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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to update an old wing chair, 5 designer tips!

The best way to update a room on a budget is to update an old chair. If you have a wing chair or other hand me down that feels dated due to the dark mahogany wood or the dreary dated fabrics, find inspiration with these photos and tips.

These wing chairs have an updated look through the
paint technique on the wood & with the updated linen fabric. 
Consider painting the frame, if you prefer a bright paint, use lacquer or gloss. 
You could also paint it black, or white, the options are endless!

This old wing chair looks fun and new through the
use of two tone fabrics. 

Consider contrast welt. Add a decorative throw pillow for lumbar support.
When you recover an old chair your help the environment! 
Wing chair looked old, it was in dire need of an updated look,
notice how much it changed the look to leave the skirt off! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

7 must read tips to solve stains and mildew on grout in your bathroom tile.

Grout for tile can show stains and mildew, here are 6 tips for how to avoid grout stains.

Grout stains show up more on light grout, it's best to chose a
deeper color such as tan or taupe
1) If it's a NEW tile job (a remodel or new construction), specify epoxy grout instead of the old kind. Don't let your installer talk you out of it!!! It is a tiny bit more expensive, but your grout will not show stains and for many years you'll be thankful.

2) If it's not new construction, and the mildew has already taken over, Hydrogen peroxide is helpful. It actually solves it. Buy several bottles, it's cheap! Brush it on the grout lines, leave it for awhile, don't rinse, you might have to repeat this again. It's cheaper than many cleaning supplies that don't really do the job. Be sure to test a spot to make sure it is safe for your tile.

3) Now to solve the REASON it's happening - this can be two fold,
a) too much moisture which means you may need to invest in a better intake fan or leave the door open while showering.
b) the "gaps" that use see - these are caused by settling or grout chipping, it's important that they be filled with grout by a tile person, the tile store can usually recommend someone good.

4) Chose a dark grout instead of light. Not so dark that it's unattractive.....but know that there are beautiful colors of grout available for your tile. Try holding several different brands up to your tile, and check it in NATURAL light instead of inside the tile showroom, so you'll see accurate colors.

Epoxy grout will not stain nearly as easily as regular grout! 

5) Use thin grout lines! If it's an experienced installer, they won't mind the challenge. Inexperienced installers prefer thicker grout lines to give themselves some leeway.

Mildew problems for grout can be solved with these tips 
6) If you have your grout nice an clean, (or if it's new) you can "seal" it. I did so, with a tiny paintbrush, time consuming but well worth it the first time you drop your makeup.

7) Remember that large tile will have less grout lines.

Grout stains on light grout can often be bleached with a cleaning supply that contains bleach, but if your tile is natural or porous, it can affect the color of the tile so be sure to test a spot.

For more photos & ideas just type a subject of interest in the SEARCH box! - 

Or click on these links:

before after room photos
remodeling tips
update a room
furniture layout  
add color    
window treatments
granite or tile first

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Buyer beware! Read these 6 tips before purchasing sofas and chairs!

Before purchasing a sofa and chairs, consider these questions - what fabric is best for a sofa? What fabric is durable? What size and scale should the furniture be? Will it coordinate with my home? These 6 tips will be helpful to read before you purchase furniture!

1) First and foremost is the fabric DURABLE? For pets, children, don't want to spend $700 ($350 on fabric and $350 or more on labor) to recover it! Polyester is durable, Rayon is soft but it's not durable.

2) Is your main sofa fabric timeless? Will it go with lots of options for pillows & window treatments? You'll own this sofa for the next 12 to 15 years (if it's a good quality). If the furniture store doesn't have a fabric you like, know that you can do COM (customer's own material).

We recommended the solid chenille (far background) for the main sofa,
with the front fabrics coordinates for pillows and a cocktail ottoman.

The Furniture store recommended these fabrics, which "shredded" when the cat scratched the fabric.  The fabrics had far too much rayon to be durable and they were dated looking.  The customer thought the furniture store fabrics were their only option, they weren't aware that they 
could do "COM" customer's own material. 

3) Did you get a to scale room layout showing how large the furniture will look in your room? Remember, the  furniture store showroom is misleading!! It's probably a 15' tall black ceilings with NO walls, it will look MUCH larger in your home.

4) Do you have a rug to consider? A favorite art piece? Wall colors? It's important to make sure your house flows from room to room.  Notice how much better the AFTER fabrics look than the BEFORE (Against the client's art which will be hanging directly behind the sofa).  

Select sofa & pillow fabrics based on all the criteria  
5) Since your furniture will look much bigger in your room than you expect, (unless your room is huge or you have tall ceilings), it's often wise to omit the skirt. Chairs or sofas that are up on legs will make the room look less crowded (less dense).

6) Ask - what is the furniture store's return policy? How large is the restocking fee? What is their policy if you are quoted "6 weeks" but after 16 to 18 weeks it's still not in your home? 

When selecting a sofa and chairs make sure you consider the above 6 criteria. You'll own it for many years so it's important that you love it. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Top 10 outdoor living spaces, interior designer tips & photos.

An outdoor living space or back porch can allow you to have another "room", it will feel like an addition to your home and make guests feel welcome.

1) First and foremost - create mood lighting. Add dimmers to outdoor lights. Add candle sconces (with wind screens), wrap railing with rope lighting, anything you can think of to scatter lights, dim soft lighting creates a mood that is soothing.

A back porch is a great place to put a glider, a rocker, or a swing!
They remind us of our childhood and favorite days of summer.

2)  Think "mix and match", the furniture can be from different sources! Mix wicker, wood, metal, etc. 

3) Create several seating areas. Smaller cozy groupings allow easier conversation.
If only we all had this magnificent view!

4) Porches and patios that are next to each other give guest a chance to move around and mingle. 

5) Cheerful colors. outdoor rugs, and outdoor fabrics make it more fun. 

6) Outdoor drapes make the porch usable for longer seasons, even if it's hot or the wind is chilly.
7) Are your chairs comfy? Add better cushions, pillows, plants to make your porch more welcoming. 

9) If you don't have a porch, perhaps you can dine under a shade tree? It's amazing what a table cloth and cloth napkins can do to make guests feel welcome. 

10) A porch that's close to the kitchen, the sink, & the stove is handy. It makes serving guests easier. If you're adding on a  back porch to your home, think about the access through doors. If there's not a door already,
 is it possible to turn a double window into french doors? 
An outdoor living space can make your home feel larger when entertaining guests. These beautiful back porch designer photos show how comfortable and welcoming the porch can feel, as if it's an addition to your home.

CLICK below for other subjects you'll enjoy: 

before after designer rooms

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

To decorate with black and white, see these designer room photos & ideas!

These designer room photos feature black and white, with pops of unexpected colors! 

Add a pop of color to black and white 

Mix furniture colors, spray paint a chair or night stand 

Add black trim to white drapes for a stunning focal point

Black & white chairs next to a cheerful green chaise 

To decorate with black and white, you need interesting textures (think silk, linen, stone, etc) or pops of colors. Designer's often feature black in their rooms to add a little elegance.

The turquoise walls add a punch of color to these
black and white fabrics 
If these designer rooms give you inspiration for black and white decorating, send us your comments or photos, we love feedback! Just click the word "comment" below.....

Friday, March 1, 2013

Improve the lighting in a dark house, just in time for spring! 9 solutions!

Fresh spring colors make this home feel more light filled. 
If your house feels dark, there are ways to make it lighter and brighter without installing larger windows!  Just in time for spring - here are eight cost effective interior design tips to have better lighting & make rooms feel brighter:

1) Install recessed lights. 
See photo below of a kitchen ceiling. Upgrading a florescent light to individual recessed lights is not as time consuming as I thought it would be. Get a quote, you might be pleasantly surprised!
Replacing one florescent light with individual can lights will insure the
entire room has sufficient lighting.
2) Install lights inside cabinets & insert glass doors!
This creates a more "open feeling". If it's not possible in the kitchen, is it possible on a bookcase? If you can't add glass, can you hide strip lighting?
Add lights inside cabinets

3) Replace heavy window treatments.
Either hang the drapes on the OUTSIDE of the window (so you don't block day light) OR replace heavy fabrics with light sheers.

This room feels "light filled" through the use of color and light fabrics. 
4) Upgrade one exterior door.
Chose the part of your house that needs light the most. See below: 

Add light by adding a door with a glass insert. 
5) Add under cabinet counter lighting.  

Add under cabinet lighting to brighten your room with better lighting 
6) Add light colorful colors through accessories & fabrics! 
They are cheerful! If the fabric is ultra suede, a micro fiber or a 100% polyester fabric it will be durable.  

This room feels light filled because of all the bright white! 
7) Paint woodwork BRIGHT WHITE. 
It's a major change, because it can be hard to find a stopping point. But notice in the photo below how light filled the room feels!
Bright white, along with lighting through a chandelier plus two lamps creates ample light in this foyer. 
8) Remove your 2" wood blinds - if you don't see the need, just try this experiment, raise the 2" blinds as high as possible, notice how much more open and light filled the room is? If you need privacy at night you can always install drapes that can be opened or closed.

9) Trim lower branches on trees!
Especially those that are close to the house!

A lighter and brighter house can make your mood feel brighter. Have fun with these tips and please send us your comments & ideas. We love hearing from you!