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7/24/14

SHINE A LIGHT ON DESIGN

A good percentage of the time, the problem with a room design is simply a matter of lighting.

I hear about rooms being dark, looking dingy, and people not wanting to use curtains or window coverings because they feel it would cut down the light in the room.  Truth is, most rooms don't have adequate lighting.

Each room has whatever available natural light comes through - and some sort of ambient light to replace the natural light in the evening.  In addition, there should be task lighting to read by and to work by.  In a truly beautiful room, accent lighting is often used to spotlight certain areas/items or create mood.

Kitchens with good lighting, above
and bad lighting below - 
a kitchen requires more than one central overhead light...
but use common sense - 
you don't need it to look like an airport runway...
or like there was a fire sale on light fixtures -
(seriously - why so many large fixtures in this otherwise adorable kitchen???)


Lighting should be as beautiful as possible.
Natural light is only available in the daylight hours.  Not all rooms have an abundance of this...
Ambient light should illuminate a room in the absence of natural light.  Overhead lighting is the most common, but table or floor lamps also add to this type of lighting.
Task lighting helps us perform jobs in specific areas.  A desk lamp for homework.  Under cabinet lighting for kitchen counters.  Lamps for reading.
Accent lighting - creates a mood or draws your eye to a specific area.  Spot lighting for artwork.  Interior cabinet lighting.  Up-lights or down lights in alcoves or on ledges.

Every room needs a combination of these lighting types.

QUESTION FROM A READER:
















                                  
Hi Claudine,

I just discovered your blog and love it! Your pictures and suggestions are so helpful. I was hoping you can help me with my final choices in our total kitchen and living room/great room remodel. Unfortunately, I can’t provide any pictures since we are at mid-stage in construction and nothing is yet in place. What I can provide is the list of materials I’ve chosen so far and see what you think. 

The wall color is BM’s Thunder, kitchen cabinets are soft cream with cosmic black granite countertops and subway tiles are a pale pale green (Enchanted Shadow). The island is maple with the same cosmic black granite. All appliances are stainless steel. The flooring will be hardwood with a medium brown tone. 

One of my most challenging decisions at the moment is the pendant lighting over the island. Trying to decide what materials to use in the pendants has really got me stumped. There seems to be so many choices and ideas and just when I think I know what will work, I see something else completely different and can’t decide...

Any suggestions you may have will be greatly appreciated. Hope to hear from you soon.

Cathy L
California 



Hi Cathy,
Your kitchen selections sound wonderful.  BM Thunder is one of my favorite colors - and one of my most re-pinned wall colors on Pinterest.  I don't have a reference to your personal style, but I can give you a few choices and hopefully narrow it down for you.  As for the upholstery and furniture - we can tackle that via email and edesign if you like - email me for details - I see you are in California?

Back to pendants....

Lantern Style
Ballard Designs
This is one of my favorite styles right now, and one I will probably use in my own
kitchen remodel - soon - I hope.

Ballard

INDUSTRIAL/RETRO

This style is great for that 'farmhouse' feel 
and has a vintage feel

GLASS PENDANTS
glass pendants range from retro to contemporary
make sure the clear ones are hung a little higher than eye level so you don't have
that light bulb glaring in your eyes...
here
here
here

here


OPAQUE/VINTAGE STYLE
here
glass shades in vintage style are really popular right now
the opaque shades diffuse and soften the light

METAL SHADE PENDANTS
these are varied in style and color - 
vintage or contemporary
here
this is one of my favorites below - love that you can adjust the height of the light
and that its kind of funky and fun... 
here
Restoration Hardware has this version - made to look like it was created
from an old pulley - its more expensive but you are getting two lights in one
here

CHANDELIER PENDANTS
who can resist a little bling?
these are small enough to double up
here
here
BRASS IS BACK
just not so shiny as before...
here

CHROME -
I love silver, and I like the reflective property of Chrome...
here


BRONZE - still going strong...
here

here

Believe it or not, I have narrowed things down.... there are thousands to choose from so I just had to show my favorites... but in the long run you need to find something you LOVE.  You are going to live with it for a while.




7/23/14

THE GREAT OUTDOORS AND JESSICAS HOUSE COLORS

A GIRL CAN DREAM
Lately, I have completely ignored the outside areas of my home
and it really needs some attention...

but while curb appeal is important, there are other outdoor areas to consider...

I think it is just as important to have a little private spot
to relax, read, bird watch, and entertain

Here's my outdoor to do list...

1.  GUTTER SYSTEM FOR DECK
I'm dying to do this to my deck off my master bedroom - not for the deck itself, but so that when it rains I can still sit outside under the deck with a book and 
leave my furniture cushions in place without them getting soaked
so I could actually go from this... to this...
I would love to be able to eat outside with the rain sprinkling around us ...
There are a few companies that do this - I'm looking into this one

2.  FENCE REPAIR...
no brainer - its just old and falling down...

3. MOVE THE BUILT-IN BARBECUE
because the previous owner put it right smack in the middle of the patio - 
the BBQ really needs to be moved to the edge of the patio 
and while we are at it.... can we do this too?....

4.  ADD AN OUTDOOR FIREPLACE
so I have somewhere to roast my marshmallows...

An inviting fireplace with the built-in barbecue to the side would be wonderful
on warm summer nights or cool fall evenings...

of course... now it snowballs... 
If I move the BBQ I will need to....

 5. REDO PATIO FLOOR
Belgard pavers would be ideal - I'm a fan of their products - and the patio really needs a facelift
 check Belgard products out here
 they are like the Mercedes Benz of pavers...


 amazing range of color and product style

 6. SIDE YARD REVAMP
although I guess its not really a 'revamp' if it was never finished in the first place...
I'm thinking of a nice crunchy gravel pathway -
(functional for easy pet waste pickup)



but I also really like this look



Its a shady spot, so thinking of some ferns, and lots of green...

more inspiration.....



7. I  NEED A GOOD POTTING BENCH

 with a shelf or two
this is a diy project - cute huh?

This one below is  $900 from Restoration Hardware
seriously?  $900?
I think I'd rather see if Mr. B can make Ana White's version
and maybe add shelves... ?

8.  PATIO FURNITURE
Once the gutter system is installed in the deck above, I can add some deep seating to my patio without it getting destroyed by rain and muck
 - an extension of living space right outside my family room...
(but holy crap, have you seen the prices of patio furniture these days?)
especially sectionals like this..

Ana White thinks I could make my own... 
what do you think?

9. DINING TABLE & CHAIRS

We love eating outside and entertaining there...
but our current round table only seats about 5 people comfortably...
I've been thinking that CraigsList may have some tables for cheap...
Ana has plans for great tables too...
Ana White is so amazing - you have to check out all her plans and tutorials..
she makes you believe you can do it yourself...
anyone have a good handyman who can follow simple plans?

These are all Ana White creations.  Love them.

10.  UPPER DECK DECOR...
I have a good sized deck off my master bedroom..
after a few needed repairs it will be ready to 'deck out'..
 it doesn't have any shade there...
wonder if we can build an arbor over part of it...
or a canopy? 
 not good in wind though..



I will need cozy seating
and plants, too

It seems my outdoor list is nearly as long as my indoor list...
I haven't even mentioned redoing the flower beds
and adding more boxwood..
or repainting the benches

but I did recently redo a flower bed and plant several hydrangea shrubs there...

because I need more hydrangeas in my life...
and more boxwood...
Better go work on that list...
I might actually be able to finish it in say - 5 years? Ha!
*******************************

Hi there-
I have enjoyed reading your blog. I really love your ideas. I am searching for help to pick out stone and exterior colors. I am attaching a picture of our exterior house plans (no stone or detail added)

and a picture of a home that we used as inspiration when designing our home. 
I like the placement of their stone. 

I currently like colors like Anonymous by Sherwin Williams and  Copley Gray by Ben Moore. I am just having such a hard time deciding though. I have no idea what to do color wise with shutters.
 3rd picture is a home that I love the colors/design of.

Any help or advise would be well appreciated!!!
Thanks! Jessica 

Hi Jessica,
I think that stone placement on the 2nd photo is good - not too much, but a nice accent.   And, until you choose your stone you can't really pick out paint.   
Your stone palette, whether it be faux or real stone, will dictate the tones you use in your paint.  
You want something that will compliment the stone.
I would say that Copley Gray is probably a safe bet, based on the fact that most stone veneer will have grays and browns.  But its best to take a swatch with you to the stone samples to have a look.
The white trim always pops nicely against stone, but choose a white that compliments the house color, too.  Some whites are very light grays, 
some are very light beige or cream

if you still need help once you have chosen the stone, email me again with photos and I will be happy to suggest some colors.


Good Luck!