Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bring Spring INSIDE

Getting over a winter (and several weeks of being cooped up with the kids due to unforseen snow days) calls for a nice, inexpensive 'renewal' of your interior design.

Open the windows, bring in the plants - and mix things up for the (sometimes volatile) Texas Spring!

Freshen up your home with Spring's delicate colors, lighten up your bedding (less covers needed in warmer months!) and revitalize your space with living plants. Prepare your psyche and your interior for the beauty and brightness that March, April and May bring.

Here are J. Douglas Design's tips for quick-pick-me-ups to revitalize and prepare your space (and your mood!) for Spring!

Paint Your Walls: If you're doing Spring cleaning anyway - then you're making more space and cleaning things things up a bit. Nothing says clean like a fresh coat of paint! And, it's an inexpensive way to truly transform a space with color. If you're one who paints often to change things up - select a bold Spring color. Spring will call for sky blues, dusty (but not drab) grays, perfectly picked pinks, yummy yellows, kiwi green - and of course - all shades of white are always in style.

If you're the type who fights change and are looking for something more stationery, then stick with a hue that works with your home furnishings, but don't be afraid to try something new! Keep in mind - paint is hands-down the EASIEST and CHEAPEST way to change things up - so test a few colors before you settle - and know you can always change it again and you won't break the bank.

Add color separately: Don't want to paint your wall? Try adding a piece of artwork or an accessory to add some pizazz to the room. Artwork, paintings, sculpture, vases, blankets, pillows - are all easy to find home furnishings that can add that something special to your space. Bring outdoor colors inside with beautiful bold green, pink and yellow accents to your current design. Take inspiration from cool water, bright flowers and a clear Texas sky!

Spring Patterns:
With pattern, you can add dimension, texture and color - but it does so in small doses. Again, accessorizing is inexpensive enough that you can test and try different things, and change things out season to season. Floral patterns and abstract organic shapes in pattern remind us of the promise of 'new' during the Spring months. Revive a dull solid neutral sofa with a set of bold, patterned pillows.

Change Curtains or Bedding: Just getting a new window treatment or swapping out your bedding will make a huge change. And for Spring - remember to lighten things up. When selecting your curtains, bedding or accessories for the home - simply think "tranquil, fresh, new, clean"....

Add REAL flowers: Spring's hot colors are inspired by the fresh flowers that are available during the Spring months - tulips, daisies, lilies. Market Street (and most grocery stores) are a great place to get fresh flowers, inexpensively. Stick with a color scheme (I like off white lilies with dark greenery - it goes with everything and is pure, clean and Springlike!) Put them in an inexpensive glass container, and let them brighten your life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Work-It While Working From Home

More and more people are working from home these days and finding it difficult to find the extra “office” space needed to do their job.

Even more challenging is making it stylish and fit in with the rest of your home furnishings and interior design.

There are a lot of things to consider when designing your home office - here are just a few:

Space -
Space is probably the biggest factor to where and how you will design your home office. If potential clients are on the agenda, you will need to have a space close to a door for easy access. Also, having adequate space on both sides of the desk is a must if you have clients visiting your home office. Noise is another thing to consider. If the house is shared with other people - especially young children, there should be a separate room with a door designated for the office. Many of these spaces depend on how much privacy you need to work. Just a wall or two designated for office space in the family room, living room, a bedroom, or some other room may be appropriate. Possibly sharing the office with another room, such a dining room or living area - separated with bookshelves. Or even a guest room with a sleeper sofa or get a Murphy bed which folds up into the wall. Having ample storage space is also key to any room, but in an office area, it is essential for organization.

Storage -
Having ample storage space is key to any room - but in an office area, it is essential for the organization of your home business. A well designed closet can help you organize everything to function properly in your home office. Determining your needs is the first step. Separate items into different categories such as materials, documents, files, boxes and extra space for any inventory needed to store on site. Having a filing cabinet, closet supply and a place to sort mail is important to help reduce clutter.

Lighting -
Depending on what your home business is will help you determine how much and what type of lighting you need to effectively light your work space. Glares on a computer monitor can cause serious eye strain and headaches, so be sure to adjust your light from any windows and any other sources of ambient light. Task lighting is a good idea for such important tasks as reading, writing and working on the computer. Accent lighting can provide a more relaxed and beautiful workspace, while communicating to any clients that the office is professionally run and the business is competent. The proper lighting can make the office and workspace much more pleasant and efficient.

Furniture -
When working from home, you will probably spend many hours in your office space. Having an interior that is soothing and relaxing can improve your mood and make you look forward to the time spent there. But, offices need a clear work area, with adequate space for computer, a file space and a location for frequently referenced supplies and paper. Most offices need a desk, a very comfy chair, computer (& any other equipment), a filing cabinet and possibly a few shelves. It is best to invest in office furniture that is sturdy and provides ample space for work and storage.

Your home office design should be truly all about you and whatever you can imagine. But, if you ever need help with ideas, you can always turn to J Douglas Designs to help your business grow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spotlight: Theodore Alexander

You already know that J. Douglas Designs only carries the very best in fine furniture and home furnishings. Our 10,000+ square foot Dallas furniture showroom showcases the most beautiful and unique pieces available - each of which has been hand-picked personally by Mr. Bradford himself.

One of the most interesting lines we carry, is Theodore Alexander. A leading manufacturer of fine furniture, their exquisite and vast collection of furniture and furnishings employ hundreds of designs, and hundreds of inspirations - resulting in thousands of styles - from eclectic to traditional.

Of course, Theodore Alexander is also known for quality. Each piece custom crafted to last a lifetime. With quality and timeless designs like theirs, you can pass it down - generation to generation.

The brand was born in 1996 - and is a sister brand to Maitland Smith - created by industry legend Paul Maitland Smith. Maitland Smith has been an industry leader in quality, style and selection for over 25 years.

Want to investigate Maitland Smith or Theodore Alexander pieces for your interior design? Contact us at J. Douglas Design today or visit our Dallas furniture showroom to see the beauty and quality of these lines.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spring Is (Almost) In The Air...

All this snow and the harsh winter winds have forced many to stay indoors more than usual these past few weeks. And especially after the vibrant colors and festive music and lights of the holidays - your interior design, home furnishings and furniture might seem now just as “cold and dreary” as it has been outside. But warmer weather is just around the corner - sunshine is on it's way!

Rescue your living space from the winter doldrums by adding a splash of color, texture or an accessory! Adorn your sofa with a bold new throw, top your bare, empty mantle with a candle or display some your fabulous gallery art work on your walls.

Here are just a few other ideas for fighting the winter blues at home:
Winter whites. While there is something magical about the season's first glistening snowfall-by the time February is here, certain parts of the country (and us too after last week!) are sick of the thick white stuff. Consider some shades of white. They're light, bright, and soothing. In fact, a creamy white color scheme and sparkling accessories can actually recapture some of the magic and warmth that winter holds (without reminding us of the Ice Queen from Narnia). Line your tables with white linens and dishes. Create a warm glow with a display of white pillar candles in silver, glass or crystal candle holders. Place white roses or other equally creamy flowers in a pretty vase.

Keep It Cool.
Light greens and blues can give anyone spring fever! The colors are uber-cool - light and airy, too - and are grounded with rich, neutral grays. You can really add some 'pop' to your design by using these relaxing and calming hues. Try a sage green chair a to accent snowy white bedding, add a bit of color to your bedding with pale blue pillows. They'll enhance the mood and setting of the entire space. With color, you can design a bedroom that is tranquil, with plenty of panache, class - and - most importantly - it will be your private sanctuary.

Go Really Green. While the mounds of brown, soggy grass and droopy trees outside your window aren't exactly a pleasant sight, having fresh, bright plants or flowers inside can always perk you right back up. In a variety of unique colors and shapes, indoor plants and herbs are the perfect solution to wake up your indoor space-especially if they're displayed in a pretty pot or planter. They also improve indoor air quality.

Exciting new hues. Take the chill out of the season by adding a vibrant new color into your decorating scheme, perhaps by painting an accent wall or simply adorning sofas and chairs with plush, oversized pillows. 2011 brings a variety of luscious color trends, such as light citrus yellow, rich-vintage wine and “honeysuckle“ pink (as we learned is the Color Of the Year from Pantone and is the perfect color for Spring).

Of course, you can always contact J. Douglas Designs for more ideas to help lift your rooms out of the winter doldrums and inspire you to give your home an early spring makeover.