Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 tips for styling your home office!

Working from home is many people’s idea of heaven. No stressful commutes, some peace and quiet and the chance to strike a better work-life balance. However, without a well-designed home office, your attempts to operate from the comfort of your abode may not be as stress-free and successful as you imagined. 

From back pain to boredom, poorly planned home offices can lead to a range of problems. To help ensure you do not experience these difficulties, take a look at the following 5 simple styling tips.

1. Select the perfect spot
Before you get stuck into the finer points of styling your office, you will need to make sure you have found the perfect spot for your workspace. If you are lucky enough to have a study or spare room, this is a no-brainer. If not, you will have to use your imagination. A corner of your bedroom, a section of your landing or even the space under your stairs could double up as a work zone. Ideally, the area you select should be quiet and benefit from plenty of natural light.

2. Do not skimp on your seat

Arguably the most important piece of office furniture that you will buy will be your chair. After all, you might be spending long hours at your workstation, so it is important that you select a good quality seat and offers impressive levels of comfort and support. There are a host of designs to choose from these days and it really comes down to personal preference. For inspiration, you can visit the websites of specialist suppliers like Calibre Office Furniture. From mesh seats to executive chairs and designer ranges, you would not be stuck for choice.

3. Make sure you have plenty of storage

Storage is the unsung hero of office design. When you have the right drawers, cabinets and shelves in place, you hardly notice they are there. However, if you are lacking these furnishings, your office could quickly descend into chaos. So, if you want to prevent your paperwork from going walkabout around your home, make sure you invest in plenty of storage. Even if you do not use it all straight away, it is bound to prove useful eventually.
4. Use colors that will help you concentrate

Consider redecorating your office area too. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a color scheme. The important thing is to select a look that works for you. Some people find that soothing pastels help them to focus on their tasks, while others prefer more vibrant hues, like lime greens and oranges. If you are not sure which color scheme to go for, try a few test patches first. There is no substitute for actually seeing paint in situ.
5) Introduce inspiring personal touches

Once you have the main elements of your office in order, it is time to think about introducing a few inspiring personal touches. For example, perhaps you have a prized piece of artwork that you could hang on the wall in front of your workstation. A framed family photo can make a great addition to your desk too, while a cute pot plant could bring added added color. By incorporating details like this into your office, you can give it instant personality.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

5 Creative Ways to Cover Up Those Unsightly Household Pipes!

There is nothing worse than stepping into a room and seeing exposed features like ceiling pipes, air ducts, electrical pipes, or plumbing lines. They are necessary in order for the home to function properly, but from a designer’s point of view, they can be a real eyesore. Exposed pipes of any kind can make what could be a potentially attractive room look a little less attractive.

Of course there are more expensive options for dealing with these exposed pipes, for example by installing a new ceiling, putting in cabinets, or even reconstructing walls to cover the exposed pipes. However, there are also the high costs of having to hire professional contractors to complete the tasks. This of course costs a decent amount of money and can take some time.

So what is the middle ground? How can you find a way to cover up those exposed pipes while staying within budget? The answer is pretty simple, get creative! Below you will find a few innovative ideas to get you started.

Home Décor Tip: Before you start working on decorating a room that has exposed pipes such as air ducts, you should contact a professional for HVAC service repair or installation. It is always best to have your heating and cooling system serviced to ensure that it is working properly before you start painting and designing a room. This way they would not have to destroy your craftsmanship later on if something goes wrong. 

1. Incorporate The Pipes

If you can not beat them, you might as well join them! A great way to deal with exposed pipes is to simply incorporate them into your overall design. Going with an industrial theme in the room can allow a great canvas for the pipes to stand out. Going with an neutral tone color wall with either copper or black pipes can be a great addition to the room. Incorporate a few industrial pieces, a beautiful rug and you are good to go.

2.  Build A Shelf Around It

Another option for exposed pipes in a room would be to build a shelf around it. Storage shelves are always a great addition to any home décor. Not only do they look good but they are pretty functional and can take away the attention from the eyesore known as exposed piping in the room.

3. Use A Sink Skirt

Trying to redesign your kitchen but you have a lot of pipes exposed? Creating a neat little sink skirt is fairly easy and gets rid of the problem with very little investment. You will need to choose a nice fabric that will either blend in or stand out as an accent in your kitchen. If you are not too handy with a sewing machine, the next best solution would be to purchase a ready made sink skirt. There are several different styles you can consider that will also match your kitchen décor.

4. Paint The Pipes

If the exterior condition of the pipes is in pretty good shape, but the color is simply throwing off the design of your room, then you could consider paint the pipes to match the room. You can choose to paint them a color that will match your wall or ceiling (depending on where the pipes are located) or you can paint them an accent color to add character to the room.

5. Design Tape

If you are not too handy with a paintbrush then you probably do not want to paint the pipes as it can look more unattractive if it is not done correctly. Fear not DIYers as there is another option that can still make the pipe’s exterior look a lot better, you can always use a design tape. There is now a tape that comes already colored with different patterns that you can simply wrap around the pipes instead.

This is just a few ways you can cover up those ugly pipes and bring any room in your home to life. Updating your home’s décor does not have to be expensive. With a creative mind, and a few arts and craft skills you can turn those household eyesores into beautiful accessories that compliment the look and feel of the home. Have fun trying these ideas in your own home, and even turn it into a fun family project!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A client's master bedroom project reveal!

A few years ago, I was working with my client Kathy to redecorate her master bedroom. Her master bedroom is full of potential; it's spacious, has gorgeous high ceilings and large windows. She and her husband like contemporary furniture with clean lines and wanted me to help them create a warm, comfortable, inviting and sophisticated room with a boost of color, drama and pizzazz, all on a very small budget. All the furniture in their bedroom, artwork and family photos have to stay. I was up for the challenge! You can read more about the process of our entire collaboration here and here

Recently, Kathy sent me some pictures of her finished master bedroom. In her email, she told me that the room was completed a year and a half ago. In the email, she also wrote, "We still love our bedroom, I admire it all the time!". As a decorator, it is one of the best compliment I have ever received and I can't be more thrilled! 

I can't wait to share with you the before and after of her master bedroom makeover, here they are!











I would love to help Kathy arrange her furniture or style her accessories personally but because it's e-design (online decorating), she will need to execute the room herself. Through my step-by-step guidance and design guidelines, she was able to pull together the room easily. I think the room feels much more brighter, fresher and more inviting now, don't you think? She made some adjustments along the way but I think she did a fantastic job overall! What do you think about the makeover? Thoughts?

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.