Monthly Archives: June 2016

What Is the Restoration Trend?

Materials like wrought iron, steel, wood, and raw fabrics – natural materials that are aged but refined – are the most common elements of the restoration trend right now, creating an environment reminiscent of a beach or a coastal theme. The soft colors give also off a soft, romantic, relaxing look to a space.

Notice the lack of bright colors and pastels and the focus on more subdued colors like violet, yellow, blue, grey, and green.

This trend also tends to keep a more even level of ornamentation, with copper, gold, and silver items being used to accent and brighten the spaces as matte and shiny finishes broaden the sensual experience of a room without sacrificing its natural feel. This allows us to use the most modern finish possible and maximize the brightness while staying within the aesthetic.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): Hom Furniture, LexingtonLaw, and The Modern Home Design

A Designer’s Start-to-Finish Restoration Techniques

When designing a space, we always have to start from the very beginning: its concept. This is just as important in restoration, so we take into account aspects like color, design concept, overall trend, and the final look we want to give the item.

Once we take all this into consideration and have a vision in mind, we start the restoration by sanding the piece using increasingly soft sandpaper to remove the layer of lacquer, exposing the porous base so it can better absorb a new layer of paint. However, we must be careful not to remove or damage the original color if we’re not planning to change it.

Once we have the surface painted, we let it dry completely, which may take about 3 or 4 hours depending on the materials we’re using. We like to blend the paint for a more fluid transition with the old paint, and have to consider how over time – especially if this is an outdoor piece – the brightness of the lacquer will dull.

In terms of color, vintage style tends to take bright, striking colors and contrast them with black and white fixtures with bright finishes.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): The Bella Cottage, Hudson Goods, and Explore Poverty

How Does Decoration Affect Us?

Have you ever wondered why it really is that we decorate spaces?

The answer is parts physical, sociological, and psychological. The spaces where we live and spend our leisure time, the spaces where we rest and relax are affected by our environment the way that our workplace is affected by someone coming over to move something from our desks – decoration directly influences our thinking. We identify with a place’s colors, textures, atmosphere, smell… everything that makes you feel at home or in a place that’s your own.

In order to make a space feel like our own, we have to combine many different ingredients – the most obvious one being color choice. Consider how we don’t just throw our favorite colors into a space and call it done. We have to research and think about the way that color makes us feel just to be exist in its presence.

For example, in a dining room it’s important to use orange, red, or yellow with a picture, wall, or even fruit basket. Traditionally these colors naturally make people anxious to eat. No matter what room you’re decorating, it’s imperative that you pick colors to suit the place that also psychologically ground you the way you should feel in that particular room.

But don’t let all this talk of psychology confuse you. Decoration is actually very simple – just create a space that’s decorated to reflect not just a nice look, but the way you want to feel while you’re there.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): Deccoración, Deccoración, and Deccoración

The Right Way to Use a Transitional Trend in Design

While this trend is a little nebulous to pin down, there are certain parameters we’ll be looking at to isolate one specific design within it.

The definitive features here are the lines, colors, and shapes, and the framing style is a happy medium between traditional and contemporary, sporting some nice modern touches while still staying well grounded.

A transitional design should include furniture that has straight lines and simple curves; meanwhile the textures can be accented with well-chosen pillows, rugs, accent chairs, and vases. Some other possibilities are stands with draping and buttons, never forgetting wood as the central element. Remember to consider the ways different wood shades can complement or contrast the rest of a space.

This effect could also be achieved with metallic accents like chromium or nickel. This will help a viewer go from the traditional lines (classic textures) through the contemporary (wood and simple lines) before they see the modern metal and plastic finishes.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top):, Tanner Interiors, and Gepetto

Keeping House: Tips for Keeping Up Your Rental

When you run a rental property, you have to keep in mind that the guests’ experience is based on how well you prepare. From your protocol to your staff training to your accommodations, everything on your end works together to enhance the guest experience.

Here are a few rental property tips for keeping your rental property ready.

Have a Standard

The best hotels and rentals all have a set standard for the way they present each property. How the towels are hung, how the beds are made, the color schemes, etc.: every aspect of a space will come back to reflect your property/company. Keep it consistent throughout.

Train and Respect Your Staff

Plans for consistency amount to nothing if your staff isn’t ready to implement them. Be sure your cleaning and prep staff know the protocols, and respect their abilities and responsibilities. That could mean hiring more workers or working to optimize their schedules – just remember that happy (not overworked/burdened) employees are efficient employees.

Keep Up with Inspections

Even if you have to inspect each room yourself, it’s ultimately your responsibility to make sure each space in your rental meets your standards.

Stay Organized

Keeping a log of guest check-ins and check-outs that aligns with your prep and cleaning protocols will help keep your property running smoothly. You don’t want to keep new guests waiting as you get your past guests checked out and cleaned after.


Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): Hotel Phillips, New York New York, and wall–

A Short Guide to Buying Vacation Rental Linens

Anyone who owns a vacation rental property with a high volume of rooms knows managing linens can be one of the trickiest aspects of the business. You’ve got to keep them stocked and keep them clean – expenses which can add up even if you’re not renting them from a supplier.

Here are a few basic tips for saving money on rental property linens.

Understand That Loss Will Happen

Unfortunately, losing linens over time beyond the normal wear and tear is inevitable. Employees and even guests can steal them, they can grow mildew, guests can stain them beyond repair, and they can even get tossed into the trash by accident. Have a contingency plan and expect the unexpected.

Switch the Thread Count

In adult-size beds, aim for 250-thread-count sheets, ideally the 65/35 poly blend. For twins, it’s typically ok to drop to 180-count since those tend to be used by kids, who aren’t likely to be concerned with thread count.

The Fewer Options, the Better

Stick to just king and queen sheets (just use queens for full-size beds), and don’t double them up on beds if you can help it. Same goes for pillow cases, too: stick with one size for every bed to simplify your inventory.

Consider Your Towels

Even more than sheets, guests notice the quality of their towels. If you’re going to splurge anywhere, this can be the most economical one with the highest impact on guest satisfaction. And don’t be afraid to cut down on how many you stock each room with – if a guest needs more, they can request more.

The exception to this is washcloths – feel free to keep those cheaper, since they’re virtually dispensable anyway.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): St. Lucia Linen Services Ltd., Horseshoe, and ENVIROMED

Using the Right Symmetry in Interior Spaces

Symmetrical Interior Design

There are a lot of theories about how to design a room, and applying good taste to a unique concept isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Art and design are subjective, but the goal is to make the person inhabiting a space feel like a singular part of its decoration.

Historically, symmetry has always been an essential element of beauty – however, that doesn’t mean that for something to be beautiful there has to be an exact similarity between its halves. Even asymmetrical design requires an understanding of symmetry, and to successfully design a room you have to study the architectural structure of the setting.

Symmetrical Interior Design

It’s true that making a room symmetrical can give it a sense of balance, but to some extent that can also make a space feel monotonous and simplistic, making it less interesting to the eye.

It can easily become boring after a whole to have perfect special symmetry, so consider how the use of colors and shapes can enrich the space and generate a more dynamic feel through contrast and complementation.

Symmetrical Dining Room Design

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits: Element 5 Design

Using Wood When Designing Interior Spaces

People have been using wood in interior design for practically as long as there have been interiors to design. Fortunately, today, we know a bit more about the aesthetics, composition, and physical properties of wood than our ancestors.

It’s helpful to think of wood as a decorative element. Different kinds have their own unique “prints” and textures when applied to shelves, furniture, or other pieces.

Whichever kind you use, the way it’s used also makes a huge difference. Wood can help lend a lush, organic feel to a room, or the straight lines of its grains is a great way to give your space a modern touch.

Either way, wood helps any space feel warm, welcoming, and inviting. If you want to take it another step further, you can also contrast the material’s color and pattern with stylish patterns or stunning finishes. Wood is versatile and malleable, but it’s also solid and holds its own when presented in a room.

Though it might seem like this natural element that’s been around for centuries is the polar opposite of modernity, a touch of wood in an interior space gives it elegance and sophistication, suggesting a level of craftsmanship that went behind each and every piece.

Using wood when designing an interior should be a very intentional process, keeping specific contrasts and color combinations in mind to make the space look thoughtfully designed yet also simple.

Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits: Architecture & Interior Design

How to Improve Circulation in Interior Spaces

Home Circulation

The big question about any interior is how to manage, distribute, and work with space. Don’t let all the possibilities frustrate you, though – once you take some key factors into consideration, it can be really simple.

The rule of thumb for how far apart to space your furniture is 3 feet, but don’t take that as a hard-and-fast law that can’t be broken. The spatial needs for a family with 4 young, energetic children will be very different from an elderly couple, or for a 5000 square-foot home versus a shotgun apartment in Brooklyn.


Always consider how much movement between pieces is necessary. You don’t want your sense of how space is supposed to work in a home to get somebody hurt.

For instance, households with children should banish prominent edges, and homes with older people who may have stiff joints will want to bring in higher furniture.


Writing Credits: Juan Martinez (Interior Designer)
Photo Credits (from top): zoetnet and Urbane Apartments