Spooky Trend

When planning a trip to Prague, I was intrigued by a story I had seen on the “Church of Bones”. A little creepy, perhaps; a little out of the box, definitely! However, I knew I had to see it for myself.  A short train ride to an obscure looking church in Kunta Hora, Czech Republic and we stood outside the Sedlec Ossuary. Nothing particularly notable about the exterior but step inside and you certainly notice something special.

Church of Bones

Church of Bones

Sedlec was originally a place of burial. During the …

Vacation Inspiration

On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I held my camera constantly by my side.  Never knowing where inspiration mind find it’s place, I could not help but snap away.  Between the birds, scenery and great friends, there was inspiration everywhere.  I was drawn to the serenity of these beautiful cairns along the Paquare River just outside our lodge.  And while resourcing window treatments for a client today, I could not help but notice these accessories at the Wesco Showroom and a smile came across my face as I …

Create a Comfortable Outdoor Space Just Right for You

Summer is Here!  If you are still wondering how to choose among the furniture options for your outdoor living space, here are a few different types that may help guide you in your decision:

Cast Aluminum: molten metal that is poured into a mold to form individual pieces (seats, backs, arms, or legs), then welded together.  The furniture may then be powder coated to create a durable, lasting finish. 

Wrought Aluminum: Extremely durable product that is made of molded aluminum that is shaped with a combination of …

March through April and Spring into a Fresh Look for your Home

You’ve survived the holidays, spring break with the kids, and tax time. Now it’s time to renew your energy and the out-of-date-out-of-style house that you once enjoyed.  A few tips to get you started…

  1. Paint like you see in color: A bold color on the walls can dramatically change the feel of a room. Brighten your space with “Coral Essence” or “Breath of Fresh Air” from Benjamin Moore.  Remember, paint is inexpensive and easy to change so don’t be afraid to do something different. 
  2. Talk to your walls: A

STOP THE MADNESS!

Confused, frustrated, have no idea where to begin…I am sure you know someone whether your sister, neighbor, mother-in-law, or friend who knows how to decorate or maybe has a knack for color.  So why would you hire a Qualified Professional Interior Designer?  The answer is simple: You need a TEAM.

TEAM project for Denver Life Showhouse to benefit the Kempe Foundation

TEAM project for Denver Life Showhouse to benefit the Kempe Foundation

  • Time: This is your most precious resource.  It’s nonrenewable, not recyclable, and you can’t buy or sell it.  By hiring a designer to manage the design process for you, just think of all the other ways you could spend your time.  Think of an interior designer as your own personal shopper, advocate, and business partner.  Designers will seek out the materials and fixtures that fit you and your lifestyle, handle the paperwork of ordering, tracking, shipping, coordinate the overall project goals and final design implementation, act as the liaison between the architect, builder, and other team members.  Wouldn’t you rather spend your time laughing with your friends, connecting with your family, or enjoying a few moments of silence alone? 
  • Experience: Be it through education, experience, or better yet both, a designer is trained to handle any design challenge.  They understand the elements and principles of design and know how to apply them.  Designers will create in interior space with well balanced décor, furniture that is appropriately scaled for your house, finish combinations that flow from room to room, shapes and textures pleasing to the eye and touch.  A desire for decorating should be no substitute for interior design expertise.
  • Access: With a virtually unlimited number of resources available, designers will help narrow the search to those resources most appropriate for you and your home.  Designers have access to project appropriate showrooms and designer only showrooms where more unique and less common items can be found.   Designer can make sure you have the proper materials specified for each location, sustainable finishes and furnishings as desired, as well as explain the proper maintenance to keep your home looking it’s best. 
  • Money: Think of your designer as an investment.  Like a savings account, you want the highest interest rate and greatest return.  A well designed house will last longer, sell faster and with a higher dollar value than one with mediocre appeal. A qualified professional interior designer will work with your taste and within your budget to create the home you desire for the best value. 

Contact JJ Interiors to help you with your project and to be part of your TEAM!

Please enjoy our third annual Holiday Design Poem! Follow along to the tune of “Santa Baby”.

Builder Bradley–Please Finish My Remodel Tonight

Builder Bradley, just slipper tub my bathroom
For me
Been an awful long time
Builder Baby, please finish my remodel tonight
 
Builder Bradley, a 24” dishwasher too
Brand new
I’ll leave a key for you here
Builder Bradley, please finish my remodel tonight
 
Think of all the mess you’ve made
Think of all the subcontractors paid
Next week I could furnish this place
If you’ll check off my long punch list
 
Builder Bradley, I thank you a lot and really think we have a wonderful spot
Builder Bradley, please finish my remodel tonight
 
Builder Bradley, one thing that I really need is paint
Don’t wait
Please hurry up my remodel tonight
 
The designer is coming next week
With furniture to furnish my penthouse suite
I really do believe in you
Let’s see if you can deliver for me
 
Builder Bradley, forgot to mention one little thing
Your team
Has been so great to work with
Builder Bradley, so finish my remodel tonight
Please finish my remodel tonight
Yes, tonight!

Pet Projects–Designing with your “best friend” in mind

Macy, our nine year old rescue dog, is definitely a lover of people.  Frequently in the office, and always under foot, I could not resist snapping this picture of her sleeping behind the curtains.  Of course it got me thinking about sharing our lives and home with our pets and the great ways we can improve their comfort and our own by integrating simple ideas into the design. 

Sweet Dreams: Pet beds provide your dog with a comfortable place to sleep and a place they can call their own.  However, if you have a fool-proof method for keeping them off the bed when you are away, please let me know.  Traditional dog beds are fine but how about a more interesting and decorative solution?  Match the covering fabric to your décor, custom design to coordinate with your modern or traditional style, or incorporate into furniture like these fun pieces from Modernist Cat.

Watering Hole: Consider where you feed your pets and include food, water, and dishes all in one place.  Incorporate a water spigot into your laundry room for easy refilling of water bowls.  Store food in pull out bins for easy refilling of food dishes.  If you have multiple pets with dietary constraints, trash/recycling bins can store foods separately.  Use a lower drawer with pet dishes integrated into the bottom and can be tucked away when not in use.

Shower Them With Love:  A floor level wash for larger dogs will make it easier for them to get in and out.  For smaller dogs, it may be helpful to have a shower closer to counter height so you don’t have to strain your back bending down.  Mount the shower head on an adjustable bar and you can raise and lower it to accommodate pets of all shapes and sizes. 

Chew Toys:  Keep your pets away from cords and cables.  Ensure your pets safety and secure all window treatment cords with butterfly cleats.  Many companies offer options that maintain the same cord length whether the shade is open or closed or even cordless options.  Hunter Douglas is one of the leading manufacturers and even offers motorized options.  Hide computer cables with conduit or cord concealers.  Your local office supply store or those that cater to the needs of the organized and orderly (like me) has some inexpensive and effective solutions.  

To Eat or Not To Eat:  Keep pets away from plants that are not good for their health.  The ASPCA has a helpful list of indoor and outdoor plants away from which to steer your pets.  Use repellants to deter them from eating your house plants and instead provide quick growing grasses for your cat to chew.  I’ve even resorted to cayenne pepper to keep my cat’s teeth away from the carpet.  It worked great and is non-toxic!

Most importantly, share in the joy and love your pet unconditionally.  I am nearly certain they provide more for us than we could ever give to them.  For assistance in designing a space personalized for your beloved pet, let us help you!

Confused by Hardwood?

How to make the right choice in hardwood flooring…

After attending a class on hardwood flooring at T&G Flooring several weeks ago, it was clear to me that the spectrum of knowledge varies greatly and thus might be a good topic for my blog.  

First, I’d like to discuss the difference between engineered and solid hardwood.  Solid hardwood is just that; a solid piece of wood typically about 3/4″ thick.  The length of each board will vary depending on the species.  (Mesquite shown in the image above has shorter board lengths but is often selected for its other characteristics touched on below.)  Engineered products are often confused with laminate flooring, and just to be clear these are NOT the same.  Engineered flooring has multiple layers of substrate underneath a visible layer of actual hardwood while laminate is simply a picture of wood.

Mesquite, Hardwood, Interior Design

Mesquite Hardwood Floor

Depending on where you want to install your material, the best product for your application will vary.  Solid material is great for location on or above grade.  For below grade such as basements, engineered may be a better option. 

Keep in mind that the greater the width of the board, the more solid hardwood may shrink and swell creating visible gaps between each board.  For our extremely dry Colorado climate, kiln drying is a must and on site humidity prior to installation should be between 6-9% though the lower end of that spectrum is better.  Also, for minimal movement, consider the species you select.  Mesquite will shrink and swell minimally where hickory (a commonly used wood for our area) will change much more.  Somewhere in between you will find maple, oak, and pine, including beetle-kill.  The lower the dimensional change coefficient, the less susceptible the species is to shrinking and swelling.  Engineered products tend to be more stable as the layers beneath the wood wear layer alternate direction and are glued and pressed together. 

Do you prefer a floor with lots of character marks and dents for that aged look or a floor that is much less likely to dent and mar?  The Janka hardness test measures for resistance to denting and wear only.  The higher the score, the harder the wood.  Many exotic woods such as Brazilian Cherry perform very well whereas oak, pine, and cherry are more likely to distress over time.  Janka hardness does NOT include scratching and it is best to discuss the surface finish options with your installer for scratch resistant qualities.

Unfinished hardwood can be classified by grade from “clear” to “select” to #1, #2, and #3 or “character”.  Character grades contain more knots, imperfections, and shorter boards than clear which are more uniform in color and have the fewest blemishes.  Both solid and engineered floors may come unfinished.  Prefinished floors do not have the same standard of grading and T&G suggests asking the manufacturer to tie their grade to an unfinished grade so you know what you are getting.  Great recommendation!

Finally, prefinished floor stain options come only as the manufacture creates.  Unfinished floors are site-stained so virtually any color can be achieved though are not predictable in how a particular species or individual board will color.

Much of the beauty of wood is that it is a natural material and does vary and change over time.  Embrace the beauty.  When installed and cared for properly, your wood flooring can last a lifetime.  For assistance in your selection process and creating a successful overall look incorporating wood flooring into your project, let us help you!

Our Second Annual Holiday Design Poem

We had so much fun last year, and your response was so fabulous, we thought we’d give it another go.  Enjoy this years’ poem to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Jingle Bells–Designer Fun

Walking through Ikea
Can’t seem to find my way
O’er the shelves I go
Dizzy all the way
Ringing in my ears
The lights are way too bright
What pain it is to shop and not
Find what I need tonight
 
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Called up my designer
Oh what fun it is to have a design
All planned out with delight
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Called up my designer
Oh what fun it is to have her skills
To take away the fright
 
Shopping now online
To save a buck or two
Spent more hours now
Than I care admit to you
Found a cheap chair for my den
A bolt of fabric too
Saved 10 bucks but the chair is cracked
And the fabrics torn, boo hoo
 
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Called up my designer
She can help me save myself
From another awful night
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Called up my designer
I’m not gonna do this by myself
I learned a lesson all right
 
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Called up my designer
Can’t believe how great it is
to have it all done right
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Called up my designer
Saved time and money hiring her
Called JJ Interiors last night!