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...
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...
Inspired by Emily Henderson – 5 tips to great style

Inspired by Emily Henderson – 5 tips to great style

I’m a big, and I mean BIG fan of Emily Henderson. In case you don’t know who she is, she was the winner of HGTV’s Design Star, hosted her own show, and is now a partner with Target and others on her fantastic blog, stylebyemily.com. Now to be honest, I didn’t always love Emily as much as I do now. In fact I have a confession to make… I thought she won Design Star because she was blond and pretty. So shallow of me (um, a little envy do you think?).  Truth is, Emily is a pro stylist, her background is in prepping photo shoots so they look lived in, natural, and of course super stylish.  She’s expanded to other aspects of interior design, but her roots are in making spaces look great with the placement and choice of accessories and furniture. The reason I’m a fan is because Emily SHARES and she shares big. Her blog is full of great tips and sources. A book was a natural step and STYLED: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves by Emily Henderson came out last month. I snapped it up and did some studying so I could apply some of her great tips to my next project photo shoot. This project was a townhouse, and the living room before I touched it looked like this:   There were some obvious things, like the painting, and some less obvious things to bring it around to where it would be a good starting point for decorating. Redesigning a space comes a lot easier to me than the styling so first I tackled...
Should You Hire an Interior Designer or Do It Yourself…?

Should You Hire an Interior Designer or Do It Yourself…?

  If you haven’t worked with an interior designer before and you have a space you want to redo you may be wondering if you need a designer or can go it alone. When asked this, I tell people that there are some projects where it makes perfect sense to do it on your own, but other times, you should definitely get a professional designer on board. So how can you know when it’s in your best interest to hire someone and when you should go for your redesign on your own? Take a look at my newest Design Coach Tips Video and I’ll share the real-life pros and cons of working with a designer on a project.   Hopefully you got some clarity watching the video. Now take a look at this checklist to help you confirm you’re making the right choice. Check the answers that best reflect your situation.   I don’t need to hire an interior designer because: I’m a do-it-yourself kind of person – if I don’t know how to do it I’ll figure it out. I love the idea of being creative with my design and letting my personal artistic flair show. The money I’ll save on design fees are worth the extra time I’ll spend on the project. I’m ready to tackle the real life version (not the HGTV version) of a redecorating project. I’ve got the patience, time, good organization and planning skills to see this project to the end.   I do need to hire a designer because: I don’t have time to look for furniture, coordinate deliveries, install items, find and...
Great stores for furniture shopping in Chelsea, NYC

Great stores for furniture shopping in Chelsea, NYC

This week I was so excited to find that two of my favorite online resources have opened actual stores in New York City. World Market is a go-to resource for fantastically priced furniture, accessories and pillows with a bit of a global feel. France & Son is a budget minded alternative to some of the high end designs we see around —  and for those of us who cannot afford 15,000 for a designer chandelier, it’s nice to know that there are great-looking options available (until we can buy the genuine article!) Like most of us,I love the convenience of shopping online  – its a great way to look at a whole lot of things, and hopefully find the perfect match. but I also know there are times when you really want to see, feel,  touch, or sit on the piece you might be buying. There’s just something about seeing things in person that really helps you get a much better sense of how it might look and feel in your space. But the most fun part of looking in person is the sense of discovery when you stumble across something that surprises or delights you. When I went to world market yesterday (I cannot tell you how excited I was about this!) I noticed this super painting – only 99 bucks! Back at home I circled back to find it online so I could show it to a client, and it didn’t look as amazing…I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if it had just been an online search. And we all know the reverse is often true – things...

Getting the most from Pinterest in your next room makeover

Are you a Pinterest fan? What a great interior design tool – If you’re looking for inspiration when it’s time to redecorate or remodel your home it’s the first place many people turn to for ideas (Click here to follow me and check out some of my favorite Pinterest Boards.) I’d say at least 80% of my clients, who are coming to me for design help, already have a Pinterest board (or several) with design ideas that they know they like – which really helps when we’re working out the look and style of  their space. But while it’s a big help to know what you like, you also need to know how to translate that into your own space —  and that can be tricky. In this short video, I’ll share my tips on how to hear what your pins are REALLY telling you about your style,  and more importantly how to translate the look you love from your board, into a look that you love in your room. (And don’t forget to check the bottom of the post to see how to enter my September Giveaway) Here are my top 3 tips: 1. Distinguish what you are reacting to in the photo and whether it’s MOVEABLE. for example, if it’s the architecture or the sunlight, then enjoy the photo but move on, as those things can’t be moved into your space. 2. Use the pins to learn new terminology and descriptive words for searching online and on other sites. 3. Look for the colors, patterns and textures that repeat throughout your pins – these can be translated into color palettes and style directions for your...
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