Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.
A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.
It is a beautiful time of year here as there are many sun-filled days as we transition from summer into fall. A few more weeks and will start to see some beautiful fall colors on the trees.

We also start to see pumpkins for sale, pumpkin lattes at our local coffee shops, and an early glimpse of some beautiful fall chrysanthemums standing ready to burst open and share their fall color.

broken floor tile

This time of year, it feels time to start transitioning your seasonal decor. Here are a few ways to
welcome fall into the home.

Add rich color.

ONE

Create some simple flower arrangements with some of those late-blooming summer flowers. In my yard, my beautiful hydrangeas seem to be at their peak around this time of year. So I love to cut them before they fade and mix them into some early fall flower arrangements. Across my mantle or in large vases, these flowers can be enjoyed for a few weeks before they fade until next year. I also use them in outdoor flower arrangements, as it’s a great time of year for outdoor entertaining as nature’s decor will set the tone providing the perfect color scheme for any event.

TWO 

A quick trip to the grocery store will bring the first sighting of numerous pumpkins and gourds—innumerable shades of orange, whites, greens. I love the variety of textures and shapes. The sculptural nature of the pumpkins and gourds combined can be a beautiful composition that you can enjoy off in the fall season. One sculptural pumpkin displayed on a table or cake stand or a grouping of pumpkins on your front stairs can be a welcome sight That will greet you at your front door. The sizes and shapes are endless. A yearly trip to my local apple farm, it’s always a great treat this time of year as it also has a large pumpkin patch with numerous varieties to choose from. It is a sight to behold. The colors’ varieties sizes are endless. But choose carefully as they are heavier than they look.

THREE

The scent of fall can be brought into your home easily with scented candles. The smell of apple and pumpkin or the spicy aromas can help you transition your home with the warmth feel like fall.

Add rich color.

FOUR

Choose colors to coordinate with your decor. Fall Decor doesn’t have to be orange or yellow or brown. Choose colors that reflect and correspond with your Decour. There are so many options pumpkins can be painted glorious pastel tones, made of fabric, or gilded metallic. Use colors that you love and will mix into your decor. White is also a great color to use for fall decorating and can easily blend into any room’s color scheme. Natural or human-made fall decorating items give you the option of limitless color combinations. Dot be afraid to do something unconventional.

FIVE

Add a cozy throw blanket or a few textured accent pillows to your room. It will add warmth to your space and provide comfort on those cooler fall evenings.

 

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.It is a...

read more

Working From Home During Your Renovation

Working From Home During Your Renovation

You might have been planning your home renovation project for some time. If you have hired a design and build company like mine, you have a designer/project manager overseeing your project from start to completion.

You knew this was the right choice since you need to keep focused on work and certainly don’t have the time or desire to be learning how to be a designer and a renovation manager at the same time. You also know that you want professional-level results, and you value the skills and experience of professionals. Now you can concentrate on your job and career knowing the project is in good hands.

There is one thing you might not have anticipated…that you might be working from home during the renovation process. 

broken floor tile

Working from home is now the new normal, and homeowners everywhere are settling into their new working environment. Most people are enjoying the new freedom of working in their home environments. No long commute, all the comforts of home, and increased productivity. (see my previous blog article, pro tips for working from home)

Now that your project start date is approaching, and with the recent construction and renovation boom, you are delighted that you have booked this project in advance and with a firm that has you on their schedule.  So, of course, you are ready to start and see the results of your thoroughly planned project. But now, how are you going to handle having a house filled with construction while you are working from home and having daily zoom calls?

Here are some tips for working from home during your renovation:

Add rich color.

ONE

Discuss any additional projects as soon as possible with your designer/project manager. For example, you may have decided that you want to set up a work area in a bedroom away from the renovation activity. You may need a desk, additional electrical outlets, a comfortable desk chair, or further assistance moving furnishings into a place where you can work comfortably. We would be glad to assist our clients with these things, and often we do. The sooner we know this, the better we can help you with getting settled. Your designer can source out the additional furniture items that you might need and will be familiar with the new projected lead time of different vendors and companies.

TWO 

Discuss the renovation process as far as what areas of the house will need to be cleared out or inaccessible during construction. Sometimes homeowners are unaware of how much space will be affected during renovation or construction. We try to prepare our clients for this. For instance, if we are working on a bedroom renovation, we will need to clear out everything in the bedroom until the project is complete to have access to walls, ceiling, flooring, and to have space to bring in the necessary tools to work on the project. This could affect the question of where is the best place to set up that temporary working space.

Add rich color.

THREE

Contact your project manager with your questions as they have all of the information on your renovation project. When working with a design and build firm, all contractors and artisans have been well informed by the project manager as to what they are making and all of the details involved. Although now that you are home watching the process, it is hard not to get distracted with questions about the process. Questions are always welcomed and answered quickly and thoroughly by my firm and most reputable professionals. The on-site plumber or electrician might not know all the details of things that don’t pertain to his part of the project. Your project manager will answer your questions quickly so you can have the answers you are looking for, so you can then be able to concentrate on your work.

 

FOUR

Even in the most well planned and prepared renovation, there will be construction noise. Not fun when you are trying to work or make that zoom call to a colleague. When you need some quiet, plan an alternative working space to give yourself a little break. Even as someone who is no stranger to daily construction noise, numerous renovations for clients, as well as my own home, I found myself in this position a few years ago when I had my crew re-finish all of the floors in my home. Although my office was isolated, I got to a point where I couldn’t take another 8 hours of floor sanding noise. I made my escape and spent a few working offsite in a quiet coffee shop. The peace and quiet, and maybe the extra caffeine, allowed me to be more productive in those very focused hours than if I had stuck it out at home. Removing myself allowed my crew to work more efficiently without worrying about clearing a path for me whenever I needed to walk through to the less than accessible bathroom. Just know that we feel your pain. No one enjoys living on a renovation site, much less working on one. Just know that we are doing whatever we can to lessen the impact yet still complete your project with high-quality work, efficiently, and with as little disruption to your work as possible

 

FIVE

Know that the renovation process is only temporary. Once your renovation is complete, and you can enjoy your new space, you will be so glad that you invested the time, money, and a little inconvenience to reap the benefits of your newly designed and renovated space. We also know that working from home can be a bit isolating. Some clients miss all the activity and progress in their home once the renovation is complete, and quickly start planning the next project. We love nothing more than continuing to plan with you for your next project.

 

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.It is a...

read more

Pet Friendly Design Tips

Pet Friendly Design Tips

We all love our pets, and we consider them members of the family. Almost every home that we work in has at least one pet, sometimes more than one. We love meeting all of these fantastic and adorable pets just as much as our great clients.

The way that our pets live in our homes can undoubtedly vary from household to household. Some pets prefer a particular space or area of rooms; some pets are allowed only on a specific chair.

Many other pets use all of the furniture, and although they have their dog beds still sleep in their owner’s beds. Cats, dogs, you name it, we’ve seen it. I even designed a particular room for a client’s cats, who very much appreciated great design.

broken floor tile

Much of the wear and tear on the house and it’s furnishings come from household pets.
My pet, a beautiful black and white long-haired cat, does a number on my velvet throw pillows, which seems to be a constant area where she likes to lay her head. Although we’re all going to see wear and tear in our household from our pets, there are a few things that we can do to help to minimize the damage.

Here are a few tips when designing a space that we share with our pets

Add rich color.

ONE

Think about your flooring selection. Most of the damage that we see coming from our pets is noticeable on the home’s flooring. If you are choosing new flooring, think about what type of pet you have and how much damage might come to this type of flooring. Wood floors with a factory-applied scratch-resistant finish perform best when you have a large dog, but could also be slippery if you have a dog with limited mobility. Wall-to-wall carpet can be tough to maintain when you have animals. Spills and accidents could be hard to clean up and might retain odor even after professional cleaning. However, if you do a hardwood floor with an area rug, an area rug is much easier to replace or clean if needed. When choosing an area rug, consider one that cleans easily. A low pile area rug might be more manageable when wiping up spills.

TWO 

Choose upholstered furniture pieces with care. When selecting furniture or purchasing, upholstered pieces think about the durability of the fabric. Is it washable durable can it be spot cleaned? I can tell you if you use velvet throw pillows, it will catch every animal hair that there is. I use velvet on a throw pillow instead of over an entire upholstered piece of furniture. The sofa that these pillows sit on is a very durable fabric, and it’s a slipcover so can be easily washed if needed. A throw blanket on a sofa can help save the material on your sofa and give you pet a cozy spot to curl up.

Add rich color.

THREE

Figure out what your pet’s favorite spot is and plan accordingly. Animals have a knack for finding a particular place in the home and claiming it as their own. Trying to get your pet to sleep in that dog bed across the room might be more challenging than you think when your dog has already decided that he likes the other side of the room. Sometimes if you figure this out early, you can work in a spot for that dog bed in an area where the dog is going to continue to sleep anyway.

 

FOUR

Search out specialty decorative products for pets. There are so many options available for design-friendly pet options. From decorative dog bowls and mats that match your kitchen decor to designer animal gates, to a custom-designed doggie bath area, and numerous dog and cat beds. There are so many options that are pet friendly but will also compliment your decor. Think out of the box as to how all of the necessary pet items can be design-friendly. Utilizing items that are not necessarily made for pets can give you additional options. For instance, a crystal bowl makes a perfect cat dish.

 

FIVE

Be proactive with pet hair, spills, and maintenance of all of the finishes in your home. A quick roll of a wide lint roller daily can pick up pet hair quickly before it builds up or spreads around the house. A little daily maintenance can go a long way in keeping your home people-friendly as well as pet friendly.

 

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.It is a...

read more

Tips For Designing And Renovating Your Condo

Tips For Designing And Renovating Your Condo

Condos provide a great lifestyle, especially for homeowners that don’t want to worry about exterior maintenance, landscaping, and the many chores of homeownership.

The advantage is that you do own the space, and in most cases, you can treat the inside of your condo however you’d like. However, every condo is different. The beautiful waterfront condo that we renovated in Charlestown Massachusetts had a whole different set of guidelines for interior renovations, then the condos we renovated in Foxborough, or Arlington, Massachusetts.

broken floor tile

 

When renovating, most condos have condo associations or a homeowners group that sets the rules, guidelines, and requirements needed. Every association or group regulates things differently, and so the preparation for a design and renovation project is essential.

Here are some tips and things to consider when thinking about the design and renovation of your condo.

Add rich color.

ONE

Contact the homeowners association or the condo board several months before you’re considering renovating. Sometimes there is a long process to go through to get permission and approvals that might be needed by the association for your renovation. If your particular condo association does require any approvals for interior work, you would much rather know this before starting the design and improvement of the space. Involve your designer/contracting team early on. Doing so will help prepare the proper drawings to present to your association if needed or required.

TWO

When designing an interior space of a condo, think about ways that you can utilize your space wisely when it comes to the storage and flow of your floor plan. Some condos have a very conventional floor plan; others have a unique floor plan. It’s essential to think about how you want to use the space and reconfigure the floor plan so that it works for you. Sometimes the series of small rooms can be opened up to create ample fully functional space, which can be more user-friendly than a lot of small rooms. Sit down with your designer early on to discuss all of the options before you dive into a project. Keep in mind; you might love what your neighbors have done with their similar unit; however, don’t limit yourself to what they have done, explore the possibilities of making your condo a unique design that works for you and your lifestyle.

THREE

Consider the natural light in the space and devise ways to utilize it or enhance it if needed. Some condos come with the benefit of large amounts of natural light; this can be wonderful. Still, it also can be a challenge in the area of privacy or controlling that natural light when needed as no one wants to be fully exposed with a wall full of windows at night, especially if you are in the city. Middle condos may lack in the area of natural light. Light may only be coming in from the front in the back of your condo. Adding additional natural light in your renovation project, opening up space from front to back will not only improve the floor plan and the flow, but it also increases the natural light as it now pours in through the entire space. Because of the lighting in your condo, a particular amount of consideration needs to be placed on color selection, as this can help to enhance and balance whatever lighting issues you are dealing with in your condo.

FOUR

When renovating your condo, depending on how your building is built, contractors, plumbers, and electricians might need access to adjacent units to renovate your space. Renovations should be discussed early on with your team of contractors and, if required, with your neighbors. Has access to wiring, plumbing, etc. might slow down your renovation if you do not have access to adjacent neighbors if needed. Any potential impact to adjacent units if this applies should be discussed in the design phase of the project. Doing so will save you a lot of hassle later on during the time of construction.

FIVE

Find out if there are any working restrictions in your building or complex. Again all condos in associations are different. Some buildings have various requirements for contractors coming in and out and working in the building. For instance, hours that contractors are allowed to work in the building, reserving an elevator for transportation of construction items. Parking, or other construction issues that could be required while working in the building to the building in general. Always try to find out what requirements the building has before your project begins. This will allow you and your contractors to plan accordingly. For instance, in a building in which you must reserve an elevator up to a week’s notice is sometimes required so that the building’s elevator can be covered and padded to avoid damage. This is not something that you want to find out the day that your contractor shows up with your kitchen cabinets, but he is ready to install. Taking the time to find out the rules in your building not only prepares you in the way for the timing of the project tasks, but it also helps you to define the additional costs for your project.

SIX

Enjoy the process of planning your condo and personalize it, add architectural details, and customized finishes or furnishings. Creating a beautiful condo can be a challenge, but with some preparation, with the proper process, you will be sure to have the best design for your home!

 

Until next time,

Gia

From The Blog

Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.It is a...

read more

3 Important Questions That I Ask Before Designing Custom Window Treatments

Designing custom window treatments

Everyone gets excited when selecting window treatments. Especially if you are looking at custom options, there are so many fabrics to choose from with beautiful patterns, colors, and textures. There are thousands of embellishments and options when it comes to custom window treatments. The excitement soon leads to overwhelm when it comes to deciding among the various options. What pattern do you like, what colors do you like, what type of window treatment do you want?

broken floor tile

 There are so many things to consider when choosing window treatments for a room or your entire home. The design and selection of any window treatment can change the look of any room.  There is more to consider than just whether or not you like the fabric or trim. 

Add rich color.

Let’s begin by asking a few questions to see what your goals are:

ONE

What function will your window treatment have for this room?  If your window faces a busy road, you might be looking for this window treatment to provide you some level of privacy.  If this is a bedroom, you might be looking for this window treatment to provide necessary lighting control as well as privacy.  If you have older windows and you live in a colder climate, you might be looking for some insulating qualities.  Defining the function of your window treatments will help you choose one of the many available options.

TWO 

Choose window treatments after your main furniture selections finalized.  The selection of window treatments and furniture for any room can be difficult. I often go into a home of a new client and see that they might have put up some beautiful window treatments, because this seemed like the more straightforward task to complete, but then there is nothing else in the space. Homeowners can sometimes remain stuck at this point because they have drastically limited their furniture options by doing their window treatments first. 

If you choose window treatments first, even the highest quality custom window treatment can look out of place if you cannot find furniture that complements your selections. It’s always better to choose your main furniture first, as your options might be a little bit more limited to furniture selections. Once you finalize your main fabrics in the space, then look at custom window treatments. Now you can create a beautifully designed window treatment that will complement your furnishing perfectly. You will still get a more cohesively designed space by doing the furniture first and then moving on to the selection of window treatments.

Add rich color.

THREE

Consider the view. If you have a beautiful view, I like to treat it like artwork and create window treatments that provide all of the functional needs of my client but something that frames and complements the view instead of competes with it.  If you have a less than ideal view from that window, then you might want to bring more attention to the treatment itself.

Custom window treatments can elevate the look of any space. I hope this helps inspire you to think about the entire area as a whole when thinking about dressing your windows.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.It is a...

read more

Personalizing Your Wall Decor

Personalizing Your Wall Decor

There are so many options when it comes to artwork for your home. You can certainly adorn your walls with any number of options, inexpensive artwork, creating one-of-a-kind pieces, beautiful antique mirrors, or wall sculptures. Some of the most beautiful and meaningful wall decor selections are when we can assist a client with personalizing a piece of wall decor. 

Many of us have meaningful objects or photos tucked away somewhere in our homes. Things that we love and that brings great joy whenever we see them. However many of these objects are stored away, out of sight, in a drawer or closet. 

As a designer, I love to incorporate a client’s personal cherished items and meaningful mementos into a space that I’m designing in their home. Whether it’s something meaningful that you have that’s very personal or something that you just find that you really love, most of these items can be made into something that complements your decor and could be created into something that you could display in your home.

broken floor tile

Recently, I visited my local professional framing shop to frame some interesting pieces for one of my client’s projects. Although we have many options available to us to frame items ourselves, never underestimate the skill and expertise of your local framer. They can look at an item and know exactly how to translate and highlight a piece of artwork and provide you with many options for frames matting and glass that you might not have thought about using.

I love working with a custom framer and there are so many options available to really customize a framed project. Whether it be a gallery wall of a homeowner’s photos, an interesting piece of art that a client found on vacation, or a grouping of prints that I’m using for a project which can be made into a collection that is exactly right for the project that I’m working on. There is a huge difference in the finished project when you compliment the decor with a beautifully professionally framed piece from the client’s own personal collection.

Add rich color.

Here are a few ways that you can incorporate a personal item into your wall decor:

ONE

Create a grouping of photos. Family photos are great to display in your home but sometimes the colors and the different types of photography don’t always blend well together when mixed together for a grouping or gallery wall. The best solution for this is to select some photos that you love and have them all printed in black-and-white. Once you come up with a group of photos that you love, you can enlarge them and make them all the same size. Now you can have a fresh, contemporary spin on a group of photos that might all be from different decades. Now, these can be all matted and framed alike so that they now relate to each other. This is a simple way to create personalized artwork for your home.

TWO

Find one important photo or meaningful photo from your travels, look at the colors in the photo, and see if it might be a good fit for your home’s decor. If it is and the photo is good quality, you can enlarge this photo into one focal point piece for a room. This is a great tip for personalizing your wall decor.

Add rich color.

THREE

Find some unframed prints or photos that you love. This could be a random photo from a calendar, a book or something from your collection, or a high-quality PDF that you purchased online. When printed out on high-quality photo paper something like this could make a great piece of art for your wall. Once you customize these prints with a mat and a frame they could make the perfect piece for your wall decor.

FOUR

Don’t be afraid to think out-of-the-box. Any arrangement of items or mementos in the hands of a professional framer could be into a magnificent piece of wall decor for your home. So look around your home, pull out some of those things that might be meaningful and see if there’s a use that allows you to see them more often and complement your space.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Early Fall Decor

Early Fall Decor

Here in New England, the weather is starting to transition to fall.A few crisp cool days appear as early as mid-September approaches.It is a...

read more

Free Design Tips

Submit your email for free design tips and announcements!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Areas Servicing

Massachusetts  •  New Hampshire  •  Connecticut  •  Rhode Island

© Designs by Gia   |   508-847-6221   |   Contact Us 
Designed and Developed by inConcert Web Solutions   |   Site Map   |   Privacy Notice