BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Please note: this page contains reviews and opinions sent in by
Berkeley Parents Network subscribers. Your
own experience may be different. Please always check references first!
Berkeley Parents Network >
House & Garden >
Need Practical Interior Designer for simple kitchen update
It feels a bit frivolous to even ask this since we are
fairly simple and far from wealthy but we need some help as
we look to do a very simple kitchen remodel (keep existing
cabinets, no major layout changes). The remodel will
include opening up a 'pass through' to another room and
thus change the configuration of the living/dining/? area of
We need someone to help to figure out the layout (furniture
wise) of the 'other room' with a 'you are on the right
track (or not)' with the kitchen remodel ideas and help us
figure out/pick out some new furniture (specifically a couch
and an area rug). This will help us determine where to put
in lights in those rooms (since we hope to have an
electrician come once- kitchen stuff and other room stuff).
It seems like an interior designer with some kitchen
experience is what we are looking for, but our project (and
budget) seem very small potatoes to even hire someone as
most portfolios I am finding are of immaculate houses with
giant rooms and all 'new' stuff. We need to use the
majority of what we already have and do not want a color
We are in Pleasant Hill and would want someone to come over,
see our 'style (which is kinda mismatched- Pottery Barn
meets vintage meets kitsch) and help us accordingly. Does
this person exist? Do you have a recommendation? What is a
typical fee for this kind of consultation? Is this
something anyone ever 'barters' for? new to this designer
We loved Kathleen Divney of 1Columbia design. We did a
reface of our 1960's kitchen (painted cabinets, appliances,
floor) and its lovely lovely lovely. I never thought I'd
like the kitchen without ripping the whole thing out, but
Kathleen's suggestions about color, hardware and and
lighting absolutly resurrected our kitchen. Tell her Sarah
in Montclair sent you!
I would recommend Alina Druga Interiors. I think Alina will
be the perfect answer for your problems. Her fees are very
reasonable and she is great working with small budgets. Also
if you need any plans done for your kitchen, she can do that
as well. Her contact info is Alina Druga, (510) 566-5917,
I am a general contractor and worked with
Alina for many years. M.
Need a great interior designer
We just moved from a rented bungalow to our own wonderful 4
bedroom home in North Berkeley. We have 2 small children and
a cat. We are ready to start furnishing with more 'grown
up' furnishings. Practical and beautiful - can they
co-exist? We both have consuming jobs and need help with
both the creative development and putting-it all- together
implementation. We have some ideas about what we like, but
need the right local designer to help us organize, beautify
and furnish. It needs to be someone with great style, who
is resourceful, cost conscious and easy to work with. Can
anyone recommend someone you have worked with who you think
would be a good match for our needs? Thanks so much!
I highly recommend Helena Tiainen. She is not only a
professionally trained interior designer, but also an
experienced organizer. On top of that, her fees are very
reasonable. Helena helped me organize my home, including
choosing new furniture, artwork, and other accessories,
picking out wall colors and fabrics, and providing very
creative but functional layout suggestions.
Unlike many designers who have preconceived ideas about what
they think you need, Helena listens very closely to what
*you* want and helps create the type of living space that
works for *you*. She is very easy to work with, and is
extremely reliable. She provides a free half hour telephone
consultation. It's a great opportunity to determine whether
you think her skills and approach would work for you.
You can email her at HTiainen01@aol.com. Her website is:
I highly recommend Laura Martin Bovard for interior design.
She has a great sense of style and can help you achieve a
great look on any budget. Check out her web site and blog
to learn more. As a general contractor, I know a lot of
interior designers, and Laura is one of the best.
firstname.lastname@example.org Michael M.
I recommend Laura Martin Bovard, of Laura Martin Bovard
Interiors. I've seen her houses on home tours and have had
the pleasure of working on a few of her projects, and she is
amazing. Her style is warm, accessible and beautiful.
You are just the type of client she enjoys: a family
looking for a retreat from their busy lives. Laura is an
excellent listener and helps her clients realize their ideas
in a cohesive and functional way. You can find her online,
at www.lmbinteriors.com or call her 510-531-8438. Lisette
For a great interior designer, call Rochelle Silberman. She
is a trained and skilled Interior designer that loves
residential work. Having worked for a design build
contractor for years, she understands what things cost, how
to create for modern usage with a look that matches the
period of your home. Rochelle has great style (her own home
in el Cerrito is beautiful, comfortable and hasn't been
remodeled). I'm also an interior designer (commercial) and
I often call Rochelle in for the final review, she has great
style and knowledge of materials. You will enjoy the process
with her and have fun creating a great home for your family.
Congratulations on your home purchase. email@example.com
or 415 971-8998. I forgot to say that she is reasonably
priced and efficient with her time, so you won't feel like
your money is going into fees and not upgrades. Hiring a
seasoned professional with great focus and time management
is a good choice lauren
Victoria was absolutely picture-perfect to help us furnish &
decorate our new home. She was full of inspired and
practical recommendations; was flexible, reliable, with a
wonderful sense of style. She was able to guide our new
home project from our overwhelming 'OMG -
what-do-we-do-now?' panic, to careful planning, through
successful implementation. We were worried that we might
feel intimidated, but were not; she was easy & fun to work
She assured us that interior design projects are 'works in
progress' - Everyone has different needs and goals and she
specializes in making the process personal, enjoyable and
affordable (we had a budget!). She listened carefully to
both of us (we don't always agree - need I say more?) and
was able to create a unique multi-step plan we both loved.
We wanted to start with living / family room & dining room.
Next, we plan tackle bedrooms and window treatments.
She was right on the mark at rearranging and repurposing
some furnishings we already had. She created
room-schematics, to scale, to illustrate numerous furniture
sizing & placement possibilities. Our family room is a
really odd shape but she came up with an ingenious plan.
Her creative ideas were plentiful - we never could have
thought up any of these concepts!
Victoria proposed a vibrant color palette, coordinating
custom fabrics, built-in ideas and organization
opportunities like storage for our kid's toys, (which were
everywhere)! Under her direction, we had a lovely window
seat, with large storage drawers built into a neglected
corner. We also had some painting done. She has trusted
resources for artisans, carpenters, painters, electricians,
She guided our purchases of beautiful, contemporary, new and
vintage furniture including sectional, rugs, coffee table,
lighting, dining table & chairs, server and art (we bought
these wonderful oversize canvas wraps). We were even able to
take advantage of some designer discounts, we appreciated
that. She also figured out ways to incorporate the TV
without consuming the room.
The project was a complete success - making our family happy
& cozy in our newly improved home. It all looks amazing we
LOVE being inside & we are truly elated with the way it
turned out. We will totally continue to consult her for
step 2 and beyond. Super Happy Client
We used Victoria Bochat (Victoria Bochat interiors) for our
design project. We had lived in our home for many years
when we finally decided to get shed our catch-as-catch-can
look and refurnish our home. We were more than ready for a
serious update. Victoria took time to determine our
aesthetics and priorities, which put me at ease. We were
delighted that she was willing to work with some things we
had, moving things around and incorporating them into the
final design plan. Best of all, Victoria was totally
flexible, purchasing some items for us, pointing us in the
right direction for us to purchase some things ourselves,
and always keeping the big picture in mind. We ended up
with just what we were looking for and within our budget.
And, we totally enjoyed the process. Victoria took the big
mystery out of design and showed us how to create a
workable, warm and inviting space. Our only regret is that
we didn't hire Victoria about a decade earlier! Check her
out: www.victoriabochatinteriors.com (510) 326 9682
Interior designer or decorator?
We're working on plans for remodeling our house, and we have
an architect that we love. But I'd also like to hire someone
just for an hour or two who can look beyond the 'bones' of
the house to evaluate our (humble) living space and make
recommendations about window sizing and placement, fireplace
and bookshelf location, maybe paint colors, and the best
layout for our wide-open living/dining room space (e.g.,
where we should put a sofa, what shape and size, and how we
can break up the space better with furniture). Would I be
better off with an interior designer or an interior
decorator? Will any of them just do a quick consult? I don't
need plans or specific furniture recommendations, I just
want ideas and input to guide the decisions we make with our
architect. Would love a recommendation, particularly for any
that are passionate about midcentury houses.
I HIGHLY recommend Gretchen Murdock of MODtage Design! She
is an excellent and extremely detailed Interior Designer and
she has helped us with everything from paint color
consultation to a major bathroom renovation. She is a
highly-trained architect and she has worked on commercial
and residential interior design in the Bay Area for a number
of years. Her aesthetic tends more towards the mid-century
and clean-lined modern but she has an excellent eye and is
great in any environment. She is exceptionally good at space
planning, fixture, material/ finish selection and color
consultation. All that being said, she is also very warm,
kind and approachable and a truly great communicator.
415.216.5183 | firstname.lastname@example.org Amy
We've been working with Harvey Clark Design, and we've been
very happy with the thoroughness of his work as well as the
contractors he hires. Harvey used to work at a San
Francisco firm (Scheiber Design), and we enjoy working with
him because he's very flexible to our vision, and he's way
You can reach Harvey at 510-526-0051 or at harvey (at)
hclarkdesign.com Alex H.
Interior Designer - Small Potatoes
I'm looking for more recent recommendations for interior
designers (the most recent reviews in the archives are
2008). I need to buy a new couch, chair, coffee & end
tables, and media stand, and I have challenging space with
lots of doors/windows. Plus I have a toddler. I'd like some
(small potatoes) help in what furniture would fit best
there, and then rounding it out with some pictures and
window treatments. If that goes well, I could use similar
help in other rooms, but my living room right now is the
main issue. It's important that the person values finding
deals on materials/furnitures, rather than recommending just
buying everything from a high-end store. I'm looking to
develop a comfortable, usable, homey space - using some of
my existing things - and not something that looks
'designed.' ISO Help for Homey Living Room
I would like to recommend Cecile Lozano to help you decorate
your home. She is very talented, listens to what you say,
and can help you pull together any room in your home, using
old and new pieces. She helped me make my living room
liveable! Her rates are very reasonable. She knows how to
decorate on a budget. Cecile Lozano Interiors 415-584-8442
Interior Designer Wanted
Our house flooded while we were away for the weekend. It's a
nightmare but the good news is that we get to do some
remodeling and buy some new furniture. We would like to work
with someone to help us design and choose materials for our
kitchen and bathroom, choose paint colors and flooring, and
buy furniture. We've never worked with anyone like this
before and don't know anyone else who has. We're not loaded
so we don't want to spend too much money on this.
Do any of you have any good recommendations for us? Can you
give us any advice on how to find and choose a good person?
We want someone who will listen to us and help us design our
dream home, not his/her dream home. We have very simple,
modern taste and don't like a lot of clutter.
For lovely, simple and tasteful design, check out Diane
Leifer at Bleu Leman Design, 510.910.9969, see her work at
www.bleulemandesign.com. She's got the very best taste, is
smart, and is a truly lovely person. Good luck! lisa
I have been extremely pleased with Homemade Designs www.hmd.com
Everything is by phone, email. You do a little survey on line then send off
dimensions, email some pictures of the room and she responds quickly. Amanda
is very efficient narrowing in on what I like, sending out samples, and not giving
me a hard sell. I believe it is a very cost effective way of getting great designer
advice and discounts. You can look at the website or Angie's list for reviews.
There are often discounts off the $299 price.( I think my first room desgn fee
through Angies list was $39 and my second was $99. I'm working on my second
room with her now, and so delighted to not be making those costly trips to the
design center....sometimes those little ventures are exhausting and they end up
costing a great deal as well.
I would like to recommend Nicole Benveniste as an interior
designer. She has done several of my friends' houses and
they all look amazing. She's got a great eye for color and
often puts unexpected things together that end up looking
fantastic. She loves mid-century, but has worked on luxury
hotels as well as traditional homes. Nicole was just on a
segment on Eye on the Bay re-doing a living room using only
the Alameda Auction and house and antiques fair. She's a
really nice person and easy to work with. Good luck!
Interior designer/decorator needed
I need a recommendation for an interior designer or
decorator for our new house in Lamorinda. The posting in
the archives are dated, so it would be great to get a new
recommendation. In particular, I need advice about window
treatments. Lamorinda Mom
We used Claire Campbell of Mint Home Decor:
http://minthomedecor.com/ She was very talented and we love
the way our house looks. So does everyone who comes through
the door. Happy Berkeley Lady
Laura Martin Bovard!! She is a fabulous interior designer.
Her spaces are beautiful, warm, inviting, luxe and livable.
Truly lovely stuff. And she is an absolute doll to work
with. She really listens to what you're saying and what
your needs & wants are. Check out her website at
www.lmbinteriors.com for some pics of her work. I can't
recommend her highly enough! She's in Oakland/Piedmont but
does work all over the Bay Area.
We used Becky Hatt (www.haus-design.us) for a recent
kitchen/family room remodel. She's very enthusiastic and
helped guide our choices while keeping with our taste. She
gave me the courage to go a little bolder on some color
decisions-- without Becky, our whole project would be beige!
I recommend Jennie Gisslow in San Leandro. Technically she
is a CKD. She's done many jobs commercial and residental.
She asks many questions to find out exactly what you want
and is needed. She has had her work published in Sunset
Magazine and other publications. She has given me many
suggestions on my bathroom remodel. I would say her rate is
about in the middle. Her e-mail is email@example.com Pam
I would like to whole heartedly recommend my designer,
fellow mom and friend, Anna Watkins Porter, to the person
seeking current recommendations. Anna has helped me with
many projects over the years, from home staging to color
consultation and, most recently, consulting on window
treatments. She is great at working to integrate what you
already have or starting from scratch and knows where to
find great deals.
Anna can be reached at:
Decorator for new home
We will like recommendations for a decorator who would come
to our current house in Berkeley to see what furniture we
have and then visit our new home on the peninsula to help us
decide what furniture we should move and general ideas about
what we need to buy and how to arrange the new spaces. We
need to do this on a very tight budget so we want someone
who will help us to create the overall design and we will
do the shopping. design challenged
Hi I have worked with two very talented designers who have
helped me with my spaces, Both are realy great. Elke Savala
also an artist, is incredible at making spaces very
organized. color wise and has a tasteful European sence of
color. She will tell you what she thinks and is very
Bethany St,Clair Very comfortable to work with she is who I
would call the feel good designer. Best of luck wth your
project. http://www.bethanystclair.com/ Sharyl
I highly recommend Chelsea Sachs of Chelsea Sachs Design. I
am a contractor and have recommended her to many of my
clients and all who have chosen to work with her are singing
her praise. Chelsea has a very unique and tasteful approach
and a very pleasant and giving personality which seems to
work wonderfully with homeowners. She's able to realize a
vision that is based on the homeowners desires with her
professional expertise. She's never overbearing and
controlling and knows that it is the homeowner who'll be
living in the space and therefor it needs to accommodate the
homeowner's wants and needs above all. Give Chelsea a call-
you won't regret it! Her info: Chelsea Sachs Design |
510.333.5511 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.chelseasachs.com
Good luck with your project,
Try Daniel Sauro at Design made Simple Interiors.
He looks at the furniture you already have and makes
practical recommendations. Plus, he's a really nice guy!
I'd suggest Laura Stetson for your design needs. She has an
incredible sense for design and re-design, and most
importantly, really listens to her clients' needs and style
preferences, etc. She has helped me on/off for the last few
years, and we feel so much more comfortable in our home as a
result. Visitors always comment on how we have things set
up, and it's thanks to Laura. you can reach her at
email@example.com. Good luck Julie
Call Dianna of Dianna V. Interior Design! She takes the
time to listen to your questions and concerns and helps you
turn your house into a home. She will introduce you to
things you might not have considered before and actually
like! Give her a call for more information. 415-312.6080
Looking for an affordable interior designer
We are moving soon and would like help decorating our new
place to be more functional and to also reflect our own
personal style. We have most of the furniture we need but
will likely need to get some new pieces and would also like
help configuring furniture, organizing, etc. I looked in
the archives and the last recs were from 2008. Also, can
anyone provide guidance on what to expect as far as cost?
Do designers get paid by the hour typically? We need to
make sure we can fit this into our budget. Thanks!
I highly recommend Chelsea Sachs of Chelsea Sachs Design.
I am a contractor and have recommended her to many of my
clients and all who have chosen to work with her are singing
Chelsea has a very unique and tasteful approach and a very
pleasant and giving personality which seems to work
wonderfully with homeowners. She's able to realize a vision
that is based on the homeowners desires with her
professional expertise. She's never overbearing and
controlling and knows that it is the homeowner who'll be
living in the space and therefor it needs to accommodate the
homeowner's wants and needs above all. Give Chelsea a call-
you won't regret it! Her info: Chelsea Sachs Design |
510.333.5511 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.chelseasachs.com
Good luck with your project,
I know a great designer who took time off as a stay at home
mom and is now ready to pick her career up. She's currently
looking for projects to build a new portfolio and is
offering her services at a lower rate.She is very
innovative, dedicated, and talented!
Her overall costs are very reasonable and just depends on
how much the job entails.
Marlene Zullo is gifted and affordable. I don't know her
current rates, but I do know that she is v reasonable,
especially given her talents. Here is her website -- it
shows spaces that she has redesigned. She also does interior
Good luck with your new beginning!
I would recommend Stuart Gilchrist, an amazingly talented
interior designer and good friend who has been designing in
the bay area for many years. You may contact him through his
website at - stuartgilchristinteriors.com daniela
Need interior design/lighting help
We are hoping to find someone who can help us with interior
lighting, paint colors, and give our home a more pulled-
together look. It wouldn't be the worst thing to hire three
separate consultants, but if we can find one person to help
us, that seems so much easier. We'd like our home to have a
clean, contemporary look (and be child- friendly) without
I highly recommend our general contractor Tom Wright at
http://www.thewrightconstructioncompany.com/index.html . He
remodeled our bathroom and he specializes in lighting. He
not only came up with a fantastic design for the bathroom,
but he also redesigned the lighting in our basement to make
it feel much more spacious. Tracy
Need interior decorator/designer
I need a designer/decorator - not sure of the terminology -
to help redesign our living room. We are happy w/paint color
but need to add a few more pieces and reconfigure the room
to make it more useable for our needs and I finally realized
that I can't figure it out on my own. I love the look of the
Scout staging folks but would rather work with someone who
is designing for living rather than selling. We are on a
limited budget but will pay the right price for the right
person. All of the recommendations in the archives are at
least three years old. Anyone suggest someone they've worked
with? We're open to a newbie if the price is commensurable.
I highly recommend Melissa Guerrerro, who helped us to pick
the wall colors and redecorate our living/dining rooms. She
is really easy to work with and is a good listener. We LOVE
the result. Could not have done it without her. We will be
using her for the next project.
I recommend Robin Preussker and Sissy Latino who run a
business called Transformations Homestylists. They come to
your house and rearrange your furniture in a way which helps
meet your needs better-- they really improved our living
environment! They also provide a shopping service if needed,
or will just recommend to you if they think you need new
pieces. Very reasonably priced also.
transformed in Berkeley
Bethany St. Clair Is very nice to work with.
I highly recommend Interior Redesigner Helena Tiainen to
help you with your living room. She brings her beautiful
aesthetic sense and unique talent to make rooms bloom to
each household project we tackle. In one part of an
afternoon, Helena helped me transform the clunky dining nook
into a special playroom, using only what I had in the house
to create an inviting and functional space. When my two
year old saw the new room he exclaimed, 'Wow!' I love
working with Helena. HTiainen01@aol.com
Marlene Zullo is fantastic -- she has a clear eye, is a
great communicator, and creates beautiful spaces. You will
love working with her. She is also very flexible and able to
make spaces fit the people living within them. She is
located in Napa, and travels for clients.
Here is her website: http://marlenezullo.zenfolio.com/
I can recommend my decorator (and good friend) Victoria
Bochat. She is a master at using what you have, rearranging
it and freshening it with paint, new fabric, pillows, etc.
and then supplementing with pieces that bring the whole room
together. She's cost-conscious and never pressures. And,
she's a delight to work with. Victoria can be reached at
email@example.com or at 510.326.9682. L
Interior Designer Mediator (!) Desperately Needed!
Y'know that TV show where the designer takes husband and
wife with completely opposed tastes and finds solutions they
both can live with? Well, I desperately need that person.
My male significant other, a strong- minded guy who was a
bachelor doing his own interiors for too long, is impossible
to talk to about decor. We are moving into a new house (out
of his bachelor house) and every time I try to make
suggestions he doesn't want to hear them. He also doesn't
want a designer but I am going to get one anyway and bring
them over. So has anyone worked with a designer that can
'mediate' between two people with very, very different
tastes, and who connects well with men who have very
definite points of view? I need someone very smart (because
my s.o. is whip-smart), and someone who is personable with a
great sense of humor (because my s.o. likes to laugh and
joke around). Probably need someone who works by the hour
because we're looking more for general advice on wall
colors, carpets, flooring - not buying expensive furniture
on commission. If they can refer us to good companies for
different kinds of work that helps also. Thanks! DNDH
(Desperately Needing Design Help!)
I recommend Angelisse Karol at
http://www.angelissekarolcolor.com/ She is fabulous with
design and color, which you can see by checking out her
website. My husband and I used her to help us with
selecting colors for painting our house, and I've used her
for deciding on colors and decor for my workplace. She
works with both people's tastes and gives reasons for her
suggestions. I learned a few things about color and design
from our consultations. She also sends you 8x8' samples of
the color you've agreed on. My husband and I couldn't be
happier. Happy Customer
Affordable interior desiger - modern style/look
Looking for an affordable interior decorator with a
modern/contemporary style. Can't spend a lot and looking for
someone to partner with about ideas rather than someone who
just takes over. Need help with 1-2 rooms as well as other
For the past few months I've worked with Melissa Winn.
She's very responsive - very computer savvy (if you need
elevations/sketches) - and very, very efficient. I needed
very specific help and paid her by the hour. I will
definitely use her again in the future. I started with
someone else who was unable to travel to my house and that
just did not work out.
Check out Design Made Simple owned by Daniel Sauro. He's
great, reasonable, and a real partner in the design process.
Try Laura Stetson for your interior design or re-design
project. She is incredibly talented, and really works with
your style. we have more of the wood/textiles kind of house
and i like it non-fussy and not traditional. Laura helped
me re-arrange everything, buy new fabrics for re-upholstery
(she's a great shopper!), and hang pics, reframe pics, pick
paint colors, etc. There wasn't anything she couldn't do!
i've had her back several times to help with the next phase
(ie, i did the couches a few years after i painted). Her
prices are really reasonable, she's super upbeat and won't
make you feel bad about anything in your house or your
style, and is really fun to work with. Please give her a
call, you won't regret it! Laura Stetson: firstname.lastname@example.org
I highly recommend Jill McCoy, who really helped me
transform my difficult to decorate living room into a great
modern-style living space, and also helped me convert an
in-law unit into a funky kids 'suite'. Jill can offer you
as much or as little support as you want, but she helped me
come up with concepts and layouts, pick colors, shop for
furniture and finishing touches, and hang pictures. Her
rates are very reasonable and she was a pleasure to work
with. You can reach her at 415-302-6874. Ronnie
Creative Interior Designer/Decorator in Berkeley
I'm looking for a creative, elegant interior
designer/decorator for a dining room/living room in the
Does anyone have experience with someone they like? I'm
looking for help with some furniture and curtains (don't
want to go w/sue's shades, alcatraz shades etc.) Thank you!
A great interior designer is Laura Martin Bouvard. I have
seen her before and after work and she is marvelous to work
with. She will transform your space to a wonderful retreat
with class and will meet your budget. She is also a color
expert. Her phone number is 510-531-8438. Her email is
Definitely call Jennifer Ward of Flourish Home Services. I
am using her to do a re-design of my bedroom, and she is
very good - creative and FUN to work with. Jenn's phone is
510.725.7477. You can email her at:
email@example.com - and take a look at her
website: www.flourishhomeservices.com David
Interior decorator for home, not a showcase
I am looking for an interior decorator that can help with our
house. I would like someone that can help turn our house into
a home not a showplace. We need help with paint colors and
furniture placement with our existing furniture although I
know we will need a few new pieces. We are also doing all this
on a fairly tight budget. We live on the other side of the
tunnel so I think it would be more efficient to have someone
who is located in the East Bay not SF.
Need a home
For interior decorating I highly recommend Laura Martin
Bovard. She has a great eye for color, is cost-conscious,
and really easy to work with. She understands how to
decorate for real life with kids, and i'm thrilled with
what she's done for us. Contact info:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-531-8438. Also
I've used Maxine Christison and just love how she listens
to what I want, not what she thinks would be best. We had
her help us with a new office plan and I felt she was so
creative and thoughtful, and really understood what we
were after. She's in Lafayette, and can be reached at
(925) 212-2879, or email@example.com. You'll
love how she takes care of you and your home.
I am working with Laura Martin Bovard of LMB Interiors and
would highly recommend her expertise to help you with your
interior decorating needs. Laura is wonderful with color,
fabrics and textures and is amazing with arranging furniture
for maximum use and flow through the house. She is skilled
at accentuating homes with unique accessories that reflect
the owner's personality and can definitely work within your
budget. She cares deeply about her clients and will get to
know them personally which reflects in the final, beautiful
design. Please visit her website at:
http://lmbinteriors.com/ or you can contact her at
510.531.8438 and firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to recommend a wonderful interior decorator: Cecile Lozano.
Cecile helped me transform my living room into a warm, inviting and cozy
room that looks terrific. I wanted all new furniture but Cecile can work with
pieces you have. She has a wonderful sense of color and style and is so easy
to work with. She really knows how to help you figure out what you want and
then to make it happen in a timely and cost effective way. I had a tight budget
and she absolutely stuck to it. I can't say enough good things about her! She
is based in SF but happy to come to the East Bay. I live in Berkeley and I know
she has clients in Orinda as well.
If you would like more information, please email me.
I highly recommend Laura Martin Bovard. She is based in Oakland and is down
to earth, realistic and has amazing vision for a space. She completely
transformed our dark, outdated master bedroom into a light, calm retreat. Every
time I walk in our room it makes me happy. We had a limited budget and Laura
was able to make recommendations within our price range and provide ideas for
adding on down the road when we had a little more money to put into the room.
I can't wait to have her back to work on another room in our house.
I highly recommend Laura Martin Bovard for any decorating
projects you may have. I worked with Laura on my
oversized, strangely configured Master bedroom and with
careful consideration of my budget and ''needs'' she
transformed my bedroom into a beautiful ''retreat'' that I
never want to leave....She and her staff are professional,
timely, dedicated and really have great ''style'' check
out her webpage at www.lmbinteriors.com or call her 531-
I can recommend Victoria Bochat to help you decorate your home. I used her
several years ago and was very pleased. She utilized my existing furniture as
much as possible, suggested moving certain pieces between rooms, and then
helped me pick out all the things that I needed to complete each room. All in
all, it was a fun and relaxed process, as I never felt pressured, never felt that I
was being persuaded to choose things that were outside of my taste zone, and I
ended up with rooms that were warm, comfortable, to my taste, and within my
budget. I've also known Victoria for years on a personal level and she's a
delight. Her email is email@example.com. Her phone is
I recommend Cass Morris to help you because my home is now comfortable
and looks good but not stuffy and I can actually invite anyone over now
instead of just the guys to watch football. My ex-wife took all the good
furniture and at first I didn't care because the boys are hard on things
anyway. But my Mom gave me a gift certificate for a consultation with Cass
and I liked her ideas so much I let her take over, plus besides I don't have the
She picked colors we all liked, watched over the painters, helped Mom pick a
couch, and rearranged the furniture. The boys and I went to a print shop she
recommended and she hung them up for us. It's amazing the difference and I
can't take credit for it but I sure like it all.
www.cassmorris.com Cass Morris Color and Design 524-1726
Our neighbor's architect uses Cass Morris Color and Design. She says she
recommends her to all of her clients because why stress when you can make
it easy on yourself by getting help from an expert.
We initially needed a new color scheme for our home after refinishing the
floors and she did the entire place in 2 hours. Then she made suggestions
we hadn't considered- changing the lighting and rearranging the furniture in
a couple of rooms. We did get rid of some of our things and went to the
places she told us about to get a few new pieces. She recommended a person
to make slipcovers and cushions too.
It worked out really well and it was a very good investment. We get lots of
compliments on our new home and highly recommend Cass Morris.
Her website is cassmorris.com
We give Helena Tiainen a glowing recommendation for her ability to
transform your quarters into a "home-not-a-showplace." In addition
to interior decoration, she is an artist AND an organizer, so she brings
a lovely bundle of skills to the table. We actually hired her as an
organizer, to address our bad habits and extensive and
archeologically-layered clutter, exacerbated by having two small kids
and full-time jobs.
Her key strengths:
1. Great eye: she is creative and inventive, can see lovely
combinations of color, texture and arrangements that "click" in terms
of practical purpose and esthetics. She will look at what you have and
help you maximize the effect of existing pieces, and help you envision
what might complement them.
2. Great ear: she is a fabulous listener, gets to know your priorities,
and helps you establish not just surface order but also living habits
and patterns to help you maintain that order. Maybe that's the key to
a "home-not-a-showplace" -- the beauty and calm have to withstand
the test of kids whirling through and busy tired people keeping it in
3. Flexible, non-judgmental, easy to work with: Having just had a
baby, we didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. After a free initial
phone consultation Helena suggested options for proceeding in the
most optimal and cost-effective ways for us. She never shamed us for
being slobs or too busy or etc. so we could instead focus on doing the
best we could to get our home in order. We both agree that our time
with Helena has been well worth every penny, with immediate returns
on sanity and satisfaction. Best of all is the feeling of finally truly
enjoying our home.
BONUS: since my husband and I wound up working with Helena in
turns, our sessions with her had almost a couples therapy benefit to
them! Her non-judgmental style helped us negotiate sticking points
(we calmly and steadily dealt with closets of memorabilia and piles of
paper that previously felt non-negotiable). Its been a lovely process of
bringing harmony to our home. Good luck with your search for an
interior decorator - we definitely suggest contacting Helena Tiainen,
Interior Redesign and Professional Organizing: HTiainen01(at)aol.com,
Linda and Mike
Recommendations for interior designer?
We are looking to furnish and decorate our living room.
Ideally, we would like someone who works with a mix of
modern and traditional styles. We don't have huge budgets
so working with someone who can creatively provide
inspiration from across a wide range of mid-range (ie.
Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, etc.) to lower-range (ie.
IKEA,etc.) would be great. Thanks in advance!
I recommend Nicole Ryan Design Studio. They have a great
eye and are extremely passionate about Interior Design.
They are easy to work with, and listen to your needs to
deliver an end result that you will be pleased with. I am
more than pleased with my living and dining room. Check
them out and give them a call. I highly recommend them!!
Looking for Interior Design Consulting Services
I am interested in referrals for an interior designer that might
be willing and able to provide consulting services without
necessarily signing on to do a full set of plans and/or purchase
all the furniture and accessories for me.
What I have as an idea in my head is someone who will come and
look at the spaces I want to work on and discuss concepts,
approaches and a look that might fit my own style and the style
of the architecture.
Are there people who might do this kind of assessment and then
either give me a floor plan or ways to approach doing this on my
own over time and then might be available to consult periodically
or make suggestions as to where I might look for
things on my own?
My taste runs from modern to earthy natural and I am open to the
quirky or unusual - I am not interested in traditional or flounces.
Needing some design and spatial ideas in Berkeley
I have the PERFECT person for you. Alycia Freeman (415) 726-
0156. Her company is Fix ReDesign, www.fixredesign.com. Alycia
has a degree in architecture/design, and worked for many years
at a big design firm. She is now a mom, who has a part time
design business. She is a gem! Was written up in the Wall
Street Journal recently (but still, she is super affordable and
very efficient). Working with her has completely changed our
home. We have worked with her on a number of projects, (1)
Choosing color for rooms -- she has an unbelievable sense of
color (2) Redesigning rooms with the existing furniture -- she
has come in and worked with what we have, helping us to make
maximum use of our existing furniture. She's come up with
incredible ideas, easy to implement. (3) Room layout/new
furniture: Alycia has helped us to find the perfect pieces to
complement our existing furniture. She has pointed us to
vendors/sources (and we can either choose to buy ourselves, or
she will help us purchase). She will find ideas at all sorts of
places, from designer furnitures shops to thrift stores.
Alycia's sense of style is just fantastic -- but she also really
listens, and works to help you express yourself in your home. I
could not recommend her more highly. She has done an impeccable
job with my husband and I -- very high quality, but also laid
back, reasonably priced, efficient, and just so very cool!
She'll make you look like you've got it going on!
Liz Koopen is a great interior designer. She works on longer projects or is happy to
lend small decorating advice or even bigger remodeling jobs. She can work with you
on long term planning or immediate needs, and is very realistic about budget/costs.
Impeccable taste and formally trained.
Her cell number is 510-816-1346
I've worked on two separate projects with Jacquelyn McCormick
(ASID) and have consistently been impressed with her creativity,
flexibility, and solid design skills. Selecting and arranging
furniture, paint color, window treatments, textiles -- she does
it all. As a bonus, collaborating with Jackie on a personal level
is a pleasure; she has a great sense of humor and loads of
I recommend Danielle Fox of Danielle Fox Designs. She does
hourly consulting and will do a design review for $500 which
includes a visit, lots of advice and suggestions and a follow-up
report. She will let you do the legwork and just give you
feedback on your ideas, or you can pay her to actually find
furniture and custom solutions. I like doing my own decorating
but I have also found that as a working mother with two young
children, our needs keep changing and I don't have the time to
adapt the home as fast as I need to.
Over the last several years Danielle has assisted in redesigning
my living room, bedroom and kids room. The process has
generally been an initial consultaiton in which we discuss what
I can't stand about the space, how we use the space, and the
feeling I want to create. At that consultaiton she provides
ideas for colors and furniture arrangement and how to make a few
minor changes to create a new look. I then mull over her ideas,
decide which ones I want to pursue, do more research and then
consult with her again. In each instance I purchased some items
through her (she has an amazing rug vendor and knows a lot about
drapes and how to hang them) and some of the items I purchased
She is also a mother herself and understands that a family home
needs to comfortable, functional, and durable! She?s super easy
to work with ? friendly, prompt, and a good communicator. You
can contact her via www.daniellefoxdesign.com or call her at
Busy & stylist
I highly recommend you talk to Benjamin Dhong. He is an
interior designer. Last year he came to my office looked at the
space and gave recommendations/ideas about the office set up,
furniture, decoration, the paint, the blind, etc. He also
recommended a couple of places and websites to buy stuff that
fits my budget. He is the participant in the 2008 and 2009 San
Francisco decorator showcase house. I went to visit the
showcase house myself this year. I was very impressed with his
work. You can check out his website.
www.benjamindhong.com/design His phone# is 415 595-2582.
Have fun with your project..
Interior Designer needed for small Berkeley bungalow
Looking for an interior designer experienced in working with
small spaces. My Berkeley bungalow is approximately 1300 square
feet. Looking for a designer who can maximize space and
efficiency, make furniture and other design recommendations, and
integrate existing art work and objets into a harmonious living
I would like to recommend Nicole Benveniste as a
designer/decorator. She can work with you on a full range of
projects, if it is picking colors, fabrics or redesign
integrating existing furnishings with new ones. She is wonderful
to work with and has an excellent eye. I used her to help me
select some new light fixtures and window coverings to update my
existing space. here is her website- it is under construction but
you can get an idea of some of the projects she has done.
best of luck
Interior designer / decorater needed
I am decorating my living room from scratch and need help. I
am looking to buy a couch, 2 armchairs, and a rug and am
driving myself crazy trying to pick fabric that looks good
together. I need someone who will help me pick fabric and give
me ideas for window treatments, rug and lighting. I also need
help with accessories. I don't have a huge budget and want to
do some of the legwork myself. I mainly need help with the
fabrics to make sure things will look good together. I like
contemporary, comfortable, casual, fun, colorful rooms (not
traditional, too modern, or too neutral).
Try Christine Reid at 559-9710. Great taste, easy to work with, reasonably priced. Her
website is http://www.christinereid.net/
I would highly recommend Nicole Benveniste for your interior job. She is very easy to
work with and has a great sense of color and style. I had bought a sofa and chairs that
I wasn't sure would work with the wall color that I had chosen. She found a great rug,
and it all came together. She's very flexible, and can do any style, traditional or
modern and anything in between. You can check out her website at www.nb-id.com or
give her a call at 510.526.6704.
I would highly recommend Mariko Blakemore. She specializes in
furniture and fabric selection and color coordination in her work
at a very high end interior design shop in San Francisco. She
does side jobs at a reasonable cost. She has given me advice and
she's been excellent. She travels regularly to the East Bay.
She's very easy to get along with and will listen well to your
style, and not impose her own onto you. You can reach her at
You need Jean Flynn Interiors. She is absolutely fantastic.
Very easy to work with, takes into account what you have and what
you want, guides you in shopping, fabric, color choices. Is a
great sounding board for your own ideas and then translating it
into your space. Unbelievable resources in all things. Does
custom window coverings, slipcovers. Lovely person, fun, witty
and cool. Her taste is impeccable. She helped us rearrange our
furniture in our living room (instant hit), new rug, slipcovers
for the sofas, rearrange some of the furniture between other
rooms, vision and shop for the dining room as well as our home
offices. In addition, gave us advice on paint color and it is
sublime and interesting and classic. We had a small room with
tons of windows that we weren't utilizing well and she suggested
turning it into the kids play room. Our kids go in there
everyday now. drawn like a magnet to play and we love huddling in
there with them, too. We are truly delighted with her services.
Glowing recommendation. Our number 510.735.9220. Jean's number
510.524.2907, office on san pablo next door to Cafe Fanny. Check
out her window displays.
I recommend Jennifer Mobley and Bill Bloomfield of Mobley Bloomfield Design
(415.215.6700) They are colleagues of ours and have worked with us on a number of
occasions, producing sophisticated and thoughtful work. Jennifer has a background in
textile design and color theory, and Bill is trained as an architect. Texture, mood, and
contrast are balanced artfully, and the design process with them is always professional
and enjoyable for everyone involved.
I know a wonderful woman, Nicole Hanshaw, who works on interior
design and decorating. She has a keen aethesic sense, excellent
taste, and a true knack for color, material, texture, and
layout of home furnishings. What's best is that she listens to
what you want out of a room or area and knows how to pull it
together using the things you already have...a big plus in my
book! She rearranged my livingroom in a way I never imagined to
make a few pieces go from unnoticed to remarkable, suggested
new paint for some accent walls (my eight year old daughter and
I rolled it out), and helped me pick out a fabric color for a
splurge on curtains. She quickly reorientated my diningroom
furniture and a few mirrors as well so that people now often
compliment and comment on the colors and pieces. She is adept
in picking out things from catalogues or will shop for you as
well. With a warm personality and wonderful visual talent, you
can't go wrong. I believe she charges $80 an hour. She came
to my house an hour each time and the results are wonderful.
You can reach her at (510) 681-6656 or email:
Need Interior Help
Our home needs a decorating transformation to make it look (and
function) better. We are looking for someone affordable who we
can hire--hopefully on an hourly basis--to help re-arrange our
existing furniture, organize our spaces better, and guide us in
purchasing what we need on a budget. Any suggestions?
I am happy to recommend Dolors Moner who works with our
architect, Kathy Rogers (who is also fantastic) at Sogno Design
Group (510-526-2720). We recently completed a major remodel and
were struggling to furnish our new space on a limited budget.
Dolors came to our home, listened carefully and provided us with
great options for placing our existing furniture and gave us some
ideas for future changes. I also appreciated her personality--which
is pleasant but not overbearing. We're very happy with the results!
We recently completed a similar project with Victoria Bochat of
Victoria Bochat Interiors and I really recommend her. She was
wonderful to work with and gave us some great guidance for
decorating and reorganizing our living/dining rooms. She seemed to
really ''get'' us, our lifestyle (two young kids), our budget and
where we needed the most help. My husband and I don't always agree
and she helped us find our middle ground quite easily. She was very
patient with us and always happy to take a look at ideas we brought
to her, too. With her hep we started the transformation of our
rooms and are much happier with how they look and are laid out. I
know we'll use her as a resource in the future. She also does
staging for homes before selling and I think she would be a
terrific person to work with for that as well. She is extremely
reasonable in price and can work with a budget. Victoria Bochat
Interiors styling / design/ color Consultation (510) 326 - 9682
I can highly recommend Meredith Interiors (meredith english) She
has helped us with a house remodel. She has great taste in
furniture, colors and anything else. I really liked working with
her. firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 925-381-8760 leslie
Try Carrie Yoshida of Visual Harmony. She has a great eye, and
best of all, she works with the furniture you already have. She has
a way of re-arranging things to be more pleasing and functional.
She uses the principals of feng shui (sp?), not rigidly, but in a
way that produces very pleasing results. She can be reached at
I highly recommend the interior design services of Sogno Design
Group (sognodesigngroup.com, 510-526-2720). I have a small living
room that I could not manage to make look like a livable space
after many hours of trying and getting opinions from friends and
family. Dolors of Sogno solved the problem! She came in and took
thorough measurements, created 2 different 3D layouts and a
complete supply list from local retailers. My budget was low so she
found options at IKEA, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrell, etc. I opted
to do the shopping and had her come back to advise on how to
decorate the walls and advise on the rug choice I made. The
impossible room is now completely warm and welcoming! Dana
I would highly recommend Victoria Bochat for help with interior
''redesign''. We have used her to help us rearrange and use our
furniture better as well as find low cost ways to upgrade things if
we wanted to. We don't necessarily have top of the line stuff and
she doesn't make you feel bad or ''cheap'' like other interior
decorators do that we have tried to work with. Her rates are also
very reasonable! We have recommended her to several friends who
also have loved working with her. Feel free to contact me with
specific questions or contact her directly at
Looking for Interior Designer
recommendations for a designer who is willing to do just a few rooms and
with existing furniture but recommend improvements and other design
as paint, drapes, some new furniture, etc. Someone who loves to work with
combine traditional with comfortable furniture and design would be ideal.
looking for designer
We can highly recommend Laura Stetson who helped me redo our house top
to bottom. We used mainly stuff we already had, and did a few shopping
trips (which was so helpful to go with someone with a good eye!). She
helped me pick out paint colors, rehang/redecorate using our existing
paintings, photos, etc., and rearrange furniture. She was really good
at keeping us in a really low budget, and really got that because we
have young kids and pets, we didn't want a fussy house, but just one
that looked more pulled together and less haphazard. We had some good
stuff, just didn't know how to use it all in an interesting way. I
tried a few other interior designers from BPN and was
disappointed--they wanted us to take on big projects or get rid of
furniture that wasn't really practical at this point (ie, a small table
for kids art projects that is right in our dining room, but
indispensable for our daily life). One woman kept trying to get me to
move our dining room table into the living room. I imagined myself
schlepping dinner up and down stairs every night? no way! but i
couldn't get her off of that, and she said it was critical to any
redesign, so we parted ways.
Anyway, Laura is a gem, she is super fun to work with, has a positive
attitude, and didn't ever make us feel bad about how junky parts of our
Call Victoria Bochat at Victoria Bochat Interiors for your designing
needs. She specializes in working with your existing furniture, but
will rearrange rooms, change wall colors, help with window treatments,
and add pieces that will complement what you have, creating a very
affordable, comfortable, and beautiful space. Her cell is
Helena Tiainen (510-848-1525) is a terrific local designer.
Check out her website at www.helenatiainenorganizing.com. She's
an artist as well as an interior designer making for a wonderful
combination. She designed our entire condo about 8 months ago;
incorporating pieces we already had. I still marvel at the
beauty and livability of our space. She worked with our
lifestyle and made terrific aesthetic and practical
recommendations. She's was professional, returned calls, punctual
and stayed within our budget. She is a delight to work with.
Best of luck to you.
- Rachael K.
It's my pleasure to recommend Rachelle Goodfriend -- 415.672.3220,
Rachelle works in partnership with her clients to create the design
that they enjoy and can live with comfortably. She's great with colors,
incorporates the furnishings you've already got, and you'll end up with
a place you can be proud of.
Looking for a non-shaming, kind, gentle decorator who can go
through my house, make suggestions, help me develop a plan I can
execute as time/money allow. I've been waiting for it to be
de-cluttered (ha! if only it could de-clutter itself!), but we're
at a point now where we need new window coverings, paint, etc and
can't wait any longer. Not too expensive would also be nice...
For a very kind and non-judgemental home decorator, call Sharon
Diedrichs at (415) 453-9522 or sharonmacfarland at comcast.net.
She's loaded with terrific suggestions to help you decorate.
When she came to our house, she was so easy to work with and we
were thrilled with the results.
This is to recommend Rachelle Goodfriend, a lovely, thoughtful decorator, who can
help you make your house lovely with your own furnishings and decorations, or she
can help you choose new options within your budget.
Check out Rachelle's website at http://www.goodfrienddesigngroup.com/ and give
her a call at 415/672-3220 or email info at goodfrienddesigngroup.com
It's a pleasure to work with Rachelle.
I need help with redecorating my living room. Does anyone have
experience working with Jim Kennedy at High Cotton on Solano
Avenue? I would like to work with a Berkeley business.
I recently completed a kitchen, bathroom, and dining room remodel
and had the good fortune to work with Leslie Scott, an interior
designer who I highly recommend. Leslie has a great eye for
design and function and a great ear for hearing what kind of
living space her client wants to create. She is unbelievably
quick---can whip out a sketch in minutes that helps you visualize
how the space will come together. She helped me sort out
everything from colors, to placement of light switches, to
deciding when the door should swing in or out. She is artistic,
practical, has a great sense of color and a knack for
coordinating the look from one room to the next.
She was also a great advocate in helping me deal with the
architect and contractors. She saved me from some compromises
that would have been less workable and less attractive.
Remodeling was an expensive process, but Leslie's time was the
best value of any of the professionals. You can contact her at
leweb at speakeasy.net
I need help with redecorating my living room and dining room. Has
anyone worked with ''High Cotton'' on Solano Ave.? I like the idea
of working with a local business.
I would highly recommend Peter Rudy of Rockridge Designs. He
runs his business out of his home, the number is (510)654-7475.
He is a great person to work with and has so many ideas! My mom
just had her living room done by him and it turned out
i am looking for an interior designer that can help me with 2 difficult spaces (an
living room/dining room in a 1910 house), child friendly furniture/design, and in the
more modern/not ''matchy-matchy'' direction. any suggestions?
For modern furniture, especially with kids in mind, check out Modernseed.com.
They are an online business located right here in Oakland. They have a small shop
on Piedmont Avenue. The owners are a creative, very friendly, local family with
young kids who design much of what they sell. It is great stuff!
Modern Furninture Fan
Hello, I wholeheartedly recommend Fix Redesign --
Alycia Freeman is amazing. She can do anything - transform a room
in a day before a holiday party... traditional interior design
for a house... staging before a home sale.. color consultation...
shopping and more.
She's got a great eye, and will listen to what you want and need.
Alycia Freeman, 415.726.0156
email: alycia at fixredesign.com
Deb L., a satisfied client
We're moving into a new place and starting from scratch. I'm
looking for someone to come in and consult with me about the
possibilities for each room. A interior designer who has a good
eye for color, room proportion and furniture placement would be
great. We're a family and have a casual style but would like a
place that looks like adults actually live there. Thanks. Rachael
I would highly recommend Helena Tiainen. She brings skills in
both interior design and organization, as well as her long
background as a visual artist (her eye for color is
remarkable). She has really helped us a lot with several rooms
in our house (we have two small kids and a VERY casual style--
she was completely willing to work at whatever level I
wanted)...What I especially liked was that I could remain as
involved as i wanted (or not) and thus learned a lot from her,
which hopefully I can put to use in future projects... Also,
she is easy to work with, very flexible, and reasonably priced.
She can be reached at:
Interior Redesign and Professional Organizing
HTiainen01 at aol.com
I'm very pleased to recommend my interior designer Celine Perrin
or celine at abeautifulplace.com). I worked with her over a period of a year
master bath remodel, which included total changes in walls, windows, and
plumbing, including some work in connection with the associated master
I love the result.
Celine began the process by talking to me about my likes and dislikes,
through photos and pictures from magazines and walking through all of my
property, including the garden. It became clear to Celine that this was
outsiden house, and my love of the garden provided a focal point for the
bring the outside in. Celine did this through the clean design, addition
to bring in light, earthtone colors, and choice of materials (stone and
wood). Celine had suggestions and access to materials I was completely
with, and found materials and fabricators to custom make several key
(two large Shoji doors made with 3M resin and metal bars that serve as
bars and grab bars since I will be aging in this house). I particularly
suggestions that made the bath very personal for me: using my motherms
the touchplate on the medicine cabinet, or a lighted wall niche that now
I was a full partner in all decisions. We had some differences of opinion
but were always able to work these out in a positive way that came up with
result. Celine would provide sketches of both (or more) options, and/or
why one was better, but occasionally even agreed my suggestion was better!
free to contact me via email llaskowski12 at comcast.net
I'm looking for an insightful and resourceful interior designer
for assistance with our new home in Albany. We'd like a
comprehensive approach including new furniture, floor and window
coverings as well as remodeling assistance. Thanks.
This is to recommend a wonderful interior designer, Rachelle
Goodfriend, who works to create beautiful environments all over
the Bay Area.
Rachelle has a great sense of color and beauty. Best of all, she
is committed to working closely with her clients to create the
environment that works for them.
Contact Rachelle at Goodfriend Design Group 415/584-4000
email address is: info at GoodfriendDesignGroup.com
(look for her website in mid-March: www.GoodfriendDesignGroup.com ).
This post is in response to previous requests for an interior
designer that can work on a budget with existing furniture. I
had been looking for someone to help me upgrade from my
assortment of mostly hand-me-down furnishings, but to put
together my rooms as I would have done them if I had any
aesthetic vision or knew where to find the kind of comfortable
and casual pieces that I always admire in other people's homes.
I found the perfect person to help me with that--Victoria Bochat
of Slapdash Interiors in Oakland. She did simple things like
changing the configuration of my living room so that it worked
much better and was much more inviting. She worked with the
furniture that I wanted to keep, but added some great pillows in
gorgeous colors and textures to my existing couch to make it
absolutely beautiful, helped me pick out a rug (from Expo!) that
tied together the room in a way that I would never have
imagined, and generally helped me furnish several rooms in my
house in exactly my taste and within my budget. She shopped not
at the Design Center or other expensive place, but at Pottery
Barn, Expo, and other resources like Restoration Hardware. She
even found some really adorable and affordable table lamps at TJ
Maxx.! She is also a restorer and painter of old furniture and
found a 1930's round farm table for one of my rooms that she
painted in a rusty red for a shabby chic look. It is one of my
favorite things in the room. She's fabulous at supplying
accessories and furniture that suits her client's style (vintage
or modern) and budget. And, to top it off, she's very funny and
fun to be around. She made what I thought would be a difficult
and expensive process, and made it fun and thoroughly enjoyable-
and with fabulous and very reasonable results. I highly
recommend her! Victoria can be reached at (510) 534-1500
(Studio) or (5100 530-9562 (Home Office) or E-Mail at
slapdashnewlife at aol.com.
Looking for an interior designer? We have discovered someone
terrific. We interviewed three interior designers who all came
highly recommended from various sources. Our plan was to just
get a few hours of consultation on colors. After talking with
each of them we chose Michele Maggiora of Radicchio Sisters
Design. Her background as a fine artist made her the best choice.
We had worked with a kitchen designer and received an estimate on
cabinets from Home Depot, but the first thing Michelle did was
to recommend another source that was faster and equal or better
quality at a savings of about $6000. She has a great color sense,
is fun to work with, very hands-on. She doesnmt make her money
off commissions on furniture, etc., but helped us make better use
of what we have. Working with her is very exciting. We are
thrilled to have found her. You can reach her at (510) 910-3277
or (510) 444-4472.
We would like recommendations for a designer to help design and
draft a plan to remodel a grade level basement to a living area
with bath and laundry. We would like someone with creative but
affordable ideas for creating a multiuse space, and be able to
provide plans for use by a contractor (recommendations also
welcome). Structural redesign is not required, so we don't
expect to need an architect's plans.
I love my interior decorator Jeanette Patterson. She did our
I am looking for someone to design our home office including
desks, cabinets and shelving. The office is in what originally
was a bedroom so maximizing space given the layout requires
some thought. I would like to find someone with both office
planning and interior space planning experience. We are not
very interested in traditional design. We are open to custom
work or not. Especially interested in maximizing the space and
using green and/or interesting/unusual materials.
Try Rita Lee, who recently opened up a shop for interior/home design
on Piedmont Avenue (Oakland), called ''Make My Day''. It's intended to
be a one-stop-shop for people remodeling. She does it all, or pieces of
it, whatever you like. It's on Piedmont Ave., toward MacArthur. Rita's a
licensed Architect, AIA, with many years experience. I used to work in an
office she designed and it was stunning. She's a talented hard worker.
If you visit her store, you can get a feel for her design abilities. Knowing
her, I would imagine her rate is very reasonable. She's a pleasant
person to deal with, too. Her store has been very successful since
opening, and I understand she's been busy with design jobs, so it
seems a lot of people are discovering she's very good at what you're
looking for. When you go to her store, notice the photos in all the
frames in the store-----they're a hoot!
This post is in response to previous requests for a interior designer
that can work on a budget with existing furniture. I had been looking
for someone to help me upgrade from my assortment of mostly
hand-me-down furnishings and to put together my rooms as I would have
done them if I had any aesthetic vision or knew where to shop. I
found the perfect person to help me with that--Victoria Bochat of
Slapdash Interiors in Oakland. She did simple things like changing
the configuration of my living room so that it was much more inviting.
She worked with the furniture that I wanted to keep, but added some
great inexpensive touches such as pillows in gorgeous colors and
textures. She suggested pieces from upscale--but affordable--sources
both locally and on-line. She helped me furnish several rooms in my
house in exactly my taste and within my budget. She even found some
adorable high quality table lamps at a discount store. She is also a
restorer and painter of old furniture!
and has a warehouse of unique older pieces to pull from. She
painted a vintage round farm table a great shade of rusty red for a
sort of "shabby chic" look that I love. She's fabulous at supplying
accessories and furniture that suits her client's style (vintage or
modern) and budget. And, to top it off, she's very funny and fun to be
around. I highly recommend her! Victoria can be reached at
510.534.1500 or at slapdashnewlife at aol.com.
We are so pleased with the work that Francis Combes (510-595-6669) has done for us over the years on two of our homes and on many of our friends' homes. He has an incredible eye, is resourceful, charges reasonable rates, and, most importantly, is truly a pleasure to have in our home. He not only is a skilled interior designer, he is also an excellent lighting consultant.
Before working with Francis, I never considered how important lighting was to a room's appeal and comfort. Francis transformed our indoor/outdoor spaces by reengineering the lighting. He properly illuminated our landscaping and trees to make the outside of our first North Berkeley home go from unremarkable and haphazard to majestic. He then consulted with us on the lighting and interior design in our second Berkeley home. He not only provided us with beautiful furnishings, fixtures and improved lighting placement, he helped us bring our electric bill down more than half by sourcing high-end florescent bulbs that he incorporated into our lighting schemes.
We found his sense of color and composition to be very refined (due to a combination of natural talent and schooling). He knows antiques and helped us figure out which to purchase and which to walk away from fast. We were also impressed by his drafting skills. He artfully translated our ideas into architect quality blueprints to keep us on the same page and keep our project moving forward. Our contractors regularly complemented the quality of his plans.
Many of my friends on limited budgets have engaged Francis to redesign various rooms in their homes and businesses (ranging from adding new windows to a living room to redesigning restaurant lighting to turning a underutilized closet into a powder room to kitchen remodels). He has done so much to enhance those spaces without exausting the funds of their owners. I highly recommend Francis Combes. Give him a call and ask him to view his beautiful portfolio. He is located in central Piedmont.
Hi, I was interested to know if anyone has a recommendation for an
interior designer. I am looking for someone who can help me shop for furniture and
choose color. I have a good idea of the style I want, but need help.
I am currently using the most wonderful interior designer,
Kim Smart, and HIGHLY recommend her. She works all over
the Bay Area and is based in Lafayette.
We decided it was time to completely overhaul
our home. We needed to buy new furniture, pick out paint
colors, rearrange furniture - EVERYTHING. We interviewed
several designers who seemed more interested in taking
us "shopping" and marking up the purchases. I was hoping
to find someone willing to work within my budget and not
suggest throwing everything away. I found the right person
Kim has helped me define and refine my style. She has also
helped me realize what was previously intangible in the
final, beautiful outcome of our redone rooms. My
living room is now warm, welcoming and elegant but not too
stuffy. My once rarely used dining room is now a great
playroom for my children. Everyone who walks into to the
playroom loves it, especially the green walls (which I
NEVER would have done without a strong nudge from Kim!)
Kim has also helped me redo my daughters' rooms - creating
a pink girly room for my 4 year old and a preteen room for
my 12 year old. We are currently working on our master
bedroom and Kim is also helping us cosmetically update our
I appreciate Kim's sensibility. She is willing to
work with pieces we own and she is honest when it is
time to upgrade to new pieces. Kim can take you shopping
at the Design Center in San Francisco or she can help you
find furniture and accessories that are moderately priced.
Kim has shown me you can have high style without breaking
the bank. She has also helped me stay focused and avoid
making costly mistakes. Even my husband agrees she is
worth every penny!
We love working with Kim Smart. Her website is
www.smartinteriors.net. Call her at 925-957-9907.
We used Kathy Farley from Art Decor (510-527-3904). She has helped us with both the interior and exterior paint colors of our house as well as some major furniture purchases. She has a great asthetic and is wonderful to work with. We get tons of compliments on our house.
I've seen a bunch of posts for interior designers/decorators but am seeking more specific recommendations. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who can recommend a designer/decorator that has worked on your Berkeley Brown Shingle/craftsman style home.
My friend, Jane Powell might be the person to contact. She does not do hands on, but she offers consultations for Arts and Crafts bungalows. Look her up on the web at: http://www.bungalowkitchens.com/consulting.html
Would like recent recommendations for an interior designer in the Berkeley area. Would like someone who has creative ideas about using already existing furnishings, new pieces, antiques, flea-market finds, etc. to help redo a number of rooms for a hip, modern but comfortable home for family with 2 kids.
Kim Walsh is a delightful Interior Designer, full of energy and creative ideas. She's recently moved to the Oakland area. Her number is (510) 339-1008, e-mail is kwalsh AT decoratingden.com
We have worked very successfully with Alycia Freeman (http://fixredesign.com). She is a trained professional designer and had been working for years doing staging for big commercial and retail spaces. She is a mommy now, so she has opened her own business and is available for home projects (in other words, she is really really high quality for this kind of project). And amazingly, she is affordable!
Alycia will work on redesign with your existing furniture, or will go all the way to helping you create (and purchase) an entire new look. There are so many great things to say about her but probably top four are (1) She has a really exceptional eye for "spacial" issues: how to arrange furniture, art, linens, etc in the space you have in the very best way. (2) a fantastic sense of color, and texture -- found interesting materials and tones for our space (3) a really good grasp of all the local resources for furniture, art, fabric, etc, if you want to buy some new things (4) and last but not least, she LISTENS to you. She helps you to create what you want, rather than pushing a particular "look" on you (e.g. you don't need to have a Pottery Barn living room if you don't want one -- :) )
I highly recommend her. Visit her website to see her work!!
I'm looking for an interior decorator that is in the Lamorinda area that is reasonably priced. Jessica
Does anyone have a recent experience with an interior designer (especially one willing to work in a house for kids!) in the lamorinda area?
I would highly recommend Alice Jordan for interior design and re-design. Utilizing what we already had, Alice transformed our home with unique and creative placement of our furnishings, lighting, artwork, and accessories. Our rooms were truly refreshed with a new look of warmth, beauty and comfort - without purchasing anything new and all in one day (actually in a matter of hours!). We recently purchased a vacation rental home and had to furnish it top-to-bottom in just a few months. Alice took charge and developed a theme in consultation with us, did the majority of shopping/browsing, advised us in regards to major purchases and the "feel" of each room, etc. The result was nothing short of miraculous and on a very low budget! Her rates are quite reasonable. She is very comfortable working in homes with children and has very creative ideas for managing chaos and creating kid-friendly environments that still feel special. She can be reached at 415/609-7725. Good luck!
I'd like to recommend the interior designer who is helping me decorate my home. Her name is Ingrid Ballmann. Ingrid has 10 years of experience in the U.S. and France. She is professional and friendly with a great sense of style. Ingrid listened to my ideas and feelings about my home and then provided design choices and options that enhanced my original ideas. I received just the right amount of advice. All of my designs have to consider an active pre-schooler and a dog and Ingrid has no problem with creating a casual, and stylish, child friendly interior. Feel free to contact me via email.
Her contact information:
designforspaces AT comcast.net
To the person requesting an Interior Designer in the Lamorinda area, I would strongly recommend Laura Kastigar at 925-284-2759. Laura is routinely used by realtors to stage homes for sale. She is efficient, practical, and works with many budgets. In just 2 hours of consultation, she walked through my house observing our style and furnishings, and picked out paint colors that would work in each room of my house. They all complemented each other, and make it look like a well-designed plan instead of three years worth of individual projects.
I used a great interior decorator- Annette Logan from Recreate Interiors. She re-did an office into a nursery for my baby and it came out so beautiful that they are featuring it in a Sunset book on Nurseries! She tries to use a lot of what you all ready have to minimize the cost. She's really nice, talented and great to work with! I'm using her to recreate my living room now! Her number is 828-4321.
Excellence By Design is a wonderful design shop. You can see some of their work at www.phyllisbleecker.com. Call Phyllis Bleecker at 925-248-0267. She's talented, warm, reassuring and just about the easiest person to work with. She's my mother-in-law but I can't say enough about how great she is. I have recommended her to friends, clients and all have been thrilled. She has also helped us with our house and suggested things that I never would have done but am so happy we did. Give her a call!
We are in the process of adding an addition to our home, and we are looking for recommendations of interior designers who can help us pick out colors, fabrics and fixtures for a family room, bathroom and children's bedroom. Unfortunately, we don't have a huge budget for this project, but certainly have put away some money for decorating. Any recommendations would be greatly apprecaited. Please email me, Dana
I recently worked with a local designer, Rachel Ostroy, and had a great experience. I wanted someone to help us create a more polished look in our house (given we also have two small kids) but not spend a lot of money doing it. She went room to room with me, asking good questions that helped us get clear how best to use the spaces. I came away with a prioritized list of very practical suggestions, so when I have time here and there to work on the house, I have a cohesive master plan to follow. This has been extremely helpful and I have been thrilled with the results. I feel like I have always had the kind of house where there are cool things around, but nothing is lpulled togethern. She consulted on our furniture, window coverings, light fixtures, color and placement of art/other decorative pieces. She was able to give me specific resources for finding these things in a range of prices. Now I feel like I am on the road to having a well designed home. I think consulting !
with Rachel on a casual hourly basis is an affordable way to have your space professionally decorated. I think she is willing to also do the full-service decorator thing, too (shopping, etc). Although I didnmt use her for any remodeling, I have seen some of her major remodel projects (new kitchen, bathroom, bedroom additions, landscape, etc.) and thought her design ideas were creative and practical. I will definitely use her services in the future for any remodel or redecorating projects. Her info is: Rachel Ostroy, at 510-367-9406.
I have checked the archives, but see no recent postings for
what we are looking for: someone who can help us
furnish/decorate our small bungalow. We have been living in
this house for some time, but not comfortably. We tend to
spend most of our time in our tiny kitchen, mostly because
the other rooms are not inviting. Given our limited budget,
we are hoping to find someone who could help create a
vision which we would then execute ourselves. Having
checked the sites of some recommended interior decorators,
I think we are looking for something else. The sort of
elegance and polish I associate with ''decorated'' spaces
is not for us. Eclectic, funky, and comfortable is what we
Not at home in house
I am responding to an add placed in the last newsletter about the cottage and someone needing ideas to "funk it up" and make it a comfortable living space. Check out Costanoa Tent Designers Series from Joie De Vivre. We did the 8Letters Vintage Tent. I can also send you pics. I can give great ideas and organize it simply so you can do it yourself if necessary. Your place will be original, comfortable/homey, and vibrant.
We are a French/Belgian family who would like to recommend a wonderful
interior designer and color consultant, Jennifer Thompson, of
J.Thompson Design. We bought a house in the Oakland Hills that was
built after the fire; it had interesting architecture, but very
unsatisfactory details, and was cold and unimaginative. Jennifer
helped us transform it into a colorful, stylish, unique home, which
reflects our personalites and gives us a lot of pleasure. We had no
idea how to do home renovation in America, and she handled the whole
job for us q found the contractor and the artisans who created
unique details for us, and oversaw the job, as we were often in
Europe. Not only that, her rates are very reasonable, and we enjoyed
working with her. Call her at 510 898 1171 or email at
jthompsondesign AT comcast.net.
Michele Maggiroa (510-444-4472 or 510-260-4857)is a artist/designer/colorist that I used from this newsletter and I wanted to second (or third) the recommendation that she is fantastic. She chose outstanding colors for my interior and helped me buy/place existing furniture and objects in my house that fit in and just look right. She is very comfortable to with and extremely reasonably priced for her services.
If you need a fresh color palette for your home, improved
use of space, reorganization, and the help with bringing it
all together... I recommend Michele Maggiora of Radicchio
Sisters Design. Besides her abilities as an artist/designer,
I 'm enjoying this process with her. It's like having a good
friend who happens to be a designer with an excellent
artist's eye. She is willing to do as much or as little as I
need including interior painting, layout, personal
Michele Maggiora of Radicchio Sisters Design
(510) 444-4472 cell (510) 910-3277
I need help decorating my living room. I know what I want
to do regarding the layout and the general feel of the
room, but need help with color selection, fabrics, and
purchasing items. The last posting regarding interior
design is well over a year old, so I was hoping someone had
some fresh references.
We are in Walnut Creek and have a limited budget q any help
I highly recommend Bob Rodgers in Oakland (654-6150). He's
been an interior designer for 30 years and use to own his
own furniture store as well. He's especially good with use
of space (gave us great recommendations for this large
atrium that was just a waste of space), implementation of
materials (everything...stone,marble, slate, etc), and
color. I liked that he wasn't old fashioned and understood
our needs... had met a lot of designers who say they can do
what you want, but you end up getting only what they are
good at, while I felt that working with Bob you could be
eclectic, modern, sophisticated, etc. Goodluck,
For color consultation, interior design, or re-design using your own stuff, I'd
like to recommend Jennifer Thompson, of jthompsondesign at comcast.net.
Jennifer moved into my rental house in Berkeley after 10 years in West Marin
-- some of you may have visited her store in Inverness Park, called
Thompson Design. She has totally transformed my sweet but rather plain
little house into a really vibrant, charming space, and is looking for work
doing more of the same. Her ideas are imaginative without being over the
top, her rates are reasonable, and she's very easy to work with. References
and pictures available. Phone 510 898 1171
For the person who is looking for an interior designer, I
highly recommend Anne Norton-Dingwall at AND Interior
Design Studio in Kensington. She listened to what we
wanted, channeled us, and did an amazing job transforming
our living and family rooms as well as our bath. She also
is a super person. You can view her work online at
www.anddesigns.com http://www.anddesigns.com. Or call her
Awhile back, someone asked about help with interior design.
I would like to recommend Tre Curran and her partner Tracy.
Their name is Interior Transformations
info AT trecurran.com
When I mentioned Interior Transformation, my friends thought it
was therapy. Actually, it felt incredibly therapeutic and exciting to
get ideas about redesigning the home with what existed.
They can also help you purchase new items.
I live in a tiny cottage and need some help figuring out best to
maximize the space. Does anyone know of a relatively low-cost
interior decorating consultant who, most of all, might be able
to suggest places to actually buy the few pieces of furniture I
have in mind? I don't necessarily need a design professional,
just someone with a good eye who also knows how to shop! (Think
English Country or Minimalist styles.)
Dreaming of Expansiveness!
I want to highly recommend the interior decorating
consultants that I recently used for a major home
renovation. The Radicchio Sisters is a team of two
women--Michele Maggiora and Terese Allara--who provide full
service interior design, home decoration, and painting. They
did fantastic work for me, and it was a pleasure to work
with them. Both women are artists and have a wonderful
sense of design and color. They quickly ascertained my
tastes and provided consistently good advice on decisions
large and small. While they were very sensitive to my
preferences, they encouraged me to consider options I never
would have come to on my own that I ended-up being very
happy with. They are very reliable and responsible. They
can be reached at: 510-444-4472.
I have looked at the previous recommendations regarding
interior designers and DVA which was highly recommended by
many is no longer accepting new clients. I have two boys
and want to work with someone who is positive about an
active, casual family.
To the person with two boys looking for a designer who is
positive about an active, casual family: I highly recommend
the energetic, upbeat young woman who recently helped me
decorate my house with wonderful interior colors and other
ideas. Recently moved from Colorado, she's seeking to build
her career here in the Bay Area. She's creative, reliable,
meticulous, great fun to work with, and will negotiate her
fee! (Also, she's great with kids and has worked as a
nanny.) Her name is Natalie Sanfilippo and her cell phone
I recently worked with 2 great designers, Tracy Klem and Tre Curran. In
fact, they just
finished up transforming my living room to a great, comfortable, and yet
home today! And they also set up a fun play room for my 1 year old
have 4 years old kids themselves, so they know exactly how to make a
home. They are the best I have ever worked with. They also shop around
for me on few
furnitures and accessories with an incredible prices. They helped me to
save money by
using existing furnitures and items, and transform them into a haven.The
510-620-0814 (Tracy Klem), or check out their web site
Feel free to write me if you have any further question.
We just bought an old craftsman bungalow in
Berkeley. We are redoing all the walls, and plan to make minor
structural changes. Later we are going to completely redo the
bathroom, kitchen, attic and ground floor (we're lifting),
but for now I'm just looking for someone who can advise
on minor structural changes (i.e. adding closets, putting
in a half bath) and paint color, furniture layout, window
treatment etc. Someone who knows a lot about craftsmans
would be a plus, but is not absolutely necessary.
We recently bought a house that we would like to slowly
change to fit our vision of our home. Nothing major quite
yet- Ide like to start with repainting/wallpapering
followed by redoing the floors, getting window treatments,
the like. I know a good room when I see one, but dont
neccessarily know how to get there. I dont think I can
afford a designer to do it all for me but Ide like help in
figuring out my vision. That way Ill have each room figured
out before I implement each piece. This is specially
important to me since we will be spacing out the changes
over a year or more...(I dont want to do the work piecemeal
and find out that the pieces dont gel with each other to
form a cohesive big picture that I like...)Do Interior
designers offer such a thing? Any idea what it would cost?
Any reccomendations? I checked the archives have some
reccos that are a couple years old, but nothing recent.
Thanks in advance,
I'm looking for an interior decorator of sorts to help me furnish
a family room and living room for my home after a remodel. I do
not want someone who will turn my home into a showcase as I have
a 3 1/2 year old and a 6 month old. I have a pretty good idea of
what I'm looking for but do not have the time (or the desire) to
shop for furniture. I need someone who is willing to suggest
furniture which is functional and nice but not
necessarily the most expensive. Does anyone know of someone who
is either an interior decorator by trade and willing to decorate
a family home or someone with a good decorating eye who has done
this sort of thing in the past? I have seen previous
recommendations on the site but they seem to be outdated and not
exactly what I'm needing. Thanks.
To the person looking to furnish a family room, etc, I
would highly recommend Leslie C. Bahr. I am an
architectural photographer, so know a lot of designers.
Leslie is just a great person to work with, has a good
eye and has lots of experience with projects small thru
large. Her number is 415.664.1678.
Sally Freedman (510) 547-2422 recently did some work for
me. I liked her a lot. She is down to earth and did a very
good job at listening to what my husband and I wanted. she
was also imaginative and worked within our budget. Finally,
Sally had a good sense of humor whch was important to me as
I found the whole business stressful. Feel free to e-mail
me if you want more details.
I can't say enough about Dianna V Interior Design. She
will work with you and your ideas. Her office is in SF
(415) 701-8893. She lives in the east bay and has a number
of clients there.
We used the services of Carolyn Mason when we bought our
house. She's an independent contractor, very professional,
and really helped us decide what colors worked for us. She
can be reached at 415/929-1783.
For the person looking for an Interior Decorator -- I
highly recommend my mom, Sylvia Carter. She is in semi-
retirement, but she has an INCREDIBLE eye for buying
furniture and she recently did my living room. We also
wanted something kid-friendly, low-maintenance, and not
from a pricey show room. She did a great job; we love our
living room, it is weathering kids and 4 pets well, and we
feel like it was a steal. She is also very good at picking
paint colors, rugs, hanging pictures, etc. Her style is
very pottery barn-esk (which she has been doing since
before pottery barn, I just don't know how else to describe
it -- casual country or french country or western, rather
than someone with a more modern/contemporary edge.) We get
loads of compliments. If you'd like me to email you
pictures of my living room I'd be happy to. To be honest, I
have no idea what the work she's done for other people
looks like, but she did have something in a Sunset interior
design book years ago. Her phone number is 925-254-1992.
I would like to recommend my sister, Mary Watson for any
interior decorating needs. Her number is 925.980.9108.
She does everything from faux finishing, color
consulations, projecter stenciling, to full room and home
make-overs. She works primarily in the East Bay but will
travel a little further.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
To those looking for an interior designer a couple of
newsletters back, I would highly reccommend Laura
Eichel, who does exactly those kinds of jobs described,
and consults on an hourly basis. She has excellent
taste, tons of ideas, and is extremely fun to work with.
Contact her at: lceichel AT earthlink.net
For the two folks looking for an Interior designer, I
recommend Tre Curran of Interior Transformations in El
Cerrito. She is not only talented, but she is wonderful to
work with. She can work with current belongings and make
them look fresh and exciting. She also knows where to go
to find things, whether it be furniture or home
accessories. And she is very reasonable.
Liz Hirsch of CanDo Redo is fantastic and very creative.
From working with what you have to a total
redo. lizhirsch AT CanDoReDoSF.com or 415 648 4040
we used julia perkins for both decorating and home
organization and were really pleased -- she went on one
shopping trip with me (ikea), purchased things on my behalf
on several other trips, gave great advice on practical yet
good-looking furniture and window coverings (as well as how
to better use the items we already owned), took into
account our situation as a family with young children (she
has young children herself), and was great to work with --
she does not impose her opinions but gently suggests what
she thinks would work well and look good. you can contact
her at juliaperk AT earthlink.net.
I am working with a wonderful interior designer; I
recommend her highly. She is helping me with a major
kitchen and bath remodel, plus adding hall closets and
other storage solutions. Our house is a 1916 craftsman
bungalow, and she is trying to work in a consistent style,
while being senstive to our (limited) budget! She has
brilliant ideas and is a joy to work with. You can reach
Annelore Heerdt at 415-381-9111 (she lives in Marin but
will travel anywhere).
My mother in law, Phyllis bleecker, is the owner of
excellence by design. she has over 15 years experience. she
works on all kinds of projects from whole houses, to small
spaces, to commercial projects. she is a wonderful person,
warm, friendly and competent. you really can't go wrong
with her. check out her website at www.phyllisbleecker.com
for some examples of work she's done. you can call her at
I'm looking for a recommendation for an interior designer
that specializes in a ''traditional'' design. Anyone?
For the person who was looking for an interior designer.
I would like to recommend my interior designer- Her name is
Andrea Hawkins of The Hawkins Design Group. She is
currently working on my place and I love her work. On her
very first to my home, she made recommendations that were
exactly what I needed to pull my home together! She asked
questions so that she could get to know my style and life
style and then suggested furniture and designs that would
fit my needs.
What I really like about Andrea is that she will work with
your existing furniture/art/special pieces, etc. to
complete the look you want to achieve in your home. Or she
can start from scratch to give you a complete overhaul.
You can check out Andrea's website at: www.hawkinsdesign.com
or call her (510) 654-4295.
I highly recommend Sally Power (841-4414) for any interior
design assistance you may need. Sally has a great sense of
style and color. She consulted with us on color(s) for
about 8 rooms and helped with some window treatment ideas.
She is great to work with - reliable, friendly, and
I would like to find a decorator who would be compatible
with my informal taste (kind of zen, ethnic)and limited
budget, who would be fun to work with, in helping me
turn kids-away-at-college bedrooms into guest
room/meditation/massage rooms. I'd like to locate
someone who has access to good quality but reasonably
priced painters, carpeting, furnishings. Know of
Call Anne Norton-Dingwall at 510.526.4579 in
Kensington. If anyone can help, she can. Great taste,
and she just left a large firm to start her own studio.
We had a great decorator who helped us find informal but fun furniture. She found
quite a bit
of Asian / African type stuff. She was also a very good listener versus some of the
tried. Her rates were fairly reasonable compared to other decorators as well. She was
creative in finding us a wide range of products. For example, we went to some Asian
places and had them build some furniture from the older pieces. In one case we took
antique door and made a nice behind the sofa table. Her name is Jana Anderson at
925-280-6709 or jana at janassociates.com.
Call Anne Norton-Dingwall at 510.526.4579 in
Kensington. If anyone can help, she can. Great taste,
and she just left a large firm to start her own studio.
Recently, a list member recommended interior decorator Sally Freedman. Does
anyone have additional recommendations for interior designers? I'm looking
for someone who is willing to shop both retail and the design centers and
who is willing to work with a *family* with functional as well as aesthetic
needs, as opposed to people who are trying to create a show house. Thanks
so much for your recommendations!
I would like to recommend DVA Interior Design Group for any who are looking
for an interior designer/decorator. The designers at DVA work with you in
your budget instead of making you feel like you have no taste. Contact Rhea
Butler at (510) 251-9382 or DVARhea AT aol.com.
I have a great one for you. DVA Interior Design Group. They are wonderful. I
believe there are three women in their group and I have worked with two of
Rhea Butler and Jan Barzottini. Having had no exposure to decorators, I didn't
know what to expect but these women are real people (and real parents with
children). They listened to our lifestyle and our wants and needs. They looked
at our beloved belongings and took pictures. They even borrowed pillowcases to
make sure the shade was just right when they picked out a color. They have
of experience in the field but they have just formed their group so they are
eager to please. Their prices are very reasonable and they go the extra
give you more than you asked for. And the difference the right color could
So I guess I am highly - no very highly - recommending DVA Interior Design
Group. Their phone number is (510) 251-9382. Please tell them I recommended you
and feel free to call me if you have any questions.
Try Sally Power of Sally Power Interiors, 841-4414 in Berkeley. She will
listen to you and is responsive to your needs and desires. She has
wonderful ideas and a great sense of color and design. She has helped
people with big budgets and big projects, as well as those with more
modest means. And she will respect your budget.
Can anyone recommend an interior decorator that can do a consultation. I
not mind giving someone a few hundred dollars to spend a few hours in my
and recommend where to put what and what color to paint or kinds/colors
furniture to buy. I know most are expensive and are whole service but I
afford that but I do want a nice house. I recognize a nicely done job but
the life of me, I cant produce it myself. Any ideas? Maybe students or
that do it on the side as a hobby? My number during the day is
anyone wants to pass this one. Thanks much, Nilou
I have worked with an interior designer: Sally Freedman at (510)
She works out of her home. I think if you told her your budget and what
are hoping for she'll let you know if she can do it. She's got wonderful
taste, very professional, and nice to deal with. Pat
I would like to recommend DVA Interior Design Group. DVA consists of
talented young designers who are just starting to break out on their own.
Each currently works for a commercial design firm but they are starting a
group that specializes in both residential and commercial design and
planning. They are easy and fun to work with. Because they are trying
build up their clientele, no job is too small and their rates are very
reasonable. You can contact them at (510) 251-9382
I had a bad experience with a designer. We wanted advice about
color (paint), lighting, curtains/shades, and rugs. She talked
on and on about her other clients and what worked for them--for
2 hours. After she left I thought ''what did I get out of that 2
hours?--nothing.'' She pointed me to a couple of places to shop,
that's what I got. My question is: how should I ''interview'' the
designer so that I can actually benefit from my (nearly) $200! I
am willing to have a continuing relationship with an effective
designer but I really cannot afford to waste my money like I did
with this particular designer. Please send any suggestions for
directing the meeting, and also recommendations for designers
that hear me and will work with me. And not waste time talking
about stuff that is *completely* irrelevant! Also, can you let
me know their rates? We have a '20s simple 2/1 bungalow.
I am an interior decorator in Montclair, and first of all, I
would like to say that I am sorry to hear that you had a
dissatisfactory experience with your previous interior
decorator/designer. You shouldn't have to control the flow if
you have a good decorator/designer, especially if there are
defined things you want to accomplish. They should control the
flow and make sure that you are getting what you want. They
should have asked enough questions in the beginning to make sure
that you ARE getting what you needed.
I typically offer a complimentary consultation where we get to
know one another, and I use this as an opportunity to listen to
what you are looking for, how your spaces are used, who uses
them, what do you want your window coverings to accomplish (eg
privacy, decoration, sun control, insulation), etc.
After we have discussed what you are looking to accomplish, then
we decide if we feel like we can work together--no money has
changed hands yet. I think it is important that we both feel
like it could be a mutually beneficial relationship before we
get too far down the road. If you purchase product from me--
window treatments, area rugs, accessories, furniture--I do not
charge an hourly design fee--you get my design services for
free. My prices are comparable to Thomasville/Ethan Allen, but
I have a much larger selection from over 130 suppliers. If you
would like to use me in a more consultative role where there is
no product purchase, I do charge an hourly rate that varied
depending on the service.
Good luck in your quest!
I think your expectations were not realistic. One person could only give you an
overview of 4 different topics in 2 hours. A lighting designer would need 1-2 hours
to discuss styles, brands, placement, type of bulbs. A color consultant would need
2 hours to build a palette of colors. A window specialist would take 1-2 hours
to show you samples of fabric, styles of shades and curtains. drapery hardware etc.
It sounds like you were not focused on any direction to start with. Start by looking
online to get some ideas of all the stuff that's out there
First of all most designers and consultants have websites where you can read what
people have said about them
and they'd give you client phone numbers if you asked. Also from the website you
can get an idea of their experience and areas of expertise.
Next you should talk to them on the phone before you hire them, asking whatever
questions you want about their style, and also letting them know you had a problem
in the past, so it doesn't happen again.
Third: if a designer does not seem to be listening to you, perhaps you are not
speaking up. Perhaps she was sounding you out on ideas she had used before, but
not getting any reaction or response from you.
You also could let the designer know if you want to be told exactly what to do,
which maybe you do.
Last, you might have expected too much in 2 hours.
this page was last updated: Nov 26, 2014
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network