Sunday, March 27, 2016

7 WAYS TO RECREATE THE LOOK OF A LUXURY HOTEL AT HOME




As a mom of 5, the pampering and comfort of a hotel stay is always welcome. However, I find returning home from a hotel stay can be bittersweet,   I love the familiarity of home but after a weekend of relaxation, luxury linens, room service, and spa treatments I always come home looking for ways to recreate the luxurious hotel feel at home.

After a weekend of relaxation, fluffy down pillows, luxury linens, room service, spa treatments and elegant accommodations I return home looking for ways to recreate the same luxurious aesthetic at home.


I'm sure you know the feeling. You spend a few days at a hotel only to return home to find yourself craving to be surrounded by sophisticated decor, a relaxing setting and plush textiles. It's perfectly understandable. Who wouldn't want to experience luxury on a daily basis?



Whether its the look of a sophisticated boutique style hotel, a quaint and cozy bed and breakfast or the elegant decadence of a world renowned hotel, recreating a hotel feel at home may be easier than you think.

I've pulled together 7 key elements you'll need to accomplish a hotel inspired look in your own bedroom:


1. A RESTFUL COLOR PALETTE


Color can be used to set the mood and inspire emotions. Choose soothing, restful paint colors such as greens, blues, beige, gray or even lavender for your bedroom walls.  These colors create a welcoming sense of comfort and create an illusion of a larger space.




2. THE RIGHT LIGHTING 


The purpose of lighting in a bedroom is not only functional, it's also decorative. A luxury bedroom typically features multiple lighting sources (i.e. a beautiful statement chandelier centered above the bed, bedside table lamps, and wall sconces). Layering lighting in the space adds drama and interest.

Use dimmer light switches when installing your bedroom lighting. This will allow you the ability to adjust the intensity of the light in the room based on your mood or needs.


3. LUXURY UNDERFOOT 


The flooring in your bedroom is just as important as the bedding or decor. A deep-pile carpet in a neutral shade or a plush shag rug create a luxurious look in a bedroom and feel great underfoot on brisk mornings.

4. INVEST IN YOUR BEDDING 


Pile on the pillows for a plush ultra luxurious experience. Make your bed plush and inviting by using at least 2 down pillows, 2 down alternative pillows and 1-2 boudoir or decorative pillows.


There's nothing like waking up from a restful sleep at a 5-star hotel. Crisp linen or cotton high quality sheets of atleast 300 thread count are often used at finer hotels. Be sure to layer the bedding (fitted sheet, flat sheet, and a down comforter).





An upholstered headboard is both stylish and functional in a hotel style bedroom. The upholstered headboard makes propping yourself up for an evening of reading or television watching an inviting and comforting experience.





5. ACCESSORIZE WITH ELEMENTS OF LUXURY 


You can further the pampered theme in the bedroom by accessorizing with luxurious accents. Set fresh flowers atop a small stack of books on your nightstand. Complete the look with elegantly framed artwork, your favorite scented candle or a carafe of fresh lemon water.



6. CREATE A SEATING AREA


Hotel rooms often are designed in zones based on the function each area is meant to serve (ie. an area to read/work , to sleep, to bathe, etc).  Creating a seating area in your hotel inspired room is a great use of additional space in the room. An upholstered chair, chaise or settee with a small table nearby to hold a cup of tea or favorite book can create the ideal sitting area/ reading nook/ lounge space withing your bedroom.



7. USE A SIGNATURE SCENT


A chic hotel style space should be topped off with a welcoming and relaxing scent via candles or aromatherapy products.

Scent can trigger reflection on a fond memory, a favorite place or creating a calming response.  



Aromatherapy products promote a restful ambiance and can be used in fragrance diffusers. Aromatherapy fragrances have been used as room scents and medicinal agents for thousands of years. Each essential oil has its own unique signature, some being soothing and calming, some stimulating or having an aphrodisiac effect."





With a little ingenuity, no matter the size of budget, a hotel design aesthetic can certainly be achieved at home.   It simply requires a well thought out design plan.

Need help designing you luxury space at home? Let's chat! Contact me  today to book your consultation.

Monday, March 21, 2016

DIY DECORATING vs HIRING A PROFESSIONAL : HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO CALL IN A DESIGN PRO





With the influx of home DIY shows, home improvement blogs, tutorials and home decorating magazines, many decorating enthusiasts find themselves tempted to try their hand at making major updates around the house.

Doing a home renovation or decorating project yourself certainly can reduce initial costs, however many projects may at first appear easier to complete than they actually are. I can't even begin to tell you the number of calls and emails I receive from homeowners who realize they've bitten off more than they can chew with their decorating projects. Typically by the time they decide to call in an expert for help, they've made several costly design decisions that could have easily been avoided with the help of a professional at the onset of the project.


You may be surprised to learn that hiring a pro may actually save you money in the long term. Working with an interior designer not only adds a polished finished to your design project or renovation, it can also save you lots of headache, heartache and time.

Here are 3 important factors to consider before when determining if you should embark upon your design project on your own:



PROJECT SCOPE


The first thing you need to consider is the complexity of the project at hand.  Are you simply adding decorative pillows and a fresh coat of paint or are you looking to update the entire space by getting new furnishings, flooring, lighting, etc.?  If your project leans more towards the latter of the two, you may want to call in a pro. Updating your entire space typically calls for space planning, custom furniture design, accessories, as well as lighting and color selection.


A designer's job, through use of their experience, resources and expertise, is to inspire and help guide you through design decisions to ensure the best possible outcome for your space.


 A design professional is skilled at taking a design project from the inspiration phase to the implementation phase while anticipating any possible hurdles along the way.


TIME


Another important factor in determining how to proceed with your project is time.  Before getting started, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do I really have the time to dedicate to this project? 
  • Do I have the time to research furnishing, determine the best options, purchase and install items necessary to successfully complete this project?
  • Do I have the time to manage this project correctly (i.e arrange deliveries, work with contractors, perform quality inspections on contractors work, schedule and oversee installations, etc) ?


If you've answered "yes" to these questions, a DIY project may be right up your alley.  However, if your answer to any of the above questions is "no," you may want to give hiring a design professional some serious consideration.

Today's modern society demands so much of our time.  From meetings at work to kids' activities to community events,  time is the one thing we all find ourselves wishing we had more of.   Although many of us have had to become pros at juggling responsibilities,  a wise juggler knows when not add an extra "ball" to the act, so to speak.

Hiring an interior designer saves you a ton of time. This is what we do! We are familiar with an array of furnishing, textile and wall covering options and have go-to sources, experienced contractors and installers ready to serve our clients' needs. 


YOUR BUDGET 


Budgets are important not only for décor; they will also help you form realistic expectations for the cost of the total project. If your project does not require working with tradesmen, contractors and you are clear on your budget and the direction you want to go in, proceeding with the DIY route may be suitable for your project.

However, if you need help establishing your budget, working with a design professional is the perfect choice. Once established, your budget will serve as a tool to allow your designer to propose timely realistic solutions that meet your needs and fit your budget, saving you both time and money.





Did you know that there are brands and resources that are only available to design professionals and not to the general public? Often through the use of designer discounts and offers available only "to the trade," working with an Interior Designer can end up actually saving you money.   

Whether you choose to work with a designer or not, you must determine what your budget is before you embark upon any project. 

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If you’re not sure whether your design project is a candidate for DIY or if it requires the help of a design professional, a good way to make a determination is by booking a consultation with an Interior Designer.  


During a consultation, a design professional will assess your space and let you know how they can best help bring your vision to life. It's a great staring point for your project!



The prospect of decorating a single room or an entire home can often seem like an
overwhelming undertaking. However, the anticipation of a newly designed space that
meets your aesthetic and functional expectations is an exciting experience
The prospect of decorating a single room or an entire home can often seem like an
overwhelming undertaking. However, the anticipation of a newly designed space that
The prospect of decorating a single room or an entire home can often seem like an overwhelming challenge. However, working with a professional designer relieves the stress of that challenge and makes the anticipation of a well designed, unique space that meets your style and needs an exciting experience.

Want to learn more about the design consultations I offer and how they can help you on your way to creating a space you love? Let's chat! Contact me to book your consultation today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

DESIGN ADVICE: 7 THINGS YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR DINING ROOM



Dining rooms are typically the space in the house where families come together to eat, laugh, share stories and entertain. Many people find decorating a space that is so multi-functional to be a bit of a challenge. However, no matter the current state or size of the room, achieving a dining space that is stylish and inviting is within your reach. 


To help take the challenge out of creating a dining room both you and your family love, t
oday I'm sharing 7 simple but impactful things you'll need to transform your dining room into a functional, comfortable and stylish dining space.



1. Comfortable Seating


Using a host/hostess chairs at the table is a great way to add personality and character to your dining space. 


If you've already purchased a table and matching chairs set for your dining room, add contrasting seating at each end of the table for a distinctively stylish look. The upholstered wingback host and hostess chairs I used in this eclectic dinning room replaces the original wood chairs that came with the set and are just as comfortable as they are stylish.



The custom decorative pillow, in a complimenting pattern that incorporates the colors used throughout the space, adds the finishing touch to this fiery hued chair.



NOTE: A Host/Hostess chair can also be same style chair as the other chairs at the table. However, if the chairs are all the same style, the chairs at the head of the table should be of a different color or fabric.



2. A Statement Chandelier


A beautiful chandelier can be the focal point of a well designed dining room.  Chandeliers are no longer just for traditional spaces. A chandelier over the dining time is like adding that final piece of jewelry to an amazing outfit.  A chandelier is often the piece de resistance - sparkling above guests, casting brilliant illuminating light on the space, and serving as a conversation starter as guests marvel at it's uniqueness.





If you prefer more a more traditional design aesthetic, choose a chandelier style that matches the architectural style of your home. However, if you're feeling adventurous, hang a a chandelier that contrasts the style of the room. Whatever you chose, look for a chandelier with a silhouette that makes a statement. 

Make sure the chandelier is centered over the table. The bottom of the chandelier should hang anywhere between 30 and 36 inches above the table, allowing guests enough space to enjoy conversation with someone seated across the table from them. 



3. WALL ART


.

Remember art is subjective. That being said, a grouping of your favorite baskets or framed theater tickets from a special night out can all work as art. 


Use art or mirrors to bring life to bare walls.  Hanging a mirror is a great use of wall space as mirrors reflect light and depending on the mirror's size, can even make your dining room appear larger.  Hang one large piece or group smaller pieces together (as I did here with the 2 antiqued sunbust mirrors) to take up more visual space on the wall.



4. Eye-catching Details

What separates good design from great design are the thoughtful touches and interesting details.  Nailhead trim on upholstery, crown molding, drapery trim, simple or elaborate centerpieces show that the designer has carefully considered all the areas of the space.




5. Additional Seating & Entertaining Space Options


Although my client's dining table has a commanding presence and enough space to seat her family, she also entertains guests often. So we added an additional seating area near the window for overflow guests to enjoy the party too.  The console serves as a great landing space for drinks and  h'orderves.






6. A Thoughtful Layout 

I find that conversations tend to flow alot easier when everyone has enough comfortable "personal" space at the table. Ideally, you want to make sure that there is at least 36 inches between the table and the walls to allow the chairs to easily slide out from the table.  There should also be about 24 inches between chairs to prevent bumping elbows and to allow people to slide chairs in and out without hitting anything.





7. Paint

Of course, the easiest way to make a big impact in a space is by adding or updating the wall color with paint.  Paint is cost effective and has the ability to completely change the look of a space.


You can create an intimate dining experience by choosing a warm color, liven things up with a bold and vibrant hue, create a calming feel with beige or refresh the look of your space with a new coat of bright white paint. The options are endless and the choice is yours!

So as you can see, proper color, lighting, and furniture placement are key to creating a stylish and functional space.  Were you surprised to learn how important considering these factors during the design process is?  Need more advice on how to get started in your own space? Contact me and book your consultation today.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

USE COLOR TO UPDATE YOUR SPRING WARDROBE & HOME DECOR





Choosing a color palette for your home can be challenging. If it's one thing I've learned from working with a variety of clients it's that when it come to decorating your home, color choices are subjective. A wall color one person considers exciting and energizing, another person may consider too bold and even garish.

During color consultations and when helping my clients plan a decorating project, I often ask them to dig deep and reflect on what colors make them feel good. I also ask what color outfit do they feel most comfortable and confident in.  You may be surprised to know that there is a direct correlation between color and your mood. 

Have you noticed that you seem happier, more confident on the days you wear your favorite colored blouse, skirt, pair of pants or sweater?  Similarly, a room's color can effect your outlook and mood. 



The right colors can enhance your mood, your look and even transform your space.




With warmer weather on its way, you may be thinking of updating your home or even your wardrobe with hints of spring color.


Although the number of gorgeous springtime color combinations are endless, a personal favorite of mine for this season is the classic combination of cobalt blue and cognac. 


Adding bold seasonal color is a great way to refresh both your space and your look. 



Mixing bold patterns is certainly not for the faint at heart.  However, this fashionista fiercely combines the classic color combination with pattern for an effortlessly chic, "ready for spring" look. Love it!



Combining pops of cobalt blue with cognac hued organic textures and textiles makes a neutral space warm and inviting.



Here saturated color envelopes the room and is used on the walls, ceiling, and shelving to create a cozy, cocoon-like effect.  The glossy bright white cabinets, greenery and wood toned accents and accessories give the space a fresh, modern traditional feel.




So whether you're looking to update your home or your wardrobe, here are some options I pulled together in this classic spring color combination.

These classic pieces  in bold and sophisticated color and pattern are all available online and just in time for purchasing this weekend. Happy Shopping!




Click on the links below for purchasing details:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

HOW TO INCORPORATE GLOBAL DECOR IN YOUR HOME IN 6 EASY STEPS







As a design professional, it's my job to keep abreast of emerging design trends and home decor styles. One style that may have started as a trend but has evolved into more of a design philosophy is global living or the infusion of global design at home.

From Indian inspired living rooms to African inspired bedrooms, more and more people are looking across the globe to find inspiration for their homes and the way they live. People want spaces that celebrate diversity and reflect who they are.


But how does one create a space that features global and exotic elements while maintaining one's modern lifestyle? 

Would you like to inject some global flair into your space, but just not sure where or how to start? Well I've got just the right tips to get you on your way.  Creating a global inspired space that feels genuine but stays true to your lifestyle is not as hard as you may think.

Here are my 6 steps to getting the "well-traveled" look at home.

STEP 1


Start with a A Neutral Base


Although I used a rich color (Sherwin Williams' Dark Knight) on the walls of my room vignette, I balanced out the saturated wall color and bright accessories by using a neutral colored sofa.

The key to using bold color is to keep the large scale design elements and furnishings (ie. sofa, dining table, sideboard) neutral. 


The bright white slipcovered sofa, with its simple and clean lines, was just the right blank canvas to sprinkle a medley of patterned pillows upon.





STEP 2


Decorate in Layers

Decorating in layers creates an interesting and organic feel.  It tells a story.  You can add layers in a space by laying a patterned rug on top of a natural fiber rug or placing a throw blanket or piece of fabric across the arm of a sofa and then nestling a printed pillow against the sofa arm. Yes, it's that easy!

Each layer is like a chapter in a book that once completed tells a beautiful story.


STEP 3


Infuse Bold Color

One of the quickest and easiest ways to add color in a space is by adding an area rug.  Bold, beautiful overdyed rugs come in a variety of colors and look great layered over natural fiber rugs like sisal rugs as I've done here.





Traditionally, overdyed rugs were created dying over the design of a vintage rug with a rich and saturated hue.  Overdyed rugs are a modern take on classic Persian antique rugs. I found this beautiful overdyed rug at Rugs USA and absolutely love it's rich color. It's vibrant hue instantly warms up the space and adds an exciting energy to the vignette.

These rugs are easy to clean and because of its already distressed/ antiqued look it's a great choice for high traffic areas of the home.

Rugs USA has a beautiful selection of international inspired rugs to chose from. A few of my personal favorites can be seen here, here and here. Any of these would look great in a global inspired space.


STEP 4

Focus Less on Collecting Objects and More on the Feeling you Want to Evoke in the Space


Decorating a space is not just about gathering and displaying "things."  A well curated and collected space features decor and objects that have meaning.  Furnishings chosen should evoke conversation and remind you of a special time or place.



STEP 5


Mix Rustic and Refined Design 

Natural wood tones and woven elements add warmth and charm to interior spaces. My favorite way to use woven pieces like baskets and bowls is to prominently display a collection of them on the wall. The display creates interest and often inspires conversation.


STEP 6

Introduce exotic pattern 

Pattern can be introduced in a space via area rugs, upholstered furnishing, or even throw pillows.  To create an authentic interior with international flair, do a little research.

Find out what types of textiles and patterns are used in the regions you'd like to reflect in your homes design.  


To incorporate elements of African design in the space,  I chose this stunning purple ankara print pillow from Reflektion Design.  Made by a wax-resist dyeing technique called Batik, Ankara fabric is characterized by bold vibrant pattern on 100% cotton.   


I learned that although Ankara fabric is typically associated with African culture, it’s origins are actually Dutch. Dutch wax prints started out as inexpensive reproductions of Indonesian batik fabric. "Ankara was originally intended for the Indonesian market but found a more enthusiastic market in West Africa, where it became a symbol of traditional and high quality fashion." - via

Need more help incorporating global decor in your home? Contact me today to book a consultation. Let's get started on creating a home you love!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

DECORATING WITH PLANTS: HOW TO CREATE A FRESH & INVITING HOME USING HOUSE PLANTS



A great way to usher in the spring season, create an inviting feel and add life to your space is to infuse some greenery at home.  Although decorating with fresh flowers is also a wonderful way to introduce seasonal color into your space, house plants typically last longer than cut flowers and provide interesting texture and shape to compliment most decor styles.  Incorporating plants into your decor can also be more cost effective than weekly trips to the florist for fresh cut flowers.




Adding greenery in even the simplest of designs can help bring in elements of nature typically found outdoors as well as create a relaxing, zen-like sense of harmony.




The sculptural beauty of a plant's leaves can add visual interest in a space.


For example, the palm fronds shown in the gorgeous interiors below make just as much of a style statement in the space as the actual room's décor.







Don't have a green thumb? No worries. Cacti, which only require sunlight and minimal water, can add both visual interest and texture to the space.


Although they are traditionally used in outdoor design, cacti make great indoor plants too.





Ficus Lyrata or the infamous fiddle leaf fig is a decorator's dream. With it's broad, vibrant green leaves and it's potential to grow to soaring heights, it's been spotted in stylish interiors on the pages of shelter magazines from Elle Décor to Domino Magazine.

Drawing the eye up, it's absolutely stunning in a space with tall ceilings.






Although the fiddle leaf fig has recently been the go-to plant for top designers, there are certainly lots of other great greenery options to chose from when incorporating plants in your home's décor, no matter what the style of the space.




Each type of plant is unique in it's its beauty and features and can be selected based on your room's design aesthetic.



Here is a round up of my favorite plants to use along with the types of spaces they are best suited to decorate.

Modern/ Contemporary Space


If your home has a more modern aesthetic, try using succulents or air plants in your decor.






Traditional Space


Topiaries or preserved boxwood look stately and work great in more traditional settings.




Eclectic / Bohemian Space


Since eclectic design typically features a variety of styles, color and finishes, an eclectic styled space can accommodate a mixture of plant types. Ferns, cati, fiddle leaf figs and even snake plants are versatile enough to work well in these spaces. 







So, are you ready to breathe life into your home decor by adding some greenery?  I'd love to see how you incorporate plants in YOUR home's decor. Give it a try and share a few photos of your new space. I'd love to hear from you.