Five tips for a great home office

July 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

Looking to improve your home office?  Here are some tips for creating a space you will love…

Photo: Martha Stewart Living

First, keep it simple—a calm, organized space is best for productivity. Storing your projects and papers in color coordinated binders and bins cuts down on the visual clutter of the space.

Photo: Monique L'huillier's Office, Elle Decor

Select a room with natural light or a great view—it will elevate your mood.

Photo: House Beautiful

If you plan to display your collection of books, select a neutral color for the room to serve as a backdrop.  You will be surprised by the cheerful colors they will add to the space.

Photo: Michael Angus, Canadian House and Home

Get inspired by beauty and surround yourself with things you love—whether it’s beautiful antiques or a fabulous picture wall.

Photo: West Elm

There are many styles and types of offices—pick a style that suits your personality.

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Belgian inspired designs…

July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

I love the casual elegance of Belgian inspired design.  With a focus on raw materials, Belgian style rooms are colored simply by the use of unfinished woods, natural stone, and linen.  Although it is known as a colorless design style, these images are certainly not lacking in interest.  The palettes from these subtle colored rooms are surprisingly colorful…

Photo: Barbara Westbrook and Kim Winkler in House Beautiful

         

Photo: Design Sponge

      

Photo: Kay Douglas in House Beautiful

          

Photo: Axel Vervoordt

For more on Belgian Design, check out Alex Vervoordt’s book Timeless Interiors.

Color palette swatches are from Benjamin Moore:  Image 1 – Gladstone Tan, Britannia Blue, Spring in Aspen, Feel the Energy.  Image 2 – Bryant Gold, Temptation, Blue Porcelain.  Image 3 – Bonnie Nuit, Boothbay Gray, Spring in Aspen, Snowfall White.

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Lanterns…

Design trend: yellow & gray

Design trend: lavender


Lanterns…

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

The type of lighting you select for a room can really change the look of your space.  Try adding drama by using slightly oversized lanterns in place of pendants or chandeliers.  Using lighting in this unexpected way can really make your room stand out…

Photo: Tommy Smythe

Photo: onsuttonplace.blogspot.com

Photo: Decorpad

Photo: Steven Gambrel Eric Piasecki Photography

Photo: Cottage Living

Light up your Fourth…

July 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lighting can add color to a space or simply make it feel special.  Transform your outdoor space with these inspiring lighting ideas…

Photo: lgrecreated.wordpress.com

This casual setting gets instant appeal with the addition of these simple string lights.

Photo: Southernsassafrasblog.blogspot.com

These hanging lanterns add charm to this simple setting.

Photo: Sunset

These unique trellises add light and interest to this quiet outdoor space.

Photo: Pottery Barn

Happy Fourth!

Closet spaces reinvented…

June 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Reclaim your closet space and give it a new purpose.  Get inspired for a quick weekend project with these great ideas for utilizing closet space.  This office nook below is the perfect solution for a combination guest room/home office.  (Although ideally there would be more space between the desk and the bed!)

Photo: Apartment Therapy

This closet efficiently stores a home office, which can be hidden quickly.

Photo: Martha Stewart

I love the creative use of this closet—converted into a cozy library.  The deep hue on the shelves and the addition of the ladder adds warmth and character to the space.

Photo: Real Simple

Get the toys off your playroom floor with this colorful organized space—who says closets need to be white?

Photo: Container Store

You can even make a private hangout—this fanciful child’s closet is much more fun as a reading nook and playspace.

Photo: Ohdeedoh

Have fun!

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Design Trend: Lavender…

June 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Lavender is a soft feminine color, but it’s use has been reinvented. This color—traditionally used in bedrooms or children’s rooms—has become a popular choice for more public spaces.  To do this successfully, the color you select is very important.  This shade of lavender reads as almost gray. This modern color gives a fresh look to this traditional home…

Photo: Canadian House and Home

         

Using a color like lavender in a public space can be a challenge.  Adding deeper hues to a lavender scheme can make it more universal, like in this room by PIERCE -ALLEN.  I love this color combination…

Photo: PIERCE – ALLEN

         

The way lavender is perceived can be influenced by the colors it is used with. This room by Anne Coyle is brilliant example of transforming lavender through the use of color.   The use of black gives a more masculine feel to this feminine color.

Photo: Anne Coyle

           

Why not try using a deeper shade instead?  Who needs lavender in a room like this…

Photo: House Beautiful

Color palette swatches by Benjamin Moore:  Scheme 1 – Lavender Mist, Mystical Blue, Athenian Blue, Bryant Gold.  Scheme 2 – Plum Royale, Beach Plum, Yellow Iris, Racing Orange.  Scheme 3 – Beach Plum, Black Tar, Bryant Gold, Stuart Gold.

Balancing yellow & pink…

June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yellow and pink make a great combination—and even better when accented with a rich magenta, like in this photo below.  The colors are so perfect in this picture…

Photo: House Beautiful

I didn’t think it could get any better until I came across this image—I love how the pink and yellow are layered in front of the dark background. This moody gray brings a quiet sophistication to these two cheerful colors.

Photo: Tony Bennett Photography, as seen on Desire to Inspire

The golden framed artwork is the perfect accent for this gorgeous pink and white schemed room.

Photo: Amanda Nisbet

I love what they did with the walls in this photo…the yellow stenciled walls really make the room.

Photo: Serena and Lily

Balancing two colors like yellow and pink is essential for a successfully designed room.  This can be done in a number of ways:  1. Try varying the intensity of the colors.  To balance a bright yellow, select a soft pink, instead of a deeper hue.  2. Balance can also be achieved by varying the amounts of color used within the room.  For example, a bold color can be softened by using it smaller amounts, or intensified by using more of it.  3. When using these two colors at equal intensity, you can balance them by adding a neutral to to the color scheme, so the two colors will read as accents —or use more of one color than the other, so one color is dominant.

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