Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Well, let's just say I wish I had some. I'm starting to put together a general design plan for the house so that as I'm shopping and considering furniture for our house, I can put together rooms and pieces that look good together and create a cohesive feel throughout the house. Since we're doubling our square footage in our current rental house and tripling the square footage of our tiny apartment in San Jose, we have a LOT of stuff to buy. See prior posting about saving money at Costco; now you know why I've been so cheap lately! haha

But anyway, as I've gotten older, one thing that's become quite clear to me is that I really have no sense of style whatsoever. Really! I usually dress pretty safe and boring (at least I think so) and my house... eek, that's a whole 'nother story! It's always looked very amateurish, and I'd like to avoid that in our new home since we intend to be there long term. (Did I just say that? Wow!)

When I lived in Raleigh, I shopped at one of those stores where you buy the whole room at once and they put together all the pieces for you. It was easy, cheap, and cute enough. And in San Diego, I just continued using that furniture from NC and added pieces here and there; it was good enough for a single gal's apartment. And then I bought all of Shayne's stuff when she moved to Boston, so then I took over HER style, which she had already put together. So again, my design skills have never really been put to the test until now.

But now it's time for me take this very large blank canvas and turn it into something modern, stylish, comfortable, pretty, and hopefully eclectically cool. (Oh yeah, and do so within a reasonable budget.) And through the little bit of planning and shopping that I've done over the last few weeks, since we closed the deal on the house... I've realized that I need help!!

I've been scouring through websites, magazines, stores, and trying to think of a general design scheme on my own and nothing is coming to me. What I *don't* want is a house full of rooms that don't flow from one to the next, with odd colors that don't go together from one part of the house to another. I want a general color palate that looks good together, and furniture that all generally coordinates.

I thought it would be a good idea to start at the Ethan Allen design center on their website and have learned that my style is "Loft - Energetic. Fashion-driven. Practical. Materials borrowed from industry, architecture, and nature. Clean shapes. Punches of color. Spontaneous and fresh. Kids and pets? Bring them on."

Can someone please translate that?? Perhaps I should start somewhere else...

So here are a couple photos of some of the materials I chose for the structure of the house - cabinetry/backsplash/granite/tile for the kitchen (same tile will populate most of the downstairs, except the family room and master bedroom) and the carpet next to the fireplace tiles. Paint will be Benjamin Moore Crisp Khaki - - throughout house until I figure out what colors I might want to paint individual spaces. Beautiful stuff, but monotone, huh? I need some color! But which ones?! Ugh, I'm so confused.

I'm going to put this out there to The Mer Show audience. What are your thoughts on these issues?

1. Black furniture. Can it be mixed with espresso colored woods in the same room?
2. What are some modern yet timeless color palates I should consider for the family room? I think that might determine the palate for the rest of the house? I gravitate toward reds and purples, but will those be too dated in a few years? Are they dated NOW?
3. I like cool colors for the master bedroom (see my BORING bedroom now?), but with the warm tones in the carpet and walls, how can I pull that off? We're putting our current stuff in the guest room and buying a bedroom suit plus new bedding, art, and everything else for this room. Does anyone have any recommendations on pretty, but not too girly bedding sets you've seen lately?
4. Any suggestions on places I should look for inspiration? I'm stumped!

HELLLLLLLLLLLLP! Can someone please nominate me for a cool TV show on HGTV that can help me out with this project? ;)

Love, Mer

p.s. Thanks to Patrick for napping long enough today for me to A) write this post and B) do some design research online. xoxoxo

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