Where Do You Start When Decorating a Room?
W.R.A.P. Your Room
It is getting warm and you’re ready to spruce up the nest at home, right? Are you are ready to start decorating a room? But where do you start? You can stop turning around in circles going from floor to walls to floor again. I have a really simple W.R.A.P. method that I suggest you follow.
It should come as no surprise that I like to start at the windows with window treatments in a room. Why? It is the single most defining element in your space. Windows are the eyes to your home. Our eyes naturally go to the light of these openings. It can definitely be a finishing touch or the jumping off point. Pattern, texture or colors can dramatically affect the design of a room.
Do you need privacy, sun protection, heat control? Or do you need sound absorption, easy lifting controls, or a decorative finish? Once you answer these questions, what form the window treatments take is made easier.
Another textile that can be an inspiration for style direction is the rug you choose. Rugs ground a space, defining where key furniture pieces will be placed. Though rugs act as a backdrop, that is a foil for how important a part rugs play in color and texture in a space. Start with your choice of rugs and the choices you make for paint, accessories and furniture can flow easily.
Definitely the most fun part of decorating, accessories should tell a story. We get to know who you are, what are your interests and where have you been in your travels. Accessories should reflect your authentic self. This is the last step in the order of decorating a room. I list it here so that the W.R.A.P. list makes sense.
While this is not your very last step, it should not be your first. It should follow your selection of textiles. You will make the process of decorating so much harder trying to find fabrics that match your wall color. Start with a pattern taken from your draperies, furniture, rug, or pillow fabrics. Pick colors from one of these and adapt it to your paint color.
Follow the W.R.A.P. method to decorate a room and you will be able to plan your decorating with less confusion.
Recently, a colleague asked me how I became an Anaheim Hills interior designer with a specialty in custom window treatments. And it made me think. Maybe some of you are wondering the very same thing.
Mary Etta Designs actually started in West Chester, Ohio – a suburb of Cincinnati. While living in the Queen City, I began design work at the urging of a counselor that my husband and I hired for one of my teenagers. Not a bad kid, just teenage stuff that we as parents could not figure out without some guidance.
The counselor noticed that what was really needed was another focus for me besides my kiddos. Having left the corporate workplace, I needed more than carpools, sports and directing all of my attention at people who could not appreciate grown-up points of view.
He knew that I wanted to work as an interior designer and he was building a new house. He asked me for some direction in finishing up his home’s interior design. And he said, “I think that you ought to pursue design as a career.” That did it. His encouragement got me started and I am so glad that it did.
Casually, I started helping some of my neighbors with decorating challenges. And I began to get so busy with jobs, that before I knew it, I was booking appointments, charging for my time, and solving their design dilemmas. I’ve taken courses, gotten certifications, and quite a bit of OJT – on the job training.
Custom Window Treatments is a specialty that found me. I honestly believe that it is the single most dramatic change that you can make in a space. Window treatments can be a focal point or an absolute finishing point in a room. Blend it in, pop it with a pattern or color. Whatever you do, a room is better with window coverings. Otherwise, you have giant holes of glass that call attention away from the beauty of the room.
Three years into my new business venture, we moved to Cal – i – forn – I- A. Talk about a bummer. I said goodbye to customers, contacts, and vendors that I worked so hard to acquire in Ohio. Everyone was happy but me. And when Mama ain’t happy, well, you know how that goes. But a couple years into the move, and a couple of trade shows later, I was off and running.
Yes, there has been a recession and a couple of jobs in the design field in between. But my passion to help you achieve the look you want in your interior spaces is still strong. I love helping you, my clients, solve energy, privacy and preservation problems. It’s what gets me up in the morning. And I go to bed with ideas of your homes and offices swirling around in my head.
So when you need an Anaheim Hills interior designer (and I will work all of Orange County) think of Mary Etta Designs. I not only help you with window treatments, but also with space planning, color consultations, or a general consultation on how you can proceed in your design journey.
Feel free to contact me here and check out my website here. Have a wonderful weekend and try to stay cool in this heat.
So….some of you noticed that I was MIA for the month of July. I was supposed to be on vacation in Ohio. But I did do a bit of research on three easy apartment decorating secrets for you apartment dwellers . Let’s just say a wedding, a funeral and surgery for one of my daughters wiped out most of the month. What should have been a fun time with family, turned into a longer, less relaxing vacay.
The wedding of hubby’s nephew -wonderful. An unexpected funeral made for somber family time in my hometown. That visit was cut short by an unplanned trip to Atlanta. Our youngest daughter had a long overdue, poorly timed (for me), tonsillectomy. Let’s just say, as an adult, that surgery is not the fun, popsicle and ice-cream-eating time off from work that you’d expect. It’s rough and you need a nursemaid. Mom to the rescue.
Ten days in her apartment, staring at neutral walls, had me dreaming of what I could do if only I could get my hands on paint, accessories, and a day to shop for something other than mashed potatoes, popsicles, and soup.
What would I have done, design-wise, in my young twenty something’s apartment? Well to start, I would have attacked the walls to give her place some interest, movement and and express her individuality.
Wallpaper for Renters. A friend who lives in an apartment told me about this and I am a fan. You can make a statement with wallpaper in an entry or on a feature wall without worrying about how you will take it down. Companies like Sherwin Williams have washable, eco-friendly Easy Change Wallpaper. Who knew?
Take it outside. And then, her “outdoor space” would have been next on the list. Don’t tell me you have an itty bitty balcony. Fresh air can be had for the price of that extra dining chair and a piece of fluffy sheepskin. Plop down a small woven rug and side table and you can sip Starbucks all day Saturday without the “cell yell” environment.
Chalk it Up. An organized space gives big returns in small spaces. Maximize a small wall the way that Jenna Burger of SAS Interiors did so well here with her family’s chalk painted wall. Enhanced with calendars, file holders, and clipboards, it can prove to be the hardest working spot in the home.
Source BHG’s Jenna Burger
I’m happy to say that my daughter is doing much better, is back to work, and even managed to move to another apartment since I left mid-July. It’s a good thing that I didn’t act on any of these fun projects. But now she has a new place for me to help design. Sounds like I need a road trip. Atlanta in the fall?
Hunter Douglas Designer Screen Shades
How is my Apple iPhone 6+ connected to helping an office save energy, control the light, and increase productivity?
In my last blog I mentioned a problem that sent me to South Coast Plaza Apple Store. Remember the faulty camera on my Apple iPhone 6+, that problem? The upside was that I happened upon a great Home and Garden Show. My phone took great pictures. See those pics in the blog post below. Today’s post is proof positive of how much that camera was in need of repair.
What should have been the best “before and after” shots of an installation of solar window shades for Mary Etta Designs this year turned out less than perfect. Think of last week’s pictures as an “after” testament on the wonderful repair Apple Genius Bar employees performed on my iPhone 6+. And this week’s photos, sadly, are the “before” pix.
That being said, I am still proud of the installation of Hunter Douglas Designer Screen Shades for my clients at Emerson Process Management in Irvine.
Emerson Process Management – Before Mary Etta Designs
Companies worldwide turn to Emerson Process Management for technologies, services, and expertise to solve problems that are immediate and important to them. The last thing that this state-of-the-art company needs is reduced productivity amongst its employees because of the light and heat at the windows in their beautiful, newly renovated facility in Irvine, California.
Before – Sheets of Paper At the Window, not the best solution for heat and direct sunlight.
Before, not only was there glaring sun streaming in on the East side of the building, but the Southern California heat was making concentration a bit hard for some. I proposed a solution in Hunter Douglas Designer Screen Shades. The goal was to allow a level of view-through so that employees would not feel claustrophobic. But I also wanted to help reduce the amount of heat coming into the office to help control energy costs. Additionally, controlling the direct sunlight would greatly reduce the glare on monitor screens and into employees’ eyes.
Installation Day is a Happy Dance Day.
Now that the Hunter Douglas shades have been installed, energy costs will be positively affected. And light control and increased privacy has immediately contributed to increased workplace productivity and comfort. Emerson Process Management employees could not be happier.
No more glare in her eyes at sunny times. But still light and pleasant in the office.
The Result is a Cooler, More Comfortable and Definitely a More Productive Environment.
Recently Fabricut, a designer fabric line that I use quite often, reached out to ask me if I would be attending this year’s Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta February 25 – 27. If so, would I like to be included in a private dinner with Vern Yip , HGTV superstar and judge of the hugely popular HGTV Design Star tv show?
Design Bloggers Conference or DBC is billed by the event creator, Adam Japko, as the event of the year for interior design bloggers, I wasn’t sure if the expense was in the budget this year. But suddenly, the possibility of dining with Vern Yip turned my on-the-fence position of attending the event into a quick “of course I’m going!”
As one of the DBC sponsors, Fabricut provided transportation to and from the host hotel to the venue off site for the dinner. Imagine the collective squeals of 22, already excited, designers (men and women) when we were told en route that the dinner location was Vern’s Atlanta Residence (yeah, I call him Vern).
Master Bedroom Suite
Why his private residence? Fabricut features the Vern Yip Collection under Trend Fabrics specifically aimed at providing “exceptional value without compromising style.” And every single drapery, upholstered furniture piece, and even the linens, were fabricated with fabrics from the collection that features an array of prints, solids, and geometrics. The contemporary and traditional mix fits perfectly with the Asian antique furniture and sculptures in vignettes scattered throughout the 1925 original home and it’s 1940’s and more recent additions.
Touring of the traditional southern home started immediately in the foyer and showed off a design style that is not only spot on, but flows beautifully from the living, breakfast and dining rooms downstairs throughout the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.
Elephants play a large part in the residence, antique, sculptural or for fun.
After appetizers and wine, we enjoyed a chef-prepared delicious meal with Vern, his partner, Craig Koch and company reps. The couple live in their beautiful home in Georgia with a mix of the couple’s expansive art collection, antiques and traditional furnishings. The antique furniture and sculpture carry through his design tips to add the things you love in your home. There was a fascinating family heirloom on the dining room table that I asked Vern to share with us it’s history. See it here.
Son Gavin’s Room
Pattern on pattern play works beautifully in a collection that features geometrics, Ikat, solids layered with multiple textures. Most impressive, is the extensive photography and contemporary art collection that is highlighted and only enhanced by the traditional and contemporary fabric collection.
Daughter Vera’s Room
There was so much to see that I had to break this blog into a series. Stay tuned.
When customers ask me what is the latest trend in colors for their home or office, this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, often leaves them cold. It’s a little dark, reminds them of the wine colors of the past decade and their eyes tend to glaze over at the mention of this color.
In my profession looking for clues as to what you, the customer, want to live with in your environment is par for the course. And luckily there is always an alternative. If you are emptying a room to do a re-model and you’re starting from scratch, consider Sherwin Williams’ pick for their Color of the Year – Coral Reef.
Coral Reef is the perfect shade to transform your bath into a tropical retreat right in your home. This color is a great pop to add to the cold neutrals that have been the norm for the last few years. Though it’s in the red family, it’s much softer than red. It’s not pink, so it is not too feminine.
Spring is a perfect time of year, albeit all the snowstorms in our country’s east coast right now, to think about updating not only our indoor spaces, but also our outdoor patio furnishings like pillows, chaise loungers and rugs. Have you thought about adding the color Coral to your decor?