Raleigh interior designer Elizabeth Carrasco shares tips, tricks

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    My design signature: I would describe my personal design style as transitional with tendencies toward mid-century modern. Natural, organic fabrics and finishes are my preferred way to make a space feel more casual and relaxed. Fortunately for me, some of the popular colors of today – shades of turquoise, coral and ‘greige’ (that’s gray and beige) – have been my lifelong favorites. Because each client’s individual wants and needs are different, I am driven to create what I believe is best, beneficial and beautiful. The process is fluid, evolving with the ever-changing aspects of the industry, with just one constant — a cohesive, uncluttered result.

    Best way to display beach souvenirs:

    If you spent your summer at the beach collecting shells and sand and such as souvenirs, and you are crafty, you can combine the shells with other collectibles to frame a mirror. My grandmother was an amazing artist and she created a beach-scape table top under glass for the dining nook at our family lake house. Not your cup of tea? Simply frame shells or driftwood in a shadowbox to display on a bookshelf or fill around a candle in a hurricane lantern.

    Next project at your house and why: Our screened porch, deck and patio. We like to be outside most of the year, but our space does not currently accommodate our needs for comfortable seating or provide protection from the elements. Consider the living space outside of your home as an extension of usable square footage and design it with intention and personality, as you would any other room.

    Best way to update a screened porch: Convert it to a three-season room, framed with sliding adjustable panels (like those at http://pgtezebreeze.com/). This gives you the flexibility to use the space enclosed like a sunroom or opened up for al fresco entertaining. Incorporate new flooring by covering it with porcelain tile or outdoor carpet. See photos of a project I recently completed on my website: http://bit.ly/2bMqkYJ.

    One of my favorite celebrity designers and why: Sarah Richardson is a Canadian designer and host of two HGTV shows, “Sarah’s House” and “Sarah Sees Potential.” Regardless of design style, every project she creates has a classic, timeless appeal. She always adds something unexpected, bringing an element of surprise to the design. All this is done in a professional and organized manner with artistry and finesse. No gimmicks or drama!

    Favorite way to decorate a dining room table: I think of the table like layers of a cake; stacking the place settings with alternating patterns and colors, then embellish each serving with mixed metals and sets of sparkling glassware. For the centerpiece, I always prefer to use fresh cut greens, flowers, fruits and vegetables whenever they are available. Select the flora and cuttings according to the season and intersperse with ribbon and candles of varying heights and sizes

    Best way to transition to fall decor: Fall is hands down my favorite time of year— nothing says fall like a collection of fresh pumpkins and gourds arranged on a mantel, entry table or front porch. Bring in other organic accessories, like a berry or branch bouquet, a basket of birch logs and and pops of color like those of the multicolored varieties of mums.

    Next big trend: The tiny or small house movement. Tiny-home owners are drawn to the prospect of financial freedom, a simpler lifestyle and minimizing their environmental footprint. Typically a structure or space less than 500 square feet, tiny homes emphasize smart design over size and incorporate space-saving technology and conveniences. Although they are not mobile homes, some are on wheels or can be professionally hauled for homeowners who have a transient lifestyle.

    Trick we could learn from tiny house trend: Make use of every inch of vertical space and use the dead space in a room (for example: the unused space in a corner, above a cabinet or below the stairs). Build bookshelves into the walls or a desk into a corner. Create dual-purpose features, such as a staircase with hidden drawers for storage, and multifunctional furniture, such as a sofa that converts into a bed.

    Best way to save on your next project: Online interior design. What is online, virtual or e-design? The easiest and most affordable way to professionally decorate your home. A conceptual design plan is created using digital illustration and computer-aided design programs, then electronically conveyed back to the consumer via email correspondence or access to the internet. It typically includes a presentation board, floor plans and a detailed shopping list. This cost-effective alternative provides DIY consumers with professional design expertise, which they can implement at their convenience, all at once or a little at a time as budget permits.

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/living/home-garden/article99359667.html#storylink=cpy

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