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Design and Style



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Color selection for your home can be overwhelming, more people are afraid of picking an interior paint color than they are about any other design choice.

 

My best advice for choosing color in your home is to find and inspiration. Find something that you love and let that guide you to the color palette of your spaces. Inspiration for each person can come in different ways. I will list a few ideas on how to find your inspiration.

 

• Vacation destinations you love are wonderful inspiration when we are thinking color for our homes. Are you a beach bum, do you love the color of sand and the cool blue waters? Or do you love the Arizona sunsets and the warm colors of the landscape of the west?

 

• Look for inspiration by taking yourself on a field trip. Visit local restaurants, commercial sites and other places where the color palette makes you happy. Make note of these hues.

 

• Create a Style File, this is what I have a lot of my clients do to learn about what style and colors appeal to them. Clip photos from old magazines of not just rooms but nature or even a really great outfit. When you have collected several photos of things you love look at the similarities of the photos and colors you keep picking over and over.

 

• Do you have a beautiful area rug or a piece of art or pottery in your home that you love? These pieces are great inspiration.

 

• Fabric stores are wonderful, I can waist an entire afternoon just looking and feeling all the different fabrics, look for the colors used in the fabric and find coordinating fabrics and make note of the colors you keep picking.

 

Once you have chosen your inspiration piece find a background color to use on your walls from your inspiration piece, then choice another color to use from your inspiration as an accent color, and then one more color to use a touch of in your space. Choosing three colors might seem overwhelming but remember color does not always mean paint color can be found in fabrics, artwork, or flooring. Find your inspiration and create beautiful rooms in your home.

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Winter is the perfect time to re-organize your home and re-design your spaces. While the winter weather is keeping us inside, I want to share some great tips on sorting through our homes and organizing for the New Year.

 

Top 10 Organizing Tips:
1. Determine how you wish to use your spaces. How the spaces function is key. Do you need craft area or bar area?
2. Sort, purge and donate piles should be made in each area you are organizing. If you have children’s items take them with you to donate unused items. This will help them learn to part with things.
3. When doing closets take out everything, you need a completely empty closet to start. Only bring back into the closet what has been worn in the last year.
4. Place all hangers the same direction then each time you wear something hang the hanger the other direction. In six months the hangers going the wrong way have not been worn and those items can be donated.
5. The closets in your home should be bright and inviting. You should be able to see what you have in your closet, consider installing good lighting.
6. Items that are only needed once a year, such as evening bags, and shoes should be stored on the highest shelves in the closet. Keep more frequently needed items at your fingertips.
7. In the kitchen keep things that work together stored together, such as baking pans, electrical appliances, plastic containers (with Lids), pots and pans, and large platters and bowls.
8. In the kitchen purchase some drawer dividers to keep utensils in order.
9. Think about how your kitchen flows, place glasses near the sink or the refrigerator. Put snacks in convenient drawers or cabinets. For young children place pre-portioned baggies of their favorite healthy snacks were they can get to them.
10. Rotate food items in your pantry; create menus to use up items that are getting close to expiration date.

 

Now that you have gone through all the closets, pantry, garage, and cabinets you can feel good about what you have in your home and how you have helped others with what you have donated.

 

When your home only has what you need and what you love in it you will be able to see where maybe something is missing. Do you need more lamps, or new comfortable throws and pillows in your home? Now you can really get ready to re-design your spaces in 2013.

 

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As a design professional, I was thrilled to learn that the color of the year 2013 would be Emerald. It’s a beautiful, strong color that can be worked into our homes décor with bold splashes or with subtle touches.

 

Strength of the color Emerald is that greens tend to be calming and work really well in today’s open floor plans. Greens can range from tranquil to dramatic; the color Emerald depending on how you choose to use it, will give your home a new feeling. And when you add color to your home you are creating a feeling.

 

When we look at color theory it can help explain how to use Emerald green in a home décor:

 

Complementary- color scheme would be using colors opposite on the color wheel. An example would be using emerald green in one room and then using its complimentary color red in the room next to it. Try Sherwin Williams Artichoke 6179 and Antique Red 7587.

 

Monochromatic- color scheme using a single color and a neutral color with it, Emerald green with a soft white will make a clean crisp room you won’t want to leave. Try Sherwin Williams Dill 6438 with Westhighland White 7566.

 

Triadic – Color scheme is using three colors, each evenly spaced from the other on the color wheel. For example red, yellow and green, the mixing of the three colors through paint, fabric and rugs can make a very happy space. Try using Sherwin Williams Show Stopper 7588 with Bee’s Wax 7682 and Meadow Trail 7737 as your inspiration colors.

 

Color gives our home its identity. A million people own white or beige furniture, according to Better Homes, but with the addition of a colorful pillow, rug, throw or decorative accessory we can add personality to our homes.

 

I have given you some color combinations above to use as your inspiration shades, now look at your home and consider putting Emerald green throughout your spaces. It can be as simple as emerald green throw pillows and window panels with some of the emerald green with in the pattern to a bold accent wall of Emerald.

 

Have fun with the color of the year and don’t overlook its clean crisp appearance and how well it works with natural stone and wood floors. Be green in 2013 and experiment with your home, whether you choose to be dramatic or subtle, you will enjoy the change and the feeling change can give you in your home.



So, you think it’s getting cool outside? Well, let’s talk about what COOL in design and style right now and for 2013. Here are my top five things I cannot live without!

 

1. A melding of old and new. Not just an overall eclectic room, but individual objects with both traditional and contemporary elements. For example a French Rococo style sofa with contemporary

 

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2. Updated Stripes…..While I thought I was done with the traditional look of stripes…stripes of a different nature are timeless and very “in”. Take stripes mixed with hip colors and/or different designs and textures…..silk, velvet and linen for example. Ooh, la la!

 

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Fabric by Osborne and Little

 

3. Organic, nature-inspired items. So, take that structured striped fabric and mix it with a viney framed mirror or tree branch-like lamps? That juxtaposition of elements will make your space stand out!

 

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Adler Silver Leaf Lamp: Available at Amy Schuermann Interiors

 

4. African Artifacts. I knew I was smart to invest in that African statue antique years ago! Ikat patterns, black and white, bold monochromatic and blurred patterns are all in (including ombre) and in fashion too!

 

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African Antique Brass Statue (Photo Courtesy of Amy Schuermann Interiors)

 

5. Metallics of all Sorts! I know they’ve been around for a while, but metallics have become a staple and a classic. From skinny jeans to furniture, fabrics and wallpapers, metallics of all shades – silver, gold, bronze, pewter – are all in. Whether your taste is traditional or urban industrial, there in a metallic piece for you!

 

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Voussoir glass top dining table with Horizon Metal finish base (Available at Amy Schuermann Interiors)

 

That’s it for now. Here’s to an even more “COOL” 2013!

 

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A limited edition print of GABP is perfect for the
sports lover on your list. Available at absstudio.com.

 

As we move into the holiday season, the thought of purchasing the “perfect” gift (s) can seem overwhelming. According to Jennifer Degerberg, owner of Pomegranate and Lime in Mariemont, “shopping for a festive gift for friends, clients and business associates can be a struggle. Pomegranate and Lime has the solution.” Even as an Interior Designer, I too, can find this difficult. Here are my top ten gift ideas I always go with to add just the right touch to someone’s home and personal style:

 

-A stylish vase. It doesn’t have to be complicated nor expensive, just something clean lined and versatile…not to big or too small. Go with silver, clear glass or colored glass in a “current” color. Good source: Crateandbarrel.com.

 

-A great serving platter. With organics such a trend right now….consider something nature inspired in appearance. A great source: michaelaram.com. Looking to keep costs down? Choose a small piece vs. large and places like Target have less expensive “knock offs.”

 

-A great blanket/throw. A decorative throw for a sofa can be great pop of interest and color that that room that just need something. Not sure what color? Go with a mid-tone neutral with warmth and texture…even a chenille.

 

-Gift baskets. No, not a makeshift basket filled with fruitcake and jelly. Customize it based upon your budget and you friend/client’s taste. A great source: Dutch’s Larder in East Hyde Park….a great source for high quality meats, side dishes, cheeses and wine. They will even ship. Also, be sure to order soon, as demand books up and shipping early is smart!

 

-A great photo frame. Anyone can always use a decorative photo frame for that latest special or family photo. Choose something classic yet stylish that will go with your recipients décor. The perfect source: Pomegranate and Lime in Mariemont.

 

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-Wine and cheese accessories. With all the wine that will be consumed during the holiday season, top off that bottle with a decorative stopper and artistic looking cheese spreader. Pomegranate and Lime, again, carries many options.

 

-Give the gift of art! Art is very personal, but if your recipient has a special interest, an art print based upon their past-time could be perfect. Baseball, specifically the Cincinnati Reds, are one example. How about a print of Great American ballpark or Reds batter by Amy Youngblood Schuermann? Check out absstudio.com for a portfolio of sports art.

 

-A large fragrant candle or candle with candleholder. On a small budget? A lovely scented candle from Pomegranate and Lime will be well appreciated but won’t break the bank. They will even gift wrap!

 

-Gift certificate for an Interior Design Consultation. Many of us have friends that want to “get the ball rolling” so to speak on redecorating their home or a special room. A gift certificate for interior design assistance may be what they need. Check out amyschuermann.com for details…

 

-A quality bottle of wine. Does your hostess love Chardonnay or a good bottle of Cabernet? A nice bottle over $20 presented in an attractive bag with a note will always be appreciated. Not sure what to pick? Both Dutch’s in Hyde Park or the Wine Merchant in Oakley have a great selection and can help you decide.

 

These are just a few of many gift ideas out there. Happy holidays and happy gift giving!

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Photo courtesy of Amy Schuermann Interiors




Tired of 95 degree weather cookouts? Well, Fall is just around the corner. So, it’s time to start thinking about the inside of your home and your wardrobe for the Fall 2012 Season!

 

As a designer and self proclaimed “Cincinnista,” I always tell my clients to instinctively go with what they love, but with current trends in mind. In addition, what’s “hot “in interiors typically reflects what’s current in personal style. Lori Tanzer, fashion consultant and owner of Sara Benjamin’s in Mariemont concurs. “At our store, we try to not necessarily be trendy, but trend aware,” she explains.

 

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 Large scale graphic patterns and prints

 

Here are some of what we are both seeing and experiencing in the design and fashion world.

 

Bold Splashes of Color: According to Pantone, THE color authority, the top colors for fall are Tangerine Tango (orangey red), French Roast (dark gray brown), Honey Gold, Ultramarine Green, and Lavender, just to name a few jewel tones… These colors are prevalent in design magazines, and what we’re seeing in the clothing stores….especially in the area of colored denim.

 

Large scale graphic patterns and prints: modern, neutral and colorful prints are prevalent in rugs, furniture and window treatments. The key to using them? Mix them with textures and solids so your space in not too “busy” and overwhelming. Also very fashionable: bold print dresses (such as ikat) and tops and patterned jeans.

 

Metallics: Not just for jewelry anymore, metallic fabric, vinyl, leather and skinny jeans are all in! Gold, silver, pewter and copper make for wonderful fabrics and shoes.

 

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Mix it up: Nothing wrong with matching to a point, but if you want the heavy ornate mirror, mix it with some simpler, more modern furniture pieces…Yes, eclectic done well is amazing! Similarly, do the same with your wardrobe. According to Tazner, layering these different looks adds interest. “Pair a printed skirt with a turtleneck or menswear blouse, under a fun knit mixed metallic sweater.”

 

Overscale, impactful: One of my “tricks of the trade” has become to go with larger fixtures versus smaller ones that can diminish an already small space. Provided you have the ceiling height, a larger piece can give the illusion of a larger room. Also, orb shaped and organic inspired fixtures are very “in” and give a hip, bold pop to any room. These inspirations designs can also be seen in fashion.

 

Texture: Textured solids and tweed are “IN”. Not to offend anyone, but the oversized sectional you bought five years ago in the solid, ultra-suede fabric is probably not wearing as well as you thought, correct? The reality is that, although ultra-suede is an inexpensive, man-made fabric, it is fairly thin, has little dimension, and stretches out….causing poor wear. Instead consider a fabric for your new sofa, in a thicker, woven-like textured solid. It will look more interesting and take more of a beating. The same goes for fashion. How can you beat a neutral tweed jacket for the fall paired with “tomato bisque” colored skinny jeans? It is simply timeless, yet edgy.

That does it for now. I, for one, am looking forward to September and all its fall styles!

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A neutral, bright, and updated space always appeals to buyers. (Photo courtesy: Amy Schuermann Interiors)


So you’ve decided to sell your home. The reality is that average home prices in Cincinnati are down nearly 20% since its peak in 2005 which can mean great deals on your next abode, but tight margins on your existing home. In this buyer’s market, it’s crucial to make your house stand out amongst the competition.

 

According to Ann Rigling, a Realtor with Comey and Shepherd in Hyde Park, “A properly staged home is not only visually pleasing to the prospective buyer, it’s also more impactful in digital media, and most importantly, it sells faster. A poorly staged home can mean thousands of dollars lost. The longer a home is on the market, the more it costs the seller and the higher the likelihood that it will take additional price reductions to sell the home. A professionally or correctly decorated home can reduce days on the market by up to 67% or 35 less days on the market.”

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Heather Herr, also a local agent with Comey and Shepherd concurs. “A clean, furnished, tidy and properly decorated home is essential for quick sale and top dollar.” The bottom-line: Prepare your house visually from the beginning. The following are my top 10 staging tips:

 

De-clutter. Remember, how you “live” and how you present your home at a showing are two different things. Reduce items on tables, countertops and floors unless needed. They make your home look messy and not as large to the prospective buyer. Clean out closets to show available storage and enlist an off-storage unit if needed.

 

“Depersonalize” your home. A photo or two is one thing, but a mantel and bookshelves crammed with family photos makes it difficult to a buyer to visualize themselves in your space.

 

“Neutralize” your space. Besides being on trend, a neutral palette is more pleasing to most buyers and also makes your space appear larger, appealing to buyers. Dark burgundy in your dining room may have worked for you, but consider repainting it a light tan. Also, replace dark carpeting with a lighter neutral tone.

 

Eliminate excess unattractive furnishings. You may be attached to grandpa’s weathered vinyl chair, but it can date your space. Take out the baby’s pack and play. Showcase your best furniture pieces only.

 

Clean up the paintwork. I’ll never forget looking a particular home years ago, that looked good from the outside but to find chipped paint covering the base boards. Paintwork that looks remotely dirty or chipped is a huge turnoff for buyers and conveys a weathered uncared for look. Also, don’t forget the walls: repair holes, and wash them down or repaint if necessary.

 

Deep clean or eliminate dirty carpet and rugs. This is more than worth the money. A clean, fresh looking floor makes a huge difference in your space. If your rug is old and stained, get a new one . If it’s not in the budget, a bare floor hardwood floor looks better than a dirty rug.

 

Don’t ignore your windows. Got old, dirty mini-blinds all over? Mini-blinds may have worked when you were out of college, but this is real house time. Remove them completely if nothing else. Consider simple window treatments like panel drapes. While custom window treatments look the best, if it’s not in the budget, buy neutral, ready made drapes with bronze or brushed nickel (no brass!) hardware and have them hemmed to fit.

 

Light it up! A poorly lit space is also a turnoff for buyers. Start from the top and work your way down. Replace old track lighting with recessed white cans. Replace that dated dining room chandelier with a tasteful fixture. Utilize or purchase transitional looking floor and table lamps. And by all means, leave them on during a showing!

 

Consider fresh flowers. One of the best ways to add a pop of color and presentation to a space is with fresh flowers. They don’t need to be expensive….a pre-made bouquet will do. Areas such as the dining room table, living room coffee table or entryway are ideal. Accent with Artwork. Nothing finishes off a great space with great artwork. A large bare wall make a space look smaller and unfinished. If you don’t have more expensive originals, hang nicely framed prints….don’t use cheap frames! Also, larger pieces can give a wall the illusion of a larger space. A little tip from the pros.

 

These are just a few things you can do to maximize your home’s market value. As a designer, I advise my clients that even if they plan to move in a year or two, the time to make these kind of improvements is now. Why not enjoy them while you can?

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It can be one of the most important rooms you decorate. Whether it’s the first baby on the way or that tween who needs a more “mature” look, furnishing and decorating your children’s bedroom can be a daunting task.

 

As a designer, I ask my clients (besides the sex of their child!) what is the look you and your child want to convey? Whimsical? Romantic? Funky? What types of color(s) is your child drawn to? And so on. From then I get to work.

 

Here are some design tips and trends from experience to help you create the perfect space for your child.

 

Measure and layout the room on paper. Knowing what you have to work with when selecting furniture will keep you from guessing and making mistakes.

 

Make a list of functional priorities. By that I mean, what does you child need to function daily. Changing table, large dresser, desk for homework?

 

Select furniture that is good quality. Granted, your child may not be taking it to college, but minus the baby phase…you want some of those pieces to transition in to the adolescent phase. Not to mention, it might become a “hand me down” for the next child. Also, you can mix and match pieces rather then having a suite of all matching furniture. It makes for a more interesting look.

 

Get colorful. Pink is great for girls so blue is for boys….but what about some more off-beat hues like orange, green and purple?…all especially “in”. Introducing a different accent color further customizes the room and helps transition it as they get older. Also, use the size of your child’s room to dictate the lightness and darkness or the color. For example, if his/her room is quite small, paint the walls a lighter shade. A dark shade will make it feel cavernous. Finally, don’t feel like you have to go with a “color”. A neutral tone splashed up with other colors accents works well, too.

 

Find a great, reasonably priced rug. And you don’t necessary have to find it at a big chain store. Try some more unique web-sites like Surya.com that have a kid’s section and pieces that you don’t see everywhere. Also, when selecting a rug…go with the largest size that will fit the room. Kids like adults, like to land on something soft in the morning!

 

Bedding. Similar to rugs, try to find bedding that is unique and not just at the big chain stores. There a many on-line sources for great bedding. Also, mix and match your patterns for interest. Can’t find what you want? Consider a custom duvet, coordinating shams and/or accent pillows…all available through an interior designer.

 

Don’t forget window treatments! While blinds my be necessary, neglecting the windows of an other wise furnished space can make it look unfinished. Depending upon the window, valances and panel curtains (or even a combination of the two) are excellent options. I always recommend having these custom made as they will fit the space exactly….length and width. It is well worth the extra money!

 

Invest in a great chandelier. Whether you taste is traditional, transitional, or contemporary, a great fixture sets the mood and look of your child’s space. A great lighting store or interior designer again are great resources.

 

Don’t leave the walls blank! If you don’t have the budget for original artwork, selecting some nicely framed prints will add dramatically to your space. Find out what interests your child…giraffe’s? flowers? Cars? And use that perhaps as a theme. Also, consider custom framing some of your child’s best artwork. Children’s drawings and paintings make wonderful keep sakes and look great in their space!

 

Consider wallpaper. Yes, wallpaper is back in a big way! Graphics prints, textures, and metallics are all in. If you don’t have the budget for a lot of it….perhaps just use it on an accent wall or under a chair rail.

 

Faux Finishing. It is amazing what faux finishers can do to walls these days. Whether it is story book scene on an entire wall to custom graphic animal pattern, almost anything is possible. Again, not cheap, but can be well worth the money.

 

Whether you are up for the task yourself or working with a professional, keep these tips in mind for this ever important project. I’ll never forget the smile on my daughter’s face when unveiled her new room. It was well worth it!

 

Finally, it’s really summer. The rain has stopped, and the sun is shining. If you are like me, you are opening your windows and letting the light shine in. If this sunshine has you itching to make a change in your space, one of the easiest and most inexpensive way that makes a huge difference is to paint a wall or a whole room. This is where it gets exciting! Color, color, color! "BOLD," "VIVID" and "LUXURIOUS" are the words l use to describe the colors that are "in" for 2011.

 

The new color palettes are fresh and invigorating. These colors create a feeling of hope and healing, with the consideration that we should move on from the past. They range from deep 070411HOME.jpgpinks and bright water blues to bold yellows and opulent turquoises. The new tone of turquoise is believed to be protective, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky. While turquoise has served many as an escape, my personal favorite color – honeysuckle pink – enlivens and inspires.

 

Honeysuckle pink is a courageous, confident and vivid color. Think red with a whole lot of pink. Can you imagine walking into your entry with the walls this color? How could you feel down or stressed? This color is so uplifting and refreshing. This hot reddish-pink works great with almost any color. Picture a neutral warm in hues of gray with a pop of this reddish pink. In my work I am using it in accents, like pillows, artwork and centerpieces, even window treatments. It is so perfectly delicious, you want to eat it. There is not one space where I have added this honeysuckle pink where anyone – even males – have walked in and not said "WOW!"

 

If I have gotten you excited, then go to your nearest paint store, and check out some of these colors. The paint company I love is Benjamin Moore, and its reddish pinks are called Pink Ladies, Razzle Dazzle and Island Sunset. Don’t those names just make you smile?

 

Don’t be afraid, don’t make excuses, don’t get distracted. I promise you will love adding one of these colors to your home or office. It is the perfect way to get rid of your winter blues and say hello to summer.