Tag: furniture

Modern interior design before and after

An interior design transformation

Everybody loves a good before-and-after home makeover story and as an interior designer it’s rewarding to look back at pre-design photos to see how the transformations took place

With this particular project, my clients were dissatisfied with the function of their really cool home even after years of living there. I was called in after their frustration reached a boiling point and it became time to rethink their most used spaces. Our focus was to bring warmth and comfort into their home with new layouts and furnishings that suited their lifestyle.

In the underused living room we ditched the sofa and wing chair arrangement opting for a modern grouping of four swivel chairs. By moving the furniture away from the walls and closer to the fireplace we created a cozy, conversational spot that the clients enjoy on a regular basis.

Modern living room interior design Before and after

The function of the dining room was fine, being located directly off the kitchen, however the furnishings felt stuck in a 1980s time warp. While working with the existing dining table table, we swapped out the Queen Anne chairs for fully upholstered chairs in a light fabric and tied the space together with a contemporary style rug from Jaunty.

Modern dining room interior design.  Before and after

The transformation in the master bedroom was a game changer for my clients. For years, they struggled with bed placement since the room had an abundance of windows. By creating a “wall” with stationary custom drapery we were able to move the bed out of the corner and off the angle allowing the clients to finally have functional nightstands. The bedroom has become a restful oasis that feels like a luxury hotel thanks to the cohesive design that even makes the task of making the bed in the morning so much easier.

Modern master bedroom interior design Before and After

The bar and office space was plagued by an assortment of furniture that didn’t mesh well in this dual purpose room. Wanting a place to entertain within a work space that was long and narrow was challenge. The style upgrade started with the relocation of the living room sofa and area rug then adding in comfortable leather swivel chairs. An iconic Noguchi coffee table strikes that balance between art and furniture.

Modern interior design Before and After

The clients had lived with the same furniture for many years, much of which they inherited from various family members. The directive throughout the home became how to update the aesthetic while integrating some of the more desirable heirlooms. In the library, we chose to keep the much loved sofa, giving it a cushion make over and repurposing the living room wing chairs with a modern fabric. The result is a cheerful space that the clients now love to relax in.

Modern library interior design Before and After

Mr. H says: Change is inevitable, Transformation is by conscious choice-Enjoy!

Tomlinson Sofa

Six pieces of furniture you should invest in

Whether you’re moving into your first home or tenth home, it’s important for some of your furniture purchases to stand the test of time. Resisting the temptation to fill your rooms with every piece you may need at a low price is tough though and it may end up costing you more money in the long run. While a less expensive option will often make a fine choice for a few years, there are six critical items that really are worth the investment.

Sofa-It’s possible to find a well made sofa in many price points as many frames are crafted in the same way. It’s often the fabric selection that bumps the cost up. A sofa built to last will feature a solid hardwood frame with the legs and arms built into the frame versus attached separately. The seat and back cushion construction will effect both the comfort and the price. My first choice is spring down seat cushions with foam blend down backs which offer comfort and support. High-resilient foam wrapped in a down and feather is a good option too.

Tomlinson Sofa
Tomlinson Furniture

Dining Table-A quality dining table is a must have regardless of your of your lifestyle. Purchase a table that’s durable and will withstand the daily use from your family. A solid wood table with clean lines will last for decades and can be refinished down the road. A table with one or two leaves is also worth the extra money as it allows for flexible seating of additional guests.

Saloom Dining Table
Saloom Furniture

Dining Chairs-While your table top will take a lot of abuse, the chairs you choose will be the dining space work horse. From being pulled in and out, sat on and even stood on, it’s a must that your chairs be of solid wood construction that can hold the weight of your family. Make clean up of spills and other accidents easy with a performance fabric that will keep your seating looking great for years.

Bernhardt Furniture

Upholstered bed-A queen size (or king if you have the space) upholstered bed in a neutral fabric can start out in a master bedroom and migrate to a guest room if you upgrade. Select a classic design, with a solid wood frame that can work with a variety of design styles. I prefer a complete bed with upholstered side and foot boards eliminating the need for a dust skirt. Bonus tip: Invest in a high quality mattress. We spend a lot of time in bed and it’s important that your mattress lasts for a good seven to eight years.

Kravet Furniture Bed
Kravet Furniture

Chest of Drawers-A solid wood chest of drawers can be used in a myriad of places. A simple, classic design can be repurposed to hold clothes in the bedroom, linens in the dining room or be used as a TV center in the family room. Look for dovetail joints on the drawers, with sanded and finished edges. Wood on wood glides and a center rail support will help keep your drawers from sagging.

Swaim Furniture Burton Chest
Swaim Furniture

Accent Piece-Your home is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. Investing in a piece you truly love like a painted desk, an antique mirror, or anything else that strikes the can’t live without emotion is worth the money.

Rattan writing desk

Mr. H says: Your home should be a collection of what you love-Enjoy!

8 things an interior designer will notice about your home

As a designer, I know first hand that everyone’s taste is different. When I’m hired to professionally assess a space though, I do notice a number of specifics, both good and bad, about your home. How organized you are, how your children and pets behave, and which space your family uses the most are just a few. Don’t worry though-I’m not judging, but making observations that will help me design the best solutions for your lifestyle. Here’s a list of the top things I notice the moment I walk through the front door.

The Flow

Does the furniture placement in a room promote good traffic flow through the space? When there is too much or awkwardly arranged furniture, a room may not be optimally used. Rearranging pieces to create a natural path in and out of the space may be one of the first things we do.

Good room flow
J. Rhodes Interior Design, Inc.

The Lighting

I’ve talked about this before, how a room is lit is critical to it’s function and ambiance. Applying a layered approach with general illumination, task and accent lighting sources is key to a well lit room.

Layered lighting design
Restoration Hardware

The Little Items

Most interior designers dream of an uncluttered space, where one can appreciated the stunning architecture or thoughtfully arranged furniture. Many times, I enter a room and am besieged by all tchotchke that cover every surface. Just because you own it doesn’t mean it needs to be on display.

Uncluttered table

The Windows

How your windows are treated tells me a lot about how you use a room. Windows that are tightly covered tells me you value your privacy while untreated windows say bring in the sunshine. It’s a topic we will need to address when designing the space.

Window treatment design
Hunter Douglas

The Woodwork

High quality door casing, crown molding, and cabinetry make up the bones of a space. Well proportioned trim creates a layer of interest and the opportunity to accent with color or incorporate lighting.

Pretty ceiling details

The Smell

Pets, cooking odor and strong scented candles can often overwhelm the casual visitor. Most of us have become inured to our homes odors, but an outsider can pick up the scent right away and it can be most unwelcome. Open the windows, use the kitchen and bath exhaust fans religiously or run the HVAC fan clear out stale spaces.

Cooking smells

The Pillows

Two, sad lumpy throw pillows on the sofa does not constitute a welcoming vibe. Adding throws and fresh plump pillows will go a long way to making a space cozy.

Pillows and throws

The Bathroom

The condition of your bathroom tells me a lot about your lifestyle and the possible solutions I can offer. Unorganized, cluttered countertops and towels on the floor are mostly a symptom of the bath’s design or lack there of.

Uncluttered bathroom

Mr. H says: Good houses take work-Enjoy!

Interior Design Trend: Rose Gold Finish

Warm and inviting.  That is how best to describe the hottest new new rose gold metallic design trend.  As most homeowners rebuff the gold finishes of the 1980s in favor of polished nickel or stainless steel, warmer metals are creeping back into selections.

A subtle cross between brass and copper, the pink undertones of the rose gold metals feels both unique and rich.  It mixes well with other metal finishes and is seen on both modern and traditional products.

An Arteriors chandelier features both rose gold glass and metal.

Arteriors Caviar Large Rose Gold and Rose Glass chandelier

Currey and Company Abercorn Pendant

Currey and Company Abercorn Pendant

Rose gold finish ginkgo leaf metal table lamp by Dimond Lighting

Dimond Ginkgo Leaf Table Lamp in Rose Gold

The Dornbracht “Tara” faucet features a high-gloss finish produced by combining using 18-carat gold and copper.

Dornbracht Tara faucet in Rose Gold

Update your table top this holiday season with rose gold flatware or rose gold hurricane lights

Kate Spade Malmo Rose Gold Flatware

Marchesa by Lenox Imperial Caviar Rose Gold flatware

Rose gold huricane lamps

Add warmth to any space with the Zuo Elio Bar Chair in Rose Gold

Zuo Elio Bar Chair in Rose Gold

Mr. H says: It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold-Enjoy!

Design School: Mid-Century Modern

Though its been a design style I’ve always admired it took living in a Mid-century modern home to gain a real appreciation for this significant design movement.

Influencing architecture, interior design and product design, the term generally describes modern design from 1933 to 1965.  Taking the organic architectural principles of Frank Loyd Wright further by creating structures with ample windows, open interiors floor plans and bringing the outdoors in.  Innovative materials and technology provided architects and designers new medians to inspire their designs.

Glass walls, asymmetry, and deep overhangs are indicative to Mid-century modern architecture.

Mid-century modern home

 Clean lines, an open floor plan and the integration of nature characterize Mid-century modern interiors.

Design School: Mid-Century Modern

Mid Century Modern Interior

Earth tones mixed with pops of brighter color accents was the norm for interiors.

Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern Colors

Furniture designers took advantage of new materials to design pieces that were both functional and beautiful.

Designers Charles and Ray Eames used molded plywood in the design of their iconic chair

Eames lounge chair and ottoman

Innovative and comfortable the Eames molded plastic arm chair became instantly famous when it debut in 1948.

Eames molded plastic arm chair

Created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi in the 1940s, the Noguchi table’s organic base and freeform glass top combines art and function.

Herman Miller Noguchi Table

Sleek, streamlined shapes dominated the lighting scene.

Mid-century modern chandelier     

Innovative fabrics like naugahyde, nylon and bark cloth were widely used due to their durability and easy care.  Whimsical freeform patterns and tight geometries were the most common designs.

Sanderson mobiles fabric Sanderson Seaweed fabric

Duralee Mid Century Modern

Mr. H says: People ignore design that ignores people-Enjoy!

Recliners-Beauty or Beast?

Recliner.  One word that sends shivers down the spines of even the most intrepid of designers.  Those big, overstuffed, puffy, micro fibered covered, behemoths that many insist are the ultimate in style and comfort.  Seriously?  You know we can do so much better than that!

If you are like me, not only does the man of the house enjoy his reclining domain but so does the dog of the house.  Fear not!  Furniture makers have heeded the siren’s call and here is a sampling of some real beauties to keep the peace:

From Kravet Furniture www.kravet.com

It can be upholstered in any fabric to work with your decor:

Kravet furniture recliner

From Leathercraft www.leather-furniture.com

A masculine leather look:

Leathercraft recliner

From La Z Boy www.la-z-boy.com

This charmer would be at home in any fun decor:

La Z Boy Riley recliner
La Z Boy

You need not fear the beast with so many beautiful options available.

Mr. H says: When arranging rooms, think more about comfort than symmetry-Enjoy!