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Solutions to tricky decorating problems
Aug 22 20:28 America/Chicago on 08/22/10

Small rooms and spaces can be tricky to decorate. Here are three ideas and solutions we like, which we found in decorating magazines.

To make a long, narrow hallway look wider than it really is, you want to paint the walls and ceilings the same color. The experts at Better Homes & Gardens, for example, recommend a warm yellowish or sandy tone. Paint baseboards white, rather than a dark color.

Instead of chandeliers and sconces, use recessed lighting or build niches built between the studs. Extra-large mirrors or artwork on the long section of the walls will attract attention and draw your eye away from the end of the hallway.

Use white paint and furniture to expand a space. White on all surfaces, even floors, can be effective. “With so much white around you, you’re not so conscious of walls and boundaries. A room that might otherwise seem small feels a lot bigger and more modern,” says Washington, D.C.-based interior and furniture designer Darryl Carter. See examples at Elle Décor.

Avoid the temptation to fill a room with stuff. Your eye needs a place to rest. “Instead of packing the room with furniture, place well-edited pieces in groups for conversation, with space to move about,” Jackie Higgins of Beach Glass Designs told Woman’s Day. Read more at “11 Common Decorating Setbacks—Solved.”

What’s your decorating dilemma? Drop in at Lilli’s Lighting and Decor. and ask us. We can find a solution.

Shine a light on your entrance
Jul 30 10:34 America/Chicago on 07/30/10

Cheyenne style, from Troy

Many homeowners never enter their house through the front door. They come in through the garage or backdoor. Yet the front of your house needs to be attractive because you want to give a warm welcome to visitors. And, if you do enter and exit through your front door, you deserve an attractive entryway. Moreover, curb appeal is essential if you are selling your home.
Exterior lighting contributes to an attractive entrance. “When people are looking to upgrade their outdoor lighting, starting with the front of the house usually helps guide them through the complete outdoor lighting package,” says Toby Boyd, an executive with a lighting fixtures maker.
Here are some tips and ideas from Boyd and other experts for lighting the outside of your home.
At the entrance
If only one fixture is going to be used at the entrance, it should measures one-third the height of the door. If installing two fixtures, make each about one-quarter the size of the door.
Choose proper brightness. Any outdoor fixture should be rated for a minimum of 75 watts of incandescent or 20 watts of compact fluorescent lighting, says Joe Rey-Barreau, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Interior Design. If there are fixtures on either side of the door, these recommendations would apply to both lanterns, he says.

Lilli's Lighting and Decor, Frisco Colorado sells Kichler lighting fixtures

Alameda style, from Kichler

In the landscape
Use lighting to illuminate the walkway for safety. Stagger the lights on each side of the path. You do not want it to appear as if you are lighting an airport runway.
Buy good-quality lighting products. The solar- and LED-powered models sold by some mass merchants might seem like a bargain, but the light output is not adequate.
Put more emphasis on illumination than on style. “When lighting landscape applications, seeing what the fixture does at night is more important than seeing the fixture in the light of day,” Boyd says.

With homeowners extending living space to backyard patios, porches and decks, the lines are blurring between indoor and outdoor styles for furniture and lighting. New exterior lighting fixtures are designed to complement their interior counterparts. That means you can create a uniform appearance inside and out.

Cotswold lighting fixture by kichler from Lilli's lighting and decor frisco colorado dick idol furniture

Cotswold style, from Kichler

“As a general trend, cleaner looks are being seen across all styles, not just in contemporary collections,” says James Thomas, senior designer for another lighting manufacturer. “Today’s fixtures have less fluting and detail, and highlight more of a simplified style. Many companies are starting to offer versatile fixtures that can be used indoors as well as outdoors.”
Additionally, many light fixtures use frosted, antique distressed or seeded glass to disguise the outline of the compact fluorescent light bulb.
See more lighting tips and design ideas at the American Lighting Association   website.
Then stop in to Lilli’s Lighting and Décor, 695 Summit Blvd., Frisco, CO, and talk to us about your indoor and outdoor lighting projects.

Make every room in your house an all star
Jul 12 21:21 America/Chicago on 07/12/10

As baseball’s all stars prepare to play this week, take a look at your home. Is it all-star material, or could it stand improvement? Let’s walk through your house and take a look at every “position.” Here are thoughts about what each room should include, from a design and decor point of view.

Pitcher (also known as the Exterior). The house number should be clearly visible from the street. Decorate with flags or pennants seasonally. Besides the American flag, fly holiday flags (Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving) and flags that show your interests (pets) or hobbies (gardening). You could add a bench if you have a front porch. An urn filled with seasonal plants sends a welcoming message. Don’t forget a doormat. Even though you might have a doorbell, a doorknocker can make an important statement for arriving guests.
Catcher (Foyer). Look at this space from the point of view of one coming and going. For an arriving visitor, the space needs a throw rug or a runner. A hall table, where you can put the mail or house keys, is a user-friendly piece of furniture. A mirror, where you can check your hair or makeup before going outside, is needed in this zone.
First base (Kitchen). This is the room where everyone visits. You need seating here. Kitchen chairs or barstools can do the trick. Organize your library of cookbooks with a standalone bookcase or countertop holder. A baker’s rack can show off your cookware, or you can use it for plants or to display collectibles. Scented candles can create a mood when you aren’t cooking.
Second base (Living room). You need comfortable seating and you need lighting for tasks (like reading or sewing) and for creating a mood. Occasional tables (end tables and coffee tables) give you a place to set lamps. When you entertain, the surfaces give guests a place to set their drinks and plates. Use area rugs to protect hardwood floors. Placed atop carpeting, area rugs create a visual highlight.
Shortstop (Dining room). Besides a table and chairs, add a hutch and a sideboard. These storage pieces come into play when you are entertaining. Also, they store your good china and everyday dishes. Display floral arrangements (fresh or permanent) on top of a buffet. Candlesticks and decorative objects (like a family heirloom) give the dining room some visual interest.
Third base (Family room). There is no such thing as too much storage. Cabinets, toy chests, CD organizers, remote-control caddies and magazine racks can help tame clutter, which inevitably happens in the family room. There is a difference between a room looking “lived in” and being messy. Use furniture to help you get organized. Good lighting is important in this room, too. As for artwork, you probably have plenty in your digital camera. So print your digital photos and display them in picture frames on tables or hang them on the wall.
Left field (Master bedroom). You don’t need much space to create a little spa here. Add a comfortable chair, a lamp, a throw rug and a side table. This is where you can get away for a few quiet moments with a book and a cup of tea.
Center field (Secondary bedrooms). Help the children de-clutter with toy chests and bookcases. The kids need a desk and reading lamp. If you have a guest room, make sure it has the amenities your visitors need. In the closet, store an extra blanket, guest towels and a fresh set of sheets. Provide coat and skirt hangers. A scented candle, a water carafe and glasses on a tray, and a clock radio with docking station will make your visitors comfortable.
Right field (Deck or patio). Finally, look at your backyard space. Do you have sufficient furniture for your family and for guests? Chairs, tables, umbrellas, outdoor rugs, wind chimes, planters, and non-breakable cups and glasses make for more gracious patio living.

So there’s the line up. If your home needs help living up to its all-star potential, come visit us. We can help.

Turn to Colorado history for inspiration
Jun 16 15:21 America/Chicago on 06/16/10

We like to look at houses and buildings. Even when we are on vacation we’ll stop to tour an open house. If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you’ll have seen our photos from our visit to CityCenter in Las Vegas.
   Some other places we turn to find architectural and design inspiration are web sites, shelter magazines, and our friends’ and neighbors’ houses. We watch the decorating shows on TV as well as the comedies and dramas. If there is a living space, we’re takin’ notes on the design. We like to tour model homes, too. (You do know that we furnish model homes for builders here in Summit County, don’t you?)

Lula Myers Ranch House, Dillon, Colorado, Living With Lilli's Lilli's Lighting and Decor Frisco, Colorado
Lula Myers Ranch House

And then there is one more place: historical homes and buildings. The Summit Historical Society maintains historical houses and other buildings in Breckenridge, Dillon, Montezuma and Silverthorne. A family outing to these places yields at least three benefits: 1.) you might pick up some design ideas for your own home, 2.) you might learn a fact or two about the early days in Colorado, and 3.) you get away from the TV, video games and the computer for a day.
   Here is a summary of some of the buildings. The descriptions are courtesy of the Summit Historical Society. See its website for more information and directions. After you take a tour, stop in and tell us what you saw, what you liked, and how home furnishings have changed in 100 years or so. Have fun!
   William Harrison Briggle House, Breckenridge. In 1898, William and Kathleen Briggle bought a one-room log cabin and enlarged it by six rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs, and then put clapboard over the entire structure. The dark-green trim represents dollar bills. Large windows in the dining room and front parlor resemble bank windows.
   At a time when closets were taxed as rooms, the Briggles had a dressing room that contained three closets. You’ll see dresses, suits, shoes and hats that still fill the closets. You’ll also see what Katie’s neighbors envied most–her cold pantry. Really two rooms, the inner room has a gravity-pull sink and well-stocked shelves of kitchenware; the outer room served as a refrigerator. 
   Lula Myers Ranch House, Dillon. This two-story, 16-foot by 24-foot log house was built in 1885 by Charles Delker under the Federal Homestead Act. The logs are hand hewn with an ax and chinked with sticks, rocks, clay and rags, with flattened cans nailed over the chinking on the outside. The house was occupied by two well-known Summit County families: the Delkers and the Myers. Both men made most of their money in mining-related businesses. Many parties and social events were held in this house. A cookstove, kitchen utensils, housekeeping tools, china, and other household items are on display.
   Slate Creek Hall, Silverthorne. In 1936, ranching families built a community hall.  The men, employed by the Work Project of America, used wood from nearby forests to build the 30-foot by 60-foot structure. (The floor is made of imported tongue-in-groove jointed oak.) Wooden folding chairs and benches were the only furniture in the hall. Every other weekend, the chairs were pushed against the walls so people from all over the county could dance to the strains of local bands and square-dance callers. The dances were followed by midnight suppers.

Decorating your child’s room
Jun 08 11:50 America/Chicago on 06/08/10

School’s out for summer and the kids have some free time on their hands. (That is, unless they are totally scheduled with vacation Bible school, camp, swim lessons, horseback riding, Little League, and who knows what else.)
Regardless, summer is a good time to ask your children if they want to redecorate their rooms. A little home improvement can allow a child to express her/him self, and it is an activity you can share. Chances are that if your child has input and involvement in the makeover, he or she will take pride in the space and take really good care of it.
You can find a lot of ideas in the decorating magazines at the bookstore and home improvement center. The web is also a source for inspiration. To help start the ball rolling, here are some ideas (big and little) we like:

  • Paint children’s rooms in pale colors and use white storage pieces. Designer Wendy Alterman tells, “That way, you can update a room easily in a few years by letting the kids choose new furniture and new accessories.”
  • Instead of painting a whole room, use wall stickers to add a spot of color. The stickers are easy to apply (and remove). Stickers are easy enough for even young children to apply.
  • Let your child personalize a small chair or footstool you find at a garage sale or flea market. This idea is really two-for-one. First, plan a day of shopping. Then, with your new purchase, paint the find in your child’s favorite color.
  • Speaking of painting, use a stencil and fabric paint to make a design on a duvet cover.
  • Create a reading space with a comfy chair, light, shelves or a bookcase. A little stand just for a dictionary can encourage your child to look up unfamiliar words.
  • Hang a bulletin board for displaying artwork, vacation postcards and school awards.
  • Turn the bed into a secret playroom with the use of a curtain or material you find in a discount bin. Hem the fabric and create a pocket. Slide in an embroidery hoop, then hang the canopy from a ceiling hook. Spread the curtain so it surrounds the bed.
  • Add a fun area rug. Surya has a line just for children (photos, below).

Want some more ideas? Try these online resources:

Use area rugs for an instant home makeover
Jun 02 16:40 America/Chicago on 06/02/10
Lilli's lighting and decor, frisco, colorado, carries area rugs from Capel Rug

Abby's Garden collection

If you think it’s time to freshen up the old homestead, don’t reach for a paint can or wallpaper book. Buy a new area rug instead.
“A new area rug is an easy way to freshen up any space almost instantly,” says Lou Webster, the director of design and product development for Capel Rugs.
With vacation season upon us, houseguests and other visitors will soon be coming to Summit County. Take a look at your living room, guest rooms and outdoor spaces. Are they up to snuff (design-wise, that is)? A new area rug is just the thing for an instant home makeover.
You can find summer styles to fit any space in your home, indoors and out. Summertime decorating is all about celebrating the outdoors. You want to bring the comfort of the indoors to outdoor spaces, like decks, porches and patios. At the same time, you can bring the natural patterns and textures of the outdoors inside.
Capel’s line of Anywhere rugs are a great option for both indoor and outdoor spaces. The rugs combine indoor softness with year-round outdoor durability. These versatile rugs are virtually maintenance-free and come in colors and styles to match every taste.
Capel Inc. is based in Troy, North Carolina, where the company still does the spinning, dyeing, weaving, braiding and sewing for Capel’s “American Original” braided rugs. We carry this line. Come visit us. We can show you more rugs from Capel as well as from other manufacturers.

Palm Shade, from the Seabreeze collection

Capel's South Beach rug is available in 12 fabrics


Award-winning interior design
May 05 16:04 America/Chicago on 05/05/10
Lilli's Lighting and Decor, Frisco, Colorado retailer of Dick Idol furnishings

Premier Award winner, 2009 Summit County Parade of Homes

At the 2009 Summit County Parade of Homes, this house received the Premier Award. This is the top honor. Twenty-four houses competed in the parade, so we are honored to be part of this award. In addition to the Premier Award, this house received:

  • Award of Excellence, Interior Decorating and Furnishings
  • Award of Excellence, Master Suite
  • Award of Excellence,  Kitchen

Please view the slide show (below). I think you’ll find some design and decorating ideas to use in your own home. And, if you need advice or design direction, please visit us at Lilli’s Lighting and Decor, 695 Summit Blvd., Frisco, Colorado.

Click to view slideshow.
Decorating basics: How to buy an area rug
Apr 28 10:53 America/Chicago on 04/28/10

Area rugs offer beauty and comfort. They also reduce sound and echoes in a room. A new rug will give your home a new look. Here are five points to consider when purchasing an area rug:

Capel's Cheyenne area rug

1. Size and shape.

The most common sizes are 2 feet x 3 feet, 4 feet by 6 feet, 5 feet by 8 feet, 6 feet by 9 feet and 8 feet by 10 feet. Larger sizes are also available. Shapes are rectangle, round, square, oval, octagon and runner.
If you want to cover the majority of the room, leave a 12-inch to 15-inch border of flooring exposed. Another way to look at size is that the rug should be 2 feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room. So in a 10-foot by 12-foot space, the rug should be no more than 8 feet wide. In a dining room, sit on a chair. You want the back legs of the chair to be on the rug with enough space to push back and get up from the table.

2. Color. The colors don’t have to match the other colors in the room perfectly. You can use color to make rooms seem larger or smaller. In a large room with high ceilings, use a darker color scheme to make the room seem smaller. In small room, light or pastel colors will make the room seem more spacious.

3. Pattern. The rug industry classifies pattern into three categories: curvilinear, geometric and pictorial. The first two refer to rugs with conventional motifs that are woven with curving lines (curvilinear) or straight lines (geometric). The third (a much smaller group) refers to rugs that portray people and/or animals.

4. Style. Styles range from floral to contemporary to traditional. They can also reflect a season or a theme (nautical, birds, water).

5. Design. Rugs are divided into three major designs:
All-over. The motifs are spread throughout the rug.
Medallion. A large centerpiece is the focal point of the design.
One-sided. The design is woven in one direction.

When you come to our store, we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect rug (or rugs) for your home. We carry animal skins, hand-knotted, hand-loomed, hand-tufted, hand-woven, loop, hooked and machine-woven rugs. Our design styles include braids, contemporary, juvenile, lodge, outdoor, traditional and transitional.

As for how much you should you spend, one rule of thumb says a living room rug should equal the cost of the sofa.

Learn more about area rugs here: has a really good discussion on decorating with colors.
Capel Rugs
Glossary of rug terms
World Floor Covering Association

Yellow: a bright idea in decorating
Apr 14 17:06 America/Chicago on 04/14/10

There’s a lot to like about yellow. It’s the color of the sun. It’s the color of gold.
The yellow brick road leads you to home. We see yellow on furniture and accessories. In north-facing rooms, yellow paint on the walls can make the space feel welcoming. Avoid using the color in bedrooms, though. Decorator Thomas Jayne told Real Simple magazine that bright yellow can disrupt sleep. The April issue of the magazine has a really great feature about decorating with yellow.
Here is a good tip regarding accessories: “When working with yellow details, opt for strong tones to maximize impact.” The article goes on to say that you should stick to one shade of yellow for maximum impact.
More tips:

  • A big piece of yellow furniture can keep an otherwise neutral room from feeling washed out.
  • Match the “vibe” of the room. That means putting a rustic dresser on an unfinished floor, or a bright chair with a modern desk.
  • Avoid yellow dishware. Food does not look good on yellow plates.
  • Yellow paint with a hint of blue can be perceived as cold.
  • Yellow with a red undertone is welcoming.

Better Homes & Gardens has a great slide show of rooms in yellow. Check out this link “Decorating In Yellow.”
Learn more about Color Theory and decorating at Sherwin Williams.

Whose home is it, anyhow?
Apr 08 17:15 America/Chicago on 04/08/10

Do you like potpourri? Distressed furniture? Indoor water fountains? Each is a design no-no. Says who? Says Kevin Sharkey, the senior vice president and executive editorial director, decorating, and executive creative director, merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (yes, THAT Martha Stewart). Susan Love of The Plain Dealer interviewed him for her column “Design don’ts simple to undo.”
These pronouncements from the “experts” are enjoyable to read, but don’t take them too seriously. After all, they are one person’s opinion. Your home is your home. Your sanctuary. The experts do not live in your space. You do.
Decorate your home in a way that makes you comfortable. Now, if you need help with fabrics or colors, by all means, ask. Our customers often come in with fabric swatches, paint samples or photographs, and we can usually find furnishings that go together.
But if you like potpourri, by all means keep it.

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Lilli's Lighting & Dcor is Summit County, Colorado's premier source for beautiful mountain
furniture and mountain home accessories. Based out of Frisco, Colorado, Lilli's talented staff can help you
with on-site consultations in your mountain home, creating beautiful custom packages of furnishings,
lighting, accessories, artwork, window treatments, area rugs, dried floral arrangements and more.