• Cozy Corner

    Cozy Corner

    A built in breakfast nook is two things we love rolled into one: aesthetically pleasing AND functional. They maximize the use of space in your kitchen or dining area while looking and feeling oh-so-cozy and elegant. Take a look at some of these great examples:




    The colorful use of pillows and whimsical window treatments can make a simple corner a beautiful getaway. Customizable seating pads also make it easy to add a pop of color to a boring space. A nook is an easy area to make a dramatic change. Contact our designers for some fun ideas and start transforming your space from drab to fab!

     

  • Small Business Saturday! How do you Celebrate Local Designers?

    Small Business Saturday! How do you Celebrate Local Designers?

    In the afterglow of Thanksgiving arrives the madness of holiday shopping frenzies. Big box stores like Best Buy and Walmart have black Friday (dare we recall the horror stores of years past), and online retailers like Amazon have Cyber Monday deals with offers like free shipping. For the past two years, following American Express’s hugely successful original campaign, small businesses have Small Business Saturday. Call us biased (we are!) but we think it’s the best of the three. Because it’s in the immediate wake of Thanksgiving and looking toward the winter holidays, we really feel it’s the event that most relates to the spirit of the holidays; that is: giving back to our communities and reaching out with open arms and hearts. While we understand that Small Business Saturday is commercially, not charitably, motivated it’s still a way to participate in the betterment of your community. Small businesses have long been the backbone of the American economy and the birthplace of the American dream. And think about it, all you have to do is shop! Small businesses typically offer small batch goods–ensuring you’re getting something well-made and sometimes locally sourced (certainly so in our case!). So you’ve got nothing to lose! Get out there and support small businesses on Saturday. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing you!

    Below we’ve posted a few images of recent custom work–all of our custom furniture is made in North Carolina using the best local natural resources, and of course, is made by the most skilled local craftsmen.

    Like what you see? Check out our services and come have a chat with us this Saturday! 

  • Choosing the Upholstery Fabric to Suit your Lifestyle

    Choosing the Upholstery Fabric to Suit your Lifestyle

    When we talk about upholstery and reupholstery projects, we typically focus on the aesthetic effect–we want it to look good. But it’s also really important to consider how you’re using that piece of furniture, and how your lifestyle might affect its appearance and longevity. So by all means begin with what appeals to you visually, then consider how it might work in your home.

    These are the three lifestyle factors I think everyone should consider when choosing fabric for upholstery:

    1. Kids. Children are wonderful…and messy! It’s really no fun to have to ban children (or anyone for that matter ;) from using a particular piece of furniture in the home. So it’s probably wise to avoid: white or very light colored fabrics (as these will show every spill and smear of dirt), and delicate fabrics like many silks and suedes (these don’t do well with even small spills or oils–from sweaty basketball gear or post-snack fingers–because they don’t like soap or water, thus making a tiny little blot-up job nearly impossible.
    2. Pets. Let’s face it, regardless of how much we’d like to keep our pets off of our furniture, our constant companions have a way of earning their spot on our couches as easily as they won a spot in our hearts. They’re messy too! Even if you have indoor cats who aren’t tracking in mud from outside, they will still shed all over your lovely furniture! Dogs can be rough and tumble. In addition to dragging in dirt and muck from outside, they have a tendency to inadvertently scratch as they leap on and off of furniture. To avoid the pet hair issue, choose a fabric in the similar color to your pet’s coat. To avoid the wear and tear of larger pets, choose a durable fabric–some wools are great, as are (surprisingly) heavyweight leathers, and heavyweight woven textiles are often the best of all.
    3. The Room’s Function. It’s important to understand how you’re going to use the room when choosing a suitable fabric for upholstery. If you live in a home of only adults without pets, and you’ll be using the room for quiet, messless activities, then you’re just about free to choose whatever fabrics you want (though I do warn against certain fabrics like dyed leathers and silks that spend a lot of time in direct sunlight). But if it’s a room where you might snack in front of the TV, or a place where you do art projects, or entertain guests with wine, then maybe you’ll consider choosing your upholstery fabric carefully. I often think patterns are a great way to hide small stains or blemishes (and many textiles do well when spot cleaned carefully) so they’re versatile for all kinds of upholstery needs.

    Considering your lifestyle when choosing upholstery isn’t meant to limit your options, but better understand how to make the piece as beautiful and functional as possible. Below is a small sample of recent upholstery work that we’ve done. Many are patterned, as you’ll notice;) We’re also thrilled to be carrying a whole new line of Laura Kirar fabrics, too. Feel free to post questions, fabric inquiries, or feedback in the comment field below. We’d love to hear from you!

     

     

     

     

     

  • Go Bold or Go Home: Color Trends in Interior Design

    Go Bold or Go Home: Color Trends in Interior Design

    In our recent post about choosing color palettes we explained the basics of interior design color schemes. Now that winter’s descending upon us, we’d like to take a look at a prevailing color trend: bold, vibrant splashes of color. Like the bright red cardinal against a drab winter landscape, we’re loving the look of assertive brights against a neutral backdrop (sleek grays and light creams are increasingly popular among contemporary designs, and tans and browns are popular among classic designs). Below are some pics and tips depending on how far you’d like to with your colors–from a splash or a wall-to-wall explosion:

    The above picture is Bright for Beginners. If you want to incorporate bright colors, but want to keep in low key, a great way is against a neutral backdrop–here they’ve used cream-colored furniture and carpet and and a beige wall. They’ve implemented the color with accent pillows (we love accent pillows!) of contrasting orange and blue, and small splashes of orange in the wall art. A great way to get started with small splashes of color is to choose a color from some of the existing artwork the room and highlight it with accent pillows, throws, and area rugs. All of these are non-permanents, so if you want to change them out in a few months, there’s no risk involved.

    For Intermediate color incorporation, do much as you would in the beginning phase with accent pillows and anything non-permanent, and add something more visible, and more fixed in the room’s landscape–like upholstering a sofa or armchair (pictured above) or choosing drapes or other window treatments to match the accent colors.

    For the Advanced color seekers who want a flood of sunshine in their interiors, we suggest layers of color. Don’t necessarily think monochrome, but incorporate the color, in different iterations and shades, in the room’s major elements. Bedding, wall color, window treatments, accent pillows, area rugs, and upholstery are all fair game. Just be sure to vary the shade of the color, and add some neutral elements as well to ensure it’s not blindingly bold. The picture above is an example of assertive but nuanced color. We think it shines beautifully!

    What are your fears/hopes/experiences/questions about color in interior design? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

    Photo credits, in respective order: http://arch-ideas.com/, freshome.com, http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/upload/68961438014422440_rSoNl4yi.jpg

  • Pillow Fight! Throw Pillows: Interior Design’s most Versatile Element

    Pillow Fight! Throw Pillows: Interior Design’s most Versatile Element

    Pillows are the easiest and most versatile when it comes to making small but impactful interior design changes. Having different throw pillows for different seasons, and even occasions, is an affordable way to keep your home’s interior design fresh and vibrant. Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when incorporating throw pillows into your existing home’s decor:

    1. Number. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, you should keep in mind the number of pillows you’re using. A safe number for contemporary homes would be three to five pillows. Two can seem a little matchy matchy, and exceeding five can seem cluttered and much more like a living room sleepover fort than a sleekly designed room. That said, if you have an especially large sectional, or a large living room area, it might be appropriate to have more than five.
    2. Size and Shape. A good guideline for square and circular pillows is to stick within the 18-24 inches range. For rectangular pillows there is more flexibility. Super long pillows (but short in height) can add interesting dimension when punctuated by a few (think odd numbered) traditional square pillows.
    3. Fabric. With fabric there are three things to keep in mind: 
    • Color: We really think throw pillows are an opportunity to have some fun with color. While we typically advise choosing a neutral color palette for the major, “unchangeables” in a room, here’s the time to spice it up. Think contrast. Think vibrant!
    • Pattern: Here’s another opportunity to let loose a bit. Patterns absolutely do not have to match. Pick a color group for the pillows and mix and match patterns. Stripes and florals are totally fine. Abstract patterns are welcome too. Sometimes tying the pattern to a piece of artwork or large area rug in the room can have a unifying effect.
    • Texture: Texture is often overlooked, and can add extra dimension to your decor. Feel free to mix a few textures too. Fabrics like linen, silk, wool, corduroy, satin, velvet, and woven textiles are particularly dynamic.

    Pillows are a great way to go a little wild without completely busying your sleek and peaceful home design. They’re an opportunity to take chances, and to make frequent changes, too. Go wild!

     

  • Applying Feng Shui in your Home’s Interior Design

    Applying Feng Shui in your Home’s Interior Design

    For those of you who don’t know, Feng Shui originated as an ancient Chinese system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings and their interiors. Because so few of us have control over the exterior coordination of our homes (unless we’re able to build wherever we like), and most of us have homes with an already established structure, or that are part of apartment or condominium complexes, the Feng Shui homeowners most take into consideration now is in interior design.

    While Feng Shui is an intricate system and to benefit from its effects fully you should hire a Feng Shui expert, there are some simple things you can easily apply on your own:

    1. Remove Clutter! Pick up your living spaces (especially your bedroom and most intimate rooms–living rooms, too). Feng Shui relies heavily on the flow of energy. It’s believed that if there’s a whole bunch of junk lying around, the energy will likely be blocked.
    2. Have Good Quality Air and Good Quality Light . These two elements are essential for good Qi (energy) in your home. Open the windows often, introduce air-purifying plants or use an air-purifier. Allow as much natural light as possible into your home, and whenever possible use full-spectrum lights.
    3. Define the Bagua of your home. The bagua is the Feng Shui map of your home. It will help you determine the best places to arrange your furniture in relationship to key Feng Shui elements (like Water, Earth, Wood, Fire, and Metal).
    4. Shut Closets, Drawers, and Doors at night. This allows for the most nourishing flow of energy while you sleep.
    5. Remove Electronics, especially in the bedroom at night. There is nothing like electronic energy to destroy beneficial and restorative qi while you sleep. Turn them off!
    6. Use Soothing Colors throughout your home, but particularly in places of rest, like the bedroom. This includes your decor (bedding, furniture colors, drapes, and wall color as well). Here’s a guide to Feng Shui colors.

    And ultimately, be mindful of the feel of your home. Feng Shui, in principle, is primarily about creating an environment for positive energy to thrive. If you feel happy and healthy in your home, imagine the kind of impact that could have on your everyday life!

  • Color Palettes and Interior Design

    Color Palettes and Interior Design

    One of the most exciting parts of making interior design changes in your home is choosing a color palette or color scheme. It’s a great starting point, and when done properly, a well chosen color scheme can:

    • Enhance feelings of health and well-being. It’s no secret that color can affect our mood, so it’s a great idea to have the right kind of color vibes going on in your home. Choosing color palettes that are relaxing and soothing is often a great idea for bedrooms, and cheery color palettes can be wonderful for kitchens and entertainment rooms.
    • Make a room feel warmer or cooler. If you’re in the deep south, your sun room might benefit from cooling slates, grays, blues, and whites for a refreshing icy feel. If you’re in Maine, warm hues like rust and yellows might make for a cozy, warm living space.
    • Illuminate dark areas. Got a room with few windows? Bright colors–whites are great–can help give the illusion of more natural light.
    • Create mystery and romance in boring areas. That small dining area off your kitchen kind of a dull space? Want to make it a great hangout for adults?  Try deep eggplants or bricks.
    • Energize stagnant-looking rooms. Want to turn that back storage room into a home office? It should be a vibrant, inviting place to work! Choose a color scheme that stimulates you. The below color scheme adds warmth and energy to this living room: 

     

    We love working within a specific color palette for several reasons:

    • Adds structure/offers a solid framework for interior design changes. If you know what color scheme you’d like (warm and toasty like the picture above) then you’ve done a ton to narrow down upholstery and window treatment options. It’s a great starting point.
    • Sticking to a strict color scheme can actually be very freeing! Within a given color scheme you can explore many different pattens; the color offers a unifying element so you’re freer to explore more varied patterns. There’s no reason you can’t have striped, floral, and various prints in the same room, especially if they’re tied together within the same color scheme.
    • You can choose a color scheme then break it! Well, not really. But a great way to create a vibrant look is to add a small punch of contrasting color within a color scheme, like in the photo below.
    Cool color palette gets a pop of contrasting orange.

     

     

     

    What’s your experience with color palettes? And how far do you like to go? Window treatments, wall color, upholstery color, all in the same palette typically? What are some variables? We’d love to hear from you in the comment field below!

     

     

  • Home Interior Design for the Holidays

    Home Interior Design for the Holidays

    As interior designers, we see an explosion of business before the holidays, which is always a very exciting time for us. Customers allow us into their homes and entrust us in making interior transitions (some large, some small) worthy of this important time of the year. It’s not too difficult to understand why the holidays spur  an almost sudden desire to make interior design changes. Some key motivators are:

    1. The holidays fall during colder weather. Colder weather drives us indoors. We spend a lot of time hanging out and entertaining inside in the fall and winter months, and it’s no wonder that after being in back yards and front porches all summer, the turn to indoor activities has us seeing our home spaces anew…and evaluating what we’d like to alter or update.
    2. The holidays mean a huge surge in company. Anxious hosts and hostesses want to make sure their home decor is comfortable, welcoming, and stylish. Very few things will inspire you to entertain like a major interior design change.
    3. The holidays, are of course, a time of sharing and giving, and amidst all that giving, it feels good to do something nice for yourself. Making sure you’re excited about the space in which you live is an excellent way to treat yourself.

    There are a few interior design changes we feel are particularly suited to the holiday season. Here’s a short list of what they are and why we think so:

    1. Reupholstery or upholstery. Why? Well there’s nothing cozier than a perfectly upholstered piece of furniture. The right padding and fabric can transform an uninviting seating area into a great place for everyone to hang out and enjoy each other’s company all day.
    2. Window treatments. Why? They’re a great way to make a huge stylistic impact in your home without doing a major labor intensive, and extremely costly, project. So when you feel the itch to redecorate around the holidays but you only have a few weeks, window treatments are the way to go.
    3. Pillows. Why? Pillows are great because they’re one of the few interior design changes you can make that is entirely holiday-specific. It’s cost effective enough to have a few throw pillows that are just for the holiday season. So if you want deeper earth hues like forest greens, rusts, and mustards, but you don’t want them all year round, that’s OK. You can change them out every 4–6 months without much hassle.

    How does the holiday season inspire your home decor? Let us know in the comment field below!

  • Pinterest for Designers

    Pinterest for Designers

    Like probably a lot of people, I was a little wary of the social media explosion, especially when it came to businesses. What I understood of Facebook was that it was a personal social sharing site…and I wasn’t quite sure how business could fit into that equation. But eventually I saw the benefits–we could connect with customers in ways that we wouldn’t otherwise, and prospective customers in the area. We were building a social community. The most exciting way to share with fans was through photos. We could show looks we liked or projects we’d finished, or even projects in progress. Facebook had won me over.

    Then came Pinterest. Pinterest, the entirely visual platform took exactly no time to win me over. Pinterest is a place to get inspired by other designers–both professional and DIY. It’s also a place to create mood boards. Say you want to reupholster your old sofa, but you’re not really sure of the specifics. You can search “upholstery” and “sofa” and you’ll get thousands of ideas! It’s like being able to cull from thousands of different design blogs, but they’re all in one place. If a client ever showed us a mood board like this for a room or a specific project, I’m sure it would be extremely helpful in the planning phase. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. We’re also able to offer inspiration. Hopefully this is something our customers enjoy, too. By being able to differentiate our intersets through different categories (boards) I think perusing our design ideas can be less intimidating, and instead really exciting.

    Happy pinning, everyone! Awaken the designer in you!

  • Why Upholstery?

    Why Upholstery?

    We’re a fabric and custom furniture store, so we’re upholstery enthusiasts by nature. We’re proud to spend so much of our time transforming furniture to suit the needs and aesthetics of ourselves and our customers. There are so many reasons to love upholstery. Here are just a few reasons why we think upholstery is the lifeblood of personalized interior design:

    1. The easiest way to achieve a personal touch in your furniture is through fabric. Of course there are tons of variations in design and structure for each piece of (non upholstered) furniture, but the easiest way to personalize furniture is to have it custom upholstered. Upholstery adds color and texture to decor, and the fabric possibilities are just about endless. You can make an assertive statement with bold patterns (above) , or you can go with a neutral color in swanky fabric (below) for a versatile and luxurious look. You can vary texture  (linen, raw silk, cowhide, suede, heavy cottons), and ultimately, you can change your mind down the line. While we recommend upholstery that you’ll want for a very long time–get high quality, durable fabric and use an upholsterer who knows what he/she is doing  (ahem!)–there’s no reason you can’t change as much or as little as you want.

    2. Upholstery adds COMFORT to your decor. It doesn’t really matter if something looks good in your home if it isn’t functional or comfortable. And there’s nothing like adding layers of cushion and fabric to a hardwood piece of furniture to make it more comfortable. Upholstery also works to protect furniture and ensure its longevity. Again, there’s nothing like adding layers of cushion and fabric to making sure furniture doesn’t get scratched, worn, or scarred.

    A craftsman in our Lenoir facility lays the foundation for a custom upholstery job.

    3. Upholstery creates interesting profiles and shapes to your home decor. If un-upholstered furniture is a tree in winter without its leaves, upholstered furniture is that same tree in full foliage. Touches like decorative nailhead trim (below) and buttoning can change the line of a piece of furniture to make it a much more dynamic player in your home’s interior design. Upholstery can soften hard edges and bolster the piece’s size for an impressive profile.

    What do you love about upholstery? Include links, success stories, pics, dream pieces in the comment field below! And for those of you who don’t already know, we’re having a huge sale right now, so we might be able to make your upholstery dreams come true! Visit the home page for details.