How To Elevate Your Home for The Holidays

 

Elevating your home for the holidays involves a thoughtful blend of festive elements combined with your unique style.  Working with a professional interior designer can help the process move forward without the risk of mistakes, while saving you both time and money, two things we all need more of during the holiday season. Below are a few tips from the pros at Carole Lee Interiors.

Start by selecting a color palette that complements your existing decor while infusing seasonal warmth. Integrate traditional reds and greens, icy blues and silvers, or neutral tones with metallic accents for a contemporary touch.

Lighting is always key in creating a festive ambiance. Use twinkling lights across mantels, staircases, and around windows. LED candles provide a safe alternative, emitting a cozy glow throughout your space. To evoke the essence of the season, introduce natural elements such as pinecones, holly, and evergreen branches into your arrangements.  Wreaths and garlands made from these materials offer a timeless charm.

Curate a visually appealing tree by combining cherished family ornaments with new, additions. Personal touches can make your holiday decor special, so don’t shy away from showcasing sentimental pieces. Enhance comfort with festive throw pillows and blankets, inviting loved ones to relax and enjoy the holiday spirit.

Extend the festive atmosphere outdoors by adorning your entrance with well-placed lights, a welcoming doormat, and a festive wreath. By blending tradition, personaltouches, and contemporary elements, your holiday decor becomes a reflection of your unique style and the warmth of the season.

Happy Holidays from Carole Lee Interiors!

 

How To Design Cozy Room This Autumn

Autumn in our region is such a beautiful time of year. Crispness in the air, pumpkins, and apple cider, comfy sweaters.  And trees undergo a spectacular transformation, their leaves turning a brilliant symphony of gold, crimson and burnt orange, casting a warm and inviting glow that defines the beauty of the season. As we move indoors we begin to think about how to design a snug retreat in our homes.  Here are six ideas on how to create a cozy room in your home this autumn.

Warm Color Palette: Embrace the colors of autumn by incorporating warm tones into your room.  Choose deep oranges, burgundy, and earthy browns for pillows, throws, and curtains.

Textured Textiles:  Introduce soft and textured fabrics like knitted blankets, faux fur pillows, and plush cushions.  These textiles not only provide physical warmth but also add a tactile element to the space, and make it feel more inviting.

Ambient Lighting:  Enhance the cozy ambiance with warm lighting.  Consider using dimmable recessed lighting or string or fairy lights in a casual room for a festive setting, or candles to create a warm soft glo

Natural Elements: Bring the outdoors inside by incorporating natural elements.  Dried flowers, pinecones and branches can be used to create a visually appealing focal point adding a touch of rustic charm that aligns with the autumn season.

Layered Floor Coverings: Enhance coziness underfoot and add luxury by layering rugs.  Choose soft and plush textures in warm tones to fashion a welcoming feel.  This also adds insulation and overall comfort to the room.

Create A Reading Nook: Design a dedicated reading corner with a comfortable chair and pillows, accent lighting, your favorite books, and a few personal touches.  This adds a functional element to the room and encourages relaxation during cooler months.

Working with an Interior Designer will help your creativity flow while avoiding costly mistakes and allow you to enjoy the process of transforming your home into a cozy retreat this autumn.  Call Carole Lee Interiors today and let’s begin a conversation.

 

Bring Life to Your Living Space with Colorful Design and Decor!

 

Soon the summer will have passed and before long fall will be upon us. With chillier days ahead we begin to think about rich vivid colors and cozy spaces to incorporate into our indoor spaces.

Bringing color into your room can transform its ambiance and create a vibrant and welcoming space. Whether you prefer bold and lively hues or calming and soothing tones, incorporating color into your room can be an enjoyable and creative process. Here are some tips from Carole Lee Interiors to help achieve the perfect balance of color in your living space.

Choose a Color Scheme: Start by selecting a color scheme that resonates with your personality and style. You can opt for monochromatic (shades of a single color), complementary (colors opposite each other on the color wheel), or analogous (colors next to each other on the color wheel) schemes.

Focus on the Walls: Painting the walls is an effective way to introduce color into your room. If you’re hesitant to go all-in with a bold shade, try an accent wall first. Experiment with various paint samples to find the perfect match.

Play with Accessories: Incorporate color through decorative accessories like throw pillows, rugs, window treatments, and artwork. These elements are relatively easy to change, allowing you to experiment with different colors and patterns over time.

Furniture with Flair: Consider investing in furniture pieces with colorful upholstery or finishes. A vibrant couch or an eye-catching dresser can serve as a focal point while adding personality to your room.

Indoor Plants: Greenery not only adds a splash of color but also brings life and freshness into your space. Indoor plants come in various shades, and they can complement the overall color scheme of your room.

Lighting Matters: The type of lighting you use can significantly impact the perception of color in your room. Experiment with different lighting fixtures and bulbs to achieve the desired ambiance.

Personal Touch: Don’t be afraid to showcase your personal style by incorporating cherished items that hold sentimental value. Handmade crafts or textiles or statement pieces from travels can add unique and meaningful colors to your space.

The key is to strike a balance between different colors and avoid overwhelming the room.  Whether you go for a bold and lively look or a calm and serene atmosphere, incorporating color thoughtfully will undoubtedly enhance the overall appeal and comfort of your room. Working with an Interior Designer will help your creativity flow while avoiding costly mistakes and allow you to enjoy the process of transforming your living space into a colorful haven.  Contact Carole Lee Interiors today and let’s begin a conversation.

Home Design Tips for Spring

 

As the weather gets warmer and the flowers start to bloom, it’s time to refresh your homes interior and exterior with some spring-inspired design ideas. Here are some tips to give your home a fresh, new look for the season.

Power Washing:  Start by power washing your home’s exterior, walkways, driveway, and outdoor furniture to remove the buildup of dirt and grime from winter.  This will give your home a fresh, clean look and help you get started on other outdoor projects.

Outdoor Lighting:  Update your outdoor lighting fixtures to give your home a warm and inviting glow in the evenings. Consider adding landscape lighting to highlight your garden and pathways.

Painting:  A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to give your home a new look. Choose light, bright colors like pastels or neutrals to bring a sense of freshness and lightness to your space.

Lawn Furniture:  Add some outdoor lawn furniture to your backyard or patio for the perfect spot to enjoy the spring warm weather. Consider investing in a durable, weather-resistant furniture that will last throughout the season.

Adding Decks: Installing a deck is an excellent way to expand your living area and create a relaxing outdoor space. Whether you choose wood or composite decking, it provides a versatile platform for outdoor dining, entertaining, or simply enjoying the fresh air. Customize your deck with comfortable seating, potted plants, and decorative accents to make it a cozy extension of your home.

Redoing Patios: Give your patio a makeover by repainting or staining the surface to breathe new life into the area. Consider adding outdoor rugs, cozy seating arrangements, and vibrant throw pillows to create a welcoming atmosphere. Incorporate a shade structure such as a pergola or an umbrella to provide relief from the sun during warmer days.

New Blacktop for Driveway: If your driveway is showing signs of wear and tear, spring is the perfect time to invest in a new blacktop. A freshly paved driveway not only improves the curb appeal of your home but also provides a smoother driving experience. Ensure proper maintenance by filling any cracks and applying a sealant to protect it from future damage.

Overall, these spring-inspired interior design ideas will help you create a welcoming and refreshing atmosphere in your home.  Let the experts at Carole Lee Interiors help you with power washing, updating your lighting, painting, and adding lawn furniture to transform your space into a bright and inviting oasis for the season.

Embrace The Winter Season with These Interior Design Tips

With the festivities of the holidays behind us and February right around the corner, it can sometimes feel bleak and dreary during the winter months.  If it were not for our Philadelphia Eagles, and Valentines Day, what would we do to keep our spirits up?

Now is a great time to spice up your home with a spark of winter wonderland and embrace the winter months with a cozy space.  Here are a few tried and true interior design tips from Carole Lee, that will not require an entire renovated space, but still help you embrace the winter season.

Increase Warmth

Begin with adding warmth using your built-in fireplace to instantly increase the coziness factor.  If your home lacks a built-in fireplace, you can try a traditional fireplace stove, an electric fireplace insert, or electric fireplace log inserts.  For a more custom look turn to a wall mounted fireplace, a mantle and fireplace combination or even an electric fireplace TV stand.

Include Area Rugs

Cozy up any room by styling your rooms with an area rug. The right rug can breathe life into your decor, especially in an open area. But before you start shopping, consider working with an interior designer to help you narrow down both the right size rug and how to place your rug to ground your room or create a seating area and arrange a runner with style.

Use Softer Lighting

Softer lighting creates a warm environment to relax.  Try installing scones above a bed, around a bathroom mirror, or over a mantle to cast a pleasant glow. Instead of using a single light source, scatter multiple lower wattage fixtures around the room. Also consider recessed lighting and under cabinet lighting.

Add Texture

In an interior design context, texture refers to the use of furniture, textiles, objects, and finishes in a range of materials that add visual interest and tactile variation to a room design. Add a touch of winter-specific elements that include deep velvets or luxurious jacquard fabrics. Switch out your regular accent pillows, window treatments, and other upholstery with winter-specific elements to give existing decor a lift by building on the textures that are already there and adding more layers.

Carole Lee Interiors is a full-service Interior Design & Build firm that offers an expansive selection of high-quality furnishings, lighting, accessories, and curated art for a complete renovation, or simply updating one area or element in your home. Stay warm!

Five Great Fall Home-Improvement Projects

 

While home improvement and renovation projects may be done all year, there are some seasons that lend themselves to being more conducive than others to complete these projects. For example, if you live in the South, you know that summer is ideal for many projects, but labor intense projects for a house are not one of them. And here in the Northeast, winter windchills and potential snow can put the end to many projects.

Autumn on the other hand is a great time for tackling home improvements. Temperatures are perfect, not too hot, nor too cold and the humidity no longer feels suffocating. Here are five home improvement projects to consider this fall, that will add value to your house and increase curb appeal.

Window Replacement

If you have missed the summer season for your windows, don’t worry too much.  Fall is a great time for window replacements.  You can still seal up your home to get the most energy savings possible in the winter months to come.  And contractor’s may not be as busy so you can finish the job fast.

Replace Your Roof

Fall is the universal go-to season for roof replacement. With spring’s mild temperatures and early summer’s weather consistency, fall is commonly referred to as the best time of year to replace your roof.

Build A New Deck

There is a misconception that spring and summer are the best times to build a new deck.  But in autumn there is a shorter wait time, excellent ground conditions and sometimes late season specials.

Install Hardwood Floors

Fall is the best time of year to install hardwood floors because it’s cooler out and there’s less moisture in the air, which can be detrimental to new wood floors.  In the Summer, hardwood, being porous, will absorb too much moisture that will cause it to swell. Winters are dry  and cause the boards to shrink.

 Paint Your Front Door

A fresh coat of paint can hide minor imperfections on your front door, defend it against harsh outdoor elements, and boost curb appeal right away.  Not only can it add significant value to your property, but it also provides a welcoming entrance to upcoming holiday guests.

At Carole Lee Interiors we provide general contracting services with an experienced team of licensed and fully insured tradesmen. This fall, why not give us a call?

Interior Designer or General Contractor. Who Does What?

When it comes to a home renovation project, it may be confusing to understand the roles of Interior Designers vs. General Contractors and how they work together.  At Carole Lee Interiors we do all these things, but it may be important to understand the benefit of working with one company that can handle all aspects of your project when undergoing a renovation, and that you can hire us for everything or simply for what you need.  Below are some of the basics.

An Overall Design for the Space

Interior designers overall tend to be slightly better trained at understanding how you will use your space and can create a holistic design that speaks to your wants and needs.  Designers tend to be more artistic and creative, taking the design aesthetic beyond structural components of the renovation to the furnishings and style that will go into the project.

Project Management, Installation and Styling

While both an interior designer and general contractor can serve as project manager, at Carole Lee Interiors Carole Lee is the overall project manager overseeing the general contractors for things like installation of hard materials such as countertops, hardware, and appliances.   As an interior designer she handles ordering furnishings, tracking shipments, and receiving and inspecting deliveries while making sure the design plan is being followed.

Electrical Plans & Outlet Placement

This is a perfect example of how working with an interior design firm who also does general contracting greatly benefits the client. In most cases a general contractor will know whether a dedicated space is for a kitchen, bath, bedroom, but they are not planning the furniture layout of the space which is critical for a good outcome. If a general contractor installs outlets without knowing the furnishings plan you might end up with a chandelier centered over your dining room table with no outlet over the chandelier.

Building Codes & Permits

General contractors are the ones who know building codes and can pull permits for a renovation or remodel. Because we do not have to check in with anyone, we can keep the project moving.  Interior designers may have to wait to get approval from a GC on these items, which can slow down the project.

Carole Lee Interiors is a full-service interior design and build firm that provides interior and exterior design and general contracting services for both residential and commercial spaces.  Give us a call today.

 

Kitchen Countertops to Consider for Your Kitchen Remodel

 

The kitchen is the heart of your home; where meals are enjoyed, school bags get tossed, good and bad news is shared, and the place where guests tend to congregate when you entertain, despite having the dining room table set. The workhorse of every kitchen are its countertops.  Countertops must be both functional and durable, while completing the design and style of the kitchen.

If you are ready for an update or a complete remodel, here are five popular countertops you should consider based on durability, function, and style. Prices will vary based on availability and fabrication.

Quartz

Currently a very popular choice in kitchen countertops. Homeowners tend to choose quartz surfacing because of its many advantages. Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed, and its seams blend very well. It is easy to clean and is heat, scratch, and stain resistant.  Because of its manufacturing process, quartz is durable and has a seemingly endless choice of colors and patterns.

Granite

Granite surfaces are slabs of stone cut from the earth, making each piece unique. It is more porous than quartz and does require a bit more maintenance. You can order granite countertops with a polished, shiny finish; a honed, matte finish; or a specialty finish such as flamed or leather. Because of the many choices in colors and finishes, design flexibility is a significant advantage in choosing granite.

Marble

As a counter surface, marble offers a beautiful, timeless look. It has been a preferred stone in architecture throughout the ages. However, as a fair warning, marble is softer and more porous than granite. It is susceptible to stains and scratches so upkeep can be challenging, depending on your lifestyle.  Even so, some of the most beautiful countertop installations are in marble.

Quartzite

If you love marble but don’t want the upkeep, you should also consider quartzite because it is a natural stone with similar beauty. Quartzite is a solid, crystalline mass of mineral stone cut from the earth in slabs.  It’s harder than most knife blades and is more resistant to etching than marble. The generally lighter, more subtle tones of quartzite give it design versatility.

Wood
A durable surface for hard-working kitchens, wood countertops are more sanitary than you may think. Wood offers warmth both visually and tangibly, in contrast to cold stone surfaces.  Today it’s possible to design kitchen countertops to be a wood species such as cherry, maple, hickory, walnut, teak, sapele or mahogany. If you use a wood countertop as a cutting or chopping surface, be willing to accept cuts and scratches in the surface and simply apply a food- safe oil to the wood.

A kitchen update or remodel may seem overwhelming.  However, working with the right design and build firm can eliminate the stress of a kitchen project. At Carole Lee Interiors we guide you with advice on budgeting and time management during each step to keep your project on track.  We combine extensive interior design knowledge with a team of expert craftsmen to ensure your project is executed without sacrificing form or function.

Give us a call today.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Window Treatments

 

Window treatments are an essential design component in your home’s décor.  They add warmth, privacy and help control light.  They should never be an afterthought, but instead an important component in your overall interior design.  For over 30 years Carole Lee has been working with her clients making certain their windows look professionally dressed.  Here is a list of a few Dos and Don’ts of window treatments that will make your windows both attractive and practical.

DO

  • Take extremely precise measurements.
  • Select the right fabric, order samples and extra fabric.
  • Hang curtains above the window.
  • Choose length based on function and style.
  • Consider Silhouettes when they work with the architecture.
  • Consider curb appeal.
  • Make the most of natural light.
  • Experiment with trim.
  • Go for a cohesive look throughout every room.

DON’T

  • Ignore the hardware.
  • Hang curtains right above the window.
  • Forget neutral liners.
  • Hang treatments too low.
  • Skimp on using good Silhouettes.
  • Neglect your privacy.
  • Assume one size fits all.
  • Settle for an outdated look.
  • Don’t be afraid to hire an expert!

Contact Carole Lee Interiors today to start your window treatment project.

 

 

 

 

What to Expect During a Master Bath Redo?

 

Now that there is a chill I the air, people are moving indoors and focusing on interior design and build projects that add a level of comfort to their lives.    One highly requested redo is to renovate or upgrade your existing bathroom. And while a bathroom renovation can seem daunting and does require time and an investment, with through planning and an experienced design and build team you can bring your bathroom ideas to life with minimal complications.

For over 30 years the team at Carole Lee Interiors has been renovating bathrooms using a step-by-step workflow process that helps walk each client through what to expect.

 Step One:  Interview & Inspection

Carole Lee will initially visit your home or office to determine what you are looking for, asking questions such as how many people will be using the room, how much storage you need, how much you want to spend, what you like about your current space and what should be changed.

Step Two: Review Samples

Carole Lee brings samples of all items that will be necessary to complete your project.  These may include tile, cabinetry, sinks, tubs, toilets, lighting, flooring, and fixtures. Together we review the basics of the materials, discuss how each item might work within your project goals, and begin to make selections.

Step Three: Meet the Team

By the second or third meeting you will be introduced to all members of the team who will work on your project.  For a bathroom project that could include a plumber, cabinet and tile installers, painter, electrician, and additional craftsmen. All tradesmen on the Carole Lee Interiors team are licensed and fully insured.

Step Four:  Provide an Estimate

Once all items have been selected you will receive a written estimate for project costs.  Carole Lee Interiors requires a 50% deposit to begin all projects.  No project begins until all materials such as tile, fixtures, tubs, sinks, toilets etc., are ordered, and RECEIVED by Carole Lee, Interiors to assure you have a minimum amount of time without the use of the room being renovated.

We invite you to contact Carole Lee Interiors today to schedule a consultation for your next project.