Uttermost

Products for Pooches

Uttermost

Introducing a dog friendly company: Uttermost

Every human dog guardian knows that the word ‘family’ ABSOLUTELY includes the fur beings that co-habit with them. In keeping with home furnishing trends – and advancing human consciousness, we at Elitefixtures.com 100% advocate the idea of providing a few luxury products for pooches. It’s a way of showing not only an appreciation for the millions of moments of unconditional love all humans are bestowed by them; it also ensures that they know, that we know, that they should be acknowledged once in awhile for the great humanitarian work that they do.

UttermostProducts

Sku#  23624                  Sku#  23025              *Clearance Sku#  23212             Mac Cooper/Uttermost

There is indeed a huge difference between tossing a random ratty pillow or old used rug on the ground for ‘the dog’ and… going that one extra step to demonstrate to him or her that he or she is truly, a beloved family member; via a luxury bed! Dogs, cats and birds for that matter, have sensitivities we don’t always understand. Stopping for a moment or two to let your pet know it is a special member of the family, goes a long way in terms of its mental and emotional well being. And yes, your dog thinks and feels very deeply. Otherwise he or she could not LOVE YOU so intensely.

Providing your beloved with its very own, very special bed can do much to sooth a restless spirit,  a bored buddy or an elderly fuzzball that’s spent over a decade with you already. A ‘personal bed’ allows a dog to innately feel a sense of belonging, security and permanence. With humans coming and going all the time, laughing and talking right over their heads, including being overly obsessed with texting friends right in their silent presence; a dog can feel very lonely, even when surrounded by everyone in the family. We don’t always recognize how our human behavior affects those who exist in a living reality two or three feet below our own heads.

Sku#23626UttermostProduct

Sku# 23626

If you don’t want your dog on your bed sleeping with you every night, or on any of your precious furniture pieces; or if he or she seems to be exhibiting a sense of insecurity or restlessness of late – perhaps you’ll consider purchasing your dog a REAL bed! You might be amazed at how calm and stable he or she suddenly becomes. And your heart will feel good that your dog’s heart has been touched by genuine human thoughtfulness!

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Pablo Solomon Image by Jeb Thomas

Designers Define Inspirational Sourcing

Pablo Solomon Image by Jeb Thomas

We’ve asked some designers to define their inspirational sourcing. Here are their thoughts:

Inspiration is an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes you are literally inspired out of the clear blue sky, in the middle of the night; a concept just pops in your head out of nowhere. Other times you feel as if you must search out new vistas and new experiences to stimulate your creativity. After decades as an artist and designer, I have found that the real key is within you. You must maintain a positive, inquisitive and open mind.

The Japanese have a term –mind of no mind–this is concept that roughly translates as having an alert and open mind, but not a mind that expects or does expect, judges or does not judge–you are open to what the world around you reveals. I have found that everything and everyone I come in contact with can spark inspiration.

Of course the cliché walk in the woods, the visit to a museum, a vacation in a new culture, etc. can spark ideas. But so can things as mundane as a pattern on a fabric, a color on a street sign, the curves in a walkway and the list is endless. The key is that your mind is open and active and always processing the world around you. When something seems beautiful or balanced or proportional or interesting to the point that your mind has a response, you must be ready to try to understand why you saw beauty or got pleasure from that split second. Then you must allow your mind to come up with random thoughts and juxtapositions and combinations and mutations and blurring and sharpening and flowing and freezing–until you have something that you think will work. The next step is really what separates the true artist/designer from the dreamer–to actually take your idea and turn it into some sort of reality–a sketch, an object, a song, a dance, etc.

As far as staying on top of the latest trends, I often create trends. Some I have been instrumental in developing over the years–the resurgence of black and white in art and design, vertical greening, mid century modern, the seamless flow of interior and exterior design, etc. ( Currently I am guiding other designers in the rediscovery of the beauty and practicality of laminates ). Do not be afraid to be a design leader. But also, do not fail to recognize new directions that have merit.

While you should be aware of what is being promoted currently as a big deal, you should filter all that hype with your own experience and tastes. A good designer never allows his/her clients to go overboard with fads, but rather presents design based on balance, proportion, harmony, quality, ambiance, etc. Never lose track of that the secret to great design is not only how something looks, but rather the feeling that the object, room, landscape, etc. evokes. Great creativity is when your vision becomes a reality that projects a feeling which your client was hoping to have.

Pablo Solomon
Artist & Designer
www.pablosolomon.com
Pablo has been featured in 29 books, dozens of major magazines and newspapers, TV, radio and film. Beverly consults with clients on art as an investment, design for home and office, vintage collectibles and fashion.

PatriciaDavisBrownDesigns.com

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

Every project brings with it a new canvas, so each of my projects have their own unique design. I have no signature look, because if I did then it is my vision not my clients vision and they keep my designs fresh.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

With that said, I think it is important to attend industry shows and seek out artisans with unique looks. It is part of my job to find inspirations that I can pull from when a design calls for it. I just got back from Las Vegas, where I attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the International Builders Show and I expanded my mental library by seeing what is the latest in decor and technology for the home.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

My artisans are my secret weapon to creating something never seen before or applying a technique differently than how it was intended to be used. Sometimes I visit an artisan studio to get inspirations to apply to a wall, floor or an architectural object to create a wow factor.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

Many times it’s nature. I live on the inter-coastal waterway, in Florida, and one day while riding in our boat I noticed the uprooted trees on the spoil island. Their organic aesthetics intrigued me and I had a coffee table base designed and made with driftwood for a client, it was beautiful. Originally, I wanted to use it in a meditation room of a mansion I was doing on the ocean, but I couldn’t sell the idea to the owner. I wanted to take one of the giant root systems and apply it to the wall, which would have been awesome, maybe one day.

Patricia Davis Brown is an award-winning interior designer whose work has been featured in Florida Architecture, Traditional Homes & Design, Florida Design, Qualified Re-modeler Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas and The Kids Space Idea Book.

Patricia Davis Brown, ASID, NCIDQ, CKD, CBD
Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC.
professionalkitchenandbathplans.com
PDBHomeStore.com
digthisdesign.net

ImagebyAmbience.ca

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I read a lot, speak to design industry professionals and am always looking for new ideas and trends that allow me to keep my designs fresh and current.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

I do a lot of reading online and in design books as well as take interior design courses to keep up the latest trends and design advancements. Being on the cutting edge of sustainability and wellness of spaces is something we continue to strive for.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

We have a vast library of home decor products we can access and depending on the project and budget we also reach out to some talented artisans that can create something special for our clients based on our custom designs.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere. We believe in making space in your life for inspiration to flow, whether it be during a walk in nature or on vacation. Sometimes the best ideas come when we are not searching for the solution. When the inspiration strikes, I write it down and find a way to apply it to the space I am working on. At Ambience Design Group (ambience.ca) our process and philosophy is unique – we take a holistic view on design – we see the complete picture and ensure that all elements of your space are working cohesively together. We have developed our own proprietary design process, Ambience Living Spaces, that incorporates sustainability, wellness, and accessibility in custom spaces.

Josie Abate
Owner, Design Director
ambience.ca

ImagebyWaldronDesigns

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I have to give a lot of credit to my college professors back in the days of design school. They really weeded us out well. Half our class was cut at the 50% point of the program, and those who made it through did so because it was what we thrived on. We simply must design. For me, it’s not something I can burn out on. It’s something that I simply cannot live without. Design is a part of me. That said, I keep involved in the design community. I go to presentations given by manufacturers and craftspeople and their energy is contagious! Continuing education is not scarce. There are so many associations: NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), IIDA (International Interior Design Association) as well as local groups. Whether or not a designer is a member, courses and presentations are available to the trade.

I also like to talk to the people I am working with and that my clients are working with. I show up at the job site and observe the tile installation so that I may learn from someone who is actually doing the work. I watch the cabinet maker build my cabinets and watch him mix and apply the stain.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

While the presentations generally cover the latest trends, I actually avoid a lot of them. I don’t care if white kitchens are the new thing. What is important to me is what will last and what moves the homeowner. Now, I do care about new products that allow me to create a better space, but trend predictions are rarely accurate. I think more important is watching the homeowners and seeing what the vast majority are interested in and attracted to in order to truly understand the trends. Product reps keep us up to date with presentations on their latest products and if I’m looking for something new, my reps are a great resource to rely on.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

I sometimes go to direct artisans. I live on an island full of artists and craftspeople, and I love and prefer to work locally and support small businesses. But, it ultimately depends on the homeowner and what they are looking for.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

Fantasy: I am strongly inspired by movies! I love set design and think that often dreams come from watching films and imagining ourselves there. I personally love the 80’s fantasy/adventure movies, like Labyrinth, The Never ending Story, Legend, and The Goonies. They bring out the child in me- the child with the limitless imagination!

Deterioration: I love the mystery of peeling wallpaper and rooms that are boarded up. Our innate desire to cross the line and explore, to see what is hidden inspires me to create little surprises in each space.

In regards to subject matter – I have recently begun offering “Lifestyle Design” with a Yoga instructor and a Home organizer! It sounds like an odd mix – but I think that when people are looking for a major life change, such as a remodel, they are truly looking for a lifestyle change.  The Yoga Instructor (Emily Herrick) and I also are recording a radio show that we expect to air this month!

Rachel Waldron, Interior Designer/Owner
new construction | remodel | furnishings, finishes, and fixtures
waldrondesigns.com

LindsayPennington.com

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I find that seeking out new experiences always keeps my design senses fresh.  I love to travel, and bring home new ideas each time I return from a trip, whether I’ve been wandering the halls of museums in Paris or soaking up the desert colors of Palm Springs.  Naturally, movies and art provide lots of visual stimulation and provoke new ideas, but even simply picking up a book can get your design juices flowing, because they require you to use your imagination to picture detailed backdrops for their characters and adventures.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

As a designer, I strive to think outside of the box and not necessarily follow trends!  But it’s so important for designers to be aware of new products, from fabrics to furnishings to fixtures, and to find innovative ways to integrate current market pieces into our clients’ homes.  I rely on digital and print publications (such as magazines and blogs) to keep up-to-date on the best and most interesting new products, but just being aware of the latest ideas for any aesthetic is crucial.  For example, for several years the interior design marketplace has been responding to customer demands for green products that incorporate recycled materials, and for products that rely on vegan or organic textiles,  to reduce environmental impact.  This trend gained a lot of momentum when the food industry started thinking about new ways to promote farm-to-table and organic ingredients in their menus.  Keeping current on what matters to our clients in all aspects of their lives is necessary to my design education.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

Absolutely.  Each client deserves a designed space that is personal and authentic.  So we reach out directly to artisans to help craft those one-of-a-kind pieces that separate a “catalog” look from a specific interior vision that really reflects the client.  This can be as simple as commissioning a painting or a picture from an artist that the client loves to as complex as designing a suite of furnishings for a client using bespoke fabrics that are made in a workroom precisely to the client’s specifications.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

I love to consider my client’s wardrobe when designing a home for them.  For example, a woman might gravitate to brighter colors and lots of jewelry, so her home should reflect a more layered, colorful, and bohemian point of view.  On the other hand, a man might wear a gray or navy suit to work everyday, and drive a sleek black sports car, so his home should similarly be a reflection of the way he chooses to present himself to the world everyday in his office and professional life.  Of course, I’ve had male clients that wear bright colors and jewelry and female clients who wear suits to work every day, but the fun of the job is tailoring each environment to my individual clients, no matter what they wear!

Lindsay Pennington
Designer, Owner
lindsaypenningtoninc.com

Again, we thank our participants for their insight and willingness to let the public peek into the ‘interior process’ that ultimately manifests into visually beautiful and functional environments for their clients.

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WB1815DWZ-LED

4 Smart Ways to Update Your Home

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Start Outside-In

If you’re in a warm weather area, here are 4 smart ways you can update your home without spending a fortune or an exorbitant amount of time doing so. For those in cold weather regions, spring is just around the corner and a quick walk around your property with a notepad in hand will give you a brief start list of things to address. Starting outside-in gives you a break from your everyday indoor living environment and it can spark fresh ideas; simply because you’re breaking your everyday visual viewpoint and daily routine. Seasonal weather climate changes can wreak havoc on a home. Water, wind and salt can cause corrosion in wood and metal over time. Start by sprucing up key fixtures that will add instant value to the home. Inspect and update outdoor lighting fixtures, doorknobs, planters, mailboxes that are broken or show wear and tear. These items are not particularly expensive to replace or repair and it’s absolutely amazing what a new paint job, fixture or doorknob can do to spruce up curb appeal. Consider replacing worn out fixtures with marine grade ones that come with extra powder coating (PI67 Grading) or are made of rust free polyester materials. They are specifically designed to help offset damage done by water, wind and salt. Because they are, they tend to last longer as well.

items

Small garden adornment purchases can magically transform a backyard into a sweet paradise. Consider a new lounge and seating area, upgrading the grill, and adding a few decorative garden ornaments. It doesn’t take a lot of money to replace worn out garden furniture cushions, repaint the wicker or add a bright and few decorative pillows. If shopping for new garden furniture, be sure to look for weather coated canvas, rattan coated with powder coating and stick to easy-to-clean plastics.

sinks

Revamp Kitchen Appliances

If you’re really serious about making some indoor changes, the kitchen is the heart of the home and a clean and sterile environment for food preparation is essential. It is also one of the most used rooms in the house, thus, its appliances and even the kitchen sink can take a beating over time. Upgrade the most used items in the home with high quality products. Stainless steel is popular due to the durability of the material, its easy-to-clean surfaces, and its ability to match and enhance any exiting appliances finishes in white or black. Kitchens are the best investments and usually get somewhere from 80% to 90% of their value back. That means that if you put $30k into your kitchen, it will value out at $23k to $28k worth. If on a budget, you’d be surprised how a new microwave oven, blender or toaster can instantly brighten the look of your counter-top area. So might a newly installed faucet or sink basin. Look to the things you use the most and consider a new purchase of just those few items.

VZ3260VNAR

Same Rule Applies to Bathrooms

Update the main bath fixtures for the obvious reasons – usage. Toilet, sink and tub basins and especially faucets should be considered. Make sure everything is sealed properly with caulk, including where the tub meet the floor, since water tends to splash from the shower, regardless if a shower curtain is used. Make sure all faucets are clean and new. Replacing all fixtures and appliances will add instant value to your home. It will also set the ground stage for many maintenance free years to come.

ImagebyUttermostCo

Update the Fun, Everyday Activity Things

Lastly, buy a new bedspread for each of your bedrooms. Upgrade to a flat screen TV and do away with old CD players, bulky old stereo units, receivers, and even the outdated DVD’s. Put a guitar in a corner stand, just in case guests can play. Load up the firewood bin for cozy fire nights. If the wall paint still looks good, then just paint the trim and window sills; which will make each room look shiny and brand new. Removing dusty old nick-knacks and purchasing just a few new home décor accent pieces can instantly change the look and feel of a room. Consider bright pops of color in vases, candles, lampshades, statues, accent consoles and even scenic coffee table books.

Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, when faced with the prospect of having to update or repair worn out fixtures or face clearing out non-needed collectables. Reduce the stress and anxiety of your to-do list by staring with very small fixes. Begin replacing the smallest things first; such as a new doorknob, a new back wall fixture or planters. Starting small will spark you to continue on, for the results will perk you up, and inspire you to do more. Small steps at a time always lead to the greater picture ultimately.

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Maxim

How To Size a Foyer Chandelier

Maxim

One of our manufacturer’s recently offered a tip on how to size and select the perfect foyer chandelier. It drove us to ‘thinking about’ customer queries we often receive, regarding how to select the right chandelier for any room. With online sales driving brick and mortar businesses to locational scarcity, most homeowners are forced to do their shopping online. Hiring an interior designer of course, would nip this sizing issue in the bud. However, what if it’s just a simple DIY fixture replacement?

Having to make an important lighting decision based on an online web-store’s photo and listed product dimensions, often leaves customers confused. Homeowners are forced to use their ‘best guess’, and most of them quite frankly, try to simply ‘eyeball’ it and then choose. That usually means returning a product that doesn’t fit the space. Since many manufacturers no longer accept ‘buyer remorse’ returns without charging restock fees, additionally, customers are often left to pay the shipping fees to send the item back to the manufacturers. All kinds of things happen in the shipping process to and from warehouses and homesteads. What’s a homeowner to do?

Here are a few suggestions, from not only Maxim Lighting, but from our point of view as well:

Maxim-2

Featured: Maxim Lighting Chantilly Collection

Maxim Lighting has many designer choices in chandeliers such as the Chantilly that creates a classy, elegant ambiance. The foyer is usually one’s first impression of your home. A chandelier would be a perfect fit when there is at least 3 feet of space available. To determine the size of chandelier, add the length and width (sq. feet) of the foyer and convert to inches.  [For example – a 10 by 12 foot foyer would require a 22 inch wide fixture].

Sample-images

Feiss: Oberlin Collection P1426SN-LED                                                                                                              Crystorama: Pallas Collection 529-SA

Measuring for Rooms in General

To Determine Width of Chandelier

  • Know your room dimensions. Measure the height and width of the room. Then add the two measurements together. Convert the feet measurement to inches. If your room is 10’ x 20’, (10 + 20 = 30) a chandelier with a 30” diameter would best fit your space.

To Determine Height of Chandelier

  • Measure the ceiling height, from the point of installation (point where you plan to hang the fixture) to the floor. Multiply the height by approximately 3” (1 foot wall height to 3” chandelier height, per foot measurement). So, if you have a 10 ft ceiling, multiply that by 3 and you get 30, or 30” diameter.

A second option would be to determine a chandelier’s size by strictly the width of the room. Measure the width of the room, then and calculate 2 inches per every foot. A 12-foot-wide room would need a 24-inch-wide chandelier. The measurement doesn’t have to be perfect to these suggestions. It can be an approximation by a few inches, give or take.

Samplelighting

Feiss: Cascade Collection F2661/8+4HTBZ and Khloe Collection P1412ORB

Take these other things into account as well: (image above)

Remember that finish, amount of bulbs on a fixture, choice of shade types and overall style will have a great impact on your room as well. If you choose a chrome or satin nickel finish with clear glass shades, the fixture will allow the human eye to visually see through it – giving the appearance of a larger room. Whereas if you choose an oil rub bronze fixture with amber or opaque shades, the eye view will stop once it meets the fixture, thus a room may appear smaller visually, as the fixture would then be a purposeful attraction for the room, thus possibly obstructing a full view of the room.

While shopping from online stores can seem confusing at first, a great customer service department can always assist you by phone or chat. It’s worth it to reach out and ask, prior to purchasing when in doubt. One phone query might save you more than you think – and if you do your homework first, chances are it will truly pay off in the long run!

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professionalkitchenandbathplans.com

Decorators Want You To Know – Part 3

In our three part ‘Decorators Want You To Know’ series, we’ve asked professional interior decorators and designers what tips they could offer to homeowners considering using their services, that would allow for the best design results. We were astounded and ecstatic by the response from the pro’s, who were crystal clear in their ability to present a much more realistic  aspect of what interior design services actually entail. Understanding better what the decorators and designers actually do, can only serve to better the overall ‘designer experience’ for any homeowner. Here are some tips from the pro’s themselves:

professionalkitchenandbathplans.com

Make Sure You Have a Complete Plan

As a licensed interior designer and a certified kitchen and bath designer, I find many people do not know where to begin their project. It is so important to have a completed plan before you begin your job. This puts the ball in your court and avoids costly change orders. Without a plan you cannot get legitimate bids, which you should do as a check and balance system. Many times a new client will come to me after they have hired a contractor and that is just doing it backwards. Your designer is your representative to make sure the plan is complete and all bids have been qualified. A complete plan should have the following:

  • Planview
  • Elevations
  • Lighting design
  • Material list with all specifications
  • Scope of work

Kitchen and Bath Lighting Plan

The kitchen and the bath are the most used rooms in the house where several activities take place. You will need a layered lighting plan offering general, task and ambient lighting. Not all lighting plans are actual lighting plans. If you have a lighting plan that does not list the lamp that is to be put into the fixture, then you do not have a lighting plan, you just have a hole designated in the ceiling. Each lamp comes with specifications, beam spread, color, and candlepower, so it is measurable. Once again if it’s not planned for you, you will not have what you need. Most every plan that comes across my desk does not have a true lighting plan. Most just have an architect that runs a grid of general lights and calls it a day. Well that is not good enough. Task lighting over counters need to have more candlepower than general or ambient.

Design is a Process

I wish clients would understand that design is a process of communications between all parties. Many times at a preliminary meeting they seem to get anxious and I have to constantly remind them that it is preliminary and we can make changes up until materials are ordered. There might be one preliminary meeting or several to get to the end result. Their expectations sometimes get a head of the process and it’s better to be patient and get it right than it is to rush to order.

Patricia Davis Brown, ASID, NCIDQ, CKD, CBD
OWNER/Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC.
www.professionalkitchenandbathplans.com
www.PDBHomeStore.com
www.digthisdesign.net

pablosolomon.com

  1. You should understand that a successful décor is one that makes you feel the way you were hoping to feel and that projects the image that you were hoping to project. The more clearly that you can communicate what you want to achieve, the more likely the decorator can create a space you will like.
  1. The more detailed the plan–from materials to permits to inspections to sequence–the fewer problems you will encounter and the less likely it will be that there will be cost overruns. Every time that the clients want to make changes in the middle of a project, the more expense will probably be added.
  1. We are not mind readers. The more photos you can share of what you have seen in books, magazines, open houses, model homes, etc. that show elements of décor that you would like in your space, the more likely the decorator can give you what you had in mind.

Pablo Solomon
Artist & Designer
www.pablosolomon.com
Pablo has been featured in 29 books, dozens of major magazines and newspapers, TV, radio and film. Beverly consults with clients on art as an investment, design for home and office, vintage collectibles and fashion.

“When life looks like it’s falling apart, it may just be falling in place”
by Beverly Solomon in Good Housekeeping, August 2009.

redchairhomeinteriors.com

First, I want my prospective clients to know that they don’t need to feel ashamed about the current state of their homes or apologize for their clutter or their “dust bunnies”…or even for needing or wanting decorating help!  I’ve noticed that the people with the most immaculate homes are the ones who apologize the most profusely, but there is no need to do this.  I am in my clients’ homes to help them, and not to judge them!

Also, I want clients to understand that decorating a home, like all creative processes, can be a non-linear process at times–and that’s ok!  Clients often apologize for “jumping all over the place” as they are talking about their homes, but sometimes that is exactly what’s needed for creative problem solving.  For example, maybe the family room feels too crowded and the client is also frustrated that the dining room lacks a sideboard.  Moving the family room sofa table into the dining room to serve as a sideboard can address both concerns.

Finally, with rare exceptions, I have found that most homeowners will need at least 3 years to fully “move in” to a new home, including painting or remodeling it to their taste, furnishing it, hanging artwork, finalizing lighting, rugs, window treatments, and decorative accessories, and creating and fine-tuning organizing systems that work for them.  Embracing and accepting this more realistic timeline can take some pressure off, and sometimes the only way to gather the needed “data” about a house is to live in it for awhile.

Amy Bell
Owner, Red Chair Home Interiors
www.redchairhomeinteriors.com
theredchairblog.blogspot.com

HoskingInteriors2

#1 – We are not driven to use your home as a “lab” to create yet another beautiful photo for our portfolio. Our job is to help you make your home a perfect reflection of your aesthetic needs, wants, lifestyle and functional requirements. Run from any decorator or designer who you sense is trying to railroad you into creating their next masterpiece.

#2 – Our work takes immense amounts of creativity, inspiration, and above all, communication skills. If we can’t uncover and understand what you want and need, then it won’t matter how technically great we are as a designer.

#3 – Contrary to stereotype, our job is not “glamorous,” most of the time. We climb ladders, breathe in dry wall dust, deal with difficult contractors/vendors, and shop until we literally drop. “It must be so fun getting paid to shop with someone else money.” Not so much when you are under time constraints and shopping for ten clients at a time. It’s mostly stressful.

Jill Hosking-Cartland
Owner/Principal Designer
www.HoskingInteriors.com
https://www.facebook.com/HoskingInteriors
http://pinterest.com/jillhosint

Understanding the entire scope of job responsibilities a designer takes on, enables homeowners a more realistic view regarding what to expect; time-wise,  cost-wise and final results-wise.  We thank all of our participating designers for their candid responses and suggestions and hope that our three part ‘Decorators Want You To Know’ series assists both designers and homeowners in the formula called ‘success’.

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luna-collection

Styling Via Your Lighting

luna-collection

Often overlooked by DYI home renovators is the importance of selecting a versatile lighting style that will fit many types of interior décor. Lighting not only needs to be functional in terms of making sure one’s visual environment is suitable for everyday living, but it should also emit a personal sense of ‘home’. Manufacturers often create fixtures with a variety of finishes, sizes and shade coverings with the knowledge that homeowners vary in their décor choices. Often the shade color is right, the finish is perfect but the size is wrong. When considering a re-decoration project, whether you’ve hired an interior designer or are choosing to do it yourself, styling via your lighting should be a consideration equal to the choice of couch you will order.

Crystorama
When styling via your lighting, the Luna, crafted by Crystorama, is a fixture that makes an impressionable statement. Each fixture is like a piece of modern art with bold shapes and lines. The English Bronze and Antique Gold finish have wonderful textures and movement. There’s undeniable magic when light meets exquisite crystal and glass. The family-owned design house of Crystorama has been celebrating this marriage for more than 50 years in its lighting creations. Crystorama is known for its standout lighting, which is exceptional in quality and design.

With every chandelier it manufactures, the company draws upon its history, knowledge, and legacy of stellar craftsmanship, and then embraces modern shapes, inspirations, and materials. From traditional all-crystal designs, to princess mini chandeliers, to even transitional lighting collections, Crystorama offers styles that will match any decor and are always in fashion. The 585-EB-GA English Bronze + Antique Gold Pendant features:

Wrought Iron Body
Maximum hanging height of 95″ with provided 72″ chain
UL and CUL rated for installation in dry locations only
Bulb Base: Candelabra (E12)
Bulb Type: Incandescent
Chain Length: 72″
CUL Listed: Yes
Height: 23″ (measured from ceiling to bottom most point of fixture)

layla-collection

Known for it’s particularly stunning and elegant designs, Crystorama has well over 100 collections to choose from. For instance, the Layla Collection features eight different fixture styles in antique silver or antique gold. No matter how wild, traditional or monotone your room décor is, there is a fixture to match.

 

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Sustainable Products on Behalf of Earth

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Since its inception in 2003, Anji Mountain has established itself as the finest source of area rugs and office chair mats made from both natural fibers—including jute, bamboo, sea grass, sisal and cork—and recycled materials. A family business, the company was founded on the principle that only sustainable uses of the earth’s natural resources can be tolerated. Thus, they have developed a specific reputation for crafting and sourcing sustainable products on behalf of Earth. The astonishing renew-ability and versatility of natural fibers and recycled materials creates lots of new ecologically positive possibilities at a time when they are desperately needed. It’s the Anji Mountain mission to bring these wonderful resources to as wide an audience as possible.

This pouf brings some stylish versatility to your living space. Perfectly sized for duty as a stool or small ottoman and ready to switch gears at a moments notice. It sits nice and firm for excellent support yet offers a touch of comfort with a natural jute cover. Just be sure you don’t own cats – lest they think you’ve made a diggy-dig purchase – JUST FOR THEM!

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Simple things we can do to protect our planet….

Most in society agree that global warming is happening. However, the harm that the human race has done to our natural world is reversible—at least to an extent. If we delay modifications to our behavior and practices we do so at the peril of future generations and ourselves. Choosing products made from natural fibers instead of synthetic fibers is a small step towards reversing man-made damage to our planet but it’s an important one.

Consider this comparison of natural fibers and synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers create a myriad of disposal problems for communities worldwide. They release heavy metals and other additives into soil and groundwater when they are disposed of in landfills. Recycling can be expensive and time-consuming. Incineration produces dangerous pollutants and, in the case of high-density polyethylene, 3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions for every ton of material burnt. Substantial amounts of carbon dioxide are also released into the atmosphere during production of synthetic fibers.

In stark contrast, natural fibers are naturally and easily decomposed with the help of universal fungi and bacteria. Natural fibers can also be composted to improve soil structure or incinerated with no harmful emissions and release of no more carbon dioxide than the fibers absorbed during their lifetimes. Furthermore, one ton of jute fiber production absorbs as much as 2.4 tons of carbon dioxide1. Since carbon dioxide is the most destructive greenhouse gas on the planet and largely responsible for the growing hole in our ozone layer this bit of information illustrates but one significant reason to choose natural fibers.

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Anji Mountain strives to provide the finest quality floor coverings made from sustainable and renewable materials with a focus on natural fibers. Click to view their fabulous line of bamboo rugs and transitional rugs in a fabulous array of bright designs. Don’t forget to gloss over their super plush bamboo shags. Your feet won’t believe what they’re feeling, and your purchase will help to support sustainable manufacturers!

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A New Twist on Flush Mounts – Elegance

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Everyone has seen them; those white ceiling dome lights that populated almost every household existent at one time or another. They served generations of humans very well. They are still one of the most popular purchases for DIY homeowners on a budget, because they do the job, are relatively cheap to purchase, and a snap to install. In recent years however, the little white domes have been quietly transformed into a multitude of lovely new designs, giving homeowners the ability to now think of the utility device, as an accessory.

There’s a new twist on flush mounts and the effect they have on a room is absolutely ‘charming’.

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The Feiss 6 Light Semi Mount, Sku# SF331CSTB comes with such charming adornments. Modern and rustic themes work beautifully together in their Colorado Springs lighting collection. Clear Crystals floating in metal rings are threaded onto chain and strung into drum shades. This unusual marriage of dark and light fashioned into a familiar, transitional silhouette brings a bit of glamour to the ultimate mountain luxe cabin or urban loft.

The Chestnut Bronze finish is common across the assortment which includes a 4-light and 6-light chandelier, a 4-light pendant, a 6-light foyer piece, a 1-light mini-pendant, a 1-light sconce and a 2-light flush mount ceiling fixture. The Feiss Colorado Springs six light semi flush fixture in chestnut bronze supplies ample lighting for your daily needs, while adding a layer of today’s style to your home’s décor.

Featured in the decorative Colorado Springs Collection:
6 A19 Medium 60 watt light bulbs
C-UL-US listed for damp locations
A great choice for your do-it-yourself project
Decorative chestnut bronze finish to accent and brighten your room
The preferred brand choice of builders and electricians

The next time your eyes drift to the ceiling, consider adding a little flavor to the area over your head. One brand new and elegantly designed overhead flush mount might just change the entire atmosphere of your room!

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LQInteriors.com

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:

LQInteriors.com

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
www.lqinteriors.com

MitchellChannonDesign.com

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
www.mitchellchannondesign.com

PriceStyleandDesign.com

  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
www.pricestyleanddesign.com

Lagnappe.com

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
www.Lagnappe.com

huntleyandcompany.com

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
www.huntleyandcompany.com

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…

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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.
www.sagrerabrazildesign.com

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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
www.decoraid.com

ImagebyRachelSchwartzDesign

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
www.rachelschwartzdesign.com

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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
www.carrieleskowitzinteriors.com

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“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”
www.deannaradaj.com

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

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