Every year about this time, many design experts will come out with their “best trends” list for the coming year.
As a designer, if I’m working with you, I don’t care much about trends per se, because I believe you are your own trendsetter. Only you know what “looks” are going to work in your home.
When you design your home, you do it “mindfully” so the overall effect is something you love and will not necessarily be this year’s “trend.”
However, I do think trends are fun to look at and decide if there might be one or two that could be a perfect addition to your decor.
Here are a few for the coming year:
MIXING METALLICS
metalic kitchen
It used to be that we would only use one metal. Now we mix them. However, the trick is to use one predominant metal and any others as an accent. Sort of like mixing patterns where there is one larger and the rest are smaller.
ECO-FRIENDLY DESIGN
natural fireplace
Being aware of a healthy environment is hardly new. For many years, aware architects and designers have realized that it only makes good sense to incorporate sustainable design.
Not only using products that are safe for human beings, but our entire planet. Re-usual products, wood and stone are examples of sustainable products.
NATURE INSPIRED PRINTS
outdoor print dining chairs
Self explanatory. Whether it be animal prints, flowers, trees—anything found in nature.
Use carefully as too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. What is new is using these prints in colors that are not found in the natural world.
GEOMETRICS
geometric sheets
Geometrics are not really new. Remember the late 60’s and 70’s?
They are always current because of the visual interest they provide a space.
Use carefully so they don’t overpower a room.
COLOR ME BLUE
geometric rug
Whether it’s navy, royal blue, or cobalt, these blues will be seen in many different ways.
In this photo, the blue in the carpet also incorporates a geometric design. It works because everything else in the room is soft and subdued.
There you have it. These are but a few of the “top trends.”
Do you see anything that you’d love to add to your interior decor in 2016?
Until next time…
Nancy
Dedicated to living your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via FreshOme
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This week I want to share a post written by blogger Elizabeth Pullman, www.LiveLovely.com. She wrote this article for HuffPostHome.com.
One thing I know for sure is that aromatherapy does work and there is a lot of science to back it up. Read the article and give it a try. Who among us doesn’t love feeling in a good mood?

Your sense of smell is one of the most powerful things you can experience. Not only do certain smells bring back distinct memories, but they can also heighten or alter your mood. It’s pretty amazing how the human body adapts and responds to certain changes, and scent definitely influences this.

Aromatherapy has been around for a long time, but it seems to have hit its stride in recent years. Today, it seems like essential oils, candles, and other scent-producing products are very popular with renters. It makes sense: These agents have the power to put you in a better mood within minutes, something we all need from time to time.

What’s more, these smells could even allow you to stay healthy.

One of these influences is keeping grumpiness at bay. If you’re curious about which scents can positively impact your mood and focus, read below:

Jasmine

This beautiful flower isn’t just nice to look at, it can also give you the ability to enjoy a sense of calm, as it has proven to relax nerves and alleviate tension. We all know that stress is a direct result of a bad mood, and vice-versa.

According to BrightNest, research has shown that jasmine can allow you to get a better night’s sleep, too. More sleep and less stress? This one’s a no-brainer.

Peppermint

Because mint is so refreshing in desserts and cocktails, it should come as no surprise that peppermint essential oils and candles have been linked to invigoration and more energy. This is why a lot of people tend to use peppermint oils in soaps and shampoos, as it’s a great way to wake up in the morning and get ready to take on the day.

Lavender

This beautiful purple plant has been linked to calm and tranquility for centuries. In fact, smelling lavender is connected to a decreased heart rate. If you’re having one of “those days,” a few drops of lavender-infused essential oil or salts in your bubble bath can melt away the stress of the day instantly. Lavender essential oils can also be added to your laundry, meaning you can carry the calm-inducing scent with you all day long!

As an added bonus, lavender is a beautiful plant for decorating, so putting a vase of lavender flowers in your bedroom or living room could help you feel a sense of calm as you wind down for the evening, too.

Cinnamon

This tasty spice is usually associated with sweet baked treats and the holidays, but cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes for quite some time. In fact, a study conducted by Wheeling Jesuit University showed that cinnamon positively impacted memory skills, attention spans, and visual-motor response. Adding some cinnamon in your morning coffee could be just the thing to get you ready for work in the morning.

Pine

As another holiday-time scent, pine is known giving us that sense of comfort and warmth once the weather gets cold and icy. It’s no wonder either, as the scent has been linked to reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. This means you should light that pine-scented candle not just during the holidays, but year round as well!

Vanilla

Is there anything more comforting (and hunger-inducing) than the smell of fresh vanilla bean? Vanilla is a wonderful, all-natural addition to your favorite sweets and breads, but it’s also known to boost happiness.

In fact, according to a study published in Chemical Senses, vanilla is linked to joy and relaxation. Whenever you’re throwing a party or getting some friends together, vanilla essential oils or candles could be the perfect addition.

Rosemary

This herb is used in a plethora of recipes, but it’s also a known mood booster. According to Entrepreneur, rosemary has been connected to pain relief and can battle mental exhaustion and fatigue, and even headaches. When the workweek gets the most of you, rosemary could be the perfect all-natural solution.

Citrus

Whether it’s lemon, orange, or grapefruit essential oils, adding these to your daily routine can work wonders for your immune system. Citrus has long been an all-natural fighter of viruses and bacteria — especially for colds and sore throats — so this could be just the thing for those times when you’re feeling a little tired or run down.

Until  next time…
Blessings from my home to yours…
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll enjoy reading 9 SCENTS THAT CAN AFFECT THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE IN YOUR HOME
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What is the Wabi-Sabi Principle of design?
“You don’t need the latest high brow designer couch, and you don’t need to revamp your entire home with the trendiest colors. Instead, the treasures already in your home that symbolize your life, emotions, and personal history are perfect. In fact, the only elements in your home should be ones that you absolutely love, undoubtedly need, or ideally both.”   – Poetichome.com
Another translation is Wabi-Sabi, which has its roots in Japan, loves imperfection. In fact, imperfections are perfection in a sense because life is imperfect.
We spend so much time striving to have the “perfect” home, that we never take the time to look around and relish what is absolutely great.
We tend to concentrate on what we perceive as the negatives instead of embracing all of the positive aspects of our home.
What a concept to actually celebrate imperfection. Doesn’t that give you a feeling of freedom and a different perspective of how you live in your home?
Maybe it’s time to toss many of those to-do lists, enjoy what we have, and realize our home is good enough just as it is.
Here are some suggestions that can help you live a Wabi-Sabi lifestyle:

HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR HOME THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. It’s your home and not someone else’s, so you get to choose.

ORGANIZE and remove anything that isn’t used or loved. It’s just taking up space.
TAKE A PHOTO of anything and everything in your home that makes you smile.You may very well be surprised at what you see. It could be the smallest things that grab you
USE YOUR KITCHEN MORE. It’s the one place in your home that illustrates how much your home supports you.

KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL. You’ll quickly see how many things there are about your home that you love—just as it is.

GET RID OF anything in your home that no longer serves you. You’ll immediately feel lighter.

RE-ARRANGE YOUR ROOMS. It’s amazing how you’ll create a whole new space by changing furniture around. Or, you may decide to change the function of a room like a guest bedroom that is rarely used into a study.

TAKE TIME TO UNPLUG. We’re constantly being barraged with all things electronic. 24 hour news cycles, social media, constant emails can affect our soul. There has to be in our day, time when we can take a deep breath and just be without these kinds of distractions. You’ll enjoy your home and your life so much more if you do. Photos via 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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Have you ever looked at a blank wall and wondered how you’re going to fill it?
Or, you’ve thought how can I leave it unadorned; shouldn’t something go there?
The answer is that maybe it would be better to leave it as it is—place nothing and leave it blank.
A few reasons why:
  • The eyes need a place to rest. Too much visual noise can be distracting.
  • You are able to focus on other design elements in the space.
  • Unadorned spaces allow a room to breathe and give you a place to focus on your own thoughts and dreams.
Take a look at the photos and the explanations given by interior designer, YANIC SIMARD. You’ll see how this can successfully work and and it’s a freeing feeling that its o.k. to have blank spaces. It can be Mindful Interior Design at its best.
Images 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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Like the fashion industry, interior design trends are always evolving.
In part because consumers need to see new and different products to entice purchasing; the “out with the old and in with the new” theory.
Also, new and improving technologies affect how we live in our homes and they can create changes.
Unlike a trendy dress, however, most of us can’t afford to replace the new kitchen when we tire of it in a year or two. That’s why it’s important to make sure whichever trends we may choose, we can happily live with for a long time.
Some trends are so spot-on that they become “classics,” stand the test of time and never go out-of-style.
So mindfully take care that the choices you make are the ones that truly will enrich your life and keep your home the place you most love to be.
Having said that, MITCHELL PARKER of the Houzz Editorial Staff shares his 2016 design trends list.
I particularly like #’s 2, 6, 13, 16, and 18. These ideas really can improve the function and quality of life in your home this year and many years to come.
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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MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN

I love this article and wanted to share it with you because it will make you smile, too. It was published in ELLE DECOR and written by AMY PREISER.

It’s tongue-in-cheek and yet who among us can’t relate to at least one of the 12. For me, #1 had my name beside it and I bet yours as well.

Take a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee or tea and just enjoy!

12 PROBLEMS ONLY PEOPLE WITH GREAT TASTE UNDERSTAND

  1. You walk into any store—low- or high-end—and your favorite item is always the most expensive one. Who knew that little brass tray would ring up as more than certain pieces of furniture?

  2. You’ve had to stop watching makeover shows on TV because your stress level gets too high. All that loud sighing muttering “Oh I could do so much better” can take a toll.

  3. You only create secret boards on Pinterest—otherwise all your friends wind up with the exact. same. accessories. Sure it’s flattering, but you’d rather not have identical bookshelves.

  4. You’ve never gotten your security deposit back. And you KNOW your past landlords have hiked up the rent based on your improvements.

  5. You’ve wondered if your friends like you, or just the amazing things you’ve helped pick out for them. So often, those coffee dates turn into “want to pop over and check out that shop? I’m in the market for xyz…

  6. Even your cat can be judgemental about fabrics. It’s not your imagination, she actually purrs louder when perched on cashmere.

  7. You have so many coffee table books, there’s no longer room for actual coffee on your table. Time to edit it down? Or time to get a bigger coffee table?

  8. You’re often delayed when leaving the house because you have to do a quick touch-up to the pillows. Whether you’re team karate-chop or team fluffing, you’ve got to make sure your pillows are perfectly propped for when you arrive back home.

  9. You have more shelfies than selfies on your Instagram. And yes, each one of them took a solid amount of time to style to get just right.

  10. You can’t visit certain family members at home because of an overwhelming desire to move their sofa to the opposite wall. And you don’t want to start that fight again.

  11. When you say “Thank you, you shouldn’t have!” you mean it. Really. They should not have. This gift is going straight to the Goodwill.

  12. Your calendar is filled with dinner parties…and you suspect you’re only on the invite list because of your reputation for hostess gifts. Did your cousin’s ex-girlfriend really want you at her birthday party or does she just remember the vase you gave them at their housewarming?

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 don’t know about you, but FRASIER was a T.V. comedy series that I absolutely loved. I loved the humor, the cast, the backdrop of my hometown, Seattle. And, I appreciated the timeless interior design of Frasier’s apartment. Minus, of course, Dad’s lounge chair!

Take a trip down memory lane. Look at the clips and read Dr. Frasier Crane’s design tips. All kidding aside, it’s still sound advice, except for having a lounge chair and a martini shaker in the bathroom.  On second thought if that works for you, why not?

There are few television homes (old and new) that are able to emulate a character’s personality and style more than that of Dr. Frasier Crane’s Seattle house.

In the pilot, Frasier shows off his new digs to his father. After Frasier boasts about his impeccable decor, Martin points out that nothing matches, to which his son replies: “Well, it’s a style of decorating — it’s called eclectic. The theory behind it is, if you have really fine pieces of furniture, it doesn’t matter if they match — they will go together.” And just like that, the whole tone for the show was set, all in that magical moment in the Elliot Bay Towers.

The episode premiered 20 years ago this month, and along with the laughs, clever intertitle cards and supremely genius characters, we also learned a lot about decorating. Here’s are the more valuable lessons.

#1. When it comes to decor, sometimes you have to compromise with those you live with.

#2. There are few problems a Canadian Goose Down pillow and Egyptian Cotton sheets can’t solve.

#3. Never forget: An Eames Classic is the greatest engineered chair in the world.

#4. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a couch, you can do whatever you want with it… whether that be sitting or punching.

#5. As soon as your significant other makes fun of your hand towels, it’s time to send them on their way.

#6. Whenever your parents give you something for your apartment that’s completely hideous, just smile and nod.

#7. A bathroom without candles, a lounge chair and a martini shaker is no bathroom at all.

 

Credits: Huff Post Home

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

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When you think of ceramic tiles, what do you picture in your mind? I think of ceramic tiles as looking like, well, the tile we’re all used to seeing.

But there is now another option available: tiles that look like real wood.

Used as flooring, they’re less expensive than traditional wood floors.  And they’re easy to clean, maintain and are environmentally friendly.  Wood-like tiles could be a perfect choice if dogs are a part of your family as you don’t have to worry about scratch marks.

Made by an Italian company, ARIANA CERAMICA ITALIANA, the tiles can be used in other ways that enhance your interior design.

Take a look at these photos and see what you think. You just may want to incorporate ceramic wood tiles in your own

medium Rough grain square and rectangular combination wooden wall tiles

medium contrasting wooden floor and wall tiles

Isn’t it wonderful to have choices?

Until next time…

Blessings,

Nancy

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Don’t you just love spring?

I was taking my usual walk the other day and I kept smelling different, yet wonderful scents. It seemed as though every few feet my nostrils were bombarded with a different one.

There truly is something to be said for “stopping to smell the roses.”  I had to stop and figure out where all these delicious scents were coming from.

How delightful was my foot journey and the best part was I had a smile on my face the whole time! 3 of my 5 senses were stimulated into overdrive: sight, smell, and touch (some of the blossoms just begged to be felt.)

Flowers and greenery are one of the best ways to bring nature indoors.  They can lift our spirits and increase the good-feeling endorphins in our brain.

They offer color, texture, scent, and enhance the beauty of any room they are placed in.

And the best part?

It doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to be a Master Gardner to create your own natural, living art.

Take a look at these photos. You’ll see all manner of arrangements:  simple, elegant, sophisticated, country or city inspired. Some are very feminine, others more masculine. You’ll see modern design and old-fashioned.

Notice, too, the containers. They can tell their own story and enhance the arrangement you place in them. If you look around, I’ll bet you see different containers you’d never have thought of using.

In the end, it’s always about YOU. What YOU love and how YOU want to feel in your home. The only rule is that it has to make you feel happy.

If you have any questions about floral design, email me at :me@nancymeadowsdesigns.com

I’d love to help.

Enjoy!

Photos from Interior Design Ideas:

vintage white living with crimson floral display

recycled bottle jar collection lisianthus 2

Until next time…

Blessings,

Nancy

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Kitchen Remodel“Decoration is really about creating a quality of life, and a beauty in that life that nourishes the soul, that makes life beautiful.  That’s what all this is about, not just what’s in and out.” —Albert Hadley, Interior Designer

Albert Hadley’s design philosophy certainly echos my own and the title of this week’s article may seem counter-intuitive to this. Also, trends can be transitory. What’s “in” this year, may be “out” the following year.

Having said that, who can resist these “lists?” They’re fun to read!  And sometimes, what is called a trend today can be something that extends far into the future because their benefits are on going and long lasting.

Also, as with everything, what’s old becomes new again.

You may be thinking of making some design changes in your home this year and some of these “trends” might just be what you’re looking for.
Here they are:

QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
Especially for kitchens and bathrooms, quartz is made of real stone combined with man-made products. There are beautiful colors and patterns available much like granite. However, quartz is much more durable and is virtually maintenance-free, unlike granite. It’s also generally more affordable.

ECLECTIC AND COLLECTED
We’ve always loved to display “treasures” found during our travels.  However, the world is so connected now, that we don’t even have to travel for our homes to reflect a global presence.

Also remaining popular are retro and vintage furnishings and accessories. There’s always something comforting about pleasant reminders from our past. Check out estate sales and flea markets. Two online sites that interior designers use and you can too, are 1st dibs and One Kings Lane.

KITCHEN COLOR
I don’t see stainless steel disappearing any time soon, but charcoal grey is making an appearance. Could it give stainless steel a run for its money?

KITCHENS
More contemporary design instead of traditional. Perhaps because this style is simpler, with cleaner lines, making it easier to use and clean.

HARDWOOD FLOORS
Hardly new, but is now, once again, the flooring of choice. They’re always beautiful and generally easier to clean than carpets. Also a good choice for allergy sufferers and homes with pets.

KITCHEN SINKS
Deep and wide, they’re easier to use than the traditional double sink.

GLASS BACKSPLASHES
Mixing traditional mosaic with glass offers visual interest and texture. The glass reflects light and is just plain pretty which leads to:

TEXTURE AND SPARKLE
Along with glass tiles, gold and silver either separately or combined.  Shiny brass and nickle fixtures are back as well.

STONE
Specifically Calacatta marble. Used specifically in bathrooms, it works well in both contemporary and traditional design.

MULTIGENERATION LIVING
Each year, this type of living grows in number and will continue to do so. It’s especially important in bathrooms and kitchens that the design keeps safety and easy-to-use top of mind.

HEALTHY LIVING
No longer of the future, “green” homes are here to stay. They’re better for the environment, our health, and energy efficient costing less money.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy

Image Courtesy ArmchairBuilder.com
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