Frequently Asked Questions About Interior Design

What colors do I paint the interior of my house, and where do I use accent colors?

Wall color is a very important aspect of interior design. Flooring always dictates the main color scheme, and one color is not the answer. Start by selecting a main color and then vary up and down the color chart to provide different shades of the same base tone. Do not be afraid to experiment with paint. Try a small spot at first, if you hate it, just paint over it! Many homes have architectural features that are not accented, since the homes are typically delivered in a single color. Try using darker tones I on your color palate to accent these areas. Not only will the darker colors add drama and depth, the color will accent these architectural features. If an architectural feature has more than one "bump out", use several tones in that one area.

When selecting colors for your home, decide on the overall feel you want your home to have. If you want a very dramatic home, a very subdued home, are you going with a particular design style? All these questions factor into a color scheme. An easy start is to select a patterned fabric in the "color ways" you prefer. The term "color ways" refers to the distinct color palate of any particular element. A color way can also be taken from an important art piece or accessory.

My house feels cold, how do I warm it up to make it feel like a home?

A house becomes a home when warmth is added. Adding warmth is fairly simple. Colors on the walls, plants and trees, whether they are real or artificial, clustering accessory items, area rugs if necessary, and adding photos all add to the comfort level of warmth. Create intimate seating areas in larger rooms, pull the furnishings away form the walls to better fit the areas, and hang your art at eye viewing level. All these tips help create an intimate for your home and thereby creating warmth.

Do I need a sectional sofa, a sofa and love seat, or 2 sofas?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. The amount of seating, how you use the seating, and room size, will determine the answer to this question. While watching TV, many people like to "stretch" out on their sofas, so generally I would recommend a sectional sofa, as large a configuration as possible. Measure your space and check the schematics for the sectional you would like to purchase. Select a durable, heavy weight fabric, and you should be good to go. Sectionals are generally not as formal as single sofas but there practical application is far superior, if the room allows. If room is a little tight, again take the room measurements, check the upholstery schematics and purchase the largest sofas, or sofa sofa seat combination available for the space .. Many times manufactures have different size beds sure to ask. Single sofas have a far easier transfer application when moving to a new residence, where as sectionals are usually purchased for a particular arrangement.

The infamous "I have this one spot in my house that I just do not know what to do with" question.

As soon as someone finds out my profession, that statement immediately comes out of their mouth. It really seems everyone has a similar "spot" somewhere in their home. This particular "spot" seems to play no important role in their everyday life, but seems to bother them more than the neighbors ugly law ornament. Since the "spot" has no obvious use, then then treat it accordingly. Find a whimsical item that is fun and scaled to the area. Many times when shopping, you will see an accent piece and question "I love that piece, but where would I use it?". The "spot" is usually perfect for this piece. The easiest way to treat the "spot" though, is simply to fill it with a small scaled plant or tree.

The home office vs. the guest room, which is best?

The answer to this question is which one will get more use on an everyday basis. Unless you live in a resort town and friends and family are looking for cheap accommodations, I usually vote for the home office. Organization is extremely important when finances are involved, and it is great having all the paperwork, filing, account information, and invoices (a nice way of saying "bills"), in one organized area. Family photos, sports memorabilia, and childhood mementos can all be proudly displayed in the office, and away from prying eyes. If occasional sleeping accommodations are necessary, consider purchasing a sleeper chair or sofa, this way you will have the best of both worlds. If your home office is to be used occasionally by guests, make sure your desk drawers have locks.

Should I choose leather or fabrics?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Lets weigh the differences. Fabrics are generally more comfortable on an every day basis. First, there is a far larger selection in colors and patterns with fabrics compared to leather. Fabrics also helps with the "echo" in the home since fabrics will absorb the sounds. Leather, on the other hand, is far more durable. Generally, leather is only in solid color, without embossed, which embossed leather is very expensive. Light cleaning is reliably easy with leather, but make no mistake, leather will stain. Leather being a natural product will always dry out if not properly cared for. Leather also does not "breathe" as well as fabrics so it is not as comfortable year round, especially in very hot or humid climates. The best of both worlds is the trendy leather / fabric combination's. If the sofas are floating in the room, a leather back with a fabric seat does work well, since people have a tendency to "lean" against the backs of sofas. If durability is an issue, the reverse is recommended.