Thursday, December 10, 2015

History of Holiday Trees and Trim

Long before Christianity, evergreens held a special significance during the winter season. In a number of countries, the greenery was considered to possess spiritual attributes to ward off evil spirits and illness. Of course adornment reigned in old history; the inhabitants artistically decorated their doors and windows with boughs and greenery.

The early Romans, true appreciators of art and design, decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs for an annual feast at the winter solstice. The Saturnalia honored their god of agriculture, Saturn. Simultaneously and far to the north, the Druids, priests of the ancient Celts, were busy decorating, too. They festooned their temples with evergreen boughs, which they considered symbols of everlasting life.

The Christmas tree tradition we know is credited to Martin Luther, a 16th century Protestant reformer. As he walked home one winter evening, the brilliance of the stars twinkling among the evergreens captivated him. To save the scene for his family, he put up a tree in their home and wired candles onto the branches.

In the 1700s, German settlers brought the Christmas tree tradition to this continent, where it spread. In 1848, the tradition reached back across the ocean again. Very popular Queen Victoria of England had wed German Prince Albert; he put a tree up in Windsor Castle. That was it.

England took a new direction for holiday interior design and yuletide fashion. From then on, the Christmas tree became a tradition in England, the United States, and Canada.

A plain evergreen is nice. However, ornaments and lights make a personalized statement. Again, Germany gets credit for birthing a new industry of hand-made ornaments and exporting them to America. But it was American Thomas Edison’s assistant who came up with the idea of putting electric lights on the trees. The rest is history.

Today, Christmas tree decorating takes on as many forms as there are interior decorators. We can select ornaments, ribbons, garland, and lighting to complement the gorgeous furniture and interior furnishings you already have. Or, maybe you need some new fine furniture or an interior design to compliment your holiday endeavors. Drop by our Dallas Furniture Showroom for a consult or that perfect piece to finish or change the room accommodating your Christmas tree.

Oh, and by the way, did you know Christmas trees are grown in all fifty of the United States, but only Texas has J. Douglas Design?

Friday, November 6, 2015

WINTERIZE Your Home Décor

Winter is officially here - and there is nothing like coming home to a warm, cozy home. Some of us have a fireplace, while others have warm area rugs. Is your décor as "winterized" as the rest of your home? A few extra touches can go a long way in preparing your home for the season.

Decorating for winter can be as simple as choosing the right fabrics or picking the right color scheme. A well-designed home can make you forget that it's even freezing outside! Here are some ways to warm up your décor during the colder months.

Rearrange your furniture. One way to create warmth is to put your furniture closer together, making a room look more inviting and creating lots of space for conversation. Arrange them in a circle or have two or more pieces face each other. If you have a large room, try placing round a designer area rug under the furniture to define the space and add warmth to the room.

Make use of layers. Most people cope with the weather by throwing on extra layers of clothing. The same idea works around your home-add extra layers to your fine furniture, tablecloths, and window treatments. Add topper fabrics to your tablecloths to suit the season, and use a valance on your living room windows.

Add some soft fabrics.
Fill the room with thick, rich materials that give it a warmer feel. Wool and velvet are some of the most popular winter fabrics, especially for throw blankets. Area rugs are very effective at warming up a room, it's just a matter of choosing the right design.

Use some candles.
Candles not only look chic and stylish; they also provide light and heating at no extra cost. Instead of turning on the lamp, light a few candles in your living room to create some ambience. Small rooms can use them as table centerpieces. For large rooms, candles can be distributed along the walls, as it evens out the lighting.

Choose warm colors. Colors provide visual warmth and enhance the heating effect of other interior design elements. For winter, your dominant colors should be in the red-to-yellow spectrum. Pair them with toned-down earth colors such as brown and beige.

Contact J. Douglas Design today to learn more about how we can help you transform your space, into the beautiful, warm and cozy retreat you've been waiting for.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Scary Interior Design Mistakes

It's almost Halloween - and you should know that things can get really frightening - in the world of interior design. There are always 'do's and dont's' - but we've compiled the top 3 "Spookiest Design Faux-Pas" for your ghoulishly fun Halloween reading pleasure. (and it's truly a spook-tacular realistic resource and reference for decorating!)

Top 3 Spooky Interior Design Faux-Pas

1. Leaving color out of your design. Ok, so you are the 'white space' or 'minimalist' style. And monochrome, done right - is very hip. But EVERYBODY needs a pop of real color. You can't live in the 'presence of all light' or the 'absence of all light' (technical terms for white & black) forever. Gotta have SOME sort of splash of color. Somewhere. Buy a plant. Get a pillow or a rug. Bring the spectrum of light into your life. And do it FAST!

2. A Scale-Challenged Space. You think you're pretty good at 'eyeballing' things to fit into your spaces, do you? Just pop into the furniture store and buy something because it's a 'must-have'? Have you ever ended up with a space that is dominated by furniture with only or less than 1 foot of walking space in a room? Get out the tape measure and plan for several feet of walking space, and try to buy pieces that are practical, efficient and timeless.

3. Overboard Accessories. I sure hope we're not talking about you. Because if we are - Neicy Nash and her team at Clean House or the guys and gals at A&E's Hoarders will be in touch soon. HOW MANY KNICK-NACKS does a person need? You don't need figurines and snowglobes all over your house to make it 'home'. Instead - choose classy and timeless pieces that double as accent pieces - such as a decorative lamp, or an ornate side table. These things add an element of accessorizing while still being highly functional. Now, if you have a snow globe that doubles as a fully-functional crystal ball - (with fortune telling capability) - that might just be acceptable.

Of course - you might just need the help of a professional. J. Douglas Design is here for you. Just call us, and Douglas will pay you a visit and get your home sorted out chop chop.

Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ornamentation Isn't Just For Trees This Holiday

Decorating your living space, and especially your holiday table, for the holidays is important to your family tradition and holiday entertaining. Once the decor is in place, it's as easy as starting a roaring fire, turning on the White Christmas CD and commencing to making magnificent memories with your family traditions.

Follow these tips for adding spectacular stress-free seasonal sparkle to your home:

Keep your colors schemes simple. Choose your holiday colors, and then go with the flow. Holiday decorating isn’t about re-doing your living space every year, it’s about enhancing what you have, and adding special (and memorable) touches to your existing decor. It’s ok to mix colors in most cases, but keep in mind - for the holidays, you truly can never go wrong by decorating with gold and silver. Adding a metallic to your existing palette will add shine and sparkle; you know the old Christmas song... “silver and gold”? Get inspiration from it!

Decorate with candles, trees and ornaments throughout your spaces. Ornamentation isn't just for trees! Hang ornaments throughout your home, and decorate your tables with random ornaments and glass balls. Have little trees? Use them as centerpieces on your tables or place small trees in your hallways and on your porch. Take a old bowl and fill with beautiful vintage glass Christmas tree balls for a lovely addition to the table.

Whether you are beginning in a new place or continuing traditions in a home you have been in for years, it’s ok to change things up each year, add in some personality and make new, different memories each year.

Christmas Ornaments - Crate and Barrel

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Entertaining Indoors

Just because the weather is beginning to change, and the winds are starting to blow a bit cooler - doesn’t mean that you have to stop entertaining. Sure, outdoor barbeques and hot days drinking lemonade on the patio are definitely coming to a close, but you can easily still entertain outdoors in some settings - or bring entertaining indoors!

Make the biggest POP during Winter and Fall seasons by letting the food and the dining table set the mood and tone for the evening. Decorating the main food table can help make your life easier – and allow you to change your home's look instantly. Add some red tones and you can have an Italian bistro party right there in your own home, or have serve savory classics with classic Fall colors.

And here's another tip to save time and money! Recycle! J. Douglas Design loves keeping organic and 'green' elements in the equation when decorating a home - and especially when decorating for a party or just having friends over to fellowship. Reusing and 'recycling' your seasonal accessories and furnishings year-round will really save a dollar and when done creatively, add new sparkle each time you re-use the piece.

Recycle your summer wicker by adding Fall/Winter throws or new cushions. Reuse wood pieces and get pot plants to add some color. Use what you have left over from summer and spruce up with some twigs and leaves for the blasts of autumn. Bring out the terra cotta pots from the garage and put herbs in them to assist in the décor and them of the party or celebration.

Most importantly - don’t over-think decorating. Whether you are re-decorating your home for the season or simply for a get-together it’s imperative that you keep things simple. Getting hung up on small details can ruin the mood and remember that decorating your home is about you and your personality.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Do You Need An Interior Designer?

In the wake of television shows that make home decorating and design appear so simple and easy it might seem to make sense that you can do it all by yourself.

The truth is that design mistakes can be very expensive, in terms of time and money and in your overall happiness with the final result. To achieve the refined look of an interior designer requires a blend of training and talent that produces successful results only after years of experience. J. Douglas Design can help you avoid the pitfalls of a disappointing project and ensures that you are happy with your newly decorated interior.

Both as expert listeners and as a partner for you to bounce your ideas off, we help you stage your design plans to remain within budget while listening and working with you to achieve your lifestyle requirements.

Some of the common design errors that an interior designer helps you avoid include:

• Lack of experience with material availability and quality
• Color schemes that are bland or uncomplimentary
• Furniture and objects that are too numerous (or the wrong scale), creating a cluttered look
• Style and fabrics are not complemented or offset from room to room
• Purchased materials and furniture that don’t meet your needs or last
• Remodels that look like afterthoughts and don’t flow with the rest of the house
• Highlighted areas and lighting that are not used properly

The benefit to the client using an interior designer’s services as opposed to a contractor or architect is that an interior designer starts the design with how the people who live in the space use it and works out from there to make the space fit them. It should be both beautiful and functional to be a successful project.

By enlisting the help of a professional, you will not only save countless hours of researching and shopping, but also the worry and uncertainty about your decisions. An interior designer can save you money by doing it right the first time. To learn more specifics contact us.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dorm Room Design on a Dime

As you read this article, hundreds of thousands of wide eyed teens are heading off to college for their very first out of home living experience. The transition from leaving the nest to flying solo can sometimes be an emotional and trying journey. So what can a brave and design-savvy parent do?

Help your kids create a dorm room that is a mini home away from home.

This year approximately $4 billion will be spent on decorating dorm rooms. But there's really no need to break the bank account to give your child the comforts of home. Dorm room designing on a dime doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style for function. Rather, it's about finding a budget-friendly compromise for both and giving it a personal touch.

Top tips for dorm room interior design:
  • Add color 
  • Create storage 
  • Use wall décor 
Let's break those down now.

Add Color

Once upon a time colleges wouldn't let kids paint their dorm rooms, but times are changing! As long as it's painted back to a neutral color, many colleges will now allow it. 

But if painting is still a no-no for your school, then turn to companies like Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond. For the price of a gallon of paint, they have great fabric patterns that add serious style, color and drama to a room!

Feminine Color
Colorful bedding, rugs and lamps can really pull the room together. Go for stark contrast and bursts of bright color, like teal, orange, yellow and green. Use objects like throw blankets, pillows and lamps for extra pops of color.

Masculine Color
Go cool with chocolate brown, army green, navy blue and reds. Try to opt for brushed nickel, stainless and/or dark wood tones for furnishings. Remember, a dorm room can still have a pulled-together sense of style—repeating linear patterns and natural color tones can do the trick.
Create Storage

Since the average dorm room is about 200 square feet, the trick to a well-designed space is to use every square inch. So storage is essential.

Remember, when you have limited space and can't go out, you go up. Try stacking storage cubes from floor to ceiling for a fun and functional style.

More tips:

  • Get bed risers and move storage under the bed.
  • Look into portable zip-up closets with drop-down hangers for all those cool T-shirts.
  • Opt for a closed storage desk and things like decorative desk containers that really help with de-cluttering a desk.
  • Use old travel trunks as great alternative storage units.
Wall Décor
The hottest trend in dorm room design these days is peel-and-stick wall décor.

Since most dorms don't allow students to nail or screw stuff into their mostly concrete surroundings, the next best option is peel-and-stick art and picture frames that provide a functional twist. Trendy Wall Designs has everything from feminine to edgy. They even have peel and stick chalk board decals. Pretty fun! 

Photo from Dreaming in Ink