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, April 28, 2016

Tall windows and short windows, what type window treatment?

Do you have windows that are different heights or shapes? There are solutions to make tall windows and short windows seem more cohesive, we're featuring them below.

Builders often mix different shape windows in the same room due to the exterior view, or due to their thought process on where the furniture should go. In the room below, the builder did this horizontal window to allow space for a bed underneath. Notice that without window treatments, unique shaped windows can be quite "confusing" to the eye. Especially when some windows are a different shape than others in the same room.

Below, see the before and after, which make the long narrow window look better. Drapes, sheers, and valances are helpful when the windows are different shapes and heights!

The large window (right side) would look great with drapes too, any combination 
of sheers, drapes, valances or roman shades work great.  

Comments or ideas you'd like to share? Just click the word "comment" below. Or, for questions, be sure to email us instead. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

On line design service versus a local interior designer, pros and cons.

Interior Decor products and Interior design services are available several ways:
a) on line
b) from furniture stores
c) from a local interior design firm.
We'll list the pros and cons, the feedback we've heard from clients, and expenses involved with each.

To decide between an on line interior design service versus a local interior designer, here are three questions to consider: 

1) Do I prefer to see merchandise in my home before making a decision?
If so, here are helpful questions:
  • Do you allow a 24 hour return policy?
  • Do you charge a restocking fee for returns? (Furniture stores normally charge 25% +)
  • Do you bring small swatches & photos? Or the actual rugs & fabrics?
  • Do I have to pay the return shipping costs? 
2) How do I prefer to spend my time? 
With on line design service,  there's no way to know exactly what you're getting until it's actually in your home. There is normally some combination of the following:
  • Wrapping & returning shipments that were not the quality expected
  • Wrapping & returning shipments that were not the color tone you expected
  • Wrapping & returning shipments because the size and scale did not work with your current items

3)  What is my experience with each of the below? 
  • Have I regretted a prior purchase because it was not as durable as it should have been? 
  • Have I made impulse purchases that I later regretted?
  • Have I purchased items which were not the right size and scale for the room? 
  • Do I have items from prior purchases that were not the comfort level I expected? 
To avoid issues, a local provider who allows in home viewing can be advantageous. The majority of furniture stores charge restocking fees for returns, so it's advantageous to check a local interior designer's terms for returns, 24 or 48 hour approval, and in home viewing.

Shopping for a home is not like shopping for clothing! Large items or breakable items are time consuming to unwrap or uncarton, move into place, then do the same to return them.

Happy Decorating!!  
Comments? We love feedback, click the word comment below.
Questions? Be sure to call us or email us instead!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Selecting paint colors before moving into a new home, 6 designer tips!

What's the best way to select wall paint colors before I move into my new home? Good question!

All the famous designers and Houzz articles state that selecting paint "before you move in is a big mistake!" However ---  we realize that sometimes it's necessary to paint before you move in, so we'll list 6 design tips for selecting the perfect wall paint BEFORE you move in!

Getting your paint selection correct the first time will save you money! In fact, the #1 reason new home buyers end up repainting a room twice is because they don't realize how much each color tone can vary. What starts out as "basic gray, tan, camel, or ivory" ends up with tones one didn't expect. For example, you'll notice that gray paints can have a pink cast, or a green cast, or a taupe or brown cast. Since there is no such thing as a "neutral paint color" paints can appear "not quite right" next to your rug, art, or window treatment fabric.

We'll help you select a paint that makes your home look amazing! Following these 6 tips as a tried and true method, we use it for every new construction project!

In a recent 13,000 + square foot home project, the homeowner needed to paint before they moved to Greensboro, NC, while they were living out of state. Now, they are absolutely thrilled with all the paints!! It's exciting when you love your surroundings, and when the colors make you happy!

To select the right paint color or wallpaper, your fabric and art should be your guide.
This is especially the case when painting with gray, since it can have pink, brown, or green undertones! 

Many homeowners don't realize how much as small tweak of the paint can matter. That is, unless they picked the wrong paint colors in prior homes! Then they definitely want to get the paint color selection right the first time, so they actually compliment your art, rug and drapes.

6 design tips for selecting the right wall paint:

1) Choose & spread out fabrics in your actual rooms. 
  • It could be fabric for a valance or drape, or for recovering.
  • Once you do this, the paint fan will be living proof that some paints will look AMAZING, while others look like a hit and a miss. 
  • We spread out fabrics by the bolt (instead of a small sample). 

2) Bring home a 12" rug sample. 
  • If this isn't possible, send your designer close up photos of your rug, so they can use it as a guide. 
  • Make sure you photograph the rug in good natural light. Go the extra effort - open the 2" blinds, open the doors, wait for a sunny day. Accuracy is important if your rug has unique colors. 

3) Decide on an inspiration piece, such as beautiful art. 

  • After all, a large piece of art is the focal point, it can make or break the room! 
  • When we selected paint for the above mentioned home, we already knew which amazing pieces of art would compliment the wall colors. 

4) If you're going to update your kitchen or bathroom, view the tile with the paint.

5) Select the paint on a bright day, during natural light

  • Evening light with lamps will not allow you to see tricky undertones (such as pink tones or green tones, etc) 
  •  Check out the fabrics in the correct area, West versus East, these can all affect the color.
  • Consider the hardwood stain, or carpet, and how it affects the wall color choice.   

6) Some experts say 96% of the population can't see color tones correctly. Is that the case with you or your spouse? If so, enlist the help of a designer! They'll help ensure you get a paint color that you LOVE!

A wall paint should compliment the carpet, art, rug, tile, hardwood floors and fabrics. A wall paint can really change your home, so if you're going to go to the trouble to paint, make sure it's a paint color you'll be happy with for years! It's not "just paint" it's lots of time and energy or expense. So, you might as well get it right the first time.

Comments? Click the word "comment" below. We love hearing your thoughts!
Questions? Be sure to email us instead.

For many more articles on this subject, type "color" or "paint" in the TOP LEFT corner search box.
Happy Painting!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Best valances for windows with different sizes.

There are lots of valances that work great in a room with several windows that vary in width and length. Do you have a combination of double windows, single windows, or triple windows? Or several windows that all vary in size? There are lots of valances that work great in a room with several windows that vary in width and length. Here we'll show examples of window valances that work great in  rooms that have odd size windows. These window treatments have several advantages:

1) They add color and pattern
2) They can hide the blinds, so you can raise them when entertaining!
3) Valances create the illusion of taller windows and ceilings. We prefer to hang them even higher than the photo below, so they don't block any daylight.

Double windows and a single window, this valance works with both styles

We custom made these kitchen valances for a bay window in Greensboro NC.
Notice the shape of the curve is that same for both the double window &
single window, which was accomplished through a center pleat.

The main thing to consider regarding valances for windows in different widths is the ARCH shape. For example, a wide window would cause the fabric to have a soft eclipse shape, and a narrow window would have a more intense curve. To avoid that, a pleat or contrast strap can allow all the curves to be cohesive. For many more and our popular posts on valance styles, see this link with before and after photos:

Friday, April 8, 2016

5 fun ways to add color to a front porch! Just in time for spring!

Ready for your front porch to embrace spring with color? Even if you don't have a green thumb (I certainly do not), there are other ways to add color! Below we'll feature 5 inspiration photos for adding color to make your front entrance welcoming.

Sometimes we tend to think with an 'all or nothing' mentality. Perhaps the entire house needs painting? Or all the windows need to be washed or replaced? Mine do! That's when adding a touch of color to your porch might be the 'Step One' which provides just the inspiration needed! So if you don't want to go to the expense or effort to do anything major right now, these photos show quick easy ideas to perk up your home and add color!

5 photos for adding color to a home's exterior: 

1) Add glazed pottery!  

They come in a variety of yummy colors! You can get a base with rollers to make them easier to move. Keep in mind that in some areas of the country they'll freeze and crack in the winter, so you might want to only fill the top portion with dirt to keep them from getting too heavy.

AFTER above
Exotic plants we found at New Garden Nursery on Garden Village Way

we added much needed color

2) Add bright colored plants & shrubs 

Shrubs are often overgrown or dated looking after their normal life span of 16 or 17 years. Consider removing them when possible, or cutting them at the base. Small new shrubs can make a house look new!

3) Paint your front door!

A yellow front door isn't for everyone, but for those who love yellow, it's a happy touch! It's a great way to add color, or to emphasize a front entrance, (perhaps the door you'd prefer guests use).

4) Paint outdoor furniture! 

The above benches repeat the color on the front door. Or - maybe you don't have a front porch? Find a natural area you could make more inviting! Under a shade tree, or beside a sidewalk. Check out the below photo - with the addition of a bright colored bench!

Tips for selecting the best color for outdoor furniture and front doors: 

1) View colors in natural light instead of by fluorescent light.

2) If the color seems bright on a swatch, it will really look bright on your entire front door or bench. If intense colors aren't your preference, pick a subtle color.

3) Live with a "test area" for a day, it's easier than repainting the entire door or bench!

4) If your furniture is cast iron or not meant to be painted, you can recover outdoor cushions instead.

5) Add a colorful sitting area!

Do you have ideas for making your home exterior colorful? Click the word "comment" below. We love hearing your ideas!!

Or for questions, be sure to email us instead.

Forget the 'all or nothing' mentality! Even minor additions of color can make an entrance or front porch cheerful.  Whether you prefer to find a good color for the front door, the outdoor furniture or a bench, or pottery....know that your favorite colors don't have to be limited to indoor only.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Window valance over shades or shutters, can I use both?

Can I add a window valance to shutters or blinds? We often get this question, and the answer is definitely yes! Especially since shutters and valances serve a different function.

When adding a valance over privacy shutters or blinds, you'll need to keep two things in mind.

1) The valance will need to be on a 1 x 4 board, instead of a 1 x 2, or whatever depth is needed for your wood blinds or wooden shutters. 

2) If you open and close them often, blinds or roman shades may be a better option than shutters which open inward. 

A window valance adds so much to a room. They make your ceilings feel taller and your windows feel larger. Notice in the far bottom photo - how short the windows looked before adding a valance!  

In this Greensboro home, we added valances to make the windows feel taller. 
We kept the shutters for privacy.
A valance over the french door? Notice it's not necessary for the french door to have the same valance or shade as the windows. In this home, we added art instead of a valance.
In Progress Below 
The windows looked short before we hung valances above them

To see more BEFORE photos of this room, with a sofa before, and a sectional after, see this link:

Friday, April 1, 2016

Pros and cons to stage setting a home, 3 proven tips!

According to USA today article dated 4-27-15, "a home that is professionally staged will sell faster".   How much faster? Read on for statistics from the National Association of Realtors. 
Pro (Advantage of Home Staging): Per Chris Polychron, president of the NAR, More elaborate staging, such as repainting or nice new furniture & art can help. Overall, professionally staged homes can sell five to seven times faster than non-staged homes, according to the Real Estate Staging Association.
Con (Disadvantage of Home Staging): Filling the home with the wrong items can be total a waste of time & money.  The Art, Lighting & Furniture needs to convey the look that puts you head and shoulders above the competition. People often fill a home with lots of cheap "nic nacs" from local hobby stores. It is best to select few high quality items .....the type pieces you want to keep & use in your next home! Updated lamps, art, bedding etc will look great in your next home, and in the mean time, it will help you sell your home faster!
After ABOVE,
This condo looked larger once we put a tall headboard and floor to ceiling linen drapes
Before BELOW,
The prior designer's valance & bed made the ceilings look short & the room look smaller.

 AFTER Above 
Our mini bar, pair of chairs (not skirted but rather up on legs) and console table make the room feel spacious.

The prior designer's bulky chair & buffet made the room feel if it wasn't big enough to have ample seating!                    

The USA article listed the top 2 things to avoid:
1. Not being realistic about your home's value
What you think your home is worth and the price you can actually sell it for are often two very different numbers. "Nobody cares what you invested in it," one frustrated home seller told the Wall Street Journal. He'd bought a home for $325,000 and spent another $150,000 on renovations, but the property eventually sold for a $233,000 loss.  
You might not recoup your renovations. Perhaps you like granite counters but the buyer wants stone or corian. Perhaps you like white cabinets but the buyer wants a dark stain. Think about how long you'll be in the home, and remember that many home improvements cannot be recouped. 
2. Not making your home look its best
We've all watched enough HGTV shows to know that good staging helps to sell homes. "At a minimum, homeowners should conduct a thorough cleaning, haul out clutter, make sure the home is well-lit and fix any major aesthetic issues," said Chris Polychron, president of the NAR, in a statement about the value of home staging. 

Comments? We love your feedback!! Click the word "comment" below.
Questions? Be sure to email us instead. 

For Before/After photos, best wall paints for resale, & updating tips, see this link: