Miscellaneous Archive

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

I’m Going For the HighPoint Market Gold!

How can I be the Michael Phelps of Interior Design? Well, for starters you can help me by voting for my olioboard! Uh, right now for swimming, I’m one of those people that buys a speedo for $100, does one lap and squeals for breath!! When it comes to designing rooms, I’m in training for the GOLD…but I need your HELP DESPERATELY!

http://olioboard.com/boards/123587-fun-vibrant-by-selma-hammer

Click on this link above! Log in via Facebook or Twitter and click on the right heart on the bottom right corner with a plus sign. You can vote once a day! Every vote you give me, I will enter you in an EXCITING CONTEST…

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What Moms Need! #OlioHop 3

What Moms Need!

What do woman want? We want to feel beautiful, loved, cherished, strong and confident. We want to surround ourselves with positive people and things. We love beautiful things and enjoy conversations about the things we love in life. We all strive to meet that person we can share these things with. We strive to find a career where we feel successful, passionate, help others and have a sense of pride and accomplishment.

In that journey to find the things we love and to do what we truly love, we need time to reflect. We need a space to find solace, peace, and serenity. A place that envelopes us, has elements of our favorite things, colors and includes the beauty we seek in life.

To me, life is about these things. Making sure I have the right support system of people that I love and love me back. Also, it’s important for me to learn every day. Learn something new about the world, my children, my career or how to help others. In order to do these things, I’ve learned that I have to look inward and find my inner peace. All mothers have the toughest job, raising children who are good people. The pressure is overwhelming at times. It’s stressful and hectic as we try to juggle taking care of them, our significant others, our career and the few minutes we have to take of ourselves. We all need a Mom Retreat within our homes. A space we can run away too or a place to reflect, to read, to learn and be the best person we can be.

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Home Office Serenity- OLIOHOP #2

In Need of Creating the Ideal Home Office?

For details on Olioboard shown here: http://olioboard.com/boards/116216-office-organizing-gone-chic

Here are some steps to consider when you are converting that guest room or basement into that much needed home office.

The trend in homes is having a home office. Whether you are an executive that needs to check emails and send correspondence in the evening or just can’t ever take a full day off or a stay at home mom looking for some extra income, you need a space that you can call your own and is organized.

STEP 1: CHUCK THE CHAOS: Make sure everything in your Office is relevant.

I’m sure there are random trophies, old textbooks from college, unfinished projects and old product samples; you think you’ll one day need. NEWS FLASH: chuck it!! It’s liberating and just cluttering up your life. Move on and make space for more relevant and new fresh décor items or the latest Apple gadget!

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OlioHop with Selma! Tween Boy Bedroom

How can you express your design wishes with little to no experience? How can you create that dream children’s room? Have you heard about Olioboard? Don’t miss out!

I’m really overjoyed at the opportunity to create a children’s room via the #OlioHop blog event! One of my favorite rooms to design that is near and dear to my heart is a child’s room. I love creating rooms that are eclectic and have unexpected elements. A seriously great design always includes taking risks and trying something you normally wouldn’t have!

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What Excites Me? Fabric!

As an interior designer, I get introduced to many trends, products, the up & coming in home furnishings (#hpmkt), educational presentations and manufacturers. Sometimes I get blown away or I just keep seeing the same thing over & over- snooze alert. My clients like things that are a bit different and unique. Things you can’t easily find and they hire me to pull it all together and bring in an element that has a bit unexpected. One of the signature traits of my work is the “wow factor” in all my rooms. Something that sparks conversation; makes you do a double take or makes you want to touch, feel or look closer.

The following products made me want to touch, feel and look closer.

This delicious ottoman makes you want to go closer and feel the fabric. It makes you want to sit on it and rub your hand across it to see what kind of fabric it is. It has a bronze metalized look to it and it’s a sumptuous ottoman by Leathercraft.

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Fresh Inspiration From HighPoint

Why do I attend HighPoint International Home Furnishings Market? As most other designers that love to attend, I search for new fresh inspiration. My clients know I keep on top of trends and can find unique items for them when I go. They look forward to getting my texts with finds for their home that I hand select for them. Talk about adrenaline rush. I think there were several moments when I got the chills from excitement!!

The inspiration I wanted to highlight in this blog post is the human body. With natural curves, I found that I saw a lot of accessories and furniture embracing the feminine body.  I find that interiors are embracing new and innovative ways of showing off new curves in interesting proportions.

“The Two Graces
Dramatic contrasts characterize this extraordinary piece of wall art, hand made from thousand upon thousand of individual glass mosaics to reflect the contradictions of passion and detachment so perfectly embodied in Tamara de Lempicka’s art.”- Christopher Guy
I’m a huge fan of mosaic art, whether it’s in wall hanging, kitchen back splashes or in furniture. The detail of the placement fascinates me. It a process that takes many hours of precision, patience and talent. This art piece was incredibly beautiful, dramatic and sensual.

Kick out Chaos!

Do you walk in your door and you don’t know where to kick your shoes off? Where do I put my jacket? Do I just dump it on the rest of the pile of crap on the bench? Bahhh! Help! With kids, your mud room/mud hall quickly fills up with shoes, back packs, jackets, school projects, workout bags, keys, etc… There is no comfort in this chaos! I’m in midst of designing a space that is not only organized, but also functional and nice to look at. You can see my mudroom from my kitchen so it can’t look like a locker room or a pile of junk! Here are some ideas that I’m considering and I wanted to share with anyone else having the same problem!

“Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning.”- Katherine Anne Porter

Especially now with the changing of seasons, we have winter coats, spring coats, rain boats, rain jackets, backpacks, a bench, a mirror and a pile of a mess! I walk in the door and feel overwhelmed instantly as I try to carry five bags and get the kids to remove their jackets and shoes. I don’t even know where to put my purse!

Image via: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/mudroom/mudroom-decorating/#page=13

So ideally, we’d like to build these custom locker spaces for each one of us to hang our jackets, display our shoes and hide our scarfs and mittens! This above solution is perfect. What if we don’t have to money to accomplish this right now? Here are some other solutions…

What are your needs: make a list or checklist.

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Four Looks- Which Do You Like Best?

One of the first questions I ask clients is what is definitely staying in the space. A lot of times there is a couple things that need to stay for varying reasons. Sometimes it’s for sentimental, budgetary or just practical reasons. The mood board (created on olioboard.com) shown below shows a blue sofa (http://bit.ly/wdbGwN) that needs to stay in the space and a beautiful rug (Home Decorator’s Collection). My client just purchased both and loves them and doesn’t know what else to buy to make their space beautiful, functional and coordinate. They are in a loss at to which paint colors to select and what fabrics would look best. This point is when I come into the equation and assist my client put the rest of the room together so everything flows well, is functional and beautiful. They have natural looking hardwoods in the living room and surrounding areas as well, which is the main reason they selected an area rug.

Please don’t feel that when you hire an interior designer that I’m going to come in and tell you to rent a dumpster and chuck everything out the door! Don’t get me wrong, there are times when everything is so outdated or worn out that the solution includes starting fresh. In most cases, I work my magic around something that needs to stay. Most times the solution includes considering the spaces that surround the room at hand. I have to tie in the overall space. It is important to consider coordinating the adjacent paint colors and furniture so everything is cohesive.

Many of my clients opt for having a couple choices and that way they are part of the decision making. I like doing this because they can be a part of the design selections so they feel proud that they helped choose things. Also, there are clients that have no desire to be a part of the selection process and just go with what I select due to their time restraints and hectic schedule. I have no problem making all the selections but it’s usually after really getting to know my clients, their lifestyles and home functionality. This reason is why I will ask you a lot of questions!

I will explain how you can obtain four different looks by switching around accent seating pieces, artwork, lighting and fabrics. There are many details and selections considered when designing your space. I try to gauge what design aesthetic your home encapsulates or what you would like your home to eventually look like after we complete you redesign projects.

In Look 1, I choose a cheery palette. I added bright colors and based the look on the fabric that incorporated all the colors. Since the sofa is a solid overall color, I selected a print side chair.  The aesthetic speaks to me as more earthly and natural. I chose a chandelier that mimics the feel of bird cages since tropical birds tend to have many of the vibrant colors in the space. In all my looks, I incorporated artwork based in nature and used Spirit of Sports (http://bit.ly/wzda4V) as the vendor. The artwork in Look 1, is called Fly Fishing by Steve Kuzman.

In look2, there is more of a transitional yet sophisticated feel because it incorporates some traditional, modern and French country aspects. Overall the feel of the room is very calming and comfortable. There is a lot of visual interest and texture. The artwork featured in this room is Fly Fishing by Ken Auster http://bit.ly/xWp2Aw).

Look 3 has several different elements. Overall it feels very natural with the use of linen. There are some decorative damask patterns that tie in the rug with the space. I tried to incorporate some masculine elements to balance the damask and floral in the rug. I used brown velvet chairs and leather ottomans which emulate a more masculine look. This aspect is important to my clients who have a dilemma of battle of the colors and styles with trying to satiate the wife’s and husband’s wishes. The art piece featured here is called Fishing Hole by Ralph Spitzmiller (http://bit.ly/xvhz1g).

Lastly, Look 4 is has a modern and elegant feel to it. There are more grays to neutralize the vibrant teals used. The fabrics are both feminine and masculine. By using a hounds tooth and a gray fabric, the man of the house will be pleased. The wife will be happy to see the slight floral in the toile and teal and white print. The chandelier is feminine it that it has some soft draping to it but masculine in the fact that it is pewter and made out of iron. The artwork featured is The 9th Hole, The Royal County Down by Linda Hartough (http://bit.ly/zlJg8L).

Each of these looks is unique and works but which one would you pick? Which one emulates your style and would work in your home? It’s very interesting how the same room with the same sofa and rug can look very different by selecting different fabrics, window treatments and side chairs. Please keep this in mind when selecting things before consulting a designer. The sooner you contact us, the better in our perspective so we can help you fully obtain the look you are hoping for. If you are not sure what look or colors you want, we can help your discern that as well. Please contact me at selmahammer.com for more information of the spaces and if you are interested in a consultation.

Wore Ikat as a Kid. Now, It’s Big in Home Decor!

People are always curious as to what my heritage and ethnicity is. I find it amusing because it’s just the way I grew up and never thought my background was any different than anyone else. Are you Hispanic, Phillipino, Hawaiian, Asian? I’m from Uzbekistan. Huh? What’s that? I speak Uzbek? Huh? What does that sound like…


I grew up fighting for the freedom of my country against Communist Regime and thought it was normal to wear colorful clothing and walk in parades! Ha! See me sporting my bob in the center. So now when I go to High Point Market in North Carolina and see fabulous, colorful Ikat fabric on pillows and home accessories, you can imagine my delight.


Above pink Ikat pillows found at uzbekalive.com

Ever wonder where your fabric originated and the process of how it came to be. Why is one fabric more expensive than another? When you are laying on your pillow, typically you are not thinking about the hand craftsmanship and the work that was put into the fibers of your fabric.There is a whole process and many people that hand weave certain fabrics. I’m happy to share some amazing photographs of the involved process of making Ikat fabrics specifically from Uzbekistan. 

All of these textiles are based from a complex process which is undertaken before the individual elements are arranged upon the loom.


If the pattern is more elaborate, the process before the weaving is longer and more involved. Ikat makers hand thread on looms, marking them with patterns as the go. The intricacy of the design is really fascinating. 




Above fabric found at uzbek-ikat.com

Typically, the fabric is only 16” wide. Consider this when ordering it and using it for pillows or drapes. 

These amazing Ikat purses are found at uzbekalive.com

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the involved voyage your Ikat fabric takes before you even enjoy it on your pillows or in your wardrobe.

I hope this gives you some more appreciation of the beauty of Ikat and where it comes from.

For more information, contact me at selmahammer.com.