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Senin, 31 Agustus 2009

A State of the {Dis}Union: Part 2

Judging by your responses to Friday's post, my half empty, half unpacked home really resonated with y'all. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though, after all, is one's home ever really complete? Decorating, at its best, is a long term process, and as Rome wasn't built in a day, neither should our homes be fully furnished in one. That said though, I'm truly touched by your votes of confidence.

Choosing Colours For Your Interiors!

One of the greatest things about interior design is that you can opt for any style you like, it's your home and you should feel comfortable in it! You do not have to keep up with the very latest design trends to have an interior which is stunning.

If you can't decide on which colour you like best or simply have to have them all then simple aspects such as painting your cupboard doors all a different colour can look striking and very stylish! In order that the look is not overwhelmed opt for plain white blinds which enable you to control how much light and privacy you want or need.

Using Venetian styled blinds in a kitchen is ideal, particularly if they are made from metal which has been coated to help reduce dust build up as well as being very easy to keep clean, as they allow plenty of natural light to flood into the room creating a homely, bright and airy space when stacked at the top of the window or when the louvres are tilted open. If you have small windows you can further maximise the use of natural light up slightly tilting the louvres upwards which enables the light to bounce off a white ceiling.

Keep things natural in the kitchen by having easy to clean flooring around the working areas. If you have a table in your kitchen you can opt for a rug made from natural materials to keep the theme coordinated and bring a sense of homeliness as well as cohesion to the room.

Image: Avant-garde Design

Sabtu, 29 Agustus 2009

Protect Your Flooring From Fading With Venetian or Vertical Blinds

Wooden flooring has been popular for many years, either original stripped floor boards in older styles of homes, parquet flooring in the 1960s along with the influx of laminate style flooring which is being used throughout modern homes.

Interior designers have created beautiful wooden floors which have patterns set within them providing the best of both worlds in terms of both innovation and chic style! The patterns are made from using different coloured wood in the same way as marquetry is used on furniture. Wood inlay coloured patterns can be selected to blend effortlessly with your interior design colour scheme, offering a truly remarkable floor with maximum effect.

However, anyone with a natural floor needs to take care and reduce the risk of staining by mopping up spills as quickly as possible before it has time to penetrate into the wood and also by ensuring the window dressing they choose offers flexibility and practicality in helping to reduce the floor from fading in harsh sunlight. This is of particular importance if you have south facing windows as even in the UK where people may not think there is sufficient or intense sunlight which will damage floors will be astounded to know that the UV rays can cause as much harm to your floor as they can to your skin even on the dullest of days!

Venetain or vertical blinds are the ideal solution as they can look stunning when used as the sole window treatment and equally as striking when teamed with curtains. The great advantage over having either of these styles of blinds is the amount of control you have in diffusing the light or blocking it out completely. Adjusting the louvres correctly will also help furniture and soft furnishings from fading, as well as providing privacy when needed.

Image: Freshome

Jumat, 28 Agustus 2009

A State of the {Dis}Union: Part 1

I've been debating internally on whether or not to post pictures of the new house as it stands now, but I've decided that -- at the very least -- posting pictures will help provide a benchmark for future progress...and hopefully act as an incentive for me to get moving and finish unpacking already. And, on the off chance that any of you are currently in the midst of moving, you can at least take

Kamis, 27 Agustus 2009

Break The 'Rules' With Bold Curtains And Fabrics

Finding new and innovative ways to dress your windows has never been easier with the vast range of colours and styles of fabric which are widely available both on the high street and online.

Go for something daring and bold which brings nature into your home by selecting fabric which has a bold floral print in this season's in-trend colour of gorgeous lime green and white. To add further individuality and chic style to your home rather then opt for a classical curtain at each side of the window, use one wide curtain or length of fabric and sweep it from the top of the window to one side and hold in place with a tie back.

This enables the beauty of the pattern and the fabric to be seen at all times not just when the curtains are drawn together in the evenings. If floral patterns are not to your taste this style of window dressing works equally as effectively with any bold print as well as plain fabric. Keep the weight of the fabric in mind when making your choice as the lighter the weight the more fluidity it will provide.

Coordinate the colour with the rest of your interior design colour scheme or alternatively opt for a deliberate clash of colours to inject vibrancy and a sense of fun into a room. The latest colour clashing is in-vogue in a big way at present which enables you to opt for your favourite colours and do away with the usual 'rules' of interior design, which is an absolute joy for those who can never seem to get their colours coordinated correctly!

However, although colour clashing is in-vogue you do need to be a little careful otherwise you can end up with a miss-mash of colours which look more like an interior design nightmare than chic style!

Image: Avant-Garde

Rabu, 26 Agustus 2009

500 colors...infinite possibilities.

I've always enjoyed coloring -- and no, I don't mean drawing. Unlike drawing, coloring is free form and pressure free. You're not trying to create something, you're just...coloring. It's pleasant, mindless, and I've always found it to be incredibly relaxing. As someone with a fairly high level of energy, it also gives me something to occupy my hands with while sitting in front of the TV. If I

Selasa, 25 Agustus 2009

Cost Effective Patchwork Revival

Patchwork has been around for hundreds of years and has always been used as an effective way of recycling old or left over pieces of fabric and materials. With recession affecting people's spending power, having or using patchwork to create stunning bed covers and even curtains is back in-vogue as an effective way of recycling and making things for 'free'!

Mixing different textures of fabrics brings patchwork right up to date, as in the past it was typically only cotton fabrics which were used. Today you can make patchwork out of any type of material, including lightweight voiles and organza to create sheer curtains which let an abundance of light flood into a room in a soft and somewhat dreamy fashion making this style perfect for bedrooms!

Those who don't feel inclined of have the aptitude to make patchwork, but still adore the country cottage interior design themes and styles, will be pleased to know that it is possible to buy fabric which has the appearance of patchwork! This may be defeating the object somewhat of recycling, but it is a great way to achieve this type of interior style at affordable costs without having to wait for a patchwork to be made!

Next time you have a clear out in your wardrobe why not put the fabric to good use? Or on second thoughts look for lovely cottage style ready made curtains which can simply be hung from wooden curtain poles to achieve the same look in a fraction of the time!


Senin, 24 Agustus 2009

Barbie Madness

After another weekend spent unpacking, I'm still in escapist mode so I thought I'd share pictures from the Malibu Barbie Dream Showhouse that Jonathan Adler designed in honor of the iconic doll's 50th birthday. When I first read back in March about Adler's send-up to my favorite childhood toy, I was so excited to see what Adler would come up with. After all, Adler's bright, energetic and

Sabtu, 22 Agustus 2009

Tips For Achieving Trendy Teenage Bedrooms

Decorating a teenage girl's bedroom can be extremely difficult to achieve due to the ever changing fashions in colours and interior design trends. Making a striking yet simple, practical and very functional bedroom can be achieve with a little ingenuity even on a limited budget!

Those who are handy with a sewing machine can choose fabric to suit the colour trends and transform bedrooms into chic places with coordinating bed covers, curtains and blinds which also offer a different stance on a typical bedroom design by having curtains which close across the bed!

In the past curtains were used to provide extra warmth in cold houses and much needed privacy in days when rooms were shared by the entire family! Modern homes no longer to use bed curtains for either of these functions and yet providing a 'private place' for teenagers is essential in today's modern world!

Opt for a robust fabric for the bed cover to transform the bed into a settee style seating place which can be used during the day. Scatter cushions add the all essential finishing touches which also can be used to inject further colours and texture, combine these with this year's trend of chandelier style lighting to achieve a stunning look which will be envied by friends! Just the type of personal space a young person needs!

Of course the colour combinations can be anything your teenager likes, this style of bedroom design works well with both plain or patterned fabrics, whether the room is left uncluttered is of course down to the young person, however by giving them a space they really love you may be surprised how neat and tidy it will be!

Image: Habitually Chic

Kamis, 20 Agustus 2009

Runway to Reality: Fall 2009

Nanette LeporeFall is without question my favorite season -- and not least of all because of fall fashion. While I'm digging quite a few of this season's biggest trends (though I'm still saying "no" to shoulder pads), my favorite trends for this fall have to be the feminine plaids of Nanette Lepore and the bold, oversized houndstooths of Alexander McQueen and Preen. Random factoid: Houndstooth is

Blinds Are A Cost Effective Window Dressing

Interior design has not only gone 'green' by using the different colour shades of green, the use of natural materials from sustainable sources is also high on many people's design agendas.

Natural cotton fabrics, Hessian and wood are among the most popular choices, combined with colour schemes which are derived from nature. Creating stunning interiors using natural materials has never been more fashionable or more affordable!

One of the most cost effective window treatments are blinds made from bamboo or wood weave materials. These have been on the market for many years as a cheap, yet effective way of covering windows. Without sounding too philosophical bamboo is one of the oldest know methods of covering openings/windows to reduce heat and stop prying eyes from looking inside people's homes.

In the 'seventies' bamboo blinds were in-vogue and where used to create natural looking interiors at affordable prices. The return to being 'closer to nature' and being 'green' has once again seen this type of blind to regain popularity as a cost effective method of providing window dressings either on their own or used in combination with curtains as no longer are they seen as a cheap and only used by students they have become common place in traditional and modern homes.

Nowadays, wood weave or bamboo blinds are used in conservatories and summer houses as an effective way to help reduce heat build-up, along with bringing nature inside the home.

Image: A Life's Design

Rabu, 19 Agustus 2009

A little post-moving indulgence...

The only thing I've ever purchased from Wiliams-Sonoma Home is a set of black and white chinoiserie dessert plates that I scored at a Pottery Barn outlet outside Austin. As much as I adore WSHome's general aesthetic, its prices tend to make my very price-conscious husband hyperventilate. So generally I just do a little virtual window shopping, admire all the prettiness, and then surf on over to

Selasa, 18 Agustus 2009

Virtual Vacation: Palm Springs

After a long weekend of packing, moving and (slowly but surely) unpacking, I'm ready for another vacation. Since I won't be taking one for a while, I thought I'd indulge in a little virtual vacation today, courtesy of the New York Times and its recent feature on the Palm Springs' home of Kansas-based designer David Jimenez. While I've never been to Palm Springs myself, I've always imagined it to

Roller Blinds Remain Popular Window Dressings

The humble roller blind has seen some dramatic changes in recent years. The main focus of interior design trends is to use blinds which are made from wonderful fabrics which coordinate beautifully with the colour scheme and design style of your rooms.

The kitchen has always been a popular room to fit roller blinds due to their versatility and ease of use. To ensure you have the right colour and pattern it is even possible to make your roller blinds from kit form. The suppliers provide all of the necessary equipment such as control mechanisms and pulleys all you have to do is select the fabric!

However, with the wide range of ready made roller blinds currently available there is little need to spend time making your own! Opt for colours which create the desired effect, such as light natural colours and gingham patterns for a country cottage kitchen or a bright bold colour to team with work tops and cupboards in modern and contemporary kitchens.

The humble roller blind is not only ideal for use in kitchens, they are ideal to team with swag and tails window treatments to create a stunning and professional look to a lounge or dining area. In the bedroom opt for roller blinds which also have black out properties, particularly if you live in large towns where light pollution is a problem!

As roller blinds are available in a vast number of different widths and lengths even the smallest windows can benefit from having a blind fitted. For those who want to achieve the latest looks roller blinds which have an complete image on them such as forests, flowers or under water scenes create wonderful window treatments which transform into wall style art when pulled down.

Image: Habitually Chic

Senin, 17 Agustus 2009

Musings on Moving, Life, etc.

Following a 6-hour packing marathon on Friday night, we spent about 10 hours coordinating the movers on Saturday and another few hours unpacking and cleaning -- thanks for the help Babs and QG! Yesterday was spent recovering and trying to fit out our closet (which, alas, is smaller than our old one). But we're here and (almost) everything made it in one piece. So far, our only casualty has been

Kamis, 13 Agustus 2009

If you can't buy it, make it.

Jonathan Adler in House Beautiful One of the easiest and least expensive ways to give your old furniture a new look is with a few new throw pillows. And so, in an effort to "work with what I've got" while still sating my desire to start fresh, I've been doing some online browsing for a few pillows for the new house. And while I've found some absolutely beautiful choices (like some of the

Selasa, 11 Agustus 2009

Week Fifteen: Nearly There...

This weekend felt far more productive than last weekend. The fridge (finally!) got installed, we polished off the last of the hardware installation, the painters painted both the master bedroom and Dave's study/man cave/media room, and (most importantly) we managed to get quite a bit of packing done on Sunday. With the last of the hardware on, the kitchen finally feels finished. I like the sleek

Senin, 10 Agustus 2009

Roberta Freymann & Roberta Roller Rabbit

Here in Houston summer lasts through September, so early August is really just a midway point in our very long, very hot summer season. With daily temperatures hovering around 95 degrees, I find myself looking for cool, loose clothing that's easy to wear and yet still stylish and the Spring/Summer 2009 collection from Roberta Freymann would be absolutely perfect for August weekends. Freymann's

Kamis, 06 Agustus 2009

Color Personality Quiz

Tonight I finally had the opportunity to thumb through the September issue of House Beautiful and all I can say is "wow". The issue focused on color and there are some truly gorgeous rooms featured -- I urge anyone who doesn't have a subscription to get to their local newsstand immediately and get a copy. The back of the issue featured a color personality test -- a series of questions with no

Rabu, 05 Agustus 2009

Always a Bridesmaid...

Okay so I actually got married before most of my girlfriends, so the old adage doesn't really apply to me. But, I do find myself yet again a bridesmaid -- only this time it's for my younger sister and this time I'm the maid...okay fine, matron...of honor. The best part of being the matron of honor is that I will actually have some serious input on what dress I'll be required to wear down the

Selasa, 04 Agustus 2009

Week Fourteen: Waving the White Flag

This weekend at Casa Conn was, on the whole, completely exhausting and even somewhat frustrating (more on that later in the post). By Sunday night, Dave and I decided to wave the white flag of surrender and get some help to finish out the rest of the painting (for now, the master bedroom, master bathroom, and Dave's "man room"). While Dave and I did all the painting in our current house, we

Senin, 03 Agustus 2009

{New} Mary McDonald

The February 2009 domino spread of Mary McDonald's guest house made the California-based design an instant celebrity in the design world and pictures from the spreads made the rounds on the design blogs more times than I can count. And yet, despite her ever-growing popularity, McDonald's website remained...well, somewhat amateur with its scanned clippings of press and minimal online