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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!
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Furniture Market High Point 2012

I had such a great time recently when I visited Furniture Market in High Point NC. It is always such a treat to see what’s new, what the current trends are, and to mingle with like minded design fanatics! It was a great time and if you ever get the opportunity to visit you must. Aside from your feet hurting a bit from all of the intense walking, it is great to be able to spot the new trends before they hit the retail stores.

 

I definitely noticed a few hot ones so keep your eyes open. As far as color is concerned Peacock blue is taking the industry by storm, an intense blue mixed with creams and brick reds. The old classic navy is back but this time it definitely has a sophisticated dressed up appearance. Of course the wonderful linens and neutrals are still going strong. Inspired by French Flea markets, the linen and nail head look mixed with a urban farmhouse feel are really hot right now.

 

When times get tough designers like to make a splash and try to brighten everyones day. So I definitely saw lots of intense bright colors in fun combinations so don’t be afraid to use color!!

 

Mixing woods, metals, and textures is really important in this upcoming market. The manufacturers are definitely picking up on everyones love of mixing old with new. So even the new pieces look like you picked them up at a local flea market.

 

Glitz and glam were hot this market so if you aren’t afraid to use some serious bling, I found chairs that had tufting with rhinestones, drapes with sequins, and chairs, headboards and accessories that sparkled with bling.

 

Make sure you keep pinning on Pinterest because the big brother of the design industry is watching. Marketing experts for the interior design and furniture industries are closely watching what you are pinning onto your boards so keep posting your favorites and even some of your dreams, this way the retail stores will catch up and provide you with just the right styles.

Sophisticated patterns and classic navy blue bring this wing chair alive

Great rustic farmhouse lighting from furniture market 2012

Chairs with glam and bling are hot this year
Bright fun accent pieces can change a room’s look and add whimsy

 

simple clean lines allow upholstery to breathe, these pieces are timeless

colorful and bright makes a statement this market

Flea market style with aged blue wicker, rustic metal top, chipped paints give this room a cozy feel

Mixing woods, textures and finishes makes for a great eclectic feel

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Accessories 101

Accessories 101

I can honestly say that as an Interior Designer, I love my job. There is nothing more rewarding than placing the finishing touches on a room and seeing it all come together. That is why I love placing the accessories. For me accessories are “jewelry for the home.” They are the final finishing touches that add personality, style, texture, and color.

After the room has been painted and the basic bones have been put in place, accessories bring the space to life by completing the overall look and giving the space that finished appearance. Selecting and arranging finishing touches is the most rewarding aspect of decoration, for in the details lies the essence of a room’s style and character.

Accessories can include lamps, pottery, throw rugs, figurines, clocks, artwork, pillows, greenery, boxes, baskets, artifacts, china, brackets and much much more.These items can be from the client’s own collections or new pieces that have been purchased.

Accessories are not to be taken for granted. Everything from waste baskets and tissue boxes to family photographs and home office supplies can be carefully arranged and pleasingly presented.

Accessorizing your home can go a long way in adding to its overall appeal. One of the most important tips, in this regard, is to get rid of the clutter completely. You might add the most beautiful pieces of artwork or the most endearing display of flowers, but if there is clutter all around, they would be hardly noticeable.

Home accessories make a space functional, fun or dramatic depending upon your style. Rather than throwing all types of accessories bought on impulse, start out with a plan. Home accessories bring a room together and should serve a purpose to balance the color scheme, the scale of the room and enhance the theme of the room.

Start by cutting out inspirational pictures from magazines. Then make a list of the sizes and shape of the things you think you need and get color samples from the paint store to match the colors you will be shopping for. This is a lot easier and a lot more portable than dragging a pillow or a picture around with you to the store.

You do not have to shop at the most trendy and expensive stores for the great accessories. Shop in those places to get some great ideas and then make a trip to your discount stores to see if there is anything similar for sometimes a third of the price. You might even find something that you like better and your budget will always go further if you are economical on the accessories. Save your bigger bucks for durable furniture or fabulous artwork that will really make an impact.

Thrift and antique stores are great places to find unique accessories. Repurposing everyday items as showpieces not only adds interest but a conversation piece as well.
Stay away from cutesy and too much matchy-matchy as well. Too many people make the mistake of conglomerating one look all over the house. Craft shows can inspire an impulse purchase, but how many wooden cows really work in a home? Beware of overloading yourself with too many small accessories. Vary the size and shape and pay attention to the theme of the room.

But make sure to personalize it, there is nothing worse than a home that cannot be used, sat in, or touched. No one wants to live in a showroom. Your home should be a representation of the people who live there. Your friends and family should walk in and immediately recognize your personal style, not a copy of some celebrity style. So make sure to include family photos, heirloom pieces, and favorite items that make you smile when you look at them.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when accessorizing is hanging artwork too high. Make sure to hang pictures at eye-level, but that eye-level should be seating eye-level. Since everyone’s standing eye level is different, husbands that means you! This will bring the artwork low enough to enjoy it. This will allow the artwork to be a few inches above the backs of sofas, or a few inches above dressers or cabinets. There is nothing worse than having artwork floating in the air and the only thing you can see is the bottoms of the frames. Bring the artwork “into” the seating area by making sure they are hung close to the furniture grouping. When making a gallery of family photos, use similar frames and matting, hang the artwork close together and use an imaginary line of 36” off the floor to start your gallery, this way they will be seen.

Also remember to add artwork that supports the style of the space. You don’t want the artwork to contradict the rest of the surroundings and cause the eye to become distracted. Artwork can also be arranged on easels for flexibility and added interest.

When arranging accessories its best to group “like” items together creating a collection. Collections stand out and make a stronger statement than scattering the items throughout the room. It is better to group your figurines or candlesticks together so that you can enjoy them as a whole instead of having them scattered around the house getting unnoticed. Pay attention to heights, when creating small vignettes. Varying heights adds interest as well as texture. It is also always best to group items in odd numbers unless you want a more formal look, then symmetry is the way to go.

Curtains and rugs, though never thought of in terms of accessories, can do a lot to add the perfect look to your house. If you have too much solid color in your house, they can help break it up and define seating arrangements especially in an open floor plan.

Mirrors and reflective objects are a great way to add sparkle. Use them to add dimension, expand space or reflect light in a room.

Accessories can be a wonderful way to add color especially for those that are afraid to put color on walls or furnishings. Accessories can also be changed seasonally and allow you to try out different styles without costing a fortune. However make sure to use the same two or three colors throughout the room: one main color, a secondary color and a third bold color to be used sparingly. Some of the best accessories are really used to bring colors, textures or scale of the room into balance. A neutral color scheme can pop with two red pillows. Wooden furniture that does not match can make sense if accessories of the same color are placed somewhere else in the room for balance. A dark chair in a room with light furniture can work if dark baskets or pottery grace the room.
Don’t forget to think proportion when purchasing accessories. Large spaces require large accessories. Tiny little tabletop objects will get lost with really high ceilings and large items can overpower a small space.

Finally, avoid over-doing it. If your eyes don’t catch everything when you first sweep the room, there may be too much for the eyes to focus on. Try removing a few items. If you have too many items you want to display, try rotating them so there’s always something “new” to look at but the room isn’t over-saturated.

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Hello world!

Hello World! Well this is my first official post for Enabled Space Interiors Blog and I am so excited to get started.

I am an interior designer , mother of three, wife, and owner of Enabled Space Interiors. I have been working as a high end residential designer for over 20 years and have recently decided to branch out on my own. With that I have created Enabled Space Interiors. I have created this firm due to demands from clients for reasonable easy design advice and services. So I sat down and created this new model for a design firm that is comprised of an A la Carte Design Menu of Services. This will be an easy fast and fun way to get design advice without the scary long term design contracts, hidden mark ups on furniture and overwhelming design bills. I wanted to create a business that would allow clients to choose the service, have me or one of my designers come to their home and provide fast and easy design advice and then let them take it from there.

So look for that one of a kind design menu soon and in the meantime I am also going to be writing design articles, posting tips and tricks, and showing you the latest design trends. So come join me on my design adventure to bring affordable professional design advice to the masses!