Should You Stay In Your Color Comfort Zone Or Explore New Possibilities?

Should You Stay In Your Color Comfort Zone, or Should You Explore New Possibilities?

A thought that goes through almost everyone’s head while attempting even the simplest decorating project. Colors are very powerful, and the possibilities and combinations are endless. For many people, choosing color combinations can be a very scary process. You will wonder if you want to commit to a color. Will you still like it in a few months, a few years? Will it go out of style? Will it go with existing furnishings? Will you have to change other things in your home if you add this new color? So many questions often lead to being paralyzed, and you retreat to what your color comfort zone might be.

So how do you decide if you should take the plunge and explore some new color possibilities or if you should stay where you are most comfortable? This is something that designers deal with daily. Every client brings with them a new set of feelings regarding color and a new standard of what they might be comfortable with when it comes to color selection. In my experience, there are numerous reasons that someone is comfortable with color. Exploring why someone is comfortable with specific colors could provide some answers and some guidance.

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Why are you comfortable in a certain color range?
Possible reasons might be…

• Color creates a strong psychological effect you might be drawn to certain colors for that reason. For instance, green can be very comforting and soothing; this is why you see it in many doctor’s offices. So, it’s no surprise that you might be drawn to these colors because of how they make you feel. Red can be a very exciting color and can stimulate the appetite, so it is usually seen as being used in fast food company logos.

• You have a particular memory or experience that has given you personal feelings about color. Perhaps you have a strong aversion to a particular shade of green because it reminds you of a tile in a specific kitchen where are you may have spent a very unhappy time in your life. By all means, do you want to avoid colors that tie in and remind you of bad experiences? As a designer, I’ve learned to ask the right questions while creating a color scheme for someone, sometimes knowing what colors people hate can provide me more information than what they like.

• Are you comfortable with a certain range of colors because you are afraid to make another choice? This is often the case for many people. They might’ve gotten used to a small range of neutrals not because they love neutrals but because of the fear of committing to another range of colors. Suppose someone does want to explore the possibilities and likes the idea of breaking out of the comfort zone of neutrals. In that case, this is great information for me as a designer as to what type of color scheme they would be comfortable with and how to use color for their project.

• Look at your closet for inspiration. If your closet is filled with clothing and accessories that are brightly colored, and your home is filled with safe neutrals, you might just be intimidated about how to use color in your home. Using color in a room design can be much more complicated than putting together an outfit, as there are so many dimensions and surfaces that make up a room that requires particular color choices. All of these surfaces have different textures, and so any attempt at matching these colors is exactly always falls flat on its face. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the color value and color undertones is required to pull together colors on so many different surfaces harmoniously. Unlike when you’re pulling together an outfit, and you only have a few pieces to coordinate.

• Do you really love the color selections in your comfort zone? Sometimes you will find that you really do love the colors that are in your comfort zone. If you find that you love a color palette of neutral tones, then by all means, if you love neutral tones, use them. Neutral tones can also be tricky to combine, you might have a room filled with neutral tones, but they still do not work well together because of the undertones, so not all neutral tones work together well.

A well-developed color scheme can genuinely make or break the finished look of a space. I hope these tips will help you decide if you should stay in your color comfort zone or explore some new possibilities.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

How To Make Design Decisions That Stand The Test Of Time

How To Make Design Decisions That Stand The Test Of Time

When you shop for design elements for your home or scan through the latest Pinterest pins, HGTV episode, or design publications, you start to see definite patterns of popular design trends. Interior design trends come and go just like the latest fashion trends. Some design trends might last longer than some of the fashion trends you purchased last summer, but they still, in fact, have a cycle of popularity.

Some design trends last a few seasons, and other design trends could last for a decade or so. When designing your entire home or shopping for a few simple home accessories, it’s hard not to be influenced by the current design trends since we see it when we are shopping at a retail store. There are ways to utilize current design trends in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling regretful in a few years about the choices that you’ve made. More significant, more permanent design elements can be pricey, and you want to be sure that the products you choose are something that you’re going to like in the future. Here are a few tips when making design decisions to avoid “design trend regret.”

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ONE

Be patient. Take your time when shopping for your home. Don’t buy the first thing that you see. You might be shopping for a simple throw pillow, and yet everyone is showing orange throw pillows. You want a blue or green, but you don’t see many in those colors to choose from. You finally settle for the orange because it’s readily available. Take your time when making design decisions. A few custom-designed throw pillows can give you any look that you like but will take longer to customize than a quick trip to the store. As a result, you might be ready to get rid of those orange throw pillows after a few months, but the well-thought-out design selection choosing fabrics and styles that customized to your look could last you a very long time.

TWO

Incorporate trendy items in small ways. You might love a popular pattern or print, and you want to incorporate it in your home. You’re not sure that you want that super trendy pattern on a sofa since that will last you a lot longer. Try incorporating the pattern in a throw blanket or a few inexpensive pillows or accessories; this will allow you to integrate trendy patterns and colors in your homes without a large investment.

THREE

Use classic shapes and fabrics for large purchases. A classic white sofa can stand the test of time, allowing you to use trendier fabrics and patterns on top of that traditional white background.

FOUR

Choose all of your construction and renovation elements carefully. You might only be renovating that kitchen once, so choosing a super trendy countertop or backsplash tile might be something that you regret a few years from now; this is where the help of a designer can be very valuable. Knowing what design elements are trendy and what elements are classic can help choose tile countertops, cabinet design, and fixtures. If you love that super trendy light fixture, then go for it, but at least you’ll be entering into that decision knowing that you might find that it starts to feel dated after a few years.

FIVE

I am a firm believer in using items that you love in your home. If you choose items that you love, you might love them five years from now or even ten years from now. We all love seeing those design trends and the beautiful items that we can choose from to decorate our homes. Just don’t feel like you have to have a specific item or color because that is popular. Our homes should be an expression of ourselves. We are all unique individuals and can express our personalities through our homes, and the result is a unique blend of styles colors that fit you, your personality, and your lifestyle for many years to come.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Styling Your Home For Mid-Winter

Styling Your Home For Mid-Winter

After the holiday decorations come down, your home can feel like it needs a little midwinter styling. As much as I know we’re all anxious to clean up after the holidays, I think most of us do miss the holiday decorations, and without them, the house feels a little bare and cold this time of year.

Here are some quick ways to style your home easily with accessories to give you a home in midwinter refresh.

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ONE

Try some small changes in your furniture arrangement. I often have to move a few furniture pieces to make room for my Christmas trees and other Christmas Decor. So, if you’ve moved a piece of furniture, as the house starts to get put back together, try moving things around a bit to refresh your look. A few small changes in a room, for instance, an accent chair at a different angle, can change a room’s look and how it functions. Experiment a little as you’re putting your rooms back together.

TWO

Accessorize your coffee table for midwinter. Style your coffee table with some items you might already have in your home or add a few small touches. Add candles to add a little illumination. A tray on the coffee table a great way to display and group small items. A few coffee table books stacked on your coffee table could be a great start if you start from scratch. Add some flowers in a vase, and you have a perfectly styled coffee table for midwinter.

THREE

Add some cozy throw blankets. Adding a blanket or two is a great way to add some color and texture to a room that feels like it needs some layering. I add throws and cozy warm blankets to my living room and bedroom decor in mid-winter. They are also great for some extra warmth this time of year.

FOUR

This time of year, I like to make some flower arrangements, and I use various types of items as vases and vessels for these arrangements. Try using an old vintage vase or ceramic piece and creating some small fresh or silk arrangements for your home. I like to use some of the older vases and vessels that I’ve inherited from family members. You can use any jars or vases collection to display the flower arrangement or just a few blossoms to warm up your space in midwinter. Smaller arrangements can be placed in various areas of your home easily.

FIVE

Add a few pops of color. If the house feels a little cold and bare without those holiday decorations, small pops of color can do wonders. Bring in a few throw pillows or accessories in a bright contrasting color to freshen up your space. A welcomed change as a fresh new color can quickly and easily make a bare space look finished.

SIX

Print out a few of your family photos to display in mid-winter. Take some of those holiday photos out of your phone and do a grouping in small frames. A small gallery wall or a corner of a table with a few pictures can personalize your room and help you enjoy those family memories in the mid-winter months.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

This year I’ve decided to hold my annual Thanksgiving dinner a week earlier than usual. My adult children have to go to several homes to attend numerous Thanksgiving dinners—eating Thanksgiving dinner sometimes four times a day. For many years they were more than willing to do this. I decided that this would make it easier for everyone, including the newest 2-month-old addition to the family. Also, giving us more time to visit together as a family during our Thanksgiving celebration. Since my Christmas decorating officially starts on Halloween (this provides plenty of time to decorate my own house and my client’s homes and time to photograph my holiday decor). Most years, my own home is in full-scale holiday decorating mode completing just before Thanksgiving. This year my early Thanksgiving idea lost me a week. However, somehow the house is ready, and I am excited to share a peek at the decorations with you.

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As always, my tablescape is a mix of old and new Items. Some of my cherished pieces of blue and white china from my many years of collecting, mixed with new items like my jewel-toned velvet pumpkins and the beautiful new chinoiserie pumpkins that I stumbled upon earlier this year. I added silver and mirrored chargers purchased for previous events that I have held, antique crystal candle holders, and a few silver pumpkins wrapped with iridescent pearls. This year, I am using cobalt blue and silver for all of my holiday decorations in my dining room, so my Thanksgiving table is following suit. The numerous combinations of colors that I have used for this room are always one of my favorites, so I have used it again this year—an easy transition to my Christmas Decor.

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This year, I’m using cobalt blue satin napkins folded with the silver metallic linen blend napkin. Silver napkin rings trimmed with rhinestones will hold these napkins on top of my place settings. As I’ve mentioned before, don’t be afraid to mix and match when you set the table. When I use my blue and white collection, you might notice that there are about four different patterns of blue and white in one of my table settings. I prefer this layered look of compatible patterns mixed rather than the look of just one pattern on the table, which gives it a lot more interest. It also allows me to add pieces to my collection without worrying about having a certain amount of plates. I know I can always mix a new piece in with the others.

If you prefer a more clean-lined look, you could certainly use one pattern or solid colored plates. When using solid plates, I like to add some contrast to the table with color or pattern in another way. Maybe a more colorful centerpiece, or even a simple floral strong in structure, like an orchid, gives you a much more modern look. When I’m setting the table for a sit-down dinner, I try to keep any centerpiece or center decoration low enough to where you can see over it, especially crucial during Thanksgiving when you are probably going to be sitting at the table for a while. Depending on your table’s shape, you will need to decide how much space you need to create a centerpiece accordingly.

I always use place cards at my holiday table. When my kids were little, it was always a fun project to create place cards for everyone. I still enjoy creating different place cards for everyone joining us for dinner and coming up with different ways to display the place cards. When it comes to glassware, I treat this the same way I treat my china or plates. For this table, I’ll be mixing and matching. This year I combined two patterns of cobalt blue glassware with silver goblets. I also mixed in a few silver-rimmed antique glasses since we were using silver on the table. I try to mix glasses of complementary proportions; this is the key to mixing glassware.

Instead of fresh flowers, which I usually use, I used a few potted flowering plants on my tables for this tablescape. The small lacey blossoms on these flowering plants were pretty and delicate, and I knew they would look great with all of the chinoiserie patterns. I placed these flowers in white ceramic pots. The details on these pots complement the Chippendale details in my high gloss white dining room chairs. I have enjoyed these potted flowering plants in my home all fall and decided to work them into my Thanksgiving tablescape. A few ice and glitter-covered greenery stems add some additional sparkle to the table and complement the room’s Christmas tree, which is ready and waiting to greet guests in this dining room. I’ll add a few more small details to finish out this tablescape, but I thought I would give you a quick peek. Happy Decorating!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Adding Vintage Furnishings

Adding Vintage Furnishings

We all might have a piece of vintage furniture, art, or decorative furnishings somewhere in our home. Whether you have scoured an antique show or flea market to find such a piece or you were lucky enough to own a particular piece, or you inherited a vintage treasure. It can still be challenging to know how to use these items in your home without looking dated or old.

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Incorporating antique pieces into your home can add that well-curated look that only a vintage piece can provide. Vintage pieces can help create a well-designed room that has developed over time, the layered, detailed look of a well-designed space. One of the latest design trends leans away from straight modern lines and toward reproducing the look of European antiques. But how do you do this without creating a museum-like look?

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Here are a few tips:

ONE

Use antique pieces mixed with more contemporary pieces. The juxtaposition of new and old can create an exciting look and keep the room looking fresh and modern.

TWO 

Use a vintage piece as a focal point for your room. An antique fireplace mantle or a vintage cabinet can make a beautiful focal point in a room mixed with other furnishings.

THREE

Don’t be afraid to refinish a furniture piece. Unless you are a die-hard antique collector or you might want to consider selling your antique piece to a collector, you can consider refinishing or painting an antique piece of furniture that you love and want to incorporate into your home. Paint can add a fresh new look to the detail of a vintage piece. Just be sure you have this done by a pro to ensure quality results as old furniture needs to be prepared for paint properly.

FOUR

If you have a collection of vintage art, pottery, or china, display your collection grouped together. If it’s something you love, you can use it to decorate your home.

FIVE

Proportion, scale, and balance are still significant when using antique or vintage pieces. Mix in other pieces that have similar proportions. However, pieces do not have to match or be similar in any other way. The key is to use a mix of pieces with different finishes and to balance the look throughout the room appropriately.

Until next time,
Gia

From The Blog

Design and Customer Service Award

Design and Customer Service Award

Well, 2020 has been quite a year for all of us.

As we continue through the year, creating amazing home transformations for our clients, I realized that I almost forgot to share some exciting news.

This year I was excited to be awarded The Best of Houzz award for Customer Service and Best of Houzz Award for Design. This is very exciting, especially because our customers and future customers and clients have a large part in voting for these awards!

On behalf of myself and the entire Designs By Gia team, we thank Houzz and Houzz viewers for these two awards. Last year we also had the honor of being featured in two feature articles on Houzz.

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Designs By Gia Interior Design of Boston, MA

Houzz Press Release

Designs By Gia Interior Design, Gia Milazzo Smith, of Massachusetts Awarded Best Of Houzz 2020. Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling, and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

Boston, USA, March 2020 – Designs By Gia Interior Design of Massachusetts, has won “Best Of Customer Service on Houzz®, and Best of Houzz Design on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.

The full-service interior design and build firm was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2019. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2020” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Designs By Gia Interior Design, Gia Milazzo Smith, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

“ We are looking forward to transforming your home,”
Gia Milazzo Smith, Designs By Gia Interior Design

Now especially, we have many homeowners diving into home renovation projects with little knowledge of design or the process, a process that takes years of experience to master. Hiring a pro to design and renovate your home will ensure the best results with your project!

Until Next Time,

Gia

 

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