Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fear of Color? The Designer is “in”.

Chromatophobia –or- Chromophobia is defined as the “fear of colors”. Sadly, there appear to be a great number of sufferers of this tragic disease*.  Though I say this slightly tongue-in-cheek, I do think that in general there are a large number of people that get completely bogged down by color choices.

I’d like to address one of many simple, inexpensive ways to add color to your rooms. Wait for it…Pillows! I am a great believer in purchasing quality furnishings. And since higher quality pieces generally come with a higher price-tag, it is important to choose things that will last. Choosing neutral colors for larger pieces can make them useful for a longer period, but sometimes doesn’t add the interest you’d like in a room. Enter the ACCENT PILLOW…paired with a little paint and the appropriate artwork accent pillows can add much color, texture and depth to your d├ęcor. They don't have to be expensive - just pick something interesting - whether it has fabulous color or touchable texture, go for maximum impact.

Here are just a few beautiful choices. Click on the link to take you to the related website!


Bliss Studios: Contact me for pricing!

Jonathan Adler

Crate & Barrel

Bliss Studios: Contact me for pricing!

Pottery Barn

Orange Plush

Bliss Studios: Contact me for pricing!

World Market

Crate & Barrel

Orange Plush
Bliss Studios: Contact me for pricing!

Crate & Barrel
Orange Plush

So go ahead and layer your beiges, but don’t be afraid to play with color. Changing your pillows with the seasons is fun and inexpensive way to keep things fresh.

And if you still can’t make a decision, pick up your phone and call and interior designer to help!

*Disclaimer: Writer has done no research on actual sufferers of this disease and has no malicious intent to cause distress.

Mid-Century EclecticTM. Modern Design. Contemporary Design. Traditional Design. Inspired Design.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top 8 Worst Decorating Complexes

I have been having trouble finding the time to write on my blog (Designer ADD - oh look! A butterfly...)

Well, the other day I came across this blog from a designer friend of mine. With his gracious permission, I am re-posting it below. No matter what your style, whether you like Mid-Century EclecticTM, Modern Design, Traditional Design, Contemporary Design, etc. its always better when its Inspired Design. That is what professional design is all about. I hope you enjoy it!

The Top 8 "Worst Decorating Complexes" Ever!

In my humble opinion, Interior Designers are a lot like doctors: people come to them with ailing homes that need to be operated on. Some people get designers involved early, such as during the construction of a new home. But sadly, there are a lot of people out there who would rather wait until their home is in cardiac arrest before calling up a designer. Why?

I guess part of it could be attributed to these home makeover TV shows that train people to believe that they can "do it" themselves. It's true, the DIY-style suits some people just fine. But many folks make pretty expensive mistakes as they try their hand at decorating and design. And in the end, what should be an enjoyable experience becomes a source of frustration. So what are the tell-tale "symptoms" that a person should accept a house call from The Design Doctor?

Well, here's my list of the top 8 "decorating complexes" that people struggle with--and the cures for each challenge:

1.) The Play-Doh Complex: You have good ideas but you are indecisive, unsure of yourself and become like putty in the hands of a hungry, diabolical salesperson. Folks like this end up with rooms full of hodge-podged messes.

Antidote: Like doctors making house calls, Interior Designers work with you IN YOUR HOME, not from a department store's sales floor. In other words, they care about your outcome and will work with you dilligently to give you confidence as you make purchases.

2.) The "Ostrich" Complex: You are overwhelmed by the sheer enormority of the process. You admit the house needs a facelift but you have no idea where to get started! Colors, patterns, scale...just thinking about these things gives you vertigo!  So you'd rather just bury your head in the sand and procrastinate.

Antidote: A design professional will carefully dig you up, and help you face the music! They have been skillfully trained to tackle all of those overwhelming challenges and can take a lot of stress off your shoulders in the process.

3.) The "Zig-Saw" Complex: Your room is utterly weird. Windows are awkwardly placed or sized, the room has a strange shape or possesses too many focal points, etc. Folks who try to decorate spaces like this without professional help may end up making matters worse for themselves--and spend a lot of money before they realize the outcome is actually getting worse.

Antidote: Once again, due to years of education and experience, designers are prepared to address these problems and create handsome-looking solutions. They thrive on these challenges, actually. In addition, they are aware of cost-effective ways that can even make previous mistakes look like they were planned!

4.) The "Bottom Line" Complex: Okay, so maybe a lot of us suffer from this complex. LOL :)
But you know the house needs to be updated--perhaps in stages and over a period of months or even years--but you are naturally concerned about how much it will cost. "Budget" is your middle name...and maybe your last name too. 

Antidote: An interior designer can prioritize things that need to be done, create a cost-study for you and generate a time-line. They are also well-versed in what the market has to offer in terms of cost savings--but without compromising style or beauty.

5.) The "Pack-Rat" Complex: Ok, let's keep it real: you have a lot of stuff. Pretty stuff, no doubt. But it is stuff. And you're tied to it for nostalgic reasons. Sure, you want to update the room, but you don't want to throw away hand-me-downs and other family heirlooms because they are special (even though you and I both know full well that that Queen Anne curio is fighting against your Saarinen Womb Chair!).

Antidote: A good interior designer knows the power of editing. He or she can help you find the proper places for all of the more important things...and make them look good.

6.) The "Uber-Purist" Complex: You have an appreciation for the varying design styles out there: Modern, Traditional, Old World, French Country, etc., etc. The problem is, you want your space to be period-loyal but don't know how to go about getting everything to look legitimate and not "forced".

Antidote: Again, this is where experience and training comes into play. Let an interior designer help you out here.

7.) The "Doubting Thomas" Complex: You are leery of making any changes because you're afraid that they will...well...turn out looking ugly. And then your friends will laugh at you. Like...on cruel "Bwahahaha" levels.

Antidote: An interior designer has many specialties, not the least of which is the art of creating great looking spaces. Besides, no interior designer will allow his/her work to even be equated with the word "ugly"! Nothing can be possibly worse for a designer than a poor referral--it can be the kiss of death in business--so you can best believe that he or she is going to take pride in their work. They will be dedicated to making you look good as a client.

8.) The "Hamster-In-A-Wheel" Complex: You. Are. Too. Busy. You know that the room needs a makeover, but you are entirely too swamped with life/work/kids or lack the energy and interest to do it right now.

Antidote: Many Interior Designers have the abiltiy to serve as project managers. They are well-equipped to negotiate and coordinate the efforts of vendors and contractors. This means you can delegate as much or as little to them to manage in your behalf and they will keep you updated on the progress.

Okay so, time for a little honesty. Do you suffer from any of these maladies? If so, why not hire a professional that you can delegate this "problem child" to raise? I say use your energy and time for things that you really enjoy. Or if you do happen to love the art of decorating, imagine how much more enjoyable it would be to have a design coach helping you to avoid making costly mistakes!

So if your house is on life-support, an interior designer may be just the "cure" needed to resuscitate it back to life. Why not call one up for an interview today?

-Corey Damen Jenkins http://coreydamenjenkins.com/

Mid-Century EclecticTM. Modern Design. Contemporary Design. Traditional Design. Inspired Design.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

HGTV's New Hit Show to feature Christine Ubbink

I am really excited to announce that Showhouse Showdown, HGTV's newest reality Design show will premier on Monday, September 12th.

Each show features two professional designers competing against one another to see who can execute the winning design. They are given identical brand-new homes with identical budgets. The winner is determined by votes from members of the public that fit the Developer's target market.

Different episodes were shot all across the U.S., but the most exciting news is that Episode 4 will feature -wait for it...Christine Ubbink. Yes, that's me! *pinches self to ensure fully awake*

What an amazing experience. De Young Properties provided two beautiful homes, side-by-side, in their Ashley Pointe Community in Clovis, California. The De Young staff, as well as the entire production crew, were really supportive and awesome to work with.

Please tune in to HGTV on Monday, October 3rd at 9:00 p.m. to see who wins!

Mid-Century EclecticTM. Modern Design. Contemporary Design. Traditional Design. Inspired Design.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Inspiration. (A little about me.)

Random Signs.

Where do you get your design inspiration? It’s a question often asked. The list is infinite. One of the things I love most about design is its ever-changing nature. For me, inspiration comes from so many different directions. More than once, I’ve designed a room based on a tile, a pillow or a piece of accent furniture that caught my eye and compelled me to use it. I’m not saying the piece actually spoke to me (thankfully, I do NOT hear voices). Its just that what may be seemingly simple or mundane things when looked at in a different light can be a driving force in a beautifully creative project.

Someone once asked me why I don’t wear much color. My wardrobe is predominantly black, white and shades of gray. On the defensive, I responded that I didn’t want to “compete with my interiors.” I suppose it is rather ironic. I do love color. I mean that. I love it. You’ll see. Color produces powerful emotional responses. It should not be taken lightly nor used too sparingly. [Author’s Note: I am attempting to introduce color into my wardrobe, its just slow-going.]

Texture and shape evoke emotional responses, too. I tend to be very tactile. I love to touch things. Many of the showrooms I visit are now familiar with my frequent refrain, “I have to touch this.” In museums and art exhibits I have to remind myself to keep my hands down. So far, so good. At least no one has had to ask me to leave.

The list is too long to discuss all at once. Suffice it to say that I truly believe that life is all about perspective. You know: half-empty or half-full…keeping the mind open provides much opportunity for simple inspiration.

Mid-Century EclecticTM. Modern Design. Contemporary Design. Traditional Design. Inspired Design.