Tips & Tricks: Using Symmetry for Balance

The human eye is naturally inclined to find symmetrical designs appealing. So it’s no surprise that when designing a room, our designers often double up on everything from chairs to end tables to floor lamps, essentially creating two matching halves that add up to one gorgeous room.

Designing with symmetry in mind adds a sense of balance to your room. But a good rule of thumb is to try and add something that sets off the symmetry just a bit.

DINING ROOM

Center point: The dining table
Pairing strategy: Table lamps, accent chairs, or sculptural objects
Throw the symmetry off with: A table collection

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THE ENTRYWAY

Center point: The console table
Pairing strategy: Baskets, table lamps, or stools
Throw the symmetry off with: A catchall tray or miscellaneous objects

THE BEDROOM

Center point: The bed
Pairing strategy: Nightstands, table lamps, or artwork
Throw the symmetry off with: Throw pillows or books

Design Class: Luxe And Livable Spaces

Making your home feel both sophisticated and livable is not so simple in reality. Should chairs match exactly? Where to start with mixing accents?  In a quest to demystify that effortless look we love, we break down the elements to master the imperfectly polished look in our own homes.

Lesson No. 1:

BE BOLD

Start with easy decorating additions that make substantial statements — a gesture that extends to all rooms of your house. Often you find the best juxtapositions when you just buy what you love and move it around until it finds the perfect placement. Sometimes it’s not about finding the perfect object to complete a room but finding the perfect place for a piece you love.

Here we combined a large, bold statement piece artwork with a massive stone dining table. The colors in the painting are vibrant, while the colors in the table are more muted and calming.

Lesson No. 2:

MIXING TIME-TESTED PIECES

Furnishings and accents that have stood the test of time share a sense of history and have natural affinity, making them easy to mix and match. Arranged together, these pieces make an eye-catching vignette. We love objects that evoke conversation and things that have a clear history. Try grouping objects and motifs that have historical and classical roots. Chances are, they’ll come together for a display that feels both effortless and surprisingly elegant.

Here we combined a vintage microscope with a few modern accessories. A Grecian-like statue head juxtaposes more sleek and modern pottery.

Lesson No. 3:

SHAPES & SILHOUETTES

We love great shapes and interesting silhouettes. While each piece stands out as singularly beautiful, together they add up to a look that’s artful and rich with personality. It’s an elegant yet playful design mix of streamlined, sumptuous, and salvaged elements. To recreate an equally layered and cohesive look in your home, try combining vintage finds, upholstery, and modern pieces that share similar shapes or curves.

The funky shape of this windmill is a great contrast against the sleek, clean lines of this abstract artwork and reclaimed wood and tin console piece. Add two unique cylinder accents for a well-rounded look.

3 Inspiring Bedroom Looks to Steal

Summer heat calls for lounging by the pool, a delicious margarita, and long summer naps. But who can fall asleep in a bedroom that’s unfinished, or worse – unfurnished?! Check out these three bedroom looks available here at The Arrangement to refresh your summer bedroom.

Rule number one: Don’t be afraid of color! We start with copper brown hues, green on the walls and the spectacular, customizable bed. We add lighter hues of browns and blacks to balance it out.

You love formal, historical style, but you don’t want to live “in a museum.” It doesn’t get much more classically traditional than this – a 17th century-inspired bed adorned with had carved details. Like magic, layers of pillows and this patterned bedding keep the feeling fresh and light.

Glamour and comfort make excellent bedfellows. A bedroom awash in gold is bright by day and suffused with a sultry glow at night. Warmth is of the essence; it shines through here in custom headboard, in the tone of the boldly grained nightstand, and in the patterns on the bedding.

 

This Small Accessory Has Big Style

In any well-traveled home, you’re bound to acquire many beloved objects. This marvelous geode accessory works great with just about any style of room. It comes from nature itself, so it works with any color palette. Showcase your favorite things with a little extra pizzazz. We’ve gathered three stunning geodes, plus a few tips on how to make the most of these small design accents that pack a serious punch of style.

THE LOOK

POP OF PERSONALITY

Geode designs have come a long way. Originally just an earthy rock paperweight, the geode has been transformed into a chic new range of styles. Whatever style your home is, be bold and pick an eye-catching piece. Small accents like these are the perfect places to showcase your personality.

DESK ORGANIZER EXTRAORDINAIRE

If you’re like us, you have a hard time saying no to fun office accessories. So use geodes to dress up your desk, your bookshelves, heck – it can even be used as a good ‘ol fashioned paperweight! We’re absolutely smitten with the idea of using a playful geode shape to bring a bit of whimsy to an office arrangement.

FORM OVER FUNCTION

Sure, they’re meant to act as a stylish random accessory, but geodes are good-looking enough to sit pretty just about everywhere.

OTHER WAYS TO USE GEODES

Click on each image to see how we snuck in a geode in all different styles of rooms and different room settings.

Designer-Tested Palettes

The Arrangement’s Go-to Colors

As a tried-and-true color guru, Katherine Snedeker (owner and head designer at The Arrangement) has a tested palette of sea glass blues, beige’s, and earthy browns. We wanted to pick her brain on what color palettes work for her, time and time again.

A little background on Katherine: What started 28 years ago with a small company has grown into an entire realm of rustic, western furniture, redefining western style. Katherine Snedeker has always stood for providing quality furnishings, creating whole style movements, and inviting people to take part in her dream for it all.

Q: Go-to color palette and why it works?
A: “I tend to use brown on upholstery, cabinetry or walls, then I add in the blue through accessories or textiles. Brown and seaglass blue together make for a casual yet elegant vibe.”

Q: How do you find color combinations that work for your designs?
A: “Certain colors just really speak to me and others do not. I have always selected things that I am naturally drawn to and they work well together. Over time as I design more and more spaces, it is fun to see the patterns develop and push me to try different things.”

Q: Any colors you’ve been wanting to try together?
A: “I had been dying to do a really neutral-only combination and recently we did just that. The result was stunning.”

Q: Where you do look for color inspiration?
A: “Color is everywhere. In our homes, all around us, everywhere we go. I draw inspiration from the colors of the Earth – browns, neutrals, blue & green hues from the sky and grass….I also travel a lot, and when I go somewhere new, I tend to see the trip as a whole through the colors I experience.”

Q: Favorite color of the moment?
A: “Copper. Our clients request a lot of it! Any kind of brown that has as sheen, shine, or sparkle – basically all shades of copper.”

Q:
How do you recommend moving through rooms with different color schemes?
A: “You can rearrange the color palettes, but the vibe has to stay the same. Don’t try to do one look in one room and then one look in another – mix together and carry that look with different colors from room to room.”

45 Reasons To Be Excited For Summer

Summer is here folks! We daydream about warm weather activities – barbecuing, summer entertaining, and pool parties. We’re going to help you get a leg up on your own summer goals with 45 shiny, new arrivals — perfect for summer and beyond!

Check them all out here.

Friday Feast: The Perfect Mint Julep

“‘I made a mint julep at home and it didn’t taste the same as the ones you make in your bar.’ I hear this all the time,” said Alba Huerta, owner of the craft cocktail bar Julep, in Houston, Texas.

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“A classic julep recipe is simple. There’s only mint, liquor, syrup, and ice. But there are a few hurdles to making it taste the same at home as the ones you’ve had in a bar.”

HUERTA’S TIPS FOR MIXING THE PERFECT MINT JULEP EVERY TIME:

TIP 1: The Right Ice

“In a bar, we have pellet ice. Most people don’t have that at home and dilution is important in this cocktail.” Huerta has two solutions. First, you can invest in a Lewis Bag. “You just put the ice in it and crush it into chips using any hard, wooden instrument, like a rolling pin.” If you’re hosting a large party and want to save yourself some work, she suggests going to a Sonic Drive-In for their pellet ice. “It’s perfect julep ice and they’ll sell it by the bag.”

TIP 2: The Right Mint

“There are several types of mint on the market now. The easiest to find and most abundant is peppermint, which is fine to use. But if you have access to Kentucky Colonel mint, that’s my favorite option. Never bruise the mint. That will create a bitter flavor. You just need to lightly press the mint between your hands or very lightly muddle. That mint then lives in the bottom of the cup for the duration of the drink, giving off continual light aromatics and flavor.”

TIP 3: The Right Bourbon

“Some people love a more wheated bourbon, some like more rye. Because the julep is so simple, you can use different combinations. My choice is to combine two different bourbons into one drink. I like to use equal parts of Four Roses Yellow Label, which is an 80 proof, and Old Grand-Dad 100.”

Mint_Julep

The Classic Mint Julep
Alba Huerta, Julep
Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

– 10–12 mint leaves
– ¼ oz. Turbinado Syrup (Recipe below)
– 1 oz. Four Roses Yellow Label
– 1 oz. Old Grand-Dad Bonded 100 Proof
– Mint sprig (for garnish)
– Powdered sugar (for garnish)

PREPARATION:

In a julep cup or rocks glass, add the mint leaves and the turbinado syrup. Lightly press with a muddler, then add the bourbons.

Fill ¾ of the cup with crushed ice and stir 10–12 times with a barspoon to dilute. Once diluted, remove spoon, add a straw and top off your cocktail with a small dome of crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a dust of powdered sugar.

Turbinado Syrup:

Heat two parts raw, unrefined sugar to one part water in a saucepan over medium until dissolved. Remove from heat, cool and store in the fridge.

Post and photos courtesy of Garden & Gun.

Delightful New Derby Reads

Four new pony-related books have arrived in book stores just in time for race season.

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American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner’s Legendary Rise
By Joe Drape

“I was beginning to believe that I was never going to see a horse capture the Triple Crown,” writes New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape. Lucky for him—and us—he watched the rise of American Pharoah, the most important thoroughbred in modern history who, last June, became the first racehorse in thirty-seven years to win the Triple Crown. Through in-the-moment reporting plus interviews with the horse’s owner, trainer, and jockey, Drape takes the reader behind the gate for the inside story of American Pharoah’s climb, and to the track for every dust-flying, crowd-roaring minute.

 

 

 

 

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The Sport of Kings
By C. E. Morgan

Expect this novel to show up in many summer reading lists and book clubs. It’s a piece of Southern gothic fiction with horses at the heart. Author C. E. Morgan sets the story in her resident state of Kentucky, and winds through generations of a Bluegrass family’s obsession with horses, their homeland, and the moral questions that will determine their fates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here Comes Exterminator! The Longshot Horse, the Great War, and the Making of an American Hero
By Eliza McGraw

Folks today wouldn’t recognize the subdued 1918 Kentucky Derby. With thousands of young men deployed overseas, women skipped wearing ornate hats, and many Americans thought the race was ostentatious for a country at war. So when a long-shot American horse by the name of Exterminator bolted past his 30-1 odds—and foreign-born colts—to win the Run for the Roses, it provided a much-needed jolt of energy and patriotism. Exterminator’s come-from-behind story captured hearts (and still-standing records, such as 33 stakes wins by a North American thoroughbred) as told in this deeply researched profile.

 

 

 

 

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The Kentucky Derby
By Bill Doolittle

One of the historians behind the creation of the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, Bill Doolittle had plenty of material to choose from when he compiled this coffee-table tome on the past and present of the greatest two minutes in sports. The book gathers archival photos, interviews, essays, and trivia together with dozens of full-color photographs that will make you the most in-the-know spectator at this year’s party.

 

 

 

 

Post and pictures courtesy of Garden & Gun.

4 Uses for 1 Console

Versatility is important when it comes to selecting home furnishings – styles change, room functions change, and people change. You want furniture that will adapt with you and shift for your changing needs. Our large selections of consoles are great for a variety of purposes, packing a ton of functionality and beauty into one streamlined package.

 

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1. The Buffet

Consoles are perfect for performing double-duty as buffets when you have guests over. Put out plates, silverware, a few glasses, and a tray of table linens and entertaining is solved! You can also keep your flatware and linens tucked away in the console’s drawers when not in use.

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2. Library & Display

Who says a bookshelf is the only place for books and valuable objects? Keep all of your essential volumes on-hand and on display by laying them horizontally on top of a beautiful console. Create some visual interest by adding your favorite collections and one-of-a-kind pieces to the console.

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3. Gallery

Consoles are great for displaying collections, from pottery to works of art. Try propping up framed pieces and canvases on top of your console for a gallery that can be updated on a whim.

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4. Entry

Entryways can get cluttered quickly. Get yours under control by corralling items on a console. A small dish can be used to collect mail and keys; the drawers can hold scarves, gloves, and small umbrellas.

Make Your Outdoor Space Incredible

Kick back under the sun with this stylish outdoor dining area. Whether you have a porch, pool, or patio, The Arrangement can help you create a luxurious outside space to take full advantage of the warm weather coming our way.

Katherine Snedeker, owner and head designer of The Arrangement, designed this fabulous outdoor space for her clients.

The rustic setting features earthy colors and decor. The sitting area in this outdoor dining room blends into the surrounding natural environment and is an ideal setting for entertaining.

The dark wood furniture is sturdy enough to survive the harsh sun in Texas, but elegant enough to serve your guests a unique experience.

The outdoor table is a rustic, one-of-a-kind feature of this room, with sturdy block legs held together with two vintage bars and an easy to clean top that’s large enough for several guests.

The outdoor fireplace and built in grill add to the whole experience, while the TV brings a bit of the indoors, out.

The hand-picked pottery pieces complement the natural hues found nearby the sitting area, and the simplistic piece on the table adds function and form to the outdoor table.

What an inviting place to relax with a glass of wine in the evening!