A full house, full bellies, full on fun! We had an amazing night at the kick-off of our new Design Inspiration Series this past Tuesday night (before the snow!) at Mountain High Appliance
Guests of Eatertainment were ushered in for beverages, including a yummy non-alcoholic Cranberry Sparkler, and featured appetizers before Mountain High Executive Chef, Keith Jones took the stage to show how to create his delectable, simple holiday treats.
Chef Keith gave us a lesson on wrapping Chinese Vegetable Egg Rolls and tips for easy, delicious egg roll fillings like broccoli slaw for example. A Moussaka Tart was next on the demonstration list with Keith sharing great tips on how to tackle challenging Phyllo dough. To finish off the night, Chef Keith baked Triple Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies, and pulled Pumpkin Walnut Pudding with Ginger Sabayon Cream out of a warming drawer! Total decadence!
The night was a smash hit thanks to Chef Keith, great food, and a great crowd. Thank you again to everyone who attended! Also, thank you to everyone who donated generously to the Flatirons Habitat for Humanity vase.
Now that you have your holiday food inspiration, it is time to focus on your holiday decorating inspiration! Join us next Tuesday, November 3rd
, for our next workshop where we will be taking highlighting fresh schemes and themes that will give your home a cohesive, sophisticated, and unique style for the holidays. Visit our Workshops page to learn more and to RSVP
If you missed the Eatertainment workshop on the 27th, don’t worry there will be an encore presentation on December 8th 2009, 5:30pm, at Mountain High Appliance. Seating is limited so call (303)249-4661 today to reserve your spot!
Labels: holiday decorating, Interior Design, Workshops
A new “twist” on holiday decorating:
The new on-line design magazine, Lonny, features a number of eclectic and inspiring house tours (check it out at http://www.lonnymag.com/). If you look closely, you’ll see that most of the houses feature one common element in the living or dining space: a dedicated bar cart. What better time of year to think about setting aside space in your living area to set up a bar (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic) than the upcoming holiday season?
To build your bar, pick a few favorite liquors and mixers and place on a side table (or even a folding table covered with a holiday tablecloth) along with some glasses, swizzle sticks and cocktail napkins. To find inexpensive holiday-themed glassware and accessories, check out the holiday décor sections of your favorite discount store. For a non-alcoholic bar, consider stocking a range of gourmet sodas in unusual flavors as well as sparkling water and ciders. A mix of cranberry juice and lemon-line soda is also a great non-alcoholic treat to have on hand during the holidays.
To add a unique twist to your bar, consider making citrus fruit the decorative element that makes your bar area come alive with color. If the palette of your holiday decorations is mainly metallic colors such as silver or gold, consider going crazy with lemons and oranges to add color. Take glass vases and fill with fruit and place in the center of your bar. If you decorate in traditional red and green colors, find a simple bowl and load it with limes and pomegranate to add a fruity and abundant touch to your bar.
Setting up a citrus-y bar cart brings together festive sophistication with the bright sunshine colors of a Colorado winter. Happy Holidays, indeed!
Get more ideas and a jump-start on your Holiday preparations by attending our Holiday Workshops on October 27th and November 3rd. To get more information and to RSVP (required) go to our Workshops page.
Labels: holiday decorating, Interior Design
We are kicking off a series of posts about small changes you can make in your home that have a big impact on how your home works and looks.
A recent article in a Better Homes and Gardens publication, Kitchen and Bath Ideas, got us thinking about one of the kitchen appliances we all tend to use everyday: the microwave oven. This is not an appliance we choose for its aesthetic value, but for its function.
But, did you know that your microwave could be working against the value of your kitchen? According to our reading and in our experience, a microwave oven placed on the kitchen countertop “lowers the perceived value of the entire room.” Notice the stand-alone microwave in the below kitchen. This is a nice, new kitchen but the standalone microwave does detract visually and functionally by reducing usable countertop space.
Instead, consider placing your microwave above or below the counter in an open-face wall cabinet. It is ideal to place the microwave above the counter if you use it frequently.
For many, this may mean using an over-the-oven model that doubles as a vent hood. Though it may be necessary in a small space to place the microwave over the oven, if you use your cooktop often and at high heat, you may not find the vent powerful enough.
If you use your microwave less frequently, put it out of sight in a lower cabinet. The one shown here in the "red" kitchen is a stand-alone microwave with a trim kit to make it fit into the open cabinet space.
Another option, if you are short on cabinet space, is one of the new microwave drawers offered by Sharp or Dacor. If you are in the Louisville Colorado area check out Mountain High Appliance
as they carry both these brands/items.
Giving the microwave a permanent home off the counter will give your kitchen a custom look without a high cost. It’s a small change that makes a big difference.
Labels: Interior Design
I was browsing the shelves at the Louisville Library the other day while my children were in the kids section and Wendy A. Jordan's book "Universal Design for the Home" caught my attention. Here is a quick review.
Wendy mentions in the introduction that she wrote this book to bridge a divide on the information gap around Universal Design. Wendy definitely accomplished this goal. I found this book to be a great resource to help show people the power of universal design concepts in designing their living spaces. Wendy put it best -
"At first, much of the focus in universal design was on public places. Some of the universal design options for homes seemed institutional, too 'different.' Many were ugly, off-putting. If homeowners had a choice, they steered clear of these early designs. Now the picture is far different. Public interest in universal design has caught fire, igniting an energetic effort by designers and manufacturers to provide fresh, attractive designs for residential use. They have had great success. Today, universal design features blend seamlessly into home designs, drawing little attention to themselves, yet making the designs much better. The importance of universal design is clear, and its value in home design is as fundamental as the ABCs. Well-planned universal design homes are accessible, or barrier-free. They're beautiful, and they are comfortable for all."
The book has great pictures, sample layouts, tips, and stories highlighting the various concepts around Universal Design and how they have been applied in kitchens, bathrooms, indoor/outdoor living, and whole house designs.
If you are looking to update the appliances in your home this book will show you examples of how appliance technology has improved considerably in the last few years to make everyday cooking, bathing, and living activities easier for everyone without compromising the aesthetic appeal that we all seek.
The following 7 objectives, established for Universal Design in the 1990s from experts at the Center for Universal Design, are highlighted in the book. When you look at them, and keep them in the back of your mind as you read through the pages, it is hard not to see the value of using these objectives in interior design for everyone.
1. Equitable Use (The design works for everyone equally, preferably without separate features for certain users. Nobody should be stigmatized, and all should have equal provisions for safety, security, and privacy.)
2. Flexibility in Use (The design suits a wide range of abilities and preferences, including a choice in methods of use. Flexible designs anticipate the needs of people who are right handed or left handed, for example, and people who may need more time to complete a task.)
3. Simple and Intuitive Use (The design is easy for all to understand. It should make sense and be easy to use, even for someone without experience, reading ability, or language skill.)
4. Perceptible Information (Information needed to distinguish or use a design or product is communicated clearly to all. That means good color contrast and multiple, easy-to-use ways of communicating, such as images, words, and textures.
5. Tolerance for Error (The design anticipates accidents and minimizes hazards, by shielding dangerous elements, providing warnings, and incorporating foolproof features.)
6. Low Physical Effort (The design can be used efficiently, comfortably, and with minimal effort. In other words, people should be able to use the design without a lot of bending, straining, exertion, or repetitive action.)
7. Size and Space for Approach and Use (The design incorporates the size and space needed for every user to function well, regardless of size, posture, or mobility. Tall or short, standing or seated, alone or with an assistant, everyone should be able to see, reach, and comfortably use the features in a design area.)
I recommend checking out Wendy's book. I found some design inspiration in a couple of the bathroom pictures for remodel work we are thinking about for our own master bathroom.
If you are in the Boulder, Broomfield, or Longmont Colorado area and want to implement Universal Design concepts in your home give us a call at (303)249-4661. We are experienced in implementing Universal Design concepts and would be more than happy to bring our expertise to your design matters so you get the results you want!
Labels: Interior Design, Universal Design
Members of the Design Matters Home team recently had the opportunity to view a webinar offered by the creative team at Benjamin Moore Paints, which forecasted the color trends for 2011. The theme for the 2011 Color Pulse forecast is Balance. According to Benjamin Moore - "BALANCE is an attribute that we all strive to live. Sorting the Real from the Surreal defines priorities that drive the direction for 2011, as it gives us a chance to dream of the future. From the rural influences to urban application, BALANCE is supported by 4 themes for COLOR PULSE 2011: The Farm, Order, Escape, and Tribe."
Surprisingly for a trend forecast, the Benjamin Moore presentation offered a color palette that was primarily based in nostalgia for times past: natural and organic colors inspired by the landscape of the farm; classic, modern Puritanism based in geometrics and bold colors; feminine and soft cosmetic colors influenced by women’s fashion from the 1950’s (think Mad Men!) and vibrant patterns and indigenous colors inspired by tribal culture. Over the course of the presentation, the themes of simplicity, cocooning and nostalgia were woven through the many color palettes featured.
What does this mean for the designer and consumer? Many of these forecasts are starting to appear as accents and accessories in the home: the return of farm accents in the kitchen, bold colored seating for the dining table, soft pearlized and feminine home accessories, and richly patterned textiles offered with unusual animal prints like zebra and leopard. As these trends continue to develop, choices in wall covering and furnishings will, according to Benjamin Moore, reflect a desire to return to simpler times and color palettes that consumers intuitively understand from past experience and exposure. It was a forecast that offered us a chance to look back.
Check out the Benjamin Moore website to learn more about more Color Pulse 2011 webinars
.Give us a call at (303)249-4661 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have on how this forecast or any other trend forecast can be applied to your home.
Labels: Interior Design, trends
Home staging makes a house feel warm, welcoming and appealing to its visitors. These are the same feelings we wish our home to evoke during the holidays, when we invite friends and family to celebrate with us at home. So, it makes sense that some of the ideas we use to stage a home for sale can also add a special touch to any holiday décor.
Here are three ideas from a recent Design Matters Home staging project
that can be adapted for the holidays:A grouping of frames:
Gather some of your favorite holiday cards from the past or shop for beautiful holiday cards currently available at stores. Frame the cards in inexpensive matching gallery frames and hang on the wall in a grouping for an unusual twist on holiday decorations.Make a statement with branches and flowers:
Pull out the largest vase in your collection and fill with branches with berries and greenery. The bigger, the better. Place the vase in the center of your dining or kitchen table or an unexpected spot in your home. If you have the space, this arrangement would be great on the counter of a guest bathroom. A large scale, but simple arrangement, is an inexpensive way to make a strong impact.Set up a game table in your home:
Designate a table in your family room just for games. Cover the table in a festive tablecloth and stack a few of the family’s favorite games on top. Having games easily accessible encourages guests to interact and makes any gathering livelier. A game table is a great addition to casual holiday entertaining.
Sarah LynchGet more ideas and a jump-start on your Holiday preparations by attending our Holiday Workshops on October 27th and November 3rd. To get more information and to RSVP (required) go to our Wokshops page.