Today's Ideabooks
Browse Bedroom Products on Houzz- For Example:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ode to Overhead Lighting

In hunting around the web for inspiration, I turned to Apartment Therapy-LA and literally had a light bulb go off! As I read this blog entry I was reminded how much I hate the overhead lighting in my new apartment and that my roommate is STILL using the ceiling mount fixture in her bedroom as the ONLY source of light! The room is really well decorated (thank you very much) but she has never gone to get the lamp I suggested, out of laziness or lack of care, I assume.
When I go in there during the day I am greeted with beautiful textures and colors and at night it can only be described as putrid. The lamp destroys any and all color and warps it into something hideous! I cannot imagine that she looks in the mirror as she is getting dressed to go out and thinks that she looks great, as absolutely nothing can look great in that light! Whew! Enough with the rant......Overhead lighting should only be used to wash the walls with light, highlight a specific piece of art or a particular design detail or provide task lighting (like in a kitchen). In any other case, there are literally 1,000s of choices to coordinate with every decor and budget.

Previously Mark has blogged about the wonders of Circa Lighting and I have to agree. Here are some other wonders that I have come across which are beautiful.

These black beauties grace my Living Room and for the money, they are unbeatable! I have to say that most people who see them think that I spent much more than I did--glass base with perspex shade and glass fineol---your buck goes a long way!

Rider Table Lamp from CB2 $49.95

I have to preface this with "I have not seen these in person" but I imagine that they are beautiful when lit and I love the simplicity and the modern design incorporating a traditional, natural material. I for one think that this would be a lovely way to illuminate a hallway and spend the $600 from President Bush and his Economic Stimulus Plan!

Orbit Sconce from Design Within Reach $280

These eye catching beauties were featured in Blueprint many months ago but have been on my inspiration board since. Property, a New York based furnishings company, is run by a furniture & interior designer and a top set designer----the results are awash with delightful pieces and shocking color!

"Beat" Tall, Fat, & Wide Pendant Lights Property $360 each

Finally, and for good measure because I am such a fan, these Solid Crystal Buffet lamps are worth every penny! There are a lot of crystal lamps on the market these days--stacked balls, urn shape, and big heavy blocks but none of those have the timeless look and feel as these.

Oval Stacked Crystal Buffet Lamp Circa Lighting $630

Lighting can be expensive but without a doubt, before paint and a new sofa, accessories or a rug--Lighting is an investment in both the overall look and feel of your home and if well chosen will withstand the test of time and fads.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hiring an interior designer…

Hiring an interior designer may seem to some an arduous task. There’s the challenge of finding a designer who understands your vision, will respect your budget, and stay on track. But before you jump and hire the first designer you are referred to, pause and think about your needs. Consider some questions your potential designer may have for you. What is your time frame and budget? For whom is the space being designed? Do you need a little help or a complete overhaul? Also remember that the more information you provide the prospective designer, the more successful he or she will be in meeting your needs. You may even want to do your own research, or create an idea book of images that inspire you to discuss with potential designers.

Arrange interviews with a few potential Interior Designers in your area. Ask about their prior projects, education, experience, and client references. Upon your request they should also be able to provide you with a portfolio of their work and any professional affiliations or credentials. Interviewing different designers will enable you to become familiar with differences in personality, style preferences, and business practices. Remember that you will be working closely with this person, so make sure you feel comfortable interacting and expressing your ideas with them.

Once you have narrowed your search, inquire further about the designer’s fee structure.

Is there a contract? Discuss your specific needs to make sure the designer’s fee schedule/contract will work for you. For example if you only need some advice on paint colors and furniture placement, a flat or hourly fee would be most common. However, if you project is more involved, there will likely be a combination of fees for renderings, research & development, and mark-ups on purchased items etc. Speak openly with the designer about your budget, and let them know if the number is firm or flexible.

Lastly, when you do hire a designer remember to be upfront and honest with them at all times. Speaking up in the beginning allows them to better understand your vision for the space, and design accordingly. When designer and client are on the same page things flow smoothly and the space you envisioned can be realized.