Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Closet Fit For a Queen

You've heard that the most important areas of your home are the kitchen and bathrooms, right? I think a close third place is the master closet.  Closet makers have truly honed their craft, indulging fashionista's of all budgets.  Below are some fabulous closets....Let's take a moment to dream, shall we?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Window Wonderland

Do you ever find yourself looking over a PotteryBarn catalog and love everything one the page, but can't figure out what makes it so perfect? Like even if you bought everything in the room, yours would still not look as good.  As you may have guessed, those rooms have been beautifully staged with architectural elements most of us don't have in our homes.  Something that can get completely overlooked, yet make a surprisingly big impact are windows.  
Let's have a brief lesson on your window options....

Picture Window
A window that is large and meant to capture a view.  These windows don't open.

StoreFront Window
Typically non-residential, but they are becoming quite popular for modern homes.  They typically start closer to the floor than traditional windows, and go higher.  They don't use decorative millions and look best spanned across a home.

Clerestory Windows
These windows are very high. On the interior, they usually hug the ceiling.  Typically they run in long rectangular rows.  These windows are a great option to get light into a dark space.  The higher the window, the brighter the sunlight coming in will be. 

Hopper windows
These windows tilt, rather than slide open.  They are most popular in basements and attics where you are less likely to have a tall window.  They are a totally unique look, and as the photo below shows, they don't need to be confined to secondary areas.

Jalousie Windows
I think Florida when I hear jalousie windows.  They are great for ventilation because you can open virtually the entire window expanse.  There isn't a stationary part, as with most windows.

Double Hung Windows
These windows can open two different ways, from the top or bottom.  They have two sashes, which allow for two different directions the window can open.

Casement Windows
The easiest way to remember these windows is that they open like a door.  They have hinges on one side, and are a great ventilation option!

Transom windows
Transoms really serve two purposes, they let in more light, and also make the window (or door) look bigger and more substantial.  Some are operable, but most are stationary.

Photo Credits:,,,,, hgtv,,,, 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Picking the Perfect Paint Color

Painting a room or piece of furniture can be the easiest, most inexpensive way to transform a space.  Yet oddly, picking the right paint color can be somewhat of a challenge.  Here are a couple tips, and options on schemes that may help you get your color right the first time.

Exterior Paint Colors
The thing you want to look for when dealing with outdoor paint colors are tones.  Tones are colors mixed with grey.  These colors are more earthy and will blend in with your landscaping better.  Below are some good examples....

Ok let's move inside the house, and start with a "field color".  This is a common term meaning your color everywhere with the exception of accent walls.  Most every beige will lean pink or green.  It's a good idea to hold the swatch against something stark white, this will give you a true read.  The pink and green tinge can work to your advantage.  Say you live against a very green mountain, and everything in your home has a green tint, this is when you'd want to pull in its compliment and go for the pink tinge.  Ok so you've found the perfect color, now you need to decide on the finish.  The cleanest look is eggshell on the walls, and the same color, but in flat, on the ceiling.  White ceilings are outdated. Here are some one tone rooms....

Field color? Check.  Time for an accent wall.  This will all depend on what is happening in the rest of the space.  A couple of tips though will come from basic color theory.  Warmer tones, reds especially, will make the space feel smaller.  Warm tones feel closer to you than cool ones.  Therefore, if you have a small powder bath, opt for a pale, cool color.  When painting furniture, don't underestimate visual weight!  Two identical pieces can look very different.  A black or dark piece will look so much bigger and clunkier than the same piece painted white.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lighting Design Tips

Today was a job site day for me.  Our ultra contemporary house is getting ready for lighting, so I was working off the lighting plan and placing all the cans, pendants, etc in their correct place.  Lighting design has become my niche in the firm I work is so important for the space!

Every design magazine will tell you to layer lighting.  Have general can lighting, then decorative, more ambient fixtures.  Task lighting is also important, being under cabinet lighting as well as mono point pins in the ceiling.  Lastly, and I like to have to do feature lighting.  This is how you can highlight or emphasize an architectural piece.  Below are some good examples of well lit spaces and cool fixtures...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Purist Interior Designer

I have a fascinating couple my company is working with on a modern new build.  They are purists to the core, and I'm really learning a lot from their sophisticated eye.  Many would look at their finishes and complain it's too boring, but as I think about the finished product, I understand how clean the space will feel.  It's a funny thing that they are educating me, as much as I am educating them.  I have just never been apart of such a simple, timeless look.  Below are scenes similar to the ones we will be creating for our client.  It truly is about symmetry and restraint. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kid Friendly Interiors

My favorite rooms to design are for children, give me a bedroom or playroom any day.  You can be as bold as you dare with color, pattern, and scale.  I highly encourage wallpaper or stencils to provide a playful backdrop.  Take a look at these fun wall coverings.....

Ok so now you've found an awesome wallpaper, time to start building off it.  Pick an accent color out of the paper, and paint a piece of furniture this color.  I like to pick a bright color for the accent, navy doesn't have the impact that lime green can.  You can also use this step as a money saver.  Get an old piece from a second hand store and give it a fresh coat of pint.

Lighting can make a big impact in a child's bedroom or playroom.  I try not to get anything super "theme-y", but I typically go for something with color and a larger scale.  These are some of my favorites...

Lastly, add a bit of whimsy.  Anything to make your child's room more unique and show their personality will do just fine.

Photo Credits:, rosenberry rooms,,, apartment, better homes and garden,, land of nod,,,