Design Tips | Pulling a Family Room Together

Aside from the kitchen, the Family Room is one of the most important rooms in the house. It’s where your family gathers for all sorts of events and occasions and is most likely an area that you enjoy being in. That’s why we think it’s important for the family room to be a space that is comfortable but also durable while also just being pretty! If you have to be in it a lot and are looking at the things in the space, make them enjoyable to be surrounded by! As with every space, there are layers that should go into a family room. We’ve broken them out below to give you some food for thought the next time you decide to redecorate.

Add textured fabrics. This little tidbit is pretty much a standard piece of advice that we give for any room…except maybe the bathroom. But texture in general is huge for us! Texture is what adds depth and interest to any space. A family room in particular will have fabric on multiple applications — drapery, seating, pillows, blankets, so you have lots of ways to add texture in. The nice thing about texture in a family room is that it often does well hiding “use”. Not all, but many textured fabrics have shadows that are created by the high-low effect of the texture and these shadows help disguise dirt! So plus, plus! Visually interesting AND practical!


Mix neutrals. If you’re like us and you gravitate towards neutrals (which isn’t uncommon in a “common area”), then this tip will hopefully help you boost your use of them. The colors that we consider neutral range from the blacks, whites, ivories, and charcoals to tans, beiges and browns, but also include denimy blues and navy. So this is actually a good thing in a family room because, if you want to use all neutrals but you know whites, tans, and beiges are not going to be practical for your family, you’re in luck. Mixing in some brown, grey, and even a darker blue will all work together! This mix of color with allow you ways to hide dirt and spills (if used wisely) while also giving your room some visual depth by bringing in a variety of darks and lights.


Include moveable pieces. This tips is purely for functionality. We all know that a family room is a space where there could be 3 people hanging out or 10. Family move nights happen there but so do birthday parties and game nights. So, in order to accommodate varying amounts of people, include smaller pieces of furniture that are easily moved. This could be small accent tables for drinks or even ottomans for additional seating. You know how your family uses your space best so you may need more of less of these, but we’re pretty sure that including a couple of these elements will come in handy regardless of who you are!


Patterned Rugs hide a lot! One big impact piece that will definitely get a lot of wear in a family room is the area rug. From spills to foot traffic to pets, a family room rug will take a beating. You can approach selection of this piece from different angles — some want to spend the money on it so it will hold up while others feel that a less expensive rug is best since it will likely get replaced often. Either approach is fine, however when it comes to style, we recommend something with pattern. Pattern doesn’t have to mean something crazy and in your face but it does usually mean a variation in color that will hide the use. Larger scale patterns are often better but that’s not to say that some smaller scale patterned rugs couldn’t work too.


Consider fabric type for practicality. As we’ve already discussed, family rooms are high traffic areas as well as multi-purpose spaces, it’s important to consider the best type of fabrics for use in a space like this. While the color and pattern and texture all matter, the material makeup is important too! Linens and silks are beautiful but not practical. Leather is great for repelling spills but can be scuffed and torn. Oftentimes a blend of natural material and synthetic fibers (like polyester) work well for durability. Wool is easy to clean and cotton is washable. Also consider selecting fabrics coated with crypton —the liquid will literally bead up and roll off — it’s where a lot of fabrics are going.

Overall, the family room is an important space. It has a lot of boxes that need to be checked off to make it right but it is possible! Fabric options are endless and there’s no reason you should have to sacrifice comfort, durability, or style in a space like this!

Master Bedroom Styling | Fresh Ideas for Accessorizing Your Bedroom

It's true that everything has been done.  There's really no new ideas anymore.  Anything "new" is probably just an edit of something already existing.  This is ok, though. There's nothing wrong with a good ole fashioned refresh which is basically what we're discussing today in the master bedroom.

It happens to us a lot--we have a master bedroom that we're re-doing and the room is just too big.  There's a king size bed, two over-sized nightstands, some sort of foot-of-the-bed seating, a dresser or console and maybe even a separate reading/seating area....but there's still a ton of space.  What do you do with it?  The bedroom is tricky because there are really only certain things that make sense to go in there.  You're not planning to entertain in that room so you don't need seating for 5 but you do want to be able to lounge and read a book or even snuggle up with your kids and watch a movie.  Well, the same is pretty much true for accessorizing.  You need bedside lighting, light blockage on the windows, and something to soften.  The type of storage you need could vary from person to person but overall, most master bedrooms are styled the same.  However, there are things that could be improved upon...  

Wallpapering the wall or ceiling is not a new concept in the master but a new twist on wallpapering called wraparound wallpaper adds an entirely new dimension.   Wrap around wallpapering wraps the ceiling over the bed, the wall that the bed is against and the opposite wall.  This application creates a little cave or nook like effect for the bed making the whole space feel much more cozy.

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Don't get stuck on conventional lighting for a master either.  If you like the look of a reading light mounted to the wall beside the bed but also have table lamps or pendants over the nightstands, combine the two!

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Don't be scared of a heavy drape in your master bedroom.  The bedroom is supposed to be a little more luxurious feeling so you can go with something a little more dressy and full if you'd like.  Take the drapes to the ceiling and make sure they have the ability to cover the window for privacy.  Make sure they're blackout lined too for light blockage.


Consider adding a built-in to your master bedroom.  While built-ins are usually thought of more for Offices and Family Rooms, a built-in can a cool storage piece to your room and make a great focal point on the bed wall.  If it's designed right, the built-in could also incorporate the nightstands so that everything is one unit.


The master bedroom is an important room!  It needs to be comfortable and functional...and not just for you, for your whole family.  But don't get so caught up in convention that it doesn't have a feel that works with your style.  Make it unique!

Design Discussion | Negative Space

Negative space can be a powerful design tool.  When used correctly, it brings a sense of calm to a space and actually puts the objects that are in the space into focus by drawing the eye toward it.  The act of well-done negative space is accomplished when someone understands the importance of editing.  In design, not every space always needs to be filled in order for the room to feel finished but understanding when there's something missing and when enough is enough is a delicate balance.

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Negative space works well when done right because it eliminates all of the distractions.  Oftentimes, it is a much more simplified version of layering and requires the viewer to step back and look at the space as a whole...even though, ironically, it brings items into focus.

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Negative space oftentimes thrives where asymmetry is present because whomever has accomplished the use of negative space has looked at the space as a big picture.  It sees the room as one pictures instead of becoming hyper focus on filling things up.  Wall space and ceiling space is seen as the backdrop for everything in the room so the way pieces of furniture in the middle of the room stand off the back wall affect what else is hung on the wall and where.


Negative can often be used to emphasize architectural details like windows and stairs but be careful because sometimes it can also highlight things you might not want in focus.  Just be sure your furniture doesn't detract from architectural details you might want to's ok not to crowd a room with furniture if it keeps the cool architectural details in focus.

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If you're still unsure about the benefits of negative space, just think about a bold black and white patterned tile or wallpaper or even fabric.  The black portion is the negative space and without it, there is no pattern!  Negative space is important!  Be sure that you're stepping back to look at the big picture each time to re-design your space.


Design Tips | What To Consider Before a Design Meeting

Working with a designer can be scary and exciting all at once.  It requires taking a risk, a lot of trust & patience, and money.  The results are oftentimes worth the risk, wait, and cost but the entire time you're working with your designer, it's a two-way street.  It's a relationship that requires involvement from both parties in some form or another.  And if you want to get the most out of that relationship, it's important to be prepared from the beginning. 

The initial meeting with a designer is key.  There's a whole lot of information exchanged that can make a major impact the overall direction of your design and how the relationship functions.  As a designer, I can say that I've interacted with many people who feel that I should just be able to come up with a design that's perfect for them, fits within their budget, and meets their timeline requirements without them communicating their style, design needs, budget or timeline.  And while I do think I'm good at what I do, I'm not a I don't think any designer is a mind-reader, so we need your help.

There will be a few things that, even if you communicate with me as perfectly and clearly as possible, I still might fight you on, but I can promise I will do my best to work within your requests while still creating the best design possible for you.

All that being said, here are a few things to consider before an initial design meeting:

Who are the decision makers and are they all present?  Anyone who's going to have an input that matters to the design should be present.  And this is not just at the initial design meeting, it's at every meeting.  Otherwise, the dialogue that needs to happen about design decisions can't take place when everyone is present which will cause a set-back.

How and who is going to be using this space.  What are the major functions of it?  This will affect the type of furniture selected and furniture placement.  It also dictates style direction (more dressy or more casual).  


What type of lighting would you prefer to have in the space--keep the natural light, lots of can lighting, do you need more lamp lighting?  Will this be a space that you read in?  Lighting is super important to a space from a design perspective so it's important that your needs are met while we are able to address it on the style side too.


Storage?  While we're not personal organizers, we do want to streamline the look of your space.  If it's already cramped and dark feeling, we may want to eliminate some furniture however, we'll want to make sure your storage needs are still covered so we need to see all the stuff.


What's your style?  Yes, you have a style.  Everyone has a style.  You may not be able to put a name on it or a specific title, but you have design elements that you'd like to see or are drawn to and it's important to pinpoint those for your designer.  

What's your budget.  Yes, you have a budget.  Everyone has a budget. :)  You may not know exactly how much something like this costs, but you know your pocketbook and know what you're willing to spend on your home's interior so please, please, please, think about that factor.  Otherwise, everyone's time will be wasted.  

Like we said at the beginning, working with a designer is a relationship and is a two-way street so be prepared to hold up your end of the bargain.

Straight from the Designer | All the Tips!

We've had all sorts of craziness here in the past few weeks.  The main thing is a major hurricane but that caused power outages, roof damage, mass chaos in the stores, food shortages, water damage and just a general upheaval of life as we know it.  We are finally getting back to normal although it's taken weeks.  Since things have been a little backwards, upside-down, crazy lately, we're keeping tonight simple.  Just some good ole' design tips to get your creative juices flowing and maybe motivate you to spruce up your home for Fall.  It IS October 1st, after all.  So we hope you'll enjoy some of these helpful hints!

Some great advice that we've received is that, no matter how you design your home, you should always be sure it has these three important things--function, comfort, and a true reflection of your personal style.  Unless you live in a model home, it can't just look pretty.  It has to work.  So consider how you use your space before you take steps to design it.

Function can be achieved a number of ways but one of the big ways is by using pieces that serve multiple purposes.  This is key for small spaces too.  Benches with storage, small moveable pieces like ottomans and chairs that can be used in one area but easily moved to another, hooks & shelves.  All of these things are elements that will keep your home functional and livable but also tidy.  And if you pick pieces that are pretty, you'll be able to kill two birds with one stone.


Plants are always a yes.  It doesn't matter what size space you live in, whether it's large or small...if it has a lot of natural light or very little, you've got to incorporate plants in your design.  Even if they're fake!  Greenery adds so much warmth and life to a room that it's vital.  It doesn't have to be a lot, either...just a small little something to give the room that finishing touch.

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Be sure that your home has a space for you!  So many people are concerned about creating a design that others will enjoy--they entertain a lot or have guests visit often...etc, etc.  That's all important to take into consideration, but this home is YOURS.  You should have a place that you love in it too.  So be sure to carve out that little personal space that you enjoy spending time in.


Finally, mix textures and materials.  Layering of fabrics can add so much depth to  space!  Sometimes it really doesn't matter if the space is designed perfectly...if it's comfortable and interesting, it's inviting and people will love it.  Texture and a variety of materials will be your best friend as you try to accomplish this!

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