Your design questions answered with our favorite ‘Designer Tips’

Design by Shannon Mahon Interiors. Photo by Melissa Oivanki.

From shades of white to shelf accessorizing, no matter what stage of completion your house is in, you’re never fully finished and you’re never without at least a few questions. Luckily, the [email protected] newsletter has delved into nearly every interior design subject under the sun, spotlighting the expertise and creativity of local designers. We’re bringing some of our favorites back to the surface and answering your pressing interior design questions.


I have kids of all different ages. How can I create a kitchen that accommodates all of their needs, but can also transform for future stages in their lives?

For Angela Poirrier of Acadian House Kitchen & Bath Studio–who has three kids of her own–the key is multipurpose areas. Building in things like storage benches or adding an extra refrigerator to hold kid-friendly snacks or drinks, Poirrier says, is worth the extra money because these elements have staying power. Once the kids are older, things like sippy cups and apple juice can be replaced with school supplies and soft drinks.

“Designing for kids is pretty easy if you keep in mind the future,” says Poirrier. “Temporary organization is ideal, and some of the tips you incorporate for the kids might turn out being things you want to keep.”

Read the full article here. And check out more tips from Poirrier here and here.

Photo courtesy Acadian House Kitchen & Bath Studio.

How do I accessorize without making my surfaces cluttered?

The short answer is to pick a few items for each room that are special to you and your family. According to designer Anne McCanless, choosing those few important items allows you to cut down on the excess.

“When you have a lot of stuff, it becomes too much,” she says. “Then your special details no longer stand out. They become ordinary. When you have too many accessories, you can’t focus on their special aspects, the things that make them yours.”

The takeaway here carries not only to the placement of items, but also to shopping. Only purchase accessories, and even large furniture pieces and art, that speak to your personality and individual style. Don’t buy just to buy.

Read the full article here. And check out more tips from McCanless here and here.

Design by Anne McCanless. Photo by Melissa Oivanki.

I want my kids’ rooms to match with the rest of my house. How do I make their spaces feel designed but still whimsical?

Shannon Mahon of Shannon Mahon Interiors says it’s all about thinking outside of the box. Instead of opting for traditional takes on themes, Mahon says to opt for unexpected colors and plenty of texture.

“Incorporating textures such as crystal, brass and Mongolian fur would capture girly-girl vibes,” explains Mahon. “And for a boy, incorporating a fun, safari animal-print wallpaper and antlers would capture his love for hunting. You could also add a rugged tent or some sentimental hunting accents here and there.”

By using neutral or toned-down colors instead of in-your-face brights, the spaces maintain a polished feel, while elements like bunk beds or tents still give kids the hideaways they desire.

Read the full article here. And check out more tips from Mahon here and here.

Design by Shannon Mahon. Photo by Melissa Oivanki.

My budget is tight, but I want to make a change to my kitchen. What are some easy ways to make an impact without a complete remodel?

Designer Meghann Landry of McMillin Interiors is an advocate for repurposing the existing items in a space–especially in places like a kitchen where updates can quickly become pricy. Rather than tearing out cabinets, paint them and instead spend your money on finishing touches, like an eye-catching backsplash, that will make the entire space feel elevated.

Read the full article here. And check out more tips from Landry here and here.


What interior design questions do you want answered? Let us know in the comments below.

There are no comments. Click to add your thoughts!