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.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Heart of Home

I have been thinking a lot about what is a home.

Simply, home is a place that makes us feel good.  When you awake in the morning, the first thing you see is your interior---and it is important that it makes you feel good as this is the start of your day.

Home is a place that gives us a feeling of sanctuary. When you get home at the end of the day, open your door, walk inside---your home is the place that makes you feel this is your safe space, your refuge.

Home is a healing space.  When you are in your home this is the place that you can feel loved, peace and joy.



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

5 Tips To Start Your Decorating Project

Top professional interior designers have a few tips to help you to start your home decorating, whether you DIY or are working with an interior design. Here are their top five.

1. Every room needs a focal point.
A focal point is what your eyes are drawn to when you enter a room. When a room has a focal point, everything falls into place around it, or at least it should. Sometimes rooms have competing focal points, such as a functional focal point like a TV and an aesthetic focal point like a fireplace, and this requires some extra creativity, such as the trend to place the TV above the fireplace. If your focal point is an eyesore (like a clunky old TV) transform it. Hide it behind sliding bamboo panels or in an armoire. If your room doesn't have a focal point, create one. For example, buy or create a beautiful headboard and make that the focus.

2. Embrace contrast and great rid of the furniture suite.
Today's style is all about contrast. Use different textures, materials and patterns. Use furniture from varying time periods. To keep it looking curated and eclectic, not chaotic, tie the room together with repetition of color, wood tones and furniture heights. Avoid buying matching suites of furniture. Your tastes will change over the years. With buying different furniture pieces,  your furnishings can grow with you. Your home will show how your style has evolved and not remained frozen.

3. Declutter, declutter, declutter.
You can beautify your home as much as you'd like, but if your house is full of clutter, the clutter is the story and not your impeccable taste. As we get older, we accumulate so much stuff. Don't hang on to what you don't need. Purge and edit to keep clutter to a minimum. Once you've done that, conceal what's ugly and make the most of what isn't. And don't forget visual clutter. Busy wallpaper can sometimes make a perfectly tidy room look messy and so can bright brick fireplaces. Consider taking down the wallpaper and painting a fireplace one solid, neutral tone. Painting fireplaces white makes a dramatic difference.

4. Don't forget lighting.
With so many things to consider in a room, it's easy to forget something so practical as lighting. But that would be a mistake. Lighting can really transform a room, especially when it's used at different levels. For instance: in kitchens use overhead lighting, such as track lighting pointed to highlight cabinets; use table- or counter-level lighting to create intimacy; use practical lighting under-cabinet to make sure you have enough light when you're cooking.

5. Great unexpected expectations.
The point is, sometimes what makes a room great is that it has a dash of the unexpected. That little something extra that makes the whole room POP.  Examples of that wow factor with a big budget could be an infinity tub in a bathroom or a floor-to-ceiling waterfall in a loft. A wow factor on a budget could be using an antique iron gate as a headboard or a vintage door as a dining table top.