The accent is on accent walls

A simple and powerful decorating statement, the accent wall provides a visual punch in a room’s overall decorative narrative. For example, working with a client seeking to personalize a grand penthouse condo on a canal in the Las Olas Isles of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I spotted a large beautiful, frosted glass-framed mirror in the shape of a circle. With a complimentary flourish of frosted glass palm leaves adorning the base of the frame, the mirror – unfortunately – disappeared on the white wall on which it was hung.

“That is a beautiful mirror.” I said to my client. I then asked: “What do you think of the idea of making that wall an accent wall? With the right wallcovering that mirror would really ‘pop.’” So enamored with the idea, I received a text later that day from my client stating: “I love the idea of making the wall behind the mirror an accent wall. Please feel free to share any other ideas like that one!” With that exchange, we were on our way.

Always providing my clients with several options for any design solution, we settled on a floral wallcovering of subtly drawn vines, leaves and butterflies in soft neutral colors of grays, beiges and creams. In fact, the wallcovering itself looks more like a painted wall mural than a paper wallcovering. Inspired by our success in the living room’s eight by fourteen-foot-high accent wall, we executed a similar solution on the wall behind the bed in the master bedroom. Long and short of it, the lesson learned? A little whimsy goes a long way. Inspired? Contact me to create your own accent wall today.

A focal point creates harmony

As an interior designer in Fort Lauderdale, I benefit from living in a diverse community that thrives on a wide range of cultural interests and pursuits. My clients consistently surprise me with their varied personal tastes. And, the most rewarding aspect of our work together resonates from the successful execution of an interior design project based on a clearly identified focal point that often stems from a personal interest.

Right now, working with a client updating a music room, we work in sync determining the items that best create a harmonious ensemble focal point. Clearly the black baby grand piano stands out as the primary focal point, yet this room benefits, too, from supporting players. These contribute to the focus for the overall design.

The piano fills the space framed by a bay window – accompanied by two abstract pieces: a colorful, jewel-toned area rug and a jazzy painting of swirling keyboards and violin scrolls take center stage. From these elements I upholster two lounge chairs with a fun and funky black and jewel-toned tweed fabric and place two lumbar pillows (covered in a burgundy and white houndstooth-patterned fabric) which playfully compliment a small lacquered, black and white houndstooth-covered 3-drawer chest. Proving, that a focal point provides focus to your plan and sets the overall tone for a successful design.

The seeds of inspiration . . . think spring

While springing ahead – enjoying warmer temperatures and sunnier days – really “Think spring.” and jump-start your spring cleaning efforts with the motto: “It’s time for a change.”Spring represents the season of fresh starts. So, before summer arrives, assess your home décor and take stock of your furnishings. Determine which would benefit most from a facelift now via reupholstering or refinishing, or which have outlived their peak performance and need replacing.

Perhaps applying a fresh coat of paint and changing out draperies provides the spring facelift you seek. Or, you’ll recognize that stalwart sofa in the family room clearly needs replacing with a new high performer. And, you’ll likely replace those throw pillows with a set that matches your new seating. Don’t forget your accessories. For example, family photos may need replacing with newer ones. Often a quick and cost-effective swapping out of a worn-out area rug with a snappy new one provides the inspiration for change.

And remember to invest in a few custom items. Get that durable, yet fetching sectional. You’ll be rewarded with performance and longevity in style. Same goes for custom window draperies, upholstered items, and throw pillows. Going custom on a few pieces guarantees your unique design. So, plant a few seeds of inspiration now then enjoy watching your project bloom all summer long.

Valentine's day and the power of color

When we think of Valentine’s Day we think of the color red. Whether roses, a box of chocolates, or the heart on a greeting card, red at Valentine’s Day demonstrates the power of color. So, what better time to ask what colors really warm your heart and can communicate best how you feel about your home?

Follow your heart and soul’s inspiration while developing a color scheme. As an interior designer, I’ve learned that color selections for the home differ from our favorite colors. The best color solutions arise from the goals for the project while reflecting our hearts’ desires. Remember, a well-thought out selection process leads to the most effective color plan.

Consider these criteria when developing a color scheme:

Impact. Will painting one wall an accent color give your room the look you seek? Or perhaps, blending similar hues delivers the desired “feeling” or “mood.”

Features. Do you want to highlight an architectural element? For example, consider painting the back wall of bookshelves an accent color.

Function. Will you use the room for reading, relaxing, or watching TV? Selecting your room’s color scheme depends on its function.

Lighting. Does natural light fill the room? Artificial light requires a different color scheme than natural light.

Flow. How does this space relate to others? Remember, color continuity reinforces the overall look of your home.

The custom advantage

When determining the goals of your next home decorating project, consider the unique opportunity you possess to introduce custom-made furnishings. The inclusion of one, two, or several truly one-of-a-kind pieces, clearly communicates your individual tastes and preferences. In addition, custom components more easily promote a seamless look, where complimentary items naturally relate to one another. This creates an easy flow, providing a more cohesive design.

Custom pieces often offer the greatest value, too, since you’re intentionally investing your design dollars toward the creation of items that serve as more effective focal points. Whether choosing several coordinating fabrics for upholstered pieces, throw pillows, comforters, and draperies or a particular wood finish for a bureau, side table, or headboard, you now possess greater control over the entire design. And, with a clear focal point – and strategically placed pieces anchoring the overall design – you’ve greater direction toward fleshing out the rest of your project with accessories, lighting, collectibles and artwork.

Finally, consider working with a professional designer when including custom furnishings in your next design project. Remember, many folks acquire individual pieces they like, but lack the “know how” to pull them together. Avoid the possibility of making costly mistakes when decorating with custom furnishings by working with a design professional. You’ll be glad you did.

A new year... a new look for your home

What better time than the New Year to shake things up a bit and consider giving one room in your home – or two or three – an update. Simple makeovers create a positive impact on every person living in your home. And, you’ll enjoy sharing your home’s fresh look with family and friends. So, consider the following ideas to jumpstart your project.

COLOR – Add color to an all-white or beige design to spark its appearance. Paint one accent wall a complimentary color. Install a colorful piece of art in your living room. Replace a worn area rug with a new, multi-colored one.

LAYOUT – New furniture provides an instant facelift; but, simply rearranging your furniture gives a fresh look, too. Move pieces from one room to another. Set larger furniture at an angle. Add an accent table. Reupholster a chair to further enhance your new look.  Remember, small changes can create the greatest impact.

LIGHTING – Few things can rejuvenate us on a rainy day like a home’s interior bathed in bright light. When creating a lighting plan, consider each room’s function. Refine your plan by consulting a design professional.

NOW is the time to begin your project. Remember, everyone benefits from your home’s new look.