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My Little Cottage

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowy Day and My 15 Minutes

The world outside lies peaceful and quite beautiful with its pristine blanket of white. I love snow days-its kind of like God is giving us permission to take life just a little slower. I do pray His protection for those of you that had to make their way out into the cold and ice. I wanted to take a minute to post about something that happened here back in December. Around the 22nd I was contacted by one of our local newspaper reporters for an interview opportunity. I was THRILLED. I have never been featured in any type of publication, so you can imagine how giddy I was over the whole thing. The reporter was a joy to talk with and his article was a nice commentary on myself, as well as my business. I am posting it below:


Reprinted with permission from the Charleston Newspapers Metro Kanawha West.

Cozy Home Designs Brings Individuality to Decorating

By Ben Calwell
bcalwell@cnpapers.com
304-348-5188

December 27, 2008

It takes a cozy homeowner to know what it takes to turn plain rooms into warm, family-friendly spaces.

Interior Designer Charlotte Spears lives in a cozy, well-appointed home that exudes warmth and comfort. It’s not surprising then that Spears calls her interior design business Cozy Home Designs.

Working out of her Dunbar home, Spears offers a range of interior design services, including color consultations and expertise on fabrics, window treatments, paint, building materials, furniture and furniture arrangement and getting order and organization in the home or office.

Spears, a Nitro native, earned a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Charleston in 2004, and in 2006, she began Cozy Home Designs.

Color and decorating have fascinated Spears since childhood.

“From the time I was a little kid, I’ve loved to decorate and make little flower arrangements and play with colors,” Spears said.

Spears said her mother always claimed that she could distinguish the difference between the colors red-orange and orange-red at 18 months of age.

Her mother “would lay the crayons out in a rainbow and have me go over them. That was our little game,” she said.

Spears chooses to work from home to be closer to her family, but she also allows time to go out and visit clients’ homes and workplaces.

Many clients call upon Spears to help them choose colors. With an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to color, it helps to have a “third eye” help in the decision making process, she said.

“They’ll have an idea of something, but they can’t quite get the look defined in the way they want to, so I do a lot of color consultations and consult with them about window treatments and design those out.”

Often, clients have a room or rooms that frustrate them when it comes to furniture arrangement.

“Sometimes, folks will have beautiful things, but they just don’t have them arranged as advantageously as they need to be. So I’ll go in and help them rearrange what they already have,” Spears said.

In some situations, it helps if areas of rooms are divided into different “grouping areas for different functions in one room.”

Spears also offers shopping services for clients doing home makeovers.

“I’m very attuned to who has what in the valley, so I can help them pull a look together.”
The first step in getting a Cozy Home Designs consultation is an interview with the homeowners to find out their needs.

Spears takes measurements of the spaces and then goes back to her home office, makes sketches, “pulls fabric” and searches locally for furniture and accessories online to begin the design process.

The process ensures “that I have a clear understanding of what the room looks like and what the needs are and how things need to be arranged so that they are the most beneficial for that family.”

At the next visit to a client’s home, she brings her sketches and fabrics that show her vision of the project. Many times, Spears will provide her clients a direction to go in and help them connect to the resources they need.

Spears said a well decorated home is a well-organized one. She can help clients re-establish order in their homes.

As a teenager, Spears color-coded her clothes closet.

“My mother wouldn’t even hang my clothes up, because she was afraid she would put something in the wrong color order,” she said with a laugh.

Spears said a decorating trend for younger clients these days is the contemporary look — “clean lines and less clutter.”

For older clients, the Kanawha Valley is “still the traditional haven” in home decorating.
Some go “for the cottage look — they like the old retro theme by pulling older things in” to the design.

Country decor, especially the primitive look, also remains popular, she said.
As an interior designer, Spears said color fascinates her the most.
“It’s the colors. Anything to do with helping someone define their colors and make their house more cozy.”

Spears said the word “cozy” sums up her design philosophy.

“A home should be that cozy gathering place where your family feels drawn to.”
For more information about Cozy Home Designs, call 766-7183, or send e-mail to
mailto:tocharlottespears5@aol.com


WOW, a BIG thank you to Ben Calwell and the Charleston Newspapers. You all are the BEST!

Hope that you are staying warm and cozy. Until next time I am sending warm hugs to all of my "bloggin' buddies",
Charlotte

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home is Where the Heart (and sweet memories) Are

Have you ever wondered just what power our homes have on the memories of our loved ones? When you think of times spent with family or friends enjoying special times together do you remember only the people, or do the surroundings suddenly come vividly to your mind, also? Chances are that you think of the sights around the memories and maybe even the smells and sounds as well.
I was thinking of my sweet Aunt Mary this morning and as I pondered the particular visit with her I was suddenly aware that my mind was also tracing out the details of her pretty living room around the thought. I could see her sofa, the huge Hendel lamp in her front window, the tiny crystal humming bird that hung on a string reflecting the sunlight into the space...Wow, I was there again, right down to the smell of her good cooking lingering in the air. What a powerful moment!
Sometimes we are all too ready to scrap everything and start all over again in decorating our homes. We want everything bright and shiny and new. I wonder if we are doing our memory a great unjustice by taking away things that could be what friends or family so closely connect with our homes. Maybe that special china cabinet filled with favorite knick-knacks or the set of end tables that once belonged to mom. These things that we take so for granted day to day might just hold some delightful details in the memory of someone dear to you. Cherish the things around you and count them as a blessing in making your home the cozy place that is all yours. Fill the spaces of your home with things that are both beautiful and have special meaning to you. Lovingly replace worn out items with items that are just as beautiful and unique. Keep tradition alive by asking friends or family members if they would have an interest in using items that you are putting aside if it holds any special memories for them. Your home is the one place on earth that people most identify you by. Take time to make it as special as you want to be remembered.

For now, stay cozy,
Charlotte

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Color Trends for 2009 and Back to My Path:

Good morning to all. I hope that your day has started off in a pleasant and fulfilling manner and that you are well on your way to accomplishing all of the goals that you have set for yourself today. Most of you that have been reading my cozy little blog over the past few months will certainly know that, as a designer, I am not one to be confined by the popular trends in the market. I am much more attuned to helping my clients find something more enduring and soul satisfying that speaks of their own individual interpretations of home. However, there are a those that are ever curious as to what will be the latest on the scene for the upcoming year and, this year, I will have to admit that things look quite interesting. My personal favorite color combo for 2009 makes me a little hungry when I think about it: Plum and Mustard-almost good enough to eat!!! The color plum is dark and mysterious while the mustard tone is more like the grey poupon variety; not the bright yellow variety that we Americans usually put on our favorite hot dogs. I have posted a link to an article for you to visit. I would love to have your comments about your impression of the latest trends. Here is the link:

Hot Trends in Home Interior Colors and Textiles: 2008-2009
A guide to help with post holiday decorating this winter. New trends in color palettes and textiles will add beauty to any home this.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1268485/hot_trends_in_home_interior_colors.html

Hugs to all and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte