August 31, 2012

Will it be a Coffee or a Cocktail?

What exactly is the difference between a coffee table and a cocktail table?  It seems like it all depends on what type of drink you prefer to set on it.  I'm on the cocktail table team.  Also, for some reason I always think about Kramer (from Seinfeld) and his infamous coffee table book that actually turns into a coffee table.

There are a few "rules" when it comes to cocktail tables, but like all rules, they are made to be broken, bent or ignored.  
  • Allow about 18" between the sofa and table.  
  • The height of your table should be within 4" of the height of your sofa.
  • The length of your table should be about 3/4 of the length of your sofa.
 Here are some of my favorite cocktail table selections, along with some out of the box ideas that I absolutely love!

Round Circle Table by Horchow

Cocktail Ottoman with Leather Top from Jennifer Taylor Design

Round Cocktail Table with Removable Tray from Jennifer Taylor Design

Two Round Tables by House Beautiful

Woven Trunk by WS Home

Set of Three Small Tables by Martha Stewart

Set of Two Nesting Tables by I Suwannee

Using Two End Tables via Pinterest

August 27, 2012

Introducing...JT Design Online

I finished up my first e-Design Room Makeover winner and it's off in the mail to her today!  I'm so excited and wish I could be a fly on the wall when she opens it.  My client is a recent college graduate who currently lives in a small studio apartment - she lives, sleeps and entertains all in the same large room (16' x 20')!  She wanted me to give her a more "grown up" look and only asked me to keep two things; her bed and sofa.  Everything else was up for grabs.  Here's a little taste of what she has coming...

The "Living Room" side of the room - these two chairs, paired with this small round table not only provide a great place to entertain, but will double as a small dining table.  Finding pieces that serve more than one purpose is key to a very small space.

The "Bedroom" side of the room - instead of traditional night stands, I went with a desk and chest.  Both the desk chair and bench can be easily brought over to the other side of the room for additional seating when she entertains.  The bench also opens up for extra storage!

I've given her two options for the wall behind her bed - vinyl decals or a stencil.

The wall decor is simple and brings in much needed interest around the room.

One of my favorite things is this bedding with this punch of yellow accent pillow.

I couldn't forget the finishing touches...
Now, onto my next winner.  If you are interested in having an e-Design done for your space, please contact me today.  This is a great way to get a high quality design plan for a fraction of the price of traditional interior design and in a lot less time!

This project took about 3 weeks to finish and with the client providing all the labor, her total room was just a little over $4,000!

August 23, 2012

Decorating 101 - White Kitchen Updates

In this series, I answer your questions.  I try to pick ones that would be the most helpful, to the most people.  If you have a design dilemma or question, please send it to me.  I would love to help you!

The Question...
I have a super plain kitchen.  White cabinets, white appliances, light colored tile floors and these really bad laminate countertops.  What do you suggest I do (short of a total reno) to give it some personality?

The Answer...
White cabinets are classic and as long as the layout is still functional for you, then I would definitely suggest keeping those as is.  If your hardware is a little plain, then change it out.  This is a super easy and inexpensive way to update your cabinets.  If you have an island, think about changing the finish on just that piece.  Or if you have room, add an island.

from eKitchenIslands

As your appliances begin to die on you, then I would think about changing them out to stainless steel.  This will give you a more modern feel and help break up all that white.

Stainless steel appliances...from Houzz

Changing the flooring is a big expense, not to mention a hassle.  If you can stand to live with what you have then think about just using colorful rugs to break it up.  I've found some amazing rugs at TJ Maxx and World Market that were an amazing bargain.  I'd suggest using a jute rug as they are super easy to clean.  You can also use an outdoor rug in a kitchen.

from Layla Grace

The one big investment I would definitely consider would be changing out your countertops.  That alone would give your kitchen a huge update as well as increase the overall value of your home.  I would also suggest adding a tile backsplash at the same time or soon after replacing your tops.  Not only will that give you another place to bring in some pattern, but it's functional as well. 

from Better Homes and Gardens

Finally, the best way to give your kitchen "personality" is by adding window treatments, furniture and accessories.  If you have a place for them, barstools can add much needed color to neutral space.  Find some with upholstered seats and cover them with fun, colorful fabric.   

Colorful roman shade above the sink...from Houzz

Amazing red barstools and other red accessories...from Houzz
Fabric slipcovered barstools...from Vignette Design
Do you have a design question?  Please send it, along with some photos, to  

Thanks for reading,

August 20, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Today is the first day back to school for Wes and we both were dreading this day!  He for the obvious reasons - less video games, better hygiene, matching clothes.  I on the other hand really enjoyed spending time with him this summer.  The last time we were together so much was probably when he was a toddler.  I went back to work full time when he was 5 and that always included the summers.  Now, that I'm back working for the best boss ever (me!) I have allowed myself the flexibility of making him a priority in my life.  I'm blessed...

August 16, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Recently, I've had to select lots of mirrors for clients.  It's been fun looking through all the choices and finding the "perfect one".  I love using mirrors for lots of reasons.  

Of course you need mirrors in your bathrooms.  Most people have those standard, plate glass mirrors in their bathrooms.  A great way to add some personality to your space is by removing those and adding a decorative mirror instead.  Another great trick is to have a carpenter (or your handy husband) add trim around your existing mirrors. This turns your standard mirror into something custom.

from Houzz

from Houzz

from Houzz

from Houzz

{Creating Space}
Adding a mirror always expands a space, but where you hang it is crucial.  Make sure you are reflecting something beautiful, not a dirty ceiling fan. 

from Carrier and Company

Divider Screen by Jennifer Taylor Design

from Lita Dirks & Co

from Houzz

Mirrors bring in light, so using them in a room that lacks natural light is a must, such as an entry.  I really like using floor mirrors (aka leaning mirrors) into a space.  I have one in my bedroom and love it.  It helps me make sure my shoes match when I leave the house each day.

from Interior Philosophy

from All Things Tizz

from HomeGoods

from Etsy

What better reason to have a mirror other than it's beautiful and could be considered a work of art on it's own.  Get creative!

from Lita Dirks & Co

from Jennifer Taylor Design

from Jennifer Taylor Design

from Jennifer Taylor Design

from Pinterest

August 10, 2012

Back to School

It seems like yesterday I was celebrating the end of school (which to me means no homework or packing a lunch everyday) and now I'm buying school supplies, uniforms and new shoes.  Where did the summer go? Well here's a little recap of our summer break in pictures...

Wes' summer began in this cabin at Camp Indian Springs.  It was his first time spending a week at sleep away camp and I was a nervous wreck.  He loved it!

My worst nightmare came true when I discovered he had not brushed his teeth the whole time he was there, and then his toes looked like this from "survival training".  Needless to say I spent about five minutes brushing and scraping the dirt from under his toenails.  I have a new found respect for those sweet girls at the nail salons that's for sure!

We took some time to visit a few of our local (and free) attractions.  This is from the Florida History Museum.  I had never been and was pleasantly surprised.  We also took many trips to the library as I had the best intentions of working with Wes on his reading this summer.  Key word here is intentions.  Thank goodness for his reading tutor or we would be in sad shape!

Wes did a little fishing when we were up in Alabama visiting family. 

We celebrated our nation's birthday with some great fireworks!

This was one of our many short trips to the beach.  Yes, that is my son with the bucket on his head.  He was helping a new friend bury his cousin in the sand.  Those are my mom's legs in the background.  I had to crop her out.  She would have killed me if I put her photo on here!

Here is the one photo I got of Wes and I.  You can't tell, but I'm slowly squeezing his hand and saying "smile nice" the entire time.  I'm really good at talking behind a smile.  Maybe a ventriloquist act in my future?  HA!

My summer ended with an amazing last trip to with my girlfriends.  Here is the view from my chair for three full days.  I'm so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful beach!

This was my lunch one day.  I was not pleasantly surprised when the shrimp arrived with their heads!  It took all I had (and a few drinks) to be able to eat them all.

Back to is just a portion of all the school supplies I had to buy this year.  Now, back to work so I can pay for them!

Thanks for reading!

Jennifer Taylor Design All rights reserved © 2012

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