Hello and welcome to our 4th installment of Ask the Designer! Our questions this week are all across the board
Carole asks: What are some good ways to incorporate rustic decor into a non-rustic house?
Answer: Great question Carole! There are so so so many ways, and a lot of them depend on just how dedicated and ambitious you are! Probably the very best way to incorporate rustic decor is through accessories. Accessories are a great way to add any style you want to a home because they can contribute so much character, yet they are also temporary, so if or when you ever want to change them out it’s an easy process!
Light fixtures are another great way to add a rustic feel to a home without a massive overhaul. Though you may not notice it consciously, lighting and light fixtures make one of the biggest impressions on a space.
We actually did a blog post pretty recently called “5 Steps to a Rustic Room” that I would love to share with you in response to this question. It features ideas big and small that you can implement to give instant “rusticness” to your non-rustic house. You can pick and choose the ideas that work for you, and if you do make any of these changes, we would love to see pictures of them!
Sandy asks: How do I organize a scrap book/bonus room, 25×24, help!
Answer: I love to organize things so much, so thank you for asking this question! It gave me time to think about all of my favorite organization ideas, and now I’m excited to tell you about them!
My favorite tip for organization, especially in a small space, is to hide things in plain sight. Although it sounds like you don’t have too small of a space, you can still use this tip to your advantage. Rather than filling the room with large cabinets, shelving or closets, consider adding a knitting chair with a basket of yarn next to it, or a large craft table with drawers/storage underneath, like this one:
Another thing that looks great in crafty areas if you do want to keep everything perfectly organized and hidden, is to use unique furniture case goods/storage pieces rather than cheap plastic Wal Mart specials. Think about how eclectic your craft room could look with a rug in the middle and mixed dressers, cabinets, armoires, etc around the wall?
Use space above and below these pieces too by strategically placing baskets, buckets and crates that can be filled with supplies.
Remember that you are not trying to achieve a stark interior with a place for everything and everything in its place! My favorite rooms are the ones with lots of character, and lots of STUFF! The more you put in your room, especially if you love it, the more eclectic your space will be. On that note though, remember to make it into a space that you want to work in. If you hate seeing any clutter at all, you probably will want to go a more synchronized, matching route.
Or if, like me, the more you see the more inspired you are, then a mix and match craft room will be just the ticket.
Susan asks: I have old venetian blinds in my condo. The windows are small, but I want to do something new. Ideas?
Answer: When recommending window treatments, I always check these things first:
- Is there a view you need to frame? Is it high – like a mountain peak, or low – like a lake or valley.
- Do you need privacy – are there other buildings, people walking by etc.
- Is it for a bedroom? Do you need black out or is light filtering fine?
- Do you want to be able to see out of the window, or can you block part of the view?
- Do you have enough depth in the window for inside mount treatments, or do they need to be mounted outside the window
- If outside the window, do you have room above the window, and to the sides for rods and stack
Once I have the answers to the above questions then we can look at options that will work for each scenario.
For a condo – or really any home, a Silhouette can be a good option. They have ultimate flexibility of being up all the way, down and tilted open to block glare and provide some privacy, but still not feel closed in, and all the way closed for either room darkening capabilities or simply full privacy. They come in a multitude of fabrics and colors and just recently unveiled a new cordless easy rise version. I love that because I always hate to see all of the cords hanging down in the window from window shades! http://www.hunterdouglas.com/our-products.jsp?so=tn#/P_1/
If you have a lot of windows and don’t want to go around raising and lowering shades all of the time, then drapes or curtains are a great way to go. As long as you have the room to mount the hardware and stack the drapes back off of the window, then they provide the convenience of one or two easy tugs to cover up those windows! They also provide opportunity to add pattern and color to a room. There are so many wonderful drapery styles that we will leave that for another post!
If you need privacy for someone walking by outside then a bottom up, top down shade is often a great way to go. That way you can leave it halfway up and get your privacy, but still see out the top. I love to use this option in a powder room window. Guests don’t want to raise or lower the shade when they go into the room but if you leave the shade closed all the time, then why have a window? In this case, just leave it halfway up all the time so your guests don’t feel “exposed” and yet you still get light and some view.
If you need some privacy, but don’t need to frame a view, then stained glass can be a fun option!
Sometimes all you need is to block the glare on a television or computer screen and yet preserve your gorgeous views! This scenario calls for solar shades. They give UV protection and block glare at the same time allowing you to see through them to the view!
Thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions for this month’s round of Ask the Designer! You may have seen our recent blog and Facebook posts announcing that Ask the Designer was actually featured in last month’s issue of Mountain Living Magazine! How exciting is that? If you have a question about design, decorating, organizing, painting, flooring, you name it, you can submit it to us through the comments on this blog post, or on our Facebook page! We look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions next month!