Details for the Ultimate Bath Experience

How can you be excited about designing a bathroom? I know it seems like it is a just bathroom, but let me tell you, there are some exciting and sexy bathroom options to consider!

 Beyond beautiful stone and tile, look past the custom vanity, disregard the plush bathrobes and pretty soaps that we put in all of the pictures, let's talk about form and function coming together to make a truly spectacular  bathroom.

Let's start with the toilet. It is a running joke here at my office how passionate I am about toilet details. I have 2 boys you see, so I know the value of a good toilet. What makes a good toilet, besides the style that compliments your bathroom:

  • 1 piece (no break/transition from tank to seat) - this is both a function and beauty issue

  • Smooth apron to the floor - this is a cleanability detail that you will appreciate

  • Elongated seat design - this is a preference, but is a nice detail

  • Comfort height (unless someone in your home is short) - as we get older this becomes more important, and is nice if everyone in the home is over 5'5"

  • Dual flush - a little water conservation goes a long way!

The bathtub...there are 2 main options to consider -Freestanding or Built in?

Freestanding tubs have beautiful shapes and size options, and typically if you do free standing it is the "wow" moment in a bathroom that sets the tone for the bathroom style. They do offer freestanding in jetted, but those tend to be a bit bulky and not as nice looking. Also with a free standing tub, you have some fantastic tub filler options, wall mounted or floor mounted, or if you are really bold you can do ceiling mounted for your tub filler!

Built in style tubs offer a plethora of options, including easy to conceal jets, bubblers, line heaters and some wonderful features. The other big advantage to a built in style is the surround itself allows us to accessorize with towels, candles, bath salts, you get the picture! Not to mention, there's a convenient place for a glass of wine. Also, there is the safety feature of being able to sit your tush down on the side and easily swing your legs in.

Showers have countless options, but the one I want to share today is called a style or infinity drain. This is one of my favorite items. Drains are no longer typical. The tile in options are so great, you barely notice the drain, the water flows around the tiled area, and there is a little tool that allows you to lift the tiled top off if you need to clean the drain. Also, the elongated version is super cool, both tile in or with a grate, it is just fun to do something different! You can install this drain to run along the wall, or under a bench. Just remember we do have to slope the floor slightly to the drain.

We have even done a round version of this type of drain to go with the penny round mosaic tile.

 A splurge item for some, a must in my opinion, is inset medicine cabinet mirrors. No more of the cheesy, little medicine cabinet on the side wall, how about a large 20x30 or 20x40 medicine cabinet that can be 4" or 6" deep, right in front of you as your mirror. Robern makes a fantastic one, Kohler has some, RH has some, you name it, we have lots of options in various shapes and sizes and budgets. On some of them, you can even have power inside (so you no longer need to have your toothbrush or various other counter top clutter items out) You can order them with a locking section for medication and you can get a refrigerated section. Sidenote : I used to think this was for tiny champagne or wine bottles!  but its main function is for expensive face cream or medication that should be kept cool. A nice little feature is the magnetic interior detail that holds tweezers or little scissors. Some even come with interior light and a magnifying make up mirror inside, so when you open that door you have everything you need. For the techies out there you can even get a TV in the mirror if you like to watch the morning news!

Let's talk lighting for your bathroom. First, you need good light in the room, this is typically done with recessed lights placed properly in the room, sometimes even over the sink, tub, toilet area - depending on the bath lay out. Then we want some accent light, sconce lights, pendants (don't be afraid to try something different) or over the mirror/medicine cabinet lights. These can be good task lights, but some fixtures are really more ambiance rather than task (especially with Edison bulbs or heavy shades). For your designer, these lights are the "bling" in the room, they let us define the style to compliment the surfaces and plumbing fixtures. One of my favorite little details is to add LED lighting under the toe kick of the vanity for a night light

Another item to consider if your feet area always cold like mine, is radiant heated flooring. We don't do much of this in California, but I did it for my parents and it is my mom's very favorite detail. Yes, it is a luxury, but how nice to not be walking on cold stone flooring in the early morning. Your feet will thank you!

Want a complete spa experience, how about a towel warmer. Not too expensive, just need power, and a wall that accommodates the size of the towel warmer, now you have warm toasty towels when you step out of the shower. I know most people don't think of this, but if you are remodeling anyway, it is an inexpensive way to add something special that I am sure you will enjoy.

One more fun item to consider (very affordable at that) is a blue tooth speaker/LED light/exhaust fan. That’s right you can have your morning play list, a quiet fan, and LED light all in one!


Now ....throw in some plush towels and a nice bathrobe and Voila! Your own custom spa bath

What new feature is your favorite for a new bathroom - Let us know !

 

“OMG, you are in interior designer, that must be so fun!” Or the things people say when they have no clue what we do....

I have been meaning to sit and write a blog for a while ….I know you’re supposed to do this for your business, but when your business is busy it’s hard to make time. So this one has been on my mind awhile, and since I heard it again recently from the well-meaning guidance counselor at my sons high school (as she is trying to schedule our annual catch up/state of your student meeting and I am explaining “no those dates don’t work because I am busy with” ....) I thought I would try to write it and see where this goes.

interior design.jpg

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this to come off negative. I love my job, I love what I do, I love to design, and I love our clients, vendors and trade partners. But....well, let me just break it down like this:

 

A. Designing is only part of what we do, and even that isn’t strutting around with a latte - shopping at high end furniture stores with my client’s credit card in hand, no limit, the way some people imagine it. There are countless creative hours that are wonderful and totally fulfilling depending on each designers’ strengths and affinity, but designing space takes brains, and computer skills, and product knowledge, architectural and building experience, and so on. Selecting finishes and furnishings, time, knowledge, sources, sometimes a lot of leg work, sometimes a lot of desk work, well you get the idea. There are budgets and deadlines to manage. It takes work, it doesn’t just happen, it isn’t like it looks on HGTV!

paperwork


Just to give you an idea, for a 4000 SF turnkey house of furniture that we recently wrapped up -, we sourced everything from at least 16 different vendors, we must check stock and verify pricing, confirm dimensions and space plan each room with every item. Upon client approval we must send purchase orders, confirm the order, track everything, work with our receiving and delivery service to coordinate hundreds of items. For this house the list is 6 pages long, in very small font, and 2 binders of orders and delivery notices. And that doesn’t include the paint, wallpaper, window coverings, custom closet organizers and the last-minute “let’s remodel the master bath & can you get it done in 4 weeks” paperwork. I don’t mind any of the paperwork and follow up, I love to check and double check it off my list once everything has been accounted for, but I do mind the impression that we somehow don’t work, and it is just a good time everyday scheduled around dog walks, yoga and lunch with friends. Sound easy?

“How does that make you feel?”

“How does that make you feel?”

B. We must be part psychologist and therapist and designer, and not every client is a ray of sunshine. Sure, we try to avoid those with the obvious red flags, but sometimes those flags show up later and we are into the job too deep to just cut and run, and our reputation is on the line, or money is on the line. the more they spend, the more “perfection and attention” they tend to expect, possibly rightly so, but I will tell you nothing in life is perfect. We start every job by setting the expectation that we are working toward excellence, not perfection. But sometimes Mrs. Jones loses her mind over a zipper in a pillow or a seam in a drape or a back ordered piece of art that didn’t make it on the slow boat from who knows where. Maybe it’s over the thing that was done by the human being that made a mistake didn’t do the detail just like the diagram or the vendor shipped the wrong thing and it is going to take time to get the right thing. Being rude, abrasive or insulting, never got anyone to help anyone any faster. Be kind and polite and reasonable and I will move heaven and earth to make you happy. Sound like a piece of cake yet?

cake

 C. Speaking of the missing item, or error, or damaged obj d’art, it is our job to worry and to manage the parts and pieces, trust us, we are working on it, our vendors are working on it, we will make it right. Thankfully, I am not a surgeon and no one has ever expired on the floor from a paint mistake or a chip in a tile, or whatever the crisis of the day might be. But trust me when I tell you, there are many little emergencies on every job, and we are working around the clock with your GC or whoever is involved manage and handle them so you don’t even notice. Sound fun yet?

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D. Some heavy lifting might be needed....and yes I do mean physically. I have pinned my hair up more times than I can count to help a guy lift a heavy or awkward item out of a truck or van, or to make sure it doesn’t scratch my clients wood or ding the walls, or to just get all the pieces in the house faster. I have been on a step ladder and on my hands and knees cleaning before we deliver furniture or take pictures. I am sure not all designers do this, but I bet most of us do more physical work than you can imagine, especially on installation/set up days. I am an expert bed maker, I am a pro dishwasher, I am an ace mirror and window cleaner! And by the way, even if your house is on the beach, we are running the AC on working days, no one wants to see their designer wilted to near death after a long day of fluffing and staging. Sounds glamorous right!

interior design 7.jpg

And don’t get me started about the one where the cat went missing while we were delivering furniture... that one took years off my life, but we found fluffy in the house all along, no worries!

Not  the  actual cat in question

Not the actual cat in question

To be successful at anything you have to work hard, smart and organized. To be successful and be the business owner, you have to work long hours. To be the designer that your clients call back, refer to friends and family or that the GCs request on their job, you have to be willing to go all of the extra miles all of the time. Yes, it is great being an interior designer, we love the before and after photos, we love seeing the transformation in the space, we love seeing out vision come to life and most of all we love when our clients are thrilled beyond their expectations and appreciate all of the work that has gone into their project.

Design Your Life ! Kristi

 

Making an Entrance !

Do you ever feel that something is missing from your home's entry ? Maybe it's hard to see the front door ? or your entry way is just plain lacking style ? .... here are some tips to help your home - Make an entrance !!

 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

# 1 Make the most of your front door - Your front door is one of the first impressions guests have of your home and sets the stage for what they may see next.  Make sure your front door is visible - add additional lighting on the sides of the door and above to give a full view at night. Add color to your door to make it stand out - That being said you can take the color more subtle or highly saturated - its up to you but a good rule of thumb is to make sure it fits into the color palette of your home. And last but not least - add details ! In the above picture you see two large planters that compliment the style of the home and add symmetry to the door.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

#2 Think about the interior door - Painting the backside of your front door in a pop of color to compliment the entry way is an unexpected way to add style! The above picture shows just how much impact this can give to your entry way - Bonus - tying the color into an area rug really makes this work !

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

# 3 Adding Texture - In an entry way texture can be introduced in many ways - above the textured grass wallpaper sets the mood for this home. You can also add texture with woven baskets - high pile area rugs and much more. Texture is a great way to make introduction to your home - especially for those who prefer a more monochromatic palette.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

# 4 Let there be light - Don’t skimp on your foyer lighting. Select a fixture that makes a statement and defines the area, as does this handsome lantern.

 

In closing , your entryway is the first introduction your guest have to your beautiful home ! Why not make the most of it ? Design Your Life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: MakinganEntrance

Getting In Touch With The Feel Of Your Home

In looking to create a home that speaks to you and your family - there is one simple question to ask yourself and a question we ask clients on a regular basis - " How do you want your home to feel?" Defining the feel of your home gives us so much information as designers to create a home that reflects our clients lifestyle - and it is a really effective way to define the purpose of your home for you and your family. Knowing the feeling that you want your home to reflect can give you the big picture perspective to create the best home for your lifestyle. Ready to give it a try ? First take a look and ask and answer the questions below ( do this for every member of the household ) and then we will move on to suggestions for bringing those feelings into your space!

This cozy living room is all about comfort. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

This cozy living room is all about comfort. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

The Questions

  • How do you want your home to feel ?
  • How do you want to feel when you walk through the door ?
  • What do you wish guests would think about your home when they come over ?
  • What are the top three words you would use to describe how you want your home to feel ?

Once you have the answers , putting together your style becomes clearer - here are a few ways to bring " All the Feels" to your home

If you want your home to feel more relaxed ..... A relaxed home is a home where you don't have to feel afraid to put your feet on the sofa , cuddle up with your favorite puppy or kitty and take your shoes off ,- It's a home that invites you to take your hair down. If this is the ideal way for your home to feel consider using performance/durable fabrics and materials and loosening your expectation on perfection - this style is all about "lived in" If you have items in your home that don't meet these guidelines - consider switching them out for items that comfortable and durable and won't break your heart when they get scratched ( or in designer terms : distressed)

This relaxed living room features slipcovers on oversized chaises - easy to clean and ultra-cozy! Picture courtesy of Pinterest

This relaxed living room features slipcovers on oversized chaises - easy to clean and ultra-cozy! Picture courtesy of Pinterest

If you want your home to feel peaceful.... If you want your home to feel like a sanctuary ( and who doesn't with todays fast pace world) Here are a few different ways to make this feeling more present in your home

  •  Use soft blues , greys and greens for a peaceful color palette
  • Keep clutter to a minimum
  • Revive your senses with texture and use natural scents to create calm
  • Use drapery lined with blackout lining to control light and sound
This peaceful bedroom features a cool blue mixed with crisp neutrals to create a calm space. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

This peaceful bedroom features a cool blue mixed with crisp neutrals to create a calm space. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

If you want your home to feel authentic .... Surround yourself with things you love ! If this means books , art that speaks to you , travel souvenirs from your globe trotting - do it in a fun and curated way that shows off your passions. A great tip for making this come together is using a cohesive color scheme and pops of color to bring your collections together.

Surrounding yourself with objects you love in your home creates a feeling of autheticity - bringing it together with a cohesive color palette shows off this colection in a sophisticated way. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Surrounding yourself with objects you love in your home creates a feeling of autheticity - bringing it together with a cohesive color palette shows off this colection in a sophisticated way. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

If you want your home to feel creative .... Create spaces for creativity ! This can mean using a home office for an art studio or creating a multi functional space to follow your artistic pursuits and have a place to check up on emails. Having a creative home can also mean bringing that feeling to other rooms - display your handiwork , use pin boards to tack photos and articles that inspire you and look for nooks in every space to use that creative flair.

This creative space plays double duty in being a craft room and a space to use as a home office. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

This creative space plays double duty in being a craft room and a space to use as a home office. Photo courtesy of Pinterest

There are no wrong or right answers about what feeling we want to create in our homes .. only that it be completly personal to the inhabitats. Are you trying to create that perfect feeling in your home ? that reflects you and suits you ? You know who to call !!

#designyourlife

4 Steps to Picking the Best Sofa

The challenge of choosing a sofa of good quality and style can be overwhelming ... but it doesn't have to be if you follow these simple steps......


Photo courtesy of Pinterest


1.) Check the Framing - A good frame is the key to a long lasting sofa. Look for frames made of kiln-dried hardwood ( oak , ash and beech are good examples) Avoid frames made of particleboard , plastic or metal as these can warp and crack. Soft woods , such as pine are typically low cost but may warp in as little as five years.

Tip - To test frame strength , lift one corner or leg of the sofa off the floor. By the time you have raised the sofa 6 inches , the other leg should have risen as well - If it is still touching the floor - the frame has too much give and is weak


Sofa Construction - Photo courtesy of Pinterest


2.) Ask About the Joints - A sofa frame with joints connected by any of the following means it is solidly constructed : wooden dowels , double wooden dowels , wooden corner blocks ( corner blocks glued and screwed) metal screws and brackets. Nails or staples might be used for reinforcing the frame - but never purchase a sofa that is soley held together by staples , nails or glue. Make sure to get written manufacturer information on frame joinery.


3.) Test out the Springs - Most sofas on the market are featuring sinuous springs ( also called S-springs or serpentine springs) These springs are units of snaking wire and are nicely supportive depending on the gauge of metal used. If choosing an s-spring sofa make sure to ask about the metal as well as the back springs ( to cut costs , some manufacturers list a sofa as a sinuous spring but the back might still be webbed with mesh - which willnot be as supportive as a spring system) High end sofas often come with an "eight way hand tied spring" system. The main advantage to this system is that the springs are manufactured like a small mattress underneath and give even distribution for weight. The best way to find what is right for you is to make sure to feel the springs through the upholstery - they should be close together and offer support. Sofas without springs - just webbing or mesh will breakdown quickly and are to be avoided.

Tip - Sit down on a corner or edge of the sofa you are considering - If you hear squeaks and creaks this suggests that the springs are not placed well and may be hitting the frame


Photo courtesy of Pinterest

4.) Feel the Fillings - Sofa cushions can be made of many things and new innovations are popping up everyday but here are a few tried and true options.. When looking for a cushion filling make sure to ask what your options are ( many manufacturers offer a variety suited to different needs ) Standard cushions are often made with a combination of foam fill and Dacron wrapping and are a great durable option , If you like your seat cushion a bit firmer - you may want to consider an extra firm option - which is similar to a standard cushion just using a higher density foam ( make sure to ask a representative for an HD foam ) , Blend down adds a wrap of down ( usually encased to make sure feathers are not poking through the surface) around a foam cushion - and if you like a more springy or bouncy seat ask about trying a spring down cushion which will have springs encased int he foam surrounded by down . If at all possible do a seat test in a showroom to explore options , everyone sits differently and it is all about finding the right fit for you.

With these tips you will be able to pick the right sofa for your needs and that will stand the test of time. 

Design Your Life ! 

New Year Home Refresh

It is a New Year and what better way to kick of the year then to refresh our homes to make them lighter , brighter and more open!  As designers, we are constantly giving clients tips and tricks on how to design in between the bigger projects. If you are not ready to give your kitchen a complete overhaul or tear down walls in your home, then we have some great tips for you to open your space and make your home refreshed and have an entirely new feel.

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest 

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest 

First and foremost - creating open space within your home may see complicated, but it is quite easy. Often time here at K. Smith Interiors we will space plan for our clients to help design the best layout possible that incorporates your life along with utilizing the space.  One simple tip toward creating an open space (without tearing down the wall between the kitchen and living space) is to clear out the bulky furnishings or move them so that they are not taking up so much of the space in the room. Another tip, if you cannot get rid of the larger bulk pieces of furniture is to paint them in a lighter tone so that they will sink into the space and not take over the space. Custom refinishing can help by creating pieces that will look completely new and updated, as well as having the large pieces blend into the room.

Tricking the eye to thinking the room is bigger than it is by using all one color note, is one way to make your space look more open. Mirrors can also help to make a small space look larger because it draws in light from outside and reflects it back into the room. This is particularly great for tight hallways or small rooms because it gives the illusion of a wider area or creates the look of a “window” where none exists.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

 

If you have a dining room that is rarely used or never used and only walked by… why not change it up? Turn that room into a useable space. Converting the room into an office, den, library, or entertainment room really will bring a whole new life into your home. You will find that you will use this room more often when you make it work for your lifestyle. A few pieces of furniture, rugs, warm paint, and some artwork can transform this room and make it seem like you have even more space in your home.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

Let there be light! Lighting is the most effective design element when it comes to making a room feel taller and more expansive. Dark areas in a home are often not inviting and make the space feel very small.  Changing out old and out of date fixtures can breathe life into your space, giving it a whole new feel. Lighting should always be layered - ambient lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting. These light layers give the room a glow that will get rid of the dark corners. We suggest using all three basic kinds of lighting - Ambient lighting as your main lighting (often this is overhead lighting that floods the room) , accent lighting ( the decorative lighting that highlights the architecture of the room or artwork – chandelier or sconces) and last but not least- task lighting ( floor lamps and table lamps that add function to that specific area). The three layers of light really brighten up a space and make it feel warm and inviting.

Let there be light ! this room is a great example of the three types of lighting creating a soft and warm lighting scheme. Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

Let there be light ! this room is a great example of the three types of lighting creating a soft and warm lighting scheme. Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

When we talk lighting, it is important not to forget about our natural light. Don’t let your windows be bare, especially in these cooler months. Our windows really shine when they are dressed up and frame the outdoors. If you have smaller windows, then treatments can be designed and placed in such a way that it gives the illusion of taller more expansive windows. Updating window treatments is easy and can change the entire look and feel in a room. From sheers, to panels, to woven woods there are different looks and layers that are perfect for each room. By leaving windows bare you are really leaving your rooms unfinished! Remember, you are not covering up your view…. you are simply framing in your view and directing the eye to see the nature that is right outside, with the bonus of controlling the light at the same time.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

 

 Creating a space right outside your windows that can be an extra living space (no matter how big or small) is a perfect way to open-up your home. With stylish chairs, oversized cushions, throws and decorative pillows you can create a space that you will want to cozy up with a nice glass of wine and a good book. You will wonder why you had not utilized this space before and it will soon become one of your more favorite spots within the home.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Updating your bathroom, where you spend every morning getting ready, is one of the more important spaces in your home. Starting off your day off in a space that makes you feel like you are in a luxurious spa is a wonderful feeling. If you are waiting to overhaul your bathroom but want a spa like experience, here are some easy tips to refresh your bathroom this New Year. Replace dated door knobs and hardware on the cabinets with more updated trending styles. You can also change out the old smaller rug for a longer runner as well changing out the older vanity lights. Changing linens in the bathroom will have a huge benefit – try swapping out colored towels to soft and fluffy white towels to create a hotel-like look. Paint is also a great way to update and refresh a bathroom and is the most cost-effective way to get a lot of look for less. Hot tip – light colors with warm undertones will make the space feel more inviting and larger.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest 

With just these few simple tips you can make your home feel refreshed and new again. It will give you the kick off for the New Year. It is surprising how space planning, cleaning and painting can be so simple but can make the biggest difference. We love refreshing our clients’ homes and with these very simple tips you can spruce up your space to give you a fresh start into 2018.

Design Your Life!

Let There be Light !

Lighting. Lighting. Lighting. It’s one of the most overlooked and under addressed elements in the design of interior and exterior spaces. And, it’s also one of the most crucial to the overall design plan and concept. Without a clear and well thought out lighting plan, the rest of the design, well… gets lost in the dark.

Light is the most powerful tool we have. Our vision is a product of light. It produces an emotional response and experience. It can change space, scale, color and volume. The proper use of light beautifies, helps us relax and play, creates mood, provides comfort, convenience, safety and drama. It is truly a ‘guiding light’.

So, it’s important to hire an Interior Design firm that understands and studies ‘the architecture of light’. It’s not just about great fixture selection, we all love a gorgeous chandelier…

I’m a bling girl for sure. Lighting design is a true discipline based on a set of concepts, techniques and practices that enhance and augment architecture and design.

It’s all about the ‘layering’ of light. There are five main principles that provide a framework for understanding and achieving composition and aesthetics in lighting design. Shall I high ‘light’?

1.      To choreograph an experience:

Direct movement, flow and way finding in a space

Humans are phototropic… we are instinctively drawn to bright surfaces and objects. The power of light can subconsciously convince people to move through a space.  Don’t you literally feel like you are being pulled to that door?   

Humans are phototropic… we are instinctively drawn to bright surfaces and objects. The power of light can subconsciously convince people to move through a space.

Don’t you literally feel like you are being pulled to that door?

 

2.)     To define mood/ambiance:

What is the mood we want to create in the space? Calm, active, colorful…

Our approach to interior design is on a room-by-room basis and to determine the mood and emotional effect we desire for each of these spaces.  This room could be placed in the mountains with 3 feet of snow or a blistering desert climate, but it still delivers the intended mood.

Our approach to interior design is on a room-by-room basis and to determine the mood and emotional effect we desire for each of these spaces.

This room could be placed in the mountains with 3 feet of snow or a blistering desert climate, but it still delivers the intended mood.

3.)      To accentuate:

Highlight or diffuse textures, interesting objects, art, plants…

By adding light to already-interesting objects, we can dictate how a viewer’s eye travels over the landscape of the design. The niche lighting acts as a cue to invite you into the living space. As simple as subtle as the lighting is, imagine how dramatically this scene would change if the niches had no lighting.

By adding light to already-interesting objects, we can dictate how a viewer’s eye travels over the landscape of the design. The niche lighting acts as a cue to invite you into the living space. As simple as subtle as the lighting is, imagine how dramatically this scene would change if the niches had no lighting.

4.)      To reveal architecture:

Define spatial character such as height, set architectural boundaries,

accent architectural details

 Up lighting makes this narrow space feel tall and expansive as well as accentuating the architectural features of the stone and entry fixtures – which are super awesome!

 Up lighting makes this narrow space feel tall and expansive as well as accentuating the architectural features of the stone and entry fixtures – which are super awesome!

5.)    To assists tasks:

Add light for reading, cooking, navigating, functionality

This layer comes last, as it augments the other layers by adding fixtures strictly for performing specific tasks.  Task lighting should NEVER be the only layer or type of light considered for a space. If the first 4 layers are neglected, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever recapture the ethereal aspects of choreography and mood working in reverse.

This layer comes last, as it augments the other layers by adding fixtures strictly for performing specific tasks.  Task lighting should NEVER be the only layer or type of light considered for a space. If the first 4 layers are neglected, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever recapture the ethereal aspects of choreography and mood working in reverse.

Take this kitchen, which is a great example of the 5 layers of light.

1.      Notice how the under-cabinet base lighting directs movement and flow through the space.

2.      I would call the mood of this space active. It’s warm, but bright and colorful, the illuminated island encourages socialization. I’d have a glass of wine and appetizer there hanging with friends.

3.      I love how the lighting at the floating shelves accentuates the backsplash and colorful accessories.

4.      The lighting at the upper cabinets creates height, volume and interest.

 

Imagine if you ‘flipped the switch, off’ on the first four layers of light in this kitchen – it would be underwhelming and that would break my heart!


A proper lighting plan adds value to the overall project investment.

 

So, you say, “I hired my architect or general contractor for lighting”? Normally an architect or GC draws a lighting plan to make plan submissions. In most cases, these are quick designs that are generic in content and lack any thought out plan.

 

Is your architect or GC thinking about:

-          Space plans and furniture layout?

-          Interior finishes and paint colors?

-          Ceiling heights, slope changes, soffits?

-          Architectural details?

-          Art and accessories and placement?

-          The diverse activities to take place in the space?

-          Specific room light ‘scenes’?

-          The age of the people who live there?

-          Window coverings and locations?

-          Site orientation?

-          Where to put the light and for what purpose?

-          The placement, quantity and ‘color’ of light needed?

-          What elements in the space need to be dramatized or downplayed?

-          How the light story will play throughout the space to create a cohesive design?

-          How the light source is controlled?

A good design firm will think of all of this and plenty more.

 

Did I mention… that lighting is REALLY important?

 

When we implement a lighting design that addresses each layer of light, we will have a rich, dynamic emotional experience.

 

Shine on my friends, shine on!

 

You Have Style and So Should Your Laundry Room!

One of the most overlooked spaces in most homes is also one of the spaces we spend a good amount of time in. Like it or not .. it's your Laundry Room. Make fluffing and folding more fun with these helpful tips and tricks to decorate this often-neglected space.

#1 Add Wallpaper - Small spaces are where you will get more bang for your buck. Updating even just one wall in your laundry room will give you lots of style - And since most laundry rooms are fairly isolated it gives you a chance to really go bold !

#2 Have fun with flooring - As with the wallpaper - flooring can be bold in a small space. Laundry rooms are a great area for statement tile .

#3 The Devil is in the Details - Adding details in the laundry room can be easy and have a great impact. One way to do that is adding a great back splash ! With so many back splash options you can really personalize the look of your laundry room.

#4 Continue the look and feel of your home - If your home is open and contemporary - continue the look into your laundry room. Making it flow is as easy as looking to your own home for inspiration.

#5 Add color to your appliances - It seems these days we are seeing lots of color options when it comes to appliances - and this is good news for spicing up your laundry room - adding a color appliance can add a pop of color and is a great starting off point to pull the room together.

Happy Laundry Day ! Let us know how you plan to make your laundry room special.

Design Your Life!

 

 

credit : photos courtesy of Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Pantone's Color of the Year 2017 is Inspired ...by Nature.

Every year (since 2000) Pantone choses a color that reflects the current cultural climate. Their choice of color historically influences trends in a ll facets of design - interior decor ,fashion and architecture.

The color of the year for 2017 is Greenery ( Specifically Pantone 15-0343) Greenery signifies beginnings : A fresh new year;healthier food resolutions;grass and the outdoors of spring and summer. But most prominently the yellow green hue comments on the concept of "environment"

Courtesty of Pinterest

"There's a growing desire to reconnect with nature , with what is real and find ways to disconnect from technology. We need a break, We need to stop and breathe. Greenery is about unity and community- connecting to oneself and others and a higher purpose,nature" said Laurie Pressman , vice president of Pantone Color Institute

Coutesy of Pinterest

Pantone calls Greenery " Nature's Neutral" and is typically associated with spring and summer - but Pantone is forecasting that this hue will be worn and seen all year long.

Courtesy of Pinterest

 

Greenery aims to be associated with the 're- words' revive , refresh , restore ,rejuvenate jsut to mention a few. It is certainly fresh and a breath of fresh air from last years' pastel choices.

Design Your Life!

Fall Market at the Laguna Design Center

 We had a great time previewing great new collections of furniture , fabrics and more at the annual Fall Market at the Laguna Design Center.  Here is a little video of some of the beautiful and unique things we saw. It is always so fun to see the new trends in design and to learn more about all of the great showrooms at the Laguna Design Center.

Happy Fall and Enjoy !

Adding Fall Decor to Your Home

As the great F.Scott Fitzgerald said " Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall" .. As we transition to fall now is the perfect time to celebrate the season in your home. Here are a few ways to add the magic of fall to your home.

Add a wreath to the front door to welcome guests! This 'Rosehips Wreath' from Pottery Barn is simple and elegant

Add candlelight to any space  These 'Arlington Hurricanes' from Pottery Barn are a great way to do so - and add a metallic touch   

Add candlelight to any space

These 'Arlington Hurricanes' from Pottery Barn are a great way to do so - and add a metallic touch

 

Cozy up with a warm throw. These throws from the Faux Fur collection at Williams and Sonoma Home are soft and add texture to the home.

Cozy up with a warm throw. These throws from the Faux Fur collection at Williams and Sonoma Home are soft and add texture to the home.

Add a whimsical touch to the dining table with these 'Give Thanks' napkin rings from Pottery Barn  Great fall decor and a reminder to be grateful!

Add a whimsical touch to the dining table with these 'Give Thanks' napkin rings from Pottery Barn

Great fall decor and a reminder to be grateful!

Happy Fall !

The Right Way to Test Paint Color

It's a common image to see someone tape up hardware store paint samples to the wall or to even paint a large piece of cardboard with their desired new hue to test it out .. but it may not be the best way to choose your new color. Here are a few tried and true ways to make sure you are choosing the right color of paint for your home.


Paint Directly on your wall : This tip is true for both interior and exterior walls. Painting directly on your wall versus a cardboard piece for example , allows you to see how your wall will accept the color. Your walls are uniquely textured and cardboard piece , or sample from the store will not reflect the color in the same way. If you are in between two or more colors - paint your sample swatches with a bit of space in between to be able to really get a sense of the color. Color swatches are best done in a square of at least one foot to fully show the color.

Painting swatches with a negative space in between helps your eye see each color.


Paint Two Coats : On your wall sample go the extra step and paint two coats .. most likely you will need two coats of your color and seeing it with just one is not a true sense of how the color will apply. For certain saturated hues - use a primer beforehand on the area you will be painting the sample colors.

For saturated hues .. use two coats and a primer on your swatch samples.

Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams


Paint Multiple Walls : The colors you are testing will read differently on different walls - especially in walls with direct sunlight. The best way to see how they will look in these conditions is to paint multiple walls. As you view the colors, make sure you consider what time of day you’ll most often be in the room. You want to like how the color looks at that time.

This room is exposed to many different light sources, including natural light at different times during the day. It is important when choosing color for a room such as this one to paint swatches on multiple walls to ensure the color works.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest


Happy Painting !

Summer Weekend Projects

Summer is a great time to tackle home projects that can be ready in time for the fall holiday season. Here are a few ideas to jump start your creativity and the best part is that they can be done with a short time frame .


Repaint the kitchen: Most kitchens have very little wall space which makes painting the kitchen a fairly quick project .. but with a big impact. Take inspiration from the materials in your kitchen when choosing a color. If the finishes are warm , go with a warm paint color and if the finishes are cool , try a soothing blue or silver grey

This Raindrop blue from Sherwin Williams compliments the white cabinets and adds a great bit of color to this gorgeous kitchen.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest


Create an Art Wall : Tired of blank walls ? Make a weekend date to arrange and hang a gallery wall filled with your favorite art pieces. Try rounding out your display with postcards and sentimental items ,photos and even a pretty piece of art paper will add personality.

A lovely art wall gives this staircase personality

Photo courtesy of Pinterest


Put Up Some Shelves : Shelves can add storage and space to display your treasures. If you like changing your decor with the seasons .. or just love changing your look with accessories often floating shelves in any room will give you a great area to change up the look of your room.

Floating shelves are especially great for small spaces to add display space.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest


Perk up the Porch : Setting out a fresh doormat , adding new house numbers and giving the porch a thorough cleaning will make your porch feel new and can be accomplished in just a few hours. If you would like to add to the change consider swapping out your indoor/outdoor pillows and add or replace an outdoor rug. Another big change you can make is with .. you guessed it ! Paint! Painting the front door or the celing of your porch can have a big impact on the space.

This patio , done up in blue adds a little drama with the sky blue painted ceiling.


We hope you found a little inspiration with these project ideas.. let us know which ones made your to-do list!

 

Fresh Trends in Bathroom Design

Innovations in bathroom design are happening, as more and more clients spend significant time in the bathroom. As a result , the style of these often overlooked spaces are ever changing. Here are some fresh trends in bathroom design to consider when planning your next bathroom design.

Statement tile floors


These graphic floor patterns make these otherwise simple rooms feel handmade and special.


White and Wood

 

Hardwood floors and walls create warmth, but the white is clean + modern and a great compliment.


Vintage styling

You’d think that the bathrooms of 2016 would be modern marvels and high tech wonders. Instead , a lot of home owners are opting for a throwback from the past. Recreating the look of the vintage bathroom, is quite a hot trend! These bathrooms reflect the look with standard black and white , brass accents and classic materials such as subway tiles and marble.


*All pictures sourced from Pinterest