A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

Archive for the ‘Lampshades’ Category

Five Ways to Avoid A Home That Screams “Off the Rack”

 Bowie1
Interior Design by Sherry Ways of Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC

What makes a home look decorator quality? Is it the right shades? Is it the perfect fabric on your sofa? What about the right flooring? It doesn’t matter. What? Actually, there’s one principle that’s fundamental to ALL decorator quality homes. It’s detail!

Oftentimes, people overlook the details in their home and don’t realize how important they really are. I can even go so far as to say – the attention you give to carefully planned detail is what separates your home from the everyday look of store bought! Detail is what creates a home with a decorator quality, look and feel. It doesn’t matter what style of furnishings you have – traditional, cottage, beach, casual. . . or even if you don’t have decorator quality furnishings!

Bowie2

Interior Design by Sherry Ways of Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC

Many people purchase ready-made products such as curtain panels, valances, bedding, table skirts and pillows. But what they don’t realize is by doing so, they’re dulling down their home.

I’ve listed a few things to consider about ready made products –

1. Quality – Store bought fabric items are made FAST – the workmanship and quality is on the low end of the scale. That being said, they’re made to appeal to a mass market, a larger audience, everyone and anyone! The products don’t usually last long and they wear out in no time flat, especially after you’ve laundered them for the very first time. It’s almost as if the stiffener is the thing holding them together! Here’s what’s common – stitching is missing, the hems are crooked, the seams are too small, they’ve skimped on fabric, they hang off-kilter, the corners are sloppy, the thread doesn’t match, they aren’t lined, or if there is lining it’s too short and not hemmed properly.

2. Color – The use of exquisite trims, bandings, borders and beading is virtually non-existent with ready-made. The style is basic. The colors are boring. It’s the same stuff your neighbors have. And it doesn’t provide any of the extra added ‘zip’ that would look great in your home.

3. Repetition – If you find an item you like that has some detail to it, oftentimes it’s the only one like it. When you bring it home to your house, it’s the only item in the room with that detail. This creates a lack of repetition and unity in the room. You’ll want to tie things together and create a well-thought out room. Using only one item with that one detail could be too random.

4. Decorator Details – Pay attention to items like lampshades, trim on window treatments, knobs on the kitchen cabinets, light switches, pillows, live plants, pots, accessories, etc. Think these items through and the detail opportunities they provide. It’s what professional interior designers do to make your home look ‘decorator quality’.

5. Play Hooky – On the other side of the coin, don’t be afraid to remove details to keep things simple, chic and less cluttered. Too much detail in a room can be overwhelming or too matchy-matchy and doesn’t provide a place for your eyes to rest. A carefully planned absence of detail in a room can look absolutely fabulous!
You can learn how to develop an eye for detail. It takes time, but building your ‘attention to detail’ muscle is a skill you can acquire with ease. Who knows, maybe your home could be featured in an upcoming decorator magazine!

To learn more this weekend I will be one of three panelists in the Port of Harlem’s Build/Renovate Your Own Castle taking place on Saturday April 6 th, at the Alexandria Black History Museum.   The event is FREE!  Come learn the secrets of pulling together a beautiful space.  For more information check out  http://www.portofharlem.net/pohpromotions/buildrenovatefive.html

A New Kind of Sustainable Lighting- African Basket Lamp Shades

These lampshades were designed by Heath Nash, courtesy of BBC News.

While browsing in my neighborhood library recently I came across a beautiful find… lampshades on pendant lighting made out of African baskets.  I was so thrilled!  I said to myself wow!  You see I was on the original selection team for the library architect who would design two libraries in Southeast, Washington, DC.  One of which would be in the upscale neighborhood of Hillcrest on the other side of Capitol Hill

Since the Francis A. Gregory Library has been built, I finally had a chance to stop and see the wonderful work.  I was inspired to write about the use of sustainable baskets from indigenous cultures as a design element.  As a big fan of African inspired design, I was so taken by the original lighting I saw in the library.

This is a a great phenomenon that is catching on all over in both commercial, retail and home design.  Consider some of the designs I am showcasing here as inspiration for your eco-friendly inspired interior!

The use of woven baskets goes well in retail settings as well.

 

 

Photo of interior of Francis A. Gregory Library in Washington, DC. Pendant Lampshades designed using African Baskets. Photo courtesy of Edmund Summer.

Tag Cloud