Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Dark, cold, cluttered, and dated, the offices of Asset Management Group in the Danville Livery begged for some help and a serious make over!


Make these offices brighter, warmer, and more stylish without replacing the mix of office furniture. Two adjoining offices with a clear view of each from the other. Two different types and style of furniture in each; one Antique Golden Oak, the other Modern Cherry.

Worn grey green carpet, dingy white walls, charcoal colored mini blinds at the windows, outdoor barn light fixtures providing shadowed and little light, and vaulted ceilings with a lot of exposed brown beams to which all the electrical conduit was attached and visible. Ouch!


First, we selected a new wall color that went well with both the oak and cherry furniture. Benjamin Moore’s Richmond Bisque is a soft light cream with a little yellow tint to it. Red accent walls, one in each office, in #1259 Beaujolais. This warms the space and gives each room a much needed focal point, giving both offices continuity. All the beams and the electrical conduit were painted in the same wall color to make it disappear visually. The window, doors, and all other trim in a Bone White for a brighter cleaner look.

Second, new red carpeting was chosen in a smart small geometric pattern. The deep red color anchors the rooms while giving both spaces continuity.

Third, leaving most of the office windows bare allowed in a lot more light and the beautiful views of the oak trees out side. The few interior windows were covered in 2” bone white wooden blinds to match the trim color, updating the look and brighten the space.

Fourth, new lighting and lots of it. Simple semi-flush opal glass light fixtures were attached to the bottom of the painted beams. Allowing light to illuminate from the top and the bottom of the fixture, eliminating shadows.

Fifth, the final decorative touches. Nature prints matted and framed to give a sense of professionalism to the space. Plants, vases, wood carvings, and even a jar filled with candy for the reception area was included.

The make over was meant to complement not distract from the existing office furniture. By adding bright colors, textures, lighting, and accessories the office now has a professional ambiance to it. After all it is an office and quite an Asset to the Danville Livery Mercantile I might add!

Visit The Danville Livery Here

Friday, September 4, 2009


Nothing has a greater effect on the look of upholstered furniture than the fabric. It's the most visible indication of fashion and quality. It's also the part of an upholstered piece to show soil and wear fastest.

So how do you select a fabric that has the style, durability and feel that you want? It's all in knowing what to look for, and what questions to ask. First, I'll point out some basic decorating and shopping considerations, and then we'll look at the differences between fabric types.

Things To Consider When Selecting A Fabric

Style - First, the fabric should be appropriate to the style and character of the piece it is covering. A traditional frame will usually look best with a more traditional fabric style. Second, the scale of the pattern should be appropriate to the room size. As a rule, large repeating patterns look better in larger rooms. Also consider whether the fabric color is warm or cool, and be sure it's the right "mood" for the room the furniture is going into.

Color - Color is probably the number one reason people select certain fabrics. But certain color fabrics may not be the best choice for durability and stain resistance. If you have small children, you're probably better off choosing a color that won't show dirt easily.

Durability - Will the furniture be in an area of the house that receives the heaviest traffic? Pieces subject to daily heavy wear need to be covered in tough, durable, tightly woven fabrics. Generally, fabrics that have their pattern "woven in" will wear better than printed fabrics.

Thread Count - The higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric... and the better it will wear.

Fade Resistance - Will your furniture be exposed to constant direct sunlight? To reduce the chance of fading, make sure your choices include fabrics that are sunlight resistant.

Cotton -This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading and pilling, but is less resistant to soiling and wrinkling. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often compensate for these weaknesses. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish. For example, damask weaves are formal; canvas weaves such as duck and sailcloth are more casual and durable.

Linen - A great, fresh look. Best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. While it won't withstand heavy wear, linen does resist pilling and fading.

Silk -This beautiful, delicate fabric is typically used in formal areas but it can be very strong when backed with another fabric for durability.

Wool - Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean.

Acetate - Developed as imitation silk, acetate resists mildew, pilling and shrinking. On the other hand, it offers good resistance to soil and tends to wear, wrinkle, and fade in the sun. Not a good choice for furniture that will get tough, everyday use.

Acrylic - Developed as imitation wool, and resists wear, wrinkling, soiling and fading. Low-quality acrylic may tend to pill excessively in high-wear situations. Better-quality acrylics are manufactured to resist pilling.

Microfiber - A term used to describe a new category of upholstery fabrics with a velvety, suede-like surface. Made from ultra fine polyester fibers, Microfiber fabrics are durable and pleasant to the touch. An excellent value, durability and clean ability.

Nylon - Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. It doesn't readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill.

Polyester - Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing and reduce fading.

Regardless of color, fiber, thread count or grade, upholstery fabrics should always be chosen to serve your needs, both fashionable and practical. There are countless choices out there, and I carry most of them in the Robert Allen Upholstery Fabric line. I always order several sample memo of the fabric choices for my clients so they can live with them for a few days. Makes all the difference in the decision making process!

Most important, be sure to pick a fabric that you can truly LIVE with. And, if you grow tired of it in a few years, remember that virtually all upholstery can be re-covered!

Do you have a sofa or chair that needs re-covering? I'm offering 20% off Upholstery Fabric for the entire month of September! Call 925.862.9064 to see how much you can save!