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, 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!

Friday, May 20, 2016

6 tips for when dining set feels too small!

Does your dining table feel too small for the space? People often bring the dining set from a prior home, and it feels too small in scale for the room. Sometimes doing one of these 3 will solve it:

1) Add a larger host and hostess chair, as we did in our client's home below! Notice the impact!
2) Add a rug, as we did below, this helps to "ground" the furniture and settle the space.
3) Add full height window treatments, they help fill the room. 
     Better still, adding drapes will absorb sound and make the space feel cozier. 
AFTER above, BEFORE below
In some situations, when a table is too small and you want to replace it, we have one word of advice:

Do not buy a matching "set". It's much more interesting to mix and match so that no one else will have exactly the same set! Notice what we found for our client below.

The table has a rustic weathered gray finish on the top, with a stainless steel base. It fills the space better than the old set, and is more functional too!

 AFTER above, BEFORE below

If your table feels too small in your room, you may be able to solve it by any of the following:

1) updating the chairs to a fully upholstered chair which feel more substantial than a wooden chair (see below)
2) Inserting the leaf in the table & add a larger chandelier
3) Fill the space with a buffet, drapes, valances, or beautiful items that help fill the void.

Keep in mind ceiling heights when shopping, dining tables and chairs often look much different in your home than they do in a furniture store! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Should the window treatmenat fabric match the wall color?

Should the window treatments match the wall color? Well, that depends on several factors - Do you like a tone on tone look? Do you love rooms that only have two or three colors? If so, matching the drapes, valances, or roman shades to the wall color may be just the thing for you!

In the below room, the drape color matches the slanted ceiling color.

Bedroom drapes that blend with the wall color create a soothing tone on tone look 

In the above room the drapes are similar in color to the wall color. This creates a soothing tone on tone room which is especially nice in any of these cases:

a) If the room is small
b) When there are lots of windows and drapes
c) For those who prefer a soothing tone on tone look
d) When the drapes will be functioning. Imagine yards and yards of fabric in an intense color or a bold print - it could be overpowering!

Comments? Click the word "comment" below. Questions? Be sure to email or call us instead!

As to whether the drapes should match the wall color - it's personal preference,. Some people prefer a contrast look, other people prefer a tone on tone look.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How to make a rustic room more contemporary?

It's easier than you'd think to give your home a fresh updated look, one that is less rustic or country.  

If you find yourself drawn to light modern interior, here are a few quick fix ways to transform a dark country style. Best of all, they don't require remodeling or major expenses. 

1) Update a light fixture and/or abstract art. 

Next to the dark rustic beams in the photo below, you wouldn't normally think to put a contemporary white ceiling fan. But the mix of styles is a fresh unique look! It changes the entire mood of the the room!

And check out the abstract contemporary art over the mantle! It's an unexpected twist next to the dark stained woodwork. 

2) Paint the wood work and trim white!

 If you like, you can go crazy with white. The trim, the windows, the walls, all in white! A room like the one below would feel rustic if the window and door trim was stained brown. It gets a more contemporary feeling with white paint. 

3) Add a contemporary furniture piece or contemporary art! 

  • Notice the concrete contemporary cocktail table? 
  • And the contemporary abstract art over the mantle? 
  • These make the room look more modern, even with rustic wood beams. 

To see additional room photos with colorful art or modern with traditional, see this blog:

To update a rustic home, feel free to mix and match and include your favorite contemporary items. It's amazing how combining styles allows you to achieve the look you love!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tall windows and short windows, what type window treatment?

Do you have windows that are different heights or shapes? There are solutions to make tall windows and short windows seem more cohesive, we're featuring them below.

Builders often mix different shape windows in the same room due to the exterior view, or due to their thought process on where the furniture should go. In the room below, the builder did this horizontal window to allow space for a bed underneath. Notice that without window treatments, unique shaped windows can be quite "confusing" to the eye. Especially when some windows are a different shape than others in the same room.

Below, see the before and after, which make the long narrow window look better. Drapes, sheers, and valances are helpful when the windows are different shapes and heights!

The large window (right side) would look great with drapes too, any combination 
of sheers, drapes, valances or roman shades work great.  

Comments or ideas you'd like to share? Just click the word "comment" below. Or, for questions, be sure to email us instead. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

On line design service versus a local interior designer, pros and cons.

Interior Decor products and Interior design services are available several ways:
a) on line
b) from furniture stores
c) from a local interior design firm.
We'll list the pros and cons, the feedback we've heard from clients, and expenses involved with each.

To decide between an on line interior design service versus a local interior designer, here are three questions to consider: 

1) Do I prefer to see merchandise in my home before making a decision?
If so, here are helpful questions:
  • Do you allow a 24 hour return policy?
  • Do you charge a restocking fee for returns? (Furniture stores normally charge 25% +)
  • Do you bring small swatches & photos? Or the actual rugs & fabrics?
  • Do I have to pay the return shipping costs? 
2) How do I prefer to spend my time? 
With on line design service,  there's no way to know exactly what you're getting until it's actually in your home. There is normally some combination of the following:
  • Wrapping & returning shipments that were not the quality expected
  • Wrapping & returning shipments that were not the color tone you expected
  • Wrapping & returning shipments because the size and scale did not work with your current items

3)  What is my experience with each of the below? 
  • Have I regretted a prior purchase because it was not as durable as it should have been? 
  • Have I made impulse purchases that I later regretted?
  • Have I purchased items which were not the right size and scale for the room? 
  • Do I have items from prior purchases that were not the comfort level I expected? 
To avoid issues, a local provider who allows in home viewing can be advantageous. The majority of furniture stores charge restocking fees for returns, so it's advantageous to check a local interior designer's terms for returns, 24 or 48 hour approval, and in home viewing.

Shopping for a home is not like shopping for clothing! Large items or breakable items are time consuming to unwrap or uncarton, move into place, then do the same to return them.

Happy Decorating!!  
Comments? We love feedback, click the word comment below.
Questions? Be sure to call us or email us instead!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Selecting paint colors before moving into a new home, 6 designer tips!

What's the best way to select wall paint colors before I move into my new home? Good question!

All the famous designers and Houzz articles state that selecting paint "before you move in is a big mistake!" However ---  we realize that sometimes it's necessary to paint before you move in, so we'll list 6 design tips for selecting the perfect wall paint BEFORE you move in!

Getting your paint selection correct the first time will save you money! In fact, the #1 reason new home buyers end up repainting a room twice is because they don't realize how much each color tone can vary. What starts out as "basic gray, tan, camel, or ivory" ends up with tones one didn't expect. For example, you'll notice that gray paints can have a pink cast, or a green cast, or a taupe or brown cast. Since there is no such thing as a "neutral paint color" paints can appear "not quite right" next to your rug, art, or window treatment fabric.

We'll help you select a paint that makes your home look amazing! Following these 6 tips as a tried and true method, we use it for every new construction project!

In a recent 13,000 + square foot home project, the homeowner needed to paint before they moved to Greensboro, NC, while they were living out of state. Now, they are absolutely thrilled with all the paints!! It's exciting when you love your surroundings, and when the colors make you happy!

To select the right paint color or wallpaper, your fabric and art should be your guide.
This is especially the case when painting with gray, since it can have pink, brown, or green undertones! 

Many homeowners don't realize how much as small tweak of the paint can matter. That is, unless they picked the wrong paint colors in prior homes! Then they definitely want to get the paint color selection right the first time, so they actually compliment your art, rug and drapes.

6 design tips for selecting the right wall paint:

1) Choose & spread out fabrics in your actual rooms. 
  • It could be fabric for a valance or drape, or for recovering.
  • Once you do this, the paint fan will be living proof that some paints will look AMAZING, while others look like a hit and a miss. 
  • We spread out fabrics by the bolt (instead of a small sample). 

2) Bring home a 12" rug sample. 
  • If this isn't possible, send your designer close up photos of your rug, so they can use it as a guide. 
  • Make sure you photograph the rug in good natural light. Go the extra effort - open the 2" blinds, open the doors, wait for a sunny day. Accuracy is important if your rug has unique colors. 

3) Decide on an inspiration piece, such as beautiful art. 

  • After all, a large piece of art is the focal point, it can make or break the room! 
  • When we selected paint for the above mentioned home, we already knew which amazing pieces of art would compliment the wall colors. 

4) If you're going to update your kitchen or bathroom, view the tile with the paint.

5) Select the paint on a bright day, during natural light

  • Evening light with lamps will not allow you to see tricky undertones (such as pink tones or green tones, etc) 
  •  Check out the fabrics in the correct area, West versus East, these can all affect the color.
  • Consider the hardwood stain, or carpet, and how it affects the wall color choice.   

6) Some experts say 96% of the population can't see color tones correctly. Is that the case with you or your spouse? If so, enlist the help of a designer! They'll help ensure you get a paint color that you LOVE!

A wall paint should compliment the carpet, art, rug, tile, hardwood floors and fabrics. A wall paint can really change your home, so if you're going to go to the trouble to paint, make sure it's a paint color you'll be happy with for years! It's not "just paint" it's lots of time and energy or expense. So, you might as well get it right the first time.

Comments? Click the word "comment" below. We love hearing your thoughts!
Questions? Be sure to email us instead.

For many more articles on this subject, type "color" or "paint" in the TOP LEFT corner search box.
Happy Painting!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Best valances for windows with different sizes.

There are lots of valances that work great in a room with several windows that vary in width and length. Do you have a combination of double windows, single windows, or triple windows? Or several windows that all vary in size? There are lots of valances that work great in a room with several windows that vary in width and length. Here we'll show examples of window valances that work great in  rooms that have odd size windows. These window treatments have several advantages:

1) They add color and pattern
2) They can hide the blinds, so you can raise them when entertaining!
3) Valances create the illusion of taller windows and ceilings. We prefer to hang them even higher than the photo below, so they don't block any daylight.

Double windows and a single window, this valance works with both styles

We custom made these kitchen valances for a bay window in Greensboro NC.
Notice the shape of the curve is that same for both the double window &
single window, which was accomplished through a center pleat.

The main thing to consider regarding valances for windows in different widths is the ARCH shape. For example, a wide window would cause the fabric to have a soft eclipse shape, and a narrow window would have a more intense curve. To avoid that, a pleat or contrast strap can allow all the curves to be cohesive. For many more and our popular posts on valance styles, see this link with before and after photos: