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

Friday, July 22, 2016

Custom drapes for a reasonable price? 4 clever ways to achieve just that!

There are 4 clever ways to get the luxurious look of custom window treatments, yet stay within a very reasonable budget:

1) Find a design firm whose Reviews mention they're reasonably priced. Then compare different firms, if you find one without a fancy showroom (aka high overhead), you'll probably find a more reasonable price for the same brand of fabric, and same quality workmanship.

2) Go with outside mount drapes, instead of a panel on each side. If you do tiny inverted pleats, the drapes can often still cover the entire window, when you close them at night.

 "AFTER" our linen drapes are outside mount only, 
to allow room for colorful artwork
BEFORE Below

3) If you fabric is a high end designer brand, which often equates to very expensive - consider using it for the contrast top, with a more reasonably priced fabric on the lower 70% (as per below): 


4) If you don't need functioning drapes, (if they're really just for looks), you can often get buy with one width per panel as long as you use a very thick lining, or don't pleat the drapes, or if you have very little wall space beside the window anyway. Often people love this "lighter" look, as opposed to the formal look of several widths of fabric. 

If you're in North Carolina, our seamstress workroom and designer fabrics are second to none. Contact us for a quote today!

Do you have ideas of your own for keeping custom drape prices reasonable? We'd love to hear your thoughts, just click the word "comment" below.



Sunday, July 17, 2016

What to put behind the sofa, 6 design solutions!

A room can look so inviting when a sofa is pulled out from the wall, when space allows, it's so much more interesting if you put something interesting behind the sofa.

Here we'll show 5 stunning ideas for the wall or space behind the sofa! These photos show that a sofa can look great in front of a window or pulled out into the room, so conversation is easier.

5 design tips for the behind the sofa:

1) A tree or floor lamp!

I love this look! When the sofas are in the center of the room, the tree helps to "settle" the space so the sofas don't look like they're floating in the room. Notice how cozy the greenery makes the room?



2) A console table behind the sofa!
  • Before bringing a sofa table home, make sure it's not a lot taller (or shorter) than the sofa. Your goal is that the console will be about the same height as the sofa. 
  • A sofa table provides a convenient place to set down a drink, or to have a lamp, plants, etc. 
  • If the console table will be between the wall and the sofa, you can purchase an inexpensive one, as it will be hidden. 
  • A sofa isn't attractive on the back (normally). A console table makes the back view appealing!



3) Luxurious drapes and a window!
Notice below the sofa is in front of the window. The drapes & pair of chairs help to balance the room and create a sense of symmetry!

4) A collage of photos or art behind the sofa!
  •  Your collage can be a combination of art, photographs, in black and white and colorful.
  •  Notice that although the art varies in height, it is not wider than the width of the sofa!


5) A long shelf behind a sofa!
  • A shelf works great on one condition - that it's not too deep so people hit their head on it!
  • The shelf will need to be long enough to hold it's own and not look too small. 


6) A walkway! 

Below there is a walkway behind the sofa, which leads to the french doors. This open floor plan works, the sofa helps to divide the long narrow room.  In this situation, it's best if the sofa is attractive on the back. For some tips:
  • Some reclining sofas are not very attractive on the back.
  • A sofa up on legs can feel less dense or intrusive than a skirted sofa. 
  • Make sure the sofa is not a lot taller than the chairs and other furnishings. 


If you're concerned with the view of the back of the sofa, or if you just want ideas for what to hang on the wall behind the sofa, we hope these designer photos were helpful.

Questions? Email or call us today! Comments? Click the word "comment" below....

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Professional lighting or do it yourself exterior lighting kits?

Thinking about  "do it yourself" exterior lighting? We tried to. After all, we did a landscape plan that people rave about. I love our shrubs and plants so much more than what the local landscape architect recommended. His plan was going to be very high maintenance, even though we requested shrubs that would not require constant pruning. We thought surely we could do our own outdoor lights too?


The above tree light was possible because they were willing
to do wiring under the sidewalk 
With our shrubs and flowers in place ...we were ready for outdoor lighting. We tried several sets.

  1. First we tried an inexpensive solar lighting set, which didn't put off enough light and never worked well.
  2. Next we tried a set from Home Depot. It only had 4 lights, which were not far enough apart to "balance" the entire front yard. Plus, we couldn't get the system under the driveway and under the sidewalk, so the placement of the lights felt wrong.
  3. Next we got quotes for professional lighting, and found that they varied. So did the willingness to light up the other side of the driveway, and willingness to go the under the sidewalk!


In the end we ended up hiring Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, here in the triad of NC.  Let me say, as an interior designer, I pride myself in providing excellent service, and paying attention to the details to make sure everything runs smoothly. I like to hire companies that have the same attention to detail. Well - that's my opinion of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we are thrilled with the result!!

We have light to the far left (the other side of the driveway) and lights to the far right side of the yard (the river birch in the above photo). Mike with Outdoor Lighting Perscpectives showed us that it's all about  placement, quality, and LED. The LED lights are so reasonable, your won't feel the impact when you get your electric bill! With LED lights, we get the same generous amount of light, all with a reasonable electric bill.

I almost forgot to mention the best part, before we hired them, they provided a demo one evening - of how it would all look, by bringing battery operated lights! Yes, we're very happy with our exterior lighting! So I thought I'd share it with you!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Make your home feel like a beach home! 5 unique design tips that are timeless.

Would you like your home to have a "beach vacation" feeling without going overboard on a beach theme? Here we'll show you styles that are both timeless and very popular. A coastal type look is the reason Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and others capitalize on distressed wood, light gray or whitewashed wood tones. Here's a few more ways interior designers use color to give homes a beach style. 

1) Add art in the colors of the ocean!

Notice below the room doesn't go overboard on a "beach theme". But when you look at the art below, it reminds me of being at the ocean! This is a soothing choice. 

2) Add bright beach type colors through fabrics!

If you don't want to replace it all, how about the shams and headboard only? For this Winston Salem, NC client, we replaced her dark brown headboard with a beautiful turquoise fabric, and made bright cheerful shams to go with the ready made comforter.

We made a turquoise upholstered headboard with nail head trim in Winston Salem, NC

3) Replace dark bedroom furniture with a light gray or distressed wood!

It's wise not to go overboard on this, (avoid a complete matching set). If you steer away from a "matching bedroom set" and only use a couple of light wood pieces you can achieve a fun unique look. Notice how the bright color lamp, cheerful art, and a live plant to add greenery really make an impact!
Light distressed woods, white walls, with pops of blue and green

4) Bring the outdoors in!

Nothing makes you feel like you're vacationing outdoors as much as live greenery and trees.
Any room looks better with a live plant, just like any room looks better with a puppy or a kitty cat!


If you want your home to have that cheerful "staying at the beach" feeling without going overboard and having to much of a beach theme. Don't forget to mix and match, after all, every piece doesn't have to be a beach theme. Notice in the photo above, there's a mix of blues, greens, yellows, leather, wood, and metal. It's the combination of materials that make you appreciate the color tones!

Make your home feel like a beach home! 5 unique design tips that are timeless.

Would you like your home to have a "beach vacation" feeling without going overboard on a beach theme? Here we'll show you styles that are both timeless and very popular. A coastal type look is the reason Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and others capitalize on distressed wood, light gray or whitewashed wood tones. Here's a few more ways interior designers use color to give homes a beach style. 

1) Add art in the colors of the ocean!

Notice below the room doesn't go overboard on a "beach theme". But when you look at the art below, it reminds me of being at the ocean! This is a soothing choice. 

2) Add bright beach type colors through fabrics!

If you don't want to replace it all, how about the shams and headboard only? For this Winston Salem, NC client, we replaced her dark brown headboard with a beautiful turquoise fabric, and made bright cheerful shams to go with the ready made comforter.

We made a turquoise upholstered headboard with nail head trim in Winston Salem, NC

3) Replace dark bedroom furniture with a light gray or distressed wood!

It's wise not to go overboard on this, (avoid a complete matching set). If you steer away from a "matching bedroom set" and only use a couple of light wood pieces you can achieve a fun unique look. Notice how the bright color lamp, cheerful art, and a live plant to add greenery really make an impact!
Light distressed woods, white walls, with pops of blue and green

4) Bring the outdoors in!

Nothing makes you feel like you're vacationing outdoors as much as live greenery and trees.
Any room looks better with a live plant, just like any room looks better with a puppy or a kitty cat!


If you want your home to have that cheerful "staying at the beach" feeling without going overboard and having to much of a beach theme. Don't forget to mix and match, after all, every piece doesn't have to be a beach theme. Notice in the photo above, there's a mix of blues, greens, yellows, leather, wood, and metal. It's the combination of materials that make you appreciate the color tones!

Make your home feel like a beach home! 5 unique design tips that are timeless.

Would you like your home to have a "beach vacation" feeling without going overboard on a beach theme? Here we'll show you styles that are both timeless and very popular. A coastal type look is the reason Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and others capitalize on distressed wood, light gray or whitewashed wood tones. Here's a few more ways interior designers use color to give homes a beach style. 

1) Add art in the colors of the ocean!

Notice below the room doesn't go overboard on a "beach theme". But when you look at the art below, it reminds me of being at the ocean! This is a soothing choice. 

2) Add bright beach type colors through fabrics!

If you don't want to replace it all, how about the shams and headboard only? For this Winston Salem, NC client, we replaced her dark brown headboard with a beautiful turquoise fabric, and made bright cheerful shams to go with the ready made comforter.

We made a turquoise upholstered headboard with nail head trim in Winston Salem, NC

3) Replace dark bedroom furniture with a light gray or distressed wood!

It's wise not to go overboard on this, (avoid a complete matching set). If you steer away from a "matching bedroom set" and only use a couple of light wood pieces you can achieve a fun unique look. Notice how the bright color lamp, cheerful art, and a live plant to add greenery really make an impact!
Light distressed woods, white walls, with pops of blue and green

4) Bring the outdoors in!

Nothing makes you feel like you're vacationing outdoors as much as live greenery and trees.
Any room looks better with a live plant, just like any room looks better with a puppy or a kitty cat!


If you want your home to have that cheerful "staying at the beach" feeling without going overboard and having to much of a beach theme. Don't forget to mix and match, after all, every piece doesn't have to be a beach theme. Notice in the photo above, there's a mix of blues, greens, yellows, leather, wood, and metal. It's the combination of materials that make you appreciate the color tones!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How many inches between bookcase shelves?

How many inches apart should bookshelves be? 
How about letting the following determine the height or distance between your shelves:

1) The height of your books
2) The quantity of books you want to display
3) The height of your favorite art or accessories
4) Whether you prefer a clean uncluttered look, or prefer lots of storage.

The built in bookshelves below look good due to symmetry, and the beautiful baby grand piano and gray and white living room. 


Notice above the bookcase shelves are mainly for books. Below, the homeowner preferred to display their favorite collectibles, which meant the bookcase needed very few shelves.

How many inches apart should bookshelves be? 
How about letting the following determine the height or distance between your shelves:

1) The height of your books
2) The quantity of books you want to display
3) The height of your favorite art or accessoires
4) Whether you prefer a clean uncluttered look, or prefer lots of storage.

See below, in this Greensboro NC Irving Park home, we gave the client the clean uncluttered look they requested. 



AFTER Above, 

BEFORE Below

Bookcases can look amazing, or they can be filled with lots of "stuff" that requires dusting. It all depends on what you want to display. One thing for sure, a large room or one with tall ceilings will look much better with larger accessories and taller bookcases.

Questions? We hope you'll email us today! Have fun finding the perfect items to display in your built in shelving area!

Friday, May 27, 2016

My spouse wants stained moldings, I prefer white. Which is best?

If you like painted woodwork, and your spouse likes stain - here we'll show you ways to compromise!

And if you're wondering what color stain to use for woodwork and beam ceilings, we'll show a variety of stains, from golden honey to darker stains. 

Perhaps you are considering painting white over your dark woodwork? People often fear they'll hurt resale value, so here we'll share the feedback we hear from clients the majority of the time. 

The vast majority of people tell us they prefer a bright, light look, as opposed to a dark room with extremely dark wood stains. This is especially true for baby boomers, or those whose eyes makes it harder to see in a dark room. The exception is males versus females. Often men prefer stained woodwork. 

If you like painted woodwork, and your spouse likes stain - here's an example of a compromise!


Here are 4 questions we recommend you ask yourself to help with the decision of whether to paint over woodwork and beam ceilings:

1) Is the wood high quality, obviously you'd have to think twice before painting over expensive cherry or mahogany!!

2) Are you going to a lodge look? Or a masculine look? Or for a light look filled with white or color?

3) What rooms do you gravitate toward? When you gather photos on Houzz or Pinterest or designer blogs and Websites?

4) Will it cause a chain reaction? Will you have to paint the wood in adjacent rooms?


Comments? We love hearing your feedback! Click the word "comment" below. Or for questions be sure to call or email us instead.

It's personal preference whether to paint beam ceilings and woodwork, you can go three different routes to make your room brighter:

- Paint some of the woodwork, instead of all of it. Perhaps the window trim and mantle but not the beams on the ceiling?
- Use a light bright color or white on the mantle, the walls, and fabrics.
- Refinish the dark stained woodwork in a lighter tone, like the top photo above.

Your home should be a space you enjoy, so whether wood stains or white trim are your preference, if you'll be there awhile it's good to go with what makes you happy!