Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's time! Outdoor spaces from Joanie Tassi

It's been a long winter for the Midwest!  I think it's finally time to start enjoying the outdoors and I'm very ready.  In celebration, I wanted to share some of the same principles that I've shared in recent weeks for the inside of your home and see how these same ideas can be applied to outdoor spaces.

A few weeks back, I shared the way flooring enhances spaces specifically in staircases.  This same idea is applied in the above picture with the use of the textured pathway and the plants as well add texture in the space.  The path calls out to you to walk down it and enjoy the natural landscaping along it's edges.  Additionally, I'd like to point out this space seems to be small, yet even small outdoor spaces can be enjoyed when the right design elements are utilized.  I could chat away the afternoon with a glass of lemonade and a good friend in this area.

Contemporary Patio by Toronto Interior Designer Terra Firma Design

Another element we've talked about in recent weeks is the ceiling as the fifth wall.  In the above photo, the fifth wall -- the pergola over the top -- creates a cozy feeling encasing the space, but still allowing all the natural elements to seep inside.  Again, the same design elements that are utilized inside the home make this outdoor space one to admire.

The door in the above picture makes me want to walk through it to see what's on the other side!  Last week we talked about creative painting and I shared my idea about painting doors different colors to add an element of surprise and to enhance the space.  I can imagine this door painted a surprising color above to draw your attention and to make walking through to the next outdoor space even more exciting.

Modern Patio by Benton Harbor Architect Karen Garlanger Designs, LLC

Lastly, what I love about the above photo (in addition to the clean lines) is the use of lighting to enhance the space.  Lighting is one of my favorite design elements.  Right away I'm struck by how the lighting illuminates the couch area and the steps.  The lighting is not only functional, it is beautiful and frames the space without the use of walls. 

Until next week my friends who adore design as much as I do!  Yours, Joanie

Friday, May 10, 2013

Creative Painting!

The typical thought process when creating a paint scheme for a room or an entire home can be described in the following way.  First, wall colors are chosen.  Second, ceilings are forgotten as a fifth wall and are painted white.  Third, the trim and baseboards are painted white or stained the same in every room.  Familiar?  Is this the process because we lack imagination or because we are fearful of experimenting?  I'm excited today to share a whole new way to think about a painting scheme for the home.  I think the above process can be thrown out the "window" by creatively using paint.

What do you notice first when you see this photo?


The mill work in the above photo is beautiful.  I love the way the designer makes sure no one misses the architectural details of the trim and thus, it's painted with a soft dark neutral color to really stand out from the wall color.  The contrast stained wood frame inside the painted outside frame is a strong design detail and further emphasises the window as the focal point.

Conversely, in the room below, the wall and trim are the same color!  The choices of this designer makes the tiny room "grow" by painting the walls and trim the same color.  I am fond of this trick and utilize it when there is an element in a room that  is less than desirable but can't be removed. I give it the disappearing act by painting it out the same color as the wall.  Voila!

Instead of disappearing, "Look at me!" screams the uniquely painted mill work in the photo below.  The clean lines of the trim are enhanced with the stunning paint color.  The use of high contrast in a paint scheme creates drama and draws your eyes to notice immediately.  I recommend this paint design technique to cause a happy fuss!

What's behind door number one?  The door at the end of the hallway makes me so curious about what awaits beyond?  Painting doors a color different than the trim color is the perfect opportunity to add spice to an otherwise bland hallway.  Painting the back side another color is magic trick I highly advocate when the same color won't work in the adjoining room.

     By Atmospher Interior Design

Serenity and calm exude from room below.  The monochromatic color scheme details the mill work while the stone fireplace is allowed to take center stage and be the star.   "Less is more" as someone once said and sometimes is the perfect solution to your paint scheme.

When life gives you limes, what do you do?  Paint your window frame. Yes, sir, that is right!  I would probably even invent a reason to do laundry if I could do it in this room.  The thing I love about design work is creating spaces that make a functional room fun.  When paint brings a smile to your face in your workspace at home, it's a good thing.

Have a great week!  I am positive here at One Boxwood Lane, the sun will shine and the birds will sing.  Until next week!  Yours, Joanie

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Am a Rule Follower

I'm fond of paint because the creative use of it gives the most bang for the buck in decorating.  In my 25 years experience in the field of interior design, there has been only one design rule that I have considered the "golden rule."  I do everything within my power to follow this rule.  Despite my strong advice, every once in while a client will decide to break the rule and the result is like nails on a chalkboard for me.

So what is the golden rule that I abide by at all costs?  Never change paint colors on an outside corner.  Never.  Let me show you what I mean.

                         Modern Living Room by San Francisco Architect John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIAI

In the above photo, the golden rule is followed.  Painting a wall that is the focal wall helps call attention and draw your eye immediately to the view.  The use of the contrasting paint color on the focal wall is a perfect frame for the stunning view.  However, in the photo below, there is an infraction of the rule.  Do you see where it is?


If you haven't spotted it, let me point out that on the right side of this photo, note the opening that leads down the hall.  The darker gray paint in the hall stops on the outside corner of the kitchen.  According to the golden rule, the darker gray should turn the corner into the kitchen and go all the way down the wall until it can end on an inside corner.  Do you see how stopping the paint on the outside corner of this wall makes the hall abruptly break off instead of flowing easily into the kitchen?


Honestly, I had a difficulty finding examples of breaking the golden rule, but the photo above has a suble infraction. The drama created with the contrasting colors is stunning.  The violation of the rule occurs when the plum paint is wrapped around and stops on the outside corners.  If done correctly the white paint should wrap around into the corner instead.  This might seem like a small detail, however, beautiful spaces are born when attention is paid to detail.

Now that you are getting the hang of this golden rule principle, I think you will notice immediately the exact point of violation in the below photo.  For me, the corner stands out like a sore thumb!  Yikes!


I'd like to finish my post today with a tribute to the "rule maker," Jerry Twetten.  I had the pleasure of working for Jerry, a very well-known and respected designer.  I gleaned every bit of information that I could under his tutilage.  He shared his ideas and mentored me for a total of four years.  I consider that education equivalent to a Doctorate in Design and credit him for helping me become the designer I am today.  Thank you, Jerry!

Until next week, my design friends!  Yours, Joanie

Jerry Twetten

Jerry Twetten