More, now than ever, the line between our work life and private life is becoming blurred. We take work home, our smart phones only get turned off (if at all) right before it’s ‘lights out’. We want our office spaces to be more residential, and our homes to offer the function and simplicity that was once relegated only to our work spaces.
The Wow Factor
Given access to so much beautiful design via the internet, it’s no wonder we look to boutique hotels and restaurants to scratch that itch we have for the “wow” factor. We might not tolerate so much bling, so much color, so much richness in our homes, but it’s nice to escape to a space where fantasy runs rampant while we take that weekend away, meet coworkers to review the next presentation, or catch up with friends over a meal.
Image by Blair-witch via Istock
Private to Public Consumption
No doubt, our homes must become ever streamlined and functional as we rush in and out of our domiciles. We land long enough to take care of the essentials such as laundry, dinner, and school permission forms. Our interiors must support our pace, as well as our ever growing craving for technology and function. Millennials, as well as those of us rethinking our proiorities and relationship with materialism, are searching more for experiences, rather than stuff. We might not be quick to invest in our own interiors. So if we aren’t putting the divine details into our residences, it is no wonder that the boutique hotel and restaurant phenomenon has taken off. The wonderful thing is that rather than sublime design being created for a wealthy few, it is now available for public consumption.
Imagine that your most important goals are represented by big rocks you put in your “jar of life.” The sand that fills in around the big rocks are the things that take away time from investing in your most important goals. These include activities that aren’t necessarily important but distract us from our larger goals. If we don’t put the BIG rocks in first (guarding time, attention, and energy for these things), there will be no room in our “jar of life” for these important goals.
The Value of Minimalism as Applied to Goal Setting
Minimalism involves intentionally promoting the things we most value and getting rid of the things that distract us from attaining those valuable things. Living with fewer material possessions can be a way to remove distractions. However, minimalism is really more about a way of thinking and a way of experiencing life that provides you greater freedom and happiness.
Adventure doesn’t just mean jumping out of an airplane or backpacking through Europe. It means all kinds of things. Adventure can be adapted based on our particular circumstances and stage of life. What adventure means to one person means something different to another. You are the one and only you. No one should or will live your life story….which is just as it should be.
Adventure can mean as a willingness to do somewhat risky or dangerous things but it can also mean a stirring experience or a willingness to do new things. Consider a fresh new take on your existing life — enriching the experiences and relationships already in front of you — as well as taking on new experiences outside your comfort zone.
What types of adventures will help you to experience life’s riches?
The Adventure of Enriching Your Spirit
The Adventure of New and Enhanced Existing Relationships
“Relationships are the essence of life.”
– -Bob Fulton
The Adventure of Parenting
The Adventure of Exploring the Culinary Arts
The Adventure of Pursuing Passions & Hobbies
The Adventure of Intellectual Pursuits
The Adventure of Career
The Adventure of Experiencing the Natural World
The Adventure of Making the World a Better Place
The Adventure of Creating Community
Your True Priorities
Goal setting is such an incredibly powerful tool. It helps us tap into our potential and the abundance that life has to offer. It can give our lives perspective. What’s more, if your goals are aligned with your true priorities and inner desires, accomplishing them will be far easier.
British-Nigerian filmaker Adeyemi Michael says in his interview, “Mothers can do anything…they give birth, they build families, they build the world, …all our mothers are queens, and are leading the universe.” In his short film, Entitiled, he celebrates the “woman, the mother, the matriach, the immigrant,” He goes on to say that his family kept him rooted in his culture. “When you know where you belong, it doesn’t matter where you are. When you know where you’re from and you know where your roots are and you know what you stand for and you know what your culture is, you are enough.” What a beautiful sentiment.
For the full interview and a glimpse of the film visit:
I saw this sign the other day and it made me smile and think that I should share it with my community given that I had recently suggested that people set their imagination free. So what is imagination and how can we harness it to improve our lives?
Merriam-Webster defines imagination as such:
Definition of imagination
1: the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
2a: creative ability
b: ability to confront and deal with a problem : RESOURCEFULNESSuse your imagination and get us out of here
c: the thinking or active mind : INTERESTstories that fired the imagination
Imagination is something never before perceived in reality. Being imaginative implies an ability to deal with the unknown as well as an ability to deal with and embrace change. Thinking of imagination in this way can be daunting. However, imagination also can help us develop a healthy discontent with our circumstances as they are. Imagination can prod us out of ruts, push us out of bad habits and into good ones. Imagination can instill a desire for accomplishment — for attainment of our biggest dreams.
In my last post I invited you to set your imagination free. Setting goals requires invoking your powerful imagination and guiding it with disciplined methods to attain those goals that will give you fulfillment.
So, revisit the prompters in my last post and see where your imagination takes you. Future posts will help you distill your list of “I want, I wish…” into concrete goals but engaging your imagination is the first step.
CB2 has elevated contemporary interior design. CB2 is transforming the perception of home design for today’s modern consumer by offering high quality, sophisticated design at an approachable price.
Glamour and Luxury
CB2 offers richness, glamour, and luxury in their design offerings — always stylish, ever intriguing! The room settings showcased in their October 2018 lookbook expertly balance the currently popular gold and silver tones with soft hues. Their interior settings adeptly apply texture and pattern, balance warm and cool, and make an artful, breathtaking use of black. Their wood tones, upholstered furniture and area rugs create a warmth and coziness to balance contemporary lines.
CB2 has embraced the emerald green that is so hot at present, but it never looks out of place in any of their settings. For accent walls consider SW6289 Delightful (soft mauve), SW 6747 Argyle (deep green), or SW 6496 Oceanside (deep blue) when incorporating your select CB2 offerings.
Images provided by CB2
There is a delicate nature to CB2’s bling — survey their mirrors, crystal drops, light fixtures and glass trees. Their accessories are refreshingly innovative and interesting.
Images provided by CB2
Edgy, Eclectic, Inspirational
The brand is definitely today’s destination for timeless yet edgy home collections, creating furniture and decor to inspire creativity and celebrate individuality with an eclectic mix of products and decorating ideas. Their furniture and accessories are many and varied, so much so that you will find it easy to make CB2 your own. Your space will truly look and feel like a home – contemporary, eclectic, unique, and very livable.
Images provided by CB2
CB2 is Growing Rapidly
In addition to being a leader in online retail, the brand is rapidly expanding their physical footprint and currently has 18 locations across the U.S and Canada. CB2 is part of Crate and Barrel Holdings, which is owned by The Otto Group, a global retail and services group based in Hamburg, Germany.
For More CB2
For more information, visit www.cb2.com, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
When you’re relaxed and in a receptive state, make a list of all your desires, everything you have or might ever want. Don’t limit yourself by money, physical ability or any other thing that might inhibit you.
You can brainstorm on a pad of paper or on your computer. Use whichever method you feel will enable you to brainstorm the best. Don’t worry about categorization at this point, or anything else other than covering as many pages as you can with your wishes, hopes and dreams.
Some areas of life are listed below to prompt you:
Physical Health/Mental Health
Ethics/Spiritual Growth/Personal Growth
Don’t forget to include anything and everything that would give you pure joy, and anything that sounds fun.
I’m not including any images in this blog because I don’t want to influence you but feel free to peruse magazines or the internet to inspire you. You might even create a physical or digital folder to capture these inspiration images — these will be useful to jog your aspirations for your best self as well as help you make your goals a reality in the future.
Here are some prompters:
What would you like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Where do you want to live? Do you want a second home?
What places you would like to visit?
What accomplishments will bring meaning to your life?
Who do you want to become?
Are there any habits you want to create or break?
Are there talents you would like to persue?
What do you want from life?
Are there any tangible wants or needs you have?
If you develop your talents and abilities more effectively, what could you accomplish?
What would you really like to do?
What income would be satisfactory?
How do you want to spend your working time?
How do you want to spend your leisure time?
What could you do to improve your most important relationships?
Is there a dream that you have?
What do you find interesting and inspiring?
If money were no object, how would you spend your time?
Are you putting anything off until you feel “ready”?
Describe your perfect day.
How do you ideally want to receive and give your love?
What types of positive changes would you like to see in your life? In your relationships?
How would you like to grow as a person?
Ready, set…. dream on. List everything you have ever wanted. This is your personal wish list. Add anything and everything, no matter how unrealistic it might seem at the moment. Don’t limit yourself by judging your dreams or deeming yourself unworthy. No dream is silly or unimportant. Set your imagination free.
Besosa Designs is offering Woodbury & Co.’s perfectly packaged set of delightful amenities for your guests.
Woodbury & Co. is a modern twist on the old apothecary feel. Using a medicinal style bottle, the collection will blend in with most any room setting while standing out amongst its competitors. A unique batch number is placed on each bottle to make the set feel unique to that user.
The brown sugar and fig scented set comes with an Old Town Apothecary bag:
The set includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion in 1.7 fl. oz. bottles.
The set also includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion in 1.0 fl. oz. tubes.
Also included in the pouch are a 1.2 oz (28 g) bath bar, a 0.75 oz facial bar, and shower cap. (Individual items are also available by the case. Visit the SHOP tab for more details.)
Wrap your guests in comfort throughout their stay.
Besosa Designs is a lifestyle blog that is part design resource, part inspiration resource for mazimizing your life adventure. I invite you to “Design Your Life.” Areas of Life Design include goal setting, personal fulfillment, travel and adventure, and life experiences. My Facebook page is my way of creating a community of people to support eachother on their Life Adventures.
In my blog series, I offer inspiration and advice to help you plan and enjoy those experiences that will result in your best personal adventure. This means something different to each person. Success means entirely different things to different people and even to ourselves depending on the stage of life we are currently in.
I invite you to become the best version of yourself. You are special and unique — there is no one who can ever take your place. Please join me on this journey of adventure and discovery.
Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. I adore the glorious colors of fall foilage and the cooler temeratures bringing on increased energy. Perhaps it is the association of the new school year that I associate fall with a fresh start. Or it might be that kick of temperature change along with seeing nature let go of summer with such a graceful transition that autumn inspires taking on new adventures in our lives.
Image via Pexel 33109
“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.” –Stanley Horowitz
There are so many ways to celebrate the season. The cooler weather encourages us to clean out our homes, taken on challenging chores, visit orchards, perhaps even start something new that is good for us like a hobby or carving out some time for ourselves. Give yourself plenty of time to plan for and enjoy Halloween.
Image via Pexel 1371178
A thousand flowers baked by the sun
Their scent dampened by dew now that night has begun
A distant church bell’s toll is eerie tonight
Young children notice all take takes flight
Close friends and neighbors we don’t recognize
Until small friendly voices dispel their disguise
A pumpkin, a candle, a sheet becomes ghost
Our path is so marked by our spooky host
With mild trepidation we approach the next door
Each house has become a free candy store
The night fills with quick footsteps, the shouts that we utter
A spring in our step, inside us a flutter
The beauty of autumn, the mystery of lore
A witch on the wing, a bat hangs from a door
Countless enchantments to be heard, felt and seen
On its once a year visit, once again — Halloween
Poem by Adrian Jennings
Image via Pexel 33577
Autumn is such a fun time for crafts or and adding fall decor. You can let your personality shine, such as with this adorable porcupine set in a nest of warm color –shown above.
Image & Design by Lauren Richardson
Head to your local craft store and grab a grapevine wreath, some colorful leaf stems, berry stems (anything to add interest and texture), your favorite ribbon (with wire) and a bow maker (it’s easy after a few practices), wreath hangers and make yourself a dazzling wreath. I love to have one for the outside of the front door and one for the inside of the front door.
Image & Design by Lauren Richardson
Crate and Barrel’s Suki Collection offers a modern and fresh take on autumn and Thanksgiving table decor. The Suki Collection hosts runners, tablecloths, and napkins in a fresh, stylized floral in two colorways.
Planning a kitchen renovation can be daunting in terms of scope and budget. The good news is that realtors estimate that 80% of the investment you make in your kitchen upgrade will be recouped when you sell your house. Whether you are ready to take the plunge for your own benefit or for resale value, below are some guidelines to help save you time and money with designers, make the process smoother and get you the end results you desire.
Before getting to far along, go through all your kitchen appliances, dishes, tools and cookbooks and give away or toss anything you don’t need. Does your waffle maker just sit there 364 days a year? Do you really need four sets of measuring cups? Do you have mismatched dishes and cups that just sit on the shelf? Once you know exactly what you need to store, finding storage solutions will be more targeted.
The most expensive part of a kitchen upgrade is in appliance reorientation and custom cabinetry. Depending on the extent of your renovation, it can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $75,000 (or higher). Consumer Reports offers a monthly membership for $7.95 per month or you can purchase magazines that will get you up to speed on costs.
Do some research. Visit kitchen showrooms and gather materials. Learn what’s possible. Until you do some exploring, you won’t know that you can’t live without that certain something. Even Home Depot and Lowes have great catalogs that help you understand some of the organizational tools available with cabinetry upgrades.
Create a list of “must haves” and “would like to haves.” If you are a couple, try to have individual lists as well as a shared list to help designers hone in on those items that are paramount to your happiness.
Consider amenities such as a wine cooler, a gas fireplace to keep you cozy in the wintertime, and storage solutions that will save you from sitting on the floor and digging through cabinets for that certain appliance. Corner cabinets with lazy susans are wonderful. Maybe you’re an avid baker, and over the fridge vertical storage will make it easy access to large, flat pans. Perhaps having a pull out spice cabinet would make life sunnier. It may be that a pegged dish drawer would make the daily chore of setting the table and putting the dishes away a breeze. Consider your height, back issues, arthritis and any disabilities when putting together your wish list.
Will the family eat in the kitchen or dining room?
How often do you entertain?
How do kids and dogs impact your layout and amenities selection?
Will there typically one cook or more?
Where do you prefer to do prep, cooking and clean up? (Your designer will plan your kitchen triangle of refrigerator, sink, and stove and overall layout with these preferences in mind.)
Do you need extra counter space? A bar counter?
Do you need a double oven?
Will one sink suffice?
Do you have a good-sized pantry? Do you need extra storage for pots, pans, spices, or wine?
Are you interested in switching from electric to gas? Extending a gas line can be expensive and electric cook tops have improved over time.
Do you need additional task lighting?
Do you need a home/office area?
Do you need a family calendar/scheduling area?
Would you like more natural light in your space? (skylilghts, additional windows, enlarged windows, sliding doors, etc)
Create a file, notebook (digital or paper) or Pinterest page of kitchen designs that you find appealing. Your designer won’t copy these, but they will provide insight to your taste. Strive for 7 to 10 images that represent your style. Try to understand why the images appeal to you. Isolate the components. Is it the light? Copper bowls? Stone tile? Dark wood floors contrasting with crisp white cabinetry? As a couple, strive for images that reflect a combined style. This may be difficult and could require the assistance of your designer, but the clearer you are on what you want, the less time you will spend with a designer.
Base finishes include flooring, cabinet finish, countertops, backsplash and paint. Appliances should be coordinated as well. They don’t have to all match but they should coordinate (i.e, black stove and dishwasher with stainless refrigerator).
Finish Upgrade versus Remodel
If you are merely changing finishes, you can do this own your own or hire an interior designer. If you are remodeling, be sure to hire a certified NKBA planner. Your kitchen planner might be able to offer you a highly coordinated finish scheme, but different types of designers have different specialties. so be sure to see some of their work. You might want an interior designer to work with your certified kitchen planner, particularly if you are coordinating open floor plans and want coherence between the kitchen and adjacent rooms. Consider, in particular, any flooring material that will be adjacent to the kitchen flooring material.
Kitchen Flooring Choices
Are you keeping your existing flooring? Try to get a sample of it so that this can be viewed in the quartz showroom with your other finishes. You might be able to pull a chip from the corner of a pantry or closet. If you are making a change, you will likely either choose tile or hardwood. Tile is easy to clean but can be hard on your back. If you don’t spend a lot of time cooking, this could be a good choice for you. If you do select tile, ensure you specify narrow grout lines and a medium to dark grout. If you have a light-colored grout, you will spend an enormous amount of time cleaning the grout, even if you seal it. I prefer Carlisle wood flooring for its beauty, but if you are pressed for budget there are many other options.
Don’t purchase budget bamboo — a low price typically indicates bamboo that has not been allowed to harden and it will dent once installed. The article below details more choices and outlines pro’s and con’s.
Don’t select granite for your countertops. While it’s fine to use a granite offcut for a small vanity, granite can break upon installation for large pieces. Quartz, on the other hand, has binders that offer just enough give that their will not be a break upon instlalation. If you are looking for something subtle in a grey, white, or cream, Corian Quartz® (formerly Zodiaq®) offers regular specials on several colors.
However, if you would like more interest, visual “movement”, and something a bit more lively, Cambria® is your vendor of choice. You can see Cambria® designs on your own countertops and islands, and more with the Augmented Reality (AR) app. How it works it you use your device to scan your counter, then select the design you want, and you will see how it looks in your space.
Visit a quartz showroom to see quartz options in full slab size. Never, ever order your kitchen countertop(s) based on a small sample size. Quartz often has wide variation, visual movement, and multiple colors that will not be evident in a small sample. Consider two coordinating quartz colors if you have two or three countertops. Once measurements are taken for fabrication, have your designer check with the fabricator to see if there are any offcuts that can be made into a desktop, vanity, or occasional table. You will pay for the entire slab, so get your money’s worth.
If you want something custom, visit some local cabinet makers. They should have samples of their work and be able to show you the quality of construction as well as paint and stain choices. If you like more traditional designs, consider Enkebol architectural wood carving designs to enhance your cabinetry with carving, overlays, fluting, and molding. Hoods offer another ornametal option.
Kitchen showrooms will offer you many styles of cabinetry, palettes and details to suit your style. Consider some well-appointed glass cabinet fronts. Antique glass offers sparkle without a stark view into the contents behind them.
Image by hikesterson via Istock
While backsplashes are not required, and you can simply create a backsplash with your chosen quartz, a coordinating tile can add interest to your kitchen design. Don’t limit yourself to Home Depot! There are so many beautiful tile designs available through your designer. Have them take you to a showroom so that you can gather some ideas or ask them to bring you some selections.
While you can purchase refrigerator doors with wood fronts, most of us will select white, black or stainless. The best selection will be based on your other finishes but keep in mind that stainless will show smudges, so if you have little ones under your roof, be prepared to be wiping appliances down often should you choose stainless.
Sinks and faucets might be on your renovation list. These should be coordinated with your cabinet hardware. Sherle Wagner and Carpe Diem are worth investigating for outstanding hardware selections.
Lighting and Electrical
In addition to offering a planned and coordinated design, another advantage of hiring an interior designer for your kitchen upgrade is to coordinate lighting that will showcase your new space. Recessed lights in the ceiling, undercabinet lights, lights to showcase displays behind glass, and new fixtures over your kitchen table or island will be important components of a complete and pleasing design.
While this is an easy finish to change, paint color is still one of the items that should be chosen in concert with your other base finishes.
Final Selection of Base Finishes
Before signing on to any of your base finishes, have your designer meet you at the quartz showroom with the following samples: cabinet door, flooring sample, backsplash and paint. Ease of cleaning is of utmost importance in considering all of your finish selections.
Adding In Your Personality
Image by Svetl via Istock
Image by Svetl via Istock
Most of your base finishes will be neutral. If you are selling your home, ensure you select classic, neutral finishes. If this is your forever home, you can suit your own taste. Have you dreamed of having a Mexican kitchen since you were 15? Go for it.
Create another file of images that captures your personality. Do you love Italian ceramics? Mixed colors of dishes? Ceramics can brighten up your space. Think of a kitchen with soft creams, whites, or greys and a bright blue vase with yellow flowers. Or lavender orchids on a black countertop. Kitchen mixers come in fun colors like aqua, red, and copper. You can bring fabric, pattern and color into your space through upholstered seating areas, window treatments, chair covers, table cloths, runners, napkins, placemats, and artwork. These items will add texture, color and personality. The more information you provide to your designer at the outset, the more successful he or she will be at giving you your dream kitchen. Good design has so much to do with planning all the components together.
To recap: visit some kitchen showrooms to think outside the box and see what’s possible, create your wish list of functional and style preferences, create a folder of images for overall kitchen design, base finish ideas, and personality ideas. Hire your NKBA kitchen planner and interior designer. The links below will connect you to organizations that can assist you in finding your designers.
Care and Maintenance
Once your new kitchen is installed, be sur eyou have warranties on hand and understand the care and maintenance of your new finishes so that you can enjoy them for some time to come. In particular, understand proper care of your quartz countertops and islands. Quartz is non-porous and hard to stain but you should avoid abrasive cleansers and cleansers that contain bleach. Although quartz is very scratch resistant, you should always use a cutting board and never put a hot pot or pan direclty on the surface as this can cause discoloration.
My life improved significantly when I took my eye doctor’s advice and purchased a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. The glare of the Atlanta sun can be bothersome at the least, and debilitating at best. Too often the sun would give me a headache, even with an off the shelf pair of sunglasses.
Color, Clarity, Detail
Maui Jim sunglasses have six technologies to pop color, enhance clarity, and reduce glare. They come with a bit of a price tag, but you only get one set of peepers, and this is one way to take care of them and enhance the beauty around you.
Image by damedeeso via Istock
Recommended by Eye Doctors
There is a reason you will find eyeglass retailers offering these outstanding sunglasses. They are the best at protecting your eyes. Check out Maui Jim’s web page and learn about these top rate sunglasses. You can find a retailer near you or order from mauijim.com to find your perfect pair. They offer free returns.
Tips for Eye Health and Preventing Macular Degeneration
Maintain a healthy weight.
Eat a nutritious diet that includes green leafy vegetables, yellow and orange fruit, fish and whole grains. (Tip: load 1/2 your plate with veggies and fruit, 1/4 with protein, and 1/4 with carbs.)
Maintain normal blood pressure.
See for Yourself – Maui Jim’s are Different
Treat yourself to a pair for your next vacation or just your next walk around the block.