A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

Posts tagged ‘Sustainable Design’

Sustainability: A Design Trend for 2014

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.

This Holiday: Create a Greener Holiday Decor

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  

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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 

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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

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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

Going Green in 2013

ReduceReuseRecycleGoing green in 2013! This is the phrase on everyone minds these days. Many product companies offer sustainable product or an eco friendly option. Whether its from reusing a recycled material or removing a chemical that can negatively impact the environment around us.

Today more designers are trying their hand at “Green Design”. Green design focuses on using only Eco-friendly products and approaches in a space. This is a great way to design because it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Consider this, the construction and operation of buildings account for an estimated 40% of the earth’s extracted materials and half of all waste generated (Worldwatch Institute)! So in other words constructing  a new building wastes a huge amount of earths natural products (wood, stone, etc).

Designers that focus on staying green know the best approaches for creating an Eco-friendly space as well as selecting green products. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Products with low or no VOC content
  • Hardwood from companies that certify their products come from sustainably managed forests. This means the trees aren’t cut down at a rate faster then other trees have time to grow.
  • Products based on their total life-cycle. Yes , that couch may look nice and come at a steal price! But, realistically how long will the sofa last you? Is the total time worth the amount of money spent? It is always best to invest!
  • Products with a high recycled material content
  • Products with a water based finish whenever possible.

So going green in 2013 and forever after isn’t difficult. We have all come across reduce, reuse and recycle at some point in our lives, so lets take it a step further! Finding the best products isn’t the hard, you just need to know where to look.

 

Sophistication, Grace and Hefty? Indoor-Outdoor Living and Entertaining

For the homeowner with a patio, deck or other outside social area, decorating can be both a challenge and an exciting opportunity. You might be wondering how to turn your plain porch into a paradise and enhance your outdoor living.

1. Fine Living – Imagine this: You’re throwing a tea party outside on your lovely patio and just as your guests sit down in your comfortable porch chairs, you serve them their first course on… paper plates. The paper plates kind of ruin it, huh? When decorating for outdoor living you’ll want to make it as comfortable and inviting outdoors as you would indoors. Bring out the china, the candles, placemats, napkins, crystal and fresh flowers. It’s the ultimate in luxury and entertaining. When your guests are used to eating from paper plates, you serve them on fine china. What a treat! It’s easy to experience sophistication and grace when entertaining outdoors, but it’s hard to do on Hefty™ brand paper plates.

Photo Courtesy of Lonny Magazine

2. Be a Softy – Just as you would when decorating indoors, remember to balance your hard and soft elements in your outdoor decorating. If your outdoor environment is a concrete slab with hard metal furniture, bring in soft goods like seat cushions, chair pads, pillows, place mats, and even simple drapery panels. Look to soften your outdoor ‘room’ to make it more comfortable and inviting.

3. Select the Right Fabric – Outdoor living that withstands the elements is easy to achieve when selecting the right fabrics. There’s a big difference between indoor and outdoor fabrics. Whereas cotton is a durable, natural fabric, it can fade and mildew. Outdoor fabrics on the other hand have been reinvented! They don’t fade, are easy to clean, soft to the touch, repel mold and they hold up beautifully to the elements. Great for seat cushions, table covers, runners, place mats, napkins, drapes, pillows and even overhead canopies. Many of my clients like to even use them indoors!

4. Accessories – Finding attractive accessories that can withstand the elements can be a challenge. But don’t think you have to restrict your shopping to your local ‘garden center’. Scour salvage yards, antique shops, consignment stores and garage sales for fun, unique pieces to use outdoors. Look for opportunities to use common elements in unusual ways. Just remember that by leaving them outside more than likely they’ll deteriorate faster. Just keep that in mind when considering how much to pay for the pieces.
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Photo of an outdoor space accessorized by Kreative Ways & Solutions

Great outdoor decorating gives you another room to decorate and enjoy once the weather warms up. It provides an opportunity to tap into your creativity and expand on your home’s presence beyond your typical 4 walls. Outdoor decorating is not hard to do when you remember to embrace the elements of the outdoors, not run from them. And don’t forget to break out the fine china! You and your guests will be glad you did!

If you are interested in getting your season started in creating the outdoor space of your dreams contact us today at 1-888-280-8318 or interiors@kreativeways.com

 

Sherry Ways one of 25 Designers Featured in New Nursery Decor book!

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We are proud to announce that Sherry Ways – Interior Designer & Interior Decorator Washington, DC is one of 25 design professionals across the US  chosen to show a variety of looks for fun, age-appropriate rooms that can be easily updated as your baby grows in this new book, Nursery Decor by Ashley Rooney.  Featured in the book is an eco-friendly play room we designed for one of our clients.  With more than 200 color images, inspiration boards, and sketches, this colorful book is ideal for expecting parents and growing families looking for some fun decor inspiration. Long before the parents bring home the new baby, they are planning their nursery. What kind of crib or diaper stand? What color palette? What decor? There is a good deal of information available, but it can be confusing on its own. This well-illustrated book makes it easy. Look for it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

Should All My Furniture Match One Design Style?

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Today’s interior styles reflect an eclectic mix of influences. Not only can you switch up your style from room to room, but within a room as well. Whether you prefer a casual or a more formal approach to furnishing your home, the contrast of different styles enlivens the space. A well-designed space does not have matching pieces, and in order to create a visual interest in a room, it is better to complement rather than match. Matching is very restricted.

Spaces can become more personal through time as furniture pieces are collected from family members, friends, or antique shopping.

All these different styles collected can become representative of you and your style.  While on the other hand, buying a set can seem less personal and instead, less boring!

I  believe it’s more stimulating to use different styles as opposed to one style when it comes time to decorate.  When you use pieces that you have collected over the years and integrate new items as well, you are able to create a more personal living space.

Want more tips and inspiration for your home or office, sign up for the Kreative Koncepts newsletter  here.

Our Suggestions on Using Pantone’s 2013 Color Emerald in Your Interior

We could not end the year without acknowledging the 2013 Pantone Color of the year:  Emerald.   Any color green is a healing color and we would love to know what specifically went into the selection of it. Our  colleague and friend Leatrice Eiseman states:   “The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

Umm “clarity, renewal and rejuvenation.”  Wow, that is what we like to do, create interiors that inspire you.  Globally homeowners are seeking ways to feel better in their interiors.  So this revelation is extremely interesting as you look at where Pantone is going with their color of the year choice this year.  According to Pantone, Emerald is also a color that is considered sophisticated and elegant.  Ok, so you may ask, how can I integrate such a color in my interior? Here are our recommendations:

  • Accent wall in a room where you want to emphasize healing and harmony.
  • A sofa throw, table accessories or a lamp base.
  • Consider an emerald colored  area rug to ground a room.
  • Integrate the color using artwork that may emphasize it in some way.
  • How about emerald colored draperies?
  • An accented table scape- dishes, napkins, place mats
  • Bathroom accessories

Rooms where we recommend that you use the color Emerald:

  • Bathrooms
  • Guest bedrooms
  • Master bedrooms
  • Sun rooms
  • Living Rooms:  as accents only
  • Dining Room:  as a table scape accent only

Interestingly, Pantone provides the  following quote about their color selection which very ironic yet in alignment with our design philosophy at Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC:

“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

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Photos Courtesy of Pantone

If you would like specific recommendations on where to use Emerald in your interior for 2013, contact us today at -1-888-280-8318 or email us at interiors@kreativeways.com.

Eco-Friendy Dentist Office Design in Capitol Hill, DC

This time we are showcasing the first eco-friendly, holistic dental office in Washington, DC, Harmony Dental.     See our previous post here about the history of this project.  We designed this dental office using as many sustainable materials as possible including Icestone for the countertops and surface materials for the both the bathroom and lobby desk and one of our favorite paints Devine Paints which provided us a rich palette for this project.  We used recycled bottled tin ceilings, recycled upholstery fabric for the lobby chairs and energy efficient lighting including a skylight on this project.

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Our client and their patients are enthusiastic about this state of the art holistic interior design for a dental office.  Our first eco-friendly office we have ever designed.  Many visitors are stunned and delighted with the soothing color palette which we are known for and the delicate balance of efficiency and function.

Interested in knowing what we can design for your office?  Give us a call today at 1-888-280-8318 or email us at interiors@kreativeways.com.

Upleveling Your Space with Recycled Glass Tiles!

Whether they’re in your kitchen or bathrooms, tiled walls, counters and floors glass tiles can make a space brighter, darker, larger or smaller. They add a splash of color to any dull room or space. Different sizes can accommodate different uses, while different materials and textures can convey different feelings. Choosing the perfect tile for a certain space can be hard, as mentioned, various sizes, textures, materials and colors can make decision making hard. However, the first place one should start the picking process is with sustainability.

Glass tiles have been around for centuries and can provide a classic timeless look. From beautiful and classic Byzantine mosaics, to modern day kitchen back splashes, glass tiles have come and gone in and out of popularity through the times. Now days, glass tiles provide a great alternative for consumers seeking a green and sustainable product. Whether you are seeking them for your residential or commercial projects, glass tiles are ideal for LEED certification.

Glass tiles are made and produced by many different manufacturers, however, when looking; one must research whether the glass tiles are made of recycled content and if so, what percentage of the tiles are made of recycled content. StoneSource has a series of different glass tile lines that come in different shapes, sizes, colors and are all made of post consumer recycled glass, comprised of 67% post-consumer and 28% post-industrial recycled content. Fire Clay on the other hand introduced “Crush, 100% Recycled Glass Tile – a handmade, American-crafted glass tile created from 100% locally sourced recycled glass.”

 

No matter which room you choose there is a role for glass tile.  Uplevel your interior with it today!

 

The Livable Basement

We designed a customized entertainment center, spirits section and a wine cellar for this client’s basement as well.

 

This basement design we did for a client included custom daybeds, sconce lighting, bamboo flooring, custom cabinetry and grasscloth wallcoverings.

Is your basement feeling unused and unappreciated?  Do you need to breathe life into it?  Make it more livable?  Well, maybe it’s time to redesign and turn that underutilized area beneath your home as a livable, inviting space for everyone to enjoy!

The first step in a basement redesign is to thoroughly inspect your space for water damage, mold and mildew or any structural concerns.  Getting a licensed, bonded and insured contractor to inspect your basement is always a wise choice before you begin any remodeling.

Second, make sure that you develop a plan for your space. Determine your intention for the space.  Will it be a man cave; basement apartment; home theater; library or spa? How about a bowling alley?  Let your imagination run wild and then determine the layout design with the help of professional design specialist. Make the room seem wider and longer with the use of horizontal design elements.  Think about what you want to include such as bathrooms, kitchens and play areas for the children.  Budget is also important.  What do you want to spend for the space and what kind of upgrades are you willing to negotiate?

Because of the obvious location of the basement lighting is one of the most important design elements to consider.  It should be more heavily lit than any other space in the home.  Therefore, if it is possible to do so, recessed lighting is best for these areas.  Also, remember to maximize both natural (outdoor daylight) and artificial lighting as much as possible. Open floor plans and large windows, are ideal design elements that can help increase natural lighting in the basement.

Light color palettes or bright wallpaper designs are also wise choices. Using light paint colors will very effectively brighten the gloomiest basements!

Custom built-ins are great for storage of electronic equipment as well as other items.  If you already have an upholstered chair or sofa in your basement, consider a bright slipcover to change the look and add coordinating pillows that pop!

Flooring choices for the basement may range from carpeting to ceramic tile.  Preferably ceramic tile or vinyl surfaces work best.  These hard flooring surfaces can be enhanced by beautiful colorful area rugs.

Remember plan carefully for your basement design.  Do your homework.  Work out your budget and have fun implementing a livable basement design that you and your family will enjoy for years to come!  Contact us today to redo your basement design at 1-888-280-8318 or e-mail interiors@kreativeways.com

 

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