Blog Archives | Page 13 of 15 | Lisa Scheff Designs


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.


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


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. 

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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.

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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.

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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Interior Design with Red – Pique Passion & Personality

Interior design with red

Give your neutral color scheme a break, and add a touch of red to create a focal point. A little red goes a long way and is a powerful addition to most interior looks.  Experts say that red is a color of passion, love and beauty. In some cultures, it’s associated with excitement, energy and courage. In others, it connotes happiness, good fortune, success and loyalty.  Whatever your culture or nationality, it’s clear that interior design with red makes a fashion statement.

Interior design with red can be cheery or sophisticated, contemporary or traditional, depending on the shade you select:  from dark, violet-toned burgundy to orangey, tomato red, to bright primary red. And depending on the shade, red can energize a room or make it soothing and cozy. Red also comes in a variety of textures, from glossy lacquer to soft matte in paint, and from soft silk to supple leather in fabrics.

Add just a touch of red with:

Modern Living Room with Hunter Douglas Pirouette Shades and a pop of red

  •  Drapery or furniture fabrics
  • Accent lamps
  • One wall painted red
  • An oriental rug or contemporary carpet
  • Painted furniture, especially in Asian or Latin styles
  • Patterned red fabrics, in chintz, tapestry, stripe or plaid
  • Painted built-in bookshelves – all-over red, or just red on the inside
  • A painting with red as the major color
  • Even your front door, to give visitors a hint that walking into your house will never be dull!

Are you seeing red in your future? Add this vibrant color to make a design statement.  We can help you with the change or any other design change in your home. 

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Pantone Color of 2013 – Emerald

Pantone Color of 2013

Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, is Pantone Color of the Year for 2014.

We have to admit that we love a trend, but often in our homes we avoid them because trends come and go so quickly. Unlike a pair of pants or a new top, upholstery and drapery can be expensive, so it’s hard to commit to the Pantone Color of 2013, emerald green for 20 years in a couch or drapery panel.

We found these great Emerald green fabrics at the Boston Design Center on our visit last Tuesday!  Pillows and valances are a great way to change your room and update it to be on trend.  They are inexpensive compared to the rest of your room, and easy to change.

Here’s a few ideas to incorporate trends into your home without breaking the bank.

  1. Keep your walls and expensive pieces neutral: Beige, brown, grey, etc.
  2. Choose less expensive items to be trendy: pillows, valances, accessories, etc.
  3. Don’t over-do it: A little bit of emerald green goes a long way.

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How to Make Your Room Cooler

Heat Camera Duette Architella photo

Wow! It’s going to be a hot one in New England this week.  My weather app said Longmeadow, MA, will hit 93 today, stay above 90 through Friday and come close to hitting 100! It’s certainly a heatwave. So, today I am writing about how to make your room cooler in a heatwave. My first thought is that during these summer days, our clients are so thankful to have Hunter Douglas insulating shades.

Look at the heat loss from the house on the left in the dead of winter.  If in the winter, these windows are leaking heat, think about all the cooling loss that happens in the summer.  Duette Architella® honeycomb shades provide superior insulation keeping the hot air out in the summer, and your air-conditioned air in. This is key for saving money on your energy bills.  Take a look at the window below.  On the right, the window is bare, and heat is escaping.  Look at the insulation in the right window.

Heat Camera Duette Architella photo

At Hunter Douglas is an industry leader in making a big energy savings difference at the window. In 1985, they invented the highly energy-efficient Duette® honeycomb shadesin response to the energy crisis of the late 1970s. More recently, they’ve introduced Duette Architella® honeycomb shades, which offer superior energy efficiency thanks to their patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction, and Vignette®Tiered Architella Shades, featuring rear fabric air pockets that trap air and create an extra layer of insulation.

Without energy-efficient window treatments, as much as 50% of a home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. All Hunter Douglas window fashions provide window insulation, offering your home increased protection against heat loss during the winter, as well as minimizing the sun’s heat or “solar heat” during the summer. More specifically, here’s how Hunter Douglas products help conserve energy at the window in these three significant ways:

Duette Architella Shade


It’s a scientific fact that heat is attracted to cold. In winter months, indoor heating moves toward and escapes through windows to the outdoors, while in summertime, the outside heat flows into your home through these same windows. Many Hunter Douglas window fashions help insulate homes; helping reduce energy consumption, save on heating and cooling costs, and creating a more comfortable room setting.

Solar Heat Control

Our window fashions help to control solar heat (heat generated from the sun) by allowing it into your home in the winter and minimizing the amount that comes in during the summer.The warmth provided by the sun, its solar energy, may be desirable during the winter to help heat your home, yet it can make a room overly hot and uncomfortable while driving up air conditioning costs in the summer. Many Hunter Douglas products are designed to reduce the amount of solar heat that passes through the window, which is known as the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). The lower the SHGC, the more protected your home is from the sun’s heat. To enjoy the sun’s warmth when desired, simply raise or open the window fashion and invite it in.


Our window fashions enhance daylighting (the use of natural light) by diffusing and dispersing sunlight deep into a room, reducing your need for electrical lighting. Daylighting is the practice of lighting rooms with natural light rather than generating illumination from electricity. With Hunter Douglas window fashions, you can control how much natural light comes into your room. Our sheers and other select styles actually diffuse light as it enters and help to draw it deeper into the room. You can also direct incoming light where it’s needed most by titling the louvers, slats, vanes, blinds and panels. By drawing natural light into a room many of our window treatments reduce your energy needs for other types of lighting.

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A Pattern Fabric Versus Color

A Pop of Pattern Fabric or Color?


Color is definitely a way to make a statement.  This orange couch looks great in the living room, providing color off a neutral wall and tying in the orange in the rug. It’s definitely unique, but many people wouldn’t feel comfortable in investing in something with this much character.

Not to worry, you don’t have to choose a bold color to make a statement.  The chair below is such a light blue that we could almost call it a neutral, but the pattern is stunning! If you’re having trouble making the jump to pops of color in your home, try some pattern fabric in neutral tones.

pattern fabric

Note the contrasting fabric on the ottoman.  Mixing colors, patterns and texture provides you with a much more interesting palette.  Remember, it’s about coordinating colors, fabrics and patterns, never about matching!

But you don’t have to be subtle with your pattern choices.  Trend alert! Patterns are back and often the bolder the better.  Think about the scale of the pattern that your choosing for the size of the piece and join the trend. If you don’t want to update your upholstery, add some trendy pillows or window treatments:a much smaller investment to join the trend.

Check out our upholstery portfolio for more ideas about mixing patterns and colors.

Custom Upholstery

Mounting your Window Treatments and Drapery

Window treatments are designed to dress the window and make it look better. Just as we seek the “right fit” in clothes to flatter our body, there is more to putting up new drapery and window treatments than color choice.  A new belt could take an dress from looking like a tent giving you that hour glass figure. In the same light, the height of your window treatment mount can take your window from small and plain to large and extraordinary.

I will demonstrate what I am talking about with some room sketches that I created.  Notice the size of the window in the sketch.  Its just a normal window in a room with ten foot ceilings.  We want to allow that window to continue letting in the maximum about of light with as little blockage as possible. How do we do that?

sketch of a room with window treatments

When mounting our new window coverings, in this case a Roman Shade and new Drapery Panels, we want to cover as little window as possible. Look at how much larger the window looks now because we can’t tell where it begins and where it ends.  By mounting the window treatments at the ceiling, we create the facade that our window continues to the ceiling.  By stacking the drapery just before the window casing, we allude that the window is wider than it really is.

Sketch of room with window treatments

The treatments also soften the casing of the window.  The before and after is stunning, and this is just a digital mock-up. Imagine the difference it would make in your home!

Custom Drapery photo

See how we executed this concept with orange and gold fabrics to the left. This window was tall, but thin, so we aimed to make it appear wider to maintain proportion in the room.

Mounting at the ceiling is not appropriate for every room.  Mounting height is just one of the considerations that we take when designing custom drapery for our clients.  Keep it in mind for your next window project whether your a DIY girl (or guy) or working with a professional window designer. Let us know how it turns out!

See more of our window covering pictures here:

Window Treatment Portfolio

Control your blinds and shades from your iPhone!

With a touch of a button, we can control our home environment. It’s about the ease and convenience, but let’s be honest, it’s also pretty cool! Now you can control your Hunter Douglas blinds and shades on your smartphone!!!!  How? The Hunter Douglas Platinum App. Check it out in this video, and let us know what you think.

Call or email us for more information about the Platinum App

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Inspiration, Specials & More
Hired for a great room- so impressed added three bedrooms. Lisa and Erin nailed it! They came into an empty space, asked me to take a few pictures of my former house, liked a few things on Houzz and then…they simply listened!! From design one all the way through the end project they got it. I have incredible spaces now. I will caution you only this, be patient. If you are in a rush they might not be for you. The project went over by about 4 weeks and caused some frustration but I would do it all over again seeing the end result.

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