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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!

4 Top Tips for Surviving a Home Renovation

While exciting, home renovations can take a toll. Our own Susan Currie is in the midst of her own kitchen and family room renovation. While it’s not always roses, the progress happening is worth it. After living through multiple renovations of her own, and managing dozens of renovations for her clients, Susan has become somewhat of a home renovation expert. Today, she’s sharing her top four tips for surviving your own home renovation…

  • Consider what living onsite during the renovation will be like. There will be dust, countless interruptions, and early arrivals of contractors, all while you’re trying to live life as normally as possible. If you have the option, living offsite while the biggest projects take place may be a good idea.
  • Are you really prepared for the actual costs of a home renovation? Once walls are opened up with pipes and wiring exposed, the costs have a way of adding up and going beyond what even the most seasoned designers and contractors quote. Unanticipated situations and circumstances will arise. Prepare yourself – and budget – as much as possible!
  • Get ready for some timeline surprises. Contractors work with numerous people, who are working on multiple projects. It can be a bit of a waiting game. Be prepared for shifts in the timeline of your project.
  • Finally, remember the phrase: “Grace Under Pressure.” Your home renovation will be a somewhat stressful situation, no matter the precautions and planning that takes place. Always be grateful and appreciative to everyone working on your project. Buying lunch for workers goes a long way! Many of our contractors are true craftsmen and artisans, and a little appreciation for their work will mean so much.

After taking that all in, are you ready to begin the process of a renovation for your home? Our team can help you manage your renovation project – contact us today!

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!

Singing the Blues

It was interesting to learn the history of the color but more importantly the symbolism and psychological effects it has on people when they see this particular hue. What do you think of or feel like when you see the color blue?  Blue has been shown to be a color of loyalty and fidelity, it’s the color of water and air therefore it leads consumers to clean and fresh    Blue is also associated with calmness and sadness.  This idea not only correlates with interiors but it’s recognized in our everyday products.  Think about water bottle labels or some of the popular banking branch logos.  Most of them have the color blue- this is going back to the idea that blue represent loyalty, faithfulness, and cleanliness.  Forty percent of people in the world’s favorite color is said to be blue.  Who knew Blue was so interesting.

Wallpaper Back In Vogue

photo credit: hey coo babe

photo credit: hey coo babe

Wallpaper has been making a come back and is in vogue! If you love Pinterest or Houzz, I am sure you are seeing more rooms that feature wallpaper.  So how would you like to use wallpaper to add style to a room?
It’s a great way to add color and interest to a bathroom.

photo credit: minimalisti.com

photo credit: minimalisti.com

Here are a few of my tips if to help if you are want to add wallpaper:
1) Find the qualified wallpaper hanger.  I keep a list of great installers and can help my clients through the process of choosing someone.
2) Have your wallpaper hanger come to the job site to take measurements and give you an installation estimate.  Have a sample with the repeat and yardage amount on each roll- important information to order the proper amount from the
manufacturer.
3) Make sure you prepare your sheetrock correctly for the installation.  Use an oil based primer so moisture from the wall will not seep through your wallpaper. This correct primer also prevents the paper corners from curling and helps the process of removing wallpaper when you decide to change the look of your room down the line.
Contact us at info@susancurriedesign.com if you want to look for wallpaper for your house.  I have some great new books from my Wallquest rep that I’d love to share with you.

Taking the Time to Get Decorating Right

Interior designers are “doers!” We like to take a design idea and run with it.  A good designer listens and helps you plan so you can make the best decisions.  Hasty decisions to satisfy a spontaneous idea can result in pieces of furniture, or painted cabinets, that really aren’t what you wanted. It’s like driving through a fast food window because you’re hungry, and feeling guilty afterwards.

Here are tips to help you stay committed to the “slow design” movement so your home decor makes you feel good, and is an authentic reflection of who you are.

 

Ideaslist

 

Keep a list. Maintain a running list of things you love and hope to acquire. When you feel the impulsive urge to buy something, check it against your list. If it’s there, great. If not, channel that spontaneous energy into completing or tracking down one of your list items.

 

DecoratingwithStripesA

Prioritize quality. Don’t buy cheap furniture that might not last. Be patient and save to buy high-quality items that last.

add_some_greenery_31

 

Be thrifty. Cost is one of the biggest inhibitors to home designs, so start exercising your thrifty muscles. Look for vintage (or free!) high-quality items on eBay, Craigslist, and flea markets. Consider great options like reupholstering, refinishing, and painting to transform discounts into treasures.  Remember that consignment stores can offer high-quality items at a great price.

Susan Currie Design can help you get your New Orleans home’s interior design just right. Call me today!

Decorating for Couples: When Styles Clash

We all know that opposites attract, but it can be tricky when those opposites try to work together to create a new interior design. The home decor can become a mismatched mess if you don’t put the right opposites together.

Here are some suggestions on how to blend two different design styles into a harmonious motif.

 

Female interior designer with two clients at office choosing colors

Source: Shutterstock.com

Set the expectations early. Before you embark on your redesign, sit down and agree on the basics: budget, color palette, types of furnishings, as well as what should stay and what should go. This will help to smooth out the transition process. Make sure that all parties in the home are represented in the design.

 

Young woman choose tiles

Source: Shutterstock.com

Listen. In my time as an interior designer, I have noticed that many couples have a single “nester,” and it’s the nester who makes 99% or more of the design choices. It’s important that the main designer really listen to the other party. If they hesitate before responding to a query, or suggest that you don’t need to purchase a particular item, that may be their way of saying, “that really doesn’t reflect my taste.”

Need a design mediator to help bring harmony to your New Orleans home decor? Contact Susan Currie Design.

 

Fashion Mavens Use Color at Home

Often, a fashion designer’s personal style is seen not only in their fashion but also in the decor of their home. Here are some great rooms that reflect the design sensibilities of their owners.

  • Kate Spade. The designer’s graphic and colorful look is echoed in her interior, Habitually Chic says. Kate’s interior also shows how well she blends and updates  different styles.

Image via Habitually Chic.

Image via Habitually Chic.

 

Image via Habitually Chic.

 

  • Kenzo. The fashion designer, known for mixing colors and bold patterns, is a fan of all colors–especially red. Below, you’ll see a red lacquerware pot sitting on a Jean Dunand deco table in Kenzo’s home. Also a red ensemble by the designer.

 vogue

 

Kenzo

Image via Vogue.

 

  •  Stefano Pilati. Architectural Digest featured the colorful Paris apartment of Ermenegildo Zegna creative director Stefano Pilati.

Image via Architectural Digest.

Image via Architectural Digest.

 

I’m decorating on my new home in New Orleans so look for future posts about my style. It’s my haven so style and comfort are key. Stay tuned…

For more color inspiration, follow us on Twitter!

The Theme of Spring High Point is ‘Inspiration’

The Editor at Large reports that the upcoming High Point Market will have a theme of “Inspiration.”  Furniture designers and interior designers alike depend upon inspiration to keep their work fresh. Inspiration also helps keep visitors to High Point motivated when their feet are tired from visiting so many showrooms!

Here are some of the inspirations I predict will continue to be big this year:

  • Color. The High Point brochure was filled with color, and for good reason. Color offers homeowners the opportunity to infuse their spaces with their own energy and personality. Plus, a colored pillow or upholstered stool is an easy way to refresh a space!

Surya

Image via Surya.

 

  • Eco. Reclaimed woods add character and appeal to active, casual lifestyles. There are also more innovative and energy-friendly LED light fixtures on the market than ever before.

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

 

  • Outdoor fabrics. Durable and water-resistant outdoor fabrics are great for families and for indoor-outdoor living.

 

Image via Kravet.

Image via Kravet Soleil.

 

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