Talk to several designers before you make a decision on which one to hire. Just because your friend used a particular person doesn’t mean that same person is right for you. You need to be able to trust that your designer has your best interests (including your budget) in mind. Remember your home should look like you live there, not your frenemy.
If you are building a home or doing renovations of almost any size, it’s a good idea to have an interior designer take a look at the plans. Architects and general contractors are not always focused on how your furniture or treasured piece of art will fit in the space they are creating. Their job is to create a functional, beautiful container for the things you love. Including a designer on your build team means you’ll save money on change orders and your family heirloom buffet will have a wall wide enough to accommodate it.
Drapery and Window Coverings
Always add drapery or fabric of some variety to your windows. Drapery finishes off a room. Make them custom window coverings if your budget will allow. If it doesn’t, there are great retail sources for panels and roman shades.
Never buy drapery shorter than 96 inches unless you are buying café curtains. Never buy 84 inch curtains. They are too short for today’s ceiling heights. I don’t know why they even make that length anymore.
You can add instant texture and interest to a room by framing a window with drapery panels and using a natural woven roman shade hung inside the window frame. (We call that in inside mount.)
Invest your window covering budget in the fabric, not the hardware. No one will pay attention to the hardware if your fabric is fabulous.
Always go bigger with your lighting. Most of my table lamps are between 28 – 32” tall. Chandeliers are between 28 – 36” in diameter and pendants are between 12 – 18” if there are two and 8 – 15” if there are three. Bathroom sconces are the only place lighting might get thin (4 -5”) to accommodate mirrors.
Speaking of bath sconces…hang them at a height that allows the light to illuminate your face, not shadow it from too high. For most people that’s around 54 inches from the floor. That’s where the light should shine, not necessarily where the wall plate is installed.
Layer your lighting. Use 4” cans in the ceiling, chandeliers/pendants as well as lamps. Make sure each corner of the room has lighting of some variety.