Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The most cost effective way to get design help while you shop


The most cost effective way to get design help while you shop

Think interior design consultation is not in your budget? think twice. 
With smart phones and tablets ,you can  get instant help in any store while you shop, and it's much more affordable then you might think.

Let's say you're shopping for a table lamp in a store like Target. Sounds simple, right? Well... for some of you it may be that way. Maybe you have that natural visual talent or perhaps you simply don't care enough about style and color as long as that lamp works.
However, you can be extremely visually sensitive, and yet have great difficulties making decor decisions. You seem to get easily confused, overwhelmed and unclear about how to shop for home furnishings. So here's an idea of how to get the help you need from an experienced designer in a more cost-effective way.

The secret is using your smartphone or ipad/tablet to communicate with a designer while you shop, and get instant help. Here's how I do it with my clients:
Last weekend I helped a client match a lamp base to a lamp shade without leaving my home. It took us less then 20 minutes to find the right lamp base simply because we communicated through texting.

I had previously picked out this lamp shade from target, which we all loved and thought would look beautiful in my clients teenage girl's blue bedroom.

                                                  Threshold Lamp Shade-Flocked Yellow Large

My clients decided to go to target and find a lamp base themselves. They texted me this picture first which I didn't like. I didn't think that the gray glass base worked well with that lamp. It did not highlight the unique design of the lamp shade well.

I didn't  like the one below as well. 
The lamp base is too traditional for that contemporary lamp shade. Also the colors do not relate well. 

I suggested they look for a white base, which would relate to the white in the lamp shade.
A few seconds after they texted me the picture below, I texted back "YES!!!", and that was it. done! less then 20 min of my time.

Here it is in her room (I will update the picture once I'm able to take pictures myself)

My point - if you shop by yourself and cannot make decisions you will be happy about, a short, phone based help from a designer can save you time, money and best of all, help you create a beautiful home and stay in budget.
If you find yourself in overwhelming stores like Ikea, target or any other home furnishing stores, that do not provide experienced designer help, call, text or email me ahead of time or while you shop. To help you make better decisions, it's best to call ahead of time, so I can get as much information about your home improvement project, so I can  better help you make the right decisions while you shop.

If you'd like help with color, decorating and interior design, please don't hesitate to contact me for your free initial consultation.

Happy Holidays,

Additional reading
HELP! I'm in Ikea


Wednesday, October 31, 2012



long-distance design help while shopping at ikea 
I was supposed to be in  NYC last  weekend to help my sister purchase some furniture and furnishings for her new apartment. She just moved  in a few weeks ago and desperately needed help making it look descent. My sister is a psychologist and wants to start seeing clients at her own home, which means she has to be able to convert her living room to an office in an instant. 

With a time limit of only two weekends, we decided to try and get as much stuff from Ikea and complement it with furnishings from other shops. I had to postpone my trip to NYC, but promised to be available online and over the phone while they were in ikea . And this is exactly what we did with fairly good results. 

With smartphones and online access everywhere it's easy to communicate ideas. We were texting and talking throughout the whole time, so that she was able to focus on the stuff I thought would be suitable for her place.

Being familiar with Ikea's products, which vary in quality and style. I could help my sister focus on the better choices. After all, there's only a limited amount of time the average shopper can spend at IKEA before running for the exit.

So here's the huge advantage of one of us NOT being in the store at the time of shopping - unlike my sister, who was constantly distracted by the mass of people and overwhelmed by the thousands of products in the store, I was able to focus on each product without being overwhelmed. This was a huge help to her. She, on the other hand, was able to sit, touch and feel the furniture pieces and tell me which ones were comfortable for her. 
Later I realized there was another advantage to this combined effort  - while in the store, one could easily overlook a great choice of sofa, for example, only because it's upholstered with an ugly fabric. Unlike her, I was looking at the same sofa online, and was able to see all the choices she had for that sofa and point out out the good ones. Not everyone can visualize it otherwise, and that's were I cam handy. 

so here's what we picked so far:

KIVIK Loveseat IKEA Generous seating series with a soft, deep seat and comfortable support for your back.
IKEA's KIVIK sofa, in light gray
The kivik sofa is contemporary in style and upholstered in light gray, which is trendy but classic - all the sofas in the Design Center in Boston are upholstered in similar colors. The fabric is a blend of synthetic fibers, which means it's more durable then the linen/cotton upholstered sofas that looked nice on display, but will not withstand the wear and tear of use.
This sofa has an extra advantage - you can change the upholstery but simply stripping it off and buying a new one when it's worn.

POÄNG Chair IKEA The resilience of a layer glued, bentwood frame of birch provides excellent comfort for relaxation.
IKEA's POANG leather chair


The Poang chair has been an IKea product for many years for a good reason. It's reasonably priced and with multiple choices of fabric and wood finishes. Changing the upholstered cushion is easy too.

Here's some ideas for rugs:

Or this one:

                                        Bemba Printed Jute Rug


These rugs would nice:

                                    Detailed View

                             SANELA Cushion cover IKEA Cotton velvet with extra luster and softness; nice and soft against the skin.
                                Detailed View               

Here are some window treatment suggestions (top and bottom are from Target, the second one is from IKEA)


                            Target Home™ Medallion Window Panel - 54x84"


So next week, I plan to go down to NYC and help my sister buy a rug, some lighting, window treatments coffee table and some pillows.

If you're planning a shopping at IKEA and would like some help with choosing the right products for your project, contact me. We can discuss your needs before your IKEA trip, and I would be able to help you while you are shopping, no matter how far you are from Newton, MA, where I live,
my contact info:


The most effective way to get design help while you shop

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kitchen lighting - pendants that blend with the outside view

A pretty pendant (or multiple) over an island or sink can definitely add style to any kitchen, but what if you are blessed with a pretty view to the outside? would a pendant light over the sink or island block that view? it might. so how do you handle this situation?

Glass pendants and lanterns are visually light and airy, and blend in with the outdoor when hung in front of a window. like this pendant from pottery barn. It simply blends in with the view through the large bay window to the garden.

white kitchen, marble on bay window seal, glass pendant over sink by Vered Rosen Design
 pottery barn rustic glass pendant over the sink blends in with outside view
 West elm's industrial pendant looks more sleek and contemporary

                                    Industrial Pendant – Glass

This chrome-capped bulb reflects light back towards the fixture, eliminating the blinding bright hot spot of standard clear bulbs


West elm's cluster glass can work with different styles

                                         Room View

Shades of light have some beautiful choices such as this one which I saw at a friends house over an island (she had two of them)

  capri one light , home decorators

       This one comes in green, blue and clear.

                            Colored Seeded Glass Pendants (3 colors!)

For a more traditional or oriental  look, Ballard design's marakesh melon pendant combines glass and iron which adds definition and sharpness to the shape of the glass.

   pretty light
marakesh melon pendant

It's important to understand the draw backs of those pretty glass pendants:
1. They glare, so use a low wattage bulb or keep them on a dimmer and don't buy one if  any kind of glare really bothers you.
2. Wattage - since the bulb is seen through the glass pendant, you would most likely keep the wattage low so don't expect a lot of light from those pretty lamps.
2. Mounting height - mount them higher than eye level (consider the tallest person in the house, just like you would with placing a mirror...)

Chandeliers also have that light and airy look
                                                   Circa Lighting



West elm's capiz chandelier is airy and light without the glare of clear glass

                              Pinned Image

                              Pinned Image

Another way to avoid blocking views with a pendant is by either mounting them high enough or by choosing a flush mount fixture.


Pinned Image
Wilamette 6 Schoolhouse Pendant Light Schoolhouse  

Pinned Image

If you'd like help with color, redesigning or decorating your own home, contact me @ 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to light up your kitchen

Kitchen lighting plan know-how

Your kitchen is the place where you'll probably need more light than anywhere else in your home, so plan carefully:

General words of advice:
1. Not all areas of the kitchen are supposed to be lit at the same intensity:  work and task areas such as counter tops, island, dining table etc should be more intensely lit than the floor. If your kitchen is small, make sure your walls and top cabinets are well lit.
2. A single light source can never accomplish that, no matter how much wattage you use.
3. Consider color - the darker your kitchen cabinets, counter top, paint are, the more lighting you will need.
4. Use dimmers everywhere. They are fairly cheap and easy to install. They save energy when you don't need that intense lighting. Dimming can help when you want a different mood, such as when you are dining or entertaining.

Here's how to plan your kitchen lighting plan:

Recessed Lights

Great for general illumination though not extremely efficient. Recessed lights come in different sizes and prices. Avoid placing too many of them - your ceiling will end up looking like swiss cheese and not necessarily well lit. Add in under cabinet lighting and/or pendants instead.
1. Size - the smaller ones (4") look better and are more expensive. Don't go over 5". 
2. Bulbs - always use spot light bulbs and not the spiral CFL or incandescent ones. Spot lights have a reflective side that directs all the the light downwards instead of lighting the inner side of the can. That's why they light up the space much more efficiently than regular CFL bulbs. They also look much better.

Track lighting - flexible and economical, track lights can be a good solution for narrow,galley kitchens. They do have a contemporary look that may or may not work with your 

3. How to place them - most importantly - center the recessed lights on the edge of the countertop: if you place them away from the counter top, your body will a create shadow over the counter top. I've seen so many kitchens where recessed lights where placed in the wrong places and where not lighting what they where supposed to light. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, the size of the recessed lights and ceiling height, place them between 2.5'-4' apart.

Under cabinet lighting
Undercabinet lighting directly light the countertop and backsplash. This is extremely important if your counter top is dark.
1. Where to place them - install the undercabinet lighting closer the front edge of the cabinet. This will create a larger cone of light over the back splash and countertop. 
3. Wired vs. not - it's easy and tempting to install under cabinetligting with individual switches. However, chances are you won't be using them much. You'll be using them a lot more if they're all wired on a single switch. This means you'll need to hire an electrician, of course, but It's worth it.
Kitchen Undercounter Lighting Design, Pictures, Remodel, Decor and Ideas - page 5
Sleek LED under shelving
4. Light temperature - consider the lighting temperature (warm or cool) of the bulbs: I've discussed this issue in another post how light affects tile color .
5. Thin fixtures - choose the thin sleek fixtures so all you'll see is the light not the bulbs.
6. Magic! - under cabinet lighting creates this magical feel: you can't see where the light comes from! Also, you will notice that the under counter lights "lift" up your upper cabinets visually. they will look like they are floating.

                airy, modern coastal style white kitchen by Vered Rosen Design   

Accent lighting
Accent lighting adds style and character to any kitchen. Depending on the light fixture, they can also be an efficient way to light up a space.
1. Island or dining table- place them in the right height. too low  - they will block your view and light only a small area (the higher the light, the larger the cone of light), too high - not intense enough. You might also notice the bulbs depending on the shape of the pendant.

Exposed beams are the center of attention in this cottage-style kitchen. More kitchens we love:  http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/color-schemes/neutrals/white-kitchens-we-love/?socsrc=bhgpin062912
2. over the sink - make sure it's on a separate switch. You don't need to focus light on your dirty dishes when you're not doing them...
3. Style - consider style. coastal, rustic, contemporary, whatever floats your boat. Pendants can add a lot of style to your kitchen, so make sure the style is in line with what you already have.

What a beautiful space to prepare meals and entertain guests! More of our favorite kitchen designs: http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/color-schemes/neutrals/white-kitchens-we-love/

                    3" shaker or wider? Very pretty. I even like the barely there knobs.

If you'd like help with color, redesigning or decorating your own home, contact me @ 

kitchen lights that blend in with the view

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chic and Charming Bedside Lighting


Hi there! I’m Joanna, a blogger for Arcadian Lighting, a terrific source for all things lighting fixtures in every style and finish. I’m excited to be guest posting here on Vered Rosen Design. I’ve brought along lots of inspiration for bedside lighting. Lighting is such an important design element that needs special attention. I hope you find an idea or two to help you when lighting your own décor. Enjoy!

  Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting
Two rustic corbels are repurposed for twin bedside lamps set atop a fabric covered wall. The unusual look of the lights adds interest to the space. Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting Pendant Lights
Two lovely pendants dangle from the ceiling beside a simple platform bed. The space has an Asian influence. Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting Channdeliers
Two brilliant chandeliers hang at the bedside in this flirty white and neon space. I would love to see the lights at nighttime. Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting Copper Table Lamp

A single copper lamp sits at the bedside in this eclectic bedroom. The solid light is a nice companion to the business of the wallpaper and bedding. Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting Blue Lamps
This guest room gets its lighting from a pair of lamps within reach of the room’s twin beds. The blue of lamps is in keeping with the subtle blue and champagne of the rest of the room. Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting Desk Lamp
A Bohemian bedroom gets its nighttime lighting from a simple desk lamp and a pretty wrought iron floor lamp. This quirky combination works with the eclectic elements in the rest of the space. Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting Mini chandeliers
Wrought iron mini chandeliers light this country style bedroom. The crisp white bedding is lovely against the dark woods and the cream walls. Interior Design Bedroom Bedside Lighting Home Decor Arcadian Lighting Wall Sconces
Two doors hold twin wall sconces in this eclectic bedroom. I love the way the delicate fixtures play off of the roughness of the doors. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 Bedside lighting doesn't always have to be table lamps, there is a world full of possibilities out there and I hope this post inspired you to try them. Which unconventional bedside lighting is your favorite? Comment below and don't forget to check out our lovely pendant lights at Arcadian Lighting.

 How to light up your kitchen
kitchen lights that blend in with the view