Q.: What is an inventive way to create a space all for myself?
A.: We gals have long designed mancaves for the men in our lives and play rooms for the kids. I have always suggested to my female clients the importance of personalizing spaces for themselves, as well.
One of my favorite new design trends is called “she sheds.” They are a new take on renovating an otherwise unused storage shed, a room above a garage, or even an attic for use by the lady of the house.
These small, but oh-so-important havens are just what busy women need to seek their own relaxation and enjoyment. The beauty of “she sheds” is seen in the endless opportunities for customization. Use the creation of your “she shed” to whole-heartedly express yourself in a way that is distinct from your existing spaces.
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For one of my clients, we transformed her backyard shed into a majestic retreat. She is a wine enthusiast, so I added unique diagonal shelves for her favorite wine bottles. Plush seating, lighting, drapes and art were installed for her alone-time or to host a friend or two for girl-time wine tastings.
“She sheds” can be designed thematically for pastimes, such as cozy spaces for reading, writing, needlework, artwork, yoga or anything your heart desires.
Q.: I have a large living room that is difficult to decorate; what is the best way I can use this to my advantage?
A.: A large room is a designer’s dream. It comes with endless opportunities for creativity. When planning the design, it is important to focus on the advantages, rather than the disadvantages. Most people forget a space with four walls can be more than just one room; if you place furnishings and accessories in preplanned ways, you can create separate areas for various purposes.
To assist a client with her expansive living room, my Knotting Hill Interiors design team created two individual living areas. Half the room was designed for family movie nights. We placed a comfortable sofa upholstered in gold fabric in the middle of the room, facing it toward a walnut television cabinet. We flanked the sofa with two comfy armchairs. This portion of the room serves them well for entertainment.
Behind the sofa, on the other side of the room, we laid out a conversational seating space with four gold-striped, swivel club chairs aside the fireplace. To help further distinguish the two areas, we hung a ceiling fan and light above each to establish separation yet with uniformity.
Q.: What is a creative way to coordinate contrasting colors in my home without overdoing it?
A.: There are many ways to synchronize contrasting colors. Bold colors can bring a cheerful vibe to a neutral room. Use your juxtaposed color scheme to showcase a focal point or express your personality.
In one home, I used the homeowner’s love of bright red and yellow to design a vivacious dining room. Carefully selected variations of prints and patterns were used to increase the room’s vibrancy. Yellow leopard-print wallpaper and Chinese floral wall art set the stage for color contrast.
We used four shiny red ladderback dining chairs on either side of a mahogany table. Covered in red and yellow geometric-shape fabric, two corresponding wingback Captain’s chairs completed the eye-catching color effect.
Using different types of chairs gave the dining room an unexpected atmosphere, and the contrasting colors demonstrated the homeowner’s cheerful personality.
Q.: Do you have creative ideas for how to plan a Labor Day holiday lunch with a celebratory atmosphere?
A.: Decorating for a summer event like this is a great time for designing a decorative tabletop that is bright and festive. I love setting tables for holiday entertaining since there are never-ending options for intermingling colors, textures and décor items.
For Labor Day, an informal and lighthearted stylishness is recommended. This will allow you the option of casually merging a variety of tabletop objects like glassware, china, cutlery, and table linens.
For a summer holiday gathering in my own home, I decided to incorporate an arrangement of pieces from more than one matched collection. I started with bright green, orange and blue hues for entertaining my guests.
I used green stemware for white wine unified with green highball glasses for sweet tea. My green-and-white patterned linen napkins harmonized perfectly. The blue palette included white plates comprising blue borders paired with small bowls from a different collection boasting an interesting blue-and-white pattern. I used a wide runner down the middle, with an orange-and-white zigzag design and an antique pottery bowl with flowers for a centerpiece.
As all holiday tables should, I hope your artistic tabletop provides you a setting to create special memories with your guests.
Kimberly Grigg specializes in interior design and home renovation. Visit her new Knotting Hill Interiors showroom at 7751 N. Kings Highway, behind her original location. Visit www.knottinghillinteriors.com.
Have design questions? If you would like to submit your own design questions for next month’s column, email firstname.lastname@example.org. A selection of submissions will be chosen for inclusion.