Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Personal Design IS KING!

TOP 2014 Home Trend: Personalized Design.

The "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality is giving ground to personalized design that reflects the needs and design aesthetic the residents.  In 2014, people will actively embrace the role designer in order to create a home that is truly one of a kind.  "We're at a fascinating point in the evolution of the interior design process. Interior design professionals one ruled the roost, but that's all changed with design TV, blogs and the Internet," says Elaine Griffin; New York interior designer and author of Design Rules.  "Clients today are well educated and have taken back the power.  They're so knowledgeable that they're doing it themselves."

Below, find her tips to make the most of YOUR design story:

  1. Research and Check Twice-  Take the time to properly research and educate yourself in order to get the result you wish to achieve.  "You want to know what your options are in terms of price, value, quality, design and style," Griffin said. "What's returnable, what's not? Always measure twice and buy once.  You only have one option when you are going custom."
  2. Customize Visible Features-  Griffin suggests investing in highly visible features in your home.  For example, window treatments and lampshades are highly visible features of the home, but are all too often ignored.  This is an area for high impact and bang for your buck.  "Always remember to take the lamp with you when shopping," according to Griffin.
  3. Customize Color- Numerous paint manufactures offer technology that allows you to achieve a perfect match between paint and that one-of-a-kind item you have.  
  4. Salvage and Tell- Using salvaged materials in a renovation isn't only green, it's also an opportunity to incorporate your family's history.  "We've always loved our heirlooms, but now we are looking at recycled and salvaged pieces in a different light."  said Griffin. 
  5. Don't Overlook the Ceiling- "The ceiling is the second biggest real estate after the floor...don't neglect it." Griffin said.  "Especially in small and awkward spaces, like the foyer or power room, stair hall.  Add a striking color, install wallpaper or add beams."  
Quick Tip- paint or a distressed finish is a quick way to add interest and character to that vintage piece, or even a big-box store purchase.  See TEAM-PRZADA, Housing Cents blog posts on chalk paint and distressed finishes for How-To Info!  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

White Walls....Snore...Snore...Yawn.

Flat, white painted walls are so over...color is king.  According to Huffington Post, "there are six great paint colors that will work in any home".  Golly, that's motivation enough to leave the white walls behind and start warming up your abode.  Read on to know which paint will make you happy...happy. Follow the above link to see these photos and more.

1.  Perfect for Commitment-Phobes:  Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore, according to color expert, Sharon Grech, "this neutral paint is akin to an off-white, not gray or cold and not a boring beige."  Try it in: the kitchen.
2. Great Blue:  Behr Premium Paint, Cloisonne Blue, this soft blue sports hints of gray, a real "crowd-pleaser."  Try it in: bedrooms or hallways
3. Great Gray:  Benjamin Moore, Rockport Gray," timeless but this one has warm undertones to create a cozy feeling." Try it in: living room, kitchens and home offices. 
4.  Best Calming Color:  Sherwin Williams, Sea Salt, "sage green hues tend to work like a neutral, while still adding a little color to your space."  Try it in:  bedrooms, home offices, dining rooms and kitchens.  
5.  Most Flattering For Skin Tones:  Benjamin Moore, August Morning, "this golden apricot flatters every skin tone."  Try it in: a small bathroom.
6.  Best "Dramatic"Color:  Sherwin Williams, Tea Chest, "deep chocolate brown can go in pretty much any room, it sets off textures such as wood and textiles without being obtrusive."  Try it in:  living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms.

Photo Traditional Dining Room by Covington Tile, Stone & Countertops Palatial Stone and Tile, LLC

Traditional Living Room by Charlotte Interior Designers & Decorators Carolina Design Associates, LLC

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warning! Realness Ahead.....

I have to level with you, dear reader, I know....I know... I seem like this uber-hip-in-the-know-UrbanMama. Well, here is my confession....I am, but only sort of!!!    Before I had a child (the love of my urbanlife) I had time and ENERGY to go out and explore and deliciously discover all of the FABulous spots I write and post about.  Now.... let's just say that I am IN THE KNOW if it has anything to do with the preschool set. For example, riding the McKinney Avenue Trolley {for free...mind you}, exploring Klyde Warren Park and the food trucks, or anything else I can sell to my 4yo is my game these days.  However, as a New Year's UrbanHubby and I will make it a point to find our own hip spots worthy of sharing.  So here is our first pick...The Hospitality Sweet.  It is a lovely little cafe in downtown Dallas, right along the DART RedLine.  400North Ervay, an Historic Post Office and Courthouse, recently converted into stylish lofts, to be exact, has a pretty rich history in its own right.  Anyway, back to my little review.  This place is a perfect lunch spot on a leisurely day.  Delicious and it is a bit romantic in that urbane sort of way.  The food is spot on and while there, you get an ambiance that hearkens back to a time, that I would imagine, downtown Dallas was all hustle and bustle, brimming with the work crowd and busy shoppers. The Hospitality Sweet is literally a few steps off DART's St. Paul Station, and a few blocks' walk from Klyde Warren Park and The Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher and The Crow Collection.  Still a manageable walk, but a bit further, is the Perot Museum.  So...make a day of it!

In order to tide you over until the next time I'm able to go exploring, check out Culture Map's 10 Dallas Hot Spots in 2014.  At least I don't feel SO out of touch...I've been to two of these picks!!  Yippee!