September Decor Sampling

We’re one week away from our Sidewalk Sale, the best time of the year to visit La Maison Antiques!

But what does that mean for you? What sort of merchandise will be on sale next weekend? We have a 130-page Lookbook ready for you to give you an idea of what’s currently in the store – and what might find its way into the sale! We hope to see you Sept. 28-30!

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Fall Decor Sampling

School’s back in session – and that means it’s time for the fall decor season!

No matter what your personal style or taste, La Maison Antiques is home to over 30 vendors hoping to enrich your home. In celebration of the fall, La Maison’s own Colleen Martin put together a lovely look at what’s currently in the store. Want more? Feel free to check out our Collections Page or join us on Facebook or Instagram!

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5 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

valentine's day gift

Still looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? With only a week to go, feeling pressure to find the right item for your loved one is no fun at all. That’s why we’ve put this list together with a few of our favorite ideas to fit your own style and make the day one to remember!

valentine jewelry


Jewelry can be a phenomenal gift for just about any occasion, but it’s even sweeter on a day like Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t always have to be about the biggest gemstone, either; we have a plethora of different styles available at La Maison so you can choose a piece of jewelry that means something to your spouse or significant other. Whether you’re looking for a bracelet, ring, necklace or earrings, you can find a piece in our store that will make a statement.

kitchen utensils

Decor Accents

Welcoming change is always a fun part of life and it can be a truly exciting part of relationships as well. You can add a breath of fresh air to your home with larger accent changes like adding vintage copper accessories to your kitchen. For a more whimsical change, adding knotted cutlery to your meals can provide the sophisticated flair for something new. And for something more romantic, our wine cork candles can light your meal together as you enjoy a glass.

wet bar gifts

Wine & Spirits Accessories

Speaking of spirits, we have plenty of gifts in mind for the wine aficionados in Memphis. We have decorative glasses, flasks, and tools for your wet bar – we even have decorations for your wine bottles themselves! Our selection of bar accessories will make it easier to have a night in to enjoy your loved one’s company.

Valentines candles

Gorgeous Candles

Have you ever had a candle that wafted the aroma of sweet tea through your home? What about pumpkin, cotton, or the sweet scent of a southern front porch? We have plenty of candles in stock that can act as a small token of your admiration for your partner. And who doesn’t love a clean, wonderfully-scented home?

floral vases

Flowers and Pictures Together

Because who could say no to flowers?

We have plenty of decorative vases and picture frames for a more personal touch to your Valentine’s Day gift. It’s a simple gift idea, but one that can be very personal and say the perfect thing to your partner.

Still struggling for ideas? Join La Maison this Saturday, February 10th for our Valentine’s Day Gift Show! We’ll have complimentary food and drinks available, free gift wrapping, and our staff at hand to help you choose the perfect gift for your loved one.




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What’s New? Top 2018 Home Decor Predictions

Interior design is a constantly changing art that tries to please home owners. Tastes will adapt and trends will follow – so what can we expect from 2018 home decor? For Lauren Smith, the Home Editor for Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful, staying on top of current trends is essential. Her recent article 16 Décor Trends that Are Going to Be Hot in 2018 is testament to that as she consulted with HGTV stars Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper and Genevieve Gorder of Trading Spaces to find out current and emerging trends.

What was really interesting about their list from our perspective was the emphasis on bolder, innovative designs.

2018 Home Decor Trends

  • Lavender will be the hot color in 2018, replacing millennial pink.
  • An emphasis on high contrast color palettes. Joanna Gaines said that she loves to offset bold colors with white.
  • Geometric patterns remain popular. They predict that circular patterns will emerge as a favorite.
  • Tone on tone with trim and furniture the same color as the walls.
  • Brass accents are replacing brushed silver and stainless steel.
  • Moodier palettes with more gem tones and more flexibility in texture and finish are trending.
  • Olive green will make a big comeback as a soft and natural complimentary shade.
  • Natural materials and views to reflect the geography of a location will be big in 2018.
  • Woven textures and artisan accessories to add an international flair are in.
  • Geode and agate wallpaper will be more readily available and are growing in popularity.
  • Colorful trim and decorative finishes that add a warming touch are in demand.
  • Large and oversized tiles which are both aesthetic and functional are the current tiling trend.
  • Warm colors are coming back after a cool and neutral color phase.
  • Velvet furnishings are back in style.
  • There is a resurgence of bold patterns such as big florals.
  • Artisan fixtures with unique designs and LED lighting are very popular.

Many of these trends shirk traditional design and they can create a completely new feel to your home. In this first month of 2018, we’ve seen our vendors at La Maison adapting their own designs to bring fresh life into your home. That’s one of the most wonderful things about La Maison: There are wonderful designers like Gaines and Gorder on television, fixing up houses in an hour-long show. But at La Maison, we have a collection of nearly 40 professional designers all collaborating to do the very same to your home!

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How to Make Your Home Special for Holiday Entertaining

Holiday decor

One of the best things about the holidays is gathering with loved ones and enjoying the change in seasons together. If you’ve ever been in the position to host a holiday social gathering, there’s a certain pride that comes with the job. Friends and family can be harder to impress with your holiday entertaining, though; they’ve seen your house, after all. And if you’re the type to host annually, it can be a challenge to continually impress your guests.

If you’re looking for inspiration for this holiday season, we’ve got quite the treat for you! We spoke with La Maison vendor Colleen Martin, creator of Swede Furniture to talk about the ways to make your holiday party this year the best one ever.

Thanksgiving centerpiece

What are the key elements to achieve any memorable holiday event in your home?

Make your guests feel special, comfortable and leave enriched by their experience.  I try to give them the unexpected “WOW!” that they will remember for quite some time.

If it is your turn to host a holiday event at your home, don’t panic – just start making lists of ideas as far in advance as possible.  Planning ahead and being organized are the best ways to eliminate stress for you and your guests to create a memorable event.  Use what you have but add some eye candy.  You don’t necessarily have to be “creative” to achieve a fabulous result when you plan, research and organize.  There is nothing wrong with using an idea you found on a blog or Pinterest.

I casually plan a year ahead by being open to ideas throughout the year.  It may be July when I find perfect Turkey plates at an estate sale or antique shop or something for my next Easter table.  A month out from the event, I make detailed lists and collect all the items I am planning to use.  If it is a major holiday like Thanksgiving, guests need to be invited months in advance.  Guests will feel enriched if they can take away an idea you have demonstrated to use at their own next event, learn something new like a new recipe or be entertained by a happy atmosphere.  They should leave feeling content, grateful and honored to have been invited.

thanksgiving gift

Since Thanksgiving is almost here, can you give an example of something special to do for Thanksgiving guests?

I purchased some amber glass turkeys with hollow bowls under the lid that were intended to serve cranberry sauce.  On each guest’s plate to open before the meal begins, I place a turkey filled with small gifts specially selected for that guest.  It could be golf tees, fish hooks, thumb drives, key chains, a tube of lipstick, nail polish, lip gloss, small toys, etc.  I stay away from candy and money unless a teen is collecting coins, then I may use Buffalo nickels or Indian head pennies.

I also place under their place mat or charger a small Ziploc bag so they can easily take the gifts with them.  The more research or thought you put into the selection of small items the more special the guest will feel. Thoughtfulness makes a guest feel special, comfortable and enriched.

Using place cards either purchased or hand made at each place makes guests feel special when they see their own name.  It confirms their sense of belonging. Many styles are available.

What are your suggestions for making your guests feel comfortable in your home?

Find out their likes/dislikes beforehand if you can.  What do they drink?  If you are serving wine, have plenty of alternatives.  Are they allergic to oyster dressing, cranberries or nuts?

Have comfortable dining chairs.  Men are not comfortable for a three-hour dinner when perched on the edge of a small chair they feel will collapse any second.  Check the seat depth and width of your chairs.  Swede Collection at La Maison has many full scaled dining chairs.  Guests won’t remain at the table if their chair is uncomfortable.

Seat all guests at a table so they don’t have a wobbly tray on their lap.  Use multiple tables in the foyer or hallway if you have to.  Guests are very uncomfortable when they worry about spilling food or drinks on your upholstery or carpet.

Two demilune tables can be put together as a dining table for four people. Try to have a place for all guests to sit down.  Have available small stools or benches for use in family rooms for larger crowds that can be tucked under a console table when not in use. Larger chairs like wing chairs are comfortable for the ends of dining tables as well.

What would you do to make a Thanksgiving table memorable?

The centerpiece usually is the center of attention at the table.   This does not have to be a $200 arrangement from the florist.  For example, you can take an antique transferware platter and fill it with dried gourds and some Bittersweet vine.  I purchased these gourds at an antique mall and a package of faux Bittersweet vine at Michael’s.  Real Bittersweet vine is available at Fresh Market.

I also cut Cleyera, Holly, Nandina, colored leaves and Magnolia branches from my yard to place in wet Oasis with some flowers from the grocery store.  You can also purchase inexpensively fresh and ceramic pumpkins and gourds, chalk ware or metal pheasants and game birds to create an attractive arrangement.  Using what you have will be less stressful.

A traditional fall tablescape used in September and October can be converted to a Thanksgiving theme with a few additions such as Turkey plates, thankful plates, Turkey napkin rings and place card holders or linens.

We think of Thanksgiving colors as brown, rust, harvest green, gold, amber or orange. You do not have to use fall colors. If your everyday dinner ware is blue and white, just add a blue turkey plate. Adding lime green or orange to a blue and white theme would look beautiful.  Or do red or coral with blue.

Greens are a great choice as they are easily found in natural elements.  Just put some fresh gourds on a platter for an instant centerpiece. Go through your cupboards and see what you can mix.  Dessert pedestal plates add a vertical dimension to the centerpiece.  There is no right or wrong.  Color themes are endless.

(Colleen is wonderfully adventurous with her designs. You can see more from her for inspiration here.)

How would you switch up your decor for a one-day event such as Thanksgiving dinner when your everyday color scheme is not fall colors?

You can change the theme by changing three things: Paintings, pillows and flowers. Select the colors you want to work with and use pillows in those colors.

Select a blooming plant, Mums or cut flowers placed in a color coordinated pot or vase.  Get a large blank art canvas from Michael’s and splash, throw or finger paint it as an abstract with paint in those colors and place it in a prominent place.  Whatever color you use that is what the color the room will be.  The next day you can put the canvas and pillows in the closet and give the floral away. I like the three elements triangle décor process because if your furnishings are neutral, you can have an orchid room one day, a turquoise one the next, on and on.  You can switch up by seasons as well.  La Maison has many colors of pillows, such as the one above, available as well as abstract paintings if you don’t want to do your own splash paint canvas.

turkey display

Do you have some quick, helpful hints for entertaining?

  • Do make sure your guests across the table are not blocked by the height of the centerpiece.  If you are using fresh flowers, put them in flower towers that are above the guests’ heads.  Guests will be talking about these for years to come.  You can fill them with inexpensive Mums from the grocery store and greenery from your yard.
  • Set the table and make floral arrangements a day or two ahead and prepare as much in advance as possible so there is less work the day of the event.
  • Use stools and benches to provide more seating for large groups.  Swede Collection at La Maison has many to choose from.
  • Have table conversation ideas preplanned.  Memorize some great jokes or stories, interesting news or fun questions to ask guests.
  • Make your event unique so it will be memorable. Put sideboards, buffets and console tables to work.
  • Switch up the table if you have guests staying several days over the holiday.   Change out the napkin color, placemat color or plates but keep the centerpiece and chargers the same.  A little switch out will make it look like a new tablescape.  If you are using fresh flowers they should last for four days or more.
  • Make breakfast for your overnight guests special as well.

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Home and Decor Spotlight | November 2017

November Decor

Every month at La Maison brings unique finds to our store to match the changing seasons. Our November decor has brought some wonderful designs that welcome in autumn, some truly spectacular pieces of furniture, and even a bit of the Christmas season.

November Decor Spotlight

  • Late 19th Century Victorian-styled store counter – Every now and then we find on a massive, gorgeous piece of furniture. Made from rich oak and pine wood, this counter is large, hardy, and gives an attractive, Apothecary feel to a room. In the right room, this counter won’t just make a statement – it’ll make and exclamation!
  • Pair of wood and leather chairs – We wrote an article on our blog recently about the wonderful collection of long time Memphis designer Vance Boyd; these chairs are a perfect example. A simple but unique design, these chairs will work wonders to complement any style of room.
  • Large Tic-Tac-Toe board and assorted games – Who says you can’t have fun with your decor? These games are made from white bone – and the tray is also made of nickel – and provide a sophisticated touch to a room. In black and white, you’ll have plenty of options of where to store these games; just make sure they’re a focal point!
  • Pair of Asian-styled chairs and church pedestals – Black and gold is a great combination. Modern designs feature clean lines and neutral colors; these chairs are a great way to add a touch of personality. The wooden pedestals are a gorgeous color and made from reclaimed wood as well.
  • Gold and glass ornaments – The holiday season is right around the corner, but these bowls and ornaments aren’t just for Christmas. Made of glass and sporting a gorgeous geometric pattern, they’re just as great for your November decor as they are for the Christmas season.

Our Design Collection is a great place for more design inspiration. You can also take a look at our older Decor Spotlights at our blog. If you’d like to inquire on any of these pieces, feel free to give us a call 7 days a week at (901) 537-0009.

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Easy Ways to Bring Fall Decor to Your Home

fall decor

The leaves on the trees might not be changing yet, but you can find pumpkin spice in every coffee shop in the Mid-South. That means it’s Fall at last! Fall’s a season full of color and coziness: A time for warmth and socializing with loved ones. The holiday season is right around the corner and we all want to make the most of the friendliest time of year.

Fall decor is about embracing that excitement and bringing a warm, cozy feel to your home. And luckily, there’s a few easy ways to do just that.

pumpkins and turkey

Bring the colors of nature indoors

Halloween will always bring pumpkins and bright oranges tones, but you can also turn to rich reds and browns to enhance your decor and give a living space a warmer feeling. The easiest way to add these colors to your Fall decor is by shopping for smalls and accessories like throw pillows and blankets. Look for a statement piece that you can feature on a coffee table or mantle.

Another great way to capitalize on autumnal colors is by adding natural colored wooden accents. There are plenty of fall-themed wreaths as well to bring warmth to your entryway.

cotton decorations

Mix different textures

Texture is always an underappreciated element to designing a room. A soft throw set against sleek furniture can really make a room dynamic and lively. If your goal’s to bring that woodsy feel of Fall into your house, playing with different textures will help you make that a reality.

For example, cotton is one of nature’s softest textures. It’s a great complement to nearly every piece of furniture out there because it can provide contrast. Cornucopias and pine cones will give you a similar effect on the opposite end of the spectrum. You can even play with cloth textures like burlap to give that rugged feel of moving the outdoors inside. Texture is a great place to let your creativity shine.

Make it a centerpiece

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Autumn is the holidays and how it brings people together. This holiday season, you’ll inevitably find yourself at your dinner table surrounded by your loved ones.

So what better place to start introducing your Fall decor than at the dinner table?

There are plenty of options open to you here from one large centerpiece or a small collection of items. If you choose the latter, concentrate on finding a focal point to your design and find pieces that work well with that focal point. Always look for a little touch of uniqueness to it as well. For example, cornucopias like the one above aren’t exactly rare – but how many have you seen with an adorable little owl peeking out?

At La Maison, we’re excited for the change of seasons and happy to help you find the best way to introduce Autumn into your own home. If you’re looking for design inspiration, take a look at our Designer Collection for recent items that have been in our store. Who knows? You might just find something special for your own home.

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Meeting a Memphis Legend: Vance Boyd

Vance Boyd antiques

Being a true Memphis legend is more than being born in the Mid-South; it’s about touching lives and pursuing what you love. For Vance Boyd, he’s spent his career doing exactly that. He worked at a large jewelry store as a young man before enlisting into military service with the Air Force, traveling the world and coming back to flourish by the Mississippi. But don’t let us tell you the story – we got the chance to speak with Vance recently and he shared with us his history in jewelry, antiques and art.

Memphis legend Vance Boyd

Tell us about your long and illustrious business career.

Upon graduation from high school in 1947 at age 17, I answered a newspaper ad for office boy at George T. Broadnax Jewelers. Broadnax was the largest fine jewelry store in the south, and was located in a grand building at Main & Monroe where they occupied all 7 floors plus the basement. I was offered and accepted a job in the mail room which entailed retrieving mail and packages from the Post Office and distributing them to the various departments.

After a short time I received a promotion to Stock Boy, which was a very fun job for me. I worked in a very large room where we received all of our merchandise.  After only about 6 months they made me a Receiving Clerk, which was the favorite job of my life. It was like Christmas every day, opening these incredible barrels of china, crystal and giftware from France and England along with jewelry and watches from New York. My job was to open and check-in the merchandise and deliver it to the different departments where it would be tagged and displayed.

A year later they asked me to come to work on the sales floor, so I left what had been my dream job in Receiving. On the sales floor I was responsible for selling sterling hollowware, sterling flatware and solid gold jewelry lines.  From there I moved on to the watch department.  After a short time there, I was drafted and went into the Service.

What branch of the military did you go into?

I was drafted by the Army, but there were actually no training camp positions available at the time.  Since I had already left my job at Broadnax I was offered the opportunity to join another branch, so I enlisted in Air Force in 1950. I served for 3 years and spent time in Milwaukee and Germany before my discharge and return to Memphis.

How did things change for you once you returned to the city?

After my discharge I went back to Broadnax to inquire about returning to my job.  They wanted me to use my GI Bill to study gemology in California and become a Gemologist and I was very excited about the opportunity.  Rather than spending nine months in California, I enrolled in their two year correspondence course.

Upon becoming a certified Gemologist, I worked in the diamond department for a number of years.  Some years later they decided to build a new location at Laurelwood and they wanted me to run that store.  I opened it in 1960 or 1961, by which time I had become Vice President. During this time, the store transformed from a medium size jewelry store and moved into a much larger space. While running the Laurelwood store its sales outgrew the downtown store’s sales, and I was promoted to President of Broadnax.

In 1973 I took the plunge and opened my own business which was Vance Boyd and Son Fine Jewelry.  We opened in the Clark Tower just as the construction of the building was completed. I took the ground space between two stock brokers, but we outgrew that space in about 8 years. About that time the Park Place Mall was opening and they approached me (and Oak Hall) about relocating to their new Mall. They were trying to attract other tenants and they knew that our presence would attract new tenants as well as customers to the mall.

In 1993 I retired from the jewelry business to begin my second career as an antique dealer. I bought a building at Union and Cooper and stayed at that location for 17 years. I became pretty well known for antiques, although people always remembered me as a jeweler as well.

I the early 2000s I began to have some serious health problems and it became difficult to run a business full time. I wasn’t ready to completely retire though, so I sold my building and moved into La Maison and Palladio where I continue to be at the present time.

You are also an artist. What was it like becoming a painter?

As part of being a buyer of jewelry and giftware most of my life, I bought and sold a lot of art and became somewhat of a collector myself. Over the years I developed a tremendous love for art and finally decided to try my hand at painting. I wasn’t sure if I had the talent because I was really never good at drawing. I inquired to a few artists about taking lessons, and they assured me that I didn’t have to know how to draw in order to learn to paint. They insisted that if I was good with color, that I’d be able to paint.

I started taking art lessons 4 years ago at Memphis Botanic Gardens from renowned artist Marilyn Wannamaker and realized that I could paint! I began selling my paintings and I have had a very successful art show. You might say I’m like a “Grandma Moses,” because she didn’t start painting until she was in her 80s and became very famous. Although I certainly don’t expect to become famous, I was 83 when I started painting.

What is your inspiration? What type of art do you like to create?

I wanted to take art lessons but never had time earlier in my career because I had always been a workaholic. I was inspired and encouraged by several artist friends who knew of my creative flare and eye for color. My motivation is the sheer joy of turning a blank canvas into something beautiful. As for subject matter I particularly enjoy landscapes and florals as well as contemporaries and abstracts. I am not locked into one style of painting and that’s the way I am with my decorating as well. I guess I am known for being somewhat eclectic.

How would you describe your taste when it comes to home decor and design?

My favorite styles have always been French and English. I favor traditional furniture and art because it never goes out of style. I like to accessorize with a few contemporary pieces and certainly a piece or two of contemporary art.

In addition to style, color is also very important. As I said earlier, I am rather eclectic and I don’t stick to one look or color. I typically like to mix lot of French, some English, some contemporary and a little bit of Oriental. The Oriental is generally picked up with few accessories or lamps. Of course I have favorite colors that I often recommend, although I’m certainly open to the client’s preferences.

What’s new in your life?

I recently moved into a new booth at La Maison. Its unique L-shape allowed me a lot of flexibility in placing my furniture, and decorating the space. It is a beautiful showroom that allows me to display a great deal of merchandise. If you have not been in the shop recently, please stop by for a visit. I visit the shop frequently and look forward to seeing you there. When I am not in the shop, I am typically painting in my sun room and enjoying the company of my dog Abigail.

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Home and Decor Spotlight | September 2017

Francois Theophile Etienne

Our Decor Spotlight this month features some really incredible items as we’re heading into Fall. It also features a little of everything: An absolutely jaw-dropping antique painting, an exquisite wine rack, unique gift items and more.

September’s Decor Spotlight

The Storyteller by 19th Century artist Theophile Gide – This 8ft x 6ft is a colossal, stunning piece of artwork that dates back to the 1800s. Written words cannot do this piece justice – it’s worth the trek to La Maison just to see this piece. Honestly, we’re not sure how we even attained it; it should be taking residence in a museum…or a foyer!

We also have some incredible items to highlight from a brand new vendor: Cotton Row Uniques! You might not find many lumberjacks in Memphis, but there’s many men who could do with a stylish tote bag! They also have many gift items to give to the men in your life – hair and shaving balms, hand lotions and more.

Wine racks are always stylish and a great decorating fit for your favorite connoisseur. But how about a wine rack made specifically from a wine barrel? It’s a gorgeous fit on any wall and the natural-colored branded wood is a fantastic conversation starter.

Lastly for September decor spotlight, here’s a pair of accessory pieces with antiqued glass to bring some sophistication to your decor! The size and design of these allow them work shift seamlessly from acting as a centerpiece to an accessory on a mantle or side table.

For more design inspiration, browse our Design Collection and dial in to the specific items you are looking for. If you’re new to home decorating, we interviewed interior decorator Steve Nabers of Nabers Interiors last month; Steve was kind enough to share some of his own designing tips – and he even has his own vending space in La Maison!

Click here to visit August’s Home and Decor Spotlight

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