Category Archives: Decor Designs, Inc.

DECORATING FOR FAMILY

Beautiful spaces are a dime a dozen.  Fill a space with the trendiest, most expensive decor you can find.  And while it’s pretty to look at, it still isn’t home.  So, what makes a house a home?  It’s family.

Creating common spaces that suit the needs of a family is probably the single most important task any decorator will tackle.  Of course, you want it to be beautiful.  But, it also has to function well for every member of the household, no matter how young or old.

Consider a home to three young adults and their parents.  The home is a hub of activity for friends and family almost every day of the week.  All are coming and going either from college or work.  Whether just for family or casual entertaining, updating and enhancing the primary living space in this home needed to fit their busy lifestyles.

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That pretty much describes this project we’ve just finished in Hoffman Estates, IL.  The project focused on restyling a large combo family & living room in this beautiful home.  While we wanted to create two distinctive spaces with their own function and personality, both needed to play together when needed as one unit.

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Working with a generous budget, we were able to replace dated and worn furniture with all new seating.  Two durably upholstered sofas provide comfortable seating or lounging in the t.v. space.  Nearby, we grouped four new leather club chairs around the fireplace as more of a conversation space.   New reclaimed wood and metal nesting tables were separated to give plenty of spots to set a drink.  New Santa Fe storage trunks double as coffee and end tables.  New lamps, artwork, accessories and area rugs complete the spaces.

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While each area serves it’s own purpose, with a few simple moves, the leather chairs can be repositioned nearer the television for movie night or game day parties.

As we suggested, the homeowners repositioned one and refinished both built-in bookcases.  Darkening the wood work and mantel with gel stain and painting the brass fireplace surround with heat resistant bronze metallic paint gave the fireplace an updated and much stronger presence in the rooms.

The end result is a space that has already wowed family and friends.  It’s sure to get thorough use in the months and years ahead.

Decorating a room for family is more than just adding trendy furniture and accessories.  It’s about creating a space that blends form with function and provides a hub for friends and family to make a home

Happy Family Decorating from Decor Designs.   815-245-2433.

 

IS HOME DECORATING EVER DONE?

Most of us are goal oriented in some way, whether we realize it or not.  Maybe the goal is to lose weight or get a degree.  Perhaps it’s buy a new car or go on a special trip.  Dreaming, believing and achieving goals gives purpose to our lives, gets things done and keeps us moving forward.

One dream of many homeowners is to “finish” decorating their home.  You’d think that would be a reasonable goal!  While we work hard to help make that dream a reality, the reality is your home is never truly done.

But, don’t despair!  It’s not like there aren’t other elusive goals in life.  Is raising a child ever really a finished proposition?  Is your goal weight ever really permanent?  Some goals in life are constantly changing out of desire or necessity.  With ever evolving personal tastes and new trends in decor, your home is constantly in a state of change as it adapts to your family’s current lifestyle.

There are a few things you can do to help give your home a “finished” feeling even though it might never really be done.

1-  Choose fixtures and finishes with ‘staying’ power.  Rather than buying the latest and greatest, choose tried and true.  If it’s trendy now, chances are it’s going to have a short lifespan in the arc of decor.  Be happy with the fact that no matter what you choose, trends in home decor, as with fashion, are usually cyclical.  If you wait long enough, old becomes new again.

2-  While seemingly boring, neutral wall colors like creams, beiges, taupes, and greiges stand the test of time and changing tastes.  Swapping out colorful accents like rugs, pillows, artwork and window fashions is much easier than painting walls.

3- Along the same line as neutral wall colors, invest in upholstered furniture featuring neutrally colored and patterned fabrics.  Nothing dates upholstery faster than trendy colors or patterns (think paisley).  As with walls, you can always add punch to your ‘Plain Jane’ sofas and chairs with more trendy throw pillows and throws.

No matter what, embrace the fact that your home’s decor is always in a state of flux.  It can provide stability during times of great change in your personal life.  And it can give you the perfect opportunity to express your unique style when change is desired.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433

 

 

 

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER

Who hasn’t changed part of their home decor only to realize redoing one thing leads to another… and another?  No matter how small the change, it usually has a domino effect.  Perhaps it starts with remodeling the master bathroom.  Beautiful new vanities, an amazing double shower and beautiful tile… all the things any spa would love to have.

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But, unfortunately, that fresh, new look stops at the bedroom door.  Looking around you realize you could probably use some new bedding.  Then, of course, the window treatments would need updating.  The seating in the room that blended well before is now a no-go.  New night stands and lamps would be nice.  Before you know it, the entire room is in play.

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We’ve been working with new clients in Crystal Lake who faced that very dilemma.  After she and her DIYer husband finished the master bath update, the decor in the adjoining master bedroom no longer flowed.

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At somewhat of a loss, she reached out for help restyling the master bedroom so everything would flow with the newly updated bath.  New hardwood floors and fresh paint became the backdrop for the new sanctuary.  Our client added new nightstands and we brought in bedding, lamps, window panels and artwork.  Along with furniture relocated from elsewhere in the home, the space now feels refreshed and inviting flowing perfectly with the renovated bath.

While we were at it, our clients asked us to redesign the living room, dining room and family room.  Reusing and repurposing a treasure trove of goodies, we maximized each room’s function and visual appeal just in time for Easter guests.  The end result in every space was a nice update without spending a ton of money or bringing in lots of new things.

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In our client’s kind words, “Decor Designs just finished an interior design of our master bedroom and a redesign of our whole house! I am speechless and thrilled with the finished project! Jeff was spot on to our decorating personality and repurposed so many things, I was amazed! He made our house feel like a home and I cannot wait to entertain! He was timely, courteous, and truly delivered a finished product that inspires me and makes me smile!”

So what if one thing leads to another?   Sometimes that’s all the motivation you need to finish something you’ve probably been putting off for a long time.

Here’s to letting one thing lead to another creating beautiful spaces in your own home!  Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433.

 

 

SUPER BOWL SUPER BASEMENT

Necessity is the mother of invention.  What could be more necessary than having a super basement to host your buddies in for the Super Bowl?  With the boys coming home from school on the eve of one of the biggest tv watching days of the year, any good mother would want to make sure everything was perfect for the Big Game!

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This particular good mom and I met about three weeks ago to figure out what could be done to spruce up the basement in time for the big game!  No matter how much we tried to repurpose and move things around, it just didn’t feel right.  It quickly became clear what we really needed was some new furniture to bring everything together.  But with only three weeks to pull it off, how were we going to get it done?  Pressed for time and with my full schedule, we decided for mom to do the shopping.  We weren’t sure we could get absolutely everything in time.  But, with a head full of ideas and a big shopping list, mom was off!

Friday before game day, it was time to put it all together.  Miraculously, she had been able to have a new sectional, sofa table and card table delivered.  On top of furniture, she had gone shopping for a new rug, artwork and all the accessories to fit our new “game cave” theme.

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After several hours placing furniture, hanging artwork and accessorizing, the space was game ready!

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We were even able to reuse the previous leather sofa and loveseat in another part of the basement creating a cozy gaming area for the guys.

GAMING AREA

Just in time to kick off the fun!

COUPLES DECORATING

Decorating for couples is always a complex dance of giving one what s/he wants without alienating the other.  Invariably, you often find yourself caught between two distinctly different sets of likes and wants.

As generalities go, ‘male’ energy in the home prefers function over form, neutral bests bold, and old (think broken in) wins over new.  Female energy, on the other hand, can be quite the opposite.  Form is equal to if not more important than function.  Trendy and colorful are more appealing.  New and neat wins out over worn and tired.  Again… generalities being what they are, it’s rare to find two people in any household (especially of the opposite sex) who can agree on all things decorating.

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This couldn’t have been more true of a project we just finished in Cary.  First, let me say that one couldn’t ask for better clients.  Even-tempered and polite, both were open to the process.  While the wife of this empty-nester duo was more than ready for the refresh, the husband agreed somewhat begrudgingly.  But, with a little reassurance that ‘his’ likes and wants would also be respected, he too embraced the changes.

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Once underway, we were almost given carte blanche in our choices. Furniture additions were suggested and approved of course.  But the rest was up to us to pull it all together. Working within the existing color palette of warmer tans and creams and incorporating both the older and newer furniture, our goal was simple…. update everything and tie it together!

Fortunately, with two distinct ‘styles’ in play, the primary seating areas in the home were on opposite ends of the house.  The living room was already more a statement to her likes while the family room was definitely more to his.  And while far apart in style, the separation made it easier to give both what they wanted while staying true to our goals.

In the living room, a new coffee table, window treatments, rug, lamps, artwork and accessories helped refresh and finish ‘her’ space reflecting her likes & sensibilities.

In the family room, a new leather ottoman, end tables, window treatments, rug, lamps, artwork and accessories brought ‘his’ old west inspired motif into the new millennium!

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The dining room and kitchen served as a nice bridge between the two living areas, reflecting elements from both spaces to tie it all together.

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Sharing her experience on Houzz.com, our client wrote:  “When we saw our outdated home brought to something that could be featured in a magazine, it brought tears to my eyes.   We could not be more thrilled with the outcome.”

Finding the happy medium between ‘male’ and ‘female’ is always a challenge for any decorator or designer.  In reality, as in life however, the perfect decor is a marriage of the two.

Happy His & Hers Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

 

 

 

 

A HOUSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR

Decorating a new-to-you house can be a daunting project.  Sometimes it seems like almost everything needs to be changed so it will work.  You have no problem asking for moving help.  But what about asking for decorating help.  Opening that door can help eliminate a lot of the stress and guesswork from the move.  And it goes a long way toward letting you enjoy your new home without being overwhelmed by so many questions and to-dos!

FAMILY ROOM AREA

We just finished the first part of a project in Bull Valley for an awesome young couple moving into their first ‘together’ home.  Just starting out, several friends asked why they were going to the expense of working with an interior decorator.  She explained that she wasn’t sure what to do with the long, rectangular living space.  And, she wanted to make sure it was done right the first time, ultimately saving time & money.  Good Answer!

LIVING AREA

The project began by painting over the previous owner’s colors to unify the space and better compliment our new vision for decor.  We chose a combination of Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, Mega Greige, Diverse Beige and Realist Beige.  We wanted the trendy and ever-popular warm grays and beiges because they blended well with the Spanish tile and hardwood floors. While both might change in the future, those colors will compliment almost any flooring changes.

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As the homeowners worked on painting, we spent the next several weeks deciding on and ordering furniture for the living and dining areas.  Awaiting delivery, we turned our attention to finding the details that would tie the spaces together with a ‘lived-in’, finished look.  After learning about the couples likes/dislikes, professional lives, hobbies and other interests, we formulated a plan for their space that would reflect as many of those things as possible.  

After what seemed like forever, the patient couple let me know the furniture had started to arrive.  Once everything was delivered, we set to work doing what we do.  From new window treatments to lighting, artwork to accessories, every single element had to be added.

The main living area was a long rectangular space separated by a beautiful wooden spiral staircase to the upstairs bedrooms.  As with seating in any large space, it’s better to break the room up into smaller “rooms” to create useful and cozy furniture groups.  On one side of the spiral stairs we opted for a living area complete with an 8′ round tan/gray jute rug anchoring four new leather chairs.  The focal point for that space would be a reclaimed wood bookcase from Pier 1.  The other side of the staircase would play home to a new sofa and oversized chair with a new antique white t.v. console as the focus.

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Another unique challenge in the space were the numerous sliding doors opening to a large sunroom along the side of the home.  Rather than leaving them all open for use, making it difficult to place furniture, we chose to ignore them.   Instead, we left the one off the kitchen as the primary doorway into the sunroom space.   The others we treated as large windows.  Floor length sheer panels allow the light to pass while softening the hard edges of the doors.

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To brighten the space, we added lighter fabrics, rugs and window treatments where possible.  A new, rough-hewn, wood top with white base dining set complimented the white kitchen cabinets.  New barstools were added at the kitchen counter.

DINING AREA CLOSEUP

With rustic bones and surrounded by lots of woods, the home begged for natural accents.  And working for a large animal vet and pro golfer gave us plenty of inspiration to personalize their artwork and decor.

The completed space feels warm and inviting and received rave reviews from both clients and friends/family.

As we’ve said many times, starting from scratch can be a daunting undertaking.  Don’t let all the minor details take away from the excitement of owning a new home.  We’re happy to help make the most of your good taste!

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433

E-CONSULT CONTEST

New years are symbolic times for fresh starts and new beginnings.  Why not start the New Year with a fresh, new look for your home?

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Like & Share our Facebook page contest post for your chance to win one of our NEW “E-Consult” Redesign consultations.  E-Consult is a fast and easy way for us to help with many of your decorating dilemmas regardless of your location!

How does E-Consult work?  Just snap and email us a few photos of your room.  Then call or join us on Facetime so we can walk you through ideas that will help transform your space doing your own DIY room decorating makeover.

Winner will be selected at random from all eligible Facebook shares posted by midnight January 15th, 2017.  Open to all U.S. residents age 21 and older.  No purchase necessary.

Don’t want to wait?  Call to book your own E-Consult today!  Major credit and debit cards accepted!

What are you waiting on?  Add Decor Designs to the list of Resolutions you’ll actually be happy to keep this year!  Good Luck & Happy 2017 from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433

TWELVE DAYS OF JOLLY DECOR REVISITED

A couple of years ago in December, we blogged a series called “The 12 Days of Jolly Decor”.  Since we are already a third of the way into our countdown to Christmas, I thought these short tips might still come in handy as you prepare to welcome family and friends to celebrate this festive time of year.

From tremendous trees to gorgeous garlands, mantle makeovers to terrific table-scapes, beautiful boxes to beauteous bows, I hope you enjoy these great ideas.  Get ready for a veritable Bacchanalia of holiday delights.  Click this link to our December 2014 Archives for:   Twelve Days of Jolly Decor  You’ll have to scroll to the bottom to get them in order.  Or just pick and choose the ones that look the best for you!

Whatever traditions you celebrate, wishing you the Happiest of Holidays from Decor Designs!

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EVER CHANGING SEASONS OF DECOR

Trends and changes in personal taste influence the way we see our homes.  Even if you love what you have, eventually, things wear out or become out-dated and need to be replaced.  So, it’s safe to say your home is constantly evolving.  We like to think it will be done at some point.  In reality however, like the seasons, our homes are always changing.

Living Room Vignette

We had the pleasure of finishing some updates for a client this week whom we’ve worked with several times over the past few years.  As they’ve lived and grown in their home, things have gradually been replaced.  After buying new occasional tables for the living room and a new dining set, this Lake in the Hills, Illinois family wanted our help putting the finishing touches on their refurnished spaces.  They wanted to make sure the new additions flow and work together with their existing decor.  They also wanted to update a few things in the kitchen and family rooms we’d redesigned a few years back.

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As I told them, while new furniture is always nice, the details are really what bring the new furnishings and spaces to life.  After discussing wants, needs and budget, we decided we’d get the biggest bang by adding new window treatments & hardware, lighting, artwork and accessories.

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Window treatments are probably the single most overlooked and under played decorative element in the homes we visit.  Replacing the previous panels with new, extra-long 108″ panels (even in neutral cream and taupe) added more height and drama to every room.

Updated wrought iron lamps in the family room were added to match the scale of the existing sofa.  We repurposed the previous living room lamps on the newly painted and updated sideboard in the dining room.

An area rug, previously purchased by our clients, gave us cues for a new and slightly updated color palette.  Pulling terra cotta red and dusty blue from the rug into the decor, we added new pillows, throws and the dining room window panels.  Existing artwork and mirrors were repositioned adding a few new pieces for a change.  New accessories and greenery also helped bring life to the spaces.

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The updated results helped make these least-used rooms feel more warm, cozy and inviting.

As you can see from the next few photos of the home’s family room, even the simplest updates can change a space and make it feel new again.  We introduced new stationary panels to soften the windows blinds.  We added new artwork over the fireplace.  A few new throw pillows were added on the sofa carrying our living & dining room colors into this space.  Finally, we reworked a few accessories.

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Instead of finished and done, your home’s decor is always changing.  Whether it’s new furniture, kitchen cabinets  or a new rug, something will prompt a change in your decor.  As it often does, one thing usually leads to another.  Before you know it, your home has evolved.  So embrace change.  Enjoy exploring the many different personalities and seasons your rooms can have.  Making a house feel like home is a labor of love that lasts a life time.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

BOHO CONDO

Decorating projects are sometimes full of strange requests.  One such request happened over the summer when long-time clients and friends asked me to help create a new look for their condo in Chicago.  When I asked what kind of personality we wanted to create, the answer was “Boho Chic”.  “What the…?”  While I like to think we’re up on trends, that one threw me.  The latest and greatest is constantly changing.  And while embarrassing, sometimes customers run across these things before we do.

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Anyway, after Googling more about what other designers have dubbed “Bohemian” Chic, I was up to speed and more comfortable blending some boho elements into what I have learned of my client’s likes and dislikes over the years.  Namely, it had to be different from anything we’d done before.  Great!

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The first time I saw the condo in the River North neighborhood, it was in disarray.  The tenant who’d lived there for a couple years was moving out and things were cluttered and disorganized.  None the less, I took some measurements and Before photos and started planning the renovation.

Drawing inspiration from a sofa we were repurposing from their primary residence, I wanted to bring in bold colors to accent a neutral backdrop.  New paint was a given.  We chose Sherwin Williams 7030 “Anew Gray” (one of my favorites) for the entire condo.  A single color unifies the one bedroom space and made it feel larger.  The warm gray also serves as an excellent backdrop for the vibrant pops of color I envisioned with a gypsy inspired motif.

To make the space brighter, we opted to replace the dark kitchen granite with a white and gray quartz.  We also replaced the dated mosaic backsplash with a reflective faux tin backsplash to compliment the existing stainless appliances.

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A complete renovation of the condo’s bathroom was also needed.  New 6×36 inch tile on the floor and 6×24 subway tile in the shower visually enlarge the small space.  An arabesque border in the shower speaks to our bohemian inspiration.  A new, floating vanity enlarges the bathroom footprint.  A new toilet, and brush nickel faucets and hardware were also added.

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In the bedroom floating nightstands continued that look from the bathroom vanity.  Reclaimed wood furniture from Pier 1 and headboard from Wayfair along with bedding from Crate & Barrel completed the basics.  A large elephant print above the bed repeated the elephant pattern in the living room sofa fabric.

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Finally bold punches of color in the sofa, chair, accessories and art brought much needed energy and life to the neutral backdrop.

The resulting bohemian inspired condo is now a great get-away on weekends or a pied-a-terre to avoid a long commute during the week.