20 Below Studio

20 Below Studios

Take some time to check out 20 Below Studio. The architecture and interior design firm was started in 2002, and since then, they have acquired a stellar list of local residential and commercial clients, some which include the anticipated King’s Wine Bar, Figlios, Chino Latino, Envy Nightclub, Myth Nightclub, and the concourse level of the IDS building’s crystal court.

Envy Nightclub

Chino Latino

Described on their website, 20 Below Studio builds relationships with clients to find the fine line between a project’s spirit and function. The design/architectural firm concentrates on local and national projects that range from 1,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet. Please check out the gallery portion of their website to see the amazing work they do. Or better yet, have a night out and stop by one of the spaces that they have helped to design!

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Floorplanning Tool

So many people I know use giant paper cutouts to determine whether a certain floor plan or piece of furniture fits into their room. Instead of going through all that trouble, there is a much more handy way to space planning rooms. There are now sites such as Floor Planner that allow one to draw in the size of his or her room and place the furniture to scale in the space. It is easily addicting to sit down and see all the different ways to arrange your room. There is a trail demo version that you can try, otherwise there are premium options that one can pay for. Definitely worth checking out before you start moving your furniture all around.

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Entablature Mirror

My lust mirror of the moment is Restoration Hardware’s new Entablature mirror. This gigantic mirror is made from reclaimed timber from an old Scottish mill. This one of a kind neoclassically inspired mirror is a cool 230 lbs and retails for $3,290 at Restoration Hardware.

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Hot or Not? Jazzy Dresser

I found this image off of daylapt’s flickr page. It is called a Jazzy dresser that was featured at this year’s Home and Garden show in Minneapolis. Unfortunately I do not know who the maker is. I have been trying to figure it out based upon the part of the web address that is shown in the background. In any case, what do you think? Hot or not?

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Spotlight: Jillian Lee Studios

Joulle Hotel in Dallas

In creating a project for a client, whether it is for the residential or the commercial realm, presentation is critical in communications to secure the client’s confidence to go ahead with the plan. Floor plans can only get one so far. Many clients need a visual picture in order approve any project. This is where Jillian Lee of Jillian Lee Studios comes in. By providing 2d and 3d hand drawn renderings, architectural and interior designers can show their clients an artistic representation of the end result of their project.

Jillian Lee has worked on numerous residential and commercial projects, and her hand drawn pictures are an asset to any interior designer having to go before a board to get a design project going for a commercial space. Check out her website for some more of her cool artwork: www.jillianleestudios.com. Here are some other examples of her work:

Historic Brownstone meets global elegance

Funky Design Studio

A contemporary urban loft that incorporates green living

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Great Picture

In honor of spring cleaning week, I wanted to share this picture of the ultimate spring cleaning in Minneapolis. I got it from radrobot.org

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Green Cleaning Tips

I got these Green tips from Wendy Gabriel at examiner.com:

Here are some of my favorite green cleaning tips:

Tub and tile cleaner: Use half a lemon with a sprinkle of baking soda on it to scrub your tub and tiles. I also clean my kitchen sink and counter tops using this method.

Oven cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in your oven and spray it with water (making it into a paste). Let it sit, periodically spraying it when it dries. Then wipe off. Your oven will be sparkling clean. It’s like magic!

Window cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with water and ¼ cup white vinegar. Use a micro-fiber cloth or newspaper to wipe.

Here are some of my favorite green cleaning tip sites:

The Green Guide has some great DIY Household Cleaners including this great tip: spraying hydrogen peroxide and vinegar right after one another is just as effective at killing germs as lung-irritating, stream-polluting chlorine bleach.

Tiny Choices. They hosted the Green Mom’s Carnival: Green Spring Cleaning this month and have a lineup of excellent bloggers with amazing cleaning tips.

Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safe guarding the environment and transforming the market place by promoting the manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally responsible products and services.

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De-clutter your life

Let’s face it. We all have crap that we hold on to for some reason or another. It could be because we did not even realize we still had something (one should REALLY get rid of this stuff when one finds it!) It could also be because we have convinced ourselves that we could not live without this stuff. Or, it could be because we have sentimental attachment to things which makes it hard to let go (do you really need all of those childhood books now that you are in your 20’s?)

Now, I am not advocating chucking everything in the garbage that does not have a place or a purpose, but I am saying you should donate the items to the Salvation Army, or Goodwill drop off sites as to not end up in the giant landfills. De-cluttering and sorting your home may seem overwhelming, but there are a few tricks that can help:

1) Start off by organizing one room at a time. Plan your attack. Start on one side of the room and go through each and every item and think to yourself, do I need this? Do I love this? If not, toss it in a donate bag.

2) Some might say that one needs to keep a rule that for every thing you get, you should get rid of one thing. I don’t think this is necessary. I think by going into your home annually, or bi-annually and de-cluttering is the best solution. Or, even before you take something to the cash register, think to yourself if you have a place to put this item, if you love it or even need it. Don’t get stuff for the sake of getting stuff. Your home AND your pocketbook will love you more for it.

3)Sort through things like books, magazines, and other periodicals and ask yourself if you will really pick up that fiction book again, or if you could donate it to someone who would want to read it. There are online book swap clubs, so you can get rid of your books and reward yourself by getting books you have been meaning to read. The Paperback Swap is a perfect way to exchange your books. As long as you are getting rid of some of your books to get new ones, your space won’t be as likely to get cluttered.

4)If you are fortunate to have a storage locker or room in your home, use it! If it is full, you should start there and make sure you need everything in there. Bring down extra cooking tools or dishes and plates that you pull out only if you have tons of extra company.

5)Organize! Living in the Twin Cities, we have lots of great resources to get our homes in shape, but my two favorites are Storables, and The Container Store in Edina. They have storage solutions that you would not have even thought you needed, but once you see them, you will never go back to your old ways.

While doing all this de-cluttering, above all, limit yourself to one room at a time, or the amount of time you do each room. And reward yourself when you are done! Nothing screams of accomplishment more than going out to get an all fruit smoothie and enjoying it in your newly organized room.

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Overlooked Detail

One of my favorite design blogs, Apartment Therapy, shared this story about how we often overlook cleaning window and door frames. This is so true. We use these so much ,but often do we even think about their cleanliness. I thought you might enjoy the article about how much of a difference these can make in creating a welcoming home: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/cleaning/cleaning-tip-dont-forget-this-oftenoverlooked-detail-084957

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Spring Cleaning

Winters in Minnesota means it is time for hibernation. We start collecting things to occupy our time inside so we don’t have to go brave the cold to find entertainment. Perhaps due to the tumultuous economic climate and the long, extremely cold spells we endured, it seems that we have big collections of stuff lying around to keep ourselves amused. Where have we gotten this stuff? With a combination of the winter holidays, the dollar aisle at Target, and advertisers showing us tons of products at reduced products, we start to think that we need this stuff while the prices are still low. When springtime rolls around, what are we left with? A house or apartment filled to the brim with stuff we think we need but we really don’t.

I am going to dedicate this week to spring cleaning because it is something that we all hate to do, but it is necessary to get done. With some tips and lists on how to get your home organized, then perhaps the job can go quicker and won’t be as much of a pain.

To start things off, I am going to post some links to some other websites that give tips as to how to get the job done.

It seems that Martha always has something to say about everything home related, including cleaning tips. Here is a link to her website that has a ton of tips to make your home looking fresher: http://www.marthastewart.com/spring-cleaning?xsc=msn_fall

Reader’s Digest also has a great article on the 8 major hot sports you should not miss: http://www.rd.com/advice-and-know-how/8-spring-cleaning-tips/article26207.html

About.com breaks it up by room: http://housekeeping.about.com/cs/cleaning101/a/springclnngguid.htm

I also came across this site that offers some great tips:http://www.debra4homes.com/f/spring_cleaning_tips.htm

I can’t cover everything this week, but hopefully these links will provide some great ideas to get the ball rolling.

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