Tag Archives: Interior Decorating

STOP BUYING BAD SOFAS/SECTIONALS RIGHT NOW

How many of us have fallen into the trap of purchasing a bad sofa?  We’ve been there and we know how much it negatively effects the functionality of your home.  Where do you want to crash after a long day? What furniture does your family use the most?  See what we’re getting at here? Your family sofa should be treated with as much care as people use with picking out a new mattress. Read on to learn why investing in a custom, trade sofa is the best option for your home, family, and wallet!

Air BnB furnished by Allison Smith Design–Made to withstand the many occupants this home will see.

Okay, so maybe you know that your current sofa situation isn’t ideal but you haven’t found the “perfect” one. Here’s where we come in. Spend less time searching for the perfect sofa, let us curate one for you!  Not only do you get to choose from many sofa styles, you also get to choose from a plethora of different grades of fabric, leather and furniture finishes.

The vendors we use have a very specific fabrication method to ensure a long-lasting, high-quality product.  Whether you have energetic children that take their energy out on the furniture or pets you can’t keep OFF the furniture… have no fear—This furniture ENDURES.

Leather samples from the Allison Smith Design sample library.

The fabrication method we prefer to specify is called an 8-way hand tied coil spring suspension system.  What the heck is that?  High-grade twine is hand-tied in 8 different directions across the entire base area of the sofa.  Aside from the costs of high-quality materials, this fabrication method is what makes these sofas an investment.  The combination of hand-craft and high-quality materials produces a piece of furniture that perfectly distributes weight—creating hardly any stress on the frame.  Voila!  A piece of furniture that stands the test of time.

How does this compare to competitors?  Many competitors tend to use a webbing method of manufacturing and while this does, in fact, make a piece of furniture more affordable, webbing will sag quicker and will not stand up to heavy use by family, pets, etc.  When you understand this concept, it’s hard to pay for the same low-quality piece of furniture over and over.  Try investing in the right sofa and it will pay for itself in the long run.

We often specify trade leather sofa/sectionals for our commercial projects. (Gateway Apartments)

Other features we love about trade sofas:  Cushion quality and thoughtful material finishes.  Cushion engineering can be JUST AS IMPORTANT as a good sofa structure.  Again, many competitors just use a standard foam cushion and call it a day.  This is fine if you’re looking to have to replace cushions periodically—Just another lesson in ‘you get what you pay for.’

What do we mean by material finish?  Some of the vendors we work with offer a “Crypton” option—meaning that the beautiful and expensive fabric we encourage you to invest in becomes essentially bullet proof to crazy stains.  That’s right, everyone, enjoy your glass of red wine on your beautiful sofa without fear.

We hope we’ve been able to shed some light on why sofas from trade resources are superior to what’s coming from the chain/big-box houses.  Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions! If you’re ready to make the smart investment for your home, we’re ready to assist you!

-ASD Team

Eastmoreland Bungalow

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Set in an early-twentieth century neighborhood in SE Portland filled with lush greenery, this Eastmoreland home was past due for some loving updates.  You may have seen our previous basement renovations of this home not too long ago.  Well we can officially say the rest of the home is finished!  Allison knew she had to stick to period friendly elements to match the neighborhood–nothing too modern that would be dated in a few years.  The ultimate goal was to maintain the home’s authenticity while still giving it a functional update.

When Allison hopped onto this project, she immediately identified issues with the existing floor plan.  There were unnecessary exterior doors and space being taken up by previous unprofessional planning with home renovations.  In order to open the kitchen up and give it the space it deserved, she planned to take out the existing exterior door and close off the doorway into the now office.  A new exterior door was placed near the master suite at the end of the hallway leading into the backyard.

 

  

One of the biggest requests of our clients was to fix the lack of privacy for each of the older daughters who desperately needed their own bedrooms, as well as to make each bedroom more functional. (None of them had closets!)  To remedy these problems, Allison designed a new bedroom space in the basement for one of the girls and reworked the upper level for the other where they were both initially sharing a room.  This also solved the problem of the girls and father having previously been made to share one bathroom.  Allison implemented a new joint bathroom/laundry room in the basement that the oldest could use as her personal bathroom.

Of course a renovation project this big came with it’s challenges.  Initial design plans included adding a third bathroom to the upper level of the home so that everyone would technically have their own bathrooms.  Unfortunately the city shut down those ideas which forced Allison to maximize the existing space she was already working with.

The most drastic changes are clearly seen in the kitchen and the bathroom on the main floor so these are naturally Allison’s favorite two rooms of the finished product.  Allison’s design inspiration for the kitchen came from vintage tin ceiling tiles.  She found the subtle, yet beautiful tile used in the kitchen back splash and knew she had to use it for this project.

Our team is incredibly proud of this project and we thoroughly enjoy showing off these before and after shots.  Feel free to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as much as we have.

 

-ASD Team

 

Things We’re Leaving Behind in 2017… Well, Technically 1997.

Okay, this blog is all about outdated (or just weird) home trends. Feel free to comment anything we left out!

#1

Let’s start with those U-Shaped toilet rugs….

**Don’t:

Just…. why. Why did anyone think it was a good idea to draw attention to a toilet? Here at ASD we’ve nicknamed these rugs “toilet corrals”.

Below are some more tasteful ways to place a rug under a toilet, if you must.

**Do:

 

#2

And while we’re on that note, toilet seat cushions. Aesthetics aside — this is just gross. Don’t do it.

 

No photo needed.

 

#3

Fabric Window Valances.

** Don’t:

 

There’s really nothing wrong with using fabric on your window treatments, it’s more the valance we’re saying “no” to.

**Do:

 

#4

Overdone taxidermy.

**Don’t:

 

We used taxidermy for our Jackson Hole project, but in moderation and because it was appropriate for the theme. If you’re looking for a more modern way to go about the taxidermy look, we recommend something more like this…

**Do:

 

#5

Pepto-Bismol Pink. Pantone named “Rose Quartz” the Color of The Year in 2016, but let’s be honest, they should’ve just called it Pepto-Bismol.

For whatever reason, this color really caught on. I have one word it…. YEESH.

**Don’t:

 

If you’re a fan of pink, we recommend going with a “less is more” approach. We also recommend going with a toned-down Pepto-Bismol, or a shade that’s a little rosier.. This color just has an elegance about it that *nausea, heartburn, indigestine..* doesn’t.

**Do:

 

 

I could go on forever about decorating faux pas, but I’ve got some real designing to do. I’d love to hear what you think we should leave behind in 2017!

 

Fall In A Rec Center

Madison Way apartments, located in the greater Seattle area, received Allison’s magical touch – just in time for fall.

The rec center features camel-colored furniture, which we’ve nicknamed “pumpkin spice” after the famous Starbucks fall-time drink.

 

A sleek waterfall quartz kitchen island blends beautifully into the concrete-tiled floor. A large piece of driftwood, which spans half the length of the island, works beautifully as a statement piece, and harkens back to the “pumpkin spice” furniture.

 

While we’re speaking of statements, I ought to mention the kitchen backsplash we chose.

 

As you would expect, subtle pops of color were used throughout…

 

This rec center simply couldn’t be cozier… makes you want to grab a pumpkin spice latte and a great book to read by this fireplace.

 

 

Happy fall!

As always,

–ASD crew

West Linn Charmer

When most people hear the word “remodel” they think of contemporary. That isn’t always the case. This charming home in West Linn, Oregon should stay just that — charming. Below are some before and afters of the transformation.

Our sweet client loves blue. She really wanted to keep the blue carpeting in her bedroom, so rather than trying to tone it down, we went with a full blue palette. When you embrace a feature like this, it tends to blend better anyway.

The paint color is “Dark Pinstripe Grey” from Allison’s paint line… you can click here for more info.

As you can see above, our client’s family is incredibly important to her. She has a multitude of photos of her entire family, from her parents to her own children, as well as momentos from all her travels. We knew these photos needed to stay a feature in her bedroom, so we went through and consolidated the collage – making each photo a statement piece.

The blue carpeting used to continue into the bathroom. Instead of trying to change the aesthetic completely, we embraced its original character. We went with a large hex tile, swirling with hints of greyish blue. A new vanity and countertop were in order, so while they were being installed, we had the wallpaper uninstalled.. and again, carried a soft blue paint into the room. Consistency is key.

This paint color is “Light Pinstripe Grey” from Allison’s line. You can click here if you’re interested.

The shower wall was originally built out to incorporate a pre-fab shower pan and wall unit. We immediately demoed that wall and tiled the entire thing, creating a double-headed shower in its place. The marbling is the same as the hex tiles used on the floor, but we used rectangular tile to add some variety.

Our client had an old screen door hanging out in her house, which in itself is charming, if you have the right eye for design. Allison (last minute, I should add) grabbed it and hung it on the bathroom wall, with a mirror placed in the upper portion. Isn’t the combination adorable? 

Now, for my favorite part…. the bathtub.  Tucked away in the corner of this en suite is the perfect little nook for a bathtub. Below you can see the transformation from before and after the remodel. Notice the towel stand that used to be a plant hanger… How innovative. Love, love, love.

 

Happy “remodeling”!

 

-ASD Crew

 

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