Category Archives: Inspiration

Get Rid of Your Boring Living Room Once And For All

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Design Within Reach has paired with one of my favorite home decorating on-line inspirational magazines, Houzz.com to bring you an opportunity of a lifetime.  If you love modern, transitional design styles, sign up to WIN a modern living room makeover – it’s EASY! Get the details here.

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$40,000.00 in Services and Products? How can you resist?!

3 On-The-Spot Designer Tricks You Can Do Immediately to Literally Change Your Formal Living Room and How You Feel About It!!!

1.     Move furniture pieces away from the wall. Come on Nibbles, it’s a living room, not a middle school dance-off. Place pieces so that the conversation will flow naturally, by grouping seating around a coffee table in a circular pattern.  Imagine guest sitting down – will they have to turn awkwardly to talk to one another or will there be fluid movement for all?

2.     Use an area rug to anchor the seating, make the conversation the focal point, soften the echo that hardwoods tend to make, add warmth, color, texture and pattern to the room.  Mimic the rug shape to the room shape. Square room = square or round rug. Rectangular room = rectangular rug (tip: the longest side of the rug MUST face the longest wall – otherwise, you risk throwing the proportions of the room design off)

3.     Place multiple levels of light throughout the  room. Don’t be afraid to have a pair of wall sconces, 2 table lamps, a floor lamp and an overhead fixture in your formal living room.  This prevents shadows, offers task as well as mood  lighting and provides the opportunity to add a variety of finishes and bling in to the space.

When you’re all done – invite some friends over, mix some martinis, sit back and laugh the night away while they marvel at the changes you’ve made.

ABOUT Design Within Reach…if you fancy modern design and are happy to make the investment for furniture you can absolutely pass down through the generations, you have to put DWR in your catalog of home furnishing stores.  There amazing designs, superior service and standout quality ranks high on my list of industry leaders.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

imageLine Credenza

Isn’t it beautiful!!!  The warm, rich horizontal lines add so much detail and character to what could have been an ordinary boxed storage console.

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LC4 Chaise Lounge

Just look at it – a piece of work. Stunning. Artful yet practical and comfortable.  It was designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand and produced by Cassina.  It is the classic modern design.

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Rubic Service Coffee Table

I call it a martini table – yes, I can appreciate a good martini. So when you and your friends are chatting it up in your new living room, listening to music, while enjoying your favorite martini, there’s no need to strain your arm or back reaching for the side table or coffee table to place your drink. B-e-c-a-u-s-e this baby slides underneath your sofa so the top will rest above your seat cushions, in easy reach.

Good luck with the CONTEST Nibbles – REGISTER TODAY!

Focus on Feathers For Your Nest

Some may say feathers are so last year…well I say if you love it – make it work for you.  I happen to still like the many uses of feathers, especially as a focal point for your room. Traditional African headdresses are being used more and more to adorn our rooms.

Traditional African Feather “JuJu Headress

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images via 1st Dibs

This headdress measures 32” across, traditionally worn by medicine men.

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via Harry Daniell

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So I know this post is about feathers, but look at the room below and tell me that this headdress would not look nearly as dynamic without the strong black framed art piece above it!!!  I love the two of these paired together.

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Images – thanks to Moffly Media

I’m so feeling the spirit of these Aztec dancers! I have a feeling the appropriate “attire” is just as important as the moves; hence, the spec—ta—-cular HEADRESS!

image  Adventurous Spirit

Inspired by the beauty of headdresses and motivated by a smaller budget,  here’s a project I had soooooo much fun “crafting” for a client  The idea was born after she shared her inspiration for her desired color palette.  It was an island vacation photo she and her fiance took with a native dance troop, not too different than the capture above.  To have a piece of her vacation memories visible daily, she agreed to mounting a custom feather piece on the wall space above the fireplace mantel. I captured images step by step of the finial product.

2 purchased two feather wreath

I found two feather wreaths in green and plum tones.  The webbed mirror I found will add support as well as a sculptural effect.

1. purchased starburst mirror

The actual size for the frame is 32”x27”.

4  creating support frame 1

5 creating support frame 2

Two fabrics were used. The base fabric added a hint of color and the overlay was a silk burlap design wrapped and secured with a staple gun.

closeup of two fabrics

close up of silk burlap fabric

8 layer fabric

9 wrap layered fabric

10 basic look of mirror overe wreath

I placed the first wreath on top of the silk fabric, the mirror was then laid on top. For extra depth, the second wreath was disassembled and the feathers were laced and secured around the center mirror.

3  disassembled wreath

11 thread disassembled feathers through mirror

All done! The finished project mounted squarely within the preexisting picture molding over the fireplace.  It’s quite the conversation piece.

Evonnes after (50)

Evonnes after (30)

Want to experiment with other materials?

Follow  instructions to make another great faux headdress with yarn.  You will still get the beauty and benefits of an authentic piece, at a fraction of the cost.

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Most of all have fun with it like I did and get creative.   I think accessorizing with feathers will be fashionable for a long time. If it goes out, trust me, it will return in even more daring ways.

Lofty Eye Candy From Coast To Coast

San Francisco via Kind Design

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Who likes a sexy loft?  Count me in. Notice how the gold accent color has a repeating pattern – it’s on the hearth, the end table and the art. The rule: repeating elements within a space creates  rhythm and harmony.  This room is ALIVE with M-U-S-I-C!!! (Sorry, it’s the nerd in me)

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Soho via FFFFound

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Los Angeles via LA Times

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Toy Factory Loft’s, located in the Arts District of downtown LA, is amazing! Featured in the LA Times are 4 lofts, same canvas, unique designs.  All 4 living rooms are posted below.  To see more of all 4 loft’s here.

image Loft 1

image Loft 2

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image Loft 4

This just goes to show you, there’s more than one way to design a space, so don’t be afraid to veer from a settled upon design plan if your gut is telling you otherwise. 

I like designs 2, 3, 4 and 1 – in that order. Which space is your favorite?

Inspiring Visual Decor

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Decorate around a wall mounted TV

What a beautiful living room to unwind or even entertain in.  So often I hear how challenging it is to decorate the space around a wall mounted TV, for fear that too many items will be distracting.  Let this visual be a lesson – A well designed grouping will not interfere with your view of the TV. In fact, it should enhance the overall setting of the space.  Two thumbs up to Lisa Ling’s designer for creating such a functional, orderly and aesthetically pleasing space! See Lisa’s Video from concept through construction to the finished design. You will be surprised just how green she and husband went  in the process.

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How to arrange a grouping of art

Although there are many ways to achieve a stunning effect. Notice the commonalities in this grouping? Although each image varies in size, they all have a black frame and white matting. And it works!

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Less is more

This reading room has all the ambiance for a relaxing get away.  Who says every space in a home has to be filled with furniture, especially if it’s intended to be a retreat.

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Sometimes it’s just about the architecture

When the emphasis is on one particular element, in this case the structure, keep the remaining items clean and simple. Don’t let the entire room fight for attention.

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Accentuate with color

Keeping the walls a light soft gray tone, allowed the homeowner to add splashes of color in blue and yellow. This retro room is fun and easy on the eyes.

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Enliven neutral palettes with texture and graphics

Taupe, gray, black and white envelope this cool living space.  The bold zebra pattern in the rug when combined with silk curtains, a velvet ottoman and pillows and a large crystal chandelier create an inviting atmosphere.

All images courtesy of LA Times, Over 100 living room designs

Have a Little Christmas All Year Long

Why do we have such a fascination with things that shine, that sparkle, that glow and bling?  I like it because it reminds me of having Christmas all year long.  No design element can escape it’s magical aura.  You can find it everywhere!

Wallpaper should always make a statement and this one certainly does.  Center stage is an over sized Vase with fresh flowers.  This metallic finish on plush velvet is to-die-for Linen.  The ultimate glow is this Pinwheel Pendant Lighting from above.

Area rugs help to ground a space and sometimes you want to create an air of polish and  sophistication even below your feet.  For effect, not so much comfort,  throw pillows add a dash of WOW! in just the right spot.  Layer multiples for a balanced look.  Yes, in SOME cases gold has made a comeback.  You have to admit, this faucet is oozing style and glamor.  Everyone can afford a star burst  mirror! I’ve seen them start as low as $15.00!

Why not splash your entire bedroom in silver! Now that’s sexy!

Silver and White bedroom

…or perhaps in gold for the ultimate seduction!

Gold Bedroom with Gray and White Bedding

 Via

…even your kitchen should not escape the twinkle of romance.

Modern kitchen back splash in mosaic tile

 Via

Do you have a little Christmas year round in your home?  If so, tell us where?