Happy 4th of July!

We’re going to relax this weekend and celebrate America’s birthday!

july 4th decorating

 

What are your plans?

4th of July decorating

 

Have a well-designed holiDAY,

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  Photos: The Welch Company; The Glamorous Housewife

 
 

Tray Chic

As an interior designer, I work on a lot of mountain condominiums in the Killington and Ludlow ski resort areas.  Ski condos are typically smaller, second homes so that means space is at a premium but since it’s a home created solely for rest and relaxation, comfort is frequently our goal.  I find that using an ottoman in place of a coffee table provides luxury, comfort and since many of my clients like to entertain overnight guests, they also provide excellent additional seating.

nel hills 3

The problem arises when you want to place accessories or serve drinks.  Trays to the rescue!

Killington Vermont Condo Furniture

Trays can be used to serve hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dessert and they can even be used to decorate.  When you want to put your feet up, simply push the tray aside and you can recline and watch the game (or a good movie).

Nell Hills 4

Who knew trays could be such problem solvers?

Have a well-designed day,

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Photos: Ruxana Oosman, Ruxana’s Home Interiors

Signs that you’re a decorating ‘maximalist’

My husband jokes (frequently) that if a minimalist says “less is more” than I’m a maximilist because I say “If less is more, imagine how much more, MORE would be!”

Here are some signs that YOU might be a maximalist:

1.  You love animal print and try to sneak a little in every room.

Decorating maxmilist

2.  You love collections!  There more the merrier, you say!

Tortoise Collection

3.  You love to surround yourself with books.  “So many books, so little time”.

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4.  You like mixing, not matching.

Charles Faudree Fabrics

5.  You love deep, rich colors…even if it ISN’T trendy!

deep blue room with tartan plaid

A high-five to my fellow maximilists!

Have a well-designed day,

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Photos: SMW Design, The Scout GuideRuxana’s Home Interiors; Stroheim; House Beautiful

What ‘cheap’ REALLY costs

 

You get what you pay for

 

I was invited to present a workshop recently - ‘The Art of Window Dressing.’  I discussed a variety of things to consider when purchasing window treatments but because it was an informative workshop for the attendees, I did not ‘sell’ nor did I discuss price points – my goal was simply to empower the attendees with knowledge.  Surprisingly, one of the questions from the audience actually addressed the issue that cheap is… well…CHEAP!

During the Q & A segment of the workshop an attendee asked about a problem she had: the cord of the traverse rod no longer worked so she just left the window treatment of the sliding glass door closed.  I inquired why the company that sold her the window treatment did not guarantee their product….. she said that she purchased several individual panels (on sale) at a retail store.  They were lined so she was very happy with the insulation they provided her but because they were not custom, she had to have a seamstress cut and stitch all the panels together. Her seamstress pointed out she did not have enough to cover the windows so she went BACK to the store to buy more.   She purchased rods from a big box store and realized after a short while that the rods would not support the weight of the window treatments.  She had to go to a specialty store to purchase custom rods to support the weight.  She agreed that window treatment installation is an art unto itself and she admitted that both times she had to hire a professional installer to correctly install the rods.

Custom Window Treatments in Vermont

So….let’s calculate this – insulated panels (at a discount) BUT she had to hire a seamstress to ‘piece’ together the individual panels.  She went to a retailer TWICE to purchase all the panels necessary.  She purchased TWO sets of rods (one inferior and one custom), she hired the installer TWICE and she currently has one window treatment over a sliding door that is not operable so it remains closed.  I have no idea what she paid for all of this but likely her time, gas, labor, materials AND frustration are comparable to purchasing custom window treatments.  Not to mention that the treatment would not be a ‘compromise’ with a variety of unnecessary seams and a color she admitted was  ‘close’ to the color she actually wanted.   Plus, ALL of her window treatments would be operational as a professional would certainly warranty their products for more than 3 months!

Vermont Window Blinds and Shades

 

In the words of Miles Redd “Buy the best and you’ll only cry once.”

Have a well-designed day,

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Photos: via and via

Christmas Decorating

Christmas decorating ad

Our elves are in full swing decorating homes and commercial spaces.  In fact, they just decorated the lobby of Salon 930 and A Signature Day Spa.   Give yourself the gift of TIME and allow us to take care of the decorating.

Christmas Decorating salon lobby

We can use your decor, or for commercial spaces and condo rentals, we have complete rentals (including removal). Click HERE to reserve your spot today!

Here’s to a well-designed HOLIDAY,

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Preparing your house for sale

Summer: water, sunshine, fresh flowers, walks by the lake and home maintenance.  Home maintenance?  Ugh.  It’s true, summer is the BEST time to address home maintenance projects.

Here are some of my favorite (secret) resources for home maintenance.  These products can save time and money when you are staging a home to sell.  The fact is, EVERYTHING gets old and my firm wants your purchases to look as good as possible for as LONG as possible.

Wcax Steve Bottari and Ruxana Oosman

Click image for WCAX Video

 

Be sure to join us for daily design, home-keeping & entertaining tips.  Stop by and say HELLO!

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Have a well-designed day,

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Photos: Rutland, Vermont Interior Design

Selecting the RIGHT paint color

Did you know that 40% of the paint sold in the United States is to correct PREVIOUS color mistakes? Yep. It’s true. A common error people make is selecting the paint color first and then making decisions about the remainder of the room. Although I ALWAYS recommend paint color last, this isn’t always possible. For example, new homeowners frequently want to have the entire house painted BEFORE they move in and furnish the home. Based upon the amount of light and the mood of the room, I have mastered the art of selecting no-fail neutrals that work with just about anything. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few examples.

During a Paint Consultation, two years ago, the home owner told me that he would furnish the house over time using antiques discovered at auctions and vintage stores. This was tricky because it meant my color palette would have to work with a variety of colors.  The client did not have a ‘theme’ or a piece to use for inspiration and it also meant that furniture of different colors, textures and patterns could potentially live in the same room. My client is on ‘Phase Two’ and recently invited me back to design custom window treatments. I was delighted to see that the original colors, which I selected, worked perfectly with a gorgeous antique oriental rug that commands the room.

Rutland Vermont Paint ConsultationA ski condo I designed and furnished for a client in Killington, Vermont, had a similar need.  While the design process allowed us to select all the furniture and fabrics for the main spaces and kitchen, the upstairs bedrooms were left for Phase Two.  I selected a serene green-gray.  When we completed the bedroom eight months later, the colors worked beautifully.

Killing Vermont Condo Furniture

I’m currently working on a very large barn renovation outside of Ludlow, Vermont, and the builder requested paint colors long before we were in the ‘Furniture Planning’ stage.  So I had to select a whole-house color palette that would work FOR us, not AGAINST us, when it came time to select the furniture fabrics.   As you can see, the colors worked wonderfully with the fabrics I specified for our Miles Talbot furniture order.

Ludlow Interior Design Paint Color ConsultationIf you’d like to download my list of TOP 10 Paint Colors (be warned – these are my current favorites and are NOT paint color recommendations) just follow the link  HERE.

Cheers,

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Photo Credit: Rutland Interior Designer, Rutland, Vermont

Equestrian Style Chair in Vermont

My husband and I are settling in to watch the 140th Kentucky Derby race on TV and I thought I’d share a chair that would be PERFECT for a room with a Ralph Lauren feel.   Equestrian details dovetail with Vermont mountain decor very well.

This chair comes in FIRST PLACE.  My friend and fellow designer from Tumblewood Interiors, spotted this chair at High Point Furniture Market last month and the remarkable thing is she said it would be a great fit for her client base in Kansas.  Of course, it works perfectly for a home in Vermont….and yet another friend in Tempe, Arizona said that it would work well for her clients, too.  WOW – Kansas, Vermont AND Arizona…..that’s the trifecta of chairs!

Leather wears beautifully, adds a rich patina to a room and a bonus is that it cleans easily.  I wish this chair was available when I completed my most recent Killington condo interior design package.  It would have been a wonderful way to add character AND comfort.

Rutland Furniture

Cheers,

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Decorating for clients with asthma or allergies

My interior design firm is service-driven, not sales-driven.  Since we endeavor to serve clients for a lifetime we consider their future needs as much as their current needs.  We’ve designed rooms (and homes) for clients who are having children, adding pets, downsizing, and transitioning into assisted living facilities while helping them prepare to sell their homes.

As temperatures rise and the spring thaw approaches, robins will arrive along with pollen and allergens.  Last week a former client contacted me about helping her create and decorate a master bedroom retreat.  Though not an uncommon request, this one was different.   She was recently hospitalized with a severe case of undiagnosed asthma.   Consequently she must create a home environment that supports her health; since it is cost prohibitive to do the entire home, I suggested starting with her master bedroom to act as a refuge for her, where she can rejuvenate and regenerate.  After all, our bedrooms are places where we spend a significant amount of time.

Vermont Interior Designer

(c) Ruxana’s Home Interiors

With this in mind, here are some tips for creating a healthy sleeping environment for allergy and asthma sufferers.

1.  Remove it.   When we get out of bed on a chilly Vermont morning, our feet enjoy being greeted by a cozy carpet.  But in reality carpeting is terrible for asthma and allergy sufferers.  Particles like pet dander, dust mites and pollen get trapped in the carpet fibers and even regular vacuuming won’t remove them entirely.  A better option is wood or laminate flooring.  It allows for easy cleaning and easier breathing.

2.  Replace it.   If you crave room-darkening window treatments for your bedroom, I recommend replacing heavy fabric drapery treatments with wood blinds, shutters or specialized honeycomb shades.   We carry an extensive line of window treatments that are easy to clean and environmentally friendly, including a line of insulating honeycomb shades that are made out of recycled water bottles.  You can simply wipe them clean with a cloth.

Bedroom with wood blinds

3.  Switch it.  The furnishings in your bedroom should be streamlined and simple.  With fewer creases and crevices in your room, there are fewer places for dust and allergens to hide.  While many clients like to add ‘glamour’ to master suites, we can achieve that without heavy furniture, fabric tufting and draperies.

Elaborate bedroom

4.  Wash it.  All of your bedding – from the decorative throw pillows to the duvet – should be removable and machine washable.  It’s much more hygienic and cost effective than dry cleaning, especially if pets share your bedroom.   If you have an upholstered headboard or other upholstered furniture in your bedroom, consider getting slipcovers made so you can launder them.   If you’re purchasing new furniture, I suggest using leather or faux leather.  Leather adds warmth, texture and will not harbor allergens like fabric.

5.  Conceal it.  Invest in bedside tables that have ample interior storage.   This will allow you to store your bedside amenities like tissues, books, reading glasses and hand lotion where it is easily accessible but kept away from the dust.

6.  Skip it.  When redecorating a space for people with respiratory problems, it’s imperative to use products that have no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and do not off-gas.  Some products seem innocent but the off-gassing creates an extremely toxic environment.   VOCs shouldn’t preclude you from ordering the furniture that best fits your needs, but be sure to request low or no-emitting finishes, components, and upholstery.

Elaborate bedroom

As a full-service interior design firm in Vermont, we help our clients cook better, entertain better, sleep better, relax better, live better and now BREATHE better!

Cheers,

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Photos: Houzz; Earth Safe

Vegetable Centerpieces

This is such a wonderful time here in Vermont.   The dog days of summer sure are behind us and we’re sipping cold cider instead of lemonade.  The foliage crowds haven’t arrived, the sky is bright blue and the evenings are crisp.  Plus, our garden is starting to burst with scrumptious bounty…how about yours?

Did you know you can bring a bushel basket of sun-ripened goodies inside for decorating?  Yep.  Some of my favorite two-minute centerpieces involve produce.  So, grab a basket, fill it with garden goodies and bring it inside for some fun.

Vegetable Centerpiece

 

Produce Centerpiece

 

Garden centerpiece

I bet when your mother said ‘vegetables are GOOD for you’, you didn’t have THIS is mind.

Cheers,

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Photos: Amber Wilkie One Hope Weddings; Wedding Bee

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