Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Decorating Ideas That Won't Make You Sick!

Anyone else tired of the fake cobwebs and cheesy Halloween decor? Well, it turns out there are some spiffy ways to decorate for the Fall and/or Halloween. Having just taken on a project to decorate a nightclub for Halloween we had to push the envelope and come up with some new ideas that did not include scarecrows and haunted houses. Instead, we went with a creepy pumpkin patch theme using thorny branches, crows, and white pumpkin pendants to create an eerie effect without being too literal.

This was taken during the install but you get the idea. We adhered black contact paper to the concrete pillars to create the effect of branches wrapping around. This ties in with the real branches (which are spray painted black) that are coming down from the ceiling.

Ditch the fake cobwebs and plastic spiders and grab some inspiration from nature this year!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stylish Design Bargains!

I've always been a sucker for a good bargain. Below are my top picks for design deals out there right now. Make your money go far in style!

Ikat Paisley Duvet Cover and Shams, $59 for Queen duvet at West Elm

Through-the-Looking Glass side table, $69 at Wisteria

Kulla table lamp, $49 at IKEA
Reunion Dining Table, On sale at CB2 for $199

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bay Area Salvage Resources

I received a few inquiries about where to find salvage and reclaimed wood (as seen in the last post) so I decided to share a few of my favorite salvage sources in the Bay Area. The wood used in the bookcases was from Heritage Salvage (www.heritagesalvage.com) a great source for all kinds of reclaimed wood species. They also have a showroom with furniture made from their wood. I particularly liked these quirky coat racks:

If you are looking for more than reclaimed wood you can head over to Urban Ore (http://urbanore.ypguides.net/) in Berkeley. They have everything from vintage sinks, doors, fireplaces, windows, and even some appliances and used furniture.

The Re-use People of America (http://www.thereusepeople.org/RetailSales/) in Oakland have a large selection of building materials, and their proactive mission of helping to save the environment with their own deconstruction efforts (which provide 90% of their stock) is commendable.

That's just a short list to get you started. Happy hunting!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

There's Nothing Like Custom!

Today Niche Interiors brought two custom bookcases into this world. With a little inspiration and the help of EVG Designs (www.evgdesignsf.com) we were able to create these unique, solid steel and reclaimed redwood beauties.

The custom fabrication allowed us to design around the dimensions of the space, utilizing the beautiful high ceilings by pushing the height of the bookcases over 7 feet. The hard lines of the steel contrast well with the rough texture and uneven surface of the reclaimed barn wood.

Stay tuned for more custom furniture births in the near future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Get the Good Glow

Ready for a more relaxing and cozy home? Making good lighting choices is the easiest way to improve the feel of your space. Ever been to a restaurant that had delicious food but you couldn’t wait to get out? Fluorescent lighting, harsh direct light and overly bright spaces don’t make you want to linger. The same principle applies to our homes. The goal is to create a space that you love to spend time in. Read on for some key lighting basics to get you started on creating your new relaxing space.

Provide multiple light sources of varying types per room. Start with two table or floor lamps for ambient light, and add task lighting for reading or working as needed. This also allows for the use of lower watt bulbs since you are not relying on one bright overhead fixture to illuminate an entire room.

Use a dimmer. If your lamps don’t have a 3 way switch built-in (which requires a 3 way bulb to function) then buy a dimmer at your local hardware store. It’s an easy install and will only set you back $15-20.

Use 40 – 60 watt soft white incandescent bulbs for a cozy, pleasing light. Reserve compact fluorescents for hallways, laundry rooms and other utilitarian spaces. If you are determined to use compact fluorescents throughout your home try the n:vision TCP Home Soft White bulbs, they come highly rated for warmer light output.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sweden Knows What's Up

My recent trip to Sweden and France reminded me of the vast style differences between North America and Europe. The Swedes have a very unique and modern approach to interior design. Clean, fresh but not boring...they just make it look so easy.

This is the lobby of the hotel I stayed in Simrishamn in Southern Sweden. The use of white combined with wood paneling, stone floors, and spare light fixtures and window treatments creates an inviting but restrained atmosphere.