at the wet bar... Who needs walls?  This is so well done- while this is one big great room, the furniture layout clearly divides the room into it's respective parts.  There's order while still being flexible. 

Tangerine Tango is a post about incorporating orange- tangerine (2012 Pantone Color of the Year) specifically- into the home.  Blue and orange is a design trend that we've been watching this year.  We've seen more of the bright orange and a royal or navy blue paired together.  But this combination of turquoise and robin's egg blue with tangerine is a more light hearted approach.  Incorporated with shiny black and white, this home is funky, playful and modern, but still laid back and perfect for a schmoozy weekend with friends and family.