Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Bedding Ideas to Make Your Bed Comfortable, Modern and Beautiful

We love beautiful, cozy bedrooms. They have a romantic allure that just makes you want to stay in bed all day long. But what makes a bedroom enticing? Is it the décor of the room, the ambiance, the bedding, or maybe all of these? Experts would say that the most comfortable beds have the softest bed sheets, and they couldn’t be more right. We all love to cuddle up in a cashmere blanket on a cold winter evening don’t we? Here are some more bedding ideas you might want to consider to spice things up in the bedroom.

Gray & White Transitional Bedroom Design

Gray & White Transitional Bedroom Design

The Best Bedding Materials

Everyone makes compromises in life, however when it comes to selecting items on which you spend nearly one third of your existence, there can’t be any compromise in quality. Investing money in top quality bedding may seem like the most expensive deal, although as far as a perfect night’s sleep is concerned there’s no such thing as expensive bedding. The most important aspect that sets the quality of bedding set is the material.

There’s no secret that Egyptian and Pima cotton are the finest as far as comfort is concerned. Obviously, in case you can’t afford the finest type, feel free to check out additional varieties. You are advised to avoid synthetic materials though because they could be harmful to the skin, causing allergies.

Transitional Bedroom Interior Design

Yellow, Black & White Bedroom Design

Be Bold

Deluxe bedding means modernist designs and colorful accents. The bed is the first thing people see when walking into your master bedroom or guest room. It has to look impeccable, and ultimately feel comfortable. For a bed to make you think of comfort and relaxation it has to appear enticing; it has to make you feel calm and happy in an instant. Quality materials and a warm combination of colors can make that happen. Select textures and hues that you absolutely adore, and make sure to opt for groovy fabrics and interesting covers.

The finest, most luxurious linens are ideal whenever you want to create layers and add a little exotic sophistication into the mix. It’s key to have seasonal options, and layering is the best alternative. For example, to make things appear more varied you could swap them periodically, or switch duvets for quilts when it’s too cold.

An Assortment of Different Pillows add Interest

An Assortment of Different Pillows add Interest

Choosing the Right Pillows

Prior to deciding on a pillow, assess the shape of your head. Lift the head, straighten the spine, look forward and feel your neck’s base with the fingers. Medium thick pillows are perfect for concave shapes of the spine, while if you have a flat back you should go for a softer pillow. The main benefit of an excellent pillow is its capability to support the cervical spine and head when you sleep. People suffering from back pain should have a harder bed as well as an orthopedic pillow and mattress. The height is determined by the shape of your body. Wide shoulders and a longer neck ought to have higher pillow to fit the frame.

Navy, Brown & White Bedroom Design

Navy, Brown & White Bedroom Design

Qualitative, Extraordinary Blankets

Before investing in a blanket make sure it preserves warmth. It has to be air-penetrable and water-resistant. A duvet for example, is an excellent choice. It is lightweight, comfortable and it absorbs sweat really fast. However you should be careful as it becomes damp just as fast thus triggering allergies. Square-stitched duvets made of duck down or goose materials are ideal; of course, there’s a more expensive alternative called eiderdown, although very few can afford it.

Gray & Cream Transitional Bedroom Design

Gray & Cream Transitional Bedroom Design

A blanket made of wool comes with many benefits too. The fibers are resistant, thus creating support for your muscles, black and joints. Wool is an excellent material type for both the hot and cold seasons. In terms of design, you have many options available. You are advised to opt for warmer shades that are similar to the rest of your bedroom’s design. Burgundy and gold are killer combinations; they’ll give a royal allure to your bedroom thus making it appear luxurious and comfortable.

Gray, Taupe & White Bedroom Design

Gray, Taupe & White Bedroom Design

There are so many ideas one can use to make their beds cozy, modern and beautiful. Use the ideas we mentioned above, stay focused on quality materials and pick warm colors. This way you’ll have the best bed and sleeping in it will become a real pleasure.

By Daniel Lewis and!

Images via Houzz
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How to Achieve a Luxurious Design on a Budget

Having a luxuriously designed interior is easily attainable when you have a large or even better an unlimited budget. The real achievement is making it happen on a medium, even modest one and in such manner, that only an experienced eye would notice that you had some restrictions. Here are several ideas on how to decorate luxuriously your interior without spending a fortune.


Obviously, you will need to plan carefully all the steps in order to both stay on the budget and achieve the luxurious effect. This will take some time, the more the better, so do not expect to make it happen overnight. Also, saving means smart shopping, therefore, be prepared to go through as many offers as possible to find proper items at a suitable price.


First of all, get rid of all unnecessary items. It would have been even better if you organized a sale and increased your redecoration budget since every penny counts. Clean the house thoroughly, there is no room for dust in luxurious settings and repaint the walls, with future décor in mind. Still, be careful with the choice of color, a proper one will make a great foundation for the mood and feel of the room.

Glass fireplace Interior Design

A Fireplace Creates a Beautiful Centerpiece


Due to budget limitations, have one or two center pieces is an essential thing. They will be the focus of attention and allow a more modest approach when it comes to the surrounding items. For example, if you opt for a leather armchair with ornamented backrest and feet it will surely not go unnoticed. A designer items should be taken into account, if you wish a dominant centerpiece this is where you should spend the most of your budget. Add Blazing Glass’ fire glass beads to refresh the look of your fireplace and you have a luxurious combo no home would be ashamed of. 

Add Art to your Walls

Add Art to your Walls

 Bring in the Art

Art pieces are necessary in any tasteful luxurious setting. Less is more approach would be smart to use here too. A statue that matches the dominant color of the room and several paintings decorating the wall will give a touch of class that will emphasize the sense of luxury.

Fresh Flowers in Interior Design

Add Fresh Flowers for a Pop of Color

Fresh Flowers

Another small investment that provides a large effect are flower arrangements carefully placed on different spots in the room. Countertops and mirror stands would be ideal. The effect would be nicely increased if the flowers were put in vases that match the historical period or the style of the works of art you displayed.

Lighting Interior Design

Add an Interesting Light Fixutre to Your Room


The best way to focus the attention to the corners you are most pleased with, or the entire room in general are suitable lighting solutions. Dimmable ceiling and wall fixtures let you control the amount of light in the room and allow you to create the atmosphere you like. White candles are also welcomed, for the romantic, classy, and luxurious touch.

Accessories used in Interior Design

Add Personalized and Interesting Accessories


Use different accessories for subtle accenting. For example, vivid pillows and blankets made of natural materials are a delicate signs of luxury, as well are wooden jewelry boxes and small mirrors with their carved metal frames.

Second Hand

Searching thrift and second hand stores very often leads to discovering and obtaining beautiful and classy items at a fraction of the price, especially if antiques are your preference. After all, being that old certainly means that they have been pre owned and the budget savings are what matters. Of course, mint or near mint conditions are always preferred.

As it was said in the beginning, it will take some time and a lot of work to get the luxurious feel at a budget. However, do not skip any of the steps and it will all be worthwhile.

Images via Houzz
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It can be difficult to keep up with the current home décor trends. The good news is that certain tendencies are timeless. Would you go for ageless styles over seasonal ones? Here are 10 home décor ideas that will help you make the smartest choices for your home.

Wooden Wallpaper

In 2010, wooden wallpaper was in high demand. The pattern is both serene and alluring. Classic, symmetrical and simple, this décor idea will instantly transform a boring living room into a revolutionary space. The trend is ideal for people who want to give their homes a cottage-like feel.


Wood Like Wallpaper

Midcentury Starburst Mirrors

Starbursts mirrors are cool. They add a touch of vintage to a room but without making the space appear old-fashioned. There are numerous styles and designs you can go for. Even the simplest, most conventional model will transform a dull hallway into a beautiful environment.

Starburst Mirror

Starburst Mirror


Butterflies are not just for kids’ bedrooms. This insect choice can fit into the most sophisticated dining rooms too. Nature-inspired décor items will never go out of style. There are so many chic ideas you can consider, such as butterfly paintings or 3D butterflies for the bedroom.

3D Butterfly Wall Design

3D Butterfly Wall Design

Butterfly Artwork Bedroom Design

Grouping of Butterfly Artwork

Real Butterflies in Frames

Real Butterflies in Frames

Minimalistic Accents

Whether it’s 2010 or 2015, it’s never too late to abide by the principle “less is more”. Keep your living area’s design as simple as possible, and don’t overcrowd your shelves with all sorts of accessories. Stick with furniture elements that are proportional and thus your home will look organized and stylish.

Minimal Modern Dining Room Design

Minimal Modern Dining Room Design

Accent Coloring

Colors that are in trend change from season to season. It’s always a good idea to spice things up in the home and insert color combos you’ve never had before. Instead of buying an orange couch or painting the walls in pastel blue, why don’t you consider accessories to add a pop of color? Throw pillows, new curtains made of the finest curtain fabric, rugs and flower pots are a better choice.

Functional Furniture

In a magazine every angular chair looks trendy and innovative. However, it is not comfortable and you probably won’t even use it; not to mention that in 6 months it won’t even be in trend anymore. The exact same thing goes for unconventional coffee tables, which are too delicate to be used. It’s ok to want to have a stylish living room, but you need items that are both appealing and functional.

Focus on Comfort

Comfort is a fundamental factor when purchasing furniture. If you are compelled to replace a couch just because it’s not relaxing, then that piece is not timeless. Make a smart investment and go for a couch that looks good, but feel good too.

Quality over Quantity

It’s nice to have plenty of shelves in the kitchen or living room, but that doesn’t mean you should fill them with all sorts of objects. Choose your accessories or art pieces with extreme care. Shop for less and focus on a nice simple collection of objects paired with books; this way your home will have a modern, chic allure rather than a chaotic look.

New Curtains

If you want to add freshness into your home but you don’t have a big budget available, you can always change the curtains. Stick to timeless palettes of gray, black, white or red. These can have discreet patterns and prints too. It is equally important to select a good quality curtain fabric. This way they’ll last longer.

Gray silk curtains

Add Curtains to Create Softness


Whenever we choose to redecorate our homes, it is important to consider elements that can stand the test of time. Focus on durable items that you can use over and over again, and avoid low quality items that scream kitsch. Shop wisely, invest in well made accessories, and your home will look trendy without forcing you to spend a fortune. 

Do you think it’s time to give your home a makeover? Are you bored with the current décor? Well then there are smart ideas you can use to stay in trend without breaking the bank. Seasonal flowers, rugs, linens and additionally accessories are everything you need to transform a dull home into the chicest, most elegant environment.

By Alfred Stallion and

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Turn your child’s playroom into a wonderland through the décor choices you make. Any room or open space can easily be transformed into a kid’s perfect play place with some ingenuity and a little creativity.

Make it Safe and Bright

Colorful Child Playroom with Rubber Tiles

Colorful Child Playroom with Rubber Tiles

Via: Zillow Digs

The floor in this playroom consists of the same foam tiles that nurseries use to keep kids safe. The bright colors excite the senses, making this a fun place for kids to play in. As an added bonus, buying these tiles for your home will likely be cheaper than opting for wall-to-wall carpeting or another floor covering.

Make it Fun


Children’s Room with Bridge and Ladder

Via: Zillow Digs

If you thought ladders and bridges were only for outdoor playgrounds, think again. This family has a rope bridge inside the playroom for the children. This bridge lets kids play out their imagined adventures even when they cannot go outside to a playground. What makes this room stand out is the rest of its design. Dark blue on the walls and ceiling and fish painted under the bridge give the impression of playing in an underwater kingdom. This is the perfect room for a budding little Jacques Cousteau, pretend pirate or imaginary mermaid.

Bring the Outdoors Inside


Child’s Playroom with Exterior Details

Via: Houzz

Bring a playhouse inside your home to create an unusual place for your children. This playroom has the façade of a child-sized house with room enough inside for little ones to enjoy tea with their imaginary friends. The designer even included a child-sized picket fence and a painted tree on the wall outside the indoor playhouse.

Think Surreal


Kid’s Playroom with Racetrack Wall Art

Via: Zillow Digs

It’s no secret that kids have their own crazy imaginings. Why not design their playroom with this in mind. This playroom features a racetrack that runs on the wall. It’s just the kind of wild thing that kids love. Be sure to use toys for decoration that your kids are not going to play with soon, or you may find that your wall-mounted racetrack has been pulled down by a child who wants his toy cars back.

Give Them Reign


Children’s Castle Playroom with Slide

Via: Houzz

Your home may be your castle, but in the playroom, your kids reign. This playroom takes that idea to the extreme by turning it into a castle. This kids’ castle includes a slide to exit, a dining set for royal teas and balconies for having pretend swordfights on.

Design a Fan’s Dream


Sports Themed Child’s Playroom

Via: Zillow Digs

Children’s playrooms can cater to their love of a favorite sport or team. This football fan’s playroom features a larger-than-life football and slides along with wall murals depicting the New York Giants.

Get creative when choosing your playroom designs, and use these six amazing playrooms as inspiration for your upcoming projects. For more kids room ideas go to Modernize.

Guest Post by Jane Blanchard of Modernize

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If you’re a serious cook, you know how important a well organized kitchen is, and how frustrating a kitchen can be if it isn’t! Your kitchen should be optimized for cooking, cleanup, and easy access to storage, and if it isn’t yet, here’s how.

Kitchen Designer in Newport Beach

Modern White Kitchen Design

Stoves: Electric vs. Gas

Perhaps the most important appliance in the kitchen, the stove is what brings on the heat. Electric stoves are useful, but can skyrocket your power bill and don’t heat up as quickly. A high-efficiency gas powered stove is more efficient than an electric, and can cook food more thoroughly and evenly. The placement of the stove is important – it should be within range of all the pots and pans that you might use, as well as the sink or food disposal unit, so that if something catches fire, it can be put out quickly.

Modern Kitchen Design in Orange County

Modern European Kitchen Design


So, that cute little dinosaur pancake mold you have isn’t used every single morning. Put it away, either in the very back of your cabinet, or in the basement or attic until it is needed. The space in your kitchen is in high demand; store only the pots and pans that you actually use on a daily basis in the kitchen. The same applies to spices; while you might use that obscure Russian brand of mayonnaise for that one special dish sometimes, by no means should it take up counter space. Keep the basic spices close at hand, as well as your mixing bowls, spoons, etc.

Kitchen Designer in Orange County

Kitchen Design using Warm Tones


The single most used area of your kitchen. Many kitchens could benefit from the installation of a second sink, but if this is out of your budget, consider what you can do to free up work space around your sink. Try installing a goose-neck sprayer for easy cleaning of large pots and pans, as well as reaching all sections of your sink. Make sure that the pots and pans you use can fit inside of your sink for easy cleaning.

Newport Beach Kitchen Designer

Black & White Modern Kitchen Design


You should have plenty of free counter space in your kitchen. If at all possible, use a non-wooden counter top, or one with a glazed cover. True wooden counter tops can be nicked easily, and store pathogens and other undesirables inside the cuts. With the same logic that is applied to wooden cutting boards, wooden counter tops should be cleaned very thoroughly after use, especially when handling raw meats.

Your kitchen can be designed to suit your personal preferences, but they should also be the most efficient, streamlined rooms in your home. Keeping a kitchen clean reduces stress, and makes people want to cook, which results in a chain reaction of healthy choices down the line. A well designed kitchen can result in a myriad of tasty dishes being made, so everyone wins!

Gracie Gardner is an interior designer, photographer, and writer from Tucson, Arizona. She loves talking about cooking, kitchen remodeling, and design.

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As the holidays roll around, you likely have a lot on your plate, both literally and figuratively. However, before you start enjoying the food and festivities, consider giving some attention to your home. After all, without a warm and welcoming house, the spirit of family and spending time with loved ones just doesn’t have the same meaning. Even if you are working on a limited budget, following through with a few simple and easy tasks can make a massive difference in your home’s appearance, thus letting you have an extra special and enjoyable holiday season.

Organize and Declutter your Kitchen

Organize and Declutter your Kitchen

Refinishing Furniture

One of the first things people notice when they walk into your home is the furniture located throughout the house. Odds are good that you have at least one piece of furniture that you’d like to hide, especially during the holidays. But you don’t necessarily have to buy new furniture; you can simply refinish your existing pieces to give them a completely new look.
For wood pieces, adding varnish or stain, after stripping the existing coats, can breathe life into these old pieces and have them looking like new after a quick and easy weekend project. If you are extra handy with fabric, reupholstering your couches, chairs, and love seats creates a new look that radically alters your home décor. So long as the existing framework and stuffing is usable, this idea can save you money and surprise your guests at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Refinish Furniture

Refinish Furniture with Paint & Fabric

Touching up Paint

Similarly, touching up the paint throughout the house can dazzle guests and create an entirely new aesthetic for your home. To start, spend a couple of minutes walking your house and pinpointing the problem spots in every room. With these notes, you can make a decision on completely repainting or merely touching up the areas in question. Of course, if you don’t have matching paint for touch ups, you will need to speak with a paint professional to find a new match. If the abrasions on the wall have significantly deep gouges or ruts, a simple dry wall patch can restore the integrity of the wall and give you the perfect canvas to redefine your home décor before the holidays.

Breathing Life into the Bathroom

Having a downtrodden bathroom is any holiday host’s worst nightmare. With this being the one room that everyone will need to visit at some point during the festive seasons, giving it a little love and attention is essential. To spruce up your bathroom before guests and relatives start arriving, try polishing the faucets, showerheads, and any other metal fixtures. This can help clean up hard water stains and mineral buildups. Doing the same with the porcelain bowl of the toilet, as well as installing a new seat for the commode, rounds out the process and gives your bathroom a look you can be proud of.


Clean Up the Bathroom

Polishing or Cleaning Flooring

Of course, no quick home renovation is complete without taking care of the floors. After taking the brunt of foot traffic throughout the home, your tile, carpet, or hardwood may be a little worse for the wear.  However, with the right approach, you can undo some of this damage and restore your floors to “like new” condition. For hardwood floors, polish and restorative cleaners can help remove sneaker scuffs and other build up. Similar products are available for tile and linoleum. Carpet can be a little trickier, especially if you have pets or young children. However, renting or borrowing a carpet cleaner can help you fight back against even the toughest stains and gunk deposits.

Place an Emphasis on Organization

As far as cost-effective tricks that can help prepare your home for holiday guests, simply picking up the house and organizing your possessions will go a long way. By optimizing your closets, attics, basements, and other storage areas, you can hide away extra clothes and other things that you don’t need on a daily basis. You might even find it worthwhile to sort through items and sell or discard things that are only taking up space. This way, you not only have a tidy and neat home for the holidays, but you can enjoy this new approach to organization into the New Year and beyond.

Giving the Small Things a Little Love

If you want to go the extra mile after renovating rooms and organizing your possessions, turn your attention to the little things around the house. Cleaning door handles, cabinet and draw knobs, lampshades, power switch plates, and all other manner of accessories throughout the house can make a big difference in your overall home presentation. In some cases, you can replace these items for next to nothing, thereby giving your home a sharp, new look.
Preparing for the holidays doesn’t have to be a homemaker’s nightmare. With the help of these quick and easy tips, you can give your home a completely new look and dazzle your guests and love ones when they show up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everything in between, while also letting you sit back and enjoy a job well done – making the holiday season truly special.

About the author
Jim Van Landingham – Sales Professional in the Luxury Bath industry connecting architects, designers, dealers and contractors with luxury products for 18 years. Jim is a Family Man, Runner, IDPA Member, Artist and Cook and currently working as the VP of Sales in the Residential Division for Quick Drain USA.

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Back to nature: The on trend materials being used by interior designers for 2013

Just like fashion, interior design can be fickle. But, there are some home trends that transcend seasons. And, no matter which other styles come and go, interior designers will always take their inspiration from Mother Nature.This year, the use of natural materials is not just a classic design staple, but is band on trend.

Natural Woods

On show at both the London Design Festival and the Maison et Objet exhibition in Paris, furniture took on a very natural appearance and texture. Simple, raw wooden surfaces featured in many of the latest designer collections with pale, unvarnished woods like oak, beech and birch chosen for chairs, tables, bookcases and flooring.

Vido Nori Chair

Vido Nori Chair

The trend was encapsulated at the Victoria and Albert Museum when Royal College of Art students exhibited hardwood chairs, some of which were still seemed to be covered in lichen from the forest floor. At the 100% Design fair, the UK’s largest design trade event, Hungarian designer Nori Vido exhibited Twiggy, a solid walnut chair she says is inspired by a deer being startled by the sound of cracking branches in the forest.


Rather than hang a group of photographs or works of art, the trend for grouping small mirrors together is a recurring theme this year. At Tent London, billed as the most creative event in the design calendar, Annick Petersen of ALP Design showed off some rather dreamy leather-framed mirrors that looked a little like the doilies our grandmothers used to put under the fine china on the sideboard.
Cut glass, while once thought to be passé, has been given a style makeover. And, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the look. Ikea has Julmys votives, for just £1.25, which bring a little bit of Great Gatsby-style glamour to your home.


Once the preserve of fire surrounds and bathrooms, marble has been brought into other parts of the home. At the Bagatti Valsecchi exhibition in Milan, Netherlands-based designer Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny presented a solid marble chair. But, while there’s no getting around the fact marble is a very expensive material, you can add it to your home in the finishing touches, perhaps in a vase or photo frame. Or, Ferm Living has just added Marble wallpaper to its collection, which just looks like the real thing at a fraction of the price. At £53 a roll, you can cover an alcove or a feature wall.

Leather Floor Tiles

Leather Floor Tiles


Smart, funky, refined, leather comes in many forms and is a material well known to most of us.  It’s just not a product often associated with interior design.  People are accustomed to seeing it used on clothing and chairs.  Specialist interior leather designer, Bill Amberg, recently said at his London exhibition that you can make leather from almost any hide including snakes, eels, ostrich, sheep and many more animal sources.  The unique properties of leather can be used to perfection for touch and to see with longevity in the material.   Leather products can have many values but don’t underestimate the value of true quality craftsmanship.

Leather Trunks

Leather Trunks

Plant Inspired Designs

While retro-inspired botanical prints have been on trend for some time now, they’ve come into their own for 2013. Simply called House, Orla Kiely’s new collection mixes two trends in one, with retro leaf-style patterns woven into natural wood furniture. MissPrint has launched leaf-print wallpapers with a 1950s vibe.


While the metals in our home in recent years have all had very much of a chrome or steel vibe, 2013 is all about a softer look. High-end appliances manufacturer Kohler, for example, is now producing its iconic Karbon faucet in a range of warm golds and bronzes along with cooler hues.
With a nod to old fashioned brass fire accessories, Tom Dixon’s Eclectic range is inspired by British heritage. Add a touch of opulence to your bedside table with beautifully scented candles in brass containers.

Eclectic Brass Candle

Eclectic Brass Candle by Tom Dixon

Whether you choose to bring the natural trend into your home through a few carefully chosen accessories or with a statement piece of furniture, it’s a style that’s sure to stand the test of time.

Bill began learning his artisan skills in Australia 30 years ago before opening his studio back in the 90’s.  The studio creates bespoke products and interiors for individuals and companies across the world.  Bill can be found in his London studio at Bill Amberg Studio.

Images 1|2|3|4

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Many people do not realize how important lighting is to interior design. Decorative lighting is one of the major factors that play into the process of creating the mood of a room and creating the meaning behind what you’ve put together. If you’ve just got a plain or flat lighting, you’re more likely to make people who come into your home uncomfortable. On the other hand, decorative lighting can create the comfortable, “homey” feel that you may be seeking in your Orange County Home.


One important function of a decorative lighting scheme is variation. Using various types of lights, different light levels, and sources that seem to focus on what the room is for. For example, an interior designer may suggest that you put dimmer lights in a bedroom (because it is for sleeping), but brighter lights in a family room or play area (because it is for “fun”). Determine what each room is for before starting to work with lighting, otherwise you could end up with some odd lighting arrangements that don’t match the room’s purpose.

Mulit Pendant Fixture

Mulit Pendant Fixture

Chandeliers are a great option for rooms where you want the lighting source to be a focal point. The objects that are underneath chandeliers become the focal point of the room due to the way that a chandelier diffuses light. You could use a pendant for the same purpose, even though the light diffusion differs. These are just examples of what you could do in your home; any Orange County lighting store can help you determine how each type of light will change the “feel” that your room(s) have.

Modern Dining Chandliers

Modern Dining Chandliers

You can use lighting to create these different moods in miscellaneous ways. Be creative, and see what you come up with while you’re decorating your home. You can find a variety of different lights that will suit your lighting needs at any Orange County furniture store.

Semi Flush Chandelier

Semi Flush Chandelier

If you are looking to redecorate your home and you want the help of an interior designer, there are a lot of options that you have with Orange County Interior Designers. Interior Designers in Orange County and around the world can help you figure out the best look for your home while listening to your thoughts and suggestions in the process. Most of all, have fun! Decorating is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so take the time to enjoy the experience as well. 

Modern Floor Lamp

Modern Floor Lamp

About The Author: Ingo Schaer is the President and CEO of He has been in the lighting business for more than 20 years and is holding a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering.  He regularly blogs on a variety of Modern lighting and Interior Design topics, often focusing on practical solutions. You can find him on Google +.

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Six Great Places to Find Modern and Contemporary Furniture in Orange County

Transforming an average home into a modern masterpiece is easy as pie in Orange County, California. The city boasts bountiful contemporary furniture and lighting stores and there are plenty of firms in town that specialize in interior design consulting. If you are looking for a new accent table for your living room or completely redesigning your home, the following six companies are some favorites in the Orange County region.  

Metropolix Contemporary Furnishings

Metropolix Contemporary Furnishings is one of the most popular local furniture stores, located in Laguna Hills. This company specializes in unique contemporary furniture and home accents including sofas, beds, windows and door furnishings, coffee tables, desks, and chairs, each one with a touch of class and comfort. One of the aspects of Metropolix that customers love so much is that they supply furniture made in the USA that can be custom-sized with your choice of hundreds of fabrics. Shopping here, you can be sure that you will have a unique and personalized accent for your home.

Cantoni Modern Furniture

Modern Cow Hide Sofas

Modern Cowhide Sofas from Cantoni

Cantoni is another favorite modern furniture store. Located in Irvine, California, Cantoni boasts ever-changing showrooms of contemporary furniture and home accents that are sure to open eyes. Almost everything you are looking for can be found in this store, from kitchens to bedrooms to living rooms, and more. Not too sure what you’re looking for, or maybe completely overwhelmed by the countless options? Never fear, Cantoni has interior designers working specifically to help you design the interiors of your dream home.

Uni-Lite Lighting

Modern Lighting Orange County

Modern Chandelier from Uni-Lite

If you are looking for the perfect lighting accent for your home, explore Uni-Lite Lighting’s 32,000 square foot business in Anaheim. Specializing in indoor and outdoor lighting for both single rooms and entire homes, Uni-Lite is a local favorite for finding modern light accents that also serve as conversation pieces. This company has gotten to know the interior design trends in Orange County over the past forty years and have supplied their products not only to homeowners but also local architects and businesses.

Living Spaces

Modern Bedroom Furniture

Modern Bedroom Furniture from Living Spaces

Irvine is one of ten places in southern California where you can find Living Spaces. In addition to selling both modern and classic furniture, Living Spaces sells unique accessories to liven up your home or business. What makes a shopping experience here so special is how customer-friendly the business is. When you visit the store you receive a free cup of Starbucks and can leave your kids in a supervised play room while you shop. Online orders offer you same-day delivery for furniture you just can’t wait to see in your own home.

Plummers Furniture

Modern Living Room Orang

Modern Living Room from Plummers

Plummers is yet another marvelous contemporary furniture company in Irvine. They supply furniture and accessories for indoor and outdoor use, either in the home or at the office. Their unique products have a fresh, fun, and relaxing appeal to consumers, which has helped the company become one of the best locations to find contemporary furnishings in Orange County. Fun fact: Plummers has installed solar panels at their warehouse in Petaluma, and they boast the fact that they use recycled wood and sustainable supplies in many of their products.   

Pal + Smith Furniture

Modern Dining Room Orang

Modern Dining Room from Pal + Smith

Pal + Smith may provide some of the most exceptional contemporary options for interior design in Orange County. Located in Costa Mesa, the company has pushed the boundaries of modern furnishings for the past thirty years. The bold colors and unique shapes of their furniture are bound to start conversations. Among many other major style magazines, Elle Décor recognized Pal + Smith in October 2011 as one of “The Best New Stores.” If you need help deciding the best combination of pieces for your home, Pal + Smith offers hourly consulting for interior design as well as a multitude of other services.

These six companies provide some of the best contemporary interior designs in Orange County. If you still aren’t quite sure where to start when designing or redesigning your home, you can contact Christopher James Interiors, one of the leading interior design firms specializing in finding the best accents for your home. Regardless of what vision you have for your interior, you can find exactly what you’re looking for in Orange County.

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How To Incorporate The Elements Of Feng Shui Into your Home

Incorporating Feng Shui into your interior design brings balance and good fortune to your home. More than just picking attractive furniture and decor, the placement and arrangement of furnishings and accessories, as well as deliberate color combinations, can make a significant difference in the “Qi” or energy of the room.

Orange County Feng Shui

Interior Design and Feng Shui Create Harmony

However, you still want to make sure that your Orange County home is visually appealing and functional, so you will want your Feng Shui interior design to balance the basic beliefs of the Eastern practice along with modern tastes.

Feng Shui Orange County Bathroom

Modern Zen Bathroom

Below are a few tips on how to improve the energy in your house and bring luck to your life, while adding the decorating flairs and touches that gives your home personality:

Practical matters

Position furniture carefully.This tip is both practical and feng shui-related: careful positioning of furniture improves the energy’s flow throughout the room. Furniture should not prevent free passage through the room as this blocks both your daily path and the Qi from flowing naturally. Ideally, seating areas should be flush with a wall, instead of facing a walkway or another room.

Separate work and rest areas. Avoid setting up a work office in your bedroom. The energy of a work space will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep if it is set up in the bedroom.

Lighting. Light plays a major role in feng shui, as it is a major source of good energy. Soft lighting is linked with positive energy which wall sconces provide. Without proper illumination, carefully picked color combinations, decor and furniture may not be as effective for a feng shui lifestyle. Our eye tends to be drawn to where the light is shining, so by spotlighting certain objects and areas, you are able to support your intentions. Avoid dark corners, which can absorb and stall the flow of energy, by filling them with a source of soft light.

Feng Shui Bedroom Orange County

Modern Bedroom

De-clutter! Clutter is considered to be a major burden in feng shui. De-cluttering is believed to be absolutely fundamental to ensuring balance in the home, as clutter blocks the flow of energy. On a practical level, clutter can lead to increased stress levels.

Remove clutter from all rooms in the house. One of the best places to start is the bedroom, where you want the most relaxation as possible. Create a “keep”, “relocate” and “trash” pile for all the items littered on the surfaces and floors of each room. Then, relocate the items to their proper locations, and throw away the trash. Organize the “keep” items into drawers, shelves or labeled boxes for easy access.

Design elements

Mirrors. A key accessory in feng shui interior design, mirrors are believed to reflect positive energy and prevent the flow of negative energy. Placement is key, however. Avoid putting a mirror facing the front door, as you don’t want to bounce the positive energy entering the house to creep its way out. Mirrors should also be used sparingly (if at all) in the bedroom. Bedrooms are considered calm spaces with more yin energy; mirrors bring a lot of yang energy, canceling out the calming yin needed in the bedroom.

Live plants, fresh fruit and cut or potted flowers. Indoor plants, floral bouquets and fresh fruit all generate positive energy. Potted plants also represent earth and wood elements (two of the five feng shui elements needed for harmony and balance).

However, you should avoid using dried flowers. Dried flowers are considered sources of bad energy in feng shui as they represent something that is dead. Throw away all dead or dying plants, including wilting flowers. The exception is if the dried bouquet is a keepsake from someone dear to you, then the energy associated with it is positive.

Feng Shui Bathroom Orange County

Feng Shui Bathroom

Add a water feature. Considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity, it is important to incorporate water elements in your feng shui decorating scheme. A water feature is an eye-catching way to add two of the five essential elements of feng shui (wind and water). Whether you choose a water fountain, a water wall or a fish tank, a water feature is a soothing focal point to any room, promoting relaxation. Be careful not to add water features to the bedroom as it can introduce the element of worry.

Feng Shui Outdoor Water Feature

Outdoor Water Feature

Mix up your shapes. Each shape represents a different feng shui element: square (wood), round/oval (metal), striped and floral (wood), wavy (water) and pointy (fire) shapes all need to be present in your accessories and decor to ensure balance.  Mixing and matching is not only an excellent way to bring harmony into your living space, but it also adds depth and dimension to your interior design.

Choose colors carefully. Intentionally choosing the right colors for each room is key in feng shui, as each color and color combination represent different types of energy. Green is linked with hope and nature, yellow with power and red is considered auspicious. Orange helps create an atmosphere of ease and promotes conversation in large groups of people, making it an ideal color for living rooms and other areas where you plan on hosting guests. Blues and greens can also help promote a calm atmosphere, which are perfect for bedrooms and other locations designed for relaxation and rest.

With these simple feng shui tips, you can improve balance and harmony in your Orange County abode and life all without having to invest in crazy interior design schemes or busts of Buddha and other auspicious statues. Just keep in mind the importance of the flow of energy and incorporate a few well-chosen and well-placed accessories to fully reap the benefits of feng shui.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, yoga enthusiast and business owner in the Los Angeles area. In addition to incorporating feng shui into her yoga and meditation room, she also includes the elements of feng shui throughout the rest of her home. Follow her on Pinterest today!

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