Thursday, January 24, 2013

Big Impact...Small Price!!!

After my last post, I found that people LOVE budget decorating...who doesn't really?! Here are some more budget friendly design tips, that I use on MANY of my projects, and in my own home!

1. Supply the Storage Yourself
No matter how well your place is decorated, organization is key to showing off your great designs. Building a desk, shelves or closet doors is an inexpensive way to get your clutter out of sight.

2. Build a Headboard
Headboards are the perfect combination of form and function and create the perfect focal point for your bedroom that grounds the space and sets the tone for the entire decor. The can be made from anything really. See some other ideas here.

3. Assign Furnishings to Double Duty
Save money and conquer a small space by having everything serve a dual purpose. Make or buy ottomans with built-in storage or use twin mattresses’ as “sofa” cushions that function as an extra place for guests to sleep.

4. Divide and Conquer Efficiently
Break down big spaces by creating zones expensively with dividers or artwork.

5. Find Your Hidden Canvases
See past boring closet doors to the fresh, clean canvases crying out for decoration. Turn old mirror closet doors around with fabric to add a soft, stylish alternative. You could also transform surfaces like this with modern artwork.

6. Put the Ceiling to Work
Don’t forget the "fifth wall". Paint the ceiling, add beams or install a fun light fixture that continues the design upward. It’s a great, inexpensive way to get more design mileage out of a room.

7. Do the Unexpected
Use an old classic chandelier that you had laying around or found at a thrift store, and give it new life. Clean it up, paint it in a bold, high glass color and hang it in an unexpected place, like a powder room.

8. Buy Some Extra Space on the Cheap
Make low ceilings look higher by placing furniture vertically so that the eye follows the line up. And make windows look taller by mounting draperies high on the wall.




Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10 Budget Friendly Ways to Change Your Space!

With the new year upon us, are you feeling the need to re-vamp your home? Here are some tips that I found online, that I thought were great ideas, and DON'T COST A THING...Bonus!!
1. Frame a magazine or book illustration:
Books and magazines are a great source for vibrant pictures. If you are like me, you have tons of magazines stacked on your coffee table (as decor, of course), so why not put them to good use- just cut pages out neatly and pop them into any blank frame for instant artwork!
2. Re-purpose fabric remnants as art:
If you do any sewing or crafting, I am willing to bet you have some pretty fabric pieces in your stash, just waiting for the right home. Stretch a larger piece over a blank canvas, and place it in a frame.

3. Use your throws in a fresh way:
Instead of always folding them at the foot of the bed or over the arm of a chair, try using your throws to change the look of your furniture with a bit of strategic folding and tucking. Try wrapping the loose cushion of your sofa with a throw, or lay a throw folded in thirds across the back and seat of a chair.

4. Color code your bookshelves:
Bookshelves looking a bit boring? Spend a winter afternoon rearranging your tomes by the color of their spines rather than the contents for a change. Bonus: It will give you an excuse to peruse all of your favorite old books!

5. Put the silver on display:
Whether or not you have silver, most of us have something we consider "too good" for everyday use. Consider putting some of your favorite pieces on display where you can enjoy looking at them daily. Float a flower in a teacup by the sink or gather fruit on a pretty cake plate on the counter.

6. Paper a wall in old maps:
Make your own wallpaper by decoupaging maps directly onto a freshly cleaned wall. Use maps of your area or nautical maps, or mix and match maps from places you have traveled to. If maps aren't your thing, tear out pages from an old book, or use pictures that have been ticked away in a box somewhere.

7. Remove a door and create a hideaway office:
Even a tiny closet can be transformed into a workspace. Replacing the door with a curtain will help the nook feel more inviting and give you a bit more space — and you'll still be able to close off the "room".

8. Hang artwork on your shelves:
A favorite of designers, like myself. This simple trick can make a room feel more sophisticated in an instant. A small painting allows you to still access the books around it.

9. Swap out accent furniture from room to room:
 I like to call the "shopping the house". Small furniture (side tables, stools, slipper chairs) is easy to move, and a simple swap can completely change the feel of a room. Try a side table from the living room in the entryway and a narrow entry table behind the sofa.
10. Reuse glass jars for flowers:Embellish small glass jars with colorful ribbon to make an instant collection of bud vases. Line up three, five or more down the middle of your dining table for an easy, casual centerpiece.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

10 Design Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your Kitchen

A lot of life happens in the kitchen. No matter how different our lifestyles may be, a lot of activity revolves around the kitchen: Cooking , preparing a quick snack, eating breakfast or a 3-course dinner with family or friends. Not only do we socialize in the kitchen, getting together with family and friends over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, the kitchen is one place that needs to be both beautiful and functional. This raises a double challenge of do’s and dont’s in kitchen design.

1. Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen triangle.
Us designers refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle which are the area of greatest activity which requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your countertop workstations.
2. Don’t waste storage space.
Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but items often concealed behind built-in kitchen cabinet doors can be oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your kitchen stuff while keeping it easily accessible can be a tricky proposition. Think about installing open shelves on an unused wall where you can nicely display your dishes or glasses to free up some concealed cabinet space.
3. Don’t ignore counter-top work space.
One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter-tops. Consider all the kitchen activities that require a counter-top, as well as appliances that are permanently located there, you might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible. This may be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen or open shelving to an used wall. This will allow more space to display your dishes or glassware and leave the concealed storage for your larger, more unsightly items. 
 4. Poor lighting.
The kitchen is one room where you can’t afford to have poor lighting. It’s not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also a safety matter when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware. Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting, and accent lighting. For the kitchen you especially should evaluate the work areas and focus on how you can provide each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main working areas, use pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants in areas where these can enhance the lighting and beauty of the kitchen.
 5. Don’t forgo a back-splash.
While budgeting or designing a new kitchen or kitchen remodel, sometimes the backsplash considerations slip to the end of the list. This is one mistake that saves you money on the short term, but on the long run costs you a lot of time and effort. Imagine the steam, high humidity and grease content in the kitchen and you will understand why installing a backsplash behind the oven and extending it above all the counters throughout the kitchen is a smart idea. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile, metal, or plastic, than wall paint or wallpaper.
 6. Don’t forget to ventilate.
Effective ventilation systems help extend the life of your appliances and although they can be an investment, if you have a kitchen that opens to a living area or family room, they will make life easier, cleaner and more pleasant for everyone. 
 7. Don’t choose a wrong kitchen island.
When it comes to kitchen islands we generally think of additional storage, preparation and serving space in the kitchen, but the fact of the matter is that kitchen islands can waste a lot space. Choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can be a disaster, especially in a work area that can get over cluttered.  At minimum, an island should be 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep, but it must also have room for people to move and work around it. Specialists recommend that unless the kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and more than 12 feet long, one shouldn’t even consider an island.
8. Don’t ignore your recyclables.
These days, with the advent of recycling, dealing with trash in kitchen design has gone beyond sticking a bin under the sink. As recycling is here to stay, be prepared to manage your trash efficiently and incorporate trash sorting bins into your kitchen design.

9. Avoid being too trendy.
Although it’s not necessarily a mistake, choosing the latest kitchen designs and high-end equipment may not be the best of choices. The most stylish color of the season and trendy designs have a short half-life, and you may never get your return on large investments in the latest kitchenware.
10. Invest in a professional.
Taking over a kitchen design project on your own to save money is a common mistake which can waste more money, time and energy. There are some jobs where, for safety and quality work, a professional is not a whim. Designers possess the latest resources, trends, ideas, and manufacturer’s details to help you identify your specific needs and translate those details into an efficient plan according to your taste.

Courtesy of Freshome




Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Emerald Green- Pantone Color of the Year

Where fashion goes, home decor soon follows, and last year emerald green kept popping up on runways. Now, it’s trending in interior design portfolios. This jewel-tone provides a rich backdrop and a touch of elegant sophistication when used for accessorizing. I hope you like some of my favorite luxe emerald green rooms that are sure to inspire.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Design Trends for 2013

Despite its negative reputation, the number 13 doesn't always have to be unlucky. I think it is going to be AMAZING!
 I found this article and thought it was a great list of fun and fresh design trends trends for 2013 from design experts, manufacturers and trend forecasters across the country.

#1 Color: Emerald Green for 2013

Its softer-hued palette of Dusk Blue, Lemon Zest, African Violet, Grayed Jade, Linen and Tender Shoots is emboldened by Monaco Blue, Poppy Red, Emerald and Nectarine—the lively, lush Emerald is Pantone's color pick for 2013. 

 #2 Kitchens:

New kitchens are on tap for 2013. Value-oriented remodels will remain popular, with homeowners incorporating existing flooring, fixtures, cabinets and/or appliances into their design plans to save money and retain favorite design elements.
#3 LED Lighting:

Energy-efficient LED products will continue to dominate lighting, and will be prevalent in coves, tray ceilings, toekicks, and under and above cabinets. 

#4 Home Furnishings: Heavy Metal and Reclaimed Wood

Home furnishings will shine in 2013. New metals such as rose gold and gun metal will be mixed, and pierced, hammered and oxidized textural metals will be especially popular. Vendors will add metal to their wood pieces, and faux animal print metallics will provide texture and reflective light in the textiles arena.

#5 Home Interiors: Keep Comfortable

Adding an on-trend color such as cranberry or velvety chocolate to a soothing palette of muted tones and delicate detailing creates timeless interiors, and incorporating vintage pieces fosters a sense of nostalgia, heritage and solidity.

#6 Flooring: Porcelain Tile

One of the biggest style trends of the year will be porcelain tile that emulates the look of hardwood in high-traffic areas, offering the natural beauty of wood with the long-lasting durability and ease of maintenance of tile.

 #7 Repositionable Wallpaper: A Great Decor Idea
Repositionable wallpaper is a decorating mainstay and will become increasing popular. Companies like Sherwin Williams, features peel and stick wallpaper that can be reused hundreds of times without losing adhering qualities…talk about going green in design!

Courtesy of Brandpoint

 It's going to be a GREAT YEAR!