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July 22, 2011
Over the past few years, due to economic adjustments and gas price increases, there has been a dramatic increase in companies offering their employees the opportunity to telecommute.
Creating harmony in your work life
Telecommuting, simply put, is working from a remote location using computers, telephones, and other remote capabilities rather than commuting to and from an employer’s work site to perform the equivalent work. In 2008, nearly nine out of ten workers stated they now telecommute from home at least one work day a month. In the state of this economy people have reinvented their careeers starting businesses from home causing a flux in how their home office needs to function.
“We look at these statistics every once in a while and see the increase,” says Kathleen Lilleeng, owner of HomeandOfficeMakeovers.com, an Interior Designer San Diego company. “I think it’s great for business. There are a lot of people wanting to create a special place in their home for an office. They’ve probably been putting off the design of it for a while, but now that they are spending more time at home they need to find the right balance. They need a quiet, out of the way space where they can work in peace.”
There are many advantages to telecommuting such as; conserving energy, preserving the environment, enhancing family time, employee freedom, increases in productivity, and increases in long-term job satisfaction. Another great advantage is the available time to create a fantastic work space that represents the employee, and finding an interior designer San Diego company to help find the right balance is key to discovering a harmonious living and working environment.
July 20, 2011
How does color affect you?
Do you experience a calming peacefulness in the color called “Floating Lily Pad” or an overly anxious uneasy feeling when surrounded by the intensity of “Bonfire Flame”. Color definitely triggers emotional and physical sensations within each and every one of us. It is essential to become aware how certain colors impact us and to tap into those sensations we find comforting or exhilarating at home and in the office. Discover some fasinating history on color and the sensations it evokes within us.
B L U E Originally found in Europe during the 12th Century the combination of natural ultramarine and lapis lazuli made it an extremely precious paint limited only to picture painting. Blue conveys a comforting homey feeling. In its pure form blue can be overwhelmingly formal, best to use sparingly. Choose the redder or greener blues in “Periwinkle” and “Turquoise” that are warmer in hue and more soul stirring.
G R E E N Napoleon decreed a bright green he favored so intensely that it covered the walls of all his stately quarters. Green the most visually accommodating color of the spectrum is closely related to the color of nature. The yellow green of summer leaves and grass promotes new growth within us and rejuvenate our senses.
Y E L L O W A color that has spanned across history since the Empire Period of the 19th century. Varied shades of yellow became popular in the 20’s, 30’s and again in the 50’s contrasted with a trendy black and grey combination. Yellow is refreshing as a sunny day, it consoles the spirit. Paler shades of yellow are settling on the mind while the deepest of yellows envelop us in exotic richness.
O R A N G E Art Nouveau was characterized by the darkly saturated yellow oranges of color schemes from this time in the early 1900’s. The pop colors of the 60 also combined orange with hot pink and green, a punchy trio. The orange family has a vast tonal range from “Whisper Soft Peach” to an “Autumny Amber”. A people friendly palette, skin tones are enhanced with a healthy glow from an orange based color scheme.
R E D The Egyptians mixed varying shades of reds with earth toned pigments in the frescos they painted on walls depicting their daily lives. During the Victorian era, 1868 house painters combined crimson with burnt sienna and blue to come up with the color of the time, “ Maroon“. The color red will surely raise your blood pressure in its full intensity. When toned down to a deep “Cinnabar” or “Arabian Red” the room conveys a rapturous elegance.
P U R P L E Exemplifies the color of majesty and power since the earliest of times. “Royale Blue” a deep purple with blue undertones was found mostly in fabrics and objects of art. The popularity of purple became vogue with the color “Mauve” during the Victorian period and again in the 1980‘s. An unexpected off-beat color, paler purples have a restful glow of dusk perfect for meditation. The deepness of the purple palette is “Eggplant”, a color unmatched for its dynamic presence.
N E U T R A L S During the Palladian Period, 1720 the color “Stone” was ground in nut oil and applied in layers to woodwork and walls. It was the complimentary color to “Pea Green” the must have color scheme of the time. Beige, taupe, brown, white, grey, and black are the alternative to color. A palette using three or four neutrals in combination is for the most discriminating of tastes. The look is sparse, urban and understated, emulating the bare essentials of a minimal living space.
October 11, 2010
Giving and buying back
Donating to your local Goodwill, Salivation Army and other charitable organizations is a “good deed” towards those in our community who are in particular need of your support. Clearing out from beneath the clutter, we have accumulated and donating furnishings and clothing for resale enables these facilities to fund the programs that rehabilitate the drug-addicted homeless by providing opportunities in lifestyle changes and skill training. There are programs that nurture and create a purpose for the physically and mentally challenged individuals on a daily basis.
I have set out on a special mission with these organizations to provide adequate stimulating environments for the people who are in these programs. I personally am donating my interior design services to rejuvenate the rooms of these facilities with fresh coats of paint in stimulating colors and to replace the battered up furniture with newly donated pieces. Continued support is encouraged; it is a real need that every non-profit organization is depending on… the generous donations from all of us.
A treasure trove of décor ideas
What a better way to pull together an eclectic home and office than to stumble upon that perfect treasure in a thrift shop, consignment store or novelty shop. The treasure usually appears when you were not even looking for it. This is actually part of the fun when wondering through…it finds you!
Keep your eyes open!
Out dated side tables and end tables in wood, rattan or metal can be turned into a transitional wonder with a coat of spay paint in a crackled metallic or a zany color.
Wooden framed or rattan chairs with missing cushions; customize them with a fabric that is a jazzy compliment to your sofa or blend it in with a solid color and let the rattan and wood take dominance.
Look out for lamps that are classic in their shape, color or styling. A new shade is all that’s needed to create a stunning light source for your room. Pick a shade that demands attention in color or shape. Remember, shades make the lamp!
Always spot-check the walls; pictures are often hung all the way to the ceiling. Do not judge a picture by its frame or vise versa. Reframing can be inexpensive by purchasing a simple ready-made frame from Michaels. Occasionally, you will run across an older frame that has a less desirable print in it; buy it for the frame!
The knick Knack display shelves are always brimming with stuff, you will have to make sure you do not miss the hidden treasure. Hand painted porcelain dishes, old glass vanity and desert trays. Give a new look to tarnished metal trays with spray paint in an interesting color. Skim through everything with the idea of repurposing an item into another use.
Books, books and more books…it is an endless collection. If you are, an avid reader or looking for coffee table books this is a source not to be overlooked. Leather bond books that are older give a library tone to a room that has floor to ceiling bookcases. Stacking several books together and placing something on top is a unique way to alter heights in a display of accessories.
Enjoy the hunt!
September 29, 2010
Style in sync with function
Living space Incognito with office space must have an equalizing balance of function both to sustain the activity of a productive work day and the comforts of home to escape from the office. Adequate work surfaces to accommodate projects and the piles of paperwork must have a catch-all place to file and put things away after each days work and to be easily accessed the next day. Cabinets, chests and armoires that are chosen for their storage capacity must also be spectacularly wonderful in your space. Think of the dual purposing of every component, a functioning office does not have to look like a typical office.
Board room verses boring room
Is an opportunity to add visual spark to the tone of the meeting with an unexpected version of a conference table. Glass top tables have always brought to any room a modern slick element but with the great look has always been the high maintenance factor of endlessly cleaning smudges and dust associated with glass, an uncompromising trade off! The design possibilities with glass have become limitless, glass table tops that are obscured with texture and finishes now provide the ease of care in a commercial setting. Marvel your clients at the next meeting…seat them at your strikingly stately conference table.
Diversity in color…release it
What could be more non productive than staring at a white wall for inspiration all day at work. The office should appeal to the intellect of the workforce and clients with the spirit of color. Vivid or subtle, an abundance or just a single hue, our brain reacts to color. There must be stimulation to raise productivity and awaken ideas of the people who interact in this space. Create motley of color in either in the artwork and design elements of the office or with a specific paint color combination. Boost the morale of your workplace by establishing a visually stimulating work environment with the effects of color.
September 14, 2010
Bring life into your space
Flowers have inspired interior design trends from every century in time from every continent. Fabrics, wallpaper, artwork and accessories have all been rendered, improvised and interpreted in one form or another representing one of Mother Natures most exquisite wonders, “The Flower“. Some depicted with meticulous flawless beauty such as the Dutch Artists works while other interpretations are child-like and playful as in the masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh.
The presence of nature in our lives is almost vital for our own healthy existence. Subliminally, nature has much to do with our motivation levels and has even been proven to boost our immune system when flowers are present in a hospital room after surgery.
The ever-changing form and color of flowers is with us in all seasons. Springs fresh green leaves, brilliant blossoms of the summer, dried fall flowers and the ghostly silhouette branches of the winter. Look around you with an enlightened fresh eye for ways to add the simplicity of nature into your space.
Flowers do not have to be lavish or exotic to be noticed, a few cut stems in a clear glass vase brings a plain room to life.
Bunches of flowers are visually demanding. Select a long stem large flower add a single leaf and create a powerful “attention getter“.
Float bright green chrysanthemums heads in a low glass bowl it becomes an unexpected color with a Zen-like simplicity.
Brilliant bold colored flowers simply arranged punch life into to a sleek contemporary room.
Twiggy flowering branches in tall vases suggest a Japanese overtone with maximum impact.
Large green leaves of bird of paradise or giant philodendron bring in a tropical touch just as they are.
Cheer up a room with splashy color. Spray paint wild parsnip or dried branches to pull out all the accent colors.
Amaryllis bulbs kept watered all year round come into bloom in the spring and the winter. These giant blooms are showy yet simple.
Design Perfection in Nature
Flowers exude a natural elegance when simply arranged and become an essential element to your surroundings. Observe Mother Natures art of harmonizing color, combining exquisite shapes and textures to form design perfection in every flower. Look closely and you will see elements of design in its purest form. Although short lived the presence of flowers is always an “awe inspiring moment”.
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August 19, 2010
Makeover tips for a party-ready…family filled dining room
The dining room is the central core of a home, a gathering place for family and friends to share favorite foods and warm wishes. It is also the conference room for big family discussions, or a surface for class projects. A place for private conversation over a cup of coffee. Whatever the task you require of your dining room it must be multi-functional and practical for all occasions. Here are some home interior design tips for your dining room:
Warm up to color
The dining room is the one room of a home where color can be used freely. A warm palette stimulates the taste buds and livens up conversation. Consider this room as the hub of your home where color will radiate from. Even a conservative choice in color can be enhanced in the dining room by painting at least one wall several shades darker than the rest of the room. The contrast in tone will announce the prominence of the dining room as a focal point in the home.
Modern day etiquette
No longer is it required to sit up straight and eat all your dinner. There has been a whimsical shift in the dining room to a casual setting that expresses a personal style preference. The traditional dining table chairs have been replaced with sleek high back leather chairs sometimes alternating in colors. Exotic wood tables are trimmed with shimmering metals or inlayed with shattered glass.
Resist matching pieces in the dining room, think of the endless possibilities in creating an eclectic look. A hand painted Mongolian cabinet is an intriguing substitute for a buffet, an open floor to ceiling wall unit in a striking color filled with collectibles will visually become the element of surprise and draw people in.
Both the day and night have special lighting requirements. The task lighting must be bright enough for the detailed projects on the dining table and yet turned turn down for that intimate candle light dinner, a dimmer switch is a must above the table. Is the fixture above the dining table the one the builder installed? Rip it down! Replace it with a simple but not trendy fixture. Make sure it hangs over the dining table, you may have to swag it with a clever idea for a ceiling hook from Home Depot in the nuts and screws isle.
Let the sun in; it will add the cheerfulness of a new day, especially if it is early morning. If it is necessary to block the sun out sheer or grass cloth panels hung from the ceiling on a multi track rod compliments any transitional decor. Avoid the temptation to install a vertical blind it gives the room a cold, sterile feeling. At night, burn candles at various points in the room. Wall mounted candelabras give off a formal romantic glow.
Details that coexist
The most commonly asked question; what do I put on the dining table when it is not being used? Keep it simple with an interesting twist. It is essential to stick to the theme of the dining room right down to the last detail. As a central multi-task room it is the one room where there are no limits to what can be displayed. If your table doubles as a workspace most of the time put a stunning lamp and a pile of books on it. Pull up a chair and enjoy the many roles your table plays!
An array of succulent plant cuttings in a shallow contemporary bowl, a collection of various dishes with a common theme or size can be hung from the wall or on a plate rail as a classic form of art. Antique wrought iron railings and gates, old wooden carvings, live branches in large glass vases, things from nature such as rocks, shells or branches placed on wall mounted shelving can show your passion and personality. Surround yourself with the elements that make you feel at home.