interior design

What do continuous breathing and mirrors have to do with decorating?

What do continuous breathing and mirrors have to do with decorating?

Fun question - right? While at the gym the other morning I was listening to All Songs Considered and Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton introduced us to Colin Stetson who performs his song Spendrift entirely by himself with circular breathing. If you listen to the 6 1/2 minute recording you'll notice he doesn't STOP to take a "breath" because he has trained himself to keep breathing... without breaking... while playing an instrument. This man is able to play for INFINITY!

Take a listen here while you read through the rest of this article, scroll to the bottom of this link: 

NPR all songs - Colin Stetson

 

So that got me thinking about INFINITY and the decorating tricks I’ve seen that create infinity with mirrors. You can create infinity by setting mirrors across from each other to continuously reflect each other. I’ve seen this done before in a small alcove bar and this linen closet below. 

Creating infinity is not only fun, but makes a small area feel so spacious and brings in additional light. There are lots of decorating tricks you can implement with mirrors, and a few well placed mirrors can reflect decorative lighting fixtures, architectural elements, artwork, the outdoors, and anything else you want to showcase. 

Here are a few really cool ways that infinity mirrors have been used in decorating!

(source from another post here)

 

Another Decorating Tip That's Cheaper (and less stressful) then repainting

 

Buckinghamshire Residence by LLI Design.

 

Updating accessories! Of course the "cheaper" part of the subject line only holds true if you aren't spending a lot on accessories. But what is important to know here is that sometimes paint colors just don't look right in a room. People may even repaint a different shade and still not be happy with the results. The problem here is with the accessories, or lack there of.

 

J. Hirsch Interior Design Portfolio

 

One key element of design is to make each decision look intentional. For example, if you are going to mix a warm color with cool color it needs to look intentional. How to do that? Find a piece of artwork that has both tones in it so it looks intentional. 

 

Cozy Living Room

 

Then repeat it. Pick up both colors in pillows, throw blankets, vases, etc. 

 

Parkwood Road Residence Living Room 2

 

I believe that you can make almost any color scheme work with carefully placed design elements and accessories. 

 

tineke triggs

 

I think that a decorator's job is an important one for finishing a room. You can have the best architectural layout, best tradespeople install, and highest quality furniture purchased. But accessories and carefully chosen colors really make a room sing. It adds personality and liveliness and that 'wow' factor everyone is looking for. 

 

Honore-Transitional Dining Room
 

 

If you need ideas on how to make this happen in a room of yours, I'd be honored to help!

Cheers, 

Baby, It's cold outside!

Brrr... it's been pretty cold here in New Jersey! Right now it's 7 degrees, and it might get up to almost 30 by the afternoon. Although it's miserably cold, the winter is a great time to hibernate and catch up on some good books and movies indoors. And while you're inside all cozy under a blanket your eyes may wander over to that blank wall you've been meaning to decorate.... now would be the perfect time for that indoor project!

Need some inspiration? There are many options for filling your walls with art. You can choose a single piece of art or large photo that you took. Another option is to create a gallery wall. The variety of gallery walls have just exploded over the years and there are many ways to create one. So below I've outline a few of my favorites with some examples of each.

The Cohesive Gallery Wall

This style gallery wall creates a clean looking aesthetic, which makes it a good fit for traditional AND contemporary interiors. By simplifying the color palette and using similar frames you can create a uniform look. You can then create a grid with the frames for a geometric look, or can mix and match frame sizes for some variety.

(source)

 

 

(source)

(source: design*sponge)

THE ECLECTIC GALLERY WALL

Can't commit to just one color scheme, have to much artwork you'd like to use, or jut aren't a matchy-matchy person? Then try creating an eclectic gallery wall. Start by laying out all the pieces you'd like to use on the floor and move pieces around until they fit well together and the artwork complements others surround it. Keep in mind frame size and artwork color, you want to mix and match so the overall gallery will look well balanced.

(source: Emily Henderson)

(source)

(source: Samantha Gluck Interiors)

KIDS ARTWORK

Do you have a little artist at home? You can showcase their artwork and make it feel special by using frames like these below.

New Resolutions

Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone already, where does the time go?! I always like to take the new year to reflect on where I've been, how my business has grown, and what I plan to do going forward.

Last year was a productive year for me. I feel I really learned a lot and stretched beyond my comfort level while learning to handle the "business" side of my business. Being that I went to school for design I always like to joke that I have a scrappy MBA, meaning that I learn the "business" as I go along! Good thing for lots of helpful people and educational resources!

This year I plan to continue last year's momentum with 3 overarching goals and 1 specific business goal. Here we go!

 

BECOME NKBA CERTIFIED

The NKBA is a kitchen & bath association and I'm going to work towards my certification! I've really enjoyed helping clients select their finishes such as matching their countertop/ backsplash/ cabinets/ fixtures, and paint colors. I've worked on a few simple layouts and I've enjoyed using the 20/20 CAD software. So now I'm going to take this to the next level so I can take on even bigger projects! I am so excited! I think this will really be a good fit for my skill set of mixing creative design with technical specs.

 

 

STAY ON TOP OF THINGS

When things get busy priorities change and it becomes hard to stay on top of the little things like emails, mail, magazines, trade publications etc. It's easy to get swept up in the whirlwind but this year I'd really like to make it a point to go through this information as I get it. I hate piles of paperwork and sometimes you can miss out on some good opportunities or announcements! This goal certainly applies to both my personal and business life. Staying on top will help reduce clutter and keep me organized!

(source via Apartment Therapy)

 

ALWAYS BE ON TIME

First I am so happy to say I've rarely been late to a client appointment! But in my personal life... that's another story, I feel I'm late to everything! As I get busier I try to jam more into a day than is actually possible and so I run late. Lately I find that the stress of being late is really negatively affecting me. The good news is that it's all self inflicted! I can control my expectations for the day and manage my time by planning more realistically. It's always a work in progress but in essence this boils down to setting more realistic goals every day!

 

 

 

DON'T NEGLECT HOME

All the little details make a difference and again, one of the first things to get dropped off the priority list is my own home! When I'm busy helping clients, networking, and running my business I put our home goals on the back burner. Well this year is going to change! It got to the point where putting these things off really bummed us out and became frustrating. So I've been working on plans for our home and will make sure to fit them into the agenda as well! Again this comes down to managing time and expectations. Putting limits on work and life so they each get a fair share!

 

 

 

 

AND HERE'S A LOOKBACK AT 2014

some of my biggest accomplishments and continuing goals

Custom Office of "The Grommet"

The other day while I was reading an article online and I saw an ad for "The Grommet - Buy Differently" embedded in the page. I NEVER click on those ads but for some reason it intrigued me, partially because I've never heard of it and also because I was in the shopping frame of mine for some client projects. 

I learned that The Grommet is a product launching platform that takes undiscovered products from makers and artists and provides them a platform for selling. In the era of kickstarter and other crowdsourcing options The Grommet gives an opportunity for the artists to tell their stories and sell their products to a larger audience. 

What also intrigued me though was the custom office of The Grommet! They had artists custom make their cubicles (which they call pods) and they added a lot of personal touches to the space. I love to see collaborations between designers and small businesses because the possibilities are endless! This is a good case study showing how brand identity & interior design go hand in hand. 

So now for some pictures! 

They designed their "pods" to look like shipping palettes since they ship all their products. 

They also created a custom video backdrop where they film the launch of their new products. 

Some other details of their office, an industrial look with exposed brick and ductwork.

And of course I'd be remiss if I didn't say to check out their products! They do have a wide variety of unique products with stories. It's perfect to keep in mind for the upcoming holiday season!

So what do you think of their custom office and product lines? 

Cheers,

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Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you kind-hearted, patient men! Wishing you all a day to enjoy, however you like it. 

Reading in a comfy chair... 

 

Grilling outdoors 

 

 

Watching your favorite game (World Cup time!) 

 

Time spent creating 

 

Time spent playing...

 

Or playing...  

 

Or going for a drive.

 

 

Enjoy!

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ICFF 2014 Favorites

I enjoyed yet another year at ICFF (Interrnational Contemporary Furniture Fair) checking out all the new products & concepts! There is always so much to share after going to a show like this, and I have several follow up posts planned. I'd like to start with a few of my favorites though. I think I appreciate most of these for their unique take on a concept or just the whimsy of the idea. So here is product round up numero uno!

1- Jewel Encrusted Sinks

Aren't these all beauties?? You would almost never even know a sink was there. Like this shell one below.

 

The Mansion in Detail- part 1

I was so excited to see Blairsden Mansion last weekend with my mom! If you haven't heard me mention Mansions in May before it's an event hosted in Morris County NJ every 2 years by the Woman's Association of Morristown Medical Center. The fundraising efforts this year went to two great causes: to expand the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the New Autism Center. Not only is it a great cause to support, but it helps showcase designers in the area, help build their portfolio, and is a fun way to try new things! It was very competitive to get a room this year and so it's even more exciting for those who got one! 

So for this post I thought rather than show photos of the entire room (which is very hard to do) it would be fun to show a few details that I found beautiful or interesting. Not only are the architectural details of the mansion stunning, but the way each decorator styled their room is beautiful. These small details are things you can apply to your own home to add more interest. There were 52 rooms in the mansion so I will break the posts into two parts. So without further adieu in the order of the tour.... post number one! 

Check out the carved details above!!

Gorgeous inlaid floor detail: #2 by Van Cleef Tile & Stone

Bookshelf styling #3 by Barbara Ostrom Associates

Original leather wallpaper with painted molding - #6 Billiard Room by Bjorn Bjornsson Interior Design

Table vignette #11 by Hope Sferra Interiors Inc.

A Colorful Nursery Moodboard

I was excited to attend an event at Creative Wall Coverings just about 2 weeks ago where I saw a rep from Sanderson present some truly stunning new product. Each wallpaper and matching fabric was more gorgeous than the next and it had us all swooning. The textures and metallics were fantastic and exciting, and the children's line called "All About Me" by their Harlequin brand was just charming. It was so charming in fact that I even decided to create my very first moodboard to share with you here! I usually create a board to share privately with my clients, but after seeing sample boards at CW&I and being inspired by these patterns I thought I'd give it a whirl even though there is no particular client for the board. 

I decided to start with their Kaleidoscope pattern since I thought the geometry and colors were fun and generally gender neutral. There are several colorways for each pattern too, so make sure you see them all! 

The concept here is a contemporary nursery that could go mid-century. Since the wallpaper is so colorful and gorgeous, we'll let it steal the show and do all the heavy work by putting it on one main wall. By consolidating the pattern (as opposed to an entire room) it will keep the room from looking too busy and will provide a great backdrop to build upon. In front of the wallpaper we'll use white furniture that will really pop in front of all those colors. On the opposite wall we'll bring in some of the colors from the paper with smaller accessories. Depending on gender you could use more pink or blue accessories, but the use of the yellow & orange really works well too. 

And here's the board!

The format above is similar to Olioboard that layers each item for a more realistic look with consideration to scale. The other option shown below is a cleaner grid format that lets each product have it's own space. 

Which format do you prefer? If you're checking in please leave your comment below, I'd like to know! One format certainly takes longer than the other ;) 

Here are some other favorite "All About Me" fabrics that have been on my mind. It was hard to decide which to work with first!

Tips for Earth Day and Always

While Earth Day was officially Tuesday the 22nd of this week, it's always a good time to share some tips to reduce the footprint in our daily lives.These tips are essential information to share on a decorating website where decisions are being made on what to keep, donate, reuse, or recycle. I wrote this article last year focusing on product ideas: Decorating Tips Mother Earth Would Love, and another on America Recycles Day in November.

Here are 4 NEW tips & resources to help you reduce, reuse, and recycle. I hope you find some of these helpful in making the right decisions for your home. 

1- Retint your old paint

WOW! I was watching HGTV /DIY Network's Rehab Addict where Nicole Curtis brought gallons of unused paint to a paint store to have them retinted!! Not only was the cost savings significant, but think of all that paint saved just because it was leftover or not perfect for a previous job. Her only tip was to keep the base color in mind, if you have a light base you can work with lighter colors or darken it, if you are starting with a dark base then you'll have to stay with a darker color. I can't wait to try this myself.

(via Instagram: Mintygreendream)

2- Retrofit High hat Lights

This is a great tip from C&C Electric, I learned they can replace your existing high hat lights with these retrofit LED bulbs! Not only will they save you electricity, but will outlast a regular incandescent by many years (which are not being produced anymore anyway). 

(source via C&C facebook)

3- Recycling Resources

I am so glad LED's are on the rise and compact florescents are being replaced. As I'm sure you know they contain mercury which is not only hazardous when broken, but makes them hard to dispose of because a limited number of places take them to recycle. I did find a great local resource for pretty much any type of recycling though so if you are looking to unload some of your old bulbs you can bring them to the recycling center in Roxbury (more info in this link).

(image source)

4- Prevent E-waste

New flatscreen TV's have become so affordable that it has become hard to give away those old TV's that are more than 2"deep. Same with computers, monitors, printers, cell phones, etc. The problem is these are also terrible for the landfill since they have different parts and components that should be dissected and properly recycled. There is a local resource called GreenVision that accepts anything with a plug and dissects the parts for recycle. Not only are they 99.8% landfill free, they also provide meaningful jobs for developmentally disabled students and adults. Bring your old electronics there! Greenvision Inc.

(via GreenSource website)

 

I hope these tips give you some ideas to be resourceful and recycle. Have a great weekend!!

Cheers, 

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DIY Paint Projects

HGTV is continually a source of inspiration for anyone looking for creative solutions for their home. I came across this article and wanted to show a few of my favorite before & afters that demonstrate how a little bit of paint can go a long way! 

These bird sculptures are such a great example of how metallic paint can change the entire look of an object. Everyone has (or has seen) a bazillion of these little collectables, and I've seen this idea before but now in a matching bookend! By painting the object all one color it becomes more interesting to look at the sculptural details rather than the painted ones. 

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! Especially since the days of "matchy-matchy" sets are over, why not go to your local Habitat Restore, or local thrift store and buy a bunch of different wooden chairs! These seats are so easy to DIY reupholster as well. Now they all coordinate but aren't identical so they add some interest to the room and let your eyes wander!

Another great way to add a pop of color to a room, especially when wooden bedroom furniture can be so dark and dreary. This pop of pink certainly adds some interest, or why not try a simple white, cream, or black for a neutral option. 

Well the weekend starts in 3, 2, 1.... go! Hope you all have a wonderful one!

Cheers, 

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Habitat Q&A Recap

Last month I hosted a "Design Dilemma" Q&A session at the Habitat Restore and was happy to help people with those burning design questions on their minds. I helped with several furniture floorplan questions, which I LOVE doing because it creates a world of difference in a home and how you use the space. I also fielded a few DIY questions related to updating furniture & kitchen cabinets. Below are a few other questions with pictures to demonstrate a solution. 

Q- What type of curtains can I put in a two-story bay window? 

A- I love the look of straight curtain panels hung on either side of the window and on the inside of each corner. Floor to ceiling this look pulls the room together and adds softness while not competing with the view or being overly complicated. I pulled up an image I had saved to my Pinterest board and she loved it!

For the link click here and check out some of my other window treatment ideas on my pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/innovatemyplace/window-treatments/

Q: The brick fireplace in my home is too orange and doesn't match my style. Can I paint it?

A: Yes, try a whitewash! While painting is a good option for some homes I have been recommending a whitewash look instead. This takes out the orange/red undertones in the brick and neutralizes them while still showing variations in each brick. This works particularly well with the gray trend that's been going on the past few years. This DIY project is as simple as watering down latex paint and "washing' it on and letting it soak in. Blot off drippy areas, and you can customize how much you want covered.

(pinterest link)

Q: My dining room has a built-in cabinet in one corner, and the room is feeling off balance. Can I paint the inside the same as the wall color?

A: This was a great question because balance is so important in a room. My first suggestion would be to add another tall object in the opposite corner, another built-in with more storage that matched the other would be best. If that won't fit then try adding a corner shelf of even a tall plant. The second part of this answer is to try "painting out" the entire built-in. This is a great trick to use in small spaces to make everything seamless and blend in while adding subtle details and of course storage. 

  

(pinterest link)

What questions & design dilemmas are on your mind? 

Cheers, 

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The Perfect Spa Blue

First let me give a little context to this post by saying that when you buy a home one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to update the rooms and instantly personalize it is by adding a fresh coat of paint. It's just so much easier to do it when you don't have all your furniture in the way! So when we bought our first home that's the very first thing we did. Not only did we want to freshen the place, but we really didn't like the existing colors at all, they were just so muddy and brown. Anyway, there was ONE color that we absolutely LOVED and it was in our bathroom. It's the perfect spa blue, and we get lots of compliments.  

(Not such a bad picture, except those less than perky tissues, lol)

The problem? A couple months ago we needed to make a small patch repair near the tub which meant spackling and painting. We needed to know what paint was on the wall! So being a decorator that offers color consulting I grabbed both my Sherwin & Benjamin Moore paint swatches and went to work. 

The solution? I found the PERFECT color match, and I'll show you pictures to prove it! The perfect color is Benjamin Moore's Wedgewood Gray HC-146. I wouldn't normally recommend painting only part of your wall but lucky for us it was on a small corner so we were able to just touch up that part. Not that it mattered because it really was a perfect match! 

Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray HC-146

I'm so excited now that I know what color it is! It's the perfect spa blue because it has a soft gray base and it reads mostly blue. Every now and then you can see a hint of green undertone that comes through in certain lighting. You can see where if falls between blue and green compared to the other swatches next to it.  

It's just such a soothing color and looks really sharp with crisp whites. We also have gray towels that work perfectly in there. And I've seen some examples where it works really well with warm sandy beige too, which have have as flooring. 

(our gray towels and white curtain & molding) 

Here are a few other examples I found online of bathrooms that use Wedgewood Gray.

Trim and Wall Blend Into One

I've seen more and more of these painted rooms lately, where the trim is painted the same as the wall color. You can always make a case for highlighting custom molding in a home by keeping it classic white or differentiating it from the rest of the room. But I really love what this can do for a room too! Especially when it's a darker velvety color that envelopes the room. 

(source PorterHouseDesigns)

(source Southern Living)

DESIGN TIP: It's true that you can paint dark colors in a dark room! When you paint a "light" color in a room that doesn't receive much natural light it actually falls flat instead of brightening it. 

(source via Casa de aria)

When you paint the wall and trim the same color it creates a seamless look with subtle texture from the outline of the molding. It adds just enough visual interest while reducing the amount of visual lines and therefore a "broken" or "choppy" look. This type of paint treatment can help in rooms that lead into others, or don't have much wall space.

 

 

And as much as I love the dark colors, it works equally as well in other colors too. When the walls and trim are the same color it really creates a strong background for artwork, accessories and furniture to pop!

 

Tufted Rug Construction

I love it when my worlds collide, with a background in product design and having my own decorating business I am fascinated to learn how the products we buy and love are made. Last week I attended a seminar presented by Delos Rugs at J&S Designer Flooring and was so excited to learn more about their rug construction. With different construction methods, materials, and styles the options are seemingly endless, so in this post I will focus on how tufted rugs are made. I think it's hard to visual the process so I've included lots of video to demonstrate how it works! Have fun looking around!


Design Phase 1: image source Delos Rugs

Color Selection Phase 2: image source Delos Rugs

To Begin

There are many steps involved before you can actually begin creating the rug, such as design, color selection, pattern transfer, and many more. Once you get to the tufting stage you create the rug by pushing the yarn through a fabric backing with a tufting gun, like this image shown below. Here are the key steps in the tufting process from CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute)

  • Yarn comes from cones on creel racks (or from big spools called beams) into the machine.
  • The primary backing feeds into the machine.
  • Yarn and primary backing come together in the machine (full shot of machine)
  • Yarn is fed through needles on a needlebar of a tufting machine. Needles repeatedly penetrate or tuft into the primary backing.
  • The tufted carpet is mended and inspected.
  • Carpet is rolled onto large rolls for the next step (whether it’s to be dyed or to be backed.)

(image source)

Types of Tufting

There are also several ways a tufted rug can be made:

- Hand tufting with handheld gun

- Hand tufting with automatic gun

- Machine tufting

 

Finishing

There are many steps involved in finishing a rug, and most depend on the style and design. In order to keep the yarn in place, all tufted rugs have a layer of latex that is painted or sprayed on the back which serves as glue. Then a piece of fabric is laid on top which covers the latex and the generally messy looking back from the tufting process. That's actually one way you can tell if a rug has been tufted is if it's covered on the back. 

(image source)

It sheds from shearing...

The face pile of a tufted rug needs to go through some finishing steps, which include shearing to create a flush uniform surface. Depending on the design the yarn fibers are color sorted by hand to keep the pattern clean and defined. Sometimes the edges are even carved for a more dimensional look. The first video is a bit dated but it shows all the steps concisely: latex, shear, carving. 

This second video shows an alternative carving tool. 

 

The End...

Well actually that's only a small fraction of one type of rug construction but I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as I have! It's great to learn and gain a better understanding of what goes into a tufted rug so you can see the value of what you are buying and be an informed consumer!

Cheers, 

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Inspired by the things we Love

Valentines' day is almost upon us and love (and lots more snow) are in the air. Love drives us in many ways in both our personal and professional lives. For me design has always been something I've enjoyed, and it seems the more I learn about it the more I find to love. Materials and products are always changing with trends and technology so it keeps the industry fresh with lots to learn - it seems almost infinite! (just search the term "ICFF" in my blog sidebar!)

As a member of the Interior Redecorators Network I strive to learn and grow each year so I can provide my clients with the best service I can. Within the IRN there are different levels of membership based on credits you can earn from things like participation, education, and community involvement. And I am proud to say that I recently earned a Gold Member status! You can see my new shiny pin above :)

 

I am also getting a head start on maintaining my Gold Membership by attending more classes. I was at a CEU yesterday called "Area Rug Construction & Terminology" held at J&S Designer Flooring. First of all their showroom is amazing, has a wide selection of products, and the associates are so lovely and helpful. Then the presentation by Delos was so extremely informative and helpful, they explained how rugs are made and passed around beautiful samples to demonstrate. Rugs are something we all live with and might even take for granted, but once you start learning about them it's easy to see how it's a world in its own right! I am so excited to share some of what I learned so I hope to do a post about it next week.

Inspired by the things (or pets) we love....

Then there is the "occupational hazard" aspect of going to a fantastic showroom.... of course I always look for client projects but this was the first sample I brought home as a stair runner contender for our house! I am noticing a certain "colorway" that I'm drawn too... it has to do with one certain fuzzy animal that I love. Isn't it funny how I'm drawn to the subtle color variations of tans, cremes, with golden bronze hightlights? Let's take a look closer here... 

Just look at that edging along his ear... 

And that fuzzy butt, the tip of tail has that same coloring. 

He's a happy pup - isn't he so fuzzy?! And so white with bronze accents? We love him to pieces, and apparently I am taking color cues for my home from him ;) 

Now take a look around your home - what has been inspiring you lately? Any particular product, pet, or person? Anything that you pass in your daily journey you've been thinking about? I would love to know - we are all victims of love whether we realize it or not ;) 

Happy Valentines Day
with love, 

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Warm up by the Fire

Brr.... it's so sold here! We keep getting more and more snow, 2 snow days and a delay so far this week. I am feeling so ready for spring. In the meantime I just keep thinking warm thoughts and admiring some beautiful fireplace designs. If you have a fireplace and are looking for some inspiration to update yours, here are some ideas! These will focus mostly on different fireplace surrounds and in the next few weeks I'll talk about how to style the mantle ;) 

Classic Brick:

Brick is a timeless, versatile, and modest fireplace material. It can be whitewashed to soften the look and still show texture, or just painted an opaque color for a solid modern look. 

(source) 

(source)

(source)

Tile:

Tile is another popular choice that is just as versatile plus it's extremely customizable. It can be used to add subtle patterns such as the herringbone or diamond, or it can add a splash of color that ties into the rest of the room. 

 

 

 

(source)

Super Bowl Rooms for Rent

So the Super Bowl is almost here and the preparations are well underway! Ever since the announcement that the game would be played at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ there has been much talk about the weather and if we'll have snow. I just checked the temperature and it's currently 1* Fahrenheit at my house, and Sunday looks like we might have a heat spell into the 40's! 

(source) 

We've gotten a lot of snow here lately and they've been hard at work clearing the stadium and getting ready. Snow is nothing new around here and I can attest to how well the airports have run during the storms this year. I always love to see behind the scene shots like these below from nj.com 

nj.com

nj.com

nj.com

Another interesting conversation I have been following is people renting out their homes, condos, or apartments for the game! I used to live in Rutherford NJ and work in Teterboro where I would see the stadium on my way in and out of town everyday. You can actually see the stadium when you are in the town, it is so close! I would have totally wanted to rent out my place for the game too, but since I don't live there anymore I checked out the other homes available. I found lots of options on flipkey and super-bowl-rentalz. 

Here is my favorite that is still available :) Now to be fair there was a designer involved so it's really quite lovely, but to see other people's actual homes click around and take a look! 

This is the front entry for a guest room for rent is in Edgewater NJ. They call it the Harlem Hideaway. Although the name is a bit misleading in terms of location the interior is very well done! 

Nice wood details everywhere add a warmth & depth to the space. 

I love the details of this room, especially that Guest List wall you can write on. Very cute idea for a

Habitat Event & DIY Ideas

Hi! I am partnering with the Morris County Habitat ReStore in Randolph and doing a night of free design advice! If you're in the area feel free to stop by between 5-8pm and bring photos of your room or ask any design questions you might have while shopping at the Restore!

Speaking of the ReStore, I thought it would be fun to photograph my latest finds and post them to instagram. So if you're curious to see some of the cool & interesting things that are donated make sure to follow along here: http://instagram.com/andreavalledesigns

Adorable old school desk!  

The Habitat ReStore is also a great resource for creative DIYers. There is so much potential in these donations. I'll try and round up some good before and afters of these projects that people submit. In the meantime here are some other fun DIY projects I've seen recently. 

via HGTV: 
If you like the idea of adding pattern to your walls but are afraid of wallpaper, try this idea! Painting a pattern on the wall is a simple way to add detail without the full commitment.  It will also have a softer hand painted look, which will read like artwork.  For more information you can click this link.

via Pottery Barn:
Love this cute star mobile! It would be so easy to make yourself too, and everything from your local craft store: stars (either bought or cut yourself), string, and varying diameter tubes (or stitching frames!). Viola! (If you want to shortcut and buy it, here's the link)

via Martha Stewart:
I was really drawn to the colors of this arrangement. Who says monochromatic flowers are boring? The dark background with dark containers adds romantic drama and really lets the flowers pop! Keeping the flowers in the same color family creates a strong, cohesive look. You could recreate this look for your mantle with containers found in your home painted to be the same color. More pictures from Martha can be found here

ps - I love google images... I took this photo from a magazine while traveling somewhere and couldn't remember where it came from. I drag it into google images and bam. Answer found. 

Well I hope these pictures helped spark some creative solutions for a design project in your life :) If you're still stuck call me, I'd love to help. 

Cheers,

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A Project Update

I'm excited to say that our first personal home project of the new year was to refinish the hardwood floors! It all started innocently enough, just peeling back the corners of our carpeting to see what was underneath. Then we couldn't help ourselves and just ripped it all out. 

Ever since we moved into our home we have been discussing the pros and cons of hardwood vs wall to wall carpet. I love hardwood for that timeless classy look, the design flexibility that area rugs provide, as well as easier cleaning when living with a very furry pet.

It's been a busy few weeks moving furniture, ripping out old carpet, and pulling a trillion staples. Things got much easier once we switched the tools we were using and started pulling staples with the vice grip shown on the stair below. That worked wonderfully and if you have a similar job in your future I'd highly recommend getting one!

Considering that our house is older we knew there was a chance for some bad stains and potential repairs, especially since previous homeowners had laid ceramic tiles directly onto the hardwood as shown above. There was a rough moment while they were working when they couldn't get the diamond pattern out. The tiles had trapped in moisture and darkened the wood underneath. They were afraid it went too deep into the wood and they suggested we begin discussing plan B. But luckily (so so lucky) for us they ran the sander a few more times and it came out! HORRAY!!

And as you can see they were able to work miracles with our 55 year old floors! The grout sanded up fine and it looks fantastic! The stairs are not done in this photo yet, they were finished today. I plan on showing more finished pictures soon, and you might guess that I will be posting information and resources for area rugs and runners in the future ;)

Thanks for reading! More to come later... 

Cheers, 

Send an Email | call 973.944.0188  |  like us on Facebook  |  Follow us on Pinterest  |   Talk on Twitter

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And now on instagram!