When Good People Hire Bad Contractors



Does anyone remember the old commercial on TV where the contractor drives up to a house and switches his car sign to say “Today We Do Windows”?  Because that’s what the customer was buying…not because he was an expert in windows.  I don’t remember all the details, but the message has stayed with me for years…work with reputable people!

Continue reading “When Good People Hire Bad Contractors”

Don’t Mess With A Mama Bear


In our design firm, we are surrounded with clients who are as passionate about their homes as we are.  They have confidence in us that we will not only prepare concept plans and specifications perfect for their project, but we will advise them when choosing the individuals who will be responsible to implement these plans.  Our team of real estate agents, builders, developers, project managers, sub contractors and vendors all can’t wait to be part of our projects.  We count on each other to perform at our best for our clients.  Our day to day, tried and true systems are in place.  Sure, we get grumpy sometimes from sheer exhaustion or frustrated like in any other business.  However, rarely does something “bug” us…as in linger and get stuck in our brains.  We are in the business of problem solving and what might undo someone in another industry rolls off us like the proverbial water off the duck’s back.


Continue reading “Don’t Mess With A Mama Bear”

If These Walls Could Talk



Coming back?  Where has it been?  On vacation?


12pm 5.31.17- We have been informed of a tech glitch that prevented some from opening this post.  Resending to try to remedy.  Thanks for all the emails alerting us to the problem.

No, not on vacation, we simply did what we always do with anything thing that is trendy.  Too much of a good thing..well becomces too much of a bad thing.  In the case of  wallpaper, we screen printed anything not moving and some things that were still part of the livestock community.  Straying too far away from the classics, and contemporary artists, left us all striping for hours and swearing we’d never paper a wall again.  Understand. Using  wallpapers without a soul can leave us with this mindset.

Designer’s have used fine wall coverings and papers continuously for centuries.  Covering walls with textiles, leathers, silver and golds has been a sign of affluence throughout history.  Hand blocked images on papyrus in Egypt are the earliest records of decorative paper for the walls. Yes!  Thank goodness, we are starting to see more walls covered with purpose and meaning again. Finally! Selecting the right wallcovering for your architecture and decor will be equally exciting and timeless. This is a good time to get the advice of a designer you trust.  Like us…perhaps? And, always use an installer who has a passion for paper!


It’s time to get excited about the possibility of creating walls that reflect our personalities and fit seamlessly into our perfect LBD’s.  Walls that make a statement albeit it subtle or bold.  It’s time to secure a spot on your favorite installer’s calendar.




Brian Atchley is the talent behind many fine installations throughout the country.  He is a Master Paperhanger and a member of the  National Wallcovering Installers Association.  Let’s listen to what he has to say about wall coverings today.


Brian’s Website

Laurel – First of all, what do you consider to be the difference between wall covering and wall paper?

Brian- Generally speaking , I would say the word Wallcovering encompasses any type of material, which includes wallpaper, that is designed and manufactured to be installed onto an appropriately prepared surface. Am I saying that wallpaper and wallcovering are one in the same? In a sense, yes. In the past, I’ve corrected customers and designers when they’ve referred to commercial vinyl as wallpaper, or a block printed paper as a wallcovering. On the other hand, I’ve heard individuals who are in the business of printing commercial vinyl wallcovering, as well as interior designers, label it vinyl wallpaper. I guess there is no real definitive answer to this question. I’m sure some might disagree, however.

Personally, when I’m talking shop or most importantly, figuring a job, I’m very material specific. If it’s a paper backed Schumacher silk , that’s precisely how I communicate it. Notice how the word wallpaper or wallcovering didn’t even enter the sentence.

Laurel -What is evolved with the evaluation of existing wall conditions in regards to how you will prepare to install a new wall treatment?

Brian- The most important factors I consider are surface stability and the type of material that will be installed. Once I know these two factors, I’m on my way to making the necessary decisions for proper prep work to assure a perfect installation for the customer.

Here is a brief example. I’m installing Scalamandre’s Zebras in a powder room in a few weeks. There is currently a yellow eggshell paint on the walls that seems stable. Taking the appropriate steps to ensure the stability of the eggshell paint is vital. The first thing I will do is either lightly sand the walls with 100 grit sandpaper or scrape the walls with a 6” knife to inspect for any areas that might cause an issue. I will follow that step by sealing the eggshell paint with an appropriate sealer. Once the sealer has cured, I’m ready to prepare for the material. With this particular Scalamandre, I line the walls with a blank stock paper “liner paper”, paste size the liner once it has dried, and then install the Scalamandre on top of the blank stock. This process is specifically based on the material and the existing wall condition. Keep in mind that every scenario is different. For example, if this same space were getting a Thibaut grasscloth, the prep would be completely different.

Laurel-Tell us what are your favorite types of installations?  What do you get excited about?

Brian-Typically, I get really excited about jobs that demand a high skill level. This could range from a classic Clarence House Toile installation in a commercial setting to a Zuber Scenic installation in residential setting. Regardless, I get excited about almost every job that I am involved in. I love my job and take great pride in every installation that I do. For example, tomorrow I’m installing a Cole and Son Damask in a dining room. It’s a simple installation, but I’m truly excited about the finished product. This particular Damask pattern is rich in color with a large repeat. The distance between the crown molding and chair rail are going to allow me to center this pattern vertically to perfection. I’ll also center the pattern from left to right on the focal point wall to give the customer symmetrical corners This will also allow the customer to center her beautiful antique mirror on that same focal point wall. I’ll also maintain a perfect head around the perimeter of the whole room to maintain perfect symmetry, despite there not being a perfectly level corner or crown molding in all of the universe, ha. When I’m finished with the job, I know the customer and I both are going to be completely satisfied.

Laurel – Is there a dream project you’d consider taking on in the future?

Brian-Hmmm.. I just try to take things as they come, but I’d consider any project in any part of the world. Perhaps a chinoiserie installation at a private residence on any beach? That’s the first thing that came to mind. I have an infinite love for the ocean and it’s mysterious unexplored depths.

Thanks Brian…looking forward to our next project together!-Laurel

Let’s take a look at a few more examples from Philip Jefferies and others.




Ready to consider some personality for your walls?

Not quite ready for wallpaper….see our post below.

It’s Only Paint Right?

We’d be thrilled to show you some options!

Take A Look At Our Digital Design Packages

Contact Us

What If…..Sunday



My husband pretty much is the same no matter what the season.  He is always the optimist, the life of the party, the glue that holds friends and family together.  Spring time is not that much different…EXCEPT for cars and houses.  His eternal search for the next chapter in our lives kicks into higher gear (another pun intended).

Continue reading “What If…..Sunday”

When Is A House Not A Home…


As Soon As It Goes To Market

The minute you consider placing your home on the market is when it needs to become a house again.  It was just a house when you purchased or built it.  It was a business transaction, and a very important one in your life.  After the purchase is when this mere piece of architecture became your home, filled to the brim with your memories and your personalities.  When you decide to pass this house onto someone else, you must look at it as a business transaction, a very large one that you want to be successful.  You are not selling your memories.  They get to go with you.  Continue reading “When Is A House Not A Home…”

Take Another Look


The number one comment we hear during and after a project from so many of our clients is, “I would have never thought of that!”  We are so very thankful that you depend on us to “think like that”  but we can’t take all the credit.

 The best designers, the ones that can walk in a room or look at a photo, and immediately know what to do…are the ones with a built-in sixth sense.  It’s in our genes.  Perhaps an extra chromosome or some strange combo of DNA.  When you’ve got this, it is both a blessing and a curse.  We are obsessed with details and know these details make the difference in every project.

Capturing them all on our own is not always good.  It’s like watching someone else’s vacation photos….if you were not there they are not as mind-boggling!  We know we need help to channel this energy or we’d never be able to sleep at night.

Enter the Professional Photographer

They see things in a different light.


Photo by Damsel in Dior

Continue reading “Take Another Look”

Peas in a Pod



Kristen and I are part of a tremendous team that we have the opportunity to work with on a regular basis.  Our teams, both in Venice, Fl and  in Louisville, KY consist of progressive realtors, innovative trades people and quality resources.  Recently, we participated in a round table discussion on how our team works together to provide our clients a complete service when they are considering the sale or purchase of a home.   Grab your favorite beverage, turn up the sound on your device and tune in.  We are very happy to be a part of such wonderful teams!


Podcast with Eric Seltz


Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty

Louisville, KY



Here are some quick before and after photos of a project we collaborated  on.  What a pleasure our client is to work with.  She lovingly updated her parents home, top to bottom, to make it her own and ready for the next generation.

Kitchen Before

What a fantastic room full of memories!


Kitchen After 

Ready to make new memories!




These guys are pretty happy with the renovation!

Thanks to them and their Mom for asking us to be part of such an meaningful project.


If you know of someone who might also enjoy our blog, or is interviewing designers, please pass on the links below.



Thank You!


Making Progress

We’ve recommended and used Progress Lighting for many years.  Progress offers a wide spectrum of selections.  Basic utility fixtures to innovative design options are all available from numerous local and online sources.  Progress is a company with a history backing up the service their representatives provide.  The rep our firm uses is a part of the team we depend on when implementing  projects.  His knowledge and experience in lighting is vast.

Recently we stumbled, we don’t always have time to keep up with all the resources websites like we should, into a section of the Progress Lighting’s website that offers various style boards.  We prepare style boards when for our digital design clients as part of the online service we offer.  This is a great way to use a designer “virtually” and keep design fees reasonable.  (link to our services in our website info is available below).  Let’s take a look at the style boards Progress has and how they have defined decor themes.  We’ve also added some photos to enjoy.  There is a decor for everyone!


Stephen Alexander Homes .jpg

Stephen Alexander Homes



Baukunst Design .jpg

Baukunst Design







IONS Design .jpgIONS Design


Interested in Learning More About How Digital Design Works using LBD?


Thank you for continuing to pass along. Each One Reaching One is how we grow.