Thursday, February 28, 2008

Designer Showcase

I was lead designer in this showcase of homes project. My project was the master suite, consisting of the sitting room, bedroom and master bath. Proceeds went to support the local symphony.

This was quite a large bedroom, I selected this floral print which showcased 26 colors in the pattern. I then used red, green, yellow and purple as my accent colors. A small room could not handle this large pattern, this allowed the room to have a warmer feeling. First I choose a pale yellow and faux painted the walls which were originally white. I added the light fixture, replaced the carpet from a dark brown to an off white bringing out the background of the fabric. The table skirts and drapes are lined in a pale yellow and green stripe creating a garden escape feeling. There was a surrounding patio which displayed a flower garden making this room feel an extension of the garden.

The sitting room sofa was upholstered in the same yellow and green stripe and the floral pattern lined with the same stripe was then carried through on the half draperies which were displayed on a swing rod giving the room a three dimensional look allowing more view to the garden.

When working with a large room, as you can see, color and a lot of it works!!! The room has a clean fresh yet romantic feel with a softness to reflect a mellow yet fun mood.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Psychology of Colour

Today I want to emphasise the importance of colours in our lives, how colours can bring excitement or how harmonious colours bring calm and balance.

When you enter a room, see someone walking toward you on a street, or look up at a billboard while stuck in a traffic jam, the first thing you notice is colour. The yellow walls in a child's room make you smile, the red of a woman's coat catches your eye, the orange background of an advertisement grabs your attention. Would you jump into a swimming pool if the pool is in orange or red? This very clearly tells us how greatly colours affect us.

( summary extracted from the book " The Complete Color Harmony"


- True red is the most vibrant, compelling colour in the spectrum, expressing excitement, speed, power, joy, danger and passion.

- Red attracts immediate attention and brings objects or images to the foreground.

- Red makes people feel warm. Coffee will seem hotter in a red cup than in a blue one.

- Red is the first colour you lose sight of at twilight and is not well seen at a great distance.

- Barn, claret, and crimson reds are considered regal, exclusive, and strong and have great appeal for men.


You crave excitement and like to live in the moment. Easily bored, you also enjoy having the power to get things done quickly. Red lovers are passionate about life.


- Yellow is psychologically the happiest colour in the spectrum, associated with warmth, optimism, and joy.

- Yellow visually pops out at you, making it the most noticeable colour. It's therefore a favourite for signs and product packages.

- Yellow stimulates clear thinking. Black type on a yellow ground is the most legible colour combination and aids in memory retention.

- Yellow adds vitality to other colours, making hot hus appear even more brilliant and bringing cool colours to life.

- Overexposure to bright yellow can be unsettling. Paler hues are better for socializing, whereas gold tones signify wealth.


You are generally happy, playful, and optimistic. If something isn't working in your life, you quickly seek to change it. Spontaneous, you have boundless curiosity.


- Orange is stimulating, energizing colour that appears friendly, outgoing, cheerful and adventurous.
- Bright orange has a very high visibility, making it ideal for warning signals or grabbing attention, even when used in small amounts.

- Easier on the eye, autumnal and spicy oranges are warm, exotic, and appetizing, while peach tones are most flattering to the skin.

- People who wear orange are thought to be creative, enthusiastic, and fun to be with, but possibly also a bit irresponsible.

- Because of its playful, active qualities, orange is a favourite of children, teens, and athletes.


You are gregarious, dynamic and fun to be with. Flamboyant by nature, you don't mind sticking out in a crowd. You have a great appetite for life and food.


- Pale green is physically the most relaxing and calming colour in the spectrum. As the easiest colour on the eye, it can improve vision.

- Vibrant greens remind people of the spring, nature, life, and youthful energy.

- Darker greens are associated with stability and growth, suggesting high economis status and success.

- Green is the worldwide symbol for safety. Green also means go.

- People who wear green are thought to be kind, dependable, and generous.


You long to feel safe and make the world a better place for others. You are generous with your time and goodwill, but also can be stubborn about issues that are important to you.


- Blue is the best liked of all colours and is a particular favourite of men.

- Practically all our associations with blue are positive, making it an uplifting and peaceful colour.

- Navy blue commands respect, representing loyalty, trustworthiness, fidelity, and integrity.

- Blue can make a space appear larger, and time seems to pass more slowly in its presence.

- Deep blue is associated with opulence in many cultures, and when you are the best, you get a "blue ribbon".


You like a sense of calm and order in your life. Trustworthy, you also value loyalty in others. Sky blue attracts pleasure-seekers and daydreamers, while navy appeals to the serious and conservative.


- Royal purple exudes class, power, passion, sensuality, and luxury.

- Deep plum is spiritual and mysterious, with a serious dignified quality.

- Lavenders and violets have a sweet, romantic, and nostalgic appeal.

- People tend to get less work done in purple rooms because the colour encourages daydreaming.

- Women often cite purple as their favourite colour.


You are known as a negotiator and have a strong desire to please. Though well-liked, you don't confide easily in others and enjoy a slight sense of mystery.


- Pink is the most passive of all colours, promoting affability while discouraging aggression against oneself as well as others.

- Considered the most feminine colour, pink is associated with nurturing and compassion.

- Pink calms and soothes, and is thought to aid in digestion.

- Shocking pink has a much higher concentration of red, making it appear energetic, fun and trendy.
- Men prefer peachy pinks to mauvey ones.


You are sensitive and kind, with a sweet disposition. You wouldn't mind a return to more innocent times and crave romance in your life.


- Brown is a warm, comforting colour associated with the earth, trees, hearth, and home.

- People tend to buy big-ticket products in neutral colours, especially in an uncertain economy. Browns both put consumers at ease and are considered timeless.

- Brown has a common feel in clothing, making one look approachable, reliable and sincere.

- Brown has a masculine, rugged quality that particularly appeals to men.

- Paper-bag brown is used in packaging to denote a natural product.


You are a down-to-earth and a dependable, loyal friend. Your home and family are very important to you and comfort is the key issue in life.


- Gray represents non-involvement, giving it a formal, dignified, and conservative authority.

- Unlike neutral brown, gray lacks warmth, which can make it appear remote, solemn, and a bit gloomy when used alone.

- Gray is associated with wisdom and maturity, adding to its moneyed appeal.

- Metallic grays offer the promise of scientific and technological advances, as well as a sense of speed and competence.

- Grays are cool and restful in home decor, but also discourage lively conversation and offer an unattractive backdrop for food.


You are a watcher rather than a participator and are reserved in social situations. Generally noncommittal, you don't like to firm up plans until the very last moment.

- White symbolizes purity, innocence, goodness and truth.

- Even though white is neutral, it is considered a cool colour because of its association with snow and ice.

- White is often thought to suggest simplicity, sterility, and safety.

- White is popular on the packaging of dairy products, low-fat items, and refined ingredients such as sugar and flour.


- Black, the most authoritative, intimidating colour, can appear agggressive when overused.

- Black is considered conservative, serious, and dignified and is used to show respect at solemn and formal occasions.

- Black gives a feeling of weight and depth. People think black boxes weigh more than white ones.

- Text is difficult to read against a black background.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Create and Update

This was a comfortable room before, however, it lacked POP. The palette was good but plain. The colors I had to work with, were moss green, beige and purple. First I added purple fringe to a few of the sofa pillows, then selected a moss green, beige and purple stripe fabric which I covered a traditional chair with, creating a focal point along with half draperies on a swing rod for even more dramatics. A painting of moss greens and purple completed the balance.The frame was chrome which brought out other accents in the room.

I then carried the color scheme into the dinette area, introducing a new color and small floral print on the chair cushions. This was a white background with small flowers of purple and of course the green leaves. Fresh flowers were placed in a white vase completing the fresh feel and completing the redesign. Simple changes, yet cost effective.

Elegant Exposure

Appreciating Nude Art
The subject of nude art has long been in most societies. Nude art is still, however, considered as taboo or a controversial topic despite its artistic value. Though most cultures are generally becoming adaptable and appreciative of this particular form of art, one can say that the holistic acceptance of nude art in most societies has yet to be established. The key to this acceptance is by making people understand what nude art really is all about.

Nude Arts History

Nude art has been around for so long a time, as long as the early civilizations of Greek and Egypt. Nude art back then was established as a form of appreciation of the human body. Although the same definition can be said nowadays with regard to nude art, the art has been so well extended that it not only includes the study of the human body in general but also its specific body parts. The study of nude art was all the more furthered, thanks to the Renaissance and Baroque periods both periods in time that dealt with the discovery of human nature. With this discovery came about the high importance accorded to nude art. Until now, nude art is widely practiced, especially in generally liberal countries such as American and European nations. In some countries, nude art is not as accepted but is on its way to being popularly established.

Real Nude Art

However, nude art has been debated upon by many people because of its controversial nature. After all, nudity is commonly associated with pornography. Real nude art, however, is anything but pornography. In fact, most nude art scholars and critics generally define nude art as a piece of art that provokes emotional sensuality not erotic sensuality. Furthermore, nude art refers to the study of the human body and its specific parts not of the nude person portrayed in the art. The nude person is merely a representation on behalf of humanity in general.

Also, real nude art prefers human in its most raw form. As much as possible, a nude artist would do away with embellishments which are deemed as mere accessories to the beauty of the human body. These accessories do not really beautify the human body in the process of depicting art. Rather, it sullies the beauty of the human nature. For some nude artists, however, this is perfectly acceptable. Tattoos are also accepted in special cases, depending on the nude artists vision of nude art.

In this canvas, which is my favorite, there is a mystery of realizing what it actually is at first. As you focus on the lace, only then does it seem to become apparent that this is a partial nude with grace and beauty.

Shaun Parker is an avid art fan. He has an extensive collection of photos on canvas and he shares his extensive knowledge on the topic to help people find the right artwork for their homes. You can view ideas for putting photos on canvas at

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What's Your Style

What Is Your Home Decorating Style?

Do your friends and family say your home looks nice because you are an excellent home decorator, or are they just being polite? Take the home decorating style quiz to find out if your home decorating style is as inspirational as people say. Whether you are a decorating diva or your home decorating style is akin to a bowl of oatmeal, this quiz can show you if you are inspirational, average, or utterly boring. Which home decorating style are you?

Take a fun home decorating quiz at Once you have taken the test, it will assist you in making themes for your redesign projects and or relate your likes and dislike to your designer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nature's Designs

This picture is worth a thousand words in itself.

Generally a tree branch, large foliage or flowering foliage branch's, length can vary from 20 to 70 inches, will make a beautifully dramatic statement in your home.

A single branch can add visual impact as a backdrop to medium flower arrangements. Large floral arrangements can incorporate several long branches for dramatic accent. Unusually shaped tree branches or clipping a branch from a budding tree such as a red bud and placing them in different heights in a tall glass vase is one of my favorite centerpieces. Add a few silk limbs with greenery for color.

These arrangements are particularly dramatic in a large room and rooms with high ceilings. I purchased silk palm leaves and placed them in a clear vase with unusually formed stems from my yard which transformed an otherwise understated table into a focal point of beauty.

Another favorite is to fill a tall glass vase with deco balls then add stems. In a kitchen you can add artificial fruit and stems.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Timeless Kitchens and Homes

Today I'm going to present some kitchen styles that will withstand the test of time. I like writing about kitchens. Whether your renovation budget is big or small, every home needs a kitchen. Even though people below 40 probably do not like the country style kitchen look, but it really can withstand changes in trends.

And because I'm a serious cook, I understand the importance of the work triangle-how it works to smoothen your food preparation right up to the actual cooking stage. Many people I come across want to extend their kitchen to make it bigger. But do you know that a longer and bigger kitchen does not mean the space is being properly utilized? If not properly planned, it will work to your detriment (assuming you cook very often) because if your work triangle is too large, you'll have to walk more than a few steps to get anything during food preparation. Suddenly, you're actually wasting time because all your utensils are located far away!

If you're a modern household, you'll need to rethink about locating a lone cooking stove in a small area isolated away from the dry kitchen. In our modern lifestyle where we are striving to save precious time by multi-tasking, you'll waste time if you have to walk between wet and dry kitchens to get stuff. In multi-tasking, several work is done at the same time - while the curry or soup is boiling, the fish is in the steamer and you are chopping vegetables! In this health conscious age, we don't use as much oil in our cooking (unlike in previous generations) so there is considerably lesser mess in today's kitchen. Hence the lesser need to separate wet and dry.

However, my statements above do not apply if the people who actually use the kitchen are senior folks (old habits die hard, so cooking is still oily and messy!) or maids.

The last few days before the Chinese New Year break I had been working on this country kitchen and western inspired living hall with a fireplace! The owner loves western style homes - dreamy and cozy and timeless!

Just before the holidays, we had sucessfully delivered dry and wet kitchens, a wardrobe and powder room and family activity area to an American style villa located in the Bangi golf club- the photos of which are not ready yet as the owner had not properly decorated her home. I'll post them next time around.

Listed here is another country kitchen done all in white (location Subang Jaya) - the lady owner's favourite colour. Well... the owner seems to like it , otherwise she would not have invited us to her home parties every year for the last 2 years! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Floral Finale'

Flowers are a great choice for fabrics and patterns in your home. They may show up in just a few pillows or can be used as wallpaper, drapery fabrics, upholstery, and accessories.
Besides the restful, garden feel these patterns impart, most floral patterns feature a variety of colors that can be matched and coordinated with solids, plaids, checks, and stripes.

If you’re doing a garden room, or just love garden flower prints for decorating, these tips on decorating with floral's will give you ideas on how to create a terrific color scheme, repeat the colors in your space, and support the theme with accents throughout the room to complete a total garden escape.