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July Blog – The Hot and the Not – Interior Design Trends of 2022

Design trends are more than just what’s in at the current time. They are a product of the ever changing society amongst us. Influenced by culture, economy, fashion, housing markets and politics, interior design has a diverse evolution. What’s important to understand is that the look and feel of your home play a large role in your psychological and emotional well-being, so bringing the right trends into your home is crucial. Not every style works for every home and person. After such a drastic change in how we live and work due to the previous years’ events, how we function in our homes looks very different. So, let’s look at what’s hot and what’s not for 2022 and talk about how these trends can improve your quality of life within your walls!

With all that 2020 and 2021 brought to our awareness and the levels of stress brought on by them, we are now seeking more comfort, peace and ease. Biophilic design creates a connection between humans and nature by blending the lines of interior and exterior. Natural and raw materials such as sisal, rattan and hemp provide that earthy feel indoors. We’ve seen an increase in house plant decor to improve air quality and add the greenery we so need to breathe life back into our exhausted souls. Neutral color palettes add to the ambiance and tranquility.

A need for excitement and beauty has created a resurgence of patterns! If they’re used correctly, patterns can create a perfect level of visual balance and can transform a room into a piece of artwork. Some patterns to keep an eye out for in 2022 and moving forward include:

Possibly the most pronounced design trend that’s been on the rise and solidified its stay in 2022 is dual purpose rooms. We spend much more time in our homes now with many still working remotely or in a hybrid capacity. Our spare bedrooms have been converted to home offices, the kitchen table doubles as our conference room, the living room serves as the central hub and w where you lounge while responding to emails. Our children’s rooms often act as the backup classroom and the basement or garage is the new gym. Regardless of how you use the spaces in your home, you’re using them much more than in the years preceding 2020/2021 and most have welcomed this unexpected shift. Look for the furniture that will serve double duty and add accessories to your rooms that create ease in the transition from one use to the next. 

Traditional and vintage elements are back in style! With so much change around the world over the past few years, it’s no surprise that more and more people are craving a sense of comfort, timelessness or even a bit of nostalgia in their homes.

With the return of traditional styles, we’ll start setting the ultra modern decor and open floor plans fading away. The home should be comfortable, welcoming and a place for solace. Open space planning doesn’t allow for privacy from those you live with and the starkness of the “clean” aesthetic doesn’t allow for the warmth a home needs.

Boxy furniture has seen it’s better days, keep an eye out for curving and rounded furniture, adding a soothing flow to a room. Fast furniture is a thing of the past, with the multifunctionality of our rooms, we need quality pieces that can serve steadfast and daily. Form following function will become a priority in our design and living needs once again. 

Purpose and fulfillment have become paramount in our worlds today and our spaces should reflect that. Applying the 2022 design trends, the hot and the not will allow you to live and feel your best going into this new era. Bella Home Interiors will compose your home to create a fresh, updated 2022 experience, schedule an appointment!

June Blog – The Design Process Q & A: The Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Designer When Beginning a New Project

Starting a new home project or renovation can be exciting, thought provoking and nerve wracking all at the same time. There’s a slew of things to consider when you’re preparing and a number of items you’ll want to be proactive about. Planning ahead for your home project is crucial and makes all the difference in the overall process’s success. 

But, let’s be honest with ourselves, not many of us have the know-how to plan, design and implement a home project or renovation. You wouldn’t try to work on your car if you’re not a mechanic, you leave it to the professional, so bring in the professionals when it comes to home design. Before you search for the right designer to hire, you’ll want to know the right questions to ask (and the right answers). So here’s a little cheatsheet! The top 5 questions to ask your designer when beginning a new project. 

  1. What is your design process? Understanding your designer’s process will provide you confidence in their decision making. The most effective design process includes planning, conceptual design, design development and implementation/install. During the planning phase, you and your designer will have an initial meeting to discuss your needs and wants, this will be followed by a scope of work being laid out in a contract which should be signed by both parties. The next phase, conceptual design typically includes design ideas, inspiration, mood boards, and possibly sketches of your design. These will be reviewed together and a more clear cut design direction for your project will be decided on at completion of this phase. Next, we have design development, during which your project fully takes form. Final plans, finishes, furniture, vendors, contractors, etc. are defined. Once everything is confirmed by you and the designer confirms that they will be able to coordinate all services and products, then implementation/install will occur. This final phase will include any construction, painting, ordering, installing and staging that is needed to complete your project.
  2. What are your design fees and can you work within my budget? Every designer should have a set fee structure for their services, either available online or at request. A great example is Bella Home Interiors Services page! However, depending on the project, its needs and the scope, the cost of a project may need to be determined after an initial meeting during the planning phase. A fixed fee may be used for certain projects and all cost information will always be provided within the contract presented by the designer. Many designers are able to work within your budget, but it’s important for the client to be realistic about their budget and what that provides them. Open communication with your designer about the costs of the project all along the way is necessary and will bring success to your project!
  3. How long will my project take? The life cycle of any project is directly related to the client’s wants, needs and flexibility. There are also other factors that come into play. Client reviews and approvals, contractor and material availability, and the designer’s workload. A good designer will never take on too many projects at once, their concern will be quality over quantity. You’ll want to go with a designer who has the time to give your project the focus it needs. Keep in mind though, your designer will most likely have other clients to provide time to as well, be sure not to expect all of your designer’s time and be respectful of their hours. In the end, your designer will dedicate the attention your project needs and that will be reflected in the finished product!
  4. What if I have to put my project on hold once it’s started? Life can be unexpected and things happen that we couldn’t have planned for. It’s important for you and your designer to discuss a plan of action in the event that either party needs to put a hold on a project. There should be information in your contract that notes the plan of action and what the financial aspect of that looks like as well. A designer will always be willing to work together to find the best solutions for completing your project, even if the unexpected happens! 
  5. Can you describe your design style and are you willing to work with mine? Every designer has their own style that they lean towards. And for some, they are specifically sought out for that style. Many clients have their own aesthetic that they’re partial to, but also don’t know how to implement it. Find a designer who has a style that you like but is also willing to make your project look how you want it to look. No designer should ever impose their likes or dislikes over yours. You want to find someone who can provide their expertise and know how, who can guide you in the right directions, but can explain why something you want may not work or be the right choice without pushing their own agenda onto your decisions. 

You know the questions, you know the answers to look out for, now start the search for your designer! The beauty in hiring the right designer is that they will learn what you love for your home, they’ll adapt to your needs in the design process and deliver the perfect mix of professional knowledge with your personal touch. When it comes time for your next project, you and your designer will be able to jump right into the process without skipping a beat! Bella Home Interiors prides itself in their repeat clients, make an appointment for your upcoming project and become one of them!

May Blog – Summertime Styles!

The Best of: Shorehouse Design Ideas

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is the official kick off of the summer season and beach days! We flock to the shore to enjoy our summer getaways, whether we own or rent. When we vacation, we want to enjoy our surroundings to the max and that includes the interior of our warm weather home! For the owners, maybe you’re considering upgrading and re-doing your space this season. For the renters, you’re on the lookout for the house that feels just right for you. To assist, we’ve compiled a list! Here’s the Best of: Shorehouse Design Ideas…

  • Coastal – characterized by the reflection of natural seaside elements—surf, sand, and sky—in the home through color and texture, to create a soothing ambiance. When using the coastal design style, you want to make sure nothing is overwhelming, the atmosphere should be easy-going, just like the beach. 
    • Neutrals, whites and warm whites 
    • Incorporate jewel tones to emulate the colors of the water, sky and sea life
    • Clean lines and layers
    • Textured rugs, glass elements and breezy fabrics
  • Seaside Chic – this style begins with similar foundations as Coastal, but adds a modern twist to it. Bring in some updated furniture pieces with a touch of rattan and some sisal rugs. Keep it light and airy. Skip the clutter of seashell trinkets and instead display local artists’ seaside landscape paintings!
  • Beach Cottage – think farmhouse style with a touch of the ocean. Earthy romance can be achieved using antique and wicker furnishings, strong fixtures and decorative lighting elements in metals such as golds and bronzes. Slight pops of muted blues amongst neutrals will enhance the cottage feel. Go for fresh finishes + vintage charm to accomplish that cozy beach cottage vibe.
  • Maritime Warmth – some might want to call it a “nautical theme”, but let’s take it up a notch and make it a bit more mature and classy! There’s a timelessness to a ship captain’s coat, the deep navy, gold and brass. Using these colors as your base, add in some texture with rope and jute decorative details. The anchor holds strength in its charcoal/black metal finish, use this in your table bases and kitchen fixtures. Weathered textures and driftwood will complete the look.
  • Boho by the Beach – this decor is super easy! Just take the neutral palette, clean line and layers and breezy fabrics from Coastal style, add in plenty of rattan and wicker furniture and light fixtures, bring in some rugs with ethnic motifs and patterns, and add in a healthy dose of green! Easy peasy, you have Boho by the Beach!

We’ve talked about the best of the best design styles to consider for your shorehouse or wherever you getaway for awhile near the water. There’s also a few important factors to add in and contemplate as well:

Being in a space that you love and enjoy will only add that much more to your time to relax and recoup during your vacation and getaway time this summer. Re-creating one of the styles on this list doesn’t need to be time consuming or stressful. Just take the peace and beauty of the outdoors and its elements and bring them inside, and you’ll have the best of both worlds!

April Blog – Expanding the Home Beyond Walls

Composing Outdoor Spaces

What does the word home really mean and what does it constitute? What is the meaning of home? Our Old English roots define “home” as a village or place where many souls gather. It implies there’s a physical dwelling involved, but the main idea is that it’s a gathering of people. Walls do not define a home or space, it’s place amongst people and its purpose does! Taking that into consideration, we can expand our home beyond walls. We do not have to limit our gathering spaces to the confines of our home’s built footprint. Exterior spaces can certainly be composed to give more space for you and your loved ones to gather and make memories. And there’s plenty of ways to accomplish this!

Whether you’re adding a new outdoor space, updating an existing one or looking for clever ways to add on some fun features, we’ll talk about the different ways to expand your home beyond walls. Let’s dig into each one and the best methods.

Begin by evaluating the space you have to work with. Is it a patio, green space, deck, porch, covered, uncovered, etc? Your design direction will first be determined by what kinds of ground surfaces you’re working with. Make sure to grab some measurements of the area you want to develop, this will aid in what kind of furniture or amenities can be used, and overall how the space can function. And know your aesthetic! Knowing what you want your outdoor space to LOOK like will guide the composition through completion. 

For good measure, we’ll give you some fun design idea starters to inspire your space

Firepits and game areas are great for entertaining

Sturdy, weather proofed outdoor furniture is best for durability and longevity

Thrifted furniture works great for uncovered areas and as a budget friendly option

Create a cozy corner or nook for conversation spaces or to enjoy your morning coffee

Creating an outdoor cooking and dining area takes entertaining to the next level

Once you’ve determined what you want to use the space for, then it’s a matter of designating the area without “walls” and there’s so many creative ways to do this. Existing patios and decks will be a good start. But even if you don’t have either, or want to take the up a notch, here’s some of our favorite ways to go about it:

Create a paver grid or flagstone floor

Use a pergola or canopy, these will also provide shade

Outdoor rugs, they come in all sizes and can be anchored with tent stakes

Configure your outdoor furniture to assign the area a shape

Add a lattice panel or a living arch along a wall or fence to establish the space

Install a firepit and Adirondack chairs, an easy and lowkey option

For covered decks or porches, add hanging plants around the perimeter for privacy

Place tall landscape stakes and string lights between them generate a footprint

Play with levels, if you’re installing a new deck or patio, raise it up a little

Add in some landscape lighting, this designates the space and adds style

Your home is a place to gather, to come together and make memories, to rest and relax. With so many ways to compose outdoor spaces, there’s no reason not to expand your home beyond the confines of its walls. Why not have that cozy morning coffee nook, the firepit to sit around and laugh with family and friends, the dining spot to enjoy a meal with some beautiful weather? Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t require you to leave your home, create those spaces and bring your home and its purpose to its full potential!

March Blog – Spring Has Sprung! The Declutter Expose!

Organization can bring a sense of health and well-being to your home and heart. Thinking of “spring cleaning” can be daunting and just be an added chore that we don’t want to do. It doesn’t have to be a nuisance though! Let’s switch the mindset by first learning about the benefits of decluttering and then learning the best methods to sorting, tidying and organizing your home. Read on for our Declutter Expose!

So how does decluttering and organizing your home help? It’s more than just making it look nice and clean. Having order to your home benefits your mind and body as well. Here’s a few ways that this practice will improve you and your families overall well-being and happiness

Excess clutter can cause adverse physical health. The more stuff you have, the more surfaces you have for dust and allergens to collect on. This can decrease the overall air quality in your house. Reducing clutter makes your everyday cleaning needs easier, quicker and promotes a peaceful, stress-free environment. It is also an opportunity to donate what you don’t need to those who do! These all  lead to an increase in self-esteem. When you struggle staying organized, you can tend to feel out of control, your physical environment has a significant impact on your mental health. Having less clutter means less anxiety, there’s less worries around finding things, safety in your spaces about how your home looks to visitors. Bringing positive habits and practical solutions into your daily routine will enhance more areas of your life than just your home. 

Additionally, here’s a list of even more benefits to decluttering and organizing!

  • Increase your living space, your rooms will feel and look bigger
  • Focus on your favorite things more without the distraction of the things you don’t need
  • A sense of accomplishment on a daily basis
  • Helps you to let go of the parts of your past that no longer bring positivity to you life
  • Improved financial responsibility, when you’re mindful of what you bring into your space, you’re more mindful of what your spending your money on

Now that we understand how much good decluttering can bring to your daily life, let’s get into the best methods for your declutter and how to keep up those practices.

No matter which room of the house you’re going through, there is a rule of thumb to follow when determining what you should keep. Just use these three simple questions when determining what should stay and what should go:

As you move through each area in your process, apply these questions to the items you’re going through. With those questions as your foundation in organization, start in the area of your home you spend the most time in. This tends to be the living room and the most difficult to keep neat since it is the most often used. Coffee table / ottoman trays offer up easy organization for  magazines, remotes, etc. They also add a nice decorative elevation to the room (see our February blog “Decorative Accessories That Invigorate Your Home”). Place a basket near the couch for throw blankets and a stylish trunk to keep toys or anything else out of sight when you have guests. Cut down on the amount of books or trinkets you keep in your bookcases, shelves, mantles and sort them by height or color for a neat, uniform look. Being proactive in your day-to-day tidying of this room will keep it looking great, with minimal effort, just like in our next room, the kitchen!

The kitchen can get crowded quickly! There’s plenty of awesome options for this room to provide order and cleanliness. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Another area of importance in the home to focus on, the entryway. This is the first thing you’ll see when you’re entering your home and will set the stage for your mood. You want to make this space inviting and functional. Designate a space for keys and mail, add a shoe organizer, maybe a stylish bench for bags and backpacks. Add hooks on the wall for coats and a rug or runner to catch any dirt from outside that would otherwise get tracked through the house – an entryway is easier to sweep than a whole house!

We’ll touch on one more considerable space that is much less visible but can be the most problematic for storing junk and clutter. Closets! First and foremost, evict, depose of, weed out, eradicate anything in any closet that does not currently or in the near future serve a purpose. A good consideration during this process – has it been used (or looked at) in the past 6 months, will it be used in the upcoming 6 months. If the answer is no either way, get rid of it. Install drawers, shelving, baskets. Like in the kitchen, categorize everything and give it a home. Allocate space by length and size, this will help you to maximize every inch. And if something doesn’t have an intentional home in the closet, don’t just shove it in there to hide it away! 

A gentle reminder, everything in your home should have its own home. Give everything a place to live – and keeping your spaces clean, decluttered and organized will be a breeze. Here’s our last helpful hint in The Declutter Expose, keep a specified “put away” or “return” bin. If you find something around the house in a space it doesn’t belong, bring it to the “return” bin. Once a week, take the bin throughout the house and put everything in it away, where it belongs.

Bella Home Interiors offers services such as Designer By Your Side and One Day Decorating to bring the designer’s eye and expertise into providing organization while making it look good. Schedule a consultation!

February Blog – Decorative Accessories That Invigorate Your Home

Furnishing your home isn’t just about the major pieces for each room, accessorizing is the moment when a space reaches its full potential. Decorative accessories come in all different forms and have the ability to really make a statement. Let’s look at the most impactful (and sometimes underestimated) accessories that will invigorate your home and provide layers of style!

A few of the more widely used accessories are wall art and mirrors, both of which can be used to fill out a large wall. Wall art can provide more color to a space while mirrors can be utilized to make a room feel bigger. The trick is to get creative with your selections. Choose a mirror with an elaborate frame or a funky shape. Support local artists and shop small for your wall art, their work is unique and usually one of a kind, this also adds an element of connection in your home and makes for a great conversation starter.

Plants, plants, plants! A sturdy floor plant can breathe new life into a room, quite literally. Aside from adding a natural feel, many house plants provide benefits such as improving indoor air quality, reducing stress levels and boosting productivity. Having some green in your home can never hurt and there are plenty of options that are low maintenance and easy to take care of. Visit your local nursery and ask for some pointers on which to choose.

Coffee table trays are great for so many reasons. Let’s talk about a few of them! Trays offer up easy organization, they keep your coffee table or ottoman neat while looking elegant. Tuck the remotes and coasters into the tray and add your favorite book or a nice small vase with fresh flowers. Trays are also a great chance to add extra style to the room, they’re available in a variety of sizes and finishes, choose one that pops against the surface it sits on. They’re also a great spot to create vignettes, which we’ll talk about soon, so keep reading. A nice coffee table tray brings another layer to the room that is small but packs a big punch!

Books and bookends, timeless, classic. We all have books, right? At least a few. Maybe some are treasured, ones you haven’t read yet, or ones you don’t quite know what to do with. Don’t stash them away on a bookshelf, use them to accessorize. Group by color or genre, play with stacking the sizes. Use 3-5 books together, lay them on their side and top them off with a nice trinket or a photo. Pairing books with a decorative globe or, the ever ageless hourglass sand timer is a beautiful way to fashion a fireplace mantle of sofa table. And don’t forget the option of using bookends, there’s an abundance of options to choose from to fit any design taste.

Vases, jars and bottles, you just can’t ever go wrong with adding a few of these throughout your spaces. They’re great for adding height and pulling focus. And of course, for adding some plants and flowers to your home. Thrift shops and antique stores are the perfect places to hunt for a wide variety and selection. 

Creating vignettes can add character and tell stories throughout your home. When designing your vignettes, consider arranging items with similar colors and themes and mix it up with shapes and heights. Try to keep your groupings to no more than 4-6 items, we want vignettes, not clutter. Use pieces that speak to you on a personal level, but don’t be afraid to add something that’s unique or imaginative.

There’s a few do’s and don’t to accessorizing your spaces. Follow a few guidelines and the process will be easy! Do apply balance, weight and scale. Understand that the visual weight of accessories should be consistent throughout a room. Don’t depend on chain stores for all of your accessories, try to shop small and local. This allows you to have more unique items in your home and support your community. Do make use of a variety of colors, patterns and the types of accessories you’re using, mix it up and make it your own! 

Accessorizing your home should be fun and exciting, but not everyone has an eye for design. Bella Home Interiors offers services such as Designer By Your Side and One Day Decorating to bring the designer’s eye and expertise into pulling your spaces together. Schedule a consultation and learn more about how to invigorate your home!

January Blog – A Window Treatment for Every Room

New Year, new window treatments! Creating change and updates in your home can be as simple as investing in new window treatments. There’s no need to do a complete overhaul of each room in your house, the right look on your windows can go a long way to improve the feel and comfort at home. Let’s talk about the best methods and how they enhance your space using just your windows.

The main living areas in your home need to provide the most versatility and aesthetic. Personal spaces can be given more specific needs on an individual basis. Regardless of the room, there’s some rules of thumb to follow. Read on to find out!

Kitchens, dining and family rooms should offer the most aesthetic value and as much ability for natural light as possible. How do we do this? We apply form to function! Dining and family rooms typically will have the largest windows in the house and for this, we want to feature them. Combining styles in these rooms is a great approach, a mix of roman shades and layered drapery can bring the area to life, allowing natural light while still providing the functions for privacy. 

Now we look to the kitchen, much of which will have reflective surfaces between countertops and appliances. Solar shades will provide anti-glare, privacy and sleekness. Add a custom valance to each window to really complete the look!

When it comes to bedrooms, roller shades are an adaptable and sophisticated choice. This treatment can accommodate the design of a room by blending in quietly while still looking timeless. Cellular shades are also a good option for bedrooms as they add insulation. If you have north facing windows, these will add an extra layer of heating and cooling with energy efficiency. Both style shades can be found in an array of colors and of course, you can add some nice curtains to take them up a notch. 

Last but not least, the bathroom. How do we achieve ultimate privacy when needed without sacrificing the look? Shutters! They’re attractive, durable, allow for good air flow and are easy to keep clean. All the necessary elements to make for the right window treatment in your bathrooms. 

The way you dress and treat your windows will make all the difference in the feel of a room. Without much effort, you can breathe new life into a space with a fresh window treatment. Check out Bella Home Interiors window treatments on our website and request a consultation today!