July 31, 2012

Gift Giving...number three

Stationery is always the perfect gift for anyone, at any age.  I don't think you can ever have enough paper!  I've found myself using cards from my stationery stash for those last minute birthday cards.  There are so many wonderful choices out there, I thought this would be a great post for my number three gift giving ideas.

I love getting cards from World Market.  These are made from recycled cotton remnants and have such a great texture to them.  They look and feel like they cost way more than $7.99.
These colorful cards from The Polka Dot Press are a great gift idea for that teenager (or soon to be one) in your life.  A set of 10 personalized cards are only $15.00.  
Also from The Polka Dot Press, they have these easy fill in the blank thank you cards for both boys and girls.  I have bought lots of these!

I really like the simplicity of the cards from Silhouette Blue.  They give you lots of options with the designs and colors.  A set of 16 cards are $25.00.
Who knows a dog lover that needs these dog silhouette note cards from Fire Hydrant Press?  Totally customized with your breed, name and even colors.  A set of 20 cards are $30.00.
Not only can you personalize these notes with your name, but they will put the star wherever you live.  These are just one of many great designs from Minted that are $35.00 for 15 cards.
These darling note cards from Minted can be used for a child or as thank you notes for baby gifts.  You can even add a photo to the back. 
I love this classic, yet modern design.  My birthday is in October (hint, hint) and I would love a set of these.  They also offer a matching address label.  From Minted.
Finally, here are some amazing address labels from Tiny Prints.  It was hard to find just three as they have so many to choose from.  I think address labels are a great gift for newlyweds, especially when it comes time to write all of those thank you notes.  All of these labels are available in sets of 24 for $7.00. 
Happy Gift Giving!

July 29, 2012

A Little Art with Your Dinner

I've been working on a few restaurant projects this summer and thought I would share some photos with my readers.  Both of the restaurants are owned by the same company and they needed some inexpensive updates to the decor.  Both are also located in small, southern towns and were full of oak finished furniture and bead board - which I couldn't change.  I decided to use a theme of "modern country", which I'm pretty sure I made up. 

We agreed that removing the existing wallpaper would be done first, then paint, then wall decor.  I'm amazed at the difference those few changes made to the overall feel of the space.  Now, I wait patiently until we can change out flooring, furniture, light fixtures, upholstery, etc....

BEFORE...not much I can say here, but "help!"
AFTER...not only did we remove the wallpaper and paint the walls, we also painted all the ceiling tiles black.  That made a huge difference.  The art I used are actually enlarged photos stretched onto canvas.  I love the simplicity of them.
Detail of the center photo from Sundrenched Photography.
Another way I used photos was by purchasing these ready-made frames from Target and then inserting colorful photos of rural images.  A modern twist on country!
I find myself grimacing as I write this, but I did use a NASCAR theme in the back banquet room.  This restaurant is located in a small Georgia town and they love racing!  This was one of the arrangements I created using inexpensive items.  I ordered the poster online and found the ready-made frame at Hobby Lobby.  Because all the posters were different sizes, I had them make all the mats to give them a more custom look.  The plate was one they already had, I just had our painter spray it black.  Kind of looks like a tire...
AFTER...as you can see I kept most everything that was originally there, but added the utensil prints (only $20 each) and colorful accessories to the shelf.  The wallpaper was still up when I installed these, but now it's been painted.
BEFORE...this is the other side of the same room.  All the pieces looked so small.  These guys were really enjoying their dinner!
AFTER...by replacing the smaller pieces on the end with over sized barn photos, it made all the difference.  I also changed out the plates in the existing holder.
There wasn't much I could do to this eyesore, but I will say the future plans involve a lot of drywall!  I found some unique containers at the local antique store and filled them with artificial wildflowers. 
Another inexpensive idea I did was using these Pier 1 plates in an organized grouping.  A traditional item used in a modern way! 

I've hesitated on whether I wanted to post these because I don't feel like they best represent what I can do as a designer, but what it does show is I can do good work in any conditions.  I was given a lot of parameters, which not only included using what was already there, but spending VERY LITTLE money in VERY LITTLE time.  I honestly felt I was on an episode of Restaurant Impossible.  I'm excited to continue my work with these clients and create a final product we are both proud of!

A little sneak peak at the new fabric we're putting on the booth cushions.

Thanks for reading!

July 27, 2012

And the Winner Is...

Thanks to everyone who participated in my e-Design Room Makeover Giveaway!  I got some great entries and it was really hard choosing the winners.  I honestly based my criteria on two things...who needed the most help (duh!) and which spaces would make the best before and after transformations.  I also wanted the projects to be fun, since I was doing them for free!

My first winner is Beth R!  
Her design challenges are very common.  She has one large space that she uses as a family room and dining room.  She also has two focal points that need to be addressed, a large television and a fireplace.  I am looking forward to creating an amazing space for her family!

My second winner is Sarah K!  
She has a 600 square foot studio apartment with one big room that she lives and sleeps in.  She is looking for a more "grown up" look in her space as she transitions from college student to career girl.  This one is going to be a challenge, but I'm totally up for it!

Because I'm a softy and can't leave anyone out, I'm giving all my other entries a 50% discount on my JT Design Online services so their spaces can be transformed, too.  You will receive an email with all the details.  

I'll keep everyone posted on my progress.  I can't wait to share the after photos!

Thanks for reading!

July 23, 2012

The Freshman Fifteen

The dorm room decor is out in full force in my local stores (Florida State University and I share the same town) and it always amazes me how many options are out there now for incoming freshman.  The possibilities are endless in turning a literal blank canvas into home, sweet home.

I didn't have a traditional dorm room my freshman year at college.  I was lucky and got to live in an on-campus apartment.  My dad wasn't so happy with that assignment, but that's what happens when you don't get all your paperwork turned in on time.   It had a small living room, kitchen, bathroom, one large bedroom and one super small bedroom.  I got the smaller bedroom because the larger came with all this built-in furniture, which I didn't like.  I was a design snob even at 17!  

The apartments were built in the 50's or 60's and had previously been used for married student housing, thus the two bedrooms.  The floors were hard vinyl tile and all the walls were painted concrete brick.  The furniture was straight from the 60's and everything was upholstered in light green vinyl.  One day, two Walmart trips and lots of laughs later, my mom and I had that place looking like a magazine!  We made slipcovers out of sheets for all the furniture, found some great rugs to cover the ugly floor and hung valances on the windows.  I have to say, I always had the best decorated room/apartment my entire time at college.  

Since each dorm is different, I thought I would give you 15 inspirational ideas (not pounds) that you might incorporate into your freshman's space...

A great idea for inexpensive wall art...framed napkins. 
What I like best here are the hanging baskets idea.  Going vertical is key in a small space.  From Pinterest. 
Creative wall decor using all kinds of inexpensive things.
A silver painted bulletin board with an amazing jewelry storage idea!
Nothing is more important than lighting in a small space.  Find a lamp that can be easily adjusted to light your work space or for reading.  This desk lamp has three "joints" so it's easily moved to where you need it.
The only thing I like about this space is how they used the area under the bed.  Lots of storage here and everything seems to fit pretty perfectly.
One of these girls had to have an interior designer mom or mom hired one to accomplish this extravagant look!  The extra long bed skirts hide a multitude of sins under each bed.  This keeps it looking clean, organized and everything matches!
This tutorial shows you how to turn a simple sheet into a curtain.  Love this one!

This program helps you Design Your Dorm in 3-D.
Removable wall decals from Pottery Barn Teen
This ottoman opens up to hold hidden shoe storage.  I love pieces of furniture that serve a dual purpose like this.
I know this is a bad photo, but the idea is so simple.  Hang some chain from your existing closet rod and you can triple or even quadruple your clothing storage.
Taking a simple wooden, magazine holder and mount it as a corner shelf.  This one is definitely one of my favorites.  I would have painted them a fun color!
The easiest and least expensive way to really add a punch of color is by using pillows.  Keep the bedding solid and then use pillows to add the personality.  Most beds are in the corner, so imagine lining both the head and the side of the bed with lots of pillows.
My final idea is the best and the only source I can find is a photo.  It looks pretty simple to duplicate if you have someone handy in your life.  Vertical storage at it's best!

Thanks for reading!

July 17, 2012

Wallpaper Love

I'm a designer that loves wallpaper.  I think it's a great way to add some personality, pattern and color in a space.  I've used it in big bathrooms, little bathrooms, laundry rooms, offices and even on the ceiling!  If installed properly, it's not a permanent design decision and can be removed with very little effort.  There are even some wonderful removable wallpapers on the market that are super easy to use.

Home Office by Jennifer Taylor Design
Wallpaper in a Bookcase
Wallpaper on the Ceiling
I love grasscloth!
Katie Ridder Design
Ralph Lauren - great for a children's bathroom.
Timothy Sue - This is removable wallpaper!
Graham Brown - design your own wallpaper with art or photos.
This is how it arrives...
Vintage Wallpaper from Etsy
Farrow and Ball
Graham Brown
If you are thinking about adding some wallpaper in your home, please give me a call.  I've got some great resources available only to designers that I would love to share with you. 

Thanks for reading!


Jennifer Taylor Design All rights reserved © 2012

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