Monthly Archives: May 2008

Moving and Design

These are two very strange words to put together, but they can go together pretty well. Here is the thing, many people when moving don’t think about a lot of things. They don’t think about changing locks, if they rent, repainting the walls or even painting the walls in their new home before they move in. They are more worried about packing the cardboard boxes they have gathered and getting everything out quickly.

Let me tell you though if you plan out where you are putting what, what colors you are going to use in what room and have the painting all done before you move in, life will be much easier for you. Design takes time and yes when moving I know you don’t have much time, but if you do you need to plan before hand.

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Check out Teak

One way to make your garden look very authentic is to use furniture that fits in natural with nature. This usually means using a wood product but you want one that is durable, good looking and fun to use. That is where teak furniture could be the answer.

Teak is a great wood to use for your outdoor furniture, though it can change color on you if you don’t maintain it properly. The color will go from a honey brown to a silver grey. If you don’t mind that then maintenance will be easy for you. If you want to keep the honey color then you want to sand down the furniture every few months. Use Teak Oil to also help maintain the color. During the winter either cover your furniture or store it somewhere dry.

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Simple Saturday, Start with a pot

Yesterday I went out shopping and I always make a point to check out the lawn and garden area of whatever store I’m in, if they have one. While looking around I found a very nice simple blue and green pot. I thought this would work wonderfully in my room as I am trying to grow some plants for a fung shui test. I haven’t had much luck yet.

I thought looking at this pot that this could also make a great center piece for an outdoor table. It was interesting and could really hold anything. Once I found that pot I went over to a table and set it down. It didn’t look right so I tried another. Eventually I found a glass table that had a green hue to it and the pot looked amazing.

So what I figured out, was that something so simple could really make a great impact on a design or just a major purchase you may be wanting to make.

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Give your infant some style

Are you a modern parent looking for some great style for your baby. Check out this new look from Ducduc. It’s modern, it’s different and you may just be the envy of everyone you know. Pictured to the right is the cabana baby crib. What baby would not love that. It also works well for a boy or girl so if you haven’t had the baby yet and don’t know the sex, you could get this and still be okay.

Another great piece from Ducduc is the eddy rocker. This piece looks much more comfortable then the rocker my mother used. It’s padded and very comfy looking. I think I would worry more about me falling asleep then the baby.

Ducduc also offers bedding and all the fun extra stuff for your baby too. The company also has won the best of the year merit award from Interior design Magazine. One of the top industry magazines.

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No Green Thumb, thats okay

Plants help to make a room feel wonderful and inviting. Plants also can make you healthier by providing fresh oxygen for your home. Some people though don’t have a green thumb so I would like to introduce to these people Grobal Self watering pots. These pots not only help you to grow plants, but they are also very cute and stylish! It’s also a very simple process to do. You add water into the chamber and it draws it up to the plant for you. There is even an indicator to tell you when you need to add water to the pot.

I do have a green thumb, but I’m still going to be ordering a few of these when I move. I won’t have much time to take care of plants next year and probably after that as I will be graduating. I know one plant I will be putting in one of these pots, grass, yes it’s strange, but my cat likes grass and she won’t be able to go outside when we move.

I have one question to ask you, what color are you going to get?

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Simple Saturday, Accent walls

Accent walls are probably the easiest and cheapest way to change a room. One you don’t need much paint so you can check out the defect section at your local paint store and find a color you like. Most defect paint is defected because a customer just didn’t like the color. They come in and state that the color was not what they asked for and they get new paint. Remember though one person’s dislike may be your love, so don’t be afraid of the defect section. It’s cheep and can give your room the change it needs.

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A trip though time and art

Since I am an interior design student I am very interested in art and history. Just over a year ago we went to Washington DC. I was very disappointed as most of the museums were closed for renovation. I was surprised as we went during the cherry blossom festival. The worst part about all of that was we had our German exchange student who really wanted to see both the American history museum and the native American museum, both were closed.

I plan on going back some day but I think I may end up at the Stark Museum of Art before I get back to DC. At least I will as long as I move back to Texas like I’m hoping to do. The Stark Museum is located in Orange Texas and has a large collection of Western art and native American art, it’s not just about art though they have books and manuscripts so you can learn a little about the cultures that are in the museum. One collection I am interested in is their decorative arts collection. This collection consist mostly of glass and porcelain. I’m interested in it from a design perspective. Of course all of the art interest me because of this. Another reason I would like to visit this museum is because of there connection to the stark foundation. This foundation supports the arts, education and human services.

Museums are a great place to figure out what kind of art you like. You can check out many different kinds of art and decide what you would like in your home. Art is a great way to express yourself and impress your guest. The best part is you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars. There are many reproductions of famous works that you can get for less the $100. I suggest though you find one piece you really like at an art auction, that way you have something to talk to your guest about. If your planning a summer trip you should really think about adding this museum to your list and visiting the town of Orange Texas. You never know what you may find to add to your home.

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Lighting sets the mood and saves money

Next fall I will be taking a lighting class, at least I hope to be there are a few complications I have to get though first. I am though, looking forward to this class. Lighting is so much more then just having a light in the room so you can see. Lighting can make things pop out at you, it can set the mood by making it brighter or darker in a room and it can keep you safe.

There are many types of lighting you can buy. I recommend going green and buying compact florescent lighting or LED lights. LED’s take some getting use to as their light tends to have more of a blue tint then other types of lighting, but they last forever. Think of a child’s toy that has the small lights on it. Those lights hardly ever die and that is because most of them are LED’s. Both compact florescent and LED’s are great for the environment and your pocketbook. Yes they may cost more in the long run, but with energy prices going up they will really help save you money in the long run.

If your looking to switch but are not sure where to start here are a few tips.

1. change all of your night lights to LED lights. I got 2 LED bulbs for around $2 at walmart. Shop around though you may find a better deal

2. Figure out which lights you use most during the day and evening. Switch those first.

3. If you can replace all of you bulbs at once, if not do one room at a time.

4. Don’t forget about your outdoor lights

5. Buy all new holiday decorations made with LED’s. Sometimes trying things that are not permanent can help you see what you would get out of switching everything. Christmas lights are a great way to do this.

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Rugs make a room more inviting

There are many reasons to use a rug in your home. One is to keep your floors warm, another is to hide some imperfection. You may also just use it to make the room look better. Whatever you use a rug for you want to make sure you have a good rug in the first place.

You want the rug to match your decor use Contemporary Rugs if your decor is a contemporary style, same thing with traditional rugs. There are times where you can use a traditional rug in a more contemporary setting, but most of the time it really does not work.

Area rugs are probably the most popular kind of rug. Though many people use rugs in their bathrooms and kitchens that are smaller. Area rugs are used more because more people are installing or refinishing hardwood flooring. Rugs help to add a cozy feeling to the room along with actually keeping it warm. Area rugs also help reduce the echo effect in a large room that has mostly hard surfaces.

As you can see rugs play more then just a decorating roll in a home, they add warmth and can help you save money but cutting down your heating cost. Oh and they help even more if you put them on a wall as artwork.

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Simple Saturday, Fans

Many people do not like fans in their home, but they have some great benefits one is saving you money. Fans move air around a room making the room feel cooler or warmer depending on the setting you have your fan on. This means that you don’t use as much air conditioning or heat as you would without them. Air movement also makes your home less stuffy and more comfortable to be in.

Fans are easy to install and easy to use, just keep them clean and running well and you will start to see a savings.

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Keep your home’s air clean and healthy

Having a well designed home is always a huge health benefit because it makes you feel good to be there, can give you less stress and provides a piece of mind. One thing that most people don’t think about when designing their home is the quality of the air in the home. Air filters help to create a clean environment for you and your family. A good clean filter can keep your family from getting sick, having allergy flare ups and can actually help improve their concentration and energy level. Clean air is important for everyone.

If you already have an air filter you should check it to make sure it’s clean and running properly. If it’s dirty it’s not cleaning the air and all of that dust and other germs are going into your air and onto your furniture, carpet and family. The other reason you want it to be clean is that it will save energy, a clean air filter will run better and more energy efficient then a dirty one.

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Use Feng Shui to sell your home

I was reading an interesting post on yahoo this morning about how a couple decided to hire a fung shui expert to make some minor changes to their home. It cost them about $250 for the expert, but a few weeks later they found a buyer after 2 years of trying to sell.

Do I think fung shui had something to do with it, yes I do. It’s not some mystical reason fung shui makes a home more inviting. It makes the person coming into it want to stay forever. The reasons are simple many of the fung shui practices are things that would make most people calm and happy. Adding plants and letting in sunlight are just two ways to help. De cluttering is another, but these are pretty well known ways to help sell a home. The following are other ways you can use fung shui to sell a home.


  1. Rearrange your furniture so that it is easy to move in your home, get rid of anything that could block the walking path or the flow of chi. Make sure when seated no one is facing with their back to the door. This can cause people to be uncomfortable. Yes when looking at a house many people will sit on your furniture if it’s there.
  2. Most people like fountains, if you have one keep it there to create a peaceful environment. Make sure it is removable since a few people are not fond of them. Place them in the north area of the home to enhance your wealth luck.
  3. Clean and repaint your front door. This not only is one of the first things a buyer will see, but the front door is associated with wealth. Keeping it clean will give you more wealth luck. If you can paint it read as this is the color of abundance in fung shui
  4. Make sure all pictures and artwork are happy in nature. Having sad pictures or hurtful looking artwork can send the wrong message to a buyer. These types of things make people feel unwelcome and usually cause them to move on to another home.

I hope if you are trying to sell your home, you will check these things out. I know fung shui worked at least once for me. It could help you too.

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Fine living and outdoor decor

I love finding a business that will give you style at a good price. Upside Living is one of these business. They have an amazing selection of home goods at great prices. They carry everything from throw pillows to Italian pottery.

Since it’s almost summer I thought I would concentrate more on their outdoor selection. They have some great deals on fire pits that look amazing and can go anywhere. I’m big on outdoor things being movable as I have moved around a lot. They also have some great looking Tiki torches that don’t look like your at a cheep outdoor party, these torches are made of copper and burn from 8-48 hours depending on the size you get.

They also carry wind chimes, this is always a great thing to have on had as it’s good for the health of your home. Wind chimes are used a lot in feng shui and add a nice atmosphere to your home. They have a small selection, but they look great and are sure to make wonderful music in the wind.


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Spring tips for indoors

Many people do not have the luxury of having a yard they can go into and garden in or relax in. But even if you don’t have one there are many things you can do to make your home’s indoor area just a festive as the outdoors would be.

The first thing you want to do it to string up some fun funky lights in your dinning area, make it feel like your outside at a fun restaurant. Buy an indoor grill and grill up some good food and you have it made. Of course you may not want to keep this type of decor up long so here are a few other ideas for you.

  • Buy plants with bright colors
  • Get a fountain or two to bring in the sound of water
  • Paint the walls bright colors, remember paint is the lest expensive change you can make
  • Buy pictures that will bring the outside in and put them in bamboo frames
  • Get nice outdoor furniture and use it in one room of your home

Do you have any tips?

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Interior design, it’s not just about homes

Some people think that once your an interior designer that is all you will do, but in most cases interior designers do so much more. One designer I had a chance to talk to not only does interior design work but she own her own salon and spa. So really you can do anything once you get that design degree. You could design luggage, rugs or bedding. You also could run a restaurant or other business.

A big reason for this is that interior designers also need to know a good part about general business practices. They need to have an idea of laws and codes and are really the perfect person to run any type of business. They know how to design the space to work for the business and what goes into it. So if your thinking of getting a design degree check it out, you can do so much more then just put paint on walls and make a place look good.

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Have a design business, customize it

Customization is a big thing for businesses, custom pens, stationary and other items are one of the best ways to get word out about your business. This is no different when you have an interior design business. If your just starting giving out items with your name on it will make people recognize you later on. They will think back and go, “oh I remember getting something from them once. When it comes to interior design I would recommend putting your name on something that can be used to decorate a home such as a pot or picture frame. It doesn’t have to be big and bold but something that someone who comes in can take with them and put in there home. Of course you need to make sure it reflects the type of business you do. If your a kitchen designer you could use a decorate plate or spoon.

There are many ways to get your name out there, be creative

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Live healthy get a plant

I have a great tip to help you live longer and love your home more, get a plant. Not a fake plant that is not going to do anything but sit there and collect dust, but a real live plant. Why? Well plants not only help add to the design and decor of your home, but they have many health benefits, they create fresh clean oxygen for your home so when it’s all closed up you still get good clean air.

They can also help to make a teen more responsible without having to get them an animal. A classmate of mine pointed this out to me. Her mom got her a plant before letter her get a kitten, she took very good care of the plant so she was able to get her kitten. Her sister on the other hand did not take good care of her plant and was not able to get the car she wanted until she was 18.

Back to home and health benefits. Having a plant in your home makes you feel better, you will work better be less stressed and feel more comfortable in your home. There are many reasons for this but the big one is that we like the outdoors, even if we don’t think we do. We like plants just not bugs, trust me it’s true.

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