Lessons in Color: Warm Colors

You may have heard of the term “warm” colors. We’re going to explore what a warm color is and why it’s called such. Warm colors tend to be colors that are between red and yellow on the color spectrum. This is because these colors remind us of “warm” things, such as fire. Pink, red, orange, and yellow are all considered warm colors.


Think about what makes you feel warm

Flames & Fire

Sunlight, fire, bright areas, maybe even fall, those are all valid things that make people feel warm! We all associate color with different things, but for us as a whole, we generally think of things on the red-orange-yellow end of the color spectrum to be universally “warm”. Think about the color of metal when it is heated — it’s “red hot”, right? Yellow and red peppers are generally hot, too. Spicy things are often colored red or orange, like buffalo chicken. The reason is because we consider these colors to be warm, so it’s a visual cue as well that “this is warm”. You can trick your brain into thinking a space is warm this way, too!

Bring warmth to your room

Along with warming up a large space, a warm color can make you feel comfy and cozy. Certain colors can evoke certain moods and emotions in a room. Warm colors are typically used in large spaces to make them seem smaller and more intimate.

Warm Colors Infographic

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Lessons in Color: Neutrals

Roman Shades on windows add a dramatic flair

Neutral greige tone on a wall

j. ellen Design, LLC is putting together some great infographics with tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your design. Today we’re going to talk about neutral tones and neutral colors, what they are and how they work.

You’ve heard the term “neutral” tone, or “neutral” color, but what is a neutral color? Why is it so useful and versatile? Neutral means that the color or tone is lacking in a specific hue or saturation. Neutral tones tend to be without preference to a certain color.

Why are neutrals so great?

A neutral color is great to use because it makes designing against it a breeze. For example, a neutral gray can match any other accent color you want to use — yellow, orange, red, purple, you name it, it’ll match. Neutral tones for walls and floors make it easy to update your decor when you eventually want to swap out colors or patterns. Check out the image above where we used a neutral color on the walls, and then we decorated with poppy color and light aqua-blue accents. Swapping out those pillows or rug will be easy with the neutral tone on the wall!

True neutrals

A neutral tone can have a color preference, however. Sometimes beige or taupe can have an undertone of pink or purple, maybe even gold. Finding a true neutral tone can be difficult, but being aware of undertones is important as well.

Here are some examples of some neutral colors:

Pantone Neutral Colors

Neutral Color & What it is

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Rolling Shades versus Roman Shades: Which is best?

Roller Shade

Standard Roller Shade

Ah, it’s an epic battle of taste! Whether you’re renovating your current space or moving into a new one, you may be wondering, which should I choose? With so many design options available for your window furnishings and coverings, it can be a tough decision for anyone. The patterns, fabrics, and colors alone can be endless – but choosing the base style can help you narrow down your options. While I can certainly help you to decide what will best work for your space, needs, and wants, here are some things to consider.

You may be familiar with roller blinds, also known as roller shades. They are the typical rolling shade that pulls down and springs back up. They come in a variety of colors, shades, shapes, and styles. They can be light blocking, heat blocking, and more. They are the basic type of shade or blind that you think of when adding a privacy element to your windows. They are generally low-cost and low maintenance. Roller blinds are great because they look good even extended, without any seams, lines, and generally fairly dust free.

Many window accessory companies offers rolling shades in all kinds of styles and fabric types. Rolling shades are great for light blocking and UV filtering. Rolling shades can even be installed to blacken your room if you like! Many companies nowadays even offer smart home motorization offers as well, meaning you’ll never need to head to the window to bring your shade up or down again. Just tap on your phone or set a schedule, and you’re done.

Roman Shades on windows add a dramatic flair

Woven Roman Shades add a dramatic flair

But roman shades add a great amount of dramatic flair to any space. Roman shades come in all types and sizes, so you can have the look you want in a single piece. Roman shades work well on smaller windows.

Roman Shade

Roman Shade

So which is better? It all comes down to taste. What’s your vote? Roman shade or roller shade? Let us know in the comments below!

Ready to give your home the window makeover it deserves? Contact us today!

How should I hang artwork on my wall?

One of the biggest problems you may face with decorating your home is… How do you hang your artwork on your wall in a cohesive but visually arresting manner? While there are multiple ways you can hang artwork on walls, some ways may be better for others, especially when it comes to where you’re hanging your artwork.

We’ve prepared an infographic for you below to help you with some ideas on how to hang artwork on your walls.

How should I hang artwork on my wall infographic

Keep in mind that when you’re hanging your artwork, there are so many more options than just the ones we’ve described above. You can vary the sizes, but generally you want to make sure that everything seems balanced to the eye — meaning you don’t want to put one very large picture on one side, and a very small one next to it. However, if you put the large image in the middle (or vice versa) while flanking it will small ones, the layout becomes balanced. Try experimenting with a variety of layouts before committing to just one.

A great tip for hanging a lot of pictures on a wall is cutting out regular paper, newspaper, or brown paper to the size of your artwork that you want to hang. Then, you can freely hang and rearrange those pieces of paper on the wall to figure out the best looking options that work for you.

How to hang artwork

Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

What layout worked best for you? What’s your favorite method of hanging artwork? Got any more tips to share to make hanging artwork easier? Let us know in the comments below!

What height should I mount my flatscreen?

One of the questions I often get is how to know where and how high to mount artwork and other items on the wall such as flatscreen televisions. Because of this, I’m going to be publishing some interior design tips in the form of infographics to help you! These infographics will have easy-to-use DIY tips and tricks for answering your questions and making your space look great. Have a question about something (or you want to see an infographic about something)? Leave us a comment and let us know!

This first one details how you should determine what height and where to mount your flatscreen television on the wall. There is a little bit of math required (and some measuring), but trust us when we say it’s worth it. There’s also some mention about why putting your flatscreen over the fireplace might not be the greatest idea. One thing I don’t mention that I will now is to make sure that your television is level. Especially if you’re like us and you like to put garland on it during the holiday season.

Of course, j. ellen Design LLC can help you organize and design your space (or re-design it) whether it’s a bathroom, kitchen, or even an office space. If you’re interested in our design services, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We would be happy to work with you on your interior design project — big or small.

Take a look, share with your friends, or share on Pinterest!

What height should I mount my flatscreen infographic

j. ellen Design makes NH Home Magazine

NH Home Magazine Cover September-October 2017

We were thrilled to see one of our projects gracing the cover of NH Home Magazine for September-October 2017. (Of course Heather, the Boston Terrier totally steals the show!!) We had a wonderful time working with the Bossi family to design their beautiful new home in Bedford, New Hampshire. Be sure to pick up a copy on your local newsstand and see some of the highlights in this beautiful custom kitchen featuring cabinetry by Young Furniture Mfg., Inc.

June Trisciani, of j. ellen Design in Manchester, forged a strong working relationship with Susan and Don Bossi not long after they hired her to design the interiors of their Bedford home. The journey started with a trip to Connecticut, where the Bossis lived at the time, to spend a day with the couple. “I wanted to know more about how they lived and what they loved about their home,” Trisciani says. “I also wanted to know what they wanted to do differently when building their new home.”

You can check out this issue right on the NH Home Magazine website.

Check out more of this wonderful project:

j ellen Design LLC Beautiful Kitchen

Ready to get started on your kitchen design? Contact j. ellen Design today!

How to survive your kitchen renovation

Kitchen RemodelKitchen renovations are tough! Think about it, you have removed the heart of your home and while it is going to come back and be better than ever, you have to get through the recovery/healing process of gutting your old kitchen to replace it with new. There will be dust, disruption and a period of no sink or appliances. What is one to do? Here are a few recommendations to help you through this process.

Pre-planning is key

The first step is planning… DO NOT swing a hammer without a plan! A good designer will work with you to have your selections sorted, before work begins. In addition to having cabinetry, fixtures and appliances ordered, you will want to be sure to have your flooring, wall colors, light fixtures and other items selected to keep everything moving forward. Having a solid game plan and timeline will reduce the amount of time your kitchen is out of commission and help your contractor glide through the renovation process.

Keep your appliances

The next step is to think about a spot (dining room, living room, garage) where you can keep your refrigerator plugged in and set up a folding table to serve as your makeshift counter. Try to find a spot in the same area to store your pantry basics. Thinking this through before you begin will certainly reduce stress!

Embrace the adventure

While eating out is always an option it isn’t always feasible and really, how many pizza deliveries can you handle? Your local supermarket has many options these days to create healthy meals—rotisserie chickens, salad in a bag, ready to serve veggies and more. However, even these options can get boring and expensive over time. While your kitchen is in ruins, there are some great small appliances that you can use to make family friendly meals. In addition to the required coffee maker and toaster, some of my favorite mini appliances to help get you though a renovation are a single burner induction cooktop, a slow cooker or an electric pressure cooker (my new favorite appliance). Having the items available will help you function during your renovation.

Go disposable

And finally, the most challenging…your access to a sink will be limited (yes, sometimes your only water source will be that guest bathroom sink) so don’t be afraid to embrace disposable paper goods. There are some great options on the market today that are fully recyclable.

Yes, when working with clients, I am sure I always sound like a broken record; but, PLANNING IS KEY! I am a realist and will tell you, it won’t be easy; however with proper planning and remembering how wonderful your new kitchen will be… you and your family can get through this adventure!

Changes and Flowers…

As everyone knows, change happens. That being said, I will remind you all that change is good! We all know the saying… ‘when one door closes, another opens…’ At j. ellen Design, we have made major changes for 2017 to shake up the studio. In addition to updating and introducing product lines, we have redesigned the studio and are thrilled to announce that Guylaine Ostrander, the owner and creative genius behind All Silk Designs has joined our design team.

Silk Flower Arrangement

Let’s face it, not all of us (me included) are good with keeping plants alive and trying to maintain beautiful flowers can be costly and time consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice if flowers would just appear, always look fresh and your plants were always green and beautiful?? All Silk Designs offers the most realistic silk floral arrangements and plants we have ever seen! The most amazing part of this is you can purchase arrangements right from one of our displays or schedule an appointment with Guylaine to talk about creating something special just for you.

Red Silk Flower ArrangementNot sure you want the same arrangement day after day? Don’t have space to store arrangements? Explore the All Silk Designs rental programs. Whether you are looking to freshen up your home or office on a monthly or quarterly basis, the rental program is a great way to keep everything fresh and new by swapping out your arrangements for the holiday or season.

Have you ever wanted to learn the art of floral arranging? Part of our renovation was undertaken to create more open spaces for Guylaine to share her knowledge and offer a series of floral arranging classes. This is great way to add your own touch to an arrangement while meeting new friends and enjoying a glass of wine!

At j. ellen Design, we pride ourselves in creating a one-stop shopping experience for all of our clients. Adding this new element brings us another step closer to helping you add all of the finishing touches to make your space a home.

With j. ellen Design, B Burton Custom Décor and All Silk Designs, we’ve got you covered! Call today to schedule an appointment to learn about all of our offerings… and stay tuned for news on our upcoming spring open house to share what we have been up to!

All Silk Designs Floral Arrangement

Timeless Design versus Trends

Trend /trend/ (v.) emerge as a popular trend; be currently popular

Site IconThis is the textbook definition of trend. In the world of interior design and fashion, we are constantly barraged with trends. What style of furniture is ‘in’? What is the color of the year?

In marketing (on-line and social media), trend is defined as ‘a subject that has many posts in a short period of time.’ This creates a short burst of excitement or talk that tends to fade out shortly thereafter.

The common denominator of a trend is the fact that it may be and generally is short lived and will tend to look dated after a short period of time… If you are a child of the 80s or 90s, you can simply look back at your old photos to find examples. Ummm… shoulder pads anyone?

As a designer, trends can be an interesting dilemma. They are splashed everywhere for us to see… home design television shows, magazine articles, and social media. How do we create a space that will not be passé in a year or two? Timeless design is the art of balancing the classics with a few splashes of a trend to remain current. Think of the classic black dress. Every woman has one and while it may be a simple design that works for your body type, the accessories chosen create a different look each and every time it is worn. The dress, however, remains beautiful and timeless.

When working with our clients to design a space in their home, we want to create that classic black dress by selecting cornerstone pieces that are classic and timeless while infusing a splash of the trend to always keep your home current. At j. ellen Design, we find that this formula creates a functional, beautiful space that will endure the test of time. We want to help you create a long-lasting space to enjoy for years to come — not months. Contact us today to get started.

Shelf Brackets

How to Handle a Lack of Storage Space

Storage space is a sticking point for a lot of designers. You can see a lot of sweeping, beautiful, minimalistic interior design spaces, but after you get past the “wow” factor you may be wondering where do those spaces keep everything?

Beautiful but… where does everything go?

With design elements like lack of ottomans and see-through glass or plexiglas tables, where do things go? There’s no clutter in this space, and we all wish we could de-clutter our lives as easily as that, but the smaller your home is, the less space you’re going to have.

Never fear. We’ve got some great and easy ideas to help maximize your space without leaving you throwing all your belongings in the trash.

Shelving & Racks

If you have walls and you’re able to put things on those walls, some under-used areas in your home can be used to store items. Try utilizing space above kitchen cabinets, space above windows, and spaces above appliances.

Try these great ideas:

Combine your curtain rod, curtain bracket, and add some space to put things above your windows or even your doors. If you have low windows, this can grant you a lot of extra storage space!

Utilize wall space to hang pots and pans. Usually you want to make sure you’re only showcasing good looking pots and pans like the copper ones in the photo. But check out some more ideas to show off your pots and pans, keep them usable, and maximize your storage space:

This idea looks really cool, but there are some things you’re going to keep in mind while installing something like this. You’ll want to raise the level of it so splash back from cooking doesn’t coat the pans, and make sure you’re not hanging pots and pans that stick out too far so you’re not bumping your hands while working.

Here’s another one:

Storage Inside/Underneath Things

Storing things inside or under other things is a big part of hiding items you don’t necessarily want to see. Whether it’s a storage ottoman, a shoe organizer for under the bed, or secret drawers. Here are some awesome ideas:

Utilize the inside of drawers and cabinets to help organize your items. We’ve seen this in kitchens for pots and pan lids, but also in bathroom vanities. You can even install towel racks on the backs of doors in the kitchen, bathroom, or otherwise to help hang things in areas that are not in full view but also not stuffed away, either!

Folding, Collapsible, & Foldaway Things

Items that fold up, fold away, or even better — go away — after you’re done using them are great to maximize storage space and working space. If you’ve only got a limited amount of space to live in, items that fold up and disappear until you need them might be a great solution.

Folding tables:

Murphy beds:

Collapsible & Expandable Tables & Desks:

Clothing Storage

One of the hardest things about clothing storage is that clothes never really look organized. Even if they’re super organized, they can still look messy — especially if there’s a lot of them. However, we understand that not everyone may have access to a closet or can build one, so here are some options for you if you don’t have a closet or space for a dresser.

No closet? No problem! Try installing a closet bar in a corner and hanging a few frequently used items on that.

Hang items facing you rather than to the side. This makes sorting through clothes harder, but you can squeeze more items into the space this way, especially if the space can be closed up behind a door.

Install handles under shelves so you can hang items underneath them. We would suggest not hanging heavy items, but hanging accessories such as necklaces, scarves, or otherwise would be ideal for this solution.

Have more storage ideas for us? Let us know in the comments below!