DESIGN REMIX: Spring Forward!

Posted by J. Allen on March 19, 2013 3 Comments


With a few new accents, and a quick shopping trip throughout the rest of the home we transformed this space from blah to breathtaking! Here's how we did it...


This uninspired living space has great pieces but lacks design direction.


1. To add some wow to the windows we replaced the drab curtains with dramatic window treatments in a graphic print. By selecting a muted color palette the bold pattern doesn't overwhelm the space adding interest & texture. 

2. We removed the wall sconces which did not offer any essential light and replaced them with framed art work. Here's our trick to doing this on the cheap; using simple store bought frames we pulled images from the homeowners library of books! Two of the images are pages from a book on the Washington, DC botanical garden while the others are framed sheet music. 

3. Check your inventory! We shopped other areas of the home and discovered the glass end tables in the homeowners basement. We also swapped the heavy brown arm chairs with 2 chairs from their dining room. These ivory tufted side chairs add a lighter look and feel to the space, which is perfect for Spring.

4. Dare to D.I.Y. Re-facing the fireplace has a huge impact on the updated look of this space. By covering the dark brick with a white marble tile the space feels bright and fresh. Adding tile or stone to a fireplace is a great way to strike a balance between modern style and a traditional home. 

5. Finally, this quick trick is the number one way to add a touch of Spring to any space, flowers! We stuck to simple arrangements of hydrangea and orchids to bring the outdoors in. Using unorthodox planters to add interest we grabbed a stainless steel serving bowl to use as the base for the orchids and removed the top from a decorative urn to house the hydrangea. Think outside the vase; if it can hold water, it can work!

After chopping a few pillows and staging the accents; voila, a design re-mix is in bloom!

How will you Spring forward this season?

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A unique solution to wall decor!

Posted by Rita Johnson on April 17, 2012 0 Comments

On a recent project, we were faced with the challenge of bringing color, texture and interest into a formal living room space. The space that we were focusing on was a large wall space above two benches flanking the main entrance to the room. We researched many options and decided that an art installation would give us the effect that we were going for.

(The artwork flanking the door was a placeholder)

Now for the challenge…what do we put on the walls? When considering a wall installation, it is easy to default to the usual most often used option: framed artwork. Although framed photos or paintings can sometimes seem like a “no fail” option, we wanted something that was unique and that would also dial up the texture in the room.

So we looked to our usual go-to design vendors for inspiration, and we found many fantastic options! The Phillips Collection had some lovely abstract pieces that looked like they were made for this very project.

The problem? Lead time! The pieces we liked the most were not available for at least 10 weeks, and this was not a project that our client was willing to wait almost 3 months to complete! So, we all set out to find a local solution that would give us a similar effect, play well with the current décor in the space, and that was available within a more reasonable amount of time.

The winner was these lovely Magnolia-shaped ceramic plates from Arhaus. We bought just about everything they had in stock! On a weeknight when our client and her adorable (but very rambunctious)  kids were out, we set up shop and got to work on making these plates into a fabulous work of art.

The first step was to lay out all of the plates so that we knew what direction we wanted to go with the design. It was not as easy as it sounds! Our intern Danielle got us started by placing the plates on the floor in countless configurations until we found the one that would look the best.

The next step was to make sure that all of the plates had hooks on the back and that the hooks were sturdy and secure. We used copper picture hanging wire for this part. If you are doing this, be sure to not only tie the wire, but also wrap it around itself a few times to keep the ends from sticking out and to make it stronger. We don’t want any falling plates!

Once the plates were laid out and the hooks were in place, the real fun began! I’m not sure if you can detect a hint of sarcasm, but this part required a lot of patience (and more importantly a hammer, small nails, and a ladder). One by one we hung the plates, taking care each time to make sure each plate was in the right spot. When doing this part it is important to take into account the type of wall you have and the weight of each plate. Luckily for us, the plates were pretty lightweight, and the wall was drywall. I wouldn’t recommend this project on a concrete/brick wall, and with heavier plates I’d suggest using wall anchors or heavy-duty frame hooks.

For this step, we kept the plates on the wall as we went along to make sure that the placement of each plate was just right. It was important to us to keep the design organic, so we did not want the plates to look to symmetrical or evenly-spaced.

A couple hours later, this is what our final product looked like!


This just goes to show you what you can do when you think outside of the box and apply a traditional décor element in a nontraditional way! The most important part: our client was overjoyed with the result!



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Leather stain crisis averted!

Posted by Rita Johnson on April 17, 2012 1 Comment

One of the things I enjoy most about what I do is finding our clients those unique, well-made pieces that they will love for years to come. As many of you know though, the perfect item sometimes come with a pricetag and maintenance regimen to match! We recently experienced this when a client ended up with an oil stain on her fabulous leather sofas. Now, these aren’t just any sofas. These sofas are made from the softest leather dyed in a lovely mauve. These sofas are so beautiful, you almost are unsure if you should sit on them or just sit beside them on the floor and admire them.

So, you can imagine that our client was less than thrilled when she found the stain, and enlisted our help to get rid of it.

We first contacted a company that specialized in this type of cleanup. A no-brainer, right? They came out and assessed the damage, and got to work to try and remove it. Before they left, they sprayed a curious white substance on the stain and told us to let it sit overnight and then wipe it off. The next day we returned to finish the cleanup and claim victory over the evil stain! I am not sure if you can imagine the suspense of wiping off the cleaning solution to hopefully see the sofa looking as good as new (and also avoiding the beginning of a potential sofa repair nightmare)…but to our horror, when we wiped it clean the stain was still there!

So, we moved on to plan B. We contacted the manufacturer to see if there was anything they could do. Aside from replacing the sofa (at our expense of course) they were only able to provide us with a swatch of leather to replace the damaged section. We contacted local upholsterers, and our nightmare grew when we found out that the sofa would have to be removed, disassembled, and put back together in order to replace the square! The cost would be high, and the repair would take weeks. Yikes!

At this point some members of the team (who will remain nameless) started a campaign for the “put-a-pillow-on-it” solution, but luckily better judgment won out. It was at this same breaking point that J concocted a brilliant scheme: paint! Now, usually we would shudder to think of high-end leather furniture and wet paint in the same room, but we were at the end of our ropes. Since our only other option was to completely take the sofa apart, we figured, what’s the worst that could happen?

We took the leather swatch to our local Sherwin Williams and they used their nifty Sher-Color system to match the color of our swatch in a matte acrylic indoor paint. We got a few additional colors (slightly lighter and slightly darker just in case). Now, here’s the important part; J tested all three paint colors on the leather swatch to make sure it would match and that the texture was ok. (If you ever decide to do this, do not skip this step!) After passing the swatch around, we all agreed that the paint was virtually undetectable!

Carefully we painted the problem area of the sofa.

Since the sofa is composed of leather squares, we decided it would look better to paint the entire square and not just the oil stain. And here’s the end result! A sofa that looks as good as new (at least to the untrained eye).


Can you even tell which square we painted?

In the end, we were able to avoid this potential design catastrophe by thinking creatively. And even better, we saved our client big bucks in repair costs (and she didn’t have to go a day without her lovely sofas)!

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Welcome to Perceptions Home Collection!

Posted by J. Allen on March 08, 2012 1 Comment

Welcome to Perceptions Interiors' Home Collection and blog! We are excited to bring you some of our fabulous design finds from across the globe. We are still in the process of getting our blog up and running, so stay tuned for useful design tips and the hottest trends!

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