by Inhabitliving

Pioneer: Feng Shui Wood Element

We will end our 2017 Blog Posts with the Feng Shui archetype, the Pioneer. This the wood element. It really means trees. [to me] This stunning paneled wall (above) has become the feature wall. The Chevron pattern is energetic despite the somber colors. A Pioneer leads the way into new territory. Let’s all be pioneers for the New Year! Lead the way with kindness, compassion, love and generosity. This room could use a bit of fire, and perhaps more metal. Perhaps red books and a red lamp? Maybe a pillow. Pink might works as well, a bright pink, fuchsia. The room is perfect as it is, but if you wanted to change things up – perhaps dress it up for a party, those might be good options.

Pioneer Colors: Green & Brown

This living room (below) has a very nice mix of woods, the bookcase, the floor, the coffee table and the bench. It’s perfect Feng Shui  with the green plants. Remember The Urban Jungle is a very popular! Click for More Information!  Having plants is like having kids or pets. They need tending. You have to find their sweet spot. Every plant is different from the other. They do love company!

Wood represents growth. Trees are always reaching for the stars. Stable and growing. Wood is a healing element. I haven’t figured out quite why – other than it’s spiritual or symbolic qualities. Click to Read More  So if you believe we are part of the same universe this does make good sense. Trees and plants are vibrant and add health, decisiveness, wealth and prosperity to your room and you! Happy New Year! We will continue the New Year with the Alchemist and the Philosopher. Metal and Water respectively.

by freshdesignmedia

by Designer Timothy Whealon

Small Kitchen Design
This kitchen came up with Trend 2018 as the search word. A small kitchen making a bold statement with its painted floor. The bead board walls and the nice mix of metals make it very contemporary, yet at the same time it is a casual, classic look. That is a mouthful. But mixing metals is an Avant garde methodology.  Painting a wooden floor with such a bold pattern is also a mix of styles and that is how this kitchen so successfully makes a dynamite presentation, despite its modest size and nothing over the top or any bling factor. Working with a savvy designer will get you such great results. Trusting your designer will get you everywhere. The white color scheme is smart in this small space. The use of texture is fabulous, the shiny floor, the matte cabinets, the rustic flower pot, the three patterned plates, the stripe bead board wall treatment. The flowers and the heaping bowl of fresh vegetables are the diamonds for this beautiful room.

Rustic Kitchen Design
Designers can work anywhere. A Florida designer can do a rustic kitchen (below). And my readers are far and wide so I like to keep everyone aware of good design. Your interiors should reflect the architecture of your home and its location. These vintage or well-worn brick walls are such a great backdrop. So much history and time has been absorbed by these vertical, stationary structures. Open storage is still a popular method of keeping your things handy. So again this room while ancient in some respects is modern in others. Of course, open storage is ancient. Kitchens such as this used to be far away from the living quarters of a well-to-do household. Today’s kitchens have long been the center of the home, much like ancient one-room dwellings where life centered around the fireplace, source of heat and a good meal.

by Cameron Schwabenton

Welcome to our Blog! Our appendix to our Newsletter, LLI Beautiful Interiors. Or MORE wonderful information regarding topics of interest for all those who love their home, for all those who want to make their home a sanctuary, a refuge, a place safe from all the hurdles of life. Except the big one, What’s for dinner?

I did find quite a bit of ‘new’ design. But it’s not really new. Just old stuff on it’s way around again.
Like shag carpets, and polyester dresses. I’m not complaining, but mind you it’s my high expectations. And not much is startling new. Unless you are willing to pay exorbitant amounts for custom design or the leading edge of design which usually takes years if not an eon to filter down where it is affordable to the everyday Jane & John Doe.

Take a look at these fabulous pillows. The huge pull and bear of the afghan. Isn’t that just scrumptious? The red tassel on the cranberry pillow. (That is a monochromatic design for the pillow only. The same color, reds only.) This settee vignette is a marvel compilation of textures. The rattan settee, the matte carpet, the grid patterned wall. The modern art against the traditional/casual seating, the bold contrast of dark colors and light.

Another trend which I’m truly excited about is Wabi-Sabi. Which is the ancient Japanese Art of honoring what is old. What it time worn. I have Newsletters on this subject, but if I’ve blogged I’m not sure. Realizing the beauty of age, cracks, rust, and wrinkles. These linens (below) don’t need to be pristine to be beautiful or comfortable. Here is my newsletter – that does manifest my excitement, my fervor with this design concept. Enjoy! BI #181 Wabi-Sabi  Look for More Trends 2018! right here! Blogs, Thursday, Saturday & Tuesday.

Linens by Etsy

by Lillian August for Hickory White


Talk about color! Blue is the dominant color. But there is orange and green and yellow. Lillian August Her Webpage for More Great Stuff  This is a great lesson, how-to for accessorizing a room. Blue is the basic, the foundation. Splashes of bright color keep the dark blue from becoming too much. The two white sofas also balance the blue chairs and blue walls. Accessorizing 101: Vases with flowers, the usual books on the cocktail table, pillows, animal prints, different tables of wood, glass and marble.

Carpet anyone! There is so much out there! It’s incredible. Any color you want. Any price range you want.
You can shop anywhere for inspiration and then go for what you can afford! Carpet can be confusing.
Here is a nice page. Learn More About Carpet

Carpet World at High Point Market


by Rizzoli NY

Attic Bedroom in soft teal
Now isn’t this the cat’s meow! Simplicity that states perfection. I’m sure the design necessities of storage and the closet thing have been figured out. Maybe this is just a bedroom and you go somewhere else for your morning get-ready routine. I thought the room in the back a bathroom, but I’m not sure. I don’t see any air conditioning either but rather open windows. We do know this is an attic bedroom. Gorgeous. Functionality might depend on the time of year, the guest/occupant, and life style of said occupant. And of course we do not know what has been removed for sake of the photograph.

Only decorating with two colors. Minimal furniture. Rustic minimalism. Take notes all you folks who do very well with almost nothing!

Isn’t this a pretty stairwell? Talk about good design! The blue and white is perfect. The bead board ceiling is a great detail. It looks like a bed there at the corner doesn’t it? So we are in the basement or there is an attic above us. Pretty neat use of space. There is not a thing out of place in this room. The variety in woodworking is sumptuous.


When working virtually you are dependent on good communication. And this can be via the phone, email, texting or skyping. I’m sure there are other methods – but those are the ones I’m current with. So much can be communicated with pictures, but I always find it difficult to help others appreciate the value of an inspiration file. An inspiration file helps you learn what your style is. So let’s say you don’t gather inspiration pictures, a designer needs to know who you are and what you like. What do you love to do? What are your hobbies? What do you do for vacation? What are your favorite restaurants? If you were to collect pictures of your favorite places, favorite things, favorite ties, it would become apparent that you like strong colors, that you are formal or casual. That you are a little bit funky. That you are entirely classic. You would see the ‘threads’ repeat themselves through the pictures you have collected.

This is a picture from this client’s inspiration file. Do you see the similarities? Strong colors? Straight lines. Not casual – not too formal. Architectural details that are a vibrant. The trapezoid windows surrounded by an old brick, the glass half wall at the top of the bannisterless staircase.

Mood Board for Powder Room 2640

It’s difficult in such a small space to add such striking details, but we have done a good job. The five inch base molding. The striking lighting. The large red window shade that shouts ‘hello!’. The diamond floor pattern. The sconces and the oval mirror are the cats meow. I do want to highlight the importance of updating the hardware at renovation times. Toilet paper holders that pivot. Industrial lighting is still very popular. Placing something classic next to something trendy, like the industrial lighting and the mirror add excitement to the mix, ,making this small utilitarian room fun. I usually have options. I did decide on the sconce with the shade. But you always need a back-up.


And last but not least here is the specification for all the pieces that make this bathroom dream come true. I did divide this into a good, better, best affair. Let me know and I will send you a copy! Send me the room you need help with! Make the world beautiful, one room at a time.

by Time Street Porter

If this room is a personal oasis I think the seating area needs a bit of modification, unless the room is already a secondary room, such as a home office or a family room that’s used in the evening. I would turn one of these comfortable chairs so I’m not facing the center of room unless I’m sure the room is mine. Another idea would be create a space between the chairs and the French doors.

I think is a good time to bring up the point of privacy, intimacy – a place – a time we have blocked out for ourselves. It would be like invisible tape or marker that says ‘my space – my time’. It does bring to mind the idea of cozy, something small and private. A spacious, large room doesn’t fit the requirements of quiet time. There are no borders which declare we are safe, alone. A large spacious room says welcome, visit, what can I get you? Cozy says alone and quiet.

Domino photography by Diana Lovering via Design Chaser

I used this example in my Thursday Newsletter, Beautiful Interiors. I show it here because the carpet, the corner shows a physical boundary, the carpet makes the outline that says mine. Even in a yoga class full of students – your mat quantifies your space.

We interact all day in so many ways – alone time becomes a necessity. Create your personal oasis.


This is Tiffany’s dramatic, gorgeous beautiful window, an absolutely wonderful part of the Season’s Festivities.

Another part of Christmas I adore is the card exchange. We shop early for our cards, we debate or shall I say negotiate, which cards we like best, we end up buying at least three different boxes so that all parties are satisfied.

I save all the cards that come with family pictures so that I can see the children grow up! It’s a miracle, from five year olds to twenty-five! Every year it’s a delightful time to review these and receive the latest one to add to the collection.

One joy I especially treasure is the Christmas letter. A special one comes from Jean. Always a lovely letter, filled with good news. How her family is doing, how the granchildren are growing, what goals have been reached, what big decisions have been made the past year. I enjoyed receiving a Christmas Letter from someone new this year and it inspired me to try my hand at this endeavor. Not that I can replicate these precious moments of someone else’s life or even want to, but it so beautifully and perfectly conveyed the Joy of Christmas. Five year olds tearing off wrapping paper that you know was carefully taped in place, with Merry Christmas or the wrinkle free crisp paper’s logo front and center. Bows and ribbons for decoration all go to shreds as kids tear away these beautiful wrappings. As soon as they are done, the instant they have one open, it’s on to the next one. Not that this was ever my experience, but I watch my grand nieces and nephews do this and I am in awe. This is part of the joy of Christmas. Imagine the anticipation of waiting – no wonder the year between this one and the next one always did feel like forever. Now those twelve months feel like one month. January to December – Swish! It’s done! Why does time fly more quickly as we grow older? We certainly have lost some of this exuberance of Christmas, of opening gifts for the mere joy of it. That’s why it is such a blessing to have these babies, these youngsters among us, they remind us of the real joy of the Holidays, to be loved and cared for.

Our year was splendid. The golf course was renovated and we thoroughly enjoyed taking a tour in the golf cart many evenings with Maggie our Westie – who I think enjoyed the ride more than we did! Which of course compounded our own joy. It was a nine month project. Very exciting. Not too noisy, not too dusty.

Jim’s golf game has improved splendidly, I have had several exciting Interior Design Jobs, I have rejoined Toastmasters. We did a trial evacuation with Hurricane Matthew. Went to Sebring, two hours northwest of Tequesta. We were spared by a hairsbreadth! Another excursion took us to my niece, Lauren’s baby shower in Baton Rouge. We drove there and back with Maggie, what a splendid time we had. We got to see how my sister and her family have put their lives back together after the Baton Rouge Flood. Twenty four inches of rain, the interior had to be totally renovated. This was true for the entire neighborhood. Incredible. Volunteers drove by with meals. Others came by and did your laundry for you. Just amazing, beautiful stories of people caring for people.

We went to NJ to celebrate a friend and a nephew’s birthday! Eighty years old and six years old! What a treat! That was in October and all the trees were orange. That was icing on the cake. I went to the Norton Museum’s Festival of Trees and that was so awesome I can’t believe it’s their tenth Anniversary and it was my first visit. I’ve had at least two puppy parties and if you haven’t had one or been to a puppy party, boy are you missing a fantastic event! Our love to you and enjoy your Holiday and Your New Year! Lynda & Jim Louden


Norton Festival of Trees 2016


by Jon Staub and Marion Philpotts-Miller

This delightful daybed sets the stage for this organic room. The rough timber tables, the modern sculpture, the hide layered atop a sisal, all wonderful textures layered against the shiny blue daybed. It’s very much like an ancient Chinese bed but in bright blue. Each of these pieces stands on their own beautifully, but blended this way we are given an oasis of rest or community. This is basically a contemporary room with the rustic tables that mix things up a bit. The rough texture is repeated in the polygon totem, again repeating a pattern or a texture, ties a room together.


The bright blue paint is contemporary, the rustic cocktail tables are organic as is the polygon sculpture.  A bed in a room, usually means the bed is the focal point. It is the largest item in the room. With this bed painted bright blue the remainder of the room needs to be neutral. The room stays restful even with the powerful punch of the blue bed.

Another good design tip, layering carpets is a nice touch, but remember that they are good for tripping – so only do this when all occupants are strong and lithe. Layering is a very professional way to decorate a room. It’s a great way to change a room, a little or a lot. You can modify the room seasonally by changing out the area carpet and/or pillows. Store your carpets rolled, keep them together with wide masking tape, they don’t take up much room, and you have a refreshing change.

I’m a bit off topic here, but it seemed an easy shift given the white hide in the room. Love to all. Your comments and questions are always welcome.



by Anthony Baratta

This feature wall is a great example of balance. You are almost torn between the chair and the wall. You appreciate the perfect balance that is between these two items. Then there the is spectacular carpet and chair and pillows with the orange and white ovals. The red wall actually becomes quiet. I may change my mind and say the carpet the focal point. Although I am hard pressed.

The contemporary style does not change an iota here. Every single piece raves bold and modern. The repetition does soothe the mind as one follows the patterns around the room. This is not for everybody, but everybody needs, wants, loves something different. We all want beautiful rooms, and there are so many ways to create a room that delights each person. You can have a handsome feature wall or you can have an outrageous carpet. Your pick.

Notice that all the colors have the same intensity, this is important when combining colors,  The blue, red, yellow and greens all have the same strength. Designer Baratta has done a fantastic job of designing a great space with more than a few surprises.

There is a lot to be considered when viewing a room via a photograph. You certainly cannot see the entire room. You don’t know the lighting scenario, how much natural light is coming into the room. This room is so strong I wonder what the rest of the home is like, there usually is a theme that resonates throughout a well-designed home.

It may be the photographer has taken liberties and moved the recliner front and center because it is so awesome and why not make it center stage?

Again lets review and add on to our knowledge of feature walls. Feature wall are the focal point. Every item or most every item, in the room will reflect the style of the focal point. There will be repetition of the color and patterns used, and last but not least, you don’t want to do something this powerful with every room in your home.