Monthly Archives: March 2014

Interior Design Advice: Choosing Furniture For Your Living Room

What Are Your Values?

The living room is one of the most important rooms in the house. It is where you collapse for some down time after a long day at work, or you snuggle up with your partner for a movie during the weekend. It’s where your children engage in epic imaginary fights or sprawl on the floor to do homework. The living room also plays a big role when you have guests over, especially if you host game night, poker night, or the book club.

When I work with a new client on redecorating her living room, my first question is always the same. “What are your values?”

This may seem like an odd question, but it is the foundation of how you use your home and how your home can work for you. For instance, if value your friends and love to entertain, that value will play a big role in how your living room looks. We’ll want to make sure there are many places to sit, and that the furniture allows people to relax and engage with one another.

Additionally, if you value sophistication but just don’t have a lot of time for upkeep, we can work on a minimal design that will look great without requiring a lot of cleaning or adjusting.

Working the Room

After I understand your values, I will also take the footprint of the room into consideration as well as the needs of your family. If you have young children, for instance, I might suggest dark carpeting, commercial fabric for the drapes, and a sofa made with stain resistant fabric. I might also suggest a coffee table with rounded corners and sturdy accessories that won’t break if they fall.

The room itself [...]

Five Reasons Your Home Needs A Redesign

You love your home, but something just doesn’t feel right. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you feel dissatisfied with the way your home looks. A part of you wants to rush out to the Home Depot, buy a bucket of paint (any color will do), and splash it on the walls just for something new.

You, my friend, are in serious need of a home interior redesign. This sudden itch for something new can have a variety of causes. Here are the most common reasons homeowners need a redesign:

Lack of Flow and Purpose

If you have never felt the design muse gift you with inspiration, you are not alone. Many homeowners decorate their home without a grand design vision or a cohesive style. They decorate haphazardly, like putting your favorite shirt, jeans, and shoes – without considering whether any single piece matches the other.

This approach will almost always lead to a style that lacks flow and purpose. Don’t feel bad if your house lacks flow. Most new homeowners struggle with this issue. If you need help defining your personal style, or simply don’t have the time or inclination, consider hiring a professional interior designer.

Boring Design  / Old Design

It’s easy to simply get bored with the way your home looks, especially if you haven’t changed anything in years. I suggest redesigning a room with timeless elements that won’t go out of style. Simple is better. When you start to feel bored with the way your room looks, change out the accessories, like faucets on the sinks, knobs on the cabinet, or artwork on the wall. These items usually don’t cost a lot, but they can quickly give your room a whole new look!

Changes [...]

Interior Design Tips For A Home With Small Children

Your children may have perpetually sticky fingers, leave Leggos on the stairs, and decide to decorate your walls…with permanent markers, but you love them like nothing else. We all know the stereotype of the hassled parents with the messy, stained, and destroyed home. That doesn’t have to be you! In fact, you can still have a beautiful and stylish home, even if you have a few rug rats under your roof. Great interior design accommodates your lifestyle and your family, which means your children too! Here are five great interior design tips for parents.

Use Commercial Fabrics

Commercial fabrics have come a long way from the thin and uncomfortable sheets you might have felt in the hospital or a low-cost hotel. Today’s commercial fabrics are beautiful, comfortable, and – best of all – practically bulletproof. These fabrics can withstand sun, stains, and lots of washings and still look great.

Incorporate Storage Into Your Design

Kids and clutter go together like peanut butter and jelly. On any given day, you could come home to a living room floor covered in coloring books, blocks, or a half-finished tea party. For parents who like to entertain or simply want a quick and easy way to clean the house, I recommend incorporating storage into the major activity rooms of your home, which usually includes the living room and your child’s bedroom. This may mean adding decorative chests to the room, sneaking pull-out drawers under the bed, adding a hollow ottoman to the furniture set or even building storage pieces into the room.

Limit Sharp Angles and Breakables

Children run. Children fall down. Children bang into things. This is life as a parent. You can’t always stop your little “superhero” from diving off the couch [...]

Timeless Interior Design For Your Home

As a professional interior designer, I am often asked about the latest and greatest design trends. Many homeowners I meet want to make sure their home doesn’t look old or out of touch. My answer to them is always the same – great design never goes out of style. When you create an environment that supports your values, it can never get old.

The Little Black Dress

When it comes to designing a particular room, my suggestion is that simple is often better. Think of your room like a little black dress.

A sophisticated lady will almost certainly have a little black dress hanging in her closet. This elegant dress is a beautiful as it is simple. A little black dress never goes out of style, and a few accessories can make this dress perfect for any occasion. You can dress it down with a jacket, boots, and scarf to hang out at a wine bar with friends. For a high-end dinner, throw on some heels and add diamond earrings for a classy look. The black dress reflects its accessories, so you can make a hundred or even a thousand different statements, using just this one, darling dress as the centerpiece.

Think of your room in the same way. You want to purchase big pieces that are simple and elegant, and that you can live with for years to come. You don’t need to get crazy with paint colors, or buy an expensive, flamboyant sectional set. Make the big pieces of your room timeless like that little black dress, so that you never risk falling out of love with your room. When you get the itch to update, then it’s time to accessorize.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!

When the bones of [...]

Choosing Astounding Focal Points For Your Home

Have you ever walked into a room filled with knick-knacks on every shelf, pictures nailed over every inch of the walls and loud-colored furniture? I bet you felt a little overwhelmed or bowled over by all the different visual stimuli competing for your attention.

In art class, you probably learned about a concept called a “focal point”. It’s the object or space within a painting or drawing an artist wants to lead the eye. In some paintings, the focal point is obvious. A painting of a red apple will draw your eye right to the crimson fruit. In other cases, the focal point is more subtle. The way the artist has drawn the lines will lead your gaze through a crowd of people to land on one special individual.

When decorating your home, you are the artist, and it is your job to guide the eyes of guests or even yourself (since you will be entering each room often). Resist the temptation to splash the room with lots of loud, large objects (unless that is your personal style). Decorating doesn’t mean you need to fill every space or dump a lot of expensive items into a room. Often, less is more. If you add one or two strong visual pieces, your guests will have the space to really connect with and appreciate the pieces.

One method of designing a room is to choose one vibrant, captivating focal point. This can be anything. Maybe it is a stunning painting over the fireplace or a wall painted in a rich sapphire hue. Maybe it is an ivory furniture set surrounded by dark, chestnut accents. A focal point can be anything with a unique color, shape, image or size.

Here are [...]

Five Simple Tips On How To Stay Sane When Decorating Your Home

Want to know an easy way to drive yourself completely bonkers? Take your spouse over to the nearest Home Depot or Lowes, locate the paint department and try to pick out a new color for the bedroom walls. Two hours and seventy different shades of eggshell later, you’ll understand why decorating a home can seem like a monumental undertaking. (And you haven’t even gotten to the entire aisle of doorknobs yet!).

Do not despair! You can successfully decorate your home without descending into madness, I promise! Here are five easy tips to stay sane when decorating your home:

Plan, plan, plan!

The fastest way into a design-induced straightjacket is to walk into Home Depot without a plan. You’ll either be paralyzed by too many choices, or you’ll be dragging eight carts out to the parking lot when you only meant to spruce up the kitchen with a few new hand towels. Before you set foot into a store, decide on the scope of your project. For instance, if you want to “spruce up the kitchen”, does that mean re-staining the cabinets, picking out new dining room chairs and adding a fresh coat of paint on the walls? Or, does it mean replacing all of your appliances, hiring a remodeling team to add a breakfast nook, and putting in granite countertops? See, big difference!

Budget

It’s never a good idea to take out your credit card without a budget in mind, especially when it comes to upgrading your home. It’s really easy to fall in love over and over again as you shop around for appliances, cabinets, knobs and all the other accessories you need. Keep in mind that it won’t matter how beautiful your home is if you can’t [...]

What Does An Interior Designer Do?

If you’re hesitant about hiring an interior designer, it may be because you’re not sure what we even do. You know what you want your home to look like, so can’t you do everything a designer can do? Believe it or not, there’s a lot that goes into creating a new look for your home. Interior designers wear a lot of hats, and artistic creation is just the beginning!

The Art

When you hear the term “Interior Designer,” what immediately comes to mind? If you’re like many people, you picture a designer choosing and arranging furniture, sorting through paint and fabric swatches, and strolling through your home dreaming up possibilities. This picture is a very good start. A designer’s first job is to help you and your family come up with a concept for making your home beautiful, functional, and unique. We spend time in your home taking measurements and understanding the way you live and move in your space. We also scour the world for the newest and best furniture, art, fabric, paint, flooring, and anything else that goes into a great design. But all this is just the beginning!

The Science

After working with you to develop a concept, a designer’s real work begins. It’s all very well and good to point you in the direction of a great sofa or the perfect lighting fixture, but we don’t stop there. We actually make sure it will work for you and in your home. Creating detailed and accurate renderings are crucial for making sure each space has everything you need without feeling overwhelming or crowded. Full color visuals also help make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before even one tile or of paint can crosses [...]

What Story Does Your Home Tell?

Ever wonder why our ancient ancestors painted buffalos, horses and stick figures on the walls of their caves? It’s the same reason we hang family photos in the hallway, place books on the coffee table and paint the back wall of the dining room magenta.

We all have a personal story to tell. This isn’t a linear story with a beginning, middle and end. It’s a story about ourselves. A true home isn’t four walls and a ceiling; it is a mirror, reflecting the tastes, style and voice of its occupants.

As an interior designer, my job is to help my clients tell their story through the medium of their home. This might seem like an odd concept, but just flip through the pages of the nearest home design book (or type “Interior Design” into the Pinterest search bar) and you’ll see how each room tells its unique story.

There are so many ways to tell your story. You tell it with the colors you choose for the room, the way you place your furniture, the materials that you use, even how you focus the light in the room. Of course, then there are all the accessories!

Do you have an elegant and refined soul? Then consider leather furniture for the living room, minimal clutter, soft lighting and perhaps one large piece of art on the wall to draw the eye.

If you were made to sing, dance and share your bubbly personality with the world, you might prefer warm greens, even yellows for the walls, big, comfortable furniture, a brightly-patterned rug, and lots of shelves and cabinets to display all the knick-knacks you’ve gathered on your travels.

If something is missing when you walk through the kitchen, living room [...]

How Design Can Create Mood In Your Home

Décor has an incredible ability to affect a person’s mood. If you don’t believe me, head down to the nearest high-end spa and sit in the waiting room for a few minutes. You’ll immediately feel nourished by the soft pastel colors around you. The nature sounds wafting from the speakers will put you at ease, while your eyes will rest lovingly on a peaceful fountain in the center of the room. Ahhhh, I can feel the knots in my shoulders loosening already.

When it’s time to decorate or redecorate your home, give some thought to the mood you want the room to ignite. Maybe you want your living area to be cheerful or peaceful or warm. Perhaps your office should be soothing…no, no, lively and energetic instead. Should your bedroom be comfortable, sensual or maybe a little bit of both?

The mood you want to create will determine many different aspects of the room, including:

Colors

Colors have a well-researched ability to inspire moods and emotions in humans. Warm colors, like yellow, red and orange, call to mind energy, friendship and passion. You might want to consider warm colors as accents in an office or exercise room where you want to turn the energy up. Cooler colors, like blues, purples and greens, are soothing and relaxing. These are great accents for a bedroom or a bathroom. After a hard day of work, you’ll love resting your eyes on soft shades of turquoise or olive as you sink into a toe-curling bubble bath.

Light

Ever wonder why so many restaurants dim their lights? Soft lighting helps inspire feelings of intimacy and relaxation that make the dining experience a little more special. When you compare this with the harsh institutional lighting of, [...]

Five Reasons To Hire An Interior Designer

How hard can it be to decorate a home? Ah, famous last words. If you think you can pick out a few throw pillows, put a ceramic duck on a shelf and call it a day, then you have a pretty big surprise coming. Designing a home, even just a single room, is hard and time-consuming! Even if you know what you want the room to look like, there are a usually a lot of challenges between the perfect, beautiful vision inside your head and the reality that you face as you stand in your living room.

Many homeowners feel overwhelmed at the prospect of creating an elegant and comfortable home that speaks to their own unique style. They may not have the time, the knowledge, the confidence or the desire to take on such a big project on their own. For all of you, here are five reasons why it might be a good idea to hire an interior designer:

1.       Idea Generation and Translation

Clients usually fall into one of two categories. They are either struggling to figure out what they want to do with their home, design-wise, or they have a grand vision in mind but need help translating it into a practical design plan. Interior designers can help in both of these circumstances. Your interior designer is an expert worthy of your trust. We don’t just pick out paint colors or announce that a specific end table is “speaking to me!” We listen, observe and identify your taste and the functional needs of your home. We are also great translators. If you want a winter paradise of white, or a zany room of color and imagination, we’ll help you piece together all the [...]