15 Interior Design Secrets from the Professionals

Looking for a complete family room interior redesign or some interior design secrets for selling houses? At Dreams By MJS Interiors we have completed projects for the Four Seasons Residential Tower in Austin, as well as other sophisticated projects, such as a complete interior redesign of a two-story penthouse in Houston and a project for a Texas state senator at Camp Logan in Houston.

Throughout our experience, our team of professional interior designers have picked up some secrets that can applied to any interior design project, whether it’s decorating modern living rooms or 19th century mediterranean decor. But we believe that knowledge is most effective when shared.

Here’s fifteen interior secrets that the professionals use that can be applied to your next interior design project!

Design for Comfort

When starting an interior redesign, comfort and purpose should be your primary objective. More specifically, comfort should be your primary purpose. You want your home, living room, and bedroom to be an area of zen and relaxation, utilizing soft, earthly tones and plush furniture that are inviting and roomy.

This is why most designers recommend choosing your color palette as the first step in an interior design project. This is because softer colors will promote greater relaxation in more intimate rooms and darker colors will promote greater urgency in home offices and kitchens. By establishing a comforting atmosphere through the color wheel, you can begin assembling furnishings and home decor that will build up a room’s sense of comfort and purpose.

Focus on Focal Points

Think of the focal point of the room as the foundation of a house. The focal point is the first thing that visitors will spot when entering a room. It could be a fireplace, a window, or table that establishes the flow of the room. The focal point will dictate the positioning of the furniture and the arrangement of walkways and seating. Use furniture arrangement to bring more focus to the focal point of a room and establish a balance thereafter.

Don’t Leave Walls Bare

This tip isn’t as much of a secret as it is a necessity. Bare walls can make a room feel suffocating and simply unsophisticated. Wall mount lights, artwork, and mirrors can add significant depth to a room that may appear smaller than it actually is. Plus, wall fixtures add to the flow of a room, making rooms feel more inviting. Imagine walking into a bathroom without a mirror? Creepy!

lacquered-living-room

Everyone Forgets About Ceilings

Ceilings are the most neglected area of any room, but they can significantly add value to your house and depth to your design. Glass ceilings can enrich rooms with natural light, mural ceilings can compliment decor arrangements, and gold tinted ceilings can add an unparalleled level of luxury to any home. Many argue that walls or furnishings tie rooms together, but why not ceilings?

Use Bold Colors Strategically

As previously stated, softer shades can breathe serenity into any room and make it more inviting. But a red throw pillow or a imperial blue lamp can add a nice visual contrast. Don’t utilize bold colors too frequently, but use them as secondary focal points to tie the room together through color contrasts.

Living - Family | Interior Designers

Utilize Color Accents and Contrasts

Color truly is everything when it comes to finishing a design:

  • Complimentary colors can create illusions that make rooms appear bigger and bolder
  • Accent colors can tie the room together by contrasting focal points on opposing walls or surrounding trim
  • Monochromatic colors creates a pleasant and inviting atmosphere.

Natural Lighting is Everything

What separates a studio apartment in a highrise from your stylish home living room is not the amount of furniture or the ceilings you have, but the availability of natural lights coming from your windows that make rooms appear bigger and more inviting. Sheer curtains allow for natural sunlight and are the perfect addition to a finished room.

Wallpaper Can Add Pop

Do you have a bare or ugly wall or ceiling patch you want to cover up? Well, some floral or monochromatic wallpaper can add pop to any room, as long as it fits within the general color scheme. Cheap, effective, and unnoticeable, wallpaper adds fresh aesthetic to any room and can tie a room together if done well.

Rugs Are Inviting

Wood and laminate flooring often evokes mixed emotions, none of which are too inviting. A rug could quickly fix that by arranging them properly in walkways and living rooms to focalize furniture and other decor.  

Furniture and Spacing

You may notice that interior designers never push furniture against a wall. All furniture is usually positioned at least a foot away from walls to actually make rooms appear larger and more inviting. It may sound strange, but arranging furniture with enough space from each other and any barriers can make rooms appear less suffocating and more inviting.

We Love Wall Lights

It’s true, wall lights can solve many of your existing interior design issues. Aside from covering up bare walls and accenting mirrors, they can add more light to rooms, giving it that added layer of zen. There’s nothing more uninviting then a dimly lit room.

Add Color to Trims

Window and wall trims are perhaps the most overlooked design aesthetic of any room...and ceilings! But there’s a great opportunity to add a splash of color to your lifeless wall trims to create some unique color contrasts and compliments that, again, tie a room together.  

Consider the 50/150 Rule

This tip really applies for a fresh interior redesign or stripped walls. Essentially, you want to create color contrast that is 50% lighter than the base with another color that is 150% darker than the base.

More Pillows!

Nothing is truly more inviting to a room than more throw pillows. They can add bold color contrasts and simply make a room feel more comfortable, literally!

Fixtures and Accessories Tie Everything Together

Finally, what truly ties a room together is furnishing and decor. From wall mounts to lamps and couches, choosing the right furniture will establish functuay and influence how people interact and relax in your room.

lacquered-sitting-room

Conclusion

For more design tips and trick visit our interior design blog or contact us today!


Ways To Give Your Outdoor Area A Fresh New Feel

A home’s exterior is the first thing that people see, and it often shapes people’s opinions on the property. Having an appealing exterior can leave a lasting first impression that can greatly improve one’s opinion of the home. The great thing about renovating your home’s exterior is that there are many ways to go about it. There are many ways to spruce up your outdoor area a fresh feel, and it is all up to personal preference. For example, a Texas native may search for some modern outdoor furniture in Houston to add detail to their outdoor living space, while someone in a more rural area may opt to plant a garden instead. However, not all remodeling projects are created equally, as many have their strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the best ways to give your outdoor area a fresh new feel.

Plants and Flowers

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to redecorate your home’s exterior is to plant a garden of some kind. An assortment of plants and flowers can be a great way to spruce up your home’s exterior and breathe new life into it. Flowers and plants can be bought from just about any major retail store, and are relatively cheap compared to other remodeling options. One of the best things about planting a garden is there are many different ways to go about it, and you can create your garden to match your home’s style or your own personality. In addition, planting a garden typically won’t require any outside help, allowing you to do the entire project by yourself. This can be a great way to save money as paying contractors will not be required, allowing you to spend money improving other areas of your home. However, planting a garden by yourself does require a lot of time, effort, and care in order to successfully complete and maintain. That being said, if you’re up to the task then adding a natural element to your home’s exterior can be an extremely cost effective way to give your outdoor area a fresh feel.

Add A Deck or Patio

Although one of the more expensive options on the list, adding a deck or patio can be an amazing way to give your outdoor area a fresh new feel. Construction will likely cost thousands of dollars, but it will be well worth it if you can fit the renovation into your budget. Decks and patios are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but are also extremely versatile in their uses. A patio can be used as a second dining room, allowing your family to eat outside when the weather Decks can be a great place for grilling and enjoying summer days. You can be the envy of your neighborhood as you host barbeques and cookouts from your brand new deck. In addition, there are also many different types of decks and patios that you can choose from. For example, you may want an enclosed patio with some David Hicks carpet designs. Enclosed patios give you great freedom when designing, as you can choose from a wide variety of things such as carpeted flooring or tile flooring. An enclosed patio can function like another normal room in your house, and is still aesthetically pleasing from the outside. You could also want an open patio, allowing you to soak up the sun as you enjoy time with family. Decks are usually straightforward, but they come in many shapes and sizes for you to pick from. Adding a deck or patio can be an amazing way to change how your home’s exterior looks, and can make your home that much more enjoyable to live in.

Buy New Furniture

If you already have a deck or patio and are looking to spruce it up a bit, then try buying all new furniture for them. Old furniture can really dampen the mood and make a place seem dilapidated and outdated. On the other hand, brand new furniture can breathe new life into a place and can also be a great talking point. Try integrating some new furniture into your outdoor areas such  as some Dedon patio furniture. This can give your home’s exterior that brand new chic look that you’ve always wanted. If you’re buying new furniture, make sure you are buying pieces that match and go well together. You don’t want to mismatch your new furniture and have your home’s exterior be a hodgepodge of different colors and conflicting designs.  In addition, completely renovating your outdoor area with new furniture may be quite costly. That’s why you may want to replace your old furniture in a gradual process, or try saving up a little before making purchases. If you have the budget to splurge on some new furniture, then your home’s outdoor area may just be the new talk of the town.

Paint

One of best ways to give your outdoor area a fresh feel is to clean and repaint your home’s exterior. Start by pressure washing your homes’ exterior to remove all dirt and dust. Then prime stains and begin repainting. Cleaning and repainting your home’s exterior can make it appear brand new and can greatly improve its looks. If you’re not satisfied with simply repainting your home’s exterior, you can also repaint your home’s doors and windows for a little extra flare.  There are many options to consider when repainting your home’s exterior. For example, are you going to keep the same color, or will you go with something different? Is this a project you are comfortable tackling by yourself, or will you need outside help? Repainting your home likely won’t break the bank like some other options on this list, but it also isn’t the cheapest and will still require a lot of time and careful planning. However, if done correctly your home could appear clean, fresh, and looking brand new. If you’re looking to give your outdoor area a fresh new feel, then you definitely have to consider repainting your home’s exterior.


Designing The Living Room Of Your Dreams

We all have that one dream living room design that we’ve always wanted. This dream living room is vibrant, filled with life, and full of our favorite colors and things. This room would be classic yet modern, and would serve a wide variety of purposes in your life. It can be a creation that your proud of, a dream that you brought into reality. Unfortunately, most people believe this dream to be unattainable. People don’t want to put time, money, and effort into creating a great living room. What most people don’t know is that with a little effort and some planning, the living room of your dreams is entirely obtainable. While designing a living room may take some time, it is by no means out of your reach. All you need is a headstart and some pointers, and soon you will be a designer pro. Here are some tips to help you design the living room of your dreams.

Pick A Theme

Before you can do anything with your living room, you need to have a theme or some sort of design in your mind. While this may seem like an easy task, it can actually be quite challenging. You’ve had your dream living room in mind for years now, so surely it shouldn’t be too hard to translate it into a workable design, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some aspects of your dream living room may not fit into your budget or your room size, and may just be flat out not practical for a living room. You don’t have to compromise too much when it comes to picking a theme, but try making the design as practical and easy as possible without sacrificing your dream living rooms’ identit. This can save you a lot of time, money, and effort in the near future.

Find Outside Help

Designing and furnishing an entire living room is a very tall task, so it may be wise to seek some outside assistance. That is why you should consider seeking out a contract for interior design services. These people can help you make your dream living room a reality, and can handle many of the the tough design elements. It's a great help to not have to tackle design issues all by yourself, and these designers can provide ideas and input that can make your dream living room even better than you could have ever imagined. These designers also have connections that can greatly help the quality of the room, and they may even be able find you great deals in places you never even thought to look. Overall, the purpose of having an interior designer help you out is to make sure the whole design process goes faster and much smoother. For example, an interior designer may be able to speed up the design process by utilizing fast track constructing. A fast track contract can ensure that your design comes to life well ahead of schedule, and can save you time and money. If you’re struggling to make your dream room a reality, then hiring an interior designer may be just be the final puzzle piece missing.

Get Started On Flooring and Walls

While flooring and wallpaper may not be the first thing you notice when you walk into the room, it is an extremely important aspect and should not be overlooked. Think of your flooring and wallpaper as the glue that holds and ties your room together. A quality flooring and wallpaper can go a long way and making a room appear high quality and modern. To start, you need to pick a flooring. There are a wide variety of options, so choose carefully. You could go for something standard such as a carpeted floor, or try something a little more modern such as tile. Carpeted floors allow you to choose from a wide variety of fabrics and colors. You could even add some real flare by looking into some David Hicks interior designs. Tile can appear more modern and comes in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. Once you decide your flooring option, you need to move onto your living room’s walls. It is highly recommended that your room’s floor and walls match in some capacity and play off of each other. For you walls you can either find some chic wallpaper print, or you can simply paint your walls to match your floors. Regardless of how you choose to decorate your room, never lose sight of your overall design and theme. Make sure that that all of your room’s elements work well together, and you will have a stunning display.

Decide on Furniture

Once all other design elements are decided on, it is time to start deciding on what type of furniture will go into your dream living room. The furniture is the true star of the room, as it is what will take up much of your vision. Ideally, you want furniture that blends in well with your flooring and wallpaper, but also fits in well with your other furniture pieces. If your furniture does not match, then your room will never come together and will simply look like a hodgepodge mess. In addition, you probably want to go with new and exciting furniture to tie your room together. You may be able to find some good deals on quality old furniture, or may even find some quality refurbished pieces, however usually old furniture pieces are dilapidated and don’t appear modern at all. By choosing modern furniture you can give your dream living room a fancy chic look that will be the envy of all of your guests. Also, make sure all of your furniture fits the dimensions of your room, as you don’t want a singular massive piece that sticks out like a sore thumb.  Once your new furniture is all in place, all of the design elements are all set in stone and your dream room has finally come together. Congratulations, and enjoy your dream living room!


How We Came To Work On The Presidential Palace Belonging To 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 | Blog | Dreams by MJS

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 | Dreams by MJS

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.


 


The Missing Piece

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Houston Interior Design-What Inspires?

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

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

 

  


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!