Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Throw away those winter blues for a new shade of happy. Allow yourself to get inspired!

Winter blues can be cured with a great day of warmer weather, as we have had this week! With everyone starting to feel a little more freedom we still continue to update our homes; want something fresh and new!
  This time of year we are all so done with winter and the cold, especially here in the Northeast!    We have all been inside and mostly isolated for a year, looking at the same four walls.  People have been more inclined to update their rooms with a fresh look, so they can feel good about their space, and now that they can start to see their friends, and have company again,  they will oohh and aaahh over how nice everything looks when they visit.
We all want a fresher look, cleaner, brighter and updated.  
An easy way to rejuvenate a room is with a fresh coat of paint.  I cannot walk into a paint store without gathering and collecting paint swatches, making new palettes which awakens the need in me for change!

Contractors will tell you that this is one of their craziest times. Especially now that Covid is more under control and people are less afraid and getting vaccinated.  Contractors can hardly keep up with the requests for quotes, let alone the job.  Many people hope to make changes to the inside, before they all start working outside; spending time in the nicer weather on outdoor projects. DIY stores are putting out flowers and bulbs and this "Spring cleaning" idea allows us to get ready for that and makes us crave for something fresh! 

  The big question most ask me as a designer is "where do I get started?"
Allow yourself to be inspired... all you have to do is look at what makes you feel good, what color is it, is it flowers that have a scent that is reminiscent of a time that makes you smile?
Living near a great small downtown... Princeton, NJ gives me the opportunity to walk around town, the University campus and the great stores! Grab a coffee, wander around streets of this historic town... the architecture, the art museum - so much culture here.... allow myself to get inspired!

 Palmer Square is exactly as it sounds, a "square" block that surrounds a "green"... a patch of grass where in the summer they offer concerts and movies. I always head down to this quaint, very unique home store in town called Homestead... They recently moved to a new location just outside of town, and the beautiful items they have are so inspiring.  They have a great way of pulling things together, offering very unique items and making you want and feel the need to buy something new to add to your home! If lucky you can catch the owners there and hear about a new piece he designed and repurposed from some very cool antique! This is a great source of inspiration for me, something always catches my eye- colors or the way things are put together that might work in my house.  

As you saw from one of my previous posts, I have a favorite art gallery store located in the heart of Princeton; Cranbury Station Gallery. If that didn't help my longing for springtime and flowers, and inspire me to create, nothing would!  Thankfully they were able to stay open in spite of the lockdown. Stop in, browse the art, the owner is a wonderful painter!

 So if you too are inspired by your surroundings, and crave something fresh... go down to your local paint store, pick out a few chips in colors that ignite your soul, stop in to your favorite store and buy something that makes you smile - paint the room, move some things around - add that new item you bought (doesn't have to be anything big to make a difference, even just a candle) and brighten up your home!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Personal Space to unwind... creating a home gym

Designing in a Pandemic.... 

Who ever thought it would be over a year and we would still be here, at home, staring at the same walls. For most, we saw things in our houses that had to change; whether this was cleaning out a closet, tossing clothing that we never wear, haven't worn in years or just didn't like anymore... or the simple exercise of cleaning those little corners or the rooms you never spent more time in. 

We looked more closely at how we surround ourselves, what a room "feels like".
We asked ourselves if this was the "space" that we wanted to be in; that made us feel good. 
I started working from home a few short months before everything closed down. I had a bit of a head start setting up an "in house" office... I showed the make over in an earlier post. 

The issue with working from home is that it is allways there; no, that is not a typo, LOL! 
I quickly realized you need to set boundaries for yourself, hours you will work, eat.. and not just sit at your desk endlessly. My office faces my front yard, so I would see my neighbors walking their dogs or out for a stroll and knew I had to carve time out of my day to get some fresh air... even in the dead of winter. 

What changes did you make? To your routine, your house, yourself?!!! What questions did you ask yourself, what did you need...
I was commuting to NYC every day for work, taking Soul Cycle class four times a week, seeing friends, and clients. This routine worked for me. In Dec. 2019 I made a job change and started working from home.... I needed to find a new routine. I joined a second gym, belonging to one at home already, and continued to go into the city to once a week. One reason was to take that SoulCycle spin class with my daughter, I then would comp stores for work; it kept me connected to the city. I mean, who wouldn't be happy about not having to commute every single day?!  I added a new membership at a very new and cool gym at home, worked out at least 5 days (between @orangetheory and @Lifetime). I found a new normal, where I could work from home but still have my socialization and exercise. I met new people and loved the schedule I set, all based around the classes I was taking. I could do this! 
Then on March 12th, I came in to the city to ride with my favorite instructor, @melaniegriffith, with my friends I had made in the class over time... had lunch with my old colleagues who flew in from CA for Market Week, and somehow I knew it was my last day going to the city for some time. I visited my daughter and took the train home. I heard rumors about the growing numbers of covid cases and that the city, as we knew it, was closing down. Market week was pending and everyone who was preparing for clients to come see their new developments was stopped mid-step and told for the first time, in my career in home textiles, that market week is not going to happen

 Slowly everything closed - gyms closed... I could feel that this isolation was not going to be easy. 

So where is the design topic, where I tell you about a new project?

Right here!
 I felt I had to first "set the scene" build the story and let you understand where the need came from and why I had to create a purposeful space for myself at home a home gym.. a place to recuperate, invigorate and escape to in my house.
First you need to know that we have been empty nesters for some time now. We also have been in this house 21 years this coming May! That being said, I have a lot of great exercise equipment.. and then a spin bike I inherited from my youngest daughter who is a SoulCycle Spin instructor for the past 6 years... it has cages on the pedal, but I did not let that stop me for the first 6 months of quarantine! LOL! Here are the before shots; as you can see my mess and lots of stuff that we have accumulated over the year, including the stuff my kids left behind when they moved out.

Before shots with so much stuff!


I was determined to create a sanctuary; an at home "dark room" that I could spin in, listen to the best music, and just disappear and work out...


I cleaned out the space, rearranged the room, put up the most beautiful wall mandala decals! 
So bohemian!
Then I was lucky enough to have the best brother and sister in-law; in October I received the best present ever - the final touch to my space!  

The piece dé resistance! A Peloton! 

 Look at this space! I could not be happier! 

Now onto the other room renovations needed. 
For now, at least I have an escape, and I have to say, I spend so much time in "MY GYM" that it was worth it!

Create a space for yourself! 

We all need a place to breathe, to feel good... do this for yourself, if not, then who will? If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we need to look around and live in the present... you never know what is around the corner. ... and if you didn't notice, there is an extra bike - come ride with me! I promise the music will be amazing!