Feature Wall Design Ideas – When and how to do a feature wall

Feature Wall Design Ideas – When and how to do a feature wall

Feature wall design ideas are a great way to create a focal point, highlight a feature, or define an area of a room (like a dining area) in an open plan. But when and how should you create a feature wall, and when is it NOT a good idea to break up the space with a different color or style? And, what else besides paint makes a good feature wall? Read on…   When and why to use feature wall design ideas: Accent or feature walls work well when there’s an actual reason for highlighting that area. If you’re going to be drawing attention you may want to use it as a beautiful backdrop for special piece of artwork, highlight a piece of furniture, or define the space by how it is used. So, feature walls can do a great job of: Defining an area within a room that serves a particular function, like a play area, a dining area, or a living area. Creating a focal point with wallpaper, artwork on a beautifully colored wall, or a wall in back of a sofa. Highlighting a feature, like a fireplace. All of the above as long as there are clear starting and stopping points and no weird shapes created due to ceiling drops or other elements. When NOT to use feature wall design ideas: Painting various walls different colors will break up the unity of the space. I don’t suggest doing a feature wall if: You have a small room – it will make it feel smaller. There are lots of ‘ins and outs’ to your walls and you...
Pinter-inspiration vs. Perspiration – How to get your home interior design ideas from  your board into your room

Pinter-inspiration vs. Perspiration – How to get your home interior design ideas from your board into your room

You know I LOVE Pinterest, right? As a designer, I use it all the time and it’s a fantastic tool (along with Houzz) for getting home interior design ideas and inspiration, and sometimes finding a perfect piece of furniture. But…have you ever clicked on a link for something you were interested in on Pinterest and the link didn’t go to the place where you could buy it? Maybe it went to the right website, but the piece was no longer available, or maybe it took you to an Italian website, or a blog, or somewhere else completely. That’s where it can be a bit frustrating. You find home interior design ideas you love, but then you can’t SOURCE them so you can’t actually use them in your room makeover or renovation. I recently sent a board to some clients with several ideas for bathrooms on it (it’s below). Now, the difference between this board and what you see sometimes on Pinterest, is that ALL these items can be sourced. Right now. Today. In the United States. They are not just home interior design ideas that I liked the look of – they are items that can be ordered, purchased and installed.     Here is how to put together this kind of board once you’ve found what you like on Pinterest. I call it creating a ‘real-life’ board. Rather than using Pinterest, I suggest using Word, Power Point, Google Slides, Pages, or any program you feel comfortable with. For everything you found that is accessible and can be purchased put it on your board. Did you lose a few things that you really liked? Here is...
Thinking about Renovating this Summer? Sanity-Saving Tips from a Home Designer

Thinking about Renovating this Summer? Sanity-Saving Tips from a Home Designer

    Are you thinking about renovating this summer? You’re not the only one…so the time to start is now. A lot of contractors have already started booking up their summer, so to make sure you can get on the roster you should get your design ideas in order and start reaching out to find the right person. What You Need to Know about Renovating Before You Find a Contractor Before you speak to a contractor, it’s best to have a scope of work organized and on paper. Here are a few things to keep in mind: If you have work needing to be done scattered throughout the house, organize those items by trade. For example, change light fixtures in two bedrooms, install a dimmer in kitchen, and add an outlet in your living room would go under the electrician Remember, it’s more economical to take care of as much as you can at one time, rather than break the project up to be done at different times. Just loading in tools and supplies (not to mention you clearing out all your stuff) is a big part of the job. If you are planning a kitchen, bath or making other types of upgrades be prepared with key questions during your first meeting. Take a look at the list below to help you know what to ask! What You Need to Know About Renovating Kitchens Redesigning your kitchen can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure what you’d like to do or need help narrowing down your choices consider the following options: Set up an appointment with a kitchen design center (just keep in mind that their...
A Designer’s Perspective on the Pros and Cons of IKEA Sektion Kitchens

A Designer’s Perspective on the Pros and Cons of IKEA Sektion Kitchens

Are you thinking about a new kitchen from IKEA? Have you shopped around a bit only to find out the Swedish Giant appears to provide incredible value for the price tag? I’m a loyal ‘old-timer’ when it comes to IKEA kitchens –  In fact over the past 12 years or so I’ve installed at least 14 kitchens from IKEA, not to mention using the components for all kinds of other projects. Last year IKEA retired their Akurum kitchen and came out with a new, re-designed system called the Sektion. I was both excited, and a little nervous about what these changes would bring. Why change? what could they possibly make THAT much better? In anticipation of what was to come, I  combed European websites (where the system was already being sold as the METOD kitchen) for information  – this is where I reveal what a dork I am about IKEA kitchens.  It looked fancy! Lots more drawers. Lots more sections (wait a minute…SEKTION, SECTION, get it?) But the real differences revealed themselves when I actually started installing them in my own design projects where I discovered that – like most changes – there are pros and cons. One of the obvious differences is the huge amount of customizing on the configurations, and another is the 15″ deep upper cabinets. Both can be great new features — or not.  Read on for the pros and cons of IKEA Sektion kitchens… 1. Deeper upper cabinets Pro:The upper cabinets are not the standard 12” deep but 15” deep. This has the benefit of holding a lot more stuff. They’ve also introduced quite a...
Love Your Home 365 Days of the Year – a New Year’ s Resolution You Can Keep

Love Your Home 365 Days of the Year – a New Year’ s Resolution You Can Keep

Like many of us at the start of a new year, I recently started a list of my New Year’s resolutions and realized that it was actually depressing me. Why? There is no way I am going to conquer all the clutter in my home, exercise 5 days a week, put home-cooked dinner on the table every day, and no way I will suddenly become a super-tidy person. It’s just not me. Then I thought back to last year’s list: One of my resolutions made a big difference for me, which was to “do something nice for my body every day” – it could be exercise, it could be spending some extra time on my hair or personal grooming, it could be a massage or getting my nails done, or even just eating clean, good food. (Okay, if I could have just done the massages every day I would have!) Leaving it general gave me permission to adjust what I did so that if I was super-busy, or didn’t have time to go to the gym I could still stick to it. This felt good — I wasn’t ‘failing’ at my resolution, instead, I was building the good feeling and strength that comes from sticking to it. Plus my hair looked better! What I learned was that resolutions and goals do not need to be the same thing. A resolution can encompass a shift in outlook or be one daily habit that you incorporate. The goals you create out of that ‘sit under it’ but the resolution can be more general. It takes some of the pressure off to know that as long as...
Renovating? 5 tips to a hassle-free renovation

Renovating? 5 tips to a hassle-free renovation

OK, so I exaggerated. There’s actually no such thing as a hassle FREE renovation because let’s be honest, your home is getting shredded and rebuilt, you’ve likely moved out,  there’s dust and debris, and quite frankly, there are always surprises (and I don’t mean surprises like finding a $20 bill in your pants pocket). But there ARE some things you can do to reduce the chance of problems, and I learned all of these on the job. How? Let’s just say I’ve been doing this long enough to make every mistake possible, and even when I think I’ve got it down pat I discover that there is yet another thing that I didn’t think of. #1.Communicate.  Ninety-Nine percent of problems are caused by breakdowns in communication. Don’t overwhelm your contractor with bits of paper and random suggestions. Instead, organize your thoughts, schedule a time, and go over any questions point by point. Then send a line-item list of what was decided upon so there is a clear paper trail.  #2 Be prepared with your design and be flexible with your design. You probably have an idea of what you want already.  The more planning you have done, the better, but be open to the idea that sometimes modifications need to be made, especially after walls are opened.  #3 Measure before you make final choices. For example, measure your doors before you order your appliances.  Check for any tight turns, measure every opening, and leave room to spare before you get your heart set on that 36″ range. Some retailers will do a site survey to double check – not a bad idea if you...
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