Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Color cohesion for interiors and your online shop.

Having started my Etsy shop as an almost exclusive ceramic boutique, the question of color cohesion solved itself because my ceramics are all pure white with a hint of color here and there. Now that I am expanding my product range and experimenting with more materials and colors I look at my shop and have the feeling that color cohesion went out the window.

Also, with my search and work on new products I went a bit overboard with new materials and colors.... which blew my budget. But the nice thing about being an interior designer is to be able to design for other people, cause my home is very much styled through and through.
So it seems like I have two problems. But I think one is the solution to the other. Having a budget limit should help me get my cohesion problem solved. All it takes it a bit of discipline, right?! And disciplines best ally is organization.

Time to get things organized. And with hectic Christmas sale season right around the corner I could do with some organization. And to be most efficient and professional I will go about it interior designer style.
I often hear friends enthusiastically telling me what a great new 'thing' they found for their home, just to hear them a bit later moaning that their house looks messy, or not very 'trendy'. And oh what they would give to have one of those super styled through interiors you find so many of in magazines and Pinterest, etc.

Now, the thing stylists do differently is: they are organized. You look at your space and chose a color palette. The most common way is to create a mood board.

But basically anything can become your guideline: an outfit, a painting, a photograph.... anything!

Luis Vuitton shop window

random fashion outfit

photograph of coconuts

I will choose as an example this picture of the coconuts. The shown example is the easiest way to attribute colors.

And looking at this interior with this sort of accessories, no one would actually think 'This reminds me of coconuts!', right?! but you could also go bold and chose the turquoise for the floor - see below!

Once you have  your main color scheme set you can add little details in colors that enhance this (here summer/fresh/Caribbean) look.

And what goes well with coco nuts in a Bermuda blue lagoon? Right, pineapples and limes.


So far, so great. Now this is all fantastic for upgrading your interiors, but what does this have to do with your Etsy/Meylah/Dawanda shop, you might ask.
Well, if we take our shop as virtual interiors we can apply the same principals. And since products and colors change with the seasons you might re-think your way of going about the re-style of your shop.

Unless you are starting a brand new shop you will already have some "furniture", aka. other products and existing supplies in there and you might want to change gradually into new colors in order not to burst out of your budget limit.

So here is what we do in interior design (a bit of color re-cap I am sure you already know, but let's bring it back to memory):
Choose which items/colors/products you have most of or simply want to keep because they are your best-sellers, or have tons of stock or are simply favorite things.
I have a bright pink color that is called 'juicy watermelon' which is great for spring and summer, but less ideal for fall and winter. In order to use it for other seasons it can easily be manipulated by just adding some white, black, or black+white (grey) and it will look as followed:

LaNiqueHOME: how to find your new colors on low budget.

If you just take a sheet of white paper and quickly do this with all your colors you'll get a nice chart of all the tints, tones and shades available to you and you quickly multiply your palette by three - talking about saving some money on new paints!

The top left is the 'juicy watermelon' that looks a lot pinker then the tomato red below. Yet the tints and tones look alike. Only the shades look really different. Good to know.
The 'antique rose' to the right gives a beautiful off-white as tint and gorgeous warm greys as tone ans shade. I feel like I should repaint a room in one of those colors.

Here a little sheet that I made quickly to see how my colors could look like. As you see the yellow is only nice as original color (big on the left) and as a lighter version tint (top small one). The Bermuda blue gives some nice variations as tint, shade and tone.

And if you don't work with paints but lets say fabrics or beads this is still helpful cause it shows you which colors of new supplies you need to buy in order to use the existing efficiently up.
Once I chose my new color combinations I want to work with (see picture of my pinboard below) I keep pieces of colored confetti in my wallet, so when I am out and about and see a paint, ribbon, beads etc. I think might fit my scheme I can verify if it fits.
my current Summer color scheme will need re-working soon

And I also always keep the 'wrong colors' with me as well, because in different environments, changing light situations etc. you can easily grab the wrong tone and then, I at least, get annoyed I spend money I could have saved. Particularly tricky are colors like mint, that looks like aqua in yellow light, or you think you got a nice orange-y shade of peach just to notice at home its more salmon and your partner folds his hands upon his head cause which man likes 'salmon', or pink as they like to call it... lol.

>>>I hope you found this little article helpful. Feel free to leave comments, suggestions or your own tips.
Greetings from France,

As always: find the links to the shown pictures on my PINTEREST

Monday, July 15, 2013

The melon diaries #3 - work space utopia

At the beginning of July I have been contacted by Etsy France to fill out an interview sheet which they sent to their 50 top Etsy stores based in France.
The interview was the classic Etsy 'behind the scenes' questionnaire with the side note that they would love to have some pictures of me and my work space, if possible.

Yeah, sure! wait!

When I thought of that I instantly remembered the work space pics I usually see on Etsy, or on Pinterest. And I started a bit to panic, cause my work space looks nothing like them - see below:

YUCK!!!! Disgustingly perfect!
I mean "COME ON!" Where do you work in this space? It is all way too neat and tidy. Even those that have some full loaded ares, like a mood board, it is the neatest mess I have ever seen. I don't really believe that those are work spaces - those are showrooms projecting a work space utopia.

Don't get me wrong, surely some people can keep it together like this on a daily basis but they must be graphic designers, or similar. Having a work that takes really only place on the desktop of their computers.

Producing physical items like my ceramics, or paintings or clothing is a messy business no matter if you produce made-to-order or pre-produce in batches. And so I tried to find more realistic examples:

That looks much more like it, doesn't it?! I have these examples on my pinterest board, but soon there will be more - promise.

So here I was, annoyed that I was facing the dilemma between not sending in any photos and have a smaller chance of being interesting enough to be published by EtsyFR or having to have a big clean-up on short notice and show off my work space when there is actually no work in progress. I did the latter and here the results:

Oh, and it wouldn't be the melon diaries if I didn't give you an update, right?!
So sadly Melon No2 seems to be dying....; but No1 is doing fine, considering it is growing out of a flower pot.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The melon diaries #2 - living in a cave.

If you would have asked me 5years ago where I see myself in 5years, I would have said Canada, or Sweden. Definitely a cold country.
But here I am in France - the SOUTH of France. 28°C (~90°F) at 8am in the summer months.
When you come here on vacation it is probably in some place with a pool or at the seaside.... perfect hot weather almost guaranteed. You will invite the warmth and sun in and you probably think  my home looks a bit like this:
the Mediterranean sea
Doors, windows and shutters wide open.....
windows and shutters wide open
 Yeah, well.... It does look like this more or less 9months out of 12. But right now, when it is that hot and you are not on vacation but have to work....
The windows, doors AND shutters stay closed - keep the heat out!!!! All day until at least 8pm. At night we open everything to cool the apartment down.
So right now it feels a bit like living in a cave.

Next year we might try to swap flats for the summer... find some nice Swedish family that would like to come here and in return we get to stay at their house for a few weeks....oh, I could daydream about that all day!

>>> But hey! If I'd live in Sweden I wouldn't have watermelons growing on my balcony. 

The little ones does not seem to grow - still grape sized. 
But the big one grew 2.5inch in 2days - yaaay!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The melon diaries #1

A garden is a beautiful thing to have.
I would love to have a garden. I would have a fruit and veggie part...

would be a neat veggie patch idea
and since I am a 'foody' I'd have a wall of herbs
...and then, of cause a part to play and relax. A green area for the kids and a patio part for the adults.

oh, and heat resistant driveway greenery like this

Unfortunately, I am a bit a lost case when it comes to tending to plants. So I know I would need some serious help. So that is the reason I am so excited about the latest development on my balcony. A melon plant appeared and I have now TWO watermelons growing. This plant must have come from the small compost I cultivated last year and used on my plants this year. If they make it to an eatable stage, I'd be so thrilled.

P.S.: find all links and sources of the pictures shown here:

No1 is just a few days old but already on  a good way
7" or 17.5cm

No2 has appreared yeseterday and is just grape sized - for now!