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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Using light fabrics with a dark stone fireplace, 5 design tips!

 A dark stone fireplace does not limit you to using dark leather and rustic fabrics. It's fun to mix and match, with light cream fabrics, light gray, or soft neutral colors that will actually compliment the earth tone colors in your stone fireplace. See the transformation in the photos below.

If you're ready for a fresh set of eyes as they say, try a one hour consultation with a qualified interior design firm. The client below almost gave up the search, when the first design firm quoted her an outrageous price for a retainer. Know that all design firms are not alike! Read reviews, check BBB ratings, and try one consultation for a "test" to see whether you're a good fit. There are benefits of working with an interior design firm. They can help you view things from a new perspective. They can provide fabrics  and furnishings which aren't always found in local stores.

See the BEFORE and AFTER below. We transformed this living room with 5 main updates:

1) We recovered the sofa!

By reupholstering this client's sofa in a light oatmeal linen, omitting the skirt, and touching up the exposed wood legs, we gave her the fresh updated feeling she desired.

          BEFORE below

2) We removed the overpowering piece that was too large (right of fireplace) 

This client never really liked the dark bookcase the furniture store sold her before we met. It competed with the fireplace, it was dark and overpowering. By replacing it with a fig tree, the room now has a fresh welcoming feeling.

                       BEFORE Below 

3) We replaced the dark leather wing chairs with the shorter club chairs. 

4) We replaced the dark busy pattern rug (5 x 8 above) with a larger gray and mocha rug.

5) We removed the skirt off the sofa, for a lighter look!

The new rug compliments the colors in the fireplace, rather than competes with it.

A qualified designer can help you fix what you don't like about the room (in this case our client had always felt that her huge recliners were overpowering the space), yet she loved her high quality Hickory Chair sofa. You can't buy furniture today that is as good of quality as the construction of her sofa, so we recovered it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

4 designer tips for built in bookshelves!

1) A rich deep wall color will make those bright white bookshelves feel richer! See before and after below. 

2) A few large accessories feel clean and interesting, while lots of small items can tend to feel like "clutter". That's the word our clients use! You may need to go through an interior design firm, because high end designers have access to large interesting pieces that you often cannot find in local stores. Designers will mix these finishes: metal, wood, stone, and colorful canvases. 

AFTER above, BEFORE below

3) Insert glass into wood framed shelves, so light will travel through to the layers below!

4) Symmetry can be appealing! Notice above, we kept the shelf layout symmetrical, and we used a pair of abstract art pieces so the left and right lower shelf areas coordinated.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Furnishing the corner of the living room, 4 designer tips:

Do you have a living room corner which needs just the right furniture in the corner? Here's a few questions to ask yourself:

1) Am I craving COLOR?

If so, then large colorful artwork might be just the thing for you!


2) Do I get tired of clutter? 

 If so, then purging may help you create an environment you love coming home to! We collect a lot of "stuff" through the years, which when donated can bring joy to others, it's often very uplifting to donate anything you no longer use or love.

3) Are my current pieces the right SCALE? 

Notice in the before and after above, the huge leather recliners and small oval chairs that Ethan Allen recommended felt "off balance" the gray recliners were much too large for the space, while the oval chairs were much to small. Our leather console table, lamp, and art helped fill the corner of this living room with just the right size and scale.

4) Is the furniture store "designer" qualified?

In the room above, the Ethan Allen designer recommended furnishings which were not a good scale, they were also very dark and overpowering. After living with them for years (what else can you do once you make a huge investment?), the client turned to us for the more modern lighter look she always wanted!

To furnish a living room corner, a console table is a great place to store keys, or to have an under console bench, or to add color. For many more living room ideas, check out our other blogs!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Screened in porch updates without the expense of remodeling, with before and after photos!

A porch can be an oasis, a place you love coming home to! People tend to get sidetracked and think it will require major remodeling. If that's not in the budget, perhaps some of these quick updates will help you love your porch!  

1) Consider FUNCTION! 
  • Do you have end tables for people to set down their drink or a book? 
  • Do you have a throw for cool fall evenings?
  • Can you add blinds or outdoor fabric drapes to diffuse the harsh setting sun?
2) Bring in TEXTURES! To avoid the "matching set"!

Below we added 
  • stone -  tile top tables
  • metals - see the large hurricane, aluminum box, and metal hanging sconce 
  • greenery -  the fig tree
  • sisal pillows

3) Consider punches of COLOR in small doses! 
  • Colorful flowers & plants
  • Colorful pillows can be less "busy" than cushions with a big print
When this client (below porch) googled Greensboro Interior Design, she found us. We showed them ways to save thousands! Instead of a limiting themselves to remodeling the kitchen only, we provided updates for 9 rooms! They are now thrilled that we were able to spread the budget over 9 interior rooms, and the porch too!

Below we recovered the sofa and chairs for an updated look! We also brought in all new tables & accessories.

 BEFORE we rearranged & recovered >>>

BEFORE we recovered her furniture  >>>>

For additional ways to update your porch consider these

  •  Paint the ceiling a fun color
  • Add a stained wood ceiling
  • Add a fun rug!
  • Add outdoor fabric drapes

A porch can be your favorite spot in the house, if you have ideas for updating a porch, we hope you'll click the word "comment" and share them with us. Or, for questions, be sure to email us instead.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A large TV over the mantle, 4 designer tricks to detract from the TV

For design tricks to detract from a large TV, here's a few fun options!

1) Remove some shelves in the built in cabinets, so you can use larger accessories.

The hurricane lantern (bottom left) is 34" tall, and the round tray is 32" in diameter. These accessories are much larger than most you see in stores, which keeps the TV from being the only large object on the wall. It keeps everything "to scale".

If you have 4 shelves or more, with lots of little nic nacs, the TV can seem overpowering. Notice that once we placed really large accessories on each side, the TV seems like the right scale.

2) Hide the TV with doors that recess into the wall. 

That is, if it really bothers you. They don't bother me at all, as long as they're surrounded by attractive items. And while you're at it, paint the background of the shelves a dark color! This too helps detract from a very large TV being the focal point.

 3) Add color or beautiful architectural items. 

In this room the amazing bookcases demand attention, so that the TV is no longer the only focal point, And to take it a step further, the intense cheerful fabric on the cocktail ottoman also draws your eye away from the TV.

A TV doesn't have to dominate the room. We'd love to hear your tips for rooms with a large TV. Just click the word "comment" below.

For hundreds more designer rooms, we hope you'll check out the TV's shown on our web site at Questions? Feel free to contact us today 336-29-3087 or email me at

Friday, July 29, 2016

Combining silver with bronze or brass fixtures - 4 designer tips!

People often ask if they can mix bronze, silver, and brass in the same house. perhaps they don't want to invest in all new hinges and doorknobs? Or they aren't willing to replace every light fixture?   Here's 3 tips for mixing metals. 

1) Know that COLORS often demand more attention than metal finishes. 

See below, your eye goes straight to the white dining chairs, the gray drapes linen drapes, and the soothing blue green colors in the art. You don't notice whether the metals match!


2) Think about what you will recoup during resale.

If you don't want to go to the expensive of hiring plumbers and replacing brass faucets etc in your bathroom, perhaps you can update the look in a less expensive and less time consuming way.

When a recent Greensboro NC homeowner searched Interior design firms in Greensboro NC,  they found some of them were very pushy about a bathroom remodel, most estimates being between $29,000 and $38,000. In my opinion, that was not good advice, because they were going to down size within 5 years! After all, for resale - you can't possibly predict whether the future buyer will want a large tub or a large shower, and whether you'd recoup the expensive remodel when you downsize and sell your home. Houzz statistics show that the majority of bathroom renovations go tremendously over budget. Perhaps you'd never recoup the $38,000 you're trying to add to the price of your home?

Our design firm recommended some inexpensive updates (below) which the homeowners were thrilled with! Clients often tell us, "I'm so glad you showed me an inexpensive fix, we made a much bigger profit on our home than we would've dreamed of getting"!

AFTER above, BEFORE below

3) You can always update some light fixtures, or do it in stages. 

If clients are on a limited budget, we'll replace those lights that are the most urgent such as the dining room and living room, while waiting to do hallways and a foyer later. A two story foyer light fixture does not demand a lot of attention, so if it has to wait, so be it!

For comments, please click the word "comment" below. To mix and match brass, silver, or bronze, look through designer blogs, web sites and Houzz for design ideas.

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

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....