Why use an Interior Designer?..things you should know

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I often receive calls from clients and the first words they say are: “I have never done this before. How does this work?”

Living RoomGetting help to design, renovate, or just spruce up your home may seem intimidating but it can save you money and time. Having a designer can help can steer you clear of making costly mistakes.When most people think about hiring an interior designer, they zero in on aesthetics: wall colors, window treatments, pillow patterns. But that’s just scratching the surface of what a designer can add to a home. A designer envisions, plans spaces in a way that makes them both beautiful and functional.

A peek into your soul…the truth about your front door

Written by admin. Posted in Home Exterior, Interior Decorating, News

Front Door Learn what your front door says about you and how you can style and choose the right front door for your home.

The front door of your home says a lot about who lives inside. But selecting an entry door that fits your home’s style, adds value to your home, and is aesthetically beautiful can be an overwhelming process. Because a front door has the ability to add (or subtract) to our home’s curb appeal as well as safety, replacing it is consistently rated a high-value project for homeowners to invest in.

According to Remodeling Magazine, replacing your front entry door is a worthwhile project as the value exceeds the actual cost. When it comes to finding a front door that is in your budget and exceeds your expectations, you have many choices – including colors, materials, design and safety.

Like all home improvement projects, replacing your front door is considered an investment and your budget should reflect careful planning and decision making. There are a few things to look at when determining the costs of your door:

  • Blue Front DoorUpfront costs vs. long-term benefits
  • Estimated useful life
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Energy efficiency
  • Weather protection and performance
  • Features included
  • Pre-finishing costs or additional staining or painting required
  • Hardware and accessories
  • Remodeling additional entry features like stairs, lighting or doorbell

Before choosing the style door, a good next step is to choose the material. I make this recommendation because not all door styles are available in all materials, unless of course you opt for a custom door. Choosing a stock door can keep costs down and there are a lot of options from a variety of manufacturers in different stores so there is a high probability that you will find one you like. Consider also matching the material of your front door to the garage doors, especially if the garage doors are visible from the front of your home.

Wood Front DoorWood vs. Fiberglass
Generally speaking I prefer using actual materials vs a manufactured replica but when it comes to the outside of your home going maintenance free is a big benefit. When making your decision, take into account your climate and specific location. If your home is close to the sea or situated on a particularly wooded lot, the exterior of your home is subject to additional wear and tear and the fiberglass door would be a good choice. Note that fiberglass does not mean your door has to be painted but you can get a wood like door as well.

Solid vs. Veneer
Composite doors consist of a veneer over an engineered core and are a less expensive option than solid wood. If your front door experiences a high volume of traffic, for instance children that go in and out with sports equipment, this may not be the best solution as veneer doors can damage far easier than a solid wood or composite.

Painted vs. Stained
Wood doors come in a variety of grains. Choose oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, pine and more. In addition to grain, each variety of also has a base color which you should consider in conjunction with the stain color you choose. If the manufacturer gives you the option to get your door pre stained, go for it. Its not an easy task to stain your front door perfectly and this is definitely a place in your home that you want looking its best.

Front Doors

Why a porch? Steps to take to make your porch even better

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 Growing up in the Bronx we did not have porches but we had stoops! We always sat on the front stoop to visit with friends and neighbors, watch what was going on in the neighborhood and it was also a means of relaxation. Today the porch on my house is my place to relax, connect and entertain friends and family.  Porches were originally designed to create a nicer living space for rest and cool breezes. The front porch an be viewed as another room of the house and can be used in many ways therefore how you design it should be specific to your needs.

A covered front porch creates a comfortable space and shelter, a ceiling height of 8′-9′ tends feel best. Keeping the porch raised up off the ground gives a nicer presence while allowing for better sense of security . By code however more than 30″ requires guard rails for safety. By creating an inviting walkway to the front door you you add curb appeal to your home. Path lighting dramatically changes any walkway and creates great appeal. The landscaping of that walkway or in front of the porch is also important to creating the whole overall style and design. Creating a a garden of easy care plants in pretty pots adds to the ambiance.

 The size of the porch is dictated by the size of the house, but keep in mind you want enough room to circulate on the porch and be able to put comfortable furniture in place. You should treat it as an additional room to the house. I find having at least an 8 ‘-9 ‘ depth allows for chairs and room move to around. Even if the porch is small you can probably still add a smaller chair and garden stool to have place to sit and read or enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in the evening after working. Who wouldn’t like to sit on this great swing/daybed and have some fun with friends on a nice summer evening? So if you are lucky enough to have a porch, make it inviting and get outside and enjoy!

The Real Deal: What You Need to Know to Stage Your Home for a Swift Sale

Written by admin. Posted in Interior Decorating, Interior Design, News

Home Staging by kellydesignsSo want to know the secret of how to sell your home swiftly and for top of your range?

Its all about staging your home for sale. Would you go on a job interview dressed poorly and your hair not done? So why would you put your home on the market when it is not in its best shape?

Staging has become one of the most common marketing tools used by sellers and realtors to increase the speed of the home sale as well as selling it at top market value. There are tons of articles and information out there on how to de-clutter, de-personalize, neutralize, clean and paint to stage your home. But there is one key part that these articles do not tell you about, the showcasing of the home. The total package, the certain something your house brings to the table.
Home Staging by kellydesigns

Every property has unique features which need to be highlighted and showcased to capture the attention of today’s discerning buyers. We live in a visual world, so we need to present the home in its best visual way. A great staging, besides highlighting the desired features of your property, will connect with target buyers on an emotional level. The home should present to the perspective buyers with a lifestyle they are dreaming of and can connect with emotionally. This emotional connection is made before they even come to see the property. They must like what they see in the photos, the photos must really resonate and highlight the important features of the home. The next step is the curb appeal, if they do not connect emotionally upon arrival chances are they won’t even come in!

Home Staging by kellydesignsSince every detail counts, the showcasing involves a lot of fluff stuff like; replacing decor, artwork, lighting, and furniture in careful strategic ways , always keeping the target buyer in mind.

Did you know professionally staged homes sell on average 73% faster than unstaged properties as reported by a study from RESA( Real Estate Staging Association). NAR (National Realtors Association ) conducted a survey that revealed 71% of realtors estimate that staged properties sell for a higher price, some up to 20% more.

Most recent highest ROI items when staging a home are reported as:

fresh paint, landscaping, new front door, replacing garage doors, new and current light fixtures. The most important rooms are the kitchen, family/living areas and the master bedroom/bathroom.

According to ASP (Association of Professional Stagers) 75% of staged homes sell on an average of 11 days and for 17% more! This is the real deal… why not make the most return on what most likely is your largest investment?

kellydesigns of Fairfield, CT, Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Award

Written by admin. Posted in Interior Decorating, Interior Design, News

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World

[best of HouzzFairfield, CT], March 21, 2015 – kellydesigns of Fairfield, CT has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The design firm specializing in helping clients create an environment that they love was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

“Kellydesigns is honored to have received a ‘Best of Houzz’ for Customer Satisfaction award,” noted Kelly Sohigian, designer and owner of kellydesigns. “I take great pride in providing superior customer service to my clients.”

Recreating the Magic

Written by admin. Posted in Interior Design, News

Recreating the MagicNot sure if you are feeling the same way…but I feel like I am living in a snow globe!

If you are feeling the same way, it might mean it’s time to break out of the winter blues and refresh your living space, redefine your style, and relove where you live!

Why not treat yourself for Valentine’s day?? And RE-LOVE your home?.. sometimes all it takes are few fresh accessories … a new paint color… or perhaps reupholstery of an existing piece or a brand new sofa … new lighting can change the way everything looks…or simply add or refresh window treatments…whatever the change sometimes it’s needed to make everything feel and look fresh and good again.

In the photo to the left the sofa was in good condition but we had just renovated the first floor of the house and the red floral pattern no longer worked with what we had done throughout the rest of the home. My client and I decided to slipcover the sofa to give it a new look and work with flow of the rest of the home. We added some decorative pillows, added a contrast trim on the bottom and voila-a brand new look! It’s easier than you think and less costly than you think too!

How to turn a closet into a mudroom/laundry room…

Written by admin. Posted in Interior Decorating, Interior Design, News

mudroomOne of last projects I worked on, the clients had a a closet in their garage, which was large but cumbersome and not useful. It also had a door inside to a smaller closet for which we reconverted the space. We closed the garage end of the closet and and pushed back from inside into the space to make for an inside closet to allow for coats and storage, added an area for for stackable washer and dryer units, as well as added a mudroom with two benches and storage, which they so desperately needed! Now they have useful storage, laundry and a mudroom!mudroom

It was an easy additional that proved to be a win -win!

Creating Good Flow

Written by admin. Posted in Furniture, Interior Decorating, Interior Design, News

Creating Good FlowNo matter the size of your house or room, furniture placement can sometimes be problematic. Once you find the right arrangement though it should make that room not only functional but enjoyable too! Below are a few tips on creating good flow in your home.

Often in living areas, people will have the sofas and chairs line the walls. While in some cases that may be a necessity, it is more comfortable arranging seating so that there are conversation areas and access to whatever is the dominant architectural feature of that room. Have the seating areas facing each other to allow for ease of conversation. Anchor these seating areas with a rug having the furniture sit on the rug at least partially. Add a coffee table or ottoman and have side tables next to chairs. They should be about 14-16″ away from your seating areas, so that when seated you have some place to rest a glass. Always leave room for entry and walk through in a room, you will need about 30-36″.

FlowUsing wireless controls for TV and stereo help make things easier as there is no longer any need for big media cabinets. TV viewing should be about 8-12′ and not more than a 30 degree angle for viewing. Make sure your access is always behind the viewing path.

The key things to remember are:

  • FLOW

If there are no architectural details or focal points then you can create one with art work, furnishings , wall techniques like ship lap or wallpaper or  even window treatments.

Creating Good Flow
Dining RoomIn a dining room that is small or square, a round table can make a huge difference. Round tables optimize conversation at the dinner table. There are companies that make round tables that can open to larger tables (refractory tables) or that open to an oblong table. This allows you the availability for additional seating when needed.
A rectangular room needs a rectangular table but do not use tables that are bigger than what you need. Remember form follows function!
TableYou need to allow 36″ for push back on your chairs, so that your chair is not falling off the rug or banging into other pieces. When trying to decide on how many chairs you need, typical chair widths are from 21″-24″ and you need to leave about 6′ in between for comfort

BedroomIn a bedroom the size of the bed and how much storage you need are the key elements to consider. If you do not need too much storage then a larger bed may work. If the room is on the smaller side the type of headboard is important as it will add to the weight of the furniture in the space. Good Feng shui will have the bed facing the door in the room. If that is not possible then opt to have the bed facing a focal point or window. Allow 2′ on either side of the bed and the bed must be at least 3′ from the door. Adding nightstands or a garden stool on each side of the bed as well as a chair for reading if the size of the room allows is best. You can also add a small bench or settee at the foot of the bed as long as it does not occupy too much space and there is adequate room to move around the room.

In a mudroom you want to allow for storage and organization thinking of the sizes of the people using it so hooks and cubbies are accessible . Many times the mudroom is in view from a hallway so making it appealing and having it flow with the rest of the house is a good idea.

houzz PInterest