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

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

Preparing For Your First Meeting With A Designer

Why can't a renovation go any faster?

I get many questions about the process of working with a designer. Once I have an initial appointment set with a new client. I typically get asked if there’s something that they need to do to prepare for our first visit, so, I thought I might share a few thoughts about this today.

Congratulations, you’ve booked an appointment with a designer! You’ve done your homework, searched for a designer that specializes in some of the projects that you might want to consider in your home and now you’re on your way. You’ve committed to the process of working with a professional and you will reap the benefits throughout the process. Of course, with the finished results.

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

Some people feel a little intimidated at first when inviting a designer into their home. Clients want to be sure that their ideas are heard and then, of course, the end product is going to be something that they love. Rest assured, as a designer, I am here to help you reach your goals, certainly not to judge you for your past design decisions or your current furniture. As a professional, my focus is to listen to your thoughts, frustrations, and ideas about your home and to prepare a design that gets you the best results. 

Most professional designers, like myself, have a process that they walk clients through. In the first initial appointment its best to talk about the ideas and to assess the project goals. This also lends help to other areas of the home that might be affected.

Add rich color.

In preparation for this meeting it can be helpful to think about a few things:

Your overall goal for your home, will you stay in the home for a while or will you be preparing the home to sell in a few years?

If you have an overall goal for the property, it is helpful to share these ideas with your designer as well.

Is there an area of your home that you want to focus on in the design process? Are you considering a kitchen or bath renovation or are you looking for a few design suggestions throughout your space?

If you have numerous renovation projects that you would like to tackle, then your designer can help you to develop a phased plan. Considering you might be living in your home at the time of the renovations. Or you might consider a temporary living space so that you can renovate your entire space at once. These are things to discuss with your designer so that you can approach the design and renovation process in the right order for you and the building process.

Think about the overall budget for the project. If you have an idea of what you would be able to spend on the project, this will help the designer to direct you toward a scope of work that is in line with your budget.

Project costs cannot be accurately figured without a detailed design or without a thorough inspection by trade professionals to assess the conditions of the home. However, if your designer has an idea of your budget, they can assist you with containing the scope of work. For instance, working on one room at a time or containing the project in other ways. You might feel like a project should cost a certain amount of money, however, construction cost, material costs, and code issues will dictate the reality of what a project cost will be.

Add rich color.

Now is the time to bring out that folder or idea board that you have been saving.

If you have ideas and design thoughts that you might like to see in your home, mention them or show them to your designer in that initial meeting. Your designer is gathering information about your likes and dislikes and about how you live. It is best to put all your ideas and thoughts into the conversation. Your designer will help you to keep the ideas that work for your situation and bring additional ideas to you that might suit your likes and home even better. The more information you share the more the design can be tailored to your tastes and needs.

Ask for suggestions, you might not have any idea what to do in your home, that’s why you called in a designer, right?

This is fine, in fact, it allows the designer to really do their best work, suggesting designs and ideas that you might not ever have imagined, keeping an open mind and trusting the process, giving feedback to your designer, these are all things that lead to incredible design results. If you have a designer on board that you can communicate with easily, this process will be very rewarding.

 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

Redesigning and Renovating a Vacation Home

Redesigning and Renovating a Vacation Home

Are you thinking about redesigning and renovating a vacation home? Well, summertime is here and many people look forward to spending the season visiting their vacation home. Whether that be a lakeside cabin, an oceanfront home, or mountain retreat, a vacation home can be a place that greets you with all the comforts of home in a location that you love, where you can relax and spend time with family.  Or it can become a place that provides you with a burden of unfinished projects, maintenance issues and endless wish lists. 

A vacation home could be a property that’s been handed down for generations. If that’s the case, trying to design the space for modern living but keep the charm and history of this cherished property should be considered in the new design. Many times these properties have evolved over time with numerous additions or temporary design elements, a professional designer will be able to create a cohesive look knowing what to keep and what to change in the new design. 

Unlike renovating a main residence, with a vacation home, you have the freedom to plan the timing so that your vacation home is ready for you during the season that you want to use it. This involves careful planning. Timing is everything! For instance, if you’re planning on renovating a beach home it would be great if those renovations could be done in the winter. However, if the home is not a four-season home this could be problematic especially since proper temperatures are needed in order to work in the home or on his plumbing systems.

This is the case of one of our current projects located on the Northern coast of Massachusetts. Some vacation home properties require certain specific zoning requirements, conservation boards, or specialized code requirements, especially some waterfront locations, so extra planning time is needed to get specific approvals or permits.

Add rich color.

For this reason, it’s always best to involve a professional when renovating these types of properties as a professional can best advise you based on your set of circumstances and needs as to the best time of year to renovate your property.

Resources and Implementation

A professional also can bring in a team of tradespeople, as sometimes your vacation home is located outside of an area where you normally live. This can also be problematic as far as overseeing your renovation and finding local reliable tradespeople. Hiring a team that can take the project from design right through to completion overseeing all of the details will provide you with the best results, a professionally finished look, and planned with the most optimized timeline for the scope of your type of project. Transportation and deliveries to a vacation property could also have some challenges, these are things that pros deal with on a daily basis and will anticipate before they cause problems with your project.

Design

There are many things to consider as far as the design of a vacation property as your needs for the space might be very different from a home that is being used year-round. This might be a place where numerous family members gather or share the property, you might need to provide additional sleeping quarters for the family. You might entertain a lot more at this property so in some cases your kitchen might work harder in this home.

It is always best to start out with a thorough discussion as to a client’s needs for any property that we design and renovate. However, when beginning a vacation home project we discuss even further the unique needs with the homeowner while using this property and how we can design the space to meet those needs. 

When designing a vacation home (from a design perspective), I love to consider the outdoor environment’s influence on the design of the interior spaces. For instance, a color scheme of a beachfront property might be very different than that of a mountain cabin, and for good reason. I am a firm believer that the view of a property should influence, not compete, with the view. This is especially true for properties with prominent views.

Add rich color.

I love working with clients on vacation homes! It’s especially exciting when we have already designed another property for the client and now we can explore additional design projects with this client or a family that we have enjoyed working with during their previous project. 

I’ll be anxious to show you the final results of our current vacation home project! 

Remember that the design of any home can give you all the comforts of a vacation! Especially if it’s designed to do so! 

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

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