About meGinger Rodriguez“ I love helping my client’s find more beauty, harmony …. and happiness in their home.”
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Monthly Archives: October 2011
HARVEST HOME – YOUR HOME
Isn’t that a wonderful and evocative word. If you think about it, “cozy” only happens in cool and cold-weather months. “Cozy” never comes to mind as we struggle through 90+ degree days.
It’s cozy-time again!… and I LOVE it. I especially love autumn and through the Winter Holidays. Harvest Time is definitely a fav with me.
We need to celebrate the turning of the year and we need to take the time to change our home decorations with the seasons. You don’t have to go all-out and hot-glue 2,000 perfectly-capped, hand-gathered acorns to a “beribboned” wreath, like “You-Know-Who”, but DO bring armfuls of bright leaves into your home. Yes, create vignettes of pumpkins and gourds and colorful corn. It’s not trivial – it is an homage to our history.
I firmly believe that it is not only natural (humans have celebrated special times of the year since the Dawn of Time), but that it is also essential for good mental health to observe the seasons and holidays. The way we are made requires us to take a break, stop and enjoy, relax and appreciate – on a regular basis.
“Harvest Home”, for centuries, was the celebration of having the crops gathered and safe and stored. “Store” meant what YOU had managed to store in order to survive the coming months when nothing additional will grow. There was no “store” to drive to where others provided harvest for you to simply purchase. So the accomplishment of insuring your family’s survival was probably as major an accomplishment then, as achieving a degree is today.
These days, we talk about “buying local”, and we learn about where our food comes from, how its made or grown or raised – and that’s great. In a similar vein, celebrating the Harvest season is also honoring our ancients, for whom this was perhaps the greatest and most vital goal of their year.
Yes, DO observe this season. Pile the pumpkins and gourds, light the spice-scented candles, hang the wreath of bright leaves on the door. Not a single one of us would be here if our ancestors had not managed to, somehow, store enough provisions to make it through the coming winter, with their families fed and warm…. and cozy.
Happy Harvest Home to You and Yours!
I am thrilled and excited to be selected to do a House Calls article for the Washington Post. It’s a standard feature in the Lifestyle section. They match-up a reader who has a decorating/design problem with their room and a local interior design company and then show the Before and After.
Design challenge: Narrow room, lots of windows and doors. In the past, the room was used as a tv room and play room for the kids. Now they want a more ” grown up” room, but still need it to be kid friendly. I must incorporate a TV, fish & hermit crab tank, grandmother’s needle-point, and a piano- with a very small budget.
Click here for the online article!
Thank you Washington Post!
Room design By Ginger Rodriguez & assistant Luc Thai
What a quaint phrase… Hello! Does ANYone have a kid who is not “special needs” these days? Don’t they ALL have their individual requirements and preferences? Whether it’s how many fractions of inches the bedroom door must be left open, all the way to accommodating medical equipment. Many of us have specifics we have to work around to create a perfect haven for our little ones.
As a professional designer, I’m often called-upon to work with clients with “special needs kids”, including my own.
Although my son is super mobile, he does have special needs and periods of confinement to his room when he is not well. I want to celebrate the delightful aspects of his magical age as much as possible. At the same time, everything in his room must be carefully considered regarding layout, furnishings, and toys, as well as medical factors.
Here are some tips and highlights and a glimpse at the “light at the end of the hallway”…
A child with disabilities will probably spend much more time in his/her bedroom than other children, so make it fabulous for them! Consider amazing artwork. I asked talented, local artist Jenny Burgei to create a cheerful aviation mural.
My little one loves all things planes, dogs, and sheep. I found this lovely framed print ( Lilly Lamb) and he takes it preschool every morning. Yes, we leave it in the car!
Make surfaces washable! A great choice for kid-friendly paint is Benjamin Moore Soft Sky (807) Natura. It’s odorless and zero-VOC.
Integrate (or disguise) the furniture and equipment necessary – be sure to make it a bedroom, not a hospital room.
Make everything easy to use and reach and flexible and adjustable: switches, handles, shelving, etc.
Organization is essential. My Closet Organizer System is by far my favorite. It’s flexible and you can expand or reconfigure it as your child grows. No drilling and hangs from your existing rod.
Sling bookshelves with storage bins are also a must to hold favorite toys and display books face up for easy access.
Lighting must be reachable and functional. Lower light switches. Nightlights to make it easier if they have to get up during the night. Dimmer switches are wonderful. Lampstore.com has the most adorable kid’s lamps. I chose an airplane and bulldog lamp for the room.
If your child has a wheelchair, or will need one in the future, it will require a 5′ radius to turn around. There should be a clear path to the bathroom, room under tables and desks and non-slip flooring.
The bed: A foam wedge can help with reflux.
Handrail are great if your child has problems getting in and out, or falls out of bed. I chose Hide-Away Bed Safety Rails.
Seated on the bed, your child’s feet should be able to reach the floor. What fun to have a race car bed, a castle or even a tree house bed, just like their friends!
We fell in love with a bright red bed from PoshTots and dressed it with their Jakes Plaid Bedding with a dog throw. The rich, simple layers are gorgeous and the quality is superb!
Make sure the bed is placed so that your child can enjoy looking out the window.
To frame the window and soften a room add custom panels. We used DraperyAndBedding.com. They have a zillion fabrics and are far more superior than anything you’ll pickup at Crate & Barrel, etc.
Entertainment: Be sure to customize the room so that it provides entertainment, namely the TV, during time-consuming treatments and therapy – you’ll get much more cooperation if you don’t have a bored kid!
I know, from my own, first-hand experiences with my son, what it’s like to cope with a physically challenged child. I am here to help you and would love to make their world, and your life, more cheerful, comfortable, and functional.
Take a peek at the BEFORE:
And now the AFTER:
My Shopping Guide: Bed (priced according to size),Jakes Plaid Bedding ($350), Lab Throw ($123) poshtots.com, 866-POSHTOT; My Closet Organizer System (priced according to size, Sling bookshelf w/Storage Bins ($49), onestepahead.com 800-274-8440); Airplane and Gunnison Bulldog lamp ($60.00-$70.00, lampstore.com 888-874-2676); Aviation Mural (priced according to size, jennyburgei.com 703-740-6666); Benjamin Moore Soft Sky (807) Natura ($53.00/gal, benjaminmoore.com 888.236.6667); Drapery Panels (priced according to size, draperyandbedding.com 866-232-4436; Lilly Lamb print ($37.00, www.annajamesphotography.com 304-496-7313).