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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!

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!

An Earthy Fall Feel

It's hard to tell these days exactly what season we're in given the ever-changing weather, but I think it's safe to say that Fall is now well under way! So, to get in the spirit, I created an "Earthy Fall" themed Etsy Treasury (a member-curated shopping gallery)! And, as usual, we're sharing it with you here on our blog!

Check out some of the details below, or visit the Treasury on Etsy! Here's a quick snapshot of it!

Etsy Treasury Snapshot

Here are some close-ups of some of the Treasury items!

Rustic thankful sign.

Fall inspired pillow.

Yellow and grey yarn wreath.

Wood wall art.

Burlap table runner.

Felt pumpkins.

Well, there you go! Hopefully you're inspired to do a little Fall decorating just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

If you love any of these items, they can be found and purchased on Etsy! And, if you like what you see, don't be afraid to share our Treasuries!

Five on Friday: Poufs

Happy Friday everyone! It's such a beautiful day here and I am looking forward to our fairly empty weekend! We actually don't have many big plans this weekend, and because that's not usually the case, it will be such a nice change. I'm looking forward to just relaxing, hanging out with family and friends, and putting my feet up! So, for today's Five on Friday, I thought I'd select my Top 5 Poufs, perfect for propping those feet up!

I'm sure you've seen them around, because poufs are pretty hot right now! And, I'm loving all the different variations of styles - from the Moroccan leather ones to the handmade fabric ones! Poufs are not only perfect for serving as an ottoman, they are multi-functional as well, and can be used as a stool, a kids seat, a pet bed (I had to say that for my kitties), a side table, etc. There are a ton of options out there, but for today's post, I've selected some of the more affordable ones!

So here are my...

Top 5 Picks for Stylish Poufs!

  1. Moroccan Leather Pouf from Serena & Lily. This beautifully stitched leather pouf, authentically made in Morocco, will bring a touch of class and charm to any space! In addition, it's available in an array of bright and fun colors, so it brings in some personality too! This particular pouf is the highest-end one I've included in today's list at $450 - but for the right space, it would be worth it!

Morrocan Leather Pouf from Serena & Lily

  1. Large Dhurrie Pouf from West Elm. This graphic pouf is overscaled, square and beautiful. At $250, with its classic dhurrie look and feel, it's sure to be a focal point in any space! It is also available in other patterns. This pouf would work great as a coffee table/ottoman in a living room that could double as extra seating when needed!

Dhurrie Pouf from West Elm


  1. Handmade Pouf from Etsy. This pouf is simple yet strong with its graphic designer fabric, and the best part is that it is handmade and made to order! It also has a soft poly-fil and removable and washable cover, making it perfect for kids! I'm picturing it in a nursery or playroom. At $95, you can't afford not to grab one of these cute little poufs!

Handmade Pouf from Etsy


  1. Woven Pouf from CB2. This pouf is made of a textured cotton weave that is both durable and beautiful! At approximately $90, this pouf is stylish yet understated. This also comes in other colors (some pretty bright and bold), and with those variations, this pouf could work well in almost any space!

Woven Pouf from CB2

  1. Outdoor Pouf from Majestic Home. This fun striped pouf is actually intended for use outside! What a fun idea to have scattered around a pool, or around a fire pit. At $69, you could snag up a few of these little fun square cube poufs and have a party! They also come in other patterns and they make indoor ones as well!

Outdoor Pouf from Majestic Home

Well, there you have it. Those are my picks for today's Five on Friday! If you haven't considered a pouf for one of your spaces yet, do it! They are perfect little multi-functional accents that add shape, color, texture, pattern and layers to your space. And, like I mentioned earlier, there are so many other options out there as well! So, don't stop here - check out your favorite shops and stores to see what options they might have. I'm sure they do!

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to relax!

A Rustic Garden Party

We are officially in the thick of springtime, with warm temps, rainy days and green growth everywhere! So, I'm day-dreaming of an beautiful outdoor shindig with friends and family. Rather than just dream, I was inspired to create a little "Rustic Garden Party" themed Etsy Treasury (a member-curated shopping gallery)! And, as usual, I'm sharing it with you here on our blog!

Check out what I've pulled together to create an inspiration board for a rustic garden party! I'm sure you'll get the idea by browsing my Treasury, but I envision a early spring afternoon soiree with family and friends in a beautiful, but slightly overgrown, lush garden with fun rustic touches. Hopefully you'll be inspired to host a springtime get together too!

Check out some of the details below, or visit the Treasury on Etsy! Here's a quick snapshot of it!

Etsy Treasury Snapshot

Here are some close-ups of some of the Treasury items!

Moss covered letters.

Outdoor pillows

Tree bark candles.

Watering can.

Garden markers.

Orchard basket.

Turtle.

Well, there you have it! Now, all I have to do is actually plan a party like this, right?

If you love any of these items, they can be found and purchased on Etsy! And, if you liked my Treasury, feel free to share it!

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!

Helpful Design Tips

Over the past many months, when we had a free moment here or there, we had been posting helpful design tips on our Facebook page or on Twitter. However, we recently got to thinking that our blog readers might find them helpful too! So, as of today, we will post our random StudioVB Design Tips on our blog as well! And, each time we post one, we'll enter it in our "tips and ideas" category, so if you want to check out all our helpful tips with one simple click - you can!

Design Tip Header

Well, as the banner above says, here's our first design tip (posted on our blog) to get the ball rolling.

Design Tip:


Lost on where to start the design for a room? Take an item you already love (ie: rug, pillow, artwork) and pull the color palette from that! It gives you something to work from and you get to incorporate a piece you love!

I hope today's tip provides a bit of inspiration for those of you who are ready to get started on making your space fit you and your style, but are feeling a bit stuck. Try our tip!

Pinterest Please

If you haven't heard of Pinterest, you might be living under a rock, hehe. I'm just kidding. But if you really haven't, I'd love to be the one to introduce you to it. Pinterest Logo

So, meet Pinterest.com. It's essentially a virtual pin board, where you can "pin" images, products, websites, and whatever you like, to serve as a collection of inspiration. Not only that, but you can browse other peoples pin boards to gain further inspiration - I love that part!

Here is a look at some of my pin boards..

My Pinterest pin boards.

Anyway, for those of you who have known about Pinterest - two things: 1) Yay! Follow me and I'll follow you. 2) I know, I know, for you Pinterest is old news! Well, it's pretty old news for me too. I have been surfing Pinterest for a little under a year now, and actually pinning for about 6 months. So, why am I blogging about it today? Because I haven't yet.

While I had been pinning like crazy, and loving every minute of it, I have kept it as my personal inspiration space for quite some time. But as of this week, I have decided to share, hehe. So, as you'll notice on the right side bar, I've added Pinterest to my check-us-out-elsewhere buttons (it's red, you can't miss it)! I should mention too that while I do pin under the username StudioVB, the pins are actually specific to just me, not necessarily our design studio. So anyway, if you wanna know what I'm all about (if you haven't figured it out yet), check out my pin boards and you'll likely get an overall snapshot of me.

Here are just a little sampling of some of my pins and some of the things that inspired me to "Pin It"!

Recylced bottle chandelier.

Paint can colors.

Corrugated metal headboard.

Inspiration wires.

urban vintage interior

You know, I am confident in my design point of view and can easily describe my personal style. But, because I actually really like a lot of styles, colors, ideas, etc. and because I work in a variety of design styles depending on my clients, it's sometimes nice to come back to Pinterest, browse my own pins and really come back to a great sense of 'me' and what I'm most drawn to. I love that part of Pinterest too! And, guess what, it can help you do the same.

If you aren't quite sure of your design style. Pinterest can help! After you've pinned images you are drawn to, browse your own pin board and you'll start to see the common threads. I may start asking my clients to create virtual pin boards. I already ask them to gather imagery, ideas, etc. Hmm.. Pinterest as a tool for my studio.. I like it!

With Pinterest you can go from this..

A physical inspiration board.

To this..

My pins on Pinterest

So, as you can see, Pinterest is a great tool for gathering ideas and cataloging things that inspire you, whether you are designing your home, adding to your wardrobe, experimenting in the kitchen, having a baby, planning a trip, or planning an event or wedding (side note: oh how I wish I would have had Pinterest when I was planning my wedding.. instead I had, dare I say, hundreds of files, folders and even physical magazine cuttings of all the inspiring ideas I came across).

Oh, and just so you know, this post is not sponsored by Pinterest - I just love it that much! If someone would like a personal invite to Pinterest (yep, it's by invitation only, like some exclusive party, hehe), leave a comment below, I've still got a few invites!

Well, I'm off to pin..

Layered Spaces

As an interior designer, I tell people that a well-designed space should have many layers, and it’s the layers that really make a space feel dynamic, aesthetically pleasing and complete. But as a busy business owner, wife and homeowner, it’s the layers that I just haven’t found the time (or the right items) to add to my own spaces. Shame on me! However, this past weekend I was out and about, and since I always have my eyes open for any great design finds to add to our home (or for client projects, of course), I happened to stumble across a beautiful fabric that, as soon as I saw it, I knew would be perfect for a certain DIY project for our home and I just had to have it!

But, before I tell you any more about that, I thought I should clarify what I mean when I say ‘layers’ when referring to designing spaces. This post is for those of you with spaces that you’re pretty happy with, yet still feel there is just something missing – it’s probably in the layers!

Just like any art form, the design of an interior space involves layering.

With oil painting, the first layer might be the ground (surface coating), then the underdrawing/sketch, then the underpainting, then the overpainting, and finally a glaze/varnish to complete the work of art.

In sculpture, the first layer might be an armature, then an overlay of clay, then adding specific textures, and ultimately finishing it with a glaze or a coating.

And, even in music there are layers, starting perhaps with the drum beat, adding in the guitar and other instruments, then layering in the vocals, and maybe even finishing it off with some effects.

Okay, so I’m probably going overboard with the examples of layering - I think you get it! But in interior spaces, it works the same way. Check out my visual explanation below on how I layer a space (I apologize for not including color in these quick sketches - because color does play a huge part in the layering process – but I think you’ll still get the idea!)

Most often the first layer is the 6 planes that create a space – in most cases that’s 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor. So this layer would include the flooring material, the wall color/texture, the ceiling color/material, etc.

Sketch of walls, ceiling and floor.

The next layer often involves adding textiles and surfaces that soften that 6 sided box - things like rugs and window treatments. In these two layers you are setting the stage (or the backdrop) for the space.

Sketch showing walls, ceiling, floor with window treatments and rug.

Now, the next layer usually includes the large furnishings of the room. This might be a sofa, coffee table, desk, etc.

Sketch showing room with sofa and coffee table.

Many times people stop here, with this layer, and that can be why those spaces are leaving something to be desired. But these next two layers are where the space comes alive!

The next layer should include decorative items such as lighting, artwork and design accents like toss pillows, occasional tables, etc.

Sketch of a room with sofa, coffee table, lighting and artwork.

And lastly, all spaces need a little bit of life and personality, and this comes by way of additional décor and accessories.

Sketch of a fully layered room with furnishings, decor and accessories.

So, there you have it! Each new layer builds upon the last and each layer should bring in, and balance, different colors, textures, patterns, etc. resulting in a dynamic, aesthetically pleasing and finished looking space! Hopefully you will find this helpful when pulling together your space.

For now, I’ve run outta time, so check back soon and I’ll be sure to let you in on my great design find (that I mentioned at the beginning of the post) and find out what DIY project we created to add a little layering to one of our rooms! Stay tuned…