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.

Country French meets Asian… March 13, 2011

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This project is continued from my December 30th posting called “Just in…Custom Asian Inspired Dining Table and More.” We just completed this project on Thursday, where we hung all of my clients existing artwork and installed some custom floral arrangements. We had a slight delay with the custom sofa delivery due to a defect with the original fabric, so it was wonderful to see everything finally put together.

With careful editing and thoughtful planning we were able to create a luxurious space using much of my clients existing furnishings, artwork, and accessories. All of the upholstery we used from her previous home was updated with new fabrics, giving new life to each piece and a modern touch, thus allowing us to create a cohesive space within her two room apartment.

In the living room we developed a plan that divides the kitchen from the rest of the space by installing a custom built-in bookshelf. This not only defines the space, but allows my client to showcase her important treasures. The bookcase adds elegance and a more natural divide, so that when sitting in the living room you don’t focus on the kitchen appliances. The only new furnishings added to this space were the Asian inspired dining table with French chairs, metal and glass cocktail table, the camel back sofa, buit-in bookshelf, and window valance; everything else was brought by my client from her former home, which made the transition from the West Coast to Minnesota much more comfortable for her.

In the Master Bedroom, I designed the full-size headboard and upholstered it in a solid green cotton sateen, which we repeated on the bedskirt. I found the duvet cover at Bloomingdales and had my drapery workroom custom fit it to the bed. The soft creme of the duvet makes the transition from the living room to the bedroom flow smoothly. The creme of the soft valance echos the bedcover and balances the space. We chose a soft green for the walls and continued this same color into the master bath. To pop the bed, we used richly colored pillows, a yellow floral from Lee Jofa on the shams and a green/gold/pink trellis fabric for the center pillow is highlighted with a hot pink silk welt. All of the pillow colors are found in the corner chair fabric, which is a beautiful gold brocade mini floral from Schumacher.


Parade of Homes 2011… February 28, 2011

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This years Parade of homes goes from March 5 thru April 3 and is teamed up with The Remodelers Showcase, which runs April 1 thru April 3. Guidebooks are available at Holiday Station stores. Check out the links below for further details on times and home locations.

For a variety of special seminars available during the tour check out his link:


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.


This months favorites in furniture and design… February 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 9:58 am
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I get goosebumps when I see really good design. In a market that is saturated with products of various degrees in both style and quality it’s great when you see a new spin or twist to something old. Here’s to those butterflies in the stomach that make you want to create something better for yourself. 

These are my February finds, inspiring and unique products that I just have to share with you. Let me light the way…


Tis the season for Outdoor Furniture… February 9, 2011

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


February deals… February 7, 2011

International Market Square (IMS) is Minnesota’s center for Design products including custom home furnishings, lighting, accessories, tile, area rugs, fabrics, and wallcoverings available only To The Trade. These IMS showrooms showcase luxury brands not available to the general public or through most retailers. 

The start of the year can be a good time for you to look for closeout deals in furnishings. IMS Showrooms and their manufactures look to highlight new products previously shown at Fall Market and therefore need to make space for these special pieces by getting rid of last season goods. Luxury furnishings available as shown doesn’t fit everyone’s design needs, but if you have a plan for what you need then it could be added reason to buy. To top off the great deals on showroom floor items, many manufactures are kicking off the new year with a steeper discount on special order items as well. Industry professionals such as myself are your ticket to International Market Square’s vast array of specialty showrooms. I’d be happy to guide you through the showrooms to find that specialty item you’ve been looking for. Call me today to schedule an appointment! Follow the link below to reach me by phone or email:


Pink and gray babies room… January 24, 2011

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My wonderful clients were blessed with their 3rd baby girl in December. I had the luxury of helping her prep for the baby by designing the two bedrooms for the three girls. We had determined that the oldest, who is 4, would get her own room, so what had previously been her space was now going to be the room for the new baby and their 1-year-old. That meant the bedroom that was previously the babies/1 year olds room would now go to the 4-year-old!

The 4-year-olds new room-  We decided that the current green walls would be a perfect with the pinks and whites we wanted to add to this space.  This saved us a lot of time and the work of repainting the walls! We added new floral striped bedding in deep and light pinks with white and green. In place of a headboard we found two large tufted floor pillows, one in pink and one in green– we thought this would offer more flexibility as she ages as she can throw the pillows on the floor for reading and hanging with friends. We added new lamps with hot pink shades and fun cut-out designs within the shade. We also found a painted green french chest for the nightstand.

For the new babies room- We chose to repaint all the walls and ceiling using gray for the walls and pink for the ceiling. It was a wonderful choice against our white woodwork where one wall is devoted to a pair of french doors which open into the closet. The room gets a lot of light and most of the fabrics and furnishings going into the space were white or pink, so the gray was a great way to bring color into the space on a sophisticated level. The white cribs from IKEA are even paneled with a gray pin-stripe on the footboards. We used a pink and white toile for the crib bedding, valance and then to accent the rocker. My client found a furry pink rug and added her own pink fuzzy pillows on suggestion.

My client is thrilled! I’ve attached some photos below to give you a quick view of these two spaces.