Design Tips

Fall Trends

Labor Day weekend has arrived! Here in Southwest Florida we don’t exactly smell Fall in the air. Nothing is crisp or cool in anyway but we know Fall is coming by the exciting trends flying around the internet and popping up in our catalogs! Here are some things we see trending.

Brass is back. Like most trends this works great in accessories, even the unexpected like a pillow! Using brass pieces in several areas around your home can help tie this look together.

Zuma pillow

Bold colors are sticking around. Pantone named Emerald the color of 2013 and boy are we seeing it everywhere! Paired with beige neutrals this is a trend that continues to hold its own. Add color to your home in small doses. With so much to choose from in lighting fixtures, pillows, artwork, and accessories, there are plenty of ways to make this trend work for you.

Serena Wall Sconce

Our final notable Fall trend is embellished walls. Grasscloth, textured wallpapers, big patterns, and whimsy repeats are getting lots of attention. Used properly this trend will stand the test of time and give your plain walls a nice little interest boost.

Beaded Butterflies in Navy

These Fall trends are our way to metaphorically feel the changing of the seasons. Give us a call so we can help incorporate these decorating ideas into your own home!

Trendspotter: Grasscloth

York Wallcovering grasscloth

Grasscloth is popping up everywhere! We have used it in quite a few jobs of late and want to share some of the ways we have incorporated it into an overall design.

Small Spaces: Bathrooms and kitchens are transformed with this product. Keeping in mind this is a natural product we have opted to use a premium vinyl product in these moisture rich areas to reduce the risk of damage, peeling of seams and for easy cleaning!

Accent wall: Used behind an entertainment unit or covering a wall displaying artwork, grasscloth can really help bring an area into focus.

Living space: Papering an entire room with grasscloth can give a very rich look and feel (see photo above) without taking away from other elements.

Something to Keep in Mind: The very nature of grasscloth is, well, it’s natural. Its beauty is in its imperfection – just like leather or stone. Made by creation, it was given unique personality.This is not a material that can be matched up and aligned perfectly.  If that is the look you are going for, might we interest you in a stripe wallpaper (which can also be a good look)? Grasscloth is meant to show a seam of sorts but when you stand back you can see how it really transforms a space and provides your home with that one-of -a-kind look.

We would love to talk with you more about how to incorporate this interior design element trend into your home. Give us call for our free in-home consult – there is so much to choose from, we can certainly make your walls pop, too!!

LED Lighting Techniques

You’ve seen LED technology used in many ways before — this progressive lighting innovation is used in televisions, aviation lighting, and many other commercial-use technologies. What does LED actually stand for? Light-emitting diodes, and these little babies are FINALLY making a splash in the world of installation lighting in the home. Though considerably more expensive than traditional bulbs, they have the ability to last up to 25,000 hours, and they use 75% less energy than their traditional counterparts. AND, as an added bonus, more recent developments in the world of LEDs have made a yellowish hue more available (only bluish tones had been available to consumers in the past). What’s not to love?

Lighting Techniques

Let’s move on to the nitty gritty. Why (and where) install LEDs in YOUR home?

1. LED lighting is available in a few of the coolest forms around. It is available in tapes and strips, make it flexible and versatile, for use in many places and spaces throughout the home.

2. LED lights are available in a range of levels of brightness. This gives you the ability to decide how bright you want to go — in a kitchen space, for example, you might want to use the ultra-bright option. Underneath the stairs on your staircase or for use as an accent, though, you may decide on a softer level.

3. LED lighting can be used virtually anywhere! Where to use? Underneath your bathroom vanity, above and below your bathroom mirror, underneath the breakfast bar in your kitchen, above and below your kitchen cabinets, underneath each individual stair on your staircase. The possibilities are endless!

Yes, LED lighting is an investment, but it adds so much value to your space, and it creates a look that will last a VERY long time! Contact me for ideas or pricing!

Some Helpful Tips for Pairing Prints

When it comes to your home’s interiors, you most likely already have a lot going on — between couches, chairs, bedding, rugs, and the clutter inherent in daily family life, it may seem impossible to create a cohesive, styled, and lovely look. As you endeavor to pursue a unique design that reflects your family’s needs and style preferences, though, one of the most difficult tasks is pairing prints in a coordinated way that makes sense. Today, we would like to offer you a few thoughts on exactly how to pair prints effectively.

Putting Prints Together

Here are some of our ideas on ways to incorporate fun, vibrant prints into your home:

1. Consider white couches. Maybe you will need to re-read that sentence again. Yes, we said it — select white couches. When you select high quality couches with removable covers, you can bleach stains and spills out. Additionally, white couches and upholstered chairs allow for the varied use of patterned fabrics for pillows, rugs, and window treatments.

2. Select fabrics with similar background colors. For example, if you are mixing a stripe with a floral, make sure the background colors match — whether white, cream, light blue, etc. This method ensures a coordinated look and consistent feel.

3. Select fabrics that utilize the same color palette. As you create custom cushions, pillows, drapes, etc., select fabrics with varied prints that utilize the same color palette.

4. Select fabrics manufactured by the same designer during the same time period. Many vendors develop prints and coordinating fabrics that use the exact same colors — these fabrics are designed to coordinate and complement one another. As you use them in your home, they will create a unified, cohesive look and feel.

5. Consult with a professional. A professional interior designer will support and encourage your goal of effectively mixing prints while creating a completely unified room.

When it comes to your home’s interiors, selecting prints for use throughout your home can be one of the more difficult tasks. We would love to help you incorporate your personality through these prints and achieve the house of your dreams!

Window Treatments: Some Terminology

Decoding the world of window treatments can be relatively complicated — with all of the choices available, it can be difficult to understand, much less decide upon the appropriate window treatments for the rooms in your home. Today, we would like to provide a quick primer on the importance of window treatments, as well as various types of blinds, shades, and curtains available for the home.

Window Treatments: Why Are They So Important?

Window coverings — or treatments — have the ability to complete a room and draw a look together. They offer an opportunity to coordinate prints and soften the harsh lines inherent in windows themselves. They shield and protect furniture, and provide flexibility in terms of the amount of natural light allowed into the home itself. High quality treatments protect furniture from harmful UV rays, do not fade with time, resist wear, and can last for the entire life of your home.

Types of Window Treatments

There are a vast number of window treatments available — categories and sub categories accomplish various goals and purposes, offsetting your home’s interiors and drawing a room together in a complete and unified way. Below are descriptions of a few of the more popular types of drapery and treatments:

1. Valance. A relatively short horizontal treatment covering the top portion of the window. Oftentimes, draperies hang down behind a valance. Valances may take on various shapes and sizes.

2. Cafe curtains. These curtains cover only the bottom half of the window.

3. Draperies. The traditional drapery is created using panels hung from a rod at the top of the window. Panels may hang to the floor or stop at the window sill.

4. Draw or traverse Draperies. This type of drapery may be pulled open or closed using a draw cord.

5. Roman Shades. These shades are drawn up from the bottom utilizing a system of cords and rings. A Roman shade lays flat when closed, and contains horizontal folds when raised.

6. Swag or Festoon. A large piece (or pieces) of fabric draped over the rod at the top of a window treatment.

7. Venetian Blinds. Blinds made of metal or wood slats, attached to cloth tape and pulled up through the use of a pulley system. These widely available treatments are offered in wood, plastic, and many other types of materials.

There are scores more of terms related to window treatments, but these basic types cover much of what is available. Within these categories are many more variations on themes. Contact us for more information on custom window treatments available for your home.

Naples Window Treatment Services

Claudia Leah is an award winning interior decorator offering high-end window treatments to homes in Naples and Collier County, FL. Claudia Leah’s European Design aesthetic, dedication to functionality and multilingual (English, German, French) proficiency serves Naples and surrounding areas including Marco Island, Bonita Springs, and Estero.
While every project is unique to each client, Claudia Leah and her experienced interior decorators use a synergistic approach to deliver luxurious designs combining our clients’ ideas with clean lines, local trends, and classic styles. Learn more

Selecting Couches

Creating a unique and functional environment within your home can be an overwhelming task. As we continue to partner with clients and support their goals and objects, one task that can be difficult is selecting the right upholstery pieces. Selecting the right couch also includes selecting the cushion filling and couch fabric as well. These decisions impact the end look and feel of your couch; they will impact how you use the couch and your own level of enjoyment and comfort as you use the furniture you select.

As you approach these decisions, it may seem wise to select quality in favor of low cost options. Discounted retailers and big box stores provide an array of couches. These couches, however, often employ low cost construction methods and cheap materials, resulting in a lower quality end product that may or may not stand the test of time.

High quality couches, on the contrary, utilize strong materials for their frames, are typically constructed in the United States, provide high quality stuffing and/or springs, and employ tough home decor fabrics able to withstand years of use. We included a short video in this post, created by one of our preferred vendors, Taylor King Furniture, showing specifically the ways in which high quality upholstered furniture is hand crafted. So much time, energy, high quality materials, and an attention to detail is employed when making high quality upholstered furniture. When you make the decision to invest in high quality upholstery,  it affords you the opportunity to create a customized piece of furniture — many couches are created to order, and the choices are varied in terms of :

1. Couch cushions. You will be able to make the decision as to a blended stuffing, down stuffing, or springdown stuffing.

2. Couch accent pillow. You will have several choices as to the fibers use and methods used to create your couch’s accent pillows. You can also add color coordinated trims to truly pull your room together!

3. Couch arms, backs, legs. You will be able to select the style of the couch’s arm, back and leg construction. Talk about a truly unique piece that suits both your style and body frame!

4. Fabric. Your couches will be created to your exact specifications in terms of fabric type and patten choice.

Your couch should fit into your lifestyle. It should be high quality, able to withstand years of use, and reflect your own frame and family’s needs. Contact us for more information regarding selecting customized couches.


Defining Your Goals in the New Year

What are your goals for this new year? As 2012 draws to a close and we journey into the new year, what are a few things you would like to accomplish over the next 12 months? How do you plan to spend this year? More specifically, what are some things about your home you would like to improve upon? Each new year is an opportunity to begin again, to define the goals you have for your home (and your life), and push forward towards those goals.

Creating Realistic, Attainable Goals for Your Home

As we move together into the year 2013, here are just a few tips we have for creating a set of realistic, attainable goals for your home’s interiors:

1. Begin by prioritizing. If you are like most families, you could rapidly list off an extensive laundry list of home improvement tasks. The real task is not necessarily listing off the things you would like to do to your home — rather, it involves prioritizing these tasks from first to last. Think through the exact order, and discuss why this order is significant.

2. Create a home improvement budget. Yes, you might like to purchase new couches and select a rug for your living room, and you might also like to install light fixtures, wall paper, and new window treatments. How will you budget for these items? Plan for these improvements, and work towards saving for them by a specific date. That way, you will be able to clearly define how much you would like to spend on these items and by what date you would like to complete these projects.

3. Consult with a professional interior designer. Consider the possibility of consulting with a professional. An interior designer will be able to give you a realistic understanding of pricing and help you consider your overall style, as well as the overall direction you would like to take for your home’s interiors.

We would love to help you define your goals for your home in 2013 and assist you in accomplishing these goals. Give us a call for a free in-home consultation or with any questions you might have.

Tips for Staging a New Year’s Eve Party

It’s party time! After all, who doesn’t love a fabulous New Year’s Eve party? New Year’s Eve is less than a week away — are you planning to throw a party for your friends and family? Inviting lots of people into your home for a New Year’s Eve celebrating can be an overwhelming task. As you prepare for the big night, we would like to offer you a few tips from an interior design perspective.

Staging Your Party

Thinking through your home and the flow of the party is an important aspect of planning and executing the event. Aside from the tasks of providing the right amount of food and drinks, creating a theme, and planning any special aspects of the party (midnight toast, group game, dancing, etc.), it is vital to consider the way in which to create a positive party environment. Here are a few tips:

1. Before introducing any New Year’s Eve decor into your space, figure out the placing of your furniture. Be ready and willing to rearrange furniture in order that people are able to move and mix and mingle with other guests, access the food easily, and experience an array of spaces within your home.

2. Be ready to put some furniture away (in a bedroom or home office) in order to create a less cluttered look. When it comes to a larger party, less is more. Less furniture creates more open spaces and makes the party and room feel bigger.

3. Make sure to have enough available seating. While you most certainly do not want a cramped feel to the party, you also want to make seating available to guests when they need to sit down and enjoy some food or time off their feet.

4. Use small details to create a consistent look throughout the event. For example, purchase some plain, gold wrapping paper and cover several canvases with the paper. Replace framed art or photos around your house with the canvases you’ve created.

As you plan and prepare for your New Year’s Eve party, consider giving us a call to help you decorate your home and prepare for the party. We can help you create an interior environment conducive for a larger party.

Peace Within Your Home

There is no doubt about it — Christmas time and the holiday season is exceedingly busy. If you’re like most people, your days are packed to the brim. Holiday shopping, Christmas parties, school programs, preparing for upcoming travels,and many other commitments fill your time. Sleep is a luxury, and your house reflects a sense of stress. It seems impossible — and yet, imperative — to turn the currently harried place you call home into a stress free place of relaxation and peace during this joyous time of here. What are some practical ways to create a peace and joy-filled oasis in the midst of the holiday intensity? Today, we would like to offer you a few practical tips.

Tips for Maintaining a Peaceful Home

A peaceful home this time of year may seem like a distant dream, but today, you can take steps to make that dream into a reality. Here are a few tips from the team at Decorating Den:

1. Schedule and take the time to de-clutter. You have parties, your child’s school Christmas party, and your family gatherings on the calendar. Why not schedule time to organize and clean? As you make this activity a daily priority, it will eventually become second nature. Imagine walking into a clutter free home after a long, busy day filled with holiday activities. What a joy that would be!

2. Be careful not to over decorate. Sure, you may have boxes upon boxes of holiday decor filled with special items dating back to your childhood. That does not necessarily mean every single item needs to go out this year. If necessary, save a few items for next year, and place them around your home on a rotating basis.

3. Carve out a special place within your home in which you can go, sit, and enjoy several minutes’ peace and quiet. This may mean a comfortable, high quality chair in your walk-in closet. It may mean a wicker bench outdoors. Take the time to carve out this place, and perhaps more importantly, take five minutes per day to actually enjoy this space.

Create and maintain a peaceful and joy-filled home. It does not need to take long. Make this pursuit a priority this holiday season, and as always, if you need help, simply give us a call! We would love to assist you.

Home is Where Your Heart Is

Great interior design should have one result — an ultimate goal, if you will — that you LOVE your home! In short, your beautifully designed masterpiece should create a sense of well being, peace, and effectiveness throughout the time you spend in your home. What is home anyway?

1. Home is where your heart is. Your home should be the mother ship — the center of ideas, the place to which you always return, a building in which you feel absolutely comfortable. As you seek to design beautiful spaces within your home, you should put your heart and soul into that design, and in the end, you should be completely excited about the result.

2. Home is where you are known. Your house should contain pieces of yourself. When someone walks into your house, they should understand a bit about who you are and what you value. Incorporate family heirlooms, important pieces of your history, relics that represent relationships, and other details into the interior design of your house as you create a unified look.

3. Home is where you lay your head. Your house represents the place in which you “recharge your batteries,” so to speak. It is a place of rest and relaxation. Comprised of several rooms, there should be spaces in your home in which you can sit for a bit, read a book, drink some tea, and feel completely at ease and at rest. Your home’s bedrooms should be totally relaxed, free from electronics, comfortable, and free from clutter in order that  you and your family might rest — totally and completely each night.

Great interior design, then, has the above ideas in mind. Whether you are attempting to make your home more artful and increase the level of design — or whether you are trying to improve your home’s functionality — your house should, in the end, become a home following the interior design process. What are a few things you might like to do to create beautiful design with these ideas of home in mind?

Decorating Den

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


Remodeling and Home Design