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Interior Design and Home Safety

Many people hear Interior Design and think glamour, shopping for furniture with an ‘eye’ for design, and occasionally window treatments, pillows, pillows, and more pillows. What we don’t think about is the slip-rating on tile for use on a bathroom floor. We don’t think about spending hours upon hours drawing things like this:

Why do we need to understand these items down to this level of detail? Well, a great example is something I saw recently where someone suggested using glass tiles on a floor. The tiles suggested would have not only broke because they weren’t meant to be stood on.. they were also huge slip hazards! Safety in the home is absolutely affected by the finishes and fixtures we choose.

Most accidents happen in the home, and yet residential building code is the most relaxed code that exists! If I do not design the right transition from one floor surface to the next, I may be inadvertently creating a tripping hazard.

While we do not all have time to go to design school and work for several years under professionals, there are ways we can make our homes safer. Some of these may seem like common sense, so go easy on me here…

  1. Update all smoke/CO2 alarms

    Smoke alarms can now be combined with CO2 alarms, so really the question is why not? If you are building new or completely remodeling, make sure these systems are hardwared into the home.

  2. Work with even flooring

    Sometimes we get excited about wood in teh living room and tile in the kitchen, and head on out to make our product selections purely based on aesthetics. It is important to also look at the thickness of each material and what the thickness is of the material they are replacing. There may be problems when that 1/2” tile is laid on top of 1/4” subfloor and new 5/16” wood finishe is selected to butt right up to it. Oops!

  3. Make sure stair rails are within reach and grippable

    Older homes particularly may have stairs that do not meet today’s code standards, and who knows if the stair rail does or not. Make sure there is something to grip onto and that everyone who uses the stairs can reach that rail comfortably.

  4. Think about high falls

    There should never be an opening more than a 4” radius when more than 30” above the adjacent floor. Make sure guards are in place in higher areas. All the glass in these areas should be tempered as well.

These are many, but nowhere near all the considerations designers keep in mind when reviewing your home needs. Additional considerations for well-being in the home is sustainability and universal design.

Let’s work together to make sure your home is safe!

Waldron Designs New Studio!

I’ve been waiting to write this post forever because… well, it’s not quite done. We have a few finishing touches and when those are finished, we will do a professional shoot of the new space. In the meantime, here are a couple quick cell phone shots to share what I’ve been dreaming of- a design studio designed by me, for me. Who knew I would EVER be able to design my own space?!

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Aging in Place- 5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Universal Design

Aging in place is the big thing in interior design right now, and why wouldn’t it be? Homes should be designed to last, so of course they need to continue working for us as we age within them. However, aging in place should not simply mean “getting old”. In fact, it doesn’t even need to have a focus on aging at all. Design should be universal, meaning that spaces should work for a 5’-0” pregnant mother with a toddler. The spaces should work for the toddler. They should work well for grandma when she comes to visit. Spaces should work for the mother’s blind brother who lives in the basement. They should be comfortable for her uncle who has chemical sensitivities. What about her husband who is 6’-7”?

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Sustainable Interior Design

Greenwashing. We all hear about how ‘green’ products are and shop and confidently purchase because we’ve been told, read, and truly believe we are doing something good. Oh, if only greenwashing was against the law. I see it as false advertising.

Products frequently advertised as “green” that are in no way sustainable products include (and there are wayyyy more): LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles), Mattresses, honestly most Ikea items, natural stone, anti-microbials, concrete, and some bamboo.

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How Travel Impacts Interior Design

When I come home, I am not looking to replicate a Japanese bathroom or a Belizean shower. I am, however, considering these approaches when I hear my clients’ needs and frustrations. I am remembering solutions that I may not find in a local showroom.

More than anything, travel changes perspective. And, what better way to create and be creative than to have the ability to change perspective?

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Quirky Interior Design

Take a minute to look around the space you are in. Maybe it’s an office, your home, or maybe you are outside right now. Does the space reflect its purpose? It’s user? If you are at a park, what is the personality of the park? Is it a Japanese garden? If so, is it authentic, or is it a random garden with a pond and a bonsai just to use the name? If at home, do you look around and see a space that represents who you are? Does it capture all your fun quirks? One of the biggest challenges of an interior designer is to capture our client’s personalities. We work to get to know you, and your personality, but we do this on a limited amount of time. So, how does your home develop its own special quirk?

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Is Interior Design Expensive?

“Affordable Interior Design”. We see this everywhere today- retail stores offer free design services, designers do free consultations, and e-design is available for very low rates. On the other hand, we look at Architectural Digest and see homes designed for the elite. There is a definite range and it ultimately comes down to the designer you choose, your expectations, and a good old fashioned reality check.

I spoke with someone recently, letting them know that a good rule of thumb for budgeting their design fee was to set aside 15-20% of their overall budget. The response, “other designers told me 10%” was not seen as a lie or an attempt to get me to drop my rates at all. Instead, it is simply the reaity of variation in pricing based on professional training, experience, and demand.

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The Cluttered Home

When working on a renovation project and clearing clutter, we suggest scheduling a home organizer initial consult to coincide with your interior design in-home consultation.

I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial it is for multiple professionals to work together on home improvement projects. We love coordinating with home organizers by meeting with you on the same day. Once the organizer has had some time to purge and understand the needs of the space, we request a follow up meeting with the organizer to coordinate a plan. The design is developed with your lifestyle and organization needs in mind, and the home is clutter free!

To schedule an appointment with Waldron Designs and a Home Organizer, contact us. We will connect you with our recommended organizers and coordinate that first meeting!

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Vegan Interior Design

What does veganism have to do with design? Well, leather sofas, leather wall panels, fur rugs, wool carpet, silk drapes, the list goes on and on. Designing vegan is not only a great way to prevent animal cruelty, it helps our environment! As a vegan designer, I understand that not all my clients are vegan and if they want a leather sofa, a leather sofa they will get. I will absolutely share the pros of vegan substitutes that are NOT plastic based! Sure, we can all throw vinyl on the sofa and call it leather, but vinyl emits harmful toxins and when the time comes for the sofa to be reupholstered or tossed, the plastic will stay…. and stay… and stay.

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