Sunday, October 28, 2012

Layers of Light

Lighting can make all the difference in a space. It can alter the way the space looks and feels, the way we interpret the colors and the mood of a room.

It is something that you should layer like your clothing in the fall. You want to have at least 2 layers of lighting, some general (ambient) lighting, and some focussed (task) lighting. Then to make a room really shine (pun intended) add the third layer (accent lighting).

Your general (ambient) lighting creates an overall wash of light within your space. It is often from overhead lights. It can be in the form of can lights recessed throughout a space, a chandelier, or even a ceiling fan with a light kit.
Beautiful hand-blown overhead lighting fixture.

Your task lighting is the lamp on your end table or nightstand that you use to read by, or the light on your desk that helps you focus on paying your bills. It does just what it says it does: it illuminates your tasks.

Bankers Desk Lamp from Sears
Your third layer (accent) is that extra lighting that adds something to the space. Think of the little twinkle lights on your christmas tree, how do you incorporate that into your everyday space? How about through using wall sconces, art lighting, uplighting on a column or other architectural feature, ore even a spot light. Accent lighting will help put a focus on the things you want to stand out, while detracting from less appealing features.
Beach-y wall sconce.

Here are some light fixtures I think are really something special:

Also, on lighting, I found this great article from Design Milk. The artist and lighting designer Bruce Munro opened a stunning outdoor lighting exhibit featuring the below scene, and many more. Check out the article for more images and information.

How do you illuminate your space? Happy designing!

PS, don't forget to check out our anniversary contest and follow the steps to be entered to win!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kitchen Storage

When it comes to your kitchen, how do you keep it organized?

Especially if you have a tiny apartment kitchen, like we do, organization and storage are key!

We only have one cupboard area for food, so we needed to find a solution for some of our snacks and cereals... This one was actually P's idea: he suggested getting some canisters to put our cereals in that would be air tight so it wouldn't go bad.

I headed to Home Goods and picked out some simple containers. We filled them right up and organized them in a straight simple row along the back area of the counter:

I think it looks pretty nice, keeps things fresh, organized, and adds some interest to the kitchen!

How do you keep your tiny kitchen organized? (Or other small spaces?) In my life, organization is key!

Happy Designing!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Anniversary Contest

As you may or may not be aware, it is almost Designs By Krystle's anniversary!

I started this blog just about a year ago, in an effort to give my perspective and unique ideas on interior design. The blog was supposed to carry me through my last year of school and into the industry.

With the help and support of my family and friends, I would say that it has been a success!

I want to thank each and every one of you for checking-in regularly, leaving comments, reading posts, and sharing us with your friends.

In honor of our one-year anniversary, I'm offering a contest for you, the loyal followers!

Here is the contest:
Take a minute to go through the archives from the first post through today and share your favorite post on Facebook or Twitter. Show your friends what we are all about by linking to your favorite post from over the year.

To do this click on the title of the post you choose, and then copy the web address from the top into your status line on your Facebook page. You could also be entered for sharing it (the same way) on Twitter. Be sure to include #DBKanniv on all related tweets.

Make sure you like the Designs By Krystle Facebook page and follow on Twitter, if you haven't already.

Once you have shared, liked, etc., come back and comment on this post and let me know. Be sure to leave an email address where I can contact you upon winning!

You will receive one entry for sharing on your social media page, and one entry for liking our Designs By Krystle page, if you have already liked us, you will receive a secondary entry upon sharing your favorite post. The prize will be your choice of one of the books from this book review and a gift card to a furniture store (I will give the winner options). If there are more than 15 participants, I will create a second place prize as well.

A winner will be chosen on the blog's anniversary (Nov. 13), and I will post to announce the winner(s) the following Sunday.

Good luck, and Happy Designing!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dress up your Dining

We all have so much going on these days that we don't have time to sit down together to a nice meal.

Try to find a time that lines up with everyone, then set the table to pull everyone together, and make it feel more special (even on a Wednesday).

Take a look at some table settings below, and see how they alter the room:

Add a simple center piece.

Keep it simple: only put out what you need.
Add a simply folded cloth napkin.

Fold your napkin as shown above to create a space to tuck your silverware into.

Add candles to the space to make it seem more intimate.

Put out a separate bowl for your salad and add an extra fork.

And if you can't have dinner at home, move your dining room to a meeting spot and have a little picnic.
Does this give you some ideas?

You can change up your space from serving and seating, to making it feel a little more special and organized if you set your table, whether simply, more extravagantly or just by taking it to the park.

Happy Dining! And Happy Designing!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


...color scheming that is.

There are many elements of design. (Line, shape, texture, color, and form.)

In my opinion, the most crucial and obvious element that will pull a space together, is the color.

When I work on a space, I like to use mostly neutral colors for the largest pieces, and pull the color-scheme in through accent pieces. Right now our living room consists of mostly neutrals:

I need a color-scheme in here now!

I have always leaned toward the warmer colors, but for whatever reason, I want some cooler colors in the space. Why do people shy away from the cooler colors?

When you don't have a good color-scheme throughout the space, it doesn't give off a cohesive feel. When you have a working color-scheme throughout, the space feels cozy and gives a warm feeling even if the colors themselves are not warm.

So here are our color scheme options of the cooler variety:

What do you think? We chose.....

The colors we chose from this image are the deepest shade of purple (Purple Rain #1386), the middle of the road blue/green (St. Lucia Teal #683), and the deepest golden orange (Amber #168) to represent the color of our rich leather chairs.

There are some elements of the color schemes in the space now... I had to twist P's arm to get him to come along to pick-out toss pillows and a new blanket for the space, but it's important to me that he enjoys the space too. (And it was good that he went, I found out that although he might be able to enjoy a space with purple in it, he will not have that be in combination with any floral prints!)

When I am out looking for accent pieces, pillows or anything to go in the space, I like to walk around with the paint swatches in my purse-- even if I won't actually use the the colors in paint in the space-- it helps me find items that will coordinate well and create a cohesive scheme in the room.

Happy designing and color-scheming! If you need help refining your own color-scheme within your space, email me to set up a consultation if you are in the area!