Monday, December 3, 2012

West Elm Best Picks

West Elm has some of the best AFFORDABLE pieces around. Before you shop, check out my Top Picks for West Elm!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chicago Home & Garden Magazine

Radford was here . . .


Radford Loves a Warehouse Sale

I do not care much for Pottery Barn. There, I said it.

However, their annual Warehouse Clearance Event is going on now with classic pieces up to 75% off. I just can't resist a warehouse clearance. Check out this Pinterest Board with my picks for the best of this great sale!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Recent Install

Check out some photos of a recent master bedroom install in Clarendon Hills! I simply adore this couple and their two insanely adorable children!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baby Love

I love nothing more than designing for kids. Check out some of my favorite kids room ideas here!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Furniture for All

Nothing can induce a large scale Freak Out quite like shopping for furniture. I have witnessed many ‘o loving couple melt into toddlers during the Witching Hour over the process. Crate & Barrel should have a wet bar. Alas, have no fear- selecting furniture for any size space can be a fun process . . I promise. The secret is in the prep.

Before you hit the stores, play Designer for the day and measure your space. This includes the Width & Length of the room, doors, windows and any fixed elements such as a fireplace. Note the direction in which doors swing open into a space. If you live in a multi-unit building, also measure elevators to ensure your new pieces will actually make it up to your lovely abode.

Grab a pad of ¼” grid paper. Each “square” will equal 1 square foot. Convert your measurements onto the grid. Reward yourself with a cocktail- the hardest part is behind you!

While sipping your libation, create a list of needs for this space. Think of how many people you will want to be able to seat in the space. What are your storage needs? Will kids have free reign or is this an “adult” space?

Now that you have determined the use of the space and have created a floor plan, you are ready to sketch in your furniture pieces. Keep in mind to allow about 36” of space for major traffic patterns & 28” for minor ones. Sketch the items from your list onto your floor plan, starting with the Must Have pieces. Work with the space you have. If the room works best with a sofa and two chairs, don't try to squeeze in an L-shaped sectional. Much like dieting aspirations- the walls of your space will not get larger or shrink no matter how hard you try to will it. 

Measure the furniture you've sketched for the maximum size of each piece. Count the number of grid blocks and estimate partial blocks (overachievers- now is the time to whip out that architectural scale and amaze your lover). Draw a colored pencil line inside the outline of each furniture piece to represent the minimum size that works without compromising the arrangement. Note the acceptable size range (min & max) for each furniture item on your list.

Arm yourself with a tape measure, your floor plan & the knowledge of basic meditative breathing before entering the furniture store. Browse and consider ONLY the furniture items you've listed, making sure the pieces fit within your acceptable size range. 
Looking at items that are not on your list is the best way to ensure that your spouse will never do this again. Stay focused.

Look for pieces where most of the size is taken up by functional space, not design elements. Avoid upholstery with enormous rolled arms in favor more tailored pieces. Skip curved sleigh beds that add depth and kill floorspace.

For small spaces, eliminate single-purpose pieces from consideration when double-duty or storage pieces are available. For example, you can use two small ottomans at the foot of the bed instead of a bench- moving them into the living room for extra seating when you entertain. When in doubt- go with the piece that allows for storage.

Create the illusion of larger rooms by selecting light-reflecting furniture finishes. Adding wall mirrors does the best job. Consider lacquered, mirrored, glass-topped or high-sheen wood pieces. Opt for glass or lucite dining or coffee tables for their transparency as well- clear pieces don't stop the eye like their solid counterparts. 

One of my favorite collections is the Peekaboo from CB2.

Order your largest upholstered pieces in solid colors, which take up less visual space. Save the pattern for chairs and accent pieces such as pillows & art. When in doubt, always opt for a monochromatic scheme. Contrasting color schemes visually break up the space, making it appear smaller.

Large spaces with high ceilings call for larger scale furniture. Using small pieces will give the feeling of Alice in Wonderland- and not in a good way.

Happy shopping & may the Force be with you!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Art - Getting the Hang of It

 Too High? Too Low? A little more to the left? Crooked? Shit! Don't give up, Art is a beautiful thing! Here are some tips to take the edge off hanging art. . .

As a general rule, hang your artwork so that the center point of the piece or grouping is at approximately eye level- think of groupings as a single unit. For example, you may want to consider hanging art slightly lower in a dining room, since you are sitting down when you are looking at it. The devil really is in the details. I see him often. Impressive moustache.

A great way to try out an arrangement before making Swiss of your wall is to lay everything out on your table or floor.  I prefer the floor. Move pieces around until you have an arrangement that you like. Once you have it figured out, take a photo so you can remember the aforementioned genius.

For Over Achievers- lay out art on a large piece of craft/wrapping paper and trace around each piece making sure to mark the hanging hardware points. Cut along the trace lines, then tape the paper to the wall and hammer in the nails. Remove the paper and place art. You are so gallery chic I can't stand it.

Choose smaller pieces for narrow walls and larger pieces for big walls.

Lots of wall with little art? Try grouping even number pieces to balance out a large space or a high wall. Keep in mind that large spaces can handle slightly wider spacing than small spaces.

Getting Horizontal- hanging art horizontally allows you to achieve some volume without appearing crowded. Remember, an odd number of pieces is more attractive to the eye and is visually more balancing. I typically space pieces 4-6" from each other.

Getting Vertical- when you are grouping 4 or more pieces above one another, think of a vertical line- meaning that the art should be visually balanced on both sides of an imaginary vertical line. Too much visual weight on one side or the other will make the group seem awkward & unbalanced. And that's more of a distraction than a love.

Symmetry ='s Traditional Beauty. Symmetry is great for pieces that are similar in size, shape, and subject matter. Hanging pieces symmetrically allows you to create a grouping that has visual balance and is perfect over large furniture or a fireplace.

Asymmetry ='s Exotic Beauty. Asymmetrical placement is a great solution when you have artwork that isn't necessarily the same but share at least one similar element- Cousins. An organic balance is the goal here.

Grouping larger and smaller pieces helps to create interest & energy. The same is true for vertical and horizontal pieces in the same grouping. The same is true for throwing your kid's masterpiece into a formal mix or adding a touch of humor or perhaps, rebellion to your collection.

Put what you love on your walls. Keep in mind that large white matting can work magic. A level is your best friend & lover. And above all else,
Love Your Space.


A Little Bird Told Me...

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