Blog Archive

Arlington Home Interiors is a full-service interior design studio based in Arlington Virginia that provides smart, functional living spaces for today’s modern families. Arlington Home Interiors serves Northern Virginia and the surrounding Washington DC metro area.

VOTE FOR THE BEST OF ARLINGTON!

Voting is now open for Arlington Magazine’s ‘Best of Arlington 2020’. It’s a great chance to support your favorite local businesses. And guess what? There just happens to be a ‘Best Interior Designer’ category! <Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.>

Arlington Home Interiors has been a top vote getter for several years. This time, we’d love to be number one with your help! Click here to cast your vote. Voting is open until 9/9/19.

FUNDRAISER FOR WESTOVER MERCHANTS

We wanted to share a special GoFundMe effort for Arlington's Westover Shopping Center, which was flooded last Monday (7/8/19) when 4.5 inches of rain fell in one hour.

Ayers Hardware, the Westover Beer Garden and other shops had their main levels and storage basements inundated with water. These small, mom & pop businesses are the heart and soul of what makes Arlington so special.

A campaign for the Westover merchants has been established to help the businesses cover cleanup costs, property repair costs, inventory damage costs and associated loss-of-business costs. If you want to contribute, please click here.

We wish them a speedy recovery.

EVERYONE LOVES A HAPPY ENDING

In the world of interior design, there’s nothing more satisfying than a great before & after photo. They’re just so instantly satisfying–like a little story with a guaranteed happy ending.

Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite before & afters to share, including; a living room, a family room and a master bedroom. Read on for a few behind the scenes insights into the clients’ challenges and as well as our design solutions.

PROJECT 1: FINDING A ROOM’S HIDDEN POTENTIAL

Open space floor plans are all the rage. When the plan features the kitchen and family room in the back of the house, they often have living rooms in the front that are underutilized. That was the case for this classic Arlington bungalow.

Photo: Jenn Verrier

Photo: Jenn Verrier

Our client joked that their living room had become the sporting equipment room. But we saw a space that was full of beautiful light and lots of potential. It was the first room guests see when entering the house so we wanted to make sure it made a big impression.

For the palette, we knew we wanted a neutral background, with some pattern, and burnt orange to connect to the walls in the adjacent dining room. We went with taupe, navy and orange, with a mix of furnishings that conveyed a library meets lounge vibe, including a contemporary Chesterfield sofa, round velvet chairs and Shagreen-faced side tables. For the final touches, we used a mix of materials – brass, glass, marble, leather, sisal and family-friendly linen & velvet.

The end result: A quiet place where our clients can escape to read or maybe have friends over for a glass of wine. The space is no longer a pass-by but an actual destination.

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PROJECT 2: THE EVERYDAY LIVING TEST

Family rooms need to be functional, comfortable and durable to withstand the demands of everyday living – kids, pets, spills and everything in-between. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style!

Photo: Robert Radifera, Styling: Charlotte Safavi

Photo: Robert Radifera, Styling: Charlotte Safavi

For this project we wanted to brighten up our clients’ traditional arts and crafts furnishings. We selected a fresh, transitional style that better suited their current tastes, needs and lifestyle.

Textured performance fabrics and thoughtful accessories wake up this open space. We love the mix of warm metals combined with the pops of yellow and teal. The plush ottoman provides a comfy spot to kick-up your feet, additional storage underneath and it also doubles as extra seating for having friends over for game night.

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PROJECT 3: A STAYCATION-WORTHY RETREAT

The traditional bungalow is a true Arlington classic. I love this charming architectural style but you do need to get creative to maximize your cozy space. That’s what our returning clients requested when they asked us to redesign their bungalow’s master bedroom.

Photo: Jenn Verrier

Photo: Jenn Verrier

For this project, we wanted a modern, boutique hotel vibe. By taking this approach, we could give these busy parents with two little ones a true luxurious retreat that would fit within the room’s smaller scale.

We designed a custom tall-channeled headboard in blue velvet and used this as the jumping off point for our design. We also commissioned extra narrow bedside tables made in cherry that were designed to fit the tight spaces and still provide ample storage.

By combining mid-century modern pieces with classic brass lighting and a few funky touches, we were able to provide these two busy parents their own private hotel suite, perfectly suited for a sophisticated staycation.

And if these photos inspire you to make a change in your living space, we’d love to help! Drop us a note, anytime.

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FINDING THE RIGHT WINDOW TREATMENT

Photo: Jenn Verrier

Photo: Jenn Verrier

I love natural light. The more the better. But with that said, window treatments are an absolute must. They add softness, color, pattern and texture, and they’re another opportunity to express your personal style. They also provide light control and privacy and can also help hide architectural flaws in a room. The challenge however is they’re labor intensive and can be an investment. So, let’s break down the mystery of finding the right window treatment.

Click here to see our favorite styles in action and find out why these are our “go-to” window treatment solutions.

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START YOUR SUMMER NOW (WITH MUSIC)

Would you serve warm beer at your cook-out? Of course not! That’s crazy. Well, having a summer get-together without a solid list of sunny tunes is almost as big a faux pas. Not to worry. We (and by “we” I mean, Mark) have you covered with AHI Summer Sounds, a custom Spotify playlist for your next outdoor gathering.

Click here to start streaming! (And pass Mark a cold one.)

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EMPTY NEST DREAM SUITE

After 20 years in their current home, Don and Marcia B. decided it was time to fulfill their dreams by modernizing their master bedroom suite. These empty nesters were ready to reclaim their space!

They hired a contractor to reconfigure the layout of their master bedroom, sitting room and master bath and then brought in Arlington Home Interiors to help with the numerous design decisions involved with a renovation.

For this feature, we’re going to try something a little different–a “before & after” tale told from the clients’ perspective.

Before

Before

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

Don: “We decided to hire an interior design consultant for a number of reasons. We wanted someone to help us limit the choices. From colors, to fabrics, to hardware and furniture, we felt overwhelmed by all the choices and wanted someone to narrow the range down to a manageable level. We also wanted the space to bring us joy and be harmonious.”

Don: “From our first meeting with Suzanne and throughout the process, we experienced the team as thoughtful, conscientious, and creative. They listened carefully to what we hoped to accomplish, then suggested alternatives that met our wishes.

We wanted to hire someone who cared about how colors and fabrics and textures went together. Someone who could visualize the experience that the rooms would create. And, someone who knew where to find quality items that wouldn’t break the bank.”

Before

Before

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

Don: “The existing layout for our master bedroom made no sense to us (even though we had not changed it in the 20 years we had lived here!). The walk-in closet meandered along the entire back wall of the room. Its layout was such that it prevented us from taking advantage of the beautiful views we had out of our back windows overlooking woods and a creek.”

Don: “In the bedroom and newly created sitting room, they helped us choose colors, window treatments and furniture that makes the space feel very warm, tranquil and inviting. Already, we find ourselves lounging in the sitting room, enjoying the views and marveling at the beauty of the space Suzanne and her team helped us create.”

Before

Before

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

Don: "Our bathroom had a large jacuzzi tub that while functional, was used at most once a year. And given that we are quite active at the gym and the golf course, the tub simply became a place to let our workout clothes dry before lugging them down to the basement laundry."

Don: “From the textured tile that we used in the shower, to the stand-alone soaking tub that replaced the jacuzzi, to the glass tile that serves as the backsplash for the vanity, every choice added wow factors to the space.”

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

After Photo: Jenn Verrier

Don: "There is no way we could have created this design on our own. While Suzanne let us make final decisions, the array of choices she put before us allowed the decisions to work well together. The team was engaged and shared our excitement at the transformation of the space. We couldn’t have been more satisfied with the professional expertise they brought to the project."

For more photos, visit our Projects section.

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CELEBRATE THE OUTDOORS

I love this magical time of year when it’s not too muggy, the mosquitos are still sleeping and the sun lingers into the early evening. Let’s make the most of it! We’ll help you get started by sharing an outdoor project of ours for inspiration as well as a simple, delicious sangria recipe!

The April issue of Washingtonian Magazine features an outdoor project where we turned a clients’ new deck into the perfect space for al fresco entertaining.

After completing an extensive landscaping project and building a large new deck, our clients wanted to create an outdoor living space. They were looking for a bright, happy setting to enjoy with friends and family, dine outdoors, and make the most of their wooded view.

We first started with a neutral palette inspired by the weathered gray of the deck. Shades of gray work well with contemporary furniture. We chose durable, weather-resistant materials such as wicker and manmade composite-stone for the table tops. To give the design a more collected/curated look, we chose furnishings from multiple manufacturers. Corral and teal accents and accessories were added to bring in a cheerful, warm weather vibe.

Designer tip: Add years to your outdoor furniture by purchasing heavy duty covers. (I recommend Covermates.) Use covers off-season and during the week when you don’t have time to play. Also, for this project we sourced a large outdoor storage container (not shown) to house pillows and covers when not in use.

 
Photos: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Photos: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

All-weather furniture has come a long way in terms of style and comfort. We love the sophisticated lines of these outdoor dining chairs, plus they’re really comfortable for lingering after a casual meal.

Make the most of the outdoors while you can! There’s nothing like a little al fresco entertaining.

SANGRIA RECIPE

Sangria is my favorite warm weather, party drink. It's super refreshing, easy to make, and as an extra bonus, you get the tasty treat of eating the wine & brandy-soaked fruit at the bottom of the glass.

Here's a tasty sangria recipe we found on tastyeverafter.com. Enjoy!

Produce:

  • 2-Apples (green apples for added color)

  • 1-Lemon (thinly sliced)

  • 1-Orange (thinly sliced)

Drinks:

  • 1/2 cup Orange juice

  • 1-liter Sparkling water (Sprite works well, too)

Wine & Liquor:

  • 1/2 cup Brandy

  • 1 bottle of moderately priced red wine

Makes 12 cups (that will go down way too quickly).

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AHI GETS GLAMMY IN DC MODERN LUXURY

We’re breaking out the bubbly here in the AHI office to toast our new spread in the April issue of DC Modern Luxury! The feature includes 3 big, beautiful pages from our Bloomingdale Row House project in Northwest D.C.

Our clients – two on-the-go professionals with a lovable, extra-large Labrador – preferred a clean, modern style. Their challenge was maximizing and connecting their home’s long, open floor plan. They wanted more continuity between the first floor sitting areas so they felt cohesive and better suited for entertaining. Our design concept needed to be both highly functional and extremely chic.

For the entry area, we added a large statement mirror and a custom live-edge console to create an impactful, yet welcoming, foyer. We love the sleek lines of the table lamp which echo the console’s curve and the play of textures against the original brick wall.

Photos: Robert Radifera, Styling: Charlotte Safavi

Photos: Robert Radifera, Styling: Charlotte Safavi

As soon as I saw their high ceilings, I knew the Serge Mouille inspired light fixture would be perfect for this living room. We paired an oversized coffee table with their existing butterscotch leather sofas to create an intimate conversation area near the fireplace. Their backless chaise allows for easy seating when entertaining. Matching custom carpets connect and expand the footprint of each living area.

The bay window was converted into an additional sitting area to maximize the seating for entertaining. Floor-to-ceiling navy panels create drama in the niche and further define the space. The chair arms are wrapped in German silver adding a modern-deco vibe and are perfectly placed for an intimate conversation. A petite, marbled-based table provides just the right amount of space for an evening cocktail.

A handmade, brown steel light anchors the dining room space. We love how the scale of the oversized art creates instant impact while also providing a visual separation from the living space. We finished this install just in time for our clients to host Thanksgiving at this table – which extends to seat even more guests!

One of our clients works from home, so creating a personalized home office that was stylish and functional was high on their list. We commissioned built-ins to maximize the space and storage and to provide a handsome, organized feel. A custom cut, Moroccan inspired rug enlarges the space. The desk faces the wrap-around windows with vistas of DC rooftops to provide a welcomed distraction during daily conference calls.

Our clients were so excited with the outcome they invited Mark and I over for a Happy Hour celebration! Visit our Projects section for more fabulous photos of this inviting, modern space with just the right touch of glam.

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CREATING A BOUTIQUE HOTEL VIBE AT HOME

We're thrilled to be featured in Arlington Magazine's 'Great Spaces' section this month with a stylish master bedroom retreat we created for a pair of busy parents raising two little ones.

We had worked with this wonderful couple before so when they contacted us to redesign their master suite, we couldn't wait to help! They purchased their classic Arlington bungalow several years ago and have been transforming their home one space at a time.

For this project, we wanted a modern, boutique hotel vibe. By taking this approach, we could give them true luxury that would fit within the room’s smaller scale.

Photos: Jenn Verrier

Photos: Jenn Verrier

Our clients wanted to match the modern/mid-century style of the rest of their home. They needed all new furnishings that maximized the space and better reflected their style.

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We designed a custom tall-channeled headboard in blue velvet and used this as the jumping off point for our design. We also commissioned extra narrow bedside tables made in cherry that were designed to fit the tight spaces and still provide ample storage.

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Herringbone wallpaper was installed above the wainscoting to add nuanced texture. Layered lighting, coming from multiple wall sconces and a floor lamp, provides calm, romantic, indirect lighting at night. The window cornices provide clean lines and hide the black-out shades underneath – which are perfect for sleeping in on Saturday mornings!

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We added a relaxing reading corner with a bold patterned Wesley Hall armchair paired with a Mongolian fur foot stool for a little fun. A super-soft carpet that we had custom-bound to fit the room ties everything together.

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A hand-crafted cherry dresser by Gat Creek anchors a gallery wall full of family photos, curated art selections and a Samsung Portrait TV. (They’re worth checking out if you’re shopping for a TV.)

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By combining mid-century modern pieces with classic brass lighting and a few funky touches, we were able to provide our two busy parents their own private hotel suite, perfectly suited for a sophisticated staycation.

Want to see more photos from this project? Visit our Projects section for more inspiration.

If you’re dreaming of your own bedroom getaway, we’d love to help. Send us a note and let’s talk!

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UPDATE WITHOUT REMODELING: 5 KITCHEN IDEAS

Photo: Jen Dowell

Photo: Jen Dowell

If you’re ready to make a major change to your kitchen but not quite ready for a renovation, we have 5 upgrade ideas that won’t require a full remodel. Some of the ideas are DIY, others may require some outside help, but the changes will be dramatic and (bonus!) will increase the value of your home.

Roll up your sleeves and let’s get started! Click here for the full list. Let us know if you need any resources to help you get started!

If you found these tips helpful, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note at hello@arlingtonhomeinteriors.com.

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MODERN CONDO MAGIC

You don’t necessarily have to start completely from scratch to make a good space GREAT.

A recent client wanted to add a little zing to the modern condo he had just moved into. His new place needed some personality and more areas of focal interest. It was our job to elevate this space to a new level of “wow.”

Photos: Jenn Verrier

Photos: Jenn Verrier

For the master bedroom, we started with a fabulous Phillip Jeffries wall covering with a leather-like texture. Artwork was also a key to making this project pop with originality. We sourced a beautiful piece of original art by Petros Koublis (above) to center over the bed, and two dramatic pieces (below) to flank the TV over the dresser.

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We also added custom window cornices to embellish the standard condo windows, and to accentuate the tall ceilings.

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For the living room, we selected a bold Sputnik chandelier to amp up the glam factor and to complement our client’s Mid-century pieces. And the Fiddle Leaf fig in the corner helps draw the eye up.

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We used a natural woven geometric wall covering to add dimension to the living room’s main wall.

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To add personality to the standard white kitchen island, we installed a fabulous glass-tile with a metallic sheen.

The client was thrilled with the outcome (so were we)! What was a once a standard condo unit is now a one-of-a-kind, personalized living experience.

To see more photos from this modern condo makeover, visit our Projects section.

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THINK SMALL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Sporting fabulous hats from One Fresh Hat, a small merchant from Ellicott City, MD.

Sporting fabulous hats from One Fresh Hat, a small merchant from Ellicott City, MD.

I saw this wonderful quote the other day that I have to share; “When you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance.“ Take it from a small business owner; it’s true! Small businesses are the realization of someone’s personal dream. These owners care more about quality, service and their customer’s experience than about being the next big brand. So as you prepare for to shop for the holidays, I encourage you to “think small!”

To help get you get started, our team has curated a special Holiday Gift Guide of our favorite new discoveries, including; artists, crafters, makers and other small merchants. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of these inspiring entrepreneurs and to learn more about their work and their passion.

We hope this list helps you find something extra special.

2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Kim Meacham and her daughter, Whisper

Kim Meacham and her daughter, Whisper

MILK STREET SOAP

Mark and I met Kim Meacham, the co-owner of Milk Street Soap this fall during a rainy, chilly and very muddy craft fair. Kim and her daughter Whisper (I love that name!) blew us away with their boundless enthusiasm. They live on Ocracoke Island, NC, where they make homemade soaps and green living products using meticulously sourced earth conscience ingredients. They joked about how they perfected their products by 'human' testing them on approximately 750 of 800 island residences. We were so inspired, we bought a huge stack of amazing soaps for stocking stuffers. We plan to visit their shop this summer on our annual OBX trip!

WALKING OLIVE

Tracy Shue, owner of Walking Olive in York, PA, creates the sweetest needle-felted dogs you’ve ever seen. From Irish Wolfhounds to spotted Bull Terriers to Bernese Mountain Dogs, you can tell each pup is hand made with love. They make perfect ornaments for your dog-loving, loved ones. Plus, a portion of each sale is donated to organizations doing good work for animals. Her craft fair displays are amazing little vignettes – I see a children’s book deal in her future!

LIVIN’ THE PIE LIFE

Who wouldn’t love to receive the best homemade pie in Virginia this holiday season? (And I literally mean the best pie according to Buzzfeed, Delish.com and Washingtonian Magazine.) Heather Sheire and Wendy MacCallum, co-owners of Arlington’s Livin’ The Pie Life, started selling pies at the local farmers market before moving to their cute as heck shop on Glebe Road. They make everything by hand in small batches using locally sourced ingredients and no additives or preservatives. Fair warning: Their pies sell out fast! They start taking holiday orders on December 1st.

EMMIE BEAN

Here’s a simple way to turn your favorite Instagram posts, vintage photos, or random selfies into original, custom artwork. Emmie Bean digitally illustrates your photos and creates a completely original keepsake, that’s suitable for framing – and perfect for a modern home’s decor.

And if you’re not sure what image to use for your incredibly thoughtful and unique gift, she offers gift cards on a beautiful handmade mini wood clipboard that are good for one custom portrait.

Flavia at a Stylish Patina watercolor workshop.

Flavia at a Stylish Patina watercolor workshop.

STYLISH PATINA WORKSHOP

Give a creative loved one (or even yourself!) the gift of a little ‘me time’ with a gift certificate for a workshop at Stylish Patina in Falls Church. Flavia, our Design Assistant, just participated in their two-hour watercolor workshop (that’s her on the left)! Making time for yourself can help you recharge, refocus and rediscover things you love to do. Consider giving someone the gift of (creative) time.

FARRIER LEATHER

Founded in 2016 by Arlington resident Janet Hamilton, Farrier Leather specializes in gorgeous, functional and sustainably made leather goods. All Farrier products are created with full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather from pastured cattle. Their linings are made from Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic cotton. Farrier strives for higher standards for the materials chosen to support the earth, the human lives, and the animal lives affected by production.

RIDER CERAMICS

Lauren Rider, owner of Rider Ceramics, is a true small business inspiration. A few years ago, she left her day job and went all in with her ceramics. She creates bowls, pitchers, and planters in bold graphic designs. Everything is wheel-thrown in her basement studio. You can find her work at specialty boutiques in her hometown of Philadelphia and on her Etsy shop.

STUDIO KMO

I met Karen O'Leary, owner of Studio KMO, this fall at a maker fair in DC. Karen creates beautifully delicate, incredibly intricate hand cut paper maps. She hand draws each map and then uses an x-acto blade to make each precise cut. The result is minimal, sleek and simply gorgeous. Her maps are the perfect gift for remembering a favorite travel destination, someone’s hometown or a city that inspires.

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A RELAXING, REJUVENATING RETREAT

When it comes to redesigning spaces in our homes, the reality is most of us can’t change everything at once. We do it in phases. Maybe you start with a room or two with the hopes of tackling future spaces down the road. The first areas that usually get attention are the public spaces - living rooms, dinning rooms and family rooms. That’s what most of your guests will see. Fair enough. But then our busy lives get in the way and that second project – the beautiful master bedroom you’ve always dreamed of – gets put on an indefinite hold.

I say it’s time to “un-pause” that follow-up dream project!

This is exactly what we did for a lovely couple in North Arlington. Our clients had completely decorated the first level of their wonderful home but their second floor really needed some TLC.

We wanted to create a relaxing, rejuvenating, retreat for their master suite - a place where they could escape and indulge in a little self-care. Since the bed is the first thing you see when you enter the space, we wanted something impactful. We designed a tall tufted headboard with wings and flanked it with custom gold leaf artwork to balance the wall. The bedroom had wall-to-wall carpeting, which our clients wanted to keep. We overlayed a hand made rug under the bed to add a luxurious focal point and to separate the sleeping area from the sitting room area.

“After” Photo: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

“After” Photo: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

To create a calm feeling with color and layers of texture, we added decorative curtain panels in patterned linen over the plantation shutters, grass-cloth wallpaper in a soft spa blue and metal accents for a little glam throughout the space. The clients’ own armoire was renewed with paint and new hardware (what a difference!). We added a small-scale chair and ottoman to create a sitting area in front of the fireplace and TV.

“After” Photo: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

“After” Photo: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

We reimagined the fireplace area with a new marble hearth and tile, building out the trim to balance the proportions, and spruced up the shelves with new paint and styling.

Photos: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Photos: Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

A large, dramatic mirror tops the new dresser, along with these elegant ceramic lamps.

To complete the second floor transformation, we also redesigned the upstairs hallway and the home office, using a complimentary palette and style to connect all the spaces. Want to see more? Visit our Projects section for more pictures!

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MAKING THE CASE FOR CUSTOM

As we work with clients to learn more about their design aspirations, we’ll often suggest custom furnishings rather than retail. This can sometimes lead to a panicked look. But it’s our job to explore all available options to make sure they’re getting the most value for their investment. At times, this means encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone to see all the possibilities. 

After we explain the advantages of custom pieces – including how the pricing is often very competitive to that of local retailers– clients get really excited about the idea of furnishings crafted exactly for their needs. Is your spouse tall? Maybe you need a sofa with a slightly higher back. Need extra room to seat everyone during the holidays? Consider a table with extra leaves. The beauty of custom is that it’s designed just for your and your family. 

This hand-forged, marble top table was sized to fit perfectly within our clients’ master bedroom entry.

This hand-forged, marble top table was sized to fit perfectly within our clients’ master bedroom entry.

Here are 5 great reasons why you should consider going custom.

1.  COMPETITIVE PRICING: People often associate the word “custom” with expensive but it’s not necessarily the case. By using furniture builders that sell directly to the design community, we are able to ensure high quality pieces at prices competitive to local retailers like Ethan Allen, Crate and Barrel, and Restoration Hardware. With upholstered pieces, we can manage cost through fabric selection and still guarantee that your piece is built to last.

2. TRUE PERSONALIZATION: By designing one-of-a-kind furnishings, we can personalize your pieces through sizes, finishes, fabrics, embellishments and hardware. Custom-made furniture can solve design challenges and fully maximize your living space. Upholstered furniture can also be crafted to your liking when it comes details like firmness, pitch and sizing. Custom is all about comfort and adaptability. We’ve even specified cushions and pillows with hypoallergenic fillings for clients with allergies.

We sized this sectional and ottoman to fit our client’s cozy TV area.

We sized this sectional and ottoman to fit our client’s cozy TV area.

3. BETTER QUALITY: Custom furnishings are made one-at-a-time by craftsman using high-quality materials as opposed to assembly line, mass-produced retail products. From hand-tailored upholstery, to 8-way hand-tied spring construction to frames made from kiln-dried hardwoods with doweled and glue fitted joints, these pieces are worthy of heirloom status and are built to last for generations. 

4. DOMESTIC PRODUCTION: Many of our custom pieces are crafted in North Carolina and other East Coast states. Since these custom pieces are produced and shipped domestically, the chances of delays due to international shipping or damages that could occur during the shipping process are greatly reduced. But if something happens to go wrong, these  companies have excellent, very accessible customer service and work with us to make it right.

This handcrafted table was built with extra company boards to add seating. (Chairs are custom, too!)

This handcrafted table was built with extra company boards to add seating. (Chairs are custom, too!)

5. GREEN BENEFITS: Several of our regional furniture companies have committed to minimizing the environmental impacts of furniture production. From using locally sourced wood to producing pillows filled with 100% recycled fibers made from plastic bottles, these companies have incorporating eco-friendly manufacturing practices. And since these well-made products aren't replaced after a few years, they won't end up in a landfill.

If you've made the decision to invest in transforming your living space into your dream home, consider going custom. It’s a great way to build lasting memories!

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FINDING THE POTENTIAL IN ANY SPACE

Many homes with open space plans featuring the kitchen and family room in the back of the house, have living rooms that are often underutilized. That was the case for this home. Our client joked that their living room had become the sporting equipment room. But we saw a space that was full of beautiful light and lots of potential. It was the first room guests saw when entering the house and we wanted to make sure that it made a big impression.

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Our goal was to totally reimagine the space into a peaceful adult lounge. The clients’ only requirements were to keep the painting, which was a family heirloom and have a place to store books and other family mementos. 

Photo: Jenn Verrier

Photo: Jenn Verrier

For the palette, we knew that we wanted a neutral background, with some pattern, and burnt orange to connect to the walls in the dining room. We settled on taupe, navy and orange, with a mix of furnishings that conveyed a library meets lounge vibe, including a contemporary Chesterfield sofa, velvet barrel chairs and Shagreen-faced side tables.

Photos: Jenn Verrier

Photos: Jenn Verrier

A patterned sisal rug adds a casual feel, while keeping the symmetry. Dark moss bookcases frame the entrance; filling the otherwise “what do you do with them” corners, and provide lots of storage and a pretty view from the sofa.

Photo: Jenn Verrier

Photo: Jenn Verrier

For the final touches, we used a mix of materials – brass, glass, marble, leather, sisal and family-friendly linen & velvet. 

Photo: Jenn Verrier

Photo: Jenn Verrier

The end result: A quiet place where our clients can escape to read or maybe have friends over for a glass of wine. The space is no longer an afterthought, it's now an actual destination.

Check out our Projects section for more photos from this house!

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CREATING YOUR DREAM HOME CHECKLIST

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I recently found a wonderful post by Ali Wenzke, author of ‘The Art of Happy Moving’ blog, titled “How to Create Your Dream Home”. It was simple, thoughtful and provided me with one of those “aha” moments. Here it is; if you want to make your dreams come true - specifically with your dream home in mind - you need to figure out what those dreams are.  And the best way to start is to make a list. (I love lists!)

First rule with this list – don’t hold back! This is a DREAM list. Let your mind drift to things that make you happy. Forget about being practical, for now. Here’s what my list includes: 

  • I would like an ocean view
  • Would love a personal reading nook
  • I’d love a spa bathroom with an extra large tub for soaking
  • I love turquoise and blue tones
  • Entertaining friends is important to us
  • I want to be surrounded by gardens
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Of course an ocean view isn’t in the cards for most of us but remember this is a dream list! Through the magic of creative design, the feeling of being close to the water can be brought into your home. For example in our house we’ve used color schemes, fabrics, artwork and the addition of a small balcony off our bedroom to create a beach-like retreat feeling (and we’re 150 miles from the coast).  

Having a list of everything that brings you joy will help you re-create it in some form within your physical space. Pin pictures that you like. Rip out pages of magazines for inspiration. Take photos on your phone if you spot something special.  

I love this approach. We’re asking our clients and prospective clients to do this. It’s a great way to start the design conversation. 
 

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DESIGN MAKING A DIFFERENCE

It’s not often that you go to an industry conference and are actually moved – nearly to tears – by a speaker. But that’s what happened when Mark and I had the pleasure to hear Susan Wintersteen, President and CEO of Savvy Interiors and founder of the nonprofit Savvy Giving By Design (SGBD), speak at a recent industry event. Susan gave a passionate overview of SGBD and their mission to provide comfort, support, and healing to families with children facing a medical crisis by transforming their home interiors at no cost to them.  

According to Susan, "most people think when a child is diagnosed with cancer they're in the hospital all the time and spending very little time at home. And actually, the inverse is true."

She explained how the SGBD design team personally meets with each family to learn about their child’s interests, passions, favorite colors and any physical needs before they start their design magic.

Then, they collaborate with their network of contractors and vendors, who often donate or deeply discount their time, services and products. SGBD also shares the family’s story through social media to encourage project donations. All of these volunteer efforts result in one-of-a-kind dream rooms for children in need of happiness and hope. 

Savvy Giving By Design is based in San Diego but they are currently building a nation-wide coalition of designers committed to giving back to children with their talents. SGBD has launched affiliate chapters in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Rhode Island. 

Video from Savvy Giving by Design's first fundraiser, A Room to Heal, 9/10/16.&nbsp;

Video from Savvy Giving by Design's first fundraiser, A Room to Heal, 9/10/16. 


For more information on SGBD, including more inspiring stories, videos and ways you can help by becoming a Savvy Giver, visit their website. You’ll be glad you did.

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SPOTTING TRENDS AT HIGH POINT MARKET

Sofa by Consort

Sofa by Consort

The Arlington Home Interiors team just returned from our annual trek to North Carolina for High Point Market, the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world. 

With over 2,000 vendors and 75,000 attendees, High Point Market is huge. We spent four full days navigating showroom after showroom, spotting the latest industry trends, seeing new product releases, testing furniture first-hand and connecting with our vendors and colleagues. 

It’s always a challenge to squeeze the High Point Market experience into a ‘best of’ list. There’s just so much good stuff!!! Luckily, it’s a five-hour drive back from High Point to Arlington, so our team uses the time to pull together our notes while everything is still fresh and the excitement level is still high.

Here's a list of the trends we spotted.  

1.) ART DECO RETURNS

Sofa by CR Laine

Sofa by CR Laine

Sleek lines, glamorous curves, exotic woods and luxurious embellishments - Art Deco is back! I love the details of deco, including; lots of contrast welting, metal plinth bases and channel backs on both sides of sofas and chairs, allowing them to elegantly stand in the center of a room. 

2.) NATURALLY WOVEN EVERYTHING

Room by Selamat

Room by Selamat

Wicker, rattan, weave, rope - natural woven furniture has definitely left its Boho roots and is showing up in chairs, table accents and lighting fixtures in every style of home.

3.) GLAMOROUS FOUR POSTER BEDS

Bed by the Robert James Collection

Bed by the Robert James Collection

We’re still swooning over the creative canopy and four poster beds that were featured in all types of styles from traditional to super glam. The picture above is a gorgeous bed from the Robert James Collection in wood, rattan and metal. 

4.) DOGS OVER LLAMAS

(Left to Right) Universal, CR Laine and Highland House

(Left to Right) Universal, CR Laine and Highland House

Dogs are in. Llamas are out. At least that’s what we were seeing in High Point. Dog art seemed to be all the rage.  (And that's ok with us.)

5.) INDOOR PERFORMANCE FABRICS

This is not the indoor/outdoor fabric of past years – these are soft velvets and chenille, tidy weaves and everything we love in fabrics. Plus, they’re stain resistant, fade proof and long lasting. Now your pets, kids and red wine enthusiasts can enjoy your white sofa too! Manufactures of performance fabrics like Crypton and Sunbrella made an impression at High Point.

6.) SLEEK, ATTRACTIVE RECLINERS

Chair by Vanguard

Chair by Vanguard

The days of hiding the recliner in the basement TV room are over! We saw several stylish, streamlined recliners that were as comfortable as their over-stuffed cousins. Here’s a picture of Mark – the unofficial chair-tester of High Point Market 2018 – enjoying a beautiful grey recliner by Vanguard

7.) FIFTY SHADES OF GREEN

Although navy, pink and grey are still showing up in masses, we’re now seeing some sophisticated shades of green. We’re so excited to see shades of jade, olive, kelly and peacock appearing everywhere. We’ll certainly be doing some green rooms this year!

8.) HOORAY FOR POMPOMS

Throws by India's Heritage

Throws by India's Heritage

A continuation of the California Beach style meets Boho look, pompoms are showing up on throws, pillows and more. Pictures above are some stylish throws from

High Point Market is a massive event but it’s so inspiring. Our whole team returned energized and full of ideas!

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CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Mark and I recently returned from the Design Blogger’s Conference in Los Angeles. It was an exhilarating four days of learning, networking, collaborating and catching a few golden rays of sunshine. Our favorite part of the trip was spending an afternoon in the Melrose Avenue Design District, immersing ourselves in the wonderfully eclectic world of California design.

From super chic, to earthy bohemian to curated obscurities, Melrose Avenue is a design mecca for California cool. Below, we captured a couple of our favorite moments for your perusing.

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At the blogger’s conference, we were excited to meet the superstar founders of Consort Design; Mat Sanders (the stylish gent on the end with the mustache) and Brandon Quattrone (the sharp dressed chap next to Mark).  Mat was kind enough to give us the scoop on the local design scene, telling us that Melrose Avenue was THE design destination. 

Our first stop on our tour was no surprise – it was Mat and Brandon’s store.  Their showroom is set up to feel like individual rooms in a fully decorated home. Mat has described it as “an ever-rotating carousel of design”.  We’re looking forward to the launch of their new furniture line next week. High style. Fresh modernism. We’ll be sure to them at High Point Market next month.

Another favorite stop was Peter Dunham's Hollywood at Home showroom.  The space featured an amazing collection of textiles, wallpaper and wall murals with vintage furniture organized in cozy room settings. His style has inspired me to use more tribal weaves and Mid-Century leanings. 

Here's my take-away list after seeing these cool curated collections; incorporate more vintage, mix tribal patterns and colors, play with focal walls (mural-like wallpaper, fabric on the wall or even large tapestries), lighter woods are definitely back and plants in excess are a must! I’m sure we'll see some of these trending next week at High Point. Even if we don’t, we’ll be seeing them in some of our upcoming designs! 

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EQUALITY MEANS BUSINESS

Arlington Home Interiors has proudly joined Equality Virginia's Equality Means Business (EMB) initiative. EMB provides an opportunity for local business owners to publicly sign a pledge that protects their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees, as well as affirming that they would never turn away customers or clients based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Click here to view a directory of other small business that have committed to making Virginia a more welcoming place to live, work, and shop. If you have a small business and are interested in becoming a member, sign up is easy.  It just takes a minute to make a difference.  

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