Interior Design: A How-To Guide for Bay Area Homeowners

Your home can be a place where beauty, style, and functionality come together and create an atmosphere that reflects your unique taste, be it contemporary, traditional, modern, industrial or a little of everything. Here are some FAQs about interior design.

How do I get started with an interior design project?

How do I improve the lighting in my home?

What kind of window coverings does my home need?

How do I make a budget for my interior design project?

How do I choose paint colors?

Why should I reupholster old furniture?

Should I turn my kitchen into an open kitchen?

Are high-end fixtures any better than cheap ones?

Why do my new hardwood floors need to "acclimate"?

Banner Photo: J. Hettinger Interiors, 2016

            

GETTING STARTED
How to Break the Ice with Design

by Donna Merritt, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and manager of Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders

interior design entryway
Magazines are a great source for redecorating ideas; save clips of ideas that catch your eye. Photo: Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders, 2016

When planning for a remodeling project, many homeowners find design to be the most intimidating aspect. Fortunately, for those who don’t know where to begin, there’s an easy and effective way to “break the ice” when it comes to composing your vision...
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LIGHTING
Turn on the Bright Lights: Exterior and Interior Lighting Basics

interior design dramatic lighting
One important principle of interior lighting design is providing light at all levels. Photo: Artistic Lighting & Electric, 2016

Have you ever been in a seemingly well-lit room and suddenly found yourself straining to see? If so, you know how frustrating bad lighting can be. And yet, many people continue to regard lighting as purely one-dimensional...
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WINDOWS
Window Covering Tips

interior design bedroom curtains
Aside from color and design, consider a new window covering’s impact on the view, privacy and light control. Photo: Sigura Pro Painting, 2016.

Even if you put a lot of effort into selecting your windows, you might overlook an important related aspect: how the windows will be covered. Not everyone realizes that window coverings comprise an entire industry, with a wide variety of styles from which to choose. To help you navigate this extensive field, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in with their window covering tips...
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BUDGETING
Gauging the Cost of an Interior Redesign

HARDWOOD FLOORS
Hardwood Floor Acclimation

by Mike Goldberg, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and president of Lawrence Furnishings

interior design hardwood floors
During the acclimation period, your home’s temperature should be kept at a steady 68 to 75 degrees to ensure thorough acclimation. Photo: Lawrence Furnishings, 2016

When planning to install a hardwood floor, an important aspect of the process to be aware of is the acclimation period. This typically begins seven days prior to installation, at which time your flooring supplier will deliver the product to your home. This advance introduction to the home environment gives the moisture in the wood a chance to acclimate, or “warm up,” to the new climate conditions.
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FABRICS
Choose a Fabric that Performs (So You Don’t Have To)

by Ron Smith, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and owner of J. Hettinger Interiors

interior design fabric samples
Keep in mind that better fabrics will be priced higher. Photo: J. Hettinger Interiors, 2016

Ready for a makeover? Whether your old sofa needs a facelift or you’re redecorating your entire home, selecting fabrics will be a key part of the design process. Here are some tips to keep in mind...
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COLOR SCHEMES
Choosing Paint Colors

INTERIOR DESIGN paint colors
A crucial aspect of painting your home is choosing a color scheme you’ll enjoy looking at for years. Photo: Classic Shades Painting Co., 2016

One of the most challenging aspects of any interior painting project is selecting colors. If you don’t believe it, just take a look at any color swatch gallery and try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume and variety of options...
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OPEN KITCHENS
Opening Up: Kitchens for the Modern Home

interior design open kitchen
An open kitchen can brighten a home, make it feel larger and improve the traffic flow. Photo: Construction Services, 2016

Real estate and construction experts agree that the preference for open floor plans is more than simply a trend—it’s evidence of a lifestyle shift and is likely to become even more important in the future. So, what should you consider if you live in a home with a closed-off kitchen?
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FIXTURES
Why You Should Never Skimp on Kitchen or Bath Fixtures

interior design fixtures bathroom
Contractors prefer to use high-quality fixtures that will stand the test of time. Photo: Saratoga Kitchen & Bath Design, Inc., 2016

Homeowners are faced with a multitude of choices when it comes to picking fixtures for bathroom or kitchen remodels, all of which vary widely in both price and quality. Not surprisingly, this has created an influx of low-cost, low-quality products that are usually sold at big-box stores, which are typically more focused on increasing sales volume than providing long-term value...
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