Posts Tagged ‘Designers’

8 Ways to Make Your Home Look More Expensive Than it Really Is


Having a high-end home can be challenging if your decorating budget is tight. Fortunately, there are ways–even on a budget–that can help you make your home look the part. Here are some simple solutions that can give your home a luxe look without breaking the bank.

1) Simplify the color palette.

Picking paint color is often a nightmare for homeowners. However, it is one of the most inexpensive ways to improve the look of your home without too much effort. A good rule of thumb to follow: go bold and dramatic OR soft and understated–not both. Remember, you’re aiming for sophistication.

2) Layer in statement lighting.

Even if you feel as though the lighting in your home is adequate, incorporating something that has a bit more visual impact can really make a difference. From table lamps to chandeliers and everything in between, today’s popularity of unique lighting makes it easy to find something that’s elegant in looks yet humble in price. If you are an avid DIYer, seek out interesting fixtures at places like flea markets or secondhand stores, and then give them an update.

3) Hang window treatments.

Window treatments pull a whole design scheme together. Simply put–more often than not–a home without window treatments looks unfinished and well, cheap. Which is the complete opposite of what you’re going for, right? To keep your place looking classy, avoid thin window treatments. You may have to shop around, but there are plenty of options that will provide enough thickness. If you’d like to sink a bit more money into your window treatments, having some made from a fabric you really enjoy is the way to go. If draperies aren’t necessarily your style, opt for something like a fabric Roman shade or a woven shade made of bamboo.

4)  Pull up the carpet.

At one time, carpet in a home was in high demand. Today, however, most homeowners prefer hardwood. Real hardwood is certainly an investment, but a wise one. Laminate is a popular option these days–but only the best laminate on the market will last. If a top-of-the-line laminate isn’t in the budget, it may be better to stick with a plush carpet.  To accent your hardwood floors, be sure to lay down a beautiful area rug.

5) Hang oversized art.

The bigger the canvas or framed art, the more luxe the room in your home will feel. Large pieces of artwork create a gallery look, which comes across as expensive.

6) Use luxurious textiles.

Throws, accent pillows, and upholstery made of luxe textiles are an easy way to elevate the elegance in your home–especially in the living area. Silk, velvet, metallic linen and faux fur are all great options. When it comes to pillows, poly-fill pillows will do, but for a few dollars more, you can opt for a plush down alternative or feather-down insert. Both of which, will enhance comfort.

7) Accessorize.

It won’t take much to glam up your home if you carefully choose the right accessories. Sure, you can add in small accessories made of marble or crystal, but you may be able to do more by looking for accessories finished in glass or metallics–especially gold.

8) Cut the clutter.

A good cleaning and decluttering can easily enhance the look of your home’s interior–and, other than some cleaning products, it doesn’t cost you a thing! Keeping the space tidy, the windows shining, and the furniture and rugs stain-free will allow all the elements within your home really stand out.

Trend Watch 2017: Modern Farmhouse

While Farmhouse design style isn’t new, it has certainly been reinvented. What was once considered “quaint” or “country” is now described with updated terms like “country-chic” and “rustic-modern”.  Home decorating shows, such as HGTV’s Fixer Upper, starring Chip and Joanna Gaines, have put Farmhouse design style back on the map–and it’s taking the nation by storm.

joanna-gaines-farmhouse-furniture-design-KatyBut, why? What is it about this decorating style that has so many people enamored? Let’s take a look at 3 important characteristics that make this style so popular.

It’s Comfortable

For the average home, formal spaces aren’t a functional part of everyday life. Many people are looking to create a casual atmosphere that’s welcoming to friends and family. Farmhouse style gives you just that. With elements like relaxed fabrics, soft colors, vintage lighting, and streamlined functionality, you can’t help but feel at home. Even with its abundance of white paint and raw elements, those additional layers of texture add warmth and comfort, which beckons you to sit down, relax and stay awhile.

It’s Functional

An important part of the modern farmhouse design is making the home functional. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the dining space, an area fit for family gatherings. Apron-front sinks, vintage overhead lighting, large butcher block islands, and long farmhouse tables make the home cook and entertainer’s work easier. Throw in some floating shelves and carefully selected accents and you’ve got a home that can easily accommodate everyday life.

It’s Pretty

It really is as simple as that. If you’ve seen Chip and Joanna’s work, you know that a modern farmhouse interior is just downright pretty.  Muted neutrals, eye-catching textile patterns, raw woods, unique lighting, wall quotes, and of course let’s not forget shiplap, all work in harmony to make one heck of an interior.

Looking to bring a little Farmhouse style into your home? Be sure to browse Joanna’s rug and pillow collection.


5 Textiles Needed to Achieve Farmhouse Style: The Joanna Gaines’ Way

Anyone familiar with Joanna Gaines knows she has a knack for creating modern farmhouse spaces that are warm and welcoming. One would think that the abundant use of shiplap and rustic woods throughout the homes she and husband, Chip, remodel would look cold and stark, but they don’t. The finished product always remains soft and comfortable. The secret? Textiles! Let’s talk about 5 important textile uses for achieving Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper style in your home.

Mesa Fabrics 5 Textiles Needed to Achieve Farmhouse Style The Joanna Gaines Way

Window Treatments

Window treatments are a wonderful way to add softness to a modern farmhouse home. No-nonsense cotton in neutral shades, linen, and burlap are all wonderful choices. To keep that casual and comfortable look, make sure you hang drapery high, letting the bottom pool slightly on the floor. Roman shades are another great option. If you go with a patterned fabric, choose something that blends in nicely with the rest of the palette.


When it comes to furniture in a rustic farmhouse, the goal is to keep it looking clean but inviting. This is easy to when furniture is upholstered in soft, muted neutrals. Another suggestion would be to invest in a fitted white or ivory slipcover. To ensure farmhouse style comfort, opt for a natural cotton fabric.

Accent Pillows

To top off that comfortable furniture, buy some quality accent pillows. Muted colors are best to keep with the simplistic theme farmhouse style is so well known for. To get you started, we now carry a gorgeous selection of pillows from Joanna’s collection.


Area rugs protect your floor but they also add an extra layer of color and texture to a room. If the majority of the space is neutral, you may want to go a tad bit bolder on the rug choice. If not, stick with something that blends into the environment. Joanna has great style when it comes to rugs and we’re excited that we have her collection available for you to purchase for your home.


Plush, luxurious towels are a definite way to finish off that Fixer Upper farmhouse style in your home. Not only do they look good, they feel good!

See how important textiles are? When incorporated properly, you’ll have a home that Joanna herself would approve of.

Visit us online or at one of our retail locations. Live in Arizona? Come see us at either of our two Mesa, Az area locations located inside of SWITCH Consignment to check out the latest designer upholstery fabrics available at amazing prices including faux leather and suede, cotton, and silks.

Frills Interiors: Susan Christensen and Deborah Braid

“The home should be the treasure chest of living”Le Corbusier.  

For us, home is one of the most beautiful words ever created.  It encapsulates the feeling of love, warmth, safety and belonging.  As a mother and daughter design team it is our immense pleasure and honor to be invited into someones dwelling and given the opportunity to create their HOME.  There is no greater pleasure then to go to work everyday and be given the opportunity to share our talents in such a personal and enriching way. One of the oddest questions we get asked is “what is your design style.”  We don’t design to our style we design to our clients style.  We take great pride in getting to really know our clients and how they live.  We feel it our duty to deliver a home that is a direct reflection of their desires.  Our job is to make sure it is impeccably done and flawlessly executed.   Leaving behind a home that will grow with them and be a livable sanctuary.

frills-interiors-susan-christensen-deborah-braid HoustonSusan (my Mom) studied design and art in college and started her design career like most young designers by dabbling in every venue possible trying to figure out exactly what she was truly passionate for.  Her beginning projects were designing and fabricating fashion shows for the Ojai, California Junior League which soon lead to floral design, fashion design, event coordinating, interior design and finally owning her own company.  She is an accomplished seamstress, painter and cook, but most of all an incredible mother! She has worked for some of the greats here in Houston.  Cornelius Nurseries, Sunny Road, Christina’s, Calico Corners and Interior Arrangements.  All along gathering and perfecting her skills.  Her talents, knowledge and impeccable taste are unprecedented.  The knowledge she brings to our company is priceless and I am more than lucky to be her daughter and call her my inspiration! `~Deborah

Deborah (my daughter) came about becoming a designer in a more organic way.  She just knew she could so she did.  Deb is a true renaissance woman, which is good since she carries a degree in renaissance and british literature, studied Opera since the age of 10, paints, draws, sews, cooks, is talented in hair design and make-up and an accomplished writer.  In 2000 she joined me on my journey to freelance and we haven’t looked back.  Deb soon found her footing and passion in the building process. Last year she was given the ultimate designed opportunity and was commissioned to design the blue prints for a 7000sq foot ranch home.  It is truly an amazing and detailed design.  I am proud to say it is currently under construction.  Deborah’s vision, flair, and out of the box thinking makes me excited to work along side her and to call her my daughter! ~Susan

The most important mindset that we try to stress to our clients is timelessness.  Trend is fun but its a passing fancy and when you are investing in your home you need to think about longevity and not the immediate.  Interior Fabrics has always been on target through its offerings by having both trend and timeless selections in both fabric and furniture.  Therefore, while we strongly encourage our clients to make solid timeless choices in their longterm pieces we also love having fun with the trendy stuff!  We do this in the way of accessories, throw pillows and occasional seating. Things that are budget friendly to change when the trends loose popularity.   Our joke is that Susan is the voice of reason with her sturdy tweed sofa while Deborah is the fun throw pillow that makes the sofa come alive. One would be nothing without the other!

Another idea that we like to convey is the importance of color and how it effects a room or a feeling.  There is no greater area for this concept then in the selection of paint.  Paint color can make or break a room, a house, a mood, a budget!  With our backgrounds in art we are true believers in the faithful color wheel and strongly encourage everyone to buy one and learn how to use it.  Tone, undertones, light, and reflection all play their part in every color of the rainbow.  The use of color and how to implement it throughout your home is what separates you from the novice to the home with the designer touch! In most respects paint should be the back drop of your masterpiece.  It should compliment and enhance the tone and texture of your room.  The only time this rule is reversed is in modern minimalist design when a pop of strong color is the voice of the room.

Our final advice to anyone contemplating a redesign or remodel is to create a budget.  This needs to be done before you ever consider calling a designer or attempting to design on your own.  Even if you think the sky is the limit it’s not.  In the design world there is no limit to the cost of things and money can be spent rather quickly so to save you from over doing it or under doing it, have a budget in mind.  This also helps your designer guide you on how to spend your money in the best ways possible.  It is their job to deliver both function and design.   Budgets allow everyone to be on the same page and to make future plans so that your project is completed to not only your satisfaction, but also to your expectations.  A time budget also needs to be considered.  How long are you willing to give the designer to complete your project?  If a designer knows that your need to have your home ready for company by a particular date then they will work diligently to make that happen, but if no time allotment is ever discussed the designer may take their time completing your project.  Whether this be because they are over extended or just because they want to find the perfect elements for your home it is important to discuss prior to hiring them.  Both money and time budgets are important aspects of interior design and it is imperative to a successful and positive experience.

Designing in the Houston and the surrounding areas has been such a blessing.  Not just because of our steady economy, but because of Houston’s immense resources.  From the fabulous textiles at Interior Fabrics to the vast array of furniture, rugs, building supplies, and accessory havens, Houston is unsurpassed by most cities.  Not to mention our glorious art and antique districts.  Texas, especially Houston, is a cornucopia of design and we feel privileged to be right in the thick of it.  Lastly, we have one singular philosophy in our business, and that is Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” We know we are nothing without God and all our successes and talents are because he is at the center of our business.   It’s not the popular belief of today, but for us its enough.  If we don’t land that big account or we miss out on what we thought was a great opportunity we know its because it wasn’t his plan and in the same respect when we look over our 15 year old company and see how strong and successful it has become we can only be humbled by his grace on our lives!

Thank you for taking the time to read our two cents on interior design.  It is not only an honor but a pleasure to be asked to contribute to Interior Fabrics as they support of the local talent.  How humbling it is to be recognized by such a fantastic company.  We look forward to our future with this Interior Fabrics and if any of you would like to get in touch with us the adorable manager Lauren always knows how to find us!!!

via Frills Interior 

Spotlight Interior Designer: Karen Fortier

I love creating fantasies! My daughter, who lives in Dallas, has picked up the same ability for it and she does it with beautiful parties for her children.

I believe a good decorator is someone who loves to fantasize—and can then deliver that vision in the form of beauty in the home. Everyone benefits when a decorator and her client connect. Interior Fabrics always keeps up with the latest trends and always seems to be thinking of “fantasy places” because I am always able to make people’s ideas come togethinterior-designer-karen-fortierer with the wide array of selections they offer.

I now live in Houston, TX, my new home since Katrina (another “lemonade story”)—and whereas the “ball gown drape” is not asked for as often here, I am still having fun creating ambiance in even the most challenging places.

I’ve been blessed with loads of energy and ideas and I love sharing them with my clients. I look forward to possibly writing on this blog again in case there’s any interest of my philosophies and fantasies. Perhaps then, I’ll be able to talk about my two precious sons, their wives, and my five grandchildren… Yes, decorators can be grandmothers and create beautiful fantasies (you should see what I can do with a nursery)!

It’s been two  years since my precious and hysterically funny father passed away—and as I sit writing this abbreviated autobiography, I slightly tear up at the thought of how proud he would be of me…the class clown giving advice! We were three sisters and my dad thought everything we did was awesome. My parents raised three southern bells that were taught when life deals you and lemon then bless your heart, you best make lemonade. And thus went life…

One of my best batches of “lemonade” was created in the early 80’s when the oil business tanked (sound familiar?)—and everyone had become resourceful (we had three children in grade school at the time). All of my friends who were teachers went back to teaching and lawyers went back to the courtrooms. I, on the other hand, only had the innate ability to glue glitter on poster boards, decorate pretty dinner tables, and rearrange furniture—none of which, were big revenue makers at that time.

HGTV didn’t exist, and since Oprah beat me to the punch as the next big daytime celebrity (ha ha), I figured I’d better start making some lemonade! And this is what reinvented me—“Decorator on a Shoestring” was born. With tight budgets all around, the title seemed fitting to me. My service? Making old things look new for only twenty-five dollars. And it took off! I started taking apart old curtains, tying bed sheets with ribbons, and making cozy niches in everyone’s homes. One of my favorite things to do is to create a pretty master bedroom—a pretty look you might conjure up in your dreams when reading Danielle Steel romance novel—and I became pretty successful at it. I always laughed at the thought of how many marriages I might have saved by giving couples a beautiful bedroom.

When I started my business I was living in Lafayette, LA, and I was lucky enough to enjoy having my mother, the woman responsible for teaching me the love of beautiful things, work with me for the first 15 years. I also had the privilege of working with a lovely woman named Pearl, who is now deceased. Pearl was my drapery fabricator, and it was she who taught me how to measure and buy fabrics.

Within a few years, my husband and I moved to uptown New Orleans. The oil business was on the rise and silk drapes were all the rage. Uptown New Orleans homes, with all their old world charm, were blank canvases just waiting to be decorated. Two twenty yards of silk purchased from Interior Fabrics dressed up a window so well, they could just about serve as a ball gown for Mardi Gras (think Scarlett in Gone with the Wind). My creativity went wild! It was so easy to create beauty—simply adding details like fringe and pleats gave you windows to die for.

My theory has always been pretty things and pretty places make people calmer and nicer. I love showing someone how beautiful any space can become. If the budget is small, a good place to begin the beautifying process is the dining room. This room tends to have fewer windows than other rooms in the home, which ends up requiring less fabric. It’s an incentive starter—a pair of drapes and a couple of votive candles make any dining room look like a five star restaurant. It’ll be place in your home to retreat with that special someone, when the babysitter cancels on your date night!

Dallas Spotlight Designer: Julie Brush of Twin Designs

interior-designer-dallas-txFor more than 16 years, my twin sister and I have enjoyed designing and decorating both residential and commercial projects in the Dallas area. We are known for high quality and competitive pricing, on such products as drapery, shutters, shades, bedding ensembles, etc.  I enjoy accompanying my clients on shopping excursions to the World Trade Center, the Design District, and especially to Cutting Corners.

Cutting Corners is always my first stop because their prices are the lowest.  I’ll often shop for a base cloth fabric here, something I need a lot of yardage on, like for draperies or sofa upholstery.  I work with a lot of Jobber fabric books and often wonder how Cutting Corners can sell the very same fabric for $20/yd, that I see in a fabric Jobber book for $60/yd!  My clients and I like to save money on the basics here, so we can splurge on the finishing touches at the World Trade Center or the Dallas Design District.

Itwin-designs-interior-designer often shop their custom furniture department. Cutting Corners offers fashionable furniture styles in my choice of fabrics and deliver in 4-6 weeks.  Rather than shopping all over the market center, it’s so much easier to just order what we want and have it made.  The price is always reasonable and my clients and I love
the idea of having a piece made just for them.
I offer FREE consultations!  Let’s meet at Cutting Corners and design something as unique as you are!


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Main Street Interiors, LLC