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:

 

Feature Walls

 

 

One of the most dramatic ways to make a design statement is to create a feature wall.  This could be a focal wall in a room such as a bed wall or sofa wall.  This could be a main wall in a foyer.  This could be a technique to pull a wall toward you. Whatever your need or preference, a feature wall is always a great addition to your space!

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http://www.burnhamdesign.com/portfolio/whittier_drive.php

A darker paint color, an intricate tile pattern, reclaimed wood planks can each be used to create a spectacular feature wall.  The above 3-D wall was created by making a fretwork-like pattern with wood trim pieces and then painting walls and trim one color.

A dining room can often easily host a feature wall due to the minimal furniture. Below is an example of a wooden wall that adds much warmth and texture to the space.

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http://www.desiretoinspire.net/blog/2011/10/2/walls-of-wood.html

Feature walls can be simple or complicated, but the effect is similar.  They will bring visual interest to your room or space and will help create an atmosphere.  And that’s what great design does!

Check out more of our favorite feature walls on Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/intbydesign5/walls/

 

 

 

Wall Art

Some of the best surfaces to accessorize in a room are the walls.  We love to create galleries of framed artwork.  When grouped together the framed art can achieve the look of one larger piece of art.

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There are a few simple rules to keep in mind when creating a grouping like the one pictured.  The use of similar frames and matting for each piece creates visual continuity.  A grouping works best if all of the subject matter is similar.   For example, a collection of all family photos going up your stairwell creates a beautiful gallery.  A grouping of all your favorite travel moments or interesting architectural details or black and white cityscapes would create just the right visual harmony for this type of wall art grouping.

Remember to think outside of the box.  Not all art needs to be framed.  A collection of wrapped canvas artwork has a stunning 3-D quality when grouped together on a wall.

If you keep these simple rules in mind, then your are bound to create a masterpiece!

We found this inspirational photo at blog.foundstyle.net.