May 2017

Oh no, we said the D word.


photo by @alisonkowalksiphotography

Nicki ” I’m pretty sure they want to hire us, but I think we are scaring them.”

Teresa ” Really, I don’t think we are very scary.”

Nicki “Apparently, we are.  They are looking glazed over.”

Teresa, “Let’s give it one more try.”

Here are 5 things we think you should think about if you are interesting in hiring us….

We are serious about our projects,  but we do not take ourselves too seriously.

Our goal is to create beautiful and livable spaces for you and your family.

Helping people all the way through the process of design and decorating helps achieve the most amazing results,  but so can a simple revamp.

Making a master plan and then taking it in phases is a reality. It does not all have to be done in one episode.

If you have gone through the trouble to find us and feel that you can work with us, then trust us and let us work some magic.

Thank you for reading our blog!


Nicki and Teresa


Clearly there’s an inside joke going on here in this photo, right? You want to know what it is? Of course you do!

We are sitting here thinking about how to explain “to-the-trade” pricing to you.


photo by @alisonkowalskiphotography

Teresa, “You go first.”

Nicki, “No, you go ahead.”

Teresa, “Ok, Let’s start with an example.”

These chairs we are sitting on are made in North Carolina by Lancaster Custom works.  They are a small family run company with 30 years in the business. When we call, the owners pick up the phone. Imagine??

We work directly with this manufacturer to create the perfect chair. When something is to-the-trade it means its sold only to designer’s or retail stores.

As designer’s we spend time going to High Point Furniture Market and the AmericasMart in Atlanta to find new products and establish relationships with our vendors.  Residential designers rely on an array of sources so that we don’t duplicate our designs over and over. Each project has its own style.

The price that we pay is less than the average consumer pays, but the discounts are far greater for retailers. There is a notion out there that people think designer’s are getting everything really cheap and marking it up and gauging our clients. That’s just not true.

There is also this thing called the internet. Maybe you have heard of it?

To stay competitive designers keep their pricing in check because we know you are all shopping online!

The reality is that their price might be lower, but that company is allowed to buy in volume and as a small design firm we do no need 15 console tables at one time.

photo by @alisonkowalksiphotography

When manufactures sell direct to designer’s the discounts range from 40-50% off .

When designer’s buy locally or through trade programs for online shops the discount is closer to 20%.

Manufactures do suggest to retailers the list price or MSRP at which the retailer sell the product. So a designer should never charge you more for something then you could buy in a store for.

Retail stores and brick and mortar operations know that you consumers are generally savvy shoppers these days and they do their best to offer competitive prices. They will go as low as they can go off the MSRP to win the sale and make sure they still earn a profit.

Maybe this helped a little?

One final thought… as a small interior design firm we are grateful that you have chosen to work with us. We want to pass on our discounts to you and create the best possible scenario we can for your budget.  We would like you to keep in mind though that this is a real business and we too would like to make a profit.


Thank you for reading our blog!


Nicki and Teresa

Random Thoughts and Ideas- Hopefully Design Related.



Casual Dining Areas are those spaces in your home closest to your kitchen where everything happens.

Homework, Science Projects, Play dough and hopefully a family meal or two.

photo by @alisonkowalskiphotography

This area that we created required a table that would accommodate 8 people but would be narrow enough for someone to get to the laundry room.

See floor plans…

The client needed;



1 pair of window treatments and hardware


a new chandelier

photo by @alisonkowalskiphotography

This area is 10 x14 which is $140 square feet

$25/sf $$3,500

$50/sf $7,000

$75/ sf 10,500

We often combine the causal dining area with the kitchen.  Most clients are in need of barstools and we often like to include some styling as well. Keep in mind all of these budgets change based on client’s preferences which in turn drives the budget up or down.

photo by @alisonkowalksiphotography

 All the best,

Nicki and Teresa


It’s in the Bag

by Nicki on May 11, 2017

Feel strongly about your bed sheets? I do and so does Cozy Earth Bedding.

They are a small company who does NOT mass produce their bedding products.

Their core values are to create the most comfortable and long lasting bedding in the world by using bamboo and silk .

The sheets are eco friendly, temperature regulating and allergy reducing.

“Cozy Earth sheets are extremely soft and the comforter doesn’t trap heat like down can. It keeps two people who have different body temperature comfortable. It’s really the most comfortable bedding I’ve ever had. “


Teresa xoxo

Random thoughts and ideas-hopefully design related.


What’s the Cost of Getting the Look? Home Office

May 8, 2017

Working from home has become the dream of many people and there has been a rise in telecommuting,  so why not make your home office beautiful. We have many clients who want to create home office spaces and the available space is often the room that is close to the front door of their homes. Guests that arrive […]

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What’s the cost of Getting the Look? Porch Edition

May 1, 2017

In the South, we do know how to enjoy a porch. Outdoor living is a big part of our lives here and designing outdoor spaces is a lot of fun. Here is our screen porch from the #simmonsforgeproject. Our clients were hoping to get a lot of seating for entertaining their families and friends.  So […]

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