Making Progress

We’ve recommended and used Progress Lighting for many years.  Progress offers a wide spectrum of selections.  Basic utility fixtures to innovative design options are all available from numerous local and online sources.  Progress is a company with a history backing up the service their representatives provide.  The rep our firm uses is a part of the team we depend on when implementing  projects.  His knowledge and experience in lighting is vast.

Recently we stumbled, we don’t always have time to keep up with all the resources websites like we should, into a section of the Progress Lighting’s website that offers various style boards.  We prepare style boards when for our digital design clients as part of the online service we offer.  This is a great way to use a designer “virtually” and keep design fees reasonable.  (link to our services in our website info is available below).  Let’s take a look at the style boards Progress has and how they have defined decor themes.  We’ve also added some photos to enjoy.  There is a decor for everyone!

Coastal 

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Stephen Alexander Homes

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Urban 

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Baukunst Design

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Rustic 

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Luxury

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Interested in Learning More About How Digital Design Works using LBD?

http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com/digital-design

Thank you for continuing to pass along. Each One Reaching One is how we grow.

http://littleblackdomicile.com/

Recycling on Steroids

Hmmm..what do you do with a centuries old monastery and you feel the passion to “save” it?

Fontevraud Abbey in France: A Loire Valley Landmark

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If you are Canadian architect Sanjit Manku and French designer Patrick Jouin, you create an outstanding hotel, retreat and restaurant. One catch…the project stipulated that none of the original white limestone could be disturbed. Since we are too busy to skirt off to France this week, thought we’d do a little arm chair traveling.

Happy Sunday!

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Agree, no need to try to improve on the Limestone.

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Check In seems simple.

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What a fantastic way to light this Stairway (to Heaven?)

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Each of the 54 rooms is unique.  This one will do just fine for me.

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Alfresco Breakfast

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Can you see a wedding dinner here?!

If you are not too busy, and your passport is up to date, looks like the Almighty has his Airbnb ready.

If you know of someone who might also enjoy our blog/ website -please pass on the links below.

http://littleblackdomicile.com/

Contact us thru http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com

We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Savor your Saturday

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Weather across the country seems to be unseasonably “ahead” this week.  Reports everywhere are of early greenery and warm breezes.  Pedicures are probably on many minds.  If you can wiggle out some time to indulge this weekend….would it not be glorious to sit in these chairs and be pampered?  This goes to show how a much difference good design can make.  This will not be not your standard pedicure!

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Whatever your weekend brings, we hope you have a few minutes to go back and catch up on any posts you might have missed since our launch this month.  Your suggestions for topics have all been great!

Sunday Night Meal

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Since you are already in a pampering mode for the weekend, why not plan a slow cooker meal for Sunday.  You can run to the grocery in those cute little flip flops they give you at the salon. (I do.)  Here’s a favorite in our house.  French Dip Sandwiches.  However, I buy the shaved meet in the meat section (or ask the butcher to shave a london broil for me) to skip the messy part of slicing the meat and add peppercinos about the last hour of the time. Here is the link for your impressive Sunday “I cooked all day.” dinner.  Left overs not too shabby either for a couple of nice take away lunches.

http://www.purewow.com/recipes/slow-cooker-french-dip-sandwiches

Thank you for continuing to pass along. Each One Reach One is how we grow.

 http://littleblackdomicile.com/

 

Fab Friday Finds

Online shopping for home decor is at an all time high. We are constantly asked about the quality of items that seem priced to good to be true.  We encourage our clients to take advantage of online discounts and pop up sales.  Two suggestions tho…work with your designer to discuss the value of the pieces you are considering in regards to the plan your have for your decor.  Sometimes a “deal” can turn out to be very costly.  Below are a few items currently on clearance that are good values.  Let’s look at how they might work in your existing decor.

Continue reading “Fab Friday Finds”

Miss Metalology

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Silver and Gold

Is it okay to mix the metals in your homes decor? Of course! Do the metals of your faucets, light fixtures and cabinet hardware really need to match? Of course not!

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You may believe that the best way to coordinate your home is by having all metal in the same color and finish. Often, however, this will create a less interesting and too monochromatic of a look. Incorporating silver, gold, brass and iron is a great way to add visual interest and depth to your space. Let’s look at a few good ways to start mixing!

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A good place to begin incorporating metals is with faucet finishes, cabinet hardware and lighting. Mirrors, metallic accents, textiles, artwork, picture frames and wallpaper also offer so many options to personalize your decor. Mixing metal finishes and metal textures creates a unique and personal aesthetic for your home. As an alternative to a polished finish, add in some of the matte, hammered and brushed finishes. Mixing metal is a way to have new pieces in your home look like they’ve been collected for years! -Kristen

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Girlfriend, you have chosen such a universal topic and one that we get asked about daily no matter how much “training” we provide!  I think the idea of having all the “metals” being the same was thought  up by doorknob companies and know there are graveyards of hinges somewhere.  Of course mixing metals is always more interesting…but it has to be done with either precise planning or accomplished by sheer luck from the things your super chic Nana has passed along. Here are some of the examples I have in my hoard of photos. I am not sure where they came from. Before the digital world told me I should always save the source I was a rogue “collector”! -Laurel

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Iron, Stainless and Polished Chrome -Classic

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Love the vintage hardware on the island and the modern mix of brushed and polished stainless on the hood.

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Matte Gold and Polished Nickel

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Let’s not forget Copper…a personal favorite metal.  Polished, hammered, burnt, brushed.  I crave them all.

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Aged Brass with Brushed Stainless

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Polished Brass (yes its starting to look gummy! how grand) and the most fantastic white metal pitcher.  What a combo.

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One last comment…if you have real silver..get it out and use it.  You can mix your own metals.  Polish a few and when you give out…mix in the tarnished pieces.  Seems the idea of mixing metals in not so new!

If you know of someone who might also enjoy our blog/ website -please pass on the links below.

http://littleblackdomicile.com/

Contact us thru http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com

We can’t wait to hear from you!

How Many is Too Many

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No, this is not a landfill.  If you are honest with yourself, you may have a similar stash of plastic grocery bags lurking in your home.  This is what happens when we save to reuse… but don’t.   We subscribe to various trade publications that often have long articles about recycling and how to house the items being recycled.  At times it is overwhelming and leaves me with a big sense of guilt that I should be doing more.

So true to my approach of how I justify everything…I threw out all my hoard of these reminders that I was not reusing them at the rate I was acquiring them.  Yep…I tossed them in the regular trash collection on a Wednesday.  (gasps)  Thursday I started a system that has worked for me for several years.  I do have a few reusable type bags I use, when I remember to put them in the car, on a big shopping day.  However, I like shopping in smaller batches, stopping at a store as part of another errand on my way home.  So I do bring in 5-7 of these bags every week or so.  There is no set number. AND I reuse them to the point of sometimes running out before the new ones come in!  Let’s take a look at what works for me.

Cool Idea

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First, is this not a great way to store these babies?  Plus you get points for saving the life of one Kleenex box.   A box this size can be kept almost anywhere.

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Next, the way I use our bags most is for kitchen trash that I don’t put down the disposal.  We cook most nights, and have marathons on Sunday, so we have a lot of bits and bobs of “stuff” and wet food packaging.  Using a $2.99 Ikea stainless bowl, I place a bag as a liner and toss anything in it that is too messy, or too smelly for the daily trash.  It’s so easy for me to toss as I go and clean up once. These bags get placed in the freezer until trash day.  Since we live in Florida, we have trash pick up 2x a week. We now have trained ourselves to automatically get “the freezer” trash on garbage day.  We also place our cans/glass in these bags and then put the bag into the recycle bin. Saves trips to the bin and keeps the bin cleaner.   I feel pretty good when I reuse and also recycle any bags I bring into the house each week.

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Lastly, if you have one of these guys hanging around your abode…you know another endless use of a plastic bag!

If you know of someone who might also enjoy our blog/ website  -please pass on the links below.

http://littleblackdomicile.com/

Contact us thru http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Stick a Fork in It

 

We work with color everyday.  Clients often ask us what colors are in, what colors are out, what color is universal?  We say…let’s move past those colors…they are going to change before the paint dries.  Instead, let’s look for color combinations that inspire us.  Colors that excite and intrigue us. Color combinations that are unexpected.  Look at all the ways the same color, in this photo of a simple utensil, are used to create these striking and unique interiors.

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Contact us thru http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Why not Savor Sunday?

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We use Sunday’s to regroup and recharge in our home.  Like everyone else we know, no matter their lot in life, we’ve had a busy week.  We worked hard, played hard and taken care of equally fun and tedious necessary tasks.  Today we begin to look towards this next week.  What we will need to plan for, who needs to be where, what to wear, eat and what we might be able to do today to get just a small jump on things.  By mid afternoon on Sunday’s it’s nice to have a little unplanned time. Our to do list, this blog,  that “one more thing”…will all be waiting for us tomorrow. So this afternoon,  I choose a little time to do something unexpected…something I get to choose.  Or maybe a few minutes to do nothing at all.

What are you doing this fine Sunday?

Savor your Sunday Afternoon

Blanco-Bland or Brilliant

 

 

White kitchens remain the number one choice for kitchen renovations and new homes. They are clean, crisp and striking in many decor.  They can be styled with interesting amenities to add color and show our various personalities. Traditional, transitional or modern in design they are selected many times because they are considered a “safe” choice. We’d prefer to say that a white kitchen is a great foundation for some very savvy design choices.   Let’s take a look at this kitchen.

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White walls and same color wood moldings make this kitchen current yet timeless. The cabinets feature the hinges…on no, haven’t we been brainwashed that this is “bad”?  The movement in the white-gray veining of the stone for counters and full splash is striking. Larger size fixtures over the island give balance to the space. Choosing a warm, neutral flooring works nicely with the Scandinavian finishes of the furniture. Could also work with rich, darker traditional wood furnishing pieces.  Love the mix of modern art with the traditional  cabinetry which introduces a little edge!

Next lets look at a kitchen that has many of the same elements as the white kitchen but ventures out to use a dark finish with the cabinets.   Both designs use inset cabinet doors, a large vein counter stone and splash, and an island with large pendant lighting. Here are thoughts about this design.

 

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This kitchen takes a few more, appreciated, chances with the rich pained cabinets. There are a number of color hues that could be used for this effect. When choosing cabinet colors complement the rest of the homes decor.  The contrast of the dark color on the window trim adds to the overall impact of this space.  Although the walls remain painted white with a similar color in the moldings, there is an immediate feeling of invitation in this space.  It does not “feel” dark.  And the lighting…oh my!  You see that we have a warm gold metal on the lighting and the cool metals of the stainless and faucets.  This is a perfect way to mix metal finishes.  The chef’s shelf in the same marble as the counter offers a large-scale blending of materials and usable interest. I want to cook in here!

The subtle point we’d like to make in this post is that nationally “safe” decor can be wonderful.   So can stretching outside the norm a bit.  Kitchen planning and cabinet companies can do a good job helping you select cabinets, counters, hardware and plumbing fixtures.  Using an independent designer can help you be confident making decisions that will take your project to the next level…simply perfect for you!

 

Contact us thru http://www.laurelbledsoedesign.com

We can’t wait to hear from you!