How to Get the Most Out of The Designer/Client Relationship

The Green Room Interiors  Family Room Design for a recent project

The Green Room Interiors Family Room Design for a recent project

I get lots of inquiries from people who have never worked with a Designer or Decorator before. I find that people can feel a little uncomfortable or intimidated when sharing their struggles with me. After all, they’re really putting themselves out there and feeling vulnerable - even a little embarrassed - by the state of their homes.

So that leads me to the topic of today’s blog post. How to get the most out of the Designer/Client relationship. Because it really is a relationship. I have to know a lot about you to begin to create a home that represents your best “self” and allows you to feel at home in your newly designed environment.

I’ll be in your home from time to time. I’ll see your home in it’s “before” state, when you’re still living with that hand me down sofa, or your husband’s bachelor pad ping pong table that’s currently standing in as your dining room table. No shame. We’ve all been there, and we’ll dig deep to find out what really excites you and exactly what your vision is for your home.

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Of course the Design process is fun and exhilarating! But there are also lots of details and decisions that must be addressed along the way. It’s a process that’s like a roller coaster ride - and the more prepared you are, the more comfortable you’ll feel when those inevitable highs and lows come around.

So, if you’ve never worked with a Designer before, here are some things you might find helpful.

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Think first about how you want your room to function. Are you entertaining crowds regularly? Do you need a place to Home School? A quiet place to pay bills? Let’s make the space work for your needs first - once we get the functionality right, we can always make it pretty!

Pick a few adjectives that describe how you want your space to “feel” when we’re all done. Vibrant and happy? Quiet and cozy? Clean and simple? It’s really about creating a mood over picking coordinating colors (although we’ll create fabulous color palettes too!)

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If you’re planning to incorporate some of your existing pieces into the new design, make those decisions before we start, and be ready to let go of the things that don’t reflect the direction you want your new space to take.

Think about a realistic investment for your space. Not everything has to be super high end, but we’ll want to invest in some good quality statement pieces. Having a budget allows me to stay in line with your expectations for the project and will save both of us time and disappointment if we’re on the same page from the very beginning. I work hard to find the very best options that suit whatever your budget allows.

Communicate how involved you wish to be. Do you want a designer to handle everything for you, or do you want to be involved in every single decision along the way? Do you need bi-weekly updates on the project, or do you just want updates on milestones as they occur? Do you want to purchase and manage delivery of your own furnishings, or do you want your designer to place orders and manage them on your behalf?

If there is a significant other decision maker, determine how conflicts will be resolved.

Gather up some images of rooms you love on Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, and your favorite shelter magazines. You may not see a common thread, but your images will give me clues into your preferred style.

Trust me. This is a big one!! I want to get you the absolute best look I can create for you based on your style preferences and your budget. Some of things I recommend may feel a little uncomfortable for you. This is where the magic happens! Allow me to push you a little outside of your comfort zone, and trust that I have the big picture in mind. Whatever it is you were nervous about will make perfect sense on installation day.

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Know that the Design process is fluid. Yes, we will create a Design Plan for your new space, but as the process moves along, be open to veering off the path a little.

Know that there can be setbacks - out of stock items, damage from shipping, and custom items all contribute to delays. Implementing your design can be frustrating at times, but keep your eye on the big picture. It’s a little like childbirth - sometimes the process is painful but when we’re done our baby will bring you more happiness than you imagined!

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And the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy this exciting process! A well designed room provides tremendous benefits that will be enjoyed long after your project is complete!

The Green Room Interiors is accepting new clients for late spring/summer 2019. Schedule your consultation with Kim at 423.653.3186.




Chattanooga Interior Design Project Reveal - The Upper Level

HI again!

In my last post I shared the reveal of a new home Decorating project for a wonderful family in Chattanooga. Today we’ll go upstairs and have a look at those spaces!

In case you missed it, the aesthetic for this home is light, bright, and simple. The clients’ previous home was very traditional and was decorated with an Old Word/French Country twist - which worked perfectly for that home’s architecture. However, my clients were ready to embrace a more pared down style in their new home.

At the top of the steps is a loft area. We decided to utilize that space as a media/game room.

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A cozy sectional is perfect for lounging and watching movies, especially in an area mostly used by family. My clients love color, and the blue and orange color palette is a great counterpoint to the light and neutral wall color.

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My clients wanted to incorporate a game table into the loft area, and I was lucky enough to source this mid century modern game table and chairs from a trusted local antiques dealer. The chairs are fantastic quality pieces and we had them recovered in a sturdy fabric to work within our color palette.

Right off of the loft area is a bedroom that is used by my clients’ daughter when she is in town. Our selections in this bedroom were guided by her style preferences.


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We tucked a little workspace into this area under the eaves to make it as functional as possible. The floral print on the drapes adds some movement and interest to the room without dominating the space. I love this understated feminine print!

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All of the art was selected by my clients’ daughter, and she can add to this gallery wall as she collects more pieces.

The last space we’ll look it is very special. It’s a home office for the lady of the house, and I’m pretty in love with this room.

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This space represents everything my client wanted in her home office. It’s colorful, light hearted, a little whimsical, and eclectic. This room gets the most beautiful natural daylight and it’s a such a happy space to work in!

That rounds out the tour of this beautiful home! I hope you enjoyed seeing it as much as I enjoyed working on it!

The Green Room Interiors is accepting new clients for Spring/Summer 2019. Contact Kim at 423.653.3186 to set up a consultation.

Chattanooga Interior Design Project Reveal - Main Level

Welcome!

Today I want to share a recently completed project that I’m sure you will enjoy seeing.

How about a little background info first?

I have had the pleasure of working with these clients on their previous home, and they’re great to work with. Not only are they trusting and decisive, but (added bonus) they had a pretty clear vision of the direction they wanted this new home to take! And speaking of the new home, it’s a downsize from their previous home and it’s a gorgeous newly constructed home that they bought upon it’s completion.

All of the finishes ( paint colors, cabinets, countertops, tile, stain colors, etc) were already selected when the clients made the purchase, and they provided a wonderful light and neutral backdrop for the furnishings.

The clients’ former home had an Old World French style of architecture, and although it was a beautiful home and a good fit for them previously, they were ready to embrace a lighter, cleaner aesthetic in the new digs.

Ready to tour?

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Like many of today’s new homes, the main level is quite open! We decided to work with the existing paint color (a light, warm greige,) and add color through furnishings and accessories. All of the furnishings you see here are new, with the exception of the nesting table set to the right of the sofa. The clean lined legs made these tables a perfect fit for our new direction!

Although there is no dedicated foyer, we created an area to drop keys and mail by adding a small chest near the front door.

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And here’s the opposite side of the room. We added a little drama by painting the backs of the bookcases off-black, which provides a stronger silhouette for the items on the shelves.

Newer homes that are very open don’t offer a lot of wall space to hang art, and we loved these prints from the clients’ previous home. Our solution? We placed them on the front of their built-in bookcases. I love a little of the unexpected!

The ceilings are very high in this area, and the topiary urns act as finials to each bookcase.

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This is the view from the front door, looking through the living room and kitchen into the dining room. The vaulted ceiling created a great opportunity for some design drama, so we capitalized on that opportunity and swapped out the builder’s fixture for this stunning gold showstopper. Yes, it’s large, but since it’s simple in form it doesn’t feel too heavy.

The Louis dining chairs are from my clients’ previous dining room, and they work perfectly in their new home.

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Here’s closer look at the dining room . The table and buffet have a slightly weathered finish, which contrasts beautifully with the modern art and contemporary chandelier. The overall aesthetic is very clean and simple, which makes a perfect backdrop for family dinners and casual entertaining!

The master bedroom is also located on the main level and it came with some wonderful architectural details. My clients opted to change the paint color to a restful blue. They had used this very color in their previous home, and it’s such a lovely color we were eager to incorporate it into their new home.

This room gets some beautiful natural light. We also love the coffered ceiling, hardwood floors, and tall doors. The chairs, bedding and pillows were brought over from the clients’ previous home. Everything else was selected to work with these design elements.

This room gets some beautiful natural light. We also love the coffered ceiling, hardwood floors, and tall doors. The chairs, bedding and pillows were brought over from the clients’ previous home. Everything else was selected to work with these design elements.

I think the takeaway here is that with some careful selections, you can create a feeling of calm and enjoy some color at the same time!

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We opted to create a fun, bohemian look on a main floor bedroom that is used by the client’s adult son when he is in town.

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A clean-lined low brass bed is flanked by vintage mid century modern end tables topped with smoked glass. The charcoal velvet quilt is accented with mud cloth and bohemian inspired pillows. The end result is completely appropriate for guests while pushing the envelope a little.

I hope you enjoyed touring the main level of this lovely home today. In my next blog post we’ll tour the upstairs rooms. Hope you’ll stop by again for a look!

The Green Room Interiors is accepting new clients for Spring and Summer 2019. Contact Kim today to schedule your consultation. Email thegreenroominteriors@gmail.com






When Design Styles Collide

When Design styles collide, that’s when the magic happens!

Nothing creates a more interesting, personalized and collected home like mixing Design styles. And I think that very idea intimidates most people. The thought of combining a Colonial dining table with modern chairs just comes with too much margin for error. How do you know which modern chairs will work with your classic dining table? And then what do you do about selecting a rug/light fixture/sideboard/lamps/art/mirror?

I’m not sure mixing design styles is something that can be taught. For me, mixing styles is intuitive - I “just know” what will work!

Take for instance, this Chattanooga client’s living room. We combined these ornate Rococo candle sconces from her collection with a modern drawing that we put in a clean lined glass frame. Opposites truly attract!

Take for instance, this Chattanooga client’s living room. We combined these ornate Rococo candle sconces from her collection with a modern drawing that we put in a clean lined glass frame. Opposites truly attract!

In the same room, a collection of “found” vintage pieces and contemporary works of art work perfectly over this modern sofa. Can you feel the client’s personalities here?

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Same client, same room - modern print curtains provide the backdrop (and fabulous tension) to the antique armchair we had reupholstered in this yummy blue velvet.

Shall we go on?

In this Chattanooga dining room, we combined traditional French Louis chairs with modern art and a contemporary light fixture. More contrast is provided between the rough texture of the bamboo shades and metallic accents on the slick white and gold lamps. OH, and that’s a vintage carnival glass compote on the contemporary buffet!

In this Chattanooga dining room, we combined traditional French Louis chairs with modern art and a contemporary light fixture. More contrast is provided between the rough texture of the bamboo shades and metallic accents on the slick white and gold lamps. OH, and that’s a vintage carnival glass compote on the contemporary buffet!

Here’s a view into this gorgeous eclectic dining room from the kitchen. Viva the mix!

Here’s a view into this gorgeous eclectic dining room from the kitchen. Viva the mix!

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Here’s a recent dining room project that’s both rustic and refined. Artisan crafted table from hand-hewn planks combines with modern skirted dining chairs. Modern art and chandelier provide contrast to the antique Deco sconces and vintage Turkish rug.

This is where the magic happens!!

Yes, mixing Design styles creates memorable rooms. It also creates timeless rooms. Because so many periods and genres are represented, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the room was done. There’s a collected over time feel that will continue to be added to as time marches forward, and each new layer will reveal something more about the people who live there!

So what do you think? Have I convinced you that mixed trumps matched?

If you’re in the Chattanooga area and struggling with creating your own memorable interiors, call Kim at 423.653.3186 to discuss your needs!

Here's Why I Think Chinoiserie is Timeless 2.0

Here is a blog post I wrote 4 years ago about the timelessness of Chinoiserie design elements. My feelings on the subject haven’t changed a bit, so I thought I would share it again today.

No doubt you've noticed the resurgence in popularity for all things Chinoiserie over the past few years, probably (sadly) to the point of oversaturation.  I remain undeterred.  I've loved Chinoiserie design elements for decades (seriously) and even though I'm disheartened to see it become so mainstream, I'm not ready to jump ship yet .

Here's why I think Chinoiserie has staying power.

1.  Chinoiserie prints are nature inspired.


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Mother Nature has always been and always will be the greatest source of design inspiration.  Period. So it stands to reason that if we continue to look to nature for design inspiration, then Chinoiserie prints and wallpapers will always be relevant.


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2. Chinoiserie is Whimsical


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And couldn’t we all use a little humor in our lives?

Can you even look at this without smiling?

Can you even look at this without smiling?

3. Chinoiserie plays well with others. (design styles)

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Here (above) Chinoiserie blends perfectly with the modern console and lighting.

And below, Chinoiserie will always work perfectly with Classic furnishings and antiques!

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Chinoiserie mixed with Louis chairs below - and put together in a most modern way.



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4. Chinoiserie is bold.

Pagoda bed is not for the faint of heart!

Pagoda bed is not for the faint of heart!

The legendary Alex Papachristidis throws caution to the wind with an exuberant textile mix that is accented with whimsical Chinoiserie design elements.

The legendary Alex Papachristidis throws caution to the wind with an exuberant textile mix that is accented with whimsical Chinoiserie design elements.

5. Chinoiserie is timeless. We have been charmed by Chinoiserie for centuries and will continue to be for centuries to come.

The bedroom belong belonged to Oscar de la Renta in 1983.

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Excuse the poor image quality below, but this Billy Baldwin room done sometime in the 1970’s demonstrates Chinoiserie’s staying power!

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I rest my case!

If you’re in the Chattanooga and would like to live in timeless comfort and beauty, give Kim a call at 423.653.3186 . I’d love to hear about your project!







Interior Design Trends for 2019 and What It Means to You

Well, it’s that time of year again where design trends for the new year are being revealed by major media outlets. I always find their predictions so interesting - and to be taken with a grain of salt. After all, who are they to tell us how to live in our homes? I do have some thoughts on said trends and I’ll share those with you today.

  1. Terrazzo is predicted to make a strong comeback, which makes you wonder if there really is anything new under the sun. Terrazzo enjoyed tremendous popularity in the midcentury era because of it’s low cost and low maintenance qualities. It’s also an attractive material because the color and pattern are easily manipulated to create different looks.

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Here terrazzo is used as a counter top in a contemporary setting, but the confetti look of it will show up in smaller home decor items, wallcoverings, and fabric.

Terrazzo rug from Burke Decor.  I don’t currently see myself embracing the Terrazzo trend in a big way, but maybe it will grown on me.    2.  Curvy Furniture  - Perhaps it’s a deliberate counterpoint to all of the angular, modern furniture that’s been dominating interiors over the past several years, but furniture with curves is expected to be popular in 2019.

Terrazzo rug from Burke Decor.

I don’t currently see myself embracing the Terrazzo trend in a big way, but maybe it will grown on me.

2. Curvy Furniture - Perhaps it’s a deliberate counterpoint to all of the angular, modern furniture that’s been dominating interiors over the past several years, but furniture with curves is expected to be popular in 2019.

Didn’t realize we were setting trends at the time, but we just ordered this Cayman sofa from Miles Talbott for a client a few weeks ago. She saw this sofa on the sales floor of a local furniture store and absolutely fell in love with it, rejecting all other options we had considered. Because she had such a strong reaction, I wholeheartedly supported her decision, whether it was “on trend for 2019” or not.   A word of caution - sofas that curve have a larger footprint than a standard sofa. Make sure you read the furniture specs carefully to ensure you have the depth that a curved sofa requires!

Didn’t realize we were setting trends at the time, but we just ordered this Cayman sofa from Miles Talbott for a client a few weeks ago. She saw this sofa on the sales floor of a local furniture store and absolutely fell in love with it, rejecting all other options we had considered. Because she had such a strong reaction, I wholeheartedly supported her decision, whether it was “on trend for 2019” or not.

A word of caution - sofas that curve have a larger footprint than a standard sofa. Make sure you read the furniture specs carefully to ensure you have the depth that a curved sofa requires!

3. COLOR! Well now, here’s a trend that makes me happy! And I think we’re talking more than just “pops” of color on neutral backdrops. Ugh. Enough of that look please!!! The pallor of beiges and grays are being replaced with layers of beautiful, vibrant color.

Can you tell I’m on board with this one? Color is everything in a room! It can create mood like nothing else!

Here a calming blue was used in combination with earthy rust accents to create a comfortable master retreat for some wonderful clients in Chattanooga.

Here a calming blue was used in combination with earthy rust accents to create a comfortable master retreat for some wonderful clients in Chattanooga.

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In this Showhouse room by Atlanta’s Gordon Dunning, green is used to create a sophisticated, nature inspired retreat.

In this Showhouse room by Atlanta’s Gordon Dunning, green is used to create a sophisticated, nature inspired retreat.

And speaking of green, look for green to challenge blue as the most favored color of 2019. Green has been my favorite color for decades and I don’t see that changing anytime soon! I’m still so enamored with these fabulous green velvet sofas seen below we used on a recent living room project in Chattanooga!

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4. Kitchens - more classic, less industrial. Is this really a trend? Classic kitchens will always be stylish and in demand. The end.

This will never be wrong or “out”. A white kitchen with timeless finishes is forever stylish. Ditto on the white subway tile splash and polished nickel hardware. Kitchens are too expensive to replace to get sucked in by fleeting trends and wonky lighting - keep it Classic for timeless appeal!

This will never be wrong or “out”. A white kitchen with timeless finishes is forever stylish. Ditto on the white subway tile splash and polished nickel hardware. Kitchens are too expensive to replace to get sucked in by fleeting trends and wonky lighting - keep it Classic for timeless appeal!

I got one more for ya.

5. Murals and Scenic Wallpaper - This trend is already off and running and shows no signs of slowing down. Here’s a sneak peek of a dining room project in Chattanooga that I’ve been working on. It’s nearing completion and this amazing mural is the star of the show. It’s a one of a kind piece created exclusively for this dining room and it ‘s beauty and timeless appeal are undeniable!

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So that’s my take on trends for 2019. Use what you love and it will bring you joy for years to come - regardless of what’s trending!

If you’re ready to create fresh and family friendly interiors that will stand the test of time, give Kim a call at 423.653.3186 to schedule a consultation!

The Most Timeless Print of Them All!

Floral. Ikat. Geometric. Paisley. Block Print. Plaid. Toile. There are so many wonderful prints to work with when it comes to decorating your home! I’ve found that people can be a little reluctant to incorporate prints into their homes - mostly because they’re afraid that whatever print they select will be “out” in a short period of time. I get it - decorating is expensive so we want to select design elements with real staying power!

What if I told you there was one category of print you should never fear?

It’s true and it’s a personal favorite of mine.

It’s the fresh and fabulous stripe!

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Here are striped walls in a mud room in Veronica Beard’s weekend home as seen in Elle Decor. If I’m not mistaken, the stripes were hand painted.


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I can’t get enough of this dramatic Shelley Johnstone designed dining room. The walls are upholstered in a Schumacher stripe. It’s so chic and so pretty - and completely timeless!

But don’t think decorating with stripes is limited to wall treatments.

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These fresh blue and white striped chairs are in the home of Nashville designer Sarah Bartholomew. Stripes just never get old!

It’s also hard (for me) to resist a striped rug.

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Did you even know you can have more than one stripe in a room? Here Mark D. Sikes fearlessly placed a striped sofa right on top of a striped rug! I love this room!!

Love these striped roman shades (below) in Harlem based designer Sheila Bridges’ chic and colorful kitchen.

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For the timid decorator, striped pillows are a great way to interject the fresh, timeless feel of stripes to your room, ala Suzanne Kasler (seen below).

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Here are a few more striped goodies to inspire. Enjoy!

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed about decorating your home, give Kim at a call at 423.653.3186 and let’s work together to create place you’ll be thrilled to come home to!



Creating a Restful Master Bedroom Retreat in Signal Mountain, TN

Today I’m sharing a recently completed interior design project for some wonderful Chattanooga clients I’ve worked with for years!

For a frame of reference, here are a few other rooms in their home we’ve had the pleasure of transforming with them.

The foyer, seen below, was recently updated with architectural moldings, fresh white paint, a new light fixture and new furnishings.

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Another fun project was this breakfast nook in the kitchen. We designed and custom built the window seat, updated the light fixture and furniture, and finished it off with custom window shades and pillows.

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We then moved on to their living room seen above. New moldings, window treatments, a fireplace makeover and new furnishings all came together to create a welcoming space that’s comfortable enough for family but fancy enough for guests.

Our most recent project with this family was a makeover of the master bedroom. The homeowners were craving something light and simple. They were so pleased with the previous projects we had worked on together that they wanted to continue in that same vein.

Here’s quick photo of the room as it appeared before any work started.

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We agreed that we would lighten the walls, add some interest to the bed wall with architectural moldings, and keep the palette light and simple.

Our clients also had a few pieces that were particularly meaningful to them and requested that we incorporate those pieces into the design of the room. And they love blue.

Here’s a mockup of the space I created to help them visualize how the finished room would look and feel. We were definitely going in a lighter, simpler direction with some textural elements. The mostly neutral bedroom would include accents of their favorite color too!

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And here’s the finished product!

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The moldings add interest and importance to the bed wall. We went with a custom upholstered bed in a soft shade of blue accented with silver nail heads. Gorgeous and restful! Our clients opted for these stylish wall sconces instead of lamps. I love a dash of the unexpected!

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Did you notice the ceiling color? We brought a little more blue into the space by painting the ceiling a lovely sky blue.

We were also able to incorporate their painting for another shot of nature inspired color.

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The turquoise pottery vase was another special piece they wanted to incorporate. It was a found on a recent vacation and brings those memories back whenever they see it.

We also went a little bold on our fabric selection for the curtains. They’re silk dupioni and really create a feeling of luxury in their bedroom. The curtains are lined with blackout and are mounted on a traverse rod for greater ease of use. These little details really go a long way to create an exceptional space!

We’re so pleased with how this bedroom came together and I can’t wait to work with these wonderful folks on their next project.

Thanks for stopping by!