Categories
interior design

How do you want your home to feel?

It’s one of the first questions I ask when I’m working with new design clients.  Defining the feelings, you want to have when you’re in your home is key to understanding the home’s function, creating the experiences that conjure up those feelings.  Ideally having all your family members answer these questions will establish a guide to how your home should be designed.

How do you want to feel when you come home after a long day?

What do you want guests to think about your home?

What three feelings come to mind when you think of your dream home?

When you reach a consensus on those feelings these are tips on achieving those emotions.

A Welcoming Home

If feeling welcome is important, then consider what guests may see when they walk in.  Is there clutter in your entry?  Do you have plenty of comfortable seating for guests?  It’s not just about guests either, everyone in your family should feel some connection when they come home.  Displaying family photos and having your family’s favorite things out will create a warm vibe.

Pottery Barn

A Relaxing Home

If snuggling the pets on the sofa or having family pizza night in the living room is relaxing to you then expect your home to show some wear.  If having your feet on the 19th Century coffee table stresses you out, then you need to rethink your pieces opting for a different look.  A relaxing home won’t necessarily equate to a perfect home so be realistic with the amount of clutter and dust you’re comfortable with and commit to keeping your home at that level.

Roberto Nickson

A Peaceful Home

We’ve heard it many times that your home should be a sanctuary, especially in these trying times.  Leaving the outside world at your doorstep can be attained with minimal clutter and soothing neutral colors.  Thick drapes and blackout shades help eliminate outside noise and annoying streetlights.

A Creative Home

If you’re an artist, quilter or even an occasional crafter design a home that inspires you.  Have your supplies readily available and easy to set up.  If it’s creative cooking you’re into, arrange the kitchen so that your knives and equipment are within easy reach.  Communing with nature and playing music is symbiotic with generating creative energy.

Artist painting
Sincerely Media

A Fun Home

Commit to having more fun at home with family activities like game night or happy hour with your neighbors.  Don’t overthink a new bold paint color and colorful curtains creating a youthful home that feels fun.

A fun home interior design
J. Rhodes Interior Design

A Safe Home

You don’t need to invest in an expensive security system to feel safe at home.  Get to know your neighbors, install good quality window and door locks.  Operable window coverings boost privacy and make a home feel more secure.

Kwikset

Mr. H says: The magic of home is that it feels good to leave, and feels even better to return-Enjoy!

Categories
accessories decorating Shopping

Bookmark these home decor finds

Where we choose to spend money is an actionable step that we can all take to relieve the socioeconomic challenges that African American companies face in our country. While I talked about some Charleston home related businesses to support these companies are small, black owned shops that provide goods via the web. We all love to shop online so next time your’e searching for home decor keep these noteworthy boutiques in mind.

Rochelle Porter Design Atlanta-based artist Rochelle Porter creates bold, vibrant patterns for printed products, including apparel, home decor, electronic device cases, packaging, stationery and much more. Her brand combines her passion for patterns with her commitment to social responsibility.

Rochelle Porter Design
Rochelle Porter Design

Southern Elegance Candle Co. Self proclaimed southern belle, D’Shawn Russell crafts her scents to conjure up a slower, more simpler time. With names like Back Roads, Front Porch, and Summer Bliss these divinely packaged small batch candles are created in Raeford, NC.

Southern Elegance Candle Co.
Southern Elegance Candle Co.

AphroChic Interior designers Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, curated their online shop with striking pillows, poufs, rugs and lighting. This husband and wife team is dedicated to exploring the intersection of modern design and global culture across diverse populations.

AphroChic
AfroChic

Reflektion Design This home accessories brand is geared to culturally inspired people who love to express their authentic self through design. Sourcing products with a discerning eye for pattern, designer Anitra Terrell offers products that help you create a home that feels collected not decorated.

Reflektion Design
Reflektion Design

Tackussanu Senegal Jasz Dio and Cheikh Biaye bring handmade basket decor by Senegal artisan women to the United States market. Their neutral and colorful wares come in wide variety of sizes and styles so finding one to complement your decor is easy.

Tackussanu Senegal
Tackussanu Senegal

Bolé Road Textiles Born in Ethiopa, Hana Getachew, brings a diverse collection of products to the home decor market. This Brooklyn based designer’s love of color is evident in this expansive home decor shop that helps customers create spaces they love, while supporting economic development in Ethiopia.

Bole Road Textiles
Bole Road Textiles

Effortless Composition: This one-stop shop for eclectic home decor is carefully curated by owner Brittiny Terry. Sourcing from Istanbul to Los Angeles, she partners with skilled artisans to bring fresh designs to life. 

Effortless Composition
Effortless Composition

More fabulous finds can be found on this extensive list compiled by Shoppe Black. Happy Shopping!

Mr. H says: A big business starts small-Enjoy!

Categories
design trends interior design kitchen

What’s next? Home design after a pandemic

In mere weeks our lives have changed and there is little doubt that a new “normal” will emerge once the effects of the Coronavirus have been mitigated both physically and financially. With social distancing, living out our entire lives exclusively at home have created some new design challenges. These are the areas that a future redesign may be most critical.

Entries as drop zones-Studies have shown that the virus can live on surfaces for several days. Foyers may become decontamination areas where packages, some groceries and possibly even clothes and shoes get cleaned or stored, keeping any germs in one place.

Entry drop zone
Jagoe Homes

Kitchens-With restaurant dining rooms closed, many of us have had to become reacquainted with our kitchens. Those with older kitchen are going to have eek out more storage for stocking up and even rethinking their appliances. With multiple meals happening at home it would be nice to have a drawer dishwasher or even an under counter beverage refrigerator.

Dishwasher Drawer
Fisher Paykel

Zoom Rooms-For many, working from home isn’t an issue as you may already have a home office or designated work area. For those suddenly thrust into teleworking and video calls it’s been a real challenge. If you haven’t found the perfect Zoom location where barking dogs and laughing kids aren’t disrupting your meeting with colleagues, it’s time to get serious about carving out that space. Finding a quiet place, with a locking door and pleasant background will show that your job is important to you.

Allie Smith

Fitness-If your thinking of buying equipment while the gyms are closed, some planning needs to happen on where it is going to go. The master bedroom? The new Zoom room? A family conference to get everyone’s input on the best way to set up a work out area would help to make that decision.

Touch Less Devices-I’m personally tired of disinfecting door knobs and light switches on a daily basis. The technology is already available with touch less faucets and commodes commonly found in public spaces. I see an increased interest in incorporating that type of tech in the home. Of course we can always bring back the “Clapper”!

American Standard

Mr. H says: Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless-Enjoy!

Categories
bathroom interior design Organization

Five projects to tackle when you are stuck at home

Take advantage of social distancing with some small changes that can make your time at home more enjoyable.

Set up a home bar. Your probably beginning to limit your public interactions now and that includes trips to the local watering hole. Treat yourself to a “quarantini” from a stocked home bar. It doesn’t have to be a large dedicated space as a bar cart can serve the same purpose. Check out our bar cart tips here.

Bar cart
Hurtado

Clean out your closet. With endless days at home, now is the perfect time to tackle your closet. Begin by taking everything out and sorting into three piles: keep, donate and toss. Return the “keep” items by following these tips from the experts at California Closets.

Create an accent wall. While tackling an entire room redo may seem overwhelming at this time, highlighting one wall can transform a room as well. Either with a splashy paint color, removable wallpaper or a gallery wall, creating an accent well can be achieved in a matter of hours.

Sherwin Williams

Organize your spice cabinet. You’ll most likely be preparing more meals at home so now is the time to get your spices in order. Spice bottles are tricky to store, especially in a cabinet, where you spend a time digging around in search of the cumin. If you have a drawer to spare, consider fitting it with a spice organizer to keep your herbs in easy reach. Shelf risers or over the door organizers are a must if they must stay in a cabinet.

KraftMade

Update Your Bathroom. Bathrooms are the work horses in most homes. Besides the germ factories they are they tend to look shabby fast. After you’ve given it a good scrubbing update the cabinet hardware and towel bars with a modern look. Install a new shower curtain and replace the towels and rugs with a fresh color.

Designers Guild

Mr. H says: Home is the place we love best and grumble about the most-Enjoy!

Categories
interior design Organization

Top ways to love your home

The places we inhabit on a regular basis, impacts our mood and well being. From it’s efficiency to it’s appearance, your home can make you feel either energized and inspired or depressed and tired. We’ve found that these three obstacles are usually what keeps our clients from loving where they live.

CLUTTER

Multiple studies have shown that clutter increases your stress level, making it difficult to focus and may lead to exhaustion. Piles of stuff make it harder to clean, allowing dust and pet dander to go unchecked, causing allergic and respiratory problems.

Clutter makes us feel anxious, guilty and sometimes embarrassed that we let it become a problem. The best solution is to create a schedule to tackle your clutter. Start with one area at a time and finish completely before moving on to another. Be sure to celebrate your success with each space you conquer.

Uncluttered shelves
Pottery Barn

ORGANIZATION

Clutter and disorganization go hand and hand. Clutter develops because there is no place or plan for dealing with your stuff. Spending the energy looking for your keys or that important bill is both frustrating and huge waste of time. Stress and physical ailments such as headaches and backaches affect the unorganized. Your home should be a sanctuary and I’ve given tips on getting organized in the past to help you get there.

Organized living room
California Closets

BUDGET

Don’t let your budget prevent you from having a home that works for you. A space can be transformed with a new wall color or by rearranging your existing furniture. It is possible to improve the function and appearance of your home with any size budget.

Besides moving the furniture around or painting a room, other ways to improve your home’s appearance on a budget is with the lighting, window treatments and artwork to name a few. Click the links for in depth advice on all these subjects.

Organized dining room
J. Rhodes Interior Design, Inc.

Mr. H says: Any home can be a castle when the king and queen are in love-Enjoy!

Categories
design trends interior design

Designing for Pets

We all make accommodations for our pets in our homes. After all they are more than just four legs and a tail, our furry friends play a huge role in our families. Since almost all our clients have pets we are often asked to design around them as well as other members of the household. You don’t have to sacrifice style in order to accommodate your four legged friends.

Pet Friendly Fabrics

Carefully consider the cleanability and durability of your upholstery fabrics for the areas your family and pets will gather most. Denim, canvas, ulstrasuede and synthetics such as Crypton are all good choices. Outdoor fabrics come in numerous colors and textures while resisting most stains, moisture and odors. Leather is a durable choice though it can be punctured and scratched by big claws. Look for top grain, semi-aniline leathers whose hides are dyed through and treated for additional protection.

Sunbrella Pure Collection Fabrics
Sunbrella

Smart Window Treatments

Avoid long drapes that puddle on the floor that will collect pet debris. Consider Roman or roller shades and wood blinds that can be easily raised up so as to not spoil your pets view of the outside world. Keep dangling cords in check with cleats or opt for the cordless models.

Hunter Douglas Provenance window shades
Hunter Douglas

Their Own Space

Cats love to perch and climb and dogs like to retreat to their own “room”. Treat your pets by incorporating those features into the design of your home. Dog beds can fit into a cabinet or under a window seat and cat perches can become an architectural element.

Pet Hays

Dog Bed Decor

Be sure to choose a dog bed that’s large enough to accommodate the size of your pet. There are many stylish options available on sites like Etsy, so find one that complements your décor and is easy to keep clean.

Designer Dog Bed
Lion + Wolf

Pet-Friendly Entry

Create a pet friendly entrance that keeps dirt from being tracked through your entire home. Place an easy clean mat or rug at your pet’s main entry point to catch mud or debris as soon as they enter. Wall hooks reign in leashes and some type of cabinet can hold pet supplies such as collars, bags and treats.

Pet Friendly Entryway
Paper Riot Co.

Easy Clean Floors

Top choices for easy clean, durable flooring include porcelain or stone tiles. Some laminate and vinyl flooring come in second. While beautiful, hardwood floors, are a design statement, they can scratch easily and require diligent cleaning should an accident occur. Harder woods such as oak or mahogany are the best species bets, however avoid highly polished flooring that can pose a slipping hazard. Trim your pet’s claws regularly to keep scratches at bay.

Best flooring for pets
Armstrong

Slip Proof Rugs

While rugs can enhance the look of a room, they can also protect your floors from claws and stains. There are many easy care options to choose from with a multi color pattern being best for hiding dirt and pet hair. Wool rugs are naturally stain resistant and many synthetic rugs can be taken outside and easily hosed clean. Whichever rug style you choose, use a good quality non skid pad beneath to prevent slipping especially in open areas such as hallways.

Slip proof rug pads

Washable Bedding

Admit it, we sometimes snuggle with our pets in bed. Inevitably hair and dirt come with your furry friend. Opt for duvets and shams with removable covers over coverlets and quilts. The covers can be removed and laundered regularly with the rest of your sheets keeping your bed somewhat fur free.

Washable bed linens
SDH Linens

Display Breakables with Care

Keep glassware, porcelains or anything else that can be easily broken out of reach of your pets or better yet behind doors if you have cats. Shards of grandma’s tea set on the floor will not only break your heart but can cause serious damage to your pet’s paws.

Display Cabinet
Wayfair

Mr. H says: Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul-Enjoy!

Categories
design trends interior design kitchen outdoor living

Must have valuable home upgrades

Are you thinking of making some changes to your home to elevate it’s livability and value? Modern amenities that focus on functional luxury are key to making a home more user friendly. How much you spend on these upgrades a determined by the options and choices you make so having a plan and a budget in place before you step into the first showroom is a must.

An Open Floorplan

Even though this lifestyle movement has been around for decades, there is still immense value in an open floor plan. By connecting kitchen and living spaces, open plans create spacious and informal interiors for homeowners of all ages. Taking down a wall or reconfiguring some rooms should be done by a pro since beams or supports may need to be incorporated into your design so that the second floor does not come crashing down.

Open floor plan design

An Updated Kitchen

Every realtor will tell you that this is a home investment worth every penny. The kitchen is the heart of every home and the spot where you will spend a lot time. Give special attention to cabinets and appliances since no kitchen can be overly well equipped. A well designed, organized kitchen is the key to creating a home you love and will interest future buyers. Open layouts, center islands, and pull out pantry storage are must haves in every kitchen.

Luxury-kitchen-design

Spa Baths

With today’s busy lifestyles, we all want a space to relax and unwind in our homes. Large showers, good lighting, storage, and smart toilets are features that homeowners have on their wish list. Adding accessibility features to your bathroom can add a lot of value to your home and can make life easier should you choose to age in place. Upgrades to consider, curbless showers, grab bars and wheelchair height light switches and outlets.

Luxury-spa-home-bathrooms

Easy Tech

Technology dominates every aspect lives. Smart equipment has become more accessible and affordable.  User friendly, tech conveniences such as security systems, temperature settings and lighting controls can make your home more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

Nest-thermostat

Outdoor Spaces

Finished outdoor spaces that feel like an interior room with comfortable seating, thoughtful landscaping and lighting, fire pits and outdoor cooking areas are a worthy home investment. Finished outdoor areas expand the living area of your home and depending on your approach can be utilized year round.

Lloyd-Flanders-Tobago-Chat-Set

Mr. H says: Home should be your happy place-Enjoy!

Categories
interior design

5 things that are making you tired at home

Are you sleep walking through your day without knowing why? Your lifestyle and design choices you’ve made at home may be the culprit. Here’s a checklist of all the things that may be negatively affecting your sleep and making you unproductive.

Bad Lighting

I’ve talked about this before: poorly designed lighting affects the mood of the occupants and can create either a restless or restful feel to a space. Access to natural light is critical as researchers have found that exposure to more natural light actually resulted in a more restful sleep at night. Sunlight first thing is morning has been linked to sounder sleep so be sure to open your shades as soon as you rise.

Electronics

Study after study have found that those blue wavelengths from your cell phone, tablet and TV suppress your brain’s production of a critical sleep hormone-melatonin. Without sufficient amounts of melatonin, not only are you more likely to have a restless night, but melatonin suppression has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair the immune system, and possibly lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Using filters on your screens at night or amber glasses should help with your sleep without having to toss your devices.

Wall Colors

The color blue has been shown to slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and make you feel sleepy. While a great in the bedroom, it’s not an ideal color in the active spaces in your home. Colors with yellow undertones, think green and peach, give rooms a mental boost by promoting conversation and social interaction.

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc. photo by David Duncan Livingston

Sitting Too Long

We’re all guilty of being a couch potato while binging on Netflix. Sitting for long periods of time though can deplete your energy and can actually make your body equate that inactivity with going to sleep. Frequent breaks are important so stretch often, get up and walk way from your sofa. Better yet, get outside and enjoy some natural light

Inefficient Overall Design

Dysfunctional kitchens and baths, lots of clutter, and an unorganized environment causes your brain to be overwhelmed and unable to focus increasing your fatigue. Set a goal to clear out and organize at least one area of your home to see how it changes your mood and energy level. Once you see the effects challenge yourself and your family to tackle the rest.

Mr. H says: Tired minds don’t plan well-Enjoy!

Categories
Artwork interior design lighting Window Treatments

Five Luxe Living Room Tips

When it comes to designing your living space, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make it appear like you spent a lot of money. Here are some shortcuts to creating a luxurious living room without breaking the bank.

Layered lighting

Lighting up a space the right way is important and a topic that I have written about before. Having a variety of light sources adds depth to a room. Utilize a combination of ambient, accent and task lighting that can be adjusted based on the time of day or mood of the occupant.  Dimmer switches allow for complete control of lighting levels.

Bernhardt luxury living room
Bernhardt

Beautiful Textiles

Toss some pillows in an opulent velvet or an exotic print onto the sofa for a luxurious update. Custom pillows can be found in designer fabrics on Etsy and many other online sources. Reusing old pillow forms saves money too.

Eastern Accents

Drapery to the floor

Curtains that do not go to the floor look skimpy. Hang rods as close to the ceiling as possible so that windows appear tall. Choose a fabric that blends with the wall color and doesn’t create contrast if you are concerned about overwhelming the space.

Large Art Pieces

Oversized art makes a daring focal point in a space. Large artwork somehow just looks so much more expensive than smaller pieces. Keep the colors and patterns of the piece subtle so that it seamlessly blends with the rest of your decor.

Renwil Artwork
Renwil

Moldings

Improve a rooms interior architecture with applied wall and crown moldings. While adding a visual presence, upscale moldings, make a home feel substantial and well built.

Daniel Island Interior Design
J. Rhodes Interior Design

Mr. H says: The living room is where we come to slow down the world for just a second-Enjoy!

Categories
design trends interior design

He Said, She Said

An informal survey of men and women and their home wish list was conducted recently by home builder Tony Crasi, architects Anne Postle and Jerry Gloss and interior designer Doris Pearlman.  They revealed the results of their survey of 500 clients, friends and colleagues at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas during a session called “He Said, She Said”.

They found that ” a great kitchen” topped the list for both genders in the over thirty crowd

Classic Kitchens of Charleston

While the men and women seemed synced up in home priorities in the thirty plus group there was a much bigger disparities in the younger set.
He Said She Said
For instance, a wonderful master suite was most important to women under 30

Signature Kitchens & Baths of Charleston

While young men desired an entertaining space
Take the quiz with your spouse to see what is important in a home
Priorities to rank:
Mr. H says: Every woman is wrong until she cries, and then she is instantly right-Enjoy!