Simple Steps

One Classy Baby! Putting a Sophisticated Nursery Together

One four year old girl loves her baby brother! Mom loves plaids and a vintage vibe so Creative Touch Interiors is going to put together a sophisticated nursery for this handsome little man. A new set of dark furniture can be tough to compliment with plaids – it’s important that the nursery look like it’s suited to a child and not old and stuffy like a man’s study. The solution is in the plaid:  use primary colors. Neutral walls allow the furniture and linens to take center stage. A vibrant red coverlet sets off the plaid pillows. Mom’s penchant for vintage has inspired a quest for the perfect accent; after speaking with a local artist we’ve picked out two vintage transportation posters that we are going to apply to the walls in paint. The colors on the artwork will be customized to match the palette of the room.

It’s important to keep big sister involved, too! Upon ripening to the young age of four she’s finally decided on her favorite colors – pink and lavender. Her nursery was originally blue and already has luxurious draperies so Peggy and her team will be utilizing their local artist to design a focal point in the inset archway that frames the bed; a stunning cherry blossom-like tree with pink and lavender flowers. The artist will also accent the iron headboard with pinks and lavenders to pull all of the colors together. The existing upscale bedding will be incorporated and new accent pillows will bring in the new colors. Since big sis is growing up so fast we are also adding a built-in desk for projects and homework! The project she is most excited about, though, is helping to take care of her new baby brother!

Once our project is complete we will post photos of these gorgeous rooms!

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How to Build a Nursery

Congratulations! Adding a new member to your family is one of the most exciting events that will happen in your life. Whether it is an addition to your own or you are getting a room ready for grandkids or guests it’s important to create a space for an infant that is safe and conducive to all of their activities! Here’s a step-by-step guide to putting a room together for your little one:

  1. Start with a bare space. Take every item in the room out, clean the windows, wipe down the sills and the baseboards. If we aren’t doing anything to the walls then I like to clean any scuffs off with Magic Eraser or another wall cleaning product.
  2. Decide whether you want to decorate incorporating the baby’s sex or if you want to keep it gender neutral.
  3. Create an inspiration board with photos that include colors, furniture styles, shapes, patterns, and motifs that you enjoy. Look at blogs, magazines, and books – skip the retail catalogues, they don’t get personal enough.
  4. Step back from your inspiration board. What do you like about each picture?
  5. Decide on your crib ensemble first. (bumper pad, dust ruffle, sheets, etc.)
  6. Based on what you’ve decided already, pick out your furniture:  crib, chest, changing table, and rocker/glider. What other additional storage might you need? A toy chest? A hamper?
  7. Outfit the bedroom closet. There’s no need to be able to fit adult size clothing in there! Leave enough hanging space for onesies and other adorably tiny clothes! Install shelves with bins and other organizing tools for the remaining clothes, itty bitty accessories, and bulk diaper containers.
  8. Decide on the theme of your room! Do you want to pass on your love of animals to your child? Perhaps your passion for the stars and planets! Thinking about a more sophisticated space? Try an english garden theme or a sailing theme where you can create a backdrop that’s more subtle and bring the theme to life through bright accents.
  9. Add color to the walls. Pick out wallpaper or a paint color that will work with your theme. Think about thick horizontal stripes – they will add color and pattern without being overwhelming. If you want to use wallpaper, keep it to a minimum so the room doesn’t get too busy. Consider bold graphics for a more sophisticated nursery!
  10. Take a sample from the wallpaper or fabric that you’ve chosen when you make your baby registry.
  11. Decide on the style and fabric for your window treatments – you want to pick something out that will have longevity so that your child can use them as he or she grows. Also, you might want to incorporate blackout curtains, shutters, or layer the fabrics in the window to reduce light for your infant.
  12. Creating a room on a budget? Utilize other furniture from your house, attic, or a donated piece from a friend then paint it and change the knobs to give it a whole new life.
  13. Don’t forget your bathroom! Install a high faucet (they start at $150) so baby can bathe comfortably.
Think about your baby in the long term – Crib4Life is a crib that can expand into a bed as your child grows!


The Importance of Networking

It is important to get to know your peers in any industry. What about other industries, though? The life of your career will end up touching people across every field. Making the most of those relationships can elevate your business to new heights through cross-promotion. Get creative and think about how you can team up with others to generate new business and clients by holding events together, sharing eblast lists, and offering discounts to each others client base.

One organization that I’ve become involved with in Houston is the River Oaks Women’s Breakfast Club. Each member represents one of the leading experts in her field and I feel incredibly privileged to be surrounded by such talented women! Our morning meetings provide the opportunity to promote business development, develop strategic contacts, and increase the visibility of professional women in the community. Each meeting includes amazing speakers, some from within our own community and others regional. Each woman has a streak of entrepreneurship, is successful and confident, supportive and dedicated. We also break up into smaller groups to share ideas about improving our business and discussing our shared interests. I love my group because it is a wonderful example of women supporting women.

I encourage every business person to reach out and do some networking this week! If you have a great example of how you network, please share it so that everyone can learn from your experience.


A Study on the Study

A home office requires a couple of necessities:  desk, filing cabinet, chairs, good lighting, and a bookcase. Putting together a home office for the a music label mega-mogul is slightly more complicated because we had to incorporate guitars, microphones, a sound system, rock star mementos, a lounge area and a conference table. Oh yeah, and the desk, filing cabinet, chairs, lighting, and many, many bookcases.

Many, many bookcases

This study was actually two rooms divided up into several different living spaces by activity. A conference table was placed under the expansive views of the rolling hills of Austin, two flatscreen TVs (complete with video game hookup), our client’s desk, and a lounge area with enough space for partial band setup. Not to mention the motherboard of a KILLER sound system that ran through the entirety of the house. From the study closet, you can control the sound of any room in the entire house and the outdoors area.

 

You can see sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country from the conference table.

 

An overview of the study

 

The décor for the office was just as unique. Gold and platinum records hung from the walls by artists such as Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Aerosmith, and George Strait. Simple and heartfelt details were added to the shelves to provide surprising details to any onlookers.

Heartfelt details adorn the shelves!

Gold and Platinum records adorn the walls

I have to admit – it WAS difficult to restrain myself from hopping on Twitter when I picked up the Taylor Swift Tour Book which included intimate details about her travels, but you have to give me SOME credit…I was a complete professional.

The room turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself! BUT, you don’t get to see the finishing product yet – you have to wait until we do our official unveiling in January!

Taylor Swift, too!


1 + 1 = 1? The Story of a Downsized kitchen

This homeowner downsized from 2 kitchens to 1 making space a premium in this seemingly enormous kitchen. When a home buyer enters an upscale kitchen such as this, it looks like it has all the storage space in the world. After working with Squared Away all week, I knew it was going to be a larger undertaking…

Still Packed

More boxes?

Knowing our homeowner isn’t Yao Ming, decisions had to be made. Evaluating every item for its’ significance and usefulness in the kitchen, the entire Creative Touch team and one VERY talented organizer got to work putting every item in its place. See the transformation for 2 homeowner foodie-types who are about to walk into kitchen paradise.

I find organization relaxing, don't you?

ALMOST done...


From Cluttered to Composed

Older homes pose a host of challenges, none more exciting than an odd-shaped room. Sometimes this room can be an old storage space that was finished or perhaps it gained its’ shape from enlarging an adjacent room during remodeling. Like that strange relative you don’t know where to seat at the party, it’s sometimes hard to find a way to incorporate this odd room into the rest of the home.  

A homeowner approached us with an L-shaped room recently; the room had such a tiny door opening – only 28 inches! It had become a repository for any old furniture that could fit and had been overrun with children’s toys making it difficult for adults to even enter the room.  

Like your wierd relatives, this room needs a makeover.

 

 

This odd, L-shaped room needed to function as a home office and a child’s playroom. This multi-functional space required measurements of all office equipment so that an autocad drawing could be created. Assessing the room I could tell, like that wierd relative, that it had redeeming qualities and all it needed was a quick makeover so it could fit in!  

The walls were painted a creamy yellow and a custom-built desk was commissioned to house the computer, shredder, files, and office supplies. (Thank you David Gunn and Gunn Construction!) The TV was then secured to the wall above a custom low-level cabinet which hide electrical components safely while open shelving stores fabric-lined baskets for toys and puzzles. Bright green bookcases also help to store children’s books and games. A pair of custom armless slipper chairs in a small-scale fit through the door, but are large enough so that an adult can sit in them without feeling like they are visiting their child’s elementary school classroom. The fabric is a classic – time-tested, 100% durable cotton in an adorable polka-dot pattern and accented with bright geometric pillows. (We added casters to the legs to allow for ease of mobility!)  

Toy organization is within reach of children. Let's hope they use it!

 

Gunn Construction created the custom desk pictured here to house all of the office items.

 

 

   


Design 101: Student for Life

Design school is a completely different world than the actual design world. Most of the projects you are assigned have no budget, or quite a large one, and the client is someone who you make up in your head. This means that everything you do in design school is on your own terms. There are no reminders to stay in budget and no possibility that your design concept could be limited or go unfinished. You do not have to contact anyone to find out pricing, timelines, contractor fees, or anything that you would normally do in a real job.  

I have more building codes in my head than I know what to do with!

 

In school, I am constantly filling my mind with information about building codes, the basic principles of design, and the latest trends. (I have more building and accessibility codes shoved in my brain than I know what to do with!) All of these things are extremely important but what we students tend to forget, is that in the real world none of the codes or latest design trends are as important as being able to communicate your design concept to a client. Can you come up with a design that will satisfy the contractor, builder, architect, and client in a technical sense as well as aesthetically? Can you train yourself to remember the clients’ timeline, how to write-up a quote for that accessory, and oh, did I pay that bill? Design school has provided a fantastic place to practice, but in the real world I have real money, a real client, and lots of pressure to do well so that maybe, just maybe, someone will hire me and help me make a career out of my passion.  

My internship with Creative Touch Interiors has taught me so much; Peggy has given me confidence, taught me how to maximize my business, communicate with clients, expect the unexpected, and to stay organized. All of these skills that I am amassing will aid in helping me to maintain a steady client base and will help me to grow my own company someday; I am truly excited to be gleaning aspects of business that will be constant. For everything else, it looks like I’ve got decades of learning ahead of me – and I’m thrilled to be a lifelong student.