Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mirror! Mirror!

Mirror!  Mirror!  On the wall, I'm here today to give the best design tips of all!  Hello, from South Dakota!  Excited to share how mirrors work, not only as an excellent element for wall decor, but how they enhance spaces in ways we might not think about.  Let's look at a few things to keep in mind as you select and place mirrors.


Scale is one of the most important considerations when working with any part of your design and proportion is key.  A single mirror certainly would not work to cover the large space pictured above, but a grouping of these mirrors is a creative way to add interest to this staircase wall.

The above picture takes my breath away.  When placing a large mirror, the view of the refection seen in the mirror is part of the design.  Notice how this beautiful chandelier and the staircase from an adjoining room are reflected in this mirrors view.  Beautiful.

I like to use mirrors to reflect light and brighten a dark space or enlarge a small space. The mirrors behind the glass shelves in this dining room certainly brighten the large wall.  The lighted area, combined with the reflective value of mirror and glass, is a stunning combination in any room. 


Can you imagine a bathroom without a mirror?  Of course not.  However, in the picture above, the use of mill work on this wall combined with beveled mirror above the sink and the addition of the lighted sconces takes function to a whole new level.


I'm crazy for this back splash application.  Antique looking mirror has found it's way to the forefront in the last few years.  It's distinctive look is particularly appealing and has gained popularity for use in many applications. The same antique mirror element is used in the dining room below.  I can fully imagine the beautiful dining experience in this mirrored space with my family and friends.



For me, both the photo above and below are examples of exquisite use of mirrors.  The mirrored wall behind the bed is inspirational and makes this already lovely room incredible by adding depth.  In the photo below, the use of mirrors gives the fireplace visual grandeur and is genius.  Again, the broad scale of the mirrors adds the impact in both of these pictures.

Mirror! Mirror!  Looking forward to sharing more design techniques next week.  Yours, Joanie

                                          Source for all photos

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Step It Up!

One of my favorite architectural elements in the home is the staircase.  The staircase adds dimension and intrigue to a home -- its very presence suggest leading the way to somewhere else.  I consider the staircase important in creating unexpected design detail.  Let's look at six unique ways to step it up with design personality. 

Imagine these steps as a traditional white painted wood.  For me, what makes these stairs is the natural fiber carpet detailed with contrasting banding.  The brass carpet rods continue the contrast between traditional and current to create surprise for all who step up.

I'm really drawn to the neutral paint around these steps and love the way the big carpet color contrast creates major drama.  The carpet pattern adds texture and pizazz to express the personalty of this homeowner.  When I work with my clients, I help them choose and implement the most daring expressions of themselves.

In this picture, the homeowner is creating the drama with the use of contrasting paint colors and the use of varied hard surface materials.  I love the stylish carpet that adds a current as well as timeless beauty for all to see upon entry.

Wow!  In this picture, the bold stripes in the staircase carpet draw both the eye and the foot  -- to not only look -- but walk these steps to the next level.  Imagine the difference if plain white carpet were used on this staircase.  My favorite part of my job is to provide ideas of this caliber to my clients.

Right now, animal print is currently very popular, however, rugged leopard and tiger print has been considered timeless in the design world.  Again the surprising texture and pattern in the carpet softens the space and can be used it to fit into almost any paint scheme.  I can almost feel the fuzzy carpet fibers underneath my feet.


I love the cheery wallpaper in this staircase space.  The thing I'd like to point out about this picture is the carpet.  The neutral carpet grounds the space and would work later down the road if the homeowner decided to change the paper and the feel of this area.  I also love the black paint used on this staircase. 

Looking forward to sharing the things I love about home design next week.  Yours, Joanie

Friday, April 12, 2013

Make Your Home Soar to New Heights

I'm excited to share with you today a design technique that many people often overlook.  The way I think about a room is that the room has not four walls, but five.  For me, the fifth wall is the ceiling.  How many of you have a knockdown white ceiling?  I believe we don't have to be someone as famous as Oprah -- one of the most public fans of unique ceiling textures and colors -- to move away from the ho-hum white ceiling.   Decorating your ceiling with color and texture is one of the easiest ways to make your home soar to new heights.

What I love about the photo above is the use of contrasting color and structural detail.  The simple wood beams on the ceiling add symmetry and balance using the same tones in the wood from the floors.  A perfect example of how the fifth wall works to create a space that I would want to enjoy my morning tea.

Sometimes it's not color, but structural elements that make the fifth wall create an elegant and sophisticated space.  I can almost hear the white beams on the white ceiling calling out to me, "Joanie!  Come and enjoy the afternoon with us."

I'm imagining Prince listening to his hit song, "Purple Rain," in the above picture.  In this photo, the metalic ceiling is created from paint.  For me, this faux treatment adds a touch of reflection to create a dramatic look. 

Another way to easily add contrast and dimension to a room is with crown molding.  What I love about this technique is that the crown molding seperates the ceiling from the walls to create a calming overall feeling to bedroom. 

In both the photo above and below, the technique used is to continue the same medium used on the four walls into my favorite fifth wall, the ceiling.  I really like how the continuity of using the wallpaper and the paint from the wall up onto the ceiling creates a polished and mesmorizing effect. 

The below technique is a tad more involved, but well worth the effort in the end result.  I can't see the rest of the room in this picture, but I'm certain the tone of the wood used in the ceiling reflects the other wood tones of the room.  The ceiling details of using unexpected material combines several design strategies to make an otherwise plain ceiling something very special and call out, "Come relax and enjoy yourself!"

Lastly, I wanted to end by sharing this final ceiling photo below.  I'm really drawn to the soft effect of painting the ceiling a different color than the wall and the profound impact it has on the feel of the space.  Again, the below photo uses paint as the differentiator in the room.  Something not only the rich and famous can do, but each one of us, to make our rooms soar to new heights!

Looking forward to sharing my design joys and insights next week.  Yours, Joanie