My husband and I have completely different styles. Is it possible to blend them both?
Absolutely! This is one of the most common problems our clients have. Usually, a couple will agree on at least one thing, like an antique, and I can use drapery, lighting and other furnishings to round-out an overall design. We usually take the best or the most classic of each of the concepts and attempt to "marry" them into their own personal style.
How can I incorporate current trends into my interiors?
Trends are just that -- trends. While we want to incorporate new concepts into your home, we will concentrate more on classic ideas and use newer themes to create something more up-to-date. I like to use a fresh approach by utilizing new materials, textiles and creativity. An exception to the "trend" rule would be current audio, video and lighting technologies with a view toward future upgrades.
Is it possible to use some of my existing furnishings in my design project?
Incorporating existing furnishings is Design 101. I always use existing pieces in a project if the pieces are good, and can be used to achieve the new look desired. Many times I have redesigned a sofa to fit into a new look, or refinished a cabinet to work with the new theme. I try to be an environmentally conscious designer, so recycling a piece from one room to another is a solution worth exploring. For example, in a recent project, I turned an old frumpy sofa into a new classic by removing dated "bun" feet, eliminating the tufting, adding a dressmaker's skirt, down cushions, pillows, cording and trim. It just takes creative ability and understanding.
I want to make a change from paint and wallpaper. What techniques for walls can liven up my room?
Upholstered walls are a much more luxurious alternative to paint and wallpaper. Depending upon the fabric, upholstered walls create a warm, elegant and rich atmosphere and also soften a room. Fabric patterns and scenes also add to the luxurious feel. There are so many options with fabrics - suede, silk, cashmere and velvet and you can channel, panel or tuft the fabric for a variety of applications. Topaz woven heathered flannel is a wonderful, masculine alternative. Trims and cord welts, even mother of pearl and coral provide amazing detail. Although murals are technically painted walls, they create an environment other than just plain paint. Additionally, the use of metal panels, wood or acrylic panels can bring a totally different dimension to any room.
I have no idea how to set a budget.
Budgets are only guidelines, which need to be set as a reality check. Usually when I set a budget for a project, I give two - one which is the lowest I feel we can go, and one which reflects what current costs are for upper end furnishings and designs. Usually everyone wants to be closer to the lower end of the spectrum. However, after showing my clients beautiful products the result is closer to the mid-range between the two budgets. A good rule of thumb for the client is to select a figure you don't want to exceed and tell the designer a lower number. It is very difficult to stay at a number when you are doing a lot of different items, and you will most likely go over your figure... everyone does.
I don't want to attend a friend's cocktail party and see my same design in their home. How can this be prevented?
Cannon Frank specializes in custom, one-of-a-kind interiors which reflect the specific vision of our clientele. We pay strict attention to details which play an important role in our ability to achieve the level of sophistication, authenticity and creativity our clients expect. The end result is an upscale home which reflects the clients' personal ideas and tastes. You are also in control of this... tell your designer you don't want to see anything like what you have in anyone else's home, and challenge them to become more creative for you than their other clients.
How do I blend in some of my grandmother's things, when we really don't like her style?
Select the best of those pieces and blend them with more eclectic pieces and use them in a clever way. For example, for that old table -- bring in contemporary chairs, or pair an old Moroccan rug with contemporary art.
What do I do if my husband really wants a recliner?
Select a recliner that does not look like a recliner, or show him chairs and ottomans which will offer him more flexibility than a recliner and won't embarrass you when friends come over.
How do I select a designer?
It is best to be referred by someone whose home you have seen and liked. When you interview, be very clear on what you are looking for and don't hold back. Find out if the designer is capable of doing what you want, discuss their billing practices and always discuss budget. Also ask to see their portfolio and ask if you can actually tour some of their projects and get referrals. You will need to feel comfortable with the individuals you work with, so personality is a huge factor in your decision making process.