Posts Tagged ‘interior design’

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!

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.

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.

Trendspotter: Unique Chandeliers

At Decorating Den, we seek to research the newest trends in interior design. As we explain these trends, where they come from, and the ways in which designers are incorporating this trend, we also desire to help you decide whether or not to employ these trends within your home’s interiors. Today, we bring you one popular design element that has certainly trended upwards in the past year, and will continue to do so in 2013 — unique, detailed chandeliers.

The Trend

Unique, detailed, extravagant chandeliers are being utilized and incorporated into interior design in many traditional — and non-traditional — ways. Chandeliers have become popular as kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room lighting. Using chandeliers in unexpected places have made the common things in life increasingly special and lovely.

Chandeliers provide a dramatic centerpiece for any room, and while traditionally used in foyers or dining areas, they are also designed for other rooms in the house. Chandeliers are available in all shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of styles (e.g. cottage, French country, modern, elegant, etc,).

To Use It or Not?

Strongly consider incorporating a chandelier in one of the rooms of your home. These types of pieces will set your home apart and create a dramatic, luminous design. Many chandeliers feature colored crystals, lovely glass orbs, simple, hammered metals, and other unique details. Select a bright, unexpected wall color for a smaller space, and include a relatively small chandelier within a smaller space, such as a powder room or utility room. You may also desire to incorporate a chandelier into an in-home studio or office space. Doing so creates a special, unique type of environment within an otherwise bland space.

For assistance in selecting the right chandelier for a space within your home, give us a call! We would love to come and assess how you might incorporate a lovely chandelier into your space.

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.


Welcome Sarah Naples!

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new member of the Decorating Den interior design team. Here in lovely Naples, Florida, we are so excited to welcome Sarah Naples (yes, that is her real last name) to our interior design firm!

Growing up in Naples, Sarah has always enjoyed the best of what the Southwest Florida area has to offer, including spending afternoons at the beautiful white sand beaches, shopping in and around town, and spending time with close friends and family. Throughout her life, she has also cultivated an eye for design. In her current Old Florida residence (a stilt home built in the 1960s), Sarah enjoys finding unique, antique-type pieces and placing them in just the right spot to garner the optimum level of attention. Her home is a place of peace and rest with a defined style, and she hopes to help our clients find the same level of peace and rest in their own homes as they exhibit their own style and personality.

Sarah has spent her career supporting web marketing efforts, writing website content, providing assistance in a variety of capacities, supporting organizational efforts, and planning and executing events within various organizations. We are pleased to have her join our team, and so excited for the level of experience and professionalism she brings to Decorating Den. Her bright smile, poise, positive attitude, and hard working nature is contagious! We are already having a lovely time together in the office after only several weeks.

As we introduce all of our clients to Sarah, we are confident you will love working with her as well. She will be guiding our client ordering efforts, helping with organizational tasks within the office, and assisting in client meetings, among many other things. We look forward to introducing you personally to Sarah Naples. Please join us in extending her a warm welcome!

Happy New Year!

From the team at Decorating Den, we would like to wish each and every one of our friends and family a very Happy New Year! As you wave goodbye to 2012 and welcome in 2013, we reflect on the blessings of this past year and look forward to the year ahead. At Decorating Den, we love to celebrate the New Year. Why?

1. It marks the end of the holiday season, as well as the beginning of our busy season here in Southwest Florida. We love the season here! Yes, it is busy, and yes, our town grows more crowded. But, it gives us the unique opportunity to connect with several of our past and present seasonal clients personally. And we love that!

2. It gives us the unique opportunity to look back and count our blessings. We are so thankful for the 2012 year — it was a year of growth, creativity, and accomplishing more than we ever thought possible! We developed new relationships, and we had the opportunity to hire on an interior design assistant to help us increase our range of services and ability to take on new clients.

3. The coming of the New Year affords us the chance to look ahead. With the coming of 2013, we look forward, define our goals together, and look for areas of growth. We look forward to identifying trends, helping clients understand their own stylistic preferences, and accomplish their own specific goals for their home’s interiors.

How will you celebrate the New Year? Will you look around yourself, count your blessings, set goals for the future, and enjoy spending time with loved ones? What traditions do you have as a family? As an individual? Make this New Year count!

Decorating Den

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


Remodeling and Home Design