Sunday, July 29, 2012

Outdoor Living

I have been dreaming of having my very own outdoor living space for as long as I can remember. In our current apartment there is plenty of outdoor space. It is all shared space, but we have a few pots of vegetables growing, and enough room to put out our grill and a few chairs for the two of us, or even a whole group of friends.

But what I would really love is a place to have some permanent fixtures. A cozy little outdoor space where I could enjoy my morning coffee or my knitting. Somewhere I could enjoy on a daily basis, without having to lug chairs in and out of the basement storage area when I want to use them.

For now, that is what we have, and it is just fine. So until the time comes that I am able to really fulfill my dream of wonderful, peaceful, relaxation, and fun outdoor living, I will dream!

Here are some outdoor spaces that I have helped to organize, and arrange, that I just love:

What do you think? Do you have an outdoor space? How do you have it put together? (Or do you need  some advice to create a cohesive and usable space?)

Happy designing, lounging, grilling, and enjoying those spaces!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

In Need of A Floor Plan?

How you cover your floors can do many things. It can ease in cleaning, assist in comfort, define the space or add color and/or texture to your room. Here are some area rugs I've found that can add to the room:
Pax Rug by Crate&Barrel

Andalusia Dhurrie from West Elm

Hampen Rug by IKEA

Sakura Rug by West Elm

Swirl Wool Rug

The Pax Rug is a 100% cotton flat weave rug. The benefits of a flat weave are that these rugs are reversible. They are light weight, so you can take them out back to beat the dust out. This goes for a Dhurrie rug as well.

A dhurrie is known for being extremely sturdy and they hold up well in an area of high traffic. They are often made using vivid colors and bold patterns.

Adding a rug with a repeating pattern, like this one, helps bring in a layer of visual appeal, color and texture.

A cut pile carpet is one that has been woven, then the loops are all trimmed to the same length.

They can be high, low or anything in the middle.

This Hampen Rug from IKEA is a high pile carpet, sometimes called shag. They were big in the 1970s and 1980s, and have recently come back around.

With this high pile carpet the fibers are tightly woven, close together, causing them to stand together and create maximum plushness.

Rugs of this variety can make a space warm and cozy. I can see them being a great point of contrast and warmth in an industrial style loft.

The Sakura Rug by West Elm is a 100% wool rug. Wool is one of the best materials to use for rugs. It holds up extremely well underfoot. It can be placed in a high traffic area and last for a long time. However because it is a natural fiber, if you put it in a high traffic area, you will start to see a wear pattern in time. But as far as natural fibers go, it will hold up with the best of them.

You can get wool rugs in a cut or loop. They are woven in a myriad of patterns and colors.

This organic pattern can add visual impact, while creating a soft feel within your space.

The Swirl Rug by West Elm is also one of 100% wool. This one however is a looped weave, and not a cut pile.

In my opinion, the loop piles are easier to clean, because the dust and dirt particles don't fall through as easily. They will still get dirty, but if you vacuum them up and take care of them, they keep pretty clean. (Well I guess that is the case with anything you keep clean.)

This rug is an interesting pattern composed of lines swirling around. Although it seems geometric, the waviness of the lines are more organic too.
Dye Your Own Rug with Vecco

Lastly, I saw these on an HGTV program... There is a company that makes dyes and helps with the stenciling so you can design and make your own rugs. The company is called Vecco, you can check out their website for more on their product and how it works. Basically the possibilities are endless.

It is a fun way to add a touch of your own style and personal whimsy into your own space.

Adding a rug can help define your space. It can soften the space beneath your feet. It can add an impact with a color or pattern. It can help encourage your color scheme.

Layering rugs adds an interesting effect as well. If you have a carpeted space, you can layer a rug on top of it to define a seating area.

I hope you have learned something from today's post, and maybe even found some inspiration.

Happy Designing! If you love this post and others, you can follow the blog so you can be the first to see when there is a new post up! You can also like us on Facebook, and follow the weekly posts, along with some mid-week inspirations as well! As always, thank you for the support!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pièce de résistance

The sofa has finally arrived!

Things to keep in mind when accepting any piece of furniture, but especially something custom. Have your folder of specifics on hand when the delivery arrives. Match the swatch of fabric with the furnishing. Double check that all of the things you specified have in fact been done. If you notice it after the deliver people are gone, it will be difficult to deal with, but if you can catch any mistakes while they are there, they can often return it to the warehouse and make it right. 

P thought I was crazy when I gave him the folder on my way to work the morning it was being delivered, but none-the-less, he checked! We now have the sofa that we have been waiting for, and oh man is it cozy!

After accepting the sofa, P sent me the following picture message of it in our space:

I was freaking out!

Knowing that we have a lot of natural light in our apartment, I couldn't figure out why it was so dark! Well DUH! It is just like trying to take a picture in front of huge windows, the camera focuses on all of the natural light, and everything else darkens. As soon as I walked into our apartment that night and saw the couch, I was thrilled! It fits our space, and our taste, perfectly!

We are happy campers! We have literally been camping out on the couch every chance we've had! Er, we have been enjoying its presence within our home...

Here is a shot of the space now... ignore the old sofa that we are trying to off-load... it has to stay in the space until we can sell it! (Anybody know someone who may be interested??)

New sofa in place.

Sofa bed pulled out and made up for company.
Happy camping designing! Let me know if there is anything you need help with within your space, and I will do my best to respond, and post on the issue!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book Review

This week I wanted to share some fun interior design books that I enjoy, and that I have drawn inspiration from.

Undecorate: The No Rules Approach to Interior Design by Christiane Lemieux, and Rumaan Alam.

  • This is a great book about how to decorate your space without making it look un-cozy. A lot of people think that when a place is designed it becomes unusable, or cold and uncomfortable. When really the goal is to make everything fit the client's needs and make the space fit the client. This book about 'un-decorating'  shows us how to incorporate casual and cozy, but most importantly functional. Great inspiration, and a good book to lay on your coffee table when you are done with the space too!

    Mid-Century Modern by Bradley Martin

    Especially with "Mad Men" being such a trendy and popular show, mid-century modern style is all the rage. It is retro-chic, sleek, and fun. The clean lines, and pops of color can add to any space!

    Lars Bolander: Interior Design and Inspiration by Lars Bolander

    Lars Bolander is known for his eclectic style, use of interesting art pieces and pops of color. This book is a great showcase of some of his spaces and will provide great inspiration for any space.

    Bookshelf by Alex Johnson

    You will need a bookshelf to house all these books. This book is full of fun and creative ways to store your books. That said, this book is way too fund to be on a bookshelf, I think it is better displayed on a coffee table where many people can flip through it and see the unique shelving units. There are good ideas for kids rooms, or adult spaces too. 

    Last but not least,
    Northwest Style: Interior Design and Architecture in the Pacific Northwest by Ann Wall Frank

    Being from the Pacific Northwest, I couldn't leave this one out. Designs in the PNW often incorporate a mix of bringing the indoors out, and the outdoors in. Picturesque windows, and great outdoor living spaces (to use when it isn't raining). 

    Happy reading! I hope you find some good inspiration in these, or other design books! Design magazines are great places to seek inspiration as well! Let me know if you need any help finding inspiration, or solving a particularly tricky design problem, and...

    Happy Designing!