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.

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.