Tag Archives: Interior Redesign

NEVER TOO OLD TO RE-DECORATE

We are lucky to be able to share a very intimate relationship with our clients.  I mean, think about it.  During the course of any given project, not only do we get to spend some of our client’s money, we also get to touch a lot of their “stuff”!  It doesn’t get much more intimate than that, especially considering home is pretty much the only part of the world you don’t have to share with everyone else.

Helping create spaces as unique and individual as our clients also makes what we do very intimate.  Sometimes, we’re helping first-time buyers define their style and get off to a great start.  Others, we’re assisting seniors as they right-size into homes better suited to a more mature lifestyle.  Whether starting fresh, or reinventing decor with years of treasured memories, one thing always rings true; you’re never too old to re-decorate!

If you’ve ever moved (and what adult hasn’t), you remember what a daunting task it is!  No matter the age, uprooting your “nest” is stressful.  It means lots of decisions about what stays and what goes; what will work in the new home and what won’t.  And, that’s on top of all the other logistics that come with moving.

This week, we helped a mother and grandmother move from a two-story home in Crystal Lake into her new, single-story, third-floor condo in downtown Palatine.  Having lived in her previous home for over 20 years, it was difficult for her to envision her things differently especially in an open-concept space.  As plans for the move progressed, we helped her decide what would work in her new condo and what had outlived its usefulness.  We also helped select new furniture which better suited the new space but still complimented and blended with what she wanted to keep from her previous home.

 

Finally, after all the planning, organizing, packing, moving and fretting were done, reveal day came.  After leaving us to our work and waiting very patiently with a friend down the hall, it was time to see the finished space.  Hardly a few steps in the door, tears started to flow.  No doubt, they were both tears of happiness (with her beautifully finished space) and relief (that the stress of moving was behind her).

Later that evening, after some time alone to absorb all the changes in her beautiful new home, we received a text which said, “It’s all gorgeous. I love it!  Thank you so very much.  I definitely made the right decision working with you.”

 

We often equate getting older with being “stuck in your ways.”  And while it’s human nature to resist change, our resiliency in times of stressful change seems to shine best when we need it most.  Ready for a fresh start and years of new memories in her new home, our client proved, beyond a doubt, you’re never too old to re-decorate!

Happy age-less decorating from Decor Designs, 815-245-2433!

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NEW E-DESIGN PACKAGES

We are excited to introduce our expanded E-Design Service!  Virtual E-Design is a great way to enjoy the services of an Interior Decorator while keeping you and your family healthy and safe.

THREE NEW LEVELS OF SERVICE offer you a fully customizable way to get the professional help you need, at a pace that works for you and on a budget that best suits your needs.  The Three levels are:

The “Foundations” package gives you basic design inspiration as well as the framework for the design of your space.

Need a little more design help?  The “Fundamentals” package provides everything in the Foundations plus all the other major components you’ll need to create a complete & beautiful space.

If you’re an “all-in” kinda person, we can help you create a beautiful, well-designed look that fits your space and your style perfectly. If every little detail is what you want, then the “Finishing Touches” package is right for you!

SAMPLE INSPIRATION BOARD

Whether it’s a detailed video consultation for basic design inspiration or creating a well-designed space with the “works”, our E-Design service is a great way to take advantage of our expertise from the safety & comfort of your home.

Completed entirely online, our virtual E-Design service will give you all the tools & answers you need to create a beautiful, updated space that fits you and your unique style.

Visit us at decordesignsinc.com/e-design or give us a call for more details about this cost-effective alternative to our on-site services.

Stay Home, Stay Safe & Happy Virtual Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

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DECORATING TO PASS THE TIME

A few months ago, COVID-19 was just a bleep on the radar.  Just another novel virus that might make a few people sick and then disappear into the annals of history.  Fast forward to today with millions around the world self-quarantined and social distancing to prevent the spread.  No doubt, COVID-19 is changing our world.

Let’s face it, any kind of change is hard.  We tend to avoid change out of fear of the unknown.  Change is scary because we do not know whether change will make things better, or rather, worse.  But if we’ve ever learned anything, we should’ve learned the only constant is change!

They say, “When life gives you lemons you make lemonade.”  Since you’re, no doubt, social distancing as you read this post, why don’t we borrow from that life lesson and make some lemonade?

Here are a few ideas which will help you pass some time and also create some good changes in your decor as we wait for this “storm” to blow over:

CLEAN:  Ok…. So this one is a win-win, right?  You’ve heard me say before that beauty and cleanliness go hand in hand.  Of course, disinfecting right now is an added bonus!  I’m talking spring cleaning like you’ve never spring cleaned before.  Yea, it might be a challenge to deep clean when your house is full of kids with a knack of undoing as fast as you do.  But give it a whirl.  Channel your inner Cinderella. Tackle those grimey winter windows so you can watch Mother Nature wake up from her slumber and wipe down those baseboards baby!

PAINT:  Nothing, and I mean nothing, can change the look and feel of a space faster than a fresh coat of paint.  A quick in & out at the hardware store, or better yet, a home delivery of paint and supplies will give you something to do for HOURS if not DAYS!  Maybe it’s just a single room, even a small one like your powder room or hall bath.  Or maybe you tackle the baseboards, doors and door trim with a fresh coat.  The change will lift your spirit and the sense of accomplishment will do you good.  If my 76 year old mother can do it (and she has been) so can you!

RE-ARRANGE FURNITURE:  A quick and easy way to get a fresh, new look is to simply rearrange the furniture in a room or two.  What the heck!  If you’ve got the time, do ’em all!  Just don’t overdo it and have to go to the hospital.  That’s the last place any of us need to be right now.  Remember to use your furniture slides so you don’t have to lift.  (TIP:  In a pinch an old pair of thick socks can work as slides on hardwood floors.  Thick, flat plastic lids will work as slides on carpet.)  At least rearrange the furniture in the rooms you use the most.  And consider repurposing furniture from one space to another.  It’ll give you something new to look at while you’re spending more time at home and give you that much needed attitude boost!  If you can’t see your space any differently, try emptying the room and rebuilding it from scratch.  And if you’d like even more ideas, download our E-book “7 Quick & Easy Steps for Arranging Furniture” for tips & inspiration.

RE-ACCESSORIZE:  I’ll admit moving furniture can be a chore.  So if you just can’t bring yourself to do a major overhaul, why not simply re-accessorize?  It’s Spring after all!  Drag out your tulips & forsythia, bunnies & baskets and give your home a makeover with cheerful seasonal decor.  Some are even putting up their Christmas decorations now to spread some cheer.  (Let’s Not Go Crazy!)  Or you can re-accessorize using what you already have.  Go around every room and gather all your accessories in one spot, say the dining room table.  Now force yourself to redistribute them in different ways and in different rooms in your home.  Create vignettes using odd numbers of different sizes & shapes and remember to leave empty space around your groupings.  The change of scenery will give you something to do and might be just what the Doctor ordered.

SWAP WINDOW TREATMENTS, AREA RUGS & ARTWORK:  If you want to take re-accessorizing a step farther, why not swap out window treatments in your rooms?   As long as your color palette is consistent and it all works (size, length, number etc…), why not swap window panels between rooms for a new-to-you look?  The same goes for area rugs and even artwork.  Swapping artwork is probably the easiest and most sure-fire way of creating “newness” in a space.  And you don’t have to leave the house or buy anything new.  Give it a try!  What have you got to lose but a few more minutes of social distancing?

Or course, I’m not making light of the situation we’re all facing right now.  But, rather than focusing on what we CAN’T do at the moment, I find it helpful to focus on what we CAN.  Since you’re spending a lot more time at home (or should be!), why not spend the time creating a clean & fresh new look reusing what you already own?  It’ll help pass the time and you can enjoy the results right away and for however long this thing lasts.

Here’s to your continued healthy & happiness as we all adapt to the changes around us!   I hope these ideas will inspire you to control what you can and embrace the possibilities all around you.

Happy & Healthy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

 

 

 

 

 

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FAMILY FIRST HOME DECORATING

“Home” and “family”, the two words are almost synonymous.  Our homes are our sanctuary in a crazy, hectic world.  And they provide the anchor that keeps our family group from drifting too far apart.  So it should go without say your family and its members are a key component to successful decorating.

Sometimes folks have a grand vision of their perfectly appointed and decorated home.  But, practically speaking, family needs and lifestyle throw a wrench into achieving that vision.  We always try to encourage our clients to decorate for “the way they live” rather than “the way they wished they lived”.  That’s not to say you can’t have a beautifully styled home.  But, failing to consider the way you use a room is the first mistake most DIY decorators make when styling a space.

This week, we helped a couple with two young girls put a few more finishing touches on their beautiful home in Roselle.  For this phase, we wanted to complete the main Living Room area, create a play space of the girls and brighten up the dark Master Bedroom.

In their long, rectangular Living Room, our goal was to create a kid-friendly, but adult space for tv and entertaining.  We also wanted to create a separate play area for the two, young girls which could be tidied easily while keeping them under watchful eye.

Living Room Before

We began by replacing the fabric sectional with a leather sofa and love seat.  Sectionals are very unforgiving and offer limited possibilities when playing with furniture placement.  And while some wouldn’t consider leather to be kid-friend, it is strong and durable.  It’s definitely easier to wipe clean and almost never looks dirty.  To the new seating, we added new, walnut-colored end tables.  The homeowners used chalk paint to give their entertainment console a fresh, new look and helped us avoid too many mismatched woods in the space.  Finally, we layered in a new area rug, blue upholstered storage ottoman, off-white/blue floral window panels, large, colorful artwork, a pair of table lamps, greenery and accessories.

Living Room After

With kids come toys, lots of toys!  So we looked for every opportunity for places to tuck them away when not in use.  The storage ottoman in the “adult” area was a good start.  To it, we added complimentary storage cabinets flanking the play area.  Cube baskets inside are perfect for dolls & smaller toys.  We also slightly angled the furniture to create a nook behind the sofa for larger pieces.  Finally, we dropped in decorative boxes by the door to quickly catch smaller items.

Kid’s play area

Playing off other colors in the home, we blended teal from the adjoining Family Room and dark blue from the Master Bedroom as part of our color story.  Luckily the girly-pink in the play area and the deep rich blues we used in the Living Room play perfectly together.  So we were able to unite the two spaces using accents of both.

Master Bedroom Before

In the Master Bedroom, our goal was simply to lighten and brighten.  While darker walls are restful in bedrooms, it’s important to balance them with lighter bedding especially if your bedroom furniture is also dark.  Rather than replacing the bedding, we simply introduced a pair of white pillows and a white bed throw.  We also angled a new, fluffy white area rug under the bed.  We finished by replacing the dark, blue window panels with lighter ones with accents of blue embroidery.

Master Bedroom After

Home is definitely synonymous with family.  Decorating for the way a family lives and functions is more important than having everything be pretty but not practical.  Helping this family find a happy balance between the two is why we love doing what we do.

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

 

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CREATING ADULT SPACES IN KID-FRIENDLY HOMES

Parenting… I’m guessing there’s probably nothing more satisfying or fulfilling.  Then again, there’s probably nothing quite so stressful or frustrating.  Every parent wants to create a safe and supportive environment for their children.  But, that often means sacrificing as an adult, especially with home decor.

Whether it’s child-proofed corners, washable rugs, non-breakable accessories or toys galore, most parents simply give up on having anything too “designer”.  At least they give up until the kids are teenagers or out of the house completely!  Having strictly adult spaces with kids is a challenge for any family.  So, it’s always fun for us when we have the opportunity to help clients create spaces that allow for adult activities while leaving others that are more family-oriented and kid-friendly.

We’ve recently been working with clients in McHenry, IL who wanted to create an adult space in their ground floor bonus room.  With a young son, the couple’s entire three-story town home was very kid-centric to say the least.  They envisioned at least one area in the home where they could de-stress, relax and just be without having to child-proof or sacrifice on any of the creature comforts adults enjoy.

BEFORE

Their vision for the space was a media room for relaxing, taking a nap, reading a book or watching tv & movies.  With a monster 86″ flat-screen tv and killer sound system, this space would be an adult retreat from the organized chaos of family life upstairs.

Wanting several grown up elements, they asked that we incorporate a coffee/wine bar theme in the space.  Since they’d already purchased a new ultra-deep sofa, entertainment center & bookcase, we were asked to simply pull their vision together by bringing in everything else from window coverings to artwork, lighting to accessories.

After several weeks of space planning and shopping for the details, we returned to give the room the adult theme the owners so desperately wanted and deserved.

AFTER

First, we replaced the white, wood blinds with new bamboo roman shades for warmth and privacy.  Then, we added a reclaimed-wood & metal console table to serve as both wine & coffee bar. (espresso machine on order)  To it, we added wine stem storage with wine racks on the floor underneath.  Three gray, leather storage cubes were added.  They can serve as extra seating, tables and storage for unused pillows and throws.  A black, wire mesh chair in the corner offers additional seating.  A new c-table provides a place for a cup of coffee or glass of wine while snuggling on the extra-deep sofa.

BEFORE

AFTER

Without a ceiling fixture, we needed to create a lighting triangle to take care of any dark corners in the room.  So, we added a beautiful floor lamp from Crate & Barrel by the sofa.  Then we placed a pewter teardrop lamp from World Market on the floor by the tv.  Finally, a glass bottle accent lamp from HomeGoods found its spot on the bookcase.

An avid audiophile, the husband wanted acoustic panels in the room to help with sound.  By some miracle, he’d already found some.  Covered with burlap, coffee bean bags, they fit perfectly into our design.  So we used 6 of them above the sofa doubling as artwork.  We added a framed burlap bulletin and chalk board to cover the unsightly electrical panel.  And we added a family photo wall and other metal bowl art from World Market to balance the space.

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

Every little detail from coffee cups and spoons to serving trays and flavored syrups were added. And lastly, we poured coffee beans into the vintage sugar molds on the window sill.  Good design touches as many of the senses as possible.  So we made sure the wonderful aroma of the coffee beans filled the air as well as any neighborhood coffee house.

The end result is a room that allows for plenty of “adulting”.  Whether it’s for a cup of coffee with the morning news, a game of chess or a great movie, this space went from a sad, underutilized storage area to a media room any adult would enjoy.

The moral of this story is this.  Finding the right combination of kid-friendly spaces, family spaces and adult spaces makes any home feel more balanced.  It offers adults the opportunity to be adults in their own home while still having spaces for kids to be kids.  When everyone’s needs are met, family happiness ensues!

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

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DECOR DESIGNS CELEBRATES 15 YEARS

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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SMART CHOICES FROM THE START

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.

Before

After

Before

After

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.

Before

After

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.

Before

After

Before

After

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.

Before

After

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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VERTICAL DECORATING TAKE 2

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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FRESH START DECORATING

A fresh start is exciting for any family.  But, decorating an entire home right after moving is a time consuming & expensive proposition.  Getting things right, the first time around, helps save time and money.

We recently worked with a young family as they were settling into their home in Western Springs, Illinois.  Adapting to suburban living, after a move from the Chicago Loop, the couple wanted help adding some of the finishing touches that would make their new, larger house feel more like home.

Before we met, the couple and their 15 month old daughter had taken a few months to get acquainted with their new home.  Living in the space for a while, before tackling decorating, helped the couple determine priorities.

The cottage style home, built in 1909, had been updated and renovated while maintaining it’s vintage charm.  Unlike the open concept floor plans so popular in contemporary construction, we were working with the more segregated spaces of a bygone era.

Being toddler friendly was of concern as we added many of the missing elements any new home needs including furniture, lighting, artwork and accessories.

On the first floor, off the enclosed front porch, we created a ‘formal’, but cozy & inviting living room space.  Adding a matching chair to their recently purchased Pottery Barn sofa created an intimate sitting area with plenty of play room for a toddler.  Marble-top side and sofa tables with kid-friendly, rounded edges were added along with floor length aqua-colored panels, clear glass lamps, trendy artwork, throw pillows and accessories.  The homeowner’s large, wicker storage trunk served dual purpose as coffee table and toy storage.

LIVING ROOM BEFORE

LIVING ROOM AFTER

LIVING ROOM BEFORE

LIVING ROOM AFTER

Next, we turned our attention to the second floor master bedroom.  With both parents working and raising their first child, it was important to create a restful sanctuary for those precious moments of sleep.  To complete the space, we added new nightstands, matching lamps, geometric window treatments, a large leaning floor mirror, plush rug, footed reclaimed wood storage trunk and accents.

MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE

MASTER BEDROOM AFTER

To create a more casual and family-friendly space, we turned to the finished basement.  Along with the existing sofa, coffee table and entertainment console, we added an area rug, clear glass sofa table and pendant lamp.  Floor length panels helped soften the harsh edges of the short basement windows giving the illusion of higher ceilings.  The couple’s large framed map was the perfect size to cover the unsightly utility boxes near the t.v.  An acrylic ‘ghost’ chair, always a great conversation starter, finished the sitting area.  With limited wall space on the first floor, we created a family photo gallery wall between the windows in the basement for all the pictures a family with a young child are sure to take.

BASEMENT BEFORE

BASEMENT AFTER

After finishing the job, the lady of the house said, in part, that we had “easily meshed my minimalist taste with my husband’s eye for cottage, all while remembering that we have a very curious child to decorate around.”

Starting from scratch can be a very daunting task.  With the time constraints of working and raising a child coupled with the expense of decorating an entire home, asking for help to get started on a good path helped save this family time and money.

Whether you are starting fresh or just looking for a fresh start, we’re happy to help you Make the Most of Your Good Taste™.  Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433.

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BEST OF HOUZZ 2018

We are thrilled to be honored again the year by the folks at Houzz.com with their prestigious Best of Houzz Service Award for 2018.  Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of recent client reviews.

This is our 5th consecutive year receiving this recognition for exemplary customer service.

Thanks to Houzz and to our wonderful clients for taking the time to share awesome reviews!

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