Monday, December 3, 2018

A fresh new look using what you already have

“Hi Vered, it’s Maya. I desperately want to repaint the family room. Can we set up a consultation asap?!”.."Sure!" I said "Let's set up a meeting"...
Once I was at Maya’s home, I realized that the main issue with her family room was not the paint color. It was actually the furniture layout that didn't work well, both functionally and aesthetically; Neither the sofa nor the arm chair faced the TV, which was set up too high to watch anyway. The coffee table was tucked away in a corner to allow space for the kids to play on the carpet, so the whole space was visually unbalanced – all furniture pieces were placed at the periphery of the room, leaving an empty space in the center, just like this:
After a few hours of moving furniture from one room to another, re-positioning the TV and rearranging accessories, the problem was fixed!
Here's how Maya described her design consultation :

“Vered came to my house to help me select a new color for my family room walls. As we talked, I mentioned my frustration with the layout of the room. Vered spent the next few hours helping me rearrange the furniture, drawing on things I already had in the house.
By the time we were done, I had a brand-new family room, had solved the layout problems, and no longer needed to paint the walls - with the new arrangement, the color worked just fine!
Vered's eye for possibility and for using furniture and objects that I already have allowed me to save money, reuse my own things, and come out of it very happy. The room reflects my style and is so much more functional."

This is how her family room looked after the consultation:

At the end of the consultation we had a short list of things to purchase for this room, but now we know exactly what to look for.

If you feel that something is not quite right in the flow and feel of your home, but you can’t quite “diagnose” the problem/s, buying more stuff won't necessarily fix it.

It's possible that you’ve become blind to your own house, so it might be helpful to have another pair of eyes take a look at it...especially if those eyes belong to a designer...:)
What I love about the quick refresh design consultations is the instant gratification and joy both myself and my clients feel, the money saved by avoiding unnecessary purchases, not to mention the environmental aspect for eliminating unnecessary waste!

If you would like to set up a quick refresh design consultation before the holidays,
contact me at 617-548-9965 or email to

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

My magical tool kit for selecting paint colors

How do I select paint colors with confidence?
I use a specific “magical tool” kit, which has trained my eye over the past five years.

This magical tool kit, is my collection of 11″ x 14″ large painted color samples - a carefully selected collection of tried and true colors which I've been using over and over again successfully. 

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? (the 'Pareto Principal’) It means that in almost anything, only a few (20%) are vital and most (80%) are trivial. 
The 80/20 rule also applies to colors - out of >2000 colors in a color fan deck, we only use  about 20% of them. 

But how do the large painted boards make such a huge difference vs. small 2”x2” swatches?

Bigger is (sometimes) better 
most of the time, I select neutral colors (grays, whites, beiges). Neutral colors are complex colors, meaning that each color is a unique mix of lots of different color hues in tiny tiny amounts, which makes it almost impossible to accurately see all the undertones on a tiny swatch of 2” x2”!
In contrast, having the large painted boards makes it possible for me and my clients to clearly see the nuances (“undertones”) of each color, and therefore select the right color.

the “right” color is the one the looks best with all the other colors in the room. Using the large painted boards in “context” makes it obvious both to me and my client, which color is correct and which one is not.

Painted versus printed 
Swatches from the paint store are often not accurate – that’s because they are printed and not painted.
Below is an example of a color consultation - I needed to select a wall color for a master bedroom. The upholstered headboard color could not be ignored, so I had to pick out a color that worked well with it.
Below are the four options we looked at - which one do you think works best? 

Both Edgecomb gray and Classic gray could have worked here, but I picked out classic gray because it's lighter and was a perfect choice for this room, which doesn't get enough natural light.

Having the large color boards is like looking at color with a magnifying glass. When I don’t have my large samples with me, I’m basically visually impaired in terms of specifying color accurately. With them, I can see all the undertones clearly, and so can my clients. We can both make successful selections, eliminating wasted time money and aggravation.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The power of visualization

If you ever had to select furniture, lighting or any other home decor item, weeding out the “ugly” options must have been a fairly easy task, but selecting the "best" choice out of many good ones may have been a completely different story - confusing, overwhelming or even anxiety-inducing. True?

Imagine this scenario - you need to select a dinning set, and you've narrowed down your choices to four options. What if you could see a visualization of your favorite four options in your own space? would that help you decide which one looks the best? you bet!
Once I realized that most of my clients had trouble visualizing my design ideas, and that it was the number one reason for their indecision, I began using a variety of tools to help them visualize.
My "go-to" tool for selecting specific items is super imposing them onto an existing photograph of a room.
For example, a recent kitchen remodel project involved selecting a new dining table and chairs for the dining area. We decided that a round table would work best for the space.
Below you can see how the kitchen/dining area looked like BEFORE adding the table and chairs:

To help my clients visualize my design ideas, and ultimately choose which one to go with, I created super-impositions of the table and chair combinations, like these ones below.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Walking the fine line between trendy and timeless design

Every time we redecorate or renovate our homes, we often follow the current design fashion. It's what we are surrounded with everywhere - online, in stores or our friends newly renovated home. It's not good or bad, it's just something we do without much awareness.

Fast forward 5-10 years later and that oh-so-current bathroom we've just renovated, looks dated. How come? design trends have a shelf life of up to 10 years, and most of us have no idea if we are at the beginning, middle or tail end of a design trend. 

Yet, fashion is fresh and exciting, and bringing some of it into our surroundings can bring us joy and excitement.

So how do you walk the path between classic & timeless versus trendy and current?

1.     Understand the difference between classic & timeless design vs. trendy
This is a good way to start out! You can educate yourself on the topic via Google and other resources or seek the help of an experienced designer. 
Once you understand the difference between current and classic design, it will be easier to make conscious decisions on which path to choose when selecting new furniture, accessories, or which finishes to choose when renovating your kitchen or bathrooms.
1.      When in doubt, stick to the classics
This is a good rule of thumb when you get a little confused or indecisive. When you are not sure you’re going to still like that tile or countertop 3 years from now, stay on the safe side and take the tried and true path, even if it looks somewhat “boring” and not unique enough. Choose mostly neutral colors and keep your lines clean-looking and simple, and you’ll avoid regret down the road.

Vered Rosen Design

1.      Go trendy with accent pieces and accessories
Are you in love with a particular color, metal finish, or pattern that’s currently all over magazines and in stores? Pick some affordable or inexpensive accessories with a pattern or color you love right now (pillows, rugs, and other fun decor). Those are easy to replace when the fad changes or when you get tired of them. Lighting fixtures are another area of design where you can go with a current choice, as they are fairly inexpensive to replace, yet catch people’s eye and make a statement!


1.     The wallet test
If you’re planning an expensive remodeling project such as redoing your kitchen or bathroom, or even purchasing custom furniture, you’re going to have to live with the choices you made for quite a while. Most of what you see today featured in stores or magazines will look dated in 5-10 years. Once again, invest in a timeless design approach, but accessorize with a trendier one.

1.      Go with what you love regardless of trends
Use your inner filter to decipher what you love vs. what you don’t regardless of what’s trendy or classic. If you always loved teals and aquas even before they became trendy, go ahead and invest in that teal sofa. Chances are you are still going to love it even after the trend had passed. The same goes for what you dislike. If you never loved gray and haven’t warmed up to this modern-looking color, then don’t paint your walls gray just because half your neighborhood did. 


Can you mix metal finishes in one room?

The short answer is YES.
And the longer answer is "yes, but..."
I'm not a big fan of "matchy matchy" anyway, so mixing metals in one room can make things look more interesting. This adds visual interest, especially in mostly white or neutral rooms.

Here are some guideline to walk the thin line between harmony and hodge podge.
  • First, its ok to just stick to one metal finish , especially if there's enough interesting elements in the room, such as in this lovely kitchen (two counter top materials, bold herringbone pattern, wood accents etc.). The dark bronze/black finish actually unifies the space.
Herringbone tile, good:
  • Stick to no more then two metal finishes. 
  • Dominant metal and accent metal - Pick out a dominant metal and accent with another metal.
  • Repeat - Make sure you repeat metals at leasy twice in a room.
  • Consider your color scheme - Cool metals (stainless steel, chrome, brushed nickel), work best with a cool color pallet (blues, greens, cool grays and whites). Warm metals (brass, bronze, gold, copper) work best with a warm color pallet. BUT, you can still mix them up
  • Mix Cool and Warm - Don't be afraid to mix cool and warm metals, especially in an all white room (like a white kitchen or bathroom)
  • If you're still not sure how to mix  metals , mix black or dark bronze with any metal. Black can work as a "neutral metal" and will work with all metals.
  • A little goes a long way - don't overdue metal in any room.

Modern kitchen with deep walnut open shelves, natural wood bar stools and white waterfall edged countertops

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Number One Reason We Struggle With Design Decisions

After nine years of working as an interior designer, I’ve come to understand the number one reason that most people have trouble deciding on which design path to take; Not being able to visualize design ideas. 

How do I know this? Try showing anyone (designers included) a black and white two-dimensional floor plan drawing of their new kitchen plan versus a three-dimensional rendering of the same design. My guess is that the 2D floor plan drawing will elicit a lukewarm response compared to the excitement you will get with the 3D model of their kitchen!

I know…no one likes to admit they cannot visualize how a two-dimensional floor plan will actually look like in real life. We tend to think we’re supposed to be able to visualize design ideas, such as how our living room will look like painted with color X versus color Y, or which lighting fixture will look better over our dining room table.

Once we realize we have no idea which one will look best, we become anxious and freeze. This is when “design paralysis” typically kicks in, and that’s when I come to the rescue…­čśŐ
First, I like to reassure my clients that nothing is wrong with them, and that the only reason designers can visualize better than the average Joe is because of previous experience. That's it. We also happen to constantly notice visual stuff around us, so our “visual mental library” keeps growing.

To help my clients better visualize my ideas, I've been using a combination of “visualization tools”; such as three-dimensional software for space planning. The software I’m using is easy to use. Changes can be made and ideas explored even while in a meeting with a client!
Below is an example of a kitchen renovation I completed recently, from the “before” stage, through the design phase, and finally ending with the completed project.

Here's a BEFORE photo of the kitchen

We decided to open up the kitchen to the dining and living room. Below are some 3D perspectives of the plan
The "after" photos are below. 
My clients were not surprised to see the results simply because the 3D model was close enough to the results. Yes, there was no "dramatic reveal", but they were very happy to see the plan come together, looking even better then they had expected !

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Last minute Thanksgiving table styling ideas or the rest of us

Let’s face it. Most of us aren’t exactly the “Martha Stewart” type, but, from time to time, we’d still like to put together a festive tablescape, hopefully without too much fuss.

In case you happened to browse pinterest for Thanksgiving table styling ideas, you’ve probably noticed that many of the photos seem dated and overdone.

Why is that?

The current home d├ęcor trend is all about “fresh” and fun: pops of bright colors, geometric patterns and white or gray backdrop. The previous trend of earthy muted colors is long gone, so any table decor photos you’ll find online that are too earthy or muted may look dated.

So, now what?

To create a pretty Thanksgiving table follow these guidelines:

1. Browse my pinterest inspiration board for tablescape ideas and pick one or two!

2. Use natural elements for your d├ęcor – branches, leaves, goards, apples, oranges, mini pumpkins. Seasonal fruit like oranges and apples can work as well.

fall-tablescape - Julie Blanner entertaining & home design that celebrates life

3.  Repeat, repeat, repeat – repetition is a powerful design trick, which also makes it simpler to design. Limit your color pallet to neutrals and one or two accent colors. Even the simple setting of similar plates, place mats and glasses can create a “designer look”.

mini pumpkins and mums

4. Don’t overdo – less is more.

5. Avoid the single centerpiece on a long table look. Instead, spread your d├ęcor over the length of your dining table, and keep it low so your guests can see each other while conversing. Check out my pinterest board for ideas

6. Expose your table and use place mats and a runner.

Copper Charm -

7. Avoid the single-centerpiece-on-a-long-table look. Instead, spread your d├ęcorations over the length of the table, and keep it low so your guests can see each other while conversing. 

8. Vary heights – add a few taller elements

9. When in doubt, pick white or off white – If you’re buying candles, dinnerware or a table cloth, white will always work. You can always add color with napkins, placemats, flowers etc.

10. Use what you have but be consistent –  smaller flower arrangements with your collection of glass jars can work just as well as fancy store bought jars.

#dahlias in little #jars - #pretty

for more ideas to decorate your Thanksgiving table , check out my pinterest board

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What do you do when you can't fix architectural mistakes

Designing the interiors of a house with great architecture is a true pleasure; all you need to do is emphasize the beautiful "bones" of the house, and it will look great!
But what do you do when you can't fix architectural mistakes like imbalance, asymmetry, or wrong scale?
You use the same trick you used when your 2 year-old had a tempter tantrum - distraction!
Here's an example:
Take a look at the photo below. Can you find an architectural element the designer tried to distract our eyes from?

studio McGee
Have you figured it out?  If it took you a while, that means the designer did a good job! Here's how it might have looked like before the designer fixed the architectural imbalance:

Without the built in shelves, it's easy to notice that the tiny windows on either side of the fireplace are completely off-scale relative to both the fireplace and the room!
So why is this so hard to notice right off the bat? The answer lies in the shelves that sit below the windows. They not only balance the fireplace nicely, but also repeat the gray color of the fireplace interior, so your eye moves from the built-ins to the fireplace and across, glossing over this architectural fault. 
Design is a lot about solving challenges, which is one of the reasons I love it so much!
Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 29, 2017

A clever design trick to copy

Asymmetry is a design challenge we all face at some point. Below is an extreme example... If you take a peak at the the photo below, you might notice a typical "design challenge" - a visually imbalanced window to the left of the bed, and no window on the right...
How would YOU fix it?


Opening another window on the right would have been nice, but expensive....not to mention that another window might also not have worked well with the exterior look of the house!
The solution
Below you can see the clever solution the designer came up with: Hanging an assortment of art pieces works like magic to balance that window. I liked how the designer used black-and-white accents, balanced by a tiny bit of gold.

White bed against wall in master bedroom

Using art to balance architectural asymmetry is a tool you can use yourself.
Can you share your own personal asymmetry challenge, whether it’s been solved or not? feel free to leave a comment or email me at


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Read this before you buy a neutral colored sofa

Yes, a neutral or white sofa is a safe choice, but not necessarily the best for your living room and style!
So how would you know if you should go with a colorful sofa or neutral?
The decision has more to do with how much color you'd like to have in your living room. If it's mostly going to be a neutrals palette (nothing wrong with that!), and just pops of color in art, pillows and perhaps a chair, then stick with a neutral sofa. But, if you'd like to bring in more then just small dosage of color into the room, then you need to pick out one or more of the large items in color (rug, window treatments, sofa, chairs or wall color). 

Here are my tips to selecting a colorful fabric for your sofa without regretting your choice:
1. The sofa color should be a color that you absolutely love, whether it's trendy or not!
2. Your sofa color needs to be in your planned color scheme.
3. A colorful sofa works best if your sofa is in the center of the room or close to the focal point, because your eye will instantly be drawn to it. 
4. Pick a color that works with all your accent colors so you can work with pillows etc.
Here are some inspirational ideas

One of my personal favorite colors for a sofa that's not neutral is blue. Here are some examples..

Vered Rosen Design

Navy blue is a nice option if youre looking into a dark color and some contrast

An apple green sofa is a great choice!

Yellow? if that's your favorite color then  go for it!
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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The most timeless color combination

Some color combination are trendy and some are timeless. Blues and whites are definitely a timeless combo. I played around with some inspiration boards here, starting with a single pillow as an inspiration!
If you're working with a  blank slate room, a fairly easy place to start is a pillow you love. 
Like this one for example:

If your pillow was that, your color scheme could be this color combo:
Always make sure you have a neutral in your pallet.

Now, add a few more pillows that work nicely together...

Back to you color scheme, you can select the sofa to be a light gray, white or blue. I selected a light gray sofa, dark blue jute rug and a clean lined coffee table and lamp.
With chairs, I was playing with three choices: navy blue, teal blue and a geometric patterned fabric chair. I wonder which ones do you think works best.

And here are my inspiration boards with all three chairs:
Board one- navy blue chair

Vered Rosen Design

Board 2- patterned chair

Vered Rosen Design

Board 3 - teal chair

Vered Rosen Design

Which one is your favorite?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Coastal colors. contemporary feel inspiration board

What if you like the blues and green colors scheme, the breezy feel of coastal style, , but want to skip the slipcovered sofa and the printed sea shells, and create a more contemporary styled living room?
Here's some inspiration boards for you.
I started with these three pillows from society

Below are two inspiration boards alternatives, using the same pillows. I picked out white as my neutrals and repeated the other colors and curvy shapes in the furniture

Designed by Vered Rosen Design
The second board is a variation on the theme
Designed by Vered Rosen Design

Which one is your favorite?

One living room - three inspiration boards

Inspiration gives you direction and clarity.
It gives you a starting point and a place to go back to when you get confused or side tracked, both of which I am guilty of. especially the side track part...
So I decided to try a little excersize. Pick out a pillow , art or fabric that will be my starting point fora living room's color scheme.

I picked out this pillow from west elm

Crewel Offset Color Blocks Pillow Cover - Light Pool | west elm:

Here's my color scheme:

Next, I started playing with some ideas of actuall items that can work together for the imaginary living room

Blue rug, white sofa:

Neutral jute rug with a white contemporary sofa

 Jute rug with a velvet dark contemporary teal sofa

 Jute rug with a medium teal traditional velvet sofa