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Friday, January 21, 2011

Making the Most of Small Spaces

I admire people who thrive under adversity. Ok, that may be a strong statement for small spaces but I have heard folks wimper when they speak of their small rooms. I say buck up little soldier and make the most of it. Here are some great examples...

Girls Dream Bedroom - No Boys Allowed eclectic bedroom

This room was done by the incomparable Janell Beals of the famed Isabella & Max Rooms blog. If you've read her blog you know that she is on a mission to make all rooms beautiful... and she does a wonderful job. I wonder if Janell had to measure and measure to find just the right pieces or it they just happened upon her? Look at how effortlessly the night stands fit in. The beautiful serene blue-green with a pop of a warm hue to frame the vignette. Plus a work space at the end for writing notes, homework, or to serve as a vanity table. I love the lamps too with a tiny echo of the warm hue to tie everything together. The chandelier... fantastic. Look at the gorgoues pattern it emanates onto the ceiling. Love it

The Lettered Cottage traditional bedroom

Here is another great example done by The Lettered Cottage. A twin bed serves as a bed and a sofa. I also love the wall treatment. It takes away the boxy look that often comes with small spaces. I also like the the bare window letting in every ounce of light. Almost anything placed on the window would intrude on the room. However if privacy is absolutely needed, a modern roll shade would do the trick with the least amount of notice. The palette is another factor ~ very quiet and neutral. No need to be overly loud in a space this size.

Home Office Inspiration traditional home office

Tineke triggs contemporary bedroom

These last two remind me of my post earlier this week ~ a place for everything and everything in its place. Trundle beds are exceptional for small spaces. They can be a sofa, a bed for one, or a bed for two. The other factor in these rooms are the built in cabinets providing ample storage around the perimeter as well has decorative. Well placed sconces can serve as general and task lighting especially if they can be manipulated as these can. Tineke Triggs obvioulsy new that and implemented it well.

So you see, no need to wimper about your small space. Take a look at the rest of the world. So many live in small spaces they have made doing so an art form. You can too with a little thought and a good plan.

A side note ~ folks that have read my blog over time may recall Monday's Method and Thursday's Room. Monday's Method is when people write in for interior design advice. For Thursday's Room, I would select a well designed room and write about it from a 'technical' viewpoit using the principles and elements of good design. I strayed away from these themed posts but I am missing them. I like to be helpful and I like to think through quality design. Timeless Tuesday? Good riddance. Not that there aren't timeless classics to pay tribute to but the link party was a bit of a drag. Will anyone come to my party??!! You know when you send out invitations to a party and the first RSVP is a cancellation and you get that sinking feeling... 'what if no body comes?' It was kind of like that. I probably won't do Monday's Method or Thursday's Room in the regimented manner I was but I will start doing them again.

Soooo ~ if you would like some interior design advice, drop me a note and some pictures. I'll give you the best advice I can using this venue. Email me at paula@paulagracedesign.com. Please place Monday's Method in the subject line ~ I get a lot of email and I don't want to miss it!

Pictures compliments of Houzz

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting Organized ~ Again

I often get requests for help with home organization. The New Year always brings these requests in buckets. I think many people want to start off the year as organized as possible or make resolutions to have a more organized home, office, life… whatever the case may be. This year is no different. Getting organized is one thing; sustaining organization is another. It’s a mind set, a discipline. I struggle with this myself. I start out determined to keep my studio organized but in the throws of creativity (at least that’s what I tell myself) my studio always becomes a bit messy. I clean it up with the same resolve to always put things back and then it happens all over again. This is a behavioral issue that perhaps a bit of therapy may help but then I recall the timeless philosophy ~ a place for everything and everything in its place. There is truth to that. For example in my studio, I have a finite amount of space but new fabric, catalogs, samples, etc. come all time. That means I have to purge periodically or chaos will ensue. I admit, I am a bit of a pack rat when it comes to my studio because I never know when a piece I have been cherishing will be perfect for a project. Still, I do purge AND have storage such that all really does have a place. Don’t underestimate having the correct storage for the job and having guidance on how to get and stay organized.

A couple of good books on this topic are House Beautiful The Organized Home: Stylish Storage Solutions for Every Room and Real Simple: The Organized Home. Both are available through Amazon for under $20.00.

What about particular pieces for storage? Well if books are your things, how about a library where they can be organized by topic or author. The Royal Library Cabinet from Sarreid is just the ticket.

It comes complete with a ladder and beauty galore.

No butler’s pantry to organized entertaining? No worries, how about a bar cabinet. I love the Cleo Bar Cabinet from Hickory Chair.

Closed, it is beautiful; open, it’s a slice of heaven for your guests.

Home office blues? There are many home office remedies. The Hudson Street Collection from Stanley Furniture offers storage and style.

Mud room got you down? This organization delight from Bare Wood is sure to please.

The best thing of all is that you can paint it any color to want to blend it in the room or make a statement. Perhaps neon green so your kids will actually see it when they walk in the door and be mesmerized into hanging up their coats (dare to dream!).

Closets? When I get asked to do closets, I always use a reputable closet vendor. Almost all of them can design the crème de la crème closet. If that level of intervention isn’t needed for your closets, just go to the Container Store.

Their Elfa System is wonderful and they can design all that you need right in the store. Right now, they're doing their annual 30% off sale ~ awesome! Just make sure you take accurate measurements ~ measure twice (or three or four), cut once applies here.

There you have it, Organization 101. If all else fails, hire an organization specialist. I have the phone number of one… now if I could just find it that would be ideal. Ok, time to purge!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beautiful Bedroom Architecture

Bedroom Suite tropical bedroom

V & Company, Fine Builders modern bedroom
/31573/Veranda-Showcase-House-traditional-bedroom-los-angeles'>Veranda Showcase House traditional bedroom

Three different styles ~ all with beautiful elements that equal a gorgeous whole.

Photos courtesy of Houzz.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's always fun...

... to see your work published. In the December 2010 issue of Rug and Design News, you can see this...

Always makes me smile :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ode to Pink Rerun

This post originally came out in September 2009. Both Sarah and I love pink and with Pantone's color of the year being honeysuckle pink, I thought a show how forward thinking we are :)

Today I have the lovely Sarah Klassen from Haute Design as my guest. Sarah is on my blog today ~ I am on her blog today. (I don't think that is true of the present day) How fun! How wonderful!

I am so happy to be a guest on Paula Grace’s lovely blog! We have a special treat in store for you today. We decided to swap posts – Paula Grace covering interior décor, and I, fashion. Beyond our love of fashion and décor, we also share a love of pink, which led us to an all-out “Ode to Pink” post. It all began when I was fortunate to win Paula Grace’s wallpaper/fashion matching contest a short while back. The prize was a beautifully crafted Coach wallet. Paula Grace had emailed me to ask what color I would like, and naturally, I chose pink!

This wallet is so lovely – the perfect companion to many outfits and handbags. When I received it in the mail, not only was I very excited, but my mind was soaring with all of the outfit possibilities. The bonus? It’s lined with the softest, sweetest lavender. Not a combination that is typically used, but is very charming.

In these images, I am wearing tones of deep blue and black, and have used the wallet as the main source of color. It also looks pretty paired with the softest of pinks, the darkest of grays, and heavenly with aubergine and silver. It can play the main role in the outfit, or beautifully accompany the main piece in the look.
I hope you enjoy this post below, which demonstrates some of the different ways in which to wear pink. From warm pinks with tones of orange, to soft, barely-there samples, to brights, and cool options, there are a vast number of possibilities, depending on your mood, coloring, and style preferences.

Here, pink is classic, tailored…maybe even a bit sassy! It runs the show. If you’re loving this look, think Manhattan, Carrie Bradshaw, tea at the Plaza, classic, vintage-inspired pieces, with a dash of glamorous accessories to complete the look. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone? I’ll bring the coffee!

Here, there is no girly touch left unnoticed. From the oversized bow, to the full, layered skirt, this Christian Lacroix ensemble is the epitome of haute couture. Simple legs and shoes let the dress be the show. The hair design offers a twist to the otherwise voluptuous look. Isn’t that dress spectacular?

Powerful pinks reign here. Combined with layers and umpteen textures, pink has been worked into a Fall/Winter look, seamlessly. Rich jewel tones combine to create an overall statement. Or, alternatively, combined with pearls and metals, softens the otherwise cool look, and brings out a floral/berry appeal. I’m especially loving the deep blue paired with hot magenta!

The sweetest, most feminine and decadent movie that showcases pink? Marie Antoinette of course! From hats, boots, and lips to full dresses, pink plays quite a role. When the ladies aren’t wearing pink, they’re eating pink macaroons, laying in pink bedding, or drinking pink champagne. The height of girly.

It’s easy to add a touch of pink to your outfit! The possibilities are endless -- pretty shoes, a simple belt, a bow, classic bag, or fun array of bangles.

Are you craving some pink now? Here are a few beautiful items for your Christmas list, or the perfect gift for a loved one. (P.S don’t forget your four-legged friend!)

Gift Items (these prices may have changed):

01 Kate Spade – Plaza Bow Pouch - $145,
02 Kate Spade– Guilia - $325,
03 Kate Spade – Guest - $325,
04 Kate Spade – Have Courage Idiom Bangle - $78,
05 Kate Spade – Take A Chance Idiom Bangle - $78,
06 Kate Spade – Tickled Pink Candle - $48,
07 Kate Spade – Hand in Hand Dog Sweater - $125,
08 Juicy Couture – Studded Neon Collar - $45,

If punchy pink is too much for you, perhaps you’re more drawn to barely-there pinks –the softest and most romantic pink sister of all. Pure elegance.

Whether you are going out, staying in, or just want a pretty pedicure, this soft blush color is most universally flattering and timeless. (think Chloe) Whether you are keeping the whole outfit soft, or using black (or other dark colors) as the grounding element, this subtle color is as gentle in spirit as a lamb.

Why is it that we love pink so much? What is about this color?

Pink evokes so many emotions…passion, happiness, romance, confidence, fun, etc. The list goes on and on.

* It has been proven that pink encourages friendliness while discouraging aggression and ill-will
* From brands like Victoria’s Secret and Juicy Couture, to Laduree, to movie characters, such Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”, there are many, many positive associations that have been created with the color

What is it about pink that draws you in?

Thank you Sarah for this wonderful post ~ always talented, always informative, always lovely.....

That settles it! If I ever need a stylist, I am flying Sarah in.

1/5/2011 I still love pink!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's All in the Details

I came across this photo of one of Barry Dixon's rooms. I just love the panels flanking the shelves. It dresses them up and provides a calming affect. It's all in the details...
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