Are You Missing the Sight of Green?

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As we look out over our mountains of snow in the backyard we start to miss and sometimes forget what our summer gardens look like, that is why creating an indoor garden space is so important to help brighten your winter blues.

If you are new to plants and don’t know how to care for an indoor garden, choosing common house plants is a good place to start, there are many varieties that can survive with low light and infrequent watering. Some of my favorite house plants include: Callisia fragrans or Inch Plant (when placed in a sunny spot the leaves turn purple!) Chlorophytum comosum or Spider plant (easy to care for – almost impossible to kill!) and of course Crassula ovata or Jade (needs low water – great for those forgetful ones!).  Once you become comfortable with your houseplants, then the fun begins when you try to over-winter certain annuals that you grew attached to through the summer. Growing indoor plants can seem like a scary task to take on but truly the best way to grow (and have fun doing it) is by trial and error, just be aware when your plants change their look – they are trying to tell you they need care!

The hardest part of keeping indoor plants alive through the winter is making sure your environment is humid enough. Plants are just like us, when our skin starts drying out we grab a humidifier to help, your house plants would would love you for introducing this into your environment. If you don’t use a humidifier through the winter, fear not, use a spray bottle to mist the leaves of your plants every couple of days or create their own greenhouse with a glass bowl or vase over them and they will do just fine. Of course every plant is different so be sure to practice trial and error here and just observe any changes.

For some more inspiration about indoor gardens check out this article on Houzz.

At amy dutton Home we have created a “Potting Shed” and have brought in new planting material and garden tools to help with starting an indoor garden, please stop in to take a look at our new products and feel free to ask me any questions you might have about caring for indoor plants!

Need a New Coffee Table?

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Surprisingly, a good coffee table is hard to find. Most people want a coffee table that is unique, fun and a little different but very functional. Tall order!

I decided to look at things a little differently and designed my own coffee table. I didn’t want an oval because the shape is usually extreme so I took a rectangle and softened the edges. I also wanted some additional storage so I added the shelf. Lastly, scale was very important, while I wanted it small it can easily become larger by simply changing the scale.

Material selections are very important in order to blend the design elements of the room together. I choose wood and steel but check out these other options.

How to Choose Tile Layout

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Why do you think some tiles “dance” and other tiles just sit and wait to be walked all over? Simple. It’s the layout!

Before purchasing your tile, be sure to have a long conversation with either the tile salesperson, the tile installer or your designer to figure out the most appropriate layout for the tile. The layout will ultimately determine the quantity that you order and how it will read or experience.

In this photo, these beautiful glass tiles from Italy speak for themselves. We were going for the “Beachy Cottage” feel in a luxury bathroom. The shower is 6′ x 4′ with two shower heads and a steam shower component complete with aromatherapy.

The layout reads mathematical – the top row is white vertical 4×12’s, a blue spacer bar then a 4×8 horizontal green subway pattern to equal 24″, a blue spacer bar, then 4×4 white tiles. The ceiling is also white 4×4’s but on the angle. Lastly, the floor is flat rock mosaics the blend all the colors from the room.  This was carefully drawn out prior to ordering plus 10% in order to verify that the layout would work.

Here are some more pointers for you when laying out your tile.

Some Good Ideas and… Not So Good Ideas

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There use to be a lot of RULES to design. No longer. Current trends are really about breaking rules and creating new / innovative ideas and concepts. I find this intriguing because I’ve never been one for following the rules!

However, I do have to say, with the introduction to there is a lot of “visual food” out there and some of the ideas are brilliant – others, not so much. For example, sometimes things just LOOK cool but they are not very practical or functional. I like just about every one of these photos, then I look again and think about how practical it would be to live with every day (like how to you clean under the stove?).

I strongly encourage you to think twice and three times before doing something that is over the top. Think about how you will use it every single day – then go for it if it seems to work for your needs or simply pitch the idea. It’s okay, editing yourself is a good thing.

Need Some Design Advise?

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What are you working on right now with your home? Designing is a action-filled, physical and three-dimensional experience that should never be done in isolation. Designing should be fun and collaborative.

One of the reasons why I wanted to open the shop was to bring the consumer a shopping experience that was enjoyable and educated. On Saturday, February 21st from 11 – 2pm, I invite you to come into the shop and bring your questions for a “Design Direction Open House”.  Bring in photos, samples of materials and measurements. If you have any questions before Saturday, feel free to call our office (207-703-0696).

Designing together should be fun and fulfilling. Let me help you in your process!

9 Walker Street, Kittery, ME 03904

(207) 703-0696

(888) 981-1950