California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Space Planning, CAD, and Hernia's


















Space planning is a term used in the design process to describe what goes where.  The first and foremost hallmark of a good designer is their use of space.  Many other elements and tools come into play but at its basis, the room and furthermore the house will look and feel amateurish if the rooms don't have enough breathing space between walls and objects, and if the rooms don't flow together.


















The room above is an excellent example of space planning.  You see balance in the sofa and adjacent chairs.  There is plenty of space between coffee table and seating.  Only one slight criticism, the exit isn't as accessible as it could be but there is room to get out behind to the chairs.  In space planning you sometimes have to make those concessions.  The overall feel of the room is one of comfortable, appealing balance.


















I love the watery colors shown in the room above.  Notice the contrasting darker welt on the sofas and the darker band on the lamps shades.

There are three main types of floor plans: closed plans, which divide spaces into separate rooms, open plans which provide a minimum of fixed walls, and horizontal and vertical plans which are plans that are divided into one or more storied structures.


















Overstuffed cushions, print on print rugs, luscious use of color, and a strong focal point window give this room it's strong appeal.  I am so into the whole British cozy thing again!  Granted this room is an Americanized version. Even better.






















I have always done my own furniture arranging for clients.  I've been known to move a sofa a mere two or three inches to get it just right.  Those days are over for me, having had two hernia related surgeries recently.  I am from here on out relying on my assistants for that.























CAD or computer assisted drafting is a great tool for every job I do pertaining to space planning as well as windows, doors, ceilings, floors, kitchen and bath design, and even landscaping.  I am currently using the 9.0 version of Chief Architect and I feel it is pretty comprehensive.  The cabinet maker I work with uses a more sophisticated program which he brings to projects on his laptop.


 A bubble diagram is a first step in designing a floor plan or planning furniture placement. They can be easily  redone over and over again as areas are planned and refined.  They are loosely drawn, free form bubble shapes which roughly outline different spaces.






Working with an interior designer or architect on new construction or a remodel is something to consider particularly if you don't have good spacial sense.  Contractors are good at building but as we know an architect or interior designer is needed if another level of quality is to be achieved.






















The living room is my favorite room in the house to plan.  I always start a residential design project with the living room and work my way out. Next comes the entry, next the dining room, then the master bedroom, home office, and guest rooms.  I firmly believe a home should have proper formal living and dining rooms.

I don't care for homes in which the living room and kitchen occupy one room.  I believe this has contributed to America being a television nation.  Formal living and dining rooms give us a much needed reason to remember our manners.


















In furnishing a living room, determine the quantity and sizes of the main pieces needed to furnish your room. After you and your designer have chosen paint colors for walls, ceiling, and trim, and the flooring is in, you can purchase in this order, your...

1) Anchor piece such as a large cabinet
2) Sofa and main armchair frames
3) Fabric for sofa, chairs, pillows, and window treatments
4) Secondary seating areas
5) Antiques
6) Occasional tables
7) Table and floor lamps
8) Accessories and greenery


















Remember my rules of thumb, mix old and new pieces, masculine and feminine.  This will help your design scheme stay in style indefinitely with only occasional updates. 


Photo credits Wade De Mattai, Al Peters, Elle Decor

Friday, December 24, 2010

CHRISTMAS DECORATING chez shiree'

It is good to be back!  Since my last post, I have recovered from two intestinal surgeries and it certainly is good to be out of the hospital and on my feet again.

I am designing residential interiors for three clients, writing, doing a travel report for Magazine C, decorating my home for Christmas, and cooking my family's Christmas Eve dinner. I have included the menu in this post.

I almost never do Christmas decorating in an organized fashion.  Instead, I simply take a few items out of each room and replace them with lots of greenery, red ribbons, wreaths, faux ornamental fruits and vegetables, and a few Christmas novelties like Christian's childhood Christmas books, bottle brush trees, and the Santa's I've collected over the years.

Osage orange in a vintage looking bowl with holiday beverages above.

The hand painted, iron Santa looks unassuming next to my wedding silver and platter from a trip to St. Remy Provence, France.

















A primitive Santa, a large vase of holly, and my favorite antique stoneware soup tureen looking pretty in the morning light.

A simple pine bough wreath with pine cones hangs on my arched front door.  The iron framed window has a clubs and spades motif which is repeated throughout the house.























Christmas Eve Dinner

Champagne Mimosa's

Warm seasoned cashews
Strawberries
Baguette with cumin, garlic, balsamic vinegar dipping sauce

Prime rib roast with garlic, bay, and horseradish
Roasted new potatoes with fresh chives
Butterleaf salad with red pears, peppercorn bacon, toasted pecans
and Meyer lemon vinaigrette

Chocolate mousse with raspberries

Merry Christmas to all! 

With warmest gratitude, Shiree' Hanson Segerstrom

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Postponement

Dear Readers,

I hope this finds you all well and getting into the spirit of the season.  I will be taking a few weeks off due to medical issues but will resume posting at Joy of Nesting very soon.

Blessings to everyone!

Shiree Hanson Segerstrom

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