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20 ways to know your Interior Designer before you Hire them!

September 20, 2011



Hire your Interior Designer with Confidence and the Assurance of Personal Attention to your Design Project


  1. An interior designer must be an expert in creating, guiding and delivering your finished project, all effortlessly orchestrated to fulfill the dreams of their client.
  2. A referral from someone you know is one of the best methods to find an Interior designer to work with you. Although, it is still wise to interview a couple more designers to assure you are making the right choice… for you.
  3. The designer should have a list of past clients for you to call upon to ask about their experience in hiring them as their designer.
  4. During the consultation process your designer should ask you 101 questions about your lifestyle in the projected space to be designed. This assures the functionality of that space for the client, designing is not only about creating a great looking room.
  5. Are you impressed with the designer’s wealth of knowledge, idea sharing, inspiration and suggestions? You should feel like the designer is as excited as you are about your project.
  6. You can learn the art of interior design in school.  What makes a truly talented designer also has a lot to do with their DNA at birth.
  7. Interior designers are all very diverse in the design philosophies.  It is essential to hire a designer that you are confident in with their design abilities.
  8. Great design has no boundaries of creativity.  A great designer has a keen sense of composition…a perfect balance of scale and proportions. They posses a true sensitivity to the various values of color and texture in elements.  All these qualities of great designing meld together in a room… it shows in the uniqueness of great detail and styling.
  9. Seeing previous design projects is definitely part of the selection process in hiring an interior designer. An important factor to look for in their work is practical solutions with exceedingly aesthetic results.
  10. Gather together ideas of what you envision the finished project to look like. Start a file for your project with ideas from books, magazine clippings and paint samples. This will give your designer a real clear picture of what your expectations are at completion.
  11. Your designer should also present to you samples of finished rooms of various styles. The more you communicate your desires, likes and dislikes the more your designer can bring reality to your vision.
  12. Designers usually have a library of inspirational design books, a great source to cast off from with ideas. Especially, helpful if you’re not really sure what you are passionate about…. you just feel stuck and need some fresh ideas.
  13. The client-designer relationship is a bond of trust that needs to be established.  First impressions and feelings you experience during the initial consultation should be indicators whether you can work together or not…go with your gut.
  14. You should feel a true sense of passion from your designer to be able to create your dream space with you. Their job is to satisfy you, not to treat you as just another job.
  15. Accountability and reliability are key characteristics your designer should bestow…if you expect your project to be completed on time. Does your designer follow through with initial phone calls and answers to your questions and concerns before you sign a contract?
  16. You are hiring a professional service and your interior designer is counting on you to refer your friends and family for their design needs. You should not hear the clock ticking and be charged for every call you make or vice versa…including emails.
  17. You are confiding and entrusting the guidance of your designer, you should never feel pressured or talked into some thing you do not like or feel uncomfortable with.
  18. The final purchase choices for every aspect of your project are yours…your designer should give you choices and options with every decision from paint colors to furniture selection. Remember this is your design project on your budget.
  19. Your designer should always explain in depth the reasoning behind their recommendations and choices. Especially, when you plan to use a piece of furniture or art in the room that just won’t work in the scheme. You may have a favorite color for the walls that is not the best choice; your designer should communicate with you to so you can see it as a reasonable decision.
  20. When working with general contractors or professional painters, your designer should be available to work with them to assure everything is done as specified.

Some sound advice…for your very personal decision! 


San Diego interior designer for hire…no job too small!

September 1, 2011


San Diego interior designer, Kathleen Lilleeng wants to dispel a myth about hiring a professional for your design needs and desires. She offers her design “know how” on any size project…answers to your design dilemmas is her business! You don’t have to be redesigning your entire home or office to call in an interior designer for advice.

My clients are always involved with some type of improvement tasks at home and in the office and depend on my professional opinion. Whether it’s choosing new paint colors for the walls, deciding on the best flooring selection or …just buying a new sofa. Kathleen believes theses are big decisions that can be very intimidating if you are indecisive or afraid of making a bad choice. Her professional input on projects such as these is a must…and recommended to alleviate all your stress; it’s worth my affordable design fee.

“Interior designers approach decisions with many other factors weighing in that you probably never considered.” Kathleen says, practicality, compatibility and quality verses price are as important as what you’d like to choose. I have seen many of these misguided choices in home and offices and it throws off the entire theme …the atmosphere they were trying to create in the first place did not happen and they wonder what went wrong! These per chance decisions can be costly when colors are off base, there are mismatched textures and patterns, pieces are too large, while others are skimpy… and the other 100 other things that just doesn’t look right when you are guessing on these big decisions.

Take this advice into consideration on your improvement project, Kathleen at Home and Office Makeovers wants to save you from design catastrophes! No project is too small when it comes to these really big decisions. Her clients tell her all the time that they could not have made their design decisions without her expertise on the subject.

Contact interior designer Kathleen with your big decision!

San Diego beach style design

August 11, 2011


You’ve seen the look…but you don’t necessarily live in the beachy part of San Diego.

Del Mar, La Jolla or Coronado are not the only places to capture the essence of a sea inspired space. Your space should be experienced and enjoyed …go ahead, take the freedom to create what you’ve always envisioned. The beachy look!



What are the colors of San Diego’s beach scenery? Usually not the typical commercialized ones you see like Aqua and Marine Blue…although they do exist. There is a whole palette of misty tones seen in the ocean, sky and sand.

To get a sense of colors you may not have noticed at the beach …take a look at some of the more unusual but soothing combinations of color that are found in this environment in the photo above, courtesy of Elle Decor.

How do you create this beachy theme without going overboard with the cliché beach décor? Think of all the elements you see at the beaches in Del Mar, La Jolla and Coronado… sometimes overlooked and not necessarily made by Mother Nature. Rusty metals, weathered rope, feathers, driftwood and broken glass smoothed by the ocean waves make for some interesting art forms in accessorizing.


.  Photo courtesy of Seaside Inspired

With all good design…remember it’s all in the mix! Glass, stone, shells, metal, wood, natural sponge all blend perfectly in this mix. Add to it your own personal character…your beachy look can be accented with any style as long as the color theme in coordinated throughout. Do remember, too much of any one thing will take the whole look in another direction; it will fall apart immediately…you will have lost your beachy theme.

The perfect balance in design is a delicate one. It is a special touch, a sensitive eye that interplays to create the visual impact to a room. Your beachy look is possible…no matter where you live in San Diego.



Decorating ideas for your bedroom

August 3, 2011


Interior design for the bedroom

Create your bedroom mood...with a melding of color, texture and personal touches


 The bedroom is the one room of your home that is the epitome of a personal “comfort zone”. It is a place to go when the day is long and it’s time to surrender for the night. We find mental calmness in this room when the rest of our world seems like chaos. It is a room where we escape to overcome our illness or sorrow. In our bedroom we can be as blissful or stimulated as we want to be.

To design such rooms there are essential elements and simple changes that are the integral parts of the whole atomosphere of the bedroom. Let’s talk about some mood altering changes to your bedroom. 


Surrender to Color

If your bedroom is any shade of white….paint it! This is really the first step in the design of any room.  There are millions of hues and tints of color available… choose one, two or three shades of one color for your room including the ceiling! To retain the warmth of the bedroom paint the ceiling in the lightest shade of your color selection or the same color as one of the walls… never leave a ceiling white!

Are you timid with color? In selecting the lightest hues on the paint sample strip you will still achieve a cozy ambiance of color without being too daring! Remember…the walls and ceiling are the backdrop to the mood you are creating in your bedroom. Go beyond the safe zone you usually stay within, pick an unexpected choice of color.


Breaking Tradition    

The concept of the standard “bedroom suite” has been passé for a couple generations now, yet they are still sold as sets. The bedroom becomes over crowded and boring aesthetically. Invigorate your decorating choices by replacing the matching dresser with a dramatic and romantic art deco piece. Switch out one of the nightstands to a brushed platinum round table and the other with a contemporary dark wood cabinet. A bedroom should posses a distinctness of informal luxury… go ahead mix it up with furniture in various finishes and styles.


Create Calmness    

Designing your bedroom is all about the mood you create… and the lighting is definitely going to set the tone for the room. Peaceful, rejuvinating or frolicky…whatever this room is to you, the lighting needs to be controlled by day and properly lit at night.

To soften daylight entering your room from a window hang grass cloth or linen panels from a multi track rod or install roller shades available in an unlimited selection of materials from fabric to natural bamboo, these will give you the look of a natural simplicity. Drapery panels in complimentary fabric hung over shades are an option if a more opulent feel to the room is your personal preference. At night lamps with pink low wattage bulbs or colored lampshades that are as unexpected in style as the rest of the furnishings will cast a moody calming to the bedroom.

Recessed ceiling lights on a dimmer switch gives you the flexibility to light up the room when needed or to really turn it down for that romantic glow. The flickering of candles is essential in creating an alluring enchantment to the bedroom.


Favorite Things

The last of the personal touches to your bedroom are the accessories. Design details that finish off the theme of the room while bringing your character to life. The placement of art on the walls should be in keeping with the ambiance you are creating in the room. A sequence of art hung in a row or in a collage fashion will visually be simpler than hanging art on every wall. In designing a room always consider the blank areas of any setting complimentary to the filled space.

 A collection displayed on wall mounted shelves is another design idea for the walls instead of art. Add layers to a table top with leather or fabric boxes and placing small lamps or candles on top. Mixing is the key even with the smallest details, old and new, ornate and simple. Vary the size and shape of items you place, large with small, square with round. Resist sets and pairs of anything. In designing a bedroom…what makes all so inviting is the unexpected choice of elements entwined with a common thread. Your bedroom will surely become a pleasurable visual escape for you.


Ahhh…your bed 

Now that everything is in place; your bedroom is now a statement about you. Let’s talk about the bed…it must be of ultimate comfort, the softest feel, and one of the most fabulous things in your life. Under all those sumptuous sheets a sheepskin mattress pad really buffers the body.

One of the most visual design decisions for your bedroom is the choice of bed linens. The “matchy” bed ensembles can be quite contrived… spice up the colors a bit and combine a scheme of colors and pattern within the theme. Invest in sheets of 100 percent combed cotton at least in a 300 count thread. Bedspreads, coverlets and duvets are to be understated; although this really depends on your personality. A solid color with a texture of weave or quilting is in keeping with the tranquility of a bedroom and tends not to be a visual overload with pattern.

When decorating with pillows and shams, think about correlating and mixing without being an exact match in fabric. A minimal look is far more pleasing than a pile of pillows and layers of blankets on the bed. The bedroom should be created with a simple design impact…that truly calms your senses. Your bedroom could possibly become the most favorite room in your home!

Creating a brand image through interior design at the office

July 22, 2011


The Face of Your Business

Creating a brand image through interior design at the office…often overlooked! You start off with eager ambition of making a name in the world and becoming the pro in your field. You hire a marketing company to brand and create an image that will be seen on your company business cards, letterhead, brochures and the signage outside your business doors.

As vital to your business as the branding image, your clients will also perceive your standing in the business world by the look and feel of the office space where you conduct your business. It is essential to create a workplace that is pulled together aesthetically to illustrate to your clients the professionalism you provide and to stimulate and nurture the morale of your employees.

Start up costs for a new business are astronomical, yet improvements to an existing workplace are usually mostly cosmetic and even the on most modest budget you can definitely spruce things up. Your company is constantly under scrutiny by your clients; convey an image to show you mean business! Savvy interior design can help!


Quick Fixes on Budget

If you see anything mauve or teal colored in your new office, call the Salavation Army to come pick it up! This not only dates the space back to the 1980‘s it also dates you and your business. Another energy depleting color is white, add some life to your business space with color. Your new office space is a blank palette to establish your company’s image to the outside world.

The flooring is a major factor in the improvement plan for your office. Worn, tattered, stained carpeting must be replaced. A commercial grade carpet is available in a variety of price ranges. Even the least expensive will be an improvement over the old carpet. If the existing floor is a hard surface but dated, large area rugs can be a quick remedy. People will notice the floor they walk on, and it can improve your brand image in the eyes of clients.

One necessary improvement that is the least costly is replacing the overhead light fixtures with “daylight” fluorescent tubes, this will impact the entire office mood. The standard “cool white” tubes wipe out all color beneath it including skin color. Home Depot is a quick source for these types of bulbs. You will be assured the overhead color is uniform throughout which will shed a good light on you and your company.

Another telltale sign that an office is from another era is vertical and mini blinds. Replace them with solar roll up shades or, if privacy is not an issue leave the windows bare. Nothing says more about an office space than the institutional mundane look of these ordinary window treatments. Let your updated office show off your company’s sensitivity with a well-planned interior design.

How is the existing office furniture looking? Beaten up, beyond dated? Used office furniture warehouses are fully stocked with reasonably price items. Keep in mind, a well designed office space does not have to be filled with office-style furniture, a mix makes for an unexpected impression your clients will notice.

Storage is a must for keeping desks and work areas clear from mounds of papers. File cabinets are essential, keep in mind how other pieces of furniture such as armoires and chests of drawers can be utilized for storage and add some pizzazz to the work environment.

If your budget is limited for furnishing the entire office? Put your money where it counts, invest in the reception area first. You will be perceived as a well established business with a fresh image at the doorway. First impressions are everything to a new client, impress them!


Outside looking in

What does your company’s image look like from the outside? Sometimes an overlooked area but just as crucial for building a solid image of your company. The entrance to your business represents a cornerstone of your company’s image, make sure there’s a fresh coat of paint and clean sparkling glass. The plants, trees and bushes should look alive and thriving, replant tired looking areas.

Lastly, your companies sign is how new clients will first identify your business and the image it is portraying. A professionally designed sign is your logo, the symbol of the business you built from the ground up. Think of the business logos that have stood the test of the changing times… what images come to your mind?


Interior designer San Diego company sets the mood

July 22, 2011


Get your harmony created

Since ancient times, and since homes have been lived in, elements of interior design have been around in some rudimentary form or the other. Overtime though, developments in this field have changed, making large leaps and bounds to what they currently are today, and finding a qualified interior designer San Diego company that understands customers’ needs and desires is an exceptional discovery.
There are many keys to any interior design, and finding what strikes the cord and tantalizes the customer is what makes an interior designer successful and well sought. From color schemes that blend foreground and background designs to outdoor living with natural hard or lawn and garden seating, the decisions should be client driven while using the aesthetic talent of an interior designer San Diego company.
“Putting your home together should really be about making a personal statement and definitely less about what the current design trends are today,” says Kathleen Lilleeng, owner of, an Interior Designer San Diego company. “Trends come and go, and no one really wants to be outdated. The best way to develop your home in a way that will bring peace to your daily life is to introduce items you truly love.”
A challenge for some homeowners is in finding the correct pieces that will not only blend but will physically fit into the space in the right way, and if done the properly, it can create a harmonious flow throughout a living environment.


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