good design

Living room redesigned

Kandy was my first experience working with a designer, and it was such a positive one! She is fun, friendly, open, responsive, and very talented and creative! She worked with me to assess my style, my priorities, and really helped get creative to stay within my budget. Not only do I love the spaces she helped me create, but I also feel like she introduced me to valuable resources and design skills that I have used on my own since. I highly recommend her!
— Amy

Amy had a lovely sunny living room, art and accessories from her family and her travels, but she was suffering from long narrow living room syndrome, which is a common Chicago apartment problem. 

She willingly wanted to get rid of her furniture and love seat, which were a little bit too big for the space. They were pieces she had bought used years ago and they never were quite what she wanted. Normally, I try to work with the pieces that owners already have but in this case replacing the oversized sofa was a good call. 

One of her concerns was to make sure that she had enough seating since she was getting rid of the love seat. The love seat was replaced with a chair and she had an additional chair she could pull in from the desk next to the sofa when needed. 

My design plan was to create two zones. One would be centered around the fireplace and be for conversation and people watching, while the other would be for her desk and a reading nook. 

Sometimes you have to play with layouts. The first one I sketched up used the couch to really delineate the space. Unfortunately it just wasn't a very good flow for the apartment. When I did this initial sketch the cable was on the side of the wall by the window, which is why the tv is located there. Ultimately we ran the cable around the room to the other side. 

This is the option that we ended up going with. The couch under the windows and the chair at an angle. It provided enough space to move through the room and get to the door which lead to her bedroom. In this instance it is the rug that helps define the space. 

RoomSketcher Snapshot.jpg

This was definitely a collaborative effort. Amy needed help with layout and ideas for furniture but we worked together to pick items for her space. She was the one who found this fabulous rug which really added color and life to the space. Amy was kind enough to snap a photo on her iphone and send it my way. I'm not always able to get the fancy pictures, but this really gives an idea of how much the flow was improved and a bit of life breathed back into the room. Plus kitty agrees! 

If your space could use a little design help then fill out this form today for an initial complementary fifteen minute consultation to discuss your design needs. 

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Depression fighting alternatives that don't involve going for a walk

I'm not sure which came first the clutter or the depression, but I do know that they are inextricably linked. The problem is when my depression kicks in daily tasks become challenging. Some days it is enough just to make it to work and home. Thankfully, not every day, but it does happen sometimes that I only have enough energy to come home, scramble some eggs for dinner and lay on the couch. 

It's frustrating because there is so much I want to be doing in my life and in my business, but I've learned that fighting those days is much more exhausting then just embracing my brain's need to check out for the day. 

I've found a few ways to keep the clutter at bay because once the clutter creeps in and becomes chaos then I don't want to do anything because the whole situation is just too overwhelming. 

Doing the #minsgame each month has been extremely helpful (I did take a few months off because of holidays and winter malaise). Clearing out the unnecessary and unwanted items decreases visual clutter and makes room for me to put things in their proper place. 

I've also tried to create 'getting home' systems. My keys, coat and bag go in the same place each day and I don't set the mail on the counter. It either gets taken care of immediately, or more likely it's junk mail and it gets recycled. 

A place for everything and everything in it's place makes it easier to put things away. When there is space for those items I feel capable of emptying the dishwasher and clearing up. If there isn't space and I start to pile things up then it just creates chaos in my cabinets and drawers and I don't feel like putting away the dishes or the laundry. 

It's ok to let things slide for a day or so. Don't beat yourself up if the house doesn't look perfect or guest worthy. That does not help at all when you are having a hard time. 

To summarize:

  • Embrace your version of minimalism. I wrote a post about finding my path to minimalism because it doesn't look the same for everyone. If you do need help decluttering or want to learn more about minimalism then join the Minimalism Challenge Support Group. You'll get the help you need. You can also follow me along on my decluttering adventures on Instagram.
  • Create a landing zone. Mine is tiny because I live in an apartment and I don't have an entryway, but I've still managed to find a place to put my everyday items. 
  • Make sure everything in your home has its own spot. If it doesn't, then you may need to think about getting rid of it! 
  • Wallow for a day. I find if I give myself permission to not have to adult that I usually chill out for a couple of hours and then find the energy to clean up. Sometimes, not always. Depression can be a fickle master. 

 

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