Ask the Designer- Week 1

We are so excited to have started our Ask the Designer series this week!  Thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions to us, sorry we couldn’t answer all of them!  If your question wasn’t answered this week, please feel free to resubmit it in our next round of questions, or any other questions that might come up in the mean time.  This week, we decided to answer the first three questions that we received, and the answers are straight from Lynne Bier, our Principal/Lead Designer, and the owner of Home on the Range (basically, as expert as expert gets).  So, without further ado, here’s the Q&A!


Question 1:

Tracy asks: Our house is so in need of a total redo. No idea where to start so we do nothing. Considering starting small – one bathroom. The bathroom has a blue formica countertop and beige 6X6 ceramic tile. This has to be a low budget re-do, so don’t want to touch the counter and the floor. Paralyzed by having to choose a modern color. Suggestions?

Answer: Tracy, you’re lucky that blue is back in style as a design color of choice!  Here in the mountains, we do need to be aware of how our blue comes across though… if you don’t warm it up with some other colors, you can wind up with an “igloo” impact.  There are a few different things that you can do to add color without spending tons of money.  Our favorite color palette right now is Pantone’s “Rugged Individuals” palette.  Any of these colors would be great additions to the blue that you already have going on, and would help to warm it up.  Choosing a neutral color for the walls is a great place to start… painting may be time consuming but it’s a cheap fix!  Next, consider combining some of the other colors in the shower curtain, rug and towels.

The Rugged Individuals Palette

The Rugged Individuals Palette

Don’t go with all the same color.  For a subtle look, try different shades of the same color.  For a bolder look, choose two or three colors and mix and match them in your accessories.

Another way to change the entire look and feel of a bathroom without a massive overhaul is with your mirror.  Adding interest to the mirror will make such a difference in updating your bathroom.  Depending on your budget, you can either choose a new decorative mirror (our personal favorite option) or you can add a frame to your existing mirror to give it a new look.

Image via Sabby in Suburbia

Image via Sabby in Suburbia

Image via Home on the Range

Image via Home on the Range


My final advice in updating your bathroom is this: light fixtures.  While it may be something that you don’t consciously notice when you walk into a bathroom, light fixtures are often the element that dates a room more than anything else.  Without seeing pictures of your bathroom, I can’t give you any specific advice on your current fixtures, but just know that it is a big thing to be aware of!  Good luck on your bathroom redo adventures!


Question 2:

Edith asks: How to update for a bigger TV without throwing out the magnificent mahogany hardwood TV cabinet ?

Answer: If the tv doesn’t fit in the cabinet any longer, it’s going to have to go!  The good thing is, it doesn’t have to go to the dumpster.  If you love the mahogany cabinet and just can’t bear to replace it, consider using it somewhere else in your home.  Maybe it could find a new life as a linen cabinet?  Maybe as an additional storage cabinet in a guest room?  If you can find a way to save this piece and give it a useful job somewhere else, you will feel much better about updating your tv area.  Now back to what to do with the new tv. Many people are dealing with this same issue right now- tvs just keep getting bigger and flatter, and it’s getting more and more difficult to find ways to contain them.  One new method that I personally love for hiding your flat screen tv in plain site is this- frame it.

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest


Hanging a tv on the wall and putting a frame around it won’t hide it completely from view like your old cabinet may have, but it will make it look like something that is supposed to be there.  You will still want to place a new furniture piece underneath it to hold the cable box and dvd player (as well as make the space look complete), but if you don’t want to spend too much money, consider swapping the old tv cabinet with another furniture piece in your home.  They can switch places, and without spending much money, you can create a whole new look in your home.


Question 3:

Mary asks: With all the unfinished and rough surfaced woods (walls, cabinets, counters, furniture, decorative items) what do you suggest for dusting/cleaning?

Answer: Vacuums are your best friend!  Use a soft brush attachment to get down deep into all those little spaces… it will just suck the dust right out of them!  You can experiment with different attachments, but the soft brush is definitely my favorite.  Using anything else (paper towels, swiffer dusters, rags, microfiber, etc) will always leave behind little fibers that are hard to get rid of later.  My favorite vacuum to use is the handheld Dyson (they didn’t even pay me to say that!) because it’s so portable, and you can use it to get to anything, high or low.  But, really, any vacuum with attachments will work.

Well, that’s it for now!   Thanks again for all of the submissions, and if we didn’t get to your question this week please send it to us again next time.  We’re going to make this a monthly thing, and we’ll be accepting questions again on Facebook starting three weeks from now, so make sure and keep your eyes open for it!


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Reply April 12, 2013

Love this idea of free advice from an interior designer!

As far as the TV cabinet, if it's very good quality wood and large enough, they may be able to have it reconstructed into a different piece of furniture - even that television frame might be possible!

    Reply April 17, 2013

    That's also a great idea Heidi! Thanks for sharing it!

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