Secrets Your Interior Designer Wants You To Know

Design is truly a collaboration.

Working with an interior designer is a great way to transform your space. They can work magic turning a boring room into a bold reflection of your style and personality. A good interior designer knows how to create a space that’s just as beautiful as it is functional. It’s an investment that many people will say is well worth it. But while an interior designer provides a service, many forget that it is also a collaborative effort.

From the process of designing the space itself, to what looks best and all the details in between, here are the secrets designers wish their clients would understand. It’s a relationship and communication is key. Luckily these top interior designers were willing to openly share the biggest pain points they experience with clients.

Your Designer Needs Time To Do Their Job

Interior designer Lisa Gilmore wishes her clients understand that every designer needs time to do their job properly. “Can we whip out a design in three days? Of course. Is it really thought out, creative and curated especially for you? Probably not.”

Design is a creative process. “Give your designer time to digest your design goals, hear what your dreams are for your space, allow them to dive into their headspace and let the creative juices flow, then put the design on paper,” says Gilmore.

How much time is needed? According to Gilmore, four to six weeks on average is a healthy amount of time from signing a contract to presentation. “By allowing your designer (and building team) a little breathing room and not watching over their neck with a ticking watch, you are allowing your project to be its best potential. When things are rushed, often mistakes are made; which can, in the end cost you more money.”

Allow For Proper Lead Time

When there are multiple vendors involved in a project, it can require a bit of patience. “Stressing out all the subcontractors to get it done quick, leaves room for cutting corners and not the best quality work,” says Gilmore.

Then there are issues that are truly beyond your designer’s control especially when it comes to availability of products and supplies. “Yes there are options that are in stock and ready to go, but you would be amazed at the possibilities that open up when you allow for longer lead time products. This goes for all things, lighting, wall covering, tile, furniture and fabrics.”

You Need More Than One Point Of Light In A Room And Dimmer Switches

Lighting is one of the most important elements of a space, says Aurore Martial of Domus Venus, “Very often, my clients look at me with funny eyes when I make proposals with five or six lights in a room. They tend to think of the functionality of lighting uniquely rather than light as a mood creator.”

In addition to the main light source in a room, Martial also suggests using lighting for specific tasks such as a reading chair and to highlight a specific object or areas of a room such as art or a library.

She also believes dimmer switches are a must. “The best way to go about it is to have a wall switch that controls the different lights so that you don’t have to go to each individual light and have a dimmer to create moods in the evening.”

Paint Is The Cheapest Way To Transform A Room

While every designer has their own style, most are unanimous about the power of paint. But clients don’t always believe them, “Strangely, paint is the thing that makes most people cringe and creates most fear, especially when we talk about darker and moodier schemes,” says Martial.

Of all the things to debate with a designer, paint should not be one of them. “It will often be the cheapest thing we buy in a project, but also the one that has most impact. And the beauty of it is that if you really don’t love it, you can buy another pot the next day and change it over.”

Don’t Complain About The Cost Of Fabric 

Martial reveals her clients often cringe when they see the cost of fabric for window treatments especially because they require two and a half times the width of the window in fabric. But she thinks it’s worth every penny. “Especially when the fabric is expensive… But in that case, it’s even more important to have beautiful full and luxurious looking curtains rather than skinny ones with a nice fabric. So keep that ratio in mind, and have them lined or even interlined if it’s a very thin fabric. I promise, it will be worth it in the end.”

The Little Things Can Be Just As Important As The Big Things

“Although most of my work is to find the big pieces, the smaller ones and accessories are not to be underestimated, or even worse, forgotten,” says Martial.

Details are very important, she explains, “Very often, people think that once the sofa, table and chairs are bought, a huge pressure is gone and they start to relax. That’s how I end up seeing places half done that lack warmth.”

Accessories such as cushions, rugs, mirrors and vases are important. Framing art properly is another consideration, as well as how everything is styled. “All of that has to be thought of as well to get the best results, they have to be interesting and blend well with the rest of the house. And your designer can totally help you with it too.”

Have A Reasonable Budget

While furniture and accessories are available in a range of prices, having a proper budget is essential. Fernando Wong of Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design suggests being upfront about your budget from the beginning, “It helps us when we design and makes the process shorter and much easier.”

It’s easy to forget that design fees do not include the cost of furniture. Donna Hoffman has seen many of her clients underestimate the price of designing and furnishing a home. “Furnishing a home, from new design-builds, to downsizes to up sizes always cost more than you thought it would, wish it did, or think it should. The stats to furnishing a new or whole home is a percentage of your purchase price, from 12% to 30%,” she says.

She suggests considering furnishing costs even before falling in love with a home. “Maybe opting for less square footage so you can truly furnish it will make you happier than living in an empty echo-chamber.”

Snafus Can Happen

Clients often have unrealistic expectations when it comes to problems that can be outside of their designer’s or even the manufacturer’s control. “Almost a third of the furniture that ships today needs to be retouched and repaired once it is received at a receiver or final destination; often due to freight damage,” says Hoffman.

But at the same time, she says your designer should be able to take care of these problems. “Part of the high-touch service your designer provides is flagging furniture issues, rejecting items beyond repair and approving repairs prior to delivery to your home. Catalogers and retailers don’t and can’t provide this kind of safety net. I design it; I order it, I inspect it, and I oversee its final delivery in perfect condition. I do not build it, ship it or deliver it. Those snafus are beyond any designer’s control, but, a good designer is the steward of your project and I won’t rest until all is corrected for you.”

Don’t Buy Everything From One Store

Pam Mamourian, designer at Home With Alexis believes it takes time and life experience to decorate a home. “Choosing everything straight from a design showroom leads to a home lacking in energy. Clients should travel. Period. And when they do, they should keep a curated eye out for pieces they love. Bringing bits of their travel experiences into their homes reflect an energy that is unique to them.”

But that doesn’t mean spending every penny, she says. “Pieces don’t have to be expensive: a spalted maple hand carved bowl from Vermont, soapstone candlesticks from a flea market in Manhattan, a block printed tablecloth from India, a hand thrown ceramic figurine from Copenhagen.”


7 Colour-Blocked Shoes To Add Fun To Your Summer Style

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7 Colour-Blocked Shoes To Add Fun To Your Summer Style

Get yourself these colourpop shoes and stay on point

A splash of colours can go a long way when it comes to making chic style statements. If you have been looking to amp up your summer fashion game, then turn to peppy colours that can instantly set you apart. With the colour block trend ruling the charts in the last few seasons, we are sure that this is one style that is here to stay for awhile. So other than pretty tops and dresses, get yourself standout colour block shoes that will definitely be a huge hit. Tempted to get yourself brand new shoes? We have listed down 7 cool colour-blocked shoes from Amazon for you to choose from:

1. Mochi Women Colour-Blocked Casual Shoes

Add a splash of colour to your casual looks by getting yourself these trendy shoes from Mochi that feature lace-ups in multiple hues.

Mochi Women’s Red Sneakers-6 UK/India (39 EU) (36-8397-18-39)
(50% off)

Buy on Amazon

(Also read: Team Your Everyday Outfits With These 8 Trendy Casual Shoes)

2. Lavie Women Green And Red Colour-Blocked Flats

Stay comfortable and chic by adding these cool flats to your collection. It features forefoot and ankle straps with lace-ups.

Lavie Women’s 7920 Flats Green Fashion Sandals – 6 UK/India (39 EU)
(49% off)

Buy on Amazon

3. Catwalk Women Colour-Blocked Flats

These comfortable and trendy flats from Catwalk are sure to become your favourite. It comes in mustard and metallic gold hues.

Catwalk Women’s Yellow Leather Fashion Sandals-7 UK/India (39 EU) (3945Y-7)
(20% off)

Buy on Amazon

4. Footin Women Beige And Blue Colour-Blocked Peep Toes

Pick these peppy wedges from Footin to stay on point this season. The pumps features peep toes with beige and blue hues.

Footin Women’s Beige Pumps – 6 UK/India (39 EU)(6518911)
(33% off)

Buy on Amazon

5. Crocs Unisex Colour-Blocked Clogs

Make a colour splash by adding these cool pair of clogs to your shoe closet. It comes in blue, green and yellow hues.

crocs Unisex’s Lite Ride Graphic Blue Jean/Tennis Ball Green Clogs-M9W11 (205070-47O)

Buy on Amazon

6. Bata Women Colour-Blocked Wedges

These wedges from Bata are sure to become your favourite pair of shoes in this season. It will help you beat the heat and stay chic.

BATA Women’s Sofiya Gold Slippers – 5 UK/India (38 EU) (7718335)
(23% off)

Buy on Amazon

7. Catwalk Women Colour-Blocked Flats

Notch up your everyday looks with this pair of colourful flats from Catwalk. It features a forefoot fabric strap with braided detail in multiple hues.

Catwalk Women’s Multicolour Fashion Sandals-5 UK/India (37 EU) (2496MT)
(37% off)

Buy on Amazon

Get yourself these colourpop shoes and stay on point.


Style Trends 2019: 5 must-have accessories to upgrade your summer fashion

Style Trends 2019,Accessories Trends 2019,Summer Accessories

Upgrade your summer wardrobe with some stylish accessories. (Unsplash)

Summer fashion is never complete with some good mix of bright and bold accessories. Accessories can make or break a look so picking the right ones is essential to stand out. As the summer trends have voluminous tops, denim wear, lots of white and colours, layered accessories, headbands, retro bags, tasselled jewellery among others this year, upgrade your wardrobe with some stunning pieces that can totally enhance your summer street style.

If you are ready for some fresh inspiration, go for bright scarves, big sunglasses, quirky totes and cool hats and caps to battle the heat wave in style. You can wear these with whites, head-to-toe denim, linen wear, summer jackets and go for bright sneakers, strappy sandals, muted espadrilles to complete the summer look.

Here are 5 summer pieces that can perfect your summer street style and how.

1. Big sunglasses are one of this top trends this summer season. Go for tinted once to add a dash of colour to you look. You can experiment with interesting frames and shapes. 

2. Headbands are the perfect accessory to enhance you street style look. These muti-purpose accessories can be styled with bracelets and cuffs along with being one of the classic hair accessories of all times. 

3. Bright totes are trending this season. If you love art, pick one of these to add a dash of brightness to your look. 

4. Go for the hats and caps to add funk to your summer style. Pick you favourite colours and pair them with denim wear, cottons and linens. 

5. One of the most staple and gorgeous accessories, the scarves are an ideal pick this summer. You can accessorise them in so many ways and add the perfect splash of colours to your look. 


Former Gmail designer builds Chrome extension to declutter your inbox

Despite Google’s attempts to improve Gmail, the web version remains hectic and cluttered. While that might be frustrating to users, it’s especially irritating for Michael Leggett, one of Gmail’s former lead designers. Finally fed up, Leggett launched Simplify, a free Chrome extension meant to streamline your inbox.

Simplify moves all of Gmail’s sidebar icons to discrete drop-down and pull-up menus. It relocates the search feature to a less prominent location and moves core functions, like delete, to the top bar. It also eliminates color-coded labels, and places the create new mail button in the bottom right corner, where the new mail window opens.

It’s all about improving Gmail’s user interface, which Leggett has been trying to do for more than a decade. As Fast Company reports, after leaving Gmail, Leggett co-founded Inbox, and later, while working on products like Messenger for Facebook, he continued to think about Gmail. He developed extensions to redesign other sites, and when Google killed Inbox, he decided to share Simplify.

The extension has reportedly been downloaded more than 15,000 times, with about 500 new installs per day. It doesn’t deliver ads or collect analytics, and Legget has shared the code on Github. He’s had an offer to sell, but says he’ll keep Simplify free — though he hasn’t ruled out creating a separate paid service.


5 Easy Hacks to Customize and Perfect Your Shoes


We celebrate and glorify running shoes at Runner’s World, but we also aren’t afraid to modify and customize them. After all, they’re a tool to help you accomplish your goals. Here are our favorite tweaks to make footwear meet our needs.

No-Slip Grip


You don’t need a fancy traction device to run on snow and ice. Hit the hardware store for #10 x 3/8-inch hex-head screws. Drilling into the thickest parts of the sole, add six on the forefoot and four on the heel. You can take them out quickly (with a power drill) to run in dry conditions, and replace the screws when they wear down.


What You Need:
#10 X 3/8″ Stainless Slotted Hex Washer Head Screw $10

Lace to Fit


A few years ago, we got shoes that were missing a top eyelet. The heel slipped, so we grabbed a pair of hole-punch pliers and added our own. These pliers are essential for runners who want to adjust the lacing of their shoes to fix fit issues.


What You Need:
General Tools Hole Punch Tool $7

Install Drainage


A problem with too many shoes is that when water gets in through the top, there’s no way for it to get out. Break out a ¼-inch drill bit and add six holes through the thinnest spots on the forefoot. When you run, you’ll pump the water out.


What you need:
Bosch 18V Compact 1/2″ Drill/Driver Kit $129

Patch It Up


A common tool for runners until recently was Shoe Goo. Parts were always coming loose on shoes. That doesn’t happen much anymore, but occasionally a rubber patch will work loose. Just add a dab of glue and stick it back on.


What you need:
Shoe Goo Repair Adhesive $6

Let ’Em Breathe


If you find a new shoe causes blisters on your pinky toe late in runs when your feet swell, or presses a little too much on a bunion. Take an X-Acto knife to the upper and cut a window, or make small slits over the areas of pressure for extra room.


Now, you can lace new Nike Adapt BB shoes with your smartphone

Now your shoes will automatically loosen or tighten when you step into them. Photo: Nike

Now your shoes will automatically loosen or tighten when you step into them. Photo: Nike

New York: In the 1980s, the Back to the Future film franchise suggested we would all eventually wear self-lacing sneakers. Then a few years ago, Nike made the movie magic a reality, introducing its first shoe to the public with so-called “power lacing.”

And on Tuesday, the global sportswear giant took it a step farther — now your shoes will automatically loosen or tighten when you step into them, and then adapt based on your activity.

Wait for it — the Nike Adapt BB shoes, which go on sale on February 17 for $350 in the United States, are controlled by the touch of a button or a smartphone app.

“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” Eric Avar, Nike VP creative director of innovation, said in a statement.

Using a custom motor and gear train, “Adapt” technology enables the shoe to be automatically adjusted to the foot.

The app allows the player to load in different fit preferences — for example, game play versus a timeout.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is the first pitchman for the new shoe.

“That the app allows the ability to put the shoe on and touch the button, change the colors, see the percentage on the battery…it’s just cool,” Tatum said in a statement.

Nike says it plans to bring the system to shoes for other sports.