Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Your home, it’s the place where your life happens.

The good times, the bad times, the family gatherings, quiet times, celebrations with family and friends. Rest, relaxation, and sometimes healing.

This is where it all happens.

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

Renew. Rejuvenate. Restore.

Your home can be a place that rejuvenates you and restores your energy, welcomes you with open arms at the end of a long day or a place that drains you and causes you anxiety.

It’s natural for homeowners to feel some anxiety when tackling the design of a home whether it be a new home or renovation. There are hundreds of design options and materials to choose from. Design ideas are everywhere and the average person has no idea what to include in their new space. We are made to feel like if our home doesn’t look like the latest design trend, that somehow we have missed the mark.

The bottom line is that it is your space and you should be reflected in it! Your home should reflect your personality.

What does this mean? It means that your home should have and contain things that you like whether that be color selections material selections, patterns, items that you’ve collected over the years or new items that you just love.

In your home, there should always be a place for something that you love (like a unique furniture piece), a decorative detail that you have always wanted (like a modern piece of art that you love, or even a cherished heirloom).

These are the things that give our home personality, and great design can only be achieved by using the right combination of these things woven thoughtfully into a great design plan.

Add rich color.

Get Inspired.

Don’t settle for generic design.

Get inspired by the latest trends.

Incorporate some of those design elements and trends if you really love them and they work for your home.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Often people are afraid to do something a little bit different, like adding a personal spin to the design of your space.

Experiment with elements that you know you will love and will have longevity.

We have so much inspiration around us. It can be tricky you don’t know which ideas to use, what ideas work well together. You have so many ideas! How do you be sure that you will really like all of this when it is all put together?

Working with a designer is a great way to achieve the right balance between creating an updated space and a space that truly reflects your personality, lifestyle, and honors the architecture of your home.

The average homeowner can identify things that they like or would love to include in their space, but it takes experience and a thorough knowledge of design principles like scale, balance, composition, space planning and material knowledge to pull all of this together combined with elements that suit your personality.

A good designer will ask the right questions and listen to your thoughts and ideas can help you to be sure that your personality is reflected in your newly designed space.

It won’t take long for an experienced designer to be able to key in on some elements that can be brought into your space that truly makes the space yours.

A beautiful design is not a great design if it doesn’t feel good to the person that lives in the space.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Your home, it’s the place where your life happens. The good times, the bad times, the family gatherings, quiet times, celebrations with family and friends. Rest, relaxation, and sometimes healing. This is where it all happens. Your home can be a place that rejuvenates you and restores your energy, welcomes you with open arms at the end of a long day or a place that drains you and causes you anxiety.

Are You Hesitant To Hire An Interior Designer?

Are You Hesitant To Hire An Interior Designer?

If you’ve never hired an interior designer for a design project, you might not know what to expect. How does the process work? Will your thoughts, ideas and tastes be considered? Will the designer just do what THEY like? Do You have to know what style or design elements that you would like so you can tell the designer? These are all common questions that a first time client might have.
Are You Hesitant To Hire An Interior Designer?

There is a difference.

First, there is a difference between someone who is good at interior design and someone who has experience working in the business of interior design. A designer who has been in the business of interior design for any length of time will be used to working directly with clients. Successful interior designers know how to listen to their client’s thoughts, ideas, and problems, and then use their skills to turn their client’s design problem areas into a transformed space which the client loves but also sees themselves living. A professional designer should be creating a space that YOU love.

Trust the experience

Trust the Experience.

Most clients that come to us do not know exactly what they would like to do. For instance, you might know that you would like to do a bathroom renovation, you might have a few ideas of design elements that you’ve seen and like, but you have no idea how to pull it all together. Or if any of these ideas would really work or look good in your space. Some clients have no idea about really what they would like to see in there space or they can’t really articulate how they want the finished space to look and function.

An experienced interior designer has processes in place that walk you through the design and decision making process easily. Asking questions and learning about your tastes and lifestyle help us to design spaces that are right for each individual client. Discussing, your goals for the space and offering guidance throughout the process. This is much different than what is depicted on tv design shows. You will know exactly what is happening and will have final approval on all design elements before they are implemented in your home.

Most of our clients seek us out because they valve our expertise in design and in the design process. They do not want to spend their time and money guessing their way through a complicated design or renovation project, only to be less than pleased with the results. Involving a design professional will actually ensure that the end product will be something that you love.

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

Designing Your Home To Reflect YOUR Personality

Your home, it’s the place where your life happens. The good times, the bad times, the family gatherings, quiet times, celebrations with family and friends. Rest, relaxation, and sometimes healing. This is where it all happens. Your home can be a place that rejuvenates you and restores your energy, welcomes you with open arms at the end of a long day or a place that drains you and causes you anxiety.

What is “Project Scope?”

Designs by Gia Interior Design, New England Interior DesignHave you ever heard the phrase “project scope” while doing a design or construction project? Have you wondered what exactly is a “project scope”?  Well here are a few answers to some common question.

What is the “Project Scope” and why is it important?

The project scope is basically a term used to define part of the project management of any project. It is the part of the planning of your project, that involves creating a detailed list of everything that your project will include.  This includes projects that our homeowners would like to do, everything that would be needed to complete those projects. This list is clearly defined as to what needs to be done to complete the desired project, what it will look like at the end and all materials used to create this project. This will include everything else that must be done in order for your project to be done.

Think about how you put together a jigsaw puzzle. This is the best way to illustrate the process by which your home is put together or renovated. You can’t put in the last piece of the puzzle unless all of the other pieces are in place, exactly where they need to be to accommodate the last few pieces. If you want to take out a piece of the puzzle that is not on the outer edge, you must remove the necessary pieces in order to remove the piece that you want to be removed, and then replace the puzzle pieces.

This is how it works with a renovation. Let’s say you just want to replace your kitchen cabinets. Well in order to get them out and replace them, you also must remove the countertop, the sink, and faucet and most likely the backsplash. So, for someone that just wants to replace kitchen cabinets, the scope of work would actually have to include removing countertop, sink, faucet and backsplash and in most cases replacing those items as well. Reviewing this in the beginning stages of a project with a homeowner will ensure that they truly understand what the project that they desire would entail.Designs by Gia Interior Design, New England Interior Design

There are many other reasons why clearly defining your scope of work up-front is so important, as we discussed above.

1 – Process-
 many design and construction elements affect each other and knowing the full scope of work from the beginning will prevent backtracking in the process.

2 – Backtracking- causes additional construction costs and adds additional time to your project. Homeowners adding additional projects is common when you are in progress with a project and we certainly can add projects if the homeowners budget allows.  But what we are talking about here are actual changes or deciding on something mid-project due to poor planning, lack of a clear design plan, or changing your mind.  These changes definitely affect your scope of work and could certainly add additional costs if backtracking, re-doing or re-building something is necessary.  These problems almost always happen when a homeowner begins a project without a clear design plan as the design plan is what is needed to thoroughly develop a scope of work for the project.

3 – Budget- the only way to develop a comprehensive quote for a design or renovation project is to have a clearly defined goal. This is your design plan. This is what specifies everything about your project in great detail.  The measurements of everything in the space, the exact placement of everything, all materials to be used in your space. For example, if you are planning a bathroom project and you do not know what size bathtub you are using, then you are just guessing as to the amount of space, fixtures, and money needed for this bathtub, and you are not seeing how it affects everything else you are planning in the bathroom. If you have an exact bathtub, and you know it’s exact placement, specification, etc, then you can more accurately quote not only the bathtub but the rest of your bathroom project.  Yes, there are sometimes unforeseen things involved in construction, but that doesn’t mean that you just wing it. In fact, going in with no clear plan often ends in disaster, especially when it comes to your budget.

4 – Timeline- Tradesmen and contractors run on a schedule, if you are not prepared with a clearly defined design plan or scope of work developed by a pro, your contractor will move on to the next project until you are ready. Or they will jump in and rush you to make decisions as they need them so they can get to work. This is not a great way to design a space. Contractor input is vital to developing the full scope of work for a project as they are construction experts, but it is not their job to design your space, choose your tile and materials or teach you how to manage your own project. Tell them what you want to be built and they will build it, if you do not know how to communicate design elements properly, the outcome might not be what you were expecting. The extra time added to your project for changing your mind midstream, or re-building things over and over because of poor communication can be eliminated with a clearly defined design plan and scope of work. Any of these delays will affect the total project timeline as once your plumber moves on to start another project, he can’t just drop everything because you are now prepared with a decision to move forward. This causes further delays.

What is “Scope Creep”?

Designs by Gia Interior Design, New England Interior DesignSurely you have heard the term “scope creep”. Scope creep is something that can happen easily on a project. Scope creep is when the project increases little by little and is not managed properly. We see this most often when clients attempt a renovation on their own without the assistance of a designer or an experienced project manager. Often homeowners don’t know that if you do one project, it might affect something else. Or “while you are it” you may as well add this or that. All of this is fine if you have the budget and timeline to accommodate these additional things. Working with a professional will help to eliminate the project expanding beyond your means.

When working with clients from the design phase right through to the construction phase, we have processes in place to define the project scope as much as possible before construction or installation begins. Aligning the overall project with the homeowner’s overall goals.


The extra time taken to go through a well-developed design process and plan will always pay off in the end, as well as

  • Create a finished project that addresses all of your needs as far as function, design, and your budget.
  • A project that is well planned will have no questions as to material selection and design details because all of this was clearly defined in the early planning of a project.
  • So our contractors and tradesman know exactly what they are building, what materials are being installed when all specified materials will be on site when they arrive. Allowing for smooth project implementation from start to completion.

For more design realities, inspiration, design tips, and actionable advice don’t forget to sign up for our weekly emails!

Until next time,
Gia

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

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

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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