A Guide to Shelf Styling

While we don’t believe there are steadfast rules to interior design, there are certainly guidelines and “recipes” that work for us. One of the subjects that we follow some loose guidelines is decorating open shelving… A gorgeous bookcase or set of custom shelves can do so much for a space – not to mention all of the great storage options they offer!

SusanCurrie_Condo-9943 (2)

But – adding fabulous shelves to your space is only part of the equation. The most important part for us is styling those shelves so they look and function perfectly. Here are a few guidelines from Susan Currie Design on how to smartly style those shelves:

via House Beautiful

via House Beautiful

Add more than just books! Including accessories, art and sculptural elements help break up the heaviness of those big blocks of books and adds dimension and interest.

via Room for Tuesday

via Room for Tuesday

Include storage solutions! This could be anything from a large, textural basket to a laquered box or even a tray. Place items you’d like to have out of sight in these – newspapers, magazines, bits and bobs; you can store anything on your shelves!

via Forever Cottage

via Forever Cottage

Shelves offer a wonderful opportunity for your to showcase favorite pieces of artwork and family photos! And the best thing about curating your shelves with art is that it’s super easy to switch things out and give your shelves a whole new look.

by Susan Currie Design

by Susan Currie Design

Our last shelf styling tidbit we’d like to share is actually not something you put on the shelves… Lighting. You want to showcase your fabulously designed shelves with appropriately placed lighting. Be it built-in lights, sconces, library/art lighting or even pot lights pointing toward your shelving units, all of these are great options to really highlight what your shelves show off!

If you’d like to speak about shelving – and styling options – for your own home, reach out to our team; we’d love an opportunity to share how some stylish new shelves can work for you!

Outdoor Kitchen Lighting for the Summer

outdoor lighting

Outdoor dining is one of the ultimate summer experiences, filled with delicious grilled foods, fresh garden veggies and friends. Lighting is an important element in your outdoor living design. In addition to allowing you to see what you’re doing and eating after sunset, your outdoor lighting design can provide the ideal ambiance for late-night conversations and lounge chair cuddling.

 outdoor lighting

Here are tips to ensure your backyard kitchen is adequately, and safely, illuminated.

  1. Is it safe? Your backyard lighting will be exposed to the elements, which means it needs to be rated for damp and wet locations. If lights are somewhat exposed through an arbor, or trellis, look for outdoor lights with wet ratings. If your patio coverage is substantial, a damp rating should be fine.
  2. Task lighting. Areas where you will be prepping and cooking food should have focused task lighting so chefs can see what they’re doing, and ensure meats are cooked through properly.
  3. Ambiance. Consider a combination of under-cabinet lighting, pendants and vintage fixtures to keep your design varied and interesting.
  4. Extras. Don’t neglect accessories like dimmer switches, motion-sensitive fixtures and ceiling fans for added comfort and safety.

outdoor lighting

Contact Susan Currie for questions about your outdoor living design.

Home Design Tip: Inject an Accent Color with Tile

Do you look around the rooms in your home, whether it be a bathroom, kitchen or outdoor living area and realize you need a pop of color?

Tile is a great way to integrate an accent color into your home design. Here are some ideas of how to add some color to your rooms.

Susan Currie

Image: Niche Interiors via Houzz.com

  • An accent color such as red goes well with a neutral bathroom.  Consider adding a band of different colored tile around your bathrooms walls. Red is a great color as it really catches the eye.
  • Create a focal point in your bathroom by creating a tiled wall in a bright color.  Try a blue like Azure to draw the eye as soon as you enter the room.
Susan Currie

Image: Debbie Basnett, Vintage Scout Interiors via Houzz.com

  • Give a contemporary look to any  kitchen by tiling a complete backsplash.  Consider the colors already in your kitchen and choose a color that will complement your style.
  • If you are looking for something a little edgier, take the backsplash all the way up and around one side of the kitchen.  Adding light and shine with a reflective glaze.
  • Tiles also work well outside.  Create a tile art wall somewhere in your yard for visual interest.  Your guests will love gazing at it while sitting outside.

Adding color to your home design can make your home feel like a new space.  If you are looking for custom window treatments then contact Susan Currie Designs today. 504-237-6112.

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Vintage Lighting

As a New Orleans interior designer, I always like to remind homeowners who are in the midst of planning their home remodeling not to forget about their lighting set up. Planning out the lighting scheme is one of the most important aspects of a successful home design. Recently, I’ve been suggesting the use of vintage lighting. Vintage lighting can add a unique feel to the interior design that is at the same time very elegant as well. If you decide on using vintage lighting, then make sure that you keep these three things in mind:

  • Susan Currie Design

    Make sure to get the right Antique Lighting for You

    Hire an Appraiser – If you are purchasing valuable vintage lighting fixtures, make sure that you have a second opinion on its worth unless you trust your dealer completely. Either way, having written documentation proving its value is nice for insurance purposes.

  • Check the Wiring – Older lighting fixtures such as vintage chandeliers or sconces were most likely not produced with today’s compatibility or safety standards. Have them checked by a licensed electrician before using them.
  • Find a Parts Supplier – If you’re buying vintage pieces, there’s a good chance that you’ll find something you’re absolutely in love with, but that has a flaw or two. Having a supplier that can replace certain parts is invaluable.

These three New Orleans interior designer tips will help you out enormously if you are on the lookout for vintage lighting. For more information about your lighting scheme and other interior design elements, visit 64 in the Box.

Colorful Light Fixtures Spice Up Your Space

People don’t always think about this option, but one great way to add color to a space is with chandeliers and lamps. I’ve come across some beautiful, colorful light fixtures lately that caught my eye.

These two Gaspare Asaro chandeliers on 1stdibs, for example, are both sculptural and stunning. Either would easily make a great design focal point.

Marjorie Skouras Design’s colorful chandeliers, like this Anabelle Pink Jade Empire one, also make a statement.

Let’s not forget that table lamps can add pops of color, too. Look at how this orange one instantly brightens a neutral space.

Here, a peacock blue lamp shade brings out the sky blue tone in the drapery fabric.

There are many ways to add color to your interior design. As you can see, I love the look of colorful and unexpected light fixtures. What do you think?

Images: 1-2 via 1stdibs.com; 3 via marjorieskourasdesign.com; 4-5 via Houzz, as linked above

Proper Lighting Transforms The Mundane Into The Sublime

Setting the mood in your home is important for many different things, the most important being rest and relaxation.  Lighting  can also have a positive or negative effect on our mood.

The right kind of lighting can spark a mood of total relaxation and a deep, intense tranquility.  Here’s a look at a lighting system perfectly suited to a tranquil mood:

photo credit: fresh home

The lighting systems and the individual spectral light combinations are operated with a gentle push of a button on a control panel on the rim of the bath so the desired effect can develop to its full potential in the course of a relaxed bath.

A wonderfully lite room has three light design elements – ambient lighting, task lighting and sparkle.

photo credit: Being Interior Decorator

This room is appealing, sets the mood for relaxation, and uses all three of these lighting features.  The recessed cans and the spot on the art give ambient light to the room; while barrel pendant over the chaise offers task lighting for reading.  And for the sparkle — notice the city lights reflecting on the window panes along with the midnight black pendants serving as bedside lamps.

Lighting and color play a central role in resetting the human mood.  Done properly, they can transplant you to a place of bliss.