Saturday, August 28, 2010

Clean Up Your Workspace

Throughout the workday (okay, workweek) I have a tendency to let things pile up. Usually by Friday afternoon I can no longer stand it and if I find time to organize I try to do it. Unfortunately, I let a couple of these workweeks go by without straightening up. See below to see the before and after, as well as some close up images to give you ideas on how to organize your workspace.

This is pretty much a before shot. I did a couple of things before I decided to document. This is pretty close to how bad it was. And if you know me, you know this is more than I can handle.

I picked up these two stacking trays to hold things I use daily. The top tray holds my project folders that have to been worked on that day. The bottom tray holds my everyday necessities: calculator, paint deck, and message pad. The folder on the clipboard is the project I am currently working on. Then I keep my daily log with a list of everything I work on in a day and my hours (this helps me fill in my time sheet quickly every other day.) Lastly I keep a sketch pad for quick inspiration or notes. On the wall I keep a small calendar and 3D renderings of current projects.

On the other side of my desk I keep some of my resource books, along with supplies I need quickly. This side also has stacking trays and a plastic basket on the wall where I keep extra notepads. Our sales reps bring us notepads all the time; this is where they go.

The bottom stacking tray holds folders of company forms, papers to be filed into project folders. The top tray holds different paper to print on as well as my mail. I keep collected business cards (alphabetically by business name) in an old watch tin (it's perfect size and has furniture sketched on the sides). A small metal basket holds my business cards. Then I have a desktop organizer to keep writing pens, a scale (ruler), nail polish and hand cream. :)

These containers were actually packaging from binder clips. I printed images of Knoll textiles and cut them to fit this package and hung them on the wall. They are now my storage for highlighters, sketching markers, and cutting tools.

I know, I know. My computer monitor is huge. However, it works perfectly and to get a flat screen size monitor at this size would mean unnecessary dollars. Instead I used a Lazy Susan meant for televisions to get it up off my desk so that my laptop can sit docked underneath. When I need to take my laptop with me I just slide it out and un-dock it. (You know you love my mouse pad. Go Braves!)

For projects that we act as Project Manager on, I make up these binders for contractor weekly meetings. I did have these stacked up on my desk but I love the way they look all lined up like this.

This was a shelf unit but I did not need the shelf. I slid the shelf to the back so that I can now use the surface as work space and my knees can fit under without hitting the shelf. I used a magnetic clip to hold my bag to the inside so that it is ready when I need it. And the Coach paper bag is just what I carried my lunch in. :) On the left you can see a bit of my handbag. I used a purse holder on the shelf surface to hold my purse. Now it is off the floor and off the worktop but still close by.

Here is the finished space! So much better!

Now to tackle this lateral filing cabinet drawer... Maybe next Friday. ;)
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Image via AtlantaBaths.
I really love this almost country, almost traditional kitchen. Love the tumbled slate backsplash.

Friday, August 27, 2010

a Fun and Functional Entryway

Here are some key things to include in the entryway to your house:
1. a walkoff rug or mat to scrub shoes before they hit your hardwood or your white carpet;
2. a place to hang coats (if you do not have a closet) and keep umbrellas;
3. a nice plant (real or silk) to bring in the outdoors from which you are coming;
4. a nice dresser or chest where you can keep winter hats and gloves or sunscreen and bug spray. Also designate a drawer for extra keys;
5. a decorative lamp to turn on at night so you don't bump into anything;
6. a mirror to help open up a narrow space;
7. a decorative vase or statue;
8. a place to sit and slip off/on your shoes.
While your room needs to be functional, keep in mind that this is the first room your guests see in your home. Show it off with nice materials that will hold up to the weather that comes in.
Make your own inspiration board on
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Arranging Flowers

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term "flower arrangement"? Do you think of weddings? Centerpieces? Stuffy, grandma's house arrangements? Until I got my own place, those were the things that came to my mind. Then I realized how much fresh flowers (or great looking artificial ones) can brighten up your home.

The best, fool-proof way to add flowers to a room without looking over-the-top is to stick with one type of flower in one color. This gives a more modern feel. Lose the greenery; it can make the arrangement stuffy if not done exactly right. Select vases that suit the flower.

Here are some images of my favorite flowers to inspire you:

This tulip arrangement is gorgeous. Since tulips stems bend over time, I love how this keeps all the blooms right together for a color burst.

Roses have a strong fragrant- too much for my liking. This vase holds five blooms which is just enough to scent a room. This would look great centered length-wise on a coffee table or in front of that horrible television set we always try to hide. This arrangement of dahlia's is gorgeous. It is feminine, southern, and sweet; everything I love. I recently copied this arrangement for a girlfriend brunch centerpiece.

This is a pretty horrible image (but the best I could get in my nearly-no-light bathroom) of a gorgeous combination of flowers that I have in my bathroom right now. (Also ignore the horrible faucet. Since I live in an apartment I am stuck with it.) The great thing about this combination is that the lily buds provided nice greenery and by the time they finally started to bloom (about a week after I bought them) the daisy's had started to wilt. I threw them out and had a nice, white arrangement. And I got that fabulous vase at Wal-Mart. (Yes, Wal-Mart!)
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Update Your Dining Room

Want to update your dining room but are not sure where to start? A dining room consist of four main things: chandelier, chairs, table, and wall color. Everything else can change or stay the same but by changing these four things, your dining area will be completely transformed. Take a look at the image below. Choose your favorite accent color along the left side and that row will be your new dining room. Or, love one of those chandeliers? Base your room around it.

Which look fits your home better? The contemporary one at the bottom? or the more traditional one in the middle? or the transitional one at the top? You can compile your own inspiration board at
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Bring Home Hawaii

Often times when we think of Hawaiian design, we think of those loud printed tourist shirts. But there is a better way to bring home your Hawaiian vacation than a tacky print.

I love these dark bamboo floors. Use them in your living space and kitchen and offset them with almost black stained cabinetry.

This gorgeous slate colored tile remind me of volcanoes. Use this in your shower floor, walls and ceilings with the shower head below.

This shower head will remind you of the warm Hawaiian rain. Available at Kohler.

Use shears to dress your windows. On warmer days, untie them and let the breeze blow them. Colors like white, pale yellow, or this light teal are great for still letting the sunshine through.

If you need more privacy, wood shutters are a great option.
When it comes to selecting fabrics, choose natural weaves like cotton and barkcloth.
As with any vacation spot, be sure to pick up things on vacation that remind you of the atmosphere like fabrics, wines, and small decor. Investigate the plant life of the area and then purchase live plants to keep inside. You will be able to regulate the lighting, temperature, and water it needs to survive away from it's natural habitat.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Internship Project

Recently, I was browsing my company's website (see the sidebar) and came across a project that I worked on while I was an intern for the company. The project was for Taylor University and was a memorial prayer chapel. I worked diligently along side my boss on this project but because of school starting, I was never able to see the project through to end. I have since seen the finished product and it made me so excited since it was my first project ever executed. Here are some images of the building.

I was especially proud of the pulpit/prayer kneelers that I designed and passed on to a local woodworker to fabricate. The building is gorgeous.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Feminine Bathroom Moodboard

While browsing Twitter recently, I discovered that has a moodboard generator. I decided to create an ultra feminine bathroom moodboard. Here is what I came up with...

Create this ultra fem bathroom with dark wood floors, an upholstered bench with pillows, a stand alone bathtub, elegant lighting, and candles. Look for mirrors wtih decorative frames, or unique cuts (like these amazing Queens Head mirrors by Giles Miller). Display your products on glass shelves for a spa feel. Use a black and white color scheme with luxurious silver curtains and fresh flowers.
Make your own moodboard at
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sherwin Williams ColorMix 2011

Stir is an annual magazine by Sherwin Williams that shares the color trends for the next year. I was excited to get my copy this year and start incorporating the colors into my projects right away. I was even more excited to see the color choices for 2011. Visit Sherwin Williams website to see all of the palettes. My favorite is called Bold Invention and the colors are hot. Here is a taste:

Bold Invention by Sherwin Williams. ColorMix two-thousand-eleven.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Bring Home Rome

One thing I look forward to on vacations is the decor of a new place. Often, I dread heading back home because I miss the atmosphere of my destination spot. Here are a couple of makeover ideas to bring home Rome.

Crossville Tile in Coconut Cream Pie. This color will warm your kitchen or bathroom floors and would look great with the border below as a shower wall.

Crossville Tile. Olive. (color is slightly off in photo.)

When I think of Rome, the first thing that comes to mind is deconstruction. A faux finish is a great way to get a deconstructed look. Invest in a painter who specializes in faux finishes or take a class yourself to get it right.

This image shows two great Rome inspired ideas: the faux finish and a bathroom focused around the bath.
Pay tribute to the Gods and Goddesses. This series of Venus, God of Love is available at for under $30.
Oil rubbed bronze is a gorgeous, Roman inspired finish. Use this finish on your faucets, door knobs, and sometimes even your appliances.

As with any vacation spot, be sure to pick up things on vacation that remind you of the atmosphere like a great scarf, blanket, or small pieces of stone or shell. Investigate the plant life of the area and purchase live plants. If you keep them inside, you can better control the light, water, and temperature it needs to survive away from it's natural habitat.
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Green Series: Midwest Standings

A blog that I follow called DE-VI-ATE is linked below. In this particular blog, a manifest is attached about how the Midwest compares to other regions in the States. Some of the charts share eye-opening information. Check it it out here. >>>

D E - V I - A T E ;: Sustainable Jump Start: "(by Kevin) I mentioned we are from Indiana and soon to move back, but are currently in Portland b/c I did my graduate studies at the UO. It..."

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Green Series: Building Green.

Living green means a constant effort to live sustainable, non-wasteful, energy efficient, local supportive lives; including the decision to relocate homes. Building green versus remodeling green is the first of many choices you will make. While the “greener” way would be to remodel green, it may not always work out for you. Below are some things to consider when you have first decided to building green.
1. Consider Options
Cities and states across the country are making themselves more environmentally friendly to provide relief to those of us environmentally friendly citizens. If you have the choice of what state or city to relocate to, research what your prospective cities have done to be greener. Are the community leaders taking actions to allow for more green space (grass)? Are they encouraging green build projects? Have they passed ordnances to reduce electrical use or improve air quality?

2. “Best Places to Live”
Burlington, Vermont was selected as the Best Green City in 2007. What judged the cities? Categories like mass transit usage, power usage, farmers markets, organic producers, and green building projects are all measured. Ranking higher than other cities, Burlington was also credited for developing a compost facility for everyone in town to contribute. The composted soil can then be purchased. The list for 2010 included Eugene, OR, Port Townsend, WA, Tryon Farm, IN, Portland, MA, and Ridgway, CO.

3. Water WorriesI am the type of person that cringes at the thought of drinking water straight from my tap. I know where my water comes from and it doesn’t make me feel safe to drink it. The EPA can direction you to information on water systems if it isn’t posted on your town’s website. I’m sure that my town’s water is safe to drink, but I filter anyways.
4. Your New Life
What part of the town you choose will you live in? Consider your commutes: to work, school, the grocery store, shopping centers, restaurants. How is the drive? Will you be making many trips to get where you need to go? Minimize your drive time by living in a area that allows you to walk where you need to go. Or is there a subway station or bus stop nearby? Think about how much time is wasted in traffic jams and rush hour. Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid those if possible?
5. Natural Heating and Cooling
In locations with warm climates, position your new house to face north and south (the length of your house running east to west). This sets you up perfectly to add solar panels to your roof, as well as allowing the best natural light to come in. Deep overhangs will help to block direct sunlight and reduce excessive heat. Add tinting to your windows to help keep it cool as well. In cooler climates, take advantage of the sunlight. Use concrete or stone on walls to keep warm air locked inside the house.
6. Use a Professional
Invest time into looking for a contractor or architect with experience in green design. They will know the area best and know where to get local materials.

Deciding where to live is a huge step. Once these decisions are made, you can continue to the actual green design process. For more on building gree, check out 365 Ways to Live Green by Diane Gow McDilda.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pattern's in the 20's

I thought it would be fun to do a series on fabric patterns throughout the years. I decided to start with the 20’s because I really love the bold, contrasting colors Art Deco designers used. What did we get from art deco? Bold colors, monochromatics, and geometrics. Here is a glimpse of some of my favorites:

Grand Feutillages by Raoul Dufy
from Merimekko: fabrics, fashion, architecture

Alec George Walker
from The Textile Blog

Edouard Benedictus, 1925
from The Textile Blog

This one is just a touch of whimsy. Sanderson, 1928from The Textile Blog

Chinese rug
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Green Series: Steps for a green home
Designing sustainable and green spaces is almost required these days. For those who are less informed on living green, here are some easy tips to help you do your part in saving the earth and saving yourself some green while you're at it.

Check your insulations resistance to excaping heat, called the R-value, to determine where you can use extra insulation. Insulating your attic can help hold heat in during the winter and keep heat out during the summer. Use Ultratouch insulation which is made of recycled blue jeans to go the extra mile. You could also use cellulose, made of newspaper, but be sure no one in your house is allergic to the off-gassing of the old ink. Re-insulating does require some time, but you will notice a difference in your utilitiy bills. Sometimes you may qualify for a tax credit, so definitely do your homework.

Energy Star appliances are all over the market right now and typically not at a higher cost than other appliances. Purchasing an Energy Star appliance can save you 30 percent of your appliance utility bill.

If you are building a new home, think first about the option to remodel. Choosing to remodel a pre-existing house could save money, use fewer materials, and disturb less land. If you have decided that the best thing for you is to build new, get to know your land prior to building. Choose your land only after you have invested time into these questions: can you have a garden or is there a close farmers market? Can your children walk or bike to school? Is there public transit close? Are you prepared to live off a grid (land utilities)? Can you get your building supplies from close mills and manufacturers? Do you have solar options? (When building new, think about how your house will sit on the property. Building your house so that the length of the house is on an east/west axis will allow for solar panels along the south edge. Also consider how close the next house is because it may limit your solar use.) How much space do you really need to live, heat, cool, and light? Can you use an architect or construction manager who knows green design?

A great way to reduce the amount of trash you have is to compost. Invest in a good composter where you can get rid of your scraps and create rich potting soil for your garden. Click here to see a video about a couple in Oregon that went trash-free for a year.

While many people are just now switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, be ahead of the curve and switch to LED's. LED's have been used in TV's, telephones, and more since 1962. More recently, architects and designers have replaced standard fluorescent tubes with LED's. While they cost nearly double upfront, they are well worth it since it could reduce your carbon footprint by 68 percent. They are also non-toxic.

These are just a few ideas to consider. Since sustainability is the future, I'm sure to post much more in the Green series.

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