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Category Archives: Interior Design
“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you decorate your home, how your writing looks and the way you feel.” — Helen Bonham Carter
There are quotes that we find, or that find us, which strike a deep and resounding chord. The above is simplistic – an observation of finding beauty in the everyday around us.
As an interior designer, it serves to remind me that I don’t have to orchestrate large projects or depend on clients to be creative – that I am my own piece of working art, with a multitude of daily opportunities to be exploringly artistic. Being creative for my own purposes and development contributes so positively to my work to others. The results are not about design for design sake, but in creating environments that house and preserve experiences of everyday life.
To be self confident in design, to be able to envision, research and resource, craft and create a well tailored interior that resonates the personality of the dweller is an art form. It is the creating of a visual map. It is the telling of a story that tells other stories – a collaboration that builds relationships based on intuitive trust between strangers with sensibilities that resonate and mesh. It is not about a designer’s prior achievements or well-styled portfolio, but instead, the recognition of a partnership – a chance to explore, journey and travel together and transform a home into something unique and beautiful.
New projects demand new exploration. While the blueprint is different each time, there is a familiarity to the process that I am able to introduce to my clients. Establishing a visual guide and direction that immediately opens up the conversation to their individuality and personalization.
To me, the word “project” indicates a sense of movement that encourages me to collect myself from any disorder or holding pattern; it’s a signal to my creative resources that we will soon be called upon to contribute. An inner energy and excitement is ignited, space cleared and prepared, tools sharpened. The project assembly and mapping begins.
Mapping techniques provide a theoretical beginning, middle and end, that starts with placing my clients and I together at the “You are Here” point. It’s the embarking of a road trip.
These techniques allow us to zoom in and out, with a bird’s eye view, of the terrain we will traverse. This introduces my clients to a new approach, a new way of designing their home and developing their own sense of style with a greater confidence, appreciation and understanding of the design process. Developing a visual story is a balancing act, a collaborative art that helps achieve successful interiors. After all, is that not what we are all striving for? A nostalgic collective of timeless beauty, comfort, functionality and longevity? A surrounding that nurtures us, frames memories and marks time?
My role as a designer is ever changing. Though technically, “design” (purpose, planning or intention behind an action or material object) still defines my role, my approach has developed into something deeper and more meaningful. For so many, the value of home life is lost in the hubbub, flurry, trends and speed of daily life. My approach, allows us to redefine what matters most as we layer and mix the relationships of our lifestyle choices, interests and style. It is all so intertwined. Where else is there but within our homes to harness the opportunity to build our personal portfolio, that encompasses everything for each of us uniquely.
Like so many industries today, everything under the design umbrella has been affected by technological advancement, product exposure and of course, social media, at a pace I cannot pretend to conquer. Though essential and beneficial, I am graced in that my world remains tactile and intimate…and in the knowing our responses are most honest when through direct visual contact, feel and fragrance.
I have entered hundreds of homes over the years, (I really should have counted!) of every shape, size, style, age and continent. I absolutely love the rush of that first introduction, the roaming through someone else’s rooms and observing, ingesting everything I possibly can.
Our homes represent so much about us; they are an insight into our minds, personality, order, energy and passions. In an age where we live with such reconstruction and adaptation to new social and economic conditions, the need to feel our homes are authentic and true to our own nature and sensibilities, is paramount to our sense of well being and stability. I want to create homes that entice you to stay home more, enjoying the creature comforts and beauty of your surroundings. Mature and evolve as your own life does naturally, seasonally.
The accumulation of my design experience, trained eye and intuitive nature complimented by practiced studies, such as Vastu Shastra, Hygge living and Aromatherapy contribute in creating interiors that are carefully curated and tailored on many levels. The rewards and gratification support the belief and knowledge that our happiness is genuinely affected by our surroundings. There is a strong golden thread and building of all these relationships for our wellbeing. It is a permanent practice for me, not an occasional exercise, but a way of life.
I am inspired by colour; it is my medium. The starting point for almost everything.
“The whole nature of colour is deeply personal and subjective – but never private.”
Be it from paint, textiles, flora or art – these are the necessary vehicles that convey and transport the world of colour and design for me. Colour is a living organism that grows and molds and shapes. Colour is the daily mystery that I swim in. It provides a renewed approach to my everyday living, everyday.
As I tackle new adventures in the upcoming year, I plan to devote more time to considering the why, what and how, to test my own techniques and continue to evolve as a designer.
I have the unique opportunity to use my own home reconstruction project as inspiration to test new design techniques so that I can help others create spaces they love to live in.
Though I have lived in and transformed many homes, my current (rather dilapidated) 1890s farmhouse home in Eden, WNY is a true test to all my skills as it slowly transforms into something that is essentially, authentically me.
Please join my on my design journey on Instagram @philipparadon.
As the autumn leaves begin to fall around our newly purchased farmhouse (another story to be told) and I see our neighbors’ iconic red barn, now glaringly exposed through bare trees, I can’t help but wonder what’s in store for us here in Buffalo as the barometer drops.
I try to imagine the sea of white that will inevitably surround us, replacing the current carpet of copper and luminous gold, and am inspired to push my level of creativity to consider the key factors that will make my new home cozy, warm and seasonally colourful—with out breaking the bank.
Our homes provide a sense of belonging, and winter is a time to hunker down, take stock & focus on our direct and personal surrounding – make design an adventure, with joy and self gratification the compass guide. We need to see the things we craft and make, and feel the results. Colour provides an immediate embracement of our work, that we can share and enjoy.
Eden, our new home, is located in an agricultural zone and snow belt. As a new Buffalonian, with my second winter fast approaching, I am told that snow often starts as early as late October, which sends me into accelerated “prep’ers” mode.
These preparations include not only the practicalities, but also more comforting practices like nest building and some intensified colour reflection. My tendencies, especially in the colder months, lean toward creating a warm, inviting colour palette that will keep us inspired to embrace the coming months of hibernation in my transforming hygge home.
More often than not, a colour selection leads the way for my design aesthetic, whether it’s a paint colour or textile – but in circumstances like this, when I have nothing but an empty shell and only three finished walls, my inspiration often becomes stalled by overthinking…so I wait it out.
And when I least expect it, a new idea arises – usually triggered by a visual in my daily maneuverings – that period of recognition that I’ve discovered my new “starting point”. From this moment, I can commence mapping out the rest of the space, with careful consideration to my colour viewpoints. This is what I refer to as my “mapping technique” (which I will share with you at a later date).
I find myself yearning for colours that will provide a sense of flow and continuity through the rooms in this 1890’s frame, but also a grouping that is unpredictable. A dark dining room allures me with its mystery. C2 offers a beautiful range of “near blacks” that will compliment my new metal-beaded, oversized chandelier – an investment from BoBo Intriguing Objects (which I am still trying to learn to install without my husband noticing the beast.)
Perhaps Stout, a deep, rich grey would be an appropriate color…or Aperture, a sort of dirtied green-black with an earthy appeal.
These colours elicit feelings of happiness, optimism and energy despite their dark moodiness – and also provide a classic and welcoming background to virtually any design. The draw toward these deep, rich tones sounds like winter magic to me.
We absolutely love seeing C2 color in action. Whether it’s a kitchen enveloped in #roasted tomato, a sophisticated, #posh living room or a #serene bedroom #sanctuary, it’s so inspiring to see how color plays a role in your life.
This month, we are on a mission to find the most fabulous C2 room. From picture perfect whites and nuanced neutrals to daring, bold statements…and everything in between.
One of our color specialists will choose the top 3 rooms and then the public will vote on the Grand Prize winner!
To enter, post a photo of your room painted with C2 by October 31, 2017 to Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest using the hashtag #myc2color and the color (s) used (i.e. #myc2color #Diva).
The top 3 winners will receive a gift card for $25 and 2 FREE gallons of C2 Paint (any product) and the Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate and 2 FREE gallons of C2 Paint (any product).
Please like and share with your friends!
Not affiliated with Facebook. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. To be considered for entry, hashtag #myc2color must be on the post. Must be over 18 to participate. C2 retains publicity rights to any images submitted.
Who doesn’t like getting a good night’s rest? Unfortunately, wanting something doesn’t necessarily mean getting it, which is why a lot of people are sleep-deprived. Dylan Neel wrote about “sleeplessness epidemic” in an article published by Harvard College Global Health Review, referring to how sleep deprivation has now become a global problem. As dire as it may seem, the good news is that there are simple remedies that can help you sleep better. With that in mind, this article takes a look at 5 components that can help make your bedroom more conducive for sleeping.
1. COLOR CONTROL
The color of your bedroom walls play a lead role in terms of how many hours of sleep you get per night. According to RealSimple, every color has a corresponding psychological effect. Simply put, some shades and hues are more conducive for helping you nod off compared to others. Cooler shades like blue have a calming effect, which can help slow down the way your brain functions, thus aiding you in falling asleep easier. On the other hand, warm colors such as red increase alertness, so these shades may not be the best choice for your bedroom (save oranges and reds for the kitchen!). There’s also personal preference to consider. When you are content with the color in your bedroom, you are more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
If you’re planning on painting your bedroom yourself, make sure to brush up on the tips we listed in a previous post here on Color Confidential to help you with your next DIY project.
2. CLEAN IS THE NEW SLEEPY
Let’s face it, sometimes our bedrooms are the last in line when cleaning house. However, it does need to be clutter-free; otherwise, your mind might become distracted by the number of things you have lying around, and this can prevent you from falling asleep. For instance, having an office desk in your room can make you feel anxious about work — a feeling that is far from ideal in a place where you want to relax. Try to keep the items in your bedroom to a bare minimum to condition your mind that the only business to tend to is sleep.
3. SOME LIKE IT HOT
Medical website WebMD says that temperature also directly affects the quality and length of sleep that you get. This is because the body has a fixed temperature setting that it attempts to reach during sleep. If the room isn’t cool or warm enough, your system will struggle to adapt, which can keep you from dozing off peacefully.
The rule of thumb according to a “Better Sleep Guide” by Leesa is to keep the temperature between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 19 degrees Celsius), because this range is usually ideal in helping people sleep well.
4. LIGHTS OUT
For all the insomniacs out there, it might be time to reconsider sleeping with a night light – or any light – on. In Everyday Health’s article ‘Too Much Light Is Not Just Ruining Your Sleep” states that seemingly innocent light sources may interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, which helps ensure that your body gets enough rest. Furthermore, the presence of light while you are sleeping can actually trigger other health conditions, including depression and obesity, as well as making you more prone to cancer. If possible, eliminate all sources of light, including those emitted by electronic devices.
5. NOISE FREE ZONE
In the same way that you need to eliminate light during bedtime, you also need to remove all sorts of noise so you can sleep better. These sounds can range from ticking clocks to barking dogs. Bustle features a list of suggestions to help eliminate noise during bedtime.
So follow these simple steps to help make your dream of a good night’s sleep a reality.
Don’t Forget the 5th Wall – Ceilings Need Love, Too!
When painting a room, it’s easy to get caught up in the basics: wall color and trim. People often get so overwhelmed with the “four walls” of their space that they overlook one of the most important areas of the room — the ceiling. Often referred to as the 5th wall, it’s a large, visible space that, if given some love, can totally transform a room.
Every wall is an opportunity. Imagine if Michelangelo skipped the ceiling!
Often less expensive than wall paint, ceiling paint is manufactured to dry faster and splash less, cover imperfections and is usually pretty easy to work with. Ceiling paints are created to be extra flat; this scatters the light and blurs imperfections on large surfaces. That’s why you don’t use ceiling paint on walls — the trade-off for that extra flat finish means it’s less washable. Thankfully, unless your Spiderman, you won’t have pesky fingerprints to clean.
When preparing for your ceiling paint, pay special attention to the light and how it reflects upwards on the space. The green from your landscaping can influence how the color reads, just as a cooler blue tone can be case if you live near a body of water.
6 Steps to a Spectacular Ceiling:
- White: Usually the most obvious ceiling choice is white. It’s a safe choice that’s effective at making ceilings brighter, especially when the walls are lighter, giving it a traditional, clean feel. Typically, you match the ceiling to the same white shade as the trim. This is a great option for a bright, open areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
- Monochramatic: Another option is to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls, providing a monochromatic feel. Soothing to the eye, it adds an element of depth and drama, often making the ceilings appear higher. This affect will “erase” the boundary between the walls and ceiling.
- Use a percentage: Get creative and go a shade darker or lighter to add depth, dimension and interest. Darker ceilings will allow a room to feel a little lower and more intimate (best for higher ceilings), while a shade lighter than the wall color provides a lifting effect.
- Add a pop of color: Go crazy on the ceiling! Paint it a totally different color or create a design to make a statement. It’s your home after all, so it should reflect you and your creativity! Bright colors can add a sense of fun and whimsy to kids spaces without overwhelming the whole room.
- Shine on: Adding a gloss to the ceiling makes a major design statement by creative a reflective, minor-like surface. It can brighten the entire room, make the color seem more intense and make the ceilings seem higher. So chic.
- Don’t forget porch ceilings: One of the most revered paint colors for porches is pale blue to add a classic design detail that gives the space personality. Though made famous in the south, this color is popular nationwide for a variety of reasons: some say it brings the outside in; others say it keeps away evil spirits and wasp nests…but most everyone agrees it’s a soothing color for relaxing outdoors.