I am so excited to share my next A SMALL CHAT interview with you guys. The lovely Ashlina, the blogger and interior designer behind The Decorista is here to share her thoughts on small space dwelling, style and making the most of your home. Ashlina has a great eye and write with clear passion on her popular blog, The Decorista, She covers a range of design from color to texture to fashion to interiors (of course!) She also runs a design and e-decorating business where she collaborates and guides clients to their best home designed self. Let's hear what Ashlina has to say about upcycling, trends and her prediction for 2011 color story.
Tell us about your interior design business and blog, The Decorista. It's full of inspiring and fab design ideas. What's your current inspiration as we head into November?
The Decorista is a love project and was not born overnight. It came out of my love of interior design and passion for the art of making a house a home. I started the blog as a way to release all of my ideas and thoughts about decorating to a place where I could share with others and inspire people to love on their homes. I believe in the importance of taking pride in where you live, as it is a reflection of your lifestyle.
Rapidly, The Decorista became a social thing and entered me into the blogging community where I have made some of my best friends. Through that I have now been able to actually turn my blog into a legitimate business and have reached out to clients worldwide, something I never dreamed possible.
Now that my world has headed in this direction, I have been getting inspiration everywhere, my mind is constantly filled with ideas. This fall I am loving this new look I like to call the "industrial revolution". Restoration Hardware has really captured this look well, I think Ikea is coming out with it now too. Texturized + weathered wood, exposed steel and metal finishes, really industrial looking lighting, with emphasis on the bones of furniture.Very earthy. I love it.
One of the biggest challenges with small space dwelling is balance and space. What is your advice on editing a space and also finding room for that "amazing chair I spotted at a flea market that I have to have but have no room for" piece? (I just went through that myself :)
Living in a small space does present its challenges, but I find that its actually easier to edit a small space, than fill a larger one. Planning is key! The way to having success in a small space is well executed organization and space planning. As for that amazing "one-of-a-kind" chair that you can't resist...I use the same philosophy as I do in my closet, when new stuff comes in, out goes the old! I always welcome a fresh change in my home decor, it sort of brings fresh energy in. Good feng shui, I think.
One of the big trends of 2010 was upcycling, reusing existing pieces in a fab and fine way. What are your tips for upcycling pieces and how do you add that extra touch?
Oh how I love the art of upcycling! It's probably one of my favorite hobbies. You can never go wrong with two coats of high gloss paint. I prefer white and black as I love a classic look. However, I have also seen huge success with bold colors, such a blue or crimson. To add a really chic touch, I suggest beautiful brass hardware or lucite hardware (those are going to be your best bet)! Don't overthink your ideas, usually the simplest idea, will be the best looking.
On that note, as we wrap up this year and head into 2011, what do you think the next big design ideas will be? Any color stories you think will be popular?
You know, I really think this "industrial revolution" is gonna be big and I think you will see it around more. In L.A., there are so many stores and restaurants on board with this look. Dark steel grays, rustic woods, really worn leather, exposed burlap & textured fabrics in creams, black, brown and grays. There is a store in Venice called Obselete that nailed this look to perfection.
Entertaining in small spaces can be super fun and intimate. What are your best tips for creating a fantastic evening for a seasonal dinner party?
Oh goodness, this is my favorite part about living, entertaining! First of all, great guests and assigned seating are key (always boy, girl, boy, girl). I have gotten the best feedback from throwing a fete with a color story and theme. The colors, the music, the food, the decor, should all tell a cohesive story. When working with a small space, consistency makes the best statement! Make sure to pull out your best dishware and use it for everything, like a beautiful teacup for sugar or dipping sauces. Use those crystal winestoppers you got for stocking stuffers last christmas. People always forget the details are the most important. Oh, and use unscented candles, you never want to confuse scents with your food. Keep the fancy fragrances for the guest bathroom, where finely scented soaps will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks, Ashlina. Click here to enjoy The Decorista (I love it!)
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