home interior design maryland

Most people have this preconceived idea that the only people that hire Interior Designers are the super-rich.  These people have multiple homes and need someone to handle the building, purchasing, decorating, etc.  While these people and situations do exist they are not who I cater my business to.  I firmly believe that a beautiful space can be designed and it does not have to cost a lot of money.  While that is the dream, the reality is not everyone has the vision to create a gorgeous space on a budget.  Never you fear, this is where an Interior Designer shines!  With a little creativity and a small budget for improvements you too can have an enviable home if you hire an Interior Designer.

Ugly Hand-me-down Furniture

Let’s look at this sofa for an example of what I mean.

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This is an old, oddly colored velvet sofa that you probably would not have chosen for yourself but a lot of us have furniture just like this.  Given to us by a family member and, at some point, we were super grateful for the free handout, but now it’s still sitting in the house and not doing anything for you or the space it’s in.  That is exactly how I got the sofa pictured above!  It was my Grandmothers and it passed from one family member to the next.  When you are stuck with an ugly sofa and you don’t have the money to buy something new, you spend about $100 on a slipcover or spend nothing and drape a King size bedspread over it!  Am I right?  Not a gorgeous solution.

How can it be improved?

All by itself, this sofa isn’t really attractive but an Interior Designer has the vision to dress-up this old hand-me-down and give it a super swanky makeover!  I went out to TJ Maxx and cruised for some pillows and artwork that would match this greenish yellow velvet sofa.  In about 2 hours (shopping & decorating) I pulled together this arrangement.
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Now you are looking at this old sofa in a totally different way!!  Right?  I know I am!  I won’t lie, I am very proud of this work.  I only spent money on the pillows and artwork and the rest is stuff I just pulled from around the house.  Instead of spending $100 on a slipcover that you don’t really like anyway, you could spend $300 on an Interior Designer that will create a super cool space in your house, that you love to hang out in and show off to your friends!!

Where’s the Value?!

So, now you’re saying, “Whoah!  $300 is a lot more than $100!”, and you would be right.  While this is a true statement, let me explain what else you would be getting besides the above magic.  An Interior Designer (me!) will come over to your place to meet you and get to know you, you’re likes & dislikes, take a look around the place and get an eye for what you have to work with (3 hours consultation time for $150).  Ideas and suggestions will be made for furniture arrangement and paint colors and all kinds of good advice.  A lot of things that you might have never considered, that you can do on your own and won’t cost a lot of money.  During this meeting, you (the homeowner) decide that your biggest problem and priority is transforming your sad ugly sofa.  No worries, you have an Interior Designer!!  You have an hour left with your interior designer so you both run out to the local store and pick up a few goodies ($150 on pillows and artwork).  A little swapping around of stuff you already have, some hammering and leveling, and voila!  Your problem sofa has been totally upgraded to awesome PLUS you have a bunch of fantastic ideas to work on later when the time and budget allow for it.

And you thought Interior Designers were only for the rich!


Want to know more about my design services and how I take cues from your interests, style, and dreams?  Head on over to my services page here.

art deco style interior decorating

Here we are at last! It has been a very busy few weeks and I am thrilled to finally have this project completed. If you need to catch up, you can follow my progress here:
Week 1 – Spring ORC Challenge
Week 2 – The Great Carpet Debate
Week 3 – Progress & Disappointment
Week 4 – Stencil & Trim
Week 5 – Painting Complete so Decorating Begins
Before I reveal my completed hallway design, let me remind you of the original space and design plan.


Green and white were the colors of this house when we moved in.

Based on a Powder Room sign I purchased a while back to hang over the bathroom door at the end of the hall, I planned to dramatically change the look of this space.


Elements of my Glam Art Deco Hallway Design Plan

After hours and hours of painting, additions, updates and a few finishing touches we now have a very dark and dramatic Glam Art Deco Hallway.
Glam Art Deco Hallway
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This has been an absolutely amazing experience!  I am thrilled to have been a part of this cooperative design challenge.  The support and encouragement I have received from my fellow participants have been so touching and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching their progress and helping them make their decisions when doubt has crept in.  I have learned so much and I am very glad that I shared this transformation with all of you!  Thank you for following along and thank you One Room Challenge for creating this fantastic event!

~The End~

One Room Interior Design Challenge

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This week was again MORE PAINTING but I am pleased that I have finally finished!! I normally don’t mind painting but this project required A LOT of painting.  Here is my painting checklist below:

  1. Paint wall white (2 coats)
  2. Paint 5 doors, trim, baseboard & chair rail black (2 coats)
  3. Paint ceiling 3 times!!
  4. Paint teal half wall (2 coats)
  5. Paint gold stencil on half wall (one side of the hallway I had to do twice because I painted it lighter than the other *shaking my head*)

OY VEY! My shoulders have been permanently knotted and I can’t wait to schedule a massage.
I was going to write a summary this week of the entire process, all the tools used, the cost of everything, and provide purchase links for everything but as I was writing it I started to bore myself and my eyes began to cross. Plus, the post was getting really, really long! If that is information that you want, please let me know and I will take the time to finish and share. Instead, I think I will talk about the fun stuff: decorations!
The hallway looks great but it is definitely naked and empty. Time to hang artwork and lay down the rugs.
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I found this beautiful piece of artwork at Homegoods for $80 (the larger piece in the picture below) and all of the colors are perfect! Then at TJ Maxx I found some small canvases of a similar style but they really need some of the darker teal to tie it all together. I am going to try my hand at creative painting today and add some of the Behr Ocean Abyss paint to these small canvases.
art deco interior colors
Then, after hanging up a few pieces of artwork, I took about a million photographs and found all of them useless! The 1:1 ratio shape required for thumbnails and Instagram make it impossible for my long rectangular hallway to present an appealing photograph. Not to mention there is no natural light in the hallway so all my photos have to be taken with the lights on giving everything an orange glow. Photoshop can correct some of this but let me tell you I had a super frustrating day. The next week of photo taking and editing will be quite challenging.
The end is near for this One Room Challenge and I am looking forward to a fun creative week putting the finishing touches on my hallway redesign!  See you next week!

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4th Week of the One Room Challenge and guess what I worked on? MORE PAINTING!!
Painting more doors black plus the molding around them and I purchased, cut, and painted chair rail. I also started the stenciling on the wall. Sooo much painting but now the space is really starting to take shape!
I have not attempted stencil painting before so this was an interesting learning experience. I purchased an allover wall stencil from Royal Design Studio called Gatsby Glam Art Deco. I really wanted to do wallpaper for this project and found a TON of amazing papers but none that worked seamlessly with the living room decor. I researched stencils next and this deco design was a perfect companion to my powder room sign plus allowed me to pick my color combination.
Royal Design Studio Stencils has a great YouTube video illustrating how quick and easy stenciling can be. They painted an entire 8’x10′ wall (this is a guesstimation) in just over an hour!! After seeing this video, I was confident that my 2 half walls would take me 1-2 hours at the most. This was not the case.
art deco patterns
The painting itself is quick and easy but my arm got so tired so fast that I had to take small breaks to relax the muscles of my arm and also get the blood flowing again. One half-wall took me about an hour (maybe a little more). There was a little bit of gold paint left over from the ceiling paint so I used that. It worked perfectly and I was happy to use that awful paint in a fantastic way! It made me feel better about the whole debacle. I absolutely adore how things are shaping up and I am thrilled that my friends and family that are privy to the transformation always gasp is admiration. While things are coming together nicely I am still quite nervous about finishing on time. I still need to:

  1. Repaint/fix the ceiling
  2. Stencil the second half wall
  3. Hang the chair rail and paint
  4. Take off the 5th door in the hallway, cut 1/2″ off the bottom, rehang it then paint it black.
  5. Touch-up and fix all the blemishes/mistakes

I must say that the list feels easier now that I have itemized it out for this blog post but it still is a lot to accomplish in 1 week. Keep your fingers crossed for me and let me know what you think of the progress so far!
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So the majority of my time this week was spent on painting and all the prep that goes along with that. I washed the entire hall, sanded down old paint drips, filled in dents, then taped and painted. Nothing glamorous. The best progress shot I can share would be the doors. What once was white, now is black!
One Room Challenge Guest Participant
Aside from this, I tried to finalize my carpet decision. When I found this stunning runner on Wayfair for only $163.99 I decided to get 2 instead of continuing my struggle search for a 14-16′ beauty which wouldn’t make my wallet cry.

The carpets arrived 2 days later (so fast!!!) and are much nicer than I expected given the reasonable price. The color is absolutely spot on, the floral pattern is perfection, and it is very thick and cushy underfoot. THIS then became a problem I had not considered when evaluating carpets.

All of the doors in the hallway swing inward into the rooms they entrance except for the door leading to the basement. This door swings outward into the hallway and cannot open as a result of the cushy carpet I chose.
Now we must decide if we should return the carpets and continue the search for another option OR should we cut the bottom of the door?? What do you think?

dining room interior design tips

Our dining area is in an odd space.  Our home didn’t come with a great room or a separate dining room. There was a living room and a kitchen with a doorway between the two. Since my family gets together weekly for dinner, we needed to make a space for our big dining table.  Here is what the space looked like before we moved in.

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Dining Room

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Living Room


dining room renovation


We needed to knock out that big opening and make it bigger; So we did!!



Now we can fit our big family dining table in the space but the kitchen is still separate from the living room.  So when everyone is over, they are sitting in the living room while I am in the next space not seeing them and feeling excluded.

I wanted a dining bench to bridge the gap.  A comfy place to sit and enjoy the conversations in both rooms.  SO now I bring it back to the purpose of this post, a dining bench.  I didn’t like anything I found on the market.  Either it was too boring or too white or had armrests that would bruise your thighs as you slid into the seat.  *grrr* The obvious solution for me was to make exactly what I wanted.

It was a long process and if I am honest with myself, I don’t love what I made but I do like it. It definitely fulfills my desires and I am pretty darn proud of myself and what I accomplished!

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