Design & Lifestyle Blog

7 Dec ’12

Pantone Reveals Color of The Year 2013 | Trends


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PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, is the Color of the Year for 2013.

The 2012 color of the year, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony.

Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. Also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity, no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.

“The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”


22 Aug ’12

The Perfect French Napkin Fold | Table Setting

Anyone who would love to host guests would appreciate tips for the perfect table setting. Checking out Priya Krishna‘s post on the The Food Network made me want to share with you her tip for the perfect French napkin fold. This is a nice classy way a setting your cutlery and would save you the hassle of knowing which utensil goes on which side.I loved the idea of creating a pocket! Check the detailed steps next!


14 Feb ’11

Feng Shui Your Bedroom for Romance This Valentine’s

Feng shui, whether directly or indirectly, has become known worldwide and practiced by many people. With the introduction of “The Secret” and “The Power of Now” even more people have been exposed to the power of energy and positive thinking. What was once considered witchcraft and superstation has become a science we all live our daily lives by. In an earlier post I introduced you to the basic steps of Feng Shui and how to apply its principles around your home. Since it is Valentine’s, the day of love and romance, I thought I’d include some tips which can each be applied in 10 minutes or less to enhance your love life and attract it if it is missing. These tips are mainly to be applied to your bedroom and can be used by single or involved people. For clarification Ch’I is the “ flow of energy”, you will be reading this often in the below listed tips.


1 Jan ’11

10 Tips to Keep Your Home Odor-Free

You have to admit, first impressions can’t be undone. One of the worst encounters you may come across is: The Bad Smell. It’s the beginning of a new year, why not start with a post that’s all about new and fresh beginnings, a post full of tips for making your home smell fresh. I’ll indicate methods I’ve learned and used through the past years. You will be surprised at some of them.

Before spraying around Glade with the attempt to cover up the smells, you should figure out the origin of the odors. Areas to look in, carpet, upholstery (sofas & armchairs), garbage can, sink drain, old worn out furniture or cladding, pets etc… Once you do, you can start applying these tips.

The 10 tips to get rid of odor and to keep your house smelling great:

1- Carpet & Upholstery: Steam clean carpets once in a while, on other days sprinkle carpet odor removal powder or baby powder on your carpets, wait a while and then vacuum clean. Carpet can hold a large number of allergens and dust and this it must be cleaned by experts from Carpet Cleaning St. Matthews.  Clean sofas professionally, or use “Febreeze” a spray that removes odors from fabrics.

2- Garbage: Garbage should not overflow to be removed, remove bag as soon as possible, I know most people in the Arab world have help in the house, so no excuse there. All bathroom  and kitchen garbage should be removed every morning. Depending on household traffic, you might have to remove more often.


9 Sep ’10

Creating your Space: First step

As an interior designer and a former advisor at Jackson Contracting, Inc, I keep getting questions and inquiries for tips to improve a space, especially from people around me or who I visit for the first time. In many cases it puts me in an awkward position, they would be asking me about their curtain fabric, while their issues are at a much larger scale. Their curtain would be the least of their problems.

People should understand the designing your space is not just choosing nice furniture or fabric, its working on the vibe of the area. if you have issues in your life it will reflect in the space you live or work in and vice versa, its just how the universe works. From personal experience as well as experience with my clients, you are the one who creates the energy around you.

When I speak about energy, some people give me the look, “yeah just tell me if the colors match”, but energy is in everything around us whether we like it or not. To simplify, “sound” is energy, we all learned that in physics at school, yet we don’t see it. That’s how everything else affects us.

What the Chinese have known for thousands of years, has only reached the Western World recently. The study of the effect energy has on our behavior and surroundings and the other way around. This study is known as Feng Shui. Feng Shui is no secret anymore, although 12 years ago when I first came across a Feng Shui book and read it, it was considered something very new and difficult to comprehend or explain. But through daily practices and numerous readings, I found that Feng Shui is actually more common sense than a complex study.


The first rule of applying any update to your space is starting with clutter clearance. What is clutter? Clutter is piled stuff you haven’t used in a long time, it is piles of paper on your desk, it’s old shoes that don’t fit anymore in your closet, its clothes you haven’t worn in  years, its old Christmas cards that fill up boxes and boxes, its a broken 1984 stereo that you will never use again, its old cassettes and vinyl record you will never listen to again, its stuff you think your children will appreciate when you leave for them in your inheritance , and the list goes on… No matter how you try to enhance your living area or office you will never feel the change unless you get rid of that clutter and deal with the actual issues behind holding on to them. I don’t want to sound as a “preacher”, but trust me, my mom will read this and laugh remembering our endless fights to clean my room and get rid of my piled up unwanted “stuff”. 10 years ago I read a book called “ Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston and which changed my life. Personally I like all that’s eccentric and “out of the box”, its why I was interested in Feng Shui when almost no one I knew had heard of it. I bought magazines and books and applied as much as I could from them.

For anyone aiming at change in his/her life I recommend that book.It is the first step to refresh your life and aim at new beginnings. It did that for me. After reading it, piles of unwanted clothes, magazines, bills, meaningless sketches, were all taken out of my room (I was still living at my parents’ at the time). Instantly I felt everything around me fall into place. Just like a breath of fresh air. It was amazing.

Who Clutters?

According to Kingston, who is specialized in teaching the art of “space clearing”, the person who has clutter is mainly someone who keeps things “just in case”, others have identity issues and hold on to things they identify with and feel secure around such as gifts, many hold on to items as “memories”, all of which negatively influence us and keep us from moving on. It is difficult getting rid of clutter, but once you begin and see results you will be amazed at the results, this works every time. Try it with one small room and feel the difference in  at least a certain area of your life. Here comes the idea of how clutter in certain areas of your space affects specific zones of your life.

The Bagua

The Bagua is simply a diagram used in Feng Shui to correspond to the different aspects of your life in relation with an area of your personal space. You see, the name is complex, but the application is so easy it becomes second nature. below is a a very simple Bagua I got from Feng Shui for Real Life. Its a rectangle divided into 9 squares, each square corresponds to an area in your house, or room. You can use it for the entire apartment or for one single room at a time.

The first thing you have to do is sketch the outer line of your apartment or room, divide the space in 9 equal parts, you might have missing areas , its ok, and that’s how you know what each area corresponds to. That’s how you can start knowing where your problem areas are. For example, if you are having money problems, you might find there is something wrong with the room which is at the top left part of your apartment, the problems could be clutter, broken mirror, burnt out lights etc.. Always place the bottom part of your diagram aligned with entrance of your space.



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