Posts Tagged ‘redesign’

A desk in the office, a dresser in the bedroom, and a hutch in the dining room. This is the way most of us live, and all of them are perfectly logical choices, but what if we decided to change it up a little?

Redesigning a home is so much more than moving furniture and displaying your favorite things. It’s about seeing what isn’t there, and imagining what could be. To believe that a piece of furniture has a single place and purpose is  limiting its use, and denying you and your home a whole lot of fun (and function).

When you take a piece of furniture out of its natural environment, not only does it continue to be useful, but it also appears more important, and the room that it is moved to becomes far more interesting. Take the photograph above for example; if that desk were in an office, it would look very pretty (but obvious). By placing it in the Living Room it continues to be a very practical piece, but it also brings an extra dose of personality to the corner.

To be fixated on what we “should” do, restricts what is possible. Why not:

– Have a desk by a window in your kitchen, a corner in your Living Room or on your sun porch during the Summer?

– Move a hutch or china cabinet into a large master bedroom or family room. Display your family treasures in it, fill it with books, or take out a shelf and tuck a small television inside.

– Use an end table, or vintage trunk, as a nightstand.

–  Put a dressing table by the front door. The mirror is perfect for last-minute-checks, and the drawers can store gloves and hats.

When you have time, take a few moments to think about your furniture – they are, after all, the ultimate working accessory.

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Thanks to Janie Hirsch for the beautiful photograph (check out her portfolio, it is very inspiring).

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Beige corridors, led to beige doors, that opened unceremoniously into a beige (non air-conditioned) room. Optimistically ready for two, new students, a thin piece of cork lined the room, a plastic mirror hung from a piece of string and two curtain rods hung, crookedly, inside two small closets (without doors).
This was my first look at a College Dorm room.   
It’s August, and plenty of students are beginning to plan their time in college. Finally allowed to leave home, the promise of freedom is a teenage vacation just waiting to begin. The reality, is a full class schedule and twenty eight people sharing three bathrooms – a complex life, crammed into a generic 12 foot square room.
With costs being what they are, parents are limited in what they can provide for the college-bound. Admittedly, it takes a bit of planning, but creating a Dorm Room that reflects who they are, and functions at the same time, is not as difficult as you may think.
Rooms may vary between schools, but decorating guidelines are usually similar – minimal (or no) holes in the walls, and no paint.
Here are some items to make it fun and personal:
Eraseable, compact refigerator – share the cost with your room-mate – write notes, and store late night snacks at the same time.
Bamboo curtains – for those pesky, no-door closets.
Removable, adhesive hangers – maximum weight 5 pounds (not for mirrors or heavy breakables, but great for pictures and hanging bags, light coats etc).
Over-the-door mirror – saves time and space.
Mirrored decals – a useful, decorative, option.
Cork or fabric boards – should be used in abundance for notes, appointment cards, photos and any miscellaneous pieces of paper.
Over-the-door hooks – perfect for everything!
Desk fan – a lot of air, for a small price!

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She wants to move the furniture,
On a Sunday afternoon.
It’s always fun to decorate,
But first, she empties the room.

The room looks dull, so she gets some paint,
Decides to tape off a square.
Big and gorgeous, chalkboard black,
Perhaps, she’ll paint a pair?

The paint is drying, furniture is out,
The rug she brings back in.
It’s old, it’s small, but has to do,
Now for the fun to begin.

She pushes the sofa across the room,
Moves the rug at an angle.
Amused, she decides to vacuum the floor,
After finding a fork and a bangle.                                     

Thought she was careful, but not enough,
Looks down at the scratched wooden floor.
No need to fix it, just cover it up,
By moving the rug some more.

The sofa sits on the rug, looking big,
She sits on a chair next to it.
The chair is old, the fabric worn,
And now, she’s gone straight through it!

She picks it up, and throws it out,                                       
With a strength she never knew.
Another chair is quickly found,
Lucky, she has quite a few.

Another chair, another side,
The sofa is moved again.
She stops, and moves it back some more,
some more, then more again!

Decides to have a cup of tea,
To think of lots of things.
Looks at the mess, and dreams of poems,
Of Cabbages and Kings.

Up she gets, and washes her cup,
Determined to finish the room.
She checks the paint, and sees that it’s dry,
Sweeps the floor with a broom.

Brings in a bookshelf, some lamps and a painting.
Pillows, photographs, china and tables.
Arranges flowers and washes the floor,
Straightens the curtains, and opens the door.

The afternoon over, she smiles, at the the end.
Her home is now different, but not a penny did she spend…..
Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/ Thanks to Alice in Wonderland by Walt Disney and House Beautiful for the images.

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Years ago, when I was taking my Redesign classes, we were each asked to decorate an empty fireplace mantle in a clients home. When it was my turn, I was paralyzed with fear. I whispered to Ann (Anderson) that I couldn’t do it. The house was not my style of decorating, and, naively at the time, I thought that every piece had to be perfect (my idea of perfection, not theirs). She whispered back to me “It’s not about you. Stop thinking. Just do it.”

Once I had recovered from the shock of being told it wasn’t all about me, I knew she was right. We all have different ideas of perfection, it’s what we do with those ideas that matter. The other thing I learned that day was to  “Just do it!”  A mantra that now carries me through life, teaching me to analyze the important, but not to hesitate with the easy or obvious. 

Which is where Interior Redesign comes in. Unless you are painting a room, or knocking down a wall, most decisions can be reversed within a few hours. Looking at a room, fully dressed (both you and the room should be fully dressed, it’s easier that way) it is almost impossible to understand how it will look with a different floor plan.

Even if a designer can “see” it in their head, it is often difficult to explain, and sometimes, well-thought-out ideas may change once the room is emptied. It is far easier to begin moving things around, it gives you a better sense of how the room should be. Often the plan changes; the symmetry may be wrong, or the floor plan impractical. If that happens, just keep moving. Play with the furniture. Try every conceivable idea. Don’t stop and theorize about why you should, or shouldn’t, do something. It’s furniture, it’s moveable. Just do it!

(By the way, I wish I could say that I designed the above room, but I didn’t. I love the eccentric calmness that manages to combine several functions into one space. Beautiful and practical)

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/   Thanks to  www.dreamhome-design.blogspot.com for the great photograph.

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Have you been to look for paint recently? Last weekend I went to the local hardware store to do some research for a friend. Two hours later, armed with paint chips and several “helpful guides”, I went home to look (again) at the miniature pieces of colorful information laid out before me. As I got out my pencil and  notepad, I reminisced about the easy, lazy days of Red, Yellow and Blue.

In their efforts to help, Paint manufacturers have given us far too many choices, making it so overwhelming that many of us buckle with fear; after anxious nights, looking at various shades of taupe, we finally end up with walls that look suspiciously like antique white.

Honestly, I never go to the paint store to choose a color. It’s too much, it does my head in. I am lucky in that the colors that I choose are usually inspirational, happy accidents, that I find along the way. I will photograph something, rip it out of a magazine or borrow it from someones house, anything so that I can copy and recreate that color in my own home.

If I need to paint, and I have not found something that I love, then I will go through magazines or the Internet,  looking at homes to see what others have done. Seeing a photograph of  a completed wall is far more helpful than imagining a 2 x 3 inch pigment covering your 15 x 20 foot living room. Often, these beautifully decorated rooms provide the name, number and manufacturer of the paint, which can help a great deal if you decide to use it. If the details are not there, just take the page and match it as best you can (or use the color matching machine available in most of the larger stores).

Paint is fun; explore your options, but don’t become lost in the process…….

Thanks to: www.atticmag.com/…/paint-swatches-rug-style/ for the paint swatch photograph.

Wendy E. Wrzos (who really does love Paint companies) http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

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I am, admittedly, a technological dinosaur. I don’t like    things that beep, flash on and off, have a lot of wires or machines that come with a booklet and an instructional CD. I get by on the bare minimum. I am in the category of people who would rather write long-hand than use a computer. 

Having said that, I have noticed, lately, that most households struggle with the  amount of electronic equipment that they have. Many have multiple computers and televisions; this seems to have just added to the clutter, instead of minimizing it. Mountains of paper sit alongside the computer, and a tangle of wires often creates an ugly image hanging below wall-mounted televisions.

I know these things are here to stay, but maybe we can decrease their impact on our lives? I have never studied Feng Shui but I firmly believe in homes needing positive energy. This is often brought about by  placement, plants, light and striving for a clutter free environment.

Thinking about all of this prompted me to list several quick, easy ideas for controlling technological clutter.

– Organize the wires under your computer or television. Fold them into loops as short as they can go, secure with a twistie tie or rubber band. Maybe they can be taped to the back of your desk or file cabinet?

– Attach wires, neatly, to the wall with telephone cable wire nail-in clips. (These are less than a dollar at the hardware store).

– After they are attached to the wall, either paint them to match the wall color or hide them behind a piece of art.

– Buy black  if possible, it is less obvious than silver or beige.

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