Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Interior redecorating -- hold my hand, help with ideas, share your interiors and experiences

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
IMHO the couch, the foyer fixture, and the dining room sets are all items that you would find in furniture stores that would label themselves "Contemporary".
And that's precisely where I found all of it on line. The irony is that none of it was selected by the designer I'm working with which is why I'm leaning toward doing a lot of it myself. I don't have a good sense of proportion, though, so I need a professional who can guide me. And since there's a chance I might mix pieces from different design styles, I also need someone who can help me make it look deliberate rather than a hodgepodge. I'm thinking of looking for another designer since the one I chose isn't quite on the same page as I am but I have slim pickings in my area.
 

Elizabeth35

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
551
I worked with a designer once. And it was painfully slow and expensive. Ultimately it was not successful.
I think it’s important at the beginning to discuss your aesthetic AND your budget.
Make a file with all your photos of what you like-this will help a designer understand your goals.
And a frank conversation up front regarding billing—are they making their $ on an hourly basis vs. making $ on a percentage of what you purchase.
Maybe for you-pay an hourly design fee for an overall plan, and you go off and procure the elements?
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
1,347
This is probably not real helpful lol but just a thought, since you're not having much luck with designers anyway... Would it be possible to just copy the proportions you already have in place? Especially since you don't want that many items in your space anyway, I think you couldn't go too far astray if you just chose a new coffee table, side chairs, rugs etc. that, while different style and color, are about the same size as the ones that are currently there.
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
1,317
And that's precisely where I found all of it on line. The irony is that none of it was selected by the designer I'm working with which is why I'm leaning toward doing a lot of it myself. I don't have a good sense of proportion, though, so I need a professional who can guide me. And since there's a chance I might mix pieces from different design styles, I also need someone who can help me make it look deliberate rather than a hodgepodge. I'm thinking of looking for another designer since the one I chose isn't quite on the same page as I am but I have slim pickings in my area.
When we lived in Atlanta we found a really good contemporary furniture store, and our sales person turned out to be very talented. He was a gay guy but DW and I both really hit it off with him. He helped us a lot, and came to our house a number of times. He had the knack to select wall colors to go with our existing furniture, and then select furniture, lamps, pictures etc to go with the walls! DW and I knew a beautiful piece of furniture when we saw it, but we found from bitter experience that finding colors that matched and enhanced the space was beyond us. To me finding the right designer is key, and it's worth the wait to find him or her before making too many expensive mistakes.

Here in California our architect recommended a designer, again from a local furniture store. She knew her colors, but had never been exposed to contemporary furniture. However she was very open to new design styles and as we already had most of our furniture, all we needed was for her to select all the wall and ceiling colors. She did a great job.

PS We became good friends with our Atlanta designer and were invited to a couple of his birthday parties. Atlanta has its share of extraordinarily talented drag queens, and I can tell you we will never forget those parties!!!! :mrgreen2:

PPS I bet you worked darned hard to be in a position to buy a few nice things. You are actually helping the economy by spending, so that's a whole lot better than just leaving it in the bank!
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
1,317
Just wanted to add that finding the right designer isn't as easy as I might have made it sound. In Atlanta we had one complete disaster before we found our guy!

Finding someone who will actually make a decision is also key. We don't need to be given ten options to choose from, that's not why we hired you. Also if you don't like something we suggested, have the courage to say so before it's too late!
 
Last edited:

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Just wanted to add that finding the right designer isn't as easy as I might have made it sound
I know. The last time we redid the house, I used the same company but the designer was different and she's now out of the business. She met with me for an hour and I told her what I wanted. She prepared a design board for me and it was perfect; I didn't change a thing. I naively expected the same thing this time. My current designer has a different way of doing things and I understand that but I'm not comfortable with it. So the onus is on me to fix the situation.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Would it be possible to just copy the proportions you already have in place?
I could probably manage that but there's still wall color, art, lighting, fabric, and ensuring that mixing different design styles all work together instead of against each other and I'm not confident I can pull all that together harmoniously.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
844
What about trying some of the online designers, or looking on Instagram to see which designers fit your aesthetic? I think a lot of designers can work virtually off photos and a floorplan.

Maybe also try Design Within Reach or West Elm? West Elm also has free design services.


I'm in a similar delimma, whether to buy a lot of Restoration Hardware furniture or work with an interior designer to hopefully get custom, higher quality pieces at wholesale...
 

meely

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
1,028
Sounds likes this has been a bit of a long a painful process so far @Matata -from the pieces you have chosen and what you like it sounds like you might like an Emily Henderson look with a little bit less of the accessories.
Glad to hear you got your sofa sorted though. I actually think your tastes might be more honed than you think and that is why you are having trouble with your designer. I think unless you can find someone who 80% of their work you absolutely lust after you will find it hard to get what you want from them. Just my 2 cents.
With regard to the warm and feeling of being hugged -
The textiles will obviously make a big difference but the layout is important. If you are happy with how the room’s function and feel (in terms of feng shui vibe) then it really is a case of swapping pieces out and going for the same scale as someone else suggested - much simpler than a total redo where you are swapping rooms etc.
The other thing I would think about are the things that make the room personal. There is a lot of comfort in my opinion in art that you bought on vacation or inherited/ some chosen family photos on the side/ favourite books / some small collections of glass etc. Things you have had for a long time and mean something basically but edited and displayed in an attractive way. I think really successful designers do this and not such good ones don’t!
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,880
I'm in sort of the same situation, @Matata. I'm not super great at starting from scratch, and it gives me a lot of anxiety. However, I know what I like when I see it. I like a lot of color schemes and styles, and I'm super indecisive... to a fault. It took me over six months to pick out a shade of white for my kitchen cabinets! :shock: Hey, white can be tricky!! ::) My mother and sister are so good at this sort of thing, but unfortunately, I didn't get that gene! LOL

I've found that I prefer a very neutral color palette to be most comforting, calming, and easily updated. It's extremely easy to "redo" rooms simply by changing out pillows, wall decor, rugs, and/or fixtures. BOOM! Instant update that costs next to nothing! :)

I used to do a lot of pops of color. I still love to look at lots of color, but not in my own home. I've discovered that I grow tired of it easily and want to change things too often. If I had unlimited funds and much more time on my hands, I'd just redecorate my home in the latest styles all the time... but alas, I work long hours and don't have that kind of disposable income. Keeping everything light and airy allows me to update little things here and there (read: inexpensively), because a neutral color scheme will always be in style. Incorporating several interesting textures keeps it visually interesting.

We are building next year, and I plan to do the entire house in greys, whites, taupes of differing undertones, and other light neutrals. Each room may have a couple of other colors, but all very light. The only darker colors I may make an appearance on one wall of a few rooms or maybe a hallway. Our home, as well as our new plan, is very open concept, making it that much more important to stick to a neutral color scheme.

Also, I used to always use the same color metals for fixtures and hardware for each room, but I'm finding I like to mix it up now... doesn't have to be matchy as long as it "goes".
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
1,347
There used to be a not-for-credit class at the junior college here that walked you through decorating your home, with the boards to make up and etc. I would love to take it now but do not see it offered anymore.

I haven't hired a designer myself but have heard very mixed reviews from those who have.
 

jaaron

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
828
First of all, as someone who owns both the Barcelona chair and the Noguchi coffee table, I want to say you have great taste :lol:

Those houses of the superrich look great, but there's sort of a sameness and unlived in look to them - they look expensive but not very individual or inviting.

I think if you're wavering between Scandi and more traditional, sitting down with a designer might help you either go in one direction or another or figure out how to blend the two styles. And some designers will pass along part of their trade discount, which can make it an appealing option.

My personal opinion is that mixing and matching can work really well, but is best done by starting out with the more minimal style and then, as others suggested, adding warmth and texture. A few standout pieces can go a long way. For example, you can always go fairly clean and neutral and then add a rug with wow factor.

Screenshot 2020-08-23 at 17.16.22.png


Have you spent any time looking at the Italian furniture manufacturers? I think quite a few of them (Molteni, Bonaldo, B&B Italia) do a nice job of making the Swedish style a little cosier feeling. I know this isn't in the US, but might be useful to browse-- they have a lot of both Italian and Nordic brands

https://shop.mohd.it/en/furniture.html

In the states, these guys made me a sofa that I love, and they do stuff that fits seamlessly into all kinds of different interiors

https://lawsonfenning.com

Screenshot 2020-08-23 at 17.44.33.png

Screenshot 2020-08-23 at 17.39.25.png


On dining room chairs, I love your choices, but make sure they're comfortable-- I had two of the first (not at the dining room table) and ended up selling them on eBay because everyone hated sitting in them. I've just looked at these and they're super comfortable

https://www.conranshop.co.uk/cross-...=uk_en&refSrc=16559&nosto=nosto-page-product1

Screenshot 2020-08-23 at 17.29.12.png


Can you tell I'm in the midst of something similar myself? I know what you mean about feeling guilty, though.

ETA: I know neutral is very in right now-- I tend to try to be careful about being too, too swayed by trends. When I look at something, I try to think about whether I would have loved it ten years ago and whether I see myself still loving it ten years down the line. Right now I'm slightly convinced that grey is going to someday be the avocado green of the 2020s...

Missy-- I love your sofas! Gorgeous.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
10,455
dont forget the blue ceiling with a ton of small led pot lights to make the bling bling blingy.
 

Tartansparkles

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
374
@Matata some of your images remind me of things I might see in John Lewis (British high street store with some designer pieces, johnlewis.com). I'm not suggesting you shop there but the website might offer some inspiration in terms room layouts (although I noticed they offered a design service, maybe they'd do a virtual service :) )
 

seaurchin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
1,347
Re the homes of the super rich shown- They may be left in "blank canvas" state so buyers can visualize/individualize from there, according to individual preferences.

Unrelated, when I redecorate, I will definitely keep an eye out for furniture that I can clean under without moving.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
We are building next year, and I plan to do the entire house in greys, whites, taupes of differing undertones, and other light neutrals.
Best wishes on your project. Sounds as though you have a good plan for the interior. I always wanted to build a house but considering how long it has taken me to find a sofa I love, I can't imagine what would happen if I started the entire thing from scratch, lol.

I'm staying neutral on the upholstery fabrics, mostly likely grey and or dark blue. I used to loathe white walls but I've changed my mind about that and will go with white. Finding the right white is not easy. I have Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace in the master bath which was remodeled 2 yrs ago and I like it a lot. Not too stark, just a teensy touch of gray and it might be the right choice for the rest of the house.

Have you spent any time looking at the Italian furniture manufacturers?
Loads and loads of time, lol. I have always loved Italian furniture design. As far as trends go, I intend to end up with a look that can't be defined as a particular style or trend because I know I'll quickly grow tired of it. I'm going to choose pieces I like and with the guidance of the designer, get everything to work together.

My intent is to achieve something comfy yet durable, stylish yet timeless. I love the dining room chair you posted. The biggest challenge I have is 4 aging cats. To the extent possible, I want to minimize upholstery and what is upholstered has to be performance fabric. One of my cats has Feline Urinary Tract Disease and when he has an episode, he dribbles small spots of pee all over the house until the drugs kick in. The upholstery has to bead up liquids and clean up easily. If I buy on-line, the vendor has to offer a line of performance fabrics.

The other issue I'm keeping in mind is our age. I'm 65, DH is 70 and sooner or later our bodies are going to betray us. For that reason, I'm trying to think ahead 10-15 years and choosing seat cushions and backs that are firm so we can get up from the chairs and sofa without needing an overhead crane, lol. Right now we have down filling and I hate hate hate it. And I want easy to clean surfaces and pieces that I can clean under without always having to move them. It's hard for me to believe I'm at that stage in life where I have to make such considerations but that is the reality of creeping decrepitude, lol.
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
1,317
I used to loathe white walls but I've changed my mind about that and will go with white. Finding the right white is not easy. I have Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace in the master bath which was remodeled 2 yrs ago and I like it a lot. Not too stark, just a teensy touch of gray and it might be the right choice for the rest of the house.
We found that a warm shade of white was best for the walls. If the white was too too stark it felt more like a hospital room than a home. You can provide the color with furniture, rugs, fixtures, paintings etc and whatever color you choose it will not clash with the walls. Even white doors, window frames, and cabinets will stand out from a warm white wall. We chose Sherwin Williams Antique White for the walls, with Dunn Edwards Swiss Coffee for everything that needed to be painted white. My phone isn't picking up the colors real well, but I hope you can see what I mean.

2020-08 3.jpg 2020-08 4.jpg

Our California designer told us that in rooms with high ceilings we should paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. We had never heard of this and had our doubts, but we decided to give it a try and it worked out great.

2020-08 5.jpg

In bedrooms with low ceilings we did paint those Swiss Coffee to add more light. We also used the Swiss Coffee to paint different levels of tray ceilings, and that added a nice contrast.
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
1,317
When it comes to getting the proportions right, blue painters' tape can be your friend. We learned this trick from an architect when we wanted to add some extra windows to a dark room. He made outlines of the windows on the wall in the blue tape, and then adjusted them until we liked the proportions. The blue tape pulls off leaving no trace.

We now use this trick on floors too, for example we'll outline the shape of a couch we are considering and see if it will fit well into the space. Let me make clear I am just the guy rolling out the tape, DW is the one who tells me how to change it so the proportions are right. She's also the one who picks all the colors, so they don't clash with the other items in the room, I'm hopeless at that. :)
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Ten months later and some decisions have been made. I switched to another designer in the firm and she is a better fit for me.

I went from clean contemporary to tribal contemporary with touch of hollywood glam -- who knew?

Couch and fabric
The Michael.png Michael fabric.jpg


Living room fabrics -- top left windows; top middle rug; top right gray fabric is for a chair and leopard print is accent pillows; middle is one of a pair of chairs and below it is the fabric for it.


Living room fabrics.jpg
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Living room lamps and tables

Living room tables and lamps.jpg
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Fabric for couch accent pillows

Sofa accent pillows.jpg
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Dining room. I'm on the fence about the gold pleated credenza.

Top left window shades; top right 2 different types of chairs, short ones go on ends of table and taller ones on the sides; chandelier; dining table is middle right; bottom is pleated credenza I'm not sure about.


Dining room.jpg
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Foyer rug

foyer rug.jpg
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,653
Have you painted the walls yet? My house interior walls are mostly white but I have a small amount of blue dropped into the paint mix rather than grey (tip came from a professional painter when I couldn't find a clean white or a grey I liked), it brightens and lifts the white, makes everything look clean and sort of looks greyish without being grey, so it's a bright but tonally cool white to a grey white depending upon the lighting to the eye.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Have you painted the walls yet?
Not yet. I'm waiting for contractor to schedule time to move the fireplace which requires rebuilding two walls. We're going with Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace which is what I have in the master bath. The color is as you describe. We're also changing out all the old canned lights with LEDs.

New fireplace

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 6.07.34 PM.png Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 6.03.03 PM.png
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
21,161
HI:

Love the fireplace. Is this a new model build/refitted from an old traditional/woodburning spot?

cheers--Sharon
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Is this a new model build/refitted from an old traditional/woodburning spot?
We have an old gas burning zero clearance insert (see post #11 above). New new model is gas burning also and it's apparently pretty easy to make the switch and the move. Waiting for final evaluation from contractor.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
These projects seem to take on a life of their own. Still haven't got an estimate from contractor for building a wall that will be home of the new fireplace. In the meantime, I decided to replace the front doors. DH and I figure that since we have a contractor available to us, we should make good use of the opportunity to get all the other minor projects done. The color will be the deep blue on the 2nd door pic.

front door.png sherwin williams dark night.png
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,378
Drawing of the new fireplace. The holes on the left side shelves were the designer's idea to incorporate something for the cats to climb and sleep on but it won't work for them. Three of them have arthritis and need easier access than pulling themselves thru holes.

fireplace drawing.png
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Scorpio Style
    Scorpio Style
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top