Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adding layers, creating warmth

On Saturday it's time to adjust our clocks and "fall back". By now the trees are done showing us their beautiful array of colors and have lost their leaves.

Part of me dreads this time of year because it's dark when I wake in the morning and it gets dark so early in the afternoon. For a girl from California who craves warm sunshine, this can very difficult. However, there is a part of me that loves the "snuggie-ness" of this time of year. Curling up under a soft blanket by the fire with a good book (or more realistically, my computer!) can't be beat!

So what does an interior designer like me do to get her house ready for shorter days and long, chilly nights? Well, first I begin with a bit of a fall clean-up! And I don't mean just the leaves outside. Take a look around your home and decide what your are done using for the season. By now you no longer need the lightweight jackets and flip-flops. Maybe it's even your outdoor furniture (unless you can still use it to sit by your fire pit for a few more weeks). Sweep out the garage. Make room for shovels, boots and perhaps some sleds! Stack some wood, and if you live around me, get your generator ready for winter.

Inside, I like to change things up a bit with the onset of a new season. Simple ideas like changing out the photographs of my kids from summertime fun to pictures of them jumping in the leaves. I even like to change up my artwork around the house to something more fitting for the season. This way I don't get bored with my décor, because it's changing every season!

I bring out lots of soft, warm blankets to throw on the couches and chairs in fall hues like orange and red. Or, toss a fake-fur throw on the couch. On a chilly day, just the sight of a thick, plush fake-fur blanket is enough to warm the heart — and cuddling under it will certainly warm your toes! Faux-fur is classic and will never go out of style...just like snuggling!

Since orange is one of my favorite colors, I love to add pops of it all over my home. Right about now, I would love to be sharing a cup of coffee in this kitchen I recently completed with PK Surroundings in Exeter, NH.

Check out some more inspiring fall decorating ideas and photos from The Inspired Room blog.

And for that extra touch of fall, homemade potpourri that I found on Express-O.

Here is what you will need: - the peel of one orange
- one cut up apple
- 2 large cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon of cloves
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of almond extract
- 1.5 cups of water plus plenty more for refill

Place all ingredients in a cooking pot and simmer throughout the day while adding a bit of water from time to time. Also, you can reuse this mix for three days and store it in the fridge overnight.
Ta dah!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween decor you're not afraid of...


Having a theatrical background (all time love, Sweeney Todd) and a passion for film scores (think Carlos' The Shining and Danny Elfin) has it's advantages when it comes to Halloween around our house. That and living with a kiddo who spent most of his life hoping to be Tim Burton, you can just imagine what the month of October brings us. 
Suffice to say we barely recover for Christmas.
photo courtesy of ciaonewportbeach.blogspot.com
So this week I thought it might be fun to bring you some ideas of not so scary, and not so tacky....almost tactful decorating ideas to help liven up your home and garden. Read on...
A fabulous pumpkin book by sundayview.blogspot.com
Shelterness and Ciaonewportbeach.blogspot.com
have some sweet, not so scary, fall decorating ideas that are sure to keep the little ones running up to your door.

Pumpkins don't always have to be orange. Try something a little different!

When it comes to Halloween, I'm a big believer that less is less, but I admit there is something about just the essence of a theme that can also be enchanting.

photo courtesy of sadiepriss.blogspot.com

My family would agree that we all benefit from keeping sharp objects out of my hands, so I am a sucker for a great painted pumpkin. 

photo courtesy of Kristen Sitton

And, like a crow, I am always attracted to shiny objects.

I love a centerpiece that, with a few quick changes, can go the distance (read: Thanksgiving!)

photo courtesy of uptodateinteriors.com
photo courtesy of shelterness.com

And of course, you need to add in some craft ideas. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I am not very crafty (see above mentioned comment about sharp objects), so the maximum impact for the least amount of effort is attractive to me when it comes to this department...

Water balloons, and stockings, and glow sticks, oh my...

Whether it's kids in cute cuddly costumes you love or frightening masks and screams that make your hair stand up that gets your blood pumping, Halloween brings out the kid in all of us!

Ever thought your house was haunted? Or that you heard a funny noise...wait, did you hear that??!! I think I just heard a door creak open...don't look back! Just kidding!

But seriously if you have a minute, Houzz.com has a fun little quiz to take to find out what kind of haunted house you have. 

And if you are anywhere in the northeast in the next few weeks, check out an incredible display of awesome frightfullness (ten years later my daughter still can't look at a chain saw the same way) of Haunted Overload

photo courtesy of hauntedoverload.com

If you can't get to them, they will gladly reside in your living room on Oct 28th courtesy of ABC's The Great Halloween Fright Night

For more ghostly inspiration, float on over to my pinterest and check out some frighteningly good ideas.

Eerily yours,


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Color Cravings ~ Think Pink

So, I have a confession to make....I have been craving Pink. For weeks now.

http://ladoole.tumblr.com/I know with Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October my heart and mind have been on my extraordinary friends, and their mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces who redefine bravery for all of us on a daily basis. 

What is this color that stands as the visual image of their battle, their triumph, and their strength? And is it possible for us to need a color in our lives to represent our being? Our own personal battles and triumphs? Just a little something to put in our pocket as a reminder that, "We can".

 Photo credit Apartment Therapy

As it turns our Pink is the perfect companion.

A combination of the take action primary of Red and the potential for achieving success and focus of White, it's no surprise that pink allows us to see our path and helps us to set on it's journey  as well.

Pink is tender and affectionate, romantic and playful. The hotter the color the hotter the passion. 

Benjamin Moore's Smashing Pink
And pink is the color of hope. Warm and comforting, it gives us the sense that there is in fact a tomorrow. Pink is used in rooms to help calm aggression and bring a sense of peace and tranquility to a space.

Oddly enough it is heavily associated with the feminine, unlike blue. Yet, it is the easiest tone on the skin and marries well with almost every complexion. And while it's perfectly at home standing on it's own, Pink is comfortable with almost any other color from grays, to browns, black, greens and it's standby favorite~orange.

So, if this color is so universally helpful and filled with feel good attributes, why then is it one of the least used colors in design? Some of it is the strong feminine connotations (which might be all the more reason to inject it into all situations), to the mystery of how to make it work.

Here's a guide to slipping this guaranteed smile making color into your daily life. 

Warning: Small doses of this intoxicating pigment could lead to long term or permanent inclusion into one's closet, home and office. Use at your own risk...

~How about getting stoned.
Rose Quartz is the stone of the heart, acceptance and unconditional love. Pop one in your pocket or set out a glass jar filled with these beauties to remind yourself that you are loved and give that gift freely.

photo credit from Better Homes and Gardens
~Accessories with attitude.
 Whether a hint of pink or all out fuschia this color will catch the eye and warm the soul. When the eye sees something that pleases it the dilation sends all sorts of feel good chemicals to the brain. 
Pink clothing makes everyone look good, regardless of the skin tone. 

~ Take a seat. 
There is something just imagination provoking about a pink chair or chaise. A spot for a romantic read or magical storybook at bedtime.  Most any fabric will do. And pink is very forgiving about DIY projects, so feel free to reuse an old Louis chair or metal barstool and practice your spray painting skills. Add a fabulous fabric and you are well on your way to abandon bliss.

Photo from Notonthehighstreet.com

Photo Credit from Apartment Therapy

~Advanced therapy. 
My second confession is that I have always yearned for an orange and pink dining room. I am hopeful, but practical. Dining rooms, powder rooms, and bedrooms are all willing subjects for a bold palette. Start with one wall and see where your imagination takes you. 

photo credit from Interior Design Pro

Photo credit from Domainehome.com

And if you are game for the above mentioned dining room, call me.....I'm waiting.

I always tell my kids if it's not immoral, illegal, or socially irresponsible, try to say, "Yes". 

                              So goes it with Pink, I think.

Happy Decorating!



For more design inspiration, check out my pinterest board this week...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

10 Years of Interior Design

It's hard for me to believe it's been 10 years since I took my first big step towards my career in interior design. Those 10 years have been nothing short of exciting and fulfilling in more ways than I could have possibly imagined.

"I always tell new designers that there is nothing like working for free to really love your work. Ten years ago I answered a Kitchen Designer challenge at a local teen center.
I'm guessing I had a little more time on my hands than the other designers as I had never had a client, but that didn't seem to bother them. And how grateful I was that they took a chance on me.
What an adventure! I worked with most talented, generous, and hardworking group of volunteers anyone could imagine. From utility closet to gourmet kitchen in a month and for some, the first time they had a kitchen of their own.

Through the years we have designed everything from 50's diners to family-centered kitchens; 10,000 sq foot clubhouses to cozy cottages; barns, romantic bedrooms, sexy bathrooms, and outdoor oasis'. The diversity would make Lewis Carroll proud!

10,000 sq. ft. clubhouse at Seaglass Village, ME

One of my favorite, sexy bathrooms...complete with an Ecosmart fireplace! Dreamy!

There's nothing like designing a stunning backyard oasis like this one!

One of the many cozy cottages I have designed over the years!
A spiral staircase from the 1850's barn renovation I designed. One of my all-time favorite projects!
And through it all the shining star has always been you.
You make everyday a "get to".  A passion, a love, and a pleasure.
I am eternally grateful to have the best clients on earth. And I look forward to many more decades of curious, thoughtful, and energetic designs, inspired by your wildest dreams."