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.

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.

Start the Year off Organized Monday, Dec 29 2014 

So it is just about the start of 2015 and if you are like most people you have decided to get organized this year. This also tends to be an intimidating task for many. There is the question of where to start, how to implement, and of course cost. So I thought I would give you some of my favorite ideas for organizing. These can help with everything from daily tasks like mail and chores to closets and mud rooms.

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When it comes to organizing start small. Little changes make big impacts. So start with one space, complete that and then move on. Don’t have time to do it yourself?  Call in a professional, designers usually have access to products others don’t and can make sure the project flows properly for your home and how you function.

So start the year off right by getting your home in order.

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!

Even Closets Need Good Design Wednesday, Feb 19 2014 

One area that gets overlooked all the time when design homes or redesigning them Are the closets and pantries. For some reason there is this idea that just adding shelves and rods makes a closet or pantry workable. Reality is that good interior design focuses on all aspects and that includes the function of the closets and pantries. For me I speak with the client and determine the way that they need the space to function. If they only ever have a few pieces that need long hanging then we only devote a small portion of their closet to long hanging. If they would like to get rid of their dresser and have all of their clothes in the closet we create dressers in the closet.

Wood closet solutions

Wood closet solutions

Wire shelving solutions

Wire shelving solutions

For Pantries think about things like what needs to be kept in the pantry and the access needed. Do you need can holders and bread drawers? Do you keep lots of cereal or bulk items in your pantry? Are you storing just food or does it need to also be able to incorporate paper goods? All of the uses are important to know when designing for clients and to ask yourself when working on your home.

A reach in pantry with baskets and shelves.

A reach in pantry with baskets and shelves.

So don’t forget those closets and pantries when you are working on your home
they are just as important to your home functioning correctly as the family room.

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