Ask A Designer

wow question

In case you didn’t notice we have an exciting category called Just Ask. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to answer your design questions and dilemmas, doing so once a week. This idea of helping as many people as I can with interior design was one of the main reasons I created the blog; to share my years of experience and lessons collected as a professional designer making good design available to anyone who is interested. I answer all questions sent and post one or two questions and answers to share with readers. So often we all experience similar design challenges, previously asked questions are also posted on the Just Ask home page for your reference.

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Exposed Brick Bliss

brick bliss

I am obsessed with exposing brick when designing interiors. It doesn’t matter if the environment is modern or traditional the earthy character and warmth it can bring to a space is unmatched. In essence exposing brick is like adding an accent wall or a wow factor into your design. It blends with any color scheme, instantly adds a cool factor to your space and you can hang whatever you want on it (how to hang; read here). Above this work space shows how brick can even work when incorporating alittle shabby chic vibe and pastel hues. Read more

Picking The Perfect Paint

accent wall

Q. We just bought a new house and I need to pick paint colors for several rooms. Can you tell me where to start and also what color to paint the trim?

A. Selecting paint colors for an entire home is not an easy task. I can share some simple tips with you to help facilitate the process and get you started selecting. I like to decide first where my bold and radiant colors will be. It could be the entrance foyer, a dining room or a kitchen that has “color”. Then create a neutral palette of two or three tones for the rest of that floor. Read more

Wow Factor Defined


To find or create that dramatic feature that can inspire your design is the the theory behind the Wow Factor. Achieving balance in a design creates a space that you want to spend time in and enjoy. When clients hire me to “fix” a design they already started, many times the room is filled with several wow factors (because they are the unique  pieces that we love to buy) and your eye is bouncing from piece to piece. Start with one, build the design from there and add additional wow as needed.

This dramatic window is the wow factor with carved moldings and intricate iron work. Because this wow factor is so tremendous in scale and “wow”  it needs some of the design decisions around it to be bold to create  balance. The radiant turquoise creates the perfect backdrop for the window combined with the clean lines of the modern furniture, resulting in a perfectly balanced space.

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Southampton Style: New York


With summer coming to a close I am starved for that glorious feeling of an endless summer day. One that Southampton can absolutely deliver. Elle Decor toured this stunning Victorian, home of Quinn Pofahl and Jaime-Jime’nez and its charm speaks for itself.

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Upholstery Perfect


Q. Are sectionals better than two sofas?

A. One is not actually better than the other, choosing the two sofas vs. a sectional just offers more flexibility.  As a designer I typically would choose the piece that is best for the room but the practical side of me would choose piece that offers more options for the future. The idea that if someone moves to a new place the sofas can be used in different rooms by simply re upholstering one is very appealing. I select furniture for my clients throughout the year and love Kincaid for everyday and CR Lane when the budget allows. I also like that your space plan can change configuring the sofas in an L, on an angle across from each other or simply straight adjacent to each other.

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Flat Screen Senarios

Hiding a TV in the Living Room

Q. How can I hide my flat screen in the formal living room? Lydia

A: This is a question I am faced with frequently on projects. The first step is to determine the layout of your furniture. This will determine the orientation of the sofa to the flat screen. I find most people want the sofa adjacent to the flat screen. At the same time you need to decide if you are good with having the flat screen over the mantle. Many of my clients do not want the flat screen over the fireplace because they feel it is too high up for viewing, it can take away from a beautiful mantel or they have a fabulous piece of art that they hoped would go over the mantel. Whatever the reason it is your choice and can work in other areas as well that would not be a focal point. Read more