How We Worked on the Presidential Palace of a Soviet Republic President

 

Working with international clients presents a range of new challenges. You have to consider issues such as logistics and cultural differences. Here are some tips on how to manage such projects properly.

 

Working with local clients comes with its advantages. You have an easy point of contact that you can actually visit when needed. Minor emergencies get dealt with quicker and cultural differences aren’t an issue.

But international clients present more challenges. Suddenly, you don’t have the luxury of heading over for a visit whenever you need to. Time zones, cultural differences, and the time required to travel combine to make such projects more difficult. Clients must choose carefully to ensure they work with companies that can actually provide the service.

This line of thought led to the president of one of the former Soviet republics getting in touch with us. He’d taken ownership of a brand new summer palace and he wanted our help to make the space sparkle.

The only problem? We had to work to a tight deadline.

Outfitting the Soviet Palace

Our new client wanted us to deck the entire palace out with regal rugs that emphasized the luxuriousness of the building.

Moreover, he needed those rugs in place and ready for a huge conference that he was preparing for.

It was a monumental task made all the more difficult by this strict deadline. All told, we had two months to get the work done.

At first, we didn’t think that we could. We even told the client as much and told him what we could do instead. But he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. As they say in the movies, he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. We took the job and prepared ourselves for a couple of months of hectic work.

We immediately increased production at our rug manufacturing facility. Our profit sharing idea offered all of the motivation that our rug-making team needed to work as hard as possible to achieve our goal.

All of this, mind you, while we were developing rugs for other clients.

Things were going well until we ran into another problem. The country’s airport was so small that it wasn’t able to accept the big freighter that we needed to use to deliver the rugs. Our Soviet suitor had the answer though, as he chartered a small plane to fly back and forth. This plane picked up and delivered so many different rugs that we almost lost count. We even had to come up with a new way to fold the rugs so that they wouldn’t get creased in smaller crates.

In the end, a combination of our hard work and that charter plane’s relentless journeys helped us to deliver the rugs on time.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped from there. Our client’s inexperienced staff sliced into the crates and immediately damaged the rugs and carpets that we sent.

Always willing to go above and beyond, we sent one of our people on the next charter plane. So, not only did we make the rugs, but we repaired them too. All of this while meeting the tight deadline that we didn’t think was possible.

It just goes to show what a lot of hard work and the right kind of motivation can achieve. We’d impressed an international client of high standing. And we’d enhanced our reputation as a company that can get the job done quickly and to a high standard.

 

The Middle Eastern Healthcare Center

The success of this international project helped us to develop our reputation outside of the United States. Suddenly, clients were appearing from all over the world, hoping to get their hands on some of our work.

Soon after the Soviet job, another international leader got in touch with us. The head of a Middle Eastern country, he had recently undergone treatment in an American hospital. In fact, this treatment had gone so well that it had saved his life, which left an enormous impression on him.

Upon returning home, he immediately set his staff to work on building a healthcare center that would replicate the one he’d received treatment in. Over the course of a decade, his team constructed this center in the middle of a desert. It is a stunning building.

So, where do we come into the tale?

Our desire to work with more international clients brought us to this man’s attention. We spent five years attempting to secure his business. Once we had it, we got to work on the job at hand.

In the end, we developed stunning carpets for the center’s prayer rooms and banquet hall. We also created the carpet for its world-class receiving rooms. A combination of luxurious wool and silk carpets really made the center stand out, ensuring it achieved the regal air that the leader wanted.

Today, that healthcare center is among the most renowned in the country. Treating some of the most high-profile people in the Middle East, it’s a testament to the determination and hard work of everyone involved.

Working with International Clients

 

So, what is the point of this pair of stories?

We want you to know that we understand how to work with international clients. We’ve been there and done it. Most importantly, we’ve delivered exactly what we promised every single time.

Along the way, we’ve learned a few techniques to help us work with people outside of the United States. Here are just a few of the things that we’ve learned.

Tip #1 – Communicate Constantly

 

This is an important tip for any major project. But it becomes vitally important when you’re working with an international client. Constant and high-quality communication lets your client know that you’re ahead of the task. This keeps them feeling confident in your abilities, as well as ensuring you highlight issues ahead of time.

Things have gotten a lot easier since we worked with the Soviet leader. Back then, we had to rely on the telephone and snail mail to keep in touch. Today, we have email, text messaging, and video calling. We can even take a picture of whatever we’re working on and send it instantly to a client.

As a result, there’s no excuse to not stay in touch. International clients want to hear from you. After all, it’s not like they can just hop in the car and visit your location. It’s through regular communication that you’ll keep the client on board and assure them that the job’s going as planned.

Tip #2 – Deal with the Logistics

 

Unfortunately, communication isn’t as easy as picking up the phone and making a call. There’s also the issue of time zones to concern yourself with. In our case, we dealt with clients who were several hours ahead of us in the United States. They were often ending their working days by the time we’d started ours.

As a result, we had to work out the logistics of working with these clients.

Making a phone call or sending an email at the wrong time may lead to a delay in the response. This delay can set you back several hours, or even an entire day. If it happens repeatedly, you create massive delays in the project. That’s not something that you can allow when you’re working to a tight deadline. We time our communications to ensure we get a response as quickly as possible.

Deliveries also present an issue. As you saw in our work with the Soviet republic leader, all sorts of logistical problems can crop up. Solve them early so you know that your deliveries will go off without a hitch. In our case, that meant chartering a plane in collaboration with our client. We don’t always have to go to such extremes when working internationally. But the logistics of deliveries are still a key concern.

Tip #3 – Learn About Cultural Differences

 

The Middle East is a completely different place to the United States. You don’t need us to tell you that, but it’s an important point to make when working with international clients. What you do at home won’t always go over well in international territories.

Even something as small as the way you greet your clients can have a major effect on the relationship. When working internationally, we make it a point to learn about any important customs that we should uphold. This allows us to create a good foundation for the relationship from the start. From there, we can build.

It’s especially important to familiarize yourself with professional etiquette. You need to know how it differs between countries. For example, we spent a lot more time on personal conversation before getting down to business with our Middle Eastern client. We also discovered that it’s important to greet elders before everybody else. It’s a little sign of respect that goes a long way.

Learning about these small cultural differences shows that we’re willing to go the extra mile. This impresses clients who may have a few options open to them.

Tip #4 – The Legal Side

 

Most businesses have standard contracts for their work. But you can’t always use that contract when working with international clients. You have legal issues to consider in both countries, so sending out your standard contract isn’t enough.

This is an important tip for both the business and the client. Sorting out the legalities, and any changes you need to make, allows for the whole process to run smoothly.

If you don’t you run the risk of creating delays in the project that can cause problems later on. With a time-sensitive project, such as the Soviet project mentioned, such delays can ruin the project.

Hire an attorney who can help you to spot issues early on. This protects you in case something does go wrong. It also informs you of any regulations that you must meet in order to do business with the client.

The Final Word

 

We take pride in the exceptional quality of the rugs and carpets that we produce. But we take even more pride in our ability to deliver that quality to every client, no matter where they may be in the world. Through decades of experience, we’ve developed a process for working with international clients. This ensures that everybody gets what they need.

This means we’re here to help you, no matter where you’re reading this from. If you’d like to find out how, we encourage you to do the following:

  • Check out a few more of the projects that we’ve brought to life.
  • Read some of our blog posts to find out more information about us.
  • Contact one of the designers at Dream by MJS Interiors to arrange a free consultation.

We welcome every challenge that comes our way.


Unique Interior Design Tips

Unique Interior Design: What Do Love Hearts, The CEO of An Oil Company & His Mansion All Have In Common?

 

Unfortunately, not every client will come to you with simple interior design requests. Some have unique demands that require a more bespoke service. We’ve worked with such clients and developed a few methods for meeting such requests and coming up with amazing home decor ideas.

Hearts aren’t exactly an uncommon thing in interior design. A few subtle uses of this iconic shape can really add a touch of homeliness and love to any room.

 

But there are some people who get fixated on such simple designs. Not that this is a bad thing, of course. Interior design is all about creating things that suit the client’s tastes and interior design needs. But unique requests that revolve around such specific desires do come with their own challenges.

One such example comes from a client that we worked with in the Midwest of the United States.





A Heart-Shaped Box

The head of an oil company, this client has a pure fixation on hearts. Practically everything in his life came back to this simple design, in one way or another. His desk and swimming pool both used the iconic design, but he wanted to take things even further. He wanted a special carpet that featured his favorite design heavily. Now, this was a unique interior design request!

 

TBut this wasn’t a small job. The client lived in an enormous house and wanted wall-to-wall carpets. Moreover, he wanted the colors of the hearts on the carpets to change based on where they were in the house. Blue and green were the colors of choice for the hearts nearest to the windows, whereas the classic red hearts lined the fireplace. Cognac-colored hearts were to surround the bar, for obvious reasons.

 

That wasn’t all though. He wanted the hearts raised up, to make them even more prominent. Furthermore, he didn’t want any sudden color changes. As you walked to different areas, he wanted the hearts to gradually shift to the colors of those areas.

 

We could already see that this was becoming one of the more unique jobs that we’d ever worked on. And then we got to the other rooms. For the hallways outside the bedrooms, he wanted a banded carpet that featured cross ribbons throughout. Much like with the hearts, these cross ribbons had to change color based on the room nearest to them.

 

Then came the powder room.

 

Our client referred to his wife as “ladybug”. It’s a sweet little pet name, but it became the center of the design for the powder room. The room needed a raised bathtub, with ladybug designs lining the top steps. More ribbons flowed down, which created a strangely ethereal ascent to the tub.

 

All very unique requests, we think you’ll agree. But the client then told us that money was no object. In fact, he was so wealthy that he maintained a private plane containing sculptures from some of the world’s leading artists. Work from Rodin, Marino Marini, and Jean Arp had all found their way onto his plane.

 

This was clearly a man who got what he wanted and we wanted to deliver on his exact interior design need. exactly what he asked for.

 

Our carpet makers got to work and we produced every carpet exactly to the client’s specifications. Our team installed them all and the house looked just how the client had asked for it too.

 

Unfortunately, in this case, our client’s enthusiasm for unique design had gotten the better of him. Think of it as an “eyes too large for your stomach” situation. Except this time, it related to interior design.

 

With his unique interior design demands met and installed, the client decided that the ensemble wasn’t for him after all. He emphasized repeatedly that we’d delivered on every single demand that he’d made. But seeing it all in place had led him to the realization that he needed something a little more refined. In the end, these carpets that we’d created especially for him got replaced with something a little more traditional.

 

It’s perhaps a slightly sad end to the tale, especially given the amount of work that went into the project. But, as the client said, we’d delivered exactly what he wanted. We guess the reality of his unique request didn’t quite meet the vision that he had in his head.

A Trip Through Oz

This isn’t the only time when we’ve worked on a project that required a more unique perspective. Another client called us in to work on his property.

 

This client had taken control over a gorgeous old mansion that the previous owners had converted into apartments. A lot of work restored the building back to its original splendor, but now he needed a designer’s touch. Simply out, he needed an amazing interior decor idea!

 

That’s when he called us. Much like the previous client, this particular person wanted a rug to meet some fairly unique stylistic choices. You see, he was a collector of many passions. But perhaps the greatest of all of this was his love for the classic tale of The Wizard of Oz. His collection was so enormous that he had dedicated an entire room to it. Naturally, he needed a suitably-themed rug to bring it all together.

 

Our team went to work on an Oz-themed rug that pulled all of the classic characters together. It featured Dorothy’s house, Toto, and the witch, as well as Dorothy herself. But the tornado that starts the entire story was the true centerpiece.

 

This story has a happier ending than our previous one. The client loved the rug and used it to pull together his collection remarkably. We also later discovered that he had a penchant for decorating rooms in the style of his collections. He had another room dedicated to items from the Normandy. Moreover, he’d installed an Art Deco rug into the room to complement the design of the ship.

 

We guess that it always helps to have a theme in mind.

Our Top Tips for Unique Designs

These stories teach us that clients aren’t always going to come to you with simple ideas. In fact, they’ll often have very unique visions of what they want to achieve with their interior design projects.

 

We relish the challenge that such projects offer. Plus, we’ve come up with a few methods that ensure we deliver exactly what the client wants.

Unique Interior Design Tip #1: – No Judgment

This is a BIGbig one for interior design. You have to realize that the client has their own tastes, interior design needs, and vision for the project. Judging them for those tastes not only has a negative effect on the client, but it also means you’re not going to work on the project much longer. They’ll just find somebody more willing to work with them.

 

Even something as simple as a laugh at the wrong moment can irreparably damage the relationship.

 

Thankfully, we’re very interested whenever a client brings a unique request to us. We’re not going to judge them for what they want. Instead, we’ll try to figure out a way to bring their ideas to life. Of course, it doesn’t always work, as was the case with our Midwestern client. But it’s all about delivering the project that the client asks for. Moreover, it’s about not entering into the project with preconceived notions of the “right” way to do things.

Unique Interior Design Tip #2: – Provide Your Feedback

Having said that, we are the interior design experts. As a result, we have many years of experience under our belts. This gives us a good idea of what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to your carpets.

 

Respecting the client’s right to have whatever they want for their design does not mean that you can’t offer ideas. The key is to do so without telling the client that they’re wrong. No client has a “wrong” idea of what they want for their project. They may just need a little guidance in regard to how to bring it all together.

 

When we approach projects like those mentioned above, we put thought into what we bring to the table. The client hired us for our skills, so we must put them to use during the project. This usually involves providing alternative suggestions. The client won’t always go for them. If they have a very specific idea of what they want, they’re unlikely to change their minds. But at least we offer a few options for the client to mull over.

Unique Interior Design Tip #3: – Detailed Planning

The larger the job, the more planning and thought has to go into its execution. This is especially the case for the more unique and bespoke jobs. We’re not just dealing with the logistics of designing and installing a rug or carpet. We also have to make that rug or carpet to very exact specifications.

 

Planning involves constant communication with our clients. We don’t want to leave any room for errors or misunderstandings. Instead, we use the planning stage to ensure that the information we have is correct. This also gives us the chance to test out the designs and make sure the client wants to go ahead.

 

The planning stage also allows us to set deadlines and outline how we’ll work with the client for the duration of the project. It’s all about improving client confidence so that we can place our full focus on the work.

Unique Interior Design Tip #4: – Absorb Yourself in the Request

We don’t have expertise in the subjects behind every interior design request we take on. Take the Wizard of Oz example above. We certainly knew of the film, but that didn’t mean we had the same passion for it as our client.

 

However, the rug we designed had to demonstrate the same level of passion that the client had. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t have fit into a room that’s so obviously dedicated to the subject matter.

This requires a great deal of learning on our part. We find out as much as we can about the source material and the little unique pockets that can inform the design. We also try to feed off our client’s passion. Anything that they tell us can go towards achieving success with a unique project.

 

We love what we do. But we also try to love what you want!.

The Final Word

Working with unique interior design requests presents an interesting challenge to us. It pushes us to figure out ways to mesh our design principles with the passions of our clients. We’re happy to say that we rise to meet that challenge, more often than not.

 

Perhaps you have a unique idea of your own that you want to try out, but you don’t know where to start. That’s where we can help. If you want to bring your very own unique interior design ideas to life, we encourage you to do the following:

 

  • Have a look at some of the projects we’ve worked on in the past.
  • Read some of the articles in our blog to discover what we’ve learned.
  • Talk to the team to get your project started today.

 

We look forward to taking on whatever unique ideas you have in store for us. Learn more about our outstanding houston decorators here!

 


4 Design Tips for Living Rooms & More

4 Design Tips We Discovered After Working On John D. Rockefeller’s New York Apartment and The Oval Office In The White House

With decades of experience in interior decorating and as living room designers, we feel well-placed to help you figure out how to maximize your room’s potential. In fact, we’ve done just that for some very prominent people. Find out more, with a few of our tips, in this article.

 

It all started with a client in New York.

We received a call from a client who was preparing to marry the man who owned New York’s largest apartment. At 37,000 square feet, it was a behemoth of an apartment that had formerly belonged to John D. Rockefeller.

Our client wanted us to help bring a new touch of style to the apartment. Working alongside Mark Hampton, one of New York’s foremost decorators, we got to work. Mark took responsibility for the overall look and feel, while we handled the rugs.

It was when we met Mr. Hampton that we made an interesting discovery. Hampton was also working with George H. W. Bush on some decorating work in the White House. Our work with this client had opened the door to working with the President of the United States. It was an opportunity that we wanted to grab with both hands.



Our Work in the White House

Hampton told us an interesting story about a White House tradition that we hadn’t heard about before. Apparently, it’s tradition for a President who has left office to leave a gift for the new President.

Ronald Reagan had left the gift of a rug for the incoming President Bush. But there was a problem. The Bushes just weren’t the biggest fans of the rug that Reagan had chosen. Worse yet, the rug dominated the entire Oval Office.

The President wanted a replacement, so we got to work. Little did we know that our rug would become a source of controversy between two first ladies.

We installed the rug and immediately had to deal with the media. The press wanted to know why the Bushes had replaced the gift that the Reagans had left behind. All we could tell them was that the Bushes weren’t the biggest fan of the rug.

Our exact quoted ended up in a newspaper report:

 

We didn’t think much of it at first. We were just happy to have worked with the President of the United States on an interior decorating project. Besides, our new blue rug gave the room a brand new feel that the previous beige number just didn’t quite manage.

But as it turned out, the replacement of the rug sparked a supposed war of words. According to the media, Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush were at loggerheads because of the replacement. Our career-changing interior decorating job had sparked a mini-war between two of the country’s most powerful women.

We still think that the new rug that we installed gave the room an extra level of gravitas. We just didn’t expect all of the controversy that it caused.

Swimming in the Sea of Tranquility

 

They say that any publicity is good publicity. Our work in the White House may have gotten some media attention, but it also opened the door to new projects.

That’s what led us to Tranquility. A truly stunning property, Tranquility took up 50,000 square feet of space. The property also offered 210 acres of land to the lucky owner.

As usual, our area of interest was the interior. We entered the house to find an absolutely amazing staircase that was a true replica of the staircase on the Titanic ship.

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the work ended up being a “titanic” undertaking.

The house’s owners contracted us to install rugs throughout the property. They also gave us a specific request – no seams.

Luckily, we hand-make our designer rugs at our own factory, so it was a request that we were more than able to fulfill. The rugs we installed had leafy borders and a gorgeous damask field. They really added an additional touch of elegance and class to the property.

It was no surprise to us when the property went on the market with an asking price of $100 million. It eventually sold for about $60 million, and has likely increased in value in the years since.

Choosing the Right Rug for Your Home

 

You may wonder why we’ve gone into so much detail about some of the major projects that we’ve worked on over the years.

We want to set your mind at ease and let you know that we know more about contemporary rugs than most. These projects weren’t just a lot of fun for us to work on. They were also recognition of the skills that we bring to the table.

That’s why you should trust the advice we have to offer when it comes to choosing the right rug for your property. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re looking to get a rug installed.

 

(Rug Design)

 

 

Tip #1 – Choose the Right Material

 

It’s not just the visual quality of the rug that you have to keep in mind. The material used to make it is also extremely important. In fact, we recommend picking a material before you start thinking about colors and patterns.

Think about how you’ll use the rug once it’s installed. Is it a purely decorative piece that will see very little footfall? Will you rest furniture on it? Or, do you have children and pets who are going to run all over it every single day?

The answers to those questions determine the type of material you pick for your rug. Here’s a rundown of some of the options:

  • Wool. One of the most popular rug materials, wool gives the rug a nice and cozy feeling. It’s an excellent choice for large rooms because it prevents heat from leaving through the floorboards. Plus, it’s durable enough to withstand a lot of footfall. Wool also has some flame-resistant properties, though it’s not completely fireproof. The big downfalls to wool include an inability to handle acidic stains. If you spill a glass of wine on a wool rug, you’re going to face a big struggle getting it out. It can also shed, which may aggravate allergies in some people.
  • Wool Mixes. Mixing wool with another fiber, typically man-made, usually gets rid of the shedding problem. However, it also lowers the rug’s durability. The rug won’t fall apart in short order, but it won’t be as strong as 100% wool rugs. On the plus side, a wool mix rug keeps its shape better than a regular wool rug.
  • Jute. Another natural fiber, jute doesn’t have the same strength as wool. However, it has a rustic appeal that means it works well in traditional rooms. It’s also an ideal choice for a room with a lot of neutral colors. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of bunching your toes up in a soft jute rug.
  • Sisal. This natural fiber has a lot of strength, making it a good choice for rooms with heavy footfalls. It can also handle heavy furniture resting on it with ease. But it’s not a big fan of water. Spills have a habit of staining this material, so you may not want to drink while standing on it.
  • Polypropylene and Polyester. Both of these materials are man-made. They offer better stain resistance than wool and are usually quite tough. However, both tend to lose their shape slightly if you place or drag furniture on top of them. Polypropylene is also a flammable material, so it’s not recommended for rooms with fireplaces.

 

As you can see, each material has benefits and drawbacks. Think about the room and your own needs. The material you choose influences the look, feel, and price of the rug. As always, we’re here to provide advice if you’re unsure.

Tip #2 – Choose the Right Color

 

Once you’ve made a material decision, it’s time to think about the rug’s color. Your first port of call is to think about the colors that you like. After all, you’re going to live with this rug for years. If the colors don’t appeal to your eye, you’re going to end up hating the rug. Make a list of the colors you like most.

From this list, choose a set of colors that match well with the existing furniture in the room. For example, if the room already features a lot of color, you may want to choose something more neutral to offset it. But a patterned and colorful rug may serve as a great centerpiece in a neutral room.

It all comes down to whether you want the rug to blend into its surroundings or stand out from them. How the colors contrast with the ceiling, walls, and floor may also play a part in your decision.

Tip #3 – Size Matters

 

Have you ever seen a small rug in a large room?

It looks completely out of place. When it comes to rugs, size really does matter.

The size of your rug depends on the size of your room. However, you generally don’t want to leave more than 10 inches of space on each side of the rug. This may change if you’re layering, of course.

As a general rule, bigger is better. A small rug looks strange in the center of a large room. In fact, it pulls your focus onto the rug so much that you almost forget how much space the room has to offer.

Tip #4 – Think About Maintenance and Pile

 

Every rug requires some maintenance. There’s no getting around it. The question you have to ask is how much maintenance do you want to do?

The material and the pile of the rug determine how tough it is to clean.

A low pile rug with a flat weave is much easier to vacuum. It’s usually sturdier too, which means you can take it outside and beat the dust off it.

High pile rugs feel more comfortable underfoot and have a luxuriousness to them. But they’re also much more difficult to clean. In some cases, you’ll have to send it off to a professional to get it cleaned. They’re also more likely to wear out under large amounts of footfall.

Be honest with yourself about how much effort you’re going to put into maintenance. There’s no wrong answer here. We can help you to create a rug that suits your space and needs.

The Final Word

As living room designers, we’ve installed custom rugs for some of the most influential and affluent people in the world. Now, we want you to enjoy that same level of quality service. If you’re ready to give your space a brand new spark, we recommend that you do the following:

We’re here to bring your interior design dreams to life.


 


How to Find the Perfect Cocktail Table

10 cocktail tables you will love and tips on searching for the perfect one!

 

Consider the Space

The ideal distance from the edge of the sofa to the edge of the table is 18 inches—close enough to reach for your drink or put a magazine down, but far enough to stretch out your legs. People often leave too much or not enough room.

 

Leave Some Room

Think about your room’s main passageway and leave at least 30 inches from the outer edge of the cocktail table to the media cabinet.

 

Think Height

A cocktail table's height is key. The surface should be about one or two inches lower than your sofa seat. Standard tables are 16 to 18 inches high, but if you have a higher sofa or entertain a lot, consider a taller table.

 

Balance Your Style

Strike a balance between your sofa and cocktail table styles. If you have a plush, solid-color sofa, try a glass table on a leggy chrome frame. If your sofa is slim and more streamlined, you're fine with a chunkier table, maybe one with a thick wood top and solid base.

 

Try Metal or Glass

Try glass or metal and feel free to mix metals. If your room has a lot of wood in it already, a metal table or a glass table with a metal base can be a nice complement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What Inspires our Houston Designers?

Houston interior design – What Inspires?

 

Great interior design is always inspired, the question becomes where does one find inspiration?  As a Houston interior designer, I create environments that elicit moods and nuances and are at once calming – beckoning with comfort and luxury, or tantalizing the senses with opulence and beauty.  Inspiration comes from a variety of origins, but the most meaningful are often found in unexpected quiet moments that can make the heart leap.

The etymology of the word inspiration is derived from the Latin word “inspiratio” – literally meaning “breathe in” – as in the divine breathing life into your body.  It is no great wonder that inspiration often feels like a flash of startling clarity, uncovering truth straight from the ether above, giving birth to the new and very often invigorating idea.  I find that inspiration for interior design utilizes three essential elements:  nature, travel and art.

A languorous day spent lounging on a powdery white sand beach and your only task is staring at a cerulean ocean, the memory of which lingers in your mind.  That other worldly blue color becomes a thread in the decorative pillows for your new sofa, just the needed touch and fills you with the same serenity that enveloped you on the beach.

Perhaps you casually strolled through the streets of Berlin and wandered into an art gallery, mesmerized by the muted colors in a Franz Marc painting.  Those same shades of taupe hickory and umber become the palette of colors in your bedroom that equally transfix your eyes every time you walk into the room.

A layover in Amsterdam becomes an irreverent journey into the looking glass when you step inside a hotel perched on one of its iconic canals.  Here impudent splotches of unexpected color interplay with whimsical furnishings and serve as a springboard for your imagination.  The remembrance of those over-sized crimson chairs bathed in clever lighting and accented by modern clean lines find their way into the sensibility of your new home.

These three elements of nature, travel and art can entice you to exotic locales, but are often found within our midst here in Houston.   Interior design meets you on your own turf as nature, with all its majesty and emotion, lies just outside our window framing a sky in tumult or repose.   It can be tactile, like feeling the smooth curves of an inky river rock found years ago on a childhood vacation, or the auditory wonder when you first heard the stirring sound of a Bach concerto.  All serve to create a sense of possibility.  With these ordinary moments, ideas are born and give way to the rich, yet subtle gray in your kitchen cabinets, the velvety plane of granite on your countertops or a pair of rococo bedside tables.

Inspiration for interior design may be found by taking the time to renew and rejuvenate your mind and body.  A walk on a Houston tree-lined street can replenish the soul and stimulate new creative heights when we observe our surroundings.  Yes, there are indeed a multitude of verdant greens in a cluster of trees, and varying shades of scarlet and vermillion in a flowerbed that we might pass every day.  These very sights should not escape our glance and our praise.  Taking the time to enjoy art in any of its many forms from books, paintings, fashion, music and movies can leave us brimming with inspired thoughts.  Instructing us on how to evoke emotion in an entryway or render a sense of classic style that becomes a grand lifestyle – something to enjoy and treasure, no matter how practical or functional.  The revelatory then flows from a mindset embracing the new and traditional, and allows play and rest.

Inspiration is more than what we are in this moment, rather infused with the hope of what we can become.  At times it is necessary to step away from the clamor and hit the reset button, but sometimes we can simply take a moment to draw in a breath from the atmosphere around us.   Going far is nice, but not required.  The muse can be found all around and Houston is a fount of inspiration for interior designers – from the greenery in its parks, to the quiet solemnity in its museums, to the richness of its many cultures, and the colorful expanse of its sky at twilight.  We are inspired by relishing the everyday wonders around us at any moment.  Inspiration for interior design is all about taking the time to curate your experiences and smell the proverbial roses.

    

 


Versace Home Furnishings

Designer Gianni Versace spent a lot of time and money to restore the Villa and lived in this dream house for 20 years.  His guests were Madonna, Lady Diana, Elton John, and many others.  The Villa Fontanelle was built in the first half of the 19th century by Lord Charles Currie, Lake Como and the neo-classical style.  In 1977 Gianni Versace rebuilt the interiors, the Villa is a decadent hotel from its frescoed ceiling to its gilded 54-foot Versace designed pool.  Gianni Versace’s discerning approach to furnishing his home resulted in the impressive collection of continental furniture, sculpture and silver works and 18th and 19th century paintings.  All rooms have been turned into guest suites that have Italian marble bathrooms with gold-plated fixtures and two shower heads, large closets, and separate living rooms/sitting areas and balconies/patios.  He created the house as a symbol of his huge success, adorning it with magnificent frescoes and an Italian garden.  It has been more than 15 years since fashion designer Gianni Versace was gunned down on the steps of his Miami mansion.  The King of Fashion's empire passed to his family after his death, along with a whole host of impressive properties around the world.  The resulting extravagant interiors were complemented by a first-class art collection that included several Picassos and Roy Lichtenstein's "Blue Nude." The Versace house is astounding in every aspect! Donatella Versace was recenelty interviewed by Vougue magazine in her beautiful Milan apartment previoulsy owned by her brother she answers 73 questions. As Donatella takes us through the rooms of her family's home, she talks about the legacy of Gianni Versace, the future of fashion, and the most common misconceptions about her. After Exploring a vast array of fabulous interiors in the Vesace homes take a look at the Vouge interview, here is the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkV5VpEROW0

 

  


kitchen after interior design

Intelligent Interior: Designing with Function in Mind

Technology has become a part of the average home, but, without proper planning, it doesn’t necessarily blend with the best interior design. However, function, style, and comfort can be considered so you have a functional and well-designed interior. Dream by MJS Interiors not only specializes in interior design in Houston, TX but also integrating aspects of the smart home with elements of design.

What Is a Smart Home?

interior design of living roomA smart home uses many kinds of technology, some which are immediately visible and others not. These technological elements, however, do not have to compromise visual appeal. For example, video equipment, speakers, and thermostats can be chosen so they are a natural blend with the interior design and architecture of your home.

The definition of the smart home has evolved somewhat over the past couple of decades. Exterior light timers back then would have been considered smart technology. Today, these are quite common, as are programmable thermostats that can control your HVAC system to ensure the temperature is comfortable any hour of the day. Smart home products include:

  • An internet connection
  • Automated lighting and temperature control
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other communications protocols
  • Home security and safety systems, with various sensors/detectors
  • Entertainment systems controlled by computer, phone, or tablet
  • Appliances that can intercommunicate with one another

The 2018 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Smart Home Marketplace Survey found 32% of Americans have smart products at home. This is up 33% from last year’s finding of 24% of consumers. Potential homebuyers indicated they’d prefer pre-installed smart thermostats, fire detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, cameras, locks, and lighting in a home they’d purchase. Virtual reality is taking a step up, as well, as 77% said they’d prefer a virtual house tour before visiting prospective homes.1

The smart home originated in 1975, with a communication protocol known as X10.2 It used radio frequencies to deliver information via electrical wiring. The concept wasn’t all that different from what it is today. Transmitters could, in theory, send signals at specific times, turning on a device or light when a homeowner wanted. Since this technology was prone to radio interference, other home automation concepts sought to improve upon it.

Today, automated lighting, smart internet-connected TVs, thermostats, garage door openers, locks, and kitchen appliances are commonplace. A smart home is defined as much by its technology and benefits as its design. Interior design is as important as it has always been. Homeowners and buyers are seeking the benefits of technology, and Houston interior decorators are seeking to meet this demand.

Benefits of Smart Home Technology

The technologies now found in homes across America and the world have many benefits. Some of these include:

Security: Smart security cameras can monitor a home 24/7, even when occupants are away or on vacation. Applications enable them to view video feeds from anywhere in the world. Motion sensors can differentiate between residents and intruders. Some will even send a notification to local authorities in the case of suspicious behavior. In-home monitoring systems can track the well-being of the elderly, allowing loved ones to live at home rather than in a nursing or other care facility.

Remote control: Smart lighting systems can be turned on/off remotely or even turn on when someone enters the room. They are often capable of detecting the presence of an occupant, and automatically adjusting the lighting according to one’s preferences. Other examples include coffee makers connected to alarms and refrigerators that track ingredients to identify recipes, track expiration dates, and create shopping lists. Some even have interior cameras people can access on their smartphones!

House monitoring: Electrical monitors offer protection when an electric surge is detected. These can automatically turn off appliances. Water sensors can detect plumbing issues such as leaks or frozen pipes; these can even turn off the water before a major flood occurs. Devices can detect dangerous conditions that can lead to fires and floods, which can cause extensive damage and even destroy homes quickly.

Efficiency: One of the best smart home ideas is a system that learns occupants’ behaviors. Based on your schedule, the system can turn on the air conditioning before you get home from work. Other examples include irrigation systems that take care of the garden or houseplants on a schedule. In terms of efficiency, smart irrigation systems save water and smart air conditioners save electricity since you don’t need to leave the AC on all day.

Smart technology is a convenience as well. Internet-connected smart TVs allow us to access on-demand shows, videos, and music. Smart home technology has gotten more reliable and safer. Manufacturers continue to address concerns about hackers accessing consumer data or criminals gaining control of locks and security systems to break in. Interior designers have entered the equation as well, providing interior design for homeowners that focuses on technology from an aesthetic approach. As a result, various smart home design ideas have emerged.

Combining Intelligence with Comfort/Style

Technology and automation can effectively be used to improve interior design. Flat screen TVs and smaller electronics take up less space. They also reduce the amount of clutter at floor level and on the walls. Automated lighting systems can be configured to accent certain areas and can more easily create a desired mood.

Not to mention, they can eliminate banks of switches on walls throughout the house. A lighting system can be controlled with the touch of a button, allowing someone to immediately change the intensity or highlight, for example, of an art collection or new coat of paint.

Automation also enables you to make the most of your interior design. It helps control blinds and drapes from remote, wireless devices. Technology can be integrated with any type of design, from rustic homes with barndoor-like hardware to ultra-modern residences.

Color has a major impact on mood throughout the home. With smart home technology, you’re not limited to selecting a specific coat of paint, type of tile, or other material. There are LED lighting systems capable of producing different colors of light. You can use white or yellow to make the room light and airy, shades of blue and green to create a relaxing mood, or darker colors to provide a sense of warmth and intimacy. Infuse some red to boost the energy level when you have company or to boost guests’ appetites.

For a home office, blue is the most productive color.3 You might want to use shades of green for a bedroom, the energy of yellow for a kitchen, or red for a dining room. Some interior design technology trends, however, integrate the technological elements themselves into the design. Soundwall has developed audio speakers that combine function and visual appeal.

The exterior of their speaker systems is effectively camouflaged as a painting or photograph. Artwork can be selected or custom-made from a customer’s uploaded image, so it can effectively complement interior design, while one can enjoy high audio quality, device compatibility, and a Wi-Fi connection.

Your living room, office, or media room can feature all the latest technology and automation features, yet still be as stylish as they come. Yet comfort is essential as well. Speakers can complement interior design, and soundbars have become popular. Fitting beneath a television, they use sound reflection to create a surround-sound effect, without placing bulky speakers throughout a room.

Latest Technology in Interior Design

smart home technologyComputer technology is not just a trend in the home, but for designing it as well. Computers can be used to create floor plans, visualize a room, and integrate various elements from furniture to appliances and electronics, to paint color and lighting. Designers can use software to create solutions much faster and to transmit files to clients and contractors so projects get completed faster. Architects and designers can use software tools such as AutoCAD, a 3D design software tool from Autodesk, which serves the building, construction, and architectural industries.

Interior design requires collaboration, planning, and time. Most homeowners struggle with articulating their ideas, but digital technology can help express their vision.

Design can also be applied to improving function. For example, touchless faucets are easier to use, and there are fewer worries about germs. Complete with flow control, these products are becoming more affordable for homeowners. Touch activated cabinets, bathtubs with LED screens to control music and bacterial filtration, and integrated device docking stations throughout the home are increasingly common design features.

Dream by MJS Interiors Focuses on Design and Function

With 28 years of experience, we know how to integrate high-end interior design with creativity for residential and commercial clients. We offer cost-effective options that are inspired by our travels, art studies, and mission to provide individualized results. Able to complete projects in six weeks, from new construction to remodeling, we can start a home design from scratch as well. To start, schedule a free consultation with a member of our team by submitting a message online or emailing michasel@dreambymjsinteriors.com.

For more information on services provided by our Houston interior decorators, continue browsing our website. To speak to our professional and friendly staff, call us at 713-999-1222.

Sources

  1. http://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/definition/smart-home-or-building
  2. https://freshome.com/room-color-and-how-it-affects-your-mood/

 


interior design of a home

Intelligent Interiors: Designing with Function in Mind

living room after interior designWe all want a home that is aesthetically pleasing. However, without function, a home won’t hold a lot of value. Function is what allows you to use your home to its fullest potential, and there are many ways to ensure your interior design keeps function in mind. Read on to discover how you can build function right into your new or existing home’s design.

Consider Your Unique Needs

The ideal layout for your home isn’t an easy thing to determine. And once you’ve figured it out, you have to find the furniture, accessories, colors and fabrics to bring it to life. It can be even more challenging if you already have a lot of furniture and a lot of people in your home. What you own and who uses it should have a significant impact on the interior design of a home. However, no floor plan or layout fits every family. It can be easy to look at someone else’s home or get ideas from design websites and magazines, but will that really meet your needs?

For instance, if you like to cook together, you need to make sure that all of your family members will be able to fit in the kitchen at once. That might mean skipping that really fancy chef cart you’ve had your eye on or redesigning your storage space. Or, if one of your family members is very young, elderly, or has health issues, you’ll need to consider a more open layout that allows for movement easier. Of course, you certainly don’t need to sacrifice beautiful design to meet all your family’s needs.

The same is true of privacy; if your family enjoys having their own space, an open floor plan will likely be unappealing. All of these things will contribute to how comfortable your family feels when they are at home.

Remember That Things Will Change

When considering the best interior design for you, you’ll also need to consider upcoming life changes. If you have kids and don’t plan to move anytime soon, your little ones will grow up in your home and, eventually, move out. If your home is already spacious, it will be even more so once your kids have left the nest.

Don’t get us wrong; if you want a layout or are really in love with a certain piece of furniture, go for it. Don’t deny yourself what you want; there will be options aplenty for changing up your decor and re-purposing those spaces should they become available. The bottom line is to make an informed decision about your home design that takes the future into consideration. It’s also important to keep adaptability in mind so if changes do happen, your living space can change to meet your needs. That’s where a professional interior designer can help.

What to Do with Extra Space?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pull out a larger space just for that holiday dinner party, and then pack it back up again without doing any damage to your wallet? Unfortunately, until this becomes a reality, you’ll need to decide how you’ll deal with the space you do have in your home.

Is that extra room an office, a guest room, a den? Maybe all three? There are many ways to design that extra space with functionality in mind. The right piece of furniture can turn a single use room into a multipurpose space. For instance, you can design a space that, let’s say, is located just off of your living room. You could perhaps place some comfortable chairs in this space with some shelving for books. When company arrives, easily moves chairs can turn this reading room into an in-law suite.

Deciding Where to Place Working Rooms

Where you cook food and wash your clothes are the “working rooms” in your home, and you may be surprised at what the experts say about their ideal locations. Many Houston interior designers will tell you that the smartest spot for a laundry room is right off of the kitchen. Of course, this should only be considered a guideline; you may find that it makes more sense for your family to have the laundry closer to another part of the house, like a bedroom.

Another kind of working room is your storage room or dedicated area. Storage capacity will add a lot of functionality to your home. However, this doesn’t mean that your storage room or area has to take up a lot of real estate. Even a small room can store several items when the right shelving units, cupboards, drawers, and other storage areas are available. And this storage space can look good too with the guidance of a design expert.

Energy Efficiency

In addition to having a functional home, you’ll also want to ensure that your home is energy-efficient. Energy efficient homes can have many features, such as solar panels for generating electricity and heating water or energy-efficient appliances.

Air Leaks and Insulation

A home could have dozens of areas where air leak can occur. Under doors is the most common area for air leaks, as well as around windows. An energy auditor can locate leaks with something called a blower door test. Another way that air can leak out is through the roof of your home. This is especially true if you live in an older home and have not upgraded the insulation.

In addition to insulation, you’ll also want to investigate how well the exterior walls of your home are insulated, which can be accomplished with thermal imaging. Thermal imaging uses infrared, which reveals the temperature differences that indicate potential leaks.

If you decide that your home needs an upgrade to the windows or insulation, this is a perfect time to consult a designer. Why replace your home’s custom built, crown molding windows with more energy efficient windows that have no flare? Or if you’re getting work done to add or replace insulation, bring in an interior designer who can add that polish that makes the new work fit in seamlessly.

Appliance Maintenance

smart home technology

Energy efficiency also refers to the appliances in your home, which should all be maintained regularly. As well, you’ll also want to have your heating and cooling systems professionally inspected on a yearly basis. Appliances older than 15 years will likely require replacement. But did you know there are countless custom appliance options that will make any new appliance fit your home design perfectly?

The Smart Home

There is much ado about smart homes technology, which can ensure your home is running at optimum efficiency around the clock. Many of today’s smart home systems can be controlled remotely via an app installed on your mobile device and allow you to have full and complete control over several systems. For instance, on a cold day, a home system can be set to warm the home to a cozy temperature in time for you to arrive from work. A professional interior designer can make energy-efficient smart home technology fit seamlessly into your home’s design. That way you can blend style with cutting-edge tech.

Professional and Contemporary Design Services

When you need assistance with achieving functional interior design in Houston TX, look no further than Dream by MJS Interiors. Over 30 years of design experience goes into every project we complete. If you are building a new home, we can work with your contractor to ensure that the smart technology and design you desire is built right in. Our professional team is ready to help; call 713-766-4570 now to claim your free consultation.


Young Family Custom Designed Living Room

Where to Begin with Designing Your New Home

You may still be searching for your first home, or you may be getting ready to move in soon. Whichever is happening in your life at the moment, there’s no doubt that home ownership marks a major milestone, as well as a time of renewal. Read on to discover how to design your home in a way that makes the most of your existing budget.

Where to Begin with Designing Your New Home

Moving into a new home means having a bigger space, but it also means that you are moving from one stage of life to another. That old futon may have served you well in college, but your family and your new home will demand more. That being said, you will likely be wondering which room is best for your redesign.

Before you start, however, give yourself some time in your new interior. Over the first couple of months, really think about how you will use your new house, as well as how you plan to live in it. For example, you may have thought that one room deserved most of your budget, when it may actually only need a couple of new items.

Finally, you’ll want to measure all of the rooms in your home. Although you will likely be filling your rooms with furniture gradually, having measurements on hand will be very useful if something catches your eye while you’re out doing other things.

The Bedroom

Did you know that most top Houston interior designers predict you will spend one-third of the time in your home in the bedroom? This fact makes your bedroom the ideal place to begin your redesign. Here, the bed will be the most important piece of furniture that you buy.

Getting the Right Bed

Choosing a bed may seem easy, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind. First, although current trends may tempt you to purchase, you need to think about the years you plan to spend in your home. Do you think the palette and style of your bedroom will change over the years? If so, choosing a bed in a timeless style will be the best route.

Now, by “timeless style,” we don’t mean choose something which fits but is something that you don’t really like. You should choose a bed that you absolutely love—one that reflects who you are—as well as ensuring that it is of high quality so that it will last. Finally, your new bed should fit comfortably in your bedroom.

If you’re on a really tight budget, stick with your old bed, but splurge on new high-quality bedding for yourself. Spend as much as you can afford, and opt for a high thread count when and where ever possible.

Custom Designed Modern Family Bedroom

Color Palette

After you’ve gotten your bed, it’s time to think about the colors that your bedroom will have. There’s no doubt that a fresh coat of paint will almost instantly transform the room, but if painting isn’t something you want to do, Texas interior designers recommend that you take a look at items you already have.

Is there one item you own that you really love? If so, celebrate it by echoing its colors in accent pieces like pillows and artwork. These colors, when sprinkled throughout your bedroom, will help to tie it all together.

Living Room

Furniture isn’t cheap, and, because you’ve just purchased your first home, you are highly unlikely to have the budget for new furniture in every room. That means having to live with your old furniture for a while.

However, even though you may be surrounded by the same old, same old, that’s no reason to feel like you’re stuck; all you need to do is identify the similarities. Perhaps one shade in your chair goes well with another found on a vase. If this is the case, you need only expand on those similarities.

One great way to flaunt the similarities in your furniture is to choose an accent wall and paint it in a color that unifies the pieces. You can also find second-hand accessories or a rug containing those colors.

The sofa will be the largest piece of furniture in your living room. The great thing about sofas is that they can be used as the focal point of a room, or they can be in a neutral color and used as a blank canvas for colored accessories.

Because these furniture pieces can be costly, it may make sense to invest in a piece that will be with you for a while, say home designers in Houston, changing only the pillows and throws when it’s time for something new.

Matching Is a Myth

Modern Family Living Room & Fireplace

If you visited a furniture store lately, you probably noticed how well everything matches. While it might be nice, not to mention incredibly easy to walk in and buy an entire living room or bedroom set, this is not the best idea.

Why? There are many reasons. First, these sets look great in the showroom, which is great if you want your room at home to look like a showroom as well. Again, your personal style is what should be reflected in anything you purchase for any room in your home.

Another reason matching is a myth is that what you see in the store may not work in the size of rooms in your home. That huge 4-poster bed you’ve been pining for may be completely over-sized in your small master bedroom.

When shopping, carefully consider not only the size of the rooms in your home, but also ensure that everything you buys is balanced and of the right proportions for each room’s size.

Consider Inexpensive Upgrades

Your kitchen or bathroom’s current look may be driving you crazy but, if you don’t have room for renovation in your budget, you might want to consider upgrading certain elements. For example, you can change out those dated kitchen lights for something new and, maybe, lay down some luxury linoleum or new tile in the bathroom to make things a bit more easy to live with.

Or, your interior designing adventures may have seen you starting to collect artwork. However, you need to fill those bare walls with something until you have a full collection. When doing so, try to avoid those inexpensive pieces that look like everything else, and start scouring your local flea markets and antique stores for unique items that match your personality instead.

You can customize your home further by taking a look at textiles. Today’s textile choices are absolutely vast, and there is a color and feel for every fancy.

The best thing about the many choices available in rugs, pillows, throws, and similar items is that you can put them in any room. When you feel you need a change, simply move the textiles from one area to another.

Should You Hire a Professional Designer?

The many available design choices can make the experience of redesigning your home a stressful one. Because of this, many families choose to hire a professional designer. While this may seem an incredibly expensive option, the truth is that a professional designer can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Custom Designed Modern Beach House With Pool

For example, if you’re shopping on your own, you may need to purchase several shades of paint to try to achieve the look you desire. In hiring a professional designer, you can ensure that you have the right color right away.

The right designer will be able to know instantly what will work and what won’t for your home, eliminating any guesswork and extra expense on your part. Hiring a Houston interior designer, you will have instant access to design contacts and resources that you didn’t have previously.

This includes access to products that the general public cannot access, which means your space will be truly unique to you.

Your New Home Deserves the Best

Your home deserves a look that is both reflective of you, and which provides every room with balance, style, and the best that interior design has to offer for your budget. Dream by MJS Interiors can offer all of this and much more.

Our team of experienced designers works with you to create exactly the look and feel you want while being sure to maximize your budget. We are students of many design eras, having gained our inspiration from interiors around the world. Dreams by MJS Interiors is ready to make your dreams a reality; contact us now to claim your free consultation: 713-766-4570.

how to design your home


Designing with the Color Red

The color red is a lot of things! The rich, warm tone reminds people of the heat of the summer and the festive spirit of winter holidays. Though in recent years, cooler colors have ruled interiors, bold crimsons are suddenly back on the scene

Like taking a bite into a red velvet cupcake, a soft, luxurious scarlet chair adds a taste of glamour to neutral and monochromatic spaces.

From crimson and fire engine red to Merlot and rust, there are endless ways to use this warm shade to create a mood.

Red can feel contemporary, traditional, rustic or timeless, depending on the shade and context. A touch of red can warm up a room, or add drama when used as the main color in a small space such as a powder room.

This space screams strong, radiant and full of energy, it is pleasing with confidence. Red is incredibly versatile when used in moderation.

This room solves the balance problem in its own unique way.  This living room uses the color red sparingly as accents! This vivid hue makes a dramatic difference.

Balance and elegance are the keys to getting this fabulous color scheme spot on!

An all-white backdrop ensures that even the slightest pops of black and red stand out with ease. Wow! This makes for a super-chic home!

Contemporary kitchens with glossy counter tops are incredibly popular and seem to be the preferred choice in most urban homes.  Combining with white in an effortless manner, red and black is a color duo that seems custom-made for the trendy modern kitchen!

Architectural Digest has done it again! The red hues provide a great this lovely organic living space.  The neutral, peaceful ambiance of the white balances out with the bold, demanding red.

This gorgeous San Francisco home library paneling has been painted a classic Chinese red with gilt detailing.  The emerald tufted chairs are so settling!