How Covid19 Will Change The Design Of Our Homes

How Covid19 Will Begin to Change the Design of our Home Interiors

In the past few months, as we have watched the world change in many ways, we will also begin to see changes and evolutions in many industries. Those of us in the design industry has been busy preparing for and anticipating some of the many ways that Covid19 will eventually change the interiors of our homes. Why? Because the needs of homeowners have changed.

Many homeowners can already see how their home needs to be functioning differently than they were a few months ago. As an industry professional, our job is to stay ahead and anticipate not only design trends but the design needs of our clients as far as function. Think about it, what are you requiring from your home now that you weren’t two months ago? Well, most of us are requiring many new things from our homes and are seeing the limitations of our current home design.

Here are just a few that many of us in the design industry are anticipating and are ready to design as we see homeowners asking for these new features.

1. Workspace

Working from home has become a necessity right now but those of us in the design industry are anticipating that there might be many people that either continue to work from home, actually really enjoy working from home and will continue, and many new people starting businesses that do not require a brick and mortar location will be operating from home might be seen in the few next few months.

This is interesting because in the last decade, for those of us who have been around awhile, we’ve seen the designated home office disappear over previous years.  We’ve seen the development of technology which keeps us from being tied down to a desk being able to work from the kitchen or living room area for the little bit of time that you have to work from home. But now the appearance of the designated separate home office will be making a comeback. Those beautiful open floorplans don’t really function as well if you’re having a zoom meeting and your family is running through the background. So, Industry professionals agree we will definitely be seeing a return of the separate home office.

Add rich color.

2. Pantry Storage Space

This is something that’s been on everybody’s dream list when we design a new kitchen, but we anticipate the need for pantry storage to be a much more important requirement moving forward. Lessening those trips to the grocery store and stocking up on necessities or cleaning supplies might actually become the new normal when it comes to kitchen design. Designers will start to work even harder to carve out that additional storage space moving forward with in the area of kitchen design.

3. The Material Selection

The focus of cleanliness, hygiene, and additional worries about sanitizing surfaces makes us think that we might see some of the products that we use in our homes changing. Porous surfaces like marble which is quite popular right now might be taking a backseat to man-made products like quartz for countertops. Quartz has been gaining popularity for several years because of its durability and now designers, including myself, are convinced that this will steer homeowners towards quartz for their countertops when making decisions for their kitchens and bathrooms.

4. Touch-less

Faucets that are motion activated or touch-less might be the new norm in kitchen design. Many years ago I remember installing one of the very first touch-less faucets in one of my kitchen design projects. The technology was so new at the time the plumbing supply house was actually calling me to see how it worked and ask questions about it once it was installed. Since then, many companies have come out with this feature offering a variety of touch-less functions. It’s always been a nice little added function for some clients. But I anticipate that the touchless faucet is going to become an important necessity in kitchen and bathroom design and that we will be installing and incorporating a lot more of these features in kitchen and bathroom designs.

5. Outdoor Living & Dining

Already we are seeing that the uses of outdoor furniture are skyrocketing. Although, I believe, many people are ready to get back to their favorite restaurant and will be doing so shortly, outdoor living, dining, and entertaining at home is on the increase. I believe we are going to see an increase in building outdoor kitchens to defects these changes.

Add rich color.

6. The Entryway

Here in New England we always see a strong need for mudroom or entry space for coats, boots, and outwear, a transitional space from the outdoors. I think that entryway storage will become an important change in every home and we shed our shoes and outerwear, receive more online deliveries, and change our patterns to keep the germs of the outside world outside.

7. More Design and Renovation Projects

As in any other world event, it’s hard to know exactly how industries are going to be affected long term. What we are seeing already is an overall increase in the desire to improve our homes with interior design and renovation projects. Clients might not be taking that vacation this year but are ready to put their efforts into improving their lifestyle at home. Some future clients might take some time to re-coup but now have first-hand knowledge of the limitations of their home’s design. This is predicted to fuel the industry as homeowners start to take action on improving the design of their homes.

Until next time,

Gia

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How To Create An Oasis In Your Master Bathroom

How to Create an Oasis in your Master Bathroom

Have you ever dreamed of a luxurious bathroom space? Now more than ever we are craving a master bathroom space that is an oasis. A space to which we can retreat at the end of a long and very stressful day. 

I have spent most of my life designing and renovating beautiful master bathroom spaces for my clients. Beautiful retreats with custom showers including all the features that one dreams of in a shower, and some features that you didn’t even know existed. Bathrooms that have been expanded well beyond their original floor plan and footprint, with exciting new layouts to accommodate large freestanding soaking tubs, customized storage, and privacy needs. Of course, using all of the beautiful fixtures, colors, and finishes that you would expect to see in a master bath retreat, marble, porcelain tile, glass, gleaming metals, luxurious fabrics, and soothing colors. Then, of course, all of the finishing touches that add a feeling of comfort to the space that we usually add after a space is fully renovated.

During this time at home, while thinking about and planning for that luxurious master bathroom renovation there are also some small things that you can do to create an oasis in your bathroom until our renovation gets underway.

Buy the best bath towels

100% cotton is the best. They are the most absorbent and durable. Egyptian cotton and Pima tend to be a softer cotton towel. The thicker the better. I love using solid white in most of my bathroom spaces. Sometimes a bathroom design might call for a brightly colored hand towel mixed with stacks of soft cotton bath towels.

Accent with soft textures

If you have space try adding a small chair or bench. A bathroom has lots of hard surfaces, adding a fabric piece can soften the look of the room. If you don’t have space, adding fabric window treatments will also soften the look of the space.

Bring nature indoors

Add fresh flowers or greenery. A few fragrant blossoms in a small vase on your bathroom vanity can make your bathroom feel like an oasis.

Accessorize

A decorative vanity tray can collect and display make-up or personal items. A grouping of decorative glasses or boxes can conceal necessities.

Fill the air with sound

Add a blue tooth speaker so you can stream music into your bathroom easily. The sounds of ocean waves or pouring rain can create a soothing ambiance in your bathroom. Try the CALM app or one of the many streaming music services that offer soothing sounds.

Creative decor

Add some art. Try a new print or canvas art piece in your bathroom. Use a grouping of framed pieces that coordinate with your bathroom’s decor.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Pillow Talk

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Transitioning Your Home to be a Multi-Functional Space

Transitioning Your Home to be a Multi-Functional Space

With a world that seems to be spinning out of control, we are realizing that if everything else gets taken away, family, faith, friends, health, and our home are most important.

Our homes are now more than ever a refuge from the world.

Our homes also need to function for our lifestyle, something that normally takes some time and experimentation for a homeowner to figure out.

However, in the past few weeks, our homes are now having to function as homeschooling areas, remote working areas for perhaps several different people, home gyms or workout areas, and added storage might be needed in the kitchen. Overnight our homes are being taxed with the new demands without the needed time to prepare. This is adding unneeded stress to an already stressful time.

Here are some tips to help transition your homes to a new multi-functional space:

1.

Take one day to just re-group and contain things. I know this is hard, but take some time just to temporarily organize and get your home feeling more settled. Store the kid’s backpacks and items that you might not need the next few weeks, this will eliminate some of the chaos. Go through each room and eliminate anything that doesn’t need to be out. Put things away and make some room to be able to function better for the next few weeks. Eliminate any unneeded piles of mail, outerwear or items that can take up valuable space.

2.

Designate some areas in your home for work, choose areas that can be closed off easily from noise, well lit (this is important when you are conference calling or meeting with clients virtually; like I often do in my own business), and with a good wifi signal. An extra bedroom or dining room area might work well for this right now.

3.

Work together as a family to schedule your time in designated areas if needed. If you have one space and you must share it with a spouse for work at home-schooling, discuss your needs and create a schedule of blocked time to share the space so that everyone can get there work done. Communicate this to each other and come up with a plan.

4.

Keep an open mind! Last week I took delivery of my new Peloton bike, something I’ve been thinking about purchasing for several years as I hoped to create a home gym in my extra bedroom. Now that all gyms have closed and my regular spin classes will not be happening, I knew I wanted to do this immediately. Because of timing, I set up this temporary home gym in my downstairs study knowing that I can relocate everything upstairs once things settle down and I can remove furniture, paint, etc. However, I realized that I actually love working out in this sunny study, so I definitely will be planning my home gym project and considering using this sunny space instead of my original plan.

Now that you are spending a lot of time in your home, take a moment and make some notes about things that you have noticed about your living/working indoor space during this experience. This can be a great time to make note of changes that you would like to make in the near future.

Until next time,

Gia

 

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Why most of your design projects don’t produce the desired results

Why Most of Your Design Projects Don't Produce the Desired Results

Why can’t you get the desired results when finishing your own design project?  This is a complaint that I hear over and over from clients. It is especially frustrating for clients that know what they like and have a good artistic eye or “good taste”.

While I am a firm believer in buying items that you love and working them into your home, this does not guarantee a beautifully designed space in the end.

This can be very frustrating for someone that has meticulously selected beautiful items that they love for their home.

Recently, I met with a lovely client of mine, she has the most impeccable taste she’s very knowledgeable about the world of design. This client has the most amazing items in her home, she has a great eye for beautiful pieces and we always enjoy discussing some of the design world news. I have recently been working with this client on completing all of the rooms in her home and preparing the home for sale to a very exclusive market, but also appealing to the client as she is currently living in the space.

Why did this client hire a designer?

Because purchasing beautiful items does not equal a cohesive design in the end. Yet at a recent meeting that I had with her, she made the most profound statement. She said that she realizes that all of these years she has been shopping for each item for its artistic features, having no idea how she’s going to use it in her home, if it’s going to go with everything else she has in her home or how to pull all of these items together.

So, my first task for this unique project was to prepare the entire house for it’s impending photo session using items in this very large home and eliminating or supplementing where needed. This client gave me free rein to reconfigure the entire home and placement of everything. This allowed me to use my skills to transform her home in a way that she could not visualize. Of course, I did this with her lifestyle and taste in mind, and after discussing the overall goal of the transformation.

The Collection.

With so many amazing and unique items in this home, I knew the first step was to reconfigure the home. With my crew’s assistance, we worked tirelessly for several days moving furniture from one end of the house to another, moving and relocating just about every item.

The homeowner’s extensive art collection allowed me to pick and choose the best pieces for each space, finally displaying the homeowner’s favorite pieces, and allowing me to create a cohesive color scheme throughout the house. With 12 rooms to work with, I continue accessorizing and adding window treatments and bedding where needed. As we moved through the process items that instinctively belonged together found their home. In the end, we created a huge transformation in the home. Each room now looked balance with color, proportion, and style. Each room now functioned for the purpose to which it was designed. This homeowner was so pleased with the results and we are currently continuing to work on additional projects for her home.

3 helpful tips:

1: A well-designed room requires professional skills like a thorough knowledge of space planning, proportion, color balance, and lighting. It also requires a thorough knowledge of products and when or what to use where and why.

2: You might have numerous items in your home that you love just waiting to be part of a new design.

3: A great design requires much more thought and planning than it does shopping. Never start with shopping. Especially if you have a goal to complete a space an entire room or home and you have a budget. Plan first, shop last.

Until Next Time,

Gia

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How To Take Action On Your Interior Design Goals

How To Take Action On Your Interior Design Goals

Every homeowner seems to have a list of projects that they would love to do in their home. 

Many of these projects involve organization, small design changes, furnishing purchases, window treatments, or a full-scale interior design and renovation project. One thing seems to read true with all homeowners: The “Project List” seems to build and build over time. Over the years these thoughts and ideas about what we would like to do in our home tend to pile up. We become overwhelmed, which project should we do first?

How To Take Action On Your Interior Design Goals

All the ideas… organized.

There are so many ideas that you have been thinking about. Every time you open a closet or a drawer, you may think about needing to sort and organize these spaces. When you cook a meal, you might think about improving your kitchen’s work-ability and storage. Maybe when you are entertaining you think about the lack of comfortable seating space in your living room. Or when will you ever be able to create that warm, luxurious master bedroom or bathroom space with a custom tiled shower?

Steps to help you to take action on your interior design goals:
4. Choose one project from your list and write down a few action steps toward that one project.

The questions.

Some common questions you might have are: Does it make sense to do these projects in our home? Can these projects actually be done in our home and how much would it cost? Where should you start? Do you need professional help with this project? So many of these questions are really important but so many are homeowners struggle to find answers especially when the list of projects seems to keep building, sometimes for several years.

Steps to help you to take action on your interior design goals:

1. The first step to take action on your goals is to make an actual list.

So many times we mentally drain ourselves by keeping all of the thoughts and ideas for our homes in our head. Try to spend a few minutes and make a list of all of the interior design ideas and improvements that you would like to make in your home. In this first step, your goal is to just get all of your ideas out of your head and on an actual list. You will be able to think more about each project later.

2. What projects on your list would you like to take action on this year?

Review your list and choose a project that you would like to tackle this year. This could be one project or a few. This step will help you prioritize your list and to get into action on some of your projects.

3. Look at the items that you selected step 2. Do any of these items affect each other?

For instance, if one of the items on your list is to organize your kitchen drawers or replace the flooring in your kitchen, and you have a kitchen renovation on your main list, it might be best to hold off on the flooring until you renovate, but organizing your kitchen drawers could certainly be done without affecting a renovation down the road.

Or perhaps you would like to add window treatments to your living room, if you are planning to replace furnishings or professionally design this space later, maybe pre-made inexpensive window treatments are a good solution temporarily, then when the living room is being designed, that is the time for custom window treatments to coordinate with the new space. (If you do not know how any of these projects affect each other or if this step stops you in your tracks, this might be a good time to get input from an interior designer as a plan of action could be discussed helping youth phase your projects in a way that makes sense and keeps you from backtracking and re-doing things.)

4. Choose one project from your list and write down a few action steps toward that one project.

If your one project is to organize your hall closet, your action steps might be:

  • Empty the closet completely and clean
  • Purge unnecessary items
  • Decide exactly what you need to store in this space
  • Measure closet
  • Add shelving if needed
  • Paint closet
  • Add customization and storage items, purchase hooks, hangers, bins, etc., that fit the space (notice that purchasing these items is the last step, not the first, this allows you to purchase only items that you know fit the space and will be used to store specific things.)

5. Meet with a designer.

If you have larger projects that involve large purchases or renovation on your list for the upcoming year, your first step would be meeting with a designer to clarify goals, discuss design ideas and explore costs. This step early on will help you to schedule your project for this year or to plan for it in the upcoming years.

These 5 steps will certainly help you to get into action on your home projects. Even accomplishing a small project will help you to feel good about your home and about making progress on your Interior Design goals.

Until next time,

Gia

From The Blog

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How To Work With An Interior Designer – Part 3 – Implementing Your Project

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 3- Implementing Your Project

Part 3 of my series on how to work with an Interior designer. 

Implementing Your Project:  Even the most beautiful and well thought out design plan cannot transform into reality on it’s own. If only we could wave a magic wand and have a space transformed into it’s visionary’s creation. Implementing your project and knowing how to translate that design plan into reality requires numerous project management skills, craftsmen, contractors, and vendors.  What does a professional designer do in the process of implementing a “design”?

How To Work With An Interior Designer - Part 3 - Implementing Your Project

In parts 1 and 2 of my blog series on how to work with an interior designer, we discussed the value of the interior design initial consultation and the preparation of an interior design plan.

This week we discuss step 3: Implementation of the project!

After having a detailed design prepared by a professional, most of our clients then ask us to implement the project. This might include a total renovation, all furnishings, accessories and window treatments. The scope of work might be different for each project, but the process is still the same.

This is where we take on the role of managing the implementation of your project. Designers experienced with construction might do this themselves by taking on the role of the project manager, this creates a seamless experience that ensures the final details are consistent from design to completion.

This week we discuss step 3: Implementation of the project!

Thorough knowledge of the renovation process and the experience managing complete projects will ensure that the construction costs are quoted after contractors have a thorough inspection of the site and an understanding of the design plan. The designer/project manager now presents projected costs to you, oversees the ordering of all product purchases and deliveries. The scheduling of deliveries and labor will be done at the proper times and in the proper order which heads off numerous issues.

If unforeseen construction issues or unexpected problems come up during your renovation, solutions will be developed immediately and presented to you. Any design challenges that these problems present are met with the proper design changes that might be needed to address any challenges presented mid-project. This is often an area where as a homeowner trying to manage your project yourself, could bring your project to a complete standstill!

With a design firm implementing your project, you now have available to you the resources that you would not ordinarily be able to access on your own. Your designer knows how to quickly and efficiently procure materials and products for your project, dealing with reputable vendors. Your designer will also know how to quickly and efficiently deal with any vendor errors, shipping issues or manufacturer problems that often occur when dealing with a large project requiring numerous products and materials.

Craftsmen and contractors that your designer has handpicked and has many years of experience working with might make up a team that blends perfectly with your project. This is exactly how it works in my business. If a homeowner hires me to implement a project, I bring in my team of contractors whose expertise is in line with the scope of the project. This will ensure the level of quality in the finished space.

We hope you are enjoying this series! Although all designers work a bit differently depending on their business model, these series will give you an overview of how a design/build firm will work and some of the ways that you can work with an Interior Designer.

Until next time,

Gia

From The Blog

Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk

I often run into a local Home Goods or Home Sense store in whatever town I might be working in at the time. I might be looking for a few odds and...

read more

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