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.

 

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!

 

Outstanding White Tile

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…

 

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!

 

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!

 

Transformation of the Week

Now this is how you transform a bathroom!

If you have a good bathroom layout, then one of the most cost-effective tricks is to not move any of the plumbing. The new cabinetry around the toilet is a great use of space adding tons of extra storage. The large frameless walk-in shower expands the visual size of the room dramatically.

This bathroom gets an A+.

 

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!

MH23XB18

MH23XB18

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.

Oct2avotakka.fi5751361338_bd2aa1247a_b

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/

 

 

 

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!