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home office interior design

How to design a home office

So you’ve found yourself having to work remotely, and like many are woefully unprepared to to do so. With the health crisis continuing to loom well into the future, now is the perfect time to take stock of an underused space in your home and create your “go to work” zone. At a minimum your home office is going to need a computer and a surface to set it up on. Beyond these basic components though what additional items you’ll need depends on the work your doing.

The Space. Assess your home for the most underutilized room in your house. The formal dining room that may get used twice a year, the guest bedroom that has been a dumping ground for items that need to be organized or tossed, or even a garden shed can become the perfect home office.

Prefab home office shed
Backyard Eichler

The Desk. Think about what components you’ll need on the desk. Do you to spread out files or use multiple monitors? Purchase the largest desk that will fit into your space keeping in mind you’ll need at least 30″ between the desk and other inanimate objects likes shelves or file cabinets for comfortable passage. Be sure to locate near an outlet too so that a traditional PC, desk printer or lamp can be easily plugged in.

Hekman home office
Hekman

The Chair. Your desk chair should be on wheels so that you can easily move within your workstation. It should be adjustable as well to allow you to ergonomically position yourself for computer viewing. This graphic shows the optimal set up that will help with back and neck pain, eye strain and fatigue.

Ergonomic home office design

The Storage. Consider what kinds of storage you may need when you are working from home. Bookshelves, lateral files or any other specialty furniture needs to be considered when planning your space.

Bernhardt home office storage
Bernhardt

The Equipment. Wireless printers and scanners can be tucked away in a closet though they should easily accessible as well. You shouldn’t have to move a lot of stuff around to add paper or change out an ink cartridge.

The Layout. This plan is about the size of an average bedroom and shows some critical issues to keep in mind when planning your home office. Have enough clear space to maneuver your desk chair and allow for flow around the space and leave enough room to fully open file cabinets drawers.

Home office room design
By Steven Corley Randel, Architect

Mr. H says: The first five days after the weekend are the hardest-Enjoy!

Categories
interior design

Eight ways to keep your design project going

I know how you feel… 

There you were planning to start building a new home or renovating your existing space and Boom the entire world seemed to shut down!  During this current health crisis, it is hard to imagine hiring an interior designer, selecting products for your home or visiting a showroom.  Thanks to modern technology though it is an optimal time to get your project started or to keep it going.  Here are eight tips on keeping it on track.  

Make a Wish List:  Create a list of all the improvements you would like to make in your current home.  Imagine how you would like for your home to function and write it down.  The same applies if your embarking on new construction.  How exactly would your dream home work for you and your family? 

Make a home project list

Create a Style File: There are plenty of places to search for design inspiration from Pinterest, to Houzz to any of the national and regional shelter magazines.  Start a virtual file or board of the spaces that speak to you.

Research Product:  Plumbing, lighting and a myriad of other home products can all be selected online. A designer can also assist you with scheduling a virtual visit to a local tile showroom or you can research products on the manufacture’s sites. 

Kohler products online
Kohler

Understand Costs:  Product sites usually have retail prices listed and there are online renovation calculators that allow you to see costs in your area for remodeling and new construction prices. Setting a budget is essential for every project.

Search for a Pro: Asking friends and family for a recommendation is the most direct way to find a designer for your project.  They have firsthand experience working with their firm and can give you the pros and cons.  Searching online can yield a lot of results too though I am a bit leery of online reviews.  A true professional will have a client referral list that you can contact directly for some honest insight. 

Houzz J. Rhodes Interior Design

Pick your Pros: Once you have found designer that seem like a good fit, reach out to set a phone call about your project.  During this initial exchange, describe the scope of your project and your budget.  The designer in turn can give you insight into how they typically run a project, their fees and a preliminary timeline.

Go Virtual: Design pros still can accomplish almost everything they may have done in person before social distancing became de rigueur.   Zoom and FaceTime allow you to give your designer a virtual tour of your home and describe the problems you want to solve in real time.

Embrace Technology:   So much can be done remotely these days.  We have over 25 years of experience working successfully with clients in different cities.  Technology has made it easier than ever to share digital plans, make furniture selections, and ship samples.  Don’t let the current crisis stall your home projects.  Contact us today!

Charleston interior design
J. Rhodes Interior Design, Inc.

Mr. H says:  Home is a shelter from all sorts storms-Enjoy!

Categories
furniture interior design

Interior design done virtually

With many of us stuck at home these last few weeks, you may be coming to realize that your spaces aren’t working for you and your family. It’s been proven that how your home functions affects your productivity, mood and even your health. Now is the ideal time to solve some of your space dilemmas without leaving the sofa.

Bernhardt

The most requested design advice, regardless of the size of the project, is furniture arrangement. Most clients know how they want to use the room but struggled with exactly how to achieve it. With virtual space planning, we practice social distancing, since I never come to your home. I’ll have you complete a questionnaire, take some photos and send your room measurements. 

Get started with your E-Design here

In a few days, we’ll send you a detailed E-Plan with an ideal layout that includes furniture dimensions.

Let’s get started on your dream home today.

Mr. H says: Your home should be a collection of what you love-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
decorating interior design

Overcoming Design Paralysis

Do you suffer from white wall syndrome? That chronic state of indecision when it comes to choosing a paint color or buying a sofa. Follow these simple rules to help you make quicker, more confident design decisions.

Take Inventory

Make a comprehensive list of the items you need to design your space. Include everything: wall colors, furniture, fabrics, lighting, artwork and accessories.

Stanley Furniture

Set a budget

After you’ve made your list, apply a realistic monetary amount to each item. Do some online research to see what things really cost before you hit the stores. The dollars will add up fast so you may need to prioritize your purchases.

CarrieElle

Review your Pinterest page

Identify your style by examining your shopping and pinning patterns for common denominators. Most likely your gravitating to specific colors, patterns and pieces. Eliminate the “what if” by embracing what inspires you. Have confidence in your design choices and purchase what you love.

Baby Steps

While the thought of designing an entire space or home may feel overwhelming, remember that Rome was not built in a day. Create a step by step timeline for tackling your project. Write each phase down from selecting the wall color to shopping for lamps. Apply a schedule to each step and commit to it so that you don’t spend months picking the “right” curtain fabric.

Eastern Accents

Ask for Help!

An hourly professional design consultation is affordable and could help you save both time and money in the long run. You can get all your questions answered, gain clarity on your project and get ideas that you may never thought of. Make the most of your time with a prepared list of concerns along with images of spaces you admire in order to clearly convey your style.

Schedule an appointment with us today!

Folly Beach Interior Design
J. Rhodes Interior Design

Mr. H says: We shape our homes and our homes shape us-Enjoy!

Categories
furniture interior design lighting

Seven Essential Interior Design Rules

While interior design trends are ever evolving there are some fundamental design rules that are worth adhering to for an interior that performs beautifully.

Live With It

The key to a well designed space is to have a well defined plan.  Part of that plan, especially when on a budget, is to make decisions once you have used the room for awhile.  Taking the time to amass the different elements of a space gives you time to evaluate each piece and how the next one will fit into the scheme.

photo by Camylla Battani

Measure-Measure-Measure

I repeat-measure.  Before you buy the first piece of furniture measure your space and your doorway openings.  The last thing you need is for that luxurious sectional sofa to not have any circulation space around it or worse not fit through the front door.

Swaim

Form Follows Function

It’s a decades old concept that still rings true today.  Decide on the function of a space first, concentrating on how it will be used, who will use it, special storage needs, and lighting.  Craft your design, including the aesthetics after those objectives have been established. 

Never Buy a Set

While it’s tempting to buy the whole bedroom set off the showroom floor and calling it “done” it is not in your best interest to do so.  People respond best to spaces that have an acquired, blended style.   Pairs are fine, like nightstands and lamps, which create symmetry in a room.

Invest in Quality

The adage “you get what you pay” holds true when purchasing furnishings.   Hunting down that deal is not a valid design strategy and is often, in the long term, the least budget friendly.  Cheaply made, inexpensive pieces will break down quickly requiring replacement that much faster.  Buy from a quality retailer or experienced interior designer for the best value.


Layer Lighting

While an over sized fixture fixture can add drama to a space, lamps and other ambient lighting like sconces or cove lighting are important to a room’s design.  Overhead lighting alone can wreak havoc on even the most well designed room, throwing shadows on the furniture and the room’s occupants that are terribly unflattering.

Avoid Clutter

Lastly, keeping your space tidy is vital to good design.  Having a place for everything by incorporating unique storage solutions and keeping surfaces clear of non essential items will make your design stand out.

J. Rhodes Interior Design, Inc. Photo: Holger Obenaus

Mr. H (posthumously) says: An empty room is a story waiting for you to be the author-Enjoy!

Hampton 2006-2017

Categories
design trends interior design

Best Interior Design Apps Ever

Interior Design may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are using your smart phone or tablet but now it is easier than ever to pull a design scheme together using these very hip design apps.

Color

Benjamin Moore Color Capture  and Sherwin Williams Color Snap:  Check out these innovative apps when facing your next painting project.  Both apps use the latest technology which allow you to take a picture of any color on a wall, car, object, or even a magazine photo and the app will match it with a very similar Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint color. It takes the guess work out of choosing the colors that strike you most. Free and available for iPhone and Android phones.

Sherwin Williams Color Snap  Benjamin Moore Color Capture

Ideas

Called the “Wikipedia of interior and exterior design” by CNN, Houzz boasts an enormous database of home ideas on the web.  Browse over 900,000 photos by style, room or designer and save them to your virtual idea book.  This Android app is free and allows you to save your photos for offline access.

Interior Design! is another source for stunning interior design images from around the world by leading photographers.  iPhone, IPod touch and IPad. $2.99

A highly addictive, image rich site, Remodelista has room photo galleries and a city guide with images in specific areas along with a stylishly curated shopping link.  It’s great for anyone considering a remodeling project in 2013. The app makes it easy to browse Remodelista’s daily content, including inspiring architecture, stylish DIY projects, 10 Easy Pieces product roundups, and Steal This Look. Available on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad $2.99

Remodelista app

Planning

This well reviewed design app, Master-Design Furnish allows you to draw your rooms and furnishings then obtain a three dimensional rendering of them. Free for Android

Master Design Furnish app 1

Mark on Call Whether you’re redesigning a room, or rearranging it, lay it out first with this helpful app that allows you to input the exact measurements of your room, furniture, accessories, and more to see where everything will fit best. iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad $2.99

Mark on Call app

Mr. H says: Never forget that interior design is not about a look but a point of view-Enjoy!