• Helpful Tips if you’re Considering an Interior Design Change for your Home

    We see it all the time: you know you want to make a change in your home, but you’re not sure where to start. Interior design changes–whether that be redesigning an entire room, or looking for a custom piece of furniture or window treatments–can make a big impact on your life. If you’re uncertain or unprepared, the impact can sometimes be negative (the cost ends up too high, the design process disrupts your daily life too much, and you feel out of control in terms of the results). If you know where to start and how to manage the process effectively, then the impact will be (as it should be) positive–you’ll feel more comfortable in your own space, and the design will reflect your personal aesthetic. We asked our designers to compile some helpful tips and answers to some of their most frequently encountered issues.

     

    1. When you’re just beginning the process, how do you decide what you want and need out of a redesign? 
      Take a look at your current space and decide what you think will make it more functional for your particular needs. I think it’s important to think of function first. You’re living in the space, so think first about function then about style (color, patterns, etc.). You’ll often find that functionality will make certain demands on aesthetics. So think about your needs, then about your wants.
    We recently redesigned a living room to accomodate a new baby. They needed more space so we removed a sofa and replaced it with two chairs (easier to move in and out to accommodate play space, but still enough seating for everyone). So that handled the need. To update the room for fall, we changed the color scheme through pillows. We added reds, browns, greens, and golds. It was completely transformed.
    If you don’t know what your wants are, stick to your needs. If you’re going to be hiring a designer, they can help you discover your wants and you’ll have helped them narrow so much down simply by knowing what you need the space for functionally.
    2. How do you best research what you might want/need out of a redesign? 
        Depending on what you determine you’d like to redesign you may want to consider which aesthetic changes have the best resale or profit of return for your investment. Many bathroom and kitchen renovations tend to have the best profit of return. I would try to keep things neutral to appeal to any buyer in the event you’d ever like to sell your home so the change  doesn’t tie any potential buyers down to a particular color or theme. Similarly, if you’re not planning on selling your home ever, neutral, or at least classic, changes are best because they stand the test of time. I think just looking at tons and tons of options is the best way to determine what you might want. What you need, again, should be determined by what you use your room most for. If you’re an avid cook, you’ve got to make sure that your kitchen functions perfectly before you make any aesthetic decisions. As far as where to start, anywhere you’re inspired! Check out your friends’ places, check out design blogs (like this one;) and Pinterest. An image can really help solidify your design ideas, so it’s great place to jump off from.
    3. How to do determine the right price range for yourself?
        Don’t be afraid to do your due diligence. I would always recommend getting a couple quotes from different vendors and ask for references. Look at your budget and see what makes the most sense. I would have the vendors quote the best case scenario (meaning all the bells and whistles), then back off of that if price is a factor once you determine what your particular priorities are.
    4. How to decide who/what firm/designers you’re working with?
        I would say the best type of advertising is word of mouth. If you know someone who recommends a praticular person then you can look at what they’ve done in their house and build from that. Otherwise I would check out Angie’s list to get references and opinions of others.
    5. When is a good time to redesign? 
        Most people want things done before the holidays when they entertain the most company. That being said, depending on the extensiveness of the project,  I would say July is great for the plan-aheaders, and no later than September for the last-minute deciders out there.
    6. What should I expect during the redesign process? Do you have any advice for minimizing disruption in your life/home? 
        As always, planning ahead is best. During a summer vacation or when you don’t have too much going on in terms of entertaining. Keep in mind that sometimes it depends on when designers and vendors are available.  Try to give yourself and the contractors time. Nothing good comes out of rushing!
    If you have any further questions about starting a redesign project in your home that you’d like our designers to answer, feel free to ask away in the comment field below!
    (image source: http://www.ehow.com/info_8141855_elements-design-process.html)
  • What Does Quality Really Mean?

    What Does Quality Really Mean?

    In the furniture and design business we hear a lot about quality. It’s an adjective thrown around with more or less reckless abandon, and of course, it’s used to sell pieces and services. But what does it really mean? When we talk about a custom upholstered chair, for example, this is exactly what we mean:

    1. We’re using the best raw materials. In our case, we use 5/4″ kiln dried hardwood. Hardwood resists warping and is infinitely stronger and more durable than other materials that mass producers often use (like pine–about as bendy as a trampoline, and particle board–believe it, Ikea fans). Hardwood is also a sustainable and locally available resource. We also use superior construction methods to improve durability. So, we start with exceptional materials then we assemble the piece with double dowel joints and corner blocks glued and screwed for additional strength, stability and structural integrity.

    2.  For the seating and spring system, we use an eight-way hand tied seating support, which is double cone coil springs supported by polypropylene webbing and steel bands fastened directly to the hardwood frame.  Steel bands provide strength and prevent sagging. Springs are then hand tied together in eight different directions to permanently secure coils in place and allow for superior comfort and durability. No sad slouching or sagging seats here. What you can expect from imitators in big box stores is just that: imitation. They typically use prefabricated spring coil systems that are tied to one another (not affixed to the frame), so the springs have no support and start to fail quickly, compromising the comfort and lifespan of the piece.

    3. For the upholstery process we use 360 tailoring. First we hand cut and sew all of our fabrics to ensure the pattern’s consistency and accurate placement on the piece. Our skilled craftsmen make sure the pattern of the fabric matches from every vantage point, and that the fabric is taut and smooth throughout.

    And ultimately, it’s the craftsmen who determine the quality of a piece of furniture. It’s through their skill and experience that they’re able to translate quality so effectively and consistently to a piece. Quality, to us, is something expertly and carefully made, and something that endures.

    What does quality mean to you? Have you had any experiences with custom-made furniture that you’d like to share?  Feel free to post in the comment field below.