{interior design: when to DIY and when to work with a professional}

Cable TV is full of Interior Design shows. Click a channel, and you’ll see somebody remodeling a home. And those designers make the makeovers look so easy — like you could just do it yourself.

Inspirational, for sure. But is that realistic?  In other words, when can you DIY, and when should you hire a designer?

Credit: Carmin Meyer Design Consultation

“Not every project has room for a designer, and as a designer, I realize that,” says Carmin Meyer of  Carmin Meyer Design Consultation. “It might be financial reasons, or just the feeling that they have a good grip on things.”  They’ll get ideas from the Remodeler’s Showcase, Parade of Homes, Pinterest, and Houzz.com, and she says that works well for some people — but not for others.

“There are people that are creative that way, and there are others that are a little bit house-blind.” In other words, when you’ve lived in a home for awhile, you may not realize some of the flow problems — or opportunities — that a professional will see.

Credit: Carmin Meyer Design Consultation

Project Size Matters

Carmin breaks interior design projects into two categories: facelifts and makeovers.

“A facelift is cosmetic, more about painting, new furnishings, and accessories,” she says, “not really changing the floor plan or layout of the space, not really making a huge investment in construction.” You might be able to handle those kinds of projects on your own. “After all,” she says, “you can always paint over a color you don’t like.”

Makeovers are full-service projects, with more construction and bigger budgets — like kitchen and bathroom remodels. “Those are the most expensive areas of the home to update, because there are quite a few pieces and parts that go into them,” she says. “And really, when you look at what you’re total investment might be, with a designer, to get really good advice regarding layouts and material selections and things like that, it’s a very small fraction of what you’re paying for the project as a whole.”

Credit: Carmin Meyer Design Consultation

So, what happens when people try to tackle a full-scale makeover on their own? They end up calling her afterwards, looking for help after the construction is already done.  “Oftentimes I’m going into projects that have recently been done, and we’re tearing certain pieces apart and redoing them to get things to look the way they had ultimately intended them to, but just didn’t know how to.”

Places to Prioritize

If you want to save some money on a big makeover, at least start with a designer for the major decisions. Carmin says these are the priorities:

  1. Space planning.  You can’t really make any of the other decisions until you have a good layout.
  2. Cabinetry is a big expense, so have an expert select a material and finishes that will last as well as possible.
  3. Countertops and appliances are also expensive, so use the pro to make good choices.

Once those pieces are in place, you may be able to handle the backsplash tile, cabinet hardware, and lighting and plumbing fixtures on your own.

“After all, your cabinetry is going to stay, your countertops are going to stay, trim is going to stay, but then other things are a little more cosmetic,” she explains. “You can remove a cabinet knob and change it out if you get sick of it in a few years. It would be pretty easy to remove backsplash tile and redo that. And paint is paint — you could paint your walls a different color every day if you wanted to.” No wonder we like the way she thinks.

You can contact Carmin at carminmeyerdesign.com.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.



{friday finds: enhancing your decor for the holiday season}

November is a season of change. From autumn towards winter. From Thanksgiving towards Christmas and the new year. And we just love to decorate for the seasons. So, while you warm up for colder weather, we have some tips and tricks to make your home look perfect for the holiday season.

Credit: AThoughtfulPlaceBlog.com

Credit: A Thoughtful Place Blog

If you have the handwriting for it, chalkboards are all the rage right now. And what’s even better is that you can just wipe it clean and change the design as the seasons change! This simple design is fun and Wintery, with the help of some fun lyrics, and some easy-to-make snowflakes! You can even make your own chalkboard with Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint you can pick up at your local Hirshfield’s. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: don’t make these interior design mistakes}

Design inspiration is everywhere. Watch TV, read this blog, or pick through Pinterest, and you’ll find plenty of  exciting design ideas. But sometimes that’s a problem. How you put them together is where you really make the magic — or make a mess.


So, in the spirit of “putting it all together,” our Hirshfield’s professionals put together a list of interior design mistakes you shouldn’t make.

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: incorporating fall colors into your décor – inside and out}

October is here, and with the changing leaves comes decorating your home with warm, welcoming fall colors. This décor creates a cozy, inviting feel for guests, friends, and family for the upcoming months, not to mention Thanksgiving. Here are a few ways to make your own appealing getaway from the crisp fall air.

Bachman's Fall Ideas House 2015

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: candice olson’s modern artisan}

Candice Olson’s latest collection for York Wallcoverings features subtle, warm, enchanting styling with an artist’s touch.  Modern Artisan creates an atmosphere of iridescent beauty with sophisticated color and gentle patterning, brought to life with shimmering, burnished metallic and elegant shadings.

York Modern Artisan Wallpaper

Roxy York Wallcoverings

Roxy | York Wallcoverings

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: exterior painting tips for fall}

Fall is just around the corner, and along with the pumpkin spice lattes comes chillier weather. Since the hot summer sun won’t be beating down your back, fall can be an ideal time for painting the exterior of your home — just don’t wait too late in the season, when cold weather can become an issue. With that in mind, here are our fall painting tips:

Exterior painting

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: bachman’s fall ideas house 2015}

Each season, Bachman’s designers transform the historic family home into a magical destination for design inspiration. They completely repaint, refurnish, and redecorate the house with the latest product and trend ideas in home décor and entertaining, using their signature mix of vintage and new pieces.

“Rustic Meets Refined” is the theme for Fall 2015.  Muted colors of the season next to light neutral tones met with gold accents, a mix of natural wood, and modern patterns create a tapestry of autumn delights…combines colors, textures, and natural elements that set a rustic yet sophisticated scene*…

Bachman's Fall Ideas House 2015

Living Room

The stone above the mantel makes the entire fireplace a stand-out focal point in addition to pulling together the colors and textures in the room. And it’s wallpaper.

The Wine Room

The Wine Room! Nothing more needs to be said except, “I need a refill, please.”

Gallery wall in Bachman's Fall Ideas House 2015

Photo Gallery Room Bachman's Fall Ideas House 2015

Given the popularity of the gallery wall, Bachman’s has given us an entire room of gallery walls. Gather inspiration on creating a professional looking gallery wall in your own home mixing and matching photos, artwork, and favorite collectables. The framed pieces of scrapbook papers (first gallery photo) caught my eye and it would be so easy to update.

She Shed Bachman's Fall Ideas House 2015

A little piece of heaven from the She Shed! She what?

 Hopefully this glimpse into the Fall Ideas House makes you want to stop by and see for yourself what Bachman’s has to offer for fall decor and design. Mixing vintage, repurposed and new is where Bachman’s designers excel. Hirshfield’s Pinterest board will be updated with additional Ideas House photos later this evening AFTER I visit my Wine Room. Enjoy your weekend!

The Ideas House runs through October 4, 2015. Here’s a link for details.

Any of our Hirshfield’s paint specialists will be happy to help you find the colors used in the Bachman’s Fall Ideas House 2015.

Bachman’s Fall Ideas House 2015

Front Porch
0012 Bunny Cake (Trim)
0211 Light Lichen (Floor)
Dining Room
0275 Highlight
Kitchen, Lower Bath & Back Hall
0225 Roman Ruins
Wallpaper B4990P15S222
Living Room
0275 Highlight
Wallpaper YK25P38S222
0274 Polished Marble
Master Bedroom
0225 Roman Ruins
Wine Room
0123 Monterey Chestnut
Photo Gallery
0225 Roman Ruins
Guest Room
0274 Polished Marble
Upstairs Bathroom
0225 Roman Ruins

*taken from Bachman’s website

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.


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