Decorators Want You To Know – Part 2

We recently queried interior design pro’s for tips they could offer that would help them to help you! We received an overwhelming degree of comments addressing reality TV design shows. These shows largely condense the design process, giving viewers a misconception of hiring for ‘instant results’. This kind of expectation promoted by reality TV distorts the very real interior design process. Here are a few tips addressing that, plus a few more great insights from interior decorators and designers:


Reality decorating shows do not give an accurate portrayal of the manpower, cost, or number of decisions that need to be made when remodeling. Designers charge for their services in a variety of ways. They may charge hourly rates, offer a flat design fee, make money through sales and commissions, or combine all these methods. Designers choose what makes the most sense for each client and project. As an Interior Designer specializing in construction and renovation, picking colors and fabrics is a very small part of what I do. I see myself primarily as a problem-solver. In-store decorators sell furniture. I sell solutions.

Lisa Quale
Lisa Quale Interiors, LLC


1) Create a master plan for your home even if you plan to execute it in phases. A master plan insures that everything works well together, creating a seamless design in which “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

2)  HGTV is not real!  Moving from design to installation takes more than 30 minutes, and successful design is as much a function of a designer being thorough as it is of being talented.

3) Hiring a designer is economical. It often saves money by avoiding costly mistakes like forgetting to install electrical outlets and lighting where needed, having furniture that’s out of scale, or sofa fabrics that wear too quickly, to name just a few.

Mitchell Channon, ASID


  1. Good design does not have to be insanely expensive.  A good designer will point their client in the direction of mixing high and low items to create a well curated look.
  1. Invest in original art.  Original art is a legacy that can be passed down through generations and if chosen well, it can increase in value.  Of all the things, I tell my clients, art is the most important piece.  Art evokes happiness, sets a tone for the room and is a great conversation piece!  So many people are intimidated by venturing into art galleries — but it’s a great way to discover what you love — in addition there are many sources online for original, affordable art.

http://www.pricestyleanddesign.com/accessible-interior-design blog/icestyleanddesign.com/2015/09/originalart.html

  1. If you hire a designer, don’t go rogue on them!  By hiring a designer, you are investing in their expertise, knowledge and talent for creating a pleasing aesthetic.  Remember to trust their judgment and guidance.  Be sure to communicate your needs, wants and budget specifically upfront so there is no miscommunication.

Leslie Price
Price Style & Design


1)     Please just let me do it! Do not try to do all your own ordering and manage the shipping of your items, especially if you already have a full-time job. Focus on your life and let us do this. What you pay in fees you will save many times over by avoiding work delays.

2)   Please be upfront with your budget! I will respect your limitations. I also won’t work with one that is too small or unrealistic for the client’s goals. Nobody will be happy at the end of the project then!

3)   You won’t hurt my feelings. Please tell me if you think that’s the ugliest sofa you’ve ever seen, and in fact, tell me why! Negative feedback is important too.

Tiffany Cassidy
Principal Designer


Designers do not receive major discounts on product. It is a misconception that designers buy furniture/lighting/fabric at bargain prices and make a ton of mark-up on sales. We are lucky to make 20% on goods these days. It may be a luxury industry, but it can yield some of the smallest profit margins in business.

Asking to see multiple options of everything isn’t “savvy”, it’s a time-waster. If you are working with a pro, he or she will be able to narrow down selections and show you the best option. That is what we do. We have a vision, we know what fits and will present the best options to you to keep you and the project on-target.

The time-line starts not when you say “yes”, but when the vendor processes the order. We receive approval, we send you the sales order, you send us a check, we deposit it and send payment and purchase order to the showroom, the showroom processes our payment and initiates the order. This adds a week to ten days to your lead-time of 6-12 weeks (and upwards). PLUS you have to add in time for shipping and delivery upon completion. Bottom line, expect the work to take time!

I have to add one more thing. Interior design is 10% creative, 90% management. Good professional designers are experienced enough to understand that interior design isn’t about “fun”. It’s the ability to envision, design and then organize and manage thousands of details, dozens of trades, schedules, finances and personalities – with the expectation of a flawless installation on a set date.

Tricia Huntley
Huntley & Co. Interior Design

We thank our participating designers for taking the verbal initiative to help clients understand a few ‘insider aspects’ of the interior design business.

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Decorators Want You To Know…

Here are some things that decorators want you to know … and it comes straight from the pro’s themselves! We asked a group of decorators and designers what they would like for potential clients to know. We received so many great tips, that we decided to feature as many professionals as we could. We will be releasing more tips in ensuing weeks…because there is SO much more to share! Here are the first five responses we received…


Hire a designer that you can trust – they are spending your money, acting on your behalf and in many ways will know things about you that you might not even tell your closest confidant. If you do not understand or are unclear with what your designer is proposing, ask for clarification – this will ultimately save time and money in the long run. Designers are not psychic – communicate, communicate, communicate; it saves time and money in the long run.

George Brazil, CID
SagreraBrazil Design, Inc.


Understand that the design process takes time. Too many people have the impression (from watching design shows on TV) that they will get “the big reveal” immediately. They do not realize that the “make-over mentality” is created for TV. The reality is that the entire process takes time, including: building a relationship with the client, shopping and honing design direction, choosing and curating products and furniture. People hire designers because there are many different moving parts, and you need that expertise to manage it all. But quality design takes time. If you are hiring a decorator, trust in their expertise.

Sean Juneja
Co-Founder & CEO of Décor Aid


You hired us for our skill set and expertise.  Let us help you!  Many clients have a very difficult time letting go of the reigns, which really inhibits a project and the creative process.  Collaboration is wonderful; being a control freak is stifling. One of the greatest challenges is when you want us to decorate a room that is already half-done. It is next to impossible for me to create my look and accomplish what I want when I did not start from an empty (or near empty) space. I have no problem mixing in pieces you already own, like your grandmother’s table and things like that; but when you already went out and bought the sectional sofa or the rug, my hands are tied.

Rachel Schwartz


Reality shows are not reality! These shows leave people with unrealistic expectations of how much a decorator designed room costs and how long it takes. Nothing is perfect; sometimes the magic happens in the Plan B and it’s the reason you hire a professional! We do a lot of problem solving! You, as the client, have to be ready to purge or shed the old look. I can’t tell you how many times somebody hires me and then wants me to “work around” many things that do not fit into a new floor plan.

Carrie Leskowitz


“Free” estimates and quotes aren’t really “free” for the designer or decorator. It takes time to compile all the specs, products and items required for a project with pricing, as well as time to put together a schedule for a project. This time is often uncompensated or is incorporated into a project fee IF the designer/decorator is hired. Most states require designers to be licensed, which requires annual CEU attendance and education to keep up-to-date on code, trends and policy in the state the designer does business in, including specialty (IE: commercial, healthcare, government, education & kitchen/bath). Degrees from 2 or 4yr colleges are required to get licensed and in most states, to call yourself a “designer” you MUST have a college degree as opposed to a decorator which is not licensed.

There is a fee range based on: experience, education/license/certification level, area of expertise (residential vs. commercial vs. hospitality, kitchen/bath vs. LEED designer) and profile. Someone who has authored numerous publications/books, is a speaker at events, contributes to regional/national media, works on large-scale, high profile projects will command a higher fee than someone out of design school, non-published and/or no specialty or certifications.

DeAnna Radaj
“Helping You DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams from the Outside In”

**We wish to thank the above professionals for providing insight and clarity for our customers!

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Anji Mountain Confetti Paper Shag

Interior Design Trends

For 2016 interior design trends, we will see a movement towards simplified color palettes that incorporate organic and natural elements. We were asked recently by Natalie Richardson to provide a few tips on design trends for 2016. Here’s a few ideas we have about what’s happening on the USA home front. Check out some other ideas from PoshFlooring.co.uk, that hail from other parts of the globe too!

2016 Design Trends - Anji Mountain Confetti Paper Shag

Anji Mountain AMB0452-0810 Confetti Paper Shag

Many now seek to part from the technological assaults the outer world commands of them.  Lots of natural sunlight, nature colors and sparsely furnished rooms with functional but soft and comfortable seating is popular. Couches and chairs with pet friendly fabrics that require very little effort to clean are sought now. Simplification in home decor reflects our biological need to remain connected to Earth properties – sans electronics.


Hard flooring is still the easiest to clean, whether it is made of cement, wood or stone. There is still a strong preference for very dark stains. While the lighter floor shades help to open up a room, the darker stains help to create drama. Floor sheen’s are no longer shiny, but are in various types of matte finishes. Bamboo is an organic material that is being used more. For softness and ease on human feet, fuller, solid shag or geometric design throw rugs help to create room warmth.

The Confetti Paper Shag Ethereal, Cumulonimbus cloud-like puffs of unbelievably soft fabric invite bare foot days and nights while maintaining a refined, contemporary disposition. This rug also makes a compelling sustainability statement with its inventive use of recycled paper in its pile.

2016 Design Trends - Hinkley-3872bn

Hinkley Lighting 3872BN Foyer Meridian


Table and floor lamps are being replaced by simple-design pendants and ceiling lights. Ceiling fixtures help to lift the atmosphere of a room as they can more easily spread light into the surrounding air. Fixture styling trends are of cleaner cuts and sleeker looks, with less ornamentation. The Hinkley Meridian (3872BN) features minimal transitional styling with clean lines, soft curves and low-profile faceted 1/2″ thick glass. The stem-hung simplistic design adds a crisp focal point to any room decor.

2016 Design Trends - Uttermost

Uttermost Accent Piece Options

Home Decor

Think – less clutter, fewer possessions and featuring prominently in one’s environment, a few items that carry true emotional significance. Technological advances have dissolved the need for large stereo systems and bulky televisions. Music CD’s and videos are vacating shelves, as they’ve been replaced by the use of cell phones, tablets and flat screens. With more ‘room’ space, homeowners are beginning to explore aspects of their inner creativity and are doing so via the use of color and carefully chosen items that reflect aspects of the inner soul.

Uttermost offers one of the most broad and most current product lines in the world. Their line includes accent furniture, decorative mirrors, alternative wall, art, clocks, lamps, lighting fixtures, botanicals and accessories. EliteFixtures.com is an Uttermost Lighting authorized dealer.

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Advantages of LED Lighting


While LED lighting may be relatively new and expensive, it’s price is definitely coming down as more businesses and households purchase and install them for use.

If you’re a green-friendly recycling kind of person (like my wife), you’ll instantly be happy to hear that it uses far less energy than the conventional incandescent bulbs.  And when I say far less, I mean like up to 85% less!  That’s a substantial savings.  With that said, that also equates to money saved in your electric bill.  When comparing to Fluorescent bulbs, its approximately 5% more efficient.  Even though the comparison between LED and Fluorescent may not be as significant it is when you factor in the longevity of the LED Bulb that can last up to 50,000+ hours!

Look at the chart below and you’ll easily recognize the benefits of LED bulbs.



Do you have light fixtures that are in hard to reach places or just plain difficult to install (you know, the foyer chandelier, recessed lights, bulbs in a glass enclosure, etc)?  Using LED bulbs in these applications are almost a set it and forget it since you won’t have to change the bulb often!  Another small yet useful advantage of using LED!

According to Energy.gov, by replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures can save you up to $75 per year!  So the next time you’re making a purchase for light bulbs, think about the advantages of LED!

LED lighting will be the light of the future, so warm up to that light, no pun intended!

Come check out some of our deals on LED light bulbs!



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Shop Safe and Secure with encryption

On January 1, 2016, there could be a number of devices where the security will no longer work.  You know that small green or gold lock that usually sits in the corner of your web address bar on your browser?  Visit us here: https://www.elitefixtures.com/index.cfm?dsp=member.cart.view and you will see it!  Yes, that one!

Well, this lock is displayed for your protection.  However, on Jan. 1st, support will be dropped for a certain level of encryption where older devices will no longer meet the requirements.  The techies (such as myself) refer to this as SHA-1.  Over the next year, algorithms of encryption that are older than SHA-1 level will no longer meet the required trusted security level and thus not render that lock.

For a better explanation that’s less technical, it works like this….. When you connect to a website from your web-browser (phone, pc, mac, tablet, etc) you send and receive data to communicate with the website.  During this process, and most certainly at checkout when making a purchase, there is encrypted (or secretive) data being passed back and forth.  Ahhh yes, that little mystery green or gold lock you see is actually doing something!  If it didn’t have that lock, whatever was being passed back and forth would be deemed unencrypted and could essentially be picked up by hackers.

We take security serious and are always striving to keep each and every one of our customers feeling secure from their shopping experience at www.EliteFixtures.com.  Keep your software up-to-date and be sure to always look for that lock anytime you’re transmitting sensitive data!

Happy Holidays!

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How to add instant curb appeal

First impressions are critical and the curb appeal of your home is the first impression everyone gets. For curb appeal, there are two major components; landscaping and lighting. In the past, you would see elegant outdoor lighting on homes that generally were 3000 sq ft and up. As we observe consumer behavior, we’re seeing a trend where homeowners are really sprucing up their landscaping without breaking the bank.  Of course it depends on how big your property is and how much you want to renovate, but in general, you can make a big impact for as little as $1500.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Take care of small tasks like weeding, mowing the lawn, or cleaning out the storage closet
  • Start planning and executing the larger tasks such as painting, remodeling or other aesthetic repairs
  • Haul any trash that you were “going to get around to”
  • Clear the clutter – hide belongings that might otherwise mask the greatness of your property

For the landscaping aspect, adding great looking bushes, shrubs and pavers to a pathway make a difference!  Additionally, installing outdoor lighting that isn’t your ordinary post and wall mount light just makes the landscaping really standout. For example, outdoor path lighting and outdoor spot lighting really adds to the appeal. Keep in mind that adding new smaller bushes and shrubs also make your home appear newer. When night approaches you can truly appreciate the beautiful curb appeal created.

To start your renovations, it’s great to know that the days of spending the entire weekend making trips to a few local stores to find the best deals on the items you needed are gone!  Online shopping really has its advantages when comparing prices from unlimited retailers across the country that also offer free shipping (and sometimes no sales tax).  Most consumers don’t know that when shopping online, purchasing from a smaller retailer (non-big box, Amazon, Walmart, etc) has its privileges. Two important privileges are:  Personalized service; you can actually speak to a live and knowledgeable representative ready to assist with your needs and 2) Better pricing thru promotions and discounts.

For instance, you can purchase pavers for as low as $1.75 sq ft from http://landscapeliquidator.com and create an elegant walkway that adds a wow factor.  Bushes and Shrubs can be purchased relatively inexpensive at http://www.naterehills.com where they offer lower pricing on additional bushes purchased!  EliteFixtures.com is always running promotions on lighting and home décor and specifically on outdoor lighting.  For savings of 50% or more on closeout items, you can visit our outdoor lighting sales.  Additionally, if there are no promotions on the item you desire, call us direct and we will generally provide a discount!

Start outlining your plans on sprucing up your curb appeal.  Be sure to price shop online and call retailers for discounts.  You’ll be amazed at the savings and more amazed at the new look you’ve created for very little money!  With these small upgrades, you’ll have curb appeal day and night!

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Benefits of Home Ownership

Home ownership has many advantages, both from a personal and financial perspective.  However, as you know, buying a home is a very important decision. Understanding the differences between renting and buying can certainly help you decide if it’s the right time to make that leap.  While it can be fun and exciting to buy a home, it can also have its stresses!  However, the good news is there are benefits to Home Ownership! :)

Benefits of Home Ownership:

  • Tax savings
    You may earn a significant tax savings since you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal income tax as well as many states’ income tax if you itemize your deductions properly.
  • A stable monthly housing expense
    Your monthly housing loan or mortgage expense can remain the same for the life of your mortgage, depending on the type of loan you choose.  Since interest rates are at all time lows, this is a good scenario to take advantage of!
  • Equity
    You may build equity in your home over the life of your loan, which allows you to plan for future goals like your child’s education or your retirement.  When renting, you are not building any equity (unless you’re a saver).
  • Personal satisfaction
    Your home can be a great source of pride and satisfaction – giving you peace of mind that you’ve built a solid foundation on which to build your future.

And best of all…. You get the decorate your home with great fixtures whether its lighting, furniture or great home decor!

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Spruce up your home for under $500

Looking for creative ways to spruce up your home while adding value?  Here are some functional products that will definitely help improve a home, all under $500:


Ariel Bath Lucite Acrylic Shower Panel

Ariel Bath shower panels (there are several styles to choose from), are fully loaded with jets and a steam generator, that greatly increases your therapeutic experience. With easy installation instructions, this inexpensive but very functional item will not only make you feel like a whole new you each morning, it will make you think you’ve renovated your entire bathroom!








 Capital Lighting 3 Light Post Fixture

 You’ll want two of these at least, but at a truly affordable price, you can update your outdoor post lights and drape your home in a beautiful night-time amber ambience, while upgrading your curb appeal instantly.






 Kichler Cameron Lighted Fan

 Add a fresh and bright new lighted ceiling fan to any room and update a tired room look instantly. Not only are lighted fans double functional – this Kichler fan comes with a universal hanging system, and allows for mounting on ceiling with up to a 30 degree slope.






 Craftmade C3-PW Chime

 Make your guests feel warm and welcome when they ring your doorbell and hear the beautiful Westminster melody instead of a tired old ding-dong. Select a four note or eight note setting for the front door and a single note on a second or third door.





Bassett Alissa 45 Round Mirror
Bassett Alissa 45 Round Mirror


 Bassett Alissa 45 Round Mirror

 Draw into your home a new surge of positive energy via a Feng Shui influence, by mirroring a wall with this beautiful Alisa Round Mirror. With a 45” diameter, this round bevel wall mirror from the Bassett Mirror Company is the quintessential piece for those seeking a sleek and elegant update to their home décor.



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Unique Ways to Warm Up a Room – Weekend DIY Projects

Unique Ways to Warm Up a Room

Not sure what to do with a blank wall and don’t want to hang just more art? Insert a working fireplace! An entirely new line of electric fireplaces look absolutely perfect in a contemporary home or interior, with one twist. They can be actually embedded into a wall! With user friendly installation instructions; these types of fireplaces can easily be hung on any empty wall to suit the interior of any room. The flames produced come in a patented pattern that seeks to imitate the look of real flames. The fireplace also doubles as an electric heater, thus adding value for the money. The operation is a breeze, with a remote control that is included.

Yosemite Home Decor’s DF-EFP1313 provides value-both in aesthetics and functionality-to a room. http://www.elitefixtures.com/index.cfm/Yosemite-Home-Decor-DF-EFP1313-Contemporary-Wide-Glass-Electric-Fireplace—Black-Yosemite-Electric-Fireplaces/p442348


Whimsical Winter Room Warmers

What do you do when you have a limited budget, and just can’t stand the way your living room looks anymore? What simple weekend fix can give you a whole new outlook on life, come Monday morning? A great way to completely alter the look of a room is to enhance it with just one block-buster area rug. With so many styles, designs, pile types and colors, you can even treat your traditional style furniture to a modern style rug; to create a really unique visual oasis within your old living area environment. Momeni Contemporary Rugs: http://www.elitefixtures.com/index.cfm/Momeni-Contemporary-Rugs/c1629-m1261



Warming Up an Atmosphere

Install a network of warm-light pendants over an island station in a kitchen, over a dining table or in a private den and with the flick of a switch, you can completely warm up the hue and tone of any room. These days, lighting manufacturers in stiff competition with one another, are continuously creating new versions of traditional and old style fixtures, by adding artisan style glass shades that can literally swirl with multiple colors. Many come in ‘collections’ that offer various fixture styles, enabling you to spread that same ambient glow into adjoining rooms – while keeping continuity with that initial fixture that you really, really love. Elk Lighting: http://www.elitefixtures.com/index.cfm/Elk-Lighting-10079-6CV-6-Six-Light-Down-Lighting-Vortex/p93902

Elk Pendants

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wall clock

Ten Interior Choices for NYC Bachelor Artists

Whether covering canvas with colors or drafting plans for a new building, NYC artists place emphasis on fine detail and effort in interior design.  However, an artist’s budget is more concerned with style than sums.  The following is supplied by New York providers who serve NYC bachelor artists with demands for sensible and chic options.



Wall Clock

wall clock


When was the last time you worked on your latest masterpiece?  Don’t waste time lounging around your apartment when you could be creating.  This color wheel-like wall clock keeps tabs on the seconds as you count on being less likely to procrastinate.



Cheese Tray


Nothing says “welcome to my humble abode” like an assortment of tasty cheeses.  Impress your invites by scrawling individual choices on this natural slate cheese tray.  A soapstone chalk cheese tray?  What a gouda idea!



 Pasta Bowl


This Medici pasta bowl unites old-world design (note the uneven edges) with new-age convenience (it’s microwave safe).  Some believe the fleur-de-lis design, etched on the inside of the bowl, resembles tears Eve shed upon leaving Eden.  However, you’ll get no complaints as you keep the bowl filled with tasty offerings.



 Wall Garden


Uproot inspiration when looking at your ceramic wall garden filled with colorful succulents.  Buy as shown or request the planter be filled with seasonally-available assortments.  Plant your mini garden on the wall or tabletop while visitors grow fonder of your decor choices.



Candle Holders


The symbol of fire is used in many religions to resemble birth, creativity, and passion.   However, most artists in NYC use flames to light candles.  These heavy-duty, hand-blown glass candle holders are ornate, city originals.



 Coyote Skull

Coyote Skull

Did you ever wonder what happened to Wile E. Coyote?  He eventually retired to the East Village, occasionally meeting with one-time nemesis Road Runner for coffee and chess.  No, we made that up, but you can buy this natural coyote skull and conversation piece.  You’ll have to create your own story about its origin or give us proper accreditation.



Mini Swivel Table

Mini Double Swivel Table 

To the untrained eye, this mini swivel has one platform.  Yet, with the magical stroke and sleight of hand of an NYC bachelor, it has three.  As well-studied artists know, form follows function, and those entertaining a number of friends along with knowledge of modern architecture can host multiple drinks as easily as conversation about industrial design with this glass-top swivel table.



Book Shelf


Books offer a means of escape and pleasure, and this fire escape book shelf offers a place to stack books, plants, and ornaments. While the city places restrictions on what you can place on your actual escape, there’s no limit to what you can do with this unique, zigzagging book shelf.



Table Lamp


Artists are aware of the complexity of creating an end product endowed with sentiments of simplicity, such is this table lamp.  Let there be light in your space and a fine touch of chrome in your home.



 Floor Lamp

This 26-inch floor lamp offers dual lights for artists who want to keep an eye on detail while onlookers mind the style found throughout the bachelor pad.  Subtle yet trendy, choose a satin chrome or oil-brushed-bronze finish.

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