Counter Attack

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More decisions today are made in our kitchens than in any of the board rooms across this country. This is especially true as life becomes more digital. How many times have you paid bills, planned trips, checked school assignments and synchronized calendars working off your kitchen counter? We confess, much of this blog gets written in this exact way. Early mornings and very late nights standing doing last minutes edits or notes for the next great idea we have. With our kitchens being the command hubs, counters have to take on so many different functions.  Because this is a design blog…we say those counters need to look good while doing it! So what better way than to make a counter look good than to have a cake on it?!

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Does this “Art” Make My Wall Look “Big”?

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That’s a loaded question.  In any other context  we often do not like the answer.  However, yes my dear, your wall does look “big” and it looks great!

Do you have a large wall in your home?  Whether you live in a condo, an apartment or a house, our guess is that you could find some empty wall space to play with.  Could this be the meaning of less is more?

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Your Tailor is Waiting

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Wait a minute…are we talking about our homes or our wardrobes?  Anna is no doubt talking about what we wear.  We think there is a huge connection in what appeals to each of us.  Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Why not the fashion icons of the world or the flawlessly messy French girl we all swoon over?

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Friday Night Cat Fight

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It’s been said working with two designers is like putting a pair of cats in a bag and letting them work it out. It’s not a pretty thought.  While we can see how this might happen, nothing could be further from the truth with our partnership.

We bring two perspectives to each project. Most times the overall foundation of our concepts are very similar. However, no matter how many times we work together we can always count on each other to look at the same thing just a little differently. Such was the case recently when this kitchen in Houzz caught our eye.

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I’ll have a Lime with Mine

Ugh! They do this to us every year and it’s really a bit of a pain to most designers.  We are talking about Pantone’s Color of the Year.

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Pantone says these annual colors are “A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.” 

We respond that yes, once this almighty entity  (and who authorized this?) makes the announcement the culture does go wild and starts using “the color” with abandon. Let’s take a look at what happens in our world.

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We Saw an Opening

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New Opening from Kitchen to Dining Room

Recently we had an opportunity to assist our client in updating her family home and making it a bit more “her own”.  By that she meant she wanted to stay in the neighborhood she enjoyed, appreciate many of the wonderful amenities of her home and tweak the things that could work better for her role as grandmother of two precious girls.

As in most of our homes, the kitchen is always the anchor.  The place where we cram in as many people as we can no matter the occasion.  In this home the kitchen was indeed centrally located yet closed off to some of the larger rooms that were just calling out to be part of the action.   Thanks to our client for allowing us to share a small part of her welcoming home. Please enjoy a few of the before and after shots.

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An Open Door Policy

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.-Milton Berle

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Houses are full of doors.  Entry doors at the front, side and back of a home welcome everyone into our lives.  Interior doors provide necessary privacy.  Other types of doors cover the less than tidy places in our home.  We use a lot of doors!  Yet, doors can be one of the most overlooked ways to add design to a decor.  Let’s take a look at these examples where the doors are featured and ever so attractive! (photos in this post compliments of Pinterest and AD)

 

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Soft Muted Color

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Need a little Nooky

 

 

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If you’re like me, you love a perfect place to get cozy. After a long day at work, or on a cold day, there is nothing like snuggling up with your cashmere or fur blanket and hot cup of coffee or even glass of wine :).

Nooks are the perfect place to curl up with your favorite book, magazine or iPad for some undisturbed reading time. Spending time in a nook is not wasted time. It is spending some “me time” to de stress, relax, reset and recharge. Nooks take very little space in your home.  An unused corner in your bedroom, living room or even kitchen can be turned into a fabulous reading nook and add charm to your home. Let’s take a look at some nooks calling my name.-Kristen 

A reading nook with a beautiful view.

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A creative desk & reading nook combo.

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Enjoy the sunlight while reading.

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Dark paint, in a closet rehab, makes for a cozy little nook.

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A sunny corner.

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Don’t overlook an entry.

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You don’t need built-ins to create your own cozy nook, all you need is a cozy place to sit!

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A nook is also an alcove, defined as recess, typically in the wall of a room or of a garden.  Ah, an outdoor nook!   Let’s think about these possibilities as we head into spring.  It’s so vital in this busy world to make time to decompress. Having a space to look forward to helps me make this part of my day.  This habit is something I want to pass onto my children and grandkids.  A nook, alcove, a spot, a hideaway …whatever you want to call it, I hope you have one carved out somewhere to enjoy!-Laurel

Plan some Seating within your Garden this Season

Or what about one of these?

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What cool clubhouses these could be for the cyber junkies we all are!

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Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with us!

Ebony and Ivory

This Friday’s Favorite is also a Find!

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I lived in a one bedroom apartment my junior and senior year of college. Starting from scratch, I began purchasing the essentials that I needed to live on my own.

One of my favorite first purchases, that I still use today 6 years later, is the Frank Dinnerware from cb2.   I bought the whole collection.  It includes dinner plate, salad plate and soup bowl. I soon fell in love with the simplicity of my white porcelain dinnerware! The most unique feature of this collection is that it is stackable. They can be stored as a compact group. The salad plate also doubles as a lid for the soup bowls. How neat is that?!  For the minimalist (sometimes hidden) in all of us… this dinnerware collection is great quality for a great price!- Kristen

Frank Dinnerware

Available online at cb2

 

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White Dinnerware Perfect in Any Decor

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This is one of the times when fate is more powerful than words.  I also purchased the same Frank Dinnerware the first year it was available and continue to use it everyday.  I’m pretty sure having the same daily dishes is not a partnership requirement, but it is touching none the less.

This dinnerware pattern is inspired by the Bauhaus school of design, circa 1920s Berlin.  Along with the versatile salad plate as lid for bowl feature,  is the fact that it is both microwave and oven proof.  There are also medium size serving/baking bowls the same design as the dinnerware bowls.   Agree wholeheartedly that white dinnerware, no matter the design, works in all decor.  The possibilities are endless using a simply chic dinnerware as a foundation for your table.-Laurel

Let me sneak in another favorite dinnerware!

 

One last thought.  We have clients who have been designated the family keepers of china…sometimes several sets.  Others who ask us what to do with China that is packed away and was “expensive”.  How about let’s use it in our everyday lives?  Unless it has gold/silver on it, it can go in the dishwasher. (some with these metals can even go on gentle cycles so try it) But what if a piece breaks?  So what?  It will be a nice story to tell your kids/grandkids that would not have opened the box of these precious gems you passed on otherwise.  They might even be the ones to break a piece and your legacy can live on in memories for years! We suggested a client use one of her multiple sets at her lakehouse….what fun she has had with this!   Mixing china patterns and adding them to the above ebony or ivory pieces could be ever so chic.

 

Go ahead and get your china moving!

 

Enjoying our 50/50 views?  Please share our blog!

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How are you using your China?


 

 

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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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.

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