Too Hot For Outside Fun This Weekend? Transform Your Kitchen

Below is a guest post on relatively simple, low cost things you can do to transform the look and feel of your kitchen quickly.
Here in Phoenix the temps are so high that staying in an inside air conditioned space and doing fun house and design projects over a weekend sound like a great idea.  I just sourced some whimsical hardware for a client that definitely will change the feeling in her kitchen–

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A Kitchen Update in a Weekend

Tired of looking at your drab kitchen but don’t have the time or money to invest in a complete makeover? Don’t fret. With a little imagination and some elbow grease you can spruce up your culinary digs in a weekend. The best thing about these projects is that you can do them one at a time and not have to deal with the mess and hassle of a complete remodel.
So what are you waiting for? Dig out your paint brush and screw driver (and maybe a hammer) and put on your weekend warrior face. Here are a few projects that won’t break the bank and will leave you beaming with a feeling of accomplishment.

Install new lighting
A new light fixture can literally brighten up your kitchen. Pick a fixture that appeals to your kitchen décor but also provides adequate light to work under. Wish you had a number of lights overhead? Choose from a variety of track lighting options that replace your old fixture yet don’t require additional wiring or holes in your ceiling. They look great and instantly update an older kitchen.

Change cabinet hardware
Sometimes it’s the small details that make all the difference. Replacing outdated cabinet hardware with a modern design won’t go unnoticed. This is one of the easiest updates you can do yourself. If you don’t want to drill new holes in your cabinets and drawers, simply take one of your current hardware pulls with you to the store and match it up against the selection there.

Paint the walls
Brighten up your kitchen with fresh coat of paint on the walls and/or ceiling. If you’re feeling bold go for a bright color. A splash of color on the walls will transform the whole feel of the room. Remember, ceilings don’t have to be white (or one of the millions of off-white). And if that’s not enough, consider painting the cabinets as well (or instead). It’s remarkable what a fresh coat of paint can accomplish and with some sandpaper and elbow grease—and paint, naturally—you can turn dreary or boring into a high-class fashion statement.

Replace the floor

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Depending on how much kitchen floor space you have, this project may be a little more involved, but it can easily be worth the addition effort. The floor can often go unnoticed and many kitchen floors are notorious for being drab and outdated. Rip out the old and put down something new and fresh. Consider hardwoods, stone, and eco-friendly bamboo. If you already have a hardwood floor, then it’s even easier! Give it a nice sanding and a new finish.

Update the faucet

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It may be time to replace the workhorse of your kitchen, the faucet. An updated faucet will not only be more versatile than your old one but it will make a fashion statement as well. These days the selection is simply astonishing with everything from hands-free operation to faucets designed to accommodate the largest of pots.

 

 

About the author: Jonathon Ensor stays on top of the latest home design trends as a writer for Empire Today. He loves to get unique furniture and decorations from thrift stores and garage sales.

 

 

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Paint Color 2013

color wheel

Are you considering doing some painting around your house or office in the coming year?  Here are ideas to consider based on  2013 Color ‘discussions’ by some of the leading paint companies.
In a sentence–“Look for a lot of variety and contrast to be popular in 2013.”

Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards, Benjamin Moore, Behr and Pantone all have published their predictions for what the popular paint colors and combinations of colors will be in the coming year. 

color links

 

dunn edwards color

benj moore colors

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Moore: IntersectionFlow, Cycle, Animate, Connect 

Sherwin Williams: Opposites AttractMidnight mystery, Honed Vitality, Vintage Moxie, High Voltage

Dunn Edwards: A New Renaissance Influences Palette and TexturesSimply Re-invented, Simply Re-newal, Simply Re-imagined and Simply Re-vival.

Behr:  Watch this short video!

pantone 2013 blues

 

 

Pantone   According to the PANTONE VIEW home + interiors 2013 book, there are nine color palettes predicted to dominate interior design and furniture trends in 2013. A mix of muted palettes serve as the new classics while rainbow-inspired colors provoke bolder style statements.     Note:  From the Casa Sugar Blog

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Before you begin your  painting, it is always a good idea to try your color choices on several walls in the room.  Different walls have different levels of light reflection and the colors will look a bit different in different spaces due to the levels and types of light they will have.  We recommend at least a 3′-0″ x 3′-0″ square on the wall.  If the wall already has paint color on it, we also recommend priming before putting the new paint color up.

Of course S Interior Design is always available to help in the Phoenix metro area!

Designing With Layers

Are you seeking that beautiful, finished looking room?  A room that looks like it is brand new, yet has been with you forever?  When you get the brand new furniture delivered and placed, why doesn’t it have the same ‘wow’ feeling you felt when you saw it displayed in the furniture store?  Lack of layers is probably the answer.

A lack of layers can lead to an impersonal, unwelcoming space.  Just like any art form, the design of an interior space involves layering.   A common conversation S Interior Design has with their clients is reflected in the attached video.

Well, one of the secrets to obtaining that look and feel is —

DESIGNING WITH LAYERS   By layers we mean incorporating different materials, textures, patterns, colors, and shapes in your rooms

Some examples :

Sofa -1 tone pillows and main fabric OR with a contrasting fabric on the pillows–Just by adding a layer of color and pattern, the whole personality of the sofa has changed!  If a throw in a complementary color with a nubby texture was added, it would become even more visually appealing.   Of course the layer of the sofa table behind the sofa layered with candle stick holders and other accessories helps too!

The floor in any room is a great opportunity to add visual and tactile layers.  A wood floor is beautiful.  Adding a great area rug on top of the wood floor in the proper size and location can add color and texture and change the entire personality of the space.

Here is a link to a good article about how to visually layer with multiple patterns

Via Erinn Valencich

Here is a super vibrant visually busy example of pattern mixing.  It works because of the common design element of color.

Is it Possible to Furnish Your Home Entirely Online?

Wherever in the vast world you reside, the fact is purchasing items on-line is a part of our lives.  Would you feel comfortable furnishing your home or office using only on-line resources?  Do you still feel the need to see and touch furnishings in person?  Many of S Interior Design’s clients are comfortable doing research on-line, but still want to give their seating what we call ‘the tush test’ before purchasing (we highly recommend it!!).  It is also nice to actually see and feel fabrics or leathers that will be used on upholstered pieces of furniture.  That said, many household furnishing items can be purchased on-line with little risk or fear; such as accent pillows, accessories and lighting. We have had good success purchasing area rugs on-line for great prices for many of our clients in the past few years.   S Interior Design offers virtual design services where a full design plan is developed for a client who lives outside the geography we work with in-person.  Included in the service is the identification of   on-line resources to execute the plan.

Below is a guest post that speaks to this subject.

Online shopping is just one of the reasons given for the demise of high streets up and down the UK. For many, purchasing groceries, gifts and clothing online is now the norm, instead of visiting stores. However, it seems that many still prefer to shop in store when purchasing new furniture for the home.

There are a number of disadvantages to furnishing the home through online shopping. For many people, the main one is that they are unable to look and touch the items that they are considering purchasing. For those looking for furniture such as traditional solid pine and oak, they find it easier to purchase online. Not only are colors and styles easily identifiable, the fact that no single piece of wood furniture is identical (because of its grain) means that it is easy to purchase without physically viewing. For those who are looking to replace existing items with the same, or similar, ordering online can also be pain-free.

For those who are reluctant to purchase upholstered pieces or soft furnishings online, a number of companies have fabric samples available. By requesting samples, it allows customers to make informed purchase decisions.

One of the additional expenses of buying furniture is the delivery costs. Local stores can often deliver (and sometimes assemble) furniture for free, whereas many online stores will have a set delivery charge. Couriers often deliver items and they may not be able to deliver furniture into the room where it is required or offer any assembly services.

Some online furniture suppliers are also able to offer complete room solutions to their customers. This means that in the online room design, all of the furniture is for sale. So when selecting a media unit and coffee table, the sofas are available, as well as the soft furnishings such as cushions and curtains. The opportunity to purchase a complete room ensures that when everything arrives in the home, it will coordinate fully.Some shoppers will choose to spend time browsing in furniture stores and then shop online to find the best price deal for that furniture, as one of the main advantages to shopping online is the financial savings and deals. For stores who operate online, they are often able to keep their prices down, as they do not need to employ staff on shop floors. Shopping online is also great for those who work shifts or have commitments that make it difficult to go out shopping for new furniture.

When purchasing online, customers should never be afraid to ring the company and ask for further information about delivery, warranties or any other queries that they may have. How many people are confident enough to purchase their home entirely online is questionable, although the ease that online furniture shopping offers is making it a popular choice for many.

Everything for the home is available online, even paints and wallpapers, but for those who do not feel brave enough to furnish their home entirely online, they should consider purchasing soft furnishings such as Dunelm-Mill .

From this, purchasing a new room is just a few clicks away.

 

Is Clutter an Avenue to Creativity?

Here is  a guest post with an interesting twist on de-cluttering your closets and cabinets.  Think of the de-cluttering process as  a treasure hunt, a way to find items to work with to design ‘creative displays’.    If you need inspiration, Pinterest is an excellent site to search through.   While you are there, don’t forget to check the S Interior Design Pinterest boards

Here is the guest post.  So if it is too hot outside, start cleaning out your closets and think off the ‘hanger’.

How to De-Clutter Your Closets and Cabinets and Put Up Creative Displays

The small storage areas in your home, your closets and cabinets, can easily become cluttered. As a part of your overall home organization efforts, you should try to de-clutter these areas in both conventional and innovative ways. In addition to regularly getting rid of excess items in your cabinets and closets, you can also do things like put up creative displays in your home. If you’re wondering how you should go about putting up displays, here are some tips to guide you through the process:

1. Search for hidden treasure in your closets and cabinets –

Look through your closets and cabinets for things you might want to put on display. For instance, that vintage electric guitar you’ve had stowed away in your bedroom closet for ages would look pretty cool on your living room wall. Additionally, your stainless steel pots and pans would look great on a hanging rack in your kitchen. Pick out a few items from each of your closets and a couple of items from your cabinets that you want to put up on display in your home.

2. Invest in some racks, hooks, and shelves –

You’ll need to get some attractive racks, hooks, and shelves to use to put up displays throughout your home. You can get these at most home improvement stores, and they’re usually pretty easy to put up with yourself (if you’re adept at following written instructions). Additionally, you may want to purchase attractive racks for your kitchen and shelved furniture at a department store. Take your time searching for attractive and sturdy racks, hooks, shelves, and other furniture for your displays. Remember that details always matter in the realm of interior design.

3. Don’t go overboard –

Covering your walls with displays isn’t necessarily the best strategy. Putting up creative displays is a great way to clear out some extra space in your closets and cabinets. However, it’s not the ultimate solution to clutter in those storage areas of your home. Regular organization and getting rid of excess belongings is the best way to de-clutter your closets and cabinets. Putting up a few, tasteful displays throughout your home should only be a part of your overall organization efforts.

Author’s Bio: Author’s Bio: Lisa is a blogger at Self Storage Deals who writes on the subjects of home storage, home organization, and self storage options. Professionally, she splits her time between helping people organize their homes and helping people organize their storage units, specifically storage units in Colorado Springs and storage units in McAllen. “

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Ideas

S Interior Design is pleased to bring you this guest post on ideas to help make your bathroom environment eco-friendly.  Like any room or space in a home or office, using materials derived from nature (cotton, linen, plant-based), versus chemical compounds is taking a step in the right direction.  So forego the PVC vinyls and harsh chemical cleaners.  When it is time to replace your toilets, look for low water usage or dual flush options which are readily available.  And don’t forget your lighting options-go LED for long-lasting beautiful light, and whenever possible day light from windows or Solatubes.

How to Keep your Bathroom Eco-Friendly

If living in an eco-friendly world is important to you, then it’s time to start with your own home. Which room do you utilize the most? Other than the kitchen, the bathroom comes in at a close second.  This is a great place to start, though you may not consider it at first.

TheEnvironmentSite.org suggests, “… You will be amazed how much you could do to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly.  This can start with the cleaning products you use end with how much water you use for flushing your toilet.” From cleaning supplies, to your basic bathroom items, you can go green from every angle.

DIY Cleaning Ideas

 Photo Credit: onyxdistribution.com

If you feel ready to take this project into your own hands, get ready to make your own cleaners. Utilizing many products that you may already have in your house, this is an easy task that’s worth taking on. Not convinced? Care2.com says, “Ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterpart.”  Time to get started; here are your basic formulas.

  • Shower: Baking soda and water or lemon juice and vinegar.
  • Mirror: Mix vinegar and water – 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a whole gallon of water.
  • Clogged drain: Put half cup of baking soda into your drain and wash it down with 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Toilet cleaner: Baking soda, washing soda, distilled vinegar, liquid soap and tree oil

Buying the Right Cleaners

If DIY cleaning isn’t your thing, you can head to your local grocery store to find some eco-friendly products. Because environmental awareness is on the rise, almost every bathroom cleaning company offers recycled or earth friendly options. Before making your purchase however, look for these key ingredients.  Greenhome.com suggests looking for:

  • Avoid any cleaner with phosphates or chlorine, which are harmful to people.
  • Look for plant born ingredients such as d-limonene or lauramine oxide.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Items

 Photo Credit: theuptown.net

While you may consider keeping your cleaning supplies eco-friendly, it’s important that your bathroom is green all over. That means you want to be stocked with all the right products. You can find all your basic bathroom necessities in organic, recycled or bamboo materials which are better for your bathroom, your family and the environment.

  • Natural fabric shower curtain: The plastic curtains that eek that ever-recognizable “plastic smell” are made with PVC and should be avoided. Find naturally made curtains in your local home goods store.
  • Recycled toilet paper: Many mainstream companies now offer recycled version of their traditional product, such as Seventh Generation.
  • Towels: Find bamboo and organic materials. According to Bliss.com, “Both are better for you and the environment because they aren’t made from plants sprayed with insecticides and pesticides and often use low-impact dyes.”

If you’re serious about going eco-friendly in the bathroom, there are a number of ways to incorporate bits and pieces or go the whole way. From cleaners to your everyday necessities like towels, you can do your part for the world while making a healthier environment for yourself, your family and visitors.

Sara Fletcher enjoys learning about all aspects of the home ranging from affordable double vanities, interior design, and green furniture. She one day hopes to build her own dream home, complete with luxury bathroom vanities.

 

Add a Bit of British Cool to Your Home or Apartment on this Side of the Pond!

We love keeping in touch with and learning what’s going on globally with design, be it interiors, architecture, or products. This week’s guest blog brings a bit of the UK to our shores. So much is great design is happening over there now, so why not brighten up a living room, or a bedroom or even your kitchen with some great British inspired, British made products!

The hype around the Royal Wedding last year, the continuing popularity of Downtown Abbey, the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics later this year means that once again it is cool to be British and this has been reflected in this years’ hottest interior design trends.

Interior design in 2012 will see a return to traditional British design. We’ve already seen it on the fashion runway with the popularity of Jonathan Saunders and now interior furnishings are favoring British designs with iconic prints, pastel color blocks, floral designs and gingham fabrics being used to complement the clean and sleek furniture trends from 2011.

To achieve this look with the furnishing you already have, add some British flair with oversized pillows in floral prints and pastels or floor length curtains in bold, iconic prints. Liberty offers some great home accessories, like the Edenham Liberty print silk and velvet cushion, as well as some new season fabrics that have been inspired by English nostalgia as well as the upcoming Olympics. The best thing about this trend is that adding a bit of traditional British elegance is as easy as pulling out the sewing machine (think pillowcases!).

British patriotism is also a hot trend continuing on from 2011 with everything from Union Jack pillows to wall decor. The Shoreditch Union Jack Ottoman from The French Bedroom  makes a great statement piece. The ottoman, in vibrant colors, makes a great coffee table with the added benefit of offering a storage space. Alternatively British furniture designer Jennifer Cooper’s Jack Upholstered Storage Box in muted tones is a great British made storage solution at a fraction of the cost.

If lavishing your home in Union Jack’s isn’t your thing try Graham and Brown’s Crown and Coronets wallpaper for a more subtle approach to cool Britannia. Crown and Coronets wallpaper can also be decorated with jewels, perfect for your very own little princess. Recreate the definitive British with Keep Calm and Carry On wall art; variations on the saying can be found everywhere, from Camden market to numerous online outlets.

For something with a bit of an edge have a look at Tobyboo’s range of tea towels and cushions with iconic images of London in bright yellows and oranges. Or if you’re on a budget, add a splash of Olympic Blue (also known as Pantone 19-4056) against some clean contemporary lines to get into the Olympic fever.

Roomservice By CORT is a company that specializes in furniture rentals, furniture packages, and has a passion for all things interior design.

About Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID
Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID, is the owner and founder of S Interior Design, the exclusive provider of Pawprint Design Services™. Suzanne works with her clients to develop a winning combination of design elements that result in warm, comfortable and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personal style. Suzanne and her team specialize in residential, contract and hospitality interior design, from simple color selections, to office build outs, to restaurant, spa and hotel designs. Suzanne shares her years of expertise through the power of social media. You can follow her on FacebookTwitter, and at this blog. To speak to Suzanne about your interior design needs, please call 480-220-4659 or visit her website at www.sinteriordesign.com.