Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Design Tip: Pillow Power

Use different textures together to create interest
Pillows are an easy and (can be) inexpensive way to give your room a design PUNCH.  Using pillows are one of my favorite ways to finish a room.   They can serve as artwork for a room, but they are also functional and usually inexpensive enough to change out seasonaly or to liven up a space. 

Choose pillows that speak to your decorating style.  For example, if your look is sleek and contemporary, using texture or bold color can add the pop you are looking for.  Shown here are 3 pillows used to bring in texture and style to a contemporary sectional sofa used in a modern living room.  

The pillows all speak to the netural color story of the room, as well as providing textural and graphic interest.  A sequened pillow with a graphic peace sign is paired with a natural African woven kuba cloth pillow and a very soft shag pillow.  The look says a lot about what the owner likes while warming up the neutral gray sofa that without the pillows is a little boring and depressing.  Also, the African woven pillow has a reddish brown tone that is very similar to the wood color of the coffee table.  On the other end of the sofa, the long pillow is Indian inspired and features wooden beads sewn onto a bronze silk base.  Texture and dark, earthy colors help to warm up this space.

Pillows are a great way to add bright pops of color to a room.  So many times people long for color in their space, but I usually recommend keeping wall color neutral, and bring in color through artwork and accessories such as pillows.  This way, you can change the personality of a room easily and inexpensively.  There are so many great places to buy ready made pillows.  But when you're buying, look for quality, size and style that fit the space you intend them to go.  You can find some great inexpensive designer pillow choices at Target, HomeGoods, and as well as most big department stores.  If you're looking for contemporary choices, I like CB2 and West Elm

And don't forget that when you travel, a decorative pillow case fits easily into your suitcase (you can add the pillow insert when you get home).  This is a great way to add an interesting conversation piece to your decor that brings in the essence of your exotic travel spot. 

Usually, when I stage a home for sale, I add new pillows to freshen the look of a room.  Modern styles are my favorite because they instantly update the look of any room- particularly if the furniture is a bit outdated.  It really is an easy, fun and inexpensive way to update your look.
Sofa before adding decorative pillows

The pillow colors relate to the coffee table and rug

Use texture and graphic patterns

Warm up leather with pillows.. color relates to the chest behind

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can a Tramp Re-Vamp? Atlantic Station is Changing Her Ways

Atlantic Station has gotten a bad reputation it seems.  It reminds me of the pretty girl in high school that slept around too much, and got in with the wrong crowd.  Now she's not so popular anymore.  What's a girl to do??  Well, for one, change her looks (no more slutty tube tops and hoochie skirts), I digress, we were talking about the Midtownish development, right?

It seems that there is a new owner in town and I can already see some changes.  The new owner, North American Properties, has purchased the retail component of the mixed use development and is addressing concerns of the community regarding the late night cruising and lack-luster shopping experience.  Already, I have noticed the parking garage is now color coded in bright colors to help you remember where the heck you parked.  If you have never forgotten where you parked your car in this mammoth labyrinth, trust me when I tell you, it's no fun.  I spent more than half an hour once wandering aimlessly in the underground expanse and everything looked the same.  Much better now.

Also, the once pop music that flooded the outdoor shopping mall is replaced with much more sophisticated retro jazzy music- apparently appealing to a more affluent crowd.  Yesterday I noticed beautiful new plant pots line the brick streets, stuffed with brightly colored flowers and plants.. looks very nice.  The new owner is closing nightclubs or "restaurants that operate like nightclubs" like the recently closed Geisha House. 

The 47 story luxury condo, shopping and office tower, The Atlantic, is a gorgeous building with fabulous amenities and appointments located in Atlantic Station.  The building went into foreclosure but was purchased by S.T. Residential Properties last year.  Pricing was restructured (now $180,000-$1.3 Million) and the 401 unit tower has sold over 100 residences since last October.

A letter to Midtown residents from Marc Toro, of North American Properties outlines their 10 point plan for the development...

"Dear Midtown Resident,
I am writing to you today, as a resident of Midtown, to apprise you of changes underway at Atlantic Station. As you may know, we recently acquired the retail component of the master-planned community with the expressed intent of providing world-class shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities to the residents of Midtown and surrounding communities.
Following is our Ten Point Plan:
1. Listen – we are seeking the input of the Midtown community to identify retailer and restaurant preferences, in addition to preferred event programming and other experiential aspects.
2. Improve public safety - working in collaboration with the leadership of Midtown Blue, we will emulate the public safety program that makes Midtown residents feel comfortable and safe in our community.
3. Fix the parking – we have begun installation of a completely redesigned wayfinding and lighting system to make our parking deck more user-friendly.
4. Get the word out – our Digital Outreach platform has been designed to provide Midtown residents with up-to-the-minute information about events and specials.
5. Close the nightclubs – late night partying and associated behaviors are not a part of our vision and we have taken steps to assure a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, closing the nightclubs.
6. Meet the market – we recognize that the current retail and restaurant lineup does not resonate with the community and we are in the process of retooling the offering to respond to what we hear.
7. Go local – the feedback we’ve received to date indicates a strong preference for local operators, so we are reaching out to chef-driven restaurants and owner operated boutiques.
8. Reach out – we have established relationships with our Midtown neighbors, seeking to explore synergies with SCAD, Georgia Tech, Piedmont Park and Woodruff Arts Center.
9. Reprogram public spaces – Food Truck Fridays, 1/2 Street Market, Movies in the Park and other programs are the beginning of our reimagined uses of our public space.
10.Introduce non-traditional uses – whether it is classroom space, TV studios or film production, we are exploring options to expand our reach to the community and attract positive energy to the property.
Whereas we have owned Atlantic Station less than six months, much progress has been made in each of the areas listed above. As we continue to bring about change, we greatly appreciate any and all input you might offer to our Plan.
Please feel free to post your comments to one of the following forums:
Or email us at:
Thank you,
Mark C. Toro
Partner, North American Properties"

So how does a girl clean up her act and get her reputation back??  She starts acting like a lady.  I love 2nd chances, and I am giving this girl a second chance.