Home Experts Share Valuable “Tips Of The Trade” On Interior Design, Kitchen Design, Landscaping, Remodeling, & Lighting

Posted on | July 16, 2015 | No Comments

Who’s more qualified to give expert advice than the home professionals at North Carolina Design? From interior design, kitchen design and lighting to home remodeling and landscape architecture, these pros definitely know a thing or two about what it takes to create a home that speaks uniquely of you – and how to overcome obstacles along the way.

When beginning to create a planting plan for a new or renovated space, I recommend starting out with fewer plants, but in larger sizes. Leave more space between those plants when arranging them. Mulch, fertilize and water regularly, pruning off any crazy wild shoots, allowing the plants to grow as Mother Nature intended.

We live in the South where plants tend to grow prolifically. It’s not uncommon that in a few years time, the plants will have grown much larger than expected, especially with adequate air flow and room for root growth. There are instances where a crowded planting or “thicket” can accomplish an intention in a design. More often, however, spacing plants out results in a beautiful natural planting without creating a need to grab the pruning shears. As I work on a new planting plan and employ the “less is more” adage, I find that I am not disappointed.

J’Nell Bryson
W. J’Nell Bryson Landscape Architect, Charlotte


Always make certain your kitchen designer’s floor plan depicts the proper dimensions of the appliances you are planning to use. CAD programs have catalogs of generic sized refrigerators, often much smaller than the popular ones on the market. A skewed reality on the depth of your refrigerator may result in quite a dysfunctional kitchen design – and once installed, can affect your clearances between it and an island by as much as 12” – leaving traffic pathways cramped and access to the refrigerator compromised.

The laundry room is also frequently affected. Make certain the design not only reflects the correct dimensions of your selected washer and dryer, but also the distance off the wall that they are required to be pulled out in order to function properly. The average distance is 4” and that can be a real headache if there is not enough room.

Gina Arledge
The Kitchen Studio, Greensboro


Now is the time to be thinking about any interior design projects that you want to have completed before the holidays. The interior design industry is at full throttle with the current state of the economy after experiencing a lull post recession. Back orders for many products continue to be a problem, which is a surprise, given the economic revival we have witnessed. Perhaps the manufacturers are still skeptical about the rebound, but nonetheless, there is no better way to avoid dealing with deadlines than starting the design process now. There are occasions where I can find a substitute for an item, but generally the first choice remains the best choice and I advise the client to be patient and wait it out.

A common scenario – a family comes to me at the beginning of the school year with grand ambitions to redo certain things in their house before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unfortunately, for most of those occasions I have to inform the client that their project can’t be completed before the holidays. If you want to have your home looking a certain way before then, now is the time to start the thinking about it and contact your designer.

Anita Holland
Anita Holland Interiors, Charlotte


So, the time has come to finally update and remodel a certain area of your home. Now you are ready to select the contractor you believe is ideally suited to handle the project and get going, right? Not so fast. Are you really ready? Have you determined what the full scope of your project is? Have you done your homework?

Take the time upfront to look through magazines, take home tours and spend time on the internet researching projects that are similar to what you are envisioning. Not only will this give you ideas, it will also aide you in determining the full scope of your project. Adding to the scope of a project after it has begun usually requires returning to the selection process, which often means added time waiting for materials – and added cost. Once you are well into the process, you will be anxious to have the project completed on schedule. A project that drags on tends to sour your enthusiasm.

Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones Design-Build LLC., Greensboro


Growing up, incandescent light bulbs were the norm for all of us. These have now been replaced by CFL bulbs. As a designer, I have been installing more and more LED light bulbs into the homes of my clients in recent years. While these bulbs have a higher initial cost, they last 10 – 13 years. Many people do not realize that if broken, CFL bulbs contain mercury, which can be an issue. LED bulbs do not contain mercury and are also cool to the touch.

LED’s are available for virtually every area of the home – from under mounted cabinet lights to bulbs for indoor flood lights, chandeliers, and lamps of all sizes. When selecting LED bulbs, color is an issue. LED bulbs are capable of displaying a color range. You have the option of selecting a warm white, which is 2700k or a bright white which is 3000k. The 2700k more closely resembles the warm, incandescent light we are accustomed to and is the choice I select in the lighting for my clients’ homes. Consider the change. Ultimately, our next transition will be from CFL to LED.

June DeLugas
June DeLugas Interiors, Winston-Salem

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