Category Archives: Interior Design

Modern Design: Discover the Joy of Simple, Clean, Uncluttered Space

Modern style Master Bathroom opens to Hollywood hills view

Modern style Master Bathroom features lava rock and view of Hollywood hills

If you love clean lines, accessory-free space, and neutrals with primary colors, then modern design may be the style for you.  The essence of modern interior design includes basic shapes, functional lines and curves, materials like metal, chrome, and glass – and furnishings without decorative parts.  If you want clean, simple and serene interiors, here are 5 questions to help you determine if modern design is right for you:

1.  What is Modern Interior Design Style?

Modern interiors are sleek, spacious, simple, and focus on function and organization.  No clutter or chaos allowed.  Modern design uses basic geometry (simple edges, curves and angles) and clean lines in furniture, architecture and sculpture.  This style grew from the idea to build for function, to do without traditional decoration, and to embrace industrial materials like chrome, glass and concrete, which new technologies make available.

If you hate to dust around knick-knacks or polish detailed carvings, sleek modern design makes your life easier.  Less is more.  If you enjoy open space, and don’t need to fill it in with furniture and accessories, you will enjoy the openness of modern interiors.

2.  What Makes Modern Furniture Modern?

Modern furniture is streamlined with polished, smooth and sleek surfaces.  Pieces are simple, uncluttered, built for economy of form, and to serve a purpose.  Furniture pieces are kept to a bare minimum.  The driving design concept is honesty: keeping structure and building material in plain view.  Sustainability is gaining importance.   More designers are reclaiming materials for use in modern design, and building from renewable resources.

3.  What about Accessories in Modern Design?

Art, rather than accessories, has a firm place in modern interiors. No cute little trinkets or blankets tossed over the furniture. Rather, art pieces are carefully chosen for their unique appeal, and to serve as a focal point in a space.  Geometric-patterned or plain area rugs provide accent colors and accentuate the bold look of modern interiors.

4.  What about Color?

From its beginnings, modern designers embraced pure color — black, white, and neutrals with vibrant primary colors.  Today, color schemes still use white and neutrals, with colorful accents.  Too many different colors will overpower the balance of your modern room.  Colors enhance the overall impact of your space.  Bold contrast using reds, greens, or black, for example, can provide a visual back drop on a wall, for large pieces;  bold color can emphasize the lines of furniture pieces.

5.  Who is Modern Design For?

Modern design is a fabulous choice for apartment dwellers because it increases space and creates the illusion of a larger room.  Young, busy professionals particularly love this decorating style since the space is easily kept clean without knick knacks or ornate decorative furniture to dust.  Spur of the moment entertaining is simple and quick.

Families with young children may find this style more challenging to adopt.  Hard edges, breakable glass and clutter-intolerance may not work for the very young.  However, a skilled designer with an eye for child-safe furniture and storage can help you and your children enjoy modern design and a safe, happy life together.

Famous families that make modern design work for them include: Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Ellen Degeneres and Portia di Rossis, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.

Find out what’s possible with your own Modern Design Consultation:  Contact us at imatchdesigners.com to find a modern design professional for your home, business or outdoor landscape.

Traditional Interiors: Does this sumptuous style work for you?

Hudson River Dining Room Cupboard

Traditional style dining room in Upstate New York features classic wood china cabinet and furniture

 

Is a traditional interior style right for you?  Traditional style celebrates simple elegance, classic shapes, and unfussy details (see these examples of traditional style designs).  It provides soothing comfort for relaxing at home and allows guests to take a greater share of attention.  Below are 6 questions and answers to help you see if this style will give you the setting you want for your home or business:

1.  What is a Traditional Interior?

A traditional interior is usually a cozy, comfortable and calming room.  Hallmarks of a traditional room include carved moldings, fine woodwork, graceful lines, and sturdy, finely crafted furniture.  An overstuffed, sumptuous sofa, soft accent pillows, framed wall decorations and elegant fabric curtains are a few details often found in a traditional room.

2. Which Furniture Styles are Traditional?

The most popular furniture styles for traditional rooms are Sheraton, Chippendale, and Queen Anne.  Queen Anne pieces are graceful and elaborately decorated with cabriole legs, violin shaped chair backs, curved lines, and decorative finials.  Chippendale is similar to the Queen Anne style but with gently straightened out lines and greater artistic embellishment.  Sheraton pieces are delicate with straight, somewhat tapered legs with contrasting veneers and inlays.

3. What kind of Accessories Follow Traditional Style?

To complete the luxurious and elegant quality of the room, accessories often include vases, bowls, and candle stands carved with designs favored by 18th and 19th century artisans.

4. What Colors are Used in Traditional Interiors?

Walls are usually painted beige, ivory or cream.  However, a color palette consisting of bold colors can be used for dramatic effects.  For instance, an accent wall in a bold color may serve as  a backdrop for furniture pieces.  Splashes of bold colors are also found in artwork and accessories.

5. What is the Difference between Traditional, Modern and Transitional Décor?

Traditional rooms use ornament and accessories for warmth, a ‘homey’ feel, comfort and relaxation.  Modern rooms take the opposite approach, ushering calm through the use of open space, clean lines, basic shapes, and no adornment.  Transitional décor embraces the comfort of traditional design and the stylish looks of modern design.

6. Who is happiest choosing this style?

A traditional style offers the familiar comfort of using forms, colors, and materials as they have been used in past.  People who pursue a deep connection with Old World, European or early American history take great pleasure in this style.  If you crave elegance and order, this style will feel timeless and satisfying.

Traditional style spaces designed with modern-day tastes appear in the Obamas’ living quarters.  This style has also been enjoyed in the homes of celebrities like Stephen Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Traditional style influences many modern interiors.  You don’t need antiques or dark wood walls to enjoy this style.  You can find inspiration in our photo gallery at imatchdesigners.com.  Type “traditional” in the photo search box to see featured traditional interiors.

Feeling inspired? Find out more about our design talent team.  Or for immediate assistance,  contact us for a referral to a design professional that can bring traditional elegance to life in your space

5 Romantic Bedroom Design Ideas for Newlyweds

A silky headboard and soft linens add romance to this master bedroom

A silky headboard and soft linens spell romance in this master bedroom

Congratulations. You’re starting your new life together as a married couple.  Now is a great time to make your master bedroom your special sanctuary.

Here are some key details to make your room look more luxurious, even if you’re just starting out.

1.      Create nice-looking easy-to-use storage. Your goal is to hide items that tend to make a mess.  Do you tend to empty your pockets on the dresser?  Find an attractive box or basket you love, use this to hold your wallet, keys, loose change for the evening.

Banish clutter.  It’s tempting to use your bedroom space to store gifts, odds and ends, things that don’t yet have a home.  Try not to do this.  Pick a closet for things you’d like to use, but aren’t ready for just yet.  If you don’t have a closet, seek a basement, attic space, or commercial storage for new items, your wedding dress, or out of season items.  Now is the time to re-home duplicate pieces or furniture that just doesn’t fit in your bedroom.

2. Help your combined furniture to cooperate

Your bedroom furniture doesn’t have to match to work together.  Perfectly matched sets can look a bit impersonal or out of touch with your vibe as a couple.  In the short term, if you must choose between dressers, choose the one that best fits your things or your space, and go from there.  Using similar color or texture can help match pieces coming from different places.

You may find your tastes run in opposite directions, as in, she loves modern, he loves antiques.  Blending these styles together can make a room look like it truly belongs to both of you.  To combine your different preferences together, first decide which style predominates among the pieces you are keeping.  Treat this as the main style, with accents coming from the other look.  Let each unique piece have its own voice.  Similarities like color and line can allow different items to work together.

3. Warm up the color scheme

Choose a favorite item, like a photo, a soft throw, a bedspread, and make this the basis of your color scheme.  Colors that add a sense of luxury and excitement include gold, or burgundy, or a rich violet.  Just the right dash of bold, warm color can go a long way to spark excitement and sex appeal.

4. Highlight the bed.

It is a bedroom, after all.  Don’t be afraid to make the bed the focus and make the message romantic.  If you don’t have a headboard, call on a little creativity to help make the bed attractive and inviting.  Paint can be useful here.  Use a warm accent color on the wall behind the bed.  Paint the rest of the room a softer color.

If your situation doesn’t allow for painting, you can hang a group of pictures above the bed, or images from from your honeymoon or a special trip together.  Look for a special item like a quilt, a series of photos, or even a well-crafted gate borrowed from the garden for a unique, expressive headboard.

Use luxurious linens on the bed.  Take advantage of the cozy feel and inviting texture of fabric.  Place a soft throw, a folded plush blanket or a few accent pillows on your bed to dial up the romance factor.

5. Take inspiration from something you both love

For inspiration, here are a few images that are high in romance, from our design professionals at iMatchDesigners.   See what you both like, and enjoy the process of exploring how to mix and match your different tastes.

If you find you just can’t get things to work together the way you want, stop and take a breath.  You’re not alone.  You can always get some professional advice to keep the process easy and fun.  Call us at iMatchDesigners for a free consultation and no-cost references to a designer who can help you create a special romantic retreat you both enjoy for years to come.

Meanwhile, get more inspirations by email once a week:  Subscribe to iMatchDesigners, just to the right on this page.

How to Hire an Interior Designer: Choosing an Interior Designer Yourself

french-regency-page-19

Your designer helps you see what you want; here's an example of French Regency style

Renowned logo designer David Airy has posted a popular piece on the client’s perspective when hiring a designer.  Though the issues deal with web design, they aptly describe the concerns interior design clients have about choosing a professional wisely.

Here are key issues to think through and apply when you are choosing between candidate interior designers, landscape or architecture firms.

“I don’t know what I want”

Help me see what I want.  Listen to my concerns, be they about building my business or nurturing my family or making guests welcome and comfortable.  Hear what outcome I seek.  Then share your vision.   I want a person who can help me clearly picture what I’m looking for.

This is where your portfolio and your consultation are important. I may choose you because I want something similar to work you’ve done.  I may choose you because you responded best to my need for vision during our consultation.

“I don’t know anything about design”

Still, give me the means of control.  Define the decisions I make in the process. Explain the steps and stages, and show me my control points.  If you disagree with my ideas or my input, tell me why.  But in the end, assure me that the final decision will reflect my choice.  I need confidence you’ll give me control.

This is why a contract is important. A contract protects my interests as a client in receiving work that meets my specific terms.  It protects your interests in working to a defined scope and your terms.  I want you to offer me a contract that puts our agreement in writing and explains how you and I control the project.

“I need to see value for your pricing”

Explain to me what value I get from your services. Pricing will be something I’m learning about in the process of interviewing designers.  I may not be sure yet about my budget.  Price isn’t the only measure that matters.  But I may be wary if you seem expensive and can’t clearly show why your services are better than your competitors for the outcome I seek.   Your pricing should be in line not only with your creativity, but with the practical work you take on to build, install and deliver the changes we are making.

This is where your relevance to my benefit is important. Don’t assume I’ll see your value as you prefer to present it.  Worry less about what you say, and more about what I understand.  Explain the benefits of your work in terms that are relevant to my life, values, and situation.

“I need to be able to talk to you”

Check in with me.   Follow up with me. Don’t disappear during or after work is underway.  If you go the extra mile to resolve small issues before they become big ones, I will remember your efforts to ensure success and my satisfaction.  This means I may look no further for my next design project, or when I want to recommend a designer to a friend.

We need to get along in a friendly way.  I know you are a professional and not my personal friend.  Yet I am looking for a ‘good vibe;’ some affinity between us.  If we like each other, this will emerge in the work we take on together.  If we don’t like each other, that will almost certainly cause problems. We need to be honest with ourselves about how good we feel that we are likely to get along.

You may not think like a designer, but you can make a great choice

This is where a talent matching service, like iMatchDesigners, has an important job.  It’s hard to tell in a 20 minute conversation whether any two people are going to get along during a full design project.  A seasoned referral resource can bring valuable background and perspective.  We welcome you to find inspiration or styles you like in our portfolio.  Then we invite you to tell us about yourself and your project.  You receive our personal referrals to design professionals we know well, who we believe are strong in the skills and personal traits most likely to promote your project’s success.

Limited experience in working with designers need not hamper your ability to choose wisely and choose well. You can contact iMatchDesigners for assistance in finding and choosing design talent to bring your new solution to life.