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>

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Hello World!  Happy New Year.

Over the course of the past year I was asked many questions through my website.  For your convenience, I’ve compiled the most popular questions and answers.  If there is a question not listed below that you are dying to know about, give a shout.

What is an Interior Designer?

Today’s interior designer works in a complicated world challenged by a variety of issues ranging from legal responsibilities and building and safety codes to projects that require an ever-increasing amount of skills and training.  “Interior designer” is not just a fancy name for “decorator”.  Interior design in the twenty first century is much more than selecting colors and arranging furniture.

Why hire an Interior Designer?

  • It helps home owners and commercial clients to avoid making unwise decisions and chaos when it comes to purchasing materials, furniture, lights, etc.
  • You can be confident and proud to show off your property or home!  Particularly, if yours is a spa/salon or restaurant where first impressions matter.
  • A professional interior designer sees and conceptualizes the BIG picture, whereas owners/renters more often than not, merely focus on individual issues, materials, and or colors, etc.
  • A professional interior designer can help to advise on an appropriate scheme to suit your lifestyle and budget.
  • Property owners doing their own interior design will usually end up with a miss-match or somewhat chaotic interior; especially by neglecting consideration of color, lighting, furniture and soft furnishings and other crucial details that complete the whole interior.  A professional interior designer will help to ensure and coordinate all the above for you!
  • Owners may feel the pinch when incurring cost on the professional fee. However, just imagine for a moment how much more you will have lost (in terms of money and time) when you make the wrong commitments due to inexperience of choosing fixtures and inaccurate measurements.
  • For a fraction of the cost of your property, it is wise to leverage the knowledge and experience of those who are experts in the industry and to free yourself to do the things that you enjoy doing.
  • Perhaps the most important reason to hire an interior designer is because the interior or your home or commercial space has the ability to affect your psyche.  When you are surrounded by the colors and materials that speak to you, you will feel at ease.  We spend 90 % of our time in interiors.  So, why not hire an interior designer?

When should I use a design professional?

  • When you are contemplating buying or building a new house.
  • When you plan a major addition to your home.
  • When you consider restoring an old home.
  • When you want to renovate or remodel your living space.
  • Whenever you need to relate interior design considerations to an existing or as yet to be formulated architectural plan.
  • When your lifestyle is about to change, such as new baby or even retirement.
  • When your residence will be used for occasional social functions.
  • When your expanding family needs to “reorganize” space allocations.
  • Whenever you need full project coordination.
  • When you like a variety of styles but are not sure how to group them together.
  • When your current furniture arrangement requires an infusion of inspiration.
  • When you feel the collectibles you own and love require more attention.
  • When your rooms needs new drapes, floor coverings, furniture and accessories.
  • Whenever you feel that you need professional guidance.

Does the scale of my project really warrant an interior designer?

Just remember that no project is too small.  Even if you think you could accomplish the redesign, you should ask yourself if you have the time and inclination.  It is important to be realistic about how much money you are willing to spend. Include in this estimate the cost of all raw materials, new furniture, labor for installations, and possibly a designer.

What services can you provide?

I provide my clients with space planning, finish and furniture selection, lighting schemes and plans, and color consultations.  I specialize in creating retreat spaces.  I will work with you to make your home feel like a retreat from the outside world.  I help you achieve” your” vision.

How do you charge for your time?

After meeting with you during the initial consultation and learning about your project, I will determine the scope of your project and determine how long it will take for me to design the space.  Once I determine that, I will formalize the design proposal.  It will be a flat fee based on hourly projections.  A contract will be signed by both of us specifically calling out what will be covered by the design fee.  If for some reason the hours go beyond what I specified in the contract, you will not be billed further.  However, you will be charged by the hour for requesting design services not covered in the initial contract.

What is the process of working with you?

  1.  Research:   The design process begins with discovering your needs.  In the initial consultation, your goals, budget and expectations will be discussed. Through speaking with you, I will discover the basics about your tastes, lifestyle, and the ideas you have for your home.
  2. Schematic Design:  The client’s needs and personality, combined with the interior architecture of the space, provide insight to help us create a new overall look and feel. Multiple floor plan options, furniture and materials selections, and color palettes are presented to the client. A spreadsheet is also presented as a tool to compare options and track how selections will relate to the overall budget.
  3. Design Development:  With your input and decisions, the design is finalized and implemented. Detailed drawings are provided by Delia Designs to the architect, general contractor, or custom furniture fabricator as needed. Lead times for furnishings and custom pieces are determined, and a timeline is developed.
  4. Implementation:  We are almost there. The final step is to coordinate delivery and installation. Your space is now ready to be enjoyed!

Sexy Fall Home Organizing

There is nothing more sexy than a clean, organized home.  And guess what?  Fall is a perfect time to get your home in order.  It’s the time when we all start thinking about our home improvement projects and getting our homes in order for the holidays.  The best way to start that process is to get our homes organized.  Once we have organization we can view each space with unbiased eyes and determine what our first project will be.  Even if we don’t need to engage in major renovation, getting our spaces de cluttered and organized will help us to feel less stressed and more comfortable at home.  Here are some tips to help you get organized.

1.        Choose a place to start:

You may have several areas of your home that you would like to organize, but start with just one.  Decide which space gives you the most stress or the biggest headache or perhaps the area in which you entertain or where you have guests.  Whatever your priorities, select one area and stick with it.  Many attempts at organization fail when the task of cleaning the entire house seems daunting.  When you complete one area, celebrate and then move to the next.

2.       Allow plenty of time

Make sure you have realistic goals and expectations.  Don’t expect organization to happen overnight.  Schedule a few hours each day to work on the chosen space.  Of course if you choose the garage over the linen closet, it will take much more time.

3.       Clean house

Once you have selected a space, go through the contents.  Donate or hold a garage sale for anything you don’t need or use anymore.  Use the 2 year rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn or used it in 2 years, it is time to say goodbye.  These items take up valuable space and probably won’t be missed.

4.       Take inventory

After you have removed extraneous items, take a look at what remains and ask yourself some important questions.  Do these things belong in this space?  Does it make sense to keep them here?  Is there another more suitable place for this?

5.       Look for wasted space

If you are in need of more storage space, think creatively about additional areas that you can put to work.  Perfect examples include over doors and underneath beds.  These areas are valuable real estate in your home and are often overlooked.

Once you have completed the first tasks of getting organized, it’s time to do the hard work.  The key rules to organization are visibility, accessibility and flexibility.

Visibility

Choose storage solutions that are transparent or are easily labeled to help immediately identify the contents and will help save valuable time.

Accessibility

Ensure that the items you need most often are the easiest to access.  Likewise, place the items you don’t need to get to as often on a higher shelf or in another space.

Flexibility

Select a storage system that can adapt to your changing needs.  That way, you can reconfigure and reuse solutions to solve a variety of storage and organization problems.

Check out a few inspirational images to help you get started.  And of course if you need a little help from your fairy god designer, just give a shout.  Much love and luck with your projects. – Tina

Photo courtesy of DecoDir

Photo courtesy of Ikea

Photo courtesy of stacks and stands

Welcome Introduction.

Hello World!
Welcome to my new blog. I’ve been thinking for weeks about my first post and finally decided to just tell you a little about myself and the work that I do. It’s common for people to think that I am a “decorator” and that what I do is help people choose fabrics for drapery and furniture and select wall colors. However, my work is so much more complex. I design “retreat” spaces. What do I mean by “retreat” spaces. Well, I mean that I design hospitality spaces for commercial clients however, a very rewarding aspect of my work is designing for residential clients.
I believe that one’s home is a retreat from the outside world. It is the place that we spend the majority of our time, the place we begin and end our day. That place should be special and should be a reflection of you and who you are. It should make you feel safe, comfortable, relaxed and at ease. At times, it should also make you feel vibrant, alive and fun.

Designing for my residential clients is interesting, challenging and fun because the look and feel of a home is such a personal preference. Each of my clients have different needs for the functionality of their home. While they hire me for my aesthetic, they also hire me for my analytical abilities to help them plan their space.
A huge factor in designing a space is budget. A common misconception is that designers are too expensive and that we specify only custom designed furniture. My belief is that the benefits of good design should be available to all. My clients are average, everyday families desiring to enhance their home life. They do not have unlimited budgets and they do not re-design their home every 2 years.
To put things in perspective, I will tell you about a current project I am designing. At the moment I am helping a couple with a complete home renovation. They are a couple with adult children who are both out of the house, married and looking to expand the family with grandchildren. The couple has lived in their home for 40 years and has never renovated the interior. As they move into their retirement years and begin welcoming grandchildren, their desire was to create a space that would function better for their changing needs, allow them to relax more at home and enjoy opening up their home to entertaining.
The couple has worked hard over the years and has saved their money for this renovation. As you can imagine, it has been an emotional process for everyone. Whole home renovations bring about an exorbitant amount of change, which can be a very trying process. Needless to say, it was important to take time in making decisions and ensure that everyone involved was happy with selections. The renovation is so important to this family and rightfully so. They are doing this once, no second takes. That is why it was so important to hire an interior designer. They needed someone to help them visualize their space, someone to help them choose products in budget and someone to help oversee the construction process. They weren’t driven by the materiality that the design world can portray, they were driven to find design elements that were pleasing to them within budget, that would suit their needs.
This has been such a satisfying process for me because at the end of each day, I know that I am leaving a lasting impression on this family. Their lives will be forever changed by the work that we’ve done together. They will soon have a home that will allow them to grow old gracefully with their changing needs. Just knowing that I have been able to touch their lives in such a special way, is as rewarding as it gets.