Interior Design

Scenic Inspirations

Coastal Calm

Nothing sets the mood of a room like color.  Cool colors (blues, greens, violet combinations) promote tranquility.  Cool colors recede and are great for making a small room look larger.   Warm colors (orange, red, yellow combinations) advance projecting a feeling of comfort. Warm colors are used to make a big room feel cozier.  When deciding on paint colors and furnishings, consider both the size of the room and the mood that you want to establish.  A good tool is to use an inspirational image, either from a magazine, photograph or other source, that evokes an emotion that would like to translate to a room.

To illustrate this concept, I am using a photograph that I took in Key West.  I call this image “Taking Flight”.  While I love a great variety of design styles, one my favorite is “Coastal”. There is nothing like a beach scene to communicate coastal living.  Below the photograph is a mood board for a living room with paint and furnishings influenced by this image.  Share your inspiration and related mood board for your next project.


Taking Flight, photographed by Susan Haney

coastal calm.png

  1. Vanguard Hart Coastal Teal Coral Rope Back Ivory Armchair,
  2. Safavieh Cape Cod Natural/Blue Area Rug,
  3. Blossom Beguile I Indoor Decorative Pillow,
  4. Watery, Behr Marquee Paint
  5. Ava Slipcovered Sofa,
  6. Harlow Small Coffee Table: Gunmetal,
  7. Palecek Reyna Coastal Grey Stripe Cream Rattan Stool Table,
  8. Carol Benson-Cobb, Mesa’s End No. 2,
Interior Design

Design 101 – It’s Elemental!

The eight elements of design are:

  1. Line
  2. Form
  3. Color
  4. Value
  5. Texture
  6. Pattern
  7. Light
  8. Space

It is no coincidence that these eight elements are found in nature.  The outside world has an enormous influence on how we look at our interiors. In today’s blog let’s examine the first element – line.  Line leads the eye from one point to another.  Line within a room will create a specific mood.

  • Horizontal – like the horizon where the sky meets the sea, a horizontal line appears restful.
  • Vertical – lines that resist gravity, like a tall tree, give the appearance of strength.
  • Diagonal – similar to the slope of a mountain, diagonal line appears dynamic.
  • Curved – similar to shapes such as clouds or sand dunes, curved lines have a soft and sensory quality.

Here are examples of how we express line in nature and our interiors:linelines_2

So, you ask, what is the point of all this?  Using line correctly and balanced will establish the mood of the room.  Used incorrectly the room can look either monotonous or chaotic.  The trick is to mix and vary horizontal and vertical pieces to create a harmonious effect as seen in this example below.


Courtesy of Southern Living

Share examples of how you use line to set the mood in your home.

Interior Design

Interior Design 101

Let’s Start at the Beginning

Getting started on an interior design project can be overwhelming and even more so if you are new to it.  There are so many styles, colors and patterns that there is a good chance that you may love more than one.  The best way to start any project is with inspiration.   Utilize resources such as home décor magazines, websites, blogs and boutique stores with vignettes already imagined.  Depending on your preference, there are a couple different ways to capture your ideas:

  • Pinterest
  • Digital Folders
  • Physical Folders with clippings, photographs and print-outs

Once you feel that you have gathered enough inspiration, take a closer look to see what common themes begin to emerge.  In this common theme you most likely find your true style or combination of styles.  Narrow down the choices and create a mood board.

This is an example of an “inspirational” mood board that I put together for a kitchen that I am working on.  What I find helpful is to look at the colors, prints and styles all together to make sure they coordinate.  When something doesn’t fit it always stands out and gives you a chance to reconsider another choice before you are too far into the project. Have fun with this and share your creative process and inspiration mood boards.

mood board