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

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!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

4 interior design solutions for a luxurious romantic bathroom!

Interior designers have 4 solutions to instantly help your bathroom feel more luxurious, inviting and romantic. In no particular order - here we go - 

1) Add a chandelier - it's a quick way to achieve a unique look!
2) Add valances or roman shades. Hang them as high as possible to make the ceilings feel taller.  The valances shown here are in a shimmery silver fabric.
3) Add a soft textured rug - your feet will thank you on cold winter days!
4) Apply a soothing wall paint- try a "spa like" color, or a light color to brighten the room!

AFTER above, below is before
Bathroom BEFORE chandelier and Valance
The valance over this tub adds height, and the beautiful pattern adds interest. 

In this home in the Estates at Lake Jeanette, we made a window valance that solved
the fact that the window was too short. The pewter gray fabric with a gold contrast band
 tied in with the lighting & faucets which the client did not wish to replace. 
For more bathroom photos, with "before & after" see the link to additional blog photos:

Comments? We love to hear from you! 

Have a question? Type a word in the SEARCH box upper left corner such as "update" or "remodeling" or "bedroom". Or, feel free to email us.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Should I paint my wood stained bookcases & mantle?

Are you wondering if you should paint over the wood stained bookcases & mantle? Well you might want to consider the quality of the wood. Is it solid cherry or mahogany? Or is it a lower grade wood that you do not like? Is the room dark? Are you interested in a brighter room?

Keep in mind you can paint your bookshelves other colors (besides white), consider tan, taupe, gray, as shown on the bookcases and TV surround below.

Here's a clients home in Irving Park, the wood on the mantle and bookcases is actually a very high quality solid cherry. When you're not willing to paint the wood, you can always use lighter fabrics - notice how the off white sofa brightens the room more than the brown sofa.
After Above, Before Below

Here are some photos of rooms (before and after) with painted shelves & mantle instead of stained wood.
In this case, the white bookcases and mantle are a much cleaner & brighter look than the before with wood stain. If you aren't willing to paint over your wood just yet, here are 4 compromise solutions:
1) Paint the back wall only, in off white.
2) Apply linen fabric on a thin board inserted on the back wall - this creates a big impact
3) Paint your ceiling trim & doors only, but leave the mantle in brown stain
4) Introduce lighter fabrics (see top photo - we brought an ivory sofa to replace their brown one)

Whether to paint your bookcases and mantle is a personal choice - the majority of people telling us they love a clean lighter look of paint instead of stain, but if your wood is high quality you could try several other options first, to see if it solves what you don't like about the room.

For more mantle and shelf before after photos, click on this link:

Friday, January 9, 2015

5 quick steps to change your traditional style home to a more transitional or contemporary look!

Tired of the traditonal style? Ready to change to a cleaner less formal look?  If you have dark furniture, consider recovering it, or replacing the loveseat with a pair of chairs. Notice the chairs are  up on legs, without a skirt, for an open spacious look.
After Above, Before Below

It's not always necessary to replace furniture, often you can recover it, or update a rug or art for
a more transitional style, that is less formal or traditional.

Sofa AFTER in Gray Linen with chenille pillows
 BEFORE below

  1. Upgrade lamps - make sure the scale is large enough for your big room, & switch to today's linen shades, (no bell shaped lamp shades)
  2. Switch to solid fabrics on large pieces, with punches of color in art & pillows. If you're recovering, now is the time to make the change. 
  3. When possible, remove the skirt and have exposed wood legs. 
  4. If your busy print rug is worn, consider a sisal (which are very low in price) or a tone on tone rug that is not a busy print
  5. Last but not least - Artwork - if you update to cheerful large transitional art (to replace your very serious formal art) the entire mood of your home will change! People tell us they're can't get over the transformation. 
We used Linen for the sofa and chairs, with jacquard prints on the pillows only.

In summary, consider organic solids like linen and cotton, to replace formal fabrics. When possible, update art to a couple of large soothing landcapes or abstracts. In 5 easy steps your home will feel more contemporary, to bring in the new look that is not so traditional.

For more before/after photos and design tips for updating your home see these:

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

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Stained wood mantle versus white? Stacked stone versus polished stone?

When the builder asked a recent client to select their stacked stone for their fireplace surround, I reminded them that none of the photos of favoite styles they showed me on, had a stacked stone fireplace. Quite the contrary, they were all white mantles.

A picture is worth a thousand words! Look through Houzz photos, to help you decide which look you're drawn towards. Better still - it will give you the tools to communicate your wish list with the builder or cabinet maker.
The above client's "dream home" photos from Houzz indicated they preferred a white mantle, not a stacked stone fireplace like the builder suggested. If you're unsure which style is for you, save photos in ideabooks on Houzz.  
Here's another stacked stone fireplace surround from Houzz. 

More fireplace photos:

TV placement (Pros & Cons):

Have a comment? We'd love to hear from you! Questions? Be sure to email us instead.

Whether you go with a stacked stone fireplace with wood stain or a white mantle is personal preference. It helps to study photos on line and ask yourself which ones you are drawn to. It will set the tone for the style of your room.