Since this is my 75th blog post, I thought that I would touch on a topic that many of us, both clients and designers, sometime struggle with when we want to decorate our homes; finding the inspirational ideas and visual designs that excite us and motivate us to transform our living spaces.
One way to get started is to look at what other people are doing with their homes. Since we’re halfway through 2019 here’s a look at what they’re up to (from mymodernmet.com).
In my experience many of us have a basic idea of what style (Traditional, Contemporary, Art Deco, French Country, Mid-Century Modern, Shabby Chic, Minimalist, Costal, Feng Shui, etc.,) we want our home to be. Most of us even have a broad idea of what color category (e.g. blue, green, off-white, yellow, etc.,) we want to the space to be. So what’s the hold-up?
I find that having these two significant elements, design style and color category, are a great starting point – but then everyone gets bogged down in the next steps; the specific details and turning a high-level vision into an integrated design – especially if there are time and/or budget constraints. And why is that? Well I think that many people just get overwhelmed by all the activities required by a full-blown interior design project. Activities that include:
1) Choosing the overall colors
a) Both the main color and the accent colors
2) Defining the room layout
a) Furniture type and sizing and traffic flow
3) Lighting design
a) To include overhead fixtures, lamps and window shades
4) Choosing the finishes
a) Including where to source them from
5) Sourcing furniture that meets the design esthetic
a) Both locally and online
6) Selecting window covering styles and fabrics
a) Including where to purchase them or have them custom made
7) Styling and accessorizing
a) To have enough but not too many accessories
8) Trying to visualize how the end result will look
a) 3D visualization or sketches, fabric samples, wallpaper samples, carpet samples
9) Finding and communicating with the trades
a) e.g. painters, wall-paper hangers, furniture painters, upholsterers, handymen, electricians, plumbers, carpenters
Honestly it can all be a little overwhelming at the beginning. So what’s a good place to start? I think the answer to that question falls into a couple of categories: 1) general approaches to style and design, and 2) information on the current trends. So, to help you out, here are a few links to more detailed discussions on those topics:
- Everything You Need to Know: 20 Interior Design Styles Defined in 2019
- Tips for Choosing Interior Paint Colors
- Interior Design Trends for 2019 to Upgrade Your Home Décor
- Interior Design Trends to Watch in 2019
- 2019's Biggest Interior Design Trend Predictions
- The Home Trends You're About to See Everywhere
- 10 Interior Design Trends for 2019
Since I’ve been helping my clients resolve their unique design challenges for almost 20 years, I’d love to help you with yours. So give me a call, I have lots of ideas and materials to help inspire you.
As we’ve all recently seen, one of the latest trends in interior decorating is the use of technology to allow you to automate your home. Consistent with that trend is the latest lighting trend that doesn’t just allow you to turn your lights on and off remotely – but also allows you to change the brightness and color of your lights using LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights that are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connected. The product line with the leading edge technology in this area is the Philips “Hue” line of bulbs. We installed Hue bulbs in my Daughter’s room last year and added them to our Guest Bedroom when we recently redecorated it.
To use the Hue bulbs you just need to replace your current standard bulbs with the Hue bulbs. No special light fixtures or electrical connections are required. You can immediately begin using them by downloading the IOS or Android app and leveraging their Bluetooth connection. To get even more flexibility and control over the Hue bulb’s brightness and colors (16 million colors to be exact), you just need to add a Hue “Bridge” to your home’s internet network (~$50).
Here are some screen shots of the IOS app and photos of the lights (two night stand lamps and an overhead light) in our Guest Bedroom with varying brightness and warmth of white light.
Here are some photos of the lights in the Guest Bedroom with different overall colors (e.g. all the lights in the room are set to the same color).
Here are some screen shots of the IOS app and photos of the lights in the Guest Bedroom with different presets where each light bulb is a different color.
Here are some photos of the lights in my Daughter’s room with different overall colors and presets where each light bulb is a different color.
Although the Hue bulbs are significantly more expensive than standard light bulbs (~$40 each - because of the connectivity electronics and wide range of light colors from the LEDs), they are worth it if you really want to customize and control your lighting.
If you want to find out more about Hue light bulbs and how they work here are the links to the Philips Hue website:
Want to look into how this new technology can enhance your home? Just give me a call and I’ll walk you through it.
Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.