All About | Foyers

A lot of people have mixed emotions about foyers and entryways.  They are small rooms so they don't require a lot of work, but they're also low priority rooms so they rarely get any attention.  The problem with this is that the foyer is typically the very first room guests see when they enter your home.  It really is a major impact room because it basically sets the tone for the rest of the house.  For this reason, it's important, not only, for Foyers to be addressed but also for them to be styled in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the house.  If you're wondering how to accomplish that, you've come to the right place!  Today we're discussing key elements of foyers and helping you determine what yours might need.

Even though the foyer isn't really a room where people will lounge, it does need to be functional and appear comfortable.  A comfortable looking foyer makes for an inviting home.  So consider adding some sort of bench or ottoman for seating.  Even if this isn't a place where guests will sit for long periods of time, it may be a place where they'll set their bags down or sit to put their shoes on.  A bench also says, I want my guests to be comfortable.  It's subtle but it gives off a vibe that lets guests know, I've got you in mind!

Usually a foyer doesn't have any more than one large piece of furniture (bench, ottoman, console...), but once that piece is established, you have to build the rest of the foyer around it.  A piece of art in a foyer is key.  It adds color and left to what can be a very cold space.  If you've got a console, a bowl and plant, maybe a lamp are all decorative and functional items to have on top. Just be careful not to clutter up your foyer with too much stuff--that kind of greeting can make guests feel cramped and uncomfortable.

Be sure to address your entryway floor.   It can be hard to spend the money on a nice area rug for a foyer because it can quickly get dirty in such a high traffic area.  You have to consider, though, that the floor of the entry is a big part of what guests see as they enter.  A small accessory or lamp might be missed in the overall feel of the room but a blank floor will leave it feeling unfinished.  A rug warms things up and, for practicality sake, helps with sounds absorption and dirt-tracking. :)

Be sure to consider your overhead lighting in a foyer.  Because there are so many sizes and shapes of entryways, the lack of walls in your foyer may limit you on the number of place to add furniture.  In this scenario, the overhead pendant is your hardest working piece.  A foyer pendant has the ability to transform the room by not only adding light but adding art and movement.  We view lighting as art because it's sculptural so we place a lot of value on good lighting.  Don't go cheap.  Find a light that you're proud of!

If there's anything we can impart on you today, it's that your foyer should be tidy and inviting.  So if it's a collection of shoes, mail, and bags, you may want to re-think what pieces are in the space and how it's used.  Remember--best foot forward!

Get a Grip | The truth about design and any home.

If there's one thing that's hard to discuss in the design world, it's imperfections.  We often have clients who come to us with very high expectations and spend a lot of money.  So if anything has an imperfection once it's all said and done, they can get upset.  Understandably, they are looking for perfection and can be disappointed if it's not achieved.

This is hard for a designer, though.  We strive to make a home beautiful and of course want it to be perfect, but perfection is rarely attainable.  Why?  Because we are only human and our installers are only human and furniture is made by humans.  Bottom line is --nobody involved in the process is perfect and neither is the structure of your home.  Very few homes have perfectly plum walls and perfectly level floors.  So even if what we brought you was perfect, it wouldn't always look perfect once it was installed because it's going in an imperfect house.

I once heard it said that everything has a birth mark.  And, honestly, truer words were never spoken. As designers, we understand this and try to make it work even WITH the imperfections. We try to bring everything together in a beautifully harmonious flow that makes the imperfections unnoticeable and puts the focus on what is great about the space.

We've also learned to embrace imperfections as character.  If every piece were perfect then everything piece made by a manufacturer would look exactly the same.  However, each item has it's own minor flaws unique to that piece making it one-of-a-kind.   So we've learned to see beauty in this character rather than fight it and force it.

Houzz recently posted an article about Chasing perfection and quoted a number of designers on the imperfections in their own homes.  They said everything from, my ceiling is cracked and bumpy because and I've never had the energy to repair and repaint, to the tile is laid in the wrong direction in this room and we've never re-done it.  While some of the issues they have with their own homes are repairable, the designers have let it be because they realize they can love their house anyway.

And that's the important thing.  If you can love your home even with a few flaws and imperfections, then it's actually perfect because it's a place where you're comfortable and happy!

If you want to read the full article, check it out here.  And next time you have an issue with something in your home.  Take a deep breath and try to see the beauty in it.  Ultimately it might HAVE to get repaired, but at least you can be calm about it in the meantime.

Elevate | Design Tips to Make Rooms Look More Expensive

While we appreciate quality, we also understand that buying the most expensive whatever doesn't mean it's the best quality or that's it's worth the money, for that matter.  Regardless of the price, items have value based on how the owner feels about them.  If you LOVE something, it's valuable, even if it's not that expensive.  All that to say, when you understand where and what to place value on, it helps you know how to spend your money.  It also helps you realize that there are other ways to make spaces look expensive instead of a lot of money.

Rooms needs to be grounded.  They need a focal point, balance, and all the layers.  One easy way to add some balance is through pairing.  There's something grounding about a set.  This could be a set of chairs, two pieces of art that coordinate and are hung together, or even two identical light fixtures.  This doesn't mean that everything has to have a partner but having some symmetry creates balance which every room needs.

Depth makes spaces feel expensive.  This is why designers are so anti matchy-matchy for soft goods.  When there's a mix of pattern and texture in a space, the space instantly feels more expensive.  Don't be afraid to bring in interesting fabrics, even if it's only in small amounts.  All those little bits add up and help the room.

Mirrors and shine add sparkle.  It's one thing to go over the top with mirror and metal but it's another thing to incorporate it in moderation.  Remember, every space needs some reflective quality for lighting.  But this addition also elevates a space because it just looks more expensive.  Shinny things just do.  So if you want to dress up a room, bring in a little gold, chrome, or glass.

Add oversized accessories.  Even if the items aren't expensive, if they're larger, they'll look like they are.  Be careful not to overwhelm a space by cramming something too big in it, but if you have the right display space, a big sculptural item can make a great focal point.

As always, don't forget the greenery.  There's an organic element that greenery adds that is key, especially if it's a live plant.  Live plants say, I care for my things.  It's shows that you pay attention and value your things.  Plus, it's not man-made.  It's straight out of nature so it's completely unique.

Finally, splurge on lighting.  Lighting is art.  It's sculptural.  It's a statement.  It's worth it.  You don't have to splurge on every light in your home, but consider the impact the light fixture has on the space.  If it's on a key wall or is the main source of light, it's probably worth the money!

Things To Try | Fun & Funky Design Ideas

When we're designing homes, we're constantly searching for something new and different to incorporate.  It's hard to come up with an idea that hasn't already been thought of but sometimes we are able to re-purpose or tweak old ideas to make them new and more interesting...also, more appropriate for our client's home.  Because of design trends and the fact that sometimes design ideas take a while to be recycled, it's always helpful to be reminded of what's out there.  So today we're going to share with you some fun design tips that aren't new, but may not have been referenced for a while.  Hopefully they'll spark some ideas for you to fluff up your home and decide how to make it old ideas fresh again.

Addressing the ceiling.  So many people ignore their ceilings in their home.  Some might invest in a fun light fixture but even fewer will even paint the ceiling a fun color.  So forget about a mural or wallpaper application on the ceiling!  This might not be the best application, but how many of you have noticed and appreciated the ceiling in a doctor's office?  That's right.  It's interesting!  So while your home's ceiling might not need to have clouds on it, it's still a great place to add visual interest.  We love putting wallpaper on the ceiling in a master bedroom, and even foyers or great rooms can benefit from some sort of ceiling detail--wood, paint, mural, or wallpaper!  So don't forget the ceiling.  Once you put something up there, you'll be amazed at how it elevates the style of the room.  And it'll be a great conversation piece for guests as well!

Mixing furniture.  People get hung up on "appropriate furniture" for a space.  And while this is a valid consideration, it's also something that you can't get too hung up on.  With the evolution of outdoor furniture and the transitioning of the outdoors to inside, outdoor furniture has become quite nice.  It's still functional for weather but it's typically lightweight and comfortable as well.  So consider bringing some of it indoors!  Many times outdoor furniture is interesting and sculptural so it can make a great accept piece in any space!

Make mirrors your hard-working wall application.  Don't be stingy with your mirror use.  They can do a lot for your space.  Aside from widening or enlarging the look of a space, they add a little bit of sparkle.  Mirrors work great over pieces of furniture but they are also good for behind large pieces of furniture (like a large leaning mirror) or even as the backing to shelves.  Try placing them at the end of a short hallway to make it feel longer even. Kindof like ceiling applications, a well-placed mirror can really elevate a space.

Black is back.  We've talked about black before but it really is an impact color.  As design has evolved, designers have figured out how to make black work for them while keeping it under control.  Black is actually pretty versatile too; it looks good in almost any application.  So consider using it in small doses throughout your home for some major impact--black countertops are super sleek and interesting and black graphic floor tile adds a ton of depth!  Even a black accent wall, like a chalk wall will create a bold pop to a room that art will stand out on.

We realize that none of these ideas are brand new, but they're worth considering and recycling!  Old reused right can make for a great look!

White | How to make it work.

While white has become a very popular color on pinterest and in magazines, many homeowners struggle with white and how to make it work.  Before the minimalist movement, white was stark feeling and cold.  People associated white walls with governmental buildings and hospital, but white has come a long way.  However, there is a trick to making white look right in a home.  There's a way to bring the warmth out of it so that it doesn't feel cold but rather clean and bright.

To begin with, there isn't just one shade of white.  There are tons of different shades with a little more grey or a little more beige....some with blue undertones, some have a hint of pink.  This may seem overwhelming, but is actually a good thing.  You definitely want to capitalize on this when bringing white into a room and use different shades.  This will give white it's own depth.

Another way to help make white work is by bringing in texture.  Texture is a our number one go-to when adding the layers.  Honestly, texture can make almost any space work but it's a must in mostly white rooms.  Texture can come in the form of other white things but it can also be created by bringing in organic pieces in earth tones.  These types of accessories and lighting additions are what elevates a room too.

Don't be afraid to add a pop of a different color in a white room either.  Some people worry that adding a new color will ruin the look and the room won't feel like a white space, but that's not the case at all.  When a space has white walls and mostly white larger pieces of furniture, you can easily add some color in a rug, pillows, art, or even an accent chair without taking the look of the room off track.  In fact, sometimes, depending on the space, it's exactly what the room needs to pull it together!

The stark and sterile feeling that people associate with white comes from cold governmental buildings that (used to...because it's not really that way anymore) kept things clean and simple.  However, what they're not realizing is that, in most of these places, it isn't appropriate to add soft layers like rugs and window treatments so there isn't any softness.  Yet they're still associating the cold with white because that's where they've seen it applied.  If you can add some softness to a white space, you've accomplished a lot in making white feel warm so don't forget the fabric!

It's no secret that we love white but we understand that it can be a hard color to make work.  And honestly, that's why we have jobs!  However, if you're trying to do this on your own, we want to help!  So hopefully these tips will take you a long way!