Archive for the ‘Decorating’ Category

Digital Snapshot = Heirloom Open House

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Just in time for Easter gift giving. Get your digital snapshots off your computer and into the hands of those you love! Stop by to see the treasured heirlooms your digital snapshots can create.

Wall Canvas | Photo Books | Ornaments | Many more

Elemental Design – Cherish every little memory

Digital Snapshot = Heirloom Open House

Saturday March 2, 2013 from 2–4pm

Held at: Negrotto’s Gallery & Framing

2645 Executive Place,  Biloxi, MS 39531

Refresh Your Office on A Budget

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

If you’re in the market to update your office but are not yet ready to commit to a big budget redesign, there are plenty of changes you can make to spruce up on a dime.

  • The first tip has absolutely nothing to do with design.  Before you look for ways to refresh your office, you need to minimize.  Clear out any old paperwork, broken or outdated machinery, and junk that you no longer need or use.  Take on the task of entering old paper files into electronic databases when the office is slow.  Minimizing the clutter and paperwork that are bogging down your office will make an immeasurable impact.
  • Assess what you use throughout the day.  There could be things clogging up your desk that you don’t use but once a week or so.   Do you really need a stapler, a hole punch, and a scanner all on top of your desk?  Items which you do not use several times a day should be contained in attractive, functional storage.   The less visual clutter sitting atop your desk, the more productive you’ll be throughout the day.
  • Find storage solutions that are aesthetically pleasing.  Looking at items that are well designed will make your office seem more like a retreat than a workspace.  You can find great containers, bins, and baskets on a wallet-friendly budget at places like Target and the Container Store.
  • Is your office space configuration functioning at its highest potential?  Consider looking at new configurations of furniture if possible.  Try your desk on a different wall or your bookcase set at a different angle.  If you have systems furniture that may be difficult to rearrange on a whim, take out the graph paper or talk to an interior designer about how you can achieve a more functional workspace while limiting the number of new components that you need to purchase.
  • Perk up worn fabric.  Choose an updated fabric in a bright new color to recover tack boards and seating.  This shouldn’t blow your budget and will instantly make your workspace feel refreshed.
  • Paint an accent wall.  You may be able to enlist a team of coworkers to tackle this project one day after work.  It won’t take long if it’s just one wall and can make a huge difference in the look of your office.
  • Personalize the space.  Choose a pen cup that you love to look at, display a beautiful picture frame with a beloved picture, or use a notebook in your favorite color.    Surrounding yourself with things you love will always make your office feel refreshed.

Hiring An Interior Designer on a Budget

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

There are some design projects that you can certainly tackle yourself, for example, picking out a new duvet or replacing the throw rugs in your bathroom.  However, if your project involves an overhaul of major pieces in a room or an entirely new  design scheme, it is probably best to bring in an interior designer.  The thought of this can scare the budget conscious among us, but there are ways to use an interior designer without breaking the bank.

  • Hire an interior designer on an hourly basis.  Many designers are willing to come to your home and  give  advice on an hourly basis.  In an hour, you can cover topics from rearranging the pieces that you already have to what kind of kitchen table you should look for or where new lighting should be placed.  Develop a relationship with the designer so that he or she will be willing to help you out anytime you need a couple hours of design consulting.  Make sure to tell the designer up front that this the kind of service that you are looking for.
  • Prior to beginning a do it yourself interior design project, consult with an interior designer to come up with a master plan.  Your interior designer will come up with the master design plan and tell you how to phase it so that the project goes smoothly.
  • Consider hiring an interior designer in addition to using a contractor when undergoing a renovation or remodel in your home.  An interior designer will have a better sense of what the space needs to accomplish and how to go about planning for your home’s needs.  A few inches can make a world of difference in how a space functions; an interior designer will know how to address these  details.
  • Contact your local design center.  There may be designers that are willing to take your around the to the trade only design center.  You will visit various showrooms for fabrics, furniture, and lighting.  The designer can then assist you in putting together these pieces and ordering them for you, without binding you to a contract or taking the time to travel to your house.
  • Buying furnishings and other home items through an interior designer can actually save you money.  Most interior designers buy their goods at a discount from retail.  This means that when you pay the professional fee for an interior designer, you will have the benefit of purchasing beautiful, high quality pieces at a discounted price.
  • When you decorate your home on your own, there are mistakes that decorating amateurs often make, such as painting the room the wrong color several times, selecting the wrong shape mirror, buying a rug that just doesn’t look right, or finding out that your new dining room table takes over the entire room.  These mistakes add up in terms of both time and money.  When you hire a professional, the chance of making these mistakes is greatly diminished.  With an interior designer that has a library of wall colors that look fabulous, a sense of what textures will bring a room together, and an idea of formulas for sizing accessories and furniture, your room may turn out perfectly the first time.  Hiring a professional can save immeasurable time and money, as well as preventing a cycle of failed decorating attempts.
  • Come prepared to your first meeting with your designer.  Communicate your household’s needs clearly.  Bring a collection of photographs of rooms that you absolutely love.  The designer will be able to quickly and efficiently evaluate your home, design a scheme, and problem solve any trouble areas in the house.  A designer will have the eye and resources to transform a room into one that resembles the over the top design from your favorite home decor magazine, all while on a modest budget.

Hiring an interior designer does not have to be reserved for those with millions to spend.  Even the homeowner on a budget can find a way to use an interior designer.  In the process, the homeowner may even discover that once the room is complete, using an interior designer saved a significant amount of time, frustration, and money.

Celebrating the Sun

Saturday, July 31st, 2010
Top 5 Solar Myths Take advantage of the tax rebates on solar.
Scrap Lights: Graypants has introduced light fixtures made from recycled corrugated cardboard boxes.
Easy living room update with simple accents for summer color.  Carpet tiles are a quick update.  I have had them for several years in my dining room and kitchen.  You can’t beat a washable flooring!!!

Add light to your nights as well.  Johnsonite Safe-T-First photo luminescent (glow in the dark) products make egress in the dark safe for business or home.

10 Golden Lessons From Steve Jobs. Some great ideas on how to live your life.

Spring is in the air and it is time for some color!

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The southern parts of the country have lots of plants blooming. The snow covered north has a few hardy blossoms breaking through. Even Arizona is green and covered with colorful blooms. Here are some articles on various kinds of color for your enjoyment.

2010 Color trends by Sherwin Williams are great inspiration with eye candy photos. Archives to 2006.

Lost Greek city that may have inspired Atlantis myth gives up secrets

Color + Design Blog / Gods In Color: Painted Sculpture Of Classical Antiquity by COLOURlovers

Talking Turquoise. The story behind this cool hue, which is dominating the design world….

The Origin of Magenta. When your name is derived from the battlefield, its no wonder people pay attention to you.

Matte Black Is the New “Black” (always been a favorite of mine!)

Shades of Night: Why is Light Essential for Your Design?

Color in Unexpected Places - these are some fun ideas, try one out!

Textile Trends for 2010

Specialty paint ideas. I like faux chair rail and stripes. Have used lace-like stencil in stripes for accent wall.

Favorite colors test shows CEOs are different; take the test

Free Color Personality Test for fun. Ebook “Powerful Networking Secrets…” on same page is worth looking at.

HOW TO: Create That Amazing Avatar Make-up. Wow – add to your costume idea file! I need to have her over before my next costume party!

Happy creating!

Suzanne (Dummer) Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC

Dedicated to improving quality of life through functional interior design.

QuoteActions – Inspirational quotes and actions

Art for the Office

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

You might be wondering why a commercial interior designer keeps posting items about home décor. The reason is simple. Great design does not always mean high cost. There are so many ideas out there that can be modified slightly to work in office environments. Offices need a bit of “decorating” to appear inviting and not so sterile. I don’t find many people who enjoy inhabiting extremely sterile places. We spend 90% of our time indoors and often more time in the office than in our homes. Why not bring a little bit of “home” to the office while maintaining a professional look?

Art is an after thought (if any) in most offices. Art is also the first to fall to the axe on a tight budget project. But there is a reason why humans love art, it creates an emotional response. I am a big believer in using money to the best advantage and there are many ways to create an “expen$ive” look with items that are a great price (bargain shopper). At minimum, the office reception area needs at least one focal point. I would even say that every room needs at least one art focal point.

The corporate identity (brand or image) your company is trying to portray is key. Every choice you make in your interior should relate back to your corporate identity, especially visual items you select from infinite possibility. Why pass up the chance to make a statement? Why not use that opportunity to influence your clients’ perception of why they should pick your business? Try to select art images that subliminally relate back to your company corporate identity (nature with rocks = stability, trees or columns = stability, local photos = familiar, etc).

I spend a lot of time looking at catalogs and ads in the media for ideas. In fact, I have binders full of ideas that I have pulled for years. Look at things with an open mind and look for the concept behind what you are seeing. How can you adapt it to work for your specific needs? I like to look at items being sold and come up with ways to use them in a manner that they WEREN’T intended to be used. Hardware and office supply stores are most fun.

Why not use your company logos

Create privacy by hanging a “divider” from the ceiling grid. For the office you don’t want to spend time swapping out real leaves, instead use printed images that relate back to your corporate identity.

Remember you don’t always need glass for artwork. Another tip: take old mismatched frames and spray paint all one color. The unified color creates a visual group with interest. I like contrast and personally am partial to black accents, but what color do you like? Use three dimensional found objects. Do you have any promotional items laying around the office that would look fun?

Perfect office idea. The accent paint strip is fun and the recycled ceiling tile is great. Groupings are more interesting to the eye if items are in odd numbers like 3 or 5.

What found object can support your corporate identity?

Happy creating!

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC

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Easy way to WOW your holiday party guests

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

We are moving into the holiday season. This time of year has the largest percentage of semi-formal to formal entertaining events. I am sure you have at least one holiday party on the horizon that you are planning for work or at home. One easy way to jazz up the table is to fold your napkins in an unexpected and decorative way. Napkin folding is really easy if you follow the directions. You can also use cloth or paper napkins to create this extra item to wow your guest. There are many books and sites about napking folding but here is one.

Suzanne Dummer Stafford, IIDA LEED-AP
Elemental Design, LLC

Follow us

Become a fan

Dedicated to improving quality of life for everyone with functional interior design.

We are ready to work magic to solve your built interior environment problems!