Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Right Size Furniture For You

 There is so much focus today on the interior design trend of downsizing. I like the term rightsizing because that's what you're doing---making changes in your living space to reflect your current lifestyle. With this has come the need to adjust the size of the furnishings in your living space.

You still want your furniture to feel comfortable, look luxurious and meet your room's needs. You may have smaller rooms, fewer rooms and your rooms may serve dual purposed---such as your living room also serves as a family room/den, the dining area doubles as an in-home office and the second bedroom has workout equipment.

One of the solutions is the size and scale of your furniture. Most retail furniture stores do not offer smaller scale furnishings that still has a sumptuous, big look. When you are furniture shopping, look for a store that has options for the size of furniture such as the depth of a sofa can be 38" or the width of a lounge chair can be 31".

There are many furniture manufacturers that know the trend for smaller furniture sizing and just ask if this is possible at the stores you find furniture you love.
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

10 Tips to Combine Hers and His Furnishings

Combining her furniture with his furniture when a couple moves in together can be as difficult as dividing their furniture in a divorce.

Do you recall the scene from the film "When Harry Met Sally" and the character Jess moved his wagon wheel coffee table in to Marie's elegantly furnished living room? He cherished that table and she hated it. Neither wanted to give in and neither wanted to break the relationship. In the film he eventually gave up the table after his friend Harry told Jess how awful the table looked.  You and your partner may not have the advantage of a Harry around to help you solve your furniture problems.

Most couples today are blending households. In each case, either partner may have a small or large problem living with the other's treasures. Here's a list of tips that can help to happily combine his and hers furnishings into theirs.

1.  If your tastes in furniture are different and you are planning to combine the furniture you each have, then decide that your new blended interior will be an eclectic décor.

2.  Remember that your mutual goal is to create an interior decorating scheme that looks like it was done purposefully.

3.  Hiring an interior designer can help. I advise that you select a designer that you both trust and who will have the ultimate goal of a great project, even if the number of items utilized in your home may not be an equal amount from each partner.

4. Remember that your partner has lived with their possessions for awhile and is attached to these items being around. If there are items you will not be using in the new décor, give your partner some time to either store them, recycle them for a new use or get rid of them.

5.  When there are items, maybe sentimental, that your partner wants to look at and you may not want these on display, you can try the following options. The items can be located in an area where the partner can view them but not on display for your guests. You may decide to limit the display of these items to a specific length of time. If there are items of yours that he/she does not care for, you can decide to interchange and rotate the display time for each partner's things.

6.  Regarding upholstered furniture pieces, if the size and style works but not the fabric, you can update the pieces. Select a fabric you both like and reupholster the sofa or chair.

7.  More than likely you will need some new furniture items to complete your home decorating. Decide at the beginning what style direction you will want to take your décor.

8. Be prepared. Most likely you have seen his/hers furniture many times prior to your moving in together. Before the actual move-in date, start to look around and think about what items are negotiable for you to give up, and what items of your partners you can accept or need to reject.

9.  Keep in mind that your initial attempt may be the most emotionally charged and difficult for both of you. As time goes by, and you both take an honest look at your room's décor, good taste will win out.

10. Have fun. It's a joy and exciting to combine your living space together.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Rightsizing Design Is In

The interior design trend for a growing population is to downsize their living space---to make their living space the right size for their current lifestyle. People of all ages and demographics find that a change in lifestyle to smaller living spaces is the answer to their present needs. Couples are finding themselves in large homes where they raised their family and now have too many bedrooms and recreation room spaces. Many people who retire find they would rather have a smaller living space to keep up so they will be free to travel more and visit family and friends. Suddenly, single men and women are moving to smaller space that feel cozy for one.

But the change to downsizing can be unsettling. Many people believe the process is too challenging and are hesitant to move ahead. If you want to be excited about your move from a large residence to a smaller home, condo or apartment you may need help. A professional interior designer can help you to alleviate your concerns and cross the barrier with new enthusiasm and confidence.

I work with many clients who are rightsizing for many reasons. Here are just a few of the services that a professional interior designer can provide to help you to do this.

 - review of present furnishings
 - analysis of your lifestyle and budget
 - study of the floor plan of your new space to determine fit of current furniture
 - proposal for design of new space
 - accompany you to retail or wholesale suppliers to select new furnishings
 - recommendations for estate sales, consignment sales, movers, remodelers

Friday, August 17, 2018

Fireplaces Warm Home and Heart

Fireplaces do much more than just heat your home.  A focal point for gatherings of family and friends, a fireplace draws guests within its circle.  Your fireplace takes center stage in your home by its design and location. It can express your style of living whether formal or casual

In the widening search for alternative to scarce and expensive fuels in home heating, a growing number of homeowners are discovering the advantages of heating with a fireplace. Fireplaces designer for efficiency and used correctly, can spread their warmth over your home. Technically, fireplaces heat in two different ways---radiation and convection. The type of heater you have determines its heating effectiveness. Radiation is the direct transmission of energy in the form of infrared rays, these rays heat objects they strike, although they don't contribute to heating the air space in between. Convection is the movement of heat through air or fluids. When the air is heated, it rises, setting up convection currents that circulate the air.

The latest introduction is the EcoSmart Fire Innovation  It is an environmentally friendly open fireplace. The EcoSmart Fire is flue less and does not require any installation or utility connection for fuel supply, which makes it ideal for just about any architectural environment such as high-rise buildings.  It is fueled by renewable modern energy, denatured ethanol, burns clean and is virtually maintenance free. I really like this system as it feature remarkable design flexibility and choice.

The Importance Of Lighting Your Interior

Lighting can be one of the most dramatic effects of an interior design.  The importance of this element of an interior has increased over the past few decades.

It was the practice years ago that you would design your room---selecting floor covering, furniture, wall treatment, window covering, and accessories including artwork.  Then at the end of the project, the lighting would be selected according to overall lighting and task lighting which is necessary for reading, working and cooking areas.

Today's lighting interest is a focal point of the interior design project plan and that has been a wonderful evolution to room design.  Lighting is exciting.  The same furniture and color interior design plan can be changed by the lighting approach. You can take the same room furnishings, and with one approach to lighting selections your room will feel warm and cozy; or another lighting specification can make the same room into a cool, stark and stunning atmosphere.

I recommend that when you are designing your room's furnishings and color palette, you also pay as much attention to the lighting plan from the beginning.  This will help you to create that memorable home interior you desire.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Right Size Design Help

Are you living in a home space that has become too large for your life style?
It's a common situation today. I have many clients that are down-sizing their living space---and I prefer to call it right-sizing their home.

A big challenge is to find somewhere for the furniture that you do not have the room for in your new, smaller home, condominium or apartment. Most people would like to sell these items to get some money to use for decorating the space they are moving to. If they cannot sell the items, then donating them is another option. Key is the cost to move the items from the home to the place to sell or donate. If you sell, you can either move the items to the consignment or auction house, and if you do not move it yourself, the cost of pickup will be taken off the amount the piece sells for. If you cannot sell the items and decide to donate, most charities will pick up the items at no charge.  The first step is to contact the consignment shop and send photos of the items to see if they can sell them, or if you are donating you also need to send photos of the items you want to donate to see if they will pick up the size of items you have.

Another option is to have an estate sale in your home or to have an auction house take the items and put on sale either for live auction or on-line auction.

A few suggestions for sources in the Chicago area are:
Leslie Hindman, Chicago, IL
Divine Consign, Riverside, IL
Village Treasure House, Northbrook, IL
Direct Auction House, Chicago, IL
Everything But The House, Chicago, IL

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Color Palette Of Your Life

I attended a seminar today presented by Lori Weitzner. 

Lori is a designer and author. Her new book is "Ode To Color: 10 Essential Palettes For Living and Design". Her theory is that we all have a color palette that makes us feel the best to look at.  She does have an 18 question quiz on her website that will help you to determine your color palette.

  It's important to our joy, good health, peace and emotional balance to be surrounded by the colors that make us feel best.  Our visual world is made up of color and we have the opportunity to decide what color to live with in our home interiors.

Take the color palette test.  You may find you knew your favorite color palette all along---or you may be surprised at the colors you should surround yourself with to feel best.