Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Has Sprung: Let's Talk 2014 Design Trends!

Ack!  It’s already April, and we haven’t blogged about 2014 trends!  We blame it on this year’s endless winter—and the enormous amount of time everyone’s had to spend thawing, shoveling and de-icing.  In any case, Spring has definitely Sprung—making it a great time to think about what’s hot in the design world—and how we can use that hotness as we transform, update and refresh our favorite spaces.

Here are some of our favorite bloggers and magazines are predicting: 
According to House Beautiful magazine, 2014 will be the year many of us go glam, with a move away from white walls and toward a darker, more metallic look.  For more of this, check out Jeanine Hays “Aphrochic” blog.
   

 Elle.com takes the idea of going glam even further, and tells us to watch for designs that feature composite surfaces that mimic exotic semi-precious stones for dramatic countertops and backsplashes. 

Another trend that we love is the move toward interchangeable accents in big, bold colors.  When used against neutral bases, these pieces have a huge-if impact—without requiring a major commitment and/or lots of dollars.   

Other trends include a continued move toward all things ethnic, and bringing the outdoors in.  For more, check out "2014 design trends" on Pinterest, or catch up on the latest in design and architecture on Fresh Home.com.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

Why DIY Needs Great Design

Think your DIY project doesn't need design?  Think again.

When it comes to remodeling and home improvement projects, there are lots of great reasons for "doing it ourselves" -- to save money, express our creativity, and to turn our personal visions into reality.   Design can help DIY-ers achieve all 3 goals.  Here's how:


  • DIY is all about getting great results without spending a lot of dollars.  In fact, the REALLY great DIY projects make it look like you’ve spent $500 instead of $50.  Good instructions—especially when it comes to design—increase the likelihood that you’ll reach that level of greatness, and enjoy stunning results.
  • Yes, you’re proud to be a DIY-er.  BUT—you don’t really want your projects to shout “Amateur!”—right?  Instead, your ultimate goal is to create DIY projects that look as professional as possible.  That’s where interior design comes in—as the smartest first step any DIY-er can take.                                    
  • The best DIY-ers know that  even when we have a detailed vision of our dream room or space, turning that vision into reality can be uber-challenging.  That's why a great set of instructions--the type of detailed instructions that are included as part of a professional interior design consultation, or, as part of an Out of the Box Room Design space plan--can make the difference between success and failure on just about every level:  sticking to a budget, meeting deadlines, and even fitting space requirements.    

Want to learn more about DIY and design?  Visit Out of the Box Room Design--and watch this blog space!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Do it Yourself Design: It's a Numbers Game

Do it Yourself Design:  It’s a Numbers Game

Three piece suits, 3rd time’s a charm, and knock 3 times (especially if you’re Sheldon Cooper).  
We like to play around with numbers—but when you’re working on a DIY project, numbers aren’t just for fooling around—they can make a huge difference your success.   
Here’s a 1,2,3 example: 

1.       ONE can be a lonely number, but it’s a GREAT number when it comes to the number of oversized art pieces and area rugs that you incorporate into your room’s design.    
Instead of overwhelming your room with a little TOO much of a wow factor, keep it simple, and you’ll ensure that results are stunning—in a GOOD way.

2.       TWO lamps are better than one.  It’s a fact—lamps work great in pairs.  A pair of lamps work great on sofa tables,  and on either end of a sofa.  Have a beautiful buffet in your dining room?  Place a matching lamp on either end, and you’ll love the look!
3-5.  THREE (to five).  According to folklore, science, and even the New York Times, "three is a magic number--of fairy tale characters, stooges, and even cereal (think Snap, Crackle and Pop)."  The same holds true in design.
Want proof?
Group three accessories together on a bookshelf, three candles on a mantle, and/or three smaller art pieces on a wall, and you'll see what we mean.  Not into three's?  Try a grouping of five pieces--you might not get the same "magic" as Rice Krispies, but you'll still get a great look.  


But keep in mind…when it comes down to it, these are just generalities, and all of these items can work in the various grouping numbers.  Your ultimate goal should be to suit yourself—even if it means breaking a few tried and true “rules of thumb.” 
To learn how you can use professional interior design in your next do it yourself project, visit Out of the Box Room Design.  For more DIY and design tips, click to "Follow" the Out of the Box Room Design DIY by Design blog.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Before You Spring Clean...Hide!

We’re all ready for this winter to be OVER, but with a little planning—and hiding—some of us can be more ready for spring than others.   So why should you think about what you can hide--BEFORE you pull out your spring cleaning supplies?  Here’s the scoop:
A big part of cleaning is deciding what to do with everything—especially those things that we need to keep our world powered up, like laptop battery cords, cell phone chargers, etc.  The Out of the Box Room Design solution:  hide them in plain sight.  By that, we mean...disguise, cover and contain the business end of your gadgets—and sometimes, even the gadgets themselves (For example, check out this printer hideaway.  Now you see it, now you don’t!)  Some of the things that we love to hide are...
*Chargers.Hiding technology--mobile phone charger cords  As much as we need them, we seriously don't want to see them.   A great way to keep them accessible, but as close to invisible as you can get:  incorporate them into a desktop file holder.  Genius!
*Flat screen televisions.  Okay--televisions were meant to be seen, not hidden away, but that doesn't mean that they have to take over the room's decor.   A great way to solve the dilemma is pictured" below.
hiding tv
*Awkwardly placed light switches.  You know the ones we mean--those light switches that seem to be "floating" in the middle of the wall.
Check out this blogger's solution to the problem:  http://www.ourfifthhouse.com/2012/10/disguising-bothersome-light-switch.htmlOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
And the pièce de résistance of those things we really don't want to see…        *Wireless routers.  Check out this DIY disguise for those ugly wireless routers that we can't live without (at left).  For directions, visit the following blog:
For more interior design expertise, check out Out of the Box Room Design—and for regular bits of pure genius, be sure to “like” Out of the Box Room Design on Facebook.
And...do you have a genius "DIY disguise" idea of your own?  Let us know in the comment box below!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Before You DIY

“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.” --Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge  might be more than a century old, but it still holds true--especially for do it yourself-ers. So how can you make YOUR vision come true in a spectacular, fabulous way?  Here are a few tips to consider BEFORE you DIY:



  • Consider your skill set.  Before launching a new DIY project. realistically assess the skills you're bringing to the task.  If you aren't comfortable with sewing, creating curtain panels from bed sheets might not be the best idea for you.  If you run into a project that you really want to tackle that requires skills you don't have, recruit a buddy to help you.  You can return the favor sometime.
  • Make time for design.  Make sure you work design into your project schedule.  It’s easy to get so excited about starting a new DIY project that our first step is a trip to the hardware store to stock up on paint, appliances, fixtures—only to find out later that we've gathered the wrong materials, or forgotten something crucial.  
    Save yourself time and money, and...the next time you get that “Can’t wait to get started” feeling, take a step back—and breathe.  
    Remind yourself that a good design plan will not only help you save time (and ultimately speed up the DIY process)—it will help you avoid mistakes, including using the wrong color of paint, purchasing the wrong fixtures, etc.—and therefore save moolah (ALWAYS a good thing!).
  • And our last tip?  Grit your teeth and read the instructions--that's right... Read...the...instructions.  Do this no matter how much you'd rather avoid it, and you won't regret it.  If you Really aren't in the mood for reading, check out youtube for a video tutorial-- and be sure to watch it in its entirety before getting started.  That way you know exactly what  you are getting into and how long each step will take!  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY Tips: Home Office Decor


How to Make Home Work Beautiful!
Okay, we get it—your home office is the place where you work, not the place where you play.  BUT—that doesn’t mean that it can’t be beautiful.  So…here are a few DIY tips on how to make your “homework” beautiful:
 

o   Paint the walls a color that makes YOU happy to be at work.  Do you love the chocolate brown/teal combo that’s so hot right now?  Have you always wanted to indulge your love of all things red?   Go for it!
o   Filing cabinets are a necessary item in many offices. Just because they were beige when you bought them, doesn't mean they have to stay that way!  Choose a fun color, Find a local company that offers electrostatic painting (paint that sticks to metal) and let them give your filing cabinets a new look.
 
o   Yes, work is…well…work.  But that doesn’t mean it has to be back-breaking work.  Be kind to your back. Choose a desk and chair that are compatible in height. Consider an ergonomic chair OR standing height desk if you spend a lot of time at the computer. Your back will thank you! 
And to wrap things up--for more great DIY ideas, don’t forget to visit Out of the Box Room Design and click to Follow our Blog!  You can also find more pics and ideas on our "For the DIY-er" Pinterest page.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Have a Happy New Year--and Start Thinking about Christmas 2014...NOW!

Why you should start thinking about your 2014 holiday décor NOW, when Christmas 2013 is barely over?   

1.  Save that money, honey J


Seriously—there’s no better time than after Christmas, and especially after New Year’s, to get deals that are up to 75%--sometimes even 80% (and that should be considered pretty much FREE, in our book) on holiday décor.  Here’s a great example:  a 6.5 foot artificial Christmas tree with artificial lights for $13.75 at Home Depot.  AWEsome!


2.  Be prepared.

The things you’re running low on, or replace—like the string of lights that went dark the day after Christmas, or the fabric bows or ornaments that are starting to lose their luster—are at the top of your mind right now, but by next December, they’ll just be a distant memory.  So stock up now, and you’ll thank yourself later.  
Stores like Walmart, Walgreens, and even grocery stores typically have seriously good after Christmas sales on bows, ornaments and more.  Even stores like Macy’s, where holiday décor can be a little pricey, start marking items 50, 60, and even 75% off after New Year’s.

3.  Change is good.

Face it:  If you’ve put the same decorations in the same place for more than 2-3 years, your décor could probably use a little change.   And what better way to prepare for that than by shopping for new holiday décor NOW, when prices are at rock bottom?



Whether next year is the year that you finally take a chance and go with all white decor, or you decide to stick with gold and silver, or even purple and red...
it's always nice to throw a few new twists into your 
overall decorating plan. 

Need a bit of inspiration before you rethink your holiday decor?  Visit Polka Dots & Rosebuds Interiors portfolio and click on  "Holiday Decor" before you hit the stores!


Once you've worked up a nice little idea list…get out there and shop—and make Christmas 2014 one of your best holiday seasons ever!