sussex county

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)

 

"SCENT"SORY Appeal

Often times when thinking about interior decorating, many people focus on the visual aspect of a room. They see a picture and implement the idea in their space, but feel that something may still be missing. One of the important things to remember is that a room should appeal to ALL the senses. So the one I would like to speak about in this post is SCENT! 

Veranda House Hotel

Photo by Rachel Reider Interiors

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Search contemporary bedroom pictures

Smells can evoke many emotions, memories, and lift a mood. Think about your significant other's perfume or cologne. Or a favorite candle or hand lotion you used during a special occasion. A waft of any of these will send you down memory lane! So that's why it's important that you consider using scent in your home. It will create a feeling of season, evoke memory, and add light and warmth to any room making it feel cozy especially during these colder winter months. 

M/I Homes of Chicago: Sheffield Square Grant Park - Dearborn Model

Photo by M/I Homes

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Look for transitional living room pictures

So here are a few tips when incorporating scent into your home: 

1- Make it Seasonal

Consider using the current season for inspiration. During the winter months use candles that smell like vanilla, cinnamon, or other related baking spices. If you're looking for something more earthy you can try some of the balsam, pine, sandlewood, or the classic patchouli and neroli.  In the spring & summer - don't forget fresh flowers!

2- Flow between Rooms

Just like paint colors should flow from room to room, it's also important scents do the same. You don't want a situation of a fresh bright summer scent jarring with one of those warm earthy winter smells. Keep the blends subtle and discreet - they don't have to be the same scent but just compliment each other! 

3- Color & decor

Many candles available today come in a variety of colors and styles. Try to find something that blends with your existing home or holiday decor. This way it will work double duty as an accessory, not just an item that looks like it's being used to mask smell. If you're working with flowers add colors and vases to compliment the decor as well.  

4- Safety 

Of course if you are using candles to enhance the scent in your home, it's important to follow common sense safety rules. I always recommend to keep candles in a very visible place so you don't forget to blow them out when you leave the room. Also keep them in a safe place where they won't get accidently knocked over when lit. 

5- Candle alternatives

One of my absolute favorite alternatives to candles are the reed diffusers. They come in so many scents now and can safely be tucked into any small space.  I love these because they work hard and you don't have to worry about the safety concerns with candles. You can buy a few diffusers at the same time, following tip #2 above, making sure they relate to each other. Then once they run out in a few months you can purchase a set of new ones in a seasonal scent set! 

Master Bath Vanity
Dining Room
Elegant Morris County Home
80-Hour Vertical Beeswax Candle With Hurricaine Glass
Aviary Owl Candle, Sky

transitional candles

I hope you enjoyed these tips and they inspire you. Do you currently use scent in your home, and if so how do you like to implement? 

Cheers, 

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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, 

Refresh Your home with this easy decorating tip that is cheaper than painting, and here's how

Are you ready for the answer? What decorating DIY could possibly be cheaper than painting?? 

Rearrange your furniture.
Yes - it's that simple! 

It's been a long winter (it always is) and it's easy to get stir crazy and want to make some major changes in your home. Especially if you've been living in your home for awhile you may be ready for a drastic change. All you need to get started is a few ideas and some furniture sliders, then viola! Instant makeover. 

(source) 

During the process you may find that you don't need some furniture anymore, or may want to borrow other pieces from another room. Try things you've never done before - have you tried your sofa on a different wall? Layered in front of the picture window? Across from the window? Perpendicular? You get the idea! 

 

Local Room Makeovers

 

Even if you're not ready to rearrange, it's important to keep this in mind when you are purchasing new furniture because you want the most versatile pieces that allow for several room configurations. The best combination for this is a sofa and 2 upholstered chairs. The configurations are so versatile in any space with this combination. 

(source)

The best part about this rearranging makeover? You can try it out and if you don't like it put it back the way it was! No harm done ;) 

So what do you think? Are you going to rearrange your room today? 

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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Pantone Color(s) of the Year

Well, this morning Pantone announced their color(s) of the year for 2016 and all I can keep thinking is that they seem to have suffered from decision paralysis and couldn't pick just one! It is an unprecedented move by the industry's color authority so we'll see how it plays out. I understand what they are saying about the colors working together to provide balance, harmony etc. but it's a tough line to walk as a single recommendation.

It's also fun to see what everyone else thinks of the announcement. I am seeing lots of references to Steven's Universe & Sailor Moon (never watched either of them), birth announcements (baby blue and pink anyone? lol), and my other general observance that I thought ombre was on the way out... 

 

So for this post I am going to totally ignore the "serenity" blue aspect of the color and instead focus on the "Rose Quartz" which is a pretty blush pink. THAT color I have been seeing more of and I would like to take a look at it in different aspects of interior decorating as a subtle trend. 

First a look at "Rose Quartz", the stone

So as the name references this is what natural Rose Quartz looks like. It's a beautiful soft pink that reminds me a bit of Himalayan rock salt. The history and meaning of the stone itself is related to the heart and "unconditional love." 

(source)

Rose Quartz is a pink coloured crystal believed to have heart-healing properties. It encourages healthy self-love, and can bestow compassion, forgiveness and acceptance. Rose Quartz is also soothing, calming and reduces stress and tension.

"Rose quartz" as paint

I attended a Sherwin Williams color forecast earlier this fall and also saw lots of blush colors as part of their forecast. I'm going to say that the closest of these is the "charming pink" on right since it has a similar clarity of color that the stone shares. But the muted blush pinks work really beautifully with subtle grays to warm up the color palette. 

(Sherwin Williams)

"Rose Gold" metal

Yes... even METAL is going pink! Now I'm not suggesting that everyone replace their faucets and light fixtures with rose gold but in the right application it's a nice option and welcome change to the standard "silver" or "chrome" options. First brass was making a comeback in the warm metal options, and now rose gold is here! 

 

 

Rose Gold Technology

Oh and incase you weren't sure about the metals above, check out the rose gold iPhone option available here ;) 

(apple iphone)

 

Ok so now are some other simple ways of adding this hue into your home decor...

Furniture

A nice pink accent piece would be a fun addition to a room! Either paired with high contrast dark colors or keeping light and airy with other light neutrals. 

 

 

 

 

Window treatments

 

 

Accessories & Decor

 

 

Artwork

 

 

 

So after seeing a few examples of the Rose Quartz / blush pink in context what do you think? What do you think of Pantone's announcement in general? Would love to know, leave a comment below! 

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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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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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)

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.