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It Covers Doors Creatively: Get creative by using wallpaper on door panels or outdated sliding mirrored closet doors for a varied look.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.

The Allure of The Bath

Carole Lee Interiors was recently featured in the September issue of ‘Chester County Life Magazine’ talking about today’s’ trends in bathroom design. Today’s bathrooms are simply not like bathrooms of the past. Homeowners want to transcend the typical. “We tend to seek a happy getaway that invites us to enjoy hours of relaxation,” points out Carole Lee.

Bathtubs and showers have reversed roles. Tubs are smaller, showers, sometimes room size. Today’s tubs are made for mini retreats and tend to be freestanding in the room. “Light a few candles, pour in bubbles, open a good book, and luxuriate,” Carole Lee suggests. “A bathroom haven isn’t limited to women. Men enjoy a calming soak as they watch a golf tournament or pro game, which is why we are incorporating TVs into many designs.”

Vacation environments continue in modern showers. More like spas, these spaces are highlighted with body sprays, rain shower heads, and hand showers. “A recent project,” notes Carole Lee, “integrated a large ceiling-mounted shower-head with another hung on the wall. We also install ample shelving, and corner seats.”

Environmentally conscious toilets that feature flush technology made to minimize spreading germs, as well as buttons to dictate flush rate and reduce water usage are made in sleek designs that work well in small or large spaces and can be hidden in a recess.

At Carole Lee Interiors they offer many design concepts to work within a smaller budget. “ People should work around an investment they can comfortably spend. To economize they can apply paint in the bath instead of wallpaper. Window treatments make a whole new statement. Rather than purchasing a sink or tub, consider replacing fixtures. Tubs, in fact, can be refinished to look showroom splendid. Tile, as well, is paintable if it’s still in good condition. Add artwork, silk flowers, and attractive accessories. It’s amazing how fresh and striking the room becomes. We derive just as much satisfaction – sometimes more – from small-budget projects,” states the designer.

The complete story, ‘The Allure of The Bath’ can be seen in the September/October issue of Chester County Life Magazine. And, if you are looking for a bathroom refresh, call Carole Lee Interiors today to set up an appointment.

Freshen Up for Spring

Following a long and lingering winter, the first few weeks of spring breathe fresh air into our outdoor surroundings. Concurrently, the beginning of spring is an ideal time for homeowners to step outside and attend to the exterior surfaces of their homes, outdoor living spaces, and gardens. Outdoor “spring cleaning” projects can unfold in various forms: essential home maintenance efforts, design updates and improvements, and garden makeovers.

Essential home maintenance tasks ensure that the exterior surfaces of your home remain safe, preserved, and functional. A spring checklist of items includes: examining the roof for missing or damaged shingles, cleaning the gutters, servicing the air-conditioning unit, cleaning the windows and their screens, and power washing the deck and patio surfaces. Exterior design updates, such as a fresh coat of facade paint, will also enliven your home’s curb appeal. This season, a few trending façade paint combinations include: slate grey/white/deep turquoise, and white putty/taupe/olive green. In addition, installing new rail planters, and lush greenery like ferns and vine covers will accentuate your garden.

The Benefits of Whole House Standby Generators

Standby generators are smart and effective pieces of equipment for homeowners to consider purchasing in order to avoid the effects and inconveniences of power outages.

What is a standby generator?

Standby generators are back up power sources that are permanently installed on a platform in your yard. Their size and build are comparable to a central air conditioning unit. Standby generators automatically detect an outage within the municipal power grid and subsequently provide seamless backup power to your home for an extended period of time.

How does as standby generator work?

Standby generators are equipped with two primary components: an automatic transfer switch (ATS), and generator. ATS technology identifies an outage in the municipal power grid, disconnects your home from the grid, and promptly connects the generator to your home’s electrical panel. The generator is powered by a local natural gas supply and will deliver high-quality power for an unlimited amount of time. Once the municipal power has been restored, ATS technology prompts the generator to disconnect and shutdown.

What are the positive attributes of standby generators? 

Standby generators protect the functionality of your home’s heating and cooling systems during a power outage. In addition, they allow vital home systems to operate during an outage to include sump pumps, well pumps, large appliances and security systems. Standby generators are ideal for families with small children or family members who rely on electricity to power medical devices, as well people who run a business out of their home.

Carole Lee Interiors provides comprehensive electrical services to include the installation of standby generators. At Carole Lee Interiors, we work with sophisticated contractors to help our client’s select a standby generator that is compatible with their home and ensure a seamless installation process.

Easy Outdoor Accents

When the warm weather hits we find ourselves spending more time entertaining and relaxing outdoors. One easy way to refresh your home’s exterior is to paint your front door. Don’t be afraid of paint. Painting is one of the easiest and most cost effective means to dramatically change the look of your home.

If you are not sure about your color, it is best to hire a professional color specialist or interior designer. Also, think classic and neutral. Classic color adds elegance and also can increase the value of your home for potential future buyers.

For added impact include decorative garden accents at the entrance of your home. Planters, lanterns, vases or bowls filled with flowers or plants look inviting and can improve the overall texture and appearance of your doorway and can be changed seasonally to keep a fresh look.