Interior Designers & Other Home Professionals Offer Insightful Tips To The Readers Of North Carolina Design

Posted on | June 12, 2015 | No Comments

What’s better than getting free advice from seasoned experts about how to make the process of updating your home a better one? These designers and home professionals offer insightful tips that are sure to prevent a few headaches and make the road to a beautiful home a little easier!

When meeting with a kitchen designer about your upcoming project, share the budget number! This allows us to start with your big dream, and then mesh that with your budget. A good designer will be open with you about what is possible when you are open with them on what resources you are working with.

Many homeowners prefer not to share that budget number during the first meeting, waiting until they have been ‘sold’ on the designer and have seen some idea of what the designer can possibly do for them. Once that connection has been made, share your complete vision and dream for your space, including your budget – allowing the designer to determine the best way to get you what you want for what you are willing to spend. This is a relationship, and trust is important on both sides. Most professional designers will be your advocate in getting you the best value.

Ruth Ann Taylor Long
Taylored Spaces, Raleigh

An incredible selection of natural stone is available today, able to make a real statement in the design of your kitchen or bath. The selection method of your stone is very important in ensuring that your choice is one you will be satisfied with in the long run.

Normally when homeowners select stone slabs, they view the stone “face on”. It is also important that you look down the horizontal surface of the stone. Each stone has its own unique and interesting characteristics. Some stones have a lot of veining and graining, but they also have a lot of fissures. A stone could be very appealing to you when you look at it straight on, but fissures or cracking might be something that bothers you. By looking across the stone, you know what it looks like from all angles, confirming that you will be satisfied with your selection after it’s installed.

Pete Lane
Ivey Lane, Inc., Greensboro

What is the most important thing to think about when doing a bath remodel? The tile? The fixtures? The Lighting? No… What is behind the tile makes the remodel worthwhile. Ensuring water cannot seep through your tile and grout when you are enjoying your new bath, is crucial to the success of your project.

Make sure your walls and floor are sealed. A quality wall board and a water proofing paint needs to be used to protect the walls before the tile goes up. Confirm this with your contractor. Grout is a porous product and if it is not sealed, water can seep right through and rot out your drywall and studs. Some tiles, like a natural or tumbled stone have small holes that need to be sealed and filled with grout to protect the underlying surfaces. So, ask what is going on behind the tile, not just what will it look like when completed.

Laura Redd
Laura Redd Interiors, Greensboro

We all have a rough idea of what green products are – but consider a product made in an ecologically responsible way that is then shipped to your doorstep from halfway around the world. Does that sound like reducing your footprint? Factors that determine green status can be the life cycle of the product, production and shipping pollution, as well as natural resource use. A good rule of thumb is to seek out products designated Energy Star, WaterSense, and Design for the Environment by the EPA.

Many products are now available that allow selection from 100% recycled and renewable sources ranging from furniture and décor to construction materials, plumbing products and appliances. These products are durable, beautiful, and affordable, ultimately adding to the value of your home. We are seeing waves of products that conserve water and energy use and knock down monthly utility bills, as well as air and water filtration systems that improve the health of your entire family by simply going about your daily life.

Rosa Dest
Rosa Dest Interiors, Charlotte

Giving a bathroom an updated look does not necessarily mean renovating the entire space. Sometimes it only means looking at what is right in front of you. Many bathrooms have the large sheet mirrors on the walls – a change to them can really make a difference in how the room appears.

Consider giving large sheet mirrors a frame – which immediately creates a finished look in the bathroom and adds charm to the overall design. You can select a frame at a local frame shop, order them online or make your own out of crown molding. Another option is to remove the sheet mirror completely and replace it with a pair of mirrors mounted over the sinks below. Enjoy your new look!

Donna Livingston
DL Design, Inc., Charlotte

Outdoor living areas have become an essential space to our homes. Too often, people plant for immediate gratification, without giving thought to proper plant selection and how it will look in a few year’s time. You should begin by studying your site – understand the solar orientation, the characteristics of your soil, the rainfall and climate. Study the characteristics of your chosen plants, placing them where they will not be too large when mature and not shading out other sun loving plants in your plan. You should also study the maintenance requirements of your planned plantings – not all have the same water requirements.

It is important to consider the landscape architectural composition of your planned plan. Are you going for a formal or informal composition? Are there features of your architecture that need to be emphasized? Is shading from the sun needed somewhere? Does something needed to be screened, like views of the neighbors? Function is also integral to the design plan. Where do you wish to grill, eat and socialize? It’s not just about the plants. All of this will put you well on your way to a landscape that brings lasting pleasure.

Dan Sears
Sears Design Group, Raleigh

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