August 15, 2010

Faux Sho'!

I’m pretty sure that everyone knows that the term “faux” means fake. Unfortunately, it doesn't always get the best reaction from people. As recent as a few years ago most faux items were… Well, let’s just say it. Crap. However, 2010 brings us fantastic faux products. With the Green Movement going full steam ahead, you can now find faux fur, leather, wood greenery and flowers that look like the real McCoy!

Faux Bois-Fake Wood: This a great eco-friendly alternative that looks like the real thing. Buy faux-bois, save a tree. Unless you hate trees, then you are a mean, mean person.

Faux Leather: Regardless of your feelings about the ethical treatment of animals, raising animals for leather and fur requires a large amount of feed, land, water and fossil fuels. All of this causes a substantial amount of pollution. Luckily, the faux options for fur and leather now are not only authentic looking, but can be softer and easier to clean than the non-faux versions.

Faux Flowers & Greenery: With the exception of fresh organic flowers, conventionally grown flowers can be an environmental hazard. Most cut flowers are imported from other countries and can contain chemicals that cause illness. That along with the greenhouse gases from transportation make faux flowers a legitimate option. Just be sure to select flowers made from eco-friendly fabrics. Good rule of thumb... If the flower costs less than $.50, probably not a good fake.

August 9, 2010

Before Selecting a Coffee Table...

Looking for a new coffee table? Here are a few things to consider before making that oh so important purchase.

1. Need extra seating? Ottomans are a fab solution for this problem. They can be easily moved for seating when you have guests and put back with a fun tray when using for a table.

2. Will there be kids in, on or around the table? If so, you want to stay away from sharp corners, pieces that can be easily scratched or stained and glass tabletops.

3. What is the height of the seating that will be around the table? Make sure you don’t choose a table that is too tall or too low for the sofa or chairs that will be around it. Unless you’re going for that Alice in Wonderland feel.

4. Looking for additional storage space? Go for a table that has shelving, storage baskets or a hide-away nook. Old trunks are a great option if you want to conceal the items you’re storing.

5. If you will be setting small items on the coffee table, be sure to stay away from slatted or uneven table tops. Drinks, food, paperwork, keys and remote controls can slip through the cracks.

6. Other things to remember… Wood tables are susceptible to watermarks, heat and cold. Coasters, coasters, coasters people! Consider the feel of the room. Stay true to the design you already have in place. Matchy matchy is a thing of the past. Just say no.

Happy shopping!

July 22, 2010

I Heart Antique Windows!

I have a ton of old windows. All different sizes and styles. I've made one four pane window into an awesome picture frame, used some in my yard and for fence decoration, and now my newest design... A fabulous dark bubblegum pink cork board for my office. I had no intention of starting this project today, but I was working on something for a client and I figured I was already covered in paint, so why the hell not? I chose a two pane window frame that had the glass broken out of it. I primered the whole thing (hardware and all) and then painted it a very girly pink. Sometimes I feel like Shelby from Steel Magnolias when she says, "Pink is my signature color". Not that pink is the only color I like, but I seem to be drawn to it quite often. Anyway, I picked up cork tiles at the craft store and I'm going to attach them to the back of the frame tomorrow. Screw in a couple of hooks and wire and bada bing, bada boom! Hello fabulous cork board. Welcome to the office! The point here is that not only is it friendlier to our environment to reduce, reuse and recycle, but your options are only as limited as your imagination is. Creating new things from old adds character and gives you one of kind pieces that NO ONE else will have. Happy crafting PDX!

June 17, 2010

Size Doesn't Always Matter

A few year ago, a friend of mine mentioned his idea for building very small houses that were green and that anyone could afford. The idea is that they could be built on a very small piece of property, could be moved if necessary and that you didn't have to have loads of cash to own your own home. Fast forward to 2010 and the idea has now turned into reality. Unfortunately, it wasn't my friend who started these companies, but still the same great concept. When I first started reading about these homes, I was blown away. Unbelievably small square footage used in the most creative ways, great designs and relatively inexpensive. Love, love, love it!*mobile*_home

March 12, 2010

Hiring a Designer Can Actually Save You Money!

You probably read the title to this and said, "What's the catch?", but there isn't one. Depending on your design needs, hiring a designer can actually save you money. In this economy, I think we can all stand to save a little cash. Here are just a few reasons to give an interior designer a try (and when I say an interior designer, I mean me):

1. Being in the design industry, I get wholesale costs on MANY products and supplies. I purchase the items and sell them back to you at the same cost you would pay going to the store and buying from them. I also have relationships with contractors, painters, handymen and all of those types. Because of these relationships, I have a better chance of getting a good price and getting the work done sooner.

2. Many people have an idea of what they want their space to look like, but don't know how to execute it. This causes costly mistakes, redo's and unnecessary purchases. With a designer there to walk you through the process, they can put a stop to these mistakes before the money has been spent, never to be seen again.

3. Time, aggravation and stress is taken away from the client and heaped onto the designer. What value do you put on your time? Personally, I cherish the little spare time I have and am more than willing to pay someone to work on my yard, clean my car, etc. They are the experts and get it done quicker and usually better than I could do. That is what I can do for you.

Have a great weekend!

February 20, 2010

2010 Design Trends

Without fail, the new year brings new design trends. This time of year always gets me excited for the changes we can expect to see. Below are a few of the HOT design styles for 2010...

*Vintage is a word you will hearing even more this year. With the popularity of the "Green" movement, re-using items is a great way to do your part for the environment. Portland has always been in the forefront of this way of life and we have some amazing shops with fabulous selections. Shop local and do your part for the environment while being trendy at the same time. Does it get better than that? I think not.

*Wallpaper. Now I know when you hear this word your mind takes you to borders with flowers, grapes and ivy. Not so my friends! Wallpaper has turned over a new leaf and there are a ton of beautiful styles and colors out there. Textured, contemporary, retro, bright, neutral. You name it. They make it. One of my favorite websites to peruse and shop is Take a look and I promise you will not be sorry. This is a great way to make a statement or spruce up any space in your home.

* Warm wood tones are starting to take over the dark chocolate, ebony and cherry woods of the previous years. Think more of the honey and caramel colors. Remember, you can always mix and match your wood colors. There is no need to run out and replace your beautiful dark hardwoods.

* Turquoise will be a big color this year. The combination of blue and green is both serene and can spice up any space. Turquoise's natural aspect is perfect color for relaxing.

*Anyone that knows me, knows I have loved purple from the womb. So, nothing makes me happier than to know that purple is continuing to be a popular color in the design world. Purple is a sexy color that tends to make people think of royalty and lushness. Bring on the tiara!

With all of that said, remember that a room should be a space that you love to walk into and is also functional. It should reflect you and what makes you happy. Don't let someone bully you into a choice that you don't feel comfortable with.