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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. 2019 Wallpaper Trends

Wallpaper Trends

For as long as I've been an Interior Designer, over 25 years, I've been using faux finishes as an alternative to wallpaper.  I was seriously opposed to wallpaper.  The seams, the removal costs and the "get sick of" factors were a deterrent.  

Well, I can't believe I'm going to say this, but in 2019, wallpaper trends are definitely on the rise!  People are actually accepting the idea of wallpaper again.  I've seen this in the overall industry and have also incorporated it into my designs as well.  

I find that wallpaper is a good idea when you want an interest level on your walls to exceed "just paint".  I'll also go as far to say that when I see a faux finish now, it looks outdated to me.  Wow, the complete 180 degree turn amazes me!  

The popular prints I see are textures, geometric patterns and smaller stripes. I also like thick, industrial grade papers and prefer custom made if the budget allows.  I’m keeping my usage in my designs of wallpaper to accent walls, feature ceilings and powder rooms. I guess I’m getting my feet wet again!


Creating timeless environments for the entire home since 1991

Are you looking for a creative, practical design consultant who listens and cares about your goals and your environment? Then you have come to the right place. Have you got questions regarding your next renovation? Give me a call!  I’ll be happy to discuss your project!

– 815-479-0047 –Design Consultants
Interior Designer Selected Furnishings
Custom Remodeling Design & Build
Kitchen Renovations
Bathroom Remodeling

2019 Wallpaper Trends Chris.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. Interior Design Trends

2019 Interior Design Trends

When considering what is "in style" or "current" in the interior design world, it's important to take into consideration the definition of the word "trend".  According to Oxford Dictionaries, "trend" is defined as:

Trend-/noun/  1.  A general direction in which something is developing or changing.

Trend is a popular word that concerns interior designers and consumers. It’s a compass, and a directive force that tells us what’s in-style, what’s selling and what’s popular.  Interior Design Trends are not only important to me, but they concern me, because my clients hire me to update their environments.  These fads show me somewhat of a baseline between what is current today and what’s possibly coming in the future.  When analyzing interior design trends, it's important to keep in mind where you reside. Styles, colors & furnishings will vary depending on the region.  For this article, my trend analyses will be Midwest related.

I find the topic of interior design and furnishing trends a very interesting subject.  I'm frequently asked whether I'm seeing styles, colors and furnishings repeated year over year.  Another popular question relates to what elements of home design are making a comeback  As I design my environments, I combine a mix of trend, personal style and mindful, timelessness.  The incorporation of these "ingredients" are key in creating special, unique, personalized living spaces! 


Creating timeless environments for the entire home since 1991

Are you looking for a creative, practical design consultant who listens and cares about your goals and your environment? Then you have come to the right place. Have you got questions regarding your next renovation? Give me a call!  I’ll be happy to discuss your project!

– 815-479-0047 –Design Consultants
Interior Designer Selected Furnishings
Custom Remodeling Design & Build
Kitchen Renovations
Bathroom Remodeling

Interior Design Trends Chris.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. Family Friendly Home Improvements

Family Friendly Interior Design

Do you remember a room in your house that the kids weren’t allowed to go in?  It was that “space for the adults” where the nice furnishings were.  In my house it was the Living Room.  It had beautiful white carpeting and special furniture that children were not allowed to sit in.  And, it always had “vacuum marks” in the carpet. If kids, or the dog, walked in the room, mom knew.  We could enter on special occasions and holidays.  That was how the house was “child proofed” when I was young.

Some things haven’t changed.  There are a lot of folks who choose to put off beautifying their homes until their children are grown.  Their thought process goes something like this.  “Why update the house? The children are just going to ruin it.”  Then, there are others who want both.  A beautiful home along with the growing family.  They want their space to be one that the whole family can live in and enjoy.  They are looking for “Family Friendly Interiors Design” solutions.  Fortunately today, these homeowners have quite a few “child friendly” options.

Interior Design in Arlington Heights

We got a call from one of our previous customer’s.  A few months prior, they had hired us to complete an Exterior Color Consultation.  This time, they were ready to update the interior of their residence.  They needed help selecting tile, cabinetry, lighting and other materials for their kitchen renovation. In addition, they were ready for fresh paint, furniture, window treatments and accessories for the rest of the main floor of their Arlington Heights, IL home.

Arlington Heights is a suburb of Chicago, Illinois that is about 25 miles northwest of the city.  It’s a vibrant community with an active downtown area full of restaurants and shops. In addition, it offers easy access to the city with the Metro commuter rail and top rated schools.  According to local Realtors, younger buyers are driving real estate demand in Arlington Heights.  New residents, with young children are a large part of the growing demographic.  Our clients are an example of this trend.

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Design Plan that’s Family Friendly

One of the most important parts of my job as an Interior Designer is to get to know the family I’m working with.  Before creating a Design Plan, that’s family friendly, I need to understand what’s important to my clients and how they live.  I want to know what they envision in their space and how I can make it more efficient and beautiful for them.  We discuss how they use each room. I look at their traffic patterns and family needs. In addition, we discuss the colors and styles of furnishings they like.  I analyze their existing furnishings and we talk about how we can add items that complement what will stay.  

For this Arlington Heights family, the goal was to create an aesthetically beautiful environment conducive to the wear and tear of children.  They wanted a nice space where they could be comfortable.  They wanted simple design, easy to maintain and worry free.  The rooms involved included the kitchen, family room, living room and dining room.  I set to work on a Family Friendly Interior Design Plan.  My goal is to create design solutions that the homeowner can be  excited about and also bring them piece of mind. 

Furniture
Rugs & Home Accessores
Framed Art
Tables
Holistic Approach to Interior Design Process

I use a holistic approach when I create a Design Plan for my clients. We began the home renovation with a Design Consultation.  From there, Colors, Furnishings and Materials were introduced.  I focused on a minimalist, classy & family friendly design. My client’s have home improvement goals that are common for young couples with growing families.  Many desire a beautiful home that can, within reason, withstand the wear and tear of a growing family. In these cases I utilize “high performance” fabrics and furniture that I have in my library of furnishings. 

I presented my client with a variety of design suggestions and furnishings.  From there, we narrowed down the options and chose pieces that best fit their goals and budget. For the  Paint Color Palette, I used a combination of Gray, Greige, Blue and Brown hues.  With the design in mind, I used these paint colors throughout the main floor of the home. The client’s home had existing wood floors throughout the main level.  Wood floors are easy to clean are durable.  They chose the option of refinishing them.  I had a custom stain color mixed to bring out the darker tones in the wood and complement the Color Palette.  With the central focus of the Design being “Child Friendly”, the plan progressed as follows:

Kitchen Design Consultation 

The kitchen renovation was in full swing when I was brought in for Consultation.  The couple had their contractors, but had important decisions to make regarding the materials. They needed help with selections.  I provided a Kitchen Design Consultation which included selections of: White Cabinetry in the main area and Gray Cabinets for the back entryway cubbies, Granite Countertops, Backsplash Tiles, Light Fixtures, Window Treatments & Wall Colors.

Remodeling Product Selections
Kitchen Design Consultations
Family Room Interior Design

 Architectural features in the family room were enhanced by using different tones on the ceiling, beams and trim.  Because this room is the main area where the family gathers, it was important to have clean lines, be clutter free and child resistant.  Manufacturers now offer great materials that are stain resistant and resilient.  We brought in budget friendly furnishings that could withstand the test of time.  We chose custom fabrics for the sofa and pillows that are stain resistant and durable. They also purchased a dark leather recliner, end tables and lamps. To soften the space, they chose a low pile, textured rug.  We mounted the television on the wall to enhance the “clutter free” feel of the room.  And for a punch of color, added an accent wall and framed art.

Family Room Before
Child Friendly Furnishings
Child Friendly Interior Design Arlington Heights
Combined Living & Dining Room Design

I designed a more “adult oriented” concept for the living room and dining room.  These rooms have more of a traditionally, formal and sophisticated feel. As always, the furnishings were selected with the customers budget at the forefront of the Design Plan. I continued the color palette into these rooms with grays, blues and browns.  I devised a plan to use the paint in specific locations throughout each room. This technique invites the eye to notice the artwork, architectural features and furnishings.

Living Room

In the living room, I chose faux linen fabric for the window treatment panels. Neutral tone-on-tone fabric was selected for the chairs and a visually interesting, shaggy rug for the floor.  We also chose transitional tables with curved lines along with stylish lamps.  And, for a bit of color, I accented the sofa with custom blue pillows.  The lighting was upgraded in this room.  Can lights were added in specific locations to optimize use. Framed artwork was also selected and hung to complement the space.

Dining Room

For the dining room, I kept it simple and worked around the existing dining table & light fixture. An accent wall was painted to highlight the framed art that was chosen for the wall. I finished the space with neutral fabrics for the custom window treatment valances. A few additional accessories were hung for visual interest and we were finished!

Combination - Living Room & Dining Room Before
Living Room & Dining Room Furniture Selections
Living Room Design After
Dining Room Design After

Dennis and DF Design were great to work with from start to finish! We initially called DF Design to help with choosing an exterior siding color for an addition that would match the existing roof and brick, but Dennis was so great and helpful that we also used him to help with all interior paint colors and redesign our interior first floor. Dennis made sure he always provided options within our budget and we could not be happier with the finished product! Thank you Dennis and DF Design.

Christina K., Arlington Heights, IL

Creating timeless environments for the entire home since 1991 Are you looking for a creative, practical design consultant who listens and cares about your goals and your environment? Then you have come to the right place. Have you got questions regarding your next renovation? Give me a call!  I’ll be happy to discuss your project! – 815-479-0047 – Design Consultants
Interior Designer Selected Furnishings
Custom Remodeling Design & Build
Kitchen Renovations
Bathroom Remodeling

Family Friendly Home Improvements Chris.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine.

Interior Design in Arlington Heights

We got a call from one of our previous customer’s.  A few months prior, they had hired us to complete an Exterior Color Consultation.  This time, they were ready to update the main floor of their residence.  They needed help with product selections for their kitchen renovation. In addition, they needed fresh paint, furniture, window treatments and accessories for the rest of the main floor of their Arlington Heights, IL home.

Arlington Heights is a suburb of Chicago, Illinois that is about 25 miles northwest of the city.  It’s a vibrant community with an active downtown area full of restaurants and shops. In addition, it offers easy access to the city with the Metro commuter rail and top rated schools.  According to local Realtors, younger buyers are driving real estate demand in Arlington Heights.  New residents, with young children are a large part of the growing demographic.  Our clients are an example of this trend.

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Family Friendly Interior Design Plan

One of my essential jobs as an Interior Designer is to get to know the family I’m working with.  Before creating a Design Plan, I need to know how my clients live in their space, what they desire for their home and how I can make it more efficient and beautiful for them.  In this case, the goal was to create an aesthetically pleasing environment conducive to the wear and tear of children.  I set to work on a Family Friendly Interior Design Plan. 

Holistic Interior Design Approach

Using a holistic interior design approach, I study each room in the home and consider the needs of the client. My goal is to create design solutions that the homeowner can be  excited about and also bring them piece of mind. 

My client’s have home improvement goals that are common for young couples with growing families.  Many desire a beautiful home that can, within reason, withstand the wear and tear of a growing family. In these cases I utilize “high performance” fabrics and furniture that I have in my library of furnishings.  In addition, I chose an “easy to clean” and “clutter free” look.  

Interior Design Solutions

The main level of this Arlington Heights home consists of the Kitchen, Living Room, Family Room & Dining Room.  We began the home renovation with a Design Consultation.  From there, Colors, Furnishings and Materials were introduced.  I focused on a minimalist, classy & family friendly design.  With this in mind, fabrics, furnishings and materials met criteria to achieve the goal:  We narrowed down the options that would best fit the goals and budget:

For the Entire Home:

-Paint Color Palette – A Combination Gray, Greige, & Blue

-Wood Floors – The existing wood floors were refinished with a custom stain color mixed to bring out the darker tones in the wood and complement the Color Palette.

Kitchen – Material Selections

  • Backsplash, Cabinetry, Countertops, Lig

Chris.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. Home Renovations and Material Selections

Selecting the Right Materials for a Home Remodeling Project

Do you “hope” you’re selecting the right materials for a home remodeling project? Have you ever been in the middle of construction and hit a “road block”? Believe it or not, it’s a common design problem. There are so many decisions to make during a home renovation. A lot of building contractors can’t help with material selections. For the homeowner, that can be frustrating. Why?  Because, inadvertently, they’re forced to be the “designer”. Many need help with home renovations and material selections.

We hear a lot of stories about “home renovation regrets”. For instance, many had approached their home improvement projects from a “one room at a time” perspective. They wish they would have looked at their “house as a whole”. In retrospect, if they were to do it again, they would seek out some professional guidance. Remodeling a home is expensive. It’s important to make good choices.  Fortunately, there are options.

When  to Add an Interior Designer to your Home Renovation Team

A few months ago, we were contacted by a cabinet designer we work with.  He, and the building contractor he was on a job with, were in the middle of a kitchen renovation in Burr Ridge, Illinois.  Along with the homeowner, they had decided it was time to add an Interior Designer to their Home Renovation team.  They were in the process of the kitchen remodel and were facing some interior design dilemmas. In order to proceed, they needed help with the holistic direction of the project. They wanted to make sure that the kitchen would flow with the rest of the home. In addition, they needed guidance with product selections. 

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Kitchen Remodeling Consultation

We set up the Kitchen Remodeling Consultation and met with the team.  Together, we reviewed the floor plan. We addressed the architectural features throughout the main floor of the home. In addition, we discussed the existing furnishings and progress of the renovation.  Because the building process had already began, some of the materials had been chosen.  The builder and cabinet designer had done a beautiful job with the layout of the kitchen and the cabinetry.  My job was to design a plan for the home that coordinated with the existing components. In addition, to select products and materials that would enhance & complement the rest of the home. This is what I call a “Holistic Design Plan”.

Remodeling Plans were in Motion

Because I was brought into the project later, some remodeling plans were in motion. I would need to work around these predetermined decisions. After reviewing their selections, I was very excited to add to the plan. The homeowner, cabinet designer and builder had decided on White Cabinetry with Shaker style doors. The space was large. To allow for ease of mobility and traffic flow, two (2) functional islands would be installed. These islands would be accented in beautiful, textured grey oak with liming. 

Holistic Design Plan – Bringing it All Together

Incorporating the floor plan and cabinetry, I began the Holistic Design Plan for the home. I needed to determine the paint color palette and stain color for the floor. These would complement the kitchen and other rooms on the main floor.  Essential materials were chosen to complete the design, and add beauty to the entire space.

These included:

  • Paint Color Palette that included Greiges and Off-Blacks.
  • Quartz Countertops. Two (2) difference colors were chosen.  One for the main kitchen counters and another for the islands.  Quarts is a great product that is easy to clean and requires minimal maintenance. 
  • For the Backsplash, a travertine brick pattern, in neutral tones.
  • Large scale “Cage Lights” with a weathered bronze finish for the two islands. And, a smaller version for over the sink. 
  • Chrome Plumbing Fixtures.
  • Brushed Nickel Appliances.
  • Larger scale, brushed nickel hardware for the cabinetry.
  • Custom-made Window Treatment Valances were designed for the kitchen and dinette areas. Each with, an abstract, floral material in an achromatic color scheme.
  • On the floors, a custom mix of Jacobean and Classic Gray stain were blended.
  • The back staircase Balusters and Railings were painted in Off-Black.
Builder, Cabinet Designer & Interior Designer Working in Unison

The most successful projects we complete are those that include a team. A builder, cabinet designer and interior designer, working in unison, can really complement each other. Each professional offers a valuable skill. And, they all have unique knowledge about their craft. Are you in the middle of a renovation? Are you planning to build or remodel your home? Who’s on your team?

Creating timeless environments for the entire home since 1991 Are you looking for a creative, practical design consultant who listens and cares about your goals and your environment? Then you have come to the right place. Have you got questions regarding your next renovation? Give me a call!  I’ll be happy to discuss your project! – 815-479-0047 – Design Consultants
Interior Designer Selected Furnishings
Custom Remodeling Design & Build
Kitchen Renovations
Bathroom Remodeling

Home Renovations and Material Selections Chris.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. Customized Kitchen Renovations

Customized Kitchen Renovations

Every kitchen renovation project is different. People have goals and objectives when remodeling their kitchen.  With this in mind, the needs of the homeowner have to be taken into consideration and successfully worked around.  That’s where the Interior Designer comes in.

Kitchen Design Plan

Take Joe and Kelly, from Deer Park, a village in Lake County, near Barrington Illinois.  Their desire for the kitchen they envisioned was to keep the existing footprint, and also, their cabinets.  They were happy with the layout of their kitchen space and concerned that a complete “tear out” would take too long.

After evaluating Joe and Kelly’s kitchen area and examining the cabinetry, I suggested a Design Plan that included keeping the existing cabinet boxes and replacing/redesigning the doors, fronts and sides of the current cabinets.  I also suggested, adding a larger island, a fresh color palette, a neutral backsplash, refinishing the floors and dining furniture, lighting and adding window treatments panels to accentuate the outdoor view.  Joe and Kelly were excited about the Design Plan so the renovation began.

We were able to change the cabinet doors from overlay to an elegant inset door, which means the kitchen cabinet doors are now flush with the front of the cabinet.  This redesign process was more economical than purchasing all new high end custom cabinets and definitely a good choice for Joe and Kelly because their cabinet boxes are of good quality.  We added a larger, more functional kitchen island in a dark expresso finish and decided to also, upgrade the kitchen office feature.  Under cabinet lighting and a brick travertine backsplash show beautifully below the white perimeter cabinets. Window treatment panels add a touch of class and the greige, brown and light grey paint colors used are trendy, yet timeless.

5 Smart Kitchen Design Ideas
  • The kitchen desk area that was once mandatory in the 90’s was completely taken out and labeled as “out of style”.  I recommend designing it back into your kitchen the next time you remodel. By building a desk area that is the same height as the counters, the important rhythm and style of the kitchen will be continued.  In addition, you will acquire your necessary personal storage/task area that is handy and efficient.
  • Make sure you have lots of natural light. There is a real benefit to a sink with a view. It’s really pleasant when that can happen. If not, then face the sink towards the area you can interact with your friends and family.
  • Incorporate both a workspace and a casual hanging-out space. An island is the standard way to do this or a breakfast table nearby.  This, of course, depends on the particularities of the layout.  Another suggestion is to create a little breakfast area in the kitchen with built-in casual dining that has a “living room” like feel.
  • Use texture to add visual interest.
  • Experiment with an unconventional focal point.
     Let us know your ideas to renovating your kitchen.  View more photos in our Kitchen Design & Renovation Portfolio.  You can email us at info@dfdesigninteriors.com About the Author

    Raised with creative influences and artistic talents, Dennis’ love for art & design naturally grew from an early age. His father, a Technical Illustrator, influenced his drawing talents. Dennis’ mother recognized his gifts and encouraged his development in architecture and design. 

    In college, Dennis studied Interior Design and Psychology.  Human nature and communications were of great interest and continue to drive his passion and work. Blending his natural talents with his education, Dennis founded DF Design, Inc. in 1991. 

    Clients benefit from Dennis’ understanding of human behavior as it relates to daily living and interior design.  He has been recognized for his ability to thoroughly listen to others, problem-solve, and create beautiful environments.

    DF Design Inc.

    3610 Smoke Tree Ln.

    Crystal Lake, IL  60012

    www.dfdesigninteriors.com

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Creating timeless environments for the entire home since 1991 Are you looking for a creative, practical design consultant who listens and cares about your goals and your environment? Then you have come to the right place. Have you got questions regarding your next renovation? Give me a call!  I’ll be happy to discuss your project! – 815-479-0047 – Design Consultants
Interior Designer Selected Furnishings
Custom Remodeling Design & Build
Kitchen Renovations
Bathroom Remodeling

Customized Kitchen Renovations Dennis Frankowski.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. Home Improvement Consultation Helps Sell Real Estate

Home Improvements that Sell Real Estate

We received a call from one of our previous clients. She informed us that her husband had accepted a job in Florida, and it was time to put her McHenry, Illinois family home up for sale. She needed help determining current home improvements that sell real estate. Our client was very excited about her future.  But, because the real estate market is super competitive, she was concerned that her home would not sell quickly.  Like many in Northern Illinois, she and her husband had put off home improvement projects.  Because of this, the house was in need of some very important maintenance and updating.  Another issue was that their budget was limited.  She needed help determining which projects to complete that would give her the most “bang for her buck”.  In addition, she needed the work managed so she could travel between Illinois and Florida. We scheduled a Home Improvement Consultation for her.

Homes that Sell Quickly are Up to Date

This type of challenge is not uncommon.  In Northern Illinois, the real estate market has been slow to recover.  Because of this, many homeowners have delayed investing in their properties. Home renovations in this situation can be difficult because people have limited funds. We understand the problem. Most people don’t want to spend a lot of money on a house they are selling.  But, the truth is, homes that sell quickly are up to date and ready to move in.  

Research had proven that this home was in a neighborhood that was not selling.  Because of this, the customer needed to invest in their property to accomplish a quick sale. We provide Home Improvement Consultation that is specifically geared towards clients who are preparing to sell their real estate. With the sellers budget in mind, we advise on the best ways to improve their home for a quick sell.

Increase the Functional & Aesthetic Value

The goal of this project was to increase the functional and aesthetic value of the house ASAP.  With that in mind, a design plan was created to accommodate those needs and ear mark priorities for the client that made sense for the quick sale of their home.  The master bathroom was one of these priorities.

Establish a Reasonable Budget

First, we needed to establish a reasonable budget for the bathroom renovation.  Next, we devised a design plan, along with the necessary plumbing and tile materials to fit within that bathroom budget.

Bathroom Renovation Selections Included:
  • Large scale porcelain tile for the floor
  • Faux marble porcelain tile for the shower
  • Granite counter tops
  • New Soaker Tub
  • Chrome plumbing fixtures
  • Dark Wood Cabinetry
  • Chrome Cabinet Hardware
  • Glass Shower Doors
  • Updated Neutral Gray Color Palette
  • Abstract, Spa Beach Style Framed Art
After completing the list of home improvement priorities that we determined would best sell the property, the home was listed For Sale with a Realtor.
We are pleased to announce that this home SOLD within 1 Month!!
Customer Testimonial:

“Dennis Frankowski is a fabulous interior designer. I called him this year to help us figure out what to do to get our house ready to sell. Dennis has provided interior design services to us for many years, so I knew he would be the best person to help. He helped us plan a master bathroom redo that was both really pretty and functional but also quite affordable. Before the renovation, our bathroom was an eyesore, and we didn’t want it to detract from the overall appeal of our home. Dennis managed the entire project from beginning to end, which definitely reduced my stress. He was often on-site to make sure the project moved ahead smoothly. Dennis not only has a great sense of color, style and function, but he is easy to work with. He listens carefully and patiently explains every step of the process. He treats everyone with respect.” 
Linda, W.  McHenry IL

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Home Improvement Consultation Helps Sell Real Estate Dennis Frankowski.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. Exterior Painting Tips From an Interior Designer

Helpful Tips from an Interior Designer regarding Exterior Painting It’s exterior painting season. Here are some important tips if you’re going to paint the exterior of your house this year. I have been providing exterior paint consultation for 27 years. I’ve seen the right and wrong way to paint an exterior. Let me share with you my opinion of the right way.
Exterior Home Design | Exterior Paint Color Selection Consultation | DF Design, Inc - YouTube
Here’s a few of my recommendations to assure longevity and the best possible exterior job.
  • Use a high quality exterior paint or stain. I recommend using a product bought in a paint store. Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are quality choices. My advice, spend a little more on your exterior paint.  Higher quality paints have more additives, which in turn, last longer.  Just remember, you’re improving the exterior of your biggest investment.  It’s important to consider the long term, not just a short fix.
  • I recommend hiring a professional interior designer to choose your paint colors.  An experienced professional will take siding, roofing, stone and other materials into consideration when making color selections.
  • Hire a professional painter to apply the paint.
  • Try to avoid making costly errors.  Exterior renovations are big investments.  Do not make the mistake of having someone or even you make the wrong color choices.
  • Power wash your entire home before you paint. Mold, mildew, dirt and loose surfaces need to be removed before painting begins.  Allow a few days to dry in the warm weather.
  • In order for paint to dry properly, the exterior temperature needs to be above 55 degrees.  This temperature requirement is important for day and night hours.  My advice is pick a few weeks when the weather is consistently above 60 degrees during the day and night.  And note, paint can take several days, even weeks to dry completely.
  • Make sure your painter is good at prep work.  Caulking, priming, scraping are essential. This assures maximum longevity for the final product. After your house is thoroughly power washed and scraped, make sure all the raw wood surfaces are spot primed to allow adhesion. Good painters understand how important it is to prep before painting.
I’m wishing your next home improvement project is a success!!
Interior & Exterior Paint Consultations DF Design, Inc provides consultations for interior and exterior home and office environments. We use a broad spectrum analysis to determine the best color combinations based on décor, landscaping, neighborhood, and much more.  If you have any questions regarding your next home improvement, please give us a call!  We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Exterior Painting Tips From an Interior Designer Chris.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. Window Treatments Custom vs Ready Made

A Designers Opinion Regarding Window Treatments
Custom vs Ready Made
Window Treatments
Custom vs Ready Made

Window treatments custom vs ready made – that’s the question.  I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they don’t want to not spoil the view to the outside of their home by installing window treatments. This is an interesting point of view, because I think appropriate window treatments actually improve the outside view. They also add beauty by framing the windows, in turn, accentuating the view of the outside.  In addition, window treatments provide privacy, reduce glare on the television and protect furniture, fabrics and colors from fading.  Well though out drapes & valances beautify, accentuate and protect living spaces.   

I have been an Interior Design Consultant for over 27 years.  When it comes to window coverings,  I have seen it all.  I’ve witnessed bed sheets, newspaper, magazines and paper shades covering the glass.  My clients have told me they were meant as a temporary solution but ended up surpassing their longevity.   Another temporary alternative are those ready-made curtains and drapes purchased from a department store.  While these shades may serve a transitory purpose, they definitely do not add style or frame the view.

Window Coverings – Home Improvement & Curb Appeal

Window treatments, or should I say, appropriate window treatments enhance the home and offer curb appeal to a potential home buyer.  Many will argue that the expense of investing in blinds & drapes out-weighs the financial benefit when selling a home.  I disagree.  Functional, well thought out home improvements are very important to a buyer.  In my experience, those homes that have sold faster are updated.  

Window Treatment Styles & Uses

  • Functional Coverings –   Blinds offer important privacy and light filtering options.  Honeycomb shades, silhouettes & roller shades fit this category. 
  • Aesthetic Treatments –  These stylish options are chosen to add beauty to your space.  Examples include stationary panels, cornice boards and  box pleated valances.
  • Aesthetic/Functional –   These treatments offer beauty and purpose.  Roman shades and full closing panels are great examples.
Ready to Purchase Window Coverings
Here are Some Suggestions
  1. Hire a Designer. It Will Save you Time & Money – Custom window coverings don’t have to cost a fortune.  A professional designer can show you cost effective solutions and fabrics that suite your budget and style.  When properly designed to fit your home decor, professional window treatments will positively impact your houses value.
  2. Purchase Ready-Mades and Alter Them  – All windows are not the same size.  When you purchase custom draperies and blinds, they are specifically made to fit the exact measurements of your windows.  Store bought curtains and shade are not.  Due to their “one size fits all” nature, to look good, they need to be altered.  I suggest you have a fabricator measure your windows and then tailor the treatments for you.  By adding fabric to the top and/or bottom of the curtain, they can make them a quality alternative to custom.

Window Treatments Custom vs Ready Made Dennis Frankowski.

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Expert Friendly Interior Designer | DF Design Inc | Home Remodeling Consultant Interior Designer Barrington IL, Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Palatine. 2018 Interior Design Trends – Brass & Oak

Guide to Updating the Home in 2018 It’s 2018, the beginning of the new year, and time to take a look around the house and consider home improvements.  Many are contemplating major home improvements and looking for a guide to updating their home.  Most importantly, recommendations and solutions that will increase the value of the home for resale.  With that in mind, we’ll talk about 2018 Interior Design Trends and out-dated oak and brass in the home.
Out-Dated Design Features – Oak & Brass We all remember the popularity of oak and brass in our past decors. At one time, it was a design trend and became a staple in many homes. Today, when making decisions on updating the home, many people have a dilemma.  They are stuck with these out-dated design elements and don’t know what to do about them.  My clients have asked, should they keep brass and oak features or replace them?
Justify the Expense of Home Improvements There is a cost involved in replacing cabinetry, trim, doors, flooring, hardware and lighting.  Some people feel its hard to justify the expense of home improvements.  But, they want to increase the value of their home and make it more attractive to a potential buyer.  As we all know, the values of our homes declined due to the housing market crisis.  In many areas of the country, housing prices have recovered and increased.  But in others, home values are still coming back from the decline.  This is the main reason home owners have hesitated making upgrades to their residence. The good news, is that a full recovery is on the horizon.
Updating the Home Increases the Value It’s a fact, updating the home increases the value.  If you have any of the following items in your home, chances are, you have an outdated home. 
  • Pine or Oak Stained Trim
  • Oak Doors
  • Oak Kitchen Cabinets & Bathroom Vanities
  • Hollow Core Doors
  • Honey or Red Colored Oak Flooring
  • Brass Door Knobs
  • Light Fixtures in Brass Finish
  • Brass Cabinet Hardware & Hinges
Today, in some cases, these items can be a visual nightmare in a home.  My recommendation, de-brass and de-oak your home ASAP.  First, it will create a more pleasant place for you to live.  In addition, it will increase the value of your home by bringing it up-to-date.
A Basic Guide to Replacing Out-Dated Oak & Brass Here are my recommendations for removing or refinishing out-dated oak and brass elements in your home. Interior Doors
Use solid, 1 or 2 panel doors, shaker or raised panel style.
**Note: Painted doors are the most popular choice today. Trim
When replacing baseboards, 5 1/4” size trim works great for most applications.  This size is a bit larger and gives a classy appearance in a room. I like Colonial and Cape Cod styles in traditional spaces.  The Craftsman style is great for a simple “less is more” look.  Look to the style of your home when making your selection. Door Knobs
Replace your brass knobs with brushed nickel or bronze handles.  I like levers vs. knobs for most doors. Don’t forget to replace the hinges as well. Match them to the door handle finish. Cabinet Hardware
There are a ton of cabinet hardware choices on the market.  Chrome or brushed nickel are among the most popular. Use knobs on doors and handles on drawers or vise versa. Floors
2 1/4” red oak flooring is out-dated, popular and costly to replace. Therefore, I recommend refinishing this floor, rather than replacing it.  This is a cost effective solution.  When refinishing your floors, think about darker, browner stain colors.  A few good choices are made by Minwax. They are Provincial and Jacobean. Also, top coat with a latex based satin finish. If replacing your floor is an option, consider wide plank wood. White oak is a great choice because of the variety of stain colors that work with it . Hand scraped flooring is a popular pre-finished choice, but keep in mind it’s trendy.   Classic Grey, by Minwax, is a popular and also trendy stain color. Cabinets
Shaker style (flat panel) cabinets are popular.  I like painted and stained cabinets. I also like the island cabinets off set from the perimeter cabinets.  For example, a nice look may include painted, off white perimeter cabinets with a darker stained island.   If you have 8 or 9 foot ceilings, make sure your design allows the cabinets to go all the way to the ceiling. Light fixtures
I’ve found that the most popular light fixture finishes are brushed nickel and bronze, depending on your decor.  Use pendants over kitchen sinks and islands.  Replace flush mounted fixtures or remove and install recessed led cans. For cost effective savings, use led bulbs.  Bulbs with a 2800-3000k temperature of light create a pleasing, warm effect. Before purchasing, make sure to check the package and fixture requirements before you purchase. Wall Colors
Wall colors have progressed, beiges have gone greige. Popular accent colors are browns, blues, dark greys and iron ore colors. Use these accents for focal walls. Consider a few rooms in muted greens or blues to add color.
I hope this Guide to Updating you Home is helpful.  And, I’m wishing your next Home Project is a success! For consult or questions……

2018 Interior Design Trends – Brass & Oak Dennis Frankowski.

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