thanks for visiting! As this is my first EVER blog, I think some info on my background is important. My name is Nicole, I am a mother of 2, wife of 9 years and interior designer. My life as a designer has been interesting thus far. I have worked for a large builder (who shall remain nameless ;-) designing model homes as well as an interior designer for Drexel Heritage in Colorado Springs. I have always worked for someone else and am ready to try this thing out on my own. As I find myself currently unemployed (urg) I dont see a better time than now to start the ball rolling on my passion for design. You can expect me to provide tips, tricks, answer questions and share with you the many wonderful design finds I come across. So please please if there is something you are interested in knowing, let me know. and here we go......

Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Small Spaces

Storage solutions are an issue for just about everyone.  There are tons of great ways to make the most of every inch of space you have at your disposal.  Take a look at some of these ideas:

Turn a closet space into an office space

Utilize the space under the stairs

Or under the bed

Put your furniture to work use a drop leaf table (like the one shown), storage ottomans, nesting tables, etc.

Get a room in a box ( I LOVE these craft "rooms") the armoirs even have a drop down work surface, if you dont have room for a full size armoir you can use the smaller workbox available here
Take advantage of the wall space

Put it on display, use pretty glass containers to house your toiletries, or kitchen items like pastas, rice, and dried beans

Turn one room into two rooms with a pretty room divider with storage shelving like this one from west elm


Friday, February 19, 2010

Closet Envy

So Mr. Big says "We're getting married, should we get you a diamond?" to which Carrie replys "no, no, just get me a really big closet."

Ok, so, my closet isn't terrible. I have to share with my husband, but hes fantastic about realizing that girls just have more stuff than guys, well, most guys. So I get the lions share of the closet, and it is a good size.... buuuut.... its nothing like these closets that have me drooling. The closet has transformed from a non-existent space, to a teeny tiny 2'x5' area, to a walk in to a full on room with shelving, drawers, cedar lining, wooden hangers, floor to ceiling mirrors, lingerie storage, handbag display, shoe shelving, ottomans, tie racks, jewelry counters, I could go on and on, fact is I'm totally jealous. Take a peek at some delicious closets...

this one belongs to mariah carey

and my personal favorite


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Turquoise Montage

Pantone has named turquoise the IT color for 2010. 

Heres some turquoise eye candy for you on this lovely Wednesday.

turquoise chandelier kennethbrowndesign.com

turquoise chair www.lpfurniture.net
sofa www.simplyseleta.typepad.com
vases www.southernstudio.com
rug www.therugs.com
door shutters belleslettriste.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Design Myth # 3: Are You Afraid of the Dark???

While it is true that dark paint colors tend to make a space feel smaller, it is more of an optical illusion than  anything else. Using a bit of logic rather than following this silly rule (that seems to be a major deciding factor for many people when selecting paint colors) will help you create a space that is dynamic.
You should always consider the other elements in the space. Is the ceiling low? Do you have dark wood moulding? Is your furniture and fabric selection dark? Are the floors dark?  Are there windows? How much light do these windows allow in? What kind of lighting are you using in the room?

Now, how you answered these questions will help you decide how to paint your space whether the room is decidedly small or not; if you have some good natural lighting, lighter finishes, and cooler lighting a darker color will definately help to cozy the space up a bit. Here are some excellent uses of darker paint colors:

Here are a few other tips to keep you from feeling boxed in with your brave choice of paint color:

Keep the ceiling white or two shades lighter than the walls. yes, many designers think this is a no no, well my friends, they're wrong. If you paint a room a rich espresso color, and you paint the ceiling that color too, you will definately be feeling like the room is caving in around you. While it does help to bridge the gap with a crown moulding to help ease the transition, I recommend adding some crown to a space if your ceiling is low.

Take the bright to another surface. Use a white rug (another brave choice) to even out the dark quotient, this is handy especially if you have a dark wood floor.

why paint? who says it has to be painted? Use a dark wallpaper, tile, or stain

still scared to cover the entire wall in a daring color? Go halvseys, take it 1/3 - 1/2 up the wall and do the rest in a lighter color, or use wainscot on the bottom portion and paint the upper half darker.

Following these tips will make it tons easier for you to make bold choices in wall color.  Dont be scared, if it looks wrong, it is so easy to change the paint on a wall.  Be brave, and the pay off can be great.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Its Presidents Day..

In honor of presidents day, I thought I would showcase some photos of the white house. This is the most famous house in America! Like a living history museum.  Each time a new first family moves into the home the first lady works with the white house curator and a designer of their choice to add her own special touches to the home; but heres the thing, how personal can the first lady get when the home is so historically important? In honor of the history of the United States, it is important to keep the homes interior in keeping with its historical significance. Take a peak at some of the images of this ultra traditional home.

the green room

Jacquiline Kennedy's dressing room

the queens bedroom

The Lincoln Bedroom


The Daily Discovery...

thomas paul

Everything from art, to rugs, stationary, to tote bags to fabric and rugs. I love the designs available here take a look at some of my favorite things.

their pillows run you about 100 dollars for an 18x18 size. these are quality though, the fabric is 100% printed linen, the fill is 95/5 feather/down which makes these heavy duty, full pillows, not like those stuffed with a poly fill insert. Plus they have a reverse image that is completely different, so its like getting 2 pillows in 1. Also, many of these come in several great colors. Like this aqua broderie pillow can also be ordered in beet, grass, lichen, mocha or violet. So pretty in any of the colorways.

I also love his tableware, these plates come in tons of cool graphic designs and would look awesome hung on a wall.  Prices range from 12-32 dollars depending on the size of the piece. I love this portland series:

Possibly my favorite item from Thomas Paul are the lighting fixtures. You choose the cover you like best from about 13 different designs and colors for any of the variable shapes and sizes available.