Coastal Vibes

I’ve always loved the beach having grown up close to the Long Island Sound and spending all my childhood summers there. It’s no wonder that my home reflects my love of water and the beach. I now live close to the Pacific Ocean and my love of Coastal design continues and I’m not alone! Coastal design is very popular and I have many clients asking for that “vibe”.

My interpretation of Coastal Design includes lots of neutrals and whites with pops of blues and greens. I like to incorporate natural materials, wood tables with light finishes, woven wood materials for window treatments, benches, rugs and accessories, comfy sofas and chairs in light colored fabrics and textured area rugs. A cool idea is using grasscloth wallpaper for an accent wall to add texture and interest. And of course artwork that brings more color into the space and defines the style.

Have fun with this cool, timeless trend. Your rooms will have a comfortable, relaxed feeling like being on vacation at your favorite beach resort. Here are some examples of the Coastal vibe. Call us to help you get the feeling for your home.

Cabinets-to Reface or Replace? That is the question.


Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is a great way to add value and update your home. These rooms are two of the the most important rooms in your home to buyers when they are shopping for their dream home. You will recoup more of the money invested in a remodel by updating these rooms than any other rooms in your home. A complete kitchen remodel including replacing cabinets can be quite expensive since it is labor intensive involving tear out, building new cabinets, plumbing, electrical, and finally installation. Add to that the cost of materials-cabinets, counters, backsplash, sink, hardware, plumbing, appliances, etc. If you’re on a tighter budget or happy with your cabinets and just want a newer look, an affordable option is to simply reface the existing cabinets.

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Affordable Interior Design in Temecula

Chaparro BedroomI recently participated in a Home Show Event in a private Del Webb community in Hemet, California. I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of residents at the event. I am always surprised at how people are confused as to how designers charge for their time. Many people are under the misconception that designers are expensive to work with and they can’t afford to hire one. Granted, some top designers in major metropolitan areas are expensive to work with. Many have made a name for themselves and work with celebrities who have large budgets to offer the designer to work with. A designer has to keep in mind the area he or she works in and who they want to target their services to. Designers also have many ways they can charge for their services. They can charge a flat rate, an hourly rate, cost plus for purchases and/or a combination of these.

Working with a designer can actually save you money on your project. Their education and experience in their specialized field qualifies them to create a cohesive design for each project. Designers skillfully combine artistry, project management and knowledge of interior design into one profession. Each project is unique and requires a wide spectrum of ability to complete a wide range of tasks on time as well as on budget. From sketching, designing, researching, shopping for furniture, fabrics, paint, and accessories, coordinating trades, installers and deliveries takes a lot of time and knowledge. Most people do not understand what goes into creating a successful design project. Unfortunately HGTV has given people a false view of our industry. They fail to show all the time, people and actual cost involved with a design project. They simplify the project and lead the viewer to believe that design is a simple process. Anyone who has tried to tackle a project on their own with less than satisfactory results or are left with a room they hate can attest to this. A designer can save you from making purchase mistakes and wasting money. They can also save you money by selling  you items way below retail prices.

For the past twelve years, I have offered affordable interior design services at  Rancho Interior Design. I always ask for a budget before I begin a project so I create a practical design that can be implemented. There’s nothing worse than creating a design that a client can’t afford to purchase. I have been successful at creating beautiful spaces with quality furnishings on modest budgets.  I have different design plan options so anyone who needs help can afford to work with me and my team.

I wanted to blog about this subject after a couple I worked with came up to me at the Home Show (they were the reason I was invited to be featured at the event!). They both individually pulled me aside and said how much they loved their home and how much money I saved them!! I was able to sell them furniture at lower prices than they shopped for anywhere else. They said the amount I saved them more than paid for my services. (Their bedroom is featured here on top of this blog). So I hope I cleared up some misconceptions about how we charge and let you know that yes, Interior Designers can be affordable. Give me a call.

Planning a Multi-Functional Space

Quite often clients come to me wondering how they can make the most use of their space, especially when they are dealing with a small space and need their space to perform many functions.

Small spaces can be challenging, however even small spaces can be designed to function for you in order to take full advantage of the space you have. The first thing you should do is assess the space and determine what is working for you and what is not working for you. Determine your needs so you can include them in your plan. Many small spaces can be designed to serve several purposes. For example, you may require office or work space and do not have an extra room to house a desk, files, and other materials. This is a common problem for more and more people who are working from home. Don’t worry; there probably is a solution to your dilemma. The first thing you want to do is look at your current floor plan and determine how it can be changed to accomplish this multi-tasking space.  Can you rearrange the main pieces of furniture to open up a space for the new office and still keep the floor plan open and functional?  There may be a corner or wall that is not being used to its maximum advantage that you can incorporate into your plan. Keep your options open. Draw your plan on graph paper before moving anything to be sure it works. Remember your traffic patterns and minimum allowances for walkways. Ideally you should leave a minimum opening of 36 inches. With smart planning you won’t require a lot of room for your new space. Be sure you design your office space to flow nicely with the rest of the room using the same style and colors and giving it a residential feel. Avoid industrial, office furniture. Instead choose similar style woods and materials for your office furniture that complement the rest of the room. Choose an upholstered Parsons side chair instead of a standard office desk chair.  Take advantage of vertical space and install shelving or cabinetry up the walls.  Use the shelving for your files to get them up and out of the way to free up maximum desk space. Keep magazines, notes and clippings in a uniform collection using magazine files which will look neat on the shelves and keep you organized. You can also use attractive baskets to store supplies. Complete the space by adding artwork, accessories, an interesting area rug and another comfy chair if space allows.

This same concept can apply to any room.  An extra bedroom can double as a guest bedroom and office using the same principles. Keep the furnishings non-industrial and choose pieces that complement the style of the bedroom.  If space is really at a premium, consider a Murphy bed which folds up onto the wall when not in use to give you the full use of space in the room for other activities.

When space is limited and you need your rooms to be multi-functional a little planning can go a long way. Just remember to tie the areas together by having the same feel for the spaces rather than making them look distinctly different. The result will be an attractive, functional space.  As always when in doubt consult a professional Interior Designer for ideas and inspiration.


Staying Home is the New Going Out to a Fancy Place

I saw an ad recently in Architectural Digest for Linge Roset furniture. The headline was “Staying Home is the New Going Out to a Fancy Place”. I thought what a great ad!  In these rough economic times, we are all modifying the way we spend and for a lot of us that means cutting back on how often we go out to a restaurant or club. We’re staying home and entertaining at home more than we have in recent times. It is reminiscent of Mid-Century America where cocktail parties and bridge clubs were a weekly occurrence. We are embracing the lifestyle, enjoying shows set in those times and even decorating our homes with the look of that era, 1950’s-1960’s America. So with that in mind, many of us are choosing to stay home and spend money on making our homes more comfortable and cozy. Here are a few remodeling design ideas to get you started.

Begin by deciding how much you want to spend on design changes. Look at your space and determine the function of the room and the mood you want for the space. Look at the furniture arrangement and determine if it is working for you. Determine what is working for you and what is not working. Do you have enough seating? Do you have adequate surfaces for food and drinks? Will you need extra tables when entertaining? How about lighting? You should have adequate task and ambient lighting in the room. How about style? Are you happy with the style or do you want a complete new look? Maybe you want to add or change wall colors. Paint can transform the mood of a room instantly. If your budget allows, add a new piece of furniture like a sofa for more seating and a style update. If you can’t afford new furnishings add new pillows in fun colors and patterns. Add carefully chosen unique accessories with a similar look or color to tie the room together. In place of greenery or plants try filling glass vases with real branches to add a pretty, natural look to a room. Add new area rugs to define your seating areas and add color and texture to the room. Speaking of Mid-Century design, a new fun idea is to add some vintage pieces to the room. How about a 50’s style bar you can pull out from the wall when entertaining and then put back along the wall as a console/sofa table to display some accessories, books or additional lighting.  Check out local antique and resale stores to find authentic pieces that will work for your space. Frames are a trendy way to decorate your walls. Use different styles and group them together with photos, artwork, mirrors, other interesting items or even display them empty. Interesting, pretty, unique or distressed frames become art in themselves when grouped together. Accessorize with care and thought.

Be careful to keep the space uncluttered and welcoming. You want to create a space that is comfortable for you and your family to enjoy as well as entertain in with your family and friends. Start with your plan, follow some simple design rules and be creative.  Don’t be afraid to add vintage touches to the space and not be all matchy-matchy. Your space will be more interesting and welcoming. For more ideas call Rancho Interior Design for In-Home Consultation  951-956-0661