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.

Spring was here… February 23, 2011

We had our taste of Spring just the other week and as quickly as it came it left us with another foot plus of snow.  Yes, it’s been a long winter for us Minnesotans and we will all rejoice when the grass pokes it’s dirty head again.  This doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying the idea of Spring.  Maybe the warmer the wishes the warmer the weather will become? 

It’s never too early to start planning.  You can add touches of Spring into your home by making simple inexpensive changes.  Changing out pillows, lamps, or adding a simple floral arrangement can help to change the mood, brightening not only your home, but your entire attitude.  We can all use a little uplift once in a while, especially through the winter months.

Check out these fine lamps from Wildwood Designs and Tracy Glover and you’ll see what I mean.

It’s all about the fabric…if you want to change things out for the season look at cotton, linen, or silks with either printed or embroidered motifs as velvets or chenille fabrics can feel heavy in the warmer months.  I’ve added a few of these types of fabrics above to get you thinking.  –You don’t always have to go floral to feel like Spring.  Although, florals have come a long way from the polished chintz that Grandma once had.  Sold colored pillows with a contrast colored welt or a fun trim added can make a fresh statement to your room.  Bolder patterned damasks in bright new colors like the ones I’ve shown above can also make a splash in your home.


Tis the season for Outdoor Furniture… February 9, 2011

Filed under: Fabrics,Furniture — sarah bernardy-broman @ 12:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

If you live in Minnesota or other areas of the country that are getting hit with huge amounts of snow this year, then you are probably not thinking about going out and buying all new patio furniture. My advice is to not wait until you’ve dusted off the patio/deck to go and “test sit” potential pieces.  Now is the time to prepare for the warm months ahead! Yes, in the luxury market of outdoor furniture it can take 4-8 weeks for your custom ordered pieces to arrive, so buying now will mean it’s available when the warm weather hits.

Some products to look at now and get your ideas flowing…

Outdoor fabrics are more beautiful than ever before. Manufacturers have really stepped up the design options. Solids and stripes are still very common, but leopard prints and a variety of botanicals are really taking the spotlight. So many color palettes to choose from! Check out this link from Windward Design Group’s outdoor fabric collection to get your inspiration started:

Donghia has a line of outdoor furnishings by Weatherend Furniture – a manufacturer out of Maine. Check out this link to see one of their chairs displayed in a fuchsia fabric. I love the way they contrasted the welt on the cushions. It’s a very Designer way to make your look more custom:

Century Furniture is not only a leading brand in Upholstery and Case goods for the interior of your home, but a few years back they introduced their own line of outdoor furnishings. One of their leading Designers, Oscar De La Renta, works his magic in the line of outdoor furnishings he created for them. I’ve highlighted a few of his pieces below along with some other leading lines in outdoor furnishings.


Nature inspired home furnishings… November 5, 2010

Most everything we do in design is inspired by our surroundings. Nature plays a big part in both fashion and interior design. Here are some great finds to help you bring the outdoors in. From wallcoverings to fabrics and furnishings let nature be your guide.


All things orange for your home… September 16, 2010

Filed under: Fabrics,Furniture,What's innovative! — sarah bernardy-broman @ 2:45 pm

There’s just something really beautiful about the color orange and it’s popping up more and more these days in home accents. Maybe it’s Falls fast approach that is drawing me to this dramatic color. No matter the reason it’s another great way to bring excitement to a room. Weather your palette craves that brightly colored sun-kissed hue or the more subdue cinnamon orange, there’s something out there for you in the world of Interior Design.

I’ve captured just a few pieces below for your viewing pleasure. As always, enjoy!


Summer trends… July 1, 2010

Filed under: Fabrics — sarah bernardy-broman @ 11:36 am

How to bring the outdoors in? A goal of many this time of year. Some simple tips to make your summer months more glorious than ever before:

1. Cut fresh flowers from your garden once a week or bring them home from a Farmers Market and make an arrangement for those areas of your home that don’t overlook a garden view.  Even a small bouquet can make a little statement on a bath vanity or nightstand. Flowers of all one variety are sometimes more interesting than a mix, and often more calming to the eye. You will appreciate the fresh scent that a floral arrangement can bring to a room and hopefully bring a smile to your face every time you walk in that space.

2. Bold garden inspired colors and patterns are being used throughout the home in accessories. A overscaled brightly colored floral for pillows is a great way to brighten any palette without locking yourself into a color scheme. If florals are not your thing, Tie-dyed fabrics are not only being seen on the fashion runway, but also in home design; use for pillows or table cloths. Ceramic lamps and vases in bolder colors are great ways to liven up a bookshelf or china cabinet. Pull in a light weight unexpected colored throw, like turquoise or hot pink to curl up with on those over-air-conditioned nights.

Lee Jofa silk floral Parnham

Tie-dyed pillows can bring a fresh new energy to ones space. Think hot pink or lime green for girls rooms.


3. Sparkling lakeside views can inspire you to paint the ceiling–Ralph Lauren offers some wonderful Metallic finishes that look beautiful above your head. From boldly colored turquoise to more subtle hues like gold, silver, and taupe you’ll be sure to find a color that inspires you. This paint technique also looks fabulous in powder rooms or as an accent wall behind a headboard. Great way to bring a little bling to a room.

Ralph Lauren metallic paints are great for ceilings or accent walls.

4. Speaking of bling– metallic finishes are all the rage not only in fabrics and wallcoverings but also in the finishing of your casegoods; think the twinkling night sky. Yes, you’ll be seeing silver and gold on coffee tables, exposed wood chairs, and small accent tables. Remember though, a little goes a long way, one or two great pieces is all a room needs.

Venus Gilt metallic leather from Hancock and Moore furniture.Cairo Gold leather from Hancock and Moore furniture.

5. We’ve all seen how a touch of animal inspired fabrics can add great dimension and fun into a space. From leopard, ocelot, zebra, and the occasional giraffe inspired rugs or fabrics we are now seeing more and more actual hair-on-hide pieces. Yes, cow hide with the hair on! These are great for an accent in any room…from full hide rugs to small touches on an ottoman or occasional chair we are even seeing these hides printed with the popular desired leopard or zebra patterns. Nice way to bring great texture to a space.

Steer Brindle hair on Hide leather from Hancock and Moore furniture.


Bold inspiration… April 20, 2010

Filed under: Fabrics — sarah bernardy-broman @ 11:13 am

High fashion influences what colors and patterns we will be seeing in interior fabrics and furnishings. It’s fun to understand these trends as they can take us places we may never have gotten to otherwise. The past year we were seeing beautiful silks and embroideries that came to us from India and more organic fabrics– overscaled patterns printed on cotton or linen grounds, softly woven bamboo solids great for draperies. Currently we are seeing bold beautiful patterns coming out of Africa. Check out the following link for an up close and personal look at what could be showing up in your next room re-do.