Archive | November, 2011

Bold, Modern, Eccentric & Unique Wall Hangings

18 Nov

Amna’s Contemporary Art Boutique

Do you need to add a little “style” and “creativity” to your living space?  I encourage you to take a look at some of my art work! Costs are negotiable, free shipping, and a portion of it will go towards a preffered charitable cause.


Decorating Ideas for the Ideal Home Office Space

18 Nov

Your office space should inspire you to be focused, creative, and organized.  I love the following ideas!

Creating a Bold Yet Relaxing Living Room

10 Nov

While flipping through the magazine, Living Etc., I found a wonderful chapter dedicated to creating a relaxing yet bold living room.  Sounds like a paradox, but it appears it is possible.  Here were some  pointers:

Create a focal point:

Keep the living space open.  Give the area a relaxed feel by choosing low-level seating and informal floor cushions in vibrant shades.  Cushions are a flexible addition in a smaller room as they take up very little space and can easily be moved around. If your living room does not include a fireplace, use a low-rise coffee table.

Choose a soft window treatment:
Voluminous curtains can overwhelm a room and short drapes are best avoided, unless they are cafe style, as they can appear dated.  Roman blinds are a good option, softening a window more than a roller while still providing privacy.  Sheer curtains can be styled to either give you privacy are perfectly drape in accordance to your preference.

Use shelving as a backdrop:
While the heart of the room is low-level and intimate, build shelves into alcoves to form an interesting backdrop of books and treasures.  Painting them the same color of the walls helps to integrate them, allowing accessories to be the focus.

Layer up lighting:  
Candles, dim lights, ceiling lights.

Be bold with colour:
Although white is the obvious choice in a smaller room, a dark shade can add drama and give a cosy, cocooning feel.

Be bold with artwork:

Do your research, and find some wall hangings that are bold, yet represent your personality.  These wall hangings give personality to a room.

Your Current Environment Could Determine Your Creative Capacity

10 Nov

My latest quick skim, has been Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From”…

Steven Johnson explains the inspiration behind creative thinking &  innovation.  In the first few chapters, Johnson presents an example of how a small moment can transform an idea into a BIG  idea:

Stephane Tarnier took a day off from his work at the Maternity de Paris, and visited the zoo.  He was inspired by the exhibit of chicken incubators and decided to contract a device similar for human newborns.  Because of this, the rate of fatalities of newborns had decreased drastically.

Here is another excerpt from the book:

“This is a book about the space of innovation.  Some environments squelch new ideas; some environments seem to breed them effortlessly.  The city and the Web have been such engines of innovation because, for complicated historical reasons, they are both environments that are powerfully suited for the creation, diffusion, and adoption of good ideas.  Neither environment is perfect, by any means.  But both the city and the web possess an undeniable track record at generating innovation.  In the same way, the “myriad tiny architects” of Darwin’s coral reef create an environment where biological innovation can flourish.  If we want to understand where good ideas come from, we have to put them in context.  Darwin’s world-changing idea unfolded inside his brain, but think of all the environments and tools he need to piece it together: a ship, an archipelago, a notebook, a library, a coral reef.  Our thought shapes the spaces we inhabit, and our spaces return the favor.  The argument of this book is that a series of shared properties and patterns recur again and again in unusually fertile environments.  I have distilled them down into seven patterns, each one occupying a separate chapter.  The more we embrace these patterns- in our private work habits and hobbies, in our office environments, n the design of software tools, the better we will be at tapping our extraordinary capacity for innovative thinking.”

Johnson raises some good points.  As human beings, we must identify where we find ourselves, and does our environment help motivate us to embrace our highest innovative state-of-mind?

Interesting Decor Rules for Comfortable Living

2 Nov

Don’t undermine the importance of decor. Think about what you want your specific ling space/room to accomplish. The purpose and functions of living spaces need to be studied and analyzed.

The elements that will help accomplish the goal of your “room” are- the fabrics, paint color, even the lighting.  Also bear in mind,  too much clutter or large bulky pieces will make a small room look and feel claustrophobic.

The colors you use in your room reflect your own taste and personality. They affect moods too, so use them wisely.

“Your focal point – the area that demands attention as soon as someone enters a room can be just about anything, but remember the rest of room’s design will be built upon and around it. The focal point may be something you add, like a stunning piece of artwork from which you took color inspiration or a rug in an interesting shape. It may also be a feature of the room, such as a niche, or a textured wall. Many people make the mistake of scattering their collections all around the house. Highlighting your collection in one area creates visual interest in a room and speaks of your personality and interests. Avoid clutter and overcrowding.

Repeat the main color throughout the room more than once. This attracts the eye and is the finishing touch. It also adds to the sense of harmony. It might be something subtle, like a throw blanket, pillow or trim fabric on a chair. Add a pattern, print or texture. These offer both a visual and tactile thrill. Find one piece you love and display it proudly. Maybe it’s an antique chest of drawers, piano, or a beautiful lampshade. Whatever it is, it will bring the room to life. Move items around the house. Sometimes the simplest design makeover is to rearrange stuff. Don’t be afraid. Remember that a bad color choice can always be repainted, furniture is easily rearranged and windows are fine with curtains, shades or nothing at all. Experiment a bit keeping your budget in mind.”

Happily Ever After?

2 Nov
Last weekend, I had visited a bunch of friends.  Men and women from diverse backgrounds,  just about everyone had a burning topic in  mind… Love.  Each person discussed their hopes and aspirations in seeking happiness with that “one person”.  Some discussed the topic with hope, others with slight anxiety.  The question often arises, how can we turn our initial infatuation into eternal love, happiness and commitment?   Although I am single, I thoroughly appreciate studying this topic and observing the examples around me.  I couldn’t help but try to brainstorm some ideas….
Continuous Happiness & Love in a Relationship
  •  Strong friendship
  • The ability to show and share physical and emotional affection.
  • Shared goals and daily activities-  taking part in community service, sports, religious/spiritual  and or other activities together, can help build trust and appreciation between two people.
  • Thrive on learning together
  • You get what you give. When you give better, you get better.
  • No blame game- forget whether you’re right or wrong. The question is: Is what you’re doing working or not working.
  • You don’t necessarily solve problems. You learn how to manage them.  Problem solving is better done between two people as opposed to one.
  • You both help each other become better people.
  • Both are able to treat one another as equals, however agree on  undertaking different tasks in order to build a stable foundation.
  • Both appreciate the history and background of their spouse; even if they don’t “get it”.  Families can be a head-ache to deal with, however, if you truly admire your spouse, you will respect his/her family, b/g, and history.
  • Both give each other enough space to yearn for one another.
  • Both people have hobbies.
  • Both are able to make challenging decisions based on  clarity, logic, and a touch of sensitivity.