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10 Reasons Why You Should Play Games

Did you know that playing games is good for health? I think we can all agree that playing games is fun, but they are so much more! Are you looking for a way to connect with your kids, your spouse, or your friends? Are you stuck in doors and trying to decrease screen time?

Keep scrolling to find out some surprising benefits you get from playing games…

Photo: Sara Essex Bradley | Design: Susan Currie Design

1. Playing games increases brain function

2. It brings laughter and decreases stress

3. Boosts language skills

4. Creates friendships and strengthens relationships

5. Brings you happiness

6. Strengthens skills that can be used in the real world, like teamwork

7. Lowers blood pressure by releasing endorphins

8. Gives you a reason to unplug from technology

9. It teaches strategy and patience

10. Games enhance creativity and self-confidence

Photo: Sara Essex Bradley | Design: Susan Currie Design

Even if you don’t have a closet full of board games, try Charades, Pictionary, or download ‘Heads Up!’ or ‘Taboo!’ So pick a game and go play!

How to Create a Gallery Wall

Just the word “gallery” can sound intimidating to some – but it certainly doesn’t have to be! When we think of an in-home art gallery, we think of well-chosen pieces hung in a thoughtful manner.

By Susan Currie Design | Photography by Sara Essex Bradley

Curating your own gallery wall isn’t a daunting task when you really consider the key components and we’re here to help you with some tips on how to create a gallery wall:

by Susan Currie Design

by Susan Currie Design

Number of pieces – anywhere from two to many, many more will work for a gallery wall. Consider your available wall space, the size of the artwork you’d like to include, as well as the size and scale of any furniture pieces on that wall. The above image features only two works of art, but due to their generous size, they work. The pair of art also speaks to the pair of chairs below and provides great balance.

via Better Homes & Gardens

via Better Homes & Gardens

When looking to create a more eclectic gallery wall, try keeping a few static elements. For instance, in the gallery wall pictured above, almost every piece features mostly black and white, as well as a thinner frame. By maintaining similar themes in most of the pieces selected, you’re creating a harmonious look.

via Elle Decor

via Elle Decor

To create a gallery wall that oozes personality incorporate objects that speak to you. We love how the grouping in the image above features not only a lovely art collection, but also those gorgeous mounted antlers, and the face of a violin. Adding pieces such as these also create depth and are fabulous conversation starters!

by Susan Currie Design

by Susan Currie Design

Don’t think you have the space for a gallery wall? A vertical pair, hung in a corner, taking up minimal wall space, is an ideal way to give your space a polished look. When using a pair of artworks, similar sizing and framing is preferred.

via Martha Stewart

via Martha Stewart

The grouping above is so warm and welcoming – it practically pulls you into the space and invites you to take a seat! This gallery wall is so successful and for a number of reasons. The tones in both the art and framing are kept neutral. There’s also balance to this grouping, with the largest piece in the center and then smaller pieces flanking.

by Susan Currie Design

by Susan Currie Design

By simply using what you love and following a few simple methods, you’ll be well on your way to curating a fantastic gallery wall! If you’d like some help and guidance on creating an amazing gallery wall in your space, reach out to our team today.

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!

Hues of Blue

Our team was recently walking through ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) and as we explored many of the stunning designer showrooms one trend kept repeating itself – the use of the color blue.

Nina Campbell by Osborne and Little for Ainsworth-Noah

Nina Campbell by Osborne and Little for Ainsworth-Noah

While blue has never gone out of style, we’re certainly seeing a resurgence of this royal hue and we couldn’t be happier about it!

William Yeoward by D. Guild for Ainsworth-Noah

William Yeoward by D. Guild for Ainsworth-Noah

So, take note of this trend that’s currently on spotlight…

By Susan Currie Design

By Susan Currie Design

And if you’d like some help introducing blue into your space, reach out to our team today!

The Color Of A Room And Your Mood

By now, you’ve heard me wax poetically about the magnificence of color, and the roles they play in our lives.  We simply cannot help but stop when we see a colorful exhibit, a bright billboard that catches the eye, or that perfect color for the walls in our dining room.  Colors shape our perceptions of the world in which we live.

While many of us don’t spend time obsessing over color (imagine that?), it is important to understand just how important colors are in our lives.  In fact, colors are directly attributed to our mood.  Room colors can influence how we feel and what we think.  Based on our gender, age, or ethnicity; the colors we tend to surround ourselves cause us to react in various ways.

photo credit: decorpad.com

The color red is fiery, sinful, exciting, playful and invigorating.  While the color can evoke a passionate response, it may not be the most suitable color for a bedroom.  If you’re bedroom is supposed to be your sanctuary — a place for rest and relaxation.  Red may be a bit too busy for some in the bedroom, but moods may vary.

The color blue has a clean, crisp and calming quality to it and  may more suited to a bedroom or sitting room.  Blue tones and hues tend to evoke relaxation and earthy qualities that soothe.  See for yourself:

photo credit: 8ord.org

I’d love to hear from you about this topic.  What are some ways colors affect your mood?  Which colors provoke the biggest changes in you?

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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.

No Blues To Sing About With Chef George’s Savory Blue Cheese Pizza

Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Sub-Zero Wolf Showroom Atlanta’s cooking demonstration with Chef George Laudin.  I was sort of singing the blues, because I wondered how I was going to enjoy lunch and get my list of tasks completed.  Well my blues went away when he whipped up this savory pizza with blue cheese, dried figs, caramelized onions and bacon bits!

photo credit: Susan Currie Design

During the demo, Chef taught us about the advantages of cooking with Wolf products, from the convection ovens that allow you to bake cookies while roasting garlic simultaneously without any transfer of flavors — all thanks to the technological innovations that Wolf uses — to the grills and griddles.  It’s demos like this that help educate me about appliances, so I can better assist my clients make the proper selections to make their home culinary experience wonderful.  Here’s a look at the ovens in their magnificent showrooms:

photo credit: Wolf Subzero Showroom

Now onto the take-away from this blog post:  Here’s Chef George’s recipe.  Try it.  You’ll love it!

Blue Cheese Pizza with Fig, Caramelized Onions and Bacon Bits

Purchase pizza dough at the grocery or make you own.

Mass the dough out on a floured cutting board.

Cook bacon cut into small bits.

Remove bacon from pan and reserve fat to caramelize the onions.

Cook onions until soft and caramelized.

Spread olive oil over massed out pizza dough.

Spread small amount of anchovy paste over dough.

Add pepper, thyme and oregano to taste.

Spread cooked onions liberally over dough followed by the diced dried figs.

Add mozzarella, romano or asiago cheese. Choose the cheese you like.

Sprinkle a smaller amount of blue cheese so that cheese doesn’t overpower the flavor of the pizza.

Sprinkle on bacon bits.

Slide on a pizza baking stone and bake (in your Wolf oven if you are fortunate to have one) on the Bake Stone Mode at 475-500 degrees for about 9-12 minutes.  Take a look at another delicious photo I managed to take before I devoured it.

photo credit: Susan Currie Design

 

Bon appétit!

5 Questions To Consider When Choosing The Right Color For Your Kitchen

 

 

photo credit: designer kitchen

If you want to love your kitchen, you need splashes of color.  Why?  Because colors add life, warmth and character, and make your home a home and a kitchen dazzle!

The goal of an interior designer is to give the clients the confidence to see what actually works best for their home.  This is why color is such an important component of design.  Surrounding yourself with colors that make you happy is the key to successful interior design–and clients who know what colors make them comfortable have already won the battle.

When thinking about what colors are best in a kitchen, I recommend colors like yellow, orange and red because they are active colors. They promote conversation and help increase the appetite.

Here are five great questions to consider when choosing the right color for your kitchen:

  1. Is there a color that you love that you would like to use in the kitchen?
  2. How will the color your considering enhance the finish of the cabinetry?
  3. Is there a color in the backspash tile or countertop material that could be used for the wall color?
  4. Will the color in the kitchen need to blend with adjoining rooms?
  5. How will the color add warmth and interest to the space so you and your guests will enjoy congregating in your fabulous kitchen?

These are all simple questions, and asking them will help you determine the final color for your kitchen.  You’ll eliminate unnecessary colors, and choose the one that pops most for your kitchen and your home.

 

 

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Cashiers Designers Showhouse Pops With Fall Colors

Today begins the first full day of Fall, and many of us are ready for cooler weather and the beauty of the changing foliage.  When I visited the Cashiers Designer Showhouse earlier this month, I adored this lounging porch designed by Francie Hargrove.

The designer’s use of brown and orange reminded me of the fall season.  Fall weather is perfect for outdoor living so consider creating an outdoor space for you, your family and friends to enjoy the changing season. This room has a handsome outdoor fireplace.  No fireplace, easy solution — consider adding a fire pit. You also can add brown and orange accessories to your seating area to create an outdoor space to reflect and enjoy the changing leaves.

I love the brown and cream large-scale gingham along with the contrast of colors – the orange pops off the earthy brown upholstery on the lounging porch. Notice the mixture of textures and pattern as well.

Even though the Showhouse has closed, Cashiers, North Carolina is a wonderful place to visit — especially for those with an eye for design.  If you’re in the area, make sure you visit places such as Vivianne Metzger AntiquesRustics, D. Estes Antiques, Etc., Dovetail Antiques, Ryan and Company Antiques, Tess at Chestnut Square, and Bound’s Cave.  They offer wonderful furniture and accessories with character and history.  Sophisticated and distinctive, their pieces are sure to be the perfect complement to your homes.

On a side note, take a look at this Cashiers Designer Showhouse ad that I helped style with Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Brad Hanner.  We had so much fun gathering antiques and other accessories from local antique dealers in Cashiers.

Bold Colors Work Well With Neutral Walls

I’m always on the lookout for visually appealing work from a wide array of sources.  Different designs, images, and objects are tremendous sources of inspiration– and they often lead to bursts of creativity.

Here is an example of inspiration through color and imagery from The Mansion Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia.  On a recent trip, I was greeted by the wonderful aesthetic created by the Mansion’s interior design. The lobby area walls were neutral, but they were able to add color through their artwork as well as the upholstered furniture.  Here are some fabulous images detailing the rich vibrant looks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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