Ask the Designer


How High Should I Hang Curtains?

We have all seen it, curtains hung too close to the window casing. It’s an easy mistake for any homeowner as it seems logical to line everything up to the top of the straight casing. However, the most desirable look comes from curtains hung 1/2 to 2/3 the distance from the top of the casing to the ceiling. This will create the illusion of a larger more dramatic window. Here’s a tip, don’t be too sparse with the material, sometimes one window will take 4 store purchased panels to look full enough.

How large should my area rugs be?

The best area rugs are large enough that they fit all your furniture, or at least the front legs of your furniture. The Design aspect of a rug is to create a comfortably grounded space that anchors your furniture in the room. Always remember that function is the main purpose of design. A rug is used to serve a function like warmth and comfort, so why would you want to have a rug that is only keeping your coffee table cozy in the middle of the room.

Can I mix metal finishes in a bathroom or kitchen?

The answer is YES. However, you must do it right. The easiest way to ease into mixing metals is to break your area into zones. Coordinate the lighting and hardware finishes into one zone and the plumbing into a different zone. By separating the lighting and hardware from the plumbing you keep the room grounded. The key is to blend, not match!

Should I buy the furniture set?

The answer is unequivocally, NO!!  A room should feel thoughtfully designed; not packaged. If you feel completely overwhelmed with selecting pieces that work to create the look you want, try to keep it to one pair per room. This will keep your room from looking like you bought everything at a showroom sample sale.

How high should I hang art?

Nothing completes a space like properly hung art. The most common mistake is hanging pieces neck-craningly high. Do what museums do and keep artwork at eye level. A good rule of thumb is to hang art so that its midpoint is between 57 and 60 inches from the finished floor. When hanging art over furniture like a sofa or headboard, it should span roughly 2/3 the width of the furniture piece and should be 8 to 10 inches above the furniture. The best art will be visually connected to the furniture, not floating above it.


What is my focal point?

A focal point is Something interesting or beautiful, such as a large window, a fireplace, or a nice sofa.  A well designed focal point should be part of the primary use in any room and can be emphasized by adding extra design elements. The below room’s primary use is to enjoy the fireplace (Focal Point) on the beautiful furniture.