Spring has sprung! You can smell it in the air, so fresh and exciting, when the plants starts to grow and bloom, birds and butterflies are busy and the spring rain is just around the corner (we hope!) The change of season always brings with it an intention to do – what else? – Spring Cleaning! Here are 3 simple tips to make yours swiftly effective and fun.
Uncluttered kitchen design by Kimball Starr / photo by Eric Rorer
1) Clean from the top down
Don’t fight gravity! Start by dusting ceiling fans, shaking out curtains, wiping blinds, and definitely do the tops of your cabinets and fridge before you get to the countertops and later the floors.
Use a microfiber cleaning tool to grab dust instead of pushing it around – Rubbermaid, Lowe’s and Walgreens all have low-cost, flexible tools. Choose something washable instead of disposable.
Freshen fabrics – launder sofa and pillow covers. Wash matching items at the same time so they always have the same wear and color. Wash your mattress pad and flip your mattress while hanging your sheets outside for that extra-fresh smell.
Sanitize high-traffic surfaces – doorknobs, drawer handles and light switches deserve extra attention. But skip the antibacterial products – plain dish soap and water or citrus-based products are the best natural antibacterial and don’t contribute to our environmental chemical load. Use bleach sparingly.
Wash and refresh fabrics when spring cleaning. Pacific Heights apartment by Kimball Starr Interior Design / photos by Eric Rorer
2) Clear the clutter
Visual clutter is disruptive to an effective work life and home life. Banish belongings to hidden storage or eliminate them altogether with these quick steps.
Remove anything that hasn’t been used within the last 7 days – either put it back into its storage location, donate it to a friend or charity, or recycle it. Landfill is the least desirable option so try to find a new home for it first.
Develop and regularly use a storage system – whether that is cardboard boxes labeled with sharpie pen, or clear plastic bins with label maker stickers, or glass jars with canning labels, keeping items separated and clearly labeled makes it easier to find and maintain them over the entire year without a huge investment in time. If it can be done in 2 minutes or less, you’re more likely to keep it up.
Group related objects together in storage – hats, gloves & scarves can go in the hall closet or up in the attic until next winter. Rotating your items seasonally means you have less to wade through in your most-used areas.
Pinterest Organization Board via J. Davidson Design + Social Media
3) Clip ideas from social media
Don’t be afraid to go someplace unexpected for cleaning advice and inspiration. Social media is full of people thinking about and doing spring cleaning at this time of year, just like you!
Find inspiration – Follow a friend whose organizational smarts you admire. Look up a celebrity. Or go with a brand you trust that is natural and organic.
Celebrate your accomplishments – After you’ve sweated, take some photos to show off your sparkly-clean results! Post them to your social media of choice with a relevant hash tag such as #springcleaning, relax with a glass of wine and wait for the kudos to roll in!
Don’t you just love Spring, with its feeling of renewed energy, trees and plants blooming everywhere and summer just around the corner? Do you wish Spring could last forever? Now it can, if you use the color “Spring Forever” in your home or office!
Color Marketing Group, an international association for color design professionals and authority on color in the marketplace, puts it this way:
Celebrate the confident side of nature with “Spring Forever.” This green, with a strong yellow influence, is a hue reminiscent of a cool morning in the garden, as well as a fresh take on your local produce aisle. This is not a fragile green. This spirited color denies any mention of the doldrums, instead appearing self-assured and bold whether appearing in fashion or adapted for home décor. It makes a statement of authority that says, “The difficulty of winter is over! Long live Spring!” Already energizing women’s and men’s wardrobes with a crisp burst of color, “Spring Forever” is arriving in homes and auto showrooms with the power to invigorate a space as well as the highway. From glowing silk, to timeless matte wool to glistening metallic, this green will be with you now and forever.
If you want to use Spring Forever in your interiors but don’t know how to go about it, we can help!
With April showers bringing May flowers, we’re still in the rainy season with gray skies. Luckily, drought ridden California has been getting a bit of rain this past week, so we’re here to celebrate the cloudy weather with 5 Shades of Grey that celebrate misty skies. With thanks to the Color Marketing Group, here’s a guide to 5 shades of grey that will perk up your peepers while watching the drought quenching rain sprinkle down onto dusty ground.
This is a tonal hue that carries through changing seasons. It stands between chaos and mindfulness, balancing everything with which it is coordinated. It is as diverse as the grey sky of a looming storm, the rich flannel of a suit and the deep metal of industrial tools.
This warm grey is caressed by chocolate, a hue that works well with others, coordinating with everything from cool blues to ochre to plum. It is a grounded, stable color with a luxury edge, enhancing velvet, cashmere and wool.
Reminiscent of clear skies and warm seas, Re-Blued is a fresh take on environmental colors. Blue is embraceable, reliable, sometimes mysterious but ultimately familiar. With roots in indigo-dyed denim, a perennial favorite, Re-Blued is as casual as a breeze in creating a subtle bedroom retreat.
As its name suggests, “Intimate Shadow” resides in moments of repose. Let this sensory hue offer solace, peace, and the luxury of quiet. It is a counter to a busy world and offers an intimate color experience in which to c0coon. They greyed-off purple is discrete and maintains a sense of mystery. It will subtly grace interiors in leather and velvet.
A color that imbues luxury, comfort and contentment, Smoky Cashmere can be as demure of mischievous as you wish, but wraps an aura of richness around whatever it touches. It is the evolution of warm, brown-influenced grey and create a hue that is intriguing and new, one that effortlessly coordinates with others. Pair with pale pink, copper metallic or amphibious green for either a softer side, edgy or earthy feelings.
KIMBALL STARR INTERIOR DESIGN RECEIVES “BEST OF HOUZZ” FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION – 3 YEARS RUNNING!
Houzz.com is a popular online resource for sourcing and saving inspirational ideas about residential interior design, locating your next designer, and sharing feedback.
The Best Of Houzz Award is given in two categories: Client Satisfaction and Design. Client Satisfaction honors are determined by the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among 16 million monthly Houzz users.
TOP: Tiny House Flexible Use Dining Space. CENTER: Vintage Bungalow featuring Adrian Pearsall Rocker. BOTTOM: St. Francis Bathroom Remodel / All designs by Kimball Starr Interior Design / All photos by Eric Rorer except CENTER by Marija Vidal
The top photo shown here of flexible use dining space in a tiny San Francisco apartment was saved to over 3,500 ideabooks! There are 135 photos uploaded, which have been added to a total of 57,498 ideabooks worldwide. That’s a lot of homeowners looking for new ideas!
From Ghirardelli Square to the Palace of Fine Arts, architecture and design are very prominent in the City by the Bay. It is literally impossible to walk around in this city and not find stunning examples of these things. There are many prominent and talented interior designers all over the Bay Area as well, and we wanted to highlight 15 of the best.
We’ve been nominated as one of the best interior designers in San Francisco along with some other great talent by the design savvy team at Build Direct. Can you help us out by casting your vote?
Offering everything from space planning to full-scale design, Starr employs an inventive and sensitive use of materials, believing that comfort holds the key to successful design. Her firm work with clients to create successful interiors tailored to client needs in both residences and commercial spaces. She has been featured on television and published in a couple hardcover books, such as Country-Style Residences and Zen Residences. Kimball Starr is a top contemporary interior designer in the San Francisco Bay Area, providing creative interiors for both homes and commercial spaces.
Welcome back to the 2nd part of Kimball Starr televised on the PBS TV series “Creative Living” with Sheryl Borden. Kimball Starr is the featured San Francisco interior design expert teaching how to visually reshape a room’s proportions. She wraps up this second segment with how to make a small bathroom look more spacious, along with integrating color and reflective surfaces to visually maximize a small home.
– [Kimball] [The first example is] …In a very small bathroom, which is a very common problem in any urban area.
– [Sheryl] Yeah, very small usually.
– It’s very small. This is, shower… there’s no tub. There wasn’t room for a tub. But on the flooring, if you use large format tiles and you angle them, it will actually make the space seem bigger. So if you run planks front-to-back, it’s going to make your room seem longer.
– If you run them side-to-side, it’s going to make it seem wider.
– And then if you run it on the diagonal, it widens AND lengthens the room.
– I’ve seen places where they were at a diagonal, but it was usually a large entry or something. I wouldn’t have thought about using a big design in a bathroom.
– And that is a misnomer where people think, “Oh, it’s a small bathroom. I have to use small tiles.”
– But it’s a thing with all those grout lines, every time you see a grout line, that’s your eye saying ‘stop, stop, stop, stop’. And if you just see much bigger tiles and maybe there’s only six or eight of them, your eye just flows across the floor.
– Flows. I guess so.
– It seems more spacious. And same thing with the glass shower, instead of having a corner shower jutting out, you chop it so it’s angled and that helps keep the flow open as well. And for little small dining areas, you can use cabinetry floor-to-ceiling, and that’s going to increase your ceiling height. And the thing about this is, it’s all monochromatic using the dark colors of the cabinetry and using the dark island. All the color just flows and the floors are dark. So actually, this is something a lot of people don’t know is dark floors actually recede. So your floors will actually feel more spacious if you do a dark color because the floor is dropping away.
– And I would’ve thought maybe using the black or a dark grey, or whatever, would make it seem so much smaller.
– Yeah. Well, you know, it’s also because we have wonderful glass windows that lets in the light.
– I mean if you have …
– That probably counters it, doesn’t it?
– You do need to take into consideration what else is going on. If you don’t have any windows in the room and you did everything black …
– It would be a tomb.
– That probably wouldn’t be advisable.
– Yeah. I see. Okay. Yeah, I can see that.
– And then this last…
– Oh, I love this.
– Oh, thank you!
– I love these colors.
– And then this last example, it’s a very contemporary space. There’s no molding or trim. It’s very straightforward. So it’s very architectural and there’s very sharp lines. So by doing this built-in banquette, instead of doing a right…
– Oh, it softens it, doesn’t it? That’s why I like that.
– You’re hired!
– I’m hired? Good!
– That’s right. So instead of having a sharp right angle, by creating this curve, it just softens the flow.
– It does.
– And then the other trick is, if you notice, outside the window there’s always greenery.
– If you bring in a color from outside that’s visible from your room and use it as a major color as here, so we have all the greenery and I use…
– So it just extends the room indoors, outdoors.
– That’s right because…
– That’s a great idea.
– Because it feels like the patio is really part of your living space.
– Now, one other question, what about lighting? Is it true that if it’s a smaller space, you need more lighting or what’s the secret there?
– That’s a great question. So when I said the cabinetry, if you go all the way up to the ceiling it makes it seem taller…
– If you drop the cabinetry from going all the way to the top, it will make your ceiling seem shorter. But, if you put recessed lighting on top and light up the ceiling, that lifts up the ceiling.
– I can see how it would do that.
– So up-lighting is really important if you want to increase the height of your ceiling.
– And that seems like more and more of the newer houses that I’ve been in have that … is it called cove lighting or something?
– And it does.
– It just looks like it goes on forever.
– Yes. Exactly.
– And some of the rooms aren’t all that big.
– Cove up-lighting is an excellent way to increase the space in your room.
– Well, these are great examples. I can see how people would want to apply these if they had a small space, especially, and make it seem larger. Thank you very much, Kimball.
– Thank you so much, Sheryl. It was great to be here!