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Countertops and Finishes

Here are some quick tips to consider when thinking about buying stone for new countertops. If you are confused by what kind of stone to buy, you’re not alone. Everyone has heard of granite countertops, but there are other kinds as well.

Quartz

orion quartz for countertops

Photo Credit: Cosentino Group

Quartz (above) is very popular, and we use it a lot in our design work. Quartz absorbs almost no water, so it is good for kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Stain-resistant
  • Acid-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Impact-resistant

 

Dekton

dekton for countertops

Photo Credit: Cosentino Group

Have you ever heard of Dekton (above)? It’s the latest thing in finishes. It’s a very innovative finish that looks like stone, but it is not stone. Dekton is a completely manufactured, or handmade, product. (Glass is, too.) Dekton is another one that we use a lot of in our design work, because it is:

  • Stain-resistant
  • Acid-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Impact-resistant

 

Since Dekton is completely non-porous, it is even more resistant than quartz. Furthermore, Dekton can be:

  • Used for stairs, countertops, flooring–you name it–anything and everything.
  • Used indoors and outdoors.
  • Manufactured in any color, to look like any finish and texture–rippled metal–you name it.

 

Interior Visions will help you select the right finish for your next remodeling project. Please contact us at 206-774-0630 for any additional questions.

 


Tips for Buying a New Rug — Parameters to Consider

You’re going to buy a new rug, and wish you knew which parameters to consider. The purpose of having rugs is to help you define and soften spaces. What do I mean by that? Say, for example, in a living-room type of space, a good rug will help you define the area by bringing a pop of color or interesting pattern that should be part of your design concept. We’ll give you some tips. So pour yourself a glass of wine or a cuppa joe, sit back, and get inspired!

Camerich2

Photo Credit: Camerich

Construction of Rugs

Rugs can be divided into two categories of construction: handmade or machine made. Most handmade rugs cost thousands of dollars. Machine-made rugs are inexpensive replicas.

Material of Rugs

Rugs can also be divided into two categories of material: they can be made from natural fibers, such as wool or cotton; or they can be synthetic, such as polyester. One of the best of the natural materials is wool. Another one of the best natural materials is flokati — similar in appearance to shag, but flokati is natural and shag is synthetic.

Choosing the Right Rug

Which construction and material of rug you choose depends, in the end, on the cost and on your budget. Area rugs can be an investment, both visual and financial. They can make or break a room and instantly change the way the space feels. For example, shown below is a wool rug from Room & Board. The light colors and pattern help tie together the modern living room of this lovely space.

Room&Board

Photo Credit: Room & Board

 

Actually, choosing the right type of rug is not as easy as it may seem. Some factors to consider when shopping for area rugs are:

     What type of lifestyle do you have? Do you have children running around? Do you have dogs with dirty paws?

     What’s the purpose of the rug? Would you like the rug to make a statement in your living room? Or will it be located in a place where people can sit while playing board games in the family room?

     What’s the style of your home? Look to complement the style of the space. An area rug doesn’t necessarily need to match something in the room, but it should work with the tones and textures of the existing furnishings.

     How are you planning to maintain the rug? A high-end rug is going to have to go to a professional at least once a year. Therefore, I’d like not to incorporate an expensive rug in a hallway type of space.

     What about comfort?  I like the use of natural fibers such as wools or cottons. If you want a lush, deep pile, synthetic fibers can give you a similar feel. It truly is a taste preference when it comes to feel.

     What about cost? Spending a bit more on a high-quality area rug may be more worth it to you in the long run than buying a mediocre-quality rug at a bargain store. However, nowadays you can score amazing area rugs at great prices by shopping online.

OK, now we can think about what the rug will look like. The Home Decorators Collection website gives us several elements to consider when buying a rug: size, shape, weave, color (including possible pattern), style, and material.

With our tips for buying a new rug, your project will be painless and, dare we say, fun!

Call us with questions at (206) 774-0630.


Pop of Color: Transform Your Home to Welcome Spring!

Emerging from our gray and rainy winter in Seattle, we Pacific Northwesterners are amazed to see such a beautiful color blue in the sky! How about bringing this gorgeous sky blue, or another color, into a room–or your whole house, for that matter–to make it look like spring? Spending as much or as little time and money as you wish, try transforming a room with a pop of color–here are a few tips.

Roman Shades Can Add a Pop of Color 

Indulge in some Roman shades for the window(s). Roman shades are one kind of shade. They come in different styles, too. This blue Roman shade certainly adds some comfort to the home or office.

Blue Roman Shades for a Pop of Color

Photo Credit: NH Blinds

Furniture 

Aren’t these red stools a brilliant pop of color (photo, below)? Your pop of color can be as outrageous or subdued as you like!

Accent Wall 

If you’d like to be really bold and go all out, choose a wall to paint as an accent wall in some color. Get some ideas from this bedroom below. Inspired by the bedding, the homeowner chose this light blue color for the accent wall. How relaxing it must be to fall asleep in a bedroom like this!

Sofa Pillows to Colorfully Accessorize

If you prefer to experiment with baby steps instead, get one or two pillows for your sofa. Think about color and presence or absence of a pattern. You can even go “hog wild” (see photo below) and get a throw to coordinate with the colors in the pillows. In this picture, the greens of the pillows and the throw seem to be echoing the green of the tree leaves outside the window.

Give us a call at (206) 774-0630 if you’d like a design consultation. Happy Pop of Coloring!


Creating a Home Improvement Plan

Is remodeling on your radar screen? If you are thinking about remodeling and feel overwhelmed by the possibilities and scope of it all, then you are not alone!

As a design professional, I meet so many families that are unsure about how to move forward. Before you actually do anything, first create a plan for how to carry out your home improvement. But it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.

I’d like to give you a few steps to consider taking — whether you are doing your home improvements yourself, or planning to work with a professional interior designer.

Home improvement plan

Home Improvement Plan: Interior Visions, LLC

  • Understand Your Design Style: If you have one, that is. Or create your design style. Off to the Internet! Searching the web for “design styles” can help you understand or create a design style that excites you. Windermere Real Estate’s website lists a compilation of the most popular design styles.

 

  • Create a Budget: Whether we like it or not, money is the name of the remodeling game, as far as what and how much of it you’re going to do. So sit down with a notepad and a cup of coffee or tea (or wine — I do some of my best thinking over a cocktail!), put on your thinking cap, and calculate, calculate, calculate!

 

  • Get Inspiration: This is the fun part! Think surfing, as in “surf the web.” There are so many great online design websites (like Houzz, Pinterest, etc.) out there these days that it should be easy to find one or two that speak to you. I often like to look on Houzz.

 

  • Create a Color Palette: Think through your color palette for your home as a whole, instead of thinking about color for one room at a time. You might like to check out the Sherwin-Williams website for some color inspiration.

 

  • Value the Importance of Drawings: Whether doing the remodel yourself or working with a professional, first make sure that drawings are done of your floor plan, and wall elevations done of a kitchen or bath, to ensure that everything will fit according to the design plan.

 

Don’t all these bits and pieces remind you of a jigsaw puzzle? It is crucial to consider how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together and relate to one another – and they do relate – prior to you making any major purchases.

Please contact us for a consultation to help you plan your next remodel: 206-774-0630


How to Hang Your Art

People are always asking me about hanging pictures in their homes. Are you on the lookout for new ideas about hanging paintings and/or photographs on your walls?

Option 1: Making a statement with a single picture

Hanging one on a wall is, of course, simple enough. If you’d like to hang just one picture, make sure that the picture has an interesting frame or mat:

 

Option 2: Grouping your artwork

Another way to make a statement is by grouping pictures. I like to group those with one common denominator. This could be the color and style of the frames or mats. A very inexpensive way to match pictures is to spray paint the frames with the same color, and group them together. Displaying artwork in groupings can instantly make a room look and feel both chic and eclectic:

But hanging artwork in a stylistic form is sometimes easier said than done. If you don’t have an eye for arranging pictures, here are a few templates and ideas to use as a guide:

The Offset Grid: This arrangement balances a feeling of movement with symmetry, and is easy to build on over time.

Offset Grid Image for Picture Hanging

Illustration Credit: Room & Board

 

The Organic Arrangement: Breaking out of the box, this layout invites mixing of sizes and styles, and works for both large and small spaces. It is fun to follow the handwritten “Quick Tip: Align the frame edges along a vertical or horizontal axis and this style will look deliberate, not messy.” What a difference the two vertical alignments make in this graphic!

Organic Arrangement Image for Picture Hanging

Illustration Credit: Room & Board

For example:

Picture Hanging - Organic Arrangement

Photo Credit: Room & Board

 

The Adaptable Gallery: Using picture ledges allows you to move, change, and rearrange images as often as you’d like. You could overlap at least one frame, or add a small decorative item for even more dimension or visual interest. This way is good for flexibly displaying, not hanging, smaller photographs in groups. If you acquire more photographs than paintings, you’ll have the chance to experiment with varied arrangements.

Adaptable Gallery Image for Picture Hanging

Illustration Credit: Room & Board

For example:

Picture Hanging - Adaptable Gallery

Photo Credit: Room & Board

 

The Long Line: Extend a row of frames beyond the width of your furniture to create a gallery look. It looks surprisingly inviting–it really does look like a gallery!

Long Line Image for Picture Hanging

Photo Credit: Room & Board

For example:

Call us at 206-774-0630 to schedule a complimentary consultation on helping you simplify your life and fall in love with your home.


The Perfect Balance of Warm and Cool Tones in Your Color Scheme

Before having your home interior painted, first look at the finishes around the home — the flooring, fireplace, windows, etc. I have seen hundreds of homes that don’t have a balanced coordination of colors between the walls and the finishes.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, our winters are rainy and long. That is why I am a big fan of choosing a warm tone as the main color for the home. Furthermore, as an interior designer who likes to simplify spaces, I always create a clean color palette to keep the design simple, yet with a twist of drama, such as in one of our remodels:

The beige of the wall at the far end of the living room is in a slightly darker shade than the beige of the other walls. Use of different shades of the same color is my designer signature when working with colors.

Various Shades of a Color for Your Color Scheme

Using various shades of a color lets you experiment and create a sense of depth in the space. Then comes the fun part! Bring out some of your personality by adding accent colors. This is your chance to bring a pop of color to your space with a cool tone; the picture below uses a green color as the main accent color without disrupting the flow of the home.

For example, in another home remodel we did,  we painted the family room walls in two shades of warm tones. Then we selected sage green, seen in Nature, and incorporated those tones into the color scheme.

The result of that makeover is a tranquil combination of warm neutral and cool tones that flow from one space into the other. The new color scheme provides a cozy ambience that the family truly enjoys. Almost a member of the family, Nature was the inspiration for this color scheme.

 

Family Room Design

Family Room Design. Source: Interior Visions, LLC

 

Testing Colors for Your Color Scheme

Color Testing

Color Testing

Always test your colors on the walls before committing to them. The color you see in the paint deck is never the same color when you apply it to the wall, especially when you are working with neutrals.

Create at least 10″ x 10″ square perimeters on the wall with a tape called ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape. In each square, paint a certain color for testing. When the paint is semi-dry, pull off the tape. Look at the color for a week in different light conditions before you commit to it. Creating a color scheme is not as simple as it may seem, but do your research or call a pro before your next paint job.

Let these ideas be food for thought! We are here to help you to create your perfect color scheme. Give us a call at 206-774-0630 to schedule a complimentary color consultation.


Quick Tips to Simplify a Home Makeover

Are you thinking about organizing and doing a makeover of your home? It is an overwhelming project for most families! Wouldn’t it be nice to hire an interior designer to do that… But if you don’t want to or can’t, you can still do a home makeover on your own. You can simplify your life. Any of us can make a change in our homes.

Makeover Recipe

However, to do so, you will follow a “recipe.” You must use these special ingredients: a) a bit of creativity, b) a dash of inspiration, and c) a sprinkle of willingness! So get ready… Here are the first steps toward transforming your home:

1) Collecting. Get started by collecting materials, colors, fabric samples, etc. You are limited only by your imagination! Then arrange the gorgeous pieces on a bulletin board or any other kind of board. You are creating a visual board for inspiration.

Finishes

2) Sorting. You’re going to be going through and sorting your items to get them out of the way. (Eventually you’ll be doing some purging.) Don’t throw up your hands! Start with one room at a time; small steps equal large gains.

3) Grouping. When you sort, group items in clear plastic containers or bins. Get four or five bins. (You don’t have to make any purging decisions right away.)

4) Designing. If you are planning to remodel, this is the perfect time to design and be creative with color schemes, finishes, etc. Keep referring to your Inspiration Board.

Makeover of Kitchen Countertop

Once the makeover is completed, let your beautiful finishes shine! Keep countertop items to a minimum, which will help in highlighting the lovely architectural features of your home. (Of course, you’re “allowed” to keep your coffee/tea maker on the countertop.)

 

We did a home makeover for a client, who commented, “The [sorting, purging, and] packing were a rejuvenating process. That ultimately helped me transition to a new and happier life style.” Agree? Remember the phrase “simplify your life”? Sometimes “less is more.” And you will feel lighter!

Happy autumn! We are here to help you with your home decor. Call us with any questions: 206-774-0630.


Open Space and Furniture Arrangement

Furniture takes up space — no doubt about it!  If you’re tired of that feeling, look at these quick tips to help you understand open space: how to rearrange your furniture the next time you are thinking about doing something different with your living space.

  • Arrange furniture mostly along the sides of the room. In this way, you are opening up the space.
  • Be sure to keep in mind the dimensions of the space, and plan your furniture layout when striving for open space. Be conscious about the scale of the furniture.
  • Have some furniture that is multipurpose. This is one way to keep down or decrease the amount of furniture you have. Embrace versatility! For example, you could have an ottoman that can become an extra bed for a sudden overnight guest. Another example: A couple of extra chairs off to the side that are table height may also be used at the dining table when you have guests.
  • Keep only furniture that you love, or, at least, that you like.
  • Rugs are a great way to soften an open space and help define a space with multiple functions. For example, the rug in the picture below helps define the living room area of the open space.

 

Feel better now? It’s heartening when you feel a sense of encouragement that what you’d like to do is possible. I hope these tips inspire you to suddenly realize you can open up space with furniture. Get in touch with your interior designer, or DIY. Maybe an idea will pop into your mind about just what piece of furniture you can replace… or extend…or repurpose… Have fun!

 

 


Shower Niche in a Bathroom Remodel

Why include a shower niche in a bathroom remodel?

When you begin thinking about your bathroom makeover, why not give a thought to recessed shower/soap/towel niches? Niches certainly ought to be part of your consideration. They are quite trendy, not to mention the huge variety of niches there are these days. It’s amazing how a gorgeous design in a soap or shower niche can really dress up a bathroom!

Why would you want to include a shower niche, soap niche, and/or towel niche in your bathroom remodel? Let me give you a few points to ponder:

• Shower niches can have incredibly beautiful and stylish decorations when tiled with either bold or subtle colors, perhaps in attractive patterns.

• Shower niches can be tiled in ceramic tiles, glass tiles, and other kinds of tiles.

• Shower niches can be real space savers. Get rid of shower caddies and bottles in bathtub corners forever!

• Towel niches hold rolled-up or folded towels ready to be used, and look elegant in bathrooms, if you have an area of wall that can contain one. Find some towel niches on the internet to see what they look like.

• A soap niche is an unusual alternative to a soap dish by your bathroom sink.

• You can go wild with creative ideas to give to your interior designer (or to DIY) about various kinds of niches.

• Your guests will be sure to notice how cool they look.

Are you convinced? Shower/soap/towel niches are sharp ways to accessorize and customize your bathroom. And your rubber ducky will love his/her new home in such a fashionable-looking shower niche! That clinches it… Decision made. A shower niche or soap niche is a fun addition and adds character to your bathroom design, and should be at the top of your bathroom remodel list!


Annual Sidewalk Sale: Seattle Design District Association

 

587

The Seattle Design District is holding its Annual Sidewalk Sale in Georgetown this Saturday, September 7, 2013, from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. This is a great event, at which you can explore the latest and most innovative products available to the trade, including:

  • Furnishings
  • Collectibles
  • Antiquities
  • Accents
  • Rugs
  • Art

A huge part of the interior design process is shopping. Our clients are welcome to join us on shopping trips. For some clients, shopping can be fun; however, for others, shopping is just a nightmare.

Many times, when clients are going to do a remodeling or organizing project, they go to stores and go online. They look at a lot of merchandise, and after a while it all becomes hodgepodge in their minds. It is major overwhelm.

Shopping with an interior designer makes the process a pleasant, convenient, low-stress experience for you. Shopping for your home can be an enjoyable experience. Interior Visions, LLC, pledges to be patient and flexible every step of the way, to listen to your wants and needs, to communicate openly and honestly, and to provide a pleasant shopping experience that exceeds your wildest expectations.

The Design Sidewalk Sale will be showcasing more than sixty vendors with their wares and custom and unique selection of beautiful treasures. More than one thousand attendees are expected to come and browse.

Join me this Saturday at the Annual Design Sidewalk Sale in Georgetown! Enjoy great food and entertainment!

Interior Designer Fabian Borre will be giving 90-minute guided shopping trips at the Sidewalk Sale.

Call or email Fabian to make an appointment.