Category Archives: Design 101

Let Your Walls Speak in SHINE

Posted on November 8, 2014 by

wallpaperWallpaper is making a huge comeback in the interior design world, and this is not your grandmother’s wallpaper. Designers have resurrected an antiquated staple by adding a design for every homeowner. There is a pattern for those who enjoy bright and colorful patterns, and styles for those who opt for texture and elegance. Suddenly, we have the urge to cover every wall in our home in a beautiful design.

As wallpaper continues to surge in popularity, it is picking up the metallic finishing trend. Here are few of our favorite shining examples of metallic wallpaper.

1. Cavern Home – “Birds of Paradise”: Who can deny the deep navy backdrop of this beautiful aviary design. This design is a bold choice for a metallic lover.

2. Hygge-West  – “Oh Joy Petal Pusher”: This simplistic elegance could fill a room from to to bottom and still not overwhelm its patrons.

3. Farrow and Ball – “RANELAGH BP 1847″:  Even if geometry wasn’t your favorite subject in school, you can still love the fun of a geometric design. Even better that the design is in gold over an elegant, chic teal.

4. Calico – “Metallic Marble”: Brooklyn-based Calico stole the hearts of many who were dead-set against wallpaper when they released this metallic marble wallpaper. Grays and gold for the win.

5. Anna French “AT10103“:  Gold polka dots? On  wallpaper? It may not make much sense in theory but Anna French proves that it makes perfect design sense.

6. Graham Brown – “Sparkle Brown”: The understated luxe of this fabric speaks volumes for a room and design palette.

Turn the Lights On!

Posted on September 19, 2014 by
Let’s skip to the one of the most important elements of interior design: Lighting.

Lighting makes all the difference. It creates the mood of a room, effects the perceived size of a room, and sets the tone of a space. Natural light would be great in every room but not all rooms have access to open windows and natural light. Don’t fret – there are many ways to bring light into a space with fixtures and design.

Lighting is key to a color scheme or design of a room because it can  add to or subtract from the overall colors of a room. It is unique in a sense that you can spotlight certain areas of a room to draw the eye or distract from a smaller or more confined space.

This idea draws from the common point that darker colors make a room feel smaller and cramped, while light-colored walls do the opposite. Lighting can create the feeling of a more open space. The illusion of space is defined by light reflected off of the surfaces of the walls. Some types of lighting help with this illusion by further illuminating the walls, while some highlight the floors.

Because of its importance, lighting can never be thrown in the “trend” category as it is a necessity for any room design. However the fixtures and styles change as the trends change.

Here are a few of the popular lighting fixtures with Kurtz Collection customers:
lighting collage

Design Styles Explained: Traditional

Posted on August 28, 2014 by

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 3.39.36 PM

Regardless of time passed, the traditional design style continues to be the most popular in interior design. From homes, to boutiques, to restaurants, a traditional design offers a warm, relatable, and inviting feeling for visitors.

The style derives from the elegant and historic fashions of the 18th and 19th centuries; most commonly the British colonial style (can include other more specific styles in other regions).

Traditional design still reflects craftsmanship, formal, straight-forward wall colors, ornate hardware and accessories. Today the traditional style is refreshed with more options of fabric and home accessories but often paired with strong antiques pieces. Wood-tones, deep colors, and ornate fixtures are staples to this design style but are now varied with new colors for a new look in the 21st century.

Pieces that lend themselves to a Traditional style include:

  • Formal swag-and-panel combination for windows
  • Floral Printed pillows, bed spreads, sofas, etc.
  • Gilt framed art
  • Weathered or Gold Accents
  • Calm, toned down color schemes
  • Heirlooms
  • Ornate book cases
  • Solid wall coverings
  • Traditional Rugs

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Posted on July 23, 2014 by


What is one of the best ways to accessorize your home? Mirrors, of course. Whether used to be decorative or functional, many people do not take full advantage of the versatility of mirrors in home design. Mirrors are favorites amongst designers because they make rooms feel larger, create a focal point, give an interesting touch and have feung shui properties known to bring in positive energy. The true beauty of mirrors is that they can be utilized in every room of your house.

The list of great uses for mirrors is endless, but when it comes to finding the right one for your home you might feel a bit lost. Here is a list of styles of mirrors followed with unique ways to use them throughout home design.

Styles of Mirrors:

1. Traditional style: Larger and more opulent in style, traditional mirrors are the perfect addition to the classic style room. A gold-framed mirror over a fireplace is a focal point often used in the traditional styled home.

2. International Influence: The detail of some mirrors lend themselves to an international flair. Often heavily beaded or the use of region specific materials such as horn or pearl will give an international touch to a home full of vacation finds. These pieces can be mixed with other international, or you can remain region specific in your decor.

3. Vintage/Antique: Antiqued mirrors are the perfect addition to a room looking for a home-like feel. The vintage look goes with most color schemes and styles. Look for mirrors where the glass has the appearance of age or brassy tones to the siding. 

4. Eclectic Whim: Today there are mirrors of all types and that includes brightly colored pieces and shaped mirrors as well. If your home has the whimsical feel, try out a few out-of-the-box mirrors to add interest to your design.

5. Functional: There are tons of mirrors to choose from but sometime the function is more important than the fashion. Find simple mirrors with little framework to suit your needs.

Don’t forget to shop some of the mirrors at Kurtz Collection!

5 Quick Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Space for Summer

Posted on June 18, 2014 by
Photo courtesy of Peppysis -

Photo courtesy of Peppysis on Flickr

It’s time for late summer nights outdoors with friends and family and that means transforming your outdoor space. Whether you have a porch, deck, patio, or acres of land, your outdoor space deserves some sprucing up after the harsh winter elements. Maybe you like to use your space to entertain and party or maybe you like a more serene and relaxed outdoor area; either way there are some key elements to transforming your outdoor living area for summer.

Before deciding to make a huge overhaul for the summer season, the best idea to furnish an outdoor space is to decide the use for your area. Are you looking for an outside dining space? Are you looking for a lounge area? Once the decision is made you can begin to design and decorate.

1. Establish a layout. Once your outdoor space has a purpose, create a focal point and work around it. It often helps in defining an area by marking entrances and exits with key pieces such as pillars or some other element. This lets your room take shape. For example, a seating area in has a unique floor by using bricks or an outside rug to define the space.

2. Summer-ize with furnishings. Why does the inside of the house get to have all the fun?  Look for bold patterns like chevron, stripes and ikat to bring color into your space. Don’t forget to add outdoor pillows, artwork, outdoor rugs and colorful tableware and placemats to complete your look.

3. Create a shaded area. The summer months can be brutal for guests and furniture. Create an area with ample shade which is most likely under a tree. Be aware of spaces that get too hot, to make sure you do not make a seating area there. There are many other different types of stylish ways to protect the sun including umbrellas, canopies, gazebos, trellises, retractable awnings and more.

4. Accent Lighting. Transform your yard or deck into an inviting place to spend time after the sun goes down. Lighting allows a way to really create a dramatic change in your space from day to night. Once your basic lighting is in place, get creative! Think about lighting for each area the space differently to add in defining the purposes. The right lighting can make a soft and cozy feel.

5. You can garden too. Lots of people shy away from great outdoor living spaces for a fear of gardening. Not everyone has a green thumb but if you still want the look you can use potted plants. The potted look has gone far beyond terracotta and now has a variety of ways to display a great lush look without maintaining a thorough garden. Be sure to use antique mirrors, trays, colorful planters, and more to add color and contrast to all the greenery.

Fashion Vs. Function in Home Design

Posted on May 8, 2014 by
Photo courtesy of My Name's Axel of Flickr

Photo courtesy of My Name’s Axel of Flickr

We are all on the quest of creating the perfect home. Well, at least we are at Kurtz Collection. Ideally, it’ll encompass your personality with unique pieces and, be that home which all guest gush over religiously. There is a lot of time and effort spent on picking the perfect tableware, colors, pillows, mirrors and the list goes on. In the midst of creating a one-of-a-kind home design has your house fallen victim to the museum theory: Look but don’t touch?

There can be a disconnect between choosing décor over function, however, you can achieve both beauty and function while decorating your home. A few ways to make sure you steer clear of the function-less home trap is to ask yourself these questions while decorating:

Can my family move around comfortably?

You know that awesome credenza that you thought looked great in your entryway, but constantly has your children running into it? Maybe it can find another spot in your home. Some ideas are perfect at first and even in photos but may not work for your family. There are tons of other options on the market for every lifestyle.

Many times homeowners have great pieces that they want to show off – and they should – but in the right area that allows family to live in the home comfortably.

Does it serve a purpose?

Sometimes the answer will be merely, “Because I like it,” and that works. The key is to make sure the placement of “just because I like it” items are out of the way of “because I need it” items.

There are tons of pieces on the market that have multiple uses for function in a home. Just think the about the large ottomans that can be styled for guest but can also house random toys and other knick-knacks from around the house.

Can people touch it?

Most people enjoy entertaining friends and family in your home. Would you be upset if people touched/used the décor in your home? If the answer is a clear no, then move it. There are plenty of ways to display cool or unique items without having them in fear of being touched. For instance, place them near the top of a bookshelf, mantel, in a case, or hang it on the wall. Either way, make sure it is clear that the piece is for design and not function.

Let your home feel lived in – its in style and you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Share some of your fashion vs. function ideas below.

The Three “F’s” in Design

Posted on April 2, 2014 by

Starting a new room design can be a daunting task, especially if you have limited interior design knowledge. You may not be the next great design star, but there is no reason your home has to reflect that. Just pay attention to the Three “F’s” in design – Function, Focal Point and Flow.


Function – Determine what the room is used for. Each room should have a set function that guides any design ideas. Think about if it should be used for entertaining, a study/office, or a place for serenity. Once the room has a function other pieces will begin to fall in place.

Focal Point – Each room needs a focal point that is emphasized or catches the eye immediately. Think about this when choosing décor. For instance, if you have a great view you may want to highlight that with complimenting window treatments. Many people use the furniture or fireplace as the focal point and each room is unique. Once you find the it, make sure you highlight it so focal point is the first thing you see when you walk in the room.

Flow – Great you have design ideas, but do they match the flow of the room? It is important in design to create a free flowing room with a natural traffic pattern. One way to throw off the flow is to have too many pieces in one space or to have wrong sized pieces.