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, February 26, 2014

Best built in storage solutions & window seats, 5 must read design tips for a niche, bay window, or kitchen!

A bay window or niche is the perfect place to add storage solutions. We've gathered photos of niche's and bay windows to give you storage solution ideas. In a kitchen it allows you to store excess pots, pans, or items you rarely use. In a den, it allows you to store games, movies, whatever the need, it's always nice to have more storage as well as seating, so that your niche or bay window isn't a wasted area!

window seat in bay window, 3 separate cushions make it more affordable than one long cushion
Pull out drawers add space for excellent storage solutions

We love to transform homes by adding window seats. It's a great way to add color, storage, and create a useful space. Above: our beautiful fabrics and seat cushions really update a home.
Easy access storage solution with no doors
This is the least expensive way to add storage

Lift lids are another inexpensive way to add storage,
but it's harder to keep the area organized than with pull out drawers

This bay window utilizes both storage shelves at each end
as well as storage under the window seat

Last but not least, if you build the window seat deep enough, you can use a twin mattress for the cushion,
just be sure to adjust for the height! 
For BEFORE & AFTER photos of bay window ideas, click here:

For storage ideas and clutter removal, see these BEFORE and AFTER photos:

If you have a question, send us an email, we love hearing from you! (see top of page)
 Or, for comments only, those can be added here. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How much will it cost to furnish and decorate my new home? 6 must read tips for staying in budget!

How much will it cost to furnish and decorate my home? Smart question!
Now, to make sure you're getting a realistic answer -  

It's impossible for a designer to know which sofa, chairs, rugs etc fit your expectation level during the first consultation. Asking for a total is similar to asking a car salesman to give you a price before you've explained whether you want leather seats versus fabric? or a sunroof? or the upgraded tow package? and all the other bells and whistles.

To site specific examples, there have been times when I found an amazing bargain sofa at an outlet for a client, which retailed for $2,800, but was discounted to $900 due to excess inventory. .....but my client fell in love with a  $3,200 sofa by Henredon. Or perhaps I find a great wool rug that's on sale for $590. But the client prefers a hand knotted rug that's $4,800. See how much items can vary in price?

Some furniture sales people will guess, because they know you can't hold them to it, they might give a specific answer such as  "you'll need to allow $11,500 for these rooms".
Personally I prefer to be more upfront by sharing the 6 tips below. Along with some great ways to make your home beautiful, functional, and still stay within budget!

1) If a designer or furniture sales clerk gives you a total budget to furnish & decorate your home, know that the only way this makes since is if you see (and approve) each item, in advance.  

2) Now, for the realistic questions - Are you in a hurry to have the home furnished and decorated by a deadline? Are you impulsive? Know that a good designer can find good bargains, if you're willing to be patient. Do you want in stock items? Or are you willing to wait on custom orders? These all affect the answer to the question, how much will it cost to furnish and decorate my home.

3) For an accurate total cost to furnish and decorate your home, an Excel spread sheet is very helpful....with a list of every item. A low and high dollar amount beside each item would allow you to see what will happen if you are the type to pick the more expensive brands when given a choice. You can use Crate & Barrel, or Pottery Barn, or Restoration Hardware as a guide for retail prices.

4) MOST important - Read Reviews!  Are there numerous reviews for the designer? Do the reviews state things like "they helped me stay within budget", or "they provided good quality brands at great discounts". 

I once lost a client by being honest about how the budget could vary, depending on their decisions about choices. That's not what the homeowner wanted to hear. Another designer lured the homeowners in by telling them what they wanted to hear, a "total cost to furnish and decorate their new home." One spouse was a financial planner, the other was an accountant, so they wanted a specific total.  I totally agree that a budget to furnish and decorate a new home is a valid question. And a detailed spread sheet needs to go with it, along with showing the client the EXACT pieces that are being specified!

As for how the homeowner felt once the other designer finished - I imagine you can guess how it turned out! They told me the designer they hired went 440% over budget, and she was able to justify it by saying she had no way of knowing they'd want to upgrade to higher priced merchadise.
Remember to include floor lamps, rugs, benches, accessories, anything
the room needs to be functional and welcoming. 
5) Ask yourself these questions, then add them to the Excel spread sheet:

a) What's missing from the budget - sufficient lighting for reading? window treatments? enough seating?

b) Does it list realistic allowances? For example, does it list $795 for an inexpensive couch, when perhaps you prefer high end more pricey brands which could range from $2,400 to $3,800?

c) What items are not realistic? For example, did they quote a 5 x 7 rug when the room will look best with an 8 x 10 rug? Is their quote for a synthetic rug when you prefer a designer rug in 100% wool?

d) Did they include good quality items which can make or break the room? Such as large colorful art?

6) Now for the good news - where can you cut corners?
  • can you borrow a piece from another room? sometimes there are new uses for old pieces - check out the blog where we take an old hutch and turn it into an amazing mini bar! 
  • can you recover an existing chair or sofa in a new fabric? (see above or type recover in search box for lots more photos)
  • can a current window treatment be altered or hemmed?
  • can you wait for clearance pieces? or are you impulsive?  
  • does your designer pass on discounts?
  • In a recent review you'll read about how we took a dated looking ruffled valance, (they bought years earlier) and turned it into a tailored clean metropolitan look by attaching it to a board.
By recovering furniture this client was able to save
on her total budget to furnish and decorate

For amazing BEFORE and AFTER rooms updated on a BUDGET - click on this link:

We love hearing from you!! Send your comments, just click the word "comment" below.....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 must read designer tips for selecting a sofa fabric, avoid a major design mistake.

It's important to select a sofa fabric that is durable & timeless, because it's very expensive to redo or recover a sofa.  Here are the 5 tips which will help you find the best sofa fabric.

1) Think texture, or tone on tone, rather than a busy print. Remember, you'll have prints on the pillows & the art, therefore big items such as a sofa or drapes should be subtle & timeless. They're too expensive to redo!

Spread out fabrics by the bolt! 
This customer requested fabrics in cinnamon, paprika, pumpkin, and brown. 
Top Left: pillow fabric, brown chenille for sofa, 
Center: textured tweed for chairs,
Bottom Right side: drapes and valances. 

2) Try to thing BIG - are you looking at a little 6" swatch? Instead, look at 15 to 20 YARDS in the room.  
Get your fabric source to spread out the entire bolt in your room, 
so you can see it next to your art, your rugs, and how it flows with adjacent rooms.

3) Think about durability, sure you may love it, but does it have a good rub count? Is it a good durable content? Or is it 80% rayon, and NOT durable?

4) Think big picture - does it compliment your tile, your hardwoods, your cabinets? Or does it cause your current wood stain to look too orange or yellow?

5) Look at the adjacent rooms - will your home flow from room to room?

For additional room photos and fabric ideas, click on this link:

What is a durable fabric:  ---

Buyer beware! Read this before purchasing a sofa:

If you have a question, email us. Or, for comments only, know that we love to hear your opinion!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How many throw pillows on the bed? 7 must read tips to avoid too many pillows.

If you're tired of putting decorative throw pillows on your bed every morning, remember that if your bedding and shams are amazing, you won't need lots of throw pillows! There are other ways to add color & interest.

Here are 7 ideas for ways to add color to the bedroom without the need to remove pillows every night! 
  1. Drapes - perhaps a nice linen or silk drape, notice the spa blue color below
  2. An accent chair - this can serve both function AND add color
  3. A flange - Border your duvet with a contrast color flange! -- see photo below, this allows the duvet cover to be wider than normal, and adds a new texture and color. 
  4. Lamps - notice the nice texture and color of the lamps that replaced the old lamps

Without lots of throw pillows on the bed - one is sufficient

Master Bedroom

5) Lamp shades, notice the nice gray lamp shade beside the sofa. 
6) An upholstered headboard or bed, notice the lovely gray fabric with nail head trim.
7) wall paint - an accent wall or even a ceiling paint can add interest and dimension. 

The bedroom wall paint or ceiling paint can be a way to add interest and color 
For many more bedroom photos, click here for other blog articles: