Monday, January 24, 2011

The Fireplace

The Fireplace is often the focal point of the room although in recent decades it has had to compete with the Television.  Fortunately, flat screen technology has allowed us to combine these locations by mounting the television to the wall above the fireplace.

I've been doing some research on updating fireplaces for a new client.  Who doesn't love to cozy up to a warm fire?  It sure helps, though, if it's an attractive fireplace even when the fire is not blazing.  I love brick but in this situation I think it's a little much.  Also, this is not my favorite style of brick.  The charred ones are not quite fitting for this living room.
So, I flipped though some of the books in my library for some inspiration.

There are so many options!

I'm toying with the ides of covering it in slate like shown in this bathroom.  It's a nice light color, yet give a lot of character.

Do you have any good fireplace redo stories or inspiration?

Photos by Rebecca Ward

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Study on Hanging Art

One of the most common  mistakes I see when I visit my clients houses is that the art is hung too high on the wall.  It makes it seem to me like the room is shrugging it's shoulders or raising it's eyebrows and needs to relax. 

The common misconception is that the piece of art, picture, or mirror being hung has to be evenly space between the ceiling and the table/counter/lamp/sofa it is placed above.  Maybe if your ceilings are 7'-0" high this works but generally, that type of symmetry is not the most pleasing thing for the eye to look on in the room.  If there isn't any furniture below the art, I will try to place it somewhere around 1/2 way to 2/3rd the way up the wall from the floor.  Most of the time I see the art hung around 3/4 the way up the wall.  Yikes!

As a general rule of thumb I like to hang a piece of art around 6"-10" above a table or sofa.  This will also mean that you should have the appropriate sized art.  Many work of art I see hung are great pieces but too small for the location. 

Here are some examples of properly hung art:

Take a look at your house or office.  Is the room shrugging it's shoulders?  I think it's time for some relaxation!

Photos from Nancy Pape, Inc. Model Homes

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Going to Market?

 I won't be heading down to the winter market in Las Vegas next week since I know I have to go in the summer.  I am also planning to attend KBIS in Vegas in April.  However I took a look and the style file on their website just to see what trends are happening right now.  You can read the style file for yourself here to discover what is happening with the lively colors, bold damasks, subtle yet exotic hues and shining silver accents.

You can also check out some of the featured exhibitors here.  They have many inspiring photos such as these:
Linon Home Decor Products, Inc.
Star International Furniture

Asian Art Imports

Are any of my readers planning to attend Market next week?

Images from

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Attention Downtown Sacramento

I was alerted yesterday that the downtown Sacramento store of Z Gallerie is closing.  Boohoo!  Fortunately, we have another store close by in Roseville, but it is always sad to see a favorite leave.  As a consequence, everything in the the store is 30% off.  So local readers, please go down and take advantage of this great sale!  Here is a sampling of some great things from Z Gallerie's website
Over-sized jacks make an interesting decor piece on any table

I love leaning mirrors!

I still have a thing for this pillow!

This is a fun version of the Union Jack in an area rug!

Z Gallerie is definitely one of my favorites so I plan to take a look myself to see what I absolutely can't live without.

Images from Z Gallerie

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Could Get Used To This

I had a great time this weekend discovering my new camera!  We celebrated my dad's 65th birthday so it gave me a great opportunity to try it out. It takes great pictures without me even trying.  Take a look:

I'm just barely scratching the surface.  Can't wait to use it on my next job!

Photos by Rebecca Ward

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stepping It Up

 I made a great purchase today for my business.  I took advantage of some rebates going on and got the Canon T2i SLR to take photos with instead of my little Nikon coolpix.  The kit came with a 18-135 lens.  It will be great to have a decent camera for at least the before pictures of my clients' projects.  I plan to get professional pictures done for the "after" photos but this camera will at least keep me satisfied in the meantime.  It will also be a big benefit to you readers since I will also be using it for my blog photos.

I'm not saying that I'll never use my Nikon, (I used it to take the above photo and it is tiny and fits in my purse easily) but I desperately needed to improve the quality of my photos.  Looking forward to getting to know my new camera this weekend!  Happy Friday!

Photo by Rebecca Ward

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Starting Fresh

I always enjoy beginning of January.  It's a new year so many people are freshly motivated to achieve new goals.  The air is usually fresh and crisp and on a sunny day, it is nearly blinding since there are no leaves on the trees to filter the sun.  I'm very much looking forward to this year.  My business is growing, I'll be involved in many activities for my local chapter of ASID and, of course, will be blogging about all of these adventures.

Here is one of my projects that is starting the new year looking fresh and crisp as the weather.  You may remember my Victorian project where I selected the exterior paints.  I stopped by to take some quick photos today of how it turned out:

It's not far off from the overlay in my computer program;
And it's a big improvement over the original paint:

I hope you are having a fresh start to the new year!  Happy New Year!