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Using an Inspiration Room for Interior Design

I feel as though I should preface this article by saying that I am a Wedding and Event Planner and am by no means an Interior fact, I am the opposite.  I know what I like but have the hardest time actually putting it all together. The idea for this article came from Pinterest.  I love it oh so much, but it has become my undoing...all of these pins where the rooms look so gorgeous and I keep thinking, "Oh, I can so do that" just keep getting pinned and pinned. Then I keep thinking of all that I haven't done and how my kids' bedrooms are just so ho-hum. {Sigh} 

So, here is my post on inspiration rooms and how I plan on re-doing the boys' room. First off, I love, love, love them.  My favorites usually have to do with mom stuff, interior design and finally, weddings.  Amanda at Dixie Delights combines both mom and interior's like heaven when I look at her photos.  I am a huge fan and am using her little one's 'big boy' room as inspiration for my boys' room.  For this post I am specifically focusing on the artwork as my inspiration (since that's as far as I am in my own room re-do!)

I adore this room!  I want to take every element out of it and transplant it into my boys's perfection in my opinion.  So, here is how I decided to start...with the art work of course!  I love the crab painting by Catherine Lovett but it is a bit out of my price range.  So, I found something similar that I really like on etsy and purchased that.  

The artwork from Recycled Wood Art is much easier on the budget and still similar in feel.  Plus, it's an original painting and not a print, so I don't necessarily have to frame it (big budget saver!!).

Next, is the art work and prints on the wall.

I love how they are clustered together so I started on the hunt for similar items in the light blue/teal hue to compliment the crab.  I hail from West Virginia and it's very important to me that it is represented in my home...the easiest way, a map.  Dixie Delights highlights maps of Georgia and Savannah on her wall, so again, I went to etsy and found this sweet map of West Virginia.  

(map from Blast from the Past)The map from Blast From the Past is also an original and not a reproduction which I really like but this one will have to be framed.  

I also found this graphic print from Jessica Sutton - JSGD.  It's perfect.  My Jack loves to "rawr" like a dinosaur (he's 2) so I knew I had to have this from the moment I saw it.  Plus it follows closely to my inspiration room photo without being a complete knock-off.

The next item on my list to purchase is from The Old Try Print Shop.  They are my new favorite and I love that they are Southerners also...making it so much more appealing for me.  I am going to purchase this print of lightning bugs (yes, lightning bugs and NOT fireflies to all of you non-southerners out there).  I love it and it reminds me of my childhood.  

I have also been scouring etsy for small, original watercolors to frame but have yet to purchase anything.  Here are a few shops that I have found items that I like for now.  I keep adding them to my favorites on my etsy account, so that I can easily find them when needed.  

Art by Susan Windsor

Art by Seaside Studios UK

Art by Tricia Herald


For more information on our Interior Design course, please visit our website at the Sheffield School.


Our 2012 Interior Design Snapshot and 2013 Decorating Trend Predictions

In 2012, we had a year of excitement in the field of interior design - but only if you were looking at color and contemporary furniture design. Here's my frank evaluation of the year that was.
  • Color palettes were bold and daring, and strong color blocks dominated both the fashion and home design industry. Pantone's Tangerine Tango led the pack with bright hues replacing cooler jewel tones and muted metallics.
Color Blocks influenced interior design beaucoup.
  • Mid-century modern continued as a furniture trend and style influencer. There was a glut of "antiques" from the mid-1900s on the market, and young homeowners followed their Mad Men tastes and turned their homes into hip lounges. Personally, I think this was a dreary trend that will soon be waning. Many mid-century pieces were mass produced and they were boring and brown and drekish when they were first produces; time hasn't been kind to them. There are mid-century gems, however, that deserved attention, but I doubt if a majority of homeowners and designers were particularly discerning. Buyer beware!
Wow - yet another piece of mid-century modern furniture!
  • Modern furniture continued to be sleeker, more sculptural, and more creative. I'm a huge fan of contemporary furniture. Rather than reaching back to the past for inspiration - or creating past styles "with a twist" (a way overused design concept) - many furniture designers created completely new ways to sit, dine, relax, and sleep. 
Edra's Corallo armchair beautifully combines function and sculpture.
  • I loved the way handmade home goods counterbalanced the glut of mass-produced items, e.g., hand-woven upholstery, bulky yarn rugs, hand-carved wood legs, fine inlays, and bright and colorful dyes on casegoods.
Handmade goods deserve places of pride in every home.
  • There was caution in the air last year with home decorating. People curbed their spending on luxury goods and furnishings due to breath-holding over the U.S. presidential election and the stalemate in the U.S. Congress. 
Cash-and-carry design stores like CB2 captured design dollars that might have gone into pro decorating and custom work.
So what's ahead for our industry in 2013? No one has a crystal ball and can predict with any accuracy how interior design will go from year to year. HOWEVER, the home design industry is very much in line with fashion, and by looking at fashion edicts - those predictions on colors, for instance, from industry leaders like Pantone - we can definitely predict the hot colors that will show up in a wide range of products, from fabrics and home textiles to flooring, appliances, and wall covering. So here are my predictions (but don't blame me if they don't come to pass!).
  • Professional decorating will hit a new industry high. Many people who weren't decorating last year, or who either held back or settled for quick design fixes at a cash-and-carry stores or discounters like Marshalls/HomeGoods, will come back into the pro designer fold again this year. I'm very confident about this prediction. After the U.S. presidential election and the "fiscal cliff" issues were resolved, many homeowners are now moving forward with decorating projects. Many interior designers I know are busier than they were before the recession, and that's an excellent trend. 
After a quiet 2012, I predict designer showroom traffic and professional decorating business will be on the upturn.
  • The color palette is cooler and more muted this year. Pantone's cool-yet-bright Emerald is their 2013 Color of the Year, and Sherwin-Williams followed suit with a muted shade of green, Aloe. Benjamin Moore embraced Lemon Sorbet, which is on the cooler side of a warm color (it's yellow-ish, but also a color that's barely there, a true goes-with-anything tone). Softer pastels will be big this spring, and I think we're definitely over the color block trend and heading towards a zillion shades of a single color that will all form a single-color matrix within a room, like a room that's decorated with 14 different shades of blue or 24 different shades of green. 
Softer wall colors and muted everything will likely be on trend.
  • I can't see anyone taking the contemporary furniture design lead away from the Italians. They just continue to push the innovative envelope, and their work is extraordinary. Many of the old-favorite furniture makers from the United States come across a bit too traditional, fussy, and quiet for younger buyers. They're hitching their wagons to older homeowners, the traditional decorators of the past, but they're missing the boat on younger couples who are roaring into the interior design space. With wall colors and general decorating palettes swinging towards the muted side this year, I predict that there will be a stronger uptake on sculptural, contempoary, startling signature and focal pieces for rooms. Italian companies will finish first, French companies second, Dutch companies third. You heard it here first!
I love Italian contemporary furniture; they're going to rock the industry in 2013.
  • Handmade furniture and accessories will continue to grow in the New Year. I'm just facing reality. As more elements of our lives become mass produced, we yearn for unique artisanal touches in our homes. The mark of a skilled craftsperson, the tactile quality of an artist with imagination - these objects will continue to gain in popularity and command more of our spending and attention.
Elise Wilhelmsen's knitting clock exemplifies the appeal of handmade furniture and accessories.


If you're interested in learning more about wedding and event planning, we encourage you to explore the Sheffield School, New York, NY. Sheffield began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.

  • Request a free Sheffield School catalog describing our distance education courses.
  • Subscribe to the Sheffield Designer newsletter.
  • Wednesday

    Do-It-Yourself Winter Wedding Decor: Bubble Chandelier

    We’re feeling extra bubbly today (pun intended) at 100 Layer Cake, the wedding and event idea website, and we've got a great feature today for all our Sheffield Says readers! We covered Kara and Andrew’s wedding on our site and fell in love with their glass bubble ceiling so much that we scoured the interweb for more bubbly goodness. Which brings us to this chandelier on Alison’s ever-so-sultry boudoir blog, Frou Frou Fashionista. We’re huge fans of how the final piece came out and adore that both Alison and her mom made it for only $300! Now, it’s your turn. This will look great as part of a winter wedding decor, a winter event, or an interior design decorating project.

    •   2′x4′ white wire grid panel (though you can do any shape or size) (about $15-$23)
    •   CB2 Bubble Balls (50 small & 40 large) ($1.95 ea small, $3.95 ea large)
    •   Silver Christmas ball ornaments (80 small, 80 medium)
    •   Fishing line (we bought high knot strength /30 lb.) $3
    •   One spool of sterling silver wire (20-22 gauge). You can also do 22 gauge floral wire.
    •   4 ceiling mounting hooks
    •   white chain (about 10 feet, cut evenly into 4 pieces)
    •   4 S-hooks
    •   2 lamp cord kits from Urban Outfitters (white) $12 ea
    •   2 half mirror light bulbs $9 ea

    Tools you will need:
     •   a 2" nail
    •   Pliers
    •   one pair of wire cutters (or use scissors if you must)
    •   Scissors

    Step 1: Insert your 4 chandelier hooks into the ceiling and attach about 2-3 feet of your white chain to each (make sure it is secured in the ceiling so as to carry the weight of the chandelier!). You need that extra amount of chain so that you can bring down the wire grid low enough to work on and install the lighting fixtures (and then raise up to the ceiling when you are done). Suspend the wire grid from the ceiling using your chains and s-hooks.

    Step 2: At your work table, cut the silver wire into 2″ pieces (your quantity depends on the number of glass balls you are using). Loop each 2″ piece once around a nail to create the toggle. You can use pliers to adjust the size of the loop, particularly to make it small enough to fit inside the top of the glass bubble.

    Step 3: Cut a piece of fishing line a few feet long. Knot one end to the silver toggle you just made. Slip the toggle inside the top of the glass CB2 ball. Then attach the other end of the fishing line to the wire grid. Hang each glass ball at varying lengths. We started from the center of the grid and worked our way out.

    Step 4: In the very center of the grid we added our 2 light sockets. We wired both sockets close to the top of the grid and plugged in both cords to the ceiling fixture (or you can easily have an electrician wire the cords to a single ceiling outlet). Plug in your Half Mirror Light Bulbs.

    Step 5: We added silver ball ornaments to the chandelier. We hung these balls extremely close together near the top of the grid so as to completely conceal it (the grid shouldn’t show when you’re done). For some of the balls we created toggles using our silver wire, and for some we simply used Christmas ornament hooks! Make sure that for each ball you hang directly on the grid that you twist the wire together so the hooks will not fall off if the chandelier is ever shaken (we live in California, so it’s a factor we need to consider!).

    Step 6 (optional): We ended up creating a cover around the top of the chandelier so as to conceal the chains holding it up as well as the sides of the wire grid. We simply created a light-weight crate that could be hooked to the chains holding up the rest of the chandelier. It was painted a pale pink to match the color of the walls in our store. Another option is to create a framework around the chandelier and cover it in a semi-sheer fabric so as to let the light shine through, much like a lamp shade. If you hook the chandelier close enough to the ceiling, you don’t need any cover…we simply have high ceilings in our store and wanted something to finish the look of the piece.

    Bookmark this post, print it out, do what cha got to do to save this baby for your next DIY project, and have fun with it. Imagine all the goodies you can put inside – glitter, confetti, succulents, flowers… And, please let us know (and send photos) if you end up making one of these for your wedding. We can’t get enough!

    {top photo by Sarah Yates for Rue Magazine, multiple photo grouping by Alison, bottom photo by Aruna B. Photography}

    Thanks to 
    100 Layer Cake for their beautiful photographs, posts, and wedding and event inspiration. 100 Layer Cake is a unique, comprehensive wedding and event planning resource for and by thoughtful, crafty modern women. Their vendors, projects, weddings, resources, sponsors, and marketplace are hand-picked and thoroughly researched with the hope that every single one is a truly unique addition to both your wedding and your planning process. Visit the 100 Layer Cake website today.


    If you're interested in learning more about wedding and event planning, we encourage you to explore the Sheffield School, New York, NY. Sheffield began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.

  • Request a free Sheffield School catalog describing our distance education courses.
  • Subscribe to the Sheffield Designer newsletter.
  • Monday

    Interior Design: New Discoveries in Furnishings

    Interior design is one of those professions that is constantly changing. There is always a new resource to find! To prove this point, I went looking for three resources that I had never heard of before. Guess what? I discovered many more than three, but these examples will surfice. My bottom line: keep researching new resources, and you'll be rewarded with treasures you'll want to use again and again in your design projects.


    John Reeves

    I found a furniture maker with a philosophy that's in perfect synch with my decorating and interior design ethic. UK furniture designer John Reeves tries not to follow design trends. Instead, he insists on designing clean, contemporary furniture with nods and twists to past periods and styles, but all with an attempt to create "antiques of the future," decor elements that someone can live with for a lifetime.

    I'm tired of disposable decorating and furnishings. They insult homeowners and my clients. Good quality pieces hold or gain value over the years and, when mixed with more moderate priced pieces, add impact and timelessness to a room unlike anything else.

    Reeves isn't buying into the disposable culture where you purchase a mass-produced item that will last only a few years and must be disposed of. And if you're making furniture for the long haul, it better be sustainable, too. Reeves only uses sustainably sourced timbers and he also uses discarded materials in his work, like scrap marble.

    In his Sketch collection, Reeves uses old aluminum engine blocks from Vietnam and melts them down into recycled furniture (beautiful sand cast pieces that have a finish not unlike rough, washed river stones). Click on each image for more product information, and visit the Reeves Design website.



    I'm having fun with the new Home catalog from contemporary Italian designers Gallotti&Radice. Their so-chic offerings are client pleasers, and I've been having fun proposing items for projects requiring high style, great design, and timeless modernity. Here are five current favorites from their catalog - but, believe me, there are more favorites to be had. Click on each photo for more product information.



    Consider the perfection of glass shelves. They're easy to clean. They hold anything and are strong. They don't add superficial patterns or colors to your decor. And they're beautifully sculptural whenever they're well designed. Click on these photos to check out some of the amazing glass shelving creations from Glasitalia. I highly recommend this resource!


    Groomsmen Attire: 5 Inspiring Ideas

    So what are some of the big trends today in groomsmen attire? Here's the lowdown.


    Who knew men’s socks could be so interesting or even that socks could be fashionable? Use socks with your groom and groomsmen's attire to add a pop of fun to an otherwise formal affair. I found myself obsessing over the best choice and could not decide. Use these general choices to help you decide: patterns, colors, or the wacky choice. Choose the argyle look for a polished, yet daring look like these from J. Crew or a shocking, unsuspecting color for laughs —pink never looked so good with a suit. For the brave, go extreme, with the wacky choice—the only time when cartoonish socks are ok on a grown man.

    Photo Credit:

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    (Photo Credit: Shoes

    I’m sure men are not as concerned with their wedding shoes as women; but, when given a choice, comfort is probably at the top of their list. What better way to shuck the traditional brogues or loafers, with something different… while being comfortable? Three options I like best: Toms, Converses, or Nike’s—or any athletic twist for business casual footwear. Make a statement. Customize your Converse or Nikes to match the wedding theme and each groomsmen’s personality. This is also a brilliant gift option for your groomsmen!

    (Photo Credit: (Photo Credit:

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    To have one or not?

    (Photo Credit: Taira C @ Etsy)I think boutonnieres are a great choice when tying something from the bride back to the groomsmen. The tradition of wearing a boutonniere may have started during the middle ages, when women favored men with something personal: handkerchief, scarf, or favorite flower. This tradition has carried over into weddings that stand today. Today’s boutonniere surpasses the traditional flower route. Mesh modernity with tradition by adding creative and simple touches. Tammi from JewelBeGorgeous on Etsy transcends the typical boutonniere with these masculine beauties. Another option is to tie in your wedding theme via color or texture of the boutonniere. Nancy from Alliums123 on Etsy uses an alternative to the traditional flower boutonniere in the shape of a pocket-square designed from natural raffia.

    (Photo Credit: Alliums123 @ Etsy)(Photo Credit: ChiKaPea @ Etsy)

    Neckwear: Tie or Bow tie?

    While a traditional black or navy colored bow tie makes the attire more formal, bow ties have come a long way from being stuffy and un-hip. I personally love bow ties; something about a guy wearing a bow tie makes me think of a sexy nerd sans pocket protector. Bow ties…so many great options and easier to manage than figuring out how to tie a necktie: Windsor, Half Windsor, Four in Hand, or a Pratt necktie. Nevertheless, when choosing to wear a tie or a bow tie, base your decision from your wedding theme and colors. If your wedding is more formal, go with a solid color and stick with a more neutral palette. Choose the pattern option, if your wedding is semi-formal or “casual.” To stand out from your groomsmen, choose a tie or bow tie that’s slightly different, whether by color or pattern.

    (Photo Credit: Credit: Credit:


    Accessories are another fun way to be creative to make your tuxedo or suit more dashing. The possibilities are endless: vest, top hat, studs on the shirt, suspenders, and the list goes on. This is another the perfect way to tie in a groomsmen gift, by personalizing an accessory like these cufflinks from American Bridal. Choose either cufflinks with their initials or a pocket watch to add a masculine, old-world charm.

    (Photo Credit: Credit: Urbaneye @ Etsy)(Photo Credit: remember: as a rule of thumb, try not to over do either of theses choices or your overall attire will clash. For example, if you’re going to wear fun socks, hold off on the personalized Nikes. Whichever option you choose to do, have fun. This is your wedding day too. Best of luck and Congratulations!


    Thanks to American Bridal for their unique ideas and wonderful post! At American Bridal, you can find a wide array of wedding favors and accessories. Visit the American Bridal website today.


    For more information on Wedding and Event Planning, please visit our website at the Sheffield School.