Modern Style Meets Real Life


Modern Design Meets Real LifeSometime, in the middle of all of those Pinterest daydream sessions, reality smacks you in the design face.  I’m as in love with easy breezy modern décor as the next gal, but it’s sometimes a challenge to merge all of those clean lines and chevron prints with something like, say, most appliances. Even something as simple as an alarm clock can become a design puzzle.

Can you really create a cohesive, beautiful room on a budget and while living a normal life? Because, in the middle of normal life are things like toy boxes and piles of bills and Wi-Fi routers and a whole host of other things that just aren’t ever showcased in a staged, designed room.

I’m here to tell you—you absolutely can! Choosing the right appliances and using a few tricks can turn your ordinary, boring room into something that reflects your unique sense of style and makes guests feel welcome.

Are You On Trend? Do You Care?

If you hang out on Pinterest at all, or watch all of those HGTV design shows, you know that the trends right now merge the clean lines of modern design with bold colors.  Pantone’s 2014 color of the year is called “Radiant Orchid”—and if that doesn’t tell you most of what you need to know about the trend toward bold but organic colors, I’m just not sure what will.   (Though, you know, if you don’t want to paint your house purple, we won’t judge you.)Modern Design Meets Real Life

But bold isn’t necessarily the only trend.  Though Elle Décor predicts that 2014 will bring a focus on another bold color—turquoise—as well as hides, with fur rugs and leather upholstery becoming more and more popular. House Beautiful, in its poll of designers about 2014 design trend, found perhaps a more realistic view of home design.  Arianna Vargas suggested that a “versatile neutral base” would be the canvas for homeowners and designers to use big impact accent pieces that were interchangeable.  Designer Lindsay Souza suggested that, in our short attention-span culture, a return to tradition in the form of vintage or one-of-a-kind pieces would be the way homeowners would choose to interpret this year’s design trends.


This Year’s Biggest Trend: One-of-a-Kind or Vintage Pieces

Maybe you don’t care about what designers say this year will focus on—and more power to you! The most important thing in your home is for it to reflect your personality and to be comfortable and welcoming to you and your family.

Making YOUR Design Statement Without Sacrificing Practicality

For those of us not able or willing to hire a designer to help us achieve the look we want, we have to figure out how to merge all of the necessities of daily life with our design desires.  Whether your style veers more toward the modern or the shabby chic cottage look, you’ll have to figure out how to include all of the random details—clocks and remotes and flat screens and things that don’t seem to be designed to fit into any streamlined design plan.  The frustration can be overwhelming if you let it—but don’t! Companies are finally taking notice and giving us appliance options that don’t make us want to sit down and give up.

Modern Design Meets Real LifeTake, for example, the Luma HC12W.  It’s a purely practical appliance—a cool-mist humidifier—that is designed like a work of modern art.  If you’re like me, you remember a genuinely ugly plastic concoction your mom once used when you were sick many decades ago.  Maybe it leaked, maybe it had power cords running everywhere, maybe it looked like something out of a bad space movie—whatever it was, it was NOT stylish.

In any room, you want a few statement accessory pieces that will both draw attention but also fade into the background when you want it to. The Luma HC12W does just this.  Its design mimics that of a tall, modern vase—the same kind you might place near your fireplace or unobtrusively next to a piece of furniture simply for design impact.  With this piece, though, you are getting design impact as well as fabulous function.  The organic lines of the piece make it timeless and its simple assembly and use (with a remote!) make it even more attractive from an ease-of-use standpoint.

Compare the Luma’s streamlined design to the other similar appliances out there.

Certainly, humidifiers have moved forward from those bad 80s memories, but not much.  Now, they may look like a giant teardrop or a big water container.  Maybe it has a fun, bold color—but it still looks like exactly what it is, and it certainly doesn’t look like a purposeful decorating choice.  It looks like something you’d want to put under a table and hide—which sort of defeats the purpose of a humidifier, doesn’t it? With the Luma Comfort line of products, there’s no need to hide and no need to worry about trying to find a special spot (aka hiding place) for it.  Showcase it—and make your life a lot easier as you design your room.

Creating Your Dream House Yourself

If you’re not hiring a designer, then more than likely you, like most people, are doing the heavy lifting (metaphorically and literally) yourself.  What does that mean? You’re rolling up your sleeves and painting, reupholstering furniture, and DIYing your way to the room and house of your dreams.

Let me help a bit, with a few painting tips and strategies that will hopefully save you time AND money!

When you paint:

  • Put tinfoil on your paint tray.  When you are finished, just pull off the tinfoil and uncover a paint-free tray that can be reused again and again.
  • Invest in a quality painter’s tape. Especially if you are tackling something more complicated than standard single color coat, you’ll need a tape that won’t allow bleeding.  Inexpensive is not always the best option.
  • Buy some vinegar.  Did you know that a 50-50 combo of vinegar and warm water can dissolve more paint from your brushes than other options? Soak for about 30 minutes and then rinse.  You might be surprised!
  • Roll with imperfection.  No, you don’t want drips and drops all over your house or wall, but if you are painting stripes, you’re not Modern Design Meets Real Lifegoing to get them perfectly straight.  Most walls and surfaces are not perfectly straight or level, so your work will have to adapt.  Think about the overall impression, especially once furniture returns to the
    area.  Embrace less stress—after all, you’re doing this on your own!

Find a way to make your space your own, no matter the challenge.  Find appliances and accessories that, while practical, still fit with your vision of your comfortable, welcoming, beautiful home. You deserve that!

 

 

 

Design Milk is the Heaven of Home Décor

When checking out a new home, you try to imagine what it will look like once you’ve finally moved in. You try to picture yourself living there. You want it safe if you have kids, you want a backyard if you have a pet, or you want a huge kitchen if you cook. You also look at how your beautiful furniture and decor will fit in. But first, you must finish the essentials before settling into a new home.

My daughter and her family just purchased their first home in Los Angeles, California. It’s in part of the city that allows for an easy drive into downtown, where they work and shop. The house itself isn’t easy on the eyes as its older, but with a little love and care it will be her most prized possession. They have a few months before they officially move-in, and that’s plenty of time to get the home ready to comfortably live in. Of course, my husband and I helped them out for a weekend, and we spent time cleaning, painting, and unpacking the essentials at their new home. I encouraged her to create a “To-Do List” and she found it really helpful to make sure everything gets done before the big move. It’s important to only start working on the interior rather than exterior because that can always wait. Move-in day is quite tiring and you’ll be unpacking for days, but here is a list of important “to-do” items for every new homeowner. Please feel free to add on any others that come to mind:

Residential Home

1. Change the Locks

The realtor or the previous owners may still have the keys. You’ll sleep like a baby knowing that no one is able to get into your home except for you. Setting up an alarm system isn’t a bad idea either however at the beginning you will have so many other expenses, so this is definitely something to consider once you have settled in.

2. Exterminate Pests

You can never be too careful. When you move into your new home, you spend several hours on your hands and knees cleaning floors, so why not do a proper job and get rid of those pests once and for all.

3. Check Plumbing

Even if the realtor stated the plumbing is fine, get it checked anyway. Hopefully you won’t have to pay an excruciating amount of money for fixes.

4. Clean, Clean, Clean

The house may have been cleaned before the keys are handed to you, but it’s better to do it yourself. To save time, hire a service that can deep scrub EVERYTHING…specifically the bathtub.

5. Install a New Toilet

I’m a germ freak. Install a new toilet because who knows how much bacteria is on that thing when you move in.

6. Find the Circuit Breaker

Label it, so you don’t kill yourself or someone else.

7. Install New Switch Plates

It will make the home feel newer with clean outlets or cover plates

8. Check the Smoking Detectors

Make sure they work. Test it by placing a lit candle near it.

9. Paint the Walls and Ceilings

Hopefully you have time to give the color of your walls a deep thought. If not, you can always paint them a neutral color like white or beige.

10. Get Rid of Peeping Toms

Cover windows with blinds, curtain, drapes, or shutters. Prevent nosy neighbors from looking in, so you can have some privacy.

11. Hook up the Internet

You’ll be making new memories at your new place, and letting your friends and family in on your new journey will be comforting. Once you have your internet installed, post some pictures! Remember to put a password on your wireless internet. It’s bad enough having nosy neighbors without them stealing your internet also.

12. Clean the Air

Clean your heating and cooling systems. Purchase an air purifier and humidifier for a healthier living lifestyle. Jaime Derringer, Founder and Executive Editor of Design Milk, says, “I think that it’s a challenge to work around any free-standing appliance or small tabletop appliance. It’s much easier when the appliance is hidden, good-looking or well-integrated.” Luckily for all you new homeowners, Luma Comfort is a handsome hunk. Say goodbye to ugly products! Our air purifiers and humidifiers will fit into your home décor without a hitch.

Jaime currently owns a humidifier that she consistently uses during the winter in her Southern California home. Without that moisture in the air, she would be drying up like a raisin. She recommends placing a humidifier in your bedroom and an air purifier in family rooms.

13. Furnish

imgresFurnishing your space can be expensive, so it’s important to have the basics – a table, sofa, bed, and chair. Moving around furniture can always make a huge difference on how you feel about your place. Even placing things on the wall, like art and photographs, is a quick way to make you feel at home. As you save more money for furniture, you can keep in mind how you want the personality of your home to show. That’s when Jaime and Design Milk come in to save the day again!

Design Milk is the definition of eye candy. It’s an online magazine dedicated to bringing you the best in modern art, architecture, interior design, furniture, décor, fashion, and technology. You’ll find designs from the around the world to bring into your own home. Before creating the site, Jaime was a frequent wanderer in furniture stores as she has always had a creative mind for design. Her inspiration comes from nature, as well as the contributions of artists and designers to her site. She has thus become an expert in home décor, design, furniture, technology, and architecture. Her signature brand and style have become recognizable among the most popular design channels to date! They’ve been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Time Out New York, The San Francisco Chronicle, was one of the Google Reader Engineers’ Staff Picks and has been noted on Twitter’s “Who to Follow” list of influencers in Art and Design. Great stuff!

I ALWAYS find gorgeous products every time I visit Design Milk. It is the heaven of home décor. Jaime also loves using Pinterest and recommends it for your own inspiration because you can find amazing items and ideas there too (Want to be a trendsetter? She’s predicting patterns will be “in” very soon!). The best advice she has ever received is, “Go with your gut. Buy and do what you love.” We are happy to pass this advice along to our readers as they purchase products from contributors of Design Milk. We hope that you live comfortably and in style at your new home.