A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

Posts tagged ‘Furniture’

An Introduction to Zen Decorating


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.


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:


Creating Continuity of Design Through Collections


Collections Create Continuity Of Design Creating harmony and flow throughout the home can be one of the greater design challenges. Without it, the home can appear to be a patchwork of elements that don’t coordinate, complement or appear as if they belong in the same room or home! Increasingly, interior designers are using collections to create continuity from room to room. What’s a collection you say? A collection consists of design elements that complement each other and when used throughout the home, can tie the whole space together. Below are several tips on designing collections that create continuity.

1. Select elements that coordinate via one common element. Popular common elements include shape, color, finish, use, etc. A collection of art on a wall, with black frames in varying sizes, grouped together is an excellent example of a collection. The common element is the black frames, despite the fact that the sizes vary.

2. Coordinate your design elements from room to room. Not only do you want the design elements to work well together in one room, but you’ll also want to them to coordinate from room to room. While some design elements offer an overall sense of unity, other elements have plenty of “wow” appeal just on their own. Be sure your elements work well when going from from one room to the next.

3. Be specific with architectural designs and finishes. The finishes you select could be anything ranging from distinctive metallic, fashionable wood elements, beautiful paint textures and the perfect color scheme. The absolute best way to create harmony from room to room is by selecting the correct color scheme.

Selecting the perfect color scheme for a home is an art in and of itself. Many factors come in to play that can either make or break the design, harmony and style of a space. This design strategy alone, selecting colors, provides plenty of options for beautifying your home. Today’s homeowners are looking for residential synergy, attempting to coordinate a wide range of products for their homes that blend a single theme.  Fortunately, collections are most helpful when creating the sort of harmony that homeowners desire. For more information and help with adding continuity to your home, or selecting the perfect color scheme, contact Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC at http://www.kreativeways.com.


How To Avoid The Most Costly Design Mistake in 2013


The most costly mistake that homeowners make is starting an interior design project without a plan.  Taking on a new project without a plan is like trying to drive to a strange, faraway place without a map.  This will cause you delays, increase your frustration, and cost you a bundle.  Making a plan is a lot like having a navigation system to guide you along the way.

If you consider some important steps before beginning your home design venture, you can feel more confident that your project will go as planned.

Step One:  Choose a Mood

Many homeowners get stuck trying to figure out a style.  Instead, think about how you want to feel in the room.  Before choosing even one item, decide on the mood you want to achieve: casual and comfortable … formal and elegant … cheerful and whimsical…

After you’ve chosen your desired mood, make sure that everything you choose reflects it, and your final design is sure to turn out perfectly.

Step Two:  Find an Inspiration

Find one piece that really speaks to your heart.  It can be a painting, a piece of furniture, or an area rug.  Use this piece to keep your purchases on track.  Everything you buy for the room must coordinate with that one piece.  Sometimes a picture in a magazine can be your inspiration.  Make sure your overall plan is consistent with the colors, textures, and overall theme of the picture.

Step Three:  Plan your Budget (loosely)

Home projects rarely stay within the initial budget, but it is still important to set one.  You can feel more secure if you know approximately how much you are willing to spend for the entire project, and then plan for each separate item accordingly.

Step Four:  Make a List

List the items you are keeping for your room, and also ALL the pieces you need to purchase to complete the project.  You don’t need to buy everything at once, but you should have a list before you begin.  Relating back to this list during your project will keep you on track, and also keep you on budget!

You will find that making a plan and sticking to it will force you to stay on track and achieve your design goals.  This whole process is even easier if you can share it with friends or family.  Having support will get the job done more smoothly – and with a lot more fun.  Enjoy!

Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC is available to assist you in 2013 with your design needs.  Call us today at 1-888-280-8318 or email us at interiors@kreativeways.com for your free 30 minute phone or skype consultation regarding your project.  Make it your New Year’s resolution in action!

One of the Five Cardinal Rules: Creating Sacred Space

Recently I was assisting one of my best repeat clients redecorate her home.  We had worked together several years ago where as I had given her a comprehensive color scheme based on the principles of color therapy.  The results were outstanding.  After several years, the colors I had chosen for her home still held up and were just as vibrant and powerful as when I had specified them.  She called me over to ask for my assistance with redecorating several rooms of her home.  I was so excited to see her again and had thought of her often over the last three years since I last worked with her.

As we toured her home and discussed the project, we came upon a spare room that she used as her meditation space.   She stated almost without thought that we could simply move it out and use the space as her home office.  Upon hearing this I almost screeched!  I told her flatly that a sacred space in the home is one of the 5 Cardinal rules of Feng Shui and that we should keep the space as a meditation space.  She then looked astonished and asked what we could do to make the space more functional for her.

First, I explained the concept of meditation and how it is important to the mind, body and soul.  Relaxation should not only apply to the body, for it is our mind which finds little relaxation from the pressures of our daily lives.  Whether you have a particular spiritual belief or not, it has been proven that we can all benefit from spending ten minutes a day in contemplation.

A meditation space needs to be a quiet and tranquil part of the home.  If you do not have a room which you could convert to a relaxation area, your bedroom probably has the right mood for meditation. A garden and nature has very healing and relaxing vibrations, so in warm weather, a veranda, balcony or terrace is an ideal place to practice meditation.

Make sure you have adequate seating for meditation purposes only such as circular floor cushions or stools dedicated to the practice in your space.

The room should be airy and light even if it is small because although your eyes are closed when you pray or meditate you still need to draw in prana (life-force energy) from the air.  Dark colors are conducive to meditation as they have been known to influence your unconscious mind.

If you need some meditative colors to bring in for inspiration, use a purple or lavender lampshade, window blind or violet colored light bulb.  Aroma can also help raise your consciousness, thus aiding meditation.  Use of oils such as lavender (my favorite), frankincense, myrrh, or sandalwood haven been proven to be powerful enhancers to the meditation experience.

The best shape of rooms to meditate are those which are octagonal, hexagonal or circular.  Unless you are doing structural alterations in your home, it is difficult to create these shaped room, so you could consider introducing these shapes into the meditation room through objects, artwork and furniture.

Certain shapes will also aid to the peace and harmony in the room and your ability to connect to spiritual forces.  A round bay window or dormer which has a view of a garden or nature will support a peaceful meditation room.  If the room is on the top floor of your home, you can create an atrium or install a skylight or small glass dome.  This will bring in light and allow you to view the sky during the day and the stars at night.

In any case, we plan to create a meditation space personal to my client using various shapes, furniture and accessory selections.  I am pleased that she will keep that important sacred space in her home.

All I Want for Christmas is….

…A few pieces from the Kelly Hoppins furniture line.  Seriously, not only does her furniture remind me of the sleekest chicest articles of clothing that I have ever laid my angelic eyes upon but it she resembles the female fashionista god in appearance herself, Sarah Jessica Parker.  She recently remodeled the Kensington Palace and must I say, “she did very well”.

Using pieces from her line feature at Century Furniture Kelly decided to give Kate and Will’s palace a modern twist.


One of the Beckam’s favorite designers, Kelly hoped to bring modernism into their living quarters by adding pieces of her own collection, different hues of wall treatment, different textures and an arraignment of prints and fabrics. With that being said when I grow up, I too dream of living in a palace lined with fur, velvet, suede, leather and geometrical shapes too.

Photos courtesy of Material Girls Blog

Modernism in the New Living Room!

Thinking of adding a touch of chic and color to a space, well one should start with a nice sectional sofa range.  The Morini Style from Bo Concept offers a wide range of distinctive styles and comfort. With the ability to customize your own sofa to suit your own flair you are on the right track to creating your own contemporary space.

To add some style to that living room tries mix matching the furniture to give it a touch of your own personal flair. Try adding chairs like the Masonicus Chair and Armour Armless Club Chair from InMod .

These chairs paired up with the Mori sofa would give a space a little bit of elegance and edge to a living room.  Now no living room is complete without a coffee table or area rug so you should try some clear accents to compliment the colors and prints you have in the living space, such as the Discovery coffee table. The tempered glass uniquely shaped table will bring some more elegance to a space.

As for the area rug, InMod has a nice Celecot Area Rug. The shaggy white rug will complete the effect trying to be achieved in the space.

The softness and plush feel offered from the rug contributes to the texture and contemporary luxurious look.  Also, if you would like to make all your colorful pieces and prints pop a little more in the space, try a neutral color such as a light grey for the choice of wall color. Not only should you try a neutral color but paint only one wall to create a nice dramatic effect in the space you love.

Frugal Findings

Trying to spruce up your space for less, we’ll try adding a dab of white to a colorful space. I stumbled across this Jonathan Adler piece that was pretty expensive, but with lots of patience, web surfing and blog searching I found an identical match for almost $300 cheaper.  After hours of web surfing I stumbled across Material Girls to find this indistinguishable Ballard’s match.

Jonathan Adler X Bench $495


Ballard X Bench $179.00

There is no need to feel discouraged about expensive pieces you see in magazines or in commercial spaces anymore. With a little time, effort and the internet your bargain is just one click away.

Hello world!

Welcome to our new blog!  Come here often as we share tips and information about wholistic design, feng shui and sustainable lifestyles.  Press releases about our firm will be found here as well.  Peace!

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