Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tip Tips To Work From Home

Does it get any better than having a 20 step commute to work? Actually, some people flourish working in an office at home while others find it frustrating.  However, the trend is that each year hundred of workers move from a traditional workplace to working from their home.

Creating a home workplace is a unique decorating challenge. You want your office space to look effortlessly beautiful, but how do you accommodate less than beautiful computers and printers? If you do not have a dedicated room for your home office, it can be integrated into other rooms such as infrequently used dining rooms or spare bedrooms.  Where space is tight or awkwardly shaped, like space under the stairs or a kitchen corner, the best option may be built-in furniture. To start you should decide on the function of the space. A room that is primarily a workspace is different from one that is used only for short periods at a time.

The ergonomics of your design are important. You need to find a position for yourself that doesn't involve you stretching at awkward angles for what you need. Think about what you will be able to reach from a sitting position and what will require you to get up from your seat. Finding the right adjustable chair is essential.

Work table or desk placement will be influenced by the natural light as your screen will need to be positioned away from the window to prevent glare. Think about powering your workstation. Do you have enough plug sockets? Plan to manage your cable for safety. Do you have enough or too much light? Don't forget about task lighting. Will you need an extra phone line?

Color will also have an impact on the success of your space. Fresh or muted shades of yellow, blue, green, beiges and creams are easy on the eye and can be uplifting and conducive to work. Bold, inky colors tend to be more oppressive and less inspirational.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating the ideal space. Your choice will depend on how you plan to use the area, how much room is available and what your budget is.

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 Color of the Year

Greenery was named by Pantone as 2017 color of the year.

It's described as a fresh, yellow-green shade that is reminiscent of the first few weeks of  spring seen in nature's trees, plants and leaves.

This annual tradition in design and home fashion presents a new trend for the interior design fan.  Do you like the color?  Do you want to bring this new tone into your home? More importantly, does the new trend color even look good with your home décor? 

If you like the color and want to bring it's zest into your home, I think bits of it can add a lot.  And you don't have to break the budget or replace what you already have.

Think of adding the new color in accessories like throw pillows, an area rug, a vase, candles, a sofa throw, table runner or table cloth and napkins, poster art, bed spread, bathroom towels with shower curtain.  I'm sure you can find many ways to bring Greenery color into your home.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DIY Tips for Interior Decorating

If you enjoy all things about interior design, then you know what it feels like when you walk into a well-designed room.  You can sense how everything feels put together just right. There are principles that professional interior designers use to create those fabulous rooms. And I've got some of their secrets for you.

When you know the basic interior design principles, you can transform any room to look like a pro did it. With knowledge, practice and experimentation you're on your way to creating a beautiful home.

In design, balance creates a feeling of equilibrium. It's all about approximating the visual weight of objects. Balance is created not just through shape but through color, pattern and texture. There are three kinds of balance:
1.  Symmetrical or formal. Traditional spaces call for symmetrical balance where the space is evenly split into two sides that mirror each other. For example, two chairs on either side of an end table can be symmetrically balanced. This kind of balance is easy to achieve as design elements are repeated on each side. If you are not careful, this kind of balance can become boring.
2.  Asymmetrical or informal. The visual weight of lines, colors, forms and textures are balanced without exact duplication. It is not as ordered as symmetrical balance and can be more interesting and complex. For instance, a sofa can be balanced by placing two chairs on the other side.
3. Radial balance is achieved when there is a central focal point with other elements radiating from it or around it. There is a lot of repetition of form, texture and color.

As in music, rhythm is design is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest.  You can achieve this by using the same color or shape at different intervals. Its purpose is to move your eye around the room. For instance, you can establish a rhythm by using a color in the pillows, picking it up in the painting and using it again in a rug. These repetitions will help carry your eye around the room.

Harmony is created when all the elements act together to create a unified message. Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony creates a sense of restfulness. You can create harmony by using just one color, even though your forms vary greatly in shape, size and texture.

A room where everything gets equal importance will seem either scattered or boring. You need an anchor. Architectural spaces often have points of interest such as a fireplace or window with a beautiful view. You can choose to enhance the built-in focal point by arranging furniture around it to emphasize it. In a room that lacks a built-in point of interest, you can create one through groupings of furniture or using an unusual or large piece.

Proportion is the ratio between the size of one part to another and scale is how the size of one object relates to another or to the space in which it is placed. For instance, a large overstuffed sectional in a small room will be out of scale. Some proportional relationships are more pleasing than others. The ancient Greeks came up with the Gold Section which sought to reduce all proportion to a simple formula. The ratio of the smaller section to the larger section should be the same as that of the larger section to the whole. This proportion is present in nature, and artists and architects use is as well.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Holiday Decorating Ideas

It's time to decorate your home for the holidays. Maybe this year you don't have room for a holiday tree, you're in a larger space and need additional decoration or you're just in a creative spirit. There are many ideas to put a twist on the traditional Christmas tree décor. Try a few of these inspired holiday decorations.
 - Place vintage ornaments on a cake stand nested with leaves for a stunningly simple centerpiece.
 - Are you serving holiday dinner buffet style? Wrap each dish in a sheet of parchment paper and tie with a length of ribbon before stacking it. Guests will be rewarded with a pretty presentation.
 - Lush greenery draped around the house, especially doorways, creates an inviting atmosphere and a woodsy aroma.
 - Use a string of pinecones to make an easy swag. Tie a big bow in the middle so you can center it perfectly over a doorway, then tack it up with nails.
 - Decorate a small, artificial white tree with objects that share a color scheme--such as candy canes, peppermints and red bows--then place them on a side table or coffee table.
 - A grouping of old-fashioned ornaments hung from the ceiling makes a whimsical chandelier effect.
 - Tie big silver bells to the front doorknob with festive ribbon. Visitors will jingle all the way in to your home.
 - For an elegant look, trim the mantle with a row of white votives and dramatic white amaryllises.
 - Use leftover ribbon to tie around the stems of your Champagne flutes or wine glasses for an extra bit of festivity. A bonus: choose a different color for every glass will help guests keep track of their drinks.
 - A five-second centerpiece. Mix clementines or oranges and peppermint balls in a single glass compote or a grouping of three.
 - Add a little sparkling style to your dining room table by filling a snifter to the brim with an array of shiny silver balls.
 - Wreath filled with wishes. Hang an unadorned twig wreath in a spot where guests can't miss it. Set out red Magic Markers and small plain cards on a table next to it. Post a little sign asking visitors to scribble a greeting or a wish for the upcoming New Year, along with their names, and have them slip the notes into the wreath.
 - Decorative photo collage. Up on the mantle, collect your family's holiday picture cards from previous years and clothespin them to a long, slim stick suspended between two vases. Put them in chronological order and you can date the pins.
 - A staircase looks lovely with a garland of greenery. Easier than looping it around and around, lay evergreen on top of the banister, fasten in place with floral wire and wrap with extra-wide ribbon.
Have a happy holiday season!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Chicago Source for Right Size Furniture

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

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

One of the solutions is the right size and scale for your furniture pieces. Most retail furniture stores do not offer a variety of sizes for furniture that still has a sumptuous, generous look. That's where A. Rudin Inc. fills this niche nicely.

Located in The Mart in Chicago, A. Rudin Inc. is a family owned furniture manufacturer since 1912. Based in Los Angeles, all A. Rudin furniture is made in the U.S. The line includes upholstery and casegoods, along with fabrics, leather and Novasuede. Their furniture designs have been made larger to fill the scale of Beverly Hills mansions and small enough to fit a New York City pied-a-terre.

To complement the line, the Chicago Showroom also features contemporary stainless steel and wood tables by Henry Royer of Wisconsin, contemporary lighting and casegoods from John Pomp Studios of Philadelphia, Phoenix Day classic lighting from San Francisco and Matsouko of Japan tables and casegoods.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Painting Primer

Color is one of the most influential elements to set the tone of your home interior.  To get the palette right, there are things to do before you select your colors. Benjamin Moore Paint Co. has put together a list for you to DIY. Here are some of the key ideas.

Create a list of key elements in the room, such as, sofa, rug or flooring. Determine your budget. Think of the room's purpose and how you'd like to feel in it. Determine your own personal color likes. Collect color and fabric swatches along with images you like from magazine and websites.

Once you have gathered your ideas, take a look at your collection and see the design elements that stand out. Group colors to see the one you like most. Look at the samples in the room where you will use them. Consider the size and scale of your room and its furnishings.

Its really important to view your color choices in various light conditions that effect the room:  direct sunlight, indirect sunlight and artificial light. Surrounding colors, such as, from a sofa or flooring, effect a paint color on a wall also.

Remember the color wheel made up of primary colors (red, blue and yellow), secondary colors are a combination of two primary colors and tertiary colors which is a combination of a primary and secondary color.  Color intensity describes brightness or dullness of a color. Value refers to a color's lightness or darkness. Add white to a color to create a tint. Add black to create a shade.  Color schemes are based on the color wheel and are combinations or pairings to create an aesthetic look and feel in a room.
Don't forget neutrals and the infinite array of grays, beiges and whites.

Sheen levels impact the look and functional aspects of a room. Flat is the least reflective finish and a great choice for hiding minor surface imperfections on walls and preferred for ceilings. Matte is more reflective than flat for minimizing imperfections while providing a durable finish. Eggshell gives a softly polished glow and provides an easy-to-clean surface. Satin or pearl is medium finish ideal for high-traffic areas when the full sheen of a semi-gloss is not desired. Semi-gloss creates a smooth, highly reflective finish that is durable and withstands repeated cleaning. Semi-gloss is also used to highlight interior trim, doors and window frames.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Home Decor Color of the Year 2017

New trends in color are always of interest to interior design fans. This week Benjamin Moore Paint Co. announced the color of the year. It's Shadow #2117-30---a rich, royal amethyst like lilac-gray or coal.  Shadow sets the mood of the color palette including such hues as a teal called Sea Star, terracotta called Etruscan, rich red Dinner Party and Dark Burgundy.

To bring these tones into your home, you don't need to change your entire décor. You can update your room with one or more of the new colors adding accessories. Adding a touch of a color into your room is also one of the best ways to find out if you like living with a color before you make a large investment in furniture.

A few ideas for accessories are throw pillows, table runners or place mats, drink coasters, napkins, vases, a sofa throw, an area rug, a piece of artwork, decorative bowls or plates, candles and candleholders, unique plants and containers.