Author Archives: Vicki Bolick

About Vicki Bolick

Vicki Gladle Bolick, is the Creator & Editor of The Ace of Space Blog in Atlanta, Georgia. Considered an industry expert and forecaster, Vicki has appeared in magazines such as Elle-Décor Mexico, HGTV, Atlanta Home Improvement, as well as the Atlanta Journal Constitution and local television. Her Interior Design & Lifestyle blog has been recognized nationally and is a three time finalist for Best Writing & Best Overall Design Blog at the DBC. Vicki has worked with national brands such as Kohler, KWC, Martha Stewart, Legrand, and is a frequent contributor to industry articles and blogs.

5 Easy Room Refreshers

If there is one question I get asked on a frequent basis it’s “What can I do to update my interior without spending a lot of money?” That’s certainly a million dollar question, and fortunately an easy one to answer. Most people don’t want to invest their life savings into reviving a tired interior, and quite frankly neither do I. But, there are ways to revive and renew a space that will create the illusion that you just bankrolled a renovation.

1) Replace. Yes, one small change can make a huge difference. It’s like changing the jewelry on a dress. If it’s in a kitchen, replace the faucet or change out the cabinetry hardware. Living rooms or bedrooms replace your lampshades with ones that have texture, or vibrant prints.

(Via Jordan Iverson Signature Homes, Photo Credit: KuDa Photography 2015)

2) Add Drapery. This may be one of the last additions in a home, but adding curtains brings in texture, pattern and adds a finished look to a space. Just remember to hang high on low ceilings for added drama & height.

(Printing House NY featuring Pure White Countertops)

3) Rearrange Your Furniture. I do this several times a year, it’s as easy as swapping out pieces from different rooms. Even a new layout will refresh a space and give it new life.

(Via Jacob Laws Interior Design featuring Concrete Countertops)

4) Add wallcovering/paint. Updating with lighter colors makes a room feel fresh. One of my favorite ways to add visual punch is to paint or wallpaper an accent wall. If you don’t want to commit to an entire room-paint the back of a bookcase or niche.

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #interiordesign #kitchen #bath #roomrefresher #homedecor #roomupdate #countertops(Via D for Design featuring Mocha Countertops)

5) Add Wall Art. Group together favorite family photographs on a wall or unique accessories. Kelly Werstler did a massive plate arrangement on a wall at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica. It was stunning and would be easy to replicate on a much smaller scale (with less expensive plates). Not an artist? You can make your own wall art. So many novices create their own masterpieces, pick up a brush, paint and get in touch with your creative side.

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #interiordesign #kitchen #bath #roomrefresher #homedecor #roomupdate #countertops(Via Daniel Germani featuring Concetto Sirena)

What tricks have you used to refresh a room in your home?

4 Tips for Decorating a Hallway

For most of us the hallway is the first point of entry in your home, and it’s also a great way to add visual impact and functionality. Gone are the days of sweeping staircases and expansive spaces with intricate flooring. If there was one thing that I heard frequently from past clients it’s “I’d really love to do something to this hallway.” Most of the time, I had to agree. It can be one of the most overlooked spaces, and usually people struggle with either making it into a “mud-room,” or at the very least a space that functions well.

Of course there are quite a few ways to turn your hallway into a place that’s not just another challenging space, and here are some of my favorites:

(Via Design Wine Dine)

1)  Paint/Paper It - Hallways offer a great opportunity to do something really spectacular and dramatic. One of my “no fail/go-to” treatments is bold wallpaper.

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #interiordesign #hallway #hallwaydecor #homedecor #modernhome #kitchen #bath (Via Tod Hunter Earle)

2)  Add Mirrors - Not only do mirrors reflect light, but they also visually open up a space. Generally, hallways have an absence of windows, and mirrors give the illusion of airiness.

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #interiordesign #hallway #hallwaydecor #homedecor #modernhome #kitchen #bath(Via The Room Edit)

3)  Make it Functional - If you need your hallway to function as a mud-room, add some stylish hooks to the wall, and a bench with some colorful baskets underneath. Or even a hall-tree in a corner gives you a place to hang an extra jacket or two.

@CaesarstoneUS #Caesarstone #quartz #interiordesign #hallway #hallwaydecor #homedecor #modernhome #kitchen #bath(Via Usual House)

4)  Add a Rug - If you want to emphasize the length of a hallway or make it appear longer, add a runner. I love using bold patterns, and indoor/outdoor rugs which can withstand heavy traffic.

How to Decorate with Pattern

(Via Inovah)

Although, I had a formal design education, finding the perfect pattern combinations can be challenging even for those of us who have spent years practicing design. Finding out what works and what doesn’t can be a lengthy process. However, it can be made less stressful if you follow some simple steps which will help you create the most stunning fabric combinations.

(Via Decoist)

Pick Your Color - A color scheme can be driven by a favorite fabric, wallcovering or even a painting. If you don’t have any of these as “pattern springboards,” simply build inspiration files on Pinterest or collect tear sheets from magazines. You’ll soon see a common thread to help guide you. It’s a technique I often use with clients.

(Via Lacefield Designs)

Choosing the Scale - There are three different sizes of scale: small, medium & large. When mixing prints vary the scale size. Each pattern you choose should be gradually smaller. Don’t pick patterns that overwhelm each other, rather those that work well together. For example if you are going with a bold wallpaper then choose smaller scale patterns in the pillows and drapery. Also, pattern should always be balanced with solid color for harmony in a roomscape.

(Via Wild Chairy)

Add Contrast - The look and feel of a fabric will have a role when playing with pattern and can enhance the effect of a pattern. Texture isn’t as important when developing a pattern scheme but it can be when decorating with a more neutral palette. Texture can add another layer to a space, and visual interest. For example mixing heavier grade linens with a velvet adds a little “pop” to an interior.

Adding Glamour To The Ceiling

In design the ceiling is considered the “5th Wall,” and it’s the perfect place to add drama and glamor. In the past few years the ceiling has garnered its share of well-deserved attention. From architectural moldings to wallpaper, the “5th wall” is finally becoming an important part of room design. And these are some of my favorite ways to add glamor to the ceilings.

(Via Home and Garden Blog)

Use moldings- it not only brings in architectural relief, but can also add pattern and interest. We recently completed a master bath renovation, and while our new bath room is beautiful, it also needed a little bit of visual interest.  So at the last minute we added a ceiling treatment and it truly added the additional “wow-factor” that was needed.

(Via Project Nursery)

Wallpaper-While wallpapering the ceiling is not for the faint of heart, it’s so worth the effort. With the frequent introduction of new patterns, sheens and textures into the market, the hardest part will be making a selection. If you don’t want to commit to covering the entire ceiling, add strips of gold metallic contact paper to the 5th wall, creating a stripe pattern.

(Via Jojo's Joys)

Paint-Ceilings don’t have to be standard white, if you want to add a little drama to the ceiling choose a paint that is different from the wall color. There are products that exist in the market which allow you to add a little gold dust or silver to the paint for added sheen. When my daughter’s bedroom ceiling was painted with stars we had silver sparkles added to the paint. Metallic colors are the perfect way to add a little glitz and glamor to a room.

Decorating with Collections

If there is one thing I know for certain, it’s that people have a passion for collecting, whether you’re an avid collector or a flea market aficionado. I love to collect, and if done properly personal objects can add much-needed character to a space. I firmly believe that you should build your room around items that that mean something to you. I love shaking it up a bit, putting together different elements and grouping them together. You can have new furnishings, but if you add a collection of personal elements, it gives the illusion that an interior evolved over time, and it tells the story of the person living there.

#Collecting #FleaMarketFlip(Photo via Harolds Finishing Touches)

Displaying collections is an easy way to show things at one time. Regardless of the accessory they look better in groupings, treasured photos can be pulled together with similar colored frames, or treasured family mementos grouped in an interesting arrangement on a tabletop. Have fun and play with size, color, texture, height, and shape. It’s all about the “visual story,” that makes groupings interesting.

#Collecting #FleaMarketFlip(Photo via Harolds Finishing Touches)

Think outside the box. Walls are also the perfect place for displaying collections. I love wall groupings of artwork, and it doesn’t always have to be the same subject matter. It’s about mixing shape and colors, mixing oils with etchings or watercolors. Building an artwork wall can add more impact to a wall than just a huge painting, it’s one of my favorite “looks.” In fact, some of the most eye-catching walls have happened when the artwork was mixed with mirrors or architectural fragments. It’s the pattern in which it’s hung on the wall that truly dictates the visual impact.

#Collecting #FleaMarketFlip(Photo via Elle Décor)

Some tips when displaying collections:
1) Have a focal point, display in varying heights with the highest object in the middle.
2) Give “small space company and large objects space.”
3) When in doubt mix similar finishes or colors.
4) Play with size, shapes & textures.
5) Think outside the box. Walls are a great place to tell a “visual story.”

Backsplash: Taking it to the Top

If there is one thing that many people struggle with in kitchen design, it’s where to stop the tile. One of my favorite looks is taking a tile back-splash all the way to the top if space allows and the cabinets don’t extend to the ceiling. I think a general rule of thumb has always been to stop at the base of cabinetry, but it looks so much more interesting if you extend the tile past the top of the cabinets. Think of an all-white kitchen, with a striking geometric tile taken all the way to the ceiling line. It creates visual impact, and breaks up the monotony of a monochromatic kitchen. Even inexpensive subway tile will benefit from being placed over an entire wall, it provides pattern and interest without breaking your kitchen budget. I like to think of it as an opportunity to create “tile art” for the wall.

I can remember walking into the kitchen of a fellow designer several years ago, and not really noticing much else except for her tiled-to-the-ceiling- backsplash. It was dramatic and eye-catching. Since then it’s become one of my pet peeves, and of course not extending tile to the ceiling (when possible) gives the illusion that the wall is only half-finished. There are so many companies producing patterned tiles and with all the options available it can be a great investment, and take your kitchen from plain to perfection.

#Trends in Tile #InspiringKitchens #CaesarstoneUS(Photo via Centsational Girl)

#Trends in Tile #InspiringKitchens #CaesarstoneUS(Photo via Fiorella Design)

Mixing it Up with Quartz

Is granite becoming an aging dinosaur of solid surfaces, a thing of design past? Well, maybe not entirely but it's certainly given way to more eye-catching alternatives. One of my favorites is Quartz which has the look and feel of stone without the maintenance and it's doesn't need to be sealed which for someone who has lived with the "high maintenance" honed granite for the last decade is immensely appealing. With the introduction over the years of concrete, stainless steel, and tile as solid surface substitutes-Quartz is a longstanding favorite and has been designed to be virtually indestructible and heat resistant. As a former designer, I've worked with an array of solid surfaces and although natural stones can be quite stunning, there are definite drawbacks-marble will stain, wood surfaces need a lot of care such as re-sanding & resealing, Stainless steel is prone to scratches and discoloration, and granite seems like an old standard that is a safe choice for many, but without the benefits of Quartz. There are a few reasons that I have always touted the benefits of Quartz surfaces and I want to share some of those reasons which I think will have you reconsidering granite...

1) It's flexible-allowing fabricators to bend and shape it much more easily than any other solid surface.

2) It has microbial properties that keep it germ free.

3) It's scratch resistant, this means that it's virtually maintenance free unlike granite.

With Quartz surfaces now being offered in a variety of colors and some with the sparkling and veining of granite, it's has begun to take the design industry by storm...and has become the surface of choice for designers, architects and homeowners across the country. Oh, and did I mention that the array of color and veining variations are positively showstoppers?

@CaesarstoneUS #Quartz #Kitchen #Bath(Photo via Dwell)

@CaesarstoneUS #Quartz #Kitchen #Bath(Photo via HGTV Urban Oasis 2014)

Benefits of LED Lighting in the Kitchen

If there is one thing that I have always avoided in design, it’s overly lit kitchens. It’s even become one of my pet “design” peeves. Thankfully, bright white (and often unpleasant) lights have given way to LED lighting that casts a warmer glow, making the central hub of the home welcoming and energy efficient. There are inexpensive ways to incorporate it into your space without having to invest a lot of your design budget. If you don’t want to commit to installing lighting you can look at self-sticking options. The perfect go-to solution for the inside of a drawer or cabinet for better visibility. Do you want to light up a toe-kick at night? Think LED lights. I think LED lighting is the perfect choice because it comes in such pleasing tones. Also, LED lighting is extra energy efficient and thankfully doesn’t create a lot of unnecessary heat in the kitchen. Let’s face it the only thing that should be cooking in the kitchen is dinner.

LED’s can be used for all types of kitchen illumination, including overhead recessed and under-cabinet, it’s the perfect way to put light where you need it most. I think installing LED’s in the kitchen is the optimal way to create a layered lighting plan. They are programmable and easily manipulated to give you bright task lighting or softer tones for evening entertaining.

@CaesarstoneUS #LEDLighting #Kitchen(Photo via John Cullen Lighting)

In an era where we live “greener” and crave energy efficiency- LED lighting makes the most sense. It’s more durable than traditional lightbulbs and can last for years. Dimmable LED lighting is an opportunity to bath the kitchen in warm light whether to highlight tile, the interior of glass front cabinetry, or illuminate focal points in the kitchen. LED continues to pave the way…

@CaesarstoneUS #LEDLighting #Kitchen(Photo via Caesarstone, Dennis Gibbens Architects, project featured – 2141 Blizzard)

Shades of Blue – Adding Color to the Kitchen

If there is one thing that will warm up a kitchen (other than the oven) it's bringing in deeper colors. Yes, white kitchens that were once the hottest thing in design have given way to warmer hues from teal to shades of charcoal. Blues are becoming a nice middle ground in a room that has traditionally been the central point of the home. Since it's the place where people gather, it provides the perfect opportunity to mix color and create energy. I love the warmth that darker colors project, and more people are migrating toward darker colors in the kitchen. Blues add depth and interest which is the perfect complement to stainless steel and other metals (imagine blue and copper). In years past homeowners wanted utilitarian kitchens awash in white from the cabinets to the countertops, now we are craving color in invigorating shades that bring life back into the "heart of the home." Blues are bringing in the heat, from grayish blues to shades of indigo.

@CaesarstoneUS #Blue #Kitchen #Quartz #Caesarstone

(Photo via Mowlem & Co)

Updated shades of blue lend themselves to an element of sophistication and timelessness. Because it's the color of the sky, it evokes a feeling of height and depth and makes the kitchen feel more open and spacious. While some of the more traditional "historic" blues are becoming a thing of "design past,” deeper blues are paving the way for a variety of color combinations. Paired with new introductions in solid surfaces such as agates and copper adding color to your cabinetry is the perfect opportunity to bring in visual impact. If you want to add a flourish of color to your kitchen, but don't want to commit to one shade, mix it up a bit. Any way you slice it, hues of blue are here to stay.

(Photo via British Standard by Plain English)

Hanging Out | Chandeliers In The Kitchen

There is one design element that I've seen more of in the kitchen, and it's not tile or appliances. It's Chandeliers. You won't find them relegated to the dining room anymore, they are now being hung over kitchen islands. It's an unexpected and dramatic adding visual impact to a space that has traditionally been a wall of cabinets and shiny stainless steel surfaces. There was a time when the kitchen was the most utilitarian space in the home, and while the function is still important there are many opportunities to inject style and unexpected elegance. Chandeliers are certainly paving the way.

Since kitchen islands are getting larger and becoming such a central part of kitchen design, substantial lighting is needed to keep everything in scale. So an idea was born, and now chandeliers in the kitchen are frequently used by designers. Most kitchens don't have a lot of natural lights, so a chandelier is a great choice. Even when the fixtures aren't illuminated, the crystals will be. Walking into a kitchen and seeing it awash in reflective crystals creates a striking silhouette. It's always a challenge to bring in additional lighting to a kitchen without over-lighting the space. Since chandeliers aren't a central source of illumination in most cases, it's like the cherry on the proverbial design sundae. Bringing contrast and sophistication to even the most rustic interiors.

For those of you who don't want to commit to larger scale lighting hang several smaller pendant chandeliers over the kitchen island, it will break up the focal point without sacrificing the visual impact. So if you want to bring in an unexpected and striking element to you kitchen, chandeliers may be the perfect solution.

Photo via Robin Denker

Photo via Kim Scodro Interiors

Photo via NW Home Works-Tim Hutcheson