Design Lessons From The Home Store Hustle

January 8, 2018

In the last several months surrounding the holidays, the home store has been hustling!   

Many of our clients of late have recently invested in a new home and want their space to finally feel like the home they had envisioned. Some had been in their home for awhile and came to the realization that furnishings from a previous home just didn’t work.     While others had nothing at all.     And then there were clients that had already purchased some of their basic furnishings but were still left with that empty feeling of their home being unfinished and uninspired.  

From all these stories, there are lessons to be learned about styling your own home - new or old.


Lesson One: If nothing else, invest in completely finishing at least one room in your home


We understand that a home is a work in process and it is not always realistic to finish or update all the rooms in your home at once. Boy, it would be nice, and if you could do it, I strongly encourage it. But there is really nothing worse than having an entire home that is in a state of “someday it will get finished.”  


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A finished room has not only great foundational furniture pieces but also a collection of layers and textures that give it that welcoming, inviting and uniquely you feeling.  I can’t tell you the number of times we have gone to a clients home and found rooms full of brand new furniture (that someone else helped them pick out and purchase) and then their project was abandoned leaving the client with the daunting task of bringing the room (or home) to life with much-needed layers and accessories.   

Instead of trying to do it all - a little at a time - pick an important room and finish it completely so that when you walk into that room, you feel excited, alive and proud of the investments that you have made in your home.  


How should you feel about a room that a designer or stylist has helped you create?   Your reaction should be “this is better than I ever imagined it could be.”   If that is not your reaction, perhaps your working with the wrong team and it is time for a new one.


Lesson Two:  For a truly custom look, don’t choose one furniture line with matching elements


Beautiful furniture doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a beautiful room.  While your simplest solution might seem to be finding a specific line of furniture that you love and buying all the matching components (right out of a catalog), more often than not this strategy will give you a cookie cutter and rather blah space.

cookie cutter

The best rooms are those that have a mix of things that you love.  And what I love most about our showroom and design aesthetic is that we are not brand driven but driven by finding inspiring pieces from hundreds of different quality vendors that can create custom spaces unique to each client we style.


As I have stood back and watched the K. Renee style magic happen time and time again, I always notice that the rooms that we create are often surprising, sometimes fearless, but always comfortable, beautiful and cohesive.   

It is what you should expect and what you deserve.


Lesson Three:  A inspired interior design board doesn’t necessarily translate into an inspired room


Having a design board and layouts is absolutely an important part of the process. A to-scale rendering gives wonderful insight as to what can be accomplished in a room.  Fabric samples can give you an idea of the overall look and feel.   (The one below is just an example and not one rendered by K. Renee.)


We provide this service with every transformation that we do just like other designers that you may have worked with both past and present. But unless you actually see the furnishings and fabrics that are on those design boards in person, you may be heading for an unexpected mistake. What you think and what you get might be two different things.

What sets K. Renee apart?  We have furnishings readily available, so you have the option to see, sit and feel them in person.   Yes, you can always special order your furniture from us if that is what you want to do.  But we don’t focus our business on doing that for the simple fact that we believe we can better create a room for our clients that not only meets expectations but exceeds them.   And on top of that... K. Renee can furnish and finish rooms (beautifully) within weeks instead of months and years.


Lesson Four:  Strive for comfort in your home without compromising style


A home is meant to be used for relaxation, for entertaining, for your kids (or grandkids) to enjoy and for your pets (if you have them) to live without fear.  This does not have to translate to brown leather furniture that can’t be destroyed (even when you purposefully try.)

Guys, the fabric technology these days is such that cozy fabrics and colors of all kinds will withstand wear and clean beautifully. Don’t believe me? Take a moment and watch this video (about 7 minutes) on how to easily clean upholstery.


Your hands are not tied. You should be able to pick whatever you love for your home and have it beautifully styled and live in it well.   Anyone who knows me knows that I have a pretty incredible home and that I am fearless about having people, pets and large crowds in it whenever the occasion arises.   I do not care if meatballs get dropped, wine spills or my daughter invites one of my three pets onto my white couch.    


Gratuitous puppy picture.

Sydney (my daughter) was just saying the other day how well our furniture holds up with the abuse that we regularly give it.    She confessed that she had spilled a multitude of things (that I didn't even know about) and she has always been able to easily clean it hiding her messy antics.   

If you want a dark, patterned sofa because that is what you love...of course, do it.   But if your goal is to simply get something because it hides stains and will withstand the beatings of a family and pets, I want to challenge your line of thinking.   A home unloved and unused is not a home at all.   And a home that doesn’t make you feel excited to be there or to share with those you love is just a place to sleep and eat.  

I promise we can help you do better than that!


I can proudly tell you that one of the greatest strengths of our style team at K. Renee is that we know how to design and style a space so that is comfortable, beautiful and can create an inspiring story for your home that has not yet been written.  

I hope you have a wonderful week.   Now that you have all those holiday decorations down look around.   If you aren’t happy with where you are at, pick a room, any room and let us help you start the year one step closer to the home of your dreams.