The popular fiction that one has to be “wealthy” to hire an interior designer or decorator has been debunked with the advent of Houzz. We’re out there providing information and advice freely and without compensation every day. Magazines, both on-line and in print, can be a guide to accomplishing a well designed and serviceable space. There isn’t a room or space in a home that hasn’t been the focus of articles and endless photos. These articles and photos act as a blueprint for getting the job done.
We, designers and decorators, have had to re-invent ourselves to accommodate to the current flood of information so that would have a place in the home decorating and design world. Even the task of moving a wall, or changing the basic structure of a house have become DIY projects. The savviest among us still do know to call a professional when needed but it’s up to us, the professionals, to offer direction about what kind of project requires the skills of an architect, interior designer, structural engineer, electrical designer/lighting designer, and the like.
There are many ways to define what a designer or decorator does. I can only speak with any authority to what I can offer. Designer4ADay is just that, a designer for a day, or an hour, or the many hours a project may take. I offer staging to prepare a home for sale, a day or more of shopping or browsing in “To the Trade only” venues, consultation and direction about using and re-using what you already own, where to put what you own, and what to get rid of. You don’t have to buy a thing but my time. Take me shopping with you to choose new or old furniture. You may save a ton of money, and you’ll have the comfort of an objective opinion. Not only can I “see” space but I can also use a tape to excellent advantage, I never leave home without one.
Be inspired by a trunk full of decorating ideas using consigned furnishings and accessories.
Also featuring fabric and wallpaper samples from Duralee, Kravet, Lee Jofa, Brunswig & Fils, and more.
Where: Simplicity, 1820 Route 376, Suite 1, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
When: Saturday April 21, 2018 12:00PM – 6:00PM
Can’t wait to see you then!
It’s a well known fact that new furniture, unless at the very high end, is manufactured, or mass produced for a look rather than for long life. There was a time when people bought furniture expecting that it would be passed down to other generations. Family heirlooms if you will. Now planned obsolescence is the rule of the day. All you need do is open a drawer of a new, mid price dresser and look at how it fits together. More than likely you’ll find that the front is glued to the sides and the only solid, or veneered portion is the front of the drawer. Really well made, (read expensive), new furniture is dovetailed, not glued, and the material used is not pressboard or plywood, it’s the real thing. So, the question is how do you get superior quality without spending a fortune? And for those collectors that love Mid-Century Modern or other specific period furniture the answer is really the same. Consignment shops, antique shops, flea markets, estate sales, auctions, and the like.
Man’s chest circa 1920, mahogany with cherry trim, brass handles. Style, Louis IVI, made in US. Purchased at Auction for $200.00. Incredible quality. Has stood the test of time. Not refinished.
Drawer front attached with dovetailing. This is a drawer from man’s chest. The wood is mahogany as is the dresser. No glue, exemplary craftsmanship.
Leg of same man’s chest. Turned and fluted edge detail, brass inlay surrounding the side panels. Imagine the cost of a chest like this today. I’m not sure one could buy one. It would have to be custom. Probably around &5,000.
Here is an example of a glued drawer front. The side is plywood, the glue joint is visible. No dovetailing. Circa 1985, around $300.00 new. No determined style. Probably early American. Which would you rather own?
I plan on adding local consignment and antique shops to my tours. Not only can you get a wealth of ideas, but you can also learn to spot real quality. The consignment shops are filled with accessories as well as furniture. And, if you have overflowing closets and cabinets you can consign your unwanted, unused furniture, accessories, clothing, shoes, handbags, and the like. There’s money in it! Buying or selling – consignment shopping is a hoot. Antique shops don’t accept consignment but are also a great place for a “find”. Estate sales and auctions are not for the faint of heart but once you’ve been bitten by he bug, watch out. For anyone who would like a list of local hot spots – send me an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll fill you in.
Let’s pretend we’re on a Designer4ADAY tour and we come across the Jasper Table Lamp pictured here.
Jasper Table Lamp. $1,727.00. L.A. Design Concepts.
It is “smashing”! A beautiful Far Eastern flavored Blue and White Ginger Jar styled table lamp with a white shade. It’s quite traditional but would certainly complement any décor; tradition, transitional, contemporary, and certainly eclectic. (See my website glossary for definitions). We “fall in love” with the lamp and get a memo. The memo will tell us the list or retail price of the lamp. Ouch! Really? Yes, really. We walk out of the showroom dejected and wishing for a lottery win. But there is a silver lining.
The “Silver Lining”
Sarah Blue and White Ceramic Urn Table Lamp. $149.99. Lamp’s Plus.
Or should I say the approximately $1,500 that will remain in your pocket. See the Sarah Blue and White Ceramic Urn Table Lamp? This lamp retails for, at this moment in time, $149,99. It is on sale with Lamp’s Plus. The regular price is $229.00. And it looks enough like the Jasper Table Lamp to be a close cousin. Used in the very same space you had in mind for the Jasper, the Sarah will more than do.
On a showroom tour ideas flow, examples of the finest fabrics, furniture, carpets, lighting, and accessories are all there for you to see. And if you see something that you absolutely must have and the price tag make you feel faint, keep in mind, you can get the look for less.
I’m immersed in Tiny Tweaks right now. From introducing a new color into an otherwise established design to breaking my own design rules.
Introducing a New Color
For those of you who saw my posts about “New Rug, New Room”, you saw that the rug had a lot of blue in it. The established colors in the room, a dining room, are pale yellow to brown – all warm, nothing cool. How to incorporate the cool blue into this “earthy” room? I start with bringing the blue to eye level. In the photos you’ll see that the cabinet knobs, the paint accent on the side board, and a cabinet in the room are all green. Each of these elements will be washed with blue. See the knob that has a darker, slightly blue hue? It’s working! Not only new rug, new room but new colors, new room. And cool blue seems to work well with warm earth tones.
Breaking a rule. I was taught in design school that ceilings must always be white. There are thousands of whites and I’ve been known to use softer or harder ones to compliment a wall color. Now, stuck with a poor tape job on a ceiling, not only are all the walls Benjamin Moore’s “Roasted Coffee Beans”, but the ceiling is as well. Wow, who knew? A small powder room got a make over with only a change of paint color. Walls, trim, and ceiling are all a rich warm brown. The result is stunning! I’m going to break some other hard and fast design rules. I’ll let you know as I break them.
Tiny Tweaks have tiny price tags. In these cases, without the cost of the rug, the only cost is the paint and the price of a consultation. Paint, DIY!
Happy New Year! How is it that once the new year has begun and the bright lights of the Holiday Season are behind us, everything looks dull? Time for change – let’s start with a “tiny tweak”.
Let’s take a tour – through your house. Start with the living room. Just stand there and look around. Pretend you’re a guest looking at this room for the very first time. What do you see? Would you be surprised if I told you that if you move the furniture around, maybe repaint, and add some colorful pillows and art you could have a “new room”? Believe it! Tiny Tweaks, what I call quick fixes, can renew a space that would dazzle even you, and it’s your own home.
Need to add texture and color? Throw a throw! This one is at The Millbrook Antique Center.
Where to begin? Think proportion, color, and ease of use. Whether you’re a minimalist, or you luxuriate in an abundance of prints, and textures, art and artifacts – you can make the old look new again.
Add a lamp! Calger Lighting is my “go to” for lamps.
Can’t quite figure out how to begin? Ask a professional. Did you know that you can hire a design consultant for as little as an hour? A day? or for an entire project? If you think that working with a professional to decorate your home is only for the very rich, or terribly inept, think again. You’d be surprised by what you can do in an hour. Try a tiny tweak. Treat yourself to a “quick fix”. Call me..
Pillows make the bed!
And if you’d like to see all the design elements you can imagine, displayed in the most imaginative ways; ways that you can adapt for your own spaces – take a tour with Designer For A Day.