Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have you started your 20 year journey yet?

As an inspiring interior designer, I have found it very difficult to find my niche in this very large and very intimidating world.  I work as a design assistant to a fabulous interior designer who has truly made a name for herself!! She has traveled the world, lived in Paris, was a New Kids on the Block groupie (I saw pictures!), studied interior design and art history, wrote articles for magazines, is a wife and a mother, has a beautiful home in a fantastic neighborhood, owns her own business (with an assistant) and the list goes on and on!! Compared to her, I have accomplished so little!! I feel like I will never, ever get to a place where she is at now!  She once told me that it took her 20 years of hard work, unpaid jobs and delivering muffins to get to where she is today! "You have to pay your dues," is what she told me!!  It is a scary thought that I have to wait 20 years to be where I want to be!!

I am currently reading "If You Have To Cry, Go Outside" by Kelly Cutrone.  I am only on chapter three and I LOVE it!! She talks about her first experience visiting New York City and how she just knew that she had to be there; live there; create a new life for herself there. She knew that she did not fit in in her hometown; she was different!!  Against all odds and discouragement, she moved there with no certain plans!!  She talks about finding your tribe; a community of friends, mentors, mothers, artists, socialites, executives; people who you can share your journey with because it is no fun to travel it alone! She talks about finding out who it is you are and that the only way to do that is by making sure that you start on the right path to finding your destiny; wherever it may take you!!

This made me think about my journey; it made me question if I have even started this journey that will take me 20 years to travel!!  I thought that I would get a great job right out of college because I had a Bachelor's Degree.  I thought I would work my way up the corporate ladder, get paid a huge salary, be offered great benefits, have a 9-5 job and make enough money to pay for a wedding and save for our perfect house!! HAHA well, let me tell you, none of that has happened yet!! I work two jobs (the second as a waitress), I get paid very little, have no benefits, work odd hours, drive over 50 miles a day to get to work, live paycheck to paycheck and still live at home!!  BUT, I then realized that not having the perfect job or enough money or no house IS my journey and it has, for sure, started!! I would not give up all the great experiences and people I have met in the last year for any 9-5 job! Every day is a new opportunity to meet new people, talk to someone you may not usually talk to, ask questions instead of just wondering, make a phone call instead of waiting for an email! Kelly talks about surrounding yourself with people who support you and your decisions, whether they agree with them or not!! She said that sometimes, your tribe is not where you are and that you may have to move to a new location to find it!! That is a scary thought for me and I am not at that point in my journey yet, but it sure does make me think about who I surround myself with and whether they are hindering or supporting me!! It makes me question if I want to live in the city or stay in the suburbs.  I have just passed the 1 year mark on my journey, so only 19 more or so until I have found my niche!!  I want to create my own path and what happens along the way, not have someone else create it for me!! I want to experience all that I can in this short time that I have on this earth!!  I look forward to the next 19 years and what may or may not happen along the way.  I only hope that I meet fabulous people and end up where I know I as supposed to be!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Who wants traditional wallpaper when you can have Peel & Stick Wall Murals!!

As of November 16, 2010, Eazywallz.com has launched its Peel and Stick Wall Murals!  This product is a fresh and innovative alternative to traditional wallpaper.  You can select a high quality image from over a thousand or you can personalize your mural by uploading your own photo and choosing a custom size.  The mural is made from adhesive woven fabric, but has the look and feel of a soft canvas; it will not rip, wrinkle or tear.  The best part is that you can reposition and reuse your wall mural without the adhesive weakening; it will not leave any residue or damage your walls.  Peel & Stick Wall Murals are not just for walls, they can be applied to mirrors, tiles, cars, windows, furniture and much more. Another perk, free shipping across North America!  To get more information on Peel & Stick Wall Murals, go to Eazywallz.com! There are over a thousand images to browse and instructions on how to customize and install your new Wall Mural!

Here are some of my favorites....
All images via eazywallz.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Black and Brown...can they be combined?

Lately, I have found it almost impossible to find a good pair of flats.  While at Carson Pierre Scott, I found this great pair of Bandolino black and brown flats.  I was excited because I only have to purchase one pair and not two; usually I would buy a black pair and a brown pair.  This way, I can wear them with either a black or brown outfit.  Then, I remembered that a good friend of mine suggested that I write about the combination of black and brown in interior decorating; her and her husband recently renovated their kitchen using this combination.  I am sure you have heard the fashion rule that you can not mix black and brown. This rule also applied to interiors, however, it does not seem to apply anymore.  I am a former believer and follower of this rule, but it seems that I have been proven wrong. This combination of black and brown seems to be popping up more and more in fashion and interiors. 

Bandolino Shoe

Let me give you a little background on these colors.  Both black and brown are neutral colors.  When paired together in a space, they can create an elegant or contemporary feel, especially if you add another neutral color such as a cream or off-white.  Another great idea is to add a pop of color such as an orange or a red.  The two neutrals, black and brown, will really make the bold color stand out.  You can use the bold color for accents, such as throws or vases.  Black and brown, paired together, gives a feeling of luxury, especially if you use rich fabrics and textures.  This pairing can also be very dark and sensual; a more masculine feel. There are different values for both black and brown, so trying using gray or taupe to create a calming, more modern feel.  If you hang anything on the wall, such a painting or a photograph, these neutral colors will really make the wall decor stand out, since black and brown will not take away from other colors, hence the idea of a neutral.  Another cool idea is to use a wall paper that combines the two colors, maybe a flocked damask, this makes it easier to pull the scheme together.  If you prefer to stick with paint on the walls, try using a rug that combines neutrals colors.  The most important thing to remember when decorating with this combination is to create contrast in the room.  Try not to use chocolate brown and black, instead, use a tan or off-white.  This will create the contrast that you want.  When in doubt, add white!  Check out some of these black and brown interiors....you may become a follower of this trend too!

via BoConcept
via Good Housekeeping
via Lisa Epley
via 4Homes

via Better Living Through Design

via Brown Design Inc
via Mobalpa

via Good Housekeeping

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peacock Blue....Is this color for you?

via Design Happens
Favorite color of the season:  Peacock Blue!! Sure, it is a bit bold, but it is so beautiful and glamorous! There are a ton of ways to incorporate this hot color into your home.  You can create a focal wall by applying this color to one wall or really go chic by painting the entire room!  Peacock Blue looks awesome with stark  white because it creates a high contrast, but it also works well with muted colors and neutrals, such as gray and off white. If you like the bold look, add a bit of Chartreuse to the mix.  Another great pair for this color is gold, which is my personal favorite! If you paint one wall Peacock Blue, try adding white as the second color and then add gold accents like mirrors or chandeliers.  If you are not willing to commit to Peacock Blue as the main color in your scheme, try adding a touch of it here or there! A tuffted sofa with matching bolster pillows from Monarch Restoration looks amazing in this color. If you think an entire sofa dedicated to this color is not for you, add some accent pillows in a rich fabric from IMAN home; she has a great peacock pattern. If you really just want a small dose of  this gorgeous color, try adding a Peacock Blue lamp like Susan Schneider's to your night stand or console table. Check out how other designers have showcased this beautiful, rich color.....

via Canadian House and Home

via M Design Interiors
via Southern Accents
via Domino
via Monarch Restoration

via IMAN Home

via Susan Schneider
via The Rug Company
via Design to Inspire

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cupcakes and Interior Design

As some of you may know, one of my goals in life is to design a bakery.  I am completely obsessed with cake stands, with the glass lids, of course, and cupcakes, in a clear box with a ribbon around it.  I have to admit, I am not a baker, but I truly wish I was! I don't exactly know what it is about the idea of a cupcake bakery that is so intriguing, but I just love the idea!  There is so much creativity that is put into the decoration of a cupcake, similar to decorating a space.  Here are some photos that just may inspire you to open a bakery and let me design it!

*All Photos from Google images*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"All designers can decorate; however, not all decorators can design." True or false??

I just read this fantastic blog by a writer for HGTV, Brian Patrick Flynn, about the difference between a decorator and a designer.  He asked the question " is it safe to say that all designers can decorate; however, not all decorators can design?"  to a handful of successful decorators and designers.  The answers were interesting to read, that's for sure!

Let me give you a little background.  In order to be considered a licensed interior designer, you must have gone to an accredited college and received a degree.  After college, you must work in the field of interior design for so many hours, which equals about 2 years if you are full time, and then you must take, and pass,  a test.  If you pass, you are then allowed, by law, to be called an interior designer.

If you want to be an interior decorator, well, there is no law requirements or education necessary.

So, lets discuss the difference between the two.  A designer has formal training, which is usually in commercial design.  They work on the project from the very start, all the way to final completion.  This includes programming and schematic design, design development, construction documents and the overseeing of the entire project.  A designer can move walls and re-locate windows and doors; a designer will create the shell of the space and follow through with the selections of furniture, materials and lighting. 

A decorator may or may not have formal training; it is not necessary.  If they do, it can be in either residential or commercial design.  A decorator does not have the authority to move walls or re-locate doors or windows.  They strictly design the inside of the shell that the designer created.

A decorator MUST have talent...either you are good at decorating or you are not; design is a skill that can be learned.  Just because you are a designer does not mean that you are a talented decorator.  A designer can be skilled in the technical aspect but have absolutely no eye for design or style.  Designer, Erica Reitman, said a designer is "someone who guides others towards their own styles using a combination of creativity, innovation, color theory, architecture and psychology."  Decorator Phoebe Howard, said this of decoration, "decoration is the comprehensive and conclusive finishing of a home. It is about arranging furnishings in ways that are both pragmatic and beautiful." This is decorator, Nick Olson's answer to the question, "To my understanding, calling oneself an interior designer requires a degree in the field, a professional certification, accreditation and so on. I think the biggest difference between designers and decorators is that the former literally moves walls and other structural elements of a given space, while the latter decorates the box." 

So, it seems that there is a clear definition for both decorator and designer, but is the statement true? Can all designers decorate, but all decorators can not design?  I am undecided.  I am formally trained, from an accredited college, in commercial design; I just happened to have found my niche in residential design.  I am not licensed, yet, but I do have the formal training, so technically, I am skilled to do both decorating and designing.  I believe that a decorator and a designer can do the same work...it just depends on their background in design, if any.  However, I do believe that a decorator is a decorator for a reason, they are talented and know tons about style, where as a designer may not have that same skill set.  On the other hand, a decorator may not have the same skill set as the designer; they may have no idea how a wall is built or know the codes that are put in place to keep people safe.  I guess this one is just a matter of opinion, and ego if you ask me! 

So, it looks like I am considered a decorator, and proud of it!!

What do you think?  Would you not hire a super successful and talented decorator to decorate your dream home just because they do not have a degree?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to show off your space in the best light possible!!

When I was in college, I tended to focus more on the technical aspect of the project and not the materials, finishes or lighting. It was not until I began to work on real residential projects that I understood the importance of lighting in a space.  When a space is being designed, there are key pieces to which attention must be paid; walls, flooring, window coverings, furniture and lighting.  Lighting in a space is so important.  I found that while I was doing projects for school, I would let this key piece of design fall to the wayside, never giving it any thought.  I would flip through a magazine and specify the first light fixture I came across to show that I "thought" about it.  If I only knew then how important lighting was to a design, I could have designed some pretty fantastic spaces just by adding an interesting light fixture that was thought about and not just picked out.

There are many different types of lighting such as table lamps, floor lamps, pedant lighting, wall sconces, task lighting, etc.  A space can seem very boring or plain until you add light to it.  A light fixture can become the focus of a space.  You can conceptualize an entire design around a traditional chandelier or a very modern pendant light.  Wall sconces can add symmetry to a space.  Table lamps can add interest to a not so interesting table and they are also a great way to add color to a space.  Some lighting  fixtures can be very feminine and elegant, while others can be very masculine and sophisticated.  Lighting is a functional aspect of design, but try not to get too technical when it comes to choosing the right light.  Sometimes, a lamp may act as more of a vase or sculpture then a functioning light; this is totally ok!!  You want it to have character, after all, you are choosing to put this in a space that represents you!  The important thing to remember about lighting is that it should never be an after thought.  Next time you redecorate your living room, try to base your design around an interesting table lamp you found, or revamp your foyer or entry way by adding wall sconces or matching ceramic lamps to either side to add symmetry or color.  Here are some great ideas for lighting up your space! 

Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel
Jonathan Adler
Adding color
Adding symmetry
Focal Point of Space
Setting the mood

*Photos from Jonathan Adler, Crate and Barrel, House Beautiful, Traditional Home and Chicago Home and Garden*