Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy news from Crate and Barrel!

Today I have to share two things I am majorly excited about. Firstly, some of you may have noticed the blog got a mini-facelift. I huffed and I puffed and I moved some things around for a little bit of a cleaner look. The screen got bigger, got some linen and now we're stylin'. There will be more changes to come....if you read my posts through email you won't be able to see the blog design without clicking on the title of the blog in  your email and it will bring you right to the actual stuff.

The second amazing  thing is the exciting news I got the other day! Guess who is upping their game and improving their trade program: Crate and Barrel! I have long had a designer account with Crate and Barrel but sadly it didn't include CB2 or Land of Nod. The other day I received this amazing new trade card in the mail informing me of their exciting changes! (I guess my pleading emails to the president of the company did have an impact!)

I have used lots of Crate and Barrel items in my projects but clients aren't so interested in buying without a discount so CB2 and Land of Nod were a little harder now I can do the purchasing online- without having to call my local trade account person....score! The only sad part is that the discount is only 10%....wah, wah.....would love it if they offered a tiered discount....the more you spend- the greater the discount......are you listening president of Crate and Barrel??? Nonetheless, I will still continue to support and use all three companies- love their products, great quality and great customer service. This is not a paid post...I am just doing a little happy dance over this news. It doesn't take much to make my day!

Nd here is what I am loving.....C'mon....a recycled pouf.....loving it!

CB2 Recycled Pouf
 The Family rug made famous by the adorable Novogratz family....

CB2 Family Rug
Adorbs, right?

Jenny Lind Nightstand Land of Nod
This could go in anyone's bedroom, really! Happy shopping!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dorm Room OlioHop with Olioboard!

It's time for another amazing Olioboard OlioHop! For those of you first-timers, the last two months I have been lucky enough to participate in an OlioHop with OlioBoard and other contributing bloggers/designers. In the hop, we create an Olioboard based on the theme of that month and then we encourage readers to create their own boards and post the links to our blogs. If you aren't familiar with Olioboard- it is definitely worth checking out- it is a FREE, fantastic tool that I use to create mood boards for all of my clients. You can check out my previous OlioHops on organization here and MomSpots here.

This month's OlioHop is appropriately themed Dorm Rooms! When I was in college (150 years ago) I was so excited to pick out my sheets and bedding and to spruce up that bland space! I tried to keep my Olio-space as dorm room real as possible. No colors on the walls. Boring....almost...I did break the dorm room rules with some pricey splurges. I would never spend this kind of money on furniture for a dorm room but this is an inspiration board....I am allowed to dream, right? Here are some of the key elements in my (dream) dorm room!

Check out my Dorm Room Olioboard in detail here!

Starting with the centerpiece...the bed....I still work on my laptop in bed even hundreds of years out of college....

Rivulets Bedding from Anthropologie

Spicing up the walls a bit....

Silk Screen Stencil Chandelier

Layla Grace Green Satin Gown Art

Some motivational canvases from Layla Grace

I found a ton of great stuff at Zinc their stuff and probably wouldn't have spent the money on my real dorm room! Here is what I was loving!

Zinc Door Mirror Newport Mirror

Zinc Door Waveland Chair
Zinc Door Scales Pillow
Now for the fun part...hop over to the other contributing bloggers and look and what they have come up with! Link up your own Olioboard that you have created or comment and let us know what you think! Here are the links to check out...Get your Hop on!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Art of the Finely Made Bed

As I have shared on this blog before, some of my work includes home staging projects. I work predominantly on vacant properties. One of the main rooms I focus on for my staging projects is the master bedroom- the person buying the home is usually the person (or persons) who will be sleeping in the master bedroom so that is a big impression room. When they walk into the master bedroom I want them to say "wow!" and one of the most effective ways to get that reaction is by enticing them with the bed

Source: via Joanne on Pinterest

So what makes a bed snuggle-worthy? As with good fashion and good interior design, the secret to a swoon-worthy bed is in the layers.

First you need the basics: a good box spring and a good mattress. I didn't have the best experience with a pillow-top mattress (with a 6'4" husband- they just don't seem to hold up or be firm enough in our experience.) What we do in our house is get a great supportive mattress and then invest in a great mattress topper usually of the feathery kind.

Gusseted Feather Bed with Down Pillow Top.....Yum!
For the box spring, you'll need to decide on whether you'd like a bed skirt or a box spring cover. This is just a style preference, sometimes dictated by the bed frame you have. In a sleigh bed or a platform style bed, a bed skirt wouldn't work. In that case you should get yourself a box spring cover so the bed looks nicely tailored. I like the one here with the diamond quilting:

Now that you have the underpinnings of the bed in place, you move on to the next layer: the sheets. I definitely think you should buy the best sheets you can afford: one fitted and two flat. Don't be fooled by thread count, though. You can have a high thread-count but a cheaper quality of cotton and the sheet won't feel as soft as a lower thread-count of a high quality cotton. Trust your touch (or if you are ordering on-line read the reviews.)

Next you need to get yourself a nifty blanket. I don't recommend anything too heavy because it is all about layering to keep you warm and give you options so you can regulate how much coverage you have. I like to get a lightweight blanket like the one below and nestle it in between my two flat sheets.

Cotton Comfort Blanket
You may have seen this done in hotels- it keeps the blanket from slipping and shifting. Here is how you've made the bed so far:

On the mattress:
  • Mattress Topper
  • Fitted Sheet
  • Flat Sheet
  • Blanket 
  • Second Flat Sheet

Now for the dressing. When dressing a bed for staging, I like to invest in both a comforter set and a coverlet set. I lay the coverlet over the bed and tuck it in all around the bed with the sheets and blanket so your mattress is wrapped all snug. (I can't say I have perfected those hospital corners but it is a process...) I then fold the top third down and re-tuck so the bed looks like a little wrapping dumpling.

Then I like to lay the comforter (folded into thirds) across the foot of the bed.

Source: via Leigh on Pinterest

You could do the reverse and use the comforter on the bed and fold the coverlet in thirds on the foot of the bed. That is a matter of preference. Here is an example of that technique:

Source: via odelia on Pinterest

The idea behind using both a comforter and a coverlet set is that you have the opportunity to mix patterns, colors, textures, etc. You can then use all four pillow shams that come with the sets and have a coordinated look on top. Here are a few more of my favorite beds on Pinterest:

As for pillow arrangements, there are a wide variety of options. I love to mix up what I use depending on the style of the room, colors and patterns. I did find this nifty guide to pillow arrangements on Pinterest from Marissa Waddell Interiors and thought is would be great to share!

What are your tips for the perfect bed? Anyone know how to do those nifty hospital corners? I am always looking to learn....Happy Decorating and Happy Sleeping!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Linen Chest who had the wonderful idea of a post on bedding. The ideas, thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Posting over at The Mustard Ceiling!

Today I am taking the day off over here and guest posting over at one of my very FAVORITE blogs, The Mustard Ceiling. Elizabeth is busy packing and moving and is hosting a variety of bloggers in her absence- I was so honored to fill in for her.

Hop over there and check out the post here. I share some deep dark secrets from behind the scenes of my son's bedroom.  Sneak Peek!

Feel free to leave a comment or follow The Mustard Ceiling- you'll be hooked! Elizabeth also designs blogs so be sure to check out some of her design work, especially if you have a blog of your own. Elizabeth is going to be giving this ol' blog a face lift late fall!

See you over there!

Monday, August 20, 2012

HomeGoods Style Quiz + Monday Morning Book Review

Sorry for dropping off the grid the last few days. My hubby, in-laws and kiddies packed it up and went off to the beach for a few days. We were Atlantic City bound....impromptu and lots of fun. Beach, sun, rides, food, sleep, family....fantastic.

I am catching up on the bazillion blogs that I am behind on reading and came across a great design quiz on The Mustard Ceiling from HomeGoods. As a designer I know what I like and my style (like everyone's) is continuously evolving so I always enjoy how these quizzes define me. Here is what the HomeGoods quiz (developed by Deborah Needleman, editor-in-chief of Domino) came up with for me: I am.....Bohemian Classic.....they say:  

You have a refined sensibility and bring a sense of history and tradition into your decor. You appreciate how symmetrical arrangements and beautiful, well-crafted pieces create a solid foundation to a room. But you like to shake up this restraint with objects and accessories that express your personality and your love of other cultures. When traveling, you seek out unique objects that reflect what you love, and you use them in a sophisticated way. You want people to feel comfortable in your home, and cozy chairs, ethnic fabrics, unique pieces, and even a little touch of quirk or humor give your house a laid-back, Bohemian flair.

HomeGoods Quiz: My Happy Home Colors

I think they got me...I crave the traditional and the functional but I also need impact, a little of the unexpected and a bit of sense of humor in design. The colors they suggested do not live anywhere in my home but maybe they'll be in the next one! Go check it out and let me know what your design style is!

And for the Monday Morning Book Review I have chosen Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color. This book is an inspiration in color combinations. It takes you through the era of the twentieth century and compiles color combinations inspired by that period of time. In my business, I would use this as an inspiration book to flip through to trigger my color courage to mix colors that I normally wouldn't have thought of. Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, Film Noir, Passage to India and Warhol are just a sampling of the eras they cover in this book.

This is definitely a resource book that is worth keeping on the shelf! If you check it out on Amazon you can preview some of the pages! Happy reading!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Morning Book Review: The Business of Design

Today's Monday Morning Book Review is for the business-minded design lovers. The book is The Business of Design. I had the pleasure of attending a conference call through the Design Success University where the author, Keith Granet, was speaking. He is an experienced, intelligent and very inspiring gentleman. After spending nearly 30 years advising design professionals, Granet wrote the book, The Business of Design to help designers and architects navigate the business of running a design practice- whether you are a new graduate or a seasoned professional. As the owner of a one-woman design firm, I am in the process of reading this book now and the information in invaluable.

The Business of Design by Keith Granet. $26.40 on Amazon

With chapters like "The Foundation of a Design Business", "Marketing and Public Relations", "Human Resources", "Project Management" and "Product Development", Granet really offers information for every step of business development. He has also includes priceless interviews with well known professionals within the design community: Victoria Hagan and Michael Graves to name two.

I have found this book inspiring as it approaches a design business from the mindset of a business person. Just because you are a trained designer, does not mean you will be a successful business-person- in fact- usually the 'creative mind' and the 'business mind' do not co-exist. I definitely believe that this book bridges that gap and lends the business support needed for design professionals thinking about going into business, working for someone else or already in business for themselves. It is well written, easy to read and flavored with common sense and well-studied advice. I highly recommend this book for anyone working within the design profession. What good is it to be able to pick out pillows if you don't know how to get paid appropriately for it? Definitely a must- read! Happy Reading!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Designers Job: How to Measure Up!

One very big part of my job which has been presenting to be a very large pain in the rear is measuring client's spaces for floor plans. When I meet with clients I really try to get my 'cute' on- I love wearing dresses and I am always sporting a cute pair of heels. Outfits are great for sitting and talking about design plans, inspirations, fabrics, etc but not so cute when I am stretching across the floor with my dress rising up and my wedges in the air trying to get accurate floor plan measurements. Don't's not cute. I decided to turn to my trusty peers on LinkedIn to see what nifty techy things they use to simplify this process.

Turns out that I am probably the only designer caught with my skirt up because I got LOTS of great advice and gadgets. And yes, I'll share....I'm so nice....

The first recommendation was an app. It is called MagicPlan and it is totally free. I have downloaded it and have played a little bit, but I am a little too old school to trust this method 100%. I don't know if I can go from graph paper and tape measure to a couple of clicks with my iPhone. I'm not saying it doesn't work...I'm saying I don't know if I can work me a favor...someone try it out and let me know.

The second recommendation was this trusty gadget over at Amazon...Leica DISTO D2 Laser Distance Measurer. It seems like a fool-proof laser replacement of the tape measure with a couple of bells and whistles. At $179 it is a consideration....for my birthday. (I am a Virgo and would totally appreciate a useful tool for my the way....I think I told you already that I bought myself a rolling tool box for Christmas.)

Leica DISTO D2 Laser

The third product that was recommended was the Bosch DLR130K Digital Distance Measurer Kit
This one is small and weighs about 5 ounces which is important when you are wearing high heels...if it is too heavy it might cause me to tip...also not cute. It is also a lower price $77.39 I could get myself this and a new pair of heels for my birthday....
Bosch DLR 130

Then in my trusty Googling I came across this one which is the cheapy in the group but doesn't seem to sacrifice in its bells and whistles:Zircon Ultrasonic Measure with Laser Targeting I don't know if I can trust my floor plans on it but it seems to do it all!

Bottom line is that if you spend any amount of time taking measurements, it seems well worth your time to invest in one of these handy-dandies. I am thinking that I might try the Bosch (got it, honey? start ordering!) It would be well worth the investment if it gets my skirt back down where it belongs and keeps my privates....private.