Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Interior Design Trends


Last week I gave a presentation on design trends and wanted to pass along the information I shared with my readers as well.  

Neutrals:  One trend that we have seen since the beginning of the recession is a move toward neutrals and nature inspired colors.  In regards to paint colors this is translated with less bold colors and a trend toward cooler rather than the warmer "yellow" toned colors we have seen in past years.

Grey:  There is a new trend for using grey as a neutral.  Because grey has such a broad range, it can be used as a wall color for almost any room.  It can include more beige or lean toward blue or green.  We can also see a trend toward more grey furniture which can provide interest in a room much the way that a bit of white or black can.

When creating a neutral interior, we as designers use other elements to make sure the room still has visual interest.  Some ways to do this are by using interesting materials, texture and pattern.

Texture:  Natural elements are one way to bring texture into a room.  This may be a woven basket or tray, or even a sisal rug.

Metallic:  Adding a bit of shine is another way to add visual interest.  A variety of metals are being used together and yes it is is back!  Gold can be seen everywhere from fashion to interiors and is a good compliment to black or chocolate brown.

Bold Patterns:  Pattern is another big trend.  We are seeing bold patterns in pillows, rugs, drapery and bedding.  When mixing patterns make sure that one is larger in scale than the other.

Mix of Styles:  Another way to make a room more interesting is to have furniture that has a mix of styles.  This can be tricky to achieve.  For example, you wouldn't want to have a mid-century chair along side a mission table.  However a glass coffee table is a good compliment to a round dark wood side table.

Modern Art:  This is one trick I have been using in many of my interiors as a way to bring some freshness to a space that can be primarily traditional.  The result is a little more youthful and less serious.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fireplace Remodel

Today I wanted to share a little inspiration with those of you who are living in a space that is not ideal.  Through my design business I met a sweet couple who hired me to help them with a living room remodel.  The biggest element in the room that they wanted to change was their fireplace.

They really didn't like the brick on the old fireplace, and it darkened a room that was already short on natural light.  My suggestion was that we create a painted facade and use a tile surround built around the existing gas insert.  With the help of a licensed contractor we removed the brick hearth and clad the rest of the brick with 1x2s that the millwork would be attached to.

We chose Golden Onyx Bullet tile by Pentel for the tile surround, Benjamin Moore Super White for the millwork and Benjamin Moore Shaker Beige HC-45 for the walls.  Finally we selected sconces from Uttermost and Whimsical Prints from Ballard Designs to complete the look.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Windows

Window cleaning is an important part of getting your home ready to enjoy as summer approaches.  

The first step is to clean the glass.  We like to use a homemade solution that works better than any commercial product we have found.  

Window cleaning solution:
1 gallon warm water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. dish soap

Pour all ingredients into a bucket, wash windows with a clean sponge and use a squeegee to remove.  This solution will clean windows without streaks both inside and out.

Next, step is to clean the blinds.  We like to use Swiffer Dusters Extender because they make this process quick and easy.  

Start by closing the blinds so that they are facing you.  Take the Swiffer Duster and run it from top to bottom sweeping dust as you go.  Repeat the process until the entire face of the blind is dust free.  Next open the blinds again and use the duster to get any remaining dust from the surface of the blind.

Congratulations!  Now you can sit back and enjoy your sparkly clean windows.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mirrored Wall Project

Looking for a big splash on an otherwise boring wall?  You make want to consider this easy and inexpensive way to glam up a dining room, entry way or bedroom.  

For this project, we started with Ikea's Malma Mirror in Black-Brown.

At $2.99 each, you can cover a big area for very little money.  Start by measuring the space you wish to cover and use that measurement to figure out how many mirrors you will need.  In addition, you will also need to determine how much space you want to leave between each mirror and add that into the overall measurement.  In this project we used 2 inches between each mirror, but since the frames are 3 inches wide that would also create a balanced look.

The frames were painted using  Ceremcoat acrylic paint in Metallic Kim Gold.  We only pained the top of the frame leaving the sides and interior the original black brown color.  This made the job easier as well as giving the mirrors a nice finished effect.

The final step is to place small nails in the grid pattern you have decided on.  Place nails 2 inches apart and hang finished mirrors.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Staging Your House the Feng Shui Way

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of enhancing positive energy flow and the resulting effect it has on life.  By utilizing some basic techniques you can enhance how a home that is for sale will appeal to potential buyers.

Staging to Feng Shui the Sale

Add Light:  Soft light is best, and the bulb should not be visible.  Mirrors can also intensify light, but be careful with placement.

Banish Clutter:  Cleaning and de-cluttering increase the opportunity for money to flow to you.

Use Plants:  Live plants or a good representation of live plants signify life.

Wisely Use Color:  To avoid stress and irritability, use neutral colors around the house.  To lift the chi, add flashes of color in the art or accessories.

Clear a Path:  Keeping your pathways clean and unblocked allows the wealth to flow into your front door.  Make sure you trim and bushes or shrubs that overhang pathways.

Hang a Gentle Wind Chime:  A wind chime actives the sound energy, greets visitors, and draws chi to your house.

Get Packing:  Packing to move sends a positive intention: You expect to move, you expect to get a sale - and you will.

* Taken from "Home Staging for Dummies" Rae, Maresh

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mad Men Chic

Like many of you I rejoiced when Man Men finally returned to the airwaves last week.  Cocktail in hand, I breathlessly watched the new episode unfold and exclaimed, "great apartment!"  I was referring to Don Draper's new digs.  It seems that in the off season Don has gotten married, and with a new wife came a new Manhattan apartment.  It got me wondering, what would Betty think if she laid eyes on this new place?

With all of these Mad Men images brewing around in my head, I just had to create my own Mad Men inspired living room...
Sofa, Artwork, Lamp & Rug:  Crate & Barrel
Chair & Bar:  Design Within Reach
Coffee Table:  cb2
Pillows:  West Elm

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Design Inspiration: Lonny Magazine

The editors and contributors at Lonny Magazine have produced yet another gorgeous issue that provides oodles of inspiration.  You can view the entire issue here, but I have put together some of my favorites that I wanted to share.

This room while beautiful, illustrates how a breakfast nook can be created in a very small space.  Design is so much about problem solving and finding a way to live in a home that you love.

I love the aesthetic of this room in general, but the faux moldings really make it pop.  These details are easily achieved using painters tape to mask the area and create the look of expensive mouldings.

I love this classic chair and it is perfect for one of my design clients.

I love the colors in this office, but I also am inspired to use tag boards in my own office to hand fabric, paint and wallpaper samples.

I love the graphic patterns and am contiually obsessed with sunburst mirrors.

This dresser is a very close match to the Ikea's Edland 5 drawer chest.  With a little bit of paint it could be a very close match, but at $299 for the Ikea version is a bargain compared to this $4940 price tag for this piece.

I hope my inspiration provides you with inspiration as well.