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

Friday, March 25, 2016

Glass doors versus mirror or solid in the kitchen, 7 pros and cons for your cabinets.

Kitchen cabinet doors have beautiful options! Glass or mirrors doors have several advantages (in comparison to solid wood doors). There are so many decisions to make when planning a kitchen that this one may seem unimportant, but it is a decision that has tremendous impact! We'll list the pros and cons of glass doors below, based on feedback we've heard from clients through the years. 

Advantages of glass doors in the kitchen:
  • Glass doors make the room feel more "open", in a small kitchen this is helpful!
  • Glass doors make the room feel more light filled. If you have a room without a lot of windows, they can be a nice touch! 
  • Glass doors can add architectural appeal, as shown in the beautiful cabinets below. 
White kitchen cabinets with glass doors on the upper cabinets
Disadvantages of glass doors:
  1. Glass doors mean you have to keep the content of the cabinet neat
  2. Glass doors need interior lighting to serve their purpose, so this adds an expense.
  3. Glass doors reduce the "functional: space to store less attractive pieces like canned goods, blenders, etc. 
  4. As for an alternative solution - Mirror doors solve all the disadvantages of glass doors!

Mirror doors instead of glass on these kitchen cabinets

In this Greensboro, NC kitchen, we added glass doors and lights
A combination of glass doors with wooden doors is perfect in a kitchen. As for how t decide which doors should be glass? Here are 4 tips 

1) consider function and symmetry. 
2) If it's close to a dishwasher, perhaps you have pretty dishes to display? 
3) If it's close to a cooking center, you might prefer functional items like mixers, food processors etc that are best behind wood doors. 
4) Ask yourself, what's my focal point? This can be helpful to find the perfect spot for a glass or mirror kitchen door. 

Questions? email or call us today! Comments? Click the word "comment" below. We love feedback! 
Glass doors can make a kitchen update or remodel more interesting! Don't hesitate to add a few, when planning your kitchen.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Which rooms are best for trees in decorating and home decor!

Are you trying to find just the right place for a large house plant on a plant stand or a tall tree in your home? Sure the window and lighting will affect your decisions, but if you have good light everywhere, we'll show you 4 places a tree or live greenery can look amazing in your home!

1) Add greenery to a white living room!
Plants and trees make this room feel more inviting! Imagine this room without the Fiddle Leaf fig tree, then it's easy to realize what an impact a live tree makes!

 2) Add greenery to improve a bare corner!

See below, the Palm tree and pottery help detract from the intake vent. Trees soften a bare corner, and make the room feel cozy.

 3) Greenery or a plant can complete a kitchen island! 

It adds height and a fresh nature touch to the room. If you don't have the floor space for a tree, this is the perfect alternative.

 4) Add greenery to compliment the outdoor view!

Notice how this palm tree lures you to the beautiful outdoor view! Better still, the tree detracts from the flat screen TV (far right), so it's not the main focal point on the left wall.

The tree above gives this living room a sunroom feel. It makes the room feel alive and complete!

If you have a favorite tree or a tree comment, we hope you'll share your thoughts - just click the word "comment" below.
A live tree can really add warmth to a room that feels like it needs something to feel complete. Your local nursery or garden shop can advise the best plant or tree for north, south, west or east sunshine, or for low light areas.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Window treatments for commercial spaces & furniture showrooms, 5 design tips.

The best window treatments for a commercial space or furniture showroom will solve 6 criteria, listed below. Notice the linen we suggested for the showroom below, in a neutral tone so it doesn't compete with merchandise that is for sale. More importantly, the linen is sheer so the room still gets lots of light, even during those times of day when the sun is harsh. We also provided the pros and cons for other options....large shades or blinds versus drapes.

In the commercial space below we recommended a linen fabric that accomplished 5 things:

1) It diffuses the harsh sun that beats in, without totally blocking the light
2) The fabric compliments the wood & leather furniture and "softens" the room for a lived in look.
3) It provides sound absorption!
4) It is light in color and blends with the wall color, so it doesn't demand attention.
5) It's timeless, not trendy. If you have large windows, this is important so you won't need to replace them often.
6) The tall drapes accentuate the nice tall ceiling heights.

At the Four Hands Showroom, we recommended the perfect window treatment! 
See before & after:
Four Hands Showroom in High Point


Leather, wood, concrete, brick all look great with the addition of a linen texture. We recommended Linen drapes because they make a commercial space feel "more like home", and isn't that the goal when selling furniture, lighting, or accessories?

Linen is a good option for a commercial space window

Another option is remote control shades. Here are advantages and disadvantages for electronic window shades:

1) The remote control could get misplaced.
2) The heights can be tricky to adjust, with some shades being an inch or two higher or lower than others. If the "uneven" look will bother you, keep this in mind!
3) It can be a very contemporary or business like look, if that's what you prefer.
4) Electronic shades can be much pricier than drapes, so the real question is, do you need to open and close them often?
5) Some brands will pass fire code restrictions for commercial spaces.

When you keep all the criteria you need to solve in mind, such as the 5 criteria listed above, you'll end up with a look that is best for many years. For a commercial space, the right window treatments can really improve the look and function of the space.

Friday, March 11, 2016

What type crown molding with a coffered or tray ceiling?

Does a room with a coffered ceiling need crown moldings? Do crown molding have to be the same in every room? These are good questions! It's often hard for clients to visualize what size molding and where to stop moldings, since the builder asks you to sign off on them early in the remodeling or new construction process. 

As long as the transition works well, moldings can vary in size. You'll notice two story normally have very deep crown moldings. Adjacent rooms with lower ceilings have smaller trim so it doesn't overpower the room. 

In this new construction project,  we suggested the client omit the crown molding in this particular room, (left) for 3 reasons. They were thrilled with the end result!
  • There would not be enough room for drapery rods, and if you prefer functioning rods that open and close, this would really be an issue. 
  • It allowed more in the budget for deeper moldings on the coffered ceilings. Notice the nice substantial size of the coffer ceiling moldings!
  • It would have lowered the look of ceiling height, since it would've been below the coffered ceiling. Taller ceilings make a room look larger, so anytime you can trick the eye it's a good thing to make the ceilings feel taller. 

                 AFTER above     

Crown moldings were used in this room, but not in the room on the left
Below, another place we omitted crown molding, for the same 3 reasons as above. 

When a home is in the "stud stage" before sheet rock, it can be hard to visualize. Check out photos on our Houzz site to see the moldings used on all the adjacent rooms for this Greensboro, NC new construction project.

A tray ceiling, or coffer ceiling, or window height can all affect your decision regarding which size and type crown molding is best. In any case, molding sizes don't have to be the same in every room. There are often clever ways to transition from one room to the next.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Add rustic wood beams to a contemporary room - 4 unique ways!

Don't you just love the warmth & character that rustic wood beams provide? Wood beams aren't just for ceilings, that's an expensive place to add them, because you'd need 5 to 10 beams. If you want to add wood beams on a limited budget, we'll show you 4 inspiration photos! Even if the rest of your room has white trim, wood beams can be a nice addition to a contemporary room. 

4 clever (and easy) ways to add warmth with a wood beam:

1) Add a rustic wood beam as a mantle! 
  • Notice how the wood is a nice contrast next to the white painted brick fireplace! It's a thick beam, so it can hold it's own on this large fireplace. 
  • The wood mantle helps the rooms flow. It repeats the stained wood shown on the focal wall with the flat screen TV. 

Rustic beam was used for the fireplace mantle to accentuate the painted brick fireplace

2) A single rustic beam can make a great "faux" support beam. (see below LEFT). 

  • Even though it's not needed for support, the wood column adds architectural appeal. 
  • The trim is all white so the rustic beam is a great way to give the foyer character! 

3) Wood beam can surround a niche or recessed area! 

  • Notice how they draw attention to the architecture!
  • All the other trim and moldings in the room are white, so this wood is a nice contrast.  

Below - a wood beam works great even in an all white room!

In the contemporary mini bar (below), rustic wood shelves add character.
 Imagine the space without the wood, it makes quite an impact!

4) Wood beams can make great shelves! 

  • Perhaps for a mini bar? 
  • A basement kitchen? 
  • Or how about a wooden shelf as a display area in a man cave?   

A recent client who had a beam left over after transforming an old barn into a contemporary home used it as a "faux" beam. It was not needed for support, but they placed it so that it looked as if it were a support beam. Or, as shown above, wood beams are great to use for mantles, shelves, room dividers, or faux support, even when the room does not need a support beam.

Questions? Call or email today! Comments? Click the word "comment" below. We love feedback!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Flat paint versus satin or eggshell, which do designers & painters recommend?

If you're interested in the pros and cons of flat paint, satin paint, or eggshell, this blog is for you! We'll list the 10 advantages and disadvantages of flat paints versus gloss paints, based on years of feedback! 

Advantages to flat paint:

  • With flat paint, you can hide sheet rock imperfections. Many builders prefer flat paints, it's considered easy application. 
  • In a two story room with lots of sun light, any imperfections or sheet rock "seams" are not as easy to spot with flat paint.
  • You can repair or patch the wall with flat paint. Just paint a small section with a disposable foam brush!
  • Flat paint is often easier for a beginner to use, (for someone who doesn't have experience as a painter). 
  • Flat paint is normally recommended on ceilings, so no imperfections show.

Advantages to eggshell or satin paint:

  • Fans of eggshell and satin paints like the luxurious "sheen" 
  • With eggshell or gloss paints, you can wipe the wall with a damp cloth.  
  • Paints with a sheen are normally preferred and recommended for trim and hand rails.
  • It is a popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms, where you need to wipe down the walls.

Disadvantages to eggshell or satin paint:

  • You cannot patch paint a small "section". In order to cover a spot, you have to paint all the way to a corner (because it's hard to hide the stop and start areas where you painted over a small section). 
  • If you move art work often, the patching may require repainting the entire wall.

As you can see, there are advantages to both flat paint and satin or gloss paints. It’s personal preference! In our experience about 50% of our clients strongly prefer flat paint, and the other 50% feel eggshell or satin is the only way to go. 

As a designer, I don't have a preference for sheet rock (the walls). For moldings and trim, I do think some paint brands have too much gloss, which others are just a nice sheen. Too high of a gloss can scream for attention if you are painting your stair hand rails black or a really dark color.  It never hurts to try a $7 sample can before you paint the entire house!

Adding color through wall paint is a quick way to transform your space! Check out our most popular blogs: 

Should I paint an accent wall? 

What are the most popular paint colors interior designers use?   

See this link:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My spouse doesn't like contemporary, 4 tips for blending styles.

Do you love contemporary style furniture and decorating, but your spouse likes traditional? Or perhaps you both like contemporary, (or a clean transitional look) but you aren't sure how it will look in your traditional home?

It often comes down to communication. What is considered contemporary to one person might be called transitional or eclectic by another. And with home styles, often it just needs a tweak here or there, with light fixtures or other tricks of the trade for blending styles.

Here are 4 design tips to help communicate your contemporary decorating goals:  

1) Perhaps one spouse is visualizing a look that is too extreme?
  • When you say "contemporary" some people visualize all black leather and stainless steel, but maybe you simply meant abstract art & clean lines?
  • Or maybe you want clean contemporary fabric and rugs, instead of busy prints,  but you weren't sure how to convey it?

2) Perhaps your spouse has not been exposed to the same things you have?
  • High end design can be like acquiring a taste for wine, the more you're expose to, the more you appreciate it! Has your spouse looked through on line decorating sites as often as you have?
  • Try browsing sites together, to get ideas and feedback
  • There is quality contemporary, and low end, one is amazing, the other can look too trendy, check out the difference. 

3) Perhaps your spouse is worried the home will look too stark?
  • Compromise can go a long way, perhaps they need to feel you can meet in the middle on a few items? 
  • Perhaps they want a couple of rooms that conveys their personality, like a game room or library?  
  • You can bring in rich colors, wood tables or nice textures to warm up a modern style room. 

4) Maybe you just need to add some warmth through wood or stone? See below wooden stairs and stone fireplace!

Notice how the wood and stone add warmth to the room!
Contemporary and modern style furniture

Contemporary furniture can look good in a traditional style home!  Contemporary might be the way you describe the art, or fabrics, lighting, and rugs, but the furniture itself might be more transitional....there are various ways to incorporate contemporary and still compromise with a spouse who likes more traditional. It's all about communication, compromise, and visuals. We're here to help! Call us or email us today!