design

The Color of 2015!

It's that time again - Pantone has named the Color of the Year! And, as I've done in the past, I'm posting a little inspiration via a collection of images showing how to bring this color into your home this year - we've got ideas from paint to rugs, and from chairs to toss pillows.

So, what's the color, you ask?

This year Pantone's Color of the Year 2015 is Marsala.

Pantone Color of the Year 2015

 

And here's a quick collage of images to give you an overall color story of the bold 2015 shade. The collage shows thumbnail images of the design and decor ideas that I'll explore further below!

Marsala Gallery

 

But before we delve into those, let's talk about the chosen color - Marsala! This color can be compared to the likes of maroon, burgundy, or even merlot (which, like marsala, shares its name origin in wine). I originally thought maybe I'd try to describe to you, in my own words, the marsala color.. but I think the following quotes from Pantone actually describe it best.

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.

Pantone Color Story

Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture.

So, let's explore some ideas of how you can use this color in your home!

One of the most popular ways this year will likely be through textiles, as we've seen this color make it's rise in fashion textiles too! So, think rugs, throw blankets, pillows, upholstery fabrics, etc.

Trellis Rug

 

Floral Rug

 

Flat Weave Rug

 

Throw Blanket

Chevron Toss Pillow

Upholstered Sofa

 

Speaking of fashion, you could even spice up your wardrobe with a simple accessory in the earthy color - like this cozy scarf!

Scarf

 

Or, if you are pretty confident in color, you could use this rich color on the walls or large surfaces of your space - like paint, wallpaper and even kitchen cabinets.

Wall Paint

 

Wallpaper

 

Kitchen Cabinets

 

And, we couldn't talk about design without talking about furniture, so here are a few ideas!

Barstool

 

Tufted Ottoman

 

Garden Stool

 

Zig Zag Pouf

Cafe Chairs

Chest of Drawers

 

Ottoman with Nailheads

 

And, lastly, of course, one of the easiest ways to bring any color into your space is through accessories like artwork, photo frames, and even vintage books!

Artwork

 

Photo Frame

Vintage Books

 

So, what do you think? Do you love the color?

At first, I was a little underwhelmed by this year's color choice, but only after a short time, I'm really starting to love it. I love the tone of this color.. it is so sophisticated, earthy and rich.. with a bit of a vintage feel, and you know I love that!

Color of the Year!

With the announcement of Pantone's Color of the Year 2014, I decided to create a little inspirational post with a collection of images showing how to bring this beautiful color into your home this year - whether it be through paint, fabrics, furniture, decor, accessories, etc. This first collage of images shows a sampling of the home design and decor ideas explored in more detail below, but I included it specifically because it nicely illustrates the color story!


Radiant Orchid gallery of images.


But before we delve in, let's discuss the selected color - Radiant Orchid.. which is sorta just a fancy name for pinkish purple, hehe. But, its name really does express how this color is vibrant, feminine and beautiful!


Radiant Orchid


Pantone describes it like this: "Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple — one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health."

So, what do you think? Do you love the color?

I am not usually necessarily a huge fan of "girly" colors, or very bright colors for that matter, but I do have an appreciation for this hue and actually love it paired with darker purples and greys!

So, let's explore some ideas of how you can use this color in your home! Well, an easy way (if you aren't shy) is to use it boldly as paint on the walls!


Radiant orchid painted wall.


Radiant orchid bedroom.


But, if you'd rather introduce the color into your space in a more subtle way, here are varying shades of the daring color used in lighting.. no pun intended!


Glass lamp in radiant orchid.


Desk lamp in radiant orchid.


Gourd lamp in radiant orchid.


Of course, fabrics are a great way to bring this color into a space too! The first image below shows a beautiful color palette blending the Radiant Orchid color with darker, richer purple hues and a warm neutral hue, like grey.


Fabrics in radiant orchid colors.


Patterned fabric in orchid.


Floral fabric in orchid.


Duvet in orchid.


What about the furniture in the space? This color could create the perfect accent piece - one that will most likely also be a conversation piece!


Chair in orchid color.


Painted orchid dresser.


Club chair in orchid pattern.


This color even looks great outdoors against a lush green backdrop!


Garden furniture in orchid.


If brightly painted walls or boldly colored furniture isn't your thing, an easy way to bring in the Color of the Year is in your decor and accessories. These are the items in a space that can be changed out easily seasonally or yearly (you know, when next year's Color of the Year is announced, hehe). Simply mix in a little color with flowers, candles, toss pillows, etc.


Flowers in orchid color.


Glass candle in ombre orchid colors.


Pillow in orchid.


Votive candle in orchid color.


Toss pillow in a variety of orchid colors.


Flowers in radiant orchid.


And, if you actually like the idea of this vibrant color on your walls, but maybe you're not brave enough to paint a whole wall, then how about hanging up some bold modern abstract artwork representing the color!


Abstract art in radiant orchid color.


Abstract art in orchid and vibrant blue


Or, you could ground the space and make a statement with a large scaled area rug in this bold hue!


Trellis patterned rug in orchid.


Herringbone rug in orchid color.


Or, lastly, if you're really diggin' the Radiant Orchid Color of the Year, try designing a whole space around this vibrant color!


Interior space using radiant orchid color.


Well, what do you think? How might you use Radiant Orchid in your home this coming year?


Paint lids showing radiant orchid color palette.

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 3

Today, we are sharing just one more completed client project that we tackled earlier this year. This one is a tiny powder room with a big design! To save money, the clients requested limited changes to the existing fixtures. So, instead, we gave this space new finishes and added architectural interest. See the result!

Powder room vanity view


As you can see above, we designed and installed custom wall paneling painted in a crisp clean white to elevate the style of the space, and to add architectural interest to an otherwise small plain box. We then installed a classic, yet current, subtle graphic wallpaper on the top portion of the wall to give this powder room a little feel of luxury and sophistication!


Powder room window view


Check out the "before" image below showing this space when it was just a plain pale purple powder room. Say that three times fast! Anyway, the new powder room looks like a totally different space, and all without changing any of the existing bathroom fixtures!


Before image


Progress shot


I also included this progress shot above because you gotta love watching the transformation happen, and watching all the planning and designing come to life, right? That is absolutely one of my favorite parts of my job - seeing the design ideas on paper finally become a reality. And, thanks to my trades men and women for making it all look beautiful!

And, lastly, here are a couple detail shots of the space showing some of the decor and accessories that we used in the design to bring in color, texture, etc. Here you'll see the rich, handcrafted teak wood vanity mirror and the small collection of geometric pillar candles placed on the clients' silver tray.


Detail shot of mirror.


Detail shot of candles.


Well, as I mentioned in the first two posts of this series, please check back soon and visit our portfolio page for more shots of these and some of our other newly completed projects! There are angles and details to these spaces that you just haven't seen in these sneak peek photos!


Overall shot


Well, I hope you've enjoyed seeing what we've been up to over here at StudioVB. As always, we enjoy sharing. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 2

Monday we shared a recent dining room project with you. And today we are sharing a second project, a family room, that was completed earlier this year for some other lovely clients of ours. This project was a fairly large sized family room, but the design challenge here was that the space needed to accommodate several zones, or areas of different function - a tv watching area, a work space, and a children's play space. But, challenge accepted.. we were able to create and delineate these specific zones and still make the space feel open and cohesive. With a beautifully functional layout of space and a clean bold color palette, this space is one of my favorites this year! Take a look!


Family room view of ottomans


This family room got a pretty significant over-haul from top to bottom. The design included new bamboo flooring, freshly painted walls, and all new furnishings.. and I mean all! I don't believe any single piece of furniture, window treatment, etc. remained from the original space. These truly are the best kinds of projects - when we get to start from a blank canvas, so to speak. And, the transformation is always so much more rewarding for the client! Check out the snapshot below of the space before with seafoam blue carpeting, a slightly lighter seafoam blue wall color, and an assortment of tired old furnishings. What a difference, right?


Before image


Anyway, here's a few more sneak peek photos of the project, but definitely check out the portfolio page in the near future for more shots of this bright and fresh space. The clean lines of this large transitional sectional paired with pops of vibrant color in the pillows and bold pattern in the rug really create a dynamic space.


Family room side table view


This project actually lasted quite a long time.. with client decisions, contractor schedules, oh and me having a baby, I think this project stretched over almost 9 months. But, we had a ton of fun working on this project and, at the completion of the project, I even joked with the clients about how we are going to miss our Friday night date night.. uhem, I mean Friday night design meetings. =) They became such a staple in my week. Anyway, in pulling these photos together for the portfolio, I realized I miss something else from the days of this project...


Logan wearing Hayes


I miss my tiny little baby! This photo of Logan wearing Hayes was taken during installation of this project. Yep, this was Hayes' first time on the job! But I just couldn't believe how tiny and cute he looks here! Now he's a chunky monkey 9 month old. Wow, time flies!

Anyway, back to the project! In the photos below you'll see the three zones I mentioned earlier in the post. The first one shows the small and simple work space that is nestled into a small nook out of the way of the main living area and disguised from view just enough in case the desk ever gets a little messy!


Family room desk view


This next photo shows the children's play area situated perfectly in an alcove at the far end of the space. The clients have two adorable little kiddos and they needed a place to hang out on the floor, sprawl out their toys and just play! The comfy rug and floor pillows give them a soft place to play, and with the simple storage cubbies for all their toys and a cork board to display their artwork, this is the perfect little play space.. and it's stylish too!


Family room view of play area


And this last photo shows the tv watching zone, which from this angle you can also see doubles as a casual sitting area around the fireplace and the built-in bookshelves. With dual focal points, this area gets a ton of use from this family!


Family room view of built-in


Well, there's your sneak peak! Thanks for letting us share. Hope you love this space as much as we, and the clients, do! Check back later this week for one more tiny client project that we'll be sharing with you. And, as always, if you have a space that needs a total transformation, you know where to reach us!

A Peek at Recent Projects - Part 1

After having our beautiful baby boy earlier this year, we took some time away from client work to spend precious time with him. How amazing it has been! And, while we're pretty much back in the swing of working now, I am trying to maintain a delicate balance of work and being home with my son! That's the beauty of working for yourself, right? Anyway, because of that, it has been awhile since we've posted about our client work! Over the past few months, we wrapped up a few design projects, but have just been too busy to share them with you.. until now! So today I'm giving you a sneak peek of the first of three of our most recently completed client projects. The other two projects will follow later this week! These projects will, of course, be added with more detail to our portfolio page soon, but until then, here are a few preview shots of the completed spaces. Enjoy!

This first project is a small dining room space that I designed (on a limited budget) for previous clients of ours. The clients had these really unique heirloom pieces that they wanted to include in the new space, but the challenge was to lighten, brighten, and update the look and feel of the space while incorporating the large scale, heavy, and, in the case of the upholstery - outdated, heirloom pieces. Here is the result!


Dining room window view


A clean, simple, and fresh dining space that feels like an early morning at a cozy bed and breakfast. At least that what comes to mind for me! =)

Anyway, we kept the walls a cheerful pale yellow, and did tone on tone semi-sheer window panels layered over woven shades to soften yet unify the space. We also introduced a soft grey textural fabric for the new upholstery on the heirloom dining chairs!


Dining room side chair view


Which we think is a huge improvement from the dark, outdated upholstery before.. see?


Dining chair upholstery before


Also, to bring in some texture, life, and a little color to the otherwise neutral space, we added some natural earthy elements to the tablescape, which also helped to tie in the adjacent spaces. We did so through the use of muted green round woven placemats and wooden napkin rings!


Dining room table detail


To balance the size and style of the massive sideboard, we added eclectic decor and accessories. Displayed on top are a collection of vintage apothecary jars filled with natural elements, tall architectural candle holders to introduce height, and hung on the wall above is a large scale client-created Instagram photo collage to give the space a casual vibe and personal touch.


Dining room view with sideboard


Well, that's all you get for now! Check out our portfolio page in the near future for more details of this sweet little dining space. The light, airy, casual yet sophisticated feel of this dining room makes it a great space for entertaining friends in a cozy and intimate setting. In fact, our clients have already deemed this the favorite room in the house! Wow. You know, dining rooms don't often get that honor, but I think it's because this space is comfortable, functional, and charming, and its classic style will serve this family for a long time. What a joy it is to help our clients love their spaces!

Later this week, look for a few more of our recent client projects. Happy Monday everyone!

He's (been) here!

As most of you know, Logan and I were expecting our first child in early February. Well, as I'm sure you can imagine - with it being almost mid April - he's here! In fact, he's been here.. for a little over 2 months already (which is crazy). Anyway, our little baby boy was born on February 5th, weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and measuring 19.75" long, and time has already flown by so quick! I have been wanting to post a little announcement on our blog to share with you the arrival of our baby boy, but clearly I've been a bit busy adjusting to life as a new mommy. But, today, I finally grabbed a few minutes to write this post.. so, here he is.. Welcome Baby Hayes!

First photo.

I've obviously got a couple months to catch you up on, so here are just a few more of the many photos we've snapped of him over the past two months! We, of course, think he is the cutest thing.. but we'll let you decide!

Cute bug.

While he was still only a couple weeks old, a good friend of ours (who is a professional photographer) offered to come shoot a few newborn photos of Hayes. While we haven't gotten those photos back just yet, this next photo is a quick snapshot of him in his hat and bowtie that we used for the shoot!

Hat and bowtie.

Since he was born in early February, it was pretty much too cold to head outside while he was still a newborn. But, when we had one of our first warmer days, Logan and I jumped at the chance to take our little guy for his first walk around the city! In the photo below, Daddy is babywearing Hayes in his Baby K'tan wrap - he loves that thing!

Walk photo.

Here he is all snuggled in his car seat with his adorable little knot hat! In this photo, you can really start to see his little cheeks filling out! He is definitely a good eater. =)

In car seat.

As I'm sure you know, newborns don't do too much besides sleep, eat and, well, poop. But in this next photo we caught one of his first little smiles. These are the moments we now live for!

Smile photo

And, in this one last photo, we'll leave you with a sneak peek at little Hayes' nursery! I will definitely be posting more photos and details on the design of his stylish nursery, but for now, this is all you get. =)

Crib photo.

Well, thanks for letting us share the arrival of our precious little boy!

Thankful Thursday - Babies and Clients

For a little something new.. today I'm writing my first post in a new series/category - Thankful Thursdays! I'm sure you've seen this type of series from other bloggers out there, but while I have wanted to include posts of this nature on my blog for a long time, this is my first! As you can imagine, by the name of it, it's a opportunity for me to take just one day out of any given busy week to write about something in my life, and in my work, that I am thankful for.. and today I am feeling particularly blessed and thankful, so what better time to break in this blog category for the first time, right? As the title of the post states, today I'm thankful for both the baby that's growing inside me, and the amazing design clients that I am truly lucky to have! I know, I know, these two things seem pretty unrelated, but you'll soon see why I combined them in today's post - let me further explain.

First of all, I am less than two weeks from my due date! Ahhh, that's crazy! I can't believe this pregnancy is almost over and that, in just a few short weeks, I'll be a first time mom to a little baby boy. This pregnancy has flown by and, I must say, it has treated me quite well - no major pregnancy complaints here - so, I've gotta be thankful for that!

Pregnant me!

But in addition to a happy healthy pregnancy, I'm more importantly thankful for this little life that is being entrusted to me! As it gets closer and closer, I'm really getting super excited for the day we finally get to meet our son, and I'm looking forward to each and every day after that.. when we get to hold him, nurture him and love him endlessly. I am already so thankful that I get to call myself his mommy! Oh, and I can't mention our little boy without, of course, mentioning my thankfulness for my amazing husband! I am so looking forward to the little family of three that we are about to become - how cute?

Ultrasound

So, how does all this baby talk play into my thankfulness for my clients? Well, here's how. So, we've been really busy working away on several client projects over the past many months (which is probably why the pregnancy flew by), and as we are getting down to the wire with the pregnancy, we are also getting down to the wire with wrapping up those client projects before I will be taking some maternity leave to enjoy time with our new baby and get into the swing of new parenthood! Well, I'm realizing that it's a difficult thing to plan for time off when you own your own design studio - there is no one to pick up the slack, or take over your duties while you're out! Ahh..

So, with my clients as a priority (as they always are), I've been trying to make miracles happen and neatly tie up loose ends and complete projects before our baby makes his arrival. But, to no avail! This week, I have realized that time is no longer on my side, and our baby boy could make his entrance any day now. Wow! If that's not nerve wracking enough, I've concluded that it is simply not feasible to think I can perfectly wrap up all client projects, then "clock out" for maternity leave, hehe. Instead, I'm sure I'll be working intermittently on design concepts, product purchasing, project management and scheduling installations simultaneously while I'm also nursing, changing diapers, napping and cooing over our new baby boy! But, here is where the thankfulness comes in.

Every conversation I've had with any of my clients regarding my pregnancy, my impending labor/delivery and my maternity leave has proven that I truly have the best clients! Their kinds words and overwhelming understanding about any delays to their projects, extensions of their design process, or how my work flow may change a little once I have the baby, have made me feel so thankful! Their understanding has allowed me to feel confident that I will be able to take on this new role as a mom, while still operating a successful design studio. I really couldn't be luckier to have such amazing clients who have all been super supportive during this new journey of my life. I like to believe it speaks to the great relationships and great service that they have come to expect from me and StudioVB. =)

Speaking of clients and client projects.. I thought I'd share a sneak peak of a recent client project that we completed just a few weeks ago - just in the knick of time!

Shea Project - Fireplace

Shea Project - Sofa wall

Shea Project - Window wall

Anyway, from the baby gifts our clients have gotten us, to the sweet words about how great I look during pregnancy (thanks by the way), to the advice on what to expect with a newborn, to the offers of bringing our little guy along to client meetings.. I appreciate our clients more than they know. Oh, and I also have to send a little shout out to all our trades and vendors as well, who have been equally as accommodating and understanding!

I'm thankful each day that I get to do what I love for a living and come into the homes of great people who I not only get to share in their lives, but who also invest on a personal level in mine! So, there you have it. Today, I'm thankful for clients and babies - one specific baby especially, hehe!

More Powder to You!

It has been oh so long since we have updated our readers on the progress of any projects around our house. With busy summer schedules (and the pregnancy) unfortunately we hadn't been tackling too many of our own projects. However, lately we've been taking some time to focus on some of our ongoing design projects around the house. Personally, I think it's a little bit of the "nesting" bug that is starting to hit us, hehe! So anyway, we wanted to share with you the progress of our tiny powder room design. With the first few layers complete.. including the flooring, the paint color, and our DIY paneling project, it was finally on to some fun fixtures, accessories and art projects. In today's post, we'll share a few of the tasks we tackled in the design of our powder room and, of course, show off the final result!

Our Powder Room Reveal

Powder room left side

Powder room sink and accessories below

Final powder room shot.

Since it's a super small space, it's hard to get a good overall shot! So, below are some detail shots!

As you scroll down, you'll notice that for this space we DIYed some projects, accessorized with a few new decorative accents (that we picked up at some of our favorite local stores) and, of course, added some personality with some of our already owned decorative items. Check 'em out!

A fun, and functional, step stool!

Milk stool

While painting a portion of our wall in our design studio with chalkboard paint to create a handy and cute daily to-do list area, we got inspired to try another creative project with the fun, and super simple, chalkboard paint. So, here in the powder room, we decided to take a boring old milk stool (that we envision our child using someday to wash their hands.. how cute?) and give it a fun and functional finish.

"Wash your hands"


A small floor basket for much needed storage!

Toiletries basket


A cute, and personal, decorative wooden accent!

Powder room right side.

A mini wooden cityscape of NYC sits atop the paneling ledge to the right of our mirror. This little vignette serves as a nod to our first place in NYC and the time we spent there. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, and well, now in the powder room!

Wooden cityscape.


A custom wall art installation!

The yarn bird art installation.

We'd been meaning to create a custom art piece somewhere in our home, and what a more unique place than the powder room, right? Haha. So, with some miniature flat-head nails and a ball of yarn, we created a few flying birds as a whimsical yet modern art installation. We like it, do you?

Yarn ball close up.


Some added architectural detail!

Yarn bird and crown molding.

After the paneling project, we still wanted to add one more layer of architectural detail, which was the crown molding. It was a simple upgrade that made the space feel larger and more sophisticated, and tied together the paneling!


Personalized, and changeable, artwork!

Elephant mosaic.

This ledge over the toilet serves as an art ledge! So, instead of hanging art on the wall, we can simply prop a piece of art here and change it out whenever we want. I know, I know.. the elephant with the birds don't quite mesh, but both are personal and meaningful and that's what matters most in any space!


A necessary accessory, yet in a unique style!

Waste basket.


A space saving switcheroo!

Powder room pedestal sink.

Before we started designing the powder room, the space was pretty blah! And the faucet fixture was pretty run-of-the-mill! So, we knew we wanted to switch it out, and with a tiny space like this, we need all the space we can get! So, we replaced the old faucet with a single handle faucet to allow more room on the pedestal sink!

Faucet.


Bringing in some texture, some quirk and some vintage!

Towel holder

The vintage hat hook was found lying in one of my mom's old dressers, and it was just dying for a front row seat somewhere. And again, what better place then the powder room! I mean, let's face it, everyone who enters our home will likely visit this space, right?

Hat hook close up.

Oh, and since it's a bathroom, and it must be functional, we of course added the mustard yellow hand towels and grey-blue bath rug that you may have seen in the shots above!

And in addition to some of what is shown in these photos, we also tackled a few DIY projects like giving the old light fixture a new life with a fresh coat of paint! We may still replace it at some point, but for now (without spending more than a few dollars) we've made it work in the space!

Well, there you have it - a long overdue update on our tiny powder room. I suppose we'll call it complete.. for now! You know how these things go - I may feel the need to change something out in the near future, but it is good to feel like a space is complete.

The good news is that it is a world different from the powder room that you see below (from when we first moved in)!

The before shot.

Final powder room shot.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our new space! Let us know your thoughts.

A Pop of Sunshine

It's been unseasonably warm here lately. The bright, beautiful sunshine has made an appearance day after day this past week, and I am definitely not complaining! I can't express how much the weather really has an affect on me, my mood, my productivity, my everything! Over the winter months I get so used to feeling humdrum, un-motivated and a little down and out, that when the warm temps and gorgeous almost-spring days arrive, I am surprised by my sudden shift into positivity, motivation, and just the overall feeling of joy!

Anyway, since I have the yellow warmth of the sun to thank for this, I was inspired to share some interiors today that are also brought to life with a dose of their own warm, bright, sunshine (in the form of yellow pops of color, hehe)!

Check 'em out!

Yellow painted ceiling.

Yellow tray.

Yellow mirror.

Yellow mirror 2.

Yellow pillows.

Yellow art.

Yellow sofa.

Yellow bathroom.

Well, I'm lovin' yellow as a fresh accent of color in an otherwise clean, crisp space. What do you think?

Images found here!

Guest Post: All About Color

With the start of the new year, and some great new projects, we've been pretty busy here at StudioVB. Taking a few minutes here and there to share our studio happenings here on our blog has been more difficult than usual lately. So with that in mind, for today's post, we're bringing you a fun and inspiring little article from guest blogger, Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, a cool site that brings together designers and design lovers from around the world to share projects and inspiration. Check it out!

Hi all! Thanks for having me here. I love getting to visit the blogs of designers like Valerie from StudioVB. My guest post today is all about color. I've pulled some great photos of interior designs that focus on color, beautiful and bold color. Enjoy!

Colorful Interiors

Deep royal blue vibrates against the contrasting pink of the sofa in this living room. The bold colors are the stars of this space.

Colorful Interiors

Here is another great example of bold colors creating a dynamic combination. Orange lacquered walls with an aqua sofa are all about color, big, bold color.

Colorful Interiors

The mustard walls almost feel neutral as a backdrop for brighter yellow and teal furnishings. Complementary colors like yellow and teal are opposite on the color wheel and pop when placed next to one another. This is a perfect idea for a funky bedroom design!

Colorful Interiors

The neutral gray walls keep the focus on the orange accent color in this room. The room may be mostly gray but it is all about those pops of glorious orange. Lots of great decorating ideas for a stylish home office are seen here.

Colorful Interiors

While this room may be predominately white, it is the contrasting colors of green and red that make it come alive. The red pops against the sea green. It's all about the colors.

Colorful Interiors

None of these colors are bold or incredibly bright but the combination makes a big impact. I love that even the trim is painted a color rather than the traditional choice of white.

Colorful Interiors

Selecting colors on one side of the color wheel creates a more monochromatic palette. The oranges, roses, reds and pinks in this living room create a warm, inviting design that is enveloped in color.

As you can see, using dramatic color in interior design can be bold and beautiful. For more great tips and ideas, check out Design Shuffle, where you can share thoughts and gain inspiration from interior designers, design enthusiasts, and more.

Images from | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Special thanks to today's guest blogger, Susi, for illustrating how if you don't shy away from bold color, you can make a really beautiful statement in a space. Thanks for joining us here on Be.Love.Create!

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.

The Difference Between LIGHT and Wrong

Working with a client this afternoon on light fixture selections for the first floor of their home, I got to thinking that this is one area where clients often get lost. Now, I'm not saying that these particular clients are lost; in fact, they have actually been doing their homework on all the many things to consider when choosing, purchasing and installing light fixtures. But, because light fixtures can be such a difficult thing, I thought I'd share some designer insights that might be beneficial. So here they are!

Top 5 Things to Consider with Lighting

  1. Fixture Type/Usage First thing's first, what type of light fixture does your space call for? A ceiling pendant, table lamp, recessed light, wall sconce, floor lamp, or a combination thereof. And, what do you intend to use this space for and, therefore, how will you use the light fixture? For reading, cooking, putting on makeup, mood lighting, overall room lighting, or just for added decoration. With this first consideration, you'll need to answer the above questions and also think about how often you'll use the fixture, at what time of day, etc. This will make the following considerations easier.

Photo showing multiple types of light fixtures.

  1. Light Quantity and Quality Next thing to do is, based on the usage determined first, decide how much light you'll need and what feel you want that light to produce. Do you want lots of bright light? Or, do you want soft diffused lighting? This where you'll consider wattage, number of bulbs, incandescent of fluorescent, desired mood, soft or hard lighting, direct or indirect lighting, etc.

Photo showing low lighting for a mood effect.

  1. Scale and Proportion Once you have decided what kind of fixture and what kind of light you need, it's time to determine the appropriate size of that fixture. The first question to ask regarding scale and proportion is - How big is the intended space? You can only choose a light fixture that will actually fit in your space. However, that isn't the only size consideration you have. There is a real design decision to be made here. What impact do you want this light fixture to have? Is this a statement (or focal) piece? Or, is this a more functional piece that you want to meld into the rest of the design of the room? Playing with scale is a great tool designers use to add interest and drama to a space.

Photo showing scale with light fixtures.

  1. Style After you've tackled all the major requirements, you get to the fun part! What style is the light fixture going to be? Again, you'll have to remember its usage and its scale, and whether it's decorative or functional (or hopefully both); but, ultimately, it could be any style you wish, from a really clean, modern, simple fixture to a very traditional and overly decorative fixture. This will be dictated by your style, of course, and the style of your space! Make it work seamlessly with the rest of the design. Also, when choosing the style, you will also have other choices regarding the look of the fixture like color, finish, shade style, etc.

Photo showing the awesome style of an entry light fixture.

  1. Placement And, before you can call it done, you must think about the final perfect placement of your fixture. This consideration is really taken into account early on as well, but it's key in the installation process. Exactly where should your fixture be hung, mounted or placed? At what angle or position, and at what height or width apart? It's best to think about lines of sight and any specific axis used in the space. You know, consider if it should be centered on a window, in line with another fixture, at the appropriate standing or seated height, etc.

Photo showing placement of light fixtures.

So, next time you are thinking about switching out a light fixture or adding a new one, first think about these Top 5 Things. There are, of course, several other things to consider with any design element, such as budget, timeline, etc. But this list should get you started and hopefully have you selecting the LIGHT choice, and not the wrong choice!

Images from today's post can be found on DecorPad.

Let's get our paneling on..

and by on, I mean, on the wall! Hehe. We are moving along with the progress of our powder room project, and since we've taken care of the first step, we are ready to add the next layer. In a previous post, we had mentioned a paneling project with a modern twist and that's what we've got in store. So, here's the design concept - a classic crisp white paneling on the lower portion of the powder room walls, but instead of a traditional panel design or a typical bead board design, we have designed a more modern style horizontal plank paneling. You know, how I love a good horizontal design.

As you also know, I'm a huge DIY fan and love the sense of adventure and accomplishment (hopefully) that every DIY project brings. Not to mention that I also have the maybe-a-little-overconfident belief that I can do anything I set my mind to! So, from the beginning, this project was something Logan and I were definitely gonna tackle ourselves. But (yep, here's where the 'but' comes in), I have to be honest and say that I am also a fan of hiring a professional to get a job done, and to get it done right. I've seen too many clients with a "whoops, guess I shoulda called a professional" mistake and, by the time they called me it was too late. So, as a little disclaimer, before you tackle this project, please know that it has some difficult steps, requires some special tools and takes a good amount of time and hard work. However, if you're up for the challenge.. the result is worth it!

But, before we show you the results, lets go back to where it all began!

To get started with this DIY paneling project, we headed to our local home improvement store to pick up some supplies. Fortunately, all we really needed to purchase was the wood, because our already acquired arsenal of DIY supplies will take care of the rest. But, so you can plan accordingly, here's a list of what you'll need.

Supplies:

  • paper and pencil (to plan out your design)
  • a tape measure
  • wood (specific to your panel design)
  • a saw (we used a jig saw, but a circular saw would probably be best)
  • laser level
  • nails, nail gun and compressor
  • wood putty or spackle
  • sand paper
  • drop cloth
  • painter's tape
  • paint
  • paint brushes

With all of these supplies on hand, follow these how-to instructions to create your own unique paneling for any space in your home.

DIY Wall Paneling How-to

  1. Determine Paneling Design. Decide on the look and feel you want and sketch it out. This will help you in the following steps. As you know, we decided on a horizontal wood paneling design. Our design incorporated wood planks of varying widths and depths for added texture. In this step, we determined the plank dimensions that were the most aesthetically pleasing and in what pattern they would look best - see our elevation drawings below. (Side note: I happen to love drafting and using AutoCAD, so don't mind me.. instead you could just as easily use pencil and paper, which I did first anyway).

AutoCad drawing showing paneling design.

  1. Measure and Plan. Determine the measurements and calculations of your paneling design and how it will fit in your space. This will include height, spacing, proportions, size, etc. Therefore, this is also when you'll determine how much material to buy. In this step, we determined the appropriate height of the paneling on the wall for our space, and also took the perimeter measurements of the space to determine how many of each plank size we would need to implement our design. You'll notice that we utilize the wall surface, as part of the panel design, to save on material.
  2. Cut the Wood. After (and only after) you have measured and checked your measurements, you can start to cut your pieces of wood. I suggest doing this step in combination with the next step - cutting each piece, then hanging it, before moving on to cutting the next. It is a lot less confusing than having 20 pieces of precisely cut wood, but not remembering which piece goes where. Not to mention, sometimes measurements change as you go, even just a tad - your saw blade can eat away about 1/8" of your wood as you cut, so remember to allow for that.

First stage of the paneling project.

  1. Hang the Paneling. Again, do this in combination with cutting, as you'll want to double check your measurements between each cut to ensure a perfect fit. Oh and by the way, in our case, this step was easiest when done with two people. One person to hold the laser level (to ensure that the horizontal plank was actually horizontal), while the other person lines up the wood plank on the wall. Then, the first person grabs the nail gun and nails the plank in, while the other person is holding the plank firmly against the wall (careful not to nail any fingers). And, if you get to choose which job is yours - I think the nail gun is the fun job. I love that thing! I do love a power tool every once and awhile. =)

Another progress shot.

  1. Putty and Sand. Once the boards are all attached to the wall, and your paneling design looks complete, it's time to add a painted finish. But, like any painted finish, you want to prepare the surface. In this case, this includes puttying the nail gun holes and the seams where any wood planks meet. Once the putty dries (typically about 24 hours) go to town with some sandpaper to create a beautifully smooth finish. This process took us a few days with the drying time and my perfectionism. So, depending on your project this part may take the longest.

Puttying.

Valerie sanding the putty.

A close up of the top paneling trim.

  1. Paint and Enjoy. Lastly, you want to paint the paneling in whatever color you choose. We went with a warm crisp white in a semi-gloss finish. But first, make sure to use painters tape to trim out and protect any edges you do not want painted. In our case, we taped the blue-grey wall so that when we painted the top of the paneling we wouldn't damage the freshly painted wall. Then, we went ahead and painted the entire paneling area with a brush to ensure that every nook and cranny got covered.

Paneling with the first coat of paint.

So, that's it! Simple, right? Follow this how-to and you can add a personalized architectural feature to any of your spaces.

Below are a few photos of our finished DIY paneling project result. Check it out and let us know what you think!

The finished panel design!

Paneling behind toilet

Paneling from another angle.

A close up of the paneling texture.

The mirror layered over the paneling.

So there you have it - another step completed in our powder room project. But even with the paneling complete, this space is still a blank canvas, so we will, of course, be adding the next layer in the near future. Check back soon for progress!