Saturday, January 29, 2011

Resolve....A Reading Corner Just for You

A book worm I am; so an evening doesn't get much better than to be tucked under a cozy blanket on a comfy chair, feet propped up infront of a warm fireplace. Someday I plan on having the perfect reading corner just for me, until then, I dream of all sorts of reading corners. I am going to come up with different designs every week this month in hopes to inspire you to resolve this dream of yours to create a reading corner just for YOU!

I love to start with one or two elements in a room that inspire the rest of the rooms design. With my fascination of old brick walls, it wasn't even a question what my inspiration was going to be for this design. Starting with old brick walls and Oceanside Glass Tile, color - Sandstone, as my two inspiration pieces this design quickly came together!

Looking in a corner of the room I have a chair sitting in the corner with a fireplace on one wall and a window with an occasional bookshelf under on the other wall. A warm dark wood floor with a cream rug. A custom upholstered chair and ottoman with a chained pendent light hanging from above just over the chair. A light blue porcelain lamp on the metallic antiqued glazed bookshelf for a little extra light when you stay up to all hours in the morning because you have to see how the book ends! Wood blinds over the window with a thick wood valance and a drape hanging on one side of the window. 1" x 1" Sandstone glass mosaic as my fireplace surround to pull in my fabric colors of cream, spa and a mellow lemon.

Thursday, January 27, 2011 Use Light Like You Mean It!

If you're still stuck with builder basic lighting, break free!  The lighting your builder put into your home is most likely inappropriately scaled and lacks creativity and personality.  Switching up your lighting may be the only thing you need to make your space say "Wow!".

Here's a few lights I'm specifying now...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Resolve to...Experience Life After Oak!

What the 1990s did to design is just about irreprehensible, is it not?!?!  If you, like us, are tired of walking into a home with oak trim, oak cabinets, oak floors, and oak furniture...RESOLVE to do it differently this year!

Does this look familiar?
Get rid of your oak!  There are too many beautiful cabinet and floor species and finishes to be stuck in a rut!

Paint and glaze finishes and antiquing are very popular for cabinets right now.  Consider non traditional floor finishes--like rich, wide plank ebony or cinder colored maple. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Resolve to Create a Home Office She Will.....

Be inspired by…..Have you ever thought about what you might be able to create from a truly inspirational environment at home. You could create place to contemplate, meditate, pay bills, and create strategies to reach your goals, or just do your work.   Your work space can be functional as well as beautiful.  It should reflect who you are and who you want to become.  Basic elements can set the theme and you can then add items you love as you find them along the way.

Be functional in… with just a little wild side and an unusual element in the light table for your friends to comment on.  This scheme will allow you to use any color with it and give you the basics for years to come.

Experience the whimsical…. display of furnishings, lighting and rug as background is practical yet feminine.  You can collect items in the display case that are near and dear to remind you of all things special in your life and snuggle up in the colorful easy chair to read, listen to music or if you have two, include your best friend for a great conversation.

Love the feel…… of a European Cottage and want to hide all of your work while still being organized these items may fit your bill.  The pallet is cool and serene and yet gives you a sophisticated but homey feeling.  Imagine a great cup of tea at the desk while you pay your bills, write you memoires, or send a note to your lover.

Be calm, edgy, contemporary, yet wild and feminine…… are the attributes of these special items.  Create a great space for organization and to spend your private moments in.  Special wall treatments, artwork, lighting and an artful area rug make up this space.  You could also change the colors of the wall and area rug to a hot and saucy color for a more lively room.

Create large projects……and want a desk the size of a conference table you could have one.  Think about a large table, your choice of chair style, and 10-12 chairs to pull of a spectacular presentation, dinner party, teach art, sewing, or how to make your famous desert to a few of your closest friends.  Put a long sofa down one side and use it as a library table. Use a beautiful accent piece as a buffet, storage or art and throw in a great area rug for color and warmth and you have a winning idea.    

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is a Designer's Process?

Over the past couple of weeks, we've been presenting the benefits of using a designer and how to prepare to work with one. Once you start, what does a designer do? What process does she go through?
1. Initial Consult. Once I've become acquainted with the client, I find it very helpful to visit the client's home to get an idea of their taste and style. This is also a great opportunity to get a feel for the scale of the space being redecorated or remodeled and an opportunity to see how the client lives so that my design can address the functional concerns the client has. At the conclusion of this meeting, I like to sit down with the client (and spouse, if applicable) and get a complete perspective of what they like and don't like, goals for the space, specific functionalities to address, and design preferences. I take pages and pages of notes, which I refer to throughout the process. At this time, I also have the client nail down a budget for me. Check out last week's post to understand why this number is so important at an early stage. A follow up appointment is scheduled.

2. Design. Between the initial consult and the scheduled follow up, I pull together a design for the client. Most of the time, this includes a finish palette (tile, flooring, slab, etc), fixtures (plumbing, lighting, fixed cabinetry, etc), and furnishings (furniture, accessories, artwork, and other items that are not permanent fixture to the home). I lay out the finishes on my design station and invite the client to take a look.

3. Follow Up. At this appointment, the designer "casts the vision" for the space and explains the design elements and functional considerations that will be put into place. The client has the opportunity to make changes--perhaps they see a tile they aren't fond of or want a carpet in a slightly darker color.

4. Design Retainer. Once the client has received an overview of the initial design concept and finish, fixture, and furnishings palette the designer has proposed, the client has the opportunity to accept or reject the design. If they choose to accept the design, they enter into an agreement with the designer for the amount they have budgeted for the space and the designer collects a percentage of this fee. If changes to the design need to be made, they are completed and the client and designer meet again to discuss, as needed.

5. Measure. The designer accompanies the quantifier to the client's home and identifies where and how materials are to be installed so that the quantifier can draw up estimates for the design. At this time, some or all of the finish samples may be brought to the client's home so that they can view them in the space they will be installed in.

6. Design details. The designer selects what are often unseen "details" that are critical to the job. For example, the designer will select plumbing valves to work with the plumbing that was selected. At this time, the designer also creates finalized drawings of custom cabinetry and detailed elevation drawings for the installer. The designer and the quantifier pull together final estimates for materials and labor. These estimates, along with all drawings and tear sheets are provided to the client.

7. Close. The client overviews the final estimates and, finding that the project has been designed within the budget parameters which were originally established, provides payment for materials and installation. At this time, the design will obtain sign offs on all materials from the client.

8. Ordering. The designer provides finalized documentation to the accounting department, who orders all of the materials.

9. Installation. Once all materials are in, the appropriate installers are scheduled to begin work. The designer meets the installer and client on the first day of installation to verify any last minute details. Installation commences. The designer and/or project manager drop in periodically to assure installation quality and execution of the design.

10. Final walk through. Once all work is complete, the designer schedules a time to come and see the finished space and get a tour from the client! If there are any finishes touches, they are addressed at this time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunset in Highland

                                                  SUNSET IN HIGHLAND

Cherry Blossoms, Chic Vintage Chandeliers paired with a classic Chesterfield Sofa and modern and yet classic silhouette chairs are the story of the Sunset in Highland Vingette. 

This group has soft colors, and yet color.  This blend of masculine and feminine pieces which I think is nice.   The super masculine ever classic Chesterfield sofa juxtaposes the soft curve of the light fixtures and soft petite yet silver studded leather soft blue ottomans.  The coffee table has neoclassical legs – made more contemporary by being executed in shiny chrome and mirroring the top.  This group has a blend of extremes.  The light fixtures have a soft and billowy feel and in a way so does the tufted sofa.  Everything else really has straight lines.  Here is the moral of the story: Feel free to break out of the lines you think your furniture dictates!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Resolve To Cover Your Windows.....

What have you been waiting for?  It’s time to give yourself the true completed look you have been waiting for in completing the interior of your home by adding the finishing touches.  Soft Window Treatments lend a finished look as well as complete the theme to any room. 
There are literally hundreds of different treatments you can use.  Window treatments can be created to enhance any design style, from contemporary to traditional. 
Here are a few ideas for you to think about.  As you look at each of these decide what you like, what you don’t and visualize what the room in the picture would look like without the treatments.  Does the treatment add something to the room or window?

There are several aspects to consider when designing an appropriate window treatment such as;
What is your budget? 
What style are you going to convey?
Is your room casual or dressy?
Do you like the rods to show or to be hidden?
Do you want the treatment to disappear into the background or do you want to make a bold statement?
These are all questions your professional interior designer can help you with and well worth the time and money spent do it correctly the first time.