Tag Archives: interior designer portland

What Is Modern Home Design and How Do I Create It?

With the rise of minimalism in homes around the country, many homeowners are seeking to incorporate modern home design in their houses. However, it is one of the most misunderstood types of interior design. And many people feel confused when they try to adopt this style for their spaces.

Sometimes people mix up modern interior design with contemporary or minimalist design. Although these can overlap, each one is different.

Everyone deserves to have a home that makes them feel safe and comfortable. At Design Elements NW, our goal is to make your home feel like a haven. No matter which style you prefer, we can make it happen. Whether you have new construction or are remodeling your current house, our team will design the perfect oasis for you. Reach out today for a consultation.

Roots of Modern Home Design 

Modern home decor and design refer to a specific period. This style began and developed during the first half of the 20th century. It started from Scandinavian and German influences at the end of the 1800s. Rooted in America’s move toward machination and functionality, it has a streamlined aesthetic. 

Leaving behind any remnants of fussiness and ornamentation, modern home design adheres to the motto, “form follows function.” That is, all parts of this design style should serve a purpose. If something exists merely for its looks, then it isn’t necessary and doesn’t have a place in authentic modern decor.

Hallmarks of Modern Design

If you enjoy simple, open, and uncluttered spaces, then a modern home design may be the perfect fit for you. Of all the interior design styles, modern decor offers the most streamlined look.

Here are some of the primary characteristics of this style:

  • Significant use of natural light – Homes with modern design rely on large windows to allow plenty of light into the home. Artificial light is secondary.
  • Visible structural features – In this style of interior design, beams and concrete often remain exposed. Rather than hiding or covering these elements, they are an integral component in the overall look.
  • Neutral colors – Modern home decor utilizes mostly a neutral color palette. Earth tones and a monochromatic look feature heavily in this design style.
  • Emphasis on lines – You will find few curves in modern home design. Low furnishings with horizontal and vertical lines are characteristic of the modern look.
  • Natural materials – Plastics and other synthetic materials don’t have a place in modern interior design. Instead, this style utilizes natural wood, metal, leather, and fibers.
  • Reflective surfaces – Glass and chrome are often part of modern decor for their ability to reflect the natural light in a space.

In general, when you want to have a modern interior design scheme, you look for items that are simple, unobtrusive, and have clean lines. Chunky, curvy, ornamental pieces need not apply. This style gives you an open feeling that is free of extraneous pieces.

Contemporary vs. Modern Interior Design

One challenge in understanding modern design is that there is also something called contemporary design. They sound the same, right? Modern/Contemporary. Potato/Potato.

But they actually are different. While the modern style refers to the period in which it came about, contemporary design changes with the times. It has a fluid definition that shifts as styles and likes and dislikes shift.

Contemporary design often incorporates elements of several styles, so sometimes, it includes a modern design look. But it doesn’t remain steady over the generations. As trends change, so does contemporary decor and design.

Is Minimalism a Modern Design Style?

The minimalist lifestyle is a way of living. It involves thinking about each thing you own and whether it serves you a valuable purpose. 

Most people who live with a minimalist ethos are careful about what they bring into their homes. The goal is to live a full life that doesn’t pull its joy from having a lot of stuff.

So on some level, minimalism fits well with modern home design. However, you can live a minimalist lifestyle with any design plan. And you can have modern decor without ascribing to minimalism. The two do not have to go hand-in-hand.

How Do You Implement Modern Decor Into Your Home?

If you are eager to give your home a modern interior design makeover, there are many elements you can change or incorporate. The simplest and most dramatic step is to adjust your color scheme.

A fresh coat of paint in neutral tones throughout your home will quickly add a modern touch to your space. And this choice certainly doesn’t mean your rooms will be dull. There is a vast array of options within the neutral family, so take the time to find what you love.

After making your paint choices, take a look at your furnishings. Depending on your budget, you may want to invest in all-new pieces to fit your updated design. 

Look for low furniture with straight lines. The furniture should have no fussiness or ornamentation. Remember, its function is the primary concern. The form should align with the function.

But if that sort of purchase is not in the cards right away, there are plenty of small changes you can make, as well. Consider adding in the following items:

  • Woven baskets for storage
  • Glass tabletops
  • Natural wood end tables
  • Natural fiber blankets and rugs

If you happen to be building and designing from the ground up, you have many choices for your modern home. Working with your designer, pay attention to the windows and the structural elements. 

Be sure your building plan incorporates oversized or plentiful windows to allow a lot of natural light into the house. And discuss ways to leave beams exposed, if possible. These two design elements will quickly set the style tone for your modern home decor.

Ready for a Change?

Whether you know exactly what you want or have absolutely no idea, Design Elements NW is here to help. Creating a beautiful haven for your home is our number one priority. We take the stress and confusion out of the design process. Our work helps you feel empowered in your choices, and we walk with you every step of the way.

Contact Kym today for your free consultation, so you can start enjoying your stunning new space.

I Don’t Know How to Pick! A Guide to Choosing Colors For Your Home

Redecorating and updating your house can be a fun and rewarding way to freshen up your spaces. But choosing colors for your home can feel overwhelming for many people. When you buy furniture or walk into a paint store, it may feel like the options never end.

You might be ready to upgrade just one room. Or you may be building a new home from the ground up. Either way, you will need to choose a color scheme to tie everything together.

For all of your interior design needs, reach out to Design Elements NW. One of the most common questions we answer is, “How do I choose colors for my house?” With years of experience and expertise in creating beautiful homes, we are the premier interior design firm in Portland, OR. We’d love to connect and help you make the haven you desire.

Meaningful Colors

Even without taking a class on the topic, you probably recognize that colors evoke emotions and feelings. The advertising world takes color choice very seriously. Due to the strong emotional response color can create, it is critical in marketing and branding.

Similarly, choosing colors for your home will help you make a statement about your personality. Are you carefree and quirky? Do you lean more toward traditional and formal? Or are you somewhere in between? 

When you choose a color scheme, it’s important to keep in mind the moods that colors can convey. Here are some common emotions connected with various colors.

Warm Color Choices

Warm colors typically relate to ideas of action and energy:

  • Red – associated with love, passion, boldness, and danger 
  • Orange – brings ideas of creativity, vitality, enthusiasm, and health 
  • Yellow – draws out feelings of happiness, liveliness, and joy

Cool Color Choices

Cool colors generally evoke more subdued feelings:

  • Green – connected to ideas of growth, freshness, and balance
  • Blue – associate with feelings of calm, stability, and tranquility in design
  • Purple – brings out a sense of luxury and wealth

With this information, it is helpful to decide if you prefer cold tones or warm. This preference will make it easier for you to choose the most prominent colors in your room and throughout your home. Selecting one set of colors does not exclude the use of the other when decorating.

Choosing Colors for Your Home Shouldn’t Be Scary

It can be overwhelming to walk into a home improvement store and stare at a wall of paint chips. Who knew there were so many shades of white? But with a little thought and planning in advance, you can choose a color scheme you will love for a long time.

To get started, you should spend some time with a color wheel. You might remember the color wheel from your elementary school art classes. 

This handy tool stems from Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery that pure white light contains a spectrum of colors. His scientific knowledge brings excellent design to your fingertips.

Color wheels generally include:

  • Primary Colors – Red, blue, and yellow are primary colors. This category indicates that you cannot create them from other hues.
  • Secondary Colors – Green, orange, and purple come from mixing two primary colors.
  • Tertiary Colors – This larger group of colors occur when you mix a secondary color with a primary next to it on the wheel. Some basic color wheels don’t show this set of hues.

Color wheels used in design typically include varying shades of each color as well, from dark to light. Such a color wheel allows you to see a wide range of choices.

Once you have a wheel to work with, you can start considering your options. Overall, there are three main ways to use the color wheel when choosing colors for your home. In all likelihood, you may try all of these somewhere in your home.

1. Monochromatic Scheme

This design plan is usually the simplest for homeowners to conceive and create. To craft a monochromatic look, you choose one color and use varying shades of it. For example, if blue is your choice, you may have navy blue, sky blue, and a shade in between all in one room. 

One elegant and simple way to use the monochromatic option is to go dark to light as you work from the bottom up. So you may have a large dark blue rug on the floor as your anchor. And then you can use a medium blue tone on the walls and a pale shade on the ceiling.

This color scheme is very streamlined and offers a clean, pulled-together look. It can be particularly useful when choosing colors for a whole house at the same time. Variations on one color throughout the home help to unify the spaces.

2. Analogous Palette

This design style uses colors that are in a row on the color wheel. For example, you might choose blue, green, and yellow. Typically, one will be the dominant color in a room with the others taking a lesser role.

Analogous color schemes are user-friendly for those who want to move away from a monochromatic look. Since the colors are near each other on the wheel, it still creates a unified and soothing look. But it also allows you to play with color more freely.

3. Complementary Color Choices

To go the complementary route for your interior design, you will choose colors that are opposite on the color wheel. Combinations such as yellow and purple or blue and orange make a bold statement in a room. 

Typically, you will choose one of the colors to be the dominant one. The other will be more for accent pieces. Complementary color schemes can bring a dramatic and energetic feeling to your room.

A Few More Tips and Tricks

If you’ve chosen warm or cool tones and one of the three schemes, then it’s time to choose the colors. This is the fun part!

Here are some more steps to keep in mind during your color selection:

  • Start with a statement piece. Do you already have a painting, sculpture, or item of furniture you love? Use its color scheme to help guide you in choosing things for the room. 
  • Think in threes. One of the simplest ways to create a cohesive look is to have three colors at play. One is the dominant color and usually is on the walls. The next color might make an appearance in upholstery and other furniture pieces. The third shows up as an occasional accent.
  • Don’t forget the neutrals. Incorporating a neutral shade in your room helps to bring a visual sense of calm to the eye. And neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. With hundreds of grays, whites, and tans available, you are sure to find the perfect addition to your room.

Would Like Some More Help?

Even with all the tips and tricks at hand, choosing colors for your house can still feel a lot like a chore. That’s where Design Elements NW comes to the rescue. 

For updates, remodels, and brand new construction, we are the go-to interior designers in Portland, OR. Set up your free initial consultation, and we can take off from there. With a passion for creating beautiful spaces, we are here to serve you and your home.

Professional Interior Designers: Why You Need One and How to Find One

Do you ever find yourself standing in a room of your house, wishing you could figure out how to make it look “right”? Do you look at an empty white wall and freeze because there are just too many possibilities? If so, it might be time to consider interviewing some professional interior designers.

Regardless of the scope of your project, having an interior designer on your side will help you achieve the look you want. Reach out to Kym at Design Elements NW for a free consultation to start creating the home of your dreams.

What Does an Interior Designer Do?

Back in the day, the stereotypical interior designer was all about picking drapes and helping a homeowner accessorize. The old sitcom, Designing Women, may come to mind for some people. 

Professional interior designers in previous generations could come across as being over-the-top and only for the immensely wealthy.

Fortunately, modern sensibilities now recognize how valuable a designer is for just about any space. People want interiors that feel comfortable and luxurious and well-planned. They want their areas to feel welcoming and relaxing. Most importantly, homeowners want their spaces to feel right for them.

Gone are the days when an interior designer only considered paint colors and drapery styles.  Today’s professionals can play many roles and work in various settings:

  • Project Manager – Some interior design experts are the general contractor on their projects. They find and hire all of the sub-contractors needed to complete the job. For example, they choose who to use for cabinets, countertops, flooring, and more.
  • Remodel Work – Designers are not only there to help with colors and fabrics. They have the skills to help you envision a whole new space. They can draw up plans that show new layouts and additions.
  • New Construction – Brand new building projects are an excellent opportunity to utilize a professional interior designer. Working from the ground up. Your design expert can help with planning, blueprint assessment, and job completion.
  • Sustainable Building – Interior designers with training in sustainability help you make Earth-friendly choices. Typically, these practices focus on using energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly building materials.
  • Universal Design – This type of design expertise focuses on making spaces accessible to everyone, regardless of age or physical abilities. It is also useful for allowing people to age in place.
  • Corporate Design – Interior designers do not work only in homes. Businesses and government agencies also need these services. Modern corporate and government spaces rely heavily on sustainable, universal design.

How Do Professional Interior Designers Work?

Each professional will have their own process, but in general, you can expect them to touch on each of the following areas.

Initial Consultation

Many designers offer a free short consultation to get the ball rolling. If you decide to move forward, you can expect a much longer and more thorough appointment the next time. The designer is likely to have you fill out a questionnaire to help them understand your wishes and goals. 

This step is when the designer will explain their process, their payment structure, and what you can expect from them. It is also when you should ask any questions you have about how the project will go. Don’t hold back. Construction and remodeling projects have a lot of moving parts, and you deserve to have all the information possible.

Budget Talks

No matter the size of your project or the size of your bank account, you have to set a budget with your designer. This step isn’t the most exciting and glamorous part of the process. But it is one of the most critical steps. It will determine almost every choice as you move forward.

Design Plans and Boards

Your design pro may ask you to start a notebook, file, or Pinterest board filled with examples of looks and styles you like. This collection could include color swatches, fabrics, or pictures from a magazine. If you have a specific statement piece that will be in the room, be sure to share that with the designer.

Eventually, they will create a design plan for you to approve. It may have drawings, 3D renderings, or a physical design board with fabric and countertop options attached. Their plan may include all of those pieces. They won’t move forward with the project until you approve the design.

It is vital to remember that after you give your approval, it is likely that any changes will involve a fee. So work through all the nuances with your designer before you give the green light.

Project Completion

Once you give the plan a thumbs-up, your design professional will work their magic. Depending on the scope of the project, there may be other check-in times along the way. At these points, you may need to approve the next step before work resumes.

For significant remodels or new construction, there will be a lot of people involved in the work. Throughout the project, you may see:

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Flooring Installers
  • Cabinet Makers
  • Window Installers
  • Painters

Final Walkthrough

Once the job wraps up, you and the designer will walk through and check everything. This opportunity lets you enjoy and admire your impressive new space. It also gives you the chance to discuss anything that isn’t quite right or that still needs attention from the design team. 

How Do I Find an Interior Designer?

When it’s time to overhaul your home or start a new building project, you want the best designer for the job. But choosing a professional for the project can feel overwhelming. Here are some steps you can take to be sure you have a great experience.

  • Seek referrals. Your friends and family may have someone they have worked with and can recommend. Asking around is a perfect first step.
  • Ask plenty of questions. When you meet with a prospective designer, ask all you can about their process. You don’t want any surprises down the road.
  • Look at their portfolio. Be sure to ask to see photos of the designer’s work. You want to find someone whose style suits you and your needs.
  • Find someone you connect with personally. You will be spending a significant amount of time with your designer. And you will need to make many decisions together. Be sure you feel comfortable with the person you choose. You want to enjoy a smooth journey to your new beautiful space.

A Design Expert at Your Side

When you need to find an interior designer you can trust, reach out to Design Elements NW. As the premier design firm in Portland, OR, we have the honor of helping our clients create beautiful spaces. We look forward to helping you reclaim the haven in your home.

5 Interior Design Tips and Tricks to Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa

There is one room in your home where you just might be able to get some uninterrupted peace and quiet. In theory, your bathroom is a spot that should give you a little privacy and a chance to relax as you enjoy your tub or shower. You want to make the most of those minutes. So let’s look at some interior design tips and tricks you can use to give your bathroom a spa-like feel.

Those with young children might wonder what this privacy-in-the-bathroom thing is. But the day is coming. I promise! But no matter how much time you get to yourself, it’s worth the splurge to turn your bathroom into a spa.

Design Elements NW is the go-to interior design firm in Portland, OR. From new construction to spa retreat updates, our team turns your home into the haven you deserve. We’d love to connect and see how we can help with your next project. Reach out today for a complimentary consultation.

Why Worry About the Bathroom?

For many homeowners, the bathroom is the last project they think about in the house. Communal areas like kitchens and bonus rooms can take center stage for updates and upgrades.

But bathrooms deserve your attention, too. Estimates show that the average person spends up to two and a half years of their life in the bathroom. That’s a lot of hours. 

If you’re going to be in there that much, you might as well take advantage of some spa bathroom ideas. With some minor updates and changes, you can have a sanctuary you will love.

And decking out your bathroom isn’t just for aesthetics. Bathroom upgrades are one of the best investments you can make for resale value. Whether you plan to sell soon or not, updating your bathroom is a brilliant choice.

Create an Oasis With Interior Design Tips and Tricks

Transforming your bathroom into a home spa doesn’t require a significant investment unless you are ready to replace everything. By all means, if your time and budget allow, a full bathroom remodel will give you a stunning space.

But even if you aren’t quite ready for that scope of a project, here are five interior design tips to help you love your room.

1. Cut Out the Clutter

Think of any time you have visited a spa or seen photos online. Clutter isn’t a thing in those spaces. Bathrooms inherently have a lot of items lurking about, so you may have to be creative in keeping things organized. Consider using the following ideas to corral all the bathroom items that can take up space:

  • Wicker Baskets
  • Glass Jars
  • Shelves Above the Toilet
  • Shower or Bathtub Caddy

Whenever possible, keep items out of sight in a cabinet or closet. To achieve your spa feel, you should have minimal amounts of things out in the bathroom. Spending a little time and money to make sure everything has a home will go a long way to creating a peaceful room.

2. Go for Some Green

Living plants are an excellent addition to your bathroom space. They not only raise the spa ambiance in a bathroom; they are good for you. Studies show that plants help clean your air, reduce your stress, and provide an overall mental boost.

Choosing plants for your bathroom can be a little tricky due to the conditions in a typical home restroom. Generally, bathrooms have high humidity, wide temperature fluctuations, and low natural light levels. 

But this doesn’t mean you are stuck with fake greenery. Many houseplants can thrive in this setting. Many of them originate in tropical climates, which kind of fits the conditions in an average home’s bathroom.

  • Begonias
  • Aloe Vera
  • Bromeliads
  • Ferns
  • Chinese Evergreens
  • ZZ Plant
  • Orchids

Enjoy a visit to a local nursery to bring some lush greenery into your beautiful space. You will love how plants can make you feel.

3. It’s All About the Towels

What is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a spa experience? For most people, it’s the thick, luxurious towels. Your towels are one of the few things that come into contact with your whole body, so why not splurge? Take some time to shop for towels that feel and look amazing, and you will feel so spoiled every time you use them. 

And to take your home spa to the next level, think outside the towel rack when it comes to displaying your towels. Rolled up washcloths and hand towels can fit in a wine rack mounted on the wall. Folded bath towels look inviting when they rest on a wooden stool near the shower or tub. Or you can hang them on a decorative wooden ladder leaning against the wall. Any of these interior designer tips will help you forget you’re at home rather than at a day spa.

4. Don’t Forget the Candles

No spa is complete without candles. They immediately add a sense of calm and peacefulness to any room. Find a few places to tuck candles for a warm, serene glow. Or choose a spot where you can put 10-12 candles of varying sizes for a stunning display and comforting feel.

You have endless options when it comes to candles. You can find them in all sizes and colors, scented and unscented. Some even come with affirmations included. The addition of these gems is a quick, affordable way to transform your bathroom into a spa.

5. Add Your Posh Touches

To finish your transformation, update some of the basics in your bathroom. Having a luxurious rug underfoot and hanging a beautiful shower curtain are simple spa bathroom ideas that have a big impact. 

And don’t forget about the artwork. Including one statement piece that is in line with your design style will significantly change the look and feel of your new spa space. 

Design Elements NW Can Transform Any Home

Whether you’re ready to do a full remodel or need help with one area in your house, Design Elements NW can help. With our expert interior design tips and tricks, we help you achieve the home of your dreams.

Get started with a free consultation with Kym. Soon you’ll be on your way to reclaiming the haven in your home.