Mixing styles can be tricky. Too much and you look like a crazy person., not enough and it’s boring. But it can also be AMAZING! Interesting, unique, designer-y. It’s what takes a room from a furniture store set to a well thought out mix of collected pieces.
Yes, it’s tricky. But, good news, I have a trick!
I typically abide by the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the room is traditional, then add twenty percent modern. It’s just my little rule, certainly not set in stone. It works for me. Is it always exactly 80% and 20%? Of course not. But it’s something to keep in mind.
A few more things to consider:
COLOR – Keep it consistent for cohesion. It keeps the room from looking mesh-moshy.
SCALE – Try to keep things in the same realm. An overstuffed chair shouldn’t sit next to a dainty antique table.
DISTRIBUTE EQUALLY – Keep it moving throughout the room. One side can’t be modern and the other traditional. Keep it balanced
PAIRS – Give each piece a similar companion. It’s a quick and easy way to achieve balance.
MOOD – Keep in mind how the room is to be used. If it’s a kick back and relax place, keep the pieces in line with that feel, no matter what their style is
80/20 – Remember the 80%, 20% rule. Keep the strong majority traditional and interject a few modern pieces and you’ll be golden!
Let’s take a look at a few rooms and see how they’ve approached it.
We are seeking a part time Office Assistant/Paid Intern for 6-9 hours per week for the 2018 Summer semester, possibly into Fall. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.Candidate will work directly with the owner. Duties will include general office tasks, social media posts, research, document handling, ordering, email correspondence, billing and some phone calls. Any interest in Interior Design, Marketing or Construction is a bonus, but certainly not necessary. Professional appearance and a positive, pleasant attitude are required.Email resume to Lori@TheEvansEdit.com
All this in just a year! Whew. To be honest, I always wanted to start a blog but put it off because I thought my writing wasn’t so great and I tend to cuss a bit. Well, my writing still isn’t the best and I may throw in an f word every now and then, but here we are. Thanks for sticking with me! It’s our birthday!
I thought we’d revisit our most popular post of the year. 7 Ways HGTV Is Lying To You. Enjoy!
HGTV lie to us? No way!
I’m certainly not anti-HGTV, but honestly, they create problems for us on a daily basis! Remodeling a home doesn’t take a week, although I wish it did. How does HGTV deceive you?? Let me count the ways.
1 Trends Are Your Friend
Ship lap walls and sliding barn doors are certainly fun, but do you REALLY want them in your house? Like forever? Like forever-ever? Trends are fun and look great in print, but you might not feel the same way about a sliding barn door in 10 years. The person who buys your home (whenever that is) might not either. My suggestion is have fun with trends via inexpensive, temporary pieces like pillows or artwork. If you love the Farmhouse look that’s hot right now, maybe freshen up your home with a few farmhouse accessories. When you go to sell your house, it won’t scream 2016.
Barn doors are super cool, but will they be dated when you go to sell your house? source
People on HGTV love granite. They say it every 5 minutes. If a home on house Hunters doesn’t have granite, well it’s obviously not the choice. Granite is great, but there are so many more options! Other natural materials like marble and soapstone are AMAZING and look great in a home. Much more solid in color, they distract less than granite. Other solid surfaces like quartz (under various names) hold up well and offer a wide variety of colors that granite just can’t. Although HGTV wants to shove granite down our throats, I say resist! Look around and see what other options there are and you might be surprised.
I can’t tell you how many times this belief causes issues. I wish remodels were like a week long, I really do! Sadly, they’re not. If you want something professionally done, not only does it take time, you might even have to wait to get on the list of projects. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth. Remodels (or any home project, really) are labor intensive and messy. They just are. My suggestion is ask for an estimated timeline from your contractor, see if it works for you and then hold them to it.
Big, expansive areas with super large rooms that open into one another is what HGTV assumes everyone wants. It’s definitely what’s popular here, in Florida and many markets around the country. They look great and are perfect for entertaining but they have a few drawbacks to them. Not having a quiet area (besides your bedroom) to sit and read a magazine or scroll through Pinterest may come back to bite you when the volume level rises in the evening. Having your Kitchen completely open to your Family Room requires a certain level of cleanliness you may not want. Not to mention, there’s the noise from the sink or dishwasher while your watching your favorite show a few feet away. I love open floor plans and they’re certainly not going anywhere, but there are more options available. A Den/Living Room/Study with doors might be your new best friend.
This is beautiful, but you might want a little quiet time at some point. source
Look, a Kitchen with a door! Before you say no, consider the possibilities. source
5 $1,000 Will Prep Your Home For Resale
You can’t do much for $1,000, there, I said it. Really getting your home ready for resale, for top dollar, requires you to look at the space with a fresh eye. Pretend you don’t live there and see what needs attention. New paint throughout? Trim paint? Landscaping touchup? Actual (costly) repairs of plumbing, electrical, etc? It adds up and takes time. I know HGTV has told us otherwise, but it does.
Open shelving looks great, like amazing, really. Stacked up white plates and bowls on a wood beam with a beautiful backdrop really is picturesque. The bad news is that grease and dust want to join the party! No matter how clean your house is, how often you dust, cooking and living create grease and dust that has to go somewhere. Wiping down counters is easy, but pulling down a stack of bowls to individually wipe them down is time consuming. Most people end up using the same few (top) plates and bowls over and over. The ones underneath just collect. If you have your heart set on open shelving in the Kitchen, my suggestion is to keep it small and locate the area away from the cooktop.
Keeping open shelving away from the stovetop gives you a fighting chance. source
7 Product Placement? Where?
This one is pretty obvious, but it has to be said. That wood flooring looks great and the designer/host probably does really like it, but the company is paying big bucks to have it on the show. Same with the appliances. Same with the car parked in the driveway. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Just keep it in mind when looking for something for yourself.
I love this floor, but just know the company paid to have it here. source
How much does it actually cost to hire a designer? Well, it depends. It depends on what you’re looking for, the size of your project, who you are actually hiring and how pleasant you are to work with (it’s true).
The term “Interior Designer” is often used by decorators, furniture store salespeople, stagers and even stylish friends. Knowing what you’re actually getting can be tricky and you might need to do a bit of research. Searching the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) website for designers in your area is a good place to start.
So, what are the different types of designers and what do they offer?
Straight-up professional Interior Designers you work with directly in your home
The most expensive option, but also the most comprehensive. This scenario has a licensed Interior Designer meet you in your home, work up a plan of action and handle everything. Professional Interior Designers are equipped to handle any design project you have. Furnishing a room, providing new home selections, built-in designs, simple updates, they’ll handle it all. You can (typically) expect an overall budget, allowances, floorpan, concept board, material selections, and final plan before anything is finalized. Know the fancy boards you see in movies with samples attached…you’re getting them, yippee! Once you agree on everything, the designer will typically place the orders, receive the merchandise, coordinate any subcontractors, deliver and install all items, and set the room up completely. Everything is handled and you can enjoy the space! You can expect to pay either a flat fee or an hourly rate, depending on the designer. Speaking for myself, I prefer charging a flat fee, so that everyone knows what the project will cost upfront, but each designer is different.
Depending on the scope of work and size of your project, you can usually expect to spend around 20-25% of the overall budget for the project plus 20% on top of any items ordered and delivered by the designer. It might sound pricey, but ordering, receiving and delivering these items entails a lot of work and liability. This 20-25% range is true for a variety of project types and is a good rule of thumb. When you get into new home selections or remodeling, the fee can go up from there. Plumbing, lighting, paint, cabinetry, etc are very detailed and take time. The fee will reflect that. A typical new home selection will run around $5,000 and remodeling projects will fall back into the 20-25% of the project range.
TIP: Offer to have the items sent directly to you and hold them there until installation day and forgo the upcharge. Personally, I often offer this to my clients and it saves us both! Win-win!
New to the game, this is an efficient and cost effective way to design a space. It sounds a little crazy… handling everything online without the designer even seeing your space… but it really isn’t. Trained designers can easily work off a plan, dimensions, photo and a budget. This set up typically goes like this for a room design. You provide the designer with an overall budget, a few inspirational photos, brands you like and a floorpan with photos of the space. The designer comes back to you with a concept board, to make sure you are both on the same page. Once approved, you move into the actual selections for the space and the designer provides a rendering of the room with the items, right where they’ll go. The process typically goes for 10 days or so and you go back and forth until you are completely happy with each and every item. The designer keeps the budget and preferences in mind throughout. In the end you receive a final package with a furniture plan, final design board, a shopping list with direct links to order, and set up instructions.
You can typically plan to pay between $500-$1,000 for a comprehensive room design, which is really a great deal. Personally, I LOVE providing online design to my clients, locally or from a distance. In fact, my first year offering online services, I completed 50+ rooms in 3 countries and loved every minute of it! You can work with a designer directly (me! me! right here!) or through a design website like Laurel & Wolf (me, me, here too!)
TIP: Find a designer with a large portfolio online that you already like and you’re halfway there!
This can really be hit or miss and it totally depends on the store.
Best case scenario is with a great store like Koontz Furniture in Florida. Stores like Koontz have top tier, professional Interior Designers who also work on their sales floor and offer design services as part of the furniture selection process. What? It’s true! If you’re looking for help picking out a room full of new items, this is a great way to go. You can get professional design services and end up not paying anything more than you would have paid for the furniture from their store. Let that sink in for a bit. You end up paying nothing. Often, you can also hire these designers to help you with more than just the furniture, for an additional fee. They, then , charge a design fee and help you with whatever you need; paint, cabinets, flooring and furniture, too.
Worst case scenario has you working with a “Decorator” in a dark, dingy chain furniture store who’s really just trying to sell you what they have. Is that middle aged man in a short sleeved button up and tie trying to sell you on the hottest trend? Run! The truth is you don’t know until you do a bit of research. Furniture stores can be an absolute treasure trove of talent, or not.
TIP: Find a store with brands you like, set a budget and see what they can do for you.
Your stylish friend who claims to be a decorator
We all have one. She’s well dressed, trendy and “knows” decorating. She just can’t let you spend money on a designer, because she can help you for free! Tread lightly here. If it’s few accessories you’re looking for, by all means go together to TJMaxx and have a fun afternoon. If it’s paint colors, furniture pieces, overall design of a room, please use a trained professional. When she’s in over her head, she probably won’t tell you and your room (and friendship) will suffer. Expect to pay nothing or little to nothing.
As I initially said, it all really depends. If you’re looking to spruce up your space with a few touches with a designer online, it can be $99. If you’re looking for a traditional room design and implementation, I’d say around $2,000+. If you’re looking for a whole home design, $5000+. It all depends and part of it depends on you!
Next week, we’ll break down what should you expect from a professional, licensed Interior Designer.
What do you think about these fees? Does this fit with your experience? I’d love to here about it below 🙂
If you think white-painted rooms are boring, it might be YOU that is boring. Harsh, I know, but it has to be said.
If you think you need color on your walls to make the room “complete”, I’d like to show you another way. White! White walls can be chic, fresh, clean…even warm. Crazy, but true.
Color on your walls does not insure a beautiful room, I promise. White on your walls does not unsure a boring room, I promise. You can paint the walls any color and still have a boring room. Like, put a bunch of matching furniture in that room, add some crappy art from Bed, Bath & Beyond and boom, you’ve got a boring room. Colorful walls, but still, a boring room.
Let me show you some AMAZING rooms, all with white walls to further convince you. Some are all white, some have lots of blue and white mixed in and some have bold, fun colors added. Each one chic and fresh. Each one NOT boring.
Before we start the tour, here are my favorite 8 white paint colors that look good every time.
How exactly does online Interior Design work? Let’s follow an actual project I completed recently and find out! The home is in Greenwich, Connecticut and I’m in Florida, but no problem. We worked together for 10 days and the result is amazing! Happy client, happy designer. Boom! Let’s walk through the process together.
1 Design Brief
A fun, young family moved from hip San Francisco to very traditional Greenwich, Connecticut, they wanted a room just as lively as they are. Typically known for a very traditional design aesthetic, we wondered, can you DO color in Greenwich? Yes, yes you CAN and we are here to prove it!
Flooded with natural light and open to a beautiful view, this Family Room serves as the center of the home. They wanted something not too serious, not overly fancy, but still sophisticated. Pulling from a navy and orange color story, Evans Construction & Design created a perfect hang out spot for watching TV, playing games and entertaining.
The entire design process was handled online from our office in Florida to their home in Connecticut and took 10 days. We started with their floorpan.
After receiving a floorpan and a few inspiration images, Evans Construction & Design got to work on the initial concept board. A mix of overall inspiration images, colors, textures and actual pieces, this concept board serves as a starting point for discussions to make sure everyone is on the same page.
3 Design Time
After the thumbs up was given on the Concept Board, we moved into the actual design of the room. The Design Board shows each item we are proposing and how everything works together. The client and I went back and forth until she was completely happy with everything.
4 Final Design Package
After 10 days of tweaking, we settled on a final design. I love, love, love how it looks! The client then received a Final Design Package with a floorpan, instructions for setting everything up and a shop-able list, with links to order everything.
5 Room Reveal
Over the course of the next month or so, everything arrived and client followed the setup directions to a “T”. Let’s see how the room turned out!
So are you ready to try online design for yourself? Let’s do it! Find out all the info to work with me here. It’s super fun and easy, and less expensive than you might think! 🙂
Sometimes we can all use a little help, right? Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or are tackling a redo of your current, these charts will make decorating it easy-peasy. Pin them for future reference!
Designers + Ceiling Fans…really? Aren’t they all tacky and huge?
Don’t get me wrong, a hanging light fixture looks better in a photo all day, every day. But, your house isn’t a photo and sometimes you just NEED a ceiling fan. Growing up in Miami, I get it. Living in Florida now, I really get it. It’s hot, you want air moving around at night and no one is going to take away your ceiling fan, dammit! If you haven’t checked out fans in a while, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. They’ve come a long, long way.
Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind when selecting a fan.
-Streamline, streamline, streamline. Keep the design simple, clean and not overbearing.
-No hanging chains. I mean really, come on.
-No lights on the fan unless its absolutely necessary. If you must have light, make sure the light fits seamlessly into the fan’s design.
Here are my favorite, go-to fans with photos of each installed.
All come in a variety of finish and blade combinations. Click on each link below to take you directly to the source.
Paint is hands down the hardest choice for clients to make. There are too many choices, too many samples and too many opportunities to make a mistake. Are you picking a paint for an accent wall? No pressure, pick your color, have fun. But if you’re selecting a main interior color to cover all walls? Ahhh! You need a classic.
Over the past 20+ years (no math, remember?) I have collected several colors that work EVERY SINGLE TIME! They look good now and will continue to, years from now. My advice is to only get a little trendy with your pillows, not your main walls. Choose something classic and you won’t regret it, pinky promise.
Rice Grain (SW 6155) I know, I know, you want gray. Everyone has gray and it’s the newest, hottest thing. But “just because everyone’s doing it”…you know the rest. If you’re starting from scratch, by all means, go with gray. But for many of us, we have existing things to contend with. Cabinets and floors that lean “yellow”? Guess what, that gray is going to visually pop them out and they’ll look even more yellow. Kind of like wearing a red necklace against a black dress versus wearing the same red necklace on a hot pink dress. Know what I mean? If you have a good amount of “yellow” to deal with and it’s not going anywhere, something like Rice Grain might be your best choice. Too dark for you? Slide one down the paint chip and go with SW6154 Nacre. It plays nicely with oak, maple, dark woods, you name it and becomes a rich looking backdrop. Pair it with cream or off-white trim for a timeless look.
Rever Pewter (BM, HC 172) is probably the most popular color of all time. No scientific research here, but it’s my guess. Everyone wants it and it doesn’t disappoint. I’ve used it in bathrooms (see above), Kitchens (see here) and main living areas. It always looks fresh, clean and crisp. Yes, it’s gray, but its a very warm gray. It bridges the gap nicely between warm and cool colors. Pair with white or off-white trim and you’re in business.
Rockport Gray (BM, HC 105) is a rich, warm gray that doesn’t overwhelm the space. I have it in my personal office (photos to come soon) and son’s room. It’s a bold choice for all walls and safe for a room. Pair with cream, off-white or white trim.
Swiss Coffee (BM, OC 45) is light, airy and fresh. If you’re looking for “White”, this is a great option. Warmer than actual white, but it reads as a white. Does that make sense? Pair with ultra white trim and it really shines.
Agreeable Gray (SW 7029) is a nice alternate to Revere Pewter, #2 above. Still clean, fresh and neutral but a little “less”. I recently used this in a tween bedroom and it looked amazing. 🙂 Pair with white or off white trim.
Bleeker Beige (BM, HC 80) is another classic, timeless neutral that works wonders. It’s rich and almost creamy looking. I’ve used in more times than I can count and have never been disappointed. All my anti-gray rhetoric above in #1 applies here, too. 🙂 Pair with off-white or white trim.
Divine White (SW 6105) is one shade lighter than my old go-to, Kilim Beige. It’s newer, fresher and more in line with today’s homes but definitely still a classic. White is in the name, but it’s far from that. Pair with off-white or white trim.
Here they are, all together, perfect to Pin to your Pinterest board. 🙂
So there you have it. 7 great paint colors that I have used and abused. Do you have any go to colors to share? Please comment below!
6 WAYS TO MASTER YOUR BOOKCASE DECORATION
Yes, there’s more to it than your favorite books.
Open shelving is a matter of preference in the kitchen, but elsewhere around the house — like, say, your living room — it can be nearly impossible to avoid. (Everyone still owns books, right?) The catch is that if it isn’t done right, your display of beloved tomes can make the entire room look like a mess.
First things first: clear the clutter, getting rid of any items that aren’t beautiful enough to put on display. (Yes, even those “classics” from college.) Then, stick to an even mix of the six items Dolley Frearson of High Fashion Home laid out for us here. These, she says, are the things every well-styled bookcase has in common:
1. YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS, OF COURSE.
Buying a book for its cover isn’t a sin, Frearson says. “Some coffee table books (design and fashion books are a favorite) are so beautiful, they deserve to stand out like an accessory.”
2. TALL ACCENT PIECES.
“Make sure to layer the heights on each shelf,” Frearson suggests. “Shelves that are really tall need a taller item in them. Otherwise, it will look like something is missing.” In this case, she used a trio of crystal sprites with acrylic bases in different heights on one side. On the other, a tall faux terrarium in a cylinder vase adds more visual interest. You can even place objects on a stack of books for added height, if need be.
3. PICTURE FRAMES.
You don’t want overdo it, but a few beautiful, simplistic picture frames to tell your “story” is essential, Frearson says.
4. SOMETHING GREEN.
According to Frearson, you don’t need a full-on garden. Even a few faux plants go a long way in bringing some life to your shelves.
5. SCULPTURES/OBJECTS OF INTEREST.
“It’s nice to break up books with beautiful objects like unique sculptures, vases, or geode crystals,” Frearson adds. It breaks up the straight, repetitive lines on the shelves. And geode rocks and crystal objects bring another texture to the space, and an earthy element that looks historic next to books, she adds. “I’m also a big fan of three-dimensional, geometric-inspired objects like polyhedrons or intersecting spikes. They seem like curious and intellectual objects that belong with books, too.”
6. BEAUTIFUL BOXES.
Nowadays you can find some gorgeous, interesting boxes. Not only are they functional for storing little treasures and important keepsakes, but they also allow you to bring in another texture or pattern to give your shelves more depth and interest.