2012 January Archive

Archive for January, 2012

Get in the Mood to Cre8! Using Olioboard.com- 2D & 3D Moodboard Guide

Ok, so what’s this site that all the buzz is around, especially in the design community? It’s Olioboard.com and if you haven’t heard about it, you are missing out my friends!! I discovered it a couple weeks ago, when I was sick and stuck at home for week with bronchitis. I was on twitter and kept seeing mentions of Pinterest and Olioboard. I saw something about Olioboard being a moodboard tool to create design boards, so automatically a light bulb went off. It can be time consuming coming up with hand made design boards and I do everything on my computer, hence why I’ll be getting carpal tunnel surgery in a couple months!

Okay so what is Olioboard- it’s a tool where you have a blank sheet to add background, products from tons of different vendors, such as Layla Grace, Spirit of Sports, West Elm, Arteriors, Worlds Away, Dwell, Home Decorators, PoshTots etc…

Step One (you’ll have so much fun!): First you need a concept and a plan. Are you going to do a board strictly to compete in the many fun contests the Olioboard community suggests or one sponsored by Olioboard’s affliates, such as PoshTots Nursery contest (ended on 1/30/12) or the “Man Cave” Spirit of Sports contest, starting on 2/1/12? What parameters does the contest have; do you need to feature some of the sponsor’s products? For the majority, you are not competing in a contest. You are probably looking to see how you can put a room together and how all the pieces of the puzzle all come together, such as wall & window treatments, flooring and various products. For designer’s you can use Olioboard to present to your client’s with or without your pricing. For consumer’s, it’s like a fun game! Do you like to craft, scrapbook, stamp, and/or collage, well Olioboard is for YOU!

Step Two (there is so much you can do): You need a background. You can select flooring, wallpaper, windows to enter in the space. The key is enlarging or shrinking items to the size you desire. You drag it from the menu of items to your board after you have chosen to “+create board.” When you click on the specific item it will show a white circle. You can click the solid circle and pull it to the left or right to spin the item so a vertical mirror can be changed to be horizontal such as the one pictured on my board.

Step Three (let out your glee): If you want a 3D board you can google 3D room backgrounds and have some options through sites such as shutterstock. Also, Olioboard has a hand full of backgrounds (more to come according to the company) by clicking on the tab All Sets then scrolling to Rooms. You drag the room picture you want and slide it over your empty board. Tip: Make your board smaller by zooming in on the bottom left hand corner and clicking the minus button or sliding it down so you can see how much room on the board you have to work with  (so you can see that you are covering all the ground you need). You want your background image to cover as much of the board, so you have more room to play.

Step Four (products galore): Tip: Adding large items to your board first will save you lots of tweaking time. If you are going to add window treatments, flooring, wall paper, fireplace, etc.. DO THAT FIRST. Crop the items, if you need to flip them, which flips the item horizontally. If you flop it makes the item upside down. You can make a item bigger by clicking the solid circle and pulling up or down with your mouse (I have a laptop and I use my fingers to open and close like an iPad or iPhone). So if you are placing items on the board on the background and they disappear but you see a dotted circle your item is behind the background. You have to click front on the tool bar and it places the item to the front of all items at the time in your olioboard. Tip: This tool is incredibly important when you are layering items, such as pillows onto a sofa on top of wall paper on top of a background.

Step Five (Hope you are still alive?): The neat thing is you can put any product from the internet on your board. If you can right click on an image from the internet and save as. Then you can upload the .jpeg into My Images (tip: images have to be smaller than 1MB). You then click on My Images, click on upload then add images, upload items. Then name your product, give it tags, put the source, where to purchase (which could be you with your designer pricing), price it and the best part is you can either make this information available to the public or click private. I’ve used both options.

At first, I didn’t realize the thousands of great products already uploaded into Olioboard’s categories and products, which you can easily search for. I would pull them in laboriously one by one from Arteriors, etc… In the olioboard shown here, I used browsed by keyword on olioboard items such as “orange,” “pendants,” “blue rug,” “orange sofa”, etc..

My first moodboard took most of a day, which is not the case if you know what you are doing, which I’m hoping to help you with. Tip: Be careful of objects that have busy backgrounds that you only need the main object from, i.e. if there is a gorgeous vase you would like to use an image of, but it has other vases around it or it is placed on an ugly background that background will show when you upload it to Olioboard. You can use photoshop or try to pick items directly from manufacturer sites, they typically don’t stage their products with tons of objects around it. Another tool is to use cropping to get rid of unwanted bordering items in a picture.

Step Six (get to the mix -ing of textures): How do I create a 3D look? You have to choose items that are angled in the photo to drag over to place on angled side walls. Not all products are on an angle. If they are on an angle you can flip them to be angled differently to place on the opposing wall. Tip: If you need more than one of the same item, first size the original item to the finished size then click duplicate. The duplicate will be on top of the first item so you just click on it and drag to where you need to place it. I use this tool for items such as pillows, pendants, bar stools, etc..

Step Seven (in design heaven?): How do you get that 3D effect in your board with the products you use? So in reality, if you are to stand at the end of a room, the objects that are closest to you are larger and when you are standing far away from things they appear smaller. Use this rule of thumb when placing items on the back wall, you make them smaller. On objects that are at the bottom of the board, the items that are closest to you, you enlarge them. This takes some playing around to get the item to the size you need.

Step Eight (you are doing GREAT!): Don’t forget to save you work along the way. The worst is if you get distracted from your computer or your battery dies and you lose all your work! When done publish your board!! You can tweet it out, facebook like it and download a .jpeg to share with a client, via email, blog post it or pinterest it. Tip: You can download items from Pinterest, in the sample olioboard shown; I downloaded some fun shoes that go with the style and color scheme of the room! How fun! You can really personalize and go crazy to have a fun time. I can hide myself in a room and create Olioboards all day if allowed!!

I hope I have given you enough tips, tools and advice to get you started on making your dream rooms, whether it’s a cute nursery, sophisticated master bedroom or a macho “man cave.” Thanks for reading my blog at blog.selmahammer.com

Follow me on Twitter @DesignerSelma or Like my Facebook page, Selma Hammer Designs or check out my business on selmahammer.com.

For all your shopaholics out there, this satiates my need to spend because I put beautiful rooms together without spending a dime!! That is, until my client approves of the board!! Good times! I have already created one specifically for a client for a master bedroom that was approved! Woot, woot!

Brand & Image Include Updating Your Office Interior

First impressions are everything. That doesn’t just include personal appearance but the appearance of your brand and image, which includes your office space. When a potential client or existing client walks into your space, what is their impression? Wow, they really have a successful business with a well designed space and nice color flow throughout? Is it the opposite, wow, this place looks like it hasn’t been updated in decades, they must not invest in their business and interested in growing. Complacency doesn’t just apply to business practices, it applies to interior and exterior design appearance of your brand and image, including your office space.

Commercial Redesign of a Realty Office. The before included mismatched flooring, wall paper, uneven floors and when I walked into the space, my first reaction was to walk right out! Now, it’s warm, inviting and makes you want to do business with the firm.

This room was unusable before with the back wall covered with outdated amber tinted wall of mirrors. Can you say Poconos in 1980’s or Atlantic City in 1970’s? We unearthed an old fireplace that was hidden behind mirrors and dry wall. The goal was to keep the architecture of when the home was built so we re-purposed the old fireplace. All the original bricks were used but the painter filled in the missing chunks and painted it to look brand new!

The stairs were covered in carpet and the railing had thick white chipping paint. The carpet was stripped and instead of re-carpeting, I suggested staining the original hardwoods. The railing was stripped and the railing was stained and the spindles were painted white=> immediately updated. The foyer before was used as a reception area, blocking the unused front door and had uneven carpeted floors. Pretty much every wall space had awful wallpaper that was papered at different decades. I called the original condition of the office an unattractive, mismatched quilt that didn’t work!

4 ways to rethink pink

Link: 4 ways to rethink pink

Love the use of soft pink on the ceiling. My favorite combination is #pink and gray. Great ways to use pink without it being too cutesy or in your face. For all those pink fans!

Jazz Up Your Master Bath on a Budget

Do you have a builder’s grade wall of mirrors behind your sinks? If you don’t have a good handy man to take them down to hang a framed mirror and patch up the wall. Purchase a delicate Venetian mirror to go over the existing mirror. You’ll need special adhesive http://www.liquidnails.com to apply the new mirror on top of the existing mirror. 

Picture provided by www.uma.ubud.com.bz/stay/terrace-rooms.com

http://www.naturalhandyman.com/qa/qaglue.html If you have two sinks, get two matching mirrors to go over each sink. Another product to consider is mirror mate or salvaged trim, you can install it to frame in your existing mirror http://www.mirrormate.com/

Picture found on http://www.mirrormate.com/pages/makeovers-3.html by Lynch Design Group

Is your laminate countertop just tired and beat up? Go to Home Depot and get a quote on changing out your counter to granite. They have regular sales on granite and your can get it as low at $39 sq ft. http://www.homedepot.com/

Picture found at hgtv.com

Adding a pretty and simple window treatment to your existing window can add visual interest and texture. Make sure it’s fabric, such as Sunbrella, that can withhold getting moisture on it if your don’t have a good vent fan.


Something every bathroom needs is a vent fan if you don’t have one. Do you have mold on your ceiling over the shower or around your windows, it’s because mold thrives on moisture and if you are not opening your window for some ventilation, the mold is having a party.

Now this is something that you definitely want to hire a reputable contractor for http://www.angieslist.com/ or http://www.servicemagic.com/. Installing a vent fan is very essential in your bathroom and you want to make sure it is actually exhausting out of your space and going outdoors. You do not want it to exhaust into your attic space. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0„689843,00.html

Keep posted for more tips! http://www.selmahammer.com/

Reply with some other cool bathroom projects or examples of what I’m talking about!

Adding MacKenzie-Childs to Your Home

So the big question is when do you have too much of a good thing? Or when have you gone over the limit with too many decorative accents, such as MacKenzie-Childs’ pieces? Is it ever enough?  Is your favorite pattern Courtly Check? You can chose a room or two to put Courtly Check in, but not every accessory in your house.

You don’t want to cross that line that takes you from fabulous to just gaudy. That means, if you have the place-mats, the plate, the charger, the napkins and the glassware all on one place setting, STOP! Step back and look to see where you can add some solid colors. Go for a solid charger, floral stem wear, printed plate then a solid colored napkin and place-mat. If you are stuck in a rut and you want to not only dress to impress yourself but also your home, call a designer, who has the keen eye for mixing and matching. That way you can have a whimsical feel rather than a dizzy mess. 

Don’t go out and buy everything new! Be savvy to sales, especially the once a year Mackenzie-Childs barn sale. Bring a wish-list, have a budget then have fun! Don’t stress about if things have to all be in the same pattern. Tie some floral in with your check, just make sure there are similar colors in the pieces you are buying. When I recently went to the barn sale, I decided I wanted to mix some of the enamel black Flower Market with my courtly check.

My analogy of the barn sale is what Vegas is to a gambler, is what the barn sale is to a MacKenzie collector. You are so excited but overwhelmed with everything to choose from. You don’t want to make the mistake of not get something you will be thinking about every night while you have insomnia. We have all been there. At check out, I put a couple things back, such as this adorable ceramic bird. After I left the barn sale, it was all I could think about. Now, it’s not my standard courtly check or the painted glass vases I collect, but there was something really different and fun about it. After lunch in Aurora, I went back to get it and it made my day. Now every time I look at it, I’m so pleased that I have it and it’s one of my most prized MacKenzie pieces.The general misconception is that you need all Mackenzie-Childs to pull it off and that requires a deep pocket. I feel that you can have splashes of the whimsy accessories and furniture throughout your home by tying in the colors with your existing furniture or paint color. Ideally, it would be amazing to replicate the Mackenzie Child store right in your living room, but in the meantime, add to your collection by adding color, fun and memories.

Sometimes you may walk into TJ Maxx and see a faux Mackenzie-Child piece and think it’s tacky to add to your collection. There is nothing tacky about mixing and matching. Sometimes when you have Gucci sunglasses on and a Michael Kors bag, people may think your whole outfit is designer. Do the same thing with your home decor. The key is to splurge where it matters and find those key pieces.

I love to mix in a whimsical feel to my designs. Be creative and have fun. Add a couple MacKenzie-Childs pieces at first if you are not sure it’s your style. Their pieces are so fun and whimsical. They are bound to stand out!

Your Room’s Focal Point

Every room needs a great focal point. When you first walk into a room, where do you want people to look? That’s your focal. Then you want your eyes to move around the room to find interesting objects, such as various textures, fabrics and objects.  

A focal point in a lot homes in colder climates is fireplace. Spend time and money on accessorizing on that mantle. Don’t be afraid to buy something that has the feel of your home. If it doesn’t work on your mantle to can try it on your end tables or keep your receipt and return it. It may take a few tries to get it right.

Picture from http://www.hgtv.com/real-estate/10-ways-to-make-your-house-worth-more/pictures/page-5.html

You don’t really want a big screen TV as your focal. If you do not have another place to put your 52” flat screen (like in my home) make sure you have interesting objects on either side of the mantle or wall art on either side of the TV to detract from the GIANT BLACK SCREEN. Another good option is getting AppleTV and running a continuous slide show of landscapes or family photos on your big screen.

Another great focal for bedrooms is a grand headboard, whether it’s a wooden or upholstered one. If you have a beautiful view from your bedroom windows, make sure you dress your windows to impress with some elegant panels that can be pulled back on either side of the windows. 


Brightfully Cheerful Gender Neutral Nursery

You don’t need pastels in babies’ rooms. You are not limited to light pink for girls’ rooms, soft blue of boys’ room and yellow and green to be gender neutral. The room was inspired by the whimsical brightly colored owl fabric. We mixed a lot of visually interesting fabrics but mostly solids, such as turquoise and teal blues and vibrant tangerine. The fun comes in many different colors and textures. The bedding was custom designed and showcases a gorgeous and vibrant argyle print with whimsical eyelash trim bed skirt. The lime green shag rug and velour fleece crib sheets add tactile interest for a baby. The fun doesn’t stop at fabric in this room where there is a multicolored acrylic chandelier chosen for its design and durability. The draperies introduce a new design in window treatments using quilting fabrics and elements into the cornice and panels. The panels are hand dyed batik fabric and the cornice is quilted and went through a tedious sewing process to achieve a puckered 3D affect with dainty blue and green pom-pom trim. The room was designed with functionality in mind since the bed is a convertible crib that transitions from the infant stage to adulthood. It starts as an infant crib, converts to a toddler bed then moves on to a full size child/adult bed.

Vote for my Olioboard for the Poshtots contest!!

Link: Vote for my Olioboard for the Poshtots contest!!

You don’t need pastels in babies’ rooms. You are not limited to light pink for girls’ rooms, soft blue of boys’ room and yellow and green to be gender neutral. The design is inspired by the whimsical brightly colored owl fabric. We mixed a lot of visually interesting fabrics and textures. The fun comes in many different colors, such as turquoise and teal blues and vibrant tangerine. The bedding is custom designed and showcases a gorgeous and vibrant argyle print with whimsical eyelash trim bed skirt. The lime green shag rug and velour fleece crib sheets add tactile interest for a baby. The fun doesn’t stop at fabric in this room where there is a multicolored chandelier chosen for its design. The room is designed with functionality in mind since the bed is a convertible crib that transitions from the infant stage to adulthood. It starts as an infant crib, converts to a toddler bed then moves on to a full size child/adult bed.

Something to consider when picking paint colors in different rooms!

Red raises a room’s energy level. It’s a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure, speed respiration and heart rate. It is usually considered too stimulating for bedrooms, but if you’re only in the room after dark, you’ll be seeing it mostly by lamplight, when the color will appear muted, rich, and elegant. Red, the most intense, pumps the adrenaline like no other hue.

Crimson can make some people feel irritable. With red invoking feels of rage and hostility is a color that should be avoided as the main color of a room. Sitting for long periods of time in a room this color will likely breakdown any peace and harmony you are striving to create in your home. Ancient cultures used the color red to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.

Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. It’s perfect for kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms, where happy color is energizing and uplifting. In halls, entries, and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming.Yellow although is a cheery color is not a good choice in main color schemes of a room. People are more likely to lose their tempers in a yellow room. Babies also seem to cry more in a yellow room. This color tends to create feeling of frustration and anger in people. This color is the most fatiguing on the eyes. In chromotherapy yellow was believed to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.

Blue brings down blood pressure and slows respiration and heart rate. That’s why it’s considered calming, relaxing, and serene, and is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. Be careful, however: A pastel blue that looks pretty on the paint chip can come across as unpleasantly chilly when it’s on the walls and furnishings, especially in a room that receives little natural light. If you opt for a light blue as the primary color in a room, balance it with warm hues in the furnishings and fabrics.

To encourage relaxation in the rooms where people gather family rooms, living rooms, large kitchens consider warmer blues, such as periwinkle, or bright blues, such as cerulean or turquoise. Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main color of a room. When going with blue go for softer shades of blue. Dark blue has the opposite effect. Dark blue evokes feels of sadness. So refrain from using darker blues in your main color scheme. Stay with the lighter shades of blue to give you and your loved ones a calm effect.

Green is considered the most restful color for the eye. Combining the refreshing quality of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow, green is suited to almost any room in the house. In a kitchen, a sage or medium green cools things down; in a family room or living room, it encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness. In a bedroom, it’s relaxing and pleasant.Green also has a calming effect when used as a main color for decorating. It is believed to relieve stress by helping people relax. Also believed to help with fertility this is a great choice for the bedroom.

Purple in its darkest values (eggplant, for example) is rich, dramatic, and sophisticated. It’s associated with luxury as well as creativity, and as an accent or secondary color, it gives a scheme depth. Lighter versions of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring the same restful quality to bedrooms as blue does, but without the risk of feeling chilly.

Orange evokes excitement, enthusiasm and is an energetic color. While not a good idea for a living room or for bedrooms this color is great for an exercise room. It will bring all the emotions out that you need when jumping into your fitness routine.In ancient cultures orange was used to heal the lungs and increase energy levels.

Neutrals (black, gray, white, and brown) are basic to the decorator’s tool kit. All-neutral schemes fall in and out of fashion, but their virtue lies in their flexibility: Add color to liven things up; subtract it to calm things down. Black is best used in small doses as an accent , indeed, some experts maintain that every room needs a touch of black to ground the color scheme and give it depth.

To make the job easier, you can rely on the interior designer’s most important color tool: the color wheel.