House Calls Fine Interiors

Wake Up Your Style!

Before and After March 30, 2009

Filed under: Interior Design news,Our Latest Projects — Teri Larsen, ASID @ 1:31 pm
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A little fabric can go a long way.  A window treatment doesn’t need to be extravagant, elaborate or formal.  Just a little fabric will soften a window and add that finishing touch to a space.  Look at what a little fabric did for this naked kitchen window!

 

We also recently installed the tile backsplash you see in the photos.  The field tile is a porcelain with a stone look, and the random accent tiles are glass in tones of caramel, bronze and copper – with a little iridescence.  Gorgeous!

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Thinking of Becoming an Interior Designer? March 24, 2009

Filed under: General — Teri Larsen, ASID @ 12:39 pm
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Check out my new blog post at Ava Living for some things to think about! 

http://www.avaliving.com/blogpost.php?bid=514

Feel free to ask questions in the comment section of this post – I’m happy to help you out, if I can!

 

Did You Know…

interior designers are available to help you on your do-it-yourself project?  We realize that not everyone needs full service interior design – where we coordinate the installation, product ordering and project management for you.  Perhaps you just need a little help in knowing where to start.  What paint colors should you choose?  What about furniture arrangement?  What about designing that new tile backsplash for your kitchen?  Give us a call!  A few hours of design time can save you lots of money and time in the end; having to repaint the entire basement because you hate the color is not going to make your husband a happy man.  We can save you that aggravation; we can provide a simple consultation, or we can also provide product and/or installation services.  Whatever portion of your project you need help with, we are happy to be there for you.  We hope to hear from you soon!

 

Free Consultations Offered

Filed under: Announcements and Accolades — Teri Larsen, ASID @ 11:39 am
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House Calls is happy to announce the addition of FREE Saturday design consultations!  Our interior design intern, Lisa, will be offering free 20-minute in-studio design consultations on Saturdays until May 9.  These consultations are by appointment only, so please contact us to set up a time for your personal consultation.

During your appointment, you can cover numerous topics – paint colors, furniture arrangement, window treatment ideas – anything!  Bring your photos, room dimensions, layouts and inspiration ideas to your appointment. 

These sessions are a great jumping-off point; after your consultation, we are happy to schedule a full consultation at our standard hourly fee.  Your full consultation would take place at your home, where we can better assess your needs and existing conditions. 

Get a little taste of what House Calls can do for you!  Call or email today for your date and time.

 

Granite or Quartz?

Filed under: Interior Design news — Teri Larsen, ASID @ 11:32 am
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So, you want to upgrade your countertops.  What to choose:  granite or quartz?  I find that clients tend to gravitate toward one product or the other – with few people willing to go either way!  What are the differences between these products?

Granite, as most people are aware, is mined from the earth.  Granite consists mostly of quartz, which is the second-hardest mineral on earth – second only to diamonds.  The fact that granite is a “found” product means that no two pieces of granite are the same.  It also means that you may find wild variations in color, grain, and pattern, depending on when your particular piece was pulled from the quarry.  To someone who wants his/her home to be especially unique, these wild variations are what draws them to granite!  They like knowing that no one else in the world has the exact same piece of stone that they have.  They like the random swirls and dips that make up their particular granite color – some of them get pretty crazy!

Granite does require some maintenance, however.  Because granite is a natural stone, it does have pores.  These pores will suck in moisture – whether that moisture is in the form of water, red wine or electric blue soft drinks.  Because of this feature, granite has the possibility to stain; stains can often be removed, but it does take some work to do so.  If you have granite countertops and keep them wiped up on a regular basis, you will more than likely be fine; don’t leave spaghetti sauce sitting on the counter for three days, or you may have a staining problem!  Granite can be sealed to prevent staining, and this sealer should be reapplied every year or so.  Some granites are now even claiming to be “stain-free”, since they have been impregnated with a permanent sealer.  I have no experience with these products, but I am always a little skeptical when someone claims stone is stain-free.

Quartz products, on the other hand, are very different from granite.  Products such as Silestone, Cambria and Zodiac, are made from 93% quartz – the basic component of granite.  However, because of the chemical make-up of the quartz products, they tend to be even stronger than granite.  Granite has naturally-occuring fissures, which can be weak points in the stone.

The very best feature of the quartz countertops is that they are maintenance-free!  They are non-porous, so they are impervious to staining.  No sealing is required – just install and live with it!  For this reason alone, we do install a lot of quartz countertops.

Style is another reason some clients prefer quartz over granite.  Some clients are scared of what granite offers – that one-of-a-kind nature of natural stone brings with it the unknowns of exactly what their piece will look like.  They like the control of knowing that the color sample they saw at the showroom will be very close to their actual countertop.  Color can also be a significant selling point.  Nature simply doesn’t produce every color combination in granite; if a client is looking for something in particular, quartz may have a better color option for them.

Quartz countertops have their benefits; however, they will never achieve the same look that nature provides with granite.  My clients tend to have a clear inclination toward one choice over the other.  The key is to educate yourself on the benefits and negatives of each product, so you can make the best choice for your home and lifestyle.

For more information on granite and other stone countertops, check out http://www.marble-institute.com/.

For more information on quartz products, visit http://www.silestoneusa.com or http://www.cambriausa.com

Or, visit our showroom to see all the latest colors in Cambria and Silestone, along with many of the most popular granite colors.

 

New Window Treatments March 20, 2009

Filed under: Our Latest Projects — Teri Larsen, ASID @ 11:44 am

I just completed another window treatment installation.  This project was a master suite, and consisted of a full drapery in the master bedroom and a pair of valances in the master bath.  Although the project is not complete – the homeowners are going to paint the bathroom to remove the stenciled border – I thought I would post a few pics!  The master suite is done with a monochromatic color scheme – very quiet and restful.

I have also included photos of the living room window treatments we completed for this same client several years ago.  She wanted to incorporate red into the room, so we found fabrics that tied her existing navy blue furniture into the mix.  The cornice is so long it was constructed in 3 pieces and connected on-site.  A few custom pillows completed the room beautifully.  Drama and a punch of color – let me know what you think!  You can see more photos, including before shots, at my Ava Living profile:  http://www.avaliving.com/profile.php?id=2096

 

Tells Us What You’re Thinking!

Filed under: Polls — Teri Larsen, ASID @ 10:38 am