I am excited to be debuting a “refreshed” pinterest page on the heels of the reveal of my re-branded website and newly minted firm, Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors. One of the many things I am excited about is my new Pinterest board entitled “For the City Slicker.” It is the epitome of masculine contemporary style and it has my creative juices flowing!
… All we have to do is find you that perfect, cement floor space with 20 foot ceilings… (Bradley Cooper not included).
I mean does it get any better than clean lines, neutral tones, and perfectly crafted smart home interiors? (Sometimes I wish I were one of my male clients… Can you tell I get incredibly excited about this stuff?) Smart home technology integration combined with comfort, yet high style with splashes of the unexpected make for the ultimate sanctuary after a long day at work. The inclusion of modern art throughout these spaces also make for tantalizing focal points that may even turn into conversation starters (it is art that serves a double purpose). I’m also swooning over the bathroom with bathtub that look like a water feature – since when does the loo look like a waterfall? Yes, please!
4 interior design shoots in 1 week… (insert exhausted/frantic woman)…
Re-Branding a business is a lot of work. I’ve teamed up with a graphic designer to create a new logo, I (re)registered my business with the state of Georgia and renewed my license, and I recently found an amazing web developer to build me a new website. And in the hustle and bustle of it all, I realized I hadn’t photographed some of my favorite projects… the ones I want to showcase on my website!
So, I frantically scheduled 4 photo shoots in 1 week with the most amazing of photographers, Mali Azima but after really thinking about it we rearranged and scheduled 2 one week and the other 2 the following week and I still exhausted!
Let me begin by saying, photo shoots are a lot of work.
I’m going to repeat that for dramatic effect…
PHOTO SHOOTS ARE A LOT OF WORK!
When I scheduled them back to back, I wasn’t thinking about all the items you need to prepare for the photo shoot. After all, while I was gathering items for one project, how much more difficult is it to shop for 3 other shoots at the same time? Let me tell you… it’s a lot more difficult. Up to this point in my career, I had done my own styling but the sheer quantity of materials needed in a short period of time warranted me hiring a stylist. The stylist can help you accessorize but also work with the photographer to capture the best angle for each room (thank you, Brandon Bransford!). We had accessories (car loads worth for each home from stores all over Atlanta), which I had to transport and drop off the day before each shoot to ensure we could begin on time.
But, I think there is a silver lining to every circumstance, and this one is no exception. Here is what I learned from the experience:
Apart from the amazing amount of stress the human mind & body can handle, I learned that baby steps are vital. I made a check list each day (thanks, Wunderlist), and step by step, my assistant and I ticked off every thing that needed to be accomplished. Though there was much to do, breaking down the overwhelming amount of work into bite-size tasks allowed me to breathe easier. It also gave me a sense of peace knowing that each errand I ran, each phone call I made, got me one step closer to my goal of having AMAZING photos for my new website.
I learned that each photo shoot day took a lot longer than I thought it would. Working with an interiors photographer is much different than the other photographers I had previously worked with (my headshot photographer, a real estate photographer, and yours truly as a photographer). There were a lot of moving parts happening simultaneously (assistants moving around, lighting being adjusted, camera angles being changed, the stylist changing around accessories, etc.), so now I know not to schedule more than one photo shoot in a day (or maybe even a week). Ever. Ever. EVER!
And, finally, I learned that interior design photo shoots are an exception to the rule less is more. In this scenario, more is always more. You never know what will photograph well until you try it, so the more options you have (accessories, furniture, fabrics), the more you increase your likelihood of capturing that one-of-a-kind image that encompasses your vision for the space.
I love my job and I am so grateful to be doing what I love as a career. I learn so much from each experience and I hope you can learn from my adventures, too.
I am excited to see what the future holds as I continue to refine and re-brand my business.
Here are a couple of the rooms from that crazy week… (They were worth the effort!)
Our world is becoming more and more connected, so its no surprise that the popularity of smart home technology is at an all time high, and continuing to grow.
But for those of us that are new to smart home technology, it can be a little intimidating.
What is it? How can it help me? Where do I start?
We connected with Eric Rasmussen of Audio Trix to answer some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding smart home technology.
1. Can you give us 3 reasons why smart home technology makes life easier?
It simplifies your life: Combine what might otherwise be multiple different apps or devices into one simple and easy to use interface.
It provides familiarity: Using only the one app or interface simplifies the “tech learning curve” since all your devices or systems will be using the same user interface making interacting with your system easier.
It saves time through automation: True smart home technology makes life easier by automating regular household activities such as: locking all the exterior doors at dusk, or put your house into vacation mode with the press of one button.
Audio Trix All-in-One-Remote
2. If a client is new to smart home technology, what are a few tech-y things they should begin with to get their “feet wet?”
Usually most clients will find themselves wanting to control a TV entertainment system or play music on architectural speakers within a living space. Starting a home control system around your tv and music system is a great way to simply what can otherwise be a complicated mess. There are multiple ways to interact with the same control system. You could utilize a hand held remote, smart phone or tablet, in-wall touchscreen, or the tv screen itself. Once they see how intuitive a well planned system can be, then it might be time to add other features such as lighting, climate control, security, and cameras. The goal is to have an extremely easy to use “Smart Space.”
Audio Trix Home Security
3. When designing or re-designing a space, at what stage is it best to incorporate smart home technology? Toward the beginning, the middle, the end? Or does it matter?
It is usually best to start the conversation about smart home technology at the beginning of redesigning a space. Even though we are in the days of “everything wireless,” most quality a/v (audiovisual) entertainment systems still require at least some wiring – much of which is best done in the very beginning of a project.
Audio Trix Home Audiovisual Systems
4. What new piece of smart home technology are you most excited about that you think is going to take off in 2015?
Really the newest thing in smart home technology is still the ever improving way we interact with it throughout our individual spaces. With proper system design, the old pile of remotes on the coffee table is a thing of the past. And the ever expanding list of entertainment options can be easily accessed by even the most novice of users.
Thank you so much for your time, Eric. We really appreciate it! For Atlanta residents with smart home technology questions, look no further than Audio Trix, our go to company for smart home integration. If you are looking at how to incorporate smart home into the design of your space, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have further questions, leave them in the comment section below! We would love to hear from you!
What defines contemporary style when it comes to interior decorating?
Developed in the latter half of the 20th century, contemporary style is a combination of softened, rounded lines with both neutral and bold color elements. The focus of the space is on the lines, shapes, & forms, and is often inspired by materials found in nature.
Common throughout contemporary design is a trend toward neutral color palettes with pops of bold color. Different shades of tan, cream, and white, are often used and then accentuated by a piece of bold wall art, or bright accent pillows, or an ornate and colorful rug.
Multiple fabrics are used in contemporary design to create visual interest. Silk, wool, cotton, & linen are common for their textural appeal, while geometric patters and bold colors are often used to draw focus to the pieces they are accentuating.
Frequently seen elements in contemporary furniture are chrome, stainless steel, treated glass, nickel, and light colored woods like maple and birch. The furniture itself is usually minimalistic – clean, smooth, rounded lines, with little adornment or carving.
(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima)
Lighting in contemporary spaces serves a dual purpose:
It is used as an artistic representation
It is used for specific functionality – to light a desk, to highlight a piece of art, recessed in the ceiling so as not to disrupt any of the room’s clean lines, etc.
The lighting elements themselves usually consist of straight lines, and metallic finishes, with color being introduced in the form of lamp shades.
By combining differing materials instead of multiple contrasting colors, contemporary design creates vast visual and textural interest. Pared down design allows the eye to focus on the elements of the room that demonstrate serenity and bold sophistication.
If you are interested in redefining your space to something a little more contemporary, contact us at: email@example.com, and visit our Contemporary Style Pinterest Board, here.
Many people believe that they cannot afford an interior designer. They think designers cost too much and that expenses will get out of hand quickly, leaving them with a feeling of helplessness and unexpected debt.
I am here to tell you that that is a LIE.
I’ve compiled 5, count ’em FIVE, reasons why interior designers can actually SAVE you money.
Here they are:
1. Interior Designers help you avoid costly mistakes.
You have great intentions, but without a keen eye and procurement savvy, its easy to order the wrong items and spend countless hours trying to rectify the issues. The number 1 complaint I hear from new clients is that they are tired of ordering the wrong items and feeling like their space is a long way from looking pulled together. Most designers and decorators possess a gift that allows them to “see” the selections in your space, after all, this is one reason most people hire us…they can’t visualize. Colors, materials, furniture, and artwork look different online or in the store than they do in your home. For instance, you may receive what you thought was your dream sectional only to realize the shade of gray you picked looks terrible with the (barely dry) paint color you had chosen because you were pressured by the builder to pick a paint color. So you think to yourself..I like grey, I’ll just pick a grey I like from the fan deck, how hard could it be? However, now that beautiful shade of grey looks blue next to your newly purchased gray sectional. So now you have to pay to either repaint or buy a new sectional (guess which option I would tell you to do? Paint, of course! ).
A good interior designer will save you time, stress, & the big M (for money). We are here to take your dream space from conceptual form to reality. Its like hiring a fabulous wedding planner so you can kick back and just enjoy your big day – or in this case your newly designed IMPECCABLE space.
2. Good Interior Designers have GREAT networks.
Good interior designers have a network of incredible resources that they can pull from for design jobs. They usually work with multiple sub contractors and contractors over the years, so they can accurately tell you how to get the best quality of work within your budget and time frame. Talk about money saving results…
3. Seasoned Interior Designers have established professional relationships.
What does that mean for you? Well, it means that high-end vendors and manufacturers allow designers to purchase goods at pricing not available to the general public and extend special privileges. This ensures you receive pieces that will work, not nicely, but PERFECTLY in your space. This is because, again, designers have a wealth of resources to choose from that are not common knowledge to anyone but designers. Most designers have access to special trade and wholesale pricing with various manufacturers and vendors, so in addition to the procurement exclusivity mentioned above, you may also save money on the items you purchase.
4. Professional Designers and Decorators always carry measuring tape (or in my case, a measuring tape AND a laser measurer) at all times
Why is that important for you? It means that the items the designer procures for your space will fit perfectly. No doors slamming into side tables. Or headboards that are so large they cover half your window. Or rugs that are so small they make your furniture look like it was purchased by giants. Great designers measure everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Not just rooms, but doorways, windows, molding, ceiling height, drop ceilings, staircases, closet space, etc. I’ve had so many clients contact me after throwing away hard-earned-cash because they ordered furniture before measuring properly. Measuring goes beyond just making sure something will fit…does it allow you room to function also and this is an important element of space planning. Don’t do this! Let me, or another reputable designer, save you from this massive headache.
5. Talented Interior Designers have a keen eye for placement and coordination.
This trained eye allows them to coordinate all the furnishings, drapery, floor coverings, artwork, and accessories in a way that makes it hard for you to determine whether you are in a 5 Star hotel or your own home. Good designers make this look easy, but I assure you, they spend hours, sometimes days, weeks or even months, coordinating your dream space. I easily spend 200-500 hours working on a space to make it look fabulous. Their ability to create a beautiful haven out of your space is not only a god given talent but also a result of years of working with clients, going to markets to keep a pulse on what is current in the design world, and continuing education.
If interior design was so easy, then everyone’s home would be in Elle Decor. But let’s face it, that’s not the case. So save you self from headaches, frustration, stress, and wasted money, and just hire a designer.
You know, I think I might know of one I could recommend. 🙂
We’ve all been there… Tiny space, big life. How on earth do you make your space look like real people (not ants) live in it?
Whether you just graduated from college, or you are downsizing after a divorce, or you live in say, San Francisco, where square footage comes with a HEFTY price tag, there are ways to make your space feel larger without breaking the bank.
Here is the first round of tips:
1. Draw the eye upwards in a small space, hang curtains as close to the ceiling as possible and to the floor. Its amazing how much this opens up a room.
West Elm Crossweave Curtain
2. Mirrors reflect light and visually expand the space. This is a tip for the books! Make sure you scale the mirrors you purchase to the size of the room you are purchasing it for. When in doubt, always buy a little bit bigger. Small mirrors have little impact, and can look awkward if you place them on a large wall. They also come in handy for self check-ups. Post lunch teeth check after a spinach salad? Check!
(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima)
3. Paint the ceiling and trim the same color as the wall. In small spaces, you want a sense of flow. If the eye is distracted by lots of differing wall colors, it makes the room feel disjointed, and therefore broken up… and therefore smaller.
4. Stripes elongate the room. Vertical stripes on the walls or striped rugs are a great way to optically enlarge a room. This may seem counterintuitive, but trust me on this one. Not only are stripes visually appealing, but they draw the eye upward (just like long curtains) and make the room feel quite expansive. They are also a lot of fun to decorate with.
For three more tips to make your small space feel large, stay tuned for Small Space? No problem! 8 tips to make your home feel bigger – PART 2. As always, we are here to help! To schedule a call, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May your day be filled with cheer & smart, stylish living!
“Having the right content in place, keeping it up-to-date, and removing content that is no longer relevant or timely ensures that the user community will find what they need.” – JoAnn T. Hackos Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery
I was not prepared for the amount of time I would spend on my new website’s content…
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to deliver well-crafted content.
Keeping the quote above in mind, my husband (the attorney), my assistant Jaclyn Steele (the song-writer & blogger), Tobi Fairley (the interior design & creative business consultant), and I worked tirelessly to hammer out the wordy details that would describe my re-branding to the public. (Its amazing how my ideas were translated into word form in so many creative ways).
You wouldn’t believe how many drafts of this page were created…
But let me tell you, the hours of thinking, emailing, thesaurus searching, and typing paid off. I am so excited to debut my new website with fresh, up-to-date content that reflects the contemporary nature of my brand. Reworking the text also forced me to focus on what services I really want to expand on that I had not highlighted previously… It is opening up a whole new realm of possibilities.
Getting specific about the services I offer helped steer my re-branding in the right direction.
One of my favorite things about my re-branding is my focus on smart home technology. Check out this youtube video to see the tip of the iceberg regarding the technology we can help you implement:
Hard work always pays off in the end and I feel as though, with the help my team, I now have a fabulous fresh start to the year.
Fretwork is an interlaced decorative design that is carved in low relief on a solid background. Sources give different reports as to the exact origins of fretwork, but it was most prominently used in early 12th century Greek architecture and has continued to be used in modern day design. It is a hot look right now and I love its versatility and its ability to elevate the style of a space.
(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima)
Where does one begin getting fretwork done?
In this particular midcentury modern home, we decided to use fretwork panels to mask the cluttered bookcases and to bring in architectural detailing… A do-it-yourself-er can sketch out a design and cut it out with a jigsaw or a scroll saw, but we hired Millwork Market to create our design and panels.
To ensure smooth paint application, edges, and the areas between the cutouts, must be sanded before, and, in between coats of paint. Depending on the design, the process can be very labor intensive – the sanding in between coats must be done by hand.
We did a high gloss lacquer finish on this one and it took 10 coats of lacquer to get the flawless, ultra-smooth finish. My carpenter was ready to kill me at the end…
If you have questions concerning fretwork, feel free to comment below! Or, if you are ready to take the next step and incorporate fretwork into your home, email us at email@example.com.
For as seemingly small as a name and logo are, they can have a big impact on the success of your brand. The name, Refresh Decorating, served me well, but as it stands now, it no longer reflected where I wanted to go as a creative business owner. I’m not just refreshing spaces anymore… I’m transforming them. The same is true for my logo. I felt as though it was no longer indicative of the changes that were occurring within my brand.
Enter search for new business name and logo.
Enter multiple hours of brainstorming and obsessing over re-branding.
After much thought, consideration, and advice from the amazing Tobi Fairley, I decided to use my name as the basis for my re-branding. By doing so, I can ebb and flow, and change my business as I please under the umbrella of my actual name. I find it to be freeing as the possibilities seem endless, but also daunting, as my brand is me… literally.
New name? Check. Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors.
Now for the logo.
After doing a little research I came upon Emily McCarthy in Savannah, GA. She manifested into graphic form the logo I had floating around in my brain.
I. LOVE. IT.
New Logo? Check. Here is the logo transformation from Refresh Decorating to Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors.
My former logo.
My current logo.
I’m so proud and excited about my new look!
What do you think about the transformation? Leave me a comment below! I would love know your thoughts!