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, June 16, 2017

6 outstanding design ideas for your new patio or deck!

A patio or deck can be a wonderful place to enjoy your back yard. But BEFORE you dive in and call the remodeling company, consider a consultation with an interior designer. A stone or brick patio is difficult to change once you start construction, so it's good to consider all your options before diving in. Below, we made 6 design suggestions before the landscape company began.  

If you make design changes BEFORE the landscape company or general contractor provides a quote, you can avoid expensive change orders!!

Jamestown NC Patio After photo

We made 6 change to this patio before getting the first contractor's quote. It's now the perfect spot for entertaining, and each of these changes made a major impact!  

1) Consider the height! 

Rather than build the patio the same height as the yard, we raised this patio to the same height as the interior rooms. Not the patio feels like an extension of the house!

2) Will your interior rooms be darker if you add a roof ? 

The answer is without a doubt, yes!! 
Unless of course you're talking about a VERY tall roof, with lots of skylights. We omitted the roof, so the interior of the home would not be darker. Large umbrellas & a tall maple tree were brought in to solve shade needs. If your rooms are not as light and bright as you like, it's important to not make a change that will make them even darker!  

3) Plan around the view! 

We suggested the steps be made wider, (as shown) so the view was not blocked by iron railing.  City codes may dictate railings, but perhaps you can get the "open look" you want, and still pass code. Notice the hand rails on each side of the steps. If wide steps are not an option, perhaps a landing? There are many options to consider when building a patio. 

4) We added a French door! 

We got several quotes for the patio, the savings allowed room in the budget for a new french door! See far left, notice in the before there was no window or door.   

Now the dining room has a beautiful french door, with access to the patio, for no additional expense in the long run! Before the dining room felt closed in can. After (Left side of photo) it allows convenient access to the patio.  

BEFORE deck with NO french door on Left 

5) Shop for clearance sales! 

We found this DISPLAY model with a Viking Grill and stone surround at a local gas grill store. This display was quite a bargain with a built in sink, stove, and grill all in one!
The patio now has a mini kitchen for much less than one would normally cost. Interior designers have access to numerous sources in town, such as suppliers and contractors.

6) Don't forget the lighting!

If you do the wiring before you lay the brick, you'll have all the lighting you need! 6 outdoor lights are now on dimmers to solve exterior lighting needs. And because the lights did not come in a finish we liked, we had a high quality paint applied, so they match the iron railing.

This patio with a new french door, an outdoor stove, grill, and sink, built in lighting, and privacy wall were all added for no additional cost to the original contractor quote. Interior designers often offer solutions that are well worth the cost of a one hour consultation. You can also get great ideas by searching before and after photos of patios online. Sometimes outstanding design ideas are easier and more reasonable than one would think!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How many shelves should I use in a bookcase or built in shelving?

Bookcases and wall units normally look best with a couple of shelves removed. That is, unless you want shelving for displaying books only. Built in cabinets can look great with a few large accessories. In the Greensboro NC homeowner's room below, the opposite wall (not shown) housed all their favorite books, that left these wall units for displaying accessories. 

We were able to accentuate their favorite family photos and art by removing some shelves, and omitting the small accessories which the clients did not love. 

To determine how many shelves you should have, consider the following three:

1) Symmetry
The below shelf is on the left side of the room, the right bookshelf is not shown. We removed the same number of shelves on the left and right, to create symmetry. 

2) Favorite items
The client's favorite photo in the "before" was only 3" x 5". We had it enlarged to 8" x 10" and added a beautiful frame. By removing small items, you now notice the client's favorite collectibles. 

We're all in the same boat, we all need to edit. It's helpful to enlist the help of a designer, a home organizer, or a friend. That way you have a scheduled time slot set aside. Speaking of which ... hopefully I'll get to my own shelves this year. What's that saying? The shoe cobbler never has shoes! 

AFTER above 
BEFORE >>>>>>>

3) Room Size
The larger the room, the larger your accessories should be, so that size and scale will be "in proportion". Clients tell us they love our accessories because they're large, unique, and reasonably priced. Interior designers have access to showrooms that are not open to the public. Some designers even stock pieces, so you're not ordering from photographs!

To determine how many shelves you want in your room, the above three questions can be helpful.
A bookcase is like a closet, it's best to keep the things you love, and pass on those things you are not sentimental about.

It's not easy to find time to organize accessories and favorite collectibles, but it's sure worth it once you do so!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

6 proven ways to keep deer from eating flowers and hostas!

Until last year I had never planted a flower. Mind you, I had planted lots of trees and shrubs, but never a flower. And now..... well I get it. I understand how once the gardening bug takes hold of you,. You can't wait to plant more! We love watching the butterflies & bees - how they enjoy the plants. We especially love watching the birds and most of all, we love that last year's Hostas, Japanese grass, elephant ear and perennials came back in the spring, larger than expected, after being dormant through the winter! Nature is such a gift! We've learned along the way, these tips: 

1) Find out why deer are choosing to eat YOUR garden.  

In our case, it was a hickory tree luring them in!  You can follow their path, where their hoofs leave a trail each night. In our case the hickory tree nuts were enticing for the deer. That was the main source of their dining pleasure! Sure they occasionally chomped on the hostas too, but it was the hickory tree nuts that actually lured them to the yard each night. Since the tree was leaning towards the house and dangerous, it had to come down. I notice that the deer visits are less frequent, but they are creatures of habits so it takes awhile to retrain them. 

2) Critter Ridder spray works!! The only downfall is you need to respray after a rain. So, consider the pellet sprinkles as well as the spray. It's easily found at Home Depot stores.

Save your money on the fake owls!  
You'll see sales pitches which state that moving a fake owl around will keep deer away, but the people I've talked to said it did not work. I'd love to hear your feedback.  You can always go for a garden statue that simply brings joy!  Meet Yogi Frog below! Just look at him smile.... 

3) Deer do not like a human touch!

Ask your hairdresser for left over hair, spread it around plants. It worked for us! To keep it from looking messy, you can always put hair in knee high hose.

4) Deer don't like boulders and rocks. 

Deer don't love crossing over large rocks, and besides, big boulders are a great way to fill a void, while waiting for your Hostas and flowers to grow large enough to divide and multiply!

Besides, rocks add beauty to your garden. The beautiful colors in rocks of cinnamon, taupe, gray, brown, rust, rocks are another gift from nature that is truly ART!

5) LED lights. 

We noticed the deer dodge the plants that are right beside outdoor up lights. Some people say they get used to the lights and come to a yard with lights anyway, but it has worked for us. Also, the lights shining up the trees look truly magical at night.

6) Plant herbs! 
Herbs like Rosemary, Mint, and Lavender.... deer don't like the smell!

And......don't forget to protect your sprinkler heads from the deer!

A drip system saves us hours of carrying around a pitcher of water. See below, after the deer broke a few sprinkler heads, notice how we used rocks to "protect" the sprinkler heads so the deer don't trample on them.

Notice the black pop up sprinkler - to the left of rocks in the bottom of this photo. Deer normally dodge the rock paths, and they dodge the raised rocks even more.

I hope these tips are helpful, they worked for us. Comments? Click the word comment below. I'd LOVE to hear your feedback! Or for questions - be sure to EMAIL instead. And for interior design ideas.... please see the next post.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

3 creative ways to accentuate your two story windows and ceilings!

A room with tall ceilings needs tall art, drapes or furniture. Notice the impact between the before and after photos below. Below, we added custom made tall drapes and  large canvas art to draw the eye up to the stunning ceiling. In this Summerfield, NC client's home, the client commented that they loved the way the tall drapes and large artwork draws attention to the pretty architecture!

1) Add large art! 

BEFORE - Below

2) Tall drapes! 

These two story ivory drapes make the room feel cozy, they also absorb sound, and draw attention to the beautiful view outdoors and the stunning chandelier! Imagine how stark the room would feel if there were no drapes? Drapes are not just for protection from the sun and privacy, they add beauty as well as function. They make a room feel complete. 

3) Add beams to the ceiling or a large round chandelier! 

Notice how these wood beams with steel compliment the shape of the architecture in this room with tall ceilings! The chandelier is a large scale due to the tall ceilings.

A two story room or room with tall ceilings can feel as cozy as a smaller more intimate size room..... as long as the size and scale is correct. By incorporating large furniture, art, chandeliers or tall drapes, the room can feel cozy and complete.

For more before and after rooms with large art, see these What size art is best for my room?

Questions about two story windows or rooms? Email us today. Or for comments, click comment below.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to decorate a room without changing the furniture or the wall paint?

If you're looking for an immediate update to a room, know that it doesn't always require time consuming or expensive changes! Adding new pillows, art, or accessories you can make a room feel more interesting and cozy overnight!

In this pro football player's home, our client said they wanted to keep their existing furniture and wall color both. So, we updated the room by providing 4 same day updates!

                         AFTER above                                                     BEFORE Below, 4 quick changes

We made 4 quick fix changes:

1) We recovered the cushions.
We made new pillow covers in ultra suede so they're machine washable - a great update for a large family!

2) We removed 2 shelves to allow large accessories. Larger accessories were a good size and scale for the tall ceilings & big flat screen TV (not shown).

3) Local original North Carolina Art 
Our large artwork helped balance the large bookcases.

4) A wool sisal rug
This rug is very durable and family friendly! It added a cozy texture to the room.

And in the adjacent kitchen and back stairway....
AFTER Above  Before Below
This back stairway & kitchen table area did not "flow" with the adjacent room. One room was very colorful, the other had no color. To make the areas flow, we made custom linen drapes and brought local North Carolina colorful paintings.

AFTER Above, Before below
In the above master bedroom, the client wanted to keep their bed and current furniture. 

We added drapes which made a big impact! 
Drapes made their bay window a focal point, and made the windows look taller and the room feel larger.

It's easier for the client to get a good night sleep.
Sleep professionals stress that room darkening is an important requirement for a good nights sleep, since bright lights disrupt melatonin levels.

We brought a bedroom chair, floor lamp, and a unique end table. 
By adding a sitting area in a master bedroom the client now has a place to read a book or watch TV! The chenille chair is soft and comfy, the nailheads add a nice touch.

Comments? Click the word comment below. Questions? Be sure to click on contact us instead!

If you don't want to paint your walls or change your furniture, you can still make a big impact with new fabrics, art, or accessories! Often these updates are even more impactful (for less money) than starting over with all new furniture.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

4 stunning ways to add silver and shimmer to your gray room!

If you love gray and silver, and want your bedroom to look fresh and updated, consider these ideas:

1) A unique mirror rather than the one that comes in a "matching set".

In this Summerfield home, our gray lounge chair, custom linen drapes, gray wash dresser, silver mirror and pewter and mercury glass accessories made a huge impact on the space.

BEFORE BELOW  - We replaced the armoire with a dresser & silver mirror 

2) Silver drapery hardware!
The above hardware really pops next to the gray walls. You know the saying - it's all in the details!

3) Stainless legs on a bench! 
 Whether it be on a picture frame, a bench, or mirrors. The shimmer of silver really pops!
See before and after below.
In progress below

4) Candles in silver candlesticks! 
Today's battery operated candles even come with timers! 

5) Luxurious textures through throws and pillows! 
Silver metallic leather? Fur? Soft Lamb's wool? Whatever your preference.....these textures create a huge impact, and are a quick easy change!

A bedroom can change drastically with a few quick updates! Even if you can't replace all your furniture, know that textures, shimmer and sheen are very impactful to make your bedroom more glamorous! See hundreds more before and after photos on our prior blogs. Happy decorating!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Can light color fabrics work well with a dark stone fireplace?

With daylight savings time here, we can finally enjoy light color fabrics such as the white linen drapes and light gray and ivory fabrics below! 

Often people want a pop of color mixed in, which can easily be achieved through pillows, art, or even a chair like the paprika chair below. 

In the "before" photo, the client's true red chair was a bit too intense for her, so we recovered it and moved it to the master suite. This new chair was a warmer tone, by avoiding any pink cast it looks great with the gray, taupe and camel tones in the fireplace stone. 

For this Greensboro NC home, we made custom drapes to help draw attention to their beautiful windows and view! A little interior design assistance can go a long way because designers have access to amazing fabrics, art, rugs, lamps, and accessories. 


The new rug has a nice subtle print, which the client loves. Notice we recovered her wing chairs in a lovely light fabric, and used a contrast mocha color welt.

Here's a close up of the men's wear Plaid and cinnamon pillows. This added the nice masculine touch without changing the feeling of the room. Pillows can be easily changed, they're a great way to instantly update a room!
Also see our blog where we blend dark leather with light colored furniture, a great mix!

Do you have comments you'd like to share? Click the word Comment below. Or, for questions, be sure to email us instead.

Today's light color fabrics come in Sunbrella and other durable fabric combinations that can easily be used even if you have pets and children. The sprays that are offered actually come with 5 year guarantees!  Notice how the light color fabrics allow the beauty of the fireplace stone to stand out, unlike the busy prints from before. Fabrics and wall paints are a quick way to update a room!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Should I replace my wood bed with an upholstered bed? See inspiring before & after photos!

 An upholstered headboard with white linen & drapes is a fresh change from a dark wood bed! Clients show us their "dream room" inspiration photos, and we make it happen! 

Before and After bedroom below, 
A bedroom should be a soothing oasis where you love to spend time! A Large upholstered headboard can be dramatic, and comfortable to lean on! And -- a new headboard can be a quick fix way to update your bedroom if you don't want to replace all the furniture in the room. It can help you avoid that "matching set" look, which you've owned for perhaps many years, and are now ready for a change!
BEFORE - below

A four poster bed is often something people consider replacing. Here we'll provide four tips for updating a room or replacing your four post bed. 

 IN PROGRESS Above (while waiting on the decorative pillow shams & chandelier)

See more before and after on this Houzz link:

If you've been avoiding a bedroom makeover because you don't know where to start, know that the bed is a great place to start!  It doesn't have to be an all or nothing make over. You can transform your master bedroom in stages, one step at a time!