« January 2016 | Main

Good Design Rules

DESIGNER_INSIGHT1In a constantly changing world--some things will never change--including these design rules featured by House Beautiful.

1. Dining Room Table

A 36-inch-wide rectangular table is perfect for conversation. A round table with a diameter of 48 inches seats six; a 60-inch round will handle eight standard dining chairs or 10 ballroom chairs.
—Charlotte Moss.


2. Light Fixtures

How big should an overhead light fixture be? Just add the length and width of the room in feet, and whatever number you come up with is, in inches, your guide for the fixture's diameter. So a 15-by-20-foot room would need a 35-inch-wide chandelier.
—Bunny Williams


3. Paint Coverage

One gallon of paint will cover about 400 square feet of wall.
—Alexa Hampton


4. Curtain Height

Mount curtains as high as possible to give the room more height, and let them break 1½ inches on the floor.
—Miles Redd


5. Kitchen Island

A kitchen island should be about 38 inches high—a little taller than the countertops—to be comfortable for prep.
—Thomas O'Brien


6. Window Treatment Width

Curtains should be 2½ to 3 times the width of the window. So if you're doing two panels, each should be 1¼ to 1½ times the window width. Buy a rod that's 20 inches wider than your window so it extends 10 inches on either side. Your window will seem much wider than it really is.
—Libby Langdon


7. Dining-Room Chandelier

The bottom of a dining-room chandelier should hang 36 inches above the table.
—Thom Filicia


8. Light Switches

Install light switches 36 inches above the floor and 1½ to 2 inches to the side of the door trim.
—Gil Schafer


9. Fabric for a Sofa

For a standard 84-inch sofa with exposed legs and a tight back, you'll need 14 yards of plain 54-inch-wide fabric. Add two yards for a skirt.
—Madeline Stuart


10. The Golden Ratio

From classical times to today, the golden ratio has always been the perfect proportion: 1 to 1.62.
—Eric Cohler


5 Healthy Apps For A Better You

Stop using Instagram to look at people doing headstands at beach against the backdrop of a setting sun. How about instead we try using technology to our benefit instead of a tool for self-shaming. Check out some of my favorite healthy living apps.

1. MyFitnessPal

A fantastic way to keep track of what you eat during the day, plan your meals, and connect with other health focused people.

2. SeafoodWatch

By the Monterey Bay Aquarium and uses GPS to tell you exactly what seafood is best for your specific location based on season and sustainable factors. It also lets you know about the best options with lowest contamination—like mercury and PCBs.

3. Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide and 4. True Food

I know we can’t all buy Organic and local food all of the time—and even if we do, there are still some not so healthy friendly option even in the "Natural Foods" section of your local grocer. Both of these apps make it infinitely easier to make the best choice—even if it isn’t organic. Both will tell you exactly which brands and products are certified GMO free. True Food takes it to the next level and lets you get into action by sending your congressman letters, and gives you access to all of the most current research and knowledgeable to take with you everywhere you go.

5. Food Tripping

Helps you find healthy food stores, markets, cafes and more. This a "crowd-sharing" app which gives you real information from real people in real time. Food Tripping, the GPS-based app, is a collaboration of SHFT.com and Ford Motor Company in a partnership dedicated to helping conscious consumers find better options. Here's a rundown of it's offerings:

Discover healthy, sustainable food options near you or in the place you’re traveling to. 

• Search by location, name, popularity, and category. 

• Track the places you’ve been to and mark your favorite spots to come back later.

• View contact details for each location.

• Suggest new businesses offering healthy, local, sustainable fare.

•  Share the places you discover with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, and email.

• You can also connect with the developers at SHFT to learn more about living a conscious lifestyle.

I hope you like these apps—I know there are millions of options out there, but these are five I think have good information, are easy to use, and give you exactly what you need to fine tune your healthy living goals for 2016.