As people are considering renovating their home or parts of it, the spaces that get priority seem to be bathrooms and kitchens. I see a great increase in demand for making spaces safe and accessible, as people are thinking of their future. Many plan to stay in their current homes for as long as possible. The right kind of design can future-proof spaces like bathrooms for almost any situation. CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) is a designation recognizing a person who has studied, taken in-person classes and passed the tests for making spaces safe, accessible and more for anyone with limitations or challenges. Such needs may arise from an accident, progressive illness or simply natural aging. As a CAPS designer, my knowledge goes beyond ADA (American Disability Act) and Universal Design requirements. We focus on finding solutions for specific needs for each client to ease their maneuvering in their space safely. There’s not a one-solution-fits-all approach. Each person varies in size, proportion and their life situation. For instance, safety-bar heights and locations vary from person to person. There may be some limitations, such as budget or structural issues, for making a space completely accessible. However, we make the best effort to […] Read more!
Your first thought when contemplating a new design for an outdoor space probably isn’t “what will the pillows look like?” Especially if the idea of outdoor pillows seems impractical. But today’s weather-resistant fabrics, in vibrant colors and patterns, give us the tools to add perfect, comfortable accents to any outdoor living space. Take, for example, this poolside living area next to the Banana River on Florida’s east coast. The concept for this comfy outdoor setting and color scheme was derived from iridescent deep tones in the pool glass tile and the deep ocean color of the water. The soft and whimsical indoor/outdoor rug, with its many tones of blues, whites and lime greens, further inspired the selections of color and material choices for the outdoor cushions. The existing off-white cushion covers on the recliners and benches were recovered with bright solid blue Sunbrella material. Throw pillows were made in Tommy Bahama Home, Color Collection (also Sunbrella performance fabric), in a fun frond pattern in blues, whites and touch of lime green, completed with a coordinating brush fringe. Tommy Bahama Home collection fabrics and coordinating trims can be ordered through Finn Design. The barstools, meanwhile, received kidney pillows in the same […] Read more!
As so many of us work at home right now because of the unfortunate circumstances, a dedicated home working space is important. It can be a specific home office room, combination of guest room and home office, or a dedicated space in another room. Either way, now is the time to give some thought to how to make that space support the person who works there. There are many aspects to consider when taking the steps to start making the best use of the space. Some steps are common sense, yet also associated with Feng Shui disciplines. As we have heard so many times, literally clean the space and clear the clutter. Eliminate items that are no longer needed, are broken and cannot be fixed, or are no longer purposeful or bring joy in your life. These can be old papers, books, accessories, clothing — anything that we keep in our spaces. A stuffed and unorganized office will clutter the mind and distract from focusing and productivity. Clearing the space will make room and welcome new ideas and opportunities. If the work space is a separate room, try closing the door to cut down on distractions from the rest of the […] Read more!
Home has never been more important to us than it is right now. It’s the center of our lives, a safe haven, even a remote workplace. It’s what we need to sustain us through dark times and help us flourish in the better times to come. You might be thinking now about ways to make your home better – safer, smarter, more beautiful. Finn Design can work remotely to help you think through your ideas and create a design plan. Riitta Ylonen is a state-licensed interior designer, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and certified Feng Shui consultant. She has expertise in virtually all aspects of interior design. She will discuss the work with you and take a design from the space planning stage to completion of the project. She prepares scaled floor plans, elevations, electrical plans, and cabinetry drawings. This planning stage is crucial for renovation, new construction and any commercial projects. If you’re looking for a smaller-scale transformation, she also designs and makes custom furniture, bedding, window treatments, window shades and upholstered pieces, such as sofas and ottomans. Check out our shop for examples. Her husband, Juha, a master woodworker and cabinetmaker, builds pieces remotely before installation. In other words, there’s […] Read more!
What were the clients looking for in this outdoor patio project? The new addition to the house was to expand the small, existing screened-in patio. This space was more for the man of the house, who enjoys grilling and relaxing outdoors. The previous space wasn’t adequate for comfortably entertaining and, most importantly, for grilling! The new space is complete with a full kitchen, including prep, cooking and cleaning areas, along with living space. However, we always design for everyone by bringing in feminine and masculine features to create balance to please both homeowners. The outcome ended up being a delightful surprise for the husband, who trusted his wife and the designer team to do the planning and selections and monitor the work progress. How is designing for outdoors different from designing for indoors? For designing outdoors, the materials and finishes must endure climate effects from moisture and humidity to sun exposure. The cabinetry, fabrics, furniture and cushions are specifically designed for outdoor use. How did you ensure the outdoor kitchen was functional and safe? As a specialist in safety, that is always on my mind. The floor is covered with non-slip pavers. There are easy-to-clean granite countertops and a recycled […] Read more!
Here at Melbourne’s Finn Design, we seem to be doing bathroom renovations and updates quite often. In this example, the “before” picture shows the original 16-year-old master bathroom vanity with inadequate and ineffectively located lighting, above overly sized cabinets without functionality, and with a cultured marble vanity top. Another challenge posed by the original layout was that the back mirror wall was angled on the right, and the right sink was too close to the wall. There wasn’t enough elbow room, and the person facing the mirror in that location had a distorted view, because the mirror was cut in 45 degrees to follow the back wall. Originally, our repeat client requested only an update to the cabinets, vanity top and plumbing fixtures. However, as often happens when creativity takes over, we came up with three different options, from a modest change to the most functional. Our client chose the third option, with side wall cabinets balancing the back wall angle. These cabinets – with storage, adjustable shelves and electrical outlets inside – now provide functionality for both users. For the left side, we integrated the space and power source for the attached, adjustable magnifying makeup/grooming mirror. Lighting now is […] Read more!
Did you know that licensed interior designers have studied and are tested on codes for safety, health and well-being of the occupants of buildings, as well as requirements for accessibility in ADA (the Americans for Disability Act)? As people age or something happens in their life that changes the requirements for their environment, they may need to renovate and/or move or downsize from their current residence. For example, each time Melbourne’s Finn Design creates a bathroom design, whether new construction, redesign or renovation, licensed interior designer Riitta Ylonen takes into account all the ways the company can make the space more accessible, safer and user-friendly — in addition to satisfying the aesthetic requirements of the clients for years to come. Some design elements we recommend for each shower are: A built-in or folding seat Nice grab bars for safety and support Eliminating the shower curb if possible as in universal design Non-slippery shower floor materials such as smaller tile or mosaic At least one hand-held shower on a slide Integrated niche or niches for shampoos, etc. Adequate lighting and ventilation Those practical features are in addition to pleasing color schemes, accessories and tile designs. Glass shower enclosures can be ordered […] Read more!
Beachy colors and modern style are hot in interior design in 2016, according to Finn Design’s Riitta Ylonen. Soft pink and light serene blue are trendy hues for 2016, says Riitta, a state licensed interior designer and certified Feng Shui consultant with the Melbourne firm. Deeper blues and beachy turquoises are also popping in color schemes this year. Rich beach tones and happy red work well with the still popular neutrals, such as gray and taupe browns. Sunny yellow and vibrant fresh green also play a role. Riitta recommends that people use colors that make them comfortable. Trendy colors make great accents if they aren’t used as principal colors. When it comes to style, chrome and metallics remain strong, now mixed with gold and clear lucite in accent pieces and furniture. Transitional, modern classic style in furnishings and overall design themes is still prevalent. Retro furniture pieces continue to gain in popularity, Riitta says. These are often combined with fresh, bright contemporary fabrics and prints. Finn Design offers a number of services that may be helpful to you and your customers, including full-service interior design, space planning, redesign, custom cabinetry, furniture design and creation, custom upholstery, and transformation of your […] Read more!
It’s time to start spring cleaning if you haven’t started it already. Finn Design’s Riitta Ylonen is a state licensed interior designer and certified Feng Shui consultant, and she has tips to help you make the most of your space and give yourself a fresh start this season. In Feng Shui, it’s important to eliminate clutter to give room for new energy to enter. It’s good to start by removing items that no longer serve you. If there is no meaning or use for them, get rid of them. Also, Riitta says, broken items should be fixed or eliminated. Start from one closet or a cabinet. Clean, reorganize and remove items that gather and hold stagnant energy. From there, it’s good to do a thorough cleaning in the whole room or space. By doing so, the old energy is cleared out, and the new fresh energy has room to step in to invigorate the space to be livelier and more energetic. This kind of thorough spring cleaning will have a direct effect on your well-being. Finn Design offers a number of services that may be helpful to you and your customers, including full-service interior design, space planning, redesign, renovation, and […] Read more!