Helping you DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams DeAnnaRadaj...Helping You Design the Life of Your Dreams From the Outside In
We've been hard at work stream-lining the websites for easier navigation. Hope you all like! We are also getting ready to introduce our new ROOM PACKAGES for easier pricing/options. This will only apply for BEDROOMS & OFFICE SPACES. All other projects will continue to be charged by the hour. We also will introduce a HEALTHY HOME EVALUATION. This 60min session would be encouraged BEFORE you start any re-mod
As we celebrate Earth Day today, many of us are inspired to "go GREEN" or to become more informed on the processes that make up many of our household items. Many now know the term "VOC" and how it impacts health. Many can not only name the 4 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, reclaim) but implement them in their purchasing decisions. So, in honor of Mother Earth, here are some easy-to-apply tips that impact our homes (and health) but have no, or limited, impact on the environment.
I just got this video sent to me through Nan Akasha's newletter (if you're not on her list, you MUST check her out!!). Here is a video she did:Your Best Year Yet! (you'll be singing the song for the rest of the day! ha ha):
Did you know that a nursery can be one of the most toxic rooms of your home? As parents-to-be strive to create the perfect room for their newborns, they go overboard with painting, new furniture & accessories, not realizing that some of their actions can actually do more harm than good. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are trying to decorate a nursery….
Use a NO VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. Paint is on of the top indoor air pollutants (carpet & candles are the others). VOCs are the drying, anti-microbial & other toxins that off-gas into the air upon application. Now, all major paint manufacturers make a NO or LOW VOC line of paint with a wide color choice. If you don’t see it on the shelves-ASK.
Color: From a color THERAPY standpoint, color does affect your mental/physical well-being, it is imperative to choose a color scheme that promotes a healthy night’s sleep & a calm, nurturing atmosphere for the baby. Green is the perfect color for any space, and particularly so for a baby/child’s bedroom. Green is neither hot nor cool, & symbolizes growth & new beginnings. Use a PRIMARY color that you can pair with pink or blue. Use yellow sparingly, or not at all (!) as yellow is the hardest color for your eye to break down. Neutrals also work as a secondary color to help ground & stabilize the room. Do NOT use a contrasting color scheme here-save that for tween/teen room.
Opt for HARD flooring choices as opposed to wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpet is part of the “big 3” indoor air pollutants, therefore, look for hardwood, bamboo, cork, rubber or tile options for nursery flooring. Adding area rugs made from natural fibers (wool is strongly suggested as it is a self-extinguishing fiber!) add the needed warmth you want in a bedroom, & also add a sound deadening quality to help sound from bouncing off the floor & walls.
There are studies being done on the correlation between crib mattresses & bedding & SIDS (keep watch for updates as they become available)…this is an area that is vital for children, as well as adults, to be addressed to help prevent (or manage) any upper respiratory issues, sleep disruptions, headaches & fatigue as there are correlations. Due to this, there are more & more bedding/mattress manufacturers who are addressing this need for “natural and/or organic” bedding. (Check out Naturpedic as this company ONLY makes crib, T & F mattresses for children).
A quick Feng Shui tip: Choose bedding that is solid, and NO pattern. This will help promote a health night’s sleep. If you find a pattern that you “love”, make sure that it is flowing lines, organic shapes and/or nurturing pictures (i.e. mother/child, happy non-threatening animals). Jarring, jagged edges and patterns can subconsciously affect you when you are sleeping, disrupting sleep patterns. Look for COOL colors in bedding (blue, green, purple) to help lower body temperature & heart rate, again, to calm you & promote a good night’s sleep.
Cribs & Furniture:
Many people discount the effect of the material of what furniture is made out of & its impact on health. From a purely HEALTH affect, look for UNFINISHED WOOD furniture & then stain/paint with a NO VOC stain or paint. This will limit any off-gassing of toxins that a FINISHED piece of new furniture would emit into the nursery. From a “green/eco-friendly” aspect, look for a piece of furniture that is reused/recycled (a family member/friend) & from a local source to reduce transportation costs & pollutants in getting item to your location.
A quick Feng Shui tip: WOOD is the best material to purchase for a baby, toddler and child’s bed & furniture as WOOD corresponds with the FAMILY Life Area & symbolizes growth, new beginnings & opportunity. METAL would be second.
***If you purchase from a rummage/estate sale, make sure that item is safe (i.e. not recalled, all parts in working order…)! Also, from a Feng Shui perspective, try & find out about the “previous owner” & the story behind the piece. You don’t want to bring any “negative energy/chi” into the nursery.***
You must remember that as parents you are decorating a nursery for you & not the baby…really, admit it…That being said, you WILL be spending a lot of time in this space, & it does set the tone for a happy baby. Therefore, choose a theme that is uplifting, nurturing & calming. Think mother/child, baby animals or nature (plants, flowers, water). Stay away from sky/clouds as a THEME, you can use to symbolize a “sky ceiling” but not clouds as a mural on the wall itself.
***Group pictures of family and/or accessories in 4s (grounded, stable) to represent “family”.***
These are some basic, general tips that any parent-to-be can apply to their newborns new room to help promote a healthy, supported baby.
***If you’d more tips visit the Bante Design website at www.bantedesign.com. If you’d like to schedule a design consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact DeAnna at firstname.lastname@example.org.***
Have you noticed the lack of kitchen table sets at furniture stores lately? It seems that the entire section is now dominated by counter stools, "gathering" tables or pub sets. As I was walking through the numerous showrooms in High Point, NC last week, and looking for new kitchen set for myself, I was struck by the lack of choices for even a simple kitchen set. The Peters-Revington Showroom seemed like a great place to get an answer to my question: Where have all the kitchen tables gone?
Stan Andrews, a furniture manufacturer's rep who's lines can be found locally at Steinhafels, Colders & American, was my "go to" guy for the answer. Stan stated that most new construction builders are "conservative" on space being planned for actually seating in kitchens, with the focus for sit-down meals being given in dining rooms. The trend for kitchens is a focus on "outlandish" accessories (high end applicances, faucets, counter-tops & cabinets), down-sized seating areas with a focus on counter seating at islands or "bars". Kitchens are for "gathering" and preparation rather than eating.
***This was made evident by the new counter height Deacons Bench & Milking Stools featured in the Southern Living Collection-Blue Ridge Retreat.***
Other manufacturers seemed to back up Stan's statements with the only thing being defined as "kitchen" being variations of stools, Any tables were found in the Dining Room section & sized appropriately (i.e. seating for 6 or more) so finding a table that would fit in a 10x10 or smaller space to seat 2-4 was hard to find. While there were some options (Gat Creek), most were in the Country style & not fitting for placement in other "style" homes. This is great for new construction, however, many of us live in homes that:
As a designer who specializes in eco-friendly, healthy home design, wall-paper is a bane of my design existence. As improperly applied wall-paper is horrendous to try & take down, and the off-gassing that is done by the the paper & adhesive, I try to abstain from using this product unless a client is insistent. My feelings however, have been somewhat assuaged by a new product called Tempaper.
Tempaper was an exhibitor at the recent High Point Spring Market where they displayed a variety of their product, as well as being staffed by 2 of the 3 owners, twin sisters Julie & Jennifer Biancella. Started by their aunt Kate Szilagyi, a former window designer at Saks 5th Ave & set decorator, Kate was familiar with the horrid task of putting up & taking down wallpaper. She knew there had to be a better way, & set off to create a temporary, self-adhesive & repositionable wallpaper. She did.
Tempaper can be applied in 5 simple steps:
It's THAT EASY!
Tempaper has a variety of patterns, colorways & styles available to suit the decor of any home & room. They also have TempaperTOTS & Tempaper by You (for the creative). TempaperTots is designed for the ever changing needs of children's rooms. This paper is certified child toy safety, FDA, FDA21 & does not contain lead or phthalates. Tempaper by YOU is a blank Tempaper "canvas" for you to use pens, pencils, markers, paint, crayons...whatever, to create a unique design for your space. As the Tempaper owners state, "Tempaper by YOU is for the artist in everyone".
So while I'm still not going to apply wallpaper throughout my home or as a feature in my designs, I do feel more comfortable having this healthier alternative, that can change easily for my clients. Whether it's for a border, chair/plate rail or even an alternative to wainscoting, Tempaper is a wonderful find!
In this continuing series of articles from the High Point Spring Market, we now look at what the Market had to offer for our pets...yes, furniture for the furry, 4-legged family members! While there wasn't as much available in product (or for cats, mainly dog focused) as I thought there would be, what was shown was excellent & high-quality.
One of the most popular furniture offerings was beds for dogs. A variety of shapes, styles, colors & sizes were shown-wrought iron canopy beds to simple cushions with removable covers fit all price points. A new vendor on the scene is SmucciToo!. This is a family owned business that has created a line of beds that "combine the beauty of custom fabrics, unique design elements & artistically painted surfaces." From the patriotic 4th of July Fireworks bed to the biker-inspired bed, there is a style for every breed & every owner!
With a patent-pending track on the edge of the bed, the custom designed sides can be inserted to suit your (or your pet's!) mood or decor. Each bed has 2 design options-there are different designs on each side of the "sides" that is inserted into the track. A custom design can also be submitted so that the bed coordinates with your home's decor. Then, a customed duvet is made to cover the cushion (or choose from available stocked offerings). You can also purchase a variety of covers to coordinate with the holidays and seasons.
***Make sure to check out the Bante Design youtube channel for a clip of the SmucciToo! booth at High Point & meet the owners, see a product demo & styles. Make sure to subscribe to get notified when new videos are posted.***
Next up is another new vendor, PP LePoop Designs. This is a wonderful offering that allows you to customize a chair (or cushion or print) with YOUR pet's picture (this is for the cat, bird or other pet owner/lover). Using a high resolution digital picture of your pet, the image is transferred to leather & then upholstered on to a chair or cushion. Chairs are seasoned, kiln-dried hardwood, with a variety of wood colors & textures available.
These chairs are a great accent piece for any room, & serve as a wonderful conversation starter-one which ALL pet lovers will be able to appreciate.
Both of these companies are Made in America, you can order directly on-line & offer a unique way for you to show off your pet!
As some of you may or may not know, High Point, NC is THE place to go for furniture! As the hub of furniture manufacturing for over 100 yrs, as well as many of the textile plants being located in this region as well, twice a year, designers, furniture buyers, media & manufacturers descend on this NC town. This was my 1st time to High Point & it was AMAZING! From the renowned southern hospitality, to the massive venue of showrooms...it was a good thing they had shuttle service to get to & fro!
There will be a series of articles for my Examiner column so make sure to "subscribe" to get updates to your inbox! The most recent one is on the market trends of what's to come to retailers soon. Next up is my Top 10 Favorite High Point items/vendors & then a series of features on vendors (GREAT stories!) & products.
I also received a couple of wonderful opportunities of which I'll be writing about in the future...From workshops at cool venues, to more writing opportunities...It's incredible!
Enjoy the pictures & for more...make sure to "friend" us on Facebook!