Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reclining Chairs, Not Like Your Father's

Did you ever think that you would want to include a reclining chair as part of your home decorating scheme? Recalling old-school type recliners, I did not think I would ever recommend that my clients include recliners in their interiors.

Most of us know that guys have always enjoyed looking forward to relaxing in a reclining chair after a long day, or to spending a day relaxing in their recliner while watching TV or reading. But those old, bulky recliners never seemed to fit the image of an elegantly appointed room.  Current furniture manufacturers have come a long way in the type of reclining chairs on the market. Now recliners come in many styles, limitless fabric choices, various sleek designs, size options and a selection of operating mechanisms.

Today's recliners are great-looking and feel so good. Go to a local furniture store and try some of the new recliners. The only problem you may have is to find the room for two recliners:  one of your partner and one for you!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Design For Lifestyle Trends

Rightsizing Design: Interior design trend to move from a larger residence to a smaller home, condominium or apartment. Design services including:
 - Review of present furnishings
 - Evaluation of current lifestyle and budget
 - Design furnishings plan for new space
 - Recommendations for estate sales, remodelers and movers

Home Styling: Redesigning a room using what you already own.  It's redecorating by arranging and editing your current furniture and accessories in a new way.

Home Staging: Preparing a home for sale. The three D's of home staging are:
 - Decluttering.  A home with a lot of clutter looks like it is too small.
                          A prospective buyer will think their items will not fit in.
 - Depersonalizing. Remove items that relate to the current owner. 
                                This allows the home buyer to envision their items in the space.
 - Deep cleaning.  A clean home is appealing and looks like a well cared-for home.
                             A prospective buyer will picture just moving in.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Top 10 Decorating Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, and it is never more evident when it comes to home decorating. Trends come and go, and each brings with it a new set of decorating mistakes.

I have asked a few interior design professional for their opinion of the worst decorating mistakes they see.  Here's a list of the top 10.

1. Too Many Pillows. A little comfort is good but when it is impossible to sit on a sofa because there are too many pillows in the way or if you have to spend a lot of time removing and storing pillow in order to get into bed---you know you have too much of a good thing.

2. Headless Beds. The only thing to say about this is that nothing, repeat nothing, is worse than a bed without a headboard.

3. Furniture That's Out Of Proportion. That gorgeous sofa, love seat and chair looked so good in the large furniture store, but very crowded in your home or apartment. Make sure to take the measurements of your room sizes with you when you are furniture shopping.

4. Too Many Pictures. A grouping of pictures makes an interesting collection, but too many look like clutter.

5. Toilet Surrounding Rug. U-shaped rugs to surround your toilet are out. A much better choice is a small area rug in front of the toilet.

6. Floating Area Rugs. An area rug set in the middle of a room makes the furniture look off-balance, and the rug looks like it lost the furniture that should be sitting on top of it.

7. Keeping Dated Décor You Dislike. If you have a choice between purchasing a new piece of furniture or removing a furnishing that is obviously dated, worn and one you dislike---such as old shag carpeting---remove the out-of-date element.

8. Exposed Cables. Our electronic age has brought with it the problem of many cables and wires in our décor. Cables left out in the open can really destroy the style of a room.  Whenever possible try to hide them with covers or under the baseboards.

9. Overdone Theme And Pattern. Too much is too much. A theme and pattern taken to the extreme makes a room feel like a stage set and not inviting to relax in.

10. Clutter. Always get rid of clutter. It makes a room feel as though you are entering a closet.

The best thing to do in order to avoid interior decorating mistakes is to look at the rooms in home decorating magazines and see how the furnishings are put together. If you need help and have the extra budget, you will find it beneficial to hire a professional interior designer to assist you in creating your beautiful rooms. Most interior designers will work with you on an hourly basis and come in to review your current décor and make suggestion for future purchases. This can give you the most bang for your budget.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Six Elements of Design

I wanted to start out this presentation to anyone who lives in an interior---single-family home, apartment, condo, hotel or tiny home---and wants to feel at home in their space.

There are six elements that comprise a successfully decorated interior that will make you feel great to live in and look at.  These six elements are:

FUNCTION:  what goes on in that room or space? do you need special items to be included in the design?

STYLE:  do you like modern or traditional? a combination/eclectic or ethic design?

COLOR:  color is the first thing that someone sees in a room and what do you like to surround yourself with?

TEXTURE:  do you like slick and shiny? or matte and knubby textures? are there special conditions like children playing or older adults?

LIGHTING:  very important considerations for dramatic mood, task lighting for work or reading, bathroom lighting for shaving and makeup application

ACCESSORIES/EQUIPMENT:  artwork and sculpture? hobby collection display? computers? televisions?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Carpet Selection Made Easier

Carpeting is one of those home furnishing items that has more permanence. When you move from your home you leave the carpeting. When you put your home on the market, carpeting might be one of your main concerns for showing to prospective home buyers. And it's one of the more expensive furnishing purchases you make for your home.

In today's market there are many fibers developed to appeal visually, be resilient, stay cleaner longer and be low maintenance. Looking for a certain color is just the beginning. The majority of carpet produced in the United States contains one of six pile fibers: nylon, polypropylene (olefin), acrylic, polyester, wool or cotton. Synthetic fibers make up more than 99 percent of the fiber used in the U.S. market. I have compiled an overview of carpet fibers and their properties to help you make your choice.

WOOL: excellent resiliency, soil and stain resistance, poor resistance to sunlight, poor resistance to mildew, flammability level burns slowly, good abrasion resistance, builds up static in low humidity, hand is warm and soft.

NYLON: excellent resiliency, excellent abrasion resistance, good soil and stain resistance, good resistance to sunlight, builds up static in low humidity, flammability level burns slowly, hand varies from warm and soft to cold and coarse.

POLYPROPYLENE/OLEFIN: excellent resiliency, excellent abrasion resistance, good soil and stain resistance only if treated promptly, poor resistance to sunlight, hand is waxy and soft, excellent resistance to mildew, melts at low temperatuares.

ACRYLIC MODACRYLIC: fair resiliency, fair abrasion resistance, good soil and stain resistance, excellent resistance to sunlight, builds up static in low humidity, hand is warm and soft, excellent resistance to mildew, Acrylic burns readily, Modacrylics are difficult to ignite.

POLYESTER:  good resiliency, good abrasion resistance, good soil and stain resistance only if stains are promptly treated, good resistance to sunlight, builds up static in low humidity, hand varies and finer deniers are soft and silky, excellent resistance to mildew, burns slowly/melts.

COTTON:  poor resiliency and tricky carpet cleaning requirements, extremely beautiful colorations.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Why You Hire An Interior Designer

When it comes to working with an interior designer, there are varied schools of thought. Either you hired an interior designer already, or you are thinking you may like to work with an interior designer or you never want an interior designer in your life. Regardless, if you ever decorated your home, room or apartment, the idea and choice has come up. To make the most of the decision, here are a few things professional interior designers have shared and think you should know.

Designers are not out to take control of you and your home. This is your project and your home. We are here to guide you and to help create your vision. The trick is that you don't always know your vision or what you think you need may not actually be what you really need. But by listening carefully and going through our design process, we can create your ultimate vision. It may be a little different than what you originally thought. This leads to the next part...

Trust us. You hired us because you like our work. And because we know what we're doing. We've got years of experience and education behind us, and we've done several projects like yours. You're going to get the best result when you can let go a little and trust us to do what we've been doing for years. There's a reason you like our work and remember that.

We can save you time, money and stress, if you let us. We are your representative. Our job is to work with you and develop the plan you want, and then to implement it. This means we will communicate with all parties involved, and we will provide the information needed to make it all happen. While we understand that you're excited about the project and you want to be involved, please remember you don't need to take on the stress of it all. Turn that part over to us and let us deal with it. It's what we do. You can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

One interior designer recently received an email form a client that said, "We are sitting here relaxing and loving the new space. It turned out beautiful. I can finally envision it!" The designer explained this was a bit of an inside joke because at the beginning of the project the designer proposed a very unique element to the kitchen layout. Because it was so different, the clients expressed they were having a hard time envisioning it, but they trusted the designer. And, in the end, the clients understood exactly why the designer proposed it and they love it.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Downsizing Design Is In

The latest trend in interior design is downsizing. People of all ages and demographics find that a change in lifestyle to smaller living spaces is the answer to their present needs. Couples are finding themselves in large homes where they raised their family and now have too many bedrooms and rec room spaces. Many people who retire find they would rather have a smaller living space to keep up, so they will be free to travel more on vacation and visit family and friends. Suddenly, single men and women are moving to smaller spaces that feel cozy for one.

But the change to downsizing can be unsettling. Many people believe the process is too challenging and are hesitant to move ahead. If you want to be excited about your move from a large residence to a smaller home, condo or apartment---you may need help. A professional interior designer can help you to alleviate your concerns and cross the barrier with new enthusiasm and confidence.

I have worked with many clients who are downsizing for many reasons. Here are just a few of the services that I can provide to you:
 - review of present furnishings
 - analysis of your lifestyle and budget
 - study of the floor plan of your new space to determine fit of current furniture
 - proposal outline for design of your new home
 - accompany you to retail or wholesale suppliers to select new furnishings
 - recommendations for estate sales, movers and remodelers