Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Spirit of Giving

Today it is just a few days before Hanukkah and a week before Christmas. So with the holidays so close, I wanted to talk about some ways that the interior design industry is giving back, and some ways you can help out!

One of the fabulous rooms at the Holiday House. Photo Courtesy of

Holiday House is an event in Manhattan that showcases designer's interpretations of the holidays throughout the year. You can buy tickets online or at the door, and the proceeds go to support Susan G Komen. The rooms are so wonderfully done. They are beautiful and inspiring. If you live in New York City, or a neighboring town, it is definitely worth popping in and getting inspired.

Another great way to give design, is by asking a local designer to give new life to old furniture pieces for a charity auction. Material Girls in Dallas did just this, and there re-vamped pieces are gorgeous!

There are plenty of other charitable events pertaining to Design, and a whole lot more that don't. But the idea is that it is the season to give, so do a little search to see what you can find in your area, you can have a fun time attending an event, and feel good knowing that you are helping to benefit a good cause. You can also volunteer for a lot of these events, as another way to give back.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Deck the Halls

'Tis the season to pull out those bins of holiday decorations, turn up the carols and get in the spirit!

But how do you make room for all of it in your space?

Here are a couple of tips on how to make your big Christmas tree, Menorah, and other decorations fit in:

Typically the placement of your tree is prominent and it becomes the focal point for the season. So place it in the front window, centered in the living room, etc. When you are placing it, you will inevitably have to move a chair or two, if your room has a fireplace, place your tree adjacent to that, and shift your couch to face the tree, and your love seat or chairs to face your fireplace. You want the scale of your tree to balance out with the scale of your room and your furnishings. Therefore, if you have a small space, think of keeping your room set up the same, choose a smaller tree, and place it in a corner to anchor that corner and attract your eye to it.

There are several ways to set up your tree, play around with it in your mind. Try to find a tree that lends itself to the scale of your furnishings and space. Don't fret about shifting a chair or two to re-balance your room.

A Menorah is much easier to place. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some are more square, some more curved. This should be placed where your family gathers. It becomes the centerpiece of your kitchen or dining room. You can get strands of blue and white holiday lights to trim out your windows, and little illuminated menorahs to deck the halls with and add a festive vibe.

Decorate with the help of your family and loved ones. Make a new tradition about when to cut down or put up your tree. Do something special this year. Most of all have a joyous holiday season!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Get Organized

During the Holidays especially, it is a good idea to get organized. See what you have, and donate what you don't use anymore.

This is of course a good thing to do at any time of year, but it is a great thing to do before any big gift giving event. Do it with your kids in their space- it will make them feel good to give their toys to someone less fortunate, and they will be making room for incoming gifts at the same time.

Organize craft supplies, games, and other toys in bins and on shelves where your kids can reach them. They will use their stuff more and have more fun independently when they can reach what they are after. Use labels, and make sure things get back in their place. These tips will make for more efficiently playing.
Put your vases, and other fragile items on the high shelves, you can reach them when you need them, and it will prevent accidents.

Clean out and re-arrange your closet- you'll be able to get dressed more efficiently in the mornings, and be ready to go when it comes to holiday parties! If you don't already have a functional closet, pre-made and custom closet systems are a great holiday gift idea.

Here is a sneak peak at next week's topic...

Happy organizing! Remember, if you need any specific design help or inspiration, drop a note, I'd be happy to help!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! Does anyone have any fun traditions surrounding thanksgiving? My family always starts a puzzle after dinner, and tries to finish it before Christmas. This year however, my parents met me on the east coast, and we had thanksgiving dinner at a friend's lovely home, which I hope to show you next week.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of having a second turkey dinner with P and his family. Here are some photos of the lovely meal. I frequently confuse where to put the salad for, and the rest of the silverware for a formal dinner, so here is what Emily Post says:

"The basic rule is: Utensils are placed in the order of use, that is, from the outside in. A second rule, with only a few exceptions is: forks go to the left of the plate, and knives and spoons go to the right."

I remember this by the lettering..fork and left both have 4 letters, whereas spoon, knife, and right all have 5. I think our table looks lovely, and follows the rules fairly well! Click here to see how you did.
After our wonderful dinner, we relaxed for a minute, before a delicious chocolate cream pie with a homemade whipped cream topping. Our meal was so nice, and really hit the spot! I took home the bones to make a turkey soup with, yum!

Happy holidays, and happy designing! Feel free to leave any comments or specific questions that you would like addressed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I recently moved into a new apartment that is huge by comparison to anywhere else I've lived. My favorite part about moving somewhere new is unpacking and putting the new space together. Because this place is so much larger, I had a lot of holes. In the living room, I needed chairs, a shelf for the tv-- that multi-tasks as organizational space-- and a coffee table.

When picking the new furnishings, I wanted to make sure the colors, patterns and styles worked together. A good way to do that is making a collage of the materials' colors and textures and see if they play well together.

A. Area Rug; B. Sofa; C. Blanket; D. Pillow; E. Coffee Table; F. Basket; G. Lamp of Corks; H. Chairs
After making the final choices on the colors and textures, this is how everything ended up in the living room:

Happy designing. Feel free to comment, and if you need specific help, let me know!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Practice Projects


My name is Krystle and currently I am a student finishing my last year of school towards my Interior Design degree. I wanted to start this blog to provide ideas, tips and inspiration, since I am still in school, I thought I would share with you some of the projects that I have completed.

Here are two examples:

In one class we had to design a custom table. We partnered with another student, asked questions, and made tables. My 'client' was a single woman in her early 20s, who loves all things make-up. She goes to make up shows and practices fun application styles in her free time. So I decided to give her something inspired by her passion... make up! The legs are designed like lipstick tubes, and the top is like a giant compact, that opens up with a polished nickle piano hinge with a mirror on the inside. It is lacquered in various pinks, with black and silver accents. The design is modern and chic, and can actually be used to store make up, or even to sit at and apply make up! Best of all, she loved it!

These are the drawings of the table. On the left the table is shown in plan, front and side elevations, and section. The image on the right, is a rendering of what the table might look like once constructed and in place.

The next project was a studio apartment up on a hillside in California with a window wall facing the Pacific. We had to plan the space, specify the materials and choose the lighting.

In this project, I let the beach inspire me for the colors and the materials. I also specified sustainable materials. From the ground up: The flooring is dark bamboo wood planks. The counters are a man-made granite in the color of wet sand. The back splash is made up of glass tiles in blues, sandy browns, and frosted whites, and it reminds me of sea glass.

From left to right, the upholstery fabrics are for the sofa, in a light sand color, with the texture of grass cloth; the bright orange adds a pop of color to the window benches, and as toss pillows; the blue is on the accent chair, and also made into toss pillows, and the rich brown is used as piping around the edges of the sofa, chair and window bench to add an element that ties them together, and accentuates there shapes.

On the left of the board, you will see the bedroom details. The striped fabric is used for the bedding. The reclaimed wood is used to assemble a custom wall/headboard, that measures 5'Hx7'Wx1'D creating a boundary between the social and private areas, an interesting textural wall on the living room side, and a sturdy headboard on the bedroom side.

Happy designing. Feel free to comment, and if you need specific help, let me know!