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Pet Friendly Design | MA Interior Designer

Something we are well versed in is pet-friendly design ideas. A lot of our clients, past and present, are pet lovers. So it is often that we are asked whether the sofa, the chair or the rug we chose for a room will stand up to the homeowner’s dogs, cats or even bunnies! Luckily, we have quite a few options when it comes to protecting against pets, or hiding any pet imperfections on furniture.

Performance Fabrics

First and foremost, we always suggest a performance fabric for all upholstered items that a pet and/or young children will be spending a lot of time on. Luckily, quite a few of our fabric lines carry a variety of beautiful pet-friendly performance fabrics which can be used to create a fabulous and functional upholstered item.

Most performance fabrics are stain, moisture, and odor resistant (trifecta)! This means that they won’t smell like Rover or stain from muddy paws. They are also incredibly easy to clean, saving you time and stress. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to clean these pet-friendly fabrics.

Textured/Shabby Chic Decor

Do you have animals who shed a lot? Or cats who like to scratch? One suggestion is to design your house in the shabby chic trend! Shabby chic is a design style that uses both aged furniture and newer items to create a cohesive look within the home. Marrying trends from the past with trends that are current, you can create a very unique, shabby chic interior. The benefit to this trend is often most of the items are distressed, therefore disguising any fur, scratches or imperfections caused by loved pets.

Along with the shabby chic trend, we have suggested pet owners purchase a rug that matches with their pets fur color. Or purchase a sofa with a fabric that will easily camouflage any fur your pet leaves behind. This way you don’t have to vacuum as often.

Pepper and Zoe

Cordless Window Treatments

Cords on window treatments aren’t just a threat to children, but they can also be a safety hazard to pets as well. Not only are they a safety hazard, but dogs have also been known to chew and tug on the cords. We always suggest it is best to avoid a cord completely. Nowadays there are many pet-friendly cordless window blind options, which completely eliminate any hazard to your pets and children. These blinds remain fashionable, functional and pet safe.

Bonus:

Want to spoil your pet just a little bit? A few of our go-to vendors make dog and cat beds fit for a king (or queen)! If you don’t want your pets on your new sofa, just buy them their own!

If you would like some help pet-proofing your home, give us a call! We have all the right pet-friendly products and just the right coworkers to test them all out.

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Glamorous Bedroom Design

Purple and Gold Master BedroomA glamorous bedroom design starts with bold colors and finishes with metallic details.  Deep purple walls ground this space providing contrast to the soft cream carpeting.  

Before and After Master Bedroom

The skinny windows behind the bed did not scream “glamorous,” which is why we employed an optical illusion. We trick the eye by hanging drapery wider than the window, and only covering the window frame to create the illusion that the windows are large and fill the wall.

The showstopper in this room is the gold leaf flower wall art.  A photo doesn’t do this piece justice – gold foiled sculpture mounted on lined boards and placed in acrylic shadow boxes.  Yes please!  Plus the plush and comfy swivel chairs provide a place to sit and enjoy this one of a kind piece.

Gold Leaf Flower Design

No detail was overlooked  in this space.  Using French natural nailheads, a Greek Key pattern adorns the side of the upholstered headboard. We like to think of nailhead as the jewelry of a room.

Greek Key headboard detail

That Greek Key pattern is mimicked in the benches at the foot of the bed.  The gold base of the benches add to the glamorous bedroom design. These benches serve as a functional foot-board where you can sit to put on shoes or your favorite pup can curl up on at night.

Purple and Gold Master Bedroom design

A lighted nightstand highlights the gold decor pieces, and a beautiful gold bedside lamp amps up the glamour. Short drapery rods allowed us to dress the windows without distracting from the upholstered headboard with a rod that spanned the length of the room.

Lighted Nighstand with Gold Accents

Rich fabrics used for the duvet and pillows bring the glamour home.  Gold and grey play beautifully off the deep purple walls.

Pillows

Would you like to call a room like this home?  Call us today to book a consultation and we will help you bring glamour into your bedroom!

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Master Bedroom Design – Creating Your Oasis

Master Bedroom Design Oasis

Creating Your Oasis

After a long day, every couple needs a place to retreat from the world and recharge.  A well designed master bedroom gives you that escape. See how we took this master bedroom design and turned it into a retreat for this client.

Whether your room is expansive, like the one we are showing here, or only has room for a bed and a two night stands, you can make it your oasis.

Master Bedroom Design - King Bed in front of window with wooden headboard

Master Bedroom Design

To begin, let’s talk about the bed.  Your bedding doesn’t need to be overdone to be beautiful.  Less is more when it comes to pillows in a master bedroom design.  This neutral palette is soothing which adds to our relaxing oasis vibe.

Because this room was long and narrow, we chose to place the bed in front of a window.  To do this effectively, it was important that our headboard had holes in it to allow light to still enter while defining the bed separate from the windows.

Master Bedroom Design - pop of purple lamp on nightstand

Pop that Purple and Gold

For the most part, we focused on neutral colors for this master bedroom design.  We like the adaptability of a neutral palette; you can add a pop of color, and change that pop over time as trends change.

We added a pop of purple and gold in this space – and only in a few key places.

Master Bedroom Design - Sitting area featuring sofa, and swivel chairs

Sitting Area Retreat

This master bedroom’s expansive size allowed us to also introduce a small sitting area.

The tailored sofa and swivel chairs provide a place to unwind at the end of the day with a good book, conversation, or a movie.

Notice the continuation of our pops of gold on the cocktail table and in the lamp tables.

The only thing we’re missing is a piece of art to go over the sofa.  Often client’s choose to search for their own art, or hang family photos after our projects are complete.

 Master Bedroom Design - TV consoleTelevision Console and Dresser

Because this sitting area is in a bedroom, and not the living room, our TV console serves dual purpose.  It is both a dresser and a TV console.  The drawers provide a place to store clothes, but its height allow us to place a TV on it for easy viewing.

Notice the reintroduction of purple and gold tying our pop throughout the space.  

Are you looking to create your own master bedroom retreat.  We would love to help.  Call us today to schedule and in-home consultation.

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Fireplace Design Ideas

A living room just doesn’t feel complete without a fireplace.  It is a focal point in the room that we often center the furniture around. The variety of fireplace design ideas is endless. They can be modern surrounding a gas fireplace insert, they can be traditional complete with red brick and a wooden mantle, and they can be everything in between.

We love refacing a fireplace to alter the look of a room or using the existing fireplace as inspiration for the space.  We’ve complied pictures of a few of the fireplace design ideas we have worked with over the years with different styles and purposes.

fireplace design ideasThis fireplace became a focal wall. with stacked stone and built in benches.  We love the way the pillows and upholstered bench soften the stone and break up the wall a bit.  Its a different take on built-ins flanking either side of a fireplace.  There is no hearth for this fireplace which is a more modern look.

003Look how much more traditional the same stone can look with a different design.  The red tile hearth gives that traditional feel while the stacked stone bring modern elements.  This is a working wood fireplace which is always more traditional than a gas insert. There is room for art above the firebox, but the stone is so pretty that it doesn’t necessarily need the embellishments.

No mantle FireplaceA fireplace does not need to have stone.  This traditional wood fireplace is trimmed quite simply with wood molding.  Because this client very rarely lights a fire, this fireplace is mostly decorative. We chose to put two upholstered swivel chairs in front because they can rotate to face into the room or to move toward the fire depending on how the room is being used at that time.

005_scheffdesigns-8-2015This traditional fireplace and mantle features a slate stone update.  We pulled our color palette for the room right out of the slate.  The slate was used for the hearth and the fireplace surround providing continuity.  The white pillars and mantle finish the look providing nice contrast to the walls.

jester-weldon-living-room-2A grand space requires a grande fireplace.  This traditional living room is the perfect place for conversation for two by a cozy fire.  The sconces and mirror above the mantle dress up the wall and make the space feel finished.

img_3128 Who doesn’t love a limestone fireplace?  This white stone off the dark walls really makes a statement.  It doesn’t require much for decor around it because the stone is so beautiful on its own. We mimicked the curve in the firebox with the limestone ledge softening the cold stone.

img_1744This fireplace features a dark stone contrasting off a light color wall. Its certainly not our best quality photo, so the poor lighting hides the dimension in the stone,but we love the clean look of dark granite with a pop of gold around the firebox.

080_scheffdesigns-8-5-2014This fireplace and built-ins were existing when we entered this space, but the television was on another wall creating the problem of two focal points in a room.  By moving the TV over the fireplace, we create a single focal point allowing the furniture to work around it.

083_scheffdesigns-2-2016

This traditional fireplace existed in this home for many years, and it needed a bit of a facelift.  Adding the gold sconces above it adds to the traditional look but dresses up the wall.  The two toned mirror frame picks up the black from inside the firebox, while also highlighting the gold form the sconces. Since this home has little kids, the fireplace does not get used for a fire, so tall candles fill the void while keeping it safe for the kids to be around.

dscn1809There are so many varieties of stone to use around a fireplace.  This home featured a much more rustic and earthy stone which provides a more casual look for a family room. We chose a brighter blue wall to contrast the stone and brighten the space.

Traditional wood mantleFinally, a traditional  New England hearth and fireplace with red brick and a white mantle becomes more of a background in the orange and blue living room.

Which fireplace would you like to call home?  Do you prefer a modern feel or traditional? Gas or wood fire?

Looking for help to update your fireplace?  We would love to help.

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White Kitchen Renovation in Longmeadow

White Kitchen project with White cabinets and white granite counter tops in expansive kitchen

This island was designed so the whole family could sit and eat breakfast or lunch together.

Ten years ago when this Longmeadow family moved into their home, the kitchen had a dated style that they always hoped to update. Later having three young boys and two large dogs, their kitchen and dining space became not only outdated in style but also lacked the function needed for their growing family. The kitchen had very little counter space and a confined cooking area that was disjointed from the dining room. Because the dining room was removed from the kitchen, the family naturally gathered around the smaller eat-in table which further crowded the kitchen. Lisa Scheff Designs was brought onto the project with the goal of designing a more functional and modern white kitchen within the existing footprint of the home.

The Dining Room is Now Open to the Kitchen

We opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and moved it into the dining room just a bit to allow for the expansive kitchen island.

Lisa first widened the opening by removing most of the wall between the dining room and the kitchen, making an immediate impact on both the feel and the function of the space. The dining room no longer felt disconnected from the kitchen and both the line of sight and the flow of traffic in these areas improved dramatically, causing the space to feel much larger than it had previously.

Round Island Where the Family Can Gather

This round island is the perfect place to gather for meals, but we also made sure to light the space well so that the boys could also gather there to do their homework.

An over-sized island acted as a beautiful statement piece in the center of the kitchen. The island combined a rectangular counter height area for food preparation along with an attached circular island at bar height which serves as a central gathering place to dine in the kitchen. An island of this size is typically impossible to top with one continuous slab of stone. However, using these two connected pieces provided the desired length without any visible seams in the granite. Additionally, the raised circular design of the seating area creates a more intimate gathering space for family and guests.

Now This Space is Much More Open

The open flow of this room with numerous work surfaces allows the family to be together in one space while working on a variety of activities.

“The round eat-in island is perfect for our family,” comments the homeowner. “Instead of all facing the same direction, we are actually able to face each other when we are sitting around the island. And, when I’m drinking my morning coffee at the island, I can now see directly into the living room and dining room and can keep an eye on everything happening in house.”

Plenty of Storage in This Custom Island

Notice the additional breakfast bar overlooking the family room designed specifically so the kids would stop bringing snacks onto the sofa.

To maximize the family’s comfort and efficiency in this space, tile flooring was installed over radiant floor heating. The tile flooring will not only be durable enough to withstand heavy traffic from their family and two dogs, but also will conduct and radiate the heat most efficiently. Lisa Scheff Designs unified the space with a tranquil color palette and natural materials. Neutral colors and classic finishes ensure that this kitchen will be in style regardless of the current trends. As the finishing touch, red accessories and custom bar stools were used to bring in a fun pop of color that reflected the family’s lively personality.

This Kitchen Is Full of Function and Personality

Even the family dogs have something to love about this new space with heated floors below this beautiful wood-look plank tile creating a cozy place to lounge.

“This white kitchen was made for OUR family from top to bottom,” comments the homeowner. “That’s how I know that we will love it for years to come!”

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Grey and Cream Guest Bathroom

We know that gray is the new beige, that trend is nothing new, but grey doesn’t have to be used in a completely modern space.  We love this guest bathroom where modern meets traditional style.  Our vision was high end hotel feel with a simple clean look.

 guest bathroom

Here is a closer looks at the vanity wall vignette.  We chose a dark stain for the cabinetry to complement the white stone-top.  The square shades on the vanity sconces add to the modern appeal, while the dark wood on the vanity provides a bit of traditional style.  A pop of greenery by the sink provides an organic, fresh vibe that we love in any space.  Our favorite piece is the watercolor of a proud schnauzer.  We love to see the client’s personality come through in the accessories, and this family is a dog family. Plus, the warm colors in the painting complement our color palette.
guest bathroom

We didn’t ignore any details in this guest bathroom space.  The pebble tiles that we chose for the shower floor add to the organic feel, and are so interesting to look at.  Because this tile is busy, we limited its use to the shower floor, using a much more subdued large rectangular tile for the shower walls.

006_ScheffDesigns-2-2016Just because we limited the pebble tile to the shower floor doesn’t mean we limited the unique design elements to the shower floor.  While we kept the shower walls and ceiling monochromatic, we broke up the large rectangles with small square tiles made of the same material. We divided those tiles with a pencil molding to define the change.  Not pictured at this angle is the niche to house shampoo, soap, razors, etc.  Because we chose a glass shower door, we made sure to locate the niche in a somewhat hidden spot, to keep the room feeling clean.
guest bathroom

Would you like to have a guest bathroom like this in your home?  Call us today to schedule a design consultation to make your remodel dreams a reality.

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Color of the year 2015 – Marsala

IColor of the Yeart’s official: The Pantone Color of the Year of 2015 is… Marsala. “This earthy red has wine and a very warm brown underneath, which gives the feeling of groundedness, strength, and confidence,” says Leatrice Eisman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute.

This creamy wine hue is quite a bit different than last year’s Radiant Orchid, but it seems more versatile. Not as dramatic as oxblood or even burgundy, but a gorgeous terracotta red shade. While the Color of the Year can be applied to just about anything – from makeup to fashion – we focus our attention on where this color shows up in interior design. 

Color of the Year 2015 “It has a richness that lends sophistication. When you wear it, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy—you’ll find you get positive reactions form others and it builds up your confidence.” Eisman explains that we’ve seen glimpses of marsala in the late ‘60s into the ‘70s and a touch in the ‘80s, but it’s a very modern hue that totally suits the times.You may not have heard of Pantone, but the color authorities have been used as an industry resource for decades. After announcing the color of the millennium in 1999 there was so much public interest that Pantone decided to name a color every year based on their extensive research.

Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.  Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

 The Versatility of Marsala

  • interiors-in-tones-of-marsala Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury

Because of the brown undertones in marsala, it can be used both as a pop of color in a room or as the grounding “neutral.”

Generally, we suggest with the color of the year that you keep it to inexpensive pieces that are easy to change, but the neutral feel to this color will allow it last longer in a space than radiant orchard or emerald did.  This color can work well on upholstery, in rugs, as paint or in your accessories, but make sure to choose classic patterns and silhouettes to pair it with.

best-design-projects-marsala-2015-Pantone-Color-of-the-Year-rugs

Child Safe Shades by Hunter Douglas

child safe shadesThis revolutionary Hunter Douglas operating system uses a retractable cord mechanism to raise and lower the window shade. A constant cord length means there are never any long, dangling cords to detract from the appearance of the shade. These child safe shades by Hunter Douglas are ideal for child and pet safety.

Silhouette® window shadings have introduced the UltraGlide® 2 Click and Walk Away™ operating system. UltraGlide 2 offers convenient retractable cord operation that will lower and open the shading with just one click. It truly provides added convenience and promotes enhanced child safety. Check it out in this quick video.

Motorized Blinds – Why Motorize?

motorized blindsThere are many reasons to consider motorized blinds, shades and drapery and the benefits go beyond the “wow, that’s cool” factor!

So, why go for motorized blinds or shades?

Convenience

The first major benefit to motorization is convenience.  At the push of a button, open and closing your shades, drapes or blinds are done in a snap.  You don’t have to move from the sofa, your desk, or the dinner table, especially if you’ve downloaded the Platinum App.  You can raise and lower all the shades in your window without having to go to every room; save yourself time by controlling every window in the house from your app.

Privacy

Motorization also helps to keep your home private, plus, enjoy greater peace of mind while away by making your home look occupied. By setting a daily timer for your shades, they will automatically raise and lower.  You can choose to lower your shades when the sun sets and raise them when your alarm goes off in the morning.  The sunlight in the morning will help to wake you up, and while you’re away, the change in the the position of the blinds will make your home appear lived-in to prevent break-ins.

Safety

There are other safety facets to power as well.  You can also raise and lower hard-to-reach windows whether they are up high, behind furniture or above a staircase. Don’t strain to reach a cord, climb on a counter or precariously lean over a stair railing. Let power control all your hard-to-reach windows allowing you to enjoy light when you want to but privacy and sun control when you need the shades closed.  Power shades also are cordless which eliminates the danger to children and pets from your home. Cords are a strangulation hazard for small children and pets.  There are other cordless options, but power allows for a clean look, and stream-lined function while protecting your loved ones.

Energy Efficiency

Finally, motorized shades help to keep your home climate controlled thus capitalizing on their energy efficiency.  There are features available to close the shades when your home gets too hot, thus preventing your house from heating up while you’re at work and forcing your cooling costs to rise.

The WOW factor

But let’s not under estimate that wow factor.  Besides all these great benefits, power shades are are sure to impress your friends!  Learn more with these two videos from Hunter Douglas.

Steps to Remodeling

Steps to a Complete Remodeling Project

1. Research & Visualize
Visualize how you want your remodeling to look. If it’s a kitchen, where will the appliances go? If it’s a living room, will there be a newly placed picture window? Find inspiration in magazines or online using houzz.com or Pinterest.com.  This is a good phase to start working with a designer so you can make concrete design decisions based off your vision.

2. Budget
Decide how much you are willing to spend on your remodel. Figuring out rough estimates can help you get an idea of how much you will have to spend. If you are borrowing, you must find out how much the bank will loan. Major upgrades, such as a bathroom remodel or a family-room addition, can run about $100 to $200 per square foot. Ask around to contractors for general quotes to get an even better idea on what your costs will be.

3. Hire
Hire a Contractor that can devise a plan for your remodel based on your design that is within your budget. Make sure this is someone you trust. You can rely on him/her to hire subcontractors for the labor that will be required. It is a good idea, but not necessary, to hire an architect as well. If it is within your budget, an architect can translate your vision and create a realistic floor plan.

4. Implement
When implementing your plan, stay a part of the development from start to finish. Even when hiring others to perform the labor, pay attention to detail. Make sure things are not only going according to plan, but that you are happy with it. In addition, be kind and respectful to your remodelers and they will do the same. Especially if you are living in your home throughout the process, remember that everyone who enters is your guest. You’re all in it together!

5. Decorate
When it comes time to decorate your new space, it is one option to hire an interior designer to come up with an exciting way to make the room beautiful. However, you want to start working with the designer at the beginning so that the ultimate vision can come together. Details such as placing outlets and lighting should take furniture and art placement into consideration.

When decorating, be sure to:

  • Consider the function of the room when piecing it together
  • Match furniture to the overall scale of the space
  • Create a theme and vibe for the feeling of the room
  • Design a creative color pallet and follow it through out
  • Make your room unique with interesting pieces
  • Utilize light to create aesthetic warmth and color
  • Don’t forget the window coverings!
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Lisa is fantastic. She has an amazing eye and listens to her customer. She is very practical and is excellent at designing without breaking the budget! She is also very talented at looking at design or architectural plans and optimizing all the usable space and making all the space flow for the homeowner. She is down to earth and very easy to work with. I would use her again in a second!

Interior Design Team Photos

 

 Why Buy from an Interior Designer?

  • Design advice with every purchase
  • Ensure each element will fit the overall concept of the room and home with the appropriate scale, color and function
  • Save time with selections, fabric samples, and design boards brought to you

Call today to book your in-home design consultation.

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