5 Tricks to Make Your Sofa Last Longer

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Bacharach sofa by Jonathan Adler

Bacharach sofa by Jonathan Adler

Early in our lives have we all overpaid for a sofa that barely lasted 5 years. We all felt the cushions start to cave in after a year in our favorite spot… its heart breaking to waste the money. As designers, we have been trained in this knowledge to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck in both aesthetics and quality. To help ensure your sofa will withstand the test of life, I have curated a list of 5 Tricks to Make Your Sofa Last Longer.

Milo Baughman, Chrome Sofa

Milo Baughman, Chrome Sofa

  1. Quality Framing

Be sure to look at the materials and reviews. If you are working with a designer like us, you can be sure we are considering these things when we source for you. That cannot be said for all decorators though so be sure to as blatantly. 

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2. Cushion Fill 

Not all sofa cushion fills are made equally. If you read one of my recent posts, you will see my review of RH’s Cloud Sofa. Though harsh, it was true. Some cushion fills require much more maintenance while others synthetic blend of fibers are self sufficient. Not to say that poly blend it better though - once you find a compression in the cushion, it is not repairable. You will continue to develop a sink hole till you replace the cushion. This is why it is important to find a balance of the two. I prefer a down feather wrapped poly core with more feathers than synthetic fibers. For everyone the ratio of soft to firm will vary with preference though. 

Budapestair by Paola Navone

Budapestair by Paola Navone

3. Check the Upholstery

Faux leathers will age the fastest and the worst in my opinion. Once you form cracks or minor holes from regular use, there is no going back. The second worst is linen. I love linen to death - I love the way the fabric softens with age, the relaxed and welcoming texture it provides… But I do not have kids yet. One drop of mustard, coffee, tea, or red wine and it is game over. There are several fabric lines, like Perennials, who are creating linen look-alikes that feel and appear to have the same texture, but are far more durable. You will find these synthetic blends are farm more stain resistant, resistant to fading, and easier to clean. 

Tactile by Vincenzo De Costiis

Tactile by Vincenzo De Costiis

4. Rotate Your Cushions

Some cushions are made reversible so that you can flip them over should there be an issue with the upholstery on one side. This is also helpful to do for maintaining the rate of age. If you are able to rotate the cushions, you will be able to stop the one cushion that gets sat on the most from getting trashed before the rest of them. 

Philippe Malouin, Group Sofa

Philippe Malouin, Group Sofa

5. Ask the Manufacturer

Many furniture manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on their products. Even if there is something outside of your warranty, like your dog urinates on your sofa, many offer replacement parts at a fraction of the cost. It is always worth checking with them first before trashing your perfectly good sofa and purchasing new. 

Design Details: Contrast Piping

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Many of you may remember Jen’s previous post with her Hope for Autism submission. If you didn’t see it, I want to remind you to check it out, here. I bring it up because Jen and I are obsessed with contrast piping. It is such a simple, uncommon, and genius way to add character to furniture. Whether it is a simple color palette or something gold and colorful, we believe it is one of the easiest ways to turn an “eh” piece of furniture into a “WOW” piece. Here are our Top 5 Favorite Applications

  1. To emphasize form

Photo Courtesy of Eco First Art

Photo Courtesy of Eco First Art

2. To give depth

Photo Courtesy of Decor Pad

Photo Courtesy of Decor Pad

3. To by playful

Photo Courtesy of Graham and Green

Photo Courtesy of Graham and Green

4. To be different

Photo Courtesy of Casamilano Home

Photo Courtesy of Casamilano Home

5. Cause why not?!

Source Unknown. Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.

Source Unknown. Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.

Ottomans To Make you Kick Your Feet Up

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Some people have those rooms where you better not get caught with your feet on the table - we encourage COMFORT at JTD. If you can't live in your home, then your home isn't right for you. Ottomans are essential for kicking up your feet and settling in after a long day. Not only are they very practical, but can be beautiful accessories. Take a look at a few of our favorites for getting cozy this fall!

ECC

ECC

The best part about ottomans is that in small spaces, they can double as an extra seat! Here are a few sturdy stools we love for their functionality and looks!

For more inspiration, go to our Pinterest page: Ottomans + Stools

Brass Swing Arm Sconces

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Heres the truth about swing arm sconces - people are too afraid to use them. A light that attaches to the wall and sticks out far into the room can be intimidating because it is very permanent. Their placement can determine the layout of a room. With the help from your favorite designers at JTD, we are here to tell you that they are aren't scary. They take a designer with the right experience to make sure you are putting them in the right place for your space. We have curated a few of our favorite applications to prove it to you. 

1. Ambient Lighting - Long Swing Arm Sconce

2. Bed Task Lighting - Short Swing Arm Sconce

3. Direct Lighting - Short Swing Arm Sconce

4. Task Lighting - Bent Swing Arm Sconce

Designer Unknown

Designer Unknown

5. Spot Light - Directional Swing Arm Sconce

Top Indie Fabric and Textile Designers

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Im going to let you in on one of our BIGGEST trade secrets, we have a top secret list of our favorite up-and-comers. One of our responsibilities as a designer requires constant research for new furniture, fabric, and finish designers. Our knowledge of unique artisans is one of the biggest reasons why you hire us. As artists ourselves, we appreciate the creativity and hard work that many of these Indie designers put into re-defining textiles and the classic patterns. Please see our current Top Indie Fabric and Textile Designers list below.. Remember to spread the word to give these artists their much deserved credit as you won't see these designers in mainstream fabric shops. 

Imogen Heath

Viaduct Fabric - Blue 

Viaduct Fabric - Blue 

Eskayel

Medina - Cyrrus Woven Jacquard

Medina - Cyrrus Woven Jacquard

St. Frank

Terracotta Classic Kuba Cloth

Terracotta Classic Kuba Cloth

Savanna Hayes

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Vienna Fabric  in Nectar

Vienna Fabric  in Nectar

Quercus & Co. 

 No. 5 in Black Ink

 No. 5 in Black Ink

The Foundation Shop 

James Malone Fabrics

Khafra in Bronze 

Khafra in Bronze 

 Jetavana in Peachbrown

 Jetavana in Peachbrown

Holli Zollinger 

Geo Series

Geo Series

Caryn Cramer

Aten Inca

Aten Inca

Timeless Brass Door Hardware

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Brass is all the rage now, but at JTD we dont like to get stuck in the trends! Here is our guide to the best brass door hardware for a classic, timeless look. 

1. Bonne Mazou - Goutte Ovale

Photo By  Bonne Mazou

Photo By Bonne Mazou

2. Buster and Punch - Brass Door Lever Handle

Photo by  Buster + Punch

3. Schoolhouse - Rome Tall Door Set

Photo By  Schoolhouse

Photo By Schoolhouse

4. Joseph Giles - FONTEYN Solid Brass Handle

Photo By Joseph Giles

Photo By Joseph Giles

5. Rocky Mountain Hardware - Metro Entry Set 

6. Emtek - Octagon on Circle 

Photographer unknown. Product of Emtek 

Photographer unknown. Product of Emtek 

7. Nanz - N° 1599AB

Photo By  Nanz

Photo By Nanz

8. Rocky Mountain Hardware - Flute Passage Set

9. Chant Hardware - Flush Pull

Photo By  Chant Hardware

10. Rocky Mountain Hardware - Edge Passage Set 

Loft Living- Adams St Install

We are so excited about our recent install- we can barely contain ourselves. The space previously was a dated space stuck in 90's, with rounded walls and random suspension cable tracks lights. We gutted the loft, including every bathroom, ripped out the old gym style railing with a fresh clean modern version and replaced a curved wall leading into the master bedroom with a open concept steel and glass wall- punctuated by a dramatic white curtain.

We still have yet to professionally shoot the space. Stay tuned that is slated for end of August!

 

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Accent Pillow Trends

We can not say enough how much we love the addition of accent pillows in a space. Accent pillows add warmth, character, personality, humor, drama and an opportunity to refresh the space quickly.  I am not one for seasonally themed pillows but a refresh to my living room, guest bedroom or master can completely change the tone and design direction. We love good pillows and are constantly on the hunt for a fresh selection. Scroll down for a few of our favorite spots to shop. I also often image a perfect pillow, color way or pattern that I can not find, so we source the fabric and have them made. It only take about 1.5 yards of material and a trip to your local dry cleaner to get a custom pillow made!

Our top places to shop for pillows.

1. Etsy 2. Lulu & Georgia 3. Burke Decor 4. Wayfair 5. Furbish Home 6. Kudd Krig Home

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Color Palette Inspiration- Camel and Blush Pink

We love starting a new project with fabric and wallpaper selection. Opening a package of freshly sent samples is the best mail at the office. We love sourcing fresh prints and colors from new lines that are typically a small business run by an artist putting their ideas into print and paper. 

A couple of our new favorites are St. Frank, Skinny Laminx, Imogen Heath, Adelene- Simple Cloth. Check out a couple inspiration boards we are working on for upcoming projects. 

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Deep Colored Walls- Powder Room, Family Room, Library... Oh My!

California can have it's light, breezy SoCal vibe with all white walls and boho splashed in. Fresh exciting, bold things are happening with deep, dark colored walls. Paint or wallpaper are all in.

 

Think of London library vibe.

 

Shake of the norm. No wall is permanent. Be brave and go for it.

xo, Jen

Jen Talbot Design
Jen Talbot Design
Jen Talbot Design
Jen Talbot Design

Tween Boys Black & White Plaid Bathroom

We just wrapped up one of our favorite bathrooms to date! With twins and older brother started to out grow the families current bathroom situation, we revamped a former laundry room for the girls bathroom (details in another post to come) and renovated the existing bathroom to focus on the tween boys and a space they could grow into.  

We fell in love with this plaid stone tile, which became the jumping off point for inspiration for the rest of the space.

Can we all collectively say #bathroomenvy?!

 

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How to Decorate with Plants

Plants are often overlooked as a potential element to design a space. Plants not only bring in needed color and life, but can be integral in finishing a space. Plant life is also a great way to keep the space fresh visually and satisfy the need to mix it up.  One of the most popular "designer" plant trends is the Fiddle Fig tree. It has big waxy leaves on a long stem and is very sculptural. 

Below are a couple examples of plants being used in the designing of the space. Imagine the rooms with out the plants or hold up your finger to block out the pops of green and see how different the space would feel without. 

I love plants and find it relaxing to do my Spring plantings, but I also understand are not for the fait of heart and not everyone has a green thumb or patience to care for a plant.  There a several companies that are doing a great job with high end artificial plants. They are not cheap, but the investment is a pay off verse killing a $180- $250 Fiddle Fig tree several times over. One of my favorite companies is here

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How to Add Color in Your Home, Naturally

In the last several years, I've noticed a trend in the striping of color from wardrobes and adding it to environments. Color can be tricky and much harder as a sweater paired with someones complexion. In art school students are first taught to draw in pencil, only using black and white- in order to understand highlights and low lights.  If color is introduced too soon students are not able to get a full understanding of how light affects a shape and ultimately affects the color when finally applied.

The same rules apply when adding color into your space, be thoughtful and selective about which colors and how much color to add.  Pick two colors and keep with those two mixed with neutrals. Feel free to use a variation on tones of the color you picked- meaning not all blue need to match to feel cohesive. If you mix the tones of blue, it will make the space feel more natural. Often times the use of selective color can make that highlighted color stand out more than if a multiple of colors were combined together. 

Be Brave! xo, Jen

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Favorite Chairish Picks

I surely hope you have discovered Chairish, the fabulous curated vintage marketplace from vendors across the country. Think of 1st Dibbs meets Etsy, which is a happy mix of vintage retailers and every day individuals that have an amazing piece to sell.  It's a great place to find an original pieces to introduce in a unique element in to your to space to make it that much more personalized. 

It also can be a huge time saver, not having to drive around to all the local places that may be a big miss depending on the current inventory. The only draw back is you have to pull the trigger fast on finds from Chairish because they sell out quick. 

Here is my current favorite round up that would be great for a modern living room.

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Best Up & Coming Artists

Author: Sydney Piwowar

Finding affordable, art can be hard.. it's expensive! To find affordable art that is original, is even harder. This is one of the main reasons why I love to embrace new, up and coming artists. Often these artists have not only a fresh, new look, but more reasonable prices too. It's a natural blend from my background in art installation, and I'm always on the hunt for the talented and promising artists.  Here is a quick list of a couple of my current favorite up and coming artists. 

Fate #2 by  Carson Ellis

Fate #2 by Carson Ellis

Awakenings #4 By  SARINA DIAKOS

Awakenings #4 By SARINA DIAKOS

Small Works #37 By  Ky Anderson

Small Works #37 By Ky Anderson

Untitled 2.16 by  Elizabeth Thiaucourt

Untitled 2.16 by Elizabeth Thiaucourt

The Decision by  Kai Samuels Davis

The Decision by Kai Samuels Davis

Colorful Front Doors - Stand Out from Your Neighbors

Author: Sydney Piwowar

On October 31st, many Americans were standing on each others door steps. Accompanied by our children, doorstep-to-doorstep ringing door bells and listening to our kids yell "TRICK OR TREAT!".  As a creative person, I was paying as much attention to the costumes as I was the doors. After half a dozen of white and glass doors, I was pleasantly surprised with a bright yellow door. Everyone knows that the kids' favorite house on the block is the one that gives out the full size candy bars - but this one was my favorite. 

When thinking about design, people often get stuck on the soft goods. We think about the potential for a sofa, coffee table, maybe some chairs. Things like windows, trim, doors, and passageway areas are neglected. The bones of a space are just as important though! They hold the power in a room to pull everything together, and I think they deserve our designated attention. 

The options are endless when it comes to paint colors, finishes, and details though. Here are some of our favorite doors to help inspire you to give your home some character.

Custom Cypress Doors by  Telich Custom Homes

Custom Cypress Doors by Telich Custom Homes

If you are going for more of a natural look, one of my favorite wood options is Cypress. The long, rustic woodgrain although it looks very rough, creates balance in space to create the perfect rustic modern look. 

via  SWD

via SWD

This door has a high gloss, lacquer finish. This finish is absolutely stunning! It is guaranteed to make your home stand out from all the others on the block.

White Laquered Door by  New Design Porte

White Laquered Door by New Design Porte

Not every great door has to be a bright color. Not every home calls for bright color. A white on white showstopper may be the perfect way to give your door some much needed texture and character.

19th c. Provençal French Doors with Glass and Antique Hardware by  Chateau Dominigue

19th c. Provençal French Doors with Glass and Antique Hardware by Chateau Dominigue

The antique look isn't for everyone, but I believe that antiques bring character into a space that some contemporary design cannot replace. There are some amazing dealers out there that sell beautiful doors like these to implemented in a modern home. 

Half Painted Door via Instagram by  Esther Clark

Half Painted Door via Instagram by Esther Clark

Maybe you are looking for a more bold move. Consider these unique door painting patterns. It doesn't need to be all one color! Did this for a clients tween bedroom, mixed with black and white checked head board and leather pillows. 

Washi Tape Door by  Remodelaholic

Washi Tape Door by Remodelaholic

This is a fun approach for a more temporary option, using Washi Tape to create a pattern or design to freshen up the front.  And when you are tired of it or want to change things up, you can easily removed it and start fresh. This is a great way to jazz up a kids space as they grow. It's also a great way to get them involved in the process because it is not permanent. 

Plug-In Pendants and Sconces -The Go To Problem Solvers

Author: Sydney Piwowar

You hear me talk about lighting all the time and how it is key to give any space a particular mood. In reality, it has a much more practical application required for everyday life. We need good lighting for tasks such as work, getting dressed, make up, shaving, cooking, etc. Getting good lighting can be hard though because not every house has electrical wired from every wall and ceiling. You can try to add in all the lamps you want, but sometimes it's just not enough. You need light either hanging from the ceiling or jetting out from a wall to give light on a particular angle. Now if you don't have electrical hardwired and don't have the budget to open up your walls, many lighting companies offer plug in options to allow you to hang light at your desired location, and plug it in at the closest power source. Yes, wow! Best idea ever!

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Except.. for years they didn't have any that were particularly aesthetically pleasing. Lately, I have found that lighting designers have caught up with this huge need within the design community and have created new and beautiful plug in options to not only fix your lighting needs, but add beautiful features to your room.  

Seems too good to be true.. So whats the catch? Well, for those looking to add pendants, who wants a cord hanging in the middle of their room? No one.  Room & Board has developed a product to fix this issue though! The ingenious solution is called the Tandem Ceiling Mount for Pendants. It allows you to connect your desired lighting fixture to the ceiling mount, then provides clips to connect the 20 foot long cord to the wall to keep it in place and clean. 

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Another company called Little Bishop has mastered the art of "swag" lighting. They have developed a product geared to replace the impractical metal hook often used to hang pendants on. What I love about their pendant posts is that they are all finished in a bright white undercoat which can be either left as is, or easily painted to match your space. How amazing is that!

I have rounded up a few of our favorite plug in designs below to help inspire you to fix your lighting needs!

DIY Fringe Plug in Chandelier by  Jungalow

DIY Fringe Plug in Chandelier by Jungalow

DIY Rope Wrapped Pendant by  Vintage Revivals

DIY Rope Wrapped Pendant by Vintage Revivals

Fall Color Inspiration: The Anti-Gray

Author: Sydney Piwowar

For those of you who are inspired by the seasons and the changing of colors, like me, you are probably trying to figure out the best way to bring these fall and winter colors into your home. I'm not talking about tacky turkey napkins and paper gourds I'm talking those beautiful autumn shades of burnt umber, cadmium yellow and deep reds. 

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I love Brian Paquette Interior's application of the deep and bold coral colored door juxtaposed by the darker ceiling. It is the perfect balance of visual texture.

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Embrace the warmth and rich tones of fall, all year with warmer textile colors choices. There are other neutral color options other than gray, that are classic and will stand up over time. I love this example of a burnt ocher used by Tempelton Architecture

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Be bold! Paint is just paint. It is not like a bad hair cut that will take months to grow out. If you don't like the paint color- paint over it. But it’s important to have fun and take risks in your space, as Fernandez & True Interiors did here in the 2012 Atlanta Show house.  Of course we can not change our furniture to match the season like we do our wardrobe, however, if you are craving to add something new, check out your local antique stores for a special piece that can temporarily freshen up the color palette. 

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Every space should be an extension of that person. We have different facets of ourselves; likes, interests and passions. Your home can become an exploration of those layers. I love this office designed by Steven Gambrel that seems to visually explaining that person. This space is so well composed, I can almost imagine the story and background of this person. 

Nesting Notes- Top 5 Bedroom Design Ideas

I am busy mom and business owner and am constantly on the go. When it comes to the end of the day, my favorite part is finally falling into bed! This is my wrap of top 5 bedroom design ideas. It should become your own personal haven.  Sleep tight!

 

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Don't be afraid to add a mix of pattern. A great way to do this in the headboard fabric and paired with bit of wallpaper. via sfgirlbay

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Keep it clean, light and fresh. This will give you a fresh start to everyday, although you may not want to get out of bed! by Jen Talbot Design

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I love crisp white bedding punctuated by color in other areas, such as rug and accent pillows. via Amber Interiors

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Embrace color! Don't afraid of color, just be smart about where you apply the brush. Be sure to edit and mix in textures as well as color.  by Charlotte Lucas via Dominio

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Focus the room on an amazing vintage find and then let rest fall into the background. I simply love this headboard and how it got to be the star in the room. Thumbs up! via The Decorista