Style Equation: The Workspace

Your home office should be a place that inspires you, helps you focus and accomplish the tasks you set aside to work on. Since both what you use your home office for and what environment keeps you the most productive are so widely varying, everyone’s workspace is, and should be, unique, inspiring, and functional for them. Here are a few style equations to make your workspace a place that inspires you.

If you like a clean workspace, architectural furniture pieces in unobtrusive neutral colors work well. A glossy white lamp adds some polish.
If color inspires and stimulates you try a mod graphic print and a brightly colored lamp. Go for a streamlined desk to ground the look.
To inject a little modern glamour into a workspace, accessorize a mid-century desk with a high-shine lamp and printed ikat chair.

The Perfect (and Personal) Home Fragrance

I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I notice when I walk into someone’s home is the smell – for better or worse. Whether it’s a great scent like freshly baked bread or fresh flowers, or a less pleasant experience – home scent can make the first impression when you step in the door. More importantly, home fragrance can increase your enjoyment of your home, invigorate you, relax you, and affect the ambience that surrounds your day-to-day life.

So says one of the best among home fragrance companies – Antica Farmacista, whose wonderland of products with luscious names like Prosecco and Casablanca could tempt anyone to break the bank stocking up on scents for every room and occasion. Since becoming Friends with Antica Famacista co-owner, Shelley Callaghan (and her generosity in lavishly supplying my own home and office with their amazing products)  I’ve been  intrigued by all the ways they allow for their customers to shop for fragrance – not only by room of the house and fragrance-element, but more fascinating (and mostly, more fun) by personality type. Because if you’re going to add a fragrance to your home, it should be personal!

Here are three fragrance personality profiles that may inspire your home fragrance choice – you can see the many more in detail on Antica Farmacista’s website.

 The Romantic

LOVE this for my stairway landing. Like the open look, the gold. Aqua and gold Entry hall idea  - (Thibaut Design - Thibaut wallpaper, gold sunburst mirror, gold demilune table and ...)

The romantic – you love to be transported, you love a good story. Your décor reflects that, and you love a fragrance that can tell a new story within your home. Among the gorgeous scents suggested at Antica Farmacista are the light, refreshing, “Acqua,” the delicious-sounding “Ala Moana,” (it means “path to the sea”) and the soft “Peonia, Gardenia & Rosa.

The Naturalist

lovely dining room.

If you fill your home and your life with natural textures, simple styles, fresh and soothing colors, try a naturalistic fragrance to match. Fill your home with the fresh scent of natural elements. At Antica they suggest “Green Fig,” “Grapefruit,” or “Sandalwood Amber.

The Classic

office, desk

Tried-and-true classics, those quality elements that stand the test of time and don’t bend with fashions and trends – if this is what fills your home and your life, you’re a classic! Go with a fragrance that reflects that like “Casablanca,” “Prosecco,” or “Orange Blossom” (my personal favorite).

There are many ways to choose a home fragrance, but the most important thing is to choose a fragrance that not only reflects your personality but sets the mood that you want for your home – whether you want to feel invigorated, refreshed and energized, cozy and relaxed, or centered and familiar.

The Art of Window Treatment

Window treatments – that oft overlooked design element – can be hugely impactful to great room design. It tends to be the last thing we think about (much to the room’s detriment!) when we plan our design. Simply put, they’re one of the best ways to help express a unique design aesthetic and punch up the room’s personality.

There are tons of reasons to consider your window treatment, but first, please consider The Golden Rule of drape placement.

DON’T:                                                                          DO:


These two windows are exactly the same size, but the window on the right looks much larger. This, my friends is the secret to hanging draperies. Always, always, hang your drapes to the ceiling! Where possible, extend the drapes wider horizontally. This will make so much difference folks! Just say no to bad drape placement.

So, what are the advantages of a great window treatment?

Practicality. Most people want the option of privacy and the added insulation provided by window treatments.

Closing drapes and blinds provide greater insulation around windows against both outdoor heat and cold, and could save you as much as $10 PER WINDOW annually on your heating/cooling bill!

Drama. Nothing says drama like floor-to-ceiling panels of creamy, luxurious fabric, and there is no more obvious way to add airy drama in flash.

dramatic drapes

Personality. Window treatments are just another way to express your design aesthetic and style – pick something fun that complements your design but expresses a different side of your style!

Patterned Drapes to flank, Light Chiffon ones... for bedroom    If you are the one struggling with how to arrange a long, narrow living room, you may know it better as “the bowling alley.” When we were looking at houses several years ago, we kept seeing these long, open spaces, and inevitab

Continuity. See how the drapes below really carry the design through the whole room? They complement the accent colors, shapes, and patterns, creating a far more cohesive look.

Patterned drapes around the bed, and a comfortable couch nearby.

Texture. Texture is a great tool to help a design feel more complete – especially if you’re going for a more subtle look, textured window treatments add an extra layer of interest.

Cream walls and drapes and a toned down blue and beige color palette works perfectly because of the pattern play and the bold rug and daybed choices.

Pattern. In case you hadn’t noticed, window treatments are a fabulous way to introduce all types of pattern – they cover a ton of surface area, but are an easier and safer way to incorporate pattern than a wallpaper or large furniture piece.

great colors - drapes + wall color (+ some pops of color on wall perhaps?)

Color. Beautiful bright drapes all but eliminate the need for any other accent color in the room – how easy is that?

Colored drapes

Bookcase 101: Ten Designer Tricks for Styling

Holy Smokes, I’m not sure what it is, but boy people sure do struggle with accessorizing shelves. Too much, too little, too small too big – it can be overwhelming to try to balance the proportion, color and volume of a styled bookcase. It takes practice, but with a little study you can achieve a well-styled bookcase that finishes, rather than detracts from the room.

1. Remove everything from your shelves (and realize they need a good dusting…) Starting with a blank canvas will help you see the space anew and replace only what you love.

reclaimed wood bookcase

2. Edit your books. Relegate paperbacks to your nightstand. Organize your books into several stacks and sort by size.

Book stack cake. Looks so real!
3. Place your largest items – a grouping of books, storage baskets, vases, larger framed photos – on the bottom shelves to ground your bookcase.


4. Use the top shelf to visually “frame” the bookcase by running small books of similar heights across the top.

natural wood bookcase

5. There is more than one way to skin a cat – and stack a book. Stacking books in varying directions can add interest while cutting down the need for too many cluttering accessories.

6. Layer it – layering some objects of varying heights in front of and behind each other can turn a lackluster shelf into a great vignette.

bookcase styling

7. Group things in odd numbers. This balances the shelf visually and keeps it from falling flat.


8. Make it personal. Reserve a couple of shelves to just showcase things you truly enjoy –a family photo or a statuette. Finish off with small items, but use sparingly! (A pretty shell or a vintage clock, maybe.) And please. No stuffed animals.

Uttermost Blue Blue Elephants Decorative Object, Set Of Two...Bellacor $103.40 Sale PricePromotional Radiance Silver Plated Family Photo Frame | Customized Picture Frames | Promotional Picture Frames

9. Peruse the home decor aisles of Target, Crate & Barrel, and Ikea for inexpensive and seasonal items. Check out local budget bookstores for reasonably priced hardback coffee table books.

Why do I always want Target's decor?
10. Give your stuff some breathing room. Leave at least 10-15% of each shelf open.

bookcase - seashore

Step back and assess. Is there too much stuff on one side? Too many black things on that one shelf? Is it too symmetrical? Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect right away. None of these rules are hard and fast – you may prefer your shelves to have more books, less books, fuller, emptier, themed-by-color or jumbled up. Take a few days and play around with it!

Unleash Your Design Diva


It’s really shocking how many people I come across that say to me, “Oh, I’m not like you, I’m not creative.” Why do so many of us default to this statement? Maybe it feels like an arrogant thing to say about yourself if you’re not an expert or critically acclaimed. Maybe it’s the common misconception that the “creative” people are the people that have the magical ability to create something out of nothing, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. The truth is that most of the creative process is about combining the many things that have inspired you (experiences, things you’ve seen or heard) and creating something unique from them. So intrinsically, we are all unique and creative beings, because we all have a unique set of experiences and vision.

Sometimes we may see something creative and think, “I could never think of that, so I must not be creative.” What we don’t realize is that many sources, experiences, trial, error, and failures all combined to create that person’s unique vision. Einstein’s famous statement, “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources” really is true in this sense. Creative people don’t possess a magical unattainable power. The world is not divided into the creative and the uncreative. The distinction lies merely between those who are creatively productive and those with unexpressed potential. Don’t ask, “Am I creative?” Ask, “What inspires me to create?”

From my experience most people know what they don’t like. Few people know what they do like, and even fewer know why. The secret is to explore and discover. You will distill your own unique sense of design. I’ve catalogued some of the best ways to kick-start this process and help you unleash that inner design diva!


1. Start a design journal. Get a three ring binder and designate it as your design journal. Consider it a working record that serves to help you discover and understand your own personal design style, a resource from which you can continually add to and draw from.


2. Open yourself to inspiration. Get inspired by exposing yourself to new things and recognizing the way these things make you feel.  For starters, design magazines, websites and  blogs are a great resource. Examine these resources and allow them to  speak to you in some way. Open yourself to a variety of work from different designers and artists as they pull from many sources and life perspectives to create spaces that are unique and fresh.


3. Seek visual inspiration. Clip or print  pictures from these resources (tear sheets is the industry term) and put them in your journal. Circle, scribble, draw arrows to the things you like; it may be a particular color combination, pattern or  piece. This is key to identifying your style. If you like something (but are not quite sure why) still include it and revisit it later. These “unusual” things are the fun mysteries that help  define our deeper sense of style!

If you’re not into physically cataloguing all your inspiration (or you just don’t have the time,) Pinterest is a wonderful tool that makes cataloguing and organizing the inspiring images you find around the web really easy. It’s also an incredible place to find more inspiration than you could ever keep up with, and is quickly becoming a must-have source of inspiration for creative work.


To find out what inspires us at Jacobson Interiors, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest!

UnusualTable UnusualTreeHouse

4. See the unusual in usual things. Look at the everyday things around you with new eyes and ask new questions about old things. “What else could I use this for? If I arranged these differently what would they look like?” You will find that a simple change of perspective will create a new view of the world.

UnusualFrames UnusualFireplace

5. Generate and capture new ideas. Once you start to understand why you find different things beautiful or inspiring you will naturally apply this knowledge to your own personal sense of style,  unique to only you! Write them down, snap a picture or draw them simply in your journal to preserve the process and look for ways to apply them to your life.


6. Break things up.  After a while your journal will begin to fill up with inspirations and your own ideas you now have the ability to sort and categorize these things in any way you want. You can break it up by  rooms, colors or moods.


Now you have a foundation for building on basic design principles to help you make the spaces around you into places you truly want to live in – spaces that make you feel good to be in. Personal creativity is not about intelligence or information. Creativity is about being fully alive, living courageously. The word “inspiration” is from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath, courage, the soul.” What is it that calls forth your courage and trumps your fear of sharing your soul? Knowing this is the key to discovering the design creativity that is waiting to be expressed in your home, through you!

From Red Carpet to Room

“I’ve long believed that the eye runs naturally from the catwalk to the kitchen.” Anna Wintour, Editor of US Vogue

Glance back through the decades and you’ll find a strong link between fashion and interiors – the glamour of the forties and fifties gave way to the mod lines of the sixties, and today fashion giants like Missoni, Christian Lacroix and Versace have all tried their hand at interiors. This year at the Oscars, stars turned out in gorgeous gowns that set a new bar for red carpet style. Barely-there pale pastels came out in full force, and metallics brought a fresh edge to neutral tones. So, how can interior design take a note from the Oscars looks?

The biggest trend of the night was soft romantic colors. Interiors that play up combinations of soft, neutral-toned pastels allow a room to feel light, airy, and open without falling flat. To keep the look modern and grounded, add some graphic pattern or a pop of black and white.

Jessica Chastain #Oscars   Amy Adams #Oscars  Jennifer Lawrence #Oscars

Lonny office   love it all   DIY Tufted Ottoman

If you really want to incorporate a red-carpet-worthy moment into your interiors, check out our top ten red-carpet-to-room transformations:

1. Billowy Drapes – Capture the breezy, voluminous elegance of Jennifer Lawrence’s Dior look with billowy drapes.


2. Glamorous Touches – Deep tones and facted-glass accents evoke smokey glamour.


3. Purple Punch – Take a nod from Jennifer Garner and use this pitch-perfect grape hue to immediately brighten the mood.


4. Metallic Accents – muted metallics give a sophisticated urban edge with a hint of luxe.OscarsStacy

5. Sculptural Pieces – an all-white sculptural accent provides sharp visual interest without using pattern or color.


6. Golden Girl – an all-out-luxe showstopper like this needs little else to complement it – except maybe an accent of deep espresso like Catherine Zeta-Jones’s wavy locks.

OscarsCatherine7. Shades of Lilac – layering various shades and textures of the soft hue creates a look that is romantic and soothing.


8. Dark Drama – This head-to-toe charcoal number made a dramatic statement, while sequins added light and kept it from going drab. Try a graphic area rug to add drama while still letting light into the room.


9. Vintage Flair – use pink and gold to evoke the whimsical, girly vintage vibe of this look.


10. Nude Accents – Nude neutrals with just a twinge of peach add warmth without being too saccharine-sweet.


Luxe Details

Don’t forget your accessories! Those little extras that finish the look provide plenty of inspiration for adding interest to a room.

Metallic Texture


Floral Finish


Blue Above


New Year, New Look, New Color

The new year is in full swing, and so is the new Jacobson Interiors blog! We’ve got a fresh new look and a New Year’s resolution to match. Expect more posts on what’s brewing in the design world and at Jacobson Interiors, and special features like reader Q&As and giveaways in 2013.

If you’re still suffering from some New-Year’s-fever and need to punch up your interiors, there’s no better place to start than at Pantone. Every year the color-matching giants at Pantone cook up a new “color of the year” in a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups.

This year’s favored shade? Emerald!

Most identifiable as a rare and valuable gemstone, emerald is associated with not only luxury and wealth, but conversely with its abundance nature – evoking a feeling clarity and simplicity. Pantone is describing their choice as, “Lively. Radiant. Lush…A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

So whether you’re wishing for a respite from the complex urban landscape, or just want to add a trendy layer of luxe to your décor, the Emerald City is the place to be. Here are some different ways to embrace emerald, from the kitchen to the living room.

1. Lively and radiant: Keep it simple – bring in the color naturally as done here with gorgeous flowers and a luscious fruit bowl.

2. Lush: For a bolder application, envelope your walls with the shade. For clarity, keep everything else neutral.

3. Balance and harmony: Embrace the zen of emerald – it pairs beautifully with grays, whites and muted yellows or blues.

4. PUNCTUATE: a simple accessory such as a throw pillow or blanket can do the trick 

What not to do with Emerald? Well, we’re thinking something like this might be too permanent a commitment: