Friday, August 3, 2018

On The Job: Make Home Office a Productive Space

For many of us, home isn't just where the heart is; it's where the office is, too.




It's been said that productivity can be achieved when you are relaxed, organized and want to stay in the space. I have worked from a home office for years. The first space was shared with the laundry room. I use to take calls between wash loads.

The second space was shared with the dining room; I used the dining table as a desk and the hutch for files, price lists and reference guides. Now my space is completely on its own. Nothing in this office is designated for anything else but my work, and that has kept me productive, happy and sane.

If you're not feeling good about your home-office space, here are four ways to make it -- and you -- more productive, happy and sane.

Find the order

Take an inventory of your home office. How much of the contents of your space are used frequently? How much of it has been sitting for weeks, months or maybe years? Before taking another step, declutter. Decide what office supplies you need; for everything else, carry it to the car and take it to a charity. This is a first step to a room redo, and you can't do a redo in a cluttered room.
 




Clean

When your environment is clean, your mind is free to be creative and productive. If you have old work, old newspapers or old magazines muddling your desk, clean them up.
This also is the time to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. A favorite color and one piece of nondistracting art on the wall will do wonders for lifting the mood of your home office.
 

Set priorities
When your home office is devoted to other activities, it's hard to focus on work. You inevitably will be distracted by the other activity. So, figure out what items in your office are used for work and what items aren't. If you have a television in your office that is not used for work, remove it. I'm not saying that your home office shouldn't be personalized -- it should be, of course -- but if those personal items draw your attention away from your work, they have to go elsewhere. A few pictures and mementos can be used to personalize your space, but don't overdo it.
Organize
Now that you've successfully done the first steps, it's time to organize your remaining space. Divide your room into zones. Zone 1, storage, is for items that can go in a closet. This would include office supplies and rarely used reference materials. Zone 2, desk items, is for only the bare necessities -- pens and pencils, computer, stapler and tape. Everything else needs a home inside a desk drawer to prevent a cluttered desk. Zone 3, display, is for books and magazines. Use organizers that go on a bookshelf. These organizers can be grouped together and be reached in a moment. Zone 4 addresses light in your office. If it's too dark, open up windows, remove heavy curtains and replace with sheer shades, or bring in lighting fixtures. When you can see clearly you are more likely to stay in that space. Also make sure there is good ventilation and temperature control. If you are too hot or cold, you will quickly want to leave your office. And we can't have that, you've work to do!

Call me for your home office re-style appointment now!

 

Monday, July 16, 2018

The E-Design Color Consultation, Save Stress, Time and Money

Have a home in need of a new fresh paint color? Short on time to find the right paint color? Don’t want to stand in front of a thousand plus color chips in the paint store? The E-Design Color Consultation is your answer to getting the right color for your home with no guesswork or costly mistakes.

The example below demonstrates how easy it was for this client to get the exterior home color right the first time! Keep reading to discover how it's done and how you can benefit!
 
Before and after pictures. what a transformation !
Here’s the process:
•    THE DISCOVERY CALL…This can be done by phone or by email I’ll ask “detail” questions of your color likes and dislikes, of your plans for other work you plan to do around the home’s grounds like landscaping, brick or cement work or if a new roof or secondary building is to be constructed.


BEFORE, little gray Bungalow in the sad shape!
 
  • A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS…You send me your home’s elevation pictures, lots of them. Close up pictures, long shot pictures from the curb, front, side and back elevation pictures are imperative to this first step. I also need pictures of the two homes flanking yours, and a picture of the home across the street from yours. Your neighbors!  
 
AFTER...by trimming in red to enhance the roof tiles it comes alive!
 
•    THE TWO CHOICES…After careful study of your home’s architecture, layout and the other outside elements surrounding your home I will create and send you 2 new color palette options via email. These are two separate color groupings that both consist of Body, Trim and Accent Colors. Via email, we have some in-depth discussion that covers placement of colors, color sheen's and how they relate to your vision and mine of your home’s new color. I will also email you images of other homes similar to yours in the color option choices so you can see how they would look on your home.
 
 
BEFORE...The garage doors were to remain white but so much more can be done to bring more color, depth and dimension  to the otherwise flat elevation.
 
•    SAID AND DONE…Via email and regular post mail I will send you large color sheets of the colors specified, a “color schedule” for your painting contractor (or for you) of the specified colors stating the areas where each color is to be placed including the correlating color sheens and any detail notes that are pertaining to the applications. And if you do not have a painting contractor lined up I can refer you to many top rated painting contractors in your area known to me through the professional trades I’ve established in my 30 plus year career.



AFTER...



BEFORE...
AFTER
 
Have a home in need of a new fresh paint color? Short on time to find the right paint color? Don’t want to stand in front of a thousand plus color chips in the paint store?
The E-Design Color Consultation is your answer to getting the right color for your home with no guesswork or costly mistakes.
 

Call 925-862-9064 or email me at Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com for your phone appointment today!

 

Friday, June 8, 2018

What does "Bespoke" mean and why am I using this word?





After seeing the word “Bespoke” in the tagline of my Newsletter my sister in law questioned its meaning. She’s a wonderful sewer, has an eye for the finer details that sewing demands, and is passionate about sewing. Shortly thereafter a past client received the Newsletter and she too, along with her husband asked, “What the heck is bespoke and why are you suddenly using it”? That’s two people, both reading my newsletter and inquiring its denotation! As Lucille Ball would say "I got some splaining to do"! Ladies and gentleman here, after doing a quick google search, is its meaning… Goods, especially clothing, made to order. A bespoke suit dealing in or producing custom-made articles as a bespoke tailor.
 
Not by chance but intentionally created by design, and made entirely by specific measurement that fit perfectly!


I like my definition better: It means the opposite of off-the-rack or in clothing and in home fashions the opposite of mass-produced. Bespoke clothing like soft home furnishings is custom-made. It is NOT made to measure because a made-to-measure item is a standard, and simply customized at the factory in certain measurements and details. Bespoke is made from scratch by skilled craftspeople to your, or in my case my, specifications. 
 
The details are also created in the design, much of which require hand stitching not a sewing machine.

We designers like to make this distinction carefully because after all the price reflects the cost of goods but also the cost of labor and most importantly the cost of our creative brains when we design something absolutely fabulous for your home and YOU which NO ONE else will have exactly like yours! 
 
This pillow was created with purpose, it had to carry the drama in the room along side the not seen black baby grand piano.

“Bespoke Soft Home Furnishings" will always be a one of a kind product that graces your home and on one else's! 
The hem and trim detailing is impeccable.

The finely tuned pleating that is just perfect!

The over all design from a distance gracing the room and up close without a thread out of place.

And if you’d like to get more ideas, tips and the low down on what’s hot and what’s not for the home,  subscribe to  my Newsletter and Get the 5 Steps to Creating a Realistic Room Design Budget "  for your next project.

With lot's of decorating love,
Toni 


Friday, May 18, 2018

5 Rediculously Easy Steps To Home Design Success

TRUST THE PROCESS...

Let's be fair not everyone has the time to measure the living room for that new sofa, let alone go out and hunt it down! And not everyone has the where with all to buy new window treatments that actually fit the window correctly let alone know what kind of window treatments the room requires or would look best with the furnishings. Oh, wait you don't have the furnishings?  I see you meant to furnish the rooms when you moved in and then life happened didn't it?
So here's the low-down on...
5 Simple Steps to Decorating Your Home


Are you ready to make your home comfortable, beautiful  and easy to live in so it makes you smile every time you walk in the door? Let us take your home from "not so great" to "OMG I love my home".
 

TRUST THE PROCESS

Contact us today at Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com or call 925.862.9064

to schedule your FREE phone consultation NOW!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Best Mother's Day Gift Ever

 A design gift card for our Consultation Service makes for the perfect gift!
Our in-home consultations include one-on-one attention, instant feedback and
exclusive designer access. Together we will work to create a space that fits her
aspirational lifestyle, bringing design dreams to reality.
 
 
THE  DESIGN CONSULTATION
 
This is perfect for the person who has been thinking and talking about a change but
does not know how to get started. No problem.
The consultation may include creating a furniture layout, creating a lighting plan, choosing and placing art, reviewing materials and colors, choosing
window treatments and selecting paint colors.
 
 
PRICE: $350
  
 
reply here or call 925-862-9064 to receive your gift card digitally!


Thursday, April 19, 2018

My 5 favorite new colors by Benjamin Moore Paint

It’s Spring and that means it’s time to paint! Why agonize over what color to choose! Where does one color start and one color end or does this color go with the floors? Are these your dilemma questions when faced with choosing a paint color? 

Well it’s my job to watch and spot color trends happening in the design world.  And so here are my 5 favorites! These colors have been in the Benjamin Moore Paint line for many years but now we use them in a fresh new way and they are all livable and lasting! Let’s try one or two together in your home and watch your room take on a completely different and modern vibe!

MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com
Via Decorchick.com
 MUSHROOM…A light gray-beige that’s not too cool, not too warm, but just right for bringing pastel colors down to earth. Benjamin Moore CSP-1040 SHITAKE MUSHROOM


MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com
Via Apartment Therapy
MOSSY GREEN…Brown undertones put this green in the territory of forest and foliage hues, so it really shines with DAFFODIL, VIOLET, & RASPBERRY.  Benjamin Moore 443 FORREST HILL GREEN



MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com
Via Pinterest
DAFFODIL…The clearest, happiest yellow in town and the only truly warm color in our palette. It packs a punch, so use sparingly as they did above on a track door. Benjamin Moore 2021-50 YELLOW LOTUS

MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com
Via Pinterest
VIOLET…Meet the purple that thinks it’s a neutral. An abundance of gray gives it depth and velvety richness. Benjamin Moore 1398 CHARMED VIOLET

MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com
Via Pinterest
SKY BLUE…Because everything in nature goes with the sky. This color works well in bedrooms because it has that “restful” appeal we all long for at the end of the day! A touch of gray mutes this blue so it looks fresh and grounded. Benjamin Moore 807 SOFT SKY

Have I got your attention….give me a call to schedule your “color consultation” now! I have an solution to your color dilemma!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Never trust a woman with paint chips in her hands!

Pick a color, any color!

Yes that's me with a lamp shade hat and a full deck of Benjamin Moore Paint Color chips! LOL
This beautiful Easter season it the perfect time to say..."it's a pleasure to have served each and every one of you!"
And in the spirit of Easter, Spring and New Beginnings I'd like to invite you to take advantage of a little discount I'm offering for the *month of April.

25% Off on "Color Consultations"!

If you are about to paint the interior or exterior of your home and dreading the thought of going into the paint store and looking at all those tiny little paint chips, here is the solution to save you time, frustration and possible costly mistakes!

A "Color Consultation" will give you a chance to actually see the colors right in the very space they will be painted, your home! I will help you choose the right colors based on your furnishings, lighting and architecture. You will receive color options and choices, a detailed placement chart for you and your painting contractor, and large color chips of the paint!

Just my way of saying "Thank You" and wishing you and yours a joyous Easter!

REPLY HERE OR CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR APRIL APPOINTMENT
& Save 25% On The One Hour Color Consultation in Your Home!


*offer expires April 30th, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018

Beautiful Color Starts With a Consultation!

Spring is almost here! Time to evaluate the colors in your home? Do they still work for your lifestyle, or are you ready to do something different?

This includes your home's color.....

At Marie Antoinette Interiors, we will choose colors and paints best-suited for your interior and exterior spaces, taking into consideration the room’s dimensions, furniture and lighting.
During your appointment, we’ll assess every room in your home or office and take detailed notes. Whether you prefer soft-spoken colors such as pastels or you’re ready for an onslaught of change with more vivid hues, we will create an appealing and wonderfully personal palette.




We promise to keep the process engaging, informative and fun — as it should be! After finalizing our choices, Marie Antoinette Interiors will provide you with a color schedule listing each room, its respective color choices, the paint sheen, and any other required detail in the design. We also will give you large sample cards of each color. In addition, we will email the color schedule to your  paint contractor on your behalf. Our goal? To ensure the group of colors reflects your personality and is efficiently applied.


CALL TODAY FOR YOUR CONSULTATION!

925.862.9064   Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Living Room Design Challenge, Just Her Style

"Let me show you this great piece of original art that I purchased for the living room", she said! And so the challenge began!
THE ROOMS INSPIRATION FROM THE BEGINNING
The painting was interesting in a "Peter Max" kind of way! A busy city, New York maybe... It was so very different than the traditional art and design that we created in the family room but I liked it, the client loved it and to be honest the more I looked at it, the more I fell in love with it! OK, I got this I said!

A "design concept board" is created to view the possible options in creating a lovely room using the art she loved!
The first step was to assess the rooms challenges and there were many.  Below is the BEFORE shot of the room with the art in place over the mantel. 30 year old furnishings needed replacing but the tables were keepers great quality and still beautiful! Flanking windows too small and low for such a large room. Accessories were plentiful but needed to be edited and displayed differently.
BEFORE...oh my goodness!
Here's the same room AFTER with new sofas, chairs and beautiful window treatments. Custom made for these windows. New custom pillows in colors that pulled exclusively from the art piece were used to give this room the amount of "pop" needed. 

AFTER...
 Below was the biggest challenge! This 6 unit eyebrow arched window just screamed, "come dress me" and so we did!

BEFORE...
I designed a custom iron rod  from which to hang the simple yet elegant drapery panels. The side windows that flank the fireplace have a valance that I designed in the shape to match the larger window, repeating and keeping a common theme respecting the architectural arch.

AFTER...
Another challenge  was the built in wood cabinetry.  This client is a "quilter" and she displays her treasured quilts in this cabinet. She is also a world traveler and so the side shelves show off her collections from her travels. If you look closely inside the arch is a painting of a arched window pane! The client and I both were not fond of it but neither of us could come up with a possible solution to change it! I thought to paint it in the same color as the wood so not to bring attention to it but my client thought otherwise and she was "right"!

BEFORE....
To my surprise and delight...she, being the quilting artist that she is, replaced it with strips of colorful fabrics (taking the colors from the painting) sewn together vertically. The fabrics were remenents from her hundreds of quilts she created.

AFTER...

This was a project after my own heart! I believe we all have an artist of sorts just aching to come out! This client believed in herself, and in her abilities to create a space in her home that felt so uniquely her and no one else. Not one design element in this room was casually chosen; from the art to the throw pillows the room is completely designed with her in mind!

Do you have a room you want to make your own? Give me call or email to schedule your free 30 minute conversation about your space.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Decorating the Children's Room?

A fun area rug can not only protect the floor or carpet under it but will also give the room some added interest or states the theme. Here it's Giraffes! Find rugs like this one at Wayfair.com
I admit...children's rooms are the most fun to decorate! From my own two children to the children of others, I have found that if you include their ideas and creativity  from the very beginning you get a better outcome!

Custom Bedding is my specialty. So if you can't find just what you want email me for a consult!
The décor possibilities are as endless as the child's own imagination, so why not let them be the "designer" from the get to!
This sophisticated pink and gold room is perfect for that grownup teen!
And when two children share the same room they can both create their own space within the larger space by using different bedding and other decor elements.
 
Color Consultations are worth the investment! We not only know the right color choices but we also know where or what surface to apply that color. We specialize in Benjamin Moore Paint colors!

To carry the furniture through years of use chose the best you can afford because children are notoriously hard on furniture! In fact, in some families, it's very likely that more than one child will use the same furniture so chose neutral furnishes instead of trendy colored ones.
The best part of making a room special to a child is to include them in the process and they will love it as much as you will for having provided it!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018 Trend Watch and Decorating Tips to Apply Them to Your Home



Decorating Tip: Don’t paint it white, let it be natural. Many reproductions of vintage rattan are creeping up everywhere. Use a rattan chair and ottoman in a traditional living room and watch the entire room become less serious! Add a large rattan chair at the head of the table and wow your guests, who will get to be queen for the evening? YOU!


It was certainly on trend last year in drapery fabrics and this year it’s expanded into upholstery goods as well. Decorating Tip: Use it as the main primary fabric in a room instead of the accent fabric. In keeping with the black, white and gray theme, by using it on a large sofa or arm chair the accent fabrics can be bold and bright to make a statement.
 

No color on the color wheel has more positive physiological benefits than blue! In velvet or suede it means business, in cotton or linen it means casual elegance and in menswear wool it means smart! Decorator Tip: An indigo blue element accent within a room gives it a sparkle. So if your room is drab and lacking luster give it a bit of Indigo as a lamp base, a large bowl on the table or a throw rug!
Use this old stand-by to update any surface. Not all of us can just trade out our tile kitchens with beautiful slabs of Italian Marble! But we can get the “look” by installing large marble tiles on the backsplashes. Decorator Tip: Marble wallpaper can be impressively realistic, install it in a small powder room for a luxurious look! You can also purchase small accent tables with marble bases and tops to add as a bedside table instead of the big chunky wood one! It’s a sure solution to updating any space!
Final Decorating Tip: Call a decorator to update your space if you don’t have the time or energy to do so! We watch trends, we know our business, and we know instinctively how to “re-style” a space without breaking the bank!