Archive for July, 2010
Friday, July 16th, 2010
I read a lot of blogs. Most of them are Interior Design blogs, but some of them are on other topics of interest to me. One of the blogs I like is called The Calm Space and the topics are about Happiness and Serenity. Yesterday the writer, Vitania M. Liscio posted an article that is all about using what you already have to redecorate your home and freshen it up. It fit my sentiments exactly! After all, my work in Interior Design is really all about helping my clients be more happy with their homes. It isn’t all about buying new stuff (although that is fun!). But if the things you already have can be arranged, changed and displayed to improve the feel of your home, then that’s a great way to get started on making your surroundings the best they can be. Plus, she gives great tips, so I thought I would share it with you.
~~photo is of one of my paintings displayed in a penthouse I staged~~
So, how do I redecorate my own home with what I’ve already got? Well, I enjoy painting as a hobby, plus I buy a lot of inexpensive and colorful art for my work in home staging. When I need a change, I rotate my art, bringing out pieces I haven’t seen in awhile and putting others away. It is an easy way to change the whole look and color palette of my home without having to buy anything new.
Interior Designers usually refer to this rearranging and re-purposing of your furniture, art and accessories as “Re-Design” and it’s one of the services I offer. One great bonus is that this is a very sustainable way to redecorate because you don’t have to find a place to get rid of your older things. It’s also a thrifty way to allocate your design dollars.
Do you love the idea of re-designing your rooms with what you have, but just can’t imagine where to start? After living with your belongings in one arrangement for so long, it can be tough to imagine them any other way. A fresh pair of eyes can be very helpful. If you’d like help with re-designing your space, pick up the phone and give me a call. I’d love to help! 503.816.4394
Tags: decorate, Interior Design, redecorate, redesign, the calm space, Vitania M. Liscio
Posted in Art, Cool Ideas, DIY, Design Dollars, Design Tips, Fireplace, Home Staging, Interior Design, Sustainable style, redesign | 1 Comment »
Friday, July 9th, 2010
Chandeliers are bullies!! There — I’ve said it! When there is a chandelier in your dining area, you’re immediately stuck having to center your table under it — or ARE you? When it comes to dining room chandeliers, do you ever wonder “Why did they have to put that THERE?!!” This past month alone, I’ve had 4 clients all with the same problem. The chandelier in the dining room — or dining area in an open floor plan — is placed in a spot that forces them to put a table in an awkward spot. Here’s what we are doing in each case.
The first client has a chandelier and a large window in their kitchen dining area which don’t line up. If they center their table under the chandelier, it is noticeably out of alignment with the window, and vice versa. So, since it’s easier to move the chandelier than to move the window, we’ll have an electrician move the j-box about 10″ over to the correct position and use a large, simple ceiling medallion to cover where the old location was.
Client #2 has a large, ornate, dark bronze colored ceiling fan in her dining area. If she centers her table under it, then the table and chairs are smack in the way of a heavily used traffic flow area to the back door. The table really needs to be about 18″ further away from the door area. Since the client really needs a ceiling fan my recommendation in this case is to change to a much lower profile “ceiling hugging” version in white to match the ceiling. That will really minimize the visual of the ceiling fan, allowing it to become a non-issue in the placement of the table. The client is going more contemporary in their decor, so this kills two birds …
Client #3 had a tiny eat-in area in their kitchen with a door to the garage that opens into the kitchen. Centering the table under the chandelier meant that the door would hit the table when it opened. The client was thinking of swagging the chandelier chain, which is certainly a viable option. But that would really call attention to the ceiling and the fact that the whole business (table-chandelier) has to be off center. Since the client already had a 3-light track fixture at the other end of the kitchen, I suggested installing a matching 3-light track fixture instead of the chandelier. Now the table can be toward one side without any off-center visual issues, plus they are able to light the table and put a spotlight on wall art.
Client #4 just bought a new condo. They have an open plan kitchen/dining/living room. There is a nice large niche with a bay window that is a natural spot for the table. But of course, the chandelier has been placed too far into the room so that centering their table under it will mean that it is too close to one of the pathways into their kitchen area. The rest of the room has recessed can light fixtures, so this time we will retrofit a ceiling can light in place of the chandelier (which the client didn’t like anyway).
Is there a chandelier in your life giving you trouble? Give me a call. For all 4 of these clients, I came up with a solution that fit their particular situation on my initial consultation.
Tags: chandeliers, dining area, Dining Room, dining table, furniture placement, Lighting
Posted in DIY, Design Tips, Dining Room, Home Staging, Interior Design, Kitchen, Lighting, Mistakes: Avoiding & Fixing, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Friday, July 2nd, 2010
Today in the news there’s something GOOD for a change! Oregon has a new law and program to help recycle leftover paint. Read the full article on the new Paint Stewardship Law here.
I know that after painting rooms I always end up with paint left over. And I love to change paint colors in my house every so often because it’s such an easy way to change the look. So all that paint adds up. Here’s a great tip on the best way to properly store paint for later use (from the article).
Place plastic wrap on the tops of paint cans before fitting lids on snugly, and store upside down at a moderate temperature.
It’s great to have touch-up paint for the occasional dings we get in our walls. But once you change colors in your house and no longer need the old color on hand, it’s great that you now have a much easier way to get your paint into a recycling center.
This is also good news if you’ve ever bought a gallon of paint and begun painting – only to realize you really blew it on the color! Now you have a whole gallon of paint you won’t be using! Of course, this wouldn’t be happening to you if you had hired me to give you the best paint color consultation you’ll ever have!
And when you are choosing your paint in the first place – be sure to ask for zero VOC paint. I’m using a Benjamin Moore low VOC paint for my kitchen cabinets in my current project. Almost all of the paint brands now have a zero VOC option. Just ask!
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Tags: Benjamin Moore, color, color consultation, paint color, recycling, sustainable style
Posted in Colors, DIY, Interior Design, Mistakes: Avoiding & Fixing, Sustainable style, Trends | No Comments »
Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Do you ever find yourself giving great advice (you KNOW what someone else should do) but not taking it yourself?
I’ve given advice to countless clients to paint outdated cabinets or unattractive brick to freshen up a space. And I have done it in past homes of my own. But for over 4 years now, I’ve been living with a kitchen that is very outdated and not so very functional because I don’t have the funds right now to do the BIG KITCHEN REMODEL. I put that in all caps because it really will be an enormous task that will require taking out a wall, moving plumbing lines and lots and lots of money.
I have done a few things. The photos above show the kitchen as it was when we bought our home and then after my first mini-makeover. It had navy blue wallpaper and a refrigerator that stuck out into the kitchen.
The first thing I did was to chop off the end of my kitchen counter & cabinets so I could fit in a wider, counter depth refrigerator. I did that with a circular saw my first week here and the raw end of the cabinet has been the same ever since because I didn’t want to put in new countertops or cabinetry until I can remodel. Not a pretty sight as you can see in the picture below. But I do have a piece of the old cabinet that I can use as a door and reconstruct the end to be functional. I also took out the wallpaper and painted colors that I like. I know – they are pretty wild. I would not force these colors on a client, so don’t be frightened!
I also tore out some upper cabinets that were between the kitchen & family room. No photos of that yet. You had to stoop to look under them and they closed off the space. But there is still the raw end of the remaining cabinets showing and a couple holes in the ceiling. But the last couple years have been … well, you know how they’ve been … so I am not buying new cabinets. Not even Ikea cabinets! Not even just the uppers! And the last improvement I made was to remove the dropped ceiling fluorescent light fixture and replace it with halogen recessed spot lights. Much better! But I’ve made no further improvements for over a year and a half now.
Then a few things happened that got me thinking I should take my own advice. Last week I sent out my newsletter and wrote about 5 Quick & Affordable Pick-Me-Ups For a Tired Kitchen. And then I read a great post - Sometimes “Good Enough” Is Good Enough by Anna at Door Sixteen. An excellent post on not requiring perfection out of yourself so that you have time to enjoy life. And on top of that, my neighbor and friend is buying a home built in the 70′s – like mine – and has asked me to help her remodel her kitchen. I have kitchens on the brain right now.
So, I’m finally taking my own advice and making some relatively small and affordable improvements in my kitchen so I can enjoy it for now and stop feeling embarrassed about it.
First: I’m painting the cabinets. Trust me – the wood looks a lot better in the photos than it does in person. I’m using deep warm gray on the base cabinets (Benjamin Moore Dragon’s Breath) and white white white on the wall cabinets.
Next: I am replacing the cabinet hardware. I only needed handles for the base cabinets so this is very inexpensive. I went with Ikea handles. They are good enough for now.
Last: I will move one upper cabinet to the other side of the kitchen to replace the one with the raw end. Then I will put up open shelves to replace the cabinet I’m moving. This will give me upper cabinets on only one side of the kitchen. I think it’s going to feel more open and a bonus will be that I can unload my dishwasher quickly onto open shelves — well the dishes anyway.
That will be it for this mini-makeover. New countertops, backsplash & flooring will have to wait.
So, for now I am painting and re-drilling holes for the handles. I’ll post photos as I go along, so stay tuned.
What “good enough” improvements are you making in your own homes?