joy of nesting

joy of nesting
California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Twelve Classic Ways to Add Winter Interest to Your Home


 
 

 
I have to confess, winter is not my favorite season. Even though I live in California we have our fair share of cold and even the occasional snow. I’m not complaining. Okay, maybe a little. But by the time Christmas is done I crave tennis, the longer days of daylight savings time, and the sight of fresh green growth in my garden.
 
 
 
 

Over the years, I’ve found effective ways to lighten the winter doldrums like bundling up for walks with my mate and canine companion; building evening fires in the fireplace; keeping warm and hearty vegetarian soups and stews cooking on the stove; and finding appealing ways to add warming, visual interest to my home and garden.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As an interior designer, gardener and former owner of five retail design stores I’ve been exposed to as well as have come up with my own, ideas to make the dreary winter months pleasant, warm and aesthetically pleasing.
Here are ten of my favorite ways to brighten your winter mood at home:
 
 
 
WINGS VIEW AT HOME
 
1.      Forcing bulbs and branches- Paper Whites, Amaranth, flowering quince, forsythia and hyacinth are super easy to ‘force’ into flowering. Cold storing bulbs mimics the effect of winter cold and tricks the bulbs into thinking its spring when brought inside to the warmer temperatures of the home. Quince and forsythia need buds on them before they can be forced but bulbs can start without growth.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.      Texture- in design terms translates to warmth and visual interest. Functional, beautiful elements that add texture are baskets and heavy throw blankets.  For fall think in terms of earth tones like russets, golden yellows, and warm browns. For Christmas, winter white, greens, reds or icy blues if that happens to be your color scheme.
 
 
 


3.      Swapping throw pillows- is a bit more challenging especially in rooms that are already decorated. Look for fabrics in warm tones that also coordinate with the other elements in the room. If you don’t have a lot of patterned fabrics in your design scheme it will be easier to find the right coordinating pillows.

 
 

 

4.      Greenery, fresh or faux- bringing the outside in is never a bad thing but it’s especially effective during long winter days. Having greenery, fresh or faux in your home signals spring and can be incredibly mood enhancing. Some of my favorites are ivy and honeysuckle topiary, red and white amaryllis, and fragrant paper white Narcissi’s.
 


 
 

5.      Mirrors- are also strategic year round decorating elements and during the winter months they help by expanding light during shorter, darker days. 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6.      New lamps- to shed light on those dark corners of the home. With lamps, you really get what you pay for. The design and quality of high quality lamps is truly an investment that will pay off. Cheap lighting seldom looks good to begin with, and doesn’t stay in style long.
 
 
 
 
 
7.     Cocktail trays and carts- add a touch of festivity and function to your rooms. I love freshly washed stemware, interesting liquor bottles and attractive cocktail accoutrement like decorative cheese knives and stir sticks. Also a nice touch: fresh tea towels to hang casually from cart handles.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8.     Silver or China tea service- are other great ways to add festivity and function to formal rooms. I love putting them in the formal areas like a corner of the living room, on the dining room sideboard or even in the entry if it’s near the dining room.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
JEFFREY ALLEN MARKS
 
 
 
 
9.   The color red- in little touches here and there is a subtle yet confident way to add warmth and brightness to any décor or color scheme. It doesn’t take a lot: a red nosegay in a small green glass vase, a red cashmere throw tossed casually over the back of a chair, a lampshade in red silk. Even if your color scheme contains no red, small touches of the color add so much.
 
 
 
 
 
MARK D. SIKES
 

10.  Hard bound coffee table books- are my favorite “fillers” for table, sideboard and dresser tops. I have them in every room because they add character, beauty and a feeling of permanence to any home. It’s very hard to have too many so don’t be shy.
 
 

 

MARK D. SIKES
 

11. Solar tubes and skylights- are one of the best upgrades you can make in any home. I’ve done them in designer showcases and client’s homes and they’re indispensable in winter months. Care must be taken, however to protect furniture and flooring from sunlight.
 
 
 
 
 
ALBERT HADLEY
 
 
 
 
12.  Drapery sheers- I have long been a fan of unlined, white linen, floor length curtain panels on rods and rings layered in conjunction with lined, functioning (traversing) stationary (non-functioning) drapery panels. I love the options the two layers allow. Keep in mind how much glass and light will be covered by the expanse of draperies.
 

 



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

“Designer’s Top Ten Small Projects to Improve Your Life at Home”



























JEFF HERR PHOTO
 
 
Spring has an energy of its own. We all love a fresh start, and that’s what this time of year is about. I’ve compiled a top ten list of home projects to improve your life at home and hopefully give you a little impetus to get things started right before gardening season is in full swing. I make a living going into people’s homes and I know for certain the items below will make a big difference in the appearance of yours.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

HOTEL DE ARTISTES

 

 

On a large piece of lined white paper write down all the things around your home that drain you, from a broken tile, to a rip in the draperies, to your spouse’s broken down recliner. There will probably be twenty to forty items on your list. You don’t have to act on all the things at once but do prioritize them. Anything that’s not solvable immediately will be your last priorities. They will stay on the list until a later date, and you will keep that list in a central location.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
LAUREL BERN
 
 
The things that you are capable of solving (changing batteries, light bulbs, and sewing holes) address one by one. Check them off your list as you go. I call these lists "Clean Sweeps" and I've done them successfully since 2001 in various aspects of my life from personal fitness, to home maintenance, to professional advancement and it’s amazing the amount of energy you gain by getting your life in order and by retaining that order as best you can. There will always be those things you can’t resolve immediately and that’s okay. But taking care of the little things is achievable and cumulative. Keep the list on the inside of a cabinet you use at least once a week, such as the cabinet where you keep the laundry detergent. Don’t place in a spot you visit numerous times a day. That’s too distracting. You will also get considerable relief just by writing them down and prioritizing them.
 
 Number one is "make a home related list of to do's".
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VIA SPLENDID SASS
 
 
One of my pet peeves about older homes is “golden oak”. I know some people are reluctant to paint wood but golden oak immediately dates a home. When sanding, staining or replacement isn’t an option, fresh white paint is a huge improvement on any golden oak surfaces from kitchen cabinets to closet doors. With this project, it’s best to hire a professional painter, preferably one who has a sprayer. Brush strokes aren’t desirable on doors.

So number two is "update kitchen cabinets and drawers".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VIA NOUGLYDUCKLING.com
 
 
Along a similar vein, stained casings on windows and doors and baseboards that don’t match other wood work in the home create a disparate, “patchwork quilt” look in rooms and hallways. Go for a clean appearance by keeping trim colors consistent.

Number three is "paint or stain trims, windows and doors a consistent color throughout your home".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VIA MEREDITH HERON.COM
 
 
I’ve noticed light fixtures look quite dated in homes fifteen years and older. It could be because they weren’t well chosen to begin with. A wonderful place to upgrade your home is with lighting. One caveat, don’t just update one or two rooms. Replace fixtures uniformly throughout the home.

Number four is "update your lighting".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
VIA ATLANTA HOMES AND LIFESTYLES
 
 
 
Dirty traffic marks on carpet are very noticeable. Having carpets cleaned once or twice a year is a terrific investment. I have my dining room and bedroom carpets done right before Mother’s Day and right before Thanksgiving. That way my carpets are fresh when family arrives for the holidays.

Number five "have your carpets professionally cleaned".
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dust is a nemesis of every homeowner. It settles on light fixtures, furniture, glass surfaces, window sills, draperies and wooden blinds. Even with a housekeeper it’s hard to notice all the incipient places dust settles. Make it an annual, or better yet, bi-annual event to do extensive dusting and polishing. Your home will thank you and so will your allergies. And open your windows and to allow fresh air to circulate as often as possible. It makes the home feel unbelievably wonderful.

Number six is do a "deep clean dusting".
 
 
 
 

























VIA FLEAING FRANCE
 
 
Dusty, dirty windows aren’t immediately noticeable when you’ve been looking at them for years. But trust me, if you get used to them being clean, you’ll notice when they’re dirty.

Number seven is "clean the windows".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RICHARD KEITH LANGHAM

 

 

Aluminum mini-blinds are dreadful. There, I said it. Here’s a little insider trick. At IKEA, you can get perfectly fine sheer panels for $10 each. I spent a recent holiday at my brother’s home in San Francisco and he had them in his living and dining room and I was smitten with them. There’s no excuse for mini-blinds.

Number eight is "upgrade your window coverings" with inexpensive, unlined sheers. Or better yet, call me and we can fit your windows with custom curtains.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VIA INDULGY.com
 
 
Energy efficiency is extremely important now and will be increasingly so in the future. While florescent light bulbs lend a slightly off color cast to humans and their furnishings, I’ve replaced most of the light bulbs in my home with them. You’ll love the savings on your electric bill. The bulbs last longer too. It’s well worth it.

Number nine, "replace all incandescent bulbs with energy efficient florescent ones".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MARCUS DESIGN
 
 
Clutter begets clutter. I’ve preached this one for years. In the same way graffiti multiplies in urban areas, clutter collects in your home. If you want a tidy home, tidy it and keep it that way. When someone leaves something out of place, it will be immediately noticeable. If you want your family to be more organized, provide easily maintained storage for everything in the home.

Number ten, is "tidy and organize".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above ROGER WARNER, below JACQUES GRANGE
 
 
 
Happy Spring, almost.
 
 
 


 
 

 


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