Five Surface Treatments for the Fearless: Beyond Paint & Wallpaper

26. March 2014

In some of my previous posts I’ve talked about the two most common ways to enhance walls – using paint (see the posts on Painting 101: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3) and wallpaper (see To Wallpaper or Not to Wallpaper?)

Continuing the conversation, here are 5 alternatives for those special applications where a 2-dimensional color/pattern just won’t do. All of these options are available in the US and can be used for both residential and commercial applications:

1. Paperforms – 3D Wallpaper Tiles

These beautiful modular tiles are made of 100% pre and post consumer waste paper and come in 12″ squares. Installation Instructions can be found here and are as easy as using double sided tape for temporary installations or wallpaper paste for more permanent ones. Because it comes in modules, damaged tiles are easily replaceable without waste.


2. 3-form Profile Panels
Profile is a modular system which gives you the flexibility of selecting 4′x8′ panels or individual tiles. 14 patterns and 18 different finishes are available making it suitable for a variety of applications.
3. Offecct Soundwave Acoustic Panels
These gorgeous lightweight sound absorbing panels are made of recycled moulded polyester fibre and come in 24″ squares. The product is available in the United States and is manufactured in Sweden.
Soundwave panel swell
Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 8.10.38 PM
4. Unika Vaev Ecoustic Panels
These felt acoustic panels are tackable and come in a variety of thicknesses depending on the sound absorption requirements of the space. The panels are available in some amazing geometric patterns and sizes of 8′-11″ x 3′-11″.
5. Wall Art by Submaterial
Submaterial is a New Mexico based company which handcrafts some unique felt wall coverings as well as wall hangings both of which offer great textural quality.




So what do you guys think of these bold choices for your walls? Let me know in the comments!

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Categories: Art, Interior Design | Tags: , , , | 9 comments

A Home Lighting Makeover

25. February 2014

2014 began with some changes for consumers on the light bulb front in the US. Due to more stringent regulations, the 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs of the past (which generate light through a filament source) were put to rest. Longer lasting, higher efficiency incandescent bulbs are now out in the market. This great article over at Remodelista breaks the changes down in great detail.

As a designer I understand the importance of good lighting and what a difference it can make to how you feel in a space. So of course I was curious about this new generation of bulbs and couldn’t wait to test them out! Here’s the bulb used for this review:

GE-Lighting-Halogen-Reveal-75-Watt-Package-400x400 copy

I have to say I wasn’t expecting to see such a noticeable difference in my humble rental abode.

After installing the GE Reveal Halogen bulbs, we’ve been using our living room for longer hours and were inspired to reorient some of the furniture to make the space more conducive to reading/working. It almost feels like a new space now!

Lighting makeover_before after
Here’s what I noticed and you’ll be able to see this in the shots above:

  • These bulbs filter out the unsettling yellow-ish color seen in the ‘Before’ shot.
  • The light emitted resembles day light which I really like. The color seems to fall somewhere between a fluorescent and halogen which is a good balance in my view!
  • My living room and all the objects/furniture it contains look cleaner and sharper.

Not to mention the bulbs use $28% less energy which would definitely amount to some savings if your fixtures use multiple bulbs like mine. Apart from the above, the GE Reveal family of fixtures have a variety of options depending on what you use: LEDs, CFLs, track and recessed light bulbs as well as vanity and pendant light bulbs. You can find more information on them here.

At the end of the day you should decide what kind of lighting is most functional and appealing for your space and I hope this review is helpful to all of you in making that decision :)!

Disclosure: I received the GE Reveal Halogen Bulbs free of charge from GE Lighting. No monetary compensation was received for this review and the opinions expressed here are my own.

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Win a box of GE Reveal Halogen Bulbs and a $10 Target Gift Card

17. February 2014

Update: Thanks a bunch for participating everyone! The winner has been selected randomly via Rafflecopter and the box of GE Reveal Halogen Bulbs + $10 Gift card will be shipped to: Soha M., congrats Soha!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great lighting is the cherry on top in any space, even the most well designed spaces can look drab without the right lighting. I’ll be posting my review on the GE Reveal Halogen bulbs soon and wanted to give all my readers a chance to win a pack of these (along with a Target gift card) this week! The give away closes next week on February 24th and I’ll be posting the name of 1 lucky winner here (selected randomly).

Here’s some useful information and the guidelines to enter:

Discover how GE reveal® light bulbs bring out colors & patterns that can go unnoticed. GE reveal® bulbs provide amazing clean full spectrum light that filters out the dull yellows of standard incandescent light bulbs.


GE reveal® light bulbs are now available at Target and with great savings using Target’s Cartwheel savings app. With the app, you can browse for savings ahead of shopping or while at Target, you can scan the barcode of any product to see if there is a Cartwheel saving. Download the Target Cartwheel app on your IOS or Android.

You can find a current discount on Cartwheel for 25% off reveal by searching for “GE reveal”. Offer expires 2/28You can also print and use the following coupon for even more savings:
$2 off GE reveal at Target - Expires 2/8

Here’s a video featuring four tastemakers discussing the importance of good lighting and how quick and easy it is to do a reveal® lighting makeover.

You can win the makeover experience by entering this contest. Just share this post on your social networks and let us know which room you would like to makeover with GE reveal® light bulbs!

To Enter:
1. Must be U.S. resident
2. Share this blog post on your social media and comment below.
3. Tell us which room you’d like to makeover. Here’s an example:
If I win #GEreveal bulbs+ #Target gift card, I’ll makeover my _____ with reveal’s beautiful clean light!
4. Hashtag #GEreveal + #Targetgiftcard

Enter this giveaway here!

* GE and Target are only providing the product and not running the giveaway.

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Categories: Giveaway, Lighting | Tags: , , , , | 15 comments

Emotional Retail Design

05. February 2014

While attending the Retail Design Show recently, I was treated to an inspiring talk by the Creative Director of Antwerp based design firm Pinkeye. As I’ve been designing various retail spaces, I really connected with what Rudd had to say about the role of design in the retail landscape. In fact, I think the ideas he shared are applicable to the design of any space. Here’s a summary of the talk combined with examples which I think illustrate the ideas well.

The Evolution of the Retail Landscape:

Whether it’s a service or a product, over the last decade retail brands have evolved from being transactional to making emotional connections with their costumers and cultivating brand loyalty. They’ve also come to realize the new generation of consumers have more choices than ever before and aren’t swayed through traditional advertising/marketing gimmicks. Social media makes it quick and easy for consumers to share feedback among friends and fellow customers. When customers love a brand they share that emotion with their friends, family and peers. In essence, businesses must re-evaluate their engagement with the customers both in their physical and online space.

What does this mean for a designer?

It means a functional, ergonomically designed space which meets the program and budget is the bare minimum. In order to stand out and make a lasting impression, the entire retail experience needs to be designed consciously - from the moment someone enters a store, their interaction with the salesperson, till they purchase a product and walk out of the store. We need to immerse ourselves in the experience a customer will have, think about how he/she will feel and find opportunities for improvement. We can create the environment which helps a brand make that emotional connection with the consumer.

  • It’s essential for a design team to understand the brand and it’s values and let their findings inform the design process. This video illustrates that well and reveals the successful collaboration between McEvoy Ranch (an olive oil retailer) and Gensler who designed their store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

  • This project designed by Pinkeye is a great example of finding an opportunity for improvement and grabbing it! The Wasbar Launderette in Ghent is a laundromat which has been combined with a bar and hair salon. Customers can get a haircut while their laundry gets done or better yet, have a drink with a friend! The design of the space is equally charming sporting recycled furniture and vintage drawers which display the menu:


7. Pinkeye WASBAR

Wasbar Laundrette, Ghent (By Pinkeye)

  • The following example is an employment agency called Start People in Belgium which was re-designed by Pinkeye who treated it more like a hospitality project than a retail/office space. The result is a casual space and a pleasant experience for it’s visitors as opposed to a feeling of discomfort at the idea of visiting a staffing agency:
The transparent facade gives a clear visual of what to expect inside and creates an inviting feeling for the customer.

The transparent facade gives a clear visual of what to expect inside and creates an inviting feeling for the customer.


A bar/coffee shop inspired area for job seekers to search the system or discuss opportunities with consultants makes the experience comforting.

A bar inspired area for job seekers to search the system or discuss opportunities with consultants makes the experience seem as casual as visiting a coffee shop, hence less daunting.


This waiting area for costumers who have a complaint/feedback is inspired by hotel lobbies and will certainly take the edge off!

This waiting area for costumers who have a complaint/feedback is inspired by hotel lobbies and helps to take the edge off!

I hope this post will be helpful to fellow retail designers and want to end it with a great quote by Maya Angelou which Rudd used in his talk:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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‘Tis the season to be jolly and make Wreathes!

17. December 2013


It’s the holiday season and the merriment has begun all around! As the hubby and I are off to Seoul to visit his parents for the rest of this year I wanted to spend this past weekend doing my two favorite things: catching up with some dear girl friends and getting my craft on! In between sipping a glass of wine (or two ;P), catching each other up on the latest life stories and listening to holiday tunes we made these wreathes:

 Wreathe Adventures 2013! - 6

Inspired by this incredibly beautiful burlap wreathe posted at Darling Street, we made our own unique versions! Our local Michaels store had burlap fabric available in a variety of patterns from daisies to Parisian motifs, I picked the fun polka dotted one to wrap around the foam ring:

Wreathe - 3

We easily secured the burlap using nails and the rest was all about adding our own unique personality to the wreathes!

Wreathe Adventures 2013! - 1 copy

Hope this inspires your own holiday creation and that you have a merry time ahead :). Thanks again for reading and see you all again in 2014!


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Chic Chairs for Entertaining

11. December 2013

Today I’m excited to welcome a guest from the Arcadian Home Blog on PFOD! With the holiday season in full swing, I’m sure many of you are planning to entertain family and friends in the coming weeks. While you focus on planning the perfect menu for your guests, Mari from Arcadian Home is here to solve your seating conundrums with some great examples of chic chairs for entertaining. (Arcadian Home is an established retailer of furniture, lighting and other home accessories.) 

I hope you enjoy the post and have a delightful holiday season!

Hello, everyone! I’m Mari, here with a guest post from Arcadian Home blog. It’s a great place to find interior design inspiration for everything from beautiful buffet lamps to decorative pillows for the sofa or bed.

Today’s topic is chairs, specifically chic modern chairs that are perfect for entertaining. I’ve pulled together eight rooms with chairs that are beautiful and work well while making guests comfortable. Please enjoy!

Thanks to Charu for letting me visit for a bit.

~ Mari

Chairs for Entertaining

Ghost chairs are perfectly suited to large gatherings as they take up very little visual space making any room they’re in seem larger than it is. Here these clear armchairs work well around a long narrow dining table.


Chairs for Entertaining

Armless Ghost chairs look chic and elegant encircling a white Tulip table. Notice how light and airy the room feels giving lots of space to mingle.


Chairs for Entertaining

Bertoia wire chairs are also visually light, offering comfortable seating without impeding guest movement around the space. A modern pendant light in pure white is a great design choice over the sleek contemporary table.


Chairs for Entertaining

Dark and handsome Panton chairs may not be as light and airy as acrylic or wire chairs but they certainly are beautiful and comfortable. A conversation starter at any gathering.


Chairs for Entertaining

White Eames Eiffel chairs play well with other seating including an unexpected wide indoor swing. This large space is wonderful for entertaining.


Chairs for Entertaining

The Ant chair and its many look-alikes, one of which is seen here, offer another seating option that works beautifully in large or small spaces. These chairs are shapely, comfortable and space-efficient.


Chairs for Entertaining

Some chairs are designed with large-scale entertaining in mind. These beauties are eye-catching and stackable, which means they are perfect as extra seating for parties. When not in use they can be easily stacked in a closet or storage area.


Chairs for Entertaining

With simple table decor and desserts all set out, it seems a party is in progress. This great mix of modern chairs is tied together by sunny yellows hues.

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of these chic chairs? Leave us your thoughts below and stop by our blog for delightful home decor, mini pendant lighting and interior inspirations!

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A Children’s Day Treat: Inspiring Illustrations by Smita!

20. November 2013



I’ve always been passionate about art and children and this is what drew me to Smita’s Illustrations after meeting her in Singapore. Smita works as a press manager by day and an illustrator for non profit organizations by night! As you’ll see in some of the illustrations below, she narrates powerful stories of children and women who triumph against all odds. Her work has enriched children’s books, postcards, products and now an app for a children’s story is in the pipeline too!

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 12.22.52 PM


dancing-girl3 copy

productsI love the colors and soothing quality in all of her work but her initiative ‘mY FaTHer illustrations’ is my favorite. The series is dedicated to all the fathers around the globe who stand up for their children’s rights, especially for their daughters. She regularly illustrates amazing stories submitted to her by her readers through her facebook page and website. Among those illustrations is the story of Malala Yousafzai who won the International Children’s Peace Prize this year:


I can’t help but respect and admire how Smita uses her creative energy to spread positive stories about fathers who actively empower their daughters. She believes one positive story can create another and I couldn’t agree more! Looking forward to many more stories through Smita’s sketches.

Happy Universal Children’s Day everybody!

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