stanhope

GREENERY

It's that time of year again! Pantone has just announced their color of 2017 which is called Greenery. It is nice to see some spring colored leafy green this time of year as everything up here in the north turns a cold gray. Brrr...

(image source)

Wondering how to incorporate this green into your existing home decor for a fresh look? Check out this room photo below for some inspiration, it looks great mixed with rich blues and wood tones. 

(image source)

Artwork and some green ferns are always an easy update! 

What do you think of the new color of 2017? 

Cheers, 

 

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Green with Envy

Happy St. Patrick's Day all! Sorry it's been awhile since my last post - every week zooms by and I realize I haven't yet written a blog post! It's amazing how time flies now with a little one... 

As I was drafting my monthly email newsletter I searched for a green room to share for some St. Patrick's Day love. It was hard to decide which one though - some were soft and subtle, others were vibrant and geometric, and others still were neutral with just a few pops of green. Since it was so hard to pick just one here I will share all the "green rooms" that grabbed my interest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you had to pick just one, which would be your favorite? 

Slainte!

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Getting Things Done - a PSA

Every week when I think about a potential blog post there are so many ideas that come to mind sometimes it's hard to choose. One of those recurring thoughts is to share a very valuable "life resource" with you. I follow many blogs & podcasts and a few months ago through the "Beyond the To Do List" podcast I learned about a little book called "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.  Actually, I kept hearing the reference "GTD" and the "GTD system" that finally I just HAD to look it up.

This book isan extremely valuable resource not just for getting things done, but for streamlining your work process and get things off your mind. I figured getting back to work after having our first baby would be the perfect time for me to learn more about it. So I went to the library and devoured it within a few weeks. (I only had to renew it once - c'mon I had a 4 month old at the time!) I kept laughing at the irony of me reading about "getting things done" instead of actually just getting things done... but I knew this would transform my habits and so I wanted to learn about it before getting back into the swing of things. 

The tips & methods he details for processing information have been insanely helpful. One of the things I often felt when things got busy was that there were so many "moving parts" it was hard to keep track of the loose ends. His tips for "closing the loops" in our minds have been so valuable I've really felt inspired to adopt this system for both my design projects and my personal life. So now I feel that I should return the favor and tell everyone about it! How did I not know about this sooner?!?

So here is a link to the book and website, and below are a few of my favorite parts of the GTD system. 
gettingthingsdone.com 

 

1- Email processing

(source)

I love his tips for creating @Action, @WaitingFor, Read/Review and Reference folders. They really help keep things organized and make sure I am not forgetting anything. I am still working towards an empty inbox but I've enjoyed processing my emails with his tips. And since I use Gmail for work, it's easy for me to tag emails directly from my sent mail so I don't forget to follow up with people I've contacted! 

 

2- Master Project List

(source) 

Here's where my "too many moving parts" problem was solved. I don't know if working from home made this worse but I had this perpetual thought pattern every time I walked through the house of all the things we needed to get done. Then I'd look at my emails, open design projects and always try to assess what needed to get done next. It was becoming a perpetual mess! By having a master project list I am able to keep an inventory of every single aspect of my life, both work and personal so I can assess the use of my time holistically. If we're planning an event at home, it takes actual time from my life and I need to take actionable steps to achieve it just like a would I client project. Which leads me to the next favorite...

 

3- Action Items

(source) 

Splitting up a task or job by actionable items might sound like a no brainer, or maybe even a waste of time for those smaller tasks, but his idea of breaking things up by Action (emails, calls, errands, agendas, etc) has been a really helpful way for me to manage my to-do's. I'm still slowly adapting to this because I used to always organize my lists by job and it feels weird to separate them. But ultimately I do agree this makes a lot of sense and will be beneficial to view all my to-do's holistically. 

 

So what do you think?

Have you already heard about GTD? Have you been using the system, or like me wish you had discovered it sooner? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I hope you found this post helpful. 

 

Cheers, 

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Transform a Room with Color & Simple Styling

Well hello there! I have returned from maternity leave and it's so good to be back! I started back gradually over the summer and now that it's September I am back up to speed again. This is the first post on my blog since returning and I am excited to keep up with my social media again. 

So what is my first post going to be about? Well, I have been working on a few projects involving window treatments and have become really excited with Smith & Noble's before & afters. I first discovered them on my ipad over the summer and was totally mesmerized with sliding the bar back and forth to see the transformation. I should say that I had a few "extra minutes" to look through all of them because I was holding my little babe for long stretches of time ;) 

What I really like about these is that they not only show window treatments but also pillows and throws. The furniture remains exactly the same but it shows how powerful color & accessories are in transforming a room. i would love to show you a few of my favorites and what I like about each one. So let's get on with it shall we?

Bedroom Transformation

You can see how the blue livens up this simple bedroom and the mix of solids and pattern also adds interest. They added a table lamp next to the bed. All of this is very simple but adds so much sensory experience to the room.

 

Family Room Transformation

This large window and sliding door combination looks great with a dual layer window treatment. In addition they've replaced some of the green accessories with a simple white orchid and throw pillow. Same furniture but wow - look at the difference! 

 

Living Room Transformation

Another dual layer window treatment - blinds with patterned panels on each side. The addition of sunflowers in a vase and throw pillows really pull the room together.  Please also note that the curtain rod is hung as high as possible and the curtains are brushing the floor. Full length curtains really keep the windows looking tall! 

Living Room 2

Talk about framing a view! The curtains really draw attention to the windows, and the throw pillows and blanket repeat the colors and introduce new pattern.  This is also a great example of how a neutral couch and wall color isn't a recipe for boring! Accessories are an easy way to upgrade and change a space.

Kitchen

Again here is a simple upgrade with a valance, and the color is repeated in the flowers and bowl of fruit. Also note how this curtain makes the window seem taller? If you look at the original window and notice how low it is, then notice that the top of the valance is lined up with the top of the cabinets. Viola! Tall window magic.

Dining Room

Bay windows can be tricky, and while I'd say about 90% of the time in general it's best to let as much light in as possible. But sometimes it's good to break that rule and go for cozy drama and have fun! Curtains carve out space in an otherwise large room, especially if there is a lot of other natural light available. This looks fabulous, plus all the accessories on the table really pull it all together. 

Contemporary Loft Space

Even in really contemporary loft spaces (maybe especially in these spaces) curtains can really add a soft touch without taking away from the space. The sheer curtains shown below emphasize the height of the room, let light filter in, and soften the hard edges in this space.

 

So what do you think of these transformations? Do you see the potential for a color & accessory makeover in your home?? This is the fun part that really adds a lot of personality to a home, is easy to update, and makes a room feel complete. 

Thanks for reading! As I mentioned earlier all Before & Afters are compliments of Smith & Noble! You can take a look at all of the transformations and play with the slider from the link below. 

www.smithandnoble.com/beforeandafter

 

Cheers!

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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.

Happy Holiday Season!

Every time I check in I cannot believe how fast time is flying!! This week was Hanukkah and tonight is Christmas Eve already! So what have I been up to? It's been a busy season getting ready for the holidays and helping people decorate their homes. Now it's time to kick back and relax (after we clean the house, prep dinner, and deliver dozens of cookies!).  Our neighbors benefit from my cookie cooking obsession - I don't normally bake desserts during the year since it's just the 2 of us at home, so I indulge during the holidays :)  

Every year I make the same few favorites and I've gotten my system down pretty well by now. Then I try adding a few new ones in to keep it interesting.  Here is a snapshot of this years cookies! Some photos are my own and others are from the recipe website. (links below!)

COOKIES

 

1- Peppermint Bark |  2-  Gingersnaps  |  3- Coffee Bon Bons

4- Rolo Cookies  |   5- Uncle Richie Cookies  |  6- Maraschino Cherry Almond Cookies

7- Triple Chocolate Chunk  |  8- No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Truffles  |  9- Sea Salt & PB Turtle Cookies

10- Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies

GUEST ROOM

Let's see, what else have I been up to? I was interviewed for an article in our local paper! I gave a few tips for creating a nice comfortable guest room for the holidays and my picture was used for the entire article! Below is my picture and a link to the article. 

Article Link (pg 2): http://www.njherald.com/link/721023/hello-holidays

UGLY SWEATERS

I went to an "ugly sweater" party this year for a networking event and was excited to find not only what I thought was an ugly sweater, but an ugly sweater vest!! Then I found an equally ugly turtleneck to wear underneath and bam! I was ready for the party. Much to my disappointment though.... so many people actually told me that it looked cute!! CUTE PEOPLE!!! I was like - uh, seriously?? As the designer in your network I am wearing this to an UGLY SWEATER party - and you actually think it's cute?? Oh boy... So now I ask YOU - Is this ugly or cute?!? Be honest!

 

Well that's all for now! Let me know if you make any of the cookies I shared, and I'm curious to know your thoughts on this sweater vest! I will check in again before the year's end... which is next week already! In the meantime I wish you all the very best of the holiday season!!!

Cheers!

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ICFF Sub-trend: Convertible Furniture

Here is my second ICFF recap from this year. The first was a round up of some of my favorites, now I'd like to share a few items that have a common design thread of space saving, convertible furniture. 

1- Convertible Pool Tables

First on my list is a pool table that converts into an elegant dining table by simply adding a cover. Perfectly stylish way for eating a meal, then simply slide off and play! This one by Belgium company Fusion Tables is streamlined and contemporary, and I just love their use of new color instead of the same old green felt. 

(Fusion Tables)

Vision Billiards, formerly Balic Billiards and part of Bilijardai products, offers handmade and premium billiard tables. They too offer a line of contemporary convertable tables which they brought to the show, but they also offer some of the most unique custom table designs I've seen! Check out their website for some examples. 

(Vision Billiards at the show) 

 

2- Umbra Folding Chairs

I love the flexibility (foldability?) of these chairs - and what a great way to get them out of the way when not using them? So simple and fun. Not available through their website yet but check back soon I'm sure! www.umbra.com

 

3- Riveli Shelving

I remember seeing these at the show last year and like how many options they've come out with since. What really clicked with me this year was that the back side was a magnetic blackboard, which would make these shelves perfect for a kitchen or foyer.

The whiteboard is a good idea too.

And I especially love the graphic print options when closed, these make for a great retail option, like the photo above. For more information check out their website www.lakeandwells.com 

4- Sliding horizontal columns

And lastly these interested sliding horizontal columns that can again serve as a graphic background, but can then be pulled out several feet and turned into a light fixture (shown above) or a seat or climbing wall (shown below). 

I remember this booth was from one of the student section, but unfortunately can't remember which one! I will update the information when I find it, but in the meantime if anyone knows who's this is please leave a comment below! 

And that's a wrap! What do you think of some of these design concepts? Would love to know in your comments below. 

Cheers, 

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Gliding into the Weekend

Well it certainly feels like summer here, and I am really looking forward to the holiday! I was reviewing my notes from this past weekend's Happy Places event at Babies R us and I wanted to share one of my favorite tips for repurposing furniture as your baby and toddlers grow.

When planning a nursery many people opt to have a glider or rocker in the room. When picking out your glider style and color consider one that can live happily in a family room or den once baby has grown. There are so many armchair options that you would never deem them as nursery furniture! A good quality glider can really grow with your family and you'll get many years from your investment. 

   
  
  

The Mansion in Detail- part 2

I hope many of you are getting ready to enjoy a long weekend! I wanted to share part 2 of my Blairsden Mansion recap, again focusing on the details rather than the full room. If you missed "Part 1" check it out here! 

Let's begin with fellow Interior Redecorator Susan Hayes! Congratulations!
Love this puppy portrait and wallpaper in the Puppy's Suite #29 by Re-Feather Your Nest Decorating, LLC

Plaster moldings & upholstered walls #30 James Yarosh Associates Fine Art Gallery

Quarter stool #30

Original glass doorknob and lock

Layered bedding with lighting #31 Sandra John Interior Design

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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Happy Friday (sort of)

Well another week has come and gone very quickly, and we are ending the week on a dark, dreary, drizzly day. Ugh spring, where are you! I know I am not alone, so here are some pretty spring pictures to keep those of us in the northeast going.... 

(Thanks Martha via Pinterest)

Pretty lilacs via HenhurtInteriorsBlog - I can almost smell them!

This photo makes rainy days look very classy. (source)

Someday we can enjoy the sunny outdoors again! (source) 

 

Rainy days are always good for browsing Pinterest... and for a laugh you should check out "Pinterest Nailed It" for classic Pinterest fails.

 

Starting with this lovely DIY artwork idea. (source)

Or if you're trying a Pinterest food item like this Minion here... (source)

More here and here, and look in Pinterest itself. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, no matter the weather :)

Cheers, 

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Getting Homes Resale-Ready

I haven't talked much about this part of my business on here yet, but this week the IRN has been doing a national launch to spread awareness about our Resale-ReadyTM service and so I wanted to share it with you. I use the same design principals as my One Day Room Refinements to help correct the most common decorating mistakes people make in their home. This results in a quick and affordable transformation that appeals to a wide selection of potential home buyers. Also like our One Day Room Refinements this is a flat fee based on the size of the home. 

Here are just some of the benefits of Resale-ReadyTM

 

1- Affordable Solutions: We find in most cases that instead of spending money on rentals & inventory we are able maximize what homeowners already have to stage their homes beautifully.

2- Flat Fee: Resale-ReadyTM is a flat fee based on the size of the home, no matter how long it takes. 

3- Saves Money: Once a home has been listed, an average price reduction is at least $1,000. So why take the chance? Resale-ReadyTM costs less than an average price reduction.  

4- Quick: Transformation of a home or condo can happen in just a few hours. Small tweaks of furniture placement and accessories makes a huge difference. And you can list quicker since you won't have to wait for inventory to arrive.

5- Create A Vision: Many potential home buyers are looking for move in ready. If they don't see a room's potential they aren't going to be excited, and that could mean a missed sale. Or even walking away if problems arise during a closing because they weren't emotionally invested. That's why it's important to create a vision and define the function of each room, especially for key rooms such as living room, family room, dining room, and master bedroom)

Are you excited about this space?

How about now? It's got potential right? (images courtesy of redesign4more)

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.

Tips for Mounting TV's

There are many resons to mount your TV, including safety as a major concern. There is also a growing trend towards smaller homes that have an open floor plan with a multi-purpose "great room". By mounting the TV in these rooms you can achieve greater visability in a smaller footprint. 

With all the adances in TV technology and the growing number of mounting solutions is there is no reason to have a poor floor plan! (see previous post: necessary evils). Gone are the days of lining all the furniture along one wall so "everyone can see." Flat screens alone allow for a wide viewing angle, and with the addition of Sanus products your mounting options are endless. 

Let's take a look at some of their solutions that might work for your home. 

Full Motion

You can't beat the flexibility of this wall mount. You can literally mount a TV in the corner, you can pivot, angle, and pull out from the wall. This ensures everyone can have the perfect view, and you can adjust to reduce glare as needed.

Sanus VLF525

 

(source)

Design Tip:

I like this sketch above because it clearly shows the corner mount which is awesome.  One thing I don't like about it though is the fireplace is right next to the TV, which creates a focal point competition. In this case mounting above the fireplace would be a better design decision to reinforce one focal point. Or move the TV to another wall away from the fireplace.

Another beneift of a wall mount is the flexible furniture options, if you choose to have any at all! In this case they chose to drop the cords behind the wall and add artwork for a gallery wall effect. 

(source) 

Tilt

Sometimes all you need for a perfect view is a little tilt. Some examples would be a wall mount in the bedroom, over a fireplace, or to angle for little kids to see. 

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!

 

Mantle Styling

During this unrelenting winter I've gotten a bit of fireplace envy. It's been fun looking at some fireplaces online (like this post) and thinking about how to style them. There are so many ways to accentuate this focal point that there really is no wrong way to do it. In a previous post I explained some key elements of a vignette, or decorative way to arrange accessories together. When styling a fireplace mantle many of the same tips hold true. So now if you're looking for some ideas of what to use, here are some fun options! 

1. Mirrors

This is one of my favorite design tricks, not only do mirrors reflect the light in the room and make it feel bigger, but if you angle the mirror back you can catch your chandelier / light fixture in the view which adds a dynamic element.

2. Family Portraits

This is a classic item for above a fireplace. You could hang one large portrait flanked with sconces for symmetry, or could lean a few different sized portraits for a more relaxed feel. 

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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