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, May 22, 2014

Is my style reflected in my home decorating? 4 ways to communicate your goals to an interior designer.

When I first met the homeowners of the home below, I found them to be fun, worldly, with a good appreciation for today's cleaner less ornate styles. I noticed their rugs, furniture, and fabrics were VERY formal & ornate, which they said did not fit their personality. The fabrics were velvet damasks, the art was dark, formal & traditional. They requested a much cleaner look, one that would fit their personality (to replace what the prior designer brought them).

We actually get requests for a "clean" and/or "less formal" look every week. It's often due to the fact that other designers provide small sample swatches or catalog photos, which do NOT make it easy to visualize how the rooms will look. That's why we spread out  fabrics by the bolt, and unlike other firms, we bring actual art, lamps, & rugs, (instead of catalog photos). This makes the end result much easier to visualize.

 After ABOVE, Before BELOW
the prior designer's silk rug & busy fabrics were too formal for the client's taste & personality

Below are 4 helpful ways to communicate your taste to the people who can make it happen - the interior designer. But first, here's some tips on how to find a designer who will listen to your goals, and know how to implement your taste. 

1) Ask for portfolio or web site or blog link - is it a variety of styles??....From metropolitan .... to old world craftsmen.... to traditional? If so, this normally means they listened to their clients wishes! If, on the other hand, it's limited to one style, such as a formal traditional look, they may not be capable of switching gears to work with a variety of styles.

2) What questions did they ask? Do they try to find a common denominator between different photos? Do they try to find ways to please both you and your spouse? (Along with solutions for compromising)? Do they ask about the current items in your home? (what you love, what you don't like).

3) Think of it the same way you look at your wardrobe. Some people have a great sense of personal style that I so admire! I wish I had this gift when it comes to clothing, my gift is only in home design. Yet, some people find themselves in a house with a VERY formal traditional look....saying it's not the look they love, with floral fabrics etc. It normally happens because clients are busy, with children and a full life, so they expect their designer to read them, and to know how to implement their taste. A good designer can do so.

4) Most important of all -- study the designer's reviews - are they general with words like "pretty" or do the reviews mention how well the designer fulfilled their goals and implemented their taste?

In this Kernersville, NC home we brought new art & soft comfy chenille pillows.
Notice how the room now has cheerful colors! 

The other designer provided a very formal frame, which didn't even cover the white speaker!!
The pillows were a slippery satin, they were not comfortable nor durable. 
Four ways to communicate your goals
  • Show photos of rooms - express what you like & dislike 
  • Show them what you love in your home, versus what you keep for budget reasons. Point out what you want to keep for sentimental reasons. 
  • Choose specific words for your feedback, "that is too contemporary for me, I like the other option because it has the cozy casual feeling I want" or "I like A better than B because it's such a big change from what I had for years". 
  • INSIST on actual bolts of fabrics, or a couple of yards to spread out. Never try to visualize from a small swatch. We display bolts (and spread them out in the room) because the color will change in certain lights. 
Updating your home can be fun & fulfilling. Your home should reflect your style, after all, it is YOUR home!

For more before/after photos, check out our web site.

To communicate your goals & style, be specific, noting likes & dislikes, use visuals such as Houzz, Zillow, or Pinterest, and most important, find a designer who will listen and implement your taste. 

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

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What size custom bedding so the bed sheets won't show? 4 design solutions.

Here are 4 tips to help make ensure your sheets will be hidden!

 Bed sheets that hang out - that's a big pet peeve with most people, but it's easily solved. You have 4 options to hide your bed sheets:

1) Add three 27" Euro shams. 
This will solve the sheets showing at the head of the bed. See the before after photo below.

A king bed is 79" wide. Three euro shams are 81" wide. Therefore, if your euro shams are 27" wide each, with nice thick feather and down inserts, it will hide your bed sheets. See before after photos below.

Euro shams in back, king shams in front

King shams only with contrast blue welt
This Greensboro, NC homeowner was thrilled with their upholstered headboard with nail head trim! 
2) Add a contrast flange on the shams.
Notice the 4" chocolate flange below. This adds 16" total (4 at 4" each) to hide your bed sheets.
Be sure to add a little stuffing in the flange, so they won't "flop".
Euro shams in back
A king sham with a contrast flange in front

Euro shams in back
King shams in front
3) Solution 3 - to hide your bed sheets on the sides of the bed - have a coverlet or bedspread made longer and wider to hide your bed sheets. 
We suggest using your current coverlet as a guide to determine how much larger you need. Spread a tape measure across the width, and ask yourself how much wider you'd like it to be. Normally we add 10" to the length. The width depends on how deep your mattress is. Be sure to have the blankets etc on the bed, as this will affect the height.

4) To determine the duvet cover size, know that your duvet insert will move around inside (if you make the duvet cover too large), therefore, you'd have to have a flange sewn around the edge of the duvet.  
Above we show king shams WITHOUT A FLANGE
Notice the white sheets and pillows show
Often people turn down the contrast flange option, to keep labor costs down, this would mean you need to use pretty sheets (perhaps taupe or camel instead of white? ). The correct size custom bedding will be a vast improvement, especially with today's deeper mattresses! 

More bedroom questions? We have many before after photos and tips on other blogs: 
How to create a romantic bedroom? 
Can my bed be in front of the window? 
Should I get a bedroom "furniture set"? 
See this link:

Friday, May 2, 2014

How to make the master bedroom more sophisticated, should I replace the furniture?

Quite often people think that purchasing a new bedroom furniture "set" will solve what's missing in their bedroom, thinking it will instantly feel finished and more sophisticated.....but that's normally not the solution. Often you would still end up with an unfinished look.

The 4 tips below will show you how to get a big impact for less money than all new bedroom furniture (none as the case goods):

1) Upgrade to more sophisticated bedding. Get rid of that bed in a bag! 
  • nice large custom shams to lean against, like below - for when you watch TV in bed or read
  • replace that bed in a bag!! a master bedroom deserves nice quality linens 
  • keep the art & main fabrics clean & simple, for a sophisticated look. For example, solid linen or silk drapes would feel timeless, while most people tire of a busy print quickly. Use busy prints on smaller items such as the pillows only. 

This client thought they needed to buy furniture, but fabrics for shams
and new bedside lamps made an amazing impact
2) Add a bench at the foot of the bed
  • A bench is a great place to throw the duvet cover, when it's too hot to use. 
  • A bench gives you a nice place to sit, (to put on your shoes etc.)
  • Best of all - It's a great place for packing your luggage!
bench at foot of bed
3) Add Custom Window treatments (see before and after photo) 
  • They frame the window to make it appear wider & taller! Notice how expensive homes have massive windows? If your windows aren't large enough for your taste, trick the eye with window treatments! 
  • Drapes hung on the outside of the window frame make the room feel larger - much larger!
  • See how they "soften" the room, and solve that "unfinished" look 

Adding window treatments, a custom duvet, and bench
at the foot of the bed 
(In progress)
4) If you have a corner area, or a window niche, add something unique
  • Perhaps a comfy chair for reading?
  • Or maybe you prefer a small desk for phone calls, & memo taking
  • Think variety - your bedroom layout will seem much more unique if you avoid filling it with huge dressers, chests, and night stands only. Add fabric and color!
bedroom layout with a writing table
Have a comment? We'd love to hear from you! Or, for questions, please email us instead. For hundreds more bedroom photos, be sure to check out our prior blogs!