Expert interiors, order in the home and more

  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 4:19 PM

Black is an always hip, powerful neutral that can help define a space and serve as a dramatic backdrop to more vibrant colors.

Photo: Bob Greenspan • MCT,

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Expert interiors

In July, Gabberts is holding free interior design events that offer techniques and tips on everything from outdoor rooms to decorating your first home. “Maximizing Social Media for Interior Design Projects” explains how to use idea websites such as Houzz and Pinterest to work more efficiently with your designer, 6:30 p.m. Thursday or 1 p.m. July 30. “Making a Lifestyle Change” is tailored for empty nesters re-evaluating how they want to live, 11 a.m. July 25.

Gabberts has also blocked out times for complimentary 30-minute consultations with designers: Bring in your remodeling or building plans from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday. Bring photos of your patio and porch to find out how to make the most of your outdoor spaces, 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Learn about ways to create an eclectic setting using Arts and Crafts furnishings, 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Find out how to achieve great design in your first home, 5 to 9 p.m. July 21. Solve a design dilemma in a specific room, 1 to 5 p.m. July 28. For an appointment, call 952-928-3123. Gabberts is in the Galleria at 69th St. and France Av. S., Edina.


BLEND awards

Here’s a way to get attention for building or remodeling a house that doesn’t stand out. The BLEND awards are a unique program that recognizes homeowners, builders and architects whose projects respect the existing design and scale of homes in the surrounding neighborhood. The EcoBlend award was added in 2012 to reward eco-friendly design and sustainable building practices.

BLEND (an acronym for Buildings and Landscapes Enhancing the Neighborhood through Design) was launched eight years ago.

Organizers are looking for good examples of thoughtfully designed new homes, remodels/additions and landscape improvements completed in the past five years in Minneapolis. The submission fee is $50 per property; the deadline is July 31. The winners will be announced at a ceremony Sept. 29. For a submission form, go to

Order in the home

It’s not too early to get organized for when kids go back to school. The Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers is holding a free workshop on tips for setting up calendars, closets, mudrooms and kids’ and dorm rooms, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, at Arc’s Value Village, 6528 Penn Av. S., Richfield. Call 612-861-9550 for more details.



Black magic

Every room needs some black. This powerful neutral fuels a room with drama. Here are seven places you can introduce black into your decor:

Furnishings: Be sure to add a piece of black furniture to your room. Black can act like the lines in a coloring book, defining the silhouette of upholstered furniture. The black edging on a cream linen sofa, trimmed with geometric black tape, takes a sophisticated but sedate piece of furniture and raises its drama quotient. The beauty of painted black wood furniture is that it will always look hip, never dated. All you need is a provocative mix of pattern to make a black-and-white grouping vibrant.

Accent pillows: If you want to decorate with today’s bold patterns but aren’t a fan of the saturated colors that are so hot right now, add a geometric pattern in black. Black and cream accent pillows can buddy up to every other color in your room, from pastels to bright bolds.

Bedding: Custom bedding transforms a bed from a place you crash at night to a work of art. Create a beautiful bed by decking it in black and cream, and pop in a sprinkling of green, blue and coral.

Artwork and accessories: Artwork that relies solely on the interplay between black and white is a favorite. Whether it’s a black etching, black-and-white photography or a modern painting, mix some black-and-white art into your home’s galleries to provide contrast.

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