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  • October 2, 2014

Design by Nancy Robinson - Ladue News: Design

Design by Nancy Robinson

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:44 pm, Thu Jan 16, 2014.

Pretty In Pink

What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2014? Perhaps you’d like to up your design game by experimenting with a new color palette for a fresher and more youthful look. If your answer is yes, check out these furnishings and interiors with strategically placed touches of happy, vibrant pink set against a background of white. For those who prefer a more sophisticated look, try pairing saturated pink with soft gray. And don’t overlook the importance of variations in texture; velvet, unshorn lamb’s wool, and shag rugs all add interest to rooms done up in these simple color schemes.

Radiant Orchid: Color of the Year

Pantone, the global color authority, has named dazzling, attention-getting Radiant Orchid as the 2014 color of the year. A beguiling combination of fuchsia, purple and pink, Radiant Orchid is especially well suited to cosmetics and fashion. The modern and surprisingly versatile shade blends both cool and warm undertones, enlivening the skin and making those who wear it look and feel more healthy and energetic.

In interiors, the powerful Radiant Orchid likely will be most often incorporated as accents and accessories; and paired with neutrals, especially white, cream, gray, beige and even taupe. But color expert Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says the hue also is surprisingly adaptable to other colors. Although it may be hard to imagine, she says Radiant Orchid actually complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health,” Eiseman says. “It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

St. Louis Interior Designer Joni Spear Earns Best of Houzz Award

St. Louisan Joni Spear, principal of Joni Spear Interior Design, recently was honored with an award from Houzz, a leading online platform for home remodeling and design. Spear received the 2013 Best of Houzz award for customer satisfaction, based on responses from homeowner members of the Houzz community, who rated their experience working with remodelers and designers. In 2012, one of Spear’s powder-room designs also was honored, ranking among the most popular photos with Houzz’s 16 million users, who collectively have saved more than 124 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal idea books via the Houzz site.

Study Shows St. Louisans Are Moving Ahead with Renovation and Decorating Projects

Even though St. Louis sometimes seems to be a lagging economic indicator, a new study reveals that homeowners here are in step with the rest of the country and moving forward with design and renovation projects. This, according to the second annual Houzz & Home survey, which generated more than 100,000 responses from the Houzz community of 16 million monthly unique users. The results of the Houzz research were shared recently with local design professionals during a special presentation at KDR Designer Showrooms. Specifically, the Houzz data showed that:

• St Louis-based Houzz users are well-established: Among survey respondents, 79 percent are between the ages of 35 and 64 and 93 percent own their homes.

• Within the next two years, 84 percent of St. Louis homeowners plan to decorate or redecorate; 42 percent plan to remodel or build an addition; and 9 percent plan to build a custom home.

• Top projects planned by St. Louis homeowners are bathrooms (28 percent), kitchens (24 percent), and landscaping (17 percent).

• In the next two years, 56 percent plan to hire a general contractor; 37 percent plan to hire a kitchen and bath pro; 21 percent plan to hire an interior designer; 16 percent plan to hire an architect; and 20 percent will hire a landscape pro.

• Almost eight in 10 (79 percent) said improving the look, feel, flow and/or functionality of their home is an important motivation behind their projects, far higher than the 53 percent citing increased home value. Other motivators: improved storage and organization (49 percent), energy efficiency (33 percent) and incorporating new technologies (15 percent).

• The biggest challenges for Houzzers when planning and implementing renovation and design projects: defining their style and finding the right products.

• Top hiring criteria: Reviews and recommendations and knowing that the person being considered is a professional and has a personality they can work with.

Interior Designer Stephanie Stokes Weighs in on Home Organization

It’s not overstatement to say that interior designer Stephanie Stokes is a master at designing highly organized and functional spaces that are equally high style. She’s somewhat of a zealot in this area: Her storage built-ins and space-saving devices are simply not to be believed—like the mini-platforms for kitchen appliances that can be lowered and raised out of sight at the push of a button or the home library that also serves as a home office, guest room, media room and cozy entertaining spot, thanks to a host of gorgeous built-ins. We caught up with Stokes recently as she was getting ready for an appearance at St. Louis’ own Sallie Home to promote her new book, Elegant Rooms that Work: Fantasy and Function in Interior Design.

Which is the bigger deterrent to beauty at home: disorganization or lack of imagination and fantasy?

Fantasy. The Balinese believe that to be boring is the only sin—and boring rooms are definitely a waste of space.

What’s the connection between organization and beauty in the home?

Elegance is part of beauty and modern elegance is convenience, simplicity and privacy. Moreover, empty spaces in rooms are a relief to modern homeowners, who see a barrage of images daily on their computers or while traveling. Today, we all need to simplify our living spaces to counter balance our brains, which are overloaded.

Do you believe that a beautiful and highly organized home makes for a happier life?

It saves time, which leaves more time for theater or sports or family instead of always trying to find things. A clean, organized house equals simplicity. It’s easier, streamlined and less frustrating. My scissors, bottle openers, and sewing materials are each in their own designated place, and it makes it fast and easy to find them.

Do you think Americans have too much stuff? If we don’t have room to store our things, should we get rid of them?

Yes! Edit yearly. With one client, I take a canvas bag around once a year and de-clutter his table tops from his impulse purchases. At home, I have a goal to get rid of or put in storage one dress whenever I buy a new one. I constantly edit my closets. Libraries are harder: This is a painful, once-every-five-years job. I hate getting rid of books. Luckily, libraries love to receive them.

What are your pet peeves when it comes to home organization---or the lack thereof?

Messy entries. We all drop junk in our entries. They can become booby traps if you don’t clean your entry daily.

Do you have to be a neatnik to keep a small home and a lot of possessions under control and always looking ship shape?

Some people are neatniks—and some of their partners are not—which drives the neatniks mad. As a designer, I can create great storage, but it’s up to the owners to maintain their houses in whatever way they prefer.

 What conclusions are you apt to draw when you see disheveled and disorganized homes?

 Mirror of a mind!

 Conversely, what can you deduce when they are beautiful, organized and neat as a pin?

Mirror of a mind – or they, perhaps, have great help.

What nugget of advice would you give readers to create a beautiful, highly functional and memorable home?

First, figure out how you want to use your house. For entertaining? If so, how often? As a refuge? For family? Then design with your own assumptions and needs in mind. Second, how do you wish to present yourself to guests? As urbane and well-traveled? As intellectual? As athletic? As a gardener? Your house should reflect your personality and your experiences and aspirations.

Short of commissioning the elaborate built-ins and gorgeous storage areas like those in your book, what can you offer our readers in the way practical suggestions to start getting their homes more organized?

Go to The Container Store!

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