Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vitamin B Boost - Simple Inspiration

I know it's been a while since my last post.  I have been trying to get used to doing it all.  (Isn't that always the case for a woman.)  As you know, from previous posts that I moved my office to my house and it's just me working, no more staff.  It's been an adjustment, but honestly I love it.  I miss the team work and collaboration but it has been so great doing all the designing.  I feel so much more organized!  I am a control freak anyhow and it adds fuel to the fire!

I have a secret obsession of watching the show "Hoarders".  I am perplexed by how someone can become so extreme.  After watching, I immediately throw something away!  I personally don't like clutter and having too many items on display.  Although having lots of things on display can be quite beautiful, it's personally not my thing.  I believe there is beauty in the space between.  It brings adoration to those few precious pieces you have.  Here's some examples of how simplicity can be beautiful and not boring....

The wall treatment gives this room life

Graphic wallpaper and art can always make a space interesting without filling the room with things.  Love the pops of color!

The attention is immediately drawn to the luxurious velvet tufted banquet

Simple and fresh color palette

Love the dichotomy of the old and new

A room doesn't have to be white to be clean and simple.  The chocolate brown walls warm this space.

Love the brown and white.  Contrast is always crisp and clean to me.

The repetition of the logs and the void space between them make this a great art piece.

I am a big fan of white, black and citron right no, so naturally this room is so me!

Love this storage idea!  Simple and Beautiful way to store you things in a room.

You can have simplicity and color.

This neutral palette is soothing

Symmetry is always pleasing to the eye

Asymmetry calls attention to the painting.

Sometime windows and doors are where you need them to be in a space and you have to improvise.  This is a great solution when your sofa has to float in front of a window.  (Hmmm, sounds like another great blog idea)

I hope these simply designed rooms inspire you to edit your decor, or rearrange your decorative items to bring new life into a room.  And remember, the less you have, the less you have to clean! ~Brandy

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What were they thinking Thursday? Bad Moulding

Since my last blog about moulding, I began to obsess and think about all the things I hate that builders put into our homes.  Yes, I know hate is a strong word and I really do mean HATE! It's the one thing that is always wrong when I go into my potential client's homes especially if they have new homes.  There is a science, geometry, scale, etc.. to moulding.  I must show you what exactly grates on my nerves...

This picture should look familiar.  It was on my last blog.  I hate when they paint the small ceiling wall the same color as the wall below.  It's supposed to look like a ceiling not a wall.

Here's an even better example of how they painted the ceiling. It looks like racing stripes!  It's such a weird shape that I wouldn't have wanted to emphasize it in this way.  It's just all wrong!

They really should have not put crown in the hallway.  Especially not as large of a crown and have it end at the opening.  It's better to down play this area since it is just a hallway or put an opening into the hallway so the crown doesn't have to stop like this.

Here's another familiar picture.  I just think this is so ridiculous!

Way too much built-up moulding in that cove!  What were they thinking?

 Another huge disappoint is applied moulding instead of paneling.  It's supposed to mimic paneling but when it is painted two different colors it just emphasizes "cheap"!  The geometry is all wrong too.  Nothing is spaced evenly.  That picture is way too small at the top and useless because you can't see it so high.  The Crown at the top is way too small. Nothing is right in this space. 

Same problem.

Bad spacing of the applied molding.  The top and bottom should always line up.  It crowds the niche which I don't like anyhow, because something very specific has to go in a niche and it locks you in and you can't change your art.  

Bad color choices.

A chair rail is used to prevent chair backs from damaging the wall which then dictates the height of the chair rail around 30" -36" depending on your chairs.  A picture rail is used to hang wire from to hang your pictures so you don't damage plaster walls.  So that needs to be close to the ceiling or above picture height.  This moulding while a good size is in the completely wrong location.  It prevents you from hanging anything interesting over the sofa.  

OK enough with my ranting, here's some clever and out of the box ways to use moulding...

This is a great use of contrasting paint- to emphasize the design!

So modern yet not too modern!

Love the ceiling!

Great idea for bringing color and pattern into a room!

In honor of Halloween coming up!

We need to have builders go to moulding school!  Or have Architects and Interior Designers design our homes like they did in the old days!  Do you have any moulding pet peeves?  Or great ideas to do with moulding?  Let me know!  ~Brandy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vitamin B Boost - Mouldings

Mouldings are so important in a space.  They support the architecture and create the outline of the design.  All too often mouldings are under-scaled.  Here's some examples of under-scaled mouldings...

The crown and base are too small.  I always use a 5-7" high base for a room that is 8'-9' ceiling height.  If the ceiling is 10' high then I like to use 8-9" high base.  Crown will depend on the design of the room and/or whether you need it at all.

The panel moulding is just awful and the pictures should be within the panel not right on the panel.  The crown and base are way too small.

The crown and base are just fine but I would have beefed up the chair rail.  It's a bit thin for me.

Even though the crown is small, by painting it the same color as the wall makes the crown seem like a detail instead of the focal point which modernizes this space.  This is a great trick in an apartment or house you want to update without ripping mouldings out.

Here's some examples of mouldings gone wrong...

The mouldings aren't so bad but it's my pet peeve to paint the small wall at the top the same as the wall below.  It should be painted to match the ceiling.

Here's an example of a built-up crown moulding.  The problem with this is they used the same profile at both tops.  I would have done a cove profile at the very top.  Try not to use the same profile twice.

These are things that should be avoided during the design process not during construction.  The vent should have been redesigned.  Now the crown points at the vent and says "I'm a vent!  Look at me!"

I hate, hate, hate applied moulding to pretend like it is real wainscoting, especially when it is painted a different color.

Way too much applied moulding going on!  

Here's some more examples of how moulding can enhance your space...

The mouldings are the right scale for this space.  The walls and mouldings are painted the same color which creates a back drop to the modern decor.

The nice wide moulding around the door is the right scale for this tall vaulted living space.

The low but wide crown is always a great idea in a space that is not as tall but you want to have a bit more detail.  It can feel heavy especially if you paint it a color like this example, so be careful!

Solomon and Wu is a new "very cool" moulding company fresh on the market!! Check them out at

This is my favorite!

Another great moulding company is Enkeboll Designs
They have some modern, but mostly traditional and period mouldings.

These are cool 12"x12" panels.  All these moulding can come in different woods for staining.

How have you been moulding lately? ~Brandy