Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lessons Learned by Reading Design Magazines

 Every month I've been finding myself looking forward to the day that the latest issue of Coastal Living arrives in my mailbox.  I started receiving it because of my ASID membership, but I had never really paid much attention to it before that.  I am finding that I really enjoy checking out the Idea Houses in each issue.  I also like that not everyone on the internet is blogging and talking about the latest issue before I can get my hands on a copy.  Each issue is still a new surprise, unlike House Beautiful (which I love) that is written about so frequently that I've seen all the photos online before the issue even arrives in the mail.  So hopefully I am not ruining the surprise for any of you that have yet to read the latest issue of Coastal Living, but I was excited to show some fun photos of the Seawatch Idea House from the November issue.  I'll start by showing you the floorplans of the house.  I love looking at the floor plans so I can understand the flow of the home.  It's like putting together the puzzle pieces and seeing how everything flows together.

 I like the upholstered walls in this room.  It adds a layer of texture and coziness to the space.  I also like the uniqueness of the limed oak fireplace with no mantel.  Such a clean look.  I also am really drawn towards the bird prints on either side of the fireplace creating symmetry.

An interesting feature of this room is the matching fabric and drapery.  The designer, Phillip Sides, had the fabric backed with paper or latex so that it could be applied to the walls.  Probably not my favorite look, but innovative nonetheless.

What I am loving about this kitchen is the light fixture over the island and the fact that the island is a different wood than the black and white cabinets.  What a fresh way to mix it up and add interest to a kitchen.  The shades really tie in the medium stain on the island for a cohesive look.  Also, notice the back of the stools with the handles on the back.   Unexpected touches like that keep things interesting.

Seriously love the mix of patterns here.  I want to get better at this.  This is a playful space.  I am especially loving the fabric on the chair.   Here is a close-up shot of the fabric. 

I think it looks great on the chair, bench at the foot of the bed and as pillows.  Something to take note of is the repetition of fabrics in this room.  Even if this room is not your favorite, you can learn the value of repetition by studying this photo.  It really helps move your eye around the room and creates harmony in the space.

This kid area is so cute with the reading light cubby holes.  They are covered in raffia and embellished with nailheads.

This room grabs my attention for so many reasons.  I love the botanical coverlet which acts as the color source for this bedroom.  The blue walls and green draperies are colors pulled directly from the coverlet.  The bamboo bed adds a great natural, textural element that goes with the botanical coverlet.  Also I love the unexpected table at the foot of the bed and the striped rug.

Every room you see in a magazine is an opportunity to study and learn from.  You may not like the design or the colors, the design may be good or really bad, but as a designer I learn from both the good and bad points in every room.  As a client you can study these rooms to learn more about what you like or dislike in any given room, thus helping you and your designer out.  I encourage you to pick up a few design magazines and pay attention to what appeals to you in different rooms.  Tear the pages out and take them shopping with you or save them for when you are ready to work with a designer.  It will make the overall process easier for everyone involved.

Find more images of the Coastal Living 2009 Seawatch Idea House here.

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