The Power of Design

You should be surrounded with whatever gives you joy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Feng Shui [fuhng shwey]

You've all heard of this term, but most of you don't know what it entails. Some designers always follow these rules with very design and swear by it. Some of the elements in Feng Shui are just logical ways and ideas that most designers mention and follow anyway. 
The formal definition is : the Chinese art of determining the most propitious design and placement of a grave, building, room, etc, so that the maximum harmony is achieved between the flow of chi of the environment and that of the user, believed to bring good fortune. 

I am going to give you a few examples of the main elements to follow when designing the Feng Shui way :
Five elements of feng shui:
1. Wood
2. Earth
3. Metal
4. Fire
5. Water
Bagua — a feng shui map for your home that combines nine zones with nine major areas of life, called the guas (pronounced gwa).
1. Wealth and Abundance
2. Fame and Reputation
3. Love and Marriage
4. Family and Friends
5. Health
6. Children and Creativity
7. Wisdom
8. Career
9. Travel and Helpful People

The Do's & Dont's of Feng Shui article by Stephanie McWilliams that I read & copied for you all to read:

The Southwest Corner — the segment of your house where love reigns. It governs the luck of love, romance and family happiness and can be activated by using any of the following accessories:
Mandarin ducks (non-wooden)
Soft lighting
Pink bedsheets
Love Symbols

  • Create an inviting and eye-catching entrance, both inside and out.
  • Include uplifting "greeters," such as a waterfall or piece of artwork.
  • Add bright and beautiful lighting so the pathway is safe and visible.
  • Place inspiring objects leading up to the door, like a meandering pathway and flowers.
  • Add plants, especially evergreens, which will stay lush all year.

  • Pile up paperwork, trash or broken objects near the doorway, inside or out.
  • Walk into a wall or dead end. If necessary, add a mirror to help visually expand the space.
  • Have objects that get in your way or block the flow of energy moving into the home.
  • Leave broken steps or items in poor maintenance.
  • Let your garage door draw more attention than your home's entrance.
  • Make sure you can see the entrance of the kitchen when you're cooking, either by installing the stove on an island or by hanging a mirror on your backsplash to reflect the room.
  • Keep drawers, cabinets and pantries clean and organized.
  • Add seating, regardless of the size of the room.
  • Add warm lighting, like incandescent or halogen, which makes you and the food seem much more appealing.
  • Keep your stove clean and be sure to use all the burners.

  • Have clutter or unnecessary objects and appliances sitting on countertops or tables.
  • Keep old food, whether it's leftovers, dried foods, packages or cans.
  • Use fluorescent lights, as they're harsh and unappetizing.
  • Have sharp points or dangerous edges on cabinets, furniture and tables.
  • Keep knives visible; instead store them away in drawers or cabinets.

Dining Room
  • Use rounded and oval tables.
  • Use white plates, as they allow the natural beauty of the food to be the focal point of the meal.
  • Incorporate soft, comfortable chairs that are of equal size.
  • Give each person and chair a pleasant view.
  • Add serene artwork or imagery of food.

  • Have sharp, pointed edges on tables and chairs.
  • Use glass or metal tabletops, which are hard and unfriendly.
  • Hang intense or negative artwork.
  • Have low-hanging ceiling fans, which create an unsafe atmosphere.
  • Create cramped spaces, where people can't comfortably sit or move around the table easily.
Living Room
  • Use beautiful, yet comfortable and safe furniture.
  • Arrange the furniture so the room is inviting and easily accessible.
  • Put the TV and other electrical equipment into a cabinet to be hidden from view when not in use.
  • Hang objects at the same height and create strong visual horizontal lines, especially when ceilings are extremely high.
  • Marry objects and face furniture together so they're in relationship to one another.

  • Use uncomfortable furniture and seating.
  • Have too many decorative objects, unless they are organized together as a group.
  • Place too many pillows on the couch.
  • Use the TV as the focal point of the room or seating arrangement.
  • Have beams in the ceiling or sit directly beneath them for long periods of time.
Home Office
  • Place your desk in the power spot, the area directly opposite the door.
  • Add sensual objects and artwork to inspire resourcefulness and productivity.
  • Bring in rounded shapes and move sharp-edged furniture out of the traffic flow.
  • Add healthy plants, which are beneficial to counter-balance the effects of electrical equipment.
  • Create a filing and storage system that is clearly labeled and easy to use.

  • Sit in the line of energy coming in through the door.
  • Hang uninspiring or mismatched artwork.
  • Paint the room in drab colors.
  • Use broken or uncomfortable office chairs.
  • Pile up paperwork or create clutter and disorganization.
  • Sit with your back toward the office door. If you must, hang a mirror to see behind you.
  • Sleep in the power spot, which is located directly opposite the door.
  • Add a solid headboard, ideally in a warm, friendly material such as wood or leather.
  • Replace bedding at least once a year to add a fresh, positive energy to the space.
  • Add romantic imagery or objects grouped in sets of two or pairs.
  • Use warm colors, flesh tones or red and pink to spice up the room and your romance.

  • Sleep with your body in line with the path of energy entering through the bedroom door.
  • Have TVs, computers or exercise equipment, unless they're hidden away or in a storage cabinet.
  • Have an excess of mirrors, which can sometimes activate too much energy.
  • Use footboards, which prevent you from easily moving around the bed.
  • Place one side of the bed against a wall. There should be equal space on either side for two people to comfortably enter and exit.
  • Create a beautiful, uplifting and organized space.
  • Add new linens, bath soaps, plants, soft lighting and other beautiful accessories.
  • Add a mirror to the door to help the bathroom visually disappear.
  • Put a divider between the bathroom and bedroom in master suites.
  • Add earth and fire elements.

  • Leave the toilet seat up or drains uncovered when not in use.
  • Create clutter on the sink, countertop and tub edge or in the shower stall.
  • Hold on to old or unused bottles of shampoos, products, creams and potions.
  • Have the toilet in plain view. Try covering or screening it when possible.
  • Create a small, cramped area. Try adding mirrors to help expand the feeling of the space.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mother's Day Ideas

Yes, it's just around the corner, and I'm sure most of you haven't even thought of ideas for that wonderful Mother of yours. Things that you can never go wrong with : Gift card for a favorite salon of her's, massage, pedicure, etc. Also, here are some other simple, under $50 ideas to add to get you thinking about how to make her special day!
Jewelry travel case.

Give her a best sellers cookbook, look at the ratings before you buy!

Gardening chair

3 tier oven rack.

Jewelry Holder

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I figured this article was appropriate for a few reasons, one in being that it is actually starting to feel like spring has come. My number two reason is because I am a germ freak, and actually read these kinds of articles daily. I also have had pneumonia  for the past few weeks and I'm almost positive I gave it to myself by inhaling excessive amounts of bleach. 
Anna is HGTV's manager of online programming, and she has a wonderful checklist that I've posted below (notice she didn't mention cleaning with bleach, but instead peroxide & vinegar) :

  • Pour boiling water down all sinks
  • Run the washing machine with only vinegar added
  • Move all large appliances and large pieces of furniture for vacuuming and mopping (and removal of dreaded dog hair dust bunnies)
  • Wipe down all small kitchen appliances, including the power cords (you’ll be surprised what you’ll find stuck on the cord of your mixer)
  • Wash all dog beds and refresh with cedar chips
  • Take down all hanging art, mirrors and picture frames, dust and dust picture rails
  • Wash baseboards throughout house
  • Q-tip clean all corners and crevices (around sinks, faucets, light switch plates, doorways, etc.)
  • Per’s Help Around the Home: swap out high wattage bulbs for energy-efficient 3-way bulbs
  • Take all books off bookshelves, dust and downsize
  • Take all rugs outside and beat them
  • Use peroxide to whiten porcelain in the cast iron clawfoot tub
  • Give all indoor plants a bath
  • Dust all light fixtures and ceiling fans, reverse direction on ceiling fans for spring
  • Downsize, donate and pack up winter bedding and clothes with tons of bay leaves
  • Wash and bleach the white cloth shower curtain, window curtains, mattress pad and bed skirt
  • Remove everything from the refrigerator, freezer and pantry, wash top to bottom, return only what’s fresh along with new boxes of baking soda
  • Empty the linen closet, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, dust, downsize, return only what’s needed
  • Replace all spices with new ones from the international farmer’s market
  • Clean the vacuum cleaner
  • Buy a new broom for good luck, make the broom from this year’s spring cleaning the outdoor broom
  • Buy a new front door mat, move old one to the back door

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Clap Lighting

Right before I fell asleep I was watching an hgtv episode where a little girl was receiving a room makeover. She was so little and young but acted so mature and bossy. She knew exactly what she wanted and claimed her room was way to "young & kiddish". She then was asked what type of light fixture she would like and she said "a clap light". This made my day. She said it would be great for reading at bedtime and then not having to get up to get the light. This is genius. I totally forgot about those, and her reasoning is so perfect. I have that problem a few times a day actually. I take a lot of naps and also like to read before bed but when I'm getting sleepy I dreeeaaaaddd getting out of the coziness-half naked & disorientated to get the light. Sometimes I think about it so long that I pass out with it on and my room mates have to get it. If this is lazy and wrong, I don't want to be right.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fire Pits/Oasis's

Well, obviously you all can tell by my recent postings that I CANNOT WAIT for it to get nicer out and be able to sit outside by a fire and relax with friends or family. This is definitely one of my favorite things to do- not just because I'm good at it (if that's even possible), but because I have a lot of experience. I'm from wayyy up nort' and this is a normal thing for us. Almost every weekend, my friends and I hopped in some trucks and went to one of the few cabins that were in a 40 mile range & didn't have close neighbors. We sat on stumps by the fire, drank, danced, laughed & sang country songs until the sun came up. Clearly these gorgeous fireplaces and relaxing oasis's are nothing like what we used to gather around, but I still get that fuzzy, happy feeling when seeing any type of fire pit! Since I was little, my moms side of the family always took several camping trips every year-and we did did the 'real camping'. My idea of real camping probably isn't that real, but it basically means that we ate everything made by the fire-pudgie pies, hotdogs, popcorn, smores, meat, eggs, marshmallows corn-on-the-cob, get the idea. Our camping also meant we had a couple campers but mostly slept in tents, and some places we went had showers, but most didn't (or if they did-you don't want to use them). Most definitely a lot of my very best childhood memories were camping with my sister and cousins who I am so close with & wouldn't trade for the world. (holla -Aly, Jess, Manda, Mikey, Jen!)..Anyway, I could go on for days <3 soooo I'll just stop here and let you guys think about your camping trips, cabin escapades, and fondest childhood memories....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Teen Bedroom Ideas

First of all, I want to apologize to my mom. Looking back now, I realize how much I ruined my bedrooms through the years. And she never once complained (although now, I wish she would've). From glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling to every poster in the teenbeat magazines covering my walls, to stickers on my dressers, she definitely put up with a lot. Now, I realize that as a teen, you can still have a playful & young room without looking it like a dumpster. Some chic teen bedroom ideas are below, as well as a boys room last. (yes-i didn't forget about you!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


 Alright, this has nothing to do with Design, but my other passion aside from design is having fun, laughter, & surrounding myself with funny people. These things are very important to me. Chelsea Handler is my favortite, and always knows what to say...

Chelsea Handler on Jesse James:
"I'm so sick of this moron. It's enough that you humiliated your wife by porking a bunch of women who look like they just escaped from state prison. No need to write a book about it. If people want to read about a bunch of one-night stands, I have a better recommendation for them."

love. her.

Relaxing Pool in Honor of Spring Break

This is just one of my favorite backyard pools I have come across. It's not too big or decked out in waterfalls and slides but the scenery here is what does it for me. This looks like its in Arizona or somewhere very hot with the cactus' and dry desert looking landscape. I think it would be really hard for me to leave this area if I were lucky enough to enjoy this beautiful place. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spa-like Retreat

Obviously not your typical bathroom...or view for that matter. This is breathtaking, to say the least. I think I would be in here more than any room in the house. It's almost essential to have a siting area in here with a view like that. To bathe in this tub would feel like you are bathing in the sea. I truly am almost speechless when looking at this, I instantly start daydreaming and imagining myself here. Someone please give me words to place with this photo. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

this is where I've been literally all day...

Soooo I'm not feeling well at all but am still connected to my social networks, watching hgtv, and eating ice cream. This isn't different than any other day except for the fact that I literally haven't left my apt, or even my bed more than a few times for that matter. As you can tell, I'm very into lots of pillows and blankets, and am very thankful my bed is heaven on earth. I have memory foam pillows, decorative (but comfy) pillows and a memory foam topper-so don't feel too bad for me! Anyways, I am going to try and shower and see if that helps. Hopefully i'll feel better tomorrow and can post about some of the great new things I learned on hgtv today!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grand Staircases

I guess you could describe my favorite design style as mostly french with rich details and lots of dramatic gold, silver and bronze accents with lots of flowers. I also enjoy modern,mid-century modern and even transitional as well.Grand staircases are all about the personality for me. I dislike the modern styles and can't get enough of the traditional English country style staircase-spiral or grand-it doesn't even matter. They give me this wonderful giddy feeling while also giving me this feeling of peace. It's very hard to describe since they are very different feelings, but its the excitement I still get when I see them, like I did when I was a child. They still make me want to run up and down them, play house and pretend I live there, and imagine having one someday in my own home. Since wonderful elegant staircases are usually inside mansions and castles I get a feeling of safety also. I think it's the combination of stone walls, lots of money, and important people usually associated with these structures that gives me the feelings of feeling protected. I still adore the old huge grand staircases over the modern eclectic versions out there now. Which do you prefer? And am I still terribly childish or does anyone else get similar feelings when they see staircases??

Click here to see other gorgeous creations!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Genevieve Gorder

Genevieve is-hands down-my favorite designer on hgtv. She is brilliant, gorgeous, funny, bubbly, and always smiling. Her designs are always so perfect, she goes above and beyond, always. I've never seen so many people cry tears of joy than with her as their designer. She sums up why I think her designs are so great by saying, “designing a room comes down to finding out what gives you joy, and I’m there to help make yours visible.”

Beautiful Wine Cellar

This wine cellar is out of this world. This is the most beautiful cellar I've seen, beautiful stone and wood throughout and of course a gorgeous table sits perfectly in the middle so guests, friends, and family can taste test a little before taking one home!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back In Style

I just absolutely love the headboard on the show Mad Men. The style is so 1960's yet is back in style and now most newer renovated places have a headboard just like this but usually in a more neutral tone. This sexy cigarette soaked headboard definitely catches your eye and defines Betty Draper's personality perfectly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Strength of a Fireplace

hgtv siteI absolutely love this fireplace. I do believe that fireplaces warm up a room in such a big way (literally and figuratively). Stacked stone fireplaces are probably my favorite, and give off even more of that "homey" feel. This quality is the perfect feel for a living room.

55 word challenge

I'm not going to pretend I have this "artistic eye" or that I'm some judge with any credibility. I do watch hgtv A LOT, but that doesn't make me a design genius by any means. I have learned a lot though, and  will continue to update this with MY favorites in design.


Hi all, welcome to my blog! I will mostly be featuring tips and photos of the best renovations I come across whether it be from the HGTV website or from random websites and articles I come across when browsing the web. Enjoy!