Posts belonging to Category Balance & Harmony



HOW TO ACHIEVE ‘PEACE OF MIND’

According to a recent study “the state of your home has a direct impact on your Relationships, your Self-Esteem & your overall Happiness”.

 

I thought I’d take a moment to explain the inspiration behind Designer-in-a-Box – specifically the three packages that I offer.

Let’s begin then, with the very first tier, the one I call Peace of Mind.

Why that particular name? Where did it come from?

Well, perhaps this describes you…

Is your home filled with furniture you bought years ago (in college, maybe?), or with things that someone else chose?

Maybe even leftover from a previous relationship?

So, here’s the thing.

If your home no longer reflects who you are, it’s like dragging a heavy weight around with you every day.

(Remember that study? Your happiness depends on this!)

Now, change the picture.

Visualize yourself coming into a home that truly supports your health and well-being and reflects the essence of who you are.

That is what I call Peace of Mind.

And, as I’ve mentioned, Peace of Mind also happens to be the name of the intro package I’ve created for my ultimate DIY interior design program– DESIGNER IN A BOX.

Of course, these words could mean something else entirely.

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HOW TO TRANSFORM A ROOM WITH MINIMAL EFFORT

It’s official!

Designer in a Box is launching next week and I can’t tell you how excited I am to announce that Thursday, June 28 is the date – so mark your calendars!

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share a story that came up a few weeks ago.

As you might recall, I’ve occasionally made references to our rustic family cabin, nestled in the woods.

The one made out of logs.

In fact, I recently wrote about it in a post called “How to Decorate a Log Cabin”. That article was all about honoring the unique style of architecture in such a home.

This story refers to an unused shed on the premises that was converted to a guest cabin many years ago.

I know, that sounds fancy.

But trust me, it really isn’t.

What I love most about the guest cabin, is its small size.

It’s snug and cozy.

Yet, it contains everything you could possibly need, including a private bath. Although, I will admit, said bathroom isn’t much larger than what you’d find on an airplane.

Which is how we unwittingly flooded the place this past Spring, when we turned the water system back on.

Unbeknownst to us, the shower head was facing into the room, instead of the shower stall – and had also been left in the ‘on’ position.

Ha.

Needless to say, that is how we managed to ruin the bedroom carpet since it was in close proximity.

It wasn’t a huge loss, though.

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IS DESIGNER IN A BOX FOR YOU?

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, then you know that I’ve been gearing up to launch my brand new Interior Design Program DESIGNER IN A BOX.

And I’m guessing you have some questions.

Perhaps the most pressing one – correct me if I’m wrong – is this:

How do you know if Designer in a Box is right for you?

Well, here’s a hypothetical scenario:

Let’s say you’ve decided to redecorate your living room and create a space that is invitingly cozy and comfortable and reflects everything you are passionate about.

So, you head over to your favorite big-box furniture store that is currently having a big Sale.

An eager and attentive salesperson comes to your aid, and ultimately convinces you to buy a beautiful white, leather sofa.

You are certain this is exactly what you need.

A few days later, the sofa is delivered to your home.

You’re surprised to learn that it is a little large for the space – you thought it was such a perfect fit!

And while you still think the sofa is attractive, you’re not quite so sure anymore that you’ve made the correct choice.

So you call your mother, and some friends.

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HOW TO BE A SAVVY DESIGNER

In the past few months, the hotel where I routinely stay in Asheville, NC, has undergone a complete overhaul – taking the newly remodeled lobby entrance from drab to “wow”!

At least, that was my first impression, upon entering the revolving front doors.

I thought the new décor was fun and vibrant, and instantly uplifting.

Later, I asked my fellow attendees what they thought, and the response was surprising.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said one person.

“It’s stupid,” said another. “It isn’t safe.”

I saw immediately what was going on.

“Ah,” I said. “That’s the thing – it’s the difference between aesthetics and function.”

As an interior designer, I had initially observed the lobby from purely an aesthetic viewpoint.

But for those who’d actually been lounging in the chairs and sofas, their discomfort level was intense.

“The ottoman is too small & squishy for a big person,” was the explanation. “You could roll right off it.”

“Not to mention the chairs in the dining room,” someone else chimed in. “They’re much too small!

She predicted they wouldn’t last more than a year.

I was then reminded of the previous evening.

While seated in one of the deep, cushy sofas in the bar area, I had been acutely uncomfortable – unable to lean back against the pillows without my feet dangling off the floor.

My back was tired.

In other words, even though the aesthetic – or visual – experience might be a huge WOW, if the design isn’t also working from a functional – or practical – standpoint, then it has failed.

As an interior designer, these are the things I know.

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INTRODUCING: DESIGNER IN A BOX!

Are you ready to create the home of your dreams?  

Well, what if I told you there is now a fabulous on-line tool that can help you do just that?

I’m thrilled to announce my brand new Interior Design program – DESIGNER IN A BOX – the Ultimate DIY Course for designing your own home!

A little over a year ago, I came up with the idea to introduce an Interior Design program in the form of an on-line tutorial.

“Wouldn’t it be great,” I thought, “To have an on-line tool that helps you design the home of your dreams?”

The creative wheels have been turning ever since.

It’s moments like these that remind me why I created this program in the first place. 

It’s because I truly believe everyone deserves to have a beautiful home!

Not only that, I believe access to professional interior design advice should be readily available and affordable to anyone.

In order to do this, I realized I would be sharing a lot of information that includes not just the A,B,C’s of interior design but also insider tips, worksheets and plenty of personal advice.

I specifically tailored this Home Study Course towards anyone who is a little more “hands on”, preferring to handle much of the design work yourself while having access to professional advice along the way.

My intention with this program is just that – to help you create a beautiful home that supports and nourishes you in every aspect of your life.

So, how do you know if Designer in a Box is right for you?

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DO YOU PAY THE TOLL?

On December 29, 2011, Seattleites found themselves with a new Toll Bridge.

While the bridge itself wasn’t new, the toll was.

For those not familiar with the Seattle area, we have two bridges that span Lake Washington – connecting the city, itself, with the suburbs and outlying areas.

I think it’s safe to say that hundreds of thousands of commuters rely on these bridges every single day.

So, enacting a toll was a really big deal.

Here’s what has happened since. Many commuters have simply refused to pay the toll. Instead, they are driving well out of their way and finding alternate routes.

They either travel across the second bridge – whether or not it is convenient to where they live or work – or they circumnavigate the lake completely.

What surprises me most about this, is that the folks who have chosen to drive around the lake or find alternate routes, don’t seem to be concerned about the extra distances they’re driving, or the additional expense for gas.

Meanwhile, for those who opt to pay the toll, the route into the City is straight sailing all the way – a huge improvement over snarled traffic jams that used to be the norm.

Of course, whether to pay the toll or not, that’s up to the individual and their unique circumstances.

In the end it’s all about choices.

The analogy here, is that we often make similar decisions when it comes to buying new furniture – whether to go all out and invest in superior quality and a better experience – the equivalent of paying the toll – or settling on something more affordable that fits our budget here and now.

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HOW TO DECORATE A LOG CABIN

In my FREE Offer “7 Ways to Create Harmony in Your Home”, I discuss the need to honor the architectural style of your home.

I also emphasize the need to keep in mind the century in which you live! 

What do I mean by this?

This past weekend, I realized I had the perfect example to share with you, sitting right in my own back yard, so to speak.

You see, my family owns a log cabin nestled in the woods.

This log cabin gives the impression of being straight out of “Little House in the Big Woods” – the acclaimed series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder – although, unlike the cabin in the book, we do have electricity and running water.

Even so, it’s quaint and rustic, and cozy all in one package.

So, how does one decorate a log cabin?

How does one honor the unique style of architecture in such a home?

To my mind, the name alone evokes images of a quaint and rustic lifestyle, and that is a good place to start.

The location of the cabin also figures in and is always an important consideration. In this case, it’s in the woods – as I mentioned – with a river outside the front door.

In the off-season, the heat and water are turned off, and even though the climate is generally mild it can still get very cold and damp inside.

(These are always things to think about, regardless of where you live).

All of this would suggest nothing too fancy.

With that in mind, one could easily focus on the rustic style and invoke a traditional lodge look with lots of wood furnishings and chintz, and maybe a set of deer antlers above the stone fireplace.

I think you get the picture.

The interior is dark, by the way, due to all the logs that make up the frame of the cabin.

At times, adequate lighting is a challenge, especially at night.

One trick I’ve used to lighten things up, is to offset the darkness with creamy white, and other light colors – in the sofa cushions, towels and linens, and colorful throw pillows.

Another approach is to furnish the place with cast-offs from a previous residence.

You know, those things that many of us tend to have around the house that still have some life in them, but no longer serve a purpose?

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DOES YOUR HOME NEED INTERIOR THERAPY?

Interior designers and therapists have a lot in common. Of course, in the case of a designer, the ‘patient’ is someone’s home.

Did you know that homes, just like people, can have a story to tell?

If we’re lucky, it will be a very good story, especially if the home is relatively new. Older homes, on the other hand, might come with a bit of baggage  – what we sometimes refer to as a colorful history.

It’s all part of the package, right?

As an interior designer, it’s my job to sort through it all, and highlight the home’s true character while downplaying the flaws.

Where to begin?

Sometimes I need to be a sleuth, and coax out the story, but other times the story is told more easily.

For example, if you’ve ever seen a house with peeling paint on the exterior, and broken blinds hanging at the windows, you know right away that particular house is in need of a bit of love.

I’m reminded of one client project in particular –  a condo with an intriguing layout. It was intriguing in the sense that the two wings on either side of the main living/dining space seemed to be almost mirror images of each other.

It wasn’t immediately obvious, but when I learned the background story, it all made sense.

The home I found myself in had originally been two separate condos; the previous owners had joined them together into one combined unit.

This explained the mirror-image layout.

It also explained the problem that had emerged as a result of the remodeling:   a large center support column – smack in the middle of the living room.

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3 EASY WAYS TO WELCOME SPRING

Earlier this week, many of us observed the arrival of the Spring Equinox.

Yes, Spring is here!

And while the temperatures in my area are still hovering in the low to mid 40’s, other parts of the country have experienced a heat wave.

If that’s the case where you live, you’ve probably tossed aside your winter clothing for something lightweight and cool.

We do this routinely, the re-organizing of our closets according to the seasons.

And yet, how often do we think about our homes?

Do you celebrate the beginning of Spring, trading out wintry-themed throw pillows with something fresh and summery?

Or do you rarely give it a moment’s thought?

Aside from holiday decorations at varying times of the year, our homes don’t necessarily reflect the seasons the way our wardrobes do.

And yet, our local stores our flaunting luscious Spring colors and bursting with new ideas, many of them easy to implement.

So why not take a cue from your favorite retailer and spruce things up a bit in your home?

 

Keep Things Fresh

Our homes can always benefit from a fresh look here and there.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t need to be expensive!

If you’ve been thinking for months about a new couch, then maybe it’s time to finally go shopping.

However, there are many fun, less costly things you can do to give your home a whole new look, just in time for Spring.

You can:

  • Re-arrange the furniture
  • Paint a wall or two, in a bright cheery color
  • Add colorful throw pillows
  • Slipcover the sofa
  • Decorate with flowers

None of these suggestions is overly elaborate or difficult to pull off.

As always, you want to keep in mind your personal color preferences – as opposed to trends, springtime or not.

 

Lighten Up

As you ‘lighten up’ during these warmer months, why not literally shed some weight with a little spring cleaning?

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WHAT IS YOUR COMFORT ZONE?

As any well-seasoned traveler can attest, navigating airports these days is often a challenge. We may encounter any number of inconveniences from long wait times to erupting volcanoes.

Have you ever noticed, while traveling, what your level of comfort might be at any given point during your trip?

In fact, depending on your hotel accommodations, or your in-flight experience, you may actually be more aware of a lack of Comfort, than anything else.

Of course, on an airplane, being seated in First Class is the way to go if you’re looking for comfort and some in-flight pampering.

Yet, for those of us sitting in Coach, it is often a very different experience.

On a recent flight, I found myself seated next to a mother and her young baby. The woman had not booked a seat for her child, and was hoping I might not show up.

The baby was perfectly happy until she had to give up her seat and be held firmly on her mothers’ lap. At that point, she let out a blood-curdling scream of protest.

Comfortable I was not.

The baby clearly needed a seat of her own, and I needed some peace and quiet. Much to my relief, the stewardess ushered me to a new seat in one of the exit rows.

I now had plenty of leg-room, the baby had a seat several rows behind me and well out of earshot, and all was well with the world.

I was very comfortable.

On any given day, our comforts levels are frequently tested, and for each of us, that definition is unique.

And when it comes to our homes – well, there is almost no end to the number of ways consumers can pamper themselves with what seems comfortable to them.

Whether selecting furniture, linens, paint colors, fabrics or household appliances – and that’s just naming a few – you will be faced with many decisions.

However, before you choose, why not step back and ask yourself the following very important question.

What does Comfort mean to you?

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