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.

Design Undefined – Wall Decor Sunday, Dec 10 2017 

We all know that every room needs wall decor but we don’t always know the best pieces, how to hang them and in what combinations. We sat down with the Morning Blend to talk about wall decor.

The right wall decor will make the space. It can mean paintings, photos, metal work and many other options. With a background in painting and sculpture I am all for amazing artwork. To me it’s kinda like the right furniture. Go for pieces that you will love for a long time. The right pieces are worth the additional price tags. Don’t select paintings to match the sofa, select paintings that move your soul and then build around them. Artwork can be a juxtaposition to the room. A traditionally styled room can have a modern painting and a modern room can have a traditional painting. Framing, colors and wall textures can be what ties them together. I love to bring out paintings to my clients and hold them in the room to determine selections. There is nothing like a canvas piece that has yet to be stretched and framed in the space. It allows you to determine the feeling of the space. So I thought I would share some work by some artists that I regularly am placing in my clients homes.

Cecil K, Brent Forman, Seiko, Mia Stone and Craig Alan are just a few artists of our time that are making new pieces that evoke feelings for may of my clients. And while these pieces will make a statement you don’t have to purchase original pieces to get the right ones for your room.

With print on demand and the increased technology and quality of giclee everyone can own amazing art at any price range. These pieces can be limited additions or unlimited additions. How many are printed will determine the price, but it is all about the right piece not the price.

Wall decor does not have to be paintings. Some of the most interesting pieces are combinations of metal work, glass work, candle holders and wood pieces.

I am also in love with wall planters. These pieces add depth and touches of nature that truly create an amazing space.

So when you are thinking about your walls and how to finish off the room, remember the artwork is important. Don’t let it be a throw away item. Your wall decor should be planned out just as much as your furnishings. How you hang it and where you place it will determine how complete the room will look and feel.

Not sure how to complete your space, we would love to help. We custom all designs to our clients. And we bring the gallery to you!

Holiday Decorating Wednesday, Nov 22 2017 

I have found over the years that people either love to decorate their house, love to have it decorated but don’t want to do it or don’t do anything. Sometimes I think that the don’t do anything is because they just don’t know where to start. So I thought I would walk everyone through the process that we go through when decorating a client’s home for the holidays.

We first start by going through all that they have from previous years. Determine what still looks good, what they still like and what has meaning to them. Once we know what we have to start with we talk about what type of tree they would like if they don’t already have a tree. Many of my clients like to have a real tree. So we talk about how big the tree can be and how bushy do we want, and if there is a specific tree that they like. Fraser firs are very popular and tend to be the first choice. My father always liked blue spruces so every other year when growing up we got a blue spruce. We will get the tree for the client and put it up the day before we will be decorating so that it will fall out. This is really important, as you do not want to decorate the tree when all of the branches are still pointing upwards from being bundled up.

But before we even get to decorating the tree we need to finish getting all the the additional items for our clients, if this is the first time that we are decorating for them. This will include wall art, accessories for the tops of cabinets and tables, floral arrangements for counter tops and dining tables, and other holiday decor. I prefer to use great pieces that can be adjusted based on the season. For instance I love floor candle holders, these are great elements to any room and you can change the way that the feel in the room by changing the candles that are on top. I also love blanket ladders, as these are also a great piece that adds texture and comfort to a space that can be changed to fit with the season.

Once we have everything that we need it is time to get to decorating. For me it all starts with the tree. Make sure you have enough lights, in fact you can almost always use the rule of thumb that you can add one more strand of lights than you think you need. Add different elements to your tree like flowers and glitter streamers and tree picks. They will add so much to the look. I usually custom make all of the floral arrangements for my clients. I love to add candles to the dining table arrangements and some scents as well. So think either scented candles or the scent sticks that can make the silk floral arrangements feel real.

Here is a house that we did recently.

It is so important to have touches everywhere but not too much. We don’t want to see Santa and Frosty everywhere, but we do want to feel like everything is complete.

And since it is just the start of the season there is still time to get your house ready. We still have some available spots to get you ready for the holidays. Book your appointment today. It will be like magic.

 

Design Undefined – Start with the Designer from the Beginning Friday, Nov 10 2017 

There is a ton of building and remodeling going on all over the country. And if you are looking to build a new home I am sure that your friends have told you all the horror stories of how hard it is, the mistakes, change orders, timelines, decisions and stress that it is to build a home. But there is a better way. We need to stop thinking of the interior designer as the person who comes in at the end of the project to to add pretty touches. The interior designer is there to help make sure you don’t have the nightmare but a great experience along with a home that functions for you.

We love starting the project right form the very beginning. When we start from the blueprints we can make the project flow and insure that you get exactly what you want in your home. So if you are thinking about building a new home, remodeling and existing home or just need a consultation about how we can transform a space please give us a call. You don’t have to go through a nightmare when building or remodeling. We want you to have an amazing experience and to talk about how fantastic it was to build or remodel.

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!

Design Undefined – Area Rugs Friday, Oct 20 2017 

Do you wonder where to start with area rugs? I absolutely love area rugs and here is why, they are the starting point for many great designs. And yes they should be the largest item in the room. We do not want to have a coaster for the cocktail table we want a grounding point that will encompass the room.

Area rugs are not just for living rooms or great rooms. They area great in bedrooms, outdoor patios, dining rooms, dens and kitchens. Really area rugs are great for anywhere that you have furniture.

How do we know which area rugs is going to work best? We listen to our clients to get to know their lifestyle, likes and wants. Then we select the right one for them. We have tons of styles in our showroom but we also have many sources for when we don’t have the perfect one on hand.

 

Looking for the perfect area rug for your home? We would love to help! Give us a call or if you are in the Tampa area come stop in!

Design Undefined Wednesday, Sep 27 2017 

Have you seen the Huge Announcement? Our Design Undefined segment is running every week on ABC’s Morning Blend Tampa Bay. So if you missed them I am going to put them up for everyone to see. We are talking lighting here in this segment. Do you have the right lighting for your home?

 

Here are some tips on storage for your home.

 

Do you have flowers or greenery in your home? Are you sure you know how to use it and clean it? Let us explain when to us fake flowers and when to have real.

 

Keep checking us out for more great tips for you home and how we work as designers! And if you are in Florida check it out during Morning Blend! Thank you ABC for this great platform to talk about design!

Fall Decorating Thursday, Sep 7 2017 

So excited that the series Design Undefined has started to air with ABC. We started the series with tips on how to decorate for fall. I think this can be hard because there is the thought that fall decor has to be covered in pumpkins and leaves. That is not the case we can decorate for fall with classic elegance. Here are my tips for getting your home ready for fall.

So have fun but remember you probably have lots of elements at home that you can easily change up to give your home the fall feel.

Want our help? We are happy to come out and accessorize for you!

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