5 Ways To Bring Great Design Into A Small Space

Five Ways To Bring Great Design Into A Small Space

How do you bring great design into a space where you don’t have a lot of room to work with? Maybe you won’t have an opportunity to bring in furnishings and add elements to create a finished look.

I recently had this challenge with a small room that my clients wanted to turn into a closet space. The room was attached to the adjoining bedroom and bathroom that was also renovated; we wanted to bring some complementary design elements to the rest of the space.

 My clients wanted closed cabinetry for clothing storage in this room. I designed this built-in cabinetry with storage clothing items in closed cabinets and open storage for folded items and shoes.

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In this room, an existing window was very close to the room’s corner, which prevented us from going all the way to the wall with the cabinetry, and the window was needed to bring light into the room. My client mentioned needing a bench, so my cabinet maker and I incorporated a low bench into our cabinetry to create a beautiful design element out of an area that could have been problematic. 

The small bench also has storage with a lifting top. We made a custom cushion for the bench with coordinating custom pillows using complementary fabrics. Then I designed the beautiful motorized roman shade for the window. I designed a 2-inch edge that trimmed the entire shade in a complementary fabric, making this roman shade even more luxurious. Motorization is an excellent feature as it ties into the window treatments in the adjoining bathroom to work from the same remote control. This is a room where the roman shades will most likely be opened and closed daily; This was a great feature to add to this custom window treatment.

My cabinet maker added a beautiful custom-designed leg on our cabinetry pieces that make the cabinetry look like furniture. This detail looks beautiful with the curved patterns of our fabric. 

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These small details added so much luxury to this room without adding things like area rugs and furniture, Which we didn’t have room for in this area. Here are five ways to add great design into a small space.

ONE

Small details make a difference. Adding unique hardware or detailed features like the details on our custom cabinetry to the elements you have in the space makes a big difference and the overall look.

TWO

To the luxurious fabrics and materials. It allows you to use more luxurious items in a small space because you don’t need as much of them. For instance, a beautiful marble floor to a large room might be very pricey, but in a small powder room, it will create a beautiful luxurious look and create a beautiful oasis in your small space.

THREE

Scale things appropriately for the room. If you’re finishing a small sitting room, scale those furniture pieces wisely so they don’t take up your entire room. A few strategic pieces of furniture that are scaled appropriately will make the room still feel spacious.

FOUR

Add custom details. Mixing the fabrics in the closet space that I discussed above allowed me to use several different materials, adding interest and texture to the room. Since I had all of my fabric work customized, it allowed me to choose patterns in the exact scale and fabrics that I wanted. Again, a small space with a few custom pillows was a big design element in this room, so anything that you customize gets noticed in a small space.

FIVE

Be creative. The challenge of a small space will provide an opportunity for some great creative ideas. As a designer, I love challenging spaces, and they provide me with the ability to come up with some great design ideas.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Choosing Tile For Your Backsplash

Choosing Tile For Your Backsplash

Whether clients are looking to do a complete renovation of the kitchen or just changing out a few kitchen elements, the selection of backsplash material is always one of those areas where people struggle to visualize a selection and how it will look in the space. If a client is doing their own kitchen project, this is one of the areas that I see people make the most design errors when it comes to material selection. Often clients do come to a designer after the fact, after trying to implement their design ideas and then not being happy with the results.

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With so many different materials, colors, and design options, the backsplash presents us with an opportunity to complement the space’s design. Still, without a thorough knowledge of design principles, the backsplash can sometimes become the piece that conflicts with the rest of the area.

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When  I select a backsplash for a kitchen that I’m renovating and designing, this is how I approach the selection.

Don’t shop until you have determined what you are looking for. I often go into a space where a backsplash tile selection was chosen based on how much you like the tile material. That’s great, but just like choosing any other design element, the most important thing is to be able to picture the whole room as one and how it’s going to work together to create a cohesive design.

I base my selections on the number of things – the other design elements that I’m putting into the newly renovated design, the choice of countertop material that I am using in the new design, the size and scale of the pattern on the new countertop. The other thing that I look at is how much backsplash there is and how it’s sectioned and cut up in the particular kitchen design. For instance, a backsplash with many small sections might not be a great candidate for a widespread pattern because many details of that design would get lost in the smaller cut sections of the backsplash configuration.

The other thing that I look at when designing a backsplash is precisely where the backsplash material will be applied. Where will it start, and where will it end concerning the cabinetry and the other design elements to create a truly customized backsplash for your kitchen? There is no clear-cut answer that applies to every space and every tile. When designing a kitchen space, the goal for me is to create an overall balance in color, materials, and proportion creating a well-harmonized look.

 

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

5 Ways To Say “I Love You” With A Project At Home

5 Ways To Say "I Love You" With A Project At Home

This year, you might be thinking about exchanging the annual Valentine’s evening out for a quiet evening at home with some take-out from your favorite restaurant.

Since there is such a large focus on our home environments right now, why not think out of the box this year and plan a little Home project that you can work on together with a spouse or family members.

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You could surprise a loved one with a quick home project or work together on a project that will show your home a little love, choose a project that will give you quick results and that both of you will enjoy once completed.

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ONE

Decorate for the holiday. If you plan a quiet evening at home, or a night at home with the kids, make it memorable with some simple decor. Think about your favorite restaurant and what makes the ambiance so unique. Fresh flowers, candlelight, music, and layered lighting can re-create a special evening or for a little romantic vibe for the whole month of February. Add some heart-shaped accent pillows, some touches of red and pink to your home decor, or involve the kids making some homemade decorations to spread a little love throughout the house. Make a music mix with some favorite love songs. Enjoy the Valentine’s Day holiday for a few days or throughout the month!

TWO

Collaborate on an organizing project. Show a little love to each other and your home by tackling an area in your home that frustrates you. Empty that pantry or hall closet and re-organize. Purge unused items and group like items with storage bins and baskets. Create a system that works for you and your family.

THREE

Organize old family photos. Organizing photos is easier now that most of our photos are conveniently stored in digital format. However, many of us have physical photos somewhere in our home, especially photos from previous generations of family members. Spend an afternoon sorting, scanning, or scrapbooking these precious photos. You will feel great after completing this task and might have some fun revisiting some old family memories.

FOUR

Start planning that master bedroom renovation that you have been talking about. Spend an afternoon making a list and looking through inspiration photos. Put all your dreams into one list. Dreaming and planning together can help narrow down the options when you finally get serious about the project, and planning gets you one step closer to your goals.

FIVE

Plan a small gathering and share the love with a few family members or friends. A little Valentine’s day brunch could be a fun way to share some love. Plan a Valentines themed table setting and enjoy the holiday!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Common Pitfalls When Furnishing An Entire Home Or Room

Common Pitfalls When Furnishing an Entire Home or Room

You might be excited about furnishing that new home or perhaps just furnishing your living room or Master bedroom.

Whether you’re furnishing an entire home, one room, or a series of rooms, furnishing a space can be quite complicated. It involves a thorough and detailed plan consisting of what the space will look like in the end. Homeowners sometimes attempt furnishing on their own, not understanding the complicated yet important details of proportion, balance, and scale when furnishing a space.

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Quickly realizing that is not the simple task they had envisioned. No matter how large or small your budget is for furnishings, you want your purchases to stand the test of time both in style and durability. You also want the space’s design to be cohesive, reflect your personality, and work well with the rest of your home.

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Here are some common pitfalls that homeowners often fall into when attempting to do this without the help of a pro.

ONE

Purchasing furniture pieces before having an overall plan. It is easy to get excited about starting the process of furnishing a space, but the place to start is with thorough planning before any shopping or purchasing begins. It is only after thoroughly planning out the area that purchases should begin. Knowing how all furnishing will not only look good but function well in the space is essential. Properly planning out walkways, traffic flow, and planning out space for tasks is crucial in developing any space plan. Planning out the entire area first allows you to make changes and visualize the room with your new furnishings. It also gives you a perimeter of size, shape, and scale to guide you when making those furniture purchases.

TWO

Selecting fabric, colors, and finishes individually. The mixing of fabrics, colors, textures, and other material finishes can be complicated. A professional knows how to do this efficiently, knowing where the room is ultimately going and how different finishes and patterns will work together. When homeowners attempt this, they can be easily swayed by salespeople whose primary goal is to sell a product. It’s also very easy to choose the most beautiful sofa or fabric without really knowing how it will work with all of the other elements in the room or home. Buyers remorse will start to set in once you begin to choose the other elements in the space and realize that you have unknowingly designed yourself into a corner. A well-designed plan will help you select finishes, colors, and fabrics strategically, giving you the confidence that you will have a cohesive look when your project is complete.

THREE

Feeling like you need to pull together a professionally designed look without a pro. Today many aspects of the design process are over-simplified. Homeowners are led to believe that it’s fast and easy to get professional level results independently, with just a few trips to the store, certainly not the case. Regardless of the size of your project budget, you want to be sure you get the best possible results by hiring a pro.

FOUR

Buying items yourself.  The reason professionally designed rooms look so beautiful is because many items that go into the space are custom or customized to the designer’s specifications. For instance, when designing custom pillows, upholstered pieces, or window treatments, we can choose the exact trim or decorative details and decide on those details’ precise placement.

Many designers have trade accounts with manufacturers that often quality pieces and a higher degree of customization on products, which results in that customized look. Even when purchasing a stock piece that you can find for yourself at retail, it’s always best to have your designer do the purchasing. Eliminating ordering errors since your designer is familiar with the process and ordering direct doesn’t guarantee better pricing. Timing of deliveries and storage of furnishings until you are ready for them can also be an issue. When working with a designer, items can be consolidated and delivered when ready for the whole installation. That is not possible when ordering numerous pieces from different vendors at different times, each with its delivery schedule.

Those are just a few of the most common pitfalls that one can fall into when attempting a large furnishing project without a designer’s guidance and expertise.

 

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

Choosing Appliances For Your Kitchen Renovation

Choosing Appliances For Your Kitchen Renovation

When I work with a client on a kitchen renovation project, I always start conversations with the new space’s appliance needs. When designing a kitchen, you can easily get distracted by all of the tile, countertop, and material selections involved with the kitchen renovation. However, the choice of appliances is always where I start as a professional. That is because the size of those appliances and the selection of appliances needed will dictate the overall kitchen layout. So the time to choose appliances is the in the very beginning. So how do we make our appliance selections?

Here are some of the questions that I ask clients when discussing appliance selections.

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Add rich color.

ONE

What type of cooking do you want to be able to do in your new kitchen? Discussing the cooking needs, it’s essential because people use their kitchens very differently. Some people use their ovens more than their cooktop. Some people use a microwave more than anything, and some people don’t use their microwaves at all. The list goes on. Knowing exactly what type of cooking my client will be doing helps with steering them in appliance choices that they will be happy with.

TWO

Be realistic with your appliance goals. Double ovens are great; however, you need a certain amount of wall space for a double wall oven. Using a double wall oven may not be a great use of valuable wall space. It also might eat up an area that could be used for more countertop. So be realistic about the appliance usage. If you’re only going to use that second oven once a year, is it worth any space that you might be giving up for something else? Discuss this with your designer. Some kitchens with space limitations can be tricky. There are many ways that a double oven might be worked into a kitchen, depending on your layout. Be open to discussing your cooking needs with your designer And consider some new ideas.

THREE

Refrigeration needs can also vary significantly from household to household. Think about how much space you need for refrigeration and some of the features you would like to see in your new refrigerator. Your designer can help you meet these goals, specifically when you know what features you really would like to include in your refrigerator. Refrigerator drawers can also be a great option in kitchens short on wall space; this could also be an excellent feature for a large kitchen spreading out the refrigeration area from being in one place.

FOUR

Other appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, steam ovens, etc., all have unique features. Start the search by looking at the features of these appliances, how much daily usage they will get, and how well they will fit into the amount of space that you have in your new kitchen. Designers can help you evaluate these items and create the proper placement in your floor plan.

FIVE

Once you find the features you like in your appliances, then we start to look at finishes and details like handles, etc. Depending on the rest of your space’s design, size of your kitchen, and the overall look, your appliances don’t necessarily need to match. But there should be cohesive elements that tie them together and work well with the overall design.

SIX

Think about small appliances. Which small appliances do you use daily, are there features in your larger appliances that could eliminate the need for some of your existing small appliances? Think about what you use daily, and be sure to include it in your plan. Other small appliances seldomly used will need to be part of the new space’s overall storage plan.

 

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

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