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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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

The View From Your Windows

The View From Your Windows

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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

The View From Your Windows

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Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.
A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.
It is a beautiful time of year here as there are many sun-filled days as we transition from summer into fall. A few more weeks and will start to see some beautiful fall colors on the trees.

We also start to see pumpkins for sale, pumpkin lattes at our local coffee shops, and an early glimpse of some beautiful fall chrysanthemums standing ready to burst open and share their fall color.

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This time of year, it feels time to start transitioning your seasonal decor. Here are a few ways to
welcome fall into the home.

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ONE

Create some simple flower arrangements with some of those late-blooming summer flowers. In my yard, my beautiful hydrangeas seem to be at their peak around this time of year. So I love to cut them before they fade and mix them into some early fall flower arrangements. Across my mantle or in large vases, these flowers can be enjoyed for a few weeks before they fade until next year. I also use them in outdoor flower arrangements, as it’s a great time of year for outdoor entertaining as nature’s decor will set the tone providing the perfect color scheme for any event.

TWO 

A quick trip to the grocery store will bring the first sighting of numerous pumpkins and gourds—innumerable shades of orange, whites, greens. I love the variety of textures and shapes. The sculptural nature of the pumpkins and gourds combined can be a beautiful composition that you can enjoy off in the fall season. One sculptural pumpkin displayed on a table or cake stand or a grouping of pumpkins on your front stairs can be a welcome sight That will greet you at your front door. The sizes and shapes are endless. A yearly trip to my local apple farm, it’s always a great treat this time of year as it also has a large pumpkin patch with numerous varieties to choose from. It is a sight to behold. The colors’ varieties sizes are endless. But choose carefully as they are heavier than they look.

THREE

The scent of fall can be brought into your home easily with scented candles. The smell of apple and pumpkin or the spicy aromas can help you transition your home with the warmth feel like fall.

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FOUR

Choose colors to coordinate with your decor. Fall Decor doesn’t have to be orange or yellow or brown. Choose colors that reflect and correspond with your Decour. There are so many options pumpkins can be painted glorious pastel tones, made of fabric, or gilded metallic. Use colors that you love and will mix into your decor. White is also a great color to use for fall decorating and can easily blend into any room’s color scheme. Natural or human-made fall decorating items give you the option of limitless color combinations. Dot be afraid to do something unconventional.

FIVE

Add a cozy throw blanket or a few textured accent pillows to your room. It will add warmth to your space and provide comfort on those cooler fall evenings.

 

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

The View From Your Windows

The View From Your Windows

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Working From Home During Your Renovation

Working From Home During Your Renovation

You might have been planning your home renovation project for some time. If you have hired a design and build company like mine, you have a designer/project manager overseeing your project from start to completion.

You knew this was the right choice since you need to keep focused on work and certainly don’t have the time or desire to be learning how to be a designer and a renovation manager at the same time. You also know that you want professional-level results, and you value the skills and experience of professionals. Now you can concentrate on your job and career knowing the project is in good hands.

There is one thing you might not have anticipated…that you might be working from home during the renovation process. 

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Working from home is now the new normal, and homeowners everywhere are settling into their new working environment. Most people are enjoying the new freedom of working in their home environments. No long commute, all the comforts of home, and increased productivity. (see my previous blog article, pro tips for working from home)

Now that your project start date is approaching, and with the recent construction and renovation boom, you are delighted that you have booked this project in advance and with a firm that has you on their schedule.  So, of course, you are ready to start and see the results of your thoroughly planned project. But now, how are you going to handle having a house filled with construction while you are working from home and having daily zoom calls?

Here are some tips for working from home during your renovation:

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ONE

Discuss any additional projects as soon as possible with your designer/project manager. For example, you may have decided that you want to set up a work area in a bedroom away from the renovation activity. You may need a desk, additional electrical outlets, a comfortable desk chair, or further assistance moving furnishings into a place where you can work comfortably. We would be glad to assist our clients with these things, and often we do. The sooner we know this, the better we can help you with getting settled. Your designer can source out the additional furniture items that you might need and will be familiar with the new projected lead time of different vendors and companies.

TWO 

Discuss the renovation process as far as what areas of the house will need to be cleared out or inaccessible during construction. Sometimes homeowners are unaware of how much space will be affected during renovation or construction. We try to prepare our clients for this. For instance, if we are working on a bedroom renovation, we will need to clear out everything in the bedroom until the project is complete to have access to walls, ceiling, flooring, and to have space to bring in the necessary tools to work on the project. This could affect the question of where is the best place to set up that temporary working space.

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THREE

Contact your project manager with your questions as they have all of the information on your renovation project. When working with a design and build firm, all contractors and artisans have been well informed by the project manager as to what they are making and all of the details involved. Although now that you are home watching the process, it is hard not to get distracted with questions about the process. Questions are always welcomed and answered quickly and thoroughly by my firm and most reputable professionals. The on-site plumber or electrician might not know all the details of things that don’t pertain to his part of the project. Your project manager will answer your questions quickly so you can have the answers you are looking for, so you can then be able to concentrate on your work.

 

FOUR

Even in the most well planned and prepared renovation, there will be construction noise. Not fun when you are trying to work or make that zoom call to a colleague. When you need some quiet, plan an alternative working space to give yourself a little break. Even as someone who is no stranger to daily construction noise, numerous renovations for clients, as well as my own home, I found myself in this position a few years ago when I had my crew re-finish all of the floors in my home. Although my office was isolated, I got to a point where I couldn’t take another 8 hours of floor sanding noise. I made my escape and spent a few working offsite in a quiet coffee shop. The peace and quiet, and maybe the extra caffeine, allowed me to be more productive in those very focused hours than if I had stuck it out at home. Removing myself allowed my crew to work more efficiently without worrying about clearing a path for me whenever I needed to walk through to the less than accessible bathroom. Just know that we feel your pain. No one enjoys living on a renovation site, much less working on one. Just know that we are doing whatever we can to lessen the impact yet still complete your project with high-quality work, efficiently, and with as little disruption to your work as possible

 

FIVE

Know that the renovation process is only temporary. Once your renovation is complete, and you can enjoy your new space, you will be so glad that you invested the time, money, and a little inconvenience to reap the benefits of your newly designed and renovated space. We also know that working from home can be a bit isolating. Some clients miss all the activity and progress in their home once the renovation is complete, and quickly start planning the next project. We love nothing more than continuing to plan with you for your next project.

 

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

The View From Your Windows

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When designing a home, every little detail is important. For instance, when selecting elements for the exterior of your home, like outdoor furniture...

read more

3 Important Questions That I Ask Before Designing Custom Window Treatments

Designing custom window treatments

Everyone gets excited when selecting window treatments. Especially if you are looking at custom options, there are so many fabrics to choose from with beautiful patterns, colors, and textures. There are thousands of embellishments and options when it comes to custom window treatments. The excitement soon leads to overwhelm when it comes to deciding among the various options. What pattern do you like, what colors do you like, what type of window treatment do you want?

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 There are so many things to consider when choosing window treatments for a room or your entire home. The design and selection of any window treatment can change the look of any room.  There is more to consider than just whether or not you like the fabric or trim. 

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Let’s begin by asking a few questions to see what your goals are:

ONE

What function will your window treatment have for this room?  If your window faces a busy road, you might be looking for this window treatment to provide you some level of privacy.  If this is a bedroom, you might be looking for this window treatment to provide necessary lighting control as well as privacy.  If you have older windows and you live in a colder climate, you might be looking for some insulating qualities.  Defining the function of your window treatments will help you choose one of the many available options.

TWO 

Choose window treatments after your main furniture selections finalized.  The selection of window treatments and furniture for any room can be difficult. I often go into a home of a new client and see that they might have put up some beautiful window treatments, because this seemed like the more straightforward task to complete, but then there is nothing else in the space. Homeowners can sometimes remain stuck at this point because they have drastically limited their furniture options by doing their window treatments first. 

If you choose window treatments first, even the highest quality custom window treatment can look out of place if you cannot find furniture that complements your selections. It’s always better to choose your main furniture first, as your options might be a little bit more limited to furniture selections. Once you finalize your main fabrics in the space, then look at custom window treatments. Now you can create a beautifully designed window treatment that will complement your furnishing perfectly. You will still get a more cohesively designed space by doing the furniture first and then moving on to the selection of window treatments.

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THREE

Consider the view. If you have a beautiful view, I like to treat it like artwork and create window treatments that provide all of the functional needs of my client but something that frames and complements the view instead of competes with it.  If you have a less than ideal view from that window, then you might want to bring more attention to the treatment itself.

Custom window treatments can elevate the look of any space. I hope this helps inspire you to think about the entire area as a whole when thinking about dressing your windows.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

The View From Your Windows

The View From Your Windows

When designing a home, every little detail is important. For instance, when selecting elements for the exterior of your home, like outdoor furniture...

read more