Posts Tagged ‘Design Tips’

Renovate Your Kitchen for Long-Lasting Design

July 8th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | 1 Comment

I shouldn’t come as any surprise that kitchens still rank as one of the most desired home renovation projects for homeowners.  Even if you’re not a gourmet chef, odds are you still spend a lot of time in your kitchen throughout the day.  A well-designed kitchen is a natural hub for family members to gather and interact, cook and do homework, and mix drinks and entertain.  A poorly designed kitchen is at best an inefficient eyesore and at worst an uncomfortable or even dangerous room in which to cook.

A luxurious kitchen design is not difficult to achieve.  If a kitchen remodel is at the top of your home improvement list, educate yourself on some of the current kitchen trends.  While you don’t need a “trendy” kitchen design per se,  knowing where the modern kitchen is headed will keep your new kitchen from looking dated– and you’ll definitely get great ideas for features you never knew you wanted!

Here are some current trending features for you to consider:

  • Neutral Colors – Neutral colors are currently trending and is also a wise choice when anchoring this space.  Incorporating varying neutral tones will give your kitchen the longevity and timeless design for years to come.  Introduce your favorite colors and textures in the seating, art, and accessories and rotate your collectables for a fresh update.  The neutrals are best used in high ticket areas of the kitchen, like the cabinets, countertops and flooring.


  • Open Design – Because the kitchen space is often used as a more social area by families, you may want to consider creating an open floor plan. Open plans are easier to navigate, especially if you have more than one cook in the kitchen.  Creating a sense of uncluttered space with varying materials provides a more expansive and integrated architectural feel to your overall home design.


  • Luxurious Appliances – If you’re going to upgrade your appliances –  invest in quality. State of the art cooking appliances such as an induction cooktops, refrigerator drawers and steam ovens may not make you an incredible chef on their own, but they will greatly increase the efficiency and enjoyment of any kitchen.


For additional home renovations and kitchen remodeling advice, be sure to visit me online at Interior Makeovers or give us call us at 310-788-0990.

Photo Credits:

1.) Traditional Home

2.) House Beautiful

3.) Miele

It’s All in the Details: Adding the Finishing Touches to a Home Design

March 7th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

When planning a major renovation of any space in your home, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and become overwhelmed with the massive changes taking place.  Walls are removed, kitchen’s are gutted and dust is flying….just for starters. Everything old becomes new again – new cabinetry, appliances, floors and furniture are installed – with new colors infused throughout . Yet some of the most important elements of the overall design can be the finishing touches and subtle details that are nestled inside. It’s these details which make a house…..your home!


Once the big changes are made, the final touches and details provides the room with a sense character which unifies the entire design.  It’s like the garnish on a dish or the right accessories to complete an outfit; without the details the room would look new and function well, but look …a little flat.

home renovation lighting design

Spectacular lighting is one detail that should never be overlooked.  The right lighting can transform the mundane to magnificent. In a”modern” environment blend recessed lighting with a sculptural element, for a simple and very effective detail.  Well-chosen light fixtures really acts as the  jewelry for a room.


Selecting the proper display items, decorative accessories, and artwork to suit an overall design can be a major challenge.  You want them to reflect your personality and tastes, but they also need to work well with the other colors, styles, and design elements in the room. A single, piece of  artwork  or spectacular chandelier that pack a punch will not only create a focal point in the room, but add your personality to the space.

What are your favorite finishing touches?  Share them with me in the comments or on my Facebook page!

Stay Inspired!

Images via Better Homes & Gardens, Pinterest, Architectural Digest

Be Bold – Say it With Stripes

February 7th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Whether you are planning on wearing them or decorating with them, there is no doubt that stripes make a statement. Using stripes in your interiors presents some incredible opportunities to develop personality and a rich style to a room that would otherwise be viewed as …. mediocre. Stripes can be fun, bold, colorful, and create the illusion of volume and space.

Quiet Bedroom Stripes

Consider the following for some great interior design inspiration:

  1. Use the direction of the stripes, whether horizontal or vertical, to bring attention to items in the room.
  2. Stripes bring a feeling of order to a space, compliment this with with solid colors in a geometric method around the stripes.
  3. Choosing the right direction of the stripes can make a room appear longer, shorter, taller or smaller.
  4. The width of the stripes that you use will also make a big impact on the appearance of the room. Keep proportion in mind….introduce finer stripes in a quaint spaces and beefier lines in more spacious environments. The visual effect created by this pairing results in a bold texture that is stimulating.  Thin Vertical Stripes
  5. Blend stripes on stripes with solids and floral patterns to add more layering and interest to the room.
  6. Be selective in the colors that you choose to place. Bright colors will often mute anything else they are near, while dilute colors will make a less bold and more elegant mood.
  7. Stripes make an excellent accent to any room and any design style – whether classic, traditional or coastal interiors, consider adding a simple cushion on a bench, or chair slip cover.


If you love the playfulness that can be achieved with the use of stripes but are uncertain of how to make it work for you, I’d be happy to help you design your space.  Just contact me at Interior Makeovers, Inc. for more information!

Striped Chairs


Photo Credits:
1.) House Beautiful
2.) Elle Decor
3.) Elle Decor
4.) Country Living


Using One Kings Lane to Find Unique Home Accessories

October 3rd, 2012 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

One Kings Lane Logo

I have a confession to make: I am addicted to One Kings Lane.  For the past few years, it has been one of my favorite sources for unique and affordable home furnishings and accessories, and with good reason.  With a constantly changing inventory and great discounts, it’s easy to get drawn into the excitement of hunting down the perfect addition to your home decor.  One Kings Lane merges all the appeal of a high-quality vintage thrift store with the convenience of online shopping.

One Kings Lane

I recently inherited some beautiful furniture from my in-laws’ home in New York, which I am trying to make work in my living room.  Right now, the furniture just needs a few added accents and occasional pieces to make the whole look of the room feel cohesive, so I have been hunting down tables, lighting, accessories, and a bar cart on One Kings Lane.  Every night I take a look at the “Vintage and Market Finds” section.  If I find something fantastic, I have to grab it; these items go fast.

One Kings Lane

I’ve been very happy with One Kings Lane, and I’ve made several purchases from them over the years for my own home.  I highly recommend signing up if you enjoy discovering items with a lot of character to add to your home decor.  I would love to help you find the ideal way of mixing and matching these items in your interior design, so feel free to contact me by calling 310-788-0990 or emailing

Where is your favorite place to find home furnishings and accessories?


Photos via One Kings Lane

Pantone Fashion Colors in Interior Design

September 25th, 2012 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Earlier this year, Pantone released its 2012 Fashion Color Report for fall, and last week they just released the 2013 Fashion Color Report for spring.  These reports predict the popular colors for the seasons as indicated by designer choices during New York Fashion Week.  They typically involve some bold and vibrant hues, some cool and muted tones, and at least one neutral that can tie all of the colors together.

Though the Pantone Fashion Colors are determined largely by wearable fashions, they also play a role in interior design.  Using these colors in your interior remodel is a surefire way to give your home an updated and fresh appearance, and many of the chosen colors make an incredible statement in a room.  Here are a few examples of how the Pantone colors for both the current fall season and upcoming spring season can make an impact on your interior design.

Fall 2012

Tangerine Tango

 Tangerine Tango Accent Wall

French Roast

French Roast Bedroom


 Titanium Dining Room



Spring 2013

Monaco Blue

 Monaco Blue Kitchen

Poppy Red

 Poppy Red Accents

Grayed Jade & Tender Shoots

 Grayed Jade and Tender Shoots in Bedroom

I would love to help you find the perfect place to use the Pantone Fashion Colors in your home!  Feel free to contact me at 310-788-0990 or emailing


Photos via Houzz

Reupholstering a Banquette: Snags and Solutions

September 6th, 2012 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

I love banquettes for their coziness and space-saving attributes.  They are more comfortable and capable of seating more people than most kitchen chairs and can be conveniently tucked into an odd corner or nook of your home.  Their comfort and convenience makes them a natural spot for spending relaxing time throughout the day or gathering for a casual and lingering conversation with friends and family.

A good banquette sees a lot of use and will therefore require reupholstering after a while. I was recently commissioned to reupholster a beautiful banquette for a client.  Their banquette had been well-used over the past five years, and the fabric was showing substantial wear and tear.  Though the banquette was nearly twelve feet long, the project itself was simple and straightforward, or so I thought.

We decided to use a strong and durable vinyl for the new upholstery on the banquette, and we found a beautiful upholstered vinyl fabric that looked promising and stood up well to initial tests for durability. Unfortunately, partway through the upholstering process we discovered that the embroidery on the vinyl was too delicate.  The fabric hadn’t even seen use in the home before snags started forming, and I couldn’t let the unraveling, delicate fabric into my client’s home.  I showed the supplier and immediately contacted the client about the issue.  Together we selected a simpler and more durable vinyl fabric, and the supplier was kind enough to cover the cost of the new fabric.


The “problem” vinyl fabric:

Embroidered Vinyl Banquette Cover

We have since finished the banquette and all is well. I used the lessons learned from this experience with the embroidered vinyl when recovering my own banquette in my kitchen nook.  Sometimes even the simplest projects run into their snags, but there is never an excuse to sacrifice quality craftsmanship for an easier solution.


Reselected vinyl-mid installation :

Plain Vinyl

I would love to help you redesign your space.  Contact us at Interior Makeovers Inc. by calling 310-788-0990 or emailing

The Charm of A Home Library

March 31st, 2011 by Lori Gilder | 6 Comments

If you are a voracious reader with a book collection to prove it – then it’s time to create a retreat within your home where you can “unplug” from the daily grind – and decompress and relax among your favorite books.   And what better place to do this than in a home library.

Decorating a room with books never gets old.  It provides warmth and character to the space instantly drawing you in.  Relaxing among books  somehow warms our souls as we surround ourselves with longtime friends and curious adventures.

Whether your home is spacious enough for a dedicated “library”, a mini- library or a transformed  corner of a room– there are a few key elements to keep in mind:

  • Designate a quiet area within your home where traffic is at a minimum.
  • Take inventory of your collection and assess whether the newly designated wall space is able to house them all – if not pick those in the best condition and donate the rest.
  • Make sure that this space is able to tolerate floor to ceiling bookshelves and the excessive weight of the books it will hold.
  • Prevent the shelves from bowing by increasing their thickness to 1 ½” thick.
  • Design the shelving to reflect the style and integrity of the home and have them fastened together and scribed to the wall for greater strength.
  • Select a material and finish that best showcases your collection. (Shelves painted a dark blue or black allows for the books to pop)!
  • Provide a functional floor plan/layout. Have the shelves easily accessible with ample seating to curl up in.  A simple furniture arrangement such as a pair of oversized chairs, sidetables and lamps may be all you’ll need.
  • The proper lighting in your “library” will have a great impact over the space – and highlight your gorgeous collection. The combination of natural, general  (overheads, preferably on dimmers), task  (lamps with tri-light bulbs) and accent lighting (lighting shelves, plants, art etc.) will provide you with the best overall result.

Home libraries can be implemented anywhere.  So take a good look around your house – and see if any of these locations work for you.

  • Beneath the stairs
  • In a hallway
  • Around doorways and windows
  • Within the living room
  • An unused corner of a room
  • Loft or upper mezzanine landing
  • Bedroom
  • Family room
  • Home Office
  • Dedicated library retreat (its own space)

These deep dark shelves highlight the colorful collection – and the table and chairs vignette functions perfectly!

Photo: Cote de Texas

Incorporating window seats and bookshelves into this hallway immediately transforms it into a highly functional and beautiful space.

Photo via Patricia Gray Blog

This ideal home library nestled directly beneath the stairs fits in seamlessly with the overall design of the home – creating a multi-functional living space.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Here is a clever use of space in a very quaint room.  The shelving wrapping around the entrance frames the doorway, highlights the neighboring space and creates a focal point within the room.

Photo via House Beautiful

I just love the dark cabinetry offset with rich bursts of red.  The lower base cabinets visually anchor the tall shelving unit.

Photo via Southern Accents

A stunning two-story library showcases the owner’s extensive book collection and the home’s spectacular architectural styling as well.

So where is the best place for your library space?

Stay Inspired!

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2011 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

The Elegant Beauty Of Arches

March 29th, 2011 by Lori Gilder | 1 Comment

Whether you’re designing your home from the ground up, remodeling your existing space, or simply redecorating within – homeowners are no longer satisfied with living the cookie-cutter-lifestyle in a one-size-fits-all floor plan.

Embellishing, enhancing and styling your home’s interior by incorporating specific architectural details into the mix will help you achieve your ideal home environment – and undoubtedly set your home apart from the rest.

These details can be considered anything that adds visual interest, texture, character and charm to the integrity of the home – while fitting in seamlessly with the structure’s architectural style.

Some architectural details may include:

  • Wainscoting /board and batten
  • Moldings and baseboards
  • Doors and windows
  • Staircase and railing details
  • Ceiling beams or coffered details (when applicable)
  • Fireplace mantles and surrounds
  • Wall niches
  • Columns
  • Arches………….

To infuse instant grace and glamour into your home – introduce an arch or two into the mix.  They can act as a framework highlighting a spectacular outdoor view, separate rooms from each other, create a focal point within a space or act as a portal from one space to the next.  Either way, the options are endless.

Many arch styles exist but the 3 most common ones are:

The Soft Arch:
The soft arch is also referred to as the segmented or eyebrow arch – where it is a segment of a circle.  These work beautifully with both high and low header heights.

Soft Arch:                      Photo/Design: Lori Gilder Interior Makeovers Inc.

The Half Circle Arch:
The half circle arch is reminiscent of Roman Architecture and is typically introduced into more Tuscan, Spanish Colonial and Traditional interiors. This arch tends to require more generous ceiling heights due to radius of the arc.  You typically would like a minimum of 6’-8” at the lowest portion of the arch.

Half Circle Arch Photo Via Houzz      Design: Summerour Architects

The Elliptical Arch:
Lets just say the Soft Arch + Half Circle Arch = Elliptical Arch. This elliptical shape has a much more subtle radius in the center and a tighter corner radius.  It is a true combination of the segmented and roman combined and is able to generously span greater widths.

Elliptical Arch Photo via Elle Décor

Here are a few more inspirational ideas for you to enjoy.

Photo via Country Living

Photo Via Architectural Digest.           An enclosed outdoor space turned office.

Photo via Elle Décor

Photo via House Beautiful

Photo via House Beautiful

Which arch is your style?

Stay Inspired!

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2011 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

Interior Design Tips – Downsizing Inside and Out

October 20th, 2010 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

According to the National Association of Home Builders, single-family homes are continuing to get smaller and all indicators show this trend is likely to continue.  So it only makes sense that this trend apply to the interior of your home as well.

When it comes to conceptualizing your home design and decorating projects, downsizing and minimizing creates a more zen-like atmosphere. Rather than fill a space full of furniture, artwork, accessories and objects at every turn, consider downsizing for a more sophisticated and elegant look.  The more upscale homes are often the ones that incorporate elegant pieces, keep clutter to a minimum and exude light and airy interiors – where less is more.

Before you begin your home design project, take stock and inventory of what you have.  It will help you identify which pieces will stay and which will go!  Don’t be a hoarder – be willing to let go!

Here are some design tips when streamlining your home.

  • A room with high ceilings does not mean that it requires over-sized furniture and elaborate draperies on the windows. To the contrary, the openness of the ceiling can be a beckoning call to minimize other distractions.
  • Rather than focusing on heavy, bulky furniture, think about incorporating smaller scaled furniture that are well proportioned.
  • When purchasing new pieces don’t compromise on comfort! Purchase the best you can afford.
  • Don’t compromise on function.

The fun thing about down scaling is that it allows you to upscale on the patterns used in a room. For example, the trend now is to introduce larger geometric prints on window treatments or even wall coverings.  These punches of pattern can create a dramatic effect while complimenting the elegance of moderately sized furnishings.  For some added elegance and drama, consider using black and white photographs and prints as artwork.

Another important tip when it comes to decorating a small space is to introduce reflective metals and surfaces.  They can include silver, chrome, gold, mirrors, crystal, and other types of metals. There is still a heavy focus on mirrored chests and dressers today and these pieces definitely add sophistication and elegance to any space. Mirrored wall tiles will have a dramatic effect when reflecting killer views and natural light.  And don’t be afraid to install a beautiful glass and crystal chandeliers in the more unconventional spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms for that added glamour.

Remember that when it comes to home design and decorating projects, less is more and will make your room feel more spacious.

Interior Design Tips – How To Decorate A Formal Dining Room

August 10th, 2010 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Dining spaces can be formal, casual, or a combination of both. Many traditional homes have both a formal dining room and an informal eat-in kitchen.

When planning for a remodel of this area, whether you’re converting an existing space or adding on, consider:

  • The size of your family
  • The number of guests you typically invite to dinner parties
  • The types of occasions when you’ll use the room.

These facts will help guide you in planning the size of your dining space, the layout, and the furniture you’ll ultimately choose. Also consider traffic flow and especially the proximity to the kitchen for serving meals.

Your dining room is also a great space to store extra-large serving pieces that don’t typically fit in your kitchen. Whether you incorporate built-in cabinetry or individual storage pieces, make sure to provide enough clearance for cabinet doors to open fully. When planning lighting, consider all the uses: dramatic enough for elegant dinner parties and bright enough for your kids’ birthday parties.

10 Tips To Consider When Designing A More Formal Dining Room

  1. Add character in your dining room by adding simple wood panels, moldings, or beams on your ceiling.
  2. For a more traditional feel and layered look, install some paneled wainscoting and beefy crown molding around the perimeter of your room.
  3. Increase the size of your baseboard by adding another piece of molding to the existing material to make it look chunkier and more substantial.
  4. If you’re lucky enough to have hardwood flooring beneath that old green carpeting, then simply re-finish and stain it in a deep rich tone.
  5. When renovating your dining room, check the plans to make sure your existing furniture will fit back in to the new space.
  6. Rectangular dining tables are best suited for rectangular dining rooms. If you need to seat 8 to 10 people, the recommended room size is a minimum of 10’6” x 15’.
  7. Square dining spaces look fantastic with either square or round tables. Rounds are my personal favorite as they provide for a much more intimate dining experience. For 8 to 10 people, the recommended room size for an 8 ft. diameter table typically is an 18’6” square space.
  8. Provide a focal point in the dining room either by enhancing an existing fireplace or creating a new vignette by introducing a beautiful hutch for storage, and flank your favorite piece of art above with a pair of colorful lamps.
  9. Use a combination of light sources. In addition to a central fixture or chandelier, it’s tremendously effective to add some recessed halogen light fixtures to highlight artwork, or any other key pieces—and your crystal and silverware will sparkle like diamonds.
  10. Hang your chandelier anywhere from 36” to 42” from the tabletop (from the top of the table to the underside of the fixture). Keep the diameter of the fixture 9”- 12” smaller than the width of your table.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.