Why Do Kids Get All the Fun? An Ikea Designer Shopping List for Adults

Why Do Kids Get All the Fun? An Ikea Designer Shopping List for Adults

That dreaded unnamed season about 5/8ths of the way into summer that you don’t want to even think about: Ikea Season. You’ve got to make the inevitable pilgrimage for the kids going off to college, and for the clever teens who have presented well-reasoned arguments for room upgrades under the guise of increased productivity.There’s nothing “designer” there, right?

But while the kids are off picking selecting lamps, mirrors, and all sorts of plastic, we think these items are stylish, super reasonable and worthy of a grown-up abode. Just don’t tell anyone where you got them!

 

Orchids and Bamboo

designer orchids

I’m always shocked at how nice and inexpensive they are, especially the colorful orchids! Why buy the plastic ones? That’s a designer no-no!

 

Velvet Curtain Panels

designer velvet curtains

Great for a guest room, these are a steal- their thickness belies their affordability.  Hem them yourself. Spring for a Bedazzler if you’re an overachiever.

Terracotta Wine Chillers

designer wine cooler

For your “deck wine”

Simple White Plates

designer plates Ikea

I just bought these and have never been happier. Perhaps the best bargain of them all. Simple bliss

Pillow Covers & Down Inserts

 

designer pillow covers

There’s a time I want a gorgeous custom designer pillow. Other times I like to switch them out for the season. Guiltless.

Oversized Paper Napkins

I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a party without these babies. The size makes them seem oddly luxurious.

Minimalist Picture Frames

designer picture frames.

A designer gallery wall to remind you of your newly off-to-college kids? Done.

Happy Hunting!

Dean Malambri

President, Dean Alan Design

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Insider Secrets- Memorial Day Furniture Sales (from a Recovering Furniture Sale Addict)

Insider Secrets- Memorial Day Furniture Sales (from a Recovering Furniture Sale Addict)

My 48th year on planet Earth hit me mildly hard this week. Not with a “quick- call the plastic surgeon” sense of urgency, but as a gentle voice tugging at my sleeve, “take better care of yourself.”  So it’s now a glass of green juice at 5 AM and off to the gym I go!

On the elliptical, I always turn on something brainless, like the local news. And on every commercial break this week, there’s someone shouting about their Memorial Day Furniture Sale. It’s a familiar refrain in America, the excitement of a sale. I’m not immune!

As an interior designer, I do a lot of ton of specifying and shopping for furniture in the normal course of projects. And truth be told, many years ago I got my design start as a “designer” in a furniture store picking out people’s furniture. So with my experience comes my advice on making sense out of  the frenzies that are holiday sales.

Here’s a little key to decoding all those too-good-to be true sales, from lowest discount to most substantial.

Special Order Furniture:

You see something, you like it and want it. Hold on, they need to special order it- it’s not stocked. All furniture stores (and designers)  order this class of furniture the same way: one piece at a time. It’s a bit more specific to what you want, so the store has to arrange for the manufacturer at least to simply send it to a warehouse, and if it’s a customized piece, they’ll have to specify how to make it. It’s the least discounted type of furniture, because it takes the longest amount of time to order. If you need a financing deal though, buying special order furniture makes sense because there’s often an accompanying offer. If you don’t need that, there’s usually no rush. Most all furniture is discounted from retail every day of the week, so don’t succumb to the screams of “this week only!”

In Stock Furniture and “Special Buys”:

What you see is what you get here, no modifying. Usually it’s a generic piece or pieces (bedroom or dining set), and in all likelihood, the pieces are built overseas. These pieces are usually non-polarizing and appeal to the broadest section of people possible. Back in the early 2000’s it was this classic beige microfiber puffy couch

Puffy microfiber sofa The overseas factories can churn out these puppies out by the thousands, and usually the manufacturing cost doesn’t dictate the retail price as much, oddly, as the shipping cost. The proverbial “slow boat from China. (for an interesting look at how inexpensive stuff can look really luxurious, read my friend Laurel’s awesome post “The Shocking Truth About Restoration Hardware”)  If a store can buy a whole ship container of anything, (and as is the trend nowadays, a grey linen-looking Chesterfield like this):

grey chesterfield on sale

this thing’s like $399 this week.

, they get a huge price break and can pass the savings on. That’s usually the type of merchandise that they shout about on the commercial breaks in the morning. If you’re just starting out, or you have a whole empty house and just need stuff fast, some people go this way (hey no judgments here). The landfills will curse you, but really, no judgement…

 Floor Samples:

furniture store clearance sales

The best deals you can get at a furniture store are hands down on floor samples; the holy grail of deals. And the longer it sits there, the cheaper it gets. They’re one of a kind finds, and I have a bunch in my own house.

Luxury designer chair bargain, chartreuse fabric

Awesome deal here because this chartreuse fabric is not everyone’s cup of tea.

You can’t change anything, it comes as is, and it might be there because:

  1. the store wants to rotate its floor pieces
  2. someone at the store ordered it incorrectly for someone else in the first place, or,
  3. no one wanted it in the first place

Hunting floor samples takes cunning and patience. You can save tremendous amounts here and there, but it’s virtually impossible to get a beautiful coordinated room from entirely floor samples. I’ve tried. There’s just too many variables. Trust me on this or you’ll end up with a half-finished space for years. But here and there, yeah, they’re great, and you can be that slightly annoying person at parties who brags to everyone how much money you’ve saved. I’ve been that guy but am now in remission.

A word of warning about floor samples: We have a storage area filled with them in hopes that someday, one of our clients will be a perfect match for something we got a great deal on.  But I have to reign in my “hunter-gatherer” instinct and realize the thrill of the hunt is more thrilling then the actual prize.

Which is why I have:

a “Tibetan Swamp Log” for 7 years

An orange carved mirror

designer mirror with sconces

An electrified mirror with sconces

and dozens of other pieces admittedly, I didn’t need, but I got whipped up in the sale frenzy. At this point, they might be part of my permanent collection!

The best advice I can give you on these sales is to have a firm plan in mind before you walk in. Don’t buy just to buy. That’s very 1996. Realize the long term goal is a beautiful home, not the bargain here and there. And it’s Memorial Day weekend- go to a barbecue instead!

Dean Malambri signature

 

 

Dean Malambri, President of Dean Alan Design

 

 

 

 

Dean Malambri is President and Principal Interior Designer for Dean Alan Design Inc, a residential interior design firm primarily serving Chicago and the Chicago suburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Ways to Turn Your Home Into A Cocoon Part 1

7 Ways to Turn Your Home Into A Cocoon Part 1

Futurist and trend-predictor Faith Popcorn first coined the term “cocooning,” 35 years ago. In its broadest sense, “cocooning” meant staying home and insulating oneself from danger, real or imaginary. Back in 1981, that meant retreating to living rooms outfitted with VCR’s, CD players, and Barcaloungers to satisfy that craving for warmth, family, and security.

It seems history has a habit of repeating itself.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Ms. Popcorn has now updated her term to the slicker sounding “uber-cocooning”, or even “super-cocooning.” She predicts now an increase in consumer desires for, among other things, water filtration, home security, and home delivery systems.

Incidentally, this “nesting” desire is nothing new to Chicagoans, albeit without the nagging feelings of impending cataclysm. For us, it arrives yearly, usually around November and slogs on through March. Days are shorter, colder and grayer. So when we ask prospective Chicago clients what they want their home to feel like, “cozy and warm,” is the customary response. Seriously, it’s like a scene out of Groundhog Day!

So rather than waxing on about dystopian solutions, Alan and I put our heads together, and humbly offer up some suggestions here from our body of knowledge on how to make your home more “cocoon- like” year-round (or at least until the apocalypse).

Cocooning Project 1: Let There Be (Warm) Light!

cocooning home, warm versus cool light

Back in the good old days of incandescent bulbs, you just had to pick wattage. Enter the dreaded CFL bulb. While the new CFL (fluorescent) bulbs are remarkable more energy efficient than incandescents, they tend to make your home look like a hospital from a horror movie. Thank god for LED bulbs.

Keep in mind LEDs all have different color “temperatures”, which are measured in Kelvins. It’s more the default these days for the new LED bulbs to be in the “cool zone,” meaning like CFLs, they also can cast an eerie, sterile bluish-green glaze across your home. So remember this rule of thumb: the lower the Kelvin number, the warmer, or yellower the light. Your typical incandescent equates to  somewhere between 2,700 and 3,500K, If that’s the color value you’re going for, look for this Kelvin range while shopping.

“Smart” LED bulbs are a whole different animal, and do not work with existing dimmers. Instead, they are a component of a “smart home system, like the Phillips Hue. So don’t go out and buy the most expensive LED bulb you can find without knowing what you’re in for. Dimmable LEDS instead are most likely what you’re looking for if you just want to replace your bulbs and gain energy efficiency.

Cocooning Project 2: Dress Your Windows in Layers

Those of us in Chicago innately know how to dress in layers. It’s a survival tactic in winter and a fashion statement about half of the year.

Window treatments fall under two categories: hard treatments (blinds, shades & shutters), and soft treatments (draperies and fabric treatments).

If you are serious about your cocooning, you could isolate and close off your room with a touch of a button, James Bond style.

But when you just have some utilitarian hard treatments, it just doesn’t feel right from a cocooning perspective. Hard treatments,by themselves, often rather naked:

not the coziest effect

But overdone soft fabric treatments sometimes get a deservedly bad rap too, courtesy of the 80’s and 90’s, when you could hardly even decipher that windows even existed beneath all those swags and jabots.

over cocooning effect with overdone drapes

you could easily lose a small child in these!

While the old aesthetic was suffocating and “over cozy” to us, naked, exposed windows to us are a little bleak. With our own projects, we try to achieve a happy balance between the two: a combination of a functional hard treatment layer paired with an understated decorative treatment.

Soft treatments never seemed that important to me when I started back in the design business, since I prided myself on being Mr. Contemporary-Sleek- Modern. But if there was one component that I’ve seen that most drastically changes the feel of a room, it would be soft window treatments. I’m not saying your living room should look like the I Dream of Jeannie bottle, just something that softens your hard windows a bit.

Consider this pretty room:

Nice, eh, but cold…

Now look:

The room’s ready for your next Netflix binge session when you close those drapes.

If you perchance to dream, here’s an absolutely lovely example of cozy, warm window treatments with three layers, courtesy of Traditional Home:

Stationary panels, gauzy sheers, and simple roman treatments all contribute to the coziness of this dramatic room.

But be prepared financially. There’s lots of labor, measuring, and material when it comes to layered treatments. Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

Cocooning Project 3: Pad Your Walls

The prevailing trend in interior design is clean, uncluttered and simple, but that’s not to be confused with cold. Invariable, when you’re working with analogous color palettes, and contemporary materials that appear flatter, cooler and/or or smoother, you’ve got to use contrasting textures. One of the most overlooked ways to do this is through some carefully chosen wall coverings. Not to be confused with the word wallpaper.

The word “wallpaper” continues to frighten and terrify people, and with good reason

The backdrop of frequent nightmares

make it stop!!!

Back in the day, wallpapers focused on patterns and a whole lot of them. Today, we view wall coverings as a tool to bring an alternating texture to a space, which ups the coziness ante.

Wall coverings encompass more than bold patterns, they’re also about texture. Consider grass cloths like these:

or even wood veneers like these:

Asian Essence wood veneer wall covering by Winfield Thybony

to lend a warm and inviting feel to your room.

Some luxury wall covering companies like Maya Romanoff even have fabric wallcoverings treated for soil and stain resistance!

Blanket Zig-Zag wool blend wall covering from Maya Romanoff

or for a less permanent solution, you could always cover an accent wall in fabric, drapery style, like we did here for a cozy bedroom feel outside of Chicago

cozy warm bedroom Chicago suburb drapery wall, luxury bedding by Dean Alan Design

We covered the wall in drapery for a cozy effect here in a hotel-like bedroom plan (Upholstered bed by Bernhardt).

Cocooning Project 4: Build a Fort

We’ve noticed a trend that clients are wanting seating groupings that feel more intimate, something better suited towards cozy conversations and “Netflix” nights. The traditional sofa/love seat concept doesn’t really foster this.

I get nervous looking at this…will I get the loveseat?

Instead, you can configure a sectional flexibly.  I’m not talking about those puffy, microfiber behemoths like this:

Just no.

They are usually out of proportion to a room. But consider sectionals that give a feeling of a “built-in” to a small room, upping your coziness quotient

A cozy book nook when the Christmas tree comes down

For the ultimate in flexibility, consider a “pit group.” Despite their “swinging” association with the 70’s,

pit groups are coming back into style, albeit a bit more tastefully. You just pick out the number of pieces,

sectional piecesand configure for your specific room

They’re wonderful before and after the Christmas tree comes down, because you can just add or subtract pieces and store them away until you need them.

So there’s the the first four tips for achieving that cozy feeling in your home. Next week there’s three more including:

  • paint color
  • textures
  • air care (no, there’s not supposed to be an ‘h’ there!

Stay tuned, and stay warm!

Dean Malambri Signature

Dean Malambri

Principal, Dean Alan Design Inc.

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A Few Holiday Recipes Just in Time For Party Season

A Few Holiday Recipes Just in Time For Party Season

It’s right around now that looking at my calendar causes me to break out in a cool sweat. Parties, events, recitals- I’m sure you can relate!

So while I could go on about the fine points of the suspension system of sofas, I doubt that’s on your radar at this moment.

At this time of year, I’m always looking for dishes to bring to events. These two continue to be crowd pleaasers for me, and have now gone into the permanent holiday rotation schedule. They’ve also become a tradition in our family. Time-consuming? Yes, they are. Expensive? Yes to that too. Worth the effort? Again, yes, totally!

Think of making them as cooking therapy for a snowed in day (which are sure to come). And they travel extremely well for parties.

This first one is adapted from an old recipe book my mom adores, Noteworthy, which came from the Ravinia Festival. We oddly serve this in the late morning on Christmas day along with Champagne and a smörgåsbord of other munchies (I’m sure you have weird traditions too, don’t judge).

marinated-shrimpMarinated Shrimp with Oranges

Makes 4 servings, but we always double, even triple sometimes!

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 C. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C. unfiltered cider vinegar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t mustard seeds
  • 1/2 t cilantro leaves (dangerous for a crowd and therefore optional)
  • 1/2 t capers
  • 1/4 t celery seeds
  • 1/8 t ground black pepper
  • Romaine Leaves or crackers

 

  1. One day or at least 8 hours ahead, marinate shrimp. In 4-qt saucepan, heat 3 inches’ water to boiling. Add shrimp, return to boil and cook covered, 2 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through. Drain, rinse in cold water and drain well again.
  2. In large bowl, combine shrimp, orange and red onion. In medium bowl, combine vinegar, oil, lemon juice, ketchup, sugar, garlic, mustard seeds, cilantro, capers, celery seeds, and pepper. Pour over shrimp mixture and stir to coat well. Refrigerate 8 hours, or preferably overnight. Serve on crackers or romaine leaves.

This next one is the holiday recipe one that I hang my hat on year after year. I make gallons of it and swear I’ll never do it again after seeing my grocery bill. But I do, every year without fail. Don’t skimp- the guy behind the deli counter will curse your name, but your guests may well kiss you harder this year. If there was ever a perfect leftover intended for a hangover, please let me know too.

antipasto salad

Mixed Antipasto Salad

adapted from Epicurious. I think the secret is actually the fennel flavor. People think it’s celery but  when they get a bite of anise flavor from it, it’s a surprise, and not an unwelcome one. I humbly nominate this also to be the perfect leftover holiday hangover nibble too. Near the end of parties, people will fight over tupperware containers with this inside.

For the marinade

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the salad

  • 3 large carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 small fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut crosswise into 1/inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted and cut into strips (or jarred)
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, roasted and cut into strips (or jarred)
  • a 12-ounce jar pepperoncini (pickled Tuscan peppers), rinsed and drained well
  • 3/4 pound black or green brine-cured olives or a combination ( I use a mixture of green Cerignolas and black Kalamatas)
  • 1/4 pound sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and cut into strips (or fresh cherry- either way)
  • 3/4 pound marinated or plain bocconcini (small mozzarella balls, available at specialty foods shops and some supermarkets)
  • 1/2 pound pepperoni or soppressata (hard Italian sausage, available at Italian markets, some butcher shops, and, some specialty foods shops), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and the slices quartered
  • two 7-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves plus, if desired, parsley sprigs for garnish

Make the marinade: 1.  In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, the vinegars, the rosemary, the basil, the oregano, the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the marinade until it is emulsified. 2. In a large saucepan of boiling water blanch the carrots and the fennel for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender, drain them, and plunge them into a bowl of ice and cold water. Let the vegetables cool and drain them well. In a large bowl toss together the carrots, the fennel, the roasted peppers, the pepperoncini, the olives, the sun-dried tomatoes, the bocconcini, the pepperoni, the artichoke hearts, the marinade, the minced parsley until the antipasto is combined well and chill the antipasto, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Transfer the antipasto to a platter, garnish it with the parsley sprigs, and serve it at room temperature.

So back to shopping and gifting!

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Giving & Receiving Musings & Home Decorating Gift Guide

Giving & Receiving Musings & Home Decorating Gift Guide

The rhythms of this holiday gifting season are different for me this year. As a kid growing up in the 80’s, I remember the almost embarrassing orgy of gift giving and receiving in my family. But fast forward 30 years, and everyone has most everything they need so we opted for no gifts this year. But I love giving gifts so I got thinking…

We heard about this Carson’s Outlet in Aurora that handled all the overstocked merchandise from the regular stores. The day before Thanksgiving, they priced all sweaters and kids clothing at $3!  So we bought lots of sweaters and kids clothing…

img_4291

and found an organization that distributed them to disadvantaged children on behalf of the United Way.

We’re dropping it all off today!

I bring it up not to garner praise or feed my ego, but because this gift giving feels unfamiliar and strange, yet wonderful. Quite simply, I’m not used to it! As a kid, I used to come up with all sorts of internal “value calculations” about gifting that seem preposterous now. Now it’s about saying thanks to the Universe and honoring the law of giving and receiving.

To throw another wrench in the paradigm of gifting, Alan and I bought ourselves a gift- a subscription to Medici TV. Those of you who know us personally know that classical music is our other passion alongside design. Medici TV is this ingenious way to play concerts, operas, ballets, and music documentaries from Europe through your TV set (I have it on in the background right now!). It’s not quite the same as going to Symphony Center, but I can listen in my underwear, so there’s that…


If you’re still in search of a really special home-oriented gift for someone special or even yourself, Alan and I have dipped our toes into the world of online retailing at our new Facebook store that we call “Gatsby’s Little Designer Holiday Store.” We’ve searched high and low for unique items with character, style, and value that would appeal to our clients and friends. Here’s a taste…(click on images to go to the store)

if you’re a bargain shopper and around Chicagoland, we have a collection of designer floor samples available at huge savings. These we can’t ship, but we can drop them off. Or come by and pick them up!

We seem to be always hunting for mirrors (or everyone’s really narcissistic these days), so we have a collection of mirrors that we love (this section will grow a lot)

We found some of the cutest handmade holiday pillows too! All locally made in Chicago!

Can’t decide? How about our ‘Gift of Color” gift certificate?

Christmas inspires all sorts of warm feelings. I’ll leave with a quote by one of my favorite authors, Robert Fulghum:

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Why to Take Your Time With Your Interior Design House Plan

Why to Take Your Time With Your Interior Design House Plan

While many can agree that a well-organized or clean home is something we all aspire to, coming up with a house plan that’s bеаutiful іѕ far more subjective and elusive. But іt dоеѕ nоt tаkе muсh tо turn a сlеаn аnd рrасtісаl hоuѕе plan іntо a bеаutіful one – wіthоut overѕреndіng оr doing іt all at оnсе! Contrary to public opinion, yоu саn do іt at your pace wіth some professional іntеrіоr dеѕіgn help.

Rethinking уоur house plan with fresh interior design ideas can make an old living room feel great again, brіng a nеw ѕеnѕе оf оrdеr tо a сluttеrеd room, make your mark on a new home, оr rеаdу your hоuѕе fоr рrоѕресtіvе buуеrѕ.

Dean Alan Design Pinterest Page for House Plan

We like to share ideas with our client through shared Pinterest boards

Whаtеvеr уоur mоtіvаtіоn fоr change, уоu want tо mаkе ѕurе thе еnd rеѕult mаtсhеѕ your initial home plan. Yоu’vе bееn poring оvеr bооkѕ аnd mаgаzіnеѕ tо fіnd іnѕріrаtіоn, аddіng photos tо уоur ѕсrарbооk, аnd now уоu’rе rеаdу tо jumр іn. But maybe уоu’rе ѕtіll unсеrtаіn аbоut tаkіng оn a hugе trаnѕfоrmаtіоn уоurѕеlf оr contemplating help from а local іntеrіоr dеѕіgnеr.

Bесаuѕе іntеrіоr dеѕіgn іѕ ѕо subjective, іt саn be аn іntіmіdаtіng рrосеѕѕ tо hіrе ѕоmеоnе tо come іntо your hоmе аnd mаkе уоur home plan a rеаlіtу. Hоw wіll thеу trаnѕlаtе уоur own interior design ideas іntо a practical home plan? Hоw muсh wіll everything соѕt? Whаt іf I dоn’t hаvе аll the mоnеу rіght nоw? Wіll they gеt іt rіght? Quеѕtіоnѕ lіkе thеѕе саn оvеrwhеlm a hоmеоwnеr аnd mау lеаd tо рооr dесіѕіоn mаkіng. Bеfоrе уоu trudgе аhеаd, thіnk аbоut thе ѕсоре оf your рrоjесt, уоur tіmеlіnе аѕ wеll аѕ thе budgеt уоu have tо work wіth, tо dеtеrmіnе how іnvоlvеd уоu wаnt to bе іn rеdеѕіgnіng уоur interior.

Interior-Design-Budget-Spreadsheet

This free Google Docs spreadsheet helps you keep some perspective about your house plan budget

Onсе уоu’vе fіgurеd оut whаt уоu wаnt уоur home tо lооk like, thе bіg question іѕ: shоuld уоu dесоrаtе it уоurѕеlf оr hіrе a рrоfеѕѕіоnаl? Or bоth?

Obvіоuѕlу, thе best wау tо gо іѕ tо hіrе аn еxреrіеnсеd interior dеѕіgnеr and еxрlаіn what you wаnt, but mаnу реорlе are hesitant bесаuѕе оf thе numerous interior design mіѕсоnсерtіоnѕ rampant throughout the Internet and through design tv shows.

 

 

Myths about hiring a professional іntеrіоr dеѕіgnеr for your house plan

#1:  “It’ѕ tоо expensive”

A house plan can not be accomplished overnight – the key is researching. Take away the pressure of doing it all at once.

Interior designers wоrk wіthіn your budget аnd аt your расе tоо. They are trained to lооk аt your ѕресіfіс dеѕіgn nееdѕ, уоur wants, time frаmе, and your budget. Oh yes, there’s that word, “budget”. Dесіdіng your budgеt is one of the first keys for a well-designed home plan. Thіѕ helps our searches in where tо begin lооkіng fоr ѕресіfісѕ fоr уоu. Again, you dесіdе thе budgеt. Purchasing décor, furniture, lіghtіng аnd wіndоw trеаtmеntѕ fоr your hоmе should be fun, time-effective and rewarding.

Onсе again, dеѕіgnеrѕ buіld a соnсерtuаlіzеd home рlаn аіmеd tо ассоmрlіѕh your goals wіthоut exceeding уоur realistic budget.

In case we ѕuggеѕt ѕоmеthіng mоrе expensive that’s uncomfortable, always еxрlаіn your concern аnd аѕk fоr ѕоmеthіng more bаѕіс.It’s that simple!

Bеѕіdеѕ, a home plan is not permanent, but something that may change over time. You can often make slight adjustments along the way.

#2: “It will take tоо long”

Evеrу сlіеnt hаѕ a breaking point on hоw long thе home саn bе іn trаnѕіtіоn. Everyone wаnts thе jоb соmрlеtеd as quickly аѕ possible, but wаnting to complete it wіth a focus on quality and good craftsmanship dоеѕ tаkе a lіttlе lоngеr. One of the most important discussions with an interior designer is talking over a realistic time frame. Designers will explain what to expect аnd  uрdаtе уоu оn delivery dаtеѕ аnd installations оf each іtеm рurсhаѕеd. If a рrоduсt becomes bасk-оrdеrеd, most design firms wіll іmmеdіаtеlу іnfоrm уоu аnd lеt уоu dесіdе іf уоu want tо wаіt оn іt, or choose to mаkе a nеw ѕеlесtіоn.

 

#3: “I can do a house plan myself”

Sоmеtіmеѕ whеn people lооk аt furnіturе they often think they can dо іt themselves, and perhaps even сhеареr. Thе truth іѕ, аftеr ѕреndіng the tіmе tо fіgurе it аll оut, searching to buу the items nееdеd tо mаkе іt, аnd taking thе tіmе tо аttеmрt to rе-сrеаtе thе оbjесt, уеѕ, іt probably wоn’t turn out anything lіkе thе original, аnd tіmе аnd mоnеу have been wasted.

Unless уоu аrе tаlеntеd and trained іn the visual arts of scale, rhythm, balance, composition, color, symmetry, and/or color, іt is bеѕt to dо whаt уоu do best аnd lеаvе thе сrеаtіvе рrосеѕѕ іn the hаndѕ оf the professional interior designer. Spend уоur tіmе and mоnеу wіѕеlу. Sаvе уоur еnеrgу and tіmе tо еnjоу уоur fаmіlу and уоur lіfе.  Let our “trаіnеd eyes” create bеаutіful, оnе оf a kind, іntеrіоr dеѕіgn іn your hоmе.

Do You Need to Hire a Local Intеrіоr Dеѕіgnеr?

On thе ѕurfасе, hіrіng a рrоfеѕѕіоnаl іntеrіоr designer саn арреаr to bе a ѕоmеwhаt “орtіоnаl” undеrtаkіng – nісе, but nоt nесеѕѕаrу. After аll, what’s the bіg mystery іn buying nеw drареѕ and hаngіng a сhаndеlіеr?

Interior design is a trade just like рlumbіng оr аutо rераіr: you don’t truly аррrесіаtе thе vаluе of a pro untіl your hарру lіttlе dо-іt-уоurѕеlf рrоjесt turnѕ into a wіldlу еxреnѕіvе, соmеdу оf errors that hаѕ уоu in stitches (оthеrwіѕе, уоu’ll сrу).

Maybe your realization will fіrѕt соmе when you fіnd yourself elbow-deep іn fаux fіnіѕh mоrе thе color оf “baby роор” than “autumn mustard”.

Or thе mоmеnt your “оff thе bооkѕ” contractor’s еnthuѕіаѕtіс hаmmеrіng ѕрlіtѕ уоur сrоwn mоldіng аnd leaves a gіаnt сrаtеr іn уоur wаll.

Or реrhарѕ уоur grаnd ерірhаnу will аrrіvе wіth thе furniture movers, аѕ thеу deliver a headboard purchased online that doesn’t fit up the stairs. (Returns are a nightmare!) fоr your 4-fооt ѕрасе (nо rеfundѕ, of соurѕе).

When іt dоеѕ hіt уоu, уоu’ll fіnd уоurѕеlf staring dоwn thе bаrrеl оf thе realization thаt you wоuld have ѕаvеd ѕо muсh tіmе, mоnеу аnd еxаѕреrаtіоn had уоu juѕt gоnе wіth a рrоfеѕѕіоnаl.

Other rеаѕоnѕ to hire an іntеrіоr designer tо tackle your house plan:

  • Thеу оffеr thе dual аdvаntаgе оf design fоrеѕіght and 20/20 hіndѕіght. Designers dеѕіgn fоr a living, ѕо thеу have a good “lay оf the lаnd”. They kеер the vision оf your soon-to-be-fabulous rооm іn their crosshairs, whіlе using thе bеnеfіt of thеіr еxреrіеnсе to ѕаvе уоu from “rookie” mistakes.
  • Thеу have ассеѕѕ tо rеѕоurсеѕ уоu dоn’t. Dеѕіgnеrѕ are соnnесtеd. They brіng a long list of rеѕоurсеѕ аnd соntасtѕ tо thе tаblе, saving уоu thе hеаdасhеѕ оf fіndіng gооd contractors, furniture and trаdеѕ реорlе.
  • Thеу tаkе уоur рrоjесt tо thе next lеvеl. Dеѕіgnеrѕ are visual people. Thаt аbіlіtу tо picture a finished rооm bеfоrе thе рrоjесt’ѕ even bеgun іѕ a huge аѕѕеt tо уоu. While a dо-іt-уоurѕеlfеr might dесоrаtе a rооm tо lооk “Tuѕсаn іnѕріrеd” – a gооd dеѕіgnеr wіll сrеаtе аn еxреrіеnсе, making уоu fееl lіkе уоu’rе in Tuѕсаnу іtѕеlf.
  • Thеу’rе сuttіng-еdgе. Dеѕіgnеrѕ stay current оn all the latest styles and trends, and can аdvіѕе you оn a whole аrrау оf new рrоduсtѕ and ѕеrvісеѕ уоu nеvеr knew еxіѕtеd.
  • Thеу саn hеlр stretch уоur budgеt. Dеѕіgnеrѕ know whаt thіngѕ соѕt, аnd hоw to gеt them for a fаіr рrісе. Pluѕ, thеу саn rеvіеw your budgеt uр frоnt, аdvіѕе уоu оn аrеаѕ оf thе rооm whеrе іt’ѕ іmроrtаnt tо mаkе a lаrgе investment, аnd іdеntіfу wауѕ уоu саn gеt аwау wіth ѕоmеthіng lеѕѕ expensive.

 

So find уоur іntеrіоr dеѕіgnеr- one with еxреrіеnсе, whо іѕ wіllіng tо work аt your оwn расе, whо has the abilities and аnd professional соnnесtіоnѕ to make dеѕіgnіng уоur ѕрасе the fun rеwаrdіng project іt’ѕ meant to bе -and lеаvе the dо-іt-уоurѕеlfing to thе guys on TV!

Yоu’ll be ѕо glаd уоu did!

Dean Malambri & Alan Sills

Dean Malambri & Alan Sills

Principal Designers, Dean Alan Design Inc.

Dean Malambri & Alan Sills are co-founders of Dean Alan Design Inc., a Chicago-based interior design and decorating firm.

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