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Have your guests talking!

 St. Croix Architect

We all love when our house guests tell us how much they like our homes. Sometimes it’s what keeps us going!

I’ll be the first to admit that I love to create dramatic powder rooms for our clients; I want your guests to go back whispering to the party: “You must see the powder room!” That is a small signature as a designer in many houses!

But what can you add to your home to make it stand out from the rest? Is a bold paint color really enough to get people talking? I’ve found that most conversations in my own home start when people come across things they have never seen before. It’s a fun way to get people to chat about things other than work or yesterday’s weather.

My first recommendation will be: “If you want drama start in a public space”..…. I mean create “design drama” in an area that your guests will experience; kitchen, powder room, front door, etc.

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As architects we love to create “the experience of surprise in a building”, at this waterfront house the main door reveals the amazing view of the water through a columned pool terrace. If it does not create conversation… it will at least leave you speechless!

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One of our clients asked for a chef’s kitchen we added an illuminated onyx table, it is the must see piece of the house! Lighting is also a great way to make your house more interesting and fun! Try cool pendants, designer’s floor lamps!

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Do you have a great view from one side? Multiply it with mirrors. In this pied-à-terre with an amazing view of the Acropolis in Athens we added a mirror as the kitchen back-splash, when you walk in the open floor living dinning, you get amazing views from all sides and it makes the room feels bigger.

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                     picture Ted Davis, D&D Studio

A very simple way to add some “design drama” has always been paint! We will add a small tool, use stencils, we were able to brimg this bedroom to life with the use of one image in different shades of blues!  So easy it will give a new personality to any room.

What fun or creative things have you added to your own house?

How to Select the Exterior Colors for your Home

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Selecting the exterior colors for your home can be daunting!

Unlike the interior, where repainting walls is relatively easy if you don’t like the color or simply tire of it, a new exterior painting project can be quite costly. After all, you want to find colors that you’ll be happy with for a long time. While it is important to make the right selection, choosing does not have to be very stressful. To make things easier, keep these simple tips in mind while shopping for exterior paint. Selecting several possible color options and creating sample panels are critical to getting the color you want.

-The first thing that most people will notice when they look at your house is its color. Since it can shape people’s first impressions, it would be wise to pick a color that makes a statement about you and your house. Lighter, brighter colors, such as whites, yellows, and light neutral colors can make your house look bigger and more inviting. Darker colors, on the other hand, can make your house seem a little smaller, but at the same time more solid, substantial, and safer.

-White… all time classic! From the Tropics to the Mediterranean no matter what the home’s style, from traditional to contemporary! Play with colorful shutters and colorful architectural details this will give an all white house a punch! These are easy to change and will give you a sophisticated sharp look.

-Take seasonal changes in the landscape into consideration, such as green grass and leaves as well as blue sky in summer to blankets of white snow and gray sky in winter! In the tropics grey can look pink in the morning and purple at 5pm! Test paint! Test paint!

-Live in a snowy area? Consider a creamy off-white, something with a bit of yellow in it, in lieu of a stark white. In the tropics, in depends if you are facing West or East!!! On the East you can use dark colors easier, the sunset in the Caribbean gives many pinks and lilac tones…. some love them ,.. so don’t!

-If your home is predominantly stone, brick or some other material that isn’t painted, you can select the right accent color by pulling out a color that exists in that material. For example, if your stonework has a soft pale green hue scattered throughout, selecting that color for details and trim elements can be quite nice. Just stand back and survey the material, looking for those spots of color you notice and want to bring out.

-Consider grouping two or more colors to lessen the visual mass of your house. A top floor of a different color separated by a trim line from the lower floors can give the top floor a “floating” quality distinct from its base, this was typical in the traditional West Indian Architecture that we see in the Tropics, darker lower floor- lighter top floor!

-Have a color scheme while you are selecting the roof color! Typical you will need to decide on the roof color way before you even think of your wall color, start thinking of color early! If you select red as your metal roof color you already have a strong color to work with.

-In some ways selecting the exterior color palette is not unlike applying makeup. While there’s the overall color to consider, there are also the details that draw the eye in and enliven the face.

-Try a bright green for the window frames and other architectural elements to add some zip to an exterior. With the new finishing technologies, some incredible color choices are available. So go beyond white, beige and brown in your details. Consider browns, reds, greens, blues and more.

Don’t be hard on your self… it is just color, have fun with it!

How to Create a Welcoming Guest Bedroom

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If you’re like me, you love to have house guests! There is something special about creating a warm and inviting living space for your guests — it shows how much you care.

When you start to plan your guest room, think about what you’d expect to find in a hotel and try to make your room measure up to that standard. Your budget may not have enough in it to let you create a getaway oasis, but you can clear the decks, arrange what’s necessary, and provide a quiet place to relax.

Most important:

– Provide a comfortable place to sleep. Replace the kids’ old bunks with a queen-size bed (at minimum). If you can’t buy a new bed, make sure the mattress is well-made.
– Stock the closet with extra pillows, cases, blankets and quilts, and padded hangers.
– Play with color. In my opinion, a guest room should be fun and colorful with something a little unexpected
– Give space: Guests need a place to sit besides the bed. A bench is perfect, since it can also hold luggage for unpacking and repacking.
– Make sure the dresser and nightstand aren’t cluttered with your own collectibles, so your guests have space for their own things. And if you use the guest-room drawers for storage, don’t forget to empty a couple when company is coming.
– Where is the light?! Include enough lighting to give the room a cozy glow – a lone ceiling fixture won’t do. Place a lamp on each side of the bed, and one on the dresser. A small lamp on the bathroom counter can serve as a pretty nightlight.

St. Croix Architectural ServicesCreate a relaxing environment.
– Floral arrangements add color! For fragrance, reed diffusers are a better choice than candles. You might add a bottle of scented linen spray, too.
– Place a pitcher of filtered water and two glasses on a pretty tray. Even better: Stock a small refrigerator with beverages.
– Stack towels in a tray on the bathroom counter, along with fresh soaps and a couple of glasses.

Thank goodness for wall-mounted flat-screen TV’s! They are perfect for space-challenged guest rooms, and our specially designed wall cabinets are a great way to camouflage them. And always… have in mind who is coming! Every guest is different- different needs!