All photos courtesy Shelly Lloyd

All photos courtesy Shelly Lloyd

Shelly Lloyd took a circuitous route to her career as an interior designer, discovering along the way that her fashion acumen, passion for art, and globetrotting translated beautifully into creating sophisticated, authentic interiors with unexpected twists. And she has graced many a Midland home with her talented design. In fact, it was a Midland resident who introduced us to Shelly, who lives in Dallas but spends as much time in Midland as she can.

“What separates us is working with a variety of styles, from classic to contemporary, formal to playful,” Lloyd said. “We’re really good at mixing pieces.”

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Her Dallas company, LeDaire Design, is in for an eventful year, expanding to a satellite office, rebranding in February, and building on an original concept called “Work the Room” that marries her professional expertise with a client’s DIY creativity. Jump to read more!

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As soon as the weather heats up, so with the Dallas real estate market. If you need to refresh your memory on the best strategies to use to get your home on the market and sold, veteran interior designer Margaret Chambers offers her advice.

To find out how to get your home ready for a professional photographer (which we absolutely suggest you invest in), check out what this seasoned professional has to say after the jump!

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If you’re having trouble selling your home, you might wonder what your options are. Home investors and real estate agents know that when you need to sell a home fast and for a profit, staging is the answer. A well-staged home will not only sell two to three times faster than an empty or unattractively furnished home, but turn a higher profit as well.

Not sure if the time is right for you to stage your home? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have you had potential buyers through your home, but no offers?

2. Have similar homes in your neighborhood sold, while your home is still on the market?

3. Have you been thinking about lowering your asking price?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider making a consultation with a home stager. Home staging is not a licensed profession, so it’s important to do your homework. Ask to see a portfolio and a list of references.

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Even if you don’t work with a professional home stager, there are many simple things you can do to give potential buyers a great first impression of your home. Keep the porch clear, and put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Placing pots of flowers and keeping your lawn manicured will help bring prospective buyers to your door.

Make sure to clear your closets and shelves of excess clutter. Potential buyers want to imagine how they’ll use those spaces — they don’t want to see how you’ve filled them up. If your wallpaper is dated, remove it and apply a new coat of paint. If in doubt, choose a neutral color rather than a bold one.

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As a professional interior designer, I have worked with builders, condo developers, and home owners to stage their empty spaces and homes. I have seen first-hand what a differences it makes when a prospective buyer walks through a beautifully staged home. They get excited because they see the house at its best and can imagine themselves living there.

You might have heard that it’s better to show an empty home than a furnished one. Here are three reasons why that’s not true:

1. When a room is empty, potential buyers focus on the house’s flaws instead of falling in love with the overall space.

2. Many people have trouble visualizing how furniture will lay out in a room. If they are uncertain, they won’t buy.

3. When rooms are empty, prospective buyers start asking themselves questions. “Are they selling because they have money problems?” “Is this a divorce?” “Maybe we can put in a lowball bid and get this house.”

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If your home has been sitting on the market longer than you expected, staging is a wise
investment. Home staging is all about packaging a home to show off its best features. More importantly, home staging is about romancing the buyer and getting them excited about your home.

Margaret_portrait_new-sm (1)An interior designer for the most discriminating clients, Margaret Chambers is able to achieve the exact looks that her clients envision for their homes. She has more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience to her credit, and her work has been published in more than 20 industry books and magazines. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. Her work has earned her state and national awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and she has been named a Best Designer in Dallas by D Home for eight consecutive years. Sought after by clients who understand the value of superior professional design, Chambers and her team at Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc. are beloved by clients for the spirit of collaboration that they bring to each project and their willingness to share in the creative process, not control it. You can view her portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com

As soon as the weather heats up, so with the Dallas real estate market. If you need to refresh your memory on the best strategies to use to get your home on the market and sold, veteran interior designer Margaret Chambers offers her advice.

To find out how to get your home ready for a professional photographer (which we absolutely suggest you invest in), check out what this seasoned professional has to say after the jump!

1223117-R01-002

If you’re having trouble selling your home, you might wonder what your options are. Home investors and real estate agents know that when you need to sell a home fast and for a profit, staging is the answer. A well-staged home will not only sell two to three times faster than an empty or unattractively furnished home, but turn a higher profit as well.

Not sure if the time is right for you to stage your home? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have you had potential buyers through your home, but no offers?

2. Have similar homes in your neighborhood sold, while your home is still on the market?

3. Have you been thinking about lowering your asking price?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider making a consultation with a home stager. Home staging is not a licensed profession, so it’s important to do your homework. Ask to see a portfolio and a list of references.

1223117-R01-009 (1)

Even if you don’t work with a professional home stager, there are many simple things you can do to give potential buyers a great first impression of your home. Keep the porch clear, and put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Placing pots of flowers and keeping your lawn manicured will help bring prospective buyers to your door.

Make sure to clear your closets and shelves of excess clutter. Potential buyers want to imagine how they’ll use those spaces — they don’t want to see how you’ve filled them up. If your wallpaper is dated, remove it and apply a new coat of paint. If in doubt, choose a neutral color rather than a bold one.

1223117-R01-001

As a professional interior designer, I have worked with builders, condo developers, and home owners to stage their empty spaces and homes. I have seen first-hand what a differences it makes when a prospective buyer walks through a beautifully staged home. They get excited because they see the house at its best and can imagine themselves living there.

You might have heard that it’s better to show an empty home than a furnished one. Here are three reasons why that’s not true:

1. When a room is empty, potential buyers focus on the house’s flaws instead of falling in love with the overall space.

2. Many people have trouble visualizing how furniture will lay out in a room. If they are uncertain, they won’t buy.

3. When rooms are empty, prospective buyers start asking themselves questions. “Are they selling because they have money problems?” “Is this a divorce?” “Maybe we can put in a lowball bid and get this house.”

1223117-R01-011

If your home has been sitting on the market longer than you expected, staging is a wise
investment. Home staging is all about packaging a home to show off its best features. More importantly, home staging is about romancing the buyer and getting them excited about your home.

Margaret_portrait_new-sm (1)An interior designer for the most discriminating clients, Margaret Chambers is able to achieve the exact looks that her clients envision for their homes. She has more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience to her credit, and her work has been published in more than 20 industry books and magazines. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. Her work has earned her state and national awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and she has been named a Best Designer in Dallas by D Home for eight consecutive years. Sought after by clients who understand the value of superior professional design, Chambers and her team at Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc. are beloved by clients for the spirit of collaboration that they bring to each project and their willingness to share in the creative process, not control it. You can view her portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com

By Margaret Chambers

When it comes to interior decorating, you might think that accessories don’t play as great a role as, say, furniture or wall hangings. But the personal touch and creativity that accessories provide make them an indispensable part of the interior designer’s toolkit.

There are endless possibilities available when it comes to accessorizing your home in a unique and unforgettable way. You can start by collecting individual pieces, or add to an existing collection from your travels. Arrange your collections on walls or tabletops around a room. These personal touches make homes more interesting and unify the spaces they inhabit. Plus, it’s fun to find new pieces when you travel: each time you look at that piece, it will bring back memories of an adventure abroad.

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If you have large spaces to fill, cover them with prints—these antique Swedish architectural prints look wonderful hanging together. Add the unexpected, like this carved wooden fragment from an old French chateau. In this room, the doors were much shorter than the ceiling, so I hung oil paintings over them to ease the eye.

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This large Grecian oil painting is flanked by two iron obelisks, which help to compensate for the off-centered fireplace.

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Accessorizing over this brown-and-cream toile wallcovering was a bit of a challenge. By keeping all accessories on the fireplace mantle in browns, creams, and golds, I created a harmonious blend of colors and textures. This way, the toile tapestry plates and wood carvings complemented, rather than opposed, one another.

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Notice the three-foot space over the arched opening in this breakfast room. This was the ideal spot to hang a bull’s eye mirror. It is flanked by a pair of Italian, hand-painted faience chargers.

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This eight-foot French hutch may seem large. But it fits perfectly against a twelve-foot wall, leaving an extra four feet for this large collection of fruit prints. The French hutch’s open shelves are a handy setting to show off the client’s collection of green majolica ceramics.

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A large antique tapestry or mirror creates drama in a room. Also notice the large scale lamps on the console, the Lucite obelisks, and the large bronze bowl with hand-blown glass balls. If these accessories were smaller, they would be out of scale for this dining room’s high ceiling.

Art and accessories are more than just beautiful objects. As you can see, they can solve architectural problems, pull a room’s color scheme together, or add texture and variety to a dull space. Whether you’re decorating a new room or remodeling an old one, don’t forget the details—accessories will add the finishing touch to your room and make it uniquely yours.

An interior designer for the most discriminating clients, Margaret Chambers is able to achieve the exact looks that her clients envision for their homes. She has more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience to her credit, and her work has been published in more than 20 industry books and magazines. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. Her work has earned her state and national awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and she has been named a Best Designer in Dallas by D Home for eight consecutive years. Sought after by clients who understand the value of superior professional design, Chambers and her team at Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc. are beloved by clients for the spirit of collaboration that they bring to each project and their willingness to share in the creative process, not control it. You can view their portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com.

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By Margaret Chambers

In this world of HGTV and do-it-yourself reality shows, many homeowners may have the misperception that hiring an interior designer is not valuable. And while there is a range of interior designers doing business, the benefits of hiring a skilled, recognized and certified ASID interior designer will have big dividends for the homeowner in the long run. Be on the lookout for unskilled, amateur “decorators” who lack training and certification.

Let’s go through some of the most common myths about hiring an interior designer.

Myth #1 – It’s too expensive!

Unless you are decorating a college dorm room or a first apartment, you are likely creating a home you will want to occupy and enjoy for years – or even decades – to come. An interior designer can ensure that you make no mistakes when securing furniture, draperies, or wall coverings, and art. Not only can an interior designer ensure the space is well planned, but we have access to the highest quality and best value resources that are only available to trade professionals. These include showrooms in the design and market centers, custom furniture makers, drapery and upholstery workrooms, and various contractors. We will even plan your home to last through the different phases your family will see in the next five, ten or fifteen years and be able to help you envision how each room will convert to accommodate the changes.

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Myth #2 – I can invest in the bricks and mortar. The furniture and decoration is less important.

Ask any Realtor, and they will tell you that a well-staged home will sell faster and at a higher asking price than a comparable home that is vacant or poorly decorated. Also, if you purchase mass produced furnishings and decorations, they will depreciate in value immediately. However, custom furniture, antiques, and original artwork will increase in value over time. For some clients, furniture pieces have tripled in value since we originally placed them in their homes. An interior designer can help you navigate which pieces can be included to increase in value and which ones will work to complete the overall look of your home.

Myth #3 – The designer will impose his or her taste on me.

While some interior designers are known for their signature designs or style, a degreed, certified ASID designer will have a much broader design palette. For example, we spend a great deal of time getting to know our clients’ personalities, their tastes, their likes and dislikes. It is critical that our end result look like our client’s home… not ours. If you have a question, take a look at the designer’s previous work portfolio and observe the flow of the first few meetings. Is he/she asking you lots of questions? Did he/she give you homework to go look for your favorite designs and photos? Or is he/she spending the majority of the meeting trying to push a look on you? When you see the first diagrams, can you envision this being your home and a good reflection of your personality, or your designer’s?

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Myth #4 – Hiring an interior designer will take more time.

Yes, there will be some time invested in the beginning to get to know your taste and have design concepts and fabrications approved; however, mistakes are much more costly from both a time and money perspective. Working with contractors also can take lots of time, and an interior designer can alleviate that burden for you. We know how to orchestrate all the different elements, so that they arrive at your home ready to move in and be enjoyed. We can give you a realistic time frame that is incredibly accurate because we have done this many, many times.

Myth #5 – It’s just interior design… it can’t be that hard, can it?

The average homeowners will design two to three homes in their lifetime. We have designed hundreds of homes for clients over the years, and our primary job is to stay current on the leading edge of trends to ensure the designs we create remain as timeless as they can. Even if you regularly read architectural and design magazines, the trends they showcase actually were on the leading edge months ago… maybe years. If you find a design you like, we can put the freshest eye on it to ensure we are not repeating trends that have passed. Concerning complexity, there are thousands of decisions that must be made when designing the average home, and we make these on behalf of our clients every day and know how to do this most efficiently and effectively to maximize the investment.

In the end, an interior designer can save money, time and spare you the headaches of unforeseen mistakes or outdated elements. Because when it comes to the house that your family will call home for years to come, this is not the time to be pennywise and pound foolish. Let us help you create a safe, durable, and stylish home. 

Margaret_portrait_new-sm (1)An interior designer for the most discriminating clients, Margaret Chambers is able to achieve the exact looks that her clients envision for their homes. She has more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience to her credit, and her work has been published in more than 20 industry books and magazines. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. Her work has earned her state and national awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and she has been named a Best Designer in Dallas by D Home for eight consecutive years. Sought after by clients who understand the value of superior professional design, Chambers and her team at Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc. are beloved by clients for the spirit of collaboration that they bring to each project and their willingness to share in the creative process, not control it. You can view their portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com.

 


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When building a home, choices can easily become overwhelming. There are so many options now, from layouts, to flooring, to counter tops, and wall finishes, that if you don’t have a firm grip on what you really want, you can end up making decisions you later regret.

Margaret Chambers, founder of Chambers Interiors & Associates, believes that great planning almost always results in a home that suits its owners perfectly. With more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience, Margaret offers her top tips on how to avoid builder’s regret:

When you’re planning your dream home—or even remodeling your current dream home—it’s easy to get carried away. Preparation and research will lay a solid foundation for your special project, and help you turn your dream into reality.

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The following tips might seem like common sense, but it’s not until you actually begin — or make a mistake — that you’d catch yourself saying, “I wish I’d thought of that!” Keep these steps in mind to avoid making some common house planning mistakes.

 

As soon as possible, start clipping photos from architectural and interior decorating magazines; create idea books on Houzz.com and pinboards on Pinterest. Save photos of your favorite homes and vignettes—pretty soon, you will have a good idea of what you want your  dream home to look like.

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Now, create an organized notebook of every detail you want to incorporate in your new home. This notebook will be invaluable when you work with  your design consultants, such as your architect, interior designer, landscape architect, and (if budget allows) your lighting and electrical consultant.

Before hiring any consultants, check their background and verify that they are licensed in their fields of expertise. Once you’ve chosen your team, make sure that everyone understands your budget completely.

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Larry E. Boerder, one of Dallas’s most admired architects, recommends giving a complete set of detailed drawings and specifications to each client. It’s important that every consultant gets the total design concept and accurate bids from builders and subcontractors. Larry also recommends bringing your interior designer into the project early on, and I agree.

Having a licensed interior designer is essential to space planning the existing furniture. This way, you can decide on what furniture you want to keep and see what new furniture is needed before the foundation is laid.

Knowing your furniture needs ahead of time will save you a lot of trouble. If you want a dining room to seat twelve with a buffet and china hutch, the interior designer can make sure there is ample room for your guests to be seated and served.

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It’s also important to plan out the electrical outlets in each room. Make sure there will be no dangling cords, and that the floor outlet is under a sofa or table, rather than in a major traffic pattern or under a desk chair.

Window placement can be adjusted to accommodate the furniture placement in each room. Your interior designer will help you select everything from paint color to decorative lighting fixtures, and make sure the whole home flows from room to room.

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The next most important member of your team is your builder. Again, make sure you research his or her reputation in the field. Talk to friends and ask to see a list of references you can call. Make sure the builder you work with has built the size and quality of home you are considering. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of builders, give your complete drawings and specifications to at least three of them and let them bid on the home.

Joe Kain, one of Dallas’s premier builders, has offered this excellent advice:

“Do not commit starting the project until it has been bid, budgeted, and presented to you in an organized and understandable manner. This estimated budget should be accompanied by copies of actual bids received from suppliers and subcontractors along with copies of bid parameters that were sent to each. This will provide a basis for accountability by those subcontractors and suppliers.

“This estimated budget should be completed before entry into a construction contract as a general guideline and understanding related to cost. In other words, count the cost as best possible before starting the project.”

If you’re interested in hiring a lighting and electrical consultant, make sure to bring him or her on board as early as possible as well. A lighting designer knows all the tricks to make your house even more spectacular. For example, they know how to frame a painting with the perfect amount of light and how to make the crystal sparkle above the dining room table.

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A media expert may be necessary to plan the media room. He or she will know where to house the electronics, where to place speakers, just how large the screen should be, and will also understand the importance of acoustics.

Last, but not least, is the landscape architect. Request a list of projects so you can see the work that he or she has completed in the past. Make sure to show the landscape architect any trees you want to save.

As you can see, there are countless choices to consider when you’re designing your own dream home. Now, start that notebook, do your research, and you’re on your way to building your dream home—the right way!

Margaret Chambers has received numerous awards from the American Society of Interior Design, has been named a Best Designer by D Home in Dallas for over seven years and has been a featured designer in over two dozen publications including Traditional Home, Texas Home & Living, and Dallas Modern Luxury to name a few. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and classic European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. You can view her portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com