KathyLynn Gariboldi of the Raleigh firm reInventedSpaces shares her thoughts on home design.
My design signature: I always ask the homeowner if they have a favorite piece of furniture, fabric or artwork, then design the room around it, making that piece the focal point. For example, in the family room shown, the artwork above the fireplace was the inspiration piece for the color palette.
Favorite trend right now: I love the drama that is created when using the color black on a surface. In the dining room pictured, I selected Sherwin Williams SW7069 Iron Ore to paint the walls above the existing wainscotting. I chose to continue with the pewter/black color palette in the window treatments, seat upholstery and area rug. Black can work with any color palette and accent colors.
Best organization advice for parents: I am working with Blue Ribbon Residential Construction on a whole house remodel for a family of eight. With six children, we needed to make the mudroom very functional. We are custom building base cabinets with a seat, hooks, pantry door and baskets for each child. This is not a new idea, but it is very effective in keeping all their things in place and ready to go when needed.
Best way to display beach trip souvenirs: Everyone loves to collect seashells at the beach, but what do you do with them when you get home? Select different areas of your back yard, deck or porch and display the shells in an artful arrangement. These can be loose or in lidded display jars. Add to the collection each time you go to the beach and it becomes an evolving display of family memories.
Tips for incorporating the needs of family pets into home design: For a recent kitchen remodel, we incorporated a dog-feeding station into the side of a custom base cabinet. We added shelving and a tile base for practicality purposes.
Best way to fill large, empty wall spaces: When I worked on the floor plan for my own bedroom makeover, I centered the bed on the longest wall. This left a 12-foot wall with a gabled roof line where I created a seating area. To create a focal point there, Max Devlin of Carolina Renovations added a frame with trim material that matched the existing window and door trim in the room. I then wallpapered the interior of the frame and installed our family portrait.
What never goes out of style: When I am assigned a kitchen or bathroom remodel, I always ask how long the homeowner plans on staying in the home. If the answer is short term and they are concerned about resale, I recommend that we use quality, classic, traditional elements in neutral tones for cabinetry, tile and countertops, combining different textures to add interest. This creates a subtle backdrop but also allows the homeowner to add color and personality with paint, accessories, window treatments and textiles.
Round dining table or rectangle: I always vote for a round table because it really promotes conversation with everyone. Of course, room size and shape are important factors when determining if a round table will work with the space.
Design trick we could learn from the tiny house trend: Less is definitely more, not only with tiny houses, but for the way we live every day. Select your favorite pieces of furniture and art and toss the rest. This avoids the room looking over-done or cluttered. I also love how the tiny houses maximize every available square inch to create storage space (i.e., drawers or cabinets under steps), fold-down tabletops and multifunctional furniture.
Favorite family heirloom and how you display/use it: My favorite family heirloom is my grandparents’ bedroom set, originally purchased in 1949. It is solid mahogany with carved detailing and brass hardware. I recently moved it from the guest room into my own master bedroom. The new paint color (Sherwin Williams 6119 Antique White), drapery fabrics from Greenhouse Design (B3170 Cornflower) and gold/beige cut-velvet bedding all make this a sumptuous retreat. These are great design additions, but the basis of my grandparents’ furniture really set the tone for making it feel like home for me. My advice: use your family treasures, don’t just display them. By doing so, you are adding to the story they tell.
Best tricks for sprucing up a front porch (or back deck/patio): The best advice I can give about sprucing up outdoor spaces is to treat them as another room in your home and apply the same principles for texture, color and scale. Functionality is also very important – think about what will happen there.
Owner and principle designer for reInventedSpaces of Raleigh