Tips

What kind of Art you should hang in your house

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Have you ever thought about what kind of art would look best in your room? Or maybe you are trying to decided between several art options for your space. Let me give you a little advise:

  • Personal art (photos) are to remain in personal spaces: bedrooms only.

  • Pick two to three types of artwork; photography, oil, paper, acrylic, etc.

  • Now pick 5 colors that you like (I usually suggest one cool color (blue,green,purple) and one warm color (yellow, orange, red) along with 1 additional cool or warm color, and two neutral colors.

  • Find art work that has only the colors you have chosen and that are the type of artwork you have chosen. By doing this, you have created a color scheme for your home.

  • It is usually best to have neutral colored walls where you plan to hang your art, unless your artwork is only a neutral color (Neutral, Black, Grey, White, etc.).

  • Your frame is arguably one of the most import parts of your artwork. A rustic wooden frame can make a room feel casual, while a silver leaf frame with a double white matte can make a room look elegant. If you choose to get your artwork professionally framed, tell the framer what feeling you want your home to have- this will help him/her narrow down what options will best fit that feeling. And of course- consult a designer!

  • See my post [HERE]: the 5 best ways to display art

  • See my post [HERE]: the 10 best website to buy art

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What you should know about retail furniture

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Retail furniture vendors like Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, West Elm, etc. have always been a great source for the general public to purchase their furniture needs. However, being a designer, I want to let you in on a secret- almost none of these vendors make their own products. They buy their furniture from wholesalers around the world including China, India, and various other locations, often commissioning these manufacturers to make “exclusive” designs specifically for the retailers.

Ever wondered why the quality of one piece of furniture was so much better or worse than another at the same retail store? It’s probably because different manufacturers made them. Each manufacturer will have their own standards, own materials, own methods, etc. that will be different from the next. Some will be made with better materials, some not-so-much. Most retailers, while they might have “standards”, often times rarely enforce these standards at the manufacturing level, often producing less than high-quality furniture.

There are a few exceptions to this like Ethan Allen, a manufacturer and retailer who owns and runs their own manufacturing plants around the world, allowing them to have quality control over every item they sell.  

Before you dismiss all retail furniture - consider your lifestyle. All levels of furniture have a place in life, whether you have growing kids, young pets, or perhaps you are renting and don’t own your home yet, a lower level furniture purchase can be a perfect fit for your lifestyle - they are durable enough to survive a few years, but after some time, they will begin to show their flaws and you will want to start looking for a replacement for these, which often times is a perfect moment in life to considering buying a high quality piece- once the kids are old enough to not be jumping on the furniture or spilling their drinks and food, or once your pet is old enough to not scratch or chew on your furniture, or once you have purchased a home and have “settled down”.

Perhaps you are in a different phase of life completely, maybe you already own your home, and you are wanting quality pieces of furniture to last for many years to come. This is not the time to buy retail furniture! It might be tempting to, simply because retail furniture items are cheaper than custom or semi-custom pieces, but don’t be swayed- keep in mind you are purchasing furniture now that should last you the rest of your life- or longer. But, should you choose to ignore my advise, and want to purchase retail furniture, please be extremely careful- this could just be a waste of money, and in the end you could end up spending more than you would have if you just went with custom or semi-custom furniture from a quality manufacturer.

A great way to determine if you are buying quality furniture is to understand how furniture is made. See my blog post [HERE] that will tell you everything to look for when purchasing furniture. Also, you could simply ask the sales person in any retail store how their furniture is made and what makes it different from any other manufacturer. If they can’t answer this question, or if their responses are vague, wrong, misleading, or they don’t know, I would suggest you ask a manager or for another associate for assistance. This is usually a sign that this is not a quality furniture store. Also, beware, some associates will lie directly to your face simply to get a sale, so be sure to do your own homework. Often times the furniture you are investing in will last longer than the home you purchase, or the car you drive, so you want to make sure it is a quality investment.  

Designers have access to quality wholesalers and manufacturers that the public does not. And a good designer will have done the research on each of these manufacturers to have a better understanding of the quality of furnishings they produce and should be able to share this information with you.  

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Top 7 Questions to ask your Interior Designer before hiring them

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Every designer is different and they all run their businesses a little differently, but there are several questions that you need to ask every designer during every interview:

Start by saying “Let’s review your Contract(s) and make sure we are on the same page”:

1. What will you need from me before getting started?

2. How do you charge, and when will I be billed?

3. Please explain to me how your design process flows, and at what points you will need me most? (You may end up having several more questions after this question based on your designers responses).

4. When will you purchase my furniture/art/accessories?

5. When will the furniture/art/accessories be delivered, and by whom?

5. Will you be attending the deliveries? This is often referred to as the installation date(s) by designers.

6. How will you follow up with me after the installation?

7. When will I know the design process is completed?

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How to Determine Your Budget

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Let’s not focus on what you “should” spend, but instead what you are comfortable with. I like to call it value engineering- we can mix higher end items with lower end items- it all depends on where you want to invest your money. For instance if you like to entertain people and often have movie nights, I would suggest putting more a focus on a comfortable sofa and seating arrangement and less on accessories or art- we can find some great options at a fraction of the cost. Or if you like to surround yourself with well curated accessories, we can put more focus on these items, and less on the furniture in the room.

Now what would you feel comfortable investing into the purchase of your sofa? $10,000? $6,500? $3,000?

*** go through each item in the room- keep a running budget list going. Once you have gone through all large items in a room, add up all items- this is now your rough budget.***

 

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Is my designer charging me too much?

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I get this question a lot. And the short answer is it depends. It depends on the scope of your project, the size of your house, the location, the market, if you want project management included in the designers fee, the contractors needed, etc. all of these factors will affect your designers fee. There’s no set standard fee for a designers services because there is no one project that is identical to another.

That may not be the answer you are looking for, so to be a little more specific, consider that most designers charge anywhere from $75-$1500 an hour. That will depend on your location, the designers experience and the scope of their work. If you are working on a commercial project (restaurant, office, etc), often times designers will charge a flat rate that can vary from $3/sf-$20/sf. 

A healthy budget for product is usually around 10% of the cost of your home. For instance if you bought a $100,000 home, you should expect to pay $10,000 in home goods. So if your designer is budgeting for right around 10% of the market value of your home, they are probably right on target. This 10% budget is a good example for any middle class family who is looking for quality pieces mixed with affordable pieces. I would suggest not going any lower than this, or you will be replacing your furniture far too often since cheap furniture will break down at much faster rate than any quality piece. You could also increase this budget signifanctlly if you are looking to purchase only heirloom quality furniture and accessories. But 10% should give you a good starting point for product price ranges. 

Not to mention a designer also has to consider their profit margins. In order for a designer to stay in business, they must have a profit margin. Asking someone to adjust their profit margins for you and your project simply because you believe they should make less on your project than they would be is not only rude but could be considered insulting. Would you ask your doctor to lower their profit margins on the prescription drug they are going to give you simply because you have already paid a fee to see them? Most of us don’t even think twice about this, so why would a designer be willing to negotiate with you on this? 

So so if you are concerned that your designee is charging you too much, take a look at;

1. The designer. How many years experience do they have? What qualifications do they have? Do they have any designations (ASID, CID, etc)? How many clients have they had? Are the fees they are charging reflective of this information?

2. Your budget. How much are you willing to spend? I’ve given you an outline of what to expect on furnishings and the hourly rate you can expect from a designer listed above, so what are you ready to spend your budget on? 

Other options you have:

I’ve had clients who are willing to pay for my services by the hour, but want to purchase the furniture at a later date due to budget constraints. Some designers can be flexible like this and work with your budget over a period of time. 

Another option is to ask your designer to only shop retail locations and you can purchase their furniture on your own. Keep in mind, with retail stores, their furnishings are fashionable, and can often be discontinued, so don’t wait too long to get that perfect sofa or table lamp, because it could be gone next week.  

I now only offer clients retail shopping lists through my online design service package, this way my clients can purchase at their leisure, whenever the budget allows. I feel that this takes a lot of the pressure off of the client-designer relationship and puts the client in charge of their finances, which most clients seem to enjoy.  

 

Every designer has their own way of running their business, and unless you ask for a breakdown of services versus product, you may think their overall fee is very high, but in actuality, when you break everything down, their services and product fees are probably pretty accurate- that is if you have a good designer who understands what they are doing.  

Even if I am not the designer for you, I want you to be armed with all the knowledge I can share with you, so you can make the best decision for you and your home.  

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Get more for your vacation rental!

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If you have a vacation rental, or are considering renting your home out as a vacation rental, hiring a designer could help you get top dollar! 

A Designer will help layout your home so that it functions at its best and feels welcoming. Often times when we live in a space for a long period of time, we often overlook little details that a designer could point out that might make a guest feel unwelcome. For instance, family photos can add a touch of personality to a home, but it can also make a guest feel unwelcome- as if they are staying in a room that belongs to someone else. While this might literally be the case, you don't want a paying guest to feel as if they are staying in someone else's room.   

Designers are great at making a room feel pulled together, but also welcoming. Many designers offer design only services and paid-for advise (I do!), in which they will share their professional opinion on your room, so you can get top dollar!  

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Home Design Mistakes : Downsizing

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The most common mistakes I see people make in their homes has to do with scale. I have seen countless clients downsizing and trying to bring their over-sized furniture with them, only to discover that none of it fits in their new home. When you downsize, you need to also downsize your furniture so that your space doesn't feel overwhelmed.

If you are considering downsizing make sure to measure your furniture and measure your new home before you start to move. There's nothing worse than carting an 11 foot sofa to your new home to find out it won't fit and it will have to sit outside until you can figure out what to do with it.

It might be worth the money to hire a designer to do this work for you as well. A designer should be able to measure your existing furniture and measure your new space and let you know what pieces you should take with you and what pieces you should sell or give away. 

Another rule of thumb is to only bring quality furniture with you. That table from IKEA should not come with you, there's no sense in keeping low quality furniture like this in your new home. When you downsize and move into a smaller home, the small details like the quality of furniture will become more apparent in your new home since there will be much more valuable real estate in a smaller floor-plan.       

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How to work with an Interior Designer Part 2

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Part 2: How Designers Charge

There are several ways that a designer might charge for their time, but there are generally two most common: by the hour, or by the project. This can get tricky because the hours a designer spends on your project will vary from project to project. I have seen some designers charge by the hour, but bill in "bundles".

For instance a designer might bill a client for 50 hours, and when these hours are around 40-45, the designer will let the client know how much time remains in their account. Should they want to purchase more time, they can buy an additional bundle.

Other designers might bill by the hour and send an invoice every week or every other week.

And then there are some designers who bill their clients based on the project. Most of the time, clients generally prefer this method so there are no "hidden" fees or questions about how many hours were spent on any particular part of a project. This method of billing is usually for the more seasoned designer as they will need to know how many hours they can allocate to the project, and must have a sense of what the client is expecting of them. 

Find out how your designer charges for their projects and see what is the best fit for you and your project. Be mindful of how long a project will take by asking a designer how much time they think your project will require. Also, be mindful of your own time. Do you want to spend 10 minutes talking with your designer on the phone about the exact shade of blue you want for your sofa? Or could that conversation wait and be combined with your other burning questions in a 30 minute meeting? 

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How to Work with an Interior Designer (when you have never worked with one before)

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PART 1

What you will need in advance:

- idea of what you want to accomplish. For instance, is your goal to have more seating for those family get togethers? Or is your goal to have a tranquil place for you to relax and do yoga? Or maybe you want a space that just feels tied together. Whatever your goal is, know what you want to accomplish. 

- know what your budget is, or at least what you would feel comfortable spending. Is $15,000 too much for a sofa? Is $5,000? If you don't know what your budget is, your designer should be able to help you define that, but be prepared to have a conversation about budget and what you feel comfortable spending. 

- have an idea of what you are attracted to. Make a pinterest or houzz board and be prepared to share these boards with your designer. This will not only help your designer narrow down your options for you, but it will also help you get a better idea of what your personal style is, and what you are or are not attracted to.   

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Do You Need an Interior Designer?

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So you have a home project, and you are considering hiring an Interior Designer, but do you really need one? It will all depend on what your goals are for your home. Interior Designers Usually Offer the following services:

  • Site assessments & design programming
  • Space planning
  • Product & material research
  • Product & material selections
  • Appliance & equipment selections
  • Plumbing fixture selections
  • Project administration
  • Order management
  • Delivery & scheduling
  • White-glove installation
  • Coordination with Allied Professionals & Consultants
  • Exterior residential designs
  • Site plans (based off existing survey)
  • Permit plans (Existing & Proposed)
  • Partition & furniture plans
  • Detailed kitchen & bath plans
  • Construction & demolition plans
  • Power & communication plans
  • Reflected ceiling plan
  • Interior elevations
  • Detail & section plans
  • 3D perspectives in colour renditions
  • In-house shop drawings (a specialty)
  • Specifications

And often times designer will even offer smaller services like paint selection, etc. for a small fee. Each person has a different goal for their home, some people don't like making decisions like these, so they hire a designer to cover all aspects of their project.

Other people would like to be involved through the entire process and would even like some DIY projects. You will want to know at least how much you would like to be involved in the process prior to hiring a designer. Based on your desire to be involved will affect how much you need a designer. 

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How To Tell Your Interior Decorator or Designer NO

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The one question that I heard from so many people looking for an interior designer or decorator, is that they are afraid to hire a designer because they are afraid that a designer will take over their home and they won't know how to tell them no. I have one very simple answer, simply tell them how you feel.

If you feel a designer or decorator is taking over your home, and it no longer says "you", simply tell them that you feel they are not considering your needs and desires, and that your home no longer has your personality in it. A good designer will take this into account and adjust their approach. A not-so-good designer may not take this into account, in which case, feel free to fire them. Seriously- it may seem harsh, but there are plenty of other designers and decorators in the world, and your area that you can connect with. 

Working with a designer is like being in a relationship, when it's working, its great, but when it's not working, it's time to just cut the ties and let them go. So be sure to check in with yourself, and ask if the relationship you have with your designer or decorator is good for you. Becuase at the end of the day, YOU are the one who will have to live in your home, the designer simply gets to walk away from the project and move onto the next.     

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What to do with an extra closet

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Got an extra closet that you don't know what to do with?

Try these ideas:

Convert you closet into an office nook with a desk and chair. 

Closet by the entry door? Try a bench with a couple pillows and some storage including coat hangers on the wall. 

Guest Bedroom Closets can also make a great headboard nook. Try something that will wow your guest like a pop of color on the wall or wallpaper.

Turn it into a reading nook with a chair, side table and bookcase. 

 

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How to Organize and De-clutter Your Home Part 5

How to Organize Your Home:

You should have a designated space to keep Emergency Information as well as Personal Information. If something were to happen to you, and your family needed access to these types of documents, you don’t want them to have to dig around through your desk, spending hours of precious time looking for what they need. Here are some of the items I suggest you keep in a safe place:

 

  • Marriage Certificate

  • Birth Certificate

  • Adoption Papers

  • Citizenship Records

  • Divorce Papers

  • House Deed

  • Mortgage Papers

  • Death Certificate

  • Automobile Titles

  • Service Papers

  • Leases /Contracts

  • Will

  • Patents and Copyrights  

  • Passports

  • Life Insurance Policy

  • Health Insurance Card (s)

  • Copy of your License

  • Medical Directives (should you not be able to speak on your own behalf, a medical directive will ensure your decisions are followed)

  • Emergency Medical Contacts (primary physician’s phone number, etc)

  • Medical Information (blood type, allergies, etc)

  • Up to date photo of everyone in your family, including your pets (in case someone goes missing)

  • Finger Prints

  • Pet Insurance

If security is a concern of yours, then store these documents in a safe, locked drawer, or in a safety deposit box. Here are the items I suggest you store in a secured space.

That wraps up our 5 part series of how to Organize and Declutter Your Home! Now is the time to buy my e-book on Amazon for a copy of your own list of items to consider when trying to organize and declutter your home. 

 

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    How to Organize and De-clutter Your Home Part 4

    Here is a Declutter Checklist for your entire home:

    Kitchen

    • Create Space for Every Item

    • Donate Mismatched Items (Dishes, Cups, etc)

    • Toss Old Coffee Mugs and any dishware with a stain

    • Limit Water Bottles

    • Add Drawer Dividers

    • Toss Stained, Mismatched or Broken Food Containers

    • Throw out all old Spices and Expired Foods

    Bathroom

    • Toss Old Shampoo/Body Lotion, etc. Bottles

    • Limit yourself to 2 shampoos/conditioner, lotions, etc.  

    • Limit hairstylers, and store them in a basket or under your sink- out of sight.

    • If it hasn’t been used in three months, toss it.

     

    Linen Closet:

    • Toss old towels and sheets that are stained or frayed

    • Toss towels and sheets that don’t match

     

    Office:

    • Tackle one drawer at a time.

    • Bundle like items together (Pens & Pencils, Envelopes, etc)

    • Shred Papers that are not needed

      • After 1 Month: Receipts, Deposit/ ATM slips, Reconciled Bank Statements

      • 1-3 Years: Paycheck Stubs, Mortgage Statements, Expired Insurance Records, Charity Donation Receipts

      • 7 Years: Tax Returns, W-2 & 1099, Medical Statements, Real Estate Tax Forms

    Your Closet:

    • Have you worn it in the last 6 months?

    • Will you wear it in the next two weeks?

    • If it is Broken/ Has any holes, will you get them fixed?

    • Does it fit well?

    • Would you buy it now?


    If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, then keep it, however if you answered “no” to any of these, then you should probably toss it.

     

    Check out the entire series on my e-book on Amazon Here:

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    Why Interior Designers Need Architects

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    This might seem like an obvious topic, but Interior Designers need Architects just as much as Architects need Interior Designers. Architects and Designers should function like two halves of one brain. The Architect plans out the structure of the building, consulting other professionals (Electrical Engineers, Structural Engineers, Plumbing Engineers, etc.) to make sure their designs will be structurally sound, while Designers make sure the space will function properly. Together Architects and Designer's can accomplish great things, but apart, they can often times over look certain areas outside of their expertise. This is why it is best to hire an Architect to create your structure and Construction Documents to build from, but also to consult a Designer to make sure the layout will function just as well inside as it will outside. 

    If you have never worked with an Architect or Designer before, think of the Architect as the person who is responsible for building the exterior of your home, making sure it will stand up and remain standing, and making sure your HVAC (Heating/Cooling), Plumbing, and Electricity are placed properly and will work their best. They are also responsible for making sure your home meets all required codes, and that the energy your home will use will have a minimal impact on your community (and your wallet). Designers are responsible for making sure the inside of your home will function to the best of its ability. For instance, you don't want your kitchen placed too far away from your garage because when you bring groceries home, you don't want to be dragging your grocery bags across your entire house or upstairs, etc. You also don't want to walk into a room that has all the light switches placed at the opposite side of the room. 

    So when you are starting your next big home project, be sure to consult both an Architect and a Designer to make sure your home is the best it can be.   

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    Why Architects Need Interior Designers

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    I decided to write this blog post because I strongly believe that more Interior Designers need to work with Architects, and more Architects need to work with Interior Designers. 

    This blog concept started when I began a new project of an existing penthouse suite and noticed that the Architecture in this unit was very abnormal. Once I began to place standard sized furniture into this floorplan, I noticed that the Architecture clearly had not been thought all the way through to the function of the space.    

     1.  I circled this area because in a Master Bedroom such as this, you generally want the furniture centered on each wall. For instance in this room the King Bed is placed on the center of one wall, and the dresser, with a TV is mounted on the opposite wall. This wall seems like a load bearing wall, so it is structural and can not be moved, however, it should have been framed flush with the structural beam so that the wall was flat and the dresser could be place on center with the bed. After all, if you were watching TV in bed, you don't want your head to be turned the entire time, that would be uncomfortable.     2. This is a junction box which is where the dining room lighting was intended to be. But based on the shape of the room, and the location of the cable for the TV, the layout as you see it here is the only way this room will function with the furniture provided. So why is this junction box so far away from where the dining room table is placed? An Architect clearly should have at least asked a designer to place some furniture in the floor plan before building this unit so that these details would have been thought out more.    3. This is another structural column, and though there is not much you can do about this, if this client wanted drapery, there would not be enough space for the drapes to pass between the column and the windows, which would create a light gap, and no one wants that. The only solution here is to do a shade. And I would highly suggest a motorized shade so that the client doesn't have to reach around this column to control the shade.    4. Why so many doors? Why not just one door for the bathroom and one for the bedroom? And how ugly this must look from outside the building, to see a pocket door that doesn't line up with the mullions of the window. Who wants to see the edge of a door frame? No one. Unfortunately this is another example of this design not being thought all the way through from concept to functional completion.   5. This room is a secondary master (usually intended for vacation homes shared by more than 1 family or multi-generational families) and while this room is intended for two adults to stay in this space, the room is a little too small. As you can see the closet doors are running into the nightstand, making this door unusable. Although we could remove the nightstand all together, and the room might function better, it is best to have balance (and equality) in a room meant for two people. Most nightstands are 24"-30" wide, while these are only 20" wide, the space is already pretty tight. Nightstands are usually 24"-30" because they are designed to have a table lamp on top to provide task lighting (for those late nights with your laptop or book), and most table lamps have a base 8"-24" in diameter. Another solution could have been to move the bed to the opposite wall, however it is bad feng-shui to have to turn your head to see who is coming into the room. The cable is also on the wall where the dresser is currently located which would be costly to move the cable to the opposing wall. This is another example of a room that wasn't clearly thought out. It should have been a little larger to allow for all the needed furniture.  

    1.  I circled this area because in a Master Bedroom such as this, you generally want the furniture centered on each wall. For instance in this room the King Bed is placed on the center of one wall, and the dresser, with a TV is mounted on the opposite wall. This wall seems like a load bearing wall, so it is structural and can not be moved, however, it should have been framed flush with the structural beam so that the wall was flat and the dresser could be place on center with the bed. After all, if you were watching TV in bed, you don't want your head to be turned the entire time, that would be uncomfortable.   

    2. This is a junction box which is where the dining room lighting was intended to be. But based on the shape of the room, and the location of the cable for the TV, the layout as you see it here is the only way this room will function with the furniture provided. So why is this junction box so far away from where the dining room table is placed? An Architect clearly should have at least asked a designer to place some furniture in the floor plan before building this unit so that these details would have been thought out more.  

    3. This is another structural column, and though there is not much you can do about this, if this client wanted drapery, there would not be enough space for the drapes to pass between the column and the windows, which would create a light gap, and no one wants that. The only solution here is to do a shade. And I would highly suggest a motorized shade so that the client doesn't have to reach around this column to control the shade.  

    4. Why so many doors? Why not just one door for the bathroom and one for the bedroom? And how ugly this must look from outside the building, to see a pocket door that doesn't line up with the mullions of the window. Who wants to see the edge of a door frame? No one. Unfortunately this is another example of this design not being thought all the way through from concept to functional completion. 

    5. This room is a secondary master (usually intended for vacation homes shared by more than 1 family or multi-generational families) and while this room is intended for two adults to stay in this space, the room is a little too small. As you can see the closet doors are running into the nightstand, making this door unusable. Although we could remove the nightstand all together, and the room might function better, it is best to have balance (and equality) in a room meant for two people. Most nightstands are 24"-30" wide, while these are only 20" wide, the space is already pretty tight. Nightstands are usually 24"-30" because they are designed to have a table lamp on top to provide task lighting (for those late nights with your laptop or book), and most table lamps have a base 8"-24" in diameter. Another solution could have been to move the bed to the opposite wall, however it is bad feng-shui to have to turn your head to see who is coming into the room. The cable is also on the wall where the dresser is currently located which would be costly to move the cable to the opposing wall. This is another example of a room that wasn't clearly thought out. It should have been a little larger to allow for all the needed furniture.  

    It is because of errors like this that Interior Designers are so crucial when building new homes, or remodels. No one wants to be surprised when their furniture can not fit in the room. After all, most people live in their homes for about 10 years (on average) before moving to another location, and they usually bring their existing furniture with them into their new space. So to all those who are considering moving or buying a new home, measure your furniture and make sure it fits in your home prior to purchasing!    

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    The Best Material For Your Kitchen Countertop

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    There are many options when it comes to countertop material options including some of my favorites:

     

    • Granite

    • Marble

    • Travertine

    • Terrazzo

    • Quartzite

    • Limestone

    • Onyx

     

    Most countertop materials are made of a natural stone, however there are some Quartz (composite materials) that are made to look like the real stone but hold up to wear and tear much better than a natural stone. For example:

    • ColorQuartz

    • Caesarstone

    • Cambria

    • Silestone

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    The Best Dimensions for Your Kitchen

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    To ensure your kitchen  is functional, comfortable, and safe, use the following dimensions - all of which are suggested minimums unless otherwise noted.

    Countertops: 36" Height, 25" Depth

    Drawers: 4+" Height, 22" Depth

    Vanity Base: 32-34.5" Height, 18-21" Depth

    Medicine Cabinet: 30" Height, 4" Depth

    Lower Cabinets (kitchen): 34.5" Height, 24" Depth

    Upper Cabinets: 30-42" Height, 12" Depth

    Space Between Countertop and Upper Cabinets: 18"


    You may have heard of the “perfect triangle” in a kitchen, where your appliances are located at each point of a triangle within your kitchen. For instance, look at the diagram on the right. Each space should be approximately 4-9 feet.

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    Interior Trim Tips from a Professional Interior Designer

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    • The best baseboard size is usually 6” tall, but can range from 4”-8”.

    • Windows that have casing often frame a window nicely, especially if you don’t have window treatments. So if you have the option to trim your windows, I suggest that you do.

    • When picking your door casing I suggest to use the same casing as the window if possible so that you have consistency.

    • Adding crown moulding can make a room feel more elegant, but keep in mind if you are on a budget, it can be very costly.  

    Want to learn more? CLICK HERE and sign up for my e-course "Everything You Need to Know about Interior Design". 

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    How to Choose the Best Wood Flooring for Your Home

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    There are many types of wood flooring options that come in many different sizes, shapes, and variations. Wood is durable, and can help absorb sound.

    Hardwood comes in many different types of species, board widths, colors, textures, hardness, finish. Hardwood typically costs $3- $10 a square foot. The following are some of the most common wood floor species:

    • Ash

    • Beech

    • Birch

    • Cherry

    • Maple

    • Walnut

    • Teak

    • Oak

    • Pine

    • Cork

    • Bamboo (is actually a grass, not wood, but is often categorized as wood flooring).


    You can paint wood floors using traditional oil-based enamel wood paint, or latex enamel wood paint. Try get a paint that contains polyurethane. This chemical adds strength and is great for slightly humid environments. If you can’t find one, you can always apply a coat of polyurethane afterwards so don’t worry about it. There are four levels of sheen for wood paint and each has a different reflective quality defined by the percentages below. Starting from the shiniest, they are glossy (75%), semi-gloss (55%), satin (40%) and matte (20%).

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