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.

Artistic balance… April 8, 2011

Some years ago I had purchased a stone dining table from an Italian manufacture, which will remain un-named, for my client. A sleek 60″ round stone top on three stone legs. When received by my warehouse they immediately notified me of their concerns of the unsteadiness of the tables design. The pegs that held the table top to the base did not fit the holes tightly. With that much wiggle room and too short of pegs we were concerned that the top if leaned on would tip. We were especially concerned as I knew this piece would be going on a hand carved area rug. To stabilize the top we crafted wooden pegs that went deeper into the peg holes and that fit tightly into each. We then glued the top to the base. The glue could be removed if the client chose to relocate. We fixed the problem which was very clear to us. I was amazed that a manufacturer would produce something that could be of danger to its user. Form MUST follow function in all designs! I can’t image having somebody sit at a table they can’t lean against for fear of being crushed.

As Interior Designers it’s very important that we select and specify products that are safe for our clients to use. We not only are looking at products that are better for our health and the environment, but safety in use. When selecting imports the regulations that American manufacturers are required to follow aren’t the same and this was apparent on the above mentioned table design. Thankfully my skilled Furniture Receivers at the warehouse were able to identify a possible disaster.

While I can appreciate the beauty in the designs of these tables I also fear for the safety of its occupants. The Italians put out some very interesting and unique pieces, yet gravity can be their demise. Hopefully they have perfected this in ways unseen in the photos provided.

Enjoy the following designs for what they are. They may be better suited for a museum.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Vivid color… April 3, 2011

Filed under: What's innovative! — sarah bernardy-broman @ 12:04 pm
Tags: , ,
Elle Decor living room by Sig Bergamin


Color, when used correctly can be an awesome thing. The creative use of patterns and textures is always key in the placement of color and the above room from Brazilian Designer Sig Bergamin does that and more. I pulled this image from Elle Decor’s online portfolio, but have had this article, Wild At Heart from their Dec/Jan 2011 issue, laying open on my desk for weeks now. This room has a wonderful energy about it that I just can’t put away.


Country French meets Asian… March 13, 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.


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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.


Happy New Year… January 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah bernardy-broman @ 1:41 pm
Tags: ,

2011 has come up rather quickly! Thanks to all who have been a part of my business and blog! Please continue to stop in and view some of my recently completed Interior Design projects and ideas. My New Years promise is to keep you posted on the latest happenings, events, and company “coupons”. See ya soon!


Just in…Custom Asian inspired dining table and more- December 30, 2010

Filed under: Projects — sarah bernardy-broman @ 11:56 am
Tags: , , , ,

The week before Christmas we installed a few custom items into my clients home. She was very pleased with the details of the completed pieces and is looking forward to receiving the rest of her furnishings the first part of this year. A touch of Asian, a touch of French, take a look at the first photos of the custom-built dining table. This Asian inspired table was designed to feel light in the space so we used a glass top and had the base post painted white to match the enameled woodwork in the home. The top was designed with the visually impaired in mind, therefore we needed to have the wooden edge around the glass. The Asian fretwork not only adds design interest to the piece but helps to support the top and hold it to the pedestal base. A very structurally sound and visually pleasing design.

Next we installed some custom window valances and bedding.

-In the living room we designed a flat valance with gathered ends which taper down to soften the window edges and add interest. This design was chosen so we could show off the Asian print fabric used. We finished the bottom edge with a solid banding of fabric similar to the wall color we selected. Two 20″ square pillows in the same fabric will be used on the new camel back sofa not yet installed. We repeated this fabric again on the front of a French chair that is being reupholstered.

-The bedroom valance has a softer feel to the design where we used a solid cream fabric to coordinate with the cream duvet cover. We finished the bottom edge with a decorative tape that pulls in the greens, golds, and pink colors used in the pillows and upholstery. I love the way the fabric swags, very feminine and perfect for a small bedroom window. The walls were painted a soft green found in the floral pillows, which will contrast wonderfully against the dark green headboard we are having made locally by my Upholsterer. The headboard is being upholstered in the same solid green fabric as the bedskirt. The golds in the floral shams will be reflected in the bedroom chair that will tuck in under the window. It’s important to have your colors balance throughout the room. A dark green pillow that has a gold and pink trellis pattern sits in front of the shams and pops with the hot-pink cording. This pillow helps pull the dark greens being used on the skirt and headboard to the center of the room.