Interior design is both an art and a science.

Through study, experience, and an innate sense of design, interior designers can transform spaces into beautiful and functional rooms that allow you to live your best life.

And there are times when hiring a designer is the best course to take.

But you don’t need to be a designer to create some design magic of your own.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing what works and what doesn’t. By avoiding some common design pitfalls, you, too, can have spaces will look like they’ve had the touch of a professional designer.

Take a look at these photos and see what I mean.

1. Don’t push the furniture against the wall. You will have a much more interesting space if you allow breathing room around your pieces of furniture, as we see here. Allow the furniture to float in the room, away from the walls. This will help create a conversation grouping.

The optimal distance for conversational seating is 4 to 8 feet. This is the Goldilocks zone.

2. Don’t buy small, cheap throw pillows with solid forms. Pillows should be generous, overstuffed and formable, like these. Use soft, plush, down-filled pillows that can take a shape. There are great synthetic fill options, too. Use the classic “designer’s chop” to determine if they will shape up: a quick karate chop to the top edge to break up the pillow’s blockiness.

Get rid of any dead pillows that sit like a lump. Say goodbye to postage-stamp-size pillows and matchy-matchy ones that came with the furniture. Instead, overstuff an 18-inch pillow cover with a 20-inch insert for a professional look.

3. Don’t use a good-enough paint color. Paint color makes or breaks the look of a room. If it’s poorly matched, the result will be weak at best. It takes experience and a trained eye to correctly read undertones. Consult a pro on this one to set your results ahead of the crowd.

17 Things Color Consultants Want You to Know

4. Don’t sacrifice lighting to trim your budget. The mistake I see most often is light fixtures that are too small or that don’t dress the room properly. Use appropriately scaled, relevant lighting. Lighting, more than any other element, asserts style, much like a chosen piece of jewelry defines the style of a little black dress. Don’t be afraid to inject personality with a statement piece.

5. Don’t skimp on area rug size. An area rug defines a grouping of furniture. Buy one large enough to lie under at least the front legs of each piece of furniture in your grouping.

11 Area Rug Rules and How to Break Them

6. Don’t isolate rooms. Create flow from one room to the next by visually linking adjacent spaces. Repeat a pattern or carry an accent color or another visual element (such as a leg detaiI) from one room to another.

7. Don’t skimp on drapery. More is more in this department. Professionals use fabric yardage that’s two and a half to three times the width of the window for fully functional drapes. With fixed side panels (for show only), you can get away with fabric twice as wide as the window. Don’t skimp.

Custom Draperies 101

8. Avoid being too matchy. Don’t match textiles and furniture — relate them. A designer’s task is to create a collected look. Look for a collection of pieces with something in common, such as style, motif, color, history, material or mood.

9. Don’t forget the details that make a piece special. I sometimes find the hardest things for my clients to understand is that the details make the design. Nailheads, custom pillows, millwork trim and inlaid floors create a custom look that’s drop-dead gorgeous in the space here.

Once you train your eye to notice the details, you’ll see that a chair with a beautiful turned leg carved by a skilled craftsperson is different than a mass-produced machine-made piece. Custom details are evident in professional work. Contrast piecing or piping on a pillow, or welting, nailheads or trim on a chair. Details, details, details make the result special.

10. Don’t stop until you layer. Designers use layering and repetition of elements and motifs to achieve a professional look. Most people get the concept of layering when it comes to fashion. In design it isn’t much different. Pick something you love, like this patterned headboard, then repeat the color or the pattern.

The artistry lies in stopping before the look becomes too matchy (it always helps to toss in something unexpected to achieve this). Subtlety is key. Drapery, wallpaper, pillows, throws, bedding, accessories — all are great options for layering in a bedroom. You be the judge as to how much is enough.

Photos courtesy HOUZZ

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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This week’s article is totally tongue-in-cheek.

But it does serve as a reminder that designing your home should be fun and not taken too seriously.

Yes, mistakes happen. It’s inevitable and can almost always be fixed in some way. Sometimes with even better results than the original plan.

Take a look at these photos from BUZZFEED DIY. I guarantee you’ll find yourself smiling!

1. This foolproof security system.

This foolproof security system.

2. This overenthusiastic sink.

This overenthusiastic sink.

3. This confused floor tile.

This confused floor tile.

M.C. Escher would be horrified.

4. And this one.

And this one.

5. This brand-conscious house.

This brand-conscious house.

6. These drawers that forgot their life’s purpose.

These drawers that forgot their life's purpose.

7. This driveway that will definitely absolutely kill you.

This driveway that will definitely absolutely kill you.

8. And this garage that you’ll never get to enter.

And this garage that you'll never get to enter.

9. This tilted window.

This tilted window.

10. All of these quasi-unusable toilets.

All of these quasi-unusable toilets.
11.

Known in some circles as “BFF urinals.”

13.

That looks like a solid solution.

14. This MacGyvered light fixture.

This MacGyvered light fixture.

15. And this totally repaired coffee table.

And this totally repaired coffee table.

#lifehack

16. This unclosable door.

This unclosable door.

17. And this unopenable one.

And this unopenable one.

18. This lofty perch.

This lofty perch.

BYO ladder.

19. This statement chandelier.

This statement chandelier.

Although this could be a personal choice.

20. This door that just wants to be a window.

This door that just wants to be a window.

21. This horror of horrors.

This horror of horrors.

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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I wanted to share this article with you all because it’s such a great example of how powerfully our home environment can influence us—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

These 8 tips could help make your home environment more thinning

Your house may be a threat to your figure. Add it to the list, cushioned between those extra slices of pizza and forgetting to work out—because experts say the way you design and maintain your home could play a role in whether you pack on the pounds or keep them off.

“You can make your environment work for you instead of against you,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, dietitian and author of The Flexitarian Diet. “There are ways to use your house to successfully watch your weight, rather than relying solely on willpower.”

 

(Troels Graugaard/iStockphoto)
  1. Open the drapes and turn up the lights: Dark environments are more likely to foster binge eating, say researchers at the University of California–Irvine. That’s because people are often less inhibited and less self-conscious when they’re in dimly lit places—and so more likely to inhale heaps of food with the flair of a speed eater. The researchers describe darkness as a “high-risk environment,” so if your home doesn’t emphasize window light, invest in some decorative lamps and flood the place with brightness.
  2. Don’t forget the clock—or the radio: People who eat slowly tend to consume about 70 fewer calories per meal than those who plow through their meals, Jackson Blatner says—a savings that could amount to 200 calories a day. Often, she says, people are surprised to learn how quickly they finish eating. Begin keeping track of the time, and try to make dinner last at least 30 minutes. And while you’re at it, actually sit down to eat. Grazing while standing can lead to overeating. If you need some help slowing down, turn on relaxing tunes: Research suggests that calm, soothing music eases stress and anxiety, making diners less inclined to rush through a meal.
  3. Turn down the thermostat: Keeping your home too warm could be making you fat, suggests a recent study published in Obesity Reviews. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the prevalence of central heating has increased in step with obesity rates: Exposure to cold causes people to generate their own heat, often by shivering—and that, in turn, helps burn calories. There’s no need for your home to feel like an igloo, but lower the thermostat a tad and your waistline could benefit. Most living rooms in the United States, for example, are heated to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Dropping the temperature to 60 degrees could increase energy expenditure by 100 or 200 calories a day—enough to shed a pound or so over a few weeks.
  4. Downsize those dishes: “Big serving bowls and plates can easily make us fat,” says food psychologist Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Wansink’s research paints a compelling argument: We eat about 22 percent more when using a 12-inch plate instead of a 10-inch plate. When we choose a large spoon over a smaller one, total intake jumps by 14 percent. And we’ll pour about 30 percent more into a short, wide glass than a tall, skinny glass that can hold the same amount of liquid. Jackson Blatner suggests giving smaller dishes a 7-day trial run: “If you don’t think it helps you, stop doing it. But almost everybody I know agrees that it works like magic,” she says. “It’s kind of shocking how simple it can be.”
  5. Store food strategically: You’re nearly three times more likely to eat healthy food if it’s in your line of sight, a Cornell University study reports. That means keeping fruit, vegetables, and other nutritious options on eye-level shelves in the fridge, and relegating chocolate fudge and chip dip to the crispers. What’s out of sight is out of mind, Jackson Blatner says: “Proximity is a big thing. If you’re looking directly at beer and cheese, that’s what you’re going to eat. You’re more likely to forget those things if they’re hidden away.” And the rule extends beyond the refrigerator: Moving a candy dish six feet away from where someone was sitting, one of Wansink’s experiments showed, reduced the average number of calories the person consumed from 225 to 100.
  6. Color yourself thin: There’s a reason McDonald’s bombards costumers with yellow and red: Research suggests these colors fuel our appetites. In one study, people who dined in a blue room consumed 33 percent less than those in a yellow or red room, according to a report published in Contract, an interior design magazine. Researchers speculate that warm shades like yellow make food appear more appetizing, while blue hues temper our hunger. When it’s time to repaint, go blue—or at least opt for navy silverware and dish sets.
  7. Mirror, mirror—not on that wall: Women who exercise in front of a mirror feel less energized, relaxed, positive, and upbeat than those who can’t see themselves mid-crunch, according to a study published in Health Psychology. Enough factors already affect our motivation to work out; no need to add another. Limit mirrors to areas where they’re absolutely necessary.
  8. Spritz the smartest scents: Research suggests that certain aromas can make your waistline as happy as your nose. Jasmine, for example, increases alertness, which in turn ups the likelihood of exercising. Lavender helps you snooze more soundly—no small matter, since sleep deprivation can cause weight gain. And consider lighting green apple or peppermint candles; those scents are thought to suppress appetite. One study, for example, found that people who got a whiff of peppermint every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories each week than they typically did.

Source: US News

This article could be the ticket for losing a few or more pounds! What do you think?

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nanc

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Is your home designed to nourish body and soul?

Last week I talked about the role form and function serve us in our homes.

This week, I’m delving deeper giving you a series of questions that will help you answer if you have given yourself permission to make your home truly your own. One that supports you and empowers your life enrichment and personal success. Yes, I did say give yourself permission. Before we can begin to discover new possibilities or make any positive changes, we have to know it’s o.k. for us to do it.

If I were your interior designer/coach, before even talking about any specific design solutions, we would first determine your wish list is. It’s a journey of discovery in order for you to live your best life in your home. Only then, can you find your “best couch.”

HOW DOES YOUR HOME RESONATE WITH YOU?

  • Do you feel fully embraced and connected in your home?
  • What colors do you love? Are they represented in your home?
  • Are you an outdoor or indoor person? Is that reflected in your home?
  • Do you love to do crafts, or maybe paint or write? Do you have a place in your home that fosters your creativity?
  • Do you love to entertain? Is your home set up in such a way that easily allows you to be an effortless and elegant hostess?
  • Do you need quiet time? Do you have a space that gives you peace and time for reflection?
  • Do you like things simple and organized, or more comfortable and relaxed? Is this represented in your home?
  • Are you facing changes in your life that directly affect how you live in your home? Does your home reflect these changes in an effective and beautiful way?

What are the most important things to you? It’s not a question of having a big budget or a big home. Forget interior design for a moment. Think with your heart not your head. Usually what immediately comes to mind first comes from our heart space before our mind space has a chance to filter it.

So, what are your most important values and wouldn’t you love your home to represent them?

Your home is a springboard for all that do and feel so it should support what YOU need and what YOU want in order to live your best life.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

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These mistakes happen all of the time. Sometimes they can be fixed, other times not so much. By staying mindful, you won’t make any.

1) Clutter—All of us experience this at one time or another. It can happen so gradually that we don’t notice until until one day we look around and say WOW. How did this happen? It usually occurs when we are late and can’t find something we need.

2) Wrong Color Co-ordination—When putting a room together or even just adding to a room, if the floor(hard surface or carpet,) fabrics and paint aren’t complentary, something will always feel off.

3) Artwork–Can be hung too high or too low. Placement not thought out before hanging and not grouped correctly. Also, not enough art pieces for the amount of wall space.

4) Furniture—Buying furniture pieces before measuring the space or measuring incorrectly.

5) Lighting—Usually not enough to cover all of the needs we have. Whether it’s mood lighting, task and ambient, a room can’t properly function if the lighting is not right. Then, there are the dark corners that are not addressed.

In future blogs, I’m going to focus on each mistake with easy fixes.

Until next time.

Warmest regards,
Nancy

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