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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to decorate a laundry room without renovating?

Clients often request that we remodel their laundry room with expensive changes 
including decorative tiles, new counter tops or cabinets. 
At times this would use up a tremendous portion of their budget for the entire house. 

Here we'll show design tips for updating the laundry room. 
Best of all, we'll make it a fun and colorful room on a limited budget. 

1) Add Art! 

You spend a good deal of time there, so keep in mind that a laundry room deserves art just like any other room in the house!

This canvas art can be wiped off, there's no glass which would constantly show spots due to splashes.

<<<< AFTER 

           BEFORE >>>>

2) Colorful fabric  (on a window or door). See below!
Fabric patterns and textures can change a room tremendously. Note that below the fabric is the inspiration for the wall color in this laundry room.

3) New wall paint. 
The yellow wall paint in this laundry room gives it a beach like feeling, and family photos add a cheerful vibe with reminders of fun vacations! Notice the art behind the hanging rod....when you have company, it makes the laundry room a more attractive space.

Do you have ideas for decorating a laundry room? We love hearing your comments, just click the word "comment" below. Or, for questions be sure to email us instead.
A laundry room can be decorated without changing the cabinets and counter tops. A new wall color, art, window treatment or family photos can all be a great addition. In the above laundry areas we used these to update laundry rooms without using up a large portion of the budget for the entire house.
And if you hate missing your favorite TV shows while doing Laundry, well here's one more homeowner's idea of what a Laundry room should have! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

What size and shape cocktail table for a long sofa?

What shape cocktail table is best? Well, there's advantages to the various shapes and sizes, we'll go over each below. 

1) A rectangular shaped cocktail table is convenient!
A long rectangle means more people having access to set down a drink! Approx 2/3 the length of your sofa is nice, if room allows.  

2) A pair of small cocktail tables can be easily moved whenever you like.  
If you notice a guest wants to set down their drink, they're easy to move. They also have a fun unique look! Notice they are spaced about 8" or 9" apart, so they end up taking up the same amount of space as one long cocktail table. 

3) A square contemporary cocktail table (below) helps settle a large open space. 
If the height of it is low, you can go with an over sized one, If it's taller than your sofa seat cushions, you'll need to make sure it doesn't overpower the room. 

4) A round cocktail table help soften a room, when the room has a lot of angles. 
The table below looks great because the chair has a curved shape to compliment it. 
A round table in a large room normally needs to be at least 45" in diameter. You can cut newspaper in the shape to play with the size. 

Cocktail tables can really change a room! A large one can be handy for serving food, or for board games. Small cocktail tables can easily be moved to use where needed. Do you have a favorite shape? We love hearing your comments, click the word "comment" below. Or, for questions. be sure to email us instead. Your room shape or sectional shape will often dictate what shape your cocktail table should be.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Which trees and shrubs are both fast growing and deer resistant?

Do you want quick growing privacy trees and shrubs that are also deer resistant? It's easier to achieve than you think! We decided to do the planting ourselves, we weren't happy with what the landscape architects designed, it was going to be too high maintenance, and they didn't want us to put in berms. 

Not only did we save over $6,000, but it was good exercise and quite full filling to do! 

Here's the steps -  which can be done a little at a time, as weekend projects:  
1) Built a berm!
  • We brought in a truck load of dirt, (not top soil which might have washed away) and we created a curved shaped island (or berm) where we wanted privacy. Why? For two reasons:
    • Our 5' tall trees instantly create privacy up to 7' tall ! 
    • The raised beds help the newly planted trees, so they don't struggle to compete with large established trees for water and nutrients. 
    • Some might say the island (or berm) is optional, but we love what it added to the look! We found James Crosby of Repairs Now to be great to work with, whether you're doing a small job of planting shrubs or a major project of regrading with a Bob Cat.

 BEFORE below

2) We used 5 gallon container trees! 
The roots won't take as long to grow if you get 5 gallon containers instead of 3 gallon, which is an important aspect if you want to obtain privacy quickly. 

We called numerous nurseries in Greensboro NC, Winston Salem, and Oakridge. We found the best selection and service at LA Reynolds in Winston Salem, NC. We love the quality and variety of trees we found there! They were also very helpful in discussing which trees and shrubs are deer resistant as well as quick growing. 

3) Choose placement based on sunshine! 
Most trees will grow faster if they receive at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight! 

Before planting, ask about the sun versus shade requirements of your trees and shrubs. This can help you decide where to plant, or you may want to trim branches which block daylight. Available sunshine will  "tell you" where you should plant. 

4) Consider growth rates.
Before purchasing your trees, consider whether you need quick growing, deer resistant, shade tolerant, or all three!

We chose Cryptomeria Radicans, (per Eddie at LA Reynolds in Winston Salem NC they have a quick growth rate and deer aren't apt to destroy them). For variety, we intermingled Nellie R Stevens Holly trees & Ligustrum. 

For trees that provide quick privacy, are deer resistant, and do well in the piedmont area of North Carolina, Cryptomeria Radicans and Nellie R Stevens were our choice!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Update a kitchen table eating area, with before and after photos.

Do you feel like your kitchen is in need of updating? Perhaps you can update it with less expensive ways than remodeling. In the kitchen below, the client didn't want to invest the time, energy and money to tear out the counter tops and start over again. We made the room feel updated in one day!

1) With a new table and chairs!
We avoided a "matching set" we found the chairs at once source, and the table was a one of a kind from refurbished wood.

2) A new window valance!

3) Colorful pottery, plants and accessories!

 The gray reclaimed wood table and comfortable chairs are a big hit in this  home! 

BEFORE below

A kitchen can be transformed in one weekend. This is much less stressful than months of remodeling with the noise, dust, and major expense.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1) Is the room functional, but just feels dated?

2) Do I want to sink more money into the structure? OR would I prefer spending money on items I can take with me and don't have to worry about recouping expenses during resale?

3) Could I try a few quick fix updates first? Then, if not satisfied proceed with a major remodel?

Updating a kitchen can be a daunting task if it's a major remodel - an interior designer can help you with creating budgets and goals. They can also make recommendations regarding which updates you can recoup during resale. It's wise to consider what % a kitchen remodel will consume of your overall budget for the entire home. Questions? Call us today 336-209-3087. Comments? we love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Gray and white fabrics with dark bedroom furniture, 3 design ideas!

If you love today's gray and white bedrooms, but aren't sure if you can pull it off with your dark bedroom furniture, know that it can come together no matter how dark your furniture is!

You can achieve a lighter updated look! Here are 3 design tips for achieving a brighter bedroom!

1) Replace the bed frame! 

The traditional formal bedroom suite (below before) will instantly take on a fresh new look if you replace the 4 poster bed with a new headboard! See below. The beautiful gray upholstered headboard, instantly made the room feel larger!

                       BEFORE >>>>>

2) Replace the huge armoire! 

If you're like many other people, perhaps you've had the armoire for 15 or 20 years, and are no longer fond of it?  Perhaps it's housing your off season clothes which could be in a cedar chest or in the attic? Or, perhaps you'd prefer a lower piece, a place for your flat screen TV? Above, we replaced it with a long gray upholstered bench, follow us next month for "after" photos.

3) Update artwork and accessories! 

See in the photo above:
  • a hammered silver vase
  • silver leaf picture frames
  • unique floor lamp

Notice how the mixture of colors and metals bring a fresh light look to the room. We find client's large accessories, that are not often found in local stores, and original artwork that makes your home feel unique.

A gray and white master bedroom can be soothing. If you go with light color tones, it can feel light filled even if you don't add windows. And best of all, you can achieve the look without replacing your dresser and nightstands!

Ideas? We'd love to hear your ideas for gray and white bedrooms. Questions? email us today.
Dark bedroom furniture doesn't mean the entire room has to be dark, with the right gray wall paint, ivory drapes, and gray and white fabrics or art, you can update a room overnight!

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!