In Defense of the Color Gray

gray

I get the feeling that gray has a bad rap- it’s probably not anybody’s “favorite” color, when asked. Because of this, I see surprisingly few interiors painted gray and very little gray furniture. But I’m here to say that I think it’s high time gray got the attention it deserves.

Having a background in art, I spent a lot of time with color theory. Grays were an important part of painting, I learned. If you paint with only bright colors, straight from the tube, you rely only on chromatic contrast (warm vs cool colors). However, if you neutralize certain colors, you provide more contrast between colors through using grays. Gray can make a brighter color look intensely brighter. Give it a try for yourself: put an object that is blue next to an object of another color (not gray). Then set the same blue object next to the gray one. Which brings out the blue more? The gray will provide a neutral for the blue to really pop on.

So this theory applied to decorating works the same. And grays come in a multitude of hues, so it’s not all just gray. Grays can be warm or cool, dark, light, etc. which gives you a lot of options. I’m highly in favor of gray walls. I think they emit coziness and make your other decor come to life. Gray can be very light and airy as well, less moody than its darker counterparts. So when you’re thinking about paint colors or larger pieces of furniture, consider this less-loved favorite in the color palette.

For a little inspiration, check out these gray interiors here…

To Chair or Not to Chair?

chair

When I first moved to my current apartment, there were a grand total of three chairs in tow: one normal sized, wooden, half broken chair, and two plastic 1970’s kindergarten chairs. While I have no qualms about sitting in a little orange kindergarten chair, apparently most people do. So I found myself with a little bit of a dilemma: the few times I had people over, there was nowhere to sit! I’m not much of a believer in couches unless they’re one of those $3000 midcentury mod numbers, so there was never much of a possibility of a couch in the picture.

Living in an apartment without chairs never really bothered me, but after several embarrassing chairless experiences while having guests over, I eventually started my search for seating. I found the lovely armless armchair I’m currently sitting on at a Habitat for Humanity thrift store and it has been a great comfortable reading/working/lounging chair since. I also purchased two white wooden folding chairs at IKEA for $15 each, which are awesome because they can be easily packed up when they’re not needed. They also have a very clever circular hole drilled through the back so you can hang them on the wall if you really need to free up space! Finally, I ended up inheriting a small dining room set, complete with four chairs. They’re not the loungey sort, but they work.

Here’s the crazy thing: I liked not having chairs. I enjoyed sitting on the floor at the low coffee table eating meals or having tea with friends. This is why I wanted to offer some chair alternative solutions.

floor cusion

Zabuton – These Japanese floor cushions are an aesthetically pleasing alternative to chairs and go especially well with a low coffee table.

bean bag

Love Sac – The name sounds silly, but these high end “bean bag chairs” are comfortable and versatile. They offer a wide variety of amorphous furniture to fit a cozy lifestyle.

pouf

Poufs – There are tons of poufs out there right now. Basically, they are overstuffed ottomans to sit on.

dog bed

Dog Beds – don’t judge. There are some comfortable dog beds out there! This one has memory foam. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it… and if you don’t want to buy one, you could always make this super cute little number here.

 

 

(photo credit: oomaiga.tumblr.com)

Easter Celebration Creation!

With Easter coming up this weekend, you may be thinking of fun activities to do with your friends and family. From a brunch with your friends, to spending quality time with your family, how you spend the day is up to you, but what would Easter be without some good old fashioned tie-dye eggs! Tie-dye is a perfect activity to do with loved ones and a great way to let out your creative side! You can create bright, crazy colors and share them with those around you in a fun-filled afternoon. From intricate patterns and designs, to filling eggs with candies and small pastries, there is something for everyone from the novice egg decorator to the pro designer. The link below provides a dozen exciting and fun ideas for what you can do to spice up this year’s Easter eggs.

http://www.babble.com/babble-voices/future-imperfect-megan-reardon/a-dozen-fabulous-easter-egg-ideas/

 

Plants that clean your household air

If you have stuffy, humid, or even stinky air in your apartment home and you want to get rid of it in a natural and clean way, you may be surprised to find out that several plants can be used to naturally clean up the air in your home, making it fresher while also adding a bit of color to your home. From Palms to Orchids, there are a variety of plants that can have all over your home that help freshen up the air, and are going to be less expensive than having to repeatedly buy air fresheners, sprays, and even dehumidifiers. These plants can even do more than just make the air cleaner, but they can even get rid of toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene that can increase your chance of certain cancers, asthma, allergies and other diseases. Therefore, these plants will not just clean your home, they will clean your body. Check out the link below to see what plants you will be buying for your home.

http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/types-of-houseplants.html

Loose change turned into art

Do you have piles and piles of loose change all over your apartment home, car, etc. and you have no idea what to do with them? Well, here is a fun and crafty idea that will turn that loose change into unique, personalized artwork that you can hang somewhere in your apartment or house or even make as a gift for a friend. You can do it alone or you can make it an event and craft with your family or friends, but either way, you are bound to have a great time. If you already craft regularly, then you will probably have most of the materials, but if you don’t the materials are easy to find and nicely priced. All you need are paper mache letters, pennies, glue, copper acrylic paint, a paintbrush, and clear spray sealer. You can decorate one letter, or even end up spelling out an entire quote; the one rule is being creative and have fun. Click on the link below to read the full description on how to create this cool craft!

http://www.thecraftedsparrow.com/2012/01/loose-change.html