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Flex That Design Muscle…

Hiring an interior designer is ALWAYS a good idea before you tackle a design project.  They have the experience and talent to make your design dreams come true.

But sometimes you just want to do a little something on your own – stretch your personal design muscle with a quick home refresh.  So here are 5 easy design tricks you can be confident doing (and finish in a weekend!)

EDIT  The old saying less is more is true.  Remove visual clutter from your rooms to create a feeling of openness and allows your eye to appreciate a focal point.

A single beautiful sculpture, large plant or treasured vase makes more of an impact than your entire collection of mini snow globes, 15 jelly glasses with plant rootings or all your aunt’s Wedgwood china on display.  The image below is a great example of how one large piece of art can make a design statement – adding the one large dog is just pure genius!

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Artwork by C Ziang

IGNORE  Accept what cannot be changed (in a weekend).

If your fireplace is off-center, stop trying to arrange your furniture directly in front of it.  Ignore it!  Please your furniture were it makes the most sense in the room and for the flow of traffic – the fireplace w becomes an accent feature instead of an awkward design element.

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SWITCH  Change can be a good thing.  Refresh a room with a new purpose.  Let your inner design diva go crazy!

When was the last time you actually used your dining room (holidays don’t count).  Turn that formal, seldom-used space into a library or game room.  And yes, you can still use the table!  Bring in some comfy chairs, soft pillows and the right lighting (see #5).  Or better yet, turn it into a bar where you and your friends can avoid the Naples crowds and have Happy Hour at home!

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Pinterest

CULTIVATE  Real plants add another dimension and great color to a space.  They also give off oxygen, which let’s face it, we’re all addicted to.

Visit your local garden center and pick up few easy to maintain greens like spider, English ivy or asparagus fern. For even more info check out DRIFTWOOD GARDEN CENTER in Naples.  If you really have no green in your thumbs, get some succulents.  They’re the introverts of the plant world and like to be left alone.

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ILLUMINATE  Light up your life!

Create a reading nook with a comfortable chair, small table and interesting reading lamp.  And don’t forget your outdoor space.  Pump up your landscape with some outdoor lighting like this beauty by Llum by Vondom, string up some fairy lights over your patio or add some battery-operated candles and you’ll be sitting outside long after sunset.

 

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Llum by Vondom

So get going – the weekend will be here before you know it!

And please feel free to send us pics or descriptions of your weekend design hacks, ’cause sharing is caring…

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Not Your Mother’s Front Yard

Let’s Just Forget the Garden Gnomes

In our latest episode of “Design Chat”, Ed Westwood, owner and talented landscape architect of Garden Bleu and I had a great conversation.

Garden Bleu is a member of our Design Match team and we couldn’t be happier. We’re all about all things design: interior, architecture, building, and now exterior! Having very little, and it turns out very uneducated impressions of landscape architecture, I came away completely awed.

Ed, who is passionate about turning outside spaces into creative workable and enjoyable “rooms”, chatted with me about what goes into making that magic happen.

It’s not just about making your yard look pretty. It’s about working together with architects and interior designers to make sure that the exterior is telling the same story as the interior. How will that outdoor space be utilized? Who’s living in the house and what do they like to do? And you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how your driveway can be your own private bistro!!

Because Ed has so much to share (and I have so much to learn), we had enough material to create 2 episodes of Design Chat.

Here’s Part 1. Join Ed and me and we explore the many creative ways to use exterior design through landscape architecture to add beauty and spice to your home.