Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's talk trends!

Ashley Whitacker

We all love to see and know the new trends, and designers are especially on the look-out for what's new.

These two photos from House Beautiful magazine show a few of the trends that I have been noticing.

The color orange is huge, and is used with soft greens, creams and yellows.  Or else it can be revved up by pairing it with it's opposite of a cobalt blue.

The other important trend is texture.  It is everywhere. You will see it in wall treatments, fabrics, flooring and draperies.
Michael Smith
In this photo of a room by Michael Smith shown in House Beautiful, look at how it is used in the area rug, draperies, and upholstery.  The room in monochromatic in nature, so it works on all of these textiles.

Did you also notice the use of oak on the cocktail table?  We have not seen this wood species for a very long time, but it is back in a big way, with various finishes from light to dark. I also love the little accent table with the inlays
that you see between the sofa and chair.

If you are not sure about using these trends in your home, start small.  An accent chair, area rug or just a few pillows.  You will be surprised how a small change freshens and updates your room.

Let me know if you would like help with your room..I'm just an email away...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Expect the best, prepare for the worst

Life is a circle, formed by lifes experiences
I have been an interior designer for my entire career, spanning several decades.

My career has included working for a paint and wallcovering distributor, a window treatment company, and with a high end custom builder as their liason with the clients.

I have had my own design /build firm and worked with a few furniture companies on their design staffs.

Throughout all of this time, I have learned some valuable lessons that not only pertain to the design business, but life in general.  They are...
  • Always have a back-up plan.  When doing a remodel if you only have one sub-contractor and he is behind, the entire project timing falls apart.  Have another company that you can count on.  Building relationships in business and your personal life are always important.

  •  People do not always say what they mean.  Maybe it is terminalogy.  However, maybe they are just fudging to get a little extra time or shave the cost.  Make sure everyone involved is on the same page and understands...get it in writing!

  • If you are not sure about a fact, check it out.  Don't believe the saying "fake it until you make it"  I have found that my credibility is worth more than a fast answer.  If your 'guess' is wrong, the person you are dealing with will doubt you the next time you do know the answer.  You can never go back.....there are no  do-overs in real life. Previous experiences are remembered and reflect on your credibility.

Always expect the best in people, and they will usually take your lead.  Trust is a forgotten factor in life in the time we live in.  But once you have someone's trust, it will bring you a friendship and partnership that you will cherish.  It is the way we all want to be treated, no matter what our relationship is..teacher, doctor, designer, and most of all...friend or spouse.
Expect the best, and that is what you will usually get...if not, they're not worth it!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Isn't this the face of sadness?   Our pets are so loving and only expect the best from us,  and that is what we want to give to them...that unconditional love.

The big question to me is, why are we so hard on the people around us?  Aren't we all doing the best we can with what we have to work with?  Shouldn't we give the benefit of the doubt to those around us when things do not work out as we hope for?

It is my opinion that with all of the sadness and hardship going on in the world, we can find small ways to help those that we come into contact with everyday.

  • a kind word
  • a smile and honest compliment
  • showing interest in the other person's life and interests
There is no monetary cost to any of the above suggestions.  It only takes a moment out of your day, but can make a great deal of difference to someone who needs that little pick me up.  We don't think to give people a pat on the head as we do for our pets.  But I do think you can help to put a smile on someone's face and a spring in their step.  Try it.

Go ahead and practice random acts of kindness, and your own rewards will be great!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Amanda Wright of Wit & Whistle
Accessorizing is all about scale and balance.

Often, I find that clients think their accessories have to 'match' their furniture.  That is so not true!

As shown in this very simple vignette, the most effective and pleasing way to accessorize your home is by showing things that have special meaning and memories to you.

I have a mask similar to this that I purchased in China.
I had it mounted on a small stand and put it on top of a bamboo tiered shelf in my guest bath.  It looks so special with the light shining through the window behind it, and and leafy plant next to it.

This setting is also balanced with color, the black & white of the piano and it's keys, the sheet music in the black and white, and the tall white lamp.  Also take note of how these items are arranged.  The height is at the upper left and flowing down to the right.  We naturally drawn to arrangements of items that follow the direction we were taught to read...from left to right, top to bottom.