Designing You Saturday, Jan 28 2017 

I am very excited to say that the book is done and now available through Amazon! It has been a project of love and an amazing experience. I had always thought about writing a book but never really thought it was something that I would do. It is done and I thought I would go into a bit more depth as to what the book is about and what is in the book.

img_20170127_201634_055

Designing You is about my philosophy on design, what it is like to work with me, and a self evaluation on your personal design style. To me interior design is all about the client. For many years and through much of my early training I heard all about how the client doesn’t know what they want. That is is the designers job to tell them what they should do. That it is the designer and only the designer that has the style and vision to see what should be done. I have always felt that this was not correct. Yes, we as designers much have a vision for what the space is going to be. But we much get that vision from somewhere. And it must come from the client.

img_20170128_074549036

Throughout the book you will learn about how working from a client driven space creates designs that our clients love for many years, because they are all about them.

I also want all of my readers to be able to get to know themselves more. So in the book I have included a color/design quiz that will help each reader to better understand their own personal style. I have dropped the traditional hard to understand design terms and created it in everyday language. Good design is for everyone.

img_20170128_072330992

I will take you on a journey of what it is like to work on clients designs, what Furniture Fashion Week is all about, and why I do what I do. Creating great design, is creating a place that you can soar from. The process includes every emotion out there. When I design I have to get into the heads of my clients. So when I am shopping for them I have to see everything as they would see it. Go through all the options and then present to them only what is best for them.

And of course there are some great pictures of completed spaces. I have included some of my favorite projects in the book to show what it is like when a space is completed. The styles range all over the place, from beach living to traditional to contemporary. And as I designer I feel that I should always be able to pop back and forth between styles because each client is different and deserves to have a design specific to them.

img_20170128_072622298

So please enjoy, check it out. Pick up the paper copy so that you can write in it and mark things that you love. But most of all find out more about who you are and your personal style.

Designing for Abundance Thursday, Jan 12 2017 

I thought that I would continue about designing with feng shui in mind. As we continue into 2017 I am going to take an area that can be improved through design using principles of feng shui. Abundance is an area that many are wanting to increase. Abundance can mean money or wealth but it can also be abundance of love, family, clients, happiness, or anything in your life that you want to increase. As I shared in the last post you have a wealth or abundance area in your home or office, if you are standing at the front of the space looking in, it is the back left corner. This is using the more modern version of the bagua. If this area in your space is not designed properly or there are flow issues there are some easy ways to get it in order. First, make sure that it is not a neglected space. This could mean that you have not put anything on the walls, or that it has become a catch-all. If that is the case first thing you want to do is clean out the space so that it can be a functioning part of your home.

Now to bring in abundance there are some great items that can go in that space. One of the main cures for a space is a water feature. Water is a symbol of abundance and can quickly change the energy to the space. I love a fountain and there are specific feng shui fountains. I do not feel that you have to go to that extent but having a fountain in the north-west corner will definitely increase the abundance in your home or office. They do not have to be large fountains, it can be as simple as a table top or desk top fountain. Here are some great fountains that I love.

If the area will not fit or work with a water feature look for a painting or image that features water. This could be a landscape with a waterfall or of the ocean. This will also bring in the water element to increase the chi.

You can also bring in other feng shui cures to the space to increase abundance. A vase with lucky bamboo or a healing tree. I make healing trees for my clients an incorporate what they need in the tree. These are made from gems. Each gem has an area that they influence and bring an energy to the space. Some are for protection, abundance, hope, energy, clarity, communication and so on. Placing a healing tree in your abundance region of your home will help to increase whatever area of your life that you want to increase. Here are some that I have made.

When creating these I use raw gems, which include emeralds, rubies, quartz, sapphires, aquamarine amethyst and other gemstones.

If your abundance area is in a challenging space in the house you will need to make sure to be especially diligent on maintaining that area. You will also want to use more than one cure. This could mean that if it is in the bathroom that you have both a painting with a water element and a fountain or healing tree. You can also add lighting that has crystals. There are some great light fixtures that incorporate crystal into them. Just make sure they are actual crystal not just look like crystals. Check these out.

Incorporating feng shui into your home does not mean that it has to be unconventional items. Everyday items in the right placement can completely change the energy in the space.

Balance and Harmony for the New Year Monday, Jan 9 2017 

As 2017 begins it is time to see if our lives are truly in balance with what we want. For interior design that means asking the question is your home or office in alignment for your goals and do you feel a big hug when you walk through your front door? If not then it might be time to do some energy work with your design by employing some Feng Shui principals. Let’s first talk about what Feng Shui is. The words Feng Shui mean wind and water. Which makes sense as it is about using the elements, colors and shapes to create a space that is in balance with the natural world. Feng Shui has a traditional implementation and there is now a more modern implementation. It is this more modern implementation that I use with my clients and what I feel is easier to understand and implement into our everyday lives. Either style, the main purpose is to have your Chi, or energy flow, to stay gently flowing through your space as opposed to flowing straight out or becoming stuck or blocked. Each element must be in balance to create the proper flow of chi.

So let’s talk about what the elements are and how they are represented. The five elements are fire, water, earth, metal, and wood. Each of these elements have shapes, colors and attributes.

Fire – triangle, red, orange, purple, passions, emotion

Earth – square, brown, yellow, grounding, stability

Metal – circle, white, metallic, strength, independence

Water – curvy, blue, black, relaxation, inspiration

Wood – rectangle, green, teal, growth, expansion

In traditional Feng Shui it is about the placement of the Bagua an octagon shaped chart that each section represents areas of your life. It is used to place items in accordance with the elements within your home or office to affect the chi of the space. In a modern approach to Feng Shui a vertical or horizontal chart is used and is based on the shape of your home or office. This new chart is also based on nine areas of your life.

6-the_bagua

When working with this modern approach each item that goes into a space still has impact and is used for specific reasons.

Color is used to represent and balance the elements.

Sound such as music is used to connect to the environment. This can be used to remove stress from a space.

Lighting is used to bring more chi into a space.

Art enhances chi. The placement of the artwork will increase the chi to the area it is placed.

Growing things such as plants connect you to the natural world. if the light is poor in an area that needs a better connection silk plants can be used.

Water features increase the flow of chi throughout your space. These can be fountains or aquariums.

Wind features attract chi into your space. This can be wind chimes, weather vanes, banners, flags and mobiles.

Mirrors and crystals are used to unblock structural elements that cannot be changed.

So how do you incorporate this into your home or office? Start small, if your entry is to a wall add a mirror to remove the blockage that is created with the stop. Make sure that each of your spaces has each of the elements represented. Focus on the one area that you want to increase and make sure that your house is aligned with that focus. As you affect and change your first focused area move on to the next. Remember it is a living space and the energy or chi will always be changing. We want to make sure that you are bringing in the energy you want and keeping it flowing through your space. But it is also understood that as our lives continue to progress we must adapt and incorporate new technologies and how they effect our environments.

Make 2017 your best year yet, start by creating balance and harmony in your home and office. Once this is created you will be able to achieve anything you decide to create.

The Right Piece Tuesday, Jun 9 2015 

There are many times that I am asked what piece must every room have. And yes there was a time in which it was true in design that there were specific layouts and pieces that were required in rooms to complete a style or design. Today, I don’t feel that this is really true. There are some guidelines that I tend to go by when designing a space. These include adding a touch of black to every space, mixing elements such as fabric, leather, wood, metals and glass, and having a natural element in each space. So I thought that I would post some pictures of items that I love to use. They are not all meant to be used together and they are meant for many different styles. I have found that over the years I have learned to appreciate and love many different styles so that I can truly create the space of my client’s dreams.

Here are some great light fixtures that bring drama and sophistication to just about any space. The right light, chandelier, pendant or ceiling mount will define the space and add an insight into the owner.

04668-default

05784_default

05947-default

6490-3-33-default

6493-5-14-default

6494-5-14-default

06624

06801

9027

9538

9083

Here are some of my favorite furniture elements at add to a space. Furnishings with the right curves and angles will add interest to a space while helping to define the use of the room.

745

793

1537

5018-BS

5418T

06996

AC1072_lg

AC1076F_lg

AC2038-22_lg

ACLC-02_lg

BE472-6_lg

CO-G0005_lg

CT56-BAC56L_lg

P603

P1980-91

P5411

Accessories can make the room. Here are some accessories designed to create the perfect image and feel for a space. Use them and remember it Si better to have one big awesome piece than a bunch of small ones.

4.20024 Fincastle Hall Mirror

308GU356P2 Ribbon Vase

04773_04774_04775-default

06224

07166

07426-alternate

bdh100

ati1000-58

ch001-2214d

d326

furniture-cer_squarecube_TBM-700x462

ges1002-58

ges1004-58

kll845-m

kll851-m

ll005-2020d

mak220-tbl

mrr1001-3040

rc003-2222d

vs_saturn_308GU350P2AM_web

Creating the perfectly designed space is about creating around the people that will be using it. The right piece can change everything just as a wasted piece can ruin it. I don’t use a piece just to use it. There has to be a reason to add an element to the room, and it is ok for the reason to be that you love the piece. Not sure how to make it work for you? Call us or check out the website to shop from our favorite things.

The Latest Interior Design Trends and Styles Friday, May 29 2015 

Interior Design and décor is a constant living breathing thing. And as I was attending a current trend lecture and line unveiling yesterday I was happily patted on the back to see the leaders in this industry say exactly what I have been saying for years. Interior design is about adding personal elements to the home, it is not about the designer. Now to take it even further the white, on white, on white, stark, hotel inspired look is done, over, finished. It is not about creating looks that could be in a home, but also an office, and a hotel. It is about creating personal spaces. Allowing the client to see themselves in the space. Adding those fun touches that make the space truly about those using and living in it. Whether you call it bohemian chic, post traditionalist, modern eclectic the bottom line is that it is personal. So here are some great images to see how the release of control is planning out in current design trends.

3ef952ac256c

89351_4307324429_6fb4f15b9a

amazing-living-room-in-apartment-decorating-ideas-with-curtain-and-glass-window-also-tv-wall-panel-and-rug-also-wood-coffee-table-and-modern-sofa-also-chandelier-72

blue-white-interiors4

Bohemian-chic-decor

boho-chic-living-room-decorating-ideas-decoholic_boho_chic_orange_living_room_25_ideas

BPF_original_decorating-with-metallic-accents_organized-closet_4x3_lg

contemporary-interior-design-ideas-boho-chic-7

elle-decor

elle-decor-bookcase

mimosa-yellow-living-room

ottoman2

purple-moroccan-living-room-design-colorful-focal-bright-combination-stylish-elegant-decor

sa-mag-2-web1

Snip20140417_117_thumb-25255B2-25255D

So be yourself, don’t let anyone tell you to be something else, and have fun. For me I am so excited to be creating these kinds of looks for my clients making sure to include my clients in their homes.

Balance is needed Monday, Aug 18 2014 

As the school year begins I am reminded of how caught up in our lives we can become and that without our homes in balance it can create a chaos in the rest of our lives. So I thought I would talk about the principle of balance when it comes to interior design.

Balance does not mean that everything has to be symmetrical. This is probably the biggest mistake or misunderstanding that I see when it comes to design. Symmetry is balanced but it is not the only way to create a balanced design. Balance can be created through color, weight and placement of pieces. For instance if you do a bright, bold accent wall you will want to balance the other side of the room with heavier or larger objects to keep the room in balance. If the majority of your seating is on one side of the room balance the other side with large artwork, accent table/console/buffet, and large accessories. You want your eye to move around the room and the correct balance will achieve that. Don’t leave the tops of furniture empty, this makes them feel out of place and floating in the room.

One of my favorite things to remember when working with balance is to think in triangles. If you can look around your space and draw triangles to connect things then you are most likely in balance. You will have many triangles that can be created. For instance if you have a table with a mirror or artwork above you want to make sure you have pieces to the sides. The side pieces can be on the table if it is long enough or on the floor by the piece. You can also use a combination of wall, table and floor.

There is no need to over do on accessories. Allow color to move through the space in different ways to balance the room.

There is no need to over do on accessories. Allow color to move through the space in different ways to balance the room.

Different items have different weights so a large piece can be balanced by three lighter feeling pieces.

Different items have different weights so a large piece can be balanced by three lighter feeling pieces.

Another area that needs balancing in your home is usually the work to play areas. What I mean by this is do you have places to put your incoming mail, your outdoor living “toys”, your cookbooks, your kids school work and books, backpacks, and shoes. Do you have an adult only area to unwind? Do your kids have their own spaces? Balance is not just about furniture placement but also how you use it. You need to have places in your home so you are balanced. This does not mean that you have to have a separate room for each of these things, but designated spaces is important. Not sure how to do this, call a designer for a consult. The right space planning will return you to your love of your home and get you on the right path.

Balance a large island and high cabinets with the right light fixtures.

Balance a large island and high cabinets with the right light fixtures.

Balance focal points with the right colors and furniture to highlight the features.

Balance focal points with the right colors and furniture to highlight the features.

Are you balanced? Do you need to re-evaluate how your home and life are working together? If so breathe and take one area at a time. Creating balance is also about learning how to balance need verse want and realizing where your time is best spent.

Beach Living Friday, Jul 11 2014 

It is full on summer and that means beach living. Maybe you live in a beach community or you vacation to a beach community either way it is all about sun and fun. The biggest request that comes out of everyone hanging out at the beach is the want for a beach living styled look at home. Here at Artful Conceptions we happen to be in a beach/boating community so everyday our clients love the beach look. And as of recently we have added some new lines that really show of that beach living. I am personally in love with these lines and the newest ones are Four Seasons, Gabby Home, Ibolili, Kenian, and Trade Winds. These lines take driftwood and create tables, bamboo and make chairs, slipcovered upholstery, and reclaimed wood into shelves and so much more. Since I have been infatuated with this style recently I thought I would post some pictures of room designs that show off that oh so popular beach look.

Elegant Coastal

Elegant Coastal

Casual and Beachy

Casual and Beachy

Traditional Coastal

Traditional Coastal

Accessories make the space

Accessories make the space

A splash of color really updates a kitchen.

A splash of color really updates a kitchen.

Nantucket Chic

Nantucket Chic

Casual and fun

Casual and fun

By the sea bedroom

By the sea bedroom

Colorful guest bedroom

Colorful guest bedroom

White slipcovers never go out of style on the beach.

White slipcovers never go out of style on the beach.

Woven textures add to the relaxed design.

Woven textures add to the relaxed design.

Dining beach style

Dining beach style

So as summer continues think, fun and sun by adding the beach into your everyday living.

Quick Tips to Freshen Your Home Monday, Jun 23 2014 

There are many times in which your home needs a quick updating. This can be because you are looking to sell your home, you are having company or you are just plain tired of things. Here are 10 of my favorite ways to freshen up your home without major changes.

1) Change up your pillows. Find some great pattern pillows for your sofas and chairs. The change will make the room feel like a whole new space.

2) Change the area rug. Ok this can be expensive if you are the hand-knotted type so in that case change rooms with the rug. If you are not the hand-knotted type look at changing your rugs to a natural fiber rug to bring in texture.

3) Refinish an accent piece. I love the look of painted pieces. These can be a chest, accent table or a kitchen table. You can completely change the feeling of a place by refinishing a piece or two.

4) De-clutter your space. The number one reason people feel tired with a space is the lack of storage. This usually occurs because there is too much clutter. Add closet storage and multifunctional tables and chests for additional storage to keep the clutter out of eye sight. Also impose a system to get rid of paper clutter.

5) Use a few great large accessories instead of a bunch of small nic-nacks.

6) Incorporate season flowers and greenery to your home. Changing greenery with the season will give you a new feeling many times through out the year.

7) Paint an accent wall. Tired of everything being the same color. Create and accent wall with either paint or wallpaper to give the space a new feeling.

8) Rearrange the furniture. Changing up the way that you use a room can really change the feel to the space. Think outside of the box on this one, it is ok to place sofas on an angle. They do not have to be up against a wall.

9) Add a backsplash to your kitchen. This is a relatively easy update that will give your home much value and wow factor.

10) Change out plate glass bathroom mirrors for nicely framed ones. This will update the entire space and add value to the home.

5 Rules for Your First Home Monday, Jun 9 2014 

One day it happens you are realizing a dream and owning your first home. This is the time that you get to really do things how you want them, you don’t need to follow a landlords rules about paint color, you can have built ins, you can make changes that work for you and your lifestyle. It also means that without thoughtful planning there can be many mistakes. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when you are designing your first home.

Rule number 1: do not rush things, just because something is a trend doesn’t mean you will still love it in 5 years. This also goes for how you spend your money. Just because you can buy an inexpensive piece now many times it is better to save your money and buy the right piece that will last. Good furniture should last as long as you want to keep it. Cheap furniture needs to be replaced regularly meaning over time it costs a great deal more. If you want to know more about how furniture should be constructed read threw this blog there is a detailed post about construction.

Rule number 2: Find unique pieces that fit your personality. When you have a space that is designed for you it will give you a hug every time you walk through the door. When a space is perfectly designed you won’t get tired of it you will simply feel comfortable. I love using natural organic pieces or antique pieces for those unique touches.

Antique painted chest, great for hallways entries, and bedrooms.

Antique painted chest, great for hallways entries, and bedrooms.

Antique truck, perfect for cocktail tables and end of bed benches.

Antique truck, perfect for cocktail tables and end of bed benches.

Driftwood cocktail table, adds uniqueness and texture to any design.

Driftwood cocktail table, adds uniqueness and texture to any design.

Driftwood console table, perfect for hallways, entries and behind sofas.

Driftwood console table, perfect for hallways, entries and behind sofas.

Rule number 3: Keep you big items neutral. When purchasing furniture think neutral for your large main pieces. This gives you the ability to change other smaller elements in the room for an updated look over time. When you do your largest pieces neutral you also make the room feel larger. This allows your eye to move around the room and not be stopped, which makes the room feel larger.

neutral.sofa

sofa.reclaimedtable

Rule number 4: mix textures. When designing a space it is not just about different colors but also about the textures. The same color will look different on different material, so think about mixing cotton, linen, silk, natural grasses, metal, wood, and glass into the same space for depth and dimension.

chairs.slipcover.seagrass

dining.seagrass

seagrass.chair

textures

Rule number 5: Find places to add functional and unique elements. Have a funky nook space it could be perfect for a bench seat. Use every bit of space in your home, after all you paid for it. Don’t be afraid of built ins, when done properly they function well and give you much needed storage.

A great reading/entertaining corner to take advantage of the view.

A great reading/entertaining corner to take advantage of the view.

Breakfast nook with storage and design.

Breakfast nook with storage and design.

A library with a view

A library with a view

A great seating space to read and take in the view, while working with a space that would normally be empty.

A great seating space to read and take in the view, while working with a space that would normally be empty.

So slow down, think about how you want to use your space and make the most of your budget by buying right!

Mother’s Day Ideas Wednesday, May 7 2014 

Mother’s day is just around the corner and I am sure that you are trying to think of new ideas for the mom’s in your life. You want the gift to be special and mean something, while celebrating the her contributions and of course be something that she wants. So I thought I would post some ideas that can be as simple as you want and as extravagant as you want. Mom’s are usually much a happier when their homes are in order so how about finishing off some of those areas for the mom in your life. It can be done simply with a great floral arrangement that will last for years. Or how about surprising mom with an accessory makeover; this can be done for one room or the whole house. Here are some great items that will bring a smile to the moms in your life, let her know how important she is to you and not break the bank.

birdofparadise

blue.vases

green.calla

mocha.dipped

orchids

purple.vase

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

spring.wood.flowers

twigs

viburnum-in-blue-glass-vases

yellow.calla

And if you really want to surprise mom have a designer come in and do a refresh with your existing pieces while adding some of the above style pieces for a complete redo.

Have fun and put a smile on mom’s face this weekend!

Next Page »

%d bloggers like this: