Decor & Accessories; for a Purpose and Meaning

After a long hiatus, my blog has returned. Let’s jump right into the deep end…

If you take a look around any home store right now they are bursting with decor and accessories. Quite rightly so, the holidays are the quintessential time to decorate the home with accessories. Pretty as all of those glittery baubles are, they are majorly lacking in one area: purpose and meaning. Let me explain…

This time last year I wrote about holiday decorations and included a cute poem depicting the sentiment of decorations. If you missed it, here’s the link: Twinkle & Sparkle.  Now, I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t acknowledge that my home too is decorated with beautiful and curated store-bought decorations. I’ll even confess that I have a color coordinated Christmas tree that I put up with military tactical precision, calculating the distance between the same colors so as not saturate any area but rather evenly disperse the ornaments. (Seriously, I’m a real treat to decorate a Christmas tree with, its serious business. Occupational hazard, my apologies!)

But, with that precision, in the adjacent branches should be the ornaments that over time your family has created by gluing together popsicle sticks, knitting and crocheting bits of yarn, painting doilies, and drawing on tissue paper with markers.  Children’s art and family heirlooms are so precious and the most meaningful decorations you’ll ever have. In my mind at least, therefor the most beautiful, deserving the front row center spots on the tree.  Your tree will be forever the more humbly beautiful with them.

Another offender in the decor category besides pretty but meaningless holiday decor are the pointless accessories that stores sell to decorate your mantel, bookcase shelves, and coffee tables.  You know the type of things I’m talking about, its the abstract armillary globe with the arrow sticking out for your mantel shelf or the droid looking horse head bookends for your bookcase.  I think the worst one of all has to be the innocently placed, beautifully carved bowl on the coffee table but then is ruined with these five to seven “balls” sitting inside it.  They’re usually made of wicker or painted resin and they do absolutely nothing.  They sit in the bowl and just act as decor.  Really? We as a society have come to this, we can’t leave the bowl empty to stand alone and just be?  We have to fill it, don’t we? We’re uncomfortable unless there is something in the bowl.  I issue a challenge to all of you with a bowl with these fake balls in them, for the New Year…toss out the balls.

decor

What’s my point with this rambling rant?  When decorating your home with accessories, think about their meaning and purpose.  Are they a real item with history or are they simply shelf filler? Beautiful things are nice, but they should more importantly also hold a functional purpose or meaning to your heart.  A decorative bowl can just be a bowl, in all its glory, and sit empty.  Really, it will be OK, I promise you!

Have a great holiday season everyone, I’ll be back next year with fresh ideas and more satirical humor.

Sincerely,

Sarah Daricilar, NCIDQ

Studio Owner & Interior Designer

Daricilar Design Studio    –    Millis, MA

Designer Tips & Tricks; Creating a Vibe. 

When it comes to creating a cohesive and knock out space that’s on budget, interior designers have several tricks up their sleeve.   From creative material use, budget friendly sourcing, and spatial analysis, a quality designer can blast a bland or chaotic space into the aesthetic stratosphere.  This month I’ve curated a list of five situations that often arise in conversations regarding designer tips and tricks.

1.How do you create the biggest bang for you buck with a back splash?

In my September blog post DIY Kitchen Renovation,  I eluded to a  budget trick regarding the back splash area in a kitchen to make the most drama.  Match the tile color identically and paint the remaining above portion of the wall, carrying it to the ceiling.  It creates a knockout look for a budget price, particularly if you’ve chosen a bold color of tile.  Look for cues from trim and flanking cabinets to decide where to stop extending the accent paint color, keeping it focused above the sink or stove.

The example below shows a pairing of red glass mosaic tile and a swatch of Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2018, Caliente.

2.Is there a budget option to granite or quartz?

Solid surface counters do not get enough attention due to their bigger and more expensive siblings granite and quartz.  Its a viable upgrade from laminate counters by far without breaking the bank.  The colors are similar to granite and quartz and the material mimics the granular aggregate of natural stone.  I recommend selecting matte finish rather than high gloss to hide the scratches on solid surface, however, review solid surface specifications like you would prior to any purchase.   Common brands are Meganite, Corian, Staron, and Wilsonart,  Its a sensible option for smaller budgets.

interior samples

3.How do you choose the correct size faucet?

Many people don’t consider the ergonomics behind a faucet, however you will once you do dishes in that sink for the first time.  Taller people with longer arms don’t need a faucet that reaches into the sink as far as smaller stature people do.  However, shorter people will suffer from backache because of having to reach forward past the middle of the sink.  To select a faucet correctly, measure how far forward the head will need to reach to your palms with your elbows resting on the front edge of the sink counter.  This will affect your back when washing both hands and dishes.   Also, if you wash large pots and pans  look at the height of the faucet.

sinkfaucet

4.How do you lay out a gallery wall correctly?

This one is tricky for me, as I am such a big stickler for symmetry and uniform margins when laying out anything from a floor plan, design board, or artwork.  The key to a good gallery wall layout, that’s currently on trend, is balance and spread.  It should appear as one large ensemble.  Nothing should overhang the area where its centered, no object should overpower the eye’s attention, and objects should be closer together than farther apart.  I recommend laying it out on the floor and start with the center objects first.

In the example below, many of the frames are too small for the spacing and the eye is drawn to the meaningless ampersand sign. The mirrors reflect nothing to the viewer.  With careful rearranging, the frames can be laid out in a rectangular grid, the mirrors moved to a useful location, while the “and” sign is removed.

gallery 1

5.Where do you find old architectural relics?

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where antique malls and fairs occur, definitely check those out, however, one of the best places to source architectural pieces is Habitat For Humanity Restore. New and used Items are donated and then categorized into building sections, like doors, windows, cabinets, furniture, and lighting for example. These stores sell the items to the public and the profits go towards Habitat For Humanity.  Check here for store locations.

Whether you’re updating a back splash or counter, changing out your faucets, or adding the finishing touches of decor with art and accessories, creating a harmonious  and cohesive look is key to creating the vibe you desire.  Interior designers can be a great asset while you procure items for your space.  Contact my studio, I’d be happy to help.

Sincerely,

Sarah Daricilar, NCIDQ

Studio Owner & Interior Designer

Daricilar Design Studio    –    Medway, MA

Join in December: “Stained Glass, Tales of Color.“

Twinkle & Sparkle

The holiday season is upon us.  Its time to decorate the house, consume an abundance of decadent food, exchange gifts, and celebrate the Holy with friends and family.  Many, many years ago, I wrote a satirical poem regarding certain styles of holiday decorations considered then to be tacky.  It was full of sarcasm and snarky comments about plastic Santas, deflated snowman, and fallen down reindeer statues to name a few.  Fortunately, the poem met its bad karma and fell victim to a flood in my parents’ basement a decade ago in a waterlogged school keepsake box.

Since then, I’ve gained acceptance and opened my mind to all tastes of holiday decor and have attempted to write a new version of my holiday poem.  Please enjoy with an open heart and a laugh in your belly.

holiday-poem

 

May all of your ornaments find a place, although arguments may occur on where that exact place is, remember they are all precious to someone.  No matter what your taste in holiday decorations, what’s important is that you enjoy the time with loved ones.  I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season.  Until next year, plastic Santa, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!!santa

Sincerely,

Sarah Daricilar, NCIDQ

Studio Owner & Interior Designer

Daricilar Design Studio    –    Medway, MA

 

Join in January: “Reducing Construction Costs