Design for Beginners

If y’all didn’t know I love interior design! I am in no way a professional, but I am constantly stalking my favorite designers on their blogs or reading their books to gain more knowledge. I was going to go to school back when I was preggo with Shane, but they ended up canceling the class because of lack of interest. I have a feeling if they offered it now there would be more than enough interest. I still from time to time look to see if they are offering the course. In the meantime I try to cram in as much design goodness as I can. Looking through magazines is a classic way to develop your eye for design. Back before Pinterest, I use to tear out magazine pages and store them in a binder. Now most of the images are available online.  

I thought it would be fun to talk about a few ways you can sharpen your design skills. First off, you need to know your style. You don’t have to have just one. I have many and they change year to year. My home is Mid Century Modern. I have always loved antiques and vintage furniture but I was not an expert on this style. Over the past six months I have just fallen in love. There are even different design styles within Mid Century Modern design. For instance, there is a more funky and vibrant style called “Atomic”. I am not super into bright colors so this style scares me a bit. I like the more muted tones MCM design offers. I love the warm wood tones of teak wood and the tapered legs that many MCM pieces boast.

So, how do you figure out your design taste? You probably have a pretty good sense already. There are many different styles but most of those fall into these categories: Modern, Contemporary, Traditional,Transitional and Eclectic.

A great way to figure it out if you are completely lost is to take a quiz. There are so many, but HGTV has a good one http://my.hgtv.com/style-finder/stylefinder.esi. I like this quiz because it has many options to choose from(except I didn’t like any of the kitchens!). I took it and surprise my style is:

Your style is Mid-Century Mod

Open, airy, organic spaces, all about form and function. Sophisticated and sleek yet approachable, alluring. My home is Mid-Century Modern.
   

Now, before when I took this, years ago, it is was Modern Coastal. I like clean lines but not hard/sharp lines. I do not like contemporary design because it tends to be cold and has bright vibrant colors which I usually do not care for(unless in a child’s room). I do like a clean simplified look which is more Modern…with a splash of vintage. I think that is why I feel in love with MCM because it is Modern and Vintage!
 
So…….what design style are you? I love all design….truly! Well, that is a lie…I despise Victorian…but I can appreciate the craftsmanship of a Victorian house. Once you have figured out your design style…start slipping through a magazine or search that design style on Pinterest. A few sites I highly recommend are HGTV and Houzz. They are filled with so much information. If you lean more towards warm colors and comfy furniture pieces you are most likely going to fall into one of the Traditional design styles like: Beach/Coastal or Farmhouse/Country/Rustic. If you like a more vibrant look with unique pieces you most likely will be more Contemporary or Eclectic. Some eclectic styles can even tend to be more of a world traveler look which can be Contemporary or traditional.
 
It may seem confusing but it really is about what you like. I have always had a wide variety in my home but Coastal pieces had a big presence in my home. My bathroom now is the only place you will see two lonely starfish that made the cut into my new favorite style of MCM.
 
Hope you gained a little more insight into the design world. Up next I will be talking about my favorite designers and share links to their blogs/websites!
 
 
Modern:Clean and Simple

Contemporary: Hard lines and splashes of color

Traditional: Warm and Comfy

Transitional: Mix of Traditional and Modern

Eclectic: Unique pieces/mix of patterns
 
Summer

New Addition

We have a new addition in our family actually two new additions. No….not twins..nightstands! Isn’t that exciting. When you are picky like me about furniture and you find something you had in mind that matches to the T…it is exciting stuff. You might remember my Craigslist find awhile back. The Hubs drove to Whittier for a dresser that I had wanted f-o-r-e-v-e-r. It was only 75.00…such a steal. It is a Henry Link Faux Bamboo High Dresser that goes perfectly with what I envision my Master Bedroom to eventually look like. I have had these “nightstands” if you can even call them that…they are from our first apartment. One was  a set of three nesting tables and another a cabinet. They were from my palm tree phase and did not match at all..but I take forever to find pieces of furniture that I like so they worked for the time being.
I searched for months and months looking for matching Henry Link nightstands to my dresser..but nothing ever came up. I also was looking for nightstands that had two drawers..as we have limited space and storage in our bedroom..that would work best. I wanted something with modern lines..nothing curvy..and really wanted brass or gold handles. I had seen a few nightstands that were painted in a high gloss white and stuck those images in my memory bank. Lo and behold..I found the exact ones on Craigslist!!!! They were 125.00 for the pair..which is good but The Hubs wasn’t sold..so one week went by and they were still listed…two weeks went by…still there..finally it had been three weeks..no drop in price. I told Scott I could not stop thinking about these nightstands (this is what I think about while I lay awake at night). He said ok but could I get them down in price. I was sure I could since they had been on for three weeks now. Emailed them and YES they took 100.00 for the pair!!!!! Happy Dance!!!! Here they are:

 The handles were perfect. I cleaned them off with warm soapy water and then a mixture of lemon juice, salt and baking soda. They were still not super shiny but that was ok..these dresser were made in 1972(Thomasville). The handles are brass. Apparently if a magnet does not stick then that is how you know it is brass..good to know.

 Love these legs!!!

 Primered-Used Rustoleum..it was ok..loved the nozzle!

 Applied Rustoleum Gloss White..LOVE!!!!

 And here comes the final product…..

 So happy..it only took about an hour..did not need to sand..they were in such great shape for being almost 40 years old. The tracks inside probably need to be replaced…but overall I LOVE them! Spent 3.77 on the spray paint(4). My Master is slowly coming together..I would show a picture of my whole room but it is embarrassing! MESSYYY!

Summer

Floating Holiday Project

                                  



                                   


Shane taking a pic of mommy’s work too…and the laundry I should have been doing instead:).



Today I took my second Floating Holiday for theWinter. We usually get two that we can take any time between the first of January until the end of February. So..I had grand plans but then I saw my ugly… used to be coffee table..turned bench begging me for a redo. So I decided that I definitely wanted it to be white and then I was debating on doing stripes or a chevron pattern. I knew that my perfectionism would probably never be satisfied with the chevron pattern so I decided upon the stripes. I used left over paint from my hallway and trim. I started at the beginning of Shane’s nap and finished by the end(luckily it was one of his two hour naps!). I am really happy with it. It looks really beachy. I wish I would have done 5 stripes instead of 4 but I think I will leave it. I may add some trim or paint out some other parts with the beige color..but for now it still looks really fresh. It originally began as a pine coffee table with doors and hinges. Then I wanted to get away from the country look and painted it a green to match my “Tropical” theme I had years ago and removed the doors. Next it was painted an ugly chocolate brown and it stayed that way until today. I was glad to do something different today and even more happy it could be done while the little guy slept!


There it is before…ugly brown…I know it is hard to see but Shane looks cute and there is that darn basket of laundry again!




Summer

Mood Board

If you are like me..anything you can create on the computer you do. My handwriting is horrible so if I can type something up it always looks so much better. If the computer can touch up a photo… I let it. I have a bunch of cut outs from magazines that I pasted onto a board for particular rooms in my house. I love so many different designs..I found it best to always put together a mood board to keep me in one direction. I have found though, in my current home that I did not do that yet again and am not really in love with anything in my house.
We moved this year into a smaller home(1,000 sq ft smaller)!!! Most of our furniture fit except for a few pieces..but most of our bedroom furniture did not. We decided to sell it. So, now I have been in search for pieces that I really love. In one of my latest posts I told you about my Craigslist find! It is a Hollywood Regency style dresser. So that is my design direction. I wanted something modern for The Hubs and something Vintage for me. Your probably thinking Modern…Vintage…two total opposites. It really works though. I am taking vintage pieces and painting them with modern finishes to bring them up to date. Giving the furniture a face lift basically.
Anyways, back to the reason I mentioned using the computer to do your dirty work. I found a site that you can create a mood board using your own downloaded pictures or preset images that are from stores like Ikea and West Elm. It is sooooo awesome…however addicting. I already spend way too much time on the computer so I need to be careful. The site is http://www.olioboard.com/. Below is the Mood Board I did for my Master Bedroom. I was wavering on an accent color. At first, I was thinking red, then yellow…then even royal purple..but I really wanted the room to feel a bit brighter with all the gray that already existed. So yellow it is!
Summer