Design Defined: Knife Edge

Design Defined: Knife Edge

Knife Edge

Admittedly, this term sounds a little dangerous.  While there are certainly hazards that do arise in the every day life of an interior designer – moving large items, nails, slipping on wet surfaces, glass, etc. (you should have seen my assistant and me trying to carry, let’s be honest draaaaag, an enormously heavy rug up TWO flights of stairs… If only I had a video camera with me…) – coming across a real knife’s edge is not usually one of them.

So what does “knife edge” mean? – Its a single seam around a cushion or a pillow.

Pretty simple, right?  It really is.

Here are a few photos of knife edge pillows:

Pillows from Restoration Hardware (www.restorationhardware.com)

Pillows from Restoration Hardware (www.restorationhardware.com)

Pillow from Pottery Barn (www.potterybarn.com)

Pillow from Pottery Barn (www.potterybarn.com)

Pillow from Pottery Barn (www.potterybarn.com)

Pillow from Pottery Barn (www.potterybarn.com)

 

Here is a video tutorial on how to create your very own!

Not scary at all, right?  No horror movie tid bits here – actually quite the opposite… soft, cushy pillows.  Here’s a little designer secret: always use insets that are one size bigger than the pillow case so that it fills out all of the corners and is really plump and plush. So, the next time you feel you need a little excitement in your life, remember you can sleep with a “knife edge” any time you want…

Live dangerously!

Oh and live smart & stylishly, as well. Tehehehehehe.  Have a fabulous day!

Pantone's Color of the Year: Marsala

… And how to make it work for You…

MARSALA PANTONE 18-1438
“Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us into its embracing warmth. “

Leatrice Eiseman
Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®

Pantone's Color of the Year: Marsala

Pantone’s Color of the Year: Marsala

Due to its universally flattering nature, marsala is a color that appeals to both sexes.  Whether you are wearing it on your body or on your walls, its rich tone epitomizes warmth and comfort.  Just like the luxurious wine Marsala is named after, the color has a unique way of inviting relaxation, while simultaneously possessing the ability to spark the creative mind.  Its subtle and sexy, yet incredibly chic and modern. – Its the embodiment of what one desires when choosing a color.

So, the question becomes how do you incorporate it into your space?

There are varying levels of “Marsala Incorporation.”  I’m going to break them down for you according to my own interpretation.

Level 1:

Marsala colored accents and accessories.  This could include a throw blanket, a vase, some pillows, maybe a small piece of artwork… Subtle touches of this color still exude immense warmth.  If you are uncertain about committing to Marsala, this is the route you should take.  Pops of this color do not require a large investment, and as the seasons change, you may decide you want to switch up your accents and accessories with them.

Accents and accessories in Marsala = great way to incorporate this beautiful color without breaking the bank or making a big commitment.

Photo From Today.com

Photo From Today.com

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.12.08 AM

Photo from Today.com

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.12.20 AM

Photo from Today.com

Level 2:

Investment pieces.  I would say that if you are ready for Level 2, you are fairly committed to Marsala.  In the dating world, this signifies definite courtship with intent for marriage.  Maybe you purchase a nice rug, curtains, a couch or chair, appliances – something that requires an investment.  This dramatic, yet grounding color can be incorporated into your space no matter your interior design style as its versatility really transcends time & fashion.

Just like a fine wine gets better with age, the rich hues of Marsala in your space will perennially bring sophistication & pleasure.

Photo from Today.com

Photo from Today.com

Level 3:

Ok.  This is serious commitment – I mean marriage vow material.  Level 3 means wall color, and anyone who has ever done any painting or wall installation knows that it is a lot of work and requires a great deal of patience and time (just like any good relationship).  Also, colors like Marsala require a great deal of care when being painted because dark tones are easy to spot anywhere they are not meant to be…  Painters tape is a MUST in this situation.  My suggestion would be to choose a feature wall first, paint it, and let it be for a few days before painting your entire space.

Again, to use a wine metaphor, a little Marsala can go a long way, and a feature wall might be exactly the right amount for you.  If you still want more, GO FOR IT.  Decorate away and enjoy every second of it.

Hotpads.com/Blog

Hotpads.com/Blog

No matter your commitment level, Marsala is a great way to incorporate warmth into your space.  Its decadent, rich, warm, and absolutely stunning.  This may be Pantone’s Color of the Year, but as far as I’m concerned, its been in vogue since the beginning of time.

Wishing you a smart, stylish day…

Design Defined: Mullion

Mullion

Mullion:

Wood or metal dividers between the panes of glass on a window.  They can be purely decorative and architectural or provide real, structural support.

According to Wikipedia,

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.56.27 AM

 

Below are some different types of mullion:

Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima

Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima

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Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima

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Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima

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Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Mali Azima

 

And a short video from Slow Home Studio discussing the use of mullion in interior design:

If you have questions regarding mullion or interior design, leave me a comment below, or email me at minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com.

Are there any design definitions you really want defined?  Shoot me a comment and your suggestion just might be featured in one of my Thursday “Design Defined” posts. 🙂

Have a wonderful day!

What’s Your Style Series: Bohemian Style

What is it?

Bohemian Style:

The Bohemian interior design style is normally defined by well worn, ethnic style furniture, colorful fabrics, and a conscious non-coherence to interior design norms.  Typically it exudes a free spirited sort of feeling – as if items have been collected at various flea markets around the world over an extended period of time.  Bohemian style spaces are typically busy looking and full of accessories making them incredibly unique and often very random.  The actual word “bohemian” has been used to describe people who think “outside the box” and view the world outside of societal and political norms. – The same is true for bohemian interiors, there is little adherence to any specific style, time period, or color palette.

Found on frommoontomoon.blogspot.co.uk

Found on frommoontomoon.blogspot.co.uk

Color: There is no specific color palette that Bohemian style adheres to, but rather the interior spaces are full of different colors and patterns that normally are associated with a culture or part of the world the owner of the space feels drawn to.  One of the many beauties of Bohemian style is that there really are no rules, so whatever feels right to the owner of the space is what is displayed — it may be 20 differing and clashing colors, or it may be three, or it may even be different shades of one color — anything goes in this free-spirited design style.

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

Fabric: Typically, bohemian style fabrics are very colorful and patterned.  It is very common to see ethnic, multi-colored rugs, blankets, and pillows throughout each room.  To someone unfamiliar with bohemian style, it would seem as if the owner of the space visited flea markets throughout the world and collected colorful fabrics and rugs from their favorite countries and then displayed them throughout their home.  Layering multiple fabrics and textures throughout the space is often seen within bohemian interiors.

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Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

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Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

 

Furniture: Bohemian style furniture is often well worn, and fairly eclectic.  It is common to see pieces of furniture from different time periods and areas of the the world grouped together in the space.  Vintage furniture is common but is often re-covered with new fabric, or altered by a colorful, patterned blanket or pillow.  Bohemian style furniture also incorporates many textures.  An old chest may be repainted and then used with a pillow on top as extra seating… Again, anything goes and nothing is really off limits in this “out of the box” design style.

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Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

 

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

Lighting & Finishes: Colorful, ethnic lanterns and chandeliers are seen throughout bohemian spaces.  Natural light is also very important as bohemian style is very free spirited and fairly wild so bringing as much of the outdoors inside is essential.  Modern fixtures and plain, utilitarian lighting and finishes are very unusual in bohemian spaces, as the whole idea behind bohemian design is that each space is original and unique to its owner.

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

Dot & Bo (dotandbo.com)

In conclusion bohemian style is for the rule-breaking-free-spirited people of the world who love mixing ethnic, colorful, and vintage pieces together to create a style that is totally, and utterly unique to them.

If you are interested in redefining your space into something a little more bohemian, contact us at minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com, and visit our Bohemian Style Pinterest board, here.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 1.32.25 PM

Smart, Stylish Living brought to you by Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors,

Bachelor Pad Done Right

Midtown Getaway | Atlanta, GA

This fabulous condo was created for a recently divorced dad who desired contemporary style with a warm touch for his two young daughters.  Clean and inviting, neutral and modern, this midtown getaway spells PERFECTION for the single father.

Refresh Decorating - Condo Kitchen

(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Iran Watson)

Two minimalistic, yet stunning bedrooms and two bathrooms allow plenty of space for a family in transition to dwell comfortably, while the charming living room creates a comfortable area in which to relax and spend some quality time.  The modern, fully stocked kitchen is a focal point in this high rise palace and provides the perfect seating area for this family of three to dine in style after Dad spent the day working in his sleek home office.    From the fluffy cotton towels in the gender neutral bathrooms, to artfully design mirrored pieces throughout to brighten the space, to the gallery wall full of pictures of his two girls – no detail was overlooked in this stunning, one-of-a-kind condo.

Refresh Decorating - Condo Office Twilight View v1

(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Iran Watson)

Refresh Decorating - Condo Exterior Twilight Deck v1

(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Iran Watson)

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(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Iran Watson)

Refresh Decorating - Condo Master Bedroom Mirror Light Rays

(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Iran Watson)

Refresh Decorating - Condo Secondary Bedroom Frame Art v1

(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Iran Watson)

Its important to note, Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors specializes in making your home creation experience seamless.  In this high rise, due to the time constraints of our client, we selected the TV’s, fully stocked the kitchen with pots, pans, silverware, small appliances, cleaning supplies, and even some groceries to kick off family dinner night.  In the bathrooms, we procured toiletries, linens, and fluffy towels for a spa like experience. – Divorce is difficult, but creating your new home doesn’t have to be.  We are here to help!

Refresh Decorating - Condo Master Bathroom 1

(Designer: Minhnuyet Hardy, Photographer: Iran Watson)

For a fresh take on masculine design, contact us at minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com, and be sure to visit our Pinterest “for the City Slicker” here, as well as our Houzz profile for pictures of past projects here.

Smart, Stylish Living brought to you by Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors,

With Warmest Regards,

What’s Your Style Series: Classic Design

Classic Design

What is it?

Dating back to the Greek and Roman Empires, classic design is based on symmetry, order, and balance.  Grand focal points are used within classic design and once the focal point has been chosen, all the other pieces in the room will be used to enhance that specific focal point.  For example, if a fireplace is the chosen focal point of the space, then matching chairs may be placed symmetrically on either side of it along  with a piece of artwork or a large mirror directly above it.  So, if the room were sliced in half from the middle of the focal point, each side of the room would mirror the other.  This attention to symmetry within classic design is an identifying trait within this interior style.

Color:

Classic design uses colors found within nature.  Deep greens, blues, browns, yellows, and earth tones such as terra-cotta are very common, and black may be used to outline items that are meant to be featured within the space.  Off white or cream is used instead of bright white as classic design uses a more subtle or muted color palette and bright white is considered to be more contemporary.

Ballard Designs

Ballard Designs

 

Fabric:

An emphasis on elegance within fabric selection is very important amongst classic interiors and nothing should be overly ornate or attention grabbing. Canvas, cotton, linen, and velvet are commonly found within classic style, and as far as patterns are concerned, florals, toile, stripes, and plaids are frequently used.  All fabrics in classic design should be used to enhance the focal point of the space, as (again) symmetry is a key trait within this style.

Ballard Designs Fabric

Ballard Designs Fabric

Ballard Designs Fabric

Ballard Designs Fabric

 

Furniture:

Classic furniture tends to be considered “homey” but ornate.  Rich silks and velvet are commonly used and any wood utilized will be dark and intricately carved and decorated.  Many sofas have skirts, and heavy drapery for the windows that coordinates with the sofa are commonly seen.  Because of its Roman and Greek influence, all elements incorporated within classic design are steeped in tradition (think antiques or replicas of antiques), so all pieces are conservative, but immaculate.  Some people would even go as far as to say that classic furniture has a museum-like quality within it.

Ballard Design's Blog: HowtoDecorate.com

Ballard Design’s Blog: HowtoDecorate.com

 

Lighting & Finishes:

Lighting  within classic spaces tends to be very traditional.  Brass, bronze, and copper are common due to their soft, warm undertones when used in lighting fixtures.  Crystal chandeliers and sconces are also commonly used.  Mirrors and artwork are often gilt-framed to give them that museum-like quality coveted in classical spaces.    Tarnished and textured metals are incorporated, as well, to make the space feel as though it has survived throughout history.

Ballard Designs: Camille Chandelier

Ballard Designs: Camille Chandelier

 

In conclusion, classic design is all about inspiration from the past with an emphasis on symmetry and predictability.  Its soft lines are warm and inviting and provide a sense of order as all pieces within each space are immaculately placed to enhance its focal point.

If you are interested in redefining your into something a bit more classic, contact us at: minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com and visit our “For the Timeless & Traditional” Pinterest board, here.

Smart, Stylish Living brought to you by Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors,

Every Day Designer: Granite vs. Quartz

http://www.affinitystoneworks.com

www.affinitystoneworks.com

So you are remodeling your kitchen.

Sigh… We have all been there.  Its a lot of work and the cost cuts into your vacation budget.  You cringe at the thought of eating microwave burritos, toaster waffles, and takeout for the next few weeks.  You wonder about materials, time constraints, and the all-important-bottom-line.

You spend months preparing – Pinning pictures to your “Dream Kitchen” board on pinterest, clipping magazine articles on kitchen remodels from Elle Decor, making frequent trips to your local appliance, design, and cabinet stores…

No doubt about it. – Remodeling a kitchen requires a lot of time, money, and effort, so I’m here to alleviate some of the “guess work.”

Today, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of granite vs. quartz, so when making a countertop selection, you are well informed.

Granite and quartz are used extensively in kitchen designs both in America and around the world today.  They are beautiful, versatile, and high end.  But what’s the difference between them?  Which material is right for you?  And will they fit in your budget?

… Let’s dive in.

Granite:

 

– This material is 100% natural, so if you are the queen (or king) of green living, granite is a great option for you.

– The cost of granite starts at $30 per square foot, but increases depending on the quality and pattern of the granite (~$80).  For rare patterns, you pay a higher price… Its simple supply and demand.

– Granite does require some maintenance.  To keep it looking in tip top shape, it should be sealed yearly.

– The durability of granite is very high, though it can be prone to staining depending on the color and how porous your particular slab of granite is… Again, have it sealed yearly and you should not encounter any issues with staining.

Photo from HGTV.com

Photo from HGTV.com

Photo from HGTV.com

Photo from HGTV.com

Quartz:

 

– The material makeup of quartz is 93% natural, and 7% color and resin.  So, if you are the queen (or king) of green living and you are committed to natural materials in your home, quartz probably isn’t the best fit for you.  However, if being 100% natural isn’t at the top of your priority list, quartz does boast some fabulous qualities of which I am about to tell you.

– Slightly pricer than granite, the cost of quartz starts at $60 per square foot and tops out at around $90 per square foot.  Again, supply and demand plays a large role in the cost.  Quartz is known for being incredibly tough, scratch resistant, and anti-microbial.

– Quartz requires no maintenance.  Because it is non-porous it does not require a yearly seal like granite does.  So for those of you that prefer a no-maintenance kind of kitchen, quartz is a great fit for you.

– The durability of quartz is fantastic.  Because it is non-porous there is virtually no way to stain it.  Its non-porous nature also ensures no bacteria is hanging out underneath your countertop’s surface, so its easier to keep your kitchen clean.  Again, if you like low maintenance, quartz is hard to beat.

Photo from Cambria USA

Photo from Cambria USA

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Photo from Cambria USA

 

Both granite and quartz can be show stopping materials in a high end kitchen – choosing the right one for you comes down to your personal aesthetic, budget, and desired maintenance style.  I have used both in my career as an interior designer and can honestly say you cannot go wrong with either granite or quartz.  Just make sure that the pattern and color you choose accentuate your kitchen design, rather than distract from it.

For interior design or kitchen remodeling help, contact us at minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com.

Was this post helpful and/or relevant to you?  Leave me a comment in the comment section and let me know! 😉

Have a lovely day and happy kitchen remodeling!

 

4 Mistakes to avoid when hiring an Interior Designer

4 mistakes to avoid when hiring an interior designerThe relationships built between interior designers and their clients are intimate.  I would be lying if I told you otherwise.  Clients hire interior designers to create spaces that reflect who they are, and in order for designers to bring that ideal to fruition, a lot of interaction takes place.  Phone calls, emails, in-person meetings, lunches, dinners, breakfasts, etc., and many of this conversations take place within the client’s home.  All of this to say, communication between interior designers and their clients is very personal, and due to its sensitive nature, there are several things you want to avoid doing in order to keep this relationship synergistic.
Here are 4 mistakes to avoid when hiring an interior designer:

1. Do NOT choose a designer based on price alone.

Every professional interior designer charges differently. Some charge hourly, some are fee based, & some charge no design fee.  It simply depends on the designer. – Be sure you are aware of exactly what you are getting for your money.  Just because one designer appears to cost less, doesn’t mean there aren’t other fees associated with their services.  They may not be completely transparent about it.

Do not forget to address purchasing with a potential interior designer, either. Most professional designers receive some type of trade or wholesale pricing that you as a consumer cannot obtain. How they markup that discount varies though.  Some share the discount, some do a cost plus, some charge full retail, – but they all share one thing in common: they are doing this as business and are not doing it for free (unless you are their best friend or significant other).

For my clients, the discounts I receive essentially pay for the design time as though you were paying full retail for the items purchased.  So, my design time is basically free!  I strive to create win-win scenarios for my clients.

2. Do not choose a designer that you do not trust.

Again, this is a personal relationship, and you need to be able to trust your interior designer.  They will be spending a lot of time at your house and in your personal space.  In additional, a good designer will want to know you well (your likes and dislikes, what makes you happy, what you really do not enjoy, etc.) so that they can bring your vision for your space to life. – That requires honesty on your part, as well.  If you are not comfortable opening up a bit to the designer you are interviewing, they may not be a good fit for you.

The relationships I have cultivated with my clients make me so proud.  I have the keys to many of their homes and am profoundly honored by the trust they place in me.  Its a gift when someone trusts you to work in their space even when they are not there, and I take this responsibility very seriously.

3. Do not provide an interior designer with an unrealistic budget.

Its okay if you do not know how much everything will cost – a good designer will give you a realistic picture of the money it will require to create the space you want.  However, some people think telling a designer their true budget means that the designer will spend all of it and then some.  A good designer would not take advantage of your hard earned cash – they want to maximize it.  And by knowing your true budget, they then know where to shop for furniture, decor, art, etc. within your price range.  Not only are you wasting your time if you give a designer an unrealistic budget, but you are wasting theirs, as well.

4. Do not shop your designer.

This is something that designers really dislike as they feel their clients are using them and wasting their time. If you are going to source and purchase items outside your designer, it is important that you let them know your intentions before starting the project. Most designers are ok with their client’s sourcing items if they know in advance.

Make sure that you read and understand the contract or agreement that you signed with your designer. If you do not, you may have sticker shock when you receive your first invoice. Most designers I know will charge you a specification fee if you purchase something that they have suggested. – Keep in mind, designers spend a lot of time curating choices for you regarding items for your home.  If you purchase those items directly without letting your designer know, you are inadvertently telling them that their time searching for those pieces is not important to you. – No one wants to feel as though their precious time is being wasted.

I hope these commonly made mistakes are ones that you can now avoid.

Did this post help you?  Did you find it valuable? – Leave a comment in the comment section letting me know!

If you are interested in speaking further about an interior design project, please email us at minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Have a lovely day and best wishes on finding the perfect interior designer for your project!

Small Space? No problem! 8 tips to make your home feel bigger - PART 2

(In case you missed Part 1 of this series, here it is: Part 1)

If you are a city-dweller, an old-home-inhabiter, or a person on a budget (let’s face it – that’s pretty much EVERYONE), then this post is for you!  Space is often an issue, and I’m going to share FOUR more tips on how to make your living space look larger.

So without further adieu… Drum roll please… Here they are!

1. Use furniture with exposed legs. This create negative space beneath each piece and makes the area feel a little more airy – as though a breeze could actually ebb and flow around the room without getting stuck.  This is VERY important in small spaces as you do not want them to feel claustrophobic.

Haley Rialto Chair from Bernhardt.com

Haley Rialto Chair from Bernhardt.com

2. De-Clutter.  Less is more in this instant.  Use statement pieces, and larger pieces of furniture rather than lots of small pieces.  You want the room to feel (again) airy and spacious.  Clutter will make it feel tight and make it hard to move around.  So, just say no to clutter.

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(Designer: Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole of Kandrac Kole, Photographer: Jill Buckner)

3. Incorporate multipurpose pieces.  This way, your room can be multi-functional without having a piece for every function… Furniture, just like homes, is becoming smarter and smarter.  Check out some of these multipurpose pieces below.

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(Coffee Table: West Elm)

4. Tone on tone works well in small spaces and allows for continuity.  Too many colors and fabrics and patterns will make the space look small.  Choose colors on the lighter side as dark colors have a tendency to make spaces feel smaller, as well.

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(Designer: Kara Cox Interiors, Photographer: Stacey Van Berkel)

And that concludes my 8 Tips To Make Your Home Feel Bigger.  Hopefully these tips & tricks will help make your small space feel airy, inviting, and large – Let me know in the comment section!

As always, for design help, contact us at minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com – we would LOVE to hear from you!

Press: Featured in Houzz

I was recently hand picked by one of the writers from Houzz.com to be featured in an editorial idea book on their Homepage.
I am SO excited and incredibly honored.  Thank you, Houzz team!

View the article:

 

Contact me at minhnuyet@minhnuyethardy.com if you are interested in additional design moves to update your bedroom!
As always, I wish you smart, stylish living!