What's Your Project?
This is the question I try to answer on a daily basis with clients. When I come home and am seeking aesthetic improvement in my own personal space, I must answer that question and it is absolutely daunting!
Many times I listen to ramblings of all that needs to be accomplished, accompanied by several tangents. The ranting continues as I wander aimlessly, following them throughout the house, viewing areas of dissatisfaction. Many times there is a blame game, and refereeing skills are needed to break up spousal disagreements.
Photo by Creatv Eight
The value of using a journal is important in so many areas, and this is another plus to bring clarity to your goals. Projects are goals for your home! I am competitive and always like to turn anything into a sporting match. Make a list of things that you would like to see changed. Many times, the reason we do not make a list is that we know there is money needed to be allocated for each project.
Quickly, jot down as many of your projects that come to mind. After they are written down, the next step is to evaluate whether to take on large projects or small projects and how many. Write the estimated costs next to each one … “just guesstimate”!
How much money do you have or what’s your budget?
The first thing I do when meeting with a new client is to ask this question. I very rarely get an answer. …*crickets chirping*… Most people do not know. The state of some people’s finances can be a little depressing, and other people just do not want to know. Many years ago, at the design company I worked at, I sold a sofa via credit card for $35,000.00….oops! I added an extra zero while running the credit card. Designer math is a little crazy! A few days later, the proper credit was made for the $3500 sofa. Days and years later, we have laughed that at least you are good for the money… Hee! Hee! It is good to know how much money you have and how you allocate that in your life.
How much money is dedicated to this particular project?
The word dedicated sounds nicer than budgeted. Spouses disagree on these things. The wife wants drapes and all the sudden that is not a line item on the budget. I enjoy asking the husband to show me his line item for “techy” stuff throughout the home. It is not asked like that BUT rather “Hey! What cool items are you dreaming of installing starting in the family room.” The conversation progresses at the size of the screen and there is no putting this lid back on the can. I then can start into negotiations for equal money distribution.
Let the project(s) begin!
Coming up with the Project Plan is your next step but first write down the projects!
Cover Photo by Theme Photos
Textiles. That word is being used more than ever. I know people in the interior design world who have graduated from places like the School of the Art Institute in Chicago — in Textile! I didn't even know that was a major.
When I thought about what I would write in this post, my mind raced; I knew I wanted to share all of the increased textile knowledge that has just soared over the past years. Because no matter the client or project, fabric always comes up. When discussing textiles with clients, they’re amazed at the knowledge that flows — I can’t help it because textiles are game changers.
Here are five things I love about textiles, and why you should too!
1. Textiles are super easy to add to your home. First, and foremost, let’s establish that adding texture to your home, in the form of textiles, is super easy, and they’re so welcoming. Textiles include: rugs, pillows, linens, and drapes. I hope I didn’t lose you at drapes! There are so many wonderful, updated fabrics that really frame your windows, and the view you see through your windows. No matter the textile — they bring a home to life! They also wick moisture, add comfort, absorb sound acoustically, and keep colors vibrant.
Photo Credit: Studio G
2. Textiles perform. Durability is such a hot topic today. So, when dealing with upholstery fabric, be aware that there is a durability test— a rub count. The manufacture uses a machine to apply a standard amount of pressure and rubs it across the face of the fabric. If the fabric says 3,000 double rubs, that means it will first show wear at that count. The rub count is listed on all the fabrics in my studio, so it’s fun to see a client searching for the number to narrow their choices. Both natural and synthetic fabrics can also be rubbed in a way that provides superior durability.
In the past, most of my clients never would have dreamed of using a nice fabric with kids and sippy cups around. But even a mother of four, with three of those being boys, can now find fabrics that withstand the wear and tear. And, the right textiles on a pillow can handle people who drool while napping on a pillow; I know, we hope it won’t happen, but you can plan on it! Rugs will be walked on and unplanned spills are guaranteed, and I won’t even get started on our furry friends that keep homeowners on their game. Still, I have recommended outdoor rugs for indoors many times, because of their durability and the fact that they really no longer look like the outdoor rugs of yesterday.
3. Textile technology protects. Technology that was previously only available to the trade, and used strictly for commercial, is now available residentially. And that’s only the beginning of how technology has been applied to textiles. There are so many options to be used indoors and outdoors--UV and fade-resistant, mildew-resistant, and even bleach cleanable fabrics. Fabrics are engineered to combine the highest level of design and performance. Other textile technologies are Crypton, where most liquids just roll off, and microbial resistance to control fabric odor and is easy to clean. Nanotex is another fancy name that resists spills and still maintains the natural hand of the fabric as well as being eco-friendly in all its technology. And, finally, did you know there are upholstery and drape flammability tests?
Photo Credit: LebaTex
4. Textiles enhance. When designing a piece of furniture, we always include Frame – Finish – and Fabric. Just trying to land the frame style can be difficult with a custom seating piece such as a chair or sofa, then we have to select the wood finish. Each of our manufacturers has well over 25 or more finish samples. Next, we get to the textiles where we have more specifics such as cotton, polyester, leather, or a blend. Then you have solids and patterns. Creating luxurious vibes can be illuminated through modern-feel textures.
My favorite for the past few years has been Ombre -- a fabric made by laying in wefts of yarn that are closely colored hues, and that after weaving created a shaded effect. It is purely described as a color fade. When I held an alpaca hombre pillow at market I was in heaven! Botanicals are sophisticated and they are rich in colors, or very tone on tone. Plaids are making a comeback and they are popping up everywhere. Solids are classic and the updated weaves add texture.
5. Textiles have sustainability. Sustainability has led to greater awareness on organics and textiles that are friendly to our environment. I was interviewed about the interior design world’s lean towards going green. Eco Cradle to Cradle Green Organic is the buzz.
So with all of this info about textiles in interior design, you are now ready to go into nerd mode! But all of this textile knowledge isn’t just for the cool factor of knowing it, it’s to help you select the best for your space!!
Information on LEED, consult the U.S. Green Building Council at www.usgbc.org
ACT & ACT Guidelines: www.contracttextiles.org
Crypton Green: www.cryptonfabric.com/eco-friendly-fabric
Cover Photo by Jaipur Living
‘Tis the Season!
As an adult I often ponder - WHY so much in so little time?! Doesn’t it seem like we have to pull ALL things together in just one month?! Every. Year. How come it is all in one month!?!!
I do love the transparency and raw emotions in conversations during this time, though, that I would honestly take it 365 days a year, but there is just SO much to do! As a Designer, my favorite conversations are about decorating the tree. It is truly a very complicated floral arrangement to say the least, and it is approached differently by everyone. It’s the focal point in any space, so it needs to be a showstopper! (no pressure!)
In addition to the tree, there’s the gift buying that must take place for every single person that has been a part of your life for at least a decade...The endless lists that your children have conjured up overnight from ALL the influences hitting them at once...the meals...the relatives... the travel... the parking!!....
B R E A T H E.
Take in the hygge of this magical season. – Sorry, new word hitting you!
- a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
Think steaming mugs of cocoa by a fire...egg nog...candles...evergreen scents…cozy socks…bundling up in a warm throw …
Sounds WONDERFUL, doesn’t it?!
With all the To-Do’s, it’s hard to remember to take it all in. To savor and enjoy the warmth & comfort this season has to offer. “Celebrate each moment and enjoy the journey,” were the words I whispered under my breath as my 4th born (and only girl) was in her teenage years. I remembered that we would not pass this way again, and I needed to capture the little things that I treasured so dearly. (I say this now, in another season that seems to be flying like film off a movie reel!!)
So HOW to we take in the "hygge," and those cherished moments, and savor the Season? Look for easy ways to check things off your list. (MAKE a list!) Start there! Get the ball rolling! Aim to accomplish a few things each day, but also remember YOU in the process and recharge with some hygge & self care each night!
Service is a big part of my DNA-- I continually strive to be there for many, but I also look for those that can be there for me. I rely on other experts to do THEIR thing. At TheHiveExperience.com, for example, we’ve already done the heavy lifting to source, and plan, and curate unique items for you to GIVE or to snap together your space before everyone comes through the doors to celebrate! By relying on experts to do THEIR thing, you’ll free up a few extra moments to savor, pamper, or whatever else--to do YOUR thing, and practice that Holiday Hygge!
Cheers and Merry Christmas!
Pulling Colors Together Like A Design Expert
A pinch of basic color theory and a dash of science should send you well on your way today! A color wheel and something called the '60-30-10 Rule' will have you combining colors like an interior design pro in no time!
But, before you can successfully apply color theory to interior design, you have to understand how it works. Selecting color has been one of my favorite and also my most challenging when working with a client or my own family. Color in paint, material, and cabinetry HAS to have balance in order to work.
I hope I did not lose you in the opening of our blog! First, I am going to share a little trade secret, which is the BEST fast-track knowledge to being on trend with color. Learn the Color of the Year! 2021's Color of the Year for Sherwin Williams: URBANE BRONZE SW7048 and Benjamin Moore: AEGEAN TEAL BM2136-40.
YOU, yes YOU are going to pop this color throughout your space starting NOW! And when you start using these colors, it will infuse a little street cred with those that happen to walk through your front door or enter your cubicle. Also very trendy is the white, gray and more gray shades. Turn up the color combinations to infuse a little interest.
The total beauty of a complementary color scheme is a science. The colors are opposite of each other on the color wheel. There is true balance with combinations of a warm hue with a cool hue. This adds a true sophistication when you walk into a room that is done well. I think the perception of color is truly fascinating! When someone says that person has an ‘eye for color’ it is a true statement! Roy G. Biv is NOT the only name when we talk about what colors truly exist. In 1790, researcher Thomas Young said the human eye sees only three primary colors of red, blue and yellow and all colors are a combination of these. Almost a century later, Ewald Hering introduced a “four unique hues theory” which held that humans process all the possible colors when red, green, yellow, and blue colors are mixed with white or black. There are many more researchers that have moved history along in this amazing world of color.
Decorating is simplified for those who know and understand the “60/30/10 Rule”. Even people who don’t know how to decorate can pull together a fantastic indoor space if they know a few design and composition basics. Everyone knows when something looks unbalanced and awkward. The 60/30/10 Rule is as simple as it sounds. When selecting colors for decorating purposes, the dominant color should comprise 60 percent of the overall scheme, with the secondary and accent colors following accordingly. The human brain seems to incorporate this pattern more easily than others. In a typical room setting, the 60 percent portion of the color scheme should be the walls, 30 percent should be the upholstery and the remaining 10 percent should be the accent color. Accents can be great accessories staged in a room that snaps everything together. So, picking three colors randomly is not going to have a working color scheme. The colors will have to compliment or contrast (based on their position on the color wheel).
So, if you’re looking to update your space or have a fresh, new space to work with, get things moving along by painting a color that works! Follow the rules and theories that have been shared and you are truly on your way! Don’t forget the items in the room can be a part of your color palate. Trending right now is furniture with pops of color. How yummy to add a blue velvet chair?! Perhaps, consider bringing the outdoors in by displaying artwork that features florals! Metal is also fashionable and on trend in accent pieces. Start by adding a side table that is functional to the area and features ONE of your colors.
For more ideas, furniture, artwork, and accessories, check out TheHiveExperience.com! There you’ll find an endless collection of unique items that will add sophisticated color to all your rooms.
The past several years, I’ve been intrigued by the question—or maybe it’s a statement!
With all the articles written, I think people are still wondering if they know whether or not to hire a design professional. When I show up, I have every intention to fill the shoes. People spend plenty of money on their home and they need to have it look its best. Clients have great ideas but since they don’t have time to execute a design style in a timely manner, they need assistance pulling it together. Interior design is a skill and an art that enhances a space and the quality of your life in that space. They can turn a house into a home! They help tell a visual story. It is a choice that is wise and sensible.
Many people make a statement that they can make it on their own, but you may change directions by reading through a few points.
Reason 1: Save Money
Your home is one of the most expensive assets you own. Hiring a designer assures a plan is in place for where things are placed. Once a space is pulled together, stop the shopping and enjoy. People run out and keep hauling “stuff” home and it fails to produce a showcased design style. Costly mistakes can be avoided by using a professional.
Reason 2: Plan of Action
This is where there is a professional assessment of your situation. Designers are trained to think spatially and out of the box. They can creatively visualize the end product and the best path to get there. There is a trained eye that will notice things that you may miss. Having an action plan to include a timeline lets progress move along so there is an end result. Plan your space to fit the way you live life. Your home should reflect your personal style, lifestyle, and attitude towards life. If you look around and your space does not reflect this, you may want to hire a professional. Due to changes in your family and possibly at a different place in life, you may need assistance to tweak your space. Some people have the time and can pull together color, décor’, and finishes while others get overwhelmed. Anyone can purchase resources and move around items in a room, but an interior designer will sit down and connect on your personal style and determine your family lifestyle that determines the best selections. They can plan your space to fit your life. A layout of the necessary components help bring the visual story together.
Reason 3: Resources
There is so much out there in the current marketplace. Frustration and stress comes from too many choices and deciding which ones will complete the desired design decision. It is great to take advantage of resources, but there is so much time wasted researching products, brands and price. There are things available to designers that are not available to the general public in terms of connections, resources, and general merchandise. The goal is to use the right resources and make sure it pulls things together for a right look. Many times, I have showed a client a product, only to have them pricing me all over the internet. Your Designer appreciates the fact that they can have the opportunity to inject new products and ideas. When that is done by a professional, there is more value than ordering it online. If you do want to order it online, there is a value to finding the perfect product.
Reason 4: Connections
A designer will be able to build stronger bridges between you and your architect or contractor. The best results are when this happens early in the process so there are no mishaps in the overall plan. They speak the same language. Designers are trained to think on a timeline. You do not want to think about where the coffee maker is plugged in after the kitchen is remodeled. The key in today’s marketplace is identifying the most reliable contractors.
Reason 5: Budget
Know your amount that you will allocate at the beginning of a project. You can have a low realistic amount and a must-not-go-over amount. A designer wants to know if they are considered in the budget. It allows your designer to allocate time to meet expectation of time that will be required to complete your project. As a professional, they will move around their schedule to be there when decision have to be made. A written contract is a good thing so that everyone is communicating and there are no unmet expectations. They will look for products that will fit your design for your lifestyle, but also that will meet budget expectations. With all the resources out there, it is easier to achieve goals of great design and budget.
The decision to hire an interior designer can seem difficult, but in reality is not. It will require you to figure out how much help you want, and what you enjoy doing yourself. Hiring an interior designer can be the most rewarding decision you can make for a quality design job of your living space. Use these tips to guide you in your decision, it’s now yours to make!
I want it now.
I am a true believer in making a "I Want It Now" list. That sounds like a conundrum doesn’t it? Well, it is!
Skip the list, right? Dive in and buy! Often, we think we want it now and the design will simply not be complete without this monumental item. And that item. And we do that again...and again...and again. We want all the things.
From a Designer perspective, when I look at the many homes that I enter, I am amazed at how filled they are at any given moment. It’s so easy to buy, and buy, that we really don’t realize all that we’ve actually brought into our space. It accumulates over time...slowly trickling in... and you hardly. Even. Notice.
I have been blessed with many repeat clients in my business. We complete projects often in multiple locations-- maybe in their main home, a vacation getaway, office, or all of the above! But, truth be told, the majority never realize the scope and quantity that’s actually in their space until they experience a relocation! The number of boxes is such a shock to them.
I find the more stuff that enters a space, it simply clutters the area. And with all good intentions, that room then loses its functionality. And it happens to the best of us! No one is immune to the sneak attack of the clutter! On the days that I experience this in my own hive, I know it’s time to go in and reevaluate!
So, back to the "I want it now" list. I have worked in rooms with amazingly cool items, and those spaces are a true delight to stage. And the reason why? Over and over, it’s because there were just the right number of items in the space, and those special items were on a stream-lined want list that was created with intention. The owner searched with purpose for items with a certain- “je ne sais quoi.” They don’t have “all the things,” but they do have items that they’ve spotted somewhere on their journey that have stuck with them along the way. There was a joy in curating the items, and a true charm in seeing how well those truly exceptional items fit into their design.
So, because of this, rather than an “I want it now” list, I like to call out must haves. The very nature of “quality over quantity.”
Cover Photo by Jonny Caspari