10 Tips for Renovating Your Basement

10 Tips for Renovating Your Basement

Remodeling a basement is no little accomplishment. Unless you live in a brand new home that is intended for a possible remodel, many houses are not equipped with basements designed to be transformed into living spaces. But do not find this as a setback — it is merely a matter of knowing how to handle the circumstance.

Renovating Shade is old hat for Ventana Construction co-owner Anne Higuera. Wipe her knowledge, have a look at her original renovation shots for reference, and choose whether you’re ready to jump right into a basement remodel.

Excellent Neighborhood Homes

1. Plan your exits. Building codes need safe exit routes in the event of a crisis, particularly in bedroom areas. “A frequent requirement is that an opening window must be large enough to climb out of, and close enough to the floor to reach,” says Higeura. “This occasionally means cutting the foundation and constructing a window”

The windows within this finished basement not only let in loads of light, but they also provide an easy-to-access escape route in the event of emergency. Check with the regional building department about your home’s requirements.

2. Stop the water. If you’ve any moisture or water coming from the foundation or slab, Higuera recommends not finishing that portion of the cellar before the source is located and fixed. “Covering up a problem will only mean soggy, moldy insulation and Sheetrock later on, along with ruined floors,” she says. “Don’t risk it.”

Ventana Construction LLC

3. Check the height. “If basements are not built purposely as living space, chances are they have reduced ceiling height, or low-hanging ductwork, piping and wiring,” says Higuera. “One alternative, as seen in this picture, is to dig, which means pouring new footings under your existing ones.”

Otherwise, Higuera suggests relocating the ductwork or waste piping into inconspicuous areas such as cabinets. “There are many ways to remove ductwork, gas and water piping and other mechanical components in perspective by injecting them in the floor joists above,” she says. “Even beams can be flush-framed into the ground system.”

Ventana Construction LLC

4. Can you empty? Most basement remodels involve installing a new bathroom, which usually means removing part of the concrete slab and linking new waste lines to the bathroom and bathtub or shower. Your ability to attach those lines depends on how heavy your waste lines are under the surface of the concrete floor.

“You want enough of a slope from the lines, known as ‘fall,’ to permit the waste to depart by gravity,” says Higuera. “If you do not have autumn or your waste lines leave the building through the foundation, like this photo shows, you will require a sewage ejection pump to empty the toilet waste”

Ventana Construction LLC

5. Describe your hazmat. Basements could be stuffed with various hazardous substances. Asbestos was often utilized to seal seams in ductwork (see photo), and can nevertheless be found from the adhesive adhesive used to put in many linoleum-type floor tiles from the 1950s. Most pre-1978 homes have lead paint. Work with your builder to identify these hazards, and bring in a lab to analyze samples for complete safety.

Ventana Construction LLC

6. Retrofit. If you live in earthquake country, do not finish your cellar without bolting your foundation and installing shearwall in your pony walls (the short-framed wall between the foundation and the floor program, shown above) as they are at risk for failure in an earthquake. “Standard retrofitting involves nailing plywood into the face of the brief wall, in addition to linking it to the foundation and the ground system above, if at all possible,” says Higuera. “It is simple to do if the walls are open, plus much more pricey after the actuality.”

7. Look ahead. Don’t finish your basement without thinking about potential jobs. Because the cellar is the heart of most homes’ mechanical methods, you probably will have to return in there to do any major work on your primary floor, or for a good addition.

“In case you are thinking about a kitchen remodel, then run a few additional electrical circuits into the ground system. If a new bathtub is on your programs, run the garbage and supply lines today,” advises Higuera. “There is nothing worse than having to remove and replace the work you’ve just put into perform a new job.”

Studio One-Off Design & Architecture

8. Reduce noise. Your newly finished basement has the potential to influence the remainder of your house with noise, particularly if you create a media or play room. Installing sound insulation into the cellar ceiling can help. Higuera also suggests using RC station, which is a long piece of metal shaped like a hat if viewed from the end.

Without a solid break, sound travels throughout the wood right into the drywall. The RC station is installed across the joists prior to the drywall. When it is time for the drywall to be attached, then it rests to the RC station instead of the wood joists, reducing noise cancelling.

Still another Alternative? Lights can lights. “Can lights have a tendency to carry noise, so utilize surface-mount lights if your ceiling is high enough,” Higuera says.

Ventana Construction LLC

9. Choose your style. Do you want your cellar to match the finishes in the remainder of your home, or do you want it to have a different texture? This transitional bathroom has both traditional and modern elements, and the cellar has painted trim and doors throughout. According to Higuera, it is a complete departure from the primary floor, which is a traditional Arts & Crafts home with dark-stained fir millwork. However, the transitional elements make it compatible with a variety of styles while giving it a distinctive aesthetic.

Ventana Construction LLC

10. Consider the box. Don’t feel hemmed in by things like articles going down the center of your space, or door and window locations. “There are a range of ways to hold up beams while reducing the amount of articles, and doors and windows can often be moved without a lot of trouble,” says Higuera. “Even the stairwell into the basement could be reworked or emptied.”

See related

Fantastic Design Plant: Papyrus

Fantastic Design Plant: Papyrus

We’ve seen papyrus — in African landscapes, woven into newspaper and as backdrops to exotic resort destinations — but how and where does papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) flourish out of these cases? Is living along the Nile River necessary for developing it? While it’s true that papyrus naturally develops in tropical bogs and along stream borders, it is able and eager to be cultivated at a residential garden as well. If you’ve decided to include a water garden in your landscape or are plagued by poorly drained soil, papyrus might be the plant for you. What could be better at the oppressive heat of summer in relation to the whirring of your flourishing papyrus plants swaying in the wind?

Carolyn Chadwick

Botanical name: Cyperus papyrus
Common names: Papyrus, Egyptian papyrus
USDA zones: 9 to 11 (find your zone)
Water requirement:Water adoring
moderate requirement:Full sun to partial shade
Mature dimensions:6 to 10 feet tall; 2 to 4 feet wide
Advantages and tolerances: Prefers moist lands
Seasonal attention:Blooms July through September; dormant in winter
When to plant: Plant seedlings and split in spring

Studio H Landscape Architecture

Distinguishing attributes. Papyrus is distinguished by its long, gracefully arching stems that can reach up to ten feet in length. Topping the stems are 1-foot-long sprays of fibrous stems. These clusters will continue to fill out until they form a soft crown. Terminal flower clusters appear in summer, followed by little berries.

Bercy Chen Studio

King Tut papyrus, shown here, is a award-winning and appealing papyrus cultivar.

How to use it. Papyrus is commonly seen planted along ponds and aquatic gardens, owing to its natural habitat. Permit the plant to form a mass in order to create a gentle and natural focus along with companion aquatic plants such as water lilies (Nymphaea spp) or lotus (Nelumbo spp).

Papyrus develops rapidly, therefore it’s recommended that you plant it together big water features or plant it in a container and then put the container from the water. This will stop the plant from taking over the pond and make maintenance easier.

Stephanie Ann Davis Landscape Design

Papyrus tolerates standing water in addition to relatively dry soil, therefore it can also be utilized in rain gardens or as dry riverbeds.

Make Architecture

You can even plant papyrus in containers for a more structured and minimalist effect. Minimize drainage by plugging holes.

Grounded – Richard Risner RLA, ASLA

Planting notes. Papyrus is native to warm climates and therefore isn’t appropriate for growing outdoors anyplace. In some ponds, papyrus is treated as an annual or brought indoors over winter. While it typically goes dormant in all ponds over winter, rhizomes protected from frost underground may resprout in spring.

Papyrus grows best in rich, fertile soils that maintain continuous moisture — it will grow in shallow water. It is more of a marginal plant also doesn’t grow well in deep water such as water lilies will. Plant it in full to partial sun, while enabling it to thrive in partial shade. It is a plant that requires medium maintenance — keep the soil wet, eliminate old culms (stems) after flowering and protect it from wind for the best success.

See more guides to great design crops

See related

Celebrate Patriotism All Year With Americana Design

Celebrate Patriotism All Year With Americana Design

Happy Fourth of July, Everybody! I hope you have some fantastic cookout and fireworks strategies. While many Americans are bedecking their front porches with red, white and blue to the day, others enjoy Americana style year-round. The style includes elements like American flags; quilts; a red, white and blue colour; nautical touches; classic vintage furniture of the Hawaiian and farmhouse varieties; folk art; shingles; plantation shutters; ticking stripes; Amish quilts and legendary logos like Coca-Cola. You don’t need to possess an explosion of red, white and blue or ginghams and plaids anyplace to achieve the appearance, however; there are loads of ways to adopt the style that vary in the aforementioned explosion to very subtle hints.

Echelon Custom Homes

If you’re hanging a flag on the facade of your house or even framed on the wall as you see, the proper way is with the field of stars to your left.

James McAdam Design

Americana style doesn’t mean an explosion of fire-engine red, white and navy blue (though that’s OK too). This settee vignette carefully scattering the patriotic palette and components: The blue is a really light shade; the celebrities really are a folk-art shape rather than the usual five-point star seen on the flag.

James McAdam Design

This barn goes all-out in embracing Americana style, such as gingham, quilted pillows, a red-white-blue palette and the framed flag. The use of white paint and mixing in neutral shades of tan avoid Americana overload.

Interior designer Barclay Butera is not scared to fully embrace Americana style, particularly when decorating seaside cottages.

James McAdam Design

A framed classic bathing suit provides just the ideal dose of Americana to this upgraded cabin kitchen.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

This porch has big Americana curb appeal, with its proud flag flying, shingles which resemble barn doors and farmhouse feel.

James McAdam Design

A shingled porch is a superb spot to showcase some stars and bars. A massive pillow at a Betsy Ross–inspired striped and design bistro chairs bring patriotic style.

James McAdam Design

This clipped modern landscape blends classic Americana style (shingles, blue dividers, geraniums in window boxes) with contemporary touches (gridded pavers, contemporary sofa seats, an edited plant palette).

Shoreline Architecture & Design

Gingham fabric and solid blue cushions piped in white are popular upholstery options that include Americana style. Adding another strong color like sage green to the red, white and blue changes up the expected appearance.

Sarah Greenman

A completely different palette may nevertheless comprise Americana style. Iconic photos from Ansel Adams, a star-patterned quilt plus a weathered caramel leather sofa complete the appearance.

Wolf & Wing Interior Design

A chic coastal appearance may give a nod to Americana through its colour palette.


Federal and oriental furniture pieces like these nightstands and this four-poster bed additionally add Americana style. A striped rug is another strong portion of the appearance.

Crisp Architects

A comfy colonial New England look filled with antique furniture and farmhouse touches can be pure Americana, since the bits recall Americans’ early history.

Jean Macrea Interiors, Inc..

Looking to later times of settlers outside West, rustic Western style is another take.

Sandy Koepke

Folk art components, particularly those associated with farms and barns, like weather vanes, are fun ways to bring from the appearance.

Irene Turner: IT Sonoma Design

Contemporary and contemporary spaces can also adopt this appearance. This house’s architecture is barn inspired, therefore regardless of its modern finishes and lack of ornamentation, overstuffed bits in a red, white and blue palette fit into the mixture.

Iconic American trademarks and products like Coca-Cola paraphernalia are also a part of Americana style. The classic coke machine at the corner serves as a fun conversation piece.

If you can’t afford an original Jasper Johns, be watching at street fairs, art shows and online for flag artwork. It’s remarkable the way in which the flag can look very traditional or very modern.

B+g design inc..

A dash of Americana style even functions in this very modern home in the form of the flag as contemporary art.

Timeline of American House Designs
Classic Color Duo: Blue and White

See related

Surprise Contender: Copper for Kitchen Countertops

Surprise Contender: Copper for Kitchen Countertops

If you’re out there for a kitchen makeover, then you have probably spent hours debating countertop choices. Granite or marble? Laminate or quartz? Soapstone or stainless steel? Just to add to your issue, here’s an additional player on the scene: copper. Though it’s not quite as common as its counter cousins, this timeless favorite is increasing in popularity, and it’s well worth adding to a list of possibilities. Here is what you need to know.

The Refined Group

The Experts of Copper

Ease of maintenance. It may sound surprising, but copper is relatively simple to wash. A mixture of lemon juice and salt will scour it nicely (be sure to rinse then), however you might also get by with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Dry the face thoroughly and oil or wax occasionally to keep it in the best possible form.

Oak Hill Iron

Mellow patina. Recognized a “alive” surface, copper tarnishes because it oxidizes and responds to the substances that cross it. For many, that’s part of its allure. Unsealed copper will gradually dull and transition to a blend of reds reds, reds and greens, and a lot of homeowners love for the personality it provides.

Lorin Hill

Germ resistance. Some — but not all — copper alloys have natural antimicrobial properties. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates this particular claim and requires manufacturers to register antimicrobial copper products, so check with the EPA should you want to ensure your copper countertop (like these along the perimeter of the kitchen) will resist germs.

Robin Rigby Fisher CMKBD/CAPS

Green living. Copper frequently can be uninstalled from scrap yards or industrial applications, so it’s popular with those dedicated to sustainable living.


Versatility. Copper is a chameleon — it may take on a variety of personalities to suit your space. It feels as appropriate in a contemporary townhouse or an industrial loft as it can in a traditional kitchen or a comfortable cabin.

Conrado – Home Builders

The Cons of Copper

Discoloration. This is actually the flip side of this fairly patina that copper develops. If you’re connected to the new-penny look of shiny copper, you’ll need to be diligent about resealing. Have a look at examples of aged copper countertops to find out whether or how much you’ll still enjoy them years in the future.

Oak Hill Iron

Dings and scratches. Because it’s soft, copper is easily marred by knives and heavy pots and is susceptible to everyday wear and tear. Although these frequently could be buffed out, some people today like the sense of age that results. If you’re really concerned about dents, then elect for a otherwise distressed end, which will not show them nearly as prominently.

Group 3

Cost. Copper does not come cheap. The typical cost ranges from $100 to $175 per square foot installed. It requires skill to affix copper sheeting correctly to a substrate, so this is a tricky task for the average DIYer, too.

Tell us Have you tried copper countertops in your kitchen? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Watch more guides and Tips for your kitchen counters

See related

Decorate With Intention: The Art of Compromise

Decorate With Intention: The Art of Compromise

Among those concerns I hear most often is, How do you decorate a home when your significant other has a completely different style? If you are new to merging different styles under one roof, chances are that you could use a blueprint for moving forward. Walk through these 10 steps for easy strategies for blending fashions without stepping on too many toes.

Michelle Hinckley

Step 1: Give to Respecting Each Other

Establish an intention in the beginning that you will appreciate one another’s opinions and preferences, and lend equal weight to each point of view.

Consider blending styles instead of blending personalities. It keeps things more civil and lets you see more choices. After all, a lot of us are drawn to more than one style. Consider this as a design issue (that it is) rather than attempting to read too much into it. We all have our own likes and dislikes, and that is OK.


Case in point: This living area is a great illustration of merging traditionally masculine elements (wood-panel walls, rich browns, hex print rug, cowhide stool) with a bit of boho glam (printed pillows, persimmon throw, velvet couch, glass lamp) for a look that keeps everybody happy.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

Step 2: Create Your Wish Lists

Sit down separately and compose lists of everything your heart desires in a home. At this stage do not worry about budget or space limitations; let your creativity run free and just get it all down on paper.

Chambers + Chambers Architects

Do not be afraid to ask for what you actually desire. If pink partitions are exactly what your heart desires, list it. Attempt to avoid guessing what your partner will believe. You might be surprised.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Step 3: Establish Your Priorities

Once you have your wish list finish, pick your top five things, in order of significance, and have your partner do the same. It’s important that you know which things are the most significant to each of you personally and where there’s some wiggle room.

To take it a step further, work together to make a joint list of priorities. This list ought to point to five items that you want to create in a home together, from the special (uncluttered, glowing) to the less tangible but equally significant (warm, laid-back).

Step 4: Establish Your Limits

If you can find items that totally horrify you, today is your chance to exercise your veto power. The point here is to avoid big conflicts in the future, not to pick a fight today. So stick with the few things that are deal breakers for you, and ask your partner to do the same.

In case your partner claims to hate some of your favorite looks, do not stress. In step 9 you’ll have a chance to bring back a bit of what you love, even if your partner doesn’t get it.

Shannon Malone

Step 5: Agree to Blend Styles in Main Spaces

Common spaces like the living room, where you spend lots of time together, should reflect both of you. Now’s the time to compare your lists and try to locate items which will work collectively.

Case in point: In this living room a dark floor, traditional furniture and also a library ladder construct a classic foundation for the room, while the rich green paint behind the bookcases and a sparkly chandelier exude a sense of fun.

Jennifer Bishop Design

Ideas on utilizing fabrics: Mixing up fabrics and furniture contours is a excellent way to combine styles. Try upgrading a mixture of traditionally masculine fabrics and patterns like leather and houndstooth with a modern palette, then use them on furniture with clean lines and also a little bit of curve.

Alternately, pick a manly furniture shape (Chesterfield couch, wingback chair) and pay it in a soft, plush cloth like jewel-tone velvet. In any event, the concept is to shake it up a bit, so each piece appeals to both of you.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Compromise doesn’t need to equal dull. Including a bold colour, like the red in this dining area, may be just the thing to tie together disparate styles. There is something about having an intense backdrop which makes anything that you put in front of it hang together.

Having difficulty picking a shade you like? Try browsing together and pick out photos with colors that appeal to each of you.

Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25

Nevertheless, it’s usually sensible to keep big furniture neutral. While no interior decorating principles are set in stone, this is sound advice for anybody to follow. Tastes change, and large furniture pieces could be expensive to replace or re-cover if you decide to go in another way in the future. Main furniture pieces like the couch and armchairs are most versatile in shades of lace, taupe, white, chocolate or grey.

Step 6: Be Willing to Check at New Matters

Keep your eyes open and be willing to wait for the Ideal pieces. Sometimes a individual will make a sweeping generalization, like “I do not like art.” Well, that likely isn’t the complete story. It is more likely this individual hasn’t encountered a style that resonates with them.

Case in point: This wall mosaic by artist John Whitmarsh was made by piecing together bits of discarded asphalt, and contains a modern urban vibe which could appeal to someone who hasn’t found her or his artwork market yet.

Flea Market Sunday

Measure 7: Do not Dismiss anybody’s Passion

We all have our own likes, plus they do not always mesh with the loves of the person we have been sharing a roof — and that is OK. It is necessary to respect another man’s hobbies and interests, while also finding a way to work them in a shared space which pleases you both.

Case in point: This group of model trains could have easily gotten out of control. But lined up on easy floating shelves, they suddenly look crisp and intriguing.

AMW Design Studio

Step 8: Create Your Bedroom the Getaway Zone

Consider where you’d really like to choose a getaway together and try designing your bedroom with this in mind. By focusing on something other than yourselves, it is going to take the pressure off. Posh urban hotel? Tropical oasis? The entire world is your oyster!

Judith Balis Interiors

Step 9: Provide Each Individual Free Rein in One Room

Independent offices, an excess den, a room in the basement, a guest space, a workout area, or possibly a garage or drop can work as private space. It feels fantastic to have the ability to decorate a room exactly how you would like, so try to make this occur, even if you are decorating your nooks or closets instead of entire rooms.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Measure 10: Assess Where You Stand

If you’ve managed to create a few tough decisions, and each of you feels you bent on some issues, and also you were able to pick out a couple things that you love, give yourselves a fantastic big pat on the back.

Decorating is an ongoing process, so don’t worry if it feels like things are taking longer than you would like. The most significant issue is that your home, even if it is a work in progress, is a location you like spending time in.

Nevertheless having issues?Consider hiring an interior designer. Designers are there to make your life easier. An experienced designer will help pinpoint a new look which will appeal to both of you, even if it seems your fashions are in odds.

More: Find your decorating design

See related

Great Design Plant: Cannas

Great Design Plant: Cannas

Though not true lilies, canna lilies make a superb addition to a huge variety of garden styles and styles. They’re easy to grow, easy to propagate and reasonably priced, and they produce a large impact even in small numbers. Large leaves in a variety of colour variants are topped with relatively small flowers in a variety of colours as well. Regardless of what colour scheme you are going for, there’s a canna to coincide.

Whilst typically utilized in tropical-style gardens, cannas also can be used in more traditional gardens in colder zones down to at least 5a. We all northern gardeners can plant them summer bulbs, whilst zone 8-10 anglers may use them year round! Let us take a peek at a number of cannas and their effect in the garden.

Pot Incorporated

At a Glance: Canna Lilies
Botanical name: Cannaceae
Common title: Canna lily
USDA zones: 8-10 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Well-drained, well-watered dirt
moderate requirement: Full sun, slight shade
Mature size: two to 9 feet tall, depending upon variety
Gains: Easy to grow, tall and statuesque, pest resistant, interesting foliage, wide range of colours

Best time to plant: two weeks after the last frost in your area for colder zones and anytime in zones 8-10
Seasonal curiosity: Foliage looks the best in late spring-mid summer, while the flowers put on a show in summer time.

Small Miracles Designs

Cannas were the first plant I mastered. These beginner-proof beauties will provide you confidence to move on into other, less forgiving, plants.

Adam Woodruff + Associates, Garden Artisans

How to Use Cannas in Your Garden

Cannas work flawlessly as a background foil for smaller plants. You generally have to wait for three to four years for an evergreen plant to grow large enough to work as a foil for other crops, but a canna can grow to four or five feet in a couple of months.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Cannas have verdant foliage, but can be top heavy. Try underplanting cannas with low-growing baskets to pay up those bare legs.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Cannas can be worked into a formal garden by keeping them neat. Notice how the total type of the canna planting is circular instead of”drifting” in a free-form design.

Even though cannas typically are tropical crops, they could partner with numerous styles of gardens. Here they are paired with grasses, the disparate leaf sizes making an interesting combination.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Cannas can look very formal when planted in baskets and interspersed with other mannerly plants. Employing deep maroon foliage provides this entryway thickness and distinction.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Consider using cannas as”bursting” plants supporting a low-clipped hedge of boxwood or yew. The plant is very well behaved, but provides a tailored look a little more excitement.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Are you fortunate enough to have a space to bask in sunlight, splash in a pool or even breathe in the ocean breezes? Cannas are really at home in this environment, waving in the wind and also bringing the feel of the tropics to your backyard for just a couple of bucks.

Beware, however: If you are growing cannas in tropical areas, they will just keep growing and might take over. In U.S.D.A. zones 7 and lower, cannas are grow just enough each summer to flaunt and propagate a few more rhizomes underground, then die.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Selecting a Canna Color

You’ll find a vast array of leaf and flower colors and variegation when picking a canna plant. The traditional canna has basic green leaves with bright red flowers, but there are many others to choose from. Try out different blossom colors, from flaming red and orange to milder yellows and apricots.

Red-leaf cannas are spectacular from the garden and easily can bridge crops which clash with one another.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Red cannas look particularly beautiful when tamed by whites and pinks. Notice the way the veins of this canna leaves are intensified from the lighter colours that surround them.

Another way to boost the routines in the canna leaves would be to put the plant so it’s backlit either in the morning or evening. A sunset filtering through the leaves of a canna is a stunning sight.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Try bronze cannas with orange blooms to accent blues in a contemporary garden.

Nunley Custom Homes

The oranges also complement purple blooms or hardscaping.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

How to Care to Cannas

Cannas are easy. They require a bit more effort than evergreen bushes, but not much. The only real work is pulling them up in the autumn and placing them in the spring. It takes a total of perhaps two hours per year for 20 to 25 cannas.

Once the first frost hits, simply lift the cannas from the floor by the stalks and let them dry out in sunlight for a day. Cut off the dried stalks, keep the rhizomes in a dry, cool area and they will be prepared to go next spring.

Mary-Liz Campbell Landscape Design

Cannas are not particularly vulnerable to diseases or bugs, but they aren’t immune either. Symptoms to watch out for include:
Holes in leaves. Pinch off the affected leaves and blast with a hose to keep critters . Yellowing foliage. Try adding compost into the soil round the cannas. They might be underfed. Shriveled or moldy rhizomes. When in storage, a couple bulbs will necessarily go bad. Only throw them in the garbage or woodpile.For the most part, I plant my cannas and forget about them. They’re tough, beautiful statement plants that you will either love or love to hate. I’m completely in the love camp — are you? Leave a comment and tell us!

More: Great Layout Plants

See related

I have a love-hate relationship with paint chips. Thumbing through racks of them in my regional home center gives me a jolt of enthusiasm and a frisson of panic. The sheer volume of potential palettes overwhelms me. Citron and turquoise? Eggplant and khaki? Kelly green and daffodil yellow? Forget it, I inevitably conclude. I’ll just paint everything white.

Lately, though, I have decided to take it easy on myself. Instead of doing laps around the color wheel settling for neutrals, I’m narrowing my options down to easy, classic palettes that are practically impossible to mess up. If, like me, you end up paralyzed by chances, take a look at these eight color schemes for inspiration.

LLC, Cristi Holcombe Interiors

1. Yellow and blue. Like pepper and salt or toast and jam, these colors create a perfect pair. It’s hard to find two colors of one that do not work together — as primary colours, they discuss an uncomplicated, basic quality that keeps them in sync. Most men and women consider yellow and blue as traditional, and they are, but you are able to spin them to transitional or modern land by choosing tailored lines and subtle patterns such as the ones shown here.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

2. White and Black. Need I even mention this one? It’s dramatic, complicated and as timeless as you can get. In any room, in any respect, it is completely fail-safe, and you’ll be able to mix in dabs of whatever accent color appeals to you. Click here to see this palette carried throughout an entire house.

Story & Space – Interior Design and Color Guidance

3. Pink and green. Why does this perennially preppy combo strike such a chord? Well, consider character: pink flowers atop green stems, blooming from shrubbery, surrounded by foliage. If you would like to make green and pink appearance less Lilly Pulitzer, try layering two or three saturated, slightly dirty colors of each color, as in this bedroom.

Emily A. Clark

4. Navy and white. A starched white button-down topped with a navy blazer never goes out of fashion, and neither does a white and navy room. With this pairing, it’s easy to default to the nautical approach (stripes, sailboats, white linen). However, this living space turns convention on its ear: solid walls set off with sharp white millwork and a painted coffee table, using an overscale rug that joins the spectacle together.

Red Egg Design Group

5. Yellow and gray. Like the odd couple of the color spectrum, these two colors could not be more distinct. Yet they complement each other perfectly: Ebullient yellowish helps somber gray to lighten up; gray calms yellowish down and keeps it from bubbling over. It’s a win-win.

Olga Adler

6. Red and beige. This mixture bears a particular resemblance to yellow and gray — one includes an outsize personality, while the flip is more reticent. What makes them such all-natural spouses is the hot undertones they discuss. Temper a bold stroke of crimson with a swath of beige to create a rich, inviting, but still mellow space.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

7. Orange and blue. They are opposites on the color wheel, and paradoxically that means that they go nicely together. If you can’t abide the idea of a vibrant tangerine and cobalt room, go quieter. This serene living area is washed in light turquoise and soft coral, diluted versions of blue and orange that create no less of an effect for their restraint.

8. Lavender and Chocolate. Really? You’re thinking. Yes, really. Sweet, pale purple and rich chocolate bring out the very best in each other. The crucial thing is to maintain the lavender from getting too bright — a chalky pastel colour works best and seems luminous against deep brown. A lavender accent wall is all this cozy space needed to bring it into life.

What is your go-to palette? Tell us in the comments section!

Select a Fantastic Color Palette

10 Ways To Create Your Neutral Palette Shine

See related

Potted Plants Perk Up the Streets of Coastal France

Potted Plants Perk Up the Streets of Coastal France

I have spent the past week soaking up the local colour in Collioure, France. It is a town so full of charm and beauty that we basically threw our planned day trips outside the window and have been enjoying the design, colours, artwork, vistas and locals right there in town.

Collioure, along the Ruby Coast, is so amazing that it inspired vibrant colours to emerge onto the canvases of Matisse and Derain in 1905. This manner of artwork, which lent powerful, unexpected colours, was dubbed fauvism. One of the most charming ways residents adopt art and color here today is via simple potted plants which dot the streetscape; they lineup staircase, sit atop balconies, are perched on tables and chairs, and therefore are mounted directly onto the outside walls.

See ways to add colour to your potted plants with a glance at some of my favorites.

A pink geranium in a ceramic pot tops an orange café chair outside a shop door. The town shops are filled with wonderful local ceramic pieces.

Shattered ceramics make for unique mosaic pots. Red flowers are the pìece de résistance.

Here they line the staircase to an art gallery which has a camera painted a vibrant hue.

You can see how the former vignette fits to the greater streetscape, an inviting street filled with colorful shops and galleries.

Bold lines of colour enliven this stucco wall.

Pops of green rejuvenate old stone walls.

One of my friends wished the laundry point had been empty for her picture, but I think it adds interest for this lovely tiny balcony scene.

Who knew a purple plastic pot could look so great? Another wonderful embellishment seen throughout Collioure is the use of ceramic tile as an architectural detail.

Our one day excursion took us from the Mediterranean shore into the Pyrenees and the town of Céret. This is a town where cubism thrived and a group of famous artists established The Céret Museum of Modern Art; I highly recommend a visit.

Little baskets add dots of green to the building’s facade.

“Exactly why is this crazy American shooting an image of my geraniums?”

Collioure has tropical plants such as this palm and vineyard grapes up the hillsides, however from outside the water, snow-capped mountains are visible in the distance.

This facade has one of the greatest applications of faux bois I have ever seen.

Terra-cotta pots filled with crops create a foundation for wild vines that rise from the bottom up within the roof.

Who needs a vase filled with cut flowers when a simple terra-cotta plant and pot will thrive for much longer?

Try this at home using a begonia or Spanish geranium. If your chairs are a bit more ho-hum than these French bistro chairs, add a white and blue gingham tablecloth.

Charming, Bright Country Home in France

Escape: Off to the South of France

Merchandise Categories: That French Je Ne Sais Quoi

See related

Dream Rooms Dazzle in Decorator Showcase

Dream Rooms Dazzle in Decorator Showcase

From a pink and girly teen hangout to an elevator inspired by Alice in Wonderland to a mobile booth, there was a dream space to suit every style at the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase House. Designers let their imagination run wild with a customized neon-lit sign, walls covered in gold wallpaper as well as a tiny flower studio. Get inspired by these amazing fantasy spaces and pick up a few tricks for your own home along the way.

More photographs from this display: Living Spaces | Bedrooms and Baths

Alex Amend Photography

Collector’s Library
By Jonathan Rachman

Inspired by his own personal collection, designer Jonathan Rachman created an industrial chic library, designed to hold all sorts of tchotchkes. A glossy gray paint covers the paneled woodwork, creating the perfect background to make each item stick out. An authentic wingtip from a World War II airplane hangs over the fireplace, just one of Rachman’s many unique treasures.

From showhouse to your house: Don’t conceal your collections away. Whether you’re a stamp, coin or teacup enthusiast, set your treasures out to be admired — they will add personality and style to your home. While layering and stacking will add visual interest to your display, make sure people can clearly see each individual item, also.

Alex Amend Photography

Teen Hangout Room
By Emily Mughannam

This chic teen hangout would be many a teen and tween woman’s dream. An oversize pit couch from Sofa U Love holds court at the center, providing lots of space to get a gaggle of kids to sit gossip and bite.

Alex Amend Photography

Designer Emily Mughannam custom made this neon light to read “You only live once” — inspired by a motto of today’s adolescents.

Alex Amend Photography

A bar cart from Society Social holds the essentials, and a chandelier by Apparatus Studio adds flamboyant style. Removable wallpaper covers the ceiling perfect for a teenager who’s always changing her style.

Alex Amend Photography

From reveal house to your house: Teens can change their thoughts about a color, fixture or piece of furniture in a heartbeat. For large pieces of furniture, stick to classics which are fairly neutral and won’t go out of style and personalize them with upholstery which can be switched out easily. Opt for more affordable temporary accessories to add dash without making a dent in your wallet.

Alex Amend Photography

By Lawanna Cathleen

A feature as elegant and fascinating since an old-fashioned elevator deserves the perfect motif; this one performs Alice in Wonderland. Restoration Hardware sconces are mirrored in antique mirrors, which makes the Osborne & Little wallpaper shine.

From reveal house to your house: If you have a funky feature in your house — like an old call box, then a dumbwaiter or a radiator — play with this! These are the things make your home unique, so let them shine.

Alex Amend Photography

Laundry Room
By Lisa Bakamis

Since this laundry space is next to the media space, designer Lisa Bakamis made a reclaimed Douglas fir bar from Urban Woods since the perfect place to blend up beverages before settling down and seeing a film.

The washer and drier are tucked into a joyous piece of Schumacher fabric that mimics the same colours as the wallpaper. The floors are concrete pressed with lumber to get a wood-grain effect.

From show house to your house: Make laundry less of a job by transforming it into a space that is cheerful. Bright colours, reclaimed materials and functional accessories turn a small laundry room into a stone box.

Telephone Booth
By Robert Brill Design

Although mobile telephones are long gone for most, many families still have a home telephone line. Designer Robert Brill played this idea by creating a modern mobile booth. The walls are upholstered with white tufted Naugahyde. A false ceiling homes a solid system and LED lighting fixtures which change color. Best of all, the traditional phone is replaced using a wall-mounted iPad.

Alex Amend Photography

From reveal house to your house: Keep your landline telephone where people can have personal conversations. It may encourage family members to take telephone calls elsewhere to keep down noise.

Alex Amend Photography

Media Room
By Weaver Design Group

Gray hair-on-hide cloth wallpaper from Elitis and an upholstered display on the walls of the media room help muffle loud noise in this high tech area. A table was created to go all of the way round the back and sides of the sofa to conveniently hold beverages without the danger of knocking them over. The custom sofa and casual seats provides seating for 10, which makes this luxe area the perfect place to sponsor a movie night.

Alex Amend Photography

From show house to your house: Make your media space match for both group solo and entertaining TV watching by incorporating casual chairs which can be easily stowed away as needed. Give lots of side tables to safely hold snacks and beverages.

Her Office
By Catherine Kwong Design

Produced as a fashion writer’s dream workspace, this chic office unites contemporary furnishings with tailored accents. Hand-painted Kelly Wearstler cloth ties the room together by accenting inspiration planks and a seat in the hallway.

From reveal house to your house: Use cloths to brighten a dim area. Here, Kwong framed folded Hermès scarves in the storage areas. Framing fabrics or wallpaper can add color to an area, without dealing with the mess or fuss of paint. When you’re tired of the appearance, just change it out for something new.

Master Dressing Room
By Kriste Michelini Interiors

Bold metallic Maya Romanoff wallpaper provides this chic dressing room a big dose of glamour. The designer filled the area with classic pieces, portrait-style artwork by Karen Eichler and various metallic elements to create a space fit for a female of any age and style.

Shelves from CB2 were given a quick coat of paint and hung on the wall to get fairly and functional storage.

From show house to your house: Textural walls are great for small and massive spaces, since they add another layer of visual interest to a distance. Start looking for something large and bold, like the gold wallpaper in this area, or something much more subtle and elegant to get a larger bedroom or living space.

Alex Amend Photography

The Pavonia Room: Gentleman’s Research
By Geoffrey De Sousa Interior Design

Occasionally mixing patterns may seem wrong but look so right. The hide-and-hair rug in this gentleman’s study is the first thing that catches the eye its reflection in the gold desk seems to continue forever. Pairing this bold rug using an eye-catching Timorous Beasties wallpaper isn’t a clear choice, but the final result is stunning.

Alex Amend Photography

From reveal house to your house: Don’t be afraid to mix and match layouts. Too often we are afraid of experimentation with color and pattern, so we stick to simple neutrals. Go outside of your comfort zone and try pairing a few unexpected pieces together to get a one-of-a-kind appearance.

The Listening Room
Matthew MacCaul Turner

Designer Matthew MacCaul Turner paid homage to several different cultural influences in this modern day music listening area with a beautiful view. Japanese displays, Greek sculptures and Italian furniture all feel at home in this area. The unique light fixture — one of MacCaul’s very own creations — is a fun and unexpected element.

Alex Amend Photography

From reveal house to your house: In case you can not decide on a style, don’t worry. There is no need to stick to one special look in your home. Should you play the same color palette — like the hot neutrals in Turner’s area — you will have more leeway.

Floral Design Studio
Bloomingayles, Gayle Nicoletti

Having a house as large as this just begs for fun, and what better way to become in the ready than to get your own personal flower studio? It’s a luxury, to say the least, but designer Gayle Nicoletti took good advantage of the tiny nook and transformed it in an artistic distance. Tear sheets and graphics are posted for inspiration, and a tasteful chandelier offers extra lighting.

From reveal house to your house: Fnd a small distance at home you can devote to your craft. Even if it is a table at the corner of your office or garage, beautify it with a coating of paint and an inspiration board.

Event information:
The 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs from April 28 to May 28, 2012.

Location: 2020 Jackson St., San Francisco
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday: 10 Gamble–3 p.m.; Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday and Memorial Day: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Price: $30 at the door (no advance tickets)

More photographs from the showcase:
Living Spaces Wow at Decorator Showcase
Cozy As much as Bedrooms and Baths in Decorator Showcase

See related