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.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Painting: Beyond Color What's The Finish?

You've spent a couple hours or days or weeks or even months selecting the just-right color paint for your interior. And the painter comes to look at the job and you feel so proud to be able to promptly give the name of the perfect hue you selected. But the painter's next question is---what's the finish you want? And like most everyone, now you are stumped again.

Well I can help in this situation. I have attended seminars at the Benjamin Moore Paint Co. showroom in The Mart/Chicago and we were given answers to this question.

This blog is not trendy and sexy but the information is timeless. So I suggest that you print a copy and save it for whenever you paint.

This list is categorized by interior room surface and finish.
Ceiling: flat
Decorative Wall: matte or eggshell
Wall with imperfections: matte or eggshell
Dining Room walls: matte or eggshell
Living Room walls: matte or eggshell
Master Bedroom walls: matte or eggshell
Office walls: matte or eggshell
Children's Room walls: eggshell or pearl
Bathroom walls: pearl
Kitchen walls: pearl
Family Room walls: eggshell or pearl
Stairway walls: eggshell or pearl
Entry Hall: eggshell or pearl
Door Frames/Doors: satin or semi-gloss
Moldings: satin or semi-gloss
Wood Handrails: satin or semi-gloss
Wood Baseboard: satin or semi-gloss
Furniture: satin or semi-gloss
Cabinet doors: satin or semi-gloss

How the finishes compare?
Flatter paint diffuses light more, touch-up easier, maintenance is more difficult, and imperfections are less obvious and less resistant.
Glossier paint reflects light more, touch-up is more difficult, maintenance is easier, imperfections are more obvious, and more durable.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Folding Screens As Decorating Solutions

Folding screens have always given a room style while concealing something unattractive or ugly. Screens do have a history in interiors.

Ancient Chinese screens were made of painted wood. In ancient Japan. screens were made of portable paper that was painted, lacquered or gilded. In the 16th century, Asian folding screens were brought to European traders and the idea spread across Europe.

The concept is more than decorative as screens can hide an unacceptable view or section off a room based on current functions. On a trip to Paris and London, I noticed that screens are offered in all the design shops as a beautiful option to section off the studio-sized apartments that are prevalent in European cities.

Design ideas are unlimited today with modern manufacturing techniques. You can make a screen using wood panels stained or lacquered to compliment the room's wall color. Or a screen using a wood or metal framework can then be filled in with panels of fabric or wallcovering. Mirrored screens not only hide the unsightly or partition a room, but the reflections expand the space visually.  Incorporating an antique folding screen into an interior adds beauty with precious artwork.

And if you no longer want to use the screen as a partition, you can hang it on a wall as a piece of art.  A folding screen may be the answer to that design problem that won't disappear.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

10 Romantic Home Decorating Ideas

As Spring and Summer approaches, have you ever heard that our thoughts turn to romance? And why not bring romance into your home?

I have gathered decorating ideas from various sources. Although they are romantic, these ideas can become part of your rooms all year long. Ranging from as easy as changing a light fixture to creating an entirely new scheme, these tips will add a spark of romance to your home.

1. A chandelier, with the glow of light reflecting crystal and metal is always romantic.

2. A Venetian mirror above a cabinet or console exudes timeless and elegant romance.

3. Pink is always pretty especially with green and white it's not too feminine for your guy.

4. A romantic dining setting uses white accents on cove molding, a chair rail, seating, fabric and trims.

5. Soft lighting creates a romantic setting by simulating the effect of candlelight,. Always use dimmers.

6. A sensual room uses soft-shaped seating and lush fabrics you can sink into.

7. A loggia is always a perfect way to bring the outside into your home and make a romantic getaway space.

8. A feminine bedroom uses crisp white and draped sheer fabric.

9. A "trip to Paris" themed room setting uses an iron and wood chandelier, tile floor, toile fabric and wood furniture.

10. Romantic headboard in fabric, wood or metal always set the romantic atmosphere of your bedroom.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Top Design Trends To Consider

If you want to keep current with home fashion, its important to be aware of the important design trends.  These are features and looks that most homeowners and homebuyers liked.  I found these current three top trends for you to know.

Its all about light.
Floor to ceiling windows, walls with multiple windows are always a big hit and are a 2018 trend.  Light is essential to create a balanced chi, per Feng Shui. Its believed that energy form the sun stay sin the room all day and brings positive, happy vibes.  When looking for a space to live in, choose windows over walls.

Create a statement with floors and wallcovering.
Statement floors create a base to a room and a great way to make a room pop.  Statement wallpapers, even on just one accent wall, with bold colors, geometric shpaes or large floral designs, are a great way to update a room without changing too much else.

Pastel tones are a theme to go for.
Pastel shades have been the Pantone color of the year the past few years. One advantage of pastels is their neutral tones go with almost every other color and makes it easy to mix and match without getting stuck with any one particular shade.

Most important to remember is you are the one who has to live in your home. So choose a d├ęcor that makes you feel joy when you get up in the morning and return home at the end of the day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Paint: The Right Finish

     When selecting the paint for your room, the first thing you think of is color. However, choosing the right finish is just as important. Sheen levels impact both the aesthetic and functional aspect of a room. They affect the amount of light reflected from the painted surface, hiding or highlighting imperfections and influencing color perception.
     The Benjamin Moore Paint Co. has outlined descriptions of paint finishes to help you to select the right one for the visual look and cleanability of the room you are painting.

Flat is the least reflective finish and provides excellent depth of color. It's a great choice for hiding minor surface imperfections on walls and generally preferred for ceilings.

Matte is more reflective than flat and is also great for minimizing minor surface imperfections while providing a durable finish.

Eggshell imparts a softly polished glow and provides an easy-to-clean surface. It's perfect for busy areas such as kitchens, dining rooms and family rooms.

Satin or pearl is a medium finish ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways 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. It is also used to highlight interior trim, doors and window frames.