Monday, October 10, 2011

Defining Your Style

I often go in homes where it is very clear that the client is confused about what style suits their taste and lifestyle. I think part of the problem is that they select items based simply on trends they are being subjected to every time they open their mail box. I must admit that some of the items that mail order catalogues have to offer can work well but it is important not to overdo it. We all need to define our style. But where do we start? Here are some of the things I do to determine my client’s styles to help cultivate their individuality.

  • As you browse through catalogues and magazines tear out pictures of rooms that appeal to your senses. Put them in a binder and organize them according to room.

  • Pay attention to the details of these rooms in the pictures... are they simple, carved, sleek or relaxed?

  • As you go through your closet pay attention to the details and colors you are drawn to. Are they simple and classic? Or bold and detailed?

  • Go through books of art from the library or visit your local art musuems or galleries and take note of the styles of art that move you.

  • What are your hobbies? Your home should reflect your interests.

  • As you walk through a garden pay attention to the types of flowers you are drawn to. Even though you might not want to use a floral print on your sofa or window treatment touches of floral can bring life to a room.

  • What style is your home…a ranch, Tudor, Cape Cod, farm house, craftsmen, traditional brick, stucco villa or townhome? Many times it is appropriate to carry the lines and details into the home but if you find that too limiting than go with what you like.

  • Don’t rule out antique shops or estate sales…you can often find vintage furniture with clean lines as well as more traditional furniture either way it is usually a good investment that can be easily reupholstered and made to look new. These pieces add character to your home and often can help develop your style.

  • Although we like to define our style with a name like traditional, contemporary, transitional, Country French, Oriental, Louis XIV, Arts & Crafts to name a few don’t restrict yourselves. Even these styles are a blending of details from varying periods and cultures. The key is to cultivate your style.

    Have fun and enjoy the process and if you need guidance call a professional designer to help with the process. Even a few hours of their time can set you on the right path.

    Cultivate Individuality
    Celeste Jackson

    Let your home reveal your passions. Celeste Jackson

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flowers From the Garden

Bringing the beauty from the garden indoors is a great way to enjoy our blossoms even more. In the extreme heat and dryness we are experiencing now we offer our cut flowers some relief from the heat and add color to our homes. Rather than spending money on a bouquet walk outside and start clipping. Here are some tips on how to arrange and care for your cuttings.

  • Select a variety of containers and be creative. Even a small jar or a pretty water glass can serve as a vase.

  • Decide where you would like to place, powder room, makeup vanity. Place them where you will see them often and get the most enjoyment from their freshness.

  • Use a basket to collect your clippings and get them out of the heat as soon as possible.

  • Don't be concerned about color coordinating...the mix of colors yellow, orange, purple, red, pink, periwinkle, white will make a natural and lovely bouquet.

  • Utilize greens like ferns, herbs and grasses to fill in around the flowers.

  • Fill your containers with luke warm water....cold or hot water will shock the stem.

  • Extend the life of your stems by adding a solution to the water to help the flowers to draw in the water and prevent bacteria.

  • Here is one solution you can easily make: Add 2 ounces Listerine mouthwash per gallon of water. Listerine contains sucrose (food) and a bactericide. Listerine is acidic and is said help water move up the cut stem.

  • Recut the stems once again using a sharp knife on a diagonal to expose more area to draw in the water and nutrients.

  • Arrange your flowers appropriately for the space you will be displaying them....keeping in mind what direction you will be seeing them from. Some arrangements will be one-sided and others all-sided. Add the height to the center and lower to the front and sides.

  • Place them in the coolest area of the room where they will be out of direct sunlight.

  • Change the water after 2-3 days and be sure to recut the stems as before.

"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day--like writing a poem or saying a prayer. -- Anne Morrow Lindberg

Cultivate Individuality

Celeste Jackson

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vintage Treasures

This is the best time of the year to start shopping for great vintage furniture. With springtime comes spring cleaning and homes for sale so many people are looking to weed out their furniture and clear out their basements. If you are looking for something in particular find a local resale or antique shop and check it regularly. Many of them will put you on a list to call when they get something you might be interested in.

When you go through these shops at first glance it might not look very fact many of these shop owners are just not very good at displaying. You have to go in there like you do if you shop at Home Goods or TJ have to filter out the ugly stuff and find the gem. You usually have to walk through the shop at least twice before you start finding some great pieces. Often times the pieces will need some work but usually a good upholsterer can also reglue and restain pieces along with recovering. If you have any skills in painting you can reinvent a piece by sanding and painting a stained buffet or table.

Shopping for vintage furniture can be a fun and economical hobby but before you head out have an idea what you are looking for so you're not tempted to buy something that will end up in your garage or basement.

"Furniture takes on a new life when you give it a good home." Celeste Jackson

Cultivate Individuality,

Celeste Jackson

Monday, January 17, 2011

Brighten Up Your Home With Pretty Potted Plants

With the holiday decorations down, our dormant yards and the the dreary winter skies seem to be more pronounced. Our homes need a burst of color to help brighten our days. A fresh bouquet of flowers will do but flowering potted plants will give us weeks or possibly months of vibrant color. Some of my favorite winter flowering plants are the ones pictured...Kalanchoe, Cyclamen and Begonia. All of them come in a variety of colors to punch up the palette. Try clustering 3 different colors in an oblong basket for a kitchen table. Place them where they can add an element of surprise like the bathroom vanity or an entrance table in the foyer. It's best to place them in places you will see the most throughout the day so you can get the biggest impact plus you won't forget to water them. Flowering plants need a little more attention....lightly water them a couple times during the week so they won't dry out but won't be drowned either. When the leaves turn pinch them off to keep the plants looking fresh and encourage new growth. Fertilize them with houseplant food like Miracle Grow. When the weather warms up they will do well outdoors to extend the life even more. Enjoy your burst of color.

"Where flowers bloom so does hope." Lady Bird Johnson

Cultivating Individuality in Your Unique Home.
Celeste Jackson

Monday, January 3, 2011

Taking Down The Christmas Decorations

For many people taking down the Christmas decorations can be a dreaded project. When you think about it the holidays are over, no more presents and celebrations and now it's time to take down the decorations that make the home so festive...what could possibly be fun about that. With a fresh point of view and applying a few tips this seemingly overwhelming task can be transformed into a refreshing project. Here are some ideas to help with the transformation.

  • Break it down into managable steps. For instance: Remove ornaments tonight, remove lights tomorrow night, etc. It just doesn't have to be all or nothing to move forward.
  • Play music during the process...just like putting up the decorations to Christmas music playing your favorite music while you take down the decorations will make it enjoyable.
  • Use boxes with dividers to safely store your ornaments. These can be purchased from The Container Store or BB and Beyond or I use boxes from gifts I have received from Harry and Davids that held resourceful. Reflect on the wonderful people in your life that gave some of these ornaments to you as gifts.
  • Don't try to do other things that will distract you...this is how ornaments get broken.
  • When removing lights either create a bouquet with the lights themselves and use rubber bands to hold them together or wrap them around your hand and elbow then rubber band them...both ways will safely store your lights for next year without causing them to tangle.
  • If you have decorations that you have not used in years this is a great time to put them aside to donate to a charity that can sell them. Since most charities have limited space to store out of season items it is best to hang on to them until the fall when they will be ready to put them out in the resale shop.

If anyone has additional tips for taking down Christmas decorations I welcome your comments.

"With the right attitude taking down the holiday decorations can be a cleansing process." Celeste Jackson

Cultivating Individuality in Your Unique Home

Celeste Jackson