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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Interior Design Trend - Framed Digital Art

If it's easy, trendy, personal and beautiful - sign us up. We're talking about 'digital art' - that is, utilizing a framed digital display to showcase JPG format images, animations and graphics - even video - in your home or workspace interior design.  Unlimited possibilities, easy to change and update: sounds divine, yes? It's no wonder this is why 'digital art' is fast becoming popular as an interior design trend.

What's more - is that these pieces can be connected to your iPhone or Android so that you can swap artwork o the fly,  remotely.

Why we love the idea: What's coolest about this - is the artwork you can display.  Up and coming artists are supported. The frames are available in multiple sizes, and colors, and with purchase - you download an accompanying app. There is an app that goes along with the frames, where aspiring artists are encouraged to list their artwork. This puts their work in homes and interiors all over the world - and pays them for use.  Currently  - this concept - called "Framed" is on the crowd funding website, KickStarter:

"The evolution of technology and accessibility of the Internet has brought out a wonderful range of digital art, and now we have an innovative way of sharing that art, and presenting it in way that pays respect to the artists that created them," explains FRM Co-Founder and Creative Director Yugo Nakamura.

The HD screen and integrated computer lets users display artworks found or purchased online, or even upload their own. Framed has a Kickstarter starting price of $399.

Content and Photo - Original Article Source

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Focus on Lighting

Light has intrigued man since the dawn of time. What started out as tallow candles and gas lamps in the early centuries evolved into to a plethora of light sources powered by electricity, chemicals or combustion in the modern day. Light is an essential part of our daily activities. Just like we need air, water and food to survive we need light in order to function efficiently. Gone are the days when people used to stop working after sunset. The use of light in interior spaces greatly affects the environment and mood of the space.

Here are some of the of lighting to consider during the process of interior design.

1) Natural light: The sun is the biggest source of light available. It is normally assumed that sunlight can penetrate inside a space for about 7 feet (approximately 20 meters). If the architect has taken proper care during planning of the structure, then sunlight can be a very good and free source of light. Sunlight also keeps the air clean by killing any possible bacterial attacks which might be harmful to health. Interior designers tend to love natural light and know best how to put it to use in a home.

 2) Artificial filler lights: These types of lights work on electricity and are required mostly at night time, unless you live in a geographical location where the weather is cloudy for a good portion of the year. At such times filler lights are used to give the same effect the sunlight would create. As the name suggests, these types of lights "fill" the space evenly with light, eliminating any dark spaces. Of course, this is the most commonly used kinds of lighting. Think overhead fixtures, chandeliers etc.

3) Special lighting for special spaces: Special lighting is required at spaces where it is necessary to create a mood or special ambience inside a space. To achieve this use of color is done. Lighting fixtures like spot lights are used to divert the attention of the crowd at certain focused areas. This same focus effect is used in commercial showrooms to enhance the importance of the display areas.

4) Extreme lighting: This type of lighting is used in spaces where the activities have a special purpose, such as movie studios, pubs, dance floors, etc. Here the lighting used can be of movable types, or can have more sophisticated controls such as intensity, color, movement, or even controlled through music beats.

Some of these have even been put to use in homes by creative interior designers. The activities happening inside a space directly affect the type of lighting used inside a space. A properly planned lighting plan can greatly enhance the quality of a space. Working with your interior designer is your best option when it comes to determining what lighting will work for your space.

Shown: Maitland-Smith Verdigris and Antique Brass African Wildlife Chandelier, Eggshell Bowl, Leather Shades

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Each Piece A Masterpiece - Christopher Guy

When we say that each Christopher Guy piece is hand-crafted, we aren't joking. Not only is each piece hand-assembled, but one might not believe the thought and innovation that goes into each design. 

Christopher Guy, is a brilliant creator and award-winning designer also noted as a 'Living Legend'. The creativity, and superior furniture crafting of each piece makes Christopher Guy furnishings a favorite among clients of J. Douglas Design, as well as Douglas himself. We're thrilled to be the exclusive Dallas retailer of Christopher Guy furniture.

We stumbled across this video below - that shows a bit more in detail, the care and attention to each and every piece of furniture that rolls out of the Christopher Guy factory.

Christopher Guy is opening a new showroom in Beverly Hills, California this very day, and has plans for a showroom in New York City later in the year. We expect to continue to see big things from Christopher Guy - including high-profile set design and celebrity styles including his pieces very soon, and we're thrilled.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Favorite Celebrity Kitchens

We recently fell in love with a celebrity kitchen slideshow over at Architectural Digest. What is it about kitchens that puts designers in a tailspin of euphoria? If we had a week of spare time maybe we could come up with an exhaustive list. The list would be massive and we're still not confident that we would be able to come up with a complete list. After all, new pieces, products and design possibilities are developed every day. That exhaustive list would become an exhaustive job as we try to keep up with the ever changing potential of kitchens. And we aren't the only ones who love kitchens. Here at J. Douglas Design, we have found that even those who are not natural born chefs, care deeply about the look and functionality of their kitchen. We think this quote sums up the reason pretty succinctly:
The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family. -Mario Batali
Here are a few of our favorite celebrity kitchens.

Ellen and Portia's kitchen makes use of light in such a unique and enchanting way. Ditching typical wall cabinets for a hanging glass display helps to disperse the warm ambient light from the window over the sink. 

Hank Azaria's kitchen mixes rustic and contemporary elements. The reclaimed wood of the island is balanced by the sleek stainless steel appliances. Of course, a white kitchen is always a beautiful classic look. 

This minimalistic and ultra bright kitchen belongs to the one and only Sting. The inclusion of organic elements in the rattan chair and hardwood floor really appeals to us. 

What features to you love about these kitchens? What don't they have that you would require in a kitchen of your own? Tell us in the comments. 

Oh, and if you're needing help with your kitchen redesign, look no further. Our design services is just what you need.

Photography credit: Architectural Digest.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Top 5 Most Memorable Movie Set Interior Designs

Americans love movies! We love to be entertained in all kinds of ways, but a trip to the movies is at the top of that list. So today, we thought we'd share some of our favorite, most memorable movie set interior designs.
Gone With the Wind

The epic drama chronicling the Civil War from the point of view of Southern heroine Scarlett O'Hara offers some beautiful examples of traditional Southern interior design. Grand portraits, elaborate gilded furniture, gorgeous chandeliers for lighting, cozy sofas by the fireplace. What's not to love?

Something's Gotta Give

The Hampton beach house movie set of Something's Gotta Give was a huge hit and created a wave of requests for kitchens and living rooms that looked just like it. The entire house was treated as if it was itself a character in the movie. "The real challenge was to deliver the 'character' of the house - a great Hamptons house, beautiful, but not overly designed" shared Rubino. We found ourselves drooling...obviously she did her job well.

You've Got Mail

Who doesn't want a cozy, comfy home just like Kathleen Kelly’s in You've Got Mail? From the exterior of the NYC brownstone to every nook and cranny of the inside, cottage charm permeates every stitch of fabric, every wall, and every little detail.

The Help

The Help made our list, not because we love 60s pink bathrooms but because the film effectively displays several decades of interior design by allowing us to see inside several homes of the time. Celia's plantation home has a kitchen stuck in the 30s. Hilly's home, shown above, is a classic colonial style home demonstrating her obsession with perfection. Skeeter's loved and lived in house combines class with the comforts of having a home where love abounds. There's something here for everyone. The set designers Mark Ricker and Rena DeAngelo, had 47 sets to dress.

A Single Man

Set during the 1960s, in a gorgeous John Lautner house, the interior design is just superb. It boasts brilliant examples of blending the traditional with the futuristic. Resulting in a set that is both artistic and visually stimulating. It's not really a surprise to learn that the geniuses behind the Emmy winning show 'Mad Men' were in charge of production design.

The set above is the boudoir of Julianne Moore's character. Note that just this room alone includes traditional design elements like use of various textures (the chair vs. everything else), current trends (ikat print), use of focal points (the dressing table and mirror), use of targeted lighting with the window and lamps. When it comes to modern movies, A Single Man, showcases everything we love about the use of interior design in the movies. It really doesn't get better than this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Color Theory and Interior Design - Part I

In any visual art, including interior design - color theory is a very important set of concepts that rule how the hues of a finished work impact the overall outcome of the project. Sometimes, it's also about mixing colors.

For a painter, it's very important to be so familiar with color that you know exactly what colors to mix together and how much of each color - to the colors you see in real life.

Auguste Renoir was known as one of the greatest of the French Impressionists, and for very good reason. Like the other painters of his genre and period - he rarely used black or white, rather used a never ending array of more obscure color.

He was able to model his subjects in light and shade with only the colors of his paint. Mixing and using dark, deep blues and browns instead of solid black, and simple tints of cream and other pastels instead of stark white - he, and the other Impressionists became the masters of light and shade - and 'Painters of Life'. They painted what they saw, and they knew how to open their eyes to see the world around them, and apply the simple rules of color theory to mix the colors they saw.

Certainly, when we speak of interior design, we are most definitely speaking of a visual art. Over the course of the next few months, we'll chat about some basic rules of color theory that effect the outcome of the design of an interior space, and explain why and how it applies.

Color theory doesn't just end with knowing how to mix paint like Renoir and other painters throughout history.

For an interior designer, it means knowing how to use color - to enhance the light, the shade, the mood and energy of a space. It's simply knowing how to COMBINE the colors in an area without invoking a heart attack or blurred vision.

(I promise this can happen when you mix the wrong colors! Well, ok, maybe I am being a little dramatic - maybe it won't cause full-blown cardiac arrest - but one part of color theory - simultaneous contrast - which we'll go into more detail later - can definitely blur one's vision, and is the source of many graphic/visual illusions - and must be dealt with carefully with regard to the visual art of interior design. Check out the link above for some color fun.)

So as we start on our journey to learn more about color, we should start with the basic color wheel.

Notice there is no black or white. This is because - all color - is actually light. This is why it's called a 'spectrum' of color, because it's the color of the light along the spectrum that actually allows the eye to see color.

So - from now on, when someone tells you their favorite color is 'white' - you can retort with, "hmmm.... that's funny - because white is not actually a color - it's presence of ALL light." - and likewise, if they say "black" is their hue of choice, you can say, "But black is not a hue at all! It's absence of ALL light!". It's true! Black occurs when there is NO light, and white occurs when there is ALL light. The colors in between are the 'spectrum' of light in between.

Think of a rainbow, there's no black or white on a rainbow. It's simply because there IS light, but not ALL light. You're seeing the spectrum in the middle.

The other parts of the color wheel you learned in kindergarten, but might have forgotten. You've got your PRIMARY colors (yellow, red, and blue) - these are the 'parents' of ALL colors. (Yes, even colors have families, parents and children! We'll get into parent colors and how to see them later on.) From yellow, red and blue come the SECONDARY colors: orange, green and violet. When you take the primary colors, and mix them with the secondary colors - it breaks the wheel down even further with TERTIARY colors such as red-orange, blue-green, yellow-green and so on. They can be broken down even more, into millions of hues.

Colors exactly OPPOSITE each other on the color wheel are called COMPLIMENTARY colors - and when used together in full strength (pure hue) - that's when simultaneous contrast can occur. We'll talk a little more about simultaneous contrast, tints, shades and using colors together in a space next time. This was just a primer on the basics.

So what did we learn? Black and white: NOT colors. Primary colors: they're the super-parents of all color. And Renoir: was one hip Impressionist who knew how to mix some mad paint.

Check back in a few weeks for Color Theory and Interior Design - Part II where we'll go into some more concepts, and start tying in tips and tricks of using color in an interior design.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

4 Tips For Making The Most Of A Small Space

How many of us have said “Oh, I wish I had a bigger bathroom.” Well, this little video takes the term ‘small space’ to a whole new level. Try 78 square feet!

Decorating a small space requires using strategies and techniques to make most of the space you have while it making it look more spacious and cozy. Use this collection of home designing ideas to help you make the most of your small spaces.

1. Create an illusion: It may seem like a design cliché - but as mentioned in the video mirrors really do work. Using mirrors helps small spaces look bigger because they reflect light and give the impression of an open space.

2. Add tons of light: Light makes a home feel warm and welcoming. Use several lamps or add recessed lighting throughout to create a warm glow and make your space feel bigger.

3. Use dramatic drapes and curtains: Hanging curtains from floor to ceiling will help elongate the wall and will create a cozy focal point in your space. Make the space look even bigger by hanging the
curtains outside the window frame or even on a wall where there are not windows.

4. Hide storage: Small spaces often have to function as a living space and home office or have limited storage, leaving unsightly bookcases and shelves. Use curtains to conceal bookcases and workspaces when not in use and choose tidy-looking storage boxes in the same color.

We hope this collection of home designing ideas help you to make the most of your small spaces. Of
course, small spaces are often the most challenging; consulting an interior designer may be your best bet.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interior Chic - Country Coastal Style

Found this image on Pinterest, couldn't find reference to the designer or source - but really loved it, and had to post and write about it, and why it inspires me.

It's that 'worn' look, and it's the light and bright feel that makes me like this. It's also the simplicity of the items used in this interior design, as well as the complexity of the details, such as the texture of the ceiling and the antiqued finishes on the furnishings.

And, it's the modernity of it - while vintage at the same time; seeming so old and weathered.

It's the minimalist appeal, without being too 'cool' - and retaining a sense of 'home'.

I'm also inspired by the coastal appeal, the colors - weathered grays and pastels all-around, make me feel like there might be water nearby.

We also love the tangible element of this interior design - with the textures, mentioned before - on the ceiling and furniture - and again under the bar area with the stones.

While I'm not sure if this would match my personal style for my own home, I'm certainly inspired by this design for all the reasons mentioned - and it comes together for me, that it's the very basics of design that pull this together. Color, texture, pattern, balance, - all making for a unique and exclusive style.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Furry Fine Furnishings For Pampered Pets Only

Some people have it all... and so do some pets...

There are a few very lucky pets out there, who live in the same luxury their human parents enjoy. And there are some, even luckier - who get to sleep in a custom bed by exclusive designers of fine furniture, Marge Carson.

The Murphy Pet Sofa from Marge Carson is just one example of the posh home accessories you could lavish on your furry friend. With it, you can of course, brag about and display your pet's keen sense of style.

Like most Marge Carson pieces, the attention to detail is second to none. Your best friend can return to his or her animalistic roots with the fashionable (but not overdone) plush animal print bedding and pillow accessory. And, they'll be barking for years about the circular, comfortable shape of the piece, the rich leather, and the stud detail along the perimeter of the base and accents along the edges.

Not too RUFF....

Monday, April 28, 2014

Walk on the Wild Side: Interior Design with Animal Prints

Do you love animal prints but aren't sure how to incorporate them into your interior design without over doing it? Whether it's reptile, alligator, cheetah or zebra, trend followers are wild about animal prints. The exotic look remains popular in apparel and home-decor year after year and it's no surprise why. It's a touch of exotic that's chic and elegant that has been such staple in design that it has become a classic.

Animal print is a fun way to bring a piece of your personality into the fabric of your home furnishings. The key is to use this particular style sparingly. Black and white is an eye-catching way to incorporate animal print into your home accents if you want to make a bold statement. Black and white animal prints used in conjunction with bright or neutral colors on a couch, or in a bedroom or kitchen, give just the right amount of break to keep each style from being too jarring. Consider accenting with animal print; perhaps a uniquely shaped vase in zebra print filled to the brim with big, beautiful, sunflowers.

If bold black and white isn't quite your style, an animal print tapestry or throw blanket might be more fitting. Tapestries can be hung on a wall for full display or used over bed covers. A plush, soft cheetah print throw blanket can be draped attractively along a chair or couch. Stylish alligator luggage carefully stacked for use as an end table is another great option for making a more subtle statement with animal print.

Other home design items available in animal print include lamp shades, pillows, picture frames, accent chairs, trimmed ottomans, area rugs, wall art, shelving, window treatments and so much more! In fact, there are so many ways you can use your home to indulge your passion for animal print, the only thing you need worry about is using it in small enough amounts to break up solid colors found in the furniture and other decor and not so much that your guests feel like they're walking into the exotic animal section of the local zoo.

Your home can walk on the wild side; just don't get drowned in it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brand Spotlight: Swaim

J. Douglas Design, as your premier Dallas interior design firm - only carries the finest and most distinctive names in fine furniture and accessories.

We're thrilled to have been featuring Swaim furniture and accessories in our designs for years. We always find something special in each collection and are pleased to present them as our featured brand.

Swaim has been creating unique furniture and accessories since 1945. The 'Swaim style' is unique and varied - from very modern and clean looks to traditional and timeless - making innovative use of materials and color.

Because they use extremely distinctive upholstery and fabrics, as well as highly dramatic surface materials (which make for exquisite and durable table tops, sidings and shelving of pieces) - their designs stand out one-of-a-kind.

What we love about all Swaim pieces, is that most of their designs can be used in so many layouts, or genres of design. We mix it up all the time with brands, and sometimes you need something that truly stands out - and Swaim delivers.

For more information on Swaim furniture, our other furniture brands, or for an interior design consultation - contact us through our website. We are where Dallas goes for fine furniture and interior design.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Designing The Nest - The Empty Nest

In the next few months, high school seniors will be graduating from their respective high schools... And while this is an exciting and thrilling time for students and parents alike, it is also a sad and emotional time for parents. Soon, it will be time to move your student into their new campus dorm and help them make decisions that will impact the rest of their college career - and life... and make some decisions yourself on how best to deal with the empty nest that remains.

Once their senior has graduated and moved on to the next chapter in their life, many find themselves with a room decorated with tons of sports memorabilia, photos of neighborhood children and high school friends, doo-dads, posters of rock-bands, and just plain “stuff”.

As difficult as this can be, it's time to pack those things up and move them into the attic or garage - rejoice in the fact that you know have some freed up space and it is time to think about what to do with your new spare room.

The common thing to do when children graduate, is convert the space to a home office. If this is a needed resource in your home, first, maximize the space with shelves, storage. Then deck out with space-appropriate desk and seating.

Other popular options are converting the room into a guest bedroom, a small workout room, or even a craft room where you can explore your creative interests. Perhaps you need something a bit less typical - such as a media room or even a “meditation room”.

Once you've decided what to do with the space, then it's time to design it. A simple coat of paint and furnishings with function will transform the space into a usable room perfect fit for your new needs as a college parent.

Whatever you decide to do with the additional space in your home, call J. Douglas Design - Dallas Interior Designer for some expert advice on decorating for that empty area in your room. J. Douglas Designs has unique one-of-a-kind furnishings, accessories and more to bring new life to ANY time of space.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ask The Expert: Going Global WIth J. Douglas Design

J. Douglas Bradford, owner of his namesake furniture and accessories showroom, J. Douglas Design, has a reputation for stocking a vast variety of uniquely divine pieces that keep his clients coming in on a regular basis. With that in mind, Bradford has a handful of design predictions that will have his followers right on trend. With the recent resurgence of patterns and textures influenced by global design elements, he says. “Creating an atmosphere with a taste of other cultures and a very unique style is easy, and each influence can have a different effect on your interior space.”

For furniture, “rich, ethnic-inspired pieces,” Bradford says, add an unexpected touch of exotic and luxurious elegance. He suggests using wall hangings and antique blankets to add pattern, texture, shape and definition to your walls or sofa and chairs. His global outlook foreshadows the use of Moroccan and Indian-themed fabrics, prints and textiles in furniture. Aboriginal, Native American and African tribal patterns, he says, are stunning when used sparingly and correctly. “Never go overboard with pattern, use pattern to accent your space, not dominate it, Bradford advises. Asian, South American and European-inspired pieces are steadily gaining in popularity as well.

For full article on the Design Guide click here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Green: Lucky Interior Design?

Is green the color of luck? It's certainly associated with the American version o the holiday St. Patrick's Day, along with the four-leaf clover and pot o' gold. But what about using the cool color as the base of your interior design?
From a an interior designer's point of view, (ours in particular) green is a wonderful color. All shades of it, too - from muted gray-greens, to blue-based teal colors, to limey and pea greens that lean more on the yellow side - are quite calming and beautiful. But for some reason, to us - they seem to work better as a compliment, or accent color, as opposed to a highly-saturated focus color for a space.
Of course, one of the colors of the year for 2012 is a nice soft green color called Margarita. We'd love to use it in a design, we just don't want a margarita couch, carpet and window treatments in the same space.
We put some images out on Facebook to our fans, and the response on the green design we put out there was pretty clear: a lot of green doesn't work. Why? There were several reasons, mostly for the image we chose to ask about it was a very soft sea-foam green, and reminded respondents of a hospital room. The overall feel was sterile, 'too' cool, and there was no dynamic or pop to the room.
Green can, however - do many GOOD things in a design. It can bring nature indoors, and is well-suited for nearly any room in the house as an accent. It can bring a feeling of freshness, cleanliness and cool, light beauty to a space when used in conjunction with other colors, or not as the main focus of the room. Pair it with white, black, gray - and let it twinkle in and around the design to accent the rest.
Yellow-based greens like limes, chartreuse - seem to naturally pair with woods, and the contrast of a deep darker wood tone has an especially nice appeal.
For the softer blue-based misty greens, these bring calming effect to the space, and nearly blend in nicely with any palette.
If you're just a green kind of person, and you must have green as your focus color - pick one of those green's that's not EXACTLY green - such as an olive or gray-green. The grays and browns in these greens pull the neutral tones out of the green, and the green sort of takes the backstage. It's there - but very subtle and not overwhelming.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dark Walls Mean Major Pop - Interior Design Dallas Ideas

Are you daring enough to paint your walls really dark - or even black? We are! Dark walls make for great contrast and ambiance in an interior design - considering the lighting in the room, the furnishings - and the overall look that you want to achieve.

If you love drama, (and we do!) then dark walls can really bring out the space in a beautifully bold way. Here are some things to consider if you are feeling really spunky and thinking of painting a room dark.

Lighting: Do you have plenty of windows in your space to lighten things up? This is imperative really, before you paint too much of the room dark. If you paint a space completely dark, and lighting is insufficient - then you will make the space appear much smaller. But don't be afraid to paint a room dark - even in a small room, with enough natural light - it can add the unique feel you are trying to achieve.

Trim & Moulding: do you have chair rail moulding or crown moulding? Are baseboards white? Sometimes, and depending on your design and the architecture - to achieve nice lines and contrast - if you have bright white, clean moulding and trim alongside dark walls - the effect is interesting and bold. If there is no trim or moulding really in a very dark room, then one must offset the stark darkness with lighting and wall coverings, or art of some sort. The whole idea of a dark space is to create illusions and theatrics - so contrasting pieces and colors and shades are key.

Furnishings: Are your furnishings dark too? If they are, then this is not really an option. Your dark pieces will melt away into the background and the stark contrast between items and area will not be achieved. Choose an accent color, a nice light and bright one - and pair it with your furniture in the form of window coverings, pillows, throws, lampshades, accessories - and other smaller areas. But don't go overboard - there is a 'right amount' of 'stuff' to have sitting around and in interior design - you can 'over accessorize'. Remember - the whole idea with a dramatic paint job in your space is to make everything else POP.

Can there be too much POP? You bet, we could also call it busy, mind-boggling, or capable of causing heart conditions of seizures. But you won't get this from simply painting your room a dark color to create contrast and depth for your furnishings and art pieces. This typically comes from mixing scary patterns and simultaneous contrast of pairing the wrong hues of complimentary colors - or over accessorizing with too many unnecessary doo-dads.

Feeling bold but want to chat about it? Call us at J. Douglas Design - your premier source for Dallas Interior Design and fine furniture!

Photo from CasaSugar

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lightening Up Leather

Leather furniture is so classy and clean – that is why so many people decorate their home and work space using beautiful, durable leather.

Rich leather can often darken a room as well and make it dreary. Learning how to decorate properly around your leather furniture is key. Add colorful window treatments in the room where the leather furniture is. You also can throw some fun and light throw pillows on the furniture, or utilize a throw blanket as well to bring in some lighter tones.

The darker décor is ok in a library or office because you want to create a darker calmer atmosphere however in your living space that you use everyday you need some color to add some personality. If it still needs to 'lighten up a bit' - incorporating lighter, earthy colors can open up the room and the room will seem bigger as well.

Use light colored, 'modern' accents to compliment your darker traditional leather pieces - such as rocks, and concreted knick knacks on the mantle and around. Couple your leather with rich woods, and modern elements for a clean, sleek look for your interior design. Use colors to suit the season such as mustards and oranges – they will match your holiday decorations to change things up from time to time and add a pop of color.

Spending a lot of money on nice leather furniture is a sure way to add class and luxury to your room, so go ahead and buy that leather furniture; you cannot get much richer than that.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Brand Spotlight - Theodore Alexander

Founded by Englishman Paul Maitland Smith, Theodore Alexander has grown to become one of the largest furniture manufacturers in East Asia. The furniture reflects their passion for perfection and producing timeless pieces with their age-old crafting techniques. The true mastery of the art is apparent, and styles within the brand are quite vast. Out and about in Dallas? Take an opportunity to stop by the J. Douglas Design Dallas Furniture showroom - and you'll see these fine furnishings truly one of a kind.
The diversity of designer furniture available from Theodore Alexander varies from bedroom nightstands, to seating and accessories - to perhaps, an elegant living room armoire, each bringing a different personality and "feel" to the room or living space.
Part of the exclusive feel of Theodore Alexander furnishings can be credited to their use of the most unique and interesting materials to create beauty, as well as functionality. Theodore Alexander has established itself as having "eclectic, traditional and modern classical furniture". Stop by and experience for yourself, the traditional craftsmanship of all the distinctive brands offered at J. Douglas Design.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brand Spotlight: Taylor King

There is nothing like coming home from a long day and relaxing in the place that you call “home”. Home is where you relax, enjoy life, family - and make memories. We all want furniture in our home that makes us feel warm, comfortable and welcomes others to our residence in style.

Taylor King Furniture is a leading brand for comfortable, durable, upholstered seating and other furniture for your interior spaces. From the luxurious feel of the fabrics, to the detail of the beautiful French nails - every piece is designed with beauty and comfort in mind.

Handmade with kiln-dried hardwood lumber and frame stock cut by hand – you simply won’t find better quality furniture than Taylor King.

J. Douglas Design is honored to be a retailer of this wonderfully-made designer furniture. The pieces are rich with color and texture, which adds to it's distinctive style, and has for years passed Mr. Bradford's discriminating selection process for his showroom. When picking our your furniture for your home or office make sure to visit the J. Douglas Design's showroom located in Dallas and see Taylor King furniture, and many other exclusive brands - and experience luxury at it’s best.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Home Economics 101

Whether it is your very first home, or you're just looking for some ways to spruce up your house, during these economically tough times, it is completely understandable to look for affordable ways to do it. You don't always have to completely remodel or hire an interior designer - you can do so much on your own.

Here are some simple and cheap ways to breathe some new life into your home and make it feel brand new - design on a dime with a seasonal new look.

Brighten up!
- One of the simplest things you can do for your house is to buy new light fixtures. It's incredible how big of a difference a new light fixture can have in a home; it can change everything from how bright the room is, to the look and feel of the room. Add some DRAMA, or tone down the feelings! Including decorative lamps in your rooms can change the lighting as well and add a more “warm” feeling to a room, especially moving into the winter months.

Add some spice! Mix it up by mixing up some paint. Splashing some new colors onto your walls some spaces seem bigger and brighter. Change the color scheme of your main living areas by going to your local home decor store and finding a suitable color palette. You will be amazed how much new wall color can change the interior look of a room. Painting IS, and always WILL BE - the cheapest way to transform your space!

Organize, organize, organize. Clean up the clutter by organizing your workbench, kitchen and home office. One way to make your home seem more spacious is by hanging things on the wall. Organize your pots and pans to hang above your kitchen island, or organize your documents and paperwork in a neat wooden boxes to make your office feel relaxing and comfortable.

These tips require some elbow grease, but they all can create a new look for your rooms without breaking the bank.