Posts belonging to Category IFFY



Your Internal Color Compass

Isolated coloured pencilsWe all have our favorite colors.

The ones we’re drawn to instinctively in the way we dress and what we surround ourselves with in our homes.

Me, I like blue, especially a faded blue, one that leans toward blue-grey. Other days I might be more in the mood for yellow.

Speaking of moods, who among us hasn’t had ‘one of those days’, the kind where you look in your closet and nothing suits your dark mood but black.

So you dress yourself in black, head to toe, and head out the door.

That’s a good example of your Internal Color Compass dictating what you should wear, based on your mood.

Of course, this internal compass can serve you just as well when you’re feeling sunny and upbeat, and it can also help determine the color palette in your home.

The following four Color Palettes were shared at a recent Sherwin Williams Color Forecast presentation.

If you’ve never thought beyond your favorite color and considered your Internal Color Compass, this might be fun for you to play with.

I’m sure you’ll recognize yourself in one of them.

 

Restless Nomad

You’ve only to think of all the journeys you’ve taken, imaginary and otherwise, to recognize your inner nomad.

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HOW TO BOOST YOUR HOME’S ENERGY IN 2013!

This isn’t a post about energy consumption.

Not in the typical sense of the word, anyway.

Instead, this has to do with the energy in your home – in terms of the positive or negative vibes contained between the walls.

In other words, you may have heard that people emit either positive or negative energy.

Well your home exudes a certain energy, as well.

It may be closely related to your own mood.

More specifically, if you’ve been neglecting yourself lately and are feeling tired and overwhelmed, this might have rubbed off on your surroundings.

And chances are your home is feeling the same way.

Take a look around you.

Is your furniture looking a bit worn and tired?

Are the walls faded and in need of a fresh coat of paint?

Do the carpets need replacing?

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DOES A ROOM HAVE 4 WALLS OR 6?

OK, that’s a trick question.

Strictly speaking, most rooms have just four walls.

However, it’s important not to overlook the floor and ceiling – the other ‘walls’ in the room.

It’s what we call looking at the big picture.

So the correct answer here – you guessed it – is six.

Yes, whether walls, floors or ceilings – when designing a home, everything counts.

It’s the ceiling, though, that tends to get overlooked.

Other than a coat of paint, and a light fixture, you might be thinking what more does it need?

As with everything else, the details matter.

This means careful consideration of the paint color, specifically whether to go with a lighter shade, or dark.

Usually, the advice is to use a slightly lighter shade, especially if your ceilings are low.

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ARE YOU STALLING?

“Ambivalence – is the liminal point between the problem and the solution.”

 

It’s that point of uncertainty, when you’re not sure what to do next and perhaps terrified of making a mistake.

Let’s say you’ve been thinking about a kitchen remodel, or are toying with the idea of re-decorating your home.

Let’s also say you’re feeling overwhelmed by the details and not sure where to even begin.

Could be you’re stalling.

A few days ago, I was talking to a couple of friends, both interior designers. The one friend is planning to remodel her townhouse and is brimming with new ideas.

She’s a designer, after all.

Still, she’s not sure where to begin.

She’s stalling for time.

The intentions are usually good.

Still, you might be feeling stuck, not sure what to do with the old furniture for starters.

(It’s a classic case of “Designer’s Own Dilemma”) .

For many of us, that is the BIG question,  i.e  what to do with the old furniture?

Do we donate it, sell it or give away?

And to whom?

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THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – PART 2

This week’s article is a continuation from last week. 

(If you missed that article, you can find it here.)

And as I said before, it’s a bit of a teaser.

I say this, because I’m using various elements found in Nature to illustrate the Elements of Design – the so-called building blocks used to create just about any work of art – and  therefore the principal tools that designers, architects and all creative types invariably use in their craft.

So far, we’ve explored Color, Balance, Pattern and Rhythm.

Still to come?

Space, Line, Proportion and perhaps my favorite – Harmony.

So here they are….

 

Space

See that wide expanse of sky?

If that endless space was filled with stuff, this scene wouldn’t look nearly as tranquil.

Which means Mother Nature got it right again, knowing exactly when to stop.

In home design, this translates to “Less is More” an oft quoted remark from one of the 20th century’s foremost architects, Mies van der Rohe.

When it doubt, a good rule of thumb is to edit the finished design by removing one item.

That’s when you’re done.

 

Line & Proportion

In Nature, line and proportion are pretty much perfect.

After all, who’s to say a maple leaf should have a different shape, or that a bunch of grapes should be less round?

We accept them for what they are.

A mix of lines and shapes is always a good idea for interiors, as well.

And knowing when to place a large sofa in a smaller room, or vice versa, is just as helpful.

Is the coffee table the right size for the nearby chairs?

What about the bed?

Understanding the relationship between all these different elements is key to a successful project!

 

Focal Point

This is your immediate field of vision.    

With a view like this, it’s easy to see what that might be.

The Focal Point is the one thing that captivates you, that is so spectacular, interesting or inviting that people can’t help but notice it.

It’s what we situate our homes to take full advantage – especially when there’s a gorgeous view.

Inside your home, this translates to either the fireplace, a bed or seating area, or even the television.

Hmmm.

Which would you rather look at?

 

Harmony

This is an easy one.

It’s what we achieve when ALL the Elements & Principles have been used together – well, harmoniously.

Just like in Nature.

If your home is feeling a bit flat and un-inspired, you can be fairly certain that one of these key elements is off, or missing altogether.

THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – WITH A NATURAL TWIST

Today’s post is a bit of a teaser.   

While vacationing a few weeks ago in Eastern Washington, I spent a lot of time outdoors.

And on my bike.

While riding the scenic back roads, it occurred to me that much of what we see in Nature mirrors the Elements of Design – the principal tools that designers, architects and all creative types invariably use in their craft.

These Elements of Design include everything from color, space, balance, shape, line, proportion and much more – while lending interest and excitement to a space.

Just as they do in Nature.

Let me explain.

 

Color

Imagine the natural world without color!

It’s almost painful to think of.

Everywhere we look, on any given day, we are welcomed by a riot of color in our surroundings – both indoors and out.

Sometimes it makes sense to balance the colors of Nature outside your windows, with a soothing palette inside. A neutral palette can make strong colors pop – just as you see in the vivid sunsets shown above.

Other times, a desert landscape might call for bolder colors within.

Different colors dictate a different mood, and can lift our spirits.

In Nature, the most soothing colors are green and blue.

 

Balance 

Balance in a room is achieved through Symmetry or Asymmetry in the basic layout of your furnishings.

The essence of Symmetry is this:

If you were to draw an imaginary line down the center of a room, dividing it in half – each half would be a mirror image of the other.

In Nature, we can find a perfect mirror image reflected in a lake, just like in this picture!

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ARE YOUR KIDS MISSING SCHOOL?

Did you know that asthma is on the rise?

According to the latest statistics, more than 25 million people are affected!

Of even greater concern, is that asthma in children is on the increase, resulting in a lot of missed school days.

The culprit?

VOC’s – chemicals found in many household items, and what you should NOT be breathing.

VOC’s stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. Even the word volatile sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it?

You know how, when food has gone bad, it typically has a rather awful smell?

Well, think of VOC’s as being the household equivalent to rotten food.

Just as you wouldn’t eat food that has obviously seen better days – you really don’t want to surround yourself with toxins that poison your environment and the air you breathe, do you?

That is why we need to pay particular attention to our children’s sleep environment.

While statistics show that at least 57% of today’s children are sleep deprived, what we’re talking about here goes beyond just making sure they are getting enough sleep!

Let’s say your children are, in fact, sleep deprived.

If you add toxins and food allergies to the mix, they are at an even greater disadvantage.

So how do you ensure adequate sleep, aside from sending them to bed at an appropriate time?

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WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM TV SITCOMS

Many years ago, I snapped a random photograph of my young son standing on the beach in Hawaii.

When my photos came back from the printers, I was surprised to find that not only did I capture him by the water’s edge – but also his shadow in the water.

Inadvertently, I’d even captured his shadow on the sand!

It was uncanny.

I called the photo “Ashley 3Ways” –because I’d unintentionally captured three different aspects of him.

I was thinking about that photo a few days ago while watching The Big Bang Theory on TV.

Have you ever watched that show?

It’s entertaining, in a goofy kind of way – ideal for those times when only something lighthearted will do.

What I noticed about several of the main characters – who all live in the same building, by the way – is that each apartment appears to be identical in layout.

Maybe the floor plan is flipped, but the layout is still the same.

Yet each of their homes looks entirely different from the other.

It’s a little like that photograph – you’re seeing the same thing, but in three distinctly different ways.

In this case, their homes tell a story about their respective characters.

The set designer (as opposed to, say, an interior designer) personalized the space by choosing furnishings which perfectly encompass what each of the characters represents.

(It is a TV sitcom, after all).

For example, in one apartment, you have Sheldon & Leonard, two physics nerds who work together and also share an apartment.

Their home reflects a typical bachelor pad, with leather furnishings, electronics and a subdued, masculine palette of brown and black that says “men live here”.

Across the hall we have Penny, a bubbly blond who lends a much needed feminine touch – and her apartment reflects that.

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A SUMMER QUIZ

“Your home is your personal canvas – a place for celebrating Beauty”.

 

Here’s a little quiz I’ve put together, to re-vitalize your home decorating skills during these hot, lazy summer days.

Please note, this is intended to be fun!

Even better – your answers will not be graded.

 

Question #1:

Summer is the worst time of year to even consider an interior design project.
T or F

False. If you are thinking of re-decorating, or having a picture perfect new dining room by the holidays, NOW is the time to kick things into high gear!

Especially if your plans involve anything custom, or lining up vendors and/or contractors – you need to plan several months ahead.

Why?

Most workrooms and manufacturers have a cutoff date for the holidays. If you wait too long, your dream project simply won’t happen in time.


Question #2:

The best, and most obvious, reason to hire an interior design is because you can afford to do so. T or F

False. The best reason to hire an interior designer is when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, and short on time & ideas.

Not to mention having access to a much broader scope of resources, for whatever your heart desires.

By the way, if you love interior design and are always re-arranging things in your home, check out this link – especially if you frequently worry “Am I doing this right?


Question #3:

Working with an Interior Designer can sometimes lead to bargains. T or F

True. Some designers will pass along showroom discounts; other times, you might be lucky enough to score exactly the item you are looking for – on Sale – at an exclusive designer showroom.

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YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME

You know that sterile feeling you get in a hotel room?

There’s that sense of expectation – wondering what you’ll find beyond the closed door, before you’ve even stepped over the threshold.

At that moment, your bodies is in full “perception” mode, instinctively taking in everything about your surroundings.

In the end, though, it might feel inviting but completely generic – with no trace whatsoever of the previous occupants.

Last week’s trip to Atlanta was no different.

I did the usual quick assessment of my room, which seemed to be comfortably furnished and attractive.

After I few minutes, I noticed the room was actually speaking to me.

I don’t mean that in a ‘woo woo’ kind of way – it really spoke!

There were messages everywhere that said things like “Drink Me”, “Refresh” or “Need Something?”

Even the bath mat said “Step” – as in “step into the shower”.

It was fun and a bit quirky.

Did it make me feel more at home?

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