Interior Design 101 Chicago

Interior Design for the Design Challenged

Image of photo wall with text over lay 'Interior Design for the Design Challenged'

I received a request from my friend Kristi to give some interior design tips for dummies. Well, I don't think you are dummies, but maybe design challenged. So, this week's podcast is going to go through some quick and dirty tips to help you design your space. If you are on iTunes take a listen and make sure you subscribe to receive new podcasts when they go live. Here's a brief synopsis to get you started. 

  1. Start with your style (don't forget to include your partners style too!). This will help you figure out what your plan is, which will make it less overwhelming when you go shopping.
    1. Check last week's podcast for ideas on how to find your style. 
    2. Check out my class. Use the code JustForYou for 20% off the class. 
    3. Sign up for newsletter to get my "How to find your style guide" for free
  2. How do you want the home to feel. This will also help drive your decisions
  3. How do you want the space to function. What do you want to be able to do in the space.
  4. Set your budget. No really!!! What is your budget?
    1. Split up your budget by current needs and long term goals/needs.
    2. I recommend saving up money for what you really want. 
  5. Make a furniture plan
    1. Mock layout your furniture to figure out the best size and where the furniture should go. 
    2. Make sure your measure your entryway and stairwells and anyway the furniture has to enter the house. Make sure it will fit into the house.  
    3. Figure out the best height as well and spatial size for each item. 
  6. Realize that this takes time. Unless you are on an HGTV show it is going to take you some time to hone in on your design style, figure out what your budget and plan is and go shopping. 

Always remember that I am here to help! If you get stuck or aren't sure even where to start feel free to reach out to me.  Also, if you have any questions that you want answered on future podcasts let me know in the comments below! 

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March Madness Mood Board

Tobias Tovera via  Anthology Magazine

Tobias Tovera via Anthology Magazine

I am stepping outside of my comfort zone with all of this color and I love it. Winter whites will always be my favorite and I'm pretty sure grey is actually a color, but mixing in some blue green definitely cheers a person up. 

I was inspired by one beautiful day we had in Chicago where I could look out the window and see the blue/green lake and the blue blue sky. A harbinger of days to come and today it is snowing. 

Image via   David Collins

Image via David Collins

Some people find picking color challenging, which I can understand, but it is such a great opportunity to bring life into a space. I like to play with color and the easiest way I have found to do that is by using the color wheel. This month's color scheme is inspired by Analogous colors, which simply means colors next to each other on the color wheel. 

David Kidd  color wheel

David Kidd color wheel

If I start with my color du jour, which is green-blue, and I look at the next color on the color wheel I can safely bring in the colors blue, purple-blue, blue-purple, purple and all the way to red-purple. You can see that happening in the photo above. There is a bit of green-blue, light blue, navy blue and then purple in that brilliant piece of art. Since the colors are all next to each other on the color wheel it is harmonious. I usually recommend that people bring in 3 colors, but you can just as easily go up to six and it will work. 

Another green-blue option is to head the other way on the color wheel and pull in some green. As you can see in the photo below the blue-green grounds the space and then bringing in yellow-green and green-yellow gives the room some liveliness. 

Image via  pamelawhatever

Image via pamelawhatever

Layering the blues and greens and saturating the room with color makes it feel so very rich. While this room may not be everyone's cup of tea it is a great example of how to use an analogous color scheme. This may be too much color for you, but take away the blue walls and maybe that could work in your space. 

Image via  House to Home

Image via House to Home

The image below runs from purple through blue to green and all the shades in between. Even though they are such different colors, that is the magic of the color wheel, when they are analogous they belong together. 

Image via

Image via

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Interior Design 101

Photo credit Kandy M. Christensen

Photo credit Kandy M. Christensen

I love teaching. I knew I always wanted to be a teacher, but I quickly realized as an undergraduate in college that I did not want to teach children. The desire to teach stayed with me and when I did my masters in English I was one class shy from a teaching certificate. Yet, I never ended up teaching at school or university. 

Instead I took an untraditional path and started talking about and teaching what I love, which is design. 

I had a class last week and the people I met were so delightful, which always makes class fun. I find it interesting that people bring pictures of their spaces and they usually do not match who they are as a person. 

It's a delight to teach them the basics of design so they can make their home functional, beautiful and a reflection of who they are. 

I've been teaching my Interior Design 101 class for over a year now and I have learned so much from the people who have come through my doors. 

Here is what I tell students:

  • Go slow. Trying to design a space can be overwhelming. Sometimes you just have to step back and take it slow. 
  • Hone your ability to figure out what you love. For me this just happens, but I've come to realize that some people don't know what they like immediately. 
  • Don't buy everything immediately. You don't have to buy the matching set and you can take your time to find the pieces that suit you. 
  • Save your money in order to buy items that are high quality and will last. 
  • Have fun, play, travel and find inspiration from the world around you. 

My January and February Interior Design 101 classes are sold out, but there are still a few spots available in March. If you are lost or simply interested in learning more about design and getting inspiration to revamp your space, then this is the class for you. 

I hope to see you there! Oh, I forgot to mention it's BYOB, which makes it a great girl's night out, date night, or way to meet new and interesting people! 

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