Friday, April 1, 2011

Petite Lap Giraffes- for sale by Russian breeders

Out with the designer dogs,
and in with Petite Lap Giraffes!

{images via here}

{How cute is that?!!!}

Why get one?

They are:

a conversation starter

hypo allergenic

good with children

can be litterbox trained



Why not get one?

I love this commercial!!! 
 I just might have to get one of these!

Here is a link to the breeder Sokoblousky Farms
I'd love to see pictures if you get one!

How would a Petite Lap Giraffe fit into your family?
What would you name it?

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you're having a wonderful day,
AND I hope you'll consider following my blog!

Oh yeah...I almost forgot Happy April 1st!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How do you pick a paint color?...and when?

The reason I say "when" is because most people tend to pick their paint out first, and then start to decorate a room.  I like to say that paint is "the icing on a cake".  What I mean by that is, I start with a design plan for a client starting with the color palette for the room. Determining first, what existing pieces a client wants to incorporate, and then picking out the rest of the colors to be represented with fabric swatches, carpet and wood samples... for flooring, custom upholstery, pillows, window coverings, etc.  When the client has approved the color palette, we then finalize the wall color. 

 I have people call me all the time that say, "We're buying a  new house, we need a paint consultation, and we want the walls painted before we move." This is how the conversation goes... "Great" I say, "are we going to be adding any new furniture, or will we use only existing pieces?  Are you happy with your current color palette, or are you ready for a change?"  There are many things to consider before you pick your paint color.  To make an analogy, picking out your paint first is like packing for a vacation before you know your destination.  You will need to have a goal in mind before you can take the steps to achieve that goal.  What do you want to accomplish with your design plan?  Each room has a different function.  Some are for entertaining, some are functional, and others are where you go to unwind and relax.  How do you want each of those rooms to "feel" when you're in them?   Colors can evoke feelings and memories, excitement or serenity.  

Looking in your closet can be helpful. What are you favorite colors? Do you prefer cool colors, or warm colors?  When you look at you wardrobe, what are the kinds of colors you gravitate towards.  Do you like bright colors, or do you tend to pick out earthy, muted colors?  Is your wardrobe bold, are more sedated?  Are your clothes mostly patterned, or do you wear a lot of solids?  Personally, I wear a lot of solids and a lot of black and whites, with colors thrown in as accents.  My favorite colors are earthy.  My home is decorated in warm earth tones, using black and white as contrast, and my accent colors are reds, and a few vintage greens.  My home has evolved over the years, as I've tried many different styles and colors.  Because I work with a lot of colors and patterns in my professional life, I prefer coming home to a serene environment without a lot of colors or bold patterns.  That is my sanctuary!  On the other hand, I love when a client wants to work with a lot of color, it's exciting for me. I enjoy being able to help my clients find colors that enhance not only their rooms, but their lives as well.  It's rewarding to me to help them to feel comfortable taking risks, and in going outside of their comfort zone.

Here are some tips when choosing paint colors:

1. When choosing paint colors remember to keep your goal in mind. 
2. Choose your color palette first ,for the entire room, or house depending on what your painting. 
3. Once you have decided on a paint color, get quarts or  paint samples if available, and paint test areas on several different walls. This is a very important step! The paint decks that you are picking your paint colors from are printed with ink, not paint, and they can look very different when painted on your wall. 
 4. Make sure that you look at your test swatches in different lights, morning light, afternoon/early evening light, and artificial lighting.  Different lighting will affect your paint differently.  For example, incandescent lighting has a yellow tone and may cancel out the blue tones of your paint, while fluorescent lighting has blue tones which will do the exact opposite. 

 After you have chosen which paint swatches you like best, it is time to purchase your paint.   When in doubt, hire a professional Interior Designer who has been trained in color theory.  It will be the best investment you've ever made.  As anyone who has made a mistake with a paint color knows, MISTAKES CAN BE COSTLY!!!  We've all driven by the bright blue or purple house and thought, "What were they thinking?"  And...why didn't they stop as soon as they realized it looked like sh#@?

Have you ever made a mistake picking out paint colors?

 Do you start with an overall plan?

Do you pick out paint colors by copying what you see on blogs? 

 Do you follow the trends???... or go with what feels right for you and your family? 

Could you benefit from a professional color consultation?

{Paint is the easiest way to update the look of your home}

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you'll consider following my blog!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to buy and hang ready made Drapery Panels- 12 tips to a successful window treatment

1. Make sure that you buy the appropriate length.
I see it all the time, drapery panels hung too close to the top of the window.  Hanging panels closer to the ceiling will give an illusion of height.  It will also make your draperies look more luxurious. Draperies that are too short and hang inches above the ground are to be avoided.
2. Use a drapery pole larger than your window.
When measuring your window add at least 6 inches to the width, not including your finials.  This will accomplish two things, this will allow more light into the window, and it will make your window appear larger.
3. Buy enough panels to cover window.
Hanging one panel on each side of you window can look too skimpy, if you have a large window.  Measure your windows width, then make sure that your panels can cover the window and still have excess fabric. 
Whether they are going to be draw draperies or not, buying more panels will look better.  Example: If you have a window that is 79" you would want to buy 4 panels, two for each side.
4. Add drapery rings instead of using tab tops made of fabric.
Your panels will have more of a "custom look" if you use drapery rings with clips.  Tab top draperies are inexpensive to make, and they look inexpensive when hung.
5. Use a drapery rod that is substantial with a weight proportionate to the weight of the fabric. 
Buying a cheap rod that is light weight will cheapen the look of the window treatment.  Invest in good quality hardware. 
6. Make sure that your drapery rod has enough support.
Your pole will bow in the middle if your fabric is too heavy for your rod.  Use your judgement on this one.  If you have a wide window make sure you provide extra support in the middle. 
7. Buy drapery brackets with at least a 3" projection.
Hanging draperies too close to the window is a common mistake.  Custom draperies done correctly will have at least a 3" projection.  Sheers being the exception when hung on a double rod, they will be closer to the wall.
8.  Don't use lightweight valances on top of panels.
This is the biggest no-no.  Cheap valances cheapen the entire look of your window treatments.  It's better to have no valance at all than to have a lightweight  valance hanging on top of side panels.
9. Buy panels with lining when possible.
Unless you're going for the gauzy, sheer look, buy panels that are lined. The more weight your panels have the better they will hang.
10. Make sure to read the cleaning instructions before washing your draperies.
If they are 100% cotton or linen, they WILL shrink.  Some fabrics will have to be dry cleaned.
11. Skip the tiebacks.
Most ready made panels come with matching tiebacks, unfortunately they're usually not made well, and they detract  from the overall look.
12. Use a level when installing drapery hardware.
You'll want to make sure that your draperies are hanging even, and that your rod is following a straight line parallel to the ceiling, to ensure the best possible installation.

Thanks for stopping by. 
 I hope you'll consider following my blog.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Crafter's Paradise

This store is the most amazing craft supply store I've ever seen! 
 I've never been there, but the next time I go to New I'm there!
It's one of the stores, that you walk in and know you want to buy something,
 you're not sure what, but you know you're going to walk out with something.
I would be like a "kid in a candy store"!

{images via Martha Stewart}

M&J Trims have a large assortment of ribbons,
 buttons, braids, rhinestones, sequins, fringe, buckles,
 DIY books, supplies and tools and much more.

"Passementerie Heaven"

Passementerie - the art of making elaborate trimmings
 or edgings (in French, passements)
 of applied braid, gold or silver cord,
 embroidery, colored silk, or beads for clothing or furnishings.

Planning any trips to N.Y?

What would you buy at M & J Trims?

Thanks for stopping by! 
I hope you'll consider following my blog!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I spoke at the Student Forum at The San Francisco Design Center

One of my Interior Design mentors, Joan Long, a professor at the college I attended, called me a few months ago and asked if I would speak at the Student Forum that was being held at the San Francisco design center.  I immediately said, "YES".   I loved attending the Student Forum when I was a student.  It is a series of workshops encompassing many different facets of Interior Design, given by veterans of the design community.  My topic was to be, "Graduation to Certification".  I can still remember what it was like to be a student, how intimidated I was to walk through the showrooms, and how I looked up to the experienced designers that volunteered their time to be a part of the Forum.  It's funny now, it seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the students seats, and now I'm speaking to them with experience.  Before I became a working Interior Designer I had so many questions, and I was so eager to learn.  I found that some Designers share their experiences freely, and some do not.  I wanted to be someone who was open and willing to help students. 
When I first arrived for my workshop I looked at the workshop list and I thought, WOW...those are some really good speakers.  Why would they want to come to mine?  My subject was so personal, it was all about  me and the path that I've chosen.  I was imagining nobody showing up.  And then, the students started arriving and my fears were put to rest.  Before I was introduced an evaluation sheet was handed out.  Talk about intimidation!!!  OMG!  I had spoken at the Forum once before on a panel, but this time it was just me.  I had decided that my talk would be informal and interactive. I had them introduce themselves and talk about their goals.  I wanted  my talk to be relevant to the students that were sitting in the audience.  It was easy to talk to them, because I had sat in those seats seventeen years earlier.  Talking about Interior Design, and myself, was "a piece of cake".  The hour flew by quickly.  The students asked a lot of great questions, and I think we all wished that we had more time together.  It gives me such satisfaction to know that I could give valuable information to them.  When it was all over, one of the girls said to me, "I learned more in this workshop than I learned all day", and another said she liked my format the best, and that the others were lectures, and mine was more intimate.  Wow!  They liked me!  They really liked me!  I love Interior Design, and I'm very passionate about what I do!  Yes, I enjoyed it.  I look back to the first time I spoke in front of a group of people...I was scared to death!  I had a fear of public speaking, worse than death.  Now, I love it, it's easy to talk about something that you love.  Will I do it again?  Absolutely.

Thanks for stopping by. 
 I hope you'll consider following my blog.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hendrix portrait with 5000 guitar picks

Can I just say UH...MAZING!!!
This piece of art is made
by UK Mosaic artist Ed Chapman. 
It was auctioned off
for Cancer research. 

Click on the link below to read the entire post over at Recycleart.

Hendrix portrait with 5000 guitar picks

Thanks for stopping by. 
 I hope you'll consider following my blog!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What is the difference between a "Decorator" and an "Interior Designer"?

I know that many of you have wondered what the differences are between a "Decorator" and an "Interior Designer"?  The fast answer, and the one I tell my clients, is that a "Decorator" has a "knack", and an "Interior Designer" has formal training ,  but there is much more to it than that. Each state has their own licensing and educational requirements. I will include descriptions by both C.C.I.D.C. (in California), and A.S.I.D (nationally).

{via source}

 Here are the definitions of each title as described by the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCICD):
Although there is no restriction on the use of the title “Interior Decorator” or “Interior Designer” in California, there is a difference in the inference of the title amongst the profession.

Interior Decorator
An “Interior Decorator” is someone who primarily deals with colors, finishes, and furniture and typically stays within the residential boundary of interiors. Typically they might charge a fee for their creative services such as laying out the furniture in a room, or putting together different colors and finishes in order to create several palettes from which the client can choose. In most cases a decorator will charge a “mark-up” on all the products they sell to you. This mark-up can vary wildly, anywhere from 20% to 50% in some cases. Most decorators are reluctant to prepare a formal contract or letter of agreement spelling out what the services are that they are going to provide, and how much they are going to charge.

Interior Designer
An “Interior Designer” is someone who can complete an interior design project from start to finish, including preparing construction documents for bidding and permitting, as well as supervising the construction and installation of the work. This person in essence becomes your agent to deal with local building codes and building departments, and licensed contractors. They have the expertise to handle all of these different players, whereas you may not, or may not have the time or inclination.

Interior designers cover all types of projects from commercial (offices, medical facilities, retail shops, restaurants, hotels, retirement and nursing facilities, to name a few) to residential. Typically an interior designer has a lot of education and experience, as well as possibly having sat for one or more examinations in order to test their competency and to attain state recognition of their profession.

Again, just because someone uses the title “Interior Designer”, it doesn’t mean they are any more qualified than an “Interior Decorator”, or any one who chooses to use either title irrespective of their qualifications or experience, which may be none at all.

The only guarantee that the person you are hiring is qualified in some way or another is to hire someone who is a “Certified Interior Designer”, a title that is written in to the California Business and Professions Code and protected by law to prevent anyone using the title that has not complied with the law.

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) describes the differences as:

Many people use the terms "interior design" and "interior decorating" interchangeably, but these professions differ in critical ways.

Interior design is the art and science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.

Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants' quality of life and culture. Designs respond to and coordinate with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.

The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology—including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process—to satisfy the needs and resources of the client.

Many U.S. states and Canadian provinces have passed laws requiring interior designers to be licensed or registered—documenting their formal education and training—and many of them specifically require that all practicing interior designers earn the NCIDQ Certificate to demonstrate their experience and qualifications. By contrast, interior decorators require no formal training or licensure.

I hope that helps clear up some of the confusion regarding the titles of "Interior Decorator" and "Interior Designer".  You may click on the links (CCICD and NCIDQ) to find the source of the articles I've shared with you.  If you are looking for a Certified Interior Designer, or want more information on how to become and Interior Designer you may check either of the above mentioned sites, or check with your individual state for licensing, and or certification requirements.

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  I hope you'll consider becoming a follower.