Friday, February 26, 2016

Decorating In Old Spanish Colonial Style

Old Spanish Colonial is a design style that I think is simply stunning but have never had the opportunity to work with. An Eye For Design follower suggested that I might consider featuring  this style sometime. Thinking it a great idea, I have spent time researching and while I am certainly no expert on the subject, it has been fun educating myself and gathering images to share. So Barbara, here goes!

Old Spanish Colonial style incorporates design elements from a wide spectrum of cultures and civilizations. The Spanish influence came via the Conquistadors who helped colonize America and we have the native tribes of Mayans and Aztecs to thank for the traditional Mexican elements. This blend of beautiful European architectural elements and colorful tribal art has led to some of the most beautiful decor in the world. You can be assured that with the characteristic warmth and friendliness of this lovely style, you will create an  interior that is welcoming, entertaining, and aesthetically pleasing for your guests.

You can tell from the exterior of an Old Spanish Colonial home that you are in for a visual treat.

From the tile flooring to the rustic wood, painted concrete columns,

and colorful ceramics and furnishings that can be found both inside and outside of a traditional Spanish Colonial style home, you know a color and artistic explosion is right behind the front door.

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Front doors of Old Spanish Colonial homes feature scrolling wrought iron grilles for a rustic, elegant touch. As you can see from the handpainted ceiling and walls, homeowners usually have a passion for art.

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Inside such elements as ceiling beams, old iron gates, grand-scale doors and arches, as well as carved stone doorway surrounds are common to the Old Spanish Colonial style of decorating.

Wall finishes in Spanish Colonial design feature  stucco or plaster.  This heavy texture provides for interesting visual depth. Soft neutral glazes are often used in conjunction with these textured walls for more definition and color.

Familiar elements of Old Spanish Colonial homes include elegant living rooms with colorful walls, textiles, and some old-world accents in rich colors.

Quinta Quebrada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Old Spanish Colonial homes feature painted or stucco walls in warm shades of red, orange, and yellow.

Blue is also a popular color for this style home and you will see it reflected in wonderful tilework.

via Pinterest

Add splashes of color and interest throughout your room with traditional Mexican folk art, pottery or tapestries.

Massive and sturdy furniture is typical of Old Spanish Colonial decor. Bright colors are heavy and seem to work well with the bold look of this style. 

Old Spanish Colonial interiors are accented with traditional Mexican folk art including wooden carvings, statues, religious art and other hand crafted ornaments. Headboards designed from colorful retablos shows off against bright yellow walls in this and the following picture. These accents can be used in various decor spaces in your home like along walls, tables, shelves and also as freestanding objects.

This kitchen with it's whitewashed stucco walls is mixed with dazzling bright accents in shades of red, yellow, orange, green and blue. Sculptural stove hoods are also a popular element of Old Spanish Colonial kitchens.

It is common for a Spanish Colonial style house to have many visually pleasing details,

If you love the style but can't seem to embrace all the bright colors, you can always whitewash the walls, use the brights sparingly, and still create a lovely Old Spanish Colonial interior.

Furniture pieces are typically made of solid woods such as oak and feature sturdy designs with little ornamentation. 

Like I mentioned before images of saints which are carved in wood or painted are also popular in this style.

via Pinterest

Retablos are commonly used in Spanish Colonial homes. A retablo is a devotional painting, especially a small popular or folk art one using iconography derived from traditional Catholic church art. They are usually very colorful and are many times grouped together.

I love the rustic antiques, and wonderful Spanish Colonial artifacts.

A 19th-century Mexican religious painting hangs above the fireplace in the master bedroom of Jane Fonda's New Mexico Spanish Colonial style ranch. You will see doors like this one throughout this type of design style.

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Many times interiors as well as exteriors will feature small chapel type areas.

If you’re looking for a quick way to give any room a Spanish feel, add in some lovely textiles, carved furniture and accessories, and traditional pottery pieces. It can really change up a room.

I believe all styles need accessories to pull off the look, however it is a MUST for the Old Spanish Colonial style home. Look for metal items like these great candlesticks and religious art. Stenciling is another means of wall decor, just make sure you select a pattern that works well with this style.

Tile is often a distinct part of Old Colonial Spanish design.

I cannot read the source of this photo that is written at the bottom right. If this is your picture please contact me so I can credit and link to you.

One of the most sought-after Mexican-style accessory for the Old Spanish Colonial home today is Talavera pottery.The pottery was originally brought to Mexico by Spanish settlers. Authentic Talavera pottery is made in the city of Puebla and a few nearby communities in Mexico. This area contains the high-quality clay from which this pottery is made. 

Talavera pottery has intricate and colorful designs, many of which are influenced by the culture, flora and fauna of Mexico. The tiles are commonly used for decorative fireplace or wall murals, to embellish sinks, as borders for mirrors, windows or doorways, on fountains and in bathrooms

via Pinterest

This type of ceramic is also used to make tiles, flower pots and candle holders.The types of Talavera pottery you can find for the home include tiles, dishware, platters and trays, serving pieces, wall art and other decorative accents.

This wonderful kitchen demonstrates the passion for tile in the Old Spanish Colonial home. Blue and white Talavera is used for colorful accent and the larger Saltillo tile on the floor is a type of terra-cotta tile that comes from Saltillo, Coahuila. The tiles vary in color and shape, but the majority are found in varying hues of reds, oranges and yellows.

The shape of this corner kiva fireplace is also common in the Spanish Colonial home. And of course the religion art that graces it and the large carved wooden doors assure you of the style.

Other familiar elements of Spanish Colonial homes include built-in wall niches usually containing benches.

There is nothing quite like the Old Spanish Colonial interior as it applies to dramatic color. These homes are alive and energetic and what fun they must be.

via Pinterest

For more Spanish Colonial visit

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

Monday, February 8, 2016

Decorating With Sofaless Seating Arrangements

I love sofas! That being said, I do find myself strangely drawn to the alternative seating arrangement that ditches the sofa in order to use four chairs, usually matching, although you can prefer them not to match up.

This style of sofaless seating makes alot of sense and is growing in popularity. I think it's unconventional look keeps homeowners from taking the plunge. I know when people come to my house they seem to prefer sitting in a single chair and usually not more than two people sit on the sofa.

If you are wanting to update your home with little to no effort, you might want to give this sofaless seating arrangement a try. It will give your living room or family room a chic face lift with minimal effort and expense.

via Pinterest

I love debunking those time honored decorating rules and mandatory sofas is definitely a rule that needs to be broken. The sofaless seating arrangement is quite lovely as you can see in this picture.

When the chairs are all the same style and color, the sofaless grouping has cohesion. Placed like this they give the feel of sofas but could be arranged in a different way for a more singular look.

Another example of arranging your sofaless seating with two chairs, side by side, and directly across from each other.

Currently the more popular way of arranging a sofaless seating area is to place the chairs in a more circular fashion with something like a table or ottoman in the center.

To anchor the sofaless seating arrangement and create a comfortable balance that will promote conversation, the ottoman is a functional choice. If you add a tray it will double as a table with easy access for everyone since it is placed in the center. Another plus is that it can provide additional seating if needed.

This sofaless seating arrangement feature two different style chairs but since they are covered in the same fabric they are seen as a unit.

This type of sofaless arrangement could work for any space from modern casual.......

to a bit more formal.

It is easy to see that the purpose for the sofaless seating arrangement is social interaction in a room that doesn't have a TV.

Tobi Fairley

Since most people prefer conversations face-to-face, a seating area like this without a sofa is probably the best conversation arrangement

Plus the arrangement of this sofaless seating area provides a much more intimate space.

Michael Matrka, Inc

When everyone is facing each other there is none of that uncomfortable twisting and turning. I hate leaving someone's house with my neck sore!

I know I hate being the one in the middle of the sofa being twisted on both sides. I much prefer a chair of my own and plenty of elbow room.

Pamela Pierce 

A lovely French style sofaless seating area.

In this sofaless English style living room the chairs are not identical but this works because they are similar in style and scale and have a good mix of patterns.

New England Home

This is the perfect seating area for a room where it seems almost impossible to place a sofa.

You will be surprised how easy it is to create an inviting and functional furniture arrangements without a sofa.

If you try the sofaless seating arrangement in you living room yet sometimes feel the need for a sofa, you can always slide a couple of the chairs together for a loveseat effect.

James A. Grove

Club style chairs are an excellent choice for this sofaless type of seating arrangement. The curved back echos the circular arrangement.

Sofaless seating arrangements are current and chic right now so if you are in the mood to try something new, this unconventional look is worth your consideration.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer
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