Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sleeping Solutions for Loft Living and Studio Dwellers

sleeping loft with work space under
How cool is loft living?  I've lived in my loft space now for almost 6 years.  The ambiance of living in an 1800's industrial mill building has never been more satisfying for the unique and unconventional lifestyle seeker.

My vision was made a reality when I found myself on my own, not wanting the responsibility of the large home, yard maintenance, repair bills and a yearning for a simpler way of living for my already busy lifestyle. Needing the convenience of public transportation to the city of Boston as well as the Interstate nearby were large factors in my decision.  Lowell would be my next home.  In addition, how fitting was it to be able to build out a space in the American History Textile Museum being that I am in the field of designing, sewing and creating with fabrics and textiles every day.

Although planning out my space was easy for me, some struggle with the openness of loft or studio living. Small living spaces have their challenges.  Making use of the high ceiling space for sleeping lofts is one way to achieve success in maximizing your new living area.  Let's face it, if you're moving to a unique loft or studio, the bedroom is not going to be the focus in this space.  Building out a suspended sleeping loft where a mattress can be used doesn't have to be complicated.  The space under the raised bed area can be used for built-in closet space, a desk area for a home office or even a TV viewing area with smaller furniture.
loft living  platform sleeping loft

sleeping loft with closet space under

Framing out a brace on all side walls will give support for the sleeping loft platform.  Many ideas for lower support can be used depending on your style preference. Old architectural salvage columns or steel iron beams for the industrial looking loft will add character to your space.  Adding a stairway could be a bit challenging if ample floor space is not available.  Smaller sets of stairs can be built using custom ordered stair stringers or open stairs with a cable railing system for a lighter more contemporary feel.  Another space saving idea for a stairway to the sleeping loft would be a telescopic attic stair system. This system folds up and stores neatly into the ceiling or opening into the sleeping platform.  Making the stairway disappear and allowing for better use of the floor space.
telescoping attic stair system
open stairs with cable rail system
Sleeping spaces are just that in a unique living space.  Making the most of your living space is where your creativity comes into play.  Utilizing the space under the sleeping loft is of major importance.  Set up a home office or work space area with a desk, chair, and a small filing cabinet for that cozy work at home environment. This space can also be used for storage. A closet system can easily be created with shelving for bins as well as a clothes hanging system.

When downsizing or moving into a studio space there is no need to take everything from past homes. Most furnishings will be too large for the newer more compact living space.  Have a creative vision and make use of wall and ceiling space.  Remember less is more.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Creating a Spa-like Stress-free Room

How do you find time for yourself? For the overachievers of the world it’s not very easy.  Whether life in the corporate world, hands-on contracting industry or running in the public eye most all of us have a difficult time learning how to shut it off.  There’s always one more appointment or networking event that calls your name and sometimes saying no is the hardest thing to do.

When you find yourself overwhelmed and going to the gym or taking a yoga class doesn't fit into your schedule, find some time to call your own in your home.  A bedroom with a sitting area for relaxing and reading next to a fireplace would be nice.  A bathroom with a great soaking tub is another space to create a stress-free zone. Learning how to begin your and end your day early may be the key to becoming a more stress-free you.

Your relaxing spa room should begin with a soothing wall color.  Shades of soft blues and pale greens are more calming.  Neutral beiges and dusty color tones are more relaxing.  

Here is a vision for creating a soothing bedroom:

Paint walls and ceiling:  Sherwin Williams SW6765 Spa
Add beige side panels to the windows and an white bedding  to the space.  Fresh flowers of white tulips, soft music and light a candle of lavender scent.  This will surly begin to relax the weary .

Take advantage of your bathroom. My soaking tub I built my bathroom around never sees me.  Until recently I had to find me time and it was there for the taking.   If your not taking advantage of your soaking  tub, you should.  Create an atmosphere of a luxurious spa bath. 

Fill your soaking tub with foaming bubbles of lavender, toss some fresh flower petals into the water and light as many candles as possible and turn on some spa-like tunes and let the stress relieving process begin.

Life gets busy.  Try to stop, smell the roses and enjoy some "me time" even if it's in the comfort of your own home.

Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY Pillow Making Class in Lowell

The creative juices were flowing at R.A.W. Furnishings showroom in Lowell last night.  The DIY pillow making class turned out to be a mother-daughter event.  Pattern making, pinning, stitching and sewing skills were taught.  Not only straight stitching, these motivated ladies learned how to insert and apply embellishments of cording, bullion and brush fringe and even tassels. 

Congratulation to all these wonderful ladies for their custom pillow creations!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Living Shabby Chic Style

My style likes, needs and wants have definitely changed over the last 10 years.  I've gone through many style transformations from my early twenties and owning my first home and decorating it with a country flair to transitioning into a more formal interior style at one point.  As with life changes one becomes wiser with age. Understanding what is really important is understanding that you've come full circle. Once you've tested the waters of life, the feeling of  finally being settled sets in.

I find myself to be living in a more relaxed world a comfortable place.  I find myself living and loving passions that I did when I was 12.  Which leads me down a road of remembrance.

I loved working with my hands as a kid.  Sewing with my grandmother and mother, trying my hand at refinishing an old oak night stand from my grandfather who was a true picker at heart.  Loving anything that says bead-board, farmer's sink, porcelain top kitchen tables and climbing fruit trees in my grandfather's garden.  I realize that all of these memories have brought me back to living Shabby Chic style.

From the way I dress to the way I shop.  The way I look at people who I interact with on a daily basis all creative not only with their crafty hands but also with their mind. Everyone has an important job  they do no matter what it is.  As for their homes, which may not be elaborately decorated, they are happy because they have come full circle and have found peace with who they are, their style.

It's not the stilettos, the expensive dress, the Italian shoes and silk shirts that make a person.  The best part of my job is going into someone's living space and seeing their "stuff".  One comment always made is "please look beyond the mess".  I never see a mess,  I see a person's personality. One's home should reflect their personality.

I hope to think that when a person walks into my home, my space reflects my personality.  Family memories on the entry hall wall, DIY painted chests, old pieces of furniture mixed with comfortable seating, My collection of old framed mirrors painted shabby white.

My lifestyle is definitely shabby chic and realizing this now from a time of when I was 12 enlightens me.  I don't follow the trends in my lifestyle.  Knowing what they are and implementing them in my job is what I do. Living in your interior, knowing your style and surrounding yourself with beautiful memorabilia of old and new will make for a happier you.  What is your style?

Accent with Parson Chairs

Looking for a quick switch to an otherwise all wood dining set?  Whether formal or casual change an easy change of the two end chairs of the table will add warmth and charm to any eating space casual kitchen or formal dining.

Hear are some interesting and fun upholstered parson chair designs to enjoy and to help get your creative interior design juices flowing.

Bright and funky bird cage slipcover Parson

Sophisticated geometric coastal style Parson
with rolled back and pleated skirt

Fun marigold California style fabric slipcover
Parson with black leg finish

Spa blue and white botanical floral toile parson
with driftwood leg finish

Sling back accent Parson with French writing and espresso wood finish

It doesn't have to cost a lot to to achieve a new look at your table.  Two upholstered chairs and your done!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine's Day Creative DIY Gifts and Wraps

It's not too early to begin thinking of ways to show your affection.  Gifts don't have to be expensive to give and the best way to show you care is in the wrapping.

Here are some creative gift wraps and do it yourself gits for the giving on the biggest LOVE day of the year.

Brown paper bag African violets or floral n pinks & reds

Chocolate wine embellished with red ribbon and red heart ornaments

Flock paper gift wrap with creative ribbon and buckle clasp

Lace trim and twine wrapped box with candy heart embellishment

Brown paper wrap with masculine ribbon and gift card for the man

Pink burlap wrapped can floral vase container

Pink button wire and chain necklace

Pink paper wrapped candy bars.
Write your own message with white pen

Red yarn wrapped jar candle votive

Create your own verse wrap or a page of poetry.
Embellish with red string and letter beads

These ideas will take a few minutes of your time to create.  Show your creativity through your Valentine gift giving.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last Minute Christmas and Hostess Gifts

No time to shop?  Try making your holiday gifts from what you have at home or from a quick trip to the craft or dollar store.  Simple gifts for the holidays that you can create in a pinch of time will make you a gift giving star.

Button snowflake ornament create a set of 3 in different colors

Cinnamon stick wrapped candle

Cookie mix in a jar

Bouquet of flowers wrapped in a kitchen towel tied off with a wooden spoon

Ice cream cone sundae kit
Creative cork coasters
Puppy treats in a jar

Twig wrapped class candle votive

Creating a set of three candle holders or a set of 4 cork coasters tied to the neck of a bottle of wine is a great hostess gift during the holidays.  Making time to create unique and individual gifts for the giving says something special about the gift giver.