Elisa Spence Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


Hiring an interior designer is a great way to create a chic, stylish home that matches your families’ personality and unique needs. You won’t need to worry about shopping for new pieces to complete a look and worry that it will look out of place. Because don’t we all?

Decorating can be fun. But creating a cohesive look isn’t easy and it’s certainly not everyone’s talent. How many times have you brought a new piece of decor home only to realize there’ something about that just isn’t quite right?

Hiring an interior designer is a great way to skip past awkward trial and error growing pains in a room you love.

Here’s what you need to know about hiring an interior designer:

Know your budget. You will need not only need to plan for your designers time and expertise but also for the decor they have chosen for you. You’ll also want to know how they source their furniture selections. Aka are they choosing pricey one of a kind custom pieces? Know what your preferred designers pay structure is and if you’ll need to invest upfront or make payments throughout your time together.

What services are you expecting to receive? Not all designers work in the same way or offer the same services. And not everyone expects the same services either! Decide if you would like a consultation, design concepts drawn up or for them to manage the project from beginning to end. Think of it this way - how much time do you want to personally spend on this project?

Take time going over different designer’s portfolios to get a feel for their style. You should work with a designer whose style jives with your own. So with that said, you should have a good idea of your own style and that of your household. You might be fine with mid-century modern furniture, but maybe your partner can’t stand it.

Have a Pinterest board of your inspiration ready to share with your designer. Even if you don’t see a cohesive theme across your board, a designer will. Which is why you are hiring them! While it is possible to be all over the place, if you the pins you’ve chosen intuitively feel good together you are probably on to something!

Communicate openly about what current pieces in your home are important to you. What has to stay, no question? And what are you willing to part ways with? This is really important to know ahead of time. You don’t want to realize your favorite piece is missing from the blueprint while your designer is presenting it. Instead, be upfront about it and your designer can work the whole room around that item.


Anyone who’s ever been in an outdated house or hotel room can tell you that the way we decorate can have an effect on our mood. Certain colors, lack of lighting, and cluttered rooms are all things that, whether we realize it or not, can have a negative effect on our mood and productivity.

These concepts aren’t recent realizations. In ancient China and India, concepts of architecture and decorating have been teaching proper design techniques for thousands of years. Today, these schools of thought are often lumped into the field of environmental psychology.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about a few design techniques that will help you and your houseguests feel more welcome in your home and create a tone that matches your desires, whether that’s relaxed or energized.

The effects of color

With a quick Google search, you’ll find hundreds of articles discussing the psychological effects of colors. What many fail to mention is the way these effects are based on things like the culture and time period we grow up in.

However, you may find that guests to your home will feel more comfortable in light, neutral- colored rooms than they will in a room that’s painted bold colors.

On a room-by-room basis, there tend to be certain colors that Americans associate with the “right” colors for the occasion.

However, this is often influenced by the architectural style of the house more than an internalized idea about specific colors.

How much is too much?

It’s easy to accumulate home decor and find your walls and surface becoming a little too cluttered. However, bare walls and sparsely decorated rooms can feel a bit too sterile and unlivable. Is there a balance between the two?

Oftentimes the best solution is to follow one simple decorating principle:

Rather than using several small items to decorate a room, choose just a few larger items. This will prevent the room from appearing cluttered but still give it a sense of character.

Taking advantage of the full area of a room

So far, we’ve been talking about how colors and decor can make a room feel more spacious and welcoming. But, even if you have a small room, you can still often achieve this effect.

One solution is to add brighter lighting to the room. Increasing the light makes to room feel more open. And, if possible, natural lighting is the best option, as it can reduce any feelings of claustrophobia.

If better lighting or windows aren’t an option, many homeowners turn to mirrors to make a room feel larger. Larger, wall-hanging mirrors are an excellent way to give the illusion of spaciousness in a small room.


Using the psychology behind these three decorating principles, you’ll be able to make you and your houseguests feel more at ease within your home.


One of the most difficult decisions to make when refinishing a room is how much of a current trend to inspire your choices. Jumping in with two feet can be fun and certainly create a wow factor. However, trends can also quickly become outdated and if you’ve invested a lot of time and money into a particular one you will also have to spend a lot of time and money to change it.

Luckily, this isn’t an all or nothing situation. So whether your current obsession is mid-century modern or shabby chic you can satisfy your style preference without making a top to bottom change in a few months or years.

To start, keep bigger items like the wall color, flooring, and furniture neutral in both style and color. What I mean by this is to choose furniture that is inspired by or similar, but simpler, to a more trendy piece. And neutral doesn’t have to mean beige. Blacks, grays, blues, browns, whites, and creams with just a hint of the desired hue are perfect multitaskers that transcend both trends and time.

For example, if you want pink for a blush-toned creme or for green a sage infused blue. If you’re craving color black and white create the perfect canvas for colorful accessories to really pop and make a statement. Navy and charcoal are neutral but underutilized colors that allow you to give a little push style boundaries.

Bring in those pops of color with accents. Wall art, decor, throw pillows, curtains and bedding are perfect ways to do just that. Incorporate your favorite new colors and patterns throughout the room for a consistent look and not as if you haphazardly placed pieces as an afterthought.

The best part of using these details to infuse your trend of choice is that they enable you to go as bold or subtle as you like. Curtains or a comforter in a bright color or a bold print capture the eye immediately. Throw pillows and wall art, on the other hand, make for a room filled with personality.

It’s always fun to incorporate trends when we are decorating. It gives the room your unique brand of personality and brings the space to life. Cleverly choosing your larger items to remain understated to allow your trendy pieces take the spotlight is the perfect way to join in while also staying flexible if you tire of it or want to change things up down the road.

You’ll also be making a more budget-friendly project by choosing neutral tones for your investment pieces. They will be able to carry over decades to come while transcending, for the most part, the many trends it is sure to outlive.     


When it comes to arranging furniture, the living room may perhaps be the most challenging. This is especially true when the room houses both a fireplace and a television. It’s difficult to decide where to place the items in your living room when you want those seated in the room to have access to all the room has to offer including a good view of the TV and the fireplace. Here, we’ll give you some tips on where to place what for the perfect living room arrangement. We promise that if you follow these tips, everyone will have the perfect view of both the TV and the fireplace and be able to enjoy the living room fully. Think Right Angles First, place all of your seating perpendicular to both the television and the fireplace. This is one surefire way to know that every seat in the living room is the best seat in the house. There’s no wrong way to arrange furniture when you’re working with right angles! Place the TV On the Wall Opposite the Fireplace The fireplace will be the true focal point of the room. The TV will also be a feature of the room, yet less eye-catching. Where the television is installed will completely depend upon where your fireplace is. You may want to avoid, for example, hanging your TV over the fireplace so that eyes don’t become overwhelmed when the fireplace is on. Place Tables For Practical Use Side tables are going to be used frequently in your living room. You should place your side tables strategically, preferably next to pieces of furniture, so they can be used for placing items and drinks on. Putting tables far away from the ends of furniture just doesn’t make sense, since you won’t actually be using the tables. Center the Coffee Table The coffee table should be placed as close to the center of the room as possible. A coffee table should be somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of the length of your couch. This rule of interior design ensures that no piece within the room becomes too overwhelming in the space. Flow One of the best words to remember when arranging living room furniture is that of “flow.” You want the room to appear as if it were effortless to design and maintain. The living room is a place that is often used for to relax in, so you want it to feel as such. Function Beyond the look and feel of the room, you want to make sure that your living room is functional. It’s a room that’s used for reading, chatting, watching television and connecting. You never want to room to feel stuffy or unusable. With the right planning and use of your furniture, your living room can be everyone’s go-to room in the house. You won’t even need a bowl of popcorn on movie night to entice everyone with!



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