You’ve signed the papers, they hand you your new keys, and you are heading to your not quite move in ready new home. You want the contractor, painter and designer to meet you at the door because you want to fix it straight away. How can you live with 80’s wallpaper or a bright pink bathroom?
We get those calls nearly once a week — the panicked “I hate the back splash, need to paint, let’s knock that wall down let’s set up a paint consultation before I move in” call.
We hear you! A dated design or bold color is in the way of your dream home. You know the space has potential and you’re ready to let that shine through as soon as possible, but rushed decisions make for many mistakes.
Take Time to Make a Plan
Your home and the work you do to it is an investment. You want to love those decisions for years to come, but the only way to really know how you use a space and what needs to be done is to live in the space.
To Paint or Not to Paint
The most common thing clients call us to help with on move in day is paint consultations. Most people want to take advantage of an empty house by painting the walls before they move in all of their belongings; however, waiting to paint after you’ve settled in and moved in your things makes for a more cohesive space.
Paint needs to be selected based off what else is in the room. If you choose it without a starting point, you will end up with a beige and white house or with a strong color that ultimately doesn’t match any of your furniture. So if your furniture is going to change, if you’re going to update the tile, or you might buy a new rug, a paint consultation should wait.
Paint is absolutely always the last thing to be picked for a space. There are an infinite number of paint colors with various tints, tones and shades. Every color will look different from home to home, because light sources vary, meaning what looks good in your current home might not in your new one. We often choose a few colors that could work for a job in our office, and then completely change those decisions when we get to the job site for the paint consultation. It is amazing how different a color can look from one space to the next.
You want the color that best complements your upholstery, artwork, rug, and whatever else. You can pick that color only if your stuff is actually inside your home. We also suggest that you leave the samples up morning, afternoon and evening to see how the change in light alters the color. Your old kitchen may have been dark and dreary, but your new kitchen fills with morning light. You will only learn that from living in the space.
The Rest of the Plan
The same is true for other design decisions about your home. Don’t buy furniture based off a memory of the room. We need to measure and think about scale and flow. Don’t rush to change a tile back splash, when you might realize after you’ve been there for a few weeks, that the cabinets will need to be changed sooner rather than later, and then your tile would have to be redone.
Design is a process and if you want the best results, you need to give it time and thought. Our recommendation is to bring your designer in right around the time you move in to begin establishing a plan.
That plan becomes a general timeline that can change as you live in the space and determine what the priorities are and what can wait.
Feeling overwhelmed by your move and making your new house feel like home? We can help! Call us today to book a design consultation.
Every project starts with a before. Sometimes that before is simply dated and in need of a face lift, other times that before does not function and is in need of a major overhaul. Here we have both. Allow us to walk you through this creative kitchen transformation.
When a kitchen is undergoing a major overhaul, the first step to is discover the possible plans and layouts the space can become. As we move through those possibilities, we discover the benefits of one over the other allowing us to ultimately decide on the best plan for the space and for the family allowing us to begin the kitchen transformation.
As the project begins, the plan comes to life providing us with a creative transformation and a stunning after. This is the same angle as the before above – almost not recognizable. We introduced a breakfast bar in this kitchen transformation for the kids to use while mom and dad are cooking.
Ready to update your space and create your own dramatic kitchen transformation? We would love to help. Give us a call today to book your in-home consultation.
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.
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.
This 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.
Look 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.
A 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.
This 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.
A 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.
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.
This 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.
This 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.
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.
There 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.
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.
During a bedroom makeover, updating linens is one of the easiest and most reasonably priced enhancements you can make to your home. And luxurious bed linens are a home improvement you’ll appreciate every night.
Some bedding selections are primarily focused on function. These include your pillows, mattress pad, blankets and feather bed. Make sure the fabrics feel good on your skin.
After that the emphasis is on style. Some people prefer the energy of bold colors and zesty patterns. Others like their bedding to be soothing neutrals. You can combine the two by using solid color bedding with borders in a different color or pattern. Finish your look with pillow shams, accent pillows and a bed skirt.
No matter what your design style, from modern to classic, frilly to masculine, a focus on your bedding can make your sleeping experience more enjoyable and restful.
Check out these simple before and afters that we transformed with paint and new bedding, but kept the existing furniture.
This room went from “sweet girl” to modern and updated guest room. We love how the combination of gold and grey plays off the cream duvet.
This master bedroom was lacking contrast between the gold pillows and gold headboard. We introduced charcoal Euro shams, a strong geometric print, one black pillow with gold trim and an plaid geometric to give us contrast and interest. We chose a cream duvet with a beautiful Greek key trim that we LOVE!
This guest room had pretty pillows, but the client was ready for a bit of color, so we painted the walls and soft blue-green, and introduced that same color in the pillow shams. It is hard to tell from the pictures, but the same blue-green is also in the center of each diamond on the back Euro-shams.
Looking to update your bedding? We would love to help. Contact us today to set up a 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 love a white a sofa. It’s a clean, inviting look, and with shows like HGTV’s Fixer Upper featuring white sofas nearly every week, it has really become a trend. But practically, who can own a white sofa, at least not ones that they use?
White is not a forgiving color for stains, especially chocolate finger prints, wine spills, or a coffee splash. But we found a solution so you can have it all: a white sofa and a clean sofa: Crypton fabrics
Technology has come a long way in the fabric industry, and stain resistance and washable fabrics are a prime example. Enter Crypton fabrics, a washable and stain resistant upholstery option.
Testing it for Ourselves
We are currently working on a project where our client wants a white or linen color sofa, but has a young son. (Read: we’re afraid of it getting stained). We sent her three fabrics samples in the right colorways, and asked her to do her worst ! She took to trying to stain the stain resistant fabrics and then try to wash them.
She did, and she was amazed by the durability of these washable white Crypton fabrics.
“I have tested all of the couch fabrics. I started with Cranberry juice, then rubbed chocolate bar onto them, then scribbled all over with red felt tip pen and then rubbed it with this morning’s coffee. Here’s how they stood up:
Sunbrella (middle fabric)- beaded up beautifully with the cranberry juice, but still has a stain on it from the chocolate, so it was a fast out.
Crypton fabrics: (1st and 3rd fabric) They both did well with all of the stains. However, when I used the method that Crypton suggested- using a brush to gently take out the stains- the Wisdom Creme (3rd fabric) pulled really easily. The fabric just couldn’t handle any scratching at all. Plus, the coffee isn’t 100% out. The Intuition Sand (1st fabric), however, handled the brushing much better- very little sign of pulling. And, there is no staining at all!”
So while there is no such thing as a stain proof fabric, you can see that these beige and white stain resistant fabrics stood up really well to being bombarded with staining substances and having those items rubbed deep into the fibers of the fabrics.
Take a look at this Crypton fabric we tested by pouring red wine. The fabric resists the stain, allowing us to wipe away the wine before it stains the sample. So you can have a Crypton sofa that will also be a stain resistant sofa letting that wine spill bead right up.
If you would like to learn more about Crypton fabrics, a washable and stain-resistant option, give us a call. We would love to show you this amazing technology.
We all know that bathroom, the one that no one has touched except for a little paint since 1920. Not only are old bathrooms often unattractive, but they are also usually entirely nonfunctional. This is the story of a recent small bathroom remodel.
This original bathroom down to the white tile on the wall, left much to be desired in functionality. While the soaking tub can be nice once in a while, it is not the ideal place to take your daily shower. The sink mounted to the wall, provided nearly no space to place even a toothbrush.
Enter the Lisa Scheff Designs’ design team with a plan to make this small and outdated master bathroom a modern and sophisticated retreat.
One of the most important changes in this space was to replace the outdated sink with a modern and functional vanity. Think small bathroom needed to gain as much storage as possible, so we introduced a medicine cabinet behind the mirror, and drawer and cabinet storage below the sink.
Beyond the function, we aimed to make the most design impact that we could with a small space. Notice the full wall of tile, behind the mirror and sconces. We love how the tile and granite bring texture to the tone-on-tone color palette. The valance provides a pop of blue, that we also introduced in the soap dispenser.
We also introduced a floor to ceiling cabinet that serves as a linen closet and additional toiletry storage in this space.We matched the cabinet to the sink vanity. The dark wood provides a great contrast to the softer tones of the tile. The oil-rubbed bronze hardware was selected to disappear into the dark wood.
Notice the art over the toilet brings us back to our pop of blue. This piece served as an inspiration for the color scheme and design of this space.
Notice that we reintroduced the back-splash tile as the shower floor, created a small shelf for a foot to rest on when shaving, and even measured the niche to ensure that the client’s shampoo bottles would fit comfortably with room to pump.
To book your small bathroom design consultation contact us.
Often the most beautiful rooms are stunning because of what’s outside!
Do you live in a house with a beautiful view – of the rolling hills in Somers, the Connecticut River, Mount Tom, or the landscaping on your own property? If so, part of your home decorating strategy can be to maximize the view from inside your home!
Here are some tips to focus attention on the view:
- Use colors that mimic the colors outside your windows.
- Consider a minimalist look for furnishings near the windows.
- Think about the landscaping in your garden just outside your windows; this becomes part of the look of your home.
- Use potted plants inside your home to mirror the landscape outside.
- If you’re up for a remodeling project, think about replacing your windows to make them larger or to minimize mullions that interrupt the view.
During a home decorating project, we love using Silhouette Window Shadings in a home that has a view (or one that doesn’t for that matter). When the louvers are open, the sheer fabric allows you to enjoy the view while still giving your home insulation and UV protection. We often forget that the strong UV rays of the sun can cause fading and wear on our furniture and flooring inside the home. Silhouette Window Shadings are a great way to protect those pieces that you invested in without sacrificing your view.
Want to learn more about how to create a floor plan and design that will maximize your view? Call us today to schedule a design consultation