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Monday, February 27, 2017


 There is a state in Tango when everything flows flawlessly - each motion balanced and synchronized. To achieve this state of connection, the complicated footwork must be executed smoothly and mindfully.
 This flawless performance is achieved only after countless hours of practice, gaining experience. The dancers are willing to dedicate themselves and are in sink with each other. 

Great design requires a similar dedication! 

 The dancer performs, the artist paints, the designer creates an environment. Each has their art form and all strive for a "flawless performance". They live for the applause..... "the roar of the crowd"; however, we want our clients to be our biggest fans! 

 As interior designers, our palette is not the stage or ballroom floor, it is the structure itself; the client's home is our stage, our canvas. A flawless execution is only achieved if you the client, the "audience", is pleased with the performance; the creation of a beautiful space. 

 A truly unique design is a collaboration of all elements; architecture, lighting, furniture layout, color, pattern, and the finishing touch....accessorizing. The designer is a choreographer, and their job is to arrange all the elements of design in a cohesive, functional and aesthetically pleasing manner. Every step forward is critical and taken mindfully; creating total unity.

 As the choreographer, the designer must orchestrate every step and each persons roll in the project is critical in achieving a flawless performance. The "performance" begins with the construction process and only ends when the last accessory has been placed. 

 As an interior designer it is my responsibility to challenge myself, as well as my client; to seek out the best. The experienced designer has a vision and knows, for example, when a wall needs a piece of art and when it should be blank, creating open space.

 I dedicate myself; I owe it to my clients, as well as to myself. I challenge myself; focusing on my client's needs, expectations, and trust. I respect my client and their project will be a success if there is a connection; a collaboration between us. This collaboration needs to be executed smoothly and mindfully.....synchronized, like a well-executed Tango. 

Every Step Counts! 

Vote for your Best of the East Bay!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


  Think of window treatments in a room as a nice hairdo. Works for a while, right? Then it's time for a change.

Changing out the window treatments is one of the best ways to make a change in a room without breaking the bank. 

  Custom window treatments can be the focal point of a room as well as provide sun and light control, along with giving you privacy, insulation, beauty, and texture. Window treatments can reflect both your home's architectural and personal style. 

There are endless fabrics, patterns, styles, and hardware options available.

  As an interior designer, when custom window treatments are created for your home, or business, they are not manufactured in excessive quantities or "churned out".  The design is created with thoughtfulness and consideration in telling your personal design story.  When designing custom window treatments many factors need to be considered, such as style, function, lighting, privacy, and lifestyle. All of which help create a look that is personal to your needs and style.
  There really isn't any hard fast rule in choosing a window treatment style. Think about the feeling you want for any given room. The trend right now is towards a cleaner urban look, or less fussy feel. You may want to use woven wood shades, or roman shades, paired up with stationary panels to the floor. They are simple and are perfect for uncluttered rooms and clean simple lines.



  For  a more classic, traditional, or formal look for your home's style, pleated drapery panels may be just the ticket. These drapes can be embellished with beautiful trims or decorative contrasting banding, and why not a custom decorative rod. Want even more of a formal look? Try layering with sophisticated valances, cornices or swags, and cascades.

   For any style, functionality should come first. Do you want the window coverings to provide privacy or total darkness? If the window coverings are simply decorative, with a soft light filtering look, unlined drapes will work. They are also the most economical window covering to make. 

  Lining the drapes will add more expense but it does have advantages, like shielding the face fabric from sun damage. Also, lining your window treatment will extend the life 10 to 15 years longer. It also protects against drafts and helps the fabric fall nicely to the floor. 

  Selecting the right fabric is another primary consideration when designing window treatments. Do you have children or entertain a lot? High traffic areas like family rooms that have sliding doors may need a more durable, washable fabric made of nylon, polyester, acrylic, cotton, or combination of all of the above. Save those delicate silk fabrics for living rooms, dining areas, and master bedrooms.

   Blackout shades or blackout lining may be needed for theater areas and is also the most popular lining choice for bedrooms. They eliminate unwanted light from entering the room, reduce exterior sounds from outside, and insulate against hot and cold at the same time.

  Custom window treatments are guaranteed to provide long-term performance, style, and design that are as unique as your imagination.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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Does it Bring You Joy? By Michele Malone-Singer

  This is the time of year when we all start thinking about our New Year's Resolutions.  Do we want to work less, make more money, lose weight, get rid of the clutter - or all of the above? 

  I read a book this last year that changed the way I live - "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", by Marie Kondo.  In this impactful book, Kondo encourages people to pull all items of like type together and  touch each item asking:  "Does it bring me joy?" It seems like a silly question to ask when you are standing in the middle of your bedroom touching every sweater you own, but it really works.

  You might wonder why an interior designer is talking to you about your sweaters. Well, I'm getting to that. The goal is to let go of things that don't serve you. The old adage "less is more" really is true. This same approach can be used with our furniture and accessories. Ah, now you see the connection!

  Bay area real estate is at a premium. Many of us would love to have a new or bigger home. Uncluttering your home - getting rid of all of those things we keep because we feel like we should and not because we truly love them - is a huge first step in loving the home you live in. The key sometimes is just clearing out the stuff you don't use and purchasing key items that make your space work.

  Do you have a room in your home that has become the storage spot for the elliptical or kids toys? There are lots of effective and easy apps for your phone (OfferUp and Letgo) where you can easily snap a picture with your phone and list items for sale. There are also professional organizers that can help you clear items out and get organized. Some items might need to be carefully wrapped and stored in a box until you want to give it to the kids or bring it back into the house.

  A room previously filled with kids toys might need to be carefully edited, keeping only those items they play with. Adding a new sofa or sectional, storage ottoman, and a rug can transform it into a family space. 

  Updating your lighting - a floor lamp next to the sofa or a better light by the bed - can create a cozy reading area to enjoy that book you have been putting off reading.

  Often times, open bookcases and built in shelves become a place to store too many books and knick knacks. To create an eye-pleasing display, think of mixing up the heights and textures on the shelves. Do you want the shelves symmetrical or asymmetrical? Lay some of the books on their side and place others vertically. If you don't have any books that are visually interesting, you can cover ones you have in an interesting fabric or hit a local antique fair or flea market to pick up some gems. Need to hide books or games? Consider adding doors to the lower open shelves of a built-in for a designer flair. 

  Your home should be your sanctuary - the place where you go to recharge, entertain, and feel nourished. Once you have made the decision to let go of things that aren't working, you might find that you need some new artwork, accessories, window treatments, or furnishings - we are here to help you.

  We can make sure that the colors and textures - on everything from your walls to your window treatments, flooring, and furnishings, and bedding - are in line with how you want your home to feel.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What Will Homes Be Like 5 Years From Now? by Dorene Gomez

Interior Designers are continuing to see a rise in the volume of business due to the positive economic outlook. 

Consumers are continuing to know the importance of quality living spaces along with  knowing their lack of free time.

 Smart homes with clever automation can make your daily life simpler, convenient and even safer. These systems have been around since the early 2000's and have grown with technology. Solutions are styled to make life and entertainment anything but dull. The system can automate lighting, security, appliances, computer and telephone and even window treatments to make your life easy.

 What about a smart small wireless sensor that makes sure that all of your rooms are being heated or cooled properly. Or lights that automatically turn off to avoid unnecessary use. How about a smart gadget called the Roast Smart Battery that plugs into any existing smoke alarm or CO2 detector so if the smoke alarm goes off it will alert you on your smartphone no matter where you are.

 These systems can save you on utility costs and keep you safe by developing a program based on the owner's habits that will optimize you saving money. Other benefits are convenience and peace of mind.

 In the works are builders designing  projects that are eco-friendly along with being sustainable. 

 Custom single homes along with large community housing developments are popping up everywhere and selling out as fast as they can build them. 

 So what does the designing of these residences look like? What is eco-friendly and why sustainable? Interior Designers will always produce an aesthetic, functional and safe design for interior spaces using conceptualization. 
 We find that more strategic planning is now needed for the conceptual design of living spaces. Our clients want their homes healthier along with lower maintenance and of course being more energy efficient.
"Build it Green" or sustainable design is what we keep hearing which directly influences our daily lifestyles. Reducing landfill waste by recycling tends to be highly affecting the design business. By the reuse of timber and minerals it prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
 Some of the materials we are specifying in new construction and remodeling is recycled and reclaimed wood for cabinets, mantels, flooring, beams, doors and wall treatments, along with furniture. These reclaimed woods, when  used, add warmth to a room that also has a sense of history that new woods  lack.

  Becoming more environmentally friendly is also an understanding of the process in that we all need to conserve our resources. To get started just make small steps towards making a difference for good old Mother Earth. J. Hettinger Interiors strives to always keep in mind that we all need to protect our natural resources. Call us if we can help you with a new project that you would like to build Smart and Green.