When I tell my clients that I offer E-Design services, the first thing they ask is… “What is E-Design?”. Think of this as the most convenient, collaborative way for you to redecorate your space! Many people have heard it called Virtual Decorating or Online Interior Decorating. E-Design is convenient, affordable, and faster than traditional design services because there is a true partnership and collaboration between the client and designer. Most of the work is done virtually through email, video calls, text, pinterest and the Design Files program so the benefits to the client are flexibility, faster turn arounds and affordability.
A questionnaire is filled out online which covers everything from timeline, budget, color, style, who will use the space and why you’re wanting to decorate. From there, I schedule a video call with you so that I can see your space and go more in depth about the goals for your project.
I give you directions to measure your space and take plenty of good photos and make note of any existing pieces you want to work into the new design.
I create a secret Pinterest board that only you and I can see. This is a GREAT resource for us to share inspirational ideas for your room, and to make sure we’re traveling down the right path to creating the perfect design. The more information we share, the better your design will be! (This is particularly important if you purchase my Basic Eye for E-Design package because you only receive one board with NO revisions).
Based on the package purchased, you’ll receive a set number of mood boards. A mood board is created in my Design Files program virtually and will be the core to turning inspiration and ideas into your room design. Boards are created based on answers in your questionnaire, your Pinterest saves and inspiration photos. My signature Lay It Out For Me E-Design package is the best value and allows for 1 revision. I like to make sure we are vibing with the color, pattern and general direction of the space before delivering your final board. Have fun with this and take the time to provide feedback! This is as much your design as it is mine so the more feedback the better!
I have several package options that will fit the needs of a variety of clients. I also offer a-la-carte services such as shopping, lighting mood board, rug mood boards etc. If you have a room that is in need of a little extra help, just let me know and I can better customize your package to your specific needs
All my packages include shopping lists and links to purchase product. After receiving the final mood board, you’re responsible for purchasing the recommended items at your leisure and decorating the room once product is received. I offer an optional Post-Design virtual call with my signature packages that allows you go call me for decorating advice if needed. This call is for me to advise you on hanging artwork, styling your accessories or to address any remaining questions you have about finishing your space.
Even if you are just now hearing about virtual interior design it is already causing a stir in the design community and beyond. I think it’s important to address some of the impressions that are currently out there and provide a bit more background about E-Designers in general.
If you’re new to E-Design, it doesn’t necessarily mean that E-Design is a new concept. Online decorating sites have been around for a few years and are increasing in popularity; giving more credibility to E-Design as a decorating option. With the recent COVID epidemic, virtual/ online decorating has exploded and gained even more popularity since it’s business model supports social distancing and online collaboration.
E-design and Traditional Interior Decorating appeal to different types of clients. E-Design clients are typically very savvy decorators that just need some professional pointers or the confidence in knowing their ideas will come together with a beautiful result. Because online design boards are very fluid, results are immediate. Clients have full visibility to budget, sourcing, and design elements and when completed, the decision to purchase everything at once, or in stages based on their timeline.
My path to interior decorating has not been a straight line and it’s not something I keep secret. I was an art major in college for 2 years studying design, painting, drawing and architecture prior to earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Major in Marketing. After college I was fortunate enough to follow my dream of being a retail buyer and working for some of the top fashion retailers in New York and San Francisco in their corporate buying offices. My responsibilities ranged from product development, sourcing, buying, strategic planning, and merchandise planning, to store management. From this experience I was able to create products and dictate fashion trends that translated nationwide. If any of you purchased polar fleece from Old Navy in the 90s as an “Item of the Week”… you’re welcome!
At this point you’re probably wondering how this is all related to E-Design… WELL… After 15 years in fashion I found myself in Tampa Florida, which is not exactly known as the fashion hub of the US. I went to work in the corporate buying office for a large local furniture and décor company, that I realized much of my fashion industry experience translated to home décor. I immediately started to get my education and certifications in Interior Decorating, Home staging, Interior Color Application and E-Design. I built my business because, like my clients I wanted flexibility in location and hours. I love that I can work conveniently and affordably with clients and still create the perfect space for them!
False. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to create design boards. I customize each board based on my client’s vision. Just because I’m not coming to your home with samples doesn’t mean the boards are easy. The design process of getting room inspiration, shopping, and working with clients is still the same and takes hours behind the scenes to complete. The method of procurement and way we interact are the only things that change E-Design vs traditional decorating.
I pride myself on working within my clients’ specific budget requirements and curating product from multiple sources. However, I cannot realistically furnish an entire living room from scratch for $1000. Technically I could, but in the end the quality of the furniture would suffer, and your design would look like a college dorm room. Because of this, I provide a budget calculator so we can level-set the budget expectations together and create a result everyone is happy with.
I’ve work with many products and have a list of preferred, trusted vendors that I trust. Have I seen and touched all the items on your boards? NO. If I have any questions about quality, texture, or colors I’ll sometimes order swatches or do more research, YES. But this is an exception and not the rule. At the end of the day, I cannot personally guarantee the color/texture/quality of every item. Nor can I guarantee the availability or the shipping times for products. I seek out companies that offer preferred terms for designers, reliable delivery and returns but have no -authority over the third-party companies.
I ask a lot of questions of my clients and have both written questionnaires and Facetime meetings to understand the specifics of each project. I even take it a step further in setting up a collaborative Pinterest board for each client to pin inspiration or specific elements they want included into their design. These tools are used for me to deliver the perfect design for my client, not for my clients to do my job. I’m very upfront that E-Design involves more client collaboration than traditional decorating since we work virtually. If you desire direct communication with me, I offer packages that address this need. My goal with all clients is to deliver the perfect design and I’m unable to do that if I don’t know what the client wants the end result to look like.
E-Design is not for everyone, but it’s a GREAT option for the right client. If you want design direction and expertise but don’t mind being involved in the process to prepare, manage and execute the project, then E-Design is the perfect service for you!
Nicole Saunches and Cathy Di Leo talk about benefits of Staging
wrought iron chandeliers with 12 tiers weighing 800 pounds, window treatments with fringe, fake plants on the tops of your cabinets, metal wall décor, dark wood kitchens…oh how the Tuscany Style from the year 2000 haunts us!
If you’re like the majority of my clients, you’re watching HGTV getting depressed. Moving or building a new home seems easier than remodeling, but is not always the answer. If you’re in a great neighborhood and love the bones of your Tuscan style home, fear not! Updating is not as difficult as you may imagine. You can go at it alone or click here to schedule a free discover call with me.
The first step in updating your home, is to determine your style and have a plan. Whether your home is Transitional, Mid-Century Modern, Farmhouse or Contemporary, the style should be curated to reflect both your family’s personality and the style of the home. Also remember to keep the chosen style cohesive throughout the entire home so there is a flow rather than a disruption to that flow.
“Update a home by using an outdated color or palette”, said no one EVER! A good rule of thumb is that if it resembles peanut butter, you should repaint. The tricky thing with homes built 15 years ago, is that the trim and wood colors are not compatible to today’s trends. Many homeowners want to paint in the grays or cool colors that are trending and end up getting a result that doesn’t quite feel right. This leads to having to repaint or live with a bad result. There are some great warm neutrals that will give your home an updated look, but still match the undertones in granite and travertine used in Tuscan homes. Painted Accent walls and faux finishes are highly discouraged! Many people add an accent wall when they want a pop of color. However, many times this is not done purposefully so it ends up giving a less than desired results. Accent wall are a great idea, but need to be used to accent architectural features, or improve the space. They are the exception, not the norm!
Many of the mid 2000 homes I go into have very ornate vanities with gilded gold or tile encased mirrors. Even worse, they have a builder mirror that’s glued to the plaster! Replacing this type of mirror with an oval or round mirror is an easy way to lighten up and modernize the bathroom. When considering paint for the bath, painting the walls and vanities will easily add value to your home. Walls in blue are always a good choice and bathroom cabinets will benefit from paint if you’ve got dated, dark wood. Add updated and coordinated cabinet hardware, towel racks, toilet paper holders, lighting and Voila! No more Tuscany!
Kitchens are definitely an area of the home that echo the century in which the home was built. If you have carved grapes, ornate columns, or other decorative cabinetry, you may want to consider some updates. While it can be more expensive and time consuming to update your kitchen, cabinets can be painted to completely change the look of a home. If you’re not yet ready to commit to painting your cabinets, consider an accent color on the island. These changes can be made easier than completing an entire kitchen renovation, and it’s a lot less expensive. Even a simple change to the cabinets such adding or updating hardware can completely makeover the kitchen and get you a little closer to the modern era
Updating your lighting is another great way to give your space an updated look. Change out that heavy iron multi-tiered chandelier with an orb or visually lighter iron pendant. Lighting should create a focal point in a room without overpowering. Pay attention to scale when selecting chandeliers. A good rule of thumb is to measure the length plus width of the room in feet. This should equal the width of a chandelier in inches. It’s also a good idea to check the height of chandeliers above tables which should be no lower than 30 inches above the tabletop
A makeover would not be complete if we didn’t touch on furniture and accessories. It’s time to say bye-bye to the leather furniture! Nothing sucks up the light in a room or screams Tuscany like a leather sofa. I get it! Leather is exceptionally durable for families and easy to clean with pets. However, leather isn’t your only option. There are many performance fabrics in the market like Crypton and Sunbrella brands, for durable, stain resistant upholstered furniture. Cream, Ivory or oatmeal are great color choices in updated silhouettes with track arms. This can be as little as an $800 investment and will catapult you into this decade quickly. Keep the leather to a minimum and consider using it for an accent chair or a beautiful ottoman. Add the finishing touch with metal, wood, glass and white accessories with a pop of color in your pillows and rug.. and you’ve got a fantastic looking space!
De-Tuscanizing your home may take some time, but keep in mind simple, clean lines with lighter colors is the key to catapulting your home into this century and adding value!
Many of my calls are from clients that have had a bad paint result or are just frustrated and overwhelmed with picking a color… There are so many resources for paint.. many my clients have spent hours on the internet in search of the best grays or the hottest trends. While this is helpful and inspirational, it doesn’t always address the specifics of their home, and can many times end in disaster.
All whites are treated equal. Although all whites appear to be the same, they are probably the most difficult colors to work. There are numerous undertones of whites and sometimes it’s very subtle unless compared to another white… which leads me to…
Not matching undertones. Undertones are colors that emerge when comparing one color to another. Undertones can make a dated kitchen look even more dated or can bring an old, tired kitchen to life. It’s all about matching the undertones in the cabinets and trim with the undertones in the paint color to achieve a desired result. I’ve never had a client ask for me to choose a kitchen paint color that makes it appear like a 70’s throwback kitchen. But you never know!
No Patience. Paint needs to be viewed on a wall in many different conditions. Daylight, Evening, Cloudy days and sunny days will all affect the perceived color of the paint. For this reason, you should not be to quick to decide and live with a sample for several days before choosing.
Putting Paint Samples Next To Each Other. Putting up multiple colors right next to each other, complicates the decision. You compare the colors to each other rather than comparing to permanent objects in the room like trim and flooring. Each color should be viewed on the wall by itself to get the full benefit of how the color will look in the space.
Too Many Colors. There are ways to accent a space while still keeping it classy. Accent walls can be used to enhance a space, but it’s not always right for every situation. If done incorrectly it ends up looking cheap and dated. The proper paint palette and application will create a purposeful flow from room to room and not choppy breaks in the visual field. These multiple colors and breaks create anxiety and can be unsettling rather than draw you easily through a space.
Clients don’t go Bold. Being a lover of color, I love bold accent colors and bright, fun colors. Don’t be afraid to paint with bold colors but be aware of the space. You can use bold colors in a room where you want the space to appear smaller and cozier to create warmth. You can also use bolds to feature some great architecture! Don’t be scared but be purposeful.
Color can be your new BFF or worst Frenemy! Have fun with it, but most of all pick something you can live with and a color that makes you happy!
It’s fun to see how each major paint company translates the color trends of the year, and how those trends correlate or translate to interior design trends. Behr, Sherwin Williams and PPG have already started to predict and release the hot colors for 2021. The resonating theme of these top 3 brands is balance, comfort, peace and flow in our new unpredictable normal. Nonetheless, it’s always fun to take our cues from the trends, using these as accent colors for that cozy guest room, or to create a dramatic office space!
PPG’s 2021 Paint Palette of the year incorporates oatmeal, ginger and blue. All of these can compliment the grays… (yes I said gray will again trend for 2021).
Sherwin Williams released their 2021 Colormix Forecast reinforcing “Rhythm is the secret to how the natural world stays in step. The same sense of balance applies to our personal sense of nature through how we live”. With 4 different palettes; Sanctuary, Continuum, Tapestry and Encounter, If Sherwin Williams is right, “grays, muted blues, soft pinks, and whites” will soon be showing up everywhere.
Lastly, we have the predicted trends for Behr who based their color palette on “colors to elevate your comfort zone”. The Casual Palette features warm neutrals in earthy tones while soothing blues and greens make up the Calm Palette offering peace and solace. Tinted pastels in pink and blue bring soft pops of color to the Subtle Palette while the Quiet Haven palette makes a bold expressive statement with dark greens, blues and grays. If you’re that person that loves eclectic color, then the Optimistic Palette is for you in oranges, purples, teals and blues. This palette will bring the fun and personality to any room!
One thing is for certain in this time of uncertainty, we need to take time for ourselves: re-balancing and prioritizing our health… whether that be physical or mental. Color is a part of our mood; we feel it rather than think it. Let it be an inspiration to you when to create the perfect space!
Di Leo Design & Staging was recently asked to participate in a Redfin Article by Emily Huddleston entitled “Staging a House on a Budget”. As staging experts, we were proud to provide tips along with some other top stagers in the industry. We hope you enjoy the article!
To view the full article, click the link above or read below.
Staging a House on a Budget: Tips from the Experts
When it comes to selling your house, appearance is everything. Home staging is an art designed to show off your home in its best light, and because of that, it can make all the difference. But what do you do if you don’t have a large budget set aside for home staging?
Don’t worry yet, we have good news! Fortunately, whether you’re renting out a condo in Portland, OR, or selling your home in Atlanta, GA, staging a house on a budget is a totally viable option. To help you get started, we asked expert stagers from across the country to share some quick and easy ideas that will make your house look great (and more importantly won’t break the bank).
Showcase what made you fall in love with the house. If you’re ready to sell, ask yourself: what made you fall in love with your house? Most likely those things will be the ones that attract buyers. Make sure those areas are cleaned up, de-cluttered, and emphasized so they shine and wow buyers. – Style Fusion Home Staging
Remove excess furniture. While many people want to display the many possibilities for each room, it is critical to keep a clean and open layout. Removing any excess furniture reduces clutter and opens up the airflow. Too much furniture can shrink an area dramatically and hide the true space of the room. – The Staging Tree
Try virtual staging. The most efficient and cost-effective way to stage any room in less than 24 hours (with zero furniture) is with virtual staging. On-demand virtual staging provides sellers the unfair advantage in the marketplace that will allow them to display any space in various setups and styles. – LRB Design Studios
Stage with items from the grocery store. When we’re staging homes, our final step is a trip to the grocery store. We generally stock up on 6-12 bottles of Pellegrino and attractive cans for the pantry area, a bowl of limes, and some margarita mix for a wicker cart. – Zesty Staging
Keep color and style consistent throughout the home. When color and style are a common thread throughout the home, buyers are more emotionally comfortable and connected. The use of no more than three main colors (use slipcovers on furniture if necessary, especially if they are well ‘loved’), and one style (be it transitional, modern, contemporary, western, traditional, etc.), will do the trick! – The Efficient H.O.U.S.E
Hang neutral subject artwork. A cost-effective way to hang neutral subject artwork is to buy inexpensive IKEA “Ribba” picture frames (24″ x 35″) and insert leftover wallpaper or fabric that you (or friends) may have on hand that coordinate with your home’s color scheme. For impact, hang two or three frames together approximately 5-6″ apart above a sofa or on a large wall. – Mackenzie Creative Home Staging
Switch out personal photos with scrapbook or wrapping paper. If you already have picture frames hung up, a great way to cover up personal or family photos is to use scrapbook paper or even neutral wrapping paper as inserts. Choose muted colors and patterns that coordinate with your space. Simply cut the paper to size and insert it into the frame, covering the current photo. – My Nest Is The Best
Address visual clutter. The biggest reason people give for moving is a lack of space in their current home, so selectively prune anything that distracts buyers from seeing the great features of your home. Stacks, even if neat and straight, add weight and visual clutter to rooms. The Dezign Zoo motto is “when in doubt, take it out.” – Dezign Zoo
Paint the front door. A quick and inexpensive way to increase curb appeal is to give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Choose a bold, contrasting color that will stand out and immediately draw the buyers’ eyes to it when they pull up to the house. Black is always a winner, or you could choose a bright, trending color like turquoise, yellow, or orange. – Larimar Home Staging
Stage an extra bedroom as a home office. Since so many of us are now working completely from home or more remotely, this tip can go a long way in appealing to today’s buyers. With this, you want to make sure everything flows and is as open as possible to create a positive and uplifting working environment. For a budget-friendly office, sometimes simpler is better. There’s no need to go overboard with accessories and desk decor, clean and fresh is the way to go. – Universal Staging Company
Have matching lamps and side tables. A great low budget tip is to have matching lamps and side tables in the primary bedroom so it feels and looks expensive. Staging isn’t about pretty, it is about creating value in the buyer’s eye. – Ask for Staging
Declutter. Spend at least a few weekends to completely declutter closets (we want to see baseboards!), pantries, cabinets, and bookshelves. Take closets down by 50 percent, remove magnets from the fridge, etc. If you aren’t convinced if something is de-cluttered enough, take a photo and see if it still looks cluttered through a camera lens – Curly Willow Design Studio
Remove all small appliances, toys, magazines, and pet items. – Utah Elite Staging
Incorporate biophilic design. This design approach seeks to connect the outdoors with people indoors. Open all your window treatments, let in the sunshine and the view, and bring the relativity of nature in with a few, well placed live houseplants, or fake, silk trees to set the green tone. This enhances vitality and psychological wellbeing, as buyers judge homes with all of their senses. Just be sure to avoid heavily fragranced plants or flowers because some people are sensitive to strong scents. It pays to be green in staging, as gorgeous greenery will always be in fashion. – Domaine Luxe
Make the floors sparkle. Open up your space, let the light in and clean it up. It starts with your floors; if you have hardwood floors and want them to sparkle, mix up some of your household items, 1 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, distilled water, spray, and rub. – DDG DESIGN STUDIO
Buy cheap Goodwill books for shelves and coffee tables. Book selection is critical because when people see a book it tends to invoke thoughts and feelings. When staging a downtown condo, I want to see big coffee table books that are focused around modern art, the city where the condo is located, or an interesting modern photography book. Oftentimes I will see a cartoon or comic book as these are common coffee table books but it’s hard for the buyer to envision their new upscale living with a cartoon book. I also like bookshelves to contain thought-provoking books and avoid anything controversial. – Vize Virtual Staging
Style the front hallway. The front hallway is the first impression for your home when buyers walk in. Get it right. Add a mirror for a great reflection of light and to make the foyer seem larger, add fresh flowers like roses or lilies. First impressions count. – Margery Wedderburn Interiors
Freshen up a room with a new coat of paint. If you don’t need a lot of paint and are maybe just doing an accent wall, many local stores like Home Depot have discounted paint cans from incorrect orders – whether it was the wrong finish, incorrect tint, or something else. These ready to use paint cans can be heavily discounted – even as little as $5 per gallon. – Roomhance
Use fluffy white towels. I always recommend new fluffy white towels in master bathrooms. White denotes cleanliness, and fluffy towels add a fresh spa-like feeling to the bathroom. Towels are inexpensive and can be purchased at any large retailer, plus the seller can use them again in their brand new home. – Lenko Design
Take great listing photos. 90 percent of homebuyers start their search online. To make sure your photos look great, take a picture of your exterior and every room – this is what potential buyers will see. Add and edit your belongings until the photos look worthy of a compelling listing photo. – House Candy Home Staging
Buy new, neutral throw pillows for the sofa and large accent chairs. Most of us have dark furniture because it hides more everyday use, but it also photographs poorly and can make a room look small and dingy. By adding new fluffy throw pillows to your furniture, it will update the room and brighten up the space. – The Staging Team
Depersonalize your home. Depersonalizing and decluttering makes a world of difference when selling a home that you’re living in. Keep the staging neutral and bright to help the home appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. – Witty Rentals
Creating a soothing sanctuary. The master bedroom is where we spend 1/3 of our lives, so why not make sure it looks soothing, clean, and stylish. Add solid white bedding (avoiding busy patterns) and layered pillows while removing excess furniture and clutter. A well-staged master bedroom helps showcase an inviting and calming feel for prospective buyers, making someone feel like they can move right in. – Step By Stage Interiors
Float furniture away from the walls. The way you choose to arrange your furniture can dramatically change how big or open a room feels. Sellers shouldn’t be scared to float sofas and armchairs away from the wall, as long as they are placed parallel to one of the walls in the space. This is especially effective with open floor plans, where the placement of a large sofa between two spaces can help define the separate living spaces. – Jodi Maturo Design
Make easy changes in the bathroom. Remove all floor rugs in the bathroom as it makes the floors look bigger. Add a small succulent or white orchid next to the sink. Your go-to towels are white, fluffy, and crisp — new hand towels will give a spa-like ambiance. – Maple&Moss
Arrange table lamps and floor lamps in a triangular configuration. Doing so spreads light evenly throughout the room. If you can’t add a third light consider hanging a clean-lined mirror on the wall to bounce additional light and open up the room. – Synergy Staging
Update your cabinet hardware. If you don’t have the time or resources to update your kitchen by replacing or painting cabinets, consider switching out your hardware instead. Updating your cabinet hardware to something more modern does wonders for your kitchen while keeping your project extremely budget-friendly. I recommend using a matte black pull and purchasing from Amazon to keep the cost well under $100.00. – Homeslice Studios
Create a kitchen that feels spacious and functional. Whether you’ve got a massive kitchen with a large island or a smaller galley-style space, all homebuyers will be looking for a kitchen that feels spacious and functional. Keep countertops cleared off so they seem more expansive. I like to keep my staging items to a minimum: a large bowl of fruit, maybe a tall, simple display of flowers or branches if there’s an island. If there are open shelves or glass-fronted cabinets, keep your color scheme neutral and monochrome. It will make the space feel clean and cohesive. – A Simpler Design, Dallas based stylist and furniture painter
Add flowers. A simple (and cheap) bouquet from a grocery store or some stems from the backyard is all that’s needed to add brightness to any home. The key is to choose the tallest stems that can be found and pair it with a large, clear vase for that look of sophistication while adding that perfect homey touch. – MM Decor
Try alstroemeria flowers, they look fresh and can last two weeks. They also look great for MLS photos and showings. – Preston Interiors
Only stage the key rooms. The key to saving money with staging is to only stage the key rooms. If it’s an occupied home try to use as much of what you already have, then throw in what’s needed to complete the job. – Lancaster Home Staging And Design
Let the light in. Good lighting is so important in making a home look and feel great to buyers. Take down any unnecessary window treatments to allow as much natural light into the home as possible and introduce some artificial lighting into each room with additional floor and table lamps. Light helps a space feel much larger and more open. – DL Custom Designs
Visit second-hand stores to find unique and low-cost pieces. These budget-friendly stores can help homeowners design inviting spaces for both their property listing photos and open houses. The trick is to be creative and think outside their personal decor preferences when shopping. – In Good Design
Focus on color. Color is essential when it comes to staging your home. We advise sticking with warm, neutral colors for painting. Lighter shades are not only more attractive to the eyes, but it helps buyers to visualize their own household items in the house. – Stone House Stage + Design
Incorporate fresh greenery. Fresh cut greenery can go a long way to enhance the decor of a staged home. If you live in a tropical area, Palm leaves placed in a clear glass vase look amazing on a coffee table. Other greenery that can be used is Eucalyptus, Fern, or Fiddle Leaf Fig stems. – Di Leo Design & Staging
Originally published by Redfin