Monday, October 18, 2010

Designers (including me) answer your questions

Q: What are the most important pieces of furniture to invest in?

A: Upholstered furniture—well-made sofas and chairs will last for many years.  If you select a classic silhouette,  it will never go out of style—you can pay a little extra for long-term comfort.  Good antique pieces hold their value over time,  so you can think of them as another form of investment.


A: Don’t  be afraid to spend money on your one-of-a-kind pieces like this one seen below, ( this beautiful console my client purchased. . . Restoration Hardware),  your art,  your vintage and antique pieces.  These are the things that will shine in your rooms and,  most likely,  endure.


A: A great sofa is always worth the investment;  it can last forever.


Q: What’s great advice for people who want to redo their homes but don’t know where to start or exactly what they want?

A: The best way to determine what you want is to look for things that appeal to you and compile them.  Tear out ( or copy) images from magazines:  go to show house,  house tours and open houses and take photographs; collect paint samples.  A trend will undoubtedly emerge.

A: Start with observation—purchase design magazines and visit the design section of a book store. 

Q: How does a person update a space with items she or he already owns?

A: Empty the spaces. . . clean, paint and refresh. . . then ask each element as it goes back into the space:  Is this making the space a better place?

Q: I would make a radical change to the background color of the space.  It will alter the appearance of everything else.  Then,  I would rearrange all of the principal Objects in a totally new relationship,  establishing a new focus.  After all that,  I would hide or sell the rest.

A: What colors are a challenge to use in interior design?

A: Blues.  I love blue,  but it can be tricky and requires professional help to get it right.  It looks different everywhere,  because so much blue is reflected from outside.

Q: How do you begin to design a home on a tight budget?

A: Start with master bathrooms and kitchens.  these are the rooms that you use everyday.  These are also the spaces that raise the value of your home when you sell it. Why not enjoy and invest your money well?



A: No matter what the budget: consider functionality,  what are your needs?  How do you spend your time?  How is your home used?  What is going to make this a better home for you?

Q: What should no room be without?

A: All rooms should have a signature item.  This could be a painting,  a sculpture,  an article of furniture,  an antique carpet or a fabulous light fixture.  A truly unique and high- quality piece will anchor and elevate the ambience of your entire room.


Q: What types of upholstery fabrics ( short of industrial) are the best for homes with pets?

A:We have been using a lot of the new outdoor fabrics: 100 percent solution-dyed acrylics.  They look great, and you can just wipe the dog drool off with a sponge.

A: I match the pet color to the upholstery and carpet.

Q: What’s an easy way to achieve stylistic continuity in a home?

A: Choose a theme,  whether modern,  English,  Moroccan, cottage,  French country,  whatever.  Try to buy things that are in relationship to this. 

A:People generally us too many colors and too many textures.  I generally choose one tone for the walls,  and one material for the floors and quite,  subtle changes in fabrics and textures.

A: Use a limited palette of materials—one or two varieties of wood,  stone ,  metal, etc.,  that can be used in very different ways,  but create a unifying theme.


1 comment:

  1. Laurie, Great post and advice! I loved the RH console table and almost bought it for myself. I found a copy of another RH that I ended up purchasing. Still love the corbels though.
    xo, Sherry


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Laurie Blaswich