Artist Sketch: Michelle Armas

Michelle Armas has come a long way from selling paintings for her parents. The Atlanta artist first official sale was to her mother –“I made her purchase a painting off my Etsy website so it would look like a real customer bought it,” Armas states. Now, however, Armas’ cheerful oil paintings and prints are found in online shops, nice art galleries and in Anthropologie.

Armas’ self-described”happy and picture design” is a natural match for contemporary, modern and transitional houses. We caught up with the busy artist to talk about her inspiration, her favorite musicians along with her fear of a monochromatic world.

Armas has started transferring her amazing pieces into less expensive prints, available for sale online. Below are some of her recent developments, available as picture posters or canvas posters.

Michelle Armas

Fly By

Q. Which professionals within your business do you respect most?

A. Stefan Sagmeister. To my mind he’s someone who lives his entire life searching, studying and empathizing — that is precisely why his ideas are so inspiring. I want to emulate him. He has a youthful energy and perspective, but also a confidence that comes from achievement and out of believing in yourself. His TED talks are killer.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. that I feel that half of my energy lately is moving toward business growth and development. I am creating a line of prints and studying how to create more products for my clients in each budget. Another half is painting away like a madwoman.

Michelle Armas

Laura – $35

Q. When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?

A. I always wanted to be an artist. However, I guess I put my money where it counts just one year after I graduated college, and I chose to pay for a postgraduate degree in layout. Although I was in college I knew that I couldn’t be a graphic designer, but my gut said stay, learn and adapt. So I did.

Q. The most important thing on your work desk is…

A. My camera. My wonderful father bought me a Nikon D80 in 2006, and that I used it to take pictures for my own blog. Now it is used to take fantastic photographs of painting and print. A high-quality camera is indeed essential to creating a clean, aesthetically pleasing fresh existence.

Michelle Armas

Q. Which famous artist would you like to utilize?

A. that I like the manner Gustav Klimt’s mind worked. I know everyone says that they love”The Kiss,” but I would love to return in time and see him mix paint, prepare his canvases, and see him sketch and paint. Oh, to reside in Vienna at the time and realize the art — I perish!

Q. Where on earth do you wish to visit next?

A. I would like to spend a couple of decades very painting, and exploring the outer reaches of imagination. I see myself traveling to various cities and living in them for a month or two while I create a ton of new work, and market it there while my Atlanta studio operates along for a little without me.

Michelle Armas

Halycon – $35

Q. Where would you go for inspiration?

A. Inspiration is a tricky one. Since I am one of those people who is constantly thinking, I am better when I have rest. By way of instance, right now I am going through a stage of endless paperwork, meetings, painful expenses and technical drudgery… so I am not painting as much.

I’m taking a trip to NYC, and once I get back I will be exploding with ideas. It could be someone I see on the road wearing something proportionally magnificent, or taking an introspective walk on a rainy day and keeping my eyes on the sidewalk that gives me a flicker of an idea. It could also be a fantasy. I basically only trust that my mind will provide for me, so long as I keep it wholesome, allow it to rest and breathe.

Michelle Armas

Q. If you could pick 1 color on the planet to reside, which would you pick?

A. Green — lake green. It makes me happy. Thankfully I do not have to do that because only imagining just 1 shade forever makes me not be able to breathe!

View more of Michelle Armas’ perform on her online shop and website.

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Pony Wall

A pony wall is a half-wall or short wall that does not bear the load of any overlying structures. It functions as partition or a room divider.

This pony wall provides just a little bit of solitude.

Blue Sky Building Company

A pony wall used to separate regions of the bedroom may also function as a backrest for the headboard.


A tongue-and-groove paneled pony wall using a wood cap helps delineate different spaces in this room.

Ownby Design

Here, a pony wall anchors a recessed living room.

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

A pony wall separates this dining room from the living room with no cutting off the chef’s perspective.

Rossington Architecture

This board and batten pony wall enables everyone to view the TV.

RW Anderson Homes

A pony wall opens up the stairs and supplies a long hallway natural light. The cap helps conceal the inevitable fingerprints.

Read more pony wall photographs

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Eclectic East London Victorian

A stunning garden, a rustic spa, a colorful master bath and a handcrafted interior have made this Victorian terrace home an urban oasis for both Tracey Bendrien and Lawrence Friesen. Although the Canadian couple initially moved to London for its urban lifestyle, they found themselves wanting the ability to escape from the bustle and hustle.

Friesen, an architect, set to work straight away. The couple wanted to modernize the space but nevertheless retain the home’s unique structure and features. The end result is a colorful, eclectic and modern take on a gorgeous Victorian home.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Tracey Bendrien and Lawrence Friesen
Location: Hackney, East London, United Kingdom
Size: 1,400 square feet; 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

Beccy Smart Photography

The garden is the initial part of the house the couple designed. They awakened the pond, and Friesen made this concrete bridge to span across the water region and lead to the rest of the garden, where there is seating for two.

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen and Bendrien knew they would put in a spa as soon as they bought the home. The garden is seen by them among the spaces in their property. It took them several years to find a tub that has been only right for these, this one from a homeowner in London. The tub replaced an existing shed, and they implanted overhanging foliage for solitude.

Beccy Smart Photography

The couple combined the master bathroom with the cupboard and a dressing area to save space. They fell in love with this cheeky candy-apple-red tub, made from recycled vinyl by Swedish manufacturer Durat.

Painting: Will Alsop

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen constructed a glistening red cupboard to match the bathtub. “Having the dressing area in which you get ready for your day and end your day only made sense to us,” he states. He left off the doors the cabinet to get an open texture.

Beccy Smart Photography

Skylights in the cupboard region of the toilet keep the space naturally well lit and uplifting. Friesen constructed the floating toilet countertop from leftover American black walnut floorboards. The rest of the timber is constructed from the exact floorboards to maintain the substance palette consistent and use what was available.

Beccy Smart Photography

A wet-room-style shower using a waterfall showerhead sits at 1 corner of the bathroom. The gray tiles are Portland blue limestone. A sturdy shelf runs the length of the space, providing convenient seating and a place for toiletries.

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen installed and designed these stairs, hand-crafted by their beloved Suffolk expert, Bob Pendred. When the couple opened up the kitchen and hall space, they retained front rooms but removed the hall door and installed this stairs. “The attention is really on a central organization, structured from the stairs as it goes throughout the home — the thought being to ascend to the peak of the home and reach the sky,” Friesen says. “As you move vertically, the concept is that you become both more expressive and private.”

Beccy Smart Photography

The open dining area and kitchen area is flooded with natural lighting. The couple opened up the two spaces to each other and built a bespoke large door to the garden.

Hanging on the dining table is a shell pendant lighting by Scabetti. “We love things that are crafted, and we hope that people who design them can make viable livelihoods from the craft,” Friesen says. “Lights in our sitting rooms and kitchen are goods of this ethos.”

Beccy Smart Photography

The kitchen floor tiles are just like those used on the floors and backsplashes throughout the whole house. The kitchen cabinetry has been designed and constructed by Friesen.

Beccy Smart Photography

Friesen and craftsman Bob Pendred installed and designed this huge window door. This second departure creates a simple flow into the garden from the kitchen. “If the door is left open, it feels as a wall was taken away,” Bendrien states.

Beccy Smart Photography

A wood-burning stove and open shelves with trinkets provide a homey touch. Friesen installed and designed this custom made sideboard, such as a stand to store up to 96 wine bottles. Since it is a Victorian home, meaning restricted storage, that was a fantastic addition.

Beccy Smart Photography

The master bedroom is painted a gorgeous deep plum. The black cupboard was found at Broadway market in the favorite bohemian area of Hackney.

Beccy Smart Photography

Bendrien made the guest bedroom with a female look, using vibrant magenta accents and girly accessories. An ornate fireplace matches the vibrant wallpaper layout.

Beccy Smart Photography

Boldly painted walls match the wallpaper, the reduced trim and the pink accents of the bedding and pendant lampshade.

Beccy Smart Photography

Calming colors, such as this guacamole hue, in the primary living spaces offer a backdrop to dramatic furniture pieces. The stylish hanging lighting is a distinctive Mark Bickers design.

Beccy Smart Photography

The homeowners like to support British designers and bought these couches by Naughtone from 100% Design. The artwork trio is by artist and architect Will Alsop.

Beccy Smart Photography

The couple designed a comfy workspace at the front reception area. A customized glass door leads out into the garden. The ornate office desk is a replica Criterion the couple bought from an auction house. It was initially supposed to go from the bedroom upstairs, however they couldn’t get it to fit through.

Can you live in a creative, diverse house? Show us your home and it could be featured on !

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Guest Groups: The Night Sky

When I was young, I wanted to pay my own ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars. I believed they would be ideal to count on sleepless nights. While I grew from that fashion, I never lost my passion for the nighttime skies. Stargazing is particularly beautiful in the crisp winter air. This collection contains small suggestions to pull the nighttime skies into the home in some classy, and some enjoyable, manners. — Brandi from Not Your Average Ordinary

Hubble Crab Nebula – $9.85

NASA’s Hubble telescope has been capturing some incredible pictures from outer space. Many of the magnificent prints are available as posters. They would easily add drama to some bare wall.

Barneby Gates

All Star Wallpaper from Barneby Gates – GBP 78

Barneby Gates has a magical touch when it comes to wallpaper, and this celebrity version is no exception. The metallic ink and feel create the stars look really elegant.


Halley’s Comet Path by Dorana Design – $189

For people who can remember watching Halley’s Comet as a youngster, this artwork piece mapping its path is a perfect way to commemorate one of the events of childhood.

Pottery Barn

Star Cachepot – $29.50

The little star on this kettle is subtle, but it is still a lovely reminder that everything we know is made from stardust.


Vintage Constellations Print”Le Ciel” with Miss Quite Contrary – $22

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences, and this vintage print of constellations is a fantastic reminder that past generations have been mapping the skies for centuries.


Constellations of the Northern Hemisphere Wall Hanging by Little Intelligent Studio – $85

This constellation embroidery could look amazing on any bookshelf or wall mounted, particularly if it were surrounded by other instances of nature’s beauty.

Restoration Hardware

Rustic Star Garland at Brass – $55

This sweet little star garland would be ideal inside or outside. It would also be amazing through the holidays wrapped round a tree.

Stars from Seb Lester – EUR 90

I instantly fell in love with this particular print when I saw it. I then took a closer look and discovered that the lines and letters themselves are made up of very tiny stars.

Modern Scatter Cushions – GBP 55

This throw pillow adds a nice touch of the nighttime skies to any area. It might seem particularly charming on a silver or white couch.

Old World Astrolabe – $99.95

Armillary spheres were used by scientists to help find and predict the positions of the sun, planets and moon. While contemporary computers are a lot easier to work with, this tool still has an Old World charm which will help create a home feel like a museum.


Constellation Lampshade by ECLU – $79

This entertaining, whimsical lamp color is created from small pieces of an old constellation map. It might work perfectly in a young teenager’s room or some other family room.


Classic Celestial Globe from Ruff by Margo – $75

Though this vintage globe of the constellations doesn’t light up like most contemporary ones, it might be a fantastic, unique conversation piece in any area.


Sun Moon Stars Vinyl Wall Art Decal Sticker by Decal Farm – $15

Wall stickers make adding some starlight and moving the stars into different patterns much easier than the old glow-in-the-dark stars ever allowed.

Maintain Calm Gallery

Shoot For the Stars from Hayley & Lucas – GBP 16

The futuristic font set against the classic starry sky within this poster create an ideal mix. The sentiment would look lovely framed and set on a desk or on the wall as a constant reminder to dream large.

Pottery Barn Kids

Constellation Sheeting

These constellation sheets may have been designed for a child’s room, but they would be brightly colored in almost any adult’s bedroom too, particularly if hidden during the day by a glowing quilt or duvet.

Urban Outfitters

Constellation Duvet Cover – $69

From afar, this duvet cover resembles a simple black cover with a white layout. But closer inspection reveals a multitude of constellations to learn and trace at night before falling asleep.

Pottery Barn Kids

Stark Star Rug

This star-patterned rug has a slight nautical feel to it, which is not surprising given how profoundly ancient seafarers relied on the stars to direct their journeys.

Pottery Barn Kids

Jared Star Shade & Mason Base – $35

This celebrity lamp color and easy base could be fantastic on any nightstand, particularly in a child’s room.


Retro Atomic Star Glow Plate from Zuza Shop – $7.50

Stars were extremely popular throughout the’50s and’60s for dinnerware, along with the retro appearance of the star burst plate could work for almost any special occasion.


Homer Laughlin 1950s Modern Star Vintage China Bowls by Pazinktum – $40

This collection of six vintage bowls are a wonderfully easy way to incorporate some celebrity bursts into your daily decor.

Next: Indoor Stars Light Winter Nights

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So Your Design Is: Minimalist

What it is: Minimalism translates to living with lesscolor, less frippery, less visual noise, less — well — material . It’s not about sensory deprivation or ruthlessly cleaning house; it’s more to do with choosing to concentrate on a handful of items you genuinely want and love instead of a glut of unnecessary objects.

Why it works: People tend either to crave minimalist style or despise it. If you are in the former camp, then it probably attracts you for its simplicity, its own restful air and its ease of care (read: less dusting). At a hectic, overstimulating world, it may be a treat to come home to a soothing oasis of tranquil.

You will enjoy it if… You would rather listen to a solo a cappella functionality than a complete chorus. You have a dozen variations of the little black dress. You are attracted to barren landscapes. You have mastered the art of the five-ingredient recipe. Nothing makes your heart beat faster than the idea of holding a garage sale.

Mark Newman Design

Style Secret: Clutter Control

Minimalism is about pruning back to the bare essentials, which begins with clearing away the mess. If the pared-down look appeals to you, you probably don’t have excess paraphernalia to begin with. But search for opportunities to scale down further. Sweep flotsam off tables, clean the mantel, roll up rugs and swap the gallery wall for one standout piece of art.

Softer side: It is perfectly acceptable — a few purists may even say desirable — to really have a minimalist space without a single superfluous object within it. An area that lacks so much like a book on the coffee table or even a painting on the wall, however, can feel cold and sterile. Consider adding only a few accents to give it some character: a bold-color menu topped with a slick vase, a single sculpture in the corner, a more stunning pendant chandelier or light.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Design Secret: sterile Furnishings

Furnishings drive a minimalist space and provide the majority of its visual appeal. Think of what’s vital in your area. Would you want three cocktail tables, a set of armoires and a hulking credenza? What is the minimum amount of furniture you should have to keep an optimum degree of livability? Once you decide what to keep and what to skip, look for seating, tables, case goods and other bits that have sleek, stripped-down profiles and deficiency ornamentation.

Softer side: Minimal doesn’t mean uncomfortable — there’s no requirement to perch on hard side seats without a place to prop your feet. Just make sure you keep cushioned furnishings tailored, for example tight-back sofas and chairs. And by all means add a slick ottoman or hassock that will make it possible for you and your guests to reunite effortlessly.

Webber + Studio, Architects

Style Secret: Limited Palettes

It is difficult to pull the minimalist look in an area that’s bursting with color, which produces a whole lot of visual activity in the absence of bric-a-brac. Rather, select controlled neutrals that are gentle on the eye. White is the quintessential minimalist color, but if it seems too stark or clinical to you, go for cream, beige and khaki, or barely-there greens, blues or lavenders. Ground the space with a bit of espresso or black brown.

Softer side: If you long for a more emphatic stroke of color, find a way to bring it in without bothering the area’s serene vibe — if you overdo it, then the distance will feel like it’s wearing too much makeup. Hang a single painting over the fireplace, or paint one skinny accent wall or narrow hallway with a saturated hue. Better still, infuse a hint of color through accents that are easy to alter if you tire of these: a few throw pillows, a bright menu, a handful of novels.

MusaDesign Interior Design

Style Secret: Storage and Organization

Repeat after me: a place for everything and everything in its place. Committing to the minimum look means committing to order, and it’s easiest to eliminate clutter when each thing has its own specified home. Whereas another kitchen may exhibit cooking utensils onto the countertop and dishware in the cabinets, this one tucks everything behind a solid wall of cabinetry to get a clean, uniform look. If you are really ambitious, you may also winnow down everything you’ve stashed in drawers and cabinets to get a house that’s minimalist to the core.

Softer side: You don’t need to hide open shelving behind doors and screens or leave it unfilled. Simply edit judiciously. Wrap a small stack of novels in white paper covers, eliminate all but one or 2 blown-glass boats from your collection and display a single family photo as opposed to a bunch of framed snapshots.

Sara Baldwin Design

Style Secret: Bare Windows

We hardly even need to say this, but fussy draperies and flouncy shades make a minimalist space feel way overdressed. Keep windows unadorned and let their simple architecture shine. If privacy is an issue, consider textured glass apply a translucent film to display inquisitive gazes.

Softer side: Can’t bear to leave your windows completely nude? If you must add a window treatment of some sort, make it as elemental as possible, such as matchstick blinds or even a sleek roller shade. If the rest of your space is quite compact, you may be able to pull plain curtain panels, but be certain they are created from a good fabric in a color that will not halt the attention.

Habachy Designs

Style Secret: Subtle Pattern

If you consider minimalism, you probably consider solids. If you decide to use pattern, keep it discreet. Even something as straightforward as a striped duvet or houndstooth throw may upset the carefully orchestrated balance of a minimalist space. Should you use pattern at all, it should be small scale and tone on tone.

Softer side: Here is an alternative: Pick for feel. This bedroom assembles a tactile base with hardly any feel at all. White-painted bricks, a rug with a deep pile, a matelassé coverlet plus a quilted blanket combine to make depth, anchored by the intense sleekness of the bed frame.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Style Secret: caliber

Layout is much like cooking: The simpler the dish, the greater integrity the components should have. By the identical token, a minimalist space has so few distractions that each thing in it will attract heightened attention. Invest in the highest quality of furniture and accessories that your budget can stand — and because you will not be buying in great quantity, you may have a little extra wiggle room to update.

Softer side: Classic, well-crafted pieces such as Shaker armoires, Windsor chairs and French campaign beds not only hold their own in quality, but their simple, ageless design means they will never fall from fashion. Furnishings such as these show that minimalism doesn’t necessarily translate to modernism; it’s a broad approach as opposed to a prescribed set of style rules.

Brian Watford Interiors

Design Secret: Open Space

Broad swaths of room and unobstructed sight lines give minimalist interiors their comfy appeal. If your architecture doesn’t follow this pattern, and if your budget and time permit, consider minor (or major) remodeling to enhance the flow of your space. Or you can fake it with a little sleight of hand: Paint all of the walls, ceilings and trim the same color to produce the feeling of openness, or search for opportunities to make visual echoes, such as a development of indistinguishable light fixtures or a trio of overscale, just framed black and white photographs.

Softer side: Open distance doesn’t need to feel hollow and lumpy. Heat it, if you like, by breaking up a few surfaces. In this corridor and living area, for instance, a neutral rug, a few artfully positioned furnishings, a mirror and pendant lights help to make the setting seem more romantic.

More decorating styles

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Cozy Up to Bedrooms and Baths at Decorator Showcase

A bed sculpted out of steel and reclaimed wood, a headboard designed to combine into walls and a tub filled to the brim with airport-confiscated scissors were only a few of the sights to visit from the bedrooms and baths of the 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, which opens April 28 and runs through May 28, 2012.

The designers stuck with simple colour schemes due to their rooms however livened them up with textural walls, incredible accessories and custom-made furniture. Take a peek at some of the greatest bedrooms and baths from the 2012 showcase house and learn a few straightforward ways to bring the look into your own home.

More: Living Spaces Wow at Decorator Showcase

Tailor-Made Suites
From Brian Dittmar Design

Inspired by British menswear, Brian Dittmar designed a chic and sophisticated bedroom package that sensed as placed together as a well-dressed Englishman. The slick steel mattress was custom designed by Paul Benson, and the foggy grey lamps are out of Avrett.

Artwork: Tyrell Collins

Alex Amend Photography

Antique and modern accents pay tribute to tailoring. The planet is an 18th-century sewing table, and the framed piece over is a shirt made out of a folded map of London. Dittmar designed custom bedding and pillows to conjure the sharp look of ties and pocket squares.

Artwork: Elisabeth Lecourt

From display house to your house: If you’re stuck into a decorating rut, try playing with a motif in one of your bedrooms. It can be something daring — such as a sports-theme kid’s area — or even something more subtle, such as Dittmar’s layout. However, by giving yourself a route to follow, you will have less trouble deciding on what pieces to use.

Artwork: Jay Kelly, Jung Han Kim

From Ma(I)sonry

The most wonderful art installation in this toilet is by artist Michele Pred, who utilizes airport-confiscated scissors and knives in a lot of her job. The design team worked with Pred to make a particular installation for this area — a tub filled with silver scissors snagged from the Transportation Security Administration.

From reveal house to your house: Repurposed finishes and fittings lend texture to this ordinarily smooth and smooth space. A toilet is a great place to take design risks, since smaller spaces can pull off appearances that often look overwhelming in larger rooms.

Master Bedroom
From Heather Hilliard

Most homeowners want their bedroom to be calm and serene. Designer Heather Hilliard stuck with this idea when designing this smooth and simple master bedroom. A subtle striped wall adds visual attention with white and off-white stripes, and an upholstered headboard fits perfectly.

Alex Amend Photography

The mild palette is broken up only with flashes of off-white and navy, and a bit of color within the fireplace. A sculptural fireplace display becomes a functional piece of art.

From reveal house to your house: Painting stripes is harder than it looks. Don’t rush measuring and taping off each section — it is worth it to stop bleeding paint and jagged lines later on. Consider following the tip inside this piece and paint the light base colour before the dark stripes.

Alex Amend Photography

Upstairs Powder Room
From KCS Estates

This bath used the home’s classic design as inspiration for its shape and type of the mirror. The curving shape of the mirror softens the right lines generated by the dressing table and bath; it cuts away to show detailed wall tile from Walker Zanger. Polished chrome and marbl adds a touch of traditional style.

From reveal house to your house: Look for different mirror shapes or a bold framework to add instant style to a bathroom without any remodeling.

Alex Amend Photography

Guest Bedroom
From Matt Murphy Studio

Designer Matt Murphy desired to make a luxurious area that guests would never want to leave. That means a supercomfortable bed with Frette bedding, a gentle seat by a warm fire, a room to write letters and notes and a window seat for lounging.

From reveal house to your house: Put a little additional thought into your guest bedroom. Do not force your visitors to need to tiptoe out to the kitchen or office in the middle of the night — bottles of water, pencils and paper and a couple of good books are thoughtful developments.

Alex Amend Photography

Guest Bathroom
From Tineke Triggs, Artistic Designs for Living

The lavender and gold inside this toilet reflect the colour palette of this guest bedroom only outdoors. Designer Tineke Triggs installed arty accessories out of Arteriors, Michael Taylor and Witford in metallic colors to carry the colour throughout the space.

From reveal house to your house: Sconces make a difference in toilet lighting, since overhead lighting is often harsh and unflattering. If you’re redoing a bath, think about installing sconces on either side of the mirror for a milder and better-looking reflection.

Jack’s Bedroom
Kathy Geissler Greatest

Designer Kathy Greatest made this chamber for a literary ninth-grade boy with a desire for adventure. The area has room to put away all his special belongings and treasures. A gentle wool headboard warms up the space, and a balloonlike lamp adds a splash of playfulness.

Alex Amend Photography

From reveal house to your house: Storage is crucial when it comes to kids’ rooms. Hooks keep up messes and from the floor and give children an chance to flaunt their favourite belongings.

Event information:
The 2012 San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs from April 28 to May 28, 2012.

Location: 2020 Jackson St., San Francisco
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday: 10 Gamble–3 p.m.; Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday and Memorial Day: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Cost: $30 at the door (no advance tickets)

Living Spaces Wow at Decorator Showcase
Delectable Design: Inspiration from Show Houses Past
San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2011: Living Spaces
San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2011: Bedrooms and Baths

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Rooms Rock the Dark Appearance

My husband would argue that AC/DC is the best rock band of all time. I’m unsure about that; I would likely go with Queen. In thinking about modern day stone ‘n’ rollers, I wondered what their homes would look like and ended up imagining all-black rooms with a lot of nail heads, leather and animal prints. Giant stereotype? Well, what if you’re not a rock star and you like the play and formality of the all-black area? Check out how these designers are back in black with their rockin’ designs.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

I can envision AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young cooking here. This slick, all-black kitchen functions really well because of its functional design and sharp contrast of silver lighting and counter stools. It feels like a black leather coat with silver figurines.

Watch the rest of this home

Nieto Design Group

This chamber speaks for itself. There are high-drama details anyplace to keep up with the zebra tub. Notice how all the glossy surfaces create a formal attitude. Stone ‘n’ roll.

Nieto Design Group

This guest bedroom is blanketed in a dark conceal wall covering. This texture burst is perfectly paired with contemporary black and white furniture to create a futuristic all-black refuge.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

Black can be elegant. Here it strikes an ideal balance of edgy and complex. Notice the impact of the oversize clock. The clock provides a reflective contrast to the dark palette, which comprises a champagne-hued rug and seats. When paired with a contrasting hue, black can feel bright and actually highlight details.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

Pattern and symmetry make a announcement. The silver nail heads of the seat and the golden of the mirror and lamps seem perfectly blended together. Try mixing gold and silver; they harmonize just fine with black.

J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC

This room really surprised me. The designer paired a charcoal black palette with gentle and conventional seats at a finish end. In fact, all the furniture is conventional with light endings. Notice how unexpected the signature of orange is about the seats. Brilliant and bold — it is all in the combination.

Willman Interiors / Gina Willman, ASID

I think this toilet displays the flexibility of black. This is its lighter side. A basalt bathtub sits on a bed of river stones and is paired with numerous natural elements. The timber trim, woven blinds and live plants create a quiet, tropical background for all these attributes.

Elad Gonen

What rock star could withstand an all-black networking room with crimson velvet sofas? The red sofas had a tall arrangement in holding their own in this dark and striking room. Of course, red always steps up to the job and takes centre stage.

Grab your backstage pass into those all-black rooms, and allow me to know what you think in the Remarks section.

The situation for Beautiful Black Doors
Paint Picks: Be Brave With Black
Black Casework and Cabinetry

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The Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Window Treatments

window installation add warmth and color to an empty room. They make even an empty room feel like home in an instant. You may already know that well-dressed windows have a huge impact to the room’s aesthetic. However, not knowing the basics of window treatments will make the entire shopping and installation process a challenge. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way! We have the ultimate guide for you to turn your boring windows into stunning focal points.

Shopping for Fabric: Texture

When shopping for window replacement, consider first the mood that you want the room to have. For more formal spaces like your home office, there’s velvet or heavy silk. More practical options include cotton sateen and silky rayon blends. To induce a casual feel, use crinkly crushed velvet or billowy linen. Cotton blends and pure cotton will work with all types of décor, and so do wool blends and seasonless wool.

Color Options

You need to make a decision whether you want window cleaning that pop or curtains that blend with a room’s décor. For blending, choose window repair that are of the same tone to the color of your wall but about a couple of shades darker. You can also opt for a subtle, non-dominant color. Adding a bold colored window treatment is like hanging an exclamation point to the room. This will work well if you are looking to add a wow factor. Remember that in spaces where the sun will shine through unlined curtains, your window treatment’s color will infuse to the room. Pink can be cheery; blue, eerie.

Prints and Patterns

A general rule of thumb: having a patterned bedding or furniture in a room will only give you the option of sticking to solid curtains. For solid-color bedding or furniture, consider patterned curtains. If what you want is a subtle hint of energy and style, then go for dots, paisley or any small neutral print. A graphic print will look daring and spectacular, but only if it relates to the entire room’s décor.

What About the Installation?

The installation of window companies can either be done by you or handymen. If you hire professionals, expect to pay up to $80 an hour. We suggest that you rely on experts instead because the installation of window treatments requires the use of a stepladder, handheld drills, a stud finder, screwdriver etc.

Tips on How to Hang a Window Treatment

-High and wide – You can make a room look more luxurious and bigger if you hang drapes 12 inches above a window frame. You can even go all the way up to the ceiling by extending the curtain rod up to 6 inches on both sides.
-Layering – Designer windows always sport two or more window treatments. Emulate designers because this trick will boost the style of the room and turn your window into the room’s focal point.
-Take them to the floor – Novice decorators purchase store-bought curtains. Although there’s nothing wrong with this, their mistake is not measuring the wall’s height. Your drapes must puddle slightly and kiss the floor to achieve a tailored look.

How to Negotiate an Easement With a Real Estate Owner

When you want to use someone else’s property, you have to propose and negotiate with an easement. This situation arises, for instance, when you want to cross someone’s property to get to yours. You may also require an easement to conduct electric wires into your house across a neighbor’s property. When you need an easement, make a document which contains the full agreement terms, and negotiate and amend those terms together with the real estate owner. Make sure you cover all important problems that might arise during the period of the arrangement.

Write down the burdens and benefits of the easement. Each easement creates a load for the home owner granting the access. By the same token, the easement delivers a benefit to the person wanting access. To be able to negotiate, then you have to clearly state benefits and burdens on your arrangement document. California courts are far more likely to decide in your favor in case of a dispute in case you have clearly stated why you would like the easement and the annoyance it might cause the property owner.

Name the celebrations. The person living on a property is not necessarily the owner. Indicate the owner of the property who has the capability to give the easement. If the property has several owners, you will require the agreement of all of them. Moreover, if the home has a tenant, California law allows provisions for tenant acceptance.

Describe the property. Utilize the legal description of the property on record in your California county or state property office. Indicate the easement “runs with the land,” meaning that you’re asking for accessibility which definitely requires the property in question.

Write whether the easement is permanent or temporary. If the easement is temporary, like if you would like to move heavy construction equipment to get a one-time job, indicate if the easement will finish.

State the extent of the easement. Indicate exactly how much space you’re asking for, such as length, breadth and width. Attach a drawing which indicates easement boundaries.

Negotiate reserved rights. The property owner might have applications for the easement that happen concurrently to your usage. Write down all of the owner’s rights which will stay in position even after the granting of the easement.

Write down that will take care of maintenance and repair of the easement property. Also indicate who’s liability for harm to workers or adjacent property which could be impacted by use of the easement

List repayment amounts. In California, the property owner has the right to demand payment for an easement. The condition licenses appraisers who appreciate easements. In the event that you and the property owner are agreeable, then you aren’t required to find an appraisal and might agree on any number you see fit. During negotiations, point out any advantages the property owner can receive from an easement. For instance, if permitting the easement helps you improve the value of the house, the easement owner’s property might go up in value as well. This could reduce the fee to get the easement.

Outline the whole agreement and negotiate with any difficulties. You may either initial changes in the document or, when changes are extensive, sweep the agreement in its entirety. Make sure that the document you sign comprises all of the benefits and burdens you have negotiated

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The way to Tell the Black Gum Tree & Live Oak Tree Besides

Once you understand how and where to look, distinguishing a black gum tree (Nyssa sylvatica) from a live oak (Quercus spp.) Becomes simple. Form, foliage, flowers and vegetables all highlight the gaps between these trees. Black gum simplifies the task once it drops its leaves for winter. A live oak — as its name implies — remains evergreen. Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) illustrates that the qualities that separate various types of live oaks from a dark gum tree.

Silhouette and Size

Black gum’s characteristic pyramidal shape remains intact during its existence. Narrow but conical when young, the tree gradually widens as it ages. In Mediterranean-climate landscapes, black gum generally grows 30 to 50 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet broad. It grows much larger in its native eastern U.S. habitat however still includes a pyramidal type. Southern live oak grows 50 feet tall in Mediterranean climates and taller in its native southern U.S. kingdom; its rounded, umbrellalike canopy spreads twice as broad as the tree grows tall. A broad southern live oak on the horizon won’t be mistaken for a black gum tree.

Leaf Characteristics

Following a winter spent with bare branches, black gum creates shiny, green foliage in spring. Each widely oval leaf widens at the center prior to its smooth margins form a stage. Even in mild climates, black gum treats onlookers to a fiery show of orange, red, purple and gold foliage before fall takes its leaves. The southern live oak holds its leaves year-round in all but the coldest regions of its growing range, and also it falls only a portion of its leaves. The narrow, oval, smooth-edged leaves have softly rounded tips and are shiny and dark green on top and white beneath.

Preferred Conditions

Black gum and southern live oak develop best in full-sun and partially shady websites, and both bear highly acidic to highly alkaline soil pH. Hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, dark gum withstands wide-ranging dirt and soil conditions. Compacted, drought-stricken, urban plots and excessively moist, poorly drained sites evenly match the versatile black gum. The tree has moderate salinity tolerance at a coastal site. Hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10, southern live oak adapts to a range of conditions, but its optimal growth requires always moist to wet soil. Even so, southern live oak excels in warm, inland climates and low-desert gardens that provide sufficient moisture. Its salinity tolerance is great to medium on a shore and great at an inland site.

Flowers and Fruits

Some tree flowers have male and female parts within the exact same blossom, but dark gum flowers are either male or female. With occasional exceptions, the male and female flowers occur on separate trees. Following a male black gum tree flowers pollinate a feminine black gum tree inconspicuous spring blooms, the feminine tree bears fruits, that appear in clusters and are dark or blue-black, 1/2- to 1 1/2-inch, olivelike drupes in autumn and winter. Southern live oak also has separate male and female blooms, but they appear on the exact same tree. Those blooms are trivial and appear in spring; they give 1/2- to 1 1/2-inch vegetables — brown acorns with spiny tips.

Additional Live Oaks

While dark gum blazes with fall color and berrylike fruits, live oak species native to Mediterranean, coastal climates stick with acorns and spiny, evergreen leaves. The coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) is among these species, and canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis) is just another one. Hardy in USDA zones 9 through 10, the coast live oak grows up to 70 feet tall, has a canopy spread wider and creates acorns quantifying 1 1/2 to 3 inches. Every spring, it deals leathery old leaves for shiny new ones — all with sharp, spiny borders. The canyon live oak is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, grows 65 feet tall and broad, and has sharp-tipped, 1/2- to 1 1/2-inch acorns. Its leaves may have sharp spines or be smooth; one tree may have both spiny leaves and smooth leaves. Each leaf is gray-green on the planet and pale-blue on its bottom.

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