Category: Tips + Tricks

Three-Dimensional Design

Hey, there!  I thought that today I could open up a discussion about Three-Dimensional Design.  This is a great way to decorate with intention and really draw upon a little bit of whimsy and sweetness in a space.  Three-Dimensional Design is…

…Taking something from two-dimensional to three-dimensional…

Simple enough, right?  Let me show you what exactly I mean.

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Do you see the artwork in the background with the red and white design?  Well, those colors have intentionally been brought into the three-dimensional realm with the addition of the wingback chair and pillow (although, I find that pillow sort of disappointing, don’t you?).

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
The same story goes for this interior — the colors from the artwork have been stepped forward in the collaged chair seat and floofy pillow.

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
This example is a little bit harder to see — you’ll just have to look closely!  The mural on the back wall of all of the plants is stepped forward with a real plant, which is off to the right side.  See it?  This is one of the most classic ways in which to use three-dimensional design — and one of the easiest!

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
A rhythmic spotted piece of artwork from the back of this room is brought forward with similarly punctuated ottomans at the foot of the bed.

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Floral artwork from behind the bed is repeated on the bedding itself.  I love this!  Those pink pillows look like velvet to me, too.  Melt-worthy!

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Floral wallpaper is stepped forward with a floral fabric covering the seat of this fun side chair.  I love this color combination, don’t you?

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
This is just a simple example of how three-dimensional design can be achieved.  Floral wallpaper or draperies?  Just add a vase of flowers in front and you have mastered this design trick!

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
A floral wallpaper is mimicked with a different floral-patterned tabletop.  Brilliant!  The fact that one of these prints has “chosen” to be black and white makes this work.

Three-Dimensional Design  {Inspiration Affirmation}
And finally, one of my most favorite examples — framed seashell artwork decorates this bathroom with little jars of seashells intermixed.  Whoever designed this bathroom did that on purpose!

Where are some areas in your home where you have used three-dimensional design.  I’ll bet it’s one of those things that you’ve been doing without even realizing you’re doing it!  ;-)

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All images from Lonny.

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What Reflects in the Mirror Counts

 

It’s a simple thing to talk about, but we all know the importance of placing a mirror at an angle or in a space that is going to reflect favorably for the room.  Ideally, you don’t want to see your ceiling fan in a mirror’s reflection, or an unflattering corner, or anything that doesn’t scream beauty.  This can be easier said than done, as most all of us probably know, but I thought it might be fun to look at some pretty inspiration pictures of interiors where the beauty is only enhanced by what is reflected back at us.

 

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What Reflects in the Mirror Counts  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Do you try to make what reflects in your mirrors count?  Have you found a fool-proof way to do this yet?!  ;-)

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The Rule of Threes

Let’s talk about the Rule of Threes.  This is a “rule of thumb” that I have learned while in school and I have found it very beneficial while in the process of designing spaces for (at this point) hypothetical clients.  You can use this rule for your own home, while critiquing what you like and dislike about interiors you find on Pinterest, or if you are designing a space for someone else to enjoy.  The Rule of Threes means…

Repeating a dominant color or pattern on a vertical plane, a seating plane, and a floor plane…

It really is that simple.  Let’s take a look at some pretty examples.

The Rule of Threes {Inspiration Affirmation}
This is a great representation of what I’m talking about.  Do you see how the magenta color of the draperies is repeated in the sofa and then thrown into the lines between the purple geometric pattern on the area rug?  This application allows your eyes to move around the space and is generally more pleasing to look at than a space where colors and patterns are randomly dispersed.

The Rule of Threes {Inspiration Affirmation}
Here we are again.  The grey-ish purple draperies are repeated in the color of the armchairs and then in the floral patterned area rug.

The Rule of Threes {Inspiration Affirmation}
Can you find the Rule of Threes in this photograph?  I bet you can! Isn’t this just really pleasant to look at?  I wouldn’t say that it’s “expected,” — it’s still a really interesting and unique space.  But it just makes us feel better to be grounded in an interior.  The Rule of Threes helps us to accomplish that overall goal.

The Rule of Threes  {Inspiration Affirmation}
This example has more to do with repeating colors within different patterns.  Look at the window treatment to the left, then the two striped pillows on the bed, and then the sweater for the floor.  See the similarities?  It doesn’t have to be boring!

The Rule of Threes  {Inspiration Affirmation}

The Rule of Threes {Inspiration Affirmation}
With this example, I’m going to refer to rhythm.  Rhythm in the wallpaper, the houndstooth pillows, and the plaid ottoman.  Consistent rhythm that makes for a punctuated space on all three planes of vision.

The Rule of Threes {Inspiration Affirmation}
See the repeat (in different values) of the dijon color?

The Rule of Threes  {Inspiration Affirmation}
know you see it here!  ;-)

Rule of Threes {Inspiration Affirmation}
In this example, we have black lacquered walls, black lacquered furniture, and the black is continued down to the area rug.

The Rule of Threes  {Inspiration Affirmation}
What do you think of the Rule of Threes?  Do you use it in your own home or when designing for other people?  Are you more drawn to interiors that use the Rule of Threes?

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All photos from Lonny.

Bar Lights in the B-Room

 

Bar Lights in the B-Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Bar Lights in the B-Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Bar lights in the bathroom aren’t necessarily my favorite.  And I’m guessing that they’re not really yours, either.  Wall sconces usually add a touch more personality than your average bar lights do, so these days I see a lot of bathrooms in magazines, on Pinterest, etc. with wall sconces by the sink area.  As much as I would love to diagnose every single bathroom with a pair or two of wall sconces, I just can’t.  The truth is, if I was working with a client on a bathroom re-do or just a bathroom up-do — or even a total bathroom design — I would suggest bar lights.  In the end, the bar lights will give you much better light than wall sconces will when it comes to performing the tasks that you do at the sink area of your bathroom.  Let’s face it, the lighting in your bathroom is truly, first and foremost, there to help you perform different tasks.  You should really be willing to light it accordingly.

 

Bar Lights in the B-Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Bar Lights in the B-Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Here’s the thing — I can definitely, in good conscience, suggest wall sconces for a powder room, or even in a vanity area in your bathroom that you want to look super luxe.  The good news?  There is quite a large selection of great-looking bar lights these days in all different styles — so you really have options when it comes to finding something that works with your pre-existing or wanna-be design aesthetic.  We’re not limited to those globe-y celebrity bar lights anymore, people!

 

Bar Lights in the B-Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Bar Lights in the B-Room  {Inspiration Affirmation}

What are you thinking right now?  Are you going to ignore my advice about this whole bar lights business?  If so, no worries, lol!  This is my professional opinion and what I have been taught/seen work best in real life.  Sconces in pictures are gorgeous, I just don’t personally think they are all that effective!

 

Image Sources: {Anne Hepfer}  {Houzz}  {Houzz}  {Lonny}  {BHG}  {Apartment Therapy}

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Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way

Good morning, good morning!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Can you believe it’s already almost Valentine’s Day?  It feels like Christmas just happened!  I feel Spring comin’ on, and I am so excited!  :-)

Last week, I wrote a post about pendant lighting.  Remember, I am sharing with you a series of posts about lighting since I just went through a very intense class all about lighting and I feel that I have a ton of information to share with you!  My very first lighting post on this blog was pretty technical — basically I described the characteristics, benefits, and cons of your everyday light bulb decisions.  Very general, but I wanted to start us out with a foundation.  So.  That brings us to today, and I wanted to write about something that really blew me away when I was learning about lighting — there is a correct height at which to hang your chandelier, and that height is…  2 1/2-3 feet off the table to the underside of the chandelier.  The underside includes any jewels, beads, etc. that may be decoratively hanging down.

I know.  It’s not groundbreaking.  It’s not even all that interesting.  However, when going through magazines and paying attention to this aspect of dining room lighting, I realized that it is probably one of the most broken rules of all.  And so I got interested.  And I started to look through more and more magazines — tearing out sheets of paper and organizing them into incorrect height and correct height categories.  And you know what?  When I was finished with the stack of twenty or so magazines that I had acquired so far that month, I realized that the stack labeled “incorrect” level was more than twice as thick.  Interesting, right?  

The truth is, we pick up these beautiful, glossy magazines and garner so much inspiration from them, but we forget that they make mistakes, too.  Or at least I did.  I would venture to guess that many times the chandelier height may be altered for the photo shoot in order to produce the best picture possible, but still.  I’m going to show you some examples, and by the end of this post, you’ll be able to tell when chandelier height is just…wrong.  You’ll feel it in your bones that it’s wrong.

In the post that I wrote about pendant lighting, I made a reference about supporting actors and movie stars when it comes to your lighting.  I’ll make this point again, so if you have already read that post, hang on a second.  Think of your chandelier as the star of your movie — the most glamorous, most talented, the greatest asset to your film.  But you need supporting actors, right?  This is where your recessed downlighting, wall sconces, etc. come in.  The point that I am trying to get across is that you need more than just a chandelier to light your space.  If you don’t have it, you’re going to have to write “Please bring a flashlight” on every dinner party invitation you ever write.  And some people will forget!  And then you’ll be eating in the dark.  Adding to this, I cannot stress how important I think a dimmer switch is for all of your lighting, really — but especially for your chandelier.

Okay.  Phew.  Now let’s look at some pretty pictures.

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way  {Inspiration Affirmation}
This is definitely correct.  Can you kind of feel it in your bones, too?  You all are probably reading this blog because you get this design stuff like all the rest of us do, you know?  You’re our peeps.  So by looking at this, not only is it correctly hung, but it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling.  Like, “ahhhh, all is right with the world.”

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way
Now this one?  Not so much.  But isn’t it interesting how upon first glancing at this photo, it’s really pretty.  The furniture is gorgeous, the windows are aplenty, the glass vases on the little popout on the side are dreamy and smooth-looking.  But something feels a little off.  And it turns out, it is!  That chandelier is way too high.  Now, there are big skylight cutouts in the ceiling which would bring in more than enough light if you were to be having breakfast in this room, but it really closes out the possibilities for dinnertime.  That is going to be one very dark room.

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way
Okay.  You’ve gotta tell me that just by looking at this, it’s a little off-putting, right?  To me, that ceiling feels like it is just going to float away and leave me without a roof over my head — there’s not enough grounding it, and the space seems to be too airy for my liking.  It feels a little uncomfortable to me.  And I don’t see any recessed lighting in that ceiling, which scares me.  I really wonder how functional this table is.

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way
This is good.  I like this.  I feel comfortable in this — I’d like to be in this room.  The chandelier is really a great width for the table, too.  It fills up a lot of visual space, and makes a statement — because that’s a big table, you wouldn’t want a skimpy fixture.  It would look way out of proportion.  That chandelier looks like a great size, and I don’t feel like it’s pulling the ceiling down with it, you know?

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way
I mean…honestly.  How cute is this?  Cassandra Lavalle of coco + kelley did an amazing job with this little dining area in her home.  The chandelier is hung at the correct level, which is awesome, but there are more things that I like about it.  This is a small space, really, and I love the translucent color of the chandelier with just a touch of pastel-y aqua — this chandy doesn’t take up any visual space.  It almost floats into the background until you realize it’s there and then you catch yourself thinking, “Wow.  I love that!”  I really just think this is a fabulous space.

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way
This is beautiful.  The chandelier is hung at a great height, and I would almost consider this luminal art — it’s like a sculpture hung from the ceiling.  It reminds me a lot of the Mexican Tree of Life.  Does it remind you of that, too?

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way
Too high, too high!  And no ceiling light.  I’m scared. And it’s a beautiful chandelier, too, so this is a bummer.  It’s really architectural, and I like that.

Chandeliers: Sometimes There is a Right Way
You can probably guess what I’m going to say about this…too high.  And so beautiful so it’s really a tragedy.  I love how detailed it is and the bright white color of it, but this room feels unbalanced to me in a lot of ways.  Sticking with just the chandelier, though, because that’s the lesson at hand, you know the story.  Check out those beautimous lucite ghost chairs, though.  I die.

What do you think about getting technical with your chandelier now?  Do you have some rehanging to do?  ;-)  Are you going to go through magazines and find pictures of incorrect and correct hanging height like I did?  I found myself really enjoying it — it really makes you look at the room in a more critical way, which is the first step in noticing what your personal style is.  

Image Sources: {Design Sponge}  {Lonny}  {Atlanta Homes Mag}  {Houzz}  {Coco + Kelley}  {Elle Decor}  {Luxe}  {ivillage}

Valentine's Day Signature  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Let’s Talk Pendants

Towards the end of January, I wrote about some basic information that was swirling around in my brain when it comes to lighting.  I really want to keep revisiting this subject here on the blog because lighting is so important in design.  I touched on this in the previous lighting blog post, but in order to get the visual impact that you really want for your space and considering how much time and money that you invested in designing it, you really have to have the best lighting possible.  I thought that today I could share with you my thoughts on pendant lighting.  This is one of my favorite types of lighting, and it’s really all over the place in design.  I think it opens up a way to be really creative with a fixture because there are so many different types and styles of pendant lights out there, and you can really customize your space and add some nice flavor to it with the right fixture.  Kind of cool, right?

Pendant Lighting {Inspiration Affirmation}
I’m sure most all of you already know this, but a pendant light is simply a fixture that is hung on a stem.  That leaves us with a lot of possibilities — lanterns, industrial-style pendants, you name it — if it’s hung on a stem, it’s classified as a pendant.

Pendant Lighting {Inspiration Affirmation}
I think one of the most important things to remember about pendant lighting is that you really have to treat these fixtures as a form of decorative light.  That being said, in my personal opinion (but also what I have been taught), a pendant light shouldn’t be the only source of light that you have in a space.  The pendant(s) can be the star, but you need supporting actors in order to create a full, beautiful, lively picture.  Your supporting roles would be things like recessed downlighting, undercabinet lighting, etc.

Pendant Lighting {Inspiration Affirmation}
If you flip through magazines and you spend time on Pinterest, you’re going to notice that the rule of thumb that I stated above may not always be the way that a space is designed.  And that’s okay — there’s most likely a reason for that.  However, you really need to think about how functional you would like a space to be, and a dining table with one pendant shining above it, or a kitchen breakfast bar with three pendants hanging and no other lighting isn’t going to give you adequate light for your tasks.  As one of my instructors says — “I hope your guests brought flashlights.”  It’s good to think about these things as you’re planning, you know?  And it’s fun, too!

Pendant Lighting {Inspiration Affirmation}
By the way!  Something important to remember — I love a good metallic pendant.  Any day of the week.  Copper is gorgeous, brass is beautiful, brushed aluminum — you name it.  However.  If you don’t have a dimmer switch going to your pendant(s), that baby is going to be a glare bomb.  Trust me — it’s not going to be a pretty sight.  A dimmer switch is a great idea in general for all types of lighting, but I think that when it comes to decorative lighting, it’s awesome because you can really control the mood of the lighting in your space.  And you have the ability to reduce the amount of light coming from your would-be glare bomb and make it a more comfortable light source.

Pendant Lighting {Inspiration Affirmation}
Do you have anything to add?  Are you as in love with pendant lighting as I am?  Do you have pendant lighting in your own home?  

Image Sources  {Lonny}  {Plaza Interior}  {Houzz}  {Mabley Handler Interior Design}  {Dunlin}

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Lighten Up!

Hey there!  Last week I wrote an update about what I’ve been doing so far in design school, and I told you that I would be preparing some posts for you about lighting.  This is one of those posts!  :-)  Think of this as General Lighting 101.  My goal is to enlighten you (get it, lol) and also to spark some interest on the issue of lighting.  The truth is, you can have the most amazing custom home in the world with the most beautiful amenities that you paid a lot of money for, and if it’s all lit improperly, then you might as well have not spent that $60,000 on your kitchen.  For a couple of weeks we spent a lot of time looking at interiors that could have been amazing and lived up to their potential, but instead were badly lit and just lost their beauty.  SO —  I’m going to help, even if it is just with this little blog.  ;-)

Today I’m just giving some general information about the different types of lamps (light bulbs) and what they do for a space.  Ready?

a19
You all know what this is.  An A-19, or an A-lamp.  You buy this in your grocery store, and you put it in your ceiling fans, your table lamps, floor lamps…  It’s readily available in a wide variety of wattages.  It’s incandescent, and it’s going to give you a warm-colored light.  This is going to turn everything yellow, people.  And it’s going to be a bright yellow light when you put in the new lamp, and then it will turn dingy.  I noticed this in my apartment all the time because I was using these A-lamps all over the place, and when we would first put them in, it would be nice and bright (yellow, but bright), and after a while, our room would just sink into darkness and dinginess.  Not good.

*Here’s a reminder, though — dust your light bulbs!  I’m serious!*

r40
This is an R-40, or a Reflector Lamp.  Please, please, please never use these.  I guarantee you that you have these somewhere in your house, and I want you to stop reading this post right now, take them all out, and throw them away.  And never buy them again.  These lamps are going to turn everything yellow.  Nothing will sparkle.  If you have a gorgeous kitchen or an amazing bathroom, a beautiful living room or a bedroom that you love…these are going to absolutely ruin it.  This lamp has a ton of light spill (wasted light), and it is being phased out of the market (thank you).  The PAR Lamp is taking its place.

par38
This is a PAR Lamp — Parabolic Aluminized Reflector.  This lamp will give you the punch of light that you really want in a room.  It’s ideal for ceilings that are above the 8 feet, and I promise you that if you use these in your kitchen (or anywhere) in place of the Reflector Lamp, you will be able to instantly tell the difference. These are only a little bit more expensive than the R-Lamps, and they seriously will change your life if you have been stuck with the gloom of the R’s all this time.

mr16
Okay, people.  This?  Is an MR Lamp.  If you are designing a custom home, these should be the lamps that you plan on using.  It’s important to implement these into your lighting plan beforehand because otherwise, you will have to retrofit your recessed lighting to fit these babies.  I will tell you that these can be pretty pricey, but if you have granite countertops that you paid a lot of money for, these are the absolute best lamps for those expensive countertops.  The light given off by these lamps is a white light, or “spectrally complete.” It’s absolutely beautiful.  This is, by far, my favorite lamp of them all.

cfl
And finally, I leave you with what my instructor calls a “Curly Fry.”  Do not ever use these.  I’m serious.  I understand people wanting to be green with their lighting, but I can promise you that if you are using the right lamps all over your house, and paying attention to the light output references on the box of lights that you are buying, you will be doing your part and you won’t have to have these things in your home.  Seriously.    Take them out, dispose of them accordingly, and never look back.  And if you don’t, I’ll find you.  ;-)

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