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.
How do you mix metals in your spaces?
Mistakes people tend to make choosing paint colors!
Mistake # 1: Picking Your Paint Color First
Choosing paint colors should be one of the last things you select for a room. There are infinite paint colors to choose from, but if you pick it first, you will pigeon hole yourself into a color scheme, hoping to find fabrics and furniture that work with it. Find fabrics you love first and then choose a coordinating color, not the other way around!
Correct It: Get the room planned and then select the paint to support all of the other things going on in your space. You can take your color cues from fabrics, whether it’s accent pillows or an occasional chair that has a pattern or print to it. That’s usually my jumping off point for selecting a color for a space.
Mistake #2: Picking a Color That’s Too Bright or Saturated
A bright cobalt blue, which is really trendy right now, can look great as a ceramic lamp, because it has a sheen to it, or as a silk pillow, because it has depth or interest, but when you put that same really bright color on the wall, it’s a whole lot stronger.
Correct It: If the walls are going to scream a bright color, you want to wrap the rest of your furnishings in neutral tones or even white. Decide what your focal point is. If it’s the wall color, then let everything else support it, not fight with it.
Mistake # 3: Not Considering the Home As a Whole
Whether your planning for a small apartment or a large, modern home, transitioning color from one room to the next can be tricky and it doesn’t flow well if you’ve got bright orange in one room and bright pink in another. Keep in mind that when doors are open, you can see the two colors together.
Mistake #4: Losing Sight Of Your Emotional Goal
I hear people say things like, ‘My favorite color is red, I’m going to put that in my bedroom,’ but what they really ultimately wanted was a space that was relaxing and calm, so there’s a disconnect between picking colors and what the space is intended for.
Correct It: When selecting a color, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama. Do you want a dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? Warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colors add to a sociable atmosphere; deeper blue-greens and neutrals will give a more formal ambiance. Do you want kid’s rooms to create an active and exciting energy or an orderly and restful feeling? Be careful not to overstimulate your children with intensely bright hues. You may not know it, but some brighter colors can lead to unrest and irritability.
Mistake # 5: Following Trends
The color of the year is Radiant Orchid, but I wouldn’t paint my walls that color because next year it will be something else.
Correct It: Chances are, you’re not going to paint your home every 2 or 3 years. Choose colors that will work for the long haul and add a pop of trendy colors in pillows, throws and other accessories.
Mistake #6: Not Paying Attention to Lighting
The reason why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips: Natural daylight shows the truest color; Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows; and Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone. So, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on all walls or next to a large window, but it might be effective when used as an accent wall with indirect light.
Correct it: Test the color in the room. If you’re unable to get a larger sample, buy a small amount of paint to test on the walls. Test it in different corners of the room to see how it will look in the various lighting.
If this all feels overwhelming, don’t worry. We can help you select paint!
Give us a call today.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!