Archive for the ‘Design Trends’ Category

6 Things That Add Personality To Your Home

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The one thing that I want for all of my clients is to design a space that really fits their personalities – that is a showcase for who they are. We can do that with the colors, patterns, and styles that they love, but nothing adds a uniqueness to a room more than things that really are personal to the people living there! So here are my top 6 tips to help you add that personality to your home!


1. Original art. Art is a very subjective thing – one person viewing it can feel completely different about than another person who’s also looking at it. That’s what makes it personal! If you love a piece of original art – no matter who did it or how much it costs – then you should use it in your decor. Sometimes that piece of art can be the jumping-off point for the color palette of the room, too, like in the space I designed above. And remember, you can also use other forms of art, like sculptures, textile art, and more.


2. Things that you collect. I absolutely love my collections of jadeite and glass grapes – they mean a lot to me. If you collect something that you love, then show it off. Grouping those items together can make a style statement all their own, so think about clever ways to display those collections you love.


3. Books and more books. I read a lot – and I have a lot of books to prove it! I display my books on tables and shelves, and they really add color and a uniqueness to a space. But don’t just buy a bunch of books to put out in your home. Only choose titles that you really want to read – that’s the only way to show who YOU are and what you love!


4. Things from your travels. There’s nothing that will take you right back to that fabulous getaway than a memento or something that you purchased from a local artisan! Showcase that piece of Venetian glass, or the woven baskets from that small village – they are so much better than some mass-produced knick knack for adding your stamp to a room.


5. Custom creations. I create custom looks all the time for my clients, like bespoke sofas or a one-of-a-kind finish on the walls. There won’t be another one like it in their neighborhood, that’s for sure! So consider how you can create something that’s all yours – like the silhouettes I designed above of my client’s children.


6. A dash of fun. Consider this your permission to go a little crazy! Try something new and experiment with the fun factor. A little whimsy goes a long way in adding personality, that’s why I created a simple black border and a fun wall pattern in this little girl’s nursery. It’s fun, and it’s different!

Adding personality to your spaces not only makes them unique, but it’s magical to live in rooms that are filled with things that make you happy, or that remind you of a trip or someone you love! What do you think? What would you add to your home to make it your own? Let me know in the comments section below!







7 Ways to Design Wonderful Window Seats

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As designers, we’re sometimes confronted with architectural details of a home that either can’t be changed, or that the owner doesn’t want to change. So we learn how to make the most of what we have. One of those architectural issues is what to do with a dormer window – they look awesome on the outside, but give you a sliver of a space on the inside. Here are my tips for making the most of these small nooks with functional window seats:


1. Create a desk area. Flip the idea of a window seat on its head and put a desk into the nook like I did in the girl’s room I designed above! It creates a great space for homework, and with a great view to boot.


2. Design a reading nook. I love how my friend and fellow designer Jenny Tamplin used a lot of pattern and pillows to make a comfy and stylish seat on her landing, perfect for curling up with a good book.


3. Give it a hidden talent. It’s great to have an extra place to sit, but storage is even better, especially in a bedroom. I love to add drawers to that extra space under a window!


4. Work it. By adding a small table in front of this window seat, I created a little work space for a preteen girl. She’s also got storage and plugs, perfect for working on her iPad or listening to music on her phone.


5. Check out. If you have a larger window space, considering adding shelves, lighting, and a lot of comfort for your own personal home library, like I did in the photo above!


6. Sleep on it. Or if you have the space, tuck a bed into the window area, like I did in this boy’s room! The bonus for this space was it opened up a lot of room for a desk and other furnishings when I didn’t have to try to fit a bed in the room, too.


7. Add even MORE seating. In the nursery above, I tucked storage ottomans under the window seat, perfect for storing toys, and for giving visiting family members even more places to park.

So what do you think of these window seat ideas? Do you have a great idea for that space? Let me know in the comments section below!







Top 5 Cabinetry Styles

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Cabinetry is not only the workhorse of any kitchen or bathroom, but it’s also a key design element in those rooms. Choosing the right color and style can take your kitchen from sleek modern to classic traditional faster than anything else you put into the space. But do you know your crown top from a shaker base? Not to worry, I’ve got a handy guide to the top 5 most popular cabinet styles!


1. Shaker Base Style. This sleek and simple design is one of the most popular today. It complements any decor and gives a clean look to any kitchen or bath. It’s one of my favorites to use in my projects, too!


2. Raised Panel Square Top. A raised panel style of cabinet gives a room more of a traditional look – timeless and classic. The raised panels can also have a shape at the top, instead of the squared-off one you see above.


3. Raised Panel Round Top. Here’s another look at the raised panel design for cabinets, and those on the upper bank have the rounded top, rather than square. This is another of my faves for traditional kitchen design.


4. Solid Wood No Styling. On the other end of the spectrum, but growing in popularity, is the solid or smooth fronted cabinet. This type of door also gives a nice straightforward look to any room.


5. Inset Panel Square Top. Panels can also be inset, rather than raised, on cabinet doors and drawers. You’ll see this a lot in bathroom cabinetry, and it’s different from the Shaker style because it has an inset groove where the panel is set into the frame.


And if those styles don’t float your boat, there are five other designs you can see above that can give you everything from a super-formal look to a more Mission or Craftsman design. But remember, just because one is more popular than another doesn’t mean you have to use it – choose the one that fits your personality and your decor!

What’s your favorite style for cabinetry? Let me know in the comments section below!







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!