I Want That

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!

Nursery Ideas

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

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A Healthy Lifestyle

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.

 

Best Finishes for your Kitchen

This article is a gold mine of information! Everything you’ve always wanted to know about the best finishes for your kitchen. All here, in this one place!

Not only are you told what finishes are best, but you’re told why and then given a second runner-up option as well. I love that window coverings are addressed which helps explain why I never recommend soft or fabric-based treatments in a kitchen. There’s even a link for “how to clean stainless steel” since that’s often the #1 complaint for those beautiful appliances.

Check out this article by @SamFerris….he’s done all the research for you!

 

Let’s Clean Up the Laundry Room

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!

 

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.

 

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…

 

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!