Category Archives: Decor Designs, Inc.



Everywhere you look, it seems people are coming up with new and exciting ways to help our planet. Folks who are old enough probably remember the anti-littering & anti-pollution campaigns of the ’70s. No doubt, those kinds of programs have evolved into countless world-wide green initiatives to help reduce our negative impact on our planet and the environment.

Every effort, no matter how small, multiplied by a large enough group of people can make a difference. Grassroots efforts help change our collective consciousness as it applies to our planet. And going green is as much about that shift in awareness as any one thing we might do to reduce our carbon footprint on the world. Going green is so much more than just replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDS, recycling empty cans or reusing shopping bags. But those do help.

Most ecologists and other planetary experts agree that we are already experiencing some of the devastating consequences as a result of the last 100 years of industrialization and waste.  If it took us that long to dig into this hole, we’re not going to dig ourselves out overnight!

Being aware of how much energy and pollution is created by redecorating with new is part of the consciousness shift we need in order to have a larger, positive impact on our planet.   In truth, asking questions like these more frequently represents the awareness we should all adopt in order to truly create significant change in greening our daily lives.

The interior design and home decorating industries have a huge opportunity and responsibility to help save our planet from unnecessary pollution and waste. For every item we replace in our homes, we directly and indirectly have an impact on our environment. Considering how much energy and resources are required to to produce, package and transport home furnishings and decor, it should be pretty obvious. And that’s even before you counting how much energy and landfill space will be needed to dispose of discarded items. With a different mindset about interior design, there is definitely room for improvement.

Of course, we’re not advocating doing without.  But, by simply asking some of these questions prior to running out to chase the latest design trend, it might help develop a different set of priorities when decorating. Can you use something a little longer?  Can you repurpose something else? Are you buying just for the sake of buying?

Redesigners and Home Stagers are your best resources for creating a fresh, new-to-you look for your home while keeping the planet in mind. By reusing and repurposing items that might otherwise be discarded, these trained professional help you see the hidden potential in your “old” stuff. And while it’s normal to have to replace things that are worn out or dangerous; like a tube of toothpaste, maybe you can squeeze just out a little more usefulness out which is both good for the planet and your wallet. At the end of the day, anything you can reuse or repurpose makes you and your household footprint that much greener!

So again, Happy Earth Day 2019. Celebrate by challenging yourself today to be more mindful of the impact your decorating choices have on our world and not just your home. Consider repurposing, redesigning and restyling with what you already own. And don’t hesitate to seek help from professionals if you feel stuck or overwhelmed. A fresh pair of eyes and perspective may be all you need to fall in love with the look and feel of your home all over again. And Mother Earth will thank you too!

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Like it or not, life is full of adventure. With work, family or other responsibilities, sometimes it’s hard to keep up or even guess what’s around the next corner. Sometimes those adventures result in a move either across town, across the country or even the world. And for some, depending on their circumstances, a move can happen more frequently than you might imagine.

Living Room After

Since last November, we’ve had fun working with just such a family. If memory serves, these folks have uprooted and moved more than nine times in almost as many years. Their latest move came last fall when they returned to Crystal Lake from Lake Geneva, WI to be closer to work and family.

If there’s an upside to frequent moves, it’s that you don’t tend to accumulate “stuff”. As anyone whose lived in the same home for years can tell you, staying put in one spot, you accumulate a heck of a lot more than just dust. Moving frequently usually means you stay lean and mean ready for the next move. The downside to frequent moves, of course, is that you never really allow yourself to collect many of the things you need to create a finished feel in your home.

With this move, our family wanted to “put down roots”. So, they chose a home they plan to live in for the foreseeable future. And so, it was time to finally focus on decorating and creating a “nest” that feels more like a permanent home rather than just another temporary move.

After their color consultation and painting were completed, we returned just before the holidays to talk decor. Not only did we need to buy a lot of furniture, we also needed most of the finishing touches as well. After months of planning, shopping and waiting, a few weeks ago we were finally ready to give this family the “forever” home of their dreams.

In the Living Room, we created a multi-purpose space. One half of the space was styled as a cozy sitting area for adults. A new love seat, pair of swivel, barrel chairs and tables were added along with a new media cabinet for the tv. On the other half, we created a play area for their young son and his friends incorporating a small table and chairs for lego and leaving a space for a future reading tent. Extra toy storage was hidden in plain site using a beautiful bent-wood chest as a coffee table. We also tucked an additional trunk behind the furniture for overflow.

Living Room Before
Living Room After

In the adjoining Den, separated by French doors, we created a comfortable adults-only space. We added two tufted club chairs and a small side table perfect for reading or listening to the piano. We also added matching bookcases on either side of the window for a library and other collectibles.

Den Before
Den After

The floor plan in the Family Room made it difficult to create a space that feels cozy and inviting. With doorways and a fireplace in the middle of the room, we were forced to create two spaces rather than one large one. A new sectional, end tables, rug, and ottoman were added on one end of the long, rectangular space. On the other side of the fireplace, we added a denim oversized chair and ottoman. Another etagere adds much needed space for more books, family photos and tchotchkes.

Family Room Before
Family Room After
Kitchen & Family Room Before
Kitchen & Family Room After

Most of the existing family room furniture was reused in the finished basement.

Basement Before
Basement After

In the Master Bedroom, we added new bedding, window treatments, lamps and artwork to help finish the space. New dressers and nightstands are also on order and will help turn this large bedroom into a masterful retreat.

Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After

In a world that’s constantly moving, it’s always nice to come home to a space that feels permanent. Helping these homeowners create a space that feels rooted in the present with a nod to the past is what this project was all about. With the basics in place, the stage is set for this family to create years and years of special memories. Happy Decorating from Decor Designs, Inc. 815-245-2433

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In February, Decor Designs, Inc. will celebrate its 15th Anniversary!   Since 2004, we’ve been invited into hundreds of homes & lives.  We’re so very thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to help with your decorating dilemmas.  We certainly hope we’ve had as much of an impact on you as you’ve had on us.

To celebrate our 15th Birthday, we’ve planned a special Rollback Rate promotion.  New clients (no matter the service) who call and reference the special Promo Code will have their billable hours adjusted to our 2004 Service Rates for the entire month of February.

For Example: 

Consultations (currently $95/hr. with a $195 minimum) will be billed at $25/hr. during the promotional period.  Interior Redesign, Decorating & Staging rates (currently $95/hr. with a 2 hour minimum of $295) will be adjusted to $40/hr. with no minimum.  (All other rates will see similar adjustments for services provided during the month of February, 2019!)

It’s been an AMAZING 15 years!  We’ve helped create a lot of pretty in our little corner of the world.  But, there are still plenty of rooms out there desperately waiting for a fresh, beautiful new look.  Together, we can make that happen!

We are so happy to celebrate this milestone and share these sharply discounted 2004 rates as a thank you for your continued support. This is a rare opportunity to take advantage of 15 years of experience at low, low Start-Up prices.  Don’t let it pass you by!  And don’t forget to share this post with family & friends in the Chicago area.  Call 815-245-2433 TODAY to start your your decorating journey with us.

Living Room After

Additional Promotional Information:

  • Clients must reference Promo Code ROLLBACK15 when booking their initial appointment to take advantage of these Rollback Rates.
  • Rollback Rates do not apply to current contracts or previous invoices. 
  • Service dates & appointments are provided on a first-come, first-served basis during normal business hours and may be limited due to availability.
  • Rollback Rates only apply to those services provided during the month of February 2019!  Effective March 1, 2019, regular rates will apply.
  • We proudly serve (and this promotion applies only to) clients within a 25 mile radius of our Crystal Lake office.
  • A 3% fee will be added to invoices for clients paying by credit card.
  • Rates for products/ services not provided in 2004 will be adjusted to reflect the rate at the time initially offered.
  • A full list of Rollback Rates is available upon request.
  • Other restrictions and exclusions may apply. Please call 815-245-2433 for details.


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It’s hard to believe we’re ready to launch into a New Year!  It seems like only yesterday we were fretting the uncertainty of Y2K.  And yet, here we are almost 20 years later ready to do it again!

Time flies when you’re having fun!  And we’ve had a blast in 2018 helping over three dozen clients make the world and their lives happier & prettier by updating and restyling their homes and businesses.

While we all have a love-hate relationship with Resolutions, you can’t help but admit it’s a logical time of year to set goals for the next twelve months.  Or, at the very least, it’s natural to review the successes and disappointments of the past twelve.

There are the usual suspects:  Job, Health, Relationships & Weight!  But, how many times have you put decorating on your New Year’s to-do list?  If not, why not?  Planning to improve and beautify your surroundings can be just as important as working on more internal goals.  Numerous studies have shown that a person’s living and work environment can play a huge role in overall happiness.

So, as you start checking off the days on a new calendar, what are your decorating resolutions for the New Year?  Will 2019 finally be the year that you take charge of those interior decorating projects you’ve been neglecting?  Or will you finally set a new stage for your life by tackling the updates that have been nagging at you?

Time and tide wait for no man!”  So, what are you waiting on?  Add a few decorating updates to your list of resolutions this year.  And if you’d like some help staying motivated, accountable or just to make sure it gets done and done right, give us a call!  Like all our clients this and previous years, we’ll help ensure 2019 is a beautiful, happier one for you and your family.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from All of Us at Decor Designs!!!  815-245-2433

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Homes come in all shapes and sizes.  From trendy “tiny” homes to urban lofts, to high-rise condos to sprawling suburban McMansions, each has its own inherent personality & character.  And while location & architecture certainly play a role, the owner’s personality and style can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a home.

This year, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a couple who purchased a two-bedroom condo in historic Lake Point Tower.  For those who don’t know, Lake Point Tower is the only non-public building on the East (lake) side of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive.  Completed in 1968, it was the tallest residential building in the world until 1993.

Lake Point Tower

Obviously, this 50 year old high-rise has seen its share of interior updates.  While the home had been updated before, our clients wanted to replace the previous owner’s more traditional taste with more sleek and contemporary stylings.

The project began with construction.  First, the French doors to the guest bedroom were relocated to create more wall space in the living area.  New gray-washed hardwood floors were selected and installed throughout.  New cabinets and countertops as well as a mirrored tile backsplash were added in the kitchen.  Motorized roller shades were installed on the home’s 18 windows.  Finally, new light fixtures were installed and the home got a fresh coat of the ever-popular Sherwin Williams Anew Gray & Agreeable Gray.

Condo Living Room

Dining Room Living Room Before

Dining Room Living Room After

As a secondary residence, our clients were literally starting from scratch.  So, it took several months of shopping to find everything we needed to fill the 1500 sq. foot home.  New dining, living and bedroom furniture were purchased from Room & Board™.   Additional accent pieces were ordered from other local and online retailers including a custom tv lift cabinet to help preserve the city & lakefront views.  Multiple pieces of art, rugs, greenery and accessories were also needed to add the little details that make a house feel like home.

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

In order to maximize storage and sleeping space, we purchased furniture with that in mind.  The platform beds in both bedrooms feature pull out drawers at the foot of the bed for added storage.  The full size sofa and matching chair in the living room are both pull out sleepers.

Guest Bedroom Before

Guest Bedroom Before

Guest Bedroom After

The single biggest change in the home, however, is the kitchen.  Gone are the more traditional painted cabinets and marble in favor of sleek, two-tone cabinets with waterfall countertops in pure, white quartz!

Condo Kitchen

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

To quote our clients, the end result is nothing short of “amazing”.  Their newly remodeled and furnished, second home will be the perfect retreat for late nights at the office, weekend getaways to the city and more.  And who could blame them with views like this:

Dining Room with Amazing Lake View

A home’s style usually takes a nod from the location and construction of the building itself.  But, nothing stopped our happy clients from turning their new condo into a space that reflects their vision for their Chicago high-rise home!

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Tis the Season!   Just before & after Thanksgiving, the rush is on to transform our homes into the holiday havens we want to share with family and friends this joyous time of year.  Needless to say, we’ve been busy little elves the last two weeks “decking the halls” for clients.

Believe it or not, helping folks with holiday decorations can be even more intimidating than helping with everyday decor.  Since so many memories and family traditions play a part of Seasonal celebrations, we do our best to respect them as we help clients bedazzle their homes for the holidays.

Even though some want a more theme-d look to their decoration, there is almost always some kind of hint to family & tradition.  Whether it’s collected or hand-me-down ornaments, a Christmas village collected over years or hand made ornaments from the grandkids, those items are just as important to achieving the perfect look & feel for the holidays.

Over the years, we’ve found that striking the right balance between a “designer” look and a more traditional, “family” look renders the best result.  So with the vast majority of clients, we do our best to put our designer spin on tradition by “up-styling” collected and other sentimental decorations.

Of course, theme-d trees, with perfectly coordinated ribbons, bows and ornaments, are things of beauty.  But a tree filled with special, one-off ornaments can be just as spectacular!   Simply mixing one color of stock ornaments, picks and/or ribbons into a tree of collected ornaments will help unify the overall look of the tree.

There are a ton of other tricks you can try to give a designer look to your holiday decor.  Here are a few more of our favorites:

BRING THE OUTDOORS INSIDE:  Tucking fresh/ faux evergreens, holly, pinecones, birch logs etc… in with your everyday accessories immediately transforms them for the holidays and adds a touch of elegance to any decor.

GO BIG OR GO HOME:  I’ve been known to say, “It’s not done, ’til it’s overdone”.  In reality, your home doesn’t have to look like an elf threw up in order to feel festive for the holidays.  In fact, limiting your holiday touches to a few large pieces per room, rather than a bunch of small ones, will have a more dramatic, sophisticated impact.

LIGHT IT UP:  Simply changing your lighting will make your home feel more festive for the holidays!  The soft, warm glow coming from candles and twinkle/rice lights on the tree and garlands will set the tone.  Just make sure you turn off or dim overhead lighting and lamps to create a more cozy feel.

With these tricks and more, we reveal the hidden festivity in our client’s traditional holiday decor.  Adding a more refined and stylish touch doesn’t mean sacrificing sentimental holiday treasures and the memories they evoke.

What are your must-haves this time of year?  What can you do to change it up without diminishing the traditions you hold close to heart?  Here’s hoping some of these tips will inspire you as you’re decking your own halls.  Let the joyous celebrations begin!

Happy Holiday Decorating from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433







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Working with young couples as they begin their married lives together is one of the most rewarding things we do.  Not only do we have the opportunity to help them make smart choices & avoid some of the pitfalls of early homeownership.  But, by helping with the many decorating choices being made by first-time home buyers, we help save time, money and frustration.  Lending our experience to the mix, we help create the functional and beautifully decorated home of their dreams.  This past week, we added the final touches on one of these projects.

This Palatine, IL couple had recently closed on their first home together when they reached out to us in May of this year.  The ’50s ranch-style house had undergone major interior renovations prior to their purchase.  So, many of the core choices, like flooring and paint color, had already been made for us.  Along with consulting on a few additional renovations, we were asked to help the couple merge their somewhat different decorating styles and fill in the missing pieces for their new home.





Replacing a sliding door to nowhere in the Living Room was a priority for our clients.  In its place, they wanted a contemporary fireplace.  After discussing several possibilities, we settled on a white granite, stacked stone fireplace flanked by built-in storage and floating shelves.  The homeowners added two skylights in the room to help compensate for the natural light lost by closing in the slider.



During our initial consultation, we helped them determine priorities, discussed styles and budget, and made a list of the purchases we needed to compliment the items we’d be reusing from their previous homes.  Then, we went to work sourcing all the new furniture along with window treatments, artwork, rugs, pillows & throws, plants, books & accessories and every other minute detail necessary to style a blank-slate like this one.





The homeowners wanted to focus their efforts on the main floor, keeping the large finished basement in mind for repurposing older pieces.  Our new furniture purchases included a sofa and matching chair, a pair of club chairs, round cocktail table, trunk style side tables, dining table and chairs, a rollaway kitchen island, nightstands for the Master Bedroom, and desks for the Office.  We also selected new lighting for the Dining Room and Master Suite hallway.



After construction on the fireplace wall was done and all of the new furniture delivered, we arrived with our team and a moving van full of finishing touches.  Working at a feverish pace, we arranged furniture and styled the entire house in about 8 hours.

Starting a life together as a newlywed couple is full of all kinds of challenges.  Buying and decorating a new home can add even more unnecessary stress.  While it took several months to get things just right, the end result was well worth the wait.  Making smart choices already, I see many years of happiness ahead for this great couple in their beautiful new home.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs, Inc.  815-245-2433



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Referrals truly are the biggest compliment.  So, when our clients proudly share our decorating work with friends and neighbors and we get the opportunity to work with those folks too, it’s even more special.  Last year, we posted photos of a project in Chicago we called Vertical Decorating.  If you read that post, you’ll remember the layout of this city, loft-style home with four floors of living space separated by a boat-load of stairs.  Thanks to a kind referral from that happy family, this year we’ve had the opportunity to work with their next-door neighbors.

The layout of this home is virtually identical.  For this phase, of what promises to be an ongoing project, we were asked to focus on Redesigning the main living space on the second floor which included the Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen.  Working largely with the homeowners existing furniture, art and accessories, we were asked to create a more finished and pulled-together look in their space.  Even though the family had lived here for some time, when you’re busying working and raising small children, it’s almost impossible to find time to work on your nest.  Luckily for us, these homeowners knew exactly who to call for help.

Living Room with Colorful Rug

Living Room Before

Living Room After

While we had most of what we needed, we still needed a couple more key pieces of furniture.  We wanted a matching chair to go with their existing Room & Board sofa to complete their seating area.  And we also needed a multi-purpose hutch for the dining area to help with organization.   After those were delivered, our team converged with a car load of finishing touches including lamps, a mirror, pillows, throws, storage bins and a few judicious accessories.

Living Room Before

Living Room with bookcase

Living Room After

While our couple of hard-working professionals and their two young sons were at work and daycare, we worked our magic.  And after a full day of decorating and a workout that puts any Stairmaster™ to shame, we were able to reveal the transformation our beaming homeowner called “warm and inviting”!

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Dining table and new multi-use cabinet

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

The Before & After photos might not appear all that different.  But, to the owners, the transformation and ‘feel’ of the space was substantial and exactly what they want.

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising for any small business.  And we are forever grateful to those who share our name and work with others.  Your referrals not only mean business.  But they offer us more opportunities to do what we love.

If you or anyone you know is looking for decorating help, we’re here to lend a hand.  And whether you’re starting from scratch or just pulling things together, we do it all.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

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Between now and Christmas, your seasonal home decor changes probably more than any other time of year.  Other than a few things in the Spring (aka Easter) or the 4th of July, seasonal decor generally doesn’t change much during the summer months.  Who has time to change up this kinda stuff with the kids out of school and vacations, right?

fall maple leaves


I love decorating for Fall!  Even better, it’s so easy to transition from Fall to Halloween and from Halloween to Thanksgiving without much effort.

Fall for most means colorful leaves, dried grasses, pumpkins, gourds, straw, corn and anything end of Summer.  Creating vignettes in your home with these natural items in mid to late September sets the stage for October and November holidays.

I’ve been known to say, “It’s not done ’til it’s overdone!”  But, with our ever-busier lives, I find we are all looking for ways to simplify both in terms of work and in terms of household accessories.  Less is best is faster, simpler and easier to clean around for any Season!

Adding seasonal touches in key areas will accomplish the same thing as decking the entire house with Fall decor.  Trying creating small displays of Fall in key focal areas like front doors and foyers, mantels and hearths and dining room tables.  Other areas for small touches of Fall can be a console or coffee table and the powder room counter.

autumn basket with gourds and pumpkins

Fall leaves and florals soften any accessories you might add and change throughout the Season.  Add those first!   Then nestle in your favorite “accessories” like gourds, pumpkins, Indian corn, small bales of hay, a vase filled with apples or nuts, candles and more. This list is practically endless.

Halloween Centerpiece


Early to mid-October, change out your Fall accessories with spookier touches for Halloween.  Pumpkins and gourds become Jack-o-lanterns, spiders, bones, bats, black cats, owls and tombstones fit the bill.  Adding touches of black with candles, florals and accessories immediately adds a more somber tone to your Fall decor.


cornucopia with fresh fruit







And, after the last trick-or-treater has rung the doorbell, it’s time to transition for Thanksgiving.

You can probably bring back a few of your previous harvest accessories and then add things associated with giving thanks. Cornucopias, pilgrims & indians and such play up the traditions in your decor for this special family time of year.

With a few simple changes, your Fall decor can transform so you’re ready for each holiday without having to reinvent the wheel.  With roughly 30 days between each, you’ll have time to enjoy each look before it’s time to tear it all down to make room for Christmas and Hanukkah.

We’d love to see your Fall vignettes.  Consider sharing some on our Facebook page: (

Happy Autumnal Equinox from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433







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