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So many rugs, so little time. Let us help!

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-Woven Rugs

Hand-Knotted Rugs:

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

Hand-Tufted Rugs:

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

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!


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Family Room Design Project

Follow this family room transformation from the before shots to the big reveal. Check out the rustic design, our inspiration, and the client’s feedback as we walk you through one of our most recent delivered projects.

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Take it Outside – Outdoor Living Trends

As New Englanders, by the time June rolls around we are more than ready to spend all of our time outside. We roll our car windows down, our favorite restaurants dust off their patios, and pool covers are peeled back. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and life is good.

This time of year, nothing is better than outdoor living. A perfect patio inspires you to spend time outside the house and gives you a beautiful place to wring every last minute out of your day. On the flip side, if your outdoor space isn’t just right, it may persuade you to stay inside despite the beautiful weather. Here are a few tips to help make your outdoor living space a wonderful spot to host family and friends, or just relax with a glass of wine after a long day.

Inside Out:Outdoor Living Spaces

This is a trend we are seeing a lot of lately, and don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon. Picture this: it is a beautiful summer day and you and your family are sitting around the dining room table-staring longingly into the back yard. Watching nice weather from indoors can cause a feeling of guilt- especially here in New England where it is only here for a few months. Creating an outdoor living space that mimics the comforts of your home provides a comfy, inviting space to enjoy the outdoors. Consider it an extension of your home. You can even add an outdoor fireplace and a TV!

Outdoor Kitchens:

With the popularity of open air dining growing, why not create your own outdoor kitchen and dining area. You’ve probably already got the grill, but let’s take it one step further. We love outdoor kitchens that include pizza ovens, wet bars and even refrigerators. By creating a kitchen outdoors, it allows you to cut down on your trips inside when hosting an event. With an outdoor kitchen, the sky is the limit (literally)!

Outdoor Living Spaces

Bright Colors:

Add bright pillows, vibrant rugs and mosaic tables to your outdoor space for a pop of summer color. When it comes to outdoor spaces, be fearless with your color combinations. When we think summer, two things come to mind. Coastal colors and bright colors. We love blues and greens but also love the way a bright color can lift a mood and is the perfect symbol of the summertime.

Bonus Tip-Add Some Tech:

Bring your indoor surround sound system outdoors with the placement of just a few speakers. Perfect for entertaining or just lounging.

Are you interested in creating a perfect outdoor living space at your home? Let us help! Call us for a consultation before the summer slips away!

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Trend Spotting Through High Point Market

High Point Market is an exciting event for us at Lisa Scheff! High Point is where we gather new ideas for our clients and absorb all the latest trends. While we’ve just recently returned from the Spring 2017 Market, we are already using all of the design ideas and products we discovered.  Every year, we leave High Point with a camera full of photos, a mind full of ideas and fingers eager to call our clients and tell them about our favorite finds. This year was no different! High Point is full of awe inspiring designs, creative concepts and exciting sneak peaks at all the upcoming trends. And we take them all home with us!

First High Point Trend-Green!

This year two High Point Market trends stood out to us: First, the color green was present everywhere! It was used on walls, on accent pillows, intricately weaved through designs on tables and in artwork. It was even used as a furniture statement piece! Perfect timing since the color green resembles rebirth (and it’s Spring) and Greenery also happens to be the Pantone Color of the Year! As we walked through the show rooms, we saw all different shades of green.  Green was used in both a bold centerpiece to a room, or a hidden gem placed on a table to add just a little pop of color.

High Point Market Trends AcrylicGreen is a great option as it is easy on the eyes, simple and versatile. Something as simple as some faux greenery placed on a corner table is enough for rejuvenating effects to be felt in a room. It is one of our favorite colors to use when we are looking to create a soothing and relaxing space.

Second High Point Trend-Lucite!

The second High Point Market trend was the abundant use of Lucite (acrylic). This High Point, if you weren’t looking at something green, you were probably looking at something Lucite! While Lucite has been popular for a few years, it seems that this year it kicked into high gear. Designers are using Lucite in tables, hardware, art work, and even lighting fixtures! We love Lucite when it is used sparingly. It is a great way to add a bit of modern flair to a space. We like it when used as the legs of a table, the accents in a light fixture, or the hardware on a night stand drawer.

As we always mention when talking about High Point Market trends, it is best to only use a pop of it in your home. Similarly to orange shag rugs and bell bottoms, trends come and go. An accent wall, a chair, or piece of artwork are all great ways to incorporate a market trend into your home without regretting it years down the road.

Like what you see? Would you like to incorporate green or Lucite into your home? Call us today to book a consultation and we will help you bring some market trends into your home! 

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High Point Market Trends


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Lighting Makes All the Difference

kitchen cabinets poor lightingIn a lecture we attended by Candice Olson, she once said, “with proper lighting, you can make a $3 fabric look like a $100 fabric, but with poor lighting you can make a $100 fabric look like a $3 fabric.”  This statement stuck in our firm, because in design, we really do believe in the importance of lighting.

A well lit room not only makes your fabrics look better, but improves every aspect of the room. Take a look at this kitchen back splash from one of our recent projects.  The under-cabinet lighting could not continue under the range hood, leaving a dark hole over the stove that made the tile look dark and a bit muddy.  

Kitchen cabinets good lighting

Now look at the same space with the range hood lights on.  Notice how much warmer the tile looks.  Having light over the stove allows the focal point of the tile, the thin glass accent square, to shine.

While a well lit room has a lot of light to create brightness, it is also important that that light is well spaced so that we don’t create any dark spots on the floor, and on the converse, that we don’t create any hot spots.  The light should disperse evenly.

Another quality to consider, and in our opinion one of the most important qualities to consider when choosing a light bulb is the bulb’s color temperature. Color temperature, measured on the Kelvin scale, typically ranges from 2700K to 5000K. Warm light averages from 2700K to 3000K, whereas bulbs around 5000K provide a crisp daylight appearance that is more blue. If you are choosing to use an LED bulb in your space, you want to use the warmest color LED bulb that you can in a space in order to create a welcoming environment. Using an LED that provides a crisp, bluer light, as opposed to a warm, yellow light, can make a room feel more commercial.  Read more about LED lighting in design in our interview with Mass Save!

Looking for help properly lighting your home?  We can help by creating a lighting plan that will use recessed cans, lamps, under cabinet lighting, and traditional fixtures so that your home and all of your belongings get the light they deserve.

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Use Beautiful Tile to Add Color, Style and Function

Incorporating tile is a relatively simple way to change the look and feel of your home. A blend of durability and style available in a variety of materials, patterns, shapes and colors,  it is a perfect fit for any room.


Grey and White TileTile is one of the most versatile design elements. You can create almost any look and feel. It can be traditional, modern or anything in between including  Southwestern, Asian or Italian! You can select from a wide variety of materials including marble, porcelain, glass, natural stone, ceramic, mosaic and more. Today some porcelain tile even looks like wood to give you a natural look with better durability!

Where to Use Tile

It can be used to add beauty to so many surfaces, including countertops, floors, walls, mantles, and even ceilings! Compared to many other materials, it is moderately priced, durable and easy to clean. And because tile comes in so many shapes and sizes, you can create almost unlimited patterns and designs! Consider a feature wall as a way to brighten up your space playing with patterns and colors.  A bold design can make a big statement in your room, but even a more subtle material can add an interesting element to the space.  Whether you are tiling your fireplace surround or the wall behind your bathroom sinks, tile is sure to make an impact. 

Farmhouse copper sink

Expert Guidance

White Subway Tile

With so many tile choices, choosing the right option for you home might feel a little overwhelming.  It makes sense to work with an expert to select the material that will work best for your design project.

Add tile to your decorating scheme to add a new look to your home this spring.

Struggling to choose the right design for your renovation, we can help?

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Decorating with less will give you more! Minimalism in Design

Decorating with less will give you more! A more beautiful interior, that is.

That’s the philosophy of a minimalist decorating style.

Minimalism is a streamlined and organized look that makes you feel calm and relaxed. But don’t worry; a minimalist interior isn’t entirely bare! It still includes beautiful furniture, flooring, window fashions and artwork. Within the idea of minimalism, there are lots of choices of your look too, from beachy vibe to Asian zen to high-style sophisticated.

Some people think the best thing about minimalist décor is that you have to get rid of the clutter! That’s why cabinets, closets and other out-of-sight storage are key. And minimalist décor is easier to clean since there are fewer elements to dust, mop and vacuum.

Minimalist colors are usually muted and monochromatic. White is the most common color for minimalism, but you can also use soft earth tones like beige, taupe, tan and gray. In minimalism, a variation in texture usually takes the place of a variation in color.

Use these tips to create a minimalist style in your home:

  • Make one element the focal point in a room, then the other pieces can support it.
  • Have mostly clear surfaces, with very few, well-selected décor items atop tables and floors, such as one sculpture or one vase of flowers or one photo of your family.
  • Hang a limited number of pieces of artwork on walls. Leave some walls without artwork, and the art you have will stand out even more.
  • Almost always use solid colors, not patterns. Then use textures to create the visual interest in a room.
  • Use calming colors for furniture, flooring, window coverings and bed linens.
  • Start by making just one room in your house minimalist and simple to make sure you like the minimalist style.

Make your home more peaceful by following a minimalist design strategy.

Looking for help creating a successful minimalist design?  We’d love to help.

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Not Your Grandmother’s Wallpaper

Trends come and go, and if you wait long enough, they often come back around.  As the baby-boom generation begins to retire, and generation X takes the lead, the fads of ’90s home design were bound to come back in vogue, the same way bell bottom jeans made a reappearance in the early 2000’s.

While some 1990 trends like inflatable furniture, stenciled ivy wall designs, and floral sofas, should stay where we left them, other trends like white kitchens and minimalist design were a welcome revisit.

One of the biggest trends we’ve noticed making a come back in the interior design industry is wallpaper.  Now before you start visualizing the cabbage rose paper your mother hung in 1992, let me introduce you to the modern trends in wallpaper that we are loving.

Grasscloth Wallpaper

What is grasscloth wallpaper? It is usually made from natural materials such as hemp, reed, arrowroot or jute and then backed with rice paper.  No two strands of grass are the exact same color, therefore, it is impossible to match one piece of grasscloth to another which is what contributes to the look and beauty of this paper.

Because of the natural material, grasscloth is a less durable wallpaper. It is very absorbent, which means that simply wiping it down with a wet sponge can ruin it.  Because it is fragile and doesn’t hold up well to moisture, we don’t typically advise that it is put in a kitchen or bathroom unless your bathroom is very well ventilated.

Metallic Wallpaper

​Gold and silver metallic papers catch the light and add a little bling to a space. We love that the reflection will not only make your room feel brighter, but also larger.

There are papers where the entire pattern it metallic, and others where the shine is simply an accents.  The feel you want in your space will determine how much metallic finish you want to introduce.

Faux Textures

Wallpaper is a great place to add texture to a space, especially with beautiful options in linen, silk or raffia.  However, in recent trends embossed patterns and faux textures have made an appearance. With print such as faux exposed brick, you can create interest in a space without starting a huge renovation.

Bold Geometrics

Talk about making a statement! For impact try bold patterns in small spaces such as foyers and bathrooms. Or for a more chic look use colors of a single hue to create sophistication in areas such as bedrooms. We love a bold geometric pattern in a powder room.  It is a small space that can really pack a punch.

Not ready to jump on board with a whole room of bold paper? Feature walls make a statement with a bold pattern but not too much of it. It highlights a wall that you want to be a focal point in your room.

Neutral Patterns

A tone on tone paper can provide interest with pattern like this pretty paisley paper with just a touch a blue.  Many paper manufactures are also fabric houses and carry the same patterns for wallpaper and fabric.  While we don’t always like the “matchy-matchy” look, we like how the continuation of the wallpaper print into these drapery panels makes a small wall feel larger rather than cut up.

Ready to put wallpaper in your home?  We’d love to help.  Give us a call today to book your in-home design consultation.

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No Need to Fear Color is Here

Every year, trending colors change, so we never advise a client to paint their home based solely on what’s in style.  Color trends fade away, often as quickly as they started.  The trick to having a beautiful home with a color palate you will love is planning, blending colors that you like and that make you feel good and thinking about the lighting in your home.

Here are some things to think about when selecting paint colors for your home.

Color Transforms a Room

The right color paint transforms a room and gives it an entirely new feel. The color should complement the other pieces in the room, while perhaps pulling from a tone in the counter-top, the pillows, the sofa, etc.

In order to get that wow factor that we all want, you can’t be afraid of a bold wall color.  Often, a bold wall color makes the room! It can ground your color palette and bring richness and life back to a space.

Just look at how much this kitchen changes.  It feels far more modern while not changing the floor or painting the wood trim. Of course, other elements add to this transformation, such as the light fixture, kitchen table, and screen shade, but the chocolate brown walls bring that whole room to life.

Color Transforms Mood

When thinking about what color to paint a space, you want to think about the mood you want to feel in the room.  Some colors are more energizing, while others are more relaxing.  There’s a reason spa’s are usually painted with soft greens and blues.

For example, red is a strong color that psychologically raises a room’s energy level.  It is a good choice for a space where you want to create excitement or encourage lively conversation.

Some color theorists believe that the color red increases your appetite making it an ideal color for a dining room. However, red may not be the right color for a bedroom where you want to be relaxed and feel rested.

The same theory is true when mixing colors.  Using analogous colors, or colors that are next to each other on the color wheel will create a more soothing a tranquil environment because there is less stark contrast. This type of palette is nice for bathrooms or bedrooms.  Where as using complimentary colors, or those across from each other on the color wheel, can be bolder, create more contrast, and thus are better for entertaining spaces where psychologically, you want to be more lively.

Colors Change Room to Room

Just because you love the color your sister painted her kitchen, doesn’t mean its the right color for your own kitchen.  These two rooms are painted the exact same color, yet in the top room it feels more saturated, darker, and read more green, and in the lower image it read lighter, and much more blue.

While yes, it works beautifully in both of these kitchens, that may not be the case with another color.  Lighting is a key factor that changes how a color feels from home to home.  This is why we tell clients that we have to select the paint in their home, but that we advise they look at the samples at different times of day before committing.

Morning sunlight may change the color in a way that you don’t like, where you loved in the night before when it was only lit by your overhead lights.

Sometimes the Best Color is a Neutral

If all this talk of color has you feeling like we don’t like neutrals, let me set the record straight.  Sometimes the best tone for a room is for the walls to be neutral, whether, grey, beige, or what we fondly call greige (somewhere in between a beige and a grey) allowing the furniture to pop.

We love this grey transformation updating this room for girly to modern and chic.   But even with a neutral, don’t be afraid of saturation.  A dark color still could be the right thing for your room.  Often more saturated colors make the room feel warmer and more intimate.

Want to pull it all together.  We’d love to help. Call today to book your in-home design consultation.

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Paint Consultations for a Move In Ready Home

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

Slow down is our initial advice!  We always caution clients about making hasty decisions in home renovations.

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. 

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