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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What are the 4 most important interior design tips for furnishing & decorating a home?

Ready to furnish and decorate your home and not sure where to start? Here we'll list the 4 most important interior design tips that can save you from expensive mistakes.

1) Don't paint the walls until you have the major items. Start with the sofa, rug, fabrics, and art. The wall color should compliment them. People think it's safe to go with a "neutral" but there are million of shades of paint colors, and many of them can clash with your major purchases.

People grasp this once we hold the paint fan up to their rug, art, or fabric. When I point to the only two taupe tones that work (out of perhaps 40 taupe choices) or the only ivory that works (out of 60 ivory & cream choices), they're happy that they waited. Or - better yet - they can go with a more daring color - such as a soothing greenish gray, or a spa blue, something they could never have done without an overall PLAN.

Do your own homework. Know that the furniture store "designer" might not be advising the right size and scale for your room. Did they ask the right questions?
1) How does the width depth & height compare to your current sofa? This is of utmost importance. Example, if the sofa you're replacing is the perfect size in the room, but the one in the store is larger, well, you get the picture.
2) What height are your ceilings?  It's very misleading. Your Nine foot ceilings often can't handle the furniture piece that the store displayed in 15' tall ceilings with NO WALLS.
3) Will the new furniture piece overpower your other furniture pieces? We often tour homes in which the chairs are a really small scale, but the sofa is a huge scale, the homeowners realize they made a mistake, yet due to Furniture stores restocking fees they're stuck with it. Or, their On Line source required return freight charges plus a fee, so they just kept it, even though they don't like it.

Less is more. Rather than buying lots of little "nic nacs" that tend to look like clutter......consider one large unique piece instead. A the little purchases add up. By spending $50 plus $80 plus $60 you've lost the budget that would've allowed that one amazing piece.

Plan a budget - furniture should just be approximately 45% of the budget, with the remaining 55% to 60% for rugs, floor lamps, window treatments, art, chandeliers, etc.    If you go way over budget on the sofa, then add cheap looking floor lamps, the entire room won't have the look and function you desire.
For hundreds of before and after room photos, showing solutions for lighting, window treatments & privacy, and other designer tips, check out prior blogs. In the upper LEFT CORNER SEARCH BOX
type any word "window" or "light" or "paint".

Comments? We love hearing from you! Or - for questions - be sure to email us instead.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

5 best bathroom remodeling ideas for function and looks

Five bathroom remodeling ideas that can make your bathroom more functional as well as pleasing to the eye - - the feedback we hear from you homeowners every week!

Before you remodel your bathroom ... ask yourself if you're going to achieve better FUNCTION as well as a better LOOK.  Sure, it's may seem nice to have pretty tile & counter tops, but will you achieve better storage solutions? A more comfortable shower? Better lighting?

Next  - ask yourself how long will I live here? Many changes such as tile or counter tops might be your taste, but they may not be what the new buyer wants when it's time to sell. Perhaps you like wood stained cabinets but they prefer white cabinets..... perhaps you'd like a large shower, but they prefer a big garden tub....or vice-versa.

Here's 5 upgrades that are easy and effective to make.

1) Recessed niches in shower stalls and jacuzzi tub areas in the bathroom
allow you to store towels, shampoos, soap, etc. 

2) A recessed bathroom cabinet (as above, flushed with the sheet rock) will provide lots of storage 
3) Drawers may be more expensive than drawers - but it's easier  to find things in drawers! 
And if you're on a budget, never underestimate the impact that paint can achieve!!
4) A ceiling mount shower head, and/or a hand held shower head 

5) Update the vanity. Tip - a small bathroom will look best with a cabinet up on legs 
(not flushed to the floor). The shelf allows storage. 

If you're only going to be in your home a few years,  you won't recoup the expenses of a bathroom remodel. After all, many of the changes would be personal preference. 

Below we'll show some reasonable and quick options! Consider the impact that wall paint, or a custom shower curtain, or a bench, a window valance, or a couple of nice accessories can make.   
Our client was thrilled with the additions below - for very little expense

We updated the rug, accessories and added a bench for THOUSANDS less than the homeowner was going to 
spend to replace the tile. Instead of dealing with the hassles of a remodel --- like the dust in your duct work from chiseling out the old tile, she had a new bathroom look in 5 minutes!


For many more bathroom changes, including color changes, window treatments, 
vanities, and more, see this link

New bathroom paint, new light fixtures, hardware, and a custom shower curtain make 
a huge impact in the bathroom above. 
Comments? We love to hear from you. OR -- Questions? Be sure to email instead.
We all like to think our choices will be appreciated by all, but let's face it, each of us has our own personal taste, and we're all unique. Remodel if it's for your own goals, but know that it often does not increase resale value.

For hundreds more BEFORE / AFTER photos, check out

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What type blind is best for a high end designer look? See these linen shades and sheer options.

Today's roller blinds and roman shades in organic linen fabrics go well in a high end designer 
room, unlike Grandmas blinds, they add an element of beauty and function to the room.
Linen adds a nice texture as shown above

IF (big if) your windows are nice and large, you can get by with blinds only.
However, most people's windows are not an ideal size, meaning the room could look better with larger windows.
The addition of drapes or valances hung ABOVE or OUTSIDE the window frame makes
the windows look larger & the ceiling feel taller. In the Hamptons, Alice Black features blinds, above. 

Additional things to consider - the addition of drapes with blind will "soften" the room, 
absorb sound, help with temperature control, and will make the room look larger. See below.

The above roman shade is a nice alternative to roller blinds
Other options for window treatments:

A decorative fabric valance allows you to "hide" blinds.

Woven blinds add a new texture to the room, see photos below.

For a clean metropolitan look, consider linen sheers instead of blinds, with these great new features:  
  • Sheers come in 120" width (for no seams).
  • Natural organic linen (instead of a polyester blend) goes well in a transitional setting
  • Sheers can be partially opened or closed, for light filtering and privacy control. 
  • Sheers come in a variety of colors, such as taupe, oatmeal, and many off white tones. 

sheers in a contemporary room

For hundreds more window treatment ideas, with before and after photos:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to decorate above the mantle

Above the mantle, you can use a mirror, art, or accessories. You can even change it out with the seasons. The antique glass mirror shown below is nice, because you aren't fixated on the reflection.

Abstract or transitional art above the mantle will make a very traditional room seem fresh and updated. Notice how the colorful art (below) is a nice focal point.

The client (below) asked about a new rug, which would not have solved what the room needed. By adding custom drapes and updating the art over the mantle, we gave the room a fresh new look.
Also notice the difference an updated floor lamp made!!!
AFTER above
We added linen window treatments, abstract art, and
a couple of large accessories to replace lots of little accessories
Mantle with small accessories, room needed window treatments
to make the room feel larger 

AFTER above
We added contemporary art, leather candlesticks, and pottery
10 accessories made the mantle feel cluttered 
Comments? We love to get your feedback! Or, for questions, be sure to email us instead. 
Check out our web site for hundreds more before and after photos: 

Monday, September 8, 2014

What color should I paint the trim and below the chair rail molding?

People often paint the chair rail molding and the area below the color of the trim, (white) or a darker color than the top half of the room. The problem with this is that it CUTS THE ROOM IN HALF. It makes the room look chopped up, and can make your ceilings feel lower.

If you have a huge room and nice tall ceilings, you might not need to worry about making the ceilings feel lower, but I can tell you that once we convince people to paint below the chair rail the same color as above - every person in history told us they were happy with the end result. It definitely makes  ceiling look taller.
See the BEFORE and AFTER 

AFTER above
By painting above the chair rail and below the chair rail the same color, the room looks bigger.
Our custom drapes, (hung just below the ceiling) make the room feel taller
We brought vertical art work makes the room feel taller

Paint below the chair rail was a darker color 
In this photo the trim & area below the chair rail are all the same paint color 
If you want to keep your trim white
perhaps you can add color through art, furniture, or fabrics

This homeowner achieved a clean cohesive look by
painting the trim
and walls the same color 
For photos & suggestions regarding paint colors, adding color, whether to paint an accent wall, etc...see this link"

Friday, August 15, 2014

How to make a master bedroom more luxurious without changing the furniture?

A master bedroom should feel more luxurious than the other bedrooms in the house. When we first toured the home below, it wasn't obvious if the room was a guest room or a master bedroom. With the addition of custom bedding (shams and duvet) and functioning drapes, the room felt more luxurious.

AFTER above

BEFORE above

A sitting area with a cocktail ottoman makes
this bedroom more luxurious and cozy
By hanging the window treatments above the windows, the ceilings feel taller

A chandelier makes this master bedroom more luxurious and cozy, notice how a soothing wall paint
makes the room feel richer. A pair of chairs in the master bedroom is a nice addition
Forget about the dressers and nightstands!! People often think they need to buy a new bedroom "set",
this will not have the impact you think it will. Check out the link to other bedroom blogs below, you'll find we often keep the old nightstands and dresser and add other items which create MUCH more impact - perhaps a new headboard like below? Perhaps a pair of comfy chairs like above? How about a pretty bench at the foot of the bed? Colors and textures will demand attention!! People always tell us
"I'm suprised to say this, I don't even notice the wood furniture anymore"
This bedroom is more luxurious through the addition of an upholstered
headboard, custom drapes, and soothing tone on tone colors
For other before/after bedroom ideas and photos, click on this link:

Comments? We love to hear from you! OR, for questions, 
be sure to email us instead. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Roman shade or drapes? Which is better for privacy?

If you're trying to decide between shades and drapes for window treatments, know that they both have advantages. 

A roman shade will raise and lower for privacy, but one disadvantages is if it's an inside mount (as shown here) it will block some view even when it's raised. 

Roman shade (right), full length drapes (left)
combination of roman shade with drapes make a nice combination on
the window treatment above

Mock Roman Shade
(which does not raise and lower)
Full length drapes with roman shades. The drapes can open and close, and the labor for drapes is less expensive to make than functioning roman shades. Also, unlike the photo shown below, it's nearly impossible to get four roman shades to open to the exact same height. The photo below are mock roman shades (non functioning). They create the illusion of height, to make your ceilings feel taller.
This Valance has a mock roman shade look

Mock roman shade (does not raise and lower)
Three mock roman shades work well in this bay window

For hundreds more window photos (before and after adding window treatments), see this link: 

Questions? Be sure to email us at
Comments? We love to hear your comments, but we cannot reply to them. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The slanted wall under a stairway, how to utilize the area under stairs for storage or furnishings.

The photos below show challenging stairway walls. Here are some ideas to make the area under your stairs functional for storage, with tips for furnishing them as well.

Area under an angled stairway 
Notice how a lamp and console make the area under your stairs an inviting space

Under stairway walls make an excellent place for storing shoes 

This slide out cabinet for storage under a stairway is a great way to optimize the space

People often ask if they can put large furniture in front of the slanted stairway wall
Notice how we used the lamp and pottery to make the space less awkward, so the
sofa could still be centered in front of the flat screen TV

We replaced the short loveseat with a full size linen sofa
and added two comfortable chairs
For more photos regarding furniture layouts, or placement for TV viewing and 
conversation areas, etc. see this link: