• 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!

     

  • 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)
  • Is DIY Killing Interior Design?

    In the past five years, there’s been a proliferation of DIYers. Spurred by the economic landslide, people have found numerous ways to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do things for themselves–improving the look of their homes is no exception. Websites like Etsy and Apartment Therapy have championed these efforts. They not only show people how to do it and where to get it, but they inspire people to take design and redesign into their own hands, and even the mainstreamers, like Home Depot, have launched a hugely successful “more saving, more doing” DIY campaign. The icing on the DIY popularity cake has been Pinterest. Pinterest has really become the social media platform for the home, fashion, and DIY enthusiastic. It’s the perfect place to share your inspiration or to be inspired.

    So is all of this DIY design enthusiasm killing interior design businesses? You’re probably thinking, if people are taking matters into their own hands, how can our businesses survive? Well, it’s simple really! First of all, I’d like to flip the whole attitude of concern on its head. In fact, I think the DIY wave is actually GOOD FOR INTERIOR DESIGNERS. Hear me out!

    1. The “DIY wave” generates enthusiasm for design. So it’s reaching more people than ever. With its popularity and mainstream presence, the DIY craze is drawing attention to our interior spaces, and encouraging people to make changes.

    2. So you might think, yeah, they’re encouraging people to make changes, but to do it themselves, and that is certainly part of it. But I’m willing to forfeit a few pillow covering projects if it means this person is now going to pay attention to their home’s interior design more, because it means there will likely be a project that she/he will not be able to do  alone…and then we’ll be there to help. (Plus, if you sell fabric like we do, even DIY can be profitable.)

    3. Just because DIY generates a lot of enthusiasm around fixing things up on your own, doesn’t mean everyone is willing or able to do it. Many people (I’d say most) truly do not have the time to take on formidable design projects. Some people that maybe could find the time realize that once they track down and spend the money for the right fabric and tools, the project now costs nearly what it would have if a professional had done it. And others, while they enjoy perusing their friends’ Pinterest boards, and they too get psyched about new fall decor, simply don’t want to do it themselves.

    Ultimately, the DIY movement benefits interior design. What we may lose in small DIY projects, we gain in enthusiasm for design. The trend champions taking ownership for your space–evaluating it or re-evaluating, and making it exactly what you want it to be. If you can do some of it yourself, more power to you. We’ll be here to supply materials and take you on further and more difficult journeys in the future.

    Join in the DIY convo in the comments below. Any project stories you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!