Thursday, March 29, 2018

Making Dreams Come True

Who says dreams can't come true?
I believe you have to make them happen.

I've always wanted to go to India, and while I was visiting my cousin and his wife Liv in Oslo,  I happened to mention this to them.
Well, guess what - Liv said she was planning to attend the largest textile & home show in India that upcoming February!  
Did I want to go, Liv asked?  

Well, of course, I said yes!

What an experience!
And, what luck!
Not only do I now get to travel to India, but I also get to go with someone who has been there numerous times before and combine work into my trip.
Liv took care of all our travel arrangements, leaving me to handle one thing: meet Liv, and her best friend Karin, in Dehli. Done!

I was dreading the 14-hour plane ride, and I did not realize that during that long flight, you never see the sun. At one point, I looked out the window and saw what I thought was a beautiful sunrise. Nope! Tinted windows. To make things even more comical, I allowed myself to be tricked by these windows for hours, continuously.

I love seeing new places from the sky.

Time change is something, isn’t it?
When I arrived in Dehli, it was evening and an entire day ahead of North Carolina.
Thankfully, I hadn’t passed up buying homeopathic jet lag pills at Passport Health, because they were extremely helpful. And that 14-hour plane ride I was dreading so much, not so bad.

At the airport, I was met by my driver, as promised by Liv, and delivered safely to my hotel where I slept comfortably for hours. To be honest, I had expected India to be more chaotic. But to my surprise, everyone was very organized.

So inspiring. There's nothing like the joy one gets from stepping outside of their bubble to experience the world. Curiosity while traveling reinvigorates your senses and sparks your creativity pallet. Gaining experiences outside of what you're used to gives you unique insight into design and architecture that you don’t get to see every day.

I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey for the next few weeks as I share my experiences within Dehli, Jaipur, and Agra. It is during my travels, as seen through a designers eye, where I am taught to live, learn and design differently.

Colorfully yours,

Thursday, March 22, 2018

As Featured on Houzz

Designing a Laundry Room - Functional and Fun!

I don't know about you, but laundry day is my least favorite.  It's that endless chore continuing from week-to-week, (and for some) day-to-day.  However, through thoughtful design, washing, drying, folding and even ironing can become a much more enjoyable task. Patterns, colors and some unexpected touches make it easier to take on this mundane chore.

Morgan Province and the wonderful staff at Houzz wrote a fabulous article featuring a recent project of mine. You can find the article here on the Houzz website, or continue scrolling to find out more!

Laundry Room at a Glance
Who uses this space:
 A couple with three grown children
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Size: 104 square feet (9.7 square meters)

The laundry room works hard for these North Carolina homeowners. Besides washing clothes, the couple uses the space as a bill-paying area and a cleanup station when entertaining in the nearby kitchen. They didn’t want to do these activities in a boring space, so they hired designer Rosa Plaza Dest to give the room a new look. Although the footprint of the room stayed the same, Plaza Dest designed the space to maximize its use and keep it open and fun.

Laundry area. Before the redesign, the room had white walls, no window treatment and a bench below the window that accumulated random belongings. 

The Fisher & Paykel washer and dryer are still running after 20 years, so for now the couple want to keep them. Cabinets above them give the family ample storage for cleaning supplies and office extras. A sink sits to the right of the appliances.

Valance fabric: Thibaut

Touches of whimsy. Plaza Dest gave the room a feeling of playfulness with small but intricate details, such as the knobs on the cabinets above the washer and dryer. They feature images of little laundry items, such as socks. 

Hardware: Anthropology

Desk. At the end of the room is a desk and chair — a workspace for the entire family. When the kids were younger, they used it for homework because it was easy for Mom to keep an eye on them. Now it’s her turn to use the space. She can comfortably spread out her work and pay the bills. At other times, she can use the surface to fold clothes.

 Plaza Dest’s design approach is bold, collected and colorful. The laundry room “has great natural light, but it’s small,” she says. “So we had to accentuate the positive attributes through color and accessories.”

Color inspiration came from the adjacent kitchen, where blue is prominently featured. Orange was a great contrasting color, and it keeps the spaces balanced. The Moroccan Berber rug, which has orange and blue in it, also helped Plaza Dest choose the palette for the room.
It can be hard to make the abstract idea of “happy” a reality in design, but she believes that with color, pattern and scale you can achieve that feel.

Wallpaper: Thibaut

Wallpaper. One look at this room and you remember the wallpaper. Plaza Dest says she loves graphic patterns because they make a space feel fresh and instantly updated. Whenever she finds a wallpaper or fabric she loves, she hopes she’ll then find the perfect project in which to use it.

You might consider the bold wallpaper the star of this design, but Plaza Dest says everything works together. Each element and accessory supports the other to make the look feel complete.

More than just souvenirs. Reminders of past adventures appear throughout the room. The plate on the wall was created by Moroccan artisans from recycled plastic bags, while the ceramic table lamp is a former wine jug from Morocco.

Cabinets. Before the custom-built cabinets were installed, a window seat sat next to the small desk. Instead of relaxing on it, though, the family tended to throw everything from jackets to sports equipment on top of it. With the new cabinet, the family can store its items without creating a mess. 

“Uh-oh” moment.
 The wood cabinets were custom-made, but they were also pre-drilled for hardware before Plaza Dest chose the knobs. To cover the holes and fit the scale of the cabinet, she had to choose the hardware carefully. Fun and colorful hardware, like this beetle drawer pull, play right into the whimsy she set out to create.

Hardware: Anthropologie

Sink. Because of its proximity to the kitchen, the laundry room often acts as overflow space when the homeowners entertain. This lacquered magnolia wreath contrasts well with the wallpaper and ties in with the other pieces of art in the room. Maintaining a feeling of fun in the space was important, even near something as mundane as a sink.

Thank you Morgan and Houzz for putting together this beautifully written article. I am as beyond thrilled with this feature as I was designing and implementing this laundry room project. With the use of funky patterns and bright colors, you can really bring a space to life and give it the personality that makes you want to enter it every day.

Call on your color expert to begin your next project!

Colorfully Yours,