A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

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Zen decorating is a Japanese style of interior decor that embodies the values of minimalistic and simplistic living.  Does the word Zen transport you to a dreamy land of peaceful Buddahs and stress free living?  Then you are on the right track.  Applying Zen principles can help you break the stress and relax in familiar surroundings like your home or office.

A few basic principles can help convert your home or part of it into a Zen inspired space that feels like a retreat.  Here are four aspects of Zen decorating to get you started:

1) Minimalism- Decorating your home with Zen sensibilities means that you have to clear your surroundings of clutter down to the bare minimum.  Do away with knick knacks sitting on the console table, ornate displays of decorative pieces and even intricate wall papers.  The interiors must be unobstructed and filled with abundant natural light.  Think simplicity and open spaces.  Swap your exotic Victorian style furniture and upholstery with intricate patterns for simple textures and clean, straight lines.  Hide any disturbances in the room like electrical wiring and electronics that can cause stress.  This does not mean that you stop watching TV but simply place the TV in a cabinet with doors that can be shut when not in use.

2) Color Palette- Zen decorating takes its inspiration largely from nature.  Use warm, neutral colors to paint your walls.  Avoid any pops of bright colors as these will clash with the Zen style of design and disturb the balance.  Choose a muted, earthy color scheme for your upholstery, carpets and furniture as well.  Some of the most commonly used colors are creamy whites, coffee browns and shades of green.  Avoid stark colors like white and black, your palette should be warm and subdued.

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3) Nature Inspired Accents- Use minimal accessories to personalize your home.  When choosing accents, look for ones that represent the Zen elements of Feng Shui like earth, water,  fire, wood and metal.   Potted plants like bonsai and bamboo tend to create a tranquil atmosphere in the room and do not need a lot of care.  You can also place an indoor waterfall that creates a soothing trickling sound.  Fabrics made of natural fibers like wool, linen, and jute will ensure that your interiors are comfortable, warm and inviting.  Keep your walls free of intricate paintings and pictures.  If you want to hang a Zen inspired painting, limit it to only one per room.  Remember the rule of thumb- keep only what you really love, and harmonize with nature.

4) Lighting- Light is an important aspect to the Zen style of decorating.  Don’t block any natural sources of light like windows and sunroofs.  Avoid using drapes, instead you can opt for translucent screens that fill the room with abundant natural light.  For the evenings after the sun goes down, opt for wall sconces or pendant fixtures.  Instead of using only overhead fixtures that cast dark shadows, enhance the lighting by adding simple but modern wall sconces.  Dimmers can be used to set the mood.  Soft light and the scent from aromatic candles made of soy or beeswax will help you relax after a hard day of work.

In the next few weeks I will be focusing on Zen Decorating through a several videos.

Here is the first on how to accessorize a Zen inspired console:

 

Sustainability in itself is a trend for 2014.  With a lot of focus on green design and living an Eco-conscious lifetyle, interior designers like me are moving towards using recycled and sustainable materials at every step of the design process.  By contributing towards an eco-friendly environment, you will be able to live peacefully without the worry of leaving a carbon footprint on the environment that your home remodling will generate.

Here are five great eco-friendly trends to look forward to in 2014:

1.  Bamboo cabinets-

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Bamboo is technically classified as grass and hardly requires water which makes it easy to grow.  It is durable, resistant to insects and sustainable because it grows quickly.  Bamboo is being widely used for flooring, backsplashes, and even fabric.  The light color of bamboo cabinets in the kitchen will create a sense of airiness and openness.  It lends a minimalistic feel which is chic and suave.

2.  Recycled glass tiles-

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The great thing about glass is that is recyclable, not once but can be reused many times over.  The use of recycled glass helps in limiting the waste that goes into landfills.  From translucent to creatively textured, glass tiles are like jewelry for your home.  Due it its reflective surface, glass tiles can help add a luxurious look to your bathroom or kitchen.

3.  Organic cork flooring-

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Cork is gaining popularity as a material choice for flooring because of its natural and eco-friendly origins.  Natural bark is produced from the barks of cork trees.  The trees regenerate their back and therefore it is a renewable resource.  Consider cork flooring because it feels great to walk on, is naturally warm and is a great shock absorber.  It is especially good for homes with children because it does not collect dust and has a natural substance saves the cork from rot, mildew and pests.

4.  Paper composite counter top-

An interesting development in the area of Green living and eco-friendly designs are recycled counter tops.  Made with a combination of waste paper and non-petroleum based resins, these are much sturdier than you can imagine.  Durable and easy to maintain, paper composite counter tops are lighter than stone making them easier to install.  These are available in medium to dark colors in a matte finish that will give your kitchen a stylish character.

5.  Reclaimed wood furniture and accessories-

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There is a growing appreciation for reclaimed wood that is slowly finding home in modern design.  The imperfections and rich patina that forms on the wood as it ages is a testament of its fine character.  Reclaimed wood radiates a feeling of warmth and is being used to create dining tables, beds, benches and even wall decor.  Reclaimed wood from deconstructed buildings is being mixed with a variety of modern elements to add texture and layers to the interiors.  It works well with metal and adds chic industrial look.  You can also place an antique cabinet to bring in the time honored feel of reclaimed wood.

If you need some ideas or looking for ways to incorporate eco-friendly design into your home for 201, contact us today at interiors@kreativeways.com.

We are just a few days away from the New Year and it is time to look forward to a prosperous and fulfilling 2014.  According to the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Wood Horse and the age old practice of decorating your home according to Feng Shui can help fill your home with abundance and prosperity.

To create good Feng Shui, base your interior design on the wonderful characteristics of the horse this New Year.  Horses are active and have abundant energy, they are bright, friendly and high spirited.  Horses are gentle and have a pleasing aura that is attractive to everyone around them.  Wild and carefree, horses are the epitome of elegance and sensuality.

Here are four Feng Shui ways to create abundance and prosperity for your home in 2014:

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1.  Color- Since this is the Year of the Wood Horse, decorate your home in earthy shades of green and brown to bring good luck and prosperity.  The colors you use in your home should be in harmony with the element for the year, in this case, wood.  The shades of green and brown are both modern for the interiors and soothing for the eyes.  Use touches of blue and black to enhance your color scheme and add elegance.  Blue and black represent the element of water which supports the growth of wood.

2.  Material- Use natural materials to design the interior spaces of your home.  Look for wooden decor like wooden wind chimes, solid wood and bamboo furniture.  The natural grain and texture of the wood reflects the carefree nature of the horse that is adventurous and cheerful at the same time.  You can also use other natural decor like fur, feather and fabrics made with natural fibers like jute and linen.  You can also install stone sculptures to fill in awkward corners.  Natural materials will add depth to your decor.

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3.  Decorating ideas- The regal horse teaches us a thing or two about luxury and elegance.  Design your interiors to reflect prosperity, luxury and opulence to Feng Shui your home for wealth and abundance.  Look for high-quality fabrics with rich textures for your upholstery.  Decorate your home with crystals like turquoise, pearls and lapis lazuli.  Opt for unique shapes and unleash your create side.  Decorate in layers of similar colors to create a plush look.

4. Feng Shui area for 2014- The South- west area of your home is considered to be auspicious in the year 2014.  It is the area for Good luck, wealth and career.  Free this area of any fire element and Feng Shui fire decor.  Water elements in this area will energize the space and create good Feng Shui.  Decorate the area with water fountains and dragon turtles.  You can also place pictures of energetic horses.  Use this area of your home to strengthen your career and personal goals by placing a board that displays your vision for the future.  Certain Feng Shui charms like Chinese gold coins, money tree and wealth symbols like water and plants placed in this area are considered good for wealth and prosperity.

If you would like a Feng Shui and Design service to prepare for the New Year contact us today at interiors@kreativeways.com to schedule an appointment.

End of the year is symbolic of new beginnings and fresh resolutions.  Preparing your home of the New Year is akin to creating space in your life and home for new opportunities and leaving behind anything that you do not want to take forward with you.  It is a great idea to make your home feel warm and welcoming during this time of year.  The New Year celebrations are all about cheer, laughter, and most importantly being close to the people you love in a warm and nuturing environment.

Here are four easy ways to prepare your space for the New Year:

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1. Cut the Clutter:  The most important aspect of preparing your home for the New Year is getting rid of clutter.  Clutter tends to add a choking feeling and can make your home feel chaotic.  Clutter does not only mean clearing out the mess that you can see, but also pay attention to hidden areas like drawers, boxes and closets.  Start the process of de-cluttering by creating two separate labeled bins.  One for the stuff that you do not need and can be donated the other for garbage.

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2.  Add warmth to the home- Once your living space is sorted and decluttered, it is time to add some warmth, coziness and make the home feel well-lived in.  The easiest way to do this is by adding accessories in your living room, dining room, and bedrooms.  Accessories add depth and texture to the space thus adding warmth and making it feel good.  Choose from fur, felt or wool pillows, intricately woven rugs like kilims and cable knit throws.  Faux animal skin with or without fur can also help in making a room feel cozy.  Pick warm colors like shades of oranges, reds and yellows for your accessories.  Decorate in layers and add a few statement pieces to create a focal point in the room.

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3.  Personalize your space:  If you have been thinking about printing photos from family holidays and landmark events over the past year then now is the time to put thoughts into action and head to a photo printer.  Usher in the New Year by reminiscing the happy moments and memories from the past.  You can create a gallery wall with photographs, souvenirs and mementos.  Make your gallery wall meaningful and personal with photos that everyone in the family can relate to.

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4. Create a cozy corner:  The great thing about winters is that it forces you to stay indoors and indulge in activities like reading books, crafting with the kids and spending time with the family.  Take some time to think about adding a cozy reading corner in your home.  Work with your family on identifying the perfect corner and place an arm chair there.  Keep a rug under the chair and stack some interesting books on the floor or in a small book case.  This corner will soon become a favorite in the family.  Instead of an armchair, you could also place a few floor cushions on a rug for the kids.

If you are ready to start 2014 right in the New Year, contact us to help you start your space off on the right foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each December, Miami becomes even hotter as over 70,000 design aficionados from around the globe descend upon the city to attend Design Miami and its sister show Art Basel. The two events attract a qualified audience of the world’s most influential collectors, gallerists and critics who come together to celebrate the best of design, architecture, culture, commerce and contemporary art. The two fairs guarantee that almost everyone interested in high-end design will certainly have their eyes on Miami in December.

A veritable “who’s who” of style aficionados attend Art Basel Miami and Design Miami, the world’s preeminent art and design fairs. They are the affluent style influencers who represent your brand’s best prospects and will deliver your brand’s message to others around the world who, like themselves, seek the well-lived life.

I had the great opportunity while at the Design Miami festivities  to attend the Elle Decor Modern Concept House in Miami, Florida.  I was in awe of the fabulous design concepts surrounding the modern aesthetic.   I was truly thrilled with the overall design as it is one of the first Designer Homes that I have visited that was totally my personal design style.  How thrilling was that?  In addition, the concept house had several rooms that embodied the concept of Feel Good Spaces.

Here are the highlights:

 

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Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design.

Design Miami/ is more than a marketplace for design, where the world’s top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of 20th and 21st century furniture, lighting and objets d’art. Each show balances exclusive commercial opportunities with progressive cultural programming, creating exciting collaborations with designers and design institutions, panels and lectures with luminaries from the worlds of design, architecture, art and fashion, and unique commissions from the world’s top emerging and established designers and architects.

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It was a worthwhile event with great innovative design inspirations and ideas!

 

This holiday season contribute to a cleaner and greener environment by indulging in some eco-friendly crafts. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or not, we have three easy ideas to create your own decorations for the holidays. Make a statement with these holiday crafts and spread the message of love, peace and joy in an eco-friendly way.

1.       Handmade Snow Globes  

 https://ws.elance.com/php/files/main/download.php?crypted=Y3R4JTNEcG1iJTI2ZmlkJTNEOTYyMDk4MDIlMjZyaWQlM0QtMSUyNnBpZCUzRDQ5NDYxMTU1Image via: http://www.draugiem.lv

Can’t think of holidays without the magical snow globes? This year instead of buying a new one, recycle some old plastic toys and glass jars to create a homemade snow globe.

 You will need:

Glass jars with screw on lids

Small old plastic toys

Hot glue

Glitter

Water

Ribbon

Method:

1.       Scrape off the label from the empty glass jar. An easy way is to hold the jar under a hair-dryer and the label will come off very easily

2.       Rummage through your old ornaments for small plastic toys, small balls, bottle brush trees etc. You can spray paint these toys in gold or silver if you like

3.       Use hot glue to fix the toys on the inside of the lid

4.       Add glitter in the empty jar. You can add more or less depending on how you like your snow globe

5.       Finally, fill the jar with water and screw the lid on. Decorate the lid with a ribbon. Shake the snow globe for some magic!

  2.       Pinecone ornaments 

 https://ws.elance.com/php/files/main/download.php?crypted=Y3R4JTNEcG1iJTI2ZmlkJTNEOTYyMDk4MDElMjZyaWQlM0QtMSUyNnBpZCUzRDQ5NDYxMTU1

Image via: Fareaststreet.com

The dark brown color of pinecones will add a rustic charm to your holiday decoration. The elegance of the naturally occurring variations in pinecones will bring depth and warmth. These are easy to make and eco- friendly.

You will need:

Lots of pinecones gathered from outside

Glitter

Metallic paint in gold and silver

Fabric cording

Ribbons of varying widths

Modge podge

Method:

1.       Clean and dust off your pinecones

2.       Create a loop with fabric cording to hang the pinecones and hot glue it to the base of the pine cone

3.       Once the loop is fixed, brush the pinecone with modge podge

4.       Shake glitter over wet modge podge and coat the pine cone well. Let it dry and gently shake off the extra glitter

5.       Make a bow out of the ribbon and secure it with the loop. Your pine cone ornaments are ready for display

 

3.       Eco – chic string lights

 https://ws.elance.com/php/files/main/download.php?crypted=Y3R4JTNEcG1iJTI2ZmlkJTNEOTYyMDk4MDMlMjZyaWQlM0QtMSUyNnBpZCUzRDQ5NDYxMTU1

Image via: http://blog.willardandmay.com

A beautiful string of lights is synonymous with holiday decoration. Light up your home with a home – crafted string of lights.

 You will need:

Small balloons

Glue

Colored twine

String of lights

Fishing wire

Method:

 1.       Blow up the balloons in the desired size – not too large and not too small

2.       Mix one part water to two parts glue and apply a thin coat over the balloons with a brush

3.       Wrap the balloon with colored twine and let it dry overnight. Leave a little space at the top to insert the string of lights

4.       Once dry, the twine will stiffen. Burst the balloon with a safety pin and pull the deflated balloon out.

5.       Insert the light into each string ball and secure with a transparent fishing wire

6.       Go ahead and decorate your home with twinkling lights

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