I find neutrals such as white, beige, gray, tan, and cream as the only color scheme in a room bland. I’m amazed to see that so many people really like Restoration Hardware. I got to hand it to Restoration Hardware. They are great at marketing their products but they aren’t helping the interior design industry and most interior designers don’t like Restoration Hardware. Perhaps the majority of people out there just want to play it safe and stick to neutrals rather than introduce unique colorful, patterned, and textured furniture pieces and decor into their space. I asked my friend why she liked Restoration Hardware and she told me because she likes the “earthy” look it conveys. Even though I don’t understand the appeal of Restoration Hardware, I can appreciate that my friend likes the look and feel of their designs even though I find it very blah and quite boring. I think most people would agree with me that when they have guests over, they want them to say “WOW, where did you get that light from or where did you get that coffee table from?” instead of saying “You got that at Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel”.
Most people want to be unique and special. They don’t want to dress like everyone else nor do they want to look like everyone else. The same is true of interior design and its products. Most people want unique one of a kind pieces that no one else has that not only speaks to who they are, but also evokes an emotion. For me, that means finding creative, colorful, and beautiful pieces that give my clients the “wow” factor. Restoration Hardware doesn’t do that in my opinion, so I’m curious why people are so interested in Restoration Hardware? For all of you who love Restoration Hardware, please let me know why!
Below are my pick of unique products (from affordable to luxurious) by talented designers that make me say “WOW”. I would definitely incorporate at least one of these pieces in a design I’m working on.
This year’s 2014 SF decorators showcase features seasoned designers such as Jonathan Rachman, Heather Hilliard, and Geoffrey De Sousa as well as newcomers Regan Baker and Sunny K. Merry. The designs were visionary, eclectic, classic, and elegant from the rich black and white traditional kitchen from Steven Miller to the bright shades of blue with hues of green in a young girl’s room from Artistic Designs for Living.
When I asked other people what their favorite designs were, the traditional black and white kitchen and butler’s pantry from Steven Miller Design Studio was the clear winner. The centerpiece of the design; a custom quartz crystal encrusted ceiling cove just left everyone speechless along with the rich black, enameled cabinetry with accents of Peruvian walnut, white stone counters, and geometric glass tiles.
I had several favorites including Dad’s Honey hole by SKM Interior Design which is a nod to a man’s private bar where he can enjoy cocktails. It includes a fun and unique hanging puffer fish pendant as well as a whimsical wallpaper of pin-up girls and an Art Deco era mirror. I also really enjoyed the Soaking Lounge by Lisa Bakamis Interior Design which is a young teenage girl’s dream retreat where she can relax in her boutique, feminine, lounge with a beautiful butterfly wallpaper and hanging rope light pendants.
However, my ultimate favorite was the final showcase setting where you will emerge into a series of garden spaces themed by reflection. An abstract sculpture in varying heights appear before you that reflect light and shadow designed by Kate Webster. It is very soothing and relaxing, especially when you can sit on a bench in front of the sculpture after a day of seeing such beautiful designs and reflect and meditate.
Below are some amazing designs from the SF decorators showcase which raises money for the financial aid program at SF University High School. Enjoy!
There is a misconception that interior design is a luxury service, especially in a high cost-of-living area like the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, interior design is very affordable. You can definitely design a space and transform it within a budget. If you have a specific budget that you need to stick to, interior designers do their best to stay within the budget. They will prioritize with you to figure out what areas are a priority and communicate honestly with you how to allocate your funds appropriately.
There is value in hiring a designer at market rate fees who can help you plan your space, select colors, fabrics, window treatments, lighting, furniture, accessories, and much more by putting it all together for you. If you are too busy, have no idea where to start, or made a costly mistake with DIY projects and color schemes, interior designers are the ones who come to the rescue and complete your design projects the way you envisioned.
I have designed rooms for clients who had a specific budget, had no problem paying for my design fees at market rate, and were extremely delighted with the result. Color is a simple change that will transform your space instantly without having to spend a lot of money. Painting your walls or changing out light fixtures doesn’t need to be expensive and it will instantly change the look and feel of your space. Adding colorful accents such as pillows, mirrors, and art work can be very affordable, especially with online sites offering special deals on designer decor such as One Kings Lane and Joss & Main. You can replace your kitchen backsplash with something more fun or paint your cabinets to give your kitchen a nice fresh makeover. A rug does not have to cost thousands of dollars, nor does a lounge chair. You can achieve the look you want within a budget and an interior designer can help you make that a reality.
Below are some examples of affordable interior design, budget designs, and remodels from HGTV that look amazing!