Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Your Sanctuary

The master bedroom should be your sanctuary. The place you come to relax and unwind. This room is a private space that doesn't have to reflect anything but your unique fingerprint. Of course, if you have another half who wishes to get his DNA in there, that is something you have to work out between the two of you.
When creating a flow in the living quarters of the house, we have talked about allowing the eye to wander around to the different rooms and tying them together, cohesively. In the private areas of our homes, I don't believe this rule applies. We each need our little spot on this planet and the room that we call our own is that spot.
Master bedrooms should be the colors that you love, the color that makes you happy every time you see it. This is always the jumping off point. I love soothing colors in a bedroom, soft sage, sea glass blue, mushroom, because these colors give me peace. My world is surrounded with color everyday so when I come home and take off my shoes, these are the colors that relax me. This may bore you to tears, but whatever color you love add it to this room and you will love it.
Then pour on the texture, nubby chenille, brushed nickle, mirrored nightstand, all go towards creating the right ambience. I love a matelesse on the bed with a big fluffy duvet on the end of the bed. Double layering always works but not too many pillows. I think 5 on a king size bed is plenty, but make them different textures and that bed will pop. Intimate artwork also looks great in this room, romantic couples dancing, the sun setting on the beach, all are promoting a peaceful, wonderful feeling that is perfect for your space. Clutter is prohibited in this room, no bills, kids stuff, gym clothes or anything that doesn't have to do with calm and tranquility. Lighting is important in this room and the lower wattage, softer lighting enhances all of your better features. Just have the proper lighting for the nightstand and dressers. We have already discussed what I think about overhead lighting, but if you lose a earring, I guess this is the only time this can come on.
Remember, no matter if you love the jungle theme, bohemian, white on white or rubber duckies, this is the room to have fun with and enjoy your own little spot.
Happy decorating!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hot New Trends

What's Hot in Decorating?
As soon as someone finds out that I am a decorator, this becomes the first question out of their mouth. Decorators have to be one step ahead of the "newest" fad. I love that what is hot for some people is 2 seasons ago for others. To me, as long as you make a change, you are one step ahead of someone who hasn't.
1)BIG PRINTS- with the whole world focused on eco-friendly EVERYTHING, the hottest thing on the market is natural motifs. From gorgeous big sassy flowers to stylized branches, the scale of prints has gone on some serious steroids.
2)Filigree-With our everlasting appreciation of ironworks, scrolls and delicate embroidery, filigree is popping up on walls, bedding and even textures.
3)Bird Chic- All things bird related are popular this year. From owls to parrots, we can't seem to get enough of this exquisite natural motif and is a welcome addition to any room. Again, think ECO-Friendly!
4)ORANGE-It is THE hot color of the season. The new neutral, the color of spice, fruit and sunshine. This great color is the perfect compliment to the cool blues and grays of the last couple of years.
5)Handmade chic- Knitting and crocheting started this epidemic and anything handmade is the rage, now. Embroidery, beading, stitchery are added embellishments to home fashions as well as apparel. Beads and buttons can be found on pillows, bedding, drapes and even walls. So bring out those personal treasures and add some splash.
Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The BIGGEST mistake in decorating!

I am an instant gratification kind of person. I want what I want- today. I am unafraid to make a decision and act on it, sometimes immediately. This has rarely proven to be a wrong move. In all honesty, I realize that everyone isn't the same and not everyone is likely to wallpaper and paint their ceiling, but people-JUST MAKE A DECISION.
While decorating is a constant changing business, some people will get overwhelmed with the idea of WHAT IF?
What if, What?!!!!!!
So what the colors might not be in style today of your favorite fabric or pattern. So what, that as soon as you paint the dining room pumpkin harvest orange, you no longer can find ANYTHING to go with that color.
Decorating takes a little planning. Sometimes a lot of effort. But in the end it delivers a HUGE payoff.
Our homes should reflect how we live and who we are. If 2/3 of the house is taken over by the kids stuff, that is how that family lives. If the homeowners are outdoors people, that love to bike and hike and have pets that are their kids, that is how that family lives. Adjust your decorating style to accommodate your lifestyle and everything else will fall into place.
Just start in one room- It can be the most private room in the house(usually the master bedroom) or the biggest traffic area. It can be a small project like the 1/2 bath or the most cluttered. Pick a room and tackle it. Take that project by horns and conquer it.
If you decide you can't afford a decorator there are hundreds of other options. People that you know and enjoy their own sense of style, the thousands of publications that are out there, internet websites, friends and family, the list goes on and on.
Don't get stuck in a rut because everything will get stuck in there with you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Home Shows

There are some amazing things to be learned from the Home Shows. I am working my second straight one this weekend and I am very impressed with the amount of stuff that is out there. In the beginning, when these shows started, they seemed to be one booth after another of the same stuff. Siding, windows, landscape mulch, etc; Now days, there is everything out there from the newest way to cook outdoors(not to mention gorgeous outdoor kitchens), one package pools, custom vinyl that imitates beautiful dentil moulding, but never needs painting. Go to one of these shows with an open mind and be ready to learn. The people in those booths have a wealth of information to share and it all comes with the price of ticket. Check out the latest craze and see if it is something that tickles your fancy. Your next step in home decorating might start there.
Happy hunting.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kitchen works!

Kitchens are the chaos capital of most homes. If your kitchen happens to have the most used entry into your home, the chaos doubles. At the entry, there should be a storage unit that everyone in the home dumps their STUFF!!! A bench with hooks and baskets that allows us to put down our purses, bookbags,coats and shoes when we walk through that door.
In today's kitchens there are tons of storage options that allows our countetops to be virtually clutter free. Pretty canisters, hutches, islands with shelves, baskets and tubs lets us keep our daily kitchen items out of sight.
Color in the kitchen is a great influencer to how people feel in this room. Color can influence appetite, moods and how we enjoy the space. I love bright, cheerful colors that allows me to enjoy this room that I spend lots of time in. Yellows and reds are always sharp colors for the entertaining, cooking, bill paying, homework area of the home. A touch of chocolate or black add the contrast that can give the room a cozy tuscan feel. Greens help to bring the outdoors in and ground the space.
I love to add texture in this room to offset the hard surfaces and shiny metals. A area rug under the kitchen table, fabric shades on the chanderlier, seat cushions, window treatments, and a beautiful runner in front of the stove and sink instead of the dinky rugs works to warm up any kitchen.
I love to cook and have a large collection of cookbooks. By design, most cookbooks are great looking and can be shown off as artwork. A baker's rack can be configured to hold cookbooks, pottery, some family photos and you now have a great display space and easy access to the newest recipes.
Today's kitchen is the heart of the home. We entertain, cook, work and come together at the end of a hard day to enjoy family and friends in this inviting space.
Have a Great Day!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Home Staging in the office

I haven't done a formal living room in ages. Homeowners have realized that a formal living room is wasted square footage. Like dining rooms, if the space is used only a couple of times a year, most of us can make better use of that space. My home office was my dining room and one day I realized that the dining room I had always wanted was used as a buffet line once or twice a year. The table only sat 6 and if we entertained, there was always more to sit than that. I did decide to use the dining room table as my desk. I turned the table to face the hallway and stored all of the dining room chairs. I moved my hutch into the kitchen an acquired more space and storage for the stuff I use in the kitchen. I had a old upper cabinet that was distressed and painted white that looks great in the office and holds a ton of stuff. Rheams of paper, fabrics, files, books,etc;
I placed a wire rack on wheels that I found at Costco to hold my fabric and trim books. A comfy chair, bookcase and personal artwork and the room was complete.
Think outside of your box. If the kids need a quiet space away from the family to get homework done, but like to be within hearing distance, create a space for them. A comfortable chair, end table and lamp with a couple of bookcases creates a library feel to the room. Think of a different flooring for this room and this helps create an ambiance. I removed the carpet and installed a flexible, fiber floor that imitates a chocolate colored bamboo. Awesome texture and the room is more functional for cleanup and for all the abuse I throw at it
Remember that this is one of the first rooms your guest see and there should be enough storage to hide most of the everyday stuff that you throw at it. The chocolate that was used in the family room is now the secondary color in the office. To soften the space I used Ben Moore's Smoke on the walls. The wonderful thing about this color is with my front porch shading this room in the afternoon, the color starts out baby blue and changes to soft green and finally a dove gray in the evening.
THREE COLORS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!!! How awesome is that. Make this room yours and you won't mind coming to work in your jammies every morning.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Home Staging for everyday use!

Home staging cont.-
Now that we have made it past the front door, we need to start looking at the first room that we come upon. Family room, home office, etc; I like to have the family room a place that company and family gravitate towards. A great color on the wall helps to set the tone. If this room is a long, narrow space that alot of homes have now, create 2 sitting areas that break up the bowling alley feel. Place the sofa on the long wall and a loveseat and tables or 2 chairs and an ottoman. Then, at the other end of the room, create another sitting area with a chaise lounge or club chair and ottoman. These spaces allow for a group to feel comfortable and you can pull the extra chair into the space for more sitting. I love the bookshelves that give plenty of storage and function for the room. If you don't have built-ins, there are plenty of shelves on the market that are different heights and depths and dress those shelves to be decorative as well as functional. Lighting is also key to an inviting look. Customers love ceiling fans and designers hate them. No one should use the overhead lighting, unless you have lost a small child in the room and no one has a flashlight. It is harsh and unflattering and that is the reason for accent lamps. Make sure that the lamp is high enough to cast light on the reading material of who would sit in that spot. Buffet lamps help to give a soft glow to accent tables and usually don't have to be functional. Pillows, artwork and a area rug and this is one pulled together room.
Kids stuff can be stored in beautiful baskets, trunks and even in coffee tables. There are great items available that lets all the stuff we don't want to see but have to have, out of sight. Even for the drop in mother-in-law, that room can look awesome.
Magazines and paperwork are the same, out of sight, out of mind. Declutter,organize and throw away will be the best way to keep that room together.
Next blogging will move on to the home office.
Happy Decorating