Archive | February, 2011


27 Feb

No, not the dreaded calculus or periodic table.  Whew, so glad that kind of “home” work is over with!

I’m talking about the work you do from home.  What does your workspace look like?  Is it working for you?  Did you labor over the planning of your perfect space or did it just evolve over time?

Now that I’m in a new space (again), I’m feeling the need to mull it over this time.  Plotting and planning (picture wringing of hands here) as I unpack and put away.  I have taken over a spare room and as I push furniture pieces around the room I’m realizing I need to paint some pieces and change out some pieces.  Need pretty storage solutions and need a wow factor.


What would  plotting/planning be without inspirational photos???

closet work station via Real Simple Magazine

I need more than a closet but the use of space and color is fantastic!


via house to home

Note to self:  use wallpaper to inject some movement, use photo & magazine boxes to hide “stuff” and maybe think about a fabric project (bulletin boards).



via Real Simple


Aha!  Magnetic boards and rolling carts……………hmmmm.


via Pottery Barn

Eureka!  What a great space!  All that storage (gonna need more file drawers!)   Love how the slanted roof just adds to the cozy feeling.  Oops, I don’t have a slanted ceiling…..guess I’ll keep looking.   All white furniture……..hmmmmm.


via Lonny magazine

via Martha Stewart

via Lonny

via Pottery Barn

The Bedford Project Table from Pottery Barn – this could be part of the solution.  Note to self:  look for pretty area rug.


Do you have a great workspace at home or an inspirational photo that you’re working toward.  Please share!

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – design simply works!


Fridays Smile

25 Feb


via Lonny Magazine


Is that a ….pink….. lamb… in the fireplace?

Whimsical or Wacky?

Either way, it makes me smile.

“Power of Pink” Scavenger Hunt

24 Feb

House Beautiful has announced a new contest!






The pink prize logo shown here, which reads “The Power of Pink,”

will appear at a different location on the site

once each day (everyday) from February 28 through March 4, 2011.



To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is find the logo and email the link where it appears that day.    (   Remember to play everyday, because they will be selecting four random winners per day for five days!

House Beautiful will be giving hints on Facebook and Twitter with #pinkmag, so be sure to like and follow them for clues as to the logo’s placement!

Winners will be notified via phone, e-mail, or postal mail, at Sponsor’s discretion, on or about March 10, 2011.

Official contest rules and an outline of the prize packages can be found here.

Contest is not open to residents of Quebec and Canadians fortunate enough to win will have to answer a mathematical skill-testing question before claiming their prize.

Remind anyone of “Where’s Waldo”?  Good Luck!

Sizing Up Area Rugs.

23 Feb

I had the pleasure of working part-time for several years at a Carpet One location (this is not a plug I promise) while I was attending design school.  It was fabulous experience and had many informative conversations with the different sales reps from Armstrong, Mannington, Primco, Dal-tile, Schnier….to name a few, as well as put questions to the fellows who installed the carpet, tile, laminate, hardwood etc.   Each guy had his specialty, meaning that there were “carpet guys” and “tile guys” …. you see what I mean.

Fortunately for me (and my design education), the owner of this location did mostly high-end homes and show-homes.  He carried mostly the mid to high-end price point products so very rarely did we have someone coming in and looking for a 99 cent tile or a 1.99/sq.ft. carpet.

Almost immediately, I began to see some recurring customer behaviors.  One in particular had to do with area rugs.

In the early part of the last decade there was a huge swing away from carpet to hard-surface flooring.  In our store this generally meant solid or engineered hardwood.  The customer would spend time and money ripping out the living room, dining room and hallway carpet in order to put down hardwood.  Happy customer.

Several weeks later they’d be back to order an area rug.  Many people often scoff, “why spend all that money on wood floors if you’re just going to turn around and cover them up?”.

Actually the answer is so simple – it looks really good!  Well, okay there’s more to it than that but a room always looks finished when there is an area rug in the decór.  Other benefits include, noise reduction, warmth, added comfort underfoot and the most important, I believe, is a rug anchors all that furniture you’ve got floating around the room!

via House & Home

To determine the maximum-size rug that will fit in a room, subtract three feet from the room’s width and length, which will create a frame of flooring between the rug and the walls.  Remember that in order for the rug to make sense it can’t be left to simply float on the floor, “miles” away from the furniture it is supposed to be anchoring. Nothing pulls a conversation area together better than an area rug.

via Elle Decor

In a dining room, an area rug under the dining set can often add some needed color or texture to the decor.  For a dining room, choose an area rug that is wider and longer than your table so that the chairs will remain on the carpet even when pulled out.  At the very least, when a chair is pulled out to be sat on, the front legs and most of the seat should still be on the carpet.

via Lonny Magazine

In a bedroom, nothing compares to stepping out of bed onto the warmth of a rug.  Great example below of how an area rug provides the grounding that this big white bed needs while adding some much-needed color.

via Focal Point

Had to include this photo illustrating this rugs dual decorating function of adding some color and crib “support”.      So cozy – shhhhh!

via HGTV

An area rug can help define areas, introduce structure and direct traffic flow such as in a hallway.

via SoStinkin'Cute

(This hallway rug really pops doesn’t it – love it!)

Two examples of what not to do…..

It makes me crazy to see a little postage stamp rug laid out between pieces of furniture with a coffee table plopped on top.  If you are unable to, in the very least, put the front legs of the furniture on to your area rug……. then it is too small.

via Rue magazine

ugh! What were they thinking??

(Another example of the wrong size – see the gap?  Additionally, that 6 inches or so between  the rug and sofa is actually a tripping hazard.)

More rug inspirations….

via Rue magazine

via Rue

Same living room but this angle shows that the sofa is pulled right up to the edge of the rug.  While all this furniture tends to cover the busy pattern, it really pulls this cozy conversation grouping together.

source unknown

Loving this all-over patterned rug.

via HGTV

The perfect overhead shot – a picture really is worth a thousand words!

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – design simply works.

(Are you lovin’  an area rug in your home?  Please share a pic!)

Look up and take notice.

21 Feb

The number one question asked during a color consultation is of course, “What color should I paint the walls”?

Rarely does someone inquire about a color for the ceiling.  Too often your ceiling’s contribution to the overall room decor is overlooked.  The ceiling makes up 1/6 of your total space yet gets the same attention as your second cousin’s husband on your mother’s side.

It’s time to look at this all important fifth wall from a new perspective.

Cosy theatre room by D.P. Mikulich


There is no longer the rule-of-thumb that stipulates all ceilings should be white.  Allowing the eye to travel up the wall onto the ceiling without a visual line between the wall and ceiling color will make any room feel larger and more finished because it’s not being split in half visually.

Ernest de la Torre via ElleDecor

via BeSusan.blogspot


A largely accepted practice is to paint your ceiling 2-3 shades lighter than your walls in order to give the illusion of height and openness.  Just go up the color strip to find it.  Another option is to choose a different lighter color that “goes with” your wall choice.


via Apartment Therapy


via DesignTrackMind


via House & Home magazine


via Apartment Therapy


If your ceiling is high and you want to lower it, paint a shade darker than the walls.  Having this fifth wall advance can make a cozier, more intimate room especially so if using a warm palette.


via dresslaundrette


I believe  rooms look more “finished” when the ceilings aren’t stark white.  A painted ceiling becomes part of the overall décor and your room will appear complete and more polished – like some real thought went into the whole scheme.


via house2cozyhome


via Apartment Therapy


What about the same color?  Same color walls and ceiling gives the illusion of making the room appear taller because the eye just keeps traveling up the wall and it “never” ends.  Therefore a small space can appear larger and more spacious.  A small laundry, kitchen or powder room are examples of where this application works well.


(In a good-sized room, however, this application will make the room appear flat and frankly, boring).


Guest bathrooms, bedrooms and especially kid’s rooms are the perfect venues for creativity on the ceiling.  Fluffy clouds on a blue sky, faux finishes such as Venetian Plaster or a mixed metallic glaze can all add drama, texture and dimension (and by texture I do not mean the dreaded popcorn ceilings).


via Marie Burgos

CactusCreekDaily via Google


via weedecor

If you always opt for a white ceiling because it’s the safe choice, okay, I understand fear of change.   But if you think “ceilings are supposed to be white”, well I’ll have to strongly disagree with you.

Let’s get rid of that big white bed-sheet overhead!  Look up and take notice.

Tip: Be sure to use the specially formulated “ceiling paint” made by every major brand of paint.

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – design simply works.

If you have photo of a room that you’ve made fabulous by taking into account your fifth wall, please share!

Juju anyone?

19 Feb

Well, I hadn’t the foggiest notion that the Cameroon headdresses that we’ve been seeing for the last couple of years, actually had a real name!  Thanks to Averill over at Edi et Amo, I’m now enlightened.

Just last Thursday I saved this picture (for a future “pink” post) that I saw at Style At Home magazine.

I love it because it’s soooo pink (Pantone color of the year anyone?)

via Style At Home 2011

This is a bedroom in one of those ity-bity Vancouver condos.  From the January issue I think.

I’m immediately drawn to unexpected items that are used as wall art and have loved these headdresses ever since I first saw them used on walls several years ago.  I just love they way they POP out from the wall.

From here,

Juju men in traditional dress via Google Images

To here,

thank you Google Images

and here,

Google Images

and here,

via House&Home June 2010

Now, obviously the “safe” thing to do would be to use a neutral one but I’ve seen one in Royal Purple!!

At a price point from 300 – 500 dollars, I wonder if I can talk Mr. DesignWorks into it?!  Hmmmm.

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – design simply works.