News & Observer: This Designer Has Plenty of Pro Tips for Home Makeovers

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 the article.

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

Lavish Bath Remodels to Love

by Lisa Stewart 6 Oct 2017

Luxury interior design bath tile for less in Raleigh.

This stunning marble bath remodel features Marvel Calacatta Extra Bath Porcelain Tile from the Mosaic Showroom in Raleigh. It’s reasonably priced and installs beautifully. Shown here, the largest tiles are 18 x 36 when installed with grout. The luxurious look of imported Italian marble is astounding and can be yours for less than you might think! 

Below, these 4 x 8 Mirage Privilege porcelain tile wall slabs create an upscale statement but cost less than real stone options. If you like a grand palatial look, this one’s for you. It also can be found at the Mosaic Showroom.

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: Decorative Ceiling Molding and Trim

by Lisa Stewart 20 Sep 2017

Design decorative ceiling details for maximum impact!


When building or remodeling a home, interior designers will tell you to remember to look up! Ceilings are reaching new heights. I designed these stunning overhead canopies for a new home using standard 1-inch-by-6-inch lumber. It’s a great money-saving alternative to coffered ceilings. These details can be added aloft to any home and even used on walls. So start gazing upward! The possibilities are as endless as the sky. 

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 18 Sep 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!

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


Questions for Your Kitchen and Bath Remodeler

by Lisa Stewart 17 Sep 2017

Now that we’ve designed your dream kitchen and bath, you need answers from the contractor before you remodel.

 

This interior designer wants you to ask these questions before the construction starts.

Is the contractor licensed to complete a project of your scope? Ask for the license number and confirm it is in good standing with the NC Licensing Board of General Contractors.

Does that contractor carry general liability insurance? Request that a certificate of insurance be issued for your address and get a copy.

Does this project require permits and if so, will they procure it?

How long has the contractor been in business? Ask for references on jobs like your project.

Will the contractor use a licensed electrician, plumber and other specialty trades? 

What are the hours the work will be performed and who will oversee the job daily?

How does the contractor handle changes during the project?

Do they provide a warranty for their work? 

What steps will be taken to minimize disruption of lives, keep the house clean and ensure safety for all, including pets?

When can they start and how long will the project take?

Ready to remodel? Read why it is best to hire an interior designer before you start.

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

Pantone Color of the Year for 2017

by Lisa Stewart 16 Sep 2017

Ideas to Decorate with the Color of the Year!

PANTONE Color of the Year is 15-0343 Greenery, a life-affirming shade which emblemizes the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.

Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens awaken again. The tangy yellow-green speaks to our desire to renew on a regular basis. 

Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature. It pairs nicely with all the colors in the rainbow! This color will pop when you add it to your home. One of my clients added Greenery bar stools to a modern, neutral kitchen imparting a sense of vibrancy, self-assurance and even whimsy.

Greenery signals individuals to take a deep breath and be bold about living life on our own terms. Go for it!

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 30 May 2016

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.

5 Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer

by Lisa Stewart 28 May 2016

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.