It’s Summer Wedding Season: Swoon-Worthy Gifts For the Bride and Groom

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June, August, September and October are the most popular months for weddings, according to The Knot. If summer’s onset finds you dusting off your dress shoes and getting ready to do the Dougie, you have at least one practical matter to attend to first: what to get the bride and groom. Read on to learn more about how to choose a meaningful memento for the happy couple.

Wedding Gifts for Bride & Groom

The Registry 411

While it is customary to give a gift when you are invited to a wedding, you are not required to choose something from the couple’s registry. As Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting founder Jodi R.R. Smith told Real Simple,

Registry items are merely suggestions, not obligations.”

Whether there’s nothing on the registry that appeals to you, all of the items have already been purchased, or you simply want to select something truly unique and unexpected, this tradition still serves a useful purpose: to help gift-givers get a better sense of the couple’s needs and personal style.

Creativity Counts

A creative wedding gift is a wonderful way to express your best wishes to the bride and groom for a long, happy life together. If you know the newlyweds-to-be well, choosing something off the registry may feel impersonal. Instead, take a minute to think about the pair’s likes and dislikes. For example, if they love to entertain and have a flair for interior design, luxurious table linens — from table runners to decorative tablecloths to place mats — are particularly thoughtful gifts.

Or, perhaps you’ve noticed a common color scheme interwoven throughout the couple’s registry or in their current home? If so, choose something in a complementary hue. For example, if the couple has registered for an elegant gold-rimmed crystal, the Hand Embroidered Rectangular Tablecloth in Light Gold or the Exotic Oriental Table Runner in Pink with glimmering gold tassels will take any table from ordinary to ornate.

Wedding Linens

Keep in mind that couples who are just starting out will often register only for the basics, such as solid sheets and pillowcases. In this case, a truly extraordinary gift is not only a surprise, but also takes any bedroom decor to another luxe level. Our pick? The Hand Embroidered 7-Piece Duvet Cover Set in goes-with-everything Beige. A hint of metallic sheen adds just a touch of romance — perfect for a blissful boudoir.

Beige Bedding

When it comes time to cross “buy a wedding gift,” off of your “to-do” list, there’s no one “perfect” gift guaranteed to please the bride and groom; rather, there are many outstanding options just waiting to be discovered. By following your heart, honoring the spirit of the registry, and putting your personal knowledge of the bride and group to work, you are not just giving a gift, but also a precious future heirloom.

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6 Tips For Creating a Bedroom Sanctuary

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While your bedroom should be your ultimate happy place, homeowners often focus on more “public” spaces when it comes to designing their interiors. But isn’t the fact that your bedroom is private the perfect reason to create a space that appeals to your unique sensibilities? Follow these six steps to design a beautiful bedroom sanctuary of your own.

Bedroom Sanctuary

1. Mattress Matters

Your bed is the focal point of your room. Begin with a mattress which offers optimal support. According to the Better Sleep Council, if your mattress is more than seven years old, it no longer provides adequate support. Other signs that it’s time to upgrade your mattress include waking up feeling sore or groggy, sleeping better elsewhere, and visible signs of wear and tear.

While a new mattress can be expensive, think of it as an investment in one of life’s most priceless commodities: a satisfying night’s sleep.

2. Luxurious Linens

Opulent linens set the mood for your relaxing retreat so seek out high thread-count sheets in appealing hues. Deciding on a color scheme for your bedroom is an intensely individual choice. Some people prefer serene, dreamy shades of blue and green while others lean toward rich, romantic jewel tones. One simple rule of thumb? Choose colors that make you feel most comfortable.

The perfect finishing touch for any inviting bed? An elegant duvet cover with delicate hand embroidery. Throw pillows, meanwhile, add additional visual appeal and luxury.

Duvet Covers & Throw Pillows

3. Eliminate Electronics

Televisions, iPhones and tablets may be omnipresent during the daylight hours, but they have no place in the bedroom. Not only do electronics detract from the aesthetic appeal of your bedroom, but they also interfere with the body’s production of melatonin and the ability to distinguish day from night.

Keeping technology out of the bedroom can mean the difference between sweet dreams and a frustrating night of tossing and turning.

4. Set the Scene

While sunlight is a beneficial source of energy throughout the day, the best sleep settings are cool and dark. Invest in black-out curtains and keep them closed to prevent light from seeping into your space.

Also be on the lookout for unexpected disruptive sources of light. For example: even a brightly illuminated alarm clock can cast off enough light to keep your brain abuzz when it’s time to wind down.

5. Keep the Clutter Out

Clutter isn’t just aesthetically displeasing, it can also cloud your mental state, according to researchers from Princeton. In order to free your mind to truly unwind, remove all clutter from your bedroom. If your home has become a dumping ground for toddler toys or weekend office, it’s time to clean house: all items in your bedroom should directly relate to sleep.

6. Play to All Five Senses

According to National Sleep Foundation CEO David Clout,

Studies have shown that scent plays a powerful role in relaxation and memory-building.”

Unfortunately, sleep is an oft-neglected element of bedroom decor.

Lavender, in particular, offers a number of sleep benefits, including decreased heart rate, reduced blood pressure, deeper sleep, and more wakeful mornings. Surrounding yourself with this scent — from candles to sachets — adds a calming element to your boudoir. For an extra-special touch, spritz sheets with a fresh scent: a whopping 71 percent of Americans report getting a better night’s sleep on scented sheets.

Because bedrooms can become stuffy, it’s also important to “air out” your space by letting in fresh air on nice days.

Just how serious is insufficient sleep? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared it to a “public health epidemic.” These six steps can help you create an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle in the form of a sublime sleep zone.  And don’t forget to check out Banarsi Designs’ complete line of elegant table linens and bedding for the home and the Banarsi Designs blog for more helpful home decorating tips.

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4 Ways to Add Drama to your Dining Room

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Is your dining room stuck in a rut?  Instead of undertaking a complete renovation or throwing up your hands and giving in to average, consider the powerful potential of these four simple spruce-ups.

Elegant Dining Room

1. Light It Up

Lighting is an oft-underutilized technique for taking your dining space from boring to beautiful. Your table should be the room’s brightest spot. Whether you select an opulent chandelier or a sleek, modern pendant as your ambient lighting, keep the total wattage below 100 for a gentle glow.

Small table lamps and sconces are appealing as accents, adding not only light but also creating visual interest. Battery-powered votives, meanwhile, add a romantic touch.

As New York-based designer and lighting expert Lindsey Adelman told Elle Decor,

“If a room is lit the right way, everyone looks their best and feels relaxed and comfortable, but they don’t know why.”

2. Introduce Luxurious Linens

Table linens refresh a space with minimal investment. When shopping for linens, seek out consummate construction, beautiful design, and fine materials.

Gracious Style recommends the following must-have pieces: one formal and one casual tablecloth, 12 formal and 12 casual napkins, 12 placemats, 18 cocktail napkins, and a table liner. Table runners offer an attractive alternative to a tablecloth, as well as a stunning addition to a buffet or sideboard.

While white and ivory are traditional choices, anything that inspires your palate is appropriate in the contemporary dining room. Today’s offerings range from chic solids to elegantly embellished patterns and prints.

Luxury Linens

3. Paint Power

There’s no quicker way to revive a room than with a fresh coat of paint. When deciding on a color, first consider what message you want your dining room to convey. Tony and traditional? Modern and minimalistic?  In his iconic book, Interiors, Character and Color, legendary American fashion icon Van Day Truex proclaimed,

“Remember, color is not just color, but mood, temperature and structure.”

These factors — in addition to your own connection to color — should guide your choice.

Keep in mind that color can look very different depending on the time of day. Make sure the color looks just as beautiful at night as it does during the daytime hours.

Not sure about painting your walls? Try infusing your room with color by incorporating painted furniture instead.

4. Art Matters

In addition to echoing the overall mood you’re trying to express, art should be in scale with the space. If you have a large dining area, opt for a large piece of art over the mantle or sideboard.  In smaller rooms, scale down for an appealing look.

While art is more accessible than ever, many homeowners still fear of buying the “wrong” piece. While finding something you love trumps all else when it comes to choosing art for your home, selecting a piece with colors found elsewhere in the room creates a cohesive aesthetic.

A house has to evolve and change,” according to furniture designer Julian Chichester.

These four tips offer transformative impact with minimal effort. If you’re ready to start dressing up your dining space, don’t miss Banarsi Designs’ complete collection of luxurious table runners and decorative tablecloths, along with and other fine accessories for the home.

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The Psychology of Color in Your Home

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Want to feel instantly at peace in your living space? Or how about instantly invigorated in your crafting room? Accomplishing these feelings may be easier than you think.

According to interior design Shannon Kaye,

“The power of color is that it can completely alter your experience. You always want to ask yourself how you want to look and feel in a space.”

Let’s take a closer look at the psychology of color, along with tips and techniques for decorating that doesn’t just agree with your interior design aesthetic, but also with your emotional state.

The Power of Color

Color in interior design has been linked with many different influences. For example, red walls are known to stimulate the appetite, explaining why so many restaurants choose to decorate with this bold color.  Wondering what color to paint your baby’s nursery? Stay away from yellow. Researchers at California’s Wagner Institute for Color Research have linked yellow walls with making babies cry due to its anxiety-triggering effects.

Psychology of Color in Your Home

5 Tips to Making Color Count

Interior designers use color every day to prompt everything from increasing time-consciousness (blue) to promoting a state of calm (gray-based shades). Homeowners can also put this powerful design tool to work in their own homes with some pro-inspired tips. Here’s what you need to know.

To create a welcoming feeling…

Choose bright colors, such as verdant green, vibrant blue, cheerful yellow, and bold orange. These “happy” colors typically work well in both the kitchen and dining room, and can help encourage conversation and conviviality. For an eye-catching pop of color, check out the Ornamental Embroidered Throw Pillow Cover in Golden Orange.

To add drama…

Go for dark hues, including deep blue, Marsala, regal purple, and lush forest green. In large doses, these colors can add exotic flair to a living room or bedroom. As accent colors, meanwhile, these colors help ground the space, offering a feeling of comfort and security.  One breathtakingly beautiful look? The Hand Embroidered 7-Piece Duvet Cover in Blue.

Throw Pillow Covers & Bedding

To dress up a room…

Pick purple. An unexpected choice when it comes to interior design, this royal favorite offers a breadth and depth of aesthetic applications depending on the shade you choose. Opulent plum equals instant richness, while light lavender adds a hint of femininity. In fact, just about any shade of purple promises low-effort, high-impact appeal. An elegant example?  The Hand Painted Floral Rectangular Tablecloth in Purple.

To invigorate and inspire…

Seek out “warm,” galvanizing colors, including oranges, yellows, and reds. While they’re not the most restful hues for the bedroom or a child’s room, they’re appropriate in creative spaces. Because of their tendency to take over, many designers choose to incorporate these hot hues as accents instead of as the room’s base cover. For example, the Ornamental Blossom Table Runner in Gold Beige conveys an alluring glimpse of glamour in the dining room without overwhelming the space.

To promote relaxation…

Introduce “cool” colors into your space, such as tranquil tones of icy blue and sea green. Harmoniously at home in bedrooms, these soothing hues also work well for creating a spa-like master bathroom. The Hand Embroidered Tissue Box Cover in Ocean Blue is the perfect finishing touch to any pretty powder room.

Banarsi Designs: 2015 Collection

Conclusion

While these guidelines offer a general rule of thumb, they’re anything but written in stone. In fact, the most important factor when choosing colors for your home? How they make you feel — regardless of their typical effect on the psyche. By choosing a color you truly love in an appropriately evocative shade, you’re sure to create a living space you can’t wait to come home to.

Be sure to visit Banarsi Designs to view our extensive collection of chic, colorful accessories for the home. And if you have a tried and tested trick for decorating with color, please share it in the Comments section!

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Sailom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Pillow Talk: 6 Tips and Tricks for Accessorizing with Throw Pillows

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Well-placed throw pillows can effortlessly pull an entire room together, but how do you ever really know if you’re doing it right?  If attempting to arrange throw pillows has you throwing your hands up in dismay, don’t fret. Instead, try these 6 decorator-approved tips for accessorizing with accent pillows.

Six Tips and Tricks for Accessorizing with Throw Pillows

1. Nod at Tradition

One tried and true approach for throw pillow placement? Arrange them in pairs. Both two and four pillows work well when arranged at opposite ends of the sofa.

2.Embrace Asymmetry

While throw pillow pairings are a graceful look for the traditional home, opting for odd numbers offers a fresh spin. While you might have to try and try again to get it just right, the end result conveys a charmingly casual air — as if the pillows were just tossed onto the sofa.

In addition to arranging throw pillows in clusters, you can also try placing a single pillow in one corner and two at the opposite end for a dose of whimsicality.

And remember:  a massive pile of small pillows looks more like clutter than design. Stick with several sizable pillows instead of a mound of miniatures.

3. Mix and Match

The days of matchy-matchy decorating are in the past. If you’re still matching your throw pillows with your sofa, it’s time for a refreshing reboot.

For a contemporary yet coordinating look — start with one that is already represented in the space — offering hue harmony. Keep things lively by layering in a variety of prints, patterns, and solids.

Throw Pillows: Mix & Match

A word of caution: mixing together too many bold or busy patterns can lead to visual chaos. For foolproof flair, try pairing a busy pattern, such as a floral or paisley, with a simpler choice, such as stripe, solid or large-scale graphic print.

4. Artistic Inspiration

Envisioning a boisterous burst of color as opposed to a more monochromatic look? This look is possible but requires some restraint. If you’re struggling to tie down a color palette when one or two is simply not enough, interior designer Andrew Flesher advises,

“Pull them together from a piece of art that’s in the room.”

5. Size Matters

In addition to experimenting with prints, textures, and colors, make sure to vary the size and shape of your throw pillows. A mix of must-have square pillows with oblong, cylindrical, round and rectangular styles is delightfully dynamic.

6. Smart Storage

One last thing to keep in mind when decorating with throw pillows? No one wants to sit on one. Avoid using so many throw pillows that they overwhelm seating. Also, reserve a storage ottoman or large basket for holding throw pillows when they’re not in use or when you’re entertaining. This not only frees up places for guests to sit, but also helps keep your accent pillows fresh and clean.

The best part of today’s convenient throw pillow covers? They can be easily switched out and switched up to completely alter the look of your room. If you’re ready to update your interior, be sure to check out Banarsi Designs’ complete line of decorative throw pillow covers and other chic, authentic Indian-inspired items for your home.

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