Jan 24, 2009

Matt and Pattye's Bedroom

Photos are courtesy of Katherine Bish.
Click on photos to enlarge.
It has been fun working with Matt and Pattye to design their master bedroom and bathroom. Matt and Pattye are award-winning gardeners who open up their front and back yards each Spring to bus loads of people and the mayor of Creve Coeur. We picked up on their passion and created a garden inspired bedroom.

Art does not have to be on the wall. We have art in the pillows. Look at these beautiful botanical prints in fabric!

We created the color scheme around their existing rug.

My favorite element in the room is the dried pressed ferns under glass. Pattye cut ferns from her garden and pressed them. With a little feedback from me, Pattye found mat boards to coordinate with our color scheme and painted an existing white frame black. Matt arranged the ferns inside the frame. A real team effort!

We hung our window treatments on a large 3 inch rod. Most people might choose a smaller one, but we love how this rod balances with the other strong black furnishings in the room and really stands up to the strong graphic checked print window panels. The dresser in the above photo is a cherished family antique.

Matt Phillips is one of the owners of Ashley Furniture in St. Louis Missouri, so it was only fitting we use Ashley furniture! We used an armoire and chest from the Martini collection. I think the espresso finish against the golden walls looks striking. The lamps on the nightstands were also finds at Ashley Furniture.

Marianne Phillips, Matt's mother, painted the flower paintings hung above the chest.

Views in the bathroom also include a collection of meaningful items including found shells from a family trip and another painting by Marianne.

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Jan 14, 2009

Ashley Furniture as seen in Vickie's home -- Kirkwood, Missouri

I worked with Vickie at Ashley Furniture Homestore in Kirkwood, Missouri to create a new look for her family room. Vickie wanted Ashley Furniture's curved sectional, but was unsure how it would work in her room. We drew her space in quarter inch scale and played with templates of desired furnishings to find options that worked.

Vickie's idea was to tuck the sectional into her bay window. However, we discovered that would not work because the sofa is slightly bigger than the window. We felt such a placement direct and center in the bay window would accentuate that it is not an exact fit.

To solve this dilemma I suggested that rather than placing the sectional centered to the bay window, have it follow the curve of the window and come out slightly in the entrance from the kitchen.

This also opened up an area by the fireplace to place the Jenna club chair. The Jenna chair in greens, reds and tan stripes works perfectly to bridge her tan curved sofa and existing red rug.

Vickie centered the arrangement to the Marion round coffee table, also bought at Ashley Furniture Homestore, that provides four stools to rest feet or additional seats!

Vickie loves the look and sent me photos. She also called me to order another Jenna club chair to replace the rocker. She feels the new furniture is a larger scale from her old furnishings and so the cherished family rocker does not work in this space. She'll find another place for it.

Scale and proportion are something you learn by experimenting with furniture arrangements.

Vickie looks forward to flanking the fireplace with the Jenna chairs and the color and pop that will provide. I can hardly wait to see the result.

Send more photos, Vickie!

Vickie asked me to draw on her photos to give additional ideas to complete her rooms. You can follow along and feel free to add your comments too!

(Click on photos to enlarge as needed.)

My son Alex saw this photo and said, "Mom, what more can you do to this room? It looks great!" Well, Alex is right. Vickie's family room is warm and inviting and the pops of red really draw the eye.

But not holding anything back, here are a few ideas Vickie might consider:

If you have the floor space, how about a small chest, small bookcase or occasional table behind the sofa to hold a lamp, picture frames or decorative boxes? It will provide interest to an otherwise boring backside of the sofa. Exposed backsides of sofas create walls...dress them up like you do a wall with furnishings, tables and plants!

If floor space does not permit an occasional piece behind the sofa, consider a red or green throw slung over the backside and puddling down over the seat. A small plant in the backside curve of the sofa might also look nice.

Facing the fireplace now, I'd like to see the pie safe moved to the adjoining wall on the right to let the fireplace stand on its own. I feel the pie safe is competing for attention with the fireplace, especially without a comparable weighty piece on the opposite side. The pie safe in the present position makes the eye and room lean to the right.

Consider grouping the clock with the two plates. The plates look a bit lonely. The eye is drawn to odd numbers, especially items clustered in threes.

Also, start the arrangement six inches above the chair. If you don't want to move the pie safe, the placement of the clock with the plates might provide the balance that is needed for the fireplace wall. Experiment and see what looks good to you!

You have fun Christmas decorations.I don't know what you do year round to decorate your mantel, but because it is high, a low and long treatment is needed.

If a mirror is desired, most standard sizes won't fit. However, I have found that long closet mirrors hung horizontally make a statement above high mantels with limited headroom. I am not suggesting the typical cheap plastic kind, but rather ones found in attractive frames. We have a few at Ashley Furniture Homestore in Kirkwood, MO at our famous low prices. Come on in and I'll show you an example!

I put this photo in black and white because it is easier to see my drawing.

You wanted new window treatments. I think panels hung on weighty rods (consider minimum 2" rods in white, black or medium wood finish like your mantel) will give you the scale you need to balance the windows with the weighty sectional. These can be found at any big box. Consider green or tan colors for the panels.

I suggest you continue this same treatment in the kitchen to provide continuity. Replace your verical blinds in the kitchen for an up-to-date look.

You might replace the lamp on the left with a slimmer arm slung reading lamp so it will not compete with the window treatments behind.

The lamp on the right can be brought forward to hug the chair. And if the shade can be lowered, bring it down below the mantel and hug the top of the chair by a foot length. This allows the strong mantel to make a statement on its own and gives the eye several interesting levels to observe along that wall. It also will give added weight to the chair and make it a more cozy and funtional space for reading.

I drew a circle around the speaker with an arrow pointing down. Is there a way to hide the speakers behind the sofa or attach them to the wall in an inconspicuous place? I suggest a plant in front of the other speaker. It fills the space nicely and softens the side of the sofa.

We have a lot of tall, dried and fake flowers and sticks at Ashley Furniture Homestore in Kirkwood, MO. to fill that fantastic red vase.

Peeking through to the living room now, what a wonderful green color on the walls!

How about the same or similar window panel treatments for this room as suggested for the family room? It will tie the two rooms together.

I wonder how the rocking chair would look in place of the Christmas tree. I know it adds red to the room that is primarily greens and creams. But how about an area rug with hints of red to link the chair and the family room? The rug will anchor the furnishings in the room. Consider, also, recovering the rocking chair fabric in a style and color that ties to the room?

A lot of people don't think to put an area rug on top of carpet, but it really works great to anchor the space and tie furnishings together, not to mention how it prevents wear on your carpet!

You might bring your cushions from the chair and sofa to the store and we can find a rug to coordinate!

Consider red and green throw pillows on the cream sofa to break it up visually and link to the reds in the family room.

On the wall, consider a three inch wide red or tan ribbon behind the small pictures to link them together. It will make a statement and add color.

Try anchoring the large wall hanging to the sofa by bringing it down six inches above the sofa. If the space above then looks blank, hang a floral spray, small mirror or picture to fill the negative space.

Coming forward into the family room now, if you leave the clock on that wall, bring it down a bit to visually make contact with the new Jenna chair, again use the six inch guideline.

What a loved and cherished space with many meaningful family items. Vickie, you should be proud! Keep decorating... and have fun!

If you would like your space evaluated as I have done for Vickie, send photos with your questions to: dana@danasdesignstudio.com . For a limited time I will offer this service for FREE! A $75 value.

Jan 4, 2009

AT HOME St. Louis Magazine -- Love the House You're In

Let's face it, now may not be the best time to sell your home. But if you are or if you want to stay in your home, you may want to give it a lift. AT HOME St. Louis Magazine outlines how to decorate your home on any budget.

I am mentioned in the article for my love of "poufing".

What is poufing?

Also known as redesign, staging or one-day design, "poufing" is the art of "rearranging furniture, reworking shelves, moving art pieces around"...etc. Much of it involves using existing furnishings and mixing in a few new pieces. It is the most budget-friendly way to give your space a new look.

Read the entire article at this link: Love the House You're In

Or read the excerpt below:

Go Pro
Hire a designer to do a "pouf"

Remodeling's fine, you say, for those who know the art of rearranging furniture or how to judge the way that sage green paint chip will translate to an entire wall. But what about the rest of us? No problem: You can hire a professional interior designer for an hour or two. Small suggestions like paint colors or furniture placement can rejuvenate a space, and designers can point out where fabrics are clashing, color's not serving you well, furniture is badly arranged or you just need a slipcover for that formal sofa (at least till the kids are grown).

"A lot of times, it's the common-sense things," says Tim Rohan of T. Rohan Designs. "They just need a fresh pair of eyes — from a seasoned person who knows how to fix it."

Consultation costs range from $50 to $200 an hour for "poufing," (rearranging furniture, reworking shelves, moving art pieces around) planning or putting it all into motion. Dana King of Dana's Design Studio has been "poufing" houses for the past six years. "Poufing houses is the most fun and rewarding work," she says. "I would never give it up." She charges $50 an hour with no minimum or a predetermined flat rate for the job.

"The least expensive thing, I suggest, is to move the furniture around in the room, or mix up the furniture from one room to the next," Caryn Burstein, Allied ASID, president of CLB Interiors, says. "This immediately moves the energy around and spiritually gives them a lift about their space. It actually makes the old furniture look new when it's moved from room to room."

If you want the designer to take the reins on the redecoration, costs go up, but even at Mr. Rohan's $145 per hour, two-hour minimum, you'll save in the long run with the designer discounts. Plus, the designer will oversee it all, protecting you from the stress and strain of the project.

"Many people can do it on their own and spend less money if they have the resources," Mr. Rohan says. "You're as good as your resources whether you're doing it professionally or not, but it's even more crucial for the novice."

And you don't have to do the whole shebang at once. According to Ms. King, Carol Bridges of Kirkwood hires her when "she has the budget and time to tackle a new project. We are on our fifth room!"

Jan 2, 2009

Ashley Furniture Homestore in St. Louis Missouri gives away $500 in Groceries -- FREE Groceries

Do you need furniture, but feel you can't justify another purchase so soon after the holiday buying season?

Do you need a TV console for the new flat screen TV you got for Christmas?

Does your room look bare now that the Christmas tree is gone?

Ashley Furniture in the greater St. Louis Missouri area is making it easier to consider a new purchase at this time. They are giving away $500 in free groceries for each household that buys $500 or more worth of furniture.

Yes, that's right. FREE Groceries!

This is NOT a gimmick, it's for real (see the store for more details and/or learn more at http://www.claimyourgroceries.com/ ).

We are seeing a lot of happy faces in Ashley Furniture Land..."You're Gonna Love This Place!".

The offer ends this Sunday, January 4, so hurry in!

If you come to the Kirkwood, Missouri store, ask for me, Dana King! I work at the Kirkwood location on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If you have not been in our store, there has never been a better time to stop by. You will be blown away by the prices and the merchandise that represents EVERY style.

Bring photos of your rooms and I'll be happy to suggest items to complete your space. You will be amazed at how we can do so much for $500!