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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Choose a Fabric That Performs (So You Don't Have To) by Ron Smith

Are you considering reupholstering your current furniture? Whether your old sofa needs a facelift or you're redecorating your entire home, selecting fabrics will be a key part of the design process. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

First, when it's time to select a fabric for your furniture, cost should be just one of the many factors you consider. A design professional can help you choose fabrics that wear well, clean easily and keep their color over time. Keep in mind that high performance fabrics will cost more then lower quality alternatives. The best performing fabrics, however, will clean easier and have superior wear, making them (in most cases) a much better investment. 
You should definitely consider reupholstering any quality pieces you own. Reupholstering can give faded treasures a new life, and you can extend that life by choosing high performance fabrics. 

You can get a good sense of a fabric's future performance by paying attention to how it has been rated using the Wyzenbeek and Martindale Test. The standard tests of fabric performance in the United States, this is an abrasion test that involves pulling the fabric tight over a frame and then rubbing it back and forth with an abradant. Fabric is graded by how many double rubs it can withstand. A fabric graded at 100,000 double rubs is extremely durable, while a fabric graded at 5,000 double rubs is less so.

Paying attention to brands  will also help you select a  high-quality fabric. Some brands I recommend include Sunbrella and 
Crypton. Sunbrella began by creating awning fabrics for outdoor use, but they now have a strong line of interior products that wear well, clean easily and are resistant to fading.



Crypton fabrics aren't new, but they're making a strong impact in today's home furnishings market. Crypton is an engineered textile made with pretested and approved fabrics that have specific fiber and construction requirements. Approved fibers are permanently transformed with stain and microbial protection through an immersion process, and an impenetrable moisture barrier protects the fabric from spills. For example, when red wine lands on Crypton fabric, it beads up and rolls around, which makes clean-up easy and helps prevent staining.

If you love leather, you may want to simply purchase a new sofa because leather isn't the best choice for a reupholstery project. Remember, genuine leather is only available as natural hides (irregular shapes), and since hides aren't the same size, there will be a lot of waste.

Once you've completed your project, remember that even high performance fabrics require proper maintenance. Remove spots promptly and vacuum regularly to enjoy your furniture for many years.

Again, as you approach the design process, I recommend consulting a design professional-they'll have the knowledge, and experience to answer all of your questions and the fabric resources to enable you to make the best choices. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Special August Furniture Promotion!


Do you need a change in your home furnishings?! 

Take 40% off retail on all new furniture orders from Bernhardt, Century, Hickory White and Marge Carson. 

Come see us in Alamo to take advantage of this exclusive offer. 



Open 10:00-4:00  M-F
Saturdays by appointment

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Feeling of Color by Michelle Resan

Over the years I have come to realize that color, whether it's in fabrics, furnishings, wall or trim color, is the crowning touch that completes the vision for a room. 

Color is very personal, which is why so many of us, including designers, labor through the process. It really boils down to feeling good when you walk into your space. 

So how do you pick those "feel good" colors? Start at your local paint store and see all the colors imaginable. Pull the color swatches that you are drawn to and think how they would make you feel in the room. 

Below are examples of color palettes and the feelings they evoke.

With colors that reflect an upbeat passion for life, this palette jumps with optimism and energy. Vibrant brights and high contrast neutrals showcase artistic flair and youth-full exuberance. 

This palette lives and breathes inspiration from the sand, salt, and sea. Cool, maritime blues, and warm wood tones, creates a fresh, breezy feeling that beckons barefoot comfort. 

Neutrals combined with the softest hints of color offer a quiet, understated atmosphere-one that is well- suited for a collection of vintage pieces and rustic charm.

This palette is indulgent, exotic and versatile. Rich, saturated jewel tones offer a lush, romantic vibe that is balanced by earth, warm neutrals. 

Classic appeal with an unexpected variation. Think: Reinventing the look of a timeless wing back by adding an unexpected colored print in a pillow. 

Everything old becomes new again. This palette celebrates the revival of urban living with a fun, eclectic collection of colors that feature a hint of retro hipness.

Ever wanted to live in a Tuscan Villa or a Ranch set in the heart of the Arizona desert? Create that feeling by choosing a down-to-earth palette inspired by a sun-baked adobe, Italian stucco and sandstone. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Finding Your Design Inspiration by Michele Malone-Singer

Have you ever wanted to change your space but didn't know where to begin? People are always asking me where the inspiration for a design comes from. I encourage you to take inspiration from everywhere. 

Finding inspiration in everything might sound a bit daunting at first. Hang in there with me for a moment. We all tend to have styles, colors, and types that we are drawn to. Photos on the internet, magazines, and friends homes can be a source of great inspiration. 
Inspiration can be a painting from your favorite gallery in Santa Cruz, a vase you brought back from Murano, a throw from Sedona, or a carving from Bali. A single piece can inspire a theme and the design for the entire room.


Public spaces can also be a fantastic place to find inspiration. Many designers for these spaces are pushing the limits with textures, new materials, and styles that you would not see any other place. Hotels, restaurants, and gardens can be fantastic for coming up with new solutions to old problems.  If things might seem a bit too "out there" to use in your space. Don't worry, this is just inspiration - not a literal translation.

You might even be able to start tapping into how the images and spaces make you "feel". How do you want your space to feel? Is it a bedroom that you want to feel serene and luxurious, an art room you want to feel creative, or a kitchen that you want to make you feel energized? Colors, textures and furnishings are the underpinnings to create these feelings in your space.

In my early days of design, I always had my clients pull images  from magazines (think pre-internet) and save the images that inspired them. I cautioned people not overthink, or edit, this stage too much. 

Even if the clients weren't sure what it was exactly that they liked in the image, I urged them to keep it. I found that when looking through the compilation of pictures I would always see common threads start to emerge and we could really put together the look that they were going for.

Listening to my clients, through both the said and unsaid is key to helping them achieve the look they want. When hiring a designer, find someone who you feel comfortable talking to (this is a dialogue - not a test!), someone that listens to you, and someone that has taste that jives with what you like.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Design Tips on How to Remodel as a Couple! by Dorene Gomez

Let's admit that remodeling can be an emotional and challenging process. Trying to make so many decisions, solving so many design problems and spending so much money can add additional stress to a couple's life. 

So, how to keep the peace? Make a plan to work with both of your style choices and Compromise Compromise Compromise . There is no winning or losing when it comes to making final choices, but there is give and take.  
Keeping an open mind, along with lots of patience, can help the process. Along with a great sense of humor. You will find that as you keep your options open you will begin to find that you both have similar tastes  in style and color.

Having two points of view for decision making will contribute to a sophisticated design and just may have some surprises along the way. 


Each needs to make a list of what's important to you  for  the design  concept and prioritize it. It doesn't matter whether it's a whole house renovation or a kitchen and bath remodel. From this list you will see that you will see where your interests overlap.


Start with something as simple as "how do you want the room to feel when you enter it?"  By suggesting and not pushing an idea, it will allow for a smooth transition to acceptance and it makes everyone happy.
This is where you may want to bring in an expert Professional Interior Designer that can listen to both parties that have strong opinions and a love for personal items. An Interior Designer has experience bringing varying points of view into a pleasing and cohesive design. 

For over 36 years J. Hettinger Interiors has been in the Bay Area, working with couples on remodeling projects with our years of experience and knowledge.

Being able to renovate your home is a dream come true for couples. Enjoy the process and never forget the final prize!