Design Inspiration Uncategorized

The Impact of Color In Design

We live in a world of color! There are many different shades, values, and hues, but why? Why is color so important, and why is color important in our homes? The way we use color can leave people with different impressions of our style, it shows our unique personalities, and there is also a psychological aspect to color. We will go through some basic colors and principles of design to show you why color is so important when it comes to our homes.


How Do We Perceive Color?

First let’s discuss how we see all of the colors that we see today. What we see through our eyes is the electromagnetic radiation at specific wavelengths. Not everyone sees color the same; women actually perceive color better than men do, and then some people are color-blind. Not only does gender factor into how we see color, but our state of health and age do too. Younger people tender to gravitate towards more bright and vivid colors, while older people feel better surrounded by muted shades. Color is a big factor when it comes to setting a mood. It can stimulate our imagination to express a variety of emotions and senses. Finding the right choice of colors to use is an art form in itself because everyone perceives colors differently. Once you have a fundamental grasp on the perception of color it will help you create color palettes that will evoke the emotions you’re looking for when designing a room.


How To Choose the Best Color

There is no one best color for your home. The trick is to finding a series of colors that work together cohesively. There is no color scheme that is universal, because everyone is different. That’s what makes your home so unique. When using color in your home it’s best to remember how they will affect you, and how they might affect other people. You shouldn’t choose a color because it’s popular and part of a fad, you should choose a color based upon your likes and dislikes, and how it makes you feel. You don’t want to paint the walls and then hate it a month later. Remember these three things:

  1. How it will affect you mentally
  2. The physical effects
  3. Ideal rooms for your color choices

Now you don’t have to follow these rules exactly, but they are things to keep in mind when designing your home. The biggest thing to remember is what are your likes, and dislikes, and will it be lasting in your home.


Let’s Talk About Color

Let’s take some time to discuss some basic colors that you might use in a color palette:


Red – It is one of the more dynamic colors, it’s a color of passion, exciting, and can be a stimulating color. It’s a color of power, and should be used in moderation. Red is commonly used in family rooms, dining rooms, and home gyms.


Blue – Is a color of safety, sincerity, peacefulness, and kindness. It is commonly used in bedrooms and in living rooms.


Orange – Orange is a friendly, warm, and welcoming color. Orange is also associated with high energy and should also be used in moderation. This color is often used in kitchens or children’s playrooms.


Green – Green is often associated with nature; it’s a fresh color that’s associated with practicality and security. It’s a grounding color, and it causes the least amount of strain on the eyes. Green is often used in home offices, study areas, and bedrooms.


Yellow – Yellow is associated with the emotion of intuition. It’s a cheerful color, and optimistic. The problems with yellow that it is a very irritating color to the eye, and should be used in moderation. A good place to use yellow is in bathrooms and breakfast nooks.


Purple – If you want a color that helps stimulate imagination, or that sense of magic, or bring out some richness in your home choose purple! It helps stimulate creativity and is perfect for use in your hobby or creative space. Lighter purples are also perfect for use in nurseries.


Neutrals – Neutrals can be founds across the entire color spectrum, but they usually lean towards the grey spectrum of colors. Neutrals are commonly associated with harmony and formality.


Color and home design is an exciting thing; don’t let it become a daunting task. Using color in your home gives you an opportunity to express yourself and your uniqueness. Designing your home to how you want it can be an incredibly exciting time. You can make your house so that it is perfect for you. Even doing something like getting a company to sort out a residential window replacement can really make a difference to the exterior of your home. You don’t even need to make really big changes like changing the windows though, instead, you can just change the color of each room and this could be enough to make all the difference for how things look. There are many tips and tricks out there, and you can find more on our Pinterest Board. Do you have some color design stories? Let us know in the comments!


Design Inspiration

How To Design a Gallery Wall

Gallery walls have taken the home design world by storm! Gallery walls are sometimes hard or frustrating, and there are many pre-made formulas and layouts to create one, and sometimes those layouts don’t work. We’re here to provide some tips and tricks to help you create the perfect gallery wall that will stand out in your home.

Starting Your Gallery Wall 

Starting is the hardest part of the process. You can sit and plan it out on paper, but sometimes that may or may not work. A lot of the gallery wall process is trial, and error, but once you start and get your pieces together; everything starts to fall into place.

When you start a gallery wall around a large object like a sofa or a TV you need to start with your largest frame or object first. The key is to start with your large pieces and then fill in the gaps with the smaller pieces. An important thing to remember is to not put large pieces next to large pieces; that will make the wall feel very weighted and heavy. You want everything to be spaced out and balanced evenly. The goal of a gallery wall is to find that perfect flow and balance.

A good tip to remember is before you put nails in the wall is to measure! You can take all of your frames and measure them with shipping paper, then tape them up with painter’s tape on your wall to give you an idea of how everything will look measured and spaced out. It takes some extra effort but it will give you a rough idea on how the final product will look before you make holes in the wall. You can always take tape down, but removing holes and nails is a little harder when it comes to creating the perfect gallery wall.

Gathering Your Pieces

Do you have an old piece that you’re dying to have the star of your wall, are you going for a theme, or do you have a key piece, or pieces that you’re wanting to highlight? Gathering your pieces is a fun part of the process, and  may come along a lot faster than assembling the wall itself. Often times everyone has that one piece that they want to be the star of your wall. You need to make sure that you have at least one large piece to be your anchor or centerpiece. Having a proper balance, and variety of shapes and sizes can help bring everything together. Having too many large pieces will make the gallery wall seem heavy. Having some smaller and medium sized pieces will bring the balance and flow that you’re looking for when creating a gallery wall.

Sometimes you may not have all of the pieces that you want to use on your wall; if you don’t, that’s okay! Sometimes when creating your gallery wall you’ll have a few pieces, and then you notice that you need some more to help complete the scene. Once you see those open spaces you can start to find the things that you need to fill them in. Gathering your gallery wall pieces can be a fun and exciting part of the process. The key is to have fun, and choose pieces that work together, and that speak to you.

Using Patterns and Templates

If you’re not one to eyeball things yourself, use a pattern or template! One of the patterns that you can use is called: Contained Space. Measure a set space on your wall, and then frame your gallery in that contained space. Another pattern to use is called: Midline. Using a midline is where you create a horizontal or vertical line and use it as a divider to frame your gallery wall. There’s no set pattern or template that is correct to use when creating a gallery wall, sometimes it all comes down to how it looks to you!

Example of a Midline



Whether you find a template or pattern that you like, or if you decide to eyeball it; a gallery wall is a great way to bring some life, and style to the walls in your home. Gallery walls have become more, and more popular in home decorating, and help bring life to lifeless walls. For more examples, tips, and tricks for creating the perfect gallery wall please visit our Pinterest Board!

Bedrooms Design Inspiration Room Inspiration

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing

Kids’ rooms can be tough to design! You want to create a space that reflects your child’s unique personality, but still looks pulled together and cohesive with the rest of your home. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing all our best tips for putting together a child’s room that will easily transition to their teen years. We’re covering everything from functionality to aesthetic. You might decide that after designing your kids room, that there are other parts of your house that you would like to update. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a bit of a change. You can do small changes to the rest of your house like just getting a new coat of paint, or you could go all out and get new windows from somewhere like Window World Hawaii – the decision is up to you though!

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Each tip is accompanied by an inspiration photo, which you can enlarge by clicking on it (or save as a Pinterest pin by hovering over the image and clicking the red logo). If you see a piece you’re interested in, just contact us about Bassett custom ordering.

1) Keep storage as low to the floor as possible for smaller kids

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Most kids don’t like having to keep their rooms clean, but if you make it as easy as possible for them to stay organized, there may be a fighting chance! Storage cubes, baskets, and shelves can be strategically placed within their reach for simple cleanup. In the example above, a storage station was placed at the foot of the bed to hold books that otherwise may have been scattered on the floor. If you find there is just too much stuff in the house to fit in, you could look into something like Singpaore storage space to keep larger items in storage until you need them or have more room for them.

2) Stick to two main colors

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

It’s easy to go crazy with lots of bright colors, but if you’re after a more cohesive look, try sticking to two main colors for all of the substantial elements in the room. Even if the two colors your child picks are loud, neutrals can be added in to soften the look. In the example above, the pink and green color palette is balanced with a creamy white.

3) Incorporate flowers and other plants (real or faux)

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Plants infuse so much life into a space. You can add a potted plant that your child will take responsibility for watering, or just display cut flowers from the yard. We also love realistic-looking faux options. They’re especially great for kids with allergies!

4) Use chalkboard paint

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Wall art can change on a daily basis when you use chalkboard paint. It comes in every color under the sun, and the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Children love to draw pictures on it, and teens can use it to write quotes, doodle, and display notes from friends who come over.

5) Coordinate arrays of pillows

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

A coordinated array of throw pillows not only looks great, but adds comfort and texture to a bed. They can even provide extra seating for friends.

Above, we’ve shown some examples of how to pair up different sizes and colors. A good rule of thumb is to use larger neutral pillows (like Euro shams) in the back, then place smaller, more colorful pillows in the front. A variety of shapes will add interest, so don’t be afraid to mix squares, rectangles, bolster pillows, etc.

6) Display artwork

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Giving your child a spot to display their art can encourage creativity, and there are so many ways to do so with style. In the example above, coordinating artwork is hung up on the wall with colorful washi tape.

Want other ideas? Try hanging string wire wall-to-wall and use small clothes pins to display the art. You could also go the more traditional route and make an art board out of galvanized metal with magnets for hanging, or cork board with pushpins for hanging.

7) Build off of a theme that can grow with them

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

One one hand, you want your child to express their individuality, but on the other hand, it’s not always feasible to do a full room makeover every time their fleeting tastes change. (Adolescence was a confusing, wish-washy time – we all remember!)

The key is to lay out a foundation of good design choices in a fun, whimsical way. There are a lot more home design styles than you may think so you will have plenty of choices! Let your child express his or her individuality through things like accessories, wall art, decor knickknacks, and other items that are easier to switch out. That way, moving into teen years and beyond doesn’t require a major overhaul.

We’re absolutely in LOVE with the room design above. The aviation theme is carried out in such a tasteful way, it’ll be a seamless transition from “child’s room” to “teen’s room.”

8) Don’t feel confined to “matchy-matchy”

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

You don’t need to purchase all of your child’s bedroom furniture from one set or collection for it to look cohesive. Try mixing and matching within your color scheme for a fun yet polished feel. Above, the beds have a dark wood stained finish, but the large nightstand in the middle is painted red (which ties into the throw blankets and pillows).

9) Make a feature wall for the more bold decor choices

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

If your child has their heart set on a bold wall color or mural that you’re not so comfortable with, a good compromise is to incorporate it on a feature wall. That way when your child grows out of the design choice or you reclaim the room once they move out, it’ll take less time and effort to paint over.

10) Put up garlands and paper lanterns for added whimsy

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

This is such a fun, inexpensive way to brighten up your child’s space. We love the use of the flower garlands and paper lanterns above. They add visual interest and texture to the space while still coordinating beautifully with the color scheme.

11) Create a seating area

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

If space allows, try adding a seating area to your child’s room. It can serve as a reading nook or place to watch TV and play games. We love how the “TV stand” above is doubling as additional storage for board games and puzzles.

12) Display jewelry and collections as decor

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

If your child or teen collects something, try figuring out a creative, yet stylish way to display it. In the room above, jewelry is hung on the branches of a decorative white tree instead of being shut away in a box.

13) Create a homework zone

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Try creating a designated homework station where the kids can store laptops, books, and everything they need to succeed. In the example above, the desk also provides lots of additional storage space – definitely a win-win for function and small space utilization!

14) Use hidden storage

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

For not-so-stylish items that you don’t want prominently displayed, try using clever hidden storage. We love a drawer nightstand or large ottoman at the foot of the bed – and definitely take advantage of under-bed and closet storage!

15) Use coordinating blankets and rugs for added warmth

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Even if your child’s room is carpeted, adding an area rug gives the room a more cozy feel. It’s also an opportunity to tie in your main colors with the bedding.

16) Add a reading lamp

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

A bedside lamp is perfect for reading and general ambiance. They’re also wonderful if your child needs to get up in the middle of the night without tripping!

17) Use bunk beds for space-saving

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS Blog

Bunk beds are fantastic if you have more than one child sharing a room, or if your kids like to host sleepovers often.

18) Go neutral, but add texture

18 Design Ideas to Make Kids’ Rooms Look Amazing | Design by GAHS BlogNeutral spaces can pack a punch too! All it takes is a variety of textures and patterns to add visual interest. Mix soft and fluffy blankets with a wooden nightstand and patterned ottoman – again, the sky’s the limit.

And there you have it! Eighteen ways to create a meaningful, harmonious space for your child that makes sense in your home. We hope you found these tips helpful. If you want even more inspiration, be sure to check out our Kids’ Rooms Pinterest board:

Color Series

Color Series: Decorating With Buttercup

Did you know that the PANTONE® Color Institute released an entire color palette for Spring/Summer 2016? While many of the shades evoke a sense of calm, there are a few vibrant exceptions: Fiesta, Green Flash, and the star of today’s blog, Buttercup.

Decorating with Buttercup

“Colors this season transport us to a happier, sunnier place where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of PANTONE.

Decorating with Buttercup

We love this friendly shade of yellow because it works so well with other colors. (Our top picks to pair with Buttercup are white, gray, navy blue, and turquoise – but the possibilities are as endless as your imagination!) Even if your decor is neutral, adding small pops of yellow will make your home look revitalized and ready for summer.

Below, the throw blanket, wall art, and pillows take center stage since the eye is immediately drawn to the brightness.

Decorating with Buttercup

For lovers of bold color, here’s a sample of Buttercup on an accent wall to add energy and playfulness to the space:

Decorating with Buttercup

Here’s a great example of injecting color without going overboard. Notice how the wall color, artwork, built-in shelf, and window treatments are contrasting neutrals (dark gray and crisp white), while Buttercup is incorporated through a rug, floral arrangement, throw pillows, and accent chairs.

Decorating with Buttercup

Inspired yet? We definitely were! Check out our favorite Buttercup pieces for a summer home makeover you’ll love:

Decorating with Buttercup

  1. Best Home Furnishings Kaylee Swivel Barrel Chair
  2. Fusion Maxwell Gray Sofa
  3. La-Z-Boy Lee Ottoman
  4. Bassett CU.2 L-Shaped Sectional
  5. Bassett Custom Dining Table
  6. Bassett Goa Rug
  7. Surya Teori Pillow
  8. Washington Jitterbug Gray Loveseat
  9. Bassett Barcelona Twin Beds

For even MORE inspiration, be sure to follow our coordinating Pinterest board. We’re always on the hunt for great home decor ideas so we can share them with you.

Design Inspiration Room Inspiration

How to Completely Revamp Your Home – Month by Month!

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Ah, January… the beginning of a new year. A fresh start. A clean slate.

This is when most of us start thinking about resolutions and ways we’d like to improve various aspects of ourselves. So why not apply this philosophy to our environment too?

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

A beautiful house is practically therapeutic to come home to after a long day, but we know it’s difficult to find the time or funds to bring your visions to life. That’s where a little bit of broad planning comes into play. Multi-room undertakings work best if you space out your projects, so here’s an example of a year-long revamp delegation:

Revamp Your Home Month by Month
Click picture to open printable PDF

Of course, these are just suggestions. If you know that your roof needs some repairing then you’ll want to improve your curb appeal earlier in the year so you can get the austin roofing contractors at the same time as the landscapers to make everything easier to manage. Omit rooms you don’t have, customize the projects to fit your home’s needs, cut the projects down to bimonthly, change the order around… the sky’s the limit, and it’s really all up to you! The main idea here is to break up a year’s worth of design projects into manageable time frames and individual budgets. You may find, for example, that you can actually afford that dream kitchen you’ve been thinking about for years, or that you can get a bespoke walk-in shower done for less than you thought, complete with frameless shower doors for that effortless feel. Once you have your basic budgets in place then you can start fine-tuning your design plan.

Revamp Your Home Month by Month
The GAHS Room Planner tool offers a bird’s eye perspective of your space’s layout

If you watch home makeover shows on TV, you know that one of the first things the designer does is draw up a scaled “aerial view” of the room. Knowing the exact amount of space you’re working with is crucial when selecting new pieces to add. You may find a coffee table you love, but if you don’t pay attention to the dimensions, you run the risk of it not fitting properly. We recommend taking advantage of our Room Planner tool. It allows you to create an online blueprint so you can arrange and rearrange furniture to your heart’s content! When it’s finished, you can share it with friends digitally or print it to take shopping with you.

Revamp Your Home Month by Month
A room being designed on
Revamp Your Home Month by Month
A 3D rendered snapshot of the above design

Another amazing tool we want to share is, and more specifically their 3D Roomplanner. This is a free service that lets you create your own interior designs with almost complete freedom. Their virtual library contains over 120,000 items, so you’re sure to find things that look similar to your existing decor – plus get ideas for new purchases you’d like to make in the future. When you’re finished designing, you can arrange a little blue “camera” (see above) to take a 3D rendered snapshot of the space.

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Another great way to plan for your home revamp is to create a Pinterest board of inspiration. Having an overall vision in mind and a centralized place to compile your ideas will make sporadic shopping simple. (Get a load of that alliteration! ?) Just browse over time instead of visiting a couple stores and spending lots of money all at once. The decorating process is infinitely easier on your wallet – and more fun – if you give yourself the opportunity to happen upon things. You may find the perfect pieces in the most unexpected places!

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Quick Tip: If you find an item on the GAHS website that you’d like to add to your Pinterest, just hover your mouse over the product photo. Pretty easy!

Revamp Your Home Month by Month

Share this post on social media if you found it helpful – maybe you can help a friend who made sprucing up their space a New Year’s resolution! You can also check out the GAHS Pinterest boards to steal some design inspiration for your 2016 home makeover.

Design Inspiration Living Rooms Room Inspiration

Make Your Living Room Better with Leather

hamilton sofa

Sweater weather simply calls for leather. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. There isn’t another material that can match leather’s style, timelessness, and durability, which is why it’s a staple in so many homes. But this post is not just an ode to our favorite upholstery – it’ll also include some tips and tricks to make the most of the leather pieces in your space, and how to properly maintain your leather. We’ll even cover more unexpected ways to incorporate leather into your decor. So, for the love of leather, let’s begin!



No matter your home’s color scheme or aesthetic, there’s a leather for you. A plethora of tones and finishes exist on the market, so your choice depends on whatever vibe you’re looking for. For example, you could select a tight-back, black leather sofa for a sleek, sophisticated look. Go the route of richness and warmth with a cushion-back, camel-colored armchair in a weathered “bomber jacket” finish. You could even kick up the pizzazz with a tufted chaise in a bright shade of dyed leather, such as red or green. Regardless of which direction you go, we suggest choosing something classic that you won’t get tired of anytime soon. Some versatile shades we love are cognac, caramel, dark chocolate, tan, taupe, and gray.

collections-la-z-boy-james 521_521-lmg-b1


Recliners are undoubtedly comfortable, and there’s a reason why these functional pieces are so popular in leather – added polish! We also love reclining sectionals and motion sofas. They knock out the need for additional furniture and save you space. Upgrading to a power-assisted option will even allow you to relax at the touch of a button! If you’re wanting to get a reclining sofa for your living room, go to a reclining sofa shop washington to find the best one for you. They’ll have plenty of options for you to try!



If the leather is especially dark, you may find that your room feels too weighed down by your furniture. This can be remedied by creating an interesting contrast. Paint the walls a light hue and start adding accents like end tables, rugs, throw pillows, and blankets in paler colors. This gives the space an airier feel. Another solution is to not overdo matching furniture in one room. If you have a three-piece set of brown leather furniture, keep the couch in the living room and move the loveseat and chair to different rooms in the house.



Sofas and chairs aren’t the only ways to deck out your living room with leather. Here are some other pieces to consider:

  • Leather-topped table
  • Leather ottoman
  • Leather barstools
  • Leather-trimmed mirror or picture frame
  • Leather-bound books on shelves or coffee table
  • Cowhide rug
  • Leather-woven storage basket
  • Leather throw pillows



You may be wondering why you should spend more on genuine leather when there are faux alternatives with a similar look. Here are some reasons why it’s worth it to invest in the real deal:

  • Every piece of leather is one of a kind with its own character.
  • Faux leather is thinner and doesn’t offer as much warmth.
  • Leather gets softer with age and starts looking even more gorgeous. Faux leather tends to peel and flake off over time.
  • Faux leather is not as substantial – it has about 1/3 of real leather’s lifespan.

And here’s a handy guide to differentiate between the two:

  • First and foremost, check the label. “Genuine leather” should be prominently stated. If you see phrases like “man-made materials,” it’s probably vinyl.
  • Get up close and personal with the leather in question. Natural leather has pores in inconsistent patterns, while faux leather will have imitation pores in perfect rows.
  • Try smelling the furniture. Real leather has a distinct smell, while fake leather will smell more like rubber, plastic, or nothing.
  • If you can see the edges, check if they’re too perfect looking or feel foamy. Genuine leather will literally look “rough around the edges.”



Leather has longevity on it side. It may be a more expensive option than regular fabrics, but it’s an investment you’ll have for years to come if you take care of it. Your leather furniture should come with care instructions from the manufacturer, so it’s advisable to stick to these recommendations to keep the piece looking its best.

Don’t worry too much about messes along the way. Nothing beats the ease of wiping spills off of leather – not even tossing a slipcover in the wash. Even purchasing something like a second-hand sofa through sites like Shoppok would require you to give it a clean. Experts recommend using a cotton cloth or natural sponge with distilled water, if possible. Use light, dabbing motions to pick up the offending stain. To banish any solid debris you come across, try using your vacuum’s nozzle attachment. If the leather suffers some scratches (pets, kids… we’re looking at you!), use an aerosol colorant spray designed especially for leather. Just spray on a matching color, follow up with a sealant, and most importantly: wait for your furniture to dry before sitting on it again. Trust us, that’s a mistake you’ll only make once!



What’s your favorite way to decorate with leather? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’ve been left craving some new leather pieces for your home, be sure to check out all the beautiful options at The Great American Home Store.

Dining Rooms Entertaining Living Rooms Room Inspiration

12 Ways to Make Your Home Irresistibly Inviting: Holiday Edition

As we move deeper into fall, the air gets chillier, the days get shorter, and we come to the sudden realization that a gauntlet of holidays will soon be upon us. Holiday parties are a part of the fun, and if you’re planning on hosting any get-togethers at your home, you may be wondering how to spruce up your space in preparation. Depending on how much lead-time you have, try following some of these tips to make your home feel more inviting.


Your dining area will likely be the main focus for a holiday gathering. If you’ve been meaning to update the space anyway, this is a great excuse for a mini-makeover.

1) Mismatched chairs definitely aren’t a bad thing, but if you want them to look uniform, try slipcovering them for a shabby-chic vibe. (This is also a good tip if your chairs have just seen better days.) Chair covers are often available for rent at party supply shops, or for purchase at most big-box stores.

2) Large mirrors add opulence and make a space look bigger. Try to find one with a prominent frame. If you have a garage sale or flea market find that isn’t quite right, you can give it a whole new look by spray painting the frame gold or some other metallic shade that coordinates with your décor.

3) Take advantage of your chandelier! We love statement lighting over the dining room table. Update an older fixture with new lampshades or crystals.

4) Create a beautiful centerpiece using candles, fresh flowers, ornaments, or whatever you’d like. This gives your table setting a “wow” factor that your guests will notice.

5) Use ornate china as additional décor and display it on an open hutch or floating shelf. When you’re about to serve a meal, just take them down and give them a quick wash. If you’re expecting a large group, another option is to rent china, glasses, napkins, and silverware from your local party rental company. This saves you from having to purchase any new place settings just for the holidays.

6) If you want to make your home smell amazing as your guests are arriving, simmer any combination of sliced fruit, spices, and essential oils like Lemon Oil for Rouh
with purified water in a pot on the stove. For in an invigorating scent, try purified water, sliced lemons, peppermint and ylang ylang essential oils, and a few rosemary sprigs. Our favorite combination for this time of year includes purified water, sliced apples and grapefruit, orange essential oil, and some cinnamon sticks. Just remember to treat the concoction like a burning candle in that it shouldn’t be left completely unattended.


The living room is where your guests will convene after a meal to socialize, so it never hurts to take this space to the next level when you’re expecting company.

7) Festive throw pillows are relatively inexpensive and will instantly make your seating look tailored to the season. Pillows can also correct sofas that are too deep (and serve as floor seating in a pinch).

8) Your guests will likely gather in the living room with drinks they’ll need to set down, so make sure to put small end tables next to any seating that’s out of reach from the coffee table. If you don’t have any, check out these options at The Great American Home Store.

9) Rearrange your furniture with an open floor space in mind if you have to make room for a crowd. Also take this opportunity to declutter – gather up papers, books and magazines, etc. into storage containers.

10) Enhance the ambiance! Light a fire in the fireplace if you have one, and put some background music on to fill out any lulls in conversation (about 25% lower volume than normal speaking voices).


11) You likely won’t have time to give each guest a tour, so labeling the key rooms of your house can be extremely helpful. Purchase some blackboard signs and chalk from your local craft store and get creative! For example, prop a large one on your entry table that says “Welcome.” Then use smaller chalkboards with holes in the top for hanging (try using burlap rope or fabric ribbon) and label the doors to the coat closet and bathrooms.

12) A good rule of thumb for pre-party cleaning is to start from your entryway and follow the path that your guests are most likely to go (into the living room, through the kitchen, the bathrooms, etc.) But don’t stress too much at the last minute! Try to get the important things done in advance so you can relax and enjoy your guests when the time comes.

While we don’t have a tip to help you survive family drama, endless cooking, or any of the other glorious trials that go hand-in-hand with the holidays, we CAN wish you the best of luck and remind you that you’ll make it through. You’ll probably have a great time while you’re at it!

Design Inspiration Room Inspiration

Bringing New Life to an Old and Out-Dated Room

You’re looking to buy a new sofa to replace your loved, worn out, and outdated one that’s sitting in your family room. You’ll want something that will last, but you also want to be sure that it’ll bring new life to an old room. In this post, we will discuss just how to do it!

The first thing to remember when designing a room is to pinpoint your personal aesthetic. What kind of colors, or design elements are you trying to pull out from this room? Once you grasp that the rest will come easy. Another thing to remember when designing a room is to embrace what you already know and love. Think about the room you’re adding to. You love the sofa that you’ve had since you and your husband got married, it was the first big purchase you made together, but you don’t want to get rid of it to add something new. Just because you have something that’s old doesn’t mean you need to ditch it in order to update your room. Look at that sofa and try to determine what your room needs. Could you improve your space by adding an exciting chair? What about some complementary accents to bring some life back in the room? Something else to remember is to not be afraid of your creativity. It is totally okay to mix old and new together! Another easy something that you could do is to select a statement piece in your room. So you love your old couch, awesome! Then choose to design around it and make it the star of your room!

Here are some other tips that will help you bring in something new or to refresh an old room:

  • Tell A Color Story
    • Telling a color story helps make the room look more focused and cohesive. Say that you have an orange arm-chair, decorate in shades of orange. Tell the world what you’re passionate about
  • MIx Different Time Periods
    • If you have a room full of vintage pieces throw in something more contemporary! It will help bring something new to an old looking room
    • It’s important to remember that a well-decorated room should look like it has been assembled over time
  • Be Spontaneous
    • Add boldness to your room by making a choice that you normally wouldn’t. Go for a brighter color or pattern, maybe even a style that might be outside of what you’re used to

There’s more to refreshing a room than you might think. There are some other important things that you need to consider before you purchase a new piece of furniture.

  • Consider the Location
    • Try to pick an empty spot, or a place that’s not super crowded. You want your new piece to either stand out or match what you already have
  • Think About Your Statement Piece
    • Do you already own a statement piece or are you looking for one
  • Have a Design Plan
    • This ties everything in, location, statement, and style. Unless you plan on being completely spontaneous, you should have a plan for what you want to do. You don’t want to get home and change your mind about the piece that you selected, you want to be satisfied with your choice. So it is really important to know what you’re looking for.

Finally, to wrap things up, here are some important Interior Design Lessons that Everyone Should Know:

  • Think of functionality, what’s the purpose of the furniture you’re buying?
  • Don’t hesitate to spend big on seating, you want to make sure you’re comfortable and also anyone else who will be in your home
  • Decorate! Add something more than just furniture to a room
    • Think pillows, pictures, plants, and other decorative pieces that will bring some life into a room
  • Remember that black adds a sense of depth to a room, consider utilizing some in the marginal areas throughout your room
  • Showcase your personality, let your guests know what you’re like
  • Think about the look of the room you’re designing
    • If you’re going vintage, try to learn all you can about that style and how to pull it off successfully.
  • Look for a new perspective
    • Not sure if you like a bookcase on a certain wall? Get your camera out and snap a before and after shot to see if you like it or not. Taking before and after shots can help you find new angles and see things in a different light.
  • Use an online room planner tool
      • There are a lot of really great room planners online that can help you visualize your room before you make any purchasing decisions, hang up décor or move furniture around. One tool that we love is It allows you to create a 3D room with thousands of 3D models of furniture, décor and architectural elements using an easy-to-use interface. You can then use its virtual camera to take photos of your design from any angle. If you’re looking for a more straightforward room planner, or looking to purchase furniture from Great American Home Store, check out our 2D room planner that will let you create 2D floor plans and drag in actual dimensions from products you’re considering to see how they will fit in the room.

We hope that these tips will help when you select a new piece of furniture for your home! One of the best ways to show your personality when purchasing furniture is to go custom, and The Great American Home Store has many options available to help you do that. Great American offers custom selections from Basset, Jonathan Louis, Mayo, and more! View our website to learn more about custom ordering.

Design Inspiration

Repurposed Decorating At South Front Antiques, Interview With Lara Scott

I met Lara Scott at Memphis’ Urban Barn Market in May.  Her booth was a mix of vintage, industrial, and classic decorating pieces.  As a member of the South Front Antiques family business, an antique architectural salvage store in downtown Memphis, she is carrying the torch that her grandfather began over 40 years ago.

What is your style?

I love the gracious, welcoming ways of the South.  Comfortable spaces with touches of Southern charm is the look I try to create in my home.   I decorate with objects that have meaning to me and a story to tell my guests.  It makes my home deeply personal.  One way I do this is using repurposed objects…it’s a trend I’m seeing in decorating.

What is repurposed decorating?

Repurposed decorating is using some items for another purpose in one’s home.  Typically, our clients are looking for an item that speaks to them. We find that people particularly like to use something from history or our industrial roots to use as a coffee table, shelf, headboard, or merely an object of art.

What’s hot right now?

Industrial historical pieces are HOT right now; railroad carts as coffee tables, old steel fire doors as headboards, or the use of foundry patterns for just about everything else.

What are foundry patterns?

Foundry patterns are formed wood pieces that would be used to make cast iron elements in a foundry. They were made decades ago, during the height our industrial era. There would be a pattern for every metal piece imaginable…from the small valve to the monstrous riverboat boiler. They represent the industry that fostered our prosperity and growth. Most large cities had their own foundry. The patterns were all made by hand, without the benefit of calculators or computers or laser saws.  Especially interesting is the fact that cast iron shrinks as it cools, so the patterns were all precisely larger than the final cast piece – amazing!  It is a lost art.

What I love about the foundry molds is that it allows me and my clients a chance to be able to repurpose a piece of Memphis history.  I especially like how the wood adds so much warmth to decorating.  They have such a rich, dark color…another one of my favorite things about using old wood foundry patterns.

The patterns are the first thing that you see when you walk into the shop and clients are always asking, “ What is this?”  They are so unusual; you can see how they would start a conversation in one’s home.  Add the fact that they are a part of our history, and you can see how personable they can become.

We have had clients use them to make dining table tops, lamps, bookends, candle holders, tabletop decor, and decorative mirrors.  We also have had a few artists use the molds in their art.  One of my favorite ways to see them displayed is to have a collection of them on a wall.

South Front Antiques is located just off of Beale on Front Street in downtown Memphis. Their 20,000 square foot showroom is filled with architectural and salvaged pieces that they have been collecting for over 40 years. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10-4:30, and Sundays 12 – 4:30.

Design Inspiration

Our Favorite Entryways

An entryway serves so many purposes, both practical and frivolous. Of course you need storage solutions for coats and shoes, a landing spot for keys, etc… but it’s also your guests’ very first peek inside your home. Making it shine with your personal style is key.

photo source | home by ally
photo source | home by ally
photo source | little house offour
photo source | little house of four

You can also create a cozy nook in your front hallway with one of our gorgeous pieces of furniture from Great American Home Store. Each of these pieces has ample storage and function just perfect for an entryway.

source | vintage standard weather sideboard
source | Stein World Estate Narrow Sideboard
source | Jaipur Furniture Guru Washed Green 4-Door Sideboard