Ideas for Children

As the somber, solemn president of Lifestyle Interior Design, an international interior design, and model home merchandising firm, I have enjoyed lighthearted times, particularly when I am designing children’s rooms in playful, color-driven materials, while seriously developing child-to-child and child-to-adult lay-outs formulated to engage and encourage interaction. Fun is work.

I consult with my custom home clients and/or their builders, developing comforting and amusing specs, shopping and purchasing—a little retail therapy–then overseeing the final installations. The experience gives me a tiny window of opportunity for good natured mischief — mine, of course, not theirs.

Horses Romp Through Her Dreams

We developed this room around a little girl's love of horses. Her horses romp through her dreams...sigh!

Ceilings play an important role in our children’s rooms: typically they are ignored but they can be significant not only to the appearance of a room–but also how they may affect emotions. How do we feel in a space: are we anxious, comforted; tranquil, ruffled, relaxed, energized?

Ceilings offer psychological meaning: they are the needed roof over our head. Our roof-ceiling is the ultimate residential shelter. It provides security. It defines our spatial relationships, desk-to-bed, for example. But in the end the ceiling offers us protection.

Aesthetically ceilings add interest to boxy, plain vanilla spaces. They can tell the story of that space. And they present an opportunity for a theme.

Ceilings can fool your eye too. They lower or raise the feeling of a ceiling in a room. A low ceiling should be lighter and brighter than the walls. Extra high ceilings should have intense color coatings, like the color of the night sky, or any high contrast that appeals to the wall color. If you have a vaulted ceiling you have interesting architecture, the first thing your eye goes to as you enter a room. Play up that architecture with contrasting color, or a thematic border that enhances the amusement aspect of the room. The border will attract the human eye to the edge, as opposed to the center, so it makes the room appear larger than it is.

Iridescent Night Sky

We installed the iridescent night sky on this high ceiling, visually lowering that ceiling, while lending color and contrast...and an opportunity for nighttime learning...about constellations.

 

A Comforting Canopy

A comforting canopy over this princess bed tucks the little child into her room

 

 

How to: Trim the pencil point canopy and window valance in contrasting tape. The valance and canopy reinforce each other and calm the space through continuity.

We re-covered the rocker with hand-painted canvas to keep this room playful. It balances the lively plaid pencil point bed skirt too. We installed a sconce over the bed and under the canopy to secretly allow relaxed reading before sleep. But what a “lift” for a little one to climb into a bed! — Three fully upholstered, cheery steps, stapled with room fabric scraps. The duvet cover is a production item, available in discount stores, machine washable ready to deal with oops! Paint walls and ceiling a white shade of pink to further animate a little one’s bedroom.

This was the "Before": That old rocker, the grey-pink wall color and the fabrics appear ready for a Granny, not a six year old.

 

Princess Room Drawing

Here's our Fabric Design for our Princess Room

 

 

Car-Car

Truck Bed Drawing

This is our drawing of a single bedroom window made active and amusing for a little guy.

 

 

Keep on Truckin

Trucks everywhere!--On the desk, --on the dress -- over the window. (He's getting ready to read "Road and Track") Those are real life trucker blades too. Oh, to sleep in a truck!

 

 

How to: Draw the truck concept to scale on brown craft paper; cut the headboard and footboard out of MDF; paint the “truck” in poster board colors; attach the painted segments to a steel bed frame and over the window, then install a set of real life truck wiper blades for authenticity—reality! This little boy is ready to go places. Keep on trucking little one!

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Sandra Elizabeth Clinger is an award-winning internationally recognized interior designer.  She holds a BA degree from the College of New Rochelle and an MA degree from Villanova University.  Today she is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and is recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as a Certified Active Adult Housing Specialist. She holds multiple distinctions including a national first place award for Historic Preservation and a Colorado Home of the Year Award. She is a 1970’s poster model for the Lange Ski Boot Co. selling over three million copies, one of which hung in the Vail home of the President and Mrs. Ford. Ms. Clinger has been hostess to the President and Mrs. Carter at her ranch in the High Country.

Her design work appears in over fifty publications and may be seen in two HGTV episodes. Ms Clinger is equally at home on the lecture circuit as she is comfortable at her computer: In recent years she lectured throughout the US on behalf of NAHB enjoying large attendance in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas. She has appeared on Denver radio talk shows. In her youth she was a television/ stage performer.

Her work is also featured in Ultimate Decorating (Publications International, Ltd.), Cabin Style (Publications International, Ltd.),  Today’s Historic Interiors (Schiffer Books) and soon to appear in Nursery Décor (Schiffer Books). Her design work has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazine, Mountain Living, Colorado Expression, Architecture and Design of the West and numerous additional publications. She has written for Victorian Sampler Magazine and other shelter publications and shelter industry periodicals.

Sandra Elizabeth Clinger M A,

Allied ASID, CAASH

Email your nursery questions to:

lifestyle@ecentral.com

Or simply reply to this blog.

Our answers will be helpful and free.

Lifestyle Interior Design is a full-service project management and interior planning firm serving the custom home client, the resort industry and the builder community.

New release on itunes

“Wary and Weary of Love” ™

David Alan Clinger and Kenny Passarelli

www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidalanclinger

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Today’s Historic Interiors

A Denver area interior designer was recently recognized for her contribution to the preservation and character of Historic homes.

In its publication, Today’s Historic Interiors, the publishing house, Schiffer Publishing Ltd, Atglen, Pa. features a rare transition between Victorian and Beaux-Arts Styles as designed and restored by Sandra Elizabeth Clinger of Lifestyle Interior Design. The chapter Denver Beaux Arts House describes this home, which has been modified and updated to accommodate the demands of present day life, in a full-color photographic essay.

Beaux-Arts HomeDenver Beaux-Arts Home

Today’s Historic Interiors, written by E. Ashley Rooney and Caroline Dunlop Millett, artfully represents a collection of inspired décor that will provide an endless supply of ideas for transforming yesterday’s old house to a dream home. Sandra’s design of this Denver home is prominently featured in their book.

Guest Bath with Marble Sink

Playful Guest Bath with Marble Sink Base

 

What Ashley and Caroline wrote:

The owners carefully researched the period and hired Sandra Elizabeth Clinger of Lifestyle Interior Design to create the layout, the lighting and electrical plan and develop the character of the home emphasizing Beaux-Arts Concepts. Clinger incorporated the owners’ collections and inherited works into the design…The living room ceiling features a grid of deep coffers in the Renaissance style that reflects the clearly articulated floor plan…”

Deep Coffers The Grid of Deep Coffers

Sandra designed this home in the curator manner—carefully, as she combined the homeowners’ art and antiques with modern conveniences, comfort and modern furnishings.

“It was an act of love on many levels,” notes Sandra, “the love of Colorado history with its unique period of Beaux-Arts architecture, the love of antiques and the love of the process of restoration. It hardly seemed like work at all.”

Today’s Historic Interiors showcases 338 color images of exterior and interior views of houses, apartments, hotels, restaurants, and other structures providing a wealth of ideas to preserve and build upon the character of Historic homes, demonstrating how renovating or

refashioning an older building increases the financial return on the initial investment and prevents unnecessary disruption of a neighborhood. Ashley and Caroline’s book sells for $49.99 and can be purchased through the publisher at www.schifferbooks.com, or through your local bookseller, as well as numerous online retailers.

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. is based in Atglen, Pa. on the Schiffer Book Farm. The company is known for publishing high quality Antique Arts, Architecture, Lifestyle, and Military History books.

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ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Sandra Elizabeth Clinger is an award-winning internationally recognized interior designer.  She holds a BA degree from the College of New Rochelle and an MA degree from Villanova University.  Today she is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and is recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as a Certified Active Adult Housing Specialist. She holds multiple distinctions including a national first place award for Historic Preservation and a Colorado Home of the Year Award. She is a 1970’s poster model for the Lange Ski Boot Co. selling over three million copies, one of which hung in the Vail home of the President and Mrs. Ford. Ms. Clinger has been hostess to the President and Mrs. Carter at her ranch in the High Country.

Her design work appears in over fifty publications and may be seen in two HGTV episodes. Ms Clinger is equally at home on the lecture circuit as she is comfortable at her computer: In recent years she lectured throughout the US on behalf of NAHB enjoying large attendance in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas. She has appeared on Denver radio talk shows. In her youth she was a television/ stage performer.

Her work is also featured in Ultimate Decorating (Publications International, Ltd.), Cabin Style

(Publications International, Ltd.), and soon to appear in Nursery Décor (Schiffer Books). Her design work has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazine, Mountain Living, Colorado Expression, Architecture and Design of the West and numerous additional publications. She has written for Victorian Sampler Magazine and other shelter publications and shelter industry periodicals.

Email your historic renovation questions to lifestyle@ecentral.com.

Or simply reply to this blog. Our answers will be helpful and free.

Lifestyle Interior Design is a full-service project management and interior planning firm serving the custom home client, the resort industry and the builder community.

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Searching for Mr. Switch Grass

After months of searching, you have finally settled on upholstery fabrics for your living room, dining room, and bedroom. Congratulations! You love the colors, the textures, the patterns and the weave. Everything harmonizes with everything else. You are decorating! Yes!

Excuse me, what is the performance quality of your selections?

“Performance quality,” you respond. “What is that?”

  • Has it passed flammability testing?
  • What is its break strength, resistance to seam slippage, color fastness, wet and dry crocking?
  • Has it passed Martindale or Weyzenbeek abrasion testing, and, if it has passed one or both rubs, what do those numbers mean? Do they count in your application?
  • Will the delivered colors be consistent with your sample; how many flaws are standard; will the image bow or skew (common with some Asian silks). If so, what percentage overage do you need for this factor?
  • Was antimony present in the plastic bottles in your post-consumer spun yarn?
  • Is anti-microbial for real? Uh, huh.
  • Was it made from switch grass, corn or is it truly organic fiber?
  • Was it made in America?

beds

Fabrics and wallpaper: Residence Collection courtesy of Thibault

Don’t know all the answers to all these vexing issues? Your top interior designer knows.

room

Private Residence: Cherry Hills Village, Colorado

Call us for information on your living room, dining room and bedrooms. Call us to coordinate your kitchen and bathrooms. We are a knowledge-based service, famous for our top of the line interior design ideas.

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Golden Rules of Granite Care

Leather
Tuscan
Caress

New names, new finishes, for modern granite countertops As interior designers we enjoy these new soft natural textures, pleasing to the eye, and projecting lower glare. As homeowners you deserve exquisite beauty and the highest standards of performance, so I offer you are a few simple steps to maintain your natural stone dream.

  • Minimize dirt and grit that may scratch.
  • Use a top-protector sealer on granite.
  • Over use of soap may leave a film.
  • Avoid scouring creams that may scratch, and ammonia that may dull the surface.
  • Remove stains with a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Repairs and polish should be handled by a professional.

Do you have questions about natural stone? Email you concerns to lifestyle@ecentral.com or simply reply to this blog. We will seek the response of skilled artisans and suppliers on your behalf.

New release: itunes
“Love on the Phone” tm
David Alan Clinger
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidalanclinger

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Tips on Organization

“If you are in the process of selling your home deduct 5%-15% for clutter!”
Douglas Hedings, Realtor

Wallpaper: Costello Collection courtesy of Thibault

Denver interior designers are continually confronted by clients’ disorganization and overload of “stuff.” I must admit organization is a daily effort. Personally I set aside two periods in every day just to “put away:” Each morning, before I fully awaken (something comes along in the middle of the night and messes-up my house), and, each evening after supper.

If you are underwater, drowning in “stuff” the best interior design advice I can give you is: hire an organizer. I interviewed Nina Solo, Professional Organizer, on this universal household issue.

“The reasons people are disorganized are as varied as the individual. If you don’t understand the reasons your things have taken over your home, you won’t have long term success,” Nina warned. She cited multiple reasons for disorganization:

  • Emotional attachment to things: especially children’s/parents’ things, family heirlooms, collections.
  • Filling a void in your life with stuff.
  • Using stuff as a control tool.
  • An unconscious fear of being without.
  • Lack OF ABILITY TO STAY FOCUSED. This is a big reason. Not seeing the value in organization. Stage of life: little children or elderly household members.
  • Lack of skill to organize.
  • Lack of a system for organization.

“Typically it is a combination of reasons,” she further advised. “Sometimes you do not know until you get help.”

“Moving things from one area to another does not accomplish a lot. Sort things out, and get rid of things on a regular basis,” Nina suggested.

“Filling containers with stuff is not organization, even if the containers match.” Oh!

“Organization is a plan, a system, an ongoing process.”

“We train ourselves to follow a system to drive a car,” she noted. “We do this for our own safety and protection. Therefore, anyone can follow a system; follow rules of organization in a home–to protect them:

  • From embarrassment.
  • From unnecessary time loss.
  • From poor self esteem.
  • For your health and safety.

As we age we need established systems of organization so we need less help.  It is not simple, but it is doable. And it is valuable and satisfying as we live an organized lifestyle.”

Nina Solo, ngsolo@comcast.net…or just pick up the phone and call her at 303.909.0904.

If you are trying to sell or sublet your home it is imperative that you collect your clutter so the prospective purchaser can figuratively “step into your life.” Call me if you need help and I will direct you toward appropriate resources.

~ ~ ~

As an interior designer I am commonly confronted by the perched and the scattered.  I make an effort to utilize most materials my clients have on hand: their collections, heirlooms and souvenirs–as points of focus, developing room to room consistency, rhythm, repetition and strong sight-lines.

After I contracted to develop the interiors of The Redstone Inn Chalet, I faced an attic full of historic Stickley and Stickley-style furniture plus regional art: an old umbrella stand, luggage racks, copper lighting, school chairs with rush seats–a very important collection I was informed. I am a strong fan of adaptive reuse, so I am never daunted by a challenge. It came together like this:

The Redstone Inn Chalet: www.redstoneinn.thegilmorecollection.com

Note the re-use of the antique luggage rack as a cocktail table with a 1” polished edge glass top, and the color palette driven by the Redstone artist, Frank Mechau, painting above the fireplace.

~ ~ ~

Collections can be daunting, particularly when it involves a lifetime interest in ancient artifacts. I wouldn’t want to walk under this perch! Would you? Yikes!

Fortunately, the homeowner let us design a new artifacts center for collected treasures, with well-lit spaces for each artifact in this collection. The center also served as a transition between the entry foyer and the kitchen. The finish materials are compatible with the other main spaces in this home.

Ancient Artifacts Multiple Purpose Center

Vision differences were accommodated through color contrast, more than two digits on the gray scale, to increase the imagery of the objects. High gloss, low-voc cover in heritage red was purposely chosen as part of the visual spectrum available to our homeowner. The crimson hue also enhanced the antiques. The ceiling was coated in super white to bounce more ambient light onto the artifact surfaces.

The cabinet itself defined boundaries and contrasted with the painted surface and glass shelves. The shelves offer crisp, clean, simple contrast to the complex forms. The cabinet drawers store gloves, scarves and other entry-appropriate items. The stainless steel pulls are scaled for aging-in-place.

~ ~ ~

Collect your clutter into vignettes of like-kind objects.

Wall-Hung Collection

A favorite Granny inspired this cabinet design

Our homeowner inherited an international-travel jug collection. It had been scattered throughout the home on/in/under objects. We displayed the miniature jugs in this glass sided cabinet, lit by a single recessed puck light, against a faux finished wall. The faux finish was scaled to the jugs. The single light, operated on a dimmer, added drama to the balance of the space.

Email your organization questions to
lifestyle@ecentral.com
Or simply comment on our blog
Our answers will be helpful and free.

New release: itunes
“Love on the Phone” tm
David Alan Clinger
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidalanclinger
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A Tiny Mountain Sanctuary

The Redstone Inn Chalet

Inspired by the Craftsman Movement

Timeless Design … Inspired by You …

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Dedicated to your Dream

Craftsmanship: Superb work by superb artisans

Quality: Rare, collectible, refined

Service: Unique sense of style

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Denver Design Trends Mark A Way Of Living

KITCHENS YOU CAN LIVE-IN WITH THE VERY BEST TECHNOLOGY

 

Note this countertop edge treatment called a “full bullnose edge.”
The edge treatment can inspire your kitchen interior design.

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This countertop edge treatment is called a three-inch “eased edge.”
Edge detail may coordinate and define your kitchen style.

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Powder Rooms Make a Dramatic Decorating Statement

Spare and modern touches offer collection coordination in home decorating.

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Past and present combine with glass-on-glass installation.
This suite of materials reflects this home design.

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Distinctive Colorado Living

A modern residential interior remodel combines and contrasts old world flooring with crisp contemporary furnishings. Note the edge treatment on this breakfast table.

FYI: This table is American made in Brooklyn, New York!

~~~

 

Rough hewn comfort in a living room.

Denver homes feel as good as they appear. They offer “good bones” and timeless materials ready to define your lifestyle with sublime distinction.

  • Commit yourself to a fresh comfortable and organized home graced by superb interior design that is authentically yours.
  • Follow your passions and organize your collections to develop interior design ideas that support your vision.
  • Tell us about your edge treatment details.
  • Do you have interior materials you would like to coordinate to bring your home decorating up-to-date?
  • More about collection coordination in our next post.
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Do It Once

Timeless Design … Inspired by You …

once

DO IT ONCE

I am a highly skilled technician, an interior designer by trade. Some see this as glamorous. Designers handle exquisite, sensitive objects. We demonstrate impressive taste in the art of couture living.

Good design is not easy. The design process from start to finish is an unveiling of your wants and needs, a collaborative process. Designers practice the art of listening and we take time to spend with you.

Nobody needs an interior designer, of course, until one tries to do it oneself:

  • Tired of moving furniture? Your husband is. GRRRNT!!! Designers locate furniture by the inch on lifespan living floor plans. Hire a designer and your pieces will stay in place for years, probably save your marriage. Added benefit: the kids stop bumping into the furniture.
  • Is your home timid? Flat? Designers use color as room accents or in small unexpected places to define and shape space giving your home animation and spirit.
  • Do you have too many colors, too many patterns, too many centuries? Does your home fly-off in unrestrained directions? Designers take a single, consistent approach avoiding contradictions.
  • Are your rooms visually raucous? Are they talking back to you, piercing your brain?Designers develop visual focus, balance, composition, and keep it interesting.
  • Are your eyes dim? Are your rooms murky? Designers apply techniques of proper lighting. We know “bulbs” grow in the ground; they are not planted in light fixtures.
  • Are you a squirrel? Confess. Do you store, stockpile, hoard? Do you have too much stuff? Designerscreate function and flow that will persuade you to release, to keep it simple. Un-mass your house! Less is more in accessories and furniture.

I ask a lot of questions: How do you want to use each space? Who lives here, full time, part time, sometimes? How do you work, live, play in your home? What are your special considerations, any special needs?

What will it take for your home environment to become a physical partner with you as you live/work/play within your walls?

Based upon your responses I guide you, then bundle your answers into a functional plan. I steer you toward what would work for you and what reflects your unique freshly-revealed lifestyle. Turn your dream home into reality. It’s your story after all.

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