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December 29, 2010
In a past entry I talked about the wonders of upholstered walls. Sparked by a recent client inquiry, I realized that I didn’t discuss much about other upholstered options if a person does not feel comfortable upholstering their entire wall. Creating an upholstered panel is a simple yet attractive alternative to traditional wall coverings.
The process to make an upholstered panel is very simple and do it yourself friendly. Different sizes and shapes of materials can really lend themselves to a completely unique look. All you need to do is take a piece of thin plywood and make it the desirable shape and size. If you want to make a traditional style upholstered headboard, make a paper stencil out of craft paper to ensure that each side is exactly symmetrical. Once you have finalized the design of the panel you then take batting and staple it to the plywood using a staple gun. The batting is what determines the thickness of your upholstered panel and the depth of your tufts, should you choice to put them in. After adhering the batting, and you want to create tufts, you measure the distance of the tufts and mark them on the back of the plywood. After drilling out the holes, you can attach your fabric over the top, making sure that it is tight and stapled on the back side of the the plywood. For the tufting, string a needle through the hole drilled and through the batting and fabric. Attach a button and pull tight into the batting to create the tufts. Since the panel will be attached to the wall, the back does not need to be finished. You can decide the best way to attach the panel based on the individual application.
Upholstered panels are a great way to add interest and a bit of softness to a space. While not the case with fully upholstered walls, panels can be a temporary design feature that you can change with the seasons, or just when you get tired of them. They are also nice on stressful days when you just need something to bang your head against like I usually do, and they do have a nice padded cell chic feeling. Maybe that’s a little much, but upholstered panels can be the design solution to all your unique bedroom problems.
Make your own custom headboard
If you want to get really creative you can upholster a wooden frame and put christmas lights inside and create a lighting piecing.
December 28, 2010
December 16, 2010
It seems that in these modern times, people are always looking for that bit of calm that comes from nature. Combined with the sustainability craze, the natural environment has come to have even more importance in people’s lives. Despite the recent hype, the desire for people to be close to nature is not a new one. I recently attended a lecture on biophilia. Biophilia is humans’ innate need to connect to other living things, including Mother Earth. Due to this, natural elements have healing properties and that is why plant life the is one of the five key components of healing environments, such as health care facilities. The color green alone is proven to have healing abilities, and can relieve visual fatigue (think about bringing a small plant into your plant and see if your energy level increases.) With all that being said, designers are always trying to find ways to integrate the outdoors with the indoors, whether that be through incorporating plant life, using natural materials, or creating an artificial nature. The idea of artificial nature is something that is ironic, but something I like play with. Many product lines make furnishings that look like natural elements, but are made of artificial materials. When a client wants the feeling of luxury, I can still incorporate the organic forms that natural materials bring, while maintaining a glam feeling. Below are some earthy interiors, as well as some interesting products that can help you come back to nature, without ever leaving your home.
The natural materials combined with modern lines is a great composition
The relaxation of nature… almost
While still embellished, this space still has an earth vibe
Can’t commit to an entire space? Accessories are a great way to see how you feel about a look.
Tree stump tables – the do it yourself possiblities are endless
Artificial nature at its finest! Have a great rest of the week!
December 12, 2010
It may be winter, but that is no reason not to consider how your exterior can be transformed into a cozy interior. When we are at our Arizona office, we find people using their outdoor spaces more during this time of year, so I thought Iwould offer some exterior design solutions. Just because a space isn’t covered by a roof and four walls doesn’t mean that it cannot feel like an interior space. If fact the best outdoor spaces are the ones that most closely mimic the indoors. Who wouldn’t want to create a romantic living room where you can view that stars? With the advances in outdoor furniture these days, there is no longer the problem of finding attractive outdoor furniture or fabric. The real technique to creating an enchanting outdoor environment is by using unique materials, forms, colors, and patterns. Lots of furniture now features woven materials, or metals and wood. These can enhance your natural landscape and bring nature into your domestic life. In combination with natural materials, it is always fun to combine bright colors and patterns using outdoor fabric. An awning stripe offers a great sophisticated look that can mixed with different sized stripes to create modern fun. Consider adding outdoor drapery to enclose a patio area using the same stripe as your furniture. If you throw in a fire pit for those cool evenings, you will have a romantic getaway right in your own backyard!
Incredible innovation happening
Perfect for the modern lover
Outdoor lighting is just as important as outdoor furniture
Kelly Wearstler knows that an an exterior can have all the things that an interiors has like art work and sculptures
If you want your kitchen to make a statement, just think white! We have made multiple posts on using white in the home, so I don’t need to say AGAIN all the reasons why using white is fabulous, but I will say that kitchens are the most common place for white to be used. If you are someone who really cares about making all components of your home coordinate, then you know just how hard it is to manage all the colors and materials of kitchen supplies. Appliances, hand help appliances, utensils, canisters, dish towels, plate ware; sometimes it is hard to mix all of that with the colors and texture of your cabinetry and not have the space look super cluttered. White really seems the be the solution to that because it is the perfect backdrop to any color and texture. Not to mention, if you think about what should be making a statement in your kitchen, it should be the food! So why distract from that gorgeous meal you have prepared and let your white kitchen become the backdrop. That’s why the most high end restaurants still use all white plates.
I think that sometimes white cabinetry has a kind of country or traditional stereotype, but in today’s modern home, white cabinetry along with white marble counters can rock the house. While many people tend to shy away from marble due to their misconceptions about this beautiful material, it is irreplaceable in creating a rich and sumptuous feel. The Greeks understood its beauty and resilience, creating the columns of their homes and temples from a combination of limestone and marble, as well as showing a preference for it when creating the sculpture we admire in museum today. And okay yes, there is a maintenance process that takes a full day to ensure twelve to eighteen months of wear. But it’s a small price to pay for the timeless elegance only marble can deliver. Thinking granite can still do the job? Think again – granite is on its way OUT. As the year draws to an end I’d like to wish you all a white Christmas ~ and just maybe a white kitchen as well.
December 6, 2010
The questions that I get asked the most when I meet with a client for the first time are always in regards to color. I think people get intimidated by just how many options there are when it comes to color. There is a ton of advice out there on being bold with you color choices and taking color risks, but sometimes it can just go wrong. My advice it to be bold with color in the right places. Some times it isn’t a good idea to use that bright red you have always loved, in your bedroom. Spaces that you use every day and that you expect to have certain emotions in, need to have more calculated color choices. However, in spaces like your powder room, dining room and office space, and bold burst of color can be just the surprise that you need to keep the energy up in your home.
Like I said – there are so many color choices, how do you decide? The truth is that color is so individualized that there is not really any formula. You may already know that you favorite color is blue and that is what you want to have in your home. If you are from the east coast then you might tend towards cool colors, while if you are from the west coast you might like colors with gold tones. I know that right now there are a couple of colors that are everywhere and that a majority of people seem to respond to. Orange and green. It might sound kind of strange, but those seem to be home favorites when it comes to color usage. Typically the orange is more coral toned or an Hermes orange, while the green tends to be more muted like a pea green. You can see this color palette in commercial and residential projects alike, which rarely happens.
If you already know what colors work for you then keep doing what you know, and try and use those extra bold tones in the places that I suggested earlier. If you have no idea what colors you want to incorporate in your home, take a look at orange and green. Paint your powder room and see how you feel – a small space like that is so easy to repaint that you can do it yourself. Check out these photos below of some bold color usage or orange and green.
People seem to love this combo of green and orange in the project I did called Caron Street
Can you say bold? This dining room definitely makes a statement
Even such a bright color orange makes a comfortable palette for other color accents
If you are okay with putting a vibrany color in the bedroom then go for it!
A wallpaper is a great way to incorporate color
Simple jesters make a bold statement
Kelly is the queen of color
Hope you have a great Monday – holiday season is upon us.
December 3, 2010
Beginning in the 90′s espresso colors wood took over modern homes as the contemporary wood of choice. No one would touch oak or pine (which is understandable after some of the horrors of the 70′s and 80′s.) Many people love dark wood because it seems to match everything like black but is a little softer than true black. However, sparked by modern commercial design, light wood is taking a prominence in contemporary residential. Of course all woods are subject to change based on the way they are being used, but the clean light simplicity of natural tone woods can not be denied their contemporary qualities. While dark wood is easier to create using paints and stains, light woods are generally less expensive. Not many people may know this, but natural woods like pine or oak are also significantly more environmental because they are considered “soft woods” which means they grow and replenish more quickly. One fantastically popular light wood right now is bamboo. It is quickly grown, extremely environmental, and the aesthetic of the grain is fabulous. If you are considering a modern remodel – consider using light wood tones for a trendy but affordable design solution. Below are some great designs that show off natural wood’s contemporary qualities.
The use of wood on the floor and ceiling adds to lightness created by the furniture
Kelly knows best
Steven Gambrel – love
The light wood accents the view perfectly
Here are some examples from our Enclave project. The wood has a warmer tone to it but is light and fresh.
Maybe you haven’t noticed but people are really obsessed with “glam” lately. The whole Hollywood regency and glam has really taken off and you see the style in classically modern spaces all over. The signature of that style is highly reflective materials and finishes whether that be mirror, metals, or gloss finishes, and these days people can’t get enough of the shine. If you read this blog frequently then you know how I feel about I feel about gloss – YES PLEASE! I can’t blame you guys for loving the glam – I do too! Humans have been obsessed with shine and reflective qualities since Ancient Egypt when people believed that gold helped the body reach the afterlife, and was the literal physical manifestation of the sun in object form. So it really isn’t our fault for loving glam – its practically built into our DNA (or at least that’s what you can tell people.) One method that has become popular for making a space shiny is just painting the entire thing is a high gloss paint. You know what I’m talking about – the walls, the cabinetry and the molding are all gleaming in all of their glam glory. What you might not know is the process that goes into painting a high gloss wall. Unlike furniture – there is a very limited number of options to get that reflective look on the walls. My recommendation is do not try and paint in high gloss by yourself. There are many do it yourself solutions to about every interior design issue, and we suggest that you save the money and do some things independently, but when it comes to glossy walls, it really is just one of those things you should call a professional for. The process to get high shine takes multiple coats with precise drying time in between. To the get that glam look you love hire a professional – if you want to save a little money prime the space yourself. This post might not seem like it is very helpful if you are wanting to get the look by yourself, but before you make a gloss disaster in your home, think about what we said. JHI loves high gloss walls, but take it from us, spend the money and get a professional. Here are the glam examples good enough to eat.
Kelly Wearstler always has the glam
Too much shine would have been overwhelming – this combo works
This rooms puts the GLAM in GLAMOROUS
Can’t deny the shine
Need I say more? (more…)
December 1, 2010
There are many times in a person’s or family’s life when they might need to downsize. The kid’s move out, your lazy brother finally gets married, or your sore knee just can’t handle the stairs anymore. With the economy, many people find it sad and shameful when they have to downsize by moving to smaller home or a different location. I assure everyone that downsizing is not something to be embarrassed by, but rather a natural step in the progression of life. If you have ever been to Europe, they you know just how small of a space can sustain human life. It is not that smaller is worse, it is that it is an adjustment to the way we have previously lived. Remember that downsizing does not mean downgrading. If you are one of the those people who is on to the next phase of life in a smaller space, there are some basic ways to make the adjustment easier and improve your quality of life in the smaller space. Blogs like apartment therapy have fabulous examples everyday of how to make your small space more efficient for your lifestyle, but here I will just cover the essentials to get you started.
The one thing that seems to make or break the effeciceny of a small space, like an apartment, is built-ins. Integrating furniture and storage into the structure of your house basically allows you to keep more of the square footage for your activities. Built in’s means that your walls become the storage and furniture so that you can put the important stuff in your precious floor space. One easy great solution is using a corner near your kitchen to build in banquette seating for your dining/eating table. The wall now becomes a piece of furniture that can also have a storage component. The key to downsizing is giving one thing multiple functions. Modular furniture systems are great for that because they let your activity define the function of the furniture. Another great integrated feature is a Murphy bed integrated into a wall of storage. Integrated cabinetry, especially in your kitchen, will help visually unify your spaces and keep them looking simple and clean.
The main battle you will be facing is that of storage. Finding space to store all your stuff, especially coming form a larger space will definitely be a challenge. However, in this there are TONS of wonderful storage solutions. This relates closely to the integrating of components and giving spaces multiple functions. Benches, stairs, and wall space because viable storage solutions. There are lots of units on the market for free standing and integrated storage, just do a little bit of research to see what goes with your personal style.
The next thing that will help you transition is mass amounts of purging and organization. Go through your stuff and decide what needs to stay and what can go. Many people place a lot of sentimental value on things – but the magic of the twenty first century is that you can capture that memory in digital forms that do not take up room. Digital photos are a great way to keep the memory but not the space. Obviously, there are some things that just can’t go. Try using a rating system on your stuff to see what is kind of important, important and very important. Once you clean out the clutter that is holding you down, you will amazed at how great you feel. Next is taking account from every item that you own and giving it a home. In other words – organizing. Go to target and use organizers for your shoes, make-up, office supplies and kitchen utensils. If every thing has a cubby, space, or a home then you will know where everything is and, again, – really find out how often you are using that stuff. Generally, you should go through your stuff on a yearly basis to keep your space and life clutter free. After that, the last thing to consider it making sure that your stuff isn’t visually cluttering your space. The proportion of your furniture should match the furniture of your space. Even limited furnishings can make a space feel cramped if it is too large for the size of the room. If you keep all these things in mind then you should have a smooth transition to a smaller place. Below I have included some images from all over of products that are on the market right now, modular systems, and well organized spaces. Hope you find it inspirational!
Unique and innovative free standing storage
These modular storage units can be easily attached to the wall and moved from place to place. They would be fitting in any place from a kitchen to an office.
Don’t let any wall go unused – storage is key!
Built in banquette…
This unique wallpaper might not be realistic your home but it just gives you an idea of how innovative product designers are becoming
Martha does it best. Color coordinate to keep super organized.
Modifying in the kitchen but using carts in place of an island and hanging pots and pans on the wall keep precious cabinetry open.
Could you work in a kitchen this big?
Use tack board to get your office supplies off your desk for less clutter. Everything has a home.
Brilliant little organizational idea for cords. Find more creative organizing tips from Martha Stewart online
Convert decorative pieces of furniture into specialized storage spaces.