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Upcycling Ideas – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Design

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to talk about upcycling ideas.  Often, we want to change the look in our homes well before our product has lived its usable life.  Styles can change faster than furniture wears, and that’s okay.  You don’t have to throw away your furniture to get a new look.

We love to up-cycle client’s existing pieces and mix in a few new ones to create a whole new look.  What is up-cycling?  I’m talking about refinishing case goods and recovering upholstered items.  A coat of paint, new stain or a new fabric takes an old item and makes it new again.

Upcycling Ideas

This chair looks brand new, but really, it’s simply been recovered.   Recovering the chair is less expensive than new, but it’s also eco-friendly because the old one isn’t headed to the dump.

The chair below needed a face lift because its fabric was old and worn.  We chose a fabric in a similar color to give it a new life. 


before and after chairs

Custom Upholstered Couch with modern block leg

This sofa was recovered as part of a larger redesign project.  The color scheme was changing, but the shell of the sofa was still in a great shape. A new fabric makes it a like new sofa that now fits into our cream and blue color palatte.

before-after-dresser

A coat of paint will give casegoods a whole new life.  Our refinisher will make items look brand new.  He refinishes old pieces or touches up damage from years of wear and tear.

foot-before-and-after stain

beforeafterdiningchairs1

Dining chairs are made new with a coat of paint and new fabric.

Plus, you don’t have to only  update the fabric! We can put in a whole new seat cushion to give those dining chairs a fresh start. 

tracery_chair3ba

So, before you’re ready to throw away your old furniture, think green.  Think reduce, reuse, recycle.  We can breathe new life into many of your old items with the right professional know-how.

Have an item you want to upcycle?  

Give us a call for a quote.

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Wallpaper Ideas

bad wallpaper

Bad Wallpaper

Over the past week, I’ve heard 2 or 3 people say something along the lines of, “wallpaper is out,” and I’d like to step in to it’s defense.  There was an era of bad wallpaper. I can see something like this room, born in the 80’s as just wrong. But let’s be honest, there is so much more wrong with this look than just the wallpaper.

Like anything with design, there are right and wrong applications.  The wrong proportion of art can leave a wall looking bear, the wrong color paint can cause a room to feel disjointed, a rug that’s too small can throw off the whole scale of a room.  In the same sense, the wrong application of wallpaper can be, well, just bad.

Here are some modern uses of wallpaper and some wallpaper ideas that we love.   

1: An accent wall.

wallpaper ideas

Don’t over use that pattern.  One wall can be enough! Choose a complementary color from the wall paper for the remaining walls.  Notice how the accent wall draws your attention in the dining room, yet there is no art, just wallpaper.

Wallpaper Accent Wall

You can also layer art over the wallpaper, but make sure that the two pieces do not compete for attention but rather work together to create a cohesive look.

2: Wallpaper as Art

Wallpaper as Art

Wallpaper can be gorgeous, but some colors and patterns may feel too strong for an entire wall.  Take one or a couple repeats of the pattern and frame it. Presto: art!!!

Wallpaper ideas

This look can complement the color palette you have created or introduce a bold pop of color.  Either way, it’s relatively inexpensive art that provides a unique and custom look.

3: Provide an interesting background for a bookcase

wallpaper behind bookcase

This pattern provides interest for an otherwise typical bookcase.  Let the pattern speak for itself with simple accessories on the shelves and just a few pops of color. This allows you to create  a totally custom concept.

wallpaper on back of bookshelf

Choose a dramatic paper in a bold color to create more far more interest and a bolder look.

4: Add life and interest to an old piece of furniture. 

Wallpaper inside drawer

Use wallpaper to line the inside of drawers for a pop of color when you open them.  That design element is mostly for you, but then again isn’t all of your home’s decor?

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Shower Designs – Let’s talk about showers

shower designs

Shower designs have come along way in the past decade.  You spend time in the shower every day, so you want it too look nice so you can enjoy it.

You don’t have use a frosted glass on a window in the shower to create privacy.  Hunter Douglas shutters can be put inside your shower for privacy and light control.  Tilt the louvers to allow natural light into the bathroom, but close them when you’re using the shower.  A great solution both for the look and the function.

This shower features mixed tiled to create interest without introducing new colors.  Note the use of a shelf instead of a standard niche to hold small bottles, soap, etc.

We love mixing a rain shower head and handheld shower to provide functionality in the shower.  This shower head has a lovely curve taking advantage of the high ceilings in the room.  We love this look!

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Kitchen Storage Ideas

Today, let’s look at some new kitchen storage ideas and bathroom ideas. If you follow our blog, you know that we make a distinction between decorators and designers. Interior Design is about a lot more than the look of the finished product.  While yes, achieving a certain look and feel in a room is a major goal, but if the room doesn’t function as you need it to, what is the point?

When we are considering what products to specify for your home, we begin by considering the functionality of the room.  For that reason, we start with a floor plan and then specify products that fits with the design we have created.  By considering everything from the ground up, we ensure that the room first functions for the lifestyle that you lead and how you use the space.  We then make choices within that function to make sure that your room is also beautiful.

A floor plan is, of course, important in functionality, but so is the design of the product that we specify.  When we take trips like the one we just returned from where we attended the Kitchen and Bath show and International Builders show in Las Vegas, we search for products that are successful at the blending of functionality and aesthetic.

We were excited to discover all of the latest trends in cabinetry design that allow you to hide outlets and increase the organizational capabilities of the bathroom, kitchen, mudroom, laundry room or any other room where you choose to install cabinetry.  Let me show you some of the features that we loved!!!

Let’s start in the bathroom.

Vanity Stool with Towel storage

This vanity is designed for a small bathroom. The stool boasts towel storage in the side to create space where otherwise it would simply be wasted.

Inside Vanity Outlets

No one wants to look at wires and plugs! This under the sink cabinet design allows you to store all of your electronics including flat irons, hair dryers and electric toothbrushes under the sink.  You simply open the cabinet drawers to access the items which have been charging the whole time.  This strip is designed to protect you from electrical fires.

Hair dryer storage

Here’s another option for those bathroom items.  This design allows you to store them in an easy-access drawer.  The plug, in this case, is behind the drawer and the cords filter through a hole in the back.


double drawer organizer

Inside the drawers, these cabinets are designed for organization.  This particular drawer is really two drawers in one, and within each drawer are lift out organizers to help keep everything in its place.

Moving to the kitchen!

 

This slide out rack keeps pots, pans and lids organized and easy to access.  No more fumbling through stacked pots and pans. This rack keeps them in order.

Corner cabinet?  No problem!! We found several solutions for that cabinet we all have that is impossible to reach the items in the back.  First, a new take on a traditional lazy-susan. This collapsible corner, makes it easier to access the items in your corner cabinet because the door neatly tucks away while you are inside the cabinet.


Collapsable Corner Open
kitchen storage ideas

If you want to store larger items in that corner, consider this shelf that I think looks like a bean.  Look how it pulls out so you can access everything on it.  Don’t worry about items sliding around.  The shelf is lined with a sort of sticky material.  Items don’t slide side to side, but they lift off when pulled up or down.

Is the drawer that hides your trash cans always a mess from dirty hands pulling it open?  Here’s your fix.  This cabinet opens with the tap of a knee.  Completely hands free!!!

Rubber Liner inside under sink cabinet

Finally, this under the sink cabinet is lined with rubber to protect the wood from any spills.  Wet sponges or bottles that leak: all those messes wipe right off the rubber mat that seals up the sides.  Its one of those things that you think, “why didn’t I think of that?”  So simple, yet a nice touch to a kitchen or bathroom.

If you’re interested in any of these products for your home, contact us to set up a free in-home consultation.  

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Pantone Color of 2014, Radiant Orchid

Pantone announced the Pantone Color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid, a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple, as the color of the year for 2014.  We love the idea of a bold punch of color in any room, but caution our clients about jumping aboard the color trends too quickly.

Pantone Color of 2014

Our Advice for the Color of the Year

Never purchase your big-ticket items in the trendy color.  Instead, allow the color to pop off an otherwise neutral palette.  That way, if you tire of the 2014 color or want to indulge in 2015’s bold punch, you can do so without breaking the bank.

The vibrancy of this color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color palette.

Choose items such as pillows, ceramic pieces, flowers, art work, throws and other accent pieces to show off the Radiant Orchid.  Notice how this bedroom on the left has three pieces in the Orchid that could easily change to blue, yellow, purple, red, etc. in the future.

Pantone Color of 2014

If a few items in Radiant Orchid is not enough for you, you can also consider painting your walls.  Paint is more of a commitment to the color, but relatively inexpensive to change down the road when it’s time to move on to a new color.  Plus, you don’t even have to paint the entire room to get the pop. Using an accent wall, painting the ceiling or painting behind cabinetry gives you a magnitude of color for very little money.  Notice in this dining room how the purple pops off the white trim, drapery and brown leather dining chairs.  There’s no need for more color in the room because wall color makes such a statement. Interest in the rest of the room is created through use of texture and layering various neutrals.

However, you can layer additional colors for an even bolder look. Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.

Here’s some information about Radient Orchid from Pantone.

“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past colors include:

  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

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Why Drapery Lining is Important

drapery lining

There is a distinct difference between ready-made curtains and custom drapery with drapery lining. With a custom product, not only do you get the exact fabric, style, colors, width, height, etc. that you are looking for, but you also get a higher quality product.

However, much of that quality comes from the fabric that you cannot see.  I’m talking about the lining. Because fabric costs can add up quickly, it’s easy to want to skimp on the lining when designing drapery: You can’t see the lining fabric in the room and it adds an additional cost. Nevertheless,  I urge you to reconsider that thought when choosing your window coverings.

Here’s why we use quality linings:

  • UV Protection: Protect the furniture and flooring your have in your home from fading and discoloration over time
  • Light Exclusion: Do you want blackout drapery? High-quality lining will help eliminate light seeping into your room in the morning.
  • Thermal Insulation: Keep the cold air out and the heat in during the winter and keep your air-conditioned air in and the hot air out during the summer months.
  • Noise Insulation: Do you live on a busy street?  Drapery can help muffle those noises to help you sleep.
  • Improve the Drape and Body:  Ready made curtains hang limp and lifeless at the window.  Properly lined drapery will be full and provide a softer frame to your windows.
  • Extend the Life of Fabric: Help protect the fabric you fell in love with in your custom drapery.

Lisa Scheff Designs uses high-quality drapery lining for all of these reasons to create custom, top-of-the-line products for your homes.

Call today to book your free drapery consultation.  

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Window Blinds – Before & After

We recently installed new window blinds in the waiting room at Robert Charles Photography, and we think it made a world of difference in the space.  Being a photography studio, of course, lots of photos were taken, and we love a good before and after shot!!! Check it out.

Before

As you can see, the old window coverings are functional but not beautiful to look at. When closed, they block a majority of the light, but still allow light to come through.  When open, the curtains make the windows look small, and the hardware looks frail. They are hung too low creating two horizontal lines, one from the paint line and another from the curtain rod.

Robert Charles Photography before

After

What a difference! The Hunter Douglas Vignette Modern Roman shade provides nearly complete light blocking when lowered allowing for ideal image viewing, and the custom drapery softens the edges and frames the windows perfectly. These are child safe, cordless window coverings, which is important for a photography studio that specializes in family portraits.  Not only are these window coverings cordless,  but they’re motorized.  That’s right, when you sit down to view your Robert Charles Photography photos, your consultant doesn’t have to leave their desk to darken the room.  There is a remote control, but they can also be raised and lowered using the Hunter Douglas Platinum App on an iPhone or iPad.

window blinds

RCP After 2

RCP after 2We chose to mount the Roman shades well above the window casing.  When raised, the Hunter Douglas Modern Roman shades provide the allusion that the windows keep going allowing us to alter the scale of the windows in proportion to these high ceilings without having to replace the windows.

rcp after 3

The fullness of the drapery softens the window’s edges, but the stationary panels mean much less fussing to keep the room looking complete.  The Roman shade replaces the functionality of the old curtains, and the custom drapery completes the look.

RCP after1

The new hardware is both functional and attractive, and the grommet header provides a modern feel.

We’re elated with how this space came out and glad to have helped Robert Charles Photography update their waiting room.  Book your holiday photography session with them and check out our window coverings when you’re in the studio.

Like what you see?  Book your free consultation to create a look like this in your home or office. 

Call Today

Check out Robert Charles Photography’s blog about the room as well!

Robert Charles Photography

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Upholstery Trends & Other Great Finds

We’re back in the office after a whirlwind trip to High Point Furniture Market.  We had a blast visiting showrooms and meeting with reps to find new lines, scoping out new furniture and upholstery trends and make sure we know about the latest products.   Here are some of our finds!

Bull artworkCows were all over the art scene at High Point, from bulls with their horns ready to strike to black and white dairy cows with a gentle face.  We love the concept of a cow, especially for a kitchen wall!!!

upholstery trends

We stumbled upon upholstered mirrors this market, and we must admit, we love it! You can customize this look with the colors in your fabric, the shape of the mirror and the nailhead design that you choose.  The possibilities are endless!!!

Upholstered Table with ottomansSpeaking of upholstered, how fun is this fully upholstered console table?  Store two small ottomans underneath and you have extra seating when needed and a burst of color all the time.  We can’t wait to use this in someone’s living room.

Tufted back chairEven more fun, a modern take on a wing chair with a fully tufted back.  This is a chair to float in the middle of a room where everyone can see all four sides.  Not only is it great to look at, but we think its very comfortable.

Custom Upholstered Dining ChairsOne of the new additions we brought home from market is this line of completely custom upholstered dining chairs. Choose your leg, choose your seat, choose your back, choose your fabric… Do you want button tufting? No buttons? Channel back? Nail head? No nail head?  You decide.  Plus, these come at a great price-point.

Custom Upholstered couch

We also found a new line of custom upholstery that is so comfy, modern and at a great price point.

It was definitely a successful trip to market.  These are only a few of the finds.  We’re back, inspired and ready to create.  Call us today to book your free consultation and check out more of our market finds.

Call Today

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Child Safety

Child SafetyIt’s hard to believe that it is officially fall with a high of only 62 today!  Somehow, it went from August to a week before October in a blink of the eye, but leaves are changing colors, and child safety month with be here in 7 days.

It seems like there is a month to raise awareness about everything, but most people don’t realize that there is a connection between proper window coverings and child safety, so it’s important to raise awareness about this subject.

So let’s talk about child safety!

From cordless manual and motorized operating systems, retractable lift cords, cord tensioners and wand controls, we offer a wide array of innovative lifting system options for enhanced child and pet safety as well as especially easy operation. Also designed with safety in mind, our

Vignette® Modern Roman Shades are constructed with no cords across the back of the shade to eliminate potential hazards associated with these cords.

Child safety is serious business.

That’s why the window coverings industry uses warning tags, warning labels, and other methods to communicate the potential hazards of corded window coverings. The warning shown here, for example, communicates the important message about cords being a potential strangulation hazard and suggests choosing cordless alternatives or products with inaccessible cords.

Children and window cords don’t mix. When window cords are accessible to small children, these seemingly harmless products may become strangulation hazards.
If you have corded window coverings and can’t replace them with today’s safer products, check them for the following hazards and order our free retrofit kits as needed. http://www.windowcoverings.org/what-to-look-for/

Remember parents, designing your home for safety does not mean you have to sacrifice style. A stylish but comfortable rug can help cushion falls and prevent injuries. Also, you can coordinate cordless blinds which ensure child safety with curtains in bright colors and soft fabrics to complement a room’s décor. For more tips on safe and stylish home design, visit:

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Design Inspiration

Need some design inspiration? We stumbled across this picture in our email and became inspired by the use of blue as a neutral with only a small pop of red.  Note how this room boasts varying shades of blue layered with texture and pattern.  From the walls to the sofa, everything is either a pale blue or navy but is contrasted by the pop of red in a pillow, the picture hanging over the sofa, the apples, etc. which give the room dimension.  That red could be switched out easily for orange, yellow, lime, and so on to give the room a whole different feel without making a dramatic change,.

What do you think about the blue and red inspiration?

design inspiration

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Inspiration, Specials & More
We hired LIsa to help us with solar shades for large windows at the law office. Her guidance choosing shade function, material and color and other details was along with professionalism, enthusiasm, and personal warmth. Lisa also willingly answered our questions as they occurred. The installation was completed with obvious experience and in a timely manner. We would highly recommend Lisa and her excellent work.

FREE Guide to to Planning Your Kitchen Renovation.

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 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. 413.567.8541

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