Throw Pillows- Update

 

January 31, 2010

I am in a constant search for just the right throw pillow for my clients and selfishly for myself.  I love how a throw pillow can add a bit of flare or color to a room without the monetary commitment of a piece of furniture or art, or the time commitment of repainting a whole room.  One of my favorite sites for finding these pillows is pillowsandthrows.com.  They have a huge selection and range of styles of pillows from numerous designers.  This site has done all the work of gathering all the options so you just have to sit and click from one artful masterpiece to the next.  The only problem I’ve ever had is trying to pick just one when they are all so pretty, sigh!

Pillows

Designs by Blissliving Home Pillows and Koko Company Pillows

I had a great response to this post both through the comments listed below as well as through email.  Everyone loved the pillows shown above, and loved the website PillowsandThrows.com.   The main questions seemed to be that they loved the pillows and could see many of them making their way into their homes… but buying more than one at a time would be too pricey.  I have a few suggestions that will hopefully help.  First and foremost if you’ve found a pillow that you love and that you know will work perfectly in your home I say go ahead and invest.  It may take you a while to save up but the wait is worth it.  I will also say that not every pillow in your home or even in each room needs to be a statement piece or a bank-breaker.  If you are looking to add a bevy of pillows I would suggest using a few filler pillows that are basic in color, material and size.  Let these pillows compliment your star pillow.

I know I reference West Elm, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel frequently but they do have a good stock of basic items that can always find a place in any home and me help compliment items new and old.  I am also a fan of Chiasso and Room & Board.  They both have a solid offering of throw pillows.  Chiasso even has a version of the rose pillow seen above:

Rose Pillow

Lastly if you would like to find a few more unusual offerings check out AllModern.com.  This link should send you to their pillow section sorted by price lowest to highest.  I hope this helps!

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  Keeping your Workspace Clean

 

January 26, 2010

Today I was in the midst of five or six projects at work, jumping from one to the other and my mind was all over the place.  I was having a very difficult time buckling down and concentrating on any one thing.  So I thought instead of giving all of my projects about 15% of my energy and brain power why not calm down and do one thing at a time.  It seems simple enough but honestly sometimes you forget how effective a focused mind can be, and how hard it can be to find that focus. 

The best way I know how to calm down and focus is to create a clean and organized physical environment.  I am usually meticulous about keeping my desk organized and clean but work and life has gotten the better of me and my desk has been a mess.  So I pushed myself away from the keyboard and took 15 minutes to organize my piles and give a good hard scrub to all of my desk surfaces.  Whenever I do this I tend to get a strange look or two from my neighbors.  I usually give them a strange look back with a comment along the lines of “if you think it’s right to keep your home clean… why not your office!”.  I spend a minimum of 40 hours a week at my desk and most weeks many more hours than that, and nine times out of ten I eat my lunch at my desk.  Why oh why wouldn’t I want to keep it clean and sanitized. 

Go Naked

To keep my cleaning in the quick and easy zone I try to keep a bin of Method All Purpose Wipes in my desk.   The Go Naked version is my favorite.  No need to draw extra attention to my cleaning while at work with a flowery scent!

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  A Swedese Tree

 

January 25, 2010

Are you looking to bring a bit of nature into your home but not sure where to find it or sure you want to be responsible for watering duties?  I have a playful solution for you from the design house Swedese, the Trees 134 and 194.  They look stunning mounted to an intensely hued wall or even as a pattern on a white wall.  If you want to take their names literally you can even hang a coat or hat upon them.  If you are looking for a place to order one head on over to BostonModernFurniture and they can help you out!

Combined Swedese Tree

And look there it is in the corner of the living space in this Dwell featured home:

plus-house-backyard-portrait

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  For all Interior Designers with iPhones

 

January 24, 2010

I am the owner of an iPhone and have found it to be very useful for my work as a designer.  Not only can I check the Internet and email as you can with many phones, but I have found that the quality of the photos taken by the camera are very useful for a quick record of a set of finishes or an architectural detail you want to study later.

Updated Finishes

I’ve also come across a number of very useful Apps.   My current favorite is the Units Convertor App. It is such a nifty little tool that has come in handy time and time again to help me quickly convert mm to inches.  I’ve been knee deep in Furniture Specifications for the last few weeks and a lot of furniture and fabric that I’ve selected is European, it has been such a treat to not have to pull out my calculator and work on conversions, so much so it’s collecting dust.  This App has so many more functions  that can be helpful to many people in many types of professions, but for me all I can attest to is how much easier my day has gotten writing those pesky specs!

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  New Years Resolutions

 

January 14, 2010

Many of us make grand resolutions as we prepare for the ball to drop in Times Square.  These resolutions include eating better, exercising more, reading more books or keeping in better touch with family and friends.  These are all admirable resolutions… I would like to add an additional idea for this year’s list, getting your closet in order, for who wouldn’t want a closet that looks like this:

eva_jeanbart_lorenzotti_vivre

(Vivre CEO Eva Jeanbart Lorenzotti as seen in www.thefrisky.com)

The first step is always the hardest, making the decision to clean out your closet.  The second step is almost as hard, motivating to actually begin and of course complete the project.  Take a deep breath and come to terms that this will be a project that has a few phases and is going to take some time.  So put on some comfy clothes, turn on some tunes and get ready to turn your closet into a thing of beauty.

The tools you are going to need to get started: trash bags, a vacuum with attachments, paper towels and your cleaning agent of choice and of course some will power!

Step One: Sorting

If this is the first time you’ve cleaned your closet in a few years start by pulling all your clothes and shoes (and whatever else you have in your closet out) and toss it all on top your bed.  Next make a series of piles; pants, skirts, dresses, sweaters, blouses, shoes, workout clothes…  Next sort your piles into smaller piles.  I like to start with winter/fall and summer/spring piles.

Step Two: Purging

You will now want to go through each of your piles and pull out any items that are beyond repair and say goodbye for good.  Next sort through the piles and pull out all those items that no longer fit or you have not worn for at least two years.  These items you will want to either donate or bring to a local consignment store.  You will then want to store any items that you still love but you don’t see yourself wearing very often.  I strongly believe that unless you have an extremely spacious closet you should never have more than two adjacent seasons of clothes in your closet.  This will allow your clothes to have room to hang without getting wrinkled with the added benefit of the ease of seeing and selecting your clothes every morning.

Lastly take this time to pull aside any items that need dry-cleaning or alterations.  There is no point in keeping clothes hanging in your closet that you can not currently wear.

Step Three: Cleaning

Now that everything is out of your closet take this opportunity to vacuum and wipe down all the surfaces in your closet.  No matter how clean your clothes may be there is always dust and dirt hiding where you can’t see it.  If you’re taking the time to get all your clothes in order you might as well return them to a clean space.  If you are feeling truly motivated I always find that a fresh coat of paint makes a space sing.  A simple interior white color in an eggshell finish should get the job done.

Step Four: Organizing

Now it is time to put your wardrobe back together.  My advice would be to group items together based on the piles listed above and sub-organize those by color.  A few items that I find to be very helpful are the following hangers, bins and racks (click on image for further information).

BinsBasicNaturalHardwoodHangers_xlRacks

 

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  Pretty in Pink

 

January 13, 2010

A quick post to share a link to a favorite blogger Nicole Gibbons at her site So Haute and to share a gorgeous photo she has posted.  I love the soft tones and use of pinks and neutrals.  Although the rooms has a definite feminine feel it is not overwhelmingly girlie.  I would love to find out what that gorgeous lamp is tucked away behind the sofa. Enjoy.

So Haute

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  My Not So Humble Beginnings

 

January 12, 2010

I took an interesting path to my current career as an Interior Designer by way of a liberal arts undergraduate degree, a stint as a Corporate Securities Paralegal prior to my formal education in design, and finally as a designer in a large Commercial Architecture, Design and Engineering Firm in Boston.

During my last year at Design School I had the privilege to work as an intern for Westbrook Interiors.  It was here that I gained my appreciation for traditional design and also realized how to delicately introduce transitional and contemporary design into a more classically traditional home.  The firm was created by the elegant and talented Barbara Westbrook who continues to be one of my design inspirations.  Below are just a few images that represent the breath of her talent.

Westbrook One

Westbrook Two

In addition to my introduction to residential design Westbrook Interiors was also the place that inspired me to start my own ever growing library of design books that continually inspire me to grow as a designer.  My library is filled with an array of books from the mundane architectural detailing books to the splashy glossy books of Kelly Wearstler.  I encourage anyone that has a love of design to begin their own library of books.  They are not only a valuable source of inspiration, but also act as a source of color and pattern for a room’s decor.

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