29 Pieces Of Advice Before Re-Decorating


Open Up Your Stair Case Into Open Shelving – “Opening an enclosed staircase can create interesting display options in most any venue. Here the walls that had run floor to ceiling, encasing the staircase, were removed. This relatively simple change added architectural interest and a far greater sense of space in this kitchen.” Darryl Carter Traditional Home Magazine

Be Practical And Look For Comfort In Designing “Everything hud to work for entertaining yet still be relaxing for us. Our sofas, for instance, are extremely deep so we can stretch out with the newspaper—we don’t want anyone to be scared to put their feet up. Everything has an elegant appearance but is actually practical.”- Homeowner and interior designer Philip Mitchell

Your Entire Home Doesn’t Need To Look Like A Magazine -“You need a place to watch TV,  take care of the pets, put your kids’school bags, and drop your mail. If you live in the back of the house, you can keep the front of the house tidyfor guests.” Architect Norman D. Askins

Good Design Is Based Around How Practical The Home Is For The Residents “Everything is connected now, and there’s this great flow throughout the house. It’s really because everything we did, we designed around four kids and two dogs. It had to be livable and practical.”Homeowner and interior designer Julia Schwegman

Don’t Be Such A Rigid Home Owner – “Put a Ping-Pong or pool table in a family room, along with a drinks fridge, a big-screen TV, a sectional sofa, some floor pillows or poufs, and a punchy wall color like orange. Your teenagers will think it’s the coolest place in the world—and you’ll be happy to have them safe at home.” — Eve Robinson

Lighting Is Very Important In Design, And Often Gets Forgotten – The question was asked to Virginia artist Tenley Beazley You have been through renovation projects before, what did you do differently this time?  – I thought ahead about lighting and lighting fixtures. It often takes a while to find the right fixture, so it was a part of the whole planning process this time.

Go For What You Want, Not What Trends Say You Should Do– The question was asked to Virginia artist Tenley Beazley, You trusted your intuition a lot. What did people think wouldn’t work that they love? “I went for soapstoneand marble counter-tops in the kitchen, but everyone kept trying to talk me out of it. You certainly can’t cut on them, but once everyone got used to using cutting boards and mats, they loved the look. And we did a whole wall of mirrors in the powder room, which everyone was worried would be hard to install or would show water splashes, but its a great look.

Comfort Needs To Be A Priority -“Every decision we made went through a thought process: Is it comfy, and does it feel good?” Interior designer Julia Edelmann

Take A Second Look At Your Space, See If It Is Functional For YOU “An empty nest is a great opportunity. For the past 10 years, my living room had been a hangout for our sons and their friends, which we loved. Once they went to college, I turned it into a luxurious office for myself I placed a big modern desk in the window and hung the walls with artwork I had collected. I would never have taken that space for myself until the kids were out, but now I love it.” — Windsor Smith

Old Finds That Have Been Around Forever Can Bring Fond Memories To Your Home “Act as if your new home is your first, and imagine how you want to present yourself to the world. Don’t get rid of what has served you all your life, but do spend some money on new things. Don’t settle for anything shabby!” —Ann Pyne

Collections Can Tell A Story Of Who You AreOn Moving Into Your Own Place– “Start collecting now. Go to galleries, art shows, antiques shops, and flea markets. When you travel, pick up a watercolor or drawing or some interesting object. Collections give a place depth and history. They represent your adventures, your passions, and how it all ties together.” — Sara Story

Don’t Keep Accessories At Couch Levels– “A room needs low things, high things, things at different levels to move your eye around and give a space energy. If everything is the same height, it doesn’t make sense.” Designer Ashley Darryl

Look For Functional Pieces That Are VersatileOn Moving Into Your Own Place “Look for pieces that are versatile. Maybe you fall in love with a desk, but you don’t have an office in your starter home. Use it as a dining table for now and know that you can take it with you to your next apartment or house.” — Suysel Cunningham and Anne Foster

Alexandra Rowley

Alexandra Rowley Seen on Southern Living

Fortuny Fabrics Are The Ultimate Luxury– Designer Ashley Darryl was asked about what her fantasy fabric would be, and she said – Anything Fortuny. I’m using Cilindri on a client’s bench right now, and it’s very exciting!

Know Yourself Well- What Draws You To Certain Items? – “Often designers say buy what you love, it will work. But why does it work? I want you to look at why by studying the pieces you love. What do they have in common? Are they all straight lines or curves? Are there particular colors that reoccur often? Do certain materials, like iron or glass or wood show up multiple times? When you answer these questions for yourself you are on the road to knowing when a piece will work well in your room, and when it won’t. For instance, disparate items without much in common can all be tied together with a color. Likewise, different colors can often be unified by similar lines in pieces. I think the more you see and know about what you like, the more sophisticated your choosing becomes – and that’s a great thing for anyone who wants to design!” Interior Designer Don Larson


CollectionsWedgewood Nantucket Collections On Amazon

Don’t Buy Decorating Art, Go For A Piece That Really Speaks To You– Virginia artist Tenley Beazley was asked her advice on buying art – “Buy the art you love; don’t buy what I call decorating art. If you buy a piece for a specific space or to match a room, it’s always stuck in that place. When you buy art that you love, you’ll probably always love it, and it can go with you from place to place or room to room.

Swing Arm Table Lamps Still Look Great! -George Hansen gave me his original swing-arm table lamp after he sold his company to Hinson, and it’s still sitting on my desk. The design is a classic.- Designer Stan Topol

Products That Work


Allow A Single Fabric To Shine By Using It In Multiple Areas And On Several Upholstered Pieces– “I like one dominant fabric; it keeps things pure with great impact. I think people don’t use enough of a single pattern in a room. For me, spaces get mushy when there’s too much going on. But you need to be a professional to pull off this kind of thing. It’s like playing with fire—you can either burn down the house or create a beautiful candlelit setting” Designer T Keller Donovan

If They Never Did Work, Make Space For Something New – “It’s time to get all the things right that weren’t right before. Be empowered knowing that you know yourself better than you ever have.” — Alexa Hampton

Buy What You Like, Than Being Trendy “You don’t have to consider anyone’s taste but your own. Make the most of that.” — Jan Showers

Great Furniture Can Fit Into Any Style Of Home “When a client downsized from a 10,000-square-foot house to a two-bedroom condo, she was afraid that what was appropriate in her grand house wouldn’t be right in her new home. She had beautiful antiques, and her first question was,

‘Can I use any of these?’ I said, ‘Of course! We’ll just use them in a different way.’ Even though her lifestyle is different, she can still enjoy her favorite things.” — Melissa Warner

Sift Through Photos and Collections, And Select Just The Best “We all hold on to sentimental things, but is it necessary to keep every painting your children did in preschool, every trophy, every ribbon? Keep the best and move on!” — Amanda Nisbet

Save For The Things That You Really Admire, Than Purchasing Something To Fill A Space “Buy only what you love. The things you yearn for, that were a stretch to buy, that you saved for, become a lasting part of your story.”— Alessandra Branca

Buy Quality Pieces, They Tend To Hold Up Better ” It’s tough at the moment, from an economic point of view. But as a result people are more interested in buying quality, not quantity. At our shops we’ve noticed a steep increase in sales of classic 20th-century products by great designers and architects. They tend to be expensive, but will last forever” Terence Conran
Make The Most Of What You Have – Eat Off The China- My mother loved it as well. We didn’t live in a grand house, just a small one, but she always made it look beautiful. She lit candles every night. I love rooms with atmosphere. Axel Vervoordt
Don’t Underestate What The Staples Are “A good-quality sofa and bed contribute to easy living. Not long ago I bought a new handmade mattress by Savoir Beds. It changed my life. I realized that I had spent a lot of my life in an uncomfortable bed.” Terence Conran
Collections That Are Personal Can Create Happy Memories “We had an English bulldog, Lulu, who came with us to the factory every day and made people smile, so we began collecting bulldog objects. My advice for starting any collection: Do it for the fun of it. Display pieces in groups—like items make a powerful visual statement” Mitchell Gold
Build Your Palette From The Outdoors – “My favorite colors come from the shades of local earth. Dig in the ground and you’ll find so many layers of color—amazing yellows, sand, browns, black, beige. I don’t like cool, dogmatic white houses. They’re not human. I prefer warmth. Axel Vervoordt
Take Time Off To Finish Mini Renovations To Completion “Try to get your entire home done at once so it feels serene. Having a work in progress for three years can be a drag: You’re always looking at something you’re unhappy with” Mitchell Gold
Look For Chairs That Appear Like Pieces Of Art “We pay a lot of attention to the backs of chairs: The best ones float in a room like pieces of sculpture. ” Mitchell Gold