Back It Up! Seating Highlights from High Point Market’s Spring 2017 Show

  Most seating options are designed to be viewed from a relatively limited number of vantage points. Owners tend to align their seating options against a wall so details on the back of the piece are ignored or thrown in as an afterthought, while the furniture designer concentrates only on those angles which are viewable from the front and sides. From large manufacturers always looking to maximize the efficiency of their processes, this makes sense. Why spend the time and resources needed to design and build pieces that are appealing from 360 degrees when 25 percent of the item will… Read More

Simple Tricks to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

Kitchen design is not a one size fits all agenda.  Sure, you have to consider the major pieces that make a kitchen function (like your sink, dishwasher, and stove), but you also need to consider other factors such as the age of your client, the kitchen tools they cannot live without, their entertaining goals…the list can go on and on.  Over the years we have considered many families, singletons, and empty nesters all with different ideas of what they want from their kitchen.  Here are a few of our favorites. A New Kind of Eat-In Loving your eat-in style kitchen… Read More

Belly On Up: The Best Metal Barstools for your Buck

Forget those horrid black metal barstools! These hot metal classics will rev up your kitchen island with some sophisticated flair. Sunpan’s Stanley Barstool with Cowhide Made of plastic, cowhide and stainless steel, this lightweight barstool will add a punch of texture and hipness to your otherwise quiet kitchen. Safavieh Couture Kian Barstool Brass is back!  Embracing the change will bring a whole new design element to your home.  Black and brass is a sophisticated and glamourous combination. Arteriors Calvin Barstool This low-back Leather barstool has a wide seat.  It’s perfect when you want to achieve an uninturupted view of  your… Read More

Diary of a Designer: Girl PLEASE! Don’t Tell Me You Have a $20,000 Kitchen Budget and Want a Sub-Zero Refrigerator.

The top pet peeve of every designer, contractor, kitchen cabinet supplier, and all other professional service providers in my industry:  People NOT being realistic about their budget! I’m going to get honest here, kitchens don’t cost $20,000 anymore. Maybe if you go to IKEA and plan a whole DIY kitchen, you might be able to pull it off.  I prove otherwise below, and many other blogs and articles will also bring you back to reality on this notion.  The only people I know who have time to DIY their kitchen remodels seems to be bloggers and reality TV renovators who… Read More

Discrimination in North Carolina

The furniture industry has always been a “Good Ole Boys” club. Even during my years as a student, it was quite evident who ruled the roost when it came to the industry.  It became even more prevalent when I began attending High Point Market in 2007.  A women’s place was behind the desk, answering phones, and assisting the male sales force. They teetered on their stilettos walking us through the showrooms killing their feet on a concrete floor for a petty temporary wage.  The few women who were representing lines were my sisters. They were warriors against the establishment, and… Read More

How to Keep a Construction Project on Time (Which in Return Usually Means on Budget)

One word. PLANNING! Planning for any project takes patience.  It’s hard, especially when our clients have been waiting for years to build that perfect house or to move into their dream neighborhood.  Waiting another day to get started is always tough, especially when they realize that the HGTV half-hour timeline is not compatible with the family room/kitchen open concept vision that needs to be ready by move-in.  The Property Brothers fail to show the five months of planning it took to get to their 6 week construction timeline.  As far as they are concerned, everything happens simultaneously.  Of course it… Read More

You Can Never Go Wrong with These Four Wallcoverings

Most people have a love/hate relationship with wallpaper.  They love the impact, but they hate the cost. They love the options, but they hate the commitment.  They want the pattern, but are scared of making a mistake.  If you are phobic of wallcoverings but are open to the idea, consider these five neutral options to start your journey. A Neutral Repeat This “tiled” wallcovering from York Wallcovering almost feels like a wood grain or a marble tile.  Much like a faux paint finish, this look is more about texture than about pattern.  The subtle coloring makes it a great neutral.… Read More

Sophisticated Interiors in South Jersey

When creating stunning and sophisticated rooms the devil is in the details, and creating sophisticated interiors was Kristen Benavides job when she designed for her tony clients in Palm Beach, Florida. Rewind to 2012 when I hired another wonderful Kristen.  Two days after I hired Kirsten Joyce, I received a phone call from a different Kristen who also came with amazing design credentials. I had to check my records to make sure I didn’t miss something.  Could this be the same person?  Itwasn’t, but I made a connection to a wonderful woman who was looking to relocate back to South… Read More

Trimming the Home: How Selecting the Right Trim Package for Your Home Enhances Value

My cousin just bought a new home last week.  It’s a typical 1980’s construction with dry wall and clamshell moulding on the windows, doors, and base.  It has flat non-descript ceilings, a dated chair rail, and a tiny crown detail in the “formal” dining room.  The house is wonderful- the rooms are spacious and the layout in conducive for a wonderful renovation when the time is right.  But the overall home is so vanilla that you wonder why the former home owner never bothered to update these small details before selling the home.  By my real estate estimate, the home could have… Read More