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Hiring a Contractor For your Next Project? You Need THIS!

You’ve decided to redo your 70’s style master bathroom. You’ve done your due diligence hiring a contractor. What’s missing?

You need an Interior Designer.

Why, you ask? Your contractor knows about scheduling a job. Your contractor knows about bringing in the different trades. Your contractor knows about installation. Your contractor knows about permits and codes. And sure, your contractor knows a little about design. But your project is going to cost money and “a little about design” is the difference between a functional bathroom and a functional bathroom that looks beautiful as well. It is also the difference between a bathroom for anybody and a bathroom designed especially for you.

Hiring a conractor

How can an interior designer help in your next project? Here are five main things we do…

We help with the selection of materials

We ask lots of questions. In the case of a master bathroom redo, we’ll ask about budget, showering habits, the look and feel of the room, likes and dislikes. Depending upon your decision making, and time constraints, we may bring you selections to choose from, or bring you to different showrooms to see what is available. We will help you hone in on the selections you like and the look you are wanting to achieve.

We can let you know if you are getting a fair price from your contractor

We have worked with many different contractors and know what the average prices are to do a renovation based on this area and the scope of your job.

We will check in all the items ordered through us

We do this to make sure the contractor has everything he/she needs prior to starting the job. For a bathroom project, this includes tile, plumbing, wall finishes, countertops, cabinets, lighting, etc. Mistakes happen. The faucet finish comes in wrong. A part doesn’t ship. Tile arrives and the color is off. We find the errors and work quickly to have them resolved so your job can begin on time.

We communicate with the contractor and with you

If something doesn’t look correct, we are the contractor’s first point of contact. You don’t have to worry about dealing with any issues that arise. In turn, we will keep you in the loop, but we are the problem solvers.

We will inspect the work

We will make visits onsite on a regular basis to make sure things are being done correctly and as you expect.

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With today’s technology, we do projects where the homeowner hasn’t moved in yet, is traveling, or works and can’t keep an eye on the project. No matter what the client involvement is, we will keep your project moving smoothly.

Hiring a contractor

Working With an Interior Designer

Have you worked with an Interior Designer in the past, or are you considering working with one for the first time?

We’ve put together some of our TOP TIPS for you when working with an Interior Designer so that you can make the most of your time and investment. These are in no particular order as we think they are all important and helpful.

Before you go on, however, please read our blog, How Do I Find An Interior Designer?

BUDGET

Have a budget in mind? Let’s say you want to design your family room and one of your first purchases will be a sofa. Sofas range in price from $599 up to amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We would never sell a sofa for $599 because it will be junk and you will want to get rid of it within the year. And we have never sold a sofa on that high end either. A decent quality sofa will start at around $2,700 and the price will go up from there.

Often times a client will ask us what a room may cost and we will provide that information. Ideally, if you can provide us with a range, we will be able to tell you if we can do what you are looking for within that range. If your budget is $10,000 and you want new flooring, window treatments, a sofa, chairs, tables and decorative painting, we will also let you know that we cannot do all of those items for that price and we may suggest you begin with the floors.

We want to provide you with quality items and workmanship so that years from now you don’t have to replace everything because it has fallen apart.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

You are hiring professionals with many years of experience. You may come into a project thinking you know exactly what you want to do, but we ask that you keep an open mind as our job is to provide you with ideas that you may never have considered. A key part of the design process is open communication.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE AND WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE

We will often ask clients what they currently like in their home and what they don’t like. This gives us an idea of your preferred style. Again, open communication is important with this step.

PRIORITIES

You may have a long list of what you would like to do in your home and we will often ask for your priority items to get the project started.

LEAVE THE WORRYING TO US

We’re really good at it. But seriously, you are hiring a professional with experience. We’re used to Murphy’s Law and can handle stressful situations. When decisions are being made and once decisions have been made, we will guide you through the design process. We will let you know if a fabric won’t work on a sofa, when the scale of a faucet won’t work in your application, if a paint color will make your home dark. We will do our very best to make sure the final product is something that you will fall in love with.

ASK QUESTIONS AND GIVE FEEDBACK

We’re not mind readers. We want you to ask questions and provide us with feedback. Open communication is something we strive for to make the design process an enjoyable thing.

HAVE FUN

Too often, we see people go into this process like it is torture. One of the reasons you are hiring a designer is to take the pressure off yourself. Our best outcomes have been achieved when the client truly enjoys the process and has fun with it.

Working with an interior designer

How Do I Find An Interior Designer?

You’re reading this, so you may have a home project and are looking to work with a professional Interior Designer. You may be asking yourself some questions like, How do I find an Interior Designer? or, What is the difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator? You can see the answer to this question in one of our previous blogs entitled, Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator to learn about the differences. When trying to find an Interior Designer, this is what we would suggest.

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Ask Around

If you love someone’s home, ask them if they worked with an Interior Designer. Referrals have always been our best source for quality clients. Ask friends and relatives to share their experiences when working with an Interior Designer.

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Look Online

It is helpful to see the range of an Interior Designer’s work, and the best way to do that is to get on their website and look at their portfolio page. Like what you see? You’ll want to get more information. Other helpful information on the internet? Reviews! Does the designer have any? What are people saying?

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Speak to the Designer By Phone

Consider this a phone interview. See if you like their method of communication. Ask lots of questions. Find out how they bill their clients. Make sure you are comfortable with their pricing methods. If you decide this is someone you would consider for your project, schedule an appointment.

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Set Up an Appointment

How do I find an Interior Designer?If you’ve liked everything so far, it’s time to meet with the Designer. Find out if they charge for that first appointment so there are no surprises later on. Often times when an Interior Designer charges for the first appointment they are giving out ideas and letting you know what they can do for you. Simply put, this exchange of information is valuable. This is a good time to make sure your personalities work together. Are you comfortable with this person? Is this someone you can trust? How long have they been in business? Do you like their initial ideas about your space?

If you’ve met with more than one designer, it is time to gather all your information to decide who you want to work with and who best suits your needs. Like anything else, don’t go by price alone. Experience in the design business means that a company has stood the test of time. Selecting an Interior Designer requires some homework on your part. In the long run, some upfront work on your part can help to make your project a successful one.

Painting Inside Your Home? You’ll Want to Check Out Our Top Tuesday Tips

Painting in your homeIt’s time to consider painting your home and you may not be sure where to begin. Our Top Tuesday Tip would be to hire an Interior Designer to help with the process. This is true for many reasons.

Top Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer When Painting Inside Your Home

EXPERIENCE – We know that shade blue. We know you’re going to hate it when it’s on the walls. Yes, we’ve used Revere Pewter and know you are going to love it.
FOLLOW UP – That color we selected is first put on your walls and you panic. We will follow up to ease your worries or to say, yes, that needs to be a little bit lighter or just wait until it dries, you will love it.
RECOMMENDATIONS – We can recommend painters who are trained, licensed and insured. Of course we will work with your painter as well
IN WRITING – We will provide you with a worksheet that you can give to your painted that will map out the paint colors and finishes for your project
SAMPLE BOARDS – We will provide you with large sample boards so you can see what the potential colors look like (more about sample boards below)
DECORATIVE PAINTING – We work with a team of expert decorative painters who can do basically any finish on your walls. They will provide sample boards (for a fee) so you will know exactly what your finish will look like

Our second Top Tuesday Tip when painting your home is always, always, always use A SAMPLE BOARD. You can do this, or we can do it for you. We always purchase the smallest quantity of the paint or paints you are considering to use. We will then paint posterboard or foam core with theses paints. The beauty of these samples is that you can really see what the paint will look like in different areas of a room in different lighting. We see all too often that people select colors based on those teeny tiny swatches and end up making costly mistakes. Or, they paint many different colors directly to the wall and have no idea what the color will look like in other parts of the room. You may spend some dollars up front for the sample boards, but they will end up costing less in the long run.

Painting in Potomac
This Potomac home has an open floor plan that called for a single wall color throughout the “public spaces” of the home. The moulding was accented with a Benjamin Moore White in a semigloss finish that added definition to the space. The fireplace wall was accented with a color that highlighted the height of the ceilings, coordinated with the stone of the fireplace and made the beautiful artwork stand out.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Rug – A Great Accessory for the Oscars and Your Home

See How to Roll Out a Great Rug in Your Home

The 2019 Oscars are this Sunday and  we can’t help but think of the glamour on the red carpet. Over the years, we haven’t used any red carpet, but we have rolled out some wonderful rugs for our clients.

When the right rug is found, it’s almost like A Star is Born. Often times, clients tell us it’s The Favourite part of their room! Yes, a few remind us of a Bohemian Rhapsody (See what we did there?!) Here are some rugs we’ve used over the years… all purchased from C.G. Coe & Son Inc.  

A Great Rug, Like a Great Movie, Survives the Test of Time

Here are some rugs we’ve used over the years… all purchased from C.G. Coe & Son Inc. Twenty-seven are shown here. And since we are on the topic of movies, that reminds us of the movie 27 Dresses, which did not receive an Oscar, but did take a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Comedy in 2009.

Best of Bethesda 201910 quality rug rugs3

When working with our clients, it is important to select a quality rug that comes with quality service. Rugs can be expensive, and it is critical to find a rug that will stand the test of time. And of course, as interior designers, we want that rug to look wonderful as well!

Use Carpets or Area Rugs for a Pop of Color or Pattern

When a rug is selected, it serves as the “jumping off point” in a room. A rug can provide color in a room. These rug colors can drive the colors in the rest of the room through fabrics, paint, wallpaper, window treatments, etc.

An example of a rug providing color is shown below. Because this rug is bold in its colors, we chose to pair it with neutral wall colors, furniture and accessories.

Colorful Rug

A rug can also provide pattern in family room like the one shown below. The black and cream colored pattern in this rug pairs well with the black and white furniture and the gray color of the walls. Yellow pillows and the vibrant but soothing natural artwork provide the pops of color needed to keep the room from being boring. See our blog, “The Layering Process – A bedroom Takes Shape”, that shows how a patterned rug was the jumping off point from which all other items were selected for a guest bedroom.

patterned rug

Finally, a rug can add texture to a room as shown in this picture. A simple gray textured rug was chosen to set off the black, gray and white in the room. The artwork really stands out with this neutral palette.

textured rug

Of course, rugs aren’t limited to color, pattern, or texture… they can include a combination of the three. Rugs are also not limited to family rooms; you can use kitchen/dining room rugs, bedroom rugs, runners and even outdoor rugs to boost your home decor

When selecting a rug, we like to go with our client to help them with the selection process. As they find ones they like, we provide them with ideas of what will work with the rug in terms of fabrics, colors, etc.

We help to guide our clients through the rug selection process as it can be overwhelming without the help of a professional. Once some are selected as potential “likes”, we feel it is important to see these rugs in the clients’ home with their lighting, flooring and any existing furniture. It is not wise to purchase a rug in a showroom. When you get it home, you may be very surprised and disappointed.

Once a rug is selected, we get to work to provide the client with fabrics and wall colors that will complete the room package.

We’d like to end with our

Top Three Things to Look For When Selecting a Rug:

  1. Quality – find one that will last and hold up to the demands of your home
  2. Style – select a rug that makes you smile when you enter a room
  3. Service – purchase from a company who will answer your calls and show up at your door if there is a problem

Thanks for reading. If you decide to watch, enjoy the Oscars! If you decide to purchase a rug or make any other changes to your home, give us a call.

 

 

 

Update Your Home: For You Now and For Future Sale Later

We’ve come up with a list of things you can do to do to update your home to expand the value for a future sale. The added benefit is that these are all items you can enjoy in the meantime. We believe that timeless design is forever and these suggestions will be everlasting and hopefully, not too terribly much to implement.

Here are our TOP TEN FAVORITE UPDATES:

Many of these are updates to your kitchen or bathroom(s).

  1. Install quartz or quartzite waterfall countertops.
  2. Add wood surfaces for contrast and practicality – there are ones made especially for kitchens and bathrooms.Home updates for future sale
  3. Think about adding two dishwashers; these can both be in the kitchen, or one in the kitchen and one in the butler’s pantry (if there is one)
  4. Have some underutilized space? Make room for a butler’s pantry. A butler’s pantry is a great area for practical purposes such as serving, storage and display. It also acts as a whimsical surprise room; hopefully situated between the kitchen and dining room.
  5. Install heated flooring – this is a plus that has become much more affordable than it was in the past.
  6. Speaking of flooring, there is a move to an oil look finish that is almost matte and combines a grey-beige look. It won’t be dated because it pairs well with brown or grey.
  7. If price is no object, consider install a Toto Neorest toilet in the bathroom. It is a luxury update and a work of art.Home updates for future sale
  8. Consider changing the paint colors in your home to relaxing neutrals like pale greys and light taupes. These colors are easy on the eyes, fresh looking and provide great backgrounds for art and saturated color in upholstery and accessories. When selling your home, neutrals will appeal to a larger audience.
  9. Although nobody likes to spend money on things your can’t see in the home there is one addition that will be appreciated when needed. Adding a generator to your home is something that can really add value and interest in your home.
  10. Lastly, we reference an article in the Walls Street Journal that reminds us of out of date items in the home that are relatively simple to update:
    • Bidets – bye bye!
    • Heavy brown furniture
    • Builder granite from 20 years ago that is overly “busy”
    • Dated entertainment systems that are overbearing because of their depth and lack of function
    • Bathtubs with jets
    • Old, large recessed ceiling fixtures with incandescent bulbs – LED is the way to go!

So many people wait to make changes right before they sell their homes and never get the opportunity to enjoy the updates. We can help you determine what updates will bring you enjoyment now and profit later.

2019 Interior Design: What’s “In” What’s “Out”

Interior Design magazine, Elle Décor recently posted a list of what’s “In” and What’s “Out” for Interior Design in 2019. We’d like to take a look at some of these and give you our thoughts. To view the Elle Décor article, go to:

https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/g23550602/design-trends-2019/?slide=5

Interior Design In: Floral fabrics and wallpapers

Our take: In the right room and in the proper doses, floral fabrics and wallpapers get our thumbs up. Here is an example of a stylized floral fabric that we used over eight years ago that still looks good today.

Interior Design Floral pillow

In: Boldly patterned backsplashes

Our take: a boldly patterned backsplash is like artwork for the kitchen. The important thing to remember when using a bold pattern for a backspash is proportion. Perhaps the cooktop wall is bold and other walls coordinate with that boldness but are more toned down.

Interior Design Boldly patterned backsplash

Out: Terrazzo tile

Our take: enough said

 

Interior Design Out: Rooms without color or texture

Our take: Boring. Boring. Boring. Often times a client will show us pictures of what they like that may include “sterile” looking rooms that lack interest. Although this look may sell magazines and give people a longing for simplicity and serenity, there are better ways to evoke these feelings. Don’t get us wrong. Neutral is great, but most people grow tired of it. And a room without texture? Texture is the perfect way to bring a neutral room to life!

Interior Design Pop of color

Interior Design In: Acrylic furniture

Our take: Acrylic furniture in a room adds function without adding visual weight. Some of the things we like… acrylic counter stools at an island provide seating without visually taking away from other features in a kitchen. A single acrylic chair provides extra seating while remaining inconspicuous when not being used. An acrylic cocktail table or console table provides a surface in a small space without taking visual space.

 

Interior Design In: Light wood floors

Our take: We do both light and dark wood floors all the time. It depends upon the overall look we are trying to reach. We would definitely steer clear of trendy floor finishes like the pickled floor look of decades past.

 

Interior Design In: Not skimping on comfort

Our take: We are firm believers in form and function. Before purchasing seating, we want you to try out several options to make sure your sofa or chairs don’t just look good, but are comfortable for everyday use. This should never go out.

 

Interior Design Out: Rose gold

Our take: When rose gold was in, we didn’t pay attention. It was clear that this was a trendy and passing look. Instead, we look towards standards such as polished chrome, nickel and muted golds.

 

Interior Design Out: Quartz countertops

Our take: We have to disagree with this one. Quartz countertops, although not for everyone definitely have a place in interior design.

 

Interior Design Out: Mid-century everything

Our take: “Too much of a good thing” applies here. Mid-century in small doses in a room is good anytime. We like this especially when pieces have been passed down in the family.

Interior Design Mid-century furniture

Interior Design In: 90% White 10% Color

Our take: Eh, we get it… lots of white and a splash of color. But… first of all, interior design is not about specific formulas or percentages. The reality here is that most people would not be comfortable in a room that is 90% white… that is a lot of white.

 

Generally speaking,we do not like to deal in “trends” – things that are here today and gone tomorrow. Our thought process is rather simple. We work to create timeless spaces that make our clients happy and comfortable.

 

Danziger Design voted 2019’s Best Interior Designer by Bethesda Magazine

Recently Updated11

This is big! And we’re excited! Very excited!

Can you tell?! We have been voted Bethesda Magazines’s Best Interior Designer for 2019. And we are doubly excited because this is the second time in a row we have received this honor. We would like to thank our wonderful clients for making this possible. Without you, we would not exist. It’s that simple.

We wish you all a wonderful New Year… ours is off to a great start!

Main Line Today Magazine

See our most recent work in Main Line Today magazine. We are excited to have worked with this special client on their third home. Thank you to Main Line Today for featuring our work!

Lighting in Your Home: It’s Looking Up!

Lighting plays an important role in your home. Of course we need lighting to see; that’s the functional role of lighting. But lighting can also step up and play a decorative role in a home as well. There are many different types of lighting, but we are going to focus on hanging pendant/chandeliers, semi-flush lighting and wall sconces. Often times, decorative lighting may serve as an integral design feature in a room.

First, let’s look at hanging pendants and chandeliers. These are the fixtures you would typically see hanging in a dining room or kitchen above a table. Pendants can be small or large. People usually think of kitchen islands when they think of pendant lighting. But pendants and chandeliers are turning up in entry foyers, going up steps, in bedrooms, and even bathrooms and powder rooms. Semi-flush fixtures hang close to the ceiling, but may drop down 12-18 inches. Wall sconces are lights that hang on the wall.

When choosing pendants/ chandeliers, semi-flush lighting and wall sconces the scale of these lights in relation to the size of the room, furniture, etc. is very important. A light that is too small or too large will look odd in a space. Also, the style of the light makes a difference. A traditional looking light in a contemporary space may look out of place. Remember too, that the finish of the fixture should blend with other finishes in the room.

Another important thing to keep in mind when selecting these types of lights is to pay attention to the amount of light a fixture gives off. If it’s too much, a dimmer can always control the light output, but if it’s not enough, you are kind of stuck.  These fixtures can be used for task lighting, or they can be used to set a mood or feeling within a space.

We want to share with you some of the lighting we have used in our projects and why.

This small star shaped pendant fixture is perfect in the entry foyer of this 300 year old farmhouse. It provides ample light to greet guests and the shape and finish coordinate well with the other decorative items in the foyer.

small star pendant light

This large pendant fixture was used in this space obviously for light, but also to create a dramatic look in the room. Since all other fixtures are close to the ceiling, this pendant demands attention. It’s polished nickel finish is reflective and goes well with the other finishes in the room.

Large pendant light

Next, the glass baubles on this chandelier leading up to the second story are just right for the baby grand piano below. The airiness of the fixture provides the perfect contrast to the heaviness of the black piano – it almost looks like it’s floating. Of course the light also leads the way to the second floor.

small chandelier

These wall sconces on either side of the family room window provide ambiant light and softness to this contemporary space.

wall sconces

This semi-flush light fixture was used above the kitchen table to provide light without blocking the view to the outside. The light fixture has an interesting detail at it’s base and the finish of the metal and the shade coordinate with the other items in the kitchen. In this case, the light is beautiful, but is not the focus of the room. One thing to look for when selecting a drum type fixture is a light diffusing cover on the bottom of the fixture that hides the bulbs from view underneath.

semi-flush light fixture

In summary, lighting plays a key role in your home and lighting fixtures provide a way to bring light in while serving as a design element in your space. Need help finding the perfect lighting for your home? That’s where we come in!