How to Get the Look: Contemporary/ Mid Century Modern Style
If you love the look of clean, sleek lines, airy open spaces and clutter-free surfaces, Contemporary/ Mid Century Modern style is for you. Its minimalist “less is more” approach emphasizes form and function to create an inviting, comfortable room. Here are a few of the style’s attributes to inspire your own Contemporary interior.
- Neutral palettes keep the look simplified and provide a backdrop for your bolder accent colors.
- Brighter, bolder splashes of color are generally reserved for use as accents. A vibrant sofa, throw, piece of artwork, or other accessory can make a visual impact.
- Contemporary-style interiors are spacious, bright rooms. You’ll find a lot of white used, particularly as the wall color. It reflects light and opens up the space – a useful effect to implement in a smaller home.
- Avoid mixing too many different colors in one room, otherwise it becomes too busy and undermines the orderliness you’re striving for.
- Contemporary/ Mid Century Modern furnishings showcase streamlined shapes and smooth surfaces. No ruffles, carvings, or floral prints found here!
- Design elements include exposed legs, slim profiles, linear shapes, light colored wood, and solid or subtle patterned fabrics.
- Furnishings often have a high-gloss shine, thanks to stainless steel, chrome, glass, plastic, tile, and polished wood.
- Natural materials and fibers balance out the sleekness with their textural appeal. Furniture upholstered in textured fabrics keeps the room from seeming too cold or spare. Organic materials such as stone and wood also provide some contrast to the industrial feel of metal and glass.
- Take advantage of natural light as much as you can by using minimal window treatments. Unobtrusive blinds or a sheer textured fabric will provide privacy and without spoiling the clean look.
- Contemporary light fixtures themselves have a sculptural quality, featuring sleek lines and metallic finishes.
- Light is often used to highlight an artistic focal point or structural feature of the room.
- Track lighting and recessed lighting draw attention to artwork and accessories.
- Chosen deliberately and used sparingly, a few pieces serve as focal points or are highlighted as pieces of art.
- Try a simple botanical arrangement in a tall vase, a large mirror, or metal sculpture. Choose a few large dramatic pieces positioned to draw the eye, rather than lots of small trinkets.
- Artwork hung on the walls is a good place to showcase your accent colors. Abstracts on stretched canvas or with simple frames, black-and-white photos, or wall sculptures become focal points in your own personal gallery.
- Contemporary style floors are usually wood, tile, or vinyl. Though typically left bare, a rug with a solid color or geometric design wouldn’t be out of place.
No matter what kind of living space you have, Contemporary/Mid Century Modern Style design can bring a modern quality to your interior – clean and livable, smooth and stylish.
4th Generation Family Member
Improving Sleep Habits for Your Kids
At this time of the year, many families are returning to their back-to-school routines. You might want to take the change in schedule as an opportunity to improve your child’s sleep habits. Quality sleep is extremely important for children’s health, and it affects their ability to focus on tasks during the day. Though the requirement varies with their age, kids need at least 9 hours of sleep each night to be healthy, active, and perform their best in school. Here are some tips to help achieve restful sleep – good for kids and adults alike!
Have a winding-down ritual
The best way to make sure kids get enough sleep is to stick to a regular bedtime. If homework and extracurricular activities are reserved for the early evening, your child has the opportunity to unwind later on. Routine and relaxing activities before bed, like taking a bath or reading with your child, can help kids transition into sleep mode.
Create a restful room
A peaceful, darkened environment is most conducive to sleep. Instead of letting your child fall asleep in front of the TV, opt for a nightlight or soft music, and close the curtains or blinds. Most people have trouble sleeping in a room that’s too hot or too cold, so make sure your child is comfortable. A slightly cooler temperature at night is optimal for sleeping, but leave an extra blanket just in case.
Turn off electronics
Today’s kids are digitally connected to smart phones, tablets, laptops, games and more. But using them too close to bedtime makes it harder to unwind. The mental stimulation deters sleep, and the kind of light they emit can disrupt circadian rhythms – the body’s internal clock that determines when you’re awake and asleep. A book and a bedside lamp are a more restful choice.
Kids need good mattresses too
A growing body needs support. Maximize your child’s chances for restful sleep by making sure that the bed is comfortable and supportive enough for her or him to fall asleep and stay asleep. All mattresses wear out over time, so avoid hand-me-downs that are too old (most mattresses last about 8-10 years). When buying a mattress, take some time to evaluate:
- Size. A twin mattress is common for younger children, but older kids may prefer a full or queen. Also consider whether your kids share a room or a bed.
- Mattress types. Just as with adult beds, kids’ mattresses come in all support types – BILTRITE offers innerspring coil, memory foam, latex – in various levels of firmness. From A to Z BILTRITE will help you find a comfortable mattress at a comfortable price. Be sure to have your child come to test them in the store.
- Durability. The more durable the mattress, the longer it will last. Also, grab a mattress cover to help prolong its life by protecting it from spills and stains.
- Allergies. If your child has allergies or asthma, he or she will benefit from dust mite- and allergen-resistant materials. Latex foam mattresses are hypoallergenic and naturally antimicrobial. BILTRITE has the best selection of latex mattresses. If a latex mattress is out of your price range, any mattress can be fitted with a hypoallergenic mattress cover. Your allergist may recommend a zippered full mattress encasement to limit dust mite reactions.
4th Generation Family Member
Scaling Back When Kids Move Out
BILTRITE Furniture specializes in small scale furniture, with the best selection in the metro Milwaukee area. When children leave home to go off to college or start their own families, the “empty nest” they leave behind can feel sad or lonely for parents. It’s a big lifestyle change, and with that comes a need to adjust your home to fit your new way of life. Children leaving home is a great opportunity for parents to rededicate rooms in their home to their own interests and personalities – and that can be a very healing act for parents having a hard time with the change, too.
One of the ways you can begin to reinvest in your home is by scaling back on the furnishings in your home. Some parents even choose to move to a smaller home with less upkeep to better enjoy their later years. Other parents stay put but decide to rediscover their own style and redecorate accordingly. Regardless of how you transition into this new phase, new furnishings offer you the opportunity to breathe a new life into your home that is all about you.
Here are a few ideas on how to “re-feather” your nest in style.
Resize your world
About one fourth of all empty nesters decide to move when the kids leave, but they often find that the furniture that fit the scale of their former home is much too massive for their new, simple life. A smaller home gives you the opportunity to find new furniture that you really love, instead of the furniture that was too impractical while your children went through their destructive phases. (Think smaller-scale sofas in sumptuous fabrics – minus the fruit juice stains.) Whether you want to replace just one or two pieces, or revamp an entire room, you can enjoy the freedom to explore the many furniture styles and choices that reflect your new way of living.
Living in a smaller home is one instance in which the furniture you choose can make a huge difference in creating a room that is not only beautiful but is incredibly functional for your lifestyle as well. Less space in no way means less luxury, style, comfort, or elegance.
Choose furniture that not only fits well in the space you have, but also helps you with your overall space-saving needs. BILTRITE Furniture understands the constraints of smaller spaces and we have responded with an array of products for every size home and room. For example, sofas are often available in varying lengths, starting at 70” and up, and recliners can recline within inches of a wall behind them. Many entertainment centers are sold as separate units, so you can choose the pieces that best fit your space, and corner units are now available to accommodate large-screen TVs without consuming a significant amount of room space.
Also, think coffee tables and side tables that provide storage or shelving within it; ottomans that can serve as extra table space and open up to store blankets.
Re-purpose children’s old rooms
Research shows that most empty nesters redecorate their children’s bedrooms into a library/reading room, hobby studio, guest room, home theater or home office. The American Home Furnishings Alliance offers these tips for designing and decorating your new space:
- Library or reading room: This top choice demonstrates empty nesters’ desire for both relaxation and education. Displaying favorite books and photo albums on bookshelves, coffee tables and end tables. Chairs of all types, including recliners, are available in hundreds of styles that are both comfortable and stylish, to suit both his and her tastes. Brighten the room with elegant lamps and other decorative accessories.
- Guest room: Guest rooms are a great way to express yourself and have fun decorating with a new style or colors. A sofa-sleeper or click clack will create some additional flexibility with the room, if desired. Remember, the comfort of your guests should be top priority, so be sure to include a dresser or chest, a mirror, and seating such as a chair or bench. Accessories for guest rooms can include baskets, books, and a stack of cozy blankets and fluffy pillows.
- Home Theater: The “musts” of home theaters include plenty of comfortable seating pieces. From leather sofas and loveseats to comfortable recliners and chairs, there are a variety of styles to choose from in all price ranges. Today’s entertainment centers will help you organize all your electronic gadgets, from satellite television and videos, to your children’s leftover video games and CDs. Now is the time to finally splurge on that glass coffee table or upholstered ottoman for the finishing touches!
- Home Office: Organize your household to be comfortable and reflect your own personal taste. Today’s home office furniture comes in all shapes, sizes and price ranges – from a simple workstation to a traditionally elegant desk and file storage. Add an ergonomic chair to ensure a back-friendly workplace.
Even though you may put away the rock posters, trophies, and school memorabilia, you don’t have to say good-bye to your children altogether! Accessorize with a few sentimental pieces or photos to keep them gone but not forgotten!
Randi K. 4th Generation Family Member
Are you Design-Challenged? Maybe You Need Our Designer’s Help!
Most of us want to create a home that is a reflection of our likes, our passions, and our personality. Unfortunately, how to get there may be something of a mystery.
Hey, there’s no shame in asking for help! Not all of us were born knowing how to develop color schemes and coordinate fabrics — and frankly, many of us just don’t have the time. At BiltRite Furniture, we offer free in-store design service to help you transform your favorite things into the home you’ve always wanted. (more…)
Dining Room Buying Guide: Helpful Hints for Your Shopping Trip at BILTRITE
Whether you dream of dazzling dinner parties or cozy family get-togethers, your new dining set will play a major role. The great news is that there is a style out there for everyone. But with so many choices, there are certain considerations you should keep in mind.
The first step you should take before you shop for any kind of furniture is to measure the room it will be placed in. The dimensions of a dining room should inform not only the size of the table, but the general shape as well. A dining table doesn’t have to be rectangular. The shape of a table can change the overall impression of the room size. There are great expandable options in round and square tables as well. To get an even better idea of how the space can be laid out, use our online room planner. That way you can tryout round, oval, square and rectangular tables to see what will fit best in the room before you go shopping.
Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind when planning your dining room:
- Diners need 18” to 24” of space away from the table to sit down and pull their chairs up to the table.
- Diners should have 24” to 30” of space at the table to dine comfortably without bumping elbows with their neighbor.
- There should be four to five feet of space between the table and the wall to allow the host to easily move through the room and be able to serve the guests.
How many for dinner?
The number of diners you expect to seat affects the kind of table you get. It’s easy to get extra bodies around a pedestal table.
A table with a leaf is a great way to expand your dining area. If you have the space, you might want to consider keeping the leaf in the table full time. A leaf in storage will not age the same as the rest of the table. Coloration may change or the leaf may warp if stored vertically, instead of horizontally, or if it is kept in a damp environment. Leaves are usually not an option with glass-topped tables. Butterfly leaves have become a popular option in recent years because they store the leaf right under the top of the table. Drop leaf tables can allow you to place a table right against a wall for day to day use. You can pull them out from the wall and extend the leaf when you need to seat more people.
At BILTRITE we offer dining room furniture in five or seven piece sets. Occasionally retailers will run promotions that include two arm chairs as well. You should buy at least two more chairs than you think you will need. Holidayentertaining and family gatherings can send you scrambling for seating to accommodate everyone. If you buy the extra chairs at the outset you can be sure that they fit with the table. The extra chairs can always be used as accents chairs in other rooms when you are not entertaining.
Take a Seat
Sit in the chair for some time; don’t go from one to the other too quickly. You will want your guests to linger over dinner conversation, so make sure that the chair is comfortable for a longer period of time. It should be wide enough for your guests to be comfortable. The chair should support the back and allow you to keep your feet on the floor.
Pub-height or counter-height tables have become very popular in recent years. While they have a youthful image, counter height tables are a great option for older people who have trouble getting up and down from low dining room chairs. If your kitchen or dining room has a window with a great view, a pub height table is a great way to enjoy. The higher seating can allow for unobstructed sight lines. The higher levels of these table tops also make them a great additional work surface in a kitchen with limited counter space. Keep in mind though; a pub height table may require you to raise your dining room light fixture.
When you purchase your dining table, we recommend you check into table pads as well. Table pads are often felt-covered on the back side and vinyl on the top surface. They are usually covered over with a table cloth when used. The pads protect the table top from hot dishes and moisture and can significantly prolong the life of your dining set.
Storage and Serving
Now that you have tables and chairs you should consider storage and display for your dining room. Below is a list of different storage pieces that you may want to add to your dining room.
Curio Cabinet: This cabinet is a free standing display case that has a glass front and sides without any enclosed cabinet space. Many styles include interior lights, glass shelves and mirrored backs.
China Cabinet: These cabinets are normally part display and part storage. The top half of the china cabinet resembles a curio cabinet and possibly contains a railing to allow you to display plates, while the bottom contains cabinets for the storage of other commonly used items.
Buffet: Buffets are storage pieces, very often a cupboard or “dresser” of sorts to store serving dishes and platters. The upper surface is used as a service area.
Hutch: A frequent addition to a buffet, a hutch can provide both display and storage, leaving room for food service as well.
Sideboard: A sideboard is a table with a wide drawer in the center that is flanked by drawers and cupboards on the sides and is used for storing serving dishes and platters as well as for serving food.
Server: Similar to a sideboard, a server is a shallow table with drawers and is intended to hold food before it is placed on the table. The primary difference is that a server doesn’t have cabinet space.
Common wood chair styles:
Windsor chairs are a style of chair that features turned spindles along that back of the chair, turned and angled legs, and turned stretchers between the legs as well as a carved saddle seat. The chairs were named because of the origination in the town of Windsor England.
Arrow back chairs are a variant of the Windsor chair in the pieces supporting in the back of the chair resemble arrows. They tend to be round at both ends but flattened in the middle to resemble arrows.
Slat back chairs have backs that contain at least one, possibly several, wide, flat, vertical supports.
Ladder back chairs are chairs that feature horizontal supports in the upper section of the chair, often resembling a ladder.
Parsons is a tall dining room chair that features a rectangular back and seat that are both upholstered.
Common table styles:
Pedestal Table: This type of table usually has a round top with a single center support rather than four legs.
Leg Table: A leg table is a more traditional table featuring 4 legs.
Trestle Table: This table consists of two sets of legs that are connected by a horizontal beam. These tables are often good in dining spaces that are longer instead of square.
Drop Leaf Table: A table with hinged leaves that are unfolded for table extension.
Randi K. 4th Generation Family Member