Monday, September 5, 2016

Tips to Improve Your Color Confidence

I have followed wall paint color trends, forecasts and tips from the major paint companies for many years.  One thing is certain, color on walls, ceilings and floors is greatly affected by light sources. I recently found a few new tips for selecting the perfect paint color for your home.

 - The only way to be totally sure what a color will look like under different lighting conditions is to observe it firsthand. Look at a sample of the color in the room it will be painted. Observe the color morning, noon and evening---in natural daylight, artificial lighting and in dim evening lighting.

 - What we see as "colors" are really surfaces reflecting and absorbing various wavelengths of light.  Therefore, everything in a room has an affect on the color---furniture, carpet, drapes. This is why a blank wall in an empty room can look very different when that same room is furnished.

 - Use window blinds to control the amount of direct light entering a room.  Pay careful attention to subtle shifts in color as you open and close blinds.  This helps you anticipate other color shifts as the light changes during the day.

 - Like natural light, artificial light has its own color biases.  Incandescent bulbs have a warm orange light. Fluorescent bulbs provide a cool blue light. LED light is whiter and more neutral but can also be programmed for difference in intensity, making this an increasingly popular indoor lighting option.

 - Most pigments are not 100 percent light-stable. This means they actually break down with prolonged light exposure, especially under UV light. So if you have a richly colored object or painting, keep it out of direct sunlight or put is under UV-conservation glass.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Create Rooms That Make Your Heart Sing

When you wake up in the morning at home you should open your eyes and think, "This bedroom is beautiful." And when you return home and open the door you should say, "Ah, my home, this is my favorite place."

This is what everyone wants, but something stands in the way, and that is the tendency to look outward rather than inward. This is a common scenario: You look at all the images of well-designed rooms in magazines, on the internet, and on TV. These rooms look warm and welcoming, so why not try to copy them? You then buy what was featured and fill your home with the latest trends. The result can be disappointment. Your home doesn't feel like home. You don't feel a connection to the color scheme or the trendy furniture the truck just delivered. You wonder what you did wrong. You say to yourself, "I thought I had to have charcoal gray in my home for it to look current. But I really don't like the color." Or, "I loved the bed in the showroom but I hate it now." Or, simply, "I can't take everything back, so what do I do now?"

At this point, people often call me. First, I calm them down. Then I make a house call. I make an informal inventory and ask questions. I want them to look inward. What furniture do you like and dislike? What pieces don't work in your life now? What color have you always liked to be surrounded by? And: What's your budget? I tell them they have to be realistic. After all, it doesn't make sense to visit a Rolls Royce dealership if all you can afford is a Chevy. But you can have a beautiful, wonderful interior at any budget.

The best results come when my client is clear on the budget, color, lifestyle, a wish list, and is actively involved in the planning. Even if you work with an interior design professional, you need to know what your dream room looks like. Any well-designed interior begins with a plan. The plan is based on the six elements of design: style, function, color, materials/texture, lighting and accessories/equipment. Your plan and six key elements are all based on your personal needs and desires. Filling your space with what you love, being in a room surrounded by your selections, will make your heart sing.

This is the introduction to a group of blogs that will show you how an interior designer approaches a project, whether a bathroom re-design or an 18-room home. The goal is to guide you to creating rooms you love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

10 Easy Tips For Summer Decor

We are full swing into the season enjoying warm, sunny days outside. But its nice to bring the outside into your home.  Here's 10 quick tips to bring the season your home.

1.  Stripes, stripes and more stripes.  Nothing reminds use more of summer than snappy, crisp stripes, on cushions, pillows, throws, table runners and cloths, napkins, drapery. It's especially cheery to use fabric that is white striped with either navy, red, black, yellow or green.

2.  Pillows on your sofa that are decorated with foliage or flowers.

3.  A floral display with candles surrounding the bouquet.

4.  A raffia area rug can be added almost anywhere for the season.

5.  Use a seashell for a centerpiece and fill it with flowers or greenery.

6.  Bandana print for chair cushions.

7.  Bright color fabric for sofa throw.

8.  Floating candles in a glass bowl filled with water.

9.  String tiny Italian lights on an indoor tree or stair railing.

10. Create a surprise picnic indoors for dinner one night.  Lay a blanket on the floor, use all your picnic dining accessories, candles and beach-worth background music.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Make Your Move Easier

Moving is never easy, whether moving a few blocks or thousands of miles away. Here's a checklist from the moving pros to help you prepare for your move.

4 Weeks In Advance:
Make reservations for your moving company. Hold garage sales, donate to charity or throw away items you won't be taking with you. Get change-of-address cards from the Post Office. notify magazines, charge account companies, insurance companies, clubs and other organization of your change of address. Get owners manual for appliances in new home, if possible.

2 Weeks In Advance:
Make a survival kit of things for the last clean up (broom, dust cloth, etc.), as well as a snack. If you decide to pack yourself, label all boxes. Write the destination (by room) on top and sides of each box. Schedule dates for disconnecting gas, electric, water and telephone services. Arrange for refunds that are due to you. Schedule connections for your new home. Cancel cable TV, lawn maintenance and other services. Make travel plans and arrange for a hotel stay, if necessary. Arrange to move pets. Check with the mover about moving houseplants (some movers will not move them). Dispose of all items too dangerous to move, including flammable liquids. If necessary, have your automobile serviced and ready for the trip.

1 Week In Advance:
Mail in your change of address forms. Clean the stove. If necessary, reserve an elevator for pickup and/or delivery dates. Cancel your newspaper delivery. Have enough medication to last at least two weeks. Have prescriptions forwarded to a pharmacy at your new destination. Set aside valuable items to carry with you, including jewelry, vital documents, money and valuable small items.

1 To 2 Days In Advance:
If you're having movers pack your goods, have them do that now. Empty, defrost and thoroughly dry refrigerator and freezer. Get cash to tide you over.

Moving Day:
Complete information on the mover's bill of lading (freight) and carefully read the document before you sign it. Make sure you have your copies of the bill of lading and inventory. Before the van leaves, take one final look through the house to make certain that nothing has been left behind. Give the driver directions to your new home. Notify the driver and the van line where you can be reached during the move.

Delivery Day:
Be on hand to supervise unloading and unpacking. Check carefully for any damaged or missing items. Note on the inventory any damaged boxes or other items before you sign anything.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tips To Declutter Your Home

As an interior designer, I know how overwhelmed my clients can feel about too much clutter. The key to decluttering is to break down the project into smaller, manageable tasks.

Work in scheduled blocks of time. Keep sessions short. Mark this time on your calendar like any other appointment. Schedule times when your energy level is highest.
1. Attack the visible clutter first.
2. Move into the simplest room and tackle that, or pick just one closet or one drawer
     at a time.
3. Find a friend to work with---a clutter buddy that will commit to helping you.
4. Schedule a reward after each session, like coffee at your favorite café.

1. Sturdy garbage bags.
2. Markers
3. Packing tape
4. Removable stickers
5. Boxes.  Label five of them as follows: Give Away, Other Peoples' Stuff,
     Put Away, Shred and Recycle,  Sentimental

1. Do I like it? Do I love it? Have I used it, worn it or read it this year?
2. What is the worst that will happen if I give it up?
3. Does someone else in my circle of family and friends love it?
4. Is it ugly? Do I feel great in it?
5. Does it contribute to my lifestyle and vision now?

1. Regularly schedule time to put things away where they belong.
2. Invite a friend over regularly to keep you on track.
3. Remember your vision. If you haven't already achieved it, go through the
    steps again.
4. Review the Sentimental Box. If your interests have changed or you realize
    you don't need or use it, then let it go.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bathroom Bling On A Budget

Are you longing to create a personal bath retreat but have limited space and/or budget? Here are ideas to create a smaller bath with glamour and functionality.

1. Create a vertical spa shower. Customize your shower with body sprays, showerhead, rain showers, hand showers, multi-function transfer valves and temperature control systems. These showers offer the relaxation and luxury of a whirlpool without the space required for a large bathtub.

2. Freshen your bathroom with a high-quality shower curtain or glass doors. Today's shower curtains come in great designs, colors and materials. For glass shower doors, choose from clear, smoked or etched glass and with or without metal frame details.

3. Gain more space and storage with a single vanity. Today's vanities look like a furniture piece with decorative feet accents and framed mirrors. This cabinetry can also contain special storage spaces like linen towers and vanity drawers.

4. Replacing the faucet set is an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade the bath. Faucet sets come in numerous designs and finishes, also with marble and colored interchangeable accent stone pieces.

5.  Medicine cabinets and mirrors can become a focal point of your bathroom.  It will do wonders for your bath design to replace a rusty or outdated cabinet.

6. Lighting takes up little space but can make a dramatic change in your bathroom.  Styles from modern to retro and traditional are available in many finishes to coordinate with your bathroom fixtures.

7. Neutral tones will make a small bathroom appear larger. But neutral doesn't have to mean boring. Consider specialty finishes and techniques such as crackle, color washing, metallic and glazes that add texture and unique effects.

8. Use accessories to increase storage space. Add a glass shelf to display collectibles or for storage. Hooks, towel racks, cup and toothbrush holders can look classy while hold bathroom necessities.

9. Use a pocket door in place of a swing door.  This will eliminate doorway clutter and free up extra space.

10. Window treatments are another way to add style to your bathroom décor. Valances, drapes and curtains can be an element that pulls you bathroom's look together.

No matter what the size and budget of your bathroom project, you can add warmth, style and elegance.