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White Kitchen Renovation in Longmeadow

White Kitchen project with White cabinets and white granite counter tops in expansive kitchen

This island was designed so the whole family could sit and eat breakfast or lunch together.

Ten years ago when this Longmeadow family moved into their home, the kitchen had a dated style that they always hoped to update. Later having three young boys and two large dogs, their kitchen and dining space became not only outdated in style but also lacked the function needed for their growing family. The kitchen had very little counter space and a confined cooking area that was disjointed from the dining room. Because the dining room was removed from the kitchen, the family naturally gathered around the smaller eat-in table which further crowded the kitchen. Lisa Scheff Designs was brought onto the project with the goal of designing a more functional and modern white kitchen within the existing footprint of the home.

The Dining Room is Now Open to the Kitchen

We opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and moved it into the dining room just a bit to allow for the expansive kitchen island.

Lisa first widened the opening by removing most of the wall between the dining room and the kitchen, making an immediate impact on both the feel and the function of the space. The dining room no longer felt disconnected from the kitchen and both the line of sight and the flow of traffic in these areas improved dramatically, causing the space to feel much larger than it had previously.

Round Island Where the Family Can Gather

This round island is the perfect place to gather for meals, but we also made sure to light the space well so that the boys could also gather there to do their homework.

An over-sized island acted as a beautiful statement piece in the center of the kitchen. The island combined a rectangular counter height area for food preparation along with an attached circular island at bar height which serves as a central gathering place to dine in the kitchen. An island of this size is typically impossible to top with one continuous slab of stone. However, using these two connected pieces provided the desired length without any visible seams in the granite. Additionally, the raised circular design of the seating area creates a more intimate gathering space for family and guests.

Now This Space is Much More Open

The open flow of this room with numerous work surfaces allows the family to be together in one space while working on a variety of activities.

“The round eat-in island is perfect for our family,” comments the homeowner. “Instead of all facing the same direction, we are actually able to face each other when we are sitting around the island. And, when I’m drinking my morning coffee at the island, I can now see directly into the living room and dining room and can keep an eye on everything happening in house.”

Plenty of Storage in This Custom Island

Notice the additional breakfast bar overlooking the family room designed specifically so the kids would stop bringing snacks onto the sofa.

To maximize the family’s comfort and efficiency in this space, tile flooring was installed over radiant floor heating. The tile flooring will not only be durable enough to withstand heavy traffic from their family and two dogs, but also will conduct and radiate the heat most efficiently. Lisa Scheff Designs unified the space with a tranquil color palette and natural materials. Neutral colors and classic finishes ensure that this kitchen will be in style regardless of the current trends. As the finishing touch, red accessories and custom bar stools were used to bring in a fun pop of color that reflected the family’s lively personality.

This Kitchen Is Full of Function and Personality

Even the family dogs have something to love about this new space with heated floors below this beautiful wood-look plank tile creating a cozy place to lounge.

“This white kitchen was made for OUR family from top to bottom,” comments the homeowner. “That’s how I know that we will love it for years to come!”

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Grey and Cream Guest Bathroom

We know that gray is the new beige, that trend is nothing new, but grey doesn’t have to be used in a completely modern space.  We love this guest bathroom where modern meets traditional style.  Our vision was high end hotel feel with a simple clean look.

 guest bathroom

Here is a closer looks at the vanity wall vignette.  We chose a dark stain for the cabinetry to complement the white stone-top.  The square shades on the vanity sconces add to the modern appeal, while the dark wood on the vanity provides a bit of traditional style.  A pop of greenery by the sink provides an organic, fresh vibe that we love in any space.  Our favorite piece is the watercolor of a proud schnauzer.  We love to see the client’s personality come through in the accessories, and this family is a dog family. Plus, the warm colors in the painting complement our color palette.
guest bathroom

We didn’t ignore any details in this guest bathroom space.  The pebble tiles that we chose for the shower floor add to the organic feel, and are so interesting to look at.  Because this tile is busy, we limited its use to the shower floor, using a much more subdued large rectangular tile for the shower walls.

006_ScheffDesigns-2-2016Just because we limited the pebble tile to the shower floor doesn’t mean we limited the unique design elements to the shower floor.  While we kept the shower walls and ceiling monochromatic, we broke up the large rectangles with small square tiles made of the same material. We divided those tiles with a pencil molding to define the change.  Not pictured at this angle is the niche to house shampoo, soap, razors, etc.  Because we chose a glass shower door, we made sure to locate the niche in a somewhat hidden spot, to keep the room feeling clean.
guest bathroom

Would you like to have a guest bathroom like this in your home?  Call us today to schedule a design consultation to make your remodel dreams a reality.

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Color of the year 2015 – Marsala

IColor of the Yeart’s official: The Pantone Color of the Year of 2015 is… Marsala. “This earthy red has wine and a very warm brown underneath, which gives the feeling of groundedness, strength, and confidence,” says Leatrice Eisman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute.

This creamy wine hue is quite a bit different than last year’s Radiant Orchid, but it seems more versatile. Not as dramatic as oxblood or even burgundy, but a gorgeous terracotta red shade. While the Color of the Year can be applied to just about anything – from makeup to fashion – we focus our attention on where this color shows up in interior design. 

Color of the Year 2015 “It has a richness that lends sophistication. When you wear it, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy—you’ll find you get positive reactions form others and it builds up your confidence.” Eisman explains that we’ve seen glimpses of marsala in the late ‘60s into the ‘70s and a touch in the ‘80s, but it’s a very modern hue that totally suits the times.You may not have heard of Pantone, but the color authorities have been used as an industry resource for decades. After announcing the color of the millennium in 1999 there was so much public interest that Pantone decided to name a color every year based on their extensive research.

Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.  Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

 The Versatility of Marsala

  • interiors-in-tones-of-marsala Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury

Because of the brown undertones in marsala, it can be used both as a pop of color in a room or as the grounding “neutral.”

Generally, we suggest with the color of the year that you keep it to inexpensive pieces that are easy to change, but the neutral feel to this color will allow it last longer in a space than radiant orchard or emerald did.  This color can work well on upholstery, in rugs, as paint or in your accessories, but make sure to choose classic patterns and silhouettes to pair it with.

best-design-projects-marsala-2015-Pantone-Color-of-the-Year-rugs

Child Safe Shades by Hunter Douglas

child safe shadesThis revolutionary Hunter Douglas operating system uses a retractable cord mechanism to raise and lower the window shade. A constant cord length means there are never any long, dangling cords to detract from the appearance of the shade. These child safe shades by Hunter Douglas are ideal for child and pet safety.

Silhouette® window shadings have introduced the UltraGlide® 2 Click and Walk Away™ operating system. UltraGlide 2 offers convenient retractable cord operation that will lower and open the shading with just one click. It truly provides added convenience and promotes enhanced child safety. Check it out in this quick video.

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Motorized Blinds – Why Motorize?

motorized blindsThere are many reasons to consider motorized blinds, shades and drapery and the benefits go beyond the “wow, that’s cool” factor!

So, why go for motorized blinds or shades?

Convenience

The first major benefit to motorization is convenience.  At the push of a button, open and closing your shades, drapes or blinds are done in a snap.  You don’t have to move from the sofa, your desk, or the dinner table, especially if you’ve downloaded the Platinum App.  You can raise and lower all the shades in your window without having to go to every room; save yourself time by controlling every window in the house from your app.

Privacy

Motorization also helps to keep your home private, plus, enjoy greater peace of mind while away by making your home look occupied. By setting a daily timer for your shades, they will automatically raise and lower.  You can choose to lower your shades when the sun sets and raise them when your alarm goes off in the morning.  The sunlight in the morning will help to wake you up, and while you’re away, the change in the the position of the blinds will make your home appear lived-in to prevent break-ins.

Safety

There are other safety facets to power as well.  You can also raise and lower hard-to-reach windows whether they are up high, behind furniture or above a staircase. Don’t strain to reach a cord, climb on a counter or precariously lean over a stair railing. Let power control all your hard-to-reach windows allowing you to enjoy light when you want to but privacy and sun control when you need the shades closed.  Power shades also are cordless which eliminates the danger to children and pets from your home. Cords are a strangulation hazard for small children and pets.  There are other cordless options, but power allows for a clean look, and stream-lined function while protecting your loved ones.

Energy Efficiency

Finally, motorized shades help to keep your home climate controlled thus capitalizing on their energy efficiency.  There are features available to close the shades when your home gets too hot, thus preventing your house from heating up while you’re at work and forcing your cooling costs to rise.

The WOW factor

But let’s not under estimate that wow factor.  Besides all these great benefits, power shades are are sure to impress your friends!

Steps to Remodeling

Steps to a Complete Remodeling Project

1. Research & Visualize
Visualize how you want your remodeling to look. If it’s a kitchen, where will the appliances go? If it’s a living room, will there be a newly placed picture window? Find inspiration in magazines or online using houzz.com or Pinterest.com.  This is a good phase to start working with a designer so you can make concrete design decisions based off your vision.

2. Budget
Decide how much you are willing to spend on your remodel. Figuring out rough estimates can help you get an idea of how much you will have to spend. If you are borrowing, you must find out how much the bank will loan. Major upgrades, such as a bathroom remodel or a family-room addition, can run about $100 to $200 per square foot. Ask around to contractors for general quotes to get an even better idea on what your costs will be.

3. Hire
Hire a Contractor that can devise a plan for your remodel based on your design that is within your budget. Make sure this is someone you trust. You can rely on him/her to hire subcontractors for the labor that will be required. It is a good idea, but not necessary, to hire an architect as well. If it is within your budget, an architect can translate your vision and create a realistic floor plan.

4. Implement
When implementing your plan, stay a part of the development from start to finish. Even when hiring others to perform the labor, pay attention to detail. Make sure things are not only going according to plan, but that you are happy with it. In addition, be kind and respectful to your remodelers and they will do the same. Especially if you are living in your home throughout the process, remember that everyone who enters is your guest. You’re all in it together!

5. Decorate
When it comes time to decorate your new space, it is one option to hire an interior designer to come up with an exciting way to make the room beautiful. However, you want to start working with the designer at the beginning so that the ultimate vision can come together. Details such as placing outlets and lighting should take furniture and art placement into consideration.

When decorating, be sure to:

  • Consider the function of the room when piecing it together
  • Match furniture to the overall scale of the space
  • Create a theme and vibe for the feeling of the room
  • Design a creative color pallet and follow it through out
  • Make your room unique with interesting pieces
  • Utilize light to create aesthetic warmth and color
  • Don’t forget the window coverings!

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Pantone Color of 2014, Radiant Orchid

Pantone announced the Pantone Color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid, a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple, as the color of the year for 2014.  We love the idea of a bold punch of color in any room, but caution our clients about jumping aboard the color trends too quickly.

Pantone Color of 2014

Our Advice for the Color of the Year

Never purchase your big-ticket items in the trendy color.  Instead, allow the color to pop off an otherwise neutral palette.  That way, if you tire of the 2014 color or want to indulge in 2015’s bold punch, you can do so without breaking the bank.

The vibrancy of this color is sure to liven up neutrals including gray, beige and taupe. Uplifting and bold without being overpowering, Radiant Orchid reenergizes almost any color palette.

Choose items such as pillows, ceramic pieces, flowers, art work, throws and other accent pieces to show off the Radiant Orchid.  Notice how this bedroom on the left has three pieces in the Orchid that could easily change to blue, yellow, purple, red, etc. in the future.

Pantone Color of 2014

If a few items in Radiant Orchid is not enough for you, you can also consider painting your walls.  Paint is more of a commitment to the color, but relatively inexpensive to change down the road when it’s time to move on to a new color.  Plus, you don’t even have to paint the entire room to get the pop. Using an accent wall, painting the ceiling or painting behind cabinetry gives you a magnitude of color for very little money.  Notice in this dining room how the purple pops off the white trim, drapery and brown leather dining chairs.  There’s no need for more color in the room because wall color makes such a statement. Interest in the rest of the room is created through use of texture and layering various neutrals.

However, you can layer additional colors for an even bolder look. Radiant Orchid complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and offers a gorgeous combination when paired with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.

Here’s some information about Radient Orchid from Pantone.

“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past colors include:

  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

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Why Drapery Lining is Important

drapery lining

There is a distinct difference between ready-made curtains and custom drapery with drapery lining. With a custom product, not only do you get the exact fabric, style, colors, width, height, etc. that you are looking for, but you also get a higher quality product.

However, much of that quality comes from the fabric that you cannot see.  I’m talking about the lining. Because fabric costs can add up quickly, it’s easy to want to skimp on the lining when designing drapery: You can’t see the lining fabric in the room and it adds an additional cost. Nevertheless,  I urge you to reconsider that thought when choosing your window coverings.

Here’s why we use quality linings:

  • UV Protection: Protect the furniture and flooring your have in your home from fading and discoloration over time
  • Light Exclusion: Do you want blackout drapery? High-quality lining will help eliminate light seeping into your room in the morning.
  • Thermal Insulation: Keep the cold air out and the heat in during the winter and keep your air-conditioned air in and the hot air out during the summer months.
  • Noise Insulation: Do you live on a busy street?  Drapery can help muffle those noises to help you sleep.
  • Improve the Drape and Body:  Ready made curtains hang limp and lifeless at the window.  Properly lined drapery will be full and provide a softer frame to your windows.
  • Extend the Life of Fabric: Help protect the fabric you fell in love with in your custom drapery.

Lisa Scheff Designs uses high-quality drapery lining for all of these reasons to create custom, top-of-the-line products for your homes.

Call today to book your free drapery consultation.  

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Window Blinds – Before & After

We recently installed new window blinds in the waiting room at Robert Charles Photography, and we think it made a world of difference in the space.  Being a photography studio, of course, lots of photos were taken, and we love a good before and after shot!!! Check it out.

Before

As you can see, the old window coverings are functional but not beautiful to look at. When closed, they block a majority of the light, but still allow light to come through.  When open, the curtains make the windows look small, and the hardware looks frail. They are hung too low creating two horizontal lines, one from the paint line and another from the curtain rod.

Robert Charles Photography before

After

What a difference! The Hunter Douglas Vignette Modern Roman shade provides nearly complete light blocking when lowered allowing for ideal image viewing, and the custom drapery softens the edges and frames the windows perfectly. These are child safe, cordless window coverings, which is important for a photography studio that specializes in family portraits.  Not only are these window coverings cordless,  but they’re motorized.  That’s right, when you sit down to view your Robert Charles Photography photos, your consultant doesn’t have to leave their desk to darken the room.  There is a remote control, but they can also be raised and lowered using the Hunter Douglas Platinum App on an iPhone or iPad.

window blinds

RCP After 2

RCP after 2We chose to mount the Roman shades well above the window casing.  When raised, the Hunter Douglas Modern Roman shades provide the allusion that the windows keep going allowing us to alter the scale of the windows in proportion to these high ceilings without having to replace the windows.

rcp after 3

The fullness of the drapery softens the window’s edges, but the stationary panels mean much less fussing to keep the room looking complete.  The Roman shade replaces the functionality of the old curtains, and the custom drapery completes the look.

RCP after1

The new hardware is both functional and attractive, and the grommet header provides a modern feel.

We’re elated with how this space came out and glad to have helped Robert Charles Photography update their waiting room.  Book your holiday photography session with them and check out our window coverings when you’re in the studio.

Like what you see?  Book your free consultation to create a look like this in your home or office. 

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Check out Robert Charles Photography’s blog about the room as well!

Robert Charles Photography

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Upholstery Trends & Other Great Finds

We’re back in the office after a whirlwind trip to High Point Furniture Market.  We had a blast visiting showrooms and meeting with reps to find new lines, scoping out new furniture and upholstery trends and make sure we know about the latest products.   Here are some of our finds!

Bull artworkCows were all over the art scene at High Point, from bulls with their horns ready to strike to black and white dairy cows with a gentle face.  We love the concept of a cow, especially for a kitchen wall!!!

upholstery trends

We stumbled upon upholstered mirrors this market, and we must admit, we love it! You can customize this look with the colors in your fabric, the shape of the mirror and the nailhead design that you choose.  The possibilities are endless!!!

Upholstered Table with ottomansSpeaking of upholstered, how fun is this fully upholstered console table?  Store two small ottomans underneath and you have extra seating when needed and a burst of color all the time.  We can’t wait to use this in someone’s living room.

Tufted back chairEven more fun, a modern take on a wing chair with a fully tufted back.  This is a chair to float in the middle of a room where everyone can see all four sides.  Not only is it great to look at, but we think its very comfortable.

Custom Upholstered Dining ChairsOne of the new additions we brought home from market is this line of completely custom upholstered dining chairs. Choose your leg, choose your seat, choose your back, choose your fabric… Do you want button tufting? No buttons? Channel back? Nail head? No nail head?  You decide.  Plus, these come at a great price-point.

Custom Upholstered couch

We also found a new line of custom upholstery that is so comfy, modern and at a great price point.

It was definitely a successful trip to market.  These are only a few of the finds.  We’re back, inspired and ready to create.  Call us today to book your free consultation and check out more of our market finds.

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We absolutely love the window treatments–what a difference they make! I love the fabric, the silhouettes, everything! And the blinds even look really nice from the outside. I never really paid much attention to that before, but it does make a difference!

FREE Guide to to Planning Your Kitchen Renovation.

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