interior design

Hey guys! Abigail the intern here! As many of you know or for some who don’t know, I have been interning for The Simple Life Decor the past few months as part of my Interior Design Degree at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin.  This being my first internship ever, I learned a lot and I would like to share with you some of my experiences!

I was very excited to get to know Wendy and The Simple Life Decor! At first, I was a little nervous because, well, this is my first internship and the fact that I was working for an online store was something very different! But I was ready for a challenge! At first, Wendy got me going on the whole social media gig. For the first couple of weeks, I began updating Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest with new ideas to share with the world and some for us to try ourselves! Looking up ideas on Pinterest and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter really helped get the growing business attention! It wasn’t always easy though, I couldn’t always post things I like, but what the store has for a style. I also learned that styles do vary depending on the person. For example.. view of cottage/cabin is very woodsy and another persons view may be very chic.

This would be my example of a cabin/cottage.

Via http://www.foothillsfurniture.com/cabin-decor.php

Where this could be another example..

via http://organic-linkbuilding.info/cottage-decor/

Both ways are technically correct, but I have also learned to ask the right questions when asking about certain styles because they can get so easily mixed up.

Another thing I’ve learned is that it’s not what you want, it’s what the customer wants. Yes, you may be the designer but in the end, if you client isn’t happy, you’re not going to be happy! When you are becoming a designer and starting out, it’s so important to gain trust from your clients, and that’s what I stride to do! If a client isn’t happy, figure out why and fix it the best you can! But remember, you can’t please everyone in the world!

Blogging is also something I have greatly enjoyed doing for The Simple Life Decor! I’m honestly not the best writer in the world but it’s always been easy for me in a way. I really enjoy giving you guys tips and advice about new design trends that are going on! The design world is constantly changing and it’s never easy keeping up with everything but why not try?! 🙂

Another thing I have learned is that I can’t let myself get flustered with myself if a client isn’t pleased with a project I put together for them. Yes it hurts my feelings and I tend to get really down on myself sometimes, but then I have to stop and think about the bigger picture. Just because one client didn’t like my work, doesn’t mean the rest of the world won’t like it! It’s all part of learning, and a lot of learning is what I did with this internship!

All in all, you guys have been just wonderful! Thank you for letting me be part of your designing journey!

Oh! Before I forget! Check out this slide show I made of the store that just Officially OPENED!! 

http://www.kizoa.com/Video-Maker/d20620425k3249998o1/diaporama%20kizoa

Thanks again for this wonderful experience!

-Abigail 🙂

I’ve been on a tropical punch lately with summer approaching! The tropical style has been around for years and years, but lately I have been noticing it showing up more and bolder than ever! 

Let’s picture an island. What do you see? Palm trees? Sand? Vibrant colors? Let me give you some inspiration!

Bora Bora

British Virgin Islands- St. Thomas

Phi Phi Island- Thailand

 

Okay, those pictures are almost too perfect and basically thousands of miles away! Why not bring some of that tropical  into your very own home for a vacation you never have to leave?!

Colors! Colors! Colors!

This is the perfect opportunity to bring out those big, bold colors and prints! Come on now, don’t be shy with those either! The more colors, the better! Pick at least 3 different colors to start out with! Here are a couple of different color pallets that are fun and tropical!

Sherwin-Williams

Paint colors from Chip It! by Sherwin-Williams

The “Escape Hues” color palette from Design-Seeds.com is one of those amazing palettes which offers a tropical palette with less than typical shades.  We used Let’s Chip It! from Sherwin Williams to see what colors they recommend using

Better Homes and Garden

2015 Better Homes and Gardens Color Palette of the Year.  Gorgeous colors!  Especially loving Fresh Berry and Behr Essential Teal. Paint color names and brands on link.

Patterns

Lets add some patterns in there with those colors!

#pattern #flamingo Encontrado en americanapparel.tumblr.com

14wehi Tropical Hibiscus & bird of paradise, plumeria flowers, vintage apparel style fabric.  More fabrics at: BarkclothHawaii.com

Liberty of London: Flower Show – Botanical Garden Digital Prints

Don’t Forget That Greenery!

Here is a great go to guide for those greens to add into your space! Remember… there are more plants out there than just palm trees!

Statement Leaves glossary via Justina Blakeney

Lets Put It All Together!

There’s only one thing left to do and that’s to put it all together! Remember, this is your tropical vacation spot! You can alternate any of these designs to make it all your own!

relaxed and laid back feel for the sitting room, no tv's allowed in here. this room is for reading and chatting

The lesson here is the versatility of a basically white palette.The tropical accents can easily be switched out to quickly transform the room.

THIS. IS. BEAUTIFUL!! although I would like it much better if the counter wasn't floating

Martinique Wallpaper (made originally for the beverly hills hotel and reproduced for years since) - I REALLY want to have this wallpaper in some home, at some stage of my life...so far I haven't been able to convince anyone I have co-habitated with that it's fabulous, psshh what do they know!?

Tropical Bedroom design by Tampa Design-build Arthur Rutenberg Homes

Tropical Guest Bedroom Idea... love the colors

 

I hope this gives you some inspiration to design your own tropical paradise!

Images found on Google and Pinterest

***For more inspiration check out our Pinterest Pages at

https://www.pinterest.com/thesimplelifede/a-tropical-touch/

https://www.pinterest.com/thesimplelifede/color-is-beautiful/

 

 

BONUS!

Here is a simple recipe I have found to enjoy while in your vacation spot 🙂

 

Ingredients:
Large Batch:
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 1/4 cup strawberry puree (approximately 10 strawberries blended well)
– 3/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
– 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup pineapple puree (crushed pineapple works too)
– 1 gallon water

Single Serving:
– 2 Tbsp lemon juice
– 1 Tbsp strawberry puree (approximately 3 strawberries blended well)
– 3 Tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 Tbsp pineapple puree (approximately 6 pineapple chunks)
– 12 oz water

Directions:
– Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher or a large glass until sugar is dissolved and well mixed.  Serve over ice or chill in the fridge.  Enjoy!

http://www.whilehewasnapping.com/2014/07/strawberry-pineapple-lemonade/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have recently moved out of my parents house and into the “big” city of Appleton, WI. Now, with the house I’m living in at the moment, it’s fairly tiny, and basically doesn’t have a front porch. I take a look at my neighbors and some have all different sizes of porches, but they aren’t taking advantage of the space they have. What my “front porch” consists of is a cement walkway from the sidewalk, 3 steps, and wrought iron railings. Even though that is a very small space, I thought, “why can’t I still decorate this small space cleverly?” I hope some of these tips help you out and make your porch a little more welcoming!

Greenery 

One of the easiest ways to bring your small porch to life, is to add a little life in it! By that I mean, add some greenery! Plants and flowers are a great way to catch by-passers eyes and make them think, “WOW!” My mother and I are always looking at houses with a little extra effort put into the flowers around the house or on the porches. If you’re not a very good plant grower, fake flowers and greens will work just as good! Give some greenery a try!

 

Add Color!

I’m a huge fan of color and as the seasons change, more opportunity for different colors! With spring just around the corner and summer hopefully not too far after that, playful colors are a guaranteed way to brighten up your porch space! Dig into your memory of when you were little! Remember all those colorful Barbie clothes? How about those bright colored race cars? Bring those colors back to life and into your porch setting!

 

Make it Friendly

Whether your porch is big enough to have a cook out, to just sit at, or just enough room to put a couple of potted plants on it, you want to make sure your porch area is welcoming. Picture that old neighbor who always sits in the chair rocking away, and saying hi to anyways who walks by! You get that sense of welcome and that’s what I think is the most important key to having a great porch, no matter the size!

 

Images found on Google.

 

Please check out our outdoor furniture to complete your front porch! 🙂

http://thesimplelifedecor.com/cottage-garden

Buying new furniture or getting new carpet installed is a huge commitment. When you bought your first set of brand new furniture, did you plan on having children? Pets? Children and pets can play a huge role when it comes to picking out the right fabric for your brand new furniture pieces. When you got the basement or living room refinished with new carpet, did you expect all those juice and pet stains? With today’s manufacturing, there are many choices when it comes to fabrics. Even if you want to go a more natural fiber route, the choices are sure to please!

I’m going to give you a little intake on what I believe are appropriate fabric choices for select furniture and carpet. All of this information, I received in my Textiles class this past semester. We learned all the different types of fabrics, how they are made, how to take care of them, and especially what works best for your individual home.

First fabric I would choose for furniture is 100% Polyester.

Favorable Properties

-Durable/strong

-Soft hand

-Abrasion resistant

-Wrinkle resistant

-Easy care

-Thermoplastic (capable of softening or fusing when heated and of hardening again when cooled)

Unfavorable Properties

-Oil stains can not be removed

-Pills

-Static issues

-Doesn’t breathe well

 

The second fabric I would choose for furniture is Acrylic.

Favorable Properties

-Thermoplastic

-Easy care

-Light weight

-Less expensive than wool

-Resist wrinkling

-Resist wear and fading

Unfavorable Properties

-Variation of quality

-Elongation

-Poor wet strength

-Heat sensitive

 

The fabric I would use for carpet is Olefin.

Favorable Properties

-Absorbs nothing

-Durable

-Excellent abrasion resistant

-Resists sunlight

-Strong fiber

-No shrinkage

-Excellent wicking when thin

Unfavorable Properties

-Appearance

-Must be solution dyed

-Melts easily

 

All of these fabrics can be combined to create a better taste or feel to the original fabric. Whether you have kids who are spilling all over or have pets that regularly spend time on the furniture, these fabric choices are guaranteed to make you less stressed about that beautiful new sofa or chair in your household.

For more great tips, please follow the link below 🙂

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/lessons/basics/guide-to-upholstery-fabrics/

 

Bibliography

Nielson, Karla J. Interior Textiles: Fabrics, Applications, & Historical Styles. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Print.

 

One of the most difficult things when my husband and I built our house was choosing paint colors.  Armed with several fan decks of paint swatches with seemingly thousands of choices (who knew there could be so many choices for white!?), we attempted to visualize an entire room using a 2 x 2 inch square sample.

The process was overwhelming and here’s a little known secret, even though I have a furniture and decor store, design doesn’t come easily to me.  That’s why I am happy to share tools when I find them that can help others who struggle like me.

Life would have been so much easier back when we were building our house if I had an iPhone with some handy apps that could help me in this process. SherwinWilliams’ ColorSnap app and Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture app allow you to take a picture of a color that you like and it will match it to one of their colors.  If there is variation in the photo, it will match each of the colors in the photo.  Take a picture of furniture you like or a picture of a wall you see at a friend’s house.  So simple!  One word of caution though is that the lighting can completely change the color so remember that when snapping the photo.

These apps are a great tool to help narrow down color choices but doesn’t completely eliminate the need for reviewing the color samples in the store.  Choosing paint colors doesn’t have to be so overwhelming with this little lifehack!

 

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My name is Wendy and after leaving a stressful career, I am on a journey to a simpler life. I have started a business called The Simple Life Decor (thesimplelifedecor.com) specializing in mid to high end cottage style furniture and decor for cottages and primary homes. My blog is focused on living a simpler life whether it be through creating a serene environment in your home or simple living tips! Subscribe to my list and shop TheSimpleLifeDecor.com!

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