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Hartford Homes interior designers’ home style tips

Do you find it difficult to decorate your home? It is both an art and science in making sophisticated spaces that “Homey” feeling. Excellent professionals have spent years perfecting their skills, and have built their livelihoods around helping people to design their own homes to perfection.


Hartford Homes is thrilled to work with three such designers – Kathryn Kurtz, Therese Theisen-Leuschen, and Nancy Molin – who are at the top of their craft. The designers were kind enough to share some of their design principles that work in any space and any budget.

Invest where it counts

Unfortunately, we don’t all have unlimited budgets that allow us to spend whatever it takes to get the look we want. With very few exceptions, we have to pick and choose where we invest the big bucks and save anywhere we can. Making the decision about which items should command more of the budget is sometimes a big one.

“I am a big proponent of classic pieces of furniture. Buying quality pieces in neutral colors or pieces that are high enough quality that refinishing them instead of replacing them down the line is my rule of thumb,” Kurtz said.

“Durability and functionality should always be the priorities when you are talking about the big investment pieces, whether that is furniture or finishes like flooring,” Molin said.

“I tend to tell people to go with the best they can afford, but to still stick to the basics and not get too trendy with the big pieces. Stay neutral and classic with base furniture and wall and floor colors, your accessories can follow trends,” Theisen-Leuschen said.

While homegoods lines from bargain lines in big box stores are awesome for small pieces and accents – a sentiment all three designers enthusiastically agree upon – thinking about quality in terms of longevity for furniture and large pieces should be the priority. Not only will this be a financially better investment, but it will make creating style around these pieces easy for years to come.

Big neutrals, small accents

Along with keeping big pieces classic, the designers agree that they should also be neutral.

“Big pieces and big colors – walls, floors, couches – should be neutral colors. You can pick out accents in your accessories and play those up,” Theisen-Leuschen said.

“I always use a metaphor with my clients. You need to pick one focal accent to be the lead singer of the room. This creates direction for the style and really gets all the attention. The rest of the pieces are backup singers. They complement the lead singer, but they are really there to fade into the background a little and play a supporting role. Everyone can’t be the lead singer, and keeping the big spaces neutral keeps them from competing,” Kurtz said.

There are lots of guides out there (think Pinterest) to help when picking beautiful neutrals for things like wall colors. “Warm taupe grays are really in style right now, and they really do a great job of creating a cozy feeling in any room,” Molin said. The added bonus is that even when a neutral color is currently on trend, it is not likely to go out of style any time soon.

Cohesive does not mean matching

One of the biggest recommendations the designers had across the board was to make an entire home feel as cohesive as possible. This means carrying similar neutral colors throughout the house, and trying to avoid major stylistic shifts between spaces.

“Being consistent with color schemes throughout the house, especially with the open concept architecture that everyone wants right now, is so important. Emphasizing different accent colors helps to differentiate the feeling between different spaces, but keeping big colors the same creates cohesion,” Molin said.


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