An accent wall, also referred to as a feature wall, is a wall that stands out and is different from the rest of the walls in the room. You can create an accent wall with the use of different paint colors or even a completely different material. There are decorative paint techniques or faux finishes, wallpaper, wall murals, decorative wood paneling, and stone or tile. Check out one of our kitchen renovations where we incorporated a wallpaper accent wall into the built-in eating area.
So what are some reasons you might be inclined to create an accent wall in your home? They can be used to break up a large room, highlight or emphasize a unique architectural piece, make a room appear larger to the eye, or even be used as an alternative to trying to fill the wall space with art or photos.
Now with any bold design choice there are always important things to know and be mindful of.
Choosing the Right Color
Warm colors tend to make a room appear smaller as they pull the eye towards the wall where as cool colors pull away. So say you have a smaller or narrower bedroom and you want an accent wall behind the head of the bed, you might consider choosing a cooler color (blue, green, purple) to widen or elongate the room.
While white walls on the side of your accent wall can be bold and beautiful, they can also go the route of being to stark bright or harsh on the eyes. Try to balance of the transition of colors/material by using neutral colors on the side such as grey, beige, greige.
Have a wall in your house you can see getting transformed into a unique accent wall? Struggling to decide what paint or material would be the best choice? We’d love to help. Call us today to book your in-home consultation.
Today’s drop in temperature really confirmed it – autumn is here! It is the time of year when New England really shows its true colors. Oranges, reds, and yellows come together in perfect harmony. The colors change on the trees and it becomes time for pumpkin spice everything, bonfires, hot apple cider, and sweaters. We, at Lisa Scheff Designs, really love fall decor and a lot of the design trends we are seeing this fall. As we head into Highpoint Market in the coming weeks, we are trying to do our research on what we may see there in trends.
Dark Green & Blush
We mentioned it in a previous blog post, but it is worth mentioning again- dark green is so in right now. Making a comeback from the 80-90s, dark green was all over High Point Market in the spring and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. It is a perfect statement color, when you are looking to make a bold statement, simply. It is dark, it is moody and it gives a feeling of royalty.
Another color we are keeping an eye on is blush. We see it everywhere but are wary. Pink is a color that comes and goes as often and as quickly as the seasons change. We love using this color as an accessory or a pillow because these can be easily replaced next time blush goes by the wayside. We are not entirely sold on painting a wall, cabinets or tiling a bathroom in this color.
Now, we’ve always loved velvet. Velvet is popular right now in both fashion and interiors (wake us up when Juicy Couture suits are back in style). Velvet is a great way to make a bold statement with both color and texture. It can be used in many different ways around a room.You could go big with a velvet couch drenched in luxurious color, or you could go small and incorporate a velvet poof in the center of your room. Velvet drapery is also an interesting way to add subtle excitement to any room. Let’s be honest, velvet is also a great way to instantly add a luxurious vibe to your interior. It looks great and its oh-so-soft. Who wouldn’t love snuggling up with a velvet pillow and their pumpkin spice latte.
Using nailheads on upholstered furniture is nothing new and we do it often at Lisa Scheff. Nailheads are a great way to add an extra design element to your upholstered furniture. Often we will outline the interesting shapes of a chair with a nailhead, but you can take it one step further and add a design to a piece that doesn’t already exist. We have also put nailheads on mirrors, tables, an ottoman, even a desk!
Have we piqued your interested? If you need help incorporating any of these trends into your home, give us a call! We are here to help with all of your design and inspiration needs.
Find Your Inspiration
Custom room design starts with a point of inspiration – that could be a piece of art, a fabric, a rug, etc. Some projects begin with inspiration from something already in a client’s home. We’ve built off of family heirlooms, a favorite blanket, a wall color already in the room, a piece of art and so much more. Other times we are beginning from a completely blank slate in which case the first thing to do is find one piece that the client loves and build from there.
Build From the Ground Up
We often tell clients to build from the ground up building from a rug selection and moving from there.
This Room is no different! We fell in love with this blue and white geometric rug. Isn’t it beautiful with a dark hardwood floor? It has a great blend of geometric design and lots of texture which will be great for hiding those parts of everyday life like dog hair or toddler snacks in a family room. We say it often, good design takes into consideration the family’s lifestyle as well as desired aesthetic.
Pick your Big Pieces
The next step in custom design is to pick your big pieces – the sofa, the chairs, the tables. We will specify their finishes later, but first we need to fall in love with their feel. This family room needs a comfy sofa, chairs, cocktail table or ottoman and side table. This ottoman/cocktail table is a great solution because it serves a dual purpose with a soft place to put your feet, but also a center tray for food.
Design your Palette
Using the inspiration point, fabrics begin to layer in more color, texture and pattern to create the room scene. Here we have a color and fabric board beginning to pull together that look. Where these fabrics will live is yet to be determined. The room will need a drapery fabric, pillows on the sofa, a chair fabric, a sofa fabric, and a fabric for the ottoman. Things too consider in making that placement is durability, comfort level and how busy or bold a pattern feels.
Help us finish the room. Which fabric would you make the pillow? Drapery? Sofa? Chair? Ottoman? We would love to hear your feedback.
Rugs are one of the items in a room that have the power tie together a cohesive design or look very out of place and mismatched. And I think we can all agree that not many things ruin a room like an old dingy rug does. But, choosing the right rug can be very difficult! Between the color and pattern options, the material choices, the manufacturing styles, and different weaves,navigating the rug world can be very intimidating. But let us help! In this blog we’ll break down our three most popular rug manufacturer options for indoor rugs, what their features are and where they land on the price point scale.
Hand knotted rugs are the cream of the crop in the rug world. This style rug is the most labor intensive out of all the rug manufacturing processes. Each hand knotted rug is constructed by specially-trained artisans who work meticulously off a rug map. The artisan ties individual knots to build the rugs design, one row at a time! Considering each artisan can tie about 10,000 knots per day, you can imagine how long it takes to create an entire rug. Especially if it is a large one!
Because of the intense labor, hand-knotted rugs tend to be more expensive than any other manufacturing technique.
While hand-knotted rugs do take much longer to manufacture, they also last upwards of 20 years. It is a labor of love that lasts!
Here are a couple of ways to tell if your rug is hand knotted: The fringe is tied on the ends as part of the construction of the rug and not glued on after the fact. In hand-knotted rugs there is often uneven knots that are visible on the back of the rug, in the pattern that is visible on the front.
Hand-tufted rugs require individual tufts of yarn to be punched through a pre-made, patterned backing with a special tufting gun. Picture a Lite-Brite! Once complete, the hand-tufted rugs often have a canvas backing glued on to hold the knots in place.
Because the hand-tufting process is less labor intense, these rugs have a much shorter lead time and cost a fraction of the price while looking similar to it’s hand-knotted counterpart. Hand-tufted rugs can have a lifespan of 10 or more years and do well in high traffic areas.
How to tell if your rug is hand-tufted: Often, hand-tufted rugs have a canvas backing glued on to hold the knots in place.
Machine Made Rugs:
Machine made rugs are often made on a power loom operated by a machine or computer in order to produce them quickly. Because they are made on a machine, these rugs can be produced in large quantities, several color combinations, and with very complex designs. Machine made rugs can be completed in hours, rather than the months or years it takes to complete a hand-knotted rug.
Machine made rugs are good for high traffic areas. Not only because they have a long life span, but because they are bought at a much lower price point and easy to replace.
These rugs have the quickest turnaround time and are often much less expensive than both hand-knotted and hand-tufted.
How to tell if your rug is machine made: These rugs have uniform stitching visible on the back (handmade rugs show a more irregular construction). In addition, often the fringe is glued on, rather than being a part of the rugs foundation.
While there are other rug manufacturing methods, these three are our most popular and often the only ones considered in our projects at Lisa Scheff Designs. Are you looking to redo a living room that needs a beautiful rug that Fido can’t ruin? Give us a call!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rich fabrics used for the duvet and pillows bring the glamour home. Gold and grey play beautifully off the deep purple walls.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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 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!”
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.
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.
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.
Just 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.
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.
It’s another snowy New England day, and I am stuck home while the white stuff keeps piling up outside my window. Truthfully, I don’t mind the excuse to sit on the couch instead of at my desk while I get caught up on work and caught up my HGTV. Yes, I’ll admit it, like most of you, I love sitting down to binge watch some Love it or List it, Property Brothers, or Income Property (which is what is on right now). I enjoy seeing a concept become a reality, which is why I love my job. However, I find it interesting that HGTV is really the lens through which our clients judge the success of a renovation, forgetting that these shows are not real,but rather are “reality TV,” and like the Kardashians or the Bachelor, are scripted for the drama. There are many differences between a real home improvement and an HGTV reality TV renovation, and one of the big differences is the cost. Yes, those shows can give you a concept of what it costs to do a renovation. However, keep in mind that the labor is discounted as part of the show, often the window treatments are donated by Hunter Douglas for publicity, and the cabinetry is ready made and not semi-custom. Plus, it is not always brought to your attention that the homes are staged, and the furniture is not part of the cost of the remodel. I also always find it interesting that on the shows such as Property Brothers and Love It or List It, the construction crew runs into recurring “surprises” like unexpected bearing wall conditions, hidden duct work, wiring or plumbing that must be moved, and similar such scenarios. I’m not surprised that they run into these issues. Anyone who routinely does home improvement work absolutely expects these conditions and plans and budgets accordingly with contingency for what might be hidden inside the walls. The premise that these “experts” are surprised to find these issues is comical and speaks to the “acting” that is part of the staged show. Second, let’s talk about time-frame. All HGTV renovation projects are completed within 4-5 weeks. To you, that might sound realistic because you see it in every episode, but truthfully, that is not a realistic timeframe. Just ordering cabinetry, counter tops and furniture could have an 8-10 week window for parts to arrive and be ready for installation. A smooth, complete renovation from concept to completion will take months, not weeks. HGTV shows also don’t include time it takes on the front end of home remodeling:
The Reality of Home Improvement
- it takes time to interview & decide on a scope of work,
- it take time to create design plans and the rework them with changes based on client feedback,
- it take time to source materials (& re-source materials to fit into a budget),
- it takes time to order materials & the lead time for materials to be made & delivered can be 8-10 weeks at best,
- you also need to pull permits and have work approved by the city (if needed).
- Plus, let’s not forget that most contractors work within business hours: M-F 7am – 4pm and not around the clock as jobs seems to go on HGTV.
From what I’ve read, most of the homeowners on these shows have already purchased a house, so the concepts have been decided and product has been purchased before the show even begins filming. With the addition of round the clock construction, a large team, and TV magic, the project seems to more along quickly. All-in-all, we still love HGTV. It’s inspiring; it keeps us on trend; it gives us new ideas; and it teaches us about the process of renovating. Just don’t forget when you’re starting a new project that there are distinct differences and the camera magic that HGTV features will not be a part of your project. However, what we can promise you is that just like the end of every show, you too will love your new space and the work of the renovation will be more than worth it.
Inspired by one of these shows to start renovations on your home? We can help.
From creating floor plans and concepts to providing general contracting services, Lisa Scheff Designs’ staff is the home renovation experts.
Call today to book your free in-home consultation. 413-567-8541
Design myth: you can’t mix metals.
Once upon a time, mixing metals in home decor was viewed a bad practice and a decision usually had to be made between silver and gold, or chrome and brass.
We get asked about this supposed faux-pas all the time. Clients either ask, “can I mix metals in the same room?” or they say, “Oh I can’t use that silver table I already have gold in the room. Isn’t that bad?”
But we would like to bust this myth. Yes, you can mix metals! In fact, mixing metallics in a space adds dimension to a room.
Over last few years, mixing metals in jewelry has been a growing trend, and we love it in interior design as well.
Now I’m not telling you to layer ever metal finish you can find in the same room, and I’m also not saying just because you can mix metals that you should. There are ways to mix metals well and ways that make it look haphazard.
Mixing Metals in Home Decor – How to mix metals well:
1) Don’t go over board with the finishes. Two metallic finishes (silver with gold or nickel with oil rubbed bronze) is enough. However, within that color scheme, mix a variety of textures and colors (meaning dark and light golds, weathered silver finished with polished).
2) Make sure to have a variety of pieces: don’t have a single piece in a different finish. If you incorporate a gold lamp, make sure to have gold accents elsewhere in the room. This makes the look purposeful rather than haphazard.
3) Incorporate the mixing of metals into fabrics used in the room as well. This contributes to the cohesive look of the room and warms up the feel.