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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Roman shade or drapes? Which is better for privacy?

If you're trying to decide between shades and drapes for window treatments, know that they both have advantages. 

A roman shade will raise and lower for privacy, but one disadvantages is if it's an inside mount (as shown here) it will block some view even when it's raised. 

Roman shade (right), full length drapes (left)
combination of roman shade with drapes make a nice combination on
the window treatment above

Mock Roman Shade
(which does not raise and lower)
Full length drapes with roman shades. The drapes can open and close, and the labor for drapes is less expensive to make than functioning roman shades. Also, unlike the photo shown below, it's nearly impossible to get four roman shades to open to the exact same height. The photo below are mock roman shades (non functioning). They create the illusion of height, to make your ceilings feel taller.
This Valance has a mock roman shade look

Mock roman shade (does not raise and lower)
Three mock roman shades work well in this bay window

For hundreds more window photos (before and after adding window treatments), see this link: 

A roman shade often requires less fabric than drapes, but it's more labor intensive. Custom drapes can allow complete privacy because they're wider than ready made (store bought) drapes. 

Questions? email us at

Comments? We love to hear your comments, click the word comment below.... 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The slanted wall under a stairway, how to utilize the area under stairs for storage or furnishings.

The photos below show challenging stairway walls. Here are some ideas to make the area under your stairs functional for storage, with tips for furnishing them as well.

Area under an angled stairway 
Notice how a lamp and console make the area under your stairs an inviting space

Under stairway walls make an excellent place for storing shoes 

This slide out cabinet for storage under a stairway is a great way to optimize the space

People often ask if they can put large furniture in front of the slanted stairway wall
Notice how we used the lamp and pottery to make the space less awkward, so the
sofa could still be centered in front of the flat screen TV

We replaced the short loveseat with a full size linen sofa
and added two comfortable chairs
For more photos regarding furniture layouts, or placement for TV viewing and 
conversation areas, etc. see this link:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to become an interior designer, 4 tips from an interior designer.

To become an interior designer, here are some helpful tips for building a referral base. 

a) It's very helpful to have a MENTOR! In my early years, I spent endless hours offering to file, or make photocopies while I learned from the sales manager at a very high end showroom. There's so much to learn, to obtain good listening skills, and to help spouses who may have completely different taste or ideas regarding budgets.

b) You'll want to gather photos for a web site showcasing your work. To develop a large variety, you could consider working part time if need be, until you have a large enough portfolio.

c) Learn as much as you can before you go out on your own! Perhaps you could work at an art gallery? A high end furniture store? Or for an architect? I learned a great deal about size and scale, architecture, art styles, fabric durability, etc. Say for example a client says, "I want craftsmen style" or "I want mid century modern"....or "I prefer a Queen Anne Leg instead of Chippendale"'ll want to study periods, styles, and terms. 

d) To meet people, it's helpful to create a booth and display your work at a trade show. It's a great place to show people what you're all about!

As for a degree from a design school, it's certainly helpful. However,
  • You probably either have a natural gift or you don't. 
  • You either know what's wrong with a room or you'll struggle with it! 
  • You either have amazing attention to detail or you don't! 
  • You can either pick the perfect wall paint color every time, or you can't. 
  • You can either get a husband and wife to combine styles and taste or you can't. Often their taste is complete opposite of each other!   
These are things that can't be taught. Every week I have someone offer to work for our design staff "for free so I can learn" but often they weren't willing to really listen and learn.  Design is more about hands on real life than what you memorized from a text book!

It's rewarding to fulfill peoples dreams for a home that is both functional and pleasing to the eye. It is often long hours and hard work, but if you aren't afraid of hard work, it can be so rewarding! Have a comment? We love hearing your thoughts!

How to select the right window treatment rods, 5 mistakes to avoid on your drapery hardware!

1) A rod that is too small in diameter will sag in the middle. If your drapes will open and close, you'll need either a large enough diameter, such as wooden rods, or you'll need a high quality rod that doesn't telescope so much that it will sag.

Some window treatment hardware has more subtle support brackets than others,
the center support on the rods above are a nice choice. 
2) Telescoping rods will be hard to slide the rings over, but it's a good option if you're on a limited budget (in comparison to custom ordered long rods). Note - If you purchase a long rod it might need to ship by common carrier freight line, which is much more expensive than UPS shipping.

3)Wooden rod might be an unnecessary expense, in some cases a metal rod will look just fine.
Here's an example of a situation where even though the dining room was sophisticated, it wasn't necessary to add the expense of a 2" wooden rod and carved wooden finials.

Window treatment hardware
Metal versus Wood
In this formal dining room, this rod looks
great, because it's not too heavy
4) A long rod isn't necessary if you aren't going to open and close the drapes, it will just "cut the room off" and make the ceilings feel short. You can consider two short rods instead, as shown below, with lots more before and after window photos in our window treatment articles. See link below.

5) A dark rod might be too demanding. Often you want the hardware to blend, instead of demand attention. This photo shows a situation in which we got hardware that is unobtrusive, by getting hardware that blended with the window frame.
Window treatment rod in off white to match the woodwork
This hardware is very subtle, so it doesn't
demand too much attention and cut the room off
For BEFORE and AFTER window treatment ideas, see these links. It includes ideas for privacy solutions, styles, and solutions for odd shaped windows! 

Comments? We love your feedback here! OR, for QUESTIONS - be sure to email us instead.