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Start Home Decorating: A Conversation with Steve Nabers

start home decorating

At La Maison Antiques, we get a lot of questions on interior designing. Where does a person even start home decorating? Can I use my old furniture? Are there any easy design tips for people just starting to decorate? How do I avoid items that will eventually look dated? It’s always difficult to start a project as adventurous as redecorating your home. How are you supposed to learn the right way to do it?

We know what we would do: Ask a professional designer.

Thankfully, we have interior designing friends! Steve Nabers of Nabers Interiors is here to help aspiring decorators avoid some rookie mistakes! On top of owning his own design studio and retail store, Steve also features his merchandise inside La Maison. And he’s here to help you start your home decorating project.

home decorating design

Where do you start in decorating a room?

Very few clients have the luxury of starting a decorating project with a clean slate. Most people have favorite pieces of artwork, furniture or keepsakes they wish to incorporate and sometimes showcase.  These items can provide the starting point, in some cases. I always try to analyze the client’s existing environment and their personal tastes and lifestyles before making color, finish and furnishings selections.  Factors like volume, not just perimeter, of the space need to be considered for scaling the furnishings to be placed there.

Is there natural light? What are the artificial light sources?  Will the room be used often or rarely? Do the clients have young children?  Do they have pets?  All of this should be taken into consideration when transforming a space.

How do you choose the colors or the theme?  

Every project is different and many factors go into the selection process. I discuss favorite colors and styles with the clients and show them various scenarios to get feedback. If a client wants to update without starting over, sometimes simply bringing in a new color with a fresh coat of paint or in accent fabrics and accessories will a give a space new life.

Nabers Interiors design

What benefits does an interior designer bring to the process?  

I think the best reason for choosing to work with a design professional is to avoid costly mistakes.  An interior designer brings experience in working with color and finishes, has sources for furnishings and accessories, and has relationships with trusted vendors and craftspeople for referrals.  Besides saving the client many hours of indecision and legwork, a designer’s expertise in placement and creation of balance with furnishing arrangements can be stress-reducing as well.

What is the most common mistake you see people make in decorating a room?  

I’d have to say scale and color mistakes might be what I see most often.  A sofa ordered online might look great on the computer screen but when it gets into your room it’s gigantic and makes your other pieces look out of proportion.  I once worked with a couple who had ordered a cocktail table from a well-known retailer.  The table literally took up most of the space in the not-so-large living room and made it impossible to fit in enough seating.

(They returned it.)

Or the opposite can be a problem. The photo of a chair looks great but in reality it’s tiny and does not make the statement you wanted it to make.  I run into wall color choice issues, also.  For example, neutral beige paint color can look pink and grays can look purple in certain light. Likewise, fabrics most times don’t photograph true to color and are difficult to compare in catalogs or online. There is no substitute for looking at the actual fabric or, at least, a fabric sample.

What is the best way to incorporate antiques and vintage items into a room with contemporary pieces?

As Susan Sully says in her book, Past Present, Living With Heirlooms and Antiques, “There is nothing new about the idea of antique meets modern.”  She advocates not treating heirlooms as precious relics but rather integrating them creatively into our daily lives. No matter what style or period you are working with in a client’s home, incorporating a special family piece or antique can add a little history, mystery and character.

I might place grandmother’s china platter on a stand in a contemporary bookcase or place a treasured silver bowl on a glass cocktail table to hold a plant.  A well distressed antique English chest in a stripped down, minimalist setting can make a strong contemporary statement.  I love the idea of using antique Oriental rugs in a room with sleek furniture and bright abstract paintings on the walls.


We want to thank Steve Nabers for providing some great insight on what it takes to start home decorating! If you’re looking to renovate, look for design inspiration to start and see if any of your current pieces will match your design plan. Pay attention to the lighting a room gets and try to do what makes sense. And when in doubt, you can contact us – we’ll always be glad to give our educated opinion!

For more from Steve Nabers, you can find him at his website NabersInteriors.comFacebook and Instagram.

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Home and Decor Spotlight | August 2017

home and decor spotlight

A place for the newest and best of home decor in Memphis

La Maison Antiques sees a lot of changes from month to month as our decorators stay on top of the newest designing trends. You can visit our Designer Collections to see a large sampling of their efforts. But we wanted to create a place to proudly display the newest changes to our store. And here it is: our Home and Decor Spotlight!

We’ll try to do a monthly post to show you what’s new – both to our store and in the designing world. Enjoy our slideshow below which has a little bit of everything. You’ll find cozy antiques, sleek, modern touches, and even some unique smalls and quirky designs.

Keep an eye on our blog in the future! We’ll have posts in the near future to discuss decorating styles and even tips from our favorite Memphis designers!

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Top Interior Decorating Trends of 2017

Interior Decorating

Before the clock struck midnight and 2017 was welcomed in, Vogue.com delivered some interior decorating predictions for the new year. They didn’t predict anything revolutionary; in fact, Vogue kept it simple. This shape, that texture, and this color – their predictions were designed to provide rooms with a fresh breath of life without breaking the budget.

We’re just past the halfway mark in 2017 and La Maison’s certainly not Vogue. However, we are in the business of staying on the cutting edge of interior decorating trends. And we’re here to tell you which trends have hit and which have missed!

The Hits

Interior design trends

Geometrics

There’s something to be said for a clean, crisp pattern. They bring intrigue to a room and draw eyes from more modern color pallets. Geometric designs can help a room feel stylish without being too busy and clean without losing interest. In 2017, our customers have loved the geometric touches to help complete a room. We’ve even heard customers describe their design as thought-provoking and peaceful!

Quirky Lighting

Quirky gets a bad rep! Sure, it’s a term that implies peculiarity and eccentricity – but isn’t that exactly what you want in a home? We’re not saying that every piece in your house should be quirky. But one unexpected piece can completely revitalize a boring design.

At La Maison, we’ve have sold numerous light fixtures this year that fit the oddity bill. With designs ranging from starbursts to sputniks and everything in between, this has been a great year for creativity with light fixtures. Orbs and birdcage designs have been hot, too!

Texture

Do you know what compliments the sleek, glossy modern style? Texture.

It doesn’t have to be much. A throw blanket here, an accessory pillow there. But adding a bit of texture to a room design is the perfect way to offset the almost frigid feeling you can get when a modern design goes a bit too far. Recent home decor has seen an uptick in textured wallpapers, furniture designs, and even in light fixtures. Remember that quirkiness from before?

Most of our customers have kept it simple with a pillow or blanket but that’s truly all you need. It works with nearly any interior decorating design or style and provides an easy way to get out of your comfort zone.

Marble and brass

Think a sleeker version of the marble the found in antiquity…and add that bright pop of golden brass. If you cannot imagine it, trust us – it looks incredible.

It takes the right design style to pull off but if you’re already favoring more modern neutral colors then you can’t go wrong with this one. People are using these for coffee tables, sculptures, accessory pieces, a combination for mirrors and counter tops – you name it. And it looks breathtaking each and every time.

You’ll find it predominantly in the kitchen and bathrooms. At La Maison, we’ve seen customers really favoring the design for coffee tables and end tables. This design also goes great with glass.

Artisan-Crafted Furniture

Okay, Vogue. You’re being a bit safe with this one.

They aren’t wrong though, so we cannot fault them. In today’s era of mass-produced furniture that lead to a family DIY project, is it really that odd to see people favoring well-crafted goods? And if La Maison Antiques truly has a specialty, it’s our focus on providing painstakingly-handcrafted pieces to your decor. Our furniture isn’t mass-produced. You won’t find anything quite like it at a chain department store.

Our customers seem to appreciate that and we’re extremely grateful. We truly feel that these pieces bring a sophistication and presence to interior decorating that cannot be replicated. It’s nice to see that our community feels the same way.

They Almost Nailed It

Modern home decor

Bronze

We all love a good bronze finish in the right design, but Vogue spoke as if bronze was going to be the next craze for home design. That modern oil-rubbed bronze finish is still very popular and bronze does pair well with neutral tones and hardwood floors. Still, I don’t know if that’s enough to call this one a clear hit.

With all that said, bronze still might be on it’s way to popularity. We’ve seen it’s interest grow in 2017 but not to the point where we’re seeing it in every design. But its versatility and classic feel are going to continue earning it’s way into really great designs.

Greys

Grey is the new brown, as they say! It’s a wonderful color that goes with essentially anything when done correctly. We’ve seen plenty of designs that feature grey and white together – they look incredible.

Still, it’s not a fully blown trend at this point. Perhaps it’s not so easily paired with antiques in certain situations. Vogue calls for deeper tones of grey in the future which sounds extremely interesting; we’ll keep our eyes out!

Muted Colors

This one feels a bit cheap to us. Muted colors have been popular for so long now. However, Vogue is correct; muted colors are absolutely in trend.

The trend has even veered towards matching muted colors with more muted colors. For example, whites and greys and beiges are getting mixed with a darker bronze or black. These monochromatic designs set you up for one pop of color to really set the room ablaze. It’s not a new trend in interior decorating, but it’s still pulling steadily along.

The Whiffs

Now don’t expect a picture example! La Maison tries to steer clear of the trends that leave people wanting. But Vogue’s predictions that the color green and tropical designs would come into play have been completely off base for us. Sure, someone may be interested in a lovely green vase that will fit with what style they are already going for, but no one is looking to litter their home with floral patterns. For many of us, green is a callback to avocado-colored appliances that we’re lingering in the 1970s. Tropical patterns and greens are great in moderation. It’d take a true interior decorator to design a room around them.

If you want La Maison’s predictions for the rest of 2017, we’re expecting the trend for artisan-styled furniture to continue, particularly ones that show as much natural grain as possible. There really is no replacement for a hand-crafted stately table and we’ve seen their demand growing in recent weeks. We have also seen people gravitating towards warmer colors to pair with the neutral tones in their home.

Statement lamps, unique art pieces, light fixtures and sculptures will round out our prediction of what’s to come. These items are all great for revitalizing a room with no energy without breaking your budget entirely. They’re a go to for folks trying to start renovating their home.

So there you have it! The interior decorating trends of 2017 to date. What styles and trends have you liked this year?

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Vending with La Maison

Vending La Maison

La Maison is all about home decor – including providing home decorators the platform to succeed. Vending with La Maison gets you on Poplar Avenue right in the heart of Memphis; it also gives you a passionate staff to aid in promoting and selling your merchandise. We also provide 24/7 video surveillance to protect your investment, sales information available online, and even packaging materials. If you’re looking to jump two feet first into interior decorating, La Maison is the place to be!

Check out our flier below! Learn more about what we look for in prospective vendors by contacting us at [email protected] or (901) 537-0009.

Vending Flier

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La Maison’s first televised commercial

Over the past year at La Maison, we’ve focused on providing our guests the best shopping experience possible. We made updates to several systems in the store with your comfort in mind – we’ve even taken to offering our guests a cup of coffee!

This is why we’re excited to announce our first ever television commercial! This commercial will run exclusively for Comcast television sets through the month of March. We’ve put a lot of work into La Maison this past year and we’re pleased that we now have the chance to invite others to our home.

We call La Maison our home not just because our store means that in French – we truly hope that our store feels like home to you and that our merchandise brings a special joy to your own home. From a business sense, having our own commercial is an accomplishment to celebrate. More importantly, it’s an accomplishment we would never have happened without you – our guest.

From the La Maison staff, believe us when we say…thank you.

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  • 901-537-0009
  • 4768 Poplar Avenue Memphis, TN 38117