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Three Easy Steps to Creating Successful Design

Happy Tuesday design devotees! I’m letting IBB Designer, Kevin Wild take over the blog today. He’s offering up some easy tips to kicking off your design projects in 2013. Take it away Kevin…

Anyone who has taken on the challenge of a home design knows that is does not happen over night. Design is a process. You have to start somewhere. “But where?” you ask.
Let’s start off 2013 with a NEW design for you! Here is an easy guide you can use to help you with your starting point.
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Step 1: Starting with “The Basics” is easy! To me the anchor pieces in the room are the sofa, chairs and cocktail table. Before you get too ahead of yourself, be sure to watch out for the #1 most common mistake; being overly matchy-matchy. This is a big no no! When choosing your basics, be sure to play with different shapes and materials. This Hickory Chair sofa and slipper chairs complement each other with soft lines while the Interlude Home cocktail table adds a contrast with an exciting geometric punch.
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Step 2: Adding layers and dimension. Now we are starting to build on the basics. This is where even more character comes into your home! Once again we are utilizing contrasting shapes and adding interest with new textures. I added in a fantastic Thomas Pheasant round side table by Baker Furniture. The soft curve brings a new shape into the room and the wood material brings in warm tones and life. Painting Sherwin Williams Conservative Gray on the wall builds on another layer while contrasting with the gold tones in the stunning John Richard art. There is nothing better than mixing gold and silver tones!
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Step 3: Finishing touches make the room! The finial building block to any room is the accessories. This is where even more texture comes in, not to mention color! I love to bring in colors you see in nature when using floral pieces. Lux Art Silks, John Richard and NDI Floral are great sources for life-like floral designs. In addition to floral, be sure to have a designer cocktail table book or eight! Adding cocktail table books or even books from your travels give guests a sneak peak into your personality. Finally, in the finishing touches stage be sure to have plan window coverings which will add the final layer of softness against otherwise harsh walls.
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Step 4: ENJOY! Sometimes when seeing the different building blocks to a space separately it can be scary and a little overwhelming. As a designer, it is my job to take your style and bring it to life while helping you envision the space every-step of the way. If you have a hard to envisioning, then your first step should be putting a little trust in your designer’s hands! Now that you have all the elements layered on one another, you have a fabulous space to live in!

Happy designing!

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ABC’s of Design: A is for Accessories

Accessories are like jewelry for your home.  Without them, your home will feel naked & as if something is missing.  Check out a few of my favorite budget friendly accessories that I showcased on GMT last Friday.

When setting your budget for your room design, make sure to leave ample room for the accessories.  Accessories include rugs, lamps, art & decorative items that help tie your whole look together.  A good rule of thumb is to allow 1/3 of your overall budget for accessories.  You may end up spending more if you find a few items that you just can’t live without.  Or, you may end up spending less if you take your time to find really good deals.  Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to set money aside to complete your room’s look.

A few quick pointers to help you get you started:
*Pairings &  groupings of items can help create balance & symmetry in your room.

*Remember size & scale: choose items that are in proportion with your furnishings.  Small items will quickly get lost on a larger piece & larger items will overwhelm a smaller piece.

*Vary the height of items by using books to stack accessories.  Height variations add visual interest & allow your eye to peruse the space with a steady flow.

*Make it personal:  Pick up treasures on your travels that can be used as accessories in your home.  Displaying items that are meaningful help tell a story about you & your family in your space.

Can you over do it?  Absolutely!  You don’t need to cover every inch of wall or table top space with art & other accessories.  Less really is more.

Carefully select items that help relate to the color story & style of your room.  A pair of lamps, a fabulous piece of art & some unique blown glass  may be all you need to dress up a console for your entry or family room.

*Top photo is from IBB Design Fine Furnishings & bottom photo is from the home of an IBB client.

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It’s Nate Day!

Did you know that today is Nate Day?  And, yes I am referring to the uber-fabulous  Nate Berkus, celebrity interior decorator extraordinare.  If you’re active on Twitter, then you may have been alerted to the trending topic #nateday that has all of the design & blogging community in a frenzy.  “How’d he get his own day?”, you may be asking yourself.  No, Oprah didn’t declare it Nate Day.  The Moggit Girls did.  Why?  Is it his infectious smile & energy?  His drool worthy colorful designs?  Well, of course, but it all started with a recent announcement.  The Moggit Girls created such a buzz when they first tweeted about the debut of Nate’s new show premiering in September that they asked fellow design bloggers & tweeters to unite for a day full of Nate Berkus inspired content.  Being a fan of Nate’s, I am, of course, happy to participate.

So, in honor of #nateday, I thought I would share with you the top 5 reasons I can identify with & why I swoon over Nate’s designs.

#1 Contrast:  I absolutely adore the upholstery against the dark painted walls (covered in eco friendly paint company Farrow & Ball’s Off Black) in this room Nate designed alongside Ann Coyle for Elle Rakieten, a producer for the Oprah Winfrey show.

#2 Layering:  I’m a huge fan of layering!  I love to add a powerful punch to a plain sisal rug with a zebra skin rug as shown in the photo above.  Berkus hit the high notes with this one.  Each piece in the room is fabulous in it’s own right, but when joined together they create a beautiful design harmony.  I showed you a similar look  with a pair of green chairs & a fun zebra hair on hide rug on GMT back in March.

#3 Adding Ottomans:  The addition of ottomans or small benches not only allows for extra seating for your guests in a room but also gives you the opportunity to have some design fun!  I love the legs on the ottomans Nate used in this design.  The pop of color on the seat is a deep contrast with the dark rich sofa across from it.

#4 Sexy Sectionals:  Whether it’s floating in a room (like the one I recently showed you that I designed for a client in California) or hugging a wall, a sectional does not have to be boring or plain.  Even though this sectional is neutral in color, the squared tufted sections make it say “va va va voom”!  This swanky pad in Milan is one of my all time favorite Berkus designs.

#5 Any shade of blue:  I’m always feeling blue!  I’m drawn to pretty much every shade of blue from teal or turquoise to mineral or baby blue.  It’s one of my favorite colors to work with.  Nate livened up his sister’s nearly neutral color palette with the addition of a painted blue chest.  The shade is pure perfection & adds drama & intensity to her home.

HAPPY NATE DAY EVERYONE!

images from Oprah.com, Elle Decor, Glamour, Google