Tuscanizing Your Home

De-Tuscanization – The interior designers handbook refers to the De-Tuscanization (or de-Tuscanizing) of a home as ‘transporting the Italian Tuscan design theme home from the year 2002 into the modern age’. 

Of course, there is no such interior designers handbook, but if there was the topic of de-Tuscanizing a home would be one of the first topics discussed.  Whether you’re a realtor or an interior designer the thing on every home shoppers list is finding a home outside this once very popular design theme.  The Tuscan style home design fad reminds me of the heady days of Disco back in the 70’s.  It came in like a lion and left like a cheetah.  Fast!  In the interim, millions of homes were designed and built around this rustic but luxurious home decor featuring warm, earth-toned colors.  This is especially common in the home-boom areas such as Las Vegas and south-west.  

Although this faux-Tuscan-style décor that was all the rage a decade ago, not to mention the granite countertops, marble fireplace mantels, fancy millwork, and faux stone that were ubiquitous then – it all but screams 2005 to a younger generation of buyers, and they want nothing to do with it.   These are the same young people who have found their parents disco records and wonder ‘what the hell were they thinking?’  

The millennial home and furniture buyers who are reshaping the home market are taking their home décor cues more from the sleek minimal lines of the early 1960’s, styles that are more minimalist mid-century modern look.  These style cues are foremost in the contemporary furniture lines we carry at Furniture Market.

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I think people are drawn to the mid-century modern style because it’s light, bright and has a simplified look with clean lines.   Our realtor friends tell us that "If buyers walk into a house built in 2005 with all that fancy Tuscan wood work, lavish stonework, granite countertops, they look at that and say we really have to gut this house."   The sleek, uncluttered look is appealing to younger buyers who aren't interested in spending the few hours they aren't working or chasing after children trying to keep up a house and furniture. 

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Fortunately, De-Tuscanizing a home is a relatively inexpensive task that will give these homes a more contemporary look, starting with the furniture.   Our interior designers here at Furniture Market have become experts on this over the last few years.   

We can also be extremely helpful in this area if you are selling your home.  Home staging will help sell your home faster and at a higher selling price over outdated homes that compete with yours on the market. 

Transforming your Tuscan home into one that fits into the modern age may require having to do-away with a few favorite pieces of furniture, but the good news is that we have De-Tuscanized a lot of homes here in Las Vegas and once you get over the initial shock of seeing all that ‘brown stuff’ hauled away, you’re going to love your new home.

What are you paying for in a chair?

Investing money in fine furniture is a big deal and It’s important to know what you’re paying for. When it comes to a piece of furniture that you’ll have in your house for decades, you’ll want to know that you are paying for something that will not only be a joy to sit in but will also be well-made and built to last.

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Stressless focuses foremost on quality; in both material and construction. Stressless pays attention to every detail, from the several layers of specialty foam to the fabric and leather. For example, they mold perforated foam directly over the base, enabling you to sink deeply into the chair. Unlike most chair manufacturers, Stressless uses a solid steel rod base that is cold bent for form the frame. This is a special process that creates more durability and support that lasts longer, a process that most manufacturers find too complex and expensive. When it comes to coverings, they only use top-grain leather, which they source and hand-select from the finest tanneries in Italy and Brazil.

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Every step in the construction process is carefully designed to produce furniture that is of the highest quality and extremely durable. Many in the furniture industry compare just how far Stressless will go to create the most comfortable chair possible to that of luxury automobile make Rolls Royce. There are just no short-cuts taken!

The bottom line is this, a Stressless chair or sofa must be comfortable and it has to last. It could very well be the last chair you’ll ever buy. That is what you’re paying for.

Decorating for the Holidays

It’s about this time of the year that I start getting a lot of questions of changing home décor to match the change in season.  My answer is simple, “as the seasons change, so should your home décor.” 

What I often advise my clients is that If you love to change the look of your home, decorating for each season is the right strategy when it comes to interior design.  Pick a few areas in each room that can be decorated based on your taste and season and just be careful not to overdo it.

Like many of you, my holiday decorating usually starts in the garage.  It’s there you’ll find stacks of large plastic storage containers labeled ‘Spring’, ‘Summer’, ‘Fall’, and ‘Winter’.  These versatile items contain sheets, blankets, pillows, curtains, and a large assortment of decorations for every season.

While the holidays provide easy inspiration for decorating, fall and the start of the new year are usually neglected.  Here are a few simple transitional decorating options that I use in my own home.

FALL

After a hot summer, especially in Las Vegas, everyone is looking forward to the cooler weather fall brings, while others might feel a little blue with the onrush of all the reds and browns.  Whatever your attitude is towards fall, there’s no question that it's one of the easiest seasons to decorate for!  Colorful leaves, orange pumpkins and rustic elements adorn homes across the country.  I start by creating a unique centerpiece for my table, then move on to the kitchen where you’ll find pumpkins and other seasonal vegetables harvested this time of year.  Using varying sizes creates focal points and points of interest.  I like to off-set these larger items with perhaps a bowl of assorted shelled nuts or pine cones.  They not only look inviting, but they add a rich fall-like aroma to the room, especially if the fireplace is in use. 

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Besides small decorative items, I also like to exchange the pastel colored throw pillows and area rugs used during the warmer months for the darker, deep rich colors of fall and winter.  Those colors alone create a warmer tone in the room without even having to light the fireplace.   The same principle is carefully applied to every room including the bedroom.  Lightly colored bed covers are replaced with a heaver fabric containing deep rich tones of brown and red.   

WINTER

During the month of December people are swept up in preparing their homes for the holiday season, and it’s a great opportunity to bring out Grandmas Hanukkah menorah or all those Christmas decorations that every family accumulates over the years.  Having to rearrange furniture to accommodate a Christmas tree for example is a great excuse to change-up the look and flow of the family or living room.  But to be honest, I look for any excuse to do just that.  If you don’t celebrate the holidays with a tree, just rearrange the furniture because you can. 

If you prefer an artificial Christmas tree over a live tree consider picking up a few cut-off branches from the corner tree sale lot and use them to ad that beautiful live-tree aroma to the house.  Place the sprigs in a vase full of water and they’ll stay fresh for some time.  Also, lets not forget the versatile poinsettia which adds color, texture and detail to any room. 

 Decorating for December is rather simple and straight forward.  It’s after the holidays that a lot of homes fall into that decoration void between the holidays and spring.   Considering the winter season lasts longer than your holiday décor, its an opportunity to get creative.  One way is to continue the warm, cozy theme you started in fall, incorporating plaid patterns of dark brown, red and green.  I like to draw inspiration from the glistening snow seen off in the mountains by adding and incorporating hues of blue, silver and turquoise into my revitalized fall interior.  While both are great options, be sure to use one for consistency in your home.  Remember that big beautiful poinsettia you received during the holidays?  Poinsettias last a very long time, long after the red flower falls away.  Consider re-potting them and using them as a house plant than can even be moved to the patio during the warmer months. 

During this time of year, I mostly rely on ambient light, like a sitting in a room or family illuminated only by the glow of a well-lit fireplace.   I am not advocating that you do away with all overhead lighting, but I do think that rooms (and people!) look better in less-harsh lighting. In general, I opt for strategically placed table and floor lamps throughout the rooms and limit overhead lighting to bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens.  As for fireplaces, consider a new electronic fireplace if your home does not have one.  They are reasonably inexpensive and can be either built into a wall, stand alone or even double as an entertainment console.  Furniture Market has many to choose from.

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Lastly, throw a party!  Although parties are synonymous with the holiday season, it doesn’t have to be limited to December.  The best way to avoid the post-holiday blues is to keep the festivities going and enjoy your newly decorated home with friends and family.

Greenery in The Home

No matter the size of the home or the scope of the project, the finishing touch that brings it all together is almost always the introduction of greenery.  There is something about adding a living element (even if its faux) that say’s “its done”!

Without it the room doesn’t have any life to it, isn’t cohesive or just looks flat even though all the elements may be there. Adding greenery and plants to your home is a great way to add life and energy to it. Here are a few basic that I go by when decorating with greenery.

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Go High

I believe to truly feel the impact of plants in a room, you have to get them up and off the floor and into your line of sight. This can be accomplished with either tall planters or putting them on a pedestal. This works especially well in homes with high ceilings.

Not only can pedestals and large planters add sculptural appeal of their own, but they can turn an otherwise boring hall-way or corner into a living, exciting point of interest.

They can also be placed behind a chair or a nook next to a window. Small accent tables, étagères, and of course, traditional plant stands also make ideal platforms for potted plants.

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Scale Up

Some may think it risky to invest time, effort, and money into a large-scale plant, but the result is worth it. An indoor tree, such as a palm, a fiddle-leaf fig, or a ficus, can be the difference between a room that feels dreary and one that feels fresh and full of life. When placed near windows or French doors, indoor trees will help bolster a room’s visual connection to the outdoors, especially when its too hot or cold to spend a lot of time outside.

Beyond the mental and emotional impact of all that greenery, adding a large plant to a space can really spice-up its style factor, the same way a piece of sculpture or an eye-catching light fixture does. A large plant has real presence in a room, drawing the eye up and around and adding gorgeous textures and dimensions to any room.

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Create an Indoor Garden

Often times I'll turn a room or sunny corner into an indoor arboretum by adding more than one type of plant. To accomplish this I'll cluster plants in a variety of sizes, textures, and containers with some placed on the floor and others on pedestals or tables. The result is a look that feels lush and organic.

Complete and Repeat

A single petite plant can do wonders for a lackluster corner or a lonely hall table. But if you double it up, it just works so much better. For example, to highlight a beautiful glass, stone or chrome console table I often make a row of green potted plants in similar sizes in matching containers. This makes a wonderful yet simple centerpiece or windowsill vignette. I especially love this look when using small-scale plants, whose tailored shapes create a pleasing visual rhythm when repeated.

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Go Faux

Don’t have a green thumb or the time needed to pamper real plants? Quality faux greenery on the market today are incredibly life-like and real, and require a fraction of the time needed to maintain them. Other than light dusting from time to time, a quality faux plant or tree will last years. This is often the case with many Furniture Market clients who maintain second homes here in Las Vegas. Real greenery just would not be practical if the home is left alone for long periods of time. Faux greenery comes in every imaginable type and size, and something can be found for every need.

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Go Slow

Real succulents are really low maintenance , hardly require any water grow very slow. This makes them perfect for the out-of-town or on-the-go homeowner. The only they require a lot of is sunlight, and lots of it. Orchids are another great low maintenance plant. They’re also beautiful and require very little water, and like succulents they also need a fair amount of sunlight.

Arrange  

Creating beautiful greenery arrangements can be as simple as opening a home design magazine or visiting your local nursery. Or, you can stop by Furniture Market and get inspired by the dozens of one-of-a-kind arrangements on display throughout the showroom. We'll be happy to assist you with recommendations and ideas. You can also take the easy route and purchase one right off the floor. Either way, going greenery can be a lot of fun.