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Musings of a Designer

October 24, 2017

As a designer, I always have clients and friends who think I must have the most fabulously decorated home, detailed to perfection.  The truth is, in my own home I probably under-decorate. I like things understated, to look as though a lot of thought went into it, (kind of like my wardrobe)vases when essentially, its simple and pleasing to the eye. Items in my home have meaning to me, such as the various hurricane vases that hold memories of trips such as collected sand dollars and beach glass, wine corks from fun times with family and friends, or a collection of cards I’ve received from happy clients. I want my home to be comfortable, welcoming, livable colorful, but not museum-like where you can’t sit on the furniture or go into a room.

I know verredy well that furniture gets dinged, clawed at and ripped. Depending on what it is, I will purchase very good quality long term items such as a dining table or couch, and other times I bring in consignment or thrift finds, suwhitedrawersch as my red metal storage cabinet that once graced someone’s garage, or this adorable cabinet pictured to the right, abandoned near the lake, and lovingly restored.

My family can attest that I am an extremely picky buyer of all that comes into the house (the dreaded “ask mom if she’ll allow it!”). If I’m looking to replace something such as an entryway rug, a couch or to fill a recently vacant space, I will leave it be until I find the prefect piece for it.

To me, less is more. I so love working working with clients on a daily basis shopping for the perfect tile, rug, couch or cabinet, but for our home, it can be a painstaking process for me.

couchThis couch is a recent purchase. I’d been looking for a long time, and this literally jumped out at me as I was walking through Pottery Barn. We do let our animals enjoy the furniture too!

I encourage you to bring into your home pieces you love that have meaning, memories or that make you happy. You never know when that perfect piece will come into your life. We found the dresser pictured below many years ago in a junk shop, and it was on it’s last legs. We had it lovingly restored and have loved it every since.

Here’s to loving our homes!

dresser

 

 

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I recently was asked my opinion on what a homeowner should do with her brick fireplace. She felt it was dated and she was looking for ideas. This got me thinking about how we can deal with these architectural features.
 
There are many different types of bricks, including concrete bricks and fly ash clay,  burnt clay, sand lime, and engineer bricks. According to TheBalance.com, bricks provide aesthetic, strength, porosity, fire protection, sounds attenuation, insulation, and excellent wear resistance.
chunkymantle
 
Here are some ways to work around brick from a design standpoint:
 
1.  Leave the brick as-is and add a chunky mantle. Sometimes I love brick, sometimes I don’t. If it lends itself to the history of the home or building, you may want to keep it. Can it be cleaned? Can you add a mantle to bring more attention to the fireplace, but yet play down the brick?  
2.  Paint it. Can the brick be accented or down played by painting it a deep color or white? What about a white wash enabling the brick to peek through? We once had a client who hated her 1950’s white stone fireplace.  It was in a midcentury home and I felt it added to the architecture of the home. In this instance, instead of painting the stone, we painted the walls an icy blue, which made the stones stand out, she found a new appreciation and now considers this a focal point of her home.
fireplace
 
3.  Drywall it. Another solution is to drywall over the brick and start fresh. Sometimes it just doesn’t work with the decor or lends itself to the space, and this can be a solution to start fresh. Once dry walled over, you can start fresh with tile or ledger stone, or just paint it.  Adding an mantel and artwork is a must as well! fireplacedrywall
 
A fireplace facelift can refresh your living space with a much needed updated look and feel. These are just a few ways to transform your hearth to become the heart of your decor! 
 

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What Inspires You?

July 18, 2017

We are around color every day whether it’s at a client’s home, out and about in town, or out in nature!  I find a lot of inspiration from nature especially.  Here is a great tool from Sherwin Williams  called Color Snap.  You can snap a photo and the app will pull up corresponding colors from […]

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Furniture: Bringing a Family Together

June 19, 2017

Most of my design time is spent in the remodeling world, specifying products and project managing remodels of bathrooms, kitchens, whole homes and partial homes, which I adore doing!  While I may not be decorating a room with furniture as often, I still know the importance of furniture and how it can set the tone […]

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Ten Tips for Choosing the Perfect Paint Color

May 21, 2017

By Kelly DuByne Over the years I have done hundreds of color consults. The basis of all my home designs – whether hanging art, furnishing a room, or doing a remodel – starts, and essentially ends, with color. Most people love color, but they are overwhelmed by all the possibilities, and thus choose to do […]

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Oh! The Places We’ll Grout!

February 20, 2017

Grout actually has an important job to do. It locks tiles in place, keeps water out, and provides a decorative finished look. “Not only does grout fill the voids, it makes the floor, wall, or countertop stronger by bonding the tiles together and preventing the edges of a tile from chipping and cracking,” says David […]

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Backsplashes Add a Splash!

January 29, 2017

By Kelly DuByne Tile is almost always involved in our remodels.  For kitchens in particular, there is always a backsplash of some sort.  Backsplashes are most often the last of the finishes selected after the cabinets, flooring and counter selection.  Backsplashes can be subdued and blend in with the other finishes or the wall paint, […]

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How the Pantone 2017 Color of the Year Can Benefit You

December 18, 2016

By Kelly Dubyne Pantone announced the color of the year for 2017 in early December.  You may not think the color of the year has much significance but I am going to share with you how you can use it to make a positive difference in your life. As a designer, I get downright giddy […]

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Color of the Year Forecast for 2017

November 20, 2016

By Kelly DuByne Every year, those of us in the design world love to think about what the color of the year for the upcoming year could be. Plenty of companies release their own color of the year, from paint companies like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams to clothing companies and even paper companies. Sherwin […]

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Doors: Opening Design Possibilities

April 26, 2016

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger Windows and floors and doors, oh my! Windows and floors and doors, oh my! We all remember a similar rhyme from childhood (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but now that we are adults, this revised version is probably a more accurate depiction of what scares us. Of these three design […]

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