Interior Design to Complement Your Style and Make Your Rooms Pop!

Your decor should complement your special possessions

Do you have a room in your house that needs a little lift? Maybe some new paint, new window treatments…something to give it a little splash? We sat down with designer Cheryl Kinsey of Interior Eloquence to get her thoughts and advice on redecorating a room.

Sometimes people don’t know where to start with redecorating. What do you recommend people generally do first?

This may surprise you, because people tend to want to paint a room first, but you should actually choose your fabric items first. Start with upholstery and window treatment fabric, and an area rug if you need one. There are so many color options for paint, it’s better to choose it last to make sure it’s the right complement for your room. Then you can select your accessories.

Do you need an interior designer?

Not necessarily. People do their own decorating all the time. Many people “bookmark” favorite design elements online or save pages from magazines with photos of elements they really like. These images help to identify your personal style and form building blocks for any room. From there, some people may not know where to start or may want a room that’s more polished, and that’s when they call me.

What’s something else to consider?

First of all, have fun with it. You want to absolutely love the room when it’s done. Keep your special things in mind… the things you want to keep, like wall art or accessories. You don’t want to lose your personality or have special items look out of place. I once had a client that had a unique chandelier with monkeys on it. Taking that into consideration, we were actually able to find a fabric with monkeys for her window treatments. They turned out beautifully. There was also a client who had a carved teak wooden screen her husband had found in his travels. She loved it, but was having trouble picturing how to use it in the room she was imagining in her mind. We painted the screen in a washed finish, complementary to the wall color but still allowing the unique personality of the wood to resonate, and hung it over a console where it looked perfect. The point to take away is that you can use anything for inspiration in your room.

Guest Room before (left) and after (right)

How long does it take to redecorate a room?

My best advice is to not be in a rush to get it all done. This is the real world, not HGTV. Most times you cannot finish a living room in a couple of weeks. I can work at whatever pace a client wants but find that people are most satisfied if they carefully consider their choices. It’s not unusual for a room to take 6-8 weeks or more to finish, particularly if you have custom items being made like upholstered furniture or drapery. For those DIY-ers out there, it’s ok if you find something you like first. Then live with it for a while. Then move on from there. I do meet with DIY-ers to help them develop a plan of action. Depending on the level of detail they want, it could take a couple of weeks.

Do you recommend getting everything from one store?

Of course, stores have their decor displays set to encourage that, because they want you to buy everything there. It’s best to take your time and include things you love in your room. Look for unique items, those that have meaning to you or your family. Carefully selected items will always mean more to you than whatever the store happens to have on display. My clients often have a mixture of treasures from their family plus additional items that we have selected to go with a newly furnished room.

How important are window treatments?

They are vital for pulling everything together. You have many options, from draperies to top treatments. Drapery panels are popular right now, and there’s a lot of variety in blinds and shades these days. You can choose from many different finishes in wood slats, as well as a plethora of accent fabric tapes to make things pop. Also, if you want something a little more bohemian or rustic there are many options in woven wood shades and roller shades. There are all kinds of colors and materials that would complement a room.

Before (left) and after (right) interior decorating.

What about curtains?

There are many options for draperies, and many choices to make, from the material to the style to the accents. Today’s popular materials include cotton, linen, silk, faux silk, and a variety of eco-friendly fabrics. People are asking for a variety of pleats to give drapery panels an individual look, such as French pleats, goblet pleats, inverted pleats, cartridge pleats, and euro-pleats. For accents, people often choose to add horizontal or vertical bandings in contrasting fabric, trims, buttons, or tassels. People may not realize it, but there’s a whole world of detail features to make a room reflect your personal style. From textured fabrics to vibrant patterns, drapery panels with tassels to structured cornice boards, there are features to capture the latest trends or to make your home unique.

Is there anything else you need to consider with curtains?

The lining of the drapery can give it such a wonderful fullness. When I use silk or faux silk, I always use two linings—one of which is flannel—to give it a richer look. Otherwise the drapery is just going to look flat. We can also vary the linings to adjust how much light they allow into the room. For a bedroom you may want blackout lining so that you can sleep later.

Cheryl Kinsey brings over 17 years of professional design experience to each client. Her love of fabrics was passed down from her grandmother during long summers making quilts and curtains. A past chapter president of the Window Coverings Association of America who is now active in the Haymarket-Gainesville Business Association (HGBA), Cheryl resides in Haymarket with her husband, George, and their son.


Pam Kamphuis
About Pam Kamphuis 139 Articles
Pam Kamphuis is an editor and writer for Piedmont Virginian Magazine and Piedmont Lifestyle Magazines.

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