Re-Defining Twine


 Elk Lighting 15902/5 Pearce 5 Light Chandelier

As a proud planetary guardian of several indoor cats, I can with absolute certainty declare that the feline species has taught me many things no human could. One message in particular that stands out when viewing the new twist Elk has put on the Pearce Collection – is the importance of simplicity. Lighting manufacturers are heavily challenged to constantly produce new styles, so as to keep up with yearly fashion trends in home decor. In some years, there is definitely a flood of fresh new styles, which can often spark a home design buying frenzy. In other years, fixture designs can be ho-hum boring – as if we’re seeing the same old ‘same olds’, coated in different finishes or colors, in a weak effort to mask ‘designer’s block’.

Similar to the many times I’ve attempted to keep the household kitties entertained – some toys that I truly thought would entice them – completely bored them. Yet one year, when the funds for kitty entertainment was somewhat low, I took to finding things around the house. Feeling somewhat an incompetent fur nurturer, I tossed down some cut up toilet paper rolls and dribbly twine and tried to coax them to play. To my utter amazement, no coaxing was needed. The kitties entertained themselves for hours – winging the TP rolls up in the air and grabbing the twine by mouth and running about – which caused a trail of followers who dappled at the bouncing tail-end as if a live mouse were about. It’s as though my furry friends were telling me to nix the harmful plastic human creations and stick to the more ‘natural’ things in life – the simple stuff.

When I normally write for the company blog, I typically don’t interject personal experience into the pieces. But when I saw this twine-version fixture by Elk Lighting, I half wondered if the designer of that particular fixture had a cat. Sometimes, a little bit of rope can go along way. And though the fixture design itself might be something I’ve seen before – bravo to Elk for re-defining twine and coming up with something other than just another coating of color.



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Rug Matters


Sacred Cow Rugs  ~  Labryinth Rugs   ~  Ancient Egypt Rugs   ~   Earth Motif Rugs

When considering flooring, there are always rug matters to consider. Will the new room have a hardwood, cement, tile floor …or a carpet? For about a decade now, there has been a clean sweep on the carpet industry, as more and more homeowners have chucked the wall to wall rugs and picked up on the hardwood floor trend. There are a lot of advantages to bare wood floors. In terms of maintenance and allergy considerations alone, it’s not surprising that wood floors are here to stay. Wood floors are easy to sweep and clean. Wood floors can open up a room to make it appear larger than it is. Wood floors allow accent décor to become the focus point of a room. Wood floors don’t collect permanent citizens called allergens.

While many hardwoods can be absolutely beautiful in terms of color, layout and border design, there is still the issue of human warmth and comfort that comes into play. Human feet seek soft ground and sometimes, a rug is not just general floor covering; it can also offer an element of genuine human comfort into the décor equation.

Humans are highly visual and often people think according to only what they typically see – which at human eye level, is approximately 5 to 6 feet off the ground. In fact, so much time can be spent choosing the right lighting, the right window treatments, the right furniture and the right wall art that quite often, people tend to forget to look down, to address the floor. Today there are so many styles, shapes, colors and types of rugs that it can be daunting to try to match a rug up with the décor you’ve already chosen and purchased for your newly renovated room. There is no greater way to add pizzazz to a bland or neutral style room than to add a wild pop of color or fabulous printed pattern to the floor. One great area rug can significantly alter a room’s entire atmosphere and is a terrific way to ‘redecorate’ sans having to really do anything more to the room. It’s a wonderful way to keep the budget in check when keeping within budget, matters.

When thinking about re-decorating your next room, it might be a good thing to at least, mentally start from the ground up. Ancient Sanskrit teachings emphasize grounding the mind and soul into the physical body via Yoga. Painters use grounding compounds as an underlying support that will hold and bind their acrylic and oil paints to the canvas. Builders construct their buildings from the ground up. When all is said and done, perhaps after all…rug matters.

View Momeni Rugs    View Dynamic Rugs   View Anji Mountain Rugs  View Uttermost Rugs

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Consider All Weather Wicker


All Weather Wicker Conversation Set by Jeco

Every few years, and it goes without saying, a spring-time review of last year’s outdoor furniture often provokes a weary sigh. Did we forget to rinse down the pieces before storing them for the winter? Has the dirt and grime has now settled comfortably into every nook and cranny? Are the cushions faded or grimy enough to cause you to spontaneously burp to your guests, ‘Oops, let me wipe that quick, before you sit down’? Might we have left them out a bit too long and dead fall leaves made permanent imprints, that now won’t remove with even CLOROX? These are all signs directing you to go look for new furniture. But what should you buy?


All Weather Wicker Patio Deck Box by Jeco

Consider all weather wicker. With durable, all-weather resin wicker over a powder-coated steel frame, this kind of product is built to withstand anything life throws your way. Unlike real wicker which dries out and cracks, resin wicker is flexible and fade-resistant, which means it stays like new season after season. What’s more, all-weather wicker doesn’t absorb water and also allows for air flow, making it the perfect choice for the poolside! All weather wicker is virtually maintenance-free and cleaning it is as simple as spraying it down with your garden hose or wiping it clean with a solution of mild dish soap and water. That makes it Eco-friendly too – because you’ll save on water, and won’t need to use caustic cleaning agents to get the mud and dirt off.


Introducing the Over-sized Zero Gravity Recliner by Jeco

Additionally, if we segway off to the pool area, one might think about relaxing in an Over-sized Zero Gravity recliner. This chair has a shade built into it to protect you from the sun. The removable drink tray is great for keeping a beverage at hand. The locking mechanism allows for an infinite number of recline positions and a headrest is provided for additional comfort or use as a lumbar support. The recliner, made of high strength and durable powder coated steel frame, folds for easy storage and transportation. It comfortably supports up to 300 lbs of human weight. The fabric is made of textilene, a long lasting outdoor grade fabric. It comes in twelve exciting color combos.

The Spring and Summer seasons should be all about relaxation, family festivities, restoration and contemplation about life’s forward moving journey. Easing out of household duties, including the pesky after-winter yard work should be a pre-spring priority, so that by the time both seasons arrive – you’re already there.

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Products for Pooches


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.


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# 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
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.


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.


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


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


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

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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4 Smart Ways to Update Your Home


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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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:


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.


  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
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.


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


#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

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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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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