In the realm of home updates and renovations, understanding the distinct roles of a builder, an architect, a general contractor, and an interior designer is crucial for any homeowner looking to enhance their living space. Each profession contributes uniquely to the process, ensuring that every aspect of your home improvement project is handled with expertise and tailored to your specific needs.

Hiring an Architect

An architect is your go-to professional for a new home's initial planning and design phase or extensive home addition. They bring your vision to life, paying close attention to the home's functionality and structural integrity. Hiring an architect is essential when your project involves altering the home's structure, requires detailed building plans, or when you're constructing a new build. They are adept at navigating building codes and assisting with obtaining the necessary permits. However, if your project is solely focused on cosmetic interior updates, an architect might not be necessary.

When to hire an architect

Hiring a Builder

A builder, on the other hand, turns the architect's designs into reality. Builders specialize in construction and work on the physical building of a home or home addition. They are the ones who manage the actual construction work, from foundational tasks to the erection of walls and roofs. Builders are indispensable for new constructions or significant structural modifications but might not be the right fit for smaller, cosmetic updates or interior renovations.

When to hire a builder

Hiring a General Contractor

The general contractor acts as the project manager for your home renovation project. They hire and oversee all the subcontractors (such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters) needed to complete the work and ensure the project stays on time and within budget. A general contractor is your point of contact, making them essential for larger home remodeling projects that involve multiple trades. However, for very small projects or if you're planning to do most of the work yourself, you might not need to hire a general contractor. Additionally, General Contractors often work in tandem with builders, architects, and interior designers on full-scale construction projects or home additions.

When to hire a general contractor

Hiring an Interior Designer 

Finally, an interior designer focuses on the aesthetics and functionality of the interior space. They select color schemes, furniture, lighting, materials and finishes that reflect your style while optimizing the usability of each room. They are also great at envisioning new uses for odd spaces or creating a new layout for a room. Interior designers are perfect for projects focused on the look and feel of your home's interior, from complete overhauls of your kitchen or bath to refreshing a single room. Interior Designers often work in partnership with builders and general contractors to ensure that the design plan for the home comes together to reflect the homeowner's needs and wants.

When to hire a general contractor

In summary, the choice of whether to hire an architect, builder, general contractor or interior designer depends largely on the scope and nature of your home update project. Understanding the unique strengths and areas of expertise of each profession can help you make informed decisions, ensuring that your home improvement endeavors are both successful and satisfying

Choosing the perfect sofa for your home is an exciting yet significant decision. This staple piece of furniture sets the tone for your living area's aesthetic and serves as a hub for relaxation and socialization. To ensure you pick a sofa that meets your needs and retains its comfort and style over time, several factors should be considered.

Construction & Quality

A sofa's longevity is rooted in its construction. High-quality frames are typically made from kiln-dried hardwood or sturdy metal composites. For the seating support, look for sinuous springs or, for a more luxurious feel, eight-way hand-tied springs. Good construction directly correlates to comfort and the lifespan of your sofa, so it's worth inquiring about these details before making a purchase. Another element of your sofa that needs strong consideration is what material is inside of the cushions. Cushion fill can range from foam to feathers and everything in between.

Fabric Selections

Think about your lifestyle when selecting the sofa fabric. If you have children, pets, or a high-traffic living space, look for durable and easy-to-clean materials like a performance fabric or leather. These fabrics are resilient against spills and wear, and they maintain their appearance with regular maintenance. On the other hand, for a less frequented area, you might opt for luxurious textures, such as velvet, which add elegance but require more delicate care. Below is a more in-depth breakdown of the different fabrics to consider when purchasing a new sofa:

Style and Longevity

The overall style of your sofa should complement your home's decor while offering timeless appeal. Classic shapes with sturdy frames and clean lines, often endure through evolving interior trends. Consider elements like tufting, cushion density, and support systems when evaluating a sofa's potential for long-term comfort and durability.

Measuring for Fit

Before shopping, measure your space to determine the maximum sofa dimensions that will fit comfortably. Remember to consider the width, depth, and height of a sofa, as well as the room needed for walking space around it. A good rule of thumb is that you should have 24-36 inches around the sofa to properly allow for foot traffic. It's equally important to measure doorways and hallways before purchasing to ensure your new sofa will fit into your home… without having to take apart a doorway or window.

Price Expectations

Sofa prices can vary widely based on factors such as brand, construction, material, and style. As a general guide, budget-friendly options may start as low as a $500, but keep in mind that these often sacrifice quality for cost. Mid-range sofas typically offer a balance of durability and affordability and range anywhere between $2000 to $6000, while higher-end models can retail for $10,000+. We recommend that you purchase the best sofa that you can afford, especially if you plan to use it for several years. If budgets are super tight, consider looking at used pieces that can easily be cleaned.

Don’t Go It Alone

Purchasing a new sofa is an investment, so choose wisely. Remember, it's not only about comfort or aesthetics but also about the joy and memories it will help create in your home. We understand that selecting the right sofa can be daunting, and our goal is to make your shopping experience as stress-free as possible. If you would like personalized advice or have any questions as you embark on the journey to find your perfect sofa, please feel free to reach out to us.

 

Are you tired of feeling uninspired by your living space? Or maybe you love DIY projects, but you've hit a wall with a room in your house? Whether you're starting from scratch or trying to improve what you already have, an interior designer can help you create the space of your dreams. In this article, we'll outline what exactly an interior designer does, what to consider when hiring one, and how much it typically costs.

What Does an Interior Designer Do?

First, let's make sure we're all on the same page: what exactly does an interior designer do? Essentially, they help you plan and execute a vision for your living space that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and within your budget. This can include a wide range of services, such as choosing materials for a new home or remodel, suggesting new furniture and accessories, selecting color palettes and patterns, rearranging existing furniture, organizing spaces, and even planning and overseeing a full-scale renovation. A good interior designer will also take your needs, lifestyle, and personal tastes into account to create a space that truly feels like yours.

What to Consider When Hiring an Interior Designer

If you're considering hiring an interior designer, there are several factors to keep in mind to ensure the best outcome. First, look at the designer's portfolio and social media pages and make sure their style and past projects align with what you're looking for. Some designers specialize in a very specific style while others have the ability to create spaces that originate from a variety of styles. You should also consider their experience and how they work. Some designers are very creative but don’t have experience with in-depth projects or a proven work process in place. Look for a designer that is a great problem solver, but also presents a sound process for working with you and managing your design project. It's also important to have a conversation with the designer to make sure your personalities and communication styles mesh well, as you'll be working closely together throughout the project. Finally, be clear about your budget and timeline from the start, and make sure the designer is comfortable working within those parameters.

How Much Does an Interior Designer Typically Cost?

The cost of hiring an interior designer can vary widely depending on several factors, including the scope of the project, the designer's experience and credentials, and your location. Some designers charge a flat fee for their services, while others work on an hourly basis and bill for their time. Most designers work off a project retainer system that is determined by an average combined hourly rate of their fee, along with any other staff members they have that will work on your project. Typically this rate ranges from $75 - $375 per hour. In addition to these costs, you'll also need to consider the cost of any materials, furniture, or accessories that the designer recommends. That being said, many people find that hiring an interior designer is a worthwhile investment in the long run, as it can save time, money, and headaches by avoiding costly errors and creating a space that truly reflects your style and needs.

*PRO TIP – Make sure you are very clear on how your designer charges and how you will be billed. If you are working with a designer to order furniture, lighting, art, etc., make sure your design contract clearly denotes how and when you will be billed for these items. Some designers mark up the products they are tasked with ordering, but you should never pay more than retail for these pieces if you are also paying a design fee.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Interior Designer Relationship

Once you've hired an interior designer, there are several things you can do to make sure you're getting the best possible outcome. First, be open and honest with your designer about your needs, style, and budget. It's important to communicate your expectations clearly so that the designer can understand what you're looking for and deliver it. You should also be willing to trust the designer's expertise and creative vision, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone a bit. Finally, be prepared to be involved in the process; giving feedback and staying engaged will help ensure that the final result is a space that you truly love.

Hiring an interior designer can be a great way to update and improve your living space, but it's important to approach the process with an open mind and clear expectations. By considering factors like the designer's experience, style, and cost, and being willing to communicate and collaborate throughout the process, you can create a space that truly reflects your personal style and needs. So, whether you're starting from scratch or just need a little bit of help, don't underestimate the value of bringing in a professional to help you achieve the home of your dreams.

Do you have a formal living room that you don’t use? If so, it might be time to repurpose it. With the right interior design, your unused formal living room can become an inviting and functional space for all sorts of activities. Whether you want to create a cozy reading nook or turn it into a home office, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of this room.

  1. Create a reading nook or library - With the right furniture and decor, you can turn your formal living room into a cozy and inviting place to read. Add a comfortable armchair or sofa, an ottoman, some throw pillows, and a few bookshelves to create the perfect space for curling up with a good book. You can even add dimmable lighting to create an extra vibe of relaxation.Curated Home Office
  2. Transform it into a home office - If you’re working from home or need a more focused workspace in your house, consider turning your unused formal living room into an office area. Add adjustable desks, task chairs for comfort, and plenty of storage for organizing documents and supplies. The addition of a door for privacy and noise control will help define the space and work to maximize productivity.
  3. Make it a home theater. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy movies and shows with family, consider turning your unused formal living room into a home theater. Invest in comfortable seating, a large smart TV, and surround sound speakers, then add some blackout curtains or shades to complete the illusion of being in a movie theater.
  4. Turn it into a game room. An unused formal living room can easily be turned into an exciting game room for everyone to enjoy. Add board games, card tables, gaming consoles, and plenty of other fun activities for hours of entertainment.

    Consider turning your formal living room into a game room

    Don’t forget to install proper lighting – recessed lights on a dimmer, along with sconces and lamps will provide a variety of options so you can set the proper mood for video games or family trivia night.

  5. Use it for recreational activities. From yoga and meditation to craft projects, there are plenty of ways to use your unused formal living room for recreational activities. Install some mirrors on the walls so you can watch yourself practice yoga poses or bring in a folding table and storage containers for all your crafting materials. With interior design elements like rugs, cushions, or task seating, you can make the space even more inviting and functional.

Long gone are the days of formal family gatherings in big rooms filled with fancy furniture. If you have an unused space that is collecting dust, some minor design changes can turn a boring space into the heart of the home. Think about what your family likes to do at home or what need your home is not currently filling for how you live. From that, create a plan to transform your living space into rooms that everyone in the family can utilize and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With more people spending time at home than ever before, remodeling is a very big trend among homeowners. Yet not all remodeling projects are created equal. There are a few factors to consider when deciding what spaces you should update and how to do it.

Not all home updates translate to increased home value. If you are focused on improving your home with resale in mind, you’ll want to focus on the highest-impact updates. If, however, you’re planning on living in your home for many years still, then you’ll want to consider factors beyond investment alone.

An equally important consideration to remodeling is the increased pleasure of living in your home. From customized features and colors to added functionality, you want to enjoy your home while you live there, not simply wait out the time until you move to the next place!

Remodeling is a juggling act– balancing your dreams, skillset, and finances! So, we’ve created a manageable list that will guide you through what things cost and how much you can expect to get back on your investment.

First Impressions Are Everything

While most home buyers begin shopping online and view pictures of the entire space, there is a critical moment when they drive up to your home and determine if they might like to live there. Potential buyers usually decide if they like a home within the first 30 seconds of seeing it, so great curb appeal is a must if you plan on getting the highest possible price for your home.

There are a few key things to pay particular attention to in the local housing market. First, think about the last time your home was painted and the current condition of the stucco and other outdoor features. Nobody wants to deal with peeling paint or cracked and chipping hard surfaces.

Next, the blazing summers also make it difficult for many families to enjoy their yards. Adding features like a pool or shaded area will undoubtedly be worth the investment!

Updated kitchenPrioritize Updated Kitchens and Bathrooms

The old saying of “Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes” still rings true, even in our current housing market. There are the rooms where people spend the most time, so updates in both spaces will definitely pay off.

Kitchens specifically will benefit the most from flooring, paint, and cabinetry updates. Everyone wants a lot of space to cook, do homework, and gather with family and friends, so it’s a great idea to review available counter space and think about adding or reconfiguring an island.

Bathrooms require both durability and beauty. Tiled showers are making a classic comeback over the acrylic tub/shower inserts. Closed shelving and plenty of vanity storage allow for organization and styling opportunities. Finally, pay special attention to the vanity lighting and mirror to maximize the space

Basic Kitchen Renovation Costs:

Basic Bathroom Upgrade:

Floors are the Foundation

You’ve seen home renovation projects where simply taking out dingy tile or downtrodden carpet immediately lifts the room. And the best part is that replacing flooring is a relatively inexpensive project, with more flooring options available at every price point than ever before!

Choose flooring that will fit with the overall aesthetic of your home, but also stand the test of time. Warmer climates often call for tile or tile alternative flooring such as luxury vinyl. Homes in cooler climates do well with cozier flooring options like hardwood, hardwood alternatives, or carpet.

New Paint, New Room

While flooring grounds the room, the color of your walls largely determines the mood and function of the space. The colors you choose will bring out different emotions and have an overall impact on how you feel in the home.

For example, blues and purples encourage relaxation, while reds and oranges call for attention. Stay away from the rustic golds, oddly bright hues, or taste-specific murals and aim for light and neutral colors to help increase resale value.

Professionally Painted Large Room:

Remodeling? Let Us Help!

It’s always a challenge to balance the essentials of a worthwhile remodel: function, design, and return on investment. It takes a well-trained eye on current design prices, a pulse on the real estate market, and an honest opinion on the skill level and cash required to pull off a project.

At Macy Lane Designs, we specialize in partnering with our clients, allowing them to drive the project but lean on our years of experience. We will enable you to bring a well-constructed plan to your contractor, which means you can be confident that you are spending your money the best. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

 

Interior designers are responsible for creating spaces that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. They guide you in making the best use of your space and determine how to bring your vision to life. The process of interior design and interior decorating is and should be personal and intimate.

Think of choosing the right interior designer a little like dating― you will want to find the perfect match, trust each other, and share a common understanding of likes, dislikes, budget, and more. Now with that said, here are some steps to consider before starting your home decorating journey with an interior designer.

1.   Define Your Style

Defining your home decorating style will be one of the most critical stages in choosing the right interior designer. For example, if you are drawn to minimal and sleek interiors, you will likely want your space to be just that — minimal and elegant. On the other hand, if you are more of a maximalist, you will probably want to incorporate a mix of patterns and textiles into your space.

To define your style, we suggest collecting a series of images that reflect your aesthetic. Consider creating a Pinterest board of your favorite photos or other digital files that you can easily share with your interior designer.

2.   Set Your Budget

Budget often dictates what can and cannot be done with a space, so it is VERY important to have a clear idea of what your budget is prior to hiring an interior designer. Clients are often vague about what they can afford at the beginning. They prefer not to reveal their budget until after the initial quote is delivered. Instead, expect to be upfront and transparent about what you are willing to spend. Remember that interior designers work with all sorts of budgets. If they have a clear understanding of their limitations from the beginning, they will be able to deliver a plan most suited to you.

When you set your budget, you will also want to determine how your interior designer bills their client. Each designer is different-- some charge by the hour, and others charge a flat rate. One is not necessarily better than the other, but every client should ask how they will be billed and have a clear understanding of the payment timeline.

3.   Meet With Designers

This is where the fun begins. Meeting with interior designers and interior decorators is the exciting first step in your remodeling journey. This is also the phase of the process that you will want to ask the most questions. Here’s are some questions we recommend asking:

We also recommend doing your own research and asking questions that are specific to you. The more detailed you can be, the better the chance you’ll find a designer that will work well with you and meet your expectations.

4.   Share Your Ideas

Sharing your ideas and expectations of what you want your home to look like will ultimately lead to a successful project. This is your home, so don’t be afraid to overshare. Try to be as specific as you can― use plenty of images and inspiration to communicate your desired aesthetic.

Your ideas should also include a brainstorm that tells the designer how you want the space to feel. For example, ask yourself what kind of emotions do you want your home to evoke? Interior designers will also want to know how you plan to use this space, its primary function, and who will be using it. Being clear about this will give the interior designer a more thorough understanding of what they need to deliver.

5.   Hatch a Plan

Don’t be afraid to let your interior designer take the lead here. Have an open mind and let them guide you. Of course, you can always provide feedback and make adjustments, but at the end of the day, you are hiring an interior designer to manage the process.

It’s also worth noting that the plan may not be exactly what you imagined — the interior designer may have had to omit some details to stay within your budget or keep items you had hoped to remove because of structural reasons. Whatever it may be, remember that the interior designer is the professional here, and you have hired them because you trust their process.

6.   Finishing Touches

If you’re hiring an interior designer for a complete redecorating project, they will likely be purchasing many furniture items on your behalf. The benefit of having your interior designer purchase all the furniture and accessories for you is that they often buy the pieces with a trade discount or at cost price.

That said, it’s not uncommon for the interior designer or interior decorator to apply a “markup.” This is also known as a “designer’s net price.” This fee is usually a percentage of the item, and it can vary greatly, but it usually falls between 15% and 25%. Of course, a good interior designer will be upfront about these costs during the budgeting phase. Still, the client ultimately saves money as they have access to a wide variety of furniture and accessories at prices that are typically below retail.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing an interior designer, it pays to do your research first. You want to be confident in them and their ability to deliver your vision. The redecorating process is personal, so don’t rush the process. Instead, take your time building up your own wish list, getting comfortable with a budget, and doing your own research-- that way you will be more prepared for the experience.

Here at Macy Lane Designs, we pride ourselves on our functional and realistic approach to the design process. If you have any questions about the process of working with an interior designer, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Did you know that something as simple as color can add thousands to your house’s potential value? Zillow has found that homes can sell for more than 5k over asking... just by having a consistent, neutral, and synergistic color palette!

Your home should be your place of serenity where you can completely unwind after a long and busy day. The psychological role that colors play is so vital to design― it just can’t be overlooked!

Many people don’t realize how many simple elements that already exist in the home can elevate the tone and vibrancy of their spaces. Elements such as natural and mechanical lighting, furniture and flooring choices, and the size of the room all play a role in the impact and consistency of your color. Read on to learn the four simple considerations to perfecting your paint colors.

1.   Optimize your palette to compliment your space

The color you paint your walls will determine the mood, style, and utility of the room. Color has a substantial impact on both feeling and concentration level- that’s why many kitchens have light paint, and many bedrooms or basements are darker. In addition, the color of a room will change the perceived size of the room.

 Concentration

Concentration pertains to the concentration or intensity of the color. This can be an important consideration depending on the lighting choices in your room! It’s been proven that brightly lit areas engage the mind and improve concentration. In contrast, darker rooms typically encourage relaxation and are more commonly found in bedrooms or rest areas. Brightness isn’t the only “concentration factor” ― colors are also associated with feelings.

Mood

Paint color sets the mood of the room, influencing the feelings of your family and friends. Purple, blue, and green are often calming. However, while bright yellow and orange may light up the room, they also have been associated with anxiety or unrest. Red has been associated with hunger in some cases. So, make sure that the color paint you chose allows for either the alertness or restfulness of the room.

Size

Wall color and sheen determine how light reflects, which determines how large or small a room feels. Light neutral colors typically reflect the most light, regardless of sheen, and therefore make a room feel large and airy-- that’s why it’s popular in many current home designs. However, dark rooms or accent walls are also trending, making a room feel cozy, dramatic, or artistic.

Accent walls are a fun way to get both an airy space with a dramatic, darker touch. In addition, it can supply a focal point in the room to highlight your decor, family photos, and light fixtures!

2.   Make your paint pop with natural lighting consideration

A moody room with great natural light. Photo: Sherwin-Williams

When choosing your paint color, natural lighting brings a variety of elements to consider. Your paint color can be influenced by ambient lighting and natural shadows, which can change the hue and the energy that your paint color brings to your room.

Natural lighting is likely affecting your space more than you think! For example, depending on where your windows face, you will get different warmth from the sun, affecting the perceived color of your paint. Eastern morning light introduces a blue tinge to the room, while the western evening light can bring a warm and yellow tone. When choosing a color, you should consider painting a few sample strokes onto the wall to evaluate what it looks like at different points in the day.

Lighting will change the perceived color in two main ways:

By doing an in-depth color analysis, you can capture the exact mood and tone you want to set in the room as you upgrade your space― automatically adding to resale value should you ever put it on the market.

3.   Tie your flooring choice into your room with vibrant paint colors

Your paint choice can be a powerful way to tie in the flooring options that your home already has, or compliment new flooring. The two design elements can work synergistically to bring a unique energy to the room. For example, natural wooden floors or laminate flooring can bring a warmer tone into the room and would do well with neutral, warmer colors.

In contrast, if you have concrete, stone, or marble elements in your floor choices, cooler colors may be a stronger possibility to minimize differences and potential clashing. While colors do not need to match explicitly, many homeowners prefer complementary colors from the same color family― don’t overlook your floors when choosing your perfect paint color!

It is also important to note that you should experiment with colors that will enhance the beauty that your flooring choices bring into the room― you’ll want each design element to work together in one cohesive flow of the design.

4.   Pair your colors with beautiful lighting options

Unique light fixtures and lamps can be like “jewelry” to your space and bring different hues in your room colors. Since color can look so different in natural and man-made light, make sure to consider your paint choices at different times of the day. Then you won’t be surprised once the entire room looks greener or bluer at night than you intended it to be.

While artificial light itself will impact the color of your paint, the color and style of the light fixtures will also affect how your wall paint will look. For example, you can pair a more neutral paint with pops of colorful light fixtures to pull a deeper color from the wall. Or you can balance a bold paint color with neutral light fixtures if you’re looking for a more dramatic look.

Still not sure how to pick the perfect paint colors?

Whether you’re looking to organize your space or completely re-design and refresh your home, the experts at Macy Lane Designs are here to help. Our team of experts offers various premier home services, including paint consultations, interior design services, lighting packages and organizing for one room (or your entire living space), and so much more! So, connect with us today to learn about how you can make your home your haven.

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