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Measuring about 600 square feet in size, the tiny cottage may be a solution for affordable housing for fixed-income seniors. These homes let them stay close to family — even in their family’s backyard! This type of small design also has potential for individuals and couples of any age, along with nannies and returning college students.
I recently worked with the Frederick County Housing Trust as the project’s interior decorator. The project was a collaboration among the trust, the Frederick County Career and Technology Center, Frederick County Building Industry Association and Lancaster Craftsmen Builders. One of the key benefits of this project was to show a dwelling for seniors to age in place. The tiny house is a lifestyle alternative that would require less maintenance while keeping seniors close to their families and maintaining their independence. The other driving force was to shine a light on the the next generation of skilled craftspeople. High school students at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center were involved in all phases of this project as part of their education. Students in programs for carpentry, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, masonry, landscaping and cabinetmaking. These careers are ideal for people who love to work with their hands, to create and to problem solve.
You would think that a home this small would have to skimp on luxury or would feel cramped, but it doesn’t. Thirteen-foot ceilings in the living and bedroom and a light color palette give it an airy feel, and streamlined furniture with clean lines makes the most of the space. I was able to use full-size stainless steel appliances, which creates the feeling of a typical home. The design of this “backyard bungalow” also incorporates a walk-in closet and built-in shelving around a full-size gas fireplace. Craftsman details throughout make this more than a “basic” dwelling. Eventually I realized that I was designing a place where I’d like to live!
The furniture and accessories I chose were a compatible mix of styles and eras, the way someone who is downsizing to smaller home would. Owners typically select their most treasured items to bring into their new space. It can be challenging to make these eclectic pieces complement one another, and that’s where an interior designer can really help. In this case, I pulled from craftsman and mid-century modern inspirations, and added some traditional pieces and contemporary lighting fixtures.
I selected white for the exterior of the home to keep it from detracting from a main home, and I recommend coordinating the door color and roof with the main home. Landscaping and hardscaping can bring it all together as a single setting.
See more photos of this special community project Here
I have joined with four other local interior designers and many of my product vendors to design and decorate Catherine’s Cottage, which is a new short-term shelter in Baltimore for survivors of human trafficking. The Salvation Army of Central Maryland will provide them with trauma counseling, support groups, medical and dental services, and mentoring. The program helps to put these individuals on a path to a free and safe life. It has been wonderful to work with Andrea Orndorff of A.Lynn Design, Liz Dickson of Millbrook Circle Interior Design, Meghan Friedman of Redhead Design, and Denise Yearwood of Yearwood Interiors. These ladies are so giving of their time and talents.
As designers, we wanted to create a place where they feel welcome, and to make this home an environment for personal growth and rebuilding self-esteem. I personally want them to feel like they are receiving a warm hug as soon as they enter.
I am thrilled to be designing the receiving room, living room and dining room. I am using calming blues and hopeful whites, and accenting those with fresh greens, turquoise and yellows that invoke the feelings of new beginnings — like spring.
I have enlisted a fantastic artist, Lisa Brown Malveaux, to create something special in the receiving room along the back wall and over an arched doorway. We are considering something with a strong tree, birds and butterflies. I will post more on this soon!
We are also looking to create a backdrop where we can take a photo of each mother and child that has gone through the program. It’s a way to signify that they have found their wings to move on and succeed. Each survivor can carry a photo with them to remind them of how strong, beautiful and special they are.
Here’s an example, by Kelsey Montague. What Lifts You – Wings
Lisa is just one of the many vendors who have been gracious in donating to this project. Over the next few months, I will be featuring each vendor to thank them for their generosity. To contact Lisa or see her incredible work here is a link to her Facebook page Studio Malveaux.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to introduce you to this project. Human trafficking is defined as the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. In 2014, nearly 400 survivors in Maryland were provided assistance. The total number of people being held by force is unknown due to the secretive nature of this crime.
If you would like to make a donation to Catherine’s Cottage, send a check to The Salvation Army of Central Maryland, 814 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 and mention Catherine’s Cottage on the memo line. We also have a donation wish list for personal items, clothing and toiletries here: Catherine’s Cottage Wish List
This project means so much to so many. Thanks so much for your support.
Ready to make a change in your life? This is the final article in our three-part series on how your home can help (or hinder) your personal goals. We’ve talked about how your kitchen can help you make healthier food choices and then shared six simple steps for designing a home gym that inspires you to get moving. Now let’s nurture your mind by creating a space to clear your head through meditation and other relaxation techniques, like tai chi and yoga.
Step 1) What is most important is to make your space personal, whether you have a dedicated room or part of a room where you can have solitude. You can use a screen to create a private corner, or create an area of focus on a small table, with objects with special meaning, like shells collected from a beach or a decorative object from your travels or a gift from someone close to you. Is there a photo or painting that brings you calm? Place it nearby.
Step 2) For your larger surroundings, consider soft lighting or sitting in front of a window with a window treatment that allows for light that isn’t overpowering or distracting. If you have the ability to look outdoors toward woods or an open field, that can open your mind as well. For the color of the room, select colors from nature, like soft grassy greens, ocean blues and soothing pale beiges the color of sand.
Step 3) Be kind to your other senses. Scents can also bring feelings of peace, especially lavender, vanilla and sandalwood. The use of sound can also help you to relax, but its appeal varies from person to person. Some prefer quiet while other feel that soft music, wind chimes or the sound of moving water allow them to let go of the other thoughts that can get in the way. I love the Meditation Timer app that can be used on all of my devices. It has both guided and non-guided meditations from around the world.
A special thank you to Lisa Brown Malveaux for allowing me to use photos from her meditation room that she designed for the 2015 Baltimore Symphony Show House. Lisa and I became quick friends while working on the Ellicott City Designer Show House back a couple of years ago. She is an exceptional artist. You can see more of her work at Studio Malveaux
For more ideas about creating a meditation space, give me a call and we can pick a time to meet at your home to talk about colors, fabrics, furniture and lighting for your personal realm of relaxation.
Find your happy place!
Welcome to Part Two of a three-part series on how your home can help (or hinder) your personal goals.
It seems like all of us have tried to lose weight at one time or another, but let’s focus on how to make it easier to make healthier food choices whether or not you want to lose weight.
Let’s start with a few easy fixes. (And if you don’t find them easy, leave it to me to find just the right solution!) First, clear off the counters. Clutter creates chaos in your mind, and then anxiety, and for many people that’s a trigger to eat. With so much going on to grab your attention (mail to sort, a clear cookie jar, pots and pans to put away) you can’t focus on what you really need to do, which is to make a smart choice about what you’re going to eat next.
Instead, select just a few objects for the counters, like a colorful vase full of flowers and a beautiful bowl filled with fresh fruit. Ask me about the latest in cabinet shelving design and organization and we can really get things off the counters for good. This pull out baking drawer is a current favorite.
pull out baking drawer
How is your pantry organized? Place the most healthful foods and ingredients at eye level. Stash the treats out of sight or place them inside opaque containers.
You may have heard of using smaller plates, and that really can change how you perceive how much you are eating. I say make it fun though by also selecting a new tablecloth, napkins and coordinating rugs. Blue is a good choice for all of these, and here’s why. Color psychologists say that because blue is a calming color that it can help you to slow down your eating and slow down the choices you make. You’ll eat less, and eat smarter.
Blues can also work wonderfully as a paint color in a kitchen. Consider blue as an accent for curtains and upholstery. For inspiration, hop on over to Pinterest to check out my board “Blue for Kitchens,” and then give me a call for a paint consult to find a shade that works with your kitchen’s natural lighting and current color palette.
For more ideas specific to your home, give me a call or leave a comment below.
I’ll admit it. I’m sort of a self-help fanatic. I’m always seeking ways to improve who I am as a person and I’ve been thinking about the ways that home design can help other people meet their personal goals. This is my first blog in a three-part series of how a well-designed room can transform your goals into reality.
1) Healthy habits are easier to instill when you associate them with a particular place and time. Find a place in your home that you know will be available to you at the same time each day. Along with any fitness equipment, think about dedicating a space for music or perhaps a TV, and a safe surface to place your water.
2) Worried about heavy equipment ruining your floor or carpet? Try carpet squares from FLOR. If one gets stained or damaged you can just pull it up and replace it.
3) If your goal is burning calories, brighter colors on the wall are a good choice. Red is invigorating and stimulates the heart and mind, orange can boost your mood, while yellow can bring happiness. If those colors are too bold for you, you can use them as accents and balance them with calm grays or stable blacks or navy blues.
4) Are you looking for privacy in your exercise space? Maybe you will want darker curtains or blinds. Hunter Douglas has introduced some new designer fabrics for roller shades, with hundreds of fabrics from sheer to opaque. Do you see yourself exercising with the morning sun? Natural light is a mood booster, so take advantage whenever you can.
5) If you plan to exercise in the evenings, you don’t want your space to remind you of a dungeon, so keep it bright. Be sure to avoid most fluorescent lighting though, so you don’t feel like you’re exercising at the office! Instead use LED lighting with lumens within the 3000-4500 range for soft, warm lighting.
6) Nobody wants to stare at a blank wall for 30 minutes (or more) each day. Find artworks that motivate you: an image of a favorite place to visit, or a painting or print with colors that speak to you. Visit Top Art for lots of choices, and just give me call if it gets too overwhelming to pick. Have you ever created a vision board? It’s a place to cut and paste pictures, quotes and other visuals to help you meet your goals. Place one where you can easily see it.
I hope these ideas have gotten you thinking… and then exercising. For more ideas specific to your home, give me a call or leave a comment.
Welcome to my new home on the web! I can hear you now. Ugh, not another interior design blog. The last thing that I want to do to is bombard you with unnecessary content. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I do have something to say!! I want to inspire, educate, and empower. Plus, I love to share – it is in my nature.
Speaking of nature, check out these nature inspired accessories. They are a super hot trend right now.
Here are my thoughts… start with posting 2-3 times per month with topics like “Before and After”, “Trends and New Products” and “Tips from Trish”- where I will answer specific design dilemmas from my readers. Let me know your thoughts?? Could you do me a favor and let me know in the comments below what topics and information would interest you?
Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me!