Date: December 30, 2021 | Producer: At Home in Arkansas staff |
Design Details: We sat down with designers from around the state to get their advice on your most pressing home and décor questions
How do I find a decorator, and how much should I expect to spend? —Courtney C.
Word of mouth is typically the best way to find a decorator or designer. Also, a magazine like At Home in Arkansas features the area’s better designers. As for pricing, this varies depending on the scope of work needed. If you just need some advice or light decorating and want to purchase furniture locally, there are several stores around the state with in-house designers who offer complimentary consults with the purchase of their merchandise. However, if you are looking for a full-service designer for a complete design scheme, space planning, and finish selections, schedule an initial consultation with a designer. He or she can give you an estimate based on the scope of work, then you can decide whether that fits your budget. —Jill Lawrence, J. Lawrence Design
How do I pick the right size rug for my space? What are the general guidelines? —Kylie H.
Try to buy a rug that has enough space for all the furniture legs to fit on top of it. In a dining room, remember to allow space for when the chairs are pulled out. In a sitting area, if you can’t afford a rug to cover underneath all the seating, measure from the inside edge of your sofa to the inside of your chairs keeping the rug more to the center of the seating area. —Cheryl Watson Hannink, CW Designs
What are the best areas to splurge and save around the house? —Lindsey W.
Splurge on the best sofa your budget can afford and any piece you will love long term—for example, art and antiques. Save on décor that is trendy as well as smaller accent furnishings and rugs in high- traffic areas. —Amy Williams, Amy Williams Design
Our favorite splurge is updating light fixtures; a lot of clients have never even considered it until we discuss it. Of course, updating floors and countertops makes a huge difference and is very worthwhile. If you would like an important update without a big price tag, paint is fairly inexpensive and changes everything. —Talena Ray & Mona Thompson Phelan, Providence Design
Where do you suggest splurging and saving on an outdated kitchen? —Kate M.
When remodeling your kitchen, a great place to save money is with your cabinets. If they are in good condition, a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware could be just the thing you need. Your backsplash and pendants are great places to splurge. You can make a big statement with some beautiful tiles and fabulous lighting! —Paula Story, Lumber One Home Center
If your cabinet boxes are in good shape, update their exterior with new door fronts that are custom sized with concealed hinges. This will save on both time and budget. I suggest splurging on beautiful hardware to further the feel of a completely new kitchen. —Susan Johnson, Kitchen Tune-Up
Are blue cabinets on their way out? What is the next trend for cabinetry? —Natalie J.
Blue cabinets are still trending as manufacturers are updating their blue options for finishes. Shades of deep green are also increasingly popular. Warmer tones rather than stark whites are emerging as well as an increase in stained wood accents. —Susan Johnson, Kitchen Tune-Up
How do you hang drapes when your ceiling is vaulted? How high should they be? —Lindsey C.
There’s no right answer to this question; however, there are a few things we look for to make the decision. If there’s an adjacent hallway or door opening, you can align the drapery hardware with that height. You can also align the hardware height to the start of the ceiling pitch or simply choose a height somewhere around 6-12 inches above the window trim for additional length for your draperies. —Shelby Meyer, Drape & Design Co.
How do you measure for wallpaper? —Laura R.
I always have my wallpaper installer go to my client’s home to measure the space. Then, I rely on her to tell me how many rolls to order. There are so many factors that go into it since wallpaper comes in several different widths, and I trust her to account for the pattern repeat. If you don’t order enough the first time, there is a chance the next roll you order may be the wrong dye lot and the colors will be off. Good luck! —Beth Reed, Design Actually
When will the modern farmhouse trend be over? What is next on the horizon? —Lauren W.
I think modern farmhouse will morph into new traditional as the next design style. This is a mix of old and new and will hopefully reflect the client’s own style. If you lean toward farmhouse, midcentury, or modern, your design style will still exist—just in a more collected way. My advice is to spend money on what you love, then mix in and out trendy accents while always keeping the treasured pieces. —Cheryl Watson Hannink, CW Designs
What are a few outdoor projects that can really make a big difference without spending a fortune? —Allison K.
Decorative containers with seasonal plantings are one of our go-to ways to make a quick, easy, and affordable impact. Colorful accent pillows are also an inexpensive and simple way to revamp your outdoor living spaces. —Daniel Keeley, DK Design
What are some no-fail plantings for Arkansas summers? —Elizabeth C.
There really isn’t such a thing as “no fail,” but the best idea for ease of care would be to look at any plant native to Arkansas—they are native for a reason. Many grasses are very hardy and heat-tolerant. As far as shrubs, azaleas will do great. If you’re leaning toward a landscape tree, many of the holly varieties love the Arkansas heat! Overall, look for plants with low water requirements, plant them within the right light requirement, and you will be a few steps ahead. —David Munsey, III, Better Lawns & Gardens
Is it a faux pas to hang drapes over a door that is never used in order to hide it? —Heather W.
Absolutely not! You can even hang functional or stationary drapery over a door or sliding door that is in use if you have room to take the draperies wide enough to prevent them from catching when the door is opened and closed. —Shelby Meyer, Drape & Design Co.
What is your favorite kid-friendly coffee table? —Megan R.
I love a large ottoman you put a tray on for a flat surface. Waterfall coffee tables are also great because there are no sharp edges where little ones might hit their heads! —Chandler Bailey, B. Interiors
How many pillows do I need for a king size bed, and how do I arrange them? —Kylie H.
My husband would say two, but I love some fluff! I say if you’re trying to show off your bed, then keep it simple. King beds need three Euro shams and a queen can use either two or three. Most importantly, layer these with texture, color, and pattern. —Heather Fuller, Fuller Design Co.
What are the differences in natural fiber rugs? For example, sisal, jute, and seagrass. Do you have a favorite to recommend? —Linda E.
All three are just a different type of natural fiber. Sisal and seagrass are more coarse, while jute is a softer, chunkier fiber. If your furniture and door swings can handle the chunkiness of jute, it is kinder underfoot. If you need a lower profile to clear door swings and for furniture legs to sit properly, then sisal might be a better choice for you. A lot of companies will blend jute with sisal or seagrass for some added softness without all the typical bulk of a 100% jute rug. All natural fibers are workhorses as far as foot traffic goes, but not great with food and pet stains. I do love the look, though! —Jill Lawrence, J. Lawrence Design
What interior colors will be trending in 2022? —Sally T.
GREEN! I’ve been looking at tile and décor colors that are becoming more prominent toward the end of 2021, and it is definitely one of them. Whether it is an accent wall, signature furniture piece, cabinet color, or tile selection, there are so many ways to incorporate green. Emerald and jewel-toned hues are my personal favorites. They are rich and luxurious, pairing perfectly with brass metals, marble-look tiles, and warm hardwoods. Green is the new blue. —Bri Kendrick, Kaufman By Design West
Is it OK to mix different shades of gold? —Lee Ann H.
Yes! With careful consideration, mixed metals can have a wonderful effect in a space. Consider the placement: Are they right next to each other? Higher contrast in finish results in a more intentional look; matte and shiny finishes can play well together! —Natalie Biles & Stacey Breezeel, Shine Interior Design Studio
How often should we be redecorating and updating our homes? —Lydia J.
Honestly, if your home is done with a mix of classic and trending, you shouldn’t need to update often. Always start with your most expensive pieces being classic in style and well built. Keep the trends to things that can be easily changed like pillows, paint, fabrics, and art. Most of all, find the things you love and they might just last you a lifetime. —Heather Fuller, Fuller Design Co.