Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Add a little bling in your wallpaper
Wallpaper has come a long way and can be a lot of fun, especially when you want to add a little bit of bling or sparkle to your walls. Today I set out to look for wallpaper at Design Center Associates in Santa Ana. They have a great selection to choose from so searching for the right one was fairly easy. The design look for our client is calling for something contemporary and modern, with just a touch of sparkle or in our case we were hoping for a metallic or chrome element
Add Depth to Walls using Venetian Plaster
One of the most popular finishes used in Mediterranean interior design and Tuscan interior design is Venetian plaster. If you are designing a home and want that old fresco look, you should really consider incorporating this into the interior design of your home. Venetian plaster is a wall and ceiling finish using thin layers of plaster applied with a trowel or spatula. It is then burnished to create a smooth surface that adds a lot of depth and texture to the areas treated. There are many variations of sheen depending on the amount of burnishing that is done or the amount of wax that is used. From a matte, chalky fresco look to a very shiny and glossy appearance, you can incorporate it into old world interior design or modern interior design. There are also several different types of Venetian plaster techniques including marmorino, scagliola, and sgraffito.
The Different Types of Venetian Plaster
Marmorino Veneziano is a plaster or stucco decoration used on walls. It was used as far back as Roman times, but was made popular once more during the Renaissance 500 years ago in Venice.
It is made from crushed marble and lime putty, which can be tinted to give a wide range of colours. This can then be applied to make many textures, from polished marble to natural stone effects. Widely used in Italy, its appeal has spread through North America especially, but now worldwide. Because of the hours of workmanship, the pricing places it in the high-end market. However, many examples can be seen in public buildings, bars, restaurants, etc.
Its waterproofing and anti-bacterial qualities as well as visual effects have also made it very desirable for luxury bathrooms and other wet areas. Not confined to interior use, it can be seen on the exterior of many buildings to great effect.
You can see from the photos above the depth and character that Venetian plaster gives to walls. Instead of being flat, Venetian plaster creates a mottled appearance giving your walls more depth and variation in color.
Scagliola (from the Italian scaglia, meaning “chips”), is a technique for producing stucco columns, sculptures, and other architectural elements that resemble inlays in marble and semi-precious stones. The Scagliola technique came into fashion in 17th-century Tuscany as an effective substitute for costly marble inlays, the pietra dura works created for the Medici family in Florence.
Scagliola is a composite substance made from selenite, glue and natural pigments, imitating marble and other hard stones. The material may be veined with colors and applied to a core, or desired pattern may be carved into a previously prepared scagliola matrix. The pattern’s indentations are then filled with the colored, plaster-like scagliola composite, and then polished with flax oil for brightness, and wax for protection. The combination of materials and technique provides a complex texture, and richness of color not available in natural veined marbles.
Installing Venetian Plaster
Below is a video that shows the techniques and different steps involved in applying Venetian plaster to your walls.
Sgraffito (plural: sgraffiti; sometimes spelt scraffito) is a technique produced by applying layers of plaster tinted in contrasting colors to a moistened surface by applying two successive layers of contrasting slip, and then in either case scratching so as to produce an outline drawing.
Italian Country Home is a subdivision of Orange County interior design firm Christopher James Interiors. We are licensed and trained professionals in the installation of Venetian plaster. If you are interested in using Venetian plaster in your home, please contact us for a free in home consultation.
A $100 value – Call us today and set up an appointment at 714.542.5213
Christopher James Interiors (CJ-interiors)is one of the premier interior design firms in Southern California. The firm has been helping homeowners turn their dreams for a beautifully designed home into reality since 1994. Whether it’s new construction or a remodel, we will design your home to match your taste and lifestyle. Our team is devoted to understanding your individual needs and ideas to ensure that your vision is realized from the design conceptualization stage to the final installation and construction of the project.
- Interior Design/Decorating (all rooms)
- Exterior Design
- Remodel Design
- Home Staging to help sell your home
- Custom Furniture Services (placement and selection)
- Custom window treatments/drapery
- Commercial Design
- Space planning (perfect for small business)
- Hospitality Design (hotel and restaurants)
- Paint Services (selection of colors, faux finishes, murals, venetian plasters)
- Flooring – wood and tile (selection and installation)
- Electrical/Lighting Services
- Art/Floral Arrangements (selection and placement)
- Wall units/Cabinetry/Built-ins
Take advantage of our complimentary ($100 value) and see how easy it can be to turn your design dreams into reality.
A taste of our work:
BEFORE AND AFTER:
“We love our home and could not have done it without you! You truly understood our lifestyle and taste and turned it into more than we could have imagined.” Kris J., Villa Park, CA
Chris Givan, Owner and Head Interior Designer of Christopher James Interiors. “Customer satisfaction is not only our priority, but what we thrive on. I will make sure that this is accomplished in your project by maintaining a high level of communication with you through every step of the Interior Design Process. I welcome you to visit our showroom or browse our website to to learn more about our firm and the services we offer. Our design styles include contemporary, transitional, Cape Cod, traditional, French country, Tuscan, California Ranch, Montecito and the currently popular Tommy Bahama look. But it’s always a style interpretation that’s unique to each homeowner. Please visit our Portfolio to view more examples of our work and our Products section for specific items for your home.”
Thanks for stopping by and we hope to be working with you very soon!
Additional services we offer: Interior design, interior decorating, new construction or remodels, room design, furniture selection and placement, custom furniture, wall units, built-ins, accessory and art selection and placement, floral arrangements, silk plants and florals, custom bedspreads, children’s rooms, home staging, kitchen design, offices, libraries, conference rooms, paint selection and color consulting, painting, faux painting, murals, wall paper, floor coverings, tile, marble, travertine, wood floors, carpet, custom area rugs, lighting, window coverings, window treatments, shades, blinds, shutters, custom draperies and valances, verticals, kitchen remodels, bath remodels, granite selection, stone and ceramic tile, exterior design, environmental design, landscape design, retail, restaurant design, commercial design and small business design, Venetian plaster, Venetian plasters, home staging to sell home, drapery, interior decoration
Leave the office or take a vacation! Yes, I know, it’s easier said than done…at least to go on vacation. But getting out of the office is possible for everyone even if it’s just taking a walk through the park on your lunch break instead of eating lunch at your desk. It opens your eyes and frees your mind from the routine of daily life. For me, getting away from my office and my computer screen always brings such a strong creative energy.
Last year I spent a month in Europe traveling through Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Italy. During this time, I was able to clear my mind to think about furniture designs, colorations and ideas for clients. I can not tell you how inspirational these places were…I came back completely changed and inspired by the history and architecture found while exploring these countries. While there, I visited boutiques, flea markets, hotels and mueseums to give me inspiration for current interior design jobs and to search for rare and unusual finds for my own home as well as my clients’. So much a part of making your house a home is collecting these things through your travels. They all add a story and personal touch to your space. When you look at a momento from one of your travels, it takes you back to that place and time and for a minute you feel like you’ve gone back again.
So give yourself a break during the day and even if it’s not a long vacation a little breather in between emails, phone calls and deadlines can rejuvenate you. I feel that people who believe in staying at the office 24/7 are truly doing themselves a disservice. You don’t have to travel far to be inspired, just find a place where your eye can wander and see things in a slightly different way.
If you can’t get on a plane I promise you it won’t be a waste of time.
Orange County Interior Designers
Christopher James Interiors is one of the leading interior design firms in Southern California. The firm has been helping clients turn their dreams into reality since 1994. Turnkey projects, from design conceptualization to installation, are a hallmark of the company.
Whether it is creating a stunning Tuscan-inspired villa in the hills of Newport Coast, a contemporary Cape Cod style home in the Hampton’s or a restaurant or hotel. CJI believes the secret to a good design partnership is listening closely to their clients.
Christopher James Interiors and their award winning projects have been featured in a number of design magazines and newspapers. Our design studio and showroom is located in Santa Ana’s newly developed City Place Lofts directly across from Nordstrom and Main Place Mall. Our showroom features modern furnishings and accessories for the home.
- Home staging to sell your home
- Architectural details
- Lighting placement
- Space planning
- Kitchen, bath and media room design
- Landscape/hardscape finishes
- Glass and wrought iron design
- Window treatments and drapery
When you are looking for Orange County interior designers, please keep Christopher Jame Interiors in mind. We are offering complimentary consultations for a limited time, so please call now to set up an appointment to discuss your project.
We look forward to hearing from you!!
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