Furniture Shopping 101: 7 Tips to Make Furniture Shopping Simple

Furniture Shopping 101: 7 Tips to Make Furniture Shopping Simple

For some of us shopping seems exciting, for others it seems daunting. Whatever your interests, at the end of the day it can get complicated and tiresome. Want to know how to get the shopping done without losing your mind or motivation? Keep Reading. We’ve got all the tips for you.

Furniture Shopping 101

Make a plan

Most popular furniture stores including Ikea have an online room planning tool. I encourage you to utalitize them. Even if you don’t go to that store, having a room layout idea is still useful. Another option is to use the blue painters tape to help you visualize how the item will fit in the room. Size and scale is everything. You don’t want to end up with a sofa that is too small in a large family room. Or a too big table in a small dining room.


Do some research

Know what you are looking for. Know what style and type of furniture you want. If you like traditional you shouldn’t be shopping in West Elm. Find the places that carry the type of furniture you like. This will save you time and energy.


Make a budget

Use a budget planner or simply write out your needs and what you are willing to spend on each item. You want to avoid impulse buying and this will keep you in line.

Furniture Shopping 101

Check for fit

Know what size and shape will fit in your home. Measure twice, purchase once, avoid restocking/ return fees and getting stuck with something that does work. You also need to make sure you will actually be able to fit the piece through the door and elevator.


Don’t buy sets!

You want your furniture to compliment each other and not be too matchy-matchy. Furniture stores love to sell those sets where you get a sofa, loveseat, chair, 2 matching end tables and a lamp. Please skip this deal. It is the fastest way to having furniture that does not fit and a dated looking room out of an old catalog. Don’t fall into this trap! Go for a balanced look.


Get Samples

Whether you are buying furniture online or in the store most places offer fabric samples. There is nothing worse than buy a great chair or sofa only to come home and it clashes with everything else in the room.


With these basic tips, you will be shopping like a pro. If furniture shopping still feels too overwhelming. No worries, Apt. 5 Interiors has got you covered. From start to finish we offer an array of design services to suit your needs and budget. This includes a Consultation, E-Design Package or a Full-Service Option. Each package can be customized to your specific project. Get in touch with us! We want to help you find your best interior design solution today!


My Favorite Designer Paint Colors!

My Favorite Designer Paint Colors!

My work as an interior designer is all about color. I fall in love with new colors, schemes, and designs every day; however, I still have my top picks from each color on the color wheel that I just can’t let go. My favorite designer paint colors have changed but these are my current favs!

Apt. 5 Interiors Favorite Designer Paint Colors



Considered the most popular color in the bunch and is a go-to color for many designers. They range from ocean shades, jewel tones, and deep moody colors.  Perfect color for any room from offices to bedrooms blue is versatile.


Beacon Grey BM 2128-60

Patriot Blue BM 2064-20

Constellation Blue Behr T18-18

Naval SW 6244



If you want some positive energy in a room, try orange. It is energetic, vibrant, friendly and playful. Not sold on true orange? You are not alone because it is my least favorite shade. Remember there rich russet shades, soft peach, and pinky-red corals.


Intimate White SW 6322

Coral Reef SW 6606

Civara  Behr T18-02 

Deep Poinsettia BM 2091-30



This verdant hue comes in so many shades and has many moods. Just like in nature, green plays well with other greens, neutrals, and earth tones.


Wabi-Sabi Behr T18-10

Halcyon Green SW 6213

Isle of Pines SW 6461

Cascades SW 7623



This is the color of royalty. Invoking soft and sweet, cool and creative, or majestic and lux. Worried it may take over a room? This color works well with peacock, classic navy, creams, and mint green.


Violet Pearl BM 1415

Exclusive Plum SW 6263

Exotic Fuchsia BM 2074-50

Mature Grape SW 6286

Apt. 5 Interiors Favorite Designer Paint Colors


The most optimistic shade of all. It does not take much to be noticed, so you can use it sparingly or all over. They tend to change depending on their surroundings so matching with furniture and lighting should be done carefully.


Honey Moth Behr 350E-2

Calla Lily BM 283

Coastal Path BM AF-380

Eye Catching SW 6914



No color in the spectrum demands our attention like this fiery hue. It is full of drama and is very emotional. Think passion, love, and romance. You can try a bold ruby red or for a more subtle shade there is the more brownish brick red


Demure SW 6295

Tender Pink BM 2090-50

Caliente BM AF-290

Fine Wine SW 6307



These colors are all about flexibility. They pair easily with most colors on the spectrum. They can create a high contrast black and white or they can be dark and moody. You can punch them up with colorful/rich accent tones. The possibilities are endless.


Night Shade BM 2116-10

Agreeable Gray SW 7029

Repose Gray SW 7015

Graylac Behr T18-03



I know what your thinking, “Is white even a color?” Yes, white is a color and even though it is considered more of a non-color, it comes in thousands of shades. Choosing the right white is key because it is much more than a background shade. They have various tints that can read incorrectly when paired with other colors.


Alabaster SW 7008

Silky White Behr PPU12

Decorator’s White BM OC-149

Eider White  SW 7014



Black can be a polarizing color when it comes to interiors. For some, it may be too dark or moody. I disagree. I adore a black interior. There is a reason women own a little black dress, it is a classic color that never goes out of style. In feng shui the color back is connected to the element of water, evoking power, mystery, and calm. Black also adds the right amount of drama in any space.


Black Beauty BM 2128-10

Tricorn Black SW 6990

Black Suede Behr S-H-790

Caviar SW 6990


What are your favorite designer paint colors from my list? Are you ready to try something new?

Choosing the Perfect Paint Color Palette with your Partner

Choosing the Perfect Paint Color Palette with your Partner

It can be challenging to get any two people to agree on anything. Politics, Beyonce, the environment; You name it and you will often get two very distinct perspectives. This can get even tougher when it comes to spouses. It’s so much more complicated than “I like pink and he likes blue”. Merging two complete adult lives is just a tricky matter. Each individual has their own style, personality, baggage (literally and figuratively), and life experiences they bring to the table. It is possible for two individuals with wildly different styles to live happily under the same roof. I have created these spaces for clients successfully despite the decor bumps we have hit along the way.

Choosing the Perfect Paint Color Palette with your Partner

I know what you are thinking…

“How am I supposed to respect someone’s taste who thinks an old college recliner is okay in the formal living room?”

“This is someone who can’t even coordinate their own day without my help. Why should I trust their design ideas?”

All those points about your partner may be valid (and a bit shady)  but they matter. A home is where not only the heart is, but a place that is your refuge. You should feel safe, comfortable, and happy. Right? Here is my proven process to get you and your partner to choose a paint color without it turning into an episode of Maury. I’ve also included a downloadable checklist to help you out.


1. Listen

Yes I said listen. Whether you want to hear it or not. There are two voices in the room and each person wants to be heard. Sometimes just acknowledging and “respecting” someone else’s thoughts can go a long way.

2. Share ideas

Each of you should create a pinterest board with images that have wall colors you like. Only 5-10 images are needed (not 400). Then, choose 3 images/colors you like most and why you think it should work. You may find you have surprisingly similar taste or find some middle ground.

3. Find inspiration in the bedroom closet

Yes, the closet. What colors do each of you like to see yourself in? Make a list. Keep it short 2-3 max. Now compare. What colors would make a great backdrop to your wardrobe/ lifestyle?

4. Take a field trip to the paint store

Each of you should select 2-3 colors that you like. Get samples. Paint swatches. Choose your top two paint colors.

5. Make it work.

Now that you have your top 2 colors, see how they work with your furniture/ decor. Choose the one that works best.


See! That was easy right? Even if you and your partner agree on colors/decor this exercise is still very helpful in making proper design decisions. It might take a bit of work but ultimately you both can create a home that everyone one loves.

Here is an example of a color palette I created for some of my clients!

Choosing the Perfect Paint Color Palette with your Partner


I hope you found this helpful. Just follow this simple checklist to guide you through the process. Remember to have fun and listen to each other. And if all else fails. Call a pro!


Color Basics: How to Choose the Right Color for You

Color Basics: How to Choose the Right Color for You

It can be so intimidating to commit to a paint color for your entire space. So much can go wrong! With endless possibilities and so many options for your home, finding the right color for you can be difficult. Color picking can get complicated quickly, so it truly helps to know and understand basic color principles. They are the foundation of a professional designer’s arsenal. This guide is the designer’s secrets to getting the job done all while having fun!

Paint Color Basics


The Color Wheel is a visual representation of the colors and all their hues. It can also be a helpful tool when trying to create a color theme for you home. I know you may be asking yourself, does this look familiar? Didn’t we learn this in elementary school art class? Well, yes. Consider this a bit of a refresher.

Paint Color Basics

How does it work?

  1.  Primary colors – red, blue and yellow, though a combination all other colors are derived.
  2.  Secondary colors – orange, green or violet/purple, which are created by mixing 2 primary colors
  3. Tertiary colors – Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green. Mixing one primary color and a secondary color creates these colors.



  • Monochromatic – a color scheme using one color in different hues. This creates contrast and depth by using the single color in various shades, hues, and intensity.
  • Complimentary – colors that are directly across from one another on the color wheel. A perfect example of the how opposites due indeed attract. This combination creates a very vibrant look. If done incorrectly it can be jarring and tacky.
  • Analogous – colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These are the colors that are most often found together in nature and are pleasing to the eye. When using this scheme, try to choose one color that is more dominant the other to as accents.
  • Triad – this combination uses colors that are evenly spaced along the color wheel. This look is vibrant yet balanced. Make sure one color is a bit more dominant and the others should be used as an accent.
  • White + One – Using white with a color creates contrast and brightens
  • Neutrals – Grays, browns, black, and creams often create the most soothing of palettes


Light has a major impact on color. Natural daylight is much different from artificial light. The type of light bulbs you use affects the space.

What type of light do you have in your home?

  1. My favs are Compact fluorescent and LEDs they are both energy efficient and provide light that is brighter and whiter than traditional incandescent (which makes things the odd yellow color)
  2. If you are not sure what to buy, check out your local home improvement store. If you go the area that sells light bulbs, there is usually a display showing you how each bulb works and casts light.



Color has a direct impact on our mood and energy. Each color has its own personality and influence. When selecting colors for your home, remember to look at the colors that you are drawn to the most. For example: You like warm fiery Reds and Oranges, but you cannot see painting a room bright RiRi red, so instead use it as an accent color in a more neutral space. Color doesn’t have to be in large quantities to make an impact.



Stop by you favorite paint store and pull a few swatches. If you like a specific color, grab the swatch and the next color up and below. Remember the lighting in the paint store is not always the best. Narrow your choices to two or three colors, don’t take the entire rack of color cards.



Once you narrow your choices down, get a few of your favorites in sample size containers (or quarts if that’s all they have). The only way to be certain of a color is to have it in the intended space. Paint an enlarged swatch of your sample on a medium sized poster board. This allows you to move the swatch around the room to view the color entirely. Keep in mind the color will darken as the paint dries.


What you need to get started:

  • Medium poster boards (22”x 18”)
  • Small rollers and tray
  • Paint
  • A small screwdriver to open the paint cans



After your paint samples are completely dry. Hang them on the wall near furniture and artwork. How do the color swatch look during the day and the evening? Keep the sample up for about 7 days. Live with it for a minute. Observe how you emotionally connect to it and how it works with your home.  After that, you should be able to select the color you like best.

Choosing paint colors doesn’t have to be complicated. Just try these simple rules when you start your next paint project.

The eDesign Experience: Why it works!

The eDesign Experience: Why it works!

I love interior design. It’s my passion. I honestly wouldn’t know what else I would be doing if I didn’t have design. Recently, I started offering e-design services. I was hesitant for a long time to offer these services to my clients. Having actually worked for one of the big e-design companies before I didn’t feel it offered the one-on-one designer/client personal collaboration it should. As a designer, I want to offer the highest quality experience to my clients.

I can admit when I was wrong. I started offering e-design services to my clients and I am so happy I did. One of my very first clients was my sister Tiffany. I mean who better to be the guinea pig than your younger sibling. The goal was simple. This experience should be fun, simple, and stress-free for my clients.

interiors design, e-design service

How E-Design Works

  1. Fill out the simple design questionnaire
  2. Share your 5 – 10 inspiration images
  3. Have a chat with me. After I receive the new client questionnaire and images, I schedule a call with the client to do the following:
    • Make sure we are on the same page
    • Try to really get a good understanding on what their dream room is and how we can make it happen
    • Discuss the design concept
  4. In 7 business days, I deliver a Style Board. The style board conveys the overall look and feel of the space. The client gives feedback and I tweak it according to the feedback I receive.
  5. Full Design is delivered. Complete with a clickable shopping list, floor plan, installation instructions on how to do it yourself and more.

The process typically takes 3-4 weeks depending on the size and how quickly the revision process goes. Here is how went with Tiffany.

interiors design, e-design service

interiors design, e-design service

Tiffany’s Experience


Tiffany is a teacher who moved all the way to Abu Dhabi to teach for 3 years. It’s literally on the other side of the planet (at least 18 hours on a plane). Luckily, they have all the same home stores there as they do here (and some new fun places I had never heard of) making shopping a breeze.

Me:  What were your biggest concerns with working on an interior design project with your designer being 8,000 miles away?

Tiffany: I was worried about having access to the right supplies needed to get the job done on my own.


Me: What was the easiest thing?

Tiffany: Communication! Everything was done for me and clear, so all I had to do was follow instructions.


Me: What was the most difficult

Tiffany: Shopping was difficult because even though I had a list, I easily got deterred by sparkling things. I had to remember my designer was the expert and I needed to get the items we discussed first (and stick to my budget) before purchasing additional items.


Me: Did you feel like you were able to express your personal design taste to me clearly?

Tiffany: Even though I am your annoying little sister, I felt it was easy to talk to you about what I needed.  What was even better was that you really took the time to make sure you understood what I wanted and what I was seeing for my apartment.


Me: How was the process of putting everything together?

Tiffany: Setting up the apartment was simple. I just reminded myself to follow the plan, had some friends and building staff assist.


Me: What do you think of the final outcome?

Tiffany: I absolutely, positively, without a doubt am in love with my space. I feel like I am in a cozy little dream world fit for a queen. Waking up to beauty and coming home to peace are my favorite parts of the day. Not to mention, I get so many compliments and people feel so comfortable in my home.


interiors design, e-design service

interiors design, e-design service

Want to learn more about our e-design services? Simply click this link to get schedule your consultation call!