Online Interior Decorator – Throw Pillows on My Mind

This week seems to be the week of throw pillows for me as an online interior decorator. It seems I have spent days on end looking for a collection of eclectic pillows to pull together on a larger sectional. My goal was a pillow collection that actually looked collected and almost imperfect. Here is the look I was looking to achieve but tailor for my client using navy blue, rust and orange.


Online Interior Decorator


My pillow inspiration was the Carson Crewel Stripe Pillow Cover. From the colors to the pattern, this pillow was the perfect foundation to our collection.

Online Interior Decorator|embroidered-patterned-pillows

And these are what was added to the mix to create a custom look:

Online Interior Decorator

Online Interior Decorator

Online Interior Decorator

Online Interior Decorator


Online Interior Decorator Online Interior Decorator

This sort of look is ideal when creating a comfortable and livable design. Perfect for a relaxed Family Room.

Are you throw pillow fanatic too? Post your favorite to share on my Facebook page.

Budget Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips

holiday budget decorating wreath on door

It is now December first and it is time (past time according to some retailers) to start thinking about holiday decorating…that is, of course, if you haven’t already. Over the next few weeks many of us will be spending hundreds of dollars on gifts and decorations. None of us plan to go overboard, but it is so easy to get caught up in the holiday cheer, markdowns and cyber sales.


So how do deck the halls without breaking the bank? Here are some of my favorite low cost holiday decorating tips for a beautiful, budget friendly season!


1.) Focus your decorating efforts on the public areas of your home like the entry, living room and dining room. This is where you and your family will spend the most time and the rooms that your guests will see. You can always add smaller decorations to other rooms around the house but keep the majority of holiday decorating limited to these areas.


2.) Limit your outside decorations at a minimum. No need to spend your money decorating for the entire community when you have an entire home interior as your decorating playground. A few well selected items on the exterior such as a couple (yes I do mean a couple) strands of holiday lights, a pair of poinsettias flanking your entry door, and a wreath are plenty.


3.) Finally, look outside for resources. Mother Nature is the best designer in the world so look outside! Many stores sell items you can find for free outdoors. It is simple (and costs nothing) to fill vases and centerpiece bowls with pine cones, branches and anything else that signifies the holidays. Source your yard for trees that have healthy, intact needles. You can make your own garlands and wreaths by simply binding these needles together.


Consider using some of these ideas as you start (or finish) your seasonal decorating.


Room Review Service Sale Price $35.00 – Interior Design Service Online

Celebrate Our New Look with Sale Pricing!

 online interior design

Join us in celebrating our websites new look by giving your home a new look too. For a limited time only, we are offering our most popular service for a steal. A professional evaluation of your current room! Our Room Review Service is now only $35.00 (regular price $75.00). Take advantage of this sale and let us give you professional interior design advice about any room in your home for a huge savings.

We will analyze your room and help you figure out how it could look better. You will receive a detailed evaluation with three suggestions on what can be improved. The best part is that your full $35.00 will be credited toward the purchase of our Custom Room Design should you want even more design help.

We have had our makeover now it is your turn!

“Reupholster or replace?” Online Interior Design Help

Today’s online interior design help question is “Hi Lisa, I really like my current sofa but it is in sad shape. My wife thinks I should we should get something new but I really love this sofa. How do we decide if we should upholster it or get a new sofa? –Nolan.”

My tips for making the reupholster or replace decision are below.

sofa-326824_1920Reupholster your current sofa if you can answer yes to all of the following:

Your existing sofa fits your space

You and your family find the sofa comfortable

The sofa has the correct style for the look of your room


If you answered yes, then let’s take about the next steps:

  • Select a new fabric (the cost of the new fabric is often a surprise)
  • Find a good upholsterer (ask for a referral from a friend or neighbor)
  • Ask your upholsterer to quote you the amount of yardage needed
  • Carefully rethink the design details of the sofa
    • For example, do you want a skirt?
    • Welting?
    • Add a nail head trim?
  • Arrange for the delivery of the sofa
  • Be without a sofa for 2-4 weeks while it’s getting worked on
  • Bring your newly upholstered sofa home!

When the process is complete you can be confident that you sofa will look new yet will still have that great comfort you have come to love.

new sofa

Buy a new sofa if the following are true:

Your sofa is uncomfortable

The size and scale of the sofa looks wrong in your room

The sofa style no longer works with your style

Or, you simply do not want to undertake the reupholstery steps mentioned above!



How does the cost compare?

Surprising to many, re-upholstering a sofa ends up costing close to what it would cost to purchase something new. Therefore the cost should really not be the determining factor in your decision.  I suggest that you go through the pro and con list outlined above. After you this, I am confident that you and your wife will land on the same page (sitting side by side on your new or old sofa).

Online Interior Design Help – Gray Walls

Ever wish you could ask an interior designer a question? Now you can! You ask the question and I will do my best to answer your question in my weekly blog.

Let’s start with a request I received for some online interior design help this week:
Hey Lisa – I just moved into a new construction home. Our builder painted every wall gray (which I love) but it just isn’t working with my furniture (everything looks dull). Any ideas to liven up the look? FYI – I am on a tight budget. Thanks – Jessie
Gray is everywhere right now so I am not surprised to hear that it is the color used in your new home. There are lots of ways to work with the gray walls without feeling like your home is boring and drab. Here are a few budget friendly suggestions:


Image West Elm:

Blend in the Gray

There are many colors that look lovely with gray. For example, you can go for something soft and calm yet still introduce color. Pale blue or aqua blue mixed with white can be incredibly sophisticated on the backdrop of gray walls.

Decide which direction you want to take you color palette. You can then repeat these colors in different saturations, variations and portions throughout your home.

There are creative ways to tie the gray back to your selected colors. Something simple such as throw pillows in a multi-color pattern can marry the gray to other colors in your furnishings. An area rug that blends gray with your other colors can pull together the scheme.

Warm up the Gray

Think outside the box and use a color palette that adds warmth to the gray. I have used gray walls with a camel leather sofa and brass light fixtures. You can’t get much warmer and richer looking!

Liven up the Gray

One of my favorite is indigo blue and coral mixed with gray. This creates a bold and vibrant look!

Lighten up the Gray

As the color of shadow, gray can sometimes look dark and drab. Solves this by adding multiple light sources to avoid a shadow look. Overhead fixtures will give lots of clear lighting. Adding lamps to the overhead lighting creates a layered look and lightens the feel.

Enjoy the Trend

Yes, I do believe that gray is a trend and just as it came in it will go out. Therefore, I suggest that you think long term. If you invest in something like a new sofa, consider a light neutral color that works with gray but can also work with another color scheme. This way, when the trend goes, your sofa does not need to go with it.

Please feel free to submit your design questions just like Jessie did! You can read more about my online interior design help and services: Interior Design Service Online.

Shine a Light on It

Interior lighting is often one of the most overlooked elements in interior design.  I have worked with clients who spend thousands of dollars on a room only to neglect one of the most important elements in a room.  What is the big hoopla with lighting?

online interior design services

  1. The first reason to focus on your interior lighting is that everything, yes, everything looks better.  Your new paint color, the beautiful sofa, the smallest accessory, and even you will look better with a little illumination.  Tell me, who doesn’t want to look their best?  And why wouldn’t you want your home to look its best?  There is simply no good reason to update a room in your home and then not shine light on it.


  1. Lighting to a room is like jewelry to an outfit.  Mariano Fortuny  would have never sent a dress down the runaway without accessorizing the outfit.  You wouldn’t leave the house without at least a of pair of earrings on, right?  Same with lighting!  Chandeliers, table lamps and floor lamps such as Fortuny floor lamps are the “bling” in a room.  They give the room sparkle and that added bit of shine (not to mention light) that is oh so necessary!


  1. Mood and atmosphere are the next reason that lighting is your friend.  In a room such as a Dining Room, a well-chosen chandelier can shine down on the table to highlight a special meal.  In a bedroom, cozy lamps add warmth and possibly even a little romance.  Who knew a bedside lamp from Fortuny Lighting could do all that?  The ability to set the mood and tone of a room is why lighting matters.


  1. The final reason, while not as exciting as the others, is probably the most important.  From a functional standpoint, a well-lit room improves the functionality of those in the space.  One of my favorite sayings in the design world is “function over form”.  A well lit Kitchen or office makes daily chores much smoother and easier.


As you see, lighting does matter! Please remember when designing your own spaces, not to forget to this important element of design.

Five Tips for a Happy Home Office

Want a Home Office that makes you actually want to go to work?  Take a look at our five tips for a happy home office.

  1. Pick Your Spot

This can be the biggest challenge of all when it comes to the home office (location, location, location).  A designated room is ideal but what do you do when you don’t have the bedroom to spare?  Start thinking outside the box…perhaps you have a closet that can be cleaned out and used, an empty space at the top of your stairs or even a niche in the kitchen. 

  1. Color

Color will set the mood and tone for your office.  Perhaps you want to create a calm and peaceful feeling while you work (it can’t hurt to try, right?).  This type of environment can be created with earthy tones such as green and soft blues.  Need an office for an instant attitude pick up?  Try sunny yellows to brighten your work day.

  1. View

Consider the placement of your chair and other home office furniture.  Make sure to give yourself something interesting to look at (besides your computer screen) by placing your chair toward a window view, looking into an adjacent room or facing anything but the wall.  If you must face only a wall be sure to bring in some unique art to peek your visual interest.

  1. Accessorize

Don’t’ forget the accessories!  There is nothing like a few well chosen home accessories to complete the look of the room design and make it feel like you.   Even utilitarian items like file boxes and folders can be great looking; no need to stick with vanilla manila folders when there are some really pretty choices available.  While something like decorative folders may cost a little bit more the joy that something simple like a striped folder can bring your daily life can be well worth the few extra pennies.

  1. Function Before Form

Yes, my hope is that your office space will look great but even more importantly it that it should function well.  This means a well chosen and comfortable chair and home office furniture meets your needs.  While this may sound so basic it can be easy to overlook the importance of ergonomic comfort.

Follow the above tips for your home office design.  Perhaps, then, your work days will be as pleasant as the brief commute from your bedroom to your office.




My Favorite Way to Organize Shelves – By Color!

I was working on a Living Room design this afternoon and my client had a question about how they should layout the books and other items on a pair of bookcase.  The answer for their room – by color of course!  This might also be the answer for your house too.

And this type of design is so simple to do.  Start by pulling everything off the shelves and set items on the floor in color piles.  Don’t have enough of one color?  Start searching other rooms of your home or your sister’s house perhaps for a few other items.  Once you have your little color collections pulled together, assign a color to each shelf in the order of a rainbow.  Remember ROYGBIV from science class? (Red,Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).

As a highly visual person, a bookcase with no rhyme or reason to the arrangement of items makes me nuts.  This is a great spot to show a little personality and zest, and the best part is that a cool arraignment cost no more money than simply shoving items on the shelves.