7 Ways To Incorporate the Medieval Trend in Your Home This Fall

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Chevron plaid motif first found in medieval cathedral design

Move over Boho girls—Here comes the ladies in waiting! One of the hottest movements this Fall in fashion and design is the medieval trend, and I’m LOVING it!

Alexander McQueen Gown

Fashion lines are focusing on this haute new look which references the idea of protection by using elements in design anywhere from cloaks to metal studs to high necked garments like the Nobility Dress from Anthropologie. The patterns on this dress can be found in the patterns etched into medieval cathedrals.

Medieval Trend Anthropology Nobility Dress

Anthropology Nobility Dress

 

The Medieval period, also known as the dark ages, was a cold and cruel time in our history and we wouldn’t want to revive that! However  during these times alluring and fantastic story dialogues were created and nobles and peasants alike looked to luxurious woven materials, beautiful architectural patterns, fireside warmth and candle lit rooms and other ornate comforts to warm up their cold dark homes and castles. These warm elements are driving this throwback trend and I’m pretty sure that the Game of Thrones has something to do with it too!

Here are 7 Ways to Incorporate the Medieval Trend in Your Home This Fall

1-Try on the Corset

Space Case Design Medieval Throwback Corset Dining Chairs

Corset back dining chairs from Design Master Furniture. Dining room design by Space Case Interior Design, Torrance CA.

These corset back dining chairs come in several wood stains and lots of fabric options. The fabric seen here was custom selected to repeat the patten of the vintage style tiles in this home. In the medieval days corseting and laces were used on everything from shoes and clothing to utilitarian objects such as saddles and knife handles.

2-Layer with Faux Fur

Medieval Throw Back Design Trend exhibited in a Young man's room design by Space Case Interior Design.

Old world map focal point and cozy fur throw elements lend themselves to the Medieval trend. Young man’s room by Space Case Design, Torrance CA.

Above a young mans lair is given an update with a vintage mirrored map, plaid and woven shams and window dressings as well as a cozy fur throw. Custom plaid window dressings further drive the medieval trend in this design.

3-Go for the Classic Plaid

Medieval interior design elements

Elegant plaid bathroom tile takes us back to the medieval period of the highlands and their clansman. This bathroom feels timeless.

4-Create a Story with Tapestry

Medieval Inspired Design Dining Room with Anthropologie wall tapestry wallpaper

Island Coastal Dining Room Design by Space Case Design shows elements of medieval influence via the use of a large wall tapestry from Anthropologie.

Tapestries were often woven by or for the members of a royal court. They not only warmed the walls of their cold castles, but they told a stories that often linked the family name to mystical histories and legends.

Medieval Throw back interior design

Example of tapestry dating to c1450 – Hunt for the Unicorn Tapestry.

5-Cozy up in Soft Velvets

Blue velvet sofa

Rich velvet blue sofa against a colorful library wall with layered rugs and a thrown chair.

Velvets are hot right now. Try recovering an old chair or buy a couple new velvet pillows for your linen sofa. Velvets in medieval history would have been a luxury for even wealthy families. We still consider velvet a luxurious and warm fabric.

6-Opt for Heavy Wood Pieces

Medieval table setting in warm dining room

A table set for the court. Long rustic plank wood table set for many with draped faux furs recalls the warm dining rooms of tester year. Eclectic dinging room by Space Case Design, Torrance CA.

This trestle style bench and plank wood table in a raw waxed wood finishes are a great way to add a little medieval trend in the mix and don’t forget to add lots of candles to your table scape. The more the merrier!

7-Consider a Medieval Motif

The quatrefoil, trefoil, Fleur De Lis, and chevron patterns are just a  smattering you can choose from  to inspire dark age design — cathedrals and castles often covered their architectural elements in this motifs.

Medieval pattern inspiration in kitchen's tin ceiling

This kitchen’s tin ceiling pattern draws directly from those age old patterns seen on medieval cathedral columns in France and Germany. Classic patterns bring warmth to a space. Kitchen by Space Case Design, Torrance CA.

Chevron plaid motif first found in medieval cathedral design

Home office I found on Houzz dining the large chevron motif found on the Durham cathedral in England dating to c1093.

Chevron columns medieval throw back design

Picture of Durham cathedral from c1093 found on Pinterest.

So now go cozy up with a nice jeweled chalice of mulled wine and re-watch Game of Thrones. How better to continue to inspire this new medieval trend.

5 Must Dos For a Successful Kitchen Remodel

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If we are lucky, we might get to design and remodel a kitchen one or two times in our lives. And, with the kitchen being the heart of the home, we need to ensure a durable and timeless kitchen design is achieved before embarking on a build out. Below I share with you the 5 Must Dos For a Successful Kitchen Remodel.

1. Maximize Storage
“More storage” is almost always the first request that I hear from a client when embarking on a kitchen remodel. We must have space to put everything in order to keep a kitchen looking clean and attractive. I suggest selecting cabinetry with new storage technology such as a floor to ceiling pull out style pantry and skinny built-in pullouts for oils and spices. Also be sure to create a smart custom design to maximize all possible storage areas that are unique to your kitchen and floor plan.

Tall Kitchen Pull-Out

Floor to ceiling pantry pull-out creates tones of dry food storage and saves space in the kitchen taking up only 8-15″ of wall space.

2. Bring in Light
The kitchen is a room that must be well lit in all functional areas as well as have elements of drama for an atmospheric feel and beauty. A kitchen requires a layering of natural and simulated lighting elements. Best kitchen lighting plans will contain recessed and spot lights at the perimeters of the plan, pendant lighting over islands and peninsulas, task and under cabinet lighting as well as natural light from windows. I recommend that all lighting be dimmable so that you can create the mood.

Overhead lighting was changed out to LED for optimum brightness and efficiency. Glass door cabinets were equipped with rope lights inside and under cabinets lights were added to give the travertine splash a natural glow. All in all the lighting updates made a significant impact in the kitchen.

Manhattan Beach Kitchen Before Photo

BEFORE The Remodel

3. Opt for High Contrast Selections
Contrast is an integral element of design, however it’s key in the kitchen. Contrasts of shadow, light, and color as well as smooth and patterned textures will create excitement and help direct the eye to the important elements of the room. For example, a black and white kitchen theme with elements of wood and a splash of color is an excellent timeless choice.

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Black, white and yellow are a beautiful in this kitchen–contrasting colors and tones are exciting and bold.

4. Choose Durable and Water Resilient Materials
This seems an obvious one, but still, material choice needs to be a concentrated item of focus when planning a kitchen. For example, wood counters are rich, warm and cost-effective, but they are not recommended for use near a sink. White marble is glamorous but if flaws in the stone overtime will bother your eyes, then it’s not for you. Travertine is a material often used in kitchen design; however it’s porous, absorbs dirt and food and is best kept away from the cook top and prep areas. All materials can be a consideration if you love them, but be sure to consider where they are going and how they will be used. Consult with a designer to ensure the best choices are made.

This kitchen is set up for years of beauty and function. Designer chose durable granite for main counter tops with a highly cleanable subway tile splash. Wood was set atop island where it could be used for prep or table top service. Floor are coated coated and sealed for easy clean up.

This kitchen is set up for years of beauty and function. Designer chose durable granite for main counter tops with a highly cleanable subway tile splash. Wood was set atop island where it could be used for prep or table top service. Floor are coated coated and sealed for easy clean up.

5. Integrate Your Kitchen Design to Coordinate with the Style of Your Home

Beautiful home designed by Kohler with kitchen design flowing flawlessly into dinging room and then formal living room.

Beautiful home designed by Kohler with kitchen design flowing flawlessly into dinging room and then formal living room.


It can be tempting to create a modern commercial style kitchen with sleek metal and glass elements, but wait—what does the rest of your house look like? Is your home prairie style, craftsman, cape cod, or Spanish? With so many style choices available to us, it is becoming more and more important to make sure that we coordinate our new selections with the existing style of the home and its interior spaces. Designing a kitchen that is too much of a departure from the existing exterior and interior style of the home can actually devalue your property. There are many ways to bring a kitchen up-to-date both functionally and visually and still keep its design cohesive.

 

 

7 Best Ways to Update Your Home in 2014

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We have made our way through the winter season and Spring is upon us. I have had a chance to take a look back at the last several months of furniture and accessory product releases, top design market trends and news and have come up with the 7 Best Ways to Update Your Home in 2014–I share them with you below.

1. Make Bold Choices

Whether you are buying a new sofa or changing the paint in a room–make bold choices. Choose black instead of grey, or navy instead of a soft blue. Check out the 2014 Pantone colors and see the colors that top industry designers and trend setters are picking now. Choose bold colors that are classic for a timeless and striking look.

Gorgeous floating navy cabinet. Image found on Pinterest.

Gorgeous floating navy cabinet. Image found on Pinterest.

 

Space Case Design Concept Rendering of a Dining Room in Manhattan Beach

Our own rendering of a new built-in formal dining room where we have chosen a bold blue velvet for the fabric on the tufted seat back.

2. Choose Stylized and Artful Patterns

Flowers and traditional damask prints have always been in, but the hot new thing is the stylized version of these patterns. Think back to the 20s, when Art Deco designers such as Renee Macintosh stylized the flower into something sculptural. These floral patterns are gorgeous and graphic. They strike the eye with vigor. Also, look for patterns that have an artistic flair. Maybe it’s a watercolor painted shell pattern or an enlarged and cropped version of a traditional damask print. These artful and stylized versions of patterns will give your space a more custom curated and higher-end look.

Bedroom with Stylized Damask Accent Pillow

Atlanta interior designer Nancy Warren uses a backdrop of cream and black to set off pops of the hot new Pantone color tangerine tango. Photo credit: Emily Followill

3. Lose a bit of the Lawn to Something more Sculptural

Want to update your curb appeal and lower your water bill? Great! Then choose to lose a bit of your front lawn to something beautiful and sculptural such as a well designed area of paver stones or even a carved out trail of decomposed granite to replace the traditional lawn path. Also, stop by your local nursery to discuss your options for a native ground-cover plant. Often times ground-covers can be more creatively landscaped and will require much less water than a traditional grass lawn.

Cement paver stones create a hexagon pattern patio in the lawn. Photo by Conde Nast found on Pinterest.

Cement paver stones create a hexagon shaped patio in the lawn. Photo by Conde Nast found on Pinterest.

 

Clean California landscaped front yard with decomposed granite in place of traditional lawn.

Clean California landscaped front yard with decomposed granite in place of traditional lawn.

4. Choose Wallpaper Instead of Paint to Create Rich and Luxurious Spaces

Wallpaper is back, and truthfully for top designers it was never out. However, wallpaper has made its way back into the mainstream, but this time, instead of using it in every room of the house, we are incorporating it into niches and nooks for a punch of texture or play on pattern. We are using it for Wow Factor in the design of small spaces and powder rooms. Paint gives us a saturation of color, but its flat –2 D. Wallpaper accents here and there will give you an eye popping 3D effect. They are a must if you seek a more rich and sumptuous feeling environment.

Cheerful kitchen incorporates a wall of lattice style paper.

Cheerful kitchen incorporates a wall of paper with a beautiful lattice effect. Design by Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC. Image found on Pinterest.

5. Incorporate Both of Your Styles into the Home

When it comes to a family home redesign, I’m sure that most design and build professionals will agree, that 9 times out of 10, it’s the lady of the house that works with us on decor approvals and the decorative aspects of the home. However, this is changing. We are seeing more and more, that men want to be involved in the decor process. They want a touch of their style in the home too. This is a fantastic happening as it allows us to create a well balanced home design with both rich masculine and soft feminine traits which essentially aids us in achieving the most timeless of looks.

Our new concept rendering for a beautiful Manhattan Beach kitchen which features a well balanced, masculine and feminine design approach. The rich grey, honed, American Mist countertops are set atop both white cabinets and a contrasting wood grain island. The backsplash will be Calacutta Paonazzo white marble slab and will add a polished elegance to the mix.

Our new concept rendering for a beautiful Manhattan Beach kitchen which features a well balanced, masculine and feminine design approach. The rich grey, honed, American Mist countertops are set atop bright white cabinets and a rich, contrasting, wood grain island. The backsplash will be Calacutta Paonazzo white marble slab and will add a polished elegance to the mix.

Well balanced loft design. Image from on Pinterest.com

Well balanced loft design. Image from on Pinterest.com


6. Replace a standard wall outlet with a U Socket

The new U-Socket wall plug has two built-in USB ports to power devices that can be charged via USB. This includes iPhones, gaming devices, digital cameras, Kindles, iPads and other mobile computers. The U-Socket also has a smart sensor that allows it to shut off when the device is fully charged which prevents electrical vampire drain–another step toward a greener planet!

USocket can be found at FastMac.com - This in wall image of USocket was found on Pinterest.

USocket can be found at FastMac.com – This in wall image of USocket was found on Pinterest.

7. Choose Light Toned Woods

For nearly a decade, the traditional dark tones of mahogany and cherry dominated the wood and furniture markets. In the past several years, we have seen light toned woods emerge and become more and more in demand. This year, we are further witnessing the lightening up of the main material choices of the home. Wood cabinets and flooring as well as tile and stone options are soft and muted and to contrast that, it is the accents that are deep, bold and rich. The softer and lighter feeling woods are wonderful as they can make a room feel expansive and bright.

Light Wood Table and Bold green Chairs

Dining room by Nate Berkus found at www.dustjacket-attic.com

 

 

 

 

Your Interior Design Psychology for 2014

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Do you love your home and the rooms within? As you look around do you feel proud and satisfied with the spaces that surround you? Do you entertain friends and family in your home and do its objects and colors sing to your style and character? Do you rise, move about freely, and rest well in your surrounding spaces?

British Colonial Family Room by Space Case Design.Or, do you look around and feel a little indifferent to your home, maybe even stuck in the past because your spaces and items within do not fully reflect who you are? Have you made efforts to accessorize for a new look, but with each trip to the store, you accumulate more items that don’t pull off the style you are hoping for? Are the rooms packed so tight that they feel dysfunctional or is there so much space that the home is unwelcoming?  Have you even thought that your home could be affecting your mood negatively or causing you stress?

Have you ever thought that your home could even be affecting your mood negatively or causing you stress? – See more at: http://www.spacecasedesign.com/blog/#sthash.JBqlvAak.dpuf

If you related to any of the questions or ideas addressed in the paragraph above, now is the perfect time to make a change. As 2013 nears its end and 2014 rushes in, make this the year you resolve to do something for your well-being and happiness. It’s very achievable to create a beautiful surrounding which will make you feel great, even on a limited budget. In this New Year, check in with yourself about how you feel in your home and if that feeling is not “amazing” then resolve to change The Psychology of Your Interior Design for 2014.

Manhattan Beach Kitchen After Remodel by Space Case Design.

Manhattan Beach Kitchen After Remodel by Space Case Design.

Manhattan Beach Kitchen Before Photo

BEFORE The Remodel

Here’s my belief about a home. “Home” is a place where you feel content and peaceful and where you function with ease. It is your sanctuary where you can be who you are and it must provide a fertile ground from which you can live abundantly and sustain happiness. A home is a place to look forward to waking up in, preparing for your day in and then returning to. It is a place to live in and create memories in. Home is a place of your own, to be customized to your specific needs and style.

Modern Country Kitchen by Space Case Design

Modern Country Kitchen by Space Case Design

Cute eclectic living room

Cute Corner Nook With Vintage Accents, Striped Chartreuse Roman Shades and Beautiful Hemp Drapery. Designed by Space Case Design

Over the years, experts have conducted numerous studies on living environments, interior design, colors, objects and space ratios. These studies are the back bone of the science behind interior design and they have served to enlighten my industry. For example, there are colors to soothe and awaken, there are formulas that speak to the distance that a coffee table should be for easy reach and flow of foot traffic, there are many things to consider when mounting a TV, from the height of the sofa seat to its distance to the wall.

The importance of the science and psychology behind interior design and how our spaces affect us is quite often not given as much importance as required. A great interior designer has studied and can talk about the “Elements of Design”, how they create function and beauty and they’ll know how to apply these ideas to your space. They will have studied and be familiar with (1) Proxemics, the (2) Perception of Space and the  (3) System of Objects and The Object Value System and how these ideas pertain to creating a comfortable and uplifting environment for our psyche. Without getting too caught up in the theories, what we need to understand is that there are numerous pieces that need to align and fit properly in order to achieve aesthetic domestic bliss. And, the professional interior design industry is here to help.

I do not want to forget to mention, what is most important of all!  When the research is conducted as a part of the process of designing your home, it is you and those who live with you who are the essential subject matter. Because, experts say and it is quite true, that green paint can cast an unappetizing light on food in the kitchen. However, if the color green is one which you and your family associate with the most pleasant of times, then maybe green is to be considered for your kitchen.

Vintage Modern Bathroom and Vanity

Vintage Modern Bathroom and Vanity (Her Side) by Space Case Design

Steam Shower

Steam Shower and Custom Roman Shade Lets in the Light. By Space Case Design

The psychology of design is complex and has many facets. Its roots are  based on the psychological make-up and welfare of the people dwelling in a space and exceptional interior design must be personally created for you. After all, it’s your life and your space that you live in every day. You deserve a home that is good for you, body and soul.

1. Proxemics–the study of varying patterns of physical proximity in human or animal populations, esp. their role in social interaction and their effect on behavior.
2. From Encyclopedia Britannica Online–Space perception, process through which humans and other organisms become aware of the relative positions of their own bodies and objects around them. Space perception provides cues, such as depth and distance, that are important for movement and orientation to the environment. Human beings have been interested in the perception of objects in space at least since antiquity. It was popularly thought in ancient Greece that objects could be seen because they emitted what was imagined to be a continuous series of extremely thin “membranes” in their own image; these fell upon the eye and merged into the picture that was perceived.
3. Object Value System is an idea which comes from Jean Baudrillard. The idea is discussed here: http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/baudrillard.collecting.pdf

 

 

Space Case Design’s 10 Favorite Ways to Live Large in a Small Space

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Small space living is on the rise in these times compared to previous decades. Many people are choosing a more intimate dwelling as an aim to reduce their carbon footprint and live within their means. Some are choosing to downsize to a small living space to make life easier and more manageable. No matter what the reason for choosing to do so, there are so many amazing ways to live large in a small space.  

A beautiful small apartment design

A beautiful small apartment design offers all the conventions of a home twice its size.

In small rooms we need to make sure that every piece of furniture serves as many purposes as possible. A designer needs to be creative about how to use walls and open space to incorporate additional living centers in which one can enjoy themselves and live fully.  Below, I share Space Case Design’s 10 Favorite Ways to Live Large in a Small Space. 
1. Define an Entry –There are many ways to create a defined entry in a small space. Having a place to land upon walking in will keep clutter from merging into other areas and overwhelming a room. You might define an entry with a small console near the front door or a few shelves on the wall with storage baskets below. If that is not possible then it could be as simple as a hook for your coat and bag and a wall mounted inbox for mail. The idea is to create a landing area so that everything in your arms doesn’t end up on the bed or the floor. 

Small Space Living

Small console defines an entry, provides storage and a landing strip for everyday items.

2. Choose multi-purpose Furniture pieces –For example, use a drop leaf table to double as a display and an eating area. In a very small space plan, a drop leaf table can provide a console like display and focal point wall as well as a functional place to eat for 2-6 guests. This configuration can work in an entry/dining room and kitchen/dining room configuration.Try to find furniture that does more than one thing: an ottoman that also provides storage or a bench to sit on, put your tv on, or store baskets underneath.

Drop leaf table design.

Cute and cheerful drop leaf table. Design by Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.

3.  Create More Wall Space with a Room Divider, Screen or Curtains –Screens are a wonderful way to create needed wall space in a small room. When walking into a home that has an open space living plan, a screen can be placed near the door to create the illusion of a formal entry. Screens are also a useful item to use when floating furniture in the middle of a space to create a wall where there isn’t one. Finally, a set of curtains can add a feeling of walls to a room as well as add privacy.

Room curtains to divide a room

Curtains create a wall where there is none and serve as a beautiful divider the small space.

Room Screen Design

Floating furniture backed by a room screen creates a wall in an open space.

4. Use Sofas, Beds and Other Furniture to Create Floating Furniture Arrangements–In a small bedroom we must get creative with the space. What we are aiming for are multiple living centers within a room whenever possible. We need the bedroom to function as more than just a place to sleep.  In this bedroom, the designer pushed the bed up against the window and added a desk to the end. In the following image, the room is narrow and the end of the bed serves as the perfect place for a chest of drawers. The designs are well balanced and the furniture fits the scale so it all works. Adding seating to the end of a bed or a bench to the wall if there is room, is also a wonderful idea to make a bedroom more functional and add visual points of interest which make a space feel larger.

Desk at the end of the bed.

A desk at the end of the bed turns a place to sleep into a multifunctional space to enjoy.

Dresser at the end of the bed

Dresser at the end of the bed in a narrow room is brilliant design.

Use the back of the sofa to place a table or a small desk. It will divide the room and add more function to a small space.

Use the back of the sofa to place a table or a small desk. It will divide the room and add more function to a small space.

5. Add shelves, hooks and additional storage to small rooms-– The bathroom is often a small space when compared to other parts of the home and the vanity and sink area are a very important area in which to make sure there is full space utilization. Here, in this small bathroom the designer has added towel storage under the vanity, an extra shelf above the sink to place items used at each visit, a tiered storage caddy at the side of the sink and hooks for hanging multiple towels.

Small Bathroom Design

Small bathroom design provides extra shelving, useful hooks and a storage caddy to add function to this small space.

6. Maximize the Height in Small Spaces –A great way to make a tiny seating area feel large is to maximize the height of the room. Hanging curtains from floor to ceiling or create an expansive salon style art hanging to make the room interesting and feel full scale.

Coffee and dining table with leaves.

Flush mount accent lighting and curtains hung from floor to ceiling help to make this tiny space feel large.

7. Figure out the Scale of a Room and Select Furniture to Fit–Choose a sofa that fits the room. Often the arms take up the most space so a narrow track arm sofa or armless seating can be great options. Choose occasional furniture to fit the scale. A coffee table can double as a storage place for books, games, and magazines, while the table top itself remains a place for enjoying those items and a refreshment. Also,make sure there is enough space to have an end table with a pretty lamp. Warm and atmospheric lighting is essential for enjoying a small space.

Small Living Room Design

Nice clean sofa with salon style art wall, coffee table and book storage. Great small space living room.

8. Define More Living Centers in Your Small Space by ADDING Furniture and Art to Your Small Space— Yes, that’s right! I am suggesting for you to ADD more to the space. This is a point which comes up often in client consultations. I realize, that it seems logical, that adding more furniture to a space that is tiny will make it seem even smaller. But, more often than not, there is too little furniture in the room and not enough on the walls. Just like in an art composition, it’s important to create a foreground, mid-ground and background in your design. The eye must be able to journey back into a canvas, stopping on one spot and moving again further to another. This creates the illusion of space. Adding the right pieces can make all the difference in the beauty and use of a small area.

Small Space Living

In one open space a designer has defined a bedroom, formal sitting room with storage and a TV area.

9. Choose Furniture on Wheels When Possible— Furniture on wheels = mobility and multifunction. A small mobile chopping board in the kitchen can double as a great tea cart to serve wine, cheese and crackers when guests arrive.

Rolling Cart Design

Rolling cart serving as an office caddy tucked nicely into a corner.

Rolling Coffee Table

Coffee table on wheels and with storage makes for a perfect occasional piece for a small living room.

A mobile island or cutting board with shelves is a functional addition to a tiny kitchen.

A mobile island or cutting board with shelves is a functional addition to a tiny kitchen.

10. Commit to Seasonal Clean Out Parties — Reviewing your possessions 4 times a year to keep them to only the things you use and/or love will help to free space up for better living. Take a look at what is in your closet, cupboards, in the magazine rack. Invite friends or loved ones to come over, partake in refreshments and clean with you. Sell your extra stuff on craigslist, give it to a friend or loved one who might enjoy it or just donate it at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Get that stuff out of your house so that you have more space for living! And don’t forget to detox the bathroom and kitchen. Typically items of food or beauty product should be thrown out yearly.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed Space Case Design’s tips for living large in a small space. Small spaces are among the most intimate and lovely. For tips and help that relate directly to your personal space, please contact us for a consultation.

Five Interior Design Secrets Shared!

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“Want to know the secrets to decorating like an interior designer? I have a group of favorite rules that I use on every project know matter what the style. Whether you’re wondering how to pick your colors, to use your old accents or not, where to find amazing collectible items, here’s the insider scoop.”

1. Paint Comes Near Last– It is natural for one to want to run to the paint store right off the bat as soon as a project begins, but wait! You should always start with your largest items in the room first. Find those items, design your sofas and chairs and then match your paint. The right tones and perfect hues will be easiest for you to spot.

Color and Material Board for Manhattan Beach Home. Fabrics were selected first and paint was chosen to enhance the main materials in the room.

Color and Material Board for Manhattan Beach Home. Fabrics were selected first and paint was chosen to enhance the main materials in the room.

2. Less is Always More– Yes this is pretty much true for most things in life and it also applies to decorating. So don’t fill your bookshelves and other horizontal surfaces with knickknacks and pictures. Try analyzing your collectibles for just the favorites. Which items can be used together to create a theme? Display the objects together with ample space between so that the eye has a resting place before exploring the next item on the shelf. This goes for pillows, throws, books, magazines etc. Try grouping these items together and keep them neat so that they are seen, but do not block the eye from moving onto the next pretty item.

 

Gold canisters on a black Paperstone counter with a white cabinet background makes for a high impact accent.

Three gold canisters on a black Paperstone counter with a white cabinet background makes for a beautiful accent which shows off the eclectic taste of the home owner.

3. Use Your Wall Space to Display High Impact Art & Accessories — Don’t be afraid to use your wall space to hang beautiful art, sculpture or found items in groups on walls. Contrary to belief, hanging art and pictures on walls will make the room feel larger by drawing the eye into the art. Without art, the walls will appear to move toward you, making the room feel smaller. In most homes, I also suggest curating the wall accents to the height of, or centered in doorway and window areas so that the eye is drawn upward to maximize the height of ceilings.

Pop culture art grouping creates a high impact display against a simple backdrop of concrete and neutral paint. Building was designed and built by Space Case Design.

Pop culture art grouping creates a high impact display against a simple backdrop of concrete and neutral paint. Building was designed and built by Space Case Design.

4. Contrasting Choices Are Best for a Happy and Homey Space —And, I’m not just speaking of color. In the most visually stimulating rooms, you will notice that there is most always a use of contrasting elements. For example, in the living room, if you have chosen a soft canvas, cotton or linen sofa, it would be best shown off by a beautiful textured rug beneath. If you have decided on a rough and earthy stone to work with on the fireplace or kitchen backsplash, try setting that stone against a softer and more refined backdrop or surround. And, feel free to play with materials in the kitchen and in bathrooms. Counters are not always best when matching. Often contrast counters will add space to the room and direct the eye to objects in the distance–creating the illusion of extra space. Rather than use the same cabinet color as you have in the rest of your kitchen, choose a complementary color for the cabinets on the island.

Soft blue on island defines the sitting area of this Manhattan Beach kitchen so that the eye can see the functional kitchen area in background creating an illusion of depth of space.

Soft blue on island defines the sitting area of this Manhattan Beach kitchen so that the eye can see the functional kitchen area in background creating an illusion of depth of space.

5. Use Pattens and Flowers Sparingly– I am in no way saying not to use pattern and flowers–they are often used in the very best designs! However, in order to create the correct impact with these visual tools, they should be used sparingly and in combination with other textures and soft solids.

Floral pillow on sofa is set in a scene with tone-on-tone patterned satin pillows. The linen sofa is the perfect soft tone and texture for these pillows to sit in.

Floral pillow on sofa is set in a scene with tone-on-tone patterned satin pillows. The linen sofa is the perfect soft tone and texture for these pillows to sit in.

What do you think of my five interior design secrets shared? Do you have examples in your own home where you have successfully followed these ideas? Please share–I would love to hear from you.

Updating a Room with Poufs, Pillows and Throws

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Yesterday, I returned from Las Vegas Market where furniture, accessory and textile dealers kick off a huge event in honor of showing off their newest releases to the trade! There are three huge buildings filled with gorgeous vignettes in every style imaginable. There was so much to see that we could only cover about 20% of the show, so we had to pick our favorites and go for it. I’ll be covering my findings regarding new trends over the next couple of weeks and today I wanted to talk about updating a room with poufs, pillows and throws.

#RizzyHome Sitting Poufs

Beautiful sitting poufs in a rainbow of colors.

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How to Make a Kitchen Feel Larger, Look Beautiful and Function Like a Dream

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This July we are designing and remodeling a kitchen in Manhattan Beach. The kitchen currently looks as many kitchens do which were designed and built in the 80s. It may or may not be apparent in this BEFORE photo, but the existing cupboard door and drawer openings were not cut to max-out the use of space in the cabinets, drawer glides are loud and rusty and the entire kitchen is operating with no pullouts and old appliances which take up physical space in this not so big kitchen.

Manhattan Beach Kitchen Before Photo

Manhattan Beach Kitchen Before Photo

“Goal: Make it feel larger, update the look to new, and make it function like a dream–all within the existing footprint of the kitchen’s base cabinets!”

In the initial consultations we discussed the options. 1. Gut the entire kitchen for all new, or 2. Reface existing configuration with option of beautiful new sitting island, and all new materials and appliances. The family went for option 2 and that is fantastic for two reasons. It allowed us to repurpose the strong solid oak base cabinets in the main portion of the kitchen and opened up the budget a bit for some gorgeous high-end materials and fixtures.

A couple weeks into the design phase, we made all main material choices and created our beautiful concept.  I couldn’t have been more happy with the direction we decided to go. Classic and clean white cupboards with sleek black Via Lactea granite contrasted by sandy stone backsplash and rustic hickory floors. Plus, our color pop! A soft blue glazed sitting island and stainless appliances for a little metallic glimmer. The design is both contemporary and beachy feeling to suite both his and her tastes.

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Analogous Accents Anyone?

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I love designing with analogous color schemes. They match beautifully together and usually create a serene feeling, even when using some of the most bold colors as you can see in my photograph below. If you have not had an art class in your life, or if it has been a while, you might be asking yourself, “What the heck are analogous colors?” Answer: They are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, rather than contrast colors, which are on the opposite side of the color wheel from one another such as red and blue or green and orange.  Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye. Take a look at the painting within my photo below. The one with the beach, palm trees and mountains. The picture illustrates an analogous landscape full of shades of blues, greens and green-yellow highlights. The picture is tranquil but still full of warm, friendly, earthy colors.

Analogous Accents Anyone?

Analogous Mid Century Modern Living Room, Photo and Design by Kamaren Henson of Space Case Design

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Why Do We LOVE Eclectic Rooms?

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Years back I visited the Le Parker Meridian, a hotel in Palm Springs designed by Jonathan Adler, one of my personal design gurus. He talked about having an underlying idea in his design theme of “Happy Chic” and he thought of the hotel as a grand manner, perhaps owned by his great aunt, where her daughter and husband also had rooms. In this fictional estate the furniture and decor were collected through travels and over time and perfectly set together in a scene to create interesting and welcoming rooms.

Design Elements at the Parker Palm Springs Designed by Jonathan Adler.

Parker Palm Springs Lobby

Jonathan Adler’s Lobby Design, The Parker Palm Springs

Adler’s idea at the time hit me like a brick—I LOVED his philosophy and in a way it helped me to bring together and apply my design family upbringing and my formal education in art history to my own creative style. At that moment, while looking at his beautifully designed hotel, I realized that I grew up loving eclectic rooms and all period styles of art and furniture. And these days, I still find that I love being surrounded by objects that tell a story and bring meaning to our environments.

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