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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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Does it Bring You Joy? By Michele Malone-Singer

  This is the time of year when we all start thinking about our New Year's Resolutions.  Do we want to work less, make more money, lose weight, get rid of the clutter - or all of the above? 

  I read a book this last year that changed the way I live - "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", by Marie Kondo.  In this impactful book, Kondo encourages people to pull all items of like type together and  touch each item asking:  "Does it bring me joy?" It seems like a silly question to ask when you are standing in the middle of your bedroom touching every sweater you own, but it really works.

  You might wonder why an interior designer is talking to you about your sweaters. Well, I'm getting to that. The goal is to let go of things that don't serve you. The old adage "less is more" really is true. This same approach can be used with our furniture and accessories. Ah, now you see the connection!

  Bay area real estate is at a premium. Many of us would love to have a new or bigger home. Uncluttering your home - getting rid of all of those things we keep because we feel like we should and not because we truly love them - is a huge first step in loving the home you live in. The key sometimes is just clearing out the stuff you don't use and purchasing key items that make your space work.

  Do you have a room in your home that has become the storage spot for the elliptical or kids toys? There are lots of effective and easy apps for your phone (OfferUp and Letgo) where you can easily snap a picture with your phone and list items for sale. There are also professional organizers that can help you clear items out and get organized. Some items might need to be carefully wrapped and stored in a box until you want to give it to the kids or bring it back into the house.

  A room previously filled with kids toys might need to be carefully edited, keeping only those items they play with. Adding a new sofa or sectional, storage ottoman, and a rug can transform it into a family space. 

  Updating your lighting - a floor lamp next to the sofa or a better light by the bed - can create a cozy reading area to enjoy that book you have been putting off reading.

  Often times, open bookcases and built in shelves become a place to store too many books and knick knacks. To create an eye-pleasing display, think of mixing up the heights and textures on the shelves. Do you want the shelves symmetrical or asymmetrical? Lay some of the books on their side and place others vertically. If you don't have any books that are visually interesting, you can cover ones you have in an interesting fabric or hit a local antique fair or flea market to pick up some gems. Need to hide books or games? Consider adding doors to the lower open shelves of a built-in for a designer flair. 

  Your home should be your sanctuary - the place where you go to recharge, entertain, and feel nourished. Once you have made the decision to let go of things that aren't working, you might find that you need some new artwork, accessories, window treatments, or furnishings - we are here to help you.

  We can make sure that the colors and textures - on everything from your walls to your window treatments, flooring, and furnishings, and bedding - are in line with how you want your home to feel.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What Will Homes Be Like 5 Years From Now? by Dorene Gomez

Interior Designers are continuing to see a rise in the volume of business due to the positive economic outlook. 

Consumers are continuing to know the importance of quality living spaces along with  knowing their lack of free time.

 Smart homes with clever automation can make your daily life simpler, convenient and even safer. These systems have been around since the early 2000's and have grown with technology. Solutions are styled to make life and entertainment anything but dull. The system can automate lighting, security, appliances, computer and telephone and even window treatments to make your life easy.

 What about a smart small wireless sensor that makes sure that all of your rooms are being heated or cooled properly. Or lights that automatically turn off to avoid unnecessary use. How about a smart gadget called the Roast Smart Battery that plugs into any existing smoke alarm or CO2 detector so if the smoke alarm goes off it will alert you on your smartphone no matter where you are.

 These systems can save you on utility costs and keep you safe by developing a program based on the owner's habits that will optimize you saving money. Other benefits are convenience and peace of mind.

 In the works are builders designing  projects that are eco-friendly along with being sustainable. 

 Custom single homes along with large community housing developments are popping up everywhere and selling out as fast as they can build them. 

 So what does the designing of these residences look like? What is eco-friendly and why sustainable? Interior Designers will always produce an aesthetic, functional and safe design for interior spaces using conceptualization. 
 We find that more strategic planning is now needed for the conceptual design of living spaces. Our clients want their homes healthier along with lower maintenance and of course being more energy efficient.
"Build it Green" or sustainable design is what we keep hearing which directly influences our daily lifestyles. Reducing landfill waste by recycling tends to be highly affecting the design business. By the reuse of timber and minerals it prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
 Some of the materials we are specifying in new construction and remodeling is recycled and reclaimed wood for cabinets, mantels, flooring, beams, doors and wall treatments, along with furniture. These reclaimed woods, when  used, add warmth to a room that also has a sense of history that new woods  lack.

  Becoming more environmentally friendly is also an understanding of the process in that we all need to conserve our resources. To get started just make small steps towards making a difference for good old Mother Earth. J. Hettinger Interiors strives to always keep in mind that we all need to protect our natural resources. Call us if we can help you with a new project that you would like to build Smart and Green.   

Monday, October 24, 2016

Flooring for Every Room! by Stephanie Yeraka

Selecting the appropriate flooring materials can be a headache if you are trying to tackle the job by yourself!  

A designer can point you in the right direction based on the style of your home and your budget. Associates at flooring showrooms are also very informative; their knowledge and supply of products is endless. 

When looking for flooring, how the space is used is an important factor that needs to be considered. Is it a powder bath or a bathroom with a shower? Is stone in the kitchen too hard (or cold) to stand on for long periods of time? Would hardwood be a better choice? 
 Hardwood floors come in all shapes and styles. Wider distressed planks are more rustic and suitable for a Mountain Tahoe look or a Mediterranean design, whereas narrow planks can have a more traditional or contemporary look depending on the distressing and finish. A dark finish with high gloss and no distressing is perfect for a contemporary feel.   


Hardwood can be put in most rooms in the house. If you like the look of hardwood in the bathroom, consider a tile that looks like hardwood, you still get that warm feel but it is easier to maintain where water is an issue. 

Wood-look tiles in bathrooms

Installing rustic wood-look tiles

Refinishing wood floors to change  the color is less expensive than
replacing it and is an easy process  if you are working with the right team. If you have hardwood refinishing is pretty painless, if you have engineered hardwood there will be a ware layer where the hardwood stops and the backing material begins- hire a skilled refinisher to work on your floors as mistakes can be costly.


There are many floor tile options to choose from for a bathroom, kitchen, entry, or living space. 

Natural stones such as limestone, slate, marble, and travertine are beautiful in different ways. While these options are the most expensive they increase the beauty and value of your home.

Honed and unpolished finishes are ideal for floors, if they get wet you are less likely to slip. Natural stone should be sealed to make the floor less porous and resist staining. Small accent tiles can be polished to add a bit of fancy detail! 

Great tile idea for kids bathroom

Porcelain tile is great for bathrooms that get used a bit roughly, for example a kid's bath or pool bath. 

Grout can come sanded or unsanded. Sanded grout has sand in it and is used when grout spacing can be a bit larger to enhance the beauty of the tile pattern. Unsanded grout is usually used for smaller grout lines like mosaic floor tiles. Possibilities are endless when it comes to color, consult a designer for flawless flooring transitions and color selection!