Design advice for your home.

Archive for November, 2012

Why can’t we have holiday glitter all year long?

I don’t know about you but I love the holidays.  Decorating the home, seeing my kids faces as the whole house lights up with glitter and whimsy. It makes you think why can’t I make my home feel and look this special all year long. I think we feel that we can only get away with using fun accessories that have some bling and personality around the holidays but in fact there are so many fun ways to keep your home gleaming all year long.

Take for instance greenery and foliage, many of us put up sprays of evergreens and green wreaths for the holidays but you don’t have to strip away all of that wonderful earthiness once the holidays are over, there are fabulous wreaths made from succulents that last for years that give fantastic texture and color. The living wall planters that I personally am obsessed with are a fantastic way to have fresh herbs inside as well as out and make a great focal point. Ficus trees and other large plants can be decked out with twinkle lights for the holidays but still look special all year long.

indoor-living-wall-planter-1_img_assist_customliving wreath

Fun pillows with bows, ribbons, and other adornments shouldn’t be left out the other 11 months of the year, changing out pillows is a inexpensive and fun way to completely change the look of a seating area. There are so many online and retail sources for exciting and unique pillows so bling, decorate, and add whimsy all year long.

fun pillows

fun pillows

Missing the twinkle lights of the holiday season, adding candles or the battery powered ones throughout the home give a warm glow. I personally burn yummy scented candles all year long. My personal favorites are cinnamon spice, pumpkin, and ocean breeze, but you can choose whatever strikes your fancy.

Accessories are so easy to change out an manipulate and its a great way to give your home a quick makeover when the seasons change. Keeping a storage closet lined with shelves that will allow for easy change outs keeps things at arms reach so you are more inclined to switch items out. You don’t need to completely re-do your home as often as you think if you keep the holiday mentality of constantly adding accessories that delight the eye and add some fun so go grab some cool accessories this holiday season why the sales are hot and start building that accessory closet.


Preparing your home for company

The holidays are quickly approaching and that means company’s coming. Whether you are hosting friends or relatives, creating a space that puts your guests at ease is essential. As an interior designer it is my job to create spaces that are beautiful, comfortable, and efficient.  So having guests stay at your home should follow these same design principles. Here are a few designer tips to creating a space that will truly feel like “home”.

  1. Temperature control: Having extra blankets at the foot of the bed so that guests never have to search or ask for extras. Multiple pillows in various sizes and shapes help even the finickiest sleepers. Having a ceiling or portable fan will help soothe even the warm blooded friends.
  2. Quenching thirst: Provide a small carafe or pitcher with a pretty glass for night time thirst is always welcome.
  3. Fresh flowers: This small touch makes a big impact and doesn’t have to be fancy. Something from the garden placed in a beautiful vase or even in an heirloom teacup adds that elegant touch
  4. Planning ahead: A basket filled with extra toiletries that may have been forgotten during travel like toothpaste, toothbrushes, delicate soaps, shampoos, hand creams, and generic deodorants as well as a hair dryer are always a welcome touch for the frenzied traveler.
  5. A place for everything: Having a chair or luggage rack designated for suitcases avoids extra clutter as well as designating empty drawers and closet space with nicely padded hangers allows guests to settle in nicely.
  6. Personalize the space: Having a framed photo of you and the guest on the nightstand shows you appreciate their visit, it can even make a great gift.
  7. Designer bedding: Nothing says luxury like large fluffy bath towels. Placing beautiful folded towels wrapped in a festive ribbon with a swig of lavender will give transform the bathroom into a spa retreat.
  8. Calming design: Light colors work best in guest rooms with a punch of color for accents. If you can’t designate an entire room just for guests that work on de-cluttering the room as much as possible to allow for a comfortable night’s sleep. Convertible chairs and sofas work as well as quick air mattresses preferably at standard bed height.
  9. Tight spaces: Even if you have to use blow up mattresses there is no reason you can’t use fine bed linens. Get high thread count sheets that are soft and luxurious and make up the bed using fluffy mattress toppers and duvets.
  10. Kid’s coziness: If children are part of the guest party make sure to include night lights, extra toys, and even sound machines which help drown out unfamiliar sounds.
  11. Power source: It is important to free up some outlets for guests to be able to charge cell phones, computers, and games.
  12. Books and magazines: Stock the room with good reads that are personalized while encouraging the guests to take them home.
  13. Lighting: Low level lighting is always better in bedrooms so consider installing dimmers on any overhead fixtures and make sure there is a small bedside lamp for night time reading. Make sure to also provide ample light switches so that your guests won’t be fumbling around in the dark in their new environment.
  14. Bedside tables: Outfitting bedside tables with all the essentials like a light for reading, an alarm clock, and a box of tissues.
  15. Snacks: Creating a basket filled with your guest’s favorite snacks sends a welcoming message and allows guests to have more freedom with in between meal schedules.
  16. Television: If the room is fortunate enough to have a TV, lay out some favorite DVD’s and don’t forget to include remote control instructions..
  17. Allergies: Be mindful of allergies to pets, food, fragrances, and bedding. Avoiding objects that trigger guest allergies will always be appreciated.
  18. Windows: Make sure windows have sufficient blinds or window dressings to help block out any unwanted lights, a rested guest is a happy guest!
  19. Bathroom: Provide a space for guests to put their toiletry bags as well as empty hooks for robes. If they are sharing a bathroom with you, try and de-clutter your personal objects and make sure to keep medicine and harmful chemicals out of reach for small children.
  20. Calm: Last but not least, relax and enjoy their company. It is a compliment to you that they have chosen to make the effort to see you. A stressed out host will be forgotten but a gracious friendly one will be remembered forever. Happy Holidays!