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, February 25, 2011

How many lamps and recessed lights do I need? See this photo with mood lighting.

To find out if you have enough lamps and light fixtures - turn on all the lamps one evening for a test run. Are there lamps scattered evenly around the room, or do certain areas appear too dark? Do you have to turn on the bright overhead light to get sufficient lighting?

House Beautiful interviewed famous designers regarding the most common decorating mistakes. This was Barclay Butera's response,  "There's nothing worse than bright overhead lights that make you feel like you're onstage. Lighting shouldn't wash down on you, it's harsh and unflattering. Use dimmers in every part of the house. The best light comes at you from shaded lamps."

Greensboro NC Home
The photo of this Greensboro, NC library with cherry walls shows how even a dark room can have sufficient lighting from lamps and sconces.

Type any area of interest in the SEARCH BOX for more great articles. Click on this link for more before & after photos and ideas:

How to select a wall paint?

Unique ideas for backspash tile, photos of tile backspash makeovers.

Considering new tile for your kitchen back splash? Here are some helpful tips:

1) Before shopping, search magazines or the Internet for photographs to develop a feel for what style and colors you like.
2) Get assistance from a professional interior designer. They can pass on their contractor discount! People often think they're limited to stores like Home Depot or Lowes, but specialty tile stores offer a huge variety of tiles that are not available in those stores.
3) Your designer can meet you at the tile store to show you which brands make the look you want for for less money.  They’re not on commission, so they’ll have your best interest in mind.
4) The main tile should be a reasonably priced one. Insert expensive tiles where they will create the most impact, such as under the stove top, or a mini bar.
5) Consider texture, size, shape, and texture, notice in the photos below how tiles with different sheens and textures were added.

Greensboro, NC Kitchen Tile backsplash
In this Greensboro, NC home, we created a tile back splash with the expensive tiles in the center only, where they make the most impact. The remainder of the framed in area is composed of five different tiles, in various shapes, sizes, and colors.

To see more photos with free design tips (by email twice a month), sign up today. 
Receive interior designer tips on room layouts, color selections, furniture shopping, window treatment photos, room makeovers, budgets, and more! Click here:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to add color to a room without painting the walls.

This window valances, sofa, and door chest add color

Not sure you want to paint the walls a bold color? There are many ways to add color! Look around your home and ask yourself if the colors reflect your personality. Often our homes are filled with items we don't really like, but they can easily be updated. Here are some options for adding color, if you don't want to paint the entire room:

  •  Add fabric or Paint to the back wall of a hutch or bookcase. Fabric applied to a wallboard can be easily removed, just make sure it's thin so your shelves will still fit. 

  •  Paint an unused end table, console, or chest (see photo above)
  •  Reupholster chairs or ottomans 

  •  Add color through a window valance or roman shade 

For more photos & tips on adding color, click on this blog:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Have an unused space? Check out this home office!

Take charge of every bit of your square feet! Find a room that could function better.  

 Do you have a formal living room or dining room that you never set foot in? How about a small area that could be used as a study or homework area? One Jamestown, NC client converted their old mud room into a home office, another made their unused dining room into a game room with a pool table.  What creative way do you intend to use a space? 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Six important tips for replacing kitchen cabinets. Visit these tips from Greensboro, NC.

 1) Compare brands. Our brand allow you to insert a custom piece into a semi- custom kitchen, with the exact same finish! This gives you a great deal of flexibility.
2) Ask yourself -  Is there architectural appeal? Where can we vary the height & depth?

3) Consider upgrading the interiors, example, do you want tray drawers in the cabinets?

4) Select a finish you won't tired of. Avoid a dated look.

5) Look through magazines & our portfolio. You'll learn what look you come back to. 

6) If you have wood floors, painted cabinets can be a nice contrast.

For photos from Greensboro kitchens, Click here to view the kitchen section of our web site for more great tips. 

Save your Saturdays for fun in the sun! Before you run all over Greensboro to kitchen cabinet stores, come up with a gameplan, it will save you time and money.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to select paint colors, see these photos.

Headed to your local paint store and can't decide what color? To select a wall paint you'll love for years, start with an inspiration piece, such as a pillow or accessory.

If your walls are a subtle tone, perhaps a softer version of your fabrics, you can add punches of color. See how the soft yellow chair, lamp shade, and fresh yellow flowers accomplish this in the above photo. It's ALWAYS best to select your fabrics first, then wall paint, since there are millions of paints to choose from.

Soft blue tones for this bedroom
The bed sham fabric was the inspiration for this designer room. 
The client loved decorating in the soothing "spa" blue color.  

Ask yourself this - what color makes me happy? For accent items, fresh "spa tones" (soft blue/green), yellow, caramel or paprika are all very popular. One thing for sure, a room with a pop of color can bring in sunshine and cheer!
Is there a color you'd like to add to your home? If you're in Greensboro or the surrounding area, we can provide on site tips for selecting paints! See our web site for hundereds of Before/After paint color ideas.

Trying to find large or unique art? Consider these options!

Are you shopping in art galleries and furniture stores to find that it all starts to look the same? Consider this alternative....wrap light weight wallboard or an old canvas frame in suede or fabric!  This is a great way to add interest to a large wall (without breaking the bank)! And, since it's not a busy scene, it won't fight with the your rug or the other art in the room. Another option is to paint canvas with layers of paints in several tones from dark to light. This allows you to bring in your favorite color tones without repainting the room. There are many alternatives to art in stores, get creative and find your inner artist!

Leather sofa or fabric sofa? Read this before you buy!

Are you searching High Point furniture stores for sofas and ready to just be "done with it"? That's what most people say! Are you combining styles (husband and wife) perhaps your husband wants leather and you want fabric? If so, you could add a throw, colorful pillows, a fabric cocktail ottoman.   

Something to consider - leather can stain or tear, just like fabric could, and that could be very expensive. You can't match the hide color later, the dye lot would never match, so recovering a leather sofa is too pricey to be feasible. If you purchase a fabric sofa, and a cushion gets a spill, an ink mark, or a tear, you can often "flip over" the cushion - not so with leather. Or an exposed wood chair in fabric is even easier to make a quick fix, by recovering the cushion only!  

I personally love both leather and fabric. But I've heard horror stories of leather sofas that were ruined within weeks of people bringing them home. I too fell victim to this, when the first week we brought home a leather sofa a coca cola stained the leather BADLY. So, I've looked at a stained sofa for 8 years. I would've been better off with a fabric that could be scrubbed. I've learned that scrub-able fabrics do have their benefits, but it's really a matter of personal preference. So, if you're still trying to decide between leather and fabric, know that leather is not really the most durable. 

Comments? Click the word "comments" below.....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

6 Steps to a Romantic Bedroom

Is your bedroom admired by both women AND men? It's fun to watch the facial expression of a man when he walks into a newly decorated bedroom that's stunning and not to "fru fru".  I remember a very enthusiastic comment from a pro football player "Our bedroom's AWESOME! Thank you!" Yes, even a masculine 6'7" football player can appreciate a room, if it's done right. Here are some suggestions.

1) Make sure it will be enticing for everyone involved. Let's face it, most men don't like a room full of floral fabrics.

2) Add soft lighting from various sources, table lamps, floor lamps, candles.

This contemporary bedroom has nice soft lighting that comes from different sources. 
Soft lighting can make or break the room. 

This designer room photo is from our web site. By substituting ultra suede & chenille solids (instead of the burgundy floral) the room becomes gender friendly.

3) Window treatments should be for function as well as looks. The photo below shows drapery panels in raw silk with a bronze border. They can be opened so they don't block any of the view, or closed for a rare day when you might get to sleep in!

4) The bed should be stunning. After all it's a BEDroom! It's normally the focal point of the room, if you have tall ceilings, get a nice tall headboard, the one in the photo below is 6' tall!

5) Add texture through fabrics - this Greensboro NC designer room has mohair, silk, velvet, chenille, and a fluffy rug.

6) Treat your bedroom as your private domain, hang the "do not disturb" sign and enjoy!
Silk fabric on this Greensboro NC designer room is a nice contrast to the
dull chenille on the custom bedding.
The same silk on the headboard makes a nice contrast band
at the bottom of these custom drapes

For more photos & ideas, click
on our web site at the top. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to select fabrics. Read this Greensboro, NC story.

Sofa after reupholstered in chenille & suede

Before, fabric had faded to pink
This Greensboro, NC client knew that fabric is a lot like paint, there are thousands of beautiful colors to choose from!  So, don't just take a stab at it after viewing a small swatch. Most interior designers will bring options to your home for no charge. Better yet, if they stock fabric, you'll get to view the fabric spread out on your sofa, instead of trying to visualize from a small swatch! You can even save money! Get a quote!  If they have a vast inventory, they probably get quantity purchase discounts.

Consider 3 things:

1) Determine which items must remain in the room, such as the rug or art. These could either "back you into a corner" or give you a nice starting point.

2) It will be more interesting if you can add different textures, such as combining suede with chenille.

3) A Greensboro fabric store is not your only alternative, you can take advantage of an
interior designer's in home service.

Before going to a kitchen cabinet showroom, see what this Greensboro, NC homeowner did!

Kitchen in need of function & eye appeal

Same kitchen cabinets, new counter tops, tile, and hood
 A Kitchen cabinet store isn't always the best place to start if you haven't determined what needs to change in your room. A free consultation from a qualified interior designer could help you determine your goals. Some good questions to start -  
  • Is there a more functional layout?
  • Should any doorways or windows be relocated?
  • Will replacing the cabinets solve what I don't like about the room? 
The photo above shows a kitchen that needed three things: a better use for the "clutter catching" desk area, color, and architectural appeal. 

The microwave and oven replaced the desk, and a stucco hood and  tile back splash were added for architectural appeal.  This created a focal point and added space so it didn't feel crowded in the stove area. Notice the colorful valance above the window, and new drop lights over the island. Last, we replaced the Formica with granite counter tops. By sticking to a predeterminded plan and a budget, this Greensboro homeowner was able to remodel their kitchen on a tight budget! 

How to hire a good Interior designer, consider these tips before you search through designer web sites.

An interior designer's web site can give you a real sense of their expertise. Here are some tips to consider:

1) Does their web site and blog show a few pretty rooms (from the client with a big budget)? Or does it show what they can accomplish when existing items are difficult?

2) Are they willing to provide a list as referrals? Do they have excellent recommendations on, Google, Facebook, etc. 

3) Are they new? They should have years of experience & exposure to a lot of different spaces and styles. Experience is what prepares them to walk into a home (with existing or dated items) and be able to define what needs to change for the most impact for your budget. 

4) For remodeling projects and new construction qualifications and experience are  CRUCIAL. They can save you thousands and be your best advocate with the builder, the subcontractors, and the suppliers......or they can leave you with a mess that you wish you could change. 

5) Are they willing to accommodate your taste & your lifestyle? Their web site will be a good indication. If you see a variety of interior design styles, it's a good indication that they aren't going to impose one particular style.
6) Is there a complimentary initial consultation? This is a good time to find out if they're a good fit for you. Questions like " How do you intend to use this room?" or " What items do you love? reflect that they won't insist on throwing everything out or start over again.

Before hiring an interior designer, know that it's somewhat like hiring a hair dresser, a mechanic, or a repair man, I say this in the sense that there are good ones, and there are very bad ones. 

 It's your home, you should feel like you're in good hands with the right designer. Their web site & blog will speak volumes, use it as a guide to learn more about them. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To find window treatments that make your windows seem larger, see this Greensboro, NC Homeowner's valance!

After adding a new window valance & art

Before valance
This Greensboro client knew they wanted new window treatments, but they didn't dream they would actually affect how large the room felt! Notice how the placement, shape, & style of the window treatments valance affect how tall the windows feel?  You can see many more before and after photos at

If the window treatments are hung as high as possible, the windows will seem taller and therefore the room will feel larger. It's an optical illusion that really made an impact by changing this window valance style. Adjacent rooms in this Greensboro, NC home can be seen as before after photos at transforming rooms.  

Get decorating tips for using soothing neutral colors

I love a quote from a famous designer in House Beautiful's January 2009 issue " I limited my color palette. There are lots of beautiful colors out there - they just shouldn't be used all at once."

Let's face it, life is hectic! So it's nice to come home to a favorite sitting room that's soothing and peaceful! Splashes of color can be added through art work or pillows, while the sofa is a subtle tone that you'll never grow tired of.

Learn easy solutions for a good night's sleep!

Greensboro home, before window treatments

Greensboro home, after adding window treatments
Are you trying to decide if window treatments are important? That depends if you're ready to sleep like a bear in hibernation!  Per Michael Breus Ph.D., author of the book Sleep: Look Younger Lose Weight and Feel Great Through Better Sleep:  a bedroom that lets even a little light in, either from street lights or a full moon is the second most common reason people have trouble dozing, (anxiety is number one). Per Breus: Light shuts down your body's production of sleep-signaling melatonin; 
so it's good to keep the room nice and dark!  

As for the number one reason of stress --- yoga is a great stress release! I've also found Vitamin D3 to be very helpful, with dosage levels as seen in (life extension, but since I do not have any medical training, I'm not qualified to advise what is safe for you. So, I'll stick to what I DO know - I can provide a definite solution to the second most common problem - just get custom window treatments! Why?

 1) Because custom drapes can be made as wide as necessary, to block all of the light, on the left, on the right, and at the top!

2)You can add thick lining or black out lining to make the room totally dark! We're not talking about the stiff black out lining like in hotels. I'm referring to the luxurious soft new 100% black out lining.

3) With custom drapes on a traverse rod, you can overlap the drapes in the center, so you block ALL the light.

Why is sleep so important? As explained in Women's Health Magazine, September 2008, "more and more evidence links a lack of sleep to health problems like depression and even cancer." Why take insomnia as a given? A few tweaks can help you get consistent peaceful sleep! Notice how custom window treatments also make this Greensboro home feel cozier!

Do you have feedback or ideas on what helps you get a good night sleep? We love hearing your comments! Or, for a question, be sure to email us instead.

Learn these tips to know if your sofa is worth recovering

Sofa in a dated fabric with a skirt 

 In progress 

By recovering the sofa, there was enough savings to add window treatments and decorative pillows 

Trying to decide whether you should find a sofa at a furniture store versus reupholster your current sofa? That's a good question!

1) If your sofa is comfortable, and it's a good brand, it's probably worth recovering. It can save you both precious time and money AND it's good for the environment!

2) A qualified interior designer can tell you if your sofa has 8 way hand tied coil springs, and if it's a hardwood frame. Many of today's sofas are imported from overseas, so they aren't as sturdy.

3) Best of all, when you recover, you aren't limited to a small selection of fabrics the sofa manufacturer provides.

These photos show the before & after of a reupholstered sofa in Summerfield NC. This client said they always had a "love hate feeling about the sofa". They loved the shape, but they wanted a more luxurious fabric and a more formal feel.  Notice that when you leave off the skirt, you get the look a new sofa!