Common Design Mistakes

Common Design Mistakes

Recently I was interviewed on a local television show; I’ll share this interview with you soon. The host of the show asked me a question, “what are the most common design mistakes that you see people make in their homes?

The truth is, there are several very common mistakes that I see when I go into people’s homes. I don’t always consider poor design choices mistakes because I believe anytime someone is trying to improve their home, it’s a great thing and a great way to learn. However, for a busy homeowner that doesn’t have the time or extra funds to experiment and learn by experimentation, some professional advice or a professionally designed project is always the best way to go.
Unfortunately, because of reality TV, homeowners are led to believe that the solving of their design issues is very simple as long as they buy specific products and use generic design ideas. No wonder homeowners are not getting the results that they want. They are confused and led to believe that they could quickly and easily achieve the equivalent of high-end design.

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Here are some of the most common things that I see:

ONE

Trying to fit too much into a space. Most people do not have a great idea of spatial awareness and can visualize how much space an item will take up in a room. Therefore, when homeowners are doing projects independently, they vastly overestimate the number of items that can go into a room and the size of those items. Proper spatial planning involves knowing the exact size of items you’re bringing into a space and the amount of room you need for clearances for traffic flow and maneuverability. The amount of room and space that it takes to live in a room around the items you put into the room leads to buying expensive furniture pieces that do not fit and do not function well in your home. These are problematic errors to correct, as it usually involves replacing pieces or changing the design of a room to Accommodate these poorly oversized items.

TWO

Conflicting design ideas. This is another common mistake I can see. People are over-exposed to so many different ideas, design trends, and products for their homes. Design ideas are like tools; You must know which ideas to use and when to use them. If I have a specific design challenge that I’m trying to solve in a space, I know which design ideas will accomplish this as an experienced professional. Homeowners often have access to design tools but don’t know how to execute these ideas we needed properly. For instance, not every home needs an accent wall or crown molding. These are great design details and tools that I use when I’m trying to create something specific. Also, not every design idea should go into a home. Homeowners are confused; the media and corporations are trying to sell products to homeowners trying to solve their design issues. The problem is purchases do not solve some design problems. The result is homeowners are purchasing items for their homes more than ever, but not necessarily solving their design problems.

THREE

Purchasing products too soon. This is quite common as everyone is excited when they take on a new project. A well-executed design project involves thorough and exact planning well before products are purchased. When this step is skipped, the desired results are always compromised. A complete and detailed design plan prepared by a professional will eliminate design errors, and you will be able to draw from the years of experience of a pro. This will give you the desired finished product, a beautiful and functional room, without purchasing items that you regret buying.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

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

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

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

Filling Your Home With Fragrance

Filling Your Home With Fragrance

Truly great design is not just visually impactful. Yes, it must be visually appealing, but It must also be functional and appeal to the other senses. I believe that a truly great design must impact all of our senses.

The sense of touch can be impacted while wrapping yourself in a soft fluffy throw blanket in your living room. The sense of Fragrance is one of the final details that can complete the feel of a room and bring a sense of comfort to your home.

Recently my adult son walked into my home and commented on how the house smelled like he remembered his childhood home smelling. This is a different home than where we lived when he was a child, but the scented candle that I was burning in the living room was a familiar scent that I commonly used in that previous home. For him, it was the scent of home. The sense of smell can be very strong and it really is amazing how a familiar fragrance can bring up memories of space and give you a feeling of comfort.

I certainly believe that scents can be used in the design of a space to touch all of the senses. A few years ago while designing an oceanfront designer show house (click to read the blog), I enhanced the coastal ambiance of that coastal design that I created in that home with coastal scented candles. The scent was a mix of salty water air and fresh cotton which complemented the design for that space. This certainly enhanced the experience for those touring the newly designed home.
At last year’s local holiday house home tour, I decorated a beautiful home for the holidays (click to read the blog) that many people came to tour and enjoy the decorations, it was no coincidence that the home was filled with the scents of pine and gingerbread. I used scents to complement the decor once again. I placed the scent of pine in the main living room and gingerbread in the home’s kitchen, which was decorated with an assortment of Christmas confections.
This is an example of how, as a designer, I use scents to enhance the experience of a space.
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1. Choose a single fragrance that you love.

The fragrance that you choose for your home is a very personal choice.  You might have to experiment to find that fragrance. But when you do then you know you have a place to start. This main fragrance might be the fragrance that you use in your living room or the main spaces of your home.

2. Fragrances can come in many forms.

Scented candles in all varieties, including soy, beeswax, and coconut oil-based candles. You could also use diffusers that disperse essential oils in a mist, these work great, just remember to size the diffuser properly to the size of the space that you will be using it in. The diffuser should tell you the size of the room that it should cover. Reed diffusers, scented room sprays, even fresh mixtures of assorted fruits and spices can be used to scent a room. A pot of water simmering on the stove with a mixture of fresh fruits spices or essential oils can be very fragrant. Experiment to see which form of fragrance you prefer or layer them to experience the same scent in different forms.

3. Don’t mix different scents in the same room.

This can be done, but it can be tricky and it takes some practice. Think of a bouquet of beautifully arranged fresh flowers. The mix of complementary fragrances can be fabulous. But when working with scented candles or scented oils the fragrance can be much more concentrated or it might already be mixed with several other scents so this takes some experimentation.

4. Use different but complementary scents throughout your home.

If you a using a scented candle in your living room, the diffuser in the kitchen can be using a different scent, just make sure it’s appealing when walking from one room into the other.

At the end of a long day when the world seems crazy, adding a little detail like fragrance might not seem important but it does help you to feel good about being in your home. It’s so nice to walk into a space that’s been well thought out for you and your lifestyle, adding the touch of a scent that you love will bring you comfort whenever you walk into your home.

Until next time,

Gia

From The Blog

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