Spring is coming..

With the promise of Spring, it is a good time to take a look around your home and begin to plan your interior projects that you are looking at completing throughout the year. Some projects that you are dreaming about can take some time to put together. It’s why I encourage you to start your thought process, gather photos of what you are wanting your project to look like completed, and then pick up the phone and schedule an appointment for a professional to come in and assist you in your project. We stand ready to assist you!

Major cottage renovation in Boothbay, Maine.

Major cottage renovation in Boothbay, Maine.

Where has the time gone?

Twenty four years is a long time! So wrapping my head around the fact that I have been in business that long is hard to comprehend. When I think about everything that has transpired during that time, it looks like it should be 100 years. I’ll spare you all those details!

I was looking for something in my desk today and came across the below, which I had hanging at my desk area for years. It came from my father when I opened RWAV. Why it made it’s way into that drawer I have no idea. But it will once again be put in a place of prominence because it really helped me through some times. It reads:

Attitude

I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day to day basis is “my choice of attitude”.

It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think about me, or say about me, my circumstances or my position.

Attitude is that “single string” that keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.

Author Unknown

So my friends, thank you for your support and allowing me to “define your perfect living space”. I’d like to say that there will be 24 more years, but I know that not to be true. What is true is I will continue to do until I can’t.

Blogging

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a social media seminar put on by SCORE in Lancaster.  For those of you who aren't familiar with SCORE, it is an organization of retired business folks who want to give back to small business.  

The presenter talked about blogging, and the importance of it along with other social media trends.  She mentioned that it is usually done by those who are experts in their fields.  Which got me thinking, what makes an expert?

I'd like to think that having served in the interior design community for the past 34 years has certainly made me an expert, right?   I don't know.  I know a lot of "stuff" about color, design, construction, furniture, window treatments, but have I become an expert in it or do I just know a lot?

My goal is to blog more often, keep you all informed about trends, and share my knowledge of design.  I'll let you all be the judge on my expert status.  

Thanks for reading, and remember to look around your home and make it the best environment you can for you and your family.

 

Summer Decorating Tips

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer. Here are some tips to get in the spirit by transforming your indoor and outdoor spaces.

Add Pops of Bright Color

When we think summer, we think colors! Bright hues can really transform a space and add a summer feel. Add graphic paintings, fresh flowers or try hanging vibrant plates for a quick and easy transformation. 

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Don’t Forget Your Fireplace

Just because it won’t be used in the traditional sense this season, doesn’t mean it can’t be a focal point. Try artfully stacking leftover wood or display an array of interesting candles. Even tea lights in multiples can make a beautiful display of light. If you’re going for a coastal look, try adding large pieces of coral, starfish, and shells.

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Get Out There

In a previous blog, we discussed ways to bring the outdoors in, but have you considered ways to bring the indoors out?  Try taking some light furniture outdoors for outdoor entertaining and picnics. It doesn’t have to stay outdoors all season but is a great and comfy way to make your yard really feel like a livable space.

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Freshen Your Tablescapes

Add some easy, natural touches to your coffee tables and bedside nooks. Try incorporating natural decor like a bouquet of flowers from your garden or beach-combing treasures you’ve collected. Fruit and produce arranged in a bowl also add lovely touches of nature. 

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Touch-up Outdoor Furniture

Unifying a ragtag patio set is as easy as grabbing a bucket of paint or stain. If your patio set isn’t looking as inviting as you’d like, try adding new cushions, recovering your old cushions, painting or staining the bases.

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Pillows

Fresh cushions or pillows can change up an entire room and make it feel fresh! Simply adding some colorful pillows will make you feel like you’ve made a big change without much effort.

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Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung! Well, it has officially arrived anyway. It’s time to get out and do some spring cleaning! Don’t forget, outdoor spaces are aesthetically just as important as the indoors.

Here are some things to add to your weekend to-do lists to make sure you that by the time the snow melts, you’ll be ready to enjoy your outdoor space!

·         Feed the lawn: Sprinkle the yard with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer as soon as the snow melts to get the grass ready to look its best. 

·         Get rid of the weeds: April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring weeds. Make sure your garden is looking its best by clearing out overgrowth so that your blossoms will stand out.

·         Plant bulbs: If you forgot to plant bulbs last fall, or if you just want to get a head start on summer gardening, spring is the perfect time to plant your favorite flowers!

·         Clean out the gutters: As the rainy season rolls in, it’s time to make sure your gutters are free of debris. Ignoring them could lead to major problems down the road like basement flooding, rotting wood, or foundation damage from all the water that can’t properly drain.

·         Trim the trees: In early spring, before the trees start to bloom, is the best time to prune plants that are dormant during winter.

Lastly, get out there and enjoy your beautiful outdoor space!

 

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A Call for Fall

Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside the minds of interior designers? Well, we can’t speak for all of them, but here at a Room with a view, it’s colorful in there! Our thoughts are full of, patterns, shapes, colors, textures, lines, lighting, form and function. We’re thinking about traffic patterns in your home, how you’ll use your space, seasonality, and taking many other things into consideration.

As fall slowly rolls in, we start thinking about refreshing our spaces. The holidays are right around the corner and, believe it or not, now is the time to start planning! (Yes, even though it’s 90 degrees and humid in this part of Pennsylvania)

This season’s window reflects this thought progression. We explored what the design process actually looks like for us as we start to pull together wallpaper, floral touches, fabrics, trims, furniture, paint, accessories, etc.

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In our second window you can see our designer scarecrow, Mable, overseeing the project. She thinks it’s really coming together!

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How to Stock Your Home Bar (without going overboard)

Alright, everybody gather ‘round. I’m going to tell you the secrets of stocking your home bar so you can impress your dates, clients, boss, friends, neighbors, or anyone with whom you want to share a drink. You don’t need to spend a small fortune or take up a lot of room in your home to be a super-suave host; you just need to have the basics.

Alcohol

Start small and stick with the essentials. Don’t buy a lot of top shelf stuff to try to impress, just buy what you enjoy imbibing yourself. Unless you often host large parties, you aren’t going to need a huge variety and you don’t want to keep bottles around just getting dusty. A few spirits and mixers can make a surprising number of cocktails. In addition to perhaps having a couple bottles of wine on hand, I’d recommend starting with:

  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Bourbon
  • Gin
  • Tequila

Mixers & Garnishes

A great start for mixers would include:

  • Club Soda/Tonic Water
  • Clear Soda (Sprite, etc)
  • Ginger Ale
  • Orange Juice/Cranberry Juice
  • Bitters
  • Vermouth
  • Simple Sugar

If you want to add a little panache to your drinks, you’ll want to get a few garnishes:

  • Limes/Lemons/Oranges
  • Cocktail Olives/Onions
  • Sugar/Salt/Pepper
  • Mint

And don’t forget to stock up on ice! Not having ice would be a major party foul.

Glassware/Barware

You’re so close to being the perfect host; don’t ruin it by serving your drinks in a red Solo cup. You can keep it very simple by just having short glasses, tall glasses and stems. If you really want to pull out all the stops, pick up some wine glasses, martini glasses and beer mugs or pint glasses. Stemless crystal glasses are also becoming increasingly popular.

Now you need just a few tools:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Jigger (that fancy double-sided shot glass looking thing)
  • Muddler
  • Ice Bucket
  • Strainer
  • Toothpicks
  • Corkscrew 

And please don’t forget about your designated drivers. No one should feel punished for refraining from alcohol. Make them something fancy! Sprite is not fancy. Water with lemon is not fancy. Mix them up something fun, put it in a nifty glass, and don’t forget to garnish it!

Now go to the liquor store and stock your bar! The next blog will cover home bar storage. I’ll tell you how to make your bar practical, fun, and sophisticated… this is a design blog after all!

The Dining Room Rug Debate

To be, or not to be: that is the question. More specifically, to be a rug-in-the-dining-room person or not, is the question. Which are you?  

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but people on either side of this age-old debate might have you believe otherwise. There are pretty convincing arguments on both sides.

Pro-rug people argue that a room just doesn’t look finished without a rug. Rugs not only protect your floors, but they add visual interest and are a great way to add a little pattern, color, and texture into your dining room. They’ll tell you that a rug will help define the space (especially in an open concept floor plan). Well… they aren’t wrong.

But the anti-ruggers make equally good points. Rugs are a big investment and if your lifestyle isn’t currently conducive to having an area rug in your dining room, it would be a waste of money. Chairs catch on rugs, babies and kids (and clumsy adults) spill on rugs, and pets do… well, pets do ALL kinds of bad things to them. Rugs also collect dust and allergens and do need to be vacuumed and cleaned.

If you’re in the season of life where kids and pets are roaming free, this might not be the best time for you to have an area rug and that’s ok! If you do feel like now is the time, however, make sure you find a rug that makes sense for your dining area. There are many things to consider when purchasing a rug, but more on that later. And when in doubt, call your decorator! 

Room with a View is happy to help you pick the perfect rug for your dining area. We can order these and many other beautiful patterns to suit your space. 

Room with a View is happy to help you pick the perfect rug for your dining area. We can order these and many other beautiful patterns to suit your space. 

Bringing the Outdoors In

Spring has sprung here in Pennsylvania, and it’s left many of us longing to spend our days outside among the flowers, green grass, and blooming trees. Nature can help us feel calm, refreshed, and connected to the earth. If you can’t be outside as much as you’d like, or if you don’t have an outside space, you can still get that same feeling indoors. There are many ways to help bridge the gap between the great outdoors and indoors. Here are just a few:

Plants

Adding plants to your décor is a great way to bring nature inside.  Adding flowers will let you get a whiff of spring and some house plants even help purify the air. If you have a green thumb, the sky’s the limit! You can add plants to fun pots or unusual containers and experiment with placing them in different rooms of your home. If however, your plants flop over and die merely by being in your presence, then you can opt for some safer, hardier options. Succulents (cacti, aloe, etc) are fairly easy to care for and require little attention. If you fear you’ll even kill those (been there, done that), you could try a faux arrangement.

Here is an example of a live house plant. 

Here is an example of a live house plant. 

This is a wonderful silk arrangement. Best of all, it's impossible to kill! 

This is a wonderful silk arrangement. Best of all, it's impossible to kill! 

 

Animals

Bringing animals into your home definitely adds a sense of nature. Live animals such as birds, fish, and reptiles can make you feel like you’re part of the outdoors while sitting in your living room. Pets require time and attention though, so if you aren’t able to give them the proper care they deserve, you can just incorporate animal-like elements into your decor. Animal print is a fun and easy way to accomplish this. You can also consider wallpaper, works of art, sculpture and even clawfoot furnishings.

These metal bunnies add a touch of nature's whimsy indoors.

These metal bunnies add a touch of nature's whimsy indoors.

Food

Something as simple as having a bowl of fruit or vegetables in your home can help give it an organic feel. Artists have been inspired by this concept for thousands of years. Just think of all the still life paintings in museums showcasing bowls of produce. Fruit is beautiful and is often found decorating kitchen counters and tables, but don’t forget about your veggies.  Instead of hiding those gorgeous beets from the farmer’s market in your fridge, try using them as décor before turning them into dinner. Peppers are lovely also, and a great way to add pops of color.

Lemons add such a nice pop of color.

Lemons add such a nice pop of color.

Water

Few things are more soothing than the sound of water. Adding a water feature can really bring a sense of calm. Small fountains are a great way to do this. If that’s not an option for you, you could try a replica of water. Try framing a picture from a trip to the beach. You can almost smell that salt-kissed air! An ocean painting would also do the trick, or some cleverly displayed seashells and sea creatures. If salt water isn’t your thing, perhaps a picture of a lake would work for you.

You can almost feel the sand between your toes while gazing at this bowl of shells. 

You can almost feel the sand between your toes while gazing at this bowl of shells. 

Color

You can almost make a room fade into the outdoors with your use of color. Look out your windows and notice the natural colors around you. See that row of tulips in your windowbox? Try adding some throw pillows in the same colors. Do you like that tree that just bloomed? Try pulling shades of green indoors with baskets with ferns, dried pods, and other green accents. Be inspired by your view and before you know it, you’ll feel like you’re sitting outside… but without all the bugs.

 

 

Notice the subtle touches of green using striped candles and dried seed pods. 

Notice the subtle touches of green using striped candles and dried seed pods. 

Form Follows Function

Your home is where you live, but do you want your home to look lived in?

In decades past, decorating had strict rules and homes had formal rooms. It was common to have formal sitting rooms that were scarcely or never touched. Lately formality seems to be giving way to functionality, however. Parlors have become “man caves” and formal sitting rooms are often craft rooms, play rooms, or offices.

The small house movement is in full swing with people choosing houses under 1,000 square feet. Some are taking it even further, by moving into tiny houses, which have fewer than 400 square feet.

With people choosing smaller and often less formal spaces, does this mean that decorating has gone by the wayside? On the contrary, this shift has led to even more conscious decorating. Instead of filling their houses with many pieces, people are often selecting fewer, but more meaningful pieces of art and memorabilia. As some opt for smaller spaces, space planning and decorating become even more important. We all want to come home to a space that welcomes us and feels like home, no matter the size, how formal or how “lived in.

This antique Swedish linen cabinet was carefully chosen for this small sitting room. When closed, it serves as a lovely statement piece and when opened it reveals a TV, remotes, DVDs and player and also serves as a bar. 

In smaller spaces, it's important to find pieces that can serve multiple purposes. 

Has your house gone to the dogs?

What’s inside your home? (Or maybe it should be “who”)  

What is it about our dogs that make us want to share them with the world? 

Many of our manufacturer’s catalogs and websites feature pictures of their dogs. Every time I open one of these catalogs, I instantly feel a connection to the items they feature.  I also instantly feel at home with the catalog and magazine articles that picture dogs.  There is this life, safety, and love they bring to our homes.  Although children also conjure up some of these same feelings, it’s different with our four-legged family members. Throughout history we have had constant companionship from these lovable creatures. 

National Puppy Day was last week, and it got me thinking about what is it that sparks that sense of belonging.

Love and enjoy your dogs! 

Sheri   

How do you feel when you look at these photos from our Thibaut wallpaper books?  Are you also able to instantly connect with these spaces? 

How do you feel when you look at these photos from our Thibaut wallpaper books?  Are you also able to instantly connect with these spaces? 

It takes a village...

...to help design a website.  So, I "thought" I understood how to connect everything in the behind the scenes of a website.  Apparently, I didn't.  So I will try again to publish a Blog to your email.  My apologies!!  

It also takes a village, or at least an architect (or two), an interior designer, and very skilled tradesmen to get a house of this caliber off the ground.  We are excited to be part of this project. We have been working with Jack Arnold, a world renowned architect, on this project for a few years now.  If you want to see what this home has the potential to be, check out his website www.jackarnold.com.  His homes and designs are high style.  This is a quick sketch on his original concept.  

The first order of business is the stucco color, window color, stone, and roofing.  After that, we will begin to work on the kitchen and it's layout and selections.  This drawing could be a great start.

Spring House Cleaning

I know that I am dating myself, but do you remember spring house cleaning?  If you do remember, you know what I'm talking about when I say it was exhausting.  But the reward was so great!!  Everything looked and smelled fresh.

Here are some fresh new looks from Anna French, a division of Thibaut Wallcoverings and a company that we carry that specializes in both fabric and wallpaper.  Wallpaper is making a big comeback.  It adds dimension, color, texture, and interest that you can't get with paint.  If you are thinking about giving a room some interest, consider wallpaper.  Is it an investment, yes!  But is it worth it?  Absolutely!

Is it time to "Spring Clean" your look?

These great ideas are making me look around my own home.  

What are your thoughts?  Would love to hear from you.