Blog Archives | Lisa Scheff Designs


Making Your Home a Retreat During Social Distancing

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Spring is here!  And just as the days are becoming longer, and the weather is getting warmer, the CDC tells us that we’re all supposed to stay home. We know it can feel inconvenient, frustrating and boring, but staying home during this pandemic is a small action that you can take that will potentially benefit many while we try to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

So while social distancing plays out for a few weeks, we encourage you to look at it as a joy to get to spend time in the home you’ve created with the people you love rather than seeing it as being stuck.

Now is a great time to tackle a few small house projects and turn your home into a retreat for you and your family.  Here are a few of our tips that we are all trying to put into action.

Start and End Your Day with a Chore

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Begin your day by throwing in a load of laundry and tackling one other chore from your list. Maybe it’s cleaning out one drawer or closet?  Don’t try to tackle too much – just one small thing. End your day by putting everything back where it belongs so that you can start fresh in the morning.  Moms – this means putting your kids’ toys away each night even though you know the playroom will be a mess again the next day.  Get them involved as part of their bedtime routine. Having a few minutes of a clean home each day will help you feel more at peace in your space. Pinterest is a great place to find chore charts where you can check things off to feel accomplished!

Bring the Outdoors In

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

House plants are a great way to brighten up your home. Indoor plants aren’t just pretty, they also make us feel good both mentally and physically. Plants help to boost your mood.  They also help clean the air in your home by absorbing toxins (like that pesky virus), increasing humidity, and producing oxygen.  And who doesn’t want a natural home air filter right now?  Especially one that you like to look at!

Make Your Bed Each Day

Make Your Bed

Making your bed is a simple step you can take each day to feel like you’ve transitioned from one part of the day to the next.  Just like its recommended that we still get up, shower and get dressed while social distancing, making our bed will immediately make our home feel more put together. I’m reminded of the saying “a messy home, a messy mind” – you’ll feel more productive if your home is clean, especially if like me, your bedroom is now your home office.

Take this time to update your bedding – order new sheets, get a bright new accent pillow.  Head over to our portfolio for some bedroom inspiration.

Create a Space to Workout, Practice Yoga or Meditate

Social Distancing Home GymYou don’t need a lot of space to create a home workout zone in your home. If you already own a piece of cardio equipment, that’s awesome, but if not, all you need is a yoga mat. The standard yoga mat measures 68 inches long and 24 inches wide. Find a place where you can unroll a yoga mat, and your space is created.  Want to take it a step further?  Make room for a few weights or bands. I also like to have a mirror so I can see what I am doing and make adjustments.  Bodyweight exercises like pushups and burpees are great exercise while social distancing, but there are also a lot of digital resources that are offering free subscriptions right now to help people stay active during this period of distancing.

Add Some Color to Your Home

Add a pop of color during social distancingColor does a lot for our moods, so now is a great time to brighten up your home with a pop of a color you love.  If you’re like me, you have a basement full of paint cans from old projects.  Take social distancing as a chance to dust off one of those cans and paint a piece of furniture that needs a facelift, update that powder room or maybe add an accent wall? No paint in your house? You can order some peel and stick wallpaper online or call up your local hardware store and see if they will mix up some paint for you and pull some supplies together.  Ask if you can pay for over the phone and if someone will run it out to your car when you get there. Local businesses need our help right now, so I’m sure they will gladly accommodate you!

Get Some Fresh Air Every Day

No one said that social distancing means you have to stay indoors.  Now that its spring, there is even more of a reason to dust off that porch furniture and get outside, even if it’s only for an hour!  Put on a warm jacket and have your coffee on the porch.  Head out for a dose of the afternoon sun. Or maybe grab that yoga mat and move your workout outdoors.  Your porch and backyard are en extension of your home. Make sure that you have a space to enjoy!

Have other ideas to share? We’d love to hear how you are making your home an enjoyable place to be during social distancing in the comments.

Needing a little help to get your home feeling fresh and relaxing? We’re here to help remotely.  Give us a call in the office to see how we can help!

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Home Accessorizing Made Easy

Accessories are what give a space personality, a sense of cohesiveness and differentiate it from a furniture store.

We like to think that accessories in a room are like accessories in an outfit adding a pop of color and interest.  One of our favorite parts of a project is carefully placing accessories we have curated for a project.  We take into consideration clients’ interests, hobbies, favorite colors, pets, and more when selecting pieces for a home.  We also use items that clients have collected over time from travel and boutique shopping.

But we know that accessorizing can be overwhelming. Here are our best pointers and dos and don’ts to make an impact with your accessories.


Pay Attention to Scale.

Your arrangement shouldn’t be too big or too small for the surface it’s on. And don’t feel like you have to fill every tabletop — the eye needs a chance to rest, too. Don’t pick items that are too small or they will get lost in the shuffle.  If you want to use small items, consider grouping them together to take up more visual space.

Consider Symmetry, but Utilize Asymmetry As Well

Using symmetry in a room will create a sense of balance which is important in design, especially more formal spaces. However, too much repetition can feel mundane.  Try to incorporate asymmetrical layouts that still provide balance in your designs.  When arranging accessories, try going for balance instead of symmetry and group smaller items in odd numbers, such as in threes or fives.

Use Accessories to Add a Pop of Color

Accessories are a great place to be bold with your color choice. Make a statement with pieces that will add contrast and vibrancy to your room, especially if your furniture and walls are neutral.

Add a Plant

We like to always add something green to a room to add some freshness.  Live plants will provide air filtering benefits as well, but if you don’t have a green thumb, faux florals, and greenery will work just fine for that bit of bringing the outdoors in.


Too Small of a Rug

When it comes to area rugs, the scale is just as important as style. Pick one that’s large enough for all furniture legs to rest on it so it doesn’t look like it’s floating in the middle of your room.  If you arent sure what to look for, check out our post on properly sizing your rugs.

Avoid Scattering Individual Accessories Around a Room.

Combining items into groups with varying heights creates visual interest and takes up more space.  We like to vary the size of the pieces and lean toward using an odd number for each vignette so things don’t get too symmetrical or matchy-matchy. Arrange the items in a pyramid, from highest to lowest, with the tallest object in the back. If an item is small, group it with other small items on a tray or in a bowl. If it’s too low, set it atop a decorative box or books.

No Window Treatments

Window treatments finish a space and soften hard window casings.  They are also a great place to add color and patterns to a room.  While there is a time and a place for just a “hard” treatment like a blind or shade, in general, we like to add drapery panels or a top treatment to a space to finish it. 

Going Too Matchy-Matchy

Your home will look much more interesting and intentional if you mix things up.  Vary patterns, add in multiple colors, have art that is meaningful.  If you like the monochromatic look, mix things up by varying textures and patterns.  Just don’t worry about mixing and matching to make a room that is uniquely yours!

Hanging Your Art Too High

You shouldn’t have to look-up to see your art. In general, art should be at eye level. But when hanging it above a piece of furniture, you want to use the furniture as a sort of anchor for the art. We often see art that is hung too high.  If you arent sure, have someone hold it up and step back to look at it.  You want an average height person to not have to look up or down when viewing the art.

Do you have other tips for accessorizing? We would love to hear them!

Looking for help accessorizing your home?  We’re here to help.

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Mixing Colors and Patterns to Create A Relaxing Space

When creating a room design, its important to mix and match patterns and colors to create visual interest.  But we get it, it’s not that easy to layer colors and patterns without feeling overwhelmed. Mixing patterns is one of those decor areas that people seem to shy away from simply out of fear of not knowing what to match up. This leaves a lot of cream and grey, mostly solid rooms.  We’re here to help bring back

1: Determine what color palette you want as a primary focus. Before you start focusing on how many colors to mix and which patterns to use, start with a primary color scheme.  In this bedroom, that color focus is soft teal.  That color is found on the walls, in the art, in the bedding, and in the rug.

2. Find a piece of inspiration:  We like to find inspiration to connect the rest of our color palette. That may be a piece of art, a fabric, or a rug that works well with your primary focus, but also introduces accent colors. In this bedroom, we found that inspiration in the abstract art and that art connects well with the rug.

3. Let neutrals be your base.  Incorporating neutrals while mixing various colors and patterns gives your eyes a place to rest.  In this master bedroom, the neutrals used are the cream duvet, the grey headboard, the white ceiling, and the white trim.

4. Use a variety of scales when mixing and matching patterns.

The Magic Number: Odd numbers work when you are grouping. Three is always a good place to start; go up from there if you’re feeling it.

Pattern 1: This is your strongest statement, so choose something you absolutely love and want to go off of for the rest of the room. It’s best to start with a large scale pattern. In this master suite, that is the swivel chair fabric.

Pattern 2: This piece should have a couple of the same colors as your first pattern, but be half the scale. The drapery and front pillow fabric both follow this principle.

Pattern 3: Go for a complementary color or neutral textured piece in a smaller scale. Here we have the orange shams.

Here are a few other general principals to keep in mind.

  1. Color Intensity: Stay with the same color tones and intensities. We would avoid mixing primary colors with pastels, or muted tones with jewel tones. This will help you create a cohesive look.
  2. Solids and Textures: Your eye needs somewhere to rest in between the patterns that you are layering.  Add in solids and textures to balance and separate your patterns.
  3. Neutrals: Neutrals make a great break between your patterns and colors to give you a base to build on.

Want to see more of how we mixed color and pattern in this teal and orange bedroom? Head over to our portfolio!

Still feeling overwhelmed by mixing colors and patterns into a comprehensive design you will love?  We would love to help you! Give us a call to book a consultation.

Part 2: Mudroom Renovation Design Phase


This week, we’re working on the design for Beth’s mudroom renovation.  This includes selecting tile for the floor and a finish for the cabinetry.

We will be back next week with the second part of the design phase – selecting all of the details!

Part 1: Mudroom Renovation

We’re tackling a renovation at Beth’s house, and we’re going to take you step-by-step through the process.  This first video from the series shows the thought process behind taking an idea and turning it into a drawing to show what is possible.

We will be back next week as we begin to create the design for the space!

Before and After Master Bedroom Retreat

This master bedroom was transformed from a stark, unfinished space to a luxurious retreat.  Watch our video below to learn more about this transformation.

All of the design elements from the paint and bedding to the warm wood finishes were inspired by the colors in the client’s beloved area rug.  This color scheme evokes feels of calm and serenity and to get that true serene feel in the room, we combined softer tones with subtle pops of color and made the room feel bright and airy.

We think a  master retreat should be just that — a place where you can go to retreat! Which is why we wanted this room’s aesthetic to feel relaxing.

To keep the room from feeling too monotonous, we layered various pops of  similar shades of blue and pink to bring interest to the center of the room and pop against the crisp, white bed linens.

We love this soft and elegant master bedroom! What do you think of this space?

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Lisa is warm, engaging, an excellent listener, and highly skilled as an interior designer. Although I know her on a friendly basis, from the moment she walked in my door, she got right to work and not a second of time was wasted. I was having a very difficult time choosing paint colors in my home–the greys I thought I wanted were turning every shade but grey. I ended up with a gorgeous coastal palette that made my existing art work and furnishings pop. I can’t recommend Lisa more highly! She is now helping with window treatment ideas. She completely respects my budget!

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