Dorm Room Contests

Wait…is this really a thing??? Had I known there was potentially prize money and bragging rights, I would have pushed my daughter to take her dorm room design to the next level!

Some of the ideas in this article are very creative and inspiring. While other ideas make no sense to me. Why would I put astro-turf on the wall next to my bed? Ouch! Some of the rooms had me wondering whether or not these people had a roommate to blend their style with.

While sharing a small room with another person is challenging, you also need to make sure there’s a place for all of your stuff. Then an even bigger challenge is having appropriate storage that keeps all functional items out of sight. This becomes essential when you have a student trying to create a calm, relaxing, zen-like space. Clutter becomes chaos pretty quickly especially in a dorm room that functions as your bedroom, living room, dining room, study room and closet all-in-one!

While there’s a lot of hoopla surrounding decked out dorm rooms, the most important factor is that your student feels comfortable. I tried to steer my daughter away from an all white comforter, but that was the crisp, clean vibe she was going for. The good news is that she knows how to use a laundry machine.

Cheers to a great school year! Go Dukes!

 

Appearing Bigger is always Better

Quite often a challenge arises when a room is much smaller than the client’s vision for the space. A client sees enough comfortable seating for visiting family and friends while a designer sees all the physical parameters including window walls, a fireplace, 2 doorways entering the room, etc.  This is where the right furniture and finishes make a huge difference in helping a room feel larger than it is.

Designers use lots of “tricks” to achieve certain goals within a space. This article gives some great suggestions to keep in mind if you’ve got a tight space you’re working with.

Along with painting ceilings Bright White, I use #5 and #10 regularly. These are some of my best kept secrets!

 

Secrets for a Brilliant Bedroom

Some bedrooms are sprawling with a few distinct spaces within. Many of us would love a cozy reading area in front of a fireplace and a writing desk in front of a large window in addition to a separate area with a big fluffy bed for sleeping. While others prefer a cozy room that is a relaxing retreat for sleeping only.

Whichever type of space you prefer, this article offers excellent ideas for your bedroom design. Idea #8 is a trick I use all the time as it adds visual cohesiveness to a room or even a house.

 

Where To Splurge in Home Decor

My clients are forever asking where they should save money and where they should splurge when designing their home. My #1 answer…drum roll please…is splurge on your furniture! This is where you sit, you sleep, you work, you eat. These are the items you use daily. They need to be high quality, durable and comfortable. As a Designer I’m going to want them to be attractive, too!

I’m also big on lighting because it’s functional but can take on the form of art within a space. Lighting sets moods, conveys styles and adds depth to a room. So we splurge here, too.

This article gives a great picture of common places to splurge versus save when designing your space.

 

Inspiration While Traveling

Traveling has many benefits for me. Experiencing new places. Eating at new restaurants. Meeting new people. Seeing new sights. But as a designer, I probably most enjoy being inspired by new environments.

Staying in boutique hotels is one of my favorite places to enjoy the creativity of other interior designers. I’m constantly snapping pics of lighting, tile, artwork, fabric, seating moments, whole rooms and tiny details. I bring back these pieces of inspiration to share with others.

Check out this article where people have incorporated their hotel experiences into beautiful new makeovers in their own homes…

 

Design Rules Are Made To Be Broken

Every client, every house, every space and every situation is unique. Here’s an excellent article from Houzz regarding cabinet height in kitchens. There are a multitude of reasons why you won’t hang your upper cabinets 18″ above the countertops. We always start with the standard rule, but we often move from there due to specific uses or design elements.

 

Time Is Money

I’m a firm believer in using time wisely. This is a great article for clients on being prepared for their interior design consultation meetings. For #5, I suggest clients check out my Pinterest Boards for inspiration and then create some of their own to help them find their style. The boards are extremely helpful as we design their space – a great reference tool!

 

Kitchen Renovating

A kitchen is the most used room in your house. It gets the most traffic, gathers the most people and sets the tone for your lifestyle. The kitchen is also the #1 interior item that sells a home.

Here’s a great article of things to consider before you plan a kitchen renovation:

 

Kid Space

One of our favorite areas to design in a home is the “Kid Space”.  There tends to be more whimsy in the design as imaginations soar.  Colors, fabrics and patterns are often bright, bold and playful.  Basically, we get to be kids again!

from nytimes.com

from nytimes.com

Our philosophy is that form always follows function, so the most important aspect of our design is that we meet the client’s needs.  We believe there are 3 main functions of a “Kid Space” and we design accordingly.

#1  All kids need to read (or be read to), so make sure to incorporate a comfy spot with books close at hand.

#2  All kids need to develop fine motor skills so let’s make it fun!  Drawing, coloring, painting, building blocks and legos are all great ways to help master those skills.  Your “Kid Space” should definitely have an area for this type of creativity.

#3  All kids develop socially through imaginative play.  In your design, include an area as simple as a box with dress-up and costumes or as elaborate as tents, kitchen sets and pretend workshops with tools.

There’s nothing more inviting than a sweet space for kids where their imaginations can run wild!

from vogue.com

from vogue.com

One last tip…Make sure you hang or display all the masterpieces and creations.  Kid art trumps all design rules!

Design By Nature

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There is a reason that nature is so beautiful. There is a reason that it awes and inspires us. Nature was created for us to live in and enjoy. Unless you choose to live in the great outdoors, we suggest a simpler approach to enjoying nature. Let’s bring some of the nature inside!

We can be as creative or as subtle as we want. Bring a bright floral fabric to an accent chair or install pebble tiles on your shower floor. Many of us may have wooden floors in our homes, but have you thought about accenting your walls with twigs or branches? A vase full of bright fresh flowers or potted plants may seem like an obvious solution, but a wall of birch trees wallpaper can be a welcomed surprise.

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We love artwork that represents nature. Choose photographed landscapes, vibrant colored paintings of flowers or the calming tones of waterscapes. A natural wood table brings warmth into any room. Check out where you can find great reclaimed options in your area. And don’t forget the many ways stone can bring beauty into a space: walls, floors, fireplace surrounds, frames and accessories.

Be creative with how you bring nature into your home.  Just go outside, see what you are drawn to, then take some steps to creating the ultimate nature-inspired space!

Check out our Nature Board on Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/intbydesign5/nature/