Monday, March 25, 2013 Decorating tips for under $200

I was recently asked by  "If you had $200 to spend to update a bedroom, how would you spend it?  Please share a no-cost decorating tip, too."

Here's the article : Bedroom Updates under $200

Truth is, $200 doesn't get you very far now a days, but if you have a couple more hundred dollars , you could try some of these other savvy tips that can make a big difference in your space .
Interior Design by Erica Islas
1. Wallpaper the Bed wall.  This adds a new layer and is sure to Update the look of your bedroom.  It can be a fun way to introduce a pop of color, or a graffic pattern, a stripe or even a simple texture such as a grass, sisal,  jute or even a silk.  Adding a new focal point will make the room look fresh and new.   Wallpaper can be expensive but it is a Great investment.  If you have a few dollars left after buying wallpaper, I would suggest spending it on new lamp shades or fun throw pillows.

Interior Design By: Erica Islas / photo: Laure Joliet
2.     Another way to update a space with $200 is : New bed side lamps, You can bring a pop of color in a bedroom by finding two bedside lamps with a fun color and then buying one pillow with the  same color as in the lamp to pop onto the bed as an accent.  This will add a layer of color  and keep the balance in the room by using color on either side of bed and on the bed.

3.     Switching out furniture is a great way to inexpensively change out the bedroom and update  it………… Start by re-positioning the bed in a different location ( no cost). If you have side tables in another part of the house that could work in the room as bedside tables switch those out ( no cost) , SWITCH things UP!  Next purchase a new Duvet cover and pillows ( $100) use the other $100 for accessories (such as a cool mirror, tray for dresser or nightstand to organize your stuff)  or new window treatments.   Always introduce a pattern or texture  ( both if possible) if room seems flat ( meaning all materials are same tone (color) , or texture.

4.     Obviously the easiest most inexpensive way to update any room is with Paint.  A gallon of  $25/40 can make a Huge difference and is a no brainer of money well spent.  So Paint the bedroom a restful soothing color, my go to bedroom colors are always colors as seen in nature  such as pale smokey blues ( NEVER pastels ) , sage or mossy greens ( never Pastels) Soft pinks as in an early morning sunrise ( never Pastel), You can’t go wrong with mother nature colors on walls and then you can splurge on some FUN pops of color in Drapes / curtains.  New curtains will take up a good chunk of your $200 budget so if anything is left after Paint, curtains, I would suggest some accessories.

5.     Painting your furniture is NEVER a good idea.  Unless you have it done professionally it will chip and look dirty , worn and distressed in less than a year.  So if you are going to paint furniture have is done professionally or KNOW what you are doing.  Don’t ever just paint furniture because you saw it on a DIY show.  BAD idea.  If you see it in a magazine , it was more than likely done professionally and that is why it works ! 

6.     Crown Molding is a GREAT way to add architectural detail to a room.  You can add new Crown and Base molding and paint it a color or a neutral gray for an updated look.
Design By Erica Islas / photo credit: David Young-Wolff
7.     Mirrors are always a fun way update a space , adding depth, sparkle , lightness and freshness.   Couple of suggestions….depending on how far $200 will take you….. New full length mirror in a corner of a room where light reflects , adds unexpected sparkle and light.  Add a custom bevel mirror or tempered glass top (1/4” thick) to a dresser or night stands for that much needed sparkle in the room .

8.       A new Graffic Rug can make the room look fresh and new again.

9.     Don’t forget the ceiling…… Adding some visual interest to a ceiling in a bedroom is a great way to update a bedroom, you can do that by adding molding, or painting the ceiling a color . 

10.     ART can change the mood of a room dramatically, so if you have some art in your home that you can decorate your walls with , DO so.  Don’t forget Lighting …..Lighting art is important to feature the beauty.  Lighting in any space needs to come from more than one source to create moods and different atmospheres.  So if you can invest on some dimmers to give you some lighting flexibility DO so.   Also lighting at different heights…. If you have an overhead light source ( central fixture or recessed lights)  Be sure to add another source such as Sconces, or floor lamp, or table lamp, or adding some pops of light coming from floor in the corner of the room is a great way to add drama to a space.

Monday, March 11, 2013

BlogTour New Orleans 2013

I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have been invited to join Modenus on BlogTour New Orleans this April .  A tour which is anchored by the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show where we will be immersed in design and the rich culture and excitement of NOLA !  
How cool is that? 
As a designer who designs and builds a lot of Kitchens and Bathrooms throughout year, I enjoy nothing more than seeing new products and spotting trends at trade shows.  But this experience is going to be so much more amazing because I get to experience KBIS2013 with an incredible group of influential design bloggers .  I am in fabulous company and I can't wait to share the food,music,design and culture of NOLA with you. 
 Are you ready to be inspired?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Design Bloggers Conference - 2013

So what did I think about DBC2013 ?  I LOVED it !

The Lovely & Fun Lamps Plus Posse!
What's not to love about hanging out with Designers and like minded creatives?

The event left me with a euphoric high .  It was a nice break from my usual work routine and it was certainly worth missing two days of work.

I am very thankful to Lamps Plus for awarding me the scholarship . Thank you , Thank you .  I had a great time .
They are an amazing company.  Did you know they are a family owned business?   I didn't . Young company too.  They were established in 1976 in Southern California selling lamp shades and custom-made cast table lamps.   From this humble beginning, Lamps Plus has grown into the nation's largest specialty lighting company.

  Hat's off to you Lamps Plus !

Me & my hommie Laurie March 
I honestly didn't know what to expect, but I went with an open mind and I was pleasantly surprised.  The Speakers at the event were very inspiring, something we all need here and there to get pumped up and assure us about what we already know. 
Barbara Barry and I 
It always sounds better when someone else reminds you, or pushes you to be better. 

Valuable tip : use your zip codes when tagging images.  This great tip came from Leslie Carothers, smart social media maven.

One of my favorite moments was sitting down to chat with Barbara Barry after her presentation.  She is lovely, and inspiring.  We had met a couple years back and she gracious enough to say I "looked familiar". Her presentation was powerful, with a clear message about "slowing it down", stopping to see the beauty around us, and drawing inspiration from that.  Her passion for design is so moving, she had many of us in tears,  she even got a standing ovation.  I call her the Designer "Dalai Lama".

Dee Murphy- also Lamps Plus scholarship recipient &  me.
The Networking experience alone was invaluable. I made some great connections.
I met up with a lot of industry people I already knew in person or thru social media , and I met a whole lot of new ones for the very first time.

SHARE.....It is all about sharing & collaborations.   If you are not doing this already, YOU must.  

Mentors are a Key...."Mentor up and Mentor down" as my colleague Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor would say. 

Lastly , the conference's biggest take-away was: VIDEO , VIDEO , VIDEO.  "1 minute of video equals 1.8 million words"- The Design Network . 

Video Content is the Future.  AND with That.... I leave you this video.