April 17, 2015

Have a Great Weekend

Class week concludes today as students learns the various niches they can offer. It's been a great week, but I have to tell you, the dogs HATE class week. Our schedules are such that one of us (mostly me) is around a good portion of the day and they are people dogs. Thankfully, both David and Amanda were able to come home early two different days, and Kate is home for an extra long weekend. Massachusetts celebrates Patriot's Day, which means Boston Marathon day, which means we'll all be taking the day to celebrate as well. Luckily, Amanda's spring vacation starts the same week this year so we'll all be able to enjoy it. Tomorrow we kick things off by attending Amanda's Accepted Student's Day in Rhode Island!

In the meantime, I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into a typically very busy week for me and don't forget to take a guess at this post's color combination. And if you're interested in learning more about classes, you can find more information here. Oh, and that big announcement I promised I've decided to save until next week. And finally, here are some links you may enjoy this weekend...

Considering redoing your bath? Try these ideas.

Stock up on your books this weekend at B&N using this code for 20% off: FP7JY8W1CDKEP

10 foods you should never refrigerate.

Organize your kitchen with these space-saving tips.

Keep calm with this simple yoga pose.

Treat yourself to a healthy glow with these homemade skin remedies.

Photo: Bowerbird & Friends. One of the must-visit places if you visit. This store is filled with old and new home décor.

April 16, 2015

The Art of Accessorizing (It's Class Week)

Day three of class is when it all comes together. Accessorizing adds personality to a room, so it's little wonder that this is the students (and my) favorite day. They learn how to put things together in unique ways and not necessarily as their intended use. With a simple formula, they can create an array of looks using everyday objects.

Students shop the studio and work with a variety of surfaces to work their magic. They're taught how stylists, set decorators, photographers, window dressers, and designers use props to achieve their overall design goals. They look at the way an object sits, drapes, reflects light, and moves. And they learn to not let labels get in the way. No one says you have to display “kitchen” items in the kitchen and so on.

Nature quickly became the theme this week as shades of green and blue showed up in many displays. Working with organic materialswhether real or fauxis a great way to add color, texture, and life to a room. It's also a relatively inexpensive way to stretch your budget, and your accessories.

I'll have more photos to share next week. In the meantime, don't forget to enter the color contest before the end of the day tomorrow.

April 15, 2015

Ladies Who Lunch (It's Class Week)

During class week, I take all of my students to Twelve Pine for lunch. This once teeny tiny catering and grab-and-go lunch spot is now a very large gourmet market/restaurant/retail store where you can dine-in, take out, and grab a nice hostess gift or bunch of flowers on your way out. They serve hot and cold entrees, soups (their tomato cheddar is a favorite), salads, and decadent desserts. There is also a gourmet coffee bar, a nice collection of wines, and during the warmer months, they serve gelato. On Monday, I picked up a dinner in addition to lunch. David was happy to eat a plate of their yummy Jambalaya, and I was happy I didn't have to cook! Basically, there's something for everyone and I don't have to worry about a student's dietary restrictions, which makes us all happy.

However, I'm a creature of habit and I order my favorite sandwich almost every time I order their grilled chicken with tomato and basil on focaccia drizzled with a balsamic dressing. Delicious!

It's all About Color... (It's Class Week)

Yesterday, class was all about color (pattern and texture)! Students learn how to read (see) select, and coordinate. And that's the key to color. So how do you read color? By learning about how colors are mixed, whether that means with another color or adding an analogous hue like black, brown, or white. By combining these together, colors now have what's know as an undertone. If you can identify what the undertones are, you'll be able to put an array of color combinations together with ease. One of the ways the students learn how to do this is by using a color wheel. The color wheel is a valuable tool that allows you to see how colors can be used together and what combinations will give you the look you want.

Do you see those arrows? That's a guide (cheat sheet) to be able to create endless color palettes. However, it does have its limitations, so it's just one of the tools we use to uncover how to coordinate.

The photos above is from Thrifty Décor Chick. She's chosen to paint the cabinet blue, but surrounded the cabinet with shades of green and violet. This is a color scheme used to enliven a space (clearly), but do you know what it's called?

Answer correctly and you will receive a special color analysis. I will choose a person randomly from the correct replies. Good luck!

(Contest ends Friday and I'll announce the winner on Monday.)

April 14, 2015

The Art of Arrangment (It's Class Week)

My students learn all about design principles and the art of arrangement the very first day of class. The first is the catalyst to all design decisions (the most important being balance), and the second is putting placement techniques to work while using those design principles. Drafting a floor plan can sometimes feel overwhelming. What you thought you knew about design starts to feel all wrong simply because you're working in 2D instead of 3D. I watch students struggle with decisions, and second guess their instincts. They (usually) hate this exercise. However, once they've done it, and they've understood it, they can't wait to practice more!

You can't decorate well until you understand space. When you shop for furniture in a typical furniture store, everything is out of scale, so you think, "of course this will fit in my home", and a lot of times it doesn't. Then you have to take into consideration color, pattern, texture... but that's another lesson.

When I teach my students proper furniture placement, we look at a variety of professional floor plans that I've collected over time. What you find on Pinterest, in your favorite decorating magazines, or even on your favorite decorating show, isn't always right! Students aren't really surprised, because most of them have been critiquing these designs on their own before they come to class. They're happy to find out that their instincts have not abandoned them altogether.

So, the next time you're planning on decorating, have a plan. Take measurementsof your room, your furnishings, anything and everything that will impact that design. Then pay attention to the detailscolor, pattern, texture. Everything looks different under store lights, so do your best to color match before you head out the door.

Stay tuned for color information...

Photo: bhg.com

It's Class Week

It's class week, so I'm dedicating this week to all things design and learning about design. Yesterday, I was in the studio sprucing it up for the new students. David moved in some much-needed shelving for all of the accessories the students get to play with. I'm also refreshing and adding inventory, as well as unveiling my latest edition of my manual (in case you hadn't heard). I know it's only metal shelving, but this room is starting to become my favorite in the studio. Every time I make the slightest change, I get excited to make more.

I'll be sure to post some pictures on Instagram and the week unfolds, so you can follow along. And of course, if you're interested in exactly what goes on in this studio space, you can always email me, or click on the logo on the bottom right of my page, to find out!

(Sorry, guys. This was supposed to be published yesterday!)

April 10, 2015

Have an Enjoyable Weekend!

Last weekend was all about the dogs and lacrosse and Easter and Kate's birthday. This weekend, the only thing we have on our agenda is to get Amanda's prom dress altered. Both David and Amanda are suffering through allergies/colds right now, so I'll make sure to keep the house warm, put on a pot of tea, and sit with them through countless hours of television while I revise my manual. And hopefully sit in the sun!

I hope your weekend is more exciting! In the meantime, here are some links you may enjoy...

15 great organizing tricks.

I enjoyed (and was inspired by) this video.

5 celebrity living rooms... would you live in any of these? I'll take Lauren Conrad's (Michelle Williams' is a close second.)

Read why this woman wears the exact same thing to work each day.

Writing is hard work. Will these tips help?

18 of the most charming small towns in America.

A word about the photos... Poor Cooper and Dante had to endure a couple of shots when we took them to a rabies clinic and where we also got them chipped. They got new harnesses for the occasion, but they weren't too happy. After it was all over, they got to run through the woods and then they took a nice long nap when we got home. Kate and David did I fine job of keeping them somewhat calm. No shots this weekend, boys!

HGTVs Smart Home

I think I may have mentioned that after a long hiatus from watching HGTV, I can't get enough of Fixer Upper. But a show called Smart Home 2015 will be airing at the end of the month and I may be a convert.

This modern farmhouse, located in Austin, TX, is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. The color in the living room is Snowbound (SW7004) and it's also used in the guest bedroom along with Dovetail (SW7018) which happens to be one of my favorite shades of gray.

Watch and enter to win this home! Air date: April 20th at 11pm.

Writing is a Process (1000 Words)

So, I'm smack in the middle of a BIG final edit on my manual, when I stopped to read a FB post from one of my favorite writers. She posted, "If I start to post here constantly, don't be surprised. I'm revising, and, frankly, I would rather walk across ground glass than revise." Oh, Anna (Quindlen), I am so with you on this. My 1000 words have turned into a monster of a project. I think the black and white images that flash on my screen are indeed words, but at this point, they could be tiny little penguins marching across my page. Then one of my dogs rolled his ball under a piece of furniture. As I went to retrieve it, I found the first draft of my book. Looky here... that's where you've been hiding. I quickly shoved it back under the furniture. (Stay tuned for a big announcement next week...)