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.
Last week I headed over to Orlando for the biggest and baddest Kitchen and Bath Show around. How big is it, you ask? 2.1 million square feet! Say what? The KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) partnered with the International Builders Show and (IBS) and created the biggest trade show in North America. It’s crazy. Crazy good.
So what was new and exciting? Lots! But one trend stood out everywhere. Like, everywhere.
To quote my favorite rapper, “All black everything”
Let’s take a look! Scroll down to the bottom to see my favorites, complete with links and pricing.
So, how do yo incorporate this trend into YOUR home?
It’s the new year, are you ready to get your home in gear? I know, you’re sick and tired of looking at your same boring room that you never really liked. I get it. You had grand plans for this room, remember your Pinterest board…it was going to be AWESOME!
But, then, you know…that sofa was such a good deal… you didn’t love it, but you couldn’t pass it up. Then those pillows, I mean they’re cute, right? The rug…it was from your old house, but it kind of goes. The stuff on the walls… its ok, maybe? You’ve ended up with a bunch things you sort-of like and a room you really don’t. Your husband has a nice big TV and recliner, so he’s happy. You’re not.
I hear you! We can do better! And you don’t have to spend a ton. Over the past 20+ years I have seen more rooms in need of a facelift than I can count. Honestly, all of them could have used this 10 step process and been given a whole new life. Were going to approach this as LAYERS. Here we go!
Clear the room and the surfaces
Take everything off every surface. Like everything. Nothing messes up a room more than clutter all over. Take the prints off the walls, the curtains down, every single thing. Take a good, hard look at what you have to work with and let’s start from there.
My guess is the room could probably use a fresh coat of paint. Instead of the current color, why not ramp it up a notch and go with an actual color-color? You can read more about color selection here. I mean it’s just paint. Live a little. If you don’t like it, you can always repaint it.
Slipcover your large pieces, if you need to
Your red floral sofa may be the problem. It may be too busy for the room and just throws everything into disarray. A nice neutral slipcover can solve a world of problems. You can find great ones here and here. Now that we have a rich background and a neutral upholstered pieces, let’s inject some personality.
Your rug is probably too small, I’m guessing. Your rug should really go UNDERNEATH the furniture pieces, at least the front legs. If it’s floating out in the middle, its making the room look smaller and choppy. You can ground the space with a nice, new, big rug for not that much. A woven seagrass rug always looks good and can be found very inexpensively. Check here and here. A soft, patterned rug to add some pizzaz doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Target.com (really!) and Wayfair.com have a ton that don’t break the bank.
Drapes can really make or break a room. What’s worse than no drapes? Cheap drapes. You know the kind…thin, lifeless, too short, just bad. You don’t need to overthink this, it’s easy! My go to formula is to choose a nice neutral drape, double them up and then hang them as high and wide as possible. So, you want them to go all the way down to the floor and probably double them up on each side. This creates a rich look, even with a Target drape. 🙂 French rods are my favorite, since they don’t interfere with the room. You can find them super cheap here.
Is your furniture lined up on the wall? It shouldn’t be. “Conversational grouping” is your new go-to term. You want to create an area for people to sit and have a conversation easily. Place the rug in the center of the room, maybe centered on the fireplace or TV if that makes sense. Then put your table in the middle, again centered. Then place your sofa, love seat, chair, whatever around this. Does it leave room behind the sofa? That’s ok. I know its scary, but give it a try, you just might like it. You can practice online with websites like this one, or just move things around your house.
Because it’s at eye level, whatever is hanging on your wall is of utmost importance. You definitely don’t have to spend a ton here to create something unique, interesting and perfect for your room. I dedicated a blog post to exactly this subject that you can read here. My favorite frame is $18, for goodness sake! If you’re looking for “art-art”, take a look at these sites. They have basically everything you could ever want, in every size you can imagine. Art.com and GreatBigCanvas.com
Add new pillows to accentuate something else
Here’s where you can have a little fun. Add some personality here with fun, colorful pillows. Pick up on the wall color, the rug or even the artwork. Mix patterns and go crazy! My formula is typically a pattern, a solid and a geometric. Keep the color ways somewhat cohesive and you’re in business. Great pillows don’t cost a lot but have a major impact on the room. If you can swing it, down inserts instantly upgrade everything. Check TJMaxx for great deals!
Lighting is key and having the light not just come from the ceiling creates a soft, balanced room. Lamps solve this problem and look great while doing it. Even with a more traditional style, a clean and modern lamp always looks great. Again, Target.com and Wayfair.com have just what you need for like $40. Boom!
Get a few new accessories and display them thoughtfully
To finish off the room, display a few things you already have or grab a few new ones. Just think about it before you throw everything in there. A few well placed items always looks better than a bunch of “stuff”. Stuck? Here’s my go to formula…For your coffee table, buy a nice tray, place a few coffee table books on top, add an object on top, then plop candle to the side and finish it off with a plant. Done and done! Looks amazing! 🙂
“What color should I go with?” is a question I’m often asked. Well, it really depends on what you like! There are a million ways to create a great room and color is definitely a determining factor. Designing something that YOU love and are excited about really starts with color, in my opinion. Here are seven of my go to color combinations that work each and every time!
1 Blue and White
Classic, timeless, fresh and clean. Blue and white can go nautical, farmhouse or traditional and always looks good!
2 Gray and Tan
An odd combo, maybe, but chic, nevertheless. A way to mix neutrals and keep things looking sharp. Gray and tan is a great way to mix warm and cool tones.
3 Black and White
The easiest combo to achieve. Black and white can look modern and sleek, or even warm and inviting, all depending on the execution. To keep things “friendly” keep the white warmer mix in some natural materials.
4 Blush Pink and Gold
Also know as “millennial pink”, this combo is very current. A nice addition to a neutral room, a few pink and gold accessories can freshen things up nicely.
5 Orange and Blue
Being an avid Florida fan (Go Gators!), I am partial to this combo. Using navy and burnt orange is a great version of this classic pairing.
6 Grass Green with Black and White
Kate Spade brought this color combo to the masses, but it has always been a designer go-to. Very impactful, use this combo carefully so you don’t overwhelm the room.
7 White with Natural Raffia
Boring? Nope! Fresh, open, clean and crisp. Intentional white spaces are some of my favorite. To keep things interesting, mix pattern and texture. Natural raffia, wood and metal spices up an otherwise all white room.
What do you think? Which is your favorite? Comment below! 🙂
We’ve all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question,” but it doesn’t always feel that way, does it? Sometimes, asking questions you assume everyone around you already knows the answer to can feel terribly embarrassing.
Fear not. Here at Domino, we don’t judge. After all, asking questions and further exploring the answers is the only way to learn and grow. Keep reading for the answers to questions that team Domino gets asked by family, friends, and even readers—often.
Do I need to use primer before I paint a room?
Experts say yes. Lazy people (obviously) say no. We’re going to heed the advice of expert painters, who say you even need to use a primer when painting walls white. That means always, no matter what. The reason? It helps ensure the color on your walls reflects the true hue you purchased and also that your paint covers the promised surface area.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ASH NYC
Will an area rug make my space feel smaller?
Not if you buy the right size. Prepare your wallet, because the right size is going to be an investment. Buying too small will make your space feel smaller, so though you’ll be tempted to skimp on size, don’t.
For more info on choosing the right rug for your small space, read how to make a small living room look bigger.
White and Wood Dining room
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CB2
Why is a credenza called a credenza?
The term credenza, aka a sideboard/buffet/cabinet-like furniture piece that can add functional storage to almost any room of your home, originates from the olden days. Like Renaissance days, when a credenza was called a credence. Apparently, a credence was where the fancy food was placed and taste tested (for poison, of course) before it was served to the royalty. The term, and design, surged in popularity in the mid-20th century, which is why all your friends furnishing their homes with midcentury modern finds are obsessed with their credenzas.
Want to learn more? We have a glossary of confusing words (AND how to pronounce them). You’re welcome.
How many gallons of paint do I need to buy to paint a room?
Head to your local hardware store to consult an expert. Before you go, make sure to measure your walls so you know how much square footage you are trying to paint. Don’t forget to include a second coat in your calculations. If you want to estimate the cost of your paint project before committing, Lowe’s and Behr both have handy calculators that do the math for you.
Do you really think it’s a good idea to paint the room white? Won’t it look stark?
Browse our site for proof! Bright, white walls are trending for a reason. All-white walls create a clean, minimalist slate that makes adding neutrals, bright colors, various textures, and more, an effortless exercise. If you’re struggling to accept the white wall trend, consider a statement wall in a bold or faint hue. If that still isn’t for you, keep on painting your walls or plastering them in wallpaper.
What’s the difference between a duvet cover and a comforter? Which should I purchase?
This one’s all up to personal preference, as there are pros and cons for both types of bedding. A duvet cover requires a duvet, which is essentially a fluffy comforter-like bag filled with down, feathers, or a synthetic material. Opting for duvet-style bedding makes washing your cover—and switching it out for a different pattern or style—super easy. A comforter is a more permanent choice. If you get tired of your comforter, you have to replace it with another comforter. You can throw most comforters directly into the wash, making both equally painless to clean.
Black and White Bedroom
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CULTIVER
Do I have to change my decor seasonally?
No—but you probably do so naturally and don’t even realize it. Do you have a favorite cozy blanket for winter and a lighter one for the warmer months? Nailed it. Hanging up a new calendar at the beginning of a new year or school year counts, too.
One seasonal switch up that oft goes overlooked is investing in a few different sets of sheets. Not only will they save the day when you’re procrastinating laundry, but they’ll make your bed more comfy with the changes in weather. Keeping a small—or large—box of seasonal decorations is a simple, low-key way to make sure your home feels like a celebration of the current season.
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