Published: Dec 19, 2011 10:10 AM
Modified: Dec 19, 2011 10:14 AM
Thinking about gifts for your home this holiday season? You might want to check out what would be on the wish list of local interior designers.
- A+S Design Inc.
The Durham company features designer Alison Steele.
Finn Juhls Model 45 Chair The chair, designed in 1945 by Danish furniture designer Finn Juhl, features upholstered areas freed from the wood frame, a break in traditional furniture-making at the time.
The form is so simple. And when you sit in them, you understand the craftsmanship behind their elegant design, Steele said. It conforms to your body unlike any chair, especially the armrest with its graceful curvature. If Santa brought me a pair of originals, I would be one happy designer. But, then again, if Santa were mid-century focused, I would be happy with almost anything he brought me.
A set of originals is about $15,000.
Tangerine Tango Color Anything in Pantones 2012 color of the year, Tangerine Tango, would be a must-have for Steele: If you know me and know me well, this is one of my colors! she said.
Steele would like to see a fine bone china mug in Tangerine Tango under her tree this year. The limited edition mug sells for $25.
Wood Veneer Super-Graphics Besides Tangerine Tango, Steele is in love with these super graphics by B+N Industries. The company features a collection of wood-veneer panels with infused graphics. The 48-inch-by-96-inch panels in maple, cherry or walnut veneer can be used as decorative walls, display walls or in fixtures.
I live in an old tobacco warehouse loft and would love to put a custom image infused in the wood on a wall, Steele said.
- DesignSpec Inc.
The Chapel Hill architecture firm features architect and interior designer Lyn McClay and designer and project manager Matthew Szymanski.
Alvar Aalto Vase The vase, unveiled at the Paris Worlds Fair in 1937, is one of McClay and Szymanskis favorite gifts to give. Its available in different sizes, shapes and colors, with taller versions great for flowers and shallower versions perfect for candles.
The amorphic look of the vase makes it an interesting piece even when empty, Szymanski said.
McClay noted that the vases shape is especially good for arranging flowers.
It catches and holds the flowers in interesting ways, she said.
Details at University Mall in Chapel Hill carries a variety of the vases.
Granite Countertops If its time to replace a laminate countertop, consider granite because its durable, easy to clean and good for resale. The cost of granite also has been dropping in comparison to many synthetic options, Szymanski said.
If upgrading a bathroom, he suggests visiting a fabricator such as Custom Stone in Durham for remnant slabs that may be large enough for a small counter.
They are leftover pieces of a slab, not used by another customer, so you get a great looking piece of stone at a good price, Szymanski said.
Some places both sell and cut stone, but they wont have a large selection. Those interested in a unique countertop should visit a wholesaler, such as Cosmos Granite and Marble in Raleigh.
Many of the slabs look like works of art, Szymanski said.
Tile New tile is a good way to update a kitchen or bathroom. Consider hiring an interior designer to help you come up with a design and combination of tiles that gets the most impact for the money. A designer should be able to help you pick a tile that fits with the house and that has flexibility over the years vs. one that will look outdated quickly.
Nice glass tiles are beautiful, but expensive, Szymanski said. Sometimes the best option is to use just a smaller amount of them placed strategically in a design of simpler tile. This way you see the glass tiles as a highlight, and they are not diluted in a wash of color.
- Faux Home
The Chapel Hill home staging and decorative painting company features Kathy Yusiewicz and Mary Lisowsky.
Kitchen Renovation As part of a kitchen renovation, the designers suggest updating cabinets and installing new countertops. An alternative to installing new cabinets is to have your cabinets painted and distressed, which costs a fraction of new cabinets. If you dont want to change the look of your cabinets, consider a different finish on the kitchen island. The contrast between cabinets and the island is a popular look now and adds more interest to a kitchen. The designers also note that granite countertops are worth investing in as they remain extremely popular with homebuyers. They suggest checking out Home Design Studio in Chapel Hill for a wide range of prices on granite. The studio also has a showroom in Greensboro with granite remnants for smaller areas, like bathrooms or kitchen islands.
Colorful Decorative Pillows/Candles New pillows or candles (whether in red, green, gold or silver) can put people in the mood for the holidays.
Yusiewicz noted she recently purchased a felt flower pillow at the Virginia Gail Collection in University Mall for under $25.
They also carry a large selection of candles, starting at $5.95 for two tall candles, in yummy colors, she said.
Holiday Collection Collections that can be enjoyed over the holidays are fun to receive and to display. Yusiewicz noted that many of her friends collect Santa Clauses or Christmas villages.
I have over the years collected many meaningful and whimsical nutcrackers, like the scuba diver nutcracker and kitchen chef nutcracker, she said. Many of my favorites cost under $10. Once you start collecting them you will begin to see them all over town.
If you dont have a collection of some sort, start one now, she added. You will be happy you did!
- M.L. Designs Inc.
The design studio in Chapel Hill features Mary Lynn Cox, Margo McKinney-Kane, Ami Coggin Wells and Jennifer Scott Cox.
New Paint Color For not much expenditure, paint color can provide the biggest change as it can alter a rooms entire mood, McKinney-Kane noted. The designers suggest a good quality paint, which will last longer than a bargain one. They generally recommend Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. Mary Lynn Cox also loves to paint ceilings a soft blue color when it complements the wall color.
New Light Fixtures Updating light fixtures can make a big difference while being a relatively inexpensive upgrade. The designers especially like a pendant light with a drum-shaped shade to update a space. They note that the area has great lighting shops with lots of options and that most interior designers have lines of lamps and fixtures they recommend.
Updated Bathroom To bring an older home into 2012, the designers suggest updating a bathrooms vanity with a new one that almost looks like a piece of furniture, making it more unique and polished. They also suggest replacing plate glass mirrors with framed ones for a finished look and installing new light fixtures.
Bathrooms are not considered an afterthought anymore, McKinney-Kane said. They are often considered an escape, especially when they are part of a master bedroom suite. People are spending more time in baths, so they want them to be special.Got a remodeling story to suggest? Or would you like to see a particular aspect of remodeling featured? Contact Catherine Wright at email@example.com.
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