Thursday, December 8, 2011

I've said it before: ceilings are the most neglected surfaces in any room and in the realm of Interior Design and Decorating. Think about it - have you ever painted a ceiling? If so, did you paint it anything other than white? Hove you ever even thought about your ceilings from a decorative aspect? You should - and I'm going to help you! There are several benefits to treating your ceiling in part of your interior design plan. If you've got a shorter room or low ceilings, adding ceiling interest can draw the eye up and make the room feel taller. (Find an example in this post: Designer Tips: Using Bold Wall Color). Conversely, if you've got a very high ceiling, a darker paint or more dramatic treatment can help to bring the ceiling down and add a cozier feeling to the space. And simply by adding interest to your ceilings, you just add something special and unique to your rooms and your home.

Painted ceilings

I've blogged before about the most simple ceiling treatment: a coat of paint that is anything but white: Painted Ceilings

Here are some additional inspiring paint options.

Interior Design Boulder Colorado

Interior Decorator Denver Colorado

Papered Ceilings

Wallpaper and metal leafing are great options for adding interest and texture to ceilings.

Home Decorating Boulder ColoradoCustomized Interiors Denver Colorado

Special Treatments

Whether with paint, paper, other materials, or a combination, here's where we get really creative with ceilings. I'm so inspired!

Contemporary Interior Design in Colorado

Bathroom Design Boulder ColoradoUnique Design and Decor Boulder ColoradoNursery and childrens decorating in ColoradoInterior Decorating Denver Colorado

And, my personal favorite of this particular collection, with both coffers and a special design treatment:

Interior Designer Denver Colorado

If you'd like to see even more of these great ceilings, or to get additional information on those ceilings featured here, check out my Pinterest board appropriately titled Ceilings Need Love Too.

If you'd like advice on where to start with your own ceiling project, read these previous posts with Interior Design Tips: To Paint or Not to Paint... The Ceiling. Before & After: Choosing Wall Color, Designer Tips: Using Bold Wall Color.

And if you do add some interest to your own ceiling, please do share it with us! You can email me directly, share here, or share on Facebook!

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Perhaps it is life’s fast pace, coupled with the economic downturn, or simply the need to take refuge from it all, that has shifted interior design’s focus to what matters most. Accordingly, there has been a return to appreciating natural products, comfort and functionality, and revamping what is at hand to reflect current longings. A keen awareness of sustainability and eco-friendly attitudes also now influence decision-making when adding anything new to the home, from light bulbs to appliances. Here is a look at five important principles guiding 21st century design and how they can be applied to personal living spaces:

Furniture With Uncluttered Lines and Simple Designs

Modern furniture is sleek and simple, with geometric lines replacing overly intricate curves or fancy wooden legs. Conversely, large boxy-shaped sofas and easy chairs invite sinking into ample cushions of leather, suede, velvet or other smoothly finished fabrics from nature’s color palette. Bold patterned pillows and throws supply interest and pull a room together. Functional ottomans in the same shape and fabric can be snugged up for resting feet or used for snack tables or game and magazine rests, with the emphasis on usage and flexibility.

Thus, if replacing sofas and chairs, utility and comfort should be of primary concern. Look for simple designs with soil-treated fabrics that will hold up to wear and tear, yet be inviting enough for everyone. Similarly, if reupholstering comfortable pieces, choose from fabrics that echo nature: beiges, soft blues and greens, terra cottas, warm browns, muted grays. These are restful to look at and will be the most harmonious when adding accessories. Using pillows to add decorative touches allows seasonal enhancements, and keeping a few special ones on hand for entertaining ensures freshening the look in a jiffy.

Walls That Do Not Detract

21st century design de-emphasizes overly decorated walls, following the same minimalist approach as furnishings. Walls are increasingly free of wallpaper, borders, or other distracting elements, instead acting as quiet junctures for interesting, similarly uncluttered windows and doors that provide natural light. Moldings and baseboards are simplistic and non-ornamental, often painted the same or complementary colors as walls. Moreover, tray ceilings with depth perception provide uncluttered upward interest for lighting arrangements. These often include recessed swivel bulbs that ensure light falling where most desired, on artwork or over reading areas. Dimmer switches create atmosphere.

While walls are plainer, they radiate charm and warmth through artwork in various genres. Large oil or acrylic paintings on canvas are often the focus of soaring floor-to-ceiling spaces without windows. Moreover, they are just as apt to be frameless, giving the appearance of floating rather than being confined. Mirrors or glass displays also offer breathtaking dimension, especially when reflecting outdoor scenes or unique lighting fixtures hung over tables or central locations.

Selecting art with modern themes and strong colors will give soft-hued walls personality. While paintings or replicas are always stylish, rooms often dictate other possibilities. A bright art deco poster in a simple metal frame will make any kitchen or family living area seem more alive, while smaller prints with ample color and design are well-suited to baths, bedrooms, dining areas and any walls interrupted by windows or doors and not as spacious.

Kitchens With Eco-Friendly Functionality and Centralized Design

Kitchens have been the heart of the home forever, always family friendly though sometimes crowded. Modern kitchen design has magnified the gathering concept with much more space to enhance mixing eating, socializing, and food preparation, too. Furthermore, while once designed to blend in as insignificantly as possible, modern appliances now sport a new boldness. Stainless steel and other metal finishes formerly relegated to restaurant kitchens grace home appliances, their commercial looks underscoring function and practicality rather than pretense. Designed to take on big jobs nowadays, more relied upon than ever, there is no attempt to hide them. Additionally, their eco-friendly operation requires intelligent engineering and design that makes saving energy a daily kitchen feature.

Thus, no-nonsense appliances are as large as space permits. Remodeling a kitchen, then, should revolve around enhanced spaciousness for family and friends to gather in, but also the accommodations needed by state-of-the-art appliances that double as energy savers through modern engineering. The natural crushed stone and granite products characterizing today’s kitchen workspaces and countertops continue the same functional feeling. Well-placed artwork and colorful rugs, cookware and dinnerware provide warmth.
Custom bathroom design Denver Colorado

The Bathroom As An Oasis

As 21st century designers have embraced comfort as the key to home living, it is unsurprising that bathrooms have emerged high on the revamping list. Not only inspiring remodeling projects, they have spurred new home designers to rethink how this room is used. Once the purveyor of simple functionality, prone to being cluttered with frilly curtains and bath accessories, the modern bath now more resembles a luxurious spa, a comfortable oasis for relaxation.

Consequently, fixtures have been designed for ease of use, with modern, eye-appealing lines. Footed or sunken soaking-tubs may be centrally located or backed by a cozy fireplace, while showers can accommodate more than one with larger enclosures and multiple showerheads offering streaming massages. The release of steam only provides another spa-like quality in this home retreat.

Updating a bathroom by replacing old fixtures and faucets provides modern functionality. New vanities and countertops with crushed stone looks, larger floor tiles in neutral tones, and walk-in showers are further ways to accomplish 21st century appeal. Rugs and towels in natural colors and textured fabrics will extend this aesthetic. Also, replacing fluorescent tubes with eco-friendly light bulbs in soft bronze or satin nickel light fixtures imitates natural light where most needed, around mirrors and vanities; adding a high window or two encourages soaks in natural daylight in even the oldest tubs.

Windows And Doors Add More Than Light

With the impetus behind eco-friendly light bulbs in mind, natural lighting is now in vogue as well. Likewise, more attention is paid to window and door design and placement. Once regarded as challenging to conceal while simultaneously allowing light inside, most concealing now is reserved for evening or personal privacy. Thus, windows and doors are in the spotlight, equipped with energy-efficient glass and better insulation and mobility for easy cleaning. Sourcing natural lighting, preventing drafts and damaging sunrays, while also looking nice, is a major plus. And when it comes to privacy and window coverings, less is more. Blinds and shades of natural textured materials are popular, as are any treatments allowing maximum exposure but ample privacy. Once again, an appreciation for nature surpasses unnatural-looking solutions.

Similarly, doors have been given more design prominence. Replacing a section of wall with double French doors or paneled sliders not only allows increased light, but a distinct outdoor connection as well. Using large plants or small trees in painted ceramic pots by the door’s interior allows the release of beneficial oxygen for healthier living. Moreover, doors with a lot of glass make a room feel larger - a clever way to expand when space prohibits it.

The above elements of 21st century interior design and how they can be applied are a testament to simple, uncluttered living. Establishing a home environment that focuses on simple luxuries, personal comfort, colorful relief and the unparalleled presence of nature and its many gifts is the goal.

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Holiday


I love Thanksgiving! I love the meaning behind the holiday - a day to reflect on and celebrate the abundance present in life. It's a beautiful day and way to live. This year the holiday is touching me in a more profound way. I feel an enormous sense of gratitude for the life I live and the people with whom I share my life. This is certainly influenced by my recent trip to Africa. And before I ramble on with the meaning of the trip, I'd like to pause there. I feel gratitude for the ability (physical, spiritual, financial, etc.) to travel across and experience this amazing world in which we live. AMEN.Traveling to Africa was certainly a reminder of the abundance in life. I was heartbroken by the extreme poverty that we witnessed. Yet I was also struck that the people of Tanzania seemed so genuinely happy. It's quite a contradiction to what I see so often in our own country - people whose lives are so abundant with stuff, yet they are so deeply unhappy.

I don't have deep philosophical thoughts to share on the subject. I'm not suggesting that anyone give up their possessions in order to find happiness. It was simply a contradiction that I observed and has really stuck with me.Yes, I'd love to eradicate hunger and create lasting World Peace. I believe that we can.Today, I am simply starting with a deep and genuine sense of gratitude and thanks.

I am immensely grateful for my family and friends, who make my life the rewarding, vibrant and adventurous existence that it is. I am thankfully to my wonderful clients, who trust me with their homes and dreams, while simultaneously helping me to live my own dream. I am grateful to you for joining me today, and any day, to read this blog and find inspiration for your own home and life.

Thanks + giving

Following my gratitude will certainly be giving. I have ideas and I'll be sharing them with you during the season of giving. Will you be giving this year? Do you have a favorite way to share the abundance of this world? Share with us.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Colors | Pink

Yes, we are still having fun with Happy Colors here at Beautiful Habitat! The Facebook survey revealed the mother of happy colors - pink. Yes, pink was voted most often as the color that just makes you feel happy. This post features several beautifully designed and decorated pink spaces to inspire you to incorporate your happy color into your interiors and your everyday!

That's a whole lotta pink...

Here is a fine collection of spaces that go all out with pink - walls, floors, furniture and more. Do you find your inspiration here?
Luxury Interior Design in Denver Colorado 
Jonathan Adler

Hotel Inspired Bedroom Design in Denver Colorado 
And how about Pink Hotel Rooms? This one is the May Fair Hotel in London.

Custom Kitchen Design Boulder Colorado 
Pink Kitchen! Could you do it? via Kitchen Clarity

Bathroom Design in Boulder Colorado 
I can hardly feature a pink kitchen without a pink bath. This is a modern update from the pink bathrooms of the early 1990's. Mauve toilets are not a good way to do pink bathrooms... ever. via Grant K Gibson Interior Design

Luxe Bedroom Design Denver Colorado 
I vote Designer Betsey Johnson as the queen of pink. Check out her home!

A little less pink, please

These well-decorated spaces have incorporated a little less pink, but still pack in the glamor and fun that pink provides.
Interior Decorator Denver Colorado 
If you've visited the Beautiful Habitat blog before, you know that I have a love of painted and papered ceilings. This room is certainly unique with pink ceiling and moldings to accompany white walls. Quite an interior design statement! via Apartment Therapy

Interior Decorator Boulder Colorado 
Here is a great example of punching up a neautral room with color. Adding just a pink rug and pink pouf to an all-white bedroom makes an interesting and fun design. via Ohdeedoh

Interior Decorating Boulder Colorado 
Following the white and pink room is a similar concept of adding pink to gray. This is a beautiful and feminine bedroom design! via Country Living

Outdoor Decorating Boulder Colorado 
Why confine your happiness to the indoors? Take your decor, and pink, to the great outdoors. via House Beautiful

Interior Decorating Denver Colorado 
If you're not ready to commit to pink, or it doesn't work with other selections that you've made for your home, you can always get a shot of happiness from some fresh pink flowers.

Let's go all the way!
Holiday Decorating Denver Colorado 
If you truly love pink and want to go well outside of the box, how about a pink Christmas? This room, via Toby Fairly, is not just a pink holiday, but on top of a very bold interior decorating plan of pink, pink, pink.

For more on the Happy Color Series, read on:
Is your happy color missing? Drop me a line about the color you turn to to brighten your day, wardrobe or interiors, and I'll be happy to include it!

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Friday, September 16, 2011

Trends: Dark Blue Walls

A trend that I am currently loving is that of dramatic dark blue walls, typically paired with white furniture. Sometimes a splash of the light green or yellow is included for a fresh color palette. The blues range from navy, to deep turquoise to dusty denim. The result is always dramatic, yet the rooms can feel crisp and fun or elegant at the same time.
Dramatic Interiors in Denver Colorado 

Interior Decorating in Denver Colorado 

Interior Design in Boulder Colorado 

Interior Designer in Denver Colorado 

Luxury Interior Design in Boulder Colorado 

I admit I am a little biased when it comes to loving this trend because I did it for a client last year. This is the home office/guest room of a beautiful 1930's Bungalow in the Sloane's Lake area west of Denver, Colorado.

What do you think of this trend? Would you do dark walls in your home?

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design &

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I have always been fascinated with lighting design. As it was so astutely stated by famed Interior Decorator Ruby Ross Wood, "There is one fundamental fact about lighting: Where there is no light, there is no beauty." Lighting is an important element to a successful Interior Design. However, we've also elevated the light fixture beyond a functional necessity into pieces of artwork.

The Mother Chandelier from designer Baran Baylar at Hudson Furniture, is lighting, jewelry and art mixed into one amazing fixture. I admit that I am in love.

Lighting Design in Denver Colorado
The frame is made of laser cut rings, with jewelry-like chain details hanging down and adding a balance of drama, elegance, and edginess.

The Mother Chandelier is available in Nickel, Black, Bronze and Polished Bronze finishes and sizes can be customized.

Lighting Design in Boulder ColoradoGlamorous Interior Design in Denver ColoradoHigh end Interiors in Colorado
In addition to the Mother Chandelier, Hudson Furniture has several similar offerings with equal glamor and drama, but even larger in scale.
Dramatic Interior Design in Denver ColoradoDragon Chandelier in Black
Dramatic Interior Decoration in Denver ColoradoAtlantis Chandelier in Nickel

Designer Lighting in Colorado

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Colors | Red

The next color up on our list of Happy Colors is Red.

Lots of Red
Master Suite Design in Denver Colorado 
via Etsy

Red lacquered cabinetry would be a very bold move on it's own. Add red lacquer to the appliances, walls and ceiling and you've got a statement-making space.
Modern Kitchen Design Boulder Colorado 

Red walls make a great backdrop for lighter colored artwork.
Bold Interior Design in Denver Colorado 
Source Unknown

Bold Interior Decorating in Denver Colorado 

This bold bedroom design uses both a vibrant and more muted red tones along with graphic patterns. See more of this room here: Love it or Leave it: Red Patterned Bedroom Bold Interior Decorating in Boulder Colorado

Mary McDonald via Veranda

Black, White and Red

Red is a perfect accent to schemes that are black and white, or to schemes that are gray. Yes, you could place any color in these rooms and it would really stand out as an accent, but there is just something special about red in these rooms...
Urban Interior Design in Denver Colorado 

Interior Decorating in Boulder Colorado 

And I couldn't post without including another banquette, this lovey red banquette adds a great pop to a dining nook and overall gray room. I love banquettes and you can read more about them here: An Ode to Banquettes
Custom Kitchen Design Boulder Colorado 
Source Unknown

Chic Home Decor in Boulder Colorado 

Red Accents

While red is stunning with Black & White, or gray, it is also a great accent with other color schemes, in large and small doses.
Home Office Design in Boulder Colorado 
Source Unknown

Bedroom Design in Denver Colorado 
via Domino Magazine

Living Space Design in Denver Colorado 

Electic Interior Design in Westminster Colorado 

Kitchen Design in Denver Colorado 

And what says Red and Happiness as much as a red wagon?
Chic Interior Decor in Colorado 

For more on the Happy Color Series:
Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration


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