Monthly Archives: September 201632

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How to Find the Right Interior Designer

Creating the space you live in is a big deal.

Whether you’re to remodeling your existing home or build your dream home, projects can quickly become too large to manage alone. Maybe you don’t currently live near your decorating project, or you work too much to allow for full control of design and execution. Or perhaps you just need the help of a professional to bring your space together beautifully.

A great interior designer will listen to your wants and needs to make your home a personalized space with expert design and provide the extra assistance managing the project’s budget and timeline.

Image: Cupersia

In fact, many designers can help you save money with their industry connections, inside information on the best deals, and manufacturer discounts. A trained designer can create professional layouts and designs that make their value worth their fees.

But before you rush to consult the first name you find, use this checklist to ensure you choose a credible and experienced designer who can deliver a result that you’ll love for years to come.

How will you find an interior designer?

The best starting point is to ask friends, family, or coworkers for a recommendation. Word-of-mouth is still the most valuable publicity around! You may also want to research professional associations in your country or city for a list of participating designers, which leads to our first checklist point. Trends are always changing, and you want a designer who stays up-to-date on the industry and can recommend new ideas, like these hot styles:

The best starting point is to ask friends, family, or coworkers for a recommendation. Word-of-mouth is still the most valuable publicity around! You may also want to research professional associations in your country or city for a list of participating designers, which leads to our first checklist point.

Check Credentials

The first item on your checklist should be a review of the designer’s credentials. Are they a part of any local or national design organizations and continuing education? For example, in some states across Canada and the United States, an interior designer must possess a license and NCIDQ Certificate to call him- or herself an “interior designer,” while anyone can use the term “interior decorator” with no formal training or certification process.

This is important to know if you are considering hiring someone who is an “interior decorator” — he or she may have good taste, but no education or training in lighting, layout, materials, and more. Do the research in your state or country to find out what training a designer may or may not have.

Finally, look for testimonials from the designer’s website, or a list of references directly from the designer. Don’t be afraid to call a reference and ask specifically how the designer listened and interpreted that client’s needs. After all, it’s your home; you should love your space and the process it takes to create it!

A professionally educated designer will be able to think creatively based on new trends and your available space to create unique spaces like this colorful office, which takes advantage of pre-existing exposed brick walls.

Examine the Portfolio

Next on your checklist should be a close examination of the designer’s portfolio. Most people remember to do this when interviewing a designer. But it’s more than just looking for a “wow” factor.

First, look for a range of different styles. The portfolio may look gorgeous, but if everything has a similar design? Then you know that your home will also end up looking like a close copy of all the others.

A great interior designer can adapt to use dramatically different color palettes, styles (contemporary, traditional, period, etc.), textures, and layouts to customize a home based on your lifestyle. You certainly want to see a few designs that reflect some of your taste within the portfolio! This simple design below looks great, but didn’t require a massive budget to accomplish.

Also look for designs at different price points (you can ask about the project budget for the images). With an unlimited budget, an interior designer can create fantastic portfolio images. However, it’s just as important that he or she can finish attractive designs for any budget.

Ask for portfolio images that reflect your budget, a few more expensive projects, and a few from a lower price point to get a sense of what’s possible. If you’ve found a credible, trained interior designer with a varied portfolio that excites you, it’s time for the final step!

Have a Conversation

Today, many people work with designers who aren’t located in the same city as the owner or the home. This is especially true in the case of a vacation home; the owner could be in New York, working with a designer and second home in Florida. It’s easy to believe that if you like a designer’s portfolio and background, then that’s all you need to get started — but watch out!

You should always, always speak to the designer as close to “in-person” as possible, via a phone call or Skype if you truly can’t arrange a face-to-face meeting. Speaking directly to a designer in a meeting is the only way to test your future working relationship and ask some specific questions.

Have a few talking points in mind and bring in some photos of rooms that inspire you. Here are some potential questions to help you tell whether or not you’ll be able to work with and enjoy the collaborative design process with a particular interior designer.

  • Does he/she listen to you and ask questions about your unique lifestyle?
  • Does he/she try to persuade you just because “it looks good,” or because there is a real reason pertaining to your floor plan, budget, etc.?
  • Can he/she comfortably accomplish your goals within your budget?
  • Can he/she adapt to suit your style, schedule, and other needs?
  • Is he/she friendly and easy to reach by phone or email? You’ll be spending a lot of …read more      
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Art Underfoot: Traditional Textiles by Nancy Kennedy

Nancy Kennedy takes inspiration for her handwoven rugs from a number of sources. Her designs incorporate styles inspired by the American West and Southwest; some, like the QR Code design, have a decidedly modern tone.

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Operating out of Eureka, California, Nancy Kennedy began weaving in 1990. In 1999 she began showing her work in fine crafts shows and gallery exhibitions, winning multiple Best in Show awards around the country.

She starts each work by drafting her design on graph paper. She has created her own style of weaving, synthesizing techniques from a British rug weaver, Jason Collingwood, with traditional Navajo techniques and some more modern Californian techniques. The weave pattern she utilizes produces a reversible rug with a light and dark side.

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Her loom was custom built by John Bettencourt. The size allows her to create a rug up to five feet wide- the length can be as long as she wants. As a one person operation, she makes her rugs alone from start to finish.

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Whimsical Interiors with Classical Inspiration

These interior designs are the work of Shelley Klausman Interiors, a design firm based out of Winter Park, Florida. Part fairy-tale, part classical, these designs cultivate an atmosphere that is charmingly familiar, but with a few surprisingly modern touches. Infused throughout each design is a playful sense of humor.

This room is both classical and storybook. Vines climb the ivory columns, escaping from the manicured potted hedges, reminiscent of an English garden or a hedge maze. The compass rose decal on the hardwood floor paired with the delicate gold detailed furniture give this apartment a fairy tale look; the chandelier and tray ceiling with clouds add an ethereal touch.

This “villa” redesign takes inspiration from a more classical source. The statement painting on the ceiling matches the back of the staircase, and calls to mind Greek and roman frescoes, brilliantly off-setting the vibrant red walls.

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There is a sense of playful humor in every design: the love seat in this Chicago apartment is made bolder with zebra print, contrasting the more serious tones of the rest of the room.

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Dream Beach House in San Salvador Unveils Rustic Details

This lovely beach house in the Republic of El Salvador was recently completed by architecture and design studio Cincopatasalgato. The project, named Casa Azul, was especially envisioned for a serene family of four.

After traveling for quite a while, the owners decided to return to their homeland and build a family home that would reflect their friendly and open nature. Located right on the beach, the retreat allows the youngest inhabitants of the house to play and explore, keys to a healthy upbringing.

The brief required a simple, elegant and inviting crib, with rustic yet contemporary details. For Jose Roberto Paredes, the architectural designer, “paradise” was the word that summed up the clients’ idea of the project.

architecture retreat (2)The project has a total area of 4,000 square feet. This includes an open plan living area, four bedrooms, a kids’ play area and plenty of storage facilities. All rooms come off as breezy and spacious, with small interior gardens enhancing the overall holiday feel.

The family’s “island of relaxation and fun” is a large outdoor area in the back of the house. This haven comes with a large swimming pool, an area to play soccer, and extensive ocean views. [Information and photography courtesy of Cincopatasalgato]

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A Contemporary Cube in the Woods

This isn’t your average cottage in the middle of the woods. The CUBE House by Yakusha Design Studio was built utilizing an optical illusion — the Cube shape makes the home appear much smaller from the outside, reducing the impact on the landscape while still allowing plenty of interior living space. Located in a forest in Kiev, Ukraine, this design incorporates modernity with flexibility.

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The House was built with a family in four in mind, with one addition on the way. Flexibility and comfort were key concepts driving the design. The ground floor holds a garage, kitchen, dining room, and an airy and light-filled living room, with an invisible staircase leading to the second floor under a line of playful hanging lights.

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There are two playfully decorated children’s rooms: one hosts a lofted bed space with a couch underneath, while in the other, space-saving beds slide into a second level, giving the bedroom more flexible use of the space. The master bedroom is dark and dynamic, with a matching master bath.

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A Contemporary Cube in the Woods

This isn’t your average cottage in the middle of the woods. The CUBE House by Yakusha Design Studio was built utilizing an optical illusion — the Cube shape makes the home appear much smaller from the outside, reducing the impact on the landscape while still allowing plenty of interior living space. Located in a forest in Kiev, Ukraine, this design incorporates modernity with flexibility.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-1

The House was built with a family in four in mind, with one addition on the way. Flexibility and comfort were key concepts driving the design. The ground floor holds a garage, kitchen, dining room, and an airy and light-filled living room, with an invisible staircase leading to the second floor under a line of playful hanging lights.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-5

There are two playfully decorated children’s rooms: one hosts a lofted bed space with a couch underneath, while in the other, space-saving beds slide into a second level, giving the bedroom more flexible use of the space. The master bedroom is dark and dynamic, with a matching master bath.

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A Contemporary Cube in the Woods

This isn’t your average cottage in the middle of the woods. The CUBE House by Yakusha Design Studio was built utilizing an optical illusion — the Cube shape makes the home appear much smaller from the outside, reducing the impact on the landscape while still allowing plenty of interior living space. Located in a forest in Kiev, Ukraine, this design incorporates modernity with flexibility.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-1

The House was built with a family in four in mind, with one addition on the way. Flexibility and comfort were key concepts driving the design. The ground floor holds a garage, kitchen, dining room, and an airy and light-filled living room, with an invisible staircase leading to the second floor under a line of playful hanging lights.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-5

There are two playfully decorated children’s rooms: one hosts a lofted bed space with a couch underneath, while in the other, space-saving beds slide into a second level, giving the bedroom more flexible use of the space. The master bedroom is dark and dynamic, with a matching master bath.

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The post A Contemporary Cube in the Woods appeared first on Freshome.com.

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A Contemporary Cube in the Woods

This isn’t your average cottage in the middle of the woods. The CUBE House by Yakusha Design Studio was built utilizing an optical illusion — the Cube shape makes the home appear much smaller from the outside, reducing the impact on the landscape while still allowing plenty of interior living space. Located in a forest in Kiev, Ukraine, this design incorporates modernity with flexibility.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-1

The House was built with a family in four in mind, with one addition on the way. Flexibility and comfort were key concepts driving the design. The ground floor holds a garage, kitchen, dining room, and an airy and light-filled living room, with an invisible staircase leading to the second floor under a line of playful hanging lights.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-5

There are two playfully decorated children’s rooms: one hosts a lofted bed space with a couch underneath, while in the other, space-saving beds slide into a second level, giving the bedroom more flexible use of the space. The master bedroom is dark and dynamic, with a matching master bath.

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The post A Contemporary Cube in the Woods appeared first on Freshome.com.

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A Contemporary Cube in the Woods

This isn’t your average cottage in the middle of the woods. The CUBE House by Yakusha Design Studio was built utilizing an optical illusion — the Cube shape makes the home appear much smaller from the outside, reducing the impact on the landscape while still allowing plenty of interior living space. Located in a forest in Kiev, Ukraine, this design incorporates modernity with flexibility.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-1

The House was built with a family in four in mind, with one addition on the way. Flexibility and comfort were key concepts driving the design. The ground floor holds a garage, kitchen, dining room, and an airy and light-filled living room, with an invisible staircase leading to the second floor under a line of playful hanging lights.

cube-house-yakusha-design-studio-5

There are two playfully decorated children’s rooms: one hosts a lofted bed space with a couch underneath, while in the other, space-saving beds slide into a second level, giving the bedroom more flexible use of the space. The master bedroom is dark and dynamic, with a matching master bath.

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A Seamless Transition in the Gap House

The Gap House, a project of STORE MUU design studio, was built in a newly developed neighborhood facing the Sagami Bay in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. A mild year-round climate coupled with a gentle sea breeze meant that an open air floor plan with tiered levels utilized the space and environment, making it an ideal design for this home.

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There were several goals in mind while designing the Gap House. Designed for a family of four, the house shows unity and harmony in the way it transitions flawlessly through internal and external space, incorporating a garden, terrace, parking and living areas.

Each floor is offset but visible, creating a less jarring transition between floors and ensuring a sense of continuity throughout the home.

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To conserve thermal energy and privacy, the Northwest side of the home facing the street is largely covered. Air flow is ensured through windows on the South side and through the tiered floors and open staircase.

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