APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS

Flowers are one of nature’s greatest gifts. Just to look at their unique designs and colors and smell the essence of the blossoms is a feast for the senses. It’s no surprise they give us an emotional lift.
Quite simply, flowers make us smile and feel glad to be alive.
Vases house the flowers giving them structure while showcasing their beauty. Beautiful vases are sculptural, adding to but never taking attention away from the flowers themselves. They go together like salt and pepper or Jack and Jill; each enhancing the other.
Here are some examples of vases you may wish to add a few of to your collection.
Photos via ELLE Decor
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Designers often use mirrors in interior design and for good reason.
They certainly reflect natural light and allow a space to feel brighter, but they can do so much more.
Mirrors can add style and a bit of glamour.They can also surprise, and open up rooms in ways that couldn’t be done otherwise.
Take a look at these ideas and see if you don’t find some examples that would work beautifully in your own home.
One caveat: Make sure mirrors are firmly attached to the wall I live in earthquake country so it’s imperative. Also important for children’s safety if you’re leaning a large mirror against a wall. Photos via HOUZZ:
PLACING A TALL MIRROR BETWEEN TWO WINDOWS gives the illusion of a third window and bounces even more natural light around the room.

WALL MIRROR BEHIND A CHEST. Again, a trick of the eye giving the impression that there’s more space than there actually is. This works especially well in a small room.

THE ICONIC SUNBURST MIRROR works well when used as part of a vignette. It brings life  and light to the entire arrangement.

SUNBURST MIRROR used above the bed always works and reflects, in this case, the art on the opposite wall and the ceiling light fixture. You always want a mirror to reflect something of beauty and/or interest.
PLACING MIRRORS BEHIND BEDSIDE TABLES is a wonderful way to enhance light because you get double the reflection of the bedside table lamps.
USING MIRRORS ON ADJACENT WALLS really steps up light enhancement on many levels. Don’t use this idea, however, if seeing too many images would bother you.

MIRRORED BACKSPLASH. I love this idea, especially for kitchens that don’t have  any natural light. Yes, you will have to clean it more often, but it’s worth it because you will  draw the light from any natural light source outside of the kitchen.

ROUND MIRROR IN A BOOKCASE. I love this idea, too, because it not only reflects light, but it breaks up the heaviness of the bookcase. By using a round mirror, it softens the linear lines that surround it.

EXTRA LARGE MIRROR ABOVE THE MANTEL. Instead of a small mirror above the mantel, why not go for broke and install a custom-size mirror the width of the mantel and all the way to the ceiling. There’s no greater way to gather natural light or enhance the size of the room.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
How often have you looked through shelter magazines or seen images online that show a color you fall in love with. You may even have the color’s name and brand so you tried it in your own home and couldn’t believe how different it looked on your wall.
There are very good reasons why this happens and there is a way around it. This week’s article is from Vanessa Brunner, Houzz Editorial Staff. She interviewed photographers Christopher Stark and David Duncan Livingston, and designer Jean Verbridge. These shared tips will tell you how to find and get the perfect color for your own home.
Best of all, it’ll save you time, money, and frustration.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Most new homes being built today include larger master bedrooms and the same is true with re-models. Why? Because it’s the assumption that it is what everyone wants.
But what if you don’t need or want a large sleeping area? Or, maybe you do. How do you determine what’s right for you?
Mindful Interior Design, by its very description, always includes, before doing anything  answering 3 questions:
  • How do you need your space to function?
  • How do you want it to esthetically look?
  • Does it satisfy your psychological requirements? In other words, does the room positively affect  your emotions and sense of well-being.
When you honestly answer these questions, you have a clear direction, a blueprint, on how to design a home that’s perfect for you in every way.
The master bedroom is a special room. It’s a very private space where you want to be able to take a deep breath and feel calm and relaxed. The size itself isn’t always the main factor.
For instance, you may want to reduce the size of your bedroom in order to have a larger closet.
Or, you may want a larger room in order to enjoy many different activities.
Take a look at these photos (HOUZZ) and see how different homeowners decided the right size bedroom for them. They may have you looking at your master bedroom in a different way.
A large master bedroom designed with space in mind for someone who spends a lot of time in their bedroom and want a private retreat.
The opposite of the 1st photo. This small cozy bedroom is designed for mostly sleeping. A lot of space isn’t required.

A loft space which essentially becomes 2 separate living and sleeping areas. It doesn’t require much square footage, instead building up instead of out.

Another smaller space designed for sleeping and easy reading in bed. Built- in shelves for storage, and attached reading lamps which eliminate the need for bedside tables.

Not large, but by utilizing access to the outdoors, it seems bigger than its footprint suggests. Who couldn’t enjoy lovely dreams in this beautiful bedroom!

This larger master bedroom has a lot of open floor space because the owner uses it for yoga and meditation.

Again, the size of your bedroom is not as important as what your unique needs require. You may need a larger space because it fulfills many different purposes for you.
Or, you may wish to have a smaller bedroom in order to have more square footage in another area of your home.
Let me know in the comments section  what your perfect bedroom would be like or maybe already is.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
0

Mindful Interior Design

March 27th, 2015
This week’s article first appeared in FRESHOME.COM
I’m sharing it with you because as times change, our lives do as well and that definitely affects how we live in our home.
What worked 10 years ago, or even 5, isn’t necessarily working today, because you’ve evolved. What you require to live well in your home is different.
Even though the word “elegance” is used in the title of the article, that doesn’t automatically mean expensive. We often make that association.
If your home is functional; if it expresses your vision of what’s beautiful; and if it satisfies your psychological needs, then you truly have an elegant home in the truest sense of the word.
Enjoy the article!
WHAT ELEGANCE IN DESIGN MEANS IN 2015

minimalist grey silver living room fireplace

Once upon a time, an elegant home was filled with flamboyance, layers of fabrics, and passementerie. Those homes with stratums of accessories all matched to perfection seem outdated in our modern world. For one, we don’t really have the time to fuss with all those matched sets, making everything look magazine-perfect. And secondly, even if we did have the time (or hired an interior designer) who really wants that matchy-matchy aesthetic in their homes anymore?

What is the new meaning of elegance in design? How is an elegant home defined in this upcoming year that promises even more advancements than we ever thought possible a mere ten years ago?

Let’s take a look at the new definition of elegance in 2015, it is much more sleek and minimalist than your grandmother’s version of elegance:

black modern home glass coffee table lighting

Clean Lines and Minimalism

We are all familiar with a modern home, filled with…well, filled with very little. It seems we have gone to the opposite end of the design spectrum, shunning everything ‘fussy’ and going bare bones. This minimalist aesthetic has its benefits: no clutter, very little dusting and cleaning (since there are few items to collect dust), simple hard-surface floors, and perhaps a feeling of relief when one walks in the door after a hectic city commute.

We believe that elegance in 2015 is all about clean lines, and clean lines can be achieved within most modern homes by avoiding clutter and keeping furnishings simple (think: the extreme opposite of baroque styling). Minimalism makes a lot sense, not only does it offer a reprieve from our hectic lives, it allows design elements and architectural elements to stand out. We are a design-savvy bunch occupying the world right now (perhaps thanks to Pinterest and places like Freshome), and we want the clean lines and quality of our furnishings to take center-stage, avoiding all the extra fluff.

But what if you are not a fan of the minimalist style? Read below to learn more about creating elegance in your home.

all white minimalist living

What if You Don’t Like Minimalism?

Aside from the above-mentioned benefits of the minimalist home, there are still many (this writer included) who want to be surrounded by objects they love; they want a home that is clean and modern yet remains ‘homey'; they want their knick-knacks out; they want a few piles of well-loved books here and there.

Yes, clean lines are certainly topping the list in terms of elegance, but it doesn’t mean that you must have a minimalist home in order to attain elegance. Certainly a home that is layered in culture, color and personality is elegant.

In fact, we dare argue that the epitome of an elegant home is one where you break the rules, tossing aside passé put-together rooms in place of an eclectic mix of furnishings, combining them into a space that is uniquely you.

gold accent tables club chairs

 A Tech-Savvy Home is Sleek and Elegant

We can’t escape it—cords, iPads, iPhones, tablets, chargers— there is no better way to ruin an elegant design than by cluttering it with all these tech devices. Of course, we ‘need’ these devices, they are quite literally a bodily appendage.

How do you maintain elegance with all these extraneous wires and cord clutter? By making your home as tech-savvy and sleek as possible. Home builders are jumping on the tech bandwagon by designing homes that have it all: smart automation, energy efficiency, built-in charging stations, virtual climate control, virtual security…essentially enabling everything in the home to be controlled from anywhere with the tap of a button. Now that is elegance in 2015!

It seems the Jetsons had it right, aside from the flying cars, we seem to be living in the future.

modern office shelves chair desk flooring

Elegant Colors for 2015

We can’t talk about elegance in design without touching upon color. While color is a very personal choice, there are some hot colors hitting the market that embody elegance.

Some of you may already be aware of the Pantone color of the year—Marsala. The reddish-burgundy color is said to be ‘subtly seductive; one that draws us into its embracing warmth’. Well, that sounds elegant, right? Some in the interior design community disagree, citing it made them feel ‘blah’.

If you tend to agree with the latter opinion, then look to some of the other elegant colors that seem to be on the tip of everyones’ paint brush such as Sherwin-Williams predicted top 40 colors for 2015. We think they hit elegance spot-on with their Chrysalis palette— a palette of muted, soft grayish-greens.

soft color palette green grey living room

What is elegance in 2015?  We suggest that all of these above-mentioned modern aesthetics embody the new meaning of elegance: minimalism, clean lines, eclectic mixes, and muted color—they are all parallel when it comes to creating an elegant home in 2015.

How do you create elegance in your home design? We’d love to hear your ideas!

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
As an interior designer, I certainly understand the importance of lighting a home. I always make sure there is sufficient ambient, task and mood lighting in any given space.
As a design psychology coach, of equal concern is that a home also takes into consideration everything needed to ensure health and well-being for all who live in the home.
I recently ran across an article written by Houzz contributor, MIKE ELGAN, who shares some very interesting information on how lighting can improve the overall quality of you and your family’s lives.
As always, when designing your home, the needs of everyone living with you need to be considered. For instance, older adults sleeping in a room devoid of any light,could become a safety hazard if they need to get up during the night. Solution? The sleeping mask that can easily be removed before getting out of bed! Enjoy.

We tend to think of lighting choices as a matter of personal preference, something that’s part of the lamp-shopping checklist. But it turns out that the most important lighting decisions have nothing to do with lamps. And lighting decisions can actually make or break your family’s health, happiness and well-being.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Also called screens,panels, privacy walls, or room partitions,, this design feature can serve so many different purposes in your home.
Room dividers can be functional, beautiful, and even provide psychological benefit by creating private and cozy spaces where you may wish to be connected, yet separated from adjacent spaces.
Made from many different materials, they primarily allow light to pass through and maintain a feeling of openness
Take a look at these photos for some great examples on how room dividers can be successfully used. You may see one that would be a great addition to your home.
Photos via HOUZZ
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live yours—not the other way around
We all know we’re supposed to stay physically fit for any number of good reasons.
However, knowing and doing are two different things.
Take a look at the following helpful design tips shared by JAMIE WIEKE for ELLE DECOR.
They can inspire you to actually create a fitness space that will have you feeling better both emotionally and physically. What could be better than that?

1. Choose peaceful colors. Whites and light grays are traditional picks, but there’s no need to stick to neutrals: Blues, purples, and yellows can be peaceful, too. While we do recommend staying away from bold colors like red and orange, really, it’s about making yourself feel at ease. So if there’s a color you love, paint it!

2. Unclutter. It’s hard to be mindful with a stack of papers sitting a foot from your right knee. Think about how clutter makes you feel: Scattered, disorganized, and anxious. To create a healthy area you’re excited to be in, focus on clearing the clutter — no matter how big the space is.

 3. Add houseplants. Bringing nature into your workout space is a great substitute for working out outside. Plants help filter the air, but they also create a calming environment that feels more natural. Don’t go wild — a few plants is all you need — but adding a little greenery can make your daily workout just a little more pleasant.

4. Take advantage of natural light. No one wants to work out under harsh fluorescent lights. Instead, try to select a workout area that gets plenty of natural light, which is more energizing and relaxing than harsh lights from above. And if you’re working out at night — or if natural light is out of the picture — think “calming,” not bright, choosing sconces and lamps instead of overhead lights.

5. Think minimalistic. It’s so easy to get distracted during a workout — ooh, I should read that book! Fend off potential distractors by removing them entirely. There are plenty of opportunities to go decor-wild in your home, but leave your fitness area simple.

6. Indulge in organization. Fitness equipment isn’t known for being super-attractive, even if you’ve got a minimal set (a few weights and bands and a yoga mat). While its by no means a requirement, don’t feel bad indulging in an attractive bookcase or storage solution.

7. Make space for movement. Forgive me, this may be obvious, but: Fitness takes space. All that lunging, vinyasa flow-ing, and running in place means you need at least a few free feet in every direction. After all, what’s fun about hitting your head on your coffee table while doing push-ups? (Nothing. Not fun at all.)

8. Don’t forget about scent. The best fitness rooms feel spa-like: A calm space in the middle of the hubbub of everyday life. One essential — but often overlooked — ingredient is scent. Whether you opt for diffusers or potpourri or candles or the fresh mountain air floating in through your windows (jealous), don’t skip this important step in creating a peaceful space.

9. Select inspiring artwork. No, don’t clutter your walls. But a few well-placed prints will make your room more beautiful — and more inspiring. Choose panoramas of vistas you love or artwork that pushes you to do your best, even in the middle of a tough workout.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
It seems to be the rule, in most cases, that ceilings are painted white.
Perhaps it’s because a white ceiling gives the illusion of a bigger and brighter space.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, you might be missing  out on what could be beautiful design by doing something different.
Think of your ceiling as the 5th wall. It deserves as much attention as you give all of the other aspects of your interior design.
Take a look at these photos for some exciting ways to take your ceilings from white to wow.

Soft and sophisticated, this monochromatic look is really beautiful. Try to imagine how different the feel would be if the ceiling were painted white.

The mocha shade on the ceiling is also used on the molding giving a cohesive look.

This is a great way to treat a tray ceiling. The green stripe is a bit lighter than the wall color, giving the room a soft , overall impression.
A favorite technique of mine that gives the feeling of a canopy bed. The molding is applied up the wall at the head of the bed and continues along the ceiling to the foot of the bed. The paint applied to this area is a high gloss creating a beautiful sheen. Remember, however, when using a high gloss finish, the walls/ceiling need to be flawlessly smooth.
Small rooms don’t need to be painted a white or lighter color as seen here. The darker walls and ceiling give the space a cozy feel.
The soft blue of the ceiling is brought into the furniture and accessories giving this beautiful room a light and airy feeling. As in photo # 2, the color extends onto the top of the walls.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

If you’re like me, they stay in my phone. Then if I want to share one or print it out, I have to thumb back until I find it which can take time and too much patience.

I just ran across a product called Little Black Book and it’s a wonderful way to capture all of those special moments into a high quality, inexpensive photo book. Their website is www.artisanstate.com/photo-book/little-black-book.html
Take a look and see what you think.
Little Black Book
Flush Mount
I’m thinking of what wonderful gifts these little photo books would make.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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