Sunday, March 27, 2011

tell me a story (actually, show me one!)

Design is a very visual thing. Sounds obvious, right?

For some of us, we can see many design elements and how they will all come together in our head. For some of us, it’s much more challenging to go from concept to details. Either way, it can be overwhelming. And if it’s not, sometimes it’s just plain hard to keep all the details straight.

And sometimes it can be tricky to keep your focus on the overall look you want to achieve when you are faced with buying fixtures, finishes, furniture, paint, accessories….etc.

The most helpful design trick is to create a storyboard. Get a piece of foamcore, or a bulletin board…even a white board will do. Something sturdy that will take a bit of a beating…you are going to be referencing it a lot!

Now, tack (or tape) EVERYTHING to it that relates to your project. If you are doing a complete design, start with a sketch of your room, with measurements. Add a picture of a room you’d like yours to look like (just for the look and feel…the overall design inspiration!), then add pictures of furniture styles you like, paint chips of the colors you are considering…and anything else that you have in mind for the room…maybe it’s fabric, or accessories, or artwork, or lighting options…put it all here.

Now, take a step back and have a good look.

Then, start to edit. Be brutal. Take off anything that no longer fits the overall vision you are hoping to achieve or now looks odd to you in the context of the other things on the board.

Put it in a place you can see if often. It’s a much more visual way of getting a good look at your thoughts and ideas, before you commit to them.

You should end up with a storyboard that gives you a focused direction. Use it to add, delete or consider any other ideas as the project evolves. Put things up there, take some things off.

Take your time and carefully consider your options over a period of this the look I want? Does this feel the way I want it to feel? does this look good in the same room wiht that? If I change this one thing, how does it affect the others?

I promise it will be worth your while and help you make faster, more confident decisions! Don’t be shy to take it with you when you shop, or when you are consulting with the experts involved in your project. Trust me, they will appreciate how much easier it makes their job (and yours). A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Stay tuned to see the storyboard for my upcoming renovation…and for the next update in “reno chronicles”!

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Sunday, March 20, 2011

spring has sprung..!

Well…somewhere, spring has sprung. Actually, tomorrow is the first official day of spring, so bring it on, I say!

Time to start thinking about spring and summer and your outdoor space. Whether you are starting from scratch, or looking to freshen up your outdoor space, there are lots of options.

Maybe too many options. But don’t get overwhelmed. Approach it as you would any other room. Find a jumping-off point and build from there.

In my case, I already have furniture for my soon-to-be-built outdoor space. I bought it two years ago at a wicked end-of-season-sale. And so far I’ve only used the chairs from the set. I can’t wait to put it all out on my new deck this spring (see reno chronicles).

The furniture looks more like indoor furniture than outdoor, with dark rattan bases and comfy white cushions. Two chairs, a small sofa and a coffee table/bench. Ohhhhhh…I’m excited to see it all come together.

But, that’s just the starting point. I’m going to add a few other things to really make it sing….more on that later.

If you need a little inspiration, check out these pics…some of the things I’m lovin’ so far this season are the tons of more natural looking pieces like this side or coffee table, woven planters and gardening bench (wouldn't this make a great bar?!)

For pops of color, think about more functional items like a heavy plastic serving tray, a colorful watering can, or a metal ice bucket.
Consider your vertical space as well…why not hang (or lean) a great outdoor-inspired mirror in your space? It’s more unexpected, will reflect light and greenery, and will help really pull your space together for a completed look.

As for me, the little red bird citronella candles came home with me and will serve as my “just a little rouge”! A pop of color and a little touch of whimsy…how perfect!

Oh…and if you’d rather put a big hit of spring indoors instead, there are some fabulous chairs you can enjoy all year long!

Just remember, chose a starting point, and slowly build from there. Choose your direction and stick too it...try not to buy up everything you think is great or cute, but stick to your plan. Then throw in a little something unexpected.... and sit back and enjoy every minute in your outdoor space.

(Note: everything pictured here came from Winners/Home Sense)

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Saturday, March 12, 2011

talent scout...great idea!

Here’s a picture from the current style at home ( issue…it’s from their high/low decorating section.

Pay close attention to the artwork….I absolutely LOVE this piece.

Here, the art inspired the interior. The stylist pulled the wall color from the art saying, “the piece is so strong and bold, I thought it’d be fun to surround her in a sea of the same brilliant turquoise.”

And they made three other color suggestions pulled from the piece that could be anything from a bold wall color choice or more simply, accent colors for the room. Notice how that was done here.

The results are tremendous. And really quite simple. You can build the design scheme for a room around anything you love. Choose your jumping off point, then build step-by-step from there.

And I love the other idea included on the following page…

“Every child is as artist,” said Pablo Picasso, so color us lucky that student’s masterpieces are more affordable then professional artwork. Contact your local high school and ask to see the students’ art.”

Smart. Cost effective. And a fun way to support your local budding art community!

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Sunday, March 6, 2011

rouge news

Here’s some exciting news for rouge

About a week or so ago, the just a little rouge blog was featured as recommended reading on the Listen to Lena! blog (

This self-described “Canadian stay-at-home-mom who would rather shop for Gucci than Graco.” An avid shopper and in-the-know on all things a smart, stylish and hip mom should know, Lena’s fantastic blog features great contests, specials and coupons, recipes and some thought-provoking opinions on regular life issues.

With over 1500 followers -- and I’m sure many, many, more readers – rouge is thrilled to be highlighted here and sends a big welcome to any Listen to Lena! readers who have checked us out…we hope you come back and check us out often!

And of course, we’d recommend all you just a little rouge readers also take a moment to listen to lena!

We think she’s a smart cookie.

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/