Jamie Squillare

Jamie's personal Blog - Archive for September, 2014

All set!

So you’ve been volunteered to help with the annual school play and you’re role is that of stage designer. After reading this article and with a little help from me – Jamie Squillare and your fellow parents you’ll confidentially be able to create a stage set design that will be forever memorable!

As a set designer you’ll actually be responsible for getting the right mood for the performance, so you’ll need to set the scenes with the play in mind. You need to have an understanding of the script so that you can select the best stage design possible and organise any special effects. It’s a good idea to meet with all the other volunteers and assign tasks to share the workload in order to avoid getting too stressed! Remember that you’ll need help with lifting, unloading and assembling as well.

set design of CopperfieldThe key factors to getting your stage design just so are the dimensions of the stage itself, the lighting, movement and the reality of the play. Take each factor individually and make rough drawings so in your mind you know what you’re trying to achieve. For example a simply constructed archway can add dimension and the illusion of doors down a hallway, and false walls at a certain angle makes the stage feel bigger. Try not to get too creative as this will detract from your purpose.

Accent lighting adds depth and life to the stage. Use pendant lights, cabinet lighting and subtle dimmed lighting to create different moods during the play. Remember that different lighting will affect the colors on the set as blues tend to look almost black and reds go very pale. Rehearse lighting techniques to make sure it all goes well on the night.

Movement on the stage is easily created by the addition of blinds at an open window for instance, or the dimming of bright lights! Doors can be fitted and opened and closed to add a real life production quality. Set elements can easily be made out of painted card and are easy to move between stage changes.

As s top advice from me – Jamie Squillare I would share:

Save time by changing elements around rather than having to keep moving them off the stage.

Make the scenes authentic by researching the play and using the appropriate props. Take a simple example such as the nativity and you’d automatically know what extras you’d need to set the scene! Do this for each scene of your play and use the school resources department to help you with all the materials you need to create the perfect settings. Make all your props directly relevant to the play and discuss how they’ll be used in case they need to be very robust.

Preparation and planning will be essential to be ready on the night. Establish a schedule with deadlines for everything and stick to it. You don’t need to be an expert but with the right research and a lot of hard work you’ll know that you did everything you could to make your stage set design the best it could possibly be with the resources and the time you had.

Bedroom Design Trends for 2014

We spend on average one third of our lives in our bedrooms. Although most of that time is spent with our eyes closed, don’t make that a reason for neglecting it. I’m Jamie Squillare and would like to give you some snappy interior design ideas which you can apply  to an often forgotten room in your home.

Let’s take a look at some popular trends for 2014.


This is a new take on country. It involves using an off white color for walls and floors but adding color in the form of blue and taupe striped curtains and bedlinen. The look includes rustic, weathered furniture made from reclaimed wood and providing useful storage in the form of metal luggage trunks. Bedroom accessories should be simple such as galvanised steel for bedside lamps and cushions made from brushed linen. A contemporary twist comes from antique clock motifs and script lettering on cushions.


Inspiration for this style comes from Danish interiors. The idea is to create a minimal backdrop for bright and modern accessories. Walls should be white or pale grey and the floor whitewashed floorboards. If you don’t like the idea of wooden floors and prefer carpet choose a putty coloured carpet. The look is finished off with black and white bedroom furniture. The hottest colours for this year are orange and cobalt blue. Use these for your bedlinen, rugs and cushions. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns but try and keep it simple.


It’s now more affordable to visit the Orient and people come back wanting to recreate some of the styles they have seen there. It is a clean looking style with the addition of cherry blossom hues, Japanese minimalism and patterns inspired by Origami. A hard floor not carpet is essential for this design. You could make the flooring more inviting and warmer by using sheepskin rugs. White blinds for the windows and simple box furniture can be paired up with a few pieces of furniture from the Orient such as a bamboo rocker. Colour can introduced by adding an oriental inspired wallpaper to one of the walls. Use paper lanterns from the ceiling to complete the feel.


If you want your bedroom to be bright and colourful go for some bold colours such as black painted walls and large floral patterns using wallpaper on one wall. The flooring should be dark as well with your bed being the feature part of the room using fuchsia pink bedlinen and ornate rugs and carpets. Because the main walls and floor are black you can really go wild with other colorful accessories.


A big trend for 2014 are triangles. You can achieve a vibrant and young look with colourful triangle patterned walls and white carpets, while further injecting bold and bright colours in your bedlinen and other accessories. Don’t be worried about clashing colours as they can be mixed together to create an energetic look. Pick out the main colors in your wallpaper and echo them in your rugs, cushions and lamps.

These are just a few of the popular interior design trends for this year. But don’t worry about creating your own. Why not share them with the community by writing your own blog. There are a wealth of different materials, colors and styles that you can use in your home.

Why not start experimenting today?



What’s Hot in the West End for 2014
POSTED BY Jamie Squillare | 17 COMMENTS

Are you planning to spend some time in London this summer? Are you looking for an enjoyable way to spend an evening? Would you like to experience the atmosphere of one of the latest West End shows? I can give some ideas.

Here are some suggestions by Jamie Squillare:

  • BILLY ELLIOTT: THE MUSICAL at the Victoria Palace Theater. This story is set during the miners strike and tells of a young boy, whose mother has recently passed away, who seeks solace in ballet rather than boxing classes with his mates. Music is by Elton John and it is written by John Hall. An excellent version of the classic 2000 movie.
  • THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Prince of Wales Theater. This is an unrelenting production that has successfully made its way across the Atlantic from New York. It is created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who some of you may recognise as the creators of South Park. It has achieved a bit of a reputation for being outlandishly offensive.
  • MATILDA: THE MUSICAL at the Cambridge Theater. Adapted by Dennis Kelly from the well known Roald Dahl novel and with a musical score written by the comedian Tim Minchon this production has gained the title of “the Best New Musical Since Billy Elliott”.
  • THE PAJAMA GAME at the Shaftesbury Theater. This is a Richard Ayres production that comes close to his famous production Guys and Dolls.
  • THE COMMITMENTS at the Palace Theater. Soul classics from an Irish group that considers themselves and other Irish musicians to be the “niggers of Europe”. Songs from Tamla Motown and Stax will excite your eardrums and get your feet tapping.
  • I CAN’T SING at the London Palladium. This musical has been written by Harry Hill and for most will be very funny. It is unconventional and at times a little rude regarding television personality Simon Cowell.
  • JERSEY BOYS at the Prince Edward Theater. This is the story of a group from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey, whose influences are hits from Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons.
  • THE LION KING at the Lyceum Theater. Amazing stage set design and cast of 48 talented performers brings this famous Disney movie to life. So far it has been seen by more than 8 million people and grossed nearly 300 million.
  • MAMMA MIA at the Novello Theater. If you remember ABBA and loved their lively tunes this is definitely a must see.
  • THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Her Majesty’s Theater. The second longest musical of all time this Andrew Webber production tells of a disfigured man who resides under the Paris Opera House falling in love with his beautiful protegee.

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Practical Home Design Ideas for Your Child’s Room

There are few things more exciting than decorating a child’s room as there are so many wonderful ideas that you and your little one will love. For many parents who are budget-conscious, the best ideas for kids’ rooms are the home design ideas that are practical. This makes it easier for them to change the room as their kids grow up and have new requirements and does not require them to spend a large sum of money on the alterations.

I’m Jamie Squillare and I truly love design. Above you can read my practical home design ideas.

Five Practical Design Ideas for Children’s Rooms

Before beginning on a decorating project for a child’s room, many interior designers recommend getting your kids involved in the process. Each child has his or her own personality and tastes so it is important to keep this in mind before starting.

Room for a boy

Room for a girl

Here are 5 of the best practical home design ideas for kids’ rooms:

  1.  Provide ample space: No matter what theme you choose for your child’s room, make sure that there is enough space for their toys and other knick-knacks. As you know, kids tend to leave their things scattered around which is why it is best not to clutter their room with unnecessary furniture or decorative items.
  2. Provide shelves and cabinets: When you are decorating your child’s room, it is important to keep in mind that there will be a lot of stuff to store, from toys to books and clothes. This is why you should include shelves and cabinets to neatly store their things. It will also help them learn to keep their rooms neat and tidy.
  3.  Use lead-free paint: When it comes to practical designs for kids, one of things that will no doubt concern you is the safety of your child. No matter what color you choose to paint your little one’s room, make sure that is lead-free for safety. Kids spend a lot of time in their rooms so it is essential to make sure that they have a safe environment.
  4.  Use toxin-free furniture: When you are decorating your child’s room, one of the things that is important is selecting the right furniture. You should make sure that every piece of furniture is safe for kids and have no toxic finish. You may have to spend a little more money than expected but it is always best to buy products of high quality than to compromise the health and safety of your little one.
  5.  Opt for classic designs: You can never go wrong when you choose a classic style for your child’s room. It will save you money in the future and also give you a great canvas to artistically decorate the room, no matter what type of décor you choose. Trends will come and go and they can be costly so it is wisest to stick to the classics always.

Children room - green

When you are looking for ideas on how to decorate your child’s room, always keep practicality and functionality in mind together with aesthetics. There are plenty of fantastic home design ideas for kids’ rooms that you choose from to give your little angel his or her dream bedroom. I’m Jamie Squillare and it’s my pleasure to give you some practical design ideas.

Tips and Tricks for School Stage Set Design

Many people think that building a set for a school play is a simple and straight-forward process. Just paint several canvases, bang a few pieces of wood and you’re ready! In reality most stage set designs are far too complex to even be built not to mentioned work for a given production. Before you decide to help your school build that set, learn what steps are needed to successfully tackle the project.

I’m Jamie Squillare and my passion is set design. Here I would like to share my knowledge with all of you.

Study the Play

School stage set designMake sure that you get acquainted with the play. Where is the setting of the story? How many scenes are included in the play and how long is each? Will you need to create an interactive scenery or you can stick to static background and settings? These questions will help you determine the complexity of the set you need to build. Remember that complex scene shifts typically come with movements of scenery. If possible leave scene shifts for play moments which benefit from dramatic scene changes.

Talk to the Director

Oftentimes, actors and directors start off rehearsing without a clear concept of what the play’s set is going to look like. Although at first this may not be an issue, it can potentially ruin the school play in the latter stages of the production especially if the director has a different concept of how actors will interact with the set. Talk to the director before rehearsals to ensure that you’re on the same track regarding set design, size and interactivity. Don’t make assumptions. Agree on a budget and set a meeting so that you can introduce the director to your ideas. This way, you can deal with any stage set design modifications in a timely manner as opposed to doing them in the last possible moment.

Points of View

To build a usable, artistic and effective set, you need to consider several things. First it’s the point of view – you want to ensure that the set design won’t block the audience’s view regardless of angle or levels. You also need to make a usable set – one that will enable the actors to play without worrying that their movements will be blocked or limited. Decide what kinds of set areas will match the movements of the characters and the action. Determine what style, design elements, special effects and color schemes will be most suitable for your set.

Assemble Set Materials

The earlier you start assembling materials the more time you’ll have to change or update your design. Use 5 by 3.9 inches lumber and 0.78 inches plywood jointed with carriage bolts for the platform. For any battle sets you can use foam structure products or batten and canvas flats. Feel free to use canvas and felt to minimise platform noise. Beyond these recommendations, you can use any inventory and furniture to customize your set. Make sure to check garage sales, where you can get your hands on inexpensive and effective hardware, drapery, props and set dressing. Also, consider using out-of style furniture, which can be re-painted and altered to meet your design needs.

Begin Building

First and foremost, you need to tape out a floor plan so that the actors can use it immediately during early rehearsals. Next, erect platforms, flats and other decor elements as they’re finished. Add furniture, props and dressing. Prepare a detailed schedule with deadlines for every part of the set, so you don’t forget anything.These useful tips and tricks will help you build the right stage set design. Keep in mind that you may be working with inexperienced volunteers, who may have limited knowledge of how to deal with absolute deadlines. Find the most devoted participants and give them more responsibility to make sure that each aspect of the project will be taken care on time.