Stay Cool Naturally
You are ready to stay cool naturally! It’s getting hot in here. And you”re ready to take off all your clothes! Whoa…. before you drop it like its hot, get your solar heat gain under control. What is solar heat gain? It’s the increase in temperature in a space that results from solar radiation. In plain English – the sun’s rays are warming the glass on your windows. And, well, that heats up your home. Read on if you want to reduce the price of running your air conditioner in summer.
Much of the energy in a structure builds up at the windows. Heat (from sunlight in summer or heaters in winter) is attracted to the glass panes by. That fact explains why some rooms are hotter in summer than others (and cooler in winter) depending upon the orientation to the sun. Your air conditioner (or heater) starts working overtime to bring the room to a comfort level you set on the thermostat.
No, that fan does not have to be the only solution for controlling enegery bills. Shades and shadings, like the Pirouette shown here from Hunter Douglas, are a great bet when you want to control the heat or light at the window. There are many ways to cut the heat and preserve some of the view. Choose room darkening for comfy sleeping and better visuals on tv’s and computer screens. Or consider light filtering shades to diffuse the light and give a softer look at your window.
Screen type shades, also known as solar shades, allow you to see out and can cut 86% to 99% of the sun’s damaging UV rays.
The Hunter Douglas Duette Architella shade I had installed in this home office works perfectly for a couple of reasons. The low profile headrail and pleated fabric is a minimalistic look. This works great when you want the shade open completely. It won’t detract from the view. And the top-down-bottom-up feature allows a versatile combination of light with privacy.
Blinds & Shutters
Shutters and blinds offer a level of view-through that solid materials, like a roller shade, don’t allow. The angled slats or louvers can be directed so that you have control over your level of privacy. As a bonus, wood shutters (and faux wood) add value to your home.
You may work in an office where everyone’s body temperature seems to register way below yours. Your desk is by a window and right about 1 p.m., that sun hits you right between the eyes. Maybe you love the feel of the sun shining on you. But glare can be a problem at a computer workstation or when you’re watching television. Blinds and shutters allow you to redirect the light at different angles as the sun moves across the sky.
If you want the bonus of cutting down on noise in a room and adding a touch of softness, draperies work beautifully. The great thing about fully functioning draperies is your almost endless choices you have for framing your windows. A tightly woven fabric, properly lined, can really help to block out sun and its heat in a room. Make sure that the ones you buy overlap at center and extend past the windows on either side. Custom window treatments, like the ones offered by Mary Etta Designs is the best way to make sure they have these features.
Don’t Sweat It
Contact Mary Etta Designs for an in-home appointment in the Orange County, California area – 714.974.6571. Mary Etta Designs will help you select a beautiful quality window covering to cool your home or office for summer that will be attractive all year round.
1. Measure The Space
If I could only give you 3 tips to re-design your small space, the first would be to measure the room. You don’t want to end up with a sofa so large that the three people who visit all have to sit side by side to have a conversation. You won’t have room extra seating and tables. Put that picture in your head. The measuring step will guide you in choosing furnishings that are scaled to fit the room.
2. Pull a floor plan together
You need a plan. There’s a reason why the room feels a bit off. Are there too many things crowding one side of the room? Is there a better sized sofa, rug, chair that you could use? This is the most important step to planning a room for furniture. Why? It’s important because the investment you will make is not one you want to repeat too soon.
3. Consider The View Into Adjoining Rooms
This couple is happy with their recently remodeled kitchen and custom window treatments. The beautiful rich green countertop and diamond patterned tile backsplash are focal points of that room. With an open plan, it is very important that the rooms flow seamlessly together. The kitchen and window treatments in the living room/kitchen dictated color choices for the rug and main furniture selections to be made for the living room.
You need to decide what is important about your room. What will be the major activity in that room. My clients use this room for three purposes. They watched television, relaxation by reading, and occasional entertaining. It was very important, therefore, for me to keep all these functions top of mind when helping them decide on space planning and scale.
My favorite part of the room is the new wool blend rug. The warm spice tones complement the kitchen counter and tile backsplash perfectly. I had it custom made to be sure it fit the space. My clients fell in love with the lush feeling and deep colors. Be prepared to experience a bit of shedding when a wool rug is new. The Irving swivel chair from Pottery Barn is the hit of the room. They love the flexibility of being in the room, watching television, swiveling towards guests either in the room or in the kitchen.
The big reveal was worth the wait for furniture that fits the space perfectly. The love seat helps the room feel larger. The squared off arms allowed the illusion of more space as opposed to the larger, roll armed sofa that was there previously. Keeping scale in mind, the French sewing stool doubles as a surface for a beverage and extra seating for guests.
Flexibility is the key to good design. I tell all my clients that time and money will allow you to make all the changes you need to solve your design challenges. This ottoman from Cisco Brothers will soon find a home in my client’s living room. Furniture pieces acquired over time allow you to control your budget and the urge to invest in the wrong thing. I’m proud of the final choices that these two made.
Do you need help with tips to re-design your small space? Contact me here or call 714 974-6571 to schedule time to talk.
Let’s peek Behind The Scenes Of a Cozy Kitchen Renovation and see what it took to get my client out of overwhelm. My client was concerned. She knew how she wanted to renovate new kitchen. But the choices she had to make on such a large investment led her to ask for my help on some key decisions. Her overwhelm came from what she saw as a small window of time. Home on sick leave for a few weeks, her goal was to have her kitchen pulled together by the time she to returned to work. She wanted to paint the kitchen yellow. At that point, she asked for help on how to get the color selection for the walls, counter top, backsplash and flooring to jibe.
Often what we think we want and what our heart is telling us are two different things. Such was the case with the kitchen for my client. She was having the cabinets built before contacting me for help and this is the wood that she chose for them. A warm honey color, I could see why yellow was her first thought for what she wanted to be a sunny kitchen. I pointed out that balancing the bright color choice that she had made for the cabinets with more muted ones would make her kitchen feel not only sunny but also not overpowering.
After visiting one of my favorite showrooms, we found a perfect balance of warmth and cool neutrals for her counters, backsplash and flooring. Since the counters and backsplash were visually full of color and movement, I suggested the solid flooring pictured here.
This condo kitchen was small, (ok cozy) so it was important to not make the room feel too chopped. We agreed that the grays were perfect neutrals to tie all of the elements together.
Compare how tight the space feels with the darker before cabinets. And the white tile and appliances was too stark a contrast making it feel closed in. And the small tiles, popular when the condo was originally built, emphasized the smallness of the kitchen.
One important lesson that I have learned is that when one spouse says, “No, it’s whatever she (or he) wants,” they still appreciate having played a part in some part of the design. Though the wife was the visionary on this kitchen project, she often made sure that her husband agreed on what were their final choices for the counter tops, flooring and paint color. And he proudly selected the hardware and it is stunning with the cabinets.
More To Come
As the very top picture shows, the colors of this couple’s new kitchen are warm and inviting. And, no, we did not paint the walls yellow. But a kitchen is full of color by way of food, napkins, placemats and candles. I suggested that she use her touches of yellow in accessories. And while we are still (as of the writing of this post) designing the perfect window coverings and considering having the refrigerator powder coated a stainless steel color, my clients are enjoying their new kitchen very much.
Love this home and live in Southern California? This home’s for sale. All images courtesy of The Cindee & Michael Group. http://www.zillow.com/profile/cindeemichaelgroup/
1. Make a Good First Impression
Is your home on the market? If so, here are some important steps that will sell your home silently. You’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It’s even truer when potential buyers are walking up to what you want them to envision as their new front door. Cheery flowers, shrubs and maybe a wreath at the door says, “Welcome. Come on in.” Why not add a mat that suits the season? And while you’re outside, your mailbox needs a little touch up paint. Just saying.
Once inside, lead them into a home that they can’t resist with a foyer or entry that makes them want to see what’s beyond this room. Put a chair or bench with a side table or console. Place a flower or lush plant there and let the potential new home owner imagine their keys on that table.
2. Storage is Your Friend.
Consider renting a storage space to hide the treasures that you may love, but the clutter that buyers see. Buyers want to imagine your home as their home in the future, not you living there now. Do you know why model homes look great? Aside from being beautifully staged, (not a bad idea by the way) most of the extras in life are not in those homes yet. You’re moving anyway. So get rid of about a third of your things to make your house or condo look roomier. Family photos, extensive collections, and especially piles of paper all need to be somewhere else while your home is on the market. Clutter control is one of the most important steps that will sell your home.
3. Repair or Replace
Leaky faucets that you don’t hear anymore can be a quick fix for the new homeowner. “But what else am I going to have fix?” is what they think when you neglect small repairs. Fix it now. Replace that carpet with the dog markings on it that you have walked by for the last couple of years and was going to replace someday. Doorknobs, yucky shower curtains, and blinds with slats missing are not going to show your home in its best light.
4. Man’s Best Friend is Not for Everyone.
Not everyone wants to have had a dog or cat living in the space that they have occupied. Besides, if they do want that, their pooch is so much cleaner than anyone else’s could possibly be. They can’t imagine what yours has done or where it’s done it. You get the picture. Consider Doggie/Kitty Day Care. Or ask a friend or relative to babysit your pet anytime you are out of the house. Or take Fido or Tiger with you. You never know when a last minute showing is going to happen.
5. Paint, Paint, and While You’re At It, Paint.
A fresh coat of paint can update your neutrals to the new neutrals. The gray, beige, or greige of the moment are the colors trending trending with Millennials who will be in the home shopping market in the next few years. Appeal to that market’s sensibilities. Hint: It’s anything that doesn’t remind them of Mom’s taste. Clean, fresh, color in paints (whether neutral or accent) says that your home is move-in ready. Painting is a sure fire way to up the ante when taking steps that sell your home.
Well, look here. Your moving van has arrived. Good job prepping for your real estate agent. Now all that’s left is to load it. And, unload at your new home.
If you love this home, you will love Mary Etta Designs. Call 714-974-6571 for a consultation. Or send me your request for consultation from my website. www.maryettadesigns.com
Las Vegas Market Spring 2016 keep up with design trends in the home.
Keeping up with design trends in the home is one way to make sure your home looks like it is of this decade. My job is to educate you on what’s trending and how to apply that knowledge. Las Vegas Market Spring 2016 proved to be a visual feast that helps me share this with you.
The “market” is held twice a year in major locales to introduce design professionals and retailers to the latest home goods offerings that we, in turn, can offer to you. It is a really big deal. Imagine three huge buildings featuring a 5-million-square-foot showcase for the home and hospitality contract furnishings industry in downtown Las Vegas. Vendors pull out all the stops in hopes that we visit their showrooms out of the hundreds available to make commitments and to learn what they have to offer for the season. There is so much to see. Three areas of design stood out as offerings that I know will interest you.
If you believe that bigger is better, Christopher Guy’s showroom did not disappoint. The traditional chandelier in this dining room vignette was a standout! Larger scale was the theme most oft repeated throughout the market. The chandelier is an excellent example of how you can use design trends in your home with existing furnishings. It works beautifully with the dark woods often found in traditional design.And though this light fixture has a traditional feel to it, it is anything but your typical traditionally designed piece.
With Christopher Guy, you can have the moon and the stars in lighting design. Just ask.
This chandelier by Global Views works as a grand surprise in a two-story foyer. Not living in a traditional space? A loft with clean, linear furniture pieces would also work with this beast of a beauty.
The unexpected colors inside and out work for a fun touch in these wastebaskets. There is a reason why paint companies Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams selected shades of white as their color of the year recommend for your walls this year. Color was inside out in bold, bright and fun colors. A white or dark background will make a great canvas for these pieces to shine.
Bright pops of color in furniture that can be used inside or on the patio make us smile. There were traditional pieces of furniture shown in unexpected color ways. So way out there, and yet so familiar.
Acrylic furniture with bright accents followed a theme repeated throughout many showrooms. I especially love this chair shown in a variety of colors and patterns. The “ghost” chair (as the acrylics are called) have been trending for a few years. Pops of color and patterns is a way to stay on trend but still remain fresh.
With a cubed tone on tone pattern, this ottoman by Phillips Collection is comfortable and responsibly designed from seat belts. That’s up-cycling at its best! Car material designed for safety and for furniture.
The seat belt chairs and ottomans were really comfortable. I couldn’t resist a lounge break. They ranged in colors from white to bright. Fun touch for a not so serious room or patio. Up-Cycling is one way to use design trends in your home that pays back our eco system with kindness.
I saved my favorite art piece for last. If you are looking for a distinct way of how to use design trends in the home, this might be the ticket. Yes, it’s a wall of framed, empty paint cans in various colors. But imagine viewing these nine framed up-cycled pieces of art from across the room. It draws you in to be sure that what you are seeing is indeed what you thought it was all along. That, in my humble opinion, is art. the fact that it is making use of something that could have been tossed in our landfills makes it even more meaningful. A found object that is an objet d’art.
If you would like more information on how you can use these and other design trends in the home that were on display at Las Vegas Market Spring 2016, contact me here. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free report on ordering the right window treatments for you.
Over 35 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World
Mary Etta Designs Best of HOZZ 2016 – Anaheim Hills interior design firm, Mary Etta Designs, has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Mary Etta Designs, a 16-year old interior decorating and window treatments firm was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
Mary Etta Designs’ specialty is creating a space that, provides energy savings, protects your furnishings and preserves your privacy. Our custom window treatments, color consultations and design packages offer solutions for functional and enjoyable living.
“Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Mary Etta Designs Best of HOUZZ 2016 as one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”
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on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/maryettadesigns/__public About Mary Etta Designs
This recognition for
Mary Etta Designs Best of HOUZZ 2016 is due to our wonderful customers. As a Window Fashions Certified Specialists, my specialty is creating a space that protects your furnishings, provides energy savings, and preserves your privacy. My company is proud to provide custom window treatments, color consultations and strategic decorating solutions for functional living. Let me help you determine the mood that you want in your home or office. Together we will pull together a look that you will enjoy for years to come.
Three Ways to Trick Out Your Guest Bedroom
Looking for ways to trick out guest bedrooms for wanted out-of-town visitors? Scouring home decor magazines can leave you feeling either hopeful or helpless in where to begin in going from dated and drab to on trend and inviting. I always want my invited guests to feel like they are in for a visit filled with memories and good times. I designed this guest bedroom with just that goal in mind.
The “before’ picture pretty much sums it up. The furniture was not in proportion to the space. The mood and style of the space were all over the place. Finding this beautiful Fabricut fabric in this gray color was a great way to bring the room forward a decade. Since blue is everywhere, I really wanted to incorporate blue by adding bath while tying the two rooms together.
Custom is not custom unless you have professional installers who know how the finished product should luck. At Mary Etta Designs, we use only the best workrooms and installation team.
I wanted this guest bedroom to have a feeling of luxury, yet feel warm and inviting. believe that window treatments can have one of the biggest effects on the mood of a room. The drapery panels and Roman shade are featured in a platinum Ikat pattern, from the Trend line for Fabricut Fabrics. The pattern is luxurious in mood and and adds a layer of texture. Roman Shades give a soft touch to the window near the bed that is too narrow and close to the wall to accommodate a floor to ceiling window covering. And, yes, it is ok to mix panels and top treatments in the same room. Just keep them in the same pattern.
The shower curtain in the guest bath is really two shower curtains from Target Stores. But, this home has 11 foot ceilings. So I added the same contrasting fabric to bridge the two store-bought curtains, added a matching liner and voila! Semi-custom shower curtain with the same custom drapery hardware used in the bedroom stepped up this look from meh to marvelous.
Lighting and Art
All the furniture pieces that we decided to keep were original to the space. Some did not make the cut as they were no longer of use to the homeowner. Some were moved to different parts of the room to better serve the function of the space. Few of us can start all over from scratch. Art work, except for the new piece over the headboard, was repurposed to give use to a lifetime of art collections.
But lighting is one area that can easily bring the look of a room forward a decade. Mercury glass finishes are popular, and classic in feel. So the lamp on the chest of drawers looks fresh but not trendy. I like to keep things fun and luxurious. The turtle shell lamp was a must have for this room.
And finally, nothing says to a guest that they are special like a tray of goodies with just that guest’s personality in mind. Be sure to add seasonal touches to make it feel like the rest of your home.Making your friends and relatives feel special while visiting is not only welcoming, but it also adds a vacation to the time that are spending with you.
And there you have three ways to trick out a guest bedroom to get that magazine worthy custom bedroom look. Do you need a guest bedroom re-design? Call Mary Etta Designs at 714 309-2783 or contact me here to schedule an appointment.
Great Last Minute Gifts
Looking for great last minute gifts that only you will give your friends and family? Consider gifting a memento of shared experiences.
My husband and I often travel east to Philadelphia area to see our good friends, Mitch and Laurie. Mitch’s brother is a pretty big deal in the world of casting. (His casting company found the talent for the The Wiz Live shown on NBC recently.) We often are fortunate get good tickets to see Broadway plays that his company has casted. Last September, we were fortunate to see “The King and I” at the Lincoln Center in Tribeca.
Afterwards, our group made our way to The Rosa Mexicano Restaurant. As we entered the bar area, the towering display of individually sculptured wall divers took my breath away. Imagine my thrill, when I found a 10.5″ x 9″ replica of the divers by Global Views. I can give a gift that won’t be duplicated as a memento of that dining experience. This 10.5″ x 9″ piece of replica piece is going to be a hit.
Home Grown Gift
Are you a gardener? Full disclosure, my attempts at growing anything from a bulb is usually an epic fail. Talented designer and gardener, Ivan E. DeGonzalez, photographed the progress of his Red Amaryllis from bulb to bloom. I’d have been too happy to receive bulbs that had been given a good start or even in the final beautiful blooming stages for my birthday!
The Gift of Service
Coupons to walk a friend or relative’s dog lets you sample the real dirty work of owning a dog while gifting. How about putting together a week of healthy menus and recipes for a friend who has little time to plan? Organize a week or month of menus and recipes in a beautifully designed binder with set of mixing spoons and a beautiful plate from a resale store or estate sale. Free babysitting coupons never get turned down by grateful parents.
Interior Design Consultation
Another great last minute gift is one of an interior design consultation from Mary Etta Designs for a loved one who is downsizing, moving or getting married. Design consultations help save time, money and overwhelm when there’s help from a professional interior decorator. Contact me here if you want to give a consultation as a gift of service for Christmas or any other occasion.
There you have it! Three unique and great last minute gifts to give that won’t be duplicated. Art or sculpture reminiscent of shared experiences, a flower or plant that you personally have grown, and the gift of service.
Happy Holidays and May the New Year bring you Joy!
Pantone 2016 Color – Rose Quartz and Serenity
Pantone threw a curveball at us this year. And I’m not ducking. Unlike past years’ choices, these are colors you could live with and not feel too trendy. Rose Quartz and Serenity may look like nursery choices for new Moms and Dads. But look what happens when you blend them together? I don’t know about you but I can use a little serenity.
Pantone’s choices in year’s past have often left me scratching my head. How did Emerald Green sneak into 2013? What made Marsala the color du jour in 2015? Each year, the naysayers cry out that they hate the color and don’t know how we can work it into our interiors. What happens is that we see it quite a bit ahead in clothing and cosmetics, then accessories.Then it’s the color that shows you are on point with the latest trend.
Interiors Follow Fashions
Harper Bazaar’s September 2015 Cover
Well, truth be told, we have been getting ginormous hints from the fashion and home decor designers for months. Look at the pink and blue (rose quartz and serenity) Pantone 2016 Color on the September 2015 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Follow the fashion magazines and the trend in home decor will follow. Blush was predicted to be the color to paint our rooms in 2015.
You’re Not Surprised Are You?
Farrow & Ball selected the color Pink Ground as a Key Colour for 2015.
Upscale British paint company, Farrow & Ball, predicted it’s Pink Ground as a key color in 2015. Their take is that “this pink is not sugary or infantile, rather it feels more like a diluted plaster color where walls look almost nude”. While not Rose Quartz, the blush colors were moving towards soft hues.
And as for blue. Well, I always say that “Blue’s The Hue”. As designers, we bend the rules. Baby blue, mineral blue, violet blue, we will make it right for your interior spaces.
Want to be on trend and see how the Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year will work in your home? Contact me at 714 974-6571 to schedule an in-home consultation. Or, better still, fill out this form.
Comment Below to Enter and Win My Birthday Giveaway!
Today’s my birthday! Those who know me know that I take my birthday very seriously. It kicks off the winter holiday celebrations. And I like to celebrate with everybody. You also know that I can’t be working for free. But this year, I will give a gift of a free room Color Consultation for my birthday! And since this is my 2nd Annual “It’s My Birthday Giveaway,” there will be two lucky winners this year.
When I help clients decorate a repurposed space, we start with an empty room. For example, here’s a guest bedroom that I worked on during the month of November. First things first: the floorpan. When it was decided that the dresser, chest and bed would stay, we could make a floor plan that would work for guests to enjoy. Next was the color palette.
For flexibility we kept things neutral and light. The walls are painted a neutral Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. This workhorse of a color will work with whatever bedding changes take place in the future. Since the bed is a lighter wood, Revere Pewter is a great balance in light for the dark, heavy furniture pieces. That reveal will come in a future post.
Hint: the room used to belong to the homeowner’s son. To make him feel welcome when he is home for the holidays, I thought that the “mad for plaid” by Ralph Lauren theme might soften the blow with a bit of a masculine touch. That way, he won’t feel too much like it is no longer his room (even though it really isn’t).
The painting is done. The color consultation solidified the move ahead to finalize bedding and accessories. Now we are waiting on lighting and window treatments, which will be installed next week. The finish line is near and the room will be ready for Christmas visitors (and, oh yeah, the son).
If you want to one of two lucky winners for a FREE Color Consultation from Mary Etta Designs, leave a comment below and I will select a winner by 5 p.m. December 2! Happy Holidays.