Landscape lighting can help to transform your outdoor living space to a usable, beautiful area. The top three purposes of landscape lighting are aesthetics, to highlight key landscape elements in your space, safety and security and task or convenience lighting, according to Dean MacMorris of Nightlight Inc. Learn all about lighting your landscaping the right way by watching the video below.
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The time has arrived for you to create the kitchen of your dreams. This is exciting news! When you reach out to an interior designer asking how to begin such an endeavor, your journey actually begins. When a client contacts me, the dialogue between us includes some if not all of the following topics for discussion:
The kitchen in many cases sets the tone for the rest of the house. Whether your cabinets are stained, painted, rustic/distressed or made of steel, each of these aesthetic looks may dictate the overall style of your home. Is the home décor of your existing home Old World Traditional? Mid-Century Modern? Industrial? Clean-lined Transitional? Eclectic? Vintage Mod? You can see there are many design styles to choose from, and it’s helpful to have an idea of what yours is before you begin your kitchen finish selections.
Besides the actual look of your kitchen, the kind of cabinet you are going to select and what it’s made of is a big decision. According to kitchen and bath designer Cathy Schager, NKBD, Allied ASID, who also collaborates with clients in making finish selections, cabinet boxes are typically made out of MDF (medium density fiberboard) or plywood construction with a wood veneer. Cabinet doors can be made out of solid wood or MDF. While MDF gets a bad rap for being made out of “compressed paper”, there are benefits. It’s durable, takes paint very well and is less expensive than wood. When you paint a wood door on the other hand, the natural expansion and contraction tends to create “cracks” in the joints, which may appear defective and unfinished.
When designing your kitchen, it’s equally important to consider your lifestyle and how the kitchen will be used. Kitchens today are often designed for multiple cooks, sharing cooking with children and group entertaining. And now, according to Cathy Schager, kitchen designers are designing around “work zones” to ensure that everything that’s needed to work efficiently in that zone is located within a few steps. For example, if you are a baker, a “baking zone” is established where the mixer, baking pans, measuring cups, baking dry goods, etc. are consolidated near an oven.
Living Out Loud – Your Outdoor Kitchen
As we are enjoying the summer months, I can’t help but bring up the notion that an outdoor kitchen space is on your wish list. Where do you begin as you consider creating this as part of your outdoor living space?
I posed this question and more to Toni Callahan of Schmechtig Landscapes. According to Toni, today all you will need is just about a 7’ long x 2 ½’ wide space in order to set up a working outdoor kitchen, including a 36” grill, side burner, outdoor refrigerator and outdoor sink. Of course if you have more space, your outdoor kitchen can be designed in a U-shape, complete with a beverage center (with Kegerator and/or wine cooler), drawers or built-in shelves for storage, and a separate island. It’s important to note that weather resistant cabinetry and special outdoor use appliances should be installed, made to withstand extreme temperatures experienced throughout the year, and that to avoid rust and corrosion, they should be specified in stainless steel.
Toni also explained that outdoor kitchen design has become a major part of the outdoor entertaining trend, including designing larger or smaller entertaining areas with counter seating and more intimate seating around fire pits, fireplaces and patio heaters so that outdoor living can be enjoyed in the cooler Fall months. And, with the vast choices of outdoor furniture, fabrics, accessories and lighting, the look and feel of the interior of your home can be carried through to the outdoors for a seamless and cohesive exterior concept living environment.
I would love to help start you embark on your Indoor and/or Outdoor Kitchen design journey. If your curiosity has been sparked, or you would like to learn more, please reach out. I can’t wait to hear from you!
I appreciate that you’ve tuned into my Luxe for Less Design Story. Please enjoy a 15 minute complimentary (no charge) phone or Facetime design consultation with me so you can start on the right path to your Luxe for Less kitchen interior design, whether it be inside or out. At GOGO design group, it’s about getting a luxury design that reflects your unique personality and best suits you and your family’s needs.
To sign up for a free 15 minute session with me please email me at Rebecca@GOGOdesigngroup.com or call 847-679-2073. I can’t wait to get started with you!
This is the second article in a series of design articles called Luxe For Less. This article was originally published on July 9, 2015 and I thought I would publish it publicly. The Luxe For Less series of articles is written as a means to educate you, the economically savvy and sophisticated homeowner! These articles share how to get the best possible value for your money, while creating an environment that reflects your lifestyle and personal style. I will provide you with the basic information to guide you down the path to designing a living space that will make your heart sing for many years to come. If you’d like to receive these articles in proper succession, (1/week), please sign up here.
Designing your outdoor living space is right at your fingertips and will not break the bank!
As the summer months are fast approaching and the days are getting longer, it’s not hard to imagine spending more time outdoors. GOGO design group is in the spirit of outdoor living space design full force. Just last month, a client reached out and said to me. “It’s enough, let’s create our outdoor living space so we can finally use it!” Well that’s all she had to say. Within three weeks, we selected and ordered her furniture, pillows, area rug and accessories and will be installing her Vintage Vibe entertainment oasis by the end of this month.
How great it will be to finally set up YOUR outdoor living space! The design marketplace has made it so easy to implement, it almost feels like instant gratification. Retail stores such as Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and CB2 are now offering sophisticated outdoor furnishing design at budget friendly prices for all personal styles. And, many items are stocked, so delivery can be scheduled within a couple weeks of ordering your furniture.
Purchasing at the retail level saves you money on shipping and delivery costs that can be incurred at showrooms that only sell to the Design Trade. In addition, stores often offer promotional sales which can save you even more money. Another perk of purchasing at the retail level is that items are returnable, and the stores stand by their products in the rare event of poor performance. Outdoor use fabrics, rugs and accessories have never been more sophisticated, and offered at such good pricing.
The beauty of designing outdoor living spaces nowadays is that the home furnishings market has exploded (in a good way!), creating furniture, fabrics, rugs, lighting and accessories to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor living. My “go-to” stores for creating the ultimate outdoor living experience for my determined client continues to not let me down (see links below). This year, I was delighted to see that the magnitude of choices evolved to the point of blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living. There is now the concrete (no pun intended) concept that your home’s outdoor space can be created as a literal extension of your indoor living space — as another room in your house. The style and color scheme of your interior can flow right into the exterior surrounds of your home. It’s simply a beautiful thing, and a trend that clearly will become a classic approach to outdoor living space design.
Designing your outdoor space doesn’t just include selecting and arranging your furnishings; it must be thoughtfully planned within the context of your existing space, whether it is a paved patio, pergola, landscaped area, or all of these variables. According to Landscape Architect and Interior Designer Michael Norpell of Norpies Wall To Wall, today’s growing trends in Chicagoland landscapes include planting native plants such as Wild Columbine that don’t require a lot of attention, maintenance and water. In addition he says, customized lighting is becoming essential, and is installed not only to light your path, but adds a warm feeling and drama if you so desire. As LED lighting has become a solid presence in interior lighting design, it makes total sense to install it outdoors because it is lower maintenance and energy efficient. You can choose to purchase a little more expensive LED light fixture, but in the long run you will save you money on energy costs, and you will not have to replace the light bulbs for several years. Or, to save money up front, you can install long lasting LED lightbulbs in a universal fixture, while saving on energy costs in the long run. To learn more about how you can illuminate your outdoor living space with the most cutting edge, economic and aesthetic tools available, please visit www.nightlightinc.net and connect with the foremost experts is landscape illumination.
Please explore the links provided below for ideas as to where you can start shopping and designing your outdoor living spaces in design styles that suit your lifestyle and personality. It’s all at our fingertips, and very exciting to watch as the marketplace is growing and evolving.
The following links represent a few “biggest bang for your buck” destinations where I shop for a variety of styles and needs for my clients’ outdoor living:
restorationhardware.com – find outdoor traditional and transitional, classic furniture that will blend into a range of design styles.
potterybarn.com – find outdoor traditional and transitional furniture, area rugs, pillows, and accessories.
etsy.com – find an eclectic and unique selection of local and national outdoor furniture and accessory artists and suppliers at a reasonable variety of price ranges.
crateandbarell.com – find transitional and modern outdoor furniture and accessories at a great price. I’ve even selected the outdoor concrete table for a client’s kitchen.
westelm.com – find lower end more unusual outdoor living accessories and occasional furniture.
dwr.com – find outdoor mid modern and contemporary furniture
cb2.com – find outdoor contemporary furniture, rugs and accessories
Thank you for tuning into my Luxe for Less Design Story. I invite you to enjoy a 15 minute complimentary (no charge) phone or Facetime design consultation with me so you can start on the right path to your Luxe for Less outdoor living space. At GOGO design group, it’s about getting a luxury design that reflects your unique personality and best suits you and your family’s needs. Hence, my Luxe for Less Design Series.
To sign up for a free 15 minute session with me personally please email me at Rebecca@GOGOdesigngroup.com or call 847-679-2073. I can’t wait to meet you!
The article above is the first in a series of design articles called Luxe For Less. This article was originally published on May 20, 2015 and I thought I would share it here again since they are forecasting snow this weekend. This series of articles is written as a means to educate you, the economically savvy and sophisticated homeowner! My articles will share how to get the best possible value for your money, while creating an environment that reflects your lifestyle and personal aesthetic. I will provide you with the basic information to guide you down the path to designing a living space that will make your heart sing for many years to come.