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, December 31, 2015

4 unique places to hang a chandelier!

Trying to find a unique spot to hang a chandelier? If you have an extra chandelier - here's 4 great places to consider.

Here are four places which might not be the "norm", but they can be a fun change. And if you don't have an extra chandelier, perhaps this will give you a great excuse to replace your dining chandelier ? Often it was selected by the builder, or wasn't your first choice, but you needed to stay within a lighting allowance.

What better excuse to update your dining room with a new chandelier! It helps to know you have a great spot you can use your old chandelier!

1) A chandelier is great in a bedroom sitting area!

Notice the pair of chairs below, the chandelier over the oval cocktail table "settles" the space, and makes it more inviting! Imagine this light fixture on a dimmer at night!

Chandelier above cocktail table in sitting area of master bedroom

2) A chandelier in the living room

It's is over a large cocktail table - you probably won't have to worry about the ceiling being too low to hang a chandelier. Perhaps your ceilings are lower than you'd like? If the light is directly over a table, like in the below photo, it allows you to have a hanging light fixture.

This crystal chandelier is fun because it adds another element - glass mixed in with all the wood, metal and fabrics! Often people still have the builder grade ceiling fan, which doesn't give the room much personality.

Chandelier in main living room

3) Hang a light fixture over a nightstand!

This has always been a favorite spot for a chandelier, if you have matching nightstands it's great to hang a pair of chandeliers over each. If you're more eclectic, one chandelier looks great like the photo below. Notice how much of an impact it makes in this bedroom!

Chandelier over a nightstand

4) Can I hang a chandelier over the bathtub? 

Quite often the answer is yes! It's totally based on code restrictions in your area, a local electrician can advise. He'll be able to tell you what works in your area. If your bathtub currently has a recessed light, it's easy to convert it to a light kit that is meant for a ceiling fan or chandelier. If you aren't able to add a light fixture over your bathtub, you can always put a one over a large ottoman in the center of the bathroom.

4) Hang a chandelier in a corner!

I love chandeliers in any corner, of a family room over a chair, in the corner over a round table, even in this kitchen corner, over the sink! Pendant lights and chandeliers add so much personality to a space.

A Chandelier can be in various places in the home, they're not limited to dining rooms only. If you have a tall foyer, that's always a great spot too.

Interested in ways to add more light to your home? Check out this great blog for having a more LIGHT FILLED HOME: an idea of your own? We love feedback! Click the word "comment" below....

Monday, December 21, 2015

Should I replace my loveseat with a pair of chairs? 5 pros and cons!

Is a pair of chairs better than a loveseat? That's a question we get asked every week! A love seat often comes as part of a set, when you purchase furniture off a showroom floor. Many people tell us they would not have ordered a loveseat, but were required to buy a "matching set".

A loveseat has 5 big disadvantages. 

This is based on feedback we hear from clients. Below, we'll show before and after rooms, in which we replace a loveseat with a pair of chairs.

Why do stores sell loveseat and sofa sets? 

Because it's easier! Think about it - there's no need to search for a style, comfort, and fabric that coordinates with the sofa. It allows a quick sale, a quick solution if you will.

The salesperson doesn't have to spend hours to find a fabric, comfort, style, and shape chair that you may (or may not) agree with.


5 DISADVANTAGES OF A LOVESEAT, instead of a pair of chairs:

1)Two large adults will rarely sit on a loveseat.
Especially two men. Have you noticed that? They'll often go get a dining chair instead, if there's already a large adult on a loveseat.

2) It will make your room look smaller. 
A short sofa is a more "dense" look in comparison to two chairs. It often blocks off a room.

3) You can't put an end table in the middle.
You lose the ability for people to set down a drink, or for a lamp.

4)  It's harder to arrange a room layout with a loveseat.
A pair of chairs can be on an angle, or put in corners, or flanking each side of a fireplace, etc.

5) A loveseat blocks more light. 
That is... if it's in front of a window it definitely blocks more light than a pair of chairs.


1) One piece such as a short sofa or loveseat is normally less expensive than a pair of chairs. 

2) A child, or short adult can lay down on a loveseat.

3) Perhaps you like snuggling up on a loveseat!
It all depends on how the room will function. Do you want to curl up with children or a loved one? Or is the room more for each adult to have their own lounge chair?

AFTER Above (Before below)

For other living room photos, see this blog "How to layout the living room for optimum seating, or for TV viewing".

Now that we've listed the pros and cons we hear, we'd love your feedback! We based this on feedback of advantages and disadvantages from clients, but we'd love to also hear from you! 

Which do you prefer? A matching love seat, or a couple of lounge chairs?  Just click the word "comment" below.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Top 7 Interior design trends and colors for 2016 ?

Interior design trends for 2016 will be affected by Benjamin Moore's color of the year, "Simply White". Also affecting design in 2016 are the baby boomers, they're ready for a change! Here we'll list 7 new interior design trends for color, style, function, and expressing yourself!

People are requesting Lighter, Brighter rooms that are clutter free!
  • Perhaps because children are going away to college?   
  • Perhaps because eyes feel "strained" as we get older?  
  • Perhaps it's due to a desire to slow down, and enjoy one's home. Life can be busy, it's nice to come home to a light filled, clean & clutter free home.
  • Many rooms feature abstract art, contemporary art, with soothing colors.   

This room reflects the new trend toward brighter and light filled rooms, with white walls and fabrics.

Here are 7 design trends predicted for 2016: 
People are replacing drapes that block daylight. We often get requests for drapes that are hung OUTSIDE of the window frame so they don't block any light. This allows a privacy solution when needed. Taller drapes, hung above the window frame make ceilings feel taller.

New drapes are taller than the old, the blinds and drapes can be open so that the room is light filled

What is layered lighting? It's the lighting that makes a room cozy, through the addition of floor lamps, recessed lighting, lighting above and below kitchen cabinets & light fixtures which keep in mind wattage and number of bulbs. People look better when they're not under overhead lights only. And it will "set the mood" for a good party if you have layered lighting.

The rugs below reflect the lighter colors to replace "very busy & dark" rugs. Multi tone shags are in style because they're so easy to find fabrics to go with, and they hide everything. You'll have to remind yourself to vacume it!!

Abstract art is a great way to update traditional furniture! With color trends being cheerful & more intense than prior years.

Abstract art looks great on these white walls next to the neutral rug and sofa

Stone, concrete, metal, wood, these add texture and are a nice change to all dark woods. 
See the round end table shown - you don't even need a coaster!

Tables with stone, iron, metal are all current design trends

Whether you have teens or grandchildren -  it's a win win. 
Edit, but be sure to keep your favorite things - display them so the rooms reflects your personality.

This bookcase helps the homeowner add a personal touch to the room

These are just some things clients tell us they like - - which is the same feedback we heard a year ago!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Design trends and preferences for 2016 are for rooms that are light filled, colorful, and functional! The days of "no children allowed" and "you can't go in there!!" are gone. Baby boomers want rooms to be both appealing to the eye AND family friendly. They're replacing formal areas with relaxing rooms. They love homes that reflect their personality, instead of looking like a furniture showroom.  

What's your opinion of which design trends should stay or go in 2016? 
Click the word "comment" below...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pattern versus solid rug, 6 pros and cons for which rug style is best?

There are pros and cons for a solid rug versus a print rug, or even a shag rug. Often people tell us they worry that their room will be boring unless they get a rug with a busy print. Quite the contrary, you can have patterns and prints on your pillows, art, accessories or drapes. Here's the pros and cons of a solid rug versus a rug with a pattern:

1) A solid rug makes it easy to change pillows & fabrics.
It's nice not to be locked in. See photos below. You can even change your pillows with Spring or Fall season!

2) A solid rug can create a soothing clean look. 
We hear positive feedback often that people prefer tone on tone rugs, to make the room feel "soothing" or less "busy". In today's hectic lives, a soothing room is nice to come home to!

AFTER above, with soft green rug, BEFORE below

AFTER Above, Before Below 

3) A solid rug can have great texture, like a shag rug. 
Today's shag rugs aren't the same as shag rugs from the 1960's! Quality shags have 3 advantages. 
  •  They're made with fibers that are soft to the touch 
  •  They don't "mat into clumps". 
  •  They're more durable! 
The shag rug we added to this room feels amazing to the touch, and the multi tone colors of taupe, ivory and gray make it easy to work with for changing out pillows, art, and accessories. 
The rug content is important. We could talk for hours about Olefin versus Polyester versus Rayon versus Viscose & Wool - the percentage of each will affect a rug's durability. There's a vast difference between high quality shag rugs and the lower price point rugs. I know, as I tried one of the cheaper imitation rugs in our own family room!

4) A tone on tone rug doesn't "back you into a corner" for adding a cocktail ottoman or drape fabric. 
See this photo, with an interesting fabric.

Now for the flip side - Advantages of a print rug:

1) A rug with a pattern can be interesting - perhaps that's your personal preference.
If so, it is helpful to purchase everything at the same time, the pillows, the art, the rug...... because later, when the rug is at home it is hard to visualize unless you take things home and try them in the room.

2) A medallion pattern is often a more traditional look.  If the rest of your home is traditional, perhaps that's will help your home flow from room to room.

For more before and after room photos, with tips about how to make a busy or dark oriental rug work, check out this blog:

Questions? Email or call us today!

What's YOUR opinion about which rug style is best? A tone on tone subtle rug is easy to work with and often timeless. A print rug is a personal preference to others. We love hearing your opinions, ideas and thoughts....just click the word "comment" below...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to make an all white kitchen warmer and more colorful?

If your kitchen feels like Mr Clean, all white and no color, here's 5 options to make your kitchen warmer or more colorful, as an alternative to painting the cabinets!

1) Paint the ceiling! 

It's a fun way to add color in an all white kitchen, if you have a good stopping point. Crown molding or beam ceilings often solve this and create a solution for where the paint can stop. 

2) Add colorful fabrics in a window seat, or by recovering kitchen chairs. 

Kitchens have lots of flat surfaces, in wood, stone, tile, it's refreshing to bring in fabrics for texture and color. Window seats are probably one of the most requested looks because of this. 

3) Add metal!  

Perhaps a stainless steel or copper hood? Perhaps with nail head trim? Metal adds a bit of an industrial flair, and there's nothing like the combination of wood with metal and glass. 

4) Add glass doors and lights in kitchen cabinets!

That allows you to display colorful pottery & dishes. Glass works well in the cabinets that are a focal point, or when you can go symmetrical.
Glass doors, lights, and colorful pottery make this all white kitchen less white!

5) Add colorful window treatments!

The window valance and the drapes add cheerful color, which looks great next to the white cabinets!

An all white kitchen doesn't have to look sterile. Whether you add color in fabric, the ceiling, the inside of the cabinets, or create a new way of your own, your kitchen can be a cozy and inviting space.
For more ways to update a kitchen, with before and after photos, or alternatives to completely remodeling a kitchen, see this blog link:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

What size and shape should I make a window valance? 5 tips designers like Candice Olsen use for making window treatments!

The size of your valance is based on three things, how much wall space you have available, whether you prefer to hide your blinds behind the valance, and what the room size dictates. 

1) Create a paper pattern! 

This will help you visualize the best size for your valance. As a rule of thumb, we like approx 22" to 23" tall for the a valances size.  However, it is room specific!
After Above, Before Below
This bay window lacked style and the ceilings felt short before adding window valances. 
Once we hung the custom valances, this Greensboro, NC home looked more inviting!  

2) Add a curve to your valance! 

Although an arched valance is harder to make (especially with a contrast band), a curve is a nice shape to soften all the harsh straight lines. It's like having arched windows for a lot less expense!

3) Sketch the shape of your valance on craft paper!

By using a pencil, you can adjust the shape of the curve until you like it.  

 The valance shown is 38" wide, with a 2" contrast band, and 4 1/2" wide ties on each side.

4) Create a computer rendering. 

If you still have trouble visualizing, a rendering of you window treatment will help you decide what shape and size you'll like.  
Candice Olsen spreads out the fabric, to help visualize a valance on this window

5) Spread out the fabric to view the pattern repeat!

Don't settle for a small swatch. To help visualize, we spread out a bolt of fabric, for an accurate view of how the color and pattern will look next to paint, art, rugs, tile, and cabinets. A small fabric swatch can be very misleading! The color tones can change, based on your stains and wall paints, but it's not possible to realize this from a small swatch. Often a client will think a fabric is perfect for a room, until we encourage them to spread out several yards and view it in the room, someone they "change colors"!

5) Decide in advance if the window needs privacy!

There are options for privacy solutions, blinds, shutters, roman shades, bottom up shades, and more! 
If you think about this before you decide on a size and shape, you can often HIDE the shades under your valance. 

Candice Olsen's window treatment - a Roman Shade instead of a valance

Think about function, do you need to be able to close the fabric for room darkening? If so, you may want a roman shade instead of a window valance. 

For the most popular style window treatments designers use, with before and after photos, see the amazing photos on this link!