Cookie + Modern Seed

Have you flipped through Cookie magazine yet? I'm totally addicted to it, and I'm not even a parent. Targeted at young urban-minded couples with kids who favor modern design and an active lifestyle, Cookie is packed with excellent parenting tips, recipes, home accessories, gifts, and my favorite - the road trip, which takes you on a journey to destinations, last issue was Stockholm, this time around it's central Oregon. I highly suggest it to parents and non-parents alike, especially since we all have friends with kids and it's never a bad thing to educate yourself a little about their lifestyle.

In the May/June issue, there's a really cute interview on page 96 with Keegan Pfeiffer. She's the daughter of Melissa and Eric over at Modern Seed. Cookie was talking to her about her bedroom and when asked, "Do any of your friends have rooms you like better than yours?", she replied a confident, "No, my room is awesome!" The confidence of children is great, isn't it? As adults, we all need to work on our confidence; we should be so absolutely certain about our own space, just like Keegan.

How many times have your shoulders slumped when you saw a teriffic room in a magazine, wishing your home looked like that? True, it's never okay to be satisfied with a space that is poorly designed and not being utilized to its fullest - it cannot accommodate your storage needs, color is impacting you negatively, access or egress routes are blocked, structural problems... When I hear clients express how much they hate their style, I know it's time for me to tread carefully because if I don't figure out why and what style they do like, a well-designed space may result, but not something that they necessarily like. You see this a lot on design shows, clients meet with people to "fix" a poorly designed room and the outcome is an amazing space with everything the client stated they wanted, shelving, new bathroom fixtures, etc. but it's not really them and you can see it on their face. You sense that as soon as the camera crew is gone, those homeowners are ripping down that floral wallpaper and painting the walls beige again because it's all they know, and god knows that they detest vinyl walls.

The key is to get into your own head, figure out "what" it is about your style that you do not like, create lists on paper to keep your thoughts flowing and in front of you at all times. Don't question your gut. Don't design based on a trend. If you truly detest wallpaper, don't add it to your space because it's "in" at the moment. It may not grow on you, maybe you'll never enjoy seeing patterns on your walls from floor to ceiling. Perhaps adding some simple peel-and-stick wall decals will do the trick without hard labor. If your eye adjusts to the decals and you decide you want more pattern on the walls, then consider wallpaper, but don't jump into something that costs time and money if you are uncertain about it. Your mother said to follow your gut about men. Apply this to your design sense, too.

List everything that you dislike about your current style, in detail, and when you are finished, try to focus on each point individually and develop ideas that could transform the negative into a positive.

For instance, you dislike your wall color, but cannot paint (you rent) and cannot move out (financially strapped). Think about what it is that you dislike about it. Could it be that you need a focal point in the room to detract the eye from the walls? Or maybe the colors you have in the space are not complementing your wall color. Maybe the art is clashing. Could be the lighting, maybe you need a few more lamps. Check your light bulbs, incandescent bulbs can change the look of your space since they are available in a variety of colors from soft white to clear or even a soft blue or pink. I recently swapped out the bulbs in my living room from soft to clear and it truly does make a difference.

Ultimately, trust your judgement and make it your goal to love your space and when asked, you'll be able to say, "My room is awesome!".