Friday, July 15, 2011

"Closet Case"

Every woman wants a large wardrobe closet to handle all their accessories and clothing needs. Unfortunately, I'm in serious need of a closet makeover! I wish I had the space and time to redesign my closet. But, in order for this to be possible, it will require a total renovation overhaul of my bedroom. In which I'm in no position to start. But, if I had the space and time I would definitely have an ultimate wardrobe closet. So, I got to thinking about what makes a great wardrobe closet. In the past, there wasn't much consideration for closets when it came to design. Closets were not practical and very small. In some homes closets were nearly non existent. Nowadays, people are taking closets to the next level. Celebrities and the elite were some of the first to explore the wardrobe ideas. Today, wardrobe spaces are becoming increasingly popular and mainstream. When buyers are looking for a great home closet spaces are top on their list of must haves. Buyers want their spaces to feel luxurious and spacious. People are more savvy and stylish and want their homes and wardrobes to reflect their lifestyles. 

What is amazing about some of these spaces is the size and attention given to details and finishes. Many of the finishes are custom built with high-end wood cabinetry, italian fabrics, luxurious flooring, and some also have exquisite chandeliers as their lighting. They can also be designed to have temperature controlled settings. Some of these wardrobe spaces are the size of a small bedroom and even bigger. They can range from reach-in and walk-in closets up to a chic wardrobe space. The design options are limitless.

Wardrobe spaces can be traditional, contemporary or modern in style. Just remember that these spaces can be as chic and glamorous as you want them to be. But, if you are like me and have a limited amount of space there are other options to providing storage to your space. If you can not afford to update your space with custom built-in shelves and storage compartments, you can always use a furniture piece or armoire as an option.

Decor by Jennifer Inc contemporary closet
Designed by Toronto interior designer Jennifer Brouwer
Wardrobe closets can be custom built to retrofit any space. Once you have decided on your budget and location you should contact a designer or contractor to discuss design options.
Closet traditional closet
Designed by San Francisco showroom Malka of Innovative Design Group
There are many design options in the market. However, you should select a finish that will compliment your bedroom or home. This will help you if plan to resell your home in the future.

The Boutique Closet contemporary closet
Designed by Los Angeles architect Lisa Adams
Wood is the most elegant choice when it comes to wardrobe closets. So, If you want your space to look high-end wood finishes like mahogany or cherry is a great finish option. Of course, if you're working with a modest budget you can use wood laminate instead.

Pacific Heights Residence traditional closet
Designed by San Francisco general contractor Moroso Construction
There are also a variety of flooring options in the market. But, comfort should be the determining factor of your selection. You should choose the best option that fits your lifestyle.

The Living Space Closet - HIS modern closet
Designed by Los Angeles architect Lisa Adams
Wardrobe closets can be modern, contemporary, or traditional. But, the style of cabinetry should reflect the rest of your home.

Dressing Room contemporary closet

Master Closet and Bath traditional closet
Designed by Dallas general contractor Curb Appeal Renovations
Chandeliers and wall sconces are also becoming increasingly popular among buyers as well. If you want to include this design option with your space, check with your local municipal office for building codes and regulations before installing. Contractors and electricians are required to follow all proper installation techniques and safety measures.

closet contemporary closet
Photo courtesy of New york Photographer Robert Granoff
Walls sconces and chandeliers are a great way to add style and elegance to your space.

Schwartz and Architecture modern closet
Designed by San Francisco architect Schwartz and Architecture
Enclosed storage cabinetry and shelving can be used, if you don't want to expose your clothing and personal items.

Dressing  closet
Designed by San Francisco architect Thomas Rex Hardy, AIA
There are many different designs to choose from for your custom vanity. But, it is important to have them designed to reflect the your taste. You also want to make sure that you allot the appropriate storage space for your vanity cabinets.

Pale Pink Girls Closet traditional closet
Custom vanities can be designed to coordinate with your wardrobe closet and bathroom. Ceramic tile is the most commonly used countertop surface with custom vanities. However, mirrored surfaces are becoming increasingly popular.

Modern and contemporary wardrobes have evolved over the years. So, if you want a more sleek and contemporary look this is a great option. This option will work well if you have modern taste and want a more European style with clean lines.

You should consider what type of feeling that you want to convey and apply that look into your design. You can embellish the cabinetry with traditional or modern motifs to jazz up the space.

Like most shop-a-holics space is always a problem. If this is so, a rotating carousel can be used if you need additional space. With the push of a button, it provides an efficient and practical way to store and hang your clothing.

There many design features you can add to your closet. You can add a pull-out laundry basket with a washable insert to store soiled linens and clothing.

Ironing boards are large, bulky and have little space to store them. However, pull-out ironing boards is a good substitute. It can also be retrofitted to fit your space. This option makes it easy to take out as needed and saves space when not in use. 

There is also an option to store and display pants on a stylish rack.

You can also store valuables in a concealed electronic safe.

Separate your scarves, ties & belts in this cellaret

Lingerie and delicate pieces can be stored as well.

If you want an elegant look cabinetry can be customized to look like furniture.

Any woman would love to have a closet like this. But, if you don't have the space or resources you can always substitute furniture instead.

There are a variety of design options when it comes to closet spaces. Just remember that these spaces can be as chic and glamorous as you want them to be.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Room with a view"

As I was enjoying my morning breakfast I began gazing out my window. When suddenly, I became mesmerize by the beautiful views of my garden. So, I started to think about the impact and how views affected the mental state. It's very clear that beautiful scenery has a profound impact on how we relate emotionally and physically to a space. So, one can assume that aesthetics do play a major role in how we perform. Therefore, it's no surprise that an unattractive view or unpleasant environment would have an adverse affect on the state of mind. For instance, the way furniture is arrange in a room may have an affect on how individuals interact with each other. Therefore, you should arrange furniture as you would entertain in a dinner or cocktail party. Furniture should be close without prohibiting circulation or tripping over furniture. Remember, you want your environment to be warm and inviting to stimulate a conservation. You should always orient furniture to take advantage of the best possible views. So, if you have an amazing view exploit it! If you don't have any great views you can always use a focal point like a fireplace or artwork instead. 

Lighting can make or break a room. A room with improper lighting or lack of windows may cause exhaustion, depression, or even high stress. If you have improper lighting it may feel like a dungeon or cave-like. You should select lighting that will accent features within the space as well as for task lighting. Windows can also affect the way a room feels. Windows allow natural lighting to filtrate a room and also opens the space up. If there is an amazing view windows are a great way to enhance it. Windows can also allow natural ventilation into a space as well. With the proper installation, energy efficiency windows can also cut down your utility bill. So, don't be afraid to open your windows and let the fresh air in. It'll save you money down the road.

Other influences may affect a space is climate and size. If a space is too cold people may become very temperamental and aggressive. In spaces that are too warm individuals may become lazy and unresponsive. It is recommended that the average temperature settings for a room to be 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If a space is too small it may feel claustrophobic and confined. But, there are ways to make a space feel larger. Mirrors are an inexpensive way to open up a space. Paint can also make a space feel larger. You can also use light and serene colors instead of dark colors to make a room feel airy and open. For larger spaces ceilings can be painted a darker color to bring down the height of the room. Larger furniture pieces can be used to counter balance the space as well. So, when designing spaces these are things to consider to enhance the overall experience in a room. It is a known fact that closeness to elements of nature like water (i.e. pools, lakes, ponds), plants and trees makes people feel more relaxed. So, always try to remember that the environment and scenery appeals to both the senses and the mind. 

Family Rooms traditional family room
Designed by Minneapolis general contractor Stonewood, LLC
This room has the best of both world's, a great view and a cozy seating arrangements.

dining room modern dining room
Photography by Elad Gonen & Zeev Beech
You should always orient your furniture to take advantage of a fabulous view.

Everett mediterranean living room
Designed by Atlanta architect Summerour Architects
If you have a great view with large windows be sure to use window coverings that will compliment the view.

Larkin Street Residence modern living room
Designed by San Francisco architect John Maniscalco
If you have a fabulous view overlooking the city you can also use floor to ceiling windows or door panels to enhance the view.

Debra Campbell Design mediterranean living room
Designed by interior designer Debra Campbell Design
Your seating arrangement should always pull in your guest while taking advantage of the view. This will definitely stimulate a conservation between your guest.

Interior shots contemporary living room
Designed by San Francisco architect Zack|de Vito Architecture [DesignBuild], AIA
You don't always have to use window coverings, especially if you want to take full advantage of the views. However, if privacy is an issue you can always opt for window coverings that will provide privacy and natural lighting.

green remodel contemporary dining room
Designed by San Francisco architect Mahoney Architects & Interiors
Lighting should never compete with a view or overwhelm the space. Therefore, it is important to select the proper size and function when selecting a lighting fixture.

sea view penthouse contemporary dining room
Designed by interior designer NURIT GEFFEN-BATIM STUDIO
When selecting your fixture you should consider energy efficient lighting as an option. This will help save you money on your utility bill and protect the environment.

To open a space and take advantage of a view seamless glass panels is a great option.

While at CHil Design Group contemporary dining room
Designed by Vancouver interior designer Claudia Leccacorvi
If you love to entertain you can tie the indoors to the outdoors with windows and doors.

Fulcrum Structural Engineering modern bedroom
Designed by San Francisco Fulcrum Structural Engineering
Imagine waking up every morning to a view of an ocean or mountain. If you're like me, you would probably want floor to ceiling windows to take full advantage of the views. So, always try to remember that the environment and scenery appeals to both the senses and the mind.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Seaside Chic"

The hustle and bustle of daily life can really take a toll on families. So it's no surprise that they would want to jet set to the nearest getaway. To relax and release many families are taking advantage of their summers with a vacation getaway or trip to their vacation homes. Many of these homes are located near the sea or lake. Summer is one of my favorite seasons to travel. There is something about being near water that adds fun and relaxation to the environment. 

Vacation homes are all about having carefree and cozy interiors. In the design field we call this style casual elegance. But, I like to refer to the style as Seaside Chic.  Seaside chic caters to a variety of coastal lifestyles. This style is full of charm, yet stylish with nods to traditional and modern elements. What makes the interior fresh is the pops of color and chic decor. Most people have an impression that coastal living should have a nautical theme. But, with seaside chic there are no set rules for designing a home. Therefore, you can mix and match fabrics and finishes. However, your choice of materials will be important depending on the location of your home. If you have a home adjacent to the sea you may want to consider weather resistant materials. Sea water have a tendency to wear and tear materials very quickly. Your choice of materials can be light and airy, rustic, organic, or bold and sleek. Your design should ultimately reflect your lifestyle and be inspired by beautiful surroundings.

Here are some great ways to apply seaside chic to your home or vacation getaway.  Don't be afraid to be bold with color and prints. If up keep your palette elegant and chic it will definitely turn out to be a successful and timeless design.

Photo by Troy Campbell
Outdoor entertaining is a major part of summer time fun. If you want to integrate a chic dining set into your outdoor space be sure to select a design that is weather resistant. You should also select simple lines when choosing a furniture design. This will allow you to go bold with prints and color without conflicting with the design of the furniture.

Photo by Jean Allsopp
If you want to select a more elaborate design, then you should play down the fabric to create a more cohesive design. However, you can still use bold color as a design option.

If you are not afraid of color there are a variety of options in the market. For paint colors you should select a neutral color for the walls and ceiling. This will allow you to change fabrics season to season.

Seaside chic is not just conformed to traditional design. Seaside chic can be modern and contemporary.

Your choices should also be cozy and comfortable. So you should bring in textures that will appeal to your senses. Just remember that these environments will be filled with foot traffic covered with sand or dirt. You may want to consider user-friendly fabrics as well.

Jean Allsopp
Creams and whites are a great way to add sophistication to your space.
J. Savage Gibson
Many people are afraid to use dark colors and bold prints. But, if done correctly they can really make a big impact in a room. Remember, if you keep your palette neutral you will be able to implement bold patterns and colors in a modern and chic way.
When it comes to seaside chic, my personal design taste is very chic without being too shabby. For me seaside chic is all about style and elegance. However, there is nothing wrong with vintage or aged items if it's done correctly.

Vintage design can be very elegant with this type of style. It can also be very expensive as well. However, there are a lot of reproductions of vintage designs in the market. So if you want to incorporate this style into your design be sure to explore all options.

I love using contrasting colors and finishes when it comes to design. This is a great example of how to balance color and light into a space.

Using white and cream will make any color pop and feel fresh. These colors are very classic and chic. One option is to use beadboard to implement a contrast of color. Beadboard is a simple and elegant way to add architectural detail and interest into a home. Beadboard comes in a variety of materials and can be bought in strips or sheets. It also can be applied to many different surfaces. Once you have decided on your design you must consider the application and if humidity will be a factor.

Wood paneling is also a great option. You can use white washed, antique, or reclaimed wood as your option. One great design aspect with wood is that you can paint or stain the wood to your liking. Many manufacturers are creating engineered wood with a variety of finishes. The choices are limitless.

I love relaxing on the porch. If you're like me outdoor relaxing is a major part of vacationing. If this is the case, feel free to install a swing for your enjoyment.

Photo by Brian Vanden Brink
You should always take advantage of a view, if available.  Do select fabrics and furniture that will compliment your view. Don't select colors that will not blend into the environment.
If you have a fabulous view, you can always use floor-to-ceiling windows to take advantage of the view. Having floor-to-ceiling windows will allow you to bring in tons of natural light. If privacy is a major issue be sure to install window coverings that will provide privacy, but allow light to filtrate the space.

If you want to bring the outside in and create a nice transition to the interior, floor-to-ceiling windows is a great option.

If you are looking for a cohesive design choose one color to integrate throughout the home. You can also use variations of that color to create interest and contrast to the space.

Playing in the sun and water is also a major part of vacationing. Outdoor showers are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. Homeowners are finding it necessary to include showers as an addition to their homes; because cleaning up dirt and sand can be a very daunting task. However, having an outdoor shower is a great solution to dealing with these hassles.

Roger Davies
When selecting colors for your color palette you can be as bold and innovative as you want. Don't be afraid to mix colors for harmony and balance.
You can be bold with your design in your kitchen as well. Backsplashes is a great way to bring in bold color. You should also feel free to mix finishes as well. This will add flavor and jazz up your space.

If you are hesitant about using bold color choices, feel free to use colors that are subtle and calming. White and cream kitchens will always be timeless and chic.
Richard Leo Johnson
The same principles can be applied to your dining room design. If you are more adventurous and fun use bold color and prints. If you are more reserved in style mix neutral colors to create a subdued palette. Seaside chic is meant to be timeless and elegant.  If you would like to implement this design to your home feel free to apply these concepts to create a stylish home.