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Designer Monthly Preview

The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

Did you ever have a problem designing small spaces?  Take a look at how top interior designers solved this common problem in our latest Designer Monthly, How to Design Small Spaces at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.






Weekend Getaway: Visiting Winterthur


Looking for a weekend trip idea?  Why not combine a weekend getaway with a little interior design education?  Winterthur is a beautiful 19th century home of the du Pont family located in the picturesque Brandywine Valley region of Pennsylvania and Delaware.  What’s even more special about Winterthur is that it houses the largest collection of American period furniture and decorative arts and it is open to the public.

Period furniture, courtesy of Winterthur

Winterthur houses several galleries full of decorative objects such as ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture and paintings. The above photo shows exceptional examples of period furniture – including a Sheraton-style secretary, a Federal high chest of drawers, and a pie-crust tea table with a tilt top.   

Besides decorative objects, the mansion boasts of 175 rooms and several of them are decorated in authentic period furniture.  The Port Royal Parlor below is just one example. The parlor is full of Chippendale-style chairs, tea table, and high chest. 

Port Royal Parlor, courtesy of Winterthur

Besides beautiful interiors, Winterthur sits on a 60 acre estate filled with floral gardens, walkways, woods, and picnic spots. Don’t forget to include Winterthur in your weekend getaway plans!


Interested in learning more about the history of furniture periods?  Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design.  At Sheffield, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.


Wedding Inspiration: Reception Dinnerware

I think details like tabletop decor and place settings make all the difference in a well-planned wedding. When guests sit down to their table at a reception venue, they'd better go "Oooh" and "Wow" or else you're not doing your job as a wedding planner! We tell our wedding planning students to pull out all the stops with creativity on the job, and in many cases, that involves encouraging your clients to put on their DIY hats and contribute something to the special look of their own wedding. Look at the setting above, for instance. The vintage dinner plate is paired with a salad plate that boasts gold-enscribed hearts and a "Just Married" message, with gold utensils completing the coordinated look.

I've chosen a few noteworthy dinnerware choices, and all you have to do is click on each photo to see more about the real-life weddings they came from.


Click to read more ...


Thinking Outside The Box And Recycling In Jewelry Packaging - Part 2

Decor8 blog fabric pouches.

The importance of making an effort to creatively package your work shows your customer you are putting thought into every aspect of your work. These are inexpensive ideas that will not only enhance your image to your customer but also good for recycling. 

Unkown on Blog Bomming

Art Jewelry Elements packaging.

Wrapping colored tissue paper up and sealing it with a custom sticker is not only an easy way to have great looking gift packaging but you can size your wrapping to suit your needs so you will not have to purchase different size boxes or bags. 

Kellyssimadesigns blogspot.

Cutting out magazine pages to fold into envelopes is not only a money saver but has a great recycled look. Depending on the images used it also adds some edge to your packaging. Here is a tutorial on how to make an envelope.


Packaging by Moondrops on

Packaging by Visit Jess Janz.

Love the look of tying up a folded paper bag, or tissue paper, with a business card. It has a non-fussy feel and great looking effect. Taking it a step further and adding a pouch will enhance it, but only if it does not cover up already great looking packaging. 


Packaging by Asil Designs 

Packaging by Kimberly Layton.

If you know how to sew, and you have the time, well then... lucky you! Think of all the little pieces of fabric you can sew together to create envelopes and pouches that are unique to you. From the simple red stitched holder on Asil Designs Blogspot to the colorful strips of fabric sewn together by Kimberly Layton. These should be giving you lots of ideas right now. Hanging the beads on the string is giving me ideas.

I wonder if Sheffield would be open to adding a creative packaging class? If you are interested in tutorials to make your own fabric envelopes and pouches, I found these on my creative packaging search and they seem like a good place to start.


Are you interested in taking a great jewelry design course and learning more about how to make your own jewelry or get started professionally in this creative field? Sheffield School 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.
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  • Monday

    Book Contest: Win the Curtain Bible

    Don't know what to do with your windows?  Do they pose problems in size or proportion?  Or are you just bored with the same old window treatment?  Katrin Cargill will offer you new and wonderful solutions in her book, the Curtain Bible.  She'll show you how to make roman shades, valances, sliding panels and more.  Cargill also demonstrates how to add special touches to ordinary curtains like scallops, pleats and fringes. She also provides a list of suppliers for your own window treatment projects. 

    Win a Free Copy


    To win the book, please leave a comment below letting us know what your favorite window treatment is and why and we’ll select a winner by Monday, July 8th. We’ll contact the winner via email and announce the Curtain Bible book winner next week. Last week's winner of our Interior Transformations book was Lisa from North Carolina.


    Decorating Tips: Head-Turning Walls

    Uccelli wallpaper by Fornasetti from Cole & Son

    One of the tenets of good interior design is that every room should have a focal point. If you don’t have a natural focal point in your room – like a fireplace or a window with a view – and you don’t have any artwork, try turning your whole wall into a focal point. 

    These wallpapers designed by Italian artist, Piero Fornasetti, are conversation-stoppers!  They’re quirky, they’re unique, they’re anything but boring. If you're tired of the usual florals and geometric prints put you to sleep - take a look at these wild patterns. Above in the Uccelli pattern, a flock of birds brighten up a dull hallway.

    Cole & Son is reproducing famous designs by Fornasetti and turning them into wallpaper for the home. You have a boring stairway? How about these zebras peering out at you as you climb the stairs?

    Procurati wallpaper by Fornasetti from Cole & Son

    Nottambule wallpaper by Fornasetti from Cole & Son

    If you don’t want the whole wall covered, try a border around the room instead.  Have a hoot with these night owls, the Nottambule wallpaper. And if prints of animals are just not your style, the Teatro wallpaper will take you on a night out on the town.  Theater-goers peer down from their balconies in this wonderful old-style Fornasetti design. Now that's a wall full of drama!



    Interested in learning more about wall treatments?  Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design.  At Sheffield, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.

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