Tuesday, October 4, 2016

SHARED BOYS BEDROOM REVEAL : CREATING A STYLISH SPACE FOR BOYS



After learning I was pregnant with Zaria (our 5 child), I knew we'd have to do some rearranging in the house to accommodate both the new arrival and the existing occupants.  Without any extra rooms to spare and after much thought and discussion we decided to give the new baby Saleh's old room and turn my hubby's office into the boys' shared bedroom. 

Designing a shared space can be tricky.  How does one create a cohesive look while still incorporating each child's individual personality?


Saleh is 12 and Samori is 3, so like the girls shared bedroom, I knew that the space I designed for the boys would have to not only have to employ some creative storage ideas, it would also have to incorporate both boys interests and personalities. Saleh is a sci-fi fan and avid reader while Samori loves cars, trucks and building blocks.

Like most of the spaces in our home, I wanted the boys room to have a classic yet updated feel so I came came up with this design board which incorporates traditional, eclectic and modern features like dark wood, a bit of leather, vintage furnishings and a few fun colorful elements.





The boys will be in the space for quite some time to come, so I didn't want the design elements in the space to scream "kids room." Saleh will be entering his teen years soon and needs a space that matches his growing age and level of maturity.  The plan was to create a masculine, mature space with pops of color and a few playful design elements.  Here's how the space turned out...






As you can see, I stuck pretty close to the elements of the design plan, adding lots of storage for Saleh's books and a bunk bed to maximize floor space.

Cohesion is Key


Although I used different patterns in the space, selecting the same bedding for both beds helps tie the space together and ensures a more cohesive look. 

Texture + Color


To create a collected and curated feel in the space, I added varying textures via the textile, drapery and area rug. The fuzzy red pillows are Samori's favorite.



The leather sofa was in the room when it served as my hubby's office. I love how its dark handsome tone, slightly weathered look, and menswear-like stitching add to the room's cozy charm.  Now the boys have extra space for when friends sleep over.


Balancing Traditional and Modern Styles

 Don't let the classic design of traditional rugs fool you. They're really quite versatile and can be used in both traditional, contemporary or modern spaces. The rug is one of the first purchases we made for the house way back when and has been in the room since the space served as my husband's office. The more traditional style of the rug provides a great contrast to the bright white table and more playful accents in the space. 

I love designing a room using contrasting design elements. It adds to the collected and carefully curated feel of the space.   


Using the rug in the boys room is also great example of how a traditional style rug can be just as functional in a space designed for children as they are in an adult space.

Storage + Function + Flexibility 

I added the small white table for Samori to work on his puzzles and play with his collection of building blocks and cars.  It's easy to wipe down after a coloring or painting session and light enough to slide out of the way when the inevitable "wrestling matches" occur. 



The dark wood bookcases house Saleh's prized action figures, novels and comic book collection perfectly and within easy reach.  The metal storage bins have been a great help when its time to coral smaller toys.



Mix Pattern for a Well Curated Feel

What makes the boys' bedroom unique to our family's style is that there are traditional elements with touches of tribal pattern and bold color that give the room a well traveled but still age appropriate feel.


Add a Personal Touch - Customize the Design


It's hard to choose my favorite design feature of the space. There are just so many.  However, I suppose if I had to narrow it down I'd say my favorite feature it would be the number of customized pieces featured in the space. From the leather draw pulls we used to create a one of a kind look (I'll be sharing a tutorial on the pulls in a later post), to the painted bunk bed and refinished vintage campaign desk, there are several design elements that personalize the space and make the room unique. I believe that ingenuity and creativity are key factors in achieving inspiring design results.


COOL DESIGN FACT: The draw pulls are made from men's leather belts I cut to size. I love how the pulls add a masculine feel and give the piece a more personalized look to the otherwise modern dresser.


Here's a shot of the happy client showing off his new drawer pulls.  I really enjoyed coming up with a room design for the boys that's functional, stylish and fun. Samori's expression says it all. Another satisfied client!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

UPDATE YOUR HOME DECOR: HOW TO MIX PILLOW PATTERNS LIKE A PRO



As a designer, there are lots of tricks of the trade I use to make big impact design changes in a living space. I love to change the look of a room by making small but impactful changes. You may be surprised to learn that enhancing your home's decor is often as easy as switching out an area rug, changing your drapery, adding lighting or updating your throw pillows.



Adding decorative throw pillows to refresh a space is one of my favorite go to "tricks of the trade."   


A quick throw pillow update is often the perfect solution to that age old dilemma of how to update your home's decor without breaking the bank.

But how does one go about selecting the right pillows? How do you pair patterns together for an unexpected yet chic and complimentary look?



Choosing the right mix of pattern and color for your throw pillows can be a delicate balancing act.

I'll admit, there's a very thin line between "wow that looks amazing!" and "what in the world were you thinking when you paired those pillows together?" 


Today I'll be sharing a few tips to help demystify perceptions and guide you to making the right choices when mixing printed pillows in your own home.



4 Factors You Must Consider When Choosing Your Pillows:


1. Pattern & Color 

The first step in mixing pillow patterns is to start with a pattern you love.  Choose a color from that patterned pillow and add a solid pillow in that same hue.  For instance, if the pillow pattern you've chosen is a combination of blue, green and orange, you can pair the printed pillow with a solid orange blue or green pillow. Although you're mixing patterns the key is to still to create a sense of cohesion. 






2. Texture

Texture is a a fun and unexpected element that adds depth and interest in any space. Linen, silk, velvet, leather, and even fur are great ways to incorporate a bit of texture in your pillow combination. Add a furry pillow to a pair of pillows, as seen below, for an eye catching and stylish look.




3. Number of Pillows

Be careful not to overdo it. I like to cluster no more than 2 or 3 pillows at the end of a sofa.  An odd number of pillows gives a more casual look while 2 pillows or an even number of pillows tends to feel more formal. Keeping the pillow count at no more than 3 still gives you desired color and interest in the space with out compromising comfort. The last thing you want is guests having to place your lovely pillows on the floor in order to sit on the sofa.




4. Size & Scale 

The scale of the pattern on the pillow along with the actual size of the pillow are also important to consider. Using varying size pillows allows each pillow to stand out on its own (it's own moment in the spotlight) and further enhances the look of the space. 





So are you ready to experiment with mixing pillows?  Put these handy tips to the test and let me know how your home's new look turns out.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

3 EASY WAYS TO INSTANTLY IMPROVE YOUR HOME'S CURB APPEAL



Curb Appeal: "The attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property, as viewed from the street."


First impressions are everything. The best way to welcome guests and make a great first impression is with an inviting entryway. Making a positive first impression on your guests by improving your home's curb appeal can easily be done in one weekend.

Although we're entering the last few weeks of summer, it's not too late to give your home's exterior a mini makeover.


You know I love color.  Our front door with its bold yellow hue, lets our arriving guests know that right away. Would you believe I found this gorgeous array of vibrant flowers at our local garden center?


I love how the fuchsia, white and purple flowers I selected really provide a nice contrast to the color of the front door.  I added a pair of window boxes and a large planter to complete the new look.


The entire project was finished in just one day!



Our home's updated exterior looks great with the easy addition of a traditional style planter, window boxes and vibrant flowers.  I love the way it turned out!

You can make the most of your home's appearance with these 3 quick and simple upgrades:


1. PAINT YOUR DOOR AN EYE-CATCHING COLOR 


A fresh coat of paint can completely reinvent your front door. Your front door is the first thing people see. Make a statement by painting the door a vibrant hue.  A colorful front door creates a welcoming tone,customizes the look of your home and is a great way to introduce guests to your personal style.





If bright colors aren't your thing, you can always go with a more classic and timeless color.  My personal favorite classic color on a front door is black.  There is just something so chic and sophisticated about a black lacquered front door with classic hardware.



2. ADD FRESH FLOWERS 


Whether via window boxes, a container garden or planting them in your front lawn, fresh flowers have a way of improving your mood, adding color and dimension to a space.

Fill 2-3 planters of varying heights with flowers and place them by your front door for a cheerful and welcoming display.

Window boxes brimming with colorful flowers and foliage add charm to the home's facade.


If you're like me and are often short on the time and energy required to maintain larger beds of flowers or gardens, then installing window boxes is a wonderful alternative.



Plant flowers along your walkway leading to your front door. visual impact to the facade


3. UPDATE HARDWARE 





You'd be surprised how much changing out your door's hardware after applying a fresh coat of paint to in an inviting hue, will boost your entryway's appearance. 



From bronze to brass, there are many stunning door knocker and door handle finish and style options on the market to choose from.







Once you've switched out your hardware, consider adding a kickplate to your door as well.  Kickplates are both functional and decorative. Attach a kickplate to the bottom of the front door to protect against scuff marks and to add some unexpected "bling." The kickplate on the eggplant colored door below is simple but add visual interest and personality to the entryway. 


So are you ready to make a change that will have an immediate impact on your home's exterior? Check out my CURB APPEAL board on Pinterest for more ideas and tips on how to add curb appeal with style and ease.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

ROUND MIRROR ROUNDUP : HOW TO USE A MIRROR TO ADD A CLASSIC YET MODERN LOOK AT HOME



One of  the easiest ways to decorate unused wall space is with a beautiful mirror or two, as seen in the photo above.  You'd be surprised what incorporating a large scale round mirror into a room's design can do to add elegance and sophistication to the look of the space.




Why Designers Love Round Mirrors


Although their shape is quite simple, over-sized round mirrors are great for softening the horizontal or vertical lines of furnishings like desks, tables, headboards and dressers.



Using an over-sized round mirror as a focal point on the wall can also add a clean, modern look in a more traditional setting.  




Circular shapes, like the round mirror pictured below, add interest and help soften the look of a wall when there are straight edges and vertical lines in the same space. The round mirror breaks up the monotony of all the lines.


Hanging a large round mirror is also a great way to make a big statement.  This mirror's classic yet modern design effortlessly makes a statement to entering guests and really completes the design of this entryway space. 




Where Should You Hang A Round Mirror at Home?


Some great places to hang a round mirror in your home are: above a table or bench in your entryway, over the sink in your bathroom, as part of a gallery wall, filling in the blank space above your bed, or over your living room sofa.







Where Can You Score A Round Mirror For Your Own Home?


Ready to give your home decor a lift? I've rounded up 5 of my favorite round mirrors just for you. Try hanging any one of these at home for a look that's sure to refresh your space.  Check out the links below the photo for purchasing information.


Purchasing links: 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5


Need help determining which mirror works best in your space. Schedule a consultation with me to discuss the best options for creating your room's new look. Contact me here and lets get started!

Monday, June 6, 2016

PROJECT RAMADAN READY: DECORATING AT HOME WITH STYLE FOR RAMADAN

Today begins the holy month of Ramadan!  Each year, our family, along with billions of Muslims all over the world abstain from food and drink from sun up to sunset for the holy month of Ramadan.  It is a time for reflection, spiritual growth, being charitable and kind, making extra prayers, increasing good deeds, and challenging ourselves to be the best we can be.

During Ramadan, our family spends alot of time at home hosting guests for iftar (the evening meal eaten at the end of the daily fast), praying and reflecting together.

It's really important to me to create a home environment that is festive, warm and welcoming for Ramadan. Adding fun, holiday touches around the house is also a great way to keep the family in the "Ramadan spirit" all month long.

Last week, the kids and I headed to Michael's with plans to create simple decorative accents to add to the house for Ramadan. Our trip was a success. We returned home with lots of goodies!



Each day last week, we tackled a different area of the house, adding fun touches to commemorate the coming holy month. The living room was the first area of the house to get the "Ramadan upgrade."


And what better place to start?  Our living room is the space in our home where we pray and also welcome guests.   Here's how the area started out.  I decided we would use the fireplace mantle as the focal point for our decorations.



Since our Ramadan decorations will be up all month, I chose materials in a color pallete that compliments our living room's existing decor.  We picked up a variety of scrapbook paper in lavender, pale blue patterns and white.

After perusing the internet, I came across these great mosque shaped printables which made the project easy for even the kids to do.


First we printed, cut out and traced the various shapes for the mosque (ie. the dome, doorway and minaret/tower) onto contrasting scrapbook paper.



Then we cut out the scrapbook paper and glued the shapes to white paper bags. Voila! Super simple but just wait until you see the completed project.

Here's a look at the same space after we added our holiday decorations. 




Decorating using a variation of texture, pattern and even the subtlest colors creates visually interest.  


I think we've achieved that here. To give the display more dimension, we decorated the area in layers. The design elements work wonderfully together to create a look that is cohesive, festive and welcoming.

With the wide variety of scrapbook colors, patterns and even textures available on the market, it's easy to select materials that will compliment any decor.

I love how the blue patterned scrapbook paper resembles mosaic tile.  



Next, using the small black favor boxes and self-adhesive glitter tape we picked up at Michael's, we made miniature Kaabas. The Kaaba is a holy building located in Mecca.  at the center of Muslims face in Mecca.  Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba when performing daily prayers, no matter where we are in the world.  It is a unifying experience performed 5 times per day. There's a mini kaaba for each family member on the mantle.

We also hung a fun metallic streamer garland across the mantle.  We used the remaining lavender scrapbook paper to make circle garland and then draped DIY garland across the mirror panels.



I'm sure you're wondering about the dates.  Dates are the traditional food Muslims end their fast with at the end of each day.  Like an appetizer, they're typically served before the main course at iftars.


I like to use this silver serving tray to serve dates to guests.  We placed the dates front and center, a traditional welcome for our iftar guests.



I think the space turned out perfect.  The kids were so excited to see our simple yet fun and festive touches come together!


We came up with quite a few festive decorations to welcome the holy month.  I'll be sharing them with you here on the blog over the next few posts. 

Stay tuned for a look at the festive touches we added to the dining room!