Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Child's bedroom - Where to place the bed

In a child's bedroom the bed is the largest and most important piece to place, therefore we should consider it's location very carefully.

So our million dollar question is where to place it???

We, as parents, want our children to be well rested so they are ready for the day. The location of the bed can affect that.
When placing a bed, locate it so the child will feel "safe and comfortable"  in his/her sleep.
What do I mean by "safe and comfortable" ? Of course they are safe at their own home and comfortable when they are in their own bed, the best bed!

So, let me explain. Imagine your child laying in bed. If him/her are able to see whoever enters the room - they are "safe".
When they are sleeping (the room is dark) and you open the door to check that all is well, the light should not get in their face and wake them up - they are "comfortable". 

Now that you got the idea of it, let me be more specific and set some guidance.

    The first guidance that you should consider is the "safe and comfortable" avoid placing the in front of the door. In some cultures, they say to avoid positioning the bed in a way the feet pointing directly at the door. Why? because when you lay down and your feet are facing the door, it is like a dead body carried out of the room through the open door... Creepy, I agree but do you want to try it now?! I don't thinks so.  

    Fang Shui takes bed positioning very seriously.  In a nutshell, you should position the child's bed in the area further from the door or diagonally from the door (the "safe" rule), but not in line with it ("dead body" myth). Avoid sharp angles pointing to it like corners of other furniture or even books pointing directly at the child's bed.

    For a nursery - when considering the location of a crib, try to avoid placing it on an outside facing wall, especially a wall with a window. Babies need to be in a control temperature environment and placing the crib on these walls may affect their body temperature.
BTW - I would avoid putting a kid's bed under a window as well for safety issue.

Here are some layout examples that might help you.

Correct placements for a child's bed

Till next time,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Room by Room - Quick and easy fixes

Yeah, Spring is here!

I don't know about you, but Spring always make me feel alive. It is not so cold outside, the snow is melting and some flowers are starting to bloom.

This new beginning is always making me want to redecorate. This feeling is great, but can I redecorate everything? not always.

Sometimes all we need are small fixes in our room to feel like they were redesigned.
A fresh coat of paint, new upholstery on a chair, a different throw pillow, rearranging the furniture are some of the options.
Here are some of my tips for quick, easy and not so expensive fixes, room by room.

Spring inspiring colors
Living Room
      When you are making a change in the living room, use the season's color for inspiration.
Add some color by changing some accessories like the candles or the throw pillows.
When doing so, make sure you are not adding too many colors to the room. If you are not sure, replace a color with color. For example change all the accessories that are the color blue with green (assuming it goes with the color scheme of the room).

       Take one piece of furniture to be reapoulster. You do not need to change them all to get a feeling that the room is all new.

      Another way to get a feeling of a new room is add a new plant. Adding a plant (usually in the corner) can give a feeling of a new room and even complete it.

      Kitchens are more complicated, but can be done as well. Changing the handles on the doors may look like a small change but can go a long way. Just make sure to check the holes of the handles you have now before getting new ones.

      For the bedroom I would say, change the covers and maybe add a few sets of candles and you got yourself a romantic getaway in your own bedroom.
A new window treatment or a new picture is an option as well.

      When updating a bathroom we don't need to go overboard and redo the entire space. At this point we want to try and do it ourselves. Try changing the mirror and the sconces. If you really feel like it, you can also add a fresh coat of paint and 'vuala', you got yourself a new and improved bathroom.

Changes can be made in every season not just Spring, all you have to do it think big with small changes.

Till next time,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Planning and Designing a child's bedroom

Last time we discuses colors in a child's bedroom, which is for me the fun part.
But before we are getting down to business and starting to paint, we need to figure out how we are designing the room and what is our goal.
(I am not dealing with the budget at this point we will have a different discussion on it.)

When designing a child's bedroom we need to remember that the room needs to be Fun, Functional and Safe.

Fun: The "fun" concept is divided into two. One is 'colorful and child-like', which we discussed last time.
Fun and practical
Second is having some kind of a play area for them in the room. Depending on the child's age and needs. Even if we do not plan for the kids to play there, this is something we cannot avoid and must consider. My kids have a huge play area in another room, but sometimes they only want to play in their room.
The play area you design, should have the ability to easily be modified as they grow older. Infants may only need an area rug, toddlers a play table, older kids may have different needs. Which brings me to the next criteria in designing the room.

Functional:  Besides sleeping, try and think what other functions will this room be serving? When answering those questions, plan ahead for 3-5 year.
Is he\she only going to sleep there? Is this the only  place I want them to play? 
Will this room going to be shared with other siblings? 
For older kids, will they be doing their homework there too? Do they need a desk for just homework or also a place for a computer? Are they playing on a music instrument? How much space does it take? Will they have sleepovers? if so you may want to consider to invest in an under-bed truckle, and so on and so forth.

Functional is also using durable and easy to clean materials.
Storage can be in different ways
Children will spill, draw on things (not always on the paper), may have an accident, etc... Any furniture that you are considering make sure the covers can be easily wiped or has the option to be remove and wash. 
When I am designing a child's bedroom, I use an area rug so it can be sent for cleaning; paint the walls in a paint that can be washed, so their hand prints will not permanently stay on the wall (unless it's part of my design).

Storage - Kid's room needs a lot of storage. When they are young, it's their diapers and all other accessories. As they get older it's their own things that they accumulate and become attached to (aren't we all). and of course T-O-Y-S!
Storage comes in verity of ways. The obvious storage options are toy box, drawers for their crayons, shelves and a closet. 
When thinking of storage consider the hidden option as well. Storage chest under their bed, (window bay) bench for a hidden storage, display shelves for their art work and more. 

Safe: When our kids are in their bedroom we want to make sure they are safe. Safe to be themselves and express themselves but also be in a safe room. When designing their room make sure to design it with "safety" in mind.  Do the windows have a lock and a window guard (storm screens cannot prevent falling)?  Are the outlets covered? Is the furniture mounted to the wall (especially for the young adventurous that likes climbing on the furniture)? Are there locks on the doors? Can I take a way the keys or should I replace the locks? 
After you have all your answers we can start putting the room together (Can't do it all at once). 
Till next time,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How to make a child's room come to live?

We were all once kids, it was not so long ago.
When you look at what our children are wearing you see what we are trying now so hard to achieve… Take a risk with colors.
Fashion this spring is going to be colorful. don't be afraid to add those colors to your child's room. Whether it's a play room or even their bedroom make it colorful.
Adding colors can be in many ways. It can be an entire room, walls and furnitures with bold colors (as you can see in the picture of my room) or nutural colors with some bold accessories (throw pillows, play chest, drapes, play table and more).
Whatever you do, don't be afraid to take chances.
When considering colors remember what is the purpose of the room.
For an infant that will only be sleeping in the room I will choose calming colors. Don't be afraid to choose colors besides the obvious pink and light blue. There is lilac, soft greens, pastel colors and more. 
In a play room, you can be more creative. add geomtric shapes in different colors, hand prints, and more, everything goes.

Some rooms have special arcitecture, emphesize it by coloring them.
For example, if the child's room is at the attic try paining the angled cieling as well.

I was once asked, "How do you cordinate those colors?".
I will let you in on a little secret...
Look around you, choose a fabric that has the colors that you like , candy bar wrap, newspaper ad... you got the idea. Now, use the colors there  in your room (try not to use more than three colors, so the room will not be too busy).

A fun baby boy's room
Remember to consult the child before doing anything. It's their room let them share their ideas. You will be suprised, some of their ideas cabn be pretty good. 

Till next time,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A short introduction

An interior designer...I was not always one. 
Here is my story in a nutshell…

Believe it or not I am a software engineer. Studied 5 years to get my degree and 5 more years working as one.
Don't get me wrong, I loved every second of it but then I became a mom and still wanted to feel as an adult. So I took a few course in interior design and then I took it to the next level and made a profession out of it.
I was doing this and then saved a life. which made me founding a non-profit to promote CPR education (check it out when you get the chance it's a whole different story) but even the greater good could not keep me away for my passion for interior design.
So here I am Saturday night writing about it.

Every Interior Designer has a philosophy. Mine is pretty simple. 
I know we have a budget so I try to stay on it. I try to utilize what people have and not start from scratch (furniture, art, etc.). I will be lying if I say I'm not tempted, and it's not that I don't get new things but I do remember we each have the things we love and collected over the years... So I try and make them work at the room I design.

So this is me.
In this blog I will try and share with you my thought on designs, try and give advise, and always... love to hear from you.
Till next time…