Sunday, January 25, 2009

Trends for 2009
2008 was not a great year for many people. So we are all looking forward expectantly, to 2009, which promises to be a better year. So what are the Design trends for 2009? Since 2009 is starting out in economic shambles, most people are wanting “clean lines”; they are going back to basics, using tried and true designs and furniture forms that will be in style for a long time, rather than avant guard styles that go in and may soon go out of fashion. The old adage that if you buy good quality, it will last forever, is as true today as it was when it was invented. And it works! I have furniture that I purchased 25 years ago and it still looks good and is considered “trendy” all these years later– first because it is good quality and second because it is relatively simple and traditional – so it can’t be easily dated. The premise is, that if you buy simple clean lines, the piece will never go out of fashion. So clean, straight lines have come back into fashion on sofas and chairs – and, especially the backs and arms of these pieces, have gotten squarer . People today also want a little bit of luxury in their lives, so a little bit of “glitz”, especially the 1940’s glitz, is now popular as well. We are in a similar situation historically and economically now as we were in 1940 after the war – a recession - and people need to “feel good” when they come home – because they don’t necessarily “feel good” anywhere else! So 1940’s styles such as round curved chair backs are now back in style as well. Going along with this “Feel good attitude”, the new pantone color is Yellow. Yellow is like the sun, shining down on us with its warm, bright light – and is the ultimate “feel good” color. Yellow will brighten up a gloomy grey day and a gloomy grey life. So look for solid yellows, and also yellow as part of the overall color scheme of patterned fabrics. Even if you don’t like yellow as a solid color by itself, it is great mixed with other colors in a pattern in a room – or used as a soft yet sunny wall color that functions as a neutral like a beige, and doesn’t have to match the rest of the colors in the room.
The other big trend is “Green”! We now are far more aware than ever before, that we must do something about “climactic change” – to insure that the world as we know it, will be in good shape for our grand kids . So we are getting “Greener”. But we are just learning what Green means and most people still have no idea how to make their homes “green”. Many Green products are expensive, and though people have great plans, end up using non green products which are cheaper, in order to save money and yet carry out their design plans. So what is good, green and trendy? Bamboo is great as a wood substitute for flooring – and it is good and green because it can easily and quickly be replenished so it is sustainable – meaning that even if you cut it down, if you replant it, it will grow back quickly –unlike trees that take a lifetime to grow back. Sisal, sea grass and jute are green, sustainable and trendy as well – both as area rugs and even, in their solid forms, as wall to wall coverings. All these items are plants that are mashed down into pulp , made into long strands and then woven as a fiber would be – into whatever we deem popular at that moment in time. There are now even fabric pillows made of bamboo. Are they pretty? You bet! And they are simple and neutral enough that they can be mixed with almost anything. This versatility is what makes them so attractive and so “popular” so “in style” today.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

With the economy going crazy, many of us have decided to just stay at home. If you are going to be spending a lot of time at home, your home needs to be a "haven of refuge", a "cocoon" , a place that you love to come back to after a hard day’s work... a place that feels so comfortable and so wonderful - that you never want to leave it!
Today, many people are thinking about remodeling their home to make it exactly the way they want it!
But if you are going to spend some money remodeling, you want to make sure that you are doing it right!
I believe in Specialization of Labor... in order to get the best design for your remodel and make it look fabulous- you shouldn't design the space yourself! You need to hire a specialist to help you design whatever room you are redoing, be it a kitchen, or a bathroom or even simply removing a wall to make your family room larger. My advice is to hire a good, licensed Interior Designer who is also a space planner to help you achieve your goals and dreams- a person with many years experience, who knows the pitfalls and will help you avoid making mistakes...Good licensed Interior Designers are visual people who can see what it will look like in their minds...Most people ARE NOT VISUAL, and can't really see what their project will look like until it is already done, by which point, if it isn't done to their liking, it is too late!
For a fee, Interior Designers will have a CAD drawing made for you of your existing space... and another of the proposed changes...and together you can go over this drawing, make all the necessary changes - even if it takes several re-dos... until you come up with a final plan that really works! Only then should you proceed with your remodel!

I am a licensed Interior Designer with 25+ years of experience - doing Interior Design, Space Planning and General Contracting/Remodeling and I have a great example to illustrate my point. Last week my construction crew began a remodel and removed/added several walls in the entryway/living room/family room and dining room in one of my client's homes- and when she came home to see the changes - she was so happy and excited, that she literally "jumped for joy"! And she said to me " Wow - this looks fabulous! Now that the walls are down, I can see what you mean" but I really didn't see it before... I could never have created such a beautiful floor plan without your help!"
She and her husband approached me to remodel their home by copying a neighbor's floor plan - which they liked well enough- but which really didn't suit their particular needs. By themselves, they couldn't invision anything on their own, so they wanted to copy something they had already seen! But that is not the way to acheive a gorgeous home! Together, we came up with what I thought was a much better floor plan for their home remodel, since they had different requirements from their neighbor -especially the fact that they wanted a TV cabinet to house 2 TV's for the man of the house to watch football in the fall, which the other family's floor plan didn't have room for. Also, the other family had a large closet in the entryway immediately opposite the front door, that was the first thing that you saw when you entered the home - and we both thought that was ugly! So, we drew up a CAD drawing so they could see what I was invisioning, made a few modifications to create a space that was perfect for them (rather than for their neighbors!), then hired a Stuctural Engineer to both make sure that we could implement our new plans and also tell us what size beams etc. we needed, and then we began to implement those plans! What a difference specialization of labor and a little bit of forthought makes!

If you have any comments or questions about this blog
please call me at my office 713 464-0055 or on my cell 713 269-6909
or email me at or or check out my website for a gallery of pictures of my work, my resume, and more information!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thoughts for Today!

Fellow Interior Design Lovers and Bloggers!

I am so excited to inform you that I am going to be starting an Interior Design, Remodeling and Antique blog! So please join me in 2009!