Creating the perfect space in your home can be an overwhelming task. Your home should meet your functional, everyday needs while exuding a polished look and feel that conveys your unique style, be it understated elegance, bohemian chic, vintage retro, French country or uber modern. Depending on your needs, you might need a quick pillow or rug to spruce up a room, or you might require an extensive renovation. Whatever the case may be, we’ve rounded up all the tips, tricks and suggestions from local home experts to help you along on your journey of making your house a home.
Renovation & Updating Tips from Local Design Pros
Cantley & Company: Don’t be afraid to gut your kitchen.
“Do not be afraid to gut your kitchen,” says Cyndy Cantley, lead designer and owner of Cantley & Company. “You should love your kitchen, and if not, it is worth the change!” These kitchen-designing gurus know that the kitchen is the heart of the home and you should take every necessary step to make it perfect for you. For lighting, which can so drastically change the mood of a room, Cyndy says to always make maximum use of natural light in your space. When natural light is not available, the ceiling can be great way to lighten a space. By using a lighter paint on the ceiling than the walls, you’ll bring more light and a feeling of height into the space. She also encourages us to think outside the box for lighting by using sconces or pendants at a mid-level height, which gives every room a warmer, more inviting glow.
Cyndy also suggests having wide walkways, when possible, to create an interactive space that is good for hosting friends and family. Create seating under windows with the use of multi-purpose cabinetry-meets-benches. With regard to the lines of the cabinetry and stove-top range, Cyndy suggests hiding a recessed hood with a sheetrock arch and dropping the tops of cabinets to create an aesthetically pleasing shadow line. These before and after shots show off how much of a change these suggestions can make!
Paige Albright Orientals: Use your oriental rugs in new ways.
Paige Albright, owner of Paige Albright Orientals, has thoughtfully curated a vast collection of rugs for her Birmingham clientele and she regularly works closely with designers to match the perfect rugs to their clients’ spaces. She reminded us that ancient rugs were works of art meant to add flair, elegance and interest to a room. If you already have a rug that you love but are looking for a change, Paige suggests rotating the rugs to a different room or space or placing the rug at an angle for an edgier look.
“And small rugs can make a big impact,” says Paige, reminding us about smaller spaces like the kitchen sink, back door or powder room. “If you are not ready to commit to a larger rug, layering a smaller piece on top of a seagrass or sisal rug will ‘grow’ your rug and fill the space without breaking the budget.” Additionally, pillows, stools and ottomans all add a layer of color and texture to a space. “There are no rules when it come to rugs,” says Paige, adding, “So why not flip the rug over and use the back side or layer a few companion pieces and see what happens?! Don’t be afraid to use and enjoy your pieces!”
Christopher Architecture + Interiors: Use white and light to create beautiful, timeless spaces.
Christopher Architecture + Interiors knows exactly how to take a space to the next level. Through their impressive renovations, it becomes crystal clear that an all-white space is ever-elegant and timeless. It is the perfect way to make a cluttered or out-of-date kitchen look fresh and stylish. Adding some unique fixtures like a statement lighting fixture or a striking backsplash to a space can also add interest and sophistication. Natural light is key when it comes to bringing a warm and welcoming vibe to a space, and you can never underestimate the power of cozy furniture — especially in an outside patio that works to bring people together for cocktails, dinners, conversations and celebrations. Check out these before and after shots to see the impact these tips can have!
Stock & Trade Design Co.: Invest in a beautiful cabinet or hutch.
Not only can a cabinet, hutch or dresser act as a beautiful focal point to any space, it also is the perfect way to show off your china or other valuables. The design experts at Stock & Trade Design Co. advise us to opt for a beautiful cupboard or cabinet featuring glass windows that allows you to showcase fine china, tea sets, sophisticated decor and virtually any other treasured collection you love. Additionally, a nice cabinet changes the entire dynamic of a space by helping to define the layout of the room and adding the presence of elegance to any room. Thankfully, Stock & Trade of Homewood has a few different options from which to choose when it comes to gorgeous dining room storage. These pretty pieces are the perfect way to spruce up your living space.
Brandino Brass Co.: Make a good first impression.
“Front entryways give visitors and passersby their first impression of your home,” say the hardware experts at Brandino Brass Co.. “Properly scaled lighting and great front-door hardware help in making a fantastic first impression.” One of our favorite tips from Brandino is that lighting and hardware do not have to match but it is important to be sure that finishes blend and complement each other. To do this, keep in mind the style of your house and match that to the style of hardware. These perfectly lit entryways complement the style of each home, allowing each one to exude a polished charm — perfect for welcoming every guest with pride! For more fabulous hardware suggestions, check out Brandino Brass Co.’s more in-depth tips.
So, whether your home simply needs a dining room hutch or an oriental rug or a complete renovation, Birmingham’s local design experts have the answers for you! Now, get crackin’ and turn your house into the home of your dreams!
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