Homework is no joke these days! At a recent Back-To-School-Night, my son’s chemistry teacher said the kids should expect an hour of homework every night. I’m sorry…say what? That’s one class out of 7 and some kids are in sports or clubs with practice and activities every day. I remember a similar night for one of my kid’s teachers in elementary school where a parent was asking why they didn’t have homework. Um…because they’re in first grade. Duh! Once the homework years roll in, there’s a lot of it and it’s best to get in some good habits early.
Finding or creating the perfect spot to do homework is easy but keeping that space clutter free can be the challenge. By easy I mean people have natural places they go to that’s comfortable or inviting, where they can be productive. For some it’s in the hub of the household – a kitchen table or the central island. For others (like myself) it’s a bright but quiet desk area.
Having bins or drawers or shelves near a favorite site for studying helps keep tools, papers and books handy. Being able to put everything away neatly and easily helps keep people like me sane. This article in Houzz has some fantastic ideas. My favorite is the sneaky shelf hidden under the kitchen island top. So clever!
I love it when I’m right! Nothing like having your design sense affirmed by a bunch of other professionals. Check out this article and the favorite grays used by interior designers.
#1 is my all time favorite and go-to gray. Ask any of my clients. Even the name Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams sounds inviting. As if that wasn’t enough, the list goes on to include my other top choices…#3, #5 and #8.
Most people are pushing for summer barbecues, but my favorite time of year for an outdoor party is the fall. Typically the fall means cooler days, cooler evenings, less pollen and less bugs. Plus the weather is much more conducive to enjoying a fire pit.
Check out this fun article on how to create a great outdoor space for entertaining:
Inviting friends and family is the easy part so take a little time to figure out the details. Think about the flow of the space, add extra seating groups and make sure you have good lighting. Food and drinks are important but don’t forget about the music – Spotify has lots of great playlists. Definitely add in a s’mores moment if there are kids involved. Although adults will love this, too.
Your guests will be delighted and hopefully be inspired to host a backyard party of their own and invite you!
I love everything about this kitchen…literally everything! Look at the “before photo” and see where this room started. The transformation is beautiful and inspiring which all design should be (in my humble opinion).
Houzz does such a great job of exposing us to excellent design and ideas from around the world.
These homeowners in Atlanta, GA re-purposed some space to add concentrated storage areas and more windows. The vintage vibe of the tile mixed with the rustic woods adds warmth to the room. The lighting is a special surprise – swing-arm sconces in a kitchen? What? The custom hood pulls everything together on the focal wall.
This kitchen is a lovely gathering space for family and friends!
And No, it’s not something you put on salad… A vignette is just a fancy term for what I like to call a “Moment”. I’m sure that really clears things up! As I walk through a client’s house I’m always quick to say “I love this moment you’ve created here” as I wave my hand over some table or mantle or chair. They typically look very confused. I assure them it’s a compliment.
A vignette is a variety of items placed together to create a focal point or an area of visual interest. The items are different in nature and size and scale and texture and purpose. But when put together in a grouping they compliment each other to create an interesting visual moment. There’s that word again…
If you’re interested in creating a vignette in your own space, check out this article with the ABC’s of how to pull it off.
This article from HGTV is full of the best, most calming nursery designs. I’ve always thought it strange to have a nursery made to be so girl or boy specific. What if you have more than one pregnancy? What if the ultrasound technician was wrong? What if you have twins or triplets?
I’ve always been a fan of the more neutral nursery…the grays, the khakis, the whites, the creams…such soothing palettes. Most time spent in a nursery is relaxing, napping, nursing, sleeping, reading, rocking or sleeping time for a baby. Active play areas can have more vibrant and excitable colors.
Whether you’re intentionally trying to create a gender-neutral space or a simply tranquil room, your baby (or babies) will enjoy a calming nursery design! Check out some of these nursery inspirations
The #1 resolution at the beginning of a New Year is always health related. I want to eat better, lose a few pounds, workout more, etc. The question is: How will I set myself up for success? Personally, I’d like to hire a nutritionist, a chef, a trainer and a house-keeper as long as we’re dreaming!
Being a realist, I’d say let’s start with the resolution that will have the best impact…exercising. If we can get exercise into our daily/weekly life, then we will also mentally feel better. And that will encourage us to eat a more healthy diet. Soon we’ll be feeling so good that the motivation to maintain this healthier lifestyle will come much more easily. Once we have a new way of living our New Year Resolutions can modify to something really fun…like traveling more!
Now that you’re ready to workout regularly, set-up a space in your home dedicated to exercising. This article is great for thinking through what your home gym should look like based on how you enjoy working out. Give yourself room to move around, mirrors, plenty of light and a view, TV or stereo to keep yourself entertained.
The laundry room in my last house almost caused a divorce. Well…maybe that’s a little dramatic, but it was one of the top reasons we moved. Maybe if I’d read this article sooner and had more than 36 sq. feet to work with we would still live there. In my defense the laundry room was also the room between our garage and the kitchen, so you can imagine the shoes and coats and bags and sports gear and laundry all piled up to be tripped over constantly. Like I said…that was our last house!
I love good Before and After photos and this article has plenty. One thing I always suggest to clients is that they make the laundry bright and inviting. You’re going in there to take care of a mundane task so the space should be pleasant. Make sure it’s functional and organized and there’s a place to store everything – out of site if possible.
Check out the Before picture on the 3rd example. I’ll be curious to know if you shake your head too!
Clients often get nervous when it comes to selecting tile. It’s much more permanent than paint or lighting or furniture. When the stakes feel high people often opt for the more neutral choice. They typically ask for a white tile. The good news is that there are so many fabulous white tiles out there that offer texture, dimension or pattern. That’s how I help my clients keep their designs interesting.
I love the tiles and their applications in this article! So much design inspiration here…
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!