08/21/13

Apartment Living: Part 4 (Main Living Spaces)

Good afternoon blogosphere! How is everyone’s weeks going so far? Mine has been quite productive. I am so happy when Wednesday comes along because it is my computer time. I get to blog, do some administrative work and catch up with all things I love.

Today I wanted to finish up my Apartment Living series with Main Living Spaces. This includes living rooms and dining rooms. Some of us don’t really have a space for dining rooms so we will blend all of this together today:

1. Living Room Layouts: This is a big one for most of us. How do we layout our furniture? Well we want to make sure to create a living space that is cozy and comfortable. I would suggest an L-shape sofa or a layout that creates an L shape. The reason for this is because it creates a nice space for conversation. Sometimes when we have two couches facing each other is creates a bit of a confrontational feeling. Here is are good examples of  cozy L-shapes:

Country-living-house-of-year-2013Besides the fact the Emily Henderson knocks it out of the park with that indoor hammock, she really creates a cozy environment with the sofa and some side chairs.

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Here is a good example of an L-shape sofa. L-shapes are my favoritest because they are cozy and you can generally fit many people for a snuggle fest on there. The chairs are also a nice feature because it encloses the whole space without making it uncomfortable.

Now check out this layout:

d9abd25e41183740fb8025307c86794eAs beautifully designed as this space is, I wouldn’t feel all that comfortable “hanging” out here and staying for a while. This feels more like a waiting area. Too serious and too awkward of a layout.

2. Another good tip for sofa’s is placement. Just like in bedrooms, we like to have a bit of support behind us. Generally it is ideal to have a sofa on a solid wall but if you happen to have your sofa floating in the room with the back towards a door or an open space, then placing a sofa table behind it would create that support.

Here are a few good examples:

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Paper Daisy Designs gives us a great example of how to create that support to the end of the sofa that has its back open and we also get an awesome DIY!

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Sarah also gives us a great DIY if you are mastering those cutting tools.

3. Create zones: My main thing that I discuss when designing bedrooms is to keep your work out of there. So how do we create an office and living space in one room? Well, we create zones. We can do this with not only furniture layout but with rugs. Rugs are great ways to define an area:

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Although I am not a huge fan of having your back to nothing while at your desk, working from home is a whole different ballgame. If you are at your office, then by all means, create a real space there with your back against a wall so you can see the door but not have it in line with your desk. This is a great example of how to incorporate your desk in your living room. The rug creates the main space for the living area but the desk not only adds to the appeal but it creates a purpose and function.

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Another option is to have a desk BEHIND the sofa. It would also give you that support behind the sofa instead of a sofa table. Now, some people are fans of this option and some are not so feel free to trust your own instincts as our spaces are all different. I love this because you can be at your desk and see the whole space.

This is another example of a desk behind the sofa designed by yours truly:

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4. And finally, how to incorporate and eating area when there isn’t much space for it. First off, if we have a small space to work with, then acknowledge that maybe this space isn’t tailored for a massive dinner party. If you do want to make a dinner party you can rearrange the space then but it is important to have a place to sit and eat your meal so you aren’t eating at your desk or on your sofa everyday:

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I love this because the table seats two and it creates this sweet almost cafe feeling while not taking up all that much space.

24708affa50ee7807fbaa0a179c4b53aOh yea baby. I love everything about this. I love the rug that creates a zone, the curtain the blocks the sleeping area to the dining room and I’m pretty obsessed with the furniture. If you get a chance check out the full blog post which is all about small dining spaces.

Alright kiddos. I love you all immensely. Thanks for staying tuned into this series. Any other specific question? Feel free to ask away. I would love to hear from ya.

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08/19/13

Apartment Living: Part 3 (Bedrooms)

Happy Sunday evening folks. It was such a beautiful weekend. I got to spend some time in San Francisco and Sausalito. I love being able to get out of my beautiful, cozy beach town of Santa Cruz and get inspiration close by.

These evening I wanted to continue with my Apartment Living guide with bedrooms. Last week I talked about outdoors and entrances so I thought I would continue indoors with the bedrooms.

1. Headboards are essential for bedrooms because they are not only ideal support when you are sleeping but they can really be a piece of art. Check out all these DIY headboards that you can have fun with. Make sure your bed rests on a solid wall meaning not a plumbing wall and no large windows. Remember you want the most support while you sleep. 1b6541364b7f6aff992dd49e94f6239b

2. Make sure that your bed is centered on a wall. No smooshing the bed in a corner. If you are looking for a romantic partner this is even more important because you want to already create the space for this person in your life. Nightstands can be really fun. There is nothing more boring to me in a bedroom then a matching set of nightstands, dresser and headboard. Have fun with it! Mix and match! Go to a thrift store and paint up a table. Whatever! Just make it your own.

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3. I don’t know why, but people do not understand the concept of placing a rug on top of carpet. Here’s the deal: If your carpet is ugly, then why not try and cover it up with a cool rug. Even if it’s not ugly, it creates layers and we all know that I LOVE layers!

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4. Duvets and bed covers can make or break a room. Some people like to keep their bedrooms as simple and neutral as possible. If that is you, then you might enjoy a duvet with some texture like this one:

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If you like bolder pieces, then you might enjoy a duvet like this one:

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5. Some other Feng Shui and general design tips for bedrooms:

- make sure to remove clutter especially underneath your bed. We all know this is a great hiding spot. But who are you really hiding it from? If you must use space under your bed, make sure it is organized and easy to get to.

-make sure your bed is not in a direct line from the door. The energy is too active in the door pathway. Remember we want restful sleep.

- This is a big one: Keep your desk and work outside of your room. Whatever it takes. I promise you, this will make a worlds difference. Your bedroom is for sleep, intimacy and nourishment. There is nothing romantic and soothing about having your work piled up next to you.

- On that same note, keep electronics away from your head. You know that phone that you keep under your pillow or that laptop you something fall asleep watching shows to. This are major disturbances to sleep patterns because of the electric magnetic field.

This should do it for ya! Don’t get overwhelmed if you feel like you got it all “wrong.” Take your time. One step at a time and just notice how these changes effect your health and overall life.

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08/15/13

Apartment Living: Part 2 (Heading Indoors)

Welcome back to my week series of Apartment Living. On Monday, I shared with you how you can work with your apartment from the outside, bringing in good energy and creating a solid foundation for the indoors.

Tonight, I’d like to share some ideas and key elements as we head indoors.

 The main thing I like to focus on by the entrance is what we call in Feng Shui the “Ming Tang.” This represents a transformational zone. We want to make sure that when you are entering your apartment, there is a landing space for the energy to settle before moving deeper. As we all know, most apartments do not have foyers. So how do we create this kind of space?

Think about these questions and see how they relate to your home:

1. Do you feel rushed when you first walk into your home?

2. Are you able to see most of your apartment right as you open the door or is there a partition wall and/or anything else that blocks the full view of the living space?

3. As you enter, is there a door or window in the line of view straight from the front door?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have some work to do but the great news is that it is easily workable ;)

First off, we want to make sure that when we first walk into our home, we have a great visual that grounds us, inspires us and comforts us. Having a mirror facing the front door is no bueno. We don’t want that energy bounces right back out the door. If you can see your whole living space or there is a direct line of energy from the front door to a window, then we need to create a zone to settle that energy.

Here are a few quick tips:

1. Just as we had a welcome mat outside the front entrance, it might be nice to have one on the inside. You can also have a runner or a rugrug. 2. Have a space, where people can drop there shoes neatly and or their coats.

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3. If there is space, bring in a small foyer table or floating shelf so you can drop some keys and mail.

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4. Have a piece of art that catches your eye and that you absolutely adore.Entryway Makeover Ideas 1[2]

Here are a few foyers that inspired me:

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I love the chevron rug and all the wood elements here.

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Plenty of space to hang coats with no floor space taken up.

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Fresh flowers can go a long way.

And there you have it! We will continue to move through the home this week. If you have any specific questions, feel free to post them so I can answer them for you. Screen Shot 2012-08-31 at 1.42.55 PM

08/12/13

Apartment Living: Part 1 (Outdoors)

Hi my sweet, sweet blog lovers. It has been way too long. I think this has been the longest stretch I have gone without blogging and I have missed you all dearly. This summer has been filled with a lot of “me” time. I have taken time off to travel a little more and just enjoy my time as much as I can. I also took on another job which has taken up a lot of the little free time I had. With that being said, I feel like things are starting to mellow out and I feel recharged, re-energized and ready to jump back in.

Recently I have been working with a client who lives in an apartment and I have noticed the challenges and the benefits to being a part of a community like this. So I will break it down. Today we will talk about the outdoors and entrances in apartment living.

The main dilemma I have when working with an apartment is the Feng Shui aspect to it. The first thing I look at when I am working on someones home is how easily accessible it is. I want to find ways to make the front entrance more welcoming and stand out more so people can easily find the home and in return opportunity can easily find you. When living in an apartment, you are one of many so what can we do to make your space stand out more? Well, if you are living in an apartment building where there is a lobby and check-in then that becomes pretty accessible but if you live in a complex when you are left to your own devices to find the apartment, there are definitely things you can do. First off, talk with management and see if they can make your apartment number and signage more visible. You would be surprised to know how many people deal with this issue and it can easily be fixed. More importantly, there are things we can do as tenants to bring more energy to our space.

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PLANTS! Potted plants on either side of your front entrance are great ways to solidify your space. It makes the space look more grand and inviting.

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Doormats. This is such a fun way to bring in color and fun design to your entrance. I’m a fan of the bicycle mat.

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Wind chimes are great because they add sound which not only attracts energy but also disperses any negative energy before entering your home. You could do metal wind chimes or have fun with a DIY project.

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Water. The sound of soothing water also bring peace and clarity while entering your home. Properly flowing water in the front of your home is good for prosperity and wealth. I am a fan of the tall vase like water fountains. They take up less space and they are just beautiful.

Overall just have fun with the exterior. You want the exterior to represent you and maybe give a glimpse of what you may be able to experience indoors. Make it personal, welcoming, loving and fun.

So that’s part 1 of Apartment Living. Stay tuned as we move indoors.

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