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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What questions to ask a designer, for your remodeling or new construction project.

Before you remodel your home or start construction on a new home, this is the optimum time to ask an interior designer the right questions! ----Think of it like an interview. ----After all, it can make or break the project. The builder or architect will normally offer an interior designer as part of the package, here are some great questions to ask the designers you're interviewing.

 Ask a very specific question, to see if they respect your taste and are knowledgeable in their field.  
1) You will soon be able to tell if they have a true gift - which you cannot learn in design school. A gift for size & scale, attention to detail, for understanding color tones, and most of all..... good listening skills.

I found this blog on the internet. The writer talked about her struggle to find a paint color for her son's bedroom. A good designer would be able to narrow it down and explain what's good & bad about each one, in a way that makes perfect sense!

Above - Paint options a homeowner was considering. Notice her words at the bottom, "I better like the end result, if I don't it won't be my husband who repaints, I promise you that!"

2) Ask specific questions about their background. 
They should have a web site that REFLECTS the quality level of work to expect.  Does their web site features one home.... from the client with the HUGE budget?  - or does it reflect that they can work with a variety of tastes, styles, and budgets? How extensive is their experience?

3) Ask for references and recommendations. They should have an excellent rating at the BBB, and they'll have glowing recommendations on Houzz, Google and Facebook.

4) Know that if you're interviewing designers and some are much cheaper than others, there's probably a reason for that. 
A qualified designer can save you from a "redo" that could run thousands of dollars -  they'll make you glad you spent more for an expert. In the below photo, we saved the homeowner from a massive error.

Far LEFT: hardwood floor 
Bottom Right: Their original (bad choice) for cabinet stain, which was too red
Better choice - Upper Right: A much better compliment to the floors. 
It's hard to capture in a photo, in real life, once I pointed it out to the homeowners they
said "oh my gosh you're right, they DO clash!!" 

5) Ask if they can pass on showroom discounts. Perhaps they're aware of brands that offer tile & carpet at more reasonable prices than some of the big name brands. Perhaps they get "to the trade" discounts that they can pass onto you? If their fee is high but the savings are substantial, it's important to look at the bottom line.

Details such as how and where to insert  accent tiles, which grout color for your tile, 
these can all make or break the overall look. 

6) Consider interviewing two different designers. AFTER ALL - It's less expensive than being faced with an expensive purchase that you aren't happy with, or a remodeling job that went wrong. You'll find that one designer will bring things to the table that just "click" - with your taste & your budget.

It's your home, you should LOVE coming home to it. It's worth doing your homework and asking all the right questions. Remodeling and new construction projects can run as smooth as silk or they can be a nightmare. You'll want the interior designer to be your best advocate with the architect, the builder,  the remodeling company, and at the various suppliers (tile, granite, lighting, and hardware).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Valance or drapes? What window treatment is best for my window?

People often ask if their window needs a valance or "some type of window treatment above the drapes" instead of just drapes alone. To determine the right window treatment style, it depends on a lot of variable, the shape of the window, how you use the room, if the window treatments need to function to block light, etc. As a rule of thumb, valances can be a nice window treatment for these two areas:

1) Over a kitchen window (because you damp mop often, you might not want long drapes).

2) Over a Jacuzzi tub area in a bathroom.

Other than those areas, full length drapes are often the best route for a window treatment, because if they're hung in the right place, and in the right style, drapes make the window look taller and wider, and in return, this makes the ceiling look taller. They don't require a valance above the drapes, as these photos will indicate. Sometimes less is more!

Full length drapes instead of a valances.

with valances instead of drapes. The valances did not
look appropriate in a nice master bedroom, as they
 made the windows look to small. 

AFTER (In Progress)
Notice the drapes do not block daylight. They look more substantial than the swag, which felt too skimpy in a 2 story room with a huge stone fireplace.  This room is a work in progress, 
with chairs & wall paint in the works. The sofa was in a dated fabric, we recovered it in gray linen.

This window treatment felt too skimpy
in comparison to nice full draperies.

Friday, January 18, 2013

What type hardware to hang my drapes?

There are endless options for drapery hardware - for your drapes, valances, and other window treatments. Below we'll show some of the many options. One thing for sure, if the fabric is stunning, the hardware really isn't what will demand attention, so it's not necessary to break the bank for the most expensive hardware.  In these photos it is very noticeable, but that's mainly because it is the subject matter of the blog! 
The silk drapes are so luxurious that there is no need for fancy
hardware, this Greensboro homeowner opted for simple metal rods that
do not compete with the beautiful transom window.

For this window treatment, we put tabs tops on the silk drapes (instead
of wooden rings). This is a nice option when you won't open and close
the drapes very often.

The hardware for this window treatment is a clean and contemporary grommet
style. This allows you to oe drapes without the need for wooden rings.

If you do not intend to open and close your drapes, short rods are a nice look. For
this Greensboro NC home, we put wooden rings on metal rods. The wooden
drapery rings are an upgraded look, they're more substantial than metal rings.
Hardware for windows (the rods, finials and brackets) come in a variety of styles.
You can use short rods as shown below, so the hardware doesn't compete with the nice
shape of the transom windows.
This set shows rings and finials that match the rods, but
 the rings can also be a contrast color.
 If you have window treatments in several rooms, it's nice to use a variety of hardware, for example
you could use black rods and finials in one room, with a walnut finish in another room. The you could add metal hardware in a third room. As long as they compliment each other, there's no need for the hardware to match.

Do you have a question or comment on window treatment hardware? We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Do my two sofas have to match?

People often ask if their sofas need to match. Well thats a tricky question, because it depends on the sofas, it depends on the room, and it depends if you have fabulous
fabrics that can tie it all together. It's tricky to decorate a room with two different sofas, to be honest it's hard to make it work and not look like a hodge podge, but it can be done. Sometimes all it takes
is some finishing touches to pull it all together!
Here are some questions that you might want to ask your self:
  1. Do they compliment each other?
  2. Does it seem like you were forced to use them beause they came from old homes or combined households?
  3. Are they similiar in size and scale? Or does one sofa overpower the other?
  4. Can the room HANDLE two sofas? Or would you be better off with a pair of chairs next to your sofa?
In this room, the sofas do not match. The chesterfield sofa (the tufted one in back) has a lot of style. The sofa on the left is very clean lined, so it doesn't really make a statement. The medium gray tone blends well with the light gray sofa. This is a great example of a situation where mixing two different sofas worked out much better than having two matching sofas. This shows that it's not necessary to have a matching pair.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to make my bookcases look better with less clutter? See these bookshelf photos!

Bookshelves can look great if they're not full of clutter. See these transformations, it sometimes takes some "encouraging" but we often cause a chain reaction of clutter removal once we get one room done, the client is motivated to do more areas! 

AFTER above, BEFORE below
Our custom chairs, rug, drapes and accessories add warmth.
Keep your favorite books and accessories, donate those you no longer want for someone to enjoy. 

Bookshelf BEFORE
This homeowner loved it once the books were organized,
sorted in groups with garden books together, cookbooks together, and favorite novels together.
She also donated those books she didn't want. 

AFTER Bookshelves
We glazed them in a taupe wash & we removed lots of shelves 

Before removing shelves
Eight shelves instead of three....this would have required
lots of little bitty accessories, which feel like clutter.

Bookshelf  IN PROGRESS
We're waiting on some colorful art, but it's already a big improvement. We
removed small items which allows you to appreciate favorite accessories. 

Bookshelf    BEFORE
AFTER bookshelf and valance
Once we updated the clients window valance, it was easy to talk them into clutter removal.

Before dated valance style next to office bookshelf 
Bookshelves in office before
By removing shelves, we were able to reduce clutter!
Try doing a section at a time, or a shelf at a time. Bookshelves with less clutter can make you feel more organized, and allow you to find what you're looking for.