Adding Vintage Furnishings

Adding Vintage Furnishings

We all might have a piece of vintage furniture, art, or decorative furnishings somewhere in our home. Whether you have scoured an antique show or flea market to find such a piece or you were lucky enough to own a particular piece, or you inherited a vintage treasure. It can still be challenging to know how to use these items in your home without looking dated or old.

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Incorporating antique pieces into your home can add that well-curated look that only a vintage piece can provide. Vintage pieces can help create a well-designed room that has developed over time, the layered, detailed look of a well-designed space. One of the latest design trends leans away from straight modern lines and toward reproducing the look of European antiques. But how do you do this without creating a museum-like look?

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Here are a few tips:

ONE

Use antique pieces mixed with more contemporary pieces. The juxtaposition of new and old can create an exciting look and keep the room looking fresh and modern.

TWO 

Use a vintage piece as a focal point for your room. An antique fireplace mantle or a vintage cabinet can make a beautiful focal point in a room mixed with other furnishings.

THREE

Don’t be afraid to refinish a furniture piece. Unless you are a die-hard antique collector or you might want to consider selling your antique piece to a collector, you can consider refinishing or painting an antique piece of furniture that you love and want to incorporate into your home. Paint can add a fresh new look to the detail of a vintage piece. Just be sure you have this done by a pro to ensure quality results as old furniture needs to be prepared for paint properly.

FOUR

If you have a collection of vintage art, pottery, or china, display your collection grouped together. If it’s something you love, you can use it to decorate your home.

FIVE

Proportion, scale, and balance are still significant when using antique or vintage pieces. Mix in other pieces that have similar proportions. However, pieces do not have to match or be similar in any other way. The key is to use a mix of pieces with different finishes and to balance the look throughout the room appropriately.

Until next time,
Gia

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Design and Customer Service Award

Design and Customer Service Award

Well, 2020 has been quite a year for all of us.

As we continue through the year, creating amazing home transformations for our clients, I realized that I almost forgot to share some exciting news.

This year I was excited to be awarded The Best of Houzz award for Customer Service and Best of Houzz Award for Design. This is very exciting, especially because our customers and future customers and clients have a large part in voting for these awards!

On behalf of myself and the entire Designs By Gia team, we thank Houzz and Houzz viewers for these two awards. Last year we also had the honor of being featured in two feature articles on Houzz.

broken floor tile
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Designs By Gia Interior Design of Boston, MA

Houzz Press Release

Designs By Gia Interior Design, Gia Milazzo Smith, of Massachusetts Awarded Best Of Houzz 2020. Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling, and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

Boston, USA, March 2020 – Designs By Gia Interior Design of Massachusetts, has won “Best Of Customer Service on Houzz®, and Best of Houzz Design on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.

The full-service interior design and build firm was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2019. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2020” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Designs By Gia Interior Design, Gia Milazzo Smith, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

“ We are looking forward to transforming your home,”
Gia Milazzo Smith, Designs By Gia Interior Design

Now especially, we have many homeowners diving into home renovation projects with little knowledge of design or the process, a process that takes years of experience to master. Hiring a pro to design and renovate your home will ensure the best results with your project!

Until Next Time,

Gia

 

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

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read more

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.

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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.

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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

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

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read more

Filling Your Home With Fragrance

Filling Your Home With Fragrance

Truly great design is not just visually impactful. Yes, it must be visually appealing, but It must also be functional and appeal to the other senses. I believe that a truly great design must impact all of our senses.

The sense of touch can be impacted while wrapping yourself in a soft fluffy throw blanket in your living room. The sense of Fragrance is one of the final details that can complete the feel of a room and bring a sense of comfort to your home.

Recently my adult son walked into my home and commented on how the house smelled like he remembered his childhood home smelling. This is a different home than where we lived when he was a child, but the scented candle that I was burning in the living room was a familiar scent that I commonly used in that previous home. For him, it was the scent of home. The sense of smell can be very strong and it really is amazing how a familiar fragrance can bring up memories of space and give you a feeling of comfort.

I certainly believe that scents can be used in the design of a space to touch all of the senses. A few years ago while designing an oceanfront designer show house (click to read the blog), I enhanced the coastal ambiance of that coastal design that I created in that home with coastal scented candles. The scent was a mix of salty water air and fresh cotton which complemented the design for that space. This certainly enhanced the experience for those touring the newly designed home.
At last year’s local holiday house home tour, I decorated a beautiful home for the holidays (click to read the blog) that many people came to tour and enjoy the decorations, it was no coincidence that the home was filled with the scents of pine and gingerbread. I used scents to complement the decor once again. I placed the scent of pine in the main living room and gingerbread in the home’s kitchen, which was decorated with an assortment of Christmas confections.
This is an example of how, as a designer, I use scents to enhance the experience of a space.
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1. Choose a single fragrance that you love.

The fragrance that you choose for your home is a very personal choice.  You might have to experiment to find that fragrance. But when you do then you know you have a place to start. This main fragrance might be the fragrance that you use in your living room or the main spaces of your home.

2. Fragrances can come in many forms.

Scented candles in all varieties, including soy, beeswax, and coconut oil-based candles. You could also use diffusers that disperse essential oils in a mist, these work great, just remember to size the diffuser properly to the size of the space that you will be using it in. The diffuser should tell you the size of the room that it should cover. Reed diffusers, scented room sprays, even fresh mixtures of assorted fruits and spices can be used to scent a room. A pot of water simmering on the stove with a mixture of fresh fruits spices or essential oils can be very fragrant. Experiment to see which form of fragrance you prefer or layer them to experience the same scent in different forms.

3. Don’t mix different scents in the same room.

This can be done, but it can be tricky and it takes some practice. Think of a bouquet of beautifully arranged fresh flowers. The mix of complementary fragrances can be fabulous. But when working with scented candles or scented oils the fragrance can be much more concentrated or it might already be mixed with several other scents so this takes some experimentation.

4. Use different but complementary scents throughout your home.

If you a using a scented candle in your living room, the diffuser in the kitchen can be using a different scent, just make sure it’s appealing when walking from one room into the other.

At the end of a long day when the world seems crazy, adding a little detail like fragrance might not seem important but it does help you to feel good about being in your home. It’s so nice to walk into a space that’s been well thought out for you and your lifestyle, adding the touch of a scent that you love will bring you comfort whenever you walk into your home.

Until next time,

Gia

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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.

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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.

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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

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

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read more

How To Style Your Room With Accessories

How to Style your Room with Accessories

Perhaps you are at the end of a successful major renovation project. You might have had professional help from a design and build firm like mine so you were successful in the process. You didn’t have to spend your days navigating through the endless options of finishes and design details needed for a successful renovation.  You didn’t have to worry about and second guess every design decision. Yet in the end, your design plan reflected the look and feel of what you wanted to have in your new space.

You might have even had your designer prepare a furniture plan making furniture and art selections and design custom window treatments. If this is the case, then definitely consider having your designer finish the space by adding decorative accessories. This allows the designer to provide you with the most cohesive finished space. All decorative elements are chosen strategically by a designer to complement the overall look of your room, reflect YOUR style, and play off all of the other design elements in your well designed and renovated space.

Maybe you renovated your space on your own or would just like to change up the look of your existing space by styling your space with new accessories.

Accessories might be the last thing added to your space but this is an important layer in the design process. This final layer can make or break the look of a space and should be well thought out and should express the homeowner’s personality. Just like how adding jewelry can make or break a fashion look, adding decorative objects and accessories are the jewelry of any room.

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Here are a few tips for adding decorative accessories to your space:

One

Be conscious of scale. The size and bulk of decorative objects should look proportioned to the area where they are placed. Too many small items grouped together can start to look cluttered. A single larger item might work best, whether it’s on the coffee table, mantle, end table, or kitchen countertop, the same principles apply.

Two

Chose items that have similar finishes, colors, and textures. These can be grouped together easily since they have similar elements.

Three

Choose items that have meaning or sentimental value to you and your household. A stack of books of your favorite hobby or a collection of items that you have collected from your last vacation can add a level of personality to your space. Choose pieces that you like to look at and that gives you joy. I have many clients that have meaningful items that they have collected over a period of time. I always try to weave these cherished items into a finished space when I am accessorizing a space. Some of these collections can be a great source of inspiration for your space.

Four

Choose colors that complement your color scheme of the room. Everything doesn’t have to be an exact match to the decor of your room, but it should definitely complement the existing colors and have an element of the rooms color scheme represented in the decor items.

Five

Placement is everything. Mixing like items together works great, but the placement of each item is key. Vary the heights of items as you place them in a grouping.  Each area should be treated as a composition. Take a photo of the grouping that you have created and look at it, this will help you see it as an individual composition. Then look at the room as a whole to see how it complements the overall decor.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season....

read more

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