Good Interior Design Starts With What You Already Own

Is Your Home Out Of Balance?

Something Is Out Of Balance In This Blue Marble Living Room via Vogue

Often in a home, that we otherwise love, there is a design feature that is a little “off”.  Something that just does not feel right to us.  The marble in the photo above could be one such feature.  Although there are some cool furnishings in this room, I’m not getting the urge to cuddle up yet.  Is the marble just “too blue”?  Is a costly renovation in the future?

Before Your Renovate Evaluate What You Can Do With What You Already Own

Blue Marble Living Room Via Vogue

Let’s place this room in the decorate vs renovate category.  Before considering costly floor and fireplace replacements, or even a minor cost like repainting the room, how about some home styling?  Working with the right interior designer, even virtually, subtle yet impactful changes can be achieved.

Look at the same room again. What?  Instead of reducing the amount of blue in this room, they added more!  The addition of a comfortable sofa and some new arrangements of the existing pieces, makes this room inviting.  This is a perfect example of how restyling a room, with the pieces you already own and love (or a few new pieces), can completely transform the look and “feel” of a room.  We’d still work on the fireplace mantle a bit, but otherwise, we’d like to be in this space!

As we’ve said in previous posts, spending a few hours with the right designer does not have to be expensive yet the impact can be amazing.  Look at the subtle changes of the furnishings in this example.  Now we can enjoy this room which is so interesting.  What do you mean the marble is blue?  It’s beautiful!

Below are a few more photos of the same home which was featured in Vogue.  Now that you are completely comfortable with the blue marble, take a few minutes to admire all the individually simple, thus exquisite, design features of this home.  While you are making a note to “find a good designer”, I’ll be trying to locate this home to see if it’s available for a rental!

Good Interior Design is in Vogue

Look at the window latches, the encased doorway detail, the table base, the marble on the light fixture!  This seating area looks perfect for a laptop and an Italian coffee.

Good Interior Design is in Vogue

Oh my…how simple is this vintage chair in this unexpected spot?  Look at how the stair spindles are attached to the creamy plaster.  Loving this vase of seasonal greenery.

Every Home Can Take Advantage Of Good Interior Design

Ok, I know it’s not fair to show an example of home styling in such classic architecture with so much character.  Most of us do not have a home like this to play with.  We used these photos because the first one caught our eye at how “off the design was” even in such a beautiful home.  Which means, if they can make and correct mistakes we all can.  Let’s look at some of the common decor mistakes our design firm is hired to “fix”. 


Furniture and Decor That Looks Like The Showroom Floor


Even in nice furniture stores, it is hard to visualize how the display will look in your home.  Showrooms are large, lighting is different from your home and sometimes having too many pieces alike is not as attractive as it can be.  The photo above is what happens often when the furniture sales person is your designer and is not able to see your home.  Their job is to sell furniture and we drink the koolaid.  Frankly, most of us can’t wait to build on a design anymore.  We’ve turned into a “now” society and it’s how we end up with rooms full of too many things that mean so little.

designworksstudio brown living room

Next we have clients who have used “another designer”…first.  They have spent an incredible amount of money on the furnishings and design fees.  They have labored over swatches and samples and somehow things still do not feel like they envisioned.  In the photo above we see quality pieces, but too many of them and too much in the same color palette.  What is the impression of this space to you?  Warm and cozy or crowded and uninteresting?

Good Design Is All About Scale and Balance

Who wouldn’t want this piece of real estate?  A sunroom with a beach view!  Wouldn’t it be nice to have the interior furnishings be arranged to take advantage of the tranquil waters?  Why do you think the rattan sofa outside is facing the inside as it blocks the view?  Everything is out of balance.  Boy would we love to get our hands on this space.  All the pieces are here.  In an hour we could be in our beach clothes with our feet propped up enjoying an umbrella drink with our clients!

barry fitzgerald beach house living room

While we are looking at spaces that want to be on the coast, let’s look at these two below that both have art by Alice Dalton.  The first photo has some good pieces but all we see is the out of proportion floor space.

alice dalton art

The next photo is a bit better as the conversation area is more intentional.  However, the accessory pieces are out of scale and the poor cat is going to run right into that pedestal if he uses the cat door.  Yes, that is a pet door and not a low hanging piece of art.

alice dalton art


Better Balance Equals Better Design

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.08.44 PM.png

This room is in balance and is attractive.  However, it is a bit “staged” and there is a difference between staging and styling.  Sometimes the two terms are thought to be the same.  To us, staging does not look as lived in.  Staging is used when marketing a house for sale.  It’s not wrong…we just think it could be more inviting and ideally how the home is styled will be just perfect when time to sell.

Styled Homes Reflect Your Personality

adamvaughn modern cabin living room

Light color pallets and decor is very current.  We get the request to “lighten up” daily.  The example above is light.  It also shows that adding textures and interesting furniture layouts keep things from looking too stark.  This space is neat and attractive yet very approachable.  We’d visit and curl up for the latest gossip news.

Scale   Balance   Interest

These last photos have nailed it!  The decor works well with the architecture.  Furnishings are the correct scale for the space and arranged to create balance throughout the room.  Lastly, the rooms are interesting.  It’s hard to say if the furnishings are newly acquired, or lovingly collected over time.  What is certain is that these are spaces we’d love to call home.

homeworksny living room with orange hide rug

Tracey Rapisardi Design Living Room

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(4) Photos Above via Houzz

It Pays To Hire A Professional Interior Designer

Most of us have a whole houseful of furnishings, accessories and items that can be used for amazing styling.  We all get in a rut of how we use even the things we love.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a new decor without buying too many new things?  Or even buying nothing new?  Spending a few hours with a designer, personally or virtually, can help you see your things in new ways.  You may even find you do not need an expensive renovation.  Why wait until your home is going on the market to have it be the best it can be?

In the Louisville, KY or Sarasota, FL area we will come to you.

Contact Us Here

Even if we are not in your area physically…we can do this virtually.  Almost every home can benefit from a re-styling from time to time.

Learn More About Our Virtual Design Services Here

Give us a call and then take all the credit for your design skills!

Coming On Friday Favorites

Join us for more photos and details about how we worked virtually, and onsite, for a whirlwind staging weekend with our clients to prepare their 22 year old home for this season’s real estate market. and after- foyer

Now you can share LBD via text!

6 thoughts on “Good Interior Design Starts With What You Already Own”

    1. That’s exactly what we will show on Friday’s post…stay tuned!

  1. I do not like to be critical but some of these rooms, which I believe you mentioned someone paid for the look are not attractive at all. There is either too much stuff or not enough. I love to see before and after photos and I love to see rooms that are “collected” that show the home owner and their personality not just a recreation of a room they saw in a catalog. First and foremost and I think you would agree, your house should reflect you and your lifestyle. For example if you have 4 kids, a pack of dogs and a super busy lifestyle I would not think an all white family room would be a good match. I could be wrong but I have seen a room like this and there was muddy paw prints and cheeto finger prints on the sofas.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. I always love them

    1. Our design philosophy is that indeed, we all have to live in the homes we design. Our clients will say that their homes “fit” their lifestyle and feature good design at the same time. We find, at times, homes and design are the victims of overthinking. Always enjoy your comments!

  2. Hi Laurel, loving the ‘decorate versus renovate’ idea! It’s the equivalent of my ‘shopping my closet’ rather than going out and just buying new things. Gorgeous photos, Lxx

    1. Exactly! Never shop for a wardrobe, or a home without a plan and a list!

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