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What Designers Wish Clients Knew

Hi long lost readers!

Sadly, I have been very negligent with my blogging.  This means I have been busy with work and my two little grandsons (George -27 months and Charlie 7 months).  They are so much fun!  I have a difficult time going much more than a couple of weeks without seeing them (they live a couple of hours away).  

But today this happy "Gammy" wants to share this article with you. I plan on giving it to every new client to read. 

If you have ever hired a designer or decorator or ever want to hire one this article is for you.   Click on the link and read at your leisure and leave me a comment or question after you are finished.  





Hope you all are having a great summer. 

Thanks for checking in!



Window are the "Eyes" of a Room

Hi to all my devoted readers!  I have been MIA on my blog for quite some time.  Partly because we have had two new additions to our family, two adorable grandsons, and I have enjoyed spending as much time as I can with them, and partly because I have been fortunate enough to be quite busy.   

Over the past several months, I have been designing quite a lot of custom window treatments. If they say that "eyes are the windows to our soul", then Windows are the "eyes of a room". Windows allow us to connect with world outside. 

Window treatments make a "huge" difference in a room!  They control the light and privacy,  and bring color,  texture, and softness to the room.  Widow treatments also control sound.  

Below are  Before and After photos of this handsome fully-paneled study with new window treatments.  

The client needed privacy since the study faces the front of her home, so we installed textured, lined woven woods. The panels and cornice were made from  F. Schumacher fabrics in a modern version of a houndstooth pattern  in gold, green, red and brown.We trimmed the panels and cornice with a brown suede fabric, also from F.  Schumacher & Co.

We re-arranged the furniture so that now desk faces the street and added recessed ceiling lights because, as you can imagine, a paneled room can be quite dark. 

I went by yesterday to take quick look and snapped an after photo.  (please excuse the quality as this room has not been lighted for professional photography as all interiors need to be).






 What do you think?


Thanks for checking in!


Latest Trend in Kitchen Design

Getting ready to build or remodel your home?   Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal regarding the latest trend in kitchen design. 

This year's Coastal Living Showhouse in Rosemary Beach, Florida is a prime example of this new trend in kitchen design.  Note the showpiece area is part of the living room where guests can visit while the host cooks on the handsome commercial grade appliances. 


This "wok" kitchen or butler's pantry type area is just off to the side of the  where the not so pretty part of cooking takes place.


This is a perfect arrangement for the cook who likes to share the process with guests.  

What are your thoughts about this latest trend? Your comments are greatly appreciated.  

Photo credits:


Don't Paint Yourself Into a Corner!

For those of you kind enough to follow my blog, my apologies for being absent for so long.  My design work has kept me very busy lately and sadly I  have neglected my blog. 

As I was working this evening I was thinking what is one piece of design advice I give most often.  And , it came to me, paint last!  I say this a LOT!

When embarking on a design project, choose your inspiration piece first.  This can be a piece of art. Perhaps a piece of original art like this oil by Barbara Flowers.


Or perhaps be a patterned area rug, or a collection of porcelains, etc.  But something needs to be your inspiration for your color scheme and it is NOT the paint color.

Next choose fabrics that work well with you inspiration piece.  

My approach is to quite a few possible fabric samples and later decide where to place them in the design.

 In this case, tomato red is the dominant color in the painting, so perhaps a touch of this should go somewhere in the room, even it is a throw pillow or  banding on a drapery.



Including the least dominant color is also an interesting way to go.  Love this green version of Celerie Kemble's hothouse flowers.

Maybe toss in a silk geometric?


I would probably go for neutral on the largest piece of upholstery, if this were a living room. This almond textural fabric is made from Egyptian cotton and alpaca making it extremely soft yet durable. The advantage of neutrals is that they never go out of style. 


Although, I would most likely have a dozen or more options when working from this painting, once I have accumulated my favorites and established where each fabric will go, i.e., sofa, chair, draperies, etc. then and only then to I begin looking for a paint color.  It is so much easier to find a paint to coordinate with a fabric than the other way around. The paint store can mix a paint exactly the color, if you need, that you want to duplicate from a piece of fabric or wallcovering.

So in this example, I would choose a much darker shade of the almond fabric as a paint option.  

For example Benjamin Moore Blanched Almond might be a good choice.

See how this is has similar "undertone" to your neutral.  

If you want to learn more about selecting colors in your home I would refer you to color expert, Maria Kiliam from Vancouver.  Here is a link to her advice on seeing undertones.

How to be 100%?  Buy samples and paint them on foam core or poster board and plaster them all over your room.  And, yes I do this every time I choose a paint color, outside and inside.

It is well worth a few dollars in samples than to have to repaint an entire room.  If it isn't right, try another option or better yet spend your money hiring a professional help you choose the right paint color.  Some people just don't see undertones in paint colors and some do.  

In closing, remember Paint is the last decision!

Thanks for reading.  Your comments are always appreciated.








I Heart Celerie Kemble Fabrics & Wallcoverings

I am working on a project that is  eclectic,  a mixture of old and new in this case.   In searching for fabrics.  I found  the collection of Celerie Kemble by F. Schumacher & Company.    



I love this Hot House Flower Print.  


It makes a gorgeous throw pillow, and is warm and lively for draperies. 


via Designer Insider blog



It mixes beautifully with all sorts of patterns.  



Celerie was on Martha Stewart recently showing how to design with black and white. 


Don't you just love how she combines the chinoisserie wallcovering with the sleek modern furnishings?


Kemble has just launched a line of wallcoverings this fall.  This monochromatic version of the signature Schumacher fabric print of the same name is interpreted in a lacy pattern of white flowers and foliage against a sisal ground.

This animal print on sisal softens the graphic pattern and gives it a wonderful texture.



The next time you are looking for something sort of "different" check out Kemble's collection.  You may purchase these items through your interior designer. 

Thanks for checking in!