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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

4 amazing examples to brighten a dark formal room!

Often a traditional home can benefit from a fun and "unexpected" contemporary touch. Whether it be abstract art, or a unique rug or chair, a contemporary punch can change the mood of your home from serious and formal to fresh and fun. What personality do you feel fits your style? 

 Below, the library had real cherry wood bookcases which we kept exactly the same. The homeowners were accustomed to a brighter home, as their prior home was on the west coast. 

1) Add a contemporary chair! 
  • A modern floor lamp, end table and a contemporary rug rug. 
  • Gray paint below the chair rail (to cover dark brown paint)
    AFTER                                                                                                          BEFORE

It's all personal preference. This contemporary chair certainly changed the entire feeling, and the funky little stainless table and floor lamp added to the fun fresh vibe. 

2) Abstract contemporary art changes the mood of a formal baby grand piano room. 

The architecture in the home is very formal and traditional, the art has a light fresh feel. 

3) A cocktail ottoman in light blue is a fun twist to replace a cocktail table. 

The coffer ceilings and traditional french doors get a fresh update with abstract art above the mantle. 

4) A new chandelier can change the mood of a room! 

The four amazing examples of a contemporary chair, abstract art, new light fixtures, and lighter wall paint colors show how you can brighten a dark formal room! If your home is not conveying the mood you want, it can sometimes be a quick easy fix that can be done over a weekend! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What are the benefits of an interior designer? Six benefits you may not have thought of.

Wondering what benefits there are to using an interior designer, or what disadvantages? Here we'll list 6 unexpected ways they can make decorating, remodeling or updating a breeze. There are the obvious reasons, such as they'll provide ideas from a fresh pair of eyes....experienced eyes. In some cases gifted eyes. They'll show you ways to envision colors, size and scale, and most important - an overall plan, due to years of experience!

Not sure you agree? In that case, it's best to try one consultation, to determine whether they "get you". Do they understand what you want your home to convey?  Perhaps you like family friendly? Or simple and sophisticated? Or unique and artistic? A place you love to come home to? A place you'll be proud to entertain? Whatever the mood you want your home to convey, a qualified interior designer can help you achieve it.

And while you're at it, look for a designer who looks out for your best interest financially. How? READ THEIR REVIEWS!!! Even if you have a nice healthy budget, that doesn't mean they should rush out and buy you expensive items without an overall plan. They should first discuss your priorities throughout the house. Take for example our homeowner below, she was ready to spend 80% of the budget remodeling one room, Yet, at the same time, she expressed that most of the rooms we're functional, nor appealing to her, causing most of the house to be unused space. We showed her fun ways to update & improve all 11 rooms on the first floor! Now she tells us she enjoys every room in the house!

From the cozy corners where she can read a book, to the screened in porch which is now very inviting, to the dining room where she actually entertains guests and has hosts church meetings! She tells us that for the first time ever, she uses every room to it's utmost potential. 

Here's a few of the ways a designer can benefit you. In the below photos, you'll see ways we made the client's home feel updated and new. These methods are quick and inexpensive to achieve! They aren't from the toss out the old, bring in the new way of thinking, they're a more conservative approach, when you already own good quality furniture that is too nice to get rid of. 

1) A designer can find new uses for existing furniture! Better still, they have the team of upholsterers, seamstresses, and delivery men to be your one stop shopping, to make the process easy!

Throughout this blog, you'll see ways we found to re-purpose old furniture including:
  • Armoire converted to a mini bar, 
  • Dining hutches turned into low height servers, 
  • Complete beds made into a modern headboard.... the sky's the limit with a creative designer. 

When you're chairs are "before imports" from Hickory Chair, (with 8 way hand tied coil springs) it would be a sin to toss them and buy new. We recovered her sofa & chairs, she's thrilled with the new look (while keeping the comfort and quality she loved). Below - we recovered the chair, and omitted the skirt. We relocated it from the living room to the guest room.

AFTER                                                                                                       BEFORE below,with skirt

2) A designer can suggest ways to make your rooms more functional. 

The below dining room was rarely used until we did the following 4 things.... now it's a favorite spot for guests!
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Server for serving food and storing dishes - and it's only 11" deep!
  • Drapes - for sound absorption
  • Colors - a yummy color on the walls and in large abstract art! 
Our client now hosts church meetings & has friends over. Notice we kept her same dining table!



3) An interior designer can help you think outside the box! 
  • We painted the bathroom cabinets white! (Instead of replacing them) 
  • Added a corner light fixture
  • Updated window valances 
See the before and after below, we saved the client over 20,000 from a bathroom remodel she was originally considering. With this substantial savings, we were able to do updates to the entire house, with new light fixtures, rugs, furniture, art.... updates of all kinds in every room.

4) An interior designer has access to unique merchandise, at better prices. We added a bathroom light fixture & updated the valances!


                         BEFORE below 

4) An interior design firm has sources for all your needs, upholsters, installers, contractors, seamstresses and more. Below, we made an upholstered headboard, to replace the four poster bed which overpowered the room. 
Notice the details..... the custom shams are 7" wider than store bought, so they hide your sheets. And the king bed in gray linen looks great with nail head trim and one large custom pillow, instead of a busy print bedspread. 


We replaced the "matching set" bedroom mirror with a new lamp and round mirror!

In each bedroom, we upgraded bedding, headboards, mirrors, bedside lamps, or whatever the room needed so the homeowners could feel like it was a fresh new look (without replacing the  dressers & nightstands, which were nice quality and sentimental to the homeowners.  

BEFORE right >>>
5) An interior designer can provide amazing fabrics and art, that you may not find in local stores. They have access to high end designer fabrics, and are often able to sell them at good discounts off retail.  

Often  shelving can be a clutter catcher (like the bookcase before). A corner can be transformed to be a spot you'll love walking by each day. Our client tells us the sunshine colors in this art make her very happy!

Check out these master bedroom updates! We added....
  •  A swivel chair (to enjoy the outdoor view), 
  •  Linen drapes for privacy or room darkening, 
  •  New art and a floor lamp. 
  •  We kept the high end mahogany dresser, which the homeowners love!                          

AFTER                                                                         BEFORE>>>
6) A designer can help you think "outside the box". 

Below, we made an "awkward unused space" more functional. Beside the refrigerator, we added rustic wood shelves for cookbooks, a plant, her favorite pottery, and wine glasses. 

To see the changes we made in the dining room, living room, sun porch & more, 
check out our prior blogs! We hope you enjoy! 
There are ways you can benefit from an interior designer, whether it be for design ideas, budgeting and prioritizing, reducing clutter, adding color, or for remodeling tips, it's often helpful to go to a source that has the experience and vision to make it happen.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How to achieve more seating in a small living room?

Overstuffed, or large scale furniture takes up a lot of space. Take the room below for example. The overstuffed chairs  had 8 1/2" wide arms (x two) = 17" of wasted space. Since they had a pair, that was 34" of space - almost three feet!

If your goal is to seat more people, there are several factors to consider. 

AFTER                                                                              BEFORE >>>

Large end tables or large ottomans often keep you from being able to add more seating.     

This Greensboro NC homeowner's goal was to achieve more seating. We brought them smaller ottomans & smaller end tables.  The room seated 4 people when we started. We replaced the overstuffed chairs with two pairs of smaller chairs, now the room has the potential to seat eight people instead of four!

 Before  >>>> 

Furniture with exposed legs (instead of skirted) will make a small living room appear more spacious!   

See above, once we replaced the skirted chair, ottoman & table with a lighter look, the room felt twice as large.

Consider borrowing a comfortable host and hostess chairs from the dining room. Or, perhaps you have a bench in a bedroom that could be used during holidays?

We hope these before and after photos & ideas for a small living room were helpful. Questions? Be sure to email us at For many more before and after photos, check out our prior blogs!

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 6 advantages

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

2) The furniture is now closer together, for easier conversation.

3) The room feels inviting..... since the entrance is not blocked.

4) The swivel chairs allow the homeowners to look out at their lake view, OR turn toward the sofa when they have guests. They can enjoy their morning coffee while looking outside or entertain guests.

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

6) Round end tables bring in a new shape, to soften all the straight lines, and they have the advantage of not taking up too much space.

A professional Interior Designer should consider function as well as 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:
  • How many people do you wish to seat? 
  • How durable should the fabrics be? 
  • Do you prefer a monochromatic look or a colorful look? 
  • Will abstract art add enough color for you? Or do you prefer colorful rugs and pillows? 

The Greensboro, NC homeowners now find the room to be both appealing AND comfortable. When you have little wall space, small end tables are helpful. Low height chairs that won't block the view, are advantageous. When 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! The abstract art adds beautiful green, teal, gray and blue tones. 

AFTER above

BEFORE >>>>>>

2) Consider abstract or contemporary 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.