Archive for March 2013

Trendspotter: Black Walls

Black walls?! Say what?! For the typical home in sunny, beachy Naples, Florida, black walls sound overtly dreary, dull, and quite possibly depressing. However, various shades of black, charcoal, and gray are popping up in progressive interior design publications — both in print and online — across the country! And what’s not to love? If white is the absence of color, and black is the presence of all color, it goes with everything, right? Well, sort of. Today, we would like to present a bit of information about this trend and some tips for incorporating it effectively into your home’s interiors.

Tips for Incorporating The Dark Side

Maybe you are feeling daring, or maybe you would like to introduce some depth into your home’s interiors. Whatever the case may be, utilizing a shade of black, charcoal, or gray may present a viable option for one or more rooms within your home. This trend represents a return to basic color palettes, and it provides an array of options in terms of accompanying colors. Because, of course, black goes with *almost* anything! Incorporating this into your home can prove a bit tricky, though. Here are some tips:

1. Consider hiring a professional to consult on choice of shade. It is very easy to go too dark or to get the shade just a bit off when it comes to dark colors. Hiring a professional designer will ensure you get it right in terms of the wall’s shade as well as the colors that accompany the wall.

2. Use black sparingly. Just like in cooking, a little goes a long way. Use just a pinch of a dark charcoal or shade of gray — select only one or two walls within any given room, and be prepared for a very dramatic effect.

3. Consider hiring a professional painter. Using very dark colors on the wall means a greater risk of high impact spills on flooring. Additionally, when put on by amateurs, very dark colors tend to look spotty. Get it right the first time — hire a painter.

4. Pair with other shades of charcoal, black and gray. Mix different shades of black within the same room, and add small amounts of a coordinating color (a lighter shade of yellow or emerald or mint, etc.).

Have fun with this trend! Contact us for tips on utilizing black walls within your home’s interiors.

Why is Working With a Designer So Important?

In this new age of Pinterest, Blogs, and content galore, it is easy to see why DIY projects are becoming increasingly popular at such a rapid rate. The internet has streamlined the ability for home owners and design enthusiasts to share and receive information. With so many tutorials, creative ideas, and DIY recommendations on the internet, why exactly does hiring an interior designer matter now more than ever? 

The DIY Age

The DIY Age is upon us. Tutorials abound, and information is endless. As the economy experienced some significant tightening several years ago, buying a home and fixing it up oneself became an increasingly popular and necessary notion. With so many households cutting back on expenses, many existing businesses and entrepreneurial types realized the amount of money available in creating content and posting that content online. Considering all of the information out there — step by step tutorials including millions of “How To” — it can be easy to think to oneself, “I don’t need any help with my home,” and forego the use of a professional. So what are some of the many practical reasons to hire an interior designer?

1. Depending upon the project, an interior designer may be able to save you money and avoid costly mistakes. Like all professionals, a trained designer learns her/his trade through years of proper education and plenty of experience in the field, just like an attorney or  a doctor. When you consider a project and plan on performing the involved  tasks by yourself, it can involve lots of human error, and may end up costing you more to fix when all is said and done. An interior designer can help you discern when it is okay to do something yourself, and when a project is best left to a professional.

2. An interior designer can provide you with an overarching plan from which to work. You may not have the funds required to complete an entire plan overnight. However, your designer will provide direction and focus to your house. Your interior designer is a professional who can bring a complete look together for you — even if the components are things that you might “do yourself.” Your designer will also have access to resources and items that are only accessible to a trade professional, so you can achieve a look that will simply not be available from a big box store.

3. Your home is an investment. You may think that you can re-do your flooring or install light fixtures or put together a cohesive living room. However, your home is an investment — it isn’t something that you can return (like a pair of shoes) or give to Goodwill when you are tired of it (like that sweater you wore twice). As an investment, it is important to think in the long-term when you put money into your home. Rather than getting instant gratification with an inexpensive, common item, save for pieces that will matter to your children and even your grandchildren. Create a legacy, and put money into your home that you have the ability to get back.

As you consider your home, think long and hard about the importance of hiring a professional to provide vision, direction, and a cohesive design for your home’s interiors.

Trendspotter: Bling in Your Home

BLING! What does this fun sounding word really mean? Well, it can mean different things to different people, but in short, bling is anything flashy and fun that makes a bold statement, sparkling and shining for the whole world to see. A woman who wears a lot of bling might be wearing lots of sparkly rings on her fingers, diamond earrings, a large sparkly or flashy necklace, and potentially even be sporting some metallic accents on her clothing. When you consider the possibility of introducing “a little bling” into your home, you might have one or more of the following objectives:

1) Introduce a point of interest within a room. Create an eye catching corner and draw people into the various rooms by placing a bit of bling in your home.

2) Create additional interest. Placing a crystal chandelier in your office can create visual interest and make an otherwise dull space sparkle.

3) Encourage light. Many “bling-y” objects have the ability to reflect light — think crystals and metallic objects — making an otherwise dark space a bit lighter without electricity.

Incorporating the Trend

As you consider incorporating this trend into your home, here are just a few of our suggestions:

1) Use bling sparingly. With shiny, sparkly objects, a little goes a long way. Use one or two within any given room, particularly if the objects you incorporate are on the larger side.

2) Consider using a sparkly accent piece to create visual interest. Use a metallic accent, such as a side table or console. Or, incorporate a large crystal chandelier in your entryway. This creates a focal point within a room without being overwhelming.

3) Formulate a plan first prior to aquiring pieces. Before purchasing pieces of bling for your home, create the setting of where they will go. With the help of an interior designer, you can incorporate bling into your home that will have an understated look for many years to come.

Creating a consistent look and feel with a nod to the traditional does not have to be free from trends! Incorporate trends with a view for the long term with the help of a professional interior designer. Give us a call — we would love to help!

Incorporating Existing Pieces into Home Design

As an interior designer, I typically come to your home to meet with you for an initial consultation. One of the many questions I ask clients when they invite me into their homes for the very first time is: “What about your home do you love?” In the same vein, I typically ask, “What pieces that are already here do you love and desire to keep?” The answers to these questions are very important. When I am able to find out what my clients love about their homes and what pieces within their homes they love, this information provides direction in terms of style preferences, overall vision, and insight into their desired outcome.

One of the many misconceptions regarding professional interior design services is the idea that when you hire a designer, you are committing to getting rid of all of your existing furniture and performing a complete overhaul. That is not necessarily true, and certainly depends upon the individual, couple, or family living within the home itself. Many times (more often than not, in fact), the most successful design concepts are built around the pieces that clients desire to keep. Here are just a few examples of an existing piece or element within the home that can provide a foundation for design:

1. Family heirlooms handed down. Maybe you have a chair from your grandmother’s living room or a set of dishes that belonged to your husband’s great grandmother. This can provide a helpful direction or color palette for a cohesive interior design plan.

2. Beloved pieces of furniture. An important piece of furniture, such as a desk or headboard, that you want to keep can give a room direction or stability.

3. Existing design elements. Your house may have a unique nook or cranny or some other stylistic element that you adore. Maybe you really enjoy being in some portion of your house and want that sensibility carried on through the remaining rooms. What a great foundation upon which to build!

As we meet with you and walk throughout the rooms of your house, many elements and pieces can be used to build a cohesive look and feel. We can’t wait to learn more about the things that you love!

Trendspotter: Quilted Details

Did you know? Many trends in the interior design realm stem from trends in the world of fashion. One such trend includes the increasing popularity of quilted pieces. Quilted pieces — jackets, vests, and blazers — became highly popular in high fashion. With a nod to traditional hunting apparel, these types of pieces were updated for modern, updated haute couture. As this trend spread, interior design firms began to demand quilted pieces as well, incorporating them into home’s interiors.

Quilted Pieces

Quilted pieces are continuing to increase in popularity in interior design. Incorporating these types of pieces into more traditional homes, as well as more more modern, eclectic homes, is relatively easy. Here are some tips on incorporating this trend into your home:

1. Select quilted pieces with more traditional coloring. Select a piece of quilted furniture — or a quilted detail — that favors a more traditional, widely used color. This way, you are using the trend in moderation, and the focus of the piece is on the quilting itself, rather than on the color of the piece.

2. Select smaller quilted pieces. Rather than selecting a large armoire with quilting all around, select a smaller quilted console or side table. That way, the trend does not swallow the room or overwhelm the room’s inhabitants.

3. Select a small number of quilted pieces. Utilize this trend in moderation, incorporating one quilted piece into one of the rooms of your home. A quilted piece represents a nod to the traditional; it is, however, still a trend in design.

4. Select high quality quilted pieces. Though it is a popular trend, it represents a traditional view of design. Select a high quality piece that will last a long time and present a lovely look and feel for years to come. Place pieces in your home that are well-constructed and able to withstand years of use.

As you educate yourself on trends in interior design, keep checking back — our blog features regular articles regarding trends in interior design. We love to explore trends while maintaining a vision for consistency. Contact us with any questions.

Decorating Den

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Claudia Leah, IDS
Decorating Den Interiors
6062 Taylor Road, Unit 501
Naples, FL 34109


Remodeling and Home Design