5 Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer Before You Build or Remodel

by Lisa Stewart 8 Nov 2017

Working with an experienced interior designer teamed with your contractor can help control costs while upgrading creativity so you end up with a distinctive home that flows beautifully throughout. 

 

Why hire an interior designer? 

1. Couples don’t always agree. Designers can reconcile conflicting styles and make unlike things work together in surprising ways. 

2. Designers keep up with the latest trends and techniques in building construction. We come up with beautiful creative ideas and solutions that you would never think about. Builders appreciate what we bring to the table.

3. Interior designers know when to splurge and how to save without sacrificing style. Allowances can be blown easily, so designers can oversee selections of cabinetry, lighting and other items to help keep you on track. 

4. Designers know the best sources. Most designers have access to unusual items not available to the public. 

5. Designers use common sense. There are so many gorgeous things out there. You can become emotional when trying make multiple important decisions at one time. “I love this. And I love that!” Feeling overwhelmed, the temptation is to admit defeat and let the builder or sales staff choose. Really? Designers are in the best position to help you make decisions that are practical and that beautifully contribute to your overall design vision. 

Time to call Lisa! Read more here.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC. 


Tips for Hiring a Contractor

by Lisa Stewart 8 Nov 2017

An interior designer’s advice for remodeling or building.

Are you considering working with a contractor for remodeling or building a new home? Here are some things to consider.

Get at least three estimates that include everything from repairs, warranties to clean-up. The unforeseen things can get you, and you don't want to be gotten!

Don't be too quick to jump at the lowest bid. A Consumer Reports survey showed that people who used the lowest bidder got poorer quality work. On the flipside going with the highest bidder doesn't guarantee great work either.

Call at least three references. Ask about quality, clean-up, how changes were handled, if calls were returned, and if the job was completed on time and on budget. If not, find out why.


Make sure the contractor is licensed. In North Carolina, a contractor's license is only required for jobs costing $30,000 or more. But while a license doesn't guarantee success in a job, it does indicate a certain level of professionalism and competence. You can check their licensing status at the NC Licensing Board of General Contractors.

Get proof of insurance and verify it so that you're not liable for problems. Ask them to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance dated for the project dates and issued by the Insurance Provider before they start work on your home.  

Get a written contract that specifically lists what will be done, a payment schedule and a time table, including a completion date.

Ready to start a project? Read more here.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.

2017 Fall High Point Market: Magic with Mary McDonald

by Lisa Stewart 19 Oct 2017

Blushing pink interior design inspiration from furniture market.



This beautiful setting designed by Mary McDonald for the Chaddock showroom blends black, white, blossom, large geometric shapes and a touch of gold. The award-winning Los Angeles interior designer is the one of the stars featured on the Bravo TV series “Million Dollar Decorators” and "Property Envy". Mary has influenced my design signature for years. What a treat to finally meet her!

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.


News & Observer: Pro Tips When Designing a New Home

by Lisa Stewart 10 Oct 2017

Plus Lisa’s “must haves” for building and remodeling your Raleigh home.

And why should I hire an interior designer?


Hiring an interior designer can give you that divine dwelling you’ve dreamed of and provide more value for your money. And there’s no need to stress about cost: consulting fees are typically 1 to 1.5 percent of the total project cost. By engaging an interior designer before construction starts, as my client did in this project, you’ll end up with a design you’ll love for years to come with minimal extra investment.

Download my newspaper article here.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.

Must-Have When Building or Remodeling a Home: A Lighting Expert

by Lisa Stewart 9 Oct 2017

Design your home with lighting to brighten your life!


When building or remodeling a home take time to learn the latest in lighting from lighting expert, Deb Dorn of Capitol Lighting Gallery. She always keeps me up to date on the innovative and high-tech options available in the market today! Together we can design lighting plans for you that will add comfort and luster to your life.  

Here are just a few radiant ideas. Light stairways for safety. Place outlets in the floor for lamps on tables in the middle of the room. Use the Legrand System for a kitchen backsplash free of unsightly outlets and switches. Consider adding above-cabinet lighting to supplement the under-cabinet lighting. Add toe-kick lighting in kitchens and baths for perfect night lights. Put dimmers on everything for relaxing evening entertaining. Use beautiful chandeliers, sconces, lamps and more to finish off the space with personality. Then learn how to control it all from your phone!

Prepare your list of lighting must-haves early so the electrician can create a plan and execute to your requirements. Prepare your budget also. Some of these glowing extras may seem costly, but Deb always helps my clients come in on budget. Make an appointment with Deb soon to illuminate your environment!

See a kitchen backsplash that's free of unsightly outlets and switches. Go here. 

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.

 

Must-Have When Building or Remodeling a Home: Kitchen Countertop Continues as the Backsplash

by Lisa Stewart 8 Oct 2017

Design a clutter free look by continuing the countertop material right up the wall.

 

This kitchen feels open and airy because the granite countertop and backsplash visually enlarges the space. Notice also how the backsplash has no unsightly outlets and switches. They are hidden by using products that install under the upper cabinets. There are also USB ports and device holders for the homeowners’ phones, tablets and other devices.

For more information on these products read more here. 

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.


Must-Have When Building or Remodeling a Home: A Beautiful Sink

by Lisa Stewart 22 Sep 2017

Move over stainless. There’s a new sink in town!


The heart and soul of the kitchen belongs to the kitchen sink and I’m drawn to the beautiful, granite-like composite sinks that come in many neutral colors. They are rock-hard durable and heat, scratch and stain resistant. Being made of porous natural stone, they do require a little regular maintenance: cleaning with a mild cleanser and protecting them with mineral oil keeps them looking like new. Whether you’re preparing food, cleaning up after a meal, or simply washing your dishes and utensils, it's important to choose a sink that fits the way you live and adds a bit of personality to your home.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.

Must-Have When Building or Remodeling a Home: Kitchen Drawers Designs are Making Life Easier!

by Lisa Stewart 21 Sep 2017

Kitchens often function better with drawers instead of doors.


Making decisions about kitchen cabinetry is one of the biggest investments a homeowner makes when it comes to designing or renovating their kitchen. The “drawers versus door” debate continues. But I’m sold on drawers; here’s why!

1. Ease of use: Access to your kitchen supplies is one of the great benefits of designing with drawers. No more items hidden in the very back. Drawers make everything easily accessible without reaching, stretching or straining. Cleaning is a breeze! No need to shift items around while trying to find what you need because everything is right at your fingertips. 

2. Organization: You’re probably familiar with drawers for utensils and smaller items. Recent innovations in drawer design now allows them to handle the size and weight of large pots and pans. The drawers are customized for specific items with movable peg boards to secure plates, bowls and glasses. The components are adjustable to accommodate changes in the future. 

3. More storage: You'll be able to fit a lot more stuff into the same amount of cabinetry because drawers use every square inch of the cabinets’ interior box. Also, drawers are designed so everything fits neatly into its own spot. 

Over the years I’ve worked with many talented kitchen designers who always seem to be able to solve my clients’ kitchen storage dilemmas. Take time to learn about the latest in kitchen design and soon you’ll have the kitchen of your dreams.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.