Freshen up your home style with a summer update

Marika Meyer, an interior designer, has been featured in HGTV, Home & Design and Luxe magazines, as well as on Martha Stewart Living Radio. She joined Washington Post staff writer Jura Koncius recently for an online chat to talk about how to freshen your home for summer. Here is an edited excerpt:

Written By The Washington Post

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HomeStyle: High-tech alarm clocks

Beep … beep … beeeeepppp … beeeeeeepppppp … BEEEEEEEPPPPPP!

Every weekday morning — and sometimes on the weekend, too — men and women are jarred awake by alarm clocks, writes Tracy Rogers in HomeStyle.

Waking up this way — whether it’s to a caustic beep or tunes blaring on the radio — is a way of life. For most, it is an unwelcome necessity, but some new clocks offer features that could make waking up less alarming.

High-tech is in, and that includes high-tech alarm clocks. Today, sleepers can wake up to the soothing sounds of ocean waves, their favorite ’80s hits or just a gentle buzz. There are alarm clocks that will charge your cellphone, others that will shake sleepers out of a sound slumber and even one that simulates daybreak to wake sleepers “naturally.”

Written By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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Design with style: The emotion that comes with changing a room’s décor

I’ve been asked to write about design challenges. To be honest, each project has its own design challenge. That is one of the reasons I love this profession — the challenge.

Sometimes the emotion of making a décor change in a home can be difficult for one of the family members. It can add a big challenge to my efforts in resolving a client’s desire for some sort of change in a particular room if one such family member — perhaps a spouse — is involved in the final decision.

Written By MARYANN FISHER, Decorating Den Interiors

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Homestyle: Use navy to anchor your home decor

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been head over heels in love with the color blue. Cobalt? Be still my beating heart. Robin’s egg? Divine. Turquoise? Makes me swoon. But when it comes to navy, I have a personal weakness that borders on obsession.

Navy has it all. It’s a no-fail neutral that looks perfect paired with practically everything, from white and cream to coral and citron. It gracefully sets off every finish in your decor.
The timeless cla

Written By Mary Carol Garrity

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Home Design Tips: How to Make Your Second Home Perfect for You

A bungalow on the beach. A cabin for weekend getaways. Second homes, designed for relaxation, are often decorated with hand-me-down furniture and other cast-offs from the owner’s main living space.

But, say interior designers, a bit of creativity can transform a small vacation home into the perfect haven — a place to combine family heirlooms, funky flea-market purchases and a few new pieces, with style and on a budget.

“Second homes are all about the three f’s: family, friends and flea markets,” says designer Brian Patrick Flynn, founder of Flynnside Out Productions. “There are really no rules, but the one thing to keep in mind is that second homes are the best place to showcase your personality by filling them with one-of-a-kind pieces packed with sentiment and history.”

Written By Associated Press

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HomeStyle: So spatial!

Size matters, especially in space-challenged houses and apartments.

And that means slimming down. Gone are the super-size sectionals, towering cabinetry and oversized everything.

A sense of proportion, size, built-ins and visual trickery is being utilized to embrace the big style-small space ethos is the next big thing in home design and furnishings, reports Saturday’s HomeStyle.

If there hasn’t been a decided shift at recent High Point, N.C., furniture markets, let us just say that rooms with smaller footprints will not be ignored. The good news is that the commitment poses even more ramped-up challenges to design furniture smartly, with an eye to size and proportions, multitasking, built-ins and visual tricks.

The goal: “a scaled-down collection of furnishings in sizes that work beautifully in more intimate spaces.”

Written By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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Homestyle: Red all over — dashing designs seek pop of color

Packed full of energy and excitement, the color red is sneaking back into vogue in interior design. For years, people shied away from this arresting color, opting instead for safe, soothing grays, tans and creams. But now folks are feeling bolder and taking bigger risks in their decorating. And as they do, red is shooting up the popularity charts.

We’re having a blast at Nell Hill’s zipping up people’s spaces with spunky shots of red. Want to join the fun and add this striking color to your decor?

The key to success when decorating with a statement color as striking as red is to pick a few key places to let it shine. Here are my top seven spots to add a pop of red in your home’s interior:

1. Paint a wall

If you want to go big with red, wash a wall in it. Depending upon the shade you select, red will send off a strong vibe that ranges from happy to angry, so pick your paint color carefully. Another word of caution: It’s easy to go too far with red, so start by using this powerful color in small doses. Before washing the entire room in red, start with just one wall and see what you think. Whether you end up painting one area or the whole room, be sure to balance your high-intensity wall color with plenty of light-colored neutrals through upholstery, art and window coverings.

Written By Mary Carol Garrity

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