Five Tips to start a decorating project

Do you ever get so overwhelmed with the notion of a decorating project that you don’t know where to start? Or maybe you are afraid to start? Or maybe you find yourself wheel spinning and just not able to make any progress.

When a novelist can’t put words on paper, we all know it is called writer’s block. “Creative blocks” relating to other fields are less recognized. However, anytime you are doing something creative, you can experience a block. For example, in art school, I had a teacher who always said, “don’t let the blank canvas scare you, just throw some paint on it so that you don’t have all that white staring at you.” She knew that the blank canvas could be paralyzing and result in a creative block.

Let me reassure you that this is normal for any creative process, even decorating a room. The four blank walls just like the blank canvas can stop you dead in your tracks.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips for getting those creative juices flowing.

1- Focus on just one room at a time. If you are trying to do a whole house at once, that can be overwhelming in itself.

2- Think of the space and list all the functions you would like the room to have. How will the room be used?

3- Collect ideas and inspiration photos. Pinterest and Google are great resources to scour through tons of photos to get a feeling for what you like.

4- Start by finding one element for the room that you love. Use this piece as a jumping-off point. This one element may be an area rug, painting, bedding, fabric, wallpaper, or furniture.

5- Make a shopping list of all things that you will need.

The artwork was the jumping off point for the colors used in this room.

I hope these tips help you get started with your project. Remember, it is a process. Rome was not built in a day!

I hope you have had the opportunity to read my last post Ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding. I love sharing my whole design world with you! Want more? Don’t forget to subscribe.

Ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding that you should know

I just had to share these ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding with you because I was blown away by a few of them. Please leave me a comment and let me know if any of these sheet and bedding facts surprised you.

cozy bedroom interior with no people
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

#1 Sheets and bedding should not be washed in hot water! The hot water will cause the fabrics to wear out faster. Germs are killed by the laundry detergent, not by hot water. The best way to wash bedding is in a front loader washing machine using a fragrance-free mild detergent. Never pour the detergent directly on your textiles. One cup of white vinegar in the rinse water will remove all of the soap and leave the fabrics smelling fresh and clean.

#2 Sheets should be line dried. If you must use a dryer, only put them in for a short time and remove them while still slightly damp. Drying for too long can overheat the fabric, which in time will make it dull and brittle.

#3 You should make the bed with the sheets slightly damp. This trick will save you the trouble of having to iron your linens.

#4 Thread counts can be misleading. Thread count means the number of threads per inch. We have been taught that the higher the thread count, the higher the quality of the fabric. However, this is not always true. Thread counts have become a marketing ploy because manufacturers have found ways to inflate the thread count to make it appear better than it actually is, such as using two-ply threads. Anything with a thread count that is 1000 or above is probably significantly lower quality than sheets with a more reasonable number. Most fabrics with a thread count of over 600 are a sure sign of illusive marketing. Really what is important is the thread length, quality, and how the fabric feels. Look for Percale sheets with a thread count of 200-300, Sateen sheets with a thread count 300-600, or Linen sheets with a thread count of 80-120.

#5 Permanent press, wrinkle-free and easy-care is NOT a good thing! These fabrics have formaldehyde resin which is a poisonous chemical. Avoid these at all costs!

#6 Buy bedding and linens that are Oeko-Tex certified. This is the only certification that ensures that the textiles have no toxic chemicals.

Oeko-Tex label

#7 Pillow cases in silk or sateen have benefits. If your pillowcases are silk or sateen, you will not wake up with lines on your face.

#8 Linen sheets breathe better than cotton sheets. Linen sheets can help to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Especially helpful for those who sleep hot!!!

#9 There are big differences between fabric choices for sheets and duvets. It is important to know the characteristics of the fabric sheets are made of before purchasing. Below is a guide to help with your selection.

  • Certified Pima Cotton- Soft, very fine, and more durable than most sheets. Most people find certified Pima cotton sheets very comfortable. Sheets made from this fabric are good for all seasons.
  • Cotton Percale- Crisper look and cooler feel. Percale has a matte finish and is very light which makes it a great choice for summer.
  • Linen- The most breathable fabric. A great characteristic of linen is the more it is washed, the softer it gets. Sheets in this fabric cost more initially but are extremely durable and long-lasting.
  • Cotton Sateen– Smooth, thick, and opulent and has a sheen due. Soft and silky to the touch. Elegant in style.
  • Cotton-Poly Blends– Affordable, rough, and scratchy. Tend to be hot. Easy to care for.
  • Flannel- Soft and warm. Great for winter. Pills easily.

#10 Do not use fabric softeners on your sheets and bedding- Fabric softeners coat the fabric fibers to make them feel softer, not to actually become softer. The coating it leaves on the fabric will cause the fabric to wear faster.

Did you get to read my last post on color trends? I love sharing my world of Interior Design with you! Please subscribe to be sure not to miss anything.

Color Forecast 2021

The color forecast by The Sherwin-Williams Company, known in the industry as the Colormix® Forecast, is an event I look forward to attending every year. This year the event was virtual, but it was still spectacular! Staying current on trends is integral to an interior designer and it is always so interesting to me to see how the world’s events influence design. Browse through this year’s color and don’t miss my thoughts about them at the end of the blog.

The theme of this year’s forecast was “RHYTHM of COLOR”

“Rhythm is the secret to how the natural world stays in step. The same sense of balance applies to our personal sense of nature through how we live — and how we design. Fast and slow. Quiet and expressive. Virtual and physical. See it take shape in 40 trend colors, presented in four palettes designed to bring your own rendition of rhythm to beautiful life”


Sanctuary


Encounter


Continuum


Tapestry

My thoughts on these color palettes

I love that this year we see beautiful colors being intertwined with earthy neutrals. I have found that people are craving feel-good colors in their homes, more than usual. The muted colors in this year’s palettes are uplifting. The earthy neutrals add calmness and balance. This is exactly the combination we need right now as we live through the pandemic and our norms and routines are reshaped. If you choose to visit the Sherwin William’s Company website and read more about the influences of these colors you will discover other trends such as the use of organic materials, textures, and incorporating heirlooms into Interior Design. I believe this illustrates how the pandemic has been a paradigm switch. From it, we have learned what is truly important. I just hope as life returns back to normal, that we remember that lesson.

You can learn more about the Colormix® Forecast by visiting https://www.swcolorforecast.com/

Great new topics coming up in future posts. Be sure not to miss anything by subscribing.

chandeliers, lamps and sconces

Great Lighting Fixtures; it is easy to be obsessed

Since January, I have been focusing on lighting to “brighten things up” since the world’s news had been so gloomy. My first post on lighting, “Let’s talk about lighting,” discussed the importance of good lighting as a design element and was meant to open your eyes to the possibilities lighting offers aesthetically. 

My second lighting post discussed “How to know what size chandelier to buy.” Selecting the right size chandelier or light fixture is not a cut-and-dry process, but I shared basic guidelines to use as a starting point.

The Pearson Chandelier-Gold Leafed Iron
from Four Hands. Artisan craftsmanship is visible from each hand-applied gold leaf to miniature bubbles floating in blown glass bulbs.

In the next post following, I explained layering lights in a room using a combination of “Ambient, Accent and Task” Lighting.”   A well-lit room has layers of lighting combining ambient, task, and accent lighting, when used together, can create a spectacular feel-good space! 

The Havana Sconce from Arteriors is a great example of accent lighting. It is showcasing the wall’s faux finish.

Last week’s post was Recessed Lighting; what you need to know. I shared the rule of thumb to figure out a lighting layout while stressing the many other factors that need consideration to determine the correct number of recessed required recessed cans in a room.  

I hope you have learned a few things and have become inspired to think about the lighting in your home! To conclude my posts on lighting, I will finally share some great lighting fixtures made by some of my favorite vendors.

The Ultimo table lamp by Currey& Co cuts a bold profile with the lustrous matte black finish on its round ceramic body.

Great lighting design can make a beautiful room even better! Great new topics coming up in future posts. Be sure not to miss anything by subscribing.

Recessed Lighting; what you need to know

Figuring out the best placement of recessed lighting is the trickiest part of developing a lighting plan. I take professional development lighting classes every opportunity I get because there is so much to know, and products are continuously advancing. It can get quite complicated with math formulas to figure out lumens needed, the rooms reflectance value, and the correct color of light to use. It is a design element that needs serious attention. Great lighting has been scientifically proven to help us feel happier, relax easier and focus clearly.

How many recessed lighting cans are needed per square foot? 

The rule of thumb to figure out a lighting layout is to place fixtures 5′-6′ apart. Using this standard a 12′ x 16′ room would need six recessed cans. But with Interior Design, nothing is that easy. That calculation can only provide a starting point. Many factors have to be considered to determine how many recessed cans are needed in a room.  

  • type of room 
  • ceiling height
  • room reflectance
  • beam angle from the fixture

The type of room matters because certain rooms require more light. For example, you need more light in a kitchen than you do in a bedroom. The ceiling height makes a huge difference. Just adding 2 feet to your ceiling height can double the amount of light needed. Room reflectance has to do with how the light bounces off the surfaces in the room. A white-walled room will require fewer recessed cans than a room painted a dark color. Kitchens with light countertops will require fewer recessed cans than those with dark countertops. The last factor is the beam angle emitted from the fixture. The wider the beam, the more area the light will cover.  

To make sure you have adequate lighting and not too much lighting, use the general standard, adjust according to the other factors mentioned and READ THE SPECS FROM THE MANUFACTURER ON THE PRODUCT YOU ARE USING!!! Planning is essential.

Did you get to read my last few posts on lighting? My first lighting post, “Let’s talk about lighting,” discussed the importance of good lighting as a design element. My second post discussed “How to know what size chandelier to buy.” Last week we discussed layering lights in a room by using a combination of “Ambient, Accent and Task” lighting.”

I love sharing my whole design world with you! Want more? Don’t forget to subscribe.