The Benefits Of A Long Term Relationship With An Interior Designer

The Benefits Of A Long Term Relationship With An Interior Designer

The interior design of someone’s home requires a very personal element. As designers, we strive to make our clients happy and to create spaces that are very personalized to our clients, their needs, and their lifestyles. To do our job properly, we get to know our clients, and we spend time in their homes. We meet their families, learn their pets’ names, and invest in those client-designer relationships.

Over the years of designing spaces for many clients, I can say that one of the real benefits of a long-term relationship with an interior designer is that over time a designer learns about your likes, dislikes, and how your home functions, and your tastes. Very beneficial to clients, especially as life brings on numerous changes that require changes to your home; this could involve adding a new family member, changes in stage of life, or even moving to a new home, or adding an additional home.

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This client-designer business relationship usually only improves over time. I love when I hear from a client who has used our services before or has implemented some of my suggestions and has now called upon me to help with additional projects. Seeing a home develop, even over a long period, is very rewarding to me as a designer. What’s even more rewarding is seeing how the home changes improve my clients’ lifestyles. I have recently been reflecting on this as I recently heard from several established clients who are buying new homes and are calling on me to develop a design for their new homes.

Here are some of the benefits of establishing a long-term relationship with the designer.

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ONE

Your designer knows your taste, dislikes, and likes, which will be reflected in any additional projects that are worked on in the future. This requires less of the homeowner’s time, time that could be spent elsewhere. For busy professionals, active parents, or clients that like to travel, this is very important.

TWO

When completing a project with a client, a very familiar designer and your home can continuously help you improve your space by keeping an eye out for specific pieces and design elements that will help you reach your design goals. I love when I am sourcing an item for a project and then stumble upon just the right piece of furniture or artwork for another client. As I always have my clients and projects in mind, this could be an added benefit that continues for my clients even after a project completes.

THREE

The designer who provides a full-service element has contacts with numerous craftsmen. Clients often reach out to me for assistance when trying to complete a simple project. For a client with which I’ve had a long-term relationship, I often can facilitate craftsman much quicker than a client can do on their own. Especially when my craftsman has previously worked on a project in this home. My craftsmen are familiar with the systems in their home and can help resolve simple issues efficiently should they come up for a client involving other issues in their home.

FOUR

You develop an element of trust due to past projects. When you trust that your designer is looking out for your best interests to design and implement your projects, the designer trusts the homeowner to communicate their needs and honor their part in the business relationship. This creates a very successful and low-stress experience for everyone.

Creating a new design for a client we have previously designed for can be a much easier process. We know the space, we know the client, we are familiar with the existing conditions in the home and familiar with the client’s furnishings and overall goals for their home.

This is a great time to reach out and thank all of my long-term clients whom we have serviced for many years. As usual, we appreciate your business, and we value these incredible relationships.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Creating An Interior Design Plan For Your New Home

Creating An Interior Design Plan For Your New Home.

If you are one of the many people that have recently purchased a new home, congratulations on your new home! Purchasing a new home can be a stressful process. Once you finalize your purchase and begin moving into your home, you realize that there’s much that needs to be figured out. There are so many projects that you would like to do. Whether it’s completely renovating your new home’s kitchen and bathrooms, renovating the entire home, changing paint colors and finishes, or furnishing a room or perhaps your entire home, the process can be overwhelming.

Where do you start? What do you tackle first? You immediately begin making random purchases of furnishings or window treatments, and then you realize that you don’t know what else will happen in each room. Hopefully, this is where you stop and get help from a pro. When I work with new homeowners, I help them put together a plan of action for their new space.

broken floor tile
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Here are a few tips that can help you along the way.

ONE

It’s easy to go into your new home with lots of ideas and thoughts about what you could do. Still, somewhere during the early stages of that process, unexpected repairs might come up. New thoughts and ideas about furniture arrangements or renovation come up, which sometimes leads to being more overwhelmed. Think about your goals for your new home. Is this a home that you plan on staying in for a while? Is this a home that you plan to live in for a few years and then move on to something else? Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out just how much to tackle and where you should put your design and renovation money and efforts.

TWO

Know what items you can’t part with. Are you bringing your existing furnishings with you to your new home, and will they work in your new floor plan? Whether you plan on designing your entire home when you move in or over some time, it helps to know what items you currently own and which are important for you to keep. Existing items can be worked into your overall plan.

THREE

Be realistic about how much work or renovation can be done on your home before you actually move in. If you have the luxury of a bit of time after you purchase your new home, you might own an additional home that you can stay in or be planning on moving into your home after a little renovating. Think about the types of projects that you might be able to do during this time. Depending on the home and the types of products you have in mind, something like sanding and refinishing the home’s current wood flooring might be easier done when the home is empty. This is also a dusty, messy project with lots of polyurethane fumes. Suppose this can be done before you move in, great. However, if you plan a more extensive renovation that might involve the rooms that have this existing flooring, you might not want to tackle this project before the renovation. It’s important to know where you’re going with the project. Doing things in the correct order is essential concerning the process of construction, preventing costly backtracking later. Also, sanding and polyurethane floors might not take too long, but a longer lead time is needed for the finish on your new floors to cure. If the furniture is moved in too soon, the new finish will be ruined, so be sure you have a realistic idea of how much time is needed for projects before you move in.

FOUR

Creating an overall color scheme and design for the entire house is a crucial step that often is skipped when you are tackling one room at a time. Creating a cohesive interior design of your home requires a thorough plan connecting all of the spaces in your home visually. Without this, even the most beautiful rooms can feel disjointed from one another when walking through your home. Creating a color scheme is not as simple as choosing colors that match, as your home will involve thousands of finishes and fabrics, all of the various tones of color with multiple undertones and sheens. Also, creating a color scheme is not just about using paint colors. Often homeowners choose paint colors at random only to find it a stumbling block later in the design process when adding furnishings and window treatments. A cohesive well thought out design plan will become a roadmap to success with the interior design of your home.

FIVE

Get a feel for your new space. Sometimes it’s easy to get excited about designing your spaces, and you try to replicate a room that you’ve seen or design ideas from a home that you love. Your new home is as unique as you are. Some design ideas will work in this home, and some will not. The colors that you use at your former home will not look the same in this new home, the colors that your friend used on her walls will look different here in your new home. Good design is a result of combining ideas that are harmonious to a home’s architecture, lighting, view floor plan, needs, desires, and personality of the current homeowner.

SIX

Get help from a professional designer early in the project. A professional designer can help you develop a plan of action for your home, including a phased plan of action that makes sense for your goals. Establishing a relationship with a good designer from the beginning of your project will help you make the best decisions and create an interior design plan that you love right from the very beginning.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Should You Stay In Your Color Comfort Zone Or Explore New Possibilities?

Should You Stay In Your Color Comfort Zone, or Should You Explore New Possibilities?

A thought that goes through almost everyone’s head while attempting even the simplest decorating project. Colors are very powerful, and the possibilities and combinations are endless. For many people, choosing color combinations can be a very scary process. You will wonder if you want to commit to a color. Will you still like it in a few months, a few years? Will it go out of style? Will it go with existing furnishings? Will you have to change other things in your home if you add this new color? So many questions often lead to being paralyzed, and you retreat to what your color comfort zone might be.

So how do you decide if you should take the plunge and explore some new color possibilities or if you should stay where you are most comfortable? This is something that designers deal with daily. Every client brings with them a new set of feelings regarding color and a new standard of what they might be comfortable with when it comes to color selection. In my experience, there are numerous reasons that someone is comfortable with color. Exploring why someone is comfortable with specific colors could provide some answers and some guidance.

broken floor tile
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Why are you comfortable in a certain color range?
Possible reasons might be…

• Color creates a strong psychological effect you might be drawn to certain colors for that reason. For instance, green can be very comforting and soothing; this is why you see it in many doctor’s offices. So, it’s no surprise that you might be drawn to these colors because of how they make you feel. Red can be a very exciting color and can stimulate the appetite, so it is usually seen as being used in fast food company logos.

• You have a particular memory or experience that has given you personal feelings about color. Perhaps you have a strong aversion to a particular shade of green because it reminds you of a tile in a specific kitchen where are you may have spent a very unhappy time in your life. By all means, do you want to avoid colors that tie in and remind you of bad experiences? As a designer, I’ve learned to ask the right questions while creating a color scheme for someone, sometimes knowing what colors people hate can provide me more information than what they like.

• Are you comfortable with a certain range of colors because you are afraid to make another choice? This is often the case for many people. They might’ve gotten used to a small range of neutrals not because they love neutrals but because of the fear of committing to another range of colors. Suppose someone does want to explore the possibilities and likes the idea of breaking out of the comfort zone of neutrals. In that case, this is great information for me as a designer as to what type of color scheme they would be comfortable with and how to use color for their project.

• Look at your closet for inspiration. If your closet is filled with clothing and accessories that are brightly colored, and your home is filled with safe neutrals, you might just be intimidated about how to use color in your home. Using color in a room design can be much more complicated than putting together an outfit, as there are so many dimensions and surfaces that make up a room that requires particular color choices. All of these surfaces have different textures, and so any attempt at matching these colors is exactly always falls flat on its face. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the color value and color undertones is required to pull together colors on so many different surfaces harmoniously. Unlike when you’re pulling together an outfit, and you only have a few pieces to coordinate.

• Do you really love the color selections in your comfort zone? Sometimes you will find that you really do love the colors that are in your comfort zone. If you find that you love a color palette of neutral tones, then by all means, if you love neutral tones, use them. Neutral tones can also be tricky to combine, you might have a room filled with neutral tones, but they still do not work well together because of the undertones, so not all neutral tones work together well.

A well-developed color scheme can genuinely make or break the finished look of a space. I hope these tips will help you decide if you should stay in your color comfort zone or explore some new possibilities.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful Renovation In 2021 And Beyond

How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful Renovation in 2021 and Beyond

Renovating can be a complicated process. If you tackled a renovation before either on your own or with experienced professionals, then you’ve had a little taste for the process. Delays, product issues, shipping issues, inspections, and many decisions need to be made quickly. Now add to this process a global pandemic: additional supply chain issues, long lead times, and labor shortages. However, you have been waiting patiently to tackle a large renovation project in your home. You saved for it, you are tired of looking at the old dated kitchen or bathroom, and you are ready to go.

Especially now that you’re spending more time at home, you are excited about making these much-needed improvements in your space, and you are looking forward to entertaining at home. How could you possibly set yourself up for success in a renovation in the current climate of renovation now and in the future?

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Here are a few tips for setting your renovation up for success:

ONE

Have a realistic idea of the cost involved before starting construction on your projectresearch with local pros. Googling average construction costs in your area and info given HGTV will not give you accurate construction costs for your project, in your area, on your home. Homeowners are often misinformed by general information about renovation costs. You might have an idea or a number in your head as to what you think a project should cost, but unless that number is based on research with actual local professionals and local building code requirements, it’s just a guess. Going into a renovation project with unrealistic cost expectations can be much more problematic than facing the budgeting facts while still planning your project. Looking at the budget early on allows you to pivot or make the scope of work changes while it is still easy to do so; this is especially important now with the current product cost fluctuations.

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TWO

When you meet with local pros, you need to know exactly what you are asking them to build right down to the final details. This is the only way you can get accurate numbers on predicted renovation costs. This leads to the importance of having a complete detailed design. When you have a complete detailed design, the pros can then use it to quote the renovation, labor, and product cost. Without a detailed design, even a pro is forced to guess what the cost might be since they don’t know the details of what you would like to build.

THREE

Planning is everything. Planning has always been the most important part of any renovation. However, it’s usually the part that is quickly rushed through to get to the excitement of demolition and building. Accurate and detailed planning is so important for the success of your project, not only for the budget and to estimate cost, but for the outcome design-wise. The planning is the place where the most time should be spent. Design elements can easily be changed in the planning stage, and ideas can be explored before ground breaks on your project. Allowing for a more seamless construction project since decisions have already been made and products already ordered.

FOUR

Use an experienced project manager. Management of a renovation project is not for the weary or the inexperienced. Unfortunately, homeowners sometimes assume that this is a quick and easy, straightforward process easily done with a few phone calls. Managing renovation projects for more than 20 years, I can tell you that it is anything but simple and easy. Now, trying to navigate the current construction climate, it’s even more important to utilize a pro who is very experienced with the ins and outs of the industry and the daily twists and turns of supply chains. Experienced pros can navigate a renovation seamlessly because they know where to anticipate problems, plan for them, or process solutions quickly when issues do come up. They also deal with vendors and contractors daily and know how to keep things moving efficiently. Moving into the future of renovating, this will be so important in the next few years for the success of any renovation project.

FIVE

Good contractors, craftsmen, are laborers are hard to come by, and when you do find one, they will be busy working on projects and will always have a stream of incoming projects. When a contractor does not have an organized system of processing new projects, you are often forced to keep calling until they can fit you into their schedule. So for many homeowners, this can be frustrating; even getting a phone call back from a contractor can be difficult, especially now in the current climate. Using a complete team for your design and build project is the key and will be the key to renovation projects especially in the next few years. Designers, project managers, and design-build firms have connections with the most skilled and reliable contractors and craftsmen. A precious resource for any homeowner that is considering a renovation. Especially if you are a busy professional with your job to do or business to run. Taking on a renovation project, hiring individual professionals, and navigating the system will be the time equivalent of another full-time job. Hiring a team that usually works together will ensure a seamless process from start to completion. With a design-build firm, your project begins with the initial design, continues throughout construction, and ends with the final details of furnishing your space after construction. This full-service process allows for the necessary planning, purchasing, and implementation of the complete design vision.

SIX

Patience is the key. Getting that designer look involves planning, custom finishes, and products, perhaps furnishings and products made to order, fabrics that are sourced to the trade only. So lead times on these items are often much longer than a quick trip to a local store. The result, patience pays off when the outcome of your project is magazine-worthy and exactly what you had hoped for, a totally unique design to your tastes and lifestyle, with quality craftsmanship and finishes that will stand the test of time.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Re-Designing Your Empty Nest

Re-designing Your Empty Nest

You’ve reached the point where the children have grown up and are out of the house. They may have come and gone for a temporary stay, but you now have the house to yourselves for the most part. After many years of putting off those major renovations or buying new furniture, you start to look around at your home to assess its condition. Everything needs repainting, furniture needs to be updated and purchased, and the list goes on. You consider whether you’re going to relocate, but you decide that you would like to update your current home instead.

You know that it needs some major renovation and now is your chance to renovate your home. On the top of your wish list are your dream kitchen and a new master bathroom. These current rooms have worked hard for you and your family, and they are showing some wear and tear. You realize that it’s time to re-configure your space and think about how you use it., but you don’t know where to start. You do know that you have waited long enough to do these renovation projects, so you want it done right. You want to be happy with the results, so you know that you should hire a professional designer. Now is a great time to get the help of a designer, and it is a time that many of my clients call me to assist with re-designing their homes.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.
From my years of experience working with clients, here are a few tips on re-designing your empty nest.

ONE

This is a great time to look at your entire space differently. A room that formally made a great kids’ space might now take on the role of a great entertaining space, or it might be just the extra space that you need to create that dream kitchen. Look at your space differently and decide how you can improve the layout of your home.

TWO

Think out of the box. An empty bedroom can easily be transformed into an office space or a home gym. An empty bedroom could also be transformed into a beautiful new master bathroom or master closet space—time to create an oasis that you can enjoy in your own home.

THREE

Have a designer assist you and create a new design plan for your entire home. Having an extra set of skilled eyes can help you to imagine the possibilities for your new space. Having an overall plan for your entire home will help you visualize the space and create a coherent look throughout your home. A designer can help you create the design and help you understand the renovation and implement your project best. Based on the scope of work that needs to be done, your designer can help you create a phased plan that will help you implement your design smoothly or overtime if needed.

FOUR

Time to sort and purge items. Even if you decide that you would only like to make small changes, assess the items in your home. If that old coffee table has seen better days and you always wanted to replace it, now is the time to sort and purge closets and storage areas. Purging items might free up the extra space needed to enhance one of your renovation projects or help your existing space function better than it has in the past. Looking at your whole space in a different light can be much easier when the spaces are cleared and organized.

FIVE

Add some luxury. If you always wanted to have a white sofa but were nervous about maintaining it, now is the time to go for it. Designer fabrics are so user-friendly now and are very easy to maintain if chosen carefully. Adding accessories or finishes, even small additions to a room can enhance comfort and give you a touch of luxury. Enjoy using all those finishes that you have been thinking about including in your home someday.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

How To Make Design Decisions That Stand The Test Of Time

How To Make Design Decisions That Stand The Test Of Time

When you shop for design elements for your home or scan through the latest Pinterest pins, HGTV episode, or design publications, you start to see definite patterns of popular design trends. Interior design trends come and go just like the latest fashion trends. Some design trends might last longer than some of the fashion trends you purchased last summer, but they still, in fact, have a cycle of popularity.

Some design trends last a few seasons, and other design trends could last for a decade or so. When designing your entire home or shopping for a few simple home accessories, it’s hard not to be influenced by the current design trends since we see it when we are shopping at a retail store. There are ways to utilize current design trends in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling regretful in a few years about the choices that you’ve made. More significant, more permanent design elements can be pricey, and you want to be sure that the products you choose are something that you’re going to like in the future. Here are a few tips when making design decisions to avoid “design trend regret.”

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

ONE

Be patient. Take your time when shopping for your home. Don’t buy the first thing that you see. You might be shopping for a simple throw pillow, and yet everyone is showing orange throw pillows. You want a blue or green, but you don’t see many in those colors to choose from. You finally settle for the orange because it’s readily available. Take your time when making design decisions. A few custom-designed throw pillows can give you any look that you like but will take longer to customize than a quick trip to the store. As a result, you might be ready to get rid of those orange throw pillows after a few months, but the well-thought-out design selection choosing fabrics and styles that customized to your look could last you a very long time.

TWO

Incorporate trendy items in small ways. You might love a popular pattern or print, and you want to incorporate it in your home. You’re not sure that you want that super trendy pattern on a sofa since that will last you a lot longer. Try incorporating the pattern in a throw blanket or a few inexpensive pillows or accessories; this will allow you to integrate trendy patterns and colors in your homes without a large investment.

THREE

Use classic shapes and fabrics for large purchases. A classic white sofa can stand the test of time, allowing you to use trendier fabrics and patterns on top of that traditional white background.

FOUR

Choose all of your construction and renovation elements carefully. You might only be renovating that kitchen once, so choosing a super trendy countertop or backsplash tile might be something that you regret a few years from now; this is where the help of a designer can be very valuable. Knowing what design elements are trendy and what elements are classic can help choose tile countertops, cabinet design, and fixtures. If you love that super trendy light fixture, then go for it, but at least you’ll be entering into that decision knowing that you might find that it starts to feel dated after a few years.

FIVE

I am a firm believer in using items that you love in your home. If you choose items that you love, you might love them five years from now or even ten years from now. We all love seeing those design trends and the beautiful items that we can choose from to decorate our homes. Just don’t feel like you have to have a specific item or color because that is popular. Our homes should be an expression of ourselves. We are all unique individuals and can express our personalities through our homes, and the result is a unique blend of styles colors that fit you, your personality, and your lifestyle for many years to come.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

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