Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Looking To 2011 - Inspirations For New Year

It's time to get out the 'crystal ball of good taste' - and speculate on what the hot trends for interior design will be in 2011. But we don't have to use the crystal ball - actually. We already know what works: great hue choices that reflect your inner feelings and personality, ONLY the best and most unique furniture and home furnishings/pieces, and accessories (don't overdo accessories - careful!). Throw all these ingredients into your design-blender and voila! You've got a smoothie of a solid design. And what's best - it'll be a design that will work for YOU - for YEARS.

Still, there's speculation out there - such as that of imm cologne - interior design experts 'showcasing the interiors of the future'. They're European - and - we like Europe. We really like the 'deep thoughts' associated with their 2011 interior design trends. Of course - a huge influence is that of sustainability, as well as progress and innovation. They've dubbed "Emotional Austerity", "Surprising Empathy", "Re-Balancing" and "Transforming Perspectives" as the guiding principles for interior design next year - check it out it's fascinating!

If this is all to much for you, and you just want an exquisite interior space, then skip reading all this stuff, and call J. Douglas Bradford. He's your Dallas interior designer - and he also sells and designs with the finest furniture on the market.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vote For J. Douglas Design - BEST FURNITURE


We jumped this weekend to 4th place! THANK YOU for your support! Please share with all your friends and ask them to vote too! We need all we can get to win! For those of you who have not had a chance yet, you CAN help make J. Douglas Design #1 on WFAA-List Best of Dallas!

Please vote for us today (voting ends December 18th)- under category of FURNITURE! It only takes a minute. Also, join us on Facebook for updates!

It's all in the details @ J Douglas Designs!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's in YOUR Living Room?

Is your living space a designer's showcase or a comfy memory-making retreat for your family?

Design elements are important throughout your home, but you also have to make room for functionality. Form is great but it's not worth much unless it functions in your favor!

Color and accent play a huge function in interior design. This year, there are lots of trends. But the one we like best of the Dallas interior design trends is 'glam and glitz' with lots of gold, crystal and other metallic accents. A fantastic decorative chandelier over the dining table (if your dining and living is combined) or a fabulous HUGE mirror with a gilded gesso frame can transform your space - from FRUMPY to FAB instantly. And - mirrors, lighting options - can add real function to your room - offering illusions of space and depth and actual lighting sources.

Muted colors are also a trend - softer versions of brighter counterparts and shades of gray are the current rage. All of the new 'muted' toned colors compliment each other relaxing and soft way and add a bit of elegance to your room.

Of course - the most function in your living space will come from finding flexible home furnishing options. Don't limit yourself to the same old 'couch + table' setup, and don't get something that is too big for the space (i.e. - a HUGE, COLOSSAL, COSMICALLY SIGNIFICANT SECTIONAL is not necessary for most homes). I nstead - opt for smaller pieces of high end furniture to give you flexibility and function at the same time. We are talking about about chairs, smaller love seats and ornate & decorative accent pieces that can be used in combination - and rearranged as necessary to freshen up your space.

Take a look at what's in YOUR living room. You might just be due for something new. Contact us at J. Douglas Design - Where Dallas Goes For Fine Furniture and Interior Design for your consultation today!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Traditional Holiday Décor with a Modern Flair

The holidays are full of traditions, from big family gatherings down to the simple pleasures like hot cocoa. When it seems like the whole world is in a festive mood, it's easy to get excited about checking off items on your traditional holiday to-do list, especially when it comes to decorating your home.

First, consider the overall decor or 'feel' you want to display. By combining modern design and classic traditions of holiday home decorating, your home can become memorable - inside and out. Think about color (rich shades of pumkin and spice!) and other things in nature that make one feel comfortable and warm for Fall and going into Winter.

Instead of a traditional straw cornucopia on the Thanksgiving table, perhaps a modern rendition of that piece made of aluminum window screen would be more at home in a contemporary setting. Country-style holiday decor may be more at home in a cottage-style interior, while sophisticated items may look best in a formal, traditional space. Matching the holiday accessories to the style of the interior decor is an important way to create a cohesive space, no matter the time of year.

If you're feeling bold, make your holiday decorations all about of-the-moment color and modern details. Snowy white branches are the perfect backdrop to make brightly colored glass bulbs and baubles really stand out. Go for colors like fuchsia, apple green, lemon yellow and turquoise. For an extra "wow" factor, use multicolored strands of lights that will play on the hues of your ornaments. Make your own tree skirt from brightly colored felt, and glue on small mirrors or silver-tone charms for extra sparkle.

If you’re home is rustic, go with rich woods, earth tones and, of course, splashes of brick red for an upscale-yet-casual look. Stringing your tree with white and gold lights will give it a warm glow; play on that ambience with raffia garland and ornaments made of natural materials. Hang cable-knit socks on the mantle for another touch of cozy luxury. The key to this look is that it is glowing, rather than shiny. Try wrapping gifts in brown kraft paper and adding pops of color with ribbon in colors that match your decor.

Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah, there are many opportunities to display holiday decor in your interior design. While each holiday usually requires different color palettes and themes, be sure to use general holiday decorating guidelines to stay congruent with the current style of your existing interior. This can help any home look like it belongs in the pages of a magazine. If you would like to speak with one of our Dallas interior design specialists - be sure to visit our website and Dallas furniture showroom.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November Spotlght - La Barge

With La Barge, it's all about the details. Or, more specifically - the accessories, finishes, and special touches in your home. Using only the most skilled artisans, La Barge home furnishings take inspiration from the finest pieces and treasures worldwide. If you are looking for that finishing touch for a space, or unique accent pieces - look no further than La Barge.

La Barge products are typically smaller pieces, or accents for your interior - such as mirrors, benches, occasional tables, wall decor, upholstery, and more. We've always been very choosy about the brands we carry - and chose only the best for our Dallas furniture showroom; La Barge certainly fits the bill.

Based in North Carolina, La Barge is a part of Furniture Brands International - a larger group of well-known furniture brands - such as Maitland-Smith, Drexel, Thomasville, and Lane - offering the public a wide range of products, styles and prices.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spotlight on The Platt Collection

J. Douglas Design is quite impressed with the collections and marques we carry. We have to be impressed - or we don't carry it. It's got to be special - to be used in our Dallas interior design business. One of those exclusive brands - is the Platt Collection of fine furniture and home furnishings.

What impresses us most about The Platt Collections, besides being family owned for 60 years - is their generosity and heart for wanting to make a difference in the world!

This year, The Platt Collections introduced The Alyce Collection which incorporates the breast cancer awareness ribbon into its design. The creative idea is the brainchild of furniture designer Glenn Midnet, whose mother, Alyce, died from breast cancer in 1974 when he was very young.

The Alyse chair incorporates the signature pink cancer awareness symbol and is constructed from sturdy plantation mahogany and covered with silk with brushed nickel feet. It’s both beautiful and comfortable!

The Platt Collection’s Alyce vanity desk and mirror incorporates the breast cancer awareness ribbon as well and is also constructed of plantation mahogany with brushed nickel accents and an onyx marble inset. The mahogany mirror is trimmed in a broken silver leaf finish.

Since ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of Alyce collection pieces will go to benefit cancer research, it’s a great feeling to be able to offer our clients a stylish way to help fight breast cancer.

So this month - in honor of breast cancer awareness month - our hats are off to The Platt Collection, for their creative and heartfelt contribution to the cause.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Furniture Design Spotlight: Marge Carson

At J. Douglas Designs, we are proud to carry and spotlight high-end furniture by California-based Marge Carson. Founded in 1947, they are one of the world’s leading privately-held wood and upholstery manufacturers.

We especially appreciate the variety of styles Marge Carson offers with 14 different collections - Borghese, Chateau Chaumont, Design Folio, Hampton, Les Marches, Marquesa, Rue Royale, Samba, Segovia, Umbria, Verona, Villa Argenta, Vouvray, and Yorkshire Manor.

And with their customization programs, we’re able to purchase furniture for every room of the house including unique pieces such as banquettes and pet sofas. If a design project calls for accents such as bow and tassel ties, buttons, or nailhead trims we often turn to Marge Carson. Their eye-catching designs are enhanced with 55 rich finishes, and more than 600 plush fabrics, trims and leathers.

Christine Rendino, Director of Fashion & Merchandising, stays on top of the latest home furnishing design trends and incorporates those into every new piece created at Marge Carson. One strategy they use is to look to the fashion runways to decide on their trends and color direction. This lends credibility to their brand and gives us confidence that their upholstery and case goods are always on the cutting-edge.

Please stop by our exclusive Dallas furniture showroom to experience the world of Marge Carson home furnishings.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Celebrating 21 Years Of Dallas Interior Design

Congratulations to J. Douglas Design, Inc. and award-winning Dallas designer, J. Douglas Bradford!

October officially marks twenty-one years of Dallas interior design excellence for Dallas interior designer, J. Douglas Bradford. Now over 20 years after opening the exclusive Dallas furniture showroom, J. Douglas Design, Inc. continues to incorporate the perfect pieces, the finest fabrics, timeless treatments and ageless accessories - with the end result being a simply elegant space.

Whatever your likes or styles - the super high-end furnishings and accessories from well-known furniture designers like Marge Carson, Maitland-Smith, Christopher Guy, Swaim and Theodore Alexander are sure to complete any design; but also prove to be a treasure that will endure the tests of time - and in superb style, no less.

Douglas has always been very passionate about the brands he carries, as well as the interior spaces he works with. Douglas is well-known for (and very proud of) hand selecting EVERY piece in his showroom. He only selects pieces he would have in his own home, and that are built with great care and quality.

It's more than just great design, it's about putting something together using only the best pieces - made of the highest quality materials - that will be timeless and tasteful for years to come.

Been looking to redesign a space in your home? Have you wanted to replace some furniture or accessorize your living spaces? Now is the time: To celebrate 21 years - J. Douglas Design is offering 20% OFF THE ENTIRE SHOWROOM AND ALL SPECIAL ORDERS through the end of October! Call 214-522-8100 for more details.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Basic Design - Elements & Principles

Knowledge of basic interior design elements and principles can help you transform any space from frumpy to fabulous. Interior design involves so many variables that we thought it would be helpful to give our readers a “high-level” overview of the basics.

The elements and principles of design are the building blocks used to create any body of creative work. So what is the difference between the two?

Design elements are the basic units of a visual image. These elements in interior design include space (point), line (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and curved), balance (symmetrical, asymmetrical, radial) color (primary, secondary and complimentary), shape, texture, form and value.

The principles of design govern the relationships of the elements used and organize the arrangement as a whole and consist of unity, harmony, contrast, repetition (rhythm, pattern) variety (alternation), emphasis (dominance or focal point), proportion (scale), functionality, proximity & lighting.

There are no “rules” that will guarantee interior design excellence, however, successful design incorporates the use of the principles and elements to serve the designer's purpose and visual goals.

Our intent here at J.Douglas Design is always to achieve harmony between the elements to create fabulous spaces as the premier interior designer in Dallas. Now that you have an overview of the basics, we will be taking a deeper dive into the concepts of elements and principles in future posts. Stay tuned…

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Brief History Of Interior Design

Studying the history of interior design is important and can be either a resource for imitation or for stimulating new ideas. We call it - 'inspiration'. Interior designers are no different from other artists - the difference is that our canvas is your home. Come with us as we journey across time to take a brief view of this fascinating topic…

The history of interior design draws upon several different fields of study. It is based in architectural history, but incorporates elements of the decorative arts, including furniture, metalwork, glass, ceramics, and textiles.

Let's begin with prehistoric and indigenous design. Interestingly, modern art has been strongly influenced by native art. While modern design may not have been as deeply influenced there are often similarities (such as repetition and pattern) between design by indigenous peoples and modern work as seen in weavings such as rugs, blankets, pottery and baskets.

Then there are the ancient world influences of Egypt, Greece, Rome and others. Tombs found in Egypt have yielded up a wide range of objects which have given us a glimpse into Egyptian daily life. They suggest spaces with only minimal furniture, lively color in wall decorations and woven materials as well as the treatment of columns as strong decorative elements. We see similar architectural elements in Rome and Greece, but two distinct styles, and an distinct evolution of architectural know-how. The ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum have shown us that ancient cities were not unlike ours - and were most certainly full of 'decor'. All of the ancient civilizations mentioned made use of wall paintings, sculpture - and furnishings accessories of all sorts.

Next, we'll jump to the Middle Ages, where we find early Christian, Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic design influences both in architecture and in design elements. From there history takes us into the Renaissance and Rococo - rich with its Italian, European, French and English influences. Neoclassicism gave us Empire and Regency styles.

The North American age was first influenced by Colonial, Federal and Gothic revival design. And who doesn’t love the Victorian Era with it’s Arts and Crafts, Shaker and Adirondack themes.

At the Turn of the Century we were steeped in Art Nouveau and in the Twentieth Century we were blessed with Eclecticism, Frank Lloyd Wright, De Stijl, Art Deco, Post-Modernism and Hi-tech.

As history is still writing itself, we are excited to see how Twenty-First Century interior design will play out as it is continually being influenced by the past, present and future.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Color Theory and Design Part II

Welcome back! In part I of our series on color theory, we touched on the difference between primary, secondary, tertiary and complimentary colors on the color wheel, as well as blending/mixing colors, parent colors and simultaneous contrast.

This time we will expound a little more on each of these subtopics.

Now that you’re familiar with the color wheel, let’s look at the concept of warm vs. cool colors.

Looking at the color wheel, we see that the circle is divided into two families of color that make strongly different impressions. On the left side, red, orange and yellow are referred to as warm colors and green, blue and violet are cool.

Are you beginning to mentally associate between the colors themselves and the temperature sensations of hot and cold? Good. What you’ll notice while standing in a room of warm colors is that they actually seem to raise the apparent room temperature, making spaces feel cozy and pleasant indoors in winter, while cool colors provide relief on a hot day or in a warm climate. A complimentary pair is always made up of one warm and one cool color. Therefore, before deciding on a color, take into account the size of the room, the amount of light or where it is directed.

The Effects Of Color

When the primary colors - red, yellow and blue are used together, they create a very vibrant effect, resulting in striking contrasts. Together they are very successful in small space interior design because they revitalize and rejoice.

The cool colors - blue, green or violet produce a sense of calm and quiet, and like white, creates a distancing effect, making them also ideal for smaller, narrower rooms. However, be careful not to use them alone as they can be cold and impersonal as well.

Warm tones - the range from yellow to red, are vital and happy, and give the impression of “near” space, and therefore work best in large environments.

Now that you understand how groups of colors work together to create certain effects, let’s look at a phenomenon in color theory that is very important to be aware of so as not to create blurred vision or as we jokingly mentioned in part I – cardiac arrest.

Simultaneous contrast refers to how two colors, side by side, interact with one another and change our perception accordingly. Since we rarely see colors in isolation, simultaneous contrast affects our perception of the color that we see.

For example, red and blue boxes are modified where they border each other: the blue appears green and the red, orange. The real colors are not altered; only our perception of them changes.

Since our sensation is most intense where two extremes are juxtaposed, we should be careful when using simultaneous contrast in interior design.

Artists like Van Gogh purposely used simultaneous contrast in their paintings to create a jarring unpleasant sensation for the viewer. If this is not your goal (and we hope it’s NOT your goal in your interior design!), we encourage you to be aware of color mixing that causes simultaneous contrast.

If your goal is to create intense emotion in small doses then it may help to know that simultaneous contrast is most intense when the two colors are complementary colors. Mummy cases of ancient Egypt inlaid with gold and blue lapis are a good example of this, and traditional holiday colors of green and red are too.

Whatever your interior design goals are for your space, at J Douglas Designs, we have the expertise to guide you through color theory to help you select the best furniture and home accessories for your interior spaces.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dining In For The Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner: family time together, cooking, eating and celebrating a special time of the year. For Americans - gathering for great food, family & fellowship is a tradition for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas - and other holidays during the Fall months each year. And certainly, most meals are a social event for most families in these United States - holiday or not. So the design of the dining area is very important to create the atmosphere of sharing, comfort and feeling at 'home' that most associate with the tradition of eating together.

Before you plan and begin your dining room interior design, it's important to consider some aspects of your space: lighting, and focal points.

The lighting in a dining or eating area is paramount.

Guests might want to see what they're eating (No way!) or maybe it's a romantic and exclusive dinner for two - where mood rules the atmosphere. Functionality and flexibility is the key when it comes to dining room lighting. Opt for a fancy dimmer switch and lighting arrangement to fit the mood of your event.

It's also important to explore natural lighting and windows in your space before placing the actual fixtures. If you have great natural light from a large window on one side of the room, then obviously the other side of the room might be able to use a lamp or light source. Before you place - check your space!

Which brings us to focal points in your dining space.

And one more word on lighting - because it's related to both lighting AND focal points: most interior design plans for dining spaces include a strong light source directly over the table. This is a great opportunity to create a focal point, with both drama and style.

On other focal elements - do you perhaps have an architectural element such as a fireplace, or dramatic window, or a recessed ceiling in your dining room? If so - design opportunity is knocking. Play these up, embellish them and feature them in your design. If you don't have these assets to your space, then add them with your lighting, fixtures and artwork. The dining room is a very popular place for art.

Furniture = Function.

One thing is certain - American's don't gather and eat together STANDING UP. You must have a place to sit and serve.

Choosing a dining room table should first follow your initial style and taste for the room overall - with regard to style and design, but size and placement obviously plays a large role as well. Depending on the size of the space, your table should allow ample room for passage (even with chairs in use - so allow some extra space), and some negative space as well to avoid an overdone, cluttered look.

You want your dining room to be 'comfortable', 'tight and cozy' and 'aesthetic' - but you have to allow for your guests and yourself to MOVE around in the space as well. If you're unsure of what will work best in your space - you can always call J. Douglas Design for an in-home interior design consultation, or visit our Dallas furniture showroom.

For a smaller and more square dining room - a round table shape and of proper scale works great. For longer, oblong spaces, the traditional rectangular dining room table works well. With both options, there would be easy access to and from and around the table and seating.

Dining room designs are a favorite of J. Douglas Designs. Here's some design tips from us to you - to make ALL your in-home dining experiences a tradition to endure:

• Create an extra special pizazz and sparkle by including mirrors, mirrored accessories and glass elements. The shine, sparkle and crystal-clear reflections will add a subtle, special effect.

• Plan your table place settings, centerpiece and other accessories to really accent your design and add color, texture and shape. Adding these accessories will help the room not seem 'overwhelmed' by the large dining room table, but rather - accent it's presence.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Furniture Design Spotlight – Christopher Guy Furnishings

Often referred to as “Creators of the World’s Most Fabulous Furnishings” by its peers, Christopher Guy furniture sports timeless & traditional and contemporary beauty, creating a distinctive look for any interior space.

The manufacturing and design operations (a one-million square foot workshop) are housed in a state-of-the-art facility and led by award-winning designer Christopher Guy Harrison - this line of furniture and accessories collections focuses on exceptional quality and unique, timeless designs - using tried and true methods of creation and finishing techniques.

At J. Douglas Design, we love the Christopher Guy furniture collections and are proud to carry their line of fine furnishings in our exclusive Dallas furniture showroom. Christopher Guy collections have graced the world’s finest residences, resorts, and even movie sets including 007 – Tomorrow Never Dies, The Mummy, and Oceans 13.

If Christopher Guy home furnishings are fabulous enough for MGM and Warner Brothers, we’re confident you will be proud to showcase their distinguished look in your home or business - and it's why we feature their furniture and furnishings as a part of many of our interior designs.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Got Style?

A style, or theme, is a consistent idea used throughout a room or space to create a feeling of 'completeness'. Have you discovered your favorite design styles? Most people choose their interior design style for very personal reasons - for a lot of people it is simply a matter of taste. A designer develops a home architecture and interior design for a customer that has a style and theme that the prospective owner likes and mentally connects to.

Some themes often follow period styles. Examples of this are Louis XV, Victorian, Feng Shui, International, Mid-Century Modern, Minimalist, English Georgian, Art Deco, and many more. The evolution of interior decoration themes has now grown to include themes not necessarily consistent with a specific period style allowing the mixing of pieces from different periods.

Each element should contribute to form, function, or both and maintain a consistent standard of quality and combine to create the desired design.

Maybe you are inspired by your travels. A summer holiday to Tuscany? Backpacking in Asia? A trip to France? A relaxing week on a tropical beach? These are all good interior design themes to choose from, as your room will always remind you of your wonderful memories and make you feel happy and relaxed when you are in it.

Whether you have a favorite design style or two in mind or working with a blank slate, J. Douglas Design is here to help you implement the perfect theme and make sure that you’ve got style!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Art of Working with an Interior Designer

Working with a interior design professional can be both exciting and intimidating. However, doing so can give your home continuity, function, and beauty without going over your budget.

Designers can save you money in many situations by allocating resources wisely, choosing durable, high quality furniture, eliminating decorating mistakes, and increasing creativity on your project.

Eliminate the fear factor and create a good experience by taking a few steps to prepare in advance:

1: Decide on a budget.

2: Collect color swatches you like.

3: Make your own project design file with pictures to illustrate what you like and what you don't like.

4: Think about the furniture pieces you hope to keep.

5: Be inspired!

For inspiration, visit model homes and stand in the rooms asking yourself questions like:

-How does this room make me feel?

-Are the colors too light or too dark for me?

-Is it too formal, or not formal enough?

-Do I like white carpeting, or would I rather have something darker and more anchored?

-Is that striped wallpaper crisp or just annoying? (likely the latter?)

-Is the furniture warm, dark, white, or colored?

- What do I like (or dislike) about it?

Other sources of inspiration include museums, auctions, antique stores and television design shows.

Next, communicate well and describe your vision. Listen. Talk. Listen. The more information you can give to your designer the better.

Doing your homework and teaming with a good interior designer can turn your interior into a beautiful, functional living space with a creative and unique flair - without cost of unnecessary mistakes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Furniture Design Spotlight - Maitland-Smith

The one thing we constantly work hard to do - is maintain a standard of elegance with the furniture lines we carry in our Dallas Furniture Showroom.

If the quality and service is not up to par - J. Douglas Design doesn't carry the line. And top quality, customer-service oriented makers of furniture and accessories are not always easy to come by. You want to do business with a company that has a great track record - and one that will stand behind their products.

One of our longest-standing business relationships is with Maitland-Smith - makers of fine furniture, accent furniture, decorative accessories, and lighting - for over thirty years. We've been selling Dallas furniture and accessories for nearly as long - and Maitland-Smith is certainly one of our most 'tried and true' brands with furniture designs that are consistently elegant and flexible - and unsurpassed quality.

Maitland-Smith pieces have always taken inspiration from seventeenth and eighteenth century antiques. These timeless treasures are not always 'replicated' in whole, but careful attention is taken to ensure that details are just as defined as old-world pieces; giving Maitland-Smith's furniture and accessories an elegant hand-made appeal.

Many of Maitland-Smith's pieces are indeed hand-painted or have hand-placed inlaid woodwork - created by fine artisans from the finest materials found all over the world. The quality and workmanship are unparalleled.

So if you're looking for a traditional or just seriously swanky update to your furniture collection - look no further than Maitland-Smith - makers of fine furniture for over 30 years, and a customer favorite at J. Douglas Design.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bring on the patterns!

Pattern is a design element (but not one of the standard elements of design) which is a must for any interior design, and can be easily be accomplished.

While pattern not one of the standard elements of design, it is a part of a very important design principle - repetition. Pattern also can play a key factor in other arenas - texture at times, as well as line, and color - all of which definitely ARE standard elements of design. The only challenge with utilizing pattern in an interior design - is not to overdo it, or mix patterns inappropriately. We'll talk about that later.

Here's some do's and don'ts for implementing pattern into your space - with style.

DO a preliminary check on your colors.

Don't go out and buy patterned pillows because you're 'drawn to them'. Then you'll be stuck trying to design a room around a pillow - and while it's CERTAINLY possible for me to do this if you want me to (I am a very confident interior designer - it only depends on your budget!) - I can tell you as an interior designer - it's not optimal to plan your design around an object. Take objects as inspiration - sure, but try not to base an entire space's design around a cool table runner you found at market. It'll be more expensive for you - trust me.

So - Before you select your pattern, and what/how/where you will use it in your design - keep in mind that a lot will depend on your overall color scheme. Strong solids on walls or furniture, wall hangings, window treatments - would dictate utilizing smaller elements of pattern and perhaps in a lighter value (for monochromatic colors already being used in your design) as well as complimentary hues to your main color. They should always blend nicely and complement your design. If you have strong navy blue walls, for example - you don't want to go get a matching navy curtains with tiny cream colored dots. They'll be lost in the wall color; and you won't be able to see or feel anything from them except MORE NAVY. Rather - you want to accentuate the beautiful DEPTH of your navy walls - so, you might find cream colored curtains with a cool navy toile pattern - to really make the windows pop; and add a nice sense of texture to the space.

DO know when to tone it down.

We're going to talk a moment about mixing patterns, and over-doing patterns. With mixing patterns - just try to remember to keep it SIMPLE+EXTRAVAGANT! Simple - meaning keep it simple. We're talking stripes, dots - a SIMPLE pattern. Couple it with a beautiful, more extravagant pattern such as paisley, damask, or toile - as long as there's not tons of damask + paisley + toile + big ole' stripes - (which could make even young people go into cardiac arrest - be warned) you'll be doing nicely.

Checks and stripes can easily be coupled with florals or other patterns, and are a very simple way to mix patterns to add a bit more interest to the design.

And here's a tip: if you're looking to add pattern, but do not want to overdo it, simply look for a small weaved fabric, GENTLY monochromatic or solid in color - the weave will add a bit of dimension and is a pattern to boot. You'll be killing two birds with one stone - adding dimension and pattern - without adding anything that will distract from your already exquisite design.

On overdoing it - certainly the previously described pattern combination would definitely fall under this category as well - but for example, if you already have pattern on your walls - and pattern on your sofa - then your goal should not be to try and add MORE pattern. It should be to complement the patterns you already have - by toning then down a bit.

So whether you're adding new patterns or complementing the ones you have - think about what your goals are for your design; and layer in the right colors and patterns to bring out the very best in your interior.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick Change STYLE

Summer is upon us (officially!) and Fall is just around the corner. Many remodel or redesign in cooler weather, but sometimes it's easy to feel a little stagnant mid-season with regard to the look and feel of our interior space. A quick decorating change in order to lift our spirits!

There are unlimited QUICK AND EASY design or accessory changes you can make to truly refresh your design or even transform it into something totally different. You don't have to be an interior designer to make a quick change - in fact, it's a great way to spruce up your home between remodels or redesigns.

It's all about the layering of the space - between the base (space, layout, walls, floors) and the necessities (furniture pieces and their arrangement) and accessories (rugs, paintings, etc).

Paint your room! A quick paint job is an inexpensive way to transform the actual perception of a room - you can make an area appear larger, brighten up a windowless space or just change the way it appears by an inexpensive (flat) paint job.

Maybe you need to bring money and luck into your life - rearrange the furniture and choose a color to shift the energy through Feng Shui. The ancients used color for wellness in all areas of their life - and it's amazing what a quick color change in your living areas can do to freshen up a design, or totally transform it.

Certainly, there are wonderful faux finishes you could implement if you're looking to add some 'texture' and 'dimension' to the walls specifically, but we can add texture and dimension to a space in other ways - much more quickly.

Don't have time to paint the whole house or room? Here's a cool idea - paint a mural, or apply a design treatment to the CEILING (as long as you don't have the dreaded popcorn ceiling - which is never fun to try and remove.) - it'll quick-change the entire room in an ultra-hip way.

ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE: Add a rug or change out the lamps. Adding a rug is so easy - and you can find a rug that will bring a whole new style to your space.

For example, to add a touch of 'Africa' - opt for a faux Zebra print rug - it will add both pattern and texture to your room in one instant - and a touch of the exotic.

If your home is more traditional - add a more traditional style rug. You'll still gain additional color, pattern and texture to your room.

If you have patterned wallpaper, or patterned furniture - opt for a solid color rug so that the space doesn't get too busy.

Add new pillows to your sofa. Check and update your window treatments (this is a BIG ONE!) You wouldn't believe how many homes keep the same draperies or window treatments for (seems like) centuries. Try to stay with the times on this one - and don't overlook them just because they don't do much!

And accessorize with plants - they're a great way to bring nature INSIDE, and they add color and texture immediately. A well placed plant can truly bring the outdoors in - and brighten up the whole room.

TURN ON THE LIGHTS: Swap out the lamps with something more simple, or more ornate - depending on your goals for the design. Or add some lighting behind your larger pieces - such as a nice stand alone lamp to gently hover over your couch or sofa.

ADD SOME ART: Maybe it's a painting, maybe it's a piece of sculpture or some sort of installation piece; either way - there's tons of great local artists and galleries to choose that perfect piece for your home. Browse our furniture showroom for some beautiful pieces - whatever your design style! We like to think of our showroom as an art gallery - of furniture and home accessories!

There are tons of things you can do to spruce up your home without breaking the bank. Think of it as an in-between refresher to keep your design fresh.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Entertaining Exteriors

Custom designed outdoor living spaces are not just a hit in Texas, they're growing in popularity all over the country.

Exterior design trends over the last few years include outdoor kitchens and eating areas, luxurious sitting areas with fireplaces or fire pits, stand-alone bars and other arrangements, too that are perfect for outdoor entertaining or just enjoying fresh outdoor air.

Patios lined with lush foliage, floored with beautiful tile or durable, hip stained concrete and arranged with weather-safe furniture and accessories are being enjoyed coast-to-coast.

Certainly, a custom designed exterior space means increased home value for any residence that has an exquisite outdoor space.

Interestingly, there is a trend of large companies providing comfortable, outdoor areas for employees and visitors as well. Businesses are providing a relaxing, outdoor 'oasis' of sorts for meetings, entertaining and recreation.

Common materials used in outdoor furniture include redwood, cedar, teak, plastic, steel and aluminum. It's important to make sure your design includes the best quality furniture, and that it's up to the task of standing up to the weather - wherever you are.

Exterior design in Texas might require a bit of special planning, since Texas is one of the hottest states in the union. Depending on the location of your outdoor space (is it on a rooftop? a third or fourth story? which direction does it face?) you might need to consider the comfort of those enjoying your space with regard to the heat. Perhaps you will want to consider a misting system to cool off those relaxing outdoors. Another thing to consider are shade options: consider custom built awnings or overhead canopies, as well as the possibility of utilizing exterior fabric and curtains to bring a sense of 'breezy style' to your patio, and also to cool your guests.

Stay cool - and enjoy your summer!

Faux Finishes and Traditional Style

Dallas Interior Designer Douglas Bradford, owner of J. Douglas Design, Inc, was featured in Texas Home and Living for integrating the elegant traditional style the client requested, and artistic touches with faux finishes and upscale accessories.

The client was worried that the color and finish of the walls would be too dark - but allowed Douglas artistic freedom - and it resulted in the perfect fusion of tradition, elegance and artistic flair. See how it all turned out - read the whole article here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome to our new blog

We've been working on our new website and will have a new blog to share industry news, exclusive events, interior design tips and MORE. Please check back soon and interact with J. Douglas Design - where Dallas goes for fine furniture and interior design.