Posts Tagged ‘Orange County’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About The Author: Ingo Schaer is the President and CEO of Interior-Deluxe.com. 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 +.
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
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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
Your source for modern upholstered furniture in Orange County
If you are looking for modern furniture in Orange County you have stumbled upon the right place. Christopher James Interiors has a large selection of modern upholstered furniture that can be customized using your own fabric or selected from our vast collection of fabric options. We can resize items for you so they fit perfectly in your space. We’ll even come to your home to consult with you and guide you step by step of the way to ensure proper scale and size of your furniture. You’ll also be able to view fabrics in your current surroundings to make sure what you are ordering is exactly what you want. We offer upholstered headboards, beds, sofas & couches, sectionals, dining chairs, occasional chairs, lounge chairs, benches, ottomans and barstools. Here’s some of our favorite items….
Modern Upholstered Beds and Headboards
The Davide Bed has a modern tufted headboard surrounded by a wood frame. The chrome legs give it another modern touch.
The Hunter Bed has a modern design and is available with storage drawers in the bed platform. The photo shows the bed in a striped fabric bordered with leather and accented with nailheads.
Modern Upholstered Coffee Table Ottomans and Benches
The Eastwood coffee table ottoman has a very modern look with a beautiful detail on the top. Put your feet on it to kick back or place a tray on top to set drinks on.
Modern Upholstered Occasional Chairs
The Kinetic Chair has a very modern design with chunky wood arms and legs. We love the contemporary and modern lines of this chair. Upholster in leather or fabric and choose from several wood finish options.
Let us know what you think of some of our new designs.
To view more of our large selection of modern upholstered furniture you can visit the products section of our website.
Do you know what Search Engine Optimization is?
Well don’t feel bad, we didn’t either until a few months ago. So let me give you a brief introduction of what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is. Basically, SEO means that a website or pages on a website are created and optimized so that search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can find them when someone is doing a search for a specific keyword. Proper search engine optimization of your website over time will generate more potential clients and leads to your business by reaching a higher placement in the search engines when a keyword is searched. For example, since I am an interior designer in Orange County California, we had our site optimized using specific keywords like “Orange County interior designer” and incorporated these words into the content and tags of the pages on our website. Not only did this help the search engines find our pages easier, but the pages were “optimized” so that our page lists at the top of Google for a particular “keyword”. Here’s a video that explains a bit more about search engine optimization (SEO)…
It is important that you focus on a list of keywords that are relevant to your business and to the market you wish to attract. There is a science to this that continues to change and evolve based on the search engines algorithms and formulas. There is a lot to learn about all the different strategies used to get you listed on page one of the search engines for a specific keyword. That is why our design firm turned to SEO for Interior Designers for some help. After doing a bit of research, what we realized is how important it is to keep a website constantly changing and evolving with new content. This will keep our customers coming back to our site to find fresh and new things. We selected SEO for Interior Designers over many other companies doing SEO simply because they tailor and customize websites and SEO campaigns especially for the interior design trade and architects. Click on their logo below to learn more about the company we can’t stop raving about.
Here’s what they do:
They research relevant keywords for our design firm and create “Search Engine Optimized” pages using those keywords. These keyword optimized pages have driven more traffic to our website and business as they are designed to rank in the top 10 spots on Google searches.
They also trained us to manage our own website. We used to have to call our web designer to update everything. We couldn’t add or delete a product or even a photo to our portfolio. Because of the difficulty in making these changes, our website became stagnant and outdated. For many years our website was simply lost in cyberspace and really only visited if we handed out a business card with our web address on it. Now after a few training courses from SEO for Interior Designers we can blog, add and delete content and keep things new and exciting for our customers. In just a few months you can see the amount of traffic that we have generated. As a matter of fact our visitors have doubled every month since we began 3 months ago and leads and phone calls have followed. From nothing 3 months ago to now 3,039 Pageviews!
SEO for Interior Designers offers affordable internet marketing services and web design for interior designers nationwide. So contact them today and they’ll get your website generating leads for you! It worked for us and it will work for you.
As an interior designer in Orange County, California, I have worked on several beach homes along the coast. During this time, I’ve grown to love many of the materials and colors used in coastal interiors. One of my favorites uses of sea life is the giant clam shell. I’ve been collecting and clipping photos of these and today decided to share some of my findings. I have always loved some of the applications for their use in interior decorating and last year when I started a project in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico overlooking the ocean, it only made sense to bring some of the vibrant blues and varieties of sea life into the home. I really wanted to incorporate one of these giant clam shells into the interior of the home. As I began my search I found the price of these giant clams to be quite costly…up to as much as $900 for half of the shell! I used the giant clam shell on the side of a large spa like bath tub and put sponges and towels in it. In my search I came across several different uses for these beautiful giant clams from sink vessels to planters. Below are some of my favorite photos that I collected during my search. Have you used a giant clam in your interior design project? I’d love to hear what you think and would love to see some of the different applications you’ve used!
This is a bathroom by Barry Dixon. I love the neutral colors, zebra ottoman and giant clam shell in the shower.
A beautiful clam planter filled with an array of succulents. This would make a great center piece on top of a buffet or dining table.
Speaking of center pieces, this giant clam serves as a planter with greenery in this black and white dining room.
Beautiful outdoor vignette showcasing a giant clam with succulents and surrounded by an array of stone accessories and accents.
In this powder bathroom the clam is used as a vessel sink on top of a mirrored vanity. The backsplash is mother of pearl tile and the mirror is framed using small shells and starfish attached to the frame.
Interior Design Showroom Bliss Linens
One of my favorite places for home furnishings, bedding and home accessories in Orange County, Calfornia is Bliss Home located on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar. The owner and interior designer behind it all is Ohara Davies-Gaetano. If you’re an interior designer or just someone looking for inspiration, there is always something new, fresh and exciting at this store. It’s easily seen from the street with its bright orange painted storefront. All of the pieces there seem to have a story behind them. The finishes are impeccable and only achieved by time and weathering. From old stone pots to coral and sea life, one is bound to be overstimulated visually by all there is to see. And not only are the pieces beautiful they are arranged and set up in wonderful displays and vignettes. Some of the other highlights of the store are the luxurious bed linens and pillows. The way they’re made up makes you want to jump right in. Many of the walls have bright beautiful colors of Venetian plaster and the entry wood floor looks like an old distressed, hand painted fresco.
This is one example of the many beautiful vignettes you will see. Here a large rustic clock in white and aqua blue backdrop this vignette flanked by old rustic candle sticks and coral.
Using the same color palette as the photos above, neutrals with an accent of aqua blue give this coastal living room design a pop of color. If you’ve got a beach cottage you’ll love this place for all of the sea and ocean artifacts they offer.
Nature is brought into this vignette with butterfly artwork and a zebra ottoman
In this dining room design, rust colored leather chairs surround a large, dark wood table. The modern, abstract art mixes nicely with the juxtaposition of the old distressed columns.
Love the scale of this armoire with the detailed front doors and the large wooden spheres.
Another beautiful example of one of the many displays…love all the neutral colors, finishes and the large giant clam.
An iron shelving unit shows off more sea inspired accessories.
A colorful bedroom design using blue and green bed linens and pillows.
A rust sofa is backed by an antique mirror displayed in the Orange County interior design showroom
Now that I’ve given you a little taste of this Orange County interior design showroom, do yourself a favor and go check out what interior designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano is up to. Trust me you won’t be disappointed and more than likely you’ll leave inspired with new ideas.All photos via Bliss Home
Orange County interior designer Chris Givan takes a field trip to Bliss Home in Corona Del Mar, California. Interior design topics such as living room design, dining room design, bedroom design, Venetian plaster and butterfly artwork are featured.