Sunday, March 29, 2009

Light and Springy

I am just loving this dining area. It’s fresh and cheery and perfect for spring. I can envision having all my girlfriends over for brunch in this space. I like the way the designer used an older dark table with all the light colors. It really grounds the space. I also like the color choices, yellow with green and blue. Very springy and very inviting, I could curl up and read a book there, great natural light I’m sure. The paneling on the walls and ceiling really give it a farmhouse feel and the industrial looking schoolhouse lights are just the right contrast in styles. What a great place to dine!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Ramble on Chicago and Inspiration

This past weekend, my husband and I traveled to Chicago to visit friends for a few days. I love Chicago. I love the feel of being in the city. Its fast paced and exciting. I love watching people, seeing how they dress, how they act, where they go. I also love visiting new restaurants, shops, buildings and homes. I love seeing the colors, textures and styles that have been used to design the space. Chicago is a great place to be exposed to lots of different styles, textures and colors. I came home feeling very inspired and full of some great ideas!
Everywhere I go, I try to find inspiration for my clients or myself. Inspiration is everywhere if you just open your eyes to look. Even at the grocery store, there is inspiration. The color of a pieceof fruit might be the next paint color you choose for your wall. If you keep your eyes and mind open, you will start to see it to. Yes, even at the grocery store!
While we were in Chicago, we visited a few little shops that had furniture and antiques. I was in heaven! My favorite shop was packed full of unusual and old furniture and accessories. They were distressed and worn and fabulous! Each piece had a story and each piece provided me with some sort of inspiration. I left feeling excited and energized (and carrying a new table). My head was spinning about all the things I saw and what I could have done with them. I found so much inspiration I wanted to sketch and write for hours about what I saw so I wouldn't forget a single thing. I was like this the entire weekend, thinking non-stop about all the interesting things I was seeing. Too bad I forgot my camera!
Inspiration, I love it! I thrive on it. I came home last night ready to re-decorate my whole house based on things I had seen over the weekend! At least I have my new table to work with! That should keep me satisfied for about a day or two!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Paint, Paint and More Paint!!!

I am happy and relieved to announce that we finally painted the entire first level of our home…in one weekend! No more gross peachy yellow in the family room and kitchen, no more horrid yellow in the formal living room, no more army green in the entry and hallway. My home is now soft, serene and tranquil. All the rooms flow together nicely and feel warm and inviting. What a difference a fresh coat of paint can make. Painting always seems like such an overwhelming task. Honestly, it’s not the most fun I have ever had on a weekend, but it was good to spend time with my husband and good to make our home have a little bit more our style.

Paint is an easy and somewhat inexpensive way to spruce up a space. But it can be a real pain and a challenge picking out the right color. Here are some helpful tips on picking out paint colors for your home.

-Look for color repetition already in your home.
-Open your closet and note the tones you wear most.
-Women, look at the hues in your make up.
-Go to the paint store and see what color families attract you.
-Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers that you like. What colors are you holding?
-Think about your favorite memories, experiences, and vacations-the times you felt most happy -and peaceful. What colors surrounded you? Look through photos albums to trigger memories.
-Flip through magazines and catalogs or check out websites to see what spaces are most appealing to you.
-Pay close attention to how you feel when you walk into different spaces.

When picking out my paint color, I used a few of these techniques. I looked at my closet…lots of browns and earthy tones so I knew that would be a good direction for me. I also looked to my favorite vacation spots, which are mostly beaches. All the colors I chose have a bit of a beach feel to them. I also paid close attention to pictures in magazines and what colors I was drawn to.

Picking paint is difficult, even for the trained eye. Trust your instincts. You know what colors you like and what colors will actually work in your home. As I have said in previous posts, just because a color is “trendy” does not mean it will work in your home with your stuff!! Be true to who you are, but be true to who your house is to.

I hope your next painting project is as gratifying as mine was! It was well worth the work!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

When a designer needs to hire a designer.

I love design. I love putting a color palette together, I love picking out furniture, I love doing space plans for my clients. I love it all. I really love the look on a client's face when they see their newly designed room for the first time. I love helping people achieve the vision they have in their minds for their home. So...why is it that I have can't find the vision for my own home??
We moved into our house about 8 months ago. We painted the bedrooms, a few bathrooms, hung some window treatments and replaced a lot of lights. The entire process took about a month, and I am lucky I did not develop an ulcer or rip all my hair out. Making decisions for other people is easy for me. I can do it in my sleep, I dream of a client's home and it is a sweet wonderful dream. If I dream about my own home, I am jolted awake in a panic! It is very stressful designing my own home. Maybe it is the pressure of being a designer and thinking my own home should be a "show palace" of sorts. Maybe I am worried that I will pick the wrong color or fabric and live each day hating my house. Whatever the reason, I have had many moments that I wished I could hire my own designer to make the decisions for me.
However, I am grateful for the experience. I can sympathize with clients that are fearful of something new. I always think every meeting with a client is fun and exciting, but I wonder if they are laying awake at night panicking about the colors I suggested or the sofa I told them they should buy. Or, maybe they are relieved that someone else is doing the work for them. They can go to bed at night and not think about all the colors of paint and all the choices they have to make about tile. Maybe I make their lives a little bit easier. I love that part of my job, making others lives easier. That sounds really nice!
Now...who is going to do that for me??? Ugh, why did I tell my husband I wanted to paint the kitchen and the family room this weekend. Well, I didn't really need to sleep tonight anyway! Look for blog updates on the next design project for my home. If you don't hear from me for awhile, don't worry, I'm just sleeping!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Azure-The New Color for Spring

I get asked on a daily basis "What are the "in" colors right now?" I usually don't have a good answer. I think color trends are just that, trends. They might be in style, but can you really live with a room that is hot pink, or purple? Maybe. However, I like to help clients pick paint colors based on their own personal preferences, what furniture they currently have or are getting ready to purchase and what the house dictates for color choices. I think it is more important to ask yourself how a color really makes you feel instead of whether or not it is "in" right now.

But...I know you are ALL dying to know what the "in" color for spring is!! Azure is very hot right now. I think it is a really interesting shade that adds a lot of drama to a room. It actually works well with a lot of different styles and colors, its a nice backdrop for a room. I actually really like this color and could see using it sometime.

Let me know what you think about Azure. Where would you use this color and what colors would you put with it??