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Feeling Mid-Century? ...

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2015 by Melissa Johns

... Mid-Century Modern, that is! 

With shows like Mad Men, the popularity of Mid-century Modern design has seen a huge resurgence. Whether you’re of the baby-boomer generation who grew up with this style, or you simply like clean lines and beautiful, functional pieces, you might find yourself drawn to this sleek style.

Mid-century Modern describes an era of style and design that began in the mid-1940s and continued into the mid-1960s. At the time, architecture was greatly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s environmental focus and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s functional structures. Most of these homes included expansive windows, open layouts and materials such as glass, wood, metal and concrete. Interiors complemented the archtecture with furniture made of natural resources and sleek, modern plastic accessories. Each piece had a function and lines were clean and simple.  
 
As styles re-emerge, they’re often paired with more contemporary elements in order to span time and to insure they don’t look dated. Midcentury pieces do span time pretty well on their own, as they are characterized by clean, simple lines and natural finishes. Southwest Florida’s homes — built with open floorplans and large windows that take advantage of our views — lend themselves perfectly to the Mid-century design aethetic. However, not many people want to live in a time capsule. 



Following are some of our best tips for incorporating Mid-century touches into your home without going overboard: 

Let wood details take center stage. Many Mid-century pieces are made from teak (and other woods), where the wood finishes are kept simple so that the wood’s characteristics can shine. 
 
Neutral is better. The Midcentury style is all about showcasing quality pieces. So try keeping your walls white (or another light neutral color) so that your artwork and other punches of color stand out.
 
Decorate with vintage accessories. Outfit your coffee table with ‘60s-inspired accessories — like a metal bowl, blown glass accents, or sculptural vases. 

Go totally retro. Take the Midcentury look to the ultimate by creating a space entirely furnished with ‘60s-inspired pieces, or with  ‘60s-inspired color palette. Think: bubble lamps, sunbursts, statement chandeliers, mustard, avocado, and tangerine. But keep in mind that with Mid-century design, less is more; subtlety and craftsmanship are much of what makes Mid-century styles timeless. 
 
Mix traditional and modern. Mid-century style isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Pair a clean-lined Mid-century sofa with a traditional coffee table or lamps.
  
If you’d like help incorporating Mid-century Modern design into your home, shop Fresh Interiors Home Decor & Design. Whether you’re looking for a single item or want to totally remake your space, our home decor boutique and full-service interior design studio are here for you!  

Shop Fresh Interiors or schedule an appointment with our interior design team. Find us at 322 Sullivan Street in downtown Punta Gorda.  
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One of Our "Things"...

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by Melissa Johns

Lighting is one of our "things" around here; the right lighting can totally transform a space! And spaces without the right lighting can seem cold, sterile and both literally and figuratively: dark. So we work with our clients and customers to help them select beautiful and functional lighting solutions, while also making sure these selections help create warmth in their homes. 

We also understand that LED lighting is a great solution for our homes, since LED bulbs require less wattage, last longer, and are more energy efficient than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs overall. 



So what do you do when the lighting you choose has exposed bulbs, and the look of the bulb is as important to the light fixture as the light it casts? 

You choose a win-win: 

We LOVE these LED lights that look like some of our favorite bulbs: vintage Edison bulbs! Now we can have the look we desire with the efficiency of LED bulbs!!

Click here for more information about these bulbs. 

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To Finish Your Home

Posted on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 by Melissa Johns


For many people, window treatments are the last thing they add to their home. And while we do not advocate using window treatments as the starting point for your home, we do believe that without window treatments—whether functional or decorative—your home will never be truly “finished”. 

Window treatments include both hard and soft treatments. Hard treatments lean more to the functional (blinds, plantation shutters, shades), whereas soft treatments are the finishing touch -- the decorative piece. Soft treatments include valances, panels, cornice boards, and more.  In our coastal locale, our views are a key part of our homes’ decor. Our views also greatly contribute to our enjoyment of our homes. So while we don’t like to use treatments on windows that obstruct our views, window treatments are always a key part of our interior design process.Some of the most simple treatments can contribute greatly to pulling your rooms together in that “designer” way! Window treatments help define a space and make it feel cozier, and with the salt air and blazing Southwest Florida sun, adding window treatments helps to protect and maintain your home (furnishings, rugs, etc.).  

 
Here are two of our best tips for dressing your windows: 

Consider the environment—Sunlight, whether direct or indirect, will cause substantial damage to your furnishings, art, and rugs over time. We are using solar shades, which can control the amount of UV rays that stream through our windows. They are available in varying degrees of openness (from opaque to sheer) and can be neatly tucked up under a valance or cornice treatment; they simply roll up and tuck away when they’re not needed. 

Hang ‘em high—make your room look larger by hanging curtain panels on a rod that is installed where the wall meets the ceiling. This will draw your eye up, and fool it into seeing taller windows (and thus, taller ceilings). A simple cornice can be installed to hide where the window actually starts.  

 So if you’d like to step up the look (and functionality) of your home, and need window treatments but are stumped whith where or how to begin, we invite you to call our Window Treatment Specialist, Betty Pinkerton.  Betty is a new member of the Fresh Interiors team and brings a wealth of experience designing and selling window treatments (over 30 years!). She will be working both independently and with Jeri (our Interior Designer) in creating exciting and inspired designs for window treatments. 

Sample window treatments will be in our showroom/boutique by mid-November, and we will post them on our our website too. Please remember: you can also shop with us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our website at www.freshinteriorsfl.com 

Stop in and say hello to Betty to book your appointment with her SOON!

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Best-Sellers

Posted on Thursday, October 01, 2015 by Melissa Johns

With fall just around the corner, and new products debuting weekly, we thought we'd share three of our best-selling lines with our loyal customers and clients. These are some of our customer-favorites; the items that people either leap at the opportunity to purchase, or that keep them coming back for more. These items and lines aren't in any particular order, and they do change from month to month, but for our current "MUST-HAVES", keep reading.

1) Beatriz Ball--handmade fine metalware, cast in sand molds. The art of sand-casting creates a handsome piece, substantial in weight and texture, and generates subtle marks that aren't flaws, but are essential and desirable aspects of the handmade process, giving each piece a one-of-a-kind appeal. Beatriz Ball is easy to care for; it never tarnishes! And you can chill or warm foods up to 350 degrees. This line keeps people coming back for more! And new this fall: their Cutting Board collection and Ceramic collection pair beautifully with their best-selling aluminum pieces, or are perfect on their own! Shop our Beatriz Ball collection in-store, or online here


2) Company C.--Color and Design is at the heart of everything they create. This line helps us to enhance our customers’ surroundings and inspire them to "live colorfully". Company C. is widely-known and recognized for their use of saturated colors and over-scaled patterns.They echo our sentiment (and driving force!) that when it comes to color and design, it’s personal — especially when creating a space that you love and truly reflects who you are. And we find that this collection -- with their ongoing introduction of new items, prints, and patterns -- is something that our clients LOVE! This line includes rugs (both handmade wool + indoor/outdoor options), bedding, furniture, toss pillows, and cozy throws. Shop our Company C. collection in-store!

3) Mer | Sea & Co.--Mer|Sea is a collection of candles, room sprays and other fragrant items, and travel wraps that are not only inspired by, but capture the fragrances that are so reminiscent of life outdoors and on the water: salt air, the water, our local citrus trees, and freshly-cut grass, and more. Our customers LOVE their travel wraps, and we do too (we don't go out of town without them!), as they provide a light layer -- whether over swimsuits, or paired with leggings or jeans. These wraps are also beautiful thrown over your bed or sofa, and they feature a cut-out at the neck that makes them drape so nicely when worn. They come packaged in a matching bag and are perfectly sized for use as an airplane pillow. And the best part? THEY'RE MACHINE WASHABLE!! Our clients also love their Sandbag Candles: 7 oz. candles (with 50+ hours of burn time) are poured in sheer, luminescent glass vessels that can be repurposed as votive candle holders. They are packaged in reusable canvas bags that are perfect for collecting seashells and other treasures. All of Mer|Sea's candles are made in the United States, in small batches to ensure quality through and through. Shop our collection of Mer|Sea candles online or in-store!

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We're Swooning... Again!

Posted on Friday, August 21, 2015 by Melissa Johns

We've been receiving so many new items into our boutique over the last few weeks, that we thought we needed to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! Everything has us SWOONING again, and we bet you'll swoon too! We'll be receiving new product all throughout the months of September, October, November, and December too, so get ready for even more exciting new items!

 Stop in soon to shop {and swoon!!} with us, but until you do here are some photos:






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Go Large!

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by Melissa Johns

Two weeks ago, we posted the first in this two-part series on rug care and rug placement. 

With the first post covering how to best care for your rug--including everything from using a rug pad to vacuuming regularly, many of our loyal readers and clients learned that taking care of their rug will extend the life of their investment. 

Today, we're making suggestions for the best way to place rugs in your home, and the best sizes to purchase. 

In the dining room, make sure to select a room-sized rug that allows enough space for ALL chair legs to remain on the rug when the chairs are pulled away from the table at a comfortable distance. We recommend a rug that is 8' x 10' or larger. There's nothing more interrupting to this space than choosing and using a rug that is too small, and that causes chair legs to get hung when people are pushing out from the table. 

In the bedroom, place a large rug under the bed--whether you place the rug under the entirety of the bed, or just the bottom two-thirds, and whether you place the rug parallel or perpendicular to the bed--making sure the floor is visible all around the bed. The rug should extend at least 24" in length and width from the edges of the bed so that you can step down onto it when you get out of bed. If you're going to place your rug parallel to, and under your bed, we recommend at least a 9' x 12' rug, although typical placement is to run it beneath the bottom two-thirds of the bed, perpendicular to the bed. 

In the living room, family room, or outdoor space, we advocate two schools of thought: either make sure your rug is large enough for all of your furniture to sit on it completely, or have just the front legs of all seating pieces on top of the rug. 


In the diagrams below, the green is GOOD and the red is NOT GOOD! (image credit: Burlap and Lace)


In all scenarios, the purpose of the rug is to ground, unify, and define your space--along with enhancing your room's decor. The larger your area rug, the larger your room will feel (and vice versa), so even in a small space--go larger! This is why we do not like using "postage stamp" size rugs in these larger rooms. Obviously 2' x 3' and 4' x 6' rugs have their place, but ordinarily, not in spaces like a dining room, bedroom or living room. Round rugs can also be used in these larger spaces, making sure to follow the principles we've outlined here. 

If you're in need of more guidance, have any questions, or would like our help, feel free to email us or stop in! We carry and are open with many different lines that offer a wide variety of rugs, and we'd love to help you choose a new rug or even place an existing rug in your home!





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Take Care

Posted on Tuesday, May 05, 2015 by Melissa Johns

We posted about rugs last July, and since then we've had many questions about how them: 

  • How do I care for my rugs?
  • How do I place them in my room?
  • What size is the best for my space?

So we thought two follow-up posts would be just the thing for our readers. In our first follow-up, we'll address how to care for your rugs. And next week, we'll give you some tips on how to place your rugs in your room, and what size is best for your space. 

Rug: To-Bay-Go, from Company C.

As far as caring for your rugs, a little TLC will go a long way in ensuring the longevity of your rug. The best ways to care for your rugs are to:

Use a rug pad--it can be tempting to skip a rug pad. But when you consider the fact that your rug pad will dramatically increase the lifespan of your investment. Besides preventing slippage, a rug pad buffers your rug from wear and allows it the space it needs to breathe. 

Rotate your rug--daily traffic on your rug will take its toll. Especially when that traffic moves in the same pattern around your furniture and across the rug everyday. Consider your mattresses and your sofa cushions: they need to be rotated to alleviate wear. If you'll rotate your rug once a year, you'll help keep the wear and tear from happening unevenly. 

Vacuum regularly--if you'll get in the habit of vacuuming your rug weekly, you'll help extend its life by keeping dirt from building up and grinding into the pile. And with brand new wool rugs, you'll find they shed pretty heavily. So vacuuming isn't really an option, but you'll get into a great habit of vacuuming often. And once to twice a year, you should vacuum the underside of your rug. You'll be glad you did!

Keep your rug clean--spot clean spills immediately, to prevent staining. And if you can't mitigate a stain, get your rug to a pro quickly. Once every year or so, deep clean your rugs (or have them cleaned professionally). This will flush out the dirt and grime, and restore the rug's luster. You can also keep your rugs clean by keeping the rest of your home clean--that way there's less dust and dirt to make its way into and onto your rugs.  




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Ask Questions

Posted on Thursday, April 02, 2015 by Melissa Johns



Quality upholstered furniture should be constructed using certain materials and methods. Ask questions, and keep these things in mind while shopping for furniture:  


FRAME—should be constructed with kiln-dried hardwood. The joints should be glued, double-doweled and corner blocked. Engineered hardwoods should be avoided except in the case of a curved frame. And laminates should be avoided in frame construction at all costs. 

SEATS—should be constructed with either an 8-way hand tied coil system or a sinuous steel spring system. While the 8-way hand tied system is considered the industry standard in quality, both systems are proven to be high-quality and long-lasting. In fact, there are several styles of furniture that won’t support the 8-way hand tied system, as they are too low-sitting or too narrow. 

CUSHIONS (both seat and back)—should be filled with a high-density foam core. From there, manufacturers may or may not include down or fiber fill, and most will have several cushion options. All-down cushions are very difficult to maintain and are very pricey. If any down is included, make sure the cushions have a down-proof ticking to help keep those feathers from working their way out. Channel stitching will also help, so the feathers don’t all puddle at the bottom of your cushions. 

WARRANTY—any reputable company should offer some sort—on the frame and spring system, at least, if not also on the cushion cores—such as a lifetime or limited lifetime warranty. 

When shopping for upholstered furniture, ask questions! Your sales associate needs to help you understand (or even show you!) how the furniture you’re looking at is a good (or the best!) value for your money.  

Fresh Interiors Home Decor & Design carries two American-made furniture collections that are of high quality, are reasonably priced, and can be made to your exact specifications. Come see us today to design your own furniture! 



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Bring Blue Inside

Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 by Melissa Johns

With Florida’s backdrop of bright blue skies and gorgeous blue waters—both of which come in various shades and hues, ranging from periwinkle and turquoise to teal, indigo, and sapphire—it’s hard to avoid using (or wanting to use) blues in our home decor. Especially since the water and sky dominate so much of our landscape. However, deciding to incorporate blues into an already-established color palette can be difficult to imagine. We don’t always want to have to completely change out our home decor! 




But think about it: there’s a reason most everything in your closet pairs so well with your blue jeans—whether they’re dark indigo, light blue, or somewhere in between. Blue is a neutral! So rather than totally changing out your decor, sprinkle blue into your already-existing color palette.
 


Start seeing blue as a neutral. Below are some ideas to help you work blue into your existing decor: 


Paint your walls a barely-there shade of blue. 

Swap out your current rug for a rug that ties a shade of blue in with your other colors. 

Purchase 3-5 new pillows with blue + your other colors for your living room or bedroom, and them toss them on your furniture.

Do a decorative window treatment (valance, cornice, or panels) that incorporates your existing colors + blue. 

Use decorative accessories (lamps, vases, mirrors, etc...) to bring blue into your existing decor. 



If your color palette uses jewel tones, then bring in a teal or sapphire blue. If your existing color palette uses black and white (and/or grays), use a cobalt blue. Or you could really jazz things up with a bright turquoise. Does your existing color palette swing more toward reds and oranges (or even pinks)? Then an indigo would be stunning! If your colors are yellows or greens, then a crisp shade of aqua or even a periwinkle would be gorgeous! 


The possibilities and combinations are ENDLESS when it comes to blue. There are almost too many shades and variations of blue to count. 


If you’d like help with bringing Florida’s blues into your existing decor (or if you’re ready for a FRESH start), call or come see us at Fresh Interiors. We have a home decor boutique for you to shop and a full-service interior design studio where you'll find a full library of fabrics and finishes. Our customer service is unmatched, and we're ready to help you realize the home of your dreams--whether it's blue or some other color! 

























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Hello, 2015

Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 by Melissa Johns

During this last day of the year, we tend to be reflective, looking back on the highs and lows of 2014. And hopefully we're able to look forward to 2015.


Here at Fresh Interiors, we're goal-setters... resolutions tend to be all-or-nothing. But goals? "Goals direct your focus and attention. They help you remain persistent in the face of adversity. They increase your self-confidence and help you develop problem-solving strategies. They help you train smarter and harder. The bottom line is that when you set effective goals, they help you perform up to your potential (see more)."


So will you join with us? Let's commit to set some goals for the coming year--whether physical, emotional, spiritual, or having to do with how we spend our time or money. Let's dive head-first into 2015, knowing that we have an opportunity to embrace our FULL potential! 



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