Author Archive for: awall

Square, Round or Rectangular – How to Choose the Correct Dining Table Shape

09 Jul
July 9, 2014

When deciding on furnishing your home, one of the important choices that need to be made is the shape of the dining room table.  The table is an important part of the dining room – it is the heart of the space, setting the tone for social gatherings and family meals. Whether square, round or rectangular, we can help you decide which option fits best.

Choosing a dining room table largely depends on the size and shape of the room it will inhabit. For a small space, a round or narrow rectangular table is best due to its small footprint within the room. If the room you are furnishing is square, choose a square or round table. Similarly, if the room you are furnishing is rectangular, choose a table that has a rectangular shape. Square tables don’t work well in rectangular rooms because seating on two sides of the table will be closer to the walls, crowding your guests.

Another consideration is the number of people that will dine at the table regularly. If a family of four typically dines at the table, square tables are best. For families with small children or less than four people, give round tables a try. If more than four people will be dining at the table regularly, rectangle-shaped tables are recommended. Table space can be supplemented with the addition of table leaves – perfect for converting the family dining table to accommodate guests.

When it comes to spacing, keep in mind the 24-24-48 rule. Allow a minimum of 24” of space between the table and wall for effortless moving about the room. Space chairs 24” apart from each other so your diners don’t knock elbows while eating. Ensure the table is no wider than 48”, so passing food is within reach.

Choosing a dining room table doesn’t have to be difficult! Whatever shape, size or style you choose, the table will become the centerpiece of the room, shaping family and guest meals for years to come.

Living in Color – Easy as 1, 2, 3

27 May
May 27, 2014

When it comes to home furnishing trends, nothing is hotter than color.  From painted wood finishes to fabric selections for sofas, color plays a huge role in setting the tone.  Whether you’re looking to infuse new life into a neutral space or you’re ready to make a bold statement and embrace color in a big way, here are a few tips you can use to decorate like a pro.

1.  Choose a color scheme.  Deciding on the right color scheme for a room, much less an entire home can be difficult. Simplify the process by using a color wheel and narrowing down your choices to two color schemes. Try one of these.

Complementary Color Scheme Complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, blue and yellow, or purple and orange. Rooms decorated with a complementary color scheme tend to provide a clear separation of colors and are often more formal and visually challenging.

Analogous Color Scheme Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel such as blue and violet, yellow and green, or red and orange. Rooms using an analogous color scheme typically are more causal, restful and muted in terms of coloration. This color scheme is best used in the more informal areas of the home, such as family rooms, dens and bedrooms — places where you’re searching for rest and recovery from the day.

Monochromatic Color Scheme The monochromatic color scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single color. This scheme looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic colors go well together, producing a soothing effect. The primary color can be integrated with neutral colors such as black, white, or gray.  This color scheme, much like your little black dress, easily transitions from classic casual to glamorous.

2.  Set the Mood.  What mood do you want to create?   We all have emotional responses to color.   Colors that are less saturated and relatively bright, such as sage green, are relaxing to look at.  Meanwhile, colors that are saturated and not very bright, like a rich sapphire blue, are energizing.  Use these emotional associations to their greatest effect in a space by deciding on what impact you want the room to have. Would you like to create a lively, energetic space to entertain family and friends? Choose reds and yellows.  If you’re trying to create a calm, tranquil space, select blues, greens and browns.   Purple and lavender hues, like Radiant Orchid (Pantone 18-2334), Pantone’s color of the year for 2014, inspire creativity while bringing the same restful quality to rooms as blue.

3.  Follow the 60-30-10 rule.  What does 60-30-10 mean, exactly? It’s a tried-and-true formula from interior design experts: 60 percent of the room should be a dominant color, 30 percent of the room should be a secondary color and 10 percent should be the accent color! This formula works because it creates a sense of balance and allows the eye to move comfortably from one focal point to the next. The easiest way to follow this rule is to focus the 60 percent portion on your wall color, 30 percent for your furniture or upholstery, and the 10 percent for accents like throw pillows, floral arrangements and art. There it is, easy as 1, 2, 3.  Grab your paint brush and live in color!

Happy May Day!

01 May
May 1, 2014

With origins from thousands of years ago, May Day has often been thought to signify the blossoming of spring. Here at Universal, we love all that spring has to offer – blooming dogwoods and warmer weather.

If the spirit of May Day has you feeling like your space is looking a little too ‘winter,’ now is the perfect time to liven up your space without breaking the bank. By simply adding subtle pops of color to your room, your space can be transformed from drab to fab in no time and at little cost!

Don’t want to make a drastic alteration that might be too punchy once fall rolls around again? Easy – try placing a few brightly-colored throw pillows on your sofa or bed and watch your room come alive. To develop your new color story, add other splashes of the same hue with picture frames or decorative pieces, like vases or baubles.147272396 If you are feeling a little adventurous, take the jump into a new wall color. The top design paint colors for 2014, according to Sherwin Williams, range from serene Earl Grey to vibrant Raucous Orange. Whether you choose to paint an accent wall or take the plunge into a new room color, be sure to accessorize the rest of the room with complementary colors or different shades of the same tone.


Small changes can really add up when moving to invigorate your space. With these tips, your new room will rouse the May Day spirit within you for a while to come!