PA

Getting Some Exposure

Last week, I was contacted by the Patriot News, our local newspaper here in Harrisburg, for an interview on a story about Home Design Trends for the New Year. I, of course, was happy to help and therefore participated in a phone interview with a reporter from the Patriot. Well, today the article was published on the front page of the Life section of the newspaper! Yay! Check it out below. The images aren't the best, I know. I snapped them on my iphone (which is due for an upgrade)!

Front Page spread.

Close up of front page.

Second Page

Overall, I am really excited to be featured in such a big way and, of course, get some exposure for our design studio and hopefully reach out to people who may not know about us and our services. Unfortunately, I'm not 100% pleased with the article content, but that's just probably the perfectionist and control freak in me, ha. I think with the nature of interviews, and specifically phone interviews, things often get misunderstood, misquoted or taken out of context - which happened in this case. Bummer.

Nonetheless, I know it's an awesome opportunity, and I am grateful!

So, I've copied the article below (reformatted for the blog) for those of you who can't pick up the Patriot today. You'll also see that I've striked through the quotes that were misquoted or misunderstood.

This Year, Home Design is all About You!

Wondering what the hot home design trends will be for 2012? The answer, at least in some instances, is whatever you want it to be.

"2012 is going to be an eclectic mix. It's not going to be something that's very definable," said interior designer Valerie Betz of StudioVB, at 218 Verbeke St. in Harrisburg (studiovbdesign.com). "It's not going to be this style or this country a particular style or particular look. It's more about taking a deviation deviating from one particular style and being more eclectic."

Still, Betz did note a number of home trends appearing on the horizon.

Sustainable Design

Being green in the home was a big trend last year and will continue to stay popular in 2012 according to Betz.

"Green design crosses the entire gamut of products used in the home or in decorating your home," she said. "It's everything from how the flooring is laid out to how it's painted flooring to paint. It's huge, up and coming and hopefully will be here to stay."

Most green design involves using furniture or other products that produce less waste in the manufacturing process or use more rapidly renewable materials like bamboo or cork (instead of, say, mahogany, which doesn't grow back as quickly).

Part of this trend includes using "reclaimed" materials, such as wood from a salvage yard or an old building, which can then be incorporated into new furniture or accessories. "A lot of designers are making new furniture out of reclaimed wood to give their work a rustic charm," Betz said.

Cork flooring

Reclaimed Wood Headboard

Personalized Design

Instead of picking an item out of a catalog or buying factory made matching furniture set, more and more homeowners are selecting items that match their own unique personal tastes, Betz said.

"I think clients and homeowners are leaning toward wanting to express themselves and are less about what's hot right now or what's in the catalog," she said. "It's more, 'I like this unique piece' or 'I want to hang my own artwork' versus what's in stores."

That can take many different forms, from hand-painting a dresser or vase (a new coat of paint could revive an old piece of furniture) to making throw pillows out of fabric scraps.

Not everyone is going D.I.Y. though. Those less inclined to be crafty are simply purchasing handmade items that appeal to them on websites such as Etsy. It's more about finding a look that reflects your own individual tastes rather than being able to to make your own pottery. "It's about looking for that one of a kind thing piece," Betz said.

Painted Furniture

E-design

The continued growth of the Internet has expanded the reach of many designers, according to Betz, as they are now able to offer their services to clients that traditionally might not have been able to afford them felt that design services were available to them.

Using videoconferencing tools such as Skype, interior designers can provide concepts, plans and ideas to help homeowners get started on a project that they can then create on their own time and within their own budget. Because there's no travel involved and the designer isn't taking on the whole project, the cost for their services is much lower.

"It's making design more affordable and accessible," she said.

Sketch from E-Design Plan

Open Kitchens

Along with stainless steel appliances, open-area kitchens continue to be a trend, Betz said. More and more people are opening up their kitchens to the other areas of their house so they can visit and talk with their guests while cooking.

Open Kitchen

Gray is the New Beige

Beige was the big neutral color for a long time, but gray is starting to push it aside, particularly when it's paired with rich colors such as mustard, golden yellow, violet or turquoise. The idea is to use colors that pop out and provide a striking contrast when paired with gray.

Gray Color

New Seating Styles

Puffy, overstuffed, bulky chairs are out. In their place, Betz said, are lower and more streamlined or tailored seats. "It's more casual and comfortable clean lined and sophisticated," she said. (I'm sure I mentioned the casual and comfortable sentiment at some point, but it does not have a direct correlation to the seating style)

Streamlined Seating Styles

Wallpaper is Back

Decades of bad patterns have scared many homeowners away from it, but a wave of bold patterns and textures are pushing wallpaper back to the forefront. "It's taken awhile to convince clients, but definitely higher-end houses and designers are using wallpaper," Betz said.

Modern Graphic Wallpaper

Well, there you have it!

And, if you were inspired to update the design of your home utilizing some of the current design ideas and trends described in the article, feel free to contact us! Also, the article only included a handful of the design trends I discussed, so maybe I'll post about some others in the coming weeks.

Images from here and here.

Anniversary Escape

Back on September 19th, Logan and I reached our two year wedding anniversary, yay! Wedding Photo

See more photos from our big day here!

Wedding Photo 2

But, with a lot going on (as usual), that day came and went with just a few sweet anniversary-ish moments and a simple "happy anniversary hunny" exchanged between the both of us. Otherwise, actually celebrating our anniversary was placed on the back burner - which isn't a huge deal, since we're usually pretty low key anyway! But this sort of happened with our first year anniversary too, when friends of ours got married. So, last year, we spent our anniversary weekend at their wedding activities.. Fun? Yes. Celebrating us? Not so much.

So, before we let another year slide, we decided (on a whim) to actually get away for a few days and celebrate! It really is worth celebrating when you have someone so amazing, like I do, and you were able to keep him around another year. Haha. So, that's what we did. We took advantage of the holiday weekend and decided to travel upstate to a charming little town in the Pocono Mountains and stay a couple nights at a cute little bed and breakfast!

We chose the small town of Milford, PA - which, by the way, apparently made the list of the 10 coolest small towns by BudgetTravel. Anyway, it was a very cute place and it was a great place to relax and escape from the stresses of everyday life. Oh, and we had the best unseasonably warm and sunny weather you could ask for!

Milford sign.

We stayed at this beautiful little bed and breakfast, the Harrington House.

Harrington House sign.

View of Harrington House.

=Us in front of Harrington House

When we booked this bed and breakfast, like I mentioned, it was pretty last minute, so they only had one room available. It wasn't our first choice of their charming little rooms, but since we liked this B&B, we booked anyway. Well, when we arrived, a cancellation had occurred and (without our asking) the innkeeper had already moved our reservation to the room that had been our first choice! Now, on any other circumstance, I would have been disappointed that what we booked, and what we expected, was not what we were getting. I mean, can they just do that? But anyway, in this case, it was a good surprise and it was like an everything-works-out-for-a-reason moment. We ended up getting to stay in the room that we kept referring to when saying "well, it would have been nice if we could have booked that room, but we'll have a good time anyway." Haha.

So, anyway, here is our cute little room.

Thistle Room sign.

View of our room.

Second view of our room.

Typically on vacations, or mini-vacations as this one was, we like to just explore the local area and take it as it comes. As I'm sure you know, I definitely have an "itinerary" type personality. I mean, as a designer, it's all about planning, right? And, before we leave for any trip, you'll definitely find me researching the locale, googling cool things to see and do there, reading reviews on where to stay and eat and, of course, taking notes, making lists, and creating itineraries, oh my! But, surprisingly, once we arrive, I play it pretty cool. We usually like to just go with the flow, and use all my planning just as a loose guide. If we see someplace cool, we stop. If we're hungry, we eat. If we're tired, we nap!

Logan asleep on the bed.

Anyway, most of our time spent in Milford was walking the town, casually browsing local shops and eating yummy food!

Photo of Jorgenson's Deli.

Man and monkey sitting outside the deli.

Logan and I at our picnic.

Lots of the shops in this town were antique shops - be still my heart. This was one of our favorites. And, we have two new pieces to prove it. One you'll see below, the other we'll post about in the future.

Old Lumbaryard Antiques

Vintage printing press letters.

Me walking down the stairs with our new purchase.

Another favorite shop was this really fresh and stylish shop called Upriver Home. And, bonus, they have an online shop, so I now have a new resource, yay!

Upriver Home sign.

Logan reflected in wood mirror.

Glass bottles.

Industrial light fixture.

Stools and other stuff at Upriver Home.

Lastly, we heard if you visit Milford, you must visit Grey Towers. So we did.

Grey Towers sign.

As the sign reads, it's a national historic site, and was once the home of Gifford Pinchot, a Pennsylvania governor and America's first forester and noted conservationist. It's a beautiful stone building with gorgeous landscaping and exterior spaces. We did not take the interior tour. I know, I know, as an interior designer you'd think I would, but I have been on many period home tours, and this day, we chose to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery instead.

Grey Towers.

Stone column walkway.

Circular trellis covering.

Us sitting on a bench.

Well, I'm so glad we took time out of our often busy schedules to get away and celebrate us. I hope 50 years from now it will be no different. I am such a lucky girl to have found my one!

But, enough with the mushy stuff.. it's back to reality. When we returned home after our trip, we wasted no time starting on some new projects that we'll fill you in on soon.