Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

While the summer solstice is about June 21 in the northern hemisphere and considered the day that begins the actual start of summer, Memorial Day weekend absolutely kicks off the unofficial beginning of summer. With that, the outdoors becomes more like your living room and sometimes even your kitchen.

Carole Lee recommends starting with a clean slate by power-washing your home’s exterior top to bottom, including all porches and decks, gutters and window washing.  Removing the winter’s grime gets you in the mood to begin to enjoy outdoor living.

Consider our team of general contractors to build a new customized patio or a beautiful walkway that coordinate with the look of your home and add new dimensions to your landscape design and curb appeal.

Outdoor cooking upgrades are a wonderful addition to any luxury living environment and a good investment to increase the value of your home. Outdoor dining is all about fun, as opposed to indoor kitchens that are all about functionality. We invite you to let our team of experienced general contractor’s install grills, sinks and kitchen counters in your outdoor living space to help lower your energy bills and add additional entertainment appeal.

Carole Lee Interiors also features a wide selection of outdoor lounge and dining furniture, accent tables and furniture cushions and covers in beautiful prints and solids made from all-weather materials made to last for years to come, as well as coordinating umbrella’s and stands. Plus, we have firepits to cozy up to during the evenings, perfect for delightful outdoor entertaining.

Carole Lee Interiors and General Contracting provides interior design and complete general contracting for projects large and small. Call today to schedule a consultation. And we hope you enjoy your summer!

Bold Backsplash Designs

It’s safe to say that 2019 will not be a year for all white everything. Some of the biggest home décor trends are big, bold, and beautiful. Give the heart of the home some personality with a bold backsplash.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be colorful. If you’re into the more monochromatic look, you can choose a bold pattern or ask your designer to recommend a design that works well with the style of your home.

While standard-issue white subway tile is safe and will look fantastic it may not be what you are looking for. Instead perhaps go bold with a statement backsplash made of an intricate, multi-colored mosaic. Or maybe a leaf-shaped ceramic in spring-fresh green is more your thing. Tiles that stray from white can be endlessly exciting and keep your room feeling fresh.

The most common tiles use for a backsplash are ceramic, porcelain, stone, marble and sometimes even glass.  You should be mindful that not all tiles will cost the same. Tiles are priced by square foot and the cost can vary depending on the type of material. Work with you designer to get the look you want at a price that’s comfortable for you. Here are a few types of tiles to consider for your backsplash project.

  • The look of marble for less: To mimic the look of expensive marble go for a glazed porcelain tile, with high gloss coated over its surface for shine.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles: These types of tiles have many options to make your kitchen traditional to contemporary. With endless designs and options – you’re sure to find a tile that makes your kitchen unique.
  • Stainless steel and natural stone: This material offers a wealth of warmth to your kitchen space. Used together, these materials can create one of a kind looks.
  • Mosaic tile: Mosaic tile packs in smaller patterns and seemingly offer more bang for your buck. Depending on the range of materials – this can be an easy way to turn your kitchen space into a work of art.

From traditional tile to trendy glass — and shiny metal to rustic wood — there is seemingly no end of choices for kitchen backsplashes today. But with the right interior designer and installer, you can make just about any material work.

Kitchen Trends For 2019

Planning a small update or an entire renovation to your kitchen can be both exciting and sometimes overwhelming.  With so many options in flooring, cabinetry, color schemes and the newest appliances, the choices can be endless.  Plus, today’s kitchens need to be a blend of both functionality and technology, helping to make your day-to-day life a little bit easier. Here are just a few of our favorite trends in kitchens we are seeing for 2019.

Bespoke Storage

Storage that is 100% tailor-made and designed for the client is on the rise. Ceiling height cupboards and tall units with overhead cabinets with additional storage is trending.  A wealth of storage solutions including appliance cupboards, pullout china stores, freestanding pieces such as dressers and multifunctional and hidden storage will be an essential feature for both compact and large kitchens in the coming year and bespoke storage is expected to rise.

Kitchen Islands

A kitchen island immediately conjures up ideas of both luxury and a sociable kitchen designed for entertaining.  Not only is it a great place for friends and family to gather, it can also provide extra storage space, or a casual dining alternative when you add stools. A great alternative to an island is a peninsula. A peninsula works very well in single wall or L-shaped layouts. And look for waterfall worktops – a surface that appears to flow over the edge of the worktop covering the side and reaching the floor.

Bespoke Pantries

When redesigning your kitchen, a bespoke pantry is still one of the biggest trends this year and next. A must-have in the modern kitchen, with storage at the right temperature and ingredients easily accessible, a well designed bespoke pantry can also be a thing of great beauty.

Multifunctional Trough Sinks

Tough sinks are multi-functional and are gaining in popularity.  With entertaining in the kitchen being one of its key functions, wine racks and wine coolers are now seen as must-haves. A relaxed modern country kitchen is a true marker of luxury and a trough sink used as Champagne cooler adds a perfect touch.

Specialty Water Taps

Premium water faucets will continue to grow in popularity this year. There are a multitude of finishes and styles to compliment every color palette.  Faucets are now as important to the design as the work surface, cabinetry or materials used in a kitchen. Plus technology has stepped up when it comes to faucets with eco-friendly designs, water saving and touch less options, water filtration, sink and pot fillers and multifunction pull-down sprayheads.

 The Smart Kitchen

The kitchen is the one room where you spend the most of you life so it must be the room that keeps you most up to date. Kitchen tech is endless and keeps evolving, but smart appliances, built-in Bluetooth speakers and automatic lighting will soon become necessities.

Single Slab Backsplash

Gone are the days when a backsplash was a very practical element in kitchen design.  Under certain circumstances, designers are now using stunning single slab backsplashes as a real focal point in kitchens. Similar to how you would use wallpaper or paint or a piece of art to create a feature wall in your living room, a single slab backsplash can be used as opposed to standard tiling in the kitchen. Plus not only is it stunning to look at but it is also easier upkeep with less grout lines to keep clean.

Earthy Colors In Interior Design

One of the most popular home design trends this year is the use of earth tone colors, as reported in Décor Magazine. In previous years, gray tones were often all the rage in interior design. This year, grey is still dominant but it’s often combined with softer pastels and earthy tones.

Earth tones describe a color palette inspired by the colors we find in nature.  Warm browns, camel, greens, sienna, and umber, soft grays and tans all blend together to form a harmonious and welcoming interior in your home or office.

Earth tones work well in both modern and traditional homes due to their versatility and beauty and can add a layered look by building interest through various levels of tones and elements. This color palette tends to impress and is a safe choice for those looking for a relaxing and luxurious atmosphere that is both comfortable and pleasing to the eye.

November is a great time of year to enjoy a cozy space beside a fireplace with soft lighting in a well appointed home.  Why not elevate your home interiors by calling Carole Lee today to schedule a consultation.

The Return of Wallpaper

Forget about blank walls, because one of the best interior design trends for 2018 is the use of mesmerizing wallpapers. Installing wallpaper is a great way to add an interesting twist to your dull living spaces.

With today’s tremendous options, the choice of designer wallpaper and the way it is used influences the overall decorative scheme in a big way. Some of the most popular wallpaper designs for 2018 feature landscape scenery, abstract shapes, and colorful geometric patterns.  Below are a few things to know about using wallpaper to design your space:

It Dictates Style:Wallpaper can encourage a mood and offers a visual direction towards a particular style.  A damask print denotes a traditional bedroom while a honeycomb pattern works for a contemporary dining room.

It Adds Drama:  Designer wallpaper is a great way to enhance a room design with a bit of “ wow” factor, without the big investment of expensive art or lighting.

It Covers Doors Creatively: Get creative by using wallpaper on door panels or outdated sliding mirrored closet doors for a varied look.  Cover them with removable adhesive wallpaper as a modern alternative.

It Acts As Art:  Designer wallpaper itself can act as a work of art. Whether covering an entire wall or framed in pieces, this is a way to infuse a room design with decorative beauty.

To learn more about today’s wallpaper trends, contact Carole Lee at Carole Lee Interiors today!

How To Mix Patterns Like A Pro

For many people, there is one design dilemma that continues to cause headaches when trying to decorate a room. Mixing patterns.  Using more than one pattern in a room can seem daunting at first, but once you become more familiar with some basic rules, it can actually become quit easy.

Not too long ago people would use matching patterns throughout an entire room.  Curtains would match a sofa, which would match the pillows, which would match the lampshade and so on.  Thankfully, that look is over and mixing patterns is the way to go.

When it comes to mixing patterns, trust your instincts, but her are a few tips that can help:

  • Use at least three patterns in a room and vary the scale.  Combine one large, one medium and one small.  Or use one large and two mediums.
  • Try to use colors that are the same intensity.  For example, don’t mix jewel tones with soft pastels.  Different patterns can work together if they are the same hues.
  • Distribute patterns evenly throughout the room. If multiple patterns are on one side of the room, the room will look unbalanced.
  • Avoid using the same scale and pattern combination next to each other.  For example, for a window treatment you may want to use a larger sized pattern, where as on throw pillows the pattern would be much smaller.
  • Don’t place too many patterns on top of each other or the space will feel chaotic. Add some solids in the mix to break up the space so the eye has a place to rest.
  • It is not necessary for patterns to be of different colors.  Tone-on-tone patterns can add character while remaining elegant.
  • Consider the texture of a fabric. Some textures will provide more “pop” and enhance the effect of the pattern.  Mixing and matching textured fabrics is not as important as color and scale, but it is worth taking into consideration.

Get started on you next project today  by calling Carole Lee Interiors!

Making Smaller Rooms Feel Larger

People sometimes think we only work on very large houses or large rooms, but that is not always the case. We are sometimes tasked with working in smaller spaces such as compact office spaces or townhomes.   As a professional interior designer we are expert at designing three-dimensional spaces for a living and are adept at manipulating space to make smaller spaces feel larger than they really are.  How do we do it?  Here are six tips.

Light Walls

The lighter the walls, the larger the space will feel.  Light walls reflect light, which helps smaller rooms feel larger.  With the abundance of white or off white paint colors available you are sure to find one that is perfect for your project.

Six Sides Alike

Remember, each room has six sides, not four.  Don’t forget the floor and ceiling.  By having all six sides either light or dark helps to keep the room from looking chopped up. Good design will use either all light colored walls, floors and ceiling or all dark colored walls, floors and ceiling.

Mirrors

This is a fairly obvious tip since we all know that mirrors can make a room feel larger.  However you need to consider what the mirror will be reflecting.  If it is not something you want to see, then don’t use mirrors.

Simplify Your Materials and Finishes

Use a limited number of materials to make your space feel larger. The more surfaces in a room, the more the room will feel chopped up. Each time you change materials you define where one surface ends and the next begins, which can make the space feel smaller.

Scale

Remove oversized furnishings.  In small rooms, small-scale furniture will make a small room feel much larger.

Good Lighting

Good lighting has an enormous impact on the feel of your rooms.  Sadly it is often cut from the budget.  Plan to include 10% of your budget on lighting, especially in small rooms.

High Contrast Color Palette Trending in 2018

Interior designers know the importance of a room’s first impression. There are some spaces that, upon first glance, make your breath catch because its elements are so visually striking, yet still fit together. Other rooms seem to fall flat, almost like something is missing.

As always, one of the most important attributes to any space is the color scheme. In 2018 especially, color will undoubtedly play a crucial role in any space.

The use of high contrast color palettes is one of the secret ingredients that give memorable spaces big impact. When used correctly, this foundational design principle can add a huge dose of visual interest to your interiors while simultaneously pulling it together. Many consider it an essential component to any successful interior design.

In 2018, the use of bold and contrasting colors in any room will be trending upwards. Giving a room a complimentary color scheme or one that utilizes two shades on opposite ends of the color wheel — will create the strongest impact.  The use of white with any deep or vibrant hue, including timeless black and white, will certainly be a recurring theme. Some designers suggest the use of dark blue with milky white will be one of the most popular contrasting color schemes. This trend can be implemented in such a large variety of ways that it can be adapted to fit in almost any style of décor.

As with any design, keep in mind that in these spaces, one color needs to take a dominant role while the other accents it. Consider choosing one shade for the walls while the other is used in textiles, furniture and accessories.

For those who aren’t quite ready for their spaces to be that high contrast, there is a way to tone things down. You just need to add in additional neutrals. Doing so will give eyes a spot to rest while also providing a quiet background for your contrasting colors to pop out against.

We invite you to schedule a consultation to discuss your next interior design project and discover how Carole Lee Interiors can keep your interiors on trend.

How Tone On Tone Can Make Your Interiors More Interesting

Tone on tone coloring or layering is a decorating technique that takes a single or a few colors and uses different saturation levels of that color or colors throughout the entire space. You begin working with one general color area and manipulate this color through the use of fabrics, tints, shades and textures to create interest and variety. The effect can be dramatically transformed by lightening or darkening of that color.

Whether you’re saturating your home with rich hues or you’re adding layers of color to a neutral backdrop, at Carole Lee Interiors we celebrate tone on tone decorating. From fresh flowers that mirror the shade of the wall to throw pillows in the same color family as a nearby rug, the repetition of hues makes a big impact in your interior. Here are some ways we use tone on tone to decorate your space:

  • Layer your wall coloring
  • Pull inspiration from art
  • Mix and match patterns
  • Bring color into doors and windows
  • Match window treatments to walls
  • Pair tone on tone colors with black and white
  • Use tone on tone flooring
  • Incorporate a range of shades of the same color
  • Layer color through tabletop décor
  • Go extra bold with one vibrant item
  • Saturate with rich hues

These are just a few methods we use when decorating interiors using a tone on tone technique. Tone on tone interiors can be tricky to pull off if you do not have a lot of expertise working with color, hues and textures. If you are not a pro it is easy to make trial and error mistakes, which can begin to add costs to your project. Instead contact Carole Lee to schedule a consultation to see if tone on tone is a good idea for your space.

Is Gray The New Neutral?

When it comes to décor, there are a few hard and fast rules. Even if you don’t consistently follow the trends in color, fabrics, flooring and paint, you can easily recognize what is popular by shopping in furniture and home décor stores, as well as browsing home design websites.

However, the basic tenants of design are not immune to change. For decades interior designers have typically organized rooms around a neutral shade and two complementing or contrasting colors. Neutrals like beige, camel, tan and white have been popular for many years because they look good on floors and walls and tend to make rooms look larger and brighter.

As an interior design firm, we are expecting that gray, in its many variations, will be a top color choice for all types of interiors including luxury homes and elegant offices. A darker gray can be an attractive alternative while remaining subtle. When combined with white and black gray makes a bold statement. Bright colors really pop with gray. Cooler shades of gray can make a room feel inviting on a hot day and make rooms look refined and understated.

Gray hues work with so many different colors it is easy to change the appearance of a room by repainting an accent wall, changing flooring, new fabrics or inspired window treatments.

Simply put, there are so many shades and ways to use gray that will allow you make your home or office warm and inviting.