Designs to Inspire

Great design brings people home. As a residential Interior Designer I think it's important that you love the home you are in, no matter what kind of budget you are on. This site is to help you start thinking about your home in a new way.

The color red… February 25, 2010

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Red can be a very important color in a room if used correctly. It can also be overpowering, especially if the color is off from the rest of the pieces in the room that need to play off of it. I like using red as an accent rather than having it boldly thrown in your face. Bounce it around the room in various small pieces to balance the space.—Think pillows, Drapery panels, lamp bases, colors in your artwork or area rugs, a mirror frame or single piece of furniture such as a chest, cocktail table, or chair.

If bold is what you seek, accent the red walls with black painted trim and various accessories throughout the room. This will give your eye that negative space it needs and is a very dramatic effect that can look very sexy or moody in a space—especially great in powder rooms or home libraries/offices; imagine all that black enameled cabinetry with a high gloss finish against deep red walls! Yum!

Above are images I collected from magazines over the years. Just a few examples of how you can work red into your homes interior.


Re-evaluating your space… February 18, 2010

For the past 3-1/2 yrs we have had the TV downstairs in what we were trying to use as our family room. This space quickly became the main gathering space for our family 95% of the time, while also playing the role as our office, toy room, and exercise room. It was apparent that we had too many functions for one space, which left our upper level living room with the comfy furnishings and wonderful natural light unused most of the time. Funny how young families gather, while those with Teens spread apart. Our current life includes a five year old and a baby on the way so we are “gatherers” and will be for some time.

Time to change; my husband was feeling claustrophobic in our two-bedroom split-level home and due to economic changes in the housing market we weren’t quite prepared to sell. Instead we decided to use our space more wisely. Thankfully as an Interior Designer I am able to process, plan, and create solutions for such needs. I quickly drew up a few design plans to make our living space upstairs one we would actually use, while leaving the lower level as a functioning office, toy room, and exercise room—out with the sofa and TV, in with the toy organizers.

Most split-level homes have the typical wood or metal banister that overlooks the stairs from the upper living room. An eyesore in my mind that makes arranging the room for furnishings a challenge when trying to fit a TV into the room. I designed a TV cabinet/bookshelf that would replace the railing and function for not only the TV, but also additional storage for videos, CDs, toys, and games. The result is one beautiful cabinet that creates a wonderful focal point for the room while helping to separate the foyer stairs from the space. By keeping the cabinet at 42”ht light from the living room windows can continue to pour into the foyer and that from the foyer to the living room. The openess above the cabinet to the foyer allows the spaces to flow together and keeps the room from feeling smaller.

Below I have attached some before, during, and after photos of my custom cabinet as a way to show you how simple updates to your home can create an important difference to your way of living. I think it’s a good time as homeowners to really look at your home, you may discover that you haven’t outgrown your current space; you just haven’t used it correctly.


What inspires you? February 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 3:03 pm

Look for inspiration in the things you love!

If you don’t have artwork or an area rug to start your rooms color palette around, take inspiration from the colors in the things you love. Color can be found in nature or your everyday surroundings. What makes you smile? Is it a color in your garden that captivates you every spring/summer? Bringing this indoors for you to enjoy through all the seasons is a great way to captivate a room and keep the winter blues away. How about a favorite shirt or dress color? Nail polish? Or maybe it’s a favorite food, vacation spot or restaurant. Color is in everything we do and surrounds us daily affecting our performance and mood. You will be surprised by what colors can work together in your space if positioned correctly in the room. In the end it’s all about balance.


Everyday furnishings… February 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 2:36 pm

A touch of black or white within any room creates a great accent and resting place for your eye. Think black picture frames, lampshades, or iron accent furnishings. Think white or off-white matted artwork, a porcelain vase, all white floral arrangement, or lacquered accent table.

Whether traditional or contemporary black and white are wonderful accessories within your home. Black can make a bolder statement if used on Trim-work or walls, punch it up with vibrant color like turquoise or hot pink and you have a fun and exciting space. Used together as the only color in the room, black and white are very playful and classic at the same time.

Don’t be afraid of color no matter what shade.


Everyday Living… February 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 2:17 pm

I am a firm believer in white porcelain dishes for your everyday use. They are so timeless and always have a fresh clean look, who wouldn’t want to eat off of them? Plus they look great with any other color of dish, glass, floral arrangement, or seasonal centerpiece.


Metropolitan Home magazine closes February 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 3:50 pm

Metropolitan Home magazine closes

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“Think Big, Start Small.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 10:24 am

I ran across this quote will browsing through a magazine, “Think BIG, Start small”, it was in an ad for The California Academy of Sciences, where their request for a donation as little as $5 can do big things to protect certain habitats in Madagascar. I feel these four simple words can help us keep focus when we are looking to improve our home environment. Not everyone has an abundance of funds when it comes to home design, so starting small is often the most comfortable way to achieve your dream. Many homeowners that I have worked with will start with one or two rooms, sometimes we complete it all in one phase, and other times it develops over time. Clients often have goals to complete their main level of living first and so I help them to set a plan by designing the overall finished look for that space or level. Once the design is approved I write-up a proposal of costs and from there my clients narrow down what they can do now and what they will do later. This is the perfect way for clients to see the room develop so they can slowly enjoy the comforts of change.  It’s not always easy to make changes, so doing things in stages may be a more rewarding experience for some, while others may want instant gratification. There’s’ no right or wrong way to do this as long as you have the guide of a professional who can help you make the proper decisions all the way through. Project goals will come easily when you are aware of your budget.