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

Creating A Peaceful Retreat

Creating A Peaceful Retreat

One of the things that I have noticed in the last few months, as predicted, most people’s homes have turned into a multi-functioning area almost overnight. Homeowners everywhere are hurrying to keep up with the new lifestyle of working from home, schooling from home, setting up a home gym for working out at home, and the overall lifestyle changes that this has brought us. One of the things that I am hearing and seeing is that those moments of having a bit of quiet time for private thought or a place to retreat from a hectic day are now nonexistent in homes that are very active with families and children.

The abrupt lifestyle changes also explain why so many people are finally deciding to renovate their master bedroom or master bathroom. The need for creating a peaceful retreat right in your own home has become more critical than ever. While most people seem to be enjoying working from home, they are finding that they are putting in long hours and cannot get away from their work.

Of course, there are many ways that you can create a retreat right in your own home:

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ONE

Prepare for next summer’s outdoor renovation projects now. With the renovation at an all-time high, prepare beforehand to have a quality contracting team for the project. Lead times for ordering building supplies are longer than usual. Planning is everything, especially right now.

TWO

Make small changes using furnishings and decor to create a peaceful area for reading or relaxing. Make small changes in your furniture arrangement. It could create a feeling of privacy without adding additional space, such as a relaxing chair near a window with a view an area for books or your favorite projects or artwork could be created easily by moving a few things around in your home.

THREE

Take a look at any unused space in your home and involve a professional to help you visualize and create a private area in which to retreat. In a loft, a small room, or a place above the garage might work perfectly and you might not visualize what can be done, but involving a designer brings you a fresh set of ideas for the space.

FOUR

Re-think the current floor plan in your home. Sometimes even swapping rooms enable them to function differently. For instance, an unused dining room could be moved and swapped out with another room giving you more living space or more of an area to create a private reading nook or hobby area. Don’t be afraid to look at your current square footage and make changes to reflect your recent lifestyle changes.

FIVE

Of course, you certainly could create that luxurious master bedroom and bathroom suite that you’ve always dreamed of. At the end of the day, being able to retreat to a beautifully designed and customized space to create a restful environment will welcome improvement in your home. Think about everything you would love to include in the space and meet with a designer to find out how to best incorporate these ideas into a professionally designed Master suite project.

 

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

Your Design Goals For The New Year

Your Design Goals For The New Year

A new year means a fresh start! This year we welcome the new year with open arms as we look ahead and plan for the upcoming year.

After a year where just about everything revolved around your home, you might be thinking of some of the challenges your home presents and looking for guidance on making your home look great and function for your family and lifestyle.

An Interior Designer can make all the difference in the outcome of any of your upcoming projects. 

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Add rich color.

ONE

Be open to getting a professional designer involved from the beginning. With so much access to “information,” it is easy for homeowners to assume that they can google their way through a project. I can assure you that this is not a great way to design a project and cause significant design and budget problems. Sadly most of these projects do not have the desired outcome, and often a professional designer is later called to correct issues causing further cost to the homeowner. Savvy homeowners call in the pros from the beginning recognizing the value of experience and ready to invest in professional services to get professional results.

Now, with the daily changes with suppliers, resources, and vendors and the increased demand for experienced contractors, the value of what a skilled professional designer brings to your project is more significant than ever.

TWO

Make a list of all long term design and renovation projects you would like to tackle in your home. Review this list with your designer; discuss your priorities. Listen to your designer’s advice about what makes the most sense regarding what to tackle first. Understanding the process and what is involved will help you phase your project in a way that avoids costly backtracking. Choose a designer with history and the experience to deal with phasing a long term renovation on a professional level, setting your project up for success right from the beginning.

THREE

List specific challenges with your home’s function and tell your designer how you want your home to feel. Some of the solutions that you might be thinking of might not necessarily solve your challenges. Listing your specific challenges, needs, and goals will help you ensure that your challenges are all addressed. Most pros will ask the needed questions to solve your design problems, but be sure to discuss them at your first meeting with a pro. Homeowners may have ideas on how to solve these issues; listen to what the pros bring to the table as they are looking at your home in a different light and with years of experience that they can add to your project. A great designer will listen to your ideas, create something that you love, and help you meet your overall goals.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Country Estate Project- Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

Country Estate Project - Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

A few weeks ago, I showed you the transformation of the master suite. This week, I am excited to share a video tour of my finished country estate project. I would like to tell you about the transformation we did in this lovely home’s kitchen/family room area. 

Recently the home’s new owners contacted me to design an extensive transformation of the space. Dated cabinetry and materials, old appliances, and an inferior layout frustrated the new homeowners, who were very excited to see what I had planned for the space. 


This stately home is an older 1700s era colonial. In the 1980s, a large contemporary addition had been added to the back of this home, keeping the large old original fireplace but adding a multitude of contemporary features that were not fitting to the home.

The awkward kitchen layout did not allow for any flow into the kitchen but created a strange barrier you continuously had to walk around to get in and out of the confined small feeling kitchen. The two stairways added in the previous addition, a pink and brass spiral stairway, and a strange drop-down set of stairs into the family room created more strange barriers in this home.

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One of the things that I wanted to improve in this kitchen space is the flow from one room to the other it’s a vast space that’s open to a living area. I wanted to open things up to give them more seating, more entertaining area, and I wanted to open up the kitchen floor so that you didn’t have to walk around the peninsula to get into the kitchen space like the former kitchen.

I came up with a design that incorporated two large custom islands. Designing beautiful custom cabinetry allowed us to develop exactly the right sized islands with the room’s proper configuration. Creating needed storage, more entertainment areas, and countertop space drastically improved the space’s design proportionally and visually.

The stairways were both changed. The homeowners immediately removed the spiral stairs before the design. We updated the look of that oak stairway with gleaming white paint to tie in the architecture to the rest of the design project. The awkward set of stairs and existing cabinetry in the living space were all removed, re-configured, and re-built. Now you can walk right out of the kitchen area into the family room. All new custom cabinetry in the living area allowed us to create a larger walkway around the stairway, which was necessary for this family. It also allowed us it clearly define the family room area and display their beautiful collections.

This kitchen and family room did come with the most beautiful view of the surrounding fields and woodland areas, so I developed a color scheme that took advantage of nature’s artwork. My homeowner’s love of traditional design elements inspired me to create this space, which ties in perfectly to the original older, more traditional style architecture.

However, we also added state of the art Decor appliances, complete with interactive cooking technology, quartz countertops, gleaming hardware, classic fixtures, and custom furnishings. I hope you will take a few minutes to tour the space with me in the video.

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

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