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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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!

Small Space Designing Thursday, Apr 3 2014 

Let’s be honest one of the hardest spaces to design for are small spaces. These spaces usually need to be multi use rooms and require special furniture to function properly. They also tend to be the spaces that end up cluttered and stuffed feeling. So I thought I would post some great furniture options that make small spaces function without felling cluttered and too tight.

Family room that doubles as bedroom with hidden storage bed.

Family room that doubles as bedroom with hidden storage bed.

Bookcase storage doubles as sofa table.

Bookcase storage doubles as sofa table.

Loft bed allows for desk and bookcases below.

Loft bed allows for desk and bookcases below.

Bunk bed with desk and drawers in stairs.

Bunk bed with desk and drawers in stairs.

Desk that can double as dining.

Desk that can double as dining.

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So as you can see once the right furniture is selected any space even small ones can have both function and form. Don’t know how to find these furniture pieces? We can help as we deal directly with the manufacturers and craftsman to create these great pieces.

Designing for Your Lifestyle Monday, Mar 10 2014 

Over the years as a designer I have worked to create designs that make my clients lives easier. Part of being able to do this is to get to know my client and how they live. One of the most important thing is to be completely honest with your designer. For instance if your lifestyle is in need of organization make that perfectly clear to your designer. If you live a life that requires washable fabrics don’t be afraid to tell your designer. The last thing that I want to do as a designer is to create a design that will not work for your lifestyle.

The most common places that good design really comes in handy and is asked for on a regular basis are the kitchen, office, playroom and entry. So I thought I would post a few images of those areas and items for those areas that can function well in your home or office. I am also including some looks for rooms designed with slipcovers. These are great for families and those that thought they couldn’t have function and design when it comes to kids and pets.

Office designed for two.

Office designed for two.

Storage selves that can hold baskets or books for great function.

Storage selves that can hold baskets or books for great function.

Don't forget the walls when organizing your office.

Don’t forget the walls when organizing your office.

Your most used kitchen items right at your finger tips.

Your most used kitchen items right at your finger tips.

Library walls for offices.

Library walls for offices.

Multi-use drawers for kitchen items.

Multi-use drawers for kitchen items.

Great storage options for entries.

Great storage options for entries.

Have a place for the mail, bags and seating right at your entry.

Have a place for the mail, bags and seating right at your entry.

Pan drawers

Pan drawers

Playroom organization and comfort

Playroom organization and comfort

baskets and seating all in one.

baskets and seating all in one.

Classic and cleanable

Classic and cleanable

Elegant and functional with great cleanable fibers.

Elegant and functional with great cleanable fibers.

So the next time that you look around your home or office and realize that it isn’t functioning properly call a designer. Be honest. And see how functional and beautiful your home can be!

New Year, New Home Tuesday, Dec 17 2013 

It is that time of year when we start talking about resolutions and all the things we would like to do in the upcoming year. This also happens to be a great time to think about updates for your home. This can be a great time to bring color into your home, or to finally create a functional system to eliminate clutter, or to really make that family room truly comfortable for all.

If you are looking to bring color into your home look to complimentary colors for inspiration. These combinations are green and red, yellow and purple, and blue and orange. This does not mean you have to use bright primary colors to use these combinations but using the right hues and values will create a dynamic look. Think about a deep royal purple with a soft pale yellow. Red and green can also be pink or rose with lime just as blue and orange can be a bronzy gold with dark pastel blue. The idea is to use colors in the same hue family. Changing the value of the color can also add drama or calm to the space.

Are you looking to feel organized in the new year? Start it off right. Create systems to get rid of the clutter. One of the biggest complaints is usually paperwork or mail that ends up all over the counters. To eliminate this there are a few tips to design your home for function. Have a space where you walk in that you can hang up bags, coats and put away shoes. In that same place have in boxes for each family member. Make it a policy to immediately sort all mail when you walk through the door. Have each family member check their box everyday and take care of the mail and paperwork in the box. I love cork boards and white boards for notes, schedules, and important papers that cannot be filed away or stuck at the bottom of a pile.

And lastly do you have a family room that is only comfortable for some of your family? Do you have seating for everyone? Are there toys all over the family room? When you have guests are they dragging chairs into the room? If you are dealing with these issues it is time to redesign your family room. To add seating for kids add poufs to the room. They can also be used as ottomans. If toys are everywhere add storage but not too much. I love baskets or storage benches for those toys. Our policy is that if they don’t fit in the basket at the end of the night they have to be put away in the kids rooms. At the new year it is a perfect time to start a new clean up rule. It will make your room feel larger and be less stress to the start of the next day of the toys get picked up (by the kids) at the end of everyday. If you need more seating or storage then these little tips it might me time to call for a consultation. An interior designer can come out and assess your space to create a room plan that will incorporate the right seating and storage for the room to function properly. Sometimes the room will need to be arranged in a completely different direction for the best function. I love to angle a room for the proper flow and that can usually create great spaces for play areas and separate reading areas.

So in the upcoming year go ahead and go for color in your home, get rid of clutter by creating spaces for coats, bags, shoes and mail and make that family room one for everyone to hang out in. It will start your year off right.

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