Interior Design Photos on our web site

Interior Design Photos on our web site
For More Interior Design Photos: ^ Click Above ^ - Hundreds of Before & After photos

Monday, August 14, 2017

What furniture layout is best if I have very little wall space in my living room?

When you have limited wall space, the furniture layout can be tricky. We suggested a new layout & new furniture for the living room below. The new layout had 4 advantages

1) As you enter the room, your eye is drawn to the beautiful outdoor view! Your eye no longer "stops" at the back of the sofa! With a beautiful yard and pond, this was important!

2) The furniture is now closer together, for easier conversation. Before, the furniture was pushed against the back wall.

3) The room feels inviting..... since you no longer face the back of the sofa when you enter.

4) The swivel chairs allow the homeowners to look out at their lake view, OR turn toward the sofa when they have guests. It's now a multi functional room which allows them to enjoy their morning coffee while looking out at their lovely yard, or entertain guests.

5) A cocktail table with a large wooden tray allows both comfort for lounging AND a convenient space to set down drinks!

6) Round end tables bring in a new shape, to soften all the straight lines, and they don't take up too much space.

A professional Interior Designer should consider function, not just beauty! This living room is now comfortable for conversation and functional for viewing the outdoor view from swivel chairs! A qualified interior designer should ask questions about your goals:
  1. How many people do you wish to seat? 
  2. How durable should the fabrics be? 
  3. Do you prefer a monochromatic look or a colorful look? 

The Greensboro, NC homeowners now find the room to be both appealing AND comfortable. So, if you have very little wall space, make sure you go with small end tables, chairs that won't block the window view, and keep size and scale in mind when dealing with tall ceilings.
Even if you have little wall space, furniture that is floating (not pushed against the walls) can provide a lot of layout options.
Want to view more before and after? We hope you'll check out our prior blogs below!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

3 fabulous ways to make a traditional home feel more contemporary!

If you desire a more contemporary updated look, it may be easier to achieve than you think! People often think in terms of anything that is ATTACHED to the home, such as new flooring, new tile, a new kitchen etc. But in actuality, the furniture and decorative pieces can have a much bigger impact for a lot less time, hassle, and money! 

Updated wall paint, furniture, art, a new rug, or even a new light fixtures can make a huge impact!! See the photos below for 3 stunning examples of changes that were achieved quickly and effortlessly. 

It's amazing how much a room can change overnight. As an interior designer, we give people estimates, a vision, and a plan. We show them how easy it is to achieve major impact with less time, effort and money than remodeling or getting new flooring.  

In the Winston Salem NC home below, we brought them local original art, new furniture, custom drapes, new wall paint, all of which changed the entire personality of the room! 

1) Let your personality shine through! 

In the client's home below, she loves shimmer and crystals. We found this amazing tree branch light fixture in silver leaf and crystal, which added the personal touch she wanted. We painted the walls gray, and added white linen drapes. Our gray wool rug was also a nice addition! 

AFTER above

BEFORE >>>>>>

2) Consider abstract art! 

AFTER Above  

The mirror dressers reflect light, and the silver picture frame adds a contemporary touch. We painted the walls "spa blue", made custom drapes & bedding & found dressers at an outlet.  We brought the client local Greensboro NC art. to make the TV less of a focal point.We omitted the "matching set" look, with walnut nightstands.                                            
                          BEFORE >>>

2) Add lighter wall colors & fabrics!

Below, light linen drapes, white Sunbrella fabrics & light colors in the art create a stunning transformation. When our client bought the home below, the prior home owner's paint colors were too dark for their taste. The light gray walls (above and below chair rail both) now make the room feel light and bright.

                                                            AFTER ABOVE
BEFORE >>>>>

There's 3 main questions to ask yourself in order to achieve major impact for the least amount of money:

1) Can I use any of my existing furniture? Notice we kept the dining tables above.

2) Will changing the floors require me to use too much of the budget to be able to update any furniture that I want to replace?

3) Have I considered what changes will make the MOST impact, which ones will make the least impact? Have I studied before & after photos on blogs & designer web sites to know what changes I'd like to treat as a priority?

The above After photos were taken by Triad Real Estate Photography, Andrew Mayon. We just love Andrew's work!

If you have Interior Design needs, and are in the piedmont area of NC. Call us today, we'd be happy to show you options that can make your traditional home feel more contemporary!

Adding personality, updated colors and abstract art are 3 quick fix ways to make a traditional home feel more contemporary! Check out our prior blogs for more interior design ideas!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

3 stunning design changes to decorate a bedroom without replacing furniture!

Perhaps you don't want to replace your dresser, chest & bed, but you'd like a new more contemporary look for your bedroom? That's the case in the below Winston Salem home. As part of our interior design service, we brought in a more contemporary chair, local art options to choose from, a silver leaf end table, new lamps, and a small gray pouf to replace the over sized ottoman. 
And Wha La! The room feels completely transformed.  In real life the new colors and textures are such as dramatic transformation. If you like color, hopefully these fabrics and bedding fabrics will inspire you! If you like texture, check out the amazing bedroom lamps and bedroom mirror! 

1) You'll achieve major impact with custom drapes & colorful art! 

Custom drapes like below can be a ONE WAY DRAW, and still be wide enough to block all the light. Plus, they can be hung OUTSIDE the frame so you don't block any light or view when they're pulled open. Custom drapes can have black out lining. Custom window treatments can be made from luxurious imported linen, or other nice fabrics to add a beautiful texture. Notice below, after our client selected from our art options, it was easy for us to recommend the perfect gray paint tone for their bedroom walls. This bedroom is now a soothing oasis. It feels eclectic, even though we didn't replace the bedroom set. It's unique, and more functional, due to custom drapes. 

AFTER top photo

2) Replace the mirror that came with the "matching set"! 

This small change creates such impact. The mirror and lamp below have a concrete finish, that is stunning in real life, though hard to capture in a photo. 


3) Consider custom Bed shams! 

Perhaps there's no need to replace the duvet cover or coverlet? But at least consider custom shams! Custom bed shams are amazing. Why? Several reasons: They're about 8" wider than store bought. The fabric is thicker, more durable, and can add a yummy texture. Plus, they will hide your sheets! Consider all your options! If you hire a designer, you can ask that they quote both (ready made as well as custom). 


The above AFTER photos were taken by Triad Real Estate Photography, Andrew Mayon. Andrew is a joy to work with, a very talented photographer. 

After viewing the above "quick fix" updates, you can see that a master bedroom can feel luxurious without replacing the furniture!  For Winston Salem, NC or Greensboro,NC  Interior design questions, check out hundreds of  before and after photos in this blog. Or, for questions, be sure to email us instead, at 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Would an interior designer make my home look like a furniture showroom, or too formal?

Would an interior designer make my home look like a showroom or too formal,? That is often a huge fear! And rightfully so. The answer to the question is - "that depends". Some designers will, in fact, make your home look too much like a furniture showroom. Why? Perhaps because it's easier to buy a matching set from one source, or perhaps because they don't listen to your goals, or perhaps because they try to impose their own personal style. The reasons could be varied.  But there are advantages to working with some design firms. Here we'll go into detail how to avoid getting a look you're not happy with. 

If you need extremely durable fabrics, rugs & pillows or want accessories that are actually functional, then it's important to know which interior designer will respect your goals. 

Four things you may not know about interior designers: 

1) Some designers are much more affordable than others!  

Some designers are outrageously expensive.  Others are quite affordable. How to know which is which? Ask yourself these questions: 
1) Are they new in the  industry? Or do they have the years of experience and contacts that will benefit me in the long run? 
3) Do they advertise? Or do they stay busy from referrals? 
4) Do they keep their overhead low? Or do they have an expensive retail location? 
5) Are they willing to do a "test" run, (one presentation), to see if I'm happy?
6) Have I compared their reviews to other designers reviews? 
7) MOST IMPORTANT - were their reviews from CLIENTS or from SUPPLIERS? 

Some designers require a large retainer and your signature on a contract. Others are willing to work hourly to find your furniture, lighting, rugs, art, etc. (knowing you'll continue to work with them if you're happy). 

2) Some interior designers have access to one of a kind amazing pieces! 

Not only do they go to warehouses, and markets that only sell to the trade, but the successful ones get a phone call when the best new deliveries arrive! See below, a fabulous vintage rattan sleeping sofa for the porch. As the Winston Salem, NC clients said, they had never seen such an interesting piece at a furniture store. A designer can even provide ONE OF A KIND unique pieces that cannot be reordered from the local furniture store, like the rattan sleeping sofa below! 

 AFTER above, BEFORE below

3) Some designers can help you agree, when you and your spouse have different goals or taste.  

Perhaps one spouse thinks the house is fine the way it is? Perhaps the other one knows the home has the potential to be more functional or inviting? Or - Perhaps one spouse wants to remodel a bathroom, while the other feels the budget could be more wisely used to update the overall look of the entire home? Or - perhaps you're not sure how to make it all flow and really come together?
A qualified interior designer can help by providing visuals (or a rare few even provide on site viewing of the actual art, lighting, rugs, accessories, furniture, etc). This can make it much easier to make decisions. They can make it all come together, with less time and stress!  If you and your spouse have limited time to get your schedules together, you're not alone. Rather than spend your Saturdays in furniture stores, the convenience of in home shopping with a qualified designer might solve your limited time issues. 

4) Some Interior Designers can make your home family friendly & functional!

Don't want your home to feel family friendly, inviting, the opposite of a fancy furniture store? And NOT like every other house in town? 
A qualified designer, will LISTEN regarding life style and needs. How to know which designers are capable of this? Read reviews and check their web site with these questions: 
  1. Do all their photos look similar in style, or are they able to work with a variety of styles? 
  2. Do their photos look too traditional for your taste? 
  3. Do all the homes look to formal? 
  4. Is their web site limited to one home? 
If so, keep up the search! 

For specific details:  How to keep interior design fees low?

Below BEFORE (BOTTOM photo). The original designer didn't listen to the client's goals for "simple" and "not ornate". See our AFTER (top photo).  
We replaced the headboard, busy animal print bedding & moved the family photos to the hallway.  

BEFORE Bottom photo

This takes us back to the original question, will an interior designer make my house look too formal, or like a fancy showroom? And the answer is, that depends on the designer! I hope these tips were helpful. I'd love to hear your feedback and comments!  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

4 amazing reasons to mix & match fabric patterns!

It's easy to buy fabrics exactly as shown on the furniture store display, but if you want to make your home stand out, consider mixing and matching fabrics. I equate it to an outfit, you wouldn't want your dress, scarf, belt and purse to be exactly like someone else's.... and the same goes with fabrics in the home. You can customize them, mix and match them, so your home is a reflection of you! Here we'll list 4 reasons to mix and match patterns in one room. 

1) So you can avoid the furniture store "set" look!

Mixing in a fabrics that doesn't match the "matching set" means you'll have an exclusive look! In the dining room below, by selecting a contrast fabric for the host and hostess, this home now has a unique one of a kind look that is not offered in stores. If you use fabrics that are not the same brand, or not from the same collection, you'll achieve a one of a kind look! 

2) So your home can be a reflection of your style & taste! 

By incorporating your own mix and match patterns on the sofa pillows below, this living room now has a personal touch, unique to this one home. The pillows on the sofa do not match, they didn't come with the sofa as a "set", this allows you to make a personal statement.

3) So you can incorporate various color tones! 

Below, the lovely mix of greige with gray with oatmeal is so soothing. Fabrics are a great way to
incorporate textures, color tones and patterns. Notice the left pillows do not match the right, this can be nice if you like a casual relaxed look, rather than the way the furniture store display was set up, with everything matching.

If you prefer symmetry, then you can mix in a new pattern or texture through art (like above the mantle below), or with a patterned rug, see below photo.

3) Because change can be fun!  

Changing a fabric here and there - whether it be a pillow or throw or even a cocktail ottoman can change the personality of the room. It's an inexpensive way to make your room feel fresh and new! 

We change our wardrobes, we plant new flowers, we even change our hair color, but for some reason when it comes to a home we all tend to get stuck in a rut. Notice in the photo below, how introducing new pillow fabrics or colors can make a major impact! 

Selecting fabrics can be fun - some interior design firms will even bring bolts of fabrics to your home to spread out in the room. Fabrics can be the least expensive way to update a room, by recovering a cocktail ottoman or chair, or adding a throw or contrast pillows, these are all fun ways to update a room for a fresh new look!

Mix and match fabric patterns can be a fun way to make your home unique, or to change it with the seasons, or to make your home reflect your own personal style. Your thoughts? We love it when you share your opinion, click the word "comment" below. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

6 outstanding design ideas for your new patio or deck!

A patio or deck can be a wonderful place to enjoy your back yard. But BEFORE you dive in and call the remodeling company, consider these 6 design ideas. A stone or brick patio is difficult to change once you start construction, so it's good to consider all your design options before diving in. Below, we made 6 design suggestions before the landscape company began.  

If you make design changes BEFORE the landscape company or general contractor provides a quote, you can avoid expensive change orders!

Jamestown NC Patio After photo

We made 6 change to this patio, now it's a perfect spot for entertaining, and each of these changes made a major impact!  

1) Consider the height! 

Rather than build the patio the same height as the yard, we raised this patio to the same height as the interior rooms. Now the patio feels like an extension of the house!

2) Will your interior rooms be darker if you add a roof ? 

The answer is without a doubt, yes! 
Unless of course you're talking about a very tall roof, with several skylights. We omitted the roof, so the interior of the home would not be darker. Large umbrellas & a tall maple tree were brought in to solve shade needs. If your rooms are not as light as you'd like, it's important to not make a change that will make them even darker!  

3) Plan around the view! 

We suggested the steps be made wider, (as shown) so the view was not blocked by iron railing.  City codes may dictate railings, but perhaps you can get the "open look" you want, and still pass code. Notice the hand rails on each side of the steps. If wide steps are not an option, perhaps you can add a landing? There are many options to consider when building a patio. 

4) We added a French door! 

We got several quotes for the patio, the savings allowed room in the budget for a new french door! See far left, notice in the before there was no window or door.   

Now the dining room has a beautiful french door, with access to the patio, for no additional expense in the long run! Before the dining room felt closed in can. After (Left side of photo) it allows convenient access to the patio.  

BEFORE deck with NO french door on Left 

5) Shop for clearance sales! 

We found this display model with a Viking Grill and stone surround at a local gas grill store. This display was quite a bargain with a built in sink, stove, and grill all in one!
The patio now has a mini kitchen for much less than one would normally cost. Interior designers have access to numerous sources in town, such as suppliers and contractors.

6) Don't forget the lighting!

If you do the wiring before you lay the brick, you'll have all the lighting you need! 6 outdoor lights are now on dimmers to solve exterior lighting needs. And because the lights did not come in a finish we liked, we had a high quality paint applied, so they match the iron railing.

This patio with a new french door, an outdoor stove, grill, and sink, built in lighting, and privacy wall were all added for no additional cost to the original contractor quote. Interior designers often offer solutions that are well worth the cost of a one hour consultation. You can also get great ideas by searching before and after photos of patios online. Sometimes outstanding design ideas are easier and more reasonable than one would think!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How many shelves should I use in a bookcase or built in shelving?

Bookcases and wall units normally look best with a couple of shelves removed. That is, unless you want shelving for displaying books only. Built in cabinets can look great with a few large accessories. In the Greensboro NC homeowner's room below, the opposite wall (not shown) housed all their favorite books, that left these wall units for displaying accessories. 

We were able to accentuate their favorite family photos and art by removing some shelves, and omitting the small accessories which the clients did not love. 

To determine how many shelves you should have, consider the following three:

1) Symmetry
The below shelf is on the left side of the room, the right bookshelf is not shown. We removed the same number of shelves on the left and right, to create symmetry. 

2) Favorite items
The client's favorite photo in the "before" was only 3" x 5". We had it enlarged to 8" x 10" and added a beautiful frame. By removing small items, you now notice the client's favorite collectibles. 

We're all in the same boat, we all need to edit. It's helpful to enlist the help of a designer, a home organizer, or a friend. That way you have a scheduled time slot set aside. Speaking of which ... hopefully I'll get to my own shelves this year. What's that saying? The shoe cobbler never has shoes! 

AFTER above 
BEFORE >>>>>>>

3) Room Size
The larger the room, the larger your accessories should be, so that size and scale will be "in proportion". Clients tell us they love our accessories because they're large, unique, and reasonably priced. Interior designers have access to showrooms that are not open to the public. Some designers even stock pieces, so you're not ordering from photographs!

To determine how many shelves you want in your room, the above three questions can be helpful.
A bookcase is like a closet, it's best to keep the things you love, and pass on those things you are not sentimental about.

It's not easy to find time to organize accessories and favorite collectibles, but it's sure worth it once you do so!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

6 proven ways to keep deer from eating flowers and hostas!

Until last year I had never planted a flower. Mind you, I had planted lots of trees and shrubs, but never a flower. And now..... well I get it. I understand how once the gardening bug takes hold of you,. You can't wait to plant more! We love watching the butterflies & bees, we love watching the birds. 

Most of all, we love that last year's Hostas, Japanese grass, elephant ear and perennials came back in the spring, larger than expected, after being dormant through the winter! Nature is such a gift! We've learned along the way, these tips: 

1) Find out why deer are choosing to eat YOUR garden.  

In our case, it was a hickory tree luring them in!  You can follow their path, where their hoofs leave a trail each night. In our case the hickory tree nuts were enticing for the deer. That was the main source of their dining pleasure! Sure they occasionally chomped on the hostas too, but it was the hickory tree nuts that actually lured them to the yard each night. Since the tree was leaning towards the house and dangerous, it had to come down. I notice that the deer visits are less frequent.  

2) Critter Ridder spray works!! The only downfall is you need to respray after a rain. So, consider the pellet sprinkles as well as the spray. It's easily found at Home Depot stores.

Save your money on the fake owls!  
You'll see sales pitches which state that moving a fake owl around will keep deer away, but the people I've talked to said it did not work. I'd love to hear your feedback.  You can always go for a garden statue that simply brings joy!  Meet Yogi Frog below! Just look at him smile.... 

3) Deer do not like human hair!

Ask your hairdresser for left over hair, spread it around plants. It worked for us! Or, you can always put hair in knee high hose.

4) Deer don't like rock pathways & patios. 

Deer don't seem to cross our stone patio. We love adding rocks - they add such beauty to a garden. The beautiful cinnamon, taupe, gray, brown, rust colors in rocks are another gift from nature that is truly ART!

5) LED lights. 

We noticed the deer dodge the plants that are right beside outdoor up lights. Some people say they get used to the lights and come to a yard with lights anyway, but it has worked for us. Also, the lights shining up the trees look truly magical at night.

6) Plant herbs! 
Herbs like Rosemary, Mint, and Lavender.... deer don't like the smell!

And......if you have a sprinkler or drip system, don't forget to protect your sprinkler heads from the deer!

A drip system saves us hours of carrying around a pitcher of water. See below, after the deer broke a few sprinkler heads, notice how we used rocks to "protect" the sprinkler heads so the deer don't trample on them.

Notice the black pop up sprinkler - to the left of rocks in this photo. .

I hope these tips are helpful, they worked for us. Comments? Click the word comment below. I'd LOVE to hear your feedback! Or for questions - be sure to EMAIL instead. And for interior design ideas.... please see the next post.