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

 

From The Blog

Country Estate – Master Suite – Part 2 -The Master Bedroom

Country Estate Master Suite - The Master Bedroom

As promised, I am sharing the Master Bedroom renovation of my country estate project. Last week you saw the master bath transformation; this is the bedroom adjacent to that bathroom.

After many years of working with clients, I can tell you that many times the master bedroom is one of the last rooms that homeowners renovate. It’s easy to put this room last on your list of priorities as it is a room the guests do not see.

However, it is a room where you spend the bulk of your time. A place in which you start and end each day and complete daily tasks. Why not make this room a retreat that welcomes you after a long day? Compared to renovating a kitchen or bath, a bedroom renovation is usually a more straightforward process.

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In a room where you start and end each day, it’s essential to consider your needs with any bedroom design. The need for comfort, storage, consideration of morning routines, and patterns must be met and create something visually pleasing.

For this project, since we were renovating the adjacent bath, my homeowners decided to renovate the master bedroom. The bedroom, which was an original part of this historic home, was well-shaped and didn’t have the strangely angled walls seen is some of the formerly renovated additions to this home. So, existing walls and space remained intact.

This master bedroom overlooks the beautiful field of this country estate. With its large windows and breathtaking views, I knew this design would have to reflect on the client’s tastes and honor the historical architecture, but it also had to reflect and not compete with the views, just like the bathroom design. 

 

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In this room, a warm color palette of nature-inspired greens and warm greys transformed this formerly uninspiring space into a relaxing retreat. The grey tones tie into the adjacent bathroom design. Trim and architectural features added where needed, and of course, everything received a quality paint job. New lighting fixtures are like adding the perfect jewelry to this room in a polish silver finish, also adding task lighting where needed.

The new furniture was correctly scaled to this space, provides needed storage, and adds texture with the painted finishes. The existing closets in this older home provide seasonal storage. The newly designed master closet exists just off the new master bath and custom window treatments designed to frame the windows and complement the view while providing privacy and lighting control. The new bed is at a height where the view can be enjoyed before even getting out of bed.
Luxury custom fabric work and bedding in this room provide added comfort as well as visual textures in this room. New carpeting ties into our color scheme and provides comfort when stepping out of bed on a cool Autumn day. Gleaming mirrors created additional symmetry over the new dressers, and accessories added a bit of elegance to this luxurious new master bedroom.

 

Until next time,
Gia

From The Blog

Country Estate -Master Suite-Part 1 -Master Bath Project

Country Estate Master Suite - Bath Renovation

I am so excited to share the transformation of one of our completed master bath projects this week. A complete design and renovation project and was part of a more extensive home renovation that we did for these lovely clients. I’ll be sharing more of this beautiful home with you soon.

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The master bath renovation was an absolute priority for this client.  Its dated fixtures, strangely angled walls, and tiny shower called out for a complete transformation.

Although this was a reasonably large room, this older home, formerly renovated by a previous homeowner in the late 1980’s, contained numerous angled walls creating strange angles, dead spaces, and lots of wasted space. Visually the room’s odd proportions were confusing and not pleasing to the eye. Changing the configuration was something I knew would make a dramatic difference in the space.

The small closet off the bathroom was in dire need of enlargement as it served as the master closet in this home and was very small and angled.

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After viewing this property and discussing the needs of the homeowner, I got right to work designing this bathroom.

My first step was to reconfigure the space changing the shape of the room. I eliminated the false angled walls, squared off the room, eliminated the dead spaces, re-located doorways, and enlarged the window, which opened up space and allowed me to design a beautiful enlarged bathroom. Complete with a freestanding soaking tub, two vanities, and a large custom, tiled steam shower complete with chroma-color, aromatherapy, rain head, and it’s own sound system—a far cry from the small shower stall in the original bathroom. Now my homeowner can enjoy their luxurious steam shower equivalent to the finest spa, right in the comfort of their home. The new toilet area no longer houses a bidet but added custom cabinets for additional storage. We eliminated a small hallway to nowhere behind the existing small closet and the space added to a new large custom master closet.

The design details, material selections, color scheme, and classic architectural details were selected to create a quiet, soothing environment, complement the architecture of this historical 1700 era home, and not overpower the beautiful ever-changing lush views from every direction from this New England country estate. All of the modern conveniences of an updated renovated space with classic details that my clients love.

I can’t wait to show you more of this project, including the master bedroom coming up next week.

 

Until next time,
Gia

From The Blog

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