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Q and A: Five Top Decorating Questions Answered


Everyone loves intriguing spaces. Whether it’s a windowless, jewel box of a powder room with red lacquered walls or a glass walled living room with mountainous views, we love being “transported”. 


Perhaps this comes from our days as children with forts and tree houses. Or maybe it’s a deeper nesting instinct. I’m not sure about the psychology.



You can choose all the paint colors, carpet, fabrics and furnishings you like but designers will tell you the challenge is choosing elements that look fantastic “together”. It’s much more than choosing color and styles. It’s like telling a story: there are lots of words in a book but it’s the order in which the author puts them that makes the book interesting.

I’ve compiled a list of questions people frequently ask during our consultations and provided a number of solutions below.

Frequently Asked:

Q: “We are remodeling our kitchen and there are so many decisions to be made. Where do I start?”

above via DOMAINEHOME.com

A: Start with the elements already present in other areas of the home such as flooring, molding, doors, casing, and windows. Think about the year the home was built. Think about future plans for remodeling other rooms. Plan your kitchen to blend in with all of the above. If your home is relatively new and modern, cherry wood cabinets, recessed lighting, contemporary brushed stainless steel pulls, and granite counter tops might be in keeping with what is “already there”. Or, if it’s an older home, consider white painted cabinets, a polished marble tile back splash, and old fashioned black porcelain pulls.

above S.R. GAMBREL
I find clients sometimes want to go in a completely new direction with their kitchen remodels just to be “different”. That’s a mistake unless you plan on redesigning the entire home. Never try and make your home appear to be something it’s not. Consider the architectural style, geographic surroundings, maintenance issues and THEN your style preferences. Aim for flow and continuity.


above via DOMAINEHOME.com

Q: “My sofa is getting dingy. Should I recover or replace it?”

A: The first thing to consider is the overall condition of your existing sofa. How is the frame? Is it wobbly or stable? How are the cushions? Are they misshaped, lumpy or uncomfortable? How much did you pay for the sofa? If it’s a good quality piece it’s worth having it recovered. Prices for recovering sofas vary dramatically due to the wide range of fabric costs. Most upholstery fabrics begin at $80 a yard.


above via DOMINO
Q: “I need window coverings throughout my new home. What is the solution to a home with many sizes and styles of windows?”

A: Most homes do have many types of windows. My favorite go-to solution in three words is draperies over sheers. Depending on sun control and privacy needs, you can opt for functioning or non-functioning draperies and sheers on traversing decorative hardware.


above via DOMAINEHOME.com

I also love stationery draperies over wooden blinds on decorative rods and rings. They make virtually any unattractive window look fabulous and are a great investment for most traditional style homes.

above via THISIVYHOUSE.tumblr
Coordinate drapery fabrics with your existing design scheme. Wooden blinds, shutters and drapery hardware are a great investment. The drapery panels can be replaced or changed out (for a different look) with a relatively small investment. This also makes them a great selling point for potential buyers.  

above via ELLE DECOR

Q: “What are my window treatment options for French doors and glass sliding doors?”

A: I prefer traversing draperies for both French doors and glass sliding doors. In some instances valances and stationery panels can be nice for glass sliders depending on what’s on the neighboring window/s and how much space is available side to side. Like most window treatments, these require professional workmanship to be functional and attractive.

above via HOUSE AND HOME

I’m familiar with the mass-produced window treatment options for sliders and French doors like vertical shades, honeycomb shades, etc. but I’ve never cared much for them. They are outrageously expensive for what you get. If you’re going that route at least choose styles and colors as neutral as possible.


There is one mass-produced option I’ve used and loved and that’s the Hunter Douglas Nantucket sheer shade with internal rotating louvers. When the louvers are “open” they give the room a softened light while still allowing you to see outside. When closed they provide maximum privacy and sun control.

above via DOMAINEHOME.com
Q: “I don’t like contrived decorating or a lot of accessories but I’d like my home to look special. What can you recommend?”

A: There are some very nice ways to make your home more festive without being overly decorated. My favorite way is to keep on hand a wide variety of quality vases and fill them on the weekends with fresh flowers or greenery from the garden. Sans flowers, they are a fine table top accent as long as they are kept clean. I also love having lots of hard bound books and baskets around the house.  They add a homey, useful touch. Lastly, high quality lamps, simple throw pillows and lap blankets add texture and bring a home to life.

above via INDULGY.com
Feathering your nest is quite often about finding ways to play up the positives and detract they eye from the negatives. Start by filling a binder or file with pictures of the homes, rooms, and individual furnishings you love. By educating your eye, you are much closer to getting what you want from your project.
If you haven’t already done so, go to Pinterest and build boards for your projects. It’s fun, easy and a great way to find inspiration. If you need help finding interesting images, to get you started, follow me on Pinterest here.

The images in this post are from Pinterest boards “Kitchens, the Hub of the Home” and “Living Well at Home“.

above via VERANDA

above via SWEETSTROLL.tumblr