My Favorite Lighting for 2017 Friday, Jan 20 2017 

The right lighting makes such a difference in any space. Lighting is an item that is both functional and beautiful. It influences how we use the space and defines they style. It can be hanging, on tables, or standing on the floor. Every room needs three sources of lighting, one completely functional, one for ambiance and one that is both. Here are my favorite hanging lights that I see being very popular in 2017.

Lamps are extremely important for adding function and ambiance. They can be clean and simple, whimsical, functional, and elegant. Here are some of my favorite new releases.

Sconces are a fantastic place to add light and design to any space. They are all about ambiance and elevate any room. Check out some of the newest sconce designs.

Check out your lighting, is it solely functional? If so, see how you can incorporate some of the above items into your room design. Don’t know where to get them? Give us a call so we can ship them directly to you!

Let’s Talk Color Wednesday, Jan 18 2017 

Color is the one topic that everyone always wants to know more about. Color changes the look and feel of any space, instantly. Color can make a space feel warm and inviting, soft and elegant, soothing and relaxing or energizing. Each year there is a new Pantone color of the year. This year each of the paint companies have also come up with their own colors of the year. This year they are not in alignment with Pantone. So I thought I would post some of my favorite colors and the direction I see my clients currently going when it comes to color.

Neutrals – every design needs some neutral tones. Here are some great starting points for the base of designs. These neutrals give a balance to colors and allow for quick easy changes such as pillows, accessories and artwork.

Notice the tones are on the warmers side. The super cold gray is going away and warmer tones are being added, warming up the cold gray.

Blue is always going to have a place in design. It is a primary color and has a warm place in almost everyone’s hearts.

Green is the color from Pantone this year so lets look at some great greens.

Yellow is a love it or hate it color with a lot of people. Those who love it fine it cheerful. I feel that if you are going to go yellow, go with true yellows.

Purples and reds these are colors that are either in or out. If you have been following me on my design philosophy you know that I feel design is about the client not all about trends. So if you love these tones we can always make them in style.

Now lets talk combinations with these great colors.

I love the stone color mixed with the deep blue, light blue and white. This combination give depth and character to the space.

Complimentary colors come together to create POP and WOW with a balancing from some great neutral tones.

Historic greens mixed with neutral tones give a classic look.

As you think about color and your space think about using color to give depth and influence to the space. Not sure how to combine your favorite colors for your home, reach out for a consultation.

Depth of Color – make your design stand out! Sunday, Oct 9 2016 

As we are getting closer and closer to fall market or “furniture fashion week” I start thinking more and more what trends I am loving in design and where I see things going. We are still seeing lots of grays and neutrals in day to day design, however there are lots of deep jewel tones that are starting to come back. They are going added to neutrals to give a depth that allows for a richer feeling space. I’m in love with all the historic colors and love it when I can pop a design with them. These historic colors are things like peacock blues, deep Jade greens, rich cranberries and lush pumpkins. Here are some of the products I’m in love with and are finding to be go tos for design.

Even just touches of these deep tones add such warmth and balance to a space. Gone are the cold stark spaces, think warm hugs when entering spaces. 

I can’t wait to see what will be new at market this month, but I can definitely say I will be looking for pieces that will add depth and texture to a space.

Interior Design is a Fashion Indutry Monday, Aug 29 2016 

As we start to get ready for Furniture Fashion week (High Point Market) it is time to see what is going on at the fashion runways. I have for a long time talked about how design trends come from the runway. It used to be that we would see a trend on the runway and about a year later it wold be hitting the home furnishing market. As the world has opened up more and more with constant access to what used to be only for the most influential that time-table has become much smaller and we are seeing trends hit us almost immediately so I thought I would introduce the color trends we are seeing on the runway in anticipation of what we will be seeing in October.

The one thing that you will see on all of the trends is that it is all about deep rich colors. I personally think we got a big shock with the calm Pantone colors for 2016 as it was a bit off trend from where the market had been going. I think this is an adjustment back towards the deep rich colors. You will see that neutrals are deep neutrals. These are impactful colors with an opulence all to their own.

This takes pantone's serenity color and adds a depth and richness to be usable on many more projects.

This takes Pantone’s serenity color and adds a depth and richness to be usable on many more projects.

A deep red is always in fashion. This could be an accent or the base for a great design.

A deep red is always in fashion. This could be an accent or the base for a great design.

Think back to pantone's color radiant orchid, this is an off shoot of that color. again deeper and richer and more versatile.

Think back to Pantone’s color radiant orchid, this is an off shoot of that color. again deeper and richer and more versatile.

This reminds me of the 2015 color of the year marsala. It is ther perfect combination of red and brown with a depth and softness.

This reminds me of the 2015 color of the year Marsala. It is the perfect combination of red and brown with a depth and softness.

This green is to die for. It is deep, rich, classic and the perfect accent color.

This green is to die for. It is deep, rich, classic and the perfect accent color.

The new neutral. I love taupe and this is a classic.

The new neutral. I love taupe and this is a classic.

Another great warm color, great as a base color to work from. This color is very prevalent in high end area rugs.

Another great warm color, great as a base color to work from. This color is very prevalent in high-end area rugs.

Blue, blue, blue. How can you go wrong with this classic, always in style. I love the touch of gray.

Blue, blue, blue. How can you go wrong with this classic, always in style. I love the touch of gray.

Lush, rich steel gray. This adds so much to any design and does not lock you into a specific color scheme.

Lush, rich steel-gray. This adds so much to any design and does not lock you into a specific color scheme.

Bold and bright this yellow is not your everyday yellow. Opulent and upscale this the grown up yellow.

Bold and bright this yellow is not your everyday yellow. Opulent and upscale this the grown up yellow. 

So what do you think we will be seeing at market with these great bold colors walking down the runway? I’m expecting to see lots of color. Opulent, deep colors with great textures. I expect there will be lots of velvet and flocking. Tweeds mixed with embroidery, linens and lush cottons are going to be the rage. Expect to see tassels and fringe and other embellishments. It is going to be lots of layering textures and colors and materials such as stone, wood and metal. Look for golds mixed with pewters and iron.  Say goodbye to a lot of the overly minimal design and look for all the extras finding places throughout the industry.

Color is personal and unique. Let your personality shine through the colors you select for your home. Not sure how to do that? It’s time to bring in a designer to help your personality show throughout your home.

Amazing Things are Happening! Thursday, Aug 4 2016 

First, I have to apologize for how long it has been since I have written a post. We have been very blessed at Artful Conceptions with many great projects and opportunities. So I thought I would share with everyone what has been going on. We have been working on a large remodel project out at the beach, I know very lucky to have the most beautiful places as my office. This has been a year-long project which has included adding a new master suite, a complete redesign of the kitchen, changing a study into a spa like master bath and updating the exterior to include a fireplace. It has been a fun project with wonderful clients. So here are some pictures from the job. We are still not totally complete so please also stay tuned for the final pictures.

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We have also been working on a British Colonial inspired man cave. This has been a fun project that has been to incorporate a clients hunting trophies into the design plan. We are coming close to the finish on this project so here is a sneak peek of where we are at right now with it.

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We have also been working on some updating and some redoing of some existing homes. Here are a few pictures of one of these jobs.

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And to top it all off Sara Chiarilli the owner of Artful Conceptions has been spending time at the iHeart Radio station as she is now an expert contributor on the Consumer Quarterback show and will be appearing in the new Consumer Quarterback book that will be coming out soon. So make sure you are following us on social media to know the days and times that you can hear Sara give design tips and advice. You can also see the live stream from the studio at http://realestateradiotampa.com/. Here are some pictures from the studio.

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Don’t forget to check out the online store to see the new items that we are always adding so that you can “love the space you’re in!” And if we can help you with your design needs anywhere in the United States let us know, we look forward to working on your next project!

Lighting – Is it Time to Update? Tuesday, Feb 2 2016 

In January there is such a huge push for the new year new you, but by the time we get to February there is a tendency to have fallen behind in all the things that you were going to do. So let’s look at updating your home in small bits, little things that will make a huge impact. One of those areas is lighting. The right lighting will be like a facelift for your home. There are many places where you can update your lighting.

The first are your hanging fixtures. Maybe you still have the builders fixtures in your home. Maybe you selected lights when you first moved in but haven’t thought about changing them in years. Maybe you still have the capped plate at the box where a chandelier is supposed to be hanging. Here are some great newly released hanging lights that will update your home.01193-default 07951 08367 06228 06923 07661 08539 08545 (2)

How fun are these lights? There are lights for every flavor and many, many more whether you are contemporary, traditional or transitional there are the right hanging lights for every home.

Do you have places where you were going to hang sconces but never got around to it? Or maybe you have a room that could use more light but are not sure where to get it from. Sconces can be a great place to add more light and change the feeling of the room. Here are some new sconces that would really change the design of the space.

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Can you see your room changing?

The last area where lighting will change the design of the room are in your table lamps. There are many different styles and compositions of table lamps. So no matter what you love there are great options. Here are some of the new lamps that have been released recently.

07866-default 08520-default 08527-default 07745-default 08524-default 07978-default 08505-default Are you updating your home in your mind? Can you see how little changes will make a big impact? Start small, work on one thing at a time and you will see your resolution of updating your home start to come into realization.

 

Living Rooms Sunday, Jan 31 2016 

So for many years now the trend has been open concept. This is the floor plan where there are very few walls though the interior main rooms of a home. There aren’t any walls blocking the kitchen from the great room and the main areas used by the occupants. In this floor plan the living room went goodbye. The living room became the unused room. So it became the room that was no needed and then eliminated in many of the new home designs.

Well, when we eliminated the living room we got rid of the technology free room. The room that was used for actually talking to the people in the home. The room where you sat and visited with your company instead of sitting on a sofa with a TV going. When we went to the great room design, rooms began to be designed around TV viewing not the occupants of the home. But guess what, the living room is coming back. People are realizing that it is nice to have a quiet room. It is nice to have a room where the TV is not the dominant force in the design. So how about a view of some great living rooms that don’t have a TV.

A great conversational area created with pops of bright colors.

A great conversational area created with pops of bright colors.

A transitional living room, warm and cozy inviting the occupants to converse.

A transitional living room, warm and cozy inviting the occupants to converse.

Traditional with light earth tones all about conversation.

Traditional with light earth tones all about conversation.

Beach living made to invite conversation.

Beach living made to invite conversation.

Traditional design from top to bottom reminiscent of the colonial styled home.

Traditional design from top to bottom reminiscent of the colonial styled home.

Traditional mixed with a touch of mid century design, bringing back conversation.

Traditional mixed with a touch of mid century design, bringing back conversation.

Modern and contemporary but still all about the conversational space.

Modern and contemporary but still all about the conversational space.

So how fantastic are these rooms that hold no technology and are inviting. These rooms are all about the users and remind us that we need to have quiet time. These living rooms allow for conversation, quiet time and simplicity.

What Does a Designer Actually Do? Tuesday, Dec 1 2015 

It always amazes me when I hear comments like “you don’t need a designer, just google it”. Or how about “I’m just as good as a designer”. Or one of my favorites “oh it won’t take you long, like what 10 minutes to just draw it out”. When I hear these kinds of comments I always think what other profession would you say those kinds of things to? Do people not realize that we go to school for between 4 – 6 years to be able to do what we do? Do they not realize that I can’t just scratch out a drawing because I do have a degree and I need the drawing that I do to be correct in all ways. The drawing that I do needs to be able to be given to a contractor or installer or workroom and made into what I have drawn. Designing isn’t just throwing pretty things together. Designing is creating a functioning work of art. It is creating a living space that people will live in, work in, raise children in, get married in, create a living in. And you want me to just throw it together? Do you ask your Doctor to just give you their best guess without running lab tests? Do you ask your CPA to just fudge the numbers to look good? No, you would never. So here is a look into what we as designers actually do all day.

We meet with reps to learn about the newest products available. These will be products from fabrics, to furniture, to tile, to flooring, to wall treatments, to window coverings, to cabinetry, plumbing fixtures and lighting. We have to know all the latest designs trends, the latest changes to each of these many industries, and we have to know what issues each of these industries are facing at any given time. This could mean an issue with fabrics mills, to shipping disruptions to changes to construction and new laws about components. This alone is a full time job and yet we can allot maybe two hours a week to this section of our jobs.

We meet with clients. We learn their loves and hates, their fears, their needs, their wants and their obsessions. We learn everything we can about that client so that we can make decisions for them when there is a need for a quick decision. We learn their budgets. We learn what is important to them and what isn’t. And most of all we learn how to work in that clients style.

We meet with contractions, architects, electricians, cabinet makers, tilers, floorers, workrooms, HVAC specialists, and plumbers. And at each new meeting we have to go to we jump through hoops to prove to everyone we really do know what we are talking about. Ok, that may be a little harsh, but the reality is that many in these positions still don’t want to believe that we are a valuable part of the process. So when we get a contractor, architect, electrician, installer and such that is happy to be working with a designer, we don’t let that person go. Because it is so much easier to work with those that value what we do and understand that we make their jobs easier.

We design and then redesign. I would love to say that with each project the design just flows and everything we suggest is accepted and created. But that is not reality. First, we probably design a specific space two to three times before we present the best option to the client. We spend hours drawing and redrawing. It doesn’t matter if we do it by hand or on the computer it doesn’t just magically appear on a piece of paper. And even the fastest designer still takes double the time that people think it takes to get it right. We spend hours looking through fabrics, wallpapers, lighting, furniture and flooring. We create multiple options in case one of the suggestions is not what the client loves and we need a back up. We price, reprice and negotiate to get our clients the best price. And then when it is all put together we present the vision to the client.

At the end of the day we have created a piece of art. We created a space where anything can happen. We created the home that will raise children, or fur babies, or dreams. We created the working environment that will make greatness possible, that will welcome clients, or patients, or customers. We created the environment that will entice people to try that new food, or that outfit. We created the space that will inspire people to dream. So when you ask “what does a designer actually do” I have the answer. We create the space where dreams are possible!

Behind the scenes of Taping the Design Tourist Spot for NBC Monday, Sep 28 2015 

I have recently had the pleasure to be filmed for national TV for NBC’s Daytime TV Show. It was quite and experience. It always seems like it is such an easy simple thing but the reality is there is a Greta deal that goes into filming a spot for TV. First to achieve what looks natural on camera actually takes hours and a Tom more makeup and styling than you ever do for everyday. So I thought I would share some of the process for you to see the hours of prep and filming that goes into a three minute spot.

First here are some great shot that Sweet Rose Photography took of the hair and makeup prep before filming.

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The team from Tangle Me Knot did a great job. The process started at 8am to be ready for taping to start at 10am.

There was the outfit checks and getting all mic’d up for the taping.

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Then there was making sure that everything was perfect in the showroom for filming.

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We then needed to walk through the showroom and go over the angles and areas to be filmed along with what we were going to talk about.

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Then comes the actual filming and having fun!

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So after a day of it all the tape goes to editing. Intros and exited are filmed and it turns into a three minute segment. Want to see the final version? Check it out on the website http://www.artfulconceptions.net

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