Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tasteful Tiles

Sorry for the delay in getting this post up….the holiday weekend was a fun and festive time with family and friends and I’m just now getting back into design mode! This week I thought I’d dish out a few of my favorite inexpensive tiles that can take any room from drab to fab.  As I’ve been blogging, a beautiful room doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Of course the million dollar mansion is stunning, but budget conscious spaces can be just as WOW!  I remember my mother always told me, it’s not the price of the item, but how you wear it.  She was referring to fashion, but the same holds true in design.

Tiles are usually a big ticket item for bathroom and kitchen renovations.  I mean you can find tiles that range well into the hundreds per square foot.  Yes, that’s right, over $100 a square foot, and yes, some of them are backed with gold or platinum!  But I’m going to introduce you to tiles that are well within the price range for budget friendly designs.

            Subway tile
A tile as simple as a white 3x6 can be elegant, classic and timeless.  One of the favorites among designers, subway tiles can be as inexpensive as $1/tile, depending on the manufacturer and color. Again, I remind you, it doesn’t always matter the brand name, just the finished look.  Get creative….try running it vertical or laying a stack bond instead of the traditional running bond.  The design options are endless!

            Decorative cement tile
This is one of my favorite tiles to use since I’ve moved to Denver.  You can find these at many places online, but we always source them from a company in Texas.  They are handmade in Mexico and can be made in any color under the sun! Depending on the number of colors used, these tiles can be as inexpensive as $3.25/tile.  The only downside is lead time.  If you have the time and can order a couple of months in advance, then these tiles can add a little pop to any space, modern or traditional.

            Porcelain tiles
Porcelain tiles have come a long way.   Depending on manufacturer, style and size they can range from $2 to $18.  What I love about these tiles is that you can get large tiles ranging from 20x20 to 24x24 for around $8/sq.ft.  Try finding that in stone!  Another thing to love about porcelain is that they can be textured and used for wall or floor applications.  It is extremely durable and can be used both inside and out, so for continuity in design, it can be very cost efficient option.  

In my experience, if you shop around, you’ll have better luck finding tiles priced within your range.  Also, don’t be afraid to shop online.  I’ve had great luck sourcing stone mosaics for a great price online compared to local showrooms.  Make sure to order samples and do your research on the company to make sure they are reputable, but if you’re on a tight budget, don’t be so quick to dismiss the online deals! 

If you have inexpensive tile options that you love or manufactures that you’ve found with great prices, please leave me a comment! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer White

Since summer is upon us, which makes me think of white, I thought I'd share some thoughts on my favorite seasonal color.  Based on my past two blogs, most people would think I was color all the way.  I do love my color, but there is something so peaceful and classic in white rooms.  There is something so beautiful about the way light shines through white fabrics, or reflects off of white surfaces. Classic and modern, both the absence and the combination of all colors, white can be expressive in a variety of spaces.  Enjoy this small sampling of my favorite white spaces. 

Classic and elegant white kitchen, House Beautiful
Fresh and airy dining room expressing casual elegance, Elle Decor
Modern white dining room with accents of color, Elle Decor
Textures of white, Mlle Magpie
Modern elegance,
White bathrooms reflect a crisp, clean, elegant design, Elle Decor
I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on my selection of spaces. How do you feel about all white rooms? Please leave your comments!

Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Room

Top 5 Ways to Freshen up your room

As an interior designer in Denver, I meet many clients that aren’t looking for a major renovation of their home, but instead need help with freshening up their existing spaces.  It may be a room, or several rooms in the home, regardless of the scale most people want to know how to reuse or reinvent what they have. 

Here are 5 ways to freshen up your home without a hefty pricetag:

  1. Accessories are key!! Keep what you have and accessorize.  Go light, don’t over do it, but pops of throw pillows, vases and art work can breathe new life into your home.  They can also be easily changed out without spending a lot.

  1. Paint color can take a space from drab to fab.  We all know that painting the walls can reinvent a room, but try painting or staining cabinets or existing furniture.  Something as simple as color can make it seem like a brand new piece.

  1. Variety brings life to the party! Whether you’re refinishing your existing pieces or bringing in new ones, make sure to add interest by variety.  Similar textures can appear dull, break up the monotony with pattern and material, regardless of the tone and color.  A white room can be striking and elegant with the right use of textures.

  1. Lighten up!  Lighting can be an expensive purchase item, but changing something as simple as the shade can reenergize that fixture.  You can change the fabric of an existing shade, add trim or purchase a whole new one. 

  1. Good bones = reupholster! If your cabinet boxes are in good condition, you would reuse them and change out the fronts.  Well, the same is true of furniture.  Most furniture is in good condition and can be salvaged.  New fabric and a good upholsterer can make an old piece look totally different.  You can tuft, you can untuft, more cushioning or less, trim-welt vs. flange, so many options with something you already own!

Have fun in exploring the options in reusing what you already have to liven up your home.  Through a few simple, inexpensive tips everyone can have a updated, fresh space.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Helpful Guide to Selecting the Perfect Color

One of the first questions I am asked as an Interior Designer is "What color should I paint this room?"  Paint color is a very important element in any space and if used correctly can transform a basic room into a showcase space. 

Is there a general rule to follow when talking color?  No.  That's what makes color one of the hardest elements to select.  A more intense color creates a stronger visual weight, whereas a muted, neutral will allow the walls to create a backdrop to other design elements. 

There are a few things that can help you in selecting that perfect color to transform your room.  First you should know the tones of your fixed elements, such as carpeting, wood floor, tiles, countertops, etc....this will help guide you in selecting the right neutral for your home.  Second, when looking at specific rooms, find your inspiration, sometimes that's a fabric, sometimes it is a piece of furniture, but if you have that item it will help in determining the wall color.  Third, think about how the colors will relate from room to room.  What are your transitions?  Are there doors that completely separate spaces or are the spaces open to each other.  And lastly, test the color in the actual space.  Light changes everything!  Colors always look different on the wall than on a piece of paper.  Look at the color on all the walls throughout the day.  Light changes and so will the color. 

Color is a complex element, but it can create fun and playful spaces as well as elegant and posh.  Below are a few examples that inspire different ways of using color.

Neutral walls and ceiling create an smooth flow from room to room and add a backdrop to design elements

White walls opens up this smaller guest bedroom

Fun and playful, these green walls liven up the decor

This intense color, with a high gloss finish, creates an elegant space for entertaining