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    A Foyer With Flair

    Should we be invested in creating a foyer with flair, when decorating? The one-word answer to that question is – absolutely! Well, let’s explore why and how to create a foyer marrying visual appeal with high functionality.  

    The foyer has an important place in the hierarchy of rooms in a house – function-wise as well as design-wise. Oftentimes the smallest room however, this gives us a good excuse to use superior materials that are a bit more expensive, without breaking the budget. More importantly, it is a preview of what a guest first sees, and what kind of statement it makes about the kind of house and its owner. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Grand staircase hallway

    Is the foyer a room? 

    A well designed foyer creates a warm and welcoming first impression for a visitor to your home. What’s more, it is also the first room you enter when you come home after a hard day’s work. It should put a smile on your face. 

    Function with finesse

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with black walls - Tori Black Homes

    A foyer also performs an important function. However, if the entryway looks like a place to dump keys, backpacks, shoes, and the dog leash – in other words, if it is an eyesore, you have your work cut out. Upon entry, if it’s a reminder of all the things you need to get to before bedtime, it will make you anxious and irritated instead of welcomed. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Functional hallway

    A home without a proper entryway is like a Christmas tree with no ornaments, and that’s just bad luck. That’s the why. Now for the how – how to dress up that room right behind the front door to your home. Foyers come in all shapes and sizes. Some homes come without a foyer per se. 

    A non-foyer and how to fix it. 

    Some houses have the living room start right at the front door with no foyer. The solution is to create one. First Trace the pattern of traffic in and out of the room, on paper. The rule of thumb is to have 3 ft of clearance around doors. Make sure there is a straight path leading to the front door as well as to the next room. Then plot out a furniture layout to scale to ensure everything you intend to buy will fit, allowing for traffic pathways and enough clearance. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway - Tori Black Homes

    What goes here

    What kind of furniture should you buy for a front hallway? A foyer is not just about aesthetics. An important function of this space is to provide a place to pull on boots or shoes ready to step outside, put on a coat and grab the keys. A hall console table and a cabinet as storage for shoes are two major furniture items in an entryway. 

    Just add drama

    How do you deal with a blah entryway that while not lacking in space does lack in character – the large foyer with no focus? When you have too much space and nothing interesting going on, you create a wow factor. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with marble flooring

    Look down.

    Start from the bottom and work your way up. If you see builders grade generic orange oak underfoot – it’s time to make a change. Think new flooring – in a material that’s resilient yet chic. If the budget allows – here us where you splurge. Coming home will mean something and make you happy. 

    Go for a handcrafted hardwood parquet floor. Or marble tiles in a herringbone pattern or a slate tiled floor. Then add layers – such as an antique Persian or a bold zebra print rug.

    Mirror the mood

    A foyer needs real furniture and furnishings that echo the style and mood of your home. If you are decorating a mountain cabin, add a soft plush rug and hall table finished in a warm wood tone to add warmth and coziness. If it’s a beach cottage bringing in a textured sisal rug and painted furniture will do the trick. Add a pair of wall sconces instead of table lamps and an oversized artwork instead of the usual wall mirror for added effect. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with artwork instead of mirror

    Look upwards

    If you are lucky enough to have a sweeping circular staircase use it to advantage. Buy a round hall table to mirror the curved staircase. Place a tall vase on the table and fill it with long-stemmed flowers or dried branches thus drawing the eye upwards. Tuck in an armchair in the curve of the stairs. Make up a cozy nook to sit down and take off your high heels after a long day at work as well as a waiting area before heading out the door. 

    Cut a long story short 

    Some homes have a long and narrow hallway running the length of the house. This is a good problem to have. A long foyer can be a great blank canvas for creating a transition to the rest of the house. First divide the foyer into two parts. Make the first part a transition from the outdoor. The second part is a transition to the rest of the house. 

    Decorating a Foyer with flair

    Look around

    Pull in what is in the adjoining spaces to create harmony. If the front hallway also has a set of stairs going up, spring for a fancy storage unit such as a tansu chaser against the wall opposite the stairs to draw the eye across the room and stretch the space visually. 

    Look inward 

    Some houses have a small foyer that does not have a window. An obvious solution for a tiny window-less foyer is – wall sconces. Let there be light! 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with sconces

    A small front hall can also benefit from wallpaper. There are many options to choose from for example a geometric print or a mural. a subtle pattern or a bold oversized print. 

    A carefully chosen wallpaper can turn a cramped room into a jewel box of an entryway without spending a lot of time or resources. It can upgrade your style setting the tone for the rest of your house. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Modern Hallway with wallpaper

    Image credits – Entryway with pink carpeted stairs | Functional Foyer | Hallway with Marble floors – pics courtesy Verandah. Hallway with yellow walls | Entryway with black wall and painted furniture – pics courtesy Tori Black Homes. Foyer with Artwork | Long Narrow Hallway | Entryway with wall sconces | Bold Wallpaper Front Hall – pics courtesy House Beautiful.

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    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Here are 4 tips on what to know before hiring an Interior Designer or how to avoid costly mistakes when working as your own Designer. Tips to make the process super easy and get the best out of your design experience. 

    4 Things to know before you hire an Interior Designer

    As more and more people work remotely and spend large amounts of time inside their homes, certain things begin to take on more importance. Things such as the layout of their interior spaces, creating a balance and harmony through the proper and optimum use of color, patterns, textures, and lighting is becoming more important in everyday lives. To that end, the functionality of design elements is just as essential as aesthetics.

    Interior Architecture Vs Interior Design

     Interior design focuses on the hard and soft furnishings for the home – Fittings, Fixtures, and Equipment. Elements such as wall colors, flooring, tiles, cabinets, window treatments, furniture accessories are added by the homeowner and are easy to change – some more than others. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Interior architecture, on the other hand, usually pertains to structural aspects of the home. It defines what each space is for and how the different spaces work together. Interior architecture may or may not be permanent. For an existing home, this tends to involve remodels or structural alterations, such as walls, door and window openings, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure, etc., etc. 

    Architecture and Interior Design are two disciplines that are complementary to each other. The best design projects result from the successful collaboration of Designer and Architect – each super-specialized in their own field.

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    TIP #1 – Floor Plans

    One of the key things to know before hiring an Interior Designer is that a set of Floor Plans are essential. Architectural plans and prints are what builders use as a roadmap on how to build. However, they are not always built 100% exact. Architectural prints are a conceptual drawing of a space. Most of the time, the dimensions on the print differ from physical job site measurements. 

    The prints are a great guide, but If they are the drawings that the GC (General Contractor) built off and not the revised plans of what was actually built there may be discrepancies from the plans vs what was built on site. There is no way of knowing if there are any discrepancies until the designer takes actual measurements of the room.

    As-built drawings, on the other hand, are actual measurements of the space. When designing a space, Designers prefer to be provided with as-builts, or take their own measurements. Otherwise it becomes difficult to design an accurate furniture layout or guarantee a fit with respect to the furniture and traffic pathways in a room. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    TIP #2 – When it comes to color 

    Wall color is the easiest and quickest fix when refreshing or redesigning a room. However, the thing to keep in mind is that wall paint usually ends up a shade or two darker on the wall than what you see on the paint chip when looking at the fan deck in your home improvement store. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    A good designer will choose the color you love – then go down the paint deck to the next shade lighter. That is your correct wall color. Wall colors have the ability to make us feel calm and relaxed OR anxious ad stressed out. Choosing a color that is easier to live with is a wiser decision than opting for a trendy “it” shade. 

    TIP #3 – When it comes to Lighting

    Lighting can make or break a room’s design. Walking in the room at different times of the day and noting where the light comes in will help you or your designer decide where the sofa – the largest design element in a living room – or the bed – the largest element in a bedroom – is placed.  

    For nighttime lighting – each room must have ambient, mood, and task lighting – scattered throughout the room. Rooms with inadequate lighting tend to be low on functionality. Poorly lit rooms are not suitable gathering places for family and friends. 

    TIP #4 – The trick to shopping for furniture

    Shopping for furniture online is tricky. Similar to shopping in a furniture showroom. Items look very different in a furniture store or designer showroom than they would look after bringing them home. The lighting in a furniture showroom is commercial-grade lighting. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Similarly, photos of furniture and accessories, such as pillows throws and window treatments seen online are usually lit differently than they would be at home. Hence they tend to look different when they are delivered. 

    What to know before hiring an Interior Designer is that designers are great at visualizing an “after” look for your space. If you are working as your own designer, it helps to be able to visualize the particular shopping item in your home alongside your existing furniture and fittings. Does the piece work with the style of what you currently own?

    There are times when it is ok to mix different styles and periods but it is crucial to know the rules first, in order to break them. Next, visualize the level of light in the room. The furniture sales representative is there to help answer questions about the item and offer suggestions. However they do not know your choices or your room as well as you or your designer does, so order only when you are absolutely sure that you have made the right choice. 

    Designer as Guide

    Whether you decide to hire an Interior Designer or decide to go DIY – to transform your home to fit your and your family’s needs and preferences, whether you are a maximalist at heart or a minimalist, keep in mind your home is about you. 

    Let your designer guide you – because he/she is the professional with the training and experience. Having said that, your home is not about your designer’s favorite style. Neither is it about trends that are here today, gone tomorrow.  Insist on the best value for the time and resources that you spend. 

    Last but not least – make 2 crucial decisions before you pick up the phone to make that call to the designer –

    • Know your budget before hiring a Designer.
    • Set a timeline for your project.

    Happy decorating….!!

    Pics Credit – Art Deco Living Room pic courtesy Villa Tika Marrakesh -Orange and white wall color Image courtesy Elle Decor – Mood Lighting image courtesy Tori Black Homes and Home Designing – Modern Dining Room in Traditional home pic image courtesy Ikoab – Designer inspired Kitchen pic courtesy HGTV

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    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    More is more…and MORE is in…!! If the words Maximalist Design conjures up visions of over-the-top, stuffy rooms cluttered with tchotchkes and keepsakes gathered over the years, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. This is not your grandmother’s maximalism….! The following are 10 easy to identify Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    I have put together 10 easy tips on how to create a joyous oasis of maximalist luxury in your home, without it looking cluttered or busy. Maximalism is not so much a style as it is an escape from a world and culture that at times seems bleak and boring since it was born out of a reaction to the minimalist movement.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    A Maximalist space can be in any period, style, or trend. It can be applied to a small room, making it look like a luxurious little jewel box or a large room where it makes a statement. The basic elements of a maximalist home are pretty much the polar opposite of a minimalist interior. The minimalist preference for white walls and quiet color palettes are a no-no for maximalism. The bolder, brighter, and more color-splashed it is, the better.

    In the words of Jonathan Adler, “minimalism is a bummer. When you’re about to kick the bucket, you don’t want to look back and see an endless haze of beige.” I have worshipped at the altar of both. I have lived through my minimalist period and celebrated my unabashedly maximalist phase and reveled in the joy of each, at different phases of my life. Here are some quick tips on how to create a maximalist oasis. Let your soul spread its wings and have its own maximalist moment.

    COLORS – Take a look in your wardrobe for cues on what colors make you happy. Painting your walls the same color as your favourite skirt or summer jacket or pantsuit will make you feel empowered and confident working in this Home Office and walking through that stylish Indigo hued Art Deco style Hallway, every day. Against this rich backdrop, the white and occasional black of the furniture in the foreground is what makes the walls pop but yet does not overpower the room.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    LAYERS – Another one of my 10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design. This is a little tricky to pull off – but not if you follow the simple rule that I have followed a hundred times with clients and am sharing with you now. Select an item of clothing in a bold color from your closet. At the paint shop, match the color of the wardrobe item to a shade on the paint deck (or what’s closes to it) and note down the name. Now, on the same paint chip go to a shade that is 1 or 2 or 3 steps up or down from your original selection to start building your color scheme. Note down the names of each shade. These will be the colors for your wall paint and the dominant color for wallpaper, rug, sofa, and curtains but, remember not to stick to solids. For instance, layer a solid color sofa on a self-patterned rug and curtains in bold patterns against the backdrop of small-patterned wallpaper on one wall or two. This will give you a wonderfully layered look that is luxurious and comforting at the same time, like this Traditional style green-on-green Drawing Room, steeped in eye-catching opulence.

    DRAMA – Add red in measured doses and you can never go wrong. However, an entire bedroom with red-painted walls may not be the ultimate relaxing space. In the bedroom below, the bold red Art Deco style headboard against the dark blue walls are softened by a lavender lamp shade. Clever blending of all the different colors together stirs in excitement into the space without making one feel anxious or irritating. Bear in mind, lavender is red and blue mixed together but in inequal ratios. As I always say, it’s all in the details.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    BOLD CONTRASTS – To create this effect, pull colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel in a split-complementary or tetradic color scheme. The blue, watermelon, orange, green, pale yellow, and brown contrast with as well as complement each other well in the living room below. As do the patterns (stripes with large scale prints) and textures (plush with shiny finishes), to create a sophisticated, eclectic interior space that you will not easily tire of, no matter how long the stay-at-home lockdown lasts.

    LARGE SCALE – The oversized scale of the artwork, the floor to ceiling bookshelves and the plush overstuffed sofas against the floor to ceiling window coverings in the room below, joyfully plays up the maximalism in this Eclectic style home.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    PATTERN PLAY – The prints on the wallpaper, the fabric canopy, the bedspread complement each other and work well in this pattern-on-pattern blush themed English Country style bedroom below. By varying the scale of the prints on the furnishings, as well as by contrasting dark and light wood finishes, It feels calming and serene despite the use of multiple patterns.

    GLAMMED UP – Walls clad in luxe wallpaper and velvet-upholstered chairs with brushed nickel finish detail gathered around the burnished wood dining table with a rich, dark sheen topped with a stylish chandelier, ups the glam factor of this Modern style maximalist dining room below.

    BLACK IS A BEAUTIFUL BACKDROP – A rich glossy black finish instantly dresses up this jewel-like kitched with mirrored backsplash – like wearing a string of black pearls paired with a white silk blouse to a posh but fun gala.

    ANIMAL PRINTS IN SMALL DOSES – Animal prints are a great way to add pattern and instant glamour to a space – but in small doses, such as an ottoman, a pillow cushion or…. if you dare…an area rug.

    A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN IT’S PLACE – Maximalism is not about rooms packed wall to wall with furniture and accessories. Rather, it is about curated collections carefully edited with a keen eye and a disciplined approach. One of the 10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design is careful editing. The Transitional style Family Room showcases the homeowners’ collected treasures from travels around the world separately on the built-in bookshelves and in an antique chinoiserie armoire so it still manages to look neat and orderly by following the rule of – a place for everything and everything in its place.

    10 Hallmarks of Maximalist Design

    Photo credits – Maximalist Interior photo courtesy Daunenspiel. Jonathan Adler flagship store NYC photo courtesy Jonathan Adler. COLORS – Electric Blue Home Office and Art Deco style Hallway photo courtesy 1st Dibs, design by Sasha Bikoff. LAYERS – Green-on-green layered Traditional style Drawing Room photo courtesy One Kings Lane. DRAMA – Hollywood Regency style Red headboard in bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. BOLD CONTRAST – Blue, orange, brown and pale yellow Mid-Century Living Room photo courtesy Architectural Digest. LARGE SCALE – Eclectic Living room with oversized artwork photo courtesy Architectural Digest. PATTERN PLAY – English Country Cottage style blush bedroom photo courtesy Country Life magazine. GLAMMED UP – Dining Room photo courtesy Ellie Koleen photography, Design by Erin Melkonian Designs, Light fixture courtesy Corbett Lighting. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL – Bathroom photo courtesy The Tile Shop blog. ANIMAL PRINTS – Leopard Print rug in Mid-Century style bedroom photo courtesy Chairish. A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING – Transitional Style Family room photo courtesy Tori Black Homes Interior Design.

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