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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How much will it cost for an interior designer to furnish & decorate my home? 5 must read tips!

The cost for interior designer services for furnishing or decorating a home can be a reasonable part of the budget. 5 must read tips:

1) Read prospective designer reviews.  This homework can greatly affect how much you need to budget for interior design services.
  • Client reviews often explain a lot about  how each design firm works & the cost for their design services.
  • Does their web site reflect numerous homes or is it limited to one or two very expensive homes? Is it limited to the designer's OWN home? --- (the one with the unlimited budget).
  •  Do they have a limited number of reviews? If so - ask yourself why!

2)  Give the designer specific feedback.
  • Sentences like "Our rug is sentimental, we want to use it in the new house" or "I like tone on tone colors, but my spouse prefers warm darker colors like brown". Specific feedback saves time!  
  • Answer emails within 24 hours, this avoids unnecessary follow ups.  
  • Find three or four "dream rooms" you love -  or show them your favorite fabric or piece of art. A photo is worth a thousand words!  
3) See what they can do!  
Request a design consultation and presentation before you sign a contract!  Don't lock yourself in. Ask if you can get a presentation for one area of the home, to view products, fabrics, art, etc. This test area will allow you to find out how well they understand your goals, your taste, and budget.  

I wish I had done this myself on a recent project. We hired a landscape designer, after paying far more than was estimated, we received his plan to find that we were extremely disappointed. We are not going to use any of it.
In retrospect, we wish we had requested a 2 to 3 hour maximum service for one area of the lawn. This would've allowed us to see how well the landscape designer listens! His plan did not respect the main goals we stressed - that we wanted low maintenance shrubs, dwarf in size, with open views instead of lots of shrubs and trees that grow large & require constant pruning. This is similar to how interior design can work. Proceeding with one room or area will tell you if you're a good match with that designer.

4) Consider their experience in relation to their fees.  
A good designer with years of experience and a good portfolio may be expensive per hour, but their years of experience means they'll be able to accomplish a good deal in a brief amount of time. They can help you avoid mistakes regarding size & scale, budgets & timelines, and durability.

A recent furniture salesperson (the store's designer) told our client that a rayon/cotton blend fabric would be "extremely durable". This type of incorrect information could cause the need to spend over a thousand dollars to recover their sectional within a brief time.

What will it cost to hire a designer to furnish and decorate my home? The cost for a designer should be inconsequential. They often get better pricing on high quality merchandise, as well as the 5 tips below. A good interior designer should be able to steer you toward:
  • correct blue print specifications - to avoid costly change orders in remodeling or construction
  • correct size & scale furniture & rugs - to avoid restocking fees 
  • correct colors & merchandise - to avoid repainting & reordering 
  • good communication -  so both spouses are happy 
  • good sources - upholsterers, seamstresses, carpenters, electricians, tile sources, etc
In this mountain home, we made the process easy, with specifications for
tile, hardwoods, granite, lighting, stains, carpets, stone, hardware, and more. 
5) Once you've done your home work and hired the firm you like, trust the process! We've furnished 6,500 sq ft homes with as little as 5 design consultations (due to efficient use of time and excellent communication), while other clients may require several meetings for just one item - due to their inability to visualize or trust the process. It's far more exciting for the budget to go toward amazing items (art, rugs, lamps, furnishings).

The cost to hire an interior designer depends a good deal on you! Your feedback, how you respond to their emails, and how much research you do regarding which design firm will fit your goals. 

To learn how much to budget for furnishing and decorating a home: See this blog

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Can I add transom windows? Is a straight transom or arched transom best?

Transom windows can sometimes be added when you remodel. They add light and make the ceilings feel taller.  If you're planning new construction, it's a feature you might consider for at least the front of the house. Builders often omit transom windows, due to the high cost. When you add them to the entire home it adds a good deal to the expense that you may choose to spend elsewhere.

The unltimate transom window has an arch. They are beautiful but very pricey. 

If you don't have transom windows, rather than remodel (which has VERY expensive labor costs due to existing framing and supports) a less expensive option is to trick the eye. You can create the illusion of taller windows by adding window valances (see before and after).
Valances create the illusion of having transom windows & make windows feel taller. 
AFTER above BEFORE below
Far left - kitchen valances make the windows feel taller. In this living room, the transom windows are larger than most. If this is something your builder did during new construction, you may want drapes instead of valances, so you don't hide the beautiful windows.
If you don't have transoms, but wish you did - rather than remodel (which can be very expensive or often impossible due to the framing), another option is to trick the eye, and create the illusion of taller windows with a valance or window treatment.

Whether or not you should add transom windows depends on the following:
1) your budget, they can add a great deal of expense 
2) will it distort the exterior view? For example, you could perhaps add a transom in the center, as long as the exterior view would still be symetrical
3) when a covered porch limits how much light is coming in.  
4) If it's even possible, example, we often cannot add them due to the support (wood framing) above the window. In that case, you may be able to add windows on each SIDE of your french door instead.
The Eclipse transom window below is far more expensive than a straight transom. 
It creates a more traditional look.

This transom window is the focal point of the room 

Do you wish you had transoms? Click "comment", below. We want to hear your feedback!

Whether you can add transom windows will depend on your current support beam needs. Often it depends if there is a 2nd floor above the space. The arched shape is a more traditional look, a straight transom often looks more contemporary.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How to decorate a room in white, 4 must read tips for durable ways to use white.

Interested in decorating in a clean white style? 
Here are 4 ways to add white, and still have a room that's durable for your family. 

1) paint the brick, mantle, or walls bright white. Your existing woodwork and trim will affect this, if you have cream or ivory woodwork, it would have to be painted a crisp white as well, so that the woodwork won't look dirty in comparison to the crisp white walls. 
 2) Add white furniture - such as the white console table below. This Bernhardt console table is stunning, it has storage space, and it's a nice size for a dining room or living room.
 3) white drapes, lamps, and end tables give a room a crisp clean clean look. White window treatments are the easiest way to add a fresh look to a room - think crisp clean linen on a breezy spring day! It makes you want to open the windows and smell the fresh breeze!
4) Add white upholstered furniture. To keep it family friendly and durable,  use a white slip cover that's washable, white sunbrella fabric, or a white stain repellent fabric.

White is an easy way to make a room feel clean and fresh, and yes, it can still be family friendly and durable.

For more rooms using white:

OR - type a word of your choice in the search box in the TOP upper left corner, example: "window" or "bedroom" or "mantle".

Have a tip to share?  We love hearing your thoughts! For Questions, be sure to email instead!

Friday, April 3, 2015

5 best window treatment styles for valances, cornices, and shades

The five best window treatment styles for valances, cornices and shades are popular because they make windows look much bigger. They add color, texture, and eye appeal to a room. Window valances can also solve privacy needs. 

  1) Window valance with a contrast band. AFTER above, BEFORE below 

2) Best window treatment for a study, home office, or formal look: a cornice with nail head trim!  Notice that roman shades & dapes can be added if needed for privacy, light control, or to control the room temperature.  

3) A valance with a pop of color on the edge. This is a popular option!
Window treatment styles as shown on our web site at Transforming Rooms, Greensboro, NC
Notice how short the windows look in the "before" photo below!

4)The best window treatment style for privacy is a roman shade (which raises and lowers) or drapes, or as shown below, a combination of both.
BEFORE above, the windows were not the same height as the french door. AFTER below. Our relaxed roman shades were hung higher than the window frame, to create the illusion of having transom windows, for a higher quality look. This is the best window treatment style for privacy.

5) Mock roman shades (below) are the best style if you don't need to raise and lower them for privacy. Wooden blinds can hide behind the valance. However, clients tell us they rarely lower the blinds, as it makes the room feel darker and closed in. 

For hundreds more window treatment ideas for valances, cornices and shades, see this link:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where type chandelier is best for a bathroom?

Wondering what type lighting is best for your bathroom? Or whether you can put a chandelier over the tub? Well that's a question for the local inspectors. In many instances, it depends on the distance it would be from water. A chandelier can be interesting in a corner, in a niche, or bay window area, or even above the vanity sink. Small chandeliers look great just about anywhere! 

A sconce on each side of the bathtub allows balanced lighting.
 The room would've been dark without this additional lighting. 

 BEFORE below
The chandelier and window valances added a fun touch! 

The above slanted ceiling would've caused one chandelier to appear off center, 
by varying the height of two chandeliers, we complimented the ceiling angle. 

This bathroom vanity did not have room for a sconce on each side of the mirror,
in that case, a ceiling light is best.
Light fixtures can change the mood of the entire room! Have a comment? We love hearing from you!
Or for questions - be sure to email us instead!

Friday, March 20, 2015

What window treatments are best with a window seat?

Window Seats with window treatments

With a window seat, it's best to use a valance or a roman shade instead of a drapery panel. Notice how the drapes & roman shades start close to the crown molding, this creates the illusion of height, to make the ceilings feel taller. 

It allows you to adjust the height & privacy or room darkening.

This allows you to add back pillows to lean on.

It looks better than short drapes. 

Window seats look great with Roman Shades

A combination of drapes with roman shades turns a window seat into a sleeping area. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What type window treatment is best for french doors? 6 must read interior design tips!

Window treatments for french doors can be the same as the other windows in the room....see below. Notice the drapes are hung on the outside of the window frame, so they do not affect functioning french doors. Drapes at a french door have numerous advantages:

1) They draw the eye towards the french door, to accentuate the outdoor view.
2) Drapes will make your room seem wider.
3) By hanging drapes close to the crown molding, it creates the illusion of height. and makes the ceilings feel taller.
4) Adding drapes at a french door creates continuity! The windows & french doors flow better.
5) If you want room darkening, you can make drapes wide enough to fully function.
6) And best of all - you can use drapes at the french door as an alternative to blinds, often people elect to remove their blinds, saying blinds block their views & make the room feel closed in.

French door After Above, Before Below 

Our custom linen headboard with nailhead trim makes the room feel more open.

Notice in the photo at right the french door appeared to be a lower height than the windows.

The new Ivory linen drapes draws the eye towards the french doors and the beautiful outdoor view !

Comments? We love to hear your thoughts!
OR, for questions, be sure to email us instead!

To see hundreds more Before & After window treatments, including french doors, 
see these links:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Custom drapes versus store bought? What type window treatments are best?

Trying to decide between custom drapes versus drapes on line or in a store? Here's design tips that list the pros and cons. 

AFTER above
A stone top end table, new lamps, & custom pillows & abstract art updated this room 

We replaced the client's drapes, added art, an end table & floor lamps
and kept the bottom half only of the big armoire (not shown here, opposite wall).
The room felt much bigger with these changes!

1) Custom drapes can be hung OUTSIDE of the window frame so they don't block any daylight, yet still meet in the middle for privacy. That's because they're much wider than store bought drapes.

2) Custom drapes can be made to go from the crown molding down to the floor, to make your ceilings appear taller. You can specify any width or length.

3) Custom drapes have high quality lining, which not only make them look thicker and hang better for a more high end look. This can be important in a main room, such as for the living room or dining room drapes. 

4) Custom drapes help with the electric bill. They hold in heat in the winter and help keep the room cool in the summer.  People tell us they still "love my drapes" from 20 years ago. Solid Linen drapes are timeless.

The one advantage of ready made drapes from stores is they can be very reasonable, we often provide those for guest rooms or rooms in which budget is a priority.

For before & after photos, unique styles, valances, drapes, roman shades and design tips for finding the best window treatment fabrics, see this link:

Comments? We love to hear your feedback! OR for questions, be sure to email us instead!