How To Create An Oasis In Your Master Bathroom

How to Create an Oasis in your Master Bathroom

Have you ever dreamed of a luxurious bathroom space? Now more than ever we are craving a master bathroom space that is an oasis. A space to which we can retreat at the end of a long and very stressful day. 

I have spent most of my life designing and renovating beautiful master bathroom spaces for my clients. Beautiful retreats with custom showers including all the features that one dreams of in a shower, and some features that you didn’t even know existed. Bathrooms that have been expanded well beyond their original floor plan and footprint, with exciting new layouts to accommodate large freestanding soaking tubs, customized storage, and privacy needs. Of course, using all of the beautiful fixtures, colors, and finishes that you would expect to see in a master bath retreat, marble, porcelain tile, glass, gleaming metals, luxurious fabrics, and soothing colors. Then, of course, all of the finishing touches that add a feeling of comfort to the space that we usually add after a space is fully renovated.

During this time at home, while thinking about and planning for that luxurious master bathroom renovation there are also some small things that you can do to create an oasis in your bathroom until our renovation gets underway.

Buy the best bath towels

100% cotton is the best. They are the most absorbent and durable. Egyptian cotton and Pima tend to be a softer cotton towel. The thicker the better. I love using solid white in most of my bathroom spaces. Sometimes a bathroom design might call for a brightly colored hand towel mixed with stacks of soft cotton bath towels.

Accent with soft textures

If you have space try adding a small chair or bench. A bathroom has lots of hard surfaces, adding a fabric piece can soften the look of the room. If you don’t have space, adding fabric window treatments will also soften the look of the space.

Bring nature indoors

Add fresh flowers or greenery. A few fragrant blossoms in a small vase on your bathroom vanity can make your bathroom feel like an oasis.

Accessorize

A decorative vanity tray can collect and display make-up or personal items. A grouping of decorative glasses or boxes can conceal necessities.

Fill the air with sound

Add a blue tooth speaker so you can stream music into your bathroom easily. The sounds of ocean waves or pouring rain can create a soothing ambiance in your bathroom. Try the CALM app or one of the many streaming music services that offer soothing sounds.

Creative decor

Add some art. Try a new print or canvas art piece in your bathroom. Use a grouping of framed pieces that coordinate with your bathroom’s decor.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

How Color Selections Effect Your Well Being

How Color Selections Effect Your Well Being

Have you ever walked into a room and had your spirits immediately lifted by the impact of color used in space? Have you ever walked into a home or business and immediately felt anxious or slightly angered or frustrated?

Color definitely has a psychological effect on us. 

Although some feelings about color are subjective to the individual, based on the individual’s tastes or history with a specific color, there is a scientific pattern to the effects of color on people.

Chromotherapy, also known as color therapy, is the practice of using visible light spectrum color to promote health and wellness by adjusting body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony. Each color addressing a specific need colored light is used to balance emotional and physical energy.

For instance:  RED activates the circulatory and nervous systems. BLUE acts like a nerve relaxant.  GREEN can be calming and promote feelings of optimism.

The effects of color might be temporary but could also be a great way to relax and promote a general good feeling. I recently installed a complete chroma color system in a newly designed steam shower for a client. How nice would it be to get the added soothing effects of color while showering in a beautiful new steam shower? There are many studies about chromotherapy, but there is still much more research needed about how to harness the effects of color.

Here are some easy ways to harness the power of color in your home:

  • Add color in small doses in your home, live with it for a few days to see how it makes you feel. If you like the color after a few days then you can decide if it’s right to add more to your space.
  • Add color in ways that allow you to experiment. For instance, blue might be a calming color, but if it reminds you of a dorm room that you hated or something negative, it might not produce a calming feeling for you. You might not even realize that certain colors bring up bad memories or feelings until you try it out. So experiment in small ways, a few blue accent pillows or accessories might create enough of an impact to help you decide if a color is right for you.
  • Experiment with colors that you might not have any experience with, certain colors might not be colors that you normally use, but if you try adding them to your decor you might fall in love with the effect that they have on you and your home.
  • All colors have different shades, tones, and intensities. Each shade of blue might cause you to react differently. Choosing a color that right for you but also right for your space requires a trained eye. But don’t be afraid to experiment. You might just find that adding some color to your home can be very soothing and therapeutic.

Until next time,

Gia

 

From The Blog

Why most of your design projects don’t produce the desired results

Why Most of Your Design Projects Don't Produce the Desired Results

Why can’t you get the desired results when finishing your own design project?  This is a complaint that I hear over and over from clients. It is especially frustrating for clients that know what they like and have a good artistic eye or “good taste”.

While I am a firm believer in buying items that you love and working them into your home, this does not guarantee a beautifully designed space in the end.

This can be very frustrating for someone that has meticulously selected beautiful items that they love for their home.

Recently, I met with a lovely client of mine, she has the most impeccable taste she’s very knowledgeable about the world of design. This client has the most amazing items in her home, she has a great eye for beautiful pieces and we always enjoy discussing some of the design world news. I have recently been working with this client on completing all of the rooms in her home and preparing the home for sale to a very exclusive market, but also appealing to the client as she is currently living in the space.

Why did this client hire a designer?

Because purchasing beautiful items does not equal a cohesive design in the end. Yet at a recent meeting that I had with her, she made the most profound statement. She said that she realizes that all of these years she has been shopping for each item for its artistic features, having no idea how she’s going to use it in her home, if it’s going to go with everything else she has in her home or how to pull all of these items together.

So, my first task for this unique project was to prepare the entire house for it’s impending photo session using items in this very large home and eliminating or supplementing where needed. This client gave me free rein to reconfigure the entire home and placement of everything. This allowed me to use my skills to transform her home in a way that she could not visualize. Of course, I did this with her lifestyle and taste in mind, and after discussing the overall goal of the transformation.

The Collection.

With so many amazing and unique items in this home, I knew the first step was to reconfigure the home. With my crew’s assistance, we worked tirelessly for several days moving furniture from one end of the house to another, moving and relocating just about every item.

The homeowner’s extensive art collection allowed me to pick and choose the best pieces for each space, finally displaying the homeowner’s favorite pieces, and allowing me to create a cohesive color scheme throughout the house. With 12 rooms to work with, I continue accessorizing and adding window treatments and bedding where needed. As we moved through the process items that instinctively belonged together found their home. In the end, we created a huge transformation in the home. Each room now looked balance with color, proportion, and style. Each room now functioned for the purpose to which it was designed. This homeowner was so pleased with the results and we are currently continuing to work on additional projects for her home.

3 helpful tips:

1: A well-designed room requires professional skills like a thorough knowledge of space planning, proportion, color balance, and lighting. It also requires a thorough knowledge of products and when or what to use where and why.

2: You might have numerous items in your home that you love just waiting to be part of a new design.

3: A great design requires much more thought and planning than it does shopping. Never start with shopping. Especially if you have a goal to complete a space an entire room or home and you have a budget. Plan first, shop last.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

How To Find Inspiration For Your Next Interior Design Project

How To Find Inspiration For Your Next Interior Design Project

There are so many places that you can find inspiration for your next interior design project.

When looking at a new space there are so many options that can be taken when designing a space. All of which can provide a dramatic transformation.

How do professional designers find inspiration for those beautiful rooms that you see and would love to have in your home?

Interior Design.

As an interior designer, I can say that I get my inspiration from conversations with my clients. By listening to my client’s wants and needs and by taking the time to understand the way that they want their room to feel when it has been completed. Even when a client doesn’t have any idea what they want, which is quite common, I listen for clues in our conversation or clues in how I see their current space functioning or not functioning, items, collections, or artwork that they currently own that they might love. Combining information about my clients, their lifestyle, wants/needs and my skill as a designer combine to create spaces that my clients love.

There are so many ways that professional designers find design inspiration. Here are a few ideas on where you can find inspiration for your space:

It’s all about YOU.

Art: A beautiful painting either passed down from a family member or purchased on your last vacation can be a great source of color inspiration for any space in your home. If you love a piece of artwork consider using it as color inspiration.

Personal Items or collections: Do you own an item or collection of items that you love? A collection can be a great source of inspiration for the design of your space. A collection of books, white-ware, glass or china can be a great source of inspiration for a room’s decor. My own home decor is designed around a collection of blue and white transferware. You will also see glimpses of this collection in a recent desire shophouse space that I designed. The important thing is that if you already own something that you love, considering in in your newly designed space.

Travel: Even a quick getaway can provide you with endless inspiration for our home. Be aware of your surroundings as you travel. Even that beautifully lacquered espresso cup at your favorite restaurant could be a source of design inspiration. A color combination on the side of a building, even the architectural detail of a building. I notice all of these details as I travel and I love to absorb them into my creative memory-bank. It might be years later, but when just the right project or circumstance presents itself, I will remember a detail of a molding or a doorway that I have seen while traveling, and draw from that memory to incorporate into the detail of a project.

Fashion: Fashion is a great source of design inspiration. Look at the way fashion designers mix patterns and textures in a piece of clothing or an entire outfit or collection. Study the contrasts of colors and placement of each color. Use this inspiration for your home. A certain mix or finishes or textures can certainly be used in a home design project to create interest.

I hope you start to look for inspiration for your home everywhere!

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

How To Store Christmas Decorations

How To Store Christmas Decorations

After the holiday season, you might be ready to start packing up those holiday decorations so you can start freshening up your home. By taking some time to organize your decorations before storing them things will go a lot smoother when you pull out those holiday decorations for next Christmas.
How To Store Christmas Decorations

1. Send a note

The first thing that I like to do before removing decorations is to make myself some holiday notes. I make some notes and schedule the note to be delivered to my inbox next year just before I start to decorate. I also make notes about anything I want to remember about my holiday card list, etc. I include thoughts about things that I might need for next year. For instance, if I need a new tree stand or if I used 15 feet of garland on a banister and next year I want to use 17 feet. I will be aware of that before I start decorating. When that note to myself arrives in my inbox the following year, I’m always happy that I took the time to write these thoughts down as I may have forgotten these things by the following year. Another idea is to take advantage of the after-holiday sales going on now and get a head start for next year!  By picking up those missing items now  you can store them for next year.

2. Removal of the ornaments

Always remove tree ornaments in the reverse order from how they were installed. For instance, if you put garland or beads on the tree last, take it off the tree first. This will keep things from getting tangled up. 

Sort and store

3. Sort and store

Sort and store ornaments so you can find things easily next year. Use a system that makes sense to you. For me, I change things around a bit every year so I sort things by color. I use clear plastic bins and sort all like-colored ornaments together.

I don’t use fancy ornament bins or holders as I have a lot to store and I need to keep things as condensed and easy to pack as possible. I use clear rectangular plastic bins. ornaments are packed in on top of a layer of bubble wrap. Glass ornaments might be packed in smaller shoe boxes or small plastic shows bins then packed in the larger bins for an extra layer of protection. 

4. Wreath storage

I store wreaths wrapped in plastic hung on the wall in my storage area. Larger more delicate wreaths are stored wrapped and placed on shelves to stack.

5. Artificial trees

I don’t use special tree storage holders or bags. I find them too frustrating and limiting with the size trees I am using. Depending on the type of tree that you have and how it is put together, I might adjust things as needed. After years of trying different things every artificial tree now gets treated the same way. I keep the whole tree together in one piece, lay it flat in the middle of a large piece of heavy-duty plastic and wrap it tightly with the branches folded up, then wrap with duct tape. The whole tree is then carried into the storage area where it will stand straight up leaning against the wall until it gets carried out next year. Trust me this works best with 2 people. Depending on where you store your decorations and how you access that area, you might have to make some adjustments to these suggestions. Small trees can be stored in bins wrapped and standing straight up in the bin.

6. Lights

Because I deal with a large amount of Christmas lights for work and I handle them often, I have my way of slightly folding them into a plastic bin so that they never get tangled. But the easiest way to wrap lights around an old cardboard paper towel roll. This prevents them

from getting tangled. This works well for ribbon beads and small garlands. I store all Christmas lights in a bin with all of the needed extension cords.

7. Bin storage

I store all of my decorations in the same sized plastic bins then all of these bins are stored on shelves in a designated area in my basement. I will never admit to the number of bins that it takes to store all my decorations but let’s just say that there are a lot of bins. A few years ago I added several shelving units and moved everything into bins that fit these units perfectly. So now everything is labeling and orderly with everything having a specific place.

Even if you have just a few decorations in your collection to store, I’m hoping that some of these tips will come to be helpful when dismantling your Christmas decor and keeping everything stored safely for next year.

Unit next time,

Gia

Artificial trees

From The Blog

Wrapping A Christmas Gift

Wrapping A Christmas Gift

It might seem like a small task, but the way a Christmas gift is wrapped can add to the excitement of receiving the gift. I have to admit, wrapping gifts is not my favorite Christmas project, I would much rather be decking the halls. But I have developed a few tips that help me to stay on task, stay organized, and keep my interest when it comes to gift wrapping.

Wrapping A Christmas Gift

Set the stage.

1. Set up a gift wrapping area and leave it set up for the Christmas season. Depending on where you live this could be a small table in a room or a tray or basket with supplies that can be tucked away in a closet. In the case of one of my former projects, an entire gift-wrapping room, which was quite a luxury for my gift-giving client. The important thing is to gather everything needed so you are ready for a last-minute quick gift or a wrapping marathon.

Get Creative

2. Start by choosing a color scheme for your gifts every year. I coordinate mine to my tree’s decor. This allows me to gather paper, ribbon, etc. early on, knowing what colors I am looking for. It also allows me to shop these items after Christmas since I rotate some of my colors and decor. You might decide to color code your gift so you know who they are for or where you are bringing them. However, you decide to do it, having a system helps.

Add rich color.

Get Creative.

3. Get creative with wrapping. A few ideas that I have tried hand-painted paper, stamped paper, and using solid paper and decorating each box with metallic markers. I’ve also used extra fabric and wallpaper to wrap gifts. In the last few years, I’ve been using solid colored boxes or wrapping paper and spending most of my efforts on bows and embellishing. I’ve used live greens, painted greens, raffia, ornaments, and other Christmas baubles, satin and taffeta ribbon, I’ve even embellished gifts with sewing trim and tassels. each year it’s a little bit different depending on my Christmas decor and what remnants I have in my design studio that find their way onto a Christmas gift. I also like to make unique gift tags, but depending on the time I keep some pre-made gift tags in my wrapping area.

4. Think “out of the box”. Gift bags can be a great alternative to wrapping paper. But instead of the standard pre-printed bag, purchase bags in solid colors try to personalize it by adding trim, ribbon, metallic markers will allow you to create a unique design and could be a fun project for your kids. Coordinate colored tissue to create a finished look. A simple gift bag with a satin ribbon is quick and easy, but very pretty.

5. Keep a list of what gifts you have purchased. If you do start wrapping early you will still remember what you’ve purchased and wrapped early.

Happy Wrapping!

Until next time,

Gia

From The Blog

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