Staging – Designing for Buyers Monday, Feb 12 2018 

Over the years I have had to explain the difference between staging and interior design many times. And although I think it is really simple and the differences are clear I know that the average person does not find it clear and simple. Here is the easiest way for me to describe the difference:

Interior Design is creating a plan and design that is in the best interest of the end user of the space. It must incorporate function and beauty to be successful.

Staging is designing a space in a way to appeal to the widest group of people so that they can see themselves in the space and are moved to purchase the building.

Do you see the differences? Design is all about the client, staging is all about selling.  Things are set up very differently for someone who is using the space daily verse the home that is only set to show the buyer what could be. Function of the end user is not taken into consideration in staging. Function of the end user is huge when designing for a client.

Interior Designers make great stagers. Stagers are not designers. This is huge. This is also where a lot of confusion comes in because there is the line of thought that if you can stage a space you can be a designer. This is not the case most of the time. Because what usually gets involved is the stagers personal style and what they like to see. There really is no place for that in great interior design. Although designers who are used to being able to separate their personal style from their client’s do make a great stagers because they are keeping up on what the newest trends are and know how to incorporate them into a plan that everyone can get behind.

So I thought I would share some pictures of a home that I staged recently to show how we keep things very “vanilla” and appealing to as many people as possible.

When staging a home we look to show how big it is, what life the buyer could have, and how amazing the features are in the property.

Are you looking to sell your home? Are you needing to redo an existing home? Or maybe you need some help with a home you just purchased. Find an interior designer that can help you with all of that. We would love to be the firm that you select but if not make sure that the firm you go with has the right mindset and can truly help you with all of your needs.

Modern Traditional Saturday, Feb 3 2018 

I can’t believe that it is February already! We have been super busy at Artful Conceptions getting homes ready for the new year. As many of you know the normal turnaround for a full home design is about 12 weeks if everything goes as planned. Well part of our super busy beginning of the year was to complete that task in 4 weeks. In fact this week we took a home from nothing Wednesday morning to completely furnished with all artwork and accessories by Friday afternoon. So here are some pictures of the project. (Some pictures are prior to finishing to keep the client identity confidential)

 

The home is a very traditional style and the client is not super traditional. So we created a modern traditional look with of course an amazing man cave. By combining antiques and modern pieces we were able to create a comfortable yet elegant design. The mixing of wood tones and textures adds depth to the space. Distressed and refined finishes can be great combinations. I love to mix shell inlays with painted distressed pieces. And yes go for the mixing of gold, silver, and bronze finishes. Life is not all in one color your home shouldn’t be either! Mix leather and fabric and don’t forget the pops of color. I know there has been so many images of the monochromatic farmhouse look but life is in color. Your home needs color as well! Don’t let the trend sway you as to what your personal style is. Keep your soul in your home!

Design Undefined – Farmhouse/Country Style Saturday, Jan 6 2018 

Have you ever wondered where style trends come from? There has been this huge push for farmhouse, country, and shabby chic interiors, but do we really know which style is which and where they come from? This was a topic we tackled at ABC’s Morning Blend in the recent Design Undefined segment.

For me I understand the craze to follow trends however the issue with following trends is that they will be out of style just as fast as they are in style. In fact we are now seeing that Joanna Gaines is now all about the coastal look. Those of us in Florida an in coastal communities have been about coastal for a long time because this is not a trend it is a way of life. So does this mean everyone who did their homes in a farmhouse style are going to be changing things out for a coastal look? Unfortunately that is probably a yes for some. But let’s talk about how to do these looks and make them timeless, classic, always in style.

First, the most important thing to work with are high quality products that use traditional designs. These can be updated designs but they have to have their start in history. These pieces will add iron when appropriate. And it will be solid iron not another metal stained to look like iron. They will have a feel to the finish that can only be achieved in a multi step process. Think like when you buy a real handbag verse the knockoff at half the price. It looks good on the outside but it doesn’t hang the same way or last the same way. So here are some of my favorite choices for dining rooms to create a classic look, whether you are going for farmhouse, shabby chic, coastal or country.

Because these pieces are classic in design they can go to any of the styles mentioned. They are not trendy where they will go out of style and depending on what accessories you put around them you will give them the right feeling. From this starting point you can create so many great looks. If we just start with the area rug we can create tons of looks. You can go for the updated traditional area rug such as the bold colors, or over-dyed antique, or the monochromatic patchwork. All of these create an updated country or shabby chic look. Or you can go for the more farmhouse/coastal style and work with textural pieces like jute rugs. Or really go for the traditional style with a truly classic design of a traditional area rug.

Can you see how each of these pieces would completely change the look? When you know where the styles come from you have the ability to create a look that has a real depth. When you just follow trends you run the risk of it all looking like you shopped at the discount rack at Home Goods.

To truly pull off these looks you have to incorporate true vintage and antique pieces. We search for our clients for the perfect ones to work in their homes. These are not pieces that you find at flea markets (as much as the network tv shows want you to think they are) these are ones that we get from companies and collectors all over the world. Here are just a few that we have worked with over the years.

Don’t forget that the lighting in the space has a huge impact as well. The right lighting can completely change the feel to the space.

So when you are looking to design your home, walk away from the big box stores, turn off the tv and look to history to see where the designs come from originally. Or hire a designer who will be able to draw upon their knowledge of design to create a classic, timeless look for you.

Furniture Fashion Week Monday, Oct 30 2017 

As many of you know twice a year in High Point NC is our big event. Whether you call it Market of Furniture Fashion Week it is the time that we find new items for our clients and pick up new lines to better serve our clients. We had a great time and added a bunch of new lines.

Some of the great pieces that we purchased have already started showing up at the showroom. Everything from antiques to pillows and throws to accessories.

Come in and check out all of the amazing pieces or give us a call to schedule a design consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. Love the Space You’re In!

Industrial Revolution and Design Saturday, Oct 7 2017 

You would have to be under a rock to not know that industrial design has been all over. We have seen companies that were traditionally anything but industrial in style jump onto the industrial design band wagon. But let’s take a look back to where it started and give a nod to the company that started the whole industrial revolution in home furnishings. I’m talking about Golden Oldies and Go Home Ltd. 40 years ago was the founding of Golden Oldies and the start of re-purposing and the making metal, vintage and distressed the hottest trends out there.

Are you in love? We are and have been loving the great items that Go Home Ltd has been bringing to the market. We can’y wait to put these pieces in your home!

Now is the Time Wednesday, Aug 16 2017 

As many of you that have followed my blog over the years know we are coming up on Furniture Fashion Week. So, what does that mean to you? It means that there are some really great deals right now on items that will be cut from the current lines. So I thought I would share some of the amazing items that I am seeing at fantastic prices and won’t be around for long.

Ottomans and benches made from beautiful rugs. These are just a couple of the options.

Hand knotted rugs make great ottomans and benches.

Have been looking for poufs? There are tons of options for poufs that will not be available after October.

How about rugs? Everything from hand knotted to tufted to woven are available now at some amazing prices.

Accent,entry, and sofa tables are also making their ways onto the discontinued lists. But you have to act quickly as some of these are only available in small amounts.

Lighting options range from chandeliers to floor lamps to sconces and table lamps. You also may want to think about jumping on ones that are going away as the price may increase come October.

In fact, if you were thinking about changing up your furnishings now is the best time. You will be able to take advantage of the sale items and on new items you will get the lower prices before they get their market increases. And even better if you start now you can get it done for the holidays. Yes I said it, it’s August and if you want new furniture for the holidays it is time to order! 

Furniture and Design Sunday, Jul 23 2017 

The most recent segment that we did with ABC’s Morning Blend is about design and furniture. Using an interior designer should not be a scary or intimidating it should be all about you. So we decided to talk about some of the myths and help our viewers to learn a little more about how the process works.

 

I love our design boards and how they allow me to give our clients a view into what their space will look like. I always include the floor plan as to how everything will layout, and I love to add a rendering to complete the vision. I still do all of my renderings by hand as I feel that they add a more personal touch as opposed to the computer generated version. I also include as many of the fabric and rug samples as possible while also using pictures of the items they will be on. And to complete the look a few of the accessories that I will be bringing into the space on install day. I love seeing my clients faces when they realize that hiring a designer was the best idea because not only are we saving them time and money but we get them!

Let us help you to design your space so that you can “love the space you’re in!”

New Arrivals to the Showroom Saturday, Apr 29 2017 

As some of you know we have both the online store and the showroom in Tampa. I am constantly changing and updating what is available to our local clients. Although, everything can also be shipped anywhere! Here are some of the newest pieces that arrived in the past two weeks.

Unique tables that are perfect for accent areas or next to your favorite chair. Combine the triangular tables for an amazing and creative cocktail table.

Beautiful and glam planters that will make you want to run to your nearest flower shop.

Candle holders that have you wishing for a romatic evening.

Not your Grandma’s jugs and jars. These are beautiful in their own right, with the right combination they are spectacular.

And a small sampling of the unique and fun vases that are perfect for every occasion. Have a need for a hostess give? We got you covered. 

And I saved my favorite for last……..

These amazing geometic pieces are pieces of art!

Can’t wait to see you in Tampa!

A little glam for a Saturday Saturday, Apr 22 2017 

As the glam look continues to get bigger I thought I would share some of my thoughts and favorite pieces.

First, when working with a glam look keep in mind that a little goes a long way. Eglomise, silver leaf, gold leaf and mirrors have a huge impact so one or two pieces can be enough for a while room depending on the size.

Don’t forget that lighting has a huge impact on the space. A glam light can change the feel of any room.

Mix textures to complete the look. Linens combined with silks are great for depth and style.

Have fun! Design should be fun and exciting. Make sure the space has enough contrast so it doesn’t put you to sleep.

Designing You Saturday, Jan 28 2017 

I am very excited to say that the book is done and now available through Amazon! It has been a project of love and an amazing experience. I had always thought about writing a book but never really thought it was something that I would do. It is done and I thought I would go into a bit more depth as to what the book is about and what is in the book.

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Designing You is about my philosophy on design, what it is like to work with me, and a self evaluation on your personal design style. To me interior design is all about the client. For many years and through much of my early training I heard all about how the client doesn’t know what they want. That is is the designers job to tell them what they should do. That it is the designer and only the designer that has the style and vision to see what should be done. I have always felt that this was not correct. Yes, we as designers much have a vision for what the space is going to be. But we much get that vision from somewhere. And it must come from the client.

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Throughout the book you will learn about how working from a client driven space creates designs that our clients love for many years, because they are all about them.

I also want all of my readers to be able to get to know themselves more. So in the book I have included a color/design quiz that will help each reader to better understand their own personal style. I have dropped the traditional hard to understand design terms and created it in everyday language. Good design is for everyone.

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I will take you on a journey of what it is like to work on clients designs, what Furniture Fashion Week is all about, and why I do what I do. Creating great design, is creating a place that you can soar from. The process includes every emotion out there. When I design I have to get into the heads of my clients. So when I am shopping for them I have to see everything as they would see it. Go through all the options and then present to them only what is best for them.

And of course there are some great pictures of completed spaces. I have included some of my favorite projects in the book to show what it is like when a space is completed. The styles range all over the place, from beach living to traditional to contemporary. And as I designer I feel that I should always be able to pop back and forth between styles because each client is different and deserves to have a design specific to them.

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So please enjoy, check it out. Pick up the paper copy so that you can write in it and mark things that you love. But most of all find out more about who you are and your personal style.

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