Archive for the ‘Design Trends’ Category

10 Tips for Window Coverings

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Nothing puts the finishing touch on a room like gorgeous window coverings. I really don’t think a room is complete without them! Too often, people forget to add them to their design – and their budget. Really great draperies (or curtains if you prefer the term) with gorgeous fabrics, can cost a lot, but I believe they are so worth it. So here are my Top 10 Tips for how to cover your windows in style!

1. Hang draperies as close to the ceiling as possible, and right under crown molding. That really adds height to your room.

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2. I like drapes to just graze the floor, with no break or puddling. That gives you a modern and tailored look.

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3. Use fabric that’s double the width of the window when possible, even if you don’t plan to ever close the drapes. Otherwise, they look too skimpy and inexpensive.

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4. Use lining and interlining to give your drapery a good “hand” and a rich look.

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5. To add interest to your treatments, you can have two fabrics sewn together to create blocks and stripes.

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6. You can also get a custom look by adding banding, trims, or embroidery to panels.

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7. Consider using blackout lining inside bedroom draperies. They’ll keep out the light for a great night’s sleep!

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8. Be sure that your draperies complement the room’s design. Use fabrics that are found on other items in the room for a coordinated look.

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9. Consider shades on windows where you don’t want to use draperies. You can use balloon shades, Roman shades, pleated shades, and more.

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10. Don’t forget that the hardware matters, too. I like rods of all thicknesses depending on the style of the space and I add glamour, formality, or a casual sensibility with the finial. It’s a bit like the jewelry in the room.

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Do you use drapery in your rooms? Why or why not? And what are your favorite tips? Let me know in the comments section below!







Counting Couch Cushions: One, Two, or Three?

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Shopping for a sofa – also known as a couch – can be exciting and confusing. There are so many gorgeous choices out there that it can be hard to nail down just what you want or need. Today I’m going to talk about the one question I hear most from clients about sofas: Should the sofa have one, two, or three seat cushions?

The easiest answer is that it depends on how you use it. So as we look at what makes each of those seat-cushion options different, think about how you and your family really use the seating to find the perfect fit for you!

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.25.22 AMIn the project above, I used a three-cushion sofa, and a four-cushion version.

Three-Cushion Sofa

If you have a lot of family members, this may be the choice for you. Having three (or more) seat cushions helps define a seating area. People are more comfortable sitting next to others on this cushion arrangement because everyone has a “place.” It also is great for those who have small kids and pets – if there are messes or stains that need to be cleaned, you can flip one cushion or remove it to be replaced or cleaned. That’s harder to do when you have a one- or two-cushion sofa. Three or more pillows are also better for extra-long sofas so you don’t get sagging or loose fabric on the cushions.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 9.07.02 AMCR Laine’s Brentwood Sofa, with three seat cushions and three back cushions.

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In the project above, I used a two-cushion sofa with low arms and a camel back.

Two-Cushion Sofa

If you entertain, think about how often you’ve seen three people sit on a sofa together at a party. Not very often, right? While that’s comfortable for family members (unless your kids are fighting), it isn’t usually something that guests will do. So a two-person sofa is perfect for entertaining. And if you’re a two-person household, this makes a great choice for watching TV or reading – there’s a larger space for each of you. But if you have a napper in the family, this may not be the right selection for you since a person’s hip might sink right into that gap between the cushions.

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CR Laine’s Fisher sofa, with two seat cushions and two back cushions.

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I loved using a skirted sofa with one long bench cushion in the project above.

One-Cushion Sofa

I really like this look – it’s also known as a bench cushion, and it is a modern but still nicely tailored look. This makes a smaller sofa look bigger because there is one long line at the seat. It’s perfect for lounging and napping since the long seat doesn’t have any gaps at all.

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My Julianne sofa for CR Laine comes with a single bench seat in a tufted or untufted version. Here it is in yellow leather.

No matter which seat cushion choice you decide to buy, be sure to pay for the very best fabric and pillow construction you can. After all, this is where your family will spend the most time and you want to get the most out of this hard-working piece!







Making an Entrance with a Hall Table

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Nothing makes your entrance as grand as a hall table in your home. You can really make a statement with a round table in the center of the space, or a console table against a wall. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that these are just decorative items. A hall table provide a lot of function, too. It can hold a bowl for keys, a lovely basket for your mail, and can welcome guests with fresh flowers or an inviting lamp.

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If you have the space, a hall table can even provide extra seating and a place for drinks or nibble when you’re entertaining.

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If you don’t have a big open entry that allows you to float a center table, you can still use a round hall table in a nook near the stairs, or a rectangular console table against a wall.TF501-55

I love these center hall tables so much that I even designed my own, the Pierce brass table from my collection with Woodbridge Furniture. And stay tuned, I have more consoles and center hall tables coming in April at the High Point Market!

What kind of statement are you making in your entryway? Let me know in the comments section below!







A Clear Design Winner

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One material that I love to use in my designs is clear acrylic. Most people refer to it as Lucite, although that’s a brand name that’s become synonymous with all of the acrylic looks, a bit like Band-Aid is now the common term for all adhesive bandages. Acrylic adds a touch of glamour and modernity to traditional design, like in the vanity chair above!

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I also love how it allows pieces to almost disappear, like the console table above that makes the lamps look like they’re floating in air. Fully acrylic designs can let the light shine through in rooms, giving them an airy feeling.

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In the Marguerite chair I designed above for CR Laine, the acrylic legs are a great counterbalance to the dark grey menswear look and the plump cushions.

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And in these bar stools, using acrylic for the frame gives even more punch to the bright yellow cushions. I also like how the gray on the cabinetry is complemented by the barely-there outline of the stools.

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But acrylic doesn’t have to just be on furnishings. I also designed custom acrylic corbels for the cabinetry so this fabulous material can give a little glamour to the island while being functional, too.

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And in this bathroom I designed for an adventurous client, the acrylic legs on this sink stand make a chic statement when combined with brass fittings under the sink. I love this look!

So what do you think of acrylic designs? And have you seen any unusual uses for the material? Let me know in the comments section below!







Why Rug Size Matters

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One of the things that I’m very particular about in my interior design is having the right sized rug. It’s really key to having a pulled-together look! In most cases, I use room-sized rugs to really define a room, while still letting any gorgeous floors show around the edges and in transition spaces like doorways or cased openings.


The perfect sized rug can also help define zones in a room, like in the family room I designed above. The sitting area is “outlined” with this great striped rug, while the table in the back is obviously in a different “zone” since it’s on the floor outside of the rug’s area. And the secret to this great rug? It’s actually two of the exact same Dash & Albert designs that I had stitched together by a rug retailer! That’s a simple (and inexpensive) way to create a rug that’s exactly the size you need.


In a showroom at High Point Market, we have to make do with the rugs and accessories that we have on hand. While my CR Laine furniture looks fabulous here, you can definitely see how this too-small rug doesn’t really work. If this was an interior – a room in someone’s home – this would look odd and out-of-place, even though it works just fine for showcasing furniture at a trade show. It’s a good example to show you how the wrong sized rug shouldn’t be used in your home.

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Another way that I avoid having that awkward “wrong rug” in a room is to have a piece of carpet bound like a rug. You can see an example of that in the room I designed above for the Hamptons Showhouse. This is just a big piece of sisal carpet that has been bound around the edges to create a room-sized rug.

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In this closer shot, you can see how a “tape” or edge has been sewn onto the perimeter of the carpet to create a nice tailored look. And I love that you can still see the gorgeous hardwood floors in the room, too! You can use these ideas to create great zones and vignettes in your own rooms, to avoid that look of furniture just sitting in a circle or square on a tiny little rug.

What do you think about these ideas? And how do you use rugs in your own home? Let me know in the comments section below!