Archive for the ‘Design Trends’ Category

The Rise of the “Snore Room”

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Couples who have been together for a certain amount of time will recognize this issue: One of them snores and the other can’t sleep. It is such a common problem that doctors say that 70% or more of couples spend at least one night a month sleeping in separate rooms. That’s probably been an issue since sleep was invented, but what’s new about this is that the banished half of the couple is getting tired of having to sleep in a guest room or on the sofa.

Today, architects and designers are being asked to create second masters – not for guests, but so each half of the couple has an equally lovely and personal room to sleep in. In fact, says requests for some form of a second “master sleeping room” in its house plans has gone up over 35%. Wow! It’s becoming much more acceptable as people realize the importance of sleep for health, and that sleeping alone doesn’t mean intimacy has to suffer.

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So what do these new home designs look like? They could be a sitting area off the master (above) that can also be used for reading and relaxing, or can include a daybed or another full bed. My friend Alex Papachristidis says he’s been asked for these rooms so often that he’s come up with his own term for them: The Snoratorium. I love that!

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Another design that I’m seeing a lot in architectural plans is a master suite that includes two bedrooms and a shared bathroom. This allows the couple to have a private space just for the two of them, and still be able to separate the snorer from the snoree when it’s time for sleep. The one above is great because it also has a sitting area where the couple can enjoy a quiet time together with wine or coffee.

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And then there’s the dual master suite, like in the home above. You can find thousands of house plans online with this set up, and a lot of people request it for guests and visiting family, or even for in-law spaces. But I suspect quite a few of these homes are also being used as “snore rooms,” don’t you?

So what do you think of the “snore room” trend? Do you have an issue with sleeping because of a snorer in your house? Let me know in the comments section below!







6 Ways to Create a Cool and Calm Oasis

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There’s no two ways around it – it’s hot! They call these the “dog days of summer” for a reason – because once you step outside you’ll find yourself panting and flopping under the nearest shade! If you’re like me, you’re looking for a cool and calm place to hide from the sun. You can have that in your own home, by following these six simple decorating steps:

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1. Paint with water colors. Use paint colors that cool a room, ones that make you think of refreshing lakes and gorgeous beaches! I love colors like Sherwin-Williams Tidewater, Rainwashed, and Krypton.

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2. Lighten up! Use lighter linens in the bed and bath, preferably in white. They provide a crisp and cool look to any room.

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3. Add flower power. Floral fabrics give a hint of fresh air and breezes, so use them in light and soothing colorways. And don’t forget to bring some of those garden goodies inside with real bouquets, too!

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4. Add a coat – of paint! Paint dark brick or woodwork to lighten a room. It will make the mood airy and relaxing.

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5. Bring the breeze. Designers usually aren’t part of the ceiling fan club, but they do cool a room quickly. So go for a stylish design like this luxe lucite look to create those soft breezes.

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6. Set the mood. Use accessories that will remind you of cool tropical escapes, like sophisticated prints from sea and shore.

Try these quick tips to turn your home into a cool and calm respite from the hot summer days! And let me know how you like to beat the heat in the comments section below!







5 Ways to Create a Magazine-Worthy Room

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If you’ve ever flipped through one of the great shelter magazines like Traditional Home or Elle Decor and thought “why don’t my rooms look like that” – you’re not alone! Even for those of us who are trained to be interior designers, creating a magazine-worthy room is hard work. There is so much thought and planning that goes into each room. But I’m going to make it easier for you by giving you my top 5 tips for getting that editorial look!

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1. Edit! Coco Chanel always said: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” That’s exactly what you should do for a room, too. You want to clear out the clutter and knickknacks and give your room space for the eye to move around! Look at your favorite homes in House Beautiful or another magazine and you’ll see what I mean. The rooms are free of “noise” and even the smallest space seems more open and airy because it’s been edited with just the right amount of furnishings.

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2. Use original art. You can really set your room apart from others by using original art – it gives your room personality, and a look that can’t be replicated. It can also give you inspiration for the color palette in the room – just be sure to let the art be the star.

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3. Fortune favors the bold. Consider a bold color or an out-of-the-box pattern in the room. The spaces that really capture attention aren’t cookie cutter – they have a personality, too. You can add that through a fun color on the wall or a graphic pattern on a fabric. Don’t do something just to be different, though. It should be a choice that makes sense for you and for the room!

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4. Fresh flowers. Notice all of those amazing homes in the magazines, they almost always have flowers, branches, or live plants in them. But now look closer – they are usually fresh and in one color family. That again lets the eye “rest” in the room – a big multicolored bouquet would be fighting with all the other colors and points of interest in the room.

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5. Proportion and placement. If a room is big but the furniture is smaller proportioned, a room will always feel “off.” And the reverse is definitely true, too! You want a room with a mix of proportions so the space feels balanced. You also want to be sure that they’re placed in the room correctly – balancing heavier items with lighter ones and skirted upholstery with exposed legs, will give the room a great look. I’m also a stickler about the placement of lamps and lighting. Be sure you put the lamps where you need them – my pet peeve is to see lamps on the outside edge of a bedside table unless you’ve also layered swing-arm lamps at the bedside so you can see, for example. If you’re going to read in bed, lighting should be close to the bed. So use this sort of common-sense approach for getting published and just good function of your space.

Most importantly, study the rooms that you love from your favorite magazines. Notice the color, balance, proportion, and personality in each one and pull out the details that you love for your own spaces! It can be great inspiration for your finished room. Good luck!







The Perfect Outdoor Room

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When designing outdoor rooms – like patios, screened porches, lanais, and kitchens – most people don’t realize that the same design guidelines for indoor rooms should apply! You want to make your family and friends feel just as comfortable in a chic space outside as they are inside your home. So I’ve put together a few rules of thumb to remember.

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1. Offer a lot of great seating – both in the shade and in the sun. Just like in your home, your guests will need seating that fits the event. So be sure you have fab loungers for sitting in the sun, comfy seats for eating and talking, and of course some umbrellas to cover them when they’ve had enough sun.

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2. Height matters. If the chairs in your dining room weren’t the right height for the table, your guests wouldn’t be comfortable eating there, right? So you need to be sure any stools or seats outside are just the right height for the table or counter.

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3. Lighting is key. I like to have the right light on hand in any area of the home – and the same rule applies outside. You want to provide great light for tasks like preparing food, or to allow your guests to linger over drinks with you and other friends on warm summer nights.

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4. Make them relax. Having a lot of pillows on your seating lets guests get comfortable and enjoy themselves. They can pop these great outdoor pillows behind their backs or use them for propping up their arms. Either way, these pillows look great, and make your guests feel great!

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5. The natural look. If you had a dinner party indoors, you would definitely want to use fresh flowers on the table, right? So do the same outside! Cut some lovely stems from your own backyard, or use purchased flowers that complement the decor. Either way, a bouquet creates a welcoming look.

Use these ideas to create your own oasis outdoors – and start planning those summer parties!

Warmly yours,






Giving Teens the Room of Their Dreams

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If you have a teenager in your house, you know how different their idea of a “cool space” can be from yours! It can be a fun challenge to give teens what they want in their rooms, but I have a few can’t-fail tips that I use for my clients’ teenagers to design spaces that they love. Let’s take a look:

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1. Let them express themselves! If they want a super-bright color on their walls that you might not choose, don’t fight it. Paint is inexpensive and it’s a small price to pay to give your teen a bit of that independence that they crave. They really want to make some of their own decisions, so let them go bright and bold!

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2. Gather up. If you have the space in your home, give them a gathering place for their friends! Kids this age love to have their own hang-out spots, so give them a fun zone that’s all their own.

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3. Try something different. A teen’s space can also be a fun place to experiment with design, so push your boundaries a bit. I put a cool denim finish on the paint in the game room above, and then outlined the ceiling in red and blue stripes. It gave the room a great vibe for the teens in the house!

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4. Make it multipurpose. Give them zones in their rooms that allow them to have a lot of activities in that one space. For example, be sure to add a homework station, a seating area, a music area – whatever fits their interests and the amount of space in the room. And use multipurpose storage too, like the ottomans I used above that can be converted to tables with storage inside.

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5. Go for function. Teens have a lot of stuff – especially a lot of electronic stuff – so be sure you have lots of plugs, USB ports, storage, and lighting. Maybe with all that storage the room can stay fairly clean most of the time. Fingers crossed!

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6. Add some fun! A hanging chair or some whimsical details can really take a teen room over the top – and give them some fun along with the function.

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7. Me time. But the best thing you can do for teens in their spaces is give them a bit of an escape from the world – a place where they can get away and feel comfortable. After all, isn’t that what we all want in our homes?

So what do you think about the teen rooms I created above? Tell me in the comments section below. And let me know what tips you have for creating a special space in your home for teenagers!







Want help creating the room of YOUR dreams? Try my online design service Inbox Interiors – together we’ll create the perfect design for you!