Rooms of Color: Red Hot!

As February draws to a close, you may be packing away the pink and red Valentine’s decorations.  That means there’s no better time to talk about how red can be a perfect choice for all-season color in your home!

Red is no shrinking violet!  Whatever your feelings about the color red, it’s definitely a color that commands attention.  Many of us may shy away from it for that reason and for fear of overdoing it and ending up with a room that’s garish rather than bold.  Partially because we associate it with passion, red can be a great design tool to stimulate the senses and can go with any style, given the right application and shade.

Red on the walls can make a space feel truly intimate, or, when added to just one wall, can provide a great accent or help to visually balance a space.

B_Fein_Westchester_Interiors_2b

Source:  B Fein Interiors

How about red in the kitchen?  Pops of red in your dishes or in accessories can bring warmth and energy to your space, but for the adventurous, you can go even further.  This kitchen has a wonderful old-world, eclectic feel, but the red cabinetry on the island is a definite show-stealer!

If you don’t want to commit to red cabinetry, though these beautiful barn red walls paired with the white cabinetry have a crisp look that will never go out of fashion.
Curran Kitchen open floor plan
 If a lot of red just isn’t your thing, consider using red as an accent color.  Pops of red in accessories, pillows, window treatments or even a couch can bring instant warmth, vibrancy and interest to a neutral color palette.  It’s just like a woman wearing red lipstick — even with no other make-up, it makes her features pop.
102-0251_IMG
DSC05694
Have I got you thinking about how you can incorporate red into your living spaces?  Where does your life need a little spice?
For help spicing up your space, with red or any other color, contact me right away!
Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer
All About Interiors

Curtains: 10 Essential Do’s and Don’ts

For most of us, probably the biggest challenge about curtains or drapes is hanging them!  Measuring, using the drill to (gulp!) make a hole in your wall…  With a solid game plan and some handy tips, though, you’ll have a gorgeous window in no time!

Before we get to the hanging, let’s talk game plan.  You know that if you plan well, the process will go much more smoothly and your end result will be much better!

1.  DO research what style window treatment best suits your window

If the terms swag valance, goblet pleat, or back tab ripple fold get your head spinning, then your best first step is to make a call to your nearest friendly designer and say, “Help!”  However, if you’ve got a little know-how and skill and really want to do this on your own, spend some time researching the different styles of window treatments.

2.  DO choose the right fabric

Whether you’re a whiz with the sewing machine or plan to buy ready made treatments, make sure you choose high quality fabric suited to your space and DON’T choose a fabric based on a small swatch.

3.  DO make sure your curtains are long enough

If you’re looking at classic side panels for your windows, they really should go all the way to the floor, even if that means buying a larger size and hemming them to the proper length.  You’ll thank yourself when it’s done, because it won’t look like this!!

 

 

Instead, you’ll have a beautiful, dramatic window that’s really worth looking at and not just through.

E. Haddam Master Bedroom curtains

4.  DO think about fullness

Typically, you should have 2 to 2 1/2 times the width of the window for the fullness of the drapes.  So if your window is 4 feet wide, plan on 8 – 10 feet of width in your ungathered panels.

5.  DON’T block out your natural light

Lighting is so important in interior design, and whatever natural light you have should be used to its best advantage.  Hang your curtains so that you allow the maximum amount of natural light in.  You’ll thank me for this later!!  This will probably mean that you’ll hang your window treatments higher and wider than you might have done before, but the difference will be SO worth it.  If you need privacy, window film can be an effective addition, allowing light in while keeping any peeping eyes out.  Protective film can also protect your fabrics and help save a little on your cooling bill.

Curran Master Bedroom Window

6.  DON’T forget hardware

While the window treatments may be the main event, don’t make the mistake of matching a beautiful curtain with cheap hardware.  You wouldn’t prepare a gourmet dinner and serve it on a paper plate, would you?  The reality is, cheap hardware is just that — cheap, so you’ll probably end up having to replace it sooner rather than later anyway.  Now you’ve lost time and money!  The window won’t look finished if the quality and style  of the hardware doesn’t match the treatment.  Also, make sure that the hardware you choose is sturdy enough to support the window treatment you choose.  For wide windows, this may mean that you’ll need additional support for the center of the rod.

7.  DON’T hang too low

Hanging your window treatments just above the window dates your style.  Hang your curtains closer to the ceiling for a dramatic look that makes your room appear larger and grander.

Mitchell Kitchen window treatment

8.  DO measure, then measure, then measure again!

Make sure you measure your window and then also measure the space you’ll need around the window for the treatments.  For example, if your classic side panels will be hanging outside the window so as not to block any light (as they should), then you need to take that space into account, both in the overall width of your curtains and in the length of curtain rod you purchase.

9.  DO iron

Even if you’re one of those people that buys everything you can in “wrinkle free,” this is just one of those times when you MUST iron.  The wrinkles will not fall out naturally, so make sure the window treatments look perfect when you hang them, or you’ll be kicking yourself when they have to come down again!

10.  DON’T be afraid to hire a professional

From the addition of black-out and thermal liners, to gorgeous trims that add an instant WOW, to having a pro hang your window treatments correctly and securely — there are dozens of reasons why it’s worth it to hire a professional to design, make, and hang your window treatments.  And while we hope we’ve been helpful with our tips, you might just be feeling like it’s all a bit much to worry about.  If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to get help!

If you’re in the CT area and you’ve got a naked (gasp!) or under-dressed window, don’t hesitate to contact All About Interiors for a private in-home consultation with CT interior designer Melanie Langford.

photo by:

How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Kitchen?

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.”  Home remodeling can be daunting, especially when people love to share their horror stories of projects that snowballed and went way over budget, or you have your own experiences of a simple fix that ended up being complicated.  We’re talking kitchen remodeling costs, and information is power, folks, so today, I’m giving you some power!

When you contemplate a remodeling project, especially in a high-value area of your home such as a kitchen, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into.  Before you can set a budget, you need to start with realistic expectations of what you want and what things cost.  It’s great to dream of that beautiful high-end, magazine-worthy kitchen, but if you have a firm budget of $30,000, you’re going to have to make trade-offs between the dream and the reality.  For our purposes, we’ll be talking about a floor-to-ceiling total kitchen remodel.

First, let’s talk about the biggest expenditure items — cabinetry, appliances, countertops.

Cabinetry

The cabinets you choose will likely make up the largest expenditure in terms of materials.  There’s a huge range in terms of quality and style – everything from IKEA-style “stock” cabinetry to semi-custom cabinetry, which will allow you a variety of choices in terms of wood species and door styles, to completely custom-made cabinetry that may include details that are specific to your home.  Assume you choose something that allows for some flexibility in terms of choices, say, semi-custom or above in terms of quality.  Additional features, such as the type of door, finishes, glazes and additional architectural details, not to mention functional features such as pull out drawers and soft close doors,  will add to the price you can expect to pay.

Magazines such as Elle, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, or Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas (pictured below) will almost always feature cabinetry in the fully custom/luxury range, where every detail is considered.  Achieving this look will almost always require working with a designer.  Note that if you are working with a designer, it is not uncommon for him or her to request adding a professional kitchen designer to your budget, as kitchen designing is a specialized field and a helpful expenditure when trying to achieve a truly high-end look.

timthumb.php

The bottom line?  From the bottom to the top of the line, expect your cabinetry to run from approximately $75 (for stock IKEA style cabinets) to $1400 (custom) per linear foot.

Appliances

Your next large expenditure will be appliances, including standard items like refrigerator, oven, cooktop, ventilation hood, and dishwasher, and more specialty appliances such as wine coolers, warming ovens, etc. For just the standard appliances, these can range from $2500  – $35,000, again, depending on quality, brand, finish and features.  High-end appliances, including those such as this Le Cornue stove (alone, approx. $10,000) shown below, will be at the upper end, from $12,000 – $35,000 or more.

hero_lacornue

Source:  Williams Sonoma

Countertops

Countertops will be the third largest material cost for your remodeled kitchen.  Again, it all depends on your choices.  Granite, solid surface, quartz , or marble ($35 – $100/sq ft, installed), custom colored concrete ($75 – $125), soapstone ($70 – $100), stainless steel ($65 – $125)?  Further cost determinants include the thickness, edging, and seaming required.  Seaming, in particular, must be done with extreme care, and is a detail where the additional cost (approximately 20%) of a kitchen designer will truly prove its worth.  If the planning is done wrong, you will be out a lot of time and money to repair mistakes.

Best vertical hood-island Berlin

Other Elements

Keep in mind that what we’ve discussed above are simply the “biggies.”  Here are other factors and features that will need to be included in a major kitchen remodel:

  • Structural Changes (moving walls, doors, windows, etc)
  • Plumbing and Fixtures
  • Lighting
  • Electrical
  • Cabinetry Hardware
  • Interior Cabinetry Storage and Features
  • Flooring
  • Paint and Repair for Walls and Ceiling
  • Trims and Moulding
  • Venting and Air Considerations
  • Local Permit, Zoning, and Code Requirements
  • Living costs during remodeling (eating out, etc)

So, all in all, what should you expect to pay for your major kitchen remodel?  According to a recent survey by Remodeling Magazine, a major mid-range remodel of a 200 square foot kitchen will range from approximately $50,000 – $64,000, with an upscale remodel of the same size closer to the $105,000 – $120,000 range.  Keep in mind, that these numbers will also depend on your market.  If you live in a major metropolitan area such as New York or Los Angeles, your numbers for an upscale remodel will be higher, more like $120,000 – $150,000, whereas in secondary markets, your numbers may be somewhat lower, say, $80,000.

If your budget is on the more modest scale, there are ways to cut costs by shopping aggressively, doing work yourself, and making compromises on material choices.  Be aware that even with these cost-cutting measures, a minimum number for a major kitchen remodel is in the neighborhood of $25,000.  Also, don’t be afraid to consult a professional!  Their expertise and know-how may save you costly mistakes in guiding you towards when to make cuts or where to put your money for the best long-term value.

I would love to assist you in helping make the kitchen of your dreams also be the kitchen within your budget!  Call Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer of All About Interiors.

For further information, see Houzz Kitchen Costs and 10 Steps to Budgeting for Your Kitchen Remodel.

True Blue Rooms

Blue is super-trendy right now, but you’ll know this already if you’re a regular reader of the blog, or if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.  And if you don’t, what are you waiting for??  Just think of all the free tips and interior inspiration you’re missing!  Anywho…  here are some fantastic rooms to inspire you to think blue!

Previously, I’ve talked about colors — what they say about your personality and what mood they create. Generally, the color blue conveys peace, stability, confidence, affection, and integrity, so it’s easy to see why blue is one of the most popular colors world-wide.  Next to neutrals, blue is also one of the easiest colors to work with because of its various warm and cool tones.

The bedroom is a room where people often want to create a peaceful, sanctuary feel, so blue is a natural choice to help create a soothing environment.  The blue below would be considered a cool blue, because of the yellow undertones, thus making the color “recede” which can make a space feel larger, while still imparting a very serene mood.

Deeper shades of blue, in vogue now, can also provide a great feeling of calm and may appeal more strongly to both genders.
The modern bathroom, which functions these days as an oasis of calm, rather than just a functional space, is gorgeous with various shades of blue, either on the wall or elsewhere as an accent color.  Warm blues, such as denim, slate blue, or ocean blue contain red undertones, which make them feel more cozy.
 Ainsworth after pic Master Bath
In other rooms of the home as well, don’t be afraid to use blue, even in unexpected places such as a floor!  Since the stronger blues, such as navy and greek blue, are so on trend right now, consider using these shades as accent colors, in furniture, or to create an instant focal point.
Need more blue inspiration?  Check out this list of the Best Blue Interior Paints from House Beautiful or these ideas for Decorating with Blue from Real Simple.
Does picking a new paint color or redecorating a room make you feel like you’re lost in the deep blue sea?  Never fear — call a professional!  (That’s me!)
Creatively Yours,
Melanie
All About Interiors

Bathroom Trends 2015: The Top 10 Latest Bathroom Decorating Ideas

This week, I’m excited to share this wonderfully informative post from , writing on behalf of Hudson Reed, a global supplier of designer radiators, hydronic towel warmers, showers, shower panels and faucets.  We’ve been talking trends for the past few weeks, so it’s a great time to take a look at current fashions for bathrooms.  Enjoy!

Bathroom Trends 2015: The Top 10 Latest Bathroom Decorating Ideas

New year, new start, new bathroom. A great idea in theory, but not necessarily easy to implement in practice – especially when it comes to finding that all-important inspiration in terms of stylish bathroom decorating ideas. That’s why we’ve scoured the latest bathroom trends for 2015 to create the following list so that your bathroom renovation next year will be much more manageable.

Overall, the key elements to consider in keeping with bathroom trends 2015 are a greater focus on the environment with ‘greener’ bathrooms, the creation, or at least the impression of, a larger bathroom space, and a minimalist look and décor which will never go out of style.

Our Favorite Bathroom Trends 2015

Without further ado, here’s our tips for the best of all of the bathroom trends predicted to make waves in the new year.

1. Walk In Showers – Bigger is Better

Walk In Showers

Increasingly popular for contemporary bathrooms, designers are embracing the trend of walk in showers by moving towards larger showering spaces devised with a view to maximizing the overall tranquility and rejuvenation factors of the bathroom décor. Primarily abandoning bathtubs due to environmental concerns and not necessarily to economize space, this bathroom trend is now evolving into a grandiose look which can really redefine the ambiance of your space.

Walk In Shower Designs

Although this trend lends itself extremely well to larger bathrooms, it can also conversely create the impression of space in smaller rooms, thanks to its open plan design and use of panes of glass or wall partitions that expand the space available as opposed to constrictive shower enclosures. Not only is this bathroom trend highly beneficial for the environment but it is also advantageous for those with limited mobility, an asset which can be enhanced by the addition of a handy yet fashionable shower seat. Why not add a personal touch to this bathroom idea with a designer shower drain, ideal for enriching a luxury wet room décor?

2. Freestanding Tubs – A Spa-Inspired Trend

Freestanding Tubs - Bathroom Trends 2015

The trend of utilizing a stunning freestanding tub as a focal point in your bathroom refuses to go away, which is perfect if you’re looking to recreate the indulgent feeling of a spa or a hotel in your own home. The ideal opportunity for ultimate relaxation as well as a major overhaul of your bathroom, a new freestanding tub will also complement a walk-in shower perfectly for that definitive spa feel.

3. Hand Showers – Stylish and Practical

Hand Showers - Stylish & Practical

Whilst rain shower heads continue to dominate bathroom trends, hand showers are becoming more and more popular particularly in conjunction with the rise in popularity of walk in showers. Functional and available in a wide variety of styles, hand held showers are the ideal accompaniment to wet room shower spaces.

4. High-Tech Faucets – Efficient and Innovative Taps

High-Tech Faucets

User-friendly fixtures are working their way towards becoming more commonplace in the home. Sensor-activated faucets and thermostatic mixers facilitate an efficient water control, which once again helps the environment all whilst enabling major savings on your energy bills.

Shower mixer faucets also provide a great way to control multiple functions, such as a highly practical shower-bath combination.

5. Smart Toilets – Economical and Contemporary

Smart Toilets

Environmentally-friendly bathrooms are a prominent feature amongst the bathroom trends 2015, and smart toilets are no exception. Low-flow and dual-flush toilets are key for optimizing the functionality of your new bathroom as well as for saving money and energy.

6. Vanity Units – The Smart Storage Solution

Vanity Units

A bathroom decorating idea which is always in fashion, the vanity unit remains very much in demand, with focus shifting towards unique, custom made vanities. Traditional styles incorporating feet and pedestals are very much in vogue, whereas minimalist contemporary wall mounted designs with integrated sinks persist as a fashionable choice for a modern modernist feel. His and hers vanity units with built in basins are also a crucial feature of this important bathroom trend.

7. LED Lighting – Dynamic and Sustainable

LED Lighting

The environment truly is a major concern for bathroom renovations next year, with LED lighting representing another key bathroom trend for 2015. Not only do LED lights constitute a more sustainable lighting option, but they can also bring a touch of color or a hint of contemporary style to your bathroom décor. A LED shower head is an easy way to incorporate this trend in your shower space.

8. Color Trends 2015 – Neutrals and Natural Tones

Color Trends 2015

Earthy colors are proving to be popular for bathroom makeovers, as Pantone’s Color of the Year Marsala has indicated. Neutrals and natural tones that evoke a relaxing ambiance and draw inspiration from nature are superb shades to include in your bathroom design. Opt for warm grays, chrome and copper finishes and a combination of light and warm colors to enhance a feeling space whilst creating a supreme sense of warmth.

9. Radiant Heated Floors – A Superb Spa-Like Comfort

Hydronic towel warmer in anthracite

Heighten the warm and comfortable feeling of your bathroom thanks to a heated floor solution. Practical and luxurious, Warm Your Floor offers a wide range of floor heating systems allowing you to fulfil this key bathroom trend. Don’t forget also to consider towel warmers for the ultimate heating luxury.

10. Designer Finishing Touches – Fireplaces, Televisions and Stereos

10.Designer Finishing Touches – Fireplaces, Televisions and Stereos

The bathroom is increasingly becoming a living space, designed with relaxation and comfort in mind. To that end, elements such as fireplaces, televisions and stereos are making their way into the bathroom space in order to boost the room’s designer potential as well as its functionality. Bear in mind that in following this particular trend you may never wish to leave your new bathroom!

What are your thoughts on the bathroom trends 2015? Which bathroom decorating ideas would you like to use in your space next year?

Don’t forget to check out our video of the best bathroom trends for 2015!

Thanks, Claire!!

If you’re planning to update your bathroom or need advice on your interior design, contact me!
Melanie Langford
CT Interior Designer, All About Interiors
January 26, 2015 - 8:15 am

Claire Ruth - Thank you so much Melanie for sharing my blog!