Throw a summer fete on your newly decked out patio!

It’s been some time since our last blog post. What better topic to discuss than getting your patio or deck ready for Memorial Day! It’s just around the corner.

Here are a few of our favorite furniture pieces to spruce up your outdoor oasis…

The Canasta by B&B Italia:

 

The Source Relaxer and Footstool by Gloster.  www.gloster.com

 

The Elements collection by Manutti: http://www.manutti.com

 

 

The Madison Collection by ThosBaker.  www.Thosbaker.com
German-engineered, premium synthetic Skai® leather over top-grade reticulated foam.  Powder-coated aluminum subframe and 304-grade stainless steel legs.
Roma Collection by Frontgate.  www.frontgate.com
I love the Roma Canopy Chair.  It plays homage to classicism.
Roma Canopy Chair with Cushions

Looking for sophisticated modular furniture.  Look no more.  The Cloud collection by Frontgate.  The epitome of outdoor sophistication.

 

Cloud Armless Center Chair

 

Love the look but not the price?  Look at CB2’s Casbah collection.  www.cb2.com

 

 

Need something a little more timeless.  Look at the Directoire Collection by Suzanne Kasler.  www.ballarddesigns.com

 

 

The days are longer, which means more time spent outdoors. Add a stylish heat lamp to keep the fun going past happy hour, serve refreshing cocktails on an eco-friendly teak cart, or invite guests to kick-back in a comfortable hammock.

 

http://www.firesideaccessories.com

 

Trinity Hammocks

 

And, finally Memorial Day means the start of a new season, so refresh the patio with colorful, summer-ready textiles. Place a printed trellis rug outdoors to warm the space and add plenty of easy-to-clean pillows and blankets for an inviting vibe.

 

 

Host Tip:  Whether you are hosting an afternoon pool party, a barbecue or a croquet match, set up a bar where people can serve themselves.  Instead of playing the bartender, you can enjoy the guests and your own party.

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Create a romantic bedroom oasis

It may be after Valentine’s day but it’s not too late to create a romantic bedroom oasis for you and your honey.  Take a look at my tips and get to it.  As always, should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. http://www.delia-designs.com

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/tennistina/create-a-romantic-bedroom-oasis-16675590&#8243; title=”Create a romantic bedroom oasis” target=”_blank”>Create a romantic bedroom oasis</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/tennistina&#8221; target=”_blank”>tennistina</a></strong> </div>

Kitchen design tips for your new construction or renovation.

Image

Photo credit:  Fresh Home

The kitchen for many is the heart of the home.  Families gather there on a daily basis to eat, chat about their day, entertain, do homework and laugh.  The kitchen is where families grow, so you will want it to be efficient, comfortable and of course beautiful.

When designing your new kitchen or renovating your existing, here are some things you should think about:

  1.  First assess your wants and needs.  Ask yourself what it is that will help you to be more efficient in the space.  Is it more countertop space, luxury gadgets, storage?  At the outset make a list of activities you perform in the kitchen as well as the items you need at your fingertips in the space.  Do you need three (3) trash bins, one for trash, one for paper and one for recycling?  Do you need an industrial strength range hood because you cook all of your meals?  Do you need a prep sink?  A butcher block?  The possibilities are endless, hence why it is vital to successful kitchen design that you determine all of this before you start.
  2. Think about hiring a professional.  Despite the picture you have in your mind of the dream kitchen, the actual space you have may not be compatible with your ideal. As with any home project, you have to balance practicality with your grandest wishes.  The most important step in a successful kitchen project is selecting the right people to work with. Because much kitchen work is structural, it’s essential that the work be performed according to the building code regulations of your area. To be sure all work is done appropriately, you’ll want to hire professionals for every aspect of the job in which you are not personally an expert.
  3. Space planning is key.  Hiring an interior designer is one of the best decisions you can make before embarking upon a new kitchen project.  Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, which accounts for a great deal of their challenge.  Once you hire an interior designer, he or she can help you with the layout of the space.  You will want to follow some time honored traditions regarding the layout.  There are five (5) basic layouts of kitchen designs.
    1. The working triangle.  The three (3) points of the working triangle are the range, the sink and the refrigerator.
    2. Zone design.  A kitchen can be broken up into zones.  For example, the prep zone, the cooking zone, the eating zone and the cleaning zone.
    3. The galley kitchen.  Consists of two (2) straight runs.  Typically the sink is on one side and the range on the other.
    4. The L-shape.  This shape forces traffic out of the work zone.  For more interaction with friends and family, add an island.
    5. The U-shaped kitchen.  This offers an abundance of storage space and a massive expanse of counter space.  It is also very flexible

Selecting cutting edge new appliances and beautiful new cabinets is great fun, but first you and your interior designer will need to figure out where those new treasures will be located. Unless your new kitchen is part of a brand-new house, you’ll need to decide how much change to make in the “footprint” of your existing kitchen. For big savings, I advise working within existing load-bearing walls and plumbing lines. Whatever the shape of the kitchen, there’s bound to be a configuration that gives you an efficient work triangle.  I will go into more depth regarding space planning considerations in a future blog post in this series.

5.  Cabinetry, custom or stock.  Once you have determined the special layout of the kitchen, it is time to determine what type of cabinetry to go with.  Stock cabinets can be given a unique look with virtually unlimited specialty finishes and a change of hardware. If your budget allows for custom cabinets, your choices are even greater.  After determining to select stock or custom cabinets, you then must determine the color and door style.  It is helpful to look at photo galleries of finished kitchens to give you an idea of what is visually appealing to you.  Your interior designer can help you determine what your style is through concept boards.  Do you gravitate towards the modern kitchen, something more traditional, Tuscan, country, French, the possibilities are endless.

6.  Appliances.  The main appliances you will need are:  refrigerator, oven/stove, ventilation system, dishwasher, microwave or convection oven, perhaps a wine refrigerator.  Buying kitchen appliances can be a daunting task when you look at all of the options, from energy saving, to high end designer models, to low cost models, how do you choose?  Choosing kitchen appliances for your home should be a rewarding experience but also fulfill your lifestyle and aesthetics of your kitchen. I will explore kitchen appliance selection in a future blog post in this series.

7.  Finishing materials.  Your budget will have a lot to say about materials used in your new kitchen.  What type of flooring should be used, countertop materials, backsplashes, wall finishes?  I will explore finish selection in a future blog post in this series.

At this point, of course you are eager to get started designing your new kitchen. But heed some advice from the experts and from people who have designed many kitchens.  Take your time at the beginning to make sure each decision reflects your taste and meets your needs. You’ll want to live with and love this kitchen for a long time!

Visit our site at http://www.delia-designs.com

New England Renewal

Hello World!

What’s the secret to staying happy, healthy, and vibrant?  Some would say it’s being flexible in attitude and remaining physically active.  For others, it’s laughing often, taking time to stop and smell the flowers, and loving fully.  The wise believe it’s important to ensure that every moment of your life is spent doing things that you actually enjoy.  Wonderful advice that we can all certainly begin to heed a little more as each day, week, month, and year passes.

Personally, I believe that the secret to feeding the soul is a combination of all of the above, continually nourishing the body, mind, and spirit while staying centered in life.  As a retreat designer, I find personal joy in researching other retreat spaces.  I just came across a New England Retreat, the Mayflower Inn.

The Mayflower Inn’s spa is a luxurious retreat in Connecticut.  Sign up and your individual spa advisor will telephone to assess your interests and begin customizing your stay.  Whether you prefer morning walks or canoeing, Pilates or flower arranging, founders Adriana Mnuchin and Lisa Hedley ensure that personalization is the key to your five-day experience.  Expect tailored treatments, a physical well-being plan, and plenty of nurturing to encourage spiritual awareness.  Slip into the seasonally scented Thermal Sanctuary, a fantasia of healing colors (indigo for clarity, gold for energy, green for balance), scented warm mist, and soothing music before indulging in a facial, mud wrap or a red flower ritual.  In case you need more inspiration to visit, specialty weeks include yoga immersion, couples retreats, and memoir writing.

Photos courtesy of Mayflower Inn.

Take a little time out to just be….re-center yourself and perhaps get away for the weekend to the Mayflower Inn and indulge your body and your senses.

Stop by and see what’s new at http://www.delia-designs.com

Tina

Reduce, Reuse, Hipcycle…

Hello World!

So many of us are becoming environmentally conscious these days and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it.  I have been an advocate for recycling and more importantly for caring for our environment for well over 20 years!  I’m glad that it’s catching on with others.

A fabulous trend in home and household goods is upcycling.  The process of converting waste materials into newly defined materials and products of better quality and higher environmental value.  A company to know and browse is Hipcycle, an online shop that specializes in selling the best eco-friendly upcycled products that don’t sacrifice style or function.  (www.hipcycle.com) One of the things I love most about Hipcycle is that the majority of the products sold are made in the United States.  Other products are purchased with a committment to fair trade practices.

When you get to the site, you can focus your search on either the purpose of the product or the material used, which is great.  Each product has a story about it such as where it came from and or about its creator.

Here are a few of my favorites from the site:

Put the nest in nesting with this set of three reclaimed teak tables. You’ll fall in love with the versatility of these tables, which look adorable (and save space) when stacked. Pull them out when entertaining to provide addiitonal side tables for guests to set their drinks (Just don’t forget the upcycled coasters!)

In an effort to reduce the wastelands of our landfills, this wall mount key rack will keep your keys and mail organized whether you’re just getting home or running out the door. Three hooks provide a visual key organizer, while the mail rack is the perfect size for incoming or outgoing mail. For those that have difficulty keeping track of their wallet, there is space for that as well.

Without glass insulators, it is questionable whether the industrial revolution would have been possible. A frequently overlooked part of this crucial period of time, insulators were used with telegraph lines, telephone lines, and electric power lines. Today’s telecommunication industry would undoubtedly not be the same if these had never been invented. These were produced by the millions until the 1970s, when modern technology deemed them useless. Now considered collectible items, they are again found useful in this suspended pendant light.

Go now to www.hipcycle.com to check out all of the amazing housewares.  You know you can feel good about spending your money here because you will be reducing your environmental impact.

Happy shopping and happy designing.

The Spa Nursery Retreat

The Spa Nursery

Even before your new baby arrives, his or her nursery will become one of the most important rooms in the home.  Within its walls an infant is nurtured, parents provide love and care and families gather to enjoy their little ones.  Most parents want their nursery to be the perfect place for their baby to sleep and grow, the setting of baby’s future childhood memories.  Whatever design decisions you make, your furnishing and décor accessories should complement the main element of your baby’s room, your love and care.  I encourage you to think about the nursery being a place of refuse for you also.  A place where you can go to feel at peace;  a space in the home that is tranquil and serene.  This is the place where you will nurture yourself and your new little one quite a bit during the first year.  The design elements and furnishings that create this special space should be planned with much thought and love for both you and baby.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Keep function in mind.

Determine at the forefront how you will utilize the space.  Will baby sleep in the space immediately?  Will baby nap in the space?  Will changing take place here?  Now think of the furniture that will be involved with each of these activities. Try to act out in your mind how you will use your furniture and accessories to accomplish these tasks, and how the placement of the furniture will make it go as smoothly and the least awkward as possible.  A quick example of function and furniture placement:   It may be best to group the crib and a chair close together, as it makes it easy to grab baby in the middle of the night and sit down to feed.

2.  Consider heating, cooling, natural light and ventilation.

Keep in mind whether or not you need to install some safe heating.  Does cold air come in through windows?  Will you need to block out light for daytime napping?

3.  Use non-toxic materials which are kind to the environment as well as low VOC (volatile organic compounds) and natural fibers.

Every new mom wants to create a beautiful little space for her precious new baby. She paints, carpets, and buys new things. These things contain can harmful chemicals, many of them known to be carcinogenic. When you sleep at night you are breathing in the off-gassing of these poisons. What is toxic to you is about 15 times more toxic to your baby’s tiny body.

I urge you to buy No-Voc (Volatile Organic Compounds) Paint. When these VOCs off-gas, they may cause a variety of health problems like nausea, dizziness, irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, and more serious illnesses including heart, lung or kidney damage and even cancer.

Another tip is to buy used whenever possible. Besides being gentler on the planet, these items have already off-gassed. Yard sales, thrift stores craigslist and E-bay are great sources for gently used baby items. (the exception to this would be crib mattresses, as these are found to be more toxic in each subsequent use due to more body fluids mixing with the poison chemicals and creating toxic fumes)

4.  Add personality with lighting.

Lighting sets the mood for any room.  It is especially important in the nursery.  Effective lighting can have a dramatic effect on the perception of space and interaction within it. Often an afterthought, lighting should be considered from the beginning when the nursery space is being planned.

There are three basic types of lighting:

  • task lighting,
  • accent lighting and
  • ambient or general lighting.

A well lit nursery will have a pleasing and effective combination of each type.

Task lighting in the nursery is designed to help you perform specific tasks such as reading or changing diapers.  A good choice for task lighting is the stand alone lamp.  It’s a good choice because it’s light and portable.

Accent lighting is designed to add drama and focus attention within a room. By spot lighting items such as paintings, you can highlight your nursery’s  best features.

Ambient lighting provides a room with overall illumination. Ambient lighting serves the same function as sunlight, allowing you to see and walk about safely.

Remember to fit dimmer switches for each type of lighting to help create a soothing effect.

5.  Colorful touches.

Take a cue from nature.  Choose colors that reflect nature in muted shades like sand, pale blues and sages and even dove gray.  Newborns can only see black, white and gray.  As their sight develops, it’s best to introduce them to softer tones. When painting with different colors, choose similar tones. This will enhance the harmony in the space, whereas too-different colors can have an incoherent and hence unsettling effect.

From crib bedding and accent pillows to window treatments & upholstered chairs , fabrics add the finishing touch to the nursery.  Chenile and velvet are cozy, comfortable and help create a special resting place for you and baby when used with extra soft cottons.

6.  Furniture

A must for this space is a good arm chair for breast feeding and later story telling and even later still, lounging on in a teenage kind of way.  It doesn’t need to be a special breast feeding chair, just make sure it’s comfortable, has good back support and low arms.

Other essential furniture items include: a baby changing table, a night stand or table, a nursery hamper and a clock if you are planning to breastfeed.

7.  Listen carefully.

Make sure the room is equipped with music playing capacity.  The right soothing melodies can help melt away the stress and help you feel more removed and can also drown out other household sounds.  This is all very important when caring for a new baby.  It can be a stressful time learning how to care for an infant for the first time, even second.  So, take some steps to minimize that and sooth and calm the nerves with music.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with this.  People spend time at spas in order to feel better when they leave than they did when they arrive.  Whether the point of the visit is getting a much needed massage to reduce tension or getting a facial or nails done, all spa visits leave you feeling relaxed and happy.  Reinvent this experience in the nursery to ensure that you have a tranquil retreat for taking care of both yourself and baby.  As always if you need any help designing your spa nursery retreat, consider Delia Designs first.  -Tina

Courtesy of London’s Chic Shack

Achieving successful Spa/Salon design

Whether you are designing or laying out a new space or already have an existing spa/salon, now is the time to take a first look at your business and learn how the interior design of the space can help you grow.  I’ve come up with my top 5 tips to achieving successful design.

  1.  Signage:
  • The only way new clients know you exist is if something attracts their attention and they see you.
  • The way to demonstrate who you are from the exterior is of utmost importance.  In essence, you need to make your windows talk.
  • Decide what your company is about.  If it is beauty, fashion and hair, show that.
  • You need to talk to the street.  Perhaps put a big beauty image in the window, an image that speaks to the “lifestyle” you are portraying.  Tell your prospects through imagery that if they come to you, this is the life they can have.
  • Keep in mind, the actual sign should be clear and legible.  It should be one of the high contrast so that it can be read from a distance.  An important thing to remember is to include spa or salon at the end.  If you don’t do this, no one will know what you are.
  1. Greeting the Client:
  • If at all possible, don’t put the reception desk directly in front or beside the entrance.  It’s important for you to create some space for the client to walk in and start browsing the retail area.  Allow them to feel the energy, hear the music and see people at work.  Let your clients see what they are going to experience, allow them to take control and make their choices.
  1. Reception:
  • Once you have moved your reception desk to a non-threatening position, make a great impression at it.  The receptionist should be well positioned to welcome clients and thank them as they leave.  If the manager sites up front, he or she can also endorse the effectiveness of any recommended products if the client has questions.
  • Remember, the receptionist desk should be a tool to draw customers into the heart of the salon, not stop them short at the front door.
  1. Lighting:
  • You should start and finish in incandescent lighting.  A warm temperature bulb is the most flattering on the complexion and compliments most salon interiors. What is important, especially in salons is to create levels of lighting.
  • The lighting should flatter the complexion and compliment the interior.
  • The lighting should be positioned to eliminate shadows.  How your client looks in the salon chair is crucial in the salon environment.  If the client feels good about your appearance, it reinforces a positive experience for repeat business and increased revenues.  The easiest way to help eliminate shadows on the face is to position wall lighting on either side of the mirror to directly light the complexion.
  • Regarding the work stations.  The front and overhead are where you will get your lighting from.  The wall lighting is for direct illumination on the face to flatter the complexion.  The overhead lighting should be properly designed to help perform all required tasks for hair styling and color application.  Separate task lighting should not be required if the overhead lighting is properly configured.
  1. Color:
  • Color determines the entire visual mood of your space.
  • Use colors that are warm as all color bounces and if you use cool colors, your clients will not look their best.
  • Color is closest to your clients, especially in salons should be in a warm skin tone.  The closer your walls are to skin tone, the better your clients will look.

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