Friday, March 24, 2017

A bright and colorful Arkansas farmhouse!

This cheerful home in Arkansas is designed by Tobi Fairley for a couple with five children. Using bold, vibrant colors and traditional design with a youthful twist, this new farmhouse is transformed into a bright and happy place. Let's take a look at this colorful home, shall we?

Photo credit: Nancy Nolan

Isn't this home beautiful? The designer's fearless use of bold colors and patterns is absolutely refreshing and inspirational! I like how layered, vibrant and effortlessly chic each room looks. I am especially drawn to the gorgeous family room with the curved wood beams and the inviting breakfast area with the lovely banquette and striking dining chairs. Such an inviting and lively family home, what's not to love? Are you a fan of her design approach as well? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Bill!

This post is provided by Melissa Frank.

Utility costs only seem to rise year after year, and the need to conserve energy has never been more pressing. If you are tired of the shock and awe that comes every time you open your electricity bill, consider employing these strategies to decrease your energy usage while keeping your home safe and comfortable for your family. 

Sealant Is Your Best Friend

Any crack or gap in walls or doors can let cold air flow in and warm air flow out during the winter, and vice versa during the summer. Maintaining the temperature in your home means sealing up any of these cracks, and this project can be done on a budget and a time crunch. As you begin to search for cracks and air leaks, check out the following spots in your home:

Rooms with dropped ceilings
Furnace flues
Doors and window frames
Areas for plumbing access
Recessed light features

Once you have spotted an air leak, caulk, weather strip, and seal it up to make sure heat and cool air no longer escape or enter. This weekend task can make you save a bundle on your electric bill, and keep your house the perfect temperature without energy waste.

Wash Your Laundry with Cold Water

If you often wash your towels and clothes with hot water, you are not alone; over 60 percent of Americans wash their clothes in warm water. However, with this practice you could be greatly increasing the amount spent on electricity each month. Many believe that washing with hot water is the only way to get laundry truly clean, but that is not actually the case. While heat can help expedite chemical reactions, you can get the same amount of clean from one cold load so long as you use the right detergents. Powder detergents generally do better with warm water, but liquid soap can work just fine with cold water washes. 

Just how much of a difference could washing your clothes make? Consider that around 75% of energy used in a load of laundry is dedicated to heating the water. With cold water, you decrease these costs. It is also important to consider the effect of water temperature on your clothes. Heat can more quickly break down the dyes in your clothes and result in shrinkage. Washing your clothing in cold water can prevent this shrinkage and retain their true color. Another good tip when it comes to laundry? Line dry your clothing. A one-time investment in a cheap clothesline is going to be far less than the operating costs of running your dryer with every load. 

Consider Dimmer Switches

What house could not do with a little bit of mood lighting? Dimmer switches can help you set the perfect atmosphere whether you are having a date night at home or hosting a large dinner party. Dimmer switches might also be the key to saving energy in your home. With dimmer switches installed, you have the ability to use only as much light as needed for the moment. This can significantly cut down on energy costs, and provide extra aesthetic value to every room in your home. 

Upgrade Your HVAC System

If your HVAC system is due for an upgrade, now is the time. Modern systems are energy efficient and designed to keep your home the right temperature without costing a fortune. While it can be a costly expense, there are companies that can help you finance heating and cooling upgrades, and while the investment might cost a bit more than these other tips, it is bound to keep your more comfortable and save you plenty down the road. 

If you are paying more than you should be in energy bills, this upgrade is a lifesaver. Whether you purchase furnaces or split systems, you will find the investment is often more than worth the savings you will find on your next energy bill- and all the bills that follow. 

If you are looking for ways to cut down on energy usage and pay less on your electric bill each month, employ these tips and tricks and keep your family happy and comfortable-without blowing your budget.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Favorite room of the week!

This absolutely gorgeous terrace is part of interior designer, Marie Anne Oudejans' Jaipur hotel apartment. I am immediately drawn to the beautiful painted arches and ceilings. The painted details are subtle yet eye-catching and impactful, a great way to accentuate the architecture of the building and help draws your eyes up to the wonderful soaring ceiling. Another favorite of mine is the lovely, custom tented daybeds which provide a cozy, cocoon-like feeling while lounging or relaxing. By incorporating a few simple stripes and floral patterns to the space, an additional layer of warmth and visual interest is created. I also like that the terrace is surrounded by various plants to promote relaxation and tranquility. Such an inviting space for unwinding, don't you think? I can stay here all day long with a good book, what about you? 

Photo credit: François Halard

What Would Le Corbusier do? 3 Ways to Light a Hallway!

This article is provided by Ema Hobs.

Swiss architect Le Corbusier explored form, relief and functionality in his architectural works. “Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep,” Le Corbusier believed. Without enough “space and light and order,” man stood to lose his health and happiness.

Le Corbusier said that “a house is a machine for living in,” and his architectural designs proved his theory. The Villa Savoye À Poissy, designed by the architect close to a century ago was designed with functionality and cleanliness in mind. The house was meant to fuse form and function (every modern designer’s end goal) to create an elemental design using the “newest technology”. The house was meant to be clean, sophisticated and well-lit, which brings us to the purpose of this article: to light our hallways in such a way as that Le Corbusier would approve. 

Lighting the Hallway Like Le Corbusier

Natural lighting was très important to Le Corbusier as he believed natural lighting helped human beings to attain vitality and health. In the hallway or entryway of your home, you will want to make sure the natural light of the space is not impeded by the electrical. 

If your hallway or entryway has large windows or a skylight, use them as a natural source in your home. Keep the blinds open and adjust them to the setting sun. To keep the effect of the natural light, layer your light sources in the hallway. To layer the light sources, you will want a mixture of overhead, ambient and task lighting. This can be accomplished with an overhead pendant light and a table lamp or floor lamp. Natural lighting, even if helped by your modern lighting fixtures will trick your mind into believing it is completely natural, keeping your circadian rhythm in check and making your home look and feel comfortable and inviting. 

The hallway serves as a transitory space and its function should not be jeopardized to better complement a furniture or artwork in the space. This is something people want to do, believing it necessary to imbibe every room in the house with some sort of statement piece or fashionable décor item. 

Le Corbusier’s architecture shows that these things are unnecessary in designing an elegant, functional and modern home. Rooms should be used for their designed purpose, otherwise they are merely adding to the detriment of society. Le Corbusier said that “light creates ambience and feel of a place, as well as the expression of a structure.” Remember, modernists are all about making things better by designing products and buildings with a form that follows its function. If the form is manipulated, its function is lost. The hallway, again, serves as a connecting space between rooms in the house. You do not want your guests standing idly in the hallway chatting, if they want to visit, it should be done in the living room.

Light the hallway so that it helps its users to understand that it is a transitional space. You can do this with wall sconces. Wall sconces placed in a processional order will help the user to understand that they need to keep going to reach the final destination and to know that the hallway is not it. 

At this point you might be thinking, wait a minute. I do not have a lot of natural light in my hallway or for that, much of a hallway. You can still follow the advice above, just tweak it to meet your needs. You can use a pendant light in the hallway for overhead light or recessed lighting set on a dimmer switch, so that you can control the lighting levels. Le Corbusier believed in using modern technology to create highly-functional and livable spaces. Using dimmer switches in the hallway would play right into that and give you full charge of the lighting levels.

Your hallway acts as a transitional space in the home, make sure it is following its functional design properly.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cool designer alert- Chloe Warner!

Introducing California-based designer, Chloe Warner. Her approach in design is mixing classic style with a modern edge, resulting in beautiful, refreshing interiors. Let's take a look at her gorgeous portfolio, shall we?

The designer: Chloe Warner

Such stunning work! She definitely has a flair for mixing colors and eclectic pieces. Her wonderful combination of the old and new with a touch of feminine glamour feels truly fresh and chic. I am absolutely inspired by her fabulous designs, what about you?

For more information regarding the designer and her work, please visit:

Monday, March 20, 2017

A fresh and elegant El Paso home!

This stunning El Paso house is transformed by designers José Solís Betancourt and Paul Sherrill for their clients with a vision for elegant Southwestern style. The house already had good bones so all the designers need to do was to contemporize it. Let's find out how the designers did it, shall we?

Photo credit: Werner Straube

How stunning! Although this home is mostly neutral, it is far from dull, thanks to a mix of eclectic furnishings, wonderful textures and beautiful details that helps to awaken each room. There is so much warmth, character and elegance in this gorgeous light-filled home, don't you think? I am truly drawn to the lovely breakfast room, inviting kitchen and the swoon-worthy bathroom, what about you? Your thoughts?