Designing For Safety

Designs By Gia Interior Design, Massachusetts Interior DesignerWhen you design kitchens and bathrooms for a living, you can’t help but notice design issues wherever you go. Including, improper material selections, finishing errors, sloppy finish work, and design mistakes causing safety issues. If I have dinner in a restaurant I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that notices the size and height of the light fixture above the table that is unproportioned or shining the light right in your eyes and not where you need the light on the table. Or the tile threshold that is going to cause everyone to trip because of the height.

Or inevitably I see space planning errors that don’t allow for the necessary maneuverability, causing opportunities for tripping, falling, or putting people at risk for injury. This is the way it goes. I am sure if you are a professional writer and you are reading my blog, you will notice more than a few writing errors. Unprofessionally designed spaces look and function like unprofessionally designed spaces.

Most of the time I don’t mention noticing these issues to my family and friends when I see them while I am out and about, being an optimistic person you just learn to notice and move on. Most of the time homeowners or proprietors are doing the best they can and often think that design only involves mixing a few fabrics and colors, so anyone with fairly “good taste” could design space.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

Time, money, and resources are wasted every day on “shot in the dark” design approaches. But there is one area that you will be risking more than some extra time and money to re-do those design mistakes. That would be the area of safety.Designs By Gia Interior Design, Massachusetts Interior Designer

On a recent weekend getaway with my family, when I first saw the hotel bathroom I immediately noticed that the tile on the floor was in fact not a floor-rated tile but was actually a thin ceramic glossy wall tile, a product that should never be used on a walking surface. I made a mental note of this and knew that all of the severe cracking that I saw on the floor tile was due to this and I wondered why such a nice hotel would make  such a severe design error, I wondered if every room had the same severe cracking, I knew that it most likely did and that it probably cracked shortly after it was installed as this type of tile was never meant to be walked on.

Later that weekend my two-year-old granddaughter who walked into the bathroom with wet feet slipped on the extremely slippery glossy tile and took a bad fall slamming her head on the floor. She is fine, thank goodness, but this goes to show how important it is that not only you know what materials are beautiful for your home or a commercial project but you also need to know what materials to use where and when not to use a material if it could be a safety hazard. Surprisingly we see this type of issue all the time in homes, homeowners fall in love with a beautiful piece of tile or a specific type of floor but they don’t know the ramifications of using these materials improperly.

Unfortunately, the money saved by this hotel by using this inexpensive wall tile as a floor will cost far more to replace as every bathroom floor surely has or will have issues with extensive cracking and is definitely a surface that is dangerous to walk on for all hotel guests.

This is just an example of the many design details that affect a bathroom or kitchen design, and an example of just one of the safety issues that can come up when you are unfamiliar with what you actually need to know to design a space that is not only beautiful but functional and safe for everyone that uses the space. 

Until Next Time,
Gia

4 Independence Day Decorating Tips

Celebrating Independence Day with an outdoor party can be a great way to welcome in the summer season and celebrate the Independence Day holiday.  Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or an evening fireworks gathering you can quickly pull together a beautiful gathering with a few touches of red white and blue.  Even if you’re not hosting a gathering you could still add a little Fourth of July red white and blue and your Decor for the season.

Here are a few tips:

1- Display the American Flag-

I love displaying the American flag outside my home. A single flag on a flag pole or small groupings of flags look great around the exterior of your home or lining a pathway or driveway.  Small American flags can be grouped and displayed in a vase, flower pot or just about any container and used on a table.  Don’t forget to honor the American flag protocol. A flag should never be displayed if it’s worn or tattered. An actual American Flag should never be used as clothing or curtains. You could read more about flag protocol at www.usflag.org

2- Use patriotic colors on your table. Groupings of red white and blue candle holders or glasses could be used as vases for beautiful red geraniums or an arrangement of wildflowers or sparklers. Even adding simple white plates to a table with a red or blue tablecloth, will look very patriotic.

3- Decorate the front door- You can add a blast of patriotic decor here with a Patriotic wreath or just a simple wreath with red flowers.

4- Decorate the interior of your home -a few blue and red throw pillows added to a white sofa give a subtle nod to our Independence Day colors. Use a red throw on a chair and a few flag groupings or red and blue accessories. It doesn’t have to be specific to the holiday, just tie everything in with color.

Happy Independence Day!
Gia

The Importance Of Having A Realistic Budget For Your Design and Renovation Project

As an interior designer and renovation specialist, I love working with all of our clients, whether that be our full-service clients, our consulting clients, or our social media followers and email list subscribers for whom we provide free resources like our information-packed blog articles. I love helping all of our clients by providing services that meet all of their design needs.

When I first meet with a client they may or may not have a budget for the project that they are desiring, or be willing to share their thoughts about the budget. If they do have a budget, that budget may or may not be realistic for the project that they are thinking about completing and the desired scope of work. Homeowners may look into the cost of cabinetry, fixtures, and counter-tops and then make a guess as to what the overall project might cost. This is a very inaccurate way to determine what the cost of your project might actually be.

When looking at what is actually involved in doing your project the cost of professional services is not usually talked about much on television design shows or in publications, but it’s a big cost when it comes to your project. Professional services include everyone from the designer or architect, structural engineer, contractors, plumbers, electricians, installers, and painters. Additional costs may include all building permits and delivery on all products. So much is involved in putting a project together and there is a cost to that above and beyond products and materials purchase cost.

So in the beginning stages of a project,  I try to discuss budget early on to be sure that my client’s budget and scope of the project are in alignment. If the client is prepared with an idea of their budget for the project that they’re looking at doing, this gives us the ability to know this early on and to prepare design elements or suggest a scope of work that’s more reasonable for their particular goals and budget. Or to determine the costs of the projects that they desire and then schedule the project when they are thoroughly prepared for the cost. This helps the homeowner be more prepared later when estimated costs and quotes for projects are higher than with the customer thought they might be.

Couple managing the debtThis is very successful when being lead through this process with a professional. Sometimes when homeowners attempt to go through this process on their own they quickly wind up in trouble by underestimating expenses or even starting a project before totally figuring everything out with regards to design, professional services, and labor cost. Another issue might be not having planned any contingency funds available for unexpected construction issues, or for things that you might want to add to the project scope. The end result is always spending more money than planned and putting the client over budget.

Preparation and planning is the key here. Just because you think a kitchen might cost $20,000 doesn’t mean that this is realistic considering the desired scope of work, the condition of your existing home and it’s systems, the desire to take down several walls to expand the space, and the professional services needed to accomplish to your finished project. The biggest way to control the cost of your project is to prepare the scope of work that you can afford after accurately investigating costs.

Until next time,
Gia

So You Think You Might Not Need A Designer For Your Kitchen Renovation, A Cautionary Tale

You’re thinking about doing a major kitchen renovation, you’ve seen some ideas that you might like to explore.  So you spend hours on Pinterest gathering every idea that you like. Then you head down to a local retailer or showroom to look at cabinets or backsplash tile.Designs by Gia Interior Design
 
You might even call the contractor that built your garage last year and tell him that you are ready to build a kitchen. He assures you that he can build your kitchen and quickly shows up to your home and throws out a “ballpark quote” to do “a kitchen” then assures you that he can start demo next week.
 
You quickly realize that you have a lot of questions, beyond what kind of cabinetry doors and crown molding that you would like.  “What would actually look best in your home?” or “What color should you paint?”
 
 How can you get some of the looks and details that you have spent months dreaming about?
 
“I do not see the kitchen details I’ve been dreaming of at the retailer or showroom or will they show me these things later, or automatically include them?”
 
The contractor you hired shows up and starts the demo. “Will this contractor eventually ask me to see my Pinterest boards so he knows what I want? I’m sure all of these things will all be included in the price he gave us.”
 
He turns to you and asks “ So what are you doing for countertops?”  You had no idea that he needed to know this now, so you ask the contractor what he thinks, he says ”whatever you want” so you anxiously start asking friends, family, basically everyone you run into if they think you should do granite or quartz countertops. Everyone spends 20 minutes giving you their re-cap of the last HGTV episode that they watched, convinced they know the answer, or they tell you a tale of the last person they knew that did a kitchen and what they chose, and how it looked awful. So, feeling even more rushed and confused you run back to your contractor and say “everyone thinks I should go with quartz,” What kind? Oh, I don’t know, and that’s not included in the quote you gave me”… and the story continues, for about 6 months or more actually. Every time your contractor needs a selection or answer it slows up his work and increased the cost because the quote was given with no clear design and the saga continues.
 
Why, because the most important part of the process was skipped a fully detailed kitchen design including all specifications, floorplans, elevations, and design details and selection. You unknowingly started sourcing out products and services before you had an actually fully planned space, assuming all the details would just come together. Why, because you’ve never done this before and didn’t think it would be so complicated, and you didn’t know what you didn’t know. Rest assured, this is actually extremely common, homeowners are exposed to products like never before, and the marketing that we are all bombarded with makes kitchen design and renovation, which is an extremely complicated process, looks like a quick weekend project. Homeowners then spend much more time and money trying to learn on their own home resulting in a project that they might not love, and added expenses to correct poor planning and mistakes.
 
Designs by Gia Interior Design. Web Site Design by inConcert Web Solutions.Design is a process and creating a well thought out design plan involves much more than a cabinet layout or a few random ideas. It’s not up to your contractors to design the space, and although some contractors have some design savvy, most are good at “building what you want”. Any quotes given until all the details of a project are clearly defined is usually highly inaccurate.  Until you have a fully designed plan, and you can fully see all of the systems and construction of your home and what is needed to implement this plan, costs cannot be clearly defined.
 
A quick computer generated floor plan from a retailer or a cabinet company is not a complete design plan and is not enough to pull together a cohesively designed space as there are numerous details that go into a professionally designed kitchen.
 
It’s the interior designer, that will review your ideas for your space in greater detail.
First, an interior designer specializing in kitchen design will come into your home, not only to discuss your thoughts and ideas for space but to see the architecture of the home, the colors and details in adjoining rooms and create a kitchen design that seamlessly blends the space. We can take all of your ideas and help you decide which ones to include in your design and which ideas don’t work week together or don’t work well for your space. This is very important, because all of those Pinterest kitchen ideas might not necessarily work well together in the same space, and might not work at all for your space and budget.
 
All designers work differently and when you work with a designer who is selling a specific line of cabinetry or product, this will limit the options that you are being provided with.  An independent designer is often not selling specific merchandise or cabinetry, we are able to work with the client to devise a design that absolutely fits all of their needs sorting items from a variety of options, finding all of the items that are exactly right for your specific project.  It is the designer who will look at and discuss all your ideas and present design options that will look right for your space. 
 
When you are working with a designer who has a team of preferred contractors, you can move through the project seamlessly. Design is a process and moving from concept to completion involves numerous phases and steps. A conceptual design is prepared, including space planning, floorplans, and elevations. Revisions are made if needed and design changes might still have to be made in progress should unexpected and issues arise once walls are opened up. Professional designers know how to navigate through this process so that everyone on site knows exactly what they are building, what materials and items are being used and how to present this information to everyone that needs it at the right time. Products and materials are sourced and ordered well before construction begins, this avoids delays during construction which extend the length of your overall project. This is the best way to ensure that all that time and money that you invest in that new kitchen will give you the desired results.
 
Before starting on the path of a kitchen renovation project hire a qualified interior designer to ensure the success of your project.
 
Until next time,
Gia

11 Ways To Create Spaces That Spark Joy

One of the questions that I ask when designing a space, after reviewing my client’s list of wants and needs for their new space, is “how do you want this new space to feel?” The answers vary between peaceful, restful, a place that the whole family can gather, and an exciting space to entertain. What most people want is a home that brings them joy.  A space that is intentionally designed to make its homeowner feel joyful. This requires getting to know our client’s likes, dislikes, and lifestyles so that we can personalize their spaces to bring them a feeling of joy when they spend time in these spaces.

Here are some general ideas that will help you create a joyful environment in your home.

1. Bring Some Color into Your Space
First, color has an enormous emotional impact on individuals. Using colors that you love can be a great way to make your space feel joyful. Even using small splashes of color can have a dramatic impact on the “feel” of the space. Using a color that you love will make an even greater impact on the way you feel when you enter this space.

2. Make sure your space plan works
The way that your space is planned will have an impact on the way you feel when you are in your room. If you stub your toe every time you try to maneuver around that over-sized coffee table, you might want to take another look at the furniture and traffic patterns in this room and create a space plan that works. Most people underestimate the amount of space needed for function.

3. Choose Textures That You Love
Textures have a huge role in making spaces feel cozy and comforting. Use items and finishes that use textures that you love. Whether it’s a velvet pillow or a sleek glass sculpture, if you love it, seeing these items when you enter a space will create a feeling of joy and comfort.

4. Get Your Space as Organized as Possible
Organize your space. This starts with eliminating anything in the space that you do not need. Then creating an intentional place for all of the necessary items included in your room. Getting organized creates a great sense of peace, allowing you to feel like you are in control of your environment.

5. Choose Lighting that Brightens Your Mood
Lighting can influence your mood and can make us feel either inspired and joyful, or sad and lethargic. The right lighting for the use of space is what is important. Dim lighting in the bedroom can be relaxing, but dim lighting in the kitchen or family space can be uninspiring.

6. Less can be more
Crowding a room with furniture that you do not necessarily love doesn’t create a great feeling in your space. If you really don’t love that end table, remove it and make room for something that you really love. This might take some time but start with pieces that you know you could do without for a while. This will allow your mind to imagine the possibilities instead of focusing on that table that you don’t like.

7. Create a Technology-Free Zone
We love our technology as it’s now helping us manage almost every area of our lives. But it’s important to allow our minds to re-charge and retreat from information overload and overwhelm. If we are intentional about creating a technology free area in our homes this will allow us to experience joy, as we retreat from the compulsion to jump into action every time we hear a notification on our phones or computers.

8. Have Only Items You Love
Surround yourself with items that you love. For everyone this is different. What items in your home are important to you? Are there items that you love that remind you of people that you love or happy times? Are there items in your home that bring back bad memories or bring up negative feelings? Keep what you love, and use it so you will see it daily. Get rid of anything with negative memories, or share it with someone who might look at it differently.

9. Find Art that Inspires You
Art plays a large role in the way a room feels. Artwork should be a very personal choice. A piece of fine art purchased on your last trip to Europe or last weekend’s flea market find, it doesn’t matter, if you love it, use it, it will create a great emotional impact on you as you enjoy your space. My grandson’s first finger painting makes me smile every time I see his framed artwork on my kitchen wall. The artwork is a great way to pull color into a room.

10. Harness the Emotional Impact of Your Favorite Scents
Introduce your favorite scents into your home. All of our senses absorb information that helps us experience a feeling of joy. Seek out a scent or two that fills you with a feeling of bliss. This is a small thing that will help to create a joyful atmosphere.

11. Use Greenery to Liven Up Your Space
Live greenery used in your home creates a life-giving effect. A small arrangement of fresh flowers or a live plant, My arrangement of fresh lilacs is currently bringing me lots of joy and the scent is heavenly.

Just a few small changes in your home or space can bring you lasting joy. We are will benefit if our spaces and homes fill us with joy. Try implementing a few of these steps to create a joyful feeling indoor home.

For more advice and design inspiration, don’t forget to subscribe to my email list!

Happy Decorating!
Gia

Making Design Decisions With A Spouse Or Partner

Designs By Gia Interior Design.

Have you ever found yourself at odds with your spouse over a certain recliner?  You know, the one that you have been trying to eliminate from your living room for years. That chair with the lived-in look that your partner cannot seem to part with.  Or have you ever come home to find that your spouse has painted a room a particular shade of pink that you absolutely do not share the same enthusiasm for?  How could you possibly not love this color?  One of you might share a love of practical design and function The other might want to totally re-create something they’ve seen in a magazine or on television, but might not be able to articulate the design details needed to create this look.

Well, you are not alone.  After 20 years of negotiating design and renovation decisions with couples on a daily basis, I will assure you that even the most loving couples usually don’t share the same ideas, design aesthetic and expectations when it comes to designing their homes.  Normally couples will notice these differences of opinions occasionally….. when choosing paint colors, furniture decisions, or window treatments. Small discussions about all those beautiful accent pillows on the sofa and bed.  But once a couple decides to embark on a major renovation project, these differences can make it difficult to make decisions, putting couples at odds before they even begin the renovation.  When designing and making design decisions for a renovation, there are suddenly hundreds of design decisions to make and depending on how well you planned, sometimes you must make these decisions very quickly.

With the added pressures that come with an impending renovation, some couples can become very passionate about their ideas about what their new space should look like.  Some couples work really well together and are able to come to agreements easily. Bless you!

Others take much longer or might not ever see eye to eye on their project. We understand, Renovation is scary, there are big decisions to be made, decisions that you will be living with for a long time.  Both parties are usually out of their area of expertise and might not know anything about design or construction, or even worse, a little knowledge can be dangerous, one person takes the lead after a few hours on google or watching a few seasons of HGTV and suddenly the couples normal dynamic is flipped on its side. None of this helps to move their visions closer together.  some try to negotiate their different choices.” You get your granite countertops if I get that tile floor” but the end result might not be a cohesive finished design that anyone likes.

One of the things that really helps to navigate through all of these design decisions is to have help from a professional.
A professional designer with experience in your type of project can listen to the couples ideas and can create an entire design that reflects the needs, tastes and desires of both parties.  For instance, I can take the ideas that my clients have, combine them with what is right for their space, lifestyle, and add some ideas that they might not have considered then come up with a beautifully designed cohesive plan that makes both parties happy. Sometimes a fresh set of ideas from a Pro is all that is necessary.

If you are renovating on your own and can’t come to an agreement with your spouse, consider some totally new design ideas that you both might like. This is much more productive than holding onto ideas that might not even be right for your space, goals, budget, or desired outcome.  With a designer leading the ways, ideas can easily be sifted through, leaving only ideas that really work well for the overall goals of your project.  Just having a professional there to lead the way allows everyone to feel as though their ideas are being heard and allows the designer to really dig deep into the ideas and feelings that both parties have about their home and the environment that they wish to create.  The overall goal is always to create a space that the homeowners love and will enjoy together for many years.

 

6 Benefits of Custom Window Treatments

Although pre-made, off the shelf, window treatments are plentiful, there are numerous reasons why we use and suggest custom window treatments in most of our design projects.

Choosing custom window treatments allows you to have so many options and benefits that you don’t have when choosing pre-made window treatments.

Here are a few of the benefits:

1. Create the perfect size.
Custom window treatments can be made exactly to your specifications as far as size. That means you don’t have to work within the sizes offered in regular pre-made draperies. We can customize the size right down to the exact measurements needed for your windows, creating the best look for your windows. This is a huge benefit as it allows us to design exactly what is right for your space.

2. Choose the perfect fabric.
Next, custom window treatments are exactly that, totally custom, so we can design window treatments with fabric that is exactly right for your space. Designers have access the thousands of decorative fabrics and can suggest only fabrics that are exactly right for your space. Choosing colors and patterns that are perfect for your room design is one of the elements that create a truly beautiful finished space in any room design project.

Designs By Gia Interior Design3. Adding specific decorative details.
The options are limitless, with custom window treatments we can incorporate very specific custom designed details like specific trim, decorative details, and placement of trim that are specific to your window treatment. As a designer, this gives us the ability to create something unique for each space that we design.

4. Superior workmanship and quality.
Window treatments require a substantial investment. This is another reason to go with custom window treatments, Custom is without a doubt a higher quality product. These window treatments will last you for many years, long past the time when you would be replacing a pre-made window treatment. There’s no contest when it comes to quality custom draperies and window treatments are far superior in workmanship and quality.

5. Energy efficient.
Custom window treatments can be designed with insulating linings or black-out, light blocking linings, providing an extra level of energy efficiency for your home, and prolonging the life of your window treatment fabrics when it comes to sun damage and fading.

Designs By Gia Interior Design6. Longevity.
The sky is the limit when it comes to window treatment creation, so we can create a timeless option for your windows, that can outlive any trendy pre-made window treatment option. When it comes to draperies shades, Roman shades, basically any type of window treatment, if you plan on keeping it in your space for at least five years, custom will probably be even more cost-effective as pre-made options are never quite right and I see most people replace them frequently. When you’re doing custom drapery, you have the option of having a designer’s assistance, when this is part of a large renovation project fabric and drapery are discussed and worked into the entire design scheme. This isn’t usually the case when a homeowner purchases their own drapery, as homeowners often purchase them randomly without the strategy of a well thought out design plan. A short time later, this homeowner realizes that they have purchased something that they are really not too excited about, and are once again purchasing window treatments, hoping to get it right.

So for the client that realizes the benefits of custom drapery, working with a designer to design custom window treatments for your home can be a great choice.

 

Preparing Your Pets For Your Renovation

We all love our pets and we know our client’s want to be sure that their pets are safe and comfortable during their upcoming renovation.

All of us at Designs by Gia Interior Design and Renovation and our team of contractors and tradesmen love interacting with your pets. But we know that it can be startling for pets to have everyone converging on their home at once. We find that it helps to take the time to introduce ourselves slowly to our client’s animals to help them get familiar with us. Construction can be dangerous for animals and workers if pets are underfoot all the time. So as much as we love having them around, our first concern is always for their safety. Most pets actually do quite well with the renovation going on in their homes. Dogs especially seem to like all of the action and most of them quickly except their new construction friends. Cats usually aren’t quite as excited about their owner’s projects but are very good at removing themselves from the daily activity, and reappearing at the end of the workday.

Designs by Gia Interior Design. New England Interior DesignerWe want to share a few tips to help prepare your pet for your upcoming renovation.

1. Provide a safe area for your pets. Construction involves a lot of loud noises, strange power tool sounds, banging of hammers, and unfamiliar voices. This can cause some pets a lot of anxiety.  Always provide a safe area out of the construction zone for your pets to retreat. This can help your pets adjust to a house full of unfamiliar people and noises.

2. Notify your contractors if you have anyone other than yourself coming into the house during the day to feed or walk your animals. If you are not home during the days when construction is taking place, it is helpful to know who else is allowed into your home to interact with your animals.

3. A few days before the renovation starts you might want to relocate your pets food and water bowl if it’s in the area of the renovation. This might help them to adjust to their things being moved on the day of demolition. This is especially important during a kitchen renovation, as their meals might be disrupted.Designs by Gia Interior Design. New England Interior Designer

4. Also, let your contractors know if your animal is an indoor pet or is prone to a quick escape. This will help whoever is working on your home know what is normal for your animal and we will take extra care while entering and exiting the home.

5. During construction always leave a contact phone number where you can be reached if you are not home during the renovation hours. This is important for numerous reasons while renovating, but this also allows us to contact you if there are any issues regarding your pet.

6. Doggie Day Care. Many homeowners worry about their pets during the renovation. But I will say most pets adjust after a few days and actually welcome all of the activity. If you feel as though your pet might not welcome all of the action and it might cause them too much stress, make arrangements in advance for doggy daycare or boarding of some sort during the times of construction that you feel might be the most stressful for your animal.

7. Also, think about your pets needs as far as any accommodations needed in your new design. For instance, maybe a designated area in your new kitchen renovation just for dog food or your dog bowls might be easily worked into the kitchen design. If you have large dogs you might want to make a designated doggy wash station in your new mudroom renovation plan. I once designed a special sunroom for my client’s cats, because cats enjoy a newly designDesigns by Gia Interior Design. New England Interior Designered  and renovated space too.

Usually, after renovation, when everything calms down we often hear that our client’s pets miss all of the activity and construction friends that they’ve gotten used to being in their home all day.  So we know they enjoy it when we stop back in for a quick visit, to finalize details or to discuss the next design project. We remember fondly several of the numerous beautiful pets that we’ve gotten to know over the years, a few of them are not around anymore but all are remembered by us for their love of great design and construction….Gus, Diesel Dog, Sammy, Poncho, Ginger, Henri, Huck, Sig, Oliver, Prada, Willie, and Maggie. Of course, we can’t forget our feline friends including “best team player” Pebbles the cat who endured an entire house renovation, cleared the entire construction space of mice, and was still happy to pose patiently during the final photo session.

Designs by Gia Interior Design. New England Interior Designer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selecting Appliances For Your Renovation

Choosing appliances for your renovation.Designs by Gia Interior Design. Web Site Design by inConcert Web Solutions.

One of the issues that often gets a renovation started, is when older appliances start to fade or stop working completely. At that point it’s a good time to consider the entire kitchen and whether or not it’s time for a full renovation, before trying to just replace that old appliance.

Older appliances that are built into an existing kitchen are sometimes hard to replace with appliances of the same dimensions, years or decades later. So replacing an appliance might not be as easy as just replacing a refrigerator or a built-in oven into an existing spot in your current cabinetry. So before purchasing a new appliance, check those measurements, trying to retrofit a new appliance but making changes to existing cabinetry often is costly and usually never looks quite right. Also, if the flooring was installed in front of and not under your dishwasher, removing that dishwasher might require opening up that flooring.

If you decide that you are going to take a look at doing a full-scale renovation of your kitchen, then looking at the age of the remaining appliances. That brand new freestanding refrigerator might be able to be incorporated into the new kitchen design, but I would hesitate to re-install a 20-year-old wall oven with its older dimensions, into a new custom sized cabinet, only for that appliance to reach its lifespan a few years after the renovation. If you are ready to do a full renovation with new appliances, the selection of those appliances is done very early in the kitchen design process as appliance selections dictate the placement of the appliances in the new layout.  There are so many options to choose from when it comes to new appliances for your kitchen.

For cooking, there’s gas, electric, and induction, the selection of what system to go with should be done first and will be determined by many factors.

Designs by Gia Interior Design. Web Site Design by inConcert Web Solutions. Do you currently have natural gas or propane in your home? Or are you willing to bring in propane if you really desire a gas range Induction is a newer magnetic technology and performs a lot like gas in that it gives instant heat, this technology might be worth exploring if you like the control of a gas range. We use it often for projects and I enjoy using it in my own home.

Wall ovens, steam or speed ovens, convection ovens, warming drawers, grills, griddles… these are just a few cooking elements that could be purchased as separate units or could be features included in a range.  Also, the size of the range should be determined early on in the design process as it dictates the cabinetry layout and the ventilation needed for the range hood as requirements are determined by the range.

There are so many options for refrigeration as well, There is a French door refrigerator with refrigeration on top and a freezer on the bottom, allowing these units to be placed wherever needed in the kitchen. A traditional side-by-side refrigeration and freezer. Also, these elements can be purchased in separate columns freezer and refrigeration and added wherever desired in the layout. There are also drawers that can be integrated for refrigeration and freezer. The size of the space and the configuration of the space will help you determine what appliances look proportioned to your space. Determine what features you are looking for, then depending on the size and layout of the space, keep your mind open to some items that might make better sense for your kitchen design based on suggestions from your kitchen designer.

Appliance styles range from a very industrial commercial look to a super-contemporary sleek look, to a retro looking appliance with today’s modern features. Stainless steel is still the most popular finish in today’s kitchen, experts predict that this will continue.  But we are seeing some stainless finished with a brushed look or a tinted look, as fingerprints are a little less visible on these newer stainless finishes.

We are also seeing some manufacturers introduce colored appliances, which visuallyDesigns by Gia Interior Design. Web Site Design by inConcert Web Solutions. is a nice change from all the stainless, but is very taste specific.  Its impossible to predict what we are actually going to be seeing in appliance 10 years from now, so I advise clients to go with the look that they really love, unless they are getting ready to sell their home, in which case you might want to update a little more generically when it comes to appliance choices.  Choosing your appliance is one of the many steps involved in completing a kitchen design and renovation. Be sure to involve a design professional from the beginning of the process to ensure that you are creating a kitchen space that you will enjoy for many years to come.

Adding luxury to any bathroom

Designs By Gia Interior Designs. Award Winning Interior Designer. Web Design by inConcert Web Solutions.If you’ve ever imagined a luxurious master bathroom in your home, you might enjoy this classic master bathroom that we recently designed for one of our lovely clients.  This bathroom was part of a large design project involving a kitchen, butlers pantry, mud room, several bathrooms, and of course this beautiful master bathroom. This long narrow space designated for the new master bathroom created several design challenges, but it also allowed us to use the length to create a dramatic focal point in the back of the bathroom featuring a freestanding tub with classic lines.

We designed a custom shower with dreamy white tile, seating, rain head, and a custom glass enclosure.  We also included 2 separate vanity areas which we topped with beautiful gray and white stone. The homeowner’s beautiful chandelier was the starting point for this elegant bathroom.  The black and white color scheme really gives this bathroom a timeless feeling, with the drama of an old classic black and white movie.

There are many ways that you can add luxurious, classic touches to any bathroom.  If you are ready to undertake a renovation or new build project, it’s best to work with a design professional as the bathroom is one of the most difficult rooms to plan and design, issues involving space planning, safety, and comfort as well as aesthetics must be addressed when designing any bathroom.  There are a few easy ways that you can add a bit of luxury to your existing bathroom if you are not quite ready for a renovation.

Designs By Gia Interior Designs. Award Winning Interior Designer. Web Design by inConcert Web Solutions.

1 – Add Artwork

Black and white artwork can look great in a bathroom. With a few complimentary pieces of inexpensive art, you can create a classic or modern look in your existing bathroom. Expensive art should be placed strategically to avoid moisture damage.

2 – Add Plush Cotton Towels

Plush towels create a filing of luxury. Choose solid black and white and mix stacks of towels together. This gives a clean look without adding more patterns to the room.

3 – Add Unexpected Storage to the Vanity

Use a mirrored or glass tray or collection of small vases to store makeup and organize other small items. This looks better than plastic make-up organizers.

4 – Storage

Store larger necessary items in baskets, vases or cabinets. If an item is going to be visible and necessary, be sure it looks nice and is stored in a way that complements the space.

5 – Add Candles and Fresh Flowers

These small touches can bring a touch of luxury to any space especially the bathroom.

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