28 March 2009

do you have a design question?

Click on 'view my complete profile' at the top right of this blog and you'll be able to email me your questions! What would you like to see on here? What design challenges are you facing in your own home? Or share your inspirations with me!

think color

Anyone who has seen my loft in downtown Fort Worth will tell you that it is definitely still a work in progress... but it has come a long way from when I first purchased the place. I immediately started the process by painting the walls. It still amazes me how many people are afraid of adding color to a room. Painting is one of the cheapest, easiest things you can do to a room to dramatically change its look. It is one of the first steps I take to designing a room. Unless you are going for a gallery-like, contemporary space in which to display art, in my opinion, your walls should NOT be white!! Be bold and take a chance with color! It is so easy to change if you're not happy with the results. And if you really don't want to take a chance on having to paint a second time, try out a few options before painting the entire room. Many paint suppliers allow you to buy small sample cans for just a couple of bucks. Paint a few test spots on your walls. Don't try to decide right away... leave the samples of your different colors on the walls for at least a week. Look at each color during different times of the day and see if there is one that jumps out at you. Some paint companies will also allow you to order very large paint chips (not the 2x2 squares you pick up in their showrooms). You can tape these to the wall instead of having to paint your color choices on to the wall. This allows you to move them around to different spots in the room, take them with you while shopping for furniture, fabrics, accessories, and you don't have to live with random spots of color on your walls if you're expecting company, etc. The only way to avoid painting a room more than once is to make sure you are truly happy with your color choice from the beginning, so take your time.

For my own home, I opted for a very deep red in my living area. I love how dramatic this color is! Four large windows provide an abundance of natural light and this balances out the richness of such a dark color. I also love how it makes my furniture, art and accessories "pop" and give the room energy. Contrasting this bold color choice, I went with a soft baby blue for my bedroom. I love the blue for three main reasons... 1. Blue is my favorite color 2. It is a very soft, soothing color for a bedroom and 3. I LOVE the contrast of the blue against the red, it gives a more contemporary feel to my loft.

If you are looking to make a change, think paint!! If you are having trouble picking a color, get inspiration from a favorite piece of art or photograph; think about places you have traveled that you really enjoyed... your favorite vacation and where you stayed and how that room made you feel; look at accessories or collectibles that you have in your home; go look at model homes and how they are decorated; look through design magazines and books and make notes of colors you like; if you like nature, go for a walk and pull colors from the outdoors around you. There are so many places to get color inspiration... the key is remembering to USE COLOR!




Welcome to my blog! I am planning to use this as a communication tool to anyone interested in design. I will be posting pictures of my own projects as well as tips I have for the do-it-yourself-er. I hope that my design inspirations will become your design inspirations and for those who may need some help, I am offering my services! Good design makes a happy home and I aim to help everyone create a warm, pleasing environment that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Thank you for your interest! Please let me know what you'd like to see here; I am always open to suggestions.

Cassandra Renee Alwin