Category: Interior Design

Interior Design, Real Estate News

Exterior Color That Will Inspire


Springtime is in full bloom and it’s time to update home and building exteriors with the latest in exterior color palettes. Grays, blues and greens continuing to trend, as well as yellow-influenced hues and deeper browns. With so many fresh ways to show off color for exteriors, shown here are a range of schemes to inspire:

Palm Springs CA Interior Design Eichler

Desert Eichler Residence, Palm Springs, CA.: Body: DET618 Industrial Age; Front Door: DET584 Postwar Boom; Trim and Beams: DE6328 Anchor Gray; Front Lateral Beam: DET453 Majolica Earthenware. Photo Credit: KUD Properties

Palm Springs Mid Century Home Colors

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Interior Design

As a Designer You Need To Understand Your Client

An interior designer’s up-to-date knowledge of construction, industry standards, and design trends is only useful when paired with a deep understanding of the client they are working with. Whether it’s a commercial project or a residential remodel, a respect for the context and the client are key.

In this series of articles, we’ve explored the importance (and the art) of gathering a client’s preference for line, pattern, repetition, space, depth, color, textures, etc. The experience of learning what lights a client up is a rewarding experience for all involved. Along the same lines, as a designer learns what a client does day to day, a better picture of the person–and their ideal space–takes shape.

As a designer gets to know a client’s likes and dislikes, learning how people in a space will work together is vitally important. Maybe a couple is having a new home built and wants a designer to help them bring it to the next level. An expert interior designer like Lori Wiles learns how each client spends time, what they like to do independently and together, or how they prepare for their day. In commercial spaces, a designer must know how people will move through it, where they will sit and stand, wait, come together or need privacy. These considerations affect all aspects of design like what kind of structures are built or modified, what materials, colors, and finishes are used, and where furniture is placed.

Orange County Interior Design

These are important ways an expert designer knows the people she’s working for. Understanding a client isn’t just crucial for a good design, though, it’s the key to a great experience when things could otherwise go south.

A good interior designer respects boundaries; instead of convincing a client to try things that are uncomfortable, Lori Wiles explains that some clients have non-negotiable considerations, like a favorite chair that has to stay in a certain spot. There’s a difference between getting a client to consider something they didn’t think possible and pushing them to try something that’s just not a good fit. An expert designer knows and respects those lines.

Some clients are working within strict limitations like a set budget. Maybe they value a designer’s expertise but can’t take advantage of all the services available. Lori works with clients and guides them to resources to make their own decisions, saving money in the design process. “Instead of giving a client a list of the three faucets that I think will work best, I teach them how to make those decisions themselves.”

When conflict arises, having a relationship with an experienced and skilled interior designer can make all the difference. Disagreement can occur between a couple, between the client and a contractor, or even the client and the designer. Having a designer who knows you, how you work, your lifestyle, opinions, and preferences helps smooth over even the most potentially contentious situations. Lori has experience resolving–or more often avoiding–conflict through respect. She cares about the people she’s working for. “Clients ask me, “How do you know what I want?”” Lori says. “I tell them, “I listen.””

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Interior Design

What Makes A Great Design Experience?

coastal shabby chic

I often get a chance to work on interior design projects long distance, particularly for vacation homes all over Southern California. I recently had an opportunity to stay in one of the homes I designed last year. It was really a fun opportunity for me for many reasons.

coastal shabby chicThe Client: My client and I have a long relationship. We’ve worked together on his office, his private home, show homes, luxury homes, condos, extensive remodels, and flip houses. I’m making a guess here, but we’ve probably done over 30 complete residences or offices together. By now I know his particular design aesthetic, his need for everything to be of high quality in appearance and function, and his relentless attention to detail. His trust in me gives me the opportunity to propose possible floor plans, appliances, plumbing, and finishes that I think would be worthwhile. So, when it was time to remodel his family getaway I was delighted! This meant that we could use finishes and combinations that appealed to him and not a possible buyer or homeowner. (Note: his wife is really laid back and is happy to abstain from the design process!)

Space: As always, we started working on making the floor plan more user friendly. The tiny laundry room went away, making room for a much larger kitchen with the stackable washer and dryer tucked into a tall cabinet. A big island with an overhang on 3 sides increased work space, storage, and seating. Off of one of the bedrooms a little powder room was rearranged to squeeze in a custom shower. We relocated a smaller on-demand water heater in an oversized bedroom closet.

Appliances and Plumbing: When the space plan was right we discussed appliances and plumbing fixtures. The client wanted to use many of the appliances that we’d specified many times for his award-winning show homes. Since we knew the sizes and finishes of these we were able to move quickly to the next part of a project.

Finish Composition: We then went to the decorating portion of the project. I proposed that we acknowledge the beach location in all of the finishes with a nod to the Mid-West, kind of like having one foot in the sand and one in the prairie. For ease of maintenance we chose tile for all of the rooms. Broad barnwood-like planks of tile flooring would go everywhere and become the base for the rest of our choices. The walls would be a pale gray-green with contrasting trim in pure white. In the kitchen we selected cabinets with a classic Shaker profile in a soft, cloudy driftwood gray finish. Our cabinet hardware choice was a counterpoint to the classic Shaker style. We chose large rectangular crinkled metal pulls, strong in shape but soft in finish with tones of stainless steel and chrome. Big expanses of counter top were the perfect place to use quartz material with reclaimed glass bits in shades of blue, turquoise, and amber. Watery glass tiles on the backsplash repeated the blues and grays of the kitchen.

In the bathrooms we placed a smaller, lighter plank style tile on the walls. The cabinets are the same gray with pure white sinks and fixtures. To add more character the walls in the baths are a Caribbean sky blue. The whole effect is very pleasant, clean, and soothing just as I imagined.

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