Thursday, November 20, 2008

Colorful Rooms for Kids

Kids rooms are a great place to get bold with color and kids love it. I really like the mix and match window treatments in the photo above, it's creative and fun yet most wouldn't be brave enough to try something like this, being the matchy- matchy society we often are.... It's well done in this young girls room. Experimenting with window treatments in this way could be a whole lot of fun and a great way to introduce layers of color, texture and pattern. One tip for making this work well is making sure all of the window treatments have a common ingredient so they relate to one another, rather than compete with each other. (think color, line and pattern)

The room below is also way fun! The chair back made from skis and valances made from college pennants give it that special and personal touch. Makes me want to rework my own son's room...a constant work in process anyway. (cleaning process!)

Below, a seaside room with a terrific view which is more mellow than those above but ever so cheery. Blues and greens work together to create a soothing effect and the sundrenched yellow walls make it a very happy looking room.

Last, check out the painted trim in the bedroom below. This is something worth trying! What a great blue they chose.

Photos from Southern Living

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Curve Appeal

I love seeing interior and exterior curved elements on a house. The curve, or arch, is feminine, soft, elegant and interesting and such a nice change from the commonly found square and rectangular shapes found throughout our homes. Trendir featured these ridiculously gorgeous curved kitchen islands by Alessi. Aren't they just to die for? Makes my kitchen seem so plain....

Women in particular respond well to curved lines and will notice and admire an arched doorway or window before their husband even notices it's there! Not to mean men don't like curves...I know plenty who do ( no pun intended ; ) ) but it's the feminine reflection that we women instantly relate to and appreciate. Creating an arched doorway within the home is fairly affordable and adds character and softness. Arched windows are lovely to look at. I prefer to see the arched section of the window uncovered and a window treatment ( if needed) only on the lower portion of the window.

There are other curved shapes to be had for fireplaces, stairways, tile with graphic or textured curves etc.

If you're headed towards a remodel you may want to give your house some curve appeal. You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Busy Bee!

I have been busy as a bee with no time to spare lately! I was crazed with finals in school up until a few weeks ago then my son graduated kindergarten and had his 6th Birthday Bash on June 14th. I hoped I would have had some time to catch my breath by now but no such luck!! Work mode has been in high gear and I've been swamped with 12 and 14 hour work days. Summer is the busy season in home improvement and as a single mom to boot, there isn't much free time! Winter is always slower but this fall I'll be back in school so I'm afraid my social life will continue to suffer..oh well, could be worse!

I miss visiting some of my favorite blogs too but finally spent a few minutes tonight doing just that. SfgirlByBay is one of my most favorite blogs. San Francisco based Victoria, the authoress, has so many awesome posts to do with interior design, vintage style and great san francisco finds. I loved how she put this space plan together for one of her readers.
She also shared a link which you might want to visit if you want to experiment with a new space plan yourself. check out Icovia and give their free trial a whirl. I haven't used this one personally but it looks nice. Working with a room in this way ( on paper or on screen) can give you some fresh ideas and it's a lot of fun!

Decor 8 is holding a mood board contest which has some gorgeous entries from all over the world. If you're looking for design inspiration, these boards will be a great resource for you. You might feel like starting your own, which is a great way to help you get clear on your design ideas. It's fun to see all these boards, the different styles and uses of color, wish I had time to view them all.

Print + Pattern has an open call for entries for an upcoming book to be published by Laurence King. If you're a designer, illustrator, student or whatever with a talent for surface design you should visit the link and see if there is something you want to enter. The print + pattern blog is fun to visit. I always find some inspiration there.

Hope you all are having a great summer!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

That's Clever!

I love what Front Design did with this everyday pedestrian white plastic chair. Who hasn't owned one of these at some point or another? I admit I have and it didn't look this good! It's fun to see. (via Design Spotter)

Below check out Pixel Tape, a cool and fun way to create messages, signage and more...if you have the time to mess around! You just black out the pixels with a marker to create your chosen text. Follow the link to see the utube video.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Interior Sun Protection

Here in Marin, summer is making it's debut and it's a great time to think about window coverings that will protect your furnishings, rugs and other interior items. There are a lot of options for sun protection including solar shades, cellular shades, drapes, blinds and shutters. The price for quality window coverings is small compared to loosing thousands in furniture, art and accessories to sun fading and drying.

For the month of May, you can save 30% on solar shades,cellulars and blinds, including all Hunter Douglas products, and 20% on composite or wood interior shutters.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Purple in the Kitchen

I wanted to add these pics to the Decorating With Purple files for added inspiration for those of you flirting wth purple. Purple in the kitchen in not common place but I do like the above sleek and modern kitchen with it's ever so pale purple walls. (via HGTV) Below purple hits the cabinets in high gloss. (via google images)

And last is a fun and creative kitchen in purple, blues and greens. Via MirrorMirror

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'll be hanging out with my little biker dude. ; )

Sunday, April 06, 2008

2nd Place: Red

Red came in 2nd place via the poll recently held here. Red is a fun color to work with and I certainly can understand how some may be reluctant to paint walls red for fear of it being overpowering or too loud. Above (top) is Benjamin Moore's Red Oxide, picture via Apartment Therapy. What a great looking room. The walls have such a nice warm glow yet the color does not overwhelm or overpower everything else in the room. 2nd from the top is Farrow and Ball's Blazer red. The walls aren't too loud as the navy area rug tones down the red and makes the room feel more grounded. Below is Benjamin Moore's Spring Tulip, a pink red. The color is much more pronounced and becomes the main feature of the room. It's a matter of personal taste.

Below are some nice reds from Benjamin Moore's Aura line, a low VOC paint.

I love the Pomegranite and the Caliente is nice too. There are several neutrals shown that would work well as companion colors. Using a muted or dulled red will prevent your walls from being too loud. First decide whether you prefer a yellow based red or a blue based red. The yellow based reds are warmer and some are shown on the top row below. Blue based reds are shown on the bottom row below.

If you've been wanting a red room or just a red accent wall then you should give it a try. Red walls envelop a room, making it feel cozy and intimate. A dining room is a great place to try red and subdued reds also work well in living areas. You should start with a duller red and go brighter or more saturated if you feel like it. It's easier to add color than to cover it up. Reserve your judgment of the red until you bring your furniture and accessories back into the room as those other items will make a big difference.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Inspiration Found

I was inspired by a post on Anna Spiro's lovely blog, Absolutely Beautiful Things where she shared images of a note card given to her by a close friend for her 30th Birthday. It reads, "She designed a life she loved" ~ so simple, so sweet. I just loved that and since I have an embroidery machine I whipped up a few hats with the quote on the front. I think they look sweet. I'll be giving a few away to my fellow classmates in my Architecture class at the end of the semester. I think they're going to love them.

Thanks to Anna! And her friend! I'm saving some hats for you both and will send them right away!
; ) It may take a few weeks via pony express to get to you in Australia but they will get there!!

Small, heartfelt gestures, like the note card, can go a long way. ; )

If you haven't visited Anna's Design Blog yet, then you really should check her out! ; )

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fascinating Bioscleave House

Sometimes there are some real surprises waiting for me in my inbox. This morning, from ASID's Design Daily, was an article about a most interesting and unique architectural project that I want to share with you. This house is sure to raise many eyebrows, turn many heads and has already been creating a huge buzz in East Hampton, New York. Artists Arakawa and wife Madelin Gins designed the Bioscleave house (Life Extending Villa) to defy mortality and extend the human lifespan. The house is full of surprises with eneven and shifting floors, outlets, windows and other items are placed in unexpected locations all designed to challenge the inhabitant(s) and make him/her stop and think in ways they haven't thought before. The idea is that these sorts of challenges stimulate the immune system and thus extend the lifespan. Read all about this fascinating project and this interesting husband and wife design team, via the New York Times, right here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Planet Green

Via the Dwell Blog, a new T.V. Show is looking for those who have contributed to the green movement! Check it out.

"If you’ve contributed to the green movement or invented something that makes the world a little more sustainable, there's a new television network that wants to hear your story.

In June, The Discovery Channel will launch Planet Green, a channel devoted exclusively to “green lifestyle” programming. Masterminded by our friends over at Treehugger, Planet Green hopes to help you navigate the ever-swelling sea of sustainable options with a little expert advice.

But those at the channel are also on the lookout for viewer-submitted videos, where you'll have an opportunity to show off your own green tips, tricks, and innovations."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Color Poll

Recently I held a poll on which colors you all like but are afraid to use because you think you may get a different result than expected. Purple had the most votes which is no surprise since purple has been making a huge splash in 07 and 08. But purple hasn't seen this much popularity pre 07 in quite a while so many people may not have ever decorated with it before. I added some pics and a little advice on choosing purples in a post below.

As with any trend be careful not to paint yourself into a corner, so to speak, with all trend and no lasting appeal. Unless you can afford redecorating frequently you may regret spending so much on a passing fancy and tire of the design quickly. More budget friendly, if you want to jump on the trend wagon, is carefully choosing a few trendy items as accessories but make your money go further with buying larger items that survive the trends. You may also be able to transform items you already own which could use a face lift. Adding fresh new colors and surface designs to existing furnishings or accessories can give you a nice change and a taste of that current trend you're dying to try. In the latter, we are approaching sustainable design, a good thing for our beautiful planet. ; )

Choosing any color new scheme is a personal choice and a great way to start deciding on a new color palette for your home is to look in your closet. If you tend to look healthy and vibrant in bright, bold colors and fade away or look awash in pale pastels then you should try and incorporate some of your best bold and bright colors from your wardrobe into your interior color scheme. I don't mean to say you need to paint your walls that ruby red color of your favorite evening dress, although it could look awesome, but if you're more conservative and want to retain more versatility keep the walls a nice neutral and just accent with bold and bright colors. You look great in certain colors because certain colors make you appear healthier, enhance your skin tone and even make you feel better. You want to feel this way in your home too so if you look sickly in purple but want to indulge in this trendy color then use it sparingly rather than covering the walls with it.

Choosing paint colors is not rocket science and in the end, it IS just paint. ; )

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Color Advice

I stumbled upon an excellent article giving some advice on choosing color. You can read the whole article here. Kelly, the blogs author touches upon the effects of lighting on color.

I wanted to add my own 2 cents to this topic, specifically how different types of lighting will alter a color. Fluorescent lighting imparts coldness and cool color, which is why most humans don't much care for it. We're warm creatures and gravitate towards warm environments and warm colors. A great example is how we are drawn to fire light in a fireplace or outdoor firepit.

Though the lighting movement is toward all of us switching to compact fluorescent lighting for environmental reasons, (a good thing) we need to understand how to work with this sort of lighting to make it more friendly for us warmth seekers. So, what happens to color under fluorescent lighting? The warmth gets sucked out leaving you with the cooler ingredients. A nice warm off white will lose much of it's warmer ingredient (yellow) and take on a cool blue and touches of green. If a room has predominantly fluorescent lighting you will need to compensate for this by adding more warmth to the color.

Incandescent lighting is warm and adds yellow. And Who doesn't like the warm orange red glow from firelight? Fireplaces and outdoor fire pits are natural gravitation points where we like to congregate and relax. The warm golden yellow glow from candle light is attractive, inviting and a nice mood enhancer. Likewise the soft warm hues of sunrise and sunset have garnered admirers through the ages.

I was just at the ASID Student Career Forum in San Francisco this weekend and JoeAnne Day from the Day Studios gave an excellent lecture on color, covering the effects of lighting on color and much more. She touched on all sorts of lighting including Halogen, Firelight, Incandescent, Xenon, Ultra Violet. She showed pictures of a room in her own loft/studio that she photographed at different times of the day. This illustrated the effect of natural light, via a sky light in the room, and how the color changes so dramatically with the shifting sunlight. You can try this at home and take pictures of a room in the morning, at noon and in the late afternoon. You'll see how the direction of the light source shifts the color in the room. Understanding color shifts and the effects of lighting is something your Interior Designer or Color Consultant can help you with. One of the first things I find out when consulting for someone on color is the direction of the natural light source and the types of artificial lighting used in the room. It makes a difference.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Purple Wins

There are some of you out there thinking of adding purple to your color scheme. It's a great color and on trend right now. If painting the walls, I prefer grayed down purples for adult rooms and love lavender for a little girls room. If your room gets a lot of light the color you pick will get washed out a bit so you can go a bit deeper or brighter. Just sample your colors and be sure to view the colors not just during the day but at night too. One great way to sample color is not just on the wall but to paint a 3-d object, like a cardboard box and leave it in the middle of the room. This way you get a better feel for the color and how the lighting in your room will alter the color at different times. The transition from day to evening shouldn't be jolting, unless that's what you're going for!

If you want to paint with purple the first thing you need to decide is if you want a warm purple or a cool purple. Purples on the cool side have more blue and on the warm side, more red. You need to think about how you want to feel when you're in the room and also consider what is in the room that is definitely staying. When you pick warm or cool be sure that one or the other takes a larger percentage and it's not 50/50 cool and warm.

Color schemes with purple include using it's complementary color yellow, which will give a big impact or for a subtler look try using purple with grays and silvers. Purple with green is also pretty, think of beautiful Irises and pansies.

Nature knows color best so try picking your palette from nature. I love the virbrant purples in the Iris watercolor by Jana.
You could get your whole palette from this painting. I might suggest the lighter purples to white with a hint of purple for the walls and adding some yellow, green and deeper purple accents.

If you're going with a light and neutral wall color then you can really have a field day with your accessories and add some brighter purples that you wouldn't necessarily want on the walls.

Below are some purples I like from Benjamin Moore-

Below is a room with Pratt and Lambert's color 'Admiral' and trimmed with 'Seed Pearl' both from their muted colors collections.

Here is the same room in Pratt and Lambert's ' Coronation' and trimmed with 'Balsa"